New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

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

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

Post Reply
NewlyObsessedFan
Initiate
Posts: 18
Joined: January 8th, 2018, 9:48 am

New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

Post by NewlyObsessedFan » January 8th, 2018, 11:02 am

Hi, been out of the loop for a while and completely missed this project. Stumbled on the combat/demo video a week ago and it didn't just touch the heart-strings - it grabbed those strings in a hamfisted grasp and practically pulled me into the setting.

In fact in 20 years of gaming, I don't remember remember any demo video ever giving me this level of hype... so pledged asap.

But also looking through my previous pledge folder, found that I got Torment: Tides of Numenara sitting all finished, patched and waiting for me. Gave it a twirl over the weekend.

Enjoying the world, but one thing seriously bugs me - Torment: Numenara is obviously a game that put a lot of effort into preventing a very frequent lapse in older games of the genre, wherein combat had such a big focus that roleplaying skills which weren't combat oriented seemed comparatively useless during a playthrough, leading to unbalanced options when it come time to make character building decisions.

So playing Torment: Numenera, my first reaction was 'Great, this design team definitely remembered to shore up that common lapse - all these non-combat skills are important.'

However 20 hours in, my view has become that the design actually didn't avoid that pitfall at all, it just reversed the dis-balance and than crashed really hard into it, because while persuasion/deception skills are used everywhere, combat skills, gear, stats - those just seem useless.

Fights are so easy to avoid and reward so little when won compared to the risk of them, that I am clearly very much hurting myself anytime I don't pick the very obvious [SKIP FIGHT - Probability of success 90%] option.

And I couldn't help but notice that in the Bard's Tale demo, 2 fights were carefully avoided before the third encounter showcased the combat mechanics (which btw where amazing and awesome and just like everything I always wanted in a turnbased blobber since I was done with my Wizardry 8 play through)

TLDR: So questions to developers, and if you take the time to reply, please keep in mind that some of us who loved this demo, never got to play the 80's games.

1. On a scale of 1 being Torment: Numenara (loreplay/dialogue focus) and 10, Wizardry 8 (combat encounters focus), where are you aiming at with Bard's Tale IV?

2. In terms of difficulty, can you give a few comparisons to games from this millenium?

2A. about what percentage of potential encounters do the designers expect a player to choose to avoid in order to reasonably succeed in reaching next save point.

3. Internally, is Bard's Tale IV being looked at as 'first in a revival of a series, assuming Kickstarters for next parts go well' or more as 'old series homage, capping off those storylines'

4. When player overextends, are there expected to be permanent casualties with a need to replace party members over the course of the campaign ie. mechanics enabling a rogue-like playthrough, or is the game aiming at 'revive wounded characters - end this with the beginning party roster. (I guess basically this amounts to: can characters perma-die and can new party members be recruited mid-game and will there be spots to grind up a new party member for late game content)

4B I remember mention of a party slot being reserved for perma-companions we might meet is it possible to lose people we start with, replace them more than 1 such found companion?

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 946
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

Post by thebruce » January 8th, 2018, 12:02 pm

Not to respond for inXile, but I just wanted to interject a couple of points...
Firstly, welcome :)
Secondly, #2 - we're hoping to not think about "save points". In the classics it was either go back to the Adventurer's Guild to save your character stats, or in later games save the game anywhere. Some balance of those two. I don't think anyone who enjoyed the classics is hoping for a checkpoint style save system. That implies a very linear gameplay, and BT has generally been open-world (with restrictions based on accomplishments and ability, obviously). As for skipping encounters, BT was always a mix of random encounters with the chance of running away - and these encounters could be anywhere from ridiculously simple (great for grinding) to on par, or much harder if you were forging ahead into new areas quickly. Which ties into #4: The classics were indeed a perma-death mechanic. Insofar as you didn't have the ability or funds to resurrect dead characters. Saving tended to easify that mechanic, but the intent was that your character(s') status was permanent. You could create many characters and swap them out as desired, depending on how you wanted to level up, or push on with your merry band of well-knit heroes.

How that'll translate to BT4, well all we have so far is in the videos we've all seen :) Many of us oldschoolers are hoping they maintain a lot of the play mechanics from the classics.
Anyway, just wanted to say that little bit. :)
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8839
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

Post by Drool » January 8th, 2018, 5:10 pm

From what I understand...
NewlyObsessedFan wrote: ↑
January 8th, 2018, 11:02 am
1. On a scale of 1 being Torment: Numenara (loreplay/dialogue focus) and 10, Wizardry 8 (combat encounters focus), where are you aiming at with Bard's Tale IV?

2. In terms of difficulty, can you give a few comparisons to games from this millenium?

2A. about what percentage of potential encounters do the designers expect a player to choose to avoid in order to reasonably succeed in reaching next save point.

3. Internally, is Bard's Tale IV being looked at as 'first in a revival of a series, assuming Kickstarters for next parts go well' or more as 'old series homage, capping off those storylines'

4. When player overextends, are there expected to be permanent casualties with a need to replace party members over the course of the campaign ie. mechanics enabling a rogue-like playthrough, or is the game aiming at 'revive wounded characters - end this with the beginning party roster. (I guess basically this amounts to: can characters perma-die and can new party members be recruited mid-game and will there be spots to grind up a new party member for late game content)

4B I remember mention of a party slot being reserved for perma-companions we might meet is it possible to lose people we start with, replace them more than 1 such found companion?
1: It's a dungeon crawler, so 10.

2: Um... Grimrock with the automapper turned off? Might & Magic X without all the nonsense? There really isn't much from the current era that's like it. Especially not with the combination of first person view, party mechanics, and phase-based combat. That said, the games were pretty darn unforgiving.

2a: That's a whole can of worms. BT1 had a single save location that you had to hike back to any time you wanted to save. 2 and 3 had save anywhere by just pressing S.

3: Sadly, it seems to be leaning towards homage. But with less "capping off storylines" and more "just tossing them in the bin".

4: We aren't sure. In the originals, death was permanent (well, as permanent as it got in a fantasy world with resurrection spells). You could also drop dead characters and make brand new ones in case of death. In fact, BT 1's instruction manual told you to do just that unless the characters were level 5 or so.

4b: It wasn't reserved in 3, actually. But, regardless, it looks like we're stuck with some messy thing where you have NPCs, PCs, and hirelings or something. I think they're doing 6+2? I don't remember. But that's what all the signatures about "make it 8" are all about.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

_noblesse_oblige_
Explorer
Posts: 458
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » January 9th, 2018, 5:37 pm

I think that they're doing 4+2. If it's up to 6 PCs, then that's great news. As far as +2, it's not clear that they can just be any old summon or wandering creature like in the original series. Might be straddled with annoying NPCs or something....
cmibl<enter>

User avatar
ZiN
Explorer
Posts: 348
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: New fan, a few questions for development team from someone not too familiar with BT1 to 3

Post by ZiN » January 10th, 2018, 2:39 am

Good questions, some of them will be "answered over time", in addition to the ones on this thread. So far nothing has been answered, so take that with a grain of salt though.
Drool wrote: ↑
January 8th, 2018, 5:10 pm
3: Sadly, it seems to be leaning towards homage. But with less "capping off storylines" and more "just tossing them in the bin".
I hope this won't be "The Last Bards" and it is not yet "time for the Bard's Tale to end", if you know what i mean.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests