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Everything posted by SoulScroll

  1. I just want to interject a few random thoughts: --A fast travel system such as those used in Fallout 3 or Fallout NV mods where scavenged vehicle fuel is used as a limited supply of fast-travel runs seems to be a happy medium between the hyper-realism of no fast travel and the sweet, easy candy land of unlimited fast travel. --I, too, prefer a game with no quest markers and only using dialogue to find quest locations. --Games are the most fun for me at the hardest difficulty, yet it takes me forever to progress. --Any difficulty lower than the hardest feels like cheating for me, or it even feels as though I'm a whining toddler wanting his way from parents who finally relent to my childish wishes for no adult-like struggles when I turn down the difficulty. (This does NOT mean I am judging others for playing at easier difficulties. It only means I'm a masochist who had tough parenting growing up.)
  2. I definitely can relate to all of this. I keep a folder with notes from a lot of different games I tried over the years, including writing down all the dialogue in the earliest areas of Underrail, a really good 2014 RPG. Eventually, though, I give up in futility because of all the 'work' involved and chronically either restart or play another game. Automated dialogue storage such as in Jeff's games or Pillars of Eternity series really makes a game much more enjoyable for me. I played a little Skyrim, only to realize I never spent much time on Morrowind or Oblivion, which I would prefer finishing in order first so I can try to feel the flow of the epic saga from start to finish as a book was intended to be read. Also agree how dismaying it can be sometimes how gaming can ravage my semi-limited free time hours overall. ETA: Looking at Jeff's Avernum 1: EFTP, I'm guessing there are well over 5,000 'pages' of descriptions and dialogue with the in-game journal only holding, by my best guess, 256 entries (maybe some programming array index limit involved with that). DOUBLE ETA: Another fun thing I noticed about Jeff's games is how he can be remarkably subtle in some of the hints on what to do next in some of the game descriptions he provides. Sure, some hints are obvious (eg. 'you should go to Silvar and seek quests, young padawan'), but other hints are not so obvious & trying to glean meaning or direction from subtle hints is half the fun when playing blind and spoiler-free.
  3. So this was largely a business decision to include more people for potential game sales revenue by making everything 'tamer'? Edit-to-Add: If the question I asked above has significant truth to it, I think it's pretty sad that the almighty dollar has superseded raw, unfiltered artistic expressions designed to be interacted with by the consumer, otherwise known as gaming creations. If people feel offended, just don't look at it, buy it, or play it!
  4. Randomizer already researched this reasonably well. It was only a vague memory of something I saw on Twitter a while ago, along with my hazy memory saying apologies were requested (could be wrong here).
  5. I also heard there were a lot of complaints about D&D's Oriental Adventures series, of which I have the hardbound rulebook and a couple modules. I think the offended parties were seeking an apology of sorts.
  6. Yep yep, I was also enthralled with the early Infocom games, too. Those games, the early Wizardry trilogy, and the Ultima series seemed to be my childhood Apple IIc's only purpose in life. Maybe one school science fair project to lend a patina of legitimacy to the Apple purchase for my family. Apple IIc's were $1,400 in 1980's dollars. ETA: If I had sunk the $1,400 in Apple stock instead of the Apple IIc it would be around $3 million today.
  7. Apologies again for the double posting, but this post is only indirectly related to the above. It's also a bit off-topic for the thread, so I'll only mention it once. Jeff also referred on his Bottom Feeder blog to all the different cultural inspirations he draws from for his game ideas. I often sense Jeff is my own modern day incarnation of Gary Gygax, who wrote TONS of paper-era Dungeons & Dragons modules. Playing Jeff's games today transports me directly back to a childhood era of when I would read so many of Gary Gygax's room descriptions with my "WOW, oh COOL!" awe and wonderment at reading so many fresh and new atmospheres. I never had friends who were interested in Dungeons & Dragons and I was an only child, so reading the room descriptions was all the fun I could muster from it.
  8. Yeah, I've already accepted that unlimited journal space isn't likely to happen, and I've already moved on from that. I was just passively explaining in my previous post why I like that imaginary feature. Your screenshot organizer idea sounds really good. I'll look into it, thanks! ETA: Jeff had a recent Bottom Feeder post about writing in games where he deemed himself as "reasonably competent" in the face of a forgiving gaming audience with low standards. It's too bad he sells himself short here, for Jeff has some of the most atmospheric writing I've ever come across. He really has a creative talent for turning crappy isometric graphics into an immersive experience.
  9. The journal entry text is actually readable in both MS Wordpad and Notepad, but extremely disorganized and jumbled with sentences scattered all over the place. It would be an utterly hopeless project trying to piece everything together in an organized fashion. Depth of Thwart in the Dec. 16, 2020 post (see above) suggested a text editor of some sort to deal with the in-game journal space limitations. I'd prefer to keep ALL journal text for the most enjoyable gaming experience rather than painfully having to delete entries periodically based on intuitively deciding what entries are less important. Jeff's games and writing are completely awesome in all other respects for me. The limited journal space is my only focal point of misery in Spiderweb games. EDIT TO ADD: The reason I wanted to keep all journal text is that I actually enjoy re-reading my adventure from start to finish, to feel the epic saga once more as though I am reading an actual book that I personally participated in. It's a holdover from my loving to read old Dungeons and Dragons paper modules with all the room descriptions without actually playing it when I was a kid.
  10. My apologies for necro'ing this thread after a year, but I do have a burning question I need to ask about how to externally cope with journal space limitations in Jeff's games. I'm using a Windows OS and I can find stored entries in the necessary journal text file in the Documents/Spiderweb Software/<game><saved games> folder easily enough, but can anyone advise me on which text editor is best for saving and reviewing journal entries? I tried opening the journal file with MS notepad and MS wordpad, but it's a jumbled mess. Thanks so much if you can provide a better suggestion.
  11. How I see it in a nutshell: Jeff's writing has been enormously creative and competent over the years, providing a broad range of exciting little scenarios within each adventure game helping us see past the limited graphics engines. It provides a great sense of immersion for me, and frequently going back and forth from notepad in windowed mode would break the spell. I just think it's a bit of a tragic waste to keep throwing away Jeff's journal entry stories when a continuous in-game story flow being fully recorded from beginning to end within each game helps with immersion. I think the Pillars of Eternity series has been able to comprehensively store all dialogue, and Jeff's writing is just as good if not better than the AAA writers.
  12. I neglected to add another important flaw in Spiderweb's journal system aside from space limitations. If you record all dialogue and go back later to delete selected journal entries to free up storage space, all the surviving entries stay in fixed locations (similar to memory pointers in software programming?). The problem occurs when you continue to play after culling out less important journal entries. New journal entries become inserted in the positions where the old ones were deleted, creating a jumbled mess which doesn't come close to resembling a chronological order suitable for an adventure story. Tiny example: I have 10 chronological journal entries (#1-#10). I delete entries #3, 6, 8, and 9 as less important and continue playing picking up entries #11-#14. The end result will be ordered as: 1, 2, 11, 4, 5, 12, 7, 13 , 14, 10. A terrible chronological mess is being created! It would be nice to automatically truncate the journal list on the fly as deletions are created so that everything remains chronological even if storage must remain limited. It might be a tough programming challenge to pull off, not sure. For now the only solution to this problem is to save your game after deleting trashed entries, exit, and begin playing again. All empty journal spaces are rearranged at the bottom of the list upon completing this procedure. EDIT: I do a little bit of coding at a hobbyist level and I am guessing the journal problem can be solved by some programming trick related to newly-created null index values of arrays whenever journal entries are deleted. Some sort of user-defined function carries the journal array using static index values for journal entries instead of a needed dynamic array. My knowledge is rudimentary here, unfortunately, but that's a guess to where I'd begin searching to solve this problem.
  13. Hi Losrandir, thanks for your reply and apologies for the delayed response...but I wanted to think things over a bit. I often wonder why I always insist on setting the absolute hardest difficulty on all the games I've ever played, not just Spiderweb games. Dedication to Jeff V. for me is simply buying his games, donating to his Kickstarters, etc. I could just as easily enjoy his in-game stories on Casual setting as I would Torment. I'm not exactly sure why I insist on Torment all the time. Sometimes people tell me I am "quite hard on myself" so playing the toughest difficulties is a symptom of that? It could also mean I am trying to 'prove' something to myself or others. EDIT: I still thought Jeff's '(gaming) difficulty fetishists' quip on his old Bottom Feeder blog was brilliantly described. It does lead to a lot of save/re-load frustration & incomplete games for me.
  14. --I don't mind the realism of no quest markers. Bring on the adventure! --Trudging back and forth to sell excess loot is still OK with me. By far my biggest complaint about Spiderweb games is the limited journal space. I like journaling EVERYTHING so I can re-read later for clues or simply immerse myself in Jeff's great storytelling. Great stories should be savored, not thrown in the trash. The limited journal space makes me feel like a distressed hoarder constantly pressed to a decision on what treasured literary baubles to throw out. The part I despise is when the journal fills up and I have to trawl back through hundreds of entries, re-reading them only to judge which entries are less important and can be deleted. This usually leaves space for 50 or so more new entries all over again. Years ago, Jeff himself personally sent me a note saying he would try to create unlimited journal storage space for Avadon 3, but I haven't played that far yet....still only about halfway through Avadon 1. Unlimited journal storage for immediate access in game would leave me ecstatic and SW games would be perfect! EDIT - One of the huge strengths of unlimited journal space is that when a game is finally solved you have a complete "book" from start to finish you can re-read anytime. An epic novel that you 'created' through your own gameplay even though Jeff did the actual writing.
  15. This post is mostly a despairing one at the demands of adulthood and daily survival... Ever since I was a child finding a mysterious Dungeons and Dragons module B2 'Keep on the Borderlands' in my dad's closet (he NEVER played D&D and I have NO idea how it ended up in his closet), I fell in love with RPG's. Not much of a leap for me to be enthralled at Jeff's games. I absolutely L-O-V-E & adore ALL of Jeff's games. I own every single one of them. I have never come close to finishing any of them. I refuse to play any difficulty except Torment ('difficulty fetishist' as Jeff brilliantly describes someone like me). I just can not ever find the time to thoroughly explore the true depths of Jeff's awesomeness at writing and creating worlds. This is my own Torment-level meta game.
  16. I wish there were more consequences for stealing "NY" items in Spiderweb games. Maybe even subtle effects such as a karma or conscience meter which alters your dialogue options later in game, or even a hidden Avadon Eye spying on you without your knowing and causing trouble for you later if you steal regularly.
  17. I never found encumbrance effects described at all in the Avadon manual. One of the few important things Jeff might have overlooked, especially since slight encumbrance can be a worthwhile armor strategy as Randomizer explained.
  18. It appears the moderators removed all the really old posts in the thread I was responding to and left my post all alone on its own. By itself my post looks a bit out of context, so just to clarify things my post was not intended to be a thread starter.
  19. Apologies for necro'ing this six year old thread, but it was the only relevant one to what was on my mind. I don't feel bad about killing the wretches for farmer Halrik because the Kva watch guards nearby explicitly asked the Hands to remove any wretches and wolves, not to mention that Avadon promised to protect Pact members from incursions by Farlanders & all the people in Goldcrag mentioning how the wretch problem has worsened nearby. My conscience was really cleansed when Wolfrider Prozz threw me a "raspberry" after telling him he can't steal if he wants to stay. Jeff Vogel does such a marvellous job of sinking me into the stories and dilemmas of his games. I love reading all the subtle hints and nuances via dialogue with all the in-game characters to help me make better moral decisions. One plot hole I caught, though, was Eye Mamora in Avadon dungeon saying any noble who frames another is "cordially invited to spend time on our (interrogation) tables". Why wouldn't the same be done to us as Hands if we frame a Pact citizen like Ryozo and he was later found innocent after scrying his mind?
  20. I second what grimmader said. Heroes of Steel and Templar Battleforce (Trese Brothers games) are both good turn-based RPG's with nice storylines and deep combat strategy requiring skill synergies to make a group work well together on harder difficulties. There's also a Nightmare-level leaderboard with scoring based on game progress & resource efficiency if you feel competitive. Heroes of Steel is standard RPG setting while Templar is sci-fi RPG.
  21. Randomizer: Thanks for your quick and thoughtful reply. I am still trying to decide on something a bit unconventional and fun for Torment aside from the cookie cutter Blademaster and Shadow, but if I am going for Steam achievements (a couple of achievements involve not dying) it might be prudent to take your advice and skip the Shaman. Your post is convincing me to try the Sorceress, instead. Also, I should point out that one of the Steam achievements requires only bringing one Hand with you at all times, so this makes it even tougher for Shamans.
  22. I have tried to do as much spoiler-free research on Avadon 1 as possible regarding classes and skills. I wanted a good Torment challenge that still takes in as much lore as possible and unlocks all doors possible (even at a higher lockpick cost). If I play a Shaman (the least desirable class), will I still have enough lockpicks for the solo areas? Is there a skill layout for Shamans that can salvage the most fun possible out of this sub-par class on Torment? Thanks for taking the time to respond.
  23. Necris Omega wrote: "When I throw out the term "mortal existence" I'm not being flowery. All physics pretty much agree that universe itself is dying, and will inevitably die. It might freeze, it might get dissolved, it might implode, or something otherwise utterly insane may happen, but it won't be here indefinitely. We who are dying are in good company. And bad company. And all the company. What comes next? Everything will find out eventually." One serious exception comes to mind: If death is really the complete cessation of all experience forever, we wouldn't ever be able to know what comes next, would we? I would go so far as to say we will never know that we died in this case.
  24. Well, I'm humbly pleased as punch that my simple one-line posting provoked so much thought from Dept. of Analogic Affairs and Necris Omega. Fascinating reading from you both! Thank you
  25. Can I choose to live forever? The idea of dying scares me because there may not be an afterlife at all, just oblivion and the maw of eternally not knowing anything at all (hope this isn't the case, but....)
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