Few more questions

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Few more questions

Postby Lurking Grue » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:53 pm

Don't want to clutter the Development Update thread with questions, to keep it somehow on topic and about them development updates, so I'll shoot a few questions here.

1. Will loot from chests and killed monsters/NPCs be random (e.g. rolled from a loot table of sorts) or will it be fixed (so a given chest will always give the same loot)? Or will it be something in between, perhaps? Like a certain chest in the Dungeon of Doom will always contain the Holy Hand Grenade+8? If loot is random, will you have any "anti-scumming" measures implemented to prevent the benefits of save-scumming?

2. How do you handle long-distance travel? In other words, will the game be divided into small maps/areas and travel between them is done by "leaps" (area to area) or is the game map one big, continuous map? There's one screenshot showing a larger map, which could be a travel map, so I'm betting the game map will be divided into smaller zones - then again, the screenshot map could just as easily be a general map of the game area (to give you some idea of the geography etc.).

3. How will the game measure line of sight (LOS)? Can you see mobs (NPCs/monsters) that are behind walls or closed doors? Looking at this screenshot -> http://www.heroicfantasygames.com/Knightspictures/13.gif, I'd think LOS isn't considered when spotting mobs (at least not once you've initially spotted them), but I'd like to know for sure. Furthermore, how is lighting (or the lack of it) handled with regards to spotting mobs?

4. I read from the list of differences to OGL 3.5, that there will not be any potions in the game? That's a very curious design decision for a D&D-style game, IMO. What were your reasons for this? Do you, perhaps, want a world with very little magic items in it? How common (roughly) will magic items be in KotC? (Will you have spell scrolls in the game, BTW?)

4B. Without healing potions, will we be limited to healing via resting and the occasional healing spell, or is there some other way of healing I'm overlooking (no, I didn't forget healing by eating, but I doubt you'll have that if you don't have potions)?

5. As there are no skills (a bit of a bummer this, but no worries, I understand it helps to shorten and simplify the game development), can you still somehow e.g. haggle prices in shops, get extra information from NPCs via persuasive powers (like get extra dialogue options), or identify magic items? Do you handle some of these with checks vs class/level/attribute, perhaps?

Eh, these questions have become a bit too "multi-tiered". The last ones are more straight-forward.

6. Are those 16 item slots shown in the screenies the maximum of inventory space per character? Granted, having 4 x 16 slots total in the party should be enough, but I'm quite a packrat when playing cRPGs, so there's never too much inventory space for me. ;)

7. Can you save your game everywhere and anytime you want?

8. What's the difference between a magic rod (which is not in the game) and a magic wand (which, I gather, is in the game)?

OK, I guess that's enough questions for now. :)
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Few more questions

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Re: Few more questions

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:48 pm

Thanks for your post,

Lurking Grue wrote:Will loot from chests and killed monsters/NPCs be random

Loot is generally fixed. The only exception is random encounters.

Lurking Grue wrote:How do you handle long-distance travel?

There's a world map (the one in the screenshots) for long distance travel between areas of interest.

Lurking Grue wrote:How will the game measure line of sight (LOS)? Can you see mobs (NPCs/monsters) that are behind walls or closed doors? Looking at this screenshot -> http://www.heroicfantasygames.com/Knigh ... res/13.gif, I'd think LOS isn't considered when spotting mobs (at least not once you've initially spotted them), but I'd like to know for sure. Furthermore, how is lighting (or the lack of it) handled with regards to spotting mobs?

The game does measure LOS. Unexplored areas remain veiled until uncovered by the party's LOS. Unlike the Dark Sun game, which didn't have a fog of war at all, in Knights of the Chalice you can't see what's in the next room - hence the usefulness of the "listen at the door" feature.

Lurking Grue wrote:4. I read from the list of differences to OGL 3.5, that there will not be any potions in the game? That's a very curious design decision for a D&D-style game, IMO. What were your reasons for this?

In my opinion:
a) Potions are often scattered here and there as worthless loot that I end up selling rather than using.
b) Potions are redundant; they reduce the usefulness of spell casters by giving non magic users the capability to cast spells.
I wanted to have a strict class separation in the game. Fighters can never cast spells by any means, wizards can only cast arcane spells and clerics can only cast divine spells.

Lurking Grue wrote:Do you, perhaps, want a world with very little magic items in it? How common (roughly) will magic items be in KotC? (Will you have spell scrolls in the game, BTW?)

Magic items are common in the game. It follows the advice of the Dungeon Master's Guide, you start without magic gear and as you gain levels you gain access to more powerful magic items. There are spell scrolls, magic wands, wondrous items, magic weapons, magic armour.

Lurking Grue wrote:Without healing potions, will we be limited to healing via resting and the occasional healing spell, or is there some other way of healing I'm overlooking (no, I didn't forget healing by eating, but I doubt you'll have that if you don't have potions)?

There's no eating in the game, so you're limited to spells and resting.

Lurking Grue wrote:5. As there are no skills (a bit of a bummer this, but no worries, I understand it helps to shorten and simplify the game development), can you still somehow e.g. haggle prices in shops, get extra information from NPCs via persuasive powers (like get extra dialogue options), or identify magic items? Do you handle some of these with checks vs class/level/attribute, perhaps?

No haggling, the prices depend on the party's average charisma. You always get all dialogue options as I don't like the idea of hiding options depending on character ability scores very much. I prefer to let the player choose what he would like to say.

Lurking Grue wrote:Are those 16 item slots shown in the screenies the maximum of inventory space per character? Granted, having 4 x 16 slots total in the party should be enough, but I'm quite a packrat when playing cRPGs, so there's never too much inventory space for me.

Yes that's all you get, but you're allowed to stack many item types.

Lurking Grue wrote:7. Can you save your game everywhere and anytime you want?

No you cannot save during combat.

Lurking Grue wrote:8. What's the difference between a magic rod (which is not in the game) and a magic wand (which, I gather, is in the game)?

A magic rod in D&D 3.5 allows you to cast one or several spells a few times each day. The spells are never exhausted.
A magic wand, on the other hand, contains up to 50 charges of a spell from level 1 to 4. The wand loses its magic power once you've exhausted the charges.
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Re: Few more questions

Postby Lurking Grue » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:50 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:Loot is generally fixed. The only exception is random encounters.

OK, good. I actually prefer this to totally random loot. Nothing makes you feel more bummed, than crawling through a long dungeon filled with beasties and finally getting to the chest in the last room, only to roll poorly on loot and get a rotten carrot and a broken sword as your reward for the past 4 hours of dungeon-clearing.

BlueSalamander wrote:There's a world map (the one in the screenshots) for long distance travel between areas of interest.

Yep, guessed right then. ;)

BlueSalamander wrote:The game does measure LOS. Unexplored areas remain veiled until uncovered by the party's LOS. Unlike the Dark Sun game, which didn't have a fog of war at all, in Knights of the Chalice you can't see what's in the next room - hence the usefulness of the "listen at the door" feature.

Hmm, I'm not sure we're speaking about the same thing. Or maybe I misunderstood your answer. Anyway, what I meant by LOS is not the "veiling" of unexplored areas, but the checking of LOS from your party members to nearby mobs to see if LOS is blocked, e.g. mobs being behind corners or in other rooms. The screenshot I referred to has the party in one room and a group of mobs in another room with a wall between them. The way I'm looking at the screenie, the PCs could not have a LOS to those mobs, but they are still visible on the screen. However, what you said about listening at the door, does indicate there will be some form of LOS (and that is great!), but is it only for areas yet unexplored?

BlueSalamander wrote:In my opinion:
a) Potions are often scattered here and there as worthless loot that I end up selling rather than using.
b) Potions are redundant; they reduce the usefulness of spell casters by giving non magic users the capability to cast spells.
I wanted to have a strict class separation in the game. Fighters can never cast spells by any means, wizards can only cast arcane spells and clerics can only cast divine spells.

OK, I see where you're coming form and I like it. It's just a bit uncommon in cRPGs, that all. (It's, in fact, quite close to what I'm using in my PnP games. Not D&D, though.)

BlueSalamander wrote:Magic items are common in the game. It follows the advice of the Dungeon Master's Guide, you start without magic gear and as you gain levels you gain access to more powerful magic items. There are spell scrolls, magic wands, wondrous items, magic weapons, magic armour.

OK. I could do with less magic items, but I quess it's a D&D thing and part of cRPG tradition too, so I'm cool with it. Besides, who can say no to a Flaming Sword of Buttkicking +6, eh?! :mrgreen:

Thanks for your answers! Looking forward to playing the game!
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Re: Few more questions

Postby BlueSalamander » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:31 pm

Lurking Grue wrote: roll poorly on loot and get a rotten carrot and a broken sword as your reward for the past 4 hours of dungeon-clearing.

Exactly, Divine Divinity and other games come to mind. Random is just not as good as human design.

Lurking Grue wrote:The way I'm looking at the screenie, the PCs could not have a LOS to those mobs, but they are still visible on the screen. However, what you said about listening at the door, does indicate there will be some form of LOS (and that is great!), but is it only for areas yet unexplored?

Right, let me try explaining a bit more. There are two elements here:
- what the player can see: this is what the screenshot displays
- what the characters can see: each character's LOS.
As in RTS games like Dune 2 and Dune 2000, there is a fog of war and the player can see what happens in any area where the fog was lifted.
However, just because the player can see these areas, doesn't mean the character can see; for example they won't be able to talk to a NPC on the other side of the map (or on the other side of the wall in the case of the screenshot) because they lack a line of sight. Same for casting spells. During a fight your wizard can't throw a fireball without having a line of sight to the destination spot.

Lurking Grue wrote:I could do with less magic items
Yes, I also like a game world with less magic, Dark Sun tried to do that. Anyway, even though magic is common in the game, good items like a +3 Sword of Blindness are hard to get. Unless you craft but it costs a lot of experience points and gold. Also, usually you have to defeat whatever foe is wielding the magic weapon, since monsters have their own inventory and can wear equipment just like the characters.
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Re: Few more questions

Postby Lurking Grue » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:00 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:Right, let me try explaining a bit more. There are two elements here:
- what the player can see: this is what the screenshot displays
- what the characters can see: each character's LOS.
{snip} However, just because the player can see these areas, doesn't mean the character can see; for example they won't be able to talk to a NPC on the other side of the map (or on the other side of the wall in the case of the screenshot) because they lack a line of sight.

OK, gotcha. What I meant by LOS was having both the player and the characters share the LOS info (their view of the surrounding mobs), so that the player would not see any mobs the characters were not seeing. This kind of LOS system is in place in e.g. the Avernum and Geneforge games (IIRC, it's been awhile), but the "character specific LOS" is okay too - if it was good for Ultima VI and VII (again, IIRC, it's been an even longer while), it's good for anything. ;)

BlueSalamander wrote:Also, usually you have to defeat whatever foe is wielding the magic weapon, since monsters have their own inventory and can wear equipment just like the characters.

Ah yes, that's a good point. So, even with magic items being common, I take it magic items won't be scattered around in random barrels, on lowly goblin stragglers and so on. Oh, and two thumbs up for the monsters having their own inventories. That's excellent news. Something that's bugged me in many cRPGs is that after you defeat the Black Knight wielding a magic sword, the loot he drops never contains that magic sword.
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