Combat & Conversation

Discuss any Adventure Modules for the IB2 Engine

Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:47 am

So, gonna start my journey into Let'S go down to Dungeon Town (1.01) now :D .

I will spam this thread with my impressions as I play, (sorry for the clutter :roll: :lol: ) this way no feedback is lost:

1. Good readme in install directory - made me curious right from the start (eg the trait names sound very exotic and make me want to know more about them). Rations being consumed after battle is a nice twist on the default ration system, too.

2. Wow, the module picture with the pyramid of character protraits has a great Star Wars poster vibe for me.

3. Module description is missing - a little line about it couldn't hurt here (or maybe we add the option to not show the module description header at all to the engine).

4. I was a bit confused because of the many differnet module files contained in the moduel directory. These also spam the module selction menu a bit with multilple instances of LGDTDT... let's say DT :D .

5. My dying laptop will not allow me to play sound and music, but I had a short listen to some some msuic on my Desktop already - so good :D , really masterfully done and a very valuable extra layer of atmosphere.

6.The ingame guides (beginners, players) have formatting issues. I must check the reason later on (change in engine or sue use of html tags).

7. The customized ui (buttons, ornaments, highlights...) is awesome and perfectly fits the style of the portraits (nd map later on).

8. All black and white is a stylistic choice and I really like the contrast it makes to the classic Gold Box look. Greatly shows of the diversity in styles possible with the engine. That said, adding selected colored Highlight here and there might make it easier to get details in the art and keep the watcher's attention. Then again that's very subjective and adding color would obviously not fit with the style and atmosphere chosen.

9. You need to add yourself as author in the credits, fair is fair ;) .

10. More an idea for engine development, we might add a minimum number of required characters property (without having this number in party, the build party screen cannot be left).

11. What an impressive number of creative traits -big applause for this. I really like how you work with attribute requirements for traits, rewarding balanced attributes for example.

12. While the number of traits is impressive, it is also a bit intimidating to ahve that much choice right at the start, especially as four characters have to be made.

Edit: done with this post, see below.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:42 am

Marvelous adventure and rpgsystem building, Zach. I am deeply impressed here.

I am still quite at the beginning (still not even entered the mountain), and already it is catching me big time with the fresh and very clever writing. The whole setup and atmosphete feel very unique, which is hard to achieve in this day and age of media overkill.

Furthermore, you did an outstanding job using the deeper rooted possibilities of the engine and lots if great balancing work.

I love eg the tactical option with a certain trait to influence the party start position in battle, very creative. Weapons are greatly balanced out via additional positive and negative attribute, to hit, range and other modifiers.

Oh, the debbugging square is a superb building setup. Will use the same one fine day I build again myself.

I am already getting ideas for engine improvements and bug fixes:
- modifying effects from usage traits/spells are not correctly applied on the pc (at least with free action, one turn duration types)
- sold items of shopkeeper leave a blank entry with gold price 1
- mire fine tuning options fir free action, like properties that do not allow the zsage of the same free action in the same turn or even any other free action
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby zach_holbrook » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:11 am

Wow, thanks for all the feedback! Fantastic. I will respond more extensively tomorrow (just landed in Hawaii!). I'm especially interested in hearing more about the traits that aren't working.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:29 pm

Hawaii sounds amazing, good times inbound :D !

I will keep you in the loop on the trait issue/adding more options to traits.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:06 pm

The Adrenaline Surge trait (+5 STR for 1 round, free action) was the one that made me look deeper into the current system:

When the trait is used, this effect will come into play only next turn. This felt a bit unintuitive, as I expected without thinking that it would work right off the bat (for attack in the very same turn). I changed the engine code now so that effects are directly applied. So, traits that are free actions will be useful in the very same round they are used now.

At the moment this has the drawback that a duration of 1 round means current turn and next turn. I must see whether a duration 0 would have the desired effect already (effect only applied in this turn). For defensive effects, like AC,using a duration of 1 would be better fitting (protecting for the round between the turns).

Another observation was that Adrenaline Surge stacks, so you can build a very huge bonus by using it multiple times. This might be intended though and can be controlled via the isStackableEffect property.

Finally, I will try to get two new properties in, like: canOnlyBeUsedOnceEachTurn and blocksFurtherFreeActionThisTurn. These should grant some nice fine control and balance options (or so I hope :) ).
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:48 pm

DoBuff and DoDeBuff properties of effects will be needed again (they were flagged as non-used in toolset, but I will change this back). Otherwise buffs with duration 0, ie only applied in the very turn they are created, would not be recognized otherwise.

The new properties canOnlyBeUsedOnceEachTurn and blocksFurtherFreeActionThisTurn wll technically be spell properties (usable traits refer to spells). An encounter will get two new variables, too, then: a list<string> alreadyUsedOneTimeSpells and a bool noMoreFreActionThisTurn. Both will be cleared/set to false at the start of a new turn of a pc/creature.

The spell/trait selection screen flags spells/traits as unvailable based on list<string> alreadyUsedOneTimeSpells and noMoreFreActionThisTurn (like eg as not having enough spell points does, too).

Edit: I might also add a dicitionary (spelltag, cooldown) as new player chaarcter variable, to realize spell and trait usage cooldown.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby zach_holbrook » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:42 pm

Responding to some of the first observations, and then I'll dive into the trait discussion! It's 5 am in Hawaii but I'm still on New York time.

"Module description is missing" -- yeah, this is something I'll write up. I like the idea of having it here so personally don't need a module description option. I guess part of not including it now is I'm still not sure whether I want to release D-T in installment or not.

"Many different module files contained in the module directory" -- Yes! It's not intentional... I think it comes from using OneDrive and multiple computers to work on the game. There should really just be one.

Glad you like the music and other custom stuff! Color *is* very useful -- I might be able to find more uses for it in battles especially.

"In-game guides have formatting issues" -- yeah, these are far from finished. A lot of the game systems will need documentation -- and I imagine I'll keep tweaking these until that day comes. I think the only thing that's in there now is the readme (without html).

"It is a bit intimidating to have that much choice at the start" -- Absolutely. This confirms my hunch that there was too much. Another problem is that the class-based traits get lost in the shuffle, and many of the game's special dialogs come from these being selected, and having so many traits means that more players won't be seeing these. I need to rework the trait selection process and make it more tree-like (for starters, I think I'll save the +1 Attribute traits for 3rd or 4th level).

"We might add a minimum number of required characters property (without having this number in party, the build party screen cannot be left)." I love this idea.

I am glad you are liking the writing and style and my exploration of IceBlink mechanics. It's very fun to try to balance things.

Ah... I didn't know where the blank shopkeeper items were coming from. Good to know.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby zach_holbrook » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:05 pm

I just tested Captain's Horn (+1 Attack Bonus, not losing turn), and it seems to be working on the same turn for the PC who uses it -- I wonder why the traits weren't? Regardless, if you've tweaked the engine and it's working now then you've made this a non-issue. If I understand correctly, duration of 0 now means that the effect ends with the character's turn (good for power buffs)? And duration of 1 round (6) means that the effect ends at the end of the character's next turn (good for defense buffs)?

It was entirely possible with the old system to pile up the buffs. It's far cleaner and more balanced to have these traits not stackable with themselves. Thank you mightily!
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby youngneil1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:09 pm

If I understand correctly, duration of 0 now means that the effect ends with the character's turn (good for power buffs)? And duration of 1 round (6) means that the effect ends at the end of the character's next turn (good for defense buffs)?


Yes, exactly (at least with next beta :) ). Good wording there for power and defense buffs to explain the difference :) .

I just tested Captain's Horn (+1 Attack Bonus, not losing turn), and it seems to be working on the same turn for the PC who uses it -- I wonder why the traits weren't?


Item stat modifiers use some different code (not effects excatly) and this code updates stats in the moment of usage already. It's a bit messy behind the scenes (my coding, not Jer's), but at least it works halfwhat so far (with lots of duct tape around it :lol: )).

It was entirely possible with the old system to pile up the buffs. It's far cleaner and more balanced to have these traits not stackable with themselves. Thank you mightily!

A pleasure :) .

The way you use the "free action" traits has inspired me to expand on this system a bit. I will write more later in the beta thread. It's basically about distinguishing between "standard action" (like attack or normal cast, ends turn), "free action" (traits or spells flagged as such; there's no limit to the number of free actions doable in a turn; but an author will be able flag a spell/trait as not repeaptable in the same turn) and "swift action" (traits or spells flagged as such; only one swift action per turn is possible at all). It leans on the D&D/OGL way and I hope it will create intersting choice options in the battles.
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Re: Combat & Conversation

Postby zach_holbrook » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:27 am

I like the standard, free, and swift action language. Having more options is great, and I really like the idea, again, of having a cap on the number of non-standard actions. (Not least because it's more difficult to aim for and test balance if such powers are unlimited! :D ).

By the way, what classes did you select?
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