The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

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The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by phimseto » July 10th, 2018, 1:25 pm

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In this latest update, we take a look at the Wizard class and answer some questions! Take a look!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... 33940/edit
Q: In regards to the "Will it be possible to create your full party?" question, can you clarify a bit how that works? You start with one character but soon get more? Can you have all characters you made or do you have to have any written NPCs?

A: We get you straight into the game, absorbing the story and the world, as soon as you start a new game. We give you a default character, a bard obviously, but almost immediately let you make your own character if you prefer. The combat and character progression systems in The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep are deep, so we didn't want to ask you to make six characters right out of the gate before you even engaged in your first combat. The first section of the game is basically a quest to recruit your starting party, so we quickly ramp you up to four party members. You meet three narrative characters at the start that join your party: Dalgliesh the Dwarven fighter, Wringneck the Trow Rogue, and The Green Lady, an Elven Practitioner. Similar to the starting character, you can choose to continue adventuring with them, or spend Mercenary Tokens to create custom characters to replace them. No one character is required to be in your party.
All that and more in the link above! Enjoy!

- The inXile Team

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by thebruce » July 10th, 2018, 1:29 pm

For once I won't comment first, but sit back and absorb others' before weighing in, lol
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by lefty1117 » July 10th, 2018, 1:46 pm

My takeaway is that beta backer is very (very) soon, like maybe this week or next week? The game is much further in development than I was expecting, but then I saw somewhere else, I think on steam, that it's expected to release Q3 2018, and we're now in Q3. Other observations -

- Sounds like each song is played on its own instrument, regardless of what instrument you have equipped
- Mercenary Tokens used to create custom characters? Eh?
- They held on to the Wizard = summoner archetype from the originals
- BT1 remaster July 24!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by ZiN » July 10th, 2018, 2:50 pm

So becoming a grandmaster wizard grants a hefty constitution boost huh? I guess that's more fun, than Baylor's Spell Bind used to be in BT1-3.
And they also get to summon two skeletons! Yay!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Zombra » July 10th, 2018, 4:02 pm

Disappointing to hear that the "narrative" party are all fleshed out and more interesting than any PCs I care to make. Special Dalgliesh dialogue, special Green Lady dialogue. It's also weird that the opening quest is for Fiona to recruit Dalgliesh, Wringneck, and the Green Lady ... and then from there they can all just quit and go home. Seems like the game is supposed to really be about these four - hopefully the story will make sense if I bring in my own team. Glad I at least have the option, and if I never hear the awesome Mary Sue script I guess I won't know what I'm missing.

What the heck is a "Mercenary Token"?
thebruce wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:29 pm
For once I won't comment first, but sit back and absorb others' before weighing in, lol
:lol:
lefty1117 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:46 pm
My takeaway is that beta backer is very (very) soon, like maybe this week or next week?
Thursday!
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Lix » July 10th, 2018, 4:10 pm

The first section of the game is basically a quest to recruit your starting party, so we quickly ramp you up to four party members. You meet three narrative characters at the start that join your party: Dalgliesh the Dwarven fighter, Wringneck the Trow Rogue, and The Green Lady, an Elven Practitioner. Similar to the starting character, you can choose to continue adventuring with them, or spend Mercenary Tokens to create custom characters to replace them. No one character is required to be in your party.
How do we earn these Mercenary Tokens? Do backers/pre-orders start with some of these tokens, do we need to grind for them, or what?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Zombra » July 10th, 2018, 4:17 pm

Wait a second ... we were told way back when that the party would be 5 PCs. If the "narrative party" is only 4 characters, what does this mean?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Lix » July 10th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Let's say I want to make a new custom character to replace another one. Can I delete the old custom character to earn his/her mercenary tokens back, or do I have to earn new tokens somehow?

Also, is there a finite amount of mercenary tokens in the game? If so, are there more than six?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by PsychicMonk » July 10th, 2018, 4:46 pm

In BT4 XP will be stored for the whole party and not for each character individually if I remember it correctly from one of the older updates.
So I guess tokens are some kind of game ressource to limit the ability to "cheat" by creating and insta leveling custom characters that are super optimized for a specific situation and replacing them afterwards.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 10th, 2018, 4:56 pm

"Mercenary Token" is a strange term for recruiting those who I want to be the core of my party and not mercenaries. That said, I'm glad to finally have some more clarity around the party creation questions. Still more to be answered though, like how do we get Mercenary Tokens, if they are limited in quantity? Or, is the quantity fixed without chance for renewal?

I also share ZiN's disappointment about the Wizard. And calling a "Shadowy Wraith" an elemental is strange - what kind of elemental, a "death elemental"? (Yes, wraiths and demons shared the same picture in BT1 and the terms demon and elemental were used interchangeably in the LESU description, but wraiths were undead and demons were... demons, two entirely different kinds of monster.) Also, seems that summons dissipate over time, which is a departure from the way summoning generally worked in the originals. (Aside from Aker's Animated Sword, summons would generally hang around, once called into the party.)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by aileron » July 11th, 2018, 10:24 am

Is there no option to start the game by creating each character in a party of characters a la BT 1-3?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by thebruce » July 11th, 2018, 10:48 am

aileron wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 10:24 am
Is there no option to start the game by creating each character in a party of characters a la BT 1-3?
No, that does not seem to be the case (no party creation at the get-go - one launch character followed shortly by the option to likely "hire" and create a few of your own characters). We'll know for sure what their explanation means in practice once the beta hits tomorrow.

Which raises another point - we haven't heard anything about the nature of Guild just yet. Will we be able to 'create' many characters, leave them at the guild, and select which ones will be taken along into the party? And swapped at any time at the guild?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Drool » July 11th, 2018, 11:25 am

Zombra wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 4:02 pm
What the heck is a "Mercenary Token"?
That scares me.


Also, is that intro going to be skippable? I get (I suppose) the concept of wanting new players to learn the systems before being able to play how they want, but it's going to pretty much kill any replayablity if I have to grind through an opening just to be able to play the game with my own characters.

Or I'll be forced to drop a hard save after the tutorial so I can actually play when going through a second or third time. Unskippable tutorials are a bad thing, guys.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Zombra » July 11th, 2018, 12:14 pm

Drool wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 11:25 am
Zombra wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 4:02 pm
What the heck is a "Mercenary Token"?
That scares me.
It sounds weird ... PsychicMonk's interpretation above does make it make sense though.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by paultakeda » July 11th, 2018, 2:07 pm

As long as this 'first section' of the game is at most 20 minutes long, and a new game gives you 3 tokens from the get go, then that is more or less the same amount of time it would take for an old school party roll. I am okay with that.

If it takes longer, I am less okay.

If those tokens only come with your first new game and subsequent new games do not, and I highly doubt this scenario, but if so, I am most definitely NOT okay with that.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by ZiN » July 11th, 2018, 2:44 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 12:14 pm
Drool wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 11:25 am
Zombra wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 4:02 pm
What the heck is a "Mercenary Token"?
That scares me.
It sounds weird ... PsychicMonk's interpretation above does make it make sense though.
Makes sense... From a certain perspective yes, I guess it makes sense for us, who have been following this for years, and (to an extent) know about the extremely convoluted and ambiguous ways of InXile's design.
Wouldn't it make more sense if newly created characters started with 0 XP? Then they wouldn't need to introduce stupid things like mercenary tokens and who knows what else they came up with to "balance" the thing...

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Zombra » July 11th, 2018, 2:59 pm

ZiN wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 2:44 pm
Wouldn't it make more sense if newly created characters started with 0 XP? Then they wouldn't need to introduce stupid things like mercenary tokens and who knows what else they came up with to "balance" the thing...
Well. This all traces back to a HUGE question we've had no answer to yet: are there random and/or respawning encounters? Having a "global xp" for ALL player characters implies that xp may not be infinitely available, which in turn would imply no respawns. If we start with the premise that every single fight is a nonrepeatable "set piece", making xp finite, and ALSO allow players to create their own stable of characters from 0 to x, then global xp MUST follow ... otherwise you might end the game with 20 level 5 characters at the Guild instead of 5 level 20s and be unable to do anything. Yet if every new character you create is the same level as your current party, the problem PsychicMonk cited also has to be dealt with, so Merc Tokens are a very logical solution, and honestly not a very offensive one.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by thebruce » July 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm

All those wild mechanics - I never saw the classics having an issue with this.
You could create any number of characters; they'd always start off as a basic character. You had to make that choice - make a new one and level them up to your current level, or push forward with what you've got. That was part of the strategy. Honestly don't care if I've got 20 level 5's or 5 lvel 20's. I still need to advance my characters, any characters, sufficient enough to push forward in the game.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by Zombra » July 11th, 2018, 3:28 pm

thebruce wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm
All those wild mechanics - I never saw the classics having an issue with this.
You could create any number of characters; they'd always start off as a basic character. You had to make that choice - make a new one and level them up to your current level, or push forward with what you've got. That was part of the strategy. Honestly don't care if I've got 20 level 5's or 5 lvel 20's. I still need to advance my characters, any characters, sufficient enough to push forward in the game.
Right, but the point is what if you have a huge stable of level 5 characters but the only dungeon available is level 8 and you get stomped no matter what combination you use? There's no party of five level 5 characters that can survive it. Nowhere to "grind levels" because farming doesn't exist. The level 5 dungeon is permanently empty. Making new level 1 characters obviously won't help. So is it just game over?

It's not really "wild" mechanics, it's just a natural extension of eliminating grinding. Here each dungeon is meant to be played once and then you move on. Finite xp rewarded in the traditional manner would be fine with a single preset party, but they wanted to let us make a stable, which we should all be grateful for. Putting those two things together, global xp makes perfect sense. Global xp with an unlimited roster leads directly to PsychicMonk's ringer problem and M Tokens are a simple and obvious solution to that, and the only downside is - what? Some players go "That's odd"?

The only complaint that really makes sense here is "bring back grinding", i.e. random encounters, which I've always been in favor of.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 46: We're Off To See The Wizard!

Post by thebruce » July 11th, 2018, 3:50 pm

I don't get the sense at all that everything in BT4 will be a one-time experience. I highly doubt there will be NO way to increase XP by casual playing or grinding. We haven't any direct response for that, but I guess that's why it seemed weird - I never considered that there would be no manner of gaining XP in an effectively unlimited manner (though less desireable a strategy at higher levels of course, grinding low level foes even though they may be infinite). ie, just like BT1-3.
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