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Outside the Ox

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  1. Outside the Ox

    Avernum 7

    Actually, the majority of the linked article comes directly from the Avernum 3 ending. The bit about the City of Dawn and Redmark College is a collective fan invention.
  2. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 4 display problem

    Awesome! What a happy ending. I'm moving this to Tech Support so the solution will be easier for other people who are having problems to find.
  3. Outside the Ox

    G3 small oops

    Just wait until you want to go back and do something on a previous island and have to backtrack through multiple boats, walking in and out of 4 different zones to get there
  4. Outside the Ox

    Hardest/strangest party creation?

    It's not. (I mean, I can't speak to how you played it -- I think replenishing SP would be a more likely cause of extra trips than inventory -- but those spells definitely do not exist ) Look, people really trust your word around here, Randomizer; I wish you wouldn't speak authoritatively about stuff you're only guessing about. If you're basing your statement on a vague memory from a decade ago -- or, equally, on a vague statement Jeff made -- I really wish you'd indicate that. People take your factual statements as expert opinions, because of the detailed work you put into your atlases, and so on. You are trusted. Which makes it extra important that you say something different when you just mean to bring up a thought as a possibility that you aren't sure about. When you don't, that's how we end up with urban legends about game mechanics
  5. Outside the Ox

    Hardest/strangest party creation?

    Exile I in particular had relatively little in the way of lootable items. But even II and III weren't full of random sellable crap the way post-Geneforge SW games all are. Neither one of those are spells in Exile I. I'm not really sure what you're thinking of here.
  6. Outside the Ox

    Hardest/strangest party creation?

    Singletons were actually pretty popular during the Exile days -- often viewed less as a challenge and more as a personal preference. They streamlined some of the logistical tasks involved in playing, and as you noted, weren't actually any harder than parties. Inventory for them on E1/2 was less an issue than you might expect. There were fewer slots per PC, but also fewer different pieces of equipment to wear.
  7. See, these are the little details and caveats that I wish you would share from the get-go, to avoid creating urban legends Remember that "invisible -36% Torment armor penalty"? (note to anyone reading: that is not a thing, that was never a thing) This is something you saw once, during beta testing, a month before a massive engine overhaul; it can no longer be tested for, and we know it definitely doesn't happen in more recent games. It also doesn't sound like "20 rounds in a fight with a monster swarm" is an environment in which all other variables could possibly be controlled for. Even in A4 and A5, we know a lot about how the engine handles things. It does not have the ability to register multiple copies of the same status. It just tracks the duration of the status on the character, and a duration of 0 means the status is not present, otherwise it is. That's it.
  8. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 3 Ending Chart

    This one is simpler, sort of. There are two major endings, with one branch point, and numerous variations depending on what you did on each island. (One branch offers a fairly different fate for the PC, but the vast majority of the ending is unchanged by it.) After describing the war and what happens to the PC, each ending then narrates the ultimate fate of the Ashen Isles, before finishing (again -- an italicized again truly is the word that best sums this game up) with a Ghaldring cameo/foreshadow. Minor Variations in the Beginning of All Endings: - Canister use - If you retained Alwan until the very end - If you retained Greta until the very end Both Alwan and Greta remain in the Ashen Isles, if they were still with you, and are implied later in the ending to have made a difference in Gull Island's reconstruction. MAJOR ENDING 1: DESTROYED THE GENEFORGE Branch 1a: Supported the Shapers consistently, low canister use You reach a Shaper force, and tell them about everything that happened in the Ashen Isles. You are praised and promoted to a Full Shaper, fend off a Rebel attack, and rise in the ranks until you become a General. You find that Terrestia has been truly ravaged, and you keep fighting. Branch 1b: Supported the Shapers consistently, heavy canister use You reach a Shaper force, and tell them about everything that happened in the Ashen Isles. You are praised, but locked up due to your canister use. The commander is killed during a Rebel attack, and you are freed to help in the fighting. You rise in the ranks until you become a General. You find that Terrestia has been truly ravaged, and you keep fighting. Branch 1c: Did not support the Shapers consistently You get this ending by completing the Shaper endgame after having completed the Rebel path on some or all of the previous islands (Harmony, Dhonal's, and Gull). I'm not sure, but I think you have to take the Rebel path on all three of those islands to get this (bad) ending. Killing Khyryk and repairing the Creator at least seems mandatory. You reach a Shaper force, and tell them about everything that happened in the Ashen Isles. You are locked up due to your actions. During a successful Rebel attack, the Shaper commander comes in and deals you a mortal wound. You are then, apparently, eaten by a drayk. (Just like Barzahl!) Despite being dead, you still have to hear about Terrestia being ravaged. Minor Variations: - If you killed Master Hoge - If you killed Litalia Harmony Island Fate: The Shapers retake the island. If you helped Diwaniya, he is allowed to remain in power. If you helped Lankan, the remaining rebels are routed. Dhonal's Island Fate: If you destroyed the Creator, the island becomes a center of command and research under Rahul. If, instead, you repaired it, a Shaper force (apparently led by Alwan) comes to destroy it. Gull Island Fate: If you helped Khyryk, a Shaper force (apparently led by Alwan) comes to execute Agatha and company. Khyryk is left in charge of the island, and refuses to aid either side in the war. If, instead, you killed Khyryk, Greta comes to Gull Island and brokers peace and understanding between the serviles and drayks. Isle of Spears Fate: The Shapers cleanse the island harshly. MAJOR ENDING 2: KILLED LORD RAHUL You reach a Shaper force, and tell them about everything that happened in the Ashen Isles, to scare them. You are locked up due to your actions. During a successful Rebel attack, the Shaper commander comes in to deal you a mortal wound, but is instead decapitated by a rotghroth. By Akhari Blaze's pronouncement, you are given a command of those servile cultists who choose voluntarily to serve under you. You participate in the ravaging of Terrestia, and you keep fighting. Harmony Island Fate: The Rebels retake the island. If you helped Lankan, he is given command of the island, and lives happily ever after. If you helped Diwaniya, the remaining Shapers are routed. Dhonal's Island Fate: Whatever you did with the Creator, the island is taken by the Rebels and Akhari Blaze razes Dhonal's Keep out of spite. Gull Island Fate: If you helped Khyryk, a Shaper force (apparently led by Alwan) comes to execute Agatha and company. Khyryk is left in charge of the island, and refuses to aid either side in the war. If, instead, you killed Khyryk, Greta comes to Gull Island and brokers peace and understanding between the serviles and drayks. Isle of Spears Fate: Drakons go there to attempt to become Ur-Drakons, and the Shapers are unable to pierce the isle.
  9. Even then it would just be a mechanic of the shield degrading when there are e.g. 3 or fewer rounds remaining in its duration -- the actual number of times you cast it wouldn't be relevant, just the duration. Right?
  10. Wait, what? That makes no sense, nothing has ever had a multiplicative effect on to hit rolls in any SW game. Are you completely sure there wasn't something else going on?
  11. Are you sure about this? With regular buffs, not the Enduring Armor type stuff?
  12. One thing that's different in N:R from more recent, non-remake Spiderweb games -- the world is much more open. Once you get past the ruined hall, you aren't really guided to the easier stuff -- in fact there often isn't any direct indication that a particular area is going to be more or less trouble. At the same time, there is less variation in difficulty between different areas -- a lot of places you can go have some easy encounters and some harder ones. C'est la vie. If an encounter is a killer, and you're not at a high level, leave and come back later. Beast Ceremony isn't anything special, it's just some basic buffs IIRC. And no, multiple layers of the same buff (from whatever source) have no additional effect. For armor, you mostly have it right, but N:R has a few unique wrinkles. The percent of damage that each piece of armor blocks varies a little bit from one hit to the next; the stated percentage is a good guide, but in particular it varies massively according to your Armor Use skill. So if you have extremely low Armor Use, you won't block as much as you expect. (As a side note, I don't think multiple layers of the same Shield or Bless buff have had additive effects to anything besides duration, in any SW game in decades... since Exile I think, unless I'm forgetting some wrinkle of the early Avernums)
  13. I usually do Torment but for N:R I think I gave in and dialed down to Tough. The mechanics are unusually well-balanced, and that means that using good builds doesn't make Torment feel like Normal after the first half hour, as it does in some other SW games. Torment's doable for sure, but at a certain point I'd rather just not have to reload so much.
  14. Outside the Ox

    Need Help Geneforge 2

    Not so much in the non-aligned ending. http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/22188-geneforge-2-ending-chart/
  15. Outside the Ox

    Need Help Geneforge 2

    Huh, really? Are you sure? Well, you can always withdraw from his faction by killing him, which I highly recommend both for the Unaligned ending and, frankly, in general.
  16. Outside the Ox

    Need Help Geneforge 2

    To withdraw from a faction, you just talk to the faction leader.
  17. I believe difficulty level is saved with your saved game. You need to change that setting while you are playing, not at the main menu -- there it only affects new games. IIRC.
  18. Outside the Ox

    Need Help Geneforge 2

    The problems you ran into with Vlish were probably the result of having them at low levels. At low levels, the flat bonuses creations get matter more, which helps some creations. (And basically everything will miss a lot if it is lower level than what it's attacking -- there is nearly zero adjustment to hit rate for specific creations and their attacks.) At high levels (and it takes very little time to reach those if you pump Shaping skill right away), those flat bonuses (for stuff like HP and Energy) are massively dwarfed by the formulaic bonuses all entities get -- while attack die size, elements, ancillary effects all still matter a lot. That's where Vlish shine, and their low cost means you can make them early (and make a lot of them early) to maximize their level gaining opportunities. Truly OP creations in those games. Anyway, that's academic and doesn't help you now, Snowwhite. You do have a lot of Essence at this point so I suggest, as Nim basically said, picking up some creations that have a higher base level. Gazers would be ideal for you, especially since you do have some points in Magic Shaping. Note that if you want to stay Unaligned (which I fully support -- best ending ever), you CAN temporarily join a faction to reap its rewards such as training, then immediately withdraw from it.
  19. Outside the Ox

    Need Help Geneforge 2

    I have to disagree on a few key points: 1. Guardians are extremely sub-par in G3 -- all melee damage was nerfed significantly in G3, and Parry (which was OP in G2) was also nerfed. Easily the worst class in that game, and not a great option in G4 or G5 either. Still playable, obviously, but yeah. 2. In both G2 and G3, the strategy that moves Shapers from "very good" to "OP" is picking the best cheap creation (generally Vlish), pumping the relevant Shaping skill (Magic Shaping), and making a full party of them early, and keeping them alive, so they gain lots of free levels. Lots of Intelligence is not the key in those games.
  20. LATEST UPDATE: Version 1.1 as of 4/21/12 Avernum Remix is a sort of "mod" for Avernum: Escape from the Pit that changes how some game mechanics, spells, abilities, and items work, in order to make the game more balanced and more fun. It isn't really intended for new players, but if you're coming back to the game and want to be able to use spears or bows as effectively as swords, or do more with battle disciplines or some of the less useful spells, Avernum Remix can add quite a bit of variety, and fun, to your tactical options. Read on down the page to hear about what it changes. DOWNLOAD LINK: Here REQUIREMENTS: Will not work on iPad, or on any version of the game purchased directly from an Apple App Store. Works on the regular Mac, PC, and Android versions, as well as all Steam versions. INSTRUCTIONS: Avernum Remix is a set of text files. You can replace some of the text files that come with the game, with these. How to do this will differ by platform, but the files you are looking for are in the "Resources" folder, which may be in Avernum's folder, or in the application package itself. If you choose to use these files, you should make a backup copy of your game first. There is no "easy uninstall" option, and there are no warranties expressed or implied regarding the use of these freely available text files. And if you need help, please don't bug Spiderweb Software, as they have nothing to do with this. OVERVIEW OF CHANGES: - Spears, halberds, bows, and thrown weapons improved in unique ways - Shields modified to make single-wielded swords a useful option - Battle disciplines improved; some are entirely new; fatigue times shortened - Quick Action now makes battle disciplines better - Many spells modified or changed to entirely new ones - Numerous balance changes (mostly improvements) to items; some are entirely new - Thrown weapons no longer have charges - A few overpowered abilities (Adrenaline Rush, AoE spells, AP bonus items) weakened or given drawbacks - Minor cosmetic fixes on special effects - A few changes to hint text and tooltips for better accuracy and, occasionally, amusement FULL DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES: BOWS Longbows are now much stronger. They have a 50% chance of doing 2.5x normal damage, reflecting the real world propensity of arrows to either be extremely deadly, or to strike glancing blows. THROWN WEAPONS You no longer need to refill your ammo supply when using thrown weapons; when you equip the weapon, it is assumed that you are taking care of that (just as you don't have to refill arrows for bows). Thrown weapons are also stronger. Javelins have a chance of doing some extra piercing damage, pinning an enemy down, or knocking it back. Razordisks, on the other hand, have a high chance of striking a second enemy. POLE WEAPONS Spears have a 50% chance of doing 2x normal damage, reflecting their ability to pierce armor on a good thrust. Halberds do slightly more damage in general, and have a much higher chance of cleaving into a second enemy for additional damage. SWORDS As the lighter melee weapons available in the game, swords are Avernum's "finesse" weapons. As such, they are slightly weaker than the other weapon types, but gain greater benefit from the use of battle disciplines. Sword-and-shield users will experience the greatest damage increase when they use a special technique, while dual-wielders will get an extra strike with their second weapon. In both cases the battle disciplines are invaluable. Sword users can expect to use a discipline every 2-4 turns in battle. SHIELDS Large shields of the style used in Avernum are bulky and clumsy, but provide good protection. Shields are now stronger and more restrictive. They provide a Parry bonus instead of an armor bonus, making them extremely effective for melee fighters who also invest in the Parry skill, but less valuable for spellcasters in the back row. This is a real incentive to play a one-sword fighter. Shields also require more strength to wield, and mages in particular will find their bulk interfering with the gestures they need to make when they cast spells. SKILLS Quick Action is now a valuable skill. In the same way that training in a spell expands the powers of that spell tremendously, so does improving Quick Action expand the powers of nine of the battle disciplines. Also, battle disciplines now have shorter fatigue times, but there is much less fatigue reduction equipment, making Quick Action invaluable for reducing fatigue. The two archery disciplines are greatly improved by Sniper, making Sniper a more useful skill. There is one very useful battle discipline that can only be unlocked, and improved, by training in Riposte. There are also more items that provide riposte ability, making it a more viable skill to focus on. Cave Lore is a better option as well: a few of the items buried in the higher Cave Lore patches (requiring 8 - 11 skill) have been replaced with artifacts that are very useful -- and also unique. BATTLE DISCIPLINES All the old battle disciplines have been improved. Most have shorter fatigue times. Focus Spirit, Bladeshield, and Battle Frenzy no longer end your turn when you use them. And there are four new disciplines with neat effects: Misdirection Attack, Fighter's Sweep, Rapid Fire, and Sword Dance. MAGE SPELLS Mages are specialists at focusing magical power into a small area. They can contain its energy to a one or two targets, or unleash it as a devastating cone of magical force. A few spells have had their powers reduced -- most notably, Haste no longer gives a chance of Battle Fury at level 3. Other old spells have been improved: summons, for example, now summon better creatures, and provide Battle Fury at level 3. Finally, several old spells have been eliminated and replaced with new ones: Cone of Cold, Heartshock, Blink Blast, and Arcane Binding. PRIEST SPELLS Priests are good at manipulating the battlefield to keep their party healthy. Although they still have area attacks, and they are somewhat more flexible in their targeting than mages, the power of their magical onslaughts has been reduced more. Instead, priests have more ability to inflict curses, to stymie and to knock back their enemies. Healing spells have also been rebalanced to make more of them useful. A few old spells have been replaced with better, modified versions: Holy Scourge, Splinter, and Divine Echo. EQUIPMENT Hundreds of changes have been made to the items you will encounter. The basic varieties of weapons and armor have not changed much, but the unique, magical ones have been modified extensively. You will now be less likely to pick up a new magical item and say, "Huh, that looks worse than what I already have." You will now be saying "Wow, that's pretty good but also completely different from what I have!" Many of these items have new names to reflect their new abilities. There are also a few balance changes, like making armor heavier to make tanking less widely available. COSMETIC CHANGES A few graphical alterations have been made to fix errors in the original. For example, the enemy cone of ice ability displayed a cone of fire, not ice. Tooltips have been updated not just to incorporate these changes, but also to fix inaccurate tooltips in the original. For example, Lethal Blow has always improved at a rate of 5%, not 3%. Finally, a few changes have been made in tooltips, help text, and item names as tributes to other games and stories, especially some of the Spiderweb characters I have loved the most. I hope you enjoy this thorough remix of a superb game!
  21. Outside the Ox

    A3: Chief Hilliar oops

    Variants of this situation seem to be showing up a lot, that is, "I have been relying solely on autosave and now doing so has backed me into a corner." I know it's probably not what Jeff intended autosave to be used for. But if that's how it's being used by this many people, maybe it makes sense to design around it, and have two different autosaves, one that is solely zone-based and one that triggers more frequently.
  22. I don't mind the blocky aspects. What I have a more visceral reaction to is the setup where three regions/countries occupy spiral out from a central region/country, so that they touch nothing else. In theory that could be OK, but in the context of other releases, it just seems so clear that this is going to be yet another contrived way of explaining linear gameplay. (Something else which can be OK, but is a lot better when it doesn't feel contrived.)
  23. That is a weird map...
  24. If it's the walkthrough linked here, that's for the original game, not Nethergate: Resurrection. The bulk of it still applies but there were a number of changes.
  25. Specifically, each point in the basic weapon and spell skills all increase your effective "ability level" by 1 point each when you attack. You also get points directly from Str/Dex/Int (depending on attack type), from your experience level, and (in the case of weapon attacks) from your weapon's item level. Ability level directly determines damage/healing dealt (it determines the number of dice rolled, basically, which is where the vast majority of damage comes from) and sometimes increases status durations very slightly. Early on this makes a big difference. When you are at a high level with a high attack stat, the difference is much smaller. Spellcraft and similar skills instead increase damage, duration, etc. by a percent. This is also subject to diminishing returns, but not to the same degree. Depending on the percentage amount, this is may be a slightly better bonus (especially late game).