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Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released


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Pliant Giant Pliant Giant

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:24 AM #1 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

LATEST UPDATE: Version 1.1 as of 4/21/12

Avernum Remix is a sort of "mod" for Avernum: Escape from the Pit that changes how some game mechanics, spells, abilities, and items work, in order to make the game more balanced and more fun.  It isn't really intended for new players, but if you're coming back to the game and want to be able to use spears or bows as effectively as swords, or do more with battle disciplines or some of the less useful spells, Avernum Remix can add quite a bit of variety, and fun, to your tactical options.  Read on down the page to hear about what it changes.

DOWNLOAD LINK: Here

REQUIREMENTS: Will not work on iPad, or on any version of the game purchased directly from an Apple App Store.  Works on the regular Mac, PC, and Android versions, as well as all Steam versions.

INSTRUCTIONS: Avernum Remix is a set of text files.  You can replace some of the text files that come with the game, with these.  How to do this will differ by platform, but the files you are looking for are in the "Resources" folder, which may be in Avernum's folder, or in the application package itself.  If you choose to use these files, you should make a backup copy of your game first.  There is no "easy uninstall" option, and there are no warranties expressed or implied regarding the use of these freely available text files.  And if you need help, please don't bug Spiderweb Software, as they have nothing to do with this.


OVERVIEW OF CHANGES:
- Spears, halberds, bows, and thrown weapons improved in unique ways
- Shields modified to make single-wielded swords a useful option
- Battle disciplines improved; some are entirely new; fatigue times shortened
- Quick Action now makes battle disciplines better
- Many spells modified or changed to entirely new ones
- Numerous balance changes (mostly improvements) to items; some are entirely new
- Thrown weapons no longer have charges
- A few overpowered abilities (Adrenaline Rush, AoE spells, AP bonus items) weakened or given drawbacks
- Minor cosmetic fixes on special effects
- A few changes to hint text and tooltips for better accuracy and, occasionally, amusement


FULL DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES:

BOWS
Longbows are now much stronger.  They have a 50% chance of doing 2.5x normal damage, reflecting the real world propensity of arrows to either be extremely deadly, or to strike glancing blows.

THROWN WEAPONS
You no longer need to refill your ammo supply when using thrown weapons; when you equip the weapon, it is assumed that you are taking care of that (just as you don't have to refill arrows for bows).  Thrown weapons are also stronger.  Javelins have a chance of doing some extra piercing damage, pinning an enemy down, or knocking it back.  Razordisks, on the other hand, have a high chance of striking a second enemy.

POLE WEAPONS
Spears have a 50% chance of doing 2x normal damage, reflecting their ability to pierce armor on a good thrust.  Halberds do slightly more damage in general, and have a much higher chance of cleaving into a second enemy for additional damage.

SWORDS
As the lighter melee weapons available in the game, swords are Avernum's "finesse" weapons.  As such, they are slightly weaker than the other weapon types, but gain greater benefit from the use of battle disciplines.  Sword-and-shield users will experience the greatest damage increase when they use a special technique, while dual-wielders will get an extra strike with their second weapon.  In both cases the battle disciplines are invaluable.  Sword users can expect to use a discipline every 2-4 turns in battle.

SHIELDS
Large shields of the style used in Avernum are bulky and clumsy, but provide good protection.  Shields are now stronger and more restrictive.  They provide a Parry bonus instead of an armor bonus, making them extremely effective for melee fighters who also invest in the Parry skill, but less valuable for spellcasters in the back row.  This is a real incentive to play a one-sword fighter.  Shields also require more strength to wield, and mages in particular will find their bulk interfering with the gestures they need to make when they cast spells.

SKILLS
Quick Action is now a valuable skill.  In the same way that training in a spell expands the powers of that spell tremendously, so does improving Quick Action expand the powers of nine of the battle disciplines.  Also, battle disciplines now have shorter fatigue times, but there is much less fatigue reduction equipment, making Quick Action invaluable for reducing fatigue.

The two archery disciplines are greatly improved by Sniper, making Sniper a more useful skill.

There is one very useful battle discipline that can only be unlocked, and improved, by training in Riposte.  There are also more items that provide riposte ability, making it a more viable skill to focus on.

Cave Lore is a better option as well: a few of the items buried in the higher Cave Lore patches (requiring 8 - 11 skill) have been replaced with artifacts that are very useful -- and also unique.

BATTLE DISCIPLINES
All the old battle disciplines have been improved.  Most have shorter fatigue times.  Focus Spirit, Bladeshield, and Battle Frenzy no longer end your turn when you use them.  And there are four new disciplines with neat effects: Misdirection Attack, Fighter's Sweep, Rapid Fire, and Sword Dance.

MAGE SPELLS
Mages are specialists at focusing magical power into a small area.  They can contain its energy to a one or two targets, or unleash it as a devastating cone of magical force.  A few spells have had their powers reduced -- most notably, Haste no longer gives a chance of Battle Fury at level 3.  Other old spells have been improved: summons, for example, now summon better creatures, and provide Battle Fury at level 3.  Finally, several old spells have been eliminated and replaced with new ones: Cone of Cold, Heartshock, Blink Blast, and Arcane Binding.

PRIEST SPELLS
Priests are good at manipulating the battlefield to keep their party healthy.  Although they still have area attacks, and they are somewhat more flexible in their targeting than mages, the power of their magical onslaughts has been reduced more.  Instead, priests have more ability to inflict curses, to stymie and to knock back their enemies.  Healing spells have also been rebalanced to make more of them useful.  A few old spells have been replaced with better, modified versions: Holy Scourge, Splinter, and Divine Echo.

EQUIPMENT
Hundreds of changes have been made to the items you will encounter.  The basic varieties of weapons and armor have not changed much, but the unique, magical ones have been modified extensively.  You will now be less likely to pick up a new magical item and say, "Huh, that looks worse than what I already have."  You will now be saying "Wow, that's pretty good but also completely different from what I have!"  Many of these items have new names to reflect their new abilities.  There are also a few balance changes, like making armor heavier to make tanking less widely available.

COSMETIC CHANGES
A few graphical alterations have been made to fix errors in the original.  For example, the enemy cone of ice ability displayed a cone of fire, not ice.  Tooltips have been updated not just to incorporate these changes, but also to fix inaccurate tooltips in the original.  For example, Lethal Blow has always improved at a rate of 5%, not 3%.  Finally, a few changes have been made in tooltips, help text, and item names as tributes to other games and stories, especially some of the Spiderweb characters I have loved the most.

I hope you enjoy this thorough remix of a superb game!
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Zummi Zummi

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:39 AM #2 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Hurrah! This calls for a grand celebration. Almarian wine all night 'round!
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Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:17 AM #3 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Finally thrown weapons are viable range weapons like in Avadon.  When you get the better ones you don't have to hoard them because they are a limited supply so you mainly use iron javelins.

I'll have to try this since I'm getting tired of grinding a singleton mage to the point of getting dispel barrier level 3.
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Death Knight Death Knight

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:33 AM #4 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Hello slarty, will this mod help the bizarre inability to hit enemies that the regular game suffers from? Im not talking about mages/priests, just my fighters they cant hit anything. Thanks.
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Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:36 AM #5 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

This is awesome.
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Kinsume Kinsume

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:39 AM #6 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Downloading it now, thank you for putting the effort into it. I will be starting a new game with this setup.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:48 AM #7 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: Tyranicus
This is awesome.

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Slarty! I'll be using this for my first Windows run!

Pliant Giant Pliant Giant

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:10 AM #8 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: Death Knight
Hello slarty, will this mod help the bizarre inability to hit enemies that the regular game suffers from? Im not talking about mages/priests, just my fighters they cant hit anything. Thanks.
You still need to put most of your stat points into a single stat (Str/Dex/Int) in order to have a solid hit rate, ESPECIALLY early on.

I did edit the tooltips to make that a little more clear, but I can't change hit formulas.  At all.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:22 AM #9 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Just a small update, installed it on my Windows non-steam copy and it works fine. Don't have the time to start a real playthrough right now, but will do so when I get home later.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:37 AM #10 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

First error found:

tooltip - There is a Nether Arts spell in the Burial Glen.
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dave s dave s

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:41 AM #11 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Do you recommend starting from the beginning?

Also, any chance of you doing an in depth min-max analysis similar to your other topic?

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:51 AM #12 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
First error found:

tooltip - There is a Nether Arts spell in the Burial Glen.
This mod adds Sylak's Talking Skull?  It's even more awesome than I thought. tongue
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:56 AM #13 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Bug found: Daze poisons.
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dave s dave s

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:57 AM #14 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: meAzuma
Bug found: Daze poisons.


Always? Because Daze is designed to poison enemies that can't be dazed. This is in core

AaronC AaronC

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:08 AM #15 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Is Holy Scourge meant to actually cause random curses, or is the tooltip just for "flavor"?

Because it doesn't seem to unless that is at higher levels

dave s dave s

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:27 AM #16 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Now let me ask, would it be possible to make 'dex swords', and 'strength bows'?

I suppose the closest would be make a bow, but give it a sword picture to use, and a range of 1. Then it would use dex and missile weapons, but be a sword effectively.

Kreador Kreador

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:37 AM #17 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

If you have Cloak of Curses on, Dazing enemies can randomly curse them, including poison, I believe.

AaronC AaronC

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:49 AM #18 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Light items don't seem to work, no Use ability. (candles, lanterns etc.)

Kinsume Kinsume

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:07 PM #19 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: Kreador
If you have Cloak of Curses on, Dazing enemies can randomly curse them, including poison, I believe.

You don't even need cloak on. Bosses and certain monsters cannot be dazed. Rather than just saying "immune to daze" the game poisons them instead.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:08 PM #20 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
First error found:

tooltip - There is a Nether Arts spell in the Burial Glen.
Not a bug!

Originally Posted By: dave s
Originally Posted By: meAzuma
Bug found: Daze poisons.


Always? Because Daze is designed to poison enemies that can't be dazed. This is in core
I didn't actually know that.  But I also didn't touch Daze, so that isn't my doing regardless.

Originally Posted By: AaronC
Is Holy Scourge meant to actually cause random curses, or is the tooltip just for "flavor"?

Because it doesn't seem to unless that is at higher levels
I'm pretty sure the tooltip does not say "random."

Originally Posted By: dave s
Now let me ask, would it be possible to make 'dex swords', and 'strength bows'?

I suppose the closest would be make a bow, but give it a sword picture to use, and a range of 1. Then it would use dex and missile weapons, but be a sword effectively.
Except that you can't use missile weapons on targets adjacent to you.  You could sort of make strength bows, but the game would treat them as melee attacks, causing all kinds of weird interactions.

Originally Posted By: AaronC
Light items don't seem to work, no Use ability. (candles, lanterns etc.)
This is actually a bug.  Found and fixed.  It did not affect anything else.
Originally Posted By: dave s
Also, any chance of you doing an in depth min-max analysis similar to your other topic?
No.  The whole point of this remix is that most things should be viable.  As long as each character picks one of Str/Dex/Int and an associated attack skill to boost, you should be fine.

Also, I've listed everything I changed, so you can see which parts of the other guide still apply (Arcane Lore, for example).
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:14 PM #21 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Alright, thanks a whole bunch. I'm torn between finishing my vanilla game or restarting with new version.

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:31 PM #22 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: dave s
Now let me ask, would it be possible to make 'dex swords', and 'strength bows'?

I suppose the closest would be make a bow, but give it a sword picture to use, and a range of 1. Then it would use dex and missile weapons, but be a sword effectively.
I believe this can be done, unless the scripting has changed (I do not mess with it much!), but it would be a huge change to the game. And it would probably overpower Dex unless Slarty's changes really make equipment weight a huge concern.

—Alorael, who will give this a try in his copious free time. He's intrigued to see an analytic approach to the game mechanics. In fact, he'd like to request detailed reporting on impressions, including specific battles, from everyone. Treat this as a beta test, give real feedback, and Jeff is much more likely to examine these ideas for subsequent games.

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:02 PM #23 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Unfortunately, the scripting has changed.  A lot of it is the same, but in Avadon many things were added and many other things removed, and AEFTP retained those changes.

One of the changes is that which stats "power up" abilities are hardcoded based on the ability type and, if it deals damage, the type of damage.  Having different "big steps" in an ability, as with Avadon action abilities and AEFTP spells, is still modifiable, and you can choose what stat that follows.  But the "power up" stats cannot be changed.

---

And by all means, please give feedback!  I spent pretty much 3 days straight making this remix.  One of the main things I've gotten from it is an appreciation of how much easier it is to criticize game balance than to create it.  Every tiny edit I made, I kept asking myself: will this mess things up?  And I had the benefit of already knowing exactly what the balance was to begin with, from my extensive analysis of the game.

I've also realized how thick-skinned you have to be to deal with as many beta testers as Jeff has, all making different demands and finding different "bugs" that may or may not actually be bugs.  This is not a complaint about any of you, by the way -- I appreciate the feedback, and Alorael gives good reasons for sharing it that go far beyond me -- rather it's some empathy for Jeff's position.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:38 PM #24 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

It's a bit harder on Torment, but part of that is the way Jeff coded battle disciplines so they had different attack dice than the weapon.  The first bow one seems to do less damage than a normal attack.

So far it's been fun, but I still have to get use to heavier armor.  Shield parry makes parry useful much earlier in the game for a meat shield in the front to protect the party.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:50 PM #25 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

*nod*

If you want battle disciplines to be great options, you really need to invest in Quick Action -- or in the case of the ranged ones, Sniper.  I think you only need 1 or 2 points to get the first of the two damage increases for Flawless Shot.

For the lower average damage weapons (swords, thrown weapons) the disciplines will be good right off the bat, and better if you invest in QA/Sniper.  For polearms and bows, you'll need a little investment before they are worth using.  This is part of the trade-off.

There are a few disciplines that are always good.  Adrenaline Rush will always get you a free attack, for example, although you need 10 QA if you want the full 20 AP for 2 extra attacks.  So a polearms user might decide to ignore QA and wait for AR and Battle Frenzy, while a dual-wielder will be more likely to leap onto QA.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:15 PM #26 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

So has the difficulty of the game changed at all? I normally play on hard, so is hard the same in this remix? Once I finish my current play through I will definitely try out this "remix", and thanks for all the work.

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:24 PM #27 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

The general difficulty of the game has not changed at all.

If you were used to exploiting the most powerful effects, like Adrenaline Rush and AoE spells, the game may be a bit harder.  If you play on Torment, you may find you need to put more effort into your healing skills.  But the difference will be minimal.

If, on the other hand, you did things that sound like good ideas but actually aren't in the final analysis -- like using pole weapons, or archery, or single-wielding swords -- you will find that the game is much less punishing.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:20 PM #28 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
And by all means, please give feedback!

just started, playing windowed and noting stuff down. i'm only at lvl 5 so nothing much to note yet. but i'm loving it already:D. great work!

i'm playing the following build on hard

1. SW - semi-tank + heal (also, i think i'm gonna use that spirit echo spell for easy repositioning for those crazy spawns and teleports; also, will try not to neglect melee offense)
2. archer - pure offense (hope he won't aggro too much and get killed by casters all the time; gonna get him 10 QA for those extra skill points later)
3. priest - pure caster
4. mage - slightly tanking (will go for hardiness instead of resistance and 10 QA just to see how that closerange instakill-ish spell works out)

it's definitely not a very strong party build, but it will be fun and manageable i'm sure.
looks like spell changes are going to mean a world of difference, it's gonna be an all-new strategy for those tough fights i can tell already...

Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:44 PM #29 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Trying torment with:
1) sword and shield until I get more parry and then dual wield
2) thrown weapons because I'm getting more damage now and I know where some razordisks are hidden *heh, heh*
3) mage with level 1 of priest for extra healing
4) pure priest using a shield

The fact that thrown weapons aren't charged means this is a viable build with the ability to hit without moving and getting extra damage with fine razordisks which are normally very limited.

I'm only at level 4 after clearing the Goblin Fort.
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:29 PM #30 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

I don't know if I'll have time to play through, but some ideas I've considered:

- Party of riposting priests.  2-3 sword and spear users who train Blademaster, Parry, and Riposte; also some Priest Spells.  This party will take a lot of damage, which is why all the priests are important.  But they are full of riposte, and with multiple powered-up Sword Dances, it's melee AoE goodness.  Spirit Echo helps position them correctly.  4th position mage provides backup.

- A4 style: forget the warriors, let 2 ranged weapons users lead.  Pump Dex and use evasion items (I increased their percents closer to Avadon levels).  Pump Sharpshooter and Lethal Blow and watch their damage skyrocket.  Use Gymnastics to increase AP.  Support w/ priest and mage.

- Versatility: 1 sword-user can switch between tanking w/a shield, and charging w/2 blades as needed.  2 thrown weapons users can toggle between cleaving razordisks and isolating javelins -- 2 of those can really break up an enemy offense.  Mage/priest on backup; add more priest minors as needed.

Finally, a question I'm considering:

Would you find the mage's summoning spells more useful (or simply more interesting) if each one summoned a specific creature, rather than a random one?  If you knew you'd be getting a hellhound or a demon, say, would they be better the assortment of zombies and rats and slimes you get now?
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Lilith Lilith

in before the apocalypse

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:32 PM #31 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Would you find the mage's summoning spells more useful (or simply more interesting) if each one summoned a specific creature, rather than a random one?  If you knew you'd be getting a hellhound or a demon, say, would they be better the assortment of zombies and rats and slimes you get now?


Maybe. At the very least, taking the Unstable Mass off the summon list would help.

Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:36 PM #32 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

I know there were complaints early on about how often unstable masses were summoned only to explode near the party.  Being able to control summons really helps.

In Avernum 4 and 5 I used priest shade summons because they were immune to so many common attacks and mind control.  However being able to get mage summoned ghasts that could slow opponents into no actions in Avernum 5 was very helpful when it happened and I would let others die so I could try again to get them.
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Kendroxide Kendroxide

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:10 PM #33 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

I'm also wondering, is it possible to make summons controllable like in Avadon? Because I had it when you summon a creature and they just end up standing there and not attacking anything, or they attack the wrong enemy.

Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:16 PM #34 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

Summons are controlled by the game's AI.  It's better than earlier games in that at least they will follow you if you move too far away.  Mostly the monsters have to get within the AI's search radius to get an attack.
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"Oh, I'm sure we can think of something .... How much gold do you have?" - "Hero"

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esquivalient.abacot esquivalient.abacot

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 03:38 AM #35 Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

make the number of varying summons shrink as the spell power goes up with 4-5 monsters at lvl1 (including unstable mass), 2-3 at lvl2 and just 1-2 (the strongest ones) at lvl3.

and get them different damage types for different spells, for example the first summoning spell could get you either a poison or acid monster at lvl3, the second would get you fire/cold, and the most powerful spell would get you either a monster that deals a lot of energy damage or one that deals pure physical damage w. battle frenzy.

some geneforge right thar

edit: woops, mages have 4 summon spells... never used summons in this game, didn't find them useful.




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