The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Grohal » May 21st, 2018, 12:52 am

The remastered pictures look very much like the remastered Wasteland (1) pictures in style - was it the same studio that did this?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by sear » May 21st, 2018, 5:52 am

Grohal wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 12:52 am
The remastered pictures look very much like the remastered Wasteland (1) pictures in style - was it the same studio that did this?
Krome Studios is helming the Bard's Tale Remaster, while the Wasteland 1 update was done by Square One Games (which has done a number of projects with inXile, including Bard's Tale on mobile).

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by ZiN » May 21st, 2018, 10:23 am

But unlike the WL remaster, this time they're also going to animate the portraits, instead of using static images. Very cool. Also the gameworld looks very much improved on the screenshot, so overall, this remaster seems to have much higher production value, than the WL one.
sear wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 5:52 am
...Bard's Tale on mobile...
That's a good idea, especially if the savegames will be compatible, so I can always bring my party with me and do some grinding, while travelling, waiting in line, etc.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Grohal » May 21st, 2018, 10:34 am

sear wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 5:52 am
Grohal wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 12:52 am
The remastered pictures look very much like the remastered Wasteland (1) pictures in style - was it the same studio that did this?
Krome Studios is helming the Bard's Tale Remaster, while the Wasteland 1 update was done by Square One Games (which has done a number of projects with inXile, including Bard's Tale on mobile).
Thanks for the info, sear. :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by ZZGO » May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am

Good update.

I don't get why people are unhappy about starting out with only one character (which they may later change). I concur that grooming and training your characters/party is a big part of the Bard's Tale experience - but the party really only gets set in stone once they are all around level 3 or so. I churned through a lot of low-level characters and didn't bother healing resurrecting them, until a relatively stable party of survivors had formed. Only once you hit level 3 or 4 and can walk about Skara Brae with impunity even at night, there's no reason to change anything or swap anyone out. Which kinda felt like a lost opportunity to me. There was one Snare in BT2 that required you to have 3 monsters in the party so you couldn't bring more than 4 party members... but that's the only one I recall (and while I think it was a smart idea now, back then I felt it was mean and it annoyed me).
Gradually growing your party in size and maybe in-game incentives to swap out party members temporarily or even permanently is something I can appreciate, if it's done right.

No scaling of monsters makes me very happy. Taking the very essence out of growing stronger makes for a trite game. (Looking at you, Diablo. I hated it, and only played it for the challenge of beating the game with as low-level a character as I could. Well actually hate is too strong a word. Let's just say I wasn't quite as impressed as others apparently were.)

The Remasters... wow. Nice one InXile!
Will there be bugfixes? What original version will the rules/in-game functions follow, as there were small differences? Will there be tweaks and rule changes to remove exploitable loopholes (bard healing, fixed combat grinding, illusionary Specials treated as real)? Will autmapping ignore Darkness areas or map right through them?
Will Krome entertain the idea of tweaking or adding puzzles and dungeons so that old guard players can replay the games from scratch without sleepwalking through them?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 22nd, 2018, 5:32 am

ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
but the party really only gets set in stone once they are all around level 3 or so.
Not really. It depends a lot of someone's early development strategy and the particular class-related bugs/features of the platform being played. Plenty of people swap out characters at later phases of development, such as to add a third mage to a party if it didn't start that way. And people want to be able to do that at will, not when the game tells them that they can. Also, new players may want to experiment with various classes before deciding on which ones they want to run with.

The bottom line, though, is that it doesn't follow the expected mechanic of the original games in the series. You can say you don't see a problem with the BT IV mechanic, but the question is whether there was a problem with the BT I-III mechanic of allowing an entire party to be created at start. If not, then why change it?
ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
I churned through a lot of low-level characters and didn't bother healing resurrecting them, until a relatively stable party of survivors had formed.
As I'm pretty sure we all did. But I am not sure how you are equating party churn with the lack of initial selection.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by demeisen » May 22nd, 2018, 8:06 am

ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
(Looking at you, Diablo. I hated it,... Well actually hate is too strong a word. Let's just say I wasn't quite as impressed as others apparently were.)
The Diablos are quite a different sub-genre, IMO. I had fun with them, but as "popcorn" games. There's not much substance behind them or anything to take seriously: you just sit down with some friends over pizza and beers and stomp around killing hoards of things without much thought. In contrast I view the BT series, or BG, POE, etc as serious RPGs: they're ones where I want to engage my imagination and become immersed in the world and game systems the vendor has created. (To be fair, some of that in BT1 was due to technical limitations of the time).

My view is that we've seen an inexorable creeping of the popcorn-RPG mechanics into the serious RPG camp in recent decades. There are ups and downs, but more downs than ups. You see occasional exceptions, but often a regression in the next installment of the same series in an effort to capture more of the "casual" market. E.g, POE1 had long term health, and POE2:DF has instant health regeneration after every combat, straight out of Diablo. These trends seem to be strongly correlated with market size: the biggest games like Bethesda's stuff does it the worst, and the smaller the game's market, the more interesting and non-mass-market mechanics it can have.

BT4 is small enough to be a partial exception to the trends. We're getting long term health (but not SP, unless, hopefully, that changes...), there isn't going to be any Oblivion-style auto-scaling, it's turn based tactical combat, it will (allegedly) let you get to places you aren't ready for rather than trying to hold your hand and protect you from yourself, etc. That beats the direction the bigger part of the industry is going: auto-regen of everything, auto-scaling enemies so everything is perfectly tuned to you at all times, "action" mechanics, ever smaller parties...

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by ZiN » May 22nd, 2018, 12:39 pm

Ah, the Diablos. Very honest games (excluding D3 obviously), they did exactly what they "said on the tin". Fast paced action-RPGs, with great graphics, procedural generation and multiplayer. That was actually something new, in 1997. D2 also had such a huge, robust itemization and impressive character building. You could play is as a "popcorn" game, or go Hell mode, optimizing character builds and gear. I remember endless discussions on several forums, concerning builds, gear and PvP. Good times...

It was all about "dungeon-crawling", slaying lots of monsters and getting more powerful by acquiring better items and magic, so you can slay more powerful monsters. The occassional "lore dumps" were short, to the point and actually well-written and voiced. To me, characters like Deckard, Tal-Rasha, Tyrael, etc; were much more interesting and badass, than todays' tryhard "writers" come up with. For that matter, Lanatir, Cyanis & Alliria, Ferofist & Urmech too. Call it nostalgia, but I really found these "Kickstarter renaissance" RPGs' characters and worlds dull and boring.

In the ARPG category, Diablo and D2 is a legend, and looking at Path of Exile, Grinding Gear Games did a superb job at reviving the "classic dungeon-crawling ARPG". We have yet to see, how InXile are going to do the same with the classic turn-based "blobber".
demeisen wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 8:06 am
POE2:DF has instant health regeneration after every combat, straight out of Diablo.
I don't remeber D2 having instant health regeneration, but lots of potion chugging, mana shields, life-leech and safety-portals.
ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
No scaling of monsters makes me very happy. Taking the very essence out of growing stronger makes for a trite game. Looking at you, Diablo...
Don't remember that either from D2, unless you're talking about replaying on nightmare, and hell difficulties, where the really good stuff was.
ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
The Remasters... wow. Nice one InXile!
Will there be bugfixes? What original version will the rules/in-game functions follow, as there were small differences? Will there be tweaks and rule changes to remove exploitable loopholes (bard healing, fixed combat grinding, illusionary Specials treated as real)? Will autmapping ignore Darkness areas or map right through them?
Will Krome entertain the idea of tweaking or adding puzzles and dungeons so that old guard players can replay the games from scratch without sleepwalking through them?
Only BT3 (PC version) needs bug-fixing. The rest of those mechanics should be left exactly as they were in the originals, in my opinion.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 22nd, 2018, 1:01 pm

ZiN wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 12:39 pm
ZZGO wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 4:54 am
Will there be tweaks and rule changes to remove exploitable loopholes (bard healing, fixed combat grinding, illusionary Specials treated as real)?
Only BT3 (PC version) needs bug-fixing. The rest of those mechanics should be left exactly as they were in the originals, in my opinion.
I think that the "bard healing" loophole mentioned is probably the one where people would Party Attack with low level characters and then Defend round after round, having a bard play Badh'r Kilnfest on the first round. The cost of a drink is a lot less than the cost of getting healed at the temple, although it takes ridiculously boring to a whole new level.

One way this loophole could be fixed would be to add a probability for monsters to join combat while only party members are "fighting" one another. The probability of monsters joining combat would have to be less than that of finding them by kicking down a door in town, assuming the usual 1-in-4 probability of finding monsters that way (in those versions that implemented it), or a new XP-farming exploit would open.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by demeisen » May 22nd, 2018, 1:28 pm

ZiN wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 12:39 pm
huge, robust itemization ...
If you liked randomly generated items and loot explosions, anyway :lol: .

Maybe you're right about the health regen. Been a long time; I may be getting it mixed up with something else by now.

In the action sub-genre, I thought Diablo pulled off a fun game better than Torchlight.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Drool » May 22nd, 2018, 1:55 pm

ZiN wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 12:39 pm
I don't remeber D2 having instant health regeneration, but lots of potion chugging, mana shields, life-leech and safety-portals.
It was possible to get passive HP regen, but that required either a charm (from LoD expansion) or a lucky roll on getting a Unique. It was painfully slow, though.
Don't remember that either from D2, unless you're talking about replaying on nightmare, and hell difficulties, where the really good stuff was.
Yeah, D2 didn't scale at all. Take a level 100 post-Hell character over to visit Bloody Raven and she'll barely be a speedbump.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Zombra » May 22nd, 2018, 3:38 pm

Really liked everything I saw in this update. Relieved that full party creation has (again :)) been confirmed. It even looks like you can create all 6; I think before it was going to be 5 created + room for 1 CNPC. That's awesome.

Also delighted to read about "Luck Stones" being save game checkpoints, meaning that "free saving" is not in the game! Thank you!
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 22nd, 2018, 4:10 pm

Zombra wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 3:38 pm
Really liked everything I saw in this update. Relieved that full party creation has (again :)) been confirmed. It even looks like you can create all 6; I think before it was going to be 5 created + room for 1 CNPC. That's awesome.
Bard's Tale IV update #44 wrote: Q: Will it be possible to create your full party?

A: Yes, though not all at once. You start off with one character, and you'll be able to swap that one out during the introduction if you wish. Over the course of the game, you'll be able to grow your party up to six.
Sorry, but full party creation has been officially denied. Unless you are counting it as creation over the lifetime of the game, but then it's not clear that you actually do have full control of your party's content.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Zombra » May 22nd, 2018, 6:27 pm

I don't know how much clearer it can get than "Yes." :|
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » May 22nd, 2018, 7:09 pm

If "creation" involves choosing which NPCs will join my party, then I don't consider it creation. (Note they address whether you can "create" a full party, not whether you can create each character in that party.) They haven't actually said that you can create all six characters over the course of the game. They have used the more ambiguous term "grow" instead. Also, they say that you will get to swap "that one" during the introduction - what about the rest of the game? If this is all clear to you, then great. However, I am still seeing semantic ambiguity that leaves quite a bit of wiggle room for interpretation.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by thebruce » May 22nd, 2018, 7:46 pm

I'm hoping, at worst, they mean that you gain the ability to have new 'slots'. ie, you start off with only one slot, but as you hit plot beats, you gain another slot and can 'create' another character to fill it; up to 6 characters, but up to 8 slots.
I'd prefer having all slots from the beginning, but IF we can create characters, then the only limitation would seem to be the number of available slots in which to place them. We needmore clarification of this mechanic.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Gizmo » May 22nd, 2018, 9:41 pm

One thing that I would not like to see done —not at all— is use of the shop, and NPC swap systems seen in Throne of Darkness.

(The Diablo-style Blacksmith and Healer were party menus; usable at anytime—anywhere... even in caves. The NPCs could all teleport back to the HQ when they needed rest. All for the sake of pacing, and to remove the inconvenience of returning to town.)

What happens in BT4 if you wish to drop a PC? What happens (with a full party) if you pick up a new PC?—what happens (to the one you leave) if you are levels deep in a hostile location?

**IMO (unless deposited in a town)... dropped PCs going back to the tavern, should receive a statistical amount of encounter damage; possibly getting killed on the solo trip back.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by demeisen » May 23rd, 2018, 10:36 am

Gizmo wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:41 pm
One thing that I would not like to see done —not at all— is use of the shop, and NPC swap systems seen in Throne of Darkness.

(The Diablo-style Blacksmith and Healer were party menus; usable at anytime—anywhere... even in caves.
Agreed. That kind of "convenience" feature is tough. Never mind that particular one, you could probably find a dozen others similar in spirit in various games. Each one takes a little bit away from immersion, IMO. It isn't that any given one is fatal, but the accumulated weight of them leads to a place that no longer feels quite so much like a rational game world. Weird creatures, magic, and bizarre dungeon traps are an expected part of the world, but having a storefront or temple suddenly pop into existence in the middle of a dangerous dungeon at the push of a button seems too 4th wall breaking. (My sense so far is that BT4 thankfully isn't going to feature "instant shops: just add water!", but I don't know for sure).

In various other RPGs, I've seen people arguing strongly in favor of almost everything I feel falls into this 4th-wall-breaking bucket. ("Why should I have to run all the way back to a town to sell things? It's just busy work and interrupts the flow." "Why should there by any limit on how much I can carry? It's just a number." "Why should I ever have to worry about resting? Just automatically restore me after each combat". Etc). It's hard to argue the mechanics aren't more convenient, but that's not the only factor involved.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by thebruce » May 23rd, 2018, 10:56 am

yeah, the "busywork" argument is SO subjective. One person's busywork is another person's time and resource management strategy...
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions

Post by Drool » May 24th, 2018, 1:14 pm

demeisen wrote:
May 23rd, 2018, 10:36 am
In various other RPGs, I've seen people arguing strongly in favor of almost everything I feel falls into this 4th-wall-breaking bucket. ("Why should I have to run all the way back to a town to sell things? It's just busy work and interrupts the flow." "Why should there by any limit on how much I can carry? It's just a number." "Why should I ever have to worry about resting? Just automatically restore me after each combat". Etc). It's hard to argue the mechanics aren't more convenient, but that's not the only factor involved.
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