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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Blades of Avernum fails to start

    I have no clue. This sounds like the sort of thing to email Spiderweb about.
  2. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I'm on 10.12 and it runs just fine for me.
  3. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    "Some of the writing was a bit flowery." LOL! Yes. Yes, it was. When I'm lapsing into actual Latin (virtus, etc.) , you know I'm indulging my lofty side. LP was, in many ways, sort of a hodgepodge pastiche; I borrowed freely from more or less everything that I was reading at the time that I liked, and a lot of it was fairly grandiose — in college, I had just finished a year of Shakespeare and a semester of Vergil — which left my writing fairly turgid at times. Well, that was fun! I may watch another episode or two at some point if you play something that I think I'll find amusing (Canopy, maybe?), but other than that, I wish you well as you continue your Let's Play, and I will end my comments here.
  4. Homeland progress report

    I intended to test the Prologue this weekend, but when I loaded up the scenario, I encountered something I hadn't anticipated: for some reason, BoA rejected my scenario script as having too many variables when I had more than 10. (The docs say the maximum is generally 20.) Not sure what happened, but I had to replace a bunch of variables with flags, which isn't going to do anything good for the readability of the script. Still, I tested it, and special spells work! At least, getting info works, and that runs through almost the same logical flow as casting the spell does, so casting also ought to work. I'll test that more later. I also got distracted by layering in dialogue and characters in Chapter 1. I'm following more or less the development process that I used for Exodus, which is to draw all the towns (floors, terrains, stains, etc.), then add NPCs and dialogue (including one-shot messages as you enter rooms and such), then add in combat in the dungeons. At some point along the way, whenever I've hit a block, I add junk items, more terrain/stains, etc., to make the town look finished. This is chapter-by-chapter, so I've drawn almost all of the towns for Chapter 1, and I'm in the middle of adding NPCs and dialogue for all the towns in Chapter 1. One of the things I hadn't anticipated is just how many character names I need. In Exodus, there were all of five friendly towns other than camps in the whole scenario (Vasskolis, Neoss, Thassaka, the Temple of Sothana, and arguably Possanatheon). In Bahssikava, there were even fewer. In Homeland, though, there are five in just the Prologue and Chapter 1. Each one has a bunch of NPCs who talk, so I end up needing a ton of names. I'm also finding that this scenario is much more in the style of the Avernum Trilogy than any of my other scenarios have been. Much of the early game is more or less open exploration with lots of sidequests and seemingly tangential dialogue. This is different; I've never made anything quite like this before. There are already more quests that can appear on your quest list than in any other scenario I've ever made, and I'm not even done adding quests from Chapter 1 yet.
  5. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I mean, the tl,dr of the last few posts between me and Sudanna is: Kelandon: I guess Chessrook44 would rather yell at the screen than take my tactical suggestions. I didn't realize that, but that's cool, I guess. I'll stop making tactical suggestions. Sudanna: People don't like being told what to do! Stop making tactical suggestions! Kelandon: Uh... that's what I just said?
  6. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Have you watched these episodes? There are times when Chessrook44 addresses me by name and sometimes even asks questions. I think you don't know what you're talking about.
  7. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Huh. The more you know.
  8. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Players constantly say "it's bad" when they mean "I don't like it," which is why at this point I'm sort of agnostic as to the use of terms. I attached a picture of what we're talking about. You lose control of one member of your party at the blue rectangle in the middle of the bottom of the screen. You're basically just told, "It's dark magic; enter combat mode." You're not really told where to go because there aren't many ways to go; you just came from the south, so you have to head north. I guess you have a choice between east and west, and west is more direct, but both get you there. You kill the dragon ("Drake Lord," technically) and then are told that the magic is concentrated at the altar. You're supposed to use Ritual of Sanctification to sanctify the altar to end the curse; Chessrook44 complained that you were never told that you were given Ritual of Sanctification at the beginning of the scenario, and I suppose that's a fair complaint, but as Tarsus put it earlier, "as someone who played the other Avernum games, when you see an evil altar you should automatically think of the ritual." So... what exactly is the problem? I guess I should've put in a note at the beginning that you have Ritual of Sanctification, but that's really the only thing I'd change. As for "Several paths lead to dead ends," as Chessrook44 put it, you can see that that's not really true; there's a little dead end in the northeast, but it's only about three or four paces out of your way, and there's a dead end in the northwest, but to get to it, you have to waltz right past Scary Floor To The South. (I guess you could also go through the secret passage in the middle to a dead end, but who's checking walls for secret passages during this combat?) I suppose this is neither here nor there, but nonetheless I feel like pointing out that back in 2005, the community was almost completely unanimous that this was the best fight in the whole scenario. No one has to like it now because some people liked it then — like or dislike whatever you want — but they did like it back then. If you don't believe me, check CSR; a bunch of the reviews from the early days still say this.
  9. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    it's been ages since I've done a point-by-point response like this, but what the heck, why not. Sure, whatever. I take no issue with that. Do what you prefer. As I noted above, I simply didn't realize that Chessrook44 would prefer to yell at the screen than change his approach. I thought he didn't know what to do to change his approach. That's the whole reason I've been making combat strategy suggestions. I'm not doing that anymore. Moreover, if Chessrook44 (or you, or whoever) doesn't like my scenarios, no skin off my back. I've long since stopped caring about that. If you say things that are wrong or silly, though, I might point out that you're wrong or silly. No, this is both wrong and silly. Players should not expect BoA scenarios to have the same game balance and strategies across scenarios; BoA allows for far too much customization for that. It's entirely possible within BoA to replace the combat system entirely, or have no combat, or do all kinds of other things, and it's entirely unreasonable to expect designers not to make use of those features (since many do make use of those features). Now, whether you like a scenario making use of those features is up to you. That's a separate issue. But any expectation that designers won't make use of the full power of the scripting engine is an unreasonable expectation. Of all the complaints I've gotten about my scenarios over the years — and there have been a lot, and I tend to pay attention to them — "unreasonably difficult" is not usually one of them. This leads me to believe that "many" is not quite as many as you would have it. (That's not to say it's never been said. It's just pretty infrequent compared to other complaints.) This is a bizarre comment. It sure didn't seem like Chessrook44 was enjoying himself when he was growling and screaming. The reason I've been making suggestions about combat strategy is not that I thought he was playing the scenarios "wrong" (wtf does that even mean? if you win, you win); it's that he seemed as though he was having an awful time at certain points because he didn't know how to get through the combats more smoothly, and I thought my suggestions would help him have a more enjoyable experience. Turns out I was wrong, but I hope my error was understandable. That is, what I found surprising was not that Chessrook44 enjoyed different kinds of combat than I expected. What I found surprising is that Chessrook44 prefers yelling at the screen to changing his tactics. But apparently he does, so that's fine, whatever floats your boat — I just didn't anticipate that. (When he rode a bug exploit through the entire second half of Exodus, I may have gotten a little snarky — I think I called it "cheap" once and "boring" once — but I hope not overly so. I was trying to be measured/cheerful.) That's all well and good, but as I said above, the likelihood of dying in LP is relatively low. Even in the hardest encounters, a first-turn kill is about a one-in-five chance, more or less. And, as noted, if you make use of all the tools available to you, you can get through the rest without dying even once. That, incidentally, is the reason for the scaling up of difficulty in those first three outdoor encounters! They're meant to introduce the combat system and, as noted above, they worked, even here!
  10. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    And you think that taking a few seconds to examine the screen — which you could narrate, since you could read out what you're looking at in the text box or describe the actions that you're considering taking — is going to turn off your viewers more than growling and yelling and reloading over and over again? I... suspect you're wrong, but maybe you know your audience better than I do. I mean, it's your LP. Do as you will. Also, as Slarty points out, when you find yourself reloading a bunch, there's no reason you can't cut out the attempts that don't work — I was frankly surprised that you didn't when I first started watching. Why would anyone want to see you lose a combat over and over again? You think I provide fewer hints about how to progress than Myst does? LOOOOOOOOOL!! EDIT: You know what, it's more readable as three separate posts.
  11. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    This is a turn-based game. You have all the time you want. You just need to stop after each move and observe what happens (e.g., look at the statuses on your PCs, read the text updates, etc.). You don't do that, and you're aware that you don't do that (we talked about it earlier in this thread), but you can hardly complain that you "don't have time" when you don't take the time that you have. You don't have to rush through turns. You choose to rush through turns. And let's be clear: in the most recent episode, you fought five bears (same as the hardest fight in the first episode), and you won easily on the first try. What was the difference? You used four pila and a few potions. So the fights aren't that hard; you're just making them hard by choosing not to employ winning strategies. But hey, the first few outdoor fights are meant to introduce the new combat system, and it looks like it worked! You're resistant to change, but you changed — not quickly enough to avoid shouting at the screen in the first episode, but quickly enough to win the sidequest easily in the third. So what happened was basically what was supposed to happen, albeit a little more gradually than intended. And that's very much the point in LP. It's a horror story, and the forces that you're up against are far beyond your powers. This is kind of a thing in my scenarios; in LP and NH, you're dramatically outmatched. NH plays it for comedy ("I'm SCARED of goblins"), but LP plays it for terror. That's also why there are outdoor wandering monsters (i.e., outdoor encounters that respawn); Ateria is just crawling with dangerous beasts. There's a fairly low chance of first-turn kills in those outdoor combats. I think it's something like one-in-four or one-in-five, which really becomes a bother only when you reload and refight them a dozen times or more. But the reason the chance of a first-turn kill is there is to further the scene-setting, just like the early dialogue.
  12. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    It seems like you have a really strong preference for always doing the same thing in every combat and getting through on the first try because, as you've said, you don't really like combat, so you just want to breeze through and not really pay attention to it. Most of my scenarios were designed for people who do like combat, for people who think that doing the same thing over and over again is boring. A combat puzzle is designed to force you to change your tactics, so usually the first try involves figuring out the parameters of the combat, the second try involves doing something new, and (if necessary) the third and subsequent tries involve refining your tactics. It's supposed to be more interesting, at least to people who like combat — which you don't, so it's not going to be a good fit for you. Nonetheless, I've been trying to point out things to do differently because even if you don't like combat, you can make the combat easier by making better decisions, and I've interpreted what you've said as indicating that you want the combat to be easier. But I think I've misunderstood you; you don't want the combat to be easier. You want the combat to be beatable by doing the same things as you always do, which is a bit of a different thing. And when you're faced with a situation in which that doesn't work, you try again a few times and then make an incremental change and try again and again. And then make another incremental change and try again and again. In other words, when faced with a situation in which breezing through is not an option, you have clearly expressed a preference for doing the same things over and over again and getting irritated rather than changing your tactics and getting through more easily. Anger is less of a problem for you than change is. And even when you get upset, minimal change is preferable to a more wholesale adjustment. That's... not a preference that I would have anticipated. I can't imagine having this preference. I guess the difference is that, for me, anger is an extraordinarily unpleasant emotion, and I'll go to great lengths to avoid it. But I've watched hours and hours of this, and we've talked at some length, and I can't see how else to interpret your actions at this point: you genuinely would prefer to be angry than to change. You'll often say the thing that you're refusing to do, so it's clearly not that you don't know what to do (which is what I had been assuming to this point). Instead, it's that you prefer to do the things that you're doing, even when they cause you frustration. So... I guess I should stop making suggestions. I mean, you've presumably finished Lord Putidus by this point anyway, but even making general suggestions about how to approach BoA combat isn't helpful, since you would rather not take these suggestions. And you have my apologies. I misunderstood you, and I've been on the wrong track this whole time. I've been trying to be helpful, but I clearly haven't been helpful. I may or may not still point out when you say things that are wrong — e.g., I never thought to use the potions to prepare for outdoor combat and I still got through, even in the (much harder) alpha version, so I'm not assuming that you prepare for those fights — depending on how I feel. But I guess there's no reason for me to point out how to get through the combat more easily, because that isn't really what you want. EDIT: Totally separately — LOL, I'd forgotten that LP takes place in Transylvania! For some reason, maybe because it uses Nethergate graphics, I had remembered it taking place in Britain. But definitely not — it takes place in the Roman province Dacia in about the second century A.D., and it's a vampire story. It's in Transylvania.
  13. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Did you see the relevant dialogue with Katie? You didn't do it onscreen, so I thought you'd skipped it. In relation to LP: one of the things that the early BoA community tried to do was design combat puzzles. These were combats that were intended to force you to use different tactics than you ordinarily would use. It seems like you try to brute force your way through combat puzzles, which doesn't work (because the combats are designed to make that approach not work), and then you get frustrated. Instead, you're supposed to change your tactics. You'll keep having this problem in BoA scenarios (especially mine and TM's) until you really absorb this lesson. And yes, sometimes changing your tactics means using consumables! LP's total combat rewrite depends heavily on your using consumables, some of which are instantly replenishable (potions) and some of which come with many, many uses (pila, first aid kits) so that you can use them sparingly throughout the entire scenario. Those outdoor fights — which, yes, are much easier than I remember because apparently I remember an alpha version — are meant to introduce you to the total rewrite of the combat system. In this total rewrite, the consumables aren't just there to look at. They're there to be used!
  14. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    And that's my favorite twist in The Magic! Ethass, Silthokh, and Kass are all on the island, too. (Are they the only ones? Hmmmmmmmm.) And Ethass, at least, can tell you a little of what happened after you died. Love it! I remember Lord Putidus being kind of a beast of a scenario — the combat was pretty hard, I think — but it's been probably at least a decade since I last played it, so I may be remembering an alpha or beta version rather than the release. It'll be interesting to see how it goes now. I pumped the thing out in a month after I finished Bahssikava. (A month is pretty fast, even for a relatively short scenario, at least for me. Or at least it was at the time.)
  15. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I mentioned that the fact that Machrone = Richard White comes back, and that Machrone isn't exactly from the Empire... now you see what I meant. I do love a good twist, and there are some big ones in The Magic. But my favorite is yet to come....
  16. LOL! Yes. Like, a bajillion. I missed a Mac version update, so I wouldn't be surprised if others did too.
  17. Best parody scenario name ever!
  18. Homeland progress report

    I looked over the log that I kept while designing Exodus, and I noticed a few things. First, part of the reason for the extended development time (from May 2005 to November 2006) was that I was designing Exodus while in college and I took a two-month break toward the end of a semester when I was just too busy to work on anything but school. That sort of thing may happen again... who knows. But another huge part of the extended development time was that I didn't alpha test anything until after I had basically finished designing the scenario. I actually started alpha testing in May 2006, but the scenario was such a train wreck at that point that it took two months just to get to the point where I had something finishable, and the beta ran for another four months after that because I kept running into bug after bug. That's not going to happen with Homeland; I'm testing everything more or less as I design (at worst, at the end of every chapter). The Prologue is done and finishable. I have to run through it one more time since I made my last set of changes, but I'll be doing that shortly. Chapter 1 is well underway, and once I've designed enough to run a party through it, I will. My hope is that this will make final alpha testing and beta testing much smoother than they were for Exodus. I also spent a while this past week implementing the special spell system, and it's a doozy.
  19. Then I've got nothing. The way you're describing it, it doesn't sound like an Unhandled Exception, which indicates a call using a value out of range and which — by this point — I have some reasonable idea how to fix. It's something else, and I don't know what. Bain might have some ideas, if he shows up. Otherwise, you probably need to contact Spiderweb — if VoDT isn't working well, it's probably something wrong with your copy of BoA, not just one scenario.
  20. Yeah, Mac BoA is a lot less buggy than Windows BoA, and I use a Mac, so I probably can't replicate any of these bugs. I have a guess about Of Good And Evil. Open up t0NorthernOu and find this portion (early on in the script): beginstate INIT_STATE; // This state called whenever this town is entered. turn_off_training(1); //Names set_name(7,"Roland"); set_name(9,"Katherine"); set_name(10,"Mackie"); set_name(13,"Charla"); set_name(15,"Nicias the Other"); //Dialog Pics set_char_dialogue_pic(7,1954,0); set_char_dialogue_pic(9,522,0); set_char_dialogue_pic(15,517,0); if (get_flag(27,1) == 0) { set_terrain(20,12,137); set_terrain(20,18,137); } if (get_flag(8,9) < 1) erase_char(15); if (get_flag(80,0) != 52) erase_char(9); if (town_status(ME) < 3) set_state_continue(19); break; My guess is that the problem is near the end of that chunk, at town_status(ME). I think that should be changed to town_status(0). Let me know if that works.
  21. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Well, that's reassuring. I was worried that BoA was going all crazy now.
  22. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    That's weird... the jagged zaps in the Stone Circle are mostly not appearing on your computer. There's no problem with the code... I just place a jagged zap and then run it. And some of them are appearing, and all the sounds are playing — just not all of them appear. How odd. And no, not all four characters are intended to mages as such. They are all capable of using "the magic" (the special ability) but not necessarily magic (Mage Spells). Those are not intended to be the same thing.
  23. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I'm aware of the phenomenon generally, but Chessrook44's avoidance behaviors are not limited to advancing the main quest line or even to anything that could plausibly work in the way that you're describing. Also, there are other things that one would have to do that Chessrook44 doesn't do if one wanted to see every aspect of a scenario. Which makes it all sort of weird, really. But, as I've said throughout, play the way you want. I just have to clean up a couple of things.
  24. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Call it what you want, but when you're told to go somewhere, you go everywhere other than the place you're told to go. Also, it's not that Luck is some superpowered skill that you should always raise. The point that I was making is that a high-level party benefits a lot from some amount of Luck (because of its life-saving chance) and that Luck raises immunities as much as Resistance does (so it's better when it's cheaper). That being said, Luck is almost never bad to have. I did actually boost Luck a good deal at some point during The Magic. But that advice was pretty specific to where you were in Exodus at the time.
  25. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    That's sort of beside the point. Both "charisma" and "archbishop" have been in English long enough that there's a standard (I would say "correct," but Slarty might take issue with that) pronunciation. "Charisma" has a K sound. "Archbishop" has a CH sound. That's pretty clear. "Archmage," on the other hand apparently was made up by fantasy authors a few decades ago. That's new enough, and nonstandard enough, that it's not ordinarily found in dictionaries (and so doesn't have a standard pronunciation listed). It's based on prefixing arch- to words to indicate "principal" or "chief," which apparently dates back almost to the Middle Ages. I tried to find something that said that it's always with a CH sound when used that way — i.e., a nonstandard word invented with this prefix, as opposed to a standard word like "archangel" — but no dictionary that I could find clearly said so. (Rather bizarrely, I did find that it's always with a K sound when it's a suffix — e.g., monarch. Same root.) However, dictionary.com suggests that the arch- with a K sound (e.g., archangel) is a variant of archi- before a vowel, and archi- is always with a K sound (e.g., architect). So I think it's unambiguous that arch- before a consonant is pronounced with a CH, not a K ("archbishop," "archmage"); it would be archi- before a consonant if it were a K sound. Before a vowel is more ambiguous ("archenemy" vs. "archangel"), though I still think that the rule is CH and the exception is K. Also, your tendency to do things as out of order as you possibly can is demonstrating bugs that I've otherwise never seen or heard of. Even The Magic, which was a late scenario of mine and therefore generally better tested than the others, appears to have an SDF set wrong. Things to fix for a later upload, I suppose.