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Hey folks,

 

I'm a longtime Spiderweb fan. I've played Avernum 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and now I'm enjoying the remakes greatly. They are a wonderful value for their price, and the new storylines and quests are usually intriguing additions to the lore.

 

Comparing Avernum 3 to its remake, I noticed a couple of things that I thought were better in each version.

 

For the remake:

 

Graphics.

 

The multiple job boards, for both the courier quests that were in the original and the side quests, are wonderful.

 

Those new character portraits for important NPCS.

 

Spells that don't require individual targeting like the old Ice Lances.

 

Additional enemies, like the slimes have more variety.

 

Tougher bosses with special abilities.

 

All of these streamlined the game and made the game fun to experience, not only for its content, but for how it compared to the Avernum 3.

 

However, there was something I found myself missing from the original:

 

Character customization. This was the biggest thing I found missing in all of the remakes. I don't mean the appearance of a character or a character's unique weapons and armor. What I found troubling was that the remakes of Avernum used the Avadon interface for skills. That isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but the lack of "hidden" skills was what I found irritating. In Avernum 3, skills like Blademaster, Magery, etc., were scattered about the world for our intrepid adventurers to find. In the remake, most of these formerly "hidden" skills are already learnable from the start, with the former interactions with your character learning the skills in the first place being replaced with gaining bonus points in the skills.

 

Finding these skills steadily turned your standard RPG hero, fighting for what was right, into a skilled warrior who cobbled together elite skills from across the world until he or she could go toe-to-toe with the most deadly warriors of the time period. I like that.

 

Similarly, the reliance on Sages for potion brewing recipes, where before you could brew them on your own, and on cities and inns for energy regeneration, instead of something like camping, turned your questing adventurer into someone a lot less unique than in the original series.

 

A lot of the character's individuality, due to his or her background being left up to the imagination of the player, save that the adventurer is an Avernite Unspecified Services operative, was tied into the skills and the quest choices you could make. The game was also completely playable without finding any of those skills, making them rewards for questing players.

 

While exploring the world in the remakes still gives you perks, the perks are mostly generic upgrades to existing skills. The majority of the formerly unique and hidden skills are there from the start, and the questing seems to be aimed at more ordinary gameplay by giving the majority of bonuses to preexisting abilities instead of providing unique new talents.

 

So, while I like the new interface, I would like it if, for the eventual remakes of Avernum 4, 5, and 6, the perks went back to being something like the old Avernum 1, 2, and 3 and not their remakes. This could be an additional "tree" of abilities, that starts out blank until you find trainers, or just special items like the Blessing of the Caves.

 

That level of character customization, and the oft repeated idea of a separate map for terrain outside of cities, as Avernum 4, 5, and 6 felt a little cramped, are what I want to see in the upcoming games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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