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Default Bard's Tale IV - Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

February 16th, 2018, 10:17
A new update for The Bard's Tale IV takes a look at the Bard classes, announces the Archetype Poll 2 winner and updates Backers on rewards.

Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

TL;DR: A Look at the Bard classes, Archetype Poll #2 Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner

First Round's On The Bard

Howdy, everyone!

David here, back again to give you the first of our class breakdowns. Everyone at inXile was a little proud that you chose The Bard for the first preview. That character class was what helped set the series apart from its contemporaries such as Wizardry and Ultima, and the image of a bard quaffing a drink as he heads into battle has been an enduring one. We have had some fun ideas updating the character class for the new game. Today, weíll be talking about two of the six classes that bards have access to: The Brew Master and the Rabble Rouser.

Brew Master ("Just one more test, and then we are ready for the world!")

Bards are only as powerful as the brew that fuels them. In the original trilogy, bards must wet their whistle. When theyíve sung too many songs, theyíd have to return to the Adventurerís Guild for a drink. Caith is a big, wild place, and the adventure extends well beyond the walls of Skara Brae! With that in mind, we didnít want to force the player to stop what they are doing and backtrack to the Guild every few fights. Still, we also wanted to hold true to the booze-fueled theme of the Bard's Tales of old. In The Bard's Tale IV, the Bard drinks as they fight to gain useful generate Spell Points, which are in turn used to sing their magical songs.

Brew Masters are not only masters of brewing beers and spirits, theyíre masters of drunken brawling. The bardís Basic Combat skill teaches a bard to not only swing a hatchet, but also how to chug a drink in the heat of combat and craft Trow Squeezins, a drinkable power-up. Trow Squeezins, and really all brews in The Bardís Tale, do two things: grant Spell Points and build up the status effect "Drunken." The Spell Points can be saved up or spent on one of the bardís magical songs (which weíll cover below). As for the latter, being drunk also carries its own risks and rewards.

How well a bard can hold their drink is based on their Intelligence stat. While your Drunken status effect is equal to or lower than your Intelligence stat, youíre fine, dandy, and fighting-fit. However, the moment your Drunken status exceeds your Intelligence, your bard goes into a drunken fury, gaining a huge burst of Strength before blacking out for a few turns. Overindulging limits how many songs your bard can sing in a fight before going out of commission, but can also be used strategically to get yourself out of a jam. The boost in Strength they receive before blacking out empowers both their attacks and their songs, allowing for huge damage/defense spikes in a time of need.

The next skill in the Brew Master line is Battle Brewer. Battle Brewer grants +1 Intelligence, allowing you to hold your liquor that much better. Youíll need it, because it also teaches you how to craft Elven Wine. Elven Wine is notoriously potent. It grants +2 Spell Points, but also grants +4 Drunken. Since you can only chug booze once per turn, and some songs cost 2 or more Spell Points to sing, Elven Wine is your fastest way to pull off that clutch song. Itís also your fastest way to end up asleep in a nearby gutter when your party is being bashed by some giant monster. Please drink responsibly.

Mean Drunk is another optional skill bards can pick up along the way. Itís not required to achieve the title of Brew Master, but it sure is handy for them. The Mean Drunk skill grants your Bard a passive effect which causes them to throw a mug at the enemy after every drink, for a little extra tick of damage.

The next skill in the Brew Master skill line is Town Drunk. Through this skill you learn to brew beer. Itís not just any beer though - it's Dwarven Stout! This grants +1 Spell Point and +2 Drunken, but it also causes your next melee attack to be empowered with Dwarven belligerence, causing knockback to enemies you hit. The fact that some boozes grant bonus attack effects makes Bards very versatile. Knockback can be used to disrupt enemy positioning, causing a channeled attack to miss, or exposing a weak wizard that would have otherwise been protected by their ally.

Lastly, we have the capstone skill in the class line: Brew Master. Brew Master grants the bard extra Strength, Intelligence, the recipe to brew Lowland Park Whisky, and the Shot of Courage passive. Lowland Park Whisky is the finest whisky in all the land, and in addition to granting Spell Points and Drunken, those who drink it are empowered with pompous indignation that causes their next melee attack to deal Mental Damage. Thatís a huge buff, as Mental Damage is used to break the focus of enemies and ignores Armor. Generally, attacks that deal Mental Damage are on the weak side, but when a bard is swigging Lowland Park Whisky, they can pump out the highest Mental Damage in the game. The Shot of Courage passive is nothing to sneeze at either. At the start of each combat, the bard takes a free drink, granting them a free spell point and a Drunken level.

Brew Masters are powerful allies, able to choose the right brew for the job. A clever Brew Master also knows the exact moment to over-indulge for a huge burst of power to wipe out an enemy party. Itís also useful to note that bards can drink any booze they come across, so if your party contains more than one bard, only one needs to go down this path to brew booze for the others.

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February 16th, 2018, 19:16
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February 17th, 2018, 23:09
It appears the nebulous "2018" release date has been refined to the slightly less nebulous "Q3 2018." Hopefully this does not get pushed back any.
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February 19th, 2018, 15:16
This actually looks good.
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