long vs. short term resources in BT4

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

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1077
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 13th, 2017, 5:08 pm

rakenan wrote:
April 12th, 2017, 6:33 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 12th, 2017, 5:18 pm

The AC bonus from The Traveller's Tune would improve every few of dungeon levels, as would the light from The Seeker's Ballad. Also, the effects from some songs would stack in combat, iirc. You could really wind up your melee combatants with a few successive playings of Falkentyne's Fury. Also, when exploring a light negation zone on platforms that didn't display the "Darkness!" message (ahem, Macintosh), being able to cast unlimited light spells was a good way of determining the extent of the darkness region.
I didn't intend to claim that Bard songs were worthless. Only that they were nowhere near enough to make you Bard's primary function anything other than "Stand in front of your mages so they don't get gibbed in melee."
For sure, there were some balance issues and I largely agree that mages were more useful overall by about the middle of the first game onward. That's usually about the time the armor was good enough that I could move the bard into a melee spot and expect him to survive. At that point, I used him as a meat shield who could unlimited cast spells. For long combats, where it was safe to save spell points, playing some buffs for a few rounds before joining the fray worked great.

And, regarding balance issues, I would rather see them fixed than to have the entire original class system thrown out and replaced with something else.
cmibl<enter>

Ether
Scholar
Posts: 142
Joined: July 6th, 2015, 9:32 am

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by Ether » April 13th, 2017, 9:36 pm

rakenan wrote:
April 13th, 2017, 7:04 am

Thought experiment: consider beating BT3 without any Bards. Now consider beating BT3 without any mages. Ignore puzzles that strictly require one or the other. I'm quite sure which will be easier, by an enormous margin. And BT3 was the entry in the series with the *BEST* balance between mages and Bards. As you point out, Trebuchet every round for free or nearly free is finally something worth bringing a Bard for. But it's only worthwhile because it transforms your Bard into a weak but high endurance mage who can wear good armor and thus survive on the front lines where your mages will be killed. He can thus displace a more traditional fighter type, but he's no competition for an actual mage, and is arguably inferior to bringing an extra Geomancer.
Mages tend to be the strongest class in most of these games, or at least the ones I've played.
I mean, the main villain usually ends up bring some sort of mad wizard.

Keep in mind, though, that it's not feasable for mages to cast Nuke every single battle.

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9464
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by Drool » April 13th, 2017, 11:20 pm

rakenan wrote:
April 13th, 2017, 7:04 am
Thought experiment: consider beating BT3 without any Bards. Now consider beating BT3 without any mages. Ignore puzzles that strictly require one or the other.
Well... if we kept our mages a 0 SpPts...

I dunno. You're kinda in a bad place either way when in Malefia. Not having Sir Robin's vs not having EAMA?

Yes, EAMA. NUKE is a cute toy, but the Geomancer does the heavy lifting in the endgame.
But it's only worthwhile because it transforms your Bard into a weak but high endurance mage who can wear good armor and thus survive on the front lines where your mages will be killed.
Actually, properly equipped, he's pulling his weight for the whole game. Early in the game, he's keeping you alive with Bard songs as a third mage. Once you hit Arboria, he's dropping NILA left and right thanks to the Nightspear.

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 13th, 2017, 5:08 pm
And, regarding balance issues, I would rather see them fixed than to have the entire original class system thrown out and replaced with something else.
Of course.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

User avatar
ZiN
Adventurer
Posts: 642
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by ZiN » April 27th, 2018, 5:38 am

BT3 is one of the few games, where it really paid off to hoard your harmonic gems (those recharge magic points) until the end. In other games, we just hoard, hoard and hoard consumables, then finish the game without ever using them. Now, in Malefia and especially at the last few fights, it is almost mandatory to have some, due to the heavy lifting needed by the Geomancer(s) mainly.

Funny thing, neither BT and Dragon Wars, nor Wizardry 7 had any 'mana potions' or 'magic potions'. Instead, magic was recharged slowly over time, or by visiting mystic ponds and fountains and the items were given fancy names, like Harmonic Gems, Dragon Stones, Milk of Magmanasia and Moser's Mojo Tea. And they were quite precious.

Currently things look pretty bad, looking at the demo, seems like they entirely ignored this discussion. Hopefully it is not too late to rework their system, according to the "Alpha priority thread".

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9464
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by Drool » April 27th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Partially because you get the Geomancer so late in the game, they won't have the hundreds and hundreds of SpPts like your Archmage and Chronomancer. Also, their spells are expensive as hell.

But, yeah, harmonic gems were desperately needed. I usually had my monk mulebacking gems and flare crystals (rare multi-use gems) for my mages.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

demeisen
Explorer
Posts: 281
Joined: July 11th, 2015, 9:59 am

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by demeisen » May 17th, 2018, 5:20 pm

This topic came up in the "Update 44" thread, and to avoid dragging it too far off the topic of the update thread, I thought I'd reply here with a small rant :lol:
ZiN wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 12:53 pm
The thing is, without long-term spell point management, the cool BT spells either become stupidly owerpowered, or nerfed into MMO-like spell-abilities. BT had a very unique and robust magic-system, which I really don't want to see messed around with and changed too much.
Agreed. This gets to a widespread trend in CRPGs which I do not care for. Traditionally, powerful spells were balanced against significant restrictions: a difficult-to-regen SP pool, a fixed number of casts per day with limited resting, etc. In most games those mechanics were flawed, sure, but the idea was that the player should have to balance power against a limited ability to wield it, and thus carefully consider when and how much magic to use rather than go into "blaze of glory" mode in every combat. I love the dynamic when it works well - it's satisfying to play and develop a feel for - but it also leads to difficult game design. On top of that, many people hate it. I've seen endless complaints in various games' forums by players who spam every fight, then complain when they have nothing left for the next fight, or complain that sometimes magic classes don't have much to do in easier fights. That leads to game devs making it easier and easier to regen spells, leading to the trouble in ZiN's quote above about spells becoming overpowered when players rest+spellspam for every combat, leading to magic getting nerfed for "balance". Which of course does kind of balance it, but in the process it tosses out longer term play dynamics and class differentiation.

BT1's long term SP design was flawed, but nonetheless it mostly avoided the "melee and magic feel alike, except with different ability names" road. I believe it's a difficult and risky thing for game designers. If you have hard limits on magic you risk players being unable to complete the game or having to load a long-ago save, and badmouthing the game all over the internet. If there are soft limits many players will fully regen every single fight even if that means 15 minutes of drudgery before each combat, and then complain about "having" to overcome the soft cap all the time.

Still, I'd prefer a flawed attempt around long term SP than what most CRPGs are now doing of just throwing the whole idea out entirely as a relic of the past. That's just me, but I wager there are those of us who'd forgive some of the troubles.

(And about confirmation of long term HP: yay! :D - Of course I'd rather have both, but one beats none by a long shot).

User avatar
ZiN
Adventurer
Posts: 642
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by ZiN » May 18th, 2018, 11:12 am

Yeah, it's like making a Fallout, or Wasteland game, with unlimited ammo, then trying to balance it by not allowing to use burst fire and explosives in the first round, or something like that. It's completely artificial and unnecessarily ruins the mood.
Mages wielding great power, but needing to use it with moderation is an essential part of the magical world of BT, just like ammo conservation is a central point of post-apocalyptic settings.
These MOBA and MMO style "spells" don't belong in classic dungeon-crawlers and seeing these, labelled with classic BT spell names, would really ruin the whole thing for me. I really hope they rework and refine their magic system, because what I've seen in the demo was very disappointing.

demeisen
Explorer
Posts: 281
Joined: July 11th, 2015, 9:59 am

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by demeisen » May 18th, 2018, 1:09 pm

ZiN wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 11:12 am
Mages wielding great power, but needing to use it with moderation is an essential part of the magical world of BT, just like ammo conservation is a central point of post-apocalyptic settings.
Sadly those of us who prefer power+moderation also lost that particular battle in Deadfire (which in many other ways, looks like a brilliant game). It restores your spells and HP alike after each and every combat. It seems to me that most of the CRPG space, and a large chunk of the player base also, has been moving away from the "power + moderation" school of thought towards more MMO-style magic. It feels like the classic dynamics are dying out across the whole genre. Trouble is, it's intrinsically coupled to a bunch of other satisfying gameplay dynamics, so once it gets tossed out, it takes other good stuff with it.

Not talking about any game in particular here, but perhaps community game mods can sometimes come to the rescue, for games that support enough moddability.

(And yeah, excessive ammo availability was my biggest complaint about WL2:DC. I enjoyed WL2, but felt it would have been even better with more arduous resource constraints to fit the otherwise pretty nice post-apoc vibe it had).

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9464
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: long vs. short term resources in BT4

Post by Drool » May 18th, 2018, 2:02 pm

demeisen wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 1:09 pm
Sadly those of us who prefer power+moderation also lost that particular battle in Deadfire (which in many other ways, looks like a brilliant game). It restores your spells and HP alike after each and every combat.
That's because it uses Sawyer's goofy system of spells that are per-day or per-combat, and his Stamina/Wounds hitpoint system.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests