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Chip

Is this observation about Avernum/Exile true?

8 posts in this topic

Something I found in an other thread

 

I do still find it interesting that the Avernum remakes were somewhat better received by people who preferred Exile to Avernum, than those who preferred Avernum to Exile.

 

I haven't played through the original Avernum trilogy but I've played the Exile games and the remakes (and the second trilogy) and I'm curious about this opinion.

theDav likes this

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What does that mean?

 

"Avernum remakes were somewhat better received by people who preferred Exile to Avernum"

 

I'm missing the logic here. Why would somebody like something that the don't prefer?

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In other words, according to some poll somewhere, if you liked Exile better than Original Recipe Avernum, you're more likely to like Avernum: Escape from the Pit, while if you liked Original Recipe Avernum better than Exile, you're less likely to like Avernum: Escape from the Pit.

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Yeah, I had just assumed that Litith's interpretation was the obvious one, except that I thought it was somebody's general observation and not a summary of some poll results.

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Without looking, I think that is my statement and I think I was referring the results of the huge board survey I did a little while after A:EFTP was released. The survey asked about ALL Spiderweb games (and various other things), not that question specifically. So, it was true for the (proportionately large) population of forum-goers who answered the survey, at the time they took it, anyway; and I must have felt the same thing seemed true after A2:CS was released based on what people posted here (though that's now too far off for me to remember so clearly).

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I think the quality or combat dipped in the middle. Exile had emergent complexity just because of the wealth of oddball spells. The new trilogy has scripted combat deliberately designed to be interesting. Original A1-3 are largely slugfests.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't share the apparently majority opinion. He thinks the remakes have consistently improved. Unevenly in specific areas but overall improvement.

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Maybe it's a matter of distance?

 

In Exile vs. Avernum, the differences are massive and, where deficient (again, this is in the eyes of old timey nostalgia biased weirdos like me) glaring. A gutted item, spell, and skill base, graphics lacking detail even if the system is more "advanced" - Avernum and Exile are games that are whole worlds apart.

 

But Avernum vs Avernum+? ... Minus a few niggling little details, I can't see how the Avernum Remakes are anything but a massive improvement. Those games are a lot closer in style and form, and all the systematic improvements really click. The art and graphics are beautiful, there's more depth to the systems, and while it still is a massive overhaul, there doesn't feel like as massive a gulf between these remakes and the first.

 

And lastly... again, nostalgia. You never forget your first love. If you played Exile, if that's the series that introduced you to Spiderweb, then that's probably going to have a level of personal connection the original Avernum just can't hope to match. Tinkering with that is going to be a touchier subject that tinkering with what's already a post-tinker product. Distance. And so, while Avernum was a glaring turn from the beloved, Avernum: Subtitle! is just many years of maturity, polish, and refinement applied to a comparably flawed product.

 

That is so much easier to swallow, even if that's only a skewed, personal perception.

theDav likes this

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Yeah, I think Necris Omega put a lot of that well.

 

One thing that Exile and Avernum- (I think) had, that Avernum+ does not have, was individually tailored monster stats. The vast majority of monsters in the newer games have all their stats derived directly from their level. That includes everything from HP, hit rate, and attack bonus to resistances. The means exist to modify these things, and while some of them occasionally receive a minute addition (resistances), most of the monsters are identical when it comes to their own stats.

 

Which abilities they attack with _are_ definitely custom-specified, and that may be the most important thing. But this is the reason that, while some enemies might call for different defensive tactics, you can use identical offensive tactics against anything that doesn't have a unique script.

 

I *think* Avernum- did not derive everything from level the way later games did, at least prior to BoA, but I'm not sure. Avernum+ definitely did though.

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