Is this REALLY a Bard's Tale sequel ???

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

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Is this REALLY a Bard's Tale sequel ???

Post by Zombra » September 19th, 2018, 11:57 am

One big thread! Hooray!

The questions on the table are whether inXile REALLY did the right thing changing so much in Bard's Tale 4, whether it deserves to have a 4 on it, whether it deserves to have Bard's Tale on it, and all related discussion.

Conversation on this subject that derails other threads will be moved here. Enjoy!

And as a reminder, a lot of posts that have been moved here move into personal attack territory. Not allowed.
Everyone: watch it. Attack the idea, not the person.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 25th, 2018, 4:37 am

DNACowboy wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 1:41 am
You are really starting to sound desperate and worse, a little crazy. The rest of us have moved on, enjoying the game for the most part, but here you are still pontificating on just how ‘bad’ the game is and questioning (in frankly nasty detail) the motivations of people who love the game as if to say ‘omg, I hate this game why don’t others? they must have some sort of ulterior motive’, honestly, move on.
In closing, it’s funny, your nick ‘Noblisse Oblige’ (privilege demands responsibility)? You have shown yourself to be anything but a responsible gentleman what with your personal attacks and now these sly insinuations.
That comment reminds me of something...

Notably Trump supporters saying things along the line of "We won, move on and let us do what we want with your life".

The problem is that, for better or worse, I, as a backer, have ended up with this thing that cost me $95 dollars which is something completely different than what I was led to expect because of the naming used of the product.

I don't care how much you enjoy the product. It's still not the product inXile led me to believe I was backing and it still gives me zero hope that I will ever actually get a real bards tale 4 when they have released this product with this name. Having it be released for any period of time does not magically change these facts.

To compare: Wizards of the coast more or less destroyed the broad cardgame scene back in the days by trying to patent the concept of trading card games and pulling lots of small companies to courtrooms where the cost of fighting back left those companies in ruins. This totally douche move by the company made me stop buying their products, even though I had been an avid magic and collecter up until then (I still have the cards collecting dust in binders, so by todays evaluation there's actually quite alot of money in those binders). It's been a while since they destroyed the broad card scene, but the hell if I am going to suddenly forget and ignore what they did back then and start buying their products or let them be praised without bringing up the negatives. It is the exact same with my opinion of inXile in this regard.

Not only have they destroyed anychance of a real bards tale 4 that honored the heritage of its predecessors, but if the massive dumbing down of mechanics they did is seen as a success (not to mention turning a cRPG encounter-grinder into a puzzlegame with light rpg elements) then the effect they will have on future releases will also be detrimental.

finally, I found it ironic that in a comment where you call someone "desperate and a little worse, crazy" you close off by saying he is not a responsible gentlemen with his personal attacks... Pot calls kettle black and all that...

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 25th, 2018, 5:15 am

Fun fact, Bard's Tale 4 did release, a real Bard's Tale sequel that is very much an excellent addition to the series. It's called Bard's Tale IV barrows Deep. And it is what the developers described it as on the kickstarter. And it very much honors the heritage of the predecessors, that has evolutionized the mechanics to be far more complex, more challenging, and more fun.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by syntaxhorror » September 25th, 2018, 5:36 am

Spectralshade wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 4:37 am

The problem is that, for better or worse, I, as a backer, have ended up with this thing that cost me $95 dollars which is something completely different than what I was led to expect because of the naming used of the product.
This seems to be a recurring complaint, one I can sympathise with. I backed Inxile's game at the lowest possible amount to get a copy (mainly because I can't afford more, but that's another issue), and so far for $25-$30 they've been decent games, middle-of-the-road rpgs which don't always match the KS vision document (but that's the game industry for you). If I had plonked down $100 or more I'd be way more invested, and probably pissed :D

As for encounter-grinding blobbers, the genre seems to be doing fine from I read elsewhere. If that's the genre of game that tickles your fancy have a look at rpgwatch or rpgcodex, I'm sure people there will be happy to point you in the right direction (along with flinging insults in your general direction in the case of the codex).

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » September 25th, 2018, 7:14 am

eisberg wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 5:15 am
Fun fact, Bard's Tale 4 did release, a real Bard's Tale sequel that is very much an excellent addition to the series. It's called Bard's Tale IV barrows Deep. And it is what the developers described it as on the kickstarter. And it very much honors the heritage of the predecessors, that has evolutionized the mechanics to be far more complex, more challenging, and more fun.
stop trolling.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 25th, 2018, 7:19 am

That isn't trolling.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Rizmel » September 25th, 2018, 7:33 am

eisberg wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 7:19 am
That isn't trolling.
it is though

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Drool » September 25th, 2018, 2:28 pm

Spectralshade wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 4:37 am
Notably Trump supporters saying things along the line of "We won, move on and let us do what we want with your life".
Let's not drag politics into this.
Spectralshade wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 7:14 am
stop trolling.
If you believe someone is trolling, report it via appropriate channels.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Gizmo » September 25th, 2018, 4:46 pm

eisberg wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 5:15 am
And it very much honors the heritage of the predecessors, that has evolutionized the mechanics to be far more complex, more challenging, and more fun.
By making it something entirely else—with the famous name worn merely as wrapping paper. :lol:

( :( )

**However... InXile did something neat with the release. It doesn't seem to include the number 4. As far as I can tell, the
game is titled "Bard's Tale: The Barrows Deep"—and not "Bard's Tale 4". ;)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Woolfe » September 25th, 2018, 7:15 pm

Gizmo wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 4:46 pm
eisberg wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 5:15 am
And it very much honors the heritage of the predecessors, that has evolutionized the mechanics to be far more complex, more challenging, and more fun.
By making it something entirely else—with the famous name worn merely as wrapping paper. :lol:

( :( )

**However... InXile did something neat with the release. It doesn't seem to include the number 4. As far as I can tell, the
game is titled "Bard's Tale: The Barrows Deep"—and not "Bard's Tale 4". ;)
Curious.. I hadn't noticed that...

Although... Steam disagrees with you. GOG too
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Gizmo » September 25th, 2018, 9:07 pm

That is interesting.

The Gog & Steam pages both title it: Bard's Tale VI: Barrows Deep, but the game's main menu shows it differently.

I wonder if the change was last minute, and the store pages haven't reflected the change? I've no idea. I haven't installed the game yet.
Is this title screen [below] still used for the main menu in the released version? Does the game's title in the intro cinematic have the number 4?

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Hieronymous Alloy » September 26th, 2018, 7:58 am

Spectralshade wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 4:37 am
".

The problem is that, for better or worse, I, as a backer, have ended up with this thing that cost me $95 dollars which is something completely different than what I was led to expect because of the naming used of the product.

I don't care how much you enjoy the product. It's still not the product inXile led me to believe I was backing and it still gives me zero hope that I will ever actually get a real bards tale 4 when they have released this product with this name. Having it be released for any period of time does not magically change these facts.
Here's the thing: you can't ever go back to 1985.

The problem that these sequels and "spiritual successor" games have is that they're not trying to duplicate a game from 1985; the challenge they face is making you feel like you did when you were playing a brand new game in 1985, which is different.

The Pillars of Eternity developers talked a lot about this; there are a lot of upgrades that they had to include in their games, that weren't in the Baldur's Gate series they were trying to emulate, because in the intervening decades players are now used to things like convenient respec, more manageable inventories, FAR better graphics, more complex and tactical puzzles, etc. When MYST came out in 1993 the idea of a music-note-based puzzle was revolutionary; now it's kinda normal and won't get the same reaction. So on, so forth.

So the developers can't just replicate the exact mechanics of Thief of Fate -- they have to update it. Even the Thief of Fate fans, most of them, would not actually be happy with a new game that was just Thief of Fate 2: more monster spam and VGA graphics!

Overall this game does a pretty good job of maintaining the lore and keeping the mechanics similar-ISH. I don't get the hate. It's not an exact replica but it couldn't be -- even the remasters aren't exact replicas, they add modern convenience features like automapping and quicksaving.
Themadcow wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 3:04 am

I think the discussion below the Torven's article is pretty reflective of, well, everything on BT4... it's very 'marmite'.

Old schooler's are distinctly unhappy, while those coming to the game with no expectations are finding it quite fun. The reviewer is just another RPG player with their perspective on the game. This guy isn't getting paid for his review, and if one of the other posters had picked up the free PR key instead... maybe it would have been a very different review. Torven doesn't reflect the view of MMORPG as a whole, just his view.

Yeah that's a fair breakdown I guess. I'd consider myself an "old schooler" -- I played the original Bard's Tale games on my c64 in the 80's -- and I'm having a fun if frustrating time (my main annoyance is the lack of respec, which drives me up the wall considering other design decisions like the way clerics are implemented). I think the difference is that I backed the game on kickstarter and then promptly forgot about it until it got released, so I came into the game with very few expectations or hype.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 26th, 2018, 8:14 am

Except that the mechanics are completely different than classic BT; there's no random encounters, there's no randomness in combat, spell points aren't a finite resource regen'd at Roscoe's, there's no battles with dozens of enemies at the same time, the main way to get attributes is got through items, the classes and races aren't the same, you don't need to visit temples to heal/resurrect or the review board to level up, etc.

I mean it's "similar" to BT in that it's a first-person, party-based and turn-based RPG, but apart from that not much. Wasteland 2 was a lot closer to Wasteland 1's mechanics, there were differences but it still was reasonably close, which is why by and large it was accepted by old-school WL fans as a worthy successor, while BT4 won't be.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Hieronymous Alloy » September 26th, 2018, 8:39 am

Crosmando wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 8:14 am
Except that the mechanics are completely different than classic BT; there's no random encounters, there's no randomness in combat, spell points aren't a finite resource regen'd at Roscoe's, there's no battles with dozens of enemies at the same time, the main way to get attributes is got through items, the classes and races aren't the same, you don't need to visit temples to heal/resurrect or the review board to level up, etc.

I mean it's "similar" to BT in that it's a first-person, party-based and turn-based RPG, but apart from that not much. Wasteland 2 was a lot closer to Wasteland 1's mechanics, there were differences but it still was reasonably close, which is why by and large it was accepted by old-school WL fans as a worthy successor, while BT4 won't be.
Yeah, I think most of those mechanics would be dead in the water in todays' market anyway. Most gaming is moving away from randomness as players want more tactical depth, having to eternally trudge back to the magic store is annoying and lacks strategic depth (it just creates an artificial time sink of trudging back to town), endless spamming of mass blob slaughter isn't even really a game at all by modern standards, they do have the review board but they were trying to avoid the same constantly-trudge-back-to-town issue, etc. Random encounters and grinding aren't things most players really want any more -- nobody has that kind of time!

The absence of halflings and gnomes is a problem I'll grant.

What it *does* do is

1) Apart from the absence of halflings / gnomes, a good job incorporating the lore and events of the prior games (Mangar's Tower, Spectre Snare, etc.)

2) It's a first person party based RPG with front and back rank combat and summoned allies who take up party slots (the eight tiles roughly replicating the 7 party slots in the prior games)

3) It's very much a dungeon crawler, with puzzles, traps, etc. It isn't grindy in the same way but the dungeons have a good sense of exploration and puzzle solving and (the upside of the save point system) there is a certain amount of endurance tension as you fight from point to point and risk having to revert back to a prior save point.

:shrug: I really don't get the hate. Like, all the things I see people complaining about -- lack of grinding, lack of having to trudge back to town every twenty minutes to re-roscoe and review board -- are the things I'm happiest to see. If anything the game needs more updating for modern convenience (auto sort inventory, respec, etc.)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 26th, 2018, 9:00 am

So your argument boils down to "We better not do that or we'll make the casuals mad!", dude it's a freaking turn-based dungeon-crawler RPG, it already wasn't going to appeal to them. It's the reason the game is dead in the water on Steam, it was too simplified for the core RPG fans and too slow/old-school for the mainstream, ie in trying to appeal to everyone they appealed to noone.

Look at Etrian Odyssey on DS/3DS, game has quite a niche little fanbase, enough to fund various sequels and remakes - a game that where you need to go to town to regen health and has heaps of random encounters. But of course it doesn't have full voice-acting and expensive 3D environments.
Hieronymous Alloy wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 8:39 am
:shrug: I really don't get the hate. Like, all the things I see people complaining about -- lack of grinding, lack of having to trudge back to town every twenty minutes to re-roscoe and review board -- are the things I'm happiest to see. If anything the game needs more updating for modern convenience (auto sort inventory, respec, etc.)
If you ever played the classic BTs you'd know that those mechanics serve a purpose, spell points and roscoe was about strategic management of limited resources, it encouraged you to use your spell points wisely rather than spamming expensive spells which would leave your mage's "out of ammo" when inside dungeons.
Last edited by Crosmando on September 26th, 2018, 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Drool » September 26th, 2018, 9:08 am

Hieronymous Alloy wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 8:39 am
a good job incorporating the lore and events of the prior games (Mangar's Tower, Spectre Snare, etc.)
Well... it does a good job of name checking the originals. I wouldn't say it's properly incorporating the lore, though. The opening cinematic is a gigantic retcon of the originals.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 26th, 2018, 9:10 am

Drool wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:08 am
Hieronymous Alloy wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 8:39 am
a good job incorporating the lore and events of the prior games (Mangar's Tower, Spectre Snare, etc.)
Well... it does a good job of name checking the originals. I wouldn't say it's properly incorporating the lore, though. The opening cinematic is a gigantic retcon of the originals.
More like it feels like they were awkwardly inserted to give the sequel "legitimacy". When you look at the Trow and removal of Gnomes etc it seems to me like the devs wanted to create an entirely new game but begrudgingly had to make a sequel. Game would of been better off as a prequel, BT3 was just too definitive an ending.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Hieronymous Alloy » September 26th, 2018, 9:14 am

Crosmando wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:00 am
If you ever played the classic BTs you'd know that those mechanics serve a purpose, spell points and roscoe was about strategic management of limited resources, it encouraged you to use your spell points wisely rather than spamming expensive spells which would leave your mage's "out of ammo" when inside dungeons.
Dude, I played all three in the 80's (some on a friend's Apple, Thief of Fate on my c64) and I've played the new remaster just a few weeks ago. Resource management is always the argument for camping/rest systems but it mostly just ends up annoying people. That's why they (mostly) ditched camping for PoE II Deadfire.
Crosmando wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:00 am
So your argument boils down to "We better not do that or we'll make the casuals mad!",
I'm a casual now. I'm forty one years old! I have a job! I have shit to do!! I don't have time for annoyance based timesink mechanics any more!

That kind of thing was fine when I was eight years old and I got to buy two video games a year and then play them endlessly. Now I buy about one a month and play them when I have time. I want and expect a lot more convenience features and more streamlined play. If anything, this game needs more of that, not less (needs respec, sortable inventory, etc.)
Drool wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:08 am
Well... it does a good job of name checking the originals. I wouldn't say it's properly incorporating the lore, though. The opening cinematic is a gigantic retcon of the originals.
Oh, sure, but a retcon is inevitable given that, it's the only way to go. At least they made the attempt unlike the 2004 game.
Last edited by Hieronymous Alloy on September 26th, 2018, 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Drool » September 26th, 2018, 9:19 am

Crosmando wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:10 am
BT3 was just too definitive an ending.
Not really. I mean, it was a definitive ending for the Heroes of Skara Brae, but there's no reason there couldn't be a new adventure. And if they wanted to tie it into the previous games, it could easily have hooked into one of the dimensions you visited. The robots of Kinestia overthrew Urmech and are launching an invasion. The already weak borders in Tarmitia are causing trouble with warriors bleeding into other realms.

Or, hell, some other crazy wizard or something. Or if they had to go the Fatherite route, make it The Paladin's Promise and have the party rooting out the corruption within or something.
Hieronymous Alloy wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:14 am
Oh, sure, but a retcon is inevitable given that, it's the only way to go. At least they made the attempt unlike the 2004 game.
Nonsense. There was no need for a retcon. Furthermore, the 2004 version had to be different. EA still held the rights to the property and all inXile had was the name. It was a side game by design and from external forces. It's not really a fair comparison.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 26th, 2018, 9:27 am

Hieronymous Alloy wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 9:14 am
I'm a casual now. I'm forty one years old! I have a job! I have shit to do!! I don't have time for annoyance based timesink mechanics any more!
Not an argument, I have a job too. Random encounters were a core part of BT4, one might say they were the core considering that most of your time were spent in them. They also serve a purpose and you calling them nothing but timesink is evidence you didn't understand them. Random encounters give the player control over progression rather than the developer having that control. A game without random encounters means the developer decides the progression of xp, there's no chance for the player to go grind if they feel too weak and then return to the main path. I'll concede that the RE's in classic BT were a bit too frequent but in all likelihood they were like that because the developers couldn't fit any more dungeons on the discs and they wanted the players to have a certain amount of gametime for paying $60 for the game. Classic BTs would be very short without REs.

Also you're ignoring that mechanics could be implemented which allow you to avoid RE's like Outdoorsman in WL2 or in Devil Whiskey where you can flee fights or "command enemies to surrender" which enables you to bypass RE's that are way below your level.

Also theres an argument to be had that classic BT's step-based movement and RE chance on every step itself gave the games a kinda roguelike feel which was a part of the identity of Bard's Tale gameplay.
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