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Walker White

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Everything posted by Walker White

  1. One of the things that I am noticing about this game is the amount of "legacy content". That is, content that made sense in previous versions, which was converted with minimal effort to make things easier for Jeff, but which really does not make a lot of sense in the modern game. I mean things like in-town healers, the Crystal Cave (which was great in Exile when you had to pay to rest, but now is at a point where you have cleared the Eastern Gallery before it becomes available and hence less useful), food merchants, and the shady merchants (who used to sell thieves equipment, but now sell junk). We even have some Avernum 1 legacy content with the non-recruitable recruitable NPCs. But the biggest one that stands out in this game is Smite. People still say Smite is a Giant-Killing weapon, but it is nothing of the sort. It has no extra effects on Giants, and is simply a (nice) weapon that gives extra action points. Was there a reason to remove the Giant abilities on Smite? And if so, why do people still talk about it as a Giant killer?
  2. The issue I find is that you get a lot of stuff in the demo area that feels like you should be going after the sliths ASAP. But the party is not ready for that, and really needs to be directed to the Great Cave. Once you do a lot of jobs in the Great Cave, then the sliths become easy. But that is less about nerfing and more about player direction.
  3. I know we don't play Jeff's games for the graphics, but this is really starting to bug me. Jeff has done a lot of work on particle effects and walking animations, and it makes the game look nice. But then I get into a boat and find myself back in Avernum 1 circa 2001. To see what I mean, get in a boat and travel the bank along Silvar and Cotra. See that nice, simple animation as the guards slide from one grid location to the next? You, on the other hand, teleport to the adjacent grid location with no animation in between. Why is my movement animated as a slide when I am on land, but not on the water? The effect is even more jarring when you take a boat inside a town. In fact, I honestly think this would not be bothering me if the rest of the graphics had not received as much work.
  4. Originally Posted By: Earth Empires it was possible to mod Avadon on all platforms so why not Avernum? Technically, you cannot mod the iPad. Not with out jailbreaking, which is dangerous and unacceptable. The script files are not accessible, even to iExplorer. The only things that you can access are the saves, which is not the same as modding. And if he changes where that data is stored, or. Changes the format to be iPad-specific, you will not be able to do anything there either.
  5. Never mind. Found them. They are now in Library/Application Support/Spiderweb Software. The format is identical. So it looks like we will be able to mod the iPad version of Avernum as well.
  6. I was playing around with some new tools on my iPad and discovered that I could extract Avadon Saved Games from the iPad and mod them on my computer, which is really nice. But while doing this, I noticed that there was nothing in the Spiderweb Software folder for AEtP. Looking in the App package contents also turns up nothing. Searching on "Avernum" just matches a lot of old titles, but nothing for new saves. Where the heck are these things? I was hoping that when the iPad version comes out we would be able to exchange these back and forth as well. Would give me an excuse to pick up the iPad version.
  7. Disclaimer: I have only tested this out on a Macintosh, but the necessary program - iExplorer - is also available for Windows. If someone is willing to test this out on a Windows machine, then I will update this. One of the great things about Jeff's games is that you can freely mod them via his scripting language. This is particularly useful at getting your self out of tight situations. Want to make that town no longer angry at you? How about giving yourself a few extra gold? Or reset a quest you botched? Unfortunately, the iPad is locked down and this is not possible. However, you can do the next best thing: you can load an iPad saved game on your computer and modify it there. To perform this experiment, you will need the following: 1. One copy of Avadon on the iPad 2. One copy of Avadon on the computer of your choice 3. One (free) copy of iExplorer Avadon Saved Games Before you begin, it is important to understand how save files work in Avadon (and other Spiderweb games). On the Macintosh, they are stored in a game specific subdirectory of "Documents/Spiderweb Software". You will note that the save files are stored in folders names SaveX, where X is a number between 0 and 19. However, saves 18 and 19 are special, as they are quick save and autosave, respectively. In each folder are the files "data", "header", "items" and "journal". You want to keep these together to keep from corrupting your saved game. The iPad uses exactly the save structure for its saved games, with a few caveats. On the iPad, the saves are numbered 0 through 20, where 19 and 20 are the special ones. Save 18, the old quick save, has been repurposed as a traditional save. Saves 19 and 20 appear to be tied to the autosave, though I cannot figure out what the difference is. More importantly, these saves are handled very, very differently and are actually cached in two different locations. To keep from corrupting your game, I highly recommend against using them. In fact, it is generally best to stay focused on saves 0 through 17 as they are structurally similar in each version. Extracting Your Saved Game To access the save files, first make sure that Avadon has been completely stopped on the iPad. Double tap the home button to pull up the currently running apps at the bottom. If the Avadon icon is not there, you are fine. Otherwise, hold down on the icon (the one at the bottom, not the actual app icon) until the minus sign shows. Tap the minus to stop the game. Once you have done this, connect your iPad and launch iExplorer. Follow the directory path "[iPad name]/Apps/Avadon HD". You will see three folders here: "Documents", "Library", and "tmp". At first glance, it would seem as if you want the folder "Documents", as that even has a folder "Spiderweb Software" with saved game folders, just like the Macintosh version. But this is a red herring; the only active saved games are the special 19 and 20 saves here. The actual saves are in "Library/Caches/Spiderweb Software/Avadon Saved Games". For the saved game you want, simply drag the four files ( "data", "header", "items" and "journal") from the saved folder slot in the iExplorer window to the appropriate saved game folder on your computer. Load up your copy of Avadon and play a modded game to, um, enhance your character. Then save, and copy the four files back to your iPad (preferably in the original slot). When you start Avadon back up on the iPad, it wiil be appropriately modified.
  8. I ask because respecing is such a pain: what is the maximum tool use I will ever need?
  9. Originally Posted By: Randomizer Okay getting in to the center involves finding one of two hidden switches along the long corridor east west corridor after things go dark. Okay, now I am embarrased. I swear I searched that wall at least 10 times.
  10. Originally Posted By: Randomizer There shouldn't be any problem leaving the central chamber except a few undead on the way out. The two wheels have one that opens a path to a chest and the other opens vengeful shades and a path to that box using a hidden switch. What I mean is that I cannot find how to get to the source of the evil.
  11. So I can definitely attest that this map has changed. What am I missing? I have tried every single combination of turning the two wheels (I have entered and exited this place 5 times now). I have pressed the switch in the alcove opened by the second wheel. And I still cannot find routes out of the central chamber.
  12. Originally Posted By: The Turtle Moves And I agree, accidentally entering towns is weird and annoying. I guess we have to expect a few quirks in this marriage of old and new. In this case, I don't understand why. This is A* algorithm 101.
  13. This new pathing algorithm is giving me fits. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have clicked to go somewhere, a town is "in the way", and I get sucked into the town. I have had that happen even when I am trying to leave said town. Also, I am not a fan of the forced mouse interactions. Why can I walk into some containers to have them open, but others must be clicked on?
  14. Originally Posted By: Soul of Wit Originally Posted By: Randomizer Use "esc" to close the inventory and most windows. The Enter/Return keys also will close most windows. Most, but not all. None of the event triggered dialogs (the ones with just 1. OK) do this. Which is a change from previous Spiderweb games, and really annoying.
  15. At first I was surprised that the party was all human, but then I remembered that did not start until Avernum/Exile 2. Does anyone else expect the Batman scene change music to play whenever the peace sign flashes across the screen? Or is that just me?
  16. Originally Posted By: Everything is Impossible Is Mass Effect an RPG? You've got stats. You can pause. You still have to be able to aim, though, and if you can't do it without pausing it's a little difficult. The second installment goes even more shooter and less statistical. But I still think it can make it into the solid hybrid category. Powers autotarget; you move the reticle until the target is surrounded by a red box, so aiming is easy. And while it is hard to play a soldier pausing all the time, it is very easy to do so with an adept. In fact, playing an adept in ME2 felt more tactical than playing a mage in Dragon Age 2. So a lot of the "is it an RPG" can actually depend on the class.
  17. As a follow-up to my last post. The thing that I really want to see Jeff do is better retrofit the old plot lines/level design to the new mechanics. Avernum 2 is a great example. Exile 2 was all about mind duel. You were gearing up for the great boss battle with Garzahd. The end tower was demons everywhere, and locking yourself in constant mind duel. In Avernum 2, you kept the same format and lots of demons, but it was just mindless bashing (and Repel Spirit on everything). So the layout was exactly the same but the spirit of the game was lost. On the other hand, the move from conveyors to mirrors and lazers in the Golem lair of Avernum 3 was great. It kept a lot of the spirit of the game but actually made it much more fun than Exile 3 (oh lord, those conveyors). Jeff has really carefully thought about his boss battles in the later Avernums (4-6) when it felt like he was phoning it in for the remakes (Avernums 1-3). I am actually looking forward to the next Avernum remake in the hopes that he takes these lessons and redoes it right this time.
  18. I know that the debate has moved on from this, but... Originally Posted By: Drakemoore 1. The necessity to consume food along your journey and a common food pool to use like Gold is. Just like the system Exile 1~3 used. Any food bought or picked up would immediately go into your party's food pool. I am not a fan of food. I have used Skyrealms of Arcadia as a lesson in bad UI design all the time. Not only did it have food, but you had to drag the food to the mouth of your paper doll in order to feed the character. And you had to do this multiple times a game day. Thankfully no one remembers this game. However, it is true that resource limitation can heighten a sense of urgency or other emotion in a game. Act II of Avernum 2 felt very, very different than act II of Exile 2. Why? Because you did not have to worry about running out of food all the time. Similarly, the Tower of Zkal in Exile 3 constantly drained you of mana, and you needed to get through quickly (and have a lot of energy potions) to survive the Lich battle; Avernum 3, not so much. I understand Jeff wanting to take these hardcore aspects out of the main plot line. But it would be nice to see them in the advanced dungeons (like say, the Tower of Zkal).
  19. Originally Posted By: FnordCola RPG hybrid systems can work well, though. I've recently been playing Mass Effect 2, and while I was terrible at it at first (shooters aren't my forte), I've really warmed up to it. I've also heard good things about the Deus Ex series. I was a hardcore RPG player that had never played shooters before ME. That game really challenged me to rethink RPGs. I am a serious fan of the changes in ME2. I love the controller abilities in biotic characters. But the thing that really makes that game is tactical pause. You can play it real time as a shooter, or paused and looking about the room to line up a shot. THAT is what VATS could/should have been and was not. I finished DE:HR recently. Nice game, but questionable design choices. It really plays up the multiple ways to solve a mission, but stealth offers an order of magnitude more XP than anything else. Complete stealth appears to be the only way to max out praxis points in the game. This crap is why mission XP has become more popular than per kill XP - it only cares that the mission was completed, not how it was done.
  20. Originally Posted By: The Upright Man Actually, I thought Fallout 3 and especially New Vegas were excellent RPGs. They require a lot of interaction with the world and characters. And they got even better in New Vegas where decisions had very significant consequences. Those games are far from FPS's. The problem with the notion of RPG is that that there is no clear definition of it. If you mean a game where you play a character defined by mathematical attributes, then that is every single AAA computer game title today. Fallout 3 is an excellent example of what separates the different types of RPG players. If open world exploration is the most important defining attribute for you, then it is a great RPG. If storyline is more important for you, then it is okay, but not as good as a BioWare game. And if tactical combat and game mechanics are what define an RPG then Fallout 3 is one of the worst RPGs ever made. While I do not deny Fallout 3 is an RPG, the latter issue made me quit the game in disgust. No controller abilities to speak off. The mechanics actively discourage you from teaming with companions (because they take you XP if they kill it first; is this the 1980s?). And VATS is the most horribly designed tactical mechanic to ever exist (the mathematics make it so that it is almost never advantageous to do anything other than a headshot).
  21. Originally Posted By: Better living through shaping! But how many of those games have soundtracks that are considered particularly good? —Alorael, who would guess that the most highly-regarded sountracks, and there aren't many, tend more towards the 2+ hours. It's not necessary for your game, but it can't hurt. The Mass Effect soundtrack is very highly regarded. So much so that the BioWare forums have a lot of handwringing over the change in composer for ME3. However, there are quite a bit of debates between those who prefer the 80ish electronic soundtrack in ME1 and those who like the orchestral, cinematic soundtrack of ME2. It is a big deal to ME fans. Inon Zur (Dragon Age) is a highly respected composer, but I find those soundtracks to be meh. The soundtracks for the Assassin's Creed series are very well respected. And as my wife says, while that game may not be (classically considered) an RPG, it is certainly becoming more of an "RPG trainer" every release.
  22. How do you access the cheats in the iPad version? There is no way to type Shift-D.
  23. Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES The first type of game lends itself to dramatic interactions between characters and intricate personal relationships, and initially gained prominence among console RPGs that put a strong emphasis on storytelling. Are you seriously calling the Baldur's Gate series console games? This is the old BioWare versus Obsidian/Bethesda argument. It has nothing to do with the console versus PC argument. I think it is nice that Jeff is trying something different. Hopefully it does not bankrupt him.
  24. Walker White


    Originally Posted By: RedHerring Wait, *I* want a location! I didnt catch that quest until after I'd gotten back to the Aerie and I really cant be arsed to go comb thru the entire wretch warrens. Anyone care to tell me where those binders are at? They are in a desk. Search every desk in the warren (top level). I admit that I missed them the first time. I broke down and searched the script files to find the location.
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