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Ess-Eschas

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Rotghroth Rhapsody

Rotghroth Rhapsody (10/17)

  1. Today, we have made some slight changes to the forums’ graphical display. We have done this in response to a recent update of the software that runs these forums. This update altered some features that were an important part of our forums’ style, and added a few new features that aren’t quite compatible with our usual layout. Today’s changes effectively restore the forums’ graphical display to what it was before the update took place. Restoring the forums’ original look required implementing some complex coding changes, and figuring out various workarounds. This process took a little time to work through. Thank you for your patience while we have been dealing with the issues. The most notable of today’s changes are the alterations to the ‘Default’ theme. The badge icons, which were introduced as a mandatory part of the recent software update, have now been removed. The little ‘rocket’ badges will no longer obscure your profile picture. The rank information that was bundled with the badges has been separated out, and appears below your profile picture once again. Custom titles, for those that have them, now also appear below the profile picture. We have also taken the opportunity to fix a small, slightly older issue. A small part of the interface that is used to navigate betweens forums pages used to be quite difficult to read – the text of the interface buttons was largely obscured by the colour of a particular navigation bar. We have slightly changed the colour of this bar to make those buttons much easier to read. This is only a small alteration, and the new colour has been chosen to be as close as possible to the standard colour scheme we use on these forums. We have also made one slightly larger change, one that allows for backwards compatibility with our older forums themes. The badge system is only removed for the ‘Default’ theme. Our secondary theme, ‘Spiderlicious 2’, still makes use of badges. To help these badges better suit our layout, all of the rank badges used by that theme have been customised. Rank badges now use a little graphic of their respective creation, and generally take less space out of the profile picture. Here is an example of how the Spiderlicious 2 theme now looks: Do by all means try out this layout, or use it if you’d prefer. You can change themes by scrolling to the very bottom of any forums page, and clicking on the ‘Theme’ button. This will open a dropdown menu. Simply select ‘Spiderlicious 2’ from this menu: These changes should be loaded automatically by your browser. However, in some cases, your browser may still be loading the old interface from memory. This will be happening for you if you are still seeing rocket badges over the profile pictures. In that case, you should be able to load the new style changes simply by reloading this page. If that doesn’t work, try clearing your browser’s cache. That will remove the old style information from its memory, loading up the new style changes when you next open a page on the forums. We have done a fair amount of testing to ensure that all of today’s changes work smoothly. However, as with any software change, there is always a chance that there may be some small bugs or unexpected behaviour lurking that we haven’t yet spotted. If you come across any problems, or features that don’t seem to be working as intended, please do let us know! Thank you again for you patience while we have been dealing with these issues!
  2. Hello KGP11, Can I just clarify the problem you’re experiencing? Are you having trouble opening the .zip file, or is it that you can’t run the ‘Forgotten Souls’ program itself? I’m just asking because there might be slightly different reasons for the .zip or the program to be causing you some issues. Could I also check whether you’re running this on a Mac, or on Windows, and which version of the operating system you're using? Different operating systems can behave in slightly different ways when it comes to things like permissions, even between different versions. Knowing exactly which version you’re using might help us to hone in on the cause of your problem!
  3. It took me a moment, but I managed to find where the Gremlin Amulet is hidden! You’re quite right that a player can encounter it early in Chapter 4. The party receives it in a hidden encounter, one found behind a couple of secret passages in the northeastern corner of the Honeycomb. I’ll have a play around with it and see if it does anything! One thing I noticed is its value: it’s worth a fair amount. Since it’s a cursed item, you can’t sell it immediately. But if you have the ‘Remove Curse’ spell, you can permanently get rid of curse. Once the curse is removed, the Gremlin Amulet can be sold for a quite reasonable sum!
  4. Don’t worry. The custom titles haven’t bitten the dust just yet! This is just a temporary quirk with the new badge system. It currently doesn’t mesh well with the older system we used to manage custom titles, which is why they don’t display just now. As part of our work on the new badge system, we’re looking into ways to work in all of our custom user titles. Rest assured that all these titles are still there behind the scenes! We’re just examining ways to display them under this new system. So please don’t be depressed, Walruigisus! Custom titles are an important part of our forums community, and we’re not going to let them go without a fight!
  5. Hello Frozen Feet, I understand why you’re puzzled! Many of these items made me wonder when I came across them too. So far as I’m aware, none of the items you’ve listed here have any particular use. Some of them might have placed as red-herrings, designed to obscure items the party are *really* looking for. It might sound odd, but I suspect the Drake Egg falls into this category. Careless adventurers may take that egg instead, seeing that it’s special, only to find that it’s not what the quest-giver is looking for. Others may have been placed simply as nice little unique touches, ones designed to flesh out the game world. There are quite a few little details like that in the Exile series! The only real value of these items are their uniqueness, and in some cases their cash value. So feel free to try and sell them! Some items, such as the Fine Rum, can fetch a pretty good price. That being said, I don’t recall experimenting with the Gremlin Amulet. Where did you find it? Just because an item is cursed doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t have positive benefits too. I’d be interested to have a look, but I can’t remember where it’s hidden, and I don't seem to have a save where I've kept hold of it! As for the Let’s Play, I suspect they might not have been entirely accurate in describing where they found those particular items. So far as I’m aware, items rarely get moved around between different Exile versions. I went and checked, and there is indeed a sword like that in Kothar, even in the very early versions of the game – but it’s not in the forge. Rather, it’s located in the Chamber of Swords. That’s a little hidden area that contains *two* swords. One of those is a Magic Greatsword, and the other is the ‘Nether Greatsword’, which I think you’re looking for. If you haven’t yet found the Chamber of Swords, and are having trouble finding it, you can learn its location here: https://www.angelfire.com/games2/exile/exile2/secrets.html
  6. Yesterday, we updated the forums software to its most recent version. This was a fairly significant update. Most of these changes were behind the scenes, and shouldn’t affect the vast majority of forums features. The forums should behave largely as they have done previously. However, you may notice a few small display changes. Most of these are fairly minor. Perhaps the most visible is the new badge system for displaying ranks. Rather than ranks being displayed in text below your profile, these are now attached to a new graphic, which you can see next to your profile picture. We’re currently working on ways to integrate this feature slightly better with the forums’ style. One thing to be aware of is that this update has slightly damaged a couple of our board themes. At present, ‘Compact & Convenient’ and ‘Best Theme’ don’t quite work as intended. This is because the update isn’t entirely compatible with the code that runs these themes. We’re working on fixing those problems but, unfortunately, the complexity of the code means that that might take a little time. In the meantime, please can we suggest that you temporarily avoid using these themes. You can change themes using the ‘Theme’ menu at the very bottom of every page on the forums. If you’ve never touched the themes before, don’t worry! You’re using the ‘Default’ theme in that case, which is working just fine. While we’ve tested to ensure that other forums features behave as they should, there’s always a possibility that little teething bugs may still be lurking. That’s an unfortunate side-effect of a significant software update! If you find yourself experiencing any unexpected problems, or find any features that don’t seem to be working as they should, please do let us know!
  7. No! At this stage in the game, dealing with the pylons directly is very tricky. It can be done, but it takes a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, there’s a much easier way. The pylons are set up in such a way that you sneak past them, all the way to the Vahnatai’s base of operations. In a sense, you can think of these outdoor sections as something like a maze. It looks like there are a lot of paths through, but the vast majority of these are effectively dead-ends – they’re clogged with pylons. Your task is to find the one path where there are no pylons at all, or where the pylons are sparse enough that you can slip by. This path twists and bends, and turns back on itself quite a few times. But if you follow it all the way to the end, you can get through without dealing with a single pylon! One helpful thing to be aware of is that these pylons have a very short detection range. You can get closer to them than you might at first think. This means there are more gaps you can pass through than there might appear at first glance. If you’re having trouble, the route is outlined on the Avernum 4 Annotated Maps: http://ironycentral.com/harehunter/Avernum4/Maps/M0B_WesternWastes.html Don’t worry about missing items on your first time through this area. It will be much easier to go back through and pick up anything you missed slightly later on!
  8. While it might not be your intent, I’m afraid what you’ve written here does rather imply that. Despite our best intentions, saying that something isn’t true does not always make it so. Pulling rank on new members is unhelpful, and really doesn’t encourage a warm, healthy and welcoming community. If we want to have more than those few posts a day that you mention, TriRodent, we need to be supportive of our new members! As someone not involved in this conversation, it seems to me that you’ve been a rather disruptive element here. Enough so that the other people in the conversation have called you out on it. I think the original poster has every right to complain when their topic is highjacked by barely-related material that is – as you yourself point out – sailing close to the wind regarding our forums guidelines. I’m not sure your recent post has done much better in that regard. I’m not trying to have a go at you, TriRodent, and this is not an official warning. But I do find the tone in your response here concerning. Perhaps now might be a time to just have a quick review of our forums guidelines. I suggest you pay particular attention to rule 2. Superdeath25, please don’t be disheartened by the recent negative tone in this topic, and please do keep posting on our forums! It’s always interesting to see people bringing new ideas and suggestions for Spiderweb’s games! I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with the Geneforge series to offer my own suggestions for journal entries. However, there may well be others on these forums who haven’t seen your posts yet, and may yet have some ideas of their own. If I might make a suggestion, could you perhaps provide a few more examples? Maybe dialogues for one or two more foes that you haven’t mentioned yet? That might help people get an idea of the sort of style you’re considering for these journal entries, and perhaps inspire them with thoughts of their own! And, even if not, alhoon can always let you know how to add these dialogues into the games yourself. You could then release a mod of your own including all of your written material – which could provide an interesting enhancement of the base games! It’s also worth mentioning that, while this only happens rarely, Jeff has been known to pay attention to community mods in the past, and been inspired by them in his subsequent work!
  9. Excellent work once again, IMakeMaps. These are looking great already! The additions of area names and special squares is a nice touch, as is producing versions of your map with and without these features. If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel with implementing the roads, Duskwolf figured out how the roads were handled in Exile II when producing their maps. They also posted all their map-generation code, which you can download from the link in this post: https://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/1234-complete-exile-2-outdoor-map-massive-spoilers/?do=findComment&comment=299464 I should stress that I’ve not looked at this code in detail, but I believe it includes all the material used to generate the maps. Some properties of road generation may of course have changed between games. However, at least on the surface, both Exile II and Exile III seem to use the same approach for drawing roads. So you may be able to make use of portions of Duskwolf’s code. Duskwolf’s maps also incorporate terrain frills. The Exile games have a feature where frills on the edges of various types of terrain – water, pits, lava, etc. – are added in only when the game is played. They’re not present in the map files themselves, something which can be seen directly in Blades of Exile. These frills smooth the sharp transitions between, say, water and solid ground. These frills aren’t so important in Exile III, since the above-ground tileset manages them differently. They’re only an issue in the caves, and in towns and dungeons. And their only real effect is to make things look pretty, so it’s probably not worth spending time worrying about them unless you really want to. Still, you might be able to port that portion of Duskwolf’s code over too, just to make your maps look even better! It’s good to hear you’re progressing with the modular towns, too. There was some previous effort by Ishad Nha to produce versions of all the towns in all of their various forms straight out of the data files. However, I’m not sure if that effort was ever completed – the copy of their work that I have only includes some of the early town numbers. Having a comprehensive map of all the towns in their various states would certainly be interesting to see. Not least because different players will probably have only seen towns in a few different states! In any case, keep up the good work!
  10. Excellent work, IMakeMaps! Many thanks for uploading the town maps, and the full-resolution version of the map of the caves. This is a fantastic resource to have, and your maps are put together brilliantly. Your annotations of special squares are particularly helpful, and quite revealing. For example, looking through your maps, I noticed a number of places where I just ploughed through a bunch of shocking squares, or the odd lava tile – without realising that there was a safe passage through them! I wouldn’t worry too much about putting in the NPCs, unless it turns out to be straightforward. I feel the most useful part of a map like this is the geometry – being able to tell the shape of the map, the various paths the player can travel down, and where secret areas are hidden. At least to me, character placement is only really a small bonus on top of this. I’m not sure it informs the player quite as much as the map geometry does. But other players may disagree! And, as you’ve pointed out, characters aren’t always placed logically. For example, in the outdoors in Exile II, I once came across a merchant locked away in a set of cave walls. It was near Akhronath if I recall correctly. Interacting with the sprite launched an outdoor battle with a group of merchants, which was interesting! Here’s a picture of the battle: Good to hear about your exploits looking around the maps, too. If you come across anything else interesting there, do let us know! Also, it’s nice to see someone who likes the old Exile graphics! There are a few people with a preference for them on these forums. For what it’s worth, there are still plenty of copies of the old-graphics versions of Exile around. Quite a few members of these forums have them, and there are various places in the wider internet where you can get hold of them. If you’d like a copy of the old-graphics versions of these games, I’m sure there are people on here who could send them your way. If you’re a Mac user, I could send you some myself. You might also be interested to see the topic below. A member of the forums created a little graphics mod that applies the old v1.x Exile graphics to the new v2.x versions of Exile I and Exile II. That way, you don’t have to choose between quality of life and the graphics you prefer! This mod is set up of Windows only – although it strikes me that putting together a similar mod for Macs would actually be quite easy. I may do that at some later point when I have fewer commitments on my time! https://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/25129-old-graphics-for-exile-i-ii/ You know, I actually rather like that idea. And we do have BoE maps for Kriszan – several of them in fact – so you would even have had a base to work on!
  11. I had a sneaking suspicion something like that might have happened. The original thread did suddenly go quiet, after all, and I imagine something this large would probably have turned up in scenario lists sooner or later – not least on your old archive! It would be a pity if this scenario never saw the light of day. After all, while there’s a scenario that reproduced Upper Exile, and a couple that reproduced Valorim, I don’t think a scenario was ever publicly released that reproduced the main caves of Exile to any real degree, nor the Vahnatai lands from Exile II. What a useful community resource that could have been!
  12. Hello IMakeMaps, Great work on producing this map! It’s nicely presented, and the inclusion of secret passages and safe lava squares is a particularly nice touch. For that alone, I think this could become a useful community resource! I would definitely suggest that you upload the maps of the towns and dungeons. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been done in a detailed way for Exile I before. It could also lead to interesting insights into the game. There are quite a few things that are very well hidden in the Exile trilogy, and some of these took a long time to come to light. Amazingly enough, new secrets in the Exile games are still being discovered, even to this day! And a mapping project like this is a great way of discovering little hidden gems (such as Jeff writing messages in town walls, which has happened on occasion). You might be interested to know that there is some history of mapping projects like these on these forums. They’re mainly put together for the Avernum games, a series that began as remakes of the Exile games, and eventually span off into its own brand new trilogy. However, there have been mapping projects for the Exile games too, in various capacities. For example, there has been one previous project to produce a map of the caves from Exile I. You can see the results of that project at the link below. Note that you can zoom in! https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0wmzsayjbefuwq/exile1map.png?dl=0 One immediate difference is that this map uses the old v1.x graphics from Exile I, rather than the newer v2.x graphics which you’ve been using. The compiler also filled in the walls in the various spaces on the map that are inaccessible, and can’t be seen by the player. However, this older map has a couple of mistakes in it. There are one or two tiles that are incorrectly painted, and are instead shown by a dummy lava or wall tile. These are all pretty obvious when you come across them, though. It also doesn’t show secret passages or safe lava squares, so in several regards your map is a significant improvement! I do have one slight criticism of your map. This might just be me not driving imgur correctly, though, so do ignore me if I’m missing something obvious! The map you've posted above doesn’t seem to be quite at the same resolution as the game's tiles. I can’t quite zoom down all the way without the tiles becoming blurry. At least for me, this makes some of the special dots a little hard to see – and they’re important! It would drive up the file size a little, but would it be possible to create a version of this map where the tiles on the map are the same resolution as the tiles in the game? I think this would make things a little clearer overall. To see how that might work in practice, take a look at the Exile I map I linked in this post – that map is formed of tiles that are the same resolution as those in the game, without any blurring. Again, do forgive me if you've already done this, and I'm just missing it! For fun, here’s a little more mapping information. It might make some sense to put together a few more maps in this thread, after all! For starters, here’s a map of the caves from Exile II: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y27vcjyvi3lrxjx/exilemap.png?dl=0 This is more in the style of your own map, since it includes secret passages. Both this map and the map for Exile I are taken from the topic below, which contains a little more information about how they were put together: https://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/1234-complete-exile-2-outdoor-map-massive-spoilers/ And here’s something from a little later in time. This is a complete map of Avernum 1, the first remake of Exile I. It shows the caves in three dimensions, including height! https://disk.yandex.com/d/ZmzplSTNMx_NvQ The map is taken from this topic: https://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/25782-render-of-the-avernums-outdoors/ There have also been various projects to convert the maps of Exile to Spiderweb’s other games, including the scenario creation package Blades of Exile. Your post here reminded me of a very old project from the 2000s, where a designer stitched together maps from Exile I, II and III into a contiguous series of caves. It was all put together into a Blades of Exile scenario, apparently. See here: https://pied-piper.ermarian.net/topic/7/1598 The map is long lost to the internet, but here’s a picture. Apologies for the blank space below it, but that's part of the original image: (Also, just for my curiosity, did anyone actually get a copy of this scenario? I think the only person who is still around from the original topic might be @Kelandon?) The roads are already there, but you might not be seeing them! Exile I deals with roads a little differently than the later games. They’re marked by piles of rubble placed one tile apart on either side of the road, which is one space wide. See this, for example, which is a road leading west out of Almaria (with apologies for using the old graphics, but that’s the easiest example I have to hand!): Don’t forget that you can always fire up the games and check for yourself, rather than waiting for replies on here
  13. On the contrary, I think what you’ve said here only serves to highlight the importance of the two-tined spear in slith culture! Before I go any further, I should stress that the comments you make here are all based on material added into the remake of Avernum 2, information which is not present in earlier games. So the information you’re referring to weren’t present in the series prior to 2014. We’ve been discussing the first appearance of the sliths in Exile back in 1995, predating this information by nearly 20 years – which is perhaps one reason it didn’t crop up. In any case, let’s take a look at what Ortho says on the matter in 2014. Firstly, here’s his comment about the use of conventional spears: “The slith style [of spear] is superior for our battle techniquesss. Yet, the two-tined spear is only for full warriors. The young use the simpler, cheaper type.” In other words, the conventional spear with a single point is only used by the young. There is of course good practical reason for this. Conventional spears are far simpler to wield than the two-tined variant, and much simpler (and therefore cheaper) to make. This makes them excellent practice weapons, since they’re easy to use, and it’s not too much trouble if one of them breaks. However, it also marks an important distinction between immature and adult sliths. Note how Ortho says that a two-tined spear is only used by ‘full warriors’, which implies that the two-tined spear is a sign of status. I would take from this that the two-tined spear has an important symbolic value, a public symbol of when a slith has fully matured, and become an adult. In our world, there are many examples of societies in which various distinctions between the young and adults are a symbolic sign of status, with that sign of status further being an important hallmark of the culture of that society. For a few examples from some modern cultures, consider the ability to drive a car, or to drink alcohol. These mark the transition from childhood to adulthood, and are also important facets of certain cultures (some more than others, of course!). I would argue the same for the two-tined spear. At least to me, Ortho is indicating that such spears are an important sign of status amongst adult sliths. And so sliths really do care about what spears they use! Here’s Ortho’s second point: “Also, some of our warriorsss with bigger strength use the human-styled halberd. There is no dishonor in thisss.” I think it’s interesting that Ortho feels the need to state that there is ‘no dishonour’ in using human weapons. At least to me, that implies that there must be some who would disagree with him, even if it’s a small minority. After all, I feel that one rarely talks about there being ‘no dishonour’ in commonly accepted practices, like buying peaches or going for a walk, but only in issues which are in some way contentious. So, at least to me, this implies that there is a deep-seated feeling of honour in slith society associated with the slith spear, even if not all modern sliths would hold to that view. But that's only my reading of it, of course, and the game doesn't state this in any explicit way! In other words, my feeling is that Ortho’s words only serve to highlight the importance of the two-tined spear in slith society. I don’t take from them that sliths use whatever spears they feel like. Rather, that the two-tined spear has an important cultural significance for the sliths, and that sliths would generally use one in preference to any other type of spear – unless they turned their hands to a different type of human weapon, of course!
  14. Sorry to keep contradicting you, Almighty Doer of Stuff, but that’s not quite the case here. The graphics you’ve posted are mostly from Blades of Exile, but not from Exile I. To demonstrate this, here’s a set of items taken directly from my copy of Exile I 2.0.1. As before, I’ve blown these up to make them easier to see: As you can see, the slith spear still has two tines, even in this newer version of the graphics. This graphic was changed in the new graphics in Exile II onwards, for some curious reason. This includes Blades of Exile, which is probably why you’re familiar with that version! It’s not clear why the change was made, since the games still make it very explicit that slith spears have two tines. And all the rest of the art shows two-tined spears. As you’ve seen, that extends well into the Avernum games, and in fact right into the modern day! (Fun side fact: there’s a slith spear in the splash art for 5 out of the 7 Avernum games.) If I were to guess, I would suggest that the trident graphic was made for Exile III. Perhaps Jeff originally intended to include a trident weapon as a replacement for the slith spear, something made on the surface world? After all, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine a version of Exile III which didn’t feature any sliths at all, save for the player characters. Perhaps his plans changed, and he ended up just using the trident graphic for slith spears after all? At least from my perspective, it’s actually pretty hard to tell the graphic is a trident when viewed in-game. For what it’s worth, I don’t think I ever actually noticed it was three-tined before you mentioned it!
  15. I beg to differ, Almighty Doer of Stuff! So far as I’m aware, the sliths have always used spears with two prongs (or ‘tines’). This distinguishes the spears from tridents, which necessarily have three tines. I suppose you could strictly call the slith spear a ‘bident’, using the ‘bi’ for two rather than the ‘tri’ for three, although personally I feel that would be a little misleading. At least in my mind, slith spears have their prongs a little closer together than classical bidents. The two-tined slith spear has been something of a feature of the race since their first appearance. To demonstrate this, here are a few graphics taken from Exile I. The first two are from the earliest version I have available – 1.0.5 – which is as close to original release of Exile as I can get. The third is taken from 2.0.1, using the new set of graphics used in Exile III onwards. I’ve blown up these graphics a little to make them a little easier to see. Exile 1.0.5, Example one: Exile 1.0.5, Example two: Exile 2.0.1: While it’s not always straightforward to determine little details in small-scale pixel art, I think this is one situation where the art is fairly clear. At least to my eyes, all these spears have two prongs. The nature of the weapon is also explicitly referenced in Exile I. Here’s some text referring to Garthass in Gnass: “A gigantic slith, green skin bright and shiny, muscles bulging awesomely, forges a slith two-tined spear.” And in case there’s any doubt, here’s a really nice example from Avernum 6. While there is a small central prong, this is largely as an extension of the spear's haft for balance and parrying (much as in some historic bidents). Since the part of the spear used as a weapon consists of only two prongs, this is still a two-tined spear: It’s easy to misremember little details like these, which is one reason I just wanted to write a quick clarification. We sliths need to stand up for our culture, after all! Ahssss. Incidentally, for those who want to read a little more fan-created lore about these spears, it’s worth at playing Kelandon’s Homeland trilogy, not least Exodus. He has an interesting theory about the origin of these spears, and the weapons traditionally used in the slith’s homeland! I’ll be sure to remind you of that, Slarty, next time we get into a long, protracted argument about a little detail of Spiderweb lore
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