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Hi, I'm Arcane. You might remember me as the guy who was going to make trainers/editors for the series a long, long time ago and never finished. Wait, forget that part.

 

I've been playing the Avernum/Exile games on and off since elementary school, and I've never beaten one. I generally just wandered around a lot.

 

A few days ago, I was going to give a friend of mine Exile 3's demo so he could go through what I used to and experience the series. After a few hours of messing with Dosbox and Linux Mint, I gave up and installed Avernum 3 to give it a shot. After a little while of playing it and forming an opinion, I decided to play through the series from the first game.

 

Since then, I've been burning my way through Avernum 1, and I had a few opinions on it I figured I'd mention. I have no idea if this stuff's accurate past Avernum 1 or in the new Avernum remake.

 

First off... I feel like the game's got a bit more travel than it needs to. Exile 3 had a fast travel system of sorts, using Ernest's portal system which I seem to remember as being pretty easy to get to. It would have been really, really nice to be able to quickly get around, even if it was just between major cities. Lategame, I'd started several major quests and had to just run around, ignoring low-level encounters and mostly worthless shops as I went.

 

The lack of fast travel made alchemy feel worthless, and I kinda regretted taking it on my mage.

 

Combat's good until you start fighting slews of spellcasters during every battle, because something's seriously wrong with their AI. Any time there's a single spellcaster to be fought, I just did it without going into combat mode so I could kill them while they spammed Haste and Slow on themselves/my party without actually harming me. It stops them from running, and most damage they'd actually do can be tanked with Heals.

 

Later on it got even worse. I've got a save outside of one of the final boss rooms and each round in there takes 2-3 minutes since everything in there's got to cast Summon Aid/Slow/Haste multiple times per turn, regardless of enemy slow status/their haste status/summon aid being completely worthless at this point as anything but an annoyance.

 

Giants are fun to fight and challenging. Golems are fun to fight, but their complete immunity to most useful offensive magic's sort of cheap and I'm definitely going to put points into Thrown Weapon on my mage in A2. Black Shades/Guardians are a cheap trick.

 

The spellbook's been absolutely neutered since Blades of Exile, which the game's code is based off of. I understand getting rid of a lot of the spells like Minor Manna, Scare, and Spray Fields, but there's a lot of really amazing spells that're completely gone that I miss. Beast Ceremony's a terrible, watered down Major Blessing with a pointless restriction that only exists to hamstring attempts to stop every major spellcaster in the game from casting Slow twice a round.

 

Priest stuff's significantly better than I was expecting after the early game stuff. Smite was really, really bad, but Repel Spirit's higher levels are absolutely must-haves and there wasn't a single battle in the game where I didn't cast a few Mass Heals. I do miss Exile's priestbook, though.

 

There's also a pretty major bug with the fight/end mechanic that allows you to get Motrax's hoard (which I've seen people post about) and also Athron's (which I haven't). This allows you to skip any ground-based trap, any random event that doesn't block you in some way, and it can let you skip the drain in the Tower of the Magi.

 

I don't regret playing through as far as I have, but I figured it'd be worth talking about what I've experienced.

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I was poking around at it while trying to get Exile to work to make sure my PE explorer was working and had a bunch of strings from Nethergate/Blades of Exile pop up and took a guess. It's interesting to see how much is carried between the games o:

 

edit: I've started A2. The skip trick works there, too, in that you can enter Motrax's hoard early. Unfortunately, you can't skip his other guardian. tongue

 

edit 2: It might only work on traps. It won't work on the glowing rune in the other exit to Motrax's room.

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If you are having trouble you may want to review your party line-up. I have two fighter types, one Mage (who minors in Priest spells) and one Priest (who minors in Mage spells.) Then review your tactics, Haste your own party and Slow the enemy.

The original Nethergate itself was based upon Blades of Exile, it even had most of the game mechanics and special events of the latter. It is sort of BoE with isometric graphics.

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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
If you are having trouble you may want to review your party line-up. I have two fighter types, one Mage (who minors in Priest spells) and one Priest (who minors in Mage spells.) Then review your tactics, Haste your own party and Slow the enemy.
The original Nethergate itself was based upon Blades of Exile, it even had most of the game mechanics and special events of the latter. It is sort of BoE with isometric graphics.


My party's a pole fighter, a non-pole fighter/bow user, a mage with enough priest to use repel spirit high enough to affect demons and mass healing, and a priest with enough mage to do hasting/slowing.

Hasting's extremely powerful, but every single fight in the endgame seems to have a half dozen or more spellcasters whose job consists entirely of casting slow on your party and haste on theirs, which makes it a frustrating uphill battle. Most of them are immune to powerful magic (Haakai, Demons) so you can't kill them before they're able to do anything, and they're spaced out far enough that you're going to spend long enough trying to hunt down everyone spamming Slow that the other threats will whittle you down.

I've just moved on to Avernum 2 instead of wading through the tedious endgame combat and I'll play the Avernum remake when it's out for Windows.

It'd be nice if higher levelled Haste/Slow had a guaranteed duration to make them worth casting or something.
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Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
The original Nethergate itself was based upon Blades of Exile, it even had most of the game mechanics and special events of the latter. It is sort of BoE with isometric graphics.

I feel like we've had this discussion before. Nethergate takes some things in whole cloth from BoE, namely the dialogue system, the basic walkabout mode mechanics, and the special node system. However, the character stat and combat mechanics, while clearly influenced by BoE, were rewritten to be completely different, as were the mechanics for spell and equipment effects. "BoE with isometric graphics" is simply not an accurate description of Nethergate.
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