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Game News Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #14: Party Size Increased, Touch Points Document

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Tags: Bard's Tale IV; Brian Fargo; Eric Schwarz; InXile Entertainment

Ever since Brian Fargo revealed the planned party size for Bard's Tale IV - four PCs, one companion, one summon - there's been a vocal group of fans on the game's official forums and elsewhere demanding that it be increased. In today's Kickstarter update, inXile have responded to that demand. The party now consists of five PCs and one companion, plus as many summoned creatures as the game's interface can fit. Also included in the update is a "touch points document", BT4's rather more modest equivalent to Torment's vision document, which has some new details about the game. I quote:

One of the topics you have discussed the most is party size.

First off, we have read your arguments regarding expanding the party, and heard you! So we have decided to expand the player party size to six, one of which will be a companion NPC. Additionally, you will have summoned creatures and the like to aid you, which will not count against your party cap. Currently, our plan is to allow you to summon as many additional creatures as there are available grid slots.

There's more details on this topic we also wanted to share. If you're familiar with our work you may know we like to do vision documents for each of our games, and we shared those with you for Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera. To tide you over, we have made a touch points document to share with you. Check it out here!

Of course, for some of you all, this doc covers a lot of familiar ground from the Kickstarter page and our updates, but we also have new details for all of you as well.

As discussed in a previous update, we're bringing back a lot of the classes and races from the original trilogy, with your options expanding to ten character classes and over seven unique races. Furthermore, we're also planning on expanding the class evolution concept from the classic games' classes to cover all of our character classes – leading to huge amounts of depth and customization. You'll be able to further define, specialize and tinker with your character as he or she reaches certain levels, choosing groups of unlocked spells, abilities and talents in order to best suit your needs or party make-up. We'll have more precise details to share on this in a future update.

We are still deciding the best way we can make good on bringing you a true sequel to The Bard's Tale trilogy, but we'd like to give you an idea of the scope of the game that we are targeting internally right now (which, as usual, is subject to change):
  • Over thirty beautiful levels to explore.
  • Locations including Skara Brae and the catacombs beneath it, towns such as Torr Fion and Fettercairn, wildernesses, castles, ruined temples and lost cities, as well as the legendary realms of the Elves, Dwarves and Trow.
  • Over a hundred different enemy types, including dozens from the original trilogy, as well as dozens of new creatures based on ancient Scottish, Orcadian, and Pict mythology. All-new enemy factions will oppose you: the Fecti, the Einaar, the Lestradae, and the Fatherites. We'll speak more on this lore in future updates!
  • Hundreds of usable items, many of which can be used in our crafting system to create consumables and special items.
  • Hundreds of unique weapons and armor to find; most can be enhanced through crafting, and many will be physically manipulated as a 3D model/puzzle to become more powerful.
  • Dozens of powerful magic spells, including some that allow the user to summon creatures to fight by their side.
The rest of the update includes the lyrics to the expanded version of the famous Bard's Tale opening poem sung by Julie Fowlis in the in-engine video, and some more Xounts hype! But why didn't they include Brother None's video in it?

Update: An additional Kickstarter update by Eric Schwarz announces several new add-ons, including a $15 Beta Test Access add-on. That seems to have gotten the pledges rolling.
 

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"Currently, our plan is to allow you to summon as many additional creatures as there are available grid slots."
So they have confirmed tacticool top-down combat and not blobber? Or what exactly do they mean with grids?

Every update they write raises more questions.
 
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"Currently, our plan is to allow you to summon as many additional creatures as there are available grid slots."
So they have confirmed tacticool top-down combat and not blobber? Or what exactly do they mean with grids?

Every update they write raises more questions.
Have you played MMX? Probably like that
 

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We know it's not going to be "tacticool" even if it is top-down, so the only possibility I see is that he means some kind of UI grid that shows your party member portraits
 

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So, it looks like the BT4 universe is going to have factions and locations directly based on real-life ones:

Caith = Scotland
Lestras = England ("Caith's neighbor to the south and often its enemy, the Kingdom of Lestras is the home of the Lestradae, a culturally homogenous people, united under one religion and one king, but strongly divided by class.")
Wilds of Lestras = Scottish Marches ("The border between Caith and Lestras is wild country. It is home to outcasts from both countries")
Einaar = Norsemen ("The castle of the High Jarl of the Einarr.")
Fecti = ?
 
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Five is better, but it's not six. Can we opt out having the NPC join and fill that spot with another created character? Maybe get a waiver. I wonder if the Adventurer's Guild will allow us to manage a roster of characters, and juggle the party composition.
 
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We know it's not going to be "tacticool" even if it is top-down, so the only possibility I see is that he means some kind of UI grid that shows your party member portraits
I thought he meant a combat grid, since they don't want to stack enemies in an abstract way like old games
 

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I was confused by the mention of grids because last I heard they still hadn't concretized the combat view.
I have a strong preference to not seeing my characters, especially if it's the WL2 team creating them. I'd rather have the effort be put into enemies and dungeon art.
 
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I was confused by the mention of grids because last I heard they still hadn't concretized the combat view.
I have a strong preference to not seeing my characters, especially if it's the WL2 team creating them. I'd rather have the effort be put into enemies and dungeon art.
Yeah, it's an useless gimmick. It makes sense in JRPGs where the artists are very proud of their character designs
 
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Every update they write raises more questions.

Yeah... your mentioned questions were also asked in the ocmments section - a lot - and then we don't even see a response about it. I mean... they must have had a concept when they made up "party of six with summoned creatures". A concept that includes how the point of view is, if tactics are involved, how many summoned creatures, possible GUI sketch.

But we rarely get a response until the next Update... frustrating. They are like NASA (Never A Straight Answer).
 
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Why not fukkin' go with a striaght up 6 whyt he odd 5 + moran hanger on in a blobber? SO DAMN STUPID.
 

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And that''s update 15. Too many updates about the kickstarter (sound systems and rewards, stretch goals, add ons) and way too little information about the game. The info they do give about the game are super boring scottish lore tidbits.
I'm cancelling my enormous $20 pledge. I'm ashamed I broke my "no pledging" vow for this.
 

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I'm surprised you did that in the first place.
A four six char party blobber with puzzles is exactly what I want and I buy into game hype like a crack addict.
 

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Ah, in that case, maybe you'll still be able to get it cheap on PayPal later on after there's more information available.
 
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You'd think that after already having Wasteland 2 on the market, their third jump on kickstarter would be something more concrete with clear goals, design docs, gameplay prototypes, etc.

This could just as well be their first crowdfunded title with how up in the air everything is
 

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Ever since Brian Fargo revealed the planned party size for Bard's Tale IV - four PCs, one companion, one summon - there's been a vocal group of fans on the game's official forums and elsewhere demanding that it be increased. In today's Kickstarter update, inXile have responded to that demand. The party now consists of five PCs and one companion, plus as many summoned creatures as the game's interface can fit.

It really gives you confidence in a game when its designers would rather accede to nonsense demands than defend their original decision. :D kinda makes you think that this game has barely left the "incoherent set of ideas written on scrap paper" stage...

if the customer is always right when it comes to these inane Kickstarter sequels I suggest we take to the forums en masse to demand that The Bard's Tale IV take place in the Spongebob Squarepants universe.
 
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