Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

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Ricks
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Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Ricks » October 25th, 2018, 11:28 am

The huge number of puzzles and therefore inflated gamelength has earned rather criticism than praise. In order to solve both issues at once, would it make sense to have an "Autosolve Riddle" button :?: This might sound retarded and ridiculous, but it's meant seriously.

So whenever you stumble upon a riddle (block puzzles, switch puzzles, combination puzzles, laser puzzles etc.) you have the choice to either solve the riddle manually or autosolve it with the press of a button. And with "autosolve" I mean 1 click and the *whole* riddle is instantly solved. If players solve puzzles manually, you could reward them with XP or money. If they autosolve them, they get nothing.

Advantages:
+ Gamers who want the puzzle challenge can still have the challenge
+ Gamers who want to spend more time in combat and exploring (like in the older games) can get faster to their next combat
+ Hours of gameplay would be reduced for pure combat-enthusiasts
+ Encourages multiple playthroughs with different parties (while long gameplay and having to solve all puzzles again discourages them)

Disadvantages:
- I don't know? (except patching effort)

Using the "guidebook" is not the same, as it forces the player to Alt-Tab in and out of the game, which is inconvenient, destroys the flow of gameplay, and still forces the player to rotate buttons, switch gears etc. I'm really talking of an instant riddle-solve-option.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Themadcow » October 26th, 2018, 5:41 am

I'd imagine this would be incredibly difficult, and given sales are "not great" it would be quite a bit of risk with no guaranteed reward. I agree about the guidebook, and in any case it often doesn't give a full walk-through solution - it only shows what the final solution looks like. I often had more luck just randomly flinging cogs around and hoping for the best.

At around 7:30 here, the creative lead says that they tried to keep the 'main quest' puzzles simple so that it didn't put off non-puzzle people. I'd say it probably could have just used less of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pg9ANfSTOs

Interestingly in that interview, at the end he's talking about how the skill system is careful to avoid things like skills that are just "+X% damage", which is odd when a large number of skills are exactly that (+1 Strength etc). Seems like there's a bit of a disconnect between the vision and the execution.

This interview also talked about having to reign in the amount of puzzles at 3:15:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVh42apN-ms

To be fair, a lot of the reviews were quite positive about the puzzle element. I think it's fair to say that the amount of enjoyment you get out of BT4 is pretty tightly related to how much you like the puzzle element. Personally I'm a combat and exploration man.
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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Dork Mage » October 26th, 2018, 6:12 am

There actually is a rather simple solution:

After 3 attempts at a step that are failure choices, pop up a window asking if you would like to proceed without solving the puzzle.

Yes, the door/obstacle opens. No, you keep trying for 4 more time before the pop-up (add one for each time a reject free pass occurs so as not to be a nuisance to those wanting to solve the riddle).

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Drool » October 26th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Are we seriously discussing adding a Win The Game button?
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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Depili » October 26th, 2018, 2:37 pm

The bundled strategy guide pdf already has step by step solutions for all of the main quest puzzles.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Ricks » November 10th, 2018, 1:00 pm

I wouldn't say it's a "Win-the-Game-Button", it just puts the focus more on combat and exploration. But I get your point. My suggestion might have been indeed too extreme.
It's just that the amount of puzzles seems exaggerated and I think there should be done *something* about it. Maybe the more reasonable way would be to remove some of them. I mean lots of them are undeniably repetitive, just the same with different combinations. Are they really all necessary? Doubtful. How's that saying again: "Sometimes less is more"...


On the other side some people could say they prefer the puzzles more instead of combat. So what then? Well... there is a way to remove combat without actually removing enemies: "Auto-Combat". So would Auto-Combat make sense?

The combat in BT4 reminds me a lot of Heroes of Might & Magic. HOMM had in their latest instances an option to "Auto-Combat" battles. This calculated the end-result of the battles based on various variables (army size, strength, level etc.). The longer I played the game the more thankful I was for this option (especially for fighting the small armies spawning weekly). I think such an option would be useful in Bard's Tale 4 as well.
However I think such an option should only be offered for "GREEN" enemies, where it's clear that you'll win. "YELLOW" and "RED" enemies should still require manual combat. The advantage would be that players could "skip" trash combat, concentrate on "quality combat", and it also reduces the hours of gameplay.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by ZiN » November 11th, 2018, 2:23 am

Ricks wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 1:00 pm
The combat in BT4 reminds me a lot of Heroes of Might & Magic.
In an extremely dumbed-down way, perhaps. Heroes is all about resource managment and choosing the right tools from hundreds of skills, spells, creature types and artifacts and in addition, choosing the right time to attack. Barrows Deep is a linear game with no resource management, the resemblance is very ostensible. In other words, comparing this garbage game to HoMM, one of the best games ever, is quite an insult to HoMM in my opinion. Of course, that's just me, to other people Heroes is lame, because it says that there are 7 archangels, when you can only see one, whereas Barrows is cool, because every creature is physically represented on the "battlefield".
Ricks wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 1:00 pm
The advantage would be that players could "skip" trash combat, concentrate on "quality combat", and it also reduces the hours of gameplay.
Well, there are about 3 fights in the game with a semblance of challenge, the rest is trash. And those fights' "challenge" is pretty much just a gear/level check, so they're only challenging if you skip stuff and encounter them early.

So, would auto puzzles and auto combat make sense? That would leave the weak, 10 hour walking-simulator adventure game that it actually is. By the way, skipping combat by running away would've been a more honest-to-Bard's Tale option.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Gizmo » November 11th, 2018, 9:46 am

Ricks wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 1:00 pm
So would Auto-Combat make sense?
Auto-Combat makes sense in a game where the player is willing to risk greater damage and resource loss for a speedy conclusion. I have seen games that auto-play the encounter round by round, and others that will actually play a representational cutscene for the fight. Both methods work well.

Another alternative, is fleeing opponents; where they surrender, or run for the hills at the sight of a far greater opponent.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Ricks » November 11th, 2018, 12:25 pm

True that. Auto-Combat usually has the risk of losses in army size etc. Bard's Tale 4 combat has no losses at all when you win, even if some guys of your party were killed/knocked unconscious.

So what I actually meant was in fact an "Instant-Win-Combat" button - for if you engage "GREEN" enemies (everything below "YELLOW" enemies). An option to either "Engage manually" or "Instant-Win-Combat" when you encounter green armies. Manually engaging has still its value, because it helps you learning the game, but later on or for experienced players the "Instant-Win-Combat" button would certainly be preferred to skip "unnecessary combat".

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by ZiN » November 12th, 2018, 12:51 am

Another option would be to remove the annoying delays and add the ability to speed up combat animations. Since most combats are over by round 2-3 anyway, without the delays and slow animations they would take only about 30 seconds.

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Re: Would it make sense to have "Autosolve Riddles"?

Post by Eelectrica » December 6th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Whilst I'm not having any trouble with the puzzles themselves, sometimes I kind of wish they'd taken a less is more approach though. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating when I just want to get on with it.
If in the next update they made puzzles optional somehow for people who aren't a fan of puzzles, I wouldn't be against it.
This is a really great game overall, just wish more people could enjoy it as I am.

They messed up the code wheel puzzles too. Quite often the puzzle would be solved only to find out that what it needed wasn't really available. Honestly the offerings for the code wheel puzzles all should have been in the surrounding areas. Just seemed pointless doing it, only to find that I didn't have what was needed. Some of those things, I still haven't got the recipes required to unlock the rewards. Optional sure, but feels like a waste of time which is never good.

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