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A noob's suggestion for Avadon II


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Disclaimer: I haven't finished Avadon yet, so take everything I says with a pinch of salt if the ending is incompatible with my wishes in future Avadon titles.

 

Dear Jeff Vogel,

I don't know how far you are in designing Avadon II. I have one request however: Push the fantasy CIA aspect all the way to eleven. I don't want to be a fresh lowly hand anymore. I want to be an eye or a heart. I want to be able to arrest people and then interrogate them in the dungeons of Avadon. I want to be able to ruin or save the families of whoever stands in Avadon's way. I want to send spies on stealth missions to collect intel, possibly unlocking extra side missions when enough intel has been collected.

 

I want to have a budget and then finance and organize coups, assassinations and operations, remember when you storm in that bandit camp in the Beraza Pits? And the bandit chief says "I wasn't hurting the Pact, why did you kill my men?" well there should be have been a "I'm sorry, here's ten thousands coins, buy weapons, hire men and get back to work" button.

 

I want to verbally, dialogue puzzle discipline my hands when their silly traditions, feuds, vengeances and forest get in the way of Avadon's will. Oh, yes, and I need the god damn book of Avadon's laws, so I know what to enforce and when to look the other way when I am loyal, or what to break when I'm not.

 

More responsibilities and more of that CIA aspect please.

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I honestly cant wait until avadon 2. Ive played geneforge 1, barely got through, played avernum EFTP, got through too easy. Avadon, however had the right amount of challenge, my favorite story, unforgetable characters and an awesome class system. I hope jeff makes his new series in the future with that in mind. Especially the long epic battles, avadon did them awesome!

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Originally Posted By: blueskirt

I don't want to be a fresh lowly hand anymore.


Starting out 'fresh', what do you mean? If you meant that you are always newly recruited, then I'm sure it will always be like that, and you have to work your way up. As far as I can see, the difficulty is more or less a constant (as you level up, so do the bad guys) and if not it only gets more challenging as you progress, with a nicer choice of skills and weapons.

I don't think we can be anything but hands. frown Its an adventure game after all, and the kind of work the eyes and hearts do is too static.
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Eyes seem to be out in the field fairly frequently, though hands definitely fit the "an adventurer is you" theme of Jeff's games (and most RPGs) better than eyes.

 

That said, starting off a bit higher on the totem pole doesn't seem like that unreasonable a prospect. It's already a big difference between the Avernum series and Avadon/Geneforge 1-3: in the former one starts out as some nobody who happens to be good at fighting, while in the latter one starts out as a person who is in a position of authority and can give orders to many people. Sure, one starts out on the bottom rung of Avadon/the Shaper order, but that still puts one in a higher social position than 95+% of the world. It wouldn't be too hard to increase this further, and have the PC indirectly manage larger teams of hands, or have more of a say in governmental processes. BioWare has done just that in both the original Dragon Age (recruiting various groups of allies, donating resources to them, and calling on them in certain areas), and in Mass Effect 3 (with war assets and galactic readiness).

 

Being able to act with more authority in solving problems (promising bigger bribes or full amnesty, committing troops to some areas and not others) would be an interesting and practicable idea, but I'm not sure it would fit in with Redbeard's autocratic take on the Keeper's role. The other obvious criticism is that if you can bribe some bandit lord with thousands of coins, why can't you spend those on that sweet armor the legendary blacksmith sells? This seems pretty easy to answer, though: your operating budget should have limitations, and the big bucks should be reserved for things more directly beneficial to the Pact. Major bribes qualify, booze, strippers, and phat lewt do not.

 

All in all, while I wouldn't go as far as blueskirt suggests, I think the general idea has merit, and could make for a very fun game.

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Originally Posted By: Kendroxide
I hope he reworks the skill tree. That was one aspect I did not like, and hopefully a 4-person party.


doubt skill-tree gets remade, maybe bit changed, 4-chars party is highly unlikely.
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I'm on the other side. I'd be surprised if skill trees didn't see at least a little bit of an overhaul from the knowledge gained from Avadon and A:EftP. I wouldn't expect immense changes, but I would expect a higher level cap, more skills, and maybe a different arrangement.

 

—Alorael, who puts even odds on the prerequisites working like Avadon or like Avernum. Maybe edged a bit in favor of Avernum if Jeff doesn't substantially move things around and change the shape of the tree.

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I'm no fan of the new tree system. Too few options and way too complex (but then, Geneforge seems to have become my benchmark).

 

I remember one of Jeff's blogs, he had said that he didn't want players to create a party which would get stuck in the middle of the game (since this had happened in Avernum), which I suppose is why he decided to 'even' out the skills. So that even if you are a newcomer who takes all the wrong choices, you'd still be able to play it. No idea about Aeftp, though.

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My guess is because of the number of classes. With four party members and four classes, too many people would just be running around with one of everything, and there would just be one character who would never see use. The solutions were more classes or fewer characters, and Jeff went with the less labor-intensive one.

 

—Alorael, who feels less bad about ignoring someone when at least they're left cooling their heels in Avadon with a partner.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
How exactly does having 3 party members instead of 4 reduce the depth at all?


Maybe I shouldn't have said depth, since Avadon doesn't have much to begin with (as compared to Exile/Avernum or Geneforge). I should have said strategy, because less party members means less variables to add to the game. Only 4 classes and three party members means a lot less diverse parties with less creativity. There is also less skills and only a handle full of way to handle each situation.

Mind you, this is just my opinion, and it seems that everyone else likes Avadon more then Avernum (so maybe I'm wrong, but I still like to voice my opinions).
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Okay, so it sounds like you actually mean the variety has gotten sucked out.

 

Actually I think Avadon has quite a bit more variety, and strategy, than Avernum does. In Avernum, "get lots of turns at once and then cast area of effect spells over and over" pretty much always works. In Avadon you don't have those kinds of options. In particular, with both healing and special ability use limited, HP and spell use are precious resources that you have to be careful with.

 

Moreover, the 4 different classes (each of which can be played successfully with multiple builds) give you a lot of options for how to combine things, some of which can change battle strategy dramatically. Having a shaman who has big pets, or one with big heals, or no shaman at all, changes boss fights drastically. Playing with 2 backstabbing shadowwalkers will change how you do everything, and so will having a party that uses only ranged attacks. The classes have diverse abilities and are pretty closely balanced.

 

Avernum is not like that. Neither is Geneforge. Surviving the higher difficulties, especially, in Avernum and Geneforge games generally means choosing the best abilities and exploiting combat engine tricks where you can. Surviving Torment in Avadon requires quite a bit of experimenting and creativity. At least that was my experience.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Surviving Torment in Avadon requires quite a bit of experimenting and creativity.


in practice it mostly requires pumping dexterity through the roof and making your first priority to target anything that can hit with cold and acid, but oh well
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Avadon on torment requires taking advantage of character exploits. Jeff will try to fix it in Avadon 2, but fighters work best with range attacks since dexterity increases damage and reduce the chance of being hit. Endurance increases health to survive and reduce the chance of being hit for all other attacks but mental. I think mental attacks were broken since even sorceresses with high intelligence (90% resistance) were still failing too many mental attacks.

 

You have to play to strengths since there isn't a party that does well in all fights. Jeff put at least one fight in the game that played to a specific combination whether physical damage or having different attack types.

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