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Everything posted by stilltim

  1. That was basically what I had in mind. But, as a Guardian, you have limits as to how much shaping power you can buy. That was what I was trying to get at. Pick just one shaping skill and plow more points into it than you did each of the three the first playthrough. Even as a shaper, I just picked fire and magic shaping and ignored battle shaping. (I had about 5 in each and my creations still felt a little weak for certain opponents). For a guardian, that level will come much more dear. Magic is probably a good choice if you just pick one. The Searing Artila and the Terror Vlish both have attacks (acid/mind attacks) that the super-buffed Sholai guards defend against poorly. In most cases, you shouldn't have to. I've only had to do that with one or two of the Avernum games and it's mostly because my personal playstyle is WAY different than the power players recommend for those games.
  2. I agree with some of this. The serviles guarding Gnorrel are just ridiculously deadly, even late game and a few of the Sholai guards are just plain annoying. But, keep in mind, you were playing as a Guardian. Guardians are supposed to be bricks whose shaping ability is weak compared to actual shapers and have few (if any) creations of their own. They build up their personal combat stats to the point they can kick your behind all by themselves. That's the skillset you can buy cheap as a Guardian. Don't waste points on stuff you're not good at. Like a lot of Jeff's games, you have to focus on one thing and do it really, really well. If you want powerful creations, play as a Shaper. Having said that, I did feel that, even at high levels, my creations were weaker at high levels in this game than they had been in the first generation of the GF games. If it wasn't for the Airshock spell, (which was a lifesaver) I never would have survived most of the late game. (Not trying to be critical, BTW. Spiderweb's games are challenging (and meant to be so, I think). Sometimes, it takes a playthrough with a new game before you start to get a feel for how it's played.) Also agree with the assessment that the game as a whole is just tremendous storytelling. I always thought that GF1 was maybe Jeff's best work. But, this remake just moves it to a whole other level.
  3. My pleasure. I've got about 20 additional zones posted in non-annotated form now.
  4. The last few years, Jeff has had kind of a pattern. One year, he does a new game (next year is likely the 2nd Queen's Wish game). The next year, he revamps an old game and he does a few in the same series. So, the next one will probably be Geneforge 2. But, you likely won't see it until early 2023. In 2024, likely another Queen's Wish game, 2025 maybe GF 3... No, there is no crafting component to these games. Spoons, bowls, etc. are not worth collecting. There are 2 quests that ask you for collectables, though. Hold on to Shaper Records and Shaper Equipment.
  5. Mechalibur's point about Queen's Wish being more forgiving is probably one of the key points. All of Jeff's games allow you a lot of choice on how your character's skill's and abilities evolve as they gain experience. But, the games are challenging. So, it's totally possible to build a character that is not up facing the final challenges of the game. Queen's Wish lets you reassign experience points. The Avernum series is probably the most difficult in that respect. It has a very complicated advancement system and you might have to play the first game through a couple of times (and consult these forums) before you can build a character that can finish the toughest goals. All of Spiderweb's games are great games, though. You can't really go wrong. Pros and Cons in a nutshell: Geneforge: most interesting world and unique play (if you play as a shaper) by far. My personal favorite... so no cons 🙂 Avadon: This is the one that got me hooked. It has the most developed NPCs of all Spiderweb's Games and a really engaging story line. But, the series leans more toward telling you a story and feels less like a completely open world than Spiderweb's other games. Avernum: Very, very traditional fantasy RPG. Possibly the best games if you want to scratch that itch for a traditional RPG and great fun overall. But, the current versions of the first trilogy are remakes of games Jeff did many years ago. They sometimes feel a bit like the product of a young writer doing somewhat derivative work (though the setting is pretty original and well thought out). And, for that reason, maybe not the best place to get a feel for Spiderweb's unique style. Queen's Wish: Also a very traditional RPG, but has a little base building, a few really well developed supporting cast members, and overall feels like the product of a much more mature writer. Can't think of any cons about this one either.
  6. OK. Did get offers. But, I jdecided it would be less hassle to go ahead and set up my own site. It's up now https://stilltim.com/
  7. I have annotated zone maps for 47 of the game's 82 zones, plus miscellaneous underground and upstairs mini-maps. If anyone would be interested in hosting these, let me know. I'm not really interested in having my own website. If anyone remembers Ribu's maps for the original Geneforge, I based the page design on the zone maps from that. Ribu only had 11 zones, but I really liked was was done there and sort of wished there was more.
  8. Totally agree with this as well. I haven't played A4. But, just looking at the posted maps, the towns seem ridiculously close together. The later Ultimas largely had the same problem. It suddenly seemed like you could REALLY walk from one end of the world to another in about an hour. And frankly, I didn't think that being able to just stumble onto a town while wandering (which was Origin's explanation for why the Ultimas did this) really added as much to the game as the loss of the sense of scale took away. I do, however, think that creating a much larger world map (say 4 or 8 times the number of tiles in each direction) does alleviate this somewhat... and can be pretty cool. I can see how creating such a map might involve a huge amount of effort , though. I don't think the issue of longer travel times creates as big a problem as it might at first seem.... as long as you don't take the Ultima route and artificially slow your character's movement down to the apparent pace of his animated walking (aaaargghhhh!). Jeff has a neat solution to travel times with his telportation pylons anyway. Maybe if the mages have just been a little bit busier creating more of these than we were aware of in previous Avernum's....
  9. I've also been playing Avadon on an Andoid tablet... and frankly I disagree with almost everything the OP said. (Although I do agree that some game controls are OCCASIONALLY a little clumsy on even a 10-inch tablet). Spiderweb is creating games in a niche that has been neglected for a long, long time... and they're doing an excellent job of it judging by this game. When I was in high school and college, I was big fan of Origin's Ultima series. I played most of the games in that series through to the finish. Avadon does a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the best of those games... in somewhat higher resolution... and frankly, with far fewer resources than Origin had for the later entries in this series. It's really great to have games in this genre again. I would hate to see Spiderweb abandon this niche to chase the flashier gaming style of more recent games. I'm reminded of what actually happened to the Ultima series when Origin decided to do exactly what the OP here is suggesting. I remember seeing Richard Garriott (creator of the Ultima series) at Gencon while Ultima 7 was in development. He spoke then about the shift in paradigms that was going on from clunky, primitive sound and graphics to the flashy, multimedia affairs that have now become the rule. He felt that Origin was doomed if they didn't follow the trends and make flashier, more arcade-like games. Perhaps he was right for a company of Origin's size, but it spelled the end of the Ultima series. Ultima 7 turned out similar to previous games in the series, just a little prettier. The next iteration, however, was a disaster. The awful Ultima 8 ("Pagan") attempted to incorporate more of an arcade game feel... but it really felt like a really slow-paced, talky and frustrating platformer. Imagine a version of Super Mario brothers where you had to repeat every level 50 times because the jumps were too hard and in between, you had to run around talking to folks to find out important quest information. It was a disaster. Suitably chastised, Origin eventually released an Ultima 9 that was more like a traditional RPG, but this time using 1st person interface to try and capture the recent success of 1st person shooters. I gather this game was probably similar to the Elder Scrolls games, but the free demo they released was so buggy a lot of folks (including myself) couldn't even get it to run. So, this is the one game in the series I never played. Although Origin had one more success with the MMORPG Ultima:Online (a return to the game's tile based roots), the single player Ultimas were dead. And, I think it's for a simple reason: they forgot what made those games fun and compelling to their audience. So, they abandoned that audience to chase a different audience who were not fans of theirs... and created a disaster for themselves. I hope Spiderweb has the guts to stick to their principles. They're doing a wonderful job of creating games in this genre and I look forward to many more. As someone who actually got pretty far in creating my own game in this genre (back in the day), I'm in awe of someone who can finish a creation of this magnitude on their own.
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