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Toast

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  1. I think the relevant question is less "are people dissatisfied with the Watchers" (obviously yes, and for good reason) than it is "is there an active resistance with a plan for filling the power vacuum that results from deposing them" to which the answer is no because, as you point out, everyone is scared shitless of the Watchers to the point where they're even reluctant to talk about them. With the Ukat and the Vol, regime change can be effected by Haven simply by backing an already well-established and powerful faction in the region. In this case it's Haven taking the side of a bunch of scared grumblers with no central organization. That's a bet my royal wouldn't take. It's interesting that if you do, the ending is much the same--Haven gets what it wants no matter what. But I suppose that's what it means to be an empire! Assuming you actually, you know, play the game, and don't teleport home to flip Mom the bird as soon as you can scrape up 25 quicksilver, Haven always wins. The only thing that can truly stand in their way is another empire, and unless you voluntarily take their deal like some kind of Haven-hating coward (cough), the Nisse aren't up to the task. I was worried going into this game that I wouldn't enjoy it like I do Avernum because of the extreme streamlining of various game mechanics. It looked to me like there were going to be fewer interesting choices to make. But I think there are plenty of them, they're just made in the way you shape the plot instead of how you develop your characters. I spent the whole game thinking about choices like this instead of which stat to develop. It was a very different experience but it kept me interested even when I was clearing out yet another quarry filled with lizards. I'll definitely stick around for the next game in the series.
  2. While I, the player, completely agree, my Haven noble was of the opinion that upending the traditional social order of the region in favor of a bunch of angry slaves who have never had power or experience ruling would only lead to purges, chaos, and delayed shipments of that nice stone we need. And, if I'm being completely honest, finding the evidence of what really happened in the castle Dorothy Lee sends you to enraged and terrified her. Voluntarily giving power to a group that has shown it is completely comfortable murdering nobles to get what they want is not perhaps in the best interest of a royal family. Also, if you didn't explore this conversation tree fully, when you sign the treaty with the Mascha you're given the power to demand many reforms to the Owen system and they agree instantly to every single one of them. There's at least the suggestion that most of them recognize they've taken too many liberties with the system and it needs reform to prevent any more bloody uprisings from happening, and that Haven demanding it is just the excuse they need to do the things that needed to be done for their own good, so minimal enforcement from Haven would actually be needed. The ending I got was vague, though, perhaps because my ruler did not choose to stay in Sacramentum; she didn't get to hear about how well the changes she insisted upon for the sake of stability were actually implemented. Apparently she lacks rigor as a regulation enforcement agency. But the stone continued to flow, so hey, all's well that ends well on a pile of slave corpses. Honestly not sure if I agree. I don't know what happens if you empower the Trench Towns but it's hard to imagine that having a bunch of powerful, mercurial, long-lived wizards on your bad side is good for regional stability. The Watchers do a terrible job of ruling their own people for sure, but there seems to be almost no taste for political change in their lands anyway. The glorious revolution consists of one lady on the same path to crazy as the rest of them and her cranky friend who explicitly doesn't want to help. My ruler kept the Watchers in power with the idea that the drug-addled bozos would be easy to manipulate, and if not, then at least less of a danger on our side, and Haven could step in and provide the safer roads and functional infrastructure they could not. The ending basically affirmed the latter but the former was somewhat undercut by what she agreed to do for them (kudos to Jeff for absolutely nailing a request that is so trivial and yet so imbued with import). She got the stability she was looking for with the Ahriel at the expense of stability elsewhere.
  3. It's interesting you say this because I felt that siding with the Brokk was the choice that would lead to the Ukat abandoning tradition. The Borgen may have adopted some of the external trappings of outside culture but it's Lady Brokk who promises to try to lead the Ukat out of their traditional hatred and resentment when you finish her quest. I sided with them for that reason, because my princess felt that having a vassal state less consumed by grudges would make them easier to rule. I also instructed them to go easy on the Borgen for that reason, to try to lessen the inevitable resentment they'd feel toward Haven for deposing them. My reward was the ending where they don't plot to revolt against Haven "for many years" which is probably the best I could hope for! Anyway, if you wanna really feel like garbage, side with the Mascha. Playing as a Haven-First ruler I felt I had to support the established order to maximize stability, and slaughtering escaped slaves fighting for their children's freedom so your nobles back home can have cheaper stone castles to live in makes you feel every bit of what you're doing to that continent.
  4. I'm afraid this is a known issue and will not be fixed because Jeff is a giant troll. http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/24267-how-do-i-finish-these-friggin-bounty-quests/
  5. I think it's probably hard to balance endgame content bearing in mind that not everyone is a completionist. Probably most of the people who go post on a game's official forum are going to be the people who care about finding every secret, optimizing everything, etc., but not everyone is like that and I think it's quite possible to blast through this game on the required path and finish it with a much lower level and less sweet lootz than you or I had at that point. There are whole swathes of continent that I explored just because it was there and I wanted to, the game's main plot never sent me there. So a final battle that kicks the ass of someone whose party is level 33 and decked out in every piece of magical swag is going to be very uncool for the Required Path Only crowd. I imagine it's a hard design problem in an open world game. And in a certain way, I respect the artistic choice to take most of the power out of the player's hands in the final battle. It's both utterly consistent with Erika's character for her to butt in the way she did, and rather poetic that her monomaniacal and destructive quest for vengeance ends only when it clashes with someone else's. It also makes some sense that an incomprehensibly powerful and alien foe like Rentar-Irhno could only be defeated by turning her own destructive creation against her. But that said, yeah... I did find the endgame very anticlimactic in terms of how it challenged my skill as a player. I steamrolled everything past the Golem Factory. The Alien Beasts were about as threatening as mosquitoes, and finding Demonslayer right before you end the game by pressing a button is some next-level trolling by Jeff. So yeah, chef's kiss for artistry and sad trombone for challenge. But I guess next time I play, I'll know when I should turn the difficulty up to the next level. (And when to pick up the dang thought crystal...) Actually, this makes me wonder... what happens if you don't accept Erika's amulet? Does she still crash the party at the end?
  6. Welp, I guess I absolutely did pick the crystal up too late and got all the Bunker residents killed for nothing. I'm a monster! Yeah what happens is the crystal souls go nuts on you, summoning an insane amount of tough critters and blasting you with magic, and you get all geared up for an Epic Battle, and then one of the souls in the crystal telepathically says "yeah I dunno, I was thinking about it, and... maybe we SHOULDN'T follow this deranged vengeance plan and kill all the humans??" and you're like "so maybe stop trying to kill me right now, then?" and the soul is like "eh I mean I'm on board but I dunno about my buds here, you should prolly just skip town, it's not like we can follow you or anything lol." And then you just... leave the room and there's no epic battle at all and it feels weird. Or, I suppose in some other playthrough that isn't mine, you stay and murder all the crystal souls and live with the knowledge that you have destroyed the holiest of all Vanahtai figures and basically torpedoed their opinion of you even further?? IDK man! The adventuring life is filled with tough choices!
  7. When I fought the 4 Crystal Souls, I had a telepathic conversation with one of them and it told me it was having second thoughts and that I should run away. So I did that. Is that what the thought crystal does? Lets you communicate with them?
  8. Well, I finally finished the game to the final fight (haven't waited around for the Tower of Magi "fun event" yet; I just mean the Rentar Irhno fight). I brought with me two special items which I had twigged as important to that fight: Erika's amulet and a "thought crystal" which was prepared for me apparently at the cost of the lives of most of the people in the Bunker, though they never explain exactly how or why. RIP. Erika's amulet activated to quite obvious and devastating effect. Also RIP. But I can't figure out what this thought crystal did, if anything. I picked the thought crystal up rather late; I was part of the way through Footracer Province before I did, and now I wonder if it was supposed to do something earlier in the game than the final fight and I missed it because of my tardiness, or whether I just wasn't paying close enough attention and I missed how it helped me out. It just feels kinda crappy that I got a bunch of people killed for this thing and I don't even know if it worked.
  9. It's also possible for the bounty quests to ask for a Drake... they are moderately common foes but it would still be helpful if anyone knows where a guaranteed respawn is.
  10. It looks like there are a few spellbooks for which the Sage Lore trait does not count to help you understand them, and this is one of them (http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/24076-a3rw-spell-books-spoilers/). So I'm guessing that's the issue. It doesn't seem very cool that it works that way, really.
  11. Yes, they will threaten and attack if you have just a slith. They say that "non-humans" aren't welcome and you better leave, and so you do, and then like 40 hours of gameplay later you come back having forgotten about it, and blunder into them, and make everyone in town hostile for no reason. It happened to... my FRIEND. Yes. >__>
  12. The monks in the southern island monastery use a death curse-like ability but it's called something else, I believe. On topic: I agree that the Dread Curses are given out a little too freely in this game. I'd never gotten one in an Avernum game before simply because I play Nice Adventurers who don't steal from citizens and the like. In this game all you have to do is read a spell tome or kill some threatening man-eating beasts and boom, you're cursed. The fact that apparently the one and only person in the game who can cure them can be made permanently hostile is an extra kick in the butt. Of course, I didn't, because I am Nice. But it really is quite a change from the previous games when you had to do something pretty egregiously wicked or foolish to get one.
  13. All up to and including the golems. I've just trashed the alien beast factory, actually, but I haven't swung back through Recalcitrant Unicorn Valley since then. I'll give it a shot later.
  14. I can't catch any of these guys either and I have 18 Nature Lore and the party is level 32... can the person who said they need to be "occupied" please spell out what you need to do, for the slow among us? Because I'm not getting it.
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