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Outside the Ox

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Everything posted by Outside the Ox

  1. Outside the Ox

    Keyboard shortcuts in Avadon?

    Keyboard shortcuts did not get dropped, in general. You can customize these by clicking on "Keyboard Shortcuts" in the pause menu. Some specific ones have gotten dropped -- the requirement to use letters to select targets hasn't been a thing since the original First Avernum Trilogy (2001-2004), IIRC.
  2. Maybe, but I don't think anyone has mapped out the file format.
  3. That's the link Falastur used. The problem, I believe, is that using the sound fix (also described on that page) overwrites the auto-registration status that now comes with the game.
  4. EDIT: Ohhhh, wait. misc.dat is what stores the registration status, isn't it -- so using the sound fix means the old registration status is wiped. Huh. Not sure what to suggest there.
  5. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 4 Trakovites *Spoilers*

    Actually, choosing a weak power flow doesn't result in a Trakovite ending at all. You have to pick a strong power flow to get the Trakovite stalemate ending.
  6. Yeah, I think it's worth emphasizing that Exile/Avernum 1, Exile/Avernum 2, and Nethergate are all shining examples of how goog's ideals can be realized in a positive way. And that includes for non-open-world, more linear games. Exile/Avernum 2 has a long, linear, non-repeatable part to it early on that has generally been quite well received.
  7. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 4 Trakovites *Spoilers*

    Hmm, interesting. So it seems that there may be "points of no return" where you are locked out of the Shapers or Rebels, but that they only apply if you have been consistently (perhaps even 100%) siding with the other faction.
  8. Exactly that! Alo articulated it a lot better than I was.
  9. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 4 Trakovites *Spoilers*

    That's not true, although it can seem like it is. First, if you helped the Shapers in the Barrier Zone, they will help you leave the Fens even if you give Monarch's notes to the Rebels. Shaper and Rebel options also both become available at certain points in Burwood (after Quessa-Uss) and in Northforge Warrens (from Miranda) -- I believe no matter what. I don't think anything pre-empts these options; could be wrong about that, but giving Monarch's notes to the other team definitely doesn't if you handled the Barrier Zone in the opposite way.
  10. Outside the Ox

    ARW Dumb Questions

    Bigail is one big island.
  11. Triumph: not the implementation of quest acquisition in general, but rather the stale and formulaic way they tend to be laid out when given from a quest hub in particular. (And to be clear, this is not by any means a Spiderweb-specific problem.) Minion: An evolution, sure; but I would argue against that evolution being "natural." It's definitely true that some game-makers, over time, start producing games that have a greater quantity of content and which have a consistent and predictable level of good quality to that content; whereas their older games tend to be viewed as fresher, more original, and (by some of us) as higher quality as fully assembled wholes, even if the pieces may be rougher. But not all game-makers evolve in this direction, particularly not when we're talking about indie developers. I can point to some contemporary CRPG devs whose games are on Steam; for a more commercial outfit, I'd point to some of the game-makers whose games Jeff has cited as inspiration and the way they evolved in the late 80's and early 90's -- Sir-Tech (Wizardry), Richard Garriott (Ultima), SSI (the gold box games, among others).
  12. I really don't understand how you get that from "quest hub". Call that a required quest, a gatekeeper, whatever -- that's simply not what the word "hub" means. I mean, here's what Giant Bomb says it is: https://www.giantbomb.com/quest-hub/3015-6065/ We've been talking about it in terms of people (Bob) rather than locations, but it applies the same way there. It's a central person with multiple quests. OK, now I'm just confused. You said before that quest hubs were the "result" of going away from the open world system. Now you seem to be arguing that these open world games all had quest hubs?
  13. Again I disagree. In Exile 1, quests were all over the place, and often quite informal. The bigger quests were interwoven amongst a number of different characters. Erika tells you about a bunch of stuff you need to do, but most of that info comes from other people as well. Micah I think is the only person in the game who actually gives you rewards for a sequence of accomplishments -- but again, about 800 people talk about those quests and how great it would be for someone to take out Sss-Thsss, etc. Those are not quest hubs. Compare to E3: although Anaximander isn't the only person who tells you to go after the plagues (which after all the whole game is about), he nonetheless gives you explicit directions, missions, and rewards, spanning the entire game. In Nethergate and G1, many quests do require speaking to your faction leader either to hear about them, or to activate them, depending. How exactly are you defining "quest hubs" such that G3 and A4 have them, but Nethergate and G1 (for example) do not?
  14. I strongly disagree. "Quest hubs" in Spiderweb games predate the scripted-path world by quite a bit. E3, Nethergate, G1 and G2 all had quest hubs, even though scripted-path didn't replace open-world until G3 and A4. And even in G3-5, quest hubs weren't quite as formulaic as they became in A5-6 and, especially, in Avadon. It's part of the same general evolution of SW games -- absolutely. But it's not the result of scripted-path world design. -- It's one thing to have a faction leader or a commander who you collaborate with over the course of the game, an organic part of the game world like Cartumnus or Ellhrah. It's another thing to have 10 different hubs that you repeatedly check in with, each time the story advances, to get new quests, and who all magically have one new quest per new area. That becomes mechanical and, worse, transparent. It kills the suspension of disbelief. And you can certainly have scripted-path world design without quest hubs: JRPGs did that for a good 15 years. JRPGs did that by having game progress be plot-based. In early SW games, like most Western CRPGs of the era, progress was more gradual and atmospheric. Both of those ways of doing things can work out great. With the focus on quest hubs, though, progress is instead hub-based. Mechanical. Perfunctory. With good stories and good writing, sometimes it's possible to gloss over this. But that doesn't always work out.
  15. I wish the concept "quest hub" was not a thing. Just in general...
  16. Outside the Ox

    Geneforge 4 Trakovites *Spoilers*

    Be careful about drawing conclusions here! There are two things that might be likely to affect that part of the ending. One of them is your "reputation", the number that lots of actions (and a few conversation choices) alter. The other is specifically how you resolve the major quests at the end of each chapter. The rewards from Manohla in Derenton Freehold depend SOLELY on the reputation number. I would be careful about assuming that that is what affects the ending rather than how you resolved the major quests. It's certainly possible, I just don't think it's a given. Both of these things could be tested by using shift-D to edit SDFs right before the ending, if you wanted to. Re repairing Moseh... I believe that buying creations from Duncan simply requires a slightly pro-shaper reputation and does not depend on Moseh specifically. You may wish to consult this: https://minmax.ermarian.net/g4/g4q.html
  17. I don't think this has been done much, because it's generally simpler (and there is definitely less chance of collateral damage) to just edit a dialogue script in a zone to increase a stat (or whatever you need).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.