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: So uh, what's the scoop?
A: I'm glad you asked! CoSaS mission 1, Gathering at the Inn (GatI), has been released, and the team is now hard at work on missions 2, entitled Mission X (MX).
Q: When will Mission X be released?!
A: It's going to be a bit. When GatI was finished, MX's scripting process had not yet begun. We've been hard at work creating a ton of new objects, adding final touches to the architecture, and putting in the massive scrpting. Thankfully, there won't be such a big gab between the next mission releases.
Q: Who is working on Mission X?
A: Mission X's architecture is by Finial. The scripting is by Anarchic Fox. Objects will be (for the most part) by Schwaa, Yametha, and Zombeh. Expect the return of Saturnine as Dante and Wynne as Sheam.
Q: How big will Mission X be?
A: I'd say it will be about twice the size of GatI. How much gameplay time will depend on how many of the optional objectives you take on, but overall, it will be larger than GatI in almost every way.
Q: And the plot is...?
A: Since the job at the Greiving Burruck Inn, Dante has been doing jobs of mischief and petty theft for Master Nightfall. Weeks have gone by, and Dante has finally been officially promoted to the status of Agent. Mission X will be Dante's first mission as a full agent.
Q: Why the name, Mission X?
Because it's a top secret mission. :) Yes, Mission X will be the name the mission will be released under.
Q: Can you at least give a hint about what's going to happen in Mission X?
Find the Novice Keeper's Lexicon. Go to entry 196. Yes, I know it's not numbered. :)
Q: What is The Circle of Stone and Shadow according to the game's fiction?
A: Inside the game, 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 this Master Nightfall?
A: His real name is Daneel Todulem, and 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, with the exception if his warden allies.
Q: What is Correspondence of Thieves (COT) and COT2?
A: COT is an online novel based on the Thief Universe, written by Steve Tremblay, Lytha, 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. I promise I will finish COT2. Uhm yes.
Q: Is CoSaS a continuation of the COT 1 / 2 story?
A: In a way, yes. It will pick up on a plot thread left unresolved by COT2. The plot is stand-alone, however.
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. The point of view of the player is that of an outsider, so the player isn't expected to know anything that the outsider doesn't know. 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 and 2 will do this as well.
Q: Who is the player character in CoSaS?
A: The player assumes the role of 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. He is possibly 22ish.
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. 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: How many missions will CoSaS have?
A: We're not saying! This isn't because we want to be mean and keep it a secret, but because CoSaS doesn't treat missions in the conventional sense. For example, some "missions" will be in two parts, but will be released as one mission. Additionally, some of the missions will be so small that they'll be finishable in under 15 minutes (similar to Evesdropping in Thief 2, but even shorter still). So, any figure we give on the number of missions would be misleading. Just wait and see.
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. There is also a page included in the automap which lists the keys in the player's posession. No more rummaging through your inventory and trying all 7 keys to see if the blasted door will open!
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: 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.
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