The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - paul_inxile
Hello everyone,

We have just released a hotfix regarding the following issues:
  • Loading time improvements. These improvements are targeted for people with non-Solid State Drives.
  • Reported push block puzzle issues with free movement are now resolved.

We also have an additional known issue:
  • If player charges characters on elevated platforms or cliffs, there is a chance that the combat will start off-grid or the player will not be aligned properly to the combat. We are working to address this in the next full patch.
Thanks for helping us to continue improving the game for everyone. Please keep letting us know if you are still having any issues with The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep.

The team at inXile
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

InXile Entertainment has rolled out a major update for The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep that brings a host of new features to the old-timey dungeon crawler. Collectively known as "Legacy Mode," the changes include the promised grid-based movement with selectable free or fixed camera, a save anywhere option, character respeccing, and toggles for gameplay options including waypoint display, automapping, and auto-resurrection. 

The grid-based movement mode is still in beta, "but rather than holding back for longer we wanted those of you who are passionate about this feature to try it out and let us know what you think," inXile wrote. It also warned that enabling the feature in a saved game prior to patch 4 will result in many NPCs not looking directly at you while you're moving. The developers adjusted NPCs to better align with the grid, but propagating that through existing games would require wiping NPC save data. 

"That would reset things such as their inventory, which we wanted to avoid at all costs," inXile wrote. 

The updated save feature is accessible from the pause menu, and quicksaves and loads using the F5/F9 keys are also available. When the feature is enabled, however, luckstones are disabled, meaning that they can't be consumed for bonus experience. 

A new Legendary difficulty setting has been added, and for the truly hardcore there's also a new permadeath mode that, once enabled, cannot be turned off for a run. "This mode is only for the bold. If your entire party is incapacitated, your save file is permanently deleted," inXile explained. "Don’t say we didn’t warn you."

A large number of bug fixes and gameplay changes have been made as well, including a big nerf to Rogues that reduces both the range and duration of their Infiltrator ability: Previously, a single Rogue with the ability could hide the entire party for three turns, but following the patch they'll be reduced to hiding a maximum of two party members for just one turn. 

"This was done because Infiltrator passive was simply negating too much damage, and there were plenty of ways for the party to effectively deal damage in that time (like Razors Strop or Meditate) that wouldn’t reveal them," inXile said. "Hopefully Rogues position at the start of combat, and who you choose to hide, will be more strategic, while still allowing the enemy to get hits in on some characters." 

There are some lingering known issues as well, although most of them are relatively minor, or at least rare: The game might crash if you try to save and load during the end-game credits in order to re-fight the final boss, for instance. (Fix: Don't do that.) Some major features, like a better inventory system and controller support, are still in development, and the studio is also working "a few other nice things that we can't talk about yet."   

The patch notes are available in full on Steam, where The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep is also on sale for 20 percent off across all editions as part of the ongoing Steam Autumn Sale.

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep was scruffy at launch - I used that word in my Bard's Tale 4 review - but inXile has done significant work since. Case in point: this week's Second Sight patch, which is a whopper.

It allows you to save anywhere in the game - halle-bloody-lujah! Previously you had to wait until you reached a Luck Stone, which was a pain in the arse if your game crashed, which mine did, over and over.

Arguably the biggest thing in the patch, however, is the ability to play the game in Grid mode, like the original Bard's Tale games. As it stands, you free-roam The Bard's Tale 4 and then phase to grid for battles.

Read more…

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Whether you appreciated its fresh approach or loathed the concepts behind The Bard’s Tale 4, it’s hard to deny that the revival of the ancient RPG series needed a few more months in the oven. Today’s big ol’ patch, which developers inXile are calling the Second Sight Update, smooths over some of the bigger cracks in its pseudo-old-school facade. For the good of everyone, you can now save the game anywhere, but those wanting a more uncompromising retro experience can enable grid-based movement and even recruit the original six pre-made Bard’s Tale heroes.

(more…)

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - paul_inxile


Hello everyone!

Today, we are pleased to bring you the Second Sight Update, which brings a number of requested features (most notably an option for “save anywhere and anytime”) and a host of fixes. It also brings our previously mentioned Legacy Mode features, which we’re thrilled to finally deliver, especially to our long-time fans of the series! For details on this patch, please check out the notes below.

Work on the game continues. Certain major milestones, such as a revamped inventory system and controller support, are still on their way. That is in addition to continued improvements and optimization based on your feedback.

In addition to the above, we also continue to work on the Mac and Linux versions, as well as a few other nice things that we can´t talk about yet. Please let us know what you think of the update, and we look forward to talking with you again soon.

The team at inXile


What is Legacy Mode?

With the Second Sight update, we’ve added a whole suite of options to customize your play experience that we call Legacy Mode. You can play the game like a modern first person adventure or wind back the clock, turn off auto-mapping, activate grid based movement, and step your way through our dungeons and overworlds like you’re back in the 80’s.

Legacy Mode Features:
  • Grid Move (BETA): You can now play using grid-based movement! This feature has been a long time coming and we worked hard to get that classic game feel while still working with all our more modern elements and overworld design. You’ll have the option to grid move with full free look enabled at all times or play in a more classic mode in which your camera is rotated for you as you walk forward along the grid. There's still polish on this feature left to do, but rather than holding back for longer we wanted those of you who are passionate about this feature to try it out and let us know what you think, and what you feel the most important improvements to the system would be. Let us know what you think on the forums!
    Note: For those turning this feature on in an pre-patch 4 save game, you’ll notice many NPC’s aren’t looking directly at you in the world while moving on the grid. We adjusted NPC’s to better align with the movement grid, but to make that change propagate in existing games it’d require wiping out the NPC’s save data That would reset things such as their inventory, which we wanted to avoid at all costs.
  • Save Anywhere: This has been our most requested feature. You can now save the game (almost) anywhere in the game. Save through the pause menu, or use F5 and F9 to quick-save and quick-load. While save anywhere is active, you cannot consume luck-stones for bonus experience. A small price to pay.
    Some areas have been blocked off from saving for technical reasons, and if that’s the case you’ll see a prompt appear letting you know that’s the case. Usually just moving somewhere else in the room or level will resolve that issue.
  • Auto-Resurrect: For an extra bit of difficulty, you can deactivate auto-resurrect. This will cause characters who fall in combat to only resurrect upon finding a luck stone. Food will also not revive characters while this is active.
  • Perma-Death: This mode is only for the bold. If your entire party is incapacitated, your save file is permanently deleted. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. This option cannot be changed once it’s been set and can only be set on new games.
  • Enemy Reactions: Deactivate enemy reactions to stop enemies from chattering and taunting.
  • Auto-Mapping: You can deactivate auto-mapping entirely, resulting in all your maps appearing black with no icons. Break out your graph paper.
  • Mini-Map: You can toggle how prominent your mini-map is on screen. You can set it to always show, only show while your adventurer’s HUD is up, or never show at all.
  • Show Waypoints: Toggle waypoints on or off, if you hate being told where to go.
  • Show Enemies On Map: Toggle weather or not enemies appear on your map and mini-map, for an extra challenge.
  • The A-Team is back: You can spend 8 mercenary tokens at Mercy the mercenary vendor to hire 6 adventurers who are fully geared for war and ready to rock.
    Brian the Fist, the Fichti Paladin
    El Cid, the Dwarven Fighter
    Markus, the Elven Bard
    Sir Grady, the Trow Rogue
    Merlin, the Einarr Conjuror
    Omar, the Elven Magician
  • Adventurer Re-Spec’ing: By spending a mercenary token at the Review Board, you can refund an adventurer's skill points.
  • Legendary Difficulty: A 4th difficulty tier has been added, increasing enemy difficulty by 100% over normal mode.

Balance Changes:
  • The caster of All Together is now able to cancel the order, taking all his/her allies out of the stance that he/she granted them.
  • Increased the damage per spell point dealt by the Veteran passive to +3, up from +2.
  • The Veteran skill now grants max spell points.
  • Guardians, when absorbing re-directed physical damage, now benefit from 1/3rd of their total armor.
  • Increased the damage per spell point dealt by Spell Blade to +2, up from +1.
  • Several skills in the Cleric tree now grant bonus spell points, to help Rogues and Fighters spec into Cleric.
  • Mangar’s Mallet’s Spell Point cost has been increased to 8, up from 6. Its damage has been reduced to 1.5x your intelligence, down from 2.5x your intelligence. Trust me, its still an amazing value.
  • Oscons Halt Foe is now battle ready. Its Spell points have been reduced to 5, down from 8. Its cooldown is increased to 4, up from 1. Basically, its cheaper to pull off, but you can’t do it as often.
  • All Together’s cooldown has been decreased to 2, down from 3.
  • If a warrior is wielding a buckler and grants Deflect to his allies via All Together, those allies will benefit from the Stubborn Defense passive.
  • The damage ratio on Dueling Stance is increased to 0.8x your strength, up from 0.5x
  • Dueling Stance’s opportunity cost has been reduced to 1, down from 2.
  • Wayland’s Watch is now Battle Ready, while its cooldown has been increased to 2, up from 1.
  • Deflect is now Battle Ready.
  • Cultists Wizards have had their intelligence doubled, making their arcane barrages deal more damage, and their focus harder to break.
  • The loot weight on Black-jacks and Razor Strops has been doubled, making them appear more often in chests.
  • Blood Pact’s change to trigger has been increased to 50%, up from 30%.
  • Last Breath has its cooldown increased to 3, up from 2.
  • The damage of Passing Slash has been increased.
  • Elixirs of Focus now grant a flat intelligence increase instead of a % based one. This will benefit low intelligence characters more, and high intelligence characters less.
  • Lesser elixirs grant 4/8 intelligence.
  • Greater elixirs grant 6/12 intelligence.
  • Arcane Barrage’s damage now scales on a diminishing curve, instead of linearly. This means it’ll do slightly more damage early game, but characters with higher than 20 intelligence will see a gradual falloff in damage-to-intelligence ratio.
  • Soul Leech can now only trigger 3 times per turn, instead of infinitely.
  • The Inner Peace passive no longer increases the channel duration of meditate by +1 turns.
  • Conjurors mark now deals damage equal to 33% your strength, instead of 40%. Additionally, its AOE damage has been halved and it can only be triggered by non-spell attacks. This was done because of how dominant spell spamming was as a strategy, and spells triggering the mark added too much bonus damage without any real coordination with your team.
  • The 3 buff from vorpal plating are now mutually exclusive. Applying one of those buffs will remove any existing buffs that might be on that adventurer.
  • Horrifying vorpal plating has its duration reduced to 1 turn, down from 2.
  • The Rogue’s infiltrator passive no longer hides the entire party. It now hides the rogue and any adventurer’s standing directly to his right or left. This stealth now only lasts 1 turn, down from 3. This was done because infiltrator passive was simply negating too much damage, and there were plenty of ways for the party to effectively deal damage in that time (like razors strop or meditate) that wouldn’t reveal them. Hopefully rogues position at the start of combat, and who you choose to hide, will be more strategic, while still allowing the enemy to get hits in on some characters.
  • The acidic boon line now works as such:
  • Acrid now has a 50% chance to apply one stack of rend.
  • Caustic now has a 100% chance to apply one stack of rend.
  • Acidic now has a 100% chance to apply one stack of rend. If the target has no armor, it’ll apply the Melting status effect instead, causing them to take bonus damage with each attack.
  • The Electrifying boon line now works as such:
  • Jolting now generates a single stack of status each time a non-damaging ability is performed, up to a maximum of 3 stacks.
  • Shocking now generates 2 stacks of static each time a non-damaging ability is performed, up to a maximum of 4 stacks.
  • Electrifying now generates 2 stacks of static each time a non-damaging ability is performed, up to a maximum of 6 stacks. Each time an enemy is stunned in this way, there’s a 15% chance to stun the entire enemy team.
  • All traps now deal true damage, meaning that armored characters can now take meaningful damage from traps.
  • Fixed an issue where early access and backer reward items, like the Red Boots, weren’t showing interaction FX when they should.
  • Fixed an issue in which Sundering Smash wasn’t displaying the correct amount of armor it should rend. The damage rent was higher than what was being displayed. The tooltip was fixed to match the higher value.
  • Torches and the Blazing Star now correctly show their abilities while viewing them in the inventory.
  • The rusty berserkers horned helmet has been reduced to its intended 1x1 size, down from 2x2
  • Drunkenly Empowered rhyme of the duotime no longer affects itself
  • Drinking, while already plastered, will not continue to double your strength with each drink.
  • Clerics can now target themselves with Change Fate.
  • The Lunge passive on Elven Boots now only triggers when the owner uses their move ability, and not when moved by others. Additionally, it can only be triggered once per turn.
  • Poison damage was increased substantially and is now based on the level of the character it’s applied to, instead of being based on the applicators strength.
  • On Fire status effect damage is now based on the level of the character it’s applied to, instead of the applicators strength. The damage shouldn’t be vastly different for most characters, but you’ll see low strength characters able to deal much more damage with fire, while very high strength characters might see a slight drop in the damage dealt by that status effect.
  • In light of this change, Crux’s passive has been adjusted to deal only a token, comical amount of damage if he applies it to your own team.
  • Alguin now has 34 intelligence, down from 86. This means Alguin is much more likely to have his focus broken during Alguin’s Gambit.
  • Razor Strop had its base bonus damage reduced by 25%, and its base duration reduced to 2 turns, down from 3.
  • The Razor Strop item had its passive, Finely Honed Blade, fixed so it now correctly increases the duration of Razor Strop by 2 turns.

Other Fixes:
  • More improvements to performance and stability
  • Fixed an issue where viewing the Red Boots tooltip in non-english languages caused a crash.
  • Fixed the Swiftness, Clear Mind, Fleet Footed, and To Me! Passives to only work while your language was set to English.
  • The Master Thief passive now works correctly. Burgle to your heart's content. For the record, the chance rob a merchant is set to 40%.
  • Fixed a bug in which the Rabble-Rouser and Commander passives weren’t properly saving their bonus opportunity if the party member was moved out of the party and back in, or if they gained the skill directly inside character creation.
  • The master 1-handed weapon skills in the bard’s skill tree will now properly save.
  • Baedish Mercenaries now correctly benefit from their bonus skill points granted to them by their cultural passive.
  • There’s now a pop-up window warning you before you pick up the Hungering Blade that this action initiates the end game, and that you may want to complete and side quests before doing so.
  • Lumbering Strike now reaches enemies 3 spaces away, as advertised in the tooltip.
  • Your Guild Roster can now hold any number of benched adventurer’s while they aren’t in your party.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in Fichti party members sometimes unnecessary saving nearby allies from non-lethal damage.
  • Mercenaries who learn dancing lights during character creation will no longer have that ability forced onto their mastered abilities after level loads.
  • Fixed several text overlap issues, several of them pertaining to localized text.
  • The Long Bow’s passive, Blot out the Sun, now correctly reduces the cost of Rain of Arrows from 2 opportunity down to 1.
  • Fixed several issues involving characters not having a body while not wearing armor. They now correctly show their potato sack cloths when not wearing armor.
  • Taunt no longer causes enemies to trigger move twice, which resulted in some instances of bleed triggering twice from a single taunt.
  • Improvements have been made to NPC beards.
  • The descriptions of the Throw Bomb and To Me! Abilities have been updated to better reflect their functionality.
  • Cleaned Hutar, Captain Beckwith, and Fatherite Paladin AI so they’re better able to seek you out in combat.
  • Improvements to character teeth
  • The Scorcherer no longer appears after his quest has been completed.
  • Several gameplay options are now correctly quarantined to your save file. Options, such as difficulty, will now be local to your save file. If you have multiple active saves, they’ll each maintain their own difficulty settings.
  • A new HUD raise/lower sound has been added that’s subtler.
  • Harmonic Shielding now correctly adds and subtracts armor. There is still a known issue where the UI doesn’t always update correctly, but we confirmed the armor is being applied and so you’ll still benefit from it.
  • Additional artistic points of interest have been added to Skara Brae Underground.
  • Fixed several instances of combats starting in or below collision.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in dragon’s bile puddles persisting after combat, and having blocking collision that made it hard to move around. Both issues have been fixed.
  • The Razor and the Source Dagger now correctly synergize with the Spellblade passive.
  • Fixed a visual bug in which drunkenly empowered Sanctuary score would heal you just before you died, making it looks like a bug, when in fact the damage you took was great enough to kill you through the heal. It’ll no longer show the healing if you’d die as a result anyways.
  • The Feast and Famine abilities have been fixed to do the correct amount of damage, as advertised. Their tooltips have been updated to display what damage type they deal.
  • All characters can now wield the Hungering Blade. All practitioner parties can now defeat the mad god.
  • Fixed an issue where characters would appear incapacitated but have positive health.
  • You can now talk to Kian regardless of what quest step you’re on.
  • A Model Quality setting has been added to the options menu
  • Fixed an issue where the static charge status effect icon would persist after combat.
  • The bonus focus buff from Elixirs of Focus now correctly last for 2 turns, instead of only one.
  • Fixed a lock-pick panel in the Glade of Mathan so that you could interact with it.
  • Fixed several issues relating to status effects not stacking atop each other properly, including Drunken Wayland’s Watch, Drunken Falkentyne’s Fury, and Rend.
  • You can now view tooltips in the options menu.
  • Fixed a crash related to winning combat while a Siambra Dhu had an explosive arrow attached to one of your adventurer’s.
  • Fixed an issue where existing the game and re-opening the game at a certain point in alguins tower would create an invisible barrier, blocking progression.
  • The Logician Dinner Party quest no longer updates how many books you have simply by moving the books around in your inventory.
  • Song of Compulsory Cavorting now breaks enemy focus, as intended. When this happens you’ll see the enemy isn’t dancing, but is still stunned as intended. We opted to push this fix without the dancing animation fix rather than leave the bug in.
  • Several optimization, LOD, and culling fixes in the Forest of inshriach.
  • Fixed an issue where you could charge enemies right when being spotted, or walking into them, and you’d start combat with the enemies behind you.
  • Fixed an issue in which Sanctuary Score’s status effect icon wouldn’t be removed if it were removed from enemy damage.


Known major issues
  • Important Hotfix Note! We've pushed a hotfix today (11/21/2018) to address certain push-blocks not being traversable in free movement mode. We wanted to get this fix out as soon as possible so you would be able to complete the main quest line. All main-quest dependent push-blocks have been fixed with this hotfix, but sadly 2 optional push-block puzzles remain un-traversable in free move mode. If you encounter push-blocks you cannot walk over in free move mode, you can switch to grid move mode and traverse over them just fine. We’ll work to get these remaining issues fixed soon.
  • If you attempt to save and load during the end-game credits and re-battle the final boss fight, the game may crash. To avoid this bug please avoid saving during the credits and load your last save game from the main menu instead. You can skip the credits by pressing escape and going to the main menu.
  • Non-english languages will not re-color or highlight ability keywords. Ex: Battle Ready or Stance.
  • Attacking a concerned citizen before Jarnels Eyes effects have faded results in bugged materials on the enemy model
  • There’s a small edge case in which you’re able to transform a goblin into a cultist during the illusory Dalgliesh fight if you’re able to hit both Illusory Dalgliesh and a goblin at the same time before Illusory Dalgliesh has transformed. The bug is aesthetic only, and shouldn’t block completion of the fight.
  • In the main menu, if you go into the load game menu, hit escape to close that menu, then press escape again, the buttons on the main-menu will hide. You’ll need to just restart the game to proceed at that point.
  • Purchasing the “Wand of Peace” book from Feargal will not start the Wand of Peace quest as intended. Instead, the quest automatically starts when you enter the Lodge of the Siambra Dhu dungeon.
  • While on “The Hungering Blade” quest, no waypoints appear to guide you to Mother Nain while in the Baedish Lowlands.
  • Using the new Save Anywhere feature you’re able to avoid combat with Mangar in Kylearan’s Tower, save/load inside his chamber, and place your game in a bugged state that might require loading a backup save to resolve.
  • If you right click on an item in your inventory, move your mouse away, right click again, select destroy or split, and then leave the destroy or split confirmation window, then the escape button will not close the inventory and you’ll have to use either I or the close button at the top-right.
  • Repeatedly pressing Esc during the fade in transition to any NPC conversation, may cause soft lock for players
  • Trow are wearing ill-fitting boots.


The Bard's Tale

On Saturday 10th November, Microsoft announced buying Californian role-playing game developers inXile Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment. Two studios independent which had fought for survival for a decade-and-a-half were now under the Xbox umbrella. The message from Microsoft was reassurance: don't worry, nothing will change, we won't kill them - they'll continue to make the games you love, only they'll have more resources and support available to "fully realise" their ambitions. Nevertheless, questions remained.

Both companies are tied up in crowdfunding - particularly inXile, which has Wasteland 3 still to deliver - so what happens there? And what happens to promised PlayStation 4 versions of games - can they still fulfil those as Xbox studios? Moreover, will they leave isometric games behind in favour of glitzier projects?

For this interview, I'm concentrating on inXile, speaking with company founder and video game veteran, Brian Fargo, about the Microsoft deal. I hope to do similar for Obsidian, and I am in contact with the studio, but it's proving trickier to organise.

Read more…

The Bard's Tale

The rumours were true: Microsoft Studios is buying Obsidian Entertainment. It's also, in an unexpected twist, buying inXile Entertainment.

The acquisitions were announced during the X018 fan event in Mexico today.

In a statement sent to Eurogamer, Microsoft said of Obsidian: "As one of the industry's premiere RPG developers, we couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to add their expertise to Microsoft Studios, while enabling the studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realise their creative ambitions."

Read more…

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Michael@inXile
Hello everyone,

We have just released a hotfix to solve the following issues:
  • German - Fixed the issue where cogs were unintentionally stacking as a single type versus three different types. The tooltips aren't localized at the moment, however, all new German players will not be blocked. For German players with previous save games, please adventure to Boar Temple and Skyhenge to find additional cogs waiting for you so you can progress your adventures.
  • Fixed players having a small chance to suffer odd behaviors, including crashes, when using a Practitioner’s Dragon Breath & Conjurorer’s Mark on groups of skeleton enemies.
  • Fixed an issue with Fairy Powder Bomb that would cause hangs with multiple wave combats.
  • Fixed an issue with the Zanta fight in regards to killing multiple skeletons in the first turn of combat.
  • Fixed a crash during combat when stacks of ‘On Fire’ are damaging Yadis and Primeval are also on the grid.
In addition to the fixes, enemy difficulty on hard mode was increased to +60% enemy difficulty over normal mode, up from +40%.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please keep letting us know if you are still having any issues with The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep.

The team at inXile
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - paul_inxile


Hello everyone!

Today, we are pleased to get you the latest patch for The Bard´s Tale IV: Barrows Deep.

Patch 3 introduces additional enhancements to graphic settings, character art, localization, as well as further addressing remaining issues like ability bugs, optimization of loading times, and stability across the game.

With Patch 3 done, please allow us a few personal words: Here at inXile, we are always committed to making quality RPGs, and we are totally devoted to what we are doing. The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a game that we poured our hearts into, and every single one of us is very sad that the release of the game we are so proud of was overshadowed by performance issues. Of course, we wish that we had caught these things at launch and have been working overtime to correct them as quickly as we can. For those of you affected, we are truly sorry for any bad experience that you might have had.

We hope you will enjoy the changes and if you do, we would be very grateful for a user review if you haven't written one yet. Of course, the same applies if you were forced to write a negative review in the past, but would be so kind to reconsider now if the issues that prevented you to enjoy the game were addressed in the meantime.

Thank you very much for your patience, and your ongoing support. It means the world to us.

With Patch 3 being released, we are now focusing on our original goal of enhancing the game by adding many additional features after launch. Legacy Mode, controller support, and grid movement will only be some of them and we will talk more about those items and more in the near future. Friends of Mac and Linux will also be happy to hear that we are working on those versions as well.

For details on this patch, please check out the notes below:

Stability:
  • Improved how our graphics benchmarking determined the correct graphics settings for your system.
  • Several optimizations for improved performance.
  • Players who played in non-English languages and encountered issues with placing cogs into gear puzzles and had their save files corrupted should now have working save files again.
  • Fixed a crash related to using Jarnel’s Eyes in certain dungeons.
  • Fixed a crash related to skipping the post combat screen after defeating Mangar for the 1st time.
  • Fixed several combat placement bugs across the game.
  • Fixed a crash in the Cellars of Kylearan's Tower caused by defeating Mangar and then defeating any remaining fights in the dungeon.
  • Fixed a bug relating to how push-blocks reset themselves after being pushed into a hole multiple time. They'll now properly reset each time Stone Remembers is sung.
  • Fixed a crash relating to using Mangar’s Mind Jab in the fight against Mangar.
  • Fixed several issues relating to certain performance actors not saving properly after escaping to main menu.
  • Fixed an issue in which players could not access vendors after reloading a save game under some circumstances.
  • Fixed an issue in which hidey bides wouldn’t work correctly if you exited the game before looting the cache or the cache reset itself.

Gameplay:
  • Fixed several issues where certain doors and puzzles were not saving when exiting to the main menu or to desktop.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Sharp, Keen, and Honed puzzle weapon boons to reduce your damage to 0 when you critically hit with a dagger or a bow ability.
  • The description of the Wrecking Ball passive has been updated.
  • Fixed a bug that caused 2-handed weapons to corrupt your characters stats when equipping and unequipping that item after purchasing skills.
  • Fixed a bug in which the bridge to the Orkan Rookery could get stuck if you ran into it while it was assembling.
  • Fixed a bug that resulted in Arthur de-spawning if you defeated the ritualists around him, but save/loaded your game before speaking with him.
  • Fixed several instances in which waypoints were not deactivating when you switched which quest was being tracked.
  • The Power Rush passive and status effect have a clearer description, and now correctly work with AoE abilities.
  • Lute of Compulsory Cavorting no longer has question marks in its description and its Drunk effect works properly.
  • Fixed an issue in the Sentry Tower that resulted in buttons on the 3rd floor getting stuck in the depressed position if you exited the game before they reset themselves.
  • Removed extraneous waypoints in Castle Langskall.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed you to dupe items inside the merchant inventory.
  • Fixed an exploit in which you could duplicate items via offering statues.
  • The Guardian passive now has a clearer description of what it's doing.
  • Fixed an issue with status effects, like On Fire or Rend, stacking from different sources and not correctly calculating the effect. If two status effects aren’t the same strength, they’ll no longer stack on one another, and instead create a new stack.
  • Fairy Powder Bombs will now play their explosion when they detonate, and will no longer harm your own team.
  • Lowland Park Whisky now changes your next melee attack damage type to mental damage, as intended.
  • Traps in the Sulfur Springs are now more lethal.
  • Fixed a bug in which caltrops could trigger on dead enemies, causing caltrops to not trigger properly on living enemies.

Etc.
  • A Sharpness post process effect and slider was added, which allows you to adjust how crisp or blurred the game appears.
  • Anti-Aliasing & Post Processing settings are now updated when you adjust your Effects Quality in the options menu.
  • Running the game in borderless window mode will now correctly match your monitor’s current resolution.
  • Greatly improved the user interface when playing with 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Improvements to non-English localized text.
  • Several graphical updates in Baedish lowlands environment.
  • Fixed an issue where several settings in the Options menu weren’t properly saving.
  • Updated the mesh seen in the inspection window for staves and Lowland Park Whisky.
  • Street signs, offering altars, and elven altars now properly display in the correct language, based on your language settings.
  • You can no longer choose to not help the Selkie sisters. When destiny calls, you answer.
  • Fixed several backer quotes in the Main Menu.
  • Fixed a bug in which the music on the Main Menu would stop playing after completing screen calibration.
  • Fixed several typos in character dialogue.
  • Updated how fullscreen tutorials show text in other languages, better accounting for increases in text size after translation.
  • Adjusted the amount of time subtitles stay on screen.
  • Fixed several issues relating to localized text over-running its boundaries in the interface.
  • Added additional audio in a few areas where it was missing.
  • Updated Fairy Golf music so that it plays through the entire fairy gold arena.
  • The crafting menu now displays how many of a given item will result from crafting.
  • Additional decals, statues, and effects added to Skara Brae underground.

Known issues to watch out for until fixed:
  • If you escape to the main menu during the final animated scene in the game (the cinematic after defeating the final boss), your save file can get into a state in which you cannot complete the final step of the main quest. To avoid this issue, please allow all the animated scenes to play out without exiting the game.
  • We found that player’s have a small chance to suffer odd behaviors, including crashes, when using a practitioner’s dragon breath & conjurorer’s mark on groups of skeleton enemies.
  • Player’s zoning into Skyhenge for the first time have a small chance to experience a crash. This only happens on the first time transitioning into the zone.
  • Player’s summon creatures that last till the end of combat will create a checkerboard icon on the victory screen.
  • Tarjan boss fight can be completed without utilizing the hungering blade by using the melting boon from puzzle weapons.This is an exploit and not as designed.


The team at inXile

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

I'm sorry this review arrives late, but The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep is stubborn. Trying to power through it is like trying to solve a great pile of crosswords in one sitting: your brain would turn to mush. You could cheat - The Bard's Tale 4 includes a walkthrough out of the box - but you would rob yourself of the point of the puzzle in the first place. The answer doesn't really matter; it's the process you undergo to get it and the satisfaction you feel when you do that counts. In this way The Bard's Tale 4, one giant collection of puzzles, can be enormously satisfying, but force the issue and you will bang heads with it. It cannot and should not be rushed.


The other important thing to know or remember about The Bard's Tale 4 is where it comes from. This has its roots in crowdfunding, and is not a big budget game with a huge team. Character models are dated and cutscenes are slideshows with filters on, and a variety of bugs (a huge second patch for the game has just been released) forced me to reload upwards of 15 times. This is particularly annoying in The Bard's Tale 4, because saves happen at little pillars and not freely from a menu, meaning you have to redo progress each load.


But what other games do you know that come with a printable Code Wheel for solving puzzles? What other games do you know with a bard hero class powered by booze? What other games do you know with a live-action, evolving story recap when you select 'Continue'? What the Bard's Tale 4 sacrifices in polish it makes up for with personality.

Read more…

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