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Nephilim Mystery

14 posts in this topic

Nephilim Mystery

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Selentine

Levels:

Version:

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6Ik5lcGhpbGltIE15c3RlcnkiLCJ0aWQiOiIxMjM5MCIsInRhZ3MiOltdLCJiZ2FzcCI6eyI1IjowLCI0IjowLCIzIjoxLCIyIjozLCIxIjo4fX0=]

Composite Score: 1.4/5.0

 

Best: 0.00% (0/12)

Good: 0.00% (0/12)

Average: 8.33% (1/12)

Substandard: 25.00% (3/12)

Poor: 66.67% (8/12)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords:

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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Okay, let me preface this by saying that it’s hard to stretch this over 100 words.

 

The scenario is difficult, because the enemies (which, surprisingly, are nephilim) are all just level-adjusted. Now, as a designer, let me explain what that means. The enemies are just regular nephilim. All the author did was change the creature’s level, which automatically boosts most of its stats, and change the item drops. This is most certainly not a fine-tuned set of fights. It’s clunky, lazy, and makes combat a boring slog.

 

Also, the towns and outdoors are empty and uninspiring. Above all, the plot is disappointing, because...

 

 

Click to reveal.. (The Super-Secret Ending)

 

 

THE VAHNATAI DID IT!!!

 

 

Rating: [rating]Poor[/rating]

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Do not play this scenario.

 

Well, okay, play it, but only once you've played everything else out there. It's ugly, the balance is way out (even a God party would probably have difficulty here), and the plot bites.

 

On the plus side, it is finishable, and the bugs that did occur didn't seem to break the scenario in any meaningful way. That's about it.

 

Rating: [rating]POOR[/rating].

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It has no balance, it could be described as the first scenario to be designed for a God party. In town 3, Dark Cavern, stay in combat mode the whole way, this is tedious through and through I know.

You don't need a God party, you could use one around level 70 instead. This will require clever tactics though.

It has mimimal plot, so I would rate it as [rating]poor[/rating].

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It cannot be stressed enough that this is a prime example of how not to make a scenario.

 

Giving Selentine the benefit of the doubt, it looks like the kind of thing someone would do to simply familiarize themselves with the engine, its' basic scripting, and its' editor's most basic functions.

With minimal scripting, no balance in combat, essentially no plot, a single side quest, and a playing level clearly out of the stated parameters, Nephilim Valley gives the impression that the author threw down a handful of purely functional maps (including one that looks as though it was mostly created with the "change terrain randomly" tool), loaded them up with low-level items and average-level monsters, torqued exactly one core stat and the item loads for those average level monsters in the scenario data script, and then released it without testing.

While the author does thank beta testers, and while there is slightly more scripting ands design than this, the lack of substance and technical savvy, combined with outright torturous gameplay leads me to rate Nephilim Valley as [rating]Poor[/rating].

 

All that said, if you're the hardcore hack-and-slash type, and have a well-equipped party resting above level 75, Nephilim Valley could prove to be an amazing tactical challenge, as I'm sure was the author's intent.

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(Selentine actually released this scenario as fake and purposefully bad scenario as a test to see who would beta-test it. On the one hand, this means he's not that bad of a designer. On the other hand, it meant everyone hated him for a while. tongueold.gif )

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From Kelandon on the CSR:

 

Nephilim Mystery reminds me a lot of A Perfect Forest, except much less so. Nephilim Mystery's writing is functional, but it feels clipped. The sentences are simple and declarative but not very pretty. Punctuation is minimal, so the sentences read pretty much straight through. A Perfect Forest was sort of the same way, but APF had a whole lot of details that made it interesting, while NM lacks these details.

 

APF took place in a remote part of the surface of the world of Avernum, like NM, and both concern nephilim to a great extent. However, APF's nephilim are characters; NM's nephilim are level-edited monsters, and other than shooting arrows, they do nothing that makes them distinctly nephilim. They could be any generic monsters.

 

APF had combat that frustrated me at moments (particularly the "perfect spirit" bit near the end), and so does NM, except that APF's combat was different throughout and justifiable even when annoying because it was complex and at least interesting from a scripting point of view. NM's combat was the same throughout: kill these thirty level-edited nephilim in outdoor combat. Now kill these thirty level-edited nephilim in outdoor combat. Now kill these thirty level-edited nephilim in a maze indoors. Oh yeah, did I mention it's extremely short?

 

(For the record, I tried a post-Canopy party at around level 60 and got killed in the first battle repeatedly because the nephilim acted earlier than I did. Then I tried a HLPM level 70 party and had the same problem. Presumably I just designed these parties entirely wrong, but I eventually said, "To heck with it," and I used a god party, and the combat was still annoying. One should basically never have more than 15 of the same enemy in a single outdoor combat.)

 

Perhaps the problem I had with NM is that it appeared so utterly standard and unoriginal that I had trouble getting into it. It pretty much uses the most bland graphics that it can and it has no custom graphics at all. APF had few, but it used the few that it had to good effect, and APF's visual appearance managed to be appealing, if not extraordinarily beautiful. NM is just dull, visually.

 

APF suggests that something odd is going on in this remote area, as does NM, but APF gives background and reveals some of the mystery, enough to satisfy the player that there really was a story here and the background really does exist. NM reveals something, but the answers it gives are so minimal and the identity of the true villain so utterly trivial that it begins to sound as though the designer never really came up with the back story for these events.

 

Put another way, when the scenario has the word "mystery" in its title, I expect an atmosphere of mystery, and NM just didn't do this for me. The real question was not why these nephilim were stronger than normal nephilim or when and how would I find out; the real question was would I care when I did find out? Sadly, it turned out that the answer was no.

 

There are a few typos here and there ("mithril" is normally spelled thus, and the hut south of the bridge lacks a period at the end of its response when the hut is empty, among others), and occasionally some infelicities of design pop up (having "Leave" be the second option instead of the first in all dialogs, making double-walls at corners for an odd visual effect, among others), but none of these are so egregious as to detract seriously from the playing experience. The problem is that the playing experience isn't that great on its own.

 

I mean, I didn't really like APF to begin with.

 

I give it a rating of [rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]: I recognize that even this must've taken a lot of work to make, and playing it wasn't painful, but I just didn't enjoy it at all.

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From Salmon on the CSR:

 

Well. I may have had some fun, but it had nothing to do with the neph or the cookie cutter town.

 

The kooky cave with the dark wyrms was frustrating at best. But satisfying at the end.

 

My major complaint is that treasure is WAAY out of whack. Kill a bunch of nephs and then sort through the garbage. All very nice garbage, but there is no way to haul it into town. Treasure chests contained minimal equipment, and that seemed like a downer after defeating umpteen hydras and a mess of wyrms.

 

Bugs - A red message came up (something about remove outdoor encounter not working) when I killed the hydra guards.

 

Score?? [rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating] because the error message didn't halt the game.

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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

Nephilim Mystery wasn't as much as much a scenario as it was a medium-large quest; you get an outdoor combat and a main dungeon to complete it. There was not enough use of dialogue, especially with the mayor, who hardly helps with defining the "story" at all. I sort of had to run around for a while, trying to scrounge up as much information as I could.

 

SPOILER:

It got the first bit of real info with an outdoor combat of about 50 modified Nepharim archers executing my leader on the first turn. The "clue" of the Vahnatai scroll wasn't very creative or effective, as it only showed how lazy and one-dimentional the characters were. Figuring out that one Vahnatai Lord (who seemed to be weaker than the regular monsters) had either modified the abilities of, or "created" a bunch of Nephar, seemed unreasonable and disapointing. Even in the end, the special tells you that "something doesn't seem right," making the scenario seem unfulfilling. A "tangible" reflection of that is the same type of treasure dropped over and over again by the same monsters played over and over again. Ultimately, it seems like the designer threw a dart at a map of monsters, and expounded upon whatever subject it hit.

 

The dark wyrm mission tries to make the game interesting and does help explain the hydras from Arcane Summon, which it sort of does, but it also seems kind of random and has nothing to do with anything. On the plus sides, it really was a nice thing to keep my level 82 party busy, and it was cool to kill some Nephar. I also like the title, although it should be called "Nepharim Mystery."

 

[rating]POOR[/rating]

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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

Seeing as how I beta tested this scenario before the summer I feel some what bad. However all the things people have mentioned I told Seletine in my beta reports. I even suggested that people be told from the out set that the scenario may be more enjoyable if a god party is used. I also suggested that the monsters be drastically reduced in number or power. Any way NM deserves a 6.5 if the fights were reasonable. A game should be fun not pure tedium. I'll give it 5.0 ([rating]AVERAGE[/rating]). I don't believe in so-called failing grades. Give it another try it's nowhere the dreadful level of UV.

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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

Please don't simply throw mobs of edited trash monsters at us to make it more difficult. It's enough to say that the scenario is a frustrating waste of time, but I want to talk about the terrain. The outside areas seemed designed to be sparse and ugly, what with the limp tunnels that end in a single hut that does something.

 

I actually think undead valley was better. It's easier, therefore I dont have to suffer it as long.

 

Edit this thing or delete it from the site, because no one will take pleasure from this unless they have downs syndrome and the HLPM.

 

[rating]POOR[/rating]

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From Lazarus on the CSR:

 

This scenario is simply painful without a god party, not that you'll last more than two seconds to figure this out. It is almost tollerable with one, but it really just isn't worth the effort.

 

Awful combat, vahnatai created plagues, level edited monsters, out of whack treasure- all the signs of a bad scenario. So why do I give it a [rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating] rating? It's shorter than UV (A very good thing) and..... well nothing else good comes to mind, so "Because I can."

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From Nioca on the CSR:

 

Seriously, there's been some scenarios that I've disliked, but this is one of the few that actually inflicted physical pain. Ridiculous combat, poor dialogue, nonsensical story, and did I mention the 40+ super nephils with god-like archery skills, all packed into a single outdoor combat?

 

The only redeeming factor to this scenario was the Hydra Pit. And it's the only thing that keeps from rating this below a two.

 

[rating]POOR[/rating]

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Honestly this was one of the most underdone useless scenarios ive ever played, the landscape was dodgy and mismatched the story was rubbish, the whole thing was typical and un-interesting overall [rating]POOR[/rating], sorry for the harsh review

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