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Posts posted by stilltim

  1. 8 hours ago, googoogjoob said:

    I don't think there's any reason to assume any of these changes are economically motivated, or "selling out," or "pandering," or whatever you want to call it. I think that requires one to assume that the older a Spiderweb game is, the closer it is to some Platonic ideal RPG, and that over time Jeff Vogel has progressively caved in on his ideals and made increasingly-degraded games that deviate ever-further from that ideal. Which is silly.



    Agreed. Jeff seems to tinker with mechanics from game to game and make them look and sound much better. But, the oldest Spiderweb games I've played still have similar play to the newest. I don't think he's dumbed them down at all.

  2. On 1/14/2022 at 7:11 AM, SoulScroll said:


    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.


    I did not play either Morrowind or Oblivion at length. I tried one of them briefly (Oblivion I think), but found that I invariably got lost in its ridiculously convoluted 3d maze-like dungeons and died before I was able to find my way back out again. I didn't find anything in Skyrim that felt like it was missing backstory from the previous games. It felt pretty standalone to me.

  3. I still have my notes for Ultima IV... meticulously jotting down every little thing said to be able to complete the very complicated (for the time) quests. And yeah, I had every level of every dungeon meticulously graphed. Fascinating at the time, and definitely the series that got me hooked on RPGs. But by today's standards, the game involved a lot of repetitive drudge work.


    Honestly, I prefer having the drudgery taken out of it. Those older games probably needed to make you do that stuff just to stretch the most play out of the tiny amount of actual content that fit on a few floppy disks. Modern games don't need that. I would be surprised if anyone found a game like Skyrim less immersive. (I'm personally missing several months of my life because of that game.) Jeff's games are a bit more challenged on that front, which is hardly surprising given that he's only 1 guy, but even his games dwarf those early RPGs and, to be honest, they're a lot more fun because of it.

  4. You don't necessarily need to ally with anybody. I completed both the original Geneforge and Mutagen without joining any faction. Joining just gives you a few nice goodies and can boost your experience with a few quests. Who you join is more like a test of character that shapes later events in the game. Each choice comes with its own benefits and challenges.


    Some tips:

    • Talk to everybody. See if they need help (will offer you a quest). The experience from quests is important. Getting some quests requires really exploring every option in a character's dialog
    • Go wherever you can without suffering a quick death. Some zones are easier for those with good combat skills, some zones are easier for those with high Mechanics, etc. So, it takes experimentation to find what path through the game will work best for your character.
  5. 9 minutes ago, googoogjoob said:

    while Randomizer's and stilltim's testing has documented locks that are in at least the 30s, and probably higher


    Randomizer tested up to about 28 or 30, after which he tends to note when you still need 1 tool. The comparisons revealed only one that was definitely higher than 30 (between 34 and 44) and that was on a lock which Jeff clearly wants you to get the key rather than pick. So, a normal max of about 30, with a handful of locks in the 31-35 range is entirely possible.

  6. 11 minutes ago, googoogjoob said:

    That said, the Dante's Guile trinket added to Mutagen has an unclear, AFAIK-as-yet-untested effect on operating machinery. It might simply reduce the Mechanics necessary to use certain scripted machinery?


    From its description, I got the impression that it might be a replacement for Luck checks related to mechanical devices - which the new Stealth stat would likely not help with.

  7. 19 minutes ago, Randomizer said:

    If I remember it correctly, the lower mechanics door is on the approach from the Central Labs and the other two are from the West Gate direction. So once you get through from the harder direction either from the Central Labs or fighting your way through the poisonous vats, the easier door lever is your reward. Jeff has a door in Holding Two which is mechanics 12 on one side and none needed on the other.


    I get that. But, I'm guessing in this case, it really was a transcription error on my part. I remember struggling with suddenly forgetting numbers in that hallway. I could have easily gotten one wrong. And the formula seems to work very well in every case but that one.

  8. It occurs to me that we can test this by comparing Randomizer's published lock levels with my published "x tools at y Mech" entries:


    • Central Labs has a couple doors that R says are M22. I've got 1 Tool at 12 Mech for both. So, if googoogjoob is correct, it would take 1 tool at 12 Mech to reduce the lock to M10 and the remaining M10 is free because it's not more than 12. That one works.
    • The West Gate has a box that R says is M17.  I've got 1 Tool at Mech 11.  1 Tool takes the lock down to Mech 6, which is free. That one works too.
    • There's also a door in that zone that R says is 1 Tool at M26, which would mean it would theoretically have a lock level between 27 and 52. I have 3 Tools at M11, which makes it between 23 and 33. That also works, and probably means the real value is between 27 and 33.
    • The Vats have 3 doors that R says are M28 plus 1 Tool, which puts the lock level between 29 and 56. I have M12 + 3 Tools for 2 of them, which would put the lock level between 25 and 36. Which also works if the real value is between 29 and 36. I also have one of these at 2 Tools rather than 3 (which DOES NOT work, but I'm guessing that's a transcription error. It does not make sense that 1 of the 3 doors protecting the servant mind would have a lower value than the other 2).
    • Kantre's Realm has a door that R says is 1 Tool at M26, which is between 27 and 52. I have 4 tools at Mech 11 which is between 34 and 44. That also works.
    • In The Hill, I have 3 doors listed at M11 plus 1 Tool. R has them at M13, M17 and M22... all of which work.

    So, assuming the one is an error on my part. It looks like  (lock level / your Mech) - 1 works in all cases.

  9. Thanks. I've been searching for the best way to describe lock difficulty. When I started doing annotated maps (years ago on original GF), I knew I didn't have a clue how it worked then. So, I just started recording my actual observation. For example, "Requires 3 Tools at Mech 8". 


    Then, I thought just indicating the lock level might be cleaner. But, that's also problematic because:

    • If Lock Level is Mech 9, it's probably pretty intuitive to a player with 8 Mech that he's going to have to burn 1 tool. But, if the lock level is Mech 30, that's not a particularly informative number unless the player knows the actual formula.
    • Since noone is likely to have a Mech much above 15, how would I calculate the level of a lock that's waaaay above that in the first place? (if I didn't know the formula).

    So lately, I've been thinking my first instinct was probably the most helpful to players and the most practical to record.



  10. Does anybody have any idea how the number of Living Tools required for locked items is calculated? It's obviously based on Mechanics, but it's not as simple as 1 point mechanics = 1 less tool. I'm guessing it's maybe something like:


    ((Mech needed for 0 Tools)/(Your Mech)) * (some constant)


    Other Mechanics checks are pretty simple. Trap and power spiral disable seem to be straight Mech checks (either you have enough or you don't). Power Spiral repairs seem to always take 1 tool plus you need a specific Mech score.

  11. 1 hour ago, Noman said:

    I may have sold the first Orb by accident.  Inventory is so limited and there are too many items I wanted to keep in case I might need them in the future. The Orb probably went in my junk bag.


    I suspect this is exactly what happened to the one I lost.


    1 hour ago, Noman said:

    I never finished GF2. I like Mutagen better.


    I always thought GF1 was the best of the series. But, the remake is a big improvement.

  12. I had a similar problem on my initial playthrough. I found both of the orbs, but managed to lose one. Fortunately, I had some mid game saves to go back to.  I don't know of any way to reset it, though.


    What I can say is that (if it's similar to its function in the original Geneforge), the Inner Crypt (which this door gives access to) is not essential for finishing the game. It's just a really hard zone (maybe the hardest in the game) that can give you some extra experience before you have to face off against the thugs at the Guarded Docks.


    The original GF2 had a similar near end game zone that had two objects as keys. Lost one of those too. *!@%^*

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