The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Drool » September 1st, 2018, 6:05 pm

Crosmando wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 4:56 pm
Hate to make the old "technical limitations" argument, but that is exactly it, they literally had no more room on the disc for more dungeons, those games also utilized repeating tilesets to fit as much as they possibly could onto the discs.
Not sure how this is a defense of your statement (35 hours is pathetic for an RPG) or a refutation of the thrust of my argument (there's more to RPG quality than time). Especially since those old games could (and did) simply add more discs.

After all, barely 2 years after Bard's Tale 1, they made 3 which is more than twice as long.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Lix » September 2nd, 2018, 1:35 am

Crosmando wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 4:56 pm
those games also utilized repeating tilesets to fit as much as they possibly could onto the discs.
Lies, there are no repeating tilesets in Wizardry 1!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by ZiN » September 2nd, 2018, 2:19 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 10:47 am
That said, I do hope that the Barrows Deep legacy mode ends up resembling a Bard's Tale game.
demeisen wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 2:42 pm
The legacy mode sounds interesting. Presumably it's something that can only be set at new-game time, and is then sticky for the duration of that game?
Sorry guys, but I'm afraid I don't share your optimism there. In my first post on this thread, there is a breakdown of their intended "legacy mode" features. Do you really think that a hidden minimap, a tacked on "grid movement", the "A-team" and such, will bring it closer to being a true sequel?
Drool wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 1:51 pm
Because the measure of an RPG is how long it takes to play.
Well, indeed, its length is the least of my problems with BT4, although it seems a bit backwards, that it's less than half the length of its prequel. Most good games I've played, have increased their content and playtime with each sequel.
In BT4's case the biggest obstacles to a prolonged fun experience are the apparent lack of random encounters and the lacklustre character progression, in my opinion.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by eisberg » September 2nd, 2018, 3:34 am

ZiN wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 2:19 am
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 10:47 am
That said, I do hope that the Barrows Deep legacy mode ends up resembling a Bard's Tale game.
demeisen wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 2:42 pm
The legacy mode sounds interesting. Presumably it's something that can only be set at new-game time, and is then sticky for the duration of that game?
Sorry guys, but I'm afraid I don't share your optimism there. In my first post on this thread, there is a breakdown of their intended "legacy mode" features. Do you really think that a hidden minimap, a tacked on "grid movement", the "A-team" and such, will bring it closer to being a true sequel?
Drool wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 1:51 pm
Because the measure of an RPG is how long it takes to play.
Well, indeed, its length is the least of my problems with BT4, although it seems a bit backwards, that it's less than half the length of its prequel. Most good games I've played, have increased their content and playtime with each sequel.
In BT4's case the biggest obstacles to a prolonged fun experience are the apparent lack of random encounters and the lacklustre character progression, in my opinion.
Having a bunch of grinding is not the same as having more content. Take away the grinding needed in that game, and the play time would significantly drop. Bard's Tale 3 basically had 8 multi-level dungeons among 8 towns. Bard's Tale 4 is going to have something like 20 multi level dungeons, I think it was more, among 5 towns, having 350 distinct locations, and even 350 speaking parts, but it isn't going to have the grinding, and no doubt if they did put the grinding in it, then it would most likely double or even triple in play time.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by demeisen » September 2nd, 2018, 7:43 am

ZiN wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 2:19 am
Sorry guys, but I'm afraid I don't share your optimism there. In my first post on this thread, there is a breakdown of their intended "legacy mode" features. Do you really think that a hidden minimap, a tacked on "grid movement", the "A-team" and such, will bring it closer to being a true sequel?
Can't speak for anybody else, but I'm mostly interested in the save system myself, and to a lesser extent the scrolling combat log. Obviously that's not going to make the rest of the game just like BT1, so no arguments there. But in and of itself, I'm glad they're adding those things.

I hope at some point we get a guestimate about how long the Linux version might be delayed. Not looking for a hold-feet-to-the-fire rock solid day or anything, but a rough idea of whether we're talking days, weeks, or months would be nice.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » September 2nd, 2018, 9:45 am

ZiN wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 2:19 am
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 10:47 am
That said, I do hope that the Barrows Deep legacy mode ends up resembling a Bard's Tale game.
demeisen wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 2:42 pm
The legacy mode sounds interesting. Presumably it's something that can only be set at new-game time, and is then sticky for the duration of that game?
Sorry guys, but I'm afraid I don't share your optimism there. In my first post on this thread, there is a breakdown of their intended "legacy mode" features. Do you really think that a hidden minimap, a tacked on "grid movement", the "A-team" and such, will bring it closer to being a true sequel?
I would hope that that list is not complete. The A-team means nothing to me - I want to make my own party of six characters at the outset. The hidden minimap also means nothing to me. The grid movement would bring it closer, but I have doubts that it will work well. Basically, I am taking a wait-and-see attitude at this point and trying to be hopeful. I think a lot of it will depend on whether they engage with fan base or not, because I still don't think they get what a Bard's Tale game is to most of us. (A scrolling combat log doesn't make it Bard's Tale, not by a long shot. Doing something, like adopting Bard's Tale combat mechanics, would bring it a lot closer.)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by DNACowboy » September 2nd, 2018, 10:30 am

ZiN wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 5:29 am

They have promised 25 hours, so we're getting 40% more game!
We also get 50 speaking parts, over 30 distinct locations, and over 100 pieces of music! 100! Plus 4 races, 4 classes and 14 spells!
And they have thrown in more than 7.5 million dollars of their very own, hard-earned money! How awesome are they? They only need to sell about 300.000 copies to break even!

We can also replay the first 10 hours 20 times and still enjoy it! We can enjoy kicking Melody out of the party 20 times, saving Wringneck, Daelgliesh and the Green Lady 20 times and killing the 5 groups of 100HP, 9AC paladins in "cool tactical combat" 20 times! Truly brilliant! What other game can you say the same about?
What matey said.
This poster receives no commercial consideration or work from Inxile, he truly believes Bards Tale IV: Barrows Deep to be a great game and one he enjoys on a daily basis

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by ZiN » September 2nd, 2018, 11:51 am

demeisen wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 7:43 am
Can't speak for anybody else, but I'm mostly interested in the save system myself, and to a lesser extent the scrolling combat log.
I'm also interested in the save system, they think is closer to the originals. I can imagine 2 possible versions:
- Single slot save anywhere: Makes the game easier and quicker, for the reasons I've explained in my first post.
- Save only at guild: Unless they also implement APAR and fleeing from combat, this will once again just be a tacked on feature, without much thought, that only adds unnecessary legwork and frustration.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by thebruce » September 2nd, 2018, 1:54 pm

To me the combat and grid/mapping are the most significant strays from the classics. So there's a BIG gap to span for legacy mode to 'feel' more like the Bard's Tale-y for me.
Crosmando wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
The problem is that the devs have gone for a "show everything" style of game with no real use of abstraction to make good use of limited budget, which is what blobbers are famous for. So many unique animations, 3d NPCs etc, would of been so much better to have the traditional "walk into buildings" approach where NPCs are just static screens.
Literal creep! Literal creep! Been crying about that for the last couple of years, at least! :'(
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Themadcow » September 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am

ZiN wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 11:51 am
demeisen wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 7:43 am
Can't speak for anybody else, but I'm mostly interested in the save system myself, and to a lesser extent the scrolling combat log.
I'm also interested in the save system, they think is closer to the originals. I can imagine 2 possible versions:
- Single slot save anywhere: Makes the game easier and quicker, for the reasons I've explained in my first post.
- Save only at guild: Unless they also implement APAR and fleeing from combat, this will once again just be a tacked on feature, without much thought, that only adds unnecessary legwork and frustration.
What I hope they mean is a suspend save system where the "In dungeon" save is auto deleted on reload, while permanent saves are only at the AG. That way you can exit the game whenever (without penalty) but if you wipe then you can only reload from the AG. Usually these systems can be cheesed on PC by cloning the suspend save file, but only if you make the effort.

I'm 50/50 on these announcements - saves sound potentially good, tacked on grid is better than none (probably) but I couldn't give a toss about the A Team - virtually everyone prefers to roll their own and nick the A Team's gear in the originals.

35 hours length sounds OK to me - but that's the view of a guy with wife, kids, dog and demanding job. Key there is replay value, which I feel is compromised a fair bit by some of the design choices - puzzles only work once.

I'll probably hold off playing BT4 full release until the legacy mode is in place, and judge it then.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Gizmo » September 3rd, 2018, 5:30 am

Themadcow wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am
...tacked on grid is better than none (probably)
I'd say not. The Ravenloft and Menzoberranzan games seemed to have 'tacked on' grid mode. In the best cases, it made no difference if it was used or not; in the worst cases, certain maps were not traversable—due to the placement of obstacles on the map that were impassable using grid mode... presumably an accident; (missed for lack of testing?).

Mapping and searching aside, imagine tackling a puzzle like this (in LoG1) without grid mode:
https://youtu.be/SRDVIlqt8B0

( This is about the only use for tacked on grid mode that I can think of. :( )
Last edited by Gizmo on September 3rd, 2018, 9:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Themadcow » September 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am

Yeah, I'm not massively hopeful of the grid mode but the free movement in the Beta just feels horribly 'off' to me. Movement in Mage's Tale is really, really wonky too (especially when going up/around slopes) - but I put that down to the challenges of VR.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by insanedeman » September 3rd, 2018, 10:27 am

To offset a bit the negative posts...in all honesty for 20+ years I didn't even think of the possibility they might make a true BT game again (the tongue in cheek bard was amazing, but not the same game). I am absolutely amazed at what they've done to blend new with old. I loved the beta, and was left waiting with wonderful anticipation to see the rest of the game they're bringing us. Just enjoy their vision guys. Have fun!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Gizmo » September 3rd, 2018, 3:34 pm

Drool wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 6:05 pm
Especially since those old games could (and did) simply add more discs.
Mechanical floppy disks were expensive to include. Back then the 5¼ floppies could retail for $4 to $8; so even at wholesale rate, the addition of another disk could significantly bump up the manufacturing cost of each game box.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by PsychicMonk » September 3rd, 2018, 4:12 pm

Gizmo wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 3:34 pm
Mechanical floppy disks were expensive to include. Back then the 5¼ floppies could retail for $4 to $8; so even at wholesale rate, the addition of another disk could significantly bump up the manufacturing cost of each game box.
Wasn't the fact that Bard's Tale required more than one Disk the reason why it wasn't published by Activision?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by Bladesinger » September 3rd, 2018, 10:20 pm

I just wanted to say this. Since I wasnt Alpha I thought I would just wait for release. The work they seem to have done appears to bring Bards Tale as a game into the modern age. It looks promising. Having said that. Sure we can always say More More more. But instead how about this.. be thankful for what we have. They have done an amazing job from my opinion and I have yet to play it. Also if they dont make profit then I bet we wont see a bards tale 5. So if they offer legacy mode for a small fee or have other perks or bonuses to bring them back into the positive. I suggest instead of trolling them lets support them and if we can afford it then pay a fraction more. If not then we shouldnt complain when they dont make the next kickstarter.

Anyway. Bt1 remaster is great. Hard to get used to not having replay on the 4 x 99 berserkers. But hey. Lot less grinding and its sort of feeling like Too easy mode.

Hope BT4 is a bit challenging. I want know how they decide its a 35 hour game anyway. Can someone please explain how they work out that its 35 hours?

Also not real sure about the racial differences either. Please explain why it had to be changed?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by eisberg » September 3rd, 2018, 11:04 pm

Bladesinger wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 10:20 pm
I want know how they decide its a 35 hour game anyway. Can someone please explain how they work out that its 35 hours?
Through play testing.
For example, here is a tweet from Brian quoting a message he got from QA
https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/1 ... 8249078784

"Daniel did a super speed run and skipped all dialogue in the game - he came at exactly 30 hrs and I just finished my end-to-end at 45hrs. I did all the content except the 99 berserker fight"

35 hours sounds like it could be a more conservative number of hours

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by ZiN » September 4th, 2018, 1:40 am

Themadcow wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am
What I hope they mean is a suspend save system where the "In dungeon" save is auto deleted on reload, while permanent saves are only at the AG. That way you can exit the game whenever (without penalty) but if you wipe then you can only reload from the AG. Usually these systems can be cheesed on PC by cloning the suspend save file, but only if you make the effort.
What is the point of walking back (and forth) to the guild before every yellow and red fight? Sure, it adds hours of additional playtime, but the way back is uneventful and boring. In the classics it was about resource management and uncertainity if you can make it. There is nothing like that in here, so the whole thing is pointless in my opinion. The game is simply not designed in a way to make it meaningful. The same can be said for grid-movement, of course.
Furthermore a very stable, nearly bug-free game is required for this kind of save system to work: Losing progress due to crashes, save corruption and bugs is the most anti-fun thing in gaming.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by thebruce » September 4th, 2018, 7:28 am

Themadcow wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am
Key there is replay value, which I feel is compromised a fair bit by some of the design choices - puzzles only work once.
Yes, absolutely. And puzzles you have to solve through busywork (like, you know how to solve, but now you have to sit there to get from A to B, where the first time it was also tinkering and discovering) are most un-fun. BT1-3 had puzzles that required you to continue through gameplay, even though you knew the answer to the riddle or the steps to take, you still had to traverse dungeons (ie, dungeon crawling) in order to complete the tasks or puzzles. The puzzles were effectively plot that explosed you to core gameplay (especially on those first solves, poring over all the maps you made to find tips and hints you may have missed).
Themadcow wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 12:11 am
I'll probably hold off playing BT4 full release until the legacy mode is in place, and judge it then.
I'm increasingly leaning this way. I don't know if I can hold off, but yeah if I want to really feel like I'm playing BT4 (before any judgments or exposure) I'm increasingly feeling like Legacy mode is the only way to do this.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 51: The Bard Draws Near!

Post by thebruce » September 4th, 2018, 7:31 am

Bladesinger wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 10:20 pm
I suggest instead of trolling them lets support them and if we can afford it then pay a fraction more. If not then we shouldnt complain when they dont make the next kickstarter.
1. It's not trolling to express displeasure, even intense displeasure. Trolling is something very different, and there's none of that here.
2. Many of us paid a relative arm and a leg into the initial project already. And inXile paid in a whole LOT more than received from the Kickstarter.
3. Let's let the game stand on its own merit - now, since there have been years of community interaction and feedback with the hopes that development would work hand in hand. That won't be happening now with the game on the verge of release. If there isn't another Kickstarter game, it's not on the community, it's on the game.
Bladesinger wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 10:20 pm
Anyway. Bt1 remaster is great. Hard to get used to not having replay on the 4 x 99 berserkers. But hey. Lot less grinding and its sort of feeling like Too easy mode.
Agreed on this!
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