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Jeff's Blog post explaining game changes


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The only thing I really don't like here is the unlimited retraining. I like role-playing. If I can just change things around whenever I want, then the characters aren't characters, they're, I don't know, mechs. This is easily overcome though, by just not retraining and playing on casual. And as Jeff noted I will be happier with the release of more games with character classes and ability scores. 

Edited by madrigan
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This is the single change that makes people the most angry. You get experience with victories. Completing quests, defeating dungeons, these are what give experience.

Sneaking into a dungeon, killing two wolves, and running out doesn't reward you.

My favourite change so far. I like this idea; it makes the game more interesting in my opinion.

 

I miss the ability to set camp in the wilderness like in Avernum though... :(

 

I don't have an account at Google's (and I don't want to have one), so I'm unable to comment under Jeff's blogs. I don't like the feeling.

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:56 AM, Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas said:

Bah! Humbug! What if I like collecting unsellable trowels?

 

This, but unironically. I never collected a lot of junk, except in early game where those 3gp papers helped fund my broke ass adventuring team, but seeing the junk pop up alongside the good stuff did make the game feel more realistic. Seeing a bunch of junk on the ground that I can't interact with at all makes the game feel flat at times. 

 

21 hours ago, madrigan said:

The only thing I really don't like here is the unlimited retraining. I like role-playing. If I can just change things around whenever I want, then the characters aren't characters, they're, I don't know, mechs. This is easily overcome though, by just not retraining and playing on casual. And as Jeff noted I will be happier with the release of more games with character classes and ability scores. 

 

I feel like the unlimited retraining is obviated by the ability to build and recruit infinite new characters to your team. I think this game could have been well served by the team building system in Dragon's Dogma: You get your character and one other character you can build and loosely retrain, and the other two you can recruit from a group of semi randomly generated characters of the appropriate level. You can't retrain the latter, so you if you want someone with a new/different skill set, you need to recruit someone new and hope you find someone appropriate.

 

One thing not mentioned that I really like is the potion system. QW moved to a Darksouls type system where you had a set number of potions (which could be increased through exploration + building apothecaries) that refilled whenever you went back to a fort. Except QW takes it one step further and lets you improve and modify the potions to have stronger or different effects.

 

Do we get experience for fight encounters in the over world? I like the new experience system on net, but not getting experience from killing enemies makes over world fights feel purely punishing to me as the player. It's not even a resource tax in the way that non boss enemies in a dungeon are, since you can immediately run back to a fort and heal up. I mostly just save scum like mad and whenever I have an overworld encounter I reload and do my best to avoid it the 2nd time. 

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16 minutes ago, Grimm said:

Do we get experience for fight encounters in the over world? I like the new experience system on net, but not getting experience from killing enemies makes over world fights feel purely punishing to me as the player. It's not even a resource tax in the way that non boss enemies in a dungeon are, since you can immediately run back to a fort and heal up. I mostly just save scum like mad and whenever I have an overworld encounter I reload and do my best to avoid it the 2nd time. 

 

Fighting wandering monsters outdoors gives no experience. Some do have loot that you collect when the fights are over. Human encounters are most likely to have money. Killing off bandits in Haven Lands lowers theft chances and some monsters in other lands does the same. So they aren't a complete waste.

 

In the Vol there are a few groups of escaping Owens being chased by Maschas where you can pick a side or avoid to change your local reputation.

 

I usually avoid those monsters unless I already know from a previous game that they give money.

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I do like most of the changes.  And I can understand the reasoning for all of them.

 

No exp for killing things is going to be a big adjustment though.  It's very different from the vast majority of RPGs out there (and the others that do it tend to allow purely stealth or diplomatic approaches to finish quests) which could be an issue for new customers.  I worry a bit because some past Spiderweb games have sometimes spiked in difficulty if one chose poorly during character setup and sometimes killing things for exp was a way to compensate but that should hopefully not be a big deal if the words on balance are true.

 

Dungeons in one go I understand but I have some fond memories of taking newbie parties into the Slime Pit in Exile 3 and often needing multiple trips so I measured success by seeing if I could blow up one of the slime pools before needing to retreat.  I also generally like the picture of a small group of adventures winning against a static defense by doing raids that hit critical targets even if they can't always plow through everything at once.  But this goes back to the idea of having objectives be the focal point.  Killing two wolves and retreating may not make a dent in a bandit fort but killing the animal tamer and their assistants and retreating could.  And you get a little dopamine hit even if you can't manage the big one.

 

Not finding the best loot in dungeons will also be a change.  I liked seeing the various bonuses items had and thinking about whether they were worth swapping out my existing bonuses.  But on the other hand not feeling like actually buying things in stores is a trap is a huge thing (admittedly it was less of a trap in the games with random encounters that could drop money).

 

I love the other changes though.  Easy respecs is a big thing for a lot of players who don't naturally figure out worthwhile builds despite years of gaming experience and for just generally being able to try a different approach when one hits a wall.  Fewer but recharging consumables cuts down on the "But I might need it later!" mentality that turns so many RPG players into a future subject of reality shows about hoarders.  No more junk items gets rid of the fiddly start of new games where I became an obsessive kleptomaniac to fund my adventures by stealing every bit of incense, paper, metal bars, etc from people I'm supposedly helping out.  And I'm less likely to miss doing that now that I don't have to save up money to buy skill boosts from trainers so that I don't waste an opportunity to strengthen my characters by sinking points or coming across a book or whatever that boosts a skill in a dungeon before I bought training for two ranks in a skill first.  That one's driven me nuts for a long time now.

 

I've played Spiderweb's games from back when Exile 1 was new but a lot of those fiddly things had become a turnoff for me over the years to the point where I often had to have caveats when I recommended games to others and there's a lot more competition amongst games at these price points now and in the indie RPG sphere.  I look forward to seeing how some of these changes shake out.

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14 minutes ago, Steel Angel said:

...now that I don't have to save up money to buy skill boosts from trainers so that I don't waste an opportunity to strengthen my characters by sinking points or coming across a book or whatever that boosts a skill in a dungeon before I bought training for two ranks in a skill first.

 

This is a very, very good point that hasn't come up.  Even in recent SW games where the timing was less of an issue, knowing that it was counterproductive to spend money on anything other than training was a little silly.  Terrific change.

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1 hour ago, Steel Angel said:

Dungeons in one go I understand but I have some fond memories of taking newbie parties into the Slime Pit in Exile 3 and often needing multiple trips so I measured success by seeing if I could blow up one of the slime pools before needing to retreat.  I also generally like the picture of a small group of adventures winning against a static defense by doing raids that hit critical targets even if they can't always plow through everything at once.  But this goes back to the idea of having objectives be the focal point.  Killing two wolves and retreating may not make a dent in a bandit fort but killing the animal tamer and their assistants and retreating could.  And you get a little dopamine hit even if you can't manage the big one.

 


I'm in the same place with this change. Jeff made a conscious decision to force infinite respawns in dungeons until the big bad is killed in order to focus on the achievement of "clearing" the area, but doing so does ruin a bit of the fun of prior titles where you could sneak in even with a lower level party and gradually whittle down the enemy defenses. I understand the reasoning, but I'm still on the fence about this from a pure "fun" as well as immersion standpoint (even if one would argue the whole base should be alerted by your sneakery, it's also hard to get behind the notion that those wolves keep instantly cloning themselves whenever you leave and reenter the area, but then disappear and never return after the guy in the back of the cave is bopped). But I also appreciate some of the other "streamlining" changes (free skill respec, not needing to micromanage training points/costs, no messing around with tons of "junk" loot).

Edited by mikeprichard
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I support Jeff's changes. Back in 2000 i loved picking up all the junk, killing every mob and maxing my build. Now I much more appreciate the challenge of having to finish the dungeon in one go, i stopped collecting trash a long time ago, and even if the respec is immersion-breaking it is better than having to restore an old game 5 levels ago because I specced 'wrong'. (Actually, i was a bit upset that i started with the 'wrong' skills and was very happy to find i could change them). Avoiding the respec is easy.

 

but of course Jeff could make an 'ironman' difficulty with no save-scumming and no respec

Edited by randomwalker
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Lots of really interesting changes that prove that despite all the complaining of how old and finished he is, there is still a sharp, designer mind in Jeff's skull and he is not afraid to start from scratch. Coy bastard.

 

Dungeons in one run

I like it, and while I also miss the gradual chipping at Massive Dungeons of Murder, I would like to point out that it isn't completely gone. The optional chests (often guarded by special/powerful enemies) often lie outside of the main routes. They can be cleared one by one in separate runs, while the last run goes straight for the boss via the least dangerous route.

 

Respec at will

Like others, I also prefer meaningful characters. But Jeff's games don't really have these and he doesn't really make special character-bound mechanics - even in Avadon characters mechanically were all essentially the same as default classes. Furthermore, QW:tC follows the Avernum path, where supporting characters are just toons to be optimized and minmaxed. In this context, I prefer to have the freedom to experiment and mix things around, instead of investing in bad skills, cheating to respec and religiously follow spoiler-y hyper-optimised guides - things that were par the course for me in previous games. In a way, the addition of cultural skills provids much more variety than ever before.

 

Junk items

I absolutely love it when I notice some legacy equipment lying around and realise that I don't have to lug it anymore.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mouton said:

Dungeons in one run

I like it, and while I also miss the gradual chipping at Massive Dungeons of Murder, I would like to point out that it isn't completely gone. The optional chests (often guarded by special/powerful enemies) often lie outside of the main routes. They can be cleared one by one in separate runs, while the last run goes straight for the boss via the least dangerous route.


Excellent point - this is exactly my plan for such cases.

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I love this game. I have not been as amazed and excited by a Spiderweb game since Nethergate.  I love pretty much all the changes (though it being more explicit that killing things didn't give XP would have been good). It encourages realistic behaviour - you fight things when you have to, not for the giggles. I hear getting stabbed hurts - it makes sense that your character tries to avoid it. 

 

I love remapping the skill trees.  It would be good if there were more of a way to customize characters so they had some unique aspects.  At the same time, it gives me the ability to experiment and to adjust to what's going on, which makes just as much sense.  Obvious way to make characters more unique would be to let you pick three of the four skill areas that you could use or something like that, and have THAT decision be permanent.  There'd be a reason to keep Havenite characters around then, too. 

 

I cannot gush enough about this game. 

 

Seriously.  I genuinely think I could play this forever.  With a bit more depth I probably would. 

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On 9/16/2019 at 3:59 PM, Steel Angel said:

  Killing two wolves and retreating may not make a dent in a bandit fort but killing the animal tamer and their assistants and retreating could.  And you get a little dopamine hit even if you can't manage the big one.

 

Realistically, if you are raiding a bandit fort they will set extra guards and watch out for you and the tactics you use, so it should be harder next time if you attack them and do minor damage.

 

But the dopamine hit is a player-centric thing.  Most people do like to be 'paid' for their efforts in a game, and modern game designs only encourage this attitude.

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  • 6 months later...

I like a lot of the changes, especially the new experience point system, and the inventory/less junk, but I really, really hate the fort/shop building and resource system. It just feels so tedious to me, and completely takes away from the adventuring. 

This might be the first Spiderweb game I don't finish. 

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  • 5 months later...

Just wanted to say I have followed Spiderweb games for several years, but hadn't played any until Queen's Wish. I started with a demo, I think it was on Steam and liked it so much I got the full game a week later. I am about three weeks into the game now, and absolutely love it. I had imagined the graphics would be plain-ish, from viewing the screen shots on Steam and Gog and what people say, but when playing full screen inside the game, the graphics look very detailed and very crisp and clear and very, very nice! So, I don't understand the 'plain graphics' thing they are saying. I don't think so at all. They are very beautiful and nicely intricate and detailed.

Not plain at all!

Also, the switching over from the world to the larger level maps (is that what they are called?) when coming into an encounter is very nice, (When the graphics get larger and smaller).

And I love the top down view a lot. Or is it top-at-an-angle view? The challenge of the battles, with abilities and positioning is really great. I was getting beat badly, starting out, but then I tried to keep from getting all my people out in view and surrounded. I tried hiding behind doors and walls and rocks or trees, or hit enemies with arrows from a distance, or hit them and then retreat.

And I actually started winning some of the battles that felt very hard at first. I am not the greatest strategist, so obvious things really make me feel I am getting the hang of things.  :)

The leveling from exploring and finishing quests didn't seem different or annoying simply because this is the first Spiderweb game I have played. It felt fine and I like it a lot.

I really, really love this game!

I went out and bought all the other games between Steam and Gog and am just waiting to get Avernum the Complete Collection to get Blades of Avernum, since I already got Avernum Eftp, Crystal Souls and Ruined World (new version) and Av4, Av5 and Av6. (old version) Plus Avadon 1 and 2.

Now just need to get Avadon Warborn and Blades of Avernum and I'm all set.

Oh, forgot to mention I got Geneforge Saga on Gog and Nethergate Resurrection on Steam. I Will have to get the remastered Geneforge next year, and then Queen's Wish 2 hopefully not too long after that.

I have dabbled a little with Avernum and Geneforge and Avadon, wanting to see what they were like. And I like them a lot, but I still think that Queen's Wish is my favorite so far.  :) 

Maybe because it was the first Spiderweb game I got.

Anyway I am very impressed and love the games and just wanted to let you know.

Thanks for an interesting and fun time, looking forward to the Geneforge remaster and the new Queen's Wish when you can get to it.

Sincerely,

Chris

 

 

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Welcome to the forums, please leave your sanity at the door.  The stance that my first spiderweb game was my favorite spiderweb game is not unusual.  I hope that you enjoy the rest of the library as much, or almost as much.

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