Thoughts so far...

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moze229
Posts: 1

Thoughts so far...

Post by moze229 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:03 am

First off, I'd like to say that this game is great. It's an impressive feat for several reasons, not to mention the short amount of time it was developed (2010 -2011). For a one-developer game, I'm definitely impressed. I can tell that a lot of thought went into development, and while it's not perfect, what game is? This software is worth every bit of what is being charged for it and more.

There are several things that in my opinion, need to be addressed. The game mechanics themselves seem to be right on que. All of the rules seem fair, and appear to fall in line with a good playing experience. But I do have some questions/suggestions that perhaps I just don't understand or were put in place because of developer preference. (Nothing wrong with either one of these reasons).

1.) I understand why random encounters are placed, and I also understand why the "set" encounters are placed in certain areas of the maps. What I don't understand is why these encounters occur in scenarios that make no sense. If my level 17 party decides to take a stroll in the forest, why are they forced to fight 1 Asp in order to advance past a certain point? Really? For level 1-4 characters I understand. But level 17? Or 20? Or 50? This to me just wastes time for a higher level parties. You find yourself walking somewhere and get bothered by many set and random encounters that are basically a waste of time. Perhaps there is a way for the program to do a level check of the party and determine whether or not a challenge is required to advance. If I'm level 17 walking outside ruin camp, the program should know that I don't require an encounter with 5 rotten rats or a bear. It's just a waste of everyone's time. The opposing party has no chance.

2.) I also understand why trees and other objects need to be randomly and artistically placed in certain areas. Otherwise, the areas would be boring. What I don't understand is why I have to make out of the way trips around several obstacles to get into a common building or to take a path to a certain destination. In some towns, it seems as if some of the buildings are placed purposely to make navigation more difficult. Savage Crossing for example - to get to the shop, why do I have to take an obscure path to go into the back entrance, go through another building, then to the shop. I mean, if it wasn't for that one tree there, I could just walk through the door. What town would be set up like this? In Annsharbour, I can't just take straight paths where I need to go. Everything is a maze. To get from one side to the other, I have to take these round about ways to get there, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it other than to annoy the player. Some areas require defeating an enemy or solving a puzzle first which is understandable. However, this is usually not the case. I appreciate the creativity in this, but I think it is overused. This begins at the beginning of the game.

3.) I understand the reality of not having everything you need in every town. However, I think review boards and banks should be placed in all towns. Forcing a player to walk all the way to another town to advance a level or make a deposit/withdrawal is frustrating at best. It doesn't add any challenge or add to the storyline at all to make players walk all over Tarnak to do menial tasks. At least create a challenge to make the things eventually become available. (Fend off an offending monster or band of enemies).

4.) Why are arrows such a rare thing to find? Most shops don't even carry them!

5.) Item drops should be more frequent. From what I can tell, the number of items available seems to be fair, but rarely anything is found. And when items are found, they don't seem to always be level appropriate. Perhaps this becomes more frequent later in the game or I'm just unlucky. I do like how items can be enhanced with certain other items.

6.) I think the bard song "Traveller's Ditty" needs to be redesigned. This is, by far, the most powerful song in the game. With this song, one can advance almost all the way to the end of a dungeon/quest without having to fight anything. The set encounters and final encounter must still be faced, but this encourages players to try advancing too quickly and it may be easy to become frustrated without understanding why. The enemies placed in certain areas have to be fought for a while before advancing high enough to complete a given quest. I now use this song when going through areas that I've already completed to speed up encounters. (See number 1)

My mentioned comments are a very small part of the game, but play a large role in the overall experience. But I would like to thank Mario for the time and effort in creating this game. Thank you, thank you! Please make another :)

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icetear
Site Admin
Posts: 1387

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by icetear » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:36 pm

Thank you very much! I am very happy that you enjoy the game :D

Let's see if I can comment on some issues...
moze229 wrote: 1.) I understand why random encounters are placed, and I also understand why the "set" encounters are placed in certain areas of the maps. What I don't understand is why these encounters occur in scenarios that make no sense. If my level 17 party decides to take a stroll in the forest, why are they forced to fight 1 Asp in order to advance past a certain point? Really? For level 1-4 characters I understand. But level 17? Or 20? Or 50? This to me just wastes time for a higher level parties. You find yourself walking somewhere and get bothered by many set and random encounters that are basically a waste of time. Perhaps there is a way for the program to do a level check of the party and determine whether or not a challenge is required to advance. If I'm level 17 walking outside ruin camp, the program should know that I don't require an encounter with 5 rotten rats or a bear. It's just a waste of everyone's time. The opposing party has no chance.
Don't tell them! ;-)

One of the reasons for keeping those creatures around is the possibility of coming back later and kick some ass. I am no fan of scaled creatures (there are exceptions even in Silversword). I prefer getting kicked by high-level enemies, just to come back again when I have the means to pay back.
You can avoid the random encounters with the travelling song, and most of the fixed ones with a certain Paladin spell (later in the game). Along with your growing number of travelling spells you shouldn't get into too much trouble while on the road.
moze229 wrote: 2.) I also understand why trees and other objects need to be randomly and artistically placed in certain areas. Otherwise, the areas would be boring. What I don't understand is why I have to make out of the way trips around several obstacles to get into a common building or to take a path to a certain destination. In some towns, it seems as if some of the buildings are placed purposely to make navigation more difficult. Savage Crossing for example - to get to the shop, why do I have to take an obscure path to go into the back entrance, go through another building, then to the shop. I mean, if it wasn't for that one tree there, I could just walk through the door. What town would be set up like this? In Annsharbour, I can't just take straight paths where I need to go. Everything is a maze. To get from one side to the other, I have to take these round about ways to get there, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it other than to annoy the player. Some areas require defeating an enemy or solving a puzzle first which is understandable. However, this is usually not the case. I appreciate the creativity in this, but I think it is overused. This begins at the beginning of the game.
I am still arguing with the builder's guild about this issue! But they are such stubborn people I don't think this will change a lot in the future.
They told me that some buildings had to be rebuild on top of older ruins, and that things got complicated after the war and the frequent ambushes... so the roads are not straightened these days and some entrance was replaced by an emergency door.

As for myself... one of the very fond memories of times gone by is my ability to recall most of the dungeon maps from The Bard's Tale, Dungeon Master, Eye Of The Beholder and the like.
Maybe I just played the games too much. After some time of grinding, my brain replaces the actual layout of a map with a certain combination of direction keys. Waking up in the middle of the night, I can tell you what keys need to be pressed to get from Castle Cranbourgh to Savage Crossing. This might sound a bit dull/dumb, but for me it's kind of a mantra that I am able to recall in the future. I believe these mantras make up a big part of our (gameplaying) memories.
So - yes, it is sometimes annoying. But it has also a positive aspect (at least for me ;-) ). And maybe this will put Silversword in the personal hall-of-fame of recognized and memorized games for some player.
moze229 wrote: 3.) I understand the reality of not having everything you need in every town. However, I think review boards and banks should be placed in all towns. Forcing a player to walk all the way to another town to advance a level or make a deposit/withdrawal is frustrating at best. It doesn't add any challenge or add to the storyline at all to make players walk all over Tarnak to do menial tasks. At least create a challenge to make the things eventually become available. (Fend off an offending monster or band of enemies).
I will think about this. Every time I replay the game by myself (actually doing Grave Mound again) I find it quite challenging that not all services are available whenever you need them. But as with 2.) ... I really don't like the mainstreamed game design most RPGs nowadays have. Centralized services, always available, fast-travelling (if travelling at all), no need to use a map, no need to use your brain. What some players might find annoying, do others love. The first version of the game (back in 2011) was very different from the one you now play. There wasn't a "Charge" command to shorten battles, no travel spells, no "last 5 spells used" list. It was closer to the original Bard's Tale series - and that's what this whole game is about. I agree that adding some convenience was necessary to keep up with the player's expectations, but whenever suggestions for new functionality are made, I have to consider if they are a step in the right direction and don't move the game further away from the genre it represents.
moze229 wrote: 4.) Why are arrows such a rare thing to find? Most shops don't even carry them!
Sorry, it's too dangerous for the bowyers to collect wood right now. And the Comkarthian Empire has raised taxes on flying weapons - for whatever stupid bureaucratic reason.
moze229 wrote: 5.) Item drops should be more frequent. From what I can tell, the number of items available seems to be fair, but rarely anything is found. And when items are found, they don't seem to always be level appropriate. Perhaps this becomes more frequent later in the game or I'm just unlucky. I do like how items can be enhanced with certain other items.
No, they are not level appropriate. The items that you can find are determined by the level of the actual map (1-10). With some exceptions. It's related to luck, indeed. My goal was to enable the player to finish the game without too much grinding, and as far as I (and other players) can tell, the item drops are ok. So, please be patient, and I am sure that you will find good equipment sooner or later :-)
moze229 wrote: 6.) I think the bard song "Traveller's Ditty" needs to be redesigned. This is, by far, the most powerful song in the game. With this song, one can advance almost all the way to the end of a dungeon/quest without having to fight anything. The set encounters and final encounter must still be faced, but this encourages players to try advancing too quickly and it may be easy to become frustrated without understanding why. The enemies placed in certain areas have to be fought for a while before advancing high enough to complete a given quest. I now use this song when going through areas that I've already completed to speed up encounters. (See number 1)
Endurance is one of the virtues one must have to play these kind of games.
As I said earlier... this game isn't about adopting to the player's needs. The player has to adopt to the game's rules. One aspect of Silversword is that you have to try different approaches. Cautious exploration will show you where to go - and where not to go.
I firmly believe that this design concept is better than any player-on-rails concept.

If you think that I should state more clearly that the different maps will advance in difficulty the further you go, I could add it to the manual.
moze229 wrote: My mentioned comments are a very small part of the game, but play a large role in the overall experience. But I would like to thank Mario for the time and effort in creating this game. Thank you, thank you! Please make another :)
Thank you very much!
Don't take my comments too personal. I do what I can to make the game enjoyable, but I have the difficult task of deciding which direction it will go in the future. And this means that not all play-styles can be considered.

Kind regards
Mario
Silversword - the CRPG for iPhone+iPad now on the AppStore!
Please visit us on http://www.silversword-rpg.com
iTunes Link: http://itunes.com/apps/silversword

Wascalwywabbit
Posts: 75

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by Wascalwywabbit » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:09 pm

Edited to add info and hide spoiler(s):

The arrow problem is easily handled:
Spoiler
Show
in the deeper forest and with the dragon bone bow with bone arrows. If you dont want to travel back to the deeper forest after you beat the game, then the coast lands can help with that and its certain spell you can get there to better use the bank for arrow storage.
You may need the expansion for part though, but if you're still playing after the base game is beaten then you'll probably want that at some point anyway. ;) If it's too dangerous for the comercial bowers/ fletchers, then maybe Mario could make that a skill you could learn too if he likes.

I agree that trees get annoying at times in the game, maybe some point mid-late game or in the expansion a forest travel skill could be aquired to travel thru at least thinner tree areas, maybe from a small elven or gnomish village or something. Even if it's just for one class, maybe the hunter like the theif can get thief mastery. Dungeon's being shaped as they are is no bother to me and make perfect sense imo, though I've seen others disagree. The forest map still seems bare to me and is often to be passed thru a lot thruout the game, maybe something there for characters of different levels - my vote is for an elvish ranger band/travelling village (maybe travels to a new local every day) and/or a small gnomish alchemist workshop for those who bought the expansion to get the low level alchemy learned earlier in the game when those spells are actually useful, and/or to learn better how to obtain ingredients.

Aquiring better loot:
Spoiler
Show
high luck chars. make a big differnece for me and since it mitigates spell and trap damage it is not to be a neglected stat imo
I'm not so sure about review boards everywhere for all classes, maybe for modern game mode only, but for the paladin maybe it should be at the proper sodar temples (not the temporary ones though) instead of the general review board. That's my thoughts anyway.
Last edited by Wascalwywabbit on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wascalwywabbit
Posts: 75

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by Wascalwywabbit » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:33 am

I don't think it needs to be stressed more that new maps will become more difficult, but that you'll pretty well need a rogue does need to be put up as some sort of warning when starting a game without one, at least reminding the player they can create one any time at camps/inns, same is true if you don't have group damage dealer. The latter may be as a message somewhere before entering savage crossing. Those warnings may not be warranted if you add other chest/lock opening items or skills and/or other group damage/range options.

Personally I havn't found travellers ditty to be powerful enough to be useful... Not so with crusader's path though - that definitely requires judicious use...

I have also realized that if u provide destructible enviroments in the next expansion it would completely supplant the need/want of a forest travel skill, so scatch that off any would be wish list.

I could use the summon item spell before end game, mostly because it doesn't crash as much as the bank does. :-/

Prestols
Posts: 4
Contact:

Re: local bookkeeping services

Post by Prestols » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:50 pm

moze229 wrote:
Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:03 am
First off, I'd like to say that this game is great. It's an impressive feat for several reasons, not to mention the short amount of time it was developed (2010 -2011). For a one-developer game, I'm definitely impressed. I can tell that a lot of thought went into development, and while it's not perfect, what game is? This software is worth every bit of what is being charged for it and more.

There are several things that in my opinion, need to be addressed. The game mechanics themselves seem to be right on que. All of the rules seem fair, and appear to fall in line with a good playing experience. But I do have some questions/suggestions that perhaps I just don't understand or were put in place because of developer preference. (Nothing wrong with either one of these reasons).

1.) I understand why random encounters are placed, and I also understand why the "set" encounters are placed in certain areas of the maps. What I don't understand is why these encounters occur in scenarios that make no sense. If my level 17 party decides to take a stroll in the forest, why are they forced to fight 1 Asp in order to advance past a certain point? Really? For level 1-4 characters I understand. But level 17? Or 20? Or 50? This to me just wastes time for a higher level parties. You find yourself walking somewhere and get bothered by many set and random encounters that are basically a waste of time. Perhaps there is a way for the program to do a level check of the party and determine whether or not a challenge is required to advance. If I'm level 17 walking outside ruin camp, the program should know that I don't require an encounter with 5 rotten rats or a bear. It's just a waste of everyone's time. The opposing party has no chance. Local bookkeeping services touch site company Your Books On Time. 2.) I also understand why trees and other objects need to be randomly and artistically placed in certain areas. Otherwise, the areas would be boring. What I don't understand is why I have to make out of the way trips around several obstacles to get into a common building or to take a path to a certain destination. In some towns, it seems as if some of the buildings are placed purposely to make navigation more difficult. Savage Crossing for example - to get to the shop, why do I have to take an obscure path to go into the back entrance, go through another building, then to the shop. I mean, if it wasn't for that one tree there, I could just walk through the door. What town would be set up like this? In Annsharbour, I can't just take straight paths where I need to go. Everything is a maze. To get from one side to the other, I have to take these round about ways to get there, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it other than to annoy the player. Some areas require defeating an enemy or solving a puzzle first which is understandable. However, this is usually not the case. I appreciate the creativity in this, but I think it is overused. This begins at the beginning of the game.

3.) I understand the reality of not having everything you need in every town. However, I think review boards and banks should be placed in all towns. Forcing a player to walk all the way to another town to advance a level or make a deposit/withdrawal is frustrating at best. It doesn't add any challenge or add to the storyline at all to make players walk all over Tarnak to do menial tasks. At least create a challenge to make the things eventually become available. (Fend off an offending monster or band of enemies).

4.) Why are arrows such a rare thing to find? Most shops don't even carry them!

5.) Item drops should be more frequent. From what I can tell, the number of items available seems to be fair, but rarely anything is found. And when items are found, they don't seem to always be level appropriate. Perhaps this becomes more frequent later in the game or I'm just unlucky. I do like how items can be enhanced with certain other items.

6.) I think the bard song "Traveller's Ditty" needs to be redesigned. This is, by far, the most powerful song in the game. With this song, one can advance almost all the way to the end of a dungeon/quest without having to fight anything. The set encounters and final encounter must still be faced, but this encourages players to try advancing too quickly and it may be easy to become frustrated without understanding why. The enemies placed in certain areas have to be fought for a while before advancing high enough to complete a given quest. I now use this song when going through areas that I've already completed to speed up encounters. (See number 1)

My mentioned comments are a very small part of the game, but play a large role in the overall experience. But I would like to thank Mario for the time and effort in creating this game. Thank you, thank you! Please make another :)


Yes, I support you!

rakenan
Posts: 43

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by rakenan » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:27 pm

My only real frustration with the map design and towns is Savage Crossing. The obscure path needed to reach some regular services there is just bizarre for what is supposed to be a functioning town. But I'm well past that point now, so I'm not terribly fussed by it. It's obnoxious while you're there, though. Plainly the town council needs to make contact with the Lumberjack Guild to dispose of a few obstructing trees and open clear avenues to access shops and services.

For most of the rest of the OP's issues, it's part of Silversword's retro charm. Rather than asking for every service to be in every town, I'd be perfectly happy if the travel spells from standard caster classes (Archmage I think) worked like their Dragoncaller versions with instant teleports. It's supposed to be magic, summoning a horse to ride back to your beacon under computer control just doesn't feel magical. Not to mention it's a boring time sink. The paid travel network being carriage rides seems fitting enough, though.

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Visstar
Posts: 414
Location: Loch Caetar

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by Visstar » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:22 pm

I think it's kind of interesting to view places like Savage Crossing (or Annsharbour or Paradosa) as places that ONCE WERE functioning towns but have fallen on hard times since the rise of Maruziel. In fact, my only quibble is the lack of empty buildings -- I would have liked to see a few abandoned shops in S.C. or a boarded up bank in Lock Caetar, e.g. (You get hints of this with the abandoned farms.)

As for the convoluted path to the shop in S.C., you try hiring a landscaper to clear the brush and re-pave the path when they might get attached by goblins every few minutes! 8-)
May the Vishanti guide me through this eldritch maze!

rakenan
Posts: 43

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by rakenan » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:50 pm

Visstar wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:22 pm
I think it's kind of interesting to view places like Savage Crossing (or Annsharbour or Paradosa) as places that ONCE WERE functioning towns but have fallen on hard times since the rise of Maruziel. In fact, my only quibble is the lack of empty buildings -- I would have liked to see a few abandoned shops in S.C. or a boarded up bank in Lock Caetar, e.g. (You get hints of this with the abandoned farms.)

As for the convoluted path to the shop in S.C., you try hiring a landscaper to clear the brush and re-pave the path when they might get attached by goblins every few minutes! 8-)
I don't think Maruziel has been messing things up all *THAT* long. Trees don't grow to the point of being impassible overnight. Which implies that Savage Crossing has *NEVER* been an a state where it could clear a couple of trees to make way for a path to one of its major businesses.

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chrlpolk
Posts: 138

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by chrlpolk » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:30 am

The game actually has a fully fleshed backstory that plays almost no relevance in the game, except maybe to help explain some of these things!

The island we’re on was once a prosperous kingdom. There were gods and race wars. Then everything went to trash, kingdom fell, survivors fled, and so much time passed that the entirety of the kingdom was forgotten about. When the game starts, people had just rediscovered this land and began to explore and recolonize it and that’s why the majority of cities are sparse and in disrepair, literally built on top of the old cities. The ruins that Icetear refers to were from the ancient times, before the recolonization.

For Savage Crossing, I believe there was an element of a bootlegging or gambling ring, something illicit for why that one store had to be so hidden away. I remember getting a clue somewhere, I want to say from one of the neighboring shops?

Edit: Backstory can be found at
https://silversword-rpg.com/

From the drop down menu, actually select “Lore” - one might think it’s just a category marker but it does have its own page which describes the history of the island! On “The World” page the first picture shows where the island is located (just above center of pic) and gives a creation story of sorts.
Last edited by chrlpolk on Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Visstar
Posts: 414
Location: Loch Caetar

Re: Thoughts so far...

Post by Visstar » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:58 am

You’re right! To get to the arms shop you pass through a room where people are gambling.
May the Vishanti guide me through this eldritch maze!

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