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Interview Bard's Tale interview at GameBanshee

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
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Messages
28,023
Tags: Bard's Tale (2005); InXile Entertainment

<a href=http://www.gamebanshee.com>GameBanshee</a> has posted an <a href=http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/thebardstale1.php>interview</a> with <a href=http://www.inxile-entertainment.com>inXile</a>'s <b>Eric Flannum</b> about <a href=http://www.inxile-entertainment.com>Bard's Tale</a> aka <i>Role-Playing Redefined</i>
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<blockquote><b>Will players typically find their equipment while adventuring, or will much of it be purchased from merchants or even crafted? As a side note, can you tell us a bit about how inventory management will work overall?</b>
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Equipment is gained both while adventuring and from shopkeepers, we tried to keep things fairly split between the two. Our inventory system is so streamlined that it’s practically non-existent. We decided rather early that juggling items in the inventory and managing those 50 wolf pelts you picked up before you can go sell them to the shopkeeper just wasn’t something we wanted to focus on. To that end any non usable items that you pick up are instantly converted into silver for you. Each of our weapon and armor upgrade paths is also linear so if you find a new sword it is either going to be better, the same, or worse than what you currently have. If it is the same or worse we cash it in for you and if it is better we automatically equip it for you.</blockquote>
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And if I'm falling asleep from all the excitement, will you automatically swing my sword too?
 

LlamaGod

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Yes
so streamlined that it’s practically non-existent.

Fancy terms for 'dumbing it down' I guess.

We decided rather early that juggling items in the inventory and managing those 50 wolf pelts you picked up before you can go sell them to the shopkeeper just wasn’t something we wanted to focus on.

Yeah, godforbid you can buyl/sell/keep stacks of items. BETTER JUST GET RID OF THEM THEN.

To that end any non usable items that you pick up are instantly converted into silver for you.

The comedy in this is the monsters drop pelts that instantly convert into silver.. so why not just have the wolf drop silver? BECAUSE IT ISNT REALISTIC. So they have the wolf drop the pelt, BUT IT INSTANTLY TURNS TO SILVER. I swear these guys are the master of design.

Each of our weapon and armor upgrade paths is also linear so if you find a new sword it is either going to be better, the same, or worse than what you currently have. If it is the same or worse we cash it in for you and if it is better we automatically equip it for you.

Isn't it great when one of the features touted off is linearity? Are they trying to make people not want to play it over? When you think about it linearity is pretty silly for a console game, especially action. The reason being is rentals, nobody smart will buy if it they can beat it in 3 days on a rental (which sounds like Bard's Tale's fate).
 

Sirus

Liturgist
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Jul 12, 2004
Messages
840
Hmm... sounds good. I hate having to run to shopkeepers to sell all my stuff.
 

xemous

Arcane
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Location
AU
xbox controller to difficult to cycle through items and manage and inventory
thats why its all automatted
 

almondblight

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I'd rather automation than the illusion of choice. I'd rather have choice, but not heving to shleck back to a merchant isn't something that's going to bother me. Just like I don't give a damn about dialogue choices when they all lead to the same end (NPC giving you a quest normally).
 

Country_Gravy

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Up Yours
Wasteland 2
If this thread got any stupider it would be in a coma.

Their inventory system sounds about as weak as it gets. I'll pass.
 

FireWolf

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What's this about using items with others or giving the PC the opportunity to make the wrong choices? All items should contribute to your ability to hit stuff. In order to remove the need to think about what you're doing, selling stuff is now automated. Wouldn't it be terrible if you had to engage your brain for more than 5 seconds to figure out whether or not it's a better idea to sell a pelt to a tailor than to a green grocer.

The future of console gaming is the one button control pad.
 

almondblight

Arcane
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Messages
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FireWolf said:
In order to remove the need to think about what you're doing, selling stuff is now automated.

So what, there's a lot of thinking going on in "is it better to sell to the guy offering 10 g or the guy offering 12g?" Really, what's the strategy involved in hauling junk back to sell? Maybe I've just been missing out on a huge element of games, but to me it doesn't seem like there's much thought process involved in "sell rubies to shopkeeper A".
 

Fez

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Messages
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I hope they have AI scripts that I can turn on for the PC, so I can go and make some coffee while I wait for it to finish the game for me. Playing games is hard work and I can't stand making all those difficult choices. Save me from the tyranny.
 

almondblight

Arcane
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I can't wait for a game where you have to manually have the PC crap. Roleplaying powers!
 

Fez

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May 18, 2004
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Yes, they could make it into a mini-game using a control method similar to the B&W and Arx Fatalis spell casting systems. Get deep into that crevice now! A poor wiping session could lead to stat penalties, most likely to charisma due to the smell. Conversely a high quality wiping could give bonuses to you character.

Search throughout the fallen empire for new and fabulous tools to aid your quest of a clean rear end. Work up from strips of tree bark and poisoned leaves up to the holy double-quilted, cotton soft tissue, blessed by the gods.

You could train with masters to help build up your skills and add special abilities, such as duel wielding or use of advanced bidets.

I think it is high time that developers listen to the fans crying out for this. We demand a new inventory slot! A new level of roleplaying!
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
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Messages
28,023
almondblight said:
I'd rather automation than the illusion of choice. I'd rather have choice, but not heving to shleck back to a merchant isn't something that's going to bother me. Just like I don't give a damn about dialogue choices when they all lead to the same end (NPC giving you a quest normally).
So what, there's a lot of thinking going on in "is it better to sell to the guy offering 10 g or the guy offering 12g?" Really, what's the strategy involved in hauling junk back to sell? Maybe I've just been missing out on a huge element of games, but to me it doesn't seem like there's much thought process involved in "sell rubies to shopkeeper A".
I can't wait for a game where you have to manually have the PC crap. Roleplaying powers!
3 posts in a row, each one demonstrates the failure to get a clue. It's not the auto selling part that bothers people, it's the auto choosing what to keep and what to sell. First, it shows that the items you get are useless. Second, as Saint pointed out many times, the items are poorly designed because there is no way you can decide which Diablo item is better just by running an algorithm as they affect so many different things and these effects could be important to many different characters creating different tactics. A fast low damage weapon vs a slow high damage weapon. An item that gives attack bonuses vs an item that gives health/defense bonuses. A knockback weapons? A leach weapon? An armor that freezes attackers vs an armor with elemental protection? It's IMPOSSIBLE to say which item is better, because neither one is. Deciding which item works better for you is an important part of a game. Streamlining it into something as stupid as described above is an example of poor design.
 

Spazmo

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Oh, it's actually very easy to do--you just need to have really bland weapons. It's hard to choose between a freezing high damage fast weapon with skill bonuses versus a weapon that hits often and boosts your hit points (or whatever), but when all you have is "sword", "better sword", "even better sword", "shiny better sword", "really shiny better sword" and so on, it gets simpler.
 

almondblight

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Vault Dweller said:
3 posts in a row, each one demonstrates the failure to get a clue. It's not the auto selling part that bothers people, it's the auto choosing what to keep and what to sell. First, it shows that the items you get are useless. Second, as Saint pointed out many times, the items are poorly designed because there is no way you can decide which Diablo item is better just by running an algorithm as they affect so many different things and these effects could be important to many different characters creating different tactics. A fast low damage weapon vs a slow high damage weapon. An item that gives attack bonuses vs an item that gives health/defense bonuses. A knockback weapons? A leach weapon? An armor that freezes attackers vs an armor with elemental protection? It's IMPOSSIBLE to say which item is better, because neither one is. Deciding which item works better for you is an important part of a game. Streamlining it into something as stupid as described above is an example of poor design.

All points I agree with, except for the fact that the disagreement HASN'T BEEN ABOUT THE POOR STATE OF THE WEAPONRY. If someone said "man, only a linear progression of weaponry, this sucks" I'd have agreed. However, people are getting pissed off that you don't lug a bunch of useless crap back to town to sell. And I don't mind if someone likes lugging stuff back to town, even if I find it incredibly boring - however, in response to the fact that people find hauling the stuff back i haven't heard anyone defend it other than saying "it's dumbing down the game" and using strawman arguments like, "well, why don't they just play the entire game for us."
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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I don't know for certain, but we seem to basically consider that the weapons we find will each have diferent bonuses and different uses, when they might as well just carry improved bonuses with each new version. Ie, instead of getting three different, unique weapons which have their own specific bonuses, we could just as well get three different weapons, each maintaining the last one's values and just piling bonuses.

Now, if this is the case, automation will work. If however, you're getting the first case scenario, what is better or worse becomes highly subjective and may even become frustrating if the game automatically decided for us. Ex.: I just found a +2 Burning Sword which is more powerful than my Sickle of Free Movement. The game instantly sells the sickle and gives me the sword, but the player could use the sickle as it would help him against the web-spinning spiders up ahead... Ooops.

A way to address this better in my opinion would be to just give the Bard a weapon which got stronger at specific points in the game, for whatever reason (it absorbs spirits, because the Bard learns new songs that can be used in it, etc).

In any case, there better be a good reason as to why the weapons are instantly sold.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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almondblight said:
And I don't mind if someone likes lugging stuff back to town, even if I find it incredibly boring - however, in response to the fact that people find hauling the stuff back i haven't heard anyone defend it other than saying "it's dumbing down the game" and using strawman arguments like, "well, why don't they just play the entire game for us."

I don't know. I find it's extremely simplified, and not really that good. I don't mind that the developers would create a way to lessen lenghtly travels from dungeon to towns in order to sell loot, but automated selling?

The Bard could meet up with travelling salesmen across the wilderness. Maybe even make it a recurring NPC with a one sided personality and a pet hamster so it would please the crowds. He could sell progressively better loot, and be found in convenient places. The Bard could learn a song that transmutated metal into gold, or a song that would open a dimensional door to the Plane of Merchants (I think Saint once suggested something like this last one).

Anything, except automatically selling things.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

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The state of insanity.
As much as I hated the game, Dungeon Seige did introduce something that I did enjoy, and that was the spell that let you turn an item into gold but you lost some of the sell value. That was decent. This auto sell thing is bullshit, and I have to say this is one game I won't be getting. As Role Player said, would be better if the Bard learned a song that let you turn stuff into gold and let you CHOOSE what you wanted to sell and wanted to keep.

But there is one thing people are forgetting: This game isn't even CLOSE to being a tribute to it's predecessors. I have yet to see one thing even coming close to being what the originals were except for the name. Whoopity f'ing doo! :roll:

Devil Whiskey is more of a Bard's Tale than this game is.
 

almondblight

Arcane
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Aug 10, 2004
Messages
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Role-Player said:

Well, I agree with you that it's not a great solution. I've thought about different ways to solve this problem (as it's bothered me on occasion). You could have the creatures drop gold 90% of the time, with the occasional item drop, but that would be close to the auto-selling, although it doesn't really bother me. You could also just have most item's you find not really be worth much (which makes some amount of sense to me, by the time you haul back the 50th +1 longsword the maker's not going to be given you as much for it). Honestly, though, I think the game should allow the player to make the money he needs just by doing work, something like the caravan jobs you could get from Fallout. The main difference though being that they should allow this early on with easier jobs that don't pay as much and have it scale throughout the game. I would also like to see less useless junk in the game in general (I usually end up with a bunch of different potions and random items I never use).
 

LlamaGod

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Why exactly do you have to go back to town to sell? Why not stop with a merchant on the way or stop while you need something at town? it's just silly because you have no control over your own items in the game.
 

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