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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: The Bard's Tale IV

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. theSavant Prophet

    theSavant
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    I learned something from the review I didn't really realize while playing (call me dumb): that weapons do not have their own Damage value, but only increase the character Stats and thereby increase the Damage. That's very simple, yet effective. I like it.
    Btw. I'd be all for that abridged 10 hours long version. I rather have a quality 10 hours than a repetitive, artificially stretched 40 hours. Which is also better for replaying instead of thinking "omg.. all this unnecessary shit again" and thereby even preventing a replay. I'm sure I've mentioned this in the inXile forums long before... "I've said it all along. I told you so. You should have listened."
     
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  2. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
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    Only because you say so, doesn't make it so. People are judging and complaining about BTIV, because they measure and compare it to BTI-III and on this basis they give BTIV bad ratings. I just arrive at a different conclusion, because i understand that things change over time and the changes accumulate. In this case we don't have a progression series of changes between BTIII (1988) and BTIV(2018), besides the DW as sequel to the BTI-III mechanics and DW already showed many changes despite its was released only one year later than BTIII.
    If InXile say that BTIV a sequel to BTI-III, then i will judge it so since i'm not the owner and master of this franchise.

    Money isn't a problem in BTI-III and you cannot buy good items. HPs also aren't a problem since Badh'r Kilnfest in BTI regenerates the party inside combat and REST restores all HPs. Troll Rings are also usefull if you dont want to cast REST in the late game.
    What might be a problem are the SPs, but that is in BTIII (Crystal Gem, Flare Crystal, Harmonic Gem) not valid and BTII-III has Rhyme of Duotime. In BTI-III you have Mage Staff for outside the combat and Conjurstaff (BTI certainly) for combat (mid-late game). Also in BTI if you have Ring of Power you don't even need to cast MIBL and you can save yourself the SPs in the mid-late game. In other words this argument only applies to early-mid game for BTI-II and is irrelevant for BTIII.

    Yes the Save Heal thing is a bad design decision in my opinion and it would have been better to let the player just rely on the limited food resource. Or it should heal only the party if the player consumes the save point making its use also limited.

    Or you drink the potions or booze that give you instant SPs, so that you don't have to channel the SPs.

    Never go full retard and never project. What applies to you doesn't necessarily apply to others.
    This were specific design decisions based upon to you and me unknown factors. And i will not state that you are wrong or that you are correct on this one, because i haven't played BTIV beyond Kylearan's Tower and it could be that the game falls appart in mid - late game.

    This could quite be and i will definitely not argue against the importance and value of challenging combat. I also expect quite the challenge from combat, but in BTI-III there was also no challenge in combat, if you had the equipment and spells. The fights in BTI-III are all repetitive and in the end have rarely a real and weighted importance besides the XPs and perhaps the found items. Why do you think people are rumbling over and over again about the 4x99 Berserkers fight? Because this is the only true memorable fight in BTI due to its enemy type and grouping and not due to its difficulty.
    The 4x99 Berserkers fight could be won in just one round, if you have two casters with MIBL and you will have certainly at this stage the two casters with MIBL.

    The only thing that was dangerous in BTI were the stoning and level drain effects of some monsters and if such a monster appeared then Run was the choice since this effects you couldn't heal with the casters. Old was not a problem with a very low AC due to armor (like L0), since this effects hit mostly the 1-4 places and the casters in 5-7 were the decisive PCs in combat. Poison was no problem with FLRE and FLAN or REST, but in the early game it was costing many SPs.

    Btw. If you look at your statements then you will see that you are measuring and comparing BTIV to BTI-III. This is not a bad thing i will definitely not make a hangman's rope for you out of it. I'm just pointing this for you out and for your self-perception.
     
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  3. sstacks Arcane

    sstacks
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    It's currently a buddy cop flick where two guys who irritate each other are just put in the same car.
     
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  4. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    You made a post asking "why don't you compare it to its predecessors", I replied explaining why they aren't comparable. It's not that fucking hard.

    Also, I cannot take seriously someone who says that money and HP in Bard's Tale isn't a problem because of a LEVEL 7 spell... unless you are the type of person who spends 20 hours autistically grinding, then go "LOL, DIS GAEM IS SO EASY!!!1".
     
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  5. theSavant Prophet

    theSavant
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    I shouldn't read reviews, I shouldn't read Steam forums, I shouldn't read inXile forums. Because when I read these, I get angry. I wasn't even that angry before, but reading all the issues make me angry. I'm angry of what inXile has made of BT4. All those shitty design decisions! We've seen them coming long ago, we've warned them, we've sugarcoated them. All for nothing. They didn't care. I don't even want to finish this game anymore. Eventually I will (as a KS backer), but only once and never again.
     
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  6. Van-d-all Learned

    Van-d-all
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    Of the 30h mentioned, I'd rather spend that time sperging builds in Pathfinder. Which I did.
     
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  7. Ocelot570 Educated

    Ocelot570
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    I did not know that Fargo lived in such excess. He tries to keep up his fighting man persona of working for all people making old games, but after seeing this, I have lost all faith in anything he can ever do. He masquerades as a middle class man acting like he is struggling to fund his games and all. This is an outrage.
     
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  8. theSavant Prophet

    theSavant
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    This is also why I think most of his sponsors comes from his own family or their banking business. Where else did he get all his funds? No one can tell me after all these games he made, which were rather losses than profits, he is able to sustain his lifestyle or even pay a full game development studio. What a joke! It's a bankers family ffs. Fargo Wells is a banking business for over 150 years, found in 1852. Guess how rich these people are now. This family tribe is richer than rich. Anyone knowing how banks work, knows they are the rulers of the world. No one tell me he has earned his wealth by his own effort. Tell that Santa Clause.

    I give it Brian, that he has a heart for the arts. I appreciate his efforts in that. But he can probably only do that because his family tree gives him the backbone to do that. He is probably allowed to invest and even waste money within certain limits (we are talking of millions $$ here). Of course his family would love to see if he made profit, but I don't think it matters that much. What he wastes with 10 millions for the development of a game, is back in their pockets by other businesses who regularly pay interest for credits to Fargo Wells after a couple of years.
     
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  9. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
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    I think you guys are vastly overestimating his wealth. If he had THAT much money he would have never lost Interplay. And believe me, the guy is butthurt about losing that company. Otherwise he wouldn't have called his new company InXile and still wanting to buy back Interplay which value today is almost zero.
     
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  10. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    I honestly thought that was a joke, but apparently it's true:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    People still debating about Barf's tale?
     
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  12. Bohr Arcane

    Bohr
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    I vaguely remember him downplaying the link in some old interview, along the lines of the only benefit he'd got was slightly better service at the bank, but I guess he could have been downplaying it to burnish his selfmade/indie cred so who knows. The reports of the early years do make more of the family/oil wealth of "Michael Boone" though, who bought out Fargo's Saber software for $5k and for whom Fargo and Heineman worked before Boone decided to change the company's direction and develop whiteboards instead.
     
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  13. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Interplay was huge back then, worth over 100 million dollars... Fargo can be extremely rich for a person, but still not rich enough to keep a company that was bleeding millions per month. And I bet his severance deal was pretty good.
     
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  14. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Still not sure I get all the dislike for Fargo.

    I have no idea whether his money is the product of his businesses or inheritance or both (in what proportion). I know he is sometimes described as a Wells Fargo "heir," but that can mean anything. He clearly grew up richer than average, but regardless, he was simultaneously a jock who was "a standout athlete at his school, a star of the football team and so good a sprinter that he and his coaches harbored ambitions for a while of making the United States Olympic Team" and a dork who spent "all summer" in high school trading code back and forth with a friend to make a game called Labyrinth of Martagon. So it's not like he's some rich guy who just coasted and was handed everything on a silver platter. And during his time at Interplay, he coded, designed, and produced many great games, for many systems, that are beloved by even the most hard-hearted Codexers.

    You may think that his crowd-funded games disappointed. But he delivered all of them, unlike many other prominent crowdfunded projects (like Star Citizen or Project Phoenix), and they were not wild departures from what was promised (like Godus or Mighty No. 9 or arguably Double Fine Adventure or Underworld Ascendant is gearing up to be). They may have been worse or smaller, but they weren't ridiculous departures, I would argue.

    My sense is that overhead and logistics are hard to rebuild, which is why companies that have existing structures (like Obsidian) have been able to do better with their Kickstarter money than inXile has.

    Also, as I've noted before, people are confused about how much it costs to make games in the U.S. because (1) indies who put unrepaid sweat equity in can develop games for a fraction the cost, (2) games made in developing nations are made a fraction the cost, and (3) Kickstarters pitch at a fraction of what they actually need. On the other hand, I suspect that with a decent-sized starting capital, and regular crowdfunding cash infusions, you can keep the machine going for a long time even on relatively low revenue streams from your games. So I doubt inXile has drained Fargo's wealth or made him rich. More likely, he enjoy(ed)(s) game development and figured there was a chance he'd hit the jackpot, so he kept at it for a while.
     
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  15. Neanderthal Arcane

    Neanderthal
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    Yeah theres a lot worse devs out there. I'm not crowdfunding ever again though so I don't really care.
     
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  16. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    As Infinitron put it some time ago, Chad Fargo stole their girlfriend.
     
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  17. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    MRY makes an important point: inXile effectively had to use Kickstarter funds to start a whole new RPG company, because it's not like they had spent the last decade making RPGs and getting/accumulating development expertise like Obsidian had.

    Wasteland 2, in that aspect, was as good as we could have hoped for: an overambitious and superjanky, ultimately falling-short CRPG that nevertheless had its heart in the right place and tried to deliver the real thing. I thought that was worthwhile to back. Anyone who expected a masterpiece would have been deluded.

    Sadly it's the end of the line - after Torment and BT4, there's a limit to how long you can wait and how much money you can give to crowdfunding after several failures to improve on that. Troika got 3 games, and each of them were special classics in their own way even while being broken.

    I have no hate for Fargo, he at least has spent years and years using all his powers to try and give us good old CRPGs, which is more than you can say for most people.
     
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  18. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    Also if you think about all that criticism about stale state of RPGs, codexers here criticise it a lot - and so do I - and it's about West and western PRG actually.
    But let's imagine it will be outsourced eventually to the China and East Europe, like with everything else...
    :shredder:

    While I have nothing against EE, but all games made in China... lol no.
    Though it's highly unlikely, given that SJW and such using games for their goals, so they need to hold the reins, so at least AAA will be there forever.
     
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  19. sorinmask Just like Yves, I chase tales. Patron

    sorinmask
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    First...



    and then...

     
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  20. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Fenix I'm fairly optimistic. I think all sorts of barrier to entry have been lowered in a way that makes it possible for games like AOD, Underrail, Disco Elysium, SitS, etc. to get made. The complexity and polish of those games is staggering compared to the comparable indie titles from 20 years ago. As long as people stick with it, they'll develop the experience and skills to be the next generation of 90s-cRPG-developer equivalents.

    sorinmask Honestly, not sure what the difference between the pitch and the game is. The pitch is a bunch of marketing fluff, taglines, and concept art, but it seemed like everything they listed was in the game in one way or the other. IMO there's a difference between releasing something that's shorter, uglier, wordier, and clunkier than was expected (which I take to be the core knocks on TTON) and something that's categorically different in look and feel than what players expected (which I take to be the case with DFA, M. No. 9, etc.). Obviously I'm absurdly biased on this front, but I don't think any of what inXile has released was a bait-and-switch or course change.

    (I should add that the pitch is cringe-inducing now in a way that it wasn't before, but not sure why. Maybe it's the fabulous optimism mixed with Star Wars fan film seriousness...)
     
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  21. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    There's a difference between having money and making money. You see a lot of people ruin themselves in this way, they want the "thrill" of success and being someone who matters. Remember that in the 90s Fargo was a big deal, he had a thin golden time when he got a taste of what the big boys experience all the time. It's probably hard to go from being printed up in the newspaper as a local boy who made good as an executive to just sitting in your McMansion waiting to die.

    Realistically, moeblobbers are usually clones of very old Wizardry games, so being a fan of moeblobbers but not western blobbers is basically another way of saying you are more hardcore than someone who is just into the most recent western blobbers and disdains moeblobbers because muh weeb menace.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  22. Grauken Random Representative of the Hivemind Patron

    Grauken
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    I agree about W2 and TTON, those were what I expected to get when kickstarting them, even if the execution was lacking, but BT4 is not at all what expected to get, not even close. I don't think its bait and switch though, Stonekeep should have clued me in that Brian doesn't have any clues about good blobbers
     
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  23. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    If I recall correctly, the BTIV pitch was mostly just eye and ear candy without a lot of substance ... ?
     
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  24. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    That's my point. Fargo wants to recapture his glory days of making awesome games. He's sincere about wanting to do good work again, and he'd love to get rave reviews and sell millions of units. This is apparent over the whole development cycle of Wasteland 2 and that of TTON. The theory that this time he deliberately cut corners to sell an intentionally subpar product for one last big cash-in is laughable on its face.
     
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  25. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    As for pitch vs. product, BTIV did indeed deliver what was promised in the pitch (perhaps not a great version of what was promised, but it is what was promised). Go back and actually read the kickstarter pitch page and you'll see it's all there. Thousands of backers didn't read it, and even if they did they filled in the blanks with what they wanted to see: "This game is going to basically be BT 1-3 but with better graphics." That's never stated - or even strongly implied - anywhere.
     
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