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Wishlist for Avadon 3 - interface/gameplay suggestions


mikeprichard
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When you guys say "at level 1", do you actually mean a freshly created character, or do you mean a level 1 character outfitted with spells and gear a freshly created character would never had, and abetted by endless reloads?

 

I really don't think you guys are comparing comparable things here. Based on the giants comment, it sounds like you are comparing the Avernum remakes with a party that is either playing on higher than Normal difficulty, or constructed sub-optimally, or both; and everything said about Exile suggests a party designed to exploit the ins and outs of the games quite expertly -- and may even be specifically and solely designed to "punch up" at level 1 -- using the things a new player would never know and rarely realize on their own.

 

Re Lilith's first point: This is true, but you still can't do significant damage at the start of the game. Actually, the bulk of the damage scaling in A:EFTP happens in the first 1/4 to 1/3 of the game, unless you use a suboptimal build where you do nothing but pump damage skills and ignore Resistance, Parry, Hardiness, etc. You haven't actually scaled yours any more (relative to the max) in Exile at that point since you won't have Assassination functional against strong enemies yet. Both games have plenty of easy healing, so as long as both damages are "meaningful", one being relatively higher doesn't make a big difference.

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I've actually experimented with a god party in A5 by editing scripts on items to raise stats and I needed to to raise them by 50 levels before I was able to run through the game without a challenge.

I wanted to see if I could go straight to the endzone without doing any quests to unlock the next area.

I was surprised that the party level had so much to do with damage output. My first editing added 20 levels of base stats and wasn't effective at dealing damage at all.

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Someone should do a level one challenge for the exile trilogy to see who's right. :)

 

(Seriously though, I'm going with Slarty on this one. You do hit a point relatively quick where you can handle nearly everything the game throws at you, but that's after gaining several levels. Good luck wandering though the slith temple with a brand new party.)

My point was more that it happens much faster and much more broadly in earlier versions of the games than in later versions of the games. Yes, by a ways into the game, especially on Casual or Normal, you can probably go more or less anywhere in A:EftP, too, but your options for exploring without dying because of overly hard combats expand much more quickly in Avernum 1 than in A:EftP on Hard/Torment. This leads to a feeling of a more open world, even though blockages by walls and SDFs are largely (but, as Randomizer points out, not entirely) the same.

 

EDIT: Missed that there was another page. Lilith's point, which as I understand it is that a well-designed party in Exile can take on monsters with a greater difference between the monster level and the party level than is manageable in A:EftP, is true and also applies to an ordinary party in both games. (And I think Avernum 1 is intermediate between the two.) My point, then, is that this leads to a more open feel to the earlier games, because you have more options about where you can go at any given moment: at level 1, at level 5, at level 20, or whatever.

 

My point is more about a trend across all three versions (Exile/Avernum 1/A:EftP, etc.) and across many levels than any individual moment in any pair of games, because I'm trying to talk about the games as wholes.

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When you guys say "at level 1", do you actually mean a freshly created character, or do you mean a level 1 character outfitted with spells and gear a freshly created character would never had, and abetted by endless reloads?

 

I really don't think you guys are comparing comparable things here. Based on the giants comment, it sounds like you are comparing the Avernum remakes with a party that is either playing on higher than Normal difficulty, or constructed sub-optimally, or both; and everything said about Exile suggests a party designed to exploit the ins and outs of the games quite expertly -- and may even be specifically and solely designed to "punch up" at level 1 -- using the things a new player would never know and rarely realize on their own.

 

I think we all were refering to a freshly created party.

 

I was refering to Torment in that post, and I've already admitted in an earlier post that casual would have a lot easier time. I thought my party was pretty good in AEFTP bit even with maxed out 90 percent psychical resistance for my fighters and low eighty resistance for my spellcasters they still kept killing me in the first round. It was especially annoying as I could've easily beaten them in town. All I needed was one free turn for one my spellcasters to use Aledrine rush to cast Return life, Arcane Shield, and Haste but they kept TPKing me. I did win eventually. Oh, and I happen to be referring here to one specific encounter, other encounters were doable but harder than in Exile.

 

I don't think we were talking about new players, were we?

 

 

 

I've actually experimented with a god party in A5 by editing scripts on items to raise stats and I needed to to raise them by 50 levels before I was able to run through the game without a challenge.

I wanted to see if I could go straight to the endzone without doing any quests to unlock the next area.

I was surprised that the party level had so much to do with damage output. My first editing added 20 levels of base stats and wasn't effective at dealing damage at all.

 

And what was the result of the experiment?

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When you guys say "at level 1", do you actually mean a freshly created character, or do you mean a level 1 character outfitted with spells and gear a freshly created character would never had, and abetted by endless reloads?

 

i really mean a freshly-created character. gear almost doesn't matter to an all-caster party and you can get pretty far on just level 1-3 spells. it's true that i'm talking about a party specifically designed to take on encounters that outmatch it, but my point is exactly that you can do this in exile in ways you can't really do in a:eftp. you'll be reloading sometimes, sure, but not as often as you might think.

 

Re Lilith's first point: This is true, but you still can't do significant damage at the start of the game.

 

you really can, especially in E3 and BoE. give everyone priest spells and 4 Int so that Wound, an ordinary level-2 spell that you can start with, does double-digit unblockable damage, which compares really well against the HP values of most enemies you're ever likely to fight. with a 6-character party spamming Wound you can take out a haakai in three rounds if things go well. even on low difficulties, there's nothing that even a well-built level-1 a:eftp party can do that can take out a major late-game enemy in three rounds like that. E1 and E2 characters don't have access to an easy source of unblockable damage right out of the gate since Wound does magical damage in those games, but on the other hand elemental immunities are also less common in those games so they can still get by pretty well with what they have

 

Actually, the bulk of the damage scaling in A:EFTP happens in the first 1/4 to 1/3 of the game, unless you use a suboptimal build where you do nothing but pump damage skills and ignore Resistance, Parry, Hardiness, etc. You haven't actually scaled yours any more (relative to the max) in Exile at that point since you won't have Assassination functional against strong enemies yet. Both games have plenty of easy healing, so as long as both damages are "meaningful", one being relatively higher doesn't make a big difference.

 

easy healing makes a way bigger difference when the game mechanics make it flat-out impossible for a single attack to one-shot you as long as you have health left. exile characters also get access to multi-target healing right from level 1 as long as they start with 3 points in priest spells, while a:eftp characters have to wait a while for access to it

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I think this proves my point, that the "easily take on any location in the game at the start" theory you guys are advancing about the Exile trilogy requires some pretty studious and specific exploitation of small irregularities in game mechanics, as described above. The special mechanics behind Wound are neither advertised nor obvious; most players weren't aware of them -- and they don't apply to any other regular damage spell, IIRC, right? Likewise, Bless's ability to break the 8-level bless cap...

 

If the context we were debating in was "how quickly can a party punch up to defeat high level foes" that wouldn't matter. But it isn't. The context is, "are the Exile games somehow less linear because of punching up ability"? Given that this punching up ability isn't easy to access and is never touched by probably well over 99% of players, the answer is still no. The fact that the game mechanics have inconsistencies in weird places: not what this is about.

 

If we're talking about general game mechanics and the general construction of the game, Exile does not ramp up PC power level any faster than A:EFTP does.

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I don't think we were talking about new players, were we?

I sort of was, but I think the point remains. My claims are that a player with comparable skill in E1 and A:EftP will find that there are more places to go at more or less every point of level development (except near the end of the game) in E1 that aren't blocked either by wall, by special encounter, or (most frequently) by unbeatable combat, and that Avernum 1 is either intermediate between the two or close to E1, and that the same is true of the other games in the trilogy.

 

I think this holds true for most, if not all, skill levels. It's pretty easy, as Lilith is showing, to explain why this would be so for a very high skill level (i.e., someone deeply familiar with the game mechanics). It's probably harder to explain why this is so for a moderate skill level (i.e., a new player), but I am saying that it is still so, and for essentially similar reasons. That has very much been my experience, at any rate, and I suspect that I am not unusual, given how often other people report much the same thing.

 

This, I am saying, leads to a feeling of being railroaded in A:EftP, at least more so than in Exile 1 or Avernum 1.

 

This shouldn't come as any surprise, because Jeff is trying to do this in the name of game balance.

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At level te

If we're talking about general game mechanics and the general construction of the game, Exile does not ramp up PC power level any faster than A:EFTP does.

 

I disagree. At level fifteen in Exile you're already completely unstoppable. Forget abusing little known game mechanics. Three fighters dual wielding with three spellcasters to buff and heal them simply crush everything. In the A:EFTP the difficulty of the enemies is tapered to match what Jeff thinks your level should be for that area. Trying the Giant Fortress at level fifteen and your just dead.

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Have you actually played through A:EFTP on Normal? "Crush everything" is exactly the appropriate description. I think there is a Torment/Normal confusion going on for some posts in this thread.

 

Anyway, I continue to disagree with the conclusion you've all reached, but at this point it seems like we're just repeating our main arguments at each other, so I respectfully bow out.

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Anyway, I continue to disagree with the conclusion you've all reached, but at this point it seems like we're just repeating our main arguments at each other, so I respectfully bow out.

Well, I'll put it another way. Given my party builds and other choices during the games, I find that I am significantly more limited in where I can go in A:EftP than in Avernum 1 (at any comparable point) because of combats that I cannot win. (Evidently I am not alone in thinking this.) Do you see how, if this is a person's subjective experience, A:EftP would seem more linear (or whatever — less open, more constrained) than Avernum 1?

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And what was the result of the experiment?

this was a few years back so i don't remember if i actually beat the game, but it is possible for a god team to make it all the way to the end without finishing a single quest. you need to defeat enemies that are way too powerful for a normal player but once you boost your stats ridiculously high it is possible to brute force your way through every single chokepoint and go from beginning to end in under twenty minutes.

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Thank you VERY much everyone who posted in this thread.

 

I read all of it, and a number of suggestions were implemented in one way or another. I genuinely think Avadon 3 will be a better game as a result. There are a ton of interface improvements, and they will be carried over to the Avernum engine as well for Avernum 3: Ruined World.

 

However, I am now almost 3 regions into designing Avadon 3, and my focus is much less on the engine and much more on the giant job of just finishing the game. I doubt I'll visit this thread again, and further comments are best directed to the support email.

 

Thanks again, and I hope the thing is ready late Summer, 2016!

 

- Jeff Vogel

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Beating A5 without finishing a single quest? That's impossible. I mean, just to get past the first part you have to finish the Hunt Hiricks Quest.

i actually reinstalled A5 just to test this out again and raised all the stats to the 41 maximum and tried a runthrough. you're right about the hirickis quest but thats the only one that doesn't let you through. I actually started by wondering if i took the northwest passage without stopping by any of the islands what would happen and when i docked by the next down upgraded my abilities and then plowed to the end. so i started after i completed the quest and had totally forgotten about it.

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