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Everything posted by Iguana-on-a-stick

  1. Personally, I find it very hard to remember the story of the Avernum games. (There was an emperor, right?) I'm not even sure how many I played. But the Geneforge games each stand out crystal clear. Probably because the central questions of the geneforge world fascinate me. Like @Corylea said, questions of "what kind of power over life should be allowed, and who should have that power" is a lot more topical than "Should we or should we not exile all the undesirables to underground Australia." Perhaps had I lived in 19th century England I would have found the Avernum games more relevant. 🙂 Edit: Though I think it also helps a lot that each Geneforge game is set in a distinctive and memorable location with a big overland map you spend a lot of time looking at. Avernum all tends to blur together as "it's a big cave."
  2. Not sure if it's a defense of the Shapers or a condemnation, but this is not the case. Self-shaping via canisters or the gene-forge or any other method is strictly forbidden according to Shaper law. (I don't consider this a spoilers since your character would know this, and I do seem to recall it being mentioned now and again.) Because it has side effects. Shaper arrogance just happens because they believe they have all the answers and they certainly do have all the power, but they do have a few sane policies like "let's not change ourselves into power-hungry gods." There's a reason Sukia island was Barred, after all. That said, I've always enjoyed the Canisters as a mechanic. It's an ideal gamer-trap. On the one hand you get all these cool powers and abilities for free. But on the other you lose control over your character and may end up facing even more damning long-term consequences in-story. (Depending on the game and your choices therein.)
  3. I also started with Geneforge 4, and it's actually what turned me against the rebellion. Won't go into detail why because spoilers, but the first time playing as a rebel (as the default) I just got more and more uncomfortable with it all and ultimately just stopped playing. Later restarted with a character who started listening to the Shapers instead and had a lot less of a problem. I still remember with great fondness how we crushed the rebellion at the end. Geneforge 1, on the other hand... well, I completely share OP's sentiment regarding the Obeyers. Considering they're the pro-shaper faction... they actually did a lot to turn me against the Shapers compared to the rebellion stuff in 4-5. (I played the games in sequence 4, 5, 1, 2, 3) (My shaper character rationalised it as "they're just confused, they've been without guidance so long they've started developing all these weird ideas." But I doubt he's actually convincing himself.)
  4. 1] Have the Dominate spell 2] Have 1 or 2 points less Mental magic than the dominate spell requires. (i.e. at least 1 point in mental magic.) 3] Equip charmed plate 4] Cast dominate. I haven't tried this with Charmed Plate, but my Shaper spent much of the mid-game only able to cast spells thanks to the Vlish skin tunic and Carnelian gloves.
  5. Funnily enough, after I killed Gnorrel the guards north of Kazhg were all hostile, but the named Servile who gives you the quest to find the spy was NOT. And the spy was hostile. So after the spy charged my pack of creations and got eaten, and after all the guards outside the gate charged my pack of creations and got eaten, right in front of Amena, he happily rewarded my character for dealing with the spy. I then fed him to my pack of creations.
  6. The value listed here is the item's base value, not the shop price. The shop price is the base value multiplied by some modifier. If the shop's prices are, say, "utterly ridiculous" that is a pretty huge modifier. So yeah, that's the right price.
  7. Jeff said there will be more creations like the Cockatrice. You interpret that to mean there will be more creations that, lore-wise, are the result of multiple shaping disciplines being used together, and that this will lead to a new creation category being created. I interpret that to only mean there will be more new creations, possibly requiring a quest to unlock or upgrade them. I consider the whole "hybrid" thing to be incidental. Future new creations could just as easily be normal fire/battle/magic types. I also suspect that Jeff's plans are not set in stone at this stage.
  8. Or we could get the cockatrice as a non-secret creation in future games. That would nicely cover a high-end magic creation. (And then add a new secret creation, kickstarter willing.)
  9. That is true. You can usually just click the dialog away or not select the dialog option that prompts the question in the first place. I have done so when I really did not think my character would say either response. But that feels a bit awkward RP wise. A diplomatic/neutral/wishy-washy option would feel more natural. It would have one mechanical difference: clicking the dialog away keeps option available in case you go back to talk to that NPC in the future. Selecting a neutral response would still count as giving a response.
  10. Yeah, this is where the "universal tracker of what you said" mechanic becomes a bit simplistic. I actually did much the same thing in my playthrough, as my shaper was generally fairly uninterested in servile politics and just nodded and smiled and agreed with them when they asked him questions so as to get past them faster. But on that same note he did not try to join any. (He did at one point feed the Takers to his Cryoas for reasons of them being in league with outsider enemies.) The universal reputation tracker can still be kind of justified if we assume the serviles are incurable gossips and that the new Shaper is their number 2 favourite topic, after the weather and before the plague of rogue monsters. Then a shaper like this comes across as ambivalent or disingenuous. (which he is.) Kind of falls flat with the story claiming the Takers have pretty much closed their borders, so it comes down to a handful of spies on each side still communicating. And also kind of falls flat when it tracks things you told Servile Hermit no. 4 in the deep wilderness. I would have loved that option. Ever since Planescape:Torment I have liked the inclusion of lying in games like these. You could even keep the reputation impact the same and make the option purely cosmetic. Or add some "neutral" options that have no impact on reputation. "Yes, that is a very interesting opinion. I shall have to think on this further." "You don't say? I'd love to comment, but I need to feed my Fyora."
  11. As a Shaper playing on Normal this was not my experience at all. There were certainly some fights and areas that were very tough, and a few difficulty spikes I struggled with, but I only occasionally lost creations. (When I did I gave them a number behind their name, so at a certain point I'd be walking around with a Searing Artila "Nurgal IV". But I don't think I had any creature go above V or so. My Glaakh actually never died, though he was the only one..) For example, that fight with Gnorrel (and all the guards) was really quite easy. I believe I did lose 1 creation (It was a Nurgal, poor acid worm thing.) but other than that my Cryoas and Roamers and Winslow the Glaakh made short work of the enemy. But by the time I had found those Shapers and gotten the quest my Shaper was level 15, not level 8. Don't think I could have done it at a much lower level. I did use some items and used the essence pool to cast Essence Shield on everybody first. I expect Essence Shield made a huge difference in general in letting my creations survive. (Usually cheaper in essence than healing, and a lot more effective. Worked wonders on pylons in particular.) I do expect a Guardian will have a considerably tougher time than a Shaper. A lot of those tough fights devolved into "cast charm, mop up survivors." Jeff has indicated he is thinking of adding more stuff for shapers and guardians in future remakes.
  12. Problem is that those actions could ALSO be done by a really hard-line shaper who believes all rogues should be purged and all the serviles should die. (cough, agent whatsherface in the south east.) So I can see why the takers are loath to trust mr. "talks a lot about how all serviles are animals born to serve the Shapers, kills a lot of serviles, and goes around to claims he did it for our sake."
  13. There are also mines you have to click on individually to disarm. These all require a mechanics check. Those look different from the "mines with feelers" though.
  14. Well, they certainly do explode. Perhaps not all of them, but the ones with the crystal machine definitely do. There's a timer in which you can run away, and then boom. If the spiral is gone it exploded. Perhaps you managed to walk away fast enough not to get hit and did not notice?
  15. There's a different message on the first click if you will fail the mechanics check. Something like "it seems extremely complex". I only noticed after the first time I exploded my party, but it is worhwhile. I also found that most pylons with such high mechanics did something beneficial and I did not WANT to turn them off.
  16. If you lack mechanics skill, a power spiral explodes. Otherwise it's just shut down. Those particular spirals require something like 14 mechanics, so you probably lacked the skill and broke the machine.
  17. The machines provide items. Look at the ground, items should drop there after you activate the machine. The pylons can be disabled without combat. Talk to the brain. You may need leadership for that. Either way, you don't need to do every area in the game if you don't want to. And you can kill the Sholai if you wish. No need to listen to them if you don't want to.
  18. You have to find the secret canister, as always. Secret creations only appear on the menu after you find the canister. They wouldn't be much of a secret otherwise.
  19. And buffs. Except in a few areas this is more of a convenience/resource management thing, but having a charged Vlish blessing and a searing artila protecting your party is very convenient, and it's only 8 essence if you have those creations anyway. (For their acid/vulnerability) Although I do find it hard on my manual dexterity to select them and use the abilities before combat starts.
  20. Try again after selecting a constitution upgrade. You will see the same damage increase. This is because the upgrades you buy increase a stat AND increase the creature's level. The boost is from the level increase. This is confusing, but as illustrated above the damage tooltips you see do NOT include your stat bonuses. Only the base level-based damage. The stat bonus is listed after the normal damage as a percentage. (i.e. +15%) If you select an intelligence upgrade you'll see that +15% increase to +20%. If you select the dexterity upgrade, you won't. Yes, that also happens on normal difficulty. You'll see your creation's get the "charm" effect confusingly enough and they'll start attacking you. (Would have been better to re-name it "berserk" or something, but well.)
  21. A dragon has a hoard. It's a big pile of treasure. A Mongol army is a horde. It's a lot of soldiers/people. This has been a public service announcement. (Sorry, this particular homophone is a pet peeve of mine.)
  22. That fight can be cleared pretty early on normal difficulty. No need for Battle Alphas either. Just don't walk up to them, but start combat from a distance and be sure to use Daze a lot. With a wand you can get two tries at once. (I'm not a huge fan of Alphas though with their cleave their damage is fairly impressive. And they are quite tough, though a Roamer with the toughness upgrade is no slouch either. And my Shaper had already invested heavily in Fire shaping by the time I found that canister, so there was no real compelling reason to use Alphas)
  23. So supposing you reach level 18, buying a point of endurance would net a Shaper 14 hitpoints and a Guardian 21. At base hitpoints 98/100 respectively, that's a pretty dang huge boost. I don't think I've been tempted to buy endurance points before, but now I am. Creations still seem to get a flat amount, correct? Depending on creation type. Hmm. Might be time to retire that oozing belt.
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