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Geno

opinions on Avadon

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Geno   

Hello there. I've never played Avadon before and i was wondering what your opinion on it is.

 

Personally, I am a little turned off by the series due to the fact that I heard it was linear. Is there any truth to this?

 

thanks.

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The game is mostly linear in that the main quest line restricts opening up new areas. However you have lots of optional side quests in these new areas.

 

The real gripe is the level 30 cap on building your character.

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Edgwyn   

I found the game enjoyable, but the CRPG's that I grew up playing could all be criticized as linear if one tried enough.

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Zaego   

If you, OP, have played Avernum-series, Avadon does have a slightly different approach to itself, more akin to that of the Geneforge-series. While I was turned off by that, myself, it's still very much a distinct Spiderweb game and does seem to have a good plot so far (I'm about 10-20 hours in). There's a lot to explore and if you pick all of the side-quests it doesn't feel too linear. The combat has received a nice overhaul, as well, and warriors can finally act like proper warriors, taking the focus of the enemies and mages can keep hitting the enemies with their basics attacks which drains no mana, but result in less damage (which I personally like), or use heavy-hitting spells that have cooldowns, so you have to keep thinking about what you're doing -- no more fireblast-spam like in Avernums' end-games. :p

 

About how the maps work in Avadon, as compared to Avernum...

 

 

I--------------------------------I

I........................................I

I.....[A] --- .....................I

I.................I.......................I

I..............[C] -- [D].............I

I........................................I

I--------------------------------I

Huge Area 1.

 

All A, B, C and D are huge maps in themselves, but they have borders. If you travel to across an edge, you come to a World Map where you can choose your destination. Like shown above, you can't traverse from map A to map C without going through map B, first, as an example. This graph is just a crude representation of how Avadon works, but it's the best I can come up with. When you've explored all of the maps A, B, C and D within the Huge Area 1, you can port back to Avadon and progress within the plot and port to a next Huge Area, which has its' own smaller map-fragments for you to explore.

 

 

 

There are a lot of improvements over the predecessors, like more fluid party-movement although even that isn't always without its' issues since the AI can bug sometimes and leave a party member stuck on a bunch of bushes but other than that, I can recommend it. It's a good, solid Spiderwebsoftware game.

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lordhoff   

Hmmm; looks like I made a mistake. Generally it's best to stat old and work to new as going the other way is often hard to take. I bought bundles of GenForce, Avernum, and Avadon but, not knowing the history, started with Avadon. So, those of you who have played Sw games for a while, is this going to make it hard for me to enjoy the older games, ie, comparing it to the newer Avadon? I keep thinking Gothic I - it was hard to go back to the horrid controls after starting with Gothic II (hopefully the folks here don't mind another company's game being mentioned).

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Maybe, but if you are already used to modern game interfaces, the early Geneforge and Avernum (non-remake) games are going to feel like they have primitive interfaces anyway. At least in a few regards, like inventory management.

 

In terms of linearity, Avadon is definitely more linear than the other two series, but I'd say rather that Geneforge and Avernum are *less* linear than typical modern CRPGs. (The first Avernum trilogy, in particular.)

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Avadon is more linear in plot but actually less linear in geography. The plot explicitly has you repeatedly revisiting old areas with new problems. New maps too, but there's less of a "clear area, never come back" situation than many other games.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't think Avadon is exceptionally linear. Avernum takes a notably open-world approach, and the Geneforge games are just larger than Avadon so the chunks feel a bit bigger, but Avadon's well within the bunds of standard CRPG linearity

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Given that all these games have sidequests, the big difference to me is restrictions on going where you want. Avadon *very* strictly limits what areas you can go to: each new main quest results in 1 or 2 new areas to visit. There are a few other SW games that are geographically restrictive (2nd Avernum trilogy, G3, G4) but none of those are even remotely as restrictive.

 

It isn't just a question of size with Geneforge -- G1, G2, and G5 let you go in whatever direction you want quite early. G3 and G4 have islands or provinces, but it's still a question of gaining access to 5-20 new areas at once, ~4 times during the game, as opposed to gaining access to 1 new area at once, 20 times during the game.

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Zaego   

Concerning the fact that you, Lordhoff, tried your hand at Avadon first and thus went with the newer game-series, I do see where you're coming from (the point about Gothic I and II). Returning to older interfaces and controls after experiencing the newer ones can be a bit tricky in some games, but personally I don't think that the differences are all that jarring in Spiderweb's games. The core-mechanics remain largely the same, but as we go further into the past in SW's games, the lack of smoothness may make itself obvious; while in games like Dark Souls 1 / 2 and The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind / V Skyrim the differences are much, much steeper and thus make it more difficult for players who try out the newer first, enjoy the older later.

 

If you are so willing, you may even try out playing the games in a reverse order; many of the games are stand-alones and do not require you to have played the predecessors, although playing the games from first to last may help you in understanding the game-series' universes better.

 

I'm a bit tired at the time of writing this and thus my answer may have been a bit incoherent or rambly (or at least so it seems to my fatigued mind) and thus I'll throw in a shortened finale: I don't think that playing Avadon first will make it unbearably difficult to play the older games, because the soul remains unchanged throughout the production line. It may be a bit difficult to adjust to the oldest games because of the lack of aforementioned smoothness and polish one may have accustomed to in the newer games, but as I said before, one may skip some of the oldest games* and play the sequels and return to the skipped ones later if one is so inclined.

 

*In the Avernum's case, you might even go for the Remakes (1: Escape from the Pit and 2: Crystal Souls) since they are essentially the same games with minor discrepancies in lore in comparison to the originals; but the interfaces and graphics are newer, on par with Avadon. The third one is smooth enough to feel like the newest games but with old graphics, with the same going for Blades of Avernum, comprising of smaller scenarios set in the Avernum-universe.

 

EDIT: How typical of me... My shortened answer winds up being even longer than the original text. Silly me.

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lordhoff   

Concerning the fact that you, Lordhoff, tried your hand at Avadon first and thus went with the newer game-series, I do see where you're coming from (the point about Gothic I and II). Returning to older interfaces and controls after experiencing the newer ones can be a bit tricky in some games, but personally I don't think that the differences are all that jarring in Spiderweb's games. The core-mechanics remain largely the same, but as we go further into the past in SW's games, the lack of smoothness may make itself obvious; while in games like Dark Souls 1 / 2 and The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind / V Skyrim the differences are much, much steeper and thus make it more difficult for players who try out the newer first, enjoy the older later.

 

If you are so willing, you may even try out playing the games in a reverse order; many of the games are stand-alones and do not require you to have played the predecessors, although playing the games from first to last may help you in understanding the game-series' universes better.

 

I'm a bit tired at the time of writing this and thus my answer may have been a bit incoherent or rambly (or at least so it seems to my fatigued mind) and thus I'll throw in a shortened finale: I don't think that playing Avadon first will make it unbearably difficult to play the older games, because the soul remains unchanged throughout the production line. It may be a bit difficult to adjust to the oldest games because of the lack of aforementioned smoothness and polish one may have accustomed to in the newer games, but as I said before, one may skip some of the oldest games* and play the sequels and return to the skipped ones later if one is so inclined.

 

*In the Avernum's case, you might even go for the Remakes (1: Escape from the Pit and 2: Crystal Souls) since they are essentially the same games with minor discrepancies in lore in comparison to the originals; but the interfaces and graphics are newer, on par with Avadon. The third one is smooth enough to feel like the newest games but with old graphics, with the same going for Blades of Avernum, comprising of smaller scenarios set in the Avernum-universe.

 

EDIT: How typical of me... My shortened answer winds up being even longer than the original text. Silly me.

 

:)

 

--- but effective; I don't believe there will be a problem. I'm not sure if the GOG package deal are the originals or the remakes with Avernum (I didn't know there were remakes when I bought them); only that there are six of them I believe.

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Edgwyn   

Exile 1-3 are the original originals. Avernum 1-6 are the remakes (Avernum 1-3 remakes Exile 1-3, Avernum 4-6 is new material). A:EFTP is the re-remake of Exile 1, A:CS is the re-remake of Exile 2 and A:RW will be the re-remake of Exile 3 in 2-3 years. Your package is probably Avernum 1-6, so you could buy and play A:EFTP, A:CS and then play Avernum 3-6 if you wanted to maximize your time with a newer game engine, or you could get the same story and just play Avernum 1-6.

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Pkdragon   

Given that all these games have sidequests, the big difference to me is restrictions on going where you want. Avadon *very* strictly limits what areas you can go to: each new main quest results in 1 or 2 new areas to visit. There are a few other SW games that are geographically restrictive (2nd Avernum trilogy, G3, G4) but none of those are even remotely as restrictive.

 

It isn't just a question of size with Geneforge -- G1, G2, and G5 let you go in whatever direction you want quite early. G3 and G4 have islands or provinces, but it's still a question of gaining access to 5-20 new areas at once, ~4 times during the game, as opposed to gaining access to 1 new area at once, 20 times during the game.

 

Yeah, this is very true. I'm currently playing through Avadon 1 for the first time, and the last stretch is really killing me for that reason. The first time going to a region was great, similar to Geneforge, because ~3-4 areas opened up more or less at the same time (well, other than the fact that even then you have to proceed linearly through the maps to unlock them all, but still). Each return trip though has gotten very formulaic- 1 new world region then 1 connected dungeon- oh and I'd better hit up the same sidequest NPCs to do the current batch of sidequests while they are relevant. The Kva is especially bad, because the plot itself is copied and pasted 3 times to match the regions (including the side quests!). Combined with the fact that I've more or less unlocked all the skills I want in my builds, it's turned the progression of the last third of the game into a bit of a slog. I'm still enjoying it, but not as much as the Geneforce games, and a lot of that is because of the linearity.

 

As I've only played Geneforge 1 and 2 and a bit of 3 before this, I'm glad to hear that Avadon is the exception to the rule, because I loved how open the first two Geneforge games were.

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