The Bard’s Tale 4 Second Sight Update Brings Grid-Based Movement, Save Anywhere Function
Some much-needed quality of life improvements arrive for inXile’s dungeon crawler.
InXile Entertainment’s The Bard’s Tale 4: Barrows Deep launched with its fair share of issues, and despite some patches, the game still felt fundamentally flawed in a number of ways. However, even after the developer’s acquisition by Microsoft, it continues to support the game. It recently released a major update, called Second Sight, which introduces a bevy of quality of life features.
Some of these include classic grid-based movement in Grid Mode. Though the feature is in beta, it offers a more classic dungeon crawling feel to the game. Players can also save anywhere (well, almost anywhere) with quick-save and quick-load options. Auto-Resurrect can be deactivated, and Perma-Death is also an option, the latter resulting in your save file being permanently deleted.
In one of the nicer options to have, players can also disable Enemy Reactions. This stops them from continuously talking and taunting during fights. Silence is indeed golden. A new difficulty, character respeccing, and much more are also provided, which should make for a vastly improved experience overall. Check out the full patch notes here, with highlights given below.
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; and 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.
- 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 1×1 size, down from 2×2
- 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.