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Thief: Deadly Shadows Tweak Guide

[Page 4] Patches and Fan Missions

In many ways it is fortunate that Thief: Deadly Shadows is based on the Unreal game engine, since this is a highly customizable and tweakable game engine. If you've read my UT2004 Tweak Guide, you would know that already there is a patch, several bonus packs and some good fan-made mods available for UT2004. There is no reason why the same won't happen for T:DS given its large fan base.

Official Patch

An official patch has been released for Thief: Deadly Shadows, bringing it up to Version 1.1. You can download this patch from Eidos Interactive, or at FileShack among other places. It is relatively small, and only fixes the AI bug in T:DS, whereby loading/saving a game reset the difficulty to Normal regardless of what it was set to previously. The patch is a must-install. Even with the new patch and on Expert settings, the AI is not quite difficult enough for me. If you need more of a challenge like I do, use Thiefbot, a tool for manually changing the various difficulty settings in the game.

Important: While the patch is 100% compatible with previous save games, if you have manually edited any of your .ini files, you should restore the original versions of them before attempting to install the patch, otherwise you may experience problems. If you haven't kept the original versions of your .ini files (it is always strongly recommended that you back them up before editing), then uninstall and reinstall Thief: Deadly Shadows to prevent any issues further down the track. Most people report no problems patching with modified .ini files, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

A more detailed patch is unlikely to be released for Thief: Deadly Shadows any time soon. However if another patch is released this guide will be one of the first places where you will hear all about where to get it, what it changes and all of its performance impacts so keep an eye on this guide.

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No-CD Cracks

As always, unfortunately for purely legal reasons I cannot provide any information on where you can find, and how to use, a No-CD crack for this game. Contrary to popular belief the use of No-CDs is not legal because they are designed to circumvent copy protection and also involve modifying code without the author's permission. However morally I completely agree with their use by legitimate owners of games to defeat the annoying CD check on most games.

In any case what I can tell you is that because T:DS uses a somewhat blunt and brutal copy protection system (SecuROM), there are incompatibilities with certain CD/DVD drives, and performance issues such as slightly reduced framerates and a greater potential for crashes. That's not to say that using a No-CD will suddenly double your framerates and fix all the issues you may be experiencing - the bulk of these are still related to general system optimization, inadequate hardware and inappropriate game settings.

Hopefully, just as Atari have quickly released a patch with a built-in No-CD for Unreal Tournament 2004, Eidos will do the same for Thief: Deadly Shadows to relieve their faithful consumers of this counterproductive measure a measure which penalizes legitimate purchasers and has no affect on pirates.

Fan Missions

If you are a fan of the Thief series then you will know that one of the reasons these games remain so popular to this day is the vast amount of user-made Fan Missions (FMs). Fan missions like the classic The Inverted Manse sometimes outshone the original missions included with the retail Thief games. These missions provide the ability to explore new environments, add new functionality and importantly, create whole new scenarios for Garrett to become immersed in.

The good news is that T:DS continues the tradition of Thief FMs, because it is based on a customizable game engine. Recently, an official editor has been released for Thief 3. You can download it from FileFront, FileShack or FilePlanet. If you need help using the editor, you can also download the Thief 3 Editor Documentation.

A couple of good places to find user made missions for Thief Deadly Shadows are ShadowDarkKeep and Thief: The Circle. Have a hunt around and see what you can find on these and other Thief fan sites.

The next section deals with Thief: Deadly Shadows' in-game settings.