Bard's Tale IV Reviews

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

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Centaur
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Centaur » September 20th, 2018, 7:24 am

thebruce wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 6:16 am
Nah, I would classify that as a different type of review, as mentioned elsewhere. If I want to know "Will I enjoy this game?", I don't want to see ratings about "How easy is the game to install?" or "How were my dealings with the studio?""
I partly disagree with you there. For me, questions like "Will I enjoy this game?" not only depend on how great the story and the gameplay are, but also on other factors, like how many bugs there are in the game, how good customer support is (how fast they fix any issues), and if people are able to start the game at all. If 50% of the people is unable to play at all (due to whatever reasons), then I want to know that, and see it reflected in the overall score, and not see a game with an 80% positive rating because the other 50% are content with what they got.
Yes, it would be good if you could zoom in to a more detailed level, to see exactly what is causing the negative score, and to some extent, that's what the reviews are for. Maybe a future extension to this system could be that they assign a category to those reviews, and allow people to view the reviews (and the associated score) for a certain category only. But overall, I'm quite happy with this system.
It forces companies to not just create a nice game and then drop it without any further support, but also to make sure that release, updates and customer support are in order. And the good thing is, people are able to update their reviews, so once inXile gets a grip on all these things, the overall score should automatically start improving

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Lanatir » September 20th, 2018, 7:38 am

Another interesting Factor i just checked is the ratio of people who play a game at a given time, which is something you can check on steam. In this statistic, Bards Tale 4 since its release at no time had more that 2000 players playing the game at the same time.
This is an extremely low number, and with that Number Bards Tale is not even in the Top 100 games of the last 48 hours.
Now, i know that some people bought it and play it on GOG, but i am pretty sure that the majority play it on Steam. And 2000 is bad. Really Really bad.
Here is a link to check it out.
https://steamspy.com/app/566090

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by thebruce » September 20th, 2018, 7:41 am

Centaur wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 7:24 am
thebruce wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 6:16 am
Nah, I would classify that as a different type of review, as mentioned elsewhere. If I want to know "Will I enjoy this game?", I don't want to see ratings about "How easy is the game to install?" or "How were my dealings with the studio?""
I partly disagree with you there. For me, questions like "Will I enjoy this game?" not only depend on how great the story and the gameplay are, but also on other factors, like how many bugs there are in the game
...determined once someone starst playing
how good customer support is (how fast they fix any issues)
I'd prefer that as a separate metric about the company
and if people are able to start the game at all
Likewise, a separate metric that's not about my possible enjoyment of playing the game.
If 50% of the people is unable to play at all (due to whatever reasons), then I want to know that, and see it reflected in the overall score
Sure, like I said, as long as it can be distinguished from playtime reviews which are directly relevant to whether I will enjoy playing the game.
If I can see that 80% enjoy playing the game, but it had only 20% rating in being able to play the game, that tells me MUCH more than a 40% overall rating.

I may be one of the few that have NO trouble getting it to run - in that case, the 20% rating is completely inaccurate, as with the 40% average affected by it, because that wasn't a matter of opinion, that's a matter of chance you have of actually playing it. After that point it'll be a matter of opinion as to how enjoyable it is.
Yes, it would be good if you could zoom in to a more detailed level, to see exactly what is causing the negative score, and to some extent, that's what the reviews are for.
Yep, in text, if you read every review to find out why they rated it as they did.
But if a game has a 20% overall rating, where 90% of people didn't like the experience surrounding the game and haven't even played the game yet, then that 20% rating has almost zero relevance to whether I'll enjoy playing the game, and I don't want to wade through 9/10 noise to find an opinion I can weigh related to what I'm looking to learn about...
Maybe a future extension to this system could be that they assign a category to those reviews, and allow people to view the reviews (and the associated score) for a certain category only.
Yep! That's what I'm sayin' :)
It forces companies to not just create a nice game and then drop it without any further support, but also to make sure that release, updates and customer support are in order. And the good thing is, people are able to update their reviews, so once inXile gets a grip on all these things, the overall score should automatically start improving
For sure. I'm not against having an overall rating, as long as it's clear that it's the overall experience, not just classified as a game review which implies play time, and experience with content.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by IHaveHugeNick » September 20th, 2018, 7:41 am

Soundtrack is phenomenal, that I can agree with. It deserves to be in a much better game than this.

As for what mistakes were made, for starters I have no idea why after rather limpdick and anemic Kickstarter campaign they decided to go big with the production. Same shit with Torment really, if they just reused proven WL2 technology and gameplay systems instead of starting from scratch a lot of pitfalls could have been avoided.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Hex Hopper » September 20th, 2018, 8:10 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 7:41 am
if they just reused proven WL2 technology and gameplay systems instead of starting from scratch a lot of pitfalls could have been avoided.
Yeah, but then we would have been stuck with the same dull combat as Wasteland 2. If WL2 had the same degree of tactical fun as BT4, I might have actually been able to finish it.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Centaur » September 20th, 2018, 10:20 pm

thebruce wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 7:41 am
... I don't want to wade through 9/10 noise to find an opinion I can weigh related to what I'm looking to learn about...
In a way, I guess it's comparable to what is happening here on this forum as well... there are several interesting threads about all kinds of issues related to delivery of the game, and now that more and more people are playing (as there is no separate section for gameplay feedback/bug reports), in between those we see more and more threads about gameplay bugs. So I have to wade through the list of gameplay bug threads to find those that I am interested in... maybe in future we can hope for a separate section for gameplay feedback/bug reports?

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by DNACowboy » September 21st, 2018, 12:45 am

Seems that critics rate the game on Metacritic at 80% (very good) but negative Steam ‘player’ reviews are dragging the game’s reputation down and when I see the’gameplay’ time length associated with said Steam reviews I feel the system is being seriously abused.
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: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Lanatir » September 21st, 2018, 1:04 am

DNACowboy wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 12:45 am
Seems that critics rate the game on Metacritic at 80% (very good) but negative Steam ‘player’ reviews are dragging the game’s reputation down and when I see the’gameplay’ time length associated with said Steam reviews I feel the system is being seriously abused.
Metacritic currently rates it at 78, but considering there is only 6 or 7 reviews in so far, that is highly irrelevant. Most german gaming magazines call it a hot mess and bug ridden.
Besides that, the user score at Metacritic also only gives it a low 6. (based on around 50 reviews). But i guess those were all influenced by the evil steam players who commited the atrocity of giving the game a bad rating cause they cant play it. How DARE they.

Oh, and while we are at it, the GOG rating currently also is at a whooping 3 out of 5 stars, which is an extremely low rating on the same level as No Mans sky for GOG.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by DNACowboy » September 21st, 2018, 2:47 am

Lanatir wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 1:04 am
DNACowboy wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 12:45 am
Seems that critics rate the game on Metacritic at 80% (very good) but negative Steam ‘player’ reviews are dragging the game’s reputation down and when I see the’gameplay’ time length associated with said Steam reviews I feel the system is being seriously abused.
Metacritic currently rates it at 78, but considering there is only 6 or 7 reviews in so far, that is highly irrelevant. Most german gaming magazines call it a hot mess and bug ridden.
Besides that, the user score at Metacritic also only gives it a low 6. (based on around 50 reviews). But i guess those were all influenced by the evil steam players who commited the atrocity of giving the game a bad rating cause they cant play it. How DARE they.

Oh, and while we are at it, the GOG rating currently also is at a whooping 3 out of 5 stars, which is an extremely low rating on the same level as No Mans sky for GOG.
Considering the behaviour of those plastering the interwebz with negative reviews because the game didn't exactly emulate every pixel of the previous games I'll take the critics opinions over those who have an agenda. As for 'German magazines'? in the grand international scheme of things who care's one iota what they think?
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: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 21st, 2018, 5:32 am

Lanatir wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 7:38 am
Another interesting Factor i just checked is the ratio of people who play a game at a given time, which is something you can check on steam. In this statistic, Bards Tale 4 since its release at no time had more that 2000 players playing the game at the same time.
This is an extremely low number, and with that Number Bards Tale is not even in the Top 100 games of the last 48 hours.
Now, i know that some people bought it and play it on GOG, but i am pretty sure that the majority play it on Steam. And 2000 is bad. Really Really bad.
Here is a link to check it out.
https://steamspy.com/app/566090
following that link, it said that yesterday (the 20th) it peaked at about 1500 players.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 21st, 2018, 5:35 am

DNACowboy wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 12:45 am
Seems that critics rate the game on Metacritic at 80% (very good) but negative Steam ‘player’ reviews are dragging the game’s reputation down and when I see the’gameplay’ time length associated with said Steam reviews I feel the system is being seriously abused.
problem with the 'user rating' on metacritic is that it needs people to specifically go there and write a review.

Steam reviews, people are already there, so you get a larger sample size, usually.
metacritic, as of this writing had 50 userreviews, while steam had 266.

and at 6.2 as of this writing, I wouldn't call it a good score.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by thebruce » September 21st, 2018, 6:28 am

It cannot be debated that the universal rating system is combining ratings about very very different aspects of the game and any experience associated with the game. That's a fact. The relevance of such a rating is what's being contested. If someone wants to know how the game plays, they won't find an accurate rating by merely looking at the general overall rating. Even if that's part of the intent of having such a rating, it nonetheless can be frustrating for someone who is not interested in anything but opinions of how the game plays. So they're left to wading through hundreds of user reactions to find comments about the game content.

The general score is absolutely relevant as an overall score if it's not presented as a gameplay review rating but an average of the general acceptance and people's experience. The way it's presented, low scores will affect people's initial decision of whether the game is even worth looking into - many people use the score for that while browsing titles. The only issue I personally see with that is that while opinions are subjective and have nothing to do with chance, objectively bad experiences that not everyone will have means that the rating based on that isn't so much an opinion as a "chance" of a bad technical experience.
We have multiple rating types here all grouped together:

1. The chance that installation or setting up content might not work (many people have no problems, many have some, many are unplayable)
2. The opinions in dealing with the studio and 3rd parties (typically for those who have experienced problems with #1)
3. The opinions about gameplay which may weigh minor and major bugs differently (many love the game despite, and many can't get past them)
4. The opinions about story, lore, and mechanics as it pertains to the classic trilogy and continuity and faithfulness to the established canon
5. The opinions about the gameplay and story as it pertains to the game independently standing on its own merits

A. Only 3, 4, and 5 are more relevant after extended playtime for people who want to know what the game is like.
B. All 5 can influence whether someone chooses to purchase the game.
C. Only 4 is weighted more heavily than 5 by diehard purist fans of the original trilogy, and less relevant to general gamers looking for an RPG.

From what I've seen, ratings are all over the board mixed into this general rating because I've seen a very very wide mix of people amongst A, B, and C. So for me it's really hard to look at the general overal rating and glean some kind of value and meaning from it - without reading the details of each user reaction. And someone who's more A than anything else may end up not buy the game (which they may enjoy) because the rating is heavily weighted towards #1 and 2 which may end up not being a problem at all for them.

That's the problem.
But that's also the effect of the rating system since it's been around - to influence people's decisions to try the game, and studios need to understand that everythiong people experience related to the brand will influence that score - not merely opinions about a successful long playthrough.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by thebruce » September 21st, 2018, 6:33 am

Disclaimer:
I cleaned up off-topic tangential personal inflamatory comments between forum users. Replies that don't address the topic and only express opinions pertaining to other forum users will be removed or edited.

Keep it civil. Debate, but debate the topic, not each other.

Made a bigger decision here actually - this topic is about reviews. I've rolling posts back only relevant to sharing/shared BT4 reviews and their relevancy, because it's an informative thread I don't want to see locked, again.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by ZiN » September 21st, 2018, 7:17 am

DNACowboy wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 2:47 am
Considering the behaviour of those plastering the interwebz with negative reviews because the game didn't exactly emulate every pixel of the previous games...
I'd be interested in reading a few such reviews, please show me where I can find them! Unless you mean the 97% positive reviews of the Remastered Trilogy, which "exactly emulates every pixel of the previous games".

Anyone who gives this a positive review at this point, just reinforces developers that they can get away with shoddy, lazy releases, full of bugs pretty much in beta state. Even if the gameplay were perfect and honest to Bard's Tale, there is no way I would give it a thumbs up. I'd either wait until it is fixed, or give it a thumbs down, with the disclaimer that I will change it accordingly once it is fixed. Just think about it. If you buy any product with this much faulty behaviour, you return it and most definitely don't give it a positive review.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 21st, 2018, 7:38 am

well it cannot be argued either, that if a game is unplayable due to crashes, instability and whatnot, then it doesn't matter how the game itself would play if those things did not exist; because the existence of them prevents the user from experiencing it. thus they become a very relevant part of the user experience review.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by thebruce » September 21st, 2018, 7:48 am

ZiN wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 7:17 am
Even if the gameplay were perfect and honest to Bard's Tale, there is no way I would give it a thumbs up. I'd either wait until it is fixed, or give it a thumbs down, with the disclaimer that I will change it accordingly once it is fixed.
That would be a review that would pique my curiosity. Low rating, with a decent playtime - why so low? Detail: Fun but bug-ridden. Ahhh... At that point my own ethic would kick in - Do I value the fun more than the bug annoyances? Either way, the review was informative to the gameplay, and I might still choose to buy it despite a differing acceptance of bugs. My decision here was based on my weighing of #3 and 5 I listed above, which matched what informed your review rating, and I'd likely give your review a "This was helpful" vote whether or not I agreed :)

Maybe reviews should be broken down into categories, then you can choose which categories to average together when browsing so the initial ratings will be in line with what you're looking for, lol.

spectralshade wrote:well it cannot be argued either, that if a game is unplayable due to crashes, instability and whatnot, then it doesn't matter how the game itself would play if those things did not exist; because the existence of them prevents the user from experiencing it. thus they become a very relevant part of the user experience review.
Sure, I didn't say those ratings were universally unimportant. Just not relevant if I'm looking for reviews of the gameplay. If I see that the game is getting 85% for gameplay, but 10% for setup and support, I'd absolutely be curious as to why so low. Then if I see that it's because the vast majority of people are unable to play, well, then my purchase decision will be influenced - but I'll still know that it's probably going to be a great game, without wading through 9/10 irrelevant reviews.

It's just like general percentage ratings for something. 2 people rating it 95% is not as desriptive as 5 at 100% and 20 at 50%. More spread in the latter. And if there's a wide spread of say loads of positive 5 stars, a huge gap, then loads of negative 1 stars, it usually means something specific has really ticked off a set of users, which may or may not be relevant to me (we see that all the time in Amazon reviews, eg!) as opposed to a relatively even but thin spread of ~4 stars +/- 1 which usually indicates a more reliable general experience.

And right now BT4 seems to have a very wide range of ratings from positive to negative, and it's hard to distinguish the Why's.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 21st, 2018, 8:02 am

I remember the old daggerfall was a huge dung of bugs, but it was, at the time, still an awesome gameplay experience compared to surounding games in spite of all the gamebreaking bugs.

I seem to recall it got good reviews in spite of the bugs, so...

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Parody » September 21st, 2018, 9:04 am

thebruce wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 6:28 am
But that's also the effect of the rating system since it's been around - to influence people's decisions to try the game, and studios need to understand that everything people experience related to the brand will influence that score - not merely opinions about a successful long playthrough.
Yup: you only get one chance to make that first impression. However, Steam (at least) also shows a rating for Recent reviews as well as the overall score, once enough time has passed. Assuming that they fix the technical problems that should help people looking at buying it later on, even if they don't win back the people having problems now.

Personally: having seen the initial wave of responses and the size of the download, I've decided to wait for patches before installing it. The game will be there when I'm ready.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Nystrom » September 21st, 2018, 9:07 am

I would. I've gone on previous record as saying it's a worthwhile game but like most it's not release ready when it's released. Waiting 2-4 weeks is typically what I do with all new game purchases. The last game I bought before this on day 1 was Civ 6, and that just reinforced my thinking as that was a mess.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by IHaveHugeNick » September 21st, 2018, 9:30 am

It's obvious to anybody that Steam review system is toxic, but has anyone invented internet voting system that isn't? No, it's always a jungle, every game has to deal with it and InXile isn't special. The only thing that I might consider worth doing is if they disabled the reviews for 1-2 days to prevent obvious trolls from poisoning the score.

But question is, would it help? No, because the truth is, few people wanted this game from the start, this was already clear during the campaign, and nothing changed during the development, because pre-launch vibe on mainstream forums was next to zero. and so was the marketing.

It could have had a shot to be a hit, had it launched to stellar press reviews and great steam scores, but technical issues alone made sure that could never happen. Regardless of any toxicity on the part of some reviewers. It's 2018 folks. You launch a buggy game, people will rip your head off.

So we can talk about review systems, vote manipulations, imaginary hate squads determined to poison the launch, but all of that is just ignoring the elephant in the room - InXile have botched the launch. Again. As is tradition. And while you can all search for my posts from WL2 where I defended the sorry technical state of the game, Wasteland 2 was a sprawling, massive RPG, full of branching storylines, multiple narratives, quests with several solution, and bugs are to be expected.

But this? It's a dungeon crawler for god's sake. It should have been polished on day one, and it's not. And they knew it's not, because there's gigantic fps drops visible already in the trailer. I tried to get some of my friends to play and guess what I heard. Sorry mate, maybe in 6 months when they optimize it. And that's the marketing piece that is supposed to attract the buyers. Great job.

So give it a rest with blaming the reviewers and fixing the voting rating systems, because the fish rots at the head.
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