The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Announcements & media coverage pertaining to Bard's Tale IV. Only moderators & inXile can make new threads on this forum.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Drool » May 6th, 2017, 11:02 pm

Crosmando wrote:
May 5th, 2017, 10:46 pm
I wouldn't say "dramatically", it seems like a natural evolution of what BT combat would have become if the series had continued on into the 90's.
I dunno. Going from AAADDDY phase based to "every combat's a puzzle" turn based seems pretty dramatic to me.
The first two Might & Magic games were blobbers with abstract presentation very similar to BT, while the third actually showed enemies inside the world. It's no greater leap than what WL1 to 2 was.
It showed enemies, but the combat didn't change. An aesthetic change is rather different than a mechanical overhaul.
Unfortunately I've yet to finish BT3 so I can't really sympathize. I was going to wait for the "remaster" but who knows if that will ever happen now...
Well... it's right there in the opening song. Everyone's partying up on the anniversary of Mangar's defeat and Tarjan rolls in and slaughters everyone. Hell, the Adventurer's Guild is replaced with the Refuge Camp. Continuing through the game just shows you that the entire multiverse is screwed as opposed to just Skara Brae. Seems it's the kind of thing that would be remembered. I mean, parts of the world are still carrying grudges over slights that happened a thousand years ago. The people of Skara Brae seem to have tossed off memory of the bloody apocalypse (and the ascension of seven new major gods) remarkably quickly.
I know it sounds bad but I'm grateful we're just getting a first-person, turn-based blobber with a reasonable budget, considering that the blobber genre is almost dead. I mean we have people around this forum and elsewhere who literally wanted BT4 to be a top-down tactical RPG... so I will take victories where I can get them.
Again, I think it looks like a good, fun game (combat concerns aside). It just doesn't look like Bard's Tale.

I mean, if you look at Devil Whiskey, you could easily see it as "Bard's Tale 4: The Devil's Whiskey". The way this seems to be shaping up, it could just as easily be Wizardry 9. So, yay blobber, but I blocked Bard's Tale, not "Generic Blobber With a Sprinkling of Celtic Myth and Songs".
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Gizmo » May 6th, 2017, 11:54 pm

Drool wrote:
May 6th, 2017, 11:02 pm
Again, I think it looks like a good, fun game (combat concerns aside). It just doesn't look like Bard's Tale.

I mean, if you look at Devil Whiskey, you could easily see it as "Bard's Tale 4: The Devil's Whiskey". The way this seems to be shaping up, it could just as easily be Wizardry 9.
So on this we fully agree. 8-)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by paultakeda » May 7th, 2017, 7:59 am

Gizmo wrote:
May 6th, 2017, 9:31 am
That doesn't make any sense. I mean it's valid mechanics (and it could be fun to watch —and play), but Initiative is pointless if it permanently doesn't matter. It represents who has the quickest awareness, and ability to act on it. A combatant [let's say a wolf] might have very good initiative and reflexes, but be in a bear trap from last round... That could depict the initiative stack [as above, in your post], but with an inability to timely react (being temporarily restrained); or alternatively... the wolf is blinded by a spell, or even just pushed back a space... something representing the delay.

But these have to be exceptions to the rule. If there is a variable delay in every round for every combatant, then there is no point to initiative rolling, as the delay mechanic has replaced it.

I agree that it could be fun (and apropos to BT) to see a phase based melee play out every round; based on player intent. That could be very in-keeping with Bard's Tale —despite never being seen in the series. This is certainly like what I mean wherever I've said, "improvement on the mechanics of the originals", (but based on them).
I was more interested in how phase-based combat would take place and so just skipped to the part where everyone had their initiative rolls done, but sure, we can discuss this in detail: initiative affects the initiative roll. The resulting delays are due to the results of those rolls. Let's say everyone starts at 0 seconds, i.e. they act immediately. The initiative roll decides how much you are delayed from acting as no one can be faster than 0 seconds. Attributes like AGL/DEX, environmental effects, spell effects, and the like all contribute to add/subtracting on the roll. I don't know BT's game system so let's go with something like a basic d20 roll. Say the roll needs to be over 12 to be 0 seconds. Any roll under 13 adds seconds of delay, so rolling 10 adds 2 seconds. If a character has 16 agility they gain a +3 to their roll, so if they roll 10 they add 3 and still hit 0 seconds. If Falken's Fury was sung, they get another +2. Conversely, negative attributes/effects affect the roll by subtracting from the final number. And in the end, it translates to who acts fast and who acts slow, which is initiative.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by ZZGO » May 7th, 2017, 9:03 am

It was good to see how many factors and choices make up combat now. Generally, though, I don't have anything new to say that I didn't already mention in the previous update thread.

I played around with the (Beta) remastered edition, and have slain King Aildrek and gotten the Eye.
...and truth be told, despite all that nostalgia when I set out, the combat mechanics don't hold up too well in this time and age. It was fun at first, but once you're done mapping the Sewers and have your front row fighters at level 10 with above 100 hit points, ye olde AAADDD combat is getting trite.
Of course, the shortcomings of the beta version combined with the fact that I already know the puzzles and pretty much all of the maps, even when I've remapped them, didn't exactly improve the experience. (Oh, and the Automap function is a very powerful cheat tool - it's impossible to get lost now, or miss that you've been teleported. It really tamed the dungeons.)

Anyways, I've come to believe that the character development system needs an overhaul, the combat system needs more complexity, and that the game's focus should be on exploration at least as much as, if not more than, on combat.

In short, after going back to BT 1-3 I found that the game I want is basically what inXile say they're making. I'm looking forward to BT4 even more now.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 7th, 2017, 10:59 am

Lucius wrote:
May 6th, 2017, 6:09 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
May 5th, 2017, 7:36 pm
Then why not just say "appealing to the mass market" rather than use some code words for it?
Because they are not necessarily synonymous.
Quite possibly. I was responding to Gizmo's definition, not saying that I agreed with it.
Lucius wrote:
May 6th, 2017, 6:09 pm
Jake Solomon stated in numerous interviews that he fully expected it to be nothing but a niche product. Publishers didn't step in and say "no you can't make this turn based!" Nobody predicted at that time this would become a hit game that spawned DLC and a sequel.
I would like to see inXile be similarly bold and definitive with BT IV. I think that they are missing an opportunity to make something different than anything else currently on the market, where that "different" happens to feel a lot like what they created in the mid-to-late 80's, only with better sound and visuals and a streamlined user experience.
Lucius wrote:
May 6th, 2017, 6:09 pm
I'm an originist. I use words the way they are meant, not by what you, or anyone else, thinks they should mean.
Well, I haven't been trying to foist a definition on anyone. I've been trying to pin down what a certain word means to people.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 7th, 2017, 11:11 am

ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 9:03 am
once you're done mapping the Sewers and have your front row fighters at level 10 with above 100 hit points, ye olde AAADDD combat is getting trite.
What percentage of the time did you find yourself using AAADDD? I remember a number of different tactical variations that I would use. For really large fights, like the Berserkers in Harkyn's Castle or certain throngs of undead in the Catacombs, I would use D on the front rank and then cast spells from the back rank, since defense is supposed to reduce your chance of being hit and an attack is not going to really make that big of difference. Also, since multi-class spell casters have some of the best initiative, due to high Luck and Dexterity from lots of leveling, using magic to blast foes, whom you can't let hit your party more than once, can make for an exciting fight rather than running away. And, then there is the Bard, many of whose buffs stack in combat. The Bard, having only a single attack isn't all that effective in the front rank, even with a good weapon like the Bardsword, but wind him and the others up with a few rounds of Falkentyne's Fury and he's a beast.

Choices, but not so many that it subjects people to analysis paralysis or makes combat unnecessarily drawn out, forcing a full context switch from adventuring.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Gizmo » May 7th, 2017, 11:29 am

paultakeda wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 7:59 am
I was more interested in how phase-based combat would take place and so just skipped to the part where everyone had their initiative rolls done, but sure, we can discuss this in detail: initiative affects the initiative roll. The resulting delays are due to the results of those rolls. Let's say everyone starts at 0 seconds, i.e. they act immediately. The initiative roll decides how much you are delayed from acting as no one can be faster than 0 seconds. Attributes like AGL/DEX, environmental effects, spell effects, and the like all contribute to add/subtracting on the roll. I don't know BT's game system so let's go with something like a basic d20 roll. Say the roll needs to be over 12 to be 0 seconds. Any roll under 13 adds seconds of delay, so rolling 10 adds 2 seconds. If a character has 16 agility they gain a +3 to their roll, so if they roll 10 they add 3 and still hit 0 seconds. If Falken's Fury was sung, they get another +2. Conversely, negative attributes/effects affect the roll by subtracting from the final number. And in the end, it translates to who acts fast and who acts slow, which is initiative.
I'm not knocking it, I just don't understand the need for it. If the initiative roll was D20, and everybody rolled... why not just execute actions in the order of from highest to lowest roll?

(And of course the rolls could be modified by various character traits or attributes.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by ZZGO » May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:11 am
What percentage of the time did you find yourself using AAADDD? I remember a number of different tactical variations that I would use. For really large fights, like the Berserkers in Harkyn's Castle or certain throngs of undead in the Catacombs, I would use D on the front rank and then cast spells from the back rank, since defense is supposed to reduce your chance of being hit and an attack is not going to really make that big of difference. Also, since multi-class spell casters have some of the best initiative, due to high Luck and Dexterity from lots of leveling, using magic to blast foes, whom you can't let hit your party more than once, can make for an exciting fight rather than running away. And, then there is the Bard, many of whose buffs stack in combat. The Bard, having only a single attack isn't all that effective in the front rank, even with a good weapon like the Bardsword, but wind him and the others up with a few rounds of Falkentyne's Fury and he's a beast.

Choices, but not so many that it subjects people to analysis paralysis or makes combat unnecessarily drawn out, forcing a full context switch from adventuring.
We're veering off topic here, but I'll try and answer your questions as my posting was indeed inaccurate.
I don't really actually order my party to AAADDD in a literal sense. I have the Bard on position 4 with an infinite songs item, and he'll always play a tune just so the buff options aren't wasted. The default is #4 (which heals all party members). The spellcasters on #5 and #6 usually save their mana points, but might cast healing spells in simpler battles or, obviously, offensive spells in hard battles. Oh, and the bard has several fire horns by now and these, too, are used against largish or dangerous monster groups.
I never (D)efend, because it doesn't seem to have a noticeable effect. I've taken great care to only recruit party members with maximum (i.e. 17 or better, depending on race) Dx, which pretty much guarantees that they will strike before any mosters strike. And usually, a hit means a kill - and a dead monster can't hurt me back. For big battles, what mostly happens in the first round is that a fire horn or combat spell (or several) will come first and ravage the enemy ranks, then the fighters mop up any survivors in hand-to-hand combat.

Still, the choices to make aren't that many. Weak groups, the fighters hack through them while the bard heals or buffs. Strong groups, mass effect spells or items wreak havoc first and then the fighters get to hack through what remains.
I wasn't a fan of the combat simulator for Pools of Radiance either though, as it was too tactical for many simple fights (i.e. bothersome to use). A tactical combat interface that strikes a balance between meaningful tactical choices and ardous management of zero-risk goblin disposal is needed. InXile seems to be on the right track judging by this latest video. Of course only time will tell if they really hit the mark, but I'm confident so far.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 7th, 2017, 12:06 pm

ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:11 am
What percentage of the time did you find yourself using AAADDD?
We're veering off topic here, but I'll try and answer your questions as my posting was indeed inaccurate.
I only asked one question. ;) Everything else I said was a presentation of options to show that combat in the originals was not quite so monolithic as some have made it out to be.
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
I don't really actually order my party to AAADDD in a literal sense. I have the Bard on position 4 with an infinite songs item, and he'll always play a tune just so the buff options aren't wasted.
I would usually have the Bard in position 4 for the earlier part of the game. Once his AC was good enough, I would put him into position 3, move my two mages up a position, and backfill position 6 with a new mage. Carrying the extra spell points into a dungeon was more important than having another meat shield of limited effectiveness.
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
Oh, and the bard has several fire horns by now and these, too, are used against largish or dangerous monster groups.
Indeed. I forgot to mention that option.
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
I've taken great care to only recruit party members with maximum (i.e. 17 or better, depending on race) Dx, which pretty much guarantees that they will strike before any mosters strike.
I also recruit folks with high Dex scores, but, as I recall, in the later dungeons, there are plenty of monsters that have initiative higher than even what Dex 18 party members usually achieve. There is randomness involved, of course. For large groups, there will always be some exceptionally good rolls. But, even for small groups of powerful monsters, their initiative modifiers were much better than those of the best party members. So, in that case, you can assume you're not going to get first strike. The tactical decision then came down to whether you could survive first strike and finish off the monsters before they got a chance to strike again.
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
Still, the choices to make aren't that many. Weak groups, the fighters hack through them while the bard heals or buffs. Strong groups, mass effect spells or items wreak havoc first and then the fighters get to hack through what remains.
I don't disagree that there could probably be a few more choices, but I don't think it warrants throwing out the entire combat system and replacing it with something else, such as inXile has done. Also, with regards to weak groups, there is another choice: run. I frequently did that, if I saw that the "nutritional value" of the group wasn't large enough to be worth my bother. The "difficulty class" of monsters generally increased every two or three dungeon levels; running into monsters from a lower difficulty class meant lower XP rewards and worse treasure drops - better to simply ignore them.
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
A tactical combat interface that strikes a balance between meaningful tactical choices and ardous management of zero-risk goblin disposal is needed.
I don't disagree. I think that there are opportunities for streamlining here, either via the introduction of macros or else the ability to auto-resolve combat. Also, I would hope that the "run" option would be still be available - it's a real option and it saves you from the hassle of goblin disposal. :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Drool » May 7th, 2017, 10:52 pm

ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
I wasn't a fan of the combat simulator for Pools of Radiance either though, as it was too tactical for many simple fights (i.e. bothersome to use).
Considering this combat system looks markedly more complicated than the old SSI Gold Box, I really don't understand your position.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by paultakeda » May 8th, 2017, 8:11 am

Gizmo wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:29 am
I'm not knocking it, I just don't understand the need for it. If the initiative roll was D20, and everybody rolled... why not just execute actions in the order of from highest to lowest roll?

(And of course the rolls could be modified by various character traits or attributes.)
So you don't like the saving throw mechanic example, that's fine, but you're getting stuck on the details of the example and not the point. I am advocating that not only does intitiative set up order but that if two or more characters/enemies roll the same number they act at the same time. What are you stating with "actions in the order from highest to lowest"?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Gizmo » May 8th, 2017, 11:58 am

paultakeda wrote:
May 8th, 2017, 8:11 am
What are you stating with "actions in the order from highest to lowest"?
I mean in the boiler-plate RPG combat sense. Combatants roll initiative, and the highest roll acts first, then the next highest, then the next, and so on, down to the lowest [D20] roll.

In the BT series it would seem [though I could be wrong], that every character is given an intended action at the start of the round, and each action plays out in the initiative order (of who attacks who, and with what). IRRC, actions are skipped if invalid; ie. one casts a spell at group B, but the last of group B gets killed before the attack can happen... or the caster got killed.
I am advocating that not only does intitiative set up order but that if two or more characters/enemies roll the same number they act at the same time.
Same time actions defeat the point of initiative, and doesn't actually benefit phased [nor turn] based mechanics ~IMO. What they do is introduce two additional states; one where two may attack different targets at the same time —to no discernible difference than one at a time; or the two may attack each other, in which case, then who attacks first? Area effect attacks can do both at once, but still... does the other attack the have the potential of stopping the area effect attack? :? Could both die and the attacks still happen? (spell still gets cast?)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by ZZGO » May 8th, 2017, 1:06 pm

Drool wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 10:52 pm
ZZGO wrote:
May 7th, 2017, 11:42 am
I wasn't a fan of the combat simulator for Pools of Radiance either though, as it was too tactical for many simple fights (i.e. bothersome to use).
Considering this combat system looks markedly more complicated than the old SSI Gold Box, I really don't understand your position.
As far as I recall, combat zones could be several screens in size, with plenty of walls. Hundreds of squares, a totally different scale from the BT4 demo. Still, characters had pretty limited options - the fight was usually about meatshielding your spellcasters in a corner from whence they cast Stinking Cloud that resulted in all enemies dying at the slightest attack. Oh, and the AI was dumb as a loaf of bread. Little if any tactics possible or required. Yet you had to input a lot of commands per round.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Woolfe » May 8th, 2017, 3:55 pm

Zombra wrote:
May 5th, 2017, 10:01 pm
Gizmo wrote:
May 5th, 2017, 4:03 pm
[what you'd expect me to write here]
Borrowing this next time someone brings up save scumming. Hopefully both sides can adopt it and save everyone involved a lot of time and energy.
[what you'd expect me to write here]

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by secretfire » May 15th, 2017, 12:43 pm

I almost never comment on the InExile forums, but I've backed everything they've ever done, and thus far I've always been happy. (Actually, I've been happy with every game Brian Fargo has ever created, probably because I've been playing his games since I was 7....)

Anyways, I really do not understand most of the comments here. I have to be in the minority, I know that from Torment (which I loved, but alas can only review on GOG, not steam.) - but I can at least theoretically understand some of the criticism, even if I disagree with it. Some of these comments I don't even theoretically understand it.

1. Why in the world would I want to stare at the BACK of an animated character?????? If I pick out a whole party's worth of pics, or import pretty ones, why do I want to spend the rest of the game looking at a simulated back? This is the silliest, most absurd suggestion I think I've ever seen in a videogame, barring only the wierdos at that one gamergate site who did an interview with Brian where they suggested that Torment be voiced. (lol, talk about not reading the original kickstarter.) I have seen dozens and dozens of games over the decades with two-d parties, and never can I recall one where you saw anything but the faces. Especially as showing the faces gives them all sorts of sub-animation possibilities. Who wants to stare at a backpack? Wierd.

2. I thought the portraits were beautiful. I think the CHARACTERS may not have looked beautiful, as they would realistically not all look like supermodels, but clearly from the 6.5 million mods for Skyrim prove, everyone wants everyone to look like a supermodel, so I'm also in the minority here for 'realism'.

3. I love the idea of the characters talking to each other. (Reminds me of Divinity: Original Sin) That would have made Wasteland 2 even more awesome. I don't know how in the @!#!@# its feasible with voice-acting, it would seem to me like text would allow a wider range of things, but again, I am clearly in the minority here. I don't even mind the bouncing, but as it annoys others, perhaps a simple highlight would work.

Not that I don't have questions. I want InExile games to sell well AND be awesome, so they can keep making more games. They are going to need to address a few things to make that happen, I think.

A. I thought the isometric stuff kinda was a wierd mix with the first person stuff. I'm guessing for budgetary reasons they had to cut it - but everyone ELSE seemed to like it, and its popular because of X-Com. This sort of overhead static interface is fine for me and other old-school gamers, but AFAIK, I'm not sure how big the market for that is. Its not going to sell 600k units like WL2, I can tell you that. I think its obviously budgetary, but they'll want to address it now to avoid people making a fuss about it on steam reviews later on. (they will anyways, but at least they can minimize it.)

B. I have no problem with anything displayed thus far, but browsing the vast internet, it seems like most people who comment dislike it, all for mutually contradictory reasons. Its very, very oldschool to me. I suspect this is partly because, contrary to what people think, they do not REALLY, for the most part, want an actual oldschool experience. Fallout 4 is barely an RPG, and I loathe it...and has a 100 million dollar budget inExile can't match....but it did sell well. I'm not sure how they can address this. It worries me, a lot - they need to make the backers happy, but that means nothing if its panned on steam and doesn't sell well, as the RPG renaissance would die.


EDIT: Ok, the one thing I do agree with is Gizmo suggesting Pool of Radiance be used as a model for how to customize animated portraits. Thats an AWESOME IDEA.
Last edited by secretfire on May 15th, 2017, 12:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by thebruce » May 15th, 2017, 12:48 pm

If there's ambient inter-character chatter, there should be an option to disable it as it's not pertinent to gameplay. It may be great for esthetic, for those who like it, but especially if it's audio, please let us disable it.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by secretfire » May 15th, 2017, 12:57 pm

thebruce wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:48 pm
If there's ambient inter-character chatter, there should be an option to disable it as it's not pertinent to gameplay. It may be great for esthetic, for those who like it, but especially if it's audio, please let us disable it.
I think this is what separates us as Gamers. I can play Fallout: New Vegas and enjoy it. I can (temporarily) enjoy Fallout 4 in short bursts as long as I don't think too hard about the game. But I would be just as happy buying a 1.2 million word work of interactive fiction, or an ASCII-style Dwarf Fortress-ish RPG. I'm not playing videogames for the gameplay, I play them for the immersion and the interactive story. Fallout 4 has proved to me that you can have gameplay good enough the story doesn't matter-ish, but I really would never consider playing a pure 'gameplay not story' game.

For that matter, Brian Fargo should totally make a really cheap, awesomely-detailed Roguelike ASCII rpg, spend not a penny on graphics, and just break people's minds. I'm not sure anyone other then me would buy it, but it might break enough brains to get the point across. Alas, you can't run a business like that.

But thats what makes this so hard, and why great games don't get made. I think you represent a more common sort of gamer that needs to be catered to in order to sell well. I'd be curious to know what you thought of Torment.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Gizmo » May 15th, 2017, 2:08 pm

thebruce wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:48 pm
If there's ambient inter-character chatter, there should be an option to disable it as it's not pertinent to gameplay. It may be great for esthetic, for those who like it, but especially if it's audio, please let us disable it.
I would consider it the cost of keeping the PC around. :twisted:

BG 1 & 2 did not have banter between the player created PC(s), but all of the recruited PCs would speak their mind to the others, and some could get easily annoyed, and eventually go rogue. Others would leave and take their companion PC with them.

Now... Would Minsc, Montaron, and Xar —and Xan be so memorable if you could optionally shut them up?

Speaking of inter-party combat, what better than a Bard's Tale sequel for having that as a non-optional feature of the game?
secretfire wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:57 pm
EDIT: Ok, the one thing I do agree with is Gizmo suggesting Pool of Radiance be used as a model for how to customize animated portraits. Thats an AWESOME IDEA.
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I hadn't actually meant that the portraits be animated (though that's feasible with 3D assets); I had meant 2D painted portraits with additional painted props, designed to match with most portraits, to allow a wide range of (pre-built) user customization.

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secretfire wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:57 pm
I'm not playing videogames for the gameplay, I play them for the immersion and the interactive story.
Alas, I see it the other way around. A bad story can be saved by superb gameplay, but even superb fiction becomes intolerable from bad gameplay. (It's the same with graphic novels, where bad artwork can ruin even the best stories; and fantastic art can make almost any script passable.)

Case in point: King's Bounty, and Titan Quest; sadly I have played both of those games far longer than I ever played Arcanum, or Bloodlines. :(

For me, gameplay trumps story every time.

** As an aside: If FO3's (or even FO4's!) combat had been similar to Superhot, I might be still be playing both of them. (I've never played FO4)

For that matter, Brian Fargo should totally make a really cheap, awesomely-detailed Roguelike ASCII rpg, spend not a penny on graphics, and just break people's minds. I'm not sure anyone other then me would buy it, but it might break enough brains to get the point across. Alas, you can't run a business like that.
You might really like A.D.O.M. I do, and I just found out that the guy behind it (and who abandoned it for nine years) had begun work again on it in 2012, and it's now on Steam; with an A.D.O.M. 2 in the works. It has an optional graphics mode!
Last edited by Gizmo on May 15th, 2017, 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Woolfe
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by Woolfe » May 15th, 2017, 3:28 pm

thebruce wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:48 pm
If there's ambient inter-character chatter, there should be an option to disable it as it's not pertinent to gameplay. It may be great for esthetic, for those who like it, but especially if it's audio, please let us disable it.
Yup and talking about "immersion" some of us find it immersion breaking when our characters that we created suddenly have a personality that we didn't.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

demeisen
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team

Post by demeisen » May 15th, 2017, 4:00 pm

secretfire wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:43 pm
1. Why in the world would I want to stare at the BACK of an animated character??????
I think the main objection to the current scheme is that the characters appear to explore by moving backwards. Almost never explore dangerous dungeons while backing down all the corridors :D. It's even worse in combat, when they attack something with a sword while facing away from it. That was fairly jarring.

I think the best option was the one they had to discard for budgetary reasons: have the characters be first class environment members. The next best, to my way of looking at it, is for them to have no pretense whatsoever of environment containment. Right now they're weird 2D cutouts that act like fake environment members. If they were pure GUI elements in little boxes or something, then they could show face icons without all the problems coming from the current approach. I'm thinking something a bit Grimrocky, with no environmental containment illusion, except maybe below instead of to the side so it's easier to visualize the geometry.

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I really wish the game had gotten funded enough to have full environmental containment of the party, but ah well... can't have everything.

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