Skills and Spells suggestion thread

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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jrodman
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by jrodman » July 9th, 2015, 7:03 pm

It's true that large groups weren't very interesting in Bard's Tale combat from a mechanical perspective, from an overall perspective, because you could get to a point where very little hit you and there wasn't a lot of threat.

There was a childlike glee to seeing tons of them die, but it wasn't deep for sure.

I'd be happy to see the return of large groups, but I'd rather give them some reason to be a threat without being an instant party kill.

As for crits, I don't really see why *some people* are so hung up on instant death being the *only option*. It's certainly possible to have damage multipliers as relatively common variation, and also have specialists who sometimes instantly kill.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by leopardson » July 9th, 2015, 7:50 pm

I definitely would like to see class progressions just like in Wizardry or Might and Magic series where mages can become arch mages, necromancers etc. depending on what min. levels they meet in stats. Fighters can go train to become gladiators, paladins, weapons masters etc.

Of course players need to concentrate on what they want to become. A jack of all trades is a master of none.

It just makes the game much more replayable and opens up more strategy to suit a players playing style.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Drool » July 9th, 2015, 10:43 pm

jrodman wrote:As for crits, I don't really see why *some people* are so hung up on instant death being the *only option*.
Because enough is already being changed as is and we're trying desperately to keep some things true to the original?
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Priest4hire » July 9th, 2015, 11:54 pm

Not to mention that depending on the HP numbers reached in the game, crits limited to extra damage done can get really, really stupid. And there is something very satisfying about the occasional instant kill. More so than the thrill of generating slightly larger arbitrary numbers.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by jrodman » July 10th, 2015, 2:24 am

Drool wrote:
jrodman wrote:As for crits, I don't really see why *some people* are so hung up on instant death being the *only option*.
Because enough is already being changed as is and we're trying desperately to keep some things true to the original?
The point you are repsonding to again addresses the comment you are making.

You can keep the true-to-the-original ability to have instant kills while also having variance in attack damage.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Crosmando » July 10th, 2015, 3:32 am

Rogues should definitely have instant-death abilities, "Assassinate" or "Cut Throat" for example. I remember in BT that what kept Rogues viable right to the end was their ability to instant kill enemies, while Monks weren't great at the end-game because even their great multiple-attack combo did single-target damage which wasn't effective when enemies had massive amounts of hitpoints.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Ether » July 10th, 2015, 4:47 am

Crosmando wrote:Rogues should definitely have instant-death abilities, "Assassinate" or "Cut Throat" for example. I remember in BT that what kept Rogues viable right to the end was their ability to instant kill enemies,
Actually, I think they added that ability to them in BT3 to actually make them viable. Rogues were kind of useless in BT1 and 2. As a side effect, it did make battles against Sceadu, Werra, Tarjan, and a few others a little more dramatic, as you had to wait the 9 turns it took for the Rogue to get into position for a backstab.

If they do keep that ability, they probably need to put some risk in it. Seems odd how the rogue faced no consequences if/when found, presumably behind enemy lines; he always appeared back in the party ranks afterwards.
Question: How much damage does DEST (level 7 magician spell) do? Answer: 1 and critically hitting. That means i don't want 10x damage, i want instant kills


I don't think people looking for a change in the critical hit formula are wanting to see a death spell changed also. A magic user's death spell and a melee character's attack ability are two different things.
Not to mention that depending on the HP numbers reached in the game, crits limited to extra damage done can get really, really stupid. And there is something very satisfying about the occasional instant kill.
I do agree with the thrill of the instant kill. As for the first part, truth be told, if the original trilogy is any indication, this wouldn't be an issue until halfway through Bard's Tale 5.
During my recent BT1 playthrough, I could probably count the number of times on one hand where my hunter killed something in one round that my Paladin or Monk was unable to.

Since this is mostly talking about Hunters, whatever the developers decide to do, my hope is that:
a. They are given some sort of revelency throughout the game (from level 5-15, he was considerably weaker than the other fighters)
b. Situations are present as to where the Hunter's ability greatly benefits your party (as compared to having another class in his place), and that there are scenarios where his ability is of little to no help, and you have to find a way around it.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Ether » July 10th, 2015, 4:54 am

ZiN wrote:Yes, you are wrong. BT 2 and 3 had huge groups as well.
Just wondering, what do you consider a huge group?

Nevermind the infamous beserker battle, are we talking about the 65 Ghouls or 82 hobbit set battles, or even the wandering groups of 50+ gimps? I'm in Dargoth's right now and haven't seen anything like that.

Doing a quick runthough last night, I saw 6 Kargans, 6 Gnomes, 2 Fiends, and 1 Tazra Dragon in one battle, and 3 Lurkers, 1 Dark Dragon, 5 Voidian Slips, and 7 Norsemen in another. Are these accurate examples also?

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Drool » July 10th, 2015, 11:58 am

Well, I was recently in Arboria and ran into 24 Shade Dogs and a collection of other critters. I'll try to grab a largish random battle tonight.

And, of course, there's the Tarjan fight against 20 slayers, 30 rock demons, 20 vampire lords, and Tarjan, who can summon backup.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Ether » July 10th, 2015, 12:26 pm

Ah, I actually do remember the Shade Dogs from Arboria, now that you mention it.

I was thinking Tarjan (and Lagoth) had a rather large - and actually dangerous - entourage with them, but a final boss battle is different than a random encounter.

Still, when I think of the Bard's Tale, and why I enjoyed it, overly large battles against a bunch of grunts wasn't one of the reasons.
If they have them, fine, if not, that's fine also.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Drool » July 10th, 2015, 12:29 pm

Oh, I dunno. The first time you get Gotterdamarung and use it to blast a bunch of scrubs into oblivion is pretty sweet. :D
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by jrodman » July 10th, 2015, 11:41 pm

On Apple 2, I encountered 73 apes of whatever sort in Arboria, along with 35 shade somethings.
For some reason I always ran into the largest groupings there.

I don't recall any fights with over 100 or so foes, but endless waves of summoned opponents did pop up occasionally.

At least for my playthroughs, significant numbers of almost all foes were not scary past early stages in Bard's Tale 1. Bard's Tale 2 is blurrier for me. I think there were certain types of foes I ran from nearly always due to chance of debuff and experience loss, but none that frightened me due to numbers.

In Bard's Tale 3, there were certain types of opponents that were dangerous in numbers in pockets throughout the game. However, speedboots usually appear for me around 20% of the way through.

I'd certainly like to see at least one combat or encounter with a very large number of opponents, but I'd prefer it to have weight.. more like Gold Box games, where lots of enemies could sometimes feel threatening, even if individually they were wimps.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Sir Eyeball » July 11th, 2015, 11:47 am

I just though of a new skill. Dragging or ensnaring. This could be done by long tongues(giant frog lizards and so on) or whips/nets. These can drag an opponent one square closer and maybe even stun in some cases.
Another is Pickpocket for the thief in stead of damaging the thief can steal items or gold from an opponent during battle.

And an none musical Bard skill taunt that also draws one opponent forward towards the bard and will try and attack the bard if possible.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Ether » July 11th, 2015, 1:33 pm

Another is Pickpocket for the thief in stead of damaging the thief can steal items or gold from an opponent during battle.
I've seen this ability in other games - Final Fantasy comes to mind - and I'll ask the same question here: Why wouldn't you be able to take item/gold from your opponent's dead body?

I suppose it could be useful if you discover that your opponent is yielding a +5 Hackmaster sword, and you want to try to take it from him and attack him with it.
But having to use a combat skill to obtain something like a crafting item has always seemed odd to me.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Drool » July 11th, 2015, 1:42 pm

To say nothing of the fact that you are doing a delicate, subtle bit of sleight-of-hand... while in the middle of a pitched battle with swords flashing and spells flying. It's never made any damn sense to me.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by ZiN » July 11th, 2015, 5:22 pm

Ether wrote:I've seen this ability in other games..
Fate: Gates of Dawn comes to my mind.

I somewhat like the idea of rogues stealing stuff. But instead of an active ability, i imagine it more like a passive one. Like a chance to steal items/gold with each attack, or a chance to find extra loot/gold after fights, or perhaps while exploring. Sort of like "magic/gold find" in certain other dungeon-crawling games.

As for the number of enemies, i made a post over here, i think it's a bit off-topic here, so let's discuss it on the other thread!

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by jrodman » July 12th, 2015, 8:07 am

Yeah, the thief pickpocketing in combat in Final Fantasy is dumb.
Those games aren't shooting for *any* kind of verisimilitude of course, but it just would be out of place in a western style dungeon crawler.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » July 12th, 2015, 8:14 am

Instead of stealing a rogue should be able to tie the shoes of an enemy together, cut open leather strips that hold armour together, cut the hand that holds the weapon, blinds the enemy for a short time by throwing a cloth in his face, cut the belt that keeps the trousers up, throw pepper powder into the face of enemies.

My ideas for spells and skills:

1) Some powerful spells should take longer than one action round to cast. Or nearly all powerful spells should have their effect at the end of the enemies round/beginning of your next round. Enemy ranged fighters should have abilities that gives them a chance to interrupt such spells. Rogues should have the ability to tumble into the back row of the enemy and have a chance to interrupt such a spell.

This makes rogues more viable and also is one specialization a ranged fighter like the ranger could take. Naturally spells that are susceptible to interruption offer greater rewards than insta-spells. Interruption also is not guaranteed to succeed and in the case of the rogue might have the penalty that either a (random?) enemy or fighters with a specific skil or specialization have a chance to hit ihm, with a penalty dependant on the tumble skill of the rogue.

2) A support mage specialization could have spells that switches the position of a front and a back row toon. (if switching is possible without magic too, that switching should invite attack of opportunities to make the spell a better alternative)

3) Fighters might have specialization as counter-attack-spezialist with skills that allow to react to enemy moves, including positional movement, tumbles of rogues, heals (because the priest needs to touch the target of the heal which could be capitalized on by the fighter by pressuring the heal target to move unexpectedly), weapon switches, potion drinking.

The ability to prevent heals would allow a specialization that is often useless but in a big fights against tough enemies with healers in the back absolutely priceless. On hard difficulty or above a player would really have to think hard about either taking that spezialisation or having some other means to hinder healers or he might not be able to win such fights.

4) Fighters could have a flank ability that allows them (if they are on the far left or right or without a direct opponent) more damage to front row enemies or a part of their damage to affect the back row (with attacks that would normally affect more than one front row enemy)

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by ZiN » July 12th, 2015, 11:29 am

Well, casting times, interrupts, AoE attacks, attacks of opportunity, engagement, positioning, line-of-sight, roots, escapes, healing reduction, cc and (here comes the magic word) threat (aka aggro) are very fun things. 7 million players can't be wrong.

It's an interesting idea to mix MMO (and to a lesser extent MOBA) elements, with first-person "dynamic phase-based" blobber combat. It would make a very complex and interesting system. After all World of Warcraft has (had) one of the most tactical combat of all games, which requires a good strategy, and precise timing and execution to master.

Given the game's budget and the size of InXile's development team, it would be wise to steer way clear of this idea and forget it, in my opinion.
Also Bard's Tale shouldn't be the guinea pig for this system. But i'd be happy to see this in a brand new game, for sure.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » July 12th, 2015, 12:46 pm

I'm flabbergasted. How did you ever get the strange idea these were ideas from MMO or Moba. Casting time, interrupting spells, attacks of opportunity are things that exist in pen and paper since D&D and many other RPGs. Try to google for 'tumble skill' or 'attack of opportunity' and tell me on which page you find a link to WoW. I can tell you d20 is all over the first page.

In detail (I asked a friend with a better memory for this):
Casting time: In D&D AD&D and Midgard.
Interrupting spells: D&D and AD&D, Midgard.
attack of opportunity: AD&D 3

I never said anything about AoE attacks (which by the way is also in nearly every P&P AND computer RPG I can think of). Should you be refering to the fighter attacking multiple enemies, well, that seems to be first used in midgard, and also in AD&D 3 (cleave). In a few RPGs I think it was a speciality of the barbarian, but I'm not sure.

And especially I never said anything about an aggro mechanism.

Perhaps you have also missed InXile's message about position (at least in respect to front and back row) having importance (and asking for ideas about that). Apart from that they didn't specify their system in all details, so it is anyone's guess whether right-left position has any meaning. Probably not, or even more probably they haven't ruled out either, but that doesn't mean I can't offer one idea in case it does

PS: It is quite hard to get tactical combat into a blobber. Front/Back positioning on its own is a dramatical wasteland of choice if all you can do with it is putting mages in the back and fighters in the front row. Without skills and spells that are influenced by position or can circumvent position you have added something which will be important exactly once, at party creation time.

By the way, adding tactical combat by way of resistances and weaknesses (the JRPG way) might seem like a solution (after all 20 million japanese teenagers can't be wrong), but I haven't seen a solution that isn't just a boring memory game ("oh, it's not fire. Lets try ice, then earth..."). Yeah, you said "complex resitances", but without telling where you get the complexity from it is just hand waving and giving inXile the problem of finding a solution
Last edited by meganothing on July 12th, 2015, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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