Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

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

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

Post Reply
Infinitron
Adventurer
Posts: 581
Joined: March 14th, 2012, 7:40 pm

Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Infinitron » July 7th, 2017, 9:19 am


ssfsx17
Novice
Posts: 26
Joined: January 26th, 2015, 1:35 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by ssfsx17 » July 7th, 2017, 1:22 pm

> Tarjan, the villainous Mad God from The Bard's Tale of old, has sacked the Einarr Isles and holed up in the throne room of Castle Castle Hangskall.

Uhhh, how did he survive getting stabbed by a thief?

The puzzle weapons sound interesting, though

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8788
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Drool » July 7th, 2017, 9:22 pm

It seems Brian has decided that BT2004 is more canon than BT3:

https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/8 ... 4064784384

"Bard's Tale 3 was fun but it jumped the shark fiction wise. I'm happy to be returning to the Bard's Tale and the genre."
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

Dork Mage
Scholar
Posts: 154
Joined: May 13th, 2013, 5:58 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Dork Mage » July 9th, 2017, 6:07 am

Drool wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 9:22 pm
It seems Brian has decided that BT2004 is more canon than BT3:

https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/8 ... 4064784384

"Bard's Tale 3 was fun but it jumped the shark fiction wise. I'm happy to be returning to the Bard's Tale and the genre."
Yep, I think that's a fair and accurate assessment.

ZZGO
Acolyte
Posts: 67
Joined: October 4th, 2016, 1:33 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by ZZGO » July 9th, 2017, 7:03 am

Who said anything about BT2004 being canon?

And I do agree that Stackpole pushed the envelope a little bit too hard in BT3 - I mean, after ascending to godhood or something like that, where else can you take the story? BT1 was down to earth, with Skara Brae just a country town and not even a notable city. I think they need to, and should, return to a smallish setting.

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5012
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Crosmando » July 9th, 2017, 7:56 am

Well they're going for what looks like a Early Middle-Ages type settings with tribes, so small villages would make more sense than cities.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
ZiN
Explorer
Posts: 323
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by ZiN » July 9th, 2017, 10:36 am

Drool wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 9:22 pm
It seems Brian has decided that BT2004 is more canon than BT3:

"Bard's Tale 3 was fun but it jumped the shark fiction wise. I'm happy to be returning to the Bard's Tale and the genre."
I think he means BT1, which means a single city of Skara Brae, surrounded by big emptyness, which they can fill with their own pseudo-gaelic ideas, while scrapping BT2-3. Interestingly enough they're planning on bringing back Tarjan though.
ssfsx17 wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 1:22 pm
> Tarjan, the villainous Mad God from The Bard's Tale of old, has sacked the Einarr Isles and holed up in the throne room of Castle Castle Hangskall.

Uhhh, how did he survive getting stabbed by a thief?
I guess that would make an interesting story, how Tarjan came back. But if Tarjan came back what happened to the heroes of BT3 who became gods themselves? At any rate, seeing the main villain of BT3 back is fine, hopefully it's not just a name drop, but a proper link to BT3. As always i'm hoping to see more characters fleshed out from the classics.


By the way BT3 is the best in the series story and world-wise, with its dimension and time travelling. It's not as fascinating and elaborated as the PlaneScape setting, but the weird atmosphere which made PlaneScape so unique is there, and this time they don't need to scrap that due to legal reasons. (After all they acquired it from EA, it would be quite ironic if they screwed it up, just as would be expected from EA.) So, don't scrap the Scrapwood Tavern, the Cold Peak, Gelidia, etc, but build on them!

ImageImageImage

Dork Mage
Scholar
Posts: 154
Joined: May 13th, 2013, 5:58 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Dork Mage » July 9th, 2017, 11:16 am

ZiN wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 10:36 am
So, don't scrap the Scrapwood Tavern, the Cold Peak, Gelidia, etc, but build on them!
One can imagine these being later "chapters": BT5..6..7....

User avatar
Lucius
Master
Posts: 2228
Joined: March 9th, 2012, 6:43 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Lucius » July 9th, 2017, 6:42 pm

Interesting read and it feels like there are some honestly innovative ideas in there for a dungeon crawler. It's certainly sound like it will be a unique game.

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8788
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by Drool » July 9th, 2017, 9:52 pm

ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:03 am
Who said anything about BT2004 being canon?
The Scottish tribes and Trow point to taking heavy inspiration from BT2004
I mean, after ascending to godhood or something like that, where else can you take the story?
Obviously, you don't continue with those characters. But the endgame cinematic not only has the players metaphysically ascending, but also literally ascending: they become stars in the night sky. The BT3 party is neatly written out, as are all the old gods.

BT4 could follow several different paths from a more "mundane" evil threatening the prime realm around Skara Brae or, if they wanted a longer and more complicated game, it could involve the new heroes being tasked with helping "repair" some of the other dimensions: breaking the eternal winter spell in Gelidia, brokering a peace deal with the Urmech and the machines of Kinestia, bringing light to Tenebrosia, things like that.

Instead, inXile has decided to transplant the whole thing to a psuedo-Scottish realm, eliminated many of the player races, added other races, and all but wiped out all memory of everything that happened in BT3. And it's not just that everyone's forgotten the near annihilation of the multiverse (despite building on the Tarjan-blasted ruins of Skara Brae), but they've decided to crowbar in a subplot about sticking it to religion. Was Stephan King brought in to punch up the script or something?

And, just for another nail in the coffin, if you really wanted to transplant Bard's Tale into a real-world analogue, you could make a much stronger argument for the Mediterranean, what with all the city names in BT2.

More and more, it feels like Brian's listening to the complaints about the realms in Tarmitia and gone along with the misguided belief that BT3 was nothing but shooting Nazis and bikers.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

User avatar
ZiN
Explorer
Posts: 323
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by ZiN » July 10th, 2017, 7:36 am

Dork Mage wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 11:16 am
ZiN wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 10:36 am
So, don't scrap the Scrapwood Tavern, the Cold Peak, Gelidia, etc, but build on them!
One can imagine these being later "chapters": BT5..6..7....
Eh, sorry i'd rather not imagine that, because somehow it smells too much of DLC.
Drool wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 9:52 pm
InXile has decided to transplant the whole thing to a psuedo-Scottish realm, eliminated many of the player races, added other races, and all but wiped out all memory of everything that happened in BT3. And it's not just that everyone's forgotten the near annihilation of the multiverse (despite building on the Tarjan-blasted ruins of Skara Brae), but they've decided to crowbar in a subplot about sticking it to religion. Was Stephan King brought in to punch up the script or something?
Yes, it is disappointing that they are not reviving the fascinating atmosphere and world of the classic tales (BT3 mainly), but putting on their big boy pants and trying to go AAA. BT4 will have everything: Super graphics and sound, "innovative" gameplay and comes ready with a VR spinoff, which you can get for half the price if you buy BT4 (DC), or Occulus.

demeisen
Acolyte
Posts: 98
Joined: July 11th, 2015, 9:59 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Preview at PC Gamer

Post by demeisen » July 10th, 2017, 9:21 am

Some good stuff in there. This quote is nice:

"It is nonlinear, so we allow people to go in and get their ass kicked and kind of learn a lesson"
- Chris Keenan


I think most modern-era RPGs do too much hand-holding in their quest to appeal to absolutely everyone. They try to keep players from ever getting into places they can't handle, with carefully gated gameplay segments so you are forced to be appropriately leveled for the area at all times.

The problems with this - well, among the many problems - is that it makes the whole world experience too "safe". You never really end up feeling like you're in a big, bad, dangerous world, because the challenges are doled out to you in nice bite sized chunks suitable for your level. You don't get the feeling of stumbling into somewhere that looks dangerous, thinking, "Holy everloving $#!* should I not be in here!", and carefully tip-toeing back out in a panic before anything notices you. It also takes some thinking out of the picture: I don't have to worry whether I'm underprepared, if the game guarantees the challenges will always be appropriate for my level.

The "ass kick -> learn lesson" thing he's talking about has been on my "endangered game dynamic" list for a long time: AAA games have been going the polar opposite direction. So, cheers to Chris Keenan for bringing it back. This is good. It's also risky from InExile's POV, because it tends to breed lots of complaints of the form, "I went in here and I can't survive even the first fight! This game sucks!" Though to some of us, that's exactly what makes the game not suck.

Also, from the preview: "The one obvious shortcoming in my early look is the 2D character portraits for your party that appear at the bottom of the battle screen". Yep :D.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests