Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

For all discussion on all the previous The Bard's Tale games: the classic 1980's games (The Bard's Tale II: Destiny Knight, & III: Thief of Fate) & the humorous The Bard's Tale (2004) spin off.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » November 1st, 2018, 2:07 pm

ad1066 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 1:18 pm
I can't remember the way the original Wasteland handled it, if PCs that were set to attack an enemy that was killed before their turn came up ended up firing shots that just automatically missed, or if the PC ended up doing nothing.
I believe the characters in Wasteland wouldn't do anything, because you risked wasting ammo.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by spacemanspork » November 3rd, 2018, 2:18 pm

Some things I would've liked though I know the balance stuff won't happen and since purists would absolutely hate that things changed but hey, just stuff I'd like to see.

Better Character Balance

Right now it's pretty much all about the mages. My warrior, hunter, rogue and bard whiff A LOT. I can go like 5 turns without killing a single enemy sometimes (if I don't start singing "to hit" songs) and they're NOT under leveled. There's a huge difference in effectiveness of a mage vs a non mage in terms of killing things.

I'd like to see all non mages get more attacks as they level up, but something like for warriors and monks a new attack every 4 levels, paladins 5, hunters 8 levels, rogues and bards 10 levels. So for example at level 32, monks/warriors have 9 attacks, paladins 7, hunters 5, Rogues/Bards 4.

And to hit and critical calculations are done per hit (hunters would have to lower their critical chance of course). So for example: "Brian the Fist swings 8 times and hits 3 times for 100 damage." It'd also be nice if each swing could carry on to the next enemy in the group if you killed. "Brian the Fist swings 3 times does 100 damage to a Guardian, killing it. Brian the Fist swings 3 times and does 100 damage to a Guardian, killing it. Brian the Fist swings 2 times and does 50 damage to Guardian."

I feel this would balance non mages with mages better.

Take away impossible enemies

There's some battles I have to run from because they're impossible. Guys that cast "skip a turn" spells when they have a group of like 10 AND they're faster than you. I'd like to see more variation in who goes first. Feels like most monsters go first even if your dex is maxed.

Rebalance damage levels and effects and HP

It seems weird to have enemies that can group blast you for 500-800 damage on the 3rd dungeon or enemies that hit for 500 damage. Or putting you up against 30 enemies all of whom one hit kill you if they hit. I'm starting to feel like HP doesn't really matter because if they hit or their breath attack lands, you're dead, no matter how much HP you have (that's an exaggeration but that's the feeling I get when I see a dragon or demon breathe for 200-300 damage and sometimes you're put against 15 of them). The same goes the opposite way. There's almost no point in damage for melee fighters. Mine are equipped with Stoneblade and death daggers so the damage they doesn't even matter.

I'd like to see effects and damage combined with the extra swings idea above. Make certain things have a chance of effect only and let guys hit more often but the better your AC of course the less swings they'll land. So for example, a warrior with a Stoneblade with 8 attacks might miss half of his attacks and get 4 attacks, and the stone blade only stones 25% of the time, so he stones one guy, and hits someone else 3x with a stoneblade w/o stoning. The enemy that normally would just miss you, now swings 5x but only lands 2x doing 50 damage instead of missing or doing 250.

Battle Information changed

I'd love to see it scroll SUPER fast, but you can go back to scroll to it to see specifics, but it just zips right by and it leaves you with a summary.
  • Enemy Group 1 successfully cast Curse and did 150 damage to Brian the Fist.
  • Enemy Group 2 successfully cast Summon Herb x2 and did 70 damage to Brian the Fist and 100 damage to El Cid, poisoning him.
  • Enemy Group 3 advanced
  • Brian the Fist swings 8 times hitting 5x for 250 damage, killing Maze Dragon.
  • El Cid shot an arrow at Enemy Group 3 doing 80 damage.
  • SingerDude sings Lucklarn
  • SneakyDude hides in shadows (30')
  • Mage uses Dragonwand on Enemy Group 1, killing 2 of them, doing an average of X damage.
  • Mage2 defends.
A Message on teleportation that requires the Spacebar to clear

This gets me a lot. I walk into a teleportation square I don't expect so I'm still hitting forward missing out on the ability to Scry Site to get the teleport location mapped. I would love it if I hit a teleporter, I get a message saying "something seems off! (hit space to continue)". I'm big on mapping the dungeon so it annoys me when I miss the chance to cast SCSI to mark where the teleporter teleports you to.

A timer for random encounters

It'd be nice if there was a 15 second "no random encounter" window after any time you run or finish a battle. I find it absurd sometimes you run from or finish a battle and IMMEDIATELY get put into another battle. I'm talking about you finish hitting space after a battle or you finish hitting "R" for run and you're in another battle.

Inventory

It'd be nice if it showed what slots are available for equipping and what slots are used. Also be nice if identified items tell you what they do and who can equip them on hover.

Get Rid of the Spell Points Column and replace with Abilities
  • For Mages, this would be spell points (300/500 spell points)
  • For Bards, this would be songs left (20/40 songs)
  • For Hunters, this would be critical rate (for guys at your level)
  • For Rogues, hide in shadows rate (for guys at your level)
  • For Paladins, this would be the resistance to magic bonus.
  • Warriors, and Monks leave this blank

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » November 4th, 2018, 2:45 pm

I like SPPTs column switch to class special ability, I could get behind that
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 4th, 2018, 6:24 pm

Agreed, nothing is more annoying than being stuck in combat at low levels and not knowing how many bard songs you have left.

I also like the idea of somehow listing inventory slots or otherwise better managing inventory, it's understandable from the history of the game, but it's very clunky compared to most modern games.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Gizmo » November 4th, 2018, 10:46 pm

A map editor utility. :mrgreen:

One that could save a custom dungeon as a loose file, and that the game could import, and make available (if placed in a user-maps folder).
(A limited BT:Construction Set, implemented as a mini-game.) :D

Image

*Of course... THIS is what I'd consider to be a budget call, because it would have to be allotted, and paid for. DLC?

**It's interesting to recall that Grimrock did not have an editor planned. They altered the engine to accept the one that they later made for it. They did not make the of maps that game using using the editor. The editor came much later; it was included in a patch update.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » November 5th, 2018, 6:46 am

Milamber33 wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 6:24 pm
I also like the idea of somehow listing inventory slots or otherwise better managing inventory, it's understandable from the history of the game, but it's very clunky compared to most modern games.
*erk* I really dislike when words like "modern" are thrown in, when there are many games (video or table) that don't use certain mechanics or layouts or styles. It's not so much "modern" as it is one "design" choice. Ganted in modern video games a certain design is more popular, but I wouldn't call the design itself "modern".
But I digress...

What is it you mean by "somehow listing inventory slots"? Currently the inventory view is a list of inventory slots and their contents. I wasn't quite sure what spacemanspork meant by "showed what slots are available for equipping and what slots are used" either... As in, equippable item classes used and available? Like, if you have a melee weapon equipped or not, gloves, boots, helmet, armor, shield, etc? If so, then yeah that could be a OQL improvement. Sometimes it can be a blur seeing a list of pseudo-randomly ordered items all with *'s next to them without a clear indication that of all those equipped items you're not wear a helmet :)
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 6th, 2018, 12:33 am

thebruce wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 6:46 am
Milamber33 wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 6:24 pm
I also like the idea of somehow listing inventory slots or otherwise better managing inventory, it's understandable from the history of the game, but it's very clunky compared to most modern games.
*erk* I really dislike when words like "modern" are thrown in, when there are many games (video or table) that don't use certain mechanics or layouts or styles. It's not so much "modern" as it is one "design" choice. Ganted in modern video games a certain design is more popular, but I wouldn't call the design itself "modern".
Please note I did not call any particular design modern or outdated or anything else, I just observed that inventory management is better in most modern games than it is in Bard's Tale. ;)

There are a whole range of solutions to this, some of which have been around for quite a long time. The history comment was more referencing the fact that the original games were designed to run on extremely limited hardware compared to what we have nowadays and this no doubt restricted the design choices for inventory and equipment management.
What is it you mean by "somehow listing inventory slots"? Currently the inventory view is a list of inventory slots and their contents. I wasn't quite sure what spacemanspork meant by "showed what slots are available for equipping and what slots are used" either... As in, equippable item classes used and available? Like, if you have a melee weapon equipped or not, gloves, boots, helmet, armor, shield, etc? If so, then yeah that could be a OQL improvement. Sometimes it can be a blur seeing a list of pseudo-randomly ordered items all with *'s next to them without a clear indication that of all those equipped items you're not wear a helmet :)
Okay, yes I'll clarify this. I did mean character equipment slots when I said Inventory slots, and I'm sure that's what spacemanspork meant too.

As an example, here's an alternative system I've been thinking of:
- Add a new hotkey to view all of your equipment, without going in to a character first. This should show ALL items the party has, even equipped ones. Selecting any item goes to an Info screen with details about what it does (expanded version of the current mouseover text) and a few options for interacting with it (Unequip/Equip->pick character, Drop, Use->pick character?, Identify->pick character, etc).
- When you're in a character, swap out Inventory for Equipment. This should go to a screen with every available slot listed (Head, Body, Main Hand, Off Hand, etc.) and what is in that slot. Selecting a slot with something in it lets you view the detailed item info screen (again with options to Use, Unequip, etc.) while selecting an empty slot shows you the equipment list filtered for items appropriate to that slot for that character, select one and it goes to the info screen so you can review the details before you equip, use, etc.

Thoughts?

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » November 6th, 2018, 6:11 am

Ah, that level of inventory management doesn't seem to affect the mechanics of the inventory and certainly feels more cosmetically feasible. That's more a bookkeeping improvement I'd think. I could get behind that.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Lanatir » November 7th, 2018, 3:28 am

The feature i wish the Bards Tale trilogy had?

A decent sequel.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » November 7th, 2018, 6:52 am

Ok, keep comments productive and relevant please.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Tuoweit » November 7th, 2018, 11:09 am

Gizmo wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 12:51 am
Kothyxaan wrote:
October 13th, 2018, 1:03 am
Attack retargetting - Kill all the enemy of a target group and still got people attacking that group, have them switch to another (random?) target in range.
This one I would not like to see in the game.
I agree, but for different reasons.

When the enemy can summon allies that are often more powerful than anything else you're currently facing, exactly when you kill off the last member of an enemy group (and thus free up a group slot for more enemy summons) can be an important tactical consideration. If I choose to overkill a priority target and end up accidentally killing off a weak group as well, that could potentially expose my party to much more danger than I had planned.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by rmcoen » November 7th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Honestly, Tuowelt, that's a different problem. When the enemy is "planning their turn", and they have 4 groups, they shouldn't be able to choose "I will summon a new group". Thus, during the combat round when you *kill* a group, they shouldn't be able to suddenly decide to summon a group to fill it. They should already be committed to blasting you, or perhaps moving.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » November 7th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Honestly, Tuowelt, that's a different problem. When the enemy is "planning their turn", and they have 4 groups, they shouldn't be able to choose "I will summon a new group". Thus, during the combat round when you *kill* a group, they shouldn't be able to suddenly decide to summon a group to fill it. They should already be committed to blasting you, or perhaps moving.
They don't just decide to "fill the vacancy". The AI is pretty stupid and will most certainly try to summon when there's no room.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Gizmo » November 7th, 2018, 6:47 pm

Could this be pre-commitment?

Hypothetically, could they not choose to summon reinforcements on the assumption that a number of them will get killed before the spell is cast?

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 7th, 2018, 11:40 pm

I'm 99% sure that the AI just decides what each NPC is going to do as it acts, unlike the player who has to pre-commit. There's just too many cases of NPC actions being based on the results of player actions, within the same round of combat. Pre-commitment would at least occasionally have an NPC miss its turn, but that never happens.

As for summoning when there's no room, I think that the AI just randomly decides which action to take from the list of valid actions and does it, even if it's a redundant casting of a spell which is already active or summoning a creature when the list is full. The AI is extremely basic (as can be expected from the era of the original games) and isn't fully assessing if the randomly selected action is actually beneficial.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 8th, 2018, 6:11 am

I just wish you could heal NPC party members (summons, etc.) at the temples. It's really annoying to get a good roll (even worse if it was a good wandering monster) and then have it withered by a magician and you can't heal that status.

Another feature request, add a separate column for status effects so we can still see max HP while a character is withered/poisoned/etc.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » November 8th, 2018, 6:12 am

One thing to keep in mind is that the basic combat structure is slightly different on either side at a fundamental level. So the mechanics of action selection are slightly different as well. I think if the action queue process of the player side is mimicked identically for the foes (or vice versa) there will be a balance issue. I look at it more like the functional and tactical differences between Zerg vs Human combat than Zerg vs Zerg :).

If there's a specific and fairly common imbalance somewhere, that could be good to look into adjusting, but I don't think change for the sake of having the enemies' combat mimick the party's will end up making thing better in and of itself...
Just a thought.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 8th, 2018, 6:28 am

thebruce wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 6:12 am
One thing to keep in mind is that the basic combat structure is slightly different on either side at a fundamental level. So the mechanics of action selection are slightly different as well. I think if the action queue process of the player side is mimicked identically for the foes (or vice versa) there will be a balance issue. I look at it more like the functional and tactical differences between Zerg vs Human combat than Zerg vs Zerg :).

If there's a specific and fairly common imbalance somewhere, that could be good to look into adjusting, but I don't think change for the sake of having the enemies' combat mimick the party's will end up making thing better in and of itself...
Just a thought.
And a valid one. I did note in one of my earlier posts that this sort of change would need to be offset by e.g. increased hit chances for enemies, adding in a mechanic which allows enemies to completely miss their turn would definitely need to be offset by something.

To be clear, while it annoys me a bit to see this sort of double standard where the AI isn't playing by the same rules as the player (even for NPC party members), I'm putting this in the 'nice to have' basket rather than the 'this needs fixing NOW' basket. :P

I'd honestly prefer my two latest suggestions to be actioned first. :)

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » November 8th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Milamber33 wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 11:40 pm
I'm 99% sure that the AI just decides what each NPC is going to do as it acts, unlike the player who has to pre-commit. There's just too many cases of NPC actions being based on the results of player actions, within the same round of combat. Pre-commitment would at least occasionally have an NPC miss its turn, but that never happens.
I dunno. I've seen, "So-and-so tries to summon a wolf, but there's no room!" a few too many times...
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » November 8th, 2018, 6:33 pm

Drool wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 5:48 pm
Milamber33 wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 11:40 pm
I'm 99% sure that the AI just decides what each NPC is going to do as it acts, unlike the player who has to pre-commit. There's just too many cases of NPC actions being based on the results of player actions, within the same round of combat. Pre-commitment would at least occasionally have an NPC miss its turn, but that never happens.
I dunno. I've seen, "So-and-so tries to summon a wolf, but there's no room!" a few too many times...
That's where the second paragraph of my post comes in. ;)

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