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Death Knight

What is the Longest Spiderweb Game?

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You are wrong on that.

 

Well I am wrong in current state, and I'm not sure about a past state of Steam that stuck with my memory.

Reason I say that is I know I played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. a lot more than 61 minutes :) Finished that and I am pretty sure it cannot be finished in 61 minutes.

 

What was I doing?

 

Seemed like mostly I was always trying to find where the Team's boat was...

 

Initial part of the time was spent experimenting with game mechanics, finding out what worked and what didn't.

 

Middle chunck of time was gaming with 2 parties...the first Team was scrapped after misspending points on abitiies and features that didn't pan out well.

I think Arcane Lore / magical efficiency and the physical/magical resilience traits were basically what I had to/wanted to start over for, in addition to an increase in the difficulty to keep it interesting - after reading posts here.

 

The last chunk of time was the best - Team 2 was fun - experimenting with spells + items + traits took some time.

Running back through areas to make sure I had not forgotten or missed anything takes quite a bit of time - the map is just so huge and sometimes I didn't bother with Tower of Magi pylon travel.

 

Dodging wandering monsters can sometimes take a lot of time.

 

Was taking more notes than usual for games - looking back at said notes shows I was running some kind of autistic calculations on chance to hit % apparently early on I became fixated on this variable.

 

I would be honest and say if I had ever been bored or not having fun in this game - it was only in the Final Gauntlet that the game became a little tiresome - but that was probably more a factor that I had spent 6-8+ straight hours gaming previously than the actual area itself...

 

Quite possibly a lot of time was spent documenting as I was not heavily referring on any walkthroughs/hints, etc.

 

Edit: If any feature(s) were to stick out that were an annoyance it was only 2 things. Orb of Thralni not working as expected and when mis-clicking in combat having a character run in to melee or somewhere I did not want him/her to go...Though the Orb not seeming to fly as intended caused some outdoor encounters resulting in a wipe, that could have been my just not knowing that the Orb was not intended to be used in that area? idk

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Well I am wrong in current state, and I'm not sure about a past state of Steam that stuck with my memory.

Reason I say that is I know I played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. a lot more than 61 minutes :) Finished that and I am pretty sure it cannot be finished in 61 minutes.

There may have been some glitch that caused it not to accurately record when you played the game, or you may have played in offline mode. Steam does not track play time in offline mode. Steam has definitely tracked playtime across multiple computers for a very long time if not since the beginning.

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Looking over the thread: I think there's one aspect we've mostly neglected in discussing length & replay value, and that's diversity of gameplay experiences. Every optimized Avernum party tends to look pretty similar to every other optimized Avernum party. One can run a singleton, an Anama party, and various other challenges and oddball variants, but the overall skill sets that any two 'good' Avernum parties bring to bear are pretty similar. This is not the case in the Geneforge series, in which one can run a solo servile or a shaper with a small army and expect relatively similar efficacy (well, depending on the game; in general the later entries were better balanced). Avadon is somewhere in between, probably a bit closer to Geneforge. This makes me a lot more eager to replay Geneforge and Avadon games than games in the Avernum series, even ignoring the range of possible endings and plot paths in each.

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I never quite got around to finishing a couple of the Geneforge games, but I tended to feel that E/A2 were by far the longest in terms of the straight line between the start and end of the story. 1 comes a relatively close second (if only for sending you on scavenger hunts essentially when you were most of the way through the game already), but, in comparison, 3 enabled you to skip plagues that you didn't want to bother with and the story arcs of 4, 5 and 6 were appreciably shorter, even if there was still a lot of content there overall. The Geneforge games tended to sacrifice overall length for the sake of adding more replay content (i.e. different factions, distinct classes, etc.), kind of in a less extreme way than Nethergate - long if you consider playing the distinct sides and differences to their fullest extents, but short per play-through. In that respect though, the Geneforges generally did have the most diverse replay value. To take G1 as an example, depending on your choices, half the island might have been friendly or hostile and the game can play out very differently. You don't really get that kind of diversity with the other series, let alone the vast majority of games released full stop. On the other hand, it then gave me no end of confusion when Jeff started putting named NPCs into the game that were mandatory enemies with no dialogue/lead-up quests and I'm left wondering whether or not I should've killed them.

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Demo size is always shrinking.

 

It also depends upon how you want to complete the game. In Geneforge 1 you can race for the docks and skip the Geneforge and most of the island to reach an ending. Geneforge 5 has a special ending if you attack a friendly NPC in combat and can end in less than 10 minutes. :)

 

Could you tell me which PC this is, and how to do it please. I'd love to try that out! :)

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Attack Rawal.

 

—Alorael, who isn't sure that really qualifies as an ending any more than assaulting the first person you see in Fort Emergence in A3 counts as an ending. It's just a special way of saying, "Nope, try again."

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Even faster than that. Just attack any friendly. I found out the hard way when I accidentally targeted one instead of the hostile creation next to it.

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Actually, I would not want to try that out. Not in the first 10 minutes of the game anyway. Near the end...perhaps. Depends what ending I'm going for, and how I feel. :)

 

Well, it's possible to attack Rawal and succeed eventually, although that also forces you onto a particular, different ending path.

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This is a real concern, too. Across the entire gaming industry, 80-90% of people who buy a game will never finish it.

That's incredible, but at the same time I believe it.

 

There's so many games out there now it's quantity over quality. In fact one guy I know told me he never plays the same game twice, because there's so many out there. I myself prefer quality over quantity. I remember when Skyrim came out I had 3 level 81 characters with all over 200 hours each, and I spent about half a year on that game. Don't even get me started on Spiderweb games, either. When I was a little kid I would easily play some of the Exile games 12 hours a day every day. I don't have an extremely wide variety of games I play, but the ones I do play I get my money's worth. Can't tell you how many times I tore through KOTOR I and II either.

 

—Vexivero, who remembers Drakefyre. But Drakefyre probably doesn't remember him. As Jeff Vogel would say, "It's all good in the hood".

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A lot of times I rarely finish a spiderweb games. Only the first time around will I really make 100% completion. His games are so long, it really does take patience t o finish. By 70-80% through I usually move onto to something else. Sorry if that hurts your feeLings Jeff, though it probably doesn't.

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I'm the guy that submitted Avernum 1's playtime to HowLongToBeat, it took 43h45m in Normal and I did everything or close to it. I don't know why Escape from the Pit has more playtime but I haven't played that one so it wasn't based on my time. People play differently and that adds or takes from the total playtime, it's a community site after all. I also submitted the time for Avernum 2, that one clocked 70h43m for me but there's another submission with ~88h. I actually use a digital stopwatch when I play so my times are accurate for my style of play

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Attack Taygen.

 

Doesn't matter if insta death. Kill the crazy to death.

 

 

 

Only finished 2 Spidweb games, and done about 90% of crap in Geneforge 5. I still have yet to finish the Trakovite ending. Really, I think finishing a Spidweb game is near impossible, considering all the random weapons and stuff.

 

inb4 unmodded 7 Fully upgraded Ur-Drakon's or not 100%

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Really, I think finishing a Spidweb game is near impossible, considering all the random weapons and stuff.

 

So true, so true...Though i wouldn't say its because of random weapons :/ . Just mainly because they are so HUGE. :)

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Not sure if necroposting is kindly viewed or not, so forgive me for bringing back this old topic - I was looking for some other information when Search function brought me here, and I thought I could chime in...

 

If anyone is still interested in such a question as "which game is the longest", there's a set of data that can cast some light. Namely, the size of the games.

 

Both Blades would be the biggest/longest if we considered all the scenarios. Blades of Exile being the biggest, considering the hundreds of scenarios it has (I gathered something like 170+ just between 1997 and 2001).

 

If we look at the games Jeff did, here are the amounts of zones for the early games:

Avernum 1: 42 outdoors / 77 towns / 119 levels

Avernum 2: 50 outdoors / 120 towns / 170 levels

Avernum 3: 81 outdoors / 144 towns / 225 levels

 

Exile games were pretty close. Only difference I remember would be +3 Lost Bahssikava and -1 Remote Temple for Exile/Avernum 1 - but my old notes for Exile 1-2 show that they had 6-7 town levels less than the Avernum versions, which is strange (probably old mistakes on my part).

New Avernum games should be quite close as well, a bit bigger since they have small levels added to some dungeons/towns.

 

Blades of Exile: 36 outdoors / 65 towns / 101 levels (3 scenarios bundled with BoE, not counting Bandit Buyswork)

Blades of Avernum probably is similar for these 3, with a 4th totally new scenario - so I suppose total would be 140 levels.

 

I can't tell how big Geneforge, Avadon or Nethergate are for sure, but the bits of walkthroughs I've seen and others commenting here clearly imply that Nethergate and Avadon are significantly shorter, and Geneforge a bit shorter than Avernum.

If we consider that "the longest game" means the one who takes the longer to finish entirely - as in doing all dungeons and exploring the whole map -, there's no doubt Exile 3 / Avernum 3 are the hugest. First E1 playthrough took me at least 60 hours, at least 80h for E2, and E3 more than a hundred, without any doubt; of course, new playthroughs are a bit shorter because I know where to go and what to do quite often.

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Nethergate has I believe 25 outdoors and 30 towns -- but a lot of them have multiple dungeon levels. Some of the towns are actually different (as in different map files even) depending on which side you're playing; not sure how you'd account for that.

 

The Geneforge games have no outdoors. Towns:

G1 - around 80?

G2 - 85

G3 - 91

G4 - 81

G5 - 82

 

However, I do think there tended to be slightly more in each zone, the later you go in the series. I think that explains the G3/G4 drop in particular.

 

A4-A6 also have no "outdoors" in the old sense.

 

A4 had 140 levels. Most had two floors though the amount on the lower floor varied wildly.

A5 had I believe 135.

A6 also looks like 135.

 

Avadon 1 looks like it has 23 zones (and no outdoors, obviously) but those zones are definitely bigger than Geneforge's or Avernum's.

Avadon 2, 21, but again, less empty space in its zones than in Avadon 1.

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Just had a look at Harehunter's A4/5/6 maps. Not too close a look not to spoil these games when I'll play them, though.

All 3 are 12X14 grids. Some of the main level are empty, and many more on 2nd/lower level - and many are just half-filled if not less.

Using equivalent of a full zone for several small bits of tunnels and caves on lower level, this would be a rough estimate:

 

Avernum 4 - 230 zones

Avernum 5 - 210 zones

Avernum 6 - 250 zones

 

Possibly a bit closer than that, since it was a very crude estimation.

Then, of course, not having played the game, but knowing the size of Avernum in 1/2/3, I suppose the zones are a bit smaller in 4/5/6 and/or have less stuff/people/baddies in them - otherwise, it would mean that all 3 games are basically as huge as Avernum 3.

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I think A4, at least, is an overestimation. Looking at Harehunter's site, the bottom level of the map is significantly less than half full, and as you mention there are a few zones on the top level that are completely empty as well. I mean, when the extent of the bottom part is "one or two small chambers reached by ladders" I'm not sure that deserves recognition at all, since in any other game, the same area would simply be combined with a part of the main map that A4 doesn't use (even if that meant scrapping the ladder).

 

I had to look to confirm, but A1-A3 had multiple sizes of town zones. The Tower of Magi, for example, is bigger than an outdoors square, while Silvar and Duvno are the same size. In A4 everything is the same size (comparable to an outdoors square of A1). I would assume the multiple sizes also apply to Nethergate.

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For me, definitely Avernum 3. Took weeks to get through all of it (even with editor-enhanced characters). Of course, it was back when I didn't have an Internet connection, so a lot of stuff I did out of curiosity and without a walkthrough. I'm currently in the middle of completing the last Avernum game (6) from the original saga, and the last 2 Geneforge games (4 and 5), but like to go back to Avernum 3 from time to time to explore it all again.

 

I am really looking forward to how Jeff manages the new Avernum 3 remake, especially the surface world of Valorim. With a semi-new engine, I hope there'll be more twists and things to explore on the surface.

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I had to look to confirm, but A1-A3 had multiple sizes of town zones. The Tower of Magi, for example, is bigger than an outdoors square, while Silvar and Duvno are the same size. In A4 everything is the same size (comparable to an outdoors square of A1). I would assume the multiple sizes also apply to Nethergate.

Oh, indeed. Exile 3 and Blades of Exile already had the 3 sizes for towns, which was an idea good enough to be reused for Avernum 1/2/3. On the other hand, Exile 1 only had 1 size for outdoors and cities. Since Avernum 4/5/6 represent indoors in the main map, there's no difference anymore.

Had to launch Exile 2 to make sure; at least version 2.0 / 1997 had the 3 sizes - I assume Exile 2 vers. 1.0 as well, but not having played it since 1997, I wasn't sure there were 2 or 3 sizes in it.

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Yeah, for the most part the only differences in the later versions of Exile 2 were the graphics. It always had 3 sizes of towns.

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"Town size" can also be somewhat misleading at times. You may need to use a "large" size for something that's very long and narrow and therefore the same area as a "small" town, for example. (I don't know how frequently this occurs in Jeff's games, but it happens in Blades.) And a large but relatively simple or empty town is a lot less play time than a dialogue-heavy small town.

 

So it's hard to get an objective measure of any of this. Steam times are probably the best measures we have, but without a large sample size, it's hard to say very much with any degree of certainty.

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Oh...E3 and BoE had those stats for how many things you killed, damage given and taken, can't remember if any other games had those.

 

Also not sure how they'd help either if more games had them, but they might.be of some use. (Actually not sure what use those were for anything, but nice to have, I guess).

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Maybe Jeff is a stats geek.

 

 

"Town size" can also be somewhat misleading at times. You may need to use a "large" size for something that's very long and narrow and therefore the same area as a "small" town, for example. (I don't know how frequently this occurs in Jeff's games, but it happens in Blades.) And a large but relatively simple or empty town is a lot less play time than a dialogue-heavy small town.

That's an issue with Blades obviously - some early and first-time scenarios just used the standard size even for a map with a single house. Which is why I only used my homemade stats as a vague and highly inaccurate indication of length of scenarios. (it led me to play mostly short ones because I was overwhelmed by the amount of scenarios released, which caused a slight problem, just like with books and video games, since I ended up eventually having a large amount of *big* scenarios to play, and all the good big ones, and I had the impression I wasn't making any progress in my Blades scenarios backlog)

 

Outdoors zones are probably faster than indoors, but that's countered by the fact that in E / A 1 and 2, there's a lot of back and forth and wandering all across the map to do. Avernum 3 as well, but you get teleportations / recall; A4/5/6 seem to be more linear, so less going back to newbie zones.

 

One could also look at the calendar and see how many in-games days are required in a playthrough. But that wouldn't account for the hard dungeons/fights you have to do ten times over, nor for very chatty townpeople.

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There aren't calendars for every game, and I'm pretty sure they don't run on the same clock even in all the games that do have one.

 

—Alorael, who sees only one solution: get Big Brother to start surveying all gameplay.

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—Alorael, who sees only one solution: get Big Brother to start surveying all gameplay.

But the whole resistance is futile thing is lost when it comes to avernum players. Im sure the whole first trilogy was to prove the contrary.

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For me, definitely Avernum 3. Took weeks to get through all of it (even with editor-enhanced characters). Of course, it was back when I didn't have an Internet connection, so a lot of stuff I did out of curiosity and without a walkthrough. I'm currently in the middle of completing the last Avernum game (6) from the original saga, and the last 2 Geneforge games (4 and 5), but like to go back to Avernum 3 from time to time to explore it all again.

 

I am really looking forward to how Jeff manages the new Avernum 3 remake, especially the surface world of Valorim. With a semi-new engine, I hope there'll be more twists and things to explore on the surface.

 

Same, it took me months to beat A3 when I was a kid, mostly because I spent a great deal of time wandering the outdoors and looking for all sorts of isolated places and little quests. Also I was kind of incompetent when it came to building balanced characters so it took me a long time to defeat plagues. I kept getting rekt at the Keep of Tinraya. I'd love to play it again but I only have an iPad so I'm waiting around for the remake.

 

Out of all the Spiderweb games I've played recently, I think I've spent the most time in the A2 remake. It feels pretty massive. Can't remember if the original E2/A2 felt just as big since I haven't played them in years.

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To me, E3 seemed the biggest. It had the same square footage as A3, but a much smaller screen. Everything seemed so far from each other when I had to go past several screen to get between cities.

 

In the Avernum remakes (especially the newer ones), with the larger screen, everything feels much closer. And in the second Avernum Triolgy, everything seemed very compacted. What appeared to be several miles in the earlier games, in A4 the distance between Dharmon and Blosk seems to be about fifteen feet. I don't know if that makes the game shorter, but it certainly feels smaller.

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A4 was the most jarring of size-distortions simply because it was the first game to use that format. It really does feel like Blosk would be better off named "North Dharmon" there. Then again, I never liked A4 & 6's style. It worked for A5, as that was all new areas, but seeing the the whole nation of Avernum devolve into a Lichtenstein dot just didn't do it for me.

 

That aside, I never did stop to consider the display limitations on the original Avernums and especially Exile, and how a smaller play field would help create the illusion of a much larger game world. Great point.

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I guess it would depend on if you restarted the game for each faction(like I do) or reload the one point and play the factions one after the other from that save. The former will obviously take a lot more time. At this point, if we're talking about Factions, Geneforge 5 is the lolongest, with 6 factions to play through. In shear land mass, towns, and things to do, Exile III:Ruined World takes the cake. (or Avernum 3 if thats your thing)

 

Krizan, Shayder. Footracer, the one with all the golems, the south eastern one, the one with the Troglodytes, Upper Exile, the mysterious lands the quest for the Orb of Thralni takes you... Exile III was the most massive to be sure... but what is meant by time taken is still up for debate.

 

Was the fort that Queen Prazac stayed in and the surrounding area considered its own province? A northern most one? Or was it still Footracer?

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