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prairiemain

Magic Barriers are Irritating

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I love this game. I believe this is the largest RPG "world" I've ever played and the story line is as rich as any I've ever played. However, there are some irritants in the game that I wonder about. At the top of that list are "Magic Barriers".

 

Now I know that breaking crystals can remove these but I have had much difficulty finding those crystals. They are rare, to say the least. The result is you fight your way to the heart of something, often against a myriad of powerful figures and in battles that can easily last an hour or more, and finally you are standing in front of the prize. Only it's behind a magic barrier! Occasionally, there is another route to it but that's also rare.

 

Since none of the characters, even the "mage", is anywhere close to having "dispel barrier", you're forced to abandon a quest and go onto something else. It can get a little discouraging after that happens several times. It creates a disparity with the rest of the game's questing elements. How so? Most of the other access puzzles are easily solved. The NPCs and the game "narrator", unsolicited and often happily so, point to the exact solution leaving you only to act on it. But not when it comes to the "magic barriers".

 

Perhaps this is being done to force you, the player, to explore other parts of Avernum to "connect" various elements of a given storyline. The trouble is, I have not found any earth-moving connections between most of these. So it leaves me puzzled as to the purpose of this kind of frustration. It borders on sadistic as though the designers think most players are masochistic rather than just obsessive. I can't recall many really great RPGs that had this kind of frustrating "barrier". In fact, to me, it goes against one of the "unspoken rules" for RPGs: thou shalt not make player fight to the pit of Hell only to get a bauble as a reward. At least provide a cutaway that shows some awesome graphics.

 

Of course, since this was my first play-through (and I'm looking forward to doing so again with a better party makeup) I may have missed something about these magic barriers. I allow that possibility but I don't like going through "spoiler" hints during my first play-through with a game (some exceptions certainly apply).

 

I'm sure there are other players who look at this differently. We all have our likes and dislikes about RPGs. I enjoy this type of game and regret seeing the end of this type of turn-based, role-playing game. I have a few friends who are also frustrated at not being able to find good games like this. I think someone is underestimating the market for games like Avernum. Perhaps Spiderworks should upgrade the game engine (but keep the essential game play elements) and do another round of Avernum and other games based on that engine. If you did so, you'd put a lot of RPG gamers like myself in hog (or cave cow?) heaven.

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Welcome to Spiderweb Software. Please leave your remaining sanity at the door, if any is left after the barriers. :)

 

The magical barriers are alway there from the early Exile version of the game with enough crystals to remove the early ones before you learn the spell. You need to find a spell book to get level 3 version to remove the hardest barriers that only guard loot. The idea is you can complete the main game with crystals that you find or buy and anything else is extra.

 

Avernum: Escape from the Pit is a remake of Avernum 1 that is a remake of Exile 1: Escape from the Pit to update the game to newer computers and each remake adds new content. Avernum 2: The Crystal Souls should be released late next year. No schedule beyond that for Avernum 3 remake but maybe 3 years.

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The purpose of things like barriers is to encourage you to take notes and revisit old areas later for extra rewards. A few locations have sub-areas with extra-tough monsters for similar reasons. You're not always expected to clear out a dungeon 100% on your first visit.

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The purpose of things like barriers is to encourage you to take notes and revisit old areas later for extra rewards. A few locations have sub-areas with extra-tough monsters for similar reasons. You're not always expected to clear out a dungeon 100% on your first visit.

 

People actually take notes while playing these games? :)

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One of the biggest new feature requests is the ability to take notes and/or annotate the maps so you don't have to waste time leaving the game to do it. :)

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People actually take notes while playing these games? :)

 

No - why would people take notes?

This game is so easy - you use the cheats right?

When the going gets tough, well, the tough get cheat codes, amiright?

 

Who on earth would want to enjoy the exploration and challenge of a well thought out PC game?

 

Barriers? Pfff - I have a macro that dispels all barriers when i start each game. Much more better.

Why would I try to figure out where a pedestal exists to allow my party of whiners and bed wetters to proceed to a new area or unlock a key game plot element?

 

Just makes no sense why games force us as human beings to actually do something other than mindlessly click click our way through a virtual puzzle...

 

These game designers are SADISTS! I tell you! Stop the Insanity! :mad:

 

This is the part where I am supposed to add an emoticon amiright?

 

:(

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lothyr, tone down the rhetoric. It's not okay to call people "whiners and bed wetters" just because they have different preferences in games.

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I don't have to take notes anymore because I visit the forums when I get stuck.

It would be nice to type in the journal.

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It's not okay to call people "whiners and bed wetters" just because they have different preferences in games.

 

I think he was referring to his party members and not other people.

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One of the biggest new feature requests is the ability to take notes and/or annotate the maps so you don't have to waste time leaving the game to do it. :)

 

Definitely this. Anyone play the Nintendo DS Zelda games? Being able to write on the map was HUGE for remembering to come back to a chest when you got the item that'd let you reach it.

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lothyr, tone down the rhetoric. It's not okay to call people "whiners and bed wetters" just because they have different preferences in games.

 

Um, that message was clearly intended to be humorous. And it says "my party of whiners and bed wetters"; it doesn't apply that to anyone else.

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It was written as a reply to prairiemain, though: it's reasonable to read a reply as a comment directed at the person being replied to. In context, it comes off as kinda passive-aggressive.

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No - why would people take notes?

This game is so easy - you use the cheats right?

When the going gets tough, well, the tough get cheat codes, amiright?

 

Who on earth would want to enjoy the exploration and challenge of a well thought out PC game?

 

Barriers? Pfff - I have a macro that dispels all barriers when i start each game. Much more better.

Why would I try to figure out where a pedestal exists to allow my party of whiners and bed wetters to proceed to a new area or unlock a key game plot element?

 

Just makes no sense why games force us as human beings to actually do something other than mindlessly click click our way through a virtual puzzle...

 

These game designers are SADISTS! I tell you! Stop the Insanity! :mad:

 

This is the part where I am supposed to add an emoticon amiright?

 

:(

 

The fun part is when we come to forums like this and we get to meet the kings and queens of nerdhood who play the game blindfolded and still beat it and make sure everyone at the forum knows it. Let me add "wussy" and "amateur gamer" to your quiver of verbailities.

Ever modified the Fortran code of the original text-based "Adventure"? I have. I manufactured my own cheats. There are perhaps two references in "Escape from the Pit" to that very famous RPG ... can you identify them? :grin:

 

The magic barriers are a minor annoyance and they are not the only ones in Avernum.

 

I've always sort of liked this emoticon -- it fits so well in many places: :rolleyes:

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"Escape from the Pit" does have a feature to record important information (journal) as you're playing the game by clicking a button in the dialog box. That's a nice feature and one reason I don't have to take notes. Being able to annotate the maps would be a fantastic addition. But this game pretty much marks all spots that are relevent to the game and gives little popups identifying who and what for that location. But annotation would still be a good thing to have.

 

I would like to see either a major upgrade to the underlying game engine to Avernum to something that supports better graphics, of course, and better game play overall. It might take a complete redesign and rebuild, I do not know. If you love this type of game you

want to see something like that. I think Spiderweb could carve out a lasting niche for itself if it would do so and keep the spirit of the RPG turn-based game alive.

 

There are RPGs out there, not all necessarily turn-based, that are pretty decent with up-to-date graphics and presentation. But many of them somehow lose the essence of games like Avernum in their quest to adopt the new graphics and simulations capabilities. Surely there must be a way to advance the turn-based RPG experience without sacrificing the elements that make them so enjoyable to many of us.

 

Games have come a long way since Pong -- or even that original text-based "Adventure". I believe RPGs could reclaim territory but I suppose the money is in the first person shooters?

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Adventure was one of the first games that I owned and I spent a fair amount of time lost in a maze of twisty little passages all alike.

 

If someone had the money, they could certainly make a RPG with first person shooter type graphics. The problem would be getting it to sell enough to pay for the graphics. The problem is that many do not like the turn based style (just about the only games I choose to play are turn based). I expect that a RPG based on a HALO type engine where you have multiple human players making up your party would be the modern version of the RPGs, and I would never play it.

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An auto-journal that automatically writes down regions you can't reach yet (magic barriers or picklock skill not high enough or not enough herbalism, etc.) would be really nice.

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In context, it comes off as kinda passive-aggressive.

 

"kinda" ?

 

I must be losing my touch.

 

I'll try harder.

 

{Edit: I see from the Code of Conduct Rule #2 that I could be perceived as being in Violation of said Rule. Out of respect for the creator of this fine series of work I shall endeavor to improve myself as a person and keep my thoughts to myself}

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If someone had the money, they could certainly make a RPG with first person shooter type graphics. The problem would be getting it to sell enough to pay for the graphics.

 

You mean like Bethesda, with Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and Fallout 3?

 

All of them best-sellers ;)

 

But I don't think many people actually want that from Spiderweb.

Personally I play these games because I love old-skool retro rpg's. Even with its gorgeous graphics, Skyrim got boring in ways that Avernum didn't.

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You mean like Bethesda, with Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and Fallout 3?

 

If you read the rest of his post, he was specifically talking about turn-based RPGs.

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Hey, Rya, I've removed your link because soliciting custom for kickstarters (amongst other stuff) is against the board's Code of Conduct. Whilst it's cool to talk about other games and stuff, like the Bethesda games mentioned above, advertising for them is not.

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Is it "soliciting" even when I'm not involved into the project and have no personal interest in promoting it at all?

I just mentioned it because people were talking about a game with FPS graphics and turn-based combat.

Oh well, in this case I just mention it by name: Deathfire: Ruins of Nevermore

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Apologies. Whilst my point about the CoC is valid, I should've left the link where it was: it was relevant, and you weren't soliciting, nor do you have any personal interest in the game. Sometimes this kind of things can be a grey-area, but I'll put the link back.

 

Sorry again.

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I like the magic barriers. The graphics are beautiful and they add another dimension to the experience. Seeing a barrier raises the question of why that specific barrier is sitting in that particular spot. Some barriers are hiding something like a wand or some other minor element of the game. Once in a while there is something important to the plot. I do find the level 3 requirement for some of the barriers annoying also. Forcing someone to return to a spot can irritate some people, I can see that. As for myself, after a few playthroughs I changed the barriers.txt so all barriers are capped at level 2 except the ones meant to be permanent. When playing on Torment it still feels like forever to make any game progress even with only level 2 barriers. I believe the game is designed for a broad group of users and of course different aspects will be favored more or less by different users. It is still a great game and a great series in all its flavors. :D

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AVERNUM : Escape from the Pit (For Mac)

 

I just purchased the Mac Version.

 

My solution to the problem of not enough Piercing Crystals, was to turn all the "Rocks" (Item 190) into Piercing Crystals...

 

If you want to do this:

 

1.) Go to your applications folder.

 

2.) Find the Avernum app.

 

3.) RIGHT click on the Avernum App and select "Show Package Contents".

 

4.) Go to the Contents/Resources/ folder.

 

5.) Now in order to do this we'll have to make it possible to write to files in this folder. First, Right click the "Contents" folder and select "Get Info". At the bottom, change the "Read" next to "Everyone" to "Read and Write". Do the same thing for the "Resources" folder.

 

6.) Find the file, "avitemschars.txt" and open it with TextEdit.

 

7.) Press CMD-F to open the find window, and search for the word: Rock

 

8.) Copy and paste this text in place of what is there. (All I did was copy some of the attributes from the Piercing stone (241) and put them on a common object thusly making said object act like a Piercing Crystal.)

 

begindefineitem 190;

import = 0;

it_name = "Rock";

it_graphic_template = 51;

it_graphic_sheet = 3;

it_which_icon_ground = 2;

it_which_icon_inven = 3;

it_variety = 11;

it_value = 200;

it_ability = 167;

it_level = 40;

it_weight = 10;

it_charges = 1;

it_extra_description = 8;

 

9.) Save the file.

 

10.) Start Avernum, and now all rocks will be stackable, worth 200 coins, and they'll work as Piercing Crystals. If Avernum was open, close it and reopen it to apply the changes.

 

11.) Enjoy!

 

--RoyalBloodi

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