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Edgwyn

Thoughts on Nethergate: Resurrection

15 posts in this topic

I finally finished N:R. It took me three tries over the past year. I know that several people think that it is the best of the Spiderweb games, but I think I need to partially disagree. It has the best story of the approximately 15 CRPGs that I have finished over the past 30 years, but the game is hard (not tactically, not due to the older engine). The problem for me is that so many of the side quests (which are necessary to build up your party) are next to impossible to find. In the last three Spiderweb games, it is pretty obvious who is going to give you a quest. You have to go back several times, but they let you know that they might have something for you later if not right now. There is none of that in N:R. There are also a lot of outdoor events that you essentially have to stumble across. I would have given up for the third time if I had not used Matt P's walkthrough of N augmented by Synergy's N:R item list. It would have been a shame to give up, because then I would have missed out on finishing the story. If Jeff gets around to re-making N:R ( in the next 10-15 years), then I think it needs a lot of tweaks to make it more accessible to more casual gamers.

 

Speaking of Synergy's list, would it be possible for one of the current Mods to edit it?

Two of the five Nether arts spells are labeled NETHER SPELL, two (Clouds of Night and Make Exilir) are labeled with the generic LEARN SPELL:, and one (Glorious Revival) is not listed at all. Glorious Revival is available at the Burial Glen, once you have a certain level of experience. I would suggest using the NETHER SPELL nomenclature for all five.

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What you dislike is one of the things I find most charming about Nethergate. The area is full of people doing their own things and with their own needs. It isn't a few central quest givers driving everything, it's messy and busy and you can find interesting things around every corner and over every hill.

 

—Alorael, who will go ahead and make that edit. It seems sensible. Glorious Revival is found in the Crypt of Ceremonies, right?

macdude22 and Triumph like this

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The problem for me is that so many of the side quests (which are necessary to build up your party) are next to impossible to find... There are also a lot of outdoor events that you essentially have to stumble across.

Definitely a difference in approach here! My expectation with a game like Nethergate is that I'm going to traipse across everything, in order to find everything. It's part of the fun.

 

That said, I loved the white encounter dots in Exile. I may have been the only one, but I loved them.

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The game was designed so on normal difficulty a player could just do the main quests and ones given in their home and still be able to get through to the end. While you would miss lots of interesting things it wasn't required that you do everything.

 

I still make sure to find the fish muttering about offering too many wishes. :)

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Alorael, yes, you are correct, that is where Glorious Revival is.

 

Randomizer, my problem is that I do not want to miss the vast majority of interesting things, especially when I found the quality of those interesting things much higher in Nethergate than in other games. I suppose that means that the payoff is worth the work, but it still seems to me that there is a lot of things that I could have missed by walking two squares away from a trigger or coming by at the wrong time. Some of the items are true Easter Eggs with no effect on game play (like the names of the four bears in the circle warrens) but there is a lot of stuff that can help your party that is hard to find.

 

Slartibus, I guess my traipsing across everything tolerance is limited to talking to every named person in every city/fort/whatever, but not as well developed out of doors. I like how in A:EFTP the cache marks are reasonably visible. I don't mind running into walls and casting lots and lots of piercing sight spells based on where there are empty spaces on the map (though I prefer the visible buttons that have appeared in the last three games to running into walls), but while I am going to expose every square outside, I am not going to step into every square outside.

 

Ultimately, I am a casual gamer with completionist tendencies. The three latest games and the built in scenarios for BoA seem a lot more accessible to me than N:R. I haven't played Exile or Exile 2 (I can't remember which it was) since 96/97 so I do not remember it well, but I do not think that I struggled with it as much as I did with N:R.

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There isn't really that much outside, compared to in the towns/dungeons, and I think there's almost nothing that you can't find simply by walking up to odd-looking landmarks (big hills, rocks in a pattern, huts, enclosed forest areas, etc.).

 

Also, "two squares away from a trigger" might be a legit problem if you don't notice a landmark, but I don't think "coming at the wrong time" is really a thing -- there are, again, only a few of those outdoor encounters that are sequenced in any way, and those encounters DO give you an indication that something is there (e.g., the hermit huts, the glint of gems you need a soul to retrieve, etc.).

 

None of this is to challenge the legitimacy of your experience, of course. It absolutely makes sense that people have that experience. I just think it's just the result of difference approaches and how well the game fits them, rather than anything about those aspects of the game that is simply difficult or problematic in general.

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Word of Recall may sometimes reduce some of the wandering around...

Unlike Avernum 3 there are no horses or boats to get around the need for walking. You can't even use an Orb of Thralni to hop across a river.

 

You can easily create an item to give you the power of flight in N:R. It will mess with parts of the game that have things happening on bridges, unless you only make it available in a place like the Hollow Hills.

 

 

Note, "it_ability_str_1 = 10;", the 10 is the duration of the flight.

Add this code to the file corescendata2.txt:

begindefineitem 468;

import = 203;

it_full_name = "Sylak's Flying Rock";

it_itemdesc = 79;

it_ability_1 = 175;

it_ability_str_1 = 10;

it_magic = 1;

it_value = 300;

it_charges = 100;

 

 

 

In the Shared Data folder, find the file t16Hollow Hil.txt and add "reward_give(468);" to the script. Here I have added it to state 84 for a Celt party:

 

 

beginstate 84;

if (roman_or_celt() == 0)

set_state_continue(88);

reward_give(468);

message_dialog("Suddenly, a little panel opens in the door, and a beady eye peers out at you. _You no in,_ a goblin voice says. _Vug no like stinky goody goody types. You no have business with Vug. You go. I extra bar door!_ Nothing more to do here.","");

block_entry(1);

break;

 

 

 

For a Roman party:

 

 

This alteration must be undone when the Roman party wants to talk to Vug.

 

beginstate 84;

if (roman_or_celt() == 1)

set_state_continue(88);

reward_give(468);

message_dialog("Suddenly, a little panel opens in the door, and a beady eye peers out at you. _You no in,_ a goblin voice says. _Vug no like stinky goody goody types. You no have business with Vug. You go. I extra bar door!_ Nothing more to do here.","");

block_entry(1);

break;

 

 

Edited by Ishad Nha

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Ishad, there were a bunch of times where I was wishing for the orb of Thralni so that I could jump over a river, especially when I was running around trying to knock out various side quests. Pylons would have been nice as well, since word of recall only works in one direction, you can get home quickly to sell a load of loot, but then it takes a while to get back to the dungeon.

 

There are ways that I think that the game could be made more accessible while retaining the story, but of course there are a fair number of folks who like it the way that it is and would consider my changes breaking it.

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I can't think of any game that's been broken by better transportation or accessibility options. No one wants to waste time slowly walking across a landscape. (Pylons are pretty much the worst implementation of said options I've ever seen, given the ridiculous number of clicks and animations and wait times and load times involved in using them, and the requirement that you travel to and from otherwise pointless locations to use them, but they are better than nothing.)

 

That said, in Nethergate the overworld is relatively small and easy to navigate: a 5x5 grid of outdoor sections with exactly one town/dungeon per section, with rivers that go in mostly straight lines and are in fairly predictable places. And like most SW games, there are not very many wandering monsters. You're rarely travelling more than a handful of sections, either.

 

THAT said, if Word of Recall also gave you the option to return to, say, the Faerie Bazaar, I certainly wouldn't complain.

Synergy likes this

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I suppose that the ideal transportation solution would be for Word of Recall to give you a menu of known locations that you can teleport to. That would put it several steps above the pylons which give you a menu of only the places that there are pylons, plus the fact that you can use it almost anywhere.

 

You are of course correct that the overworked is fairly small, but the rivers do provide more of an obstacle since they each only have one bridge that crosses them so as a Celt, you end up having to go rather far south to go west or Northwest. The Orb of Thralni would do a huge amount to reduce travel time.

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You don't have to visit Nethergate in between every sidequest, though. Most of what you can do there, you can do in the Faerie Bazaar, which is just 1 or 2 map sections away from most of the game's content. If you're just selling loot, Vanarium and the Rose Hills are equally acceptable options.

 

The biggest problem with the Avernum-style pylons, IMO, are that you have to teleport to the main pylon every time you use them. That means twice as much clicking and it means an extra load time, which creates the especially undesirable situation of click-waitwaitwait-click-waitwaitwait.

 

It'll be interesting to see how Jeff handles the Portal in A:CS. In X2, the portal keywords meant that you could often discover a way to teleport to a certain location without visiting it.

 

Also, even pylons have more than a little plot impact given the unparalleled importance of troop movements in the Empire War! Teleporting TO Erika's Tower is one thing, but if people can freely teleport to and FROM her tower, then the strategic impact of the Empire's position is greatly nullified -- not to mention the impact of the Barriers!

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Jeff's moved more towards you have to do almost everything to trigger a SDF before you can move to the next stage unlike Exile where you could just use the key phrase without visiting the place that gave it.

 

The Orb lets you bypass so many obstacles that make you take the long way around in a game.

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That's not what I mean, Randomizer. I mean that the location where you discover a portal keyword was often NOT the same as the location it led to. IIRC, you could learn the keyword for Erika's Tower in Formello, but just making your way to Erika's Tower would NOT earn you the keyword. That contrasts with the pylon system where you always "learn" a new teleportation destination at the place where you are teleported to, so an adjustment would have to be made to accommodate the keywords.

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While it would certainly be convenient to be able to use some of the Pylons without having to walk to their location in the first place, it is probably best for game balance that you have to discover them the hard way first and then can take advantage of them. From what little I remember (since I never played A2), you are starting with a new group of adventurers in A2:CS who are not initially aware of the pylon system, correct?

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New group of adventurers recently recruited by the army, yeah. But there were no pylons in either of the previous versions of the game, just a one-way keyword-activated portal in the Tower of Magi (not accessible at all until after a long chunk of the game, too).

 

Also, there were a few areas critical to the main plot where you could ONLY reach the location through the portal, i.e., discovering the keyword elsewhere is pretty much a necessary thing. I guess there could be separate portals for those with necessary items or info added as fetch-quests :/

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