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 Post subject: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:36 am 
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First and foremost, I wanted to offer my appreciation to AGDI for their hard work and dedication, and to congratulate them for seeing this project to its end. The entire video game industry could take a lesson from the standard of quality enshrined in your work. I salute you!

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That aside, there's one particular grievance I had that I hope the developers might be able to correct in a patch or a subsequent version. Playing through the game as a thief (the best class of all, bar none), I couldn't help but feel frustrated when trying to throw daggers at enemies whilst still out of combat. The reasons for this should be evident to anyone who's played the class:

1) There's no 'action point,' so to speak, on any of the items in the game (daggers included). This makes it necessary to guess where to click the icon.

2) Enemies rush across the screen terribly quickly, depriving the player of any accuracy in clicking the dagger on the enemy, to say nothing of precision. This is especially noticeable on higher speed settings, but even on medium it can be tricky.

3) Once the player has thrown the dagger, there is no visual clue as to whether the projectile has hit or missed.

These three problems make it all but impossible to throw daggers outside combat. Whilst playing on a medium-high speed setting, I found that if I wanted to score a few early hits, I had no other choice but to make my way to the menu the instant I heard combat music and reduce the speed in order to slow the enemy down. This is annoying and inconvenient. That there isn't any way to tell whether you've hit an enemy further discourages throwing daggers outside combat, as it's likely you'll think you've scored some damage when, in fact, you've actually missed. If this happens (as it all too often does), it's inevitable the player will continue running to the next screen with your enemy in hot pursuit, unknowingly leaving their dropped daggers behind.

To overcome these obstacles, I suggest that the "Throw Dagger" hotkey be made functional out of combat; that when an enemy is on-screen and in chase mode, pressing the "Throw Dagger" hotkey simply auto-target that enemy and automatically throw a dagger. This would eliminate the frustration and uncertainty which plague the current system in one fell swoop.

Thanks for your ears, and once again, thanks for a wonderful game!


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:37 am 
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The Infamous Mecha Sonic wrote:
1) There's no 'action point,' so to speak, on any of the items in the game (daggers included). This makes it necessary to guess where to click the icon.


With daggers, it's the very tip of the dagger. You can see what the action point of any given cursor is (in full screen mode anyhow) by moving it to the edges of the screen. There's only a single pixel that will never get moved offscreen regardless of which of the 4 corners you move it to. That pixel is the action point (which, admittedly, could be colored somehow).

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2) Enemies rush across the screen terribly quickly, depriving the player of any accuracy in clicking the dagger on the enemy, to say nothing of precision. This is especially noticeable on higher speed settings, but even on medium it can be tricky.


Yeah, but that's the point, that first sneak attack does SO much damage (for a thief), the only drawback is the difficulty in actually doing it. I mean it's a guaranteed one-shot of every but one monster on normal difficulty, and that single monster that can survive it does so just barely.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:56 am 
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If you wish to know whether your daggers are making contact and you have magical ability, you can cast Zap prior to tossing it at a monster. This will make the screen flash green if the hit is successful.

Also, if you're a thief, and you have the ability to back-stab, then you will receive a confirmation text message if your dagger hits its mark. I think the ability to press the dagger toss hotkey in normal game screens to auto-hit baddies would unbalance the gameplay once the thief becomes proficient in his back-stabbing ability.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:06 am 
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In order to hit a moving monster with a dagger (wether it's walking towards you or away from you) involves clicking the dagger on the monster itself. No leading shots.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:26 am 
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Am I the only one that looses daggers when they don't make contact, even after searching the corpse and retrieving ones that do? It has seemed pretty harsh to me, as they're pricey, and if I recall in other QFG games, every dagger thrown on a screen is recuperated normally when you search a corpse or the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:39 am 
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If a dagger misses (inside combat or while the monster is still approaching you) and you click the hand-icon on the ground, you'll pick the loose daggers up. The only time you'll really lose them is if you leave the screen. (running away from combat or walking out of the screen after battle)

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:14 am 
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As an aside to this topic, is it possible to backstab brigands when coming over a dune towards the screen? Seems to me they always make it off the screen while Hero is stuck climbing the dune.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:27 am 
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No. I tried making the faster monsters start more to the left/right when coming over a dune, but it really hurt the suspension of disbelief, since you kinda walked right into their sight.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:03 pm 
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grimrow wrote:
Am I the only one that looses daggers when they don't make contact, even after searching the corpse and retrieving ones that do? It has seemed pretty harsh to me, as they're pricey, and if I recall in other QFG games, every dagger thrown on a screen is recuperated normally when you search a corpse or the ground.


You need to search 3 places:

* The corpse
* The ground of the battle field
* The ground of the original screen (walk up from the battle field to leave it).

Unless you run, the dagger will end up in one of those three, depending on if you hit or miss, and where you are when you miss.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:21 pm 
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Instead of looking at it solely from the backstab angle, consider it from the point of view of the Fighter without stealth and the Thief who's running away from a charging foe. In these instances, it's impossible to peg an enemy with a dagger unless you go into the menu, turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way down, throw the dagger, then continue running sloooooooooowly to the edge of the screen, or else let the enemy tag you and have to wait sloooooooooowly for the enemy and the hero to get into combat position... and when combat's over, then go back into the menu and turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way back up again.

Then walk two screens in any direction, only to confront another enemy and have to repeat the whole process all over again!

It isn't good gameplay to have to do this; it's just a needless hassle which could easily be solved by hotkeying the dagger. This is an action that was easily accomplished with the original text parser, but here it's unfortunately penalized. Even if hotkeying the dagger isn't the best solution, surely there must be some other way to remedy this problem?


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Actually, the original QFG2 with parser also had a crosshair that had to be aimed manually, making it difficult to get in a lot of daggers on a charging foe. Heck, I never got more than one in back then anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:43 pm 
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Erpy wrote:
Actually, the original QFG2 with parser also had a crosshair that had to be aimed manually, making it difficult to get in a lot of daggers on a charging foe. Heck, I never got more than one in back then anyway.

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One is all Bruno needs in Quest for Glory I. :hat

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:57 pm 
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To be honest, I'd have to agree with the criticism. For most of the game, I have the game speed turned all the way up. However, for backstabbing, it's practically impossible to hit anything at that speed, so I turn the speed all the way down for those, making it trivial to hit. If the difficulty of hitting the opponent is there for balance, it doesn't make sense that you're allowed to turn the speed down to make it easier (there isn't such an option in combat, after all). It would mean that meddling with the speed slider is a type of cheat.

And if the difficulty is just the natural result of the interface, then an improvement to the interface would be a good thing. The game itself is supposed to present the challenges to the player, and the interface should do its very best to translate user intentions to game actions. If you're sneaking around and tell the game to use a dagger, it should be clear that you're trying to backstab it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:18 pm 
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The Infamous Mecha Sonic wrote:
Instead of looking at it solely from the backstab angle, consider it from the point of view of the Fighter without stealth and the Thief who's running away from a charging foe. In these instances, it's impossible to peg an enemy with a dagger unless you go into the menu, turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way down, throw the dagger, then continue running sloooooooooowly to the edge of the screen, or else let the enemy tag you and have to wait sloooooooooowly for the enemy and the hero to get into combat position... and when combat's over, then go back into the menu and turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way back up again.


It's not THAT bad. Even at max speed I have 75-85% accuracy with the daggers (on small targets like brigands, on scorpions it's 100%). If I miss my backstab I usually get 3 or 4 in before the monster is on me.

I like it much better than having a hotkey, because if I click correctly, it WILL hit. If they made it like you suggest, where you could key it up, to balance it out they'd have to add in chances to fail as well.

I personally prefer success or failure be tied to my skill at aiming, as opposed to being driven by a random number generator.


Last edited by Goilveig on Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:20 pm 
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Goilveig wrote:
The Infamous Mecha Sonic wrote:
Instead of looking at it solely from the backstab angle, consider it from the point of view of the Fighter without stealth and the Thief who's running away from a charging foe. In these instances, it's impossible to peg an enemy with a dagger unless you go into the menu, turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way down, throw the dagger, then continue running sloooooooooowly to the edge of the screen, or else let the enemy tag you and have to wait sloooooooooowly for the enemy and the hero to get into combat position... and when combat's over, then go back into the menu and turn the speed allllllllllllllllllll the way back up again.


It's not THAT bad. Even at max speed I have 75-85% accuracy with the daggers. If I miss my backstab I usually get 3 or 4 in before the monster is on me.


I would vote for a dagger hot key, but not an automatic throw.

Its tough to go all the way to the top of the screen, back down and find the enemy again. - but i think you still need to aim and go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:22 pm 
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CGG wrote:
Its tough to go all the way to the top of the screen, back down and find the enemy again. - but i think you still need to aim and go for it.


Just start moving in one direction and use the right mouse button to change to the dagger cursor, you can move through screen after screen without changing your cursor off the dagger.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:28 pm 
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CGG wrote:
I would vote for a dagger hot key, but not an automatic throw.

Its tough to go all the way to the top of the screen, back down and find the enemy again. - but i think you still need to aim and go for it.
That hotkey should work also for rocks, grenades and pointy flowers. >D

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:54 am 
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Quote:
You need to search 3 places:

* The corpse
* The ground of the battle field
* The ground of the original screen (walk up from the battle field to leave it).
D'OH! I must have wasted a fortune on tons of new daggers! :rollin I thought clicking on the ground of the battlefield will give me rocks. Issur must have laughed his head off! :rollin Oh well, at least I robbed his shop so we're even. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:40 am 
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Well, if you have the game speed turned up, you could miss many other things too like Easter Eggs. The day/nights will also go by faster as a side-effect. Those things are merely a trade-offs for people who decide to play with the speed setting on a higher level. If you have to turn the speed down, it's not a fault of the game, but a player preference.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
Well, if you have the game speed turned up, you could miss many other things too like Easter Eggs. The day/nights will also go by faster as a side-effect. Those things are merely a trade-offs for people who decide to play with the speed setting on a higher level. If you have to turn the speed down, it's not a fault of the game, but a player preference.
In Space Quest 4, turning up the speed setting on the mall enables an easter egg, as you move so fast that you can skip a guard you couldn't otherwise. In King's Quest VI, on the guard-filled corridors, a speed set too low will prevent you from ever solving 'the puzzle'. In those games, at least, it's not just player preference, and that's why the speed setting only affects your character in them (and in some other Sierra titles I've played).

However, in the Quest for Glory series, the speed bar affects everyone, as if they expect you to slow the speed down while throwing daggers. If that is a design's fault, it's one that also appears on the first and third games on the series, and for each player that finds it annoying, there is another fond of this 'clever trick'.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:17 am 
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Goilveig wrote:
It's not THAT bad. Even at max speed I have 75-85% accuracy with the daggers (on small targets like brigands, on scorpions it's 100%).


i agree with this, and i have also seen that sometimes when you hit a brigand or a ghoul they will pause, alowing you to keep hitting them. this pause wears off after varying amounts of time, but i can usually get in five daggers on each one. what i would like to know is, how do you do this sneak attack you are all talking about. its not mentioned in the manual, and i doubt rakeesh or uhura would tell me how to do it. i bet i need 200 stealth, dont i? i find stealth to be the third worst stat to spam, after climbing (worst) and communication.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:22 am 
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1) Be a thief
2) Sneak
3) Throw stuff at enemies before they spot you.

You don't need 200 stealth, btw. You don't even need outragously high stealth.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trouble with Throwing Daggers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:25 am 
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ape4 wrote:
Goilveig wrote:
It's not THAT bad. Even at max speed I have 75-85% accuracy with the daggers (on small targets like brigands, on scorpions it's 100%).


i agree with this, and i have also seen that sometimes when you hit a brigand or a ghoul they will pause, alowing you to keep hitting them. this pause wears off after varying amounts of time, but i can usually get in five daggers on each one. what i would like to know is, how do you do this sneak attack you are all talking about. its not mentioned in the manual, and i doubt rakeesh or uhura would tell me how to do it. i bet i need 200 stealth, dont i? i find stealth to be the third worst stat to spam, after climbing (worst) and communication.


You need to be a thief (not just have stealth, be a thief). Move around in the desert in stealth. Mobs will run AWAY from you, not towards you (supposedly, they just charge around at top speed through the desert for fun, and you just sneak up behind them). Throw a dagger and don't miss; the first shot into their backs does a very, very, very, very high amount of damage. If you miss, they turn and you lose the chance.

Any class with stealth and throwing can get a shot into their back, but only for the thief is there the massive boost to damage.


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