'Not Bards Tale'

For Bard's Tale IV gameplay-related discussion. May include gameplay details and spoilers.

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'Not Bards Tale'

Post by DNACowboy » July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm

Image


Ok, lets get real here for one rpg-moment. I first played BT1 on release and slavishly ran out down to my local 'computer store' to buy each game as they came out.
Side note: Back before the EU, England used to get US-developed games on the same day as the states, that being a Tuesday and at the dollar price which made rpg gaming and gaming generally dirt cheap for us Brits. Also, we used to get them WAY ahead of that smelly European crowd because both nations spoke English as their native tongue. However, France complained about 'unfair advantage' and Brussels demanded the US localise their games into many different European languages and ensure the games came out on the same day which ended up a Thursday or Friday. The Brits went ballistic because a game that we once purchased on the same day as the USA now meant we had to wait up to 18 months for each game as each title had to have all the various languages translated and then implemented into the game (localisation)
True story.

Back on track. I think I can recognise a Bards Tale game when I see one and BT4 reeks of authenticity. From the mythology to the characterisation suggests the provenance is the real deal. The soundtrack, the types of puzzles, the music, the voice overs, all aspects of the game suggest Bards Tale 4 is the fourth direct descendent of Michael Cranfords (ed) game. So please, whoever, is trying to suggest this isn't Bards Tale take a step back and look again. Have the devs dragged the IP screaming and bawling into the 21st century? Yes, and if the beta is anything to go by they have done a fantastic job.

In closing, I invested considerably in this game and for me Bards Tale Barrows Deep is everything I had hoped for and more.
Finally, I also pledged to Underworld Ascendant and in comparison BT4 is an rpg of the highest calibre.

Thank-you Inexile.

edit.

To refresh people's memories here is some gameplay from Bards Tale (1986)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TriKOGraB-A

and now, a few minutes of BT Barrows Deep:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRtfE7-q0g0 (Eurogamer made a couple of basic mistakes in the beta review, there was never a 'narrator' in authentic, 'root' BT games and all have been first person)

I do understand we all have very fond, golden memories of Bards Tale; however, the (first) video example above should remind us of the difference between fond memories and the reality of 80's gaming.
Last edited by DNACowboy on August 9th, 2018, 4:53 am, edited 10 times in total.
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: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by lefty1117 » July 16th, 2018, 5:55 pm

So then I take it based on video-game releases alone you are pro-Brexit :)

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by Drool » July 16th, 2018, 6:25 pm

DNACowboy wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm
From the mythology to the characterisation suggests the provenance is the real deal.
Really? Really? Tarjan demoted from a god who almost destroyed all of reality to a power mad human who just wanted to stop some chick from singing so he could release some long imprisoned beings that have never been mentioned in any game?
The soundtrack, the types of puzzles, the music, the voice overs, all aspects of the game suggest Bards Tale 4 is the fourth direct descendent of Michael Crawfords game.
I can't say I remember block-pushing puzzles, spinning cog puzzles, or "use quest item on wooden plank" puzzles in the first three. I also don't remember any voiceovers.
So please, whoever, is trying to suggest this isn't Bards Tale take a step back and look again.
I could say the same...
Alwa nasci korliri das.

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 16th, 2018, 6:41 pm

What's really strange to me is why some members of the "we-like-what-inXile-did-with-BT4" camp are so eager to attack people who are critical of the game. What is it to you? Are you being paid by inXile? Why do you even care what other forum members say about the game? By and large, we have not been attacking you for liking the new game, but you've definitely been attacking us for being "negative" or by setting up strawmen arguments and claiming that we want a game exactly like from the 80's. Seriously, why do you even care what we say? This is between us and inXile.

As far as whether this game is or is not Bard's Tale, obviously different people are going to have different sets of criteria. But over the past three years a pretty consistent set of common criteria have emerged among those of us who remember the original games well (and don't confuse them with the 2004 game). Those who think inXile made another BT game cite some names that inXile decided to reuse. That's putting lipstick on a pig. The core mechanics of the game have fundamentally changed - core mechanics which defined the series. You can drop names all day, but it doesn't change that fact.
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 16th, 2018, 6:55 pm

DNACowboy wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm
Michael Crawfords game.
Whose game?
cmibl<enter>

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by raveen » July 16th, 2018, 9:19 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:55 pm
DNACowboy wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm
Michael Crawfords game.
Whose game?
must Meen Michael Cranford.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cranford

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by Lanatir » July 16th, 2018, 9:40 pm

Why this game is not really a proper Bards Tale.
1. No random encounters. Means no xp grinding, no loot grinding, and you cant just exchange a character in your party with a new one, cause there aint no monsters left when you killed them.
2. tilebased movement is just added on top of freeform movement. makes making good old graphpaper mapping nearly impossible.
3. Where are the other races?`
4. Lore inconsistencies. Tarjan? Skara Brae? Why isnt Roscoe dead? He died during the destruction of Skara Brae.
5. The combat System is slow and far away from the fast text based combat of BT 1-3
6. Levels are completely meaningless.
7. Skills? Why? and Why were they implemented so badly?
8. Crafting?
9. Hitpoints?
10. Spells. Not enough. Not even close.
11. The humor of BT2004. Childish, annoying.

i could go on and on, but this is enough for a beginning of why this isnt a proper BT4

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by DukeKingston » July 16th, 2018, 10:36 pm

Thanks DNACowboy! Super nice of you to say.

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by ZiN » July 17th, 2018, 1:57 am

DNACowboy wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm
Image

... Michael Crawfords...
I'm normally not one to point out grammatical errors (not a native English speaker), but misspelling the name of the creator of Bard's Tale in the same post, that's containing an image with the proper spelling says something.

I bet Michael Cranford wouldn't make the members of the "Church" the main evil guys and wouldn't approve of murdering paladins and priests left and right, right at the start of the game. Also, he wouldn't make spellcasters restricted to using 3 spells (from a "spellbook" of 10).
Lanatir wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 9:40 pm
I could go on and on, but this is enough for a beginning of why this isnt a proper BT4.
Yes, I could, and I will go on!
DukeKingston wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 10:36 pm
Thanks DNACowboy! Super nice of you to say.
How about us? Any comments?

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by Themadcow » July 17th, 2018, 2:26 am

Lanatir wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 9:40 pm
Why this game is not really a proper Bards Tale.
1. No random encounters. Means no xp grinding, no loot grinding, and you cant just exchange a character in your party with a new one, cause there aint no monsters left when you killed them.
2. tilebased movement is just added on top of freeform movement. makes making good old graphpaper mapping nearly impossible.
3. Where are the other races?`
4. Lore inconsistencies. Tarjan? Skara Brae? Why isnt Roscoe dead? He died during the destruction of Skara Brae.
5. The combat System is slow and far away from the fast text based combat of BT 1-3
6. Levels are completely meaningless.
7. Skills? Why? and Why were they implemented so badly?
8. Crafting?
9. Hitpoints?
10. Spells. Not enough. Not even close.
11. The humor of BT2004. Childish, annoying.

i could go on and on, but this is enough for a beginning of why this isnt a proper BT4
An excellent list - god only knows what was going on in development.
DukeKingston wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 10:36 pm
Thanks DNACowboy! Super nice of you to say.
I appreciate that working in game development isn't easy, and not exactly the most financially rewarding profession for a tech guy - so it must be difficult to read all the negative reaction. Thing is, it just didn't need to be this way if the team had paid any attention to the forums over the last couple of years.

There are a lot of 35-60yr old gamers out there - the biggest spending demographic, and they wanted a proper Western turn based blobber. Probably the first big one since Wizardry 8 (or 7 if you're not a fan of that one). Clearly inXile wanted to go in a different direction, but the lack of engagement with the hardcore BT people (probably most of the big money backers) isn't really acceptable.

Hell, right now Sakura Dungeon with it's animated demon boobies is probably closer to what the community wanted.
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by devnull » July 17th, 2018, 6:24 am

Themadcow wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 2:26 am
I appreciate that working in game development isn't easy, and not exactly the most financially rewarding profession for a tech guy - so it must be difficult to read all the negative reaction. Thing is, it just didn't need to be this way if the team had paid any attention to the forums over the last couple of years.

There are a lot of 35-60yr old gamers out there - the biggest spending demographic, and they wanted a proper Western turn based blobber. Probably the first big one since Wizardry 8 (or 7 if you're not a fan of that one). Clearly inXile wanted to go in a different direction, but the lack of engagement with the hardcore BT people (probably most of the big money backers) isn't really acceptable.

Hell, right now Sakura Dungeon with it's animated demon boobies is probably closer to what the community wanted.
Probably right. It is perfectly in line with a current RPG (with crafting and skill trees and items that grant bonus), but not near what i did expect after playing BT1-3 on my C64 when taking everything (including monitor) to my best friend (here the parents were not as strict regarding endless gaming hours.

Heck i still have a squaered paper block with the dungeons of BT1/BT2/BT3 in my drawer. Drawn with pencil enhanced with notes regarding spinners, teleporters and riddles..
Last edited by devnull on July 17th, 2018, 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by DNACowboy » July 17th, 2018, 6:25 am

raveen wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 9:19 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:55 pm
DNACowboy wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:30 pm
Michael Crawfords game.
Whose game?
must Meen Michael Cranford.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cranford
Thanks for correcting my typo. :roll:
lefty1117 wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 5:55 pm
So then I take it based on video-game releases alone you are pro-Brexit :)


Brexit means ̶c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶i̶n̶g̶, I mean Brexit. :lol: :lol:


_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:41 pm
What's really strange to me is why some members of the "we-like-what-inXile-did-with-BT4" camp are so eager to attack people who are critical of the game. What is it to you? Are you being paid by inXile? Why do you even care what other forum members say about the game? By and large, we have not been attacking you for liking the new game, but you've definitely been attacking us for being "negative" or by setting up strawmen arguments and claiming that we want a game exactly like from the 80's. Seriously, why do you even care what we say? This is between us and inXile.

As far as whether this game is or is not Bard's Tale, obviously different people are going to have different sets of criteria. But over the past three years a pretty consistent set of common criteria have emerged among those of us who remember the original games well (and don't confuse them with the 2004 game). Those who think inXile made another BT game cite some names that inXile decided to reuse. That's putting lipstick on a pig. The core mechanics of the game have fundamentally changed - core mechanics which defined the series. You can drop names all day, but it doesn't change that fact.
Sorry, are you aiming your criticism at me?
I am not 'attacking' anyone, I am however, pointing out that this one very long-time fan of the series thinks BT4 is authentic. Also, I reminded people of the games history and pedigree to pull us back for a moment, both to our roots as BT fans and to remember the design methods Interplay employed at the time, certainly not to 'name drop'.
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: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by DNACowboy » July 17th, 2018, 7:02 am

devnull wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 6:24 am
Heck i still have a squared paper block with the dungeons of BT1/BT2/BT3 in my drawer. Drawn with pencil enhanced with notes regarding spinners, teleporters and riddles..
Are you going to draw maps in this game? Even with the nice map unless the devs have time to make it interactive (which I doubt) I think I will use paper maps to map out currently closed/blocked gates/areas, communities and note items of interest.
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by devnull » July 17th, 2018, 7:19 am

Unsure .. you have to draw maps for BT4 if it stays that way, unless you have a great memory.

But a "Add Note" feature would be useful, i don't need to handdraw, but i need to add information to the current map

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by Lanatir » July 17th, 2018, 7:22 am

Without a PROPER gridbased movement system drawing maps will be close to impossible.

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by thebruce » July 17th, 2018, 7:23 am

Themadcow wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 2:26 am
I appreciate that working in game development isn't easy, and not exactly the most financially rewarding profession for a tech guy - so it must be difficult to read all the negative reaction. Thing is, it just didn't need to be this way if the team had paid any attention to the forums over the last couple of years.

There are a lot of 35-60yr old gamers out there - the biggest spending demographic, and they wanted a proper Western turn based blobber. Probably the first big one since Wizardry 8 (or 7 if you're not a fan of that one). Clearly inXile wanted to go in a different direction, but the lack of engagement with the hardcore BT people (probably most of the big money backers) isn't really acceptable.
Agreed... Taking on a task like creating a game in this manner is bound to stir up controversy, so devs need thick skins. On other forums (not even video gaming), developers are explicitly kept away and leave the interacting and 'parsing' of feedback to community liasons for precisely this reason. I know here I can be quite critical quite often, but I do my best to be reasonable and cordial; and hopefully do my part as a mod to try to keep emotions and personal or destructive criticism to a minimum. But I can't stop someone from being insulted if something they make is reasonably criticized though (and I've been there too) - it's just a very tough pill to swallow.

Bah, and here I go again...

That said, I can't help but wonder how much of the (constructively) critical is in fact parsed and taken back to devs. Speaking honestly, it seems quite often like there is a form of echo chamber happening. Especially when it comes to media. I often see comments, reviews and quotes shared that seem to expicitly reference things some of us repeatedly raise with concern, but instead showing praise, as if to say "Hey someone likes it so this direction is the way to go" as a way to excuse the otherwise critical. As if showing others' praise for a decision that another group crticizes therefore negates the criticism.

As mentioned earlier, it would be nice to have some direct response to many of the critiques of design decisions made, so it doesn't feel like all criticism is being sidelined for the praise and admiration of the mainstream gaming media, and only soaking in the praise of people who adore the current state of the project. (especially when that praise criticizes the very criticism also coming from other diehard - that is, adoring - fans).

It's hard not to feel like many of us, who ARE Bard's Tale diehards, are being criticized for desiring what we adore in Bard's Tale, especially when the vast majority of our input has been for the success of Bard's Tale 4, not merely a selfish "I want to enjoy it even if it means the game flops" (which is how many of the comments come across regarding things like hand mapping, resource-based stats and combat, memorizing spell books, etc)

We're all fans of Bard's Tale of olde here (hopefully), so let's not be tearing each other apart.

Everyone recognizes that this is inXile's baby to make decisions as they please. And there are a vide variety of concepts and elements to Bard's Tale that people think make the "core" experience what it is. No one can point to the game and say "this is a perfect sequel!" (which I have seen) without sidelining anyone who can name numerous significant aspects they prefer from the prior games which have not been included. Rather, we all need to recognize that a "true" sequel will never incorporate everyone's desires of what should be included. That necessarily means that no matter what the result, there will be some who won't see it as a true sequel. It's inevitable.

It's a minefield to navigate. I don't envy inXile.
But please, really, I hope the (constructive) criticism over these past 3 years is being heard, and it really isn't just a big echo chamber of praise for the 'new', and praise for the 'new' that leaves out the 'old', and just ignores the 'old'.

It's hard to read someone exclaim "this is exactly what I was hoping for in a Bard's Tale sequel!" knowing that the admiration is being quoted and repeated by the studio, even while the desires of many who vehemently pine some other element essentially remain unheard or simply ignored. Especially when the above quoted can be found to refer to elements of BT2004 as their understanding of Bard's Tale (and even more especially when they think that's the 'original'). And that's what I tend to see most often when reading any review that praises the current BT4 - some level of enjoyment of Bard's Tale coming from the perspective of BT2004. (of course, not everyone - I know there are some trilogy diehards who love BT4 and not BT2004 or don't consider BT2004; but from what I'm seeing that's a very small minority). The vast majority of glowing praise I've read are either oblivious to the trilogy, loved 2004, love a different kind of RPG, or don't realize that this is billed as a sequel.

I don't think I've ever seen someone refer to the trilogy as having witty humour, or not taking itself seriously, or being a light hearted rpg, etc. When I see descriptors like that, I immediately think "oh, another BT2004 fan, not a trilogy fan" or different demographic of RPG fan who wouldn't like the trilogy; and that colours the review as, to me, irrelevant when it comes to the Bard's Tale brand. And it hurts when these are the reviews that the studio pays most attention to. Seemingly.

But, thanks for reducing the childish humour a bit and providing an option to turn off party banter.

(I'm being facetious; I know a lot has been adjusted based on feedback and a lot of content has been added for nostalgia's sake, which I am thankful for, but really it's surfacy stuff in the grand scheme - I point back to the list of primary concerns posted in another thread which seem to have been shrugged off)
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by thebruce » July 17th, 2018, 7:25 am

I would say I'm a significant backer of the project. I haven't removed my hefty "Signed Premiere Collector's Edition" pledge (one step below the hand-carved box; and I could really use that money), and likely won't, because I still think this'll be a great game by its own merit and a lot of good work is being done.
But at this point I just don't see that this game will be scratching my "sequel #4" itch unless there are drastic changes.


Also, it's on par with The Mage's Tale to me right now. I can't play MT because I don't have VR, but I want to because it's in the BT realm.
I think the same will happen with Barrow's Deep. I won't be able to play properly until I have a powerful system, but I want to because it's in the BT realm.
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by thebruce » July 17th, 2018, 7:27 am

devnull wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 7:19 am
Unsure .. you have to draw maps for BT4 if it stays that way, unless you have a great memory.
Not with the detailed automap they're providing. But I have been looking at the map and wondering how a hand-map might be done effectively. Other than just rough estimated walls and environment jots.

I'm really anxious to see what inXile has planned for the grid movement option.
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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by PsychicMonk » July 17th, 2018, 7:35 am

In my opinion even Ghostbusters 2016 is a better "sequel" to Ghostbusters 1-2 than Bards Tale 4 is to BT1-3.
Lanatir wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 9:40 pm
Why this game is not really a proper Bards Tale.
1. No random encounters. Means no xp grinding, no loot grinding, and you cant just exchange a character in your party with a new one, cause there aint no monsters left when you killed them.
2. tilebased movement is just added on top of freeform movement. makes making good old graphpaper mapping nearly impossible.
3. Where are the other races?`
4. Lore inconsistencies. Tarjan? Skara Brae? Why isnt Roscoe dead? He died during the destruction of Skara Brae.
5. The combat System is slow and far away from the fast text based combat of BT 1-3
6. Levels are completely meaningless.
7. Skills? Why? and Why were they implemented so badly?
8. Crafting?
9. Hitpoints?
10. Spells. Not enough. Not even close.
11. The humor of BT2004. Childish, annoying.

i could go on and on, but this is enough for a beginning of why this isnt a proper BT4
I would like to add 3.1) Where are the other classes? and 4.1) unfitting focus on scottish lore

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Re: 'Not Bards Tale'

Post by devnull » July 17th, 2018, 8:01 am

thebruce wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 7:27 am
devnull wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 7:19 am
Unsure .. you have to draw maps for BT4 if it stays that way, unless you have a great memory.
Not with the detailed automap they're providing. But I have been looking at the map and wondering how a hand-map might be done effectively. Other than just rough estimated walls and environment jots.

I'm really anxious to see what inXile has planned for the grid movement option.
They have a good map. but i wanted to look were to place roscoes lantern.. could not find it. I had found the place before (but had have the lantern yet).. this is info that i want to add.

Also Wish trees (or whatever this thingis were)

So adding a "add note feature" would be nice. in this case i would not draw ;-)

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