The Bard Goes Caroling
TL; DR - Post-launch check-in, a look at what's coming next
Hi All, Paul here with an end of year check-in! The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep has been out for a few months now, and we wanted to let you know where things are and where things are going. Let's dive right in with a look at the game's post-launch from Creative Director David Rogers!
A Note from David
Hey everyone, David Rogers here to tell you about some of the good stuff we have coming down the pipe in the upcoming 2.0 patch. We've been hard at work poring through our forums, listening to reviews, and talking directly to some of our most dedicated fans so we could continue to improve the game. This patch brings another sweep of balance changes such as:
- Last patch, we focused primarily on balancing player abilities, and you'll see a little more of that this patch.
- We're turning our main focus to enemy tuning and balance in order to ensure our enemies continue to challenge you throughout the game.
- We're also making several adjustments to the end game economy by adding an additional tier of high level, master-crafted, items; adjusting merchants to sell more useful gear; expanded their inventory size for easy of use; and adjusted the gold faucets so gold stays useful and not over-abundant through the end game.
- We're adding additional portraits to character creation which includes 2 new female dwarves and 2 new male elves.
- We've added 9 new fast travel locations to the world. We've buffed many of our unique items and elven puzzle weapons to make them feel more competitive vs. standard gear.
This patch also brings a few long requested features, namely inventory filtering and controller support. These have been two of our most requested features and we're please to be bringing them to you. We hope with all these changes you'll give the game a 2nd playthrough or that one of these features encourages you to dive in. If you've left a review on Steam or GOG and we've made changes that address your concerns, we'd also appreciate you revising that review. We're passionate about making The Bard's Tale IV the best game it can be, and we hope that shows with every patch.
I want to give a very special thanks to everyone who's been active on our forums, written reviews, made reddit posts, and generally everyone who's provided us feedback. So much of what we did this sprint was pointed out by you, the fans. You didn't have to stop and reach out to us to help us improve the game, but you did, and that support has been invaluable. Thank you!
A Note from Jeff & The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep team
Jeff Pellegrin here, and I would like thank everyone who communicated issues, bugs, concerns, and feedback (both positive and negative) on GOG, Steam, Kickstarter, etc. We aggressively tackled many issues and continue to patch and add features to The Bard’s Tale IV based on your input.
One key feature to show that we are listening is an extra Song of Exploration “Struggler's Lament” which can instantly resolve most doors that are locked by puzzles. The ability will not resolve optional content that can be rewarding and could be critical in your adventures, so make sure to still learn our different puzzles systems because that knowledge will come in handy eventually! Best of luck and thank you!
The Best Way To Say "Thank You!"
Hi everyone, Paul back for the remainder of the update. Last summer we held a contest - the more wishlist adds that we got for the game, the more benefits for every player. We never achieved the last item on that list - the free DLC. That was that, but then, as some of you know, the game had a rougher launch than we'd hoped for. Since then, we've released several updates, and as David and Jeff have detailed, we're continuing to support the game with even more improvements.
We knew that we wanted to do something special for everyone that was there at launch, as a way to say thanks for your support at that moment, and we realized the solution was right there for us - deliver the content that we didn't get with the Wishlist Initiative. We're happy to report that every owner of the game will be getting "The Royal Necropolis of Haernhold" DLC for FREE in early 2019, so look forward to a new adventure in the dwarven realm of Kinestia!
Here's what Lead Designer Russell Krueger has to say about the area:
The Royal Necropolis of Haernhold is a new, combat-focused dungeon that lets players travel to Kinestia to uncover the nature of Tarjan’s treachery and undo the catastrophe that has befallen the tomb of the dwarves’ greatest hero, Gaerwyn. We are pleased to announce that this dungeon will feature several new mini-boss fights and two very challenging boss fights.
Fans of our puzzles won’t be left out in the cold either! While the emphasis is very much on trying out and acquiring new, powerful gear and then using it on the most challenging fights we’ve ever made, we are also able to leverage all of our existing puzzle designs and components for a set of new, mind-bending puzzles that players will have to solve to find the secrets of Gaerwyn’s tomb.
Combined with the combat balance updates for end game parties, players will have plenty of content that will keep them on their toes! A friendly word of warning however: once players step foot into the Royal Necropolis, they will be stalked from the shadows by one of the most powerful and deadly minions Tarjan has ever bent to his will. Keep an eye out above you, because you never know when this creature will drop in to say hello…
For those of you patiently waiting for the Mac and Linux versions of Barrows Deep, we unfortunately do not have a definitive timeline, but work is progressing on both versions. The increased delay is down to the post-release updates and feature additions, and developing both those updates and the Mac and Linux versions at the same time would have been slowed down both substantially. Now that the game is in its current state however, the pace of development is picking up.
Goods Have All Been Shipped
One of the true delights of the last couple of months has been seeing folks react to their physical goods arriving. We love all the pictures that you've sent along, and it's also been great that for such a large project. Fortunately, there have been very few issues with backers receiving their physical goods, and we're continuing to work with backers who have reached out for support. No one was more excited about receiving his goodies than our own Brian Fargo, who has been waiting 30 years to add the newest game to the Bard's Tale shelf!
The Bard In Concert
Of all the features of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, the one that has been universally acclaimed has been its rich soundtrack. We're celebrating that with a special concert on January 31st in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Scotland. The concert features a number of performers from the soundtrack, all conducted by the game's composer Ged Grimes.
Tickets are available here and you can read about how the show came together here. For those of you not in a position to join us in Scotland, we are looking to stream the event, and will share those details on our social media pages once we have them.
Finally, a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all of you! It's been an amazing journey, and thank you all for being a part of it (and helping to make it happen)! With The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Bard's Tale Trilogy, 2018 was very much The Year of Bard's Tale. Heading into 2019, the franchise is still going strong with the concert, your journey to The Haernhold, the arrival of Thief of Fate and Legacy Mode into The Bard's Tale Trilogy, and of course the debut of Barrows Deep on console! Thank you for helping us bring this franchise back. See you all in the new year!
Until Next Time,
Public Relations & Community Manager