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Juan Carlo

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Everything posted by Juan Carlo

  1. Best way to do it is to put a summoned shade in the doorway and a melee/tank right next to him to block the other square in the doorway. Shades reaching Elderan allow him to either heal or do extra damage, so you have to keep shades from reaching him. A summoned shade works well to block as they are immune to other shades, so nothing can get past them. Give everyone speed potions, then hit Elderan with ranged magic, healing as needed. If you have an extra melee it works best to put them right next to Elderan. Also, I'm not sure what he's scripted to do, but if you don't knock him out of position with shield bash, he should stay in the middle of the circle and never teleport, go invulnerable, or heal for the entire battle. It will take a while, but Elderan doesn't do much damage on his own, so if you control the doorway to make sure no shades reach him the fight shouldn't be a problem. Did it this way on torment.
  2. I really hope Vogel doesn't waste time remaking Avernums 4 and 5. I see them as Spiderweb's worst games, by about a mile. A4 isn't actively awful, but it felt inconsequential and a bit of a lazy retread to me. A5 has a new setting going for it, but it has next to no plot (it's literally just "kill the bad guy!") and is painfully linear. I found myself loathing it more and more the longer it went on, but forced myself to finish it (because I'm too OCD not to). At anyrate, there'd definitely be no point in remaking A4 in 2018 as I don't think the difference in engine/interface between A4 and the current engine he's using is that great (and I doubt that will change drastically in just 3 years, although maybe the kickstarted engine/game will change that, I don't know what he has planned).
  3. What's the best way to get Adrenaline rush on casters? I'm already level 18 and haven't spent any points in weapons skills for my mage/priest. Training can get you to 8, but considering items, how many skill points would I have to spend to get there?
  4. I've been on a spiderweb bender the past few years, playing everything on torment. But AV:CS is definitely the first game, apart from perhaps Avernum 5, where trash mobs have bothered me. You can't walk two steps in a dungeon without having to kill 6 monsters at once. And you can't open a door without having to kill 4 bassilisks (or some other enemy). Which sucks, as for most of the game on torment, you will have to buff to survive those battles. The secret slith layer in the eastern gallery was a great example. It was packed with so many slith enemies that I have no idea how their sprites even fit in the level. Like, what are their living arrangements? I know they are fire resistance, but how do they get out if there is a fire? That whole secret base was a total health code violation. This game is long enough that I don't think it needs all the combat padding. 1-2 large groups of enemies per dungeon at points of interest would be sufficient.
  5. According to the item guide it's 2 fine steel and 4 focusing crystals. I assume that's wrong? Edit: Yeah, the guide was wrong. It's 5 fine steel and 5 focusing crystals.
  6. Do you need a certain reputation to get her to craft it? I have the materials but it doesn't show up as a crafting option for me. I'm in the mage's guild (or whatever that group is called).
  7. My level 2 slow seems to occasionally curse enemies if it doesn't slow them (I think war curse if I remember correctly). Maybe that's not a level 2 perk, though. I think I bought 2 levels at once, so I have no experience with level 1. Maybe it's in my head, but it seems to mostly happen with boss fights (Which is the only time I use it).
  8. I don't think archers are that bad, even on torment. They make up for their lack of damage output with range. It's necessary that they will do less damage than melee, lest they be grossly overpowered. If archers did as much damage as melee characters they would probably be game breaking. And dex builds were nearly game breaking in Avadon 1. I think with A:CS Vogel is finally reaching the correct balanced sweet spot with them.
  9. Random question I can't find answered anywhere: Which skills count toward battle disciplines? Is it just polearms/melee/bows and thrown weapons? Or do the top tier warrior skills count too?
  10. I just used my priest, summoned a shade before triggering the trap, then grabbed the stuff and ran while the shade was dealing with the revenant. Shades have tons of hitpoints, but if he starts to die you can always just heal him until you get past.
  11. The secret Slith hidehout quest that the commander of the eastern most fort in the Eastern Gallery gives you is very doable at level 14 on torment, if anyone's still looking for something to do.
  12. I'm in a similar spot. I had the same problem with EFTP. Suddenly the world opens up, but certain areas are clearly meant to be done at different levels. I remember reaching a point about mid game where I could go anywhere in EFTP that I wanted and not worry about difficulty too much, but it had a growing pangs phase just before that with lots of wandering from quest to quest just trying to find ones that I could do so I could level up. I'm doing torment and the first thing I did post-Vahnatai was the Serpent Cult, with sucked. I fought my way through, (just barely) killed the Drake in the pit and felt awesome about it....only to be disappointed that I couldn't kill the 3 bassilisks in the secret room to get the spell upgrade. Then I went upstairs to the 3 named bosses and assorted minions, whacked one of them, and realized there was no way I'd get through that fight at this point....so reloaded from a previous save and lost like an hour. So then I strolled up to Meritz (Mertz? Can't recall spelling) and went on the tower of madness honeycomb quest....and again hit a brick wall with a gauntlet of archers who paralyze you on hit. So finally I just went north and cleared out the Slith Fort from chapter 1, and the ogres, and some other odds and ends, and then did the slave Cat people quest (which was pretty easy, but gives pretty good experience, so I'd recommend that). Now I'm running scattreshot around East Gallery, doing what I can, and things are getting easier.
  13. This is a good idea. There are older games that have gotten steam workshop support (Duke Nukem 3d, for example). It's a great way to revive dormant modding communities. That said, I doubt Jeff would do it if it required any added work on his end (i.e. updating the engine or implementing workshop itself).
  14. Anyone know what is a good number to aim for for tool use and cave lore skills? I know super high totals in either aren't always necessary, but what's the max you need to find every cache and open every door?
  15. Ditto. I will definitely buy all future games from the SW store if they come with steam keys, though.
  16. Is there still a point at which you can no longer train in certain skills? I'm used to the older Avernums where you could power game by not putting points into certain skills until you train them up first....but I just realized that Avernum 2 forces you to spend all your skill points on level up. So you can no longer hoarde skill points until you've trained in a certain area. So what's the best way to use trainers? Does it still make sense to hold out on increasing certain skills until you train? Or are they more just to make your characters more well rounded and buy "group" skills like lore and whatnot? Obviously, it would make sense to train in as many skills as possible first, before leveling them, if there is a cap on training levels. But at the same time, since you have to spend points every level up, there might be a point of diminishing returns if you are putting all of your points in lower level skills while waiting for the trainers. Waiting to level up at all might work I guess, but I'm not so masochistic that I'd tackle the game without leveling up at all until post trainers.
  17. The having to press "g" constantly thing is odd, but you get used to it. It was the single biggest interface issue for me the first Spiderweb game I played, as it just didn't make sense to me why objects like doors are clickable in the world, but not inventory items. But many, many, games later, pressing "g" after every battle just becomes second nature, to the point that I no longer think about it. I think the problem is that higher resolutions make the world so tiny that clickable items just wouldn't work with the engine, as sometimes it's hard to see stuff. So the "g" seems a necessary evil in the context of a 2D engine whose graphical assets are not easily scaleable to higher resolutions. Without "g," finding interactable items would be a tedious pixel hunt. So until Vogel decides he wants to completely rewrite the engine, it seems like it's here to stay. It is slightly schizophrenic that some boxes and pots are clickable in the environment, though, but not items....so you have to be aware of two different levels where items are (i.e. on the ground, accessed via "g" and in receptacles, accessed via clicking) and use 2 different actions to get to them, which is kind of annoying. But Spiderweb reuses so many of its graphics, that you quickly learn which boxes, items, and bone piles are clickable, so it become second nature (plus, you can press "tab" to see all interactible objects on the screen like doors, people, and boxes). The not being able to press "g" or "i" to close the inventory, though, is an annoyance that seems to me like it should be fairly easy to fix. So I agree with you there. Maybe it's another one of those "concessions made for IPAD users" things like no longer being able to close doors, I don't know.
  18. Juan Carlo

    2014 Movies

    I don't see as many movies in the theater since I moved away from a larger city. I used to see 2-3 a week sometimes, but now I'd have to drive 3 hours to get to a decent art house theater. Which sucks as while I love going to the movies, I just don't watch as many at home. I'm way too ADHD to watch movies at home, which is why I love theaters as they force me to pay attention for the duration. Anyhow, I haven't seen everything released this year at all, but so far my favorites were: 1. Ida--Instant classic and gorgeous to look at. Very Ingmar Bergman-esque, only much prettier than any of his films. 2. Snowpiercer--Awesome action film from the guy that did "The Host." On one level it's a Marxist allegory, but its politics are nuanced enough that I don't think it's an easy political screed for one perspective or another. 3. Under the Skin--Unforgettably strange portrait of extreme loneliness and social isolation. Basically about an alien preying on humans, but that's kind of beside the point as the film's not really about its plot or anything. Didn't think much of it when I saw it, but I couldn't stop thinking of it after and it really grew on me. 4. Nightcrawler--Another strange, creepy, film about a social outcast. Jake Gyllenhall is completely loathsome in this. 5. The Grand Budapest Hotel--My favorite Wes Anderson movie since The Royal Tenenbaums. It has more heart than his usual stuff, which too often comes off as cold, stylistic, exercises. 6. The Babadook--Horror film that's not really like other horror films. It's basically an exploration of grief over the death of a family member, only that grief is externalized via a monster that you are never really sure if it's real or in the protagonists' heads. Has a neat, anti-climactic, ending, which is kind of refreshing in the horror genre. 6. Nymphomaniac--this isn't anywhere near his best, but I'm really a sucker for Lars von Trier. Other stuff worth noting Art film Disguised as Summer Blockbuster: Noah--I really liked this movie and kind of marvel over how it was made at all. It deviates from Genesis significantly and has rock giants, true, but probably the most daring part was mashing up the story of Noah with the story of Abraham and Isaac in a very talky, actionless, second half on the boat. Again, kind of shocked a major studio would finance and release it wide. Way better than I thought it would be: Amazing Spider Man 2 (tonally strange film that, nonetheless, ended up being pretty darn fun. And I really, really, loathed Amazing Spiderman 1) Disappointing, but worth seeing anyway: Interstellar Most Overrated: Guardians of the Galaxy (another Marvel mediocrity) Good films almost ruined by an awful ending: Edge of Tomorrow, Birdman Most Boring: Captain America (seriously, at this point Marvel films are really more about corporate synergy than anything else. They are basically all just advertisements for eachother. They will never do anything creative or original out of fear of messing up the elaborate universe continuity, which means they all come off as assembly line mediocrities regardless of who directs them).
  19. If he doesn't get it done by early December he might as well wait until January. Valve doesn't usually release new games during the Steam Sale, as people will be too distracted by the sale to pay full price for anything new.
  20. Surprised by how many people support Euthanasia in any case, as opposed to just terminal illness. That's basically advocating that doctors aid otherwise healthy depressed people in killing themselves, which is pretty extreme. Plus, there's a difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide. I'm morally uncomfortable with euthanasia (which usually implies that the doctor administers the killing agent himself, as opposed to assisted suicide where he just provides the means and the instruction and it's up to the patient to do it themselves), but don't have as much problem with assisted suicide in cases where the patient is terminally ill. As to abortion, I generally support it up to the point where the fetus no longer needs the mother to live on its own. After that, though, no. And laws, at least in the USA, use that as their standard cut off (I forget how many weeks it is). I think killing the fetus after that point essentially becomes murder as one could just as easily carefully remove it and it would have a good chance of surviving on its own. As to rights, I personally think it makes the most sense to bestow rights upon the baby at the point it leaves the mother's body, as that's the instant when it becomes its own separate person. Although, I acknowledge that this conception of abortion leaves a weird liminal area between the point at which I think it's immoral to kill the fetus and the actual point at which it gains rights once it's born. But I see the former as a moral and ethical issue, and the latter as a legal issue. So no contradiction in my mind.
  21. I think a spotted a new brick wall texture that wasn't in any of the previous games. That must have broken the bank!
  22. So I just finished Nethergate, which means I've now completed every Spiderweb game on steam on torment difficulty. That's Geneforge1-5, Avernum4-6, Escape from the Pit, Nethergate, and Avadon 1-2. I feel like I should be awarded some kind of honorary Master's degree in Spiderwebology (or, failing that, at least some kind of certificate that says, "Congratulations! You officially have no life!") Yeah, I know what you are going to say: What about Blades of Avernum, Avernum 1-3, and the Exiles? I dunno.....I'd rather wait for the remakes, I guess (please don't rain on my parade in my hour of triumph). Anyhow, took me 3 years and over 900 hours (although, a good deal of that was me alt-tabbing doing otherstuff. I know a few times I forgot it was running and went to sleep, so that's probably greatly inflated).
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