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Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions


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mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:30 AM #1 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

EDIT: I hope people don’t mind, but I’ve now summarized/paraphrased other posters’ suggestions and added them to the list below; there are lots of great ideas (some I had thought of and forgot, and some I hadn’t seen before). Thanks!

I've been playing Spiderweb games since Exile 2, and so far I’m enjoying Avadon 2 about as much as I've enjoyed most other Spiderweb titles. But in the hopes that Jeff might actually read these boards, I'd like to collect some minor interface/gameplay annoyances into one thread. Here's hoping they might be addressed for Avadon 3 - or even better, find their way into an Avadon 2 update (dare to dream, right?).

INTERFACE SUGGESTIONS

Make all information screen keyboard shortcuts toggle – i.e. the same key should both open and close the related screen. Being able to open the inventory screen with “i” but needing to close it by hitting “ESC” is a constant minor annoyance. (This should be automatic for the character screen and journal, but for the inventory screen – where the selected screen-closing key would interfere with the corresponding key tagged to an item to pick up from the ground – it should probably be optional.)

Add separate equipment stat modifiers to the “Attributes” section of the character statistics screen to clarify base vs. modified attributes. For example, if your character has a “base” strength of 10, and is wearing a Charm of Power for +1 STR, his/her attribute list should show strength as “10 +1” rather than “11”. I’m not sure why this wasn’t implemented for attributes, as such modifiers are provided for abilities – and these exact stat modifiers were included in A:EFTP.

Clear/thorough in-game tooltips and instruction manual information regarding the controlling attribute for every skill/ability. I understand the occasional vagueness in this area might be a conscious decision on Jeff’s part. But considering the volume of requests on the forums for clarification of which attribute controls a particular ability (including in this topic, e.g. re: Tinkermage skills and INT, which stats – if any – affect summons, etc.), as well as the fact that skill points are limited due to the level cap and ability planning (despite the optional respec feature) is therefore very important, this would seem a pretty big oversight. The addition of a combat mechanics section to the Avadon 2 manual also indicates Jeff is realizing this himself.

The option to include more detailed combat stat info (hit chance, critical hit chance, evasion chance, etc.) to the text console.

Enhanced UI scaling. “Jeff already introduced a ‘bigger font’ option and it helps a LOT. But many things are still too small in 1080p and strain my eyes.”

The option to use the mouse scroll wheel to scroll through shop and other inventory lists.

The ability to directly equip items from the inventory (without needing to drag and drop on the character).

Larger character pack. Now that weight only matters for equipped items, despite the extremely handy “junk bag,” some packrats (me included) would like more room to sort/store items.

Expandable (view) junk bag.

Sortable quest list and inventory.

The option to click a location within the “popup map” (accessed by holding the “Tab” key) to move the party to that location - or some other simpler method of quick party movement to a distant point on the area map.

The option to view the world map at any point during the game.

Make looting less of a pixel-hunt/“g”-key bonanza. “Maybe there could also be an icon that appears on-screen (based on a character's skill or attribute?) that indicates there are items available to be picked up in the vicinity.” “This probably won't happen, but I'd like to see a de-emphasis on the scavenging and looting aspect, and the fact that this is the largest part of the in-game economy... Instead of carrying 20 sets of leather armor plus everything else that wasn't nailed to the floor back to town after every adventure, I'd rather see missions (or even a stipend) be your primary source of gold, and random drops/lootable items be fewer but less trivial.” The current system might be at least partly intentional on Jeff’s part, but constantly needing to hit the “g” key to find useful items lying around among all the junk is (for some) more of an annoyance than a fun challenge.

Clicking on a mine/snare with a melee weapon equipped should automatically cause the character to move up to the mine/snare and attack, just as would occur with any other enemy. (This could be made optional for those who appreciate the default in-game warning message “Disarm Mine: Too far away. Move next to it before trying to disarm it.”)

The ability to view summoned creatures’ stats.

GAMEPLAY SUGGESTIONS

Shaman tweaks:
1) “Increase the Creature Summon limit to 2 per shaman, 4 per party. This is in line with Tinkermages being able to have two turrets out at a time.”
2) “Change the physical damage shaman casting skills so that they are controlled by intelligence rather than by dexterity… The split dex/int requirements to get decent damage out of the combat line of skills makes the whole line unattractive.”

Other skill tweaks/fixes:
1) Sorcerer's Icy Lance skill should not be keyed to ranged damage.

Additional options to restore Vitality other than potions or returning to Avadon – e.g. the ability to restore Vitality similar to Health in certain designated “safe locations” like friendly forts, or the ability to restore Vitality through consuming food.

The option to save the game between lengthy dialogues and larger/boss battles.


I’m interested to see what others might add to this list. Again, I’m enjoying the game as much as I expected, but feel there’s still room for several simple and much-needed improvements in the interface/gameplay area. Cheers!

Lilith Lilith

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:38 AM #2 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostMikus MacFrenchy, on 01 November 2013 - 01:30 AM, said:

4) If a character has a melee weapon equipped, clicking on a snare should automatically cause the character to move up to the snare and attack, just as would occur with any other enemy.

It does if you have your melee weapon selected as your attack method. If you're switched to the missile weapon, it won't. I'm happy enough with this behaviour: it reduces the risk that you'll accidentally run headfirst into danger because of a misclick.

The others are fair points, although toggling keyboard shortcuts is less likely to happen than the other two: Jeff seems to have decided that being able to use the keyboard to select inventory items is worth more than being able to open and close the inventory with the same key.

mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:51 AM #3 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostLilith, on 01 November 2013 - 01:38 AM, said:

It does if you have your melee weapon selected as your attack method. If you're switched to the missile weapon, it won't. I'm happy enough with this behaviour: it reduces the risk that you'll accidentally run headfirst into danger because of a misclick.

The others are fair points, although toggling keyboard shortcuts is less likely to happen than the other two: Jeff seems to have decided that being able to use the keyboard to select inventory items is worth more than being able to open and close the inventory with the same key.

Huh... in my Windows 7 game, even with melee selected as default, clicking on a snare/mine in combat simply gives the message "Disarm Mine: Too far away. Move next to it before trying to disarm it." Is there something you changed in the game settings to fix this?

And good point about the inventory screen keyboard shortcut issue - but it would still make sense to me to have the toggle as an option (and it would especially make sense for other screens, like the journal and character sheet).

Student of Trinity Student of Trinity

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:01 AM #4 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

It would be good if you could restore Vitality just by resting in some safe location like a friendly fort, instead of having to drain potions or go back to Avadon.
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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:52 AM #5 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I have thought the same, though more often I have thought that it would be great if some of the food would restore vitality.  So far I am about to complete the hunting the rebels quest and the pylon location has been pretty easy to access in all of the side quests, so I have been able to recharge there which is fortunate since I seem to be burning through vitality.  The only area in Avadon 1 that was awful to recharge at the pylon at was Castle Vebeaux where it was so far from the entrance.  Having the multiple directions to enter the different maps from helps with recharging as well, I see that as a very positive change in the interface.

mouton mouton

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:47 AM #6 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostStudent of Trinity, on 01 November 2013 - 02:01 AM, said:

It would be good if you could restore Vitality just by resting in some safe location like a friendly fort, instead of having to drain potions or go back to Avadon.
THANKFULLY the first portal pylon in the Contested Lands is close to the edge of the map and can be easily used for refreshing oneself. Avadon 1 had me trudging half the map each time I wanted to get to a pylon and I positively hated it.

mouton mouton

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:49 AM #7 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Proper UI scaling please! Jeff already introduced "bigger font" option and it helps a LOT. But many things are still too small in 1080p and strain my eyes.

Lilith Lilith

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:59 AM #8 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

You know what would be nice? If I could use the scroll wheel on my mouse to scroll through shop inventories.

Alberich Alberich

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:05 AM #9 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Jeff has done a great job of removing the pointless frustrations and timewasters from his CRPG's, but there is one thing I would greatly like to see:  If there is a long dialogue that segues right into a tough boss fight, please please please give the player a chance to save the game between the dialogue and the fight.  No need to stop things and let the player move around; just give him a pop-up window that says "do you want to save before this fight?"  That way, when you lose and reload, you don't have to skip through the same dialogue over and over.

Hawat Hawat

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:12 AM #10 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Two balance suggestions:  

1. Increase the Creature Summon limit to 2 per shaman, 4 per party, so that shamans can summon both a wolf line creature and a drake line creature at the same time.  This is in line with Tinkermages being able to have two turrets out at a time.  

2. Change the physical damage shaman casting skills so that they are controlled by intelligence rather than by dexterity.  No one is (rationally) going to pump dexterity as a shaman if they are speccing into the combat side of the skill tree, but that renders the top combat skill of only limited use, since without pushing dexterity it's not going to do decent damage. Since the top combat skill is weak unless a shaman goes with a bizarre attribute allocation, by extension, all of the shaman combat skills other than spirit claw don't look so hot.  The split dex/int requirements to get decent damage out of the combat line of skills makes the whole line unattractive.

stranger stranger

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:42 AM #11 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

A Dexterity/Endurance Shaman works fine in Avadon 1.

Hawat Hawat

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:55 AM #12 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Yep, Dex/Endurance Shaman makes sense in Avadon 1.  But that's because it made a great evade tank, it was a defensive build.  In 2, Dex is much less useful defensively, defeating the purpose of the build.  And even in Avadon 1, Dex/Endurance Shamans were better served by ignoring the combat tree past the level one skill and going for drakes instead, since most of the combat tree is functionally useless to them, as it relies on Intelligence.

Dikiyoba Dikiyoba

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:43 PM #13 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostMikus MacFrenchy, on 01 November 2013 - 01:51 AM, said:

Huh... in my Windows 7 game, even with melee selected as default, clicking on a snare/mine in combat simply gives the message "Disarm Mine: Too far away. Move next to it before trying to disarm it." Is there something you changed in the game settings to fix this?
Yeah, Dikiyoba is also on Windows and has the same problem.

Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:44 PM #14 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

It's the same for Macs.  Unless you are adjacent to a mine you can only attack them with area attacks.
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Lilith Lilith

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:49 PM #15 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Yeah, apparently I was just totally misremembering that and you can't charge into battle with a mine. (It's often a bad idea to do that anyway: mines tend to come in pairs, so you want to move toward them carefully so that you're only within attack range of one of them. But I suppose the option should exist for those who are willing to risk it.)

seano seano

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:57 PM #16 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Clickable popup map.

Right now there's the main window, the map in the upper right corner, and the one that pops up when you hold "tab."  To move somewhere far away, you have to (1) hold tab to see the whole map, (2) click at the upper right map several times to move it to where you want to be, then (3) click on the main window to start walking there.  Clicking on the popup map to move the main window would makes this much better.

Alberich Alberich

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:33 AM #17 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Also - I wish he'd put more details in the manual, the way he did in some of his previous games  I am an inveterate manual reader though I know many players are not.  I don't mind much because I've played a bunch of Spiderweb games and have a feel for this...but there are still questions I'd like to see answered.  For example, whether intelligence benefits Tinkermage (I found a Tinkermage-specific item that increases intelligence, hinting that it does, but there's nothing in the manual or the game to tell me whether it does) and whether anything other than the relevant skills (i.e., the character's level or ability scores) affects summoned creatures.   On the interface itself, the ability to see your summoned creatures' stats (the way you could in Geneforge) would also be nice.

sea sea

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 06:31 AM #18 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Excellent suggestions.  For me the biggest one is the lack of clear mechanics in the character screen, which makes character-building somewhat confusing given how easy and simple the character system actually is.

I also wouldn't mind looting a container and items "on ground" to be shown at the same time, as a time-saver.

Maybe there could also be an icon that appears on-screen (based on a character's skill or attribute?) that indicates there are items available to be picked up in the vicinity.  Personally I don't like squinting at tiny indecipherable icons and opening up the inventory window every 10 seconds to see if I missed anything.

Last, a way to dynamically speed up the game would be nice.  The fast movement speed in the older games spoiled me, maybe, but clicking across a map you have already explored and then waiting 5 minutes for your dudes to all run to the other side is not really the definition of fun.

Edgwyn Edgwyn

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:17 AM #19 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I would like to see a large pack.  I spend a lot of time moving food, lights and potions from my first character to the other characters because he can only hold so much.

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:18 AM #20 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I would like to see all stairs/ladders/trapdoors show up on the map once they have been used.. At the moment some show up and others don't.

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:17 PM #21 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Is there a way I can access the world map from in the game? I like being able to get a sense of where I am. If there is not an option for this, there should be.
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mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:13 PM #22 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

LINDYLOU - as far as I can tell, all stairs/ladders/trapdoors that can actually be used are in fact permanently marked on the area map after they first come within view of your party; I remember there were one or two "dummy" (i.e. unusable) trapdoors that didn't, so maybe you're thinking of those? But I could be wrong and be forgetting something - it's a fairly big game.

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:44 PM #23 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostHawat, on 01 November 2013 - 07:55 AM, said:

Yep, Dex/Endurance Shaman makes sense in Avadon 1.  But that's because it made a great evade tank, it was a defensive build.  In 2, Dex is much less useful defensively, defeating the purpose of the build.  And even in Avadon 1, Dex/Endurance Shamans were better served by ignoring the combat tree past the level one skill and going for drakes instead, since most of the combat tree is functionally useless to them, as it relies on Intelligence.

Hello, first timer here. I've just registered to ask: how did you come to know that?

I'm currently playing Avadon I, and I mostly skiped onto agility (except for the Shadowstalker dude), until I read it was pretty OP, making you dodge all the time and what not. Except... it's not written anywhere in the tolltip. Nor is it written that this spell is modified by intelligence and this one by dexterity, or that endurance helps against this or that, while dexterity helps against this or that.
Had I known that, I'd have min maxed a whole lot better.

Triumph Triumph

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:52 PM #24 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

There are people on these forums who play the game over and over testing how different things work. Some also look into the game's scripts some and pick up insights. Unfortunately, the games themselves tend to offer very little of this sort of information to players. In some cases, the tooltips in Jeff's games have been flat-out wrong.  At lot of this sort of information gets collected and the links saved in the Strategy Central threads at the top of each game forum.

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Hawat Hawat

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:56 PM #25 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostMeneldil, on 05 November 2013 - 03:44 PM, said:

Hello, first timer here. I've just registered to ask: how did you come to know that?

I'm currently playing Avadon I, and I mostly skiped onto agility (except for the Shadowstalker dude), until I read it was pretty OP, making you dodge all the time and what not. Except... it's not written anywhere in the tolltip. Nor is it written that this spells is modified by intelligence and this one by dexterity, or that endurance helps against this or that, while dexterity helps against this or that.
Had I known that, I'd have min maxed a whole lot better.

As Triumph says, the in-game documentation is pretty scanty, but the forum community does an outstanding job of figuring out the mechanics and sharing with those of us who lack the technical skill to do so :).  I never play a spiderweb game without thoroughly studying each thread linked in that game's Strategy Central thread.  

Don't fret if you've not built your party the way you'd like to have in Avadon 1
Spoiler
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eaintree eaintree

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:08 AM #26 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostHawat, on 05 November 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

Don't fret if you've not built your party the way you'd like to have in Avadon 1
Spoiler
.

Spoiler


katielee katielee

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 09:59 AM #27 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I'd like it if you could sort your quests somehow. Like by the area they're in (Contested Lands etc) so that you don't need to flick through the whole list looking for any to do while in the area.


And a very small, trivial thing: I'm female, playing a female character. I'd like it if she didn't grunt like a man when she dies (the female character gets the same dying noise as male characters instead of the noise female NPCs make) .

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:05 AM #28 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I'd like to see some inventory sorting options - strangely while I'm pretty slobbish in the real world, I can get some severe digital OCD going, and when your inventory is basically just a sack you stuff things in like a hamper, well...

Also, I'd love it if instead of a teeny weeny corner of the screen, the junk bag expanded into it's own panel. It's an infinitely massive space, it shouldn't be squished into a tiny little pocket.

Finally, I'd like it if there were a way to directly equip items from the inventory onto the character. Given that there's only a single slot for everything (as opposed to say, two ring slots) there's really no need to have to drag and drop.

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:32 AM #29 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View Postkatielee, on 06 November 2013 - 09:59 AM, said:

I'm [...] playing a female character. I'd like it if she didn't grunt like a man when she dies (the female character gets the same dying noise as male characters instead of the noise female NPCs make) .
You can simply replace the audio files yourself.  Make a backup in case you want to revert.

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:56 AM #30 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

I posted about this elsewhere, but who else would like the level cap to be raised/removed? Although I did complete all the available side quests up to that point, I hit the cap during the Hunting M****** main quest - about 2/3 of the way through the game. Apparently there was talk of raising the cap after Avadon 1, but for some reason it didn't happen. Discuss.

The Hero The Hero

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 08:56 AM #31 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

Don't forget about the reputation part, I would want to know if doing a specific action will side me to either the rebels or to Avadon.
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Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:14 AM #32 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostHawat, on 01 November 2013 - 06:12 AM, said:

2. Change the physical damage shaman casting skills so that they are controlled by intelligence rather than by dexterity.  No one is (rationally) going to pump dexterity as a shaman if they are speccing into the combat side of the skill tree, but that renders the top combat skill of only limited use, since without pushing dexterity it's not going to do decent damage. Since the top combat skill is weak unless a shaman goes with a bizarre attribute allocation, by extension, all of the shaman combat skills other than spirit claw don't look so hot.  The split dex/int requirements to get decent damage out of the combat line of skills makes the whole line unattractive.

It is not as bad as it seems - while Shaman has to split his stats, he has higher dice in his better spells. Even at a stat disadvantage, he gets similar damage to Sorcerer.

Edgwyn Edgwyn

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:36 AM #33 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostMikus MacFrenchy, on 08 November 2013 - 06:56 AM, said:

I posted about this elsewhere, but who else would like the level cap to be raised/removed? Although I did complete all the available side quests up to that point, I hit the cap during the Hunting M****** main quest - about 2/3 of the way through the game. Apparently there was talk of raising the cap after Avadon 1, but for some reason it didn't happen. Discuss.

I have maxed out my PC at the very beginning of the Temples of Tawon quest, on normal difficulty.  I have done almost all of the side quests.  I am sure that there are some players who do not do all of the side quests and so are probably not maxing out until later in this quest, or even into the Corruption's Core quest.  In terms of balance, it is probably desirable for a player who only did around half of the side quests or so to max out their levels prior to the end of the Corruption's Core quest so that they can do any final adjusting/re-training of their characters prior to starting the Final Hunt.  I understand your frustration hitting the level cap so early, but I wonder when the average player is hitting it.

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:59 AM #34 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View PostEdgwyn, on 08 November 2013 - 10:36 AM, said:

I have maxed out my PC at the very beginning of the Temples of Tawon quest, on normal difficulty.  I have done almost all of the side quests.  I am sure that there are some players who do not do all of the side quests and so are probably not maxing out until later in this quest, or even into the Corruption's Core quest.  In terms of balance, it is probably desirable for a player who only did around half of the side quests or so to max out their levels prior to the end of the Corruption's Core quest so that they can do any final adjusting/re-training of their characters prior to starting the Final Hunt.  I understand your frustration hitting the level cap so early, but I wonder when the average player is hitting it.

True - I'm sure many players will reach the level cap a little later than I did. I guess I'm just disappointed in its apparent use as another way to "force" a static level of challenge on the entire game (with the exception of a couple token "challenge" fights). Upping the difficulty level doesn't fix this problem - it just makes every combat harder by a static degree.

Although I still like Avadon overall, what I really enjoyed about the older Exiles/Avernums was the well-implemented non-linearity, which allowed some players to explore and develop more, and as a result, see their characters grow in power relative to earlier challenges. As it is, Avadon aims for mass appeal with the static challenge level. The result is "balanced" difficulty throughout any one playthrough, but in my mind, this eliminates the fun of character growth that's central to so many truly great classic RPGs.

Hawat Hawat

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:29 PM #35 Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions

View Postmouton, on 08 November 2013 - 10:14 AM, said:

It is not as bad as it seems - while Shaman has to split his stats, he has higher dice in his better spells. Even at a stat disadvantage, he gets similar damage to Sorcerer.

Better dice, but much longer re-charge times on the abilities.  And even were that not the case, I think we're stretching "similar" quite a lot if we're claiming Shaman combat skill damage is comparable to Sorc combat skill damage.  The highest level Shaman attack skills use dex rather than int, and having a 33% better die doesn't matter much when the other guy has twice the die rolls.  You could push dex over int, but then your base attack will be horrible damage and rarely land.  You could use javelins, but without a skill to increase their damage or accuracy, the damage will be minimal there as well.  I understand looking for a silver lining, particularly given that Shaman is my favorite class, but sadly the combat skills are just awful compared to every other class.  Fortunately the passives, utility skills and summons are decent enough, so long as you don't compare them to Blademaster or especially Tinkermage.




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