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Op Op and Oll

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  1. I still haven't finished the chitrach caves. At some point I really do need to play the game...
  2. Kel: I am hard pressed to think of ANY RPG, computerized or otherwise, in which you would expect a loner to gain the same quantity of levels as a group would, in toto. It's an extremely standard part of an RPG that it takes more experience (either more raw points, or harder enemies required for the same number of points) to get from level 2 to 3 than from level 1 to 2. Furthermore -- the fact that experience scales is very tenuously connected BOTH to lack of skill points AND to singleton difficulty. Experience scaled in Exile just the same way, but in Exile singletons were never difficult to run (except in terms of inventory management) -- both because of Silverlocke's potions, AND because the game mechanics made it fairly easy for even a medium level singleton with Bless to breeze through most encounters. [Also, nobody else brought up AP (Jeff just said PCs need to "work together") but it's worth pointing out that being attacked CAN take up AP if you get stunned. Anyone who's played a Guardian in Geneforge (without abusing Parry of course) can attest to the dangers there.]
  3. Kel: I am hard pressed to think of ANY RPG, computerized or otherwise, in which you would expect a loner to gain the same quantity of levels as a group would, in toto. It's an extremely standard part of an RPG that it takes more experience (either more raw points, or harder enemies required for the same number of points) to get from level 2 to 3 than from level 1 to 2. Furthermore -- the fact that experience scales is very tenuously connected BOTH to lack of skill points AND to singleton difficulty. Experience scaled in Exile just the same way, but in Exile singletons were never difficult to run (except in terms of inventory management) -- both because of Silverlocke's potions, AND because the game mechanics made it fairly easy for even a medium level singleton with Bless to breeze through most encounters. [Also, nobody else brought up AP (Jeff just said PCs need to "work together") but it's worth pointing out that being attacked CAN take up AP if you get stunned. Anyone who's played a Guardian in Geneforge (without abusing Parry of course) can attest to the dangers there.]
  4. I've been doing some testing to try and figure out how relevant different stats are in calculating damage done. I have only been testing PC attacking monster with melee, but presumably the formulas should be very similar for the reverse, and for other attack types (including magic), substituting stats and resists where appropriate. Getting exact results has been frustrating, because the algorithm seems to involve * random fluctuations based on several stats, and * stats which are not directly recorded in the scripts Here, however, is what I HAVE been able to figure out. Attack strength depends on these things: 1) Weapon or spell multiplier 2) Weapon or spell base damage 3) Weapon or spell level 4) PC skill 5) Extra damage from Anatomy, Lethal Blow, and Demonslayer (I am ignoring this part) 6) Luck (Luck's role is extremely unclear to me, but it definitely increases damage, and inconsistently) Weapon level can be found by examining a weapon, it will be the first number given under the "base damage" listing. Weapon multiplier is the number of times that number goes into the following number -- in other words, the number of sides on the die used for rolling that weapon's damage. Weapon base damage can only be found by looking at the scripts. To calculate PC skill, depending on the attack type, add together: Melee + Blademaster + Strength Pole + Blademaster + Strength Bows + Sharpshooter + Dexterity Throws + Sharpshooter + Dexterity Mage Spells + Spellcraft + Magery Priest Spells + Spellcraft + Magery * Contrary to what I suggested previously, there is NO penalty on any of these numbers if one of them is over 10. Thus melee, blademaster and strength of 15 each will give 45 PC skill. I think there may still be an over-10 reduction-of-benefits for purposes of to-hit %, but haven't tested it. * Blessing increases PC skill, I'm not sure by how much -- seems like by a lot. * Besides damage and hit %, PC skill also increases the effect of weapon abilities like acid drip. The basic damage formula is: Attack level = (? * PC skill) + weapon/spell level Damage = base damage + (Attack level) d (multiplier) In other words, base damage plus a random number somewhere between attack level, and attack level * multiplier, likely to be close to the middle. * One level of PC skill has less influence than one level of the weapon or spell. I'm not sure how much less. I suspect it may be worth 75% as much, based on the relative impact of Tool Use and spellcasting skill on Unlock Doors, hypothesizing that Tool Use replaces spell level for that spell. * The "+X to levels of damage" ability, rarely found on equipment, I suspect adds to the weapon/spell level. The multiplier is often the most important factor in determining damage. For weapons, multipliers and base damage are as follows: Mult = 2, Base = 3 -- Short Swords (and daggers) Mult = 2, Base = 4 -- Bows Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Broad Swords (and wave blades) Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Longbows Mult = 3, Base = 12 -- Spears Mult = 4, Base = 8 -- Javelins Mult = 4, Base = 15 -- Halberds (and fine slith spears) Mult = 5, Base = 8 -- Razordisks There are also two special weapons: Mult = 4, Base = 5 -- Stick (a melee weapon) Mult = 7, Base = 20 -- Heartstriker (a bow) For spells we have: Mult = 3, Base = 10 -- Bolt of Fire, Icy Rain Mult = 4, Base = 8 -- Smite Mult = 5, Base = 6 -- Divine Fire Mult = 5, Base = 14 -- Fireblast Mult = 5, Base = 20 -- Lightning Spray Mult = 6, Base = 20 -- Divine Retribution Mult = 6, Base = 30 -- Arcane Blow Mult = 8, Base = 15 -- Repel Spirit Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Mass Healing Mult = 3, Base = 8 -- Minor Heal Mult = 5, Base = 12 -- Heal Mult = 8, Base = 8 -- Divine Restoration * Amusingly, the stick is potentially the strongest weapon for someone skilled in melee combat. Thankfully the special abilities and to-hit bonuses of the best swords more than make up for this. * The Heartstriker is an amazingly good weapon. * Weapon levels are comparable across weapon types, so a halberd will typically do about 25% more damage than a broad sword. However, all this multiplier-love is somewhat misleading, because of the confusing effects of defense power. At least three stats contribute (in unique ways) to defense power: 1) Resistance of the appropriate type (many monsters have some melee resistance) 2) Hardiness (many monsters have this stat as well) 3) A hidden stat that all monsters have, which I THINK may be based on monster level * Hardiness seems to work much like it has always worked for PC's in Jeff's game, that is, it contributes a RANDOM amount of defense to every attack between 1 (or 0?) and its value. * One of these stats may reduce the multiplier, or each individual die roll, but not the actual rolled damage -- against some monsters, although actual damage was reduced heavily, each point of attack level I added resulted in no less than 1 extra point of average damage. I'm not sure. IMPLICATIONS: 1) Building up skills past 10 is worthwhile, which also means DT + EW and DT + DE are perfectly good trait combinations 2) A good weapon is generally speaking a lot more important than high weapon skill 3) Melee support skills like Quick Action and Anatomy are probably *a lot* more worthwhile to pump than melee, blademaster, or strength 4) Bows are perfectly good 5) At any given time, whether melee or pole skill would be a better choice probably has more to do with what weapons and shields are available than with anything else Any observations that don't line up with the above are very welcome, btw, as I am far from certain about the details of this theory. Phew! -- slarty
  5. I've been doing some testing to try and figure out how relevant different stats are in calculating damage done. I have only been testing PC attacking monster with melee, but presumably the formulas should be very similar for the reverse, and for other attack types (including magic), substituting stats and resists where appropriate. Getting exact results has been frustrating, because the algorithm seems to involve * random fluctuations based on several stats, and * stats which are not directly recorded in the scripts Here, however, is what I HAVE been able to figure out. Attack strength depends on these things: 1) Weapon or spell multiplier 2) Weapon or spell base damage 3) Weapon or spell level 4) PC skill 5) Extra damage from Anatomy, Lethal Blow, and Demonslayer (I am ignoring this part) 6) Luck (Luck's role is extremely unclear to me, but it definitely increases damage, and inconsistently) Weapon level can be found by examining a weapon, it will be the first number given under the "base damage" listing. Weapon multiplier is the number of times that number goes into the following number -- in other words, the number of sides on the die used for rolling that weapon's damage. Weapon base damage can only be found by looking at the scripts. To calculate PC skill, depending on the attack type, add together: Melee + Blademaster + Strength Pole + Blademaster + Strength Bows + Sharpshooter + Dexterity Throws + Sharpshooter + Dexterity Mage Spells + Spellcraft + Magery Priest Spells + Spellcraft + Magery * Contrary to what I suggested previously, there is NO penalty on any of these numbers if one of them is over 10. Thus melee, blademaster and strength of 15 each will give 45 PC skill. I think there may still be an over-10 reduction-of-benefits for purposes of to-hit %, but haven't tested it. * Blessing increases PC skill, I'm not sure by how much -- seems like by a lot. * Besides damage and hit %, PC skill also increases the effect of weapon abilities like acid drip. The basic damage formula is: Attack level = (? * PC skill) + weapon/spell level Damage = base damage + (Attack level) d (multiplier) In other words, base damage plus a random number somewhere between attack level, and attack level * multiplier, likely to be close to the middle. * One level of PC skill has less influence than one level of the weapon or spell. I'm not sure how much less. I suspect it may be worth 75% as much, based on the relative impact of Tool Use and spellcasting skill on Unlock Doors, hypothesizing that Tool Use replaces spell level for that spell. * The "+X to levels of damage" ability, rarely found on equipment, I suspect adds to the weapon/spell level. The multiplier is often the most important factor in determining damage. For weapons, multipliers and base damage are as follows: Mult = 2, Base = 3 -- Short Swords (and daggers) Mult = 2, Base = 4 -- Bows Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Broad Swords (and wave blades) Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Longbows Mult = 3, Base = 12 -- Spears Mult = 4, Base = 8 -- Javelins Mult = 4, Base = 15 -- Halberds (and fine slith spears) Mult = 5, Base = 8 -- Razordisks There are also two special weapons: Mult = 4, Base = 5 -- Stick (a melee weapon) Mult = 7, Base = 20 -- Heartstriker (a bow) For spells we have: Mult = 3, Base = 10 -- Bolt of Fire, Icy Rain Mult = 4, Base = 8 -- Smite Mult = 5, Base = 6 -- Divine Fire Mult = 5, Base = 14 -- Fireblast Mult = 5, Base = 20 -- Lightning Spray Mult = 6, Base = 20 -- Divine Retribution Mult = 6, Base = 30 -- Arcane Blow Mult = 8, Base = 15 -- Repel Spirit Mult = 3, Base = 4 -- Mass Healing Mult = 3, Base = 8 -- Minor Heal Mult = 5, Base = 12 -- Heal Mult = 8, Base = 8 -- Divine Restoration * Amusingly, the stick is potentially the strongest weapon for someone skilled in melee combat. Thankfully the special abilities and to-hit bonuses of the best swords more than make up for this. * The Heartstriker is an amazingly good weapon. * Weapon levels are comparable across weapon types, so a halberd will typically do about 25% more damage than a broad sword. However, all this multiplier-love is somewhat misleading, because of the confusing effects of defense power. At least three stats contribute (in unique ways) to defense power: 1) Resistance of the appropriate type (many monsters have some melee resistance) 2) Hardiness (many monsters have this stat as well) 3) A hidden stat that all monsters have, which I THINK may be based on monster level * Hardiness seems to work much like it has always worked for PC's in Jeff's game, that is, it contributes a RANDOM amount of defense to every attack between 1 (or 0?) and its value. * One of these stats may reduce the multiplier, or each individual die roll, but not the actual rolled damage -- against some monsters, although actual damage was reduced heavily, each point of attack level I added resulted in no less than 1 extra point of average damage. I'm not sure. IMPLICATIONS: 1) Building up skills past 10 is worthwhile, which also means DT + EW and DT + DE are perfectly good trait combinations 2) A good weapon is generally speaking a lot more important than high weapon skill 3) Melee support skills like Quick Action and Anatomy are probably *a lot* more worthwhile to pump than melee, blademaster, or strength 4) Bows are perfectly good 5) At any given time, whether melee or pole skill would be a better choice probably has more to do with what weapons and shields are available than with anything else Any observations that don't line up with the above are very welcome, btw, as I am far from certain about the details of this theory. Phew! -- slarty
  6. Hmm. I think I must be remembering the reverse, then -- doing a dungeon entirely in combat mode. Oh, *yeah*. Now I remember. That was back when non-singletons could skip important encounters by ending combat mode strategically. Heh.
  7. Alorael -- you're right, my bad. But didn't Exile 3 and Blades, or maybe it was just Blades, have this feature as well? I'm sure I remember mowing down goblins that way -- two-dimensional goblins.
  8. Actually, I am starting to think that DT + EW is a poor combination, if Blademaster scales the way I think it does... I'm testing that now.
  9. But what about the minotaurs? What happened to them?
  10. I just hacked my way through most of the Eastern Gallery subsubterranean. I kept coming to a new screen and expecting the caverns to end, but no, they extend through practically the entire area! And I am getting really tempted to change my difficulty setting to Normal. I swear, if I see one more Plated Chitrach... While I enjoy being forced to marshall my resources carefully and creatively, as Torment forces me to do, this is getting a little ridiculous. Clearing those chitrachs wasn't difficult, it was just really tedious. Oh look, another twisty passage, oh look, another egg sac, position just far enough to avoid a double attack, twang twang heal cure fireball twang twang a miss! fireball let's move on, oh look, another twisty passage, oh look, another egg sac... over and over. I finally decided to let one of my characters get overloaded because there was no way I was walking through all these !@#$ tunnels again just to pick up treasure. Previous games had just as much combat, but the combat was less draining on the guy at the keyboard. There were still interesting battles that made you think, and do things creatively -- even in Exile where you could run a broken singleton and kill things without bothering to enter combat mode. But having to deal with regular enemies that way, over and over again, is no good. The tendency of the AI to swarm whoever's most easily swarmable, which at first seemed like a golden opportunity to run a tank, is quickly becoming boring and annoying. I think the Plated Chitrach annoys me particularly since it's such an obvious lift of a Geneforge creature, right down to most of its statistics... Honestly, I really like this game. I'm not trying to be, you know, a Grumpy Garzahd. But this is ridiculous, it's just not a positive play experience.
  11. Oh, my god. PLEASE tell me the giants don't look like battle alphas. I know the evil sliths are still around. However, Ex 1 + 2 made it clear that all the sliths in Exile were originally part of Sss-Thsss's clan/group/whatever, which was itself exiled from the main Slith kingdom because they were too violent. While there are many Sliths in Avernum, their power really doesn't seem to compare. They have never achieved more than a stalemate with Avernum's forces even though they pretty much fight just 2 forts at a time (Emerald and Dranlon), plus sometimes Cotra. Presumably, if Avernum could ignore all of its many other aggressors and concentrate entirely on the sliths, the sliths wouldn't last very long.
  12. That would have been cool. Although somewhat odd, since the main slith kingdom is supposed to be peace-loving. ...or did that change from Ex to Av as well?
  13. The shared graphics are admittedly a little creepy. Drayks and drakes are one thing, but chitrachs are definitely not clawbugs, and replacing 2/3 of the equipment with Geneforge equipment was also a bit much. IMHO.
  14. 1. It still shouldn't take as long to drop a friggin sack as it does to cast a spell. 2. This is a huge hassle from the streamlining and convenience point of view. It's one thing if you're carrying 20 iron bars, but if you have a lot of 1 and 4 pound items it takes forever to put down and pick up. Even using keyboard and mouse at once.
  15. You know, given all of Jeff's efforts to streamline the game, I'm a little surprised he didn't get rid of encumbrance (from weight, not from equipped armor). Heaviness rarely if ever restricts my equipment choice, but it just makes me have to constantly pick up stuff and put it down when exploring -- very annoying. Whatever happened to the idea of putting all your junk in a pack, and putting the pack down automatically when those chitrachs jump out at you?
  16. If 4 Divine Retributions a round didn't always seem like enough, it seems personally like a rather foolish tactic to rely on as a singleton. I'd rather pump defense. That way, you have longer to put on the hurt.
  17. If 4 Divine Retributions a round didn't always seem like enough, it seems personally like a rather foolish tactic to rely on as a singleton. I'd rather pump defense. That way, you have longer to put on the hurt.
  18. Quest XP is adjusted by level, but the "base" level is generally somewhat higher than the monsters you fight, so there is much less penalty for being high level. Is Divine Retribution really that necessary?
  19. Quest XP is adjusted by level, but the "base" level is generally somewhat higher than the monsters you fight, so there is much less penalty for being high level. Is Divine Retribution really that necessary?
  20. Honestly, more than anything else it's the balancing of the game engine that makes singletonity more difficult. You can no longer cast bless four times (for 8 mana) and be immune to damage with a nice attack even though you have 1 strength, 1 dexterity, and 0 weapon skills!
  21. Yeah. You can think of it a bit like Geneforge minus the zoomed out map. I miss the map, but it honestly works quite well. It reminds me a lot of some of the Ultima games. Ultima V and VI (and maybe some more, I can't remember) had single, seamless maps where on one screen a house takes up the whole view, move south fifteen steps and suddenly the scale has "changed" and there are five mountains onscreen. This may not be a coincidence - I think I remember Jeff citing Ultima as a major influence on Exile.
  22. To be honest, I thought Prossis, Glantris, and Elohi were among the best characterizations in the series, along with maybe Motrax and Solberg. There are few major characters in Ex/Av that are given the chance to show much of their personality beyond their occupation and one or two exaggerated qualities; the Council received many dialog boxes worth of narrated prose, in addition to plenty of regular dialogue, so they had the chance to really develop. Jeff does a better job than anyone else in the business of incorporating mundania and regular people in the games in interesting ways. Look at the attention given to characters like Elspeth and Nance. But people who are powerful or in charge are almost always blobs devoid of personality, like Micah.
  23. People have been ending up at what, 32, 33, 34, with parties of four, right? Perhaps 36 is a little optimistic, but the difference between level 34 and level 36 is pretty minimal. Honestly, the EXP cap has NOTHING to do with the feasability of a singleton. There's always been a cap, and it's never been particularly lenient. In Exile, you got less skill points at high levels, too (4 after 20, 3 after 40, and you couldn't exceed level 50). But in Exile you could also buy infinite knowledge brews from Silverlocke, and I gather you could in Avernum as well.
  24. (Spoiler warning: Minor not-quite-spoiler in last paragraph.) Thuryl, you made me very happy. Jewel of Arabia: Dreamers is one of my favorite games of all time. I've never liked resurrection, as it absolutely cheapens all the death in the plotline. Personally, I don't see how having essential members of your group die can constitute success, and part of the challenge of the game ought to be to keep everyone alive. Jewel of Arabia requires that for 2 of your 6 characters; I've seen one RPG require that for all of them (Arcana, on SNES). Duality, I feel your nostalgia. The A4 engine is definitely new, though. And it does one thing for which it and Jeff deserve IMMENSE praise: the click-and-frameskip movement system. While I do miss hitting 978987978978 to go north really fast a little bit, this is a really wonderful innovation. (Now, if only the damn thing would turn off during combat! I'm sick of clicking on a square that it looks obvious to get to only to see my PC take a circuitous route, or needlessly step next to an enemy, in either case draining his AP and preventing him from attacking!) The plot -is- extremely slow to get going. From what I've seen so far, I'm cautiously optimistic. I always wished that something more had been done with the Bon-Ihrno Prossis-Bok vs. Rentar-Ihrno Glantris-Bok dichotomy, and it looks like that might happen. After Ex/Av 3, though, my expectations aren't that high.
  25. Never mind all the past pessimism, this is TOTALLY doable for a singleton. I did some scripting to put a new character (Nephil DT Natural Mage) at level 36 and provide a selection of dodge-enhancing equipment. I pushed Mage Spells to 11 and Tool Use to 8, giving myself a very conservative discount to account for trainers, wisdom crystals, and so on. Then I pumped dodge. After putting on the right equipment and being careful with my skills, I managed to reach: 20 Gymnastics 14 Dexterity 14 Defense 10 Luck Total dodging bonus: +191% This is enough to usually evade level 30 enemies attacking physically, and close to 50/50 against level 40 enemies. I'm pretty sure there are actually more skill points available. I really have no idea how much knowledge brew can be had and if a certain level of Nature Lore can provide a skill point bonanza. You can inflate the available skill points even more by replacing Divinely Touched with Nimble Fingers; or, you can replace it with Fast on Feet for a flat 10% bonus to dodge. DT however gives you a pretty nice bow attack (14 dex, 10 bows, 12 sharpshooter) and fair mage ability. I also wonder if it's possible to skip Tool Use entirely? Unlock Doors works on everything except traps, so it just depends on any traps being in really critical places. So far, I haven't seen any. One problem: As I suspected, most spells get a full 50% bonus to-hit. (Assuming I am reading the script right, and that does not mean Bolt of Fire never misses.) I also haven't figured out if the bonuses accrue at the same rates apply against spells and missiles. I think they do, but if they don't, that could be a big problem. Thoughts anyone?
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