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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    So, by way of example, Roses of Reckoning takes place in the same world as MA/E:R, a thousand years later (though it was released earlier) and on a different continent. They're both within the extra-canonical historical structure established by TM's BoE scenarios, and they occasionally call back to that structure (a lot more explicitly in RoR). I think the various "tiger" (i.e., rakshasa) references in Canopy place it in the same universe also, but I'm not sure. (I honestly have a lot of trouble following what is going on in Canopy, so there may be more direct connections to the Echoes continuity than that.) I'm pretty sure Settlers is also intended to be within the same universe (you're working for the Empire). I have no idea if Emerald Mountain has anything to do with TM's broader continuity, and it doesn't appear that Bonus Army or Aphobia directly connect. The connections aren't very strong (they don't share characters), and it doesn't really make a big difference if you play them in order, but several of them are related.
  2. Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    Wonder Woman does also have a traditional representation going back decades, so they're not writing on a blank slate. That's not to say that they couldn't change her appearance, just that it would be a bigger lift because of her history. I guess they change characters' appearances/backgrounds somewhat regularly, e.g., the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was changed from Asian to Celtic, but I think that's not a particularly good practice. But one doesn't have to change anything in order to feature characters who look different from the ones who've already been featured. I know less about DC comics, but I do know the X-Men series well (at least through the late '90s), and I would've loved to see, e.g., the Storm/Forge romance from the '80s as the central plot of a movie. It was a great story, better than some others that have been featured, but the lead would have been a black woman, and the main supporting actor would have been a Native American man, so I guess this was not where they were going. I've read that next year's New Mutants movie is going to be an adaption of the Demon Bear story (which is awesome) and, true to the original, it will heavily emphasize Dani Moonstar (who I think is a great character). Dani Moonstar is Native American in the comics, and they actually cast a woman who is part Native American. And we're getting a Black Panther movie next year, too. So the studios are finally starting to move on this, albeit way too slowly.
  3. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    True, and that's more or less what Chessrook44 said at the time: To which Dintiradan responded: Which Chessrook44 definitely saw; he replied: So no, it's not because the information wasn't available or Chessrook44 didn't realize the information was available.
  4. Another GUI enlargement attempt

    My recommendation would be the layout of the most recent picture, but change the main view to 1.5x, increase item fonts 1.5x, and shrink the action icons to one row (like in the third iteration) and move them under the item list.
  5. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Nobody other than me two months ago in this thread, you mean. To be clear, I don't really care what order you play scenarios in (even if I think it's weird). I'm just still in the "pointing out when you say things that are wrong" mode.
  6. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Tarsus, you're still misunderstanding me, but I don't know how to say it more clearly. I'm not saying that playing MA before E:R is pointless. Obviously it's not. I'm saying that starting TM's BoA scenarios at MA, rather than RoR, is weird if you intend to play everything in order. I don't remember the specific connections, but I don't think it's entirely true that TM's other BoA scenarios have no connection to each other whatsoever; at a minimum, they're basically all set in the Echoes universe.
  7. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Okay, but that's sort of the wrong way around. I'm not saying that E:R and MA aren't related; I'm saying that almost all the other ones are related also. EDIT: At a minimum, starting at MA is sort of like deliberately playing Icewind Dale before playing Baldur's Gate. It's not wrong, exactly—they're not sequels, although they are in the same setting and the later makes a little reference to the earlier—but it's odd, at least when you're otherwise fairly insistent about doing things in order.
  8. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I've basically said this before, but I don't know where you got your "play in order" lists from, and your source doesn't seem very reliable. I don't remember Echoes: Renegade well enough to remember whether it is a direct sequel to Mad Ambition, but it is part of the Echoes series, and just about every other TM BoA scenario is also part of the Echoes series. So I don't know in what way it makes sense to think of Mad Ambition and Echoes: Renegade as parts of a series but not, say, Canopy or Roses of Reckoning as parts of the same series (and as earlier installments in that series). As I said before, TM's plots are such that I'm not sure it really matters, but this approach to scenarios is weird.
  9. Another GUI enlargement attempt

    I have no problem with the pixellated graphics, but the smallness of the text is not great.
  10. Grand Poll -- category suggestions

    The quoted text.
  11. Grand Poll -- category suggestions

    I'm not sure, but this may be the first time I've gotten one of your references.
  12. Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    I mean, sexualization and violence in video games are trends that go back to at least the '80s. They've gotten more extreme as games have gotten more elaborate, but they were there a long time ago. (Was that what the scare quotes were intended to indicate? It seemed unclear.) It's hard not to notice when two-fisted fury is directed at you.
  13. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    This is a good idea, at least when it's something that's preventing you from making progress. Many game-killing bugs in BoA are actually fairly trivial for designers to fix if we know about them — it's just that we often don't. This is especially so when we designed on Mac and you're playing on Windows. In response to certain situations with certain scripts, Mac BoA will function perfectly fine and Windows BoA will crash, which means that there are all kinds of crashes that Windows players experience that Mac designers have no idea about unless they're reported to us. For example, telling Mac BoA to erase a character that doesn't exist does nothing. In Windows BoA, it causes a game-killing crash (at least some of the time, possibly all of the time). It takes literally one very simple line of code to fix this; just check if the character exists before erasing it. But if you're a Mac designer, you might have no idea you have to do this unless Windows players report their crashes (and report them fairly precisely) to you. There are a lot of situations like this. Also, Thralni, if you need any sort of advisory assistance with a scenario, I'd be happy to help. I haven't actually played WtRM, but I could.
  14. Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    This is a myth. People who weren't really looking at the data said this, not people who were. There have been big polling misses in history, but this was not one of them. I think it's pretty fair to say that trans people are significantly over-represented here on Spidweb compared to their numbers in the general population. There are more trans people here than I've ever met in my life, and I grew up in San Francisco in the '90s and '00s. Are the trans people here all trans women? I can't say I've been keeping track, but it seems sort of imbalanced. (I vaguely recall reading somewhere that it's imbalanced in the general population too, that trans women are several times more common than trans men, but I don't know if that's actually true or if that's just something that someone said once.)
  15. Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    A couple of possible additional factors: * The Spiderweb community has leaned to the left from the beginning. (This may have something to do with the premise of the early Spiderweb games, too.) * Although we've tolerated some nastiness in the past, hate speech has been explicitly prohibited (and that prohibition has been enforced) for as long as I can remember.
  16. Homeland progress report

    Somehow, I think I've gotten to the point where the core of Chapter 1 is designed. I haven't tested the very end of it, but everything that needs to be made is made, so it's just a matter of fixing bugs and balance. There's still a fair amount of side material to make, too—I'd say what is made is between two-thirds and three-quarters of Chapter 1—but I'm holding off on the side quests of that until I get (at least) to the end of Chapter 2. So I should probably do that last bit of testing and call Chapter 1 done for the moment. But I felt like making more stuff, so I moved on and designed some towns for Chapter 2. I also made up a bunch more names, knowing that I will need a gazillion more to keep going. (At the moment, I'm making up lists of names and then drawing from the lists when I create new characters.) One thing that Chapter 1 is missing is a big moment at the end. Basically every other chapter (including the Prologue) has some major plot development/twist at the end—I can't wait to write the end of Chapter 2/beginning of Chapter 3—but Chapter 1 is entirely missing that. It basically just ends with, "Well, you did those things. Good job. Let's move on." Each of the things that you do has some significance, but there's no wrap-up to the chapter as a whole. At some point, I need to come back and see if I can punch it up a little. I'm trying fairly hard not to have a part that lags, like the Mount Galthrax part of Bahssikava or the Strange Cave part of Exodus—both of which were there for reasons, even if those reasons were not entirely apparent at the time, but both of which I think lost energy relative to the rest of the scenario. My goal in Homeland is just to keep building, chapter after chapter, until it all explodes in blood and fire.
  17. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Chessrook44 posts videos with a nearly 2-week delay (i.e., what you're seeing is something that he did almost 2 weeks ago), so presumably he's referring to something that he won't post for another week or two.
  18. Homeland progress report

    At one point this past week, I was looking for something someone said on CSR about either Bahssikava or Exodus (something to the effect of, "Me no like so many words! Me want crush things and steal loots! Murrrrrrr! Bad scenario 0/10") and I ended up skimming all the CSR comments on Exodus. Man, screw those people. Like, almost every single one of them. I remember now why I got so frustrated that I decided never to make Homeland. Anyway, lots of alpha testing! I've designed the skeleton of the main quest line for Chapter 1, and I've now tested most of it. One of the unanticipated results of the combat slowdown is that Repel Spirit, where it can be used, is relatively very strong. In general, the combat slowdown consists of giving 50% immunity to all types of damage (except poison/acid, at least in Chapter 1) to every monster and reducing the damage that the monster does, but Repel Spirit does unblockable damage, so it's unaffected by immunities. This makes it relatively twice as strong as it ordinarily would be. This was not something that I anticipated, but it seems right; I've always thought that Repel Spirit ought to do a lot of damage to undead, since it targets only undead (and, at high levels, demons), but it doesn't do much damage by default. But right now, Chapter 1 is a little undead-heavy and you end up using Repel Spirit too much; I'm going to change that for the next run-through. Alpha testing will be the death of me. I've refought some of these combats more times than I care to think about. Even the simplest little things have bugs in them, or unanticipated balance issues. But I think I'm getting a lot of that stuff straightened out early on. I've also replayed the Prologue several times now, and I love the Prologue. I hope I can get Chapter 1 to that point, but the Prologue is already there. Tiny spoilers follow.
  19. Rats Aplenty Questions

    Usual caveat, answers come from reading the scripts, I may have missed something, etc. 1. The Mayor's Aide doesn't even have dialogue involving finishing the quest, so no, you can't get any kind of reward from him. 2. You can trade the Shiny Item to Meuric in the Lost City for an item of your choice. Gabriel in Scurftown can use the Heart of an Imp or the Acid Gland of a Giant Slug to enchant armor. 3. Not that I can see. There's nothing in there anyway, though.
  20. Someone else who knows more about this than I do might correct me, but I'm pretty sure that if you want to play in 1920 x 1080, you need a laptop that can go up to a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and it sounds as though you're saying that your laptop doesn't.
  21. Mad Ambition.

    If I remember correctly, Niemand has more or less explained it. Chika absorbs your statuses, including negative ones, so give yourself some negative statuses (e.g., poison/acid). (And that solution was actually in the spoiler tags before one board update or another broke them.)
  22. Homeland progress report

    A ton of work under the hood this past week. I tested the Prologue, and it is done! Which also means that special spells and warrior abilities work; you get your first warrior ability in the Prologue (which has a small amount of combat to introduce the player to the new combat system). There were a few more bugs, and I immediately found that I had to rebalance the warrior abilities, but fixing all that was relatively painless because of the way that I've structured the code now. I'm trying to make Homeland a complete scenario in a way that none of my scenarios have been to this point. Details like area descriptions, shops, summoning — I'm intentionally working on these things from the beginning instead of doing a very little work at end of the scenario or, in the case of summoning, tossing my hands up and letting it be completely broken. (In my defense, it's kind of broken by default, but my total lack of understanding didn't help.) I'm trying to be careful about every single combat I design; literally every monster is edited in some way (many rather substantially) for this scenario. I'm also doing a lot of other things for my own sake that players won't even see. The default creature list is totally disorganized. For example, the demonic beings are all over the place: a Hordling is creature 145, but Imp/Demon/Haakai is 59, 60, and 61, respectively, and a Mung Demon is 95. Slimes, undead — they're all like this. It's impossible to find anything. So I'm moving a ton of things to group stuff better. (Because I've already placed a number of creatures, this at one point turned Legare — who appears in a flashback in the Prologue — into a mutant lizard. It was quite a spectacle, adoring crowds watching Legare's heroic verse appearing over the head of a mutant lizard.) As I work, I'm becoming more and more intimidated by the size of this thing. It's becoming clear that it's probably going to be longer than Exodus. Exodus was 60 towns and 26 outdoor sections. Homeland has 24 outdoor sections and almost certainly will have at least 70 towns by the time it's done (possibly closer to 100). That's... not great. But I tried to shorten it before, and it just didn't work. It has to be like this. I mean, the worst that can happen is that I won't finish it, and that's already happened. So, for the time being, I'm plunging ahead. Chapter 1 is probably 30-40% done, and I'll probably finish about 70-80% of it before I start testing it and then move to Chapter 2. (That is, everything but a few major side quests and some extra dialogue, which I'll come back for later.) My hope is that the engine work I've done in the past couple of weeks will make the rest of Chapter 1 go relatively quickly, but we'll see.
  23. Summoning classes

    I don't remember if anyone has ever collected this information before, so I did a whole bunch of work this morning on how summoning works in BoA. I typed it up just to organize it for myself, and I figured I'd post it in case it's useful to anyone else. The following are the default summoning classes in BoA: In general, mage spells depend on summoning classes, as follows: Call Beast: Summons monster of summoning class = spell level/2 (rounded down, as BoA always does) Create Illusions: Summons monsters of summoning class = spell level Summon Aid: Summons monsters of summoning class = spell level + 1 Arcane Summon: Summons monsters of summoning class = spell level + 3 So, for example, if you know Summon Aid at level 2, it will summon monsters of summoning class 3. The default summoning classes are kind of funky. Assume that monster level is a loose proxy for the power of the monster (which is essentially true). At low levels, increasing your spell level will get you stronger monsters on average but not consistently. For example, if you raise Call Beast from 1 to 2, your average summoned monster goes from level 2.5 to level 3.25, but you have a chance of summoning a Goblin, which is weaker than anything you would've summoned at the lower spell level. At higher levels, the increase is confusingly not linear but also not anything else. The largest jump is from summoning class 3 to 4,where your average monster goes from level 8.4 to level 16.5, but again the spread is confusingly large; in summoning class 3, the levels are pretty consistently clustered between 6 and 10, but in summoning class 4, they range all the way down from a Imp (L9) to a Drake (L25). Summoning class 6 also has a relatively large spread, from a Unicorn (L22) to an Augmented Giant (L35), although at higher levels the spread is less significant. But, weirdly, the average level declines from summoning class 6 to 7 (from 27.4 to 24.25). In other words, if you raise Arcane Summon from level 3 to level 4, the monsters that you will summon are weaker on average. I attached a graph so that you can easily see what I'm talking about. This also illustrates the vampire summoning problem. Vampires have a summoning class of 5, which means that Arcane Summon L2 summons them. But vampires also have their Mage Spells adjusted to 15, which gives them Arcane Summon, and all spellcasters default to having their spell at level 2. In other words, vampires are summoned with Arcane Summon L2, but they also can cast Arcane Summon L2; vampires can summon vampires that can summon more vampires, and so on. One easy solution is to change their summoning class to 6. In contrast, priest spells depend on set creature numbers rather than summoning classes: Summon Shade at levels 1-3 summon creatures 120-122 (defaults to Shade, Greater Shade, and Vengeful Shade, respectively), and at 4 and 5 summon 177 (Fierce Shade) and 178 (Divine Shade) respectively. You're sort of not supposed to raise Summon Shade above level 5, but if you do, then you summon creature numbers above 178; Summon Shade L6 summons creature number 179, etc. Those creatures default to undefined. Divine Host, meanwhile, summons creature 122 (defaults to Vengeful Shade) and at level 4 and higher summons creature 178 (Fierce Shade).
  24. In the vein of this topic for Avadon 2, I thought I'd look into which dialogue options make a difference for the Avadon 3 ending. Here's what I found: FINAL JOB You can become a Hand or an Eye in the endgame regardless of what you say or do throughout the rest of the game. In order to become a Heart, you need to get a flag set over 100. (The flag is (100,6), for anyone who wants to edit scripts.) In general, only what you say directly to Redbeard appears to affect the flag. You can say anything you want to anyone else, and it generally makes no difference. Also, in general, telling Redbeard what he wants to hear increases the flag, and defying him decreases it. For example: Another example: There are tons of these, so I can't list all of them. However, basically everything that you can say or do that acknowledges Redbeard's authority, calls him strong, provides him the backing that he wants in any given situation (staying silent when Redbeard argues with Deniz at the Green Refuge, backing him up verbally or by being ready to fight when he confronts Callan), or suggests that you will be harsh with Farlanders and rebels adds between 3 and 5 to this flag. Any equivocal answer ("I'm just following orders") does nothing. (Anything said to anyone other than Redbeard, as long as Redbeard isn't present, also does nothing, as far as I can tell.) Anything that isn't what Redbeard wants to hear — telling him he's weak, he should show mercy, etc. — subtracts from the flag. There are a few moments that you might expect to impact the flag that don't. For example, your advice on Callan's final fate doesn't impact the flag in any way. KILLING PEOPLE As far as I can tell, you can kill just about everyone with impunity. * In Fort Foresight, you have the opportunity to attack Envoy Dirran. The text around doing so gets pretty dark, but all that happens is that Dirran is replaced by a different person — Envoy Vega — who says the same things in the endgame. * I can't find any consequences at all of killing Hand Taroe in Fort Foresight. * I can't find any consequences at all of killing Zhethron. * Obviously, killing Velusa has consequences in the Temple of Velusa, but as far as I can tell, there is no additional benefit to killing Velusa that you don't get from challenging and then asking for forgiveness from Velusa (other than dropped items). Hand Hahn rewards you the same way. OTHER Obviously, giving Redbeard poison and giving Dirran hair from Redbeard make the final battle easier if you choose to fight Redbeard. I don't see that they significantly impact the ending otherwise, though. It's not clear to me that anything else matters, in terms of restricting your endgame options. Questions? Corrections? Post them here!
  25. Chatroom?

    Forgive me for being dense/out of touch, but what is the point of this Discord chatroom? (And I mean that as a question question, not as a rhetorical question; I'm not saying it has no point, I'm asking what the point is.) That is, under what circumstances might a person want to use it, and for what?