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FrenchFries

How hard is Avernum

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A long, long time ago in a galaxy somewhere around here...

 

I played Exile on Windows 95. Really liked it.

 

On faith, I got Exile 2 when it came out. Didn't like it because it was incredibly hard. Haven't touched a Spiderweb game since then.

 

Keep seeing Spiderweb games on steam when I browse around. When I do, I remember Exile and wonder if Spiderweb games are still super hard games. Finally decided to come to the forums here and simply ask.

 

I've never been into the really hard games. Guess I'm just not looking for the greatest challenge I ever faced in my life. On that same note, I don't care for super easy games either because they put me to sleep.

 

Hope you don't get the wrong impression. I don't think I'm special or anything. Just here asking the experts.

 

So, there it is. How hard is Avernum? For that matter, does it work on Windows 8?

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It should work on your system. Yeah it can be hard but only at certain sections. Its still very much like old game but without the absurd 8 attacks per enemy on some monsters. I remember that if I could get through one encounter of undead on old avernum without losing half my party, thats a success.

 

Ive played both and would say its not nearly as bad as it used to be. So if you are looking for an easy game, then I would go to Avadon :)

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The hardest part about Spiderweb games is the freedom to wander into areas that are above your current level. Sometimes you can win the fights, but it's easy to die. The newer games try to at least give you hints on where to go so you won't die as much.

 

Welcome back to Spiderweb Software. Please leave your sanity at the door. If you had any left when you left here. :)

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You can also adjust the difficulty level, which makes a dramatic difference - casual is easier than normal, which is easier than hard, which is easier than torment. You can even switch difficulty part way through the game if you decide it is too easy or too hard.

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like others said there are difficult places where party can't survive if too low level but there are tons of easy quests to do to get needed exp and levels.

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It's been a long, long time since I played E1 or E2, but my impression is that Spiderweb games have gotten wider in range. Casual difficulty is easier than Exile; torment difficulty lives up to the name and is much harder than Exile. You can play with settings until you have the difficulty you want; there's a wide range in there.

 

—Alorael, who wouldn't be scared off. And he especially wouldn't be scared off before trying a demo; they're all sizable and give a decent impression. Not perfect, because the difficulty starts out very low and tends to ramp up later in the game, but you can get a sense of whether it's too punishing for your tastes or not.

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Aeftp is, I think, harder than it should be for the first third of the game. Part of that is due to the openness and part the game mechanics - your hit rate kind of sucks to start with. Even level-appropriate fights can be harder than they should be, especially in the demo area.

 

The good news is that there's help! Check out the link in my signature.

Edited by Jerakeen
Also, Jeff did tone down the difficulty on Normal in the last update.

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If you're looking to avoid some stress, just have your melee characters dual-wield if you don't feel like toning down the difficulty. It's more or less broken and there is very little that can survive your onslaught, especially if you take backstab perks.

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I should note that there's a bit of a difficulty spike near the mid game of this one...it levels off a bit as your characters reach their end game levels, then spikes up again for the game-winning quests.

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Just don't do what I did and Assassinate Hawthorne first. It was way tougher than taking out Grah-Hoth and finding the surface exit. Endless additional dudes really pile it on.

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I second that. The 1st time I beat Avernum, I killed the emperor. I rushed to it because I thought that you finished the quest and the game was over. I was only lvl 29 so it wasn't anyone's fault but mine. The 2nd time I beat the game with a similar party but this time I got an extra 3 lvls and instead of Hawthorne first, I did Grah Hoth. It wasn't too bad and my characters were not perfect either. The best ending to do first is Grah Hoth, in my opinion.

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I actually find the surface exit to be the easiest of the three, and usually do it first - but there isn't a big difference in difficulty between that and Grah-Hoth, and I could easily see others finding Grah-Hoth to be the easiest. And with Grah-Hoth you don't have to deal with the annoying perpetual darkness ...

 

Hawthorne is generally considered the hardest, though, and I definitely concur.

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I always assumed Grah-Hoth would be the hardest, given that he's some super-powerful demon king and Hawthorne is just a nutcase who just sits there while you beat on his minions. I survived the encounter, but it felt like skipping the slimes and going straight to the golem factory (A3).

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The Grah-Hoth fight in itself is probably harder than any single part of the Hawthorne assassination quest. The Hawthorne assassination is a lot longer, though, and there are fewer tricks to make it easier: it's a big gauntlet of respawning enemies with no place to rest and heal, with a fairly difficult boss fight at the end.

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The Grah-Hoth fight in itself is probably harder than any single part of the Hawthorne assassination quest. The Hawthorne assassination is a lot longer, though, and there are fewer tricks to make it easier: it's a big gauntlet of respawning enemies with no place to rest and heal, with a fairly difficult boss fight at the end.

 

I found hawthorn to be annoying but I rushed it. Grah Hoth is easier but only because I didn't rush my characters and got extra lvls and because I used the trick of the alcove on the side. I used 2 melee chars and a spellcaster on both playthroughs. Do you think swapping a fighter for a ranger/archer char would make either of these fights easier? Or does it even matter?

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unless your lonely fighter is tank with nice damage and rest 2 do great damage then no.

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The biggest problem I see with 2 fighters combo is that the only way you can directly damage mages/spellcasters is through your own. I was surprised I managed to make it past Grah Hoth on normal alone with just 2 fighters. That's one of the only things I prefer of Geneforge, you can move anywhere anytime without repercussions.

 

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The Grah-Hoth fight in itself is probably harder than any single part of the Hawthorne assassination quest. The Hawthorne assassination is a lot longer, though, and there are fewer tricks to make it easier: it's a big gauntlet of respawning enemies with no place to rest and heal, with a fairly difficult boss fight at the end.

Grah-Hoth isn't that bad. When he loses a certain amount of HP he spawns adds. Kill them, attack Grah-Hoth, kill adds, etc. Once he spawns the quickghasts hit him with everything you have until he says he's going to stop summoning help. Boom, easy.

 

With Hawthorne you had to motor every step of the way because of the endlessly respawning Royal Guards, Mages, etc. And the respawning wasn't even a matter of "you killed mob A, so A will respawn in x turns." It was "here's mob A, mob B's coming in x turns whether you like it or not, and so is mob C, and D, etc." And then you had to attack golems which blasted the entire room with those novas. If slow doesn't work, it gets nasty.

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With Hawthorne you had to motor every step of the way because of the endlessly respawning Royal Guards, Mages, etc. And the respawning wasn't even a matter of "you killed mob A, so A will respawn in x turns." It was "here's mob A, mob B's coming in x turns whether you like it or not, and so is mob C, and D, etc." And then you had to attack golems which blasted the entire room with those novas. If slow doesn't work, it gets nasty.

I found having a priest (or priests) with level 2+ divine retribution was really effective here - at level 2 DR adds a slowing effect on all enemies, and the golems seemed fairly vulnerable to it, even on torment. It also does a lot of damage to a lot of bunched up enemies (which tends to happen in the throne room), especially if you pair it up with an Andrenaline rush so you can cast it 3+ times (and this also gives you 3 chances to slow).

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I found having a priest (or priests) with level 2+ divine retribution was really effective here - at level 2 DR adds a slowing effect on all enemies, and the golems seemed fairly vulnerable to it, even on torment. It also does a lot of damage to a lot of bunched up enemies (which tends to happen in the throne room), especially if you pair it up with an Andrenaline rush so you can cast it 3+ times (and this also gives you 3 chances to slow).

 

Would you say the same of the 2nd Avernum Trilogy? Avernum EFTP is gung ho on melee but some spots are useful to have archers/or an extra magic user. I don't know about the 2nd trilogy though as the only one that is gung ho on ranged combat is 4. Although there are a number of areas where having a dedicated missile weapons expert is useful in Avernum 5. The bandit fortress with all the turrets and a number of the other mid game fights seem to point that having one is needed or almost mandatory. Especially going up close with the slimes. If you have one melee take the edge, while the rest of the party pelts them, thats 2-3 characters that don't need healing.

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Would you say the same of the 2nd Avernum Trilogy? Avernum EFTP is gung ho on melee but some spots are useful to have archers/or an extra magic user. I don't know about the 2nd trilogy though as the only one that is gung ho on ranged combat is 4. Although there are a number of areas where having a dedicated missile weapons expert is useful in Avernum 5. The bandit fortress with all the turrets and a number of the other mid game fights seem to point that having one is needed or almost mandatory. Especially going up close with the slimes. If you have one melee take the edge, while the rest of the party pelts them, thats 2-3 characters that don't need healing.

I played all of the second trilogy games with a pretty standard 4 character party - 1 mage, 1 priest, and either 2 fighters (typically 1 w/ sword and 1 w/ pole) or 1 fighter and 1 archer. With those parties my priest was mostly focused on healing and other restorative actions.

 

I didn't really start playing around with party variations until A:EFTP, and so that's where I have experience with truly offensive oriented priests. It might be fun to go back and try things like that in some of the older games, but I doubt I'll get time to do that before Avadon 2 comes out.

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It's always useful to have a range attack to lure away the nearest monster from a group.

 

Second trilogy has a lower average damage for range attacks over melee weapons.

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Second trilogy has a lower average damage for range attacks over melee weapons.

I don't recall the exact numbers (and it's been a while since I played), but I seem to remember archery being very powerful in A4.

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I don't recall the exact numbers (and it's been a while since I played), but I seem to remember archery being very powerful in A4.

It was powerful because of Parry being really good against melee in A4 also, heartstriker was awesome, the other Bows are just so-so in terms of damage.

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