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Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released


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I just spent several hours going through this, and it was very interesting. I made a number of changes to Avernum 2: Crystal Souls based on it.   I almost never copied the exact changes you made, bu

This is the best outcome I ever could have hoped for from this project! Thanks Jeff! Exile II has been providing me with joy and inspiration for almost 20 years now; I'm incredibly happy that I coul

LATEST UPDATE: Version 1.1 as of 4/21/12   Avernum Remix is a sort of "mod" for Avernum: Escape from the Pit that changes how some game mechanics, spells, abilities, and items work, in order to mak

I haven't tried this mod yet, but after looking at the thread I'm very much looking forward to 1.2 and will definitely try it then.

 

Suggestion:

If you haven't already, you should change/improve the luck skill! Currently it's only 1% armor and 1% of some spell resist per level I think, which is kinda meh, other defensive skills are better. Maybe give some other small effects so that someone might actually consider putting points in luck, or have some special encounters where something different happens to very lucky people.

(the most awesome thing would be if lucky people had monsters sometimes drop more/better stuff on death, but that's probably not possible?)

 

You're the coolest for doing this project!

Thanks so much!

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Ahh, I didn't realize that skills were set in stone.

 

Special encounters are creatable/editable though, right?

 

(Is luck used in any special encounters at all in the base game? I haven't seen anything that suggested it was in my first play-though so far.)

 

Is it possible to use the value of a skill (or the highest or total amount of a skill in the party) to influence probability in a special encounter, or the chance than an encounter happens at all? I know cave lore is used as a "you must have at least x to activate this encounter" trigger, but if luck were an encounter trigger I'd ideally not work that way.

 

It'd be cool if there were a few special encounters in heavily traveled areas that only had a small chance of happening each time you pass them, but that chance was based on luck.

 

For instance, when crossing a bridge, you might have a 1% per lvl of luck chance of spying a silver necklace that had fallen in the water and recovering it.

Or, when going down a well traveled tunnel, you might come upon a traveler who has just recently been killed by undead, and there's a scroll or wand on his body.

Or when going though some more remote tunnel, you might stub his toe and dislodge a beautiful crystal.

 

Even with points in luck, you might pass over the area several times before you see the event happen, but without luck you might never see it at all.

Some of these could be repeatable events, so that every so often as a lucky person travels back and forth over certain areas he might finds random bits of loot or stumbles on a crystal or something.

(not enough so that you can farm tons of gold, but enough to feel like you're actually getting a little something from your skill point investment over time)

 

It's just that the picture representing the luck skill is a guy bending down to pick up a coin...it'd be cool if that wasn't totally false advertising. smile

 

Not as urgent as issues of combat balance (since that's most of the game) but still something I felt was missing in the original.

 

Just my suggestion - don't mean to demand more from someone who's already working hard for free so others can enjoy his work. smile Just though this was a cool idea; I don't even know if its possible or not.

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Originally Posted By: Kestral
It's just that the picture representing the luck skill is a guy bending down to pick up a coin...it'd be cool if that wasn't totally false advertising. smile


The picture is actually of an arrow whooshing over a guy's head as he bends over to pick up a coin -- the point is meant to be that he's being missed by the arrow through sheer luck.
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Hehe. Getting missed by the arrow is only half of his luck in that situation though! smile

 

I get that luck also increases armor a bit. That's cool. I guess the picture isn't 100% false advertising, since an arrow will do less damage to you with more armor.

 

I just always thought of luck as something a bit more nuanced and unpredictable than just armor. A few rare/random "lucky" encounters might be a way to give it that feel.

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I think that picture has been used since Nethergate in the 90's, at which point Luck did affect item drops. It's just a legacy graphic.

 

Editing encounters is an interesting idea. I can edit _some_ things about _some_ encounters. I could certainly put in a party total luck check. I think I could create a random aspect, but I really hate random aspects in these games because they only lead to annoying savescumming.

 

I'll have to think about if there's a smart way to implement luck in any encounters. I don't want to make Luck yet another Lore skill, and giving out random money (or saleable items) will either be really powerful (like Negotiator) or neglible... or, potentially, balanced but irritating ("Train a less useful skill now in exchange for a very minor bonus that will accrue by later in the game").

 

I could also make a hand weapon or missile weapon that gets bonuses (bonus damage or bonus effects) based on luck. With only 5 points of luck, however, I feel like that would be hard to balance: either so good everyone uses it, or not good enough to bother investing in.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

... or, potentially, balanced but irritating ("Train a less useful skill now in exchange for a very minor bonus that will accrue by later in the game").


I hadn't considered that a choice like that might be irritating...that's a good point, actually. Agree we don't want another "lore skill" and definitely want to avoid encouraging/rewarding "savescumming" as much as possible...

However, isn't money already technically unlimited in AEftP because of the herb patches and re-spawning monsters that drop random valuables? (am I wrong about this?)
*If* luck encounters existed and were balanced, it could actually make "getting rich" slightly less tedious for those who already feel the need to grind out cash to buy every skill/spell training for every character.

I think this kind of thing would really have to be done with completely new encounters in order to work right though. Unless there's the capacity to create new encounters out of whole cloth relatively easily and tie them to specific map locations, etc, it probably won't work well.
Hmm...it looks like there are both design and implementation hurdles here. Perhaps it would be better to leave this idea on the back-burner for a while. frown
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Money is technically unlimited, but in practice, it's limited. It will take a completely absurd amount of time to generate meaningful amounts of money using the herb patches or random battles. Certainly, it would be slow enough that it's not worth doing unless you've already done everything else in the game, and at that point, who cares?

 

I can't touch overworld encounters at all. I can create new encounters if they are tied to an existing trigger (generally, a dialogue box) in a town or dungeon.

 

The "gimp yourself now for a bonus later" thing is one of my pet peeves, and it shows up a lot in Spiderweb games -- although far, far less in AEFTP and Avadon than in the previous series. I don't want players to be faced with the choice between having more fun now, and optimizing. Optimizing shouldn't be required, but it shouldn't get in the way of having fun, either.

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I just downloaded the remix, and am enjoying the tactical specialties of different builds.

 

Several somewhat unrelated comments:

 

1) Pole weapons don't seem to have any sound effects indicating hit or miss

 

2) What are the implications for traits? Without getting too far (level 7 now), it seems that swordmage will be significantly more useful now in order to gain access to shields for your mages. Also, with the release of 1.2, skill training will require significantly less gold, so perhaps negotiator is not worth getting for every party member. Thoughts?

 

3) In earlier exile/avernum games, the usefulness of a blessing was mainly from the bonus to hit%. Is it possible to change the spell so it affects primary stats to give +10% to hit, rather than +2% gained from weapon skills?

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Originally Posted By: Thoth
3) In earlier exile/avernum games, the usefulness of a blessing was mainly from the bonus to hit%. Is it possible to change the spell so it affects primary stats to give +10% to hit, rather than +2% gained from weapon skills?


I don't think this can be done. Blessing works by granting a specific status effect, and altering status effects is beyond what script editing can accomplish.
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Thoth, thanks for the comments! I'll look into the pole weapons sound issue.

 

For traits, Negotiator will STILL be worth getting for everyone. You'll still get to train more skills (or buy more spells) and, importantly, you'll get to train/learn the ones you really care about earlier.

 

And Lilith is right. I can't change what status effects, skills, or stats do directly.

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I decided to replay A:EftP with the Remix, for variety. At least this time there'll be more than one battle discipline that's actually worthwhile. But is there any timeline for a 1.2 release?

 

Btw, I'd say bows are now almost too powerful; my level 3 archer just hit an unfortunate goblin for 178 damage. That's WAY more damage than the other chars can do at this point.

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The timeline is "hopefully soon." I am now off work so that is actually plausible. It just depends on my taking care of all the other things I put off during my last 2 months of being incredibly busy.

 

Re bow damage: Nope. You're missing something really, really big: bows have a 50% chance to do 2.5x normal damage. So their average damage is really just 1.75x what it used to be -- and as you may recall, it used to SUCK. All the non-sword weapons have been upgraded.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Re bow damage: Nope. You're missing something really, really big: bows have a 50% chance to do 2.5x normal damage.


No, I read that and I understand what the intention is. I think in the later game it will mean bows/melee are genuinely competitive. But in the early game, it's now unbalanced. It's absurdly easy to play the eastern gallery with an archer character with a cavewood longbow. I think you could tone down the effect on the weak bow types i.e. crude and cavewood, the ones available at Fort Duvno.
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I'm not sure I understand how you think it's unbalanced. Half the time the bow will do more damage than most other weapons; half the time it will do less.

 

In terms of tactics, on the positive side this might give you some one-shots you wouldn't have with another weapon; but on the negative side, it's unreliable and hard to plan around, and you will likely "waste" some of the strong hits on enemies who are almost dead, anyway.

 

Frankly, the Eastern Gallery is absurdly easy to begin with, especially after Jeff toned it down in v1.0.1 of the Mac version (first release of the other versions). If it seems much easier now than it did before, it's probably because your party this time is better than your party from your first playthrough. (The Remix doesn't make the game easier; it actually makes it slightly harder; however, it makes far more PC builds optimal, so if you were using sub-optimal builds before, it may seem easier.)

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Well I admit I didn't analyze it deeply, it was an impression I formed from playing. As you say, the one-shot kills aren't guaranteed; but then nor is the second attack from haste, and it's still useful when it happens. You're probably right that it's a false comparison with the first playthrough; I certainly wasn't getting this many critical hits this early in the first game. For sure it makes the demo area less tedious, and that's welcome.

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They are not critical hits, it's a 50% chance of extra damage. You can still get regular "critical hits" from Lethal Blow skills.

 

If you had a dedicated bow user in your first playthrough, I'd be more inclined to ask how you didn't notice that their damage output sucked in that game. All this really does is take average bow damage output to around what dual-wielding already had, with their own advantages (range) and disadvantages (inconsistency, fewer battle disciplines, fewer weapon choices).

 

Originally Posted By: Micawber
As you say, the one-shot kills aren't guaranteed; but then nor is the second attack from haste, and it's still useful when it happens.

This is a false comparison. The one-shot kills aren't guaranteed because you need the extra bow damage to activate at the right time; at the wrong time, it's wasted and you don't get the one-shots. For haste, at least for archers and mages, the extra chance to attack is pretty much always useful; it doesn't matter when it activates.

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1.) Is there a running list of changes/fixes that are/will be in 1.2?

 

2.) Did you add more special bows/thrown items? In my first run at lvl20 I still have only one magic bow (a poisoning one from a demon in the castle) and it does less base-damage than a cavewood longbow so I don't even use it over a weapon I've had since lvl5. The original game didn't really have any unique/magic thrown weapons, since it would have been pointless.

 

3.) I actually like the "50% chance to do much more damage" idea for bows since it leads to a tactical choice between targeting enemies with low hp to take them out of the fight faster, or hoping to do big damage to an enemy who is still strong.

 

I *am* curious whether having a hit do "x2.5 damage" means that the final damage number will be exactly x2.5 what it would have been otherwise, or whether defense is factored in such that it might be more than that. It seems like weak attacks are likely to do little/no damage and that the damage that penetrates from a stronger attack increases very quickly after a certain point. It seems like sometimes a small % increase in the original attack power can lead to a larger % increase in the damage that penetrates, but that's just my impression from one play-through so far...haven't really tested/researched it.

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Originally Posted By: Kestral
I *am* curious whether having a hit do "x2.5 damage" means that the final damage number will be exactly x2.5 what it would have been otherwise, or whether defense is factored in such that it might be more than that. It seems like weak attacks are likely to do little/no damage and that the damage that penetrates from a stronger attack increases very quickly after a certain point. It seems like sometimes a small % increase in the original attack power can lead to a larger % increase in the damage that penetrates, but that's just my impression from one play-through so far...haven't really tested/researched it.


Armour reduces total damage by a percentage, so the percentage reduction should be the same regardless of whether it's a strong hit or a weak one. I guess it's possible that for some weird reason it doesn't work that way, but I don't think it's likely.
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1) No, but I will do that when I pick up work on v1.2 again.

 

2) I think so, but they probably show up later in the game. I can't change the distribution of items so magic and other unique items will always be more available later in the game.

 

3) Yay smile That was what I hoped!

 

The 2.5x effect literally multiplies the damage by 2.5. It is actually separate from other "% bonus damage" effects and is not added in with them. I don't know if happens before or after armor is applied, but as Lilith said, it shouldn't matter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Any news on the remix front?

Any way the rest of us can help?

 

Here is a list of changes/bugs that I believe are slated for 1.2 based on review if the thread so far:

 

Fixes confirmed by House of S:

a-1) Changed all short bows to use long bow ability, too. Now all bows have the chance of bonus damage so bows don't suck early.

a-2) Fixed Warmth Ring and other rings. Whoops. It does give melee damage in addition to the resistance. Just not 15%. 2%. :-P

a-3) Lightning scrolls already fixed, all radiate abilities were fixed.

a-4) Both ranged battle disciplines did not take levels of damage from an equipped weapon. Whoops. Now Flawless Shot should actually do the full 3.5 damage per level.

a-5) Increasing the bonus percents or base damage of ALL the direct damage battle disciplines.

a-6) Flawless Shot also fixed from causing ensnare which it wasn't supposed to in the remix (ranged battle disciplines have 2 variants, and one one was correct before)

a-7) Fix for bug that caused Bladeshield to give you weakness when it was not intended to.

 

 

Reports that I don't think were confirmed as fixed (some may not be confirmed as being real bugs):

b-1) Cloak of Curses level was listed incorrectly on the screen when you check buffs.

b-2) Possible problem with Splinter spell fixed (had issue with targeting at range which caused your turn to be wasted)

b-3) Re-balance Bronze Bracers vs. Fine Steel Gauntlets (in vanilla the bracers are strictly better despite much lower value)

b-4) Bug that caused Bladeshield to end your turn after use when it shouldn't.

b-5) "Incorrect animation for throwing javelins"?

b-6) "Pole weapons don't seem to have any sound effects indicating hit or miss"?

 

 

Hope this helps!

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Kestral, that's terrific!

 

b-1 is fixed.

 

I believe I have fixed b-3 and b-4. b-2 I think is fixed, but there are a few more issues with those spells (especially with when used by unique bosses) that I need to fix. That is a bigger issue and I'm not sure what solution will work best, yet.

 

b-5 and b-6 I still need to look into.

 

I apologize for the delay. I'm afraid I'm a terrible procrastinator. Feel free to harass me until I actually get it done.

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Perhaps releasing the current crop of fixes as either 1.2 or 1.15 would be a good path. (Or are these bug fixes included in the currently available DL of 1.1?)

 

What significant work is still planned for 1.2 that is not yet done?

 

b-2:

Design a solution for proper use of a new spell concept (a melee-ranged, aggressive spell that is also a summon). Potentially a significant job.

 

Investigate b-5 and b-6:

Possible animation/sound bugs.

Anyone can move this task forward by doing some testing and reporting specific results - 1.) are either of these issues reproducible? 2.) If reproducible, are either of them unique to the remix or they also reproducible in vanilla?

 

 

The last large task I recall being mentioned was a possible overhaul of the cloak spells, potentially replacing them with entirely different spells since the cloak buffs themselves cannot be altered.

I'll come out in full support of this, personally. But it probably should not be a blocking issue for the next release. Getting things like all the battle discipline and gear fixes into people's hands ASAP should be a higher priority.

 

 

Thanks so much! Your work is hugely appreciated!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, I had an idea for making food and bandages useful again: Why not make food give a long-lasting regeneration buff, and have bandages cure a single hostile effect on top of their small healing? This would make food useful for conserving on healing spells in long dungeons you can't backtrack in.

 

While I think the previous functions of food had the potential to screw people over after a large investment of time into a file, I think it's a shame that food wasn't given any other use, yet was still left in the game.

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I was new to the editor functions in Avadon and Avernum: EFTP as I had never played any Spiderweb games on PC or Mac. I started with Avadon and then found Avernum in the AppStore and played on my iPad. I immediately loved the games and it was going fine until I got stuck a couple of times and turned to the forums here for some help. I got my whole party wiped out after killing King Hawthorne in Avernum: EFTP and I was told to try the 'returntostart' cheat and my party came back. I was so psyched that I began plowing through the boards for my tips/tricks and then I found the Avernum Remix. Since I normally play on an iPad, I instead grabbed my Windows laptop and purchased Avernum: EFTP for Windows from the Spiderweb site and promptly installed the Avernum Remix files. I'm just getting started (Level 4) but already seeing a big difference in how thrown missiles (yay javelins!) and bows work and I'm loving it. I think I'm going to continue to try playing 'within the rules' on the iPad and use the cheats and Remixes on my PC to expand the possibilities with these games. Thanks to Slartibus for creating the remix, I am loving it!

 

I'm also now very likely to start buying direct from Spiderweb as a result. I like the ease of the AppStore and have loved the iPad versions of Avernum: EFTP and Avadon, but find this expanded play very enjoyable on its own. I also want to support Spiderweb, so I think it's worth the extra couple of dollars to purchase directly from them as opposed to Steam or some other service like that. I'm definitely hooked on Spiderweb games now!

 

Also, having just plowed through this topic, I see how lucky I was that Jerakeen saw my post about being unable to return to Avernum with only 4 brooches. I had seen the note that '4 would work but 5 was better' and attempted to go after Hawthorne with only four. I was quite upset to find, after getting that (Nefarious? or Pathetic?) old bastard, that I couldn't be brought back by Erika. Jerakeen tipped me off to the 'backtostart' cheat and VOILA! I was back in the game. I'm rolling forward on iPad to complete with as few cheats as possible while simultaneously using the Remix version on my Windows laptop to really play with the gameflow and abilities trees for the characters. Thanks again to Slartibus for writing the Remix, to Jerakeen for that timely tip, and everyone else for your thoughts/input/tips in the threads.

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Is it required to start a new game to use this mod?

 

Just discovered, due to this thread, that on my first playthrough w/ vanilla I am using two weak character types: archer and pole-wielding priest!

 

If I start a new game with 1.1, will I have to restart when 1.2 is released?

 

Cheers!

 

kilolima

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You can switch anytime, though you may prefer to start over, since your skill and equipment choices may be different.

 

Also, don't hold your breath waiting for the next version. Not saying Slarty never finishes anything, but... anyway, it's pretty cool as is.

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Originally Posted By: Jerakeen
You can switch anytime, though you may prefer to start over, since your skill and equipment choices may be different.


OK, thanks! Although in this case my vanilla equipment/skill choices seem tailor made for this mod: javelins, bows, and poles... and I just thought my party were a bunch of under-achievers.
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Originally Posted By: Randomizer

Slarty has said that he probably won't fix the remix since he doesn't remember what he needs to do to modify the game to make the needed changes.


"doesn't remember"? frown Say it isn't so!

I even made a list and everything just like one page ago.

What about the fixes already discussed since the original 1.1 posting? Are items a-1 through a-7 as well as b-1, b-2, and b-4 already fixed in the version currently available for download?

It seemed like the work on those was already done, and I'd been waiting to try the remix mainly because of them.
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Originally Posted By: Starty
A:EFTP Remix: This is just done; sorry. I just don't have the energy to decipher the changes I've made since 1.1 in order to get them all working. On the plus side, however, I now have a much better idea of what's involved and how to deal with the technical issues, so mods for future games will come easier and faster.
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"decipher the changes" means "figure out exactly which lines I added, deleted, edited, or moved in which places in which files and the ways in which many of those changes are connected", not "remember what I was working on changing." Thanks, Randomizer. tongue Since none of the data structures operate in a vacuum, changing a single battle discipline may entail edits to four different files -- the graphics definitions have to be set a certain way depending on what the effect is, or it will bug out, for example.

 

Some of the changes are complete, but some of the ones I had started working on are buggy and cause problems, and they are all in the same file set. I can't release just some of the changes without going through and sorting out all the edits I made months ago. And I just can't prioritize the time for that. Sorry to let you down, Kestral! But I did appreciate the list and it was not ignored.

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Originally Posted By: Slartibus
"decipher the changes" means "figure out exactly which lines I added, deleted, edited, or moved in which places in which files and the ways in which many of those changes are connected", not "remember what I was working on changing." Thanks, Randomizer. tongue Since none of the data structures operate in a vacuum, changing a single battle discipline may entail edits to four different files -- the graphics definitions have to be set a certain way depending on what the effect is, or it will bug out, for example.

Some of the changes are complete, but some of the ones I had started working on are buggy and cause problems, and they are all in the same file set. I can't release just some of the changes without going through and sorting out all the edits I made months ago. And I just can't prioritize the time for that. Sorry to let you down, Kestral! But I did appreciate the list and it was not ignored.


this is an object lesson in the importance of revision control btw
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I'm playing with the remix and I just wanted to ask: I read that in the normal game swords are better than polearms, and that the best magical weapons are usually swords. Has the remix changed this, that is, are there good enchanted polearms to make the skill investment worth it, or I'd better train swords for both my melee characters?

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