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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Blackguards - Preview @ RPG Codex

Default Blackguards - Preview @ RPG Codex

November 14th, 2013, 06:52
The RPG Codex has posted a preview of the Early Access version of Blackguards. Just remember the usual warnings of crude humor, and bad language apply.

Roxor: Blackguards surprised me many times when I played it. In fact, the game was the complete opposite of what I expected – I assumed it would have been at best an RPG-lite, more of an adventure game with stats, with plenty of dialogue, puzzle-solving and a very advanced narrative. Instead, the combat system turned out to be great, but the narrative part disappointed me, or at least the parts of the narrative that I saw. The main plot seems to be an unexciting mess, the way it progresses makes little sense, and the whole “bunch of criminals” aspect is underplayed.

Felipe: True, it strikes me as odd how the game is constantly being marketed as a “dark story”, in which you play as a convicted murder, testing your moral compass and all that. The first 10 minutes of the game have you being unjustly arrested, and after a short while your group of fugitives is acting just like any other RPG party, helping out random people, and even attacking slavers without any really good reason besides “slavers are bad”. Some of your party members (especially Takate) seem to have no reason to even follow you other than the fact that you’re the main character in a game.

Roxor: This is a shame, because at this point in development “fixing” any combat and mechanics flaws is the only possible thing Daedalic can do, as the narrative is pretty much set in stone. But to be honest? I don’t care. I swear, I haven’t had this much fun whacking enemies in turn-based combat since Knights of the Chalice, and while it would obviously be ideal for this RPG to cover all the bases, I’d much rather see one with a combat system that actually puts some classics to shame while sacrificing the story, than another drop in the ocean of pseudo-choice oriented storyfag LARP simulators.

Felipe: Same here. However, the game does hint at a darker, larger scheme in the background, and I would be very impressed and forced to swallow my words if they manage to execute it well in the end. I do fear that the long and linear story might diminish the game's replay value, and I would have certainly preferred a game where I could create my own party and explore different paths, but in the end, this is still quite an impressive title.

Overall, it's amusing that after all those RPG veterans on Kickstarter promised a return to old-school RPGs and all that over a year ago, in the end it's only in a semi-obscure title, from a company that has only made adventure games, that I find a good hardcore old-school turn-based RPG experience.
More information.
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November 14th, 2013, 06:52
Hear, hear.

I enjoyed my first play through of the Early Access version immensely. It won't be everything to everyone, but it has some truly brilliant design. I also appreciate that it hasn't been a hand-holding affair…they have obviously set it up that you CAN fail if you make nonsensical build decisions or just rush into encounters with a carefree approach. I didn't know much about the system going into it, but using a little common sense was enough to get through all encounters…at least for this early build.
Personally, I've been chomping at the bit for a game like this for years. I've grown bored of games that you can't possibly lose, even if you're comatose.
I'm eagerly awaiting the final release.
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November 14th, 2013, 20:01
They certainly said all the things I want to hear.

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November 14th, 2013, 20:33
It is a very good TDE/DSA combat simulator. Playing with the builds is a lot of fun too. It could have more roleplaying options, but this is a pretty meaty game even without.

'nut
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November 14th, 2013, 21:40
Thanks for the preview - I'll buy this game for sure.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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November 14th, 2013, 21:51
A huge patch was released today. New content (chapter 2) coming next week or so.
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November 14th, 2013, 22:57
Looks like a decent first patch here are change notes.

Patch 1 - Changelog
Hi Blackguards players!

We've got some good news for you! Based on your very good feedback here on the boards, including bug reports, we've worked on Patch 1 for this Early Access phase. This update will be provided to you in about an hour (thats around 5 p.m. CET / 10 a.m. PST). We did our best to improve overall gameplay, as well as technical performance. Of course, our efforts are far from complete by now! We could not tend to everything we are aware of already, but remember that further updates are coming along soon.

Please note that this is not a content patch, which will be released in about a week from now and will include the second chapter.

If you do not wish to play the updated version of Blackguards, you can switch off auto-updating in your Steam library (right click on Blackguards -> Properties -> Updates).

Please keep up the good work. You helped us a lot already and we highly encourage you to go on with what you're already doing: Playing the game and giving us your opionion.

So, without further delay, here's the changelog for Patch 1:


New Features
Added the hotkey “K” for hiding dev build infos.
Added „simple“ hex field which is only outlines. Found in the “Options”.
Added display of actual weapon value modifiers.
Added in-battle voice comments from heroes and npc's.
Added missing sound fx to chapter 1 cutscenes.
Improved overall sound balance (most significantly: lowered music volume).
Improved sound fx for special attacks and monster maneuvers.
Added additional loading screen hints.

Fixed Bugs

GENERAL

Fixed several crashes and freezes.

GUI

Fixed the savegame list overlaying the main menu loading screen.
Fixed that hovering the attributes in the character sheet would highlight all base values after a while.
The infobox is now cleared after switching to another character sheet tab.
Talents/Spells/Attributes etc. are now locked to the infobox with a click.
Fixed that stackable items have a „How much to use“ setting, even if the stack only had 1 item.
Skill changes will not be saved without asking anymore, if the player switches to another tab of the character sheet. (E.g skilling a talent and then switching to attributes.)
Fixed loot menu visual fx.
Removed F12 console hotkey.
Fixed that all armor pieces were marked as being metallic.
Moving the worldmap via mouse drag will not accidentally let the player travel to another hotspot anymore.

TEXT

Fixed several typos.
Fixed several “NoKey” errors.
Fixed several translation issues.

QUESTS

Fixed Quest reward of the „Brotherly Love“ sidequest.
The player can now return to the Neetha graveyard if he didn't visit all tombs before getting chased out by Lasca.
Bal and Cadalman are now marked by a Questmarker during their part of the Main Quest in Drôlsash.

SOUND

Fixed a number of floor material and foot stomp fx bugs.
Fixed loot menu sounds.

GRAPHICS

Fixed a bug that caused some dead enemies to „shine“.

STEAM

Fixed that Portuguese was displayed as Portuguese-Portugal instead of Portuguese-Brasil.
Register as Contributor button should work correctly, now.
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November 15th, 2013, 04:03
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
It is a very good TDE/DSA combat simulator. Playing with the builds is a lot of fun too. It could have more roleplaying options, but this is a pretty meaty game even without.
That sounds pretty good. I'll probably get this at release. Not sure I feel like doing things piecemeal. Right now, I'm straying a bit from RPGs: Rocksmith 2014 and X:Rebirth comes out tomorrow….
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November 15th, 2013, 05:20
I think the full game is late January, so it's really not far off. The second Chapter of 5 is due out before the end of the month. The first chapter was about 10 hours for the first playthrough. I think Chapter Two is slightly smaller, but I'm not sure. Felipepepe I think had a preview version of up to Chapter 3.

'nut
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November 15th, 2013, 09:38
Good preview.

This seems to be turning out better than expected, so I may have to get it sooner rather than later (as I was planning for a Steam sale on the cheap purchase).

I still like to imagine that this could be Daedalic laying down the technical foundation and testing the waters for a meatier RPG (if this one turns a profit) some time in the future.
(Hey a man can hope. Another, apparently competent, RPG developer appearing out of the blue can only be a good thing)

Some effort into exploration and non-linearity while keeping the seemingly well crafted combat and TDE adaptation would make for a great game…
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November 15th, 2013, 11:42
I'm totally okay is they just keep making a series of "western Final Fantasy Tactics" like these, they are even more rare than full blown RPGs.

フエフエ。
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November 15th, 2013, 12:28
Guess there is indeed a niche for everything

Straight combat tactics games have always been more like "side games" for me (not to say that they can't be good or very entertaining. Just not as memorable as a bigger scope fully fledged RPG, for me at least).

Then again I haven't played that many tbh. Who knows, if this one is as good as you guys make it seem, then I might come around. (Still would like to see more fully fleshed Turn Based TDE rpgs at some point though)

Thanks for the preview btw.
Last edited by JonNik; November 15th, 2013 at 12:39. Reason: Typo
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November 16th, 2013, 01:48
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Guess there is indeed a niche for everything

Straight combat tactics games have always been more like "side games" for me (not to say that they can't be good or very entertaining. Just not as memorable as a bigger scope fully fledged RPG, for me at least).

Then again I haven't played that many tbh. Who knows, if this one is as good as you guys make it seem, then I might come around. (Still would like to see more fully fleshed Turn Based TDE rpgs at some point though)

Thanks for the preview btw.
I'm completely the opposite. I play RPGs because of the tactical gameplay (that's why I normally don't care about action RPGs). I remember the tactical gameplay of many RPGs I've played, but the stories are forgotten a week after I finish the games.
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November 16th, 2013, 04:39
I've been eagerly awaiting the patch to fix the Brotherly Love quest because I thought we got the fireball spell, which would finally make playing a main mage fun. Instead it was ignisfaxis, which is a spell all mages start with in the beginning. That was enough for me to shelve the game until release. Tactical combat isn't my thing either, but I enjoy playing mages normally. Unfortunately, you cannot pick your spells and the default spells of the main character mage are dull. Much better to take a tank or a hunter, which I don't care to play. They might iron out some of the poor decisions before release, and if they don't I got my fun out of the game. For those who like tactical combat, this game is worth getting as early release.

'nut
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November 16th, 2013, 10:04
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I'm completely the opposite. I play RPGs because of the tactical gameplay (that's why I normally don't care about action RPGs). I remember the tactical gameplay of many RPGs I've played, but the stories are forgotten a week after I finish the games.
How about exploration and discovery then ? Solving quests (preferably with the option of trying different things and expecting different outcomes) ? even puzzles on some of the oldies…

Personally I would have been bored to death of RPGs if tactical combat (Which I like very very much indeed especially if it is TB) was all there was to it.

Its good that games like this get made for the aficionados. I certainly can have boatloads of fun playing one (for a time), particularly a well made one.

P.S Some Action RPGs can be very tactical. The tactics are on a another level though (a sort of plan ahead and prepare for the fight and an adapt and think on your feet kinda way) and definitely don't hold up to the true tactical possibilities of a well implemented TB system (even RTWP is better naturally). Just a different sort of fun for me.

Favorite examples: The Gothics and recently Dark Souls. Those games have very little (if anything) to do with reflexes. I was never too sharp on hand eye coordination (nor did I suck of course) and I believe my reflexes (pretty decent) are starting to slow a bit with the years, yet I do quite decently in the aforementioned examples…
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November 16th, 2013, 11:12
I love Dark Souls to death, but you simply can't compare the level of strategy it requires with games like Knights of the Chalice, Blackguards, FFT, Battle for Wesnoth and other turn-based party RPGs…

フエフエ。
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November 16th, 2013, 11:38
I don't believe I did!

Just saying that you can't summarily discard all Action RPGs as "twitch based" hack an slashers…
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November 17th, 2013, 05:33
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
How about exploration and discovery then ? Solving quests (preferably with the option of trying different things and expecting different outcomes) ? even puzzles on some of the oldies…

Personally I would have been bored to death of RPGs if tactical combat (Which I like very very much indeed especially if it is TB) was all there was to it.

Its good that games like this get made for the aficionados. I certainly can have boatloads of fun playing one (for a time), particularly a well made one.

P.S Some Action RPGs can be very tactical. The tactics are on a another level though (a sort of plan ahead and prepare for the fight and an adapt and think on your feet kinda way) and definitely don't hold up to the true tactical possibilities of a well implemented TB system (even RTWP is better naturally). Just a different sort of fun for me.

Favorite examples: The Gothics and recently Dark Souls. Those games have very little (if anything) to do with reflexes. I was never too sharp on hand eye coordination (nor did I suck of course) and I believe my reflexes (pretty decent) are starting to slow a bit with the years, yet I do quite decently in the aforementioned examples…
Exploration does nothing for me. I usually follow the storyline, and if some ruin happens to be on the way to the objective, I'll check it out, but I don't go out of the way just to see if there's something out there. You actually mentioned two games that I didn't like. The Gothics (well, just Gothic 1 I tried and didn't do much for me) and Dark Souls was doing ok-ish, but the whole redo-the whole map if you die just isn't for me.
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November 19th, 2013, 15:28
Hi Watchers!

I'm Io and I'm the Community Manager at Daedalic Entertainment responsible for Blackguards. First of all, we would like to thank you for your interest in Blackguards and that you seem to enjoy the game so far!

Also we would like you to know that if you have any questions concerning Blackguards, I will be happy to answer them. If you played the game already, we would greatly appreciate any feedback or even suggestions on how we could improve the game. Our aim is to really get the best experience out for you guys. So just ask or post along .

I'll re-visit RPGWatch from time to time and get back to you as fast as I can. In the meantime enjoy playing Blackguards if you bought it!

Cheers,
Io
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November 19th, 2013, 15:54
Hi Io, glad to see one of you guys popped in over here again. I've already posted to you several times on the steam forums, so I won't repeat those conversations. I'm still hopeful for more character creation options. To increase replayability, it would be nice to actually have a say in the type of character I start the game with. Hopefully you guys tinker with that so that we get the illusion of playing "our" character instead of yours.

Also, hated that the spell you get for the Onaris/Sinaro quest is one that is already part of the arsenal of mages. The spell is only useful for the half elf. I would have prefered fireball for my main mage instead. It would be cool if spellbooks offered more than one spell. Say if you take fireball instead of fire dart, it can only be learned once and destroys the book. That way, you wouldn't have 3 or 4 characters with the spell, unbalancing the combat.

'nut
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