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Damp Annals

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Everything posted by Damp Annals

  1. Respectfully, Randomizer, that is a ridiculous statement, especially from someone who's so fond of saying that you need more Endurance on Torment 😛 Yes, monsters are at least twice as hard to kill. They also do twice as much damage, are much more accurate, have much higher evasion, have better initiative... and a lot of harder monsters and unique encounters have actual scripting on Torment (and sometimes Very Hard) that they do not have on Normal -- including extra actions per round (which all do twice as much damage) and access to particularly strong AoE attacks that they do not have on Normal. Yes, the AoE thing means you change your tactics, and that's why it's so much less relevant -- you adjust your tactics and then it's almost irrelevant. Lots of things die in round one to adrenaline-rushing spellcasters (and yes, on Torment, it is fair to assume that the player is using strong tactics); for those that don't, if you are relying on AoE's, that's what knockback effects are for. I mean, that was already a strong tactic in previous games simply to keep melee monsters away from you while you blew them up. Also, the friendly fire thing has far less of an impact on cone AoE's than circular AoE's, and a lot of the best attack spells are cone AoE's. (And of course, it has no impact at all on Divine Retribution.) You cannot simply "change your tactics" and then pretend enemies aren't hitting you twice as hard! There's no getting around that bit.
  2. I respectfully disagree with that last part. The major difference between Normal and Torment is that enemy stats are twice as high. The AoE thing is a fun change, and it takes a little getting used to, but once you do get used to it, it's easy to play around. You just have to plan for it a little, but Torment requires planning for battle anyway.
  3. No, I agree with this -- I was talking specifically about this form. What I can't imagine Khoth caring enough about is making the surface uninhabitable for the numerous citizens of the Empire who had no part in doing him harm. Khoth is indifferent, not malevolent, towards those he has no dealings with. Keep in mind that Khoth is the one Dragon who DID make a canonical appearance post-E3: in the Za-Khazi Run. It's been a long long time, but I don't remember him being preoccupied with vengeance there, was he? As for Athron, though, Sulfras may want her to "come around" but she was just as reclusive in E1, when she had no clutch, so I'm not convinced. That would have been interesting. Certainly a departure from the sorts of plots Jeff was writing at the time... it could have worked, though; it's not hard to see how attacks by dragons could be exploited for political gain by hardliners like the Darkside Loyalists. It might have been hard to reconcile with the role Jeff gave Melanchion, though.
  4. Athron is perhaps the least likely character in any Spiderweb game to ever leave her lair in order to launch an offensive against anybody. And it's hard to imagine Khoth caring enough to bother. Sulfras, maybe -- but such a time-consuming and indirect approach as to develop a race of magically enhanced roaches that spread disease? Not her. Erika -- I mean, it simply doesn't fit her motivation. Unlike the Dragons, she felt personally wronged, by specific people, rather than by humanity as a whole. Her revenge in the previous games was specifically targeted and, as Randomizer notes, successful. She didn't try to revoke her many crucial gifts from the Exiles when she left the Tower; why would she want to make the surface uninhabitable for them?
  5. Yes, that +10% to crit chance from longbows applies to all attacks. Even spells! Very silly, and easily corrected, but still it persists this way across numerous games...
  6. That is correct. The javelin ability doesn't actually use critical hit mechanics at all.
  7. IMO, neither Erika nor the Dragons made very convincing possibilities anyway.
  8. Hah, yeah, I forgot about those equipment penalties, heh. There was indeed a fairly small base value.
  9. This is good advice and clearly written -- I'm sure a lot of players will find it useful, Nobear. I largely agree about Endurance. Randomizer and I have been having this argument for what must be a decade now. You put the dilemma well: Endurance makes a very piddly difference to your survival by the second half of the game, yet the early game is when it's most important to get your primary attack stat as high as possible. Eventually you get to the point where you max the hit cap and have a high base amount of damage dice -- and then it doesn't matter so much, as neither placement option is game-changing. Things were different in Geneforge and the Second Trilogy, where EVERYTHING ELSE in the HP formula was multiplied by your Endurance. (Or something like that, it's been a while.) Now that it's a flat +5, the impact is much, much, much smaller. Randomizer, you always pull out this same line about "you start needing just a few extra health to avoid dying in one round by just those few points". That is hogwash. The "you start" part is especially hogwash -- as not only do manually placed points of Endurance have less effect on your HP, proportionately, as you gain levels and other bonuses -- but your armor and resistances also ramp up fairly rapidly. But the other problem is that, since your HP is a finite number and above-your-level enemies on Torment deal huge damage early on, not even putting 2/3 of your points into Endurance will cause the scenario you describe to stop happening! In an encounter where you are literally less than 5 HP away from surviving, there is always something else you can do to deal with things -- alter your tactics, your character placement, use summons, etc. Or, for that matter, wait for a single level up, which after all automatically comes with 5 HP, and come back. Whereas having a 5% lower chance to hit (and a die less of damage) handicaps your performance with greater frequency.
  10. You need to talk to Mazumdar, one of the wizards in the lab in the southeast.
  11. Then I invite you to do so. You're right that, technically, those factors were not ruled out given how that test was conducted. But there is zero evidence suggesting they need to be ruled out. In particular, I note that after eight and a half years of this series existing, you are the only person I am aware of who has claimed to observe enemy targeting based on party order. Don't you think it's very unlikely that this would seem so obvious to you, yet nobody else would ever notice it happening? Without rigorous empirical testing, the more plausible explanation for what you observed is this one. You are talking about an outdoor encounter. Party order correlates 100% with initial placement in outdoor encounters. You also note that the ice worm acts first. What seems likely to me is that, given the initial placement, the first two characters are the ones closest to it, and some other factor makes it prefer your second character over your first character as a target. (Or maybe the second is actually always closest? I don't remember the range of possible starting locations for the ice worm, but if it is just a square right of the middle, the second PC would indeed always be the closest character to it.)
  12. According to this post http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/24070-lets-all-play-avernum-3/?tab=comments#comment-300921 Challenger does work, and based on the description, it seems pretty hard to argue with. And you'd have to rule out an awful lot of other explanations for the way the AI targets. Character proximity, HP, armor/resistance... things which all correlate with party order, and which the game might well check for. It wouldn't make any sense for targeting to be "based largely" on party order. As a tiebreaker, maybe.
  13. Capture Soul is very much player level dependent. This is from A2:CS, but the mechanics are presumably identical or similar (though the enemies available and their levels may be different). http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/21086-capture-soul-mechanics/
  14. Yeah, I guess "elemental damage" is not the clearest term to use, that's fair. But no, it does not affect Move Mountains, because of the definitions I listed above. The tooltip for that trait though very clearly says "elemental damage". Even if "elemental" isn't the clearest word, "damage" certainly is. I'm not saying Spiderweb tooltips are never wrong but in this case there's really nothing to suggest a boost to buffs or debuffs, is there?
  15. OK so by "TONIGHT" I clearly meant "probably Saturday" but it is going to happen then. Really.
  16. A lot of the answers to these questions can be found using the search function on the forums. Some of them you can just look up in the game yourself (i.e., what spells were removed between games). For the less obvious ones, here is what I can give you off the top of my head: Most of the principles still apply, and the majority of game mechanics are unchanged. So in those realms it is a good starting point. The flow of the games are not identical, however. In A:EFTP you could pretty easily explore almost all friendly settlements and map locations at the start, with little danger. Neither A2:CS nor A3:RW are quite the same. Yes, Jeff nerfed dual wielding as of A2:CS in two ways: changing the base penalty from -20% to -35% (which has a bigger impact on early game than late game), and removing or nerfing two incredibly strong weapons with bonuses that aided both hands (a flaming sword, and a sword with an insanely high Blademaster bonus) (which has a big impact on the late game). If we're talking about the same analysis, it absolutely mentions this. That hasn't changed, and humans are still the clear winner, though someone (Clintone I think?) made a good argument for using nephils in specific builds in A3:RW. Swordmage was never a complete waste, at least not the first few levels -- it just wasn't necessary in A:EFTP. It is more useful in A3:RW. Yes. This was actually true of the most recent version of A:EFTP as well -- Jeff initially set the second-level spell and training purchase prices much higher on the Mac version, which came out a month or two before the PC version IIRC. It now doesn't do that on any platforms. Negotiator is still important in A:EFTP but you can be less picky there. A3:RW does theoretically have infinite money, so you could skip Negotiator, but that would slow things down for long enough that I wouldn't consider it worthwhile. XP does work the same way, but the flow of the game is a little different, in particular how easy or hard it is to hit level 30 and how easy or hard it is to gain levels past that. They aren't a high priority, but if you get them early they do generate a reasonable amount of experience. There is a thread somewhere on A2:CS where I tested this. The old complaints about Sniper absolutely still stand. If for some reason you are playing on Torment but not hasting your party all the time, then Sniper could have a use. It makes a much weaker contribution if you are going to have haste up anyway. Clintone did a good analysis arguing in favor of Sniper, but I think he would agree with me that it is not worth skipping Sharpshooter in favor of more Sniper. I'd take Lethal Blow over Sniper as well. Resistance is terrific and amazing and a good reason to minor in priest spells. But I suppose it depends on whether you really want to use an archer as your primary damage dealer, or take the more traditional (and IMO much more effective) multi-spellcaster bombardment strategy.
  17. You are mostly overthinking this. Look at your PC's info display. You'll see eight resistances listed. Magic, Fire, Cold, Poison, and Acid count as Elemental. Armor (aka physical damage) does not. Mental and Curse are used for status effects. There is no such thing as an earth element in these games, and I'm not sure where you are getting "Force damage" from -- the games do sometimes call magic-element damage "energy damage" though. Basically, when dealing with game mechanics, for any game, you should trust what is explicitly stated onscreen over random, overarching interpretations of elements and other things that don't actually stem from the game in any way
  19. Per usual, Chrono Trigger did it better.
  20. The concept of magic belongs to no age (etc.) because it exists in the realm of concepts -- the realm of memory and spirit. The passage of time is simply, in this case, what pushes magic from being a temporal reality, to a timeless truth. The Company took their places in the boats as before. Crying farewell, the Elves of Lórien with long grey poles thrust them out into the flowing stream, and the rippling waters bore them slowly away. The travellers sat still without moving or speaking. On the green bank near to the very point of the Tongue the Lady Galadriel stood alone and silent. As they passed her they turned and their eyes watched her slowly floating away from them. For so it seemed to them: Lórien was slipping backward, like a bright ship masted with enchanted trees, sailing on to forgotten shores, while they sat helpless upon the margin of the grey and leafless world. Even as they gazed, the Silverlode passed out into the currents of the Great River, and their boats turned and began to speed southwards. Soon the white form of the Lady was small and distant. She shone like a window of glass upon a far hill in the westering sun, or as a remote lake seen from a mountain: a crystal fallen in the lap of the land.
  21. This is... not at all what happened? Aragorn and Eomer become kings, the four hobbits occupy the highest positions of the Shire, Sam and Frodo use enchanted gifts of the Elves to reforest the Shire and endure PTSD respectively, and a whole truckload of said heroes board ships and take the Straight Path to Valinor. In fact I'm pretty sure there are multiple paragraphs devoted to the fact that everyone in the Shire thought the four hobbits were extremely remarkable. The magic and wonder of Middle-earth doesn't "rot away" -- but it does fade away, into the past -- into the realm of memory and spirit -- as everything eventually must. Lothlorien provides an explicit metaphor for this. Tolkien was interested in acknowledging existential loss. At the same time LOTR was intended to provide a connection to that world of magic and wonder. The story of Middle-earth fading away is, ironically, the very thing that keeps it fresh and immediate.
  22. Exile and Avernum I agree are at least ambiguous, but Avadon's an easy high magic call for me. Pretty much every humanoid encounter has one or more spellcasters; Avadon -- however great its resources -- hands out magical artifacts like candy; and townspeople who give you potions in exchange for killing some rats, or whatever, are a dime a dozen. Not to mention Kellemderiel, where magic is the national pastime. Lord of the Rings has had an outsized influence on the whole genre, of course, and I think it makes a good measuring pole for the low end of low magic. There are literally five Wizards and, spoiler alert, they are actually demigods. Some enchantment-style magic seems to be available to the few remaining High Elves, but it's limited, quite mysterious to the audience, and totally inaccessible to those of mortal (or even moriquendi) blood. Magical items of any sort are rare, and are pretty much guaranteed to be millenia old.
  23. I'm happy with either low technology or high technology -- but it's actually the "dash of steampunk" that bugs me the most. When technology just gets thrown around in a world that doesn't seem realistically able to have produced it, it does make things feel less internally consistent and less immersive for me. An interesting parallel question is: how much magic? You can have low magic or high magic without impacting the setting as much, simply because magic is expected to pop into existence without a context of how it was developed, whereas technology isn't. But it certainly affects the feel of things. My preference, I think, is for low magic. I prefer magic really being treated as something special and unusual, rather than something that everyone and their mother can just toss around. (And that goes not just for spellcasting, but also for magic items, magic appliances, etc.) Nethergate is really interesting here, because even though the setting is full of magic, it is a low magic setting in many ways for the humans. The druids don't get magical powers out of nowhere, but have to propitiate and navigate the world of the sidhe skillfully in order to do much of anything; ritual is important, and even a simple blessing is treasured. (The Romans, of course, are a terrific example of historically-minded low magic with low technology.) Low magic does seem to be a lot more common in books than it is in video games.
  24. Is it possible it's a level-scaled XP award, and you were a high enough level that it was reduced to nothing?
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