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Where should I start?


Gibush
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Hey, I've been hearing good things about Spiderweb Software's numerous RPG's for a good while and I'm wondering which one to start with. I'll get a demo/shareware episode first to see if I like it, and then possibly buy it. I was just wondering, should I start with Exile or Avernum?

 

I played the shareware of Exile a very small bit when I was young (it was on one of those 20/50/100 great shareware games cd's) but I don't think I really understood it then.

 

Basically, is Avernum virtually the same game with some spitshine and new graphics and tweaks? If so, I'll obviously start with that.

 

Or is Exile worth playing first?

 

What are the differences?

 

Thanks.

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Exile will only work on some computers due it its age (15 years). That said, its probably better to play Avernum since its been upgraded to a more advanced engine. A word of advice though; play A1-3/BoA first before you try A4-5. If you start with the second trilogy, you'll probably hate the original one due to the upgrades.

 

Of course, you could try Geneforge. Its awesome. smile

 

Or Nethergate: Resurection, which is on the A1-3/BoA engine.

 

Edit: DANTIUS!!!!!!

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I like Exiles premise and I'm hoping to play it (or Avernum) first.

 

I'm sure Geneforge is good too, though. I would rather start with an older one. I'm not the type to worry about graphics.

 

So, theoretically, if I could run both Exile and Avernum, you'd recommend Avernum? Is the storyline the same? The quests, everything but graphics and stuff?

 

Thanks.

 

PS I just tried the Exile demo on one of our computers, I think it's fine. If it turns out not to be, is there a way to run it?

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Wow, that was pretty vague.

 

Could I get some detailed information on both games? Is there a comparison FAQ or something?

 

Obviously I'll start on the first game of any series. The stories continue, right? In Spiderweb games, can you import your party into the next game, Baldur's Gate style?

 

Thanks again.

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Okay, let's go into some detail here.

 

Avernum has the same world and storyline as Exile. There are a few more quests in Avernum, and the engine is very noticeably different in more than just graphics. You can try them both, but Avernum tends to be preferred by most (but not all!) of those who didn't start with Exile.

 

Of the series, A2 is generally considered the best, A3 and A5 are other strong contenders, and A4 is often seen as the weakest for plot reasons. A1 has a few enhancements missing, noticeably the quest log, but you should play the demo if nothing else so you get a sense of the original setting. Note that A4 and A5 have a different engine from A1-3. All the games are self-contained enough that you can really get away with skipping some or playing out of order, although of course later games can spoil earlier ones.

 

The Geneforge series is rather different. Rather than playing a party, you play a character who may have some allies or creations. Rather than saving the kingdom or the world, you make nuanced decisions based on who and what you support, and there aren't good guys so much as guys whose terrible acts you have to accept because the alternative is worse. The series also has more of an overarching plot, but the games are still self-contained.

 

Nethergate is a stand-alone. It has the strongest plot, particularly if you play both the Celt side and the Roman side.

 

Blades of Exile is free and has a huge repertoire of scenarios. If you like the engine, you can have fun for literally years with it. Blades of Avernum has a smaller set of great scenarios but is still good fun.

 

—Alorael, who as always gives the demo recommendation. Download some, see what you like, and then play that series or those games.

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Is Blade of Avernum basically for Avernum what Blades of Exile is for Exile?

 

I know Blades of Exile is free now, so I might get that.

 

Anyway, I was thinking Exile, because now you can get the trilogy for $25, right? Do they accept Paypal? Are the games actual, physical property or just downloads? Are the hint books any good?

 

Also, why does seemingly everyone here talk in the third person (from reading some other posts, it seems)?

 

Thanks.

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There are a few reasons for third person posting. Dikiyoba always has her last paragraph in third person. I end my posts with a signature, which has to be third person. Dantius has posted in an emote. But no, most people don't post in the third person consistently, and almost no one does it constantly.

 

Yes, BoA is exactly what BoE is but with a different engine. BoA has more powerful scripting, but that also makes it less user-friendly to non-programmers. The differences actually are quite substantial if you intend to make scenarios, but if you're just playing, they're just different engines.

 

Spiderweb accepts Paypal but only with human intervention. Details are on the ordering page. You do get the trilogy on a CD; all Spiderweb games are available in "hard copy" as well as by registration code, and you usually get the code immediately so you don't have to wait for the disc in the mail. The hint books are okay. They'll get you through quests and give you maps of the hairiest areas, but for character and playthrough optimization you'll need these forums or a good online walkthrough.

 

—Alorael, who hopes all this helps. He also hopes he comes up with a better signature for this kind of post.

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Originally Posted By: Alorael
There are a few reasons for third person posting. Dikiyoba always has her eir last paragraph in third person. I end my posts with a signature, which has to be third person. Dantius has posted in an emote. But no, most people don't post in the third person consistently, and almost no one does it constantly.

Nalyd and Artemis also talk in third person. Considering the rate that some of us post, I bet that adds up quickly.

The Avernum Trilogy CD is also a pretty good deal, if you end up liking it more than Exile. Dikiyoba has also never bothered with the hintbooks, since you can usually find the answers online.
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The only advantage the hintbooks have over the online forums and walkthroughs is the maps.

 

Exile and Avernum have different enough game engines that you need to play the games with different tactics. Exile has more spells and until Avernum 5 there were true area of effect spells capable of taking out large numbers of enemies and hitting them behind walls or around corners. The downside to Exile is the first game has 12 inventory slots per character and the automap feature is a pain to use. Some people can't stand the primitive style especially if they start with the later games.

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I don't think the automap in E1 was a pain. The only problem was that special encounters were represented in the same way as obstructions like trees and stalagmites. That aside, I thought it was a very clear way to do it. You could tell if something was water or obstructed or completely blocked at a glance, instead of squinting and trying to figure out the difference between plain wall and wall with secret door, for instance.

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I actually recommend Avernum and then Nethergate. But download all demos. Take it from someone who has been with Spiderweb since the release of Avernum 1 and I know Spiderweb. First I played Exile, but that's almost definitely not backwards compatible. So go from Avernum 1-3 then do BOA. That'll get you involved more with Spiderweb community. Then if you like move to Geneforge. Though Geneforge looks cooler there's sooooo much more to Avernum. Especially A1-A3. Geneforge will suck you in with it's deep multi-plot. So that's me an experienced spiderweb gamer

 

Ni

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Originally Posted By: Gibush
Could I get some detailed information on both games? Is there a comparison FAQ or something?

I'm surprised that nobody linked to this. Unless I just missed it and somebody actually did.

(Yes, I know I'm late to the party. Start with A1 would have been my advice, had I been on-time.)
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I know this thread was buried, but I've got a few more things to add.

 

I think I'll play Exile for awhile, since you get half the game(!) with the demo, which is pretty awesome. How much of Avernum do you get?

 

Also, about the Exile trilogy being $25: does it include the hint books for each, or is that extra?

 

I'll play Exile right now though, because hey, I've got half a game for free.

 

Thanks for all the help, everyone.

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Avernum games demos are usally about the same size as the Exile demos. Avernum 5 has the smallest demo as a percentage of the game map.

 

Hint books are cheaper if you buy them with the game. Except for the maps they don't have much information that you can't get from walkthroughs or asking in the right forum.

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I always get the hint books when I order the games (and I always get them on cd too) and for the simple fact that I have been without the internet before, and you never know when you'll be without it.

 

The hint books and the game on cd ensure I still have spiderweb games to play even though there could be no internet.

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