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Hello everyone. I played Exile 3 and Avernum 3 way back when, where there was a day counter indicating how much time had passed since you started playing, which determined how badly cities became damaged by the plagues and other things. Apparently A3: Ruined World has a world where things change, but what determines what happens? Is there an internal clock that measures how many turns have passed in-game that then determines how damaged cities become? I don't want to be hardcore min-maxing by waiting for townspeople and whatnot to move away from items so that I can steal them only to find that the benefits are outweighed by cities becoming destroyed and NPCs dying like they did in the past two versions. Thanks.

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The clock still keeps ticking in the game, but waiting for people to die and move away isn't the best way to make money.  Lots of places have the items destroyed when that happens or aren't worth that much in money to make it practical. Plus some things depend upon what date you complete plague quests rather than the current date.

 

You are better off doing Job Board Delivery quests for money with the better ones paying 510 to 1600 coins in Sharamik, Lorelei, and Spineridge.

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Ahh, I meant to say that I didn't want people to die so that I could take their stuff, rather, that I didn't want to be spacebar-mashing in an effort to get NPCs to move out of the line of sight to steal things. I just looked at the world map and saw a day counter, though, so I answered my own question. That said, just how strict is the counter? Can you do all the sidequests without worrying about towns becoming decimated in the meantime? Thanks.

Edited by Superteeth

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You can do everything, but at the start you will take longer going back to town to regain spell energy.

 

It really takes a lot of effort not to finish in under 180 days.

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As long as you're moving the main story line forward on a reasonably consistent basis you should be fine.  Spending a few days here & there for side quests/good job board opportunities shoudn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  Mashing the space bar for half a game day in order to pick up a 50 gp sword probably isn't a good use of your time though (maybe for a hunk of mandrake or a wisdom crystal..... maybe).

 

Important NPCs do move to other towns if their original town does get destroyed/damaged though (as I discovered much to my surprise amusement when I went rolling into one town to talk to the mayor again & found a horde of troglos instead...).

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I grepped the scripts and found the following references to stuff being destroyed at certain day counts.  Based on the calls, it looks like these are also prevented by ending the corresponding plagues.  Note, there may very well be other changes that are hardcoded in.

 

Also, I have no idea if the terrain wreckage also means NPCs are removed, or items or containers are destroyed.  And frankly, I don't intend to find out :p

 

 

Wrecked terrain in
Delan (38, 60, 65, 70)
Silvar (40, 57, 60, 66, 70)
Bolton (40, 60, 75, 85, 95)
Inn of Blades (100)

 

Port Townsend (75, 85, 95, 105)
Bavner (75)

 

Hectar (70, 85)
Gidrik (75, 100, 120, 135, 160, 180)
Angel's Rest (80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 170, 180)
Kuper (90, 105)
Softport (100, 120, 190)
Dellston (110)
Bengaro (110, 120, 125, 130)
Poulsbo (120, 150)
Malloc (170)
Bremerton (200, 220)

 

Mernia (150, 180)

 

Removed object in
Spineridge (250)

 

 

Additionally, I looked up PC race references.  I can only see one non-dialogue impact, which is cheaper training for Nephils in a single location.  Again, there may be other encounter impact that is hardcoded.

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Hmm, it looks like it takes quite a bit of negligence on the part of the player to see a sizeable amount of destruction in the towns. Are there horses in this one, too? I just got the game, so It's all new to me right now.

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Time passes by the number of turns/steps per day (I don't know how many there are but it's pretty generous).  There is no ingame 'clock' per se, consider it a 'counter' & once it reaches 'x' a new day dawns (& another 25gp is available from Levy if you happen to be in the area).  Time progresses at the same rate if you're in a town/dungeon or outside strolling around.

 

I don't know how combat counts towards the 'day count' but I think that the whole fight is just one 'day turn' (as opposed to each round in combat counting as a 'day turn')

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I quickly experimented. It's as you say--it seems to pass by # of turns or steps. However, I think traveling on the overworld uses up much more time than towns. Currently, I can exit on the overworld and run around to trigger a new day in a few steps, whereas I can explore a whole town before that happens.

17 hours ago, Ghosts out of my sight said:

Wrecked terrain in

Delan (38, 60, 65, 70)
Silvar (40, 57, 60, 66, 70)
Bolton (40, 60, 75, 85, 95)
Inn of Blades (100)

 

Port Townsend (75, 85, 95, 105)
Bavner (75)

 

Hectar (70, 85)
Gidrik (75, 100, 120, 135, 160, 180)
Angel's Rest (80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 170, 180)
Kuper (90, 105)
Softport (100, 120, 190)
Dellston (110)
Bengaro (110, 120, 125, 130)
Poulsbo (120, 150)
Malloc (170)
Bremerton (200, 220)

 

Mernia (150, 180)

 

Removed object in
Spineridge (250)

Also, are these the confirmed full list? For example, Krizsan and Shayder had effects too in the originals. I wonder whether I'm on track or not before the first wreckage, since I'm on about day 4 and just hit Ghikra

 

Going to heal between dungeons is really costly on time

Edited by Brood_Star

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I personally never liked the day-based destruction mechanic in Exile 3 and Avernum 3. It's fine for people who are into that, but I like taking my time and exploring 100% of the game's content by slowly crawling my way up Valorim, without having to worry about missing content. Every time I played Avernum 3, I would frequently reset the day counter back to 0 so I had more time, and would only jump it ahead to day 160 once I'd done most of the major quests and was ready to do the tower of the magi event.

 

Is there any way to reset this counter using the editor? If not, when you got that list of data, were all those in a single script or spread throughout dozens of scripts? I suppose I could always just find those entries in my files and add a few 0's onto the end of the numbers

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29 minutes ago, Brood_Star said:

Also, are these the confirmed full list? For example, Krizsan and Shayder had effects too in the originals.

 

As I said in the post you just quoted:

 

17 hours ago, Ghosts out of my sight said:

Note, there may very well be other changes that are hardcoded in.

 

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Just registered with the forum to comment on this.  I've followed Spiderweb since Exile 3 came out, was blown away by that game, but somehow this release slipped past me.  I have to say one of the things that really got me was when I realized the cities were degrading around me as time passed.  I didn't notice it occurring really until some time into the game, I had trouble with the golem area so I steered clear of it for some time just having fun exploring things and making quick trips through that country.  I still remember the first time I ducked into the Inn of Blades to rest from some difficult encounters only to find it completely overrun with golems.  So cool.

 

First thing when I saw A3 pop up on GOG was look for this post and, very glad to hear that mechanic was continued.  I don't think of it as losing content, but really introducing a lot of new content as things change when time passes.

 

One way I enjoyed playing Exile was to let a ton of time pass right at the start so the cities are really damaged when you first encounter them.  Another favorite was to create a party of 6 clerics and go as quickly as possible to joining the Anama (spelling?)  It was possible to get some seriously powerful spell bombs very early in the game, although probably not the most interesting way to play from a variety perspective.  I also loved that you could attack the cities yourselves, joining the Anama and then brutally wiping them out was always fun (although the cities would eventually reset themselves if you left for a while and the NPCs would come back to life).

 

I still have Exile 3 running on my windows 10 PC..   I don't think it's possible to easily do this, the trick is to get a legit copy of Windows 98 and run it in a VMware virtual PC.  Not an easy solution. 

 

Cheers to Spiderweb, so excited to play this game!

Edited by virtualperson

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One reason I find the degrading cities is so interesting goes back to the first RPG I played, Dragon Warrior/Quest 1 for NES.  You encounter like 5 or so cities, then you come upon a new one in the middle of a desert and walk into it expecting to find a safe and bustling city, only to find a ruined dungeon.  I always wished I could have seen that city before it was destroyed. 

Edited by virtualperson

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Yeah, I really liked the ability to reverse/halt the passage of time in the old Avernum 3 editor; playing on Torment is hard enough without the added challenge of trying to balance other quests and experience gain with beating the degradation timers. Artificially disabling it makes it more like playing Avernum 1 & 2, I guess? Anyway, I'm still trying to locate the step counter pointer(s) thingy using Cheat Engine, but I'm not great at that sort of thing.

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For cheatengine:

I had good luck with choosing 2 byte value (if its larger it doesn't matter) 'unknown initial value'. Take X steps, search for 'increased value by', rinse and repeat. I found '3'.

Two are the same, one is about 8700 steps further than the (2) that are the same. Make sure and freeze at day time ;-) or its constantly dark. No clue what this does to your game.

Fairly certain it works, held down the spacebar while watching an hour of tv. I didn't save the game, was just testing. I've found pretty much everything so far with CE, no problem.

Also make sure to count your steps using arrow keys not mouse, so you get a proper count while using CE initially to find timers.

 

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50 minutes ago, unixtroglodyte said:

For cheatengine:

I had good luck with choosing 2 byte value (if its larger it doesn't matter) 'unknown initial value'. Take X steps, search for 'increased value by', rinse and repeat. I found '3'.

Two are the same, one is about 8700 steps further than the (2) that are the same. Make sure and freeze at day time ;-) or its constantly dark. No clue what this does to your game.

Fairly certain it works, held down the spacebar while watching an hour of tv. I didn't save the game, was just testing. I've found pretty much everything so far with CE, no problem.

Also make sure to count your steps using arrow keys not mouse, so you get a proper count while using CE initially to find timers.

 

 

BTW, went back and retested, its a 4-byte value or you can't go previous of day 27, i just set mine to (1) step and it does indeed go back to 'Day 1'

 

EDIT: Apparently you only need to reset the (2) that are the same. Mine are actually about (1) step away from each other.

 

EDIT: Nope just the one that is (1) step ahead.

Edited by unixtroglodyte

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Anyone have any luck replicating this? I've not been able to make it work.  Normally not one to edit stuff like this, but I'm also a slow explorer. That's one of my fave things about this series of games, and I'm not enamored of the "ticking clock" aspect. Just curious if this worked for anyone else. Cheers, all!

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Just noticed the new cheats thread. I suppose an ancillary question might be if the 'calmthetower' cheat, which resets the timer for a certain event, also has the effect of resetting the town destruction timers. Just curious, as that would functionally solve my issue (and not even a real issue, I just need to know whether i need to modify my expectations or not.) Thanks again, all!

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Alright, I've puzzled it out. Took a bit, but I'm getting old. :) Thanks much, Unix, you were a great help.

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Can confirm that the scripted list above is not complete; I observed some of Kriszan's walls changed from normal to barrier sometime around day 10. 

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Having played through most of the game fairly inefficiently and without making any sort of special allocation for time, I'm at day 70 with all but the golems completed, and I've found that most of the destruction isn't all that bad. I didn't prioritize ending the plagues over other quests, but even still, I never "lost" a single town. Actually, seeing them get more and more beaten up over time is kind of interesting.

 

This isn't really as bad as I thought it would be. I probably won't overly stress about the date in future playthroughs, it seems well balanced enough to just be an interesting bit of added flavor without compromising overall enjoyment of the game.

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7 hours ago, mlahut said:

Can confirm that the scripted list above is not complete; I observed some of Kriszan's walls changed from normal to barrier sometime around day 10. 

That's a shame. Mostly just because of missing knowledge more than a gripe about the system itself.

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From Slarty's and my own research in the scripts, although the day triggers relating to town damage aren't visible anywhere in the scripts for some towns (Krizsan, Delis, Shayder, Sharimik, Aminro, Lorelei, Gale, and Greendale), it looks like Jeff didn't make any changes to the town destruction schedule compared to the original A3. So, the info in my old A3 topic here should still apply.

Edited by mikeprichard

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Did anyone figure out how to change the day by editing a save file ? I was hoping that this could work, provided that by doing so we don’t change “phases”, as they are called in the thread “Avernum 3 - Effects of Passage of Time/Days (Complete Town List)”. I made two saves, the first one is on the last step (I’m outdoors) of day 5, and the second one is exactly one step ahead on the same location, on the first step of day 6. I then tried comparing the two saves with an hex-editing program, and there are not many differences, but I wasn’t able to find where the day could be stored. (I noticed that if there are more steps between the saves, the two files become a lot lot more different even if you don’t move.) I also had a look at the header and it has many changes even with a single step… I don’t know what the header is for, except that at its beginning you can read the save name and location where you saved, but I thought that it might contain a checksum, which could explain why it changes so much.

 

Otherwise, I will try the Cheat Engine thing, but I was worried that it wouldn’t be safe with Steam. I think I’ll install the DRM-free version of Avernum 3 instead

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There is supposed to be a cheat code, shift-D and then enter “day [number], for example day 200 to see the world at 200th day.

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Jeff had it in beta testing and sometimes he leaves them in the final game as unmentioned cheat codes.

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One undocumented code I’ve found is location. It displays your coordinates in the text area.

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I was dumb to try to look directly for the day in the save file, obviously. As unixtroglodyte already mentioned, there are several addresses that store things related to steps and time. It was the first time I used Cheat Engine, but here’s what I have found (using version 1.0.3 of the game downloaded from Humble Bundle) :

 

Addresses and descriptions (I believe the addresses could change depending on the OS or other things, for me, they haven’t changed so far when I close the game and run it again ?)

 

[1] 00F180BC : step counter, increases by 1 for each move, wait and beginning of fight round. However, it seems that (approximately ?) every 250 steps, it increases by 7 instead of one. For example, if [1] == 249 and you move one step, then [1] = 256 (but [2] = 250, see below). But later on, it doesn’t seem so regular.

 

[2] 00F1A190 : another step/wait/round counter, but unlike [1], it always increases by 1 and furthermore, it is reset every 10'000 steps.

 

[3] 00F1A194 : This is the actual time counter that also depends on which kind of steps have been made. I haven’t checked every possible action (I’m still at the beginning of the game), but it increases by 1 for each step indoors, by 10 for each step outdoors, by 16 when exiting a city. It is also incremented by 1 at the start of every round in combat. Talking to people does not take time. A new day starts when this counter has increased by 5000. So, day N starts at 5000 * (N - 1).

 

[4] 00C8296C : it seems that as soon as you enter an indoor area, the value of [3] is copied at this address, and its value is always 1 behind that of [3]. However, the value of [4] stops changing as soon as you exit the city or dungeon.

---

I currently have no idea what could be the purpose of [2]. Does anyone have an idea?

 

[1], [2] and [3] are stored in the "data" file of a save ; [4] isn’t and therefore doesn’t immediately change when loading another save, it’s only a temporary variable I guess.

 

In the "data" file, [1] is at 0x24DC ; [2] and [3] are stored next to each other at offsets 0x45B0 and 0x45B4. My testing has been limited so far, but those seem to be fixed positions that do not change between saves.

 

The “calmthetower” code does not change these variables, so the counter for The Tower of Magi must be somewhere else and I have not yet looked into it.

---

Limited testing again, but when you change the counter to go back to a previous day, it will change back the state of the cities too, at least it did for Krizsan ; however, because Jeff told in the above-linked post that adding a day cheat would have been a hassle since he’d have to figure out a way to unkill characters that were killed, this should only be a partial change to a previous state ; that’s why I think it’s best to stay in the same phase.

Edited by Zkal
updated and corrected information

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