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Ir the Great

Discussing Avadon (Spoilers abound!)

1 post in this topic

First of all, I'm aware that similar threads exist but most of those are fairly old, and I'm not sure what the policy on necroing old threads is here.

 

Anyway, I just want to share my thoughts and experiences with the Avadon series. To begin with, I thoroughly enjoyed all three games though my favorite was definitely the last one. Throughout the series, I played with a Shaman as my main character on normal difficulty. In all of the games, I tried not to use the same companions for every mission, but some missions and other events sometimes made that a difficult goal.

 

Avadon: The Black Fortress had a great story and probably took me the longest to complete. This was in part due to the amount of forced combat encounters in the game and the novelty of the series. In terms of difficulty, I feel it was the best balanced of the three games. In particular, it seems that most character combinations are quite feasible, and I used a variety of the companions throughout the game. In addition, I feel that the characters in the first game were developed a lot more than in the future games: the companion quests felt like actual side quests that allowed to fully understand your companions whereas in latter games, the quests got shorter and the choices didn't feel as meaningful. On the flip side, the companion quests took a good while to complete and while they were enjoyable, it was rather annoying to go find and rescue all four of your companions.

 

In the end, I wa only happy with doing two of the companion quests: Jenell's quest because I saw no real harm to do it, and Nathalie's quest because Avadon could care less that that drake was dead. I went through Sevelin's quest, but demanded a bribe from Cahil because Cahil was apparently under the protection of Redbeard (much to my annoyance). Finally, by the time I got to Shima's quest, I w starting to get annoyed and didn't really do his at all. Not to mention that of all my companions, Shima's goal seemed the most selfish and dangerous.

 

For the endgame, I used the Annotated Maps here mainly because it was late at night, and I really wanted to just finish the game. This game definitely had the longest endgame as I had to finish up the following morning. Nonetheless, I loved this game's endgame because it contained a huge plot twist that I did not see coming. In addition, you get the choice to fight the Wayfarer at the very end in Avadon for a very fun final fight. I was very disappointed to see that something similar wasn't done for the loyalist ends in the other two games. Perhaps most surprising (considering how many people say they reach the level cap half-way through the game), I never reached the level cap. Actually, I was not extremely close to it either -- if memory serves, I was around level 26 at the end. Though to be fair, I did skip a lot of sidequests.

 

Avadon 2: The Corruption was a bit more annoying and less addictive than the firs game. It starts out with an excellent hook, but it kinda loses you with the first major quest. When I reached the Corruption with its extremely strong monsters, I lost interest. The difficulty of the Corruption probably played a huge factor, but the story just wasn't that interesting at that point for me. Sure, I want to hunt Miranda, and the Corruption definitely has an interesting background, but I kinda gave up as I was tired of making very little progress. I ended up taking a hiatus from Avadon and played Avernum 6 one-and-a-half times instead. (I got to the Eastern Gallery then started over because I didn't like how my characters were built.)

 

By the time I got back to playing Avadon 2, I was willing to be a bit more patient and eventually got past the forsaken Corruption. If there wa one thing that the Corruption taught me, it was how to run: up until then, I literally engaged groups of monsters versus single monsters. I also learned how to effectively use the revive outside combat feature to my benefit.

 

When I reached the first mission involving the Tawon temples, I completed it in a rather unconventional fashion, and I don't think the developers fully expected it to be completed the way I did it. First of all, in the perimeter of the temple, I kept getting murdered by Icy Bones and wa literally running (a lot) to try to get somewhere I could revive my party. I literally kept going in circles until eventually, I was either killed or until I managed to get around a corner without the enemy in sight. I could've probably saved myself a lot of trouble had I use some vitality (especially considering how little I used inside the temple...) to save myself a lot of trouble, but let's just say I'm ultra-conservative in both my consumable and vitality use. Anyway, once inside the temple (and figuring out how it works) , I went to the northwest area where the four priests are. I tried killing them all at once first, but that didn't work at all. So, I reloaded and tried to lure them one by one. That didn't work either as they always teleported my character away into a lone corner and no matter how hard I tried, my single character could not out damage the lone priest who kept using heal spells. I did realize something though -- One of the priests teleports your character to a remote corner out of view of the other priests. The priest never returns either. With that in mind, I reloaded and let my character get killed then revived in my safe zone. The other three priests unfortunately did not whisk you out of view of the others, but that was okay. I triggered the other priests' teleports as well, let my characters die, and respawned. This time, I made a run for it -- I ran for the basin while the three priests were separated from another and then ran out before they could kill all three of my characters. Needless to say, it worked (and the priests, interestingly enough, did not chase me. For the third basin in the southern part of the map, I did something even more ludicrous than what I did with the priests: I ran to the basin, then ran towards the center leaving behind one of my characters to be killed, allowed the character to die and quickly exited combat mode, did some talks, then fled the dungeon. I could have perhaps saved myself some trouble since there wa (thankfully) no final boss, but he, solving the dungeon tactically was an interesting change. (A note about the southern golems that activate with approaching the basin -- they will chase you until you or them are dead. I didn't kill them.)

 

The companion quests were extremely boring in comparison to Avadon 1's quests: they were short and did not develop my companions' characters nearly as much. Khalida's quest was the most disappointing of them all. I did all of the quests because I saw no reason not to (except maybe the fact that most of them were boring and felt like a waste of time....). Alcander's quest was perhaps the most interesting, but it doesn't justify the other ones.

 

A very interesting aspect of this game wa the scout companionship dynamic. I really did want to help Silke (in part for the medal), but I just could not kill Odil; I literally reloaded because I could not force myself to do it. While on the subject of the rebel fortress, I might add that I loved the Konstina fight. You have to figure how the fight works, but once you do, it is a lot easier and a lot more fun. Also, a bit of advice -- don't let Konstina flee southward; force her into the western corner. It's outside the circle still, but at least she'll remain within attack range.

 

The Corruption Core (compared to my first experience with the Corruption) was one of my favorite parts of the game. The creation stories were very interesting even if they were faked. It also featured what was in my opinion the hardest fight in the game (minus optional bosses). The three linked fighters (1 shaman, 1 priest/mage, and 1 shadowwalker) were obnoxiously tough, and I ended up having to change my party composition about twice. The Miranda fight forced me to change compositions again. (The fact that the Miranda fight gets cut short surprised me and would have been useful to know as it was a pretty difficult fight.)

 

I feel this wa kinda an oversight and probably not intended, but I made the endgame a lot easier by using a teleportation scarab. Unlike the shadowwalker's shadowstep ability, the teleport scarab has near unlimited range provided it is along a clear, straight line that is within your range of sight plus a few tiles. Between this exploit and the revive trick, I skipped a bunch of encounters and fights. For instance, inside the tunnel (after you fight that Defender something guy), I teleported past the spirits or whatever was summoned. Later, when I was back in Fort Foresight, I used the teleport scarab to slip past enemies (who were busy with my other two characters) and avoid a bunch of fighting. Once again, I finished the game below the level cap though quite a bit closer than the first game. I think I wa around level 27 and 28 at the end.

 

Avadon 3: The Warborn was my favorite both from a mechanical and plot perspective although I favored Avadon 1's depth and content a lot more. The change in how vitality worked was very nice as I could start spamming abilities without worrying about running out of vitality for boss fights. I also liked a lot of the new abilities in the game. The passive radiate healing (etc.) ability was useful (though I feel that giv en he Shaman's weaknesses, it could've had a slightly longer range). From a plot standpoint, this game ties up a lot of loose ends. Some people don't like that, but I did as there were so many unanswered question in the first two games. I also like how my two favorite characters from the first and second game were back in this game (Alcander was nice, but I liked Khalida more despite the lame companion quest in the second game). There isn't much more to say for this game except that the Redbeard fight in this one is very doable. I managed to do it on Casual with only two hands (Botan and Nathalie -- I was more focused on the main quest and therefore skipped most of the companion quests) without the things to make the fight easier. Having a sorceror(ess) by the way makes the fight a lot easier as they absorb a lot of damage.

 

Overall, loved the series and am already in a second playthrough of the first one on hard using a Sorceress.

Triumph likes this

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