Improving "A Gilded Cage" (Marrakesh)

Did this for Showstopper, did it for World of Tomorrow… and now I’ve finally gotten around to it for “A Gilded Cage”.

As usual the suggestion for improvement should be specific to Marrakesh, and not some game wide style improvements. This means no talking about, for instance, accents (which is a fair complaint, but not for this thread)

As usual suggestions will span from stuff that I believe could just be added in a patch, to stuff that would require a lot of work, and is unlikely to ever be done.

Here we go.

Starting Presentation

Maybe I was the only one to react to this, but when I first booted up the level I was underwhelmed by the very first in-game visual. In Paris and Sapienza you’re presented with the main building to infiltrate. That feels better to me.
My suggestion, would be to have an ICA safe house in Marrakesh that has view of the markets as well as the embassy peaking up behind the wall. Have the level start with 47 looking out the window at this view.

Food Delivery for Zaydan

This one is obvious. Zaydan has food delivered to him from the markets, but you can’t disguise yourself as the food delivery dude in order to deliver the food yourself. I truly don’t see why this wasn’t in there except maybe they couldn’t get some technical aspect to work. Using a disguise to deliver food to the target? That would be classic Hitman.

It could also be a solution to one of my later points (“No Good Way into Zaydan’s Office”), where, for instance, you could get escorted to Zaydan’s office to leave the food, and then you’re given a short while alone in there (giving you the opportunity to do something under some time pressure, like opening the safe).

Enforcers and Blending in in the Consulate

I’ve said this before, but here goes. The consulate has a poor balance when it comes to enforcers, this is especially true when you’re dressed as a Security Officer. All too often you have to work around enforcers in a forced (heh) manner that doesn’t feel at all as well balanced as in Sapienza. I believe part of this is just the choice of enforcers more than the number of them, but it’s also a question of blending spots as well as available distractions. My suggestion is probably to add a few blending spots for Security Officers, changing up who is an enforcer a bit, as well as coupling this with my next point to add freedom.

Too Few Paths Upstairs (Consulate)

Really, there’s two ways up, that’s it. Three if you count both staircases in the lobby, but that seems like a cop out. It’s the exact same mirrored set up. Where’s the agility based access, like some kind of climbing? I’d like to see at least a couple of agility based entry points.
Maybe some way of getting onto the roof and then getting in through an opening in the glass ceiling for the conference room where Olander is usually located.
These methods might allow the player to avoid some enforcers.

No Good Way into Zaydan’s Office

Zaydan’s office in the school building is the home of at least two main strategies (probably three), yet there’s no way to get in there that doesn’t involve subduals or throwing distractions. Really? They even tease with an open window that goes nowhere.
This should have had some kind of agility based accessability. Make it so that the open window has a purpose by tying it to a climbing method of getting in there.

Making a Call

Really, once you have Zaydan’s and/or Strandberg’s phone number, why can’t you call them from a phone booth? Have it cost a coin, I’d really enjoy that. Anything that gives the coins the feeling of being actual coins is fun. There’s also something particularly spy-thriller-ish about making a call from a phone booth.
Right now the phone booths feel almost exclusively meant for contracts (and pretty limited contracts at that)…

Rooftops

Really, Marrakesh seems ideal for some fun rooftop gameplay, but it’s mostly wasted on isolated little rooftop islands instead of what it should be… loads of places to jump and climb to,with stuff to discover and feats to accomplish. This could’ve been one of those things that makes Marrakesh unique. More of the rooftops should be tied together (so you can reach them from other rooftops), and more rootops should be accessible. Add some patrolling guards in spots, and maybe one path leads to a chopper platform?

Chopper Escape

I found the escapes in this a bit lackluster. Not one of them has the dynamic/exciting feel of getting into the sea plane or speedboat in Sapienza. Considering how many choppers are flying around in the air, I truly thought one escape route would be by chopper.
I’d have a chopper landed on the roof of the embassy, or somewhere else in the city, and access there. Maybe the only character allowed to approach it would be the chopper pilot, and you’d have to get his disguise.
Either way: Chopper escape!

Sniper Kills (this point is added by edit)

I found the sniping in this disappointing. Won’t make a long point out of it, but in Sapienza there were so many different ways of sniping the targets compared to this.
The main shot(s) on Strandberg are good, but where’s the creative ones, like “Eye For an Eye”?
Where’s the ones that turn into accidents (like shooting a shandelier to make it drop on the target)?
Where’s the ones where you manipulate the target to get into a position where you can snipe him? (like shooting the dinner bell in Sapienza).
I get that certain maps won’t be as good for sniping as Sapienza, but this map certainly should be.

These are a few of my suggestions. I have more (especially on the design of the consulate), but they’re not easily put into a few sentences. Anyone else have any suggestions for this mission? Comments on mine?

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I strongly agree on the enforcers in the embassy. There are too many and makes the guard outfit pretty much useless.

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Pretty much agree on everything.

I really enjoyed my first play through of this level, but I can’t motivate myself to go back to it in the same way I have Italy and France.

Other than the things you’ve mentioned, overall it just seems to lack character, I guess. World of tomorrow and showstopper are incredibly memorable for me. This level, not so much.

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I just think the level isn’t as much of a “swiss cheese” as previous levels have been. One of the strengths of previous levels is how every playthrough can be given a different feel simply by chosing slightly different paths (and there’s many ways to mix and match them). Marrakesh in general, and the consulate in particular doesn’t strike me as having as much of this.

Yeah, you’d think the security officer disguise should feel somewhat empowering, but it has the exact opposite effect.

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Not really got much to add to that; I agree with pretty much everything Kent has written there.

Agree with pretty much all of this. This map was great in the first play through but quickly lost my interest over time.

Also feel that the surrounding “empty” space was better used in sapienza with great sniping spots and unique disguises. The bar doesn’t really do much besides the disguise.

Would have loved the crowd to serve a purpose in a kill challenge. We have seen NPCs kill each other before in BM. Great opportunity missed imo.

Also on the BM note. I miss the newspaper. The live news stream on the tvs would have been a great way to bring some of that back

Agree with all of Kent’s points.

Something else I felt was a missed opportunity was the intern wandering around the marketplace. He’s looking for Strandberg’s apartment… which is nowhere on the map. (If it is, please let me know). He also at one point starts yelling to the crowd asking if anyone knows where that address is. How cool would it be if you could interact with him, tell him you know where it is and to follow you, and then lure him to an isolated place to subdue him?

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Yeah, it does feel like this mission is missing some apartments. They really helped Sapienza feel more real, and also had stuff that could be used for different strategies. Would’ve been pretty good.

I even imagine there could’ve been a bit where if Strandberg is evacuated the soldiers could escort him through some more or less empty back alley to his apartent (before going to the school) where he gets his suitcase, thus opening up for the bomb kill from the cinematic trailer.

Reading through the posts makes me realise exactly why I don’t like it as much as the others. It goes back to the whole “Swiss cheese” thing.

I just don’t feel like my exploration is rewarded.

My girlfriend and I have a routine. Every time a new episode comes out, we spend ages exploring and basically going on a tour of the level. The number of figurative and literal dead-ends really hurt it for me.

I love the actual assassinations that are there, but there are small things that limit the overall play experience, and it just leaves a bad taste.

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I totally agree with all of them!

I really thought you could sneak onto the embassy rooftop! I mean, look at those windows at the top! I thought you could sit up there and shoot down through them!

And when I found out about the food that’s getting delivered, I got so happy! I pictured myself doing like in the Legacy trailer/H2S with the Fugufish! Walking away while he’s choking behind me! I got so disappointed! :frowning:

I like the map itself! There’s a lot of great details, and I love the atmosphere when you walk through the streets! But there’s so much more you could have done! :open_hands:

moaaaaaaaare rooftops!

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Ugh. Fine. Happy now?

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I have a quick question on this topic and the consulate in general. I turn off the UI including the white enforcer dot so I can’t tell which disguises work well and which don’t without trying them but my question for anyone is which consulate disguise actually has less enforcers than the others? As far as I can tell none off them are allowed upstairs except for the janitor and cameraman.

Masseur.

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Suit works fine aswell, even Claus won’t mind you there. Only those pesky police officers

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Yeah I noticed that actually, I tried a suit only run when I got my absolution suit and was surprised they let me walk around with relative ease. Meanwhile the poor intern gets all the suspicious looks like he was caught having an affair with the boss’s wife.

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Ye well, maybe if that intern dressed properly he wouldn’t have that problem :wink:

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Good thread. Listing these points only gives more weight to the theory that Marrakesh was released too early and, that with time constraints, the dev team didn’t have enough time to add everything to the level that it needed.

There should certainly be more rooftop access, both in and outside the consulate, and at least one unconventional access point inside both school and consulate such as a drainpipe.

Phone booths are useless and could be used to call targets. In fact, if we could use a phonebooth we’d be able to call Zaydan and have enough time to climb the West Bazaar Roftops to snipe him as he walks through the street en route to the tunnel. As it is, the only use of phonebooths is against the 5 NPCs who are pre-programmed to use them. Electrocuting someone is good for creating a distraction for guards, I suppose.

There are a few reasons why I agree that the consulate enforcer NPCs are unbalanced. Firstly, with certain disguises such as consulate security, all 3 upstairs access points are enforced by stationary guards, all of which see through the disguise. At least one point should not have such an enforcer.

Second, some enforcers don’t make sense. Some can see through disguises that are not of their type. While not wrong per se (janitors being enforced by consulate security), some have no logic. For example, there’s an elite officer and a consulate security guard at the back end of the consulate, near the stairs. The elite officer can see through a consulate security disguise, but NOT through an elite soldier disguise?! Similarly, the consulate guard can see through an elite officer disguise. The only purpose behind this is to make it harder for the player to get past them in either disguise.

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and more rooftops.

marrakesh need more flexibile exteriors
school <- rooftops -> embassy

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I also agree a lot with the issues posted here, it all feels kind of rushed since there are great moments in the map…
Somehow i can’t shake the feeling that if we as demanding community where a bit more forgiving in the release times it would be a better product in the end… Since it’s difficult to fix a map when its released we are screwed for a long time. And after a jewl as sapienza where they clearly took more time it would be worth the wait… (they set a pretty high bar there)

All can be boiled down to imo a flawed release model… but okay, lets be kind and positive and hope the next ones will be great again (locations/episodes… bonus or not) can’t wait to the night in Marrakech!!

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