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GingerGlaahk

A-EftP - Not Enough Pylons!!!!

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Firstly, I'd like to say how much I've enjoyed this game. It has been a lot of fun and I've begun playing it again.

 

One thing that bothered me, though, was a lack of pylons. for example- a Patrick's Tower pylon would have been very useful(they're wizards! they can afford to have a pylon).

Moreover, a pylon for every dragon would also be nice, as the endless toiling around to get to Khoth and Sulfras is really tiresome.

(Or even a pylon in the freehold! - until I was strong enough to kill the giants, I had to row my boat all the way up)

 

There is a bulk of pylons in the center - near the castle (obviously so), and little elsewhere. I remember that in Avernum 5, there were many more pylons, everyone who was rich and powerful enough got one, and I wonder, why not in Avernum:Escape from the Pit?

 

Empathy anyone?

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I feel old now. I never use pylons, i'm too used to walking EVERYWHERE, like back in the good ol' days of Spiderweb.

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Ugh. I felt the opposite -- too many pylons! Easy teleportation is totally anachronistic and doesn't fit with the story -- there was none of that in the original games.

 

What would have been much better: A "Quick Travel" feature as seen in Eschalon 2. You can zip along to various locations you've already visited, saving "sandwich time" spent walking across the world map. It could allow far more flexibility in where you can get to with the ability, without inserting these stupid pylons.

 

As it is, the pylons are a failure both in terms of convenience, and game atmosphere.

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Originally Posted By: Custom PDNs for all!

I feel old now. I never use pylons, i'm too used to walking EVERYWHERE, like back in the good ol' days of Spiderweb.

Us young folk are used to just teleporting everywhere laugh.

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

there was none of that in the original games.

Sadly, I didn't play those, being less than three years old when the original Escape from the Pit came out, and slightly not bothered to play a game with those graphics on a computer now... but I believe you.

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

What would have been much better: A "Quick Travel" feature as seen in Eschalon 2. You can zip along to various locations you've already visited, saving "sandwich time" spent walking across the world map.

I actually think that this would ruin the game experience, because you are supposed to wander around, and not "zip" all over the place. The entire point is that you walk around, getting special encounters. Having a "Quick Travel" feature would greatly reduce game time and pretty much bore the player out.

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

As it is, the pylons are a failure both in terms of convenience, and game atmosphere.

Again, I have to disagree - the pylons add to the atmosphere, the magic of it all, and of course, the Tower Of Magi acts as a safehouse, in which you can rest, recharge and buy spells while in the middle of your adventure, similarly to a motel grin.

Also, I think that what mostly bothered me was not the "land crawling", but the "boat crawling" - it seems that dear SpiderWeb still use the same boats from 6 years ago - they are so cumbersome and a pain to navigate(especially if you get stuck in a reef you can't see because of a wall).

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Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk
One thing that bothered me, though, was a lack of pylons. for example- a Patrick's Tower pylon would have been very useful
Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk
I actually think that this would ruin the game experience, because you are supposed to wander around, and not "zip" all over the place. The entire point is that you walk around, getting special encounters. Having a "Quick Travel" feature would greatly reduce game time and pretty much bore the player out.


I'm confused. I thought you felt the pylons were useful, and wished there would be more in more places so they would be more useful. But you also think zipping around ruins the game?

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I probably forgot to put "too much" before the zipping around...

 

And also, the pylons have a clear functionality - to let you get to major and important places. If you could just jump anywhere you wanted, that would be too much.

 

By the way, I think that pylon teleporation is way cooler than "Quick Travel" from place to place.

Pylons have their charm (and personally, I rather like talking to the people who stand by the central portal).

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I think you don't completely understand what Randomizer was talking about with the Quick Travel points. Most likely, you haven't played the Eschalon games, which I know Randomizer and I both recommend that you do.

 

Anyway, the way Quick Travel points work in Eschalon is that, once you get to a town with a quick travel point and activate it (by touching it) you can travel back to that point from elsewhere in the game world (though there is a limit to how far you can go in one trip, so from Bargha to the Tower of Magi would be too far, unlike the portals as they're used in Avernum). You cannot travel when enemies are within a certain distance, or under certain other circumstances not relevant to Avernum.

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Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

What would have been much better: A "Quick Travel" feature as seen in Eschalon 2. You can zip along to various locations you've already visited, saving "sandwich time" spent walking across the world map.

I actually think that this would ruin the game experience, because you are supposed to wander around, and not "zip" all over the place. The entire point is that you walk around, getting special encounters. Having a "Quick Travel" feature would greatly reduce game time and pretty much bore the player out.
I didn't find this feature boring in Skyrim or Fallout New Vegas.

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Originally Posted By: Custom PDNs for all!
I feel old now. I never use pylons, i'm too used to walking EVERYWHERE, like back in the good ol' days of Spiderweb.


I know. Pylons being in this new game is odd to me. I don't mind it, but to me it's a convenience rather than a necessity. Though there was a sort of "back to start" spell/artifact in Exile/Avernum III wasn't there?

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Originally Posted By: Lightning Spammer
Though there was a sort of "back to start" spell/artifact in Exile/Avernum III wasn't there?

Yes, and several teleportation pylons as well. (The same item was in A2 as well, but it was of limited use for transportation and mainly useful in case you got stuck somewhere. Or in conjuction with the "return boats" feature of the editor to go through the Dark River sections multiple times.)

Dikiyoba.

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The same spell was in E2. Not sure about A2. E3 did not have teleportation pylons -- not sure about A3. Ernest's hut worked quite differently from the pylons, and was much more similar to the X2 Tower of Magi Portal. That portal was state-of-the-art at the time -- and it was one-way and required the acquisition of special magical phrases to use for each location.

 

Kreador: I am not, in fact, Randomizer, although you may also have seen me on the Basilisk forums smile

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Kreador: I am not, in fact, Randomizer, although you may also have seen me on the Basilisk forums smile

I have seen you on the Basilisk forums. Sorry to confuse who brought it up. My brain is in a few hundred places right now.

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Originally Posted By: Kreador
I think you don't completely understand what Randomizer was talking about with the Quick Travel points. Most likely, you haven't played the Eschalon games, which I know Randomizer and I both recommend that you do.


You are correct - I haven't played Eschalon, and will do so soon.
Continuing the discussion, I would like to point out that telepyloning (I got bored writing teleporting with pylons) has its merits, but I'll be able to compare the two systems better after I play Eschalon (II or I?).

Thanks for the suggestion.

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It just occurred to me that the real point of the original post can be distilled down to single key phrase addressed to Jeff:

 

 

You must construct more pylons.

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Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk
You are correct - I haven't played Eschalon, and will do so soon.
Continuing the discussion, I would like to point out that telepyloning (I got bored writing teleporting with pylons) has its merits, but I'll be able to compare the two systems better after I play Eschalon (II or I?).

Thanks for the suggestion.

If you think you'd be interested in playing both, I'd suggest starting with Book I, as that way you don't feel the lack of the advancements to the combat and magic systems made in Book II, and you get the whole storyline (it's two parts of a trilogy of games).

The essential difference is that the Quick Travel points speed up getting back to town from elsewhere, rather than teleporting between fixed discrete points. In the logic of Avernum, I understand why Jeff made the choice he made.

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Alternate point of view: just start with II. While the first Eschalon was very visually appealing and it could be fun, it had a few problems.

 

First, it had an incredibly unbalanced skill system that tended to result in people either making a totally useless PC who couldn't do anything useful, or a strong hero that blasted through everything with ridiculous ease.

 

Second, Book I was annoying. Movement was very slow, and unless you were a highly-trained mage, there was no way to teleport or quick travel. So there was a huge amount of "sandwich time" where you held down the mouse button to move while doing nothing.

 

The other thing is that the entire plot of Eschalon Book I, including all the dialogue, could be contained in one or two Avernum-style towns. So you miss literally nothing by reading a summary of Book I's plot instead of encountering it all in-game.

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Alternate alternate point of view: try the demos first. Lots of people here -- Jeff included, according to his blog -- swear by the Eschalon series, but I hated every minute of it. I bought Book I and thought it was terrible; I only played the demo of II, but it didn't seem any better. Try the demos, if you like them, great; if you come out of them with reservations, realize that the game doesn't get any more interesting as it progresses.

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Originally Posted By: Triumph
It just occurred to me that the real point of the original post can be distilled down to single key phrase addressed to Jeff:


You must construct additional pylons.

FYT

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Yes, add more Pylons..at least a few more, one being Patricks Tower.

 

And to add to those pushing Eschalon, add me to the list. smile Play the demo's and if you want to buy, start with Book II. There's been added content to make the playing longer and tougher places to go through. Loved both games and patiently waiting for Book III to come out.

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The outdoors of this game is unbelievably tiny (once explored.) Patricks's Tower is seconds from the pylons in the same cave. The biggest inconvenience is remembering to open the door after I come up from the underground of Dharmon.

 

The King is stingy and has intentionally made Patrick's Tower a backwater. Dragons don't have pylons cause they want to be hard to get to (and they scare the bejeebus out of the King and most sane mages.) The Freehold has to be wary of the King, so no tower there either.

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Question about Eschalon, does part 2 let you transfer your character from part 1? This would give more reason to play the first chapter.

 

Fast travel would be cool though, once you have a site added to your world map then maybe allow fast travel to that location by clicking on it?

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I found the pylons at Bargha and Erika's tower rather puzzling. Both those places are supposed to be wild, hostile lands. Far beyond the edges of Avernite civilization. It felt kind of weird to have them connected to the magical superhighway.

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Yes, thank you.

 

It makes absolutely zero sense that Erika exiles herself literally as far as possible from the Tower of Magi, that various people talk about how distant and inaccessible she is, and how glad they are that she isn't around... and then both Erika and the Tower rulers link them magically.

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Bargha also has a pylon and X is too lazy to use it to go there to look at their library. smile

 

This is because it retconning the history pylons got added when in Avernum 2 they only worked one way from the Tower of Magi to select locations.

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Erika's significant defenses do render that pylon an incomplete mode of transportation to visit her. The one in Bargha is odd, but really handy for taking on giant quests.

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Originally Posted By: Soul of Wit
The outdoors of this game is unbelievably tiny (once explored.) Patricks's Tower is seconds from the pylons in the same cave. The biggest inconvenience is remembering to open the door after I come up from the underground of Dharmon.

The King is stingy and has intentionally made Patrick's Tower a backwater. Dragons don't have pylons cause they want to be hard to get to (and they scare the bejeebus out of the King and most sane mages.) The Freehold has to be wary of the King, so no tower there either.


I agree with the logic of it, but if I were a huge bigass dragon, slightly bloodthirsty, I would have made myself a pylon, connected it to the main pipeline using my amazing dragon magic, and used it to expand my influence and get more minions. Now that's megalomaniac, which of course, all dragons are, and is standard behaviour for your average dragon.

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Bargha also has a pylon and X is too lazy to use it to go there to look at their library. smile


X is in his own world - too lazy to move an inch(probably gets someone to bring him food). He is actually one of my all time favourites, and also one must credit him for the xian items (hope they get remade, funnier still) grin

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Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk

I agree with the logic of it, but if I were a huge bigass dragon, slightly bloodthirsty, I would have made myself a pylon, connected it to the main pipeline using my amazing dragon magic, and used it to expand my influence and get more minions. Now that's megalomaniac, which of course, all dragons are, and is standard behaviour for your average dragon.


or to provide a steady food supply. The thing that bothered me about the pylons wasn't whether they were there or not but that the screen listing them seemed incomplete which made me think I'd missed many. Is there a blank between a couple in the left-hand list, and the right hand side of the window is completely blank? I know that's way outside of role-playing, but since you had to use the window to work the pylons anyway, it was a concern.

Originally Posted By: GingerGlaahk

X is in his own world - too lazy to move an inch(probably gets someone to bring him food). He is actually one of my all time favourites, and also one must credit him for the xian items (hope they get remade, funnier still) grin


Now that you mention it, the area north of the Tower of Magi where X was supposed to do testing (in the later Avernum games) was completely unused in this game which I found odd. It looked like an interesting place and I fully expected X to give me a quest there. But... nothing.

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Complete pylon list:

Click to reveal..
Silvar

Cotra

Formello

Almaria

The Castle

Dharmon

Bargha

Erika's Tower

 

No gaps in the list. There is an unactivated pylon in Blosk. No way to activate it.

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Originally Posted By: jetcitywoman
Now that you mention it, the area north of the Tower of Magi where X was supposed to do testing (in the later Avernum games) was completely unused in this game which I found odd. It looked like an interesting place and I fully expected X to give me a quest there. But... nothing.

In Exile and A1, it was strongly implied that that area was where the ritual to summon Adze-Haakai was performed. This does not fit perfectly with AEFTP's recasting, where he is in a giant magical experiment dome that he has ruined.

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The pylons seem to make perfect sense to me: towns on the council, plus an "embassy" in Bargha (I mean, look where it's located...), and Erika's loyalties are clearly still with Avernum, even if she's a bit impatient with the current administration.

 

From a practical point of view: everything's really close now, anyway, and the absence of pylons at most of the outlying points means a welcome return to boating logistics, an area I fondly remember spending a great deal of time on with the original Exile.

 

Just my personal experience. Must say, apart from the odd weird hangover (like inn rooms always being fully booked), I think this is a smashing reboot. Not as expansive as the original, but I found the narrative(s) really sharp and gripping, and the characterisations had gained some of the weight we got in A5 and A6. Whimsical meandering (remember "Meat!"?) might be what I love about Spiderweb's dialogues, but I found e.g. Aydin's terse seriousness really kicked the story into another gear.

 

Bit of a burble there. Just wanted to say thanks for a great game, I suppose.

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Pylons in A1 doesnt make much sense...I feel like the pylons which was new things in A4 has suddenly been transported into the past.

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I think the number of pylons is about right -- few enough that it's worth your time to find an efficient route for completing quests, but a sufficient number to avoid walking back and forth across the world. With no pylons and no quest list, I can't imagine myself finishing A1. Then again, A3 only had half-assed teleportation (Orb of Thralni + portal guy), but is still one of my favorites.

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