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Avernum 5, June Update


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Quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:
"Which leads to the obvious question: will battle disciplines also influence missile attacks?"

Heck yeah. I won't pass up on a chance to make missile weapons more viable.
I am in favor. laugh
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One of the things Avernum 4 was tremendously successful at was making missile weapons more viable. Actually, I was really impressed with that -- the hassle of using them was gone, they were strong enough to be worth using, but still weaker than melee enough to compensate for their range.

 

I notice that the screenshot has Aldous with 8 AP. I thought I remembered reading in a previous thread that A5 would go back to the older E/A AP system. Did I make that up?

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It's basically the same action point system as the older games, except that it has to be rescaled because the size of the world is different. You get a base 8 action points per turn. You can attack if you have any points left. Attacking takes away 9 action points. So if haste and speed items give you 10 or more AP, you can attack twice in a turn.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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So that would be the same as Geneforge 4, then.

 

Requests for Avernum 5:

 

* Don't put the quicksave and quickload keys right next to each other, it's too easy to hit the wrong one

 

* When closing dialogue windows, be consistent whether you need to hit "1 - OK" (where that is the only option) or a checkmark button at bottom right

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Attacking definitely only cost 5 action points in Geneforge 4's Windows version as well. It just cost all your remaining action points as well if you didn't have enough action points to make a second attack, which is why you should always use your items first and your normal attacks second.

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Quote:
Originally written by Micawber:
* Don't put the quicksave and quickload keys right next to each other, it's too easy to hit the wrong one
Ideally, make it possible to customize which keys are used for what. If not, definitely this would be an improvement.
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Yes, to clarify: the Geneforge rules heretofore have been that attacking costs 5 and using an item 3; except that if you have less than 10 AP remaining, then attacking uses up all your remaining AP. In G4 the change was made that you could also attack if you had any number of AP left. The net effect of these rules was the same as the system Jeff has just described for A5, unless you have 15 to 18 AP. Under all the old Geneforge systems, you could get 3 attacks in a round from this many AP, which was quite attainable with boosting items and haste. Under Jeff's new system, it seems that you will need at least 19 AP to get three attacks.

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Jeff is making the change that you can move and still attack with less than 9 AP. In A4 if you moved so you had less than 5 AP left, then you would lose the turn if you attacked or cast a spell unless you used a 3 AP item. This really hurt melee fighting since the enemy was rarely in attack range.

 

In GF4 if you used items first for attacking, then you got multiple attacks.

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Hmm, I wonder about something....

 

If you start out as empire soldiers in A5, shouldn't this mean that playing nephil and slith is not an option?

 

I know the current empire is a softy, but considering the fact that these races have already been driven off the surface, it seems highly unlikely to have them in such a party.

 

I mean, unless the current empire introduced a very aggressive positive discrimination program throughout his military, and its exactly that which seems very unlikely.

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I'm pretty confident we can start jumping off cliffs again in A5. It was one of the things I missed dearly in the GF series. But we're just going to have to wait for confirmation.

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There are cliffs, but you can no longer jump off them. As it turns out, adapting height for the semi-Geneforge engine wasn't so hard. Gravity would have to be completely rewritten, though, so now everything floats.

 

—Alorael, who has no explanation for this post and who will make no apologies.

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Quote:
Originally written by SevenMass:
Hmm, I wonder about something....

If you start out as empire soldiers in A5, shouldn't this mean that playing nephil and slith is not an option?

Jeff mentioned that the benevolent Empire allows for the recruitment of nephil and slith characters. Also that there will be more graphics available for players.
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Well, even if we cannot have cliffs as a part of the engine, I hope there will still be some special encounters in which we can satisfy our cliff-jumping cravings.

 

I do want to make it known, though, that the incorporation of height into the Geneforge style graphics is hard to get used to at first.

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Looks great, and it's nice to see elevation return. I'm eager to see how these disciplines turn out.

 

The one thing that distresses me a bit is at least one of the portraits still doesn't match the corresponding character graphic. I'm thinking of Aldous, worst offender of Avernum 4, who resembles himself not-at-all.

 

Edit: Although, since we're told more graphics are on the way, this could change. That'd be nice.

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Oooh..I just wonder..why aren't there cutscenes in Avernum..wait, not just Avernum..but all Spidweb Games?

 

You know..while your adventurers are resting..a cutscene shows up to show what your foes are thinking of what to do with you..but will not show enough to spoil things..

 

I'm not asking for FMVs but, you know..engine cutscenes like in Vagrant Story(anyone played this?)..it'll be nice..

 

If it can't be implemented in A5..there's still G5..

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There are cut scenes in some of the games.

 

Exile 3 has a long one for the ending, Geneforge 4 has one for using the Geneforge in the beginning part of the game. BoA has some in different scenarios if you play the right ones.

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One of the things I liked about the older games was being able to play almost entirely with the keyboard. I think it would be really nice if you were able to do that again, because I still find myself pressing "l" while playing Avernum 4 and being annoyed that nothing happens!

 

The only other complaints I have about Avernum are the lack of PC graphics. It would be nice if there was a system like in some older games where you could pick combinations of heads/bodies, so you can have more possible characters with fewer total graphics.

 

Also, the "color shifting" the graphics and pretending they're new is totally lame.

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A Perfect Forest for BoA has admirable cutscenes. That's always been a favorite scenario.

 

Edit: Oh dear. I was afraid of getting the fourth page. Sorry.

 

Edit 2: A few of the abilities in the older Avernum games were a tad unbalanced. Such as Divine Aid for example. Especially because it's usable once per day. That could be exploited to the maximum. I hope battle disciplines are a balanced new field. They sound very exciting!

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IF suggestions are welcome (even though it's surely too late already), A5 (or A6 if it will come out someday) should be possibly a bit more like G4, like the characters should be able to move more anywhere than in squares like in all Avernum & Exile Games.

It was never a problem to me in all previous A & E games, but somehow this doesn't fit anymore into A4, probably because of the new town = outdoors feature... which would lead to another thing: Training and loot.

 

I played A4 for a bit, but believe to haven't seen any "unlimited" source of monsters or ways to get "unlimited" cash, in case a player got finance problems or spent too much skill points in non-battle skills and is too weak to fight properly...

 

Would be nice additions, if possible...

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Jeff did say that dungeons would slowly repopulate so there will be some chance for extra experience and treasure. However with the experience adjusted by level, there won't be that much for hanging around to pop them as they reappear.

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What I'd like would be logical respawning. I've always assumed that there are lots of hidden areas implicit in Jeff's games — little secret tunnels known only to monster-kind, thick woods between zones in Geneforge, etc. So a few foraging chitrachs gradually returning to the chitrach nest, or raiding goblins returning to the lair, that makes sense, even if there was never any way the player could have found those chitrachs or goblins while they were out foraging or raiding.

 

Respawning undead actually seems less plausible to me. I think of those things as being controlled by some evil power or necromancer, and if you've destroyed the controller, there should be no autonomous stragglers to return.

 

And so on. A good bandit lair might receive a few returned foragers soon after being cleared, but thereafter there should be a longish lull. Eventually squatters show up, but only after there has been time enough to reveal that the property is vacant. It would be great if there could be a pop-up or screen message with the squatters, remarking that 'they must have heard the bandits were gone and moved in', or something like that.

 

This way respawning would make the world seem more real, and make the player's actions seem more significant, instead of undermining their importance.

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Quote:
or A6 if it will come out someday
You can bet it will come out eventually.
I would bet $1000 because, hey, free money.

Also, I can't wait for A5 to come out.
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My current plan is Avernum 5, Geneforge 5 (end of series), Avernum 6 (end of second trilogy), and then something completely new.

 

New engine, new setting, new everything. I've heard rumors of these strange things called "3-D game engines" that intrigue me.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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Quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:
I've heard rumors of these strange things called "3-D game engines" that intrigue me.
3D? From Spiderweb? As in graphics? What will the world be coming to?

—Alorael, who can at least look forward to being lost as frequently in a 3D world from Spiderweb as he is in 3D worlds brought to him by anyone else. At least RPGs usually oblige with some indication of north.
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There'll be an option to play with fixed game world orientation, not turning if your character turns. You'll want to play with six monitors, arranged in a cube around your head. The top monitor will mostly just show blue, of course, but if some NPC should conjure an anvil to fall on you, you'll be glad it's there.

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You know, it's easier to fit in the tools required to shape your neck to fit the monitors. Just add the right disclaimers about home surgery (and how it's less risky than home welding on your neck).

 

—Alorael, who thinks maybe the world is ready for six monitors, two of which are square and four of which are rectangles with eight foot sides. And if there's any catastrophic mechanical failure, well, you're already encased in a box...

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It's very possible to be using a 3D engine and still offer a single isometric perspective. And I suspect it's going to start with that, basic engine along the lines of the one Geneforge uses, except with graphical effects and models making use of fancy 3D tricks.

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Vahnatai PCs are suggested regularly. Jeff maintains that the vahnatai are supposed to be mysterious and alien, and playing as them would ruin that.

 

—Alorael, who is okay with that. In fact, given how much the games assume humanity, he thinks maybe you should be forced to play as humans. Nephils and sliths aren't terribly different except for a handful of dialogues and min/maxing.

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