Speedy Shadows: Thief 3 ‘Gold’ Removes Loading Zones

By Alec Meer on May 06, 2014

With Square’s Thief causing a great many of the Looking Glass/Ion Storm faithful to adopt a bulldog chewing a wasp facial expression for the best part of a month (I’m kidding of course – they’ll retain that expression for at least twenty years), interest in Garret’s earlier tealeaf adventures has heightened. Even the series’ former red-headed stepchild, Deadly Shadows, has itself a new moment in the sun. Assorted fixes have long been available, but a newish and very appealing one is the removal of all loading screens from the game’s notoriously chopped-up missions.

Given that I haven’t followed the Thief 3 modding beyond the initial releases of the famous JohnP texture pack, I’d be lying if I said I was up to speed on what this Thief 3 Gold pack does that’s new, as opposed to anthologised.

I am up to speed on what this Thief 3 Gold pack does that’s new, as opposed to anthologised.

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BUT WHICH OF THOSE SENTENCES IS A LIE?

(The first one. Obviously. Hanlon’s razor, and all that).

Beleg Cuthalion’s ‘Gold’ pack is a companion piece to the existent, extensive Sneaky Upgrade, which itself plans to eventually encompass all the major mods – including the Minimalist Project and JohnP’s textures, as well as Gold.

Basically, you want to get everything, but for the sake of brevity alone I’m focusing on Thief 3 Gold here. Its headline news is a repackaging of the game’s levels so that there are no more loading zones in any of the main missions – in other words, bigger areas and a more seamless experience. Sadly The City hasn’t seem similar as yet, but hey, let’s be grateful for what we’ve got.

The Gold pack has a few other fixes, pasted below, and in time hopes to include the likes of briefing videos, hand-drawn maps and improved movement for Garrett, but right now its Public Beta Test is focused on ironing out its own bugs. If you fancy giving it a go, do report back with any findings in this forum thread.

Here’s the list of Gold features so far:

– No loading zones or blue fog in all nine proper missions (excl. the Inn tutorial)
– Re-designed transition zones (as faithful to the game as possible)
– Various fixes of broken/incomplete patrols, missing shadow-casting, un-ghostable AI positions
– Fixed Keeper enforcers, especially on HARD/EXPERT
– Reduced ambient fog
– Removed transition zone symbol from hand-drawn maps
– From the Sneaky Upgrade side the game was tweaked to allow slightly larger maps (content-wise) which was necessary for the Cradle and Museum maps

Haven’t had the chance to install all this stuff myself, so how does the old dear hold up? Let us know, taffer.

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