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Weird Heather

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  1. I'm pleased to report that, as with nearly all of Spiderweb's other games, Queen's Wish appears to work flawlessly with Wine, and without any tweaking or special configuration. I'm using Wine 4.12.1. I suspect that any recent version will work. So far, I have played through the opening sequence, explored the fort, and talked to the people there. The game seems to function just as it would on Windows. (Of course, there are many versions of Linux, so it might not work as well for some others as it has for me.) I'll put some brief instructions here in case anyone else wants to try it and isn't quite sure how to do it. Note that my instructions here should work with nearly any Spiderweb game. The only one that has given me trouble is Nethergate: Resurrection. Older ones that only have 4:3 resolutions might be troublesome to display properly on a widescreen monitor. For my system (which uses the proprietary NVidia drivers) I have come up with a kluge workaround - if anyone is interested, I can post the instructions in the general forum. Note that if you don't have some of the necessary software, i.e. winetricks, Lutris, or Playonlinux, you will have to install it from whatever repository your distribution of Linux uses. --- Manual Installation --- There are a few different methods of installation. The way I usually install Windows games is to install them manually using the system Wine, and then add them to Lutris, which I use to manage Wine versions and some configuration options. To install manually, open an xterm window and execute the following commands, or put them in a quick-and-dirty shell script and run that. (In all of the following, replace {path} with the path where you want to install Queen's Wish, and replace {setup file} with the name of the setup file.) This method works for the GOG version. DRM-free setup files purchased directly from Spiderweb or elsewhere should work the same way. Note that you may need to put a backslash before special characters in the name of the setup file or enclose it in quotes. (There are other ways to set up the wine prefix. I've gotten into the habit of using winetricks because I also use it to install libraries where required. In this case, none are needed, so it is only necessary to specify the Windows version.) WINEPREFIX={path} winetricks win7 WINEPREFIX={path} wine {setup file} If you just want to use the version of Wine installed on the system, this should work. It will put an icon on your desktop, and you can run the game from there. --- Lutris --- If you want to add the game to Lutris after manual installation, follow these instructions. (If someone eventually writes a script for Lutris, you might be able to use that instead, but note that Lutris scripts have a tendency to go out of date eventually and aren't often updated.) If you need to install a new version of Wine, click the button in the top left corner of the border, and then Manage Runners. Scroll down to Wine, and click Manage Versions. Then, download whichever version you want. Lutris will also find any versions you may have downloaded using Playonlinux, and it will find versions of Proton that Steam has installed so that you can use it with non-Steam games. In the Games tab, enter the title of the game and choose Wine as the runner. In the Game Options tab, browse to find the executable. In the GOG version, it will be {path}/drive_c/GOG Games/Queen's Wish The Conqueror/Queen's Wish.exe. Also, put {path} in the Wine prefix. You shouldn't need to enter anything in the working directory. In the Runner Options tab, select the Wine version you want to use. If the one you are trying doesn't work, try another. 4.12.1 works for me. Everything else here can stay as it is unless you want to run it windowed in a virtual desktop. Also, everything in the System Options tab can stay as it is. --- Playonlinux --- Another way to install games is to use Playonlinux. It is easy to use, albeit sometimes a bit slow, and it doesn't always have the very latest versions of Wine available. To install by this method, select Install, and then select Install a non-listed program. Then, it will walk you through the steps. You shouldn't need to install any libraries or do any special configuration. You might need to download a particular version of Wine first, especially if your system Wine is antiquated. If so, go into Tools->Manage Wine Versions, and select a recent one. I haven't installed Queen's Wish this way, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work. --- Steam Play --- Finally, for those who are using Steam, you probably have the easiest solution of all. Since Queen's Wish doesn't require any tweaks, I suspect that Steam Play will work without any difficulty. For those who aren't familiar with it, Steam Play is a feature on Steam's Linux client that automatically installs their version of Wine (currently Proton 4.11-3) along with a Windows game and runs it from the Steam launcher just as if it is a native Linux game. For me, Fallout 4 worked great this way - I just had to change something in a .ini file to get the mouse to stop jumping. Just enable Steam Play in the launcher and install Queen's Wish normally. It will probably just work without any complaint. If someone has done this already, please respond to let everyone know if it works as I have predicted. Hopefully this is helpful. I know some people have been disappointed in the past that Spiderweb doesn't release native Linux versions of the games, but the games have a history of working very well with Wine, so I think Linux gamers are covered well enough, and Spiderweb can devote more time to writing games rather than spending limited resources to support a niche system. If anyone has anything further suggestions, please respond. If my instructions don't work for someone, maybe we can find a solution and update the thread.
  2. I have always loved junk items in games. They help to make the game world feel like a fully developed place rather than just a setting that exists entirely for the player characters in the game. The Avernum series, with its large open world, numerous forts and towns, variety of objects (including junk), and NPCs with their own lives and concerns, is an excellent game world. I've been playing computer games since the 1980s, and the first RPG that I thought had a good game world was Ultima 6, and it featured plenty of junk items. As others have already noted, it was possible to get drunk by consuming too many alcoholic drinks. Ultima 7 was great too; it had many different varieties of garbage. That would be a nice future addition to Spiderweb games, and it probably wouldn't be difficult to implement. The junk items in "Avernum: Escape from the Pit" are numerous and varied. Of course, there could always be more, but the selection is sufficient to spice up the environment. I also like it when an item that appears useless turns out to be needed for something; a few quests in this game require junk items.
  3. This is one part of the game where knowing the story of Avadon 1 helps; the people of the Wyldrylm have the same complaints in that game. The free road is a source of contention, but perhaps more importantly, they bemoan the loss of the "old ways." Some seem to grudgingly accept some loss of cultural sovereignty in exchange for perceived security and better relations with other nations, but others are resistant to domination by Avadon and the Pact. It seems that, by the time of Avadon 2, this resistance has developed into a full scale rebellion within the Wyldrylm. The rebellion makes sense in the context of troubles that were brewing in Avadon 1; it is a good example of continuity of story between the two games.
  4. In my experience, romance in role playing games has typically been contrived and/or underdeveloped, since it is seldom central to the story and is often added as an afterthought (and such story lines are frequently partially abandoned when the developer decides to prematurely release the game, i.e. Neverwinter Nights 2). I haven't yet seen the romance options with Rainer (since I didn't join the rebels), but from what I have heard so far it doesn't seem to become a major part of the story. The only genres of game I have played so far with well-developed romance stories are Japanese-style visual novels (in which romance is a convention of the genre) and some text adventures. I think it would be nice to see a role playing game with a romance as a major part of the story; it would be a nice change from the usual beat-up-the-monsters-and-destroy-the-evil-wizard-or-other-evil-threat type of story that dominates the genre. If the elements of romance in Avadon 2 are well received, maybe if we are lucky, there will be a better developed romance in Avadon 3 or some other future Spiderweb game, and maybe it will be central to the story.
  5. This one took me a while too. I expected to find the answer in or near the interrogation area, but the needed codex was elsewhere on the same level. I even looked everywhere in the deeper levels hoping to find something. It pays to search diligently every accessible part of every map. It's all too easy to miss things; it may be irritating, but it is realistic; the keepers of the dungeon probably wouldn't want this information to be too easy to find.
  6. My history with computer role playing games goes way back. My first game was Ultima III, and it was relatively new when I first played it on my Atari 800 (c. 1984), so I am definitely an old fart when it comes to these games. I have played through quite a bit of Avadon 2 now, so this isn't exactly a first impression, but I have found myself drawn into it to the point of neglecting the practical (i.e. boring) aspects of life for the last three days or so. So far, I have never found a computer role playing game that I would consider truly perfect, but I have found many that are good enough to hold my interest. The Avadon series counts among them, and I find that Avadon 2 is one of the better ones. For me, a perfect game would have the following characteristics. First and foremost, it must have an interesting and original story line, featuring interesting situations and complex characters. Additionally, it should have plenty of places to explore, and monsters and combat that make the game interesting but not tedious - a delicate balance that few games achieve. I am an avid reader (and I have a degree in English), so my standards for plot and characterization are fairly high, and I think that computer games, as an art form, are capable of attaining the quality of the renowned classics of literature, film, visual arts, music, and other art forms, but so far, they rarely succeed. The Avadon series seems like it is trying for this - and it is coming closer than the other Spiderweb games I have played (i.e. the Avernum series, which I also enjoy). Secondary characteristics that hold my interest include good places to explore, entertaining monsters, unusual treasures to uncover, and fights that are not overly tedious and difficult. I like the occasional challenge in role playing game combat, but I am more interested in the story than combat tactics, so combat-heavy games tend to bore me after a while. I have always played Spiderweb games on the casual difficulty level so that I don't have to worry too much about the combat and can focus more on the story (although in some of the Avernum games, combat gets rather tedious and annoying for me even at this level). I'm not above using cheats when the combat starts to annoy me, but so far on Avadon 2, I haven't felt the need to use them. I am happy that these games provide various levels of difficulty to allow different players to enjoy these games according to their needs and desires. The NPC party members are among the strengths of this game. I like role playing games with party members who are their own characters, and are not simply created by the player. Ultima IV pioneered this, and the party members who first appeared in that game were developed through subsequent games in that series, and by the time Ultima VI and VII came out, they were interesting and well developed. Avadon 1 and 2 are fine successors to that tradition. In Avadon 2, I especially find myself drawn to Khalida and Yannick, and I include one or both of them in most of my journeys. (I also like Alcander, but since my main character is a tinkermage, his abilities are somewhat redundant, so I haven't been using him a lot. With another class of main character, he would likely be a primary party member.) The Avernum series, in contrast, features a party in the style of Ultima III, a party created entirely by the player; its characters have no personality of their own and mainly serve to make combat more detailed, varied, and all too often tedious. In my opinion, the Avernum series could be improved greatly by having an Avadon-style party. Non-party characters are also interesting. Redbeard is a complex character who is developed well through the series so far, and Miranda also helps to hold my interest. Perhaps the greatest strength I find in the Avadon series so far is the political complexity, with its associated moral ambiguity. Should I remain loyal to Avadon, should I rebel, or should I take an ambiguous middle path? What about loyalty to the party members? In the Ultima series, beginning with Ultima IV, the goal is to be virtuous. In the Avadon series, how can one be virtuous? Difficult moral choices are frequently presented, and the Avatar of the Ultima world is likely to be perplexed by the frequent choices that provide no clear paths of virtue. The power of Avadon helps to keep the peace and to keep order, but it is also corrupt, and it angers a lot of people. It monitors and fights the Corruption - a threat that could destroy the entire world - and it therefore works for the good of everybody, regardless of Pact membership. But it also subjugates people, both in the Pact and in the Farlands. Should the player be completely loyal to Avadon? Or work to destroy it? Or follow a muddled, middle path that attempts to check and reform Avadon's power without destroying it completely? Good cases can be made for any of these choices. In my first playthrough of Avadon 2, I'm trying to follow a middle path, generally putting loyalty to my companions above all else (as I did in Avadon 1), but I'm not entirely convinced that this is the best position, morally. (Those who have completed Khalida's quest will know what I mean.) This moral ambiguity is made personal; the scout at the beginning (Rainer, in my case, because I am playing a female main character) personifies this conflict as he reappears throughout the game. My desire to be loyal and helpful to him sometimes conflicts with my other goals, and I have to make hard choices whenever I meet him. I don't want to hurt him, but I'm not entirely convinced that his way is the right way. Issues like these are far more interesting to me that combat tactics, and these are what have drawn me to the Avadon series so far, just as they have to other role playing games that place a strong emphasis on the story. The games in the Avadon series are, so far, more linear than I usually like, and I generally prefer open-world nonlinearity similar to the Avernum series, but since these games are so story driven, perhaps the linearity makes sense. I would, however, like to have the option to explore more places that have no bearing on quests or the main story line. Also, combat with weaker monsters can get tedious at times; whenever I encounter yet another group of ogres or animated bones, I wish for the option to use the simplistic automated combat system of Ultima VII or the "quick combat" option of Wizard's Crown. But it is nice to have the occasional enemy that requires some real thought and that cannot be defeated without full manual control (which Ultima VII does not offer), and Avadon 2, so far, has offered a few of these - not too many, but enough to make the game interesting for someone who likes to solve problems. Continuity with Avadon 1 is a strong point. As in the Avernum series, maps of places that recur in the series are related; Avadon itself bears a strong resemblance to the Avadon of the first game. In contrast, Lord British's castle and the towns changed completely from one Ultima game to the next, and I never thought those changes made any sense. The interior of the fortress and its dungeons look precisely as one would expect after some time has passed since the end of Avadon 1. The place hasn't been torn down and rebuilt; it simply evolved, as did the towns throughout the Avernum series. Perhaps it is easier to make new games in a series if one can reuse and modify existing maps, but it makes sense to do so. As for the characters, some NPCs recur, and hopefully the party members of Avadon 1 will see some development in this game or the next. Perhaps more could have been done in this regard, but it is a minor nitpick. I also like having a choice of genders for all of the character classes (since I almost always play a female character in role playing games), and the new tinkermage class is interesting. Of course, I had to try out the new class, and I have enjoyed building turrets for the tougher fights. I also like how different enemies may require different turrets; an enemy that can knock back characters or otherwise move them around can make healing pylons less effective and require a rethink of usual tinkermage tactics. Overall, the strengths of this game outweigh the weaknesses, and I look forward to playing through the story to the end, and eventually replaying it with a different character class and different moral choices.
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