April: Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown

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April: Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown

Post by rusty_shackleford »

Buy a copy, the developer is a cool guy


No special setup needed this month.
Last edited by rusty_shackleford on April 1st, 2024, 05:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by WhiteShark »

Protip: the 'center' seems to refer to the three middle slots, not just the centermost one. I may have to rethink my choice to have six casters and only one knight...
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Post by Xenich »

I noticed the first 3 slots get hit the most, the next two not as often, and the outside very rarely. Balanced parties seem to do really well, all human leveling speed is great.

You can play tactics on positioning and lure in the NPCs individually making the fights much easier. So far, I would say it needs some sort of mechanic to make resting a little more of a management game and a risk. Already 7 levels in with a short amount of play and I haven't even left the initial area to head to the castle yet. I wonder if there is a time mechanic on not showing up in a certain amount of time to the castle.

Not a bad game though, definitely an homage to M&M.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

I loved WoX(only behind Wiz8 for me) so I'm looking forward to this one tbh
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Post by WhiteShark »

Xenich wrote: April 1st, 2024, 22:11
I noticed the first 3 slots get hit the most, the next two not as often, and the outside very rarely.
Yeah, it says that most enemies won't target party members outside the center at all. Some guys with halberds would hit the ones immediately outside the center, but I think it was just because their attacks hit one of the target's immediate neighbors as well. Not sure if enemies with regular attacks will ever hit guys outside the center or if it's only AoE.

I gave up one of my casters for a second knight and made the third center slot a bard. Hopefully the high evasion is enough to keep her alive. I'm committed to running as many casters as I can.
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Post by Kalarion »

I went for a munchkinish party this time around - 3 mountain dwarf warriors, elven bard, elven sage, elven healer, elven wizard.

Dwarves are by far the best choice for fighters, and warriors are slightly better than knights in the endgame due to higher strength and toughness. The loss of encumbrance sucks at first, but it's heavily mitigated by mid-game. Elves are best mages as well. The experience penalty is negligible, and the bonus to casting stats is great. I took bard for buffs and remove fear for early halberdiers, and sage because I wanted two nukers but I don't think just a bard and healer will be enough for comfortable healing in the late game.

I'm about to finish the second Ogre fort, then I'll go back and clean up some of the other dungeons I've left alone.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

Kalarion wrote: April 1st, 2024, 23:37
I went for a munchkinish party this time around - 3 mountain dwarf warriors, elven bard, elven sage, elven healer, elven wizard.

Dwarves are by far the best choice for fighters, and warriors are slightly better than knights in the endgame due to higher strength and toughness. The loss of encumbrance sucks at first, but it's heavily mitigated by mid-game. Elves are best mages as well. The experience penalty is negligible, and the bonus to casting stats is great. I took bard for buffs and remove fear for early halberdiers, and sage because I wanted two nukers but I don't think just a bard and healer will be enough for comfortable healing in the late game.

I'm about to finish the second Ogre fort, then I'll go back and clean up some of the other dungeons I've left alone.
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Post by WhiteShark »

@Kalarion what's the level cap or the expected level at game completion? I wasn't sure if knights or warriors would end up better in the long run because I didn't know how much strength growth (and therefore encumbrance growth) there would be.
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Post by Xenich »

WhiteShark wrote: April 1st, 2024, 22:54
Xenich wrote: April 1st, 2024, 22:11
I noticed the first 3 slots get hit the most, the next two not as often, and the outside very rarely.
Yeah, it says that most enemies won't target party members outside the center at all. Some guys with halberds would hit the ones immediately outside the center, but I think it was just because their attacks hit one of the target's immediate neighbors as well. Not sure if enemies with regular attacks will ever hit guys outside the center or if it's only AoE.

I gave up one of my casters for a second knight and made the third center slot a bard. Hopefully the high evasion is enough to keep her alive. I'm committed to running as many casters as I can.
Seems the ogres all hit all members due to a wide attack, so not sure on the exact details.

I played around a bit with a new party, up to 10 with 3 fighters, 3 wizards, and a Healer. Toying with the idea of going to 3 knights though. Not sure the benefit with 3 fighters compared to the knight and I have already ran into encumbrance issues with the fighters concerning some plate armor. The wizards completely destroy everything, though... I do miss having some of the utility casters for some of the various cures and buffs, but it doesn't seem to be worth it (for now) due to the massive killing power the wizards have.

My guess is that eventually, if he planned it properly, the full on offensive setup may suffer down the road in some encounters. I will have to see.
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Post by Kalarion »

WhiteShark wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 00:12
@Kalarion what's the level cap or the expected level at game completion? I wasn't sure if knights or warriors would end up better in the long run because I didn't know how much strength growth (and therefore encumbrance growth) there would be.
In my first playthrough (on hard, so comparable) my party was 49-50 by the time I completed the main quest.
Xenich wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 00:28
Seems the ogres all hit all members due to a wide attack, so not sure on the exact details.

I played around a bit with a new party, up to 10 with 3 fighters, 3 wizards, and a Healer. Toying with the idea of going to 3 knights though. Not sure the benefit with 3 fighters compared to the knight and I have already ran into encumbrance issues with the fighters concerning some plate armor. The wizards completely destroy everything, though... I do miss having some of the utility casters for some of the various cures and buffs, but it doesn't seem to be worth it (for now) due to the massive killing power the wizards have.

My guess is that eventually, if he planned it properly, the full on offensive setup may suffer down the road in some encounters. I will have to see.
Warriors win out over Knights. By mid game, Warriors have the strength to wear the heaviest armor (the only significant Knight advantage). They do more damage throughout the game (higher damage coefficient), and get more HP per level. Their special skill is nice to smash a big bad too.

Wizards are lords of destruction through the mid game. Late game they have problems, especially against bosses, due to increased resistances and absolutely insane spell point costs. At that point you really want at least two heavy melee hitters, and preferably three.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Kalarion wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 02:18
Wizards are lords of destruction through the mid game. Late game they have problems, especially against bosses, due to increased resistances and absolutely insane spell point costs. At that point you really want at least two heavy melee hitters, and preferably three.
Dang, this is what I feared the most. I am now sad. It's poor game design to make the resourceless attacker outscale the one that uses resources to attack.
Last edited by WhiteShark on April 2nd, 2024, 11:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Anon »

Sucks that you can't tune the difficulty ingame btw, had to restart to adjust.

Bard is apparently pretty useless, hard to justify having one over just getting a 2nd specialized healer. But I want to play a game with all classes till the end to have a truly fundamented opinion on them.
Last edited by Anon on April 2nd, 2024, 11:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Xenich »

WhiteShark wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 11:08
Kalarion wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 02:18
Wizards are lords of destruction through the mid game. Late game they have problems, especially against bosses, due to increased resistances and absolutely insane spell point costs. At that point you really want at least two heavy melee hitters, and preferably three.
Dang, this is what I feared the most. I am now sad. It's poor game design to make the resourceless attacker outscale the one that uses resources to attack.
It isn't a balance issue. All of these games were designed this way around balancing for the unknown and dealing with the choices you make. The biggest issue I see with modern gaming is pre-knowledge gaming driving the need to build the party that can essentially overpower the game (ie knowing all the stages of progression, gear, skill curves, boss powers, secrets, etc...) and then using it to build a perfect group as if that was "balance" when in fact, the gimmick builds are the "unbalanced" attempts themselves.

Ideal play, isn't the "best" for every fight, it is party balance to which the player has the ability to deal with whatever the game throws at it. I am not saying it is wrong to build a gimmick power party, but it comes with its negatives and that is the weakness of its builds at given stages in progression. This I kind of enjoy though, as it makes it interesting when you have to make your selections work at a stage that might not be as ideal and so clever tactics are required to progress.

I see it as simply the nature of gaming and it is why I really dislike the mentality of pre-knowledge gaming. Within reason (ie picking all wizards, etc..), I don't think any party should fail (ie impossible to win), but they should have serious issues at different times in the game, otherwise this wouldn't be a game if your choices didn't have consequences, it would just be going through the motions of hitting buttons and reading text. Now that would be boring.
Last edited by Xenich on April 2nd, 2024, 12:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SpellSword »

Anon wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 11:22
Bard is apparently pretty useless, hard to justify having one over just getting a 2nd specialized healer.
The Bard and Troubadour may be the only classes that can cure the Afraid status effect... (I'm not sure though)

Kalarion wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 02:18
Wizards are lords of destruction through the mid game. Late game they have problems, especially against bosses, due to increased resistances and absolutely insane spell point costs. At that point you really want at least two heavy melee hitters, and preferably three.
Wizards also have a few nice utility spells if I remember correctly. :scratch:
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Post by Xenich »

Anon wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 11:22
Sucks that you can't tune the difficulty ingame btw, had to restart to adjust.

Bard is apparently pretty useless, hard to justify having one over just getting a 2nd specialized healer. But I want to play a game with all classes till the end to have a truly fundamented opinion on them.
Bards have special cure conditions as already mentioned which is very nice when you are deep in a dungeon, otherwise you have to return and have it removed at an inn. I saw potions at the inns which can be crafted, so it may be possible to use that as an alternative to a Bard.

For old school games, normal is the preferred play approach to new games or unknown systems. The concept of playing on much harder levels were always for players who were used to that specific games mechanics (ie a series you have played), or people who like to get into "pickles" so to speak in their first playthroughs requiring difficult and clever solutions/tactics to succeed. The very hard settings used to be for people who were masters of the series or were for those who were doing multiple play throughs and had pre-knowledge of the game.

At some point, developers started dumbing down the normal settings because a lot of non-gamer players began to complain about the game being too difficult and they had self esteem issues that apparently kept them from selecting a lower setting (seriously, I have seen people argue that they refused the lower setting because it was "beneath" them and the developer should just balance the harder settings to be easier for them).

I can't remember when they did this, but I do remember that a lot of my friends and I started defaulting a lot of the games to the max difficulties at that point because the games became way too easy (FPS games had this problem at the time).

Ultimately, the solution to a setting to hard is to push through, and try to win. I know it is possible, I did with Wiz 7 years ago with a horrible party and it took a long time to win, but in the end, I rather enjoyed the difficulty and It kind of gave me a sense of connection to the party I built. Like a rag tag group who fought hard to save the world so to speak.

I am only level 10 atm, and it was extremely easy to get to that level in a short amount of time, so I have done some iterations in toying with the classes, but if it were difficult to get back up, I would have just kept what I had and pushed through. I personally think it is more fun that way.
Last edited by Xenich on April 2nd, 2024, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by WhiteShark »

@Xenich almost everything you said is tangential to the post of mine you quoted. It is both good game design and traditional in RPGs for casters, i.e. classes whose actions cost resources, to have more immediate impact than martials, i.e. classes whose actions do not cost resources, at all equivalent points of character development. That's the whole point of designing resource-bound classes.

Regarding choice and consequence, choice may as well be pulling the lever on a slot machine if you can't anticipate the consequences. The way devs get around that is by making the game so easy that you can win almost no matter what you pick, as you note. Sounds pretty boring to me.
Last edited by WhiteShark on April 2nd, 2024, 13:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Kalarion »

WhiteShark wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 11:08
Dang, this is what I feared the most. I am now sad. It's poor game design to make the resourceless attacker outscale the one that uses resources to attack.
They do decline in late game, yes, but I didn't mean to imply they're useless. They're still the only AE damage class, which means indispensable in normal fights. And they can hit hard on single targets, but the late-game single target DDs cost a shitload of SP, so they burn out quick. Late game is where managing quick/full rests becomes important, making sure to use all of the Wizard's Focus abilities to maintain SP.

Heavily disagree on people not liking Bards. There's the already-mentioned fact they can remove fear (single and group), but more importantly they have Heroic Inspiration. Around mid-game, that 50% chance to resist death becomes a pretty big deal, when mobs have an alarming tendency to 1/2-shot all three of your frontliners (at least on Hard difficulty and higher). Staying alive for a heal and avoiding Weakened is a godsend.

Class balance was probably the biggest weakness of this game in my opinion. It's what Kozmik worked on the most, but it's still out of whack. Apparently things are a little better in Amberland 2.
Last edited by Kalarion on April 2nd, 2024, 13:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Xenich »

WhiteShark wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 13:03
@Xenich almost everything you said is tangential to the post of mine you quoted. It is both good game design and traditional in RPGs for casters, i.e. classes whose actions cost resources, to have more immediate impact than martials, i.e. classes whose actions do not cost resources, at all equivalent points of character development. That's the whole point of designing resource-bound classes.

Regarding choice and consequence, choice may as well be pulling the lever on a slot machine if you can't anticipate the consequences. The way devs get around that is by making the game so easy that you can win almost no matter what you pick, as you note. Sounds pretty boring to me.
Endurance is a factor though, which is another balance of a resource caster.

I don't know the details on this system as its full progression, but traditionally Melee in old school have always been scaled to progress evenly and be the endurance based damage (though games like Wizardry would balance that with stamina) while casters were a higher power curve, but limited (ie meme'd spells, spell resources, etc..) due to them also being utility casters meant to provide tools to a given situation.

It seems balanced to me to have casters have powerful spells at end game, with all their flexible utilities, but in long endurance encounters, be limited. Otherwise, if casters are balanced along the same progression as melee in terms of resource, it begins to narrow the balancing of their risk and consequences where specific classes become relegated to a singular roles (tanks, damage, etc..) which I think is one of the problems with modern systems design.

In this this game, as what has been described for end game, it makes sense that the wizards while having a large damage ability combined with situational effect (damage types, conditions, group, single, etc..) would become ineffective if they were leaned on too much (ie dominating the party makeup).

If every class becomes balanced around its own individual means to excel, then it seems to me that it defies the concept of "party" management, which in these types of games was always the point. A party should not simply be balanced on its Tank/Damage/Heal play, but its ability to adapt to various encounters and play. If the fights get long, you need melee to carry the weight. If the damage is heavy, then the "type" of melee need to be considered (ie mitigation/evasion). If the encounters require special tools, hybrids and wizards help to balance it, and the list goes on.

Point is, there is a consequence for over stacking wizards, melee, too many healers, no utility, etc... and each will have pros/cons at various encounters and stages of the game.

I guess I don't see it as unbalanced. A poorly designed party (ie building for a specific purpose) should struggle in the game at certain points due to its makeup and a heavy wizard party struggling at end game due to high resists and large pool HP encounters seems... balanced to me.
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Post by SpellSword »

My party has set forth! I went with a Dwarf Elf combination.
► Party Composition
Didn't take a Bard so I hope that doesn't come back to bite me later. Did anyone take a "Troll Slayer" for their party? I was tempted by it but the equipment slot loss scared me away.
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Post by Acrux »

Yeah, the equipment loss on Troll Slayer is very painful. It's a so-so class, but if you're looking for something different to fill a third center slot, they are okay.
Last edited by Acrux on April 2nd, 2024, 13:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Xenich »

SpellSword wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 13:42
My party has set forth! I went with a Dwarf Elf combination.
► Party Composition
Didn't take a Bard so I hope that doesn't come back to bite me later. Did anyone take a "Troll Slayer" for their party? I was tempted by it but the equipment slot loss scared me away.
This is what you will be missing as you have every other spell covered (you just get it at different times):
Question is, how bad will it be without them depending on the encounter?

Bard and Troubadour ONLY spells

Code: Select all

Inspire Courage 
Cost 6 
Required Arcane 5 
Removes AFRAID status. 
* Bard starts with it. 
* Troubadour starts with it.

Song of Courage 
Cost 24 
Required Arcane 25 
Removes AFRAID status from ALL party members. 
* Bard starts with it. 
* Troubadour starts with it.

Inspiration 
Cost 25 
Required Arcane 25 
Grants an "Inspiration" bonus to the party. 
Strength +5. Party bonuses affect the whole party and expire at midnight. 
* Bard starts with it. 

Inspiration 
Cost 17 
Required Arcane 25 
Grants an "Inspiration" bonus to the party. 
Strength +5. Party bonuses affect the whole party and expire at midnight. 
* Troubadour starts with it. 

Heroic Ballad 
Cost 45 
Required Arcane 75 
Grants a "Heroic Ballad" bonus to the party. 
Any hero who would have fallen in battle instead has a 50% chance of having their health reduced to 1 HP. Party bonuses affect the whole party and expire at midnight. 
* Bard acquires it at level 20. 

Heroic Ballad 
Cost 31 
Required Arcane 75 
Grants a "Heroic Ballad" bonus to the party. 
Any hero who would have fallen in battle instead has a 50% chance of having their health reduced to 1 HP. Party bonuses affect the whole party and expire at midnight. 
* Troubadour acquires it at level 15.
Last edited by Xenich on April 2nd, 2024, 15:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Xenich »

I went back and re-balanced covering all the spells, base roles, and utility slot functions. It won't be a power house in the beginning like a class heavy approach, but it should weather all encounters and stages of the game regardless. I imagine there will be some slow points I have to fill with gear, and manage strategy a little, but I think it will produce flexible means across the board.
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Post by Acrux »

If you are playing on Normal difficulty, that will work fine. If you are playing on Hard, covering everything is actually a disadvantage because of limited resources. In that case, most hybrid classes are much less useful and it's better to have at least 2 warriors (more is good!), maybe knight, and 1 of wizard, healer, and/or bard.
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Post by Xenich »

Acrux wrote: April 2nd, 2024, 15:53
If you are playing on Normal difficulty, that will work fine. If you are playing on Hard, covering everything is actually a disadvantage because of limited resources. In that case, most hybrid classes are much less useful and it's better to have at least 2 warriors (more is good!), maybe knight, and 1 of wizard, healer, and/or bard.
Oh, I am not full hybrid, just covering the spells.

3 warriors, 1 battlemaster, 1 bard, 1 wizard, 1 healer. Gets all the spells, keeps a strong frontline in melee, battlemaster backs up wizard on some magic group spells, bard backs up healer on healing spells, 3 elves for additional healing/cure support and the two hybrids provide the support utility. So far, its working quite well.
Last edited by Xenich on April 2nd, 2024, 16:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Anon »

Okay insane mode is being a miserable experience so far. Cleaning the ogre forts and dealing with these lovely halberdiers.

Btw I now agree that a bard is important in the party. Both bard's play song and ability to remove afraid status are very useful. Their "inspiration" buff is good to have as well.

I've seen that there are plenty gear that makes you immune to fear though, maybe if I wasn't so bad I could scoop enough gold to buy these gear and maybe I could forsake a bard for a 2nd healer or wizard then?

Is there any way to deal with paralysis btw?
Last edited by Anon on April 3rd, 2024, 01:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Rand »

I already did this game and the sequel and posted a quick review.

Damn, I forgot to go back and spice it up and add some more pictures of what I was talking about...
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Post by WhiteShark »

Anon wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 01:12
Okay insane mode is being a miserable experience so far. Cleaning the ogre forts and dealing with these lovely halberdiers.
I don't think there's any point in choosing Insane in a game like this. Fights are basically just a stat check and putting it on Insane just raises the threshold.
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Post by Rand »

WhiteShark wrote: April 1st, 2024, 22:54
Yeah, it says that most enemies won't target party members outside the center at all.
Later on you get enemies that whack the whole line in one go, but the damage is pretty survivable for a few hits for low HP back-line classes.
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Post by Rand »

WhiteShark wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 01:16
Anon wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 01:12
Okay insane mode is being a miserable experience so far. Cleaning the ogre forts and dealing with these lovely halberdiers.
I don't think there's any point in choosing Insane in a game like this. Fights are basically just a stat check and putting it on Insane just raises the threshold.
Plus it makes things ridiculously expensive.
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