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Spidweb

Avadon 3: The Warborn, Changes and Discussion

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The new sound addition has me jumping for joy.

No disrespect intended but the same sound effects dating back to the old titles always annoyed me.

I am super glad you are addressing this! Thank you

 

I like the idea of the freedom of character development.

Your overall inter-connectivity of design is really solid but the linearity of character development is a bit outdated.

Never the less it has worked for the most part so there is no need to go over the top with changes.

Specialization trees sounds like a solid idea with 3 different paths each character can take and with lowering pre-requisites I think that really adds to the flexibility. However do not let us create a total jack of all trades I think even with flexibility the significance of our choices should shine and be clear.

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Would it be possible to change magic resistance to be called energy resistance instead? It seems odd that attack spells list the damage type as Energy (like with Lightning Wind or Dark Bolt), but the defense type has a different name. This gets especially weird with abilities like Path of the Shield, which say they provide magic resist, but actually boost magic (energy), fire, and cold.

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Please make a unified inventory. It would be so much better if it was unified. PLEASE :)

 

That kind of loses the individuality of the characters. Although I do agree it would be easier, if everyone could grab whatever potion they need from the 'inventory cloud' there would be no need to set up characters with the right potions or scrolls. That would take away from part of the game. Perhaps there should be an in-combat inventory, which allows you only to use things in one's inventory, and a out-of-combat inventory screen which show all the characters inventory's combined with maybe an extra one for random things. That way you could easily set up your stuff out of combat and still require some strategic thinking in regards to set up.

 

That all said, it makes me kind of sad that I enjoy the whole 'items in inventory don't way anything unless equipped.' It avoids all the hassle of back-to-town runs and inventory management, but man does it makes me feel like a gaming wimp.

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an out-of-combat inventory screen which show all the characters inventory's combined with maybe an extra one for random things. That way you could easily set up your stuff out of combat and still require some strategic thinking in regards to set up.

This is a great idea! Best of both worlds, and (I imagine) much less of a hassle to implement than a total revamp would be.

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The only problem is sticking mutiple character's screens together, but I think with the advent of the junk bag and the extra inventory I mentioned above we wouldn't need large inventories anymore for each character.

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Or make it that characters can only use items that are in their quick use slot during combat. This would leave their unified inventory separate and avoid abuse like having every character using the same wand or weapon

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There are times when you want to use more than the quick use slots for boss fights. Beyond the potions for healing and replacing vitality for abilities, there are scrolls and wands for attacks and buffs, and then the raise dead scrolls for bringing back party members. You can easily need 10 slots for the late game battles.

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Lilith   

Yeah, I feel like the end result of overly limiting which inventory items characters have access to at a given time would be to exacerbate the existing tendency for players to hoard items and never use them.

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Yeah, I feel like the end result of overly limiting which inventory items characters have access to at a given time would be to exacerbate the existing tendency for players to hoard items and never use them.

 

I agree that it might cause more hoarding, but it shouldn't. The problem with wands and scrolls is they don't scale like the actual skills do so their usage by the end game is pretty limited anyway. Why would you keep a scroll of ice bolt when it does 30 damage until endgame? The only really useful items at end game are restoration potions, revive life scrolls, fatigue potions, and those buffing crystals that give you buffs you can't get by yourself. I'd actually like if there was someway to scale their damage, perhaps a separate skill, allowing wands and scrolls to make a more noticeable difference in combat.

 

That being said, I probably wouldn't use them anyway. I virtually never use consumable items unless I have too and I found spiderweb software games are rarely so difficult that it forces you to use them, even on torment. Can't say I'd mind if they did though.

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I don't think there's really a solution to the consumable items dilemma. But they do actually serve a purpose, which is that they allow some players to succeed at a given level of difficulty they might otherwise struggle with, without actually dumbing down that difficulty level for players who want a real challenge.

 

I tried a few different sweeping modifications to consumables in the Avadon 2 remix, got completely tangled up with them, and that was ultimately what led to the remix falling apart so close to being done. Sad, really :p

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I don't think there's really a solution to the consumable items dilemma. But they do actually serve a purpose, which is that they allow some players to succeed at a given level of difficulty they might otherwise struggle with, without actually dumbing down that difficulty level for players who want a real challenge.

 

Agreed. Items are not inherently bad. On lower difficulties they can be quite effective, especially if your party isn't well balanced. It's only to us nutty min/max players where there's trouble, because it is easy to calculate that items are inferior in damage comapared to maxed out skills.

 

I applaud Jeff for throwing a powerful life line to new players while still keeping the difficulty for Us veterans.

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Even insane min/max characters can find uses for consumable items in certain fights where wands can provide area effect attacks to sweep an enemy clump. Taking advantage of their lower action point costs to get an extra attack especially while waiting for an ability and/or scarab to recharge. Used for healing especially group heal scrolls so other characters can attack instead of using part of their action to heal.

 

Since Jeff has made it harder to run a single Hand through the game by him/herself, being able to coordinate makes a big difference.

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Vent   

As usual I find the party only when it is finished. Ha well, I'm not fan of party. Even if it's too late:

 

Sounds and Spell Effects Will all get a massive overhaul.

=> I don't care, I'd preffer much better ambiant noises. :-) I wonder if there's any I don't feel weird and there's some I feel unpleasant.

 

Quick Use and Ability Preset Buttons. I am strongly considering changing to 3 Quick Use buttons and 5 Ability Preset buttons.

=> Why so few? 12 Ability OR quick use, it should be fine even for tablets. And there's no point to restrict player choices on ability vs quick use.

 

Difficulty...

=> Why link any of those design elements to difficulty? They are design that can improve the quality of combats.

=> Friendly fire is a huge rule that change a lot a gameplay, I wouldn't like have this option just for Harder difficulties that eventually I wouldn't want try (playing Avadon 2 at Hard but I'm ready go back Normal).

=> Combat positioning is, in my opinion, what makes such type of combat system just good or great/very fun. It's not a matter of difficulty it's a matter of possiblities. For me simpler CRPG as Heroes of Stell or Antharion have better combats than Avadon 1&2 (haven't yet fully played the 2). And both have an interesting non basic positioning gameplay. Even more obvious, Telepath Tactics (not a good game but rare combats quality) almost any element of depth are related to positioning. Positioning means also obstacles, and weights if possible but that's harder for an iso game. But party of 4 is already a burden for having an interesting party positioning gameplay, but party of 3 is too much.

=> Nasty enemy effects, again I don't like the idea that such design is linked to difficulty, they are design that can improve quality. If the player have various tools to cancel them it always add some depth, it triggers the question for a character turn, help another character or use the turn for an attack or something. But in a system with a fixed action order it can be a bit rude, you lost turn if the character penalized if before the character that will help him. Such mechanisms are better suited for systems that allow the player to play the characters how and when he wants. In Antharion there's various effects like that, and if you lost control of a character it's not necessary a burden. Examples:

- Frozen: Most enemies tend avoid attack a character frozen because it breaks the freeze.

- Polymorph: It morphes the character into a pig you can't control but the character is healed and also not attacked because it breaks the morph.

- Confuse: It's not the severe charm, charm has the default to be too extreme and not let much choice. So for confuse you don't control the characters and only rarely will try hit another character close. This effect isn't break by an attack.

 

What's the points of those design, nasty effects, but not so nasty up to not let a real choice to the player.

 

Skill Tree...

=> Yeah seems coherent, I always felt the skills requirements in Avadon was too extreme.

 

Writting...

=> Im' not competent to judge that, so from an ignorant, a probably erroneous feedback, never use writing for fillers. A text that says me there's 3 towers and something else when it's just contents of the map and there's direction panels everywhere, this is lost of time. Describe the wearing of a character is hardly interesting. Try focus the writing on dialogs, mood of a place, emotions of a character, pure story element, local social behavior,... And about dialogs does it bring anything, if not scrap it. More smiles, more emotions, more weird/surprising/intriguing stuff,... Sorry for those last comments, it's just my feeling, probably wrong.

 

EDIT: No matter the desing choices, I'll buy Avadon 3 at release even if I fail finish the 2. But I still haven't for Avernum 2 remake and won't until I understand why I enjoyed a lot Avernum 1 (never played Exile 1 but a quick try) but not the recent remake.

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That kind of loses the individuality of the characters. Although I do agree it would be easier, if everyone could grab whatever potion they need from the 'inventory cloud' there would be no need to set up characters with the right potions or scrolls. That would take away from part of the game. Perhaps there should be an in-combat inventory, which allows you only to use things in one's inventory, and a out-of-combat inventory screen which show all the characters inventory's combined with maybe an extra one for random things. That way you could easily set up your stuff out of combat and still require some strategic thinking in regards to set up.

 

That all said, it makes me kind of sad that I enjoy the whole 'items in inventory don't way anything unless equipped.' It avoids all the hassle of back-to-town runs and inventory management, but man does it makes me feel like a gaming wimp.

 

Amazing idea! Instead of the combat inventory, maybe we can unify the quick use items so that every member can use it and increase the quickuse slots.

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Here are some suggestions:

 

Instead of making all the consumables increase fixed amount of vitality or health, it would be better if it was percentage wise...like healing potion is

40%hp - 45%hp and healing elixir is 60%hp - 65%hp. So this way even food items become useful! Maybe they heal 5% - 6% health....or vitality. Or have a minimum heal amount and percentage adder like 60hp+ 50%hp. So every consumable becomes useful throughout the game.

 

And for scrolls and wand maybe they can add a level modifier.

Like if 'D' is the damage and L is the level modifier,

D x (L).

So in lv1 modifier should be 1

lv 2 it should 1.05 or something...i don't know the math, but i know it would make the all-time ignored scrolls and wands useful.

 

It would be nice if we could purchase our recently sold stuff infinite number of times. Just like the quartermaster in Avernum 3.

 

Thanks for still supporting Jeff :)

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Here are some suggestions:

 

Instead of making all the consumables increase fixed amount of vitality or health, it would be better if it was percentage wise...like healing potion is

40%hp - 45%hp and healing elixir is 60%hp - 65%hp. So this way even food items become useful! Maybe they heal 5% - 6% health....or vitality. Or have a minimum heal amount and percentage adder like 60hp+ 50%hp. So every consumable becomes useful throughout the game.

 

I disagree with this actually. I think lower level potions should heal most of your hp early on, and as the game progresses, you can't rely on potions as much, and have to use other healing options, like elixirs, scarabs, or spells/abilities.

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Speaking of food, could it be less pointless this time around? The only game where food made any real difference was Avernum 6 and even then it was extremely negligible since Jeff provided a lot more than was need to finish everything in the game. I dunno what you could do with them (maybe a long-winded cooking sidequest?) but they seem to be only there for appearance sake and I think it would be great if something so essential for our lives played a more interesting part in-game. I'm not suggesting to force the characters to eat every six hours, that would be boring and pointless.

 

Maybe set the game in a famine setting have the characters collect the limited amount of in-game food for the Pact or other villages which your choices having a drastic effect in the plot or just the shape of the game as a whole with villages without food dying out, sort of A3ish with the plagues. You could even make it recurring, that the characters have to provide enough food each week or month or people start dying slowly (Very slowly and with forewarning, I don't like to feel rushed in-game. I'd just like to have decisions mean something.)

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Food is useful early in the game to provide minor healing so you don't always need to use potions or an ability.

 

Some other games it can be useful to leave food behind on the floor to tell where you have been to figure out puzzles like the near identical dark rooms in the Halls of Chaos in Avernum 1.

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Food is useful early in the game to provide minor healing so you don't always need to use potions or an ability.

 

Some other games it can be useful to leave food behind on the floor to tell where you have been to figure out puzzles like the near identical dark rooms in the Halls of Chaos in Avernum 1.

 

I don't use them for healing, but I guess I could see some people using them. Regardless, health recovers automatically in Avadon rapidly out of combat and in combat 7 health points can only get you so far.

 

It suddenly occurred to me that health regeneration could be a function of difficulty. On easier modes health could regenerate faster and on Torment it wouldn't regenerate at all.

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eaintree   

One thing I forgot to mention: I will be implementing a way to see the exact path a character will take in combat before you move.

 

Oh, yes, One of the single most frustrating things about your games is clicking your character to approach an enemy when they don't have a straightforward path and watching them go THE OTHER way because the AI decided that you wanted them to go around a wall, or something.

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Jeff, please bring back the intro and ending cutscenes thing that you did in E3/A3. I loved those. ("And this is... A TREE!" "What's it for?)

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eaintree   

Started playing Avadon 2 again last night; doubt I'll do another whole playthrough but as far as requests for A3 - I would love love love it if the storyline would incorporate the class you choose to play; if the other characters would be aware of it - if you're a Blademaster then you talk Kva lore with the party's Blademaster, if you're a wizard then the party's wizard wants to duel you, if you're a Shadowalker then you trade stealth tips with the party's Shadowalker. If a Tinkermage, the party's Tinkermage waxes philosophic about Legos with you. If the world's NPC would notice and treat you accordingly ("hey, word to the wise, spellslinger - that cave's full a' magic-resistant beasties; if I were you I'd get yer friends who can hack it out toe-to-toe to venture in with ya...")

 

Personally, the more of this kind of thing, the more I'd love it; I'm all about the role-playing and I'd love it if EVERY SINGLE FIGHT had some kind of significance beyond just gaining XP; no random monsters, no trash mobs. I know some players dig the trash-mob grind but to me it's a bore.

 

Silke mentioning your class one time in your first convo w/her was a start - so just do that times 1000, please.

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eaintree   

Another suggestion --

 

For Avadon 3, please consider making all spells and spell-like abilities (monsters breathing fire, etc) a second or 2 shorter in duration. The length that each spell takes to cast while you watch the effect onscreen feels, to me, *very* long and makes for a constant thumb-twiddling feeling, fights feel tedious rather than exciting, and overall it makes it needlessly difficult to enjoy the game.

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Owenmoz   

I know im terribly late, but I completelly agree with the decison both to make skill tree less constraining and to make dificult enemies less health and armour dependant it was one of the weakest points of both avadon and avernum 6, makes it boring rather than hard. So I full on agree. If you can make it hard please do. I particularly liked geneforge 3's balance. But I welcome harder as long as its not neither tedious nor impossible, I would also like to ask to limit swarming in the game, dont remove it. It has its charm but I skipped through most of the corruption due to it As everyone said, cap was reached too soon. I however wouldnt like the cap to be just delayed, but to be increased. I.liked the option in other games to be able to cast all abilities. Make us work hard for it but dont remove it. Another thing, i'd like to ask, is to limit cheat usage. I remember at one given point some almost 10 years ago I started using cheats, it sort of became addictive and ruimed game play for most games, took me 5 years to get "clean" so im.not sure if I speak for everyone, but, try to give cheats a limit, lets say money, make it so you can only get 20k per gameplay, that way a person wont relly on it. I'd say take the cheats out all together but some are relativly harmless and conviniet, but I think, money, health and vitality/energy cheats can be damaging. on another point, I would also like if your actions in a game had consequences still during the gameplsy, say you took the corruption in you, I think.at one given point, you should feel the effects, like skribane in avernum. Or like the canisters in geneforge. Another good thing would be for seemingly unniportant side quest actually affect the ending, say avadon 1; imagine the quartermaster asked the player to bring said important ore, with not a great reward for it, and in the end the ore was used to make weapons which made the attack on avadon less deadly or deflected all together. As said before implimentation if jokes would be a huge boost. Also some kind of arcade mode so a person can play the game without getting tired of the story. Thanks again for the consideration and asking the gamers for feedback, i'll make sure to get the game as soon as its out.

Owen

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eaintree   

I'm a more casual player than many on this Forum; I'm unlikely to play any game more than once or twice. I have no problem with unlimited cheat codes; having unlimited money makes the game more interesting as I don't have to lug sundry/pointless items around through every dungeon and sell them to merchants. The level up and retrain cheat codes let me experiment with the full range of my PCs powers whenever I want. I wouldn't want them to be reduced at all.

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Istara   

Wow I really am out of the loop: I stumbled on this thread last night after posting the world's most belated review on my site for Avadon 2.

 

Can't wait to play the next Avadon instalment.

 

@eaintree I also tend not to replay RPGs except in the case of Spiderweb games. However I'm not one of those players who replays and replays experimenting with things like solo and hardcore strategies. For me, the world exploration, secrets, pack-ratting/artefact collecting and story are the main draw, so those things aren't so replayable as people who like trying different battle approaches.

 

@acrussel totally agree on being able to skip dialogue after a failed boss fight. Allowing combat saves would be even sweeter (like you can do in the Betas). I know it effectively means you can "cheat" your way through too-hard boss fight by literally saving and re-rolling every move, but sometimes I just want to do that.

 

As a packrat, a lot of the inventor ideas are interesting to me. I would like to see more stackable items, basically anything duplicate (eg cloaks, daggers) should be stackable. There is the junk bag which helps, but sometimes you get an item and have no clue why it doesn't stack.

 

A universal inventory might work: better still if it could be arranged into panes for Weapons/Armour, Wands/Scrolls, Potions, Ingredients/Consumables, Miscellaneous and so on. This tend to be how I arrange mine anyway, everyone gets a few healing potions in their quickslots, then the Mage carries all the wands and scrolls, the Priest carries all the potions and ingredients, and so on.

 

I would also like to be able to optionally remove the level cap and keep increasing skills.

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eaintree   

...another change I would like to see (I'm sure I'm not the only one) is endings that are REALLY different from each other. The A2 endings are an improvement on A1, but to some degree they're still just text cut-n-pasted in different orders based on the choices you've made. Which doesn't really make for a satisfying conclusion to the story. If you choose to aid Dheless and tell Redbeard that before you kill him, then as Keeper what kind of sense does it make for you to "swell the barracks of the Black Fortress with excellent recruits?" When Hanvar's Council comes calling for you to step down, why would Avadon support you when you obviously aren't winning the war against the Tawon? If you're not Keeper and you slaughtered the Grey Raptor outpost, when they come for your head how would "your position in the Black Fortress" protect you? It didn't protect Yoshiria. That's 3 examples, there's probably a dozen more to be found by anyone who's played all the different permutations.

 

Oh... and seriously... if you rat on all your companions to Heart Callan, I think they should... notice that you did that?

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natep41   

Changes I'd like to see in Avadon 3

- Gameplay wise:

* Better pathing so my ranged PCs don't put themselves in danger when I order them to attack

* Show range indicator when a character is active (the cells that character can move to)

* More cleaving chance but less damage spill factor

* Option for mages to use different elementals as basic attack

* More transparent tooltips. Even evasion chance isn't listed right now in Avadon 2.

* New type of shield: Buckler. Has defensive stats inferior to a shield, but can be equipped on character with two-handed weapons.

* A "Wait" option besides Skip turn. Anyone who played HoMM or King's Bounty knows this, it basically moves a character's action to the end of the turn. If more than 2 party members use Wait, the one with highest Dexterity acts last.

 

- Look wise:

* Bigger art in the inventory screen (character arts, item arts)

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I'm replaying Avadon 1 at the moment and have encountered something a few times that is quite annoying (although it may have been addressed in A2). When using an AoE spell that actually is an area rather than a cone (such as Ice Storm compared to Lightning Wind for Nathalie) it would be great to know what the furthest distance you can cast that without moving is (just don't allow targeting an area you can't reach). Far too many times I've been in a battle that has a horde of cannon fodder off in the near distance, perfect for Ice Storm, and to cast it where I want to Nathalie takes off running in front of her two meat shields (because she wasn't close enough), stops right next to a powerful enemy & casts the spell. Enemy's turn & 'whack' down goes Nathalie. Knowing just how far she could cast that spell would be very useful information to have.

 

Of course an argument could be made that Nathalie is just an impetuous teenager & running off beyond safe limits is just something that teenagers do....

 

(edit: And right after posting I realized that this should probably be in the 'wishlist' thread...sorry - still waiting for coffee to kick in....)

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Enkidu   

Agreed. Items are not inherently bad. On lower difficulties they can be quite effective, especially if your party isn't well balanced. It's only to us nutty min/max players where there's trouble, because it is easy to calculate that items are inferior in damage comapared to maxed out skills.

 

I applaud Jeff for throwing a powerful life line to new players while still keeping the difficulty for Us veterans.

I'm not sure if that's the reality, maybe it is. But I'd think the kind of player who doesn't think his character build through is at least as often a hoarder of items (as a mindset), as a min/maxer.

 

I think that offensive items should definitely be more powerful. Could be rarer and more expensive in that case, too. I do sometimes use items since I can often do it without it displacing my main action (and probably most often it's a healing item), but that is just very underwhelming. Enemies using wands being a proper threat would be nice, too.

Also a way to keep items in bigger relevance into the lategame would be to have the HP and Damage output scale a bit less.

 

 

 

On the topic of cutting out the HP scaling for difficulty: That's awesome. It really made playing on Torment a real slog, when even trash mobs often took a long time to whittle down regardless of if they were any real threat or not (similarly I'd like if there was a tad less trash mobs - it gets repetitive, if there was less of it I could play through these games quicker and have time to play more of them).

 

I wonder also if you're planning to keep the attribute system as is? It's pretty boring currently, in Avadon and Avernum remakes. Just pump the dmg dealing stat and maybe endurance, that's it...

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Spidweb   

No unified inventory, sorry. What items are in what character's pack is a tactical decision. Plus, I just don't like this sort of system. It's immersion breaking for me.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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Spidweb   

Thank you VERY much everyone who posted in this thread.

 

I read all of it, and a number of suggestions were implemented in one way or another. I genuinely think Avadon 3 will be a better game as a result. There are a ton of interface improvements, and they will be carried over to the Avernum engine as well for Avernum 3: Ruined World.

 

However, I am now almost 3 regions into designing Avadon 3, and my focus is much less on the engine and much more on the giant job of just finishing the game. I doubt I'll visit this thread again, and further comments are best directed to the support email.

 

Thanks again, and I hope the thing is ready late Summer, 2016!

 

- Jeff Vogel

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Istara   

No unified inventory, sorry. What items are in what character's pack is a tactical decision. Plus, I just don't like this sort of system. It's immersion breaking for me.

 

- Jeff Vogel

 

Oh well. Still secretly praying for more stackables ;)

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i noticed that this topic isn't stickied anymore. i guess jeff is already in the late stage of the development now? ;)

 

hype

 

Yeah, check his latest post in this thread. I'm really excited!

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lordhoff   

Just read quickly thru these and, while not a hard core RPer, I've played enough different games to have an opinion on the one thing that jumped out in my reading: changing the skills tree to make it easier. This appears set in stone but I for one like forcing the use of the mainly lower skills (bottom horizontal) to go up the tree. So many games allow unnatural builds; AV-I and II did not. Overspecialization makes things unbalanced in general. This is a case of fixing what isn't broke with the usual ending of making it not as good.

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