What's your playtime in the Remastered Trilogy?

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thebruce
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Given all the discussion about differences in gameplay, sometimes seeming to make things easier, and yet in places still hard - and that there is a wide of players from veterans to new BT adopters, I am sort of curious...

Today's gaming seems ridiculously sped up compared to decades past, which makes me think, by the sounds of it, that BT1 play times are dramatically reduced... but I'm not so sure.

If you've completed the game, what do you estimate your time to completion was? Or how far are you and how long have you been playing so far?
Have you played it before (classics) or was BT1 brand new for you?
Did you use game content resources (maps/libraries/etc) for tips or did you spend time to explore and discover ALL the content in the game (per the effect of having the automap)?

Very curious how this style of game mechanics translates to the 21st century! ;)
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balinor
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26 hours currently played (I'm onto my second playthrough but not entered the sewers yet). I've played through BT1 many times over the years so I am definitely not fresh faced and new to the game.

I expect my time played to completion was around 24 hours or so without the aid of anything outside the game (barring a quick check of what a couple of items did as their specials due to failing memory) and I purposefully went out of my way to remap everything with the auto map just because I wanted to experience it that way as if it was a new fresh game (or as close as I could get to it being so).

I found it fairly easy compared to previous playthroughs but I'm not sure how much of a difference that really made in the feel of the game. The mechanics of the game definitely hold up for me, it's still my favourite game and my enjoyment of it was even higher.
Paranoiac
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thebruce wrote: August 24th, 2018, 8:01 am Given all the discussion about differences in gameplay, sometimes seeming to make things easier, and yet in places still hard - and that there is a wide of players from veterans to new BT adopters, I am sort of curious...

Today's gaming seems ridiculously sped up compared to decades past, which makes me think, by the sounds of it, that BT1 play times are dramatically reduced... but I'm not so sure.

If you've completed the game, what do you estimate your time to completion was? Or how far are you and how long have you been playing so far?
Have you played it before (classics) or was BT1 brand new for you?
Did you use game content resources (maps/libraries/etc) for tips or did you spend time to explore and discover ALL the content in the game (per the effect of having the automap)?

Very curious how this style of game mechanics translates to the 21st century! ;)
Good questions!

1) I haven't completed yet. 24 hours in and on Catacombs 2 (just finished grinding exp for levels to where I'm satisfied.
2) I played these games when I was a kid in the 80s, but I never completed them.
3) It depends on the subject. For things like spell lists, racial min/max starting stats, weapons/items lists, etc, I use resources. But for mapping, I try to explore it myself, unless I get stumped.

The interesting thing about length of time played, I believe, is that our memories are skewed to older machines. I saw the same effect when playing the Gold Box games over the years, and especially after GOG released them. I remember (and quite correctly) that Pool of Radiance took me weeks to beat. Champions of Krynn was the same. Secret of the Silver Blades took me two months or so.

But, all of that was on a C-128, and while a 5 minute load doesn't seem all that bad, when you add up that for every save reload, every combat, every area transition, every camp to save or heal - it really adds up. God forbid you have a party wipe and have to reload the combat again. For instance, I remember the Kobold Caves fights in PoR, and the first time I did them, I didn't know what to expect and had to redo them (a couple times, maybe?). That's a lot of loading, right there. Could take you a couple hours just for those fights if you messed up. Now? 10 minutes, I think? Maybe 20.

To be fair, I think some of this is understanding the games, too. Replaying those old games, I know how to make proper parties, and where to look for the right gear, and all those other things. But a lot of it is just how slow computers were. DOSBOX is a great emulator, but it doesn't have the same timings.
rmcoen
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Think, too, about when you could string time together. I can play BT1 only when I'm not working, or handling kid/spouse responsibilities. *But*, I can leave it up in the background and squeeze out a fight or explore 2 more rooms when I have a minute between loads of laundry and getting dinner in the oven. In the old days, I could only play when I could commit a few hours -- to much frustration in those 5-minute loads to try to accomplish anything in 10 minutes. On the other hand, my Steam "time spent playing" is through the roof, because I leave the game open, stealing maybe an hour a day of actual play time...
SK_1759
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27h 32m
I'm on level 1 of Mangar's Tower and the party is level 19 with 2 level 10 wizards. (Already leveled all other 3 magic professions up to 13)
G1Countdown
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37 hours in and Mangar had been vanquished.

This time everyone was alive minus my thief. She's missing a few levels. I wish she could have stayed alive. My warrior was OLD and I think there was another drained, but I don't remember who. And, I can happily say that I have collected all items I wanted to get by the time I finished minus a stoneblade. Looking at Bardstaleonline.com I couldn't figure out which dungeon to get that in. And, I was pleased with mapping out all of the dungeons. Everything's discovered minus about 20 or 30 squares I think.

Of that 37 hours, I made a couple dozen trips to Garth's to unload my goods and ended up with about 2.8 million gold. I'm fairly certain I saved a bit of time using APAR via the journal as that was hugely convenient. All in all, I'm very pleased with this remaster. I'm glad I made the purchase.
miasma
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I think I have about 10 hours invested in the game now. Still nowhere near completing it, and not sure I ever will. I'm finding it a bit too repetitive and tedious.

One thing I notice is that people often say game developers shorten/simplify games to make them more kid-friendly, but I find that the opposite is true for me. When I was a kid, I would play something like Bard's Tale for many, many hours because I had very few other obligations and because I used to get much longer vacations from school than I ever do from work. As an adult, I prefer when games don't require such a huge investment because, realistically, I can't (and don't want to) spend countless hours playing a video game.
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ad1066
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32 hours in and I've beaten Mangar. Apparently, the only achievement I'm missing is getting a character up to level 50, which none of them are anywhere close to (soon enough once BT2 comes out).

I will agree with Miasma's assessment. I'm glad that Krome cut the XP requirements in half, because I always found the grinding the least enjoyable part of the game. Back in the day, I played the game for upwards of 8 months straight, but most of that was not what I would call enjoyable now. I'm also very glad for the ability to save anywhere, if nothing else for the fact that I can play for a few minutes between other obligations, and it's easy enough to jump off the machine and actually go do something when I need to.

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joekucera2002
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I'm at 142 hours to date.
Zadkiel
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Hmmm, Steam says 111 hours but I'm absolutely certain it took me way way less than that, even with mapping every dungeon 100%. I suspect I may have left the game running overnight a few times.
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Drool
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Only 5 hours, which were all testing. Hopefully I'll soon be putting in a lot more time...
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_noblesse_oblige_
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Yeah, if you count leaving the game running throughout the week and being part of the test group, then I've logged 908 hours. But, on a straight playthrough with completionist mapping, I finished it over the course of about 3 weekends, so maybe 30 or so hours from party creation to defeating Mangar.
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rakenan
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50 hours 56 minutes. Most of which has been spent painstakingly exploring every square I can reach in every dungeon level. I am not almost at the end - I am on Mangar's Tower level 4, about half done mapping it. Although my map will be imperfect given the nature of that level. I also leveled lots of different characters, which slowed me down. I checked and I now have enough leveled characters to form two full parties. I wanted to keep the same party through all 3 games, but I can't justify keeping a Rogue when it's not strictly required. 5% failure rate disarming traps that are instantly lethal in ways that require a trip to a temple to cure is just not acceptable. TRZP has 0% failure rate and 2 SP is trivial even without Mage Staffs.

I'm not sure how fair the comparison between the remastered and original game is, though. Automap cuts out a huge amount of time just because you don't need to draw your map by hand. You also don't need to erase half the map you drew because you didn't notice you got teleported or spun and messed up, nor do you have to go to Roscoe's every 10 minutes because after that last experience erasing half your map you cast SCSI every square. And of course, fights don't take 20 minutes because the C64 is abusively slow even with speed set to its highest.

I don't think the experience nerf has seriously changed my time investment in the game. On the other hand, access to lots of other games has, as have the various QOL improvements in the remastered trilogy. When I was first playing the original series, I got one game and I played it for months, until I had enough allowance money saved up to buy another. And as I mentioned, the automap in particular has removed a lot of the time spent "playing" Bard's Tale games.
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KorganBloodAxe
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Played it for the first time and took just under 25 hours to complete. The only BT I had played and completed previously was BT3.
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Themadcow
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Hmm, 11 hours and just starting Mangar's lv1. Maybe I'm rushing it ^^
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Midnight Angel
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Just shy of 20 hours of game time before beating Mangar.

Seems I remembered a lot of tricks and traps quite well from my C64 experience some 33 years ago...
kcgaidin
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Once I found out the berserkers were a one time only event, zero.
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Parody
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Killed Mangar last night after about 25 hours. I'd spent some time leveling up one of each non-magic class along with three mages and I mapped out most of the game.
HawkSlayer
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I have a GOG key not steam so I have to estimate. I believe it took me less than 20 hours. When I was in school growing up I had BT1 known so well I could close my eyes and explore the catacombs visually(I've read that the original programmer Cranford also states he could do this himself even when imagining code) so for most dungeons I did remember generally what I was looking for. I also taught myself how to read and write maps when I was 12 and had mapped the entire game including dark levels. Very much like thebruce's maps on his website.

Also like Paranoiac stated, a factor for the entire remake are the auto map and zero load times(THIS IS HUGE). Getting to favorite grind spots like level 3 of the catacombs takes 1 minute now instead of: 2 minutes to load the game, a minute to get to the dungeon, a minute to load the dungeon(and getting up to grab a snack because you are bored of loading times), 3 second pause every time something happens, the time spent healing or reloading if someone died, losing your bank account from a reload!, etc.. having to stop to write maps or notes.

Power leveling a new character from 1 to 13 can be done inside of 10 minutes after you have a wizard in the remastered.

I think BT2 play times will be much more interesting with the remastered for these reasons. I did not replay BT2 much, way too much work,effort and loading which in about a month we'll be able to play in real time more or less ;)
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Orpheus the Bard
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31 hrs, and still haven't finished clearing out the wine cellar/sewers.
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