Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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Lix
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Lix » April 7th, 2018, 12:56 am

Will player made companions be able to talk to each other, or are these "banter" segments shown in the videos reserved for inXile-made companions? Will the main character be able to join in?

Will the player be able to fully customize their main character (class, race, gender, etc.), or will there be pre-defined settings (you're always a bard, you're always human, etc.)?

I also have questions about this quote:
The thing that matters is that party members scale up with the foes and main character. That means players can freely choose, which hero to bring along and craft parties for different scenarios.
It seems impossible that party members could scale both with the enemies and with the main character at the same time - unless the enemies also scale with the main character. Who exactly is being scaled with what in BT4?

If enemies scale, are there any scaling caps in place (per region, per monster type, etc.)?

And two connected questions:

1) Are the party's total action points based on party size?
2) Does a character who goes solo and kills enemies alone get more xp than a character who adventures with companions?

I'm asking because the AP system shown in the alpha seems to be favor smaller parties, and offers relatively little incentive to field a full party of six*. If enemies do not scale with the main character, then it might make sense to adventure with as few party members as possible.

*Is six the max party size?

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Serjo » April 13th, 2018, 10:41 am

Will all dialogues be fully voiced, like in Wizardry 8?

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by phimseto » April 13th, 2018, 11:16 am

Working on some of these questions for the next backer update. We may have to hold off on some, but I'm pushing to get as many answered as I can.

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Zombra » April 13th, 2018, 12:02 pm

Nice, I wasn't aware the thread was semi-official. I'll chip in a couple bullet points:
  • What's up with party creation? We have 5 player-created PCs, right?
  • Is it true that we start with only 1 PC and add more later? Perhaps at the Adventurers' Guild?
  • What's up with player character portrait selection?
    Can we expect a selection on par with Wizardry 8 (2-5 for each race/gender combination)?
  • What's up with player character voice packs?
    Can we expect a selection on par with Wizardry 8 (18 voices per gender, not locked to race or class)?
  • If voice packs are class locked (e.g. female-bard-specific dialogue in the alpha/demo), how many can we expect to choose from for each character? Is there only one female bard voice?
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Serjo » April 13th, 2018, 12:40 pm

I think my last question kinda answered itself already. With the news that PoE2 will have nearly a hundred hours of full voice acting for all of its dialogues, I don't think inXile can get away with only partial voice acting anymore. All the major streamers will expect full voice acting from a new RPG now, and BT4 will have to follow suit.

The big question for me is whether inXile's VA budget is big enough to allow for a large selection of companion voices. I want to join Zombra in asking for the specific number of available voice packs for our characters.
Last edited by Serjo on April 13th, 2018, 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by thebruce » April 13th, 2018, 12:44 pm

BT4 will have to follow suit.
I don't think it will HAVE to follow suit. But if they start doing something, they'd certainly be smart to finish it. The question is what are they aiming for with having voice acting. It should never be a requirement for a good game. Anyone who says it is is... well... not someone to whose opinion I'd give much weight.
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Serjo » April 13th, 2018, 12:50 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 12:44 pm
BT4 will have to follow suit.
I don't think it will HAVE to follow suit. But if they start doing something, they'd certainly be smart to finish it. The question is what are they aiming for with having voice acting. It should never be a requirement for a good game. Anyone who says it is is... well... not someone to whose opinion I'd give much weight.
Streamers have a strong preference for fully voice acted games because being forced to read out the dialogues themselves tires out their voices and makes the LPs less fun for them. Less fun for the streamers = fewer streams = fewer views = less revenue = the difference between a successful game and a commercial failure.

And then there's the prestige angle: with both Larian and Obsidian now committed to full voice acting for their games, what would it mean for inXile if they couldn't follow suit?

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Zombra » April 13th, 2018, 1:19 pm

Serjo wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 12:40 pm
I think my last question kinda answered itself already. With the news that PoE2 will have nearly a hundred hours of full voice acting for all of its dialogues, I don't think inXile can get away with only partial voice acting anymore. All the major streamers will expect full voice acting from a new RPG now, and BT4 will have to follow suit.
The obvious concern this raises is going the Fallout 4 route. If there's a ton of dialogue that all has to be fully voiced, how many actors can they pay to do it? inXile presents their next great RPG, starring that one actor as "Blando Everyman"! You are Blando, and I hope you like his voice and personality because that's all you get, baby! At that point I'd hope they'd stop pretending to let us make our own character and follow the Witcher's example instead. At least it's honest.

The correct solution imo is to simply not have a million hours of conversation in the first place. Wizardry 8 didn't use Biowarian dialogue structure at all, yet no one complained that there wasn't enough acting in it.

Kinda getting off track here though. :) [/derail]
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by thebruce » April 13th, 2018, 1:24 pm

Serjo wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 12:50 pm
Streamers have a strong preference for fully voice acted games because being forced to read out the dialogues themselves tires out their voices and makes the LPs less fun for them. Less fun for the streamers = fewer streams = fewer views = less revenue = the difference between a successful game and a commercial failure.
I beg to differ that streaming makes or breaks a game commercially. Nonetheless, as I said, it depends on what inXile is aiming for with voice acting. If they want streamers, and as you say that defines a successful game or not, then they'll need to do loads of voice acting.
But I don't see that as a priority (voice acting, or streaming, for Bard's Tale IV). Anyway, it's a question posed that maybe they'll answer.
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by ZiN » April 13th, 2018, 3:54 pm

I don't give a shit about voice acting in my dungeon-crawler to be honest, and especially not about streamers. "Youtube/Twitch creep" is the last thing I want, to ruin the sophisticated gameplay. Casual "content creators" clowning around in "game journalist mode" for easy watching, is the last thing gameplay should be optimized for. The random chatter during combat and exploration was already tiresome enough, during the 20 minute demo, that I'd pretty much turn it off.
On the other hand, I'm interested, if my favourite bard songs (see sig) will be fully brought to life, by artists playing on real instruments and whether using various instruments in the game will be fully "voice acted", at least on par with Wizardry 8. (It was shit in the demo.)
Also, how many different types of instruments and approximately how many unique ones will be featured? (in comparison to Wiz8.)

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Serjo » April 16th, 2018, 9:27 am

thebruce wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 1:24 pm
I beg to differ that streaming makes or breaks a game commercially.
Slay the Spire recently broke a million copies and hopefully cost a lot less to develop than BT4. Streamers were virtually the only exposure it had:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/64657 ... the_Spire/

http://steamspy.com/app/646570 (only useful for the peak player and YouTube stats now)

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by thebruce » April 16th, 2018, 9:41 am

Serjo wrote:
April 16th, 2018, 9:27 am
Slay the Spire recently broke a million copies and hopefully cost a lot less to develop than BT4. Streamers were virtually the only exposure it had:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/64657 ... the_Spire/

http://steamspy.com/app/646570 (only useful for the peak player and YouTube stats now)
thebruce wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 1:24 pm
I beg to differ that streaming makes or breaks a game commercially.
(implied list of games that were successful without streaming, and list of games that were not successful despite having streaming)
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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Gizmo » April 16th, 2018, 10:20 am

thebruce wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 1:24 pm
Serjo wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 12:50 pm
Streamers have a strong preference for fully voice acted games because being forced to read out the dialogues themselves tires out their voices and makes the LPs less fun for them. Less fun for the streamers = fewer streams = fewer views = less revenue = the difference between a successful game and a commercial failure.
I beg to differ that streaming makes or breaks a game commercially.
The best Let's Play that I've ever seen (and heard), was of Wasteland. ;)

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by ZiN » April 16th, 2018, 11:07 am

Serjo wrote:
April 16th, 2018, 9:27 am
Slay the Spire recently broke a million copies and hopefully cost a lot less to develop than BT4. Streamers were virtually the only exposure it had:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/64657 ... the_Spire/
Offtopic. Running Steam early-access, with weekly, detailed updates and patches, is one way to get exposure and streamers. This requires straight communication and a strong presence by the developers. It works both ways, as streamers love seeing games shaping up and developers can look at the streams for feedback.

Another way is (was) to run a (very) successful Kickstarter Campaign, with meaty updates and communication with the backers, plus delivering a product in accordance with the pitch. Pillars of Eternity also broke 1 million sales.

Now ask yourself, what made one of the most successful and anticipated video game Kisckstarters a huge flop. Also ask, how much effort was taken, to make the most out of the BT4 Kickstarter campaign and how much of the promised product will be delivered in the end.

Eww, I wrote a lot of other stuff, but changed my mind and deleted it. In short, a game like Bard's Tale, a complex, deep, old-school dungeon-crawler, is not something your average streamer would pick up, and I really hope, that the compromises in order to make it more streamer-friendly, at the expense of backers, will be kept to a minimum.

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by demeisen » April 16th, 2018, 12:08 pm

Serjo wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 12:50 pm
And then there's the prestige angle: with both Larian and Obsidian now committed to full voice acting for their games, what would it mean for inXile if they couldn't follow suit?
It would mean they made their own choice?

I think Pillars of Eternity was a lovely, brilliant, and beautiful game, and Obsidian's artists have got mad talent, but it is a very different style from a BT blobber (not to mention having a far larger budget). While I won't complain if BT4 has some voice acting, I'd just as soon they go light on that stuff and spend the limited dev budget on more gameplay oriented things. Grimrock was quite successful in the Dungeon Master (real time blobber) style, and I don't recall it having much or any voice acting. There are plenty of successful games both with and without.

So to the thread's topic, things I'd like to know:
  1. Will there be a "classic" or "hardcore" game mode, and what all might that encompass? For example, disabling of post-combat auto-resurrection? BT1-style saving in only inns or designated safe areas?
  2. Will the beta version be available on all the final OS platforms? Will it be available on GOG as well as Steam?

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Serjo » April 16th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Will there be multiple difficulties to choose from? I ask because Torment and Battletech are two recent examples of "old school" turn based games that launched/will launch without any difficulty options.

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Re: Things You Want to Know About BT4 [Questions]

Post by Lix » April 17th, 2018, 7:36 pm

I'd love to hear something about the AI as well.

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