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Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Lets Play Blades of Avernum

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:14 AM #106 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Appreciate all the information and comments from you two.  For a note, I create a backlog of videos and at this moment I have another 10 episodes (Plus today's) filmed, so I'm a BIT ahead of where you are.  I film on weekends, though, so you'll be more up to date with what I've seen soon.  As for what you said, let's see...

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* Your tactics are getting better, but they're still sub-optimal. Acid doesn't really do anything for high-level parties and high-level monsters. Summoning is of limited use; I would rarely recommend it. Buffs are critical; you need to be blessed and hasted basically every moment of every combat. Invulnerability is incredibly powerful for high-level parties; you can get it from your potions and from Arcane Shield (albeit very temporarily). Where they can be used, Capture Mind and Simulacrum are very powerful for high-level parties. (You should be using Simulacrum way, way more.) Cloud of Blades, as you're finding, also does pretty well for long combats at high levels.

This thing about spells is something that's always bothered me.  Spells CAN be useful, yes, but I so rarely use the powerful ones because, especially here, spell points are a very valuable resource, and the most powerful spells get swallowed up VERY quickly.  Because of this, I rarely ever use the most powerful spells, especially on my cleric as I NEED those spell points for other spells, namely healing (especially constant healing on many of these fights.).  Requiring buffs on your characters 24/7 is also something I find annoying as it basically means your mage and cleric are always starting at a handicap in a fight, with less spell points than normal, and it also tells you "Your units cannot survive on their own, every fight is a BIG effort" which just doesn't seem right to me.  And as for summoning... as I've seen in my experimentation, Arcane Summon and possibly Divine Host are about the only spells of use now as sometimes you can end up with a very powerful unit, such as drakes.  Then again, sometimes you end up with a pair of sliths.  It's a gamble.

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You are moving into the player made scenarios now and you need to adjust your expectations. You probably know this already, but I still feel the need to say it. Most designers were very young when they made these, and had never done anything like it before. They weren't seasoned, professional game designers. It's just like Kel said, it was his first scenario and he didn't know what he was doing. You are going to find a lot of rough edges the more scenarios you play, and in more than one area of design. Just wait till you see the writing in TM's scenarios.

This... you make a good point, and I really should have taken note of this.  I'll have to make a few comments appologizing for a bit of a rant I took later on in the LP over this scenario and refer to this sort of comment, as well as adjust how I go into these, with expectations and the like.

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Also, about your lets play, you might consider changing the order of the scenarios you are planning to play. If you want to play all the ones that are directly related to each other first, you will be front-loading your lets play with some of the biggest, meatiest, and best (I think) scenarios. You should definitely follow their order, but you don't have to play them back-to-back.

My current plan had been to play the scenarios in the following order: First every utility (Done, as you saw), then every scenario with sequels meant to be played in order, then all the scenarios in order of level suggestion from lowest to highest, then every scenario with a level requirement of "Any", then any prefab scenarios, and finally the few scenarios I have that don't have any recommended level.  This means the ones I was going to start with was Bahssikava/Exodous/Nobody's Heroes/The Magic, then HIM/HIM 2, then Mad Ambition/Echoes Renegade, then Frostbite/Tales, then Turn That Frown Upside Down 1/2.  In that order.  Then I'd move on to the rest, as those were the only ones I was told had sequels.  Perhaps I am front-loading, but I had hoped getting them out of the way would make it easier for me to keep track of things.  Let me know if I'm wrong, or if you want to see the full list I'll be doing.

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Depending on how far you have already recorded, there will be a laser puzzle in your future. It will be far more pleasant to deal with if you turn off the sound in the options of BoA.

Wouldn't you know it, that's actually the very next episode.  I skip the catacombs temporarily for a little break from the fighting, and check out the machinery below.

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Kelandon Kelandon

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:36 AM #107 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Blessing and hasting at least your warriors in basically every combat is going to be very useful in most BoA scenarios. Bahssikava and Exodus (and most of the rest of BoA scenarios) have the potential to be extremely frustrating if you don't bless and haste most of the time. It doesn't require much spell energy, given your level (8 to bless both warriors, 12 to haste both warriors).

I don't think you rarely use the high-level (Arcane/Divine-branded) spells. You've used them in almost every combat that I've seen. I would recommend using them a lot less than that. Most of them are not worth it most of the time. For example, if you're fighting something that is stronger than what Arcane Summon summons, then Simulacrum is better than Arcane Summon (unless Simulacrum can't be used), and Simulacrum uses fewer spell points. Divine Host is almost always a bad idea, because it uses as many spell points as three Cloud of Blades spells or two Divine Fire spells (or 15 Healing spells), which are almost always better. Healing and Bolt of Fire are basically free; everything else should be rationed.

And yes, I'd also recommend putting some other high-level scenario in between Bahssikava and Exodus so as to strengthen your party before you deal with the monstrosity that is Exodus. Maybe Canopy and/or Backwater Calls? They were both high-level scenarios released around the same time as Bahssikava (late 2004/early 2005), which might give a flavor of what BoA was like at the time.
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Tarsus Tarsus

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:29 PM #108 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

That was a pretty funny episode for me. :lol: I will be looking forward to the laser puzzle in A Perfect Forest.

I guess it doesn't really matter if you front load the scenarios or not. It will all be recorded at some point.

I would like to see a list of the 10 or so scenarios you added to the earlier list though. I might want to add them to my own. I can try to make a list to give a general idea of each scenarios length if that would help. Though I haven't played every single scenario, I would have to guess at some.

Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 05:54 PM #109 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

A very quiet episode as we maneuver our way towards solving the puzzles down here.

I appologize for the late upload today.  I slept through my alarm and had to run to catch a train for work.

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And in regards to Tarsus' question, this is the list of scenarios I will be playing, in the order I will be doing them.

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:29 AM #110 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

There HAS to be a way to shut off all these traps in the machinery area.... right?  (I know the answer I've recorded ahead.)

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Tarsus Tarsus

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:14 PM #111 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I've made a general database for the length of each scenario. It was made from memory, so some if it may be off, but it will give you a general idea. I was surprised to find there were also a fair number I haven't played. I made a guess about about how long they would be.

I also added some levels to the ones you had missing. I'm not sure about Shipwrecked though. It claims to be for level 1, but I'm not sure that I believe that. I should also add if you don't know, that some scenarios are infamously bad. I have never heard a good thing said about Nephilim Mystery, Foul Hordes or Undead Valley. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting too. Just forewarning.

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Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:58 PM #112 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostTarsus, on 28 February 2017 - 09:14 PM, said:

I should also add if you don't know, that some scenarios are infamously bad. I have never heard a good thing said about Nephilim Mystery, Foul Hordes or Undead Valley.

But you have heard good things about Shipwrecked? :p
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Tarsus Tarsus

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:41 PM #113 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostTyranicus, on 28 February 2017 - 09:58 PM, said:

But you have heard good things about Shipwrecked? :p

Oh, nothing but. Who doesn't love Shipwrecked? That's the real question here. :lol:

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:42 AM #114 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

For the record by the way, the list consists of every scenario that is located in the official database and on the Spiderweb Software scenario list.  I was only going to be downloading from there (partly for safety reasons, I can be a bit paranoid) but I appreciate the help with the levels there.

After investigation, it turns out the way through is kinda clever... but quite tricky.  And still not at all easy.

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Kelandon Kelandon

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 10:56 AM #115 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I'm probably going to stop making comments to this effect soon, because I'm not sure that it's helpful, but I'm going to toss this in one more time.

I understand that you're becoming frustrated at points, and part of it is that I probably overdid the difficulty of certain parts. If I ever were to make a kind of decade-later bug-and-continuity-and-balance fix version of Bahs (which I've toyed with from time to time), I'd tone down the Catacombs. I would tinker with one other part that you probably haven't gotten to yet, too.

But part of it is how you're approaching things. For example, there was a moment in the most recent episode when you said, "I don't really care about the shades," and then you spent the entire next turn fighting shades instead of fighting the enemies that you cared about. I thought this was weird. Sometimes you're making things harder for yourself than they need to be.
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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:33 AM #116 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Oh yeah, toning down the catacombs (and the entire area with the Slith Ghosts) would be a suggestion I would personally give.  But that's me.  As said, I've gone a bit further than that and it's gotten a bit easier.  As for how I'm approaching things?  Mmm, I'm unsure of the specific point you're referring to, and wish I did so I could try to see my reasoning.  That said, I admit I've never been perfect in my methods.  I'm no expert at the game after all.  Hell I've never even tackled Insanity on any Spiderweb Game.

Further we go through the catacombs... closer and closer towards where we must go.

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Celtic Minstrel Celtic Minstrel

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 07:49 AM #117 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I don't remember exactly how long Melliput Mobsters is, but I know it's short. If I recall correctly, you basically go through three dungeons. Whether that takes more than 2 hours as Tarsus suggests though, I can't remember.

I think there were also one or two unfinished but non-essential features in the main town, including the ability to play a card game and something about a hotel. So you may want to avoid those, or at least save before trying them in case something goes wrong.

Someday I'll probably come back to it and finish them. Probably. We can hope.
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Posted 02 March 2017 - 07:52 AM #118 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

It's been so long since I played BoA that I forgot about the awesome power of the Divinely Touched status. It's also very useful for high-level parties (because with Hasted and Divinely Touched you get three attacks per turn instead of two, and I think the attacks also do a lot more damage and are more likely to hit). It's hard to render the Divinely Touched status, though; characters with the Divinely Touched trait can get it with a special ability, and Heroic Brews do it, but BoA doesn't have a spell that does it, like Divine Warrior in Avernum 1 and 2. So it helps a lot when you can get it, but I didn't rely on it much as I was working through Bahs, because you either have to have created characters with the right trait in the first place or you have to burn consumables.

View PostChessrook44, on 02 March 2017 - 01:33 AM, said:

Mmm, I'm unsure of the specific point you're referring to, and wish I did so I could try to see my reasoning.
It was at about 27:05 in Episode 80. By that point, you were in no real danger, so it didn't really matter, but it seemed emblematic of some of the shortcomings of your tactics to that point.

That said, I think by Episode 81 your tactics have improved enough that you're probably not going to have serious problems getting through the rest of the Catacombs. (Although I'm expecting the next episode to be hilarious.)
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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:39 AM #119 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Once again, we find an area in here that just gets me filled with tired anger.  Possibly not the part Kelandon expects though.

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:59 AM #120 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Just a bit more of the catacombs to explore... those triangles HAVE to be in here somewhere, don't they?

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 05:12 AM #121 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Finally we find the last of the metal triangles, and move to investigate the Doors of Bahssikava.

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 11:33 AM #122 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

In the previous episode, it occurred to me that it's possible that I accidentally nerfed all the major summoning spells in Bahssikava. On the back end, monsters have summoning classes in order to be summonable, and I tinkered with a few of them to fix bugs. (Some were inherent to default BoA — by default, vampires can summon vampires in an infinite loop — and some of them had to do with monster imports that I had done.) The result may be that summoning spells are weaker in Bahssikava (and, presumably, in Exodus) than in other scenarios.

In relation to your five-minute rant at the end of this episode, hey, you got through the northeast of the Catacombs on the first try. Guzzling a Heroic Brew and firing off a bunch of Cloud of Blades spells works wonders! Your tactics continue to improve! Although you're still relying way, way too much on Arcane Summon and not enough on Simulacrum — Arcane Summon usually gives you sliths or lizards, but Simulacrum gives you slith avatars. Much stronger. And why would you ever cast Spray Acid, unless confronted with something that is immune to all other forms of damage? Bolt of Fire cost less spell energy and does more damage to anything not immune to fire.

But presumably that will all continue to get better in the southbound quest. Looking forward to it.
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Posted 06 March 2017 - 01:40 AM #123 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I suppose part of the reason I don't cast Simulacrum as much is because I often am left with the thought of I'd end up with a creature that isn't SUPPOSED to be as powerful as me, or has spells or abilities that are useful against me, but not as useful against enemies.  The equivalent of, say, Simulacrumming a fire hydra against a bunch of fire hydras.  Half of its attacks will do absolutely nothing.  At least with Arcane Summon I have a chance of drakes.

Having finally reached the other side of the doors, we take a look at our new base to see what we can find.

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:53 PM #124 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostChessrook44, on 06 March 2017 - 01:40 AM, said:

I suppose part of the reason I don't cast Simulacrum as much is because I often am left with the thought of I'd end up with a creature that isn't SUPPOSED to be as powerful as me, or has spells or abilities that are useful against me, but not as useful against enemies.  The equivalent of, say, Simulacrumming a fire hydra against a bunch of fire hydras.  Half of its attacks will do absolutely nothing.  At least with Arcane Summon I have a chance of drakes.
I mean, that makes sense when you're fighting fire hydras. But it doesn't make sense when you're fighting slith avatars. Arcane Summon gives you a chance of two drakes (but more likely something weaker). Simulacrum gives you the certainty of a slith avatar. A slith avatar is much, much stronger (against sliths or anything else) than two drakes.

(To be specific: A drake is level 25. Its attacks are 9d7, 9d5, and 9d5, and its health is a bit over 200. A slith avatar is level 60. Its attacks are — I think — 21d6, 21d6, and 21d6, so on each attack, it will do a good deal more than twice as much damage as a drake. It also has two bonus action points, so it can attack twice per round. Finally, its health is about 1100. I cannot imagine a situation in which two drakes would be better than a slith avatar.)

I don't think this matters as much in later parts of the scenario, because you're not fighting slith avatars again. But I think it demonstrates a larger point, which is that considering choices that you don't ordinarily employ — varying your tactics by the situation, as you started to do by the end of the Catacombs — can make combats go much more smoothly.
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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:32 AM #125 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Onwards we move on our exploration, and thankfully things seem a little bit easier now.

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:09 AM #126 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

In hindsight, the river fights are boring, and the Catacombs was not. If I were to release an updated version of this, I would beef up the river combats (and probably the combats you're about to come to).

I'm a little baffled by a moment in the most recent episode. You tried Divine Retribution on the eyebeasts. You determined that they were immune to it. You then tried Arcane Blow — which does the same type of damage as Divine Retribution. Seeing that they were immune to that, you then tried Lightning Spray — which again does the same type of damage! If something's immune to one of those spells, it will be immune to all of those spells. It would be like trying Bolt of Fire and then Divine Fire and then Fireblast — they're all fire, so an immunity to fire makes something immune to all of those.
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Tarsus Tarsus

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:14 PM #127 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostKelandon, on 07 March 2017 - 09:09 AM, said:

In hindsight, the river fights are boring, and the Catacombs was not. If I were to release an updated version of this, I would beef up the river combats (and probably the combats you're about to come to).

I would strongly disagree with that. It sounds like you are considering the encounters in isolation, but think about the experience as a whole. The player just came through an intense slog in the catacombs, it is good to have a more gentle experience for a while to rest up. It's a big mistake to make every single combat a struggle. And consider the setting here. You are basically fighting animals in the wilderness, it shouldn't be that organized or difficult. It fits the atmosphere of this muddy river area to be quieter.

To Chessrook, I was also suprised by some of your tactical decisions in this last episode. I'm sure you have had an earful about your tactics by now, but I have a few more suggestions.

First, the nimble ring. I was confused when you didn't immediately put it on, but I was stunned when you went and sold it! Maybe others would disagree, but I say bonus action points are far and away the best boost you can get from an item. It is less powerful in BoA than in previous Avernums, because it only gives a chance of bonus points, but it still makes a massive difference. Being able to make 2 attacks in a round without a haste spell is way more useful than a slight buff to your weapon damage. Or the freedom to move more before attacking. These boosts stack across multiple sources too. You could have given it to your mage since they already get bonus points sometimes. You could be casting 2 spells in a round without a haste. An endgame singleton with multiple boosting items could be getting as high as 10 or more action points without haste in a round if they got lucky. Add haste and divine warrior to that, and it can be in the high 20s or maybe in to the 30s.

Speaking of spells, you never once cast repel spirit in the catacombs even though you were up to your eyeballs in undead spirits. Repel spirit is both cheap and effective, yet I saw you charge your priest into melee rather than use it. You should try using it more. It is effective against demons too. You might want to use divine restoration once in a while as well. It may be expensive, but it is a full heal. There were quite a few situations where that would have been useful. If you have two people about to go down, you could bring them both up to full health and maybe save the combat.

You should also consider some cross-training for your spellcasters. If I were you, I would give the priest enough mage skill to cast haste, and more importantly give the mage some priest skills up through at least war blessing, or better, through repel spirit. Even putting one point into priest skills will them cast healing. Having a second healer would have saved your bacon a lot of times in the catacomb, even better if they could have been casting repel spirit. Being able to cast war blessing on multiple people in a pinch is useful. I think war blessings stack a bit too. I can't remember how much it helps, but you might experiment with multiple castings on one character.

There is also managing action points in a tight combat situation. If your fighters have 4 action points but are only going to attack an enemy right next to them, they could drink a healing elixir for 3 action points then still be able to attack.

Also, try managing your enemies a little more. You keep just charging in and fighting big mobs. Use missile weapons and draw them towards you, fight less at a time.

And finally the most important thing you are ignoring, the wait/delay action command, which is not to be confused with the defend command.This can make things so much easier for you. I haven't watched your other Avernum lets plays, so I don't know if you know about it or not. But if you use this command, the character will delay their actions until the end of the turn, but the combat won't progress to next turn until they go. So all enemies and allies will make their moves, then you do. If you are drawing enemies towards you, after they approach you can attack them before the next round, which can have the effect of giving you 2 turns in a row. But it is useful if you are charging in too! For example if the enemies are just out of range, or behind a closed door. You would enter combat mode, then use the wait command on all your characters. Since you used wait, the enemy will have "used" their turn even though they did nothing, then you are free to open to door or move in and attack with impunity. You could even cast simulacrum and have it ready to go in the next turn without the delayed summon turn.

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:34 PM #128 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostKelandon, on 07 March 2017 - 09:09 AM, said:

I'm a little baffled by a moment in the most recent episode. You tried Divine Retribution on the eyebeasts. You determined that they were immune to it. You then tried Arcane Blow — which does the same type of damage as Divine Retribution. Seeing that they were immune to that, you then tried Lightning Spray — which again does the same type of damage! If something's immune to one of those spells, it will be immune to all of those spells. It would be like trying Bolt of Fire and then Divine Fire and then Fireblast — they're all fire, so an immunity to fire makes something immune to all of those.
I don't think that's quite the same situation. Bolt of Fire, Divine Fire, and Fireblast very obviously deal the same type of damage. Divine Retribution, Arcane Blow, and Lightning Spray do not obviously deal the same type of damage. In fact, while I could understand expecting the first two to do the same type of damage (magic damage), it would be quite reasonable to expect Lightning Spray to deal a different type of damage (electricity).

Basically, the fact that those three spells deal the same type of damage just isn't as obvious as it is with the three fire spells, so it shouldn't be so surprising to see someone trying all three on the same monster.
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Posted 07 March 2017 - 04:18 PM #129 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostCeltic Minstrel, on 07 March 2017 - 02:34 PM, said:

In fact, while I could understand expecting the first two to do the same type of damage (magic damage), it would be quite reasonable to expect Lightning Spray to deal a different type of damage (electricity).
Sure, but only if you don't know that electricity isn't its own damage type in Spiderweb games, and Chessrook44 has done an LP of nearly all Spiderweb games (including the original Avernum Trilogy).

Anyway, going forward in BoA, it's worth knowing the six immunities (fire, cold, magic, mental, poison/acid, and melee) and which spells do which type of damage. One of the reasons that Cloud of Blades is so useful throughout Bahssikava (and, to some extent, in Exodus) is that it's the only spell that does melee damage, to which almost all creatures are vulnerable. One of the reasons that Spray Acid is so terrible is that most high-level monsters are mostly or entirely immune to poison/acid. (The other reason is that it doesn't do much damage even to monsters that aren't immune.)
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Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 06:07 PM #130 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I've been playing SW games for almost two decades, and I never realized lightning spray just does magical damage.
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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 07:02 PM #131 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I too was one who didn't realize those three spells did the same type of damage.  Lightning Spray, logically, would be shocking people with electricity, not blasting them with arcane power or divine holiness (Which is what I thought the other two were.)

Regarding Tarsus' comment about my build... well... I'm not someone who really focuses on Builds.  I take what improves my stats over other things, more likely.  After all, if I load up on equipment that boosts the amount of times I can act, but neglect to use anything that boosts my damage output or resistance, I become like a bee... zipping around doing pittances of damage while being crushed in quick sweeps.  Not that good in my opinion.  But again, no expert on builds.

Regarding Tarsus' comment on spells... there is a very specific reason I didn't use Repel Spirit, or Divine Restoration.  And that was because of the fact that I have a VERY limited mana pool, and I frequently needed ALL of it in order to keep my men alive with Heal Spells.  Which is more efficient, casting two 2-mana heal spells to bring two members of my party to near-full health, or casting a 10-cost Group Heal or a 20-cost (or however much it is) Divine Restoration to bring them to full?  Not to mention that while Repel Spirit DOES do damage, one casting removes my ability to cast two heal spells that I will likely need MORE quite soon.  It's one of my flaws, admittedly, that also measures into why I have so many potions, scrolls, and wands that I never use.  I hold onto it and don't use it because what if I need it MORE later?

Regarding Tarsus' comment on cross-training... I have considered it once or twice in the past, and then discarded it.  When I did it, I found that a cleric that gains Bolt of Fire is using up critical spell points on a spell that does too little damage to be worth it.  Similarly with the mage.  While I don't use the mage as often, training him in a heal spell isn't worth it as it generally healed less than the amount of damage enemies are doing.  For the most part, I'm learning to take points in those skills more for cheaper Spell Points than anything else.

And regarding Tarsus' comment on Waiting, you are right in that it is good so that you don't have to charge in, so you can fire arrows or such at enemies, but there's a problem.  So, SO many times those enemies have ranged abilities themselves.  Thus, waiting will often just mean THEY get a free hit in while my warriors stand back doing nothing and my spellcasters... MAY do damage, or may not.  And before you say "use arrows and javelins", I have the same issue there as I do with potions, etc..  And Kelandon has not left me ANY arrows ANYWHERE in this game.  ONLY the occasional 4 or 5 razordisks.  That is NOT sufficient for a ranged-focused character.

EDIT: One thing I'd like to add to my "charge in and attack" strategy.  The reason I charge in is because my general strategy is "Kill the mages first".  This is because mages, ranged attackers, use a lot of summons and cast spells that do a LOT of damage.  However, these mages are often resistant to spells... but vulnerable to being stabbed in the face.  Because of this, I charge right in, aiming to kill them before they start annoyingly kiting me, only going after melee guys if they get in the way.  Plus, since mage units TEND to try to keep distance, it also means I either get a free hit in when they run, OR they sacrifice casting their annoying powerful spells in exchange for a much weaker attempt to slap me (which often misses).

Tarsus Tarsus

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:39 PM #132 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Haha. Fair enough. Play in the way you that makes you comfortable.

It is funny to me though. Your thinking in this really does seem to live up to your namesake. Sticking rigidly to only straight lines.

Kelandon Kelandon

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:42 PM #133 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

You know, I really should've put in some ghosts or demons somewhere that were immune to all damage types so that you had to use Repel Spirit because it's the only spell that does unblockable damage. That would've been a good puzzle.
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SoT: You'd be happy, too, if you were such a clever spider.
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:39 AM #134 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Ah, the chitrach.  Bugs from deep, deep beneath even Avernum, who swarm and infest everywhere.  And we have new ones now.  Yay.

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Dintiradan Dintiradan

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:43 PM #135 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostChessrook44, on 07 March 2017 - 07:02 PM, said:

And Kelandon has not left me ANY arrows ANYWHERE in this game.  ONLY the occasional 4 or 5 razordisks.  That is NOT sufficient for a ranged-focused character.
Heh, I think I know the reason for this. Bahs was released early on, and there was only a small handful of scenarios that came out before it. One of those was Canopy, which level-wise came between Diplomacy with the Dead and Bahs. Canopy had a collection of (in my opinion, overpowered) magic items, one of which was a very strong bow that did not require ammunition. Since most people played Canopy before Bahs, it's entirely possible that testing was done with parties that had gone through Canopy first.

In fact, one of my first interactions with this community was complaining how difficult Bahs was compared to Vogel scenarios, especially for my archer, and being chastised for not playing Canopy first for the bow.
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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:11 PM #136 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Eh, the reason I didn't put in a lot of arrows is that I never used archery much myself. I could've sworn that I added somewhere to buy arrows in v1.0.6, because not having enough ranged stuff was a complaint from early players, but I honestly can't remember where and I can't find it now. Maybe I didn't.

There are a bajillion razordisks, though, and slings (like Adlerauge from Canopy) don't need ammo.

EDIT: Just watched the most recent episode. Lol, total immunity to melee is a good gimmick. I should've used that more.
VCH: I believe we settled this way back when: Kelandon was the most attractive.
SoT: You'd be happy, too, if you were such a clever spider.
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!

Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:38 AM #137 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

View PostKelandon, on 08 March 2017 - 05:11 PM, said:

EDIT: Just watched the most recent episode. Lol, total immunity to melee is a good gimmick. I should've used that more.

Personally don't want to recommend it.  While a nice idea, it becomes a problem if you end up facing such enemies without any Spell Points and having used your last Energy Elixirs.  THEN you're screwed.

Although I do have to grant for this episode: Clever way to end this battle.

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Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 01:34 AM #138 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

Knowledge is gained, and then we move south again, to see what comes of this whispering voice...

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Kelandon Kelandon

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:18 PM #139 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

The Nolagh-Khar quest is probably my favorite part of the scenario. I enjoyed the most recent episode a lot.

It occurred to me during this episode that the community consensus, more or less circa 2005 or 2006, was that the default BoA combat system was probably the worst that Spiderweb has ever designed. If a scenario designer just creates a few dungeons and progresses characters through the normal level progression, the game kind of sucks. It's a little hard to explain why; part of it has to do with a lack of balance (the Divinely Touched ability is way overpowered, the Spray Acid spell is way underpowered, etc.), but that's not really the key. I'm sure one of the other Blades designers of the era could articulate it better than I could.

Anyway, I dealt with this in a few ways in my scenarios. Most of them — LP, Exodus, The Magic — dramatically change the combat system so as to make it more interesting. (LP and The Magic basically trash the existing system entirely and create new systems.) One — Nobody's Heroes — has almost no combat at all, just to avoid the issue. Bahssikava handled things somewhat differently; up to more or less the Catacombs, it just made fights really hard, so that you have to figure out high-level exploits and such in order to make it through. Starting with the Nolagh-Khar quest, though, Bahssikava ties puzzles and sidequests to combats so that a combat is essentially unbeatable unless you explore in the right places thoroughly, and if you've explored thoroughly, it's pretty easy. (Which seems more like your style, so you may like the second and third parts of Bahs more than the first.)

Anyway, it reminds me of how, a decade ago, I realized that BoE combat was, by default, pretty good, but BoA combat was, by default, pretty awful. All scenario designers had to face this one way or another.
VCH: I believe we settled this way back when: Kelandon was the most attractive.
SoT: You'd be happy, too, if you were such a clever spider.
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!

Chessrook44 Chessrook44

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:04 AM #140 Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

I admit, the only part of BoA (Or Avernum in general) combat that I really found annoying was companions and summoned creatures.  If they didn't have enemies in sight, they would remain in place and do nothing ever.  Thus a summon that ended up randomly putting someone behind a wall ended up a complete waste of a spell, and entering combat and running in many times would leave your companions standing and doing nothing if they didn't control you.  This was another reason to use summoning spells over Simulacrum, as summoning two creatures has less of a chance of leaving all summoned creatures out of range and thus useless, wasting precious spell points.

Now I don't like people being kept as slaves.... keeping them as slaves even after they're dead?  That's low.  Let's do something about it.

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