Jump to content


Waterweb

Avernum Universe Dark Difficult Linear Mystery Plot Heavy Serious Short

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic
*i *i

Keeper of Avadon

  • Administrator
    • Member ID: 7
  • 5,725 posts

Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:54 AM #1 Waterweb

Waterweb
Mac/Windows

Author: Handyman
Levels: 15-22
Version: 1.0.0


Composite Score: 3.5/5.0

Best: 16.67% (1/6)
Good: 33.33% (2/6)
Average: 33.33% (2/6)
Substandard: 16.67% (1/6)
Poor: 0.00% (0/6)




Keywords: Avernum universe, Dark, Difficult, Linear, Mystery, Plot heavy, Serious, Short

Edited by SylaeBot, 04 August 2014 - 10:43 PM.
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

Your flower power is no match for my glower power!


Enraged Slith Enraged Slith

Revenge of the Slith

  • Member
    • Member ID: 27
  • 2,634 posts

Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:50 AM #2 Waterweb

Aside from the lack of a pre-fab party, yet requiring an all Slith party at level 15-22 *glares*, this scenario was pretty good.

It dragged in a few spots, and the combat was a little lopsided, but it reminded me a lot of all the good aspects of ZKR.  I think the plot needed just a little more fleshing out, but otherwise everything was good.  I hope I can be forgiven for not remembering the details, as it's been a few months since I played through it.

Very impressive scenario, especially from a new designer.

GOOD

Jerakeen Jerakeen

Runcible Pastrytarian

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 5,477
  • 2,519 posts
  • LocationThree Sheets to the Wind house, in Sinshan

Posted 25 December 2010 - 08:58 AM #3 Waterweb

The following is an edited version of my contest review.

Plot:

Extremely linear; plays out almost like a movie.

You are carried along by events through a series of violent, sometimes bizarre encounters.  Gradually it becomes evident that another force is at work, manipulating you for its own obscure purposes.  

When you finally get to confront the mastermind, some of the mystery is clarified, but much is left enigmatic.  The player may make reasonable guesses, but will not be spoon-fed the answers.  

Not my favourite kind of plot, but well thought out.  It makes good use of the outdoors to control the pace of the story.

Writing/Dialogue:

There is no dialogue in this scenario.  All of the text appears in dialog boxes, in which you usually only get one choice of response.  I found this frustrating and annoying.

The writing style is melodramatic and overwrought for my taste. The writer does a good job, however, of portraying the sliths as violent and volatile.  These are unmistakably not humans in lizard suits, but alien beings with alien ways.  

Despite the horrific assortment of slith names, we do get a sense of the distinct characters of the NPCs through their interactions with each other; that said, it’s hard to avoid feeling like a passive observer to the drama.

Combat/Balance:

As a beta-tester, I played this scenario (on normal) numerous times with several different parties.  The scenario is challenging but beatable at the lower end of the range, even with the pre-fab party (the Mac version comes with one), which is far from optimized.

The combat ranges from fairly easy (with lots of help from allies) to absolutely (but not gratuitously) brutal.

One of the nice things about combat in this scenario is that it’s not always the answer.  Running for your life can be a viable option.  In some cases it’s the only option.

As for loot, there’s a ton of it, but you’re limited to what you can carry out with you, since there’s no place to sell it.  No artifacts to speak of.  There are some nice spells near the end, which are only useful if you plan to take the party on to another scenario.

Town and Outdoor Design:

A strength in this scenario.  The outdoors are well-crafted to create the sense of a dangerous journey through vast untamed territories, and the fumarole area is beautiful in itself.

The temple is the closest thing I’ve seen in BoA to a round structure.  It’s worth exploring the whole thing just to see it in the auto-map.

There's a lot more to like, but I'll leave that for the players to discover.

Technical:

There’s tremendous attention to detail with regard to special effects and scripting.  The linear nature of the plot simplifies matters a little, but it’s still very impressive.

Overall:

Not my favourite kind of scenario, but very high quality and well worth playing.

BEST

BainIhrno BainIhrno

Hand of Avadon

  • Moderator
    • Member ID: 3,311
  • 1,312 posts

Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:15 PM #4 Waterweb

I can't say I cared much for this scenario. The town/outdoor layouts were sloppy, the plot was confusing and messy, and the fights were just okay. There were some cool technical tricks in the scenario, but other than that it wasn't that good. And why is it that part of the plot is spoiled in the opening?

Substandard

Dintiradan Dintiradan

Eye of Argon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,273
  • 3,697 posts

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:50 AM #5 Waterweb

Content: This is a linear scenario of decent length. There's also a lot of text 'cutscenes' to read through. I was pretty happy with the length.

Story: This scenario promises intrigue and betrayal right from the get-go, and it delivers. Most of the interaction is with your NPC companions. There's a lot of interesting dialogue to read (from them; your party doesn't say much in this scenario). My biggest complaint is that motivations are rarely, if ever, given. Characters do things, and you react. It's often impossible to understand why something happened after the fact, let alone anticipate it.

Pacing: Unlike the Za-Khazi Run, a very similar scenario, this scenario does a better job tying your obstacles with your main objective. Excitement is also maintained by giving your party a variety of obstacles to overcome. Every encounter is something different.

Combat: This scenario also promises varying encounter difficulties, and you get it. You get your big battles, you get your ambushes, you get "running the gauntlet", and yes, you get battles where your only choice is retreat. Your NPC companions are handy when it comes to this; they act as meatshields if nothing else. There is one fight that bothered me in particular. It seemed hopeless, and you basically have to fail it a few times first so you know how to take advantage of a bonus you receive later on in the fight. As you would expect from the plot, you're making your way through dangerous territory; don't rely on towns to buy things. That worked in this scenario, with one glaring exception: the default party has an archer, and there are no arrows in this scenario! I highly recommend either turning her into a javelin user, or using the Character Editor to give her arrows (I did the latter).

Scripting: The "swimming" effect is very nice. I like it. Also, this sort of counts as a bug: the fourth pre-generated character (as written in the README) uses too many skill points to be level appropriate.

Aesthetics: Like I said, the "swimming" effect is very nice. You do see a bunch of nice vistas on your travels. The "forest" (you'll know it when you see it) looked great, and was hilarious to boot. One minor quibble: there's a big fight that effectively takes place in a featureless lake. Some extra terrain could have improved this.

Overall: Take the Za-Khazi Run, take out the fluff, then inject a little crazy. GOOD

Nioca Nioca

Heart of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,702
  • 4,554 posts

Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:56 PM #6 Waterweb

It's been a while since I did BoA, but I decided to get back into it with this scenario (and tDaR). I felt this scenario had a lot of promise, but it was a first effort and it shows.

PLOT
I'm honestly not entirely sure what the plot was supposed to be. It's like the creator decided to take cues from the LOST school of writing, always raising new questions but rarely bothering to give answers. From what I could see, there was an intriguing mystery plot going on, but it was too fragmented and incoherent to actually make much sense of it. On the bright side, the characters you travel with are exceedingly well done, and feel like more than just cardboard cut-outs. And I believe it's already been mentioned that the designer portrays violent sliths well.

GAMEPLAY
It felt like the designer had a hard time figuring out how to balance combat for the recommendations shown. Fights tended to be either tediously easy or ridiculously difficult, and it seemed that the designer was ignorant of the options and abilities that mid-level parties have; a few castings of Capture Mind rendered some clearly-intended-to-be-difficult fights as disappointing farce, while others involved praying that the RNG was on your side (or that the enemy refrained from spamming Lightning Spray like a jerk). On two different occasions, I got into a fight and got slaughtered before half of my party could even act. The temple Rockmaw fight was probably the worst offender in this regard; roughly 15 attempts with two different parties, and not ONCE did I make it out with more than one character alive.

AESTHETICS
The scenario was generally pretty, although it was also at times unpolished. The dialogue appeared superfluously grandiloquent on occasion, and there was the occasional typo or dropped word. Most importantly, though, the atmosphere felt incomplete and hollow; to some extent, I suspect this is because the towns were mostly devoid of anything that wasn't an enemy, a party member, or an ally attacking an enemy. No dialogue, aside from what pops up in the boxes, meant it's difficult to really get a feel for your surroundings. There was next-to-no scene-setting or descriptive dialog, either; the whole thing felt static, and there was nothing to really immerse myself into.

TECHNICAL
I think most of what I would say has already been said. The designer definitely knew what he was doing from a technical angle. It was also mostly glitch-free; the only thing I noticed was that it was possible to accidentally mess up the Temple dungeon if, after entering the town, you immediately turned around and exited. But that was about the only thing.

VERDICT
AVERAGE. Worth a play, if you've got a mid-level slith party laying around and don't think too hard about the plot. Unless you're a master BoA combatant, min-maxer, or enjoy torturing yourself, you may want to avoid entering at the low end of the level recommendation.

Vox Vox

Citizen

  • Member
    • Member ID: 10,098
  • 45 posts

Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:40 AM #7 Waterweb

Lets be honest, not many people have a mid level Slith party, so i was forced to get some character editor into it just to play this scenario.
I must say it was rather engaging at times, at some stages I was tempted just to quit due to some tedious events. I personally wouldn't recommend this as it doesn't maintain the spirit of Blades of Avernum. It's more like a long and badly written movie.

Aesthetics 7.25/10
outdoors: 10/10
(Outdoors were terrific. Well made, crafty and appeasing to the eye)
towns: 3/10
(Although outdoors were great, the towns were the opposite. Messy and unorganised. The tower with the shades was an abomination)
caves: 5/10
(Same as towns, yet slightly better. However they were very bland)
creatures: 7/10
(Was excellent! although the rockmaws were a nice touch, but the geneforge graphic was not well suited)

Gameplay 5.5/10
plot: 6/10
(I'll be honest I haven't the slightest clue what was going on. I liked the military aspect but the religious stuff was corny. A strange mix of using christian terms with something like humanism? it was poor to say the least. Also the intro credits were rather bland)
fighting: 6/10
(I thought the fighting was good and well balanced. But then I came to the rockmaws and had a little bit of a shock. It was unpredictable at times and taught me to save very often. I would also add that in the beginning when you are trying to leave the town it is tediously slow due to all of the animations going on)
dialog: 5/10
(This was a downfall. There was no dialog at all, it was all forced through dialog boxes. I did enjoy how a lot of character was given to the companions, although sometimes i wasn't sure if the writer wasn't an english speaker or was just completely misusing words? also the typos were rather rampant)
flow: 5/10
(It was hard to follow and extremely forceful. Even when the correct direction wasn't clear you would eventually figure it out by getting yourself either killed or glitched several times)

Scripting 7/10
cutscenes: 7/10
(They were all quite well done, however I spotted a hiccup here and there. Not too flashy)
custom additions: 7/10
(Almost would have given this 10/10 if it wasn't for those horrid rockmaw. The water effect was quite nice at times, especially in the beginning. It got old after awhile though)

Overal: 6.75/10
AVERAGE





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Avernum Universe, Dark, Difficult, Linear, Mystery, Plot Heavy, Serious, Short

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users