Feedback/suggestions from a Bard's Tale series veteran

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

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Bartmoss
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Joined: October 8th, 2018, 7:20 am

Feedback/suggestions from a Bard's Tale series veteran

Post by Bartmoss » October 8th, 2018, 8:02 am

Hey guys,

I played Bard's Tale I, II, and III in the late 80s/early 90s, on a C64 (and ignored the 2004 game pretty much entirely). So far, I've been enjoying The Bard's Tale IV quite a lot. It's pretty much what I wanted but did not dare hope for. It really does feel like a modern addition to the series, and I may have squealed in delight more than once while playing it.

But there are a few things I'd like to mention.

Context: I have gathered my party, found Fiona and the Paladin, completed Kylerean's tower, the faery puzzle, and mangar's tower. I think my party is level 12-13. If anything I mention gets invalidated later on, please ignore it.

Gameplay feedback:

- Needs respecs. Seriously. No respec makes using prefab characters a pain and severely punishes experimentation. This is made worse on your first playthrough because you do not know what other party members you will get. Respecs could be done at the Review Board, giving them a bit more functionality (you "review" your skill choices).
- Mastery slots. Why. I mean, I get why, but 4 isn't a lot, considering how many skills we get and how situational most of them are. And because of the next point in my list.
- Items that provide skills should absolutely do so on top of the mastery slots, and not take away mastery slots. Right now we get punished for finding a great item that has a somewhat situational skill attached to it.
- Spells (WAST comes to mind) should state explicitly what their damage pattern is.
- When you activate a skill from the mastery/skill bar, but before you execute it (selecting a target), the mouse-over should continue to work.
- I am seemingly constantly out of water, something that should be available in abundance.

UI and usability.

- I constantly move characters "by accident". I think I hold the mouse button just a moment too long when I click on them. Disabling drag-and-drop move would be a greatly appreciated option.
- Clicking on my own characters to target abilities can be a pain (potions, bard songs). I think you need to click the square without clicking on a character that obscures the square while being in another square, and that can be tough with some of the "wider" portraits.
- The world map scrolls really badly.
- The item popup is awkward. If I had a dollar for every time I accidentally closed it before selecting "use" or "inspect", BT4 would've been free.
- Mousing over the left and right buttons of the inventory is just horrible UI design. Take that programmer's controller away.
- It'd be nice to be able to look at other maps than the current one. This is especially true for the world map, as it would give a nice sense of location.

Content

- I get that the code wheel is a nice throwback to the 80s, but please, give us something in-game to solve those puzzles.
- I did Mangar's Tower and I loved it, but there was really no reward considering how tough the last fight was for my gang. It is possible that I missed a secret - no spoilers please if I did - but I feel like it's in good RPG tradition to provide some kind of decent treasure after a boss battle.
- Loot generally feels somewhat underwhelming. Woo hoo more rotten food!
- I keep picking up notes, and the game tells me "gained so and so" but I have nothing in my lore- or quest inventory. The fatherite notes are a good example where this happens.
- The player can get stuck on the bridges in the bridge puzzle in Kylarean's tower. I was always able to free myself, but it was fairly annoying.
- I kind of wish it wasn't possible to detect the teleport in Sinister Street. :)
- Not a fan of the Real Life things in the game - the shrines come to mind, and the one NPC speaking French.

Commercial

- Let us upgrade our version (I bought via steam), since the versions seem to be handled as DLC this should be possible?
- If you publish any DLC/sequels, they are pretty much guaranteed purchases from me.
- I suppose there is no level editor you could release for the game?


Thanks for your time & consideration reading this :)

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