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Default Bard's Tale I - The Classics Return

August 21st, 2018, 10:32
@ JDR (I have to put in the space or the board acts up)

Having played them before isn't required for nostalgia about how "CRPGs used to be".

From my perspective - as a person who tends to prefer the latest evolution in game design, instead of going back to something that's been done better (even if certain great old concepts are lost along the way) - ~80% of the Watch consist of people who're sort of stuck in the past in this way.

I know that sounds like an insult - and there's no way to present that point of view without it being hard to swallow, but there it is. It is by NO MEANS an insult - I just find it endearing.

You, JDR, seem to be one of the members here that are more open to modern approaches to game design. I would be curious to hear your thoughts about the game after finishing it. I would love to hear how you think it compares to games like Wizardry 8 - which I know you're very fond of.
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August 21st, 2018, 10:33
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Did I say there was a problem with nostalgia being a factor? Obviously not. I'm simply stating that it is inaccurate to assume that the only reason players are approaching this game and enjoying it is out of nostalgia. A high percentage? Sure. But good gameplay arguably transcends such things.
Oh, I would definitely agree with that. I would also never say bad things about Bard's Tale gameplay within the context of its time. I loved it to death.

I just think the genre has progressed very significant since then, is all. So, given that life is very, very short - and we have hundreds of games in our backlog that are all great, I wouldn't personally want to go back to BT in a serious way.

But that's me
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August 21st, 2018, 10:44
I don't think I need to finish it to know that it's not going to compare favorably, in terms of game design, to a game that was developed 16 years later.

But I don't think that's what anyone, other than you, is talking about here.

It really just boils down to whether or not people are enjoying it. Most people don't care about how evolved a game is as long as they're having fun. I don't often go back to the classics either, but this is a rare case for me, plus I never played the BT trilogy myself.

I don't know if I'll enjoy it enough to actually play through the trilogy, but I'll certainly post my thoughts once I get deeper into it. I'm currently waiting for the first patch as it seems to be significant.
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August 21st, 2018, 10:53
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
A script to handle fights in a game about fights? The irony
Only the simplest fights. Of course you are not going to use this on pretty much any battle that requires thought. And besides, you still get to watch the outcome of the fight.
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August 21st, 2018, 10:54
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't think I need to finish it to know that it's not going to compare favorably, in terms of game design, to a game that was developed 16 years later.

But I don't think that's what anyone, other than you, is talking about here.

It really just boils down to whether or not people are enjoying it. Most people don't care about how evolved a game is as long as they're having fun. I don't often go back to the classics either, but this is a rare case for me, plus I never played the BT trilogy myself.

I don't know if I'll enjoy it enough to actually play through the trilogy, but I'll certainly post my thoughts once I get deeper into it. I'm currently waiting for the first patch as it seems to be significant.
I don't know why you always feel the need to point out what others might be thinking or saying.

Right now, I'm exchanging with you - and not others. While your interpretation of what others are saying or doing is fascinating - I like to let people think for themselves and state their own opinions

Certainly, I think there's been quite the undercurrent of people not recognizing how quaint the mechanics are, but that's MY interpretation - and it's not something people would necessarily own up to, either.

Anyway, I'm glad you do understand my point and that games really HAVE evolved since Bard's Tale.

Then you should have some concept of what I'm trying to say - and that's that BT is being played either largely due to nostalgia about "the old days of CRPGs" or a lack of demand for gameplay evolution - or both.

That's really all there is to it. If you think that's obvious - then I guess we agree.

Though, to emulate your style - I don't necessarily think it's obvious to "others".
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August 21st, 2018, 11:03
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
I don't know why you always feel the need to point out what others might be thinking or saying.

Right now, I'm exchanging with you - and not others. While your interpretation of what others are saying or doing is fascinating - I like to let people think for themselves and state their own opinions

Certainly, I think there's been quite the undercurrent of people not recognizing how quaint the mechanics are, but that's MY interpretation - and it's not something people would necessarily own up to, either.

Anyway, I'm glad you do understand my point and that games really HAVE evolved since Bard's Tale.

Then you should have some concept of what I'm trying to say - and that's that BT is being played either largely due to nostalgia about "the old days of CRPGs" or a lack of demand for gameplay evolution - or both.

That's really all there is to it. If you think that's obvious - then I guess we agree.

Though, to emulate your style - I don't necessarily think it's obvious to "others".
Perhaps you could point out where someone else here was talking about game design. I might have missed it.

As far as to what you're trying to say, I think it's definitely both.

I'd also say that the mechanics being quaint is simply something that a lot of people don't care about. It's not that they don't recognize it.
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August 21st, 2018, 11:12
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Perhaps you could point out where someone else here was talking about game design. I might have missed it.

As far as to what you're trying to say, I'd say say it's definitely both.

I'd also say that the mechanics being quaint is simply something that a lot of people don't care about. It's not that they don't recognize it.
Why would it be required, though? It's relevant to the point I'm making. I don't understand why others must have talked about it openly

But, leaving that aside - it seems we largely agree.

As for specifics in terms of what makes people enjoy BT - I'd say that's subjective. I don't like to get too specific about people I've never met - or how nostalgia works for them and how demanding they are when it comes to game design.

What I consider design evolution will doubtlessly seem like devolution to a lot of people on the Watch - so things will start to blur and get very confusing.

If I had to mention one thing, I'd say turn-based party combat in a blobber is much richer in a game like Wizardry 8 (or 6 and 7 for that matter) than anything in Bard's Tale. But, then, I consider Wizardry quaint as well - and I personally prefer a very different flow. But that's where we enter blurry territory because is Wiz 8 better than, say, MM6? If you focus on the tactical combat, then certainly - I would suggest so. But if you look at the "overall" experience and the general flow of gameplay, I personally VASTLY prefer MM6.

So, that's too complicated for us to really conclude anything for certain.

Suffice to say I don't think people necessarily consider BT mechanics quaint like you and I do. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the fans would argue they're better than many modern iterations, if for no other reason - then simply how well they flow and the "elegance of simplicity".
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August 21st, 2018, 11:25
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I'm simply stating that it is inaccurate to assume that the only reason players are approaching this game and enjoying it is out of nostalgia. A high percentage? Sure. But good gameplay arguably transcends such things.

I never said nolstalgia was the only reason, but it's definitely the biggest reason. Nothing about Bards Tale could still be considered great in this day and age. To take it a step further, much better games surpassed it after only a couple years.

If you're feeling nolstalgic or have played every other CRPG in the past 30 years, then this might be a good game in 2018. If that's not the case, it's not worth the time.
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August 21st, 2018, 11:27
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
Why would it be required, though? It's relevant to the point I'm making. I don't understand why others must have talked about it openly

But, leaving that aside - it seems we largely agree.

As for specifics in terms of what makes people enjoy BT - I'd say that's subjective. I don't like to get too specific about people I've never met - or how nostalgia works for them and how demanding they are when it comes to game design.

What I consider design evolution will doubtlessly seem like devolution to a lot of people on the Watch - so things will start to blur and get very confusing.

If I had to mention one thing, I'd say turn-based party combat in a blobber is much richer in a game like Wizardry 8 (or 6 and 7 for that matter) than anything in Bard's Tale. But, then, I consider Wizardry quaint as well - and I personally prefer a very different flow. But that's where we enter blurry territory because is Wiz 8 better than, say, MM6? If you focus on the tactical combat, then certainly - I would suggest so. But if you look at the "overall" experience and the general flow of gameplay, I personally VASTLY prefer MM6.

So, that's too complicated for us to really conclude anything for certain.

Suffice to say I don't think people necessarily consider BT mechanics quaint like you and I do. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the fans would argue they're better than many modern iterations, if for no other reason - then simply how well they flow and the "elegance of simplicity".
Fair enough. It didn't seem relevant to what I thought we were discussing at the time, but the focus has drifted now, and that's fine.

I can't imagine many people arguing that game mechanics haven't come a long way, but I'm aware of the kind of irrational people you're referring to.

Still, some people might just prefer an older or simpler style for whatever reason. I don't, but I still like to occasionally check out some of the classics I missed back in the day just to see how far we've come.
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August 21st, 2018, 19:55
The Bard's Tale series still have all the essential parts of a good dungeon crawler.

Find a good party mix with the right gear and spells to beat the dungeons.

You write the story yourself by winning the game.

I also like the huge random factors in the game, that are much closer to PnP-RPGs.
Like the random attribute-leveling, random enemy groups and random, difficult to disarm chests.
No healing potions, mana potions and no easy teleports back home is also a great plus. You have to plan how to get into the dungeon AND to get healthy out of it.

The most difficult parts back then were
  • to map the game
  • solve riddles to advance
  • saving only at the inn
due to automapping, the internet and the remake changes these parts are now gone, but the game is still fun and modern game developers can still learn from it.
I recommend to save only at the inn, only then you get the real "dungeon feeling".
Last edited by HiddenX; August 21st, 2018 at 20:26.
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August 22nd, 2018, 01:08
The problem with saving only 'at the Inn' is that people like me can't always play for long periods of time, or we get interrupted by RL and NEED to stop playing. Now losing a couple of hours of game play may not seem much to you youngsters, but at my age I can't afford to lose the time!!
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August 22nd, 2018, 01:17
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
The problem with saving only 'at the Inn' is that people like me can't always play for long periods of time, or we get interrupted by RL and NEED to stop playing. Now losing a couple of hours of game play may not seem much to you youngsters, but at my age I can't afford to lose the time!!
You young bloods always need to be coddled these days. Half the challenge was making it back to the Inn alive. Don't remember if BT allowed you create a rescue party to save your lost one. You have to manager your resources people! That kobold on level 1 wasn't big and scary when you first went in, but when your spellness mage is the last one dragging the coffins out the door…

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August 22nd, 2018, 02:19
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
The most difficult parts back then were
  • to map the game
due to automapping, the internet and the remake changes these parts are now gone, but the game is still fun and modern game developers can still learn from it.
I recommend to save only at the inn, only then you get the real "dungeon feeling".
Also never open the journal or the maps screen. To this day I remember the despair after realizing that I was hit by one of those spinner traps and had to erase half the map on the graph paper and start over.
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August 22nd, 2018, 10:53
Thanks for the response to my question, everyone! I think I will give this one a pass.

And I believe Fluent left Watch, he shows up as unregistered user.
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August 22nd, 2018, 19:58
There just has been a patch which looks to be quite big in terms of number of changes:

https://steamcommunity.com/games/843…59455405718635
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August 22nd, 2018, 20:08
That's a pretty big patch. Keep up the hard work, I'll be hitting this one next I believe.
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August 22nd, 2018, 20:09
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Thanks for the response to my question, everyone! I think I will give this one a pass.

And I believe Fluent left Watch, he shows up as unregistered user.
Don't give it a pass! Its a remake of one of the most important games evah!

All your friends at Bioware would have played it for months on end.
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August 22nd, 2018, 20:10
Added "large view mode" for 16:10 and wider aspect ratios. It was already available for 21:9 mode. This can be found in the Gameplay tab of the settings.
Can the window be expanded to full screen? As much as I hated that in Wizardry 4, it makes more sense in modern games.
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August 22nd, 2018, 21:03
Some really nice QOL improvements in that patch. The large view mode is quite nice. Also, the ability to equip a bow and a melee weapon at the same time is a huge buff to my rogue and hunter.
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August 22nd, 2018, 21:59
I was just playing and my hunter can now equip both? Sweet and I like the new view a lot. The mouse click is nice also where options are greyed out.
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