Early Beta Returns
TL; DR - Beta Reception, Early Changes from Feedback, Polishing the Graphics, Pledge Reminder, BT Trilogy Sneak Peek
Hi All, Paul here with a few updates regarding the Backer Beta. First, we thought we would share some of the more notable looks at the game from Creative Director David Rogers' barnstorming press tour in support of the backer beta release. We received some great reactions, and wanted to share some of what has been written about the game. Take a look at what's been said:
- Destructoid: "This is a game that combines the best of both classic dungeon crawling and modern RPGs."
- IGN: "Like the rest of Bard’s Tale 4, (combat) is deceptively deep in, seemingly, the best of ways."
- PC Gamer: "A modern combat system melded with classic exploring makes for an enticing beta."
- Polygon: "The Bard’s Tale 4 feels like a work of love, celebrating the basic tenets of RPGdom, while providing a pleasing visual and auditory world appropriate to modern gaming."
- Worth Playing: "The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a game that should be a delight to both old fans and those experiencing the series for the first time."
This quote from an old school BT fan who checked out the beta gave me a chuckle, as I can relate to this particular sense of liberation (and I suspect a few of you fans of a certain age out there can relate as well):
MMORPG.com: "I have seen enough to know that I will once again be spending many late nights saving the town of Skara Brae from the evil that has once again landed at its doorstep. At least this time I don't have to complete my homework first."
Finally, we really enjoyed VentureBeat's look at how we brought the original Bard's Tale box art to life for Bard's Tale IV:
On that last item, there's an accompanying video that is well-worth watching as well if you haven't seen it yet:
Beta Feedback Update
We were thrilled with the reception of the beta both from the public and our backers, particularly through the submission form link that let players give their feedback directly from the game. It was great to read all the kind words, and even where there was criticism, it was constructive. On that note, we've been poring over the comments and data in the near-month since the beta's release and discussing it in-depth daily.
We are now at a point where we can share some early feedback from the dev team on your comments. As we begin to implement fixes and other tweaks, we wanted to give you an update on some of the changes we have planned for the launch version of the game (as well as some changes that we are considering) thanks to you. Here's a list, along with a call out of some of the many names whose comments were read and considered.
Courtesy of feedback from users such as Zortok, we are increasing the number of mastery slots from 3 to 4.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as mdntblue, we are working on granting mercenary tokens earlier so that you can make you own characters sooner.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as dpisacane, we are speeding up how quickly you get to six party members.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Paranoiac, merchants will have multiple pages so that it is easier for you to sell your stuff.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Sirtechfan, along similar lines, we’re tuning the item economy for the early part of the game based on your feedback.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Drool, we are working on improved ways to compare items in the shop. You will be able to compare items in a store with items equipped on your characters.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Nystrom, one quality of life feature for inventory: we’ll have pages for inventory items, lore items, and quest items so players can more easily track/understand what they are picking up.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as lemiarty, starting inventory will be larger.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Jalis, after the eight main narrative quests, there will be significantly fewer waypoints telling you where to go. For the most part, it will be a destination marker and that’s it.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Omelet79, we are adding a cost to resetting your characters’ skill trees. It is no longer freely available anywhere. You now pay using a mercenary token at the Review Board to do so.
- Courtesy of feedback from users such as Entrei, adding a “surrender” button on combat that allows you to reload your most recent checkpoint rather than play out a losing combat. We will be sure to add a “Are you sure?” double-check to avoid any accidental activations!
If you didn’t see your suggestion here, that’s not because we haven’t seen it. We are tracking and considering everything that is coming in. The above are items that we’ve reached consensus on, and wanted to share with you now. Thank you again for the feedback so far. It is helping to make The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep a better game.
Polishing the Graphics
Along with different changes across the game's mechanics, we're also polishing character models as we get closer to the release date. This is more of a "show, don't tell" item, so we've prepared a "before & after" shot to demonstrate some of the progress going on in terms of the game's look.
Backer Pledge Reminder
One last Bard's Tale IV item, one that only pertains to a small number of you. Right now, we're happy to report that 93% of you have filled out and confirmed your backer pledges at CrowdOx. Obviously, we want all of you who have helped support the game to get the rewards you are due, so if you haven't or aren't sure, we encourage you to first check your email records to see if you have the confirmation email from CrowdOx from whenever you did your backer survey. If you don't, then you can follow these instructions on how to have CrowdOx send/resend your survey so that you can access it and confirm it.
We'll also be working with CrowdOx to send out a reminders directly, so you may receive an email prompt on this as well. And for the rest of you, no worries. If you have confirmed your pledge, then you are all set.
The Bard's Tale Trilogy Sneak Peek
Finally, thank you for all the support we received regarding the change in date for The Bard's Tale Trilogy remasters. We're on target for a release next week on Tuesday, August 14th. A number of you asked if we could at least provide a small sneak peek. I promised that I would look into it, and am happy to share a few screens of what you can expect when we release the game later this month! Enjoy!
Between The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Bard's Tale Trilogy, it is a great time to be a fan and supporter of The Bard's Tale series. Thanks to you all for helping us make this a reality! We're still listening and looking forward to your feedback as time goes on!
Until Next Time,
Public Relations & Community Manager