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Bard's Tale The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Director's Cut

BruceVC

Magister
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
8,395
Location
South Africa, Cape Town
Since I'm about 40 hours in I'll talk a little bit about the party synergies u can create in the game. So eventually u unlock a full 6 person party. This is important because with 6 characters u can really build a literally infinite amount of strategies and synergies. Each battle will also be different, especially those that really challenge u and force u to use all 6 members. For easier battles u may only really use 4 or 5 of them, but challenging fights require all hands on deck. There's so many aspects to the combat, it's incredibly complex. Boots often add movement bonuses that encourage u to move around the grid. Some puzzle weapons offer bonuses that acrue when u use non-damaging abilities, such as moving, giving u more incentive to move around. Eventually u will create a pretty bad-arse group of 6, who are nicely decked out gear wise and also have a handful of combat strategies in your back pocket. I recommend playing on Hard and then when you're comfortable with that, perhaps boosting it up to Legendary (although Legendary seems to require min/maxing, I'm not sure, I play on Hard mostly now.) And if u guys do play, let us know some of the synergies and strategies u come up with for your party! Cheers. :)
And have you had no issues or frustration with some of the puzzles ?

Puzzles dont seem to be problem to you and your journey in the game? Maybe Im just really bad at puzzles in BT4 :D
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
And have you had no issues or frustration with some of the puzzles ?

Puzzles dont seem to be problem to you and your journey in the game? Maybe Im just really bad at puzzles in BT4 :D

I actually really like the puzzles! :) I have struggled with only a few, most of them up to my 40 hour playtime have been on the easy side but not too easy if that makes sense. And there really haven't been a ton of puzzles imo, the balance has been good and they have stayed fresh for me. The game wouldn't be the same for me without the puzzles. They really reward u with progess and cool stuff for completing them, so it makes them have a point in the gameworld.

Playing on Hard mostly makes me utilize my entire team, but I did have to change the difficulty to Normal for the
Mangar fight before the portal to the Realm Of The Elves.
Hard seems to be a sweet spot for me keeping the combat fresh and mostly fairly challenging.

The majority of my screenshots were taken after this point in the game.

nh0dnz.jpg

This is extremely good news for me! :) Seems we have quite a bit of game left then, including the DLC. I'm game!
 

Shackleton

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
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Location
Knackers Yard
Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture
Just had to resort to looking up a guide for the lava flow puzzle in
the Lodge of the Siambra Dhu
. Even with a picture it still took me a while and I'm still not sure quite what rules it was following.

Then the next puzzle after that, (the switches before the teleport) was a bit of a bugger as well. Fair play to InXile, some of these are pretty testing.

Funny it's the 'Bard's Tale' and yet the Bard is by far the weakest and least useful member of the party.
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Hey Shackleton . Nice to hear you're playing! :D Yeah, that area is ROUGH. I haven't tried it yet in this playthrough, but I remember tinkering around a bit in there in my previous play. Some of these puzzles certainly are testing, I really love that aspect. And yeah, Bard class *seems* a bit weaker, but some of those support abilities after chugging booze are pretty powerful. When I was using a Bard she was often the last member to act and only if I really needed her. She could chug a Trow's Squeezins and immediately lower everyone's cooldowns by 1, which is a gamechanger for me. But I replaced her with a
Paladin.
Good stuff though, able to use different characters and classes to get a strong synergy u like. :)
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
So, I progressed the story and ended up in
The Stennish Isles,
and man, this place is beautiful! Seems to have enough content for awhile, too, considering I found a
crypt, that needs a key
so it should be interesting from here on out. Really hoping there's not only a good chunk of content left, but that a sequel would be a monster game that has even more content than this one, heh. A boy can dream, eh? See u guys in Caith! :)
 

Sinatar

Arbiter
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
569
Funny it's the 'Bard's Tale' and yet the Bard is by far the weakest and least useful member of the party.

You might have me to thank for that. I streamed the game on launch, and after my playthrough was done they released a patch that nerfed the ever loving shit out of every single strat I used, including some mega bard cheese.
 

BruceVC

Magister
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
8,395
Location
South Africa, Cape Town
Just had to resort to looking up a guide for the lava flow puzzle in
the Lodge of the Siambra Dhu
. Even with a picture it still took me a while and I'm still not sure quite what rules it was following.

Then the next puzzle after that, (the switches before the teleport) was a bit of a bugger as well. Fair play to InXile, some of these are pretty testing.

Funny it's the 'Bard's Tale' and yet the Bard is by far the weakest and least useful member of the party.
Your experiences sound exactly like mine with puzzles in BT4 :D
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
I think I mostly get lucky on puzzles, lol. For real! I will be trying to solve it and a lot of times it just solves itself not even how I was planning it. :D But I haven't been where Shackleton was yet, and I am planning on going there a bit later. Just did a heck of a block puzzle up in the snowy area. Had 2 solutions for 2 different areas, and included verticality! Very cool one. :)
 

BruceVC

Magister
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
8,395
Location
South Africa, Cape Town
I think I mostly get lucky on puzzles, lol. For real! I will be trying to solve it and a lot of times it just solves itself not even how I was planning it. :D But I haven't been where Shackleton was yet, and I am planning on going there a bit later. Just did a heck of a block puzzle up in the snowy area. Had 2 solutions for 2 different areas, and included verticality! Very cool one. :)

Some gamers are also just better at puzzles than others, especially if you enjoy them. I put myself in the group of " puzzles are great as long as I dont spend more than 10 minutes " on them :)

But when it comes to games like BT4 I understand that puzzles are part of the design so its worth learning them
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Some gamers are also just better at puzzles than others, especially if you enjoy them. I put myself in the group of " puzzles are great as long as I dont spend more than 10 minutes " on them :)

But when it comes to games like BT4 I understand that puzzles are part of the design so its worth learning them

That's cool that u give the game a chance and learn it. I feel BT4 has been a slow burn love for me. Yes I loved it instantly, but it takes awhile to really start seeing its systems blossom. Even puzzles, that start very simple and very gradually ramp up into things that can tease your brain, it all adds up to a sort of "savor the journey" experience. :) At least for me. Some people may want more action and less puzzles and dislike the game for that reason. But I think if you want a slower-paced, epic CRPG that takes awhile to really shine but when it does it's VERY bright, BT4 is a solid choice. Imo.
 

BruceVC

Magister
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
8,395
Location
South Africa, Cape Town
Some gamers are also just better at puzzles than others, especially if you enjoy them. I put myself in the group of " puzzles are great as long as I dont spend more than 10 minutes " on them :)

But when it comes to games like BT4 I understand that puzzles are part of the design so its worth learning them

That's cool that u give the game a chance and learn it. I feel BT4 has been a slow burn love for me. Yes I loved it instantly, but it takes awhile to really start seeing its systems blossom. Even puzzles, that start very simple and very gradually ramp up into things that can tease your brain, it all adds up to a sort of "savor the journey" experience. :) At least for me. Some people may want more action and less puzzles and dislike the game for that reason. But I think if you want a slower-paced, epic CRPG that takes awhile to really shine but when it does it's VERY bright, BT4 is a solid choice. Imo.
I agree, also its a reality about all the different types of RPG out their and how they resonate with different gamers specifically because of the myriad of design mechanics that we personally enjoy like action based, puzzles, romance, party based and other choices

So yes BT4 represents a certain type of RPG and once you get into its a thoroughly entertaining and compelling journey :cool:
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
I agree, also its a reality about all the different types of RPG out their and how they resonate with different gamers specifically because of the myriad of design mechanics that we personally enjoy like action based, puzzles, romance, party based and other choices

So yes BT4 represents a certain type of RPG and once you get into its a thoroughly entertaining and compelling journey :cool:

Well said! :) I'm really just hoping it takes me 120 hours to beat, lol. 100+ hours and I'm a happy CRPG gamer. :D And speaking of romance, there's even some...interesting party banter along those lines at times, heh.

I was personally hoping this game resonated with more CRPG lovers because the future of the series may depend on it. I don't know exactly what will happen and it's anybody's guess, but I do hope we see a BT5 at some point. BT4 is just *too* good to be the last entry in this historic series, imo. If anyone is still on the fence about playing thru this one, please do give it a chance. It's really an interesting and modern take on the classic dungeon crawler/CRPG formula.
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Hey guys. :) Now about 50 hours in and according to my save file, it says 30 hours. So, if the game according to InXile is 40+ hours, I imagine that is the time the save file reflects. So maybe 15 "game" hours left, which may be 20-30 real time hours. Seems about right. I'm in
The Orkan Rookery,
and having a lot of fun both fighting and solving treacherous puzzles, heh. I just now realized some certain reliquaries, which are quest items, can be equipped as weapons and are also puzzle weapons! Neat! The one I just nabbed gives Melody my Practitioner a huge boost in Intelligence. :) We have a really balanced group now. Wringneck is our killer, and the 2 guardians (Dalgliesh and Bryan of Dorn) absorb the damage, along with Lioslaith who is a dang fine tank AND attacker! We can sunder armor pretty well with her and my Rogue character, and then sling some spells from the back with Melody. But my main strategy so far has been sending Wringneck around the battlefield slaughtering everything, heh. It's a ton of fun. Anyone else playing now too?
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Hang in there Peachcurl , heh. :) You'll find out that if u just approach them logically and step by step that they are not really that bad. I quite enjoy the brain teasing but I understand if it may be too much for some folks. What helped me was going step by step - follow the path from the source and change each one as you go, stepping back and taking an overall view, and then making small changes as necessary. They are honestly not that devious to where you'll spend many hours on them, they just take a little elbow grease and ingenuity. I am not that great at puzzles and if i can solve them okay then most people will be able to, lol. Wishing u fun and success Peachy, hope the puzzles don't turn into your demise! :)

I'm still at the same point I was when i last reported pretty much. Taking a break from this for awhile and will return and finish it soon. Great game imo, u guys should really check it out! :)
 

Peachcurl

Cipher
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
9,149
Location
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
That's true, Fluent, they really are not that difficult. Turns out that the real problem with the beam puzzles is that they aren't 'explained' (unlike fairy golf), so you have to figure out what each node does by yourself. And I didn't remember some important detail from my first playthrough. Also, I didn't bother to look closely at some key node in the puzzle. :lol:

So yeah, I completely didn't get (AGAIN! same in first playthrough) what those T-shapes with the moveable part in the middle do. Figured they are just plain T's. When in fact the active center blocks transmission from left to right. :D

edit: okay, putting that in spoiler tags, in case some puzzle fan ever chances on this thread (hello there, unknown person from the far, far future!)
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Nice Peachcurl ! And sometimes you'll have to activate or deactivate switches that are embedded in the stones u can move as well. Sometimes having power flowing to one embedded stone will cut off the power where u need it, so you'll need to re-route around that stone instead. Once u catch the certain drift of what's happening they become easier, and man, is it just me or are they so satisfying to pull off when u finally get it right??? I just love that feeling when I light the proper way, like yessss, progress! Onto the next, heh. :) Fairy golf has been simple for me because I took the time to learn what each combination does, so I know how to do exactly what I want given the blocks that are there. That is also rewarding, lol. Maybe I just love puzzles! :D Glad to hear you're getting thru okay though Peach, nice to see some love given to this underrated gem imo. There's a lot to like about this game if you approach it with an open mind.
 

Falksi

Arcane
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
10,642
Location
Nottingham
I've used the festive hols to catch up on some modern games which I bought on sale and most have been utter shit. Code Vein, Mad Max, Greedfall etc. none of them have done much for me at all (even Nioh 2 was a let down), but I'm around 10 into this and absolutely loving it. The puzzles haven't started to bother me yet, and the combat system and almost constant stream of background singing in certain areas are both really absorbing.

So far I think it's a fantastic blend of old and new. But it is fairly early days yet.
 
Last edited:

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
13,540
I thought the combat was cool, but the character progression system was so awful it undermined everything else.
 

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