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  1. Yesterday
  2. Having just completed all three vassal quests on Normal difficulty, I can summarize a very basic and effective strategy which will have you breaking even or earning a surplus in all resources even after building the portal. I'm surprised this hasn't been clearly discussed before, at least not that I could find. If you do a completionist playthrough (by clearing every bandit/monster encounter from the world map and clearing every dungeon), make the Ukat your vassal as required (tested by siding with the Brokk, though I'm fairly certain siding with the Borgen would provide the same result) which silently awards +1 to wood and +1 to iron regular income in the Ukat ledger line, and complete the Ukatish prisoners quest then triggered at Fort Haven (to rescue Ukat prisoners from the Palace of Atonement) which silently awards another +1 to iron regular income in the Ukat ledger line, you will then be able to build all buildings/improvements in all 7 forts, including all fort upgrades and guard towers and the home portal, with the sole exception of 4 barracks (I recommend placing your 3 allowed barracks in one fort in each of the three vassal regions). You will at that point - even after building the home portal - break even on wood, have a +1 income surplus of iron, and have a +2 income surplus each of stone and quicksilver. Unfortunately, you will have an unavoidable 20% theft chance in the Vol after making the Vol your vassal as required (tested by siding with the Owen, though I'm fairly certain siding with the Mascha would provide the same result) and with the "Diplomatic Visions" Nisse dream perk active, which I believe becomes 25% after the Calamity quest starts, but even that - which could be lowered to 15%-20% by building the second barracks in the Vol and still breaking even on iron income - will only be a minor inconvenience. Even if you somehow ran out of a resource due to theft (unlikely, though with all the above completed and 20% theft in the Vol, each turn when theft does occur would result in losses of -4 wood and -7 stone instead of maintenance/gain of 0 wood and +2 stone respectively), you would have just over 250 gold regular income to automatically cover any temporary resource shortage. After all my theorycrafting before starting this playthrough and reading through the many discussions on the forums, this was surprisingly easy to pull off, and even on higher difficulties, the above will hold true (with the possible exception of slightly higher theft rates). I also didn't have any problems in the early or mid-game, as long as I kept an occasional eye on iron and to a lesser extent wood, and didn't build all the apothecaries until mostly completing Ahriel. So, not sure what all the fuss was about! SHORT VERSION 1) Clear all bandit/monster encounters on the world map and all dungeons 2) Get "Diplomatic Visions" Nisse dream perk 3) Make Ukat your vassal (tested with Brokk alliance) (gives +1 wood and +1 iron in Ukat region) 4) Complete "Ukatish Prisoners" quest triggered by Miranda at Fort Haven by helping prisoners escape (gives +1 iron in Ukat region) 5) Make Vol and Ahriel your vassals (tested with Owen and Trench Town alliances) 6) Build all buildings/improvements in all seven forts including all fort upgrades, guard towers, and the portal, EXCEPT 4 of the 7 possible barracks, placing 1 barracks each in one of the forts in each vassal region 7) Other than a 20% theft chance in the Vol which will affect your wood and stone stockpiles during unlucky turns, you'll have per-turn maintenance/income of 0 wood, +2 stone, +1 iron, and +2 quicksilver (note the theft chances may be slightly higher on difficulties above Normal)
  3. Now that I'm much nearer the endgame (I just completed all three vassal quests - yeah, I've been playing a LOT the past couple days), it turns out I only saw this message while still clearing the Haven colony region early in the game and for the first couple hours in the first vassal region. I have a very completionist playstyle such that I first clear every encounter on the world map in each region, then clear each interior zone (town/dungeon) one by one; I assume this is what frequently triggered these messages in the first few hours, as I hadn't yet had much more than one fort built and a couple dungeons cleared for some time. However, I never again saw that message after the initial few hours - probably around building the second fort - despite completing zones at the same pace as before, so it seems my fears of constantly feeling pressured to quickly rush through dungeons at a regular pace just to avoid crippling resource shortages later in the game were unfounded. Apparently, once you've reached a "critical mass" of completed areas, you pass a threshold and no longer need to worry about the "uninspired" message again. At least, those were my practical findings as well. Thanks once more for the additional input!
  4. Last week
  5. Hi all, it's been a while Currently I've got Light entertainment: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman, which is the first James Bond pastiche I've actually been able to tolerate. Heavy entertainment: Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan, which reads like an M. John Harrison novel written by Jodie Scott. It's good and weird and I like it a lot so far. Nonfiction: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz. I loved their SF novel The Future of Another Timeline, so figured why not? (I very very wholeheartedly recommend said novel by the way, it hits all the right notes for a Joanna Russ fan.)
  6. I've only recently started heavily using Charm as a tactic, and noticed a behavior that seems broken: When you're fighting a monster that uses Charm, it'll sometimes try to charm monsters that you've already charmed. Rather than canceling out, the second charm will be treated as if it was cast by you - the monster stays on your side and has the status "Charmed (2)". I'd expect that charms would either cancel an existing charm status, or that enemies won't try to use it on already charmed enemies.
  7. Your guess is as good as mine. It was a very late save file, so the game might simply be protecting me from losing resources when there are only a few quests/dungeons remaining. All I know for certain is that I have never seen the uninspired message during normal gameplay.
  8. Is it possible that doing *everything* in an area leads to that result? Do you know if you completely finished everything in that area, by any chance, Sade? Or could it be that just doing a certain number of things quickly enough get you this? Or is it tied to doing one particular thing (like, it's a hidden reward of one of the major quests)? Just trying to come up with ideas on how it works.
  9. I tried loading one of my later saves to see how long it would take for resources to stop generating, and it turns out that my colony had become endlessly inspired at some point. Even after resting in bed for months, resources were still generating normally.
  10. As I'm getting further into the game (I'm halfway through my first vassal state exploration in the Ukat), I'd really like to get a better sense of what exactly triggers this message and the resulting "freezing" of your resources and funds. One guess would be that if you don't "clear" a new dungeon after a period of X days, you get the message. However, this trigger would be grossly imbalanced, as it would disproportionately punish a player who quickly clears a series of dungeons in a few short days and then takes a rest of X days and finds his/her assets "frozen", vs. a player who exploits the system by only clearing each dungeon just often enough to maintain a steady stream of uninterrupted income. I hope this isn't how this works, as it would result in vastly smaller amounts of total resources available to players during the course of the game when they move through the game more decisively - the precise opposite of what should be intended by the mechanic in the first place - but I don't know if anyone has any evidence to support either this or another mechanic. I have a feeling nobody really has any idea, but thought I'd make one more attempt at seeing if this can finally be clarified. Thanks again!
  11. I was hoping I was the reason the forums were popular. Stupid TM.
  12. Hello, this is my first post here. I've been a HUGE fan of Avernum series since my childhood and finished all six games, as well as remakes. First of all, I apologize if there is any misunderstanding (I'm not a native English speaker) While I was playing remakes, I came up with the question "Why don't I actually play as certain NPCs, instead of creating some random misfits?". That's why I named my characters Erin, Elsner, Gwost and Tucker while playing A2: CS. Initially I thought of playing as Kyass in A2 but, you know his horrible fate. The Empire gave him a little hope and then snatched it away, along with his own body to perform experiments on him. Probably his cronies like Evyss were killed as well. Anyway, I was trying to read the backstory and dialogues of every single NPC, yet the only one who would fit in my playstyle is Wendy. You know, a member of The Scimitar, the humble guard in A: EftP and the magic barrier maker in A2, who was also recruitable in the original game. It certainly fits her to work for Unspecified Services now, doesn't it? Speaking of Scimitar, I think they offed that annoying Empire envoy (Thantria) for good, so she's scratched off of my list. I'm also thinking of including Phaedra in my party, the little girl from A2 and the legendary warrior of Bahssikava. I have doubts about it though, since her being a Surface Explorer and then returning to Avernum to join Bahssikavans, as well as getting pregnant from that idiot called Machrone doesn't suit her imho. So, she's also scratched off of my list. Is anything about other Scimitar members like Rogow or Scab mentioned in A2? I don't remember that much. If not, if they are not killed in any way in the Empire-Avernum War, I want to include them. I also want to include the prisoner from Kothtar, Stewart. His story is that, he was freed of his imprisonment by Garzahd's Killers, joined the Unspecified Services rather involuntarily but he had no other goals in life and surface was far better than Avernum anyway. If there is anyone who is rather unimportant or even absent in the first trilogy but gains importance in the second trilogy, I will consider adding them too. Thanks for reading my wall of text (kinda). I hope I didn't sound stupid, I just wanted to double the fun I'm having.
  13. Annwn has a Roman only area and when you play that side you find out why. That's true of several zones that have plot content for only one side or the other. Usually it is quest specific for that zone. Too much loot and nowhere to sell it is a constant problem with one time only zones. If you play through several times or at least save before leaving your hoard, then you take advantage of taking only the best items to use or sell. It's a constant problem in the older games where you could spend hours rearranging loot within the party to fill every slot and reach the maximum weight carried.
  14. This is what you should be seeing at the end of the exploration of the Vale: If that is the portal south of the Dealmaking Rooms, that is state 74 and it never works. You don't need it for anything anyway.
  15. Well I'm nearing the end of the game. I've cleared my way through Annwn, found all the hidden areas I can, but there is one place I just can't get into—the passages behind the throne. I am guessing these are for the Romans and that there's just no way for me to get in there playing the Celts. I also have a ton of stuff, more than I can carry, but I know I won't be able to re-enter. I went to the lady in the village, who sells some skills or recipes, but she doesn't buy anything. I'm pretty sure there's no way to sell all the extra stuff and I'll just have to leave with what I can carry, but I figured I would ask.
  16. Normally, when an enemy levels up, he gains a few health points; when you level up, you usually gain some health points and 1 mana point and if you have a level below 20, 1 skill point. So if you do a battle with the same equipments, the battles will take longer. As I played a lot of singletons and tried to clean some difficult areas (for the singletons) early to prevent the enemies from levelling up, I finished the game by cleaning some basic dungeons at level 22 (instead of level 6), it was much easier than if I had done the same fight at level 6: no need for good positioning, for healing and I finished these dungeons with a lot of available mana, health points... . Notes: a good way to prevent the enemy from levelling up is not to return quests when you've done them because some quests only give skill points when you return them; basically, you'll get the same equipment as before, you'll fight some enemies with a lower level than before but you'll have less skill points to distribute, ... rebuilding the fort is a good way to get better equipments earlier, when I reach level 17/18, my equipment is almost optimal as I have not return many quests, ... ; probably, you will reach the same limit when you reach level ~20.
  17. I've got a related question: for people with more experience with this game, are so-called "empty levels" much of an issue? Cause while, like OP, I'm not the biggest fan of level scaling, I'll tolerate it to a point (it helps if the game is a non-linear, go-wherever-you-want sort of deal, like this one is. Then all the enemies in the game can start at a low level, and you won't have to worry as much about where it's safe to go), but if the enemies can outpace you in level-up gains, it's far worse. My understanding is that empty levels aren't much of an issue, since you get new abilities and equipment with the skill points you gain and construction and exploring you do, and the enemies are always one level behind at least, but I'm not certain since I've never really gotten far enough to notice enemies getting stronger. EDIT: Also, umm...my apologies if the mods consider this "off topic"; I just figured it's related enough to be on topic.
  18. It's been a while, but I think this room is opened from the inside and requires a portal to jump there. This may be only for one side.
  19. Right, I thought there was a hard cap - it's on skill points, as you say. I appreciate all the feedback and clarifications.
  20. It's an effective cap at level 23 because there is no more experience available to make it to level 24. Skill points are capped at level 20 so you can only shuffle them around after that point to pick different skill set.
  21. Oh, so there isn't a hard level cap? Not sure where I read there was. Good to know!
  22. You only get experience by returning quests, cleaning dungeons, solving puzzles, dreaming, which limits the amount of experience you can have. Indirectly, it also limits the level to a maximum of 23.
  23. Thanks for the advice, osnola. I thought the level cap (another thing I dislike, ha) is 20, though?
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