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Necris Omega

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  1. Geneforge is the most unique of Spiderweb games - Avernum/Exile will always be my favorites, but the uniqueness in both setting and concept can't compare. And yes, Avernum is fairly unique compared to the vast majority of settings in its genre, but it's still very much within it's genre. Geneforge is a blended cocktail of fantasy and sci-fi that feels very different from the few I'm familiar with. So much of the time such settings fall back on the fallen ancient-civilization bit, where you're basically a long post-apocalyptic society, and the lost magi-science of the ancients is the ultimate force in the setting, but in Geneforge, this is entirely not the case. The cutting edge is whatever you, your allies, or your enemies are cutting with, and when something is "like the world's never seen before!" there's no asterisk by that because the past isn't littered with fallen super civilizations you're just scavenging from. Also, Geneforge is a very old game - VERY old. 2001 old. For comparison, Exile originally came out in 1995. Avernum came out a mere five years later. The amount of increased experience, tools, technology, and general means of improvement that could go into a remake is unlike anything in Spiderweb's history. It doesn't just have the later Geneforges to look at, but all of the second Avernum trilogy, the Avernum remakes, Avadon, and Queen's Wish. Geneforge Redux stands to become the most dramatic and colossal improvement in a company known for revising and updating their most beloved content.
  2. Another part of the forums deflating could be said to be due to Steam and GoG. Now, I'm not going to pretend to know what fraction of Spiderweb customers go through what platforms, but what are the chances they stick to the likes of the Steam communities and pages rather than coming down to Spiderweb's own forums? Again, I can't say, but I can say how often I personally have gone from other Steam purchased games to their publisher's sites - effectively never. The forums will always fluctuate with activity given the release cycle, but so long as there are other, larger, competing places for similar "community" content, that's going to siphon away any new traffic or engagement these forums get. And what do you get for coming here that you can't get anywhere else? Other developers might shepherd players to their own local forums and such where they provide direct engagement in an environment where they control, but here? Not so much. So... why should anyone visit the forums - join the community, contribute to the discussion? I don't have any compelling answers for that, and to me, that's why these forums don't amount to a whole lot these days. People have other places to go that are just as if not more convenient, and so long as those platforms continue to take up an increasing part of Spiderweb's presence and sales, it's only going to continue.
  3. Interesting insight into the whole crafting mindset - kind of shows why that's fallen by the wayside in recent titles. Sometimes it works, other times it feels... I don't know. It really didn't work for me in Avernum Mach 2, but Avadon was perfectly fine without it. Queen's Wish's concepts do sound neat, though. Dunno what would be the closest comparison - makes me think of Dragon Age: Inquisition when he starts talking about infrastructure and minions and the management thereof, but it does sound a lot more focused on the civil side of things. Maybe a couple notches closer to Sim City than Ultima.
  4. Eh, could be worse. Honestly, part of me has gotten tired of super-piecemeal itemization. Granted, that's generally in titles where every item = character model alteration, but seven slots is a fair balance, particularly if there are far broader, more intricate systems to invest in. You might not have to worry about pants, but what kind of Portcullis is your keep equipped with? Ramparts with +5 to Machicolations and so forth...
  5. Playing D&D is like eating a Reeses - as long as everyone's having fun and no one gets a d20 lodged in their throat, there's really no wrong way to do it. Buuuuuut, yeah, if you're really set on a digital D&D aid, there are definitely ones out there more suited/tailored to the task. Would it be worth the time and effort and learning curve? ... That's one of those Schrodinger's cat, "don't know until you look inside" type questions. Neverwinter Nights (NWN) as mention is specifically built off 3.0 and there's mind boggling amounts of community content out there for it, and NWN2? ... Actually, avoid NWN2.
  6. While a solar energy source would be neat, without the rest of the materials to fuel a "surface" ecosystem (namely fertile soil) it would really only be step one in a very long process. Still, it'd be great start (assuming it doesn't go catastrophically wrong, like most major magical undertakings in Avernum have a tendency to). That said, a direct "land" route into Avernum would be the more practical approach for improving things (another Averum 6 undertaking IIRC). "Dig a tunnel" is a much simpler process than "recreate stellar fusion". In fact, here it technically isn't even "dig a tunnel" but "clear a collapsed tunnel" which is another (minor) plus for the endeavors chances.
  7. Huh... how would an isometric view be detrimental to iPhone development? Scale, I guess? In any case, I'm all for the change, and the new series. My only regret is I hadn't been keeping tabs on Spiderweb so missed the kickstarter entirely. =/
  8. I was being generic to the notion, not explicit towards that exact story. It destroys the path forward for a setting - it generally, irreparably damages the world in which it takes place. If the author/writer/designer has done their job, that's going to matter. I'm going to care and be invested in this setting, and now? That setting's lost a piece of its soul. It's an awful, awful thing to happen to a world you love, even if your favorite characters all live happily, even ecstatically ever after otherwise. As to LotR, really, there, the fact that magic was fading didn't really have much to do with the story as it unfolded. Yes, it did provide motivation for the rings in the very first place, but "magic is dying" is otherwise tangential to the main story. Yes, magic was fading, but it had been fading for a very long time. The fact that mini-Satan was on the verge of reclaiming the key to his power and dominating all creation was the driving force of the story. At it's core, LotR isn't a quest to save magic, but to stop evil. And that's fine. But ultimately... I disagree with the notion. "As everything eventually must," is defeatist. It's one thing to accept the passage of time, or the onset of age, but the concepts of magic and wonder belong to no man, life, civilization, or age. Minus the whole "deal with mini-Satan who we didn't know was mini-Satan" thing, the Elves had the right idea. Trying to save what makes your world special is something worth fighting for. They got screwed and nearly destroyed everything in the process, but... again. Mini-Satan. Their initial motivations weren't entirely wrong.
  9. Another thing about LotR is that it's said that Magic is explicitly in decline there, which... Honestly, that's always been my least favorite setting. Worst of all is when that's how everything ends. - "And then things were mundane and boring forever." Sure, the heroes survived, but then they lived out their lives as unremarkable turnip farmers. And maybe that's what they as characters want, but as the audience... no. A Normacalypse is a not fulfilling or gratifying or happy ending to me. If the magic and wonder of a setting is doomed to rot away, because of or, worse, in spite of the heroes winning than everything just feels hallow and depressed.
  10. While I actually like a lot of high-magic, magic-as-technology worlds, it's like shooting for the moon - most games miss and end up suffocating in the cold empty void of space.
  11. Yeah, it's not hard to balance the gameplay around the idea of guns - if my HP is so high I can shrug off a screaming halberd to the face, then why's a tiny supersonic bit of metal anything to be worried about? If you judge "damage" by resulting viscera, a gun would potentially do far less damage than a bow and arrow. I do, however, think that it does start to beggar the question "why are there still swords when we have reliable firearms"? Granted, thinking too hard about trying to stack up historical/real world effectiveness vs. RPG balance is always going to be a slippery slope, but I think limiting the technology to a point where the concepts generally "played" well together helps diffuse that brain itch. And really, for me personally, that's why swords and guns have difficulty really playing nicely together in the same setting. While it can be done in a narrative sense, more often than not, when things take a plot turn, and RPG mechanics are set aside, the guy bringing the sword to a gunfight ends up looking kind of silly to me.
  12. I think once you add the "simple", mundane (because it's not hard to make a "what about magic wands?" argument against this point) point-click death interface that is gunpowder, the whole dynamic changes, and... well, the romance is dead. For me, I just take one look at the Three Musketeers for that argument. Their name literally refers to firearms, and yet how are they almost exclusively portrayed? As swordsmen. And that's not to say that "higher" technology can't make for a good RPG - steampunk and the like, but I think there are very deeply rooted reasons why so many RPGs don't put anything more complicated than a bow on a shelf in the hands of the general populace/heroes. At a certain point, once you make it about technology and less about the character's individual skill, the heroism gets diluted. And yeah, I know you could make the argument "do you have any idea how absurdly hard it was to use ancient firearms!?" but I think the point remains. Most associations with guns are going to be to the modern, while swords n' such aren't so time-period sensitive in concept.
  13. What is the best (your "favorite") level of technology for an RPG world to feature? Granted, a lot of the time there's going to be some "ancient, lost civilization" with "magic" that could often go blow for blow with anything in Sci-fi, but generally there's a baseline for the broader, "common" world the heroes/villains are trying to save/conquer/destroy. That and magic always plays an interesting role - "I made an unstable exploding powder we could eventually weaponize with decades of development and violent innovation" seems a little less likely to result in a civilization with minigun mounted helicopters when "I waggle my fingers and everything explodes" is a fact of life. Spiderweb's always stuck to a pre-Guns sort of situation, with the big exception being Geneforge, but Geneforge is a setting unto itself. Outside of this, this highest non-magical technology I think the games have shown would be... Exile 3 when Crossbows were a thing.
  14. Professional sound? Awww... And here I was hoping we'd go back to the ultra-retro days of Exile. ♫ Row, row, row, your boat! Gently down the waterfall... ♪ *Canned water sound, toilet flushing, blood curdling scream* ... Okay, no, not really.
  15. *Hundred Yard Stare* ... I've been pronouncing Avernum wrong the entire time.
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