The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by vv221 » May 3rd, 2016, 10:55 am

A BT4 update that makes everyone happy?!
Well done inXile :mrgreen:

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Crosmando » May 3rd, 2016, 11:14 am

Themadcow wrote:Quite honestly this is probably the best update I could have hoped for apart from the line about static damage rather than an element of randomness.
Yeah, this is rather worrying. No randomness is pretty boring, fights tend to go the same because your party will always be doing the same damage, while with more random damage you can have situations where it looks like your going to die but your warrior somehow gets some insanely lucky rolls and saves the day, or you could be on the brink of winning but then some unlucky fumbles puts you in trouble. It also leads to worse gear choices because choosing between 20dmg and 30dmg is an obvious choice, but choosing between 5-30 and 15-20 or something similar is more interesting. I mean I know the update says they have other stuff planned for spicing up fights, but ultimately damage is gonna be the main way you kill enemies.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 3rd, 2016, 11:25 am

Yes the damage range is IMO always better, as it's more like a dice roll and lets 'luck' factor in mo appropriately, imo. Technically it is that dice roll structure. Having that variance gives a nice 'wild card' aspect to choose a combat strategy.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Drool » May 3rd, 2016, 12:42 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:In most gaming systems I've experienced, poisoning and bleeding effects don't remove enemies from the battlefield as quickly as direct damage.
I've only seen it work when the entire game is built around using debuffs to survive fights. And even then, it's usually just boss fights where it's an issue. I mean, DoT can be helpful against bosses sometimes, or against regenerating foes, but you're right that it's usually better to just pound the enemy into the dirt. Why stun/blind/poison/confuse the enemy when you can just cast NUKE?

That said, it also seems like these effects won't be a matter of tactical choice, but a weapon property. If that's the case, it kind of waters things down if everyone you hit is taking bleed damage. And the location juggling sounds like it might be fun to play with every now and then, but really, this is a blobby dungeon crawler. I'm perfectly fine just bashing their heads in and having the tactical expression of a wrecking ball.
Themadcow wrote:"Damage comes from the character's stats, which are sourced from a variety of places including gear, skills, level, etc. Most of the time, damage is a fixed amount instead of a random range. This really allows you to plan out the perfect combo, that will for sure take that ogre down before he crushes your skull in. There are some abilities that do random damage, but that random element is something special about the ability that makes it unique."
Yeah. You're overthinking it, inXile. Factoring in stats and gear to damage is fine and expected, but I don't want every combat to be a puzzle. This isn't T:ToN. This is a dungeon crawl. There's going to be hundreds or thousands of combats. I don't want to spend twenty minutes strategically analyzing each one. Not every game with combat needs to be Jagged Alliance.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Brother None » May 3rd, 2016, 12:53 pm

vv221 wrote:A BT4 update that makes everyone happy?!
Well done inXile :mrgreen:
We're shocked too :shock:

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by dblade » May 3rd, 2016, 4:08 pm

Drool wrote: but you're right that it's usually better to just pound the enemy into the dirt. Why stun/blind/poison/confuse the enemy when you can just cast NUKE?
I dunno, I think I'd trade the 'I NUKE' button for a requirement to instead incapacitate foes in order to protect the squishy or to perhaps make victory a more viable option ... =)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 3rd, 2016, 6:19 pm

dblade wrote:
Drool wrote: but you're right that it's usually better to just pound the enemy into the dirt. Why stun/blind/poison/confuse the enemy when you can just cast NUKE?
I dunno, I think I'd trade the 'I NUKE' button for a requirement to instead incapacitate foes in order to protect the squishy or to perhaps make victory a more viable option ... =)
Drool's reference was probably to an actual BT3 spell:
BT3 Manual wrote: NUKE 150 All Foes N/A
Gotterdamurung - The finest in offensive obliteration, this
spell annihilates the opponent for 2000 damage points.
Offensive spells in the original BT games didn't have side effects on the party - to the best of my knowledge.

But, more on the point. If it is much cheaper and more reliable to cause a foe to miss a turn (stunning, blinding, entanglement, etc...) than to destroy the foe outright, then there can be a niche for such effects. But, bleeding, poisoning, and other forms of damage over time are more dangerous to play with, because your characters are still imperiled by the foe. Now, if inXile wants to make WIST (Wither Strike) as nasty as it could (and should) have been in the originals, then I'm willing to listen. :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 3rd, 2016, 6:42 pm

dblade wrote:@_noblesse_oblige_
DOT's would slow down combat if they were the only damage type. Are you saying a round used for a DOT attack is a round wasted?
I think that different tools are right for different jobs. If you're fighting a foe which is immune to most forms of direct damage or regenerates quickly from it (to borrow an example from Drool), then it might be appropriate. In large battlefield tactics games, it can be useful to wipe out combatants in back ranks, but it doesn't look like BT4 is headed in that direction so this particular use is probably irrelevant.
dblade wrote: I'm not sure that saying combat is a core pillar demands that the combat must be not deeply involved / abstract and quite simple -- I agree with your claim of departure, but would prefer to see things evolve quite a bit on this front.
Well, it is Mr. Rogers who seems to be saying that, as a core pillar, it is supposed to be deeply involved. I am challenging that.
Do you want to see combat become more involved? What does your ideal combat model for BT 4 look like? If you had to determine the ratio of exploration and puzzle-solving to fighting, what would that be?
dblade wrote: Are you suggesting the same semi static picture with scrolling combat text or something else? Would it be something like Myst + old school combat log and encounter window? :)
I personally don't have a problem with literate user interfaces and would actually be fine with scrolling text. :geek: But, if inXile can come up with a good way to graphically represent large fights while maintaining the spatial and temporal abstraction of the fights in the original series, then I'm certainly willing to consider it. What they've presented thus far leaves me with some doubt.

Assuming they did something with only fighting 8 foes at a time and have more enemies fill the slots of eliminated ones, there is still a difference from the original games in that mass damage spells would be hard to model. There is something satisfying about hitting a group of 69 Wraiths with REDE or 396 Berserkers with MIBL and that something might not find its way into the currently proposed combat model for BT4, based on my reading of it.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by dblade » May 3rd, 2016, 7:41 pm

Although, I am a fan of both concepts, I hoped maybe you would come back and solve the dilemma of exactly what you wrote -- "graphically represent large fights while maintaining the spatial and temporal abstraction of the fights in the original series". Additionally it would be so awesome that it was incorporated and I would forget about the grid combat entirely.

However, with the combat mockup we've seen I'm not sure what trick they have up their sleeve when it comes to larger numbers. Could they stack up by using one model and then write a number off to the side as the count for that unit, then when the unit attacks (visually) the combat log reflects the count of identical attacks? Maybe they should have went total war style?? ugh :)
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
Do you want to see combat become more involved? What does your ideal combat model for BT 4 look like? If you had to determine the ratio of exploration and puzzle-solving to fighting, what would that be?
I find the grid based positioning and smaller scale fights more involved. What they have discussed so far feels like a step in that direction and can only hope part 2 combat update tops it off nicely.

On ratio in percentage for exploration, combat, and puzzles probably 50, 30, 20 respectively. Exploration to lead to more noncombat interactions with NPC's and lore discovery. I am saying 50% because I feel exploration is generally faster but maybe this secretly means larger maps.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Sacred_Path » May 3rd, 2016, 10:05 pm

I don't quite get the fuss about DoT? Obviously, it's not something you'd use on trash mobs, but HP bloated mini-bosses. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that bleed damage bypasses damage reduction e.g. from armor, alright? ;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 4th, 2016, 6:31 am

DoT can have its place, but I think it really only comes into play (even in the classics) when a quick bash & dash is not an option. When you think you can B&D but that doesn't work out and you're suddenly in a questionable combat you're not sure you can win, strategy comes to mind.
Factors to consider: enemy weaknesses (maybe tough against melee/physical go-to attacks, but poison is far more effective, just delayed), side effects (like bleeding, if say physical attacks are almost harmless but they're bleeding, then they regain their effectiveness by at least making them move and hurt), resource availability (low on spells? cheaper ones with higher and effective DoT effects are more worthwhile), etc.

I don't see a place for DoT when you're just crawling and grinding. But they're there when needed for strategizing.

Perhaps the reward system is affected by it as well. You may not get as much experience/loot by NUKEing than you do by using more strategic methods. Similarly, in the classics there was always a strategy with some summoning creatures to let them live and keep calling wolves and whatnot - killkillkillkillkill and rack up that experience with single combat encounters :P Perhaps you could take out a group with a bash & dash, but if you get more by using riskier/drawn-out strategies, you've got that option.


Personally I'm not as concerned about DoT & strategic gameplay elements - just as long as I'm not forced to use lengthier strategies for every single encounter. Sometimes I just want that satisfying bash and dash :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by kilobug » May 4th, 2016, 7:26 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:In most gaming systems I've experienced, poisoning and bleeding effects don't remove enemies from the battlefield as quickly as direct damage.
That's true in most games, yes. The only game I think of where DoT was powerful enough to be useful for you to invest into (and crippling enough to justify using turns of action to remove them from your party) was Lord of Xulima, that part was actually well calibrated in LoX, not overpowered, but definitely useful.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Sacred_Path » May 4th, 2016, 8:11 am

thebruce wrote:Personally I'm not as concerned about DoT & strategic gameplay elements - just as long as I'm not forced to use lengthier strategies for every single encounter. Sometimes I just want that satisfying bash and dash :)
There should be an option to deal increased damage instead of a status effect... but it sounds like that's what they're trying to avoid. Or maybe, a chance to insta-kill instead of status effect? Though that would probably go against their non-random damage idea... :|

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 4th, 2016, 8:14 am

kilobug wrote:
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:In most gaming systems I've experienced, poisoning and bleeding effects don't remove enemies from the battlefield as quickly as direct damage.
That's true in most games, yes. The only game I think of where DoT was powerful enough to be useful for you to invest into (and crippling enough to justify using turns of action to remove them from your party) was Lord of Xulima, that part was actually well calibrated in LoX, not overpowered, but definitely useful.
Right, the value in DoT IMO is not in pure damage distributed, but additional effects benefitted throughout its duration that you can take advantage of. I don't like just pure damaged distributed over time (eg no difference between two attacks except for the amount of time it takes for the damage to be dealt). Provide a better or flexible risk/reward system with it. Even then, we shouldn't have[/] to be faced with lengthier combat if we don't want to (unless of course we're in it by choice or unexpected turns of events like failed strategies or unexpected enemy abilities/attributes).
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 4th, 2016, 8:17 am

Sacred_Path wrote:There should be an option to deal increased damage instead of a status effect... but it sounds like that's what they're trying to avoid. Or maybe, a chance to insta-kill instead of status effect? Though that would probably go against their non-random damage idea... :|
enh, I'm not so much referring to insta-kill type mechanics so much as just speedy in-and-out encounters. They might still take a couple of rounds, but if I don't want strategic combat and I don't need to employ lengthier strategies, I shouldn't be forced to. If I want to do my AAAADDD (if possible) I would vastly prefer to have that option instead of having to define positioning and timing for every single character's actions every single phase.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Sacred_Path » May 4th, 2016, 8:22 am

Hmm, it doesn't exactly say that spamming an attack over and over again won't be possible... in fact, I'd be surprised if such an option didn't exist. It just sounds like they're trying to minimize the amount of times such trash combat occurs. This would tie in with their ideas about minimizing rest spamming and the use of monks. Sure you can spam an attack and you may win the combat, but it might take longer and you will incur more damage than if you had used tactics/ synergies (like bleed + bash).

If your point is that there should be lots of trash combats you can breeze through for old times' sake, I don't really agree ;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 4th, 2016, 8:31 am

Oh certianly not, I'm definitely open to more engaged combat, but as others posted, there was a thing about BT classic's combat that set it apart from others, and I'll be happy if that type of encounter is possible, if it exists, in BT4. The system can certainly be expanded to improve upon the combat system and provide more engaging encounters, but if that "grinding" aspect is lost fundamentally, then I think the classic feel will be unavailable entirely in the combat system. I'm liking what I see in the update, but I guess what I'm saying is that I see room for classic combat mechanics still to exist - unless inXile decides they don't want it at all, in which I'll be unhappy-bruce. :(
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by Sacred_Path » May 4th, 2016, 8:41 am

I don't know, the fact that hand-crafted dungeons were part of the stretch goals makes me long for carefully crafted encounters, not grinding... YMMV. Just re-reading the kickstarter story I get this picture of carefully placed encounters, not hordes of skeletons roaming the hallways.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by thebruce » May 4th, 2016, 8:44 am

And I'm certainly not against that. But it is a vast departure from classic BT, and not a great plan for its sequel. Those opinions have been discussed in other threads though :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 29: Glorious Combat

Post by forgottenlor » May 4th, 2016, 1:03 pm

kilobug wrote:
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:In most gaming systems I've experienced, poisoning and bleeding effects don't remove enemies from the battlefield as quickly as direct damage.
That's true in most games, yes. The only game I think of where DoT was powerful enough to be useful for you to invest into (and crippling enough to justify using turns of action to remove them from your party) was Lord of Xulima, that part was actually well calibrated in LoX, not overpowered, but definitely useful.
I agree. The cumulative nature of damage over time made it very useful against not only bosses, but even normal tank like opponents. Its one of the few rpgs where I invested in damage over time skills.

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