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Game News Bard's Tale IV Spotlight #1: Character Creation

Infinitron

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Tags: InXile Entertainment; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

In anticipation of the upcoming backer beta, inXile have been tweeting out all sorts of Bard's Tale IV teasers over the past few weeks. Now they've published what is apparently the first in a series of "spotlight" videos that will introduce various aspects of the game. This one offers a look at character creation. It's pretty standard stuff - archetype (ie, class), culture (ie, race), appearance and skills (ie, perks). Skills seem to be the most important aspect of your character in Bard's Tale IV, since they not only offer active and passive abilities but are also the means of increasing your stats.



On Twitter, Brian Fargo has revealed that the backer beta is releasing this Thursday. He also says that we should expect a "steady stream of detail over the next few months", which I guess can give us an idea of when the final game will be coming out.
 

CRD

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I remember when they released a trailer of "this is what we want to have the final release in terms of graphics", and then the constant downgrade every new video until this psp version.

Not that I care about the graphics, but I find it ridiculous how they fucked up even that without necessity. No one asked them for uncharted quality.
 

Agame

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Im sure its been mentioned long before, but the fact your characters face the enemy while idle, and then turn towards you when they attack is just daft.

Are the graphics that bad? Any true blobber aficionado cares zip about graphics its the systems and gameplay that matter.
 

Wizfall

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Extremly dissapointing.
Only 4 class 4 races...
Main interest, at least for me, of a blobber is charater custopization/development (that's also why i disliked pre generated character of MM X).
Not fan of skill tree too, what a bummer as i was expecting something like W8.
Also character animation is ridiculous and "characters face the enemy while idle, and then turn towards you when they attack is just daft indeed.
 

FireKing

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Yet another bloody Kickstarter disappointment. Having played the initial Alpha I was slightly excited by what I thought could be an solid return to the Bards Tales of old, boy was I wrong. This is just a dumbed down version exemplified by the devs laziness to make a good game. Fucking wankers.
 

Infinitron

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Only 4 class

It's 4 archetypes, each with 4-6 classes. Remember? http://www.rpgcodex.net/article.php?id=10837

Okay, so then where are they? Why not show them off?

The categories of skills in the skills screen might be the classes (although they don't look like names of classes). We don't know what the Fighter classes are, they've only shown the names of the Bard and Practitioner classes in previous Kickstarter updates.

If those aren't classes, maybe the classes are something you only get after character creation during the game?
 

Strange Fellow

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The categories of skills in the skills screen might be the classes (although they don't look like names of classes). We don't know what the Fighter classes are, they've only shown the names of the Bard and Practitioner classes in previous Kickstarter updates.

If those aren't classes, maybe the classes are something you only get after character creation during the game?
Wait, I'm dumb and didn't look too closely at the video yesterday. Where are the subclasses? My money's on the possibility that there aren't subclasses at all anymore and they’re just banking on the fans being okay with some limp-wristed "the subclasses have been worked into the skill tree!" bullshit handwaving. Zombra I take back everything I said, this game will suck

:dontbelievehislies:


...although, the skill tree still looks yuge, so it might not be such a big loss. We didn't ever get to see the properties of any of the subclasses anyway, did we?
 

Strange Fellow

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Bloody hell you're fast Infinitron.

Edit: That was back in February though. Between then and now, Fargo's compulsive backpedaling disorder could well have kicked in.

More edits:
The next skill in the Brew Master line is Battle Brewer.
This sentence suggests that these "classes" are indeed just the starting points of skill trees.

Still more edits (I really should just hold off on posting until I've decided what I'm going to say):
Mean Drunk is another optional skill bards can pick up along the way. It’s not required to achieve the title of Brew Master, but it sure is handy for them.
Yep, you see in the video that there are ending points to the skill trees, which seem to grant a bigger bonus than the normal skills. "Brew Master" seems like one of them.
 
Last edited:

Decado

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Why can't I just roll a fucking paladin from the beginning, like the old days? What the fuck is wrong with that system? It has worked for 30 goddamn years of PC games.
 
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Where are the subclasses? My money's on the possibility that there aren't subclasses at all anymore and they’re just banking on the fans being okay with some limp-wristed "the subclasses have been worked into the skill tree!" bullshit handwaving.

Yep, looks exactly like that. You'll get your subclass by working along the appropriate skill trees.


Tbh, after I've stopped comparing this game to Wiz8 (and realized that game had annoying issues as well), I've become much more positive with BT4. The character creation, stats, skills and subclasses are very straightforward, easy to understand, and quickly get going - and despite looking fairly simplistic, I can see it offering plenty of interesting (and unconventional) party combinations and tactical depth in combat.


Still not happy about the space UI, that it's probably a clickfest, and that the 3d character model in the video looks like a transgender... but other than that it looks O.K.
 

Nano

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I remember when they released a trailer of "this is what we want to have the final release in terms of graphics", and then the constant downgrade every new video until this psp version.

Not that I care about the graphics, but I find it ridiculous how they fucked up even that without necessity. No one asked them for uncharted quality.
But the graphics were the best thing about the early previews.
 

Strange Fellow

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Tbh, after I've stopped comparing this game to Wiz8 (and realized that game had annoying issues as well), I've become much more positive with BT4. The character creation, stats, skills and subclasses are very straightforward, easy to understand, and quickly get going - and despite looking fairly simplistic, I can see it offering plenty of interesting (and unconventional) party combinations and tactical depth in combat.
Yeah, I know, but I was expecting another layer of complexity ins addition to the archetypes and the skill trees. Never mind wiz 8, less complexity is a bummer either way. :/
But the graphics were the best thing about the early previews.
As I recall, the graphics were the only thing about the early previews.
 

Invictus

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To be honestly the graphics look fine to me; a little cartoony but functional and I actually like the idea of just 4 starting classes and then having the option for some prestigie classes you get access through the upgrade path
This might not set the world on fire or sell a million copies but it looks like fun
 
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theSavant

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but I was expecting another layer of complexity ins addition to the archetypes and the skill trees. Never mind wiz 8, less complexity is a bummer either way. :/

Yes and no. Especially in Wiz8 I realized that while it looks and feels complex, the complexity was "more in your head, than noticable in the game". In the end everything was so balanced out or even "boring", I often wondered if it was worth the hours and hours of planning and tweaking the characters. Add to this the calculation on how stat points influence multiple mechanics at the same time, it's often only a very small percentage (like a value of +0.01 to a calculation), which you mostly didn't notice in combat unless you spent 50 points or more into it. Sometimes you only saw a difference if you've spent 70+ points into a skill, which was not very satisfying. To sum it up, the complexity was often more illusion than reality.

And this is where I think BT4 hits a middleground. All things are straightforward, more distinct, you see exactly what you get. No teasing with wrong illusions. And while it offers less complexity in stats, it is "sufficient" by means of not being too overwhelming but also not too dumbed down. And I think it makes up for the reduced complexity in stat by adding the complexity in the combat. So the overall scope of complexity of all things combined will be satisfying.

I still wonder about one thing, which is, if we can spend points at level up on the base stats (like const, strength, intelligence) or not? Or if we can only select new skills?
 
Last edited:
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To be honestly the graphics look fine to me; a little cartoony but functional

After having seen a couple of 2d portraits, I agree that some of them look actually decent. Imho these 2d portraits would have been totally sufficient for the game (and it would have been even nice if they would just stay within oldschool UI portrait slots, but whatever...). I can still not see the need for the 3d models though, except cluttering the UI...
 

Shadenuat

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The whole ui, characters and combat field is a material for who do you marry meme

- Son, it is time for you to grow up into a fine blobber
Would you choose this beautiful dark elf jew girl, with ability for turn based coffee breaks or real time blaster blasting, who can fly and destroy titans with meteor showers in giant world?
Or maybe an intelligent moe bishop, with customizable ui and full 3d world, advanced from times of old into new gen with wits and many stats and races, where every level is custom made and features voiced dialogues and awesome keyword system
Or perhaps your heart belongs to that angry tsundere loli with hair of gold, with classic tile based maps and more companions than can fill the screen, with colorful world and traditional monster groups and dungeons?

- hurrr I want like 3 stats hp int and skill trees and combat grid with shitty looking characters turning towards me.
 

Ocelot570

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wow another sad and pathetic excuse for a game by Fargo. He promised a true successor to the bard's tale series. this seems completely unoriginal and a bastard to the ideals of the original series. whatever happened to tinkering with the parties stats to get the best possibility. BUT NO FARGO is just a shill stealing money from sad people with nostalgia all truly knowing that we have been blinded by the corporate ponzi schemes of today's video game industry. Fargo and any self respecting person should stay CLEAR of this trash.
 

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