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Three things to make Avadon 2 better than Avadon 1


RaustBlackDragon
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Hey, just thought I'd list my three main issues with Avadon 1 that I hope can be fixed in Avadon 2, they would really improve the game:

 

1: Please, please PLEASE cut back on the absurdly high number of prerequisites for skills. There are only three branches to begin with, no need to limit build variety even further by forcing people to select almost all of them.

 

2: Make abilities cost more energy, and make energy gradually replenish itself. Energy as it stands is almost entirely negligible, and the few times when it isn't are resolved by a single application of a vitality potion

 

3: Fix the cleave mechanics. Currently they are un-dodgeable and un-blockable, and they have a reach of two spaces. They basically force melee fighters to go solo, which is annoying.

 

That's pretty much it, but I really wanted to put that out there :)

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You forgot one-

 

4-Cut back on the obscene amount of health points enemies have. This one is not with other games as much as with avadon. I didnt have this problem with Avernum EFTP and other games. It also seems that physical damage caps out at 5% taken off 30 times!. It states in the readme that enemies are given 5% physical damage resistance per lvl. That is 5% damage taken off 30 times to a party of lvl 30. While acid gets 1% resistance for lvl and magic gets 3%. That means that unless you are a shaman or sorceress, you will not deal as much damage to single opponents.

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I would like to see the turn-based ability cooldown removed, I find it far too limiting. I would also appreciate it if the rebel faction was actually playable outside of the last 30 minutes of the game. The skill tree is definately too limiting and needs a drastic overhaul.

 

I love the cooldown system, it's a really interesting change of pace :)

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I love the cooldown system, it's a really interesting change of pace :)

It means that you can't just spam the same spell/ability over and over again every round, which I like. It adds a bit of variety and tactical thinking to combat. I do wish it was implemented slightly differently, so that using the lower level version of an ability didn't preclude you from using the upper level version, and vice versa - I'm thinking in particular of some of the sorceress spells, where the two versions are really quite different spells. But this is just a minor quibble. In general I like the cooldown system.

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I think that the cooldown takes away from the tactical thinking, esp with the sorceress and with healing abilities. More often than not it coems down to using whatever spell is available than what would tactically speaking be the best spell. Using AOE attacks on a single enemy for instance because everything else is recharging, or having to use your most powerful spells because ice bolt is recharging and demons are immune to fire, etc. Healing is worse because it essentially comes down to luck in the end, when you need healing spells, you *need* them, consdiering characters jump right up after a fight is over, the sorts of fights where you need healing spells are the oens you are in danger of getting a total party kill, which means you can't rely on recharge times.

 

Geneforge had essence, which was a good method of limiting long term spam, and energy, which made you keep track of short range usage, IMO this was a much better system.

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I think that the cooldown takes away from the tactical thinking, esp with the sorceress and with healing abilities. More often than not it coems down to using whatever spell is available than what would tactically speaking be the best spell. Using AOE attacks on a single enemy for instance because everything else is recharging, or having to use your most powerful spells because ice bolt is recharging and demons are immune to fire, etc. Healing is worse because it essentially comes down to luck in the end, when you need healing spells, you *need* them, consdiering characters jump right up after a fight is over, the sorts of fights where you need healing spells are the oens you are in danger of getting a total party kill, which means you can't rely on recharge times.

 

Geneforge had essence, which was a good method of limiting long term spam, and energy, which made you keep track of short range usage, IMO this was a much better system.

 

It's not like the two are mutually exclusive. I like cooldowns encouraging you to get multiple abilities and preventing you from spamming things, but the vitality system is utterly ineffectual at preventing excessive skill use. As I said, I think that vitality should gradually regenerate, and skills should be more expensive, so it's not an issue of just having vitality potions or having a clear path to the pylon.

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The vitality system is meant to be ineffectual: Jeff's blogged a bit about it, and the fact that it exists at all is primarily a psychological trick to make you feel like your characters are getting tired as you progress through an area. For most players (i.e. ones who don't go on forums and analyse game mechanics), the trick works. Having said that, using expensive abilities like summoning can wear your vitality down eventually.

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That might be so, but as creating a psychological impression of wearing your character down, having the vitality system actually affect gameplay would do mroe to further that goal. Again, I would point to the essence system in Geneforge. You really had to keep an eye on it, not just because of the fact that you had to balance the amount of essence diverted towards creations and spells, but most importantly-you could actually run out of essence. This created a much more 'real' feeling of your character being worn down by encounters, in conjunction with non-regenerating health. I don't think the vitality system is close to that in terms of accomplishing that. The ability recharge timer only serves to limit your options on a turn-by-turn basis, I don't really see how that expands the tactical aspects of gameplay.

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Here's the blog entry where Jeff Vogel explains his reasoning for doing things the way he did, for what it's worth. The regenerating health and cooldowns were deliberate choices designed to eliminate the need to rest up and heal between fights while preventing you from just spamming your most effective abilities every turn during a fight. The intention is to make you feel like you're being worn down by encounters, without you actually being worn down by encounters. If there had been a change to the system, it would probably have been in the direction of eliminating the vitality system entirely rather than making it a more important part of the gameplay.

 

In any case, Avadon has been one of the best-selling Spiderweb games of all time and spent some time near the top of the Steam bestseller list, so apparently he's doing something right.

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The ability recharge timer only serves to limit your options on a turn-by-turn basis, I don't really see how that expands the tactical aspects of gameplay.

It makes you plan ahead. In many of these types of games, your spellcasters just end up casting the same spell every round. It may differ in different encounters based on the type of enemy you are facing, but often not very much during a particular combat. When you run out of energy, you head back to town to recharge. In Avadon, you have to make choices and plan ahead for when you are going to use abilities, since once you use an ability, you can't use it again for a few more rounds. So you may choose to delay the use of an area-of-effect ability if you expect the enemies to be better clumped in the next round (or you expect to be able to get your character into a better position for the cone-style abilities in a latter round).

 

In regards to this limiting the shaman and sorceress too much: the Shaman has multiple heal abilities (and can get more with scarabs), and the sorceress can get pretty short recharge times by pumping up (and specializing in) the middle column skills.

 

It really depends on your playstyle, and what you like in games, of course. But personally I found the cooldown system an interesting change from previous Spiderweb games.

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But I will certainly like to see the vitality column become something meaningful.

Yeah, that would make sense. Or even just get rid of it - it makes no sense to have a game mechanic that essentially does nothing. I understand that it was supposed to make the player think that their characters were getting tired, but it never seemed to have that effect on me since it never got low enough for me to worry about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Going back to the topic, something I liked with Spiderwebs previus games was that it was such a good game that I wanted to play it through 3-4 times! But in Avadon you play ALL classes in your first gamethrough, which is kind of good because you have more than one mane charakter. In Geneforge you had Alwan, Greta or your creations. Their skill trees are nothing compared to yours. BUT, the system of making you play all classes at once, makes me lose interest in re-playing the game. I think that it would be better if you could choose some of the classes in the same gamethrough, but not all of them :)

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