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 Jesse011 » April 12th, 2019, 4:34 am

Id like to be able to save monsters. Ive always been a fan of collecting the highest hp of certain monster types and im currently running a group with 4 wacum the wiz with kato bracers in 2 to farm items faster and id like to be able to stash them rather than return to ds3 every time i want to bring them out. I know people will try to duplicate items with them, but what difference does that make?

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ahkaran » May 29th, 2019, 7:34 pm

I wish you hadn't screwed with the game programming. Why did you feel the need to mess with any programming code at all? For instance, Disrupt Illusion DIIL didn't cause illusion casting mobs to fizzle spells, what kind of stupid crap is that? It caused your party to disbelieve their summoning which also granted experience. Disbelieve spell makes the party disbelieve illusions already created but you have to cast it repeatedly. And you still took the experience away from it as well. You took that whole aspect out of the game, even in your legacy mode. I'm sure it was a game flaw in its original creation but it was a part of the XP grind. Makes me wonder what else you cut out of the game. I bought this to relive the old experiences and congratulations you already ruined it.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm

Yeah, there are a handful of areas where the remasters, even in Legacy mode, deviate from the originals. In some cases, the originals on different platforms varied in their logic, so there was no definitive source of truth. (And I don't believe that the Apple ][e version was ever consulted.) All in all, though, Krome has made a high fidelity remaster of the original series. And, if you think the Krome remasters have any significant problems, then I would suggest playing the Barrows Deep game from inXile and see how inXile messed with a lot more than game programming... like everything: lore, mechanics, overall feel of the series.

Krome is still actively developing the remasters, btw. I linked them to your post. If you can provide evidence that DIIL worked the way you describe on a particular original platform, I wouldn't be surprised if they at least considered matching that behavior. In my experience, they've been pretty responsive when people point out stuff like this.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ahkaran » May 31st, 2019, 11:15 am

How can I provide evidence? No platform today can run Bards Tale 2, if it did then that's what I would be playing. If Inxite has a pure unaltered 80s release copy of the game that can run on a current windows platform, then just play the game. Or an old C64 computer. Go to the Maze of Dread with a 4 monks up front, couple Sorcerers with DIIL, find a group of mobs with at least 3 Dream Mages, usually at 90', kill everything except them. Be sure to have one sorcerer cast DIIL first round. Once everything else is dead, just defend everyone for 20 or 30 rounds, then kill the mages, you will see exactly what I mean.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » May 31st, 2019, 1:21 pm

Ahkaran wrote:
May 31st, 2019, 11:15 am
How can I provide evidence? No platform today can run Bards Tale 2
https://www.dosbox.com/
http://www.ccs64.com/

I've used both to check how things worked in the originals.

Also, I can't speak for 2, but in 3, you didn't get XP for disbelieving illusions.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ahkaran » June 1st, 2019, 7:46 am

Hey Drool in those links above what should I download that will make original BT2 play?

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » June 2nd, 2019, 11:33 am

Depends on which version you have. If you have the DOS version, use DOSBox. If you have the C64 version, use CCS64. There's emulators for just about every old system ever invented, so if you have a different version, getting an emulator shouldn't be terribly difficult.

Or, if you have the re-release that inXile released however many years ago, that's just the DOS versions with a built-in DOSBox wrapper, so it'd give you the original DOS experience.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by rakenan » June 4th, 2019, 11:27 am

I'd really like more granular control of legacy options. It seems like a lot of random stuff is lumped into a few blanket categories - notably the experience option. I disagree with some but not all of the changes lumped in there, I'd like to be able to select which arbitrary balance changes I want to revert (I'd specifically like to put everything as it was when the remaster of BT1 was released).
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by thebruce » June 7th, 2019, 3:30 pm

Ahkaran wrote:
June 1st, 2019, 7:46 am
Hey Drool in those links above what should I download that will make original BT2 play?
More info and instructions here. Hopefully that helps
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » June 7th, 2019, 4:17 pm

rakenan wrote:
June 4th, 2019, 11:27 am
I'd really like more granular control of legacy options.
Honestly, I leaned more towards a binary switch; all or nothing.

The risk, as always, is options spam (gold standard on this is Oil Barons* with its 100+ options screen, where they displayed one at a time to select through; no, seriously). Granularity is fine and all, but there's a fine line between granularity and "too damn many options" and it's always a balancing act to find a balance between the two. Honestly, I think they did a reasonable job.


* "It is considered to be one of the rarest of all Epyx games." Well, shit. Now I wish I still had my original boxed copy of this thing.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by rakenan » June 11th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Drool wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 4:17 pm
rakenan wrote:
June 4th, 2019, 11:27 am
I'd really like more granular control of legacy options.
Honestly, I leaned more towards a binary switch; all or nothing.

The risk, as always, is options spam (gold standard on this is Oil Barons* with its 100+ options screen, where they displayed one at a time to select through; no, seriously). Granularity is fine and all, but there's a fine line between granularity and "too damn many options" and it's always a balancing act to find a balance between the two. Honestly, I think they did a reasonable job.


* "It is considered to be one of the rarest of all Epyx games." Well, shit. Now I wish I still had my original boxed copy of this thing.
It is not (or should not be) particularly tough to have a standard "Legacy mode is on" checkbox with an "Advanced Legacy options" menu to open the more granular controls. The user experience would be fine, as it is with other games that use a similar system.

The hard part would be testing the options for buggy interactions - and that's why I don't expect to get what I want.

No big deal. I got enough to justify the $50 I spent backing BT4 even though I consider BT4 to be a waste of electrons. I do wish I could have just told them to give all that money to Krome, though.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ether » August 23rd, 2019, 7:07 am

First off, I just picked up the Remastered version, and while I'm still hanging around the streets and the Wine Cellar, I think most of the changes - especially in regards to having the same mechanics in BT1 that existed in the sequels (distance combat, etc) are good.

I'm also a believer in that each class should bring something unique to the table, and since there are more classes than slots available, the player will have to deal without and adjust when faced with threats that would be best dealt with by a non-existent party member

So with that in mind...

1. Rogues can disarm traps in the dungeons

2. Extra attacks can be applied to the next monster. More on that below
They also are no longer all or nothing.

3. Summons last a turn (maybe more); think along the lines of Final Fantasy
Let's face it, the summons are all worthless in BT2 and BT3. Outside of the Wind Dragon and the Greater Demon/Demon Lord, most of them stink in BT1 also. And since you can now have seven party members in BT1, you're better off in the long run developing that 7th character for BT2 and BT3.

4. Geomancers keep their previous abilities. Maybe at a reduced efficiency if too powerful.

5. Some Items/Weapons have a percent chance to exert it's effect - I'm looking you, Stoneblade. Or any other weapon that has a 100% chance of a critical hit.

6. More monster resistances. Again, I'm often looking at stoning and crit hits, but I'm sure others could exist as well.

7. Various forms of level scaling. This can go a lot of ways, but the first one that comes to mind is with rogues and traps.
A Level 1 Rogue should be able to pick the lock of a peasant's house. He probably won't be able to disarm a trap that Mangar set up. Yet under the current engine, a low level Rogue isn't breaking in anywhere.

8. More customizing level advancing, with skill learning included.

9. A handful of side quests or challenges.
I agree in that I don't want to see it to the degree that was present in Skyrim or Witcher 3.
I actually like the challenge idea better. For example, Garth can make a special armor for you, but only has enough raw mithril to make it once. He needs you to kill three dragons to do make, but magical attacks can't be used.

10. Possibly an Archer class, and Paladins casting spells. Which leads to a more complicated change....

11. More diversity amongst the classes.
To me, your four fighter classes (Warrior, Paladin, Monk, Hunter) are basically the same, especially past a certain level.
Warriors and Paladins only have subtle differences. I think the main difference is the Paladin has a few resistances, but the Warrior gets his extra attacks sooner.
I'm not sure when the massive damage boost kicks in for the Monk, but after the AC lowering effect kicks, the Monk seems similar also.
Hunters are the only ones with a someone unique set, but if almost every monster can be killed in one shot by the other classes, then it doesn't matter. Of course, this dynamic reverses in BT3, where eventually the Hunter is the only fighter that can kill anything.
My vision would be:
- Warrior gets up to 4 swings. Is probably the most balanced. Ideal fighter for facing down that Barbarian.
- Monks get LOTS of attacks. Up a dozen? Two dozen? I don't know. But since attacks now can go to multiple enemies, he's ideal for fighting off that horde 66 Skeletons. He's also good at avoiding being hit, but takes some extra damage (especially magical) since there is no armor to block it.
- Hunters have that critical hit. Ideal for the giant that's going to take a while for the warrior to chop down, or that ninja that's really hard to hit.
- Archers (if created), obviously for that long distance foe.
- Paladins (assuming we keep them as fighters) could serve as that battle mage. But they could have a few restrictions, like less gold, or moral issues with summoning certain monsters.
Last edited by Ether on August 23rd, 2019, 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ether » August 23rd, 2019, 7:25 am

Now for the biggest one, and probably the one least likely to be implemented because of it's scale:

12. Revise that magic user set up
What was I saying about the fighters being the same? Assuming you go with two magic users, they end up being the same when it's all said and done also. All we're really deciding is who is casting what in the Catacombs and the Castle. And later in the trilogy, the classes don't even become distinct anymore; how is hurling shards of ice (Rimefang) a sorcerer's spell?

My idea -
Starting characters can choose between a:
- Conjurer: they, well, conjure up things, such as fireball, lightning bolts, etc. Would probably be a mostly direct damage class.
- Magician: as the manual states, they bestow magical effects on items. Largely a support class.
- (possibly) Healer/Cleric: No surprise what they do. I'll admit the problem with them is that, in addition to being an extremely unoriginal idea, if you take away healing spells from the other classes, you either then have to have that healer or come up with a whole other healing mechanism.

At a certain point, the option arises to branch.
A conjurer can remain a Conjurer, or become a Wizard (summons monsters, can specifically target certain groups with spells like Repel Dead or Demon Bane)
A magician can remain a Magician, or become a Sorcerer (illusions)
Depending on what we do with the Paladin, a healer's path could be remain a healer, or switch to being a Paladin.

As part of level advancement, a magic user can cross learn certain spells. Archamge spells would be acquired this way.

I'd also like to see more of the spells be relevant throughout the series. Sure, BT3 says it has about 120 or so spells. But once you hit Arboria, only about a dozen are useful

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ether » August 23rd, 2019, 8:16 am

Last one (promise!): I’d love to see more plot development and flavor text, particularly in the first two
I know there are some issues people have with BT3, but I love the dialogue aspect of it

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Drool » August 23rd, 2019, 2:06 pm

...so, pretty much changing every system in the games, turning them into something completely different. These suggestions go well beyond tweaks or features.
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Gizmo » August 23rd, 2019, 6:53 pm

... This does seem to be the way of the games industry today.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ether » August 23rd, 2019, 7:39 pm

Drool wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 2:06 pm
...so, pretty much changing every system in the games, turning them into something completely different. These suggestions go well beyond tweaks or features.
No, it would still be pretty much the same game.

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » August 23rd, 2019, 8:01 pm

Ether wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 7:39 pm
Drool wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 2:06 pm
...so, pretty much changing every system in the games, turning them into something completely different. These suggestions go well beyond tweaks or features.
No, it would still be pretty much the same game.
as Barrows Deep?
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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Ether » August 23rd, 2019, 8:19 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 8:01 pm
Ether wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 7:39 pm
Drool wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 2:06 pm
...so, pretty much changing every system in the games, turning them into something completely different. These suggestions go well beyond tweaks or features.
No, it would still be pretty much the same game.
as Barrows Deep?
I haven’t gotten to play that, but since I’ve gathered that BT4 is grid based combat, then it’s a resounding no. Combat would still be under the game engine
Maybe some of the character advancement bears resemblance, but I would hardly consider choosing where your stats advance - in contrast to a random setup that eventually results in everyone being all 18’s - some horrible change that renders the trilogy unrecognizable

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Re: Features you wish The Bards Tale Trilogy had

Post by Milamber33 » August 23rd, 2019, 8:49 pm

The class changes you propose though ARE major changes that would significantly alter the gameplay experience. Which isn't to say they would be bad necessarily, but the focus of this remaster was initially just a visual upgrade of the original games with a few of the more glaring balance issues ironed out. I think there was a fair bit of scope creep by the time they got to the third one, but what you're proposing is a radically different game.

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