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Chessrook44

Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

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Welp, I'm not exactly sure when the bad ending for the diplomacy route is triggered. But if you're already there at the end of this episode, you kind of have nobody to blame but you. Let's explore a bit before going back to Passton indeed. 

 

Incidentally, the BoA community was pretty much dead when Quarhag Pass was released, so I never got that much feedback for it. But one of the recurring comments was that it was unclear how to get the best ending if you choose diplomacy. I'm not sure if I ever spelled it out, so hear goes. Passton has no gate. Passton has only about a dozen, ill-equipped defenders with poor morale. The ogres swarm into Passton after diplomacy fails. You are supposed to go back to Passton immediately after you crawl out of the tunnels Angerfist drops you into.

 

Also, after you completed Outpost Valley you commented how it was clearly shorter than Rats Aplenty. Well, I did say RA was one of my shorter ones, not the shortest. Although now that I think about it, in terms of play time, RA is actually right in the middle out of my scenarios.

 

Another also, I probably didn't account for the player killing Angerfist before releasing Chainhound from captivity. I hope Graybeard doesn't mention Chainhound if you haven't met the latter. This almost makes me want to come out of retirement to tweak my scenarios a bit, maybe fix some of the bugs and typos you've uncovered. Almost.

Edited by Smoo

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Your reaction to finding Passton destroyed is pretty much the intended player reaction I was hoping to get if they choose to rush to the ogre village. So, yay! Designer fulfillment comes many years after the release of the scenario!

 

In case it isn't obvious already, I like branching paths and alternative methods of getting things done in my rpgs. This is why in Rats Aplenty you can also talk Attorosi down and there are, if I remember correctly, four or five different ways you can do the loot the manor quest. In Outpost Valley the are actually three different ways to escape from the prison and you can take the captain with you if you like getting stabbed in the back. Quarhag Pass has four different endings and, unfortunately, you are/were on the worst path. This path (barring bugs) won't even let you know the Witch's backstory.

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Ah, Backwater Calls. I think I called it terrible earlier and while I certainly don't care much for it, the scenario did have its fans.

 

The thing is that out of all my stuff, BC somehow manages to be worse than I remembered every time I play it. I replayed it a few months ago and was shocked at how poorly I'd connected the various plot threads together and how many of the characters were a lot weaker than I recalled.

 

In my defense, I was seventeen when I made BC and was only trying to learn how the scenario editor and scripting worked when I was making it. I made Magus of Cattalon for the same level range precisely because it was supposed to replace BC and make it obsolete.

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Bearworth teaching you Magery, is a bit buggy still, it would seem, but Draco probably got a level of Magery despite all the dialog options showing there.

 

Regarding Kenny, the heavily armored soldier guarding the mayor's office. He is supposed to be the same character from A Small Rebellion. Yes, the one that got killed. But since he was obviously a South Park reference, I thought it would be funny to make the reference even more obvious, while also referencing the fact that he showed up in ASR. That is, if you had managed to talk to him before he was killed you would have seen the reference.

 

Incidentally, many of the dumb jokes I could not fit in Backwater Calls or Magus of Cattalon were eventually put in Rats Aplenty. 

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You know, the way BC checks if you have slith or nephil in party is actually a lot better than I remembered. When I replayed the scenario I had an all human party. I will now make a bold claim that Backwater Calls has the best use of the call species_in_party() or whatever it was called out of all BoA scenarios. I am confident that nobody will challenge this claim. 

 

Also, Slith spears are one handed. Pikes are two handed. That's the difference.

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22 hours ago, Smoo said:

Also, Slith spears are one handed. Pikes are two handed. That's the difference.

Wait what?  WHAT?!  HOW LONG HAS THAT BEEN TRUE?!  Is that... is that JUST your scenarios or ALL scenarios?  How did I miss...?

 

The slith in these mines are causing problems for Sattle.  Obviously we need to kill them.

 

https://youtu.be/NG5oKu-hMPc

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58 minutes ago, Chessrook44 said:

Wait what?  WHAT?!  HOW LONG HAS THAT BEEN TRUE?!  Is that... is that JUST your scenarios or ALL scenarios?  How did I miss...?

 

This is true for at least all BoA scenarios if not all of the older Avernum games. Funnily enough, I didn't know this either for the longest time. I certainly didn't know it when designing BC.

 

I remember playing another scenario with a party that had Manslaughter and suddenly realizing that it was a one-handed weapon. 

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If I recall correctly, spears and slith spears were both two-handed weapons in the original Exile trilogy, but in Avernum they became one-handed weapons (and added pikes as a two-handed spear). I'm pretty sure that was the case even in the original Avernum trilogy, though it's been ages since I actually played them so I can't be certain.

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Well, that's a bit funny. The correct sequence for the levers in the rebel cave is rock-paper-scissors-rock. The fourth lever resets the sequence, since basically the player can jam the whole thing if they just flip random levers and the sequence does not reset automatically when exiting the cave. 

 

You, my friend, managed to first flip three random levers in the correct order then on your second entry, on accident, pulled the final correct lever. 

 

I was not surprised that what followed was buggy, but at least I'd somewhat anticipated that happening. Hopefully, the guys you just killed didn't show up to help you later on, but I'm guessing they did.

Edited by Smoo

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As the designer, I've seen a lot of bugs in these last few episodes. For example, Marnok, the Mung Demon from the Iron Mines was supposed to ambush you in the Small Pond, but I figured he wouldn't since you got two of his "death" messages in the mines already. Tsk tsk tsk. Bad form on the designer's part.

 

Also, that whole bit of Ossso being statuesque while dying is probably the worst piece of exposition out of all the scenarios. I'll just go ahead and award myself that accolade as well.

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I think a high level of Curing clears webbing. Also, waiting does clean webbing in combat too but I think it's only about half as effective. 

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1 hour ago, Smoo said:

I think a high level of Curing clears webbing. Also, waiting does clean webbing in combat too but I think it's only about half as effective. 

I didn't think this was right, so I tested it. Curing does not clear the Webbed status. As far as I can tell, nothing but defending in combat or waiting outside of combat reduces Webbed levels.

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2 hours ago, Kelandon said:

I didn't think this was right, so I tested it. Curing does not clear the Webbed status. As far as I can tell, nothing but defending in combat or waiting outside of combat reduces Webbed levels.

 

Right. It wasn't Curing, but since I remembered that there was something that removed Webbed status, had to go and check. Divine Restoration removes it.

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Well. I'm glad that you enjoyed Backwater Calls. Like I mentioned earlier, the scenario does have its fans and the reviews for it were actually generally positive. It is what it is. I just have this memory in my head of what it was supposed to be and what's there, is not exactly it.

 

On that note, if Backwater Calls is my least favorite scenario (out of my own stuff) then Magus of Cattalon is probably my favorite.

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21 hours ago, Smoo said:

 

Right. It wasn't Curing, but since I remembered that there was something that removed Webbed status, had to go and check. Divine Restoration removes it.

Ah, there we go. Divine Restoration removes all negative effects, according to the documentation. It occurs to me that I've never actually verified which ones these are — most are obvious, but you never know with BoA.

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Just thought I'd dust off my account and say that it's really neat that you're doing an LP of all the player-made BoA scenarios. I never thought I would see the day where videos of Spiderweb Software games were actually made, yet here your staggeringly large playlists are. No clue how far you are down the list, but I still wish you luck with the rest of the scenarios that await you.

 

Who knows? The nostalgia your LP is giving me might inspire me enough to give scenario-making another go.

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Interesting theory about the children and the golem. Now if it was Polonius's right hand man who was in charge then I could retroactively say that, yes, that is exactly what the magi were doing. 

 

However, since the more common criticism of the scenario was that the player never really finds out what the deal with the magi and their ritual is, I must reluctantly say that nope, that wasn't it. I'll get back to the ritual once your LP gets to Polonius.

 

Shame about the day/night cycle bugging out on you. Obviously the coding couldn't handle the game skipping past the point of sunrise. I am actually surprised that this is the first time I heard about this bug. I mean, that's the whole point of sleeping at an inn so that you don't have to wait. Gah!

 

Edit: So, I entered the scenario myself and resting at the inn in Beohram's Keep worked fine for me. The shops closed and opened as intended depending on the time of day. What version of Magus of Cattalon do you have? For that matter, what version of Blades of Avernum do you have?

Edited by Smoo

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23 hours ago, Smoo said:

Edit: So, I entered the scenario myself and resting at the inn in Beohram's Keep worked fine for me. The shops closed and opened as intended depending on the time of day. What version of Magus of Cattalon do you have? For that matter, what version of Blades of Avernum do you have?

Probably the most recent ones.  At the very least the Mages version is from the Scenario Database, and the BoA version is maybe a year old.

 

Good thing the Mage's Tower is easy to get into.  But I wonder if we'll find answers within...

 

https://youtu.be/G3sKLWF_9m0

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Chessrook44 has been rather evasive when it comes to debugging questions, but I was able to verify that deduct_ap() doesn't work on his version of BoA but does on everyone else's. I'm not surprised that something else is screwed up.

 

I tried to track down what is broken in MoC, but I wasn't immediately able to figure it out. I see sleeping in the inn. I see the START_STATE in the scenario script, which tracks the day and time of day. But is sleeping in the inn supposed to move time forward?

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Summed up, the version of BoA I have is from a Humble Bundle that came out a while ago.  Seeing as it wasn't THAT long ago I doubt that there was any updates since then, so consider it the "most recent version" to my knowledge.  Hence why I don't get into it any deeper.

 

Onwards we go to the upper level of the tower.  We're getting closer to completing our mission here...

 

https://youtu.be/JIhtJTOy0II

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On 12/29/2017 at 5:24 PM, Kelandon said:

I tried to track down what is broken in MoC, but I wasn't immediately able to figure it out. I see sleeping in the inn. I see the START_STATE in the scenario script, which tracks the day and time of day. But is sleeping in the inn supposed to move time forward?

 

MoC uses the "INN" dialog action which appears to advance the time forward 800 ticks. I can't see anything wrong with the script, so the bug Chessrook encountered must have something to do with the version of BoA he has (Humble Bundle games aren't pre-patched, are they?), or just one of those fabulous Windows things where different versions of Windows break the game in new and amazing ways.  I am fairly certain that the version of MoC in the scenario database is the same I have, although I am almost positive that I have fixed a bunch of typos and possibly a minor bug or two in my own version.

 

Regarding the Wand of Teleportation, the marker is cleared once the player leaves town, so the wand is considerably less useful than you originally thought, Chessrook. The wand was added to the scenario after a comment from a beta tester that the Empire should give the player more toys to play with. Had it been in the scenario from the early planning stages, I would have probably made it more integral to the puzzles or town design. The Empire also initially gave the player a sword that blessed and shielded its wielder, but this made the already easy combat ludicrously easy so I removed it from the scenario. The code for it is still in the scenario script, though.

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42 minutes ago, Smoo said:

MoC uses the "INN" dialog action which appears to advance the time forward 800 ticks.

Oh, huh, I think I remember that now. Is this effect of the INN action documented somewhere? I can't find it in the docs.

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I couldn't find anything about the INN action advancing time in the documentation either, so I just added "print_num(get_current_tick()) into the scenario script's START_STATE and went to the inn to sleep. Sleeping advanced the time forward 800 ticks.

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