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Let's be honest, in this day and age, the graphics of Avernum is very basic indeed. You don't get the pleasure of watching your wizard fry a horde of zombies with dazzling lightning strikes or see your character looking increasingly cooler as you find better armour and weapons that glow (I'm thinking about the Diablo series here). So, what attracted you to the Avernum series, enough that you'd bother going on a forum dedicated to it?

 

I'll answer my own question first... the obvious answer is the fiction. Few games have created such a vast and rich world with believeable characters and plots. There is also the freedom to do your own thing and create stories of your own. For me, my imagination more than compensates for the lack of graphics. The gameplay isn't half-bad either, requiring thinking instead of furious mouse-clicking.

 

My second question is HOW you play the game?

 

I know some people are obsessed with trying to 'maximise performance' and get all the best items and use it in the most efficient way... I think... 'why bother?', when the editor could give you all that with a few clicks. Then there's people who use editor to get out of every troublespot, or make themselves ridiculously overpowered... again, 'why bother'? It's not like u are rewarded with immense graphics for godly characters. I just don't understand the motivation for playing a game in that way, it is just a game, why would maximising power matter if you could complete the game without achieving it?

 

So as I said, I play for the fiction, to create a believeable story in the process. My party is all human, cos I find it harder to identify with slith/nephilim characters. I disabled the character editor and use walkthroughs and guides sparingly. I also never save/load unless it's a lethal or critical event. I deliberately do some 'inefficient' things cos I want my characters to be 'realistic'. I have a mage with 'natural mage' trait, but I don't give her armour other than mithril chainmail, I also don't give small shields to either the mage or my priest. I also don't give them much in terms of endurance, hardiness or defense. This means they are pretty vulnerable to melee attacks, but I offset it a little with defensive jewellery (health charms etc) and simply try to shield my magic users with the fighters. I will give my only mithril blade to my warrior, not a mage, and I gave my other 'metal lumps' to Sulfras and Arion instead of getting more mithril blades. I refuse to teach my mage any priest spells or vice versa, or my warrior any spells at all.

 

This makes the game a bit more challenging (like when mad monks ambushes my mage/priest) or when I sold the radiant slith spear by accident, but I feel it creates a much more absorbing game that you can really get into and identify with the characters.

 

What d'ya all think?

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Originally Posted By: Heindrich1988
[snip]


I played Geneforge first, ran out of games, and then wen into withdrawal. The later Avernums were similar enough that they could give me a quick hit, but it's really hard for me to play the earlier ones- I have to be really desperate. The only one I've completed is A3, but I've gotten to the Castle in A1 and Chapter 4 in A2.

That said, I do enjoy Blades of Avernum immensely, even though it uses the older engine.

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When I was a kid, by brother had a copy of Blades of Exile on his computer. He would let me play it. I loved that game. When I heard that Blades of Avernum was coming out, I about jump out of my seat with excitement. I guess part of why I like playing BoA is for the nostalgia.

 

I can play any game as long as the gameplay and story are interesting enough. Who needs graphics?

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I found Exile II on a Mac Cubed CD as a kid, and liked a whole lot. When the Avernum games came out I bought them, remember how much I liked the previous series. I'm not a min-maxer, personally. I play casually and just like the story, though I am a completionist.

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For me story and gameplay are primary and graphic is 3rd (not that I would play Exiles nowadays).

 

I don't minimax my party, I just make it efficient enuf to deal monsters and don't use char-editor to give skills/spells (except at A6 where I maxed my party stats and to see what was around Formello-area but that was after I had finished game).

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In my opinion, I don't care much about graphics. I think the graphics look good in the Avernum games. Even in the Exile Trilogy they looked nice. Sure they aren't as flashy as Diablo or Baldur's Gate, but they still are nice.

 

I'm pretty attracted to the Avernum series by the interesting plot, cool battle systems, great gameplay,

and good combat that sometimes requires more strategy.

 

As for the character editor included with some Avernum games, I used to use it a lot. Every party I used to made for any Avernum game I turned into a god party by raising my stats to unbelievable levels. Nothing could kill my party.

 

However, I am now playing the Avernum series (and Exile too) without touching the character editor at all. It feels good to play them without cheating anymore. Sure, I struggled at first, but I learned optimal party building strategies and interesting techniques to take down the big bad bosses.

 

As of now, I have beaten A1, A4, A5, A6 without cheating. I was quite proud of myself to accomplish that. I'm getting close to beating A2 and A3 as well. I also nearly played all BoA scenarios without a God party, and beat them all.

That's another accomplishment, especially considering

about three of those scenarios were very hard combat wise.

 

Overall, playing the whole Avernum series without using the character editor once gives you a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. As for the graphics, don't knock them until you at least tried to play at least one Avernum game demo. If the graphics don't attract you, it's the engaging plot and interesting gameplay that will pull you right in.

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Why: For much the same reasons as you. The plot is so thick, I could almost read Avernum, Geneforge, or Nethergate as a series of books. And yet, the gameplay is so simple, yet entertaining, that it provides that extra bit of enjoyment that I'm sure would be lost if converted to print. Plus, the graphics are just fillers, allowing my far superior imagination to picture everything in perfect detail.

 

How: I play for enjoyment. I try not to use the character editor or anything to that regard, but I'm not opposed to it. Sometimes, the game messes up and you need to. At other times, I just suck, and have to use them. No shame in that.

 

Cause: I got into Spiderweb Software first through Real Arcade, with Geneforge 1 and 2. The demos weren't enough to satiate my boredom forever, so I went to the site to see what else this place had. I got into Avernum, hated the lack of a quest list, and then tried the three sequels to it (including BOA). I fell in love, and I've stuck around, more or less, ever since.

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Originally Posted By: Heindrich1988
[...] but I feel it creates a much more absorbing game that you can really get into and identify with the characters. [...]
I'm always concerned with my characters and identifying with them. Also, I tend to play the femme in SW games, but it's hard to say why. Variety from myself, perhaps? tongue Someone else mentioned this once, and I think Random or Synergy mentioned that they just prefer to see a female figure rather than a brutish male (in Nethergate).

This topic exemplifies what I love most about Spiderweb games. It's always been about the stories, for me. Both the ones contained in the games, and the ones spawned by me, between PC's. I really like the graphics, though, especially terrain. Another thing I love is the palpable, unique atmosphere each game has.

An odd thing I've noticed about exceptionally meaningful art (and, well, SW games!) is that they are somehow taxing. I sometimes need a hiatus from SW games, or from exceptionally passionate music, or deep discussions. I know that at least one other member has mentioned needing a break from SW. I'm curious: Do you take / need breaks from SW and why?

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if plays human diff. between male and female chars isn't problem but if other races then it is.

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Why? I like the story and rpg + strategy that the game brings.

 

How? I am basically a purist, though I use ouchouchouch and imdrained when im not in battle. I find it to be more real that way.

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Speaking of gender, have you noticed that females in this game are very powerful (Erika, Carol, Rentar-Irhno etc), and often in physical roles (Miranda and several empire dervish characters). If I didn't know the game was made by Jeff, I might've thought it was designed by a feminist.

 

Oh yeah, how's gender an issue for other races, surely it doesn't affect the game at all? Indeed there isn't even a choice for gender, u can pick a male name and then give them a female icon, and vice versa.

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Cheat codes that recover health and energy respectively. You can enter them by pressing Shift-W during gameplay.

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Originally Posted By: Heindrich1988
Speaking of gender, have you noticed that females in this game are very powerful (Erika, Carol, Rentar-Irhno etc), and often in physical roles (Miranda and several empire dervish characters). If I didn't know the game was made by Jeff, I might've thought it was designed by a feminist.


Well I suppose the alternative to Erika would be a Gandalf ripoff, so I'd rather have a female non-cliche than a standard troped up uberwizard.

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Originally Posted By: Heindrich1988
Speaking of gender, have you noticed that females in this game are very powerful (Erika, Carol, Rentar-Irhno etc), and often in physical roles (Miranda and several empire dervish characters). If I didn't know the game was made by Jeff, I might've thought it was designed by a feminist.

I don't know about the "often in physical roles" part. Sometimes, yeah, but the powerful women who come to mind are mostly wizards, as you yourself mention with Erika and Rentar-Ihrno. Miranda is an exception, really. And look at Geneforge, where every melee-strong Guardian is male (save the one embarrassingly written exception) and every magic-strong Agent is female.

And Kings and Emperors and Chiefs and Mayors and military leaders are overwhelmingly male. The rare, major exceptions are Vicky of Blosk, who is depicted as a crackpot in A4 and A6, Yong-Mi, who is depicted as an incompetent traitor in A4, Prossis-Bok, who shares power with TWO men, servile leaders, whose gender-aspects are downplayed anyway, Greta, who is of the stereotypically-female class, and Litalia, who in 2 out of 3 games is subserviant to men. And there is the Spider Queen, who eats men, and the Crones who are so warped by hate and age, and the Rose Lady, whose name I think speaks for its own femininity.

The seriously strong females mostly seem to fall prey to emotional imbalances and greed for power or revenge, much as Vicky and Yong-Mi do: certainly this covers Erika and Linda and Rentar-Ihrno. The strongest ones all originate from the very early years, Exile 1 or Exile 2. Coincidentally, this is also the same time frame when Jeff made a point of inserting positively portrayed gay characters into his games: Exile 1 through Exile 3 have a slew of them, but every last gay reference was dropped when many of those characters made it into Avernum 4, and there have been no new gay characters since Exile 3.

I dunno. Thoughts?

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Originally Posted By: Slartucker
And look at Geneforge, where every melee-strong Guardian is male (save the one embarrassingly written exception)

There is also Nora in G2, though the fact that no one can remember her is an indication of how minor her character is.

You forgot to mention Empress Prazac, who looks pretty good in E/A3 on the one hand but is subservient to Garzahd in E/A2 and shows up just long enough to die in A5 on the other hand. Dikiyoba hasn't played A4--how does she fare in that game?

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Empress Prazac is barely mentioned in A4 since it mostly deals with Avernum's problems.

 

There was also in Exile 1 the female mayor of Formello who had stolen the golden necklace artifact and the female mage that led the nephils in the fortress.

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Ooh, I did forget Prazac. Prazac in E3 is a real exception, but yeah, she is weak and ineffective in the rest of the series.

 

That mayor -- Evelyn I think? -- was possibly the least competent of any Avernum mayor ever: concerned solely, it would seem, with the magical jewelry that had enchanted her.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Ooh, I did forget Prazac. Prazac in E3 is a real exception, but yeah, she is weak and ineffective in the rest of the series.

That mayor -- Evelyn I think? -- was possibly the least competent of any Avernum mayor ever: concerned solely, it would seem, with the magical jewelry that had enchanted her.


You also forgot Danette: the greatest Shaper researcher ever. Also, Learned Pinner in G2 was pretty strong.

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Wasn't Gnorrel (sp?) the leader of the Takers in G1, female?

 

And speaking of the Crones from Nethergate: did Jeff ever give any hints of what happened to the two surviving Crones after the end of the game? Did they give up and leave through the gate? Linger on somewhere in Britain? Something else?

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Originally Posted By: Triumph
Wasn't Gnorrel (sp?) the leader of the Takers in G1, female?

Yes.

Dikiyoba can think of a few more exceptions in the Geneforge series. Astoria is a good leader and the shock trooper class favors melee over magic, though it's a weak exception because her real strong point is creations.

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Originally Posted By: Triumph
Did they give up and leave through the gate? Linger on somewhere in Britain? Something else?


I want to make a Margaret Thatcher joke here, but I really shouldn't.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Triumph
Did they give up and leave through the gate? Linger on somewhere in Britain? Something else?


I want to make a Margaret Thatcher joke here, but I really shouldn't.


Yes you should. She is only good for ridicule these days (and by "these days" I mean she always was).

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Also, Learned Pinner in G2 was pretty strong.
Originally Posted By: Triumph
Wasn't Gnorrel (sp?) the leader of the Takers in G1, female?

Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
...servile leaders, whose gender-aspects are downplayed anyway...


Danette I suppose was a leader, but she was mainly a researcher: a shaper, yes, but essentially an academic magic-user. Quite parallel to Linda, but with less screen time and a less interesting character, but similar failings. And there is a long, long list of female researcher-magic-users in SW games. In fact I think librarians are more often female than male. Clearly that occupation is OK.

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Why I play:

 

1. Shareware; what else is a kid with no money to do but play a free demo and then beg dad to pay for the whole thing? The fact that I had allready downloaded the entire game and didn't need to do anything but hand over some cash made it more likey that Jeff gets my spare time (excellent business sense that last part.)

 

2. I've never ever in my life owned a computer that was less than 8 years old. This in and of it self is reason enought for me to play SW games.

 

3. Avernum rocks! At least 1 and 3 do (I admit, 5 sort of left a sour taste in my mouth and I've not tried the others). The story is so rich, and I like how the character building works.

 

4. I have a very active imagination. What the plot/graphics lack, I can easily make up for myself as needed.

 

5. I like to be at the center of things, in my waking life and my daydreams as well. Even if I had the connection and machine to make playing an MMORPG any fun, WoW pits my patheticly equipped, cassually played character up against folks who actually make/spend real world money pretending to be a troll/cow-person/gnome. Guess who gets to be goblin chow...... WoW also destroys my real world social life by kidnapping my friends and grafting two-way headsets to their craniums. I'ld much rather play the hero, even if it makes my isolationist videogaming tendancys a little more lonely.

 

 

How I play

 

1. I've been playing around with some party builds, focusing more on backstory than power. The party I most recently finished a1 with was a 3 person barbarian party, exiles from a remote villiage who refused to submit to empirical authority: one berserker, an archer (the hunter, not the empire soldier), and a hedge wizard. This means I needed to find some one with tool skills quick.

 

2. I've only attempted a singleton once. But judging from what some have shared here in regards to singleton strategy, It seems unrealistic to me. Even if putting my character next to the bottomless pit means that I can only be attacked by a few enemies. If I were really in that situation, I could easily be thrown/pushed into said pit.

 

3. I used to use the editor all the time, but I've been weening myself off of it lately. Its so much more fun to actually think about what I'm doing than just make some uber1337 gods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyways, thats why and how I play my avernum games.

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Originally Posted By: JonnyBoi
3. Avernum rocks! At least 1 and 3 do (I admit, 5 sort of left a sour taste in my mouth and I've not tried the others). The story is so rich, and I like how the character building works.
Try Avernum 2 for sure, it's my personal favorite, as well as many others' here. And I like your party build. And welcome to the forums!

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Quote : Who needs graphics?

 

I thought that the graphics in avernum or even in exile were good. Heck i even prefer the older Age of empires I graphics to World of Warcraft.

 

I'd say that the style of playing has simply changed. People want to see more CGI than reel. It's like spilling out for them a world they don't want to imagine or even create.

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Hey, thanks. I haven't been on a forum in awhile, but its nice to talk to people more. I just recently moved to the edge of civilization.

 

I look at maps some times and its sort of weird; theres just one little road that comes through town here, and all these huge swaths of almost totally undeveloped territory.

 

Its funny, I've never lived somewhere that the roads just sort of stopped.

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Why: I play because I sometimes get bored with Call of Duty 4. And also because I have loved the games Jeff makes since GF2 came out.

 

How: Mostly I start off with a party of four, an archer, sorcerer, priest, and a berserker. All human, after a tragic event involving an overpowering army and my slith([censored] Empire mage that I couldn't see on the screen.)

Recently I made a party of two. An archer and a hedge wizard. I made a third custom character as a "packhorse" after I remembered about the storeroom in the fort. Ka-ching! I ended up getting that guy Falko after I killed the slimes. I have used the character editor to revive my dead, increase magic lore, the spells my guy new, and my lockpicks/the skill.

 

In other news-

It's shift+w? Ty for telling me now i'm going to end up using it. Damm.

Rentar-Irno is female?!?!?!?!?!?! shocked

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Originally Posted By: SamSniped
I made a third custom character...


Make all custom characters next time you play. If you do it right, you shouldn't have to use the editor as much.

Originally Posted By: samsniped
Rentar-Irno is female?!?!?!?!?!?! shocked


It says she multiple times =)

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Rentar has been femme since A3, apparently she had "those days" everytime she tormented Avernum.

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I'm fairly sure Rentar was female even in A2.

 

—Alorael, who even recalls the pronoun being correct in E2. Rentar has been female all along.

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Originally Posted By: Tirien
... I think.
Didnt say I was certain. Been a long time since ive played much. Crazy dragons who apparently cant decide on their genders. Explains alot though.

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I play the Avernum's because I like them...end of story.

I use four custom characters; A melee fighter, A thief/alchemist who uses polearms, A priest, and a mage. I mainly do not use the editor, I figure things out on my own! cool

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Originally Posted By: Tirien
The only person/thing/creature who's gender seems to change is Sulfras, I think.

Isn't Sulfras partially insane in AV3? While I'm on the topic, what province are the dragons in anyways? I cannot seem to find them.

I have a couple questions.

Is it even normal that my team beat 1 Haaki Demon when my team was between levels 17 and 23? I couldn't beat 2 of the demons when I had a party levels 30 through 40.

WHERE THE [censored] IS "X"?

Also, I'm doing great with my team. All are around level 30, with 2 master thief/archers, a mage/priest, and a packhorse able to do a 20k run with 350 pounds and kill almost anything with a sword.

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Dragons are in Midori, i think. The one south of Northwest Valorim. Sulfras is not insane in A3. She is just angry.

 

Yes, that is normal, depending on the party. Ice lances helps when there is multiple demons, as does repel spirit lvl 3.

 

X is through a secret door in the tower of the magi on the far east side. Just ram every wall in that eastern hallway and you'll find him. If the tower of the magi already exploded, he'll be at portal keep or fort emergence, though I don't know which one or where.

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Originally Posted By: Txgangsta
If the tower of the magi already exploded, he'll be at portal keep or fort emergence, though I don't know which one or where.


There's a spare room in the guest suite in Fort Emergence, two doors down from where you begin the game. Solberg and X can be found there after the Tower Crisis.

_________________________
The Silent Assassin reminds you that while roses may be red and violets blue, both fresh air and vacuums are transparent.
Always bring spare oxygen.

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Ive done nothing but wizards for a party once. Then I joined the anama becuase I was bored. Probably not the smartest move on my part.

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Originally Posted By: Tirien, Master of Bacon
Ive done nothing but wizards for a party once. Then I joined the anama becuase I was bored. Probably not the smartest move on my part.


You can be sure on that.

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