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Smoo

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About Smoo

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    Shaman
  • Birthday 09/09/1986

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  1. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Glad you liked Magus of Cattalon, and the way I understood it, pretty much all of my stuff. Could I have just set the scenario in the past to begin with? Sure, but didn't wanna. Why? Well, like I mentioned earlier, the intended audience for my scenarios was pretty much just me. The way I see it, the party that enters MoC is the one that has gone through all the prepacked scenarios, or maybe they've leveled up organically through third party scenarios. The point is, I like to think that all the scenarios (unless specifically set in another universe) are set in the same universe and can thus be completed by the same party forming a connected narrative between the scenarios. This was certainly a core designing principle for me which is why all my scenarios have some kind of references to Jeff's scenarios and Avernum games. If I'd just set the scenario in the past, it would have made the scenario unconnected thus violating this core rule of mine. I also want to be very clear about one thing. I like the way the scenario switches from one plot to the other. The time travel stuff was supposed to blindside the player. The player was supposed to think that the scenario was shorter than it is. Now, is this "good" story-telling? Maybe not, but again, I liked it. Also, your playthrough actually jogged my memory about what Polonius's "Bless the Children" ritual was originally really about. You pointed out the stairways in the Magi Tower leading down to what remains of Blood Citadel. Polonius found the ruins and discovered the remains of the giants portal, was good enough to sort of reverse engineer his own portal, but not good/patient enough to do it right which is why the portal is kind of busted from the get go. He also found enough ancient knowledge to manipulate time in other ways. His "blessing" of the cattle? That was his way of slowing the aging process in the cows and, in case of older specimen, he also managed to reinvigorate them, making them young again. So, what he tried to do with the children was do the same thing, to slow down their aging so that they could live to be 200 years old, or whatever. He failed, because again, he wasn't as good as he thought he was and couldn't bother to put in the hours to work out the ritual right. Because of this, the time warping energies he manipulated went out of his control and homed in on the internal organs of the children, causing them to de-age so much that they warped out of existence. I think this was what the ritual was originally supposed to be, before I decided that "Nah, that's not really important, is it?" By the sound of things, you are about to start playing Ephesos's scenarios. I don't think at least that you've played them yet? Ephesos, for what it's worth, is actually my favorite designer overall. I like his style.
  2. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Oh, that poor soldier. Stuck in that oven forever
  3. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    While we're on the subject of conscious design choices that can infuriate some players, you’ve been running around a few episodes now trying to find a place to sell all your loot. Now I understand that some real time might have passed between episodes and I don’t assume that you remember everything you did in game a week or so ago. Still, it was the innkeeper in Ferrow! You talked to him at one point and said something to the effect of “this isn’t the guy I sell loot to.” But yes, that was him! That was the guy. Not only did you forget it, but you also forgot that Adrian told you who would buy stuff from you. That was one of Adrian’s functions, to inform the player where to sell stuff. I understand if someone is annoyed by the lack of places to sell your loot. This is, however, a case where I sacrificed game play convenience for world building. I never explicitly stated this in game (seems to be a problem of mine), but Feral Lake is in a state of barter economy right now. You are carrying, at the moment, something like several thousand coins worth of loot? The recently freed slaves and opportunists around do not have that kind of cash lying around which is also why your breaking and entering usually yields only a few copper coins. So yes, when you enter Feral Lake there is only one man who buys items from you. Now, had you gone south instead of north when you left Ferrow and done Theseus’s quest right away, all of this could have been avoided. Now on to the Moonstone quest which will be behind spoiler tags since this, more than anything I’ve written here, is nothing but a self-indulgent man explaining an inside joke that no-one else thinks is funny.
  4. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Doomguards are probably the only standard enemies that are interesting to me in BoA, so when I was making MoC, I just knew I had to include them somehow. Also, about the whole shovel and rope thing. I think I was stuck in 90s adventure game frame of mind when designing those bits. What I mean by that is that I created a standard item puzzle (need item to proceed) and only made the item available in one specific location. No workarounds. Since it appears that I never did change it, were I to release a patch now, I would definitely add at least two ropes and shovels somewhere in friendly towns and dungeons. This way there wouldn't be only one way to progress.
  5. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Hooray! The Moonstone is in the fourth and final location... unless there's a bug and it's nowhere. There's no bug... I hope. Whenever I've played MoC it's never been in the final location. When I was alpha testing the scenario I had to save scum to force the random number generator to not put it in the first three. Considering what's in the last location, I'll explain myself when the LP gets there. For now, I'll say this about Tampere. It's named after a town in Finland, pronounced something like Tam-puh-ruh. Stress on the first syllable. The way your saying it is fine in terms of in universe shenanigans since, obviously, nobody speaks Finnish in Feral Lake.
  6. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Lol. Tampere. Moonstone. Myrthral the Myst. Oh, what fun. I might add more when I'm not at work, but for now, I'll just comment that when you were looking for the Moonstone in the swamp the scenario checked your Nature Lore. Had your skill been high enough, you would have realized that the tracks are leading North. Edit: Oh! And the Moonstone location, like the rattlesnake quest, is random. I hope you had to go to all four possible Moonstone locations, since you got lucky and found the snake in the first bush.
  7. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    This is another longer post so I am placing it in spoiler tags again.
  8. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    So, regarding Polonius and his bless the children ritual. Your theory was that the magi had killed the children and used their souls to animate the golems. When I heard you say it I thought to myself, yes, that would be a pretty good villain move. The problem is that I never envisioned Polonius to be a traditional "villain". I am putting the rest of my post behind spoiler tags, not because of spoilers, but because of the wall of text that ensues.
  9. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I couldn't find anything about the INN action advancing time in the documentation either, so I just added "print_num(get_current_tick()) into the scenario script's START_STATE and went to the inn to sleep. Sleeping advanced the time forward 800 ticks.
  10. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    MoC uses the "INN" dialog action which appears to advance the time forward 800 ticks. I can't see anything wrong with the script, so the bug Chessrook encountered must have something to do with the version of BoA he has (Humble Bundle games aren't pre-patched, are they?), or just one of those fabulous Windows things where different versions of Windows break the game in new and amazing ways. I am fairly certain that the version of MoC in the scenario database is the same I have, although I am almost positive that I have fixed a bunch of typos and possibly a minor bug or two in my own version. Regarding the Wand of Teleportation, the marker is cleared once the player leaves town, so the wand is considerably less useful than you originally thought, Chessrook. The wand was added to the scenario after a comment from a beta tester that the Empire should give the player more toys to play with. Had it been in the scenario from the early planning stages, I would have probably made it more integral to the puzzles or town design. The Empire also initially gave the player a sword that blessed and shielded its wielder, but this made the already easy combat ludicrously easy so I removed it from the scenario. The code for it is still in the scenario script, though.
  11. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Interesting theory about the children and the golem. Now if it was Polonius's right hand man who was in charge then I could retroactively say that, yes, that is exactly what the magi were doing. However, since the more common criticism of the scenario was that the player never really finds out what the deal with the magi and their ritual is, I must reluctantly say that nope, that wasn't it. I'll get back to the ritual once your LP gets to Polonius. Shame about the day/night cycle bugging out on you. Obviously the coding couldn't handle the game skipping past the point of sunrise. I am actually surprised that this is the first time I heard about this bug. I mean, that's the whole point of sleeping at an inn so that you don't have to wait. Gah! Edit: So, I entered the scenario myself and resting at the inn in Beohram's Keep worked fine for me. The shops closed and opened as intended depending on the time of day. What version of Magus of Cattalon do you have? For that matter, what version of Blades of Avernum do you have?
  12. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Well. I'm glad that you enjoyed Backwater Calls. Like I mentioned earlier, the scenario does have its fans and the reviews for it were actually generally positive. It is what it is. I just have this memory in my head of what it was supposed to be and what's there, is not exactly it. On that note, if Backwater Calls is my least favorite scenario (out of my own stuff) then Magus of Cattalon is probably my favorite.
  13. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Right. It wasn't Curing, but since I remembered that there was something that removed Webbed status, I had to go and check. Divine Restoration removes it.
  14. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I think a high level of Curing clears webbing. Also, waiting does clean webbing in combat too but I think it's only about half as effective.
  15. Smoo

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    As the designer, I've seen a lot of bugs in these last few episodes. For example, Marnok, the Mung Demon from the Iron Mines was supposed to ambush you in the Small Pond, but I figured he wouldn't since you got two of his "death" messages in the mines already. Tsk tsk tsk. Bad form on the designer's part. Also, that whole bit of Ossso being statuesque while dying is probably the worst piece of exposition out of all the scenarios. I'll just go ahead and award myself that accolade as well.
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