Alpha Priority Items

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phimseto
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Alpha Priority Items

Post by phimseto » April 10th, 2018, 8:17 am

Hi all, I've been steadily reporting on the alpha feedback to the devs. One of the things that I am working on right now is an updated list of the most referenced items from the community. Even though I have a pretty good read on what's been said, you have all been very thorough and passionate in letting us know your preferences. I'd like to get your feedback on what *you* think are the major focus points people are discussing. I have all the data from the other thread, and there was a lot of back and forth/agreement and disagreement. Now that the dust has (mostly) settled, I'm curious where the community is at.

What I'm looking for here is what list you would submit on what you think the most requested items are and what should be priorities for the devs as we move the game from alpha to beta. If you want to do a quick sentence bullet point to really specify what you think people are keying on, go ahead. I'll be working with some of the moderators to get a consensus on the data, and then we'll pass that along.

Demeisen put together a post that looks like it should work well for anyone who wants to help in the effort. You can post in that thread, which can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=18842

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Lord of Riva
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by Lord of Riva » April 11th, 2018, 3:57 am

what you think the most requested items are
I do not understand, that is not a subjective questions and since you already have a good "read on what has been said" there cant be a different outcome to the question posed.

When we break it down to things people just want (and exclude the quantity factor) you could just as easily read the alpha discussion thread.

Also Demeisen did already do a list based on quantity so what is the actual point?
community engagement is fine and dandy (even more if it werent for those token posts every few weeks) but it should not result in redundancy.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by thebruce » April 11th, 2018, 6:42 am

I think the point is to have a one-stop list where the most relevant and discussed items bubble to the top. An open forum discussion thread can get very lengthy with numerous dangling and twisted threads, so it takes a LOT of work to sift through and somehow put a value on certain opinions or points. Especially when voices come from every direction. Demeisen's thread is a good start, but you can already see disagreements and discussion shifting away from just voting.
Ideally, I agree - it's been a long time with a whole lot of discussion, and it should be clear what some of the biggest concerns are; but there is also a LOT of loudness from a small segment of the local community, and LOT of activity from a much greater portion of the global community all over the 'net. Maybe they're just not satisfied they're doing a good job parsing all the signal from the noise? We'll see how things go...
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 19th, 2018, 5:05 pm

phimseto wrote:
April 10th, 2018, 8:17 am
What I'm looking for here is what list you would submit on what you think the most requested items are and what should be priorities for the devs as we move the game from alpha to beta. If you want to do a quick sentence bullet point to really specify what you think people are keying on, go ahead. I'll be working with some of the moderators to get a consensus on the data, and then we'll pass that along.
"Quick sentence bullet point", as requested:
  • People want the devs to bring the new game more in line with the classics in terms of party creation/development (start with more than one party member, have full control over party composition), game mechanics (available spells, spell points, stats blocks, etc...), and relative sobriety (no cartoonish images, alcoholic humor, or juvenile humor).
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by ZiN » April 20th, 2018, 11:09 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 19th, 2018, 5:05 pm
"Quick sentence bullet point", as requested:
  • People want the devs to bring the new game more in line with the classics in terms of party creation/development (start with more than one party member, have full control over party composition), game mechanics (available spells, spell points, stats blocks, etc...), and relative sobriety (no cartoonish images, alcoholic humor, or juvenile humor).
Just a quick +1, THIS, before demeisen's voting results, with details!

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by demeisen » April 20th, 2018, 11:10 am

Vote data from this voting thread. Related discussion thread here.

Matters of note:
  • It was a small voting population (N=15), and of course from a self selecting sample, not a randomly selected one.
  • The score generated by the tally script takes individual voters' item priorities into account in a flawed but hopefully useful attempt to tease out what is most important to the voting population. One person's top priority is counted similar in weight to two people's middle priority. Each voter got up to 10 upvotes and up to 5 downvotes.
  • A slightly different analysis done part way through the voting period (at N=10) was performed in this post in the discussion thread by forum member ZiN. It considers how many voters selected each item, without regard to individual voter priorities. That's another reasonable way to slice the data. Results are very roughly similar around which items land high on the list.
  • Due to the distillation of hundreds of often verbose posts into a small number of line items, a great deal of subtlety is lost, as well as interactions between items. These items may only roughly approximate the wishes of individual voters, or may omit aspects considered important.
  • Several upvoted items are arguably mutually exclusive. They were suggested and upvoted by different people, presumably.
  • Items with similar scores can be considered equal for practical purposes. Score ties are broken by item alphabetical order.
  • Polish and "quality of life" improvements were taken from forum suggestions, but are broken out separately to avoid diluting the more gameplay oriented vote. No attempt was made to rank the QoL list, so it is alphabetical.
  • Score=0 item had identical up and down scores. (It may also happen if an item receives no votes, but all the listed items were voted one way or the other by someone).
Note scroll bar on right for the longest, positive score list below.

Thanks to all who voted!

And now! The moment you've been waiting for! Decades in the making! The toil of legions! (Or at least, comfortably in excess of a dozen people)! A resplendent wonder never before beheld by man or beast!

..... Drum Roll .....

Results for Alpha-1 Tally-1 (20-Apr-2018):

Vote Stats:

Code: Select all

15      unique voter(s)
145     total upvotes (9.67 / voter)
31      total downvotes (2.07 / voter)
0       unrecognized vote items
0       duplicated votes
2       voter(s) with more votes than permitted

Items with positive score (more positive = more liked):

Code: Select all

98      Large dynamic spell selection / versatility (not <=5 at once)
66      More complete/robust keyboard controls (especially in combat)
55      Game mode to disable post-combat auto-resurrection.  Spell/temple instead
50      Allow out of combat utility spells
48      Long term SP pool (spell AP cost subtracts from, no casting when zero)
46      No 'main' PC. Game start should allow creation of multiple PCs
45      Restoration of dex/luck/con stats, with some meaning
45      Semi-compelled random encounters. Chance modification from song/spell/etc
34      Elimination or style alteration of neon blue combat grid
32      Remove/alter juvenile animations (e.g. butt wagging)
27      Spells which may damage enemies from subsequent combat waves
27      Trapped chests, with mitigation means (spells/rogues/etc)
20      Character level should be more significant than equipment, esp on monks
20      PCs should always face player
16      Don't lock voice packs to classes/races
16      Enhanced difficulty (poster defeated two groups w/ lone PC)
16      Ensure node spacing large enough for practical/meaningful hand-mapping
16      Per-character AP pool, rather than per party
16      Pitch black dungeons requiring light source (nice fit for UE4 engine)
14      Most melee weapons should have 1 rank of range (maybe 2 for some, pikes etc)
14      Occasional anti-magic/anti-light zones
13      Option: PCs should not turn back to enemies (use other selection effect)
12      Have minor RNG component to combat damage
7       Optional scrolling combat log
6       Being on fire should have negative status effect beyond DOT


Items with zero score:

Code: Select all

0       Use for unused AP (carry over half, and/or allow better defense)

Items with negative score (more negative = more disliked):

Code: Select all

-54     Auto-scale enemies with PC level
-6      Chars which die in combat should receive no exp for that combat
-5      Noise / smashing walls should alert nearby enemies

Unordered polish / quality of life improvements:

Code: Select all

+       Escape key should back out of screens
+       Game option to disable repeated taunt audio
+       Improve/clarify Ambushed! indication
+       Inventory GUI comparison popup between equipped and other item
+       Minimize combat delays (e.g, blocking animations, or delays on Enemy's Turn text)
+       Minimize console-ization of UI where possible
+       Move GUI combat controls out of middle of character grid
+       PC positions should reset after combat
+       Remove or alter loot chest animation (it's too exuberant / MMO-ish)

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thebruce
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by thebruce » April 20th, 2018, 11:50 am

Not bad list.
Kind of surprised the 'humour' item isn't so high on the list. Felt like most everyone had supported that one... Would that be one of those with a big difference between quantity of votes, and weighted vote result?
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by demeisen » April 20th, 2018, 12:15 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 11:50 am
Not bad list.
Kind of surprised the 'humour' item isn't so high on the list. Felt like most everyone had supported that one... Would that be one of those with a big difference between quantity of votes, and weighted vote result?
Looks like 6 people upvoted it, with no downvotes. (Some other items had votes both for and against). Counting all the items including zero and negative scores, it lands just about the upper 1/3 of everything, so it's not that low really, just not as high as some of the highly desired spell system items.

EDIT: Sorting by upvotes-downvotes instead of score, this item does just slightly worse (11th place, vs 10th) than it does in the weighted system, so it got a wee boost. There's not actually a massive difference for most items. One item with a big difference is Trapped Chests, which had 8 upvotes and no downvotes, but was fairly low on most people's lists, so suffered in the weighted scores relative to how many people voted for it. In the other direction, "Game mode to disable auto-res" seems to have been bumped up significantly by appearing highly in people's ordered lists. It's in 3rd place in the weighted list, but 10th if counting all votes with equal weights.

(Can't say for sure of course, but I'd expect just switching off an animation would be very easy, so there's another axis not present in this list: implementation effort).

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by Lix » April 20th, 2018, 12:31 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 11:50 am
Kind of surprised the 'humour' item isn't so high on the list. Felt like most everyone had supported that one...
I've accepted that this is a sequel to The Bard's Tale (2004).

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by phimseto » April 20th, 2018, 1:08 pm

Passed along, with notes. Let's try to build the beta feedback around this, too. I really like the work you guys did here.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by Drool » April 20th, 2018, 2:16 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 11:50 am
Kind of surprised the 'humour' item isn't so high on the list. Felt like most everyone had supported that one... Would that be one of those with a big difference between quantity of votes, and weighted vote result?
Could only pick 10. Had to pick which was most important.
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by demeisen » April 20th, 2018, 2:32 pm

Based on items in the vote, here's the requested "quick sentence" for a few of them:
  • More complete/robust keyboard controls (especially in combat)
    I think this can be done within the 2D combat grid framework. Since the grid is small, it doesn't seem burdensome to specify x,y coordinates to target things in a mere 4x2 grid. BT1-style 4 letter codes would still work for abilities. Neither precludes mouse use.
  • Game mode to disable post-combat auto-resurrection. Spell/temple instead
    This is high on my list as an important dynamic from the classics, and I hope it could be part of some "hardcore mode" option along with safety-constrained saves.
  • Long term SP pool (spell AP cost subtracts from, no casting when zero)
    Similarly, I feel this could fit within the BT4 AP scheme (which I'm generally on board with). PCs would have a SP as well as a HP long term pool. Casting a spell comes out of both the round's AP and the character's SP. Once the PC reaches 0 SP, no more casting. Recharge mechanics could be similar in spirit to BT1.
  • Remove/alter juvenile animations (e.g. butt wagging)
    I'm not a fan of the butt wagging or the chest animations. On the flip side, kudos to the voice actors adopting a more serious tone in the alpha, relative to some of what we saw in earlier demos. The more sombre tone better fits the mostly non-comedic tone of the classics, IMO. Also, I wanted to call out the music as being both excellent and a nice fit for the serious tone BT evokes for me.
  • Elimination or style alteration of neon blue combat grid
    I think just a style tweak could go a long way. Space blue isn't ideal.
  • Chars which die in combat should receive no exp for that combat
    This was (very slightly) negative in the vote tally, which surprised me. BT1 worked that way, if I recall right: when a PC died, they got no exp until they were alive again. I'm favor of "no exp whilst dead", but it is admittedly low on my list compared to other things.
  • The PC facing discussion has been had and then some, so... <#include that here>.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by thebruce » April 20th, 2018, 7:05 pm

demeisen wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 2:32 pm
Chars which die in combat should receive no exp for that combat
This was (very slightly) negative in the vote tally, which surprised me. BT1 worked that way, if I recall right: when a PC died, they got no exp until they were alive again. I'm favor of "no exp whilst dead", but it is admittedly low on my list compared to other things.
Yeah in the originals characters didn't get ANY experience for a completed encounter if they died during. I don't think it necessarily has to be all or nothing. I mean if you think about it, if I have 2 guys, 1 of them kills 9/10 enemies and then dies so my #2 gets the last kill, seems kind of odd that #1 didn't learn anything :P I would be in favour of partial XP from combat. Earn XP for accomplishments made by the party while alive.
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by Lord of Riva » April 21st, 2018, 12:38 am

thebruce wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 7:05 pm
demeisen wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 2:32 pm
Chars which die in combat should receive no exp for that combat
This was (very slightly) negative in the vote tally, which surprised me. BT1 worked that way, if I recall right: when a PC died, they got no exp until they were alive again. I'm favor of "no exp whilst dead", but it is admittedly low on my list compared to other things.
Yeah in the originals characters didn't get ANY experience for a completed encounter if they died during. I don't think it necessarily has to be all or nothing. I mean if you think about it, if I have 2 guys, 1 of them kills 9/10 enemies and then dies so my #2 gets the last kill, seems kind of odd that #1 didn't learn anything :P I would be in favour of partial XP from combat. Earn XP for accomplishments made by the party while alive.
i hope its okay to discuss here a bit now

It is not BT specific most party based systems do that including a lot of JRPGs.
The problem i have with it is just that it changes the dynamic from a all or nothing battle situation to one where ressource managment is more important (not both systems are not necessarily the factor for difficulty).

before anyone beheads me since i understood that many think the ressource management is a big part. The difference is that in a battle you can use the full tactical repertoire to fight all the time while the latter has you play way more conservative (which is not inherently bad btw...)

One of the most obvious issues with a ressource management system is that the most efficient way is to not use rare items, because you may need it in the next fight. Its not a big deal honestly just a matter of taste.

One thing though, as i am seemingly unable to comprehend written text i did not see that the list is sorted with priority in mind, i have not done that. You may want to check if others like me have a identical Order to the OP as this would point to the same. This was clearly my mistake, however it may have skewed the weighted order quite a bit.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by ZiN » April 21st, 2018, 2:09 am

thebruce wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 7:05 pm
Yeah in the originals characters didn't get ANY experience for a completed encounter if they died during.
Unless they got resurrected during the fight, of course. To me it happened quite a few times, that most of my team was dead, but I've managed to hold off the foes long enough to resurrect someone, who can resurrect another party member and at the end, everyone made it. Then, at other times, I didn't take the risk and just ran away, before resurrecting, with no XP : ( Choices...

One point about XP distribution is, that the total XP value of defeated monsters should be divided by the number of party members (excluding recruited, or summoned monsters), then given out to alive party members. This is how it works in classic BT. If I play with less player-created members, they get more XP. Choices...

Then there is the Wasteland way, where the one who delivers the killing blow/shot gets all the XP for that opponent and others get nothing. That was an interesting concept, it was funny and even fit the mood of that game, but ultimately not ideal, in my opinion.

Perhaps they can tweak it so, that when a monster dies, everyone alive in the party instantly gets the XP for it, so it's less all or nothing. Obviously, I like the classic way the best, but I could live with this.

The worst way would be, a normalized distribution, where everyone gets everything, ignoring all other factors. Even worse if the inactive members (those in the guild) get the XP as well. Perhaps when the party returns to the Adventurer's Guild, all inactive characters could get like 10% of the XP, the active ones collected during their adventures, by sharing their tales and experiences. Bards and Wizards could enhance this, by their lore and wisdom. I can also imagine Tomes of XP, buffs that increase experience gained and special events, where a single character gets an XP boost, or gains a level.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by demeisen » April 21st, 2018, 6:55 am

Lord of Riva wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 12:38 am
One thing though, as i am seemingly unable to comprehend written text i did not see that the list is sorted with priority in mind, i have not done that.
You can always edit your post too. The initial tally was taken with a bit of haste to get it to InXile before their rep went on vacation, but especially if more people vote later on, we can re-run the tally if we want. That's barely a minute's work. Then your updated preferences would be reflected in the new one. Or if you feel strongly about it, I'll re-run it and edit the result post up above straight away. Edit: I also want to change the vote script to break score ties by the (up-down) vote count, with alphabetical as a tertiary tie breaker instead of secondary as above.
ZiN wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 2:09 am
Perhaps they can tweak it so, that when a monster dies, everyone alive in the party instantly gets the XP for it, so it's less all or nothing. Obviously, I like the classic way the best, but I could live with this.
Ditto. Seems like a reasonable approach.
all inactive characters could get like 10% of the XP, the active ones collected during their adventures, by sharing their tales and experiences. Bards and Wizards could enhance this, by their lore and wisdom.
I like that idea too.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by Gizmo » April 21st, 2018, 9:27 am

ZiN wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 2:09 am
Perhaps they can tweak it so, that when a monster dies, everyone alive in the party instantly gets the XP for it, so it's less all or nothing. Obviously, I like the classic way the best, but I could live with this.
This could work.
all inactive characters could get like 10% of the XP, the active ones collected during their adventures, by sharing their tales and experiences. Bards and Wizards could enhance this, by their lore and wisdom.
One can assume that the survivors can impart some of their —experience— afterwards, in the telling of what happened.

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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 21st, 2018, 9:49 am

ZiN wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 2:09 am
This is how it works in classic BT. If I play with less player-created members, they get more XP. Choices...
Yep. One strategy that I use for starting new parties in BT is to make a party of 3 or 4 Warriors with high Strength, good Dexterity, and lots of Hit Points (mid-to-high 20's on those platforms that allow). Having fewer party members allows them to level more rapidly (due to the XP distribution calculation) to get past the low survivability portion of the early game more quickly. Once the Warriors are sufficiently leveled, they can be used as a seed to start building the actual party you intend to adventure with.
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Re: Alpha Priority Items

Post by ZiN » July 14th, 2018, 11:48 pm

phimseto wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 1:08 pm
Passed along, with notes. Let's try to build the beta feedback around this, too. I really like the work you guys did here.
Good job, let's bump this and see the results:

98 Large dynamic spell selection / versatility (not <=5 at once) - IGNORED
66 More complete/robust keyboard controls (especially in combat) - NOT YET IMPLEMENTED
55 Game mode to disable post-combat auto-resurrection. Spell/temple instead - IGNORED
50 Allow out of combat utility spells - We have some adventuring abilities, but nothing like, classic utility spells.
48 Long term SP pool (spell AP cost subtracts from, no casting when zero) - IGNORED
46 No 'main' PC. Game start should allow creation of multiple PCs - IGNORED
45 Restoration of dex/luck/con stats, with some meaning - IGNORED
45 Semi-compelled random encounters. Chance modification from song/spell/etc - IGNORED
34 Elimination or style alteration of neon blue combat grid - Not as disgusting as it used to be, but still ugly.
32 Remove/alter juvenile animations (e.g. butt wagging) - At least chests aren't jumping around now, but most of it is still there.
27 Spells which may damage enemies from subsequent combat waves - TBD
27 Trapped chests, with mitigation means (spells/rogues/etc) - TBD
20 Character level should be more significant than equipment, esp on monks - IGNORED, even worse, we need to "spec" to wear the epixx.
20 PCs should always face player - IGNORED
16 Don't lock voice packs to classes/races - LISTENED TO
16 Enhanced difficulty (poster defeated two groups w/ lone PC) - TBD
16 Ensure node spacing large enough for practical/meaningful hand-mapping - IGNORED, what "node spacing"?
16 Per-character AP pool, rather than per party - IGNORED
16 Pitch black dungeons requiring light source (nice fit for UE4 engine) - IGNORED
14 Most melee weapons should have 1 rank of range (maybe 2 for some, pikes etc) - IGNORED
14 Occasional anti-magic/anti-light zones - TBD
13 Option: PCs should not turn back to enemies (use other selection effect) - IGNORED
12 Have minor RNG component to combat damage - IGNORED
7 Optional scrolling combat log - IGNORED
6 Being on fire should have negative status effect beyond DOT - TBD

Yeah, I know it is beta and all.
phimseto wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 1:08 pm
Let's try to build the beta feedback around this, too.
Yeah, let's. These still stand, so we can just rename the thread to "Beta Priority items"!

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