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Game News Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #46: The Wizard Class, Remastered Trilogy Coming To Early Access

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: David Rogers; InXile Entertainment; Krome Studios; Paul Marzagalli; The Bard's Tale; The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight; The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

    Last year, backers of The Bard's Tale IV voted to learn details about the classes of two of the game's archetypes, the Bard and the Practitioner. We got to see a couple of the Bard classes back in February, but for some reason the promised Practitioner update kept on getting delayed. With the backer beta just days away, inXile have finally gotten around to releasing that update. It describes a single Practitioner class - the Wizard, which in the Bard's Tale series is really more of a summoner or necromancer. As with the Bard update, there a bunch of fun animated GIFs that I don't have room to quote here, but here's the text:

    Hi everyone, David here with the promised look at the Wizard class. The Wizard is a subclass of the Practitioner that focuses on summoning and maintaining allied minions through a variety of spells, passives, and stat boosts. These minions have a lot of different uses – they can split up enemy focus, deal damage, tank hits, buff one another, or even be used to heal the caster. In a lot of ways, they’re full-fledged party members that show up exactly when and how you need them to.

    Obtaining the Wizard: Novice skill will grant mastery in the Gate ability. Gate summons a Shadowy Wraith, an elemental who uses Spell Points to deal damage to enemies. It’s one of a few abilities that can be cast in several ways: the longer you channel this ability, the stronger the minion it’ll create by granting more Spell Points. A Wraith will vanish back to the ether it came from when its Spell Points run out, so starting with a high number can let your elemental throw out a couple extra spells before dissipating. With this style of casting, you can plan more effectively around how long you expect a fight to last and be ready for whatever situation you’re in.

    Passing the Wizard: Journeyman skill, a Constitution boost that allows you stay in the fight and boss your new friends around a little longer, the Wizard: Master skill will grant mastery in the Prime Summoning ability. Prime Summoning raises two Skeletons to join the party, either as Warriors or Archers. Warriors have an armor-boosting ability, Deflect, and can be put to good use protecting the rest of your party. On the other hand, Archers go down a little more easily, but can put out devastating punishment with their bows if you protect them. Figuring out how best to utilize your bony friends presents some interesting choices.

    Wizard: Master also teaches the Sacrifice Minion ability. Another Multi-Function ability, this spell is effectively three in one. Coalesce Essence kills one summoned minion to bolster another, transferring the original’s stats over. Release Bonds sets free the target minion, weaponizing their essence in a True Damage attack against a target enemy. Absorb Soulsacrifices the target, reabsorbing their magic to heal the caster. These abilities let you get the most out of your minions, letting them fight for you while they’re strong and die for you when they’ve lost their usefulness. You can even combo the spell with itself, using Coalesce Essence and then Absorb Soul to create one big minion and then drain them, gaining an even bigger heal. We here at inXile don’t recommend getting too attached to your minions – killing them is sometimes even more fun than creating them!

    At the end of the skill tree, having demonstrated time and again your mastery of minions, players can pick up Grand Summoner and another hefty Constitution boost. The skill grants a passive by the same name that shows your minions who’s in charge, buffing all summoned combatants with Armor. After all, they should be protecting you, not the other way around. This passive is especially helpful with Skeleton Warriors: stacking Armor on them and letting them shield you can be a great way to keep your squishy Practitioner safe. Hey, 11 Armor here – not bad!
    Also included in the update is a brief new FAQ that answers a few of the questions that people still had left after the previous one. I quote:

    Q: Will there be different instruments to play, all with their own renderings of the songs?

    A: Each bardic song plays a different track played on a different instrument when cast. We worked with Kurt Heiden, who was the composer for The Bards Tale III: Thief of Fate. Each version of the game had a different MIDI track for each of the Bards songs, and we picked our favorites to recreate. They were scored and then recorded in Scotland by Ged Grimes and his crew of talented Celtic folk musicians.

    Q: In regards to the "Will it be possible to create your full party?" question, can you clarify a bit how that works? You start with one character but soon get more? Can you have all characters you made or do you have to have any written NPCs?

    A: We get you straight into the game, absorbing the story and the world, as soon as you start a new game. We give you a default character, a bard obviously, but almost immediately let you make your own character if you prefer. The combat and character progression systems in The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep are deep, so we didn't want to ask you to make six characters right out of the gate before you even engaged in your first combat. The first section of the game is basically a quest to recruit your starting party, so we quickly ramp you up to four party members. You meet three narrative characters at the start that join your party: Dalgliesh the Dwarven fighter, Wringneck the Trow Rogue, and The Green Lady, an Elven Practitioner. Similar to the starting character, you can choose to continue adventuring with them, or spend Mercenary Tokens to create custom characters to replace them. No one character is required to be in your party.

    Q: Does weather impact the gameplay in any way?

    A: No. Any weather in our game is purely cosmetic and just helps to set the mood.

    Q: Another question: how much depth will there be in intra-party interactions? Is it just occasional banter or will party members develop running feuds, flirtations, etc. over time (or based upon in-game events).

    A: Different characters have different interactions and relationships. Narrative NPCs, like The Green Lady, have fully fleshed out scripts, but the custom characters you create will also have their own personalities and interactions based on the voices you pick for them, so making your own characters won't mean you're missing out. Party Chatter isn't a dynamic system in that you can't, say, make two characters fall in love, but different characters do have different relationships and will interact in special ways.

    One fun anecdote to illustrate this is that I made a character and gave him the Volatile voice pack, making him super aggressive. When Dalgliesh the Dwarf joined my party all of a sudden my character kept trying to goad him into an arm wrestling match to prove he was stronger than a dwarf. This exchange probably went on for forty seconds and I was cracking up the whole time.
    The update also includes a longer FAQ concerning the Bard's Tale trilogy remaster by Krome Studios. Among other things, it announces that the first game will be out on Steam Early Access this month on July 24th, with the second one coming not long after. These guys aren't messing around.
     
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  2. Dorateen Arcane

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    I'm sorry, I must have misplaced my Mercenary Tokens when I was rolling up a party in Pool of Radiance or Wizardry VII, or Bard's Tale III.

    You know where Mr. public relations can shove his Mercenary Tokens.
     
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  3. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    I wonder what the rationale is for Mercenary Tokens. They weren't needed in any of the games you mention, after all. I suppose unlimited char creation can be used to amass large quantities of whatever equipment/cash the characters start with, but that's such minor exploit that I have a hard time brlieving that that's it.
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    The real exploit, if that is indeed the reason for the existence of the tokens, is probably that without tokens you could use characters as free disposable cannon fodder in battles.
     
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  5. Dorateen Arcane

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    It is tantamount to the developer controlling how the player plays the game, which is why this design pisses me off. Go ahead, scrape and crawl to earn your tokens so they will give you permission to customize your party.

    To hell with that.
     
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  6. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    That's not an exploit, that's a legitimate tactic, even encouraged by some games. Survival of the fittest. I've no idea why they would think it's a problem.
     
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  7. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    If I have to guess, starting the game by creating 6 characters can easily overwhelm the casual players.

    "... a PC game I worked on was Icewind Dale, which required you to roll six whole second-edition D&D characters before you could even start playing the game. No one would get through character creation nowadays. You know, people back then loved it, and there are still people that would love that, but I think the thing is when it comes to the console, and maybe all gamers, it has to be accessible, people have to be led into it. "
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    I'm not sure I follow. If there is no cost associated with recruiting characters, you can use them as disposable HP sponges and replace them for free after every battle, without having to deal with the difficulty of having to keep them alive. I'm assuming that:

    1) You and Dorateen wouldn't be opposed to a steep recruitment cost that used the game's regular currency instead of a special "Mercenary Token".

    2) You and Dorateen are also the types of players who wouldn't let their mercenaries die, so this wouldn't have much effect on you anyway.
     
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  9. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    That's already been covered. They'll start you out with one pregenerated character, let you replace him, then add more pregens and let you replace those. Mercenary Tokens are something else entirely.
     
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  10. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

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    1. I don't remember if there was a cost associated with creating extra characters in BT1, but I don't think there was. At any rate, it's free in most games. The thing is, all (ALL) blobbers have random encounters, so trekking back to town to replace your dead dude is a setback regardless. Will BT4 not have random encounters?

    Edit: and that's just with lvl 1 characters, once you get to level up your party a few times you're losing levels every time someone dies. You should try playing Wiz1 the Way It Was Meant To Be Played™. I don't know if I could finish it that way, but it is a very different experience.

    2. You're right. Still, it will have an impact on ironman runs (provided those are feasible in the first place). I just don't see the point, and I don't think your fodder theory constitutes an exploit at all.
     
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  11. Dorateen Arcane

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    Actually, I would. I have stated before that I oppose any arbitrary restriction the developer places on player party creation. I detested paying 250 gold to hire adventurers in the original pillars of eternity, but did it any way, because at least you can make a bee line to the Black Hound inn after the tutorial and assemble your own party.

    But let's look at the term itself, a special currency to hire Mercenaries. The messaging here is loud and clear. The characters provided by inXile with their background and personality are "companions" (muh story, indeed). But those bundle of stats you players make on your own? No, those are only mercenaries. This is biowarian thinking and it is evident what the developers were intending here. They want the player to use their fixed companions, to the point you are even starting with a default party and have to jump through hoops to eventually make your own. This is more a sequel to the 2000 console adventure than Thief of Fate.

    If we want to have an adult conversation without the hyperbole and dialed up rhetoric, a simple question to pose to the designers is: "Your approach to full party creation runs counter to the way it was done in the original series, and the legacy of traditional dungeon crawlers. Why not have an option for veteran players to jump right in with a party they rolled from the start?"

    I'm sure the response would be vacant stares from inXile, who are only interested in chasing the casual market.
     
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  12. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

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    I doubt they'll put any restrictions on the first 6(?) characters you make. My guess is that the Tokens only come into play if you want to create more characters than can fit in your party at a time.
     
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  13. Dorateen Arcane

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    I don't see how that comment doesn't apply to the initial characters you would try to make
     
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  14. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    I meant that you'll probably start out with enough tokens to make a full custom party right away. How you'll earn more remains to be seen.
    Show Spoiler
    inb4 InXile Online Store

    Buy 5 Mercenary Tokens for just $2.99!
    10 Tokens for $3.99!
    Limited offer, 20% off your first purchase!
     
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  15. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    I'm not sure you'd start out with enough tokens for a full party right away. The game will probably hand out tokens as you meet the game's initial three companions.
     
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  16. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

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    Well, yes. You'll most likely have as many tokens as there are available pregenerated characters at any given time. Damn nitpickers!
    Also, Infinitron, off topic forum question
    Show Spoiler
    Since I donated, am I supposed to have access to ratings or not? It would be a shame to have to wait a year just because I didn't ask. I tried DU but no answer, I'm sorry if I'm spamming you. E: Ah, so you do have a sense of humour after all. I thought you were a robot
     
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  17. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    They should sell mercenary tokens in microtransactions.
     
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  18. Bohr Arbiter

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    That wasn't in the initial list of demands, but there's always hope for the future :salute:

     
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  19. Shadenuat Arcane

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    If developers never make these games anymore, then the choice of liking making party or disliking it would never exist. New player base cannot create itself on a place that is empty.

    Cause all people who liked it back then DIED :shittydog: right?? :shittydog::shittydog:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  20. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Cipher

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    I remember that quote. Who made it? Its a very depressing and infuriating quote.
     
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  21. Bohr Arbiter

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    :slamdunk:
     
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  22. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Monstroterratum Furiosum Patron

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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Some, died, some retired (from gaming), some moved to more casual experiences. The rest posts on the Codex.
     
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