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Juan Carlo

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About Juan Carlo

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    Shaman
  1. I love Spiderweb. I like the Avadons. But the factions in the games never made much sense to me. Mainly because the games give you zero reason to care about any of them (and yeah, the Wyldrylm are the most cliched, tedious, one note, faction of all of them. So it's a shame Jeff spent so much time on them). The Geneforge factions worked beautifully (perhaps the best faction based RPGs I've ever played), just because each faction was connected to immediately perceivable issues regarding human rights (exemplified in the game via the Serviles) that were immediately translatable into real world situations. So you knew what each faction stood for and what was at stake instantly. But I could never move myself to give two #$%#s about the Avadon factions. It's all digital squabbles over digital land in a digital universe, which has little connection to anything real (apart from the whole "freedom vs security" issue, although I never thought it was explored as well or as nuanced as the human rights issues in the Geneforges). It puts me to sleep. I still like the games, just because they are bread and butter Spiderweb. But I'm incredibly happy that Jeff is finally done with them and can move on to something else.
  2. Avadon 3 class/character poll

    The simple addition of friendly fire on torment has made sorcerers much more fun to play. Or it makes me more aware of them and their position in reference to other party members, anyway, whereas in the past I'd take them for granted. Rolling with a two mage party is pretty interesting as a consequence. And yeah, Nathalie, no contest. Especially since she's slightly older, so it's interesting to see her in contrast to Avadon 1.
  3. Major discrepancy/bug with tinkermage/summon mechanics

    Aw, I like reading about bugs, though. Huge game breaking bugs are no fun (and irrelevant given that SW games never have them), but this sort of more obscure balancing minutia is fascinating to me. Most devs these days have dedicated bug threads just so they don't get the same issue reported 1,000 times. I know Spiderweb is a tiny company and the sorts of bugs that some here are finding are pretty obscure issues that you'd have to do some more extended testing to discover (so I doubt SW will be getting 1,000 outraged e-mails that a Tinkermage's turrets don't seem to scale from STR), but I don't think it's a bad mark on Spiderweb if the bugs are posted on and discussed on the forum. Nor do I think doing so would mean that the bugs will be seen as persisting forever, given that many of the more dedicated players here will no doubt go over 1.01 with a fine toothed comb upon release and correct the record. The sort of deep analysis of game mechanics that goes on here only comes from a place of love and over the years I've come to look forward to it as part of the ambiance of playing any new SW release.
  4. Avadon 3: Torment Difficulty

    Yeah, I noticed it seems way easier too. I died twice on first discovering Vid, then got it 3rd try. And it seems like there are fewer fights overall (which I'm not complaining about as I think Spiderweb games could all do with about 1/3 less combat than they have, although more so the Avernums and to a lesser extent the Avadons. I think the Geneforges are about right).
  5. Avadon 3: Torment Difficulty

    I started playing this and the friendly fire definitely makes it interesting. Also, it seems like abilities take longer to recharge (almost absurdly so....lI've rarely had the chance to use an ability more than once in a single fight). I know Jeff said he wanted to change up torment by making it less, "exactly the same as hard.....only with even more hitpoints, resistances, and to-hit chances on enemies," so I'm wondering if anyone knows how the difficulties compare in this game. Does torment increase difficulty over hard via hit-point bloat, resistances, and to-hit, or is its biggest difference from hard (which also has the friendly fire) just the longer cooldowns on abilities? I ask because I always play Spiderweb games on torment and would much prefer it if Jeff started focusing on things like friendly fire and other tactics type remedies to increase difficulty, rather than just endless hitpoint bloat. I'm a total difficulty masochist, but even I admit that playing the Avernum remakes on torment can get downright absurd when you find yourself beating away on a trash mob of rats for 5 minutes straight because their resistances are so high.....only to encounter 20 more of that same mob of rats before exiting what ever dungeon you're in. Thus far, Avadon 3 doesn't seem to have that problem, but I'm pretty early in the game.
  6. Anyone here Deus Ex fans?

    The first was great. I've played it 3-4 times, although all over a decade ago now. I played "Invisible War" just once on release, so I honestly can't remember much about it just that it was a disappointment. Human Revolution is a solid shooter/stealth game, but I didn't love it as much as some people seemed to and I think it's kind of overrated. The storyline and protagonist were dull and while much better than "Invisible War," the world still seemed limited in scope compared to the original. And, yeah, it did seem too polished for its own good. It does what it does well, but it definitely doesn't reach anywhere near as far as the original. In fact, if you want a modern game that comes close to living up to the original "Deus Ex," I'd say that "Dishonored" comes closer than any of Deus Ex's sequels. And its universe is way more interesting than anything in the Deus Ex sequels (definitely play that if you haven't). I'll still probably play the new Deus Ex eventually, though. It's just not really a day 1 purchase for me. More of a "once the GOTY is half off a year from now" purchase.
  7. PoE is worth completing, but it takes a while to get interesting. I didn't find it particularly compelling until the very end when there is a major universe twist that actually kind of made me want to replay the game with the twist in mind. Up until that point it didn't really grab me, but that's probably just because I was too daft to realize what the game universe was until the ending spelled it out. It's strictly lore stuff, as opposed to plot, but I'll tag it anyway: . Now that the universe is set up, I think the sequel could be really awesome depending on where they go with it.
  8. Age of Decadence is great. Play that before you play anything else people have mentioned. I'd second Underrail and also recommend the Shadowrun games. Especially the last 2 (the first recent reboot, "Shadow Run Returns," isn't as good as "Dragonfall" and "Hong Kong"). Plus, the Shadowruns have more sci-fi elements and a neat blade runner aesthetic, which is a welcome change of pace from the usual fantasy tropes. I found the Eschalons to be incredibly dull, so I wouldn't bother with them. The first might have been great 6 years ago before the indie boom, but now there are just too many better games to play and the sequels didn't improve much on the first,
  9. "Low" budget horror films.

    I really loved the 2005 film, "The Descent." It's a strange combination of a spelunking film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Aliens. Didn't have much impact in terms of film, but the new "Tomb Raider" reboot ripped it off liberally, stealing its main plot arch and a certain scene where the main character is baptized in blood: The French also had a really great run of very nihilistic horror films in the 2000s. My favorite of the lot was "Inside," about a woman stalking a pregnant woman. One of the most intense thrillers I've ever seen: Not really a slasher film at all, but the last truly great horror film I saw was "The Witch." Worth seeing if you like horror: Otherwise, too many to list. I'd have to sit down and think some more.
  10. Excessively Good

  11. Discovering the Trakovites in G4, playing both the shapers and the rebels off each other, then turning on both of them for the Trakovite ending. Realizing that the Trakovites turned into a fully developed, radical, anarchy sewing, terrorists cell in G5 was great too. I don't necessarily agree with their politics, but found myself aligning with them in both games regardless just because it's so much fun to play triple agent by pretending to align with both the rebels and shapers as long as possible (and as much as the game's faction reputation systems will allow), then screwing them both over in the end. I still see G4 and G5 as Spiderweb's best games solely for how well they model faction politics. G5 does it so well it kind of blows my mind that just one guy designed it, while massive AAA games which try to do something similar never really approach its level of complexity in terms of potential allegiances and outcomes.
  12. Spiderweb future

    I've always wondered how much of this was more about the ability to reuse the art assets between games. A full on Sci-Fi series would have meant that probably very little could have been reused between Geneforges and Avernums. Geneforge does have quite a few unique assets that aren't reused in the Avernums, but the majority of world and world clutter/object type assets seem to be reused and probably wouldn't fit in a Sci-Fi universe. I think the Witcher series is fairly good about doing this without making it come off as cheap or out of left field. The key is always making the unintended outcome at once surprising, yet still plausible given the situation. Which is hard to do. You also do need a reason to care about what's going on too. I played the Geneforges only once and going on 5 years ago now, but I can still name all the factions, their general beliefs, and how they factored into the major choices you made in the games off the top of my head. I was totally invested in those games' choices and still regard the series as among my favorite (if not my absolute favorite) RPG series. When it comes to the Avadons, though, despite finishing both, I honestly can't even remember what happened in them, much less who the main political countries/factions are and what their political/cultural beliefs might be. I do remember several individual characters, though. Character is probably the series' saving grace, but even then there's nothing earth shatteringly great. So while I do enjoy playing them, I definitely won't be pinning for another Avadon once the trilogy is finished in the same way I pine for another Geneforge. I'll be happy to see Vogel move on to something else.
  13. Avadon 3 Trailer

    I wasn't accusing you of anything and, honestly, meant it light hearted (hence the ). But I seem to have unintentionally touched a nerve, so I'll just leave you to it then.
  14. Avadon 3 Trailer

    I don't know. I think this might be viewing things strictly from the perspective of the Spiderweb forums, which views everything through a very min/max mindset (seriously, within 24 hours of a game's release you guys basically have it cracked to the point that playing it is about as much fun as playing a spread sheet . If you go by these forums, for example, there's no other way to play Avadon 1 than as a dex build. Which I dont think is true, even if dex builds are superior in many ways) . If you are min/maxing there's always one or two character/party builds that outshine the rest (Vogel seems unable to release a game that doesn't have at least one grossly overpowered skill and/or stat). I don't think that means that other builds aren't viable, though. My problem with the skill tree in the trailer is that, on the surface, it looks like your only options are how much emphasis to place on which branch. Otherwise, the branches themselves are just straight lines. MAybe in practice that's not that different than what we had before (in fact, I don't think it is). But it just seems dull to me. Perhaps it's just a case of the change in aesthetic making apparent what was masked in the previous games. And, if anything, I think the newer skill trees make things insane singleton torment playthroughs (which were always fun and viable in the older skill systems just because they allowed for greater hybridity) much harder.
  15. Spiderweb future

    I'm pretty sure he mentioned he was considering it in interviews. I found one with RPG Watch where he mentions considering it to fund a new engine: http://www.rpgwatch.com/articles/jeff-vogel-interview-293.html I think I've seen him mention it elsewhere too. But I guess never anything beyond idle speculation.
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