XP too easy?

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kaypy
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XP too easy?

Post by kaypy » October 28th, 2018, 8:25 am

I think that while the half price experience is a good idea in the early game, it would probably be better balanced to raise the point at which levels stop getting more expensive.

When I got around to a post game level up binge (I actually stopped going to the review board about halfway through the game) to check the numbers I wound up with about level 185.

I think you could comfortably finish BT3 with characters at about where they were at Fanskar's... (Other than the stat cap)

(looks up old notes)

Wow, we wind up getting levels 4x faster than in the originals... No wonder things are ridiculous...

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by ZZGO » October 28th, 2018, 8:40 am

If there's anything to fix here, it's the magic users. After lvl13, where each new level would require 100,000 XP, you can change class and reset to lvl1.
A simple fix would be to keep current level, and let class only decide what classes spell level you can raise every other character level. Class change only allowed when you're one character level above 2x combined spell levels.
(Which boils down to a single "Magic User" class and no class change.)

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Kothyxaan » October 29th, 2018, 1:20 am

ZZGO wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 8:40 am
If there's anything to fix here, it's the magic users. After lvl13, where each new level would require 100,000 XP, you can change class and reset to lvl1.
A simple fix would be to keep current level, and let class only decide what classes spell level you can raise every other character level. Class change only allowed when you're one character level above 2x combined spell levels.
(Which boils down to a single "Magic User" class and no class change.)
That would make sense, especially since I think they already keep their resistances from previous levels in the remastered version (seemed too when it was just BT1: I had a level 1 sorcy in mangars tower level 5 who didn't get fried to death).

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Lanatir » October 29th, 2018, 1:28 am

In BT2, after your archmages get mama, you basically make 5 to 10 levels per hour if you are serious about it. So yeah. even for me, who LOVES levelling, this is a bit too much.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by jamespodesta » October 29th, 2018, 2:29 am

kaypy wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 8:25 am
I think that while the half price experience is a good idea in the early game, it would probably be better balanced to raise the point at which levels stop getting more expensive.

When I got around to a post game level up binge (I actually stopped going to the review board about halfway through the game) to check the numbers I wound up with about level 185.

I think you could comfortably finish BT3 with characters at about where they were at Fanskar's... (Other than the stat cap)

(looks up old notes)

Wow, we wind up getting levels 4x faster than in the originals... No wonder things are ridiculous...
You should only be getting 2x faster, not 4x.. where are these figures coming from?

The XP you get from killing monsters in BT2 seems way more than you got in BT1.... its suffered a bit from the merge of the 3 games.... I don't think BT2 really needed an xp boost at all compared to BT1 which was really grindy at the start. That said, our test playthroughs ended up at lv50 which seemed about right compared to the originals... Its possible our testers didn't map out 100% of the maps though, which would have gained them a lot more levels....

Also comes done to some play style as to how often you skip battles or fight them all... Some of those later dungeons have a LOT of battles...
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kaypy
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Re: XP too easy?

Post by kaypy » October 29th, 2018, 4:31 am

I checked my old notes from bt3/c64 where I was tracking what xp requirements I needed for the next levelup.

From where I have sequential numbers (ie, when I didnt get two levels at a time) I get a value of 400000 per level.

The character screen xp requirement goes up by 100000 per level in bt2/rem

Thus 4x.

OK, loading up some some more empirical numbers:
BT3c64, xp 18million = level 57
BT2r, xp 17m6 = level 188
so between 3 and 4 times.

I'll go murder some stuff in the emulator and get an exact figure for the levelup

(a bit of murdering later:)
lvl 58 @ 18m2
lvl 59 @ 18m6

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Zadkiel » October 29th, 2018, 8:01 am

BT3 had a different levelling curve than BT1&BT2. It did max out at 400k per level, BT1&BT2 maxed at 200k

So you can't really say we are gaining XP 4x faster, if you're comparing BT3 originals vs BT1&2 remastered.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by HawkSlayer » October 29th, 2018, 8:53 am

I concur, in BT1 and BT2 the only classes that needed more than 200,000 per level were sorcerer and wizard. The obvious work around for all BT 1 veterans was to make 1 Conjurer, 1 Magician, and then work them through SOR, WIZ and finally come back to MAG and CON learning each others starter profession so they would level up as fast as every one else past 13.

I chose to reset the characters to level 1 because I didn't want to start BT2 with level 36 characters. I did use the bank and good ol Garth to have nice loot available though! I could have sworn originally when players finished the beginner dungeon in BT2 that any mage was promoted to ARCHMAGE with all lower spell levels granted to them even if they skipped higher levels for some classes.
(Perhaps this was the reward for the starter dungeon of BT3 and not BT2 but it was true for one or the other on C64).

I digress. What I noticed is that with the 3 mage strategy and with RIME being promoted to BT3 power as an all group spell instead of 1 group.. I run a LOT LESS. Anytime there's more than 20 enemies that aren't filled with demon lord summoners and nasty master mage types:: (F)ight , FLAMEHORN, RIME< RIME < RIME... meelee off whomever survived in round 2 as they all wield critical/stoning weapons. Also, with zero loading times, it's not a burden to do this, resulting in faster leveling while the auto mapping saves hours and hours having to remember only to SCSI to mark teleports.

In general, it has allowed for smooth leveling and my team is level 38 in the Maze of Dread so far. I feel no need to regrind levels or zones in BT2 because the effort to map most of the dungeons and not run all the time provides a good leveling pace. Rimefang removed some of the difficultly and grindy-ness of BT2 in particular though. In that way in particular, XP is easier. Not so much that they are leveling 'too easy too quick'

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by kaypy » October 29th, 2018, 9:02 am

Zadkiel wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 8:01 am
BT3 had a different levelling curve than BT1&BT2. It did max out at 400k per level, BT1&BT2 maxed at 200k
Really? Huh. I'd never noticed that. What happens when you transfer, do you get given a bunch of XP free or do you wind up having to grind out the difference before you get any levels? (Or just get "enough" from Brilhasti to deal with any discrepancy)

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Zadkiel » October 29th, 2018, 9:28 am

kaypy wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 9:02 am
Zadkiel wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 8:01 am
BT3 had a different levelling curve than BT1&BT2. It did max out at 400k per level, BT1&BT2 maxed at 200k
Really? Huh. I'd never noticed that. What happens when you transfer, do you get given a bunch of XP free or do you wind up having to grind out the difference before you get any levels? (Or just get "enough" from Brilhasti to deal with any discrepancy)
No idea. I never transferred between games as I changed platforms (BT1 C64, BT2 Amiga, Dos BT3) and when I replayed them on emulators later I only played them as single games. My expectation would be that the transfer code would keep the level and recalculate the XP.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by ybkara » October 29th, 2018, 12:24 pm

Leveling in the remakes is much, much faster then the originals, to be sure - but that 100K/level is probably the least important piece of it.

The non-existant loading times for fights, increasing text speed to near instant, and raising the monsters-per-group cap past the limits of the C64 is probably the most effective past of speed leveling. The stat cap of 20 helps a lot with just gaining hp+sp, as well - you basically get +2 to HP/SP per level over the originals now - which is very significant over the long haul.. and those new bard songs, like "spell song" - does help melt monsters - as does having effective single-group wizard spells in the first one. (Wizard war/force focus)

Adding in a "Please insert dungeon disk 2 to continue" prompt would go a long way to restoring the old balance - but I'd rather hope we don't do that. :>

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Drool » October 29th, 2018, 1:59 pm

kaypy wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 9:02 am
Really? Huh. I'd never noticed that. What happens when you transfer, do you get given a bunch of XP free or do you wind up having to grind out the difference before you get any levels? (Or just get "enough" from Brilhasti to deal with any discrepancy)
You should get more than enough from Brihasti to make up any difference.
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Re: XP too easy?

Post by rakenan » October 31st, 2018, 6:30 pm

XP is definitely too easy compared to my Commodore 64 version. Playing in an emulator, and thus way faster than playing on the actual system, it's taking forever to even get to level 3. I don't know how my 14 year old self managed to play the game, I'm having impulses to dangerous behavior (like not running from an encounter with more than 1 Barbarian) already all these years later. I guess I was used to things going slow back then, since my C64 was my main computer and entertainment console.
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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Parody » November 1st, 2018, 1:57 am

I checked out a lot of books from the library to read while playing various Commodore games (or at least waiting for them to load!) Later on I got JiffyDOS which helped quite a bit. :)

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Drool » November 1st, 2018, 10:58 am

Part of the problem was actually the disk drive. I don't remember the reasons (8Bit Guy probably has a video explaining), but a lot of the hold up was the drive being so damn slow.
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Re: XP too easy?

Post by rakenan » November 1st, 2018, 11:04 am

Drool wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
Part of the problem was actually the disk drive. I don't remember the reasons (8Bit Guy probably has a video explaining), but a lot of the hold up was the drive being so damn slow.
Even with the emulated 1541 drive running much faster than the real thing, the C64 version is still insanely slow compared to a modern system running the remaster.
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Re: XP too easy?

Post by Zadkiel » November 1st, 2018, 12:14 pm

rakenan wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 11:04 am
Drool wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
Part of the problem was actually the disk drive. I don't remember the reasons (8Bit Guy probably has a video explaining), but a lot of the hold up was the drive being so damn slow.
Even with the emulated 1541 drive running much faster than the real thing, the C64 version is still insanely slow compared to a modern system running the remaster.
You have to be careful changing drive emulation speeds, I know this from personal experience specifically with Bard's Tale games. About 4-5 years ago I played the games through again and chose to do BT2 on the Amiga via WinUAE. As the game went on I got more and more frustrated with the load times (even opening a character sheet triggers ¬10s of disk access - exploring a city triggers it every single time you enter a building, also at the start of every encounter and every time the first monster group changes) and ended up adjusting the emulated drive speed to make it 2x faster - this worked for a while but ended up corrupting the save and I ended up losing it completely, didn't want to start over and that was that.

In terms of the real hardware, yes Commodore screwed up badly. The 1541 was actually insanely good hardware and capable of kicking the ass of every other 5.25" drive out there at the time, but commodore had messed up with the 1540 Drive for the Vic-20 and couldn't get it properly talking to the I/O chip inside the Vic-20 and so to get it out the door they put in a software 'bodge' and wrote the I/O routine in ROM and ran it on the CPU, which performed terribly compared to the designed interface on the IO chip. That should have been the end of it, but when Commodore released the C64 and 1541 drive the sales department INSISTED that the C64 be compatible with the 1540 drive so they could sell the C64 as being a cheap upgrade for Vic-20 owners, and the only way they could get that working was to basically copy the ROM code and run the disk IO on the C64 the same way.

The 1541 was capable of transferring over 4kb/s, but moving the disk IO to the CPU to make it 1540 compatible reduced the throughput to about 500b/s, 1/8th of its potential. In comparison the C64 tape drive worked at about 300b/s - meaning the 1541 was cabale of being 13x faster than the tape but instead wasn't even twice as fast.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by ad1066 » November 1st, 2018, 1:22 pm

Zadkiel wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 12:14 pm
rakenan wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 11:04 am
Drool wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
Part of the problem was actually the disk drive. I don't remember the reasons (8Bit Guy probably has a video explaining), but a lot of the hold up was the drive being so damn slow.
Even with the emulated 1541 drive running much faster than the real thing, the C64 version is still insanely slow compared to a modern system running the remaster.
You have to be careful changing drive emulation speeds, I know this from personal experience specifically with Bard's Tale games. About 4-5 years ago I played the games through again and chose to do BT2 on the Amiga via WinUAE. As the game went on I got more and more frustrated with the load times (even opening a character sheet triggers ¬10s of disk access - exploring a city triggers it every single time you enter a building, also at the start of every encounter and every time the first monster group changes) and ended up adjusting the emulated drive speed to make it 2x faster - this worked for a while but ended up corrupting the save and I ended up losing it completely, didn't want to start over and that was that.

In terms of the real hardware, yes Commodore screwed up badly. The 1541 was actually insanely good hardware and capable of kicking the ass of every other 5.25" drive out there at the time, but commodore had messed up with the 1540 Drive for the Vic-20 and couldn't get it properly talking to the I/O chip inside the Vic-20 and so to get it out the door they put in a software 'bodge' and wrote the I/O routine in ROM and ran it on the CPU, which performed terribly compared to the designed interface on the IO chip. That should have been the end of it, but when Commodore released the C64 and 1541 drive the sales department INSISTED that the C64 be compatible with the 1540 drive so they could sell the C64 as being a cheap upgrade for Vic-20 owners, and the only way they could get that working was to basically copy the ROM code and run the disk IO on the C64 the same way.

The 1541 was capable of transferring over 4kb/s, but moving the disk IO to the CPU to make it 1540 compatible reduced the throughput to about 500b/s, 1/8th of its potential. In comparison the C64 tape drive worked at about 300b/s - meaning the 1541 was cabale of being 13x faster than the tape but instead wasn't even twice as fast.
Also, when the C128 came along, they fixed the issue... but only when running the machine in native 128 mode. In order to maintain complete backwards-compatibility, a C128 running in C64 Emulation mode (which you had to do to run just about any game that wasn't explicitly written for the 128, like Ultima 5) also replicated the older behavior for accessing the drive. So frustrating.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by miasma » November 1st, 2018, 2:29 pm

The faster leveling up makes the game so much more tolerable than the originals. I guess when we were kids playing these games, it didn't matter as much because we had so much more free time (summer vacations, etc.) As adults, though, the amount of time we can devote to playing a video game is pretty limited and for that, I'm really glad Krome halved the XP requirements.

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Re: XP too easy?

Post by KorganBloodAxe » November 2nd, 2018, 2:55 pm

I think I would prefer a consistent XP curve across all 3 games in the remastered version. Keep the current xp curve till level 13. Then it might make sense to make it gradually increase though i.e. 100k for the first 5 beyond 13, then 200k, then 300k, then 400k. So at level 33+ you are on to the original BT3 xp curve and it stop s increasing after that. Or possibly smaller increments i.e. 50k jumps every 5 levels. The first 20 levels are the most difficult for new players so that should be kept easy like it is now.
Drool wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 1:59 pm
You should get more than enough from Brihasti to make up any difference.
When I originally played back on the c64 version - I think after killing Brilhasti (and other farming) about 20-30 times I had a party around level 25 or so with some archmages, not sure about other versions. The next few worlds were a decent challenge.

When I played BT3 on PC much later my character became gods after killing Brilhasti a single time.The PC version must of given massively more xp than the c64 version. I pretty much went through every world except the last couple with ease. It essentially made the entire game a cakewalk. I guess if could of been a bug I experienced but it sounds like from your comment this is what actually happened by design, that killing Brilhasti took you to end of BT2 levels of power.

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