Mid-Level Loading Be Gone! Thief 3 Gold Mod Leaves Beta

By Alice O'Connor on August 1st, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Gently does it!

A mod removing the mid-level loading from Thief: Deadly Shadows is a good thing. We cooed a bit at the Thief 3 Gold mod before in May when the first beta version arrived–coo!–so now that Version 1.0 is here we’re duty-bound to coo longer, more intensely. CoooOOo! Along with smooshing mission segments into single load-free levels, Gold makes a few other tweaks, including adjusting wonky guard paths and positions.

V1.0 brings bug fixes, of course, and one notable new change: an option to make it so Garrett needn’t steal the Widow Moira’s inheritance to complete that mission on Expert difficulty, as nabbing that has consequences later in the game. Head over to its thread on the Through the Looking Glass forums to download the mod and see what’s what.

In time, Thief 3 Gold will be integrated with the Sneaky Upgrade mod/unofficial patch, which you really should be playing with anyway. It brings oodles of improvements, like faster loading, adjustable field of view, better resolution support, a framerate limiter to stop things like lockpicking and ladder-climbing from wonking out. Sneaky will envelop a few other key mods too.

The Gold gang aren’t done yet, mind. Beyond fixing bugs, they plan to create Thief 1-style intro videos for missions, turn the tutorial into a proper mission on higher difficulties, tweak Garrett’s movement, and more. It is lovely how a community’s still supporting and updating a game almost a decade after its creator shut down (it is and all–February 2005), isn’t it?

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28 Comments »

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  1. Ross Angus says:

    Yay! I’d somehow missed this, up til now. Good news.

    • demicanadian says:

      But… but what about game trivia? What about Grey Lady rhyme?

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    slerbal says:

    Bloody cool. That really is impressive.I can’t wait to try it out as the bisected levels were the main thing I struggled with in Thief 3.

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    Anthile says:

    Everybody always talks about Shalebridge Cradle when it comes to Thief 3 levels but I always thought Overlook Manor was much better. In most Thief missions you steal from rich jerks who have it coming and even if they don’t they certainly won’t starve after you robbed them. Overlook Manor is different. It makes you steal from an old, lonely woman. To me it was a humbling experience and that’s something video games don’t do very often. It doesn’t make you feel like a badass thief, it makes you feel like a common thug. Garrett’s character comes apart when he is confronted with regular or even sympathetic people. He’s not a very good person even if he has some admirable qualities. More importantly, it does all that without any dialogue or other exposition. Thief 3 gets a lot of flak for not being a very good Thief game but it can be surprisingly subtle.
    Oh, the level also has a brilliant soundtrack that greatly amplifies its eery atmosphere.

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      SMGreer says:

      I think the Shalebridge Cradle is still the pinnacle of the game but yes, the Overlook Manor is also another surprisingly excellent mission within the game. Thief 3 was a step down in a number of ways but despite that, it still managed to provide many genuine thrills even for veteran fans. Which is a lot more than can be said for the recent reboot…

    • SRTie4k says:

      I agree with you, when I reminisce about the earlier Thief games (especially after just finishing the abortion that is the reboot), I often think back to the Overlook Manor level in Thief 3 as one of the most atmospheric levels I ever recall playing. Sneaking through a huge seaside mansion with the sound of rain spattering the roof, and the occasional lightning strike illuminating ever corner of the house through the glass roof…that level dripped with atmosphere.

      The Cradle was atmospheric as well, and as good as the Overlook, albeit in a different sense. I see the Cradle as one of the most tense and terrifying, whereas the Overlook was melancholy, almost depressing (in a good way).

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      The mission with the widow is the only mission where I intentionally restarted to turn down the difficulty. Not because the mission was hard, but because I couldn’t bring myself to take all the things necessary to meet the higher loot requirement.

    • Ross Angus says:

      The level which gets me is the fish-folk, bumbling round their crumbling civilization, slowly descending into stupidity. Mindlessly repeating their old science, as if it’s religion (“Count on you” etc).

      Something which doesn’t get mentioned enough about stealth games is that you often feel empathy for your antagonists. Guards in Thief are affectionately called “Benny” by the community. I’m pretty sure it’s not the same in the COD community.

    • Wedge says:

      I remember that mission made me stray from my usual non-lethal antics and I killed all the servants that were plotting against her. Brought the lady a nice bottle of wine, got what I needed, and was on my way.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Absolutely agree. People so readily pick on Deadly Shadows’ level design and yet there are some truly incredible levels. Is it my favourite of the series? No. Is it terrific? Yes, definitely yes. Still miles above nearly everything else.

      Yes, additionally, you’re spot on about Garrett’s character. He’s not a nice guy. He’s just not. He steals from people for a living. He saved the City three bloody times, but that doesn’t mean he’s a hero or even a decent bloke. I like to think he has occasional pangs of sympathy and conscience – I like to think we’re supposed to believe that when WE get those pangs – but a thief is still a thief.
      I LOVE that he is how he is.

    • dethtoll says:

      Thief has always generally followed a couple of themes, ranging from difficult heist missions to easy grab n’ go stuff to horror. Cradle and Overlook both represent the height of their particular themes, I feel.

  4. eeguest says:

    Thief 1-style intro sounds coolest

  5. Pich says:

    Can we mod thi4f good too?

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    oggnogg says:

    Coo. I like that word <3

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    phuzz says:

    I’d be interested to know how they’ve removed the loading screens. Is it just that a modern computer has much more memory so store levels in?

    • New Horizon says:

      They used the Thief 3 Level Editor to painstakingly stitch the separated maps back together. This was no easy task as sometimes the second half of the map was rotated in a different direction from what I have heard. It was a really time consuming job.

      • Shadowcat says:

        It’s slightly insane that this has happened. Such a change was top of many people’s lists for T3, but I clearly recall people concluding that it was pretty much an impossible task, because the level segments simply weren’t two halves of a whole.

        *tips hat to the modders*

        A very impressive effort, to be sure.

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    Shockeh says:

    Wonder what the chances are of a Thief 4 mod that gives us a game that wasn’t a shameless, awful cash-in on the IP?

    • TheTingler says:

      It was many things, but it’s not fair to call it a cash-in. It was a massive flop, and was years in the making for a game even in a best-case scenario was a sequel to a series that has never sold well. They most definitely tried to make it a good game that everyone would like, fans and newcomers, but failed utterly.

      • Shadowcat says:

        Uh, Thief and Thief 2 sold very well. If Thief hadn’t sold well, there wouldn’t be a series! (I don’t know about Thief 3 sales.)

  9. gabrielonuris says:

    Isn’t Deus Ex Invisible War on the same engine? Can something similar be done with that game too? I’d love to replay all Deus Ex games, but the second one is a chore…. Not because of bad writing and clunky gameplay, but because of too many loading times between level sectors.

    • Frank says:

      Yes, I’d love to see that! This Thi3f thing is better for me, though, as I’ve actually finished DX2 before, but never this game.

    • New Horizon says:

      It is on a much earlier version of the same engine, yes, but there is no level editor for DX2 and the Thief Deadly Shadows editor has many things hard coded directly into it. I attempted to import all of the scripts required to load the DX levels into T3ED, but it was not possible to load them since the scripts didn’t have the necessary support to load in T3Ed.

      • dethtoll says:

        Hey, NH, does this mod include Minimalist Mod? That was always my go-to mod whenever I reinstalled.

    • Shadowcat says:

      If people want to figure out how to create a working editor, and then spend man-years of arduous effort splicing the levels together and modifying all of the per-level game logic so that it actually works in the new environments, then sure it can be done.

      Will it be done? Uh, no. No, it won’t.

      (I would have said the same thing about this mod, mind; but the two games are very different cases. Despite being considered the lesser part of the trilogy, Thief 3 enjoys a vastly greater reputation than Invisible War does. Combined with the lack of a working editor, I just don’t see anyone ever taking up this particular cause…)

  10. Bob says:

    Cool. How does 3 play on Windows 7 though? I’ve still got the disc somewhere but the last time I played I had XP as my OS.

  11. dethtoll says:

    So far the only good thing to come out of TTLG since I left. Figures it’s from the part of the forum I avoided like the plague — but then again I suspect the kind of people I didn’t want to associate with weren’t the ones working on this.

    Glad to see this happen — Thief 3 was always a favourite of mine, right up there with 1 and 2.