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A3 is one of the famous Avernum games, and it is the most favorite of me. I have heard about many people complaining about A2 being somewhat less attractive than Avernum 3. Yeah, I accept that Avernum 3 has got better gameplay, skills and stuff like that. But, one more main reason I see is A1 and A2 have got cave designs for the most part, but A3 has got surface designs. The surface designs are more attractive for the eyes as they are brighter and colorful but the cave floor just depends on gray color for the most... or its just limited. I think this impact of vision has given A3 more reputation. Do you people think that this biological phenomena makes A3 more wonderful? I also should mention that the sidebar and the game menus are too colored rather than in gray as in A1 and A2 which has made it more pleasant. I also find this most places while comparing BoA scenarios. What do you think of this?

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First off, Av1 has a much-less-than-friendly UI. It was much more akin to the contemporary original (and older!) Nethergate, and I happened to like the latter more (it was also my first Spiderweb game, so that's also a thing). That alone can make playing it a chore in comparison to the later games. The setting is great as always, but it just doesn't make playing as enjoyable as Av2, with its much superior interface.

 

Next, Av2 is NOT balanced - and that's why I love it! It is very easy for an early party to drift off into a location or situation which they cannot deal with. Av2 puts you into a war scenario, and it's supposed to feel dire. All things considered, the game doesn't do too bad a job of this with the resources built into it. The "poor balancing" is a factor in this picture, and I'd not have it any other way. BUT, this might be an undesirable characteristic for some players.

 

Finally, Av3... It's for one, balanced. At max difficulty, it was FAR more difficult to wander into a situation that would out-right kill the party at low levels. If you want to just play the game, Av3 is very playable because of that balance. It then takes all of the lessons of improved UI and implements them. If you just want to mess around, you can do that, too - though there may be consequences for doing so. Because of time progression that's supposed to mean something, it places "deadlines" on activities and better engages the player. It also brings back that spirit of exploration which might have waned for players of Av2 - now there's an entirely new place to explore!..

 

...In short, Av3 does a lot of good things at once, which the other Avernum games might fall a little short on. Av2 is my favorite, as it was my first Avernum game, and I just love the setting. But, if you're not tied to the quirks that make 1 or 2 your preference, 3 is by far the most accessible game with the most options for play choices. It even has what amounts to "crafting" to an extent, being able to magically augment weapons and armor, etc. I personally don't think that specifically being on the surface has a whole lot to do with anything, though the lighting system is very spiffy in that regard (with the day-night cycle, etc.). Again, the latter is just a neat, new feature which adds more flavor to the experience. Also... going back to Av2 - I don't think it ever specifically ended. After you finished everything, you were just left to wander around, seeing if there was anything else left to do. I know you could eventually leave Exile in Av1, and (don't kill me for saying this) though I never finished 3, I get the impression you could leave as well. This gives the games some closure, which Av2 did not have specifically. Someone should correct me about Av3 and leaving if I'm wrong about that, however.

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If you're talking about the original Avernum 2 and Avernum 3 (that's the forum you're posting in) this is the opposite of what is usually said!  Avernum 3 felt very muted and constrained to many people, compared to Exile 3.  Exile 3 was probably the brightest and most colorful Spiderweb game there's been, so the difference was easy to feel if you played both.

 

If you're talking about the recent remakes (A2:CS and A3:RW), different story.

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Yeah to me, E3 & A3RW were better than A3 (E2 being the first SW played so that may skew things).  I enjoyed it but not as much as A2 or even A5 later on.

 

That said, I think that one of the reasons that the concept behind A3 is so beloved is that (assuming you played/got mentally invested in the A1 & A2 story lines) you finally get back to the surface after generations of people justly or not were tossed below ground... only to find that things suck up there too.

 

4 hours ago, Thaeris said:

I get the impression you could leave as well. This gives the games some closure, which Av2 did not have specifically. Someone should correct me about Av3 and leaving if I'm wrong about that, however.

 

Not so much leave but close out Avernum as a prison system/colony and you (Avernites) were granted a large bit of land down south near Storm Port (? been a while) where people who wanted to could return to the surface & settle there.

 

Edit: Also potentially, as Exile was a trilogy, it may have been assumed that the initial remake was only going to be a trilogy (I can't remember when Jeff announced the continuation on to A4).  The Avernum remakes were a nice way to revisit/replay memories of Exile & as everything 'was' wrapped up fairly neatly, the series could have ended there too & people would have probably been happy (again, if an A4+ hadn't been announced yet).  So because people liked the idea of everything wrapped up with a nice pretty bow ... they have good memories of it.

Edited by TriRodent
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Well, if Slarty's question was aimed at me, this is my response:

 

I recall several years ago reading bits and blurbs on forums where people were discussing RPGs. Av3 was generally held in a pretty positive light on the forums I was looking at, so I got the impression this view was more widespread than it apparently is today. It's actually news to me that the original Av3 is not in fact looked as highly upon as Av2. Which I'm fine with, as I really like Av2!

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7 hours ago, Thaeris said:

First off, Av1 has a much-less-than-friendly UI. It was much more akin to the contemporary original (and older!) Nethergate, and I happened to like the latter more (it was also my first Spiderweb game, so that's also a thing). That alone can make playing it a chore in comparison to the later games. The setting is great as always, but it just doesn't make playing as enjoyable as Av2, with its much superior interface.

..... 

I know you could eventually leave Exile in Av1, and (don't kill me for saying this) though I never finished 3, I get the impression you could leave as well. This gives the games some closure, which Av2 did not have specifically. Someone should correct me about Av3 and leaving if I'm wrong about that, however.

 

AV1,a game I somewhat disliked. Because, I preferred keyboard and you know how keyboard arrow keys worked in A1&A2. A3 provided more convenience even though I had to finally shift for mouse to play A1&A2. And specifically in A1 you move two steps if you just click the mouse once. That happens sometimes. And, that was the thing why I too tell that A1 got a non-friendly UI... But A2 is more satisfactionary.

 

No, in A3 the game ends with a cutscene when you use the control panel and you cannot do anything else.

Edited by Warrior Mage
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1 hour ago, Thaeris said:

I recall several years ago reading bits and blurbs on forums where people were discussing RPGs. Av3 was generally held in a pretty positive light on the forums I was looking at, so I got the impression this view was more widespread than it apparently is today.

 

On other forums- that is, forums not populated entirely by Spiderweb aficionados- Exile 3/Avernum 3 are inevitably going to be held in the highest regard of any Spiderweb RPGs, pretty much exclusively because they've always been the most popular. They had big shareware demos that got spread very widely, and there are many people whose only exposure to any Spiderweb games has been those demos. Among dedicated Spiderweb fans, I think they're still pretty well-regarded, but they're not necessarily so dominantly regarded as the best Spiderweb games.

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Exile 3 was by far Jeff's biggest early success. It got dumped on by forum members for a long time, though, basically because the premise is not original or interesting (monster plagues?). Almost none of the game is about what the story is ostensibly about (who's responsible?), so it's basically just an excuse to explore and fight monsters.

 

But it's just about the best possible version of "explore and fight monsters" that you can do. The game is huge, and although I think that the combat mechanics for the only version that I've played—Avernum 3 (original)—were pretty bad by Spiderweb standards, they were still very enjoyable. The writing (not plot, but writing) is engaging throughout. And there's just a ton of cool stuff: well-crafted dungeons, memorable towns, interesting characters, etc.

 

So yeah, the premise of Avernum 3, and for that matter the execution of the premise, are nowhere near as good as the opening of Avernum 2. I don't remember a moment in Avernum 3 that was like the assault on the Ornotha Ziggurat. But an enormous amount of cool stuff is still a pretty good draw for a game.

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My own memory is overwhelmingly of Exile 3 getting heaps of praise from forum members -- which makes sense given how BoE-centric the forum crowd was in the earlier days -- despite the vocalized dislike of its plot.  Avernum 3 got dumped on a lot more.

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29 minutes ago, "Nothing Left" said:

My own memory is overwhelmingly of Exile 3 getting heaps of praise from forum members -- which makes sense given how BoE-centric the forum crowd was in the earlier days -- despite the vocalized dislike of its plot.  Avernum 3 got dumped on a lot more.

Yeah, FWIW, I joined the community after Avernum 3 was released, and I don't remember anyone making distinctions between the two by that point. It's entirely possible that earlier discussions were more positive and it went negative after A3. 

 

Though given the nature of the criticisms, that would be kind of weird, since they would've applied equally to E3 and A3. I guess it could also be due to a change in forum population, rather than any difference between E3 and A3.

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My memory of the earliest days is much vaguer -- I only lurked a little then -- but there was a lot of discussion along those lines in the criticism-heavy G3/A4 era.

 

That distinction was an old chestnut of Drakey's, e.g., and I remember other people bringing it up even later in discussions about the Blades CSR, etc.

 

Back then, before the Second Avernum Trilogy really took off, there seemed to be a much bigger difference in opinion between those who preferred Exile and those who preferred Avernum than we have today.  I would definitely believe that this view was mostly a thing amongst Exile fanciers, and therefore was not spread equally around all the forums.

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11 hours ago, Kelandon said:

So yeah, the premise of Avernum 3, and for that matter the execution of the premise, are nowhere near as good as the opening of Avernum 2. I don't remember a moment in Avernum 3 that was like the assault on the Ornotha Ziggurat. But an enormous amount of cool stuff is still a pretty good draw for a game.

I can't understand if your point about Ornotha Ziggurat was in affirmative or negative. But, I loved that kind of gameplay too. It makes sense for a difficult dungeon like this to be a part of the game atleast once.

 

Avernum 3 demo was the first ever Spiderweb game I played... I got attracted soon by that and bought the game... That's why I am a great fan of it.

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Sure, but that thread (that Kel linked) was a poll comparing only the Avernum games, not Exile -- Alorael is clearly talking about A2 being the favourite over A3.  It's not really a place you'd expect Exile vs Avernum comparisons -- though it eventually makes it into the thread and Alorael eventually distinguishes between the two games himself!

 

The feelings about A2 vs A3 were clear in the big 2012 poll:

image.png

 

You can see forumgoers (as a group) having a more positive reaction to E3 than A3 there as well -- and the difference between the two is more pronounced than that of E2/A2 or E1/A1.

b13dist.gif

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I don't think A4 was so bad. It was a better step taken by the Spiderweb Software to change Avernum's game engine to Geneforge's one. And the ratings of Blades games depends also upon the efforts of the custom scenario creators, so I don't think the ratings would be accurate.

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