Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #33: Combat System Video

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

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

    The long-awaited Bard's Tale IV combat system video is finally here, in early February rather than late January, but close enough. It actually starts out with some exploration, as a party of three adventurers infiltrate a goblin-infested dungeon, chattering and solving a couple of rudimentary puzzles on the way, before getting into a fight with a group of the goblins and their Fachan minion. Other than the out of place-looking 2D adventurer cutouts, the game looks very pretty indeed, although I suspect that UI will not be popular with everybody. But of course it's all still a work in progress. The new Kickstarter update explains:


    Combat is the core of a dungeon crawler and our goal has always been to make sure that it is tactical, deep and pays off visually. We also knew to stay with our roots with combat being party based and phased based, yet we’ve come up with a unique way to present this style of gameplay. You’ll note that we still support six characters for the player to command along with two empty slots for summoned creatures.

    Obviously, this is still in development and there are things we’re not in love with yet. Namely, the characters on the HUD are still at a first pass. We will be updating their visual look and likely not have them bouncing around as they speak. And the visuals will only continue to improve as we layer on more VFX for world atmosphere, spells and combat effects, add additional post processing, upgrade the materials for the character models and greatly dial up the ambient life in scenes. Already you can see small touches in our use of planar reflections in the puddles of water, and what you can’t see is our system for dynamically corrupting the forest based on the actions of the player. We want you to feel the effects you have on the world constantly.

    Additionally, though the camera movement allows for and shows off free movement, we have laid the maps out such that you can snap into grid movement as well.

    Getting personality and character into games is paramount to me, and you get a small glimpse of one of the moments when the party runs across the goblins. Expect more of these small scenes that show the world operating outside of what the player chooses to do.
    And some additional details about the combat:

    This is what many of you have been waiting to see. We talked about some of our high level ideas in previous updates, specifically with respect to our grid-based system. Now you are seeing it in action. On the game HUD, you can see your party occupying 2 rows of 4 spaces each. Enemies will line up on the opposite grid with the same number of slots. The exact positioning of enemies, as well as your own party, will determine which attacks can land, and which will swing wild past their mark.

    Another system you are seeing in place is opportunity. The blue and yellow gems on the HUD represent your party's and your enemy's opportunity. Opportunity is a shared resource that each side has, and it is granted each turn in combat. Unlike some other games where you will be forced to use action points for each character (or skip their turn), opportunity is a bit like a shared action point pool. The flexibility of this system means that party members can set up multi-hit combos, reposition for multiple attacks, or evade danger more effectively.

    One thing that is harder to see in the video is our input queuing system. When you take an action in combat, you can begin ordering another party member before the action has played out. Although we intentionally slowed things down for the video to keep it a bit easier to follow, in practice this keeps the flow of combat moving along faster than a traditional turn-based system.

    There's a lot more to talk about here, from the way elements like health, mana, and armor interact with each other, how channeling abilities and focus work, the way that temporary status boons can affect a character's functionality, or how positional tactics can let you set up more devastating damage. These open up a lot of subtle possibilities, but we'll save more of those details for future updates.
    What do you think, Codex? It's definitely no Grimrock clone.
     
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  2. Make America Great Again Jack Dandy Arcane

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    Looks nice! It kinda reminds me of Xulima's combat but with more focus on positioning, which is cool.

    I hope the dopey cutscenes, dialogues, and animations can be skipped, though.
     
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  3. Excidium II Arcane

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    Moving is too fucking slow, combat animations are too slow, the UI is slow. Game looks like a pain in the ass to play.

    Btw why does it look like it's being demoed with a gamepad even though there's a mouse pointer?
     
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  4. Apexeon Prophet

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    But at least it looks unreal. I heard it will do ok on the PS4 pro at 4K (that's what counts).
    If it sells well on the consoles they might do a PC port for us master race losers.
     
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  5. jungl Educated

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    be nice if your party members were rendered 3d also. Graphics and animations involving the party needs a rework.
     
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  6. Make America Great Again Talby Arcane Patron

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    :prosper:, the game.
     
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  7. Q Augur Patron

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    I kinda like that combat, but character 2d-figures is awful
     
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  8. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Can't think of too many blobbers that used 3d for enemies and 3d for party members. Even MMX or Grimrock from the fancier 3D brigade didn't. It just doesn't look all that good and adds to distraction and clutter with character portraits moving around along with the action in the main window. Sure the 2D characters look a bit weird and I'd prefer them to be in portrait form for easier visual confirmation of status effects, buffs etc. and for general UI legibility, but I'm glad they didn't go 3d for everything.
     
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  9. BlackGoat Learned

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    Sooo slow
     
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  10. theSavant Liturgist

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    The longer you look at the combat screen the more it looks like your party is standing there in isometric style (especially when they turn their back to you, looking like as if they are facing the enemy). Almost a hybrid solution between isometric and first person.
     
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  11. Apexeon Prophet

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    Slow, slow. They should of went full 2D and old school.

    Crisp, fast gameplay and with 2D Charm.
     
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  12. ArchAngel Magister

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    I think they made is slower for this demo on purpose.

    But I like what I see so far, especially for pre Alpha version of the game. The way goblins comment you and each other as reaction to what is going on was pretty cool. Reminded me of Fallout and how enemies there commented stuff during combat (which is a lost art in modern games).
     
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  13. AbounI Savant Patron

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    No doubt combat will be faster when the Bard will come back
     
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  14. thesheeep Arcane

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    Utter reading comprehension fail :lol:

    Though to be fair, if you slow down your gameplay, you should say so in the video, so that is a video fail as well.
     
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  15. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    It's been a while since I've seen a UI uglier than this one. Who the hell thought that this looked good?? Can't they just copy the UI from Wiz 8 and call it a day?
     
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  16. thesheeep Arcane

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    They obviously tried to bring more IMMERSION(tm) to the dreadfully outdated dungeon crawler optics.

    I get the general idea of the UI, but I hope this is just a very early iteration. The characters at least are, as they wrote.
     
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  17. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

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    What exactly is the problem with the UI? Not saying it's good but I'd like it if people went into more detail when they said that.
     
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  18. thesheeep Arcane

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    IMO it looks very clunky, bigger than it needs to be.
    It shows the position of the characters, or the whole combat grid, actually.
    Which is not required I think. The position of the characters could be combined with their normal portraits and made much smaller. No need to show them on some 3D grid in relation to the enemies.

    That's my biggest gripe with it, it wastes quite a lot of space. And at the same time does not offer a whole lot of information.
     
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  19. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    That's something that's not going to go away, I'm pretty sure. It's what sets the game apart from the cavalcade of Grimrock clones. A lot of isometric RPG fans might be looking at this now and going "It's almost like it's isometric! I could see myself playing this!".

    But maybe they can improve it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  20. thesheeep Arcane

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    What sets the game apart from Grimrock and clones is the fact that it has actual combat instead of dancing.

    Anyway, I also think that won't go away. Seems like a "design decision".
    Not a deal breaker to me, anyway. Non-skippable animations would be a deal breaker, but I am hopeful there ;)
     
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  21. logrus Learned

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    That's awkward!
    Comabt looks like bastard child of Lords of Xulima and Disciples 2. LoX combat was pretty similar, simpler yet much better and not as sloooooooow. Pseudo-positioning is so simple that it looks painful to play it, would be bettter if it was visualized classic way, let's say like in late Wizardries. And that party animations, avatars turning front and back... Awful!
    I hope that they get rid of this abomination and rethink combat again...
    Of course visuals are nice and other aspects look promising but dungeon crawler with poor combat is failure.
     
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  22. TalesfromtheCrypt Arcane

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    UI looks like from some cheap free to play MMO or cardgame :lol:
     
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  23. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Combat looks fun if it's x10 speed.

    The UI and the character models look bad. That wobbling when they talk is ridiculous and the whole thing about them turning around and facing the enemies is jarring. They should use portraits with facial animations like Wiz8 if they want a blobber party that talks to each other and comments on stuff. You don't need a 3D grid to make you understand that there is a front and a back row and horizontal positions. If you want to put your characters inside the combat zone, use actual 3D models and zoom out from first person when the combat starts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  24. polo Savant

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    Noise graphix tho.
     
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  25. Darkzone Magister

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    I can live with that combat. I still have a certain feeling that this will be the best inXile game. And the latest revelations about T:ToN only strengthen this feeling.
     
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