Q: What is The Circle of Stone and Shadow?
A: The Circle of Stone and Shadow (CoSaS) is a new campaign for Thief 2, introducing a new main character, an independent plotline, and loads of new fiction.
Q: What is The Circle of Stone and Shadow in-game?
A: The Circle of Stone and Shadow (CoSaS) is a compound owned and operated by Warden Master Daneel "Nightfall" Todulem, an associate of The Order of the Hammer. It is widely known as a massive museum, library, and community center. In secrecy, even from its Hammerite allies, The Circle is a front for the criminal activities of Master Nightfall. The name, Circle of Stone and Shadow is used to describe Nightfall’s criminal organization, as well as the building. Whispers in the underworld consider the Circle of Stone and Shadow to be a powerful ally. Of course, CoSaS is the name of this campaign, this story, this set of missions.
Q: Who is Master Daneel "Nightfall" Todulem?
A: Known by most simply as "Master Nightfall", he is a newcomer to The City. Master Nightfall arrived from the sea shortly after the events of Thief 1. Apart from being Master of The Circle of Stone and Shadow, he is a contractor of independent thieves, as well as an employer of agents and secret servicemen. The title "warden" reefers to the secret organization of crime lords who have divided The City amongst themselves into "wards". Nightfall is the warden of Hightowne, formerly owned by Ramirez. His association with The Order of the Hammer is clouded over by rumor and heresy, mostly because it’s a complete sham to begin with. Nightfall wishes to maintain very strong friendly relations with The Order, and the Mechanist schism has made the Hammers all too willing to accept Nightfall’s friendship, in spite of evidence showing him to be a warden. Nightfall has no allegiance to any other faction.
Q: Why is this Unofficial Thief 2 Add-on named 'CoSaS'?
A: The campaign bears this name because it involves both the building itself, as well as the ring of agents. On a deeper level, the title reefers to that which has no beginning and no end, that which is firm and constant, and that which conceals.
Q: What does the word "cosas" mean?
A: Cosas means 'things' in Spanish. This is just a coincidence, however, and has nothing to do with the acronym.
Q: Isn't 'The Circle of Stone and Shadow' the name of TTLG's Thief Series fansite?
A: Yes, the building is named after the website. The campaign is not about the website, however. You will should that since the redesign of the site, it no longer presents "The Circle of Stone and Shadow" as the site's name. It should be called Thief: The Circle. That's the site's name, now.
Q: Isn't Master Nightfall the name of TTLG's co-owner and CoSaS creative director?
A: No, that's Daniel Todd, a.k.a. Digital Nightfall. ;)
Q: What is Correspondence of Thieves (COT) and COT2?
A: COT is an online novel based on the Thief Universe, written by Steve Tremblay, Beate Gerwin, James Sterrett, Alexandria Thomson, and Daniel Todd. COT is totally unofficial, and introduces a great deal of new fiction and characters to the Thief Universe. COT2 is the as of yet unfinished sequel to COT. CoSaS is based on the fiction and characters introduced in these two online novels.
Q: Is CoSaS a continuation of the COT 1 / 2 story?
A: Yes and no. CoSaS picks up on a loose end which will be left untied at the end of COT2. It is not, however, meant to be a direct continuation of the COT2 plot, as COT2 was to COT. Think of it as more of a spin-off.
Q: Is CoSaS a continuation of the Thief 1 / 2 story?
A: No. CoSaS takes place between Thief 1 & 2, and references are made to events in the previous game as well as places and characters from the second, however, CoSaS is independent from the Dark Project / Metal Age storyline.
Q: Will the player have to have read COT1/2 to understand the story?
A: No. All information needed to understand the story are either given during the game, or during the tutorial. Reading COT1/2 will certainly add a great deal of depth to the CoSaS plot, though, and players will be much more familiar with certain characters and locations. Playing Thief 1 will do this as well.
Q: Who is the player character in CoSaS?
A: The player assumes the role of a young thief, simply known as Dante. Unlike Garrett, Dante did not grow up on the streets, but rather was cast down from a life of luxury to the pits of the gutter. Dante is a bold and somewhat naïve character, a far cry from the cynical and world-weary Garrett.
Q: What other characters can you tell us about?
A: Aside from Dante and Master Nightfall, there is Sheam, Master Nightfall’s chief of staff and head of his special operations division. Wendle, leader of the Silver Gryphon Mercenary Group, is the captain of The Circle’s security team. Brother Thurm, a Hammerite, is the chaplain of The Circle, and pastor of a small church located on The Circle’s grounds. Additionally, there is Doctor Hallming, a "mad" scientist in Master Nightfall's employ. (Just because a character was mentioned here, doesn't mean he will play a key role in the story. We like to keep you guessing.)
Q: What is the CoSaS story about?
A: CoSaS's story is about a search for answers and personal discovery. With that in mind, wait until you begin to play it before asking -yourself- questions about the story.
Q: How many missions will CoSaS have?
A: We're not saying! Yeah, heaven did not forbid it, and it changed. As before, most of these missions will be smallish in size, with only a few larger ones. One emphasis of the CoSaS mission design is to create smaller, more highly detailed maps, rather then the massive low detail maps of Thief 1 & 2. Typically, each mission will have much more to do in it then just rob a place or hunt for keys.
Q: So the number of missions changed... are there going to be more or less of them?
Q: Will CoSaS feature any new weapons or gadgets?
A: Yes, but most of these will be plot-related quest items. We're trying to avoid adding frivolous new toys just for the sake of having a neat new toy for the player to play with. Everything that is there, is there because it is important to the plot (but don’t hold us to that… we gotta have some fun, ya know). At this writing, the only confirmed new gadget that will be, without a doubt, included in CoSaS is a key-chain tool.
Q: How does this keychain work?
A: All of the keys in your inventory will be stacked into a keychain object. This object may then be used on a door. If you have picked up the right key and it’s on the chain, the door will open. No more rummaging through your inventory and trying all 7 keys to see if the blasted door will open!
Q: What about a bow upgrade?
A: I don’t know about a bow upgrade, but if you want an upgraded bow, then play Icewind Dale or Baldur's Gate, and find your thief character a +1 bow. Sounds good to me.
Q: What do you mean by CoSaS being a '1st Person Adventure Game'?
A: We mean it much less then we had at one point. Though we've revised some of the missions to take a much more traditional approach, there's still going to be a handful of puzzles you'd more expect to find in an adventure game then an action game. No, this will not be Thief meets Myst. Think of it more like Thief meets the classic Zork.
Q: Will CoSaS feature new enemies?
A: Yes. We have several new undead types planned, as well as monsters, plus a few surprises. Oh, and new guard skins as well, but guards are guards, ya know?
Q: Undead? Oh no! Is CoSaS going to have zombie infested missions?
A: No. We want to bring back the fear which the undead could inspire, but also wanted to avoid the frustration. With that in mind, we have designed several new breeds of undead, in order to bring back the element of the unknown. Haunts and Apparitions will, of course, be present, but no zombies (in the Thief 1 sense of the term, at least).
Q: So CoSaS is going to have a horror themed mission?
A: Yes, several, in fact. Most of us felt that Thief 2 was not really very scary, and we're going to try out best to bring back a taste of the fear we felt while playing Thief 1 - not only in the use of undead, but in the element of the unknown.
Q: You mentioned new monsters and surprises? What gives?
A: You heard me. I said surprises. Don’t ask again!
Q: Will CoSaS have new voices, skins, textures, music, cutscenes, lemmings?
A: Yes to all of those, except lemmings. Sorry, no lemmings in CoSaS.
Q: Will CoSaS feature the Hammerites? Keepers? Pagans? Mechanists? Hand Brotherhood? City Watch? Burricks?
A: All of the above will be at least mentioned briefly. Some not so briefly.
Q: The end of the teaser-trailer lends me to believe that The Trickster is going to play a large role in CoSaS. Is this true?
A: Don't make assumptions or jump to conclusions. :)
Q: Is it true that CoSaS will feature Darth Vader and Aretha Franklin?
Q: Will CoSaS feature mazes, jumping puzzles, key hunts, fed-ex quests, or obstacle courses?
A: I certainly hope not!
Q: How will CoSaS be handling difficulty levels?
A: In CoSaS, mainly the difficulty levels will determine the number of 'hints' the player character gives to the player. The three difficulty levels are aptly named "All Hints," "Some Hints," and "No Hints." Hints are delivered via the automap system, and pretty much tell the player what to do next in order to advance the mission. If you don't want your hand held, then you can turn off the hints.
Q: Wait, what about additional objectives, loot requirement increases, and kill/nokill objectives?
A: We've elected to go a new route with this. Objectives will not be effected by your difficulty level. Kill/Nokill is always based on the situation at hand. For instance, if the nature of your mission requires that no-one (or members of a certain group) be killed, then there will be a no-kill objective even on normal levels. If it does not really matter one way or another if someone is killed, and this is the case for the majority of the missions, then no-kill will be an optional or bonus objective, even on expert. Loot objectives will be (with, again, the exception of special situations), always optional. Other objectives, such as finding all the loot, and blackjacking no-one, will be bonus objectives. Secondary mission objectives, which while beneficial to a player's involvement in the plot, but are not required for the completion of the mission, will always be optional.
Q: Why did you decided to do it this way?
A: For several reasons. One, because the plot is so closely knit, having more or different objectives on each difficulty level would have made too great a potential for plot inconsistencies, especially since you can change difficulty level between missions. Secondly, we wanted everyone to be able to play the style they wanted, on any difficulty setting. Killing or not killing is a choice you have to make for yourself in every given situation, not something you decide to enforce upon yourself beforehand. Third, because of the way many of the missions in CoSaS require quite a bit of deductive reasoning, we felt that the best way to deal with this in the difficulty levels was to provide much more information to those playing on the easier settings. Fourth, and maybe most importantly, you will never have to spent an extra 30 minutes on a mission looking for that last 10 bit of loot.
Q: How long has CoSaS been in development.
A: The very first manifestation of CoSaS began development during the summer of '99.
Q: Will CoSaS need external beta testers?
A: For the 2nd phase of beta testing, yes. 2nd phase beta testing will not begin until we can't find any more bugs. Needless to say, that's a long way away.
Q: Will CoSaS require voice actors?
A: Yes, many. At the moment we’re holding private auditions for select characters from a limited pool of people living locally to the team members who have the best recording equipment. As time moves on, we may be holding open auditions for voice acting roles. Most likely there will be two separate auditions - one for character roles, and one for ensemble roles. Character roles are the people who speak during the briefings, cutscenes, and important conversations during gameplay. Ensemble roles will be all the minor characters who have all sorts of fun lines like "just the wind I guess." and "Did that shadow move?" and "Here's an arrow for ya!". Sorry, we're not paying voice actors. None of us are making a dime off CoSaS.
Q: How big with the CoSaS download be?
A: CoSaS will be a mission by mission, cutscene by cutscene, download. Missions will range in size from 30ish megs, to maybe much, much more. The same goes for the movies.
Q: Will CoSaS be on any magazine cover-discs?
A: That would be really, really nice, but don’t hold your breath.
Q: What other fan missions have CoSaS development team members done?
A: The Circle of Strain series, Stowaway (FM contest winner), Rogues Honor, Autumn in Lampfire Hills, Calendra’s Cistern, Order of the Vine, Equilibrium, and Gathering at the Bar. This will be our first project working as a team.
Q: When will CoSaS be released?
A: No idea. It's too soon to say. Before Thief 3? When it's done.
Q: Are all the answers to these questions set in stone?
A: No, anything could happen between now and release. We are, however, confident that all we've told you here is not going to change - much.
Q: In which order do you fasten your pants, button zip or zip button?
A: Button zip, always.
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