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Shaper Twilight

Bahssikava->Exodus-> ??

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So I just finished playing Exodus.. I really liked the story ever since Bahssikava and I want to know more about the Sliths and Vahnatai ..

 

Is there a next scenario after Exodus ?? or if there's none, is someone making it ?

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Nioca   

There is not. The creator (Kelandon) has stated that he would not be completing the trilogy.

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Kelandon   

Glad to hear you liked the story! And I admit that I'm surprised, but I guess pleased, that people are still playing these, so many years after I made them.

 

The plan was always to make a third scenario, Homeland, that finished the story. ("We have repented at Bahssikava. We have made the Exodus. Now, it is time for us to retake the Homeland!") After the poor reception of Exodus by the community at the time, though, I pretty much quit making scenarios for Blades, with the exception of Nobody's Heroes, a short joke scenario that I claimed was released by "Kelandon's friend" for a long time to avoid the crap that was heaped on me every time I released anything.

 

It kind of pains me that I never finished the trilogy, and you get some hints as to what happens in Homeland if you play Nobody's Heroes (notably, the main quest-giver in NH is an older but not really wiser Machrone).

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Metatron   
Originally Posted By: Kelandon
Glad to hear you liked the story! And I admit that I'm surprised, but I guess pleased, that people are still playing these, so many years after I made them.

The plan was always to make a third scenario, Homeland, that finished the story. ("We have repented at Bahssikava. We have made the Exodus. Now, it is time for us to retake the Homeland!") After the poor reception of Exodus by the community at the time, though, I pretty much quit making scenarios for Blades, with the exception of Nobody's Heroes, a short joke scenario that I claimed was released by "Kelandon's friend" for a long time to avoid the crap that was heaped on me every time I released anything.

It kind of pains me that I never finished the trilogy, and you get some hints as to what happens in Homeland if you play Nobody's Heroes (notably, the main quest-giver in NH is an older but not really wiser Machrone).


I think the community is different now. Everybody who plays Blades is 1) not TM 2) an oldbie. So they've probably calmed down by now.

Or you could write Homeland, and then not release it. You could just make posts telling everyone how awesome it is. But you shouldn't let an unfinished story roll around in your head. I know that I constantly edit my plots of upcoming scenarios, even if I've ever only released one. Am I right in guessing that you still have notes on Homeland, and you still edit them? Because it's so much fun to write a story! And so long as it's unpublished, it can still be edited and made more complex. The writing process only ends for when you release the story/scenario, because it's only then that you can stop editing and writing new content.

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Kelandon   
Originally Posted By: Metatron
I think the community is different now. Everybody who plays Blades is 1) not TM 2) an oldbie. So they've probably calmed down by now.

Or you could write Homeland, and then not release it. You could just make posts telling everyone how awesome it is. But you shouldn't let an unfinished story roll around in your head. I know that I constantly edit my plots of upcoming scenarios, even if I've ever only released one. Am I right in guessing that you still have notes on Homeland, and you still edit them? Because it's so much fun to write a story! And so long as it's unpublished, it can still be edited and made more complex. The writing process only ends for when you release the story/scenario, because it's only then that you can stop editing and writing new content.

I agree that the community has calmed way the heck down now. Back in 2006, when I was most active in designing, I grew to dread releasing scenarios because of the non-constructive and often unreasonable criticism I got every time I put something out. I was really, really tentative about Nobody's Heroes because I feared more of the same, but people were a lot nicer about that one.

You're right that I still have my notes for Homeland. The outline is still there on my computer, and I have been fiddling with it from time to time for the past five years. The plotline is much, much better now than it was then. I had forgotten half of Bahssikava when I wrote Exodus (Ethass didn't believe in the Goddess when she was a librarian at the Temple? What?), but I've gone back through both of them and know what needs to be resolved and finished in Homeland. I know exactly what needs to be done.

But to do it right, the scenario has to be big. Really big. Bigger than Bahssikava, though probably not quite as big as Exodus. That takes a LOT of time.

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*i   

It would be very good to hear the story finish itself out, even if not in scenario format. I personally would very much like to know how it ends.

 

Quote:
I agree that the community has calmed way the heck down now. Back in 2006, when I was most active in designing, I grew to dread releasing scenarios because of the non-constructive and often unreasonable criticism I got every time I put something out.

 

I would like to point out this was hardly the majority of criticisms in the community at the time, and I don't think it fair to paint them in such an unyielding light. If you don't believe me, go and read the CSR reviews of Exodus. I just reread them, and while there was definitely some amount of non-constructive critiquing that I'm not going to defend, there are also a lot of very valid concerns.

 

Fundamentally, the problem most people had with Exodus was the combat was too tedious and frustrating to the point of not being fun. There is also some good points about the outdoors being too sparse and unrealistic, and the custom graphics used being unappealing in parts. There were also a few mentions that the plot, while well written in many places, failed to hold peoples excitement. All of these are perfectly valid criticisms and all creators of works should heed them!

 

I've said this before. I'm sympathetic and appreciate the effort it takes to design a large scenario. My experience with Spy's Quest taught me a key lesson: that elegance in design is no substitute for player enjoyment. Every release I did, I took some harsh criticism on the chin. Some of it was unreasonable, but most of it was quite helpful.

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Originally Posted By: *i
elegance in design is no substitute for player enjoyment.
How in the hells do TM's scenarios rank as well as they do? That's my biggest gripe with the "heyday" of BoA design; somehow all the bells and whistles that come with a bit of clever code can make a bad plot good. It just doesn't make even the least bit of sense.

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Karoka   
Originally Posted By: Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas
Originally Posted By: *i
elegance in design is no substitute for player enjoyment.
How in the hells do TM's scenarios rank as well as they do? That's my biggest gripe with the "heyday" of BoA design; somehow all the bells and whistles that come with a bit of clever code can make a bad plot good. It just doesn't make even the least bit of sense.
Most of the time when I'm playing of of TM's scenarios, at least half of the story is either confusing, unrealistic, or doesn't really fit in. Like in the BoE scenario Bandits II. If these metal guys were able to CREATE HUMAN CIVILIZATION, why does that one metal guy need our help?! Moreover, why is the 'main villain' practically indestructible??? It makes my head spin.

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Lilith   
Originally Posted By: Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas
How in the hells do TM's scenarios rank as well as they do? That's my biggest gripe with the "heyday" of BoA design; somehow all the bells and whistles that come with a bit of clever code can make a bad plot good. It just doesn't make even the least bit of sense.


people who play TM scenarios for the plot, knowing his reputation, deserve what they get

if you go in expecting enjoyable fights punctuated by enjoyable nonsense, they're mostly pretty good

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*i, I never read CSR at the time, but I was very aware of the attacks levied against Exodus, because they made it onto the boards, too. A few people made it their business to insult both Exodus and its prequel far beyond the bounds of courtesy, and beyond the BoA forum, too. Looking at the CSR thread now, a good chunk of those posts are from long after Exodus's initial release, and it is certainly a more pleasant thread than I remember reading -- either there were other posts that have been shed at some point in the CSR's storied history, or I am mixing it up with invective seen elsewhere on the boards.

 

Basically, a designer released two of the largest (if not the largest) BoA scenarios in existence, with a quite obviously massive amount of effort having gone into them, and they were singled out for abuse by a thin but loud slice of the community. So in this particular case, I disagree that "take your lumps" is the applicable maxim.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Looking at the CSR thread now, a good chunk of those posts are from long after Exodus's initial release, and it is certainly a more pleasant thread than I remember reading -- either there were other posts that have been shed at some point in the CSR's storied history, or I am mixing it up with invective seen elsewhere on the boards.
I think dropped a few completely non-constructive reviews when I ported them from SV. I know I did that for some of the other scenarios. I personally never hated Exodus. I didn't love it, but, as I said in my review, it's worth playing at least once.

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*i   

Slarty, maybe my experience with Spy's Quest all those years back has made me a bit insensitive to all that, and just auto-filtered much of that out. Believe me, I took a lot of very harsh, very unhelpful criticism after that release. As I said, I'm sympathetic to this issue and will not defend all that.

 

That said, I'm not willing to let the community be painted so negatively with such a broad brush. As you said, "thin but loud slice", and I'm trying to provide perspective here.

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Kelandon   
Originally Posted By: *i
That said, I'm not willing to let the community be painted so negatively with such a broad brush. As you said, "thin but loud slice", and I'm trying to provide perspective here.

My exact words were, "I grew to dread releasing scenarios because of the non-constructive and often unreasonable criticism I got every time I put something out." I guess you could read that as implying that all of the criticism was bad, but a more straightforward reading (and what I meant) was that there was bad criticism, and it was enough to make me stop. Whatever good criticism there was is beside the point. I dreaded the bad stuff, and there was enough of it to make scenario design not fun anymore. And when it wasn't fun, there was no reason for me to do it anymore.

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I don't mean to paint the entire community that way. But honestly, when I showed up as an outsider in late 2005, and looked into the Blades community since I had such fond memories of BoE, that was what I saw. Knowing how consuming it is to complete a scenario (I started several for BoE, and finished none of them), I was shocked to see the amount of invective and provocatively phrased criticism scenario authors were sometimes subjected to. It was indeed a thin slice of the community that produced it, but at the time it was a very loud slice, and because it was part of the status quo, newer members would sometimes fall into it without intending to be so negative at all.

 

On one occasion when the invective made its way into General, I posted something to that effect, and was immediately pilloried by a host of people. Most of the community was not like that; there were friendly folk like Ephesos and Smoo and yourself around, to be sure. But the Blades community itself still felt caustic. The fact that Blades chats were really the last bastion of uncensored Desp action didn't help, either.

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Triumph   
Originally Posted By: Metatron
And so long as it's unpublished, it can still be edited and made more complex. The writing process only ends for when you release the story/scenario, because it's only then that you can stop editing and writing new content.


Just have to say, that never stopped Tolkien.

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Kiexcolo   
Click to reveal.. (My nonsense, skip this for your own sanity)

After reading the reviews for the 2 scenarios, I saw that there were Slith Riders! Slith Riders are cool! Anything with Slith Riders in them MUST be awesome! Makes me wanna go play the scenarios. Alas the only remnant of my trifling with BoA lies in Kelandon's scenarios.


I never played the scenarios so I can't comment on the accuracy of the comments but after reading the reviews, it seems that they were mostly mixed. I think that filtering out the useless criticisms and focusing on the good ones is essential for a developer's well-being. (Although I have no right to say that since I never released any of my own scenarios) So after filtering out, this is what I gather from the reviews:

While some people may not have been tactful in their use of words, generally the scenarios have been criticized for their tedious battles although it has also been pointed out that there are several innovative battle scenarios.

Plot-wise, it seems 50/50 (I know I would have liked it even without having played it). Some have commented on the linearity of the quests. For Bahssikava, this is understandable. Since I think Kelandon was trying to be as canonical as possible, he can't detract much from how it was shown in A1 (like how someone mentioned there were no shops until after the steel door but who was gonna set up shop in the passage to Bahssikava since A1) and also he has to link the story to the next chapter of the trilogy. But Homeland being the last should allow him to explore as many options as he wishes. 50/50 liked the use of cut scenes to show the back story. Normally the back story is shown through dialog or readable tomes so I feel that its kind of refreshing but problem is people who are not interested can't skip it, at least not with BoA's limitation. For this I blame the engine for not supporting a way to skip cut scenes.

Major NPCs are noted to have some individual characteristics and back story though not really in-depth. Since this is a trilogy, I expect that you will learn more about them as you progress through the trilogy.

Graphics-wise, some mention was made of the poor color choice of purple and yellow for the landscape. Since the Slith homeland should be in one of the caverns of Avernum, the use of the default tile graphics should be good enough (Avernum should look like Avernum) though the flora and fauna can be different (like the different trees in Vahnatai lands) Still, the choice of purple and yellow does seem rather bad to me.

Well if Kelando ever decides to release Homeland, I may just decide to play the trilogy. (I have never played any non-spiderweb BoA scenarios) But I am not hopeful, it sounds pretty big and the incentive for him to do it isn't there.

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Kelandon   
Originally Posted By: Kiexcolo
but problem is people who are not interested can't skip it, at least not with BoA's limitation. For this I blame the engine for not supporting a way to skip cut scenes.

There is a way of skipping Bahs's cutscenes. I just added it after v1.0.0, which is generally the version on which the reviews are based (if not the beta).

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Kiexcolo   
Originally Posted By: Kelandon
Originally Posted By: Kiexcolo
but problem is people who are not interested can't skip it, at least not with BoA's limitation. For this I blame the engine for not supporting a way to skip cut scenes.

There is a way of skipping Bahs's cutscenes. I just added it after v1.0.0, which is generally the version on which the reviews are based (if not the beta).


Hmm.. then why are people complaining about lengthy cutscenes when you can just skip it... How do you skip it?

Edit: Maybe I didn't read that right initially... so the review is based on the version that can't skip the cutscene?

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One of these days, I really should play Bahssikava.

 

The immersive backstory and the cutscenes were some of the things I really liked about Exodus.

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Kelandon   
Originally Posted By: Kiexcolo
so the review is based on the version that can't skip the cutscene?

Probably so, yes. In Bahs (and Lord Putidus), I read the reviews and made a lot of edits to fix things that people complained about. Of course, the reviews never changed, even if the scenario did. In Exodus (and Nobody's Heroes), I mostly didn't bother.

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I have been playing Avernum for almost ten years now. In all my scenarios that I've gone through, played again, switched characters, played once more, my favorites will ALWAYS be Bahssikava and Exodus. they are by far the largest scenarios I have played and are the most involving, the most moving, and the most fun. i particularly enjoyed being able to cast quickfire in Exodus. "Screw everyone, I'm out!" *casts quickfire and runs, shutting as many doors as possible behind me* But upon reading that the third volume of the trilogy will not be released, saddens me. Legare has passed to be with The Goddess, and now the Slith must finish their journey without him. and without me, for I cannot follow them where the scenario is not! DX. It's the later half of 2013, and I am proud to say that I am STILL playing BoA today. most of all, I am proud to say that I took part in the Slith Trilogy. It has by FAR been the best bit of the game ever. Thank you for giving them to us, Kelandon.

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Kelandon   

Thanks for playing, and for your kind words!

 

One of these days, I'll release The Magic, which has a tie-in to the unfinished trilogy, but I can't seem to find enough time even to beta test another scenario right now, so it may not be for a while.

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Mr.TiC   

Hello, everyone!

I am quite new to Avernun universe, considering I have only played (and zealously continue to play) Blades of Avernum due to excitement I get from brilliant designers, especially Kelandon with his Bahssikava and Exodus. I'm not trying to discredit others who have also put a lot of time and effort into their scenarios!

I'm not sure how active this forum is but I simply feel the need to say a few things regarding Bahssikava and Exodus.

 

I conpletelly agree on Zeta Teridax' thoughts about the two scenarios, the two scenarios that keep me thinking about the story Kelandon introduced to us, the struggle of the Slith and all the interesting locations, characters and enemies we encouter.

 

By now I probably read most of the information about the mentioned scenarios (*addicted player alert*) and it greatly saddens me that my favourite designer will not be finishing this trilogy. I understand the reasons pointed out in this thread and I cannot say I would act differently in Kelandon's position.

 

For the sake of sanity I will end my rant regarding Kelandon's masterpieces; I even registered to this site just to express myself somehow (I sm not a native english speaker so I humbly apologise. for any weirdness you might encounter here and I hope people won't see this post as a demand for more by some crybaby hehe).

 

With this said I shall take my leave,

Tic

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Aerukai   

Both great scenarios, though, I found I enjoyed Bahssikava more. Definitely would not recommend singleton if you are playing legitimately (unless you are playing as a very high level jack-of-all-trades) as it can be extremely difficult, but I enjoyed the various options for a party composed of only Slith. The things I enjoyed specifically were the cutscenes, the well thought-out plot, and the challenging combat. Legare's magic river split was magnificent!

I, too am very disappointed we will not complete this trilogy. I can see why people think the ending is rather dull, unless you have a vast imagination. Overall, both scenarios were great, though as I said before, my poor slith went all that way only to be turned away in the end. I would kill if even bits of the plot you had in mind be released assuming you're never going to finish it. Best scenarios I've ever played, and most likely will ever play!

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I've discussed this with Kel before, but I'll be the first to admit I was rather hostile to the scenario (Exodus) when it was released - at the time I felt (1) influenced heavily by some of the oldbies, and (2) I had to play it for a contest, so I was rushed (and I think this might be part of why it didn't place well - a scenario like this (IMO) probably needs to be played over a long period of time to enjoy) and didn't enjoy it as much as I may have otherwise (but mostly 1). I haven't played Exodus in a while, but I hope to at some point and give a more thoughtful review. I placed it last in the judging, which if I were doing over, probably would have placed 2nd or 3rd on my rankings.

 

The problem is, some members didn't merely attack the scenario - they attacked people for liking the scenario (i.e. if someone said Bahss was a good or great scenario, they might be called an idiot) - for some members, this could cause pressure to dislike a scenario. (Honestly, some members made poor scenario design worse than no scenario at all, but that's another story).

 

As for a third scenario, I'd like to see it, but the only way Kel would make it is if a playing community reemerged in BoA - what's discouraging me from designing right now is no one seems to play this game anymore. That being said, if anyone's looking for a Bahss/Canopy sized scenario, feel free to play Of Good and Evil ;)

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Kelandon   

I just reopened The Magic for the first time in many months, and lo and behold, it's basically done except for alpha testing (and some miscellaneous dialogue). One of these days when I have a weekend to spare, I'll finish it and release it. Depending on the response to that, I may put in the effort to finish Homeland, but I frankly don't know when I'll have the time.

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Metatron   

Hey folks. I used to post on the Spidweb boards a lot when I was younger. I generally went by the name rakshasi, and my member number was 5814 I think.

 

I was part of the Exodus open beta, and I wrote a review of Exodus a long time ago in which I said something like "The name Exodus is stupid. It's a pointless reference." and wrote about a page of rambling text trashing Kelandon's hard work. I think I ended the review by giving the scenario a 3/10 or so. The review wasn't copied from the Lyceum, probably because my review was basically a personal attack that had nothing to do with the scenario.

 

In a thread made years later, I think Kelandon mentioned on the Spiderweb boards that my review was one of the most disheartening and confusing. I can't find my review or his later post, unfortunately. Anyway, I hope you believe me when I say that I contributed a lot of negativity. In case it'll help, I'll now explain why: I was trying to mimic TM and be offensive. My low review of Exodus had nothing to do with Exodus's storytelling or gameplay.

 

I know this is too little too late, but in case Kelandon ever wondered what motivated people to go on the internet and say soul-crushing things about his scenario, there it is.

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The review wasn't copied from the Lyceum, probably because my review was basically a personal attack that had nothing to do with the scenario.

Precisely. When copying reviews from the Lyceum to SV, we made the decision not to include reviews that had no substance or were obviously attacks. When copying them from SV to their current home on SW, I weeded out a few more of them that had somehow made the cut the first time.

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Kelandon   

In a thread made years later, I think Kelandon mentioned on the Spiderweb boards that my review was one of the most disheartening and confusing.

Confusing, yes. Disheartening, no. As I recall, you were the one who said that you weren't expecting so many Biblical references... in a scenario literally entitled Exodus. I thought you were a moron.

 

I now somewhat less think you're a moron, now that you've (sort of) owned up to it.

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Metatron   

Was there supposed to be an apology in there somewhere? I keep rereading it thinking I missed something...

 

No. Poor choice of words on my part. When I say "I know this is too little too late...," I don't mean "You deserve an apology. I will make a show of contrition." I mean "Although it's been a while, if knowledge about what motivated me to give Exodus a poor review will positively influence future scenario releases, then let me share what I remember."

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Almny   

No. Poor choice of words on my part. When I say "I know this is too little too late...," I don't mean "You deserve an apology. I will make a show of contrition." I mean "Although it's been a while, if knowledge about what motivated me to give Exodus a poor review will positively influence future scenario releases, then let me share what I remember."

 

You might also consider such fine phrases as "I'm sorry if anyone was offended" or "mistakes were made". :-)

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