Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
33,741 backers pledged $1,519,680 to help bring this project to life.

The Bard Draws Near!

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)
282 likes

A Message from Brian

What an incredible last six years it has been. I had given up all hope of creating the kind of RPGs that I like to make, then along came Kickstarter, and now here we are about to finalize our third crowdfunded game. Thanks again for trusting us. 

Our goal with these games is to under promise and over deliver, and we hope you feel that we’ve accomplished this with The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. Most people don’t realize how much of our own money we pour in to make these games as special as possible. In this case, we spent more than 5x the amount raised via Kickstarter! We can’t help being passionate and giving it our all. If you haven't seen them yet, be sure to check out the spotlight videos we have been creating for the game. 

The game ended up with 350 speaking parts, over 30 distinct locations, and over 100 pieces of music. The Windows version is still on schedule for the 18th and then all hands are on deck to get the Mac and Linux versions out as fast as we can. We are hitting ALL our stretch goals, and have incorporated a tremendous amount of feedback from the beta test. The only slightly bad news is that we will be late on a few items, but they are most assuredly coming in the following weeks after release. 

We were determined that The Bard's Tale IV physical goods matched our expectations, and I was not happy with the quality of the early prototypes we received. This resulted in a longer production process, and I made the call to push back the timing a bit to make sure we would be happy with the final result. We love how the backer goods turned out (look for a picture below) and when we brought samples with us to Gamescom last week, everyone really reacted favorably towards them. That made us really feel that we had made the right call, and while we aren't happy about the delay, it will be worth the wait when they arrive to you. And yes - those editions will have another key for the game, giving you a second copy for free. Give it to your friends or family, and be sure to spread the Bard's joy!

Also, as an extra bonus, I put an "X" on 5 of the signed collector’s boxes that have the team’s signature (look for a photo at the bottom of the update). Anyone who gets one of these special boxes will get all inXile games for FREE for life. Yes, I was thinking of Willy Wonka when I was signing.

Backer Feedback & Game Length

Between the alpha and beta, we received a number of great "throwback" suggestions in addition to the ones we already had. Taking a page from the Bard's Tale remaster, we decided to bring all of these features into what we're calling a "Legacy Mode". The bad news is that, in order to get them all in, we'll need time to iterate, so they won't be ready at release time. The good news is that the list of features is much more than we were originally intending on doing, all thanks to your suggestions. In addition to the previously discussed grid-based movement and hiding the minimap, we're also working on features such as old school scrolling text for combat, a save system closer to the original games for hardcore purists, and even an ability to bring back the "A-Team". This will be another of our immediate focuses post-launch, and you can look for the Legacy Mode to arrive sometime soon after the game's release.

And though we promised a 25-hour game, playtests are showing it to be closer to 35+. And while it’s hard to be objective about your work, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed playing it and found myself at many times wanting to play for “30 more minutes.” I’ve had to re-play the first 10 hours of the game at least 20 times and it’s a good sign when it’s still enjoyable.

Again, we are very happy to announce that we're hitting on all goals, and where we aren't hitting certain time frames on stuff, we are looking to make up the difference with added value. On that note, an added thank you for your patience, every backer will be receiving the digital version of our Strategy Guide for free. It's just one more way to acknowledge that we appreciate all the support that you have given us. 

I know you all love RPGs and we love making them! We are counting on this success so we can continue to bring you more of these great games, including future installments of the Bard’s Tale!

Follow Us:
Facebook | Twitter

Brendan Walker, Geoff May, and 280 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      Anthony Straine on

      Have the collectors editions shipped yet?

    2. Derek J. Balling on

      Remember when we thought Mac customers who've already paid for the product wouldn't be treated like second-class citizens?

      ... sigh ...

    3. Tamás Vándorffy on

      Hi, a Bards Tale IV item appeared in Steam shop (and there is one @ GOG as well) with a release date of 18th Sept. I wonder if we could have our keys earlier that this date so we could preload the game. (Or maybe pledgers can get it earlier than everyone else?) Also I do not remember, are there GOG keys as well for BT4? I asked GOG keys for BT1-3, is it possible to do so for BT4? Thanks

    4. Missing avatar

      Dustin_00
      Superbacker
      on

      H0W TO GET YOUR BARD'S TALE 1 THRU 3 KEYS: 1) Access your survey from Crowdox (should be on the "Congratulations" page, 2) scroll down and click on "Open Your Survey" (you are now on the Extra's page, 3) THE TRICKY PART: CLICK THE TAB TO BACK UP TO THE MAIN SURVEY, 4) Scroll down and you will see you can select your key distribution options, 5) complete the survey, 6) be very patient for about 5 minutes and watch your inbox for 2 emails, A) CrowdOx Confirmation, B) Your digital key (this one is, of course, much slower than the first), 7) Go use your key and play!

    5. Thomas Vilfroy on

      Why can’t I get any answers from InXile regarding the email for BT 1-3?? Have emailed, messages everywhere and not even ONE reply or message now that it is 3+ weeks since it was released. My pledge is just as valid as the next persons pledge. And seems like others have this same issue of no email as well as zero reply back. All backers should be treated the same way no matter their backing...why the basic lack of even saying you received the initial reply???

    6. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Daniel
      You know what's funny? The fact that Webster dictionary supports what I said.

      And no, disregarding wiki is not a fallacy, in fact relying on wiki is a fallacy. Like I said, there is a reason why colleges and universities don't see it as a source of information, and it would be best for you to learn that if/when you go to college.

      Anyways, thanks for pointing out the Webster definition, cause you just provided the information to show I was right.

      And again, given the facts about what Cranford said, you really should rethink your position.

      To many hills you just died on.

    7. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      @eisberg, you are free to make changes to wiki if you think it is incorrect.
      But I knew somehow that you would try to use the fallacy of that argument, cause it is the only thing you got. I'm guessing Webster is flawed too? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution
      You know, it is not hard to type evolution into the web search form and read a bit on the different hits if you have trouble with the term.

    8. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Humbleroots
      Go to your crowdox page
      re-open your survey
      You will be sent to the extras tab, but you need the main tab so click on that tab.
      Find the remastered reward and choose what platform you want it on.
      make sure you fully confirm everything
      and then eventually you will be sent a key for the remasters through email.

      When I did this, it took about 5 hours after I did all of that to get my key.

    9. Humbleroots on

      Please let me know where I receive my key to the remake please.

    10. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @daniel
      When, if, you go to college, try to use Wiki as a source and see the grade you'll get for using it, they fail you. Wiki is user generated, anybody can edit it. And by the way whst I was talking about is that we look nor function anything like the first life on earth, yet all other life on earth evolved from the same first life on earth. So yes, evolution can be massive changes over time. BT4 is basically whst the series would have been like had they continued to evolve the series over the last 30 year's, though this evolution would have been some years ago and the newest Bards Tale game now would have been just like Mages Tale.

      Also the very fact that Cranford, the creator of the series, himself stated that BT4 is where he saw the series would go, with it ultimately ending up just like Mages Tale with real time everything. When the creator disagrees with you about what makes a Bards Tale game a bards tale game you really should rethink your position.

    11. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      @eisberg, by your argument legend of grimwald is a bards tale game. You really are stretching it. Do you consider xcom enforcer for an xcom game? I can tell you flat out that anyone that tried the real xcom games and also tried xcom enforcer will laugh at the notion that it's an xcom game. Yeah, it's the same world, have xcom in the name but it was obviously just a cash grab in trying to cash in on the xcom name. The similarity is eerie.
      And I like that you are now arguing that the wiki definition of evolution is just "wrong" because it doesn't suit you. Keep at it.
      I also like how you seem to imply that random numbers equal shallow. I'd invite you to try most games published in recent years that have been succesfull. Alot of them incorporate random elements. To go back to the xcom anology, the reboot of the series has random hit rolls too. Nobody considered that shallow. Do you consider comabt in wasteland2 shallow too? You are really starting to sound forced.

    12. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Daniel
      Except it does share heritage.
      1- Takes place in the same world
      2- Is a Dungeon Crawler
      3- Riddles play a huge part of the game
      4- Is turn based combat

      You know how different humans are than the first life on earth was? The first life that all living things on earth come from. So you are actually wrong in what you think the outcome of evolution is. And yes, there was very little difference between Dragon Wars and Bard's Tale, it was basically the same with a few additions. Dragon Wars was still choosing attacks, yes they added the different blows, but it still remains the same, you choose everything at the start, and then you watch the random number generator make all the decisions for you and wait for the outcome. It was still very much shallow, just slightly less shallow than the BT1-3.

      What some people wanted was the old shallow, very little thinking involved, mostly random number generator based, system back, but I think it is pretty clear that those people are nothing more than a loud vocal small group, and Inexile was smart in not trying to appease that small group by making the game into a shallow random number generator fest that the originals were.

      The fact is, we are getting a true Bard's Tale experience, at least for people who truly understand what Bard's Tale really is, and your vocal small group have no real understanding what Bard's Tale really is. You would think Cranford, the creator of the series, having a completely different idea of what Bard's Tale is than what you guys have should be a huge hint that you guys are wrong in what Bard's Tale actually is.

    13. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      @eisberg: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
      Creating something completely different with no heritage traits from the predecesor is not evolution. Dragon wars was evolution because it took what existed and made changes to it. the skill system got a huge overhaul compared to bards tale, and the actual storytelling with choices and consequences did as well. It was very different from the bards tale series in alot of things, but it still worked from the same heritage. if you think dragon wars and the bards tale played the same I can only conclude you never actually tried those games. And you are making wrong asumptions about what people want. People have been making plenty of suggestions over time as to how things could have been improved on the bards tale system, heck, even now pepole are making suggestions on how to make improvements on the remasters that would actually be small evolutionary steps. As for barrows deep, that one seems a lost cause as far as getting a true bards tale experience. Sure, we will get "something" and no doubt some people will enjoy it. But when you promise to deliver coffee and instead produce a Coffee substitute made out of something else, expect some people to tell it like it is: it's not coffee. Doesn't matter that some people will like it, in as far as to wether or not it is coffee.

    14. Missing avatar

      cb.spike on

      Any estimation on how long are we going to wait for the mac version?

    15. K Cullen on

      I've been seeing this advertised on GOG.com (great work guys)! I assume backer rewards are on track? I completed my survey 12-12-2017 (wow, has it been that long)?
      EARLY BARD
      THE BARD'S TALE IV as a digital download for Windows/Mac/Linux, available from Steam or DRM-free from GOG.com. Also comes with Digital Game Manual and Backer Forum Badge.

    16. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Anthony Dulac
      There is a backer beta going on if your reward level includes it, you would have received an email Crowdox with the key provided you completed you backer reward survey. The backer beta released in July and gave about 10% of the full game.

      The release date for the full game is Sept 18 2018.

    17. Missing avatar

      Anthony DuLac on

      Was there an early release version for us backers? I forget? If so, never got mine. :(

      What's the release date? Didn't see it in this update. Anyone know?

    18. Shaul Kedem on

      I wouldn't say "under promise and over deliver" at this point, but we'll see..

    19. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      exciting, thanks for the update!

    20. Jason Octavius on

      Any chance we could get the digital strategy guide a day or two before the steam release? I want to plan my party ahead of time. :)

    21. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Daniel
      This game is an evolution, and Dragon Wars was not an evolution at all it was practically the same thing. I say you guys wanted AAACCC back because you guys just want to pick spells and attacks and then watch a random number generator do the battles for you, no decision making during the battles, no thinking tactfully or strategically, really very little thought for combat.

      Also, what Bards Tale is was never about these specific mechanics in the first place, it was about being Dungeon Crawlers with riddles. Even the creator himself, Cranford, stated that Bards Tale 4 is where would have seen the series get to had he continued to develop the series himself, and ultimately reached the point of real time everything , in fact Mage's Tale is ultimately what he wanted for the Bards Tale series.
      So you thinking the mechanics are what makes a Bards Tale game is wrong, cause not even the creator believes that, rather bards tale is about Dungeon crawling and having riddles in the world Cranford created.

      So yes, Bards Tale 4 is in fact a Bards Tale game in every way and very much deserves to be called Bards Tale 4.

    22. Rivethead on

      @Daniel. You continue to miss the point. I didn't say RPGs don't sell. I said publishers are not interested in making RPGs. Why? Because publishers would rather make more money with paid mods and in game consumables for action games. Fallout series, Elders Scrolls Series, Witcher series....which one of those is a dungeon crawler blobber? Heck, as much as I love the Witcher, I have a really hard time calling any game an RPG where you have no choice being a dude named Geralt. Really all those franchises you mention are action games, not RPGs like BTIV. Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Orginal Sin 1 (and 2).....those are more what I consider RPGs.

      Regardless, you didn't get what you want. It's impossible for any project to satisfy all gamers. I wish you the best of luck on your next project.

    23. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      @eisberg: we wanted evolution, not taking everything and throwing it out to come up with sometheing entirely different. If you throw everything out and make something entirely different, then it's not a sequel. Even Fallout kept some game mechanics when they made fallout3. Take a look at Dragonwars for how the series was already evolving from the same formula but adding options. I would like to see where you get your idea from that people wanted AAAADDD back, because nobody said that anywhere except for you.

      @rivethead: fallout series ? Elder scrolls series? The witcher series? Those are just from the top of my head and trying to remember titles that seem to aim for triple A status (which appearantly is the only thing that counts in your world, as steam if litterally packed with rpgs both new and old. I would even mention World of Warcraft still seeming to be able to survive in spite of all the crap they done there). Some upcomming titles looks very interesting as well, so I literally don't get the "it's impossible to sell RPG's" comment when just taking a glance at steams catalogue tells a different story.

      It still comes down to the single problem: Why create an entirely different game and then slap "The bards tale 4: " on it? You want to create a different game? No problem, but then don't call it a numbered sequel when you litterally don't have any game mechanics from the series you are numbering it after. It is especially aggrevating when it is a series where the previous titles allowed character transfer up through the titles to help and maintain with consistency that barrows deep turns out to be what it is. It would have been more aptly to name it #2 as a showcase for the title it seems to be closer of being a sequel to: the 2004 fiasco (at least the celtic references and 'humor' would be the same then).

    24. Missing avatar

      Doomedpaladin on

      I've very much enjoyed what I've played in the Beta and while it may be ugly and buggy, I've never known a beta that wasn't. All the games this company has made, I've backed, and will both continue to do so and will recommend to everyone else that they do too. You guys make great games. Thank you.

      I'm sure people are going to bitch about you telling us that you sank so much of your own money into the project after this campaign ended. Its always funny for me to see, coming from a tabletop rpg background like I do, how so few don't understand what a successful project means to indicate market demand for the project's product. If it doesn't fund the first or second time it may be time to move on and try again at a later date. I'm happy that wasn't the case with this game.

    25. Rivethead on

      @Daniel - I think you misunderstood the kickstarter video. The "kid" represented big publishers who are not interested in making ANY RPG games. Not just old school RPG games......any RPG games. Almost all of RPGs of the past several years have been either kickstarted or small budget indie dev projects. As the "kid" says, the big guys are interested in paid mods and in-game consumables for FPS/Action games.

      The only way BTIV gets made is if we kickstarted the project (we did) and if InXile develops it with appeal to a modern audience (remember they put in FIVE times the money we did...that's a lot of risk).

      That modern audience demands million of colors and visual fidelity, not 64 colors. That modern audience demands a wide spectrum of audio with high fidelity, not 8 tones/beeps. That modern audience demands fully voiced characters, not pages of text to read.

      We've come a long way since 1985 but that doesn't mean a good story teller can't continue telling good stories. I think InXile is a good story teller and BTIV will be fantastic entertainment.

    26. ET3D on

      @Jeremy Wilson, I got the key. Got a mail telling me to go to CrowdOx and do some stuff, which wasn't completely clear in my opinion, but wasn't too hard to get. I got through it, chose GOG and got a GOG key sent by mail.

      You can probably get into your CrowdOx account and get the key from there.

    27. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Mark Bisignano
      From what I can gather from the few others who are not happy about this, is they wanted the game to be where you just choose your commands, and then you watch the outcome of those commands happen on the screen, they didn't want the dynamic phase based combat, they just wanted to basically press on their keyboards AAAACC and then watch the outcome. But they were never promised combat would be like that, in fact they were told it would be different, that it literally was not going to be like that at all.

    28. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Daniel
      Except there is no tablet that can play this game. The system requirements are well beyond the capabilities of a tablet. Tablet has nothing to do with this game at all. Besides, what you wanted would have worked on a tablet as well.

      And this game is very much old school, cause no publisher would ever take on a blobber, they wouldn't have any riddles, and they wouldn't make maze like maps. There is nothing that is "run of the mill" about this game, cause if it was they would have made it like Skyrim.

    29. Mark Bisignano on

      @Daniel, I'm curious to find out what you were expecting from this game that you're not getting. What were you looking for to get that old school feel? I haven't played the beta, just viewed a couple videos of the game.

      To the dev team, thanks for the strategy guide! I tended to get stuck in some of the older games and without the interwebs, it was tough getting unstuck.

    30. Missing avatar

      Pretzel on

      The giddiness in my room in palpable. Been going nuts in the original Bard's Tale remaster in prep. Sadly, My original boxes of Bard's Tale games from the 80's recently got water damaged when part of my storage room flooded T.T . It made me hella sad but now that I can play them in such pretty vivid graphics anytime I like (no whipping out the old Apple II clone I had), I can be a happy camper again :-) . Still no way I'm gonna throw out my old boxed copies and Hint Guides, even water damaged they hold a very special place in my heart. Rock on good gentlemen!

    31. vlahka on

      @Daniel Not sure what you mean by that tavlet comment. The original trilogy would work just fine on a tablet too.

    32. Jim Arpin on

      @ Jeremy I got my key shortly after the last update.

    33. Jeremy Wilson on

      Has anyone received their classic trilogy key? I have not yet.

    34. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      Rivethead: I wouldn't call it "modern sensibilities" what they have done. I would call it making it suitable for tablets, cause that's about what they did. If you feel that is "modern", that's your take, ofc. Even so, it is a hard cry from the old school sequel they convinced me they would make, especially when they had a fancy video with a kid playing 'modern publisher' where they implied they didn't want to go that route, but went with kickstarter because they wanted to preserve the old school. Well, the old school is gone, we have a "modernized" run of the mill product with none of the mechanics from the previous games and all that connects them are a few name droppings. Feel free to enjoy your "modern" product, but those of us that actually expected them to create an old school sequel, like we were led to believe, felt we got the middle finger from inXile. So with things as they are without inXile even admitting their fault, I can honestly say I'm not going to purchase or back inXile products in the future.

    35. Missing avatar

      Jaime Thorin on

      The demo is great for what I seen in some gameplay videos. Waiting to play the full game! :D

    36. Rivethead on

      @Daniel - please don't try to speak for everyone. You don't. I'm part of the "people". And this person is getting exactly what he wanted (more, actually): a dungeon crawler blobber with MODERN sensibilities.

      As I understand it, the originals were extremely challenging. Hopefully InXile giving everyone a copy of the digital strategy guide is a sign that the BTIV is also very challenging (and the strategy guide will come into good use).

    37. André Marshall on

      As an old fart who played all three when they originally released, i can honestly say I loved the demo. Love you guys!

    38. Meg on

      Thanks for the free digital strategy guide! Can't wait to play, you guys are awesome!

    39. Chris Short on

      Im loving it ALL. Its a throw back to my youth - i have all the games for my commodore 64 (alas which I dont have anymore). But playing BT1 is bringing back my misspent youth. I was cleaning the loft out the other day and i found all my old notes too - lovely to see the maps etc etc. Awesome work, keep up the good work :)

    40. Missing avatar

      Eisberg on

      @Daniel

      When they did the Kickstarter, their first Kickstarter game was still young at the time. They most likely didn't have a good idea just how successful Wasteland 2 would be in the years to come. In 2 years after that game released they made $12 million from it, that amount was probably not expected at the time they did the kickstarter for BT4. No doubt it was the continued success of Wasteland 2 and Tides of Numenera that allowed them to increase the budget for BT4.

      I disagree with you. I am a fan of the original series, and having played the beta of BT4, this is what I wanted, and given tNumhat the Kickstarter was pretty clear it was going to be different than the originals, I did show that I wanted a Bard's Tale game that wasn't going to be like the originals. So much has been learned over the last 30 years about game design, and the Bard's Tale 1-3 forumula was a gameplay design that did not last long at all. So as a long time fan I am very happy with what they did with BT4.

    41. Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      Good for you that you get to make the game you wanted to make. How about making the game people wanted? As in: an actual bards tale game. There was no reason to call barrows deep for bards tale 4, as the only connection to real bards tale games are the few namesdroppings you put in. Nobody would have thought barrows deep was connected to the bards tale series if you had not named it after the series. There is nothing oldschool About it either, and i seriously Feel mislead by your company. You mentioned this was your 3rd backer campaign. This was also the 3rd time i backed your company. It will also be the last time i do it. You specifically thanked us for trusting you, but as we can see, that trust was misplaced. I find it insulting that you thank us for trusting in you considering what you did with that trust. Remote the bards tale 4 part from the name of barrows deep and start working on a real bards tale game. Thats the only chance you have to even try and work on regaining the trust you flushed down the toilet with your actions in regards to this project.

      I Also question the need for the campaign in the first place if you supplied 5 times the money of the campaign. What was the point, aside from getting higher returns per copy completed to regular sales. Was it to abuse good intentions of backers that thought they were helping bringing back a loved series of gameplay? I certainly regret having given Word of mouth about the product when the campaign was running, because in the eyes of my friends, my name is now attached to the dupe that barrows deep ended up being.

    42. Thirith on

      Seeing that flat, square box brings back memories. The Bard's Tale 3 was the first 'grown-up' game I bought on my C64 back in the day; before that, I had the International Soccer module that came with the computer and tons of cheapo games on tape bought from small UK companies, but there was something special about a game box that looked and felt nice, more like an album sleeve than like a budget knockoff of Pac Man with a badly designed tape cover.

      To be honest, I'm not even sure I'll play all that much of the game, since I'm more into story-/character-heavy RPGs, but BT3 was one of the two games that made me into the gamer I am now (the other one was Ultima V), so I had to get this for the sake of nostalgia already. I am obviously still hoping I'll like the game. :-)

    43. vlahka on

      Would love to see a listing before releaset hat compares features to the current mode and the upcoming legacy mode so I know whether I want to wait before playing it or not. Thanks.

    44. Lewis Crown
      Superbacker
      on

      I hate to sound greedy, but I have to agree with Eisberg. While it's wonderful to give everyone the strategy guide, what are you going to do for the people that put in extra for it already? It doesn't have to be a lot, but I hope you do something.

    45. Missing avatar

      Martin Flavall on

      Thanks for putting in so much creativity, heart, and effort into this project. I'm sure the actual game will be great, but it's great to see a passionate group of people doing what they love.

    46. Missing avatar

      Manalishi on

      Oh yeah and Bard's Tale I is awesome so far. Way beyond what I expected. I always knew I was looking for something, and this was it :)

    47. Missing avatar

      Scott Moon on

      I am playing the original and I hope Poison it taken out of Bards Tale IV. Damn poison needle traps

    48. Missing avatar

      Manalishi on

      I am so envious of those people getting these physical boxes. Looks beautiful.

    49. Shaz on

      I am so very eager for this game.

      I truly wish I had been able to afford the Collector's Edition, but I have far too many medical bills to be able to indulge and support at the level I would like. Instead, the game will have to support me, and I'm certain it will (and I could really use that right now). Can't wait!

    50. Missing avatar

      Quantomas on

      I guess I have to wait a bit longer then. No Problem!

      Regarding the Bards Tale I-III, as great as it is as a remaster, please don't stop there. Give us Infinity Engine style portraits with health and mana bars, move the minimap to its own window, quickbars for frequent actions. Small upgrades that don't cost much, but which all together transform the game.