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Everything posted by Thaeris

  1. Well, I have never heard of running a Mac emulator as being illegal. My apologies for suggesting an improper course of action if that is indeed the case. I will also confirm that I don't see an easy way of getting OS7 from Apple as of this time, but from past experience, I will say that was the case at one point in time. I will conclude that my statements from past experience are true, though the current state of affairs may have changed things. Again, pardon my intrusion - I will comment no further.
  2. I am making a blatantly ignorant post here, but perhaps my musings have enough merit for someone to try out: Does someone here run SheepShaver or Basilisk II on Windows 10? SheepShaver and Basilisk II are Macintosh emulators. You can in fact (last time I checked, at least) download the whole of MacOS 7 directly from Apple, and the rest of the guts needed for the emulation come with the emulator download. Perhaps trying a different emulation route may solve some of the problems which I continually read about people having with Windows 10. ...On a side note, trying out a Mac emulator might introduce you to new things. One of the classic RPGs which was never made for Windows was Odyssey: The Legend of Nemesis. The game runs very well on SheepShaver, complete with its musical score. It was also a game which Jeff himself spoke very highly of back in the day. Just a thought.
  3. I might have to threadjack this thread a bit, because it's close to the subject matter I like to speculate about... 1. Light and fauna in "early Exile." Exile has always been a magical place. It doesn't need to be relegated to the supernatural entirely, as Jeff keeps a good deal of science fiction in play. Thus, natural light sources in the caves are not entirely magical, even if magic was used in the creation of [some of] the glowing fungus that illuminates the underworld. The lands of the Vahnatai are darker than Exile, but they are lit like the rest of the caves. If the caves above the Vahnatai were dark, why do the Slith have eyes? I always thought it would be a great storytelling point if you encountered a cynical character who countered the general story of how the mages lit the lands and provided the fauna: that stuff was always there. All the mages did was to make it more suitable to humans, and perhaps unintentionally, for the humanoids (the Nephil, etc.) who are made to suffer along side them. 2. Ecosystem and geology speculation. I tend to think about materials available in Exile more than I do other things. Materials available tend to influence what people are capable of doing or making, or at least doing with relative ease. Copper and tin should be relatively hard to come by if more realism is going to be written into what you make of Avernum. The nice thing about bronze is that it should require less energy to process into a finished good. Fuel is going to be your main concern. Iron and steel need much more thermal energy to process in comparison. Steel is simply iron fused with carbon, but you have to get the carbon in there somehow. You'd get that from the fuel of course, which could come from crappy cavewood, coal, or maybe even bones. Coal will require a lot of effort to mine, cavewood is not great and needs to first be made into charcoal/coke, and bones are... kind of intense, if you get my meaning. Next, we see that a lot of metal refining in Exile is done with magical fires. Perhaps these "fires" are just heat, and not combustion? I bring this up, as it's worth wondering about how much oxygen is produced by the fauna of the caves in comparison to how much is used by their occupants and their industry. If no one is gasping for air down there, one has to assume that the ecosystem is pretty darn robust (even without sunshine and assuming the worst about industry). There also seems to be enough airspace down there that gasses released into the caves are not high enough in concentration to, you know, kill everybody. So, to conclude my derailment, I believe it's safe to conclude that iron and steel are scarce in Exile because they're harder to refine. Perhaps a place like Fort Draco not only sits on a healthy iron deposit, but perhaps it also sits on a source of coal like lignite. Draco thus has enough of a carbon source, and potentially a fuel source (if magical fires are reduced in their importance) to make steel. The steel then gets distributed to craftsmen in the Great Cave, who have their own convenient natural furnaces to process it into whatever. *COUGH* So, derailment aside, light is an interesting discussion in Avernum/Exile. Light is naturally tied to the production of many life-giving processes, such as the production of oxygen. The latter of course is needed by humanoids and their industry. That said, there seems to be enough light, at least in the short term (consider the Vahnatai's sleeping period) to facilitate all of this fairly well, even without the intensity of sunlight. For how long and for how much seems like the makings of the next Avernum title.
  4. Have you tried Encyclopedia Ermariana? https://encyclopedia.ermarian.net/wiki/Main_Page
  5. Necroing - I've not played with Open BoE for a while, but the old UI, if it's not been messed with since making BoE "open," really could use a facelift. A few suggestions: 1. Control UI settings through the preferences menu. Have checkboxes for standard "retail" window sizes, or custom sizes. Then add linked boxes for those custom options - it's ideally an easy way to let the user make the game suit their needs. Just make sure that switching between retail and custom does not change the custom settings! 2. Retail window sizes are what they say they are... custom sizes would allow you to adjust how many tiles (or resolution in general) are displayed on the game screen. With the small resolution of the original graphics and the really good resolution of modern monitors, having a larger game screen would be really important for BoE... because it's still a wonderful game. 3. Game zoom/graphics smoothing would be a really cool feature to add. Zoom would allow you to make the tiles larger or smaller, obviously. Smoothing - which could be an optional feature - would automatically blend highly pixelated graphics into smoother ones. Some programs I use actually do this based on the zoom level. 4. A feature that could tie into zoom/smoothing might be no limits for the sprite resolution... only sprite ratio! Thus, if you want high-res sprites, you can upload very high res graphics into your campaign/mod, just as long as they are the correct ratio. ...I hope this suggestion finds the Open BoE folks well - community projects like this keep wonderful games like this alive.
  6. Tell you what, when I played the demo, I may in fact have finished the slime quest before I dealt with the bandits I recall fighting. Seeing as I'm getting ready to finish the slime quest myself, I'll pop back in when I've done so!
  7. A short question, after the prelude of course: I first played Avernum 3 as a demo in college. I really liked it, but being cheap and/or poor, I never bought the game. I recalled a variety of things to do in Upper Avernum, and that included fighting a hovel of bandits on an isolated island to the far north of the usual settlements. Buying the boat was a prerequisite to get to the area of course. Years later, and probably a few years between starting my current run and resuming it, I attempted to find the bandit island once again. The problem is that I have no idea how to get back there! Furthermore, looking at Harehunter's linked sites, I don't even see it on the maps! So, finally, the short question: Was this dungeon only in the demo, or can I just not recall how one finds it? Or, perhaps it was some figment of the imagination? Should the latter be the case, it was still pretty awesome. I do seem to remember that the dungeon was kind of a one-time affair. With the waterfalls surrounding the place, once you were in, you either succeeded or didn't, because there's be no way of going back without cheating.
  8. I for one love the architectural styles of the original Avernum series. ...I've been contemplating what Avernum and the world above would look like for some time now regarding weapons and architecture. Exile presented a more old-school fantasy vibe to things, original Avernum had that unique style mixed with cheerful Foglio art, and the new series looks like a reversion to contemporary high fantasy art standards. The challenge and fun would be finding how to blend everything together, I guess! As per old mechanics which don't show up in the new games - I kind of miss the manual aiming of arrows and spell in Exile/Blades of Exile. It would be really nice to chuck fireballs at invisible units and do area fire against them, even if I had a reduced chance to hit. I've not yet encountered invisible units in BoE, but I can only assume that manual aiming can make things a little easier in those situations.
  9. I'm happy to say I've been playing this for the first time since I downloaded the demo in, like, 2008. One of the principal problems I noted having with the demo was the loss of the boatyard in Krizsan. Is there anywhere else to buy a boat on the continent?
  10. That's the problem with an all-caster party. As much as it makes them awesome, it also limits their max levels in base skills due to needing... all the base skills! Even then, your characters tend to be biased towards certain skills regardless. Priests end up being pretty good fighters in most cases; combine that with elite warrior and you've got a really scrappy trooper. And I'd really love to give my priestess something a bit better than that steel greatsword... but meh, I'll yank it out of there sooner or later. (Just don't keep trying to do that, or you'll be waiting a long time indeed to level up again. )
  11. Going back to the Shrine puzzle, I have to wonder this... Is Blademaster a requirement for pulling out the Alien Blade? Or does a given character just need to have a lot of strength?
  12. That settles it then. I'll stick to the size of old Avernum/Exile.
  13. I think my argument would be this: when you see a sign listing a location as being 10-25 miles away (anywhere there is a location so listed), the distances on the map tend to be... fairly consistant. And so that's actually a better question - how do the distances in old Avernum compare to Exile, and how do those distances compare to the new Avernum?
  14. I'm hesitant about getting into the new Avernum trilogy, as silly as that may sound. I really do love the aesthetic and feel of the old games, and I'm certain that's why you still have great fans of the original Exile games here (Blades was the only one I ever got into). And certainly the only thing I can actively pin on Exile as having a real "up" over Avernum on is the great variety of spells and weapons in the older games. Variety is great. (As an aside, I also love reading comparisons between Avernum and Exile, especially when I've never really bothered to delve into playing into the originals)
  15. I think checking your numbers may be necessary, at least with what is given on the world map. According to the signs, Draco and Formello are indeed at least 80 miles apart by road, unless "mi." has a different meaning in the world of Ermarian. Even if the actual distance really is between 10-15 miles, that's still a day's worth of travel easy, especially if you're on the march with a lot of heavy gear.
  16. I do have the original Nethergate, actually, and it was my first Spiderweb game. It actually still works well enough (I first had it for Mac OS 9, it still runs on Vista), if only a bit laggy.
  17. I always wanted to explore Bargha. I'll need to get the Avernum Trilogy disk at some point so I can do this, as I only have Avernum 2. In which, the best you can do is kill the last checkpoint guards and step a few paces into the city before you die a horrid death, Romans-in-Nethergate style.
  18. Speaking of age (and/or time), I do think this is a relevant question: What is the size of Avernum? Often you will read a sign indicating that a city is 25 to 80 miles away, and making such a trip would range from a day or more (the former) to several days. Despite this, the venture between Fort Draco and Formello takes less than a day in Avernum. This leads me to several conclusions: (a.) The scale of Avernum is not properly represented (which I think is unlikely - I'd like to believe Avernum as a seemingly tractless cavern of massive dimensions). (b.) The Empire-Avernum War was quite possibly longer than two year's time, if we consider the player's party as the driving force behind the success of the battle - this argument is to say that due to the size of Avernum, it would take quite a long time to traverse all of it to complete the given missions. (c.) Because your party is mighty and magical, you run at about 55 miles per hour, or even faster. Duke Nukem has nothing on you, because he cannot shoot fireballs with his bare hands. (clearly I'm not being serious here)
  19. I've recently realized... after a stint of myself being puzzled... that I've failed miserably at one of Avernum 2's most useful puzzles. This of course is the Chitrach Shrine puzzle, where your party must bring three chitrach larve husks from the tower in the south to the shrine in the north. For some reason, perhaps I was tired, I did not realize that multiple trips were in order... so in my latest play-through, I totally trashed that shrine. ...Granted, it was in all likelihood not a good shrine, but free Blademaster is one thing to make anyone a bit less picky. Add in that I've been living dangerously with only one save, there's no recovery point, either. Buth those 50 experience points... But I suppose that happens. It is kind of humorous, but if there is a re-set option for that scenario in the editor, I'd be tempted to run it. Otherwise, I may just need to use the editor to... pretend the scenario was executed properly. To that effect, loading up your last save before a character dies is kind of cheating, too. Q&A&Commentary aside, feel free to add in any additional debacles where they have occured. It's all fun until you quit out of rage, after all.
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