The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 20th, 2018, 7:20 am

Woolfe wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 6:33 am
It'd be interesting if skill trees are going to be capable of filling out multiple Subbranches, then have the order that they occur in be important.

So learning one type of magic first gives a slight advantage in that type of magic forever.
Not a good chance of that I think; though it could have been a great addition to the mechanics.

The first Witcher game had an EXCELLENT alchemy system; which they gutted in the sequels. The original system allowed for the concoction of potions by using whatever was available that could work. Component ingredients all had alchemical properties, and the recipes called only for the properties to be present; the alchemist could mix & match ingredients as they needed, in order to obtain suitable properties for the brew.

But there was another aspect to it as well. When all of the component ingredients had a property common with the alcohol base, the brew was exceptionally potent. This was an effect that the player could cause through deliberate selection of ingredients.

All of it is gone now—simplified to base crap for the base market.

Compare the complexity of these three: http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/Alchemy

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 20th, 2018, 11:45 am

Themadcow wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 1:57 am
It's fairly realistic that a soldier (for a real life example) might be a good hand to hand fighter, assault, tactics or sniping - but realistically only a master at one of them. A solder that only learned hand to hand combat isn't a good soldier.
Realism is nice when it doesn't make for poor gameplay. In real life, good soldiers (or good carpenters, or good songwriters, or good ______) are mostly going to have very similar skill sets to other people in the profession. If we base the game on this assumption, you are pretty much going to pick a class and then you are done with character and party building for the next 20-40 hours. Just remember we want a good game with fun decision making first. A "realistic fantasy simulator" should be a much lower priority.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Drool » February 20th, 2018, 1:15 pm

Themadcow wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 1:57 am
I feel that skill trees should certainly have a reasonable level of restriction
As long as they're all workable. I just want to avoid a M&MX situation.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Themadcow » February 21st, 2018, 5:33 am

Zombra wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 11:45 am
Themadcow wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 1:57 am
It's fairly realistic that a soldier (for a real life example) might be a good hand to hand fighter, assault, tactics or sniping - but realistically only a master at one of them. A solder that only learned hand to hand combat isn't a good soldier.
Realism is nice when it doesn't make for poor gameplay. In real life, good soldiers (or good carpenters, or good songwriters, or good ______) are mostly going to have very similar skill sets to other people in the profession. If we base the game on this assumption, you are pretty much going to pick a class and then you are done with character and party building for the next 20-40 hours. Just remember we want a good game with fun decision making first. A "realistic fantasy simulator" should be a much lower priority.
I'm going to disagree there.

A carpenter would be a specialist tree in the 'tradesman' class, with higher level skills in woodwork. Equally, they would be more adept than the average person at things like plastering or brickwork... but their specialism is carpentry. Never the less, if you want someone to build you a wooden structure... you'd take a carpenter over a plasterer.

A songwriter is a branch of the musician class. They would have expert skills at things such as poetry, tone and language... but would also be better than the man on the street at playing the piano or other musical instrument because they'd understand tone, pitch etc...

I won't even go into how soliders aren't all the same, because you only need to look at any army to see that specialists are absolutely vital (yet they are all soldiers).

I'm all about fun over realism in every aspect (note my signature...) - if the latter infringes on the former. In this case I think we can definitely have our cake and eat it, with classes like Bard, Warrior or whatever being able to take points in most of their trees while needing to specialize in one or two. Specializing in everything is just not realistic OR fun because then you really do end up with everyone being the same.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 21st, 2018, 6:29 am

Specializing in everything is just not realistic OR fun because then you really do end up with everyone being the same.
Yep. Ultimately. There's no benefit in "specializing", since everyone in the end can all specialize in the same thing. Specialization becomes meaningless except during character development IF you take different characters along different routes to the same destination.

I don't want a master of all. I'd rather either have a jack of all trades / master of none, or master of one trade with some skills in other relevant trades to what they're master in. It's like a colour wheel. Choose a direction, and supplementary colours are you secondary skills. Translating that to a skill tree is a little more complex, but that's essentially how the skill mechanic should look if doing it the 'tree' style (as opposed to classic trilogy). It's both more realistic and more reasonable.

Do not let me have every character master, given enough time, every skill.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 21st, 2018, 7:51 am

Themadcow wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 5:33 am
Specializing in everything is just not realistic OR fun because then you really do end up with everyone being the same.
We may get there by different chains of reasoning, but bottom line we agree about what's important here.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 21st, 2018, 10:24 am

thebruce wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 6:29 am
Specializing in everything is just not realistic OR fun because then you really do end up with everyone being the same.
Yep. Ultimately. There's no benefit in "specializing", since everyone in the end can all specialize in the same thing.
This is avoided by classed characters*; where the likes of Conan and Thoth-Amon are experts of their own craft.

*Like in the Bard's Tale series, among others.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 21st, 2018, 10:45 am

Gizmo wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 10:24 am
thebruce wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 6:29 am
Specializing in everything is just not realistic OR fun because then you really do end up with everyone being the same.
Yep. Ultimately. There's no benefit in "specializing", since everyone in the end can all specialize in the same thing.
This is avoided by classed characters*; where the likes of Conan and Thoth-Amon are experts of their own craft.

*Like in the Bard's Tale series, among others.
+ Yes* ~

* That's was what I was implying** in the context of unlimited skill advancement as opposed to class-based specialization trees

** I'm not advocating for specializing*** in everything, which would make 'specializing' meaningless

*** That is, maximizing skills in any specific tree****

**** Would I still like to see a form of skill tree that may have some overlap across classes?+

~sorry, couldn't resist. :lol:
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 21st, 2018, 11:00 am

thebruce wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 10:45 am
~sorry, couldn't resist. :lol:
It's fun, isn't it...

Have you ever played Throne Of Darkness?

If so, what do you think of the skill tree system?
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One thing I greatly dislike about the game—but cannot fault, because it works to keep up the pace... is that the party has the Blacksmith in their pocket; literally. They can be in a cave somewhere, and pull out the blacksmith, give him materials, and have him forge a sword on the spot.

There are other quirks, like when anyone gets tired, they can individually teleport back home to take a nap. Interestingly, they are all classed characters, and the classes have special abilities... and yet they can learn all of the skills. But I think the wizard is the best spell caster.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Orpheus the Bard » February 23rd, 2018, 1:36 am

Love the new stuff happening to the game right now, but would really like to know about the Alpha or Beta demo....have I missed this?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by demeisen » February 23rd, 2018, 11:19 am

Lord of Riva wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 4:12 pm
* Still not a fan of the wiggling/flying/throbbing character portraits. I hate to scream "options menu" but please, since this is apparently not going away, an option to turn those animations off would be great.
im just seconding that, it looks really wierd.
N+1'ing it. Not a fan of the portrait integration and animations here either.

Simple 2D portraits that are clearly not part of the game world would be OK, and can still indicate position. (And agreed with other posters: they shouldn't bounce - that doesn't look good at all). I think it's the attempted illusion of having them be part of the game world that's problematic. Either they're first class 3D elements residing in the 3D world (which is out of the running at this point - maybe for BT5 :) ), or take them completely out of the world and clearly separate them visually as GUI elements. I think that'd be fine. When they're 2D cutouts trying to pretend they're in the 3D world, there's a kind of visual "uncanny valley" around that, not to mention the weirdness around them turning their backs on things they're supposed to be fighting. That back-turning weirdness doesn't manifest though if they're clearly GUI elements. It's the blurring of that line that causes the trouble, for me.

Just my $0.02.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 23rd, 2018, 11:38 am

demeisen you win for mentioning "uncanny valley" - I was tempted to include that conceptually but thought it might be too far fetched in this context :P heh. But yes, it's that neither-here-nor-there unsettling aspect that's the sticking point with the bobbing and about-facing portraits.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by demeisen » February 23rd, 2018, 11:45 am

BTW here's what I mean. In this Grimrock screenshot, the character portraits face you, but since they're clearly not trying to be part of the 3D world, you're not bothered by them turning their backs to what they're fighting. They're GUI elements, not 3D world members.

They're on the side of the 3D view here, but no reason they couldn't be along the bottom, positionally similar to what BT4 is doing.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by demeisen » February 23rd, 2018, 11:48 am

thebruce wrote:
February 23rd, 2018, 11:38 am
demeisen you win for mentioning "uncanny valley" - I was tempted to include that conceptually but thought it might be too far fetched in this context :P heh. But yes, it's that neither-here-nor-there unsettling aspect that's the sticking point with the bobbing and about-facing portraits.
Yeah agreed - it's not literally the meaning of uncanny valley, so not a perfect fit, but there are definitely parallels in the sense of wrongness.

And yeah, if they become proper GUI elements, which I hope, please don't have them bob like that :).

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 23rd, 2018, 11:55 am

Yeah, nice one demeisen. I like how you put it: either make the PCs "first class" citizens of the game world or let them be part of the party UI ("second class"). We've seen countless games do both ways to great success. Making them "1½ class" might be an attempt at innovation but it's really the worst of both worlds. I'm not fooled into seeing the characters as inhabiting the environment - the seams can't be ignored - but at the same time the characters are turned away from me. Over the course of the game, I'll see their faces sometimes but mostly I'll be getting to know the backs of their heads. Why?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 23rd, 2018, 11:57 am

Basically, BT4 is replacing the 6-7 line character stat panel with portraits. We just need an implementation that doesn't pretend that the UI is in-world. I think one of the issues is trying to connect the battle grid to be somewhat in line with the character positions. They don't need to be. If they aren't then characters also don't need to turn, let alone bob. If we're walking forward it really doesn't bother me that the front row "looks" like they're walking backwards while exploring, it's not uncanny because the portraits are representations of my characters, not literally existing within the world architecture.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 23rd, 2018, 12:14 pm

How about animated portraits in the same style as Planescape and D00M both had?
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*Meaning limited (fidget) animation that is also sometimes triggered by sudden events.
(IE. like the D00M guy, when he picks up the chainsaw; or uses it for an extended duration.)

One thing to consider though, is that the PC's have to be able to move in combat. Shuffling portraits might look a bit awkward.


For some reason, I was always under the (false?) impression that the final PC avatars would be fully animated; as in capable of turning to face the player, and speak with lipsync, or amble their way from slot to slot, or perform symbolic actions. Not Bethesda style paper-dolls, but more like the characters from Demonstone...if they were part of the UI.
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I wish it was easier to import user files at runtime for Unreal... Then the player could import their own character images. InXile could provide several official PC/NPC multi-frame images; and that interested users could provide their own, for their own characters.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 23rd, 2018, 7:11 pm

the PC's have to be able to move in combat.
Do they?
I consider that entirely pretty graphics. They don't need to, but some devs really want them to. That's why I fully support the option to turn off combat animations in a 'classic mode', or have them skippable. They take up time. The trilogy had the ability to speed up the scroll text if you didn't want to wait and read it all because it'd be quite repetitive. Provide something similar here.

I still want to see a classic mode that provides animated portraits like the classics, and that's it. No need for more [in that mode]. Everything else is fluff :P
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 23rd, 2018, 8:07 pm

thebruce wrote:
February 23rd, 2018, 7:11 pm
the PC's have to be able to move in combat.
Do they?
I consider that entirely pretty graphics. They don't need to, but some devs really want them to.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought that the party members could change slot locations during the fight. If so, then they would need to move in combat, and the options would be to either have it take place instantaneously, to bounce the portraits to the new locations, or to animate the figure's movement from one slot to the next.

I certainly hope it wouldn't be just pretty graphics, but would have some (tactical) significance to the move. For instance... In the game Disciples 2, it has the same kind of party & enemy grids, and melee units on the far left cannot target an enemy on the far right —if there is any enemy in between them. In that game, position matters. In fact, it's a strategic choice not to eliminate a weaker enemy who blocks attacks from stronger ones, by their presence obstructing them. Of course BT had a restriction on melee range, as did Eye of the Beholder.

**Though it is the case that in Disciples 2, the PCs cannot move during combat.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by demeisen » February 24th, 2018, 8:47 am

Gizmo wrote:
February 23rd, 2018, 8:07 pm
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought that the party members could change slot locations during the fight. If so, then they would need to move in combat, and the options would be to either have it take place instantaneously, to bounce the portraits to the new locations, or to animate the figure's movement from one slot to the next.
That's the impression I got from the combat demos too: that the slot location has tactical significance - e.g, for which creature locations certain abilities will target. So I'm thinking the same as you about ordering changes in the UI needing to reflect that.

I think it'd be tolerable though to just slide the UI elements around accordingly, or instantly move them, or something. Some games let you grab character portraits in the UI with the mouse and move them around to change the party configuration, so I figure it'd end up kind of like that.

In a sense, the pure UI approach is only a cosmetic difference from the current "kinda in the world but not really" thing. Put them in a UI box instead of alpha-masking them into the scene, but the positional changes would be similar, as is their 2D nature.

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