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Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?


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Masayoshi Masayoshi

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 01:04 AM #1 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

So I've finally finished most of the modern Spiderweb games, including Avernum 1-6, Avadon 1-2, and the Avernum 1-2 remakes. I think I will eventually play the Geneforge games as remakes when they come out - might as well take advantage of the updates and modern UI conveniences.

Anyone have recommendations for other indie games that may scratch that same sort of Spiderweb itch? I've played a lot of the CRPG classics, like Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale series, Planescape, Arcanum, Fallouts, etc. But some newer ones (last 10 years or so) may have passed me by.

I apologize if it's not cool to mention other games here, but I figure it should be OK, since we're probably all going to play the next Spiderweb game when it comes out, so we need something between releases :)

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 05:03 PM #2 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

The only other contemporary indie game developer I am aware of who has turn-based combat with an isometric view is Basilisk Games. There is a 3 book series called Eschalon. Personally, I think it is terrific. You can always download a demo and give it a try.

ottakoi ottakoi

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 01:17 AM #3 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Since you've mentioned Arcanum and Fallout series, maybe you could also be interested in these indie games:
The Age of Decadence
Underrail
Balrum
Lords of Xulima


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Posted 08 August 2016 - 02:34 PM #4 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

I started Balrum and there are some things that I like about, but many things that frustrated me.  I would consider it a work in progress.

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 06:29 PM #5 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

I'll second The Age of Decadence, that game is absolutely fantastic.

Other than that, it depends on what exactly you mean by similar. The recent Shadowrun games are real good, but deviate from the SW formula in major ways. They're story-focused isometric turn-based games with great writing, but they're pretty linear.
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Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:53 PM #6 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Give Divinity: Original Sin a try. It's kinda like if Avadon had a bigger effects budget, but less balance.

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:39 AM #7 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View PostNecris Omega, on 10 August 2016 - 08:53 PM, said:

less balance.
Wow. Avadon was already SW's least balanced game.
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Posted 11 August 2016 - 09:04 AM #8 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Huh, I'm surprised to hear you say that.  I guess we see that differently.  Avadon had some wonky, exploitable balance issues, particularly turrets in Av2, but I think it was well-balanced in many ways: and certainly not any worse than AEFTP.  It happened to come after two of the better balanced SW games, A6 and G5, but you don't have to go back too far to find the disasters of balance that were A4 and G1-3.  (And I assume that you aren't considering the very old games: as much as we love Exile, it easily takes the cake for lack of balance.)
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Posted 11 August 2016 - 09:16 AM #9 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Spiderweb games lack balance because Jeff doesn't think the same as players that can find exploits.  Balance gets better later n a series as exploits get removed and adjustments are made to remove the worst excesses.

Avadon 2 is better balanced than Avadon 1 with respect to evading getting hit when the evasion chance got reduced from 5% per point to 2.5%.  Then the tinkermage class was added that had so many new exploits from evasion as a passive ability to turrets.  It was even worse in beta, before some were fixed.

Avadon 3 is the best balanced of the series in removing some imbalances.  There are still a few exploits, but they mostly only affect trash mob fights and don't work against bosses.
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Masayoshi Masayoshi

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 09:05 PM #10 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View Postottakoi, on 08 August 2016 - 01:17 AM, said:

Since you've mentioned Arcanum and Fallout series, maybe you could also be interested in these indie games:
The Age of Decadence
Underrail
Balrum
Lords of Xulima

I checked these out on Steam and decided to put Age of Decadence and Underrail on my wishlist. Thank you! I'll pick these up during the next sale.

Lords of Xulima reminded me too much of the Wizardry series, which was not my style and a little too frustrating for my tastes.

View PostPainted Lady, on 07 August 2016 - 05:03 PM, said:

The only other contemporary indie game developer I am aware of who has turn-based combat with an isometric view is Basilisk Games. There is a 3 book series called Eschalon. Personally, I think it is terrific. You can always download a demo and give it a try.

Eschalon seems kinda cool, but I was turned off by only controlling one character - heard reports on the repetitiveness of battles. Did you find differently?

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 09:06 PM #11 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View PostNecris Omega, on 10 August 2016 - 08:53 PM, said:

Give Divinity: Original Sin a try. It's kinda like if Avadon had a bigger effects budget, but less balance.

Thanks, this looks great. On the wishlist :)

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 12:17 AM #12 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Eschalon doesn't have as much content as Spiderweb games so while there are differences in the fights, there is also a lot of sameness within a zone where you fight the same types of monsters.  For example in the underground area you face lots of goblins and there are three types and the boss goblin.
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Posted 12 August 2016 - 06:24 AM #13 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

You might want to look at Pillars of Eternity to see if that interests you.  

It's a slight divergence (a little base-building, and the combat, while turn-based and strategic, is kind of a card game??) but high on my wishlist is Thea: The Awakening - I too was searching for games like Spiderweb games and found that as something I think I'd really enjoy.

You might like AntharioN.  I will also third the Age of Decadence.  If you're hungry for something similar to Spiderweb combat check out Tales of Maj'Eyal

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 01:39 PM #14 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Some great suggestions in here, thank you all (I too am looking for something new to play - at least up until Sept 14th when Avadon 3 comes out (according to Jeff's FB post of 15 min ago...)).

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 04:11 PM #15 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Pillars of Eternity is more than anything else a very deliberate throwback to Baldur's Gate. It's not D&D, but it plays very similarly and has a very Infinity Engine style in both gameplay and story. That should really tell you whether you want to play it or not.

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:11 PM #16 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Age of Decadence is great.  Play that before you play anything else people have mentioned.  I'd second Underrail and also recommend the Shadowrun games.  Especially the last 2 (the first recent reboot, "Shadow Run Returns," isn't as good as "Dragonfall" and "Hong Kong").  Plus, the Shadowruns have more sci-fi elements and a neat blade runner aesthetic, which is a welcome change of pace from the usual fantasy tropes.

I found the Eschalons to be incredibly dull, so I wouldn't bother with them.  The first might have been great 6 years ago before the indie boom, but now there are just too many better games to play and the sequels didn't improve much on the first,

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:20 PM #17 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View PostHome, on 14 August 2016 - 04:11 PM, said:

Pillars of Eternity is more than anything else a very deliberate throwback to Baldur's Gate. It's not D&D, but it plays very similarly and has a very Infinity Engine style in both gameplay and story. That should really tell you whether you want to play it or not.

—Alorael, who enjoyed it very much but then ended up not finishing it. He got distracted, and then he got distracted from his distraction, and now he contemplates diving back in and doesn't.

PoE is worth completing, but it takes a while to get interesting.  I didn't find it particularly compelling until the very end when there is a major universe twist that actually kind of made me want to replay the game with the twist in mind.  Up until that point it didn't really grab me, but that's probably just because I was too daft to realize what the game universe was until the ending spelled it out.  It's strictly lore stuff, as opposed to plot, but I'll tag it anyway:
Spoiler
.  Now that the universe is set up, I think the sequel could be really awesome depending on where they go with it.  
Spoiler


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Posted 21 August 2016 - 03:08 PM #18 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View PostMasayoshi, on 11 August 2016 - 09:05 PM, said:

Eschalon seems kinda cool, but I was turned off by only controlling one character - heard reports on the repetitiveness of battles. Did you find differently?

It was less the repetitiveness of the combat that had me quit Eschalon3 after about 5 hours than the pointless tedium of going into the mine killing a few mobs and then having to go back to the surface to rest and recover before being able to go back a tiny bit deeper to kill something else.  I ragequit about the time I realized I'd spent several times as long doing a single cycle to/from the surface loop as I did in fighting while underground.  A UI that felt about as klunky as Geneforge 1 didn't help.

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 09:15 AM #19 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Eschalon is pretty fun but the interface is awkward and the games are very repetitive.

I don't regret buying them but I do find I only play them in short bursts.

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 10:12 AM #20 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

 DanNeely, on 21 August 2016 - 03:08 PM, said:

It was less the repetitiveness of the combat that had me quit Eschalon3 after about 5 hours than the pointless tedium of going into the mine killing a few mobs and then having to go back to the surface to rest and recover before being able to go back a tiny bit deeper to kill something else.  I ragequit about the time I realized I'd spent several times as long doing a single cycle to/from the surface loop as I did in fighting while underground.  A UI that felt about as klunky as Geneforge 1 didn't help.
This has been my experience too.  There are a lot of things I like about Eschalon, and BW does actually listen to player feedback, so there have been some improvements between games.  But the games have a very slow feeling to them... the movement system is basically the old JRPG standard "PC in center of screen, scrolls through world" with a walking speed that is far too slow for that system; meanwhile, there is lots of "wait time" -- travelling through mostly empty landscapes, resting, etc.  By the time Eschalon III finally came out (how long was it between those two games?) I found I just could not get myself to bother with it.

The game mechanics are fun, but they are about as unbalanced as Exile's, so there isn't a lot of challenge, either.
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Posted 01 September 2016 - 10:40 AM #21 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Basilisk Games suffers from the same problem as Spiderweb Software in that it's mostly one person doing the work.  BW revised the game engine between each game so it took longer and means that plans to add on to the games may never happen.  Some players did make modifications to add more content that are available at their forums

I beta tested the last two Eschalon games and asked for more monsters.  There is nothing worse than exploring a whole map zone and finding out there wasn't a single monster or item.
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Posted 01 September 2016 - 11:45 AM #22 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Whatever else, definitely impressive work if its all (or mostly) a single guy banging out code :)

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 01:46 AM #23 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Available now:
Avadon 3: The Warborn
Eschalon Books 1, 2, and 3.
Lords of Xulima.
Serpent in the Staglands.
Divinity Original Sin
Wasteland 2
Age of Decadence
Pillars of Eternity
Shadowrun Returns
Shadowrun: Dragonfall
Shadowrun: Hong-Kong
Dead State
Underrail

Kind of similar: These are generally turn-based RPGs with tactical combat, but different from Spiderweb games in other ways.
Legends of Grimrock 1 and 2
Might and Magic X
Realms of Arkania remake
Banner Saga 1 and 2

Coming Soon:
Tyranny
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Shroud of the Avatar
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Bard's Tale 4

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 10:52 AM #24 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Trying to come up with (relatively) recent titles nobody's mentioned...

Expeditions: Conquistador is a really good turn-based RPG... It's kind of like Heroes of Might and Magic or King's Bounty in that it has an overworld/battle area distinction and some resource management, but like a Spiderweb RPG in that the combat is mostly small-scale skirmishes with a few persistent, levelling hero characters fighting a bunch of enemies. Also like a SW game in that it has a complex, morally ambiguous, branching story, with different factions you can side with. The sequel, Expeditions: Viking is coming out next year, and should be good too.

Miasma 1/2 are obscure-ish, brief XBLIG/PC games with turn-based tactical RPG combat.

Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion isn't really an RPG, more of a turn-based tactical wargame, but it has an RPG-like focus on story and character development (with a very large cast), and a very detailed fictional world (including a huge in-game encyclopedia).

The Telepath RPGs (http://sinisterdesign.net/) are pretty good.

Planet Alcatraz is a decent tactical RPG, but closer to (read: a knockoff of) Fallout 1/2, than to Spiderweb. Also, it has an atrocious/hilarious translation from Russian, incredibly poor voice acting (which never matches the subtitles) and some uncomfortable sexism/racism/homophobia, which is disappointingly common in Russian games. But hey, it's four bucks on Steam. (The sequel is also on Steam, but isn't translated into English, which is maybe just as well, because it apparently reuses 90% of the maps from the first game.)

Honorable Mentions:
Frayed Knights (decent old-school dungeon crawler; first person w/ turn-based party-based combat; worth mentioning cuz a) it's good and B) it has good writing)
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire (isometric turn-based tactical RPG; I haven't played it, but I've had it strongly recommended to me)

PS I'd personally recommend against Eschalon. They're brief, repetitive, frustrating, and dull, from the barely-there story (you wake up with amnesia at the start of BOTH the first two games, despite being the same character; the plot doesn't really happen until the third game), the inexplicable design choices (a default 50% chance to hit, instead of the CRPG-standard, D&D-derived 95%; you need to spend precious skill points to have an automap at all; chest contents are random, so you'll often fight through a trash mob to be rewarded with literal trash- unless you savescum), and frankly the intense tedium and frustration of playing them (get ready to spend half your time in-game sleeping, because you only regain health very slowly, and healing potions are scarce, expensive, and precious). They're also super-short, especially the third one, which ends right where you'd expect the second act to get going. Hope Basilisk's mooted sci-fi RPG turns out good, though.

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 04:02 AM #25 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

I don't think I saw it here. Heroes of Steel is not bad. Takes a little bit of time to get used to the UI but it is quite a fun game. I suggest playing it on hard. Normal is quite easy.

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 09:27 PM #26 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Heavily recommend playing morrowind again. I bought it again recently. The graphics were a horrendous slap on my face, it took a while to get into it but its a good good game.

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 11:21 PM #27 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Look up Alan Wake on Steam. Nice little game. Not at all easy, but very fun. Good graphics and decent storyline.
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Posted 20 November 2016 - 07:52 AM #28 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Mordor Depths of Dejenol (old and might not work in modern os's) and other Mordor games, http://www.decklinsdemise.com/

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 03:35 PM #29 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

I second what grimmader said.  Heroes of Steel and Templar Battleforce (Trese Brothers games) are both good turn-based RPG's with nice storylines and deep combat strategy requiring skill synergies to make a group work well together on harder difficulties.  There's also a Nightmare-level leaderboard with scoring based on game progress & resource efficiency if you feel competitive.  Heroes of Steel is standard RPG setting while Templar is sci-fi RPG.

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 12:15 AM #30 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Bastard Bonds seems interesting at first look...

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 09:46 AM #31 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

Bastard Bonds is neat, but the lack of an autosave function really knocks you in the teeth, considering the difficulty curve. Honestly, the title that's felt most like a Spiderweb game has been Tyranny, right down to the faction-picking and Omnicidal Neutral option.

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 10:21 AM #32 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

 googoogjoob, on 18 September 2016 - 10:52 AM, said:

a default 50% chance to hit, instead of the CRPG-standard, D&D-derived 95%
A little late to the party here.  I agree about Eschalon in general but am confused by this comment.  95% has become common, maybe, but it definitely was not the standard in the classic CRPG days to which both Eschalon and Spiderweb games hearken back -- and it sure wasn't the standard in D&D of that era either, which was still using AC 10, THAC0 20 as the default hit roll.

And FWIW, most Spiderweb games have started with a default 50% hit chance for physical attacks, too (even if they make it very easy to climb up to the cap).
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Posted 29 December 2016 - 12:09 PM #33 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

D&D has been fairly consistent in having a roughly 50% chance to hit a roughly average target, with a lot of wiggle room because hitters and targets vary a lot. But 95% isn't really a big thing. If anything, D&D has taken a lot of criticism for the "whiff" factor of misses dragging out combats.

—Alorael, who would counter with miss-free games, a relatively recent phenomenon. It feels better to have hits and improved hits rather than hits and not-hits.

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 12:34 PM #34 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

I think you can trace miss-free games back to Japanese console RPGs.  Dragon Quest (1986) had tiny miss chances from the beginning; Final Fantasy (1987) used D&D-like miss chances, but with such a large number of swings per attack that actual whiffs became rare as you levelled up (with both hit % and number of hits getting pushed higher as the series progressed).  This is to be contrasted with their primary precursors, Wizardry and Ultima, which both used D&D-like systems with plenty of misses.
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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:20 AM #35 Finished Spiderweb games - recommendations for similar RPGs?

View PostSilent Swan-Medusa Damacy, on 28 December 2016 - 10:21 AM, said:

A little late to the party here.  I agree about Eschalon in general but am confused by this comment.  95% has become common, maybe, but it definitely was not the standard in the classic CRPG days to which both Eschalon and Spiderweb games hearken back -- and it sure wasn't the standard in D&D of that era either, which was still using AC 10, THAC0 20 as the default hit roll.

This is true, but I mean modern CRPG-standard, basically. The same holds for Eschalon's mapping system: in "old-school" CRPGs automapping was an exception rather than a rule, but to play a CRPG made in the past 15 years or so which doesn't have a tolerable automap system is... well, intolerable.

Eschalon adds insult to injury in both cases by forcing the player to spend precious, precious skill points to get their hit-rate and automap to reasonable levels.

Also, I kinda glossed over exactly how Eschalon's combat system works a little cause I didn't feel like explaining it in-depth in that post, and I felt like what I said communicated what I meant reasonably well. In Eschalon, the default hit-rate is 50%, but, confusingly, it isn't substantially effected by your skill with the weapon you're currently using, or WHICH weapon you're using, or even by your Dexterity stat. The one stat that affects hit-rate the most is "Concentration", and unless you're pumping skill points into Concentration every single level, you will very rapidly encounter enemies who are fast enough (or at least dodgy enough) to bring your hit-rate down to 25% or less. Even if you're pumping Concentration, you'll still encounter enemies who can bring your hit-rate down pretty low, and combat always seems to degenerate into a long series of misses punctuated by lucky hits. Further, IIRC, Concentration doesn't affect your own dodge rate against enemies, and since you're pumping all your points into it you won't have much chance to spend points on other skills like Strength or Dexterity; thus, the only really viable build in my experience is a big bumbling tank that can slowly chip away at the enemy's HP, unless you want every battle to be wildly luck-based.

(In the first game, actually, another viable build is what I guess you'd call "assassin": the game has an extremely broken stealth system that you can abuse extensively. You can hit an enemy- even the final boss- then instantly disappear into half-shadow, without said enemy having any idea where you are, and not even the AI to try to bump into you.)

Anyway, I guess you could say Eschalon tries to accurately hark back to the late 80s/early 90s of CRPG design... but you could say, perhaps equally validly, that CRPGs are not made like that any longer for a reason.




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