Monsters

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ZiN
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Monsters

Post by ZiN » September 28th, 2018, 1:01 am

About halfway through the game, I've encountered the following monsters:

Goblin
Skeleton
Fachan
Ghillie Dhu
2 types of Mangars (wraith and shadow)

And lots and lots of humans, plus a few elves and trows. It it going to get any better later, or is the bestiary just another thing, where this game is abysmally limited compared to the classics? Kickstarter update #44 states: "About a third of the monsters are from the original games." Does that mean the skeleton and the goblin, and I'm yet to encounter another 3 types of new monsters? It's kind of sad that 90% of the fights are against humans, even in wilderness and dungeon areas.

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Vandor
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Re: Monsters

Post by Vandor » September 28th, 2018, 1:48 am

There are also giants or trolls in the Baedish Lowlands near that caravan cart.

I'm not disagreeing as I was looking forward to more unique monsters and encounters. Hopefully there are more near the end but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe someone who has finished can shed some more light.
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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » September 28th, 2018, 1:56 am

Ah yeah, I also forgot the ogres, which, I guess count as "based on the classics", as generic as they are. So that means another couple of new monsters for a "grand menagerie" of about 20.

RIP Slathbeast, Nefast, Black Slayer, Malefic Knight, Pit Demon, etc...

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Re: Monsters

Post by Jamey » September 28th, 2018, 7:28 am

I'd have liked some more monster variety, but I also recognize the art cost.

Plus, having played Bards Tale 1 recently, the monster "variety" there was largely a different name with the same picture. It wasn't all that huge. Maybe it got better in 2 and 3 (which I'll play when they are remastered).

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » September 28th, 2018, 9:15 am

BT1-2 had ~30 unique monster portraits, while BT3 had ~70. Like in so many other things, Barrows Deep is again a step down from its prequel.
Furthermore, it doesn't fit the story of the game, that everyone is going "OMG, monsters in Skara Brae!", but the majority of fights are against hordes of paladins and cultists. Even in wilderness areas, I haven't encountered a single wolf, bear, or God forbid a slathbeast, but again groups of bandits, cultists and paladins, in nicely placed groups every 100 meters.

ps. In the Remastered BT1, Krome have added additional colours to certain enemies' portraits (monks, dragons), a really nice touch.

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Re: Monsters

Post by Depili » September 28th, 2018, 11:26 am

While there aren't that many non-humanoid monsters, the variations on the humanoid enemies are quite numerous, goblins also have quite many different variations with different stats and attacks. There are also bunch of different skeletons

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 1st, 2018, 9:02 am

Encounter design is awful: They have pretty much copy pasted the same mobs throughout the entire game: 95% of fights are against the same group: 1-2 casters, 1-2 tanks and 1-2 rogues/bards/archers, with scaled stats and slightly modified models. They're also ridiculously easy, fights are mostly over by turn 2, by damage-spam. Of course being able to resurrect and fully heal for free after every fight doesn't help much with the challenge.

Even though the combat system itself could be interesting and offer enjoyable tactical decisions, they have completely failed to take advantage of it. It all came up boring and trivial. No matter how great the system is, copy pasting the same fight through 90% of the game won't make for fun gameplay.

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Re: Monsters

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 1st, 2018, 10:36 am

ZiN wrote:
September 28th, 2018, 9:15 am
BT1-2 had ~30 unique monster portraits, while BT3 had ~70.
And given the budget for Barrows Deep, we could've easily had that many animated, 2D portraits in it, had they chosen to go that route. Frankly, a lot of the portraits in the remaster look better than the 3D NPCs in Barrows Deep. Even the Wight, in his torn, striped swimming trunks, holds up pretty well against some of the NPCs I've seen in Barrows Deep.
ZiN wrote:
September 28th, 2018, 9:15 am
ps. In the Remastered BT1, Krome have added additional colours to certain enemies' portraits (monks, dragons), a really nice touch.
Indeed. And they did it for Wizards too (though not the other magic users, unfortunately) even though they don't have a color in their names, which is nice for distinguishing which level of Wizard you are fighting, since each of the enemy magic user types have several different incarnations at different power levels with the same name.
cmibl<enter>

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Re: Monsters

Post by rmcoen » October 5th, 2018, 9:16 am

Depili wrote:
September 28th, 2018, 11:26 am
While there aren't that many non-humanoid monsters, the variations on the humanoid enemies are quite numerous, goblins also have quite many different variations with different stats and attacks. There are also bunch of different skeletons
I think this is the key, though. BT1 had "goblin", "gnome", "kobold", "hobbit", "dwarf". BT4 has goblin bombs, goblin archers, goblin pigstickers, and goblin shamen. BT1 had "nomads", "barbarians", "berserkers", "orcs", "half-orcs". BT4 has paladins, pirates, bandits, cultists, and fichti... all of which have warriors, archers, rogue/types, casters, and even some bards (that was a surprise to me).

Plus the mythology is more stable -- most RPG worlds have no explanation for why there are 30 different types of low-level humanoids, and then more at mid level, and then more at high level. If you stick with one mythology - doesn't really matter which one - there are far fewer.

I would like to see more undead - just skeletons so far for me, just wrapped up Fichti Forest - but battles are certainly more interesting in BT4 dealing with high-armor soldiers, high-hp brutes that knock me around and swig healing potions, casters Mind Jabbing my back row and summoning goblins, and so forth... vs. "9 Barbarians".

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 6th, 2018, 2:00 am

rmcoen wrote:
October 5th, 2018, 9:16 am
battles are certainly more interesting in BT4 dealing with high-armor soldiers, high-hp brutes that knock me around and swig healing potions, casters Mind Jabbing my back row and summoning goblins, and so forth...
More interesting than dealing with magic-immune vortexes that drain all your spellpoints? Black slayers that instakill you and demons that turn you into stone? Dopplegangers that infiltrate your party and vampires that drain you? Come on. The "casters mind jabbing your back row" are especially pathetic in this game: They waste their turn, by walking around, casting one impotent spell, then hopelessly trying to channel their spellpoints, while getting slaughtered.

While the party were mass-murderers in the previous games too, in this game it feels even more like that, with 95% of the opponents being humans and humanoids.

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Re: Monsters

Post by rmcoen » October 7th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Sounds like you are bringing in in monsters from BT2 and BT3. To be honest, my recollections of those games aren't as good as BT1, which I've finsihed three times in 30 years vs. once maybe each for the others. I did mention I'd like to see more undead.

Mind Jab is pretty effective on my characters, maybe yours are superior. Green Lady has 28hp, Mind Jab does 20+ to me.


However... you raise a good point. Why aren't the enemy spellcasters using Arcane Barrage? Dragon Breath? Vorpal Plating?

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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 8th, 2018, 7:07 am

rmcoen wrote:
October 7th, 2018, 2:00 pm
Sounds like you are bringing in in monsters from BT2 and BT3.
Yep, the slayers were added in BT2 and the vortexes are from BT3 (although BT2 already had phazing monsters). The rest are from BT1. Since this is supposed to be BT4, a direct sequel to BT3, it only makes sense to me, that monsters and their abilities are enhanced and improved, rather than being reduced and simplified, even from BT1 levels.
rmcoen wrote:
October 7th, 2018, 2:00 pm
Mind Jab is pretty effective on my characters, maybe yours are superior. Green Lady has 28hp, Mind Jab does 20+ to me.
They might do a significant amount of damage once, or even bring one character down, if they're lucky (ie. they target the right one), but they will be freely auto-resurrected right after anyway.
rmcoen wrote:
October 7th, 2018, 2:00 pm
Why aren't the enemy spellcasters using Arcane Barrage? Dragon Breath? Vorpal Plating?
Good question. I'd say InXile was lazy to implement the proper AI scripts to do so, but that's just my theory.

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Re: Monsters

Post by Gizmo » October 8th, 2018, 4:03 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 10:36 am
And given the budget for Barrows Deep, we could've easily had that many animated, 2D portraits in it, had they chosen to go that route.
Indeed!

:D

Image

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 9th, 2018, 6:06 am

Gizmo wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 4:03 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 10:36 am
And given the budget for Barrows Deep, we could've easily had that many animated, 2D portraits in it, had they chosen to go that route.
Indeed!
Well, an actual artist would've had to actually draw those portraits/monsters, as opposed to buying a few human and humanoid models on sale in the asset store and copy-pasting them all over the game.

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Spectralshade
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Re: Monsters

Post by Spectralshade » October 9th, 2018, 7:15 am

Gizmo wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 4:03 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 10:36 am
And given the budget for Barrows Deep, we could've easily had that many animated, 2D portraits in it, had they chosen to go that route.
Indeed!

:D

Image
love it. But I think he looks closer to the nomads/barbarians/berserkers :D

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Gizmo
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Re: Monsters

Post by Gizmo » October 9th, 2018, 10:14 am

Spectralshade wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 7:15 am
love it.
Image
ZiN wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 6:06 am
Well, an actual artist would've had to actually draw those portraits/monsters, as opposed to buying a few human and humanoid models on sale in the asset store and copy-pasting them all over the game.
This is not as difficult as one might think. The artist need not be the animator. They really only needed a set of really good portraits. The animation can be handled by anyone proficient in Spine or Dragonbones (or other 2D/3D animation software).

These tools are designed to take detailed illustrations, and bring them to life with 2D animations. 8-)

Example:
Image
______

This link shows how it is done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whe2qvEiZds
(Pardon the sound track. :mrgreen: )
______

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 9th, 2018, 11:02 am

Yeah, those animations are cool and many indie games have used them. (Darkest Dungeon, StarCrawlers, Lords of Xulima, etc.) InXile was going for 3D from the very start though, since they made Mage's Tale, so they had to base their game on that VR puzzle/adventure game. And it shows.

Funny, but when I first heard about their "Heartstone inspiration", I was optimistically looking forward to those simple, yet very cool animations:

ImageImageImageImage

Of course, it turned out to be a very different kind of inspiration.

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 16th, 2018, 2:05 am

What happened to treeman, chocolate guy and retarded mutant dragon?

Image
Image

Image

Perhaps they didn't want to "intimidate" the target audience, with a two-digit bestiary, so they kept the number of different monster types under 10?

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Re: Monsters

Post by Tuoweit » October 16th, 2018, 9:42 am

ZiN wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 2:05 am
What happened to treeman
Treemen exist, but you only get to fight the corrupted versions. No clue about the other ones - maybe they went wherever your crushed hopes went to.

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ZiN
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Re: Monsters

Post by ZiN » October 16th, 2018, 10:43 am

Tuoweit wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 9:42 am
ZiN wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 2:05 am
What happened to treeman
Treemen exist, but you only get to fight the corrupted versions.
Ah yeah, the reskinned ogres.

Image

Alas, the Ghillie Dhu, don't blend into forested environments very well – meaning they won't get the jump on the party at the start of combat before they even know they're there, as Maxx Kaufman had imagined.

Image

Also, even though Brian had so much fun and was so enthusiastic, seeing these old Bard's Tale images brought into the 21st century, we ended up with 3x this as the main villains:

Image

I guess all those old Bard's Tale images somehow refused to arrive to the 21st century and went next to my crushed hopes instead.

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