BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

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

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Re: BT4 Fidelity

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 9th, 2019, 4:32 pm

KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
I actually agree with you on the races, classes and magic system. It would of been better to keep the originals but improve them.
Yes. This I agree with, but not by throwing out everything in the originals and replacing it with something "modern". The BT remasters (and, yes, they were something more than pure remasters) did a good job at making evolutionary improvements while leaving the game recognizable. inXile could've walked the same path as Krome, while providing new content and a new scenario.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
The problem in BT1 is all the races ended up being the same after the a couple of hours gameplay i.e. max stats.
The races were sufficiently differentiated in their bonuses and penalties to starting ability scores to make them somewhat interesting initially. But, it is true that hard cap at 18 for stats (without editing the character files) did cause them to become less interesting over time. But, I am not sure that I would classify that as a significant problem. The choice of race was still important initially. It was not game-breaking that they played no role later on.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
The classes (fighter, paladin, monk) just needed more abilities and variety (not just pushing A,A or A,B every battle).
Paladins and Warriors could've used better differentiation from one another. There were some small differences in available equipment, but the Paladin's superior magic resistance made it the winner in the longer term. Both classes had the same number of attacks per round and the same hit die (1d16) on level up.

I'm not against pure hack-and-slash meat shields, though. They suit some people's style of play. And, if you're managing a party of 6 characters and dealing with lots of random combat, it is nice sometimes to not have to think in detail about the tactical possibilities of each character. Sure, maybe Paladins could've been given access to REDE or DEBA at higher levels and Warriors could've been given a passive like spreading damage in a group, but having an array of fancy taunts and whatnot would probably be going too far.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
Although I beg to disagree on Tarjan, it's pretty common in fantasy literature and gaming for a defeated boss to come back in a weaker form subservient to a new boss.
Tarjan was an extremely powerful entity capable of moving through temporal and spatial dimensions in BT3 and the ultimate embodiment of evil in many ways. With the Old Man, you were essentially looking at a God-and-Satan story. To claim that there was greater evil lurking behind this "lesser evil" the whole time strains credulity a bit.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
My original issue was with the three of you taking issue with the Scottish theme. Firstly, while BTIV does have heavy Scottish influences there are plenty of regular generic fantasy joe npc's and generic locations all over the gameworld but especially in Skara Brae.
The original claim was that Barrows Deep was not linked to the originals by anything more than a few names and that the Scottish theme had been erroneously extrapolated from the name of Skara Brae. You then countered that there were lots of Scottish influences from the original game. This was shown to be false. If you now want to shift the argument to whether there are any generic NPCs or names in Barrows Deep, then that's not what we were originally arguing over. The presence of generic NPCs in a Scottish-themed game does not make it any less Scottish-themed. The packaging and music of Barrows Deep is Scottish-themed, unlike the originals. The marketing is Scottish-themed - remember, we've seen David Rogers and other inXile folks in kilts at E3, GDC, or wherever. We also have that earlier KS video from Brian Fargo visiting the site of Skara Brae in the Orkneys. None of this is consistent with the high fantasy setting of the originals.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:21 am
Given the games came out more than 30 years ago it's reasonable that different people would have different views on what a modern Bard's Tale should look and sound like. You certainly had to use a lot more imagination back then! I'm happy to leave it at that.
You certainly did have to use a lot of imagination back then. Have you considered that that might be part of the charm of the originals? That something was actually left to the imagination? And that maybe Barrows Deep, a game where adventure and combat take place in a spatially-precise 3D-rendered environment, could be depriving people of imagination? Just because something would've been a technical limitation of the time does not mean that it is now undesirable, now that the technical limitation has been removed.
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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by KorganBloodAxe » October 9th, 2019, 10:17 pm

Lanatir wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 7:39 am
If Bards Tale 4 is so damn good, why are more people playing the original trilogy on Steam than the 'masterwork' BT4, even if it was 'remastered' ?

Maybe, just maybe, because BT 4 sucks ?
You seem to be thoroughly confused. I am made no comparison to the quality of BTIV and the original Trilogy. If you wanted me to rank them in terms of my enjoyment over the years it would probably go something like this:
  • Bard's Tale 3
  • Bard's Tale 4
  • Bard's Tale 1
  • Bard's Tale 2
Although 4 and 1 would be interchangeable on that list. Bard's Tale 2 would be a distant third place. It really hasn't held up well over the years and is largely inferior to the first game in all regards i.e. dungeon design etc. The only bright spot of 2 for me was the addition of the Archmage class.
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 4:32 pm
The original claim was that Barrows Deep was not linked to the originals by anything more than a few names and that the Scottish theme had been erroneously extrapolated from the name of Skara Brae. You then countered that there were lots of Scottish influences from the original game. This was shown to be false. If you now want to shift the argument to whether there are any generic NPCs or names in Barrows Deep, then that's not what we were originally arguing over. The presence of generic NPCs in a Scottish-themed game does not make it any less Scottish-themed. The packaging and music of Barrows Deep is Scottish-themed, unlike the originals. The marketing is Scottish-themed - remember, we've seen David Rogers and other inXile folks in kilts at E3, GDC, or wherever. We also have that earlier KS video from Brian Fargo visiting the site of Skara Brae in the Orkneys. None of this is consistent with the high fantasy setting of the originals.
I didn't actually intend to shift the argument and I should of left that line out, the "this" I was referring to was my original argument i.e. there is no lore in BT1 to prove the setting of Bard's Tale 4 contradicts the original. For me, the designers had "some" justification to give it a more Scottish theme because of the minimal lore in the original combined with the fact that there were "some" Scottish names and locations. I am not attesting to the quality of their work in doing so, merely stating I can see why they did it. This is purely my personal view.
Last edited by KorganBloodAxe on October 9th, 2019, 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity

Post by Woolfe » October 9th, 2019, 11:02 pm

Drool wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 9:57 am
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 4:13 am
Yes. Drunk bards are a most reliable source of information :lol:
For one, they weren't drunk. In fact, if your party got drunk, you got kicked out of the tavern. Alcohol was used to counteract a dry throat from singing. Water also worked. Bard's being barely functional alcoholics is more memetic drift in BT4. Very much like the person who wrote it only read the Cliff's Notes.

Also, when the bards did tell stories in BT3, they were exceedingly accurate; for example, the Flower Song.
Also important to note that in actual history alcohol was often added to water to flavour and kill the nasties in the often stagnant water sources... Wine was especially common for this.

But anyway...
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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 10th, 2019, 8:55 pm

KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:17 pm
there is no lore in BT1 to prove the setting of Bard's Tale 4 contradicts the original.
The absence of a particularly-themed setting does not mean that it is a void to be retroactively filled by a later game. Sometimes, absence of some detail is a fine quality, not needing augmentation. Also, I think it can be reasonably shown that BT1 had a generic high fantasy setting. Clobbering that setting with a Scottish setting is a contradiction.
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:17 pm
For me, the designers had "some" justification to give it a more Scottish theme because of the minimal lore in the original combined with the fact that there were "some" Scottish names and locations. I am not attesting to the quality of their work in doing so, merely stating I can see why they did it. This is purely my personal view.
Sure. Stated as a personal view, I don't have much to argue with. But, if someone claims that the original had significant Scottish roots and tries to use that as a justification for claiming that Barrows Deep should be Scottish-themed, then that is a different matter.
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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by KorganBloodAxe » October 11th, 2019, 12:33 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 8:55 pm
The absence of a particularly-themed setting does not mean that it is a void to be retroactively filled by a later game. Sometimes, absence of some detail is a fine quality, not needing augmentation. Also, I think it can be reasonably shown that BT1 had a generic high fantasy setting. Clobbering that setting with a Scottish setting is a contradiction.
You have convinced me that it certainly is a significant change, and perhaps not for the best, but I still see no contradiction. If they made Tangramayne Scottish I would wholeheartedly agree with you. A city called "Skara Brae" with a minority of the populace with Scottish names surrounded by an area called "The Wilderness" - not so much. But yes, if I was the lead designer on Bard's Tale 4 I wouldn't have done it (as well as a few other things). There certainly are contradictions in other parts of the game though i.e. the races and plenty of the mechanics (tokens, spell point system) and plenty of others. If you called it an unwarranted change I would agree with you ;)

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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by ZiN » October 11th, 2019, 6:38 am

KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 12:33 am
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 8:55 pm
The absence of a particularly-themed setting does not mean that it is a void to be retroactively filled by a later game. Sometimes, absence of some detail is a fine quality, not needing augmentation. Also, I think it can be reasonably shown that BT1 had a generic high fantasy setting. Clobbering that setting with a Scottish setting is a contradiction.
You have convinced me that it certainly is a significant change, and perhaps not for the best, but I still see no contradiction. If they made Tangramayne Scottish I would wholeheartedly agree with you. A city called "Skara Brae" with a minority of the populace with Scottish names surrounded by an area called "The Wilderness" - not so much. But yes, if I was the lead designer on Bard's Tale 4 I wouldn't have done it (as well as a few other things). There certainly are contradictions in other parts of the game though i.e. the races and plenty of the mechanics (tokens, spell point system) and plenty of others. If you called it an unwarranted change I would agree with you ;)
There was so much more, than Skara Brae in BT. To be honest Skara Brae wasn't even the strongest part of it, being a generic fantasy town as mentioned previously. It could be as well Tangramayne. On the other hand, the dungeons themselves and in BT3, the dimensions, such as Gelidia, Lucencia, Kinestia and Tenebrosia were very unique and oozed that special "Bard's Tale feel" for me. Not to mention the "denizens of these mystical places", with their cool portraits, which still live on in many old-school fans' minds, since '88. I would've liked to revisit these places and fight these monsters in all the modern audiovisual presentation that is available. If so, I might've even enjoyed this RPG-light Bard's Tale adventure, despite its gameplay being very far from true dungeon-crawling goodness. Of course it would've been even better if they got the gameplay right as well, but that's the harder part of it, in my opinion.

Why couldn't they get it right? I can only suspect, that whoever directed and wrote this game had way greater love for Scotland and Scottish things (besides stupid humour, I might add), than Bard's Tale.

Alas they failed to grasp what made Bard's Tale great (to me and many other fans), both the gameplay and the world-building are way off the mark, where we cold honestly call this a sequel to Bard's Tale (3).

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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by Gizmo » October 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm

ZiN wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 6:38 am
Why couldn't they get it right? I can only suspect, that whoever directed and wrote this game had way greater love for Scotland and Scottish things (besides stupid humour, I might add), than Bard's Tale.
I suspect it is rather that the most recent Bard's Tale [2004] is what influenced it... they are still selling it to this day, and have even ported it to phones.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by ZiN » October 12th, 2019, 10:44 am

Yeah, despite repeatedly stating that it is not a sequel to the 2004 game, but the classic trilogy, they still tried to fit in as much of the "funny" Scottish stuff as possible.

Case is quite similar to Fallout 3, don't you think? Those who made Fallout 3, like fooling around and shooting things in a post-apocalyptic theme-park, while those who made Barrows Deep like fooling around and solving puzzles in a Scottish fantasy land. Both of these took a classic series and changed it to fit their fancies.

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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 12th, 2019, 11:55 am

KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 12:33 am
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 8:55 pm
The absence of a particularly-themed setting does not mean that it is a void to be retroactively filled by a later game. Sometimes, absence of some detail is a fine quality, not needing augmentation. Also, I think it can be reasonably shown that BT1 had a generic high fantasy setting. Clobbering that setting with a Scottish setting is a contradiction.
You have convinced me that it certainly is a significant change, and perhaps not for the best, but I still see no contradiction. If they made Tangramayne Scottish I would wholeheartedly agree with you. A city called "Skara Brae" with a minority of the populace with Scottish names surrounded by an area
called "The Wilderness" - not so much.
It doesn't sound like we actually disagree that much at this point, except in degree. I do think that calling the entire land, Caith, a clearly Scottish name and also introducing the Fichti, a people very clearly linked to the Picts, shows that we are looking at more than a minority of the populace with Scottish names. And there is the issue of David Rogers and crew wearing kilts, while marketing the game, and Brian Fargo visiting the Skara Brae archaeological site as part of the kickoff for the Barrows Deep project and claiming that "this is where it all began".
KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 12:33 am
But yes, if I was the lead designer on Bard's Tale 4 I wouldn't have done it (as well as a few other things). There certainly are contradictions in other parts of the game though i.e. the races and plenty of the mechanics (tokens, spell point system) and plenty of others. If you called it an unwarranted change I would agree with you ;)
Cool, then we can agree to agree on this. :)
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Re: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 12th, 2019, 12:17 pm

ZiN wrote:
October 11th, 2019, 6:38 am
Why couldn't they get it right? I can only suspect, that whoever directed and wrote this game had way greater love for Scotland and Scottish things (besides stupid humour, I might add), than Bard's Tale.
My last name is that of a famous Scottish clan and I am proud of my ancestry (technically Scots-Norse, since it was the result of heavy intermingling between Scots and Norse in the highlands and the Hebrides). But, I am not proud that Barrows Deep, the alleged Bard's Tale sequel, is a Scottish-themed game.

I personally think it comes down to people at inXile not doing much research and arrogantly assuming that fans wouldn't remember the originals well enough to care. After the original release of Barrows Deep last year, they even had a friend of theirs from another studio write a column suggesting that somehow all of us upset fans had delusional memories of the game. So, I think a lot of what happened can be attributed to a highly arrogant miscalculation or lack of concern on their part.
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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by ZiN » October 12th, 2019, 1:11 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 12:17 pm
My last name is that of a famous Scottish clan and I am proud of my ancestry (technically Scots-Norse, since it was the result of heavy intermingling between Scots and Norse in the highlands and the Hebrides). But, I am not proud that Barrows Deep, the alleged Bard's Tale sequel, is a Scottish-themed game.
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Scottish stuff in general, in fact I like them and it can be a great theme too. But we agree, that a Bard's Tale sequel was not the right place to use that theme.
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 12:17 pm
I personally think it comes down to people at inXile not doing much research and arrogantly assuming that fans wouldn't remember the originals well enough to care. After the original release of Barrows Deep last year, they even had a friend of theirs from another studio write a column suggesting that somehow all of us upset fans had delusional memories of the game. So, I think a lot of what happened can be attributed to a highly arrogant miscalculation or lack of concern on their part.
Had to be lack of concern. The campaign started off extremely well, with huge interest and looking at the forums it was obvious, that us fans will take it very seriously and care very much about the game. I hope it's not an overstatement that our feedback was excellent, as we watched with great interest and had fun discussing and anticipating how the game will develop at the beginning. There is no way they didn't know that we will be upset once the jig is up. I guess that explains all their tight-lipped, dodgy, meatless updates and communication.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Dork Mage » October 12th, 2019, 3:05 pm

The kickstarter video clearly showed the end product even though statements about being old-school were bandied about.

That video was the marching orders for the developers.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Gizmo » October 12th, 2019, 8:55 pm

ZiN wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 10:44 am
Case is quite similar to Fallout 3, don't you think?
Yes Image

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by ZiN » October 13th, 2019, 1:19 am

Dork Mage wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 3:05 pm
The kickstarter video clearly showed the end product even though statements about being old-school were bandied about.
Not entirely true. The original Kickstarter video was just Brian Fargo making fun of publishers and talking drivel about BT and dungeon-crawling, at the real ruins of Skara Brae. Then a few days later, they showed an "in-engine video" which was just an environmental demo of UE4. And after that, it was pretty much zero actual gameplay footage, or any tangible info regarding gameplay, until the aplha, 2 years later. Saying that it "clearly showed the end product" is quite far from the truth actually.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Dork Mage » October 13th, 2019, 4:38 am

ZiN wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 1:19 am
Dork Mage wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 3:05 pm
The kickstarter video clearly showed the end product even though statements about being old-school were bandied about.
Not entirely true. The original Kickstarter video was just Brian Fargo making fun of publishers and talking drivel about BT and dungeon-crawling, at the real ruins of Skara Brae. Then a few days later, they showed an "in-engine video" which was just an environmental demo of UE4. And after that, it was pretty much zero actual gameplay footage, or any tangible info regarding gameplay, until the aplha, 2 years later. Saying that it "clearly showed the end product" is quite far from the truth actually.
Sorry, I meant the in-engine video....
Within the dungeon, how much difference was there between the demo and the end product?

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 13th, 2019, 10:30 am

Dork Mage wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 4:38 am
ZiN wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 1:19 am
Dork Mage wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 3:05 pm
The kickstarter video clearly showed the end product even though statements about being old-school were bandied about.
Not entirely true. The original Kickstarter video was just Brian Fargo making fun of publishers and talking drivel about BT and dungeon-crawling, at the real ruins of Skara Brae. Then a few days later, they showed an "in-engine video" which was just an environmental demo of UE4. And after that, it was pretty much zero actual gameplay footage, or any tangible info regarding gameplay, until the aplha, 2 years later. Saying that it "clearly showed the end product" is quite far from the truth actually.
Sorry, I meant the in-engine video....
Within the dungeon, how much difference was there between the demo and the end product?
If you're talking about https://youtu.be/fVB6dSckvJI, then you might note that nothing about the game mechanics or user interface was actually featured in that video. The video was clearly meant to demo UE4, as ZiN notes. There is nothing in that video that would've given clear direction to the developers or set expectations for fans of the originals. All it did was entice us with the promise of a superior aural and visual experience. There is literally nothing in that video that would've warned us about how they were going to butcher the series, aside from the 3D-rendered caricatures of monsters.
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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Gizmo » October 13th, 2019, 12:31 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 10:30 am
There is literally nothing in that video that would've warned us about how they were going to butcher the series, aside from the 3D-rendered caricatures of monsters.
I cannot disagree... :(

[...not that nob would notice ;) ]

I still plan to play it through to the end, but like I said many months ago, I am waiting for the patch activity to stabilize, and stop happening for a good while before trying it out; a seemingly wise choice, as it turns out.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by KorganBloodAxe » October 14th, 2019, 3:49 am

Gizmo wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 12:31 pm
I still plan to play it through to the end, but like I said many months ago, I am waiting for the patch activity to stabilize, and stop happening for a good while before trying it out; a seemingly wise choice, as it turns out.
I find the game quite enjoyable now and the last patch fixed the last two obvious bugs I experienced.

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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Woolfe » October 14th, 2019, 10:11 pm

KorganBloodAxe wrote:
October 14th, 2019, 3:49 am
Gizmo wrote:
October 13th, 2019, 12:31 pm
I still plan to play it through to the end, but like I said many months ago, I am waiting for the patch activity to stabilize, and stop happening for a good while before trying it out; a seemingly wise choice, as it turns out.
I find the game quite enjoyable now and the last patch fixed the last two obvious bugs I experienced.
And this ultimately is the biggest problem with InXile. They actually do build enjoyable games. But they promise something else when they do it.

Which results in all the fans of the originals having their noses out of joint. Which means bad press.

Add to that some of the early technical issues, and it hurts the overall product.

I just wish they would give up making sequels, and abortive revivals, and build some new IP. Don't try to appeal to Old or New gamers. Just build something you want to play. We will either love it or we won't.
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Re: BT4 Fidelity (Split From: Director's Cut massive graphical downgrade)

Post by Gizmo » October 14th, 2019, 11:58 pm

Woolfe wrote:
October 14th, 2019, 10:11 pm
Don't try to appeal to Old ... gamers.
When did they ever try that? :?

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