The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Sacred_Path » July 24th, 2016, 12:30 pm

Zombra wrote:Don't hold your breath on this either. I think it would be great too, but it just doesn't fit the mentality of games today. Your starting party will be able to do everything, no need for a large roster. Deplorable, but that's the reality.
Not a problem as long as they play slightly differently. Even super streamlined Pillars allowed for more melee or more magic heavy parties. Actually, parties are probably more distinct when you can't just have an alternate team on the bench - what's the point in running magic heavy parties if you switch to a melee heavy party fairly regularly, and vice versa?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Drool » July 24th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Zombra wrote:To me, other classes becoming as interesting as magic-users is not something to complain about!
Again, they weren't boring.

The closest to boring was that Warriors and Paladins largely covered the same ground and only had minor differences between them. The rest had very different uses, abilities, and usable equipment.


That said, this thread has proven quite illustrative. There's quite a bit of insight to be had, should inXile care to look and perhaps consider their path (even though it's probably too late to do anything).
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by thebruce » July 25th, 2016, 7:07 am

Drool wrote:That said, this thread has proven quite illustrative. There's quite a bit of insight to be had, should inXile care to look and perhaps consider their path (even though it's probably too late to do anything).
Indeed!
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Drool » July 25th, 2016, 12:07 pm

Zombra wrote:Hey, I agree it would be neat for us old timers, but that's pretty much it.
...but isn't that enough? Brian's on record as saying he doesn't care about the mass market. If he doesn't care about appealing to "gamers today" then who's left but the fans of the original?

If you're going to make a sequel to a game series that's been dormant since 1988, what's wrong with appealing to people who played it 28 years ago?. More important, who else would you be making it for? If you're gonna reach back thirty years for a property, why would you throw away everything that made that property unique?

At times, it's like inXile's taking advice from all those industry people they mocked in their Kickstarter videos. "We're making a classic video game! But, ugh, 8 people is too many to manage. And Paladins are too boring. And that Review Board is too limiting. And people want to see the party. And nobody makes replacement characters any more. And grid based movement is too old fashioned. And elves are just pointy-eared humans. And pasting on real world cultures and mythologies is really popular right now. And Hearthstone! And Pokemon Go! You know... a classic game!"
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Lucius » July 25th, 2016, 12:37 pm

In WL2, when a character dies, can you go back to Ranger HQ and reroll a new character? No. You could in the original Wasteland. I think BT is a more fitting game for having a stockpile of characters to swap in and out, but will characters die? Not likely, BT has some kind of revival mechanic iirc. That's even less reason to have extra characters on hand. All in all, I don't think we will have the Adventure's Guild from the originals in BTIV, though I can see the benefits of it, I'd be surprised if it makes a return in the same manner.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Sacred_Path » July 25th, 2016, 12:54 pm

Drool wrote:...but isn't that enough? Brian's on record as saying he doesn't care about the mass market. If he doesn't care about appealing to "gamers today" then who's left but the fans of the original?

If you're going to make a sequel to a game series that's been dormant since 1988, what's wrong with appealing to people who played it 28 years ago?. More important, who else would you be making it for? If you're gonna reach back thirty years for a property, why would you throw away everything that made that property unique?
there's probably a good number of people who like old-fashioned dungeon crawling fun but have either never played Bard's Tale or don't care for it much. I think I actually played BT in an emulator once, didn't care for it. I started PC gaming in the early 90's and there are few 80's games I liked enough to play for any length of time.

If I hazarded a guess I'd say that even among the people who like Bard's Tale those who want it to play exactly like an 80's game are in the minority.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Gizmo » July 25th, 2016, 1:01 pm

That's a shame too. In these fantasy RPGs, the Inn should always be a place to meet [roll up new] adventurers.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Gizmo » July 25th, 2016, 1:04 pm

Lucius wrote:In WL2, when a character dies, can you go back to Ranger HQ and reroll a new character? No. You could in the original Wasteland. I think BT is a more fitting game for having a stockpile of characters to swap in and out, but will characters die? Not likely, BT has some kind of revival mechanic iirc. That's even less reason to have extra characters on hand. All in all, I don't think we will have the Adventure's Guild from the originals in BTIV, though I can see the benefits of it, I'd be surprised if it makes a return in the same manner.
That's a shame too. In these fantasy RPGs, the Inn should always be a place to meet [roll up new] adventurers.
Sacred_Path wrote:If I hazarded a guess I'd say that even among the people who like Bard's Tale those who want it to play exactly like an 80's game are in the minority.
I was [and am] positively in that camp; ie. what is the point of a sequel ~if it's entirely unrelated mechanics. If that's how it's going to be, then why bother misusing the name. We went through this already with FO3. :evil: [Bethesda didn't even need the IP to produce the game they shipped.]

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Sacred_Path » July 25th, 2016, 1:18 pm

Gizmo wrote:I was [and am] positively in that camp; ie. what is the point of a sequel ~if it's entirely unrelated mechanics. If that's how it's going to be, then why bother misusing the name. We went through this already with FO3. :evil: [Bethesda didn't even need the IP to produce the game they shipped.]
We're not talking about a Fallout-level blasphemy here, I think :mrgreen:

Taking an isometric, party based game with turn-based combat, deep dialogue and lots of choices and turning it into a dumbed down ego shooter isn't comparable to what's happening here. But I don't see how they could take their job seriously and at the same time ignore concepts and standards that have been established in the nearly 30 years that have passed. If someone was to do a remake of the oldest game I love, Ultima VII, I wouldn't expect them to keep the horrendous RtwP combat. Or the incessant food-hoarding. I could even do without the bread-baking. Would be pissed if they lost the reagents system though ;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Zombra » July 25th, 2016, 6:50 pm

Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:Hey, I agree it would be neat for us old timers, but that's pretty much it.
...but isn't that enough? Brian's on record as saying he doesn't care about the mass market. If he doesn't care about appealing to "gamers today" then who's left but the fans of the original?
I don't see it as a question about who they're marketing towards so much as what will complement the design. When honoring the source, it's one thing to stick to the same format, and another to make sure the lore is consistent, but face it, this is as fringe as features get. Building entire systems on the assumption that players will let their characters die and want to go roll new ones in the same playthrough is simply wasteful. I am an old timer (not a hardliner, but I did play Bard's Tale I) and it would never, ever occur to me to just let my PCs die and make new ones, or make a whole new character just for picking locks, leave him in the stable, and come back to sideline a guy from my A-team whenever there was a lock to be picked. It's just not good gameplay, or anyway good enough to justify a major design effort to ensure its inclusion.

Now if a game is built ground-up for multiple parties, like Heroes of a Broken Land or Jagged Alliance 2, then it makes sense for the devs to spend resources on implementing that design. I would love to see a new RPG about managing a substantial roster, running multiple, concurrent adventures. Here? In a typical RPG about a small team that goes from zeroes to heroes? I just don't see why a stable would be necessary or even desirable.

I realize why some BT hardliners might be fed up with a "nickel and diming" effect with each announcement, as we see small details in each update that deviate from the original game, but as hills to die on go, this one ain't exactly Mamaev Mound.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by dblade » July 25th, 2016, 8:21 pm

At first glance -- looks like too many skills to me. Each skill needs to mean something and really separate each of the sub-classes. Having so many skills I take as giving the player choice, but I think it easily serves to complicate gameplay balance.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by IHaveHugeNick » July 25th, 2016, 10:12 pm

I'm not sure how can anyone with a straight face say it will stop being unique due to some changes to mechanics. Did everyone forget how during the campaign they've had problems even explaining to people what kind of game this is? Party-based, first person dungeon crawler is a niche within a niche within a niche, as anti-market as it gets. When BT4 finally comes out, chances are there will be no modern game quite like it in existence. Meditate on that for a minute.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Drool » July 26th, 2016, 1:24 pm

Zombra wrote:I realize why some BT hardliners might be fed up with a "nickel and diming" effect with each announcement, as we see small details in each update that deviate from the original game, but as hills to die on go, this one ain't exactly Mamaev Mound.
After WL2, I greatly expanded the number of hills I was willing to die on, because, like you say, it's nickle and diming. It's just a sedan instead of a coupe. A hardtop instead of a convertible. Automatic instead of manual. Hatchback instead of a trunk. 4 cylinder instead of 6. Pretty soon my Corvette is a Camry.

Or, if you prefer a more classical example, just how many planks from Theseus's ship can we replace before it's not his ship any more?

How many features can we change, how many deviations can we have before it's not a sequel any more? I'll admit that I may draw my line more conservatively than some, but if nobody drags their heels, we'll end up with something completely unrecognizable.
Sacred_Path wrote:If someone was to do a remake of the oldest game I love, Ultima VII, I wouldn't expect them to keep the horrendous RtwP combat. Or the incessant food-hoarding. I could even do without the bread-baking. Would be pissed if they lost the reagents system though ;)
I've never played Ultima VII, but allow me to tell you why numerous parts of it were bad and how a proper sequel should be made. Also, reagents are one of the first things I'd like to get rid of.
Gizmo wrote:That's a shame too. In these fantasy RPGs, the Inn should always be a place to meet [roll up new] adventurers.
To be honest, it wasn't a feature I used all that much. There were a few times where I'd roll up a new character to try something, or because I was sick of one and wanted something new, but I usually had enough gold for a resurrection, or I would reload a save. Of course, I was also 12. Now? Now I love the whole Disposable Heroes concept, and would certainly ironman a Bard's Tale game (at least until my wizards started raising dead (er, wait, my clerics)). I mean, just look at the two recent XCOM games: Disposable Heroes all over the place, so it's not like it's some forgotten, occult mechanic.

And, I know I risk the dreaded Famous Last Words, but being able to swap party members in an Adventurer's Guild doesn't seem like a particularly complicated thing to add. Character creation's already there.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 26th, 2016, 5:42 pm

dblade wrote:At first glance -- looks like too many skills to me. Each skill needs to mean something and really separate each of the sub-classes. Having so many skills I take as giving the player choice, but I think it easily serves to complicate gameplay balance.
I agree. Not only does having lots of skills make it harder to balance gameplay, but also makes it harder to have each skill be distinct and interesting from the others. For example, having a Medium Armor Proficieny and a Heavy Armor Proficiency has never been all that inspiring to me.

Of course, I would rather they didn't introduce skills at all into this particular game.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by kaiman » July 27th, 2016, 2:51 am

Drool wrote:
Sacred_Path wrote:If someone was to do a remake of the oldest game I love, Ultima VII, I wouldn't expect them to keep the horrendous RtwP combat. Or the incessant food-hoarding. I could even do without the bread-baking. Would be pissed if they lost the reagents system though ;)
I've never played Ultima VII, but allow me to tell you why numerous parts of it were bad and how a proper sequel should be made. Also, reagents are one of the first things I'd like to get rid of.
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The question really is, how do you bridge the chasm of 30 years without either delivering something that either looks and feels dated or is a sequel in name only? I can see at least that inXile is trying to preserve the essence of the game (the dungeon crawling, exploration, combat) while also incorporating things that may not have been feasible, technology-wise, in 1985 or were simply not invented back then, but are state of the art now.

Think of it like that: what if this was BT XIV, latest installment in an unbroken series of biennial releases, each with incremental changes over its predecessor, would it really be much different from what we will get eventually? Would people still complain that it is a sequel in name only and not true to the series?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Zombra » July 27th, 2016, 11:51 am

Drool wrote:After WL2, I greatly expanded the number of hills I was willing to die on.

How many features can we change, how many deviations can we have before it's not a sequel any more? I'll admit that I may draw my line more conservatively than some, but if nobody drags their heels, we'll end up with something completely unrecognizable.
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Drool wrote:To be honest, it wasn't a feature I used all that much. There were a few times where I'd roll up a new character to try something, or because I was sick of one and wanted something new, but I usually had enough gold for a resurrection, or I would reload a save. Of course, I was also 12. Now? Now I love the whole Disposable Heroes concept, and would certainly ironman a Bard's Tale game (at least until my wizards started raising dead (er, wait, my clerics)). I mean, just look at the two recent XCOM games: Disposable Heroes all over the place, so it's not like it's some forgotten, occult mechanic.
Yeah. Like I'm saying, a design that integrated such a feature ground up would be great. XCOM is a good example. Darkest Dungeon isn't a perfect game but it also does the recruiting / meat grinder idiom beautifully. It's just not looking that BT4 will be this kind of game. Hell, if even you probably wouldn't use it ...
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 27th, 2016, 5:41 pm

Gizmo wrote:while the Sargent may have survived (the same damage roll) for habitually not making themselves an easy target [having lived through similar situations before; and/or being able to envision their position as it might appear from locations they deem good sniper's roosts].
Yes - this. Improved positioning from experience and improved situational awareness from experience, which is why it makes sense for hit points to increase with skill level and not have them be solely a reflection of toughness, strength, corporeal damage capacity, or what have you.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Drool » July 27th, 2016, 9:56 pm

kaiman wrote:Think of it like that: what if this was BT XIV, latest installment in an unbroken series of biennial releases, each with incremental changes over its predecessor, would it really be much different from what we will get eventually? Would people still complain that it is a sequel in name only and not true to the series?
Ask the Ultima fans ;) Not so much his latest, but how the series changed between 1 and... 8? 9? Whatever the "What's a Paladin?" one is that Spoony wouldn't stop screaming and ranting about. Or a Wizardry fan. The difference between 1 and 8 is pretty massive, but I think they were generally well received. Or a Might and Magic fan on the change to Heroes (personally, don't care for it; M&M stops at World of Xeen as far as I'm concerned).

And, if I'm being honest, if this was another in a long line of games with incremental changes, I'd probably be more okay with it, or limit my comments to things like, "Hey, remember back in BT6, when it was still that fully first person thing?" or "Man, I still don't know why they got rid of the Hunter in Bard's Tale 7."

Frog in a pot, I guess. Because we haven't had half a dozen iterations between then and now, I feel kinda more like a lobster than a frog.
Lucius wrote:AC, on the other hand, I feel is far more defined. I haven't played BT much and it's been awhile, but it sounds as if AC combined several factors such as physical armor, magical protection, and dodge ability.
Indeed it did. A higher Dexterity would improve your AC, as well as things like magical shields or spells like Phase Blur which was similar to the old D&D standard Blur which improved AC by making it hard for the monsters to see you. I believe there were also fear spells that made it hard for monsters to hit you (AC) by making them cower in fear.

And, of course, the Monk's AC improved with every level due to the power of... badassness, I guess.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Sacred_Path » July 28th, 2016, 7:18 am

Drool wrote:I've never played Ultima VII, but allow me to tell you why numerous parts of it were bad and how a proper sequel should be made. Also, reagents are one of the first things I'd like to get rid of.
Except if you'd played games with the same mechanics, you could judge any game with these same mechanics.

Incessant grinding on respawns is not fun or a good mechanic. Why should it be fun or a good mechanic in Bard's Tale?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 30: Character Progression

Post by Drool » July 28th, 2016, 7:30 pm

Sacred_Path wrote:Except if you'd played games with the same mechanics, you could judge any game with these same mechanics.
Well, I've played isometric, fantasy RPGs. Not so many up their own ass, but I've played similar games.
Incessant grinding on respawns is not fun or a good mechanic. Why should it be fun or a good mechanic in Bard's Tale?
...maybe try playing the games to see?
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