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Eschalon Book 1


The Knight Who Said Ni
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First off, let me say I'm not a bot and I'm not trying to promote Basilisk games in any way.

 

Alright, now has anybody played it? I downloaded the Mac demo and found it to be good, just not as good as most Spiderweb games. It was sorta like Runescape minus the MMORPG part.

 

With Jeff cookin up a new batch of games, does anybody recommend registering this game? I liked it, but I'm a cheap bast**d. So what does every body think, compared to Spiderweb?

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I tried out the demo, enjoyed it, and played the game half way through. I enjoyed it well enough, but the engine seemed rather primative, and it took you a very, very, very long time to get to places. Forcing you to invest in a skill to get access to the mini-map was also frustrating.

 

If you have time, I would say it could be worth your money. Although, Eschalon 2 will be released soon, and its supposed to be very advanced (I would think so, condsidering how long its been delayed at least.)

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I've downloaded the demo and I liked it a lot, I've considered purchasing it a couple of times.

 

The only thing that stopped me was that I've never finished the demo, I've always been distracted by some other game.

 

But I really did like it, the only part I didn't like was that the traveling seems to be really slow.

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I enjoyed Eschalon Book 1 however I thought it a bit shortened i.e. no real climax. Having to invest in EVERY skill became annoying over the course of the game. I didn't explore magic fully (I had a balanced PC) because my 2nd playthru I only got half way when A6 came out (no contest...).

I would recommend it despite it being a bit too linear and also I haven't been itching to play it again.

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Eschalon Book I was a good game. I would compare it to Exile III, actually. It has the same strengths -- it's colorful and nice to look at, and is very, very open-ended about how you do things. It also has one of the same weaknesses -- it's not well-balanced in terms of skills or equipment, so players who seek even semioptimal play style all converge on the same obvious build.

 

It does have the additional weaknesses of being very slow, particularly when travelling between different locations, and of not having keyboard movement. Also, there is a LOT less dialogue, and where there is writing it's much lower quality.

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Book 1 has lots of balance flaws. A few levels of hide in shadows is better than invisibility or chameleon to avoid being hit. There are plenty of other problems but it isn't a bad game for a first effort. Very pretty but not much content.

 

Book 2 should finally be out at the end of April/beginning of May. Lots of flaws have been fixed and even more new features especially for fighters. There are now feats at level 10 for weapon skills where you get a special attack. More potions to duplicate spells. You can also set challanges that the game will keep track of to increase experience like requiring food and water, not being able to save near hostile monsters or when severely injured.

 

The game balance seems to be better in that you need to build up skills to get the best results. You still need to get cartography skill to use the automap, but with some practice you can get around without it.

 

You still need a Slartyanalysis to optimize your character build.

 

If you can wait then I would recommend waiting for Book 2.

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Sorry.

 

You will be happy to know that the game has been fixed so when you enter a town your walking speed doesn't slow to a slow motion crawl unless you have too many other things running in the background like downloading a video.

 

Game file size for downloading is fast approaching 300 Mb, for those of us still using dialup. frown

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I just have one question before I try this game. Does it have some kind of cheat codes and/or editor that will enable me to beat the game no matter how terrible I am at it? I just got this thing about investing a lot of time in a game if there is a possibility I'll never be able to beat it.

 

Edit: Just got killed by some slimes two minutes in. Weak. I would definitely need cheats to motivate me to continue at this point.

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I never saw any mention of an editor or cheat codes in either game.

 

It's easy to make a horrible character and then get killed by the first rat or monster that you encounter. Fighter types have a bad time since they can easily miss. Spellcasters can always hit but easiliy run out of mana (spell energy).

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However, at least in Book 1, fighter/magic-user hybrids blew the enemies to smithereens. Something else Eschalon has in common with Exile is that buffing magic is INSANELY powerful. A few points into fighting skills and a few into "Divination" magic (a major misnomer, that) and you're pretty much untouchable.

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But things chase you so far! I was just running away from two lizards, but ended up running into a third. I just barely beat the third, but the first two caught up to me and finished me off. No offense, I'm sure you strategy types probably love this game, but I think I've seen enough. Have fun.

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Originally Posted By: Monroe
But things chase you so far! I was just running away from two lizards, but ended up running into a third. I just barely beat the third, but the first two caught up to me and finished me off. No offense, I'm sure you strategy types probably love this game, but I think I've seen enough. Have fun.


That was the same problem that I had with the demo. Demos that kill the player over and over again get deleted from my computer.
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Originally Posted By: Monroe
But things chase you so far! I was just running away from two lizards, but ended up running into a third. I just barely beat the third, but the first two caught up to me and finished me off. No offense, I'm sure you strategy types probably love this game, but I think I've seen enough. Have fun.


They won't chase you across the zone barrier. In fact they'll just wait there indefinitely until you feel like coming back for them. But yeah, sometimes it's out of the frying pan...
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For a game who's linearity is directed by difficulty (if it's too difficult then you're not going where you're meant to) the indicators of what to tackle next are often too vague - Avernum games are pretty clear on when to avoid an area. I had my share of temper-tanties with my superweakling PC making slow progress at the beginning but it became easier and I'm glad I persisted and finished the game. Despite it's flaws there is a lot to like.

Looking forward to Book 2.

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Another flaw is not with the game but that we are comparing it with Jeff's games. Eschalon is relatively new compared to the Exile, Avernum, Genforge series. Jeff has had time to work out the most of flaws that we find in Book 1 from his games; but we can and do find flaws in his as well, they just are different.

 

Basilisk Games is new to the RPG game design that we have been playing since Jeff first started. We have expectations of what a game will be like due to having played Jeff's games in the past. I would argue that the major flaw of the game is that we are comparing it to preexisting games that have overcome those same flaws some time ago.

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And yet it is pretty comparable to Exile III. This is an interesting comparison, because on the one hand, it's a very old game. On the other hand, it's also a game that some of the old fogies here (hi!) rate higher than most Avernum and Geneforge games.

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Originally Posted By: Rowen
Basilisk Games is new to the RPG game design that we have been playing since Jeff first started. We have expectations of what a game will be like due to having played Jeff's games in the past. I would argue that the major flaw of the game is that we are comparing it to preexisting games that have overcome those same flaws some time ago.

For flaws in programming and engine design, maybe, but if game designers can't avoid pitfalls that have long since disappeared from current games then they're not designing right.

—Alorael, whose brief experience of Eschalon Book 1 was simple. It was like Exile/Avernum, but everything was just a bit more frustrating. Engine polish will come with time, although why they couldn't just copy Exile/Avernum better is somewhat mystifying. But the writing didn't quite hold up well enough, and the lack of some kind of reward for the unsatisfying gameplay got the game kicked off the computer. Replaying Cave Story is far more amusing.
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All the work went into graphics and setting up the game engine. Content was the last thing added after coming up with the basic plot. Examples are the boat near the lighthouse that was originally meant to allow you to travel to Ash Island for more quests and there was another quest from the goblin living in the bee cave that only exists in the script but can't be accessed in play.

 

Book 2 has the same flaw that getting the game engine to work is first priority, removing bugs is second, and content is still being added less than a month from release.

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Originally Posted By: Rowen
Basilisk Games is new to the RPG game design that we have been playing since Jeff first started. We have expectations of what a game will be like due to having played Jeff's games in the past. I would argue that the major flaw of the game is that we are comparing it to preexisting games that have overcome those same flaws some time ago.



Spot on. It felt like the makers were trying a different style of play to make gamers approach it from a different direction, possibly to increase replay value. It half worked - the game felt, for me, to be relying on difficulty to make the game last longer and slow movement to make it seem bigger. I didn't mind this as the game is quite beautiful and I enjoyed being in this world but I can understand how some might not be so wrapped in it.
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Originally Posted By: Monroe
I just have one question before I try this game. Does it have some kind of cheat codes and/or editor that will enable me to beat the game no matter how terrible I am at it? I just got this thing about investing a lot of time in a game if there is a possibility I'll never be able to beat it.

Edit: Just got killed by some slimes two minutes in. Weak. I would definitely need cheats to motivate me to continue at this point.


There is an editor somewhere in the Drunken Lizard Pub
This
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