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Why do you like BoE but not BoA?


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I think you can get a much stronger sense of character in BoE. Diolog pics, clearer and more distinctive NPC graphics, etc. The atmosphere is a lot better as well, I think.

 

I don't know. There's just something about it that 'works' a lot better on a subconscious level for me.

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To S&M: (Now there's a catchy name. laugh )

I've only "looked at" the Avernum demo and didn't like the quasi-3d style.

I'd suppose that if Avernum was the first style one had played, then that style would be "normal" to them, but I've played more than a few of the earlier style games, (TSR's D&D was a big step up from the "basic" games on C-64's), so I'm content with the two dimensional graphics.

Also, I type well, so I'm comfortable with DOS style games and graphics.

Also, Also, I'm a treasure hunter, in that I'm more concerned witht the actual "game" rather than the "bells and whistles" of super graphics.

Lastly, there is no "right or wrong"; no "good or bad". Opinions and tastes. Everybody has them and they're all uniquely different.

"Our strength is in our diversity." D'lenn (B5)

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I have played the Avernum demos and I disliked the 3D graphics. IMO It takes away from the detail you can include because in the same pixle space you have to leave room for shadow and depth. Some of the new effects are cool but for what it is, 2D is enough.

 

Secondly, I couldn't get the hang of the directional interface. I'd end up stepping away from monsters instead of attacking them giving them a free shot. Up should be up^ and that's all there is to it.

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Even using the number pad, up isn't north. North is 9, East is 3 and so on. This is very confusing, and makes it very difficult to navigate by keyboard while looking at the automap.

 

Back on-topic again, I like BoE better than BoA for all the usual reasons why many people prefer Exile to Avernum (more distinctive graphics, more spells, less easy, etc).

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Quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:
BoE is great, don't get me wrong.
Still, BoA offers SO MUCH more freedom in terms of design that I don't it's a halfway-reasonable choice in terms of flexibility.
I have to agree.

While BoA is woefully lacking in decent spells, as you can tell by PRIEST SPELLS doing more damage than MAGE - WT...?

It makes up for in designing capabilities. I tried once (ages ago) to make a BoE scenario. The BoE designing system was so flawed that I had to scrap my scenario idea cause it just couldn't be done. Now I've finished Undead Valley, 1/2 way through The Maze, and working on another one (which will remain nameless for now) which will have stuff that only BoA can use.

BoE might have been better if it had been updated over the years, but it's just too far behind the times now.

- Archmagi Micael
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Er, with enough stuff done flags, you can do a lot of things often considered impossible in conventional BoE design. Very powerful things, those SDFs are.

 

I like BoE because it works perfectly on our old computer, the interface is rather simple, and designing good scenarios can really give you a sense of accomplishment. BoA may be more recent and flexible, but it's just too...new.

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BoE has a third as many SDFs as BoA, though. I found myself having to use bizarre organizational schemes in order to keep them organized, and I imagine that in a large scenario I would run out.

 

BoE has a lot of arbitrary maximums set at much lower levels than BoA. A town in BoA can have hundreds of times as much text as a town in BoE could've had, and hundreds of times as much code, and many more creatures, and so on. The way to compensate, apparently, is to make lots more towns in BoE than one would in BoA, but I'd rather just use BoA.

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The problem is not running out of SDFs; it's keeping their numbering organised in a sensible way. The BoE editor docs suggest using a single A-value for a single town, but very often you need to use far more than 10 SDFs in a town. With 30 SDFs per A-value in BoA, this advice is much easier to follow.

 

It would be pretty hard to actually run out of SDFs even in BoE, though. A maximum of 100 towns gives you an average of 30 SDFs per town -- even if you use the after-128 trick to give you 171 towns, that's still close to 20 SDFs per town, which is probably plenty. Scenario special nodes are a much stronger limiting factor in large scenarios.

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I don't doubt that from an Author's stand point, the technical aspect of the two systems is important. But, it seems to me that even if BoA is technically "better" than the BoE, if the 95% who actually play the games prefer the BoE, then the efforts of those Authors is being expended on each other, rather than the "consuming" public.

The only reason I'm even writing here is to point out that many of the scenarios have been written by the 5% for the 5%. There are very few "major" scenarios that are playable by the 95%. This seems like an inherent "flaw" in the perspective of those who have the artistic ability to be the Authors.

I realize that many of the 95% will only "pass through" and be gone, but I do believe that a good percentage who come into the Community find the games satisfying and will stay with them for a reasonably long time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't get so deep into the woods where there are so many trees that the journey isn't enjoyable. Unless, of course, the 95% doesn't matter. Then this post was of no consequence. wink

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As far as I know, the split is about even between those who prefer BoE and those who prefer BoA, if not unbalanced in favor of BoA. I don't think a majority of players likes BoE more.

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Quote:
Originally written by Ahbleza:
I don't doubt that from an Author's stand point, the technical aspect of the two systems is important. But, it seems to me that even if BoA is technically "better" than the BoE, if the 95% who actually play the games prefer the BoE, then the efforts of those Authors is being expended on each other, rather than the "consuming" public.
The only reason I'm even writing here is to point out that many of the scenarios have been written by the 5% for the 5%. There are very few "major" scenarios that are playable by the 95%. This seems like an inherent "flaw" in the perspective of those who have the artistic ability to be the Authors.
I realize that many of the 95% will only "pass through" and be gone, but I do believe that a good percentage who come into the Community find the games satisfying and will stay with them for a reasonably long time.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't get so deep into the woods where there are so many trees that the journey isn't enjoyable. Unless, of course, the 95% doesn't matter. Then this post was of no consequence. wink
I don't know if it's 95% or some other figure. I don't know how many of the best scenarios are indeed inaccessible to most players (though I don't dispute that some would be). I don't know what the 95% actually want in a scenario. I don't even know what the 5% want. I don't design for this group or that group, I just make scenarios that I myself enjoy. It's my opinion that this is the only really practical option.

Edit: While BoA has many more capabilities on a technical level, I think it fails at immersing the player properly, which is more important than cutscenes or 3D terrain. Thus, while I might have more freedom designing in BoA, I'd prefer to play in BoE, and so any scenarios I design in the future will most likely be in BoE.
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The numbers, 5% & 95%, are just, "for example". I'm sure there's ever been a "study". Although, for the sake of the Community there probably should have been. What if it really is 5% and 95%?

I was just making rambling commentary that it seems to me that the community has evolved to a level that many scenarios are more deeply involving and, in most cases, beyond the "fun" level of play. At least, for us amateurs. laugh

And, if there is a valid argument that BoE is more oriented to the Players, while BoA is more oriented to the Authors, then the "producers" of the games may be leaving the "players" of the games behind. This could cause a "rift" that may adversly affect the community as a whole.

Finally, don't pay too much attention to the ramblings of an old man. It's a geriatric thing. frown

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Quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:
While BoA has many more capabilities on a technical level, I think it fails at immersing the player properly, which is more important than cutscenes or 3D terrain.
You know, it occurs to me that it may have been exactly this lack of dialog pics that made me balk at the idea of switching some of the cut scenes in Bahs into dialog boxes. A text bubble creates a similar effect to that of a dialog box with a pic, but the problem is that text bubbles are much slower.

That is, one can create the same sort of immersive atmosphere, but one has to do it in very different ways.

Quote:
Originally written by Ahbleza:
I was just making rambling commentary that it seems to me that the community has evolved to a level that many scenarios are more deeply involving and, in most cases, beyond the "fun" level of play. At least, for us amateurs. laugh
But this "fun" thing is almost impossible to define. There are almost no scenarios that are fun for everyone, either in BoE or in BoA. I think that designers should make scenarios that are at least fun for someone (hopefully both themselves and some others) and not worry whether these scenarios are going to be fun to everyone.

This attitude helps when one gets hate-mail about one's scenarios.

Quote:
Originally written by N00BEN:
Jeff should've included a comprehensive list of what STD was used where, not too much different than the special node lists.
This statement is entirely opaque to me. Special node lists? STDs?

EDIT: Oh, that special node list. Wow, it's been awhile.
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Urfff. Ugg. *cough*shoot*cough*I meant*cough*SDF*cough*

 

Sometimes common acronyms get in the way of what you were trying to indicate. :rolleyes: Wow, maybe I better just type out "stuff done flag" from now on.

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For the BoE editor to keep track of every single usage of every SDF in a scenario and display it in a useful, readable format would be completely impractical. A single SDF could be set and checked in a hundred different places in one scenario.

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Quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:
You know, it occurs to me that it may have been exactly this lack of dialog pics that made me balk at the idea of switching some of the cut scenes in Bahs into dialog boxes. A text bubble creates a similar effect to that of a dialog box with a pic, but the problem is that text bubbles are much slower.
Agreed. However, there are two drawbacks to this.

First, as you pointed out, cutscene text is too slow to really work for medium or long speeches of any sort. It only works well, in my view, with short, snappy lines. Not a big problem, I think. It is awkward, but I don't think I've ever seen a scenario hurt by too little text. The shorter and terser, usually the better. I would like to be able to write somewhat longer passages before running into the 'talking heads' problem, though.

Secondly, and I think more importantly, a BoA NPC graphic has nowhere near the personality of a BoE Dialog graphic at this stage. If some talented artists were to change this, I may well make the switch to BoA.
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I like BoE more than BoA because the graphics are better and it just feels better. The atmosphere when you open up BoE is so welcoming and charming and can adapt to any kind of scenario, whereas BoA seems rigid and unfeeling.

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The most important reasons why I like BoE better:

 

* The graphics.

 

* Combat. It feels more imbalanced in BoA than in BoE. And less diverse.

 

A smaller reason but a reason nonetheless:

 

* Navigation. I manage to click a wrong direction in BoA in battle at a critical moment quite often, it must have something to do with the hills. The automap is still sometimes confusing. Having North in the upper right corner is irritating, in my opinion.

 

(Seems to repeat some of the posts above.)

 

EDIT: Also, there are more terrains and items in BoA, but you can only have 2 wall sets and there's less diversity in weapons and armor. There are many interesting "junk" items but they are not as interesting as items that have some use.

 

I don't really care about having 3D graphics, except that having heights that make falling possible is cool. What I like most in BoA both as a player and a designer could be the more flexible talking dialogue system. I don't know, but BoA is not entirely bad, either, in my view.

 

(I like Exile 1&2 though they have no dialog pictures. I even don't like many of BoE's dialog pics. But the quality of BoA dialog pics seems better to me and I like seeing them used in scenarios...)

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I agree mostly with what others said. It's easier to navigate, the BoE interface is much more charming and friendly, etc.

 

Finally, I just don't have the same kind of fun with BoA that I have with BoE.

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Quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:
...BoE has SDFs.
God. Hearing newbies harp on about why BoE is bad without the slightest iota of experience is almost painful to read.
Are you actually saying that I have no experience about BoE (Considering that I haven't taken note of any other newbies to this forum having posted here.)? Mate, I have played through Valley of Dying Things and that's enough experience to be able to voice my opinion about things. And oh, I never said that I prefered BoA. I said that BoA was newer and had more potential to attract first-timers.
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Considering you've only made one small comment in this topic, and it didn't really relate to BoE/BoA comparison, I suspect he wasn't talking to you. Get over yourself.

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Quote:
Originally written by Eagle, the author soul:
Mate, I have played through Valley of Dying Things and that's enough experience to be able to voice my opinion about things.
You weren't my target. Stop painting cocentric circles on your derriere.
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From a mere player's point of view:

 

At first I believed BoA was going to be BoE ported in 3D - and 3D should be better!

 

I was in for a disappointment. BoA has inferior graphics compared to other similar 3D games (ex. Neverwinter Nights), positioning of North is confusing as you cannot move the camera around, view of the world is restricted etc... - that is, the game convensions lack in credibility. BoE has good graphics for a 2D game and the game conventions feel quite believable.

 

All above might not have been that objectionable if BoA had retained more of BoE best qualities: BoE scenarios still seem more flexible, feel more real, and leave the impression you really control developments in the game.

 

One feature I sorely missed in BoA was the ability to actually give any answer of my choice. I know this is rather an illusion - it takes the best of creators to predict most of the possible answers and come up with good and amusing dialogue (sometimes quite funny like ex. talking to kittens, dogs, etc!) I remember one time ( Gallows, I believe) it took me almost a week to figure out the correct response - or many other times I had to use a dictionary. BoA still hasn't been able to have me hooked that way.

 

BoE scenarios are (naturally) more mature and some (not even the best ones technically) have left me an unforgettable flavour (ex. the whole atmosphere of A Gathering Storm or the first impressions of day/night shifting in the Shadow of the Stranger etc...)

 

I'm not qualified enough to blame BoA shortcomings to the Editor, but I see BoA scenarios coming out more slowly, with less enthusiasm, and they might need too much time to reach BoE's stage of maturity (if ever)...

 

(If some of this sounds confusing, please excuse me - English in not my first language after all smile )

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Yeah, and I think experience can be a big factor too. BoE has been out for a lot longer, more scenarios have been made, and there's just more knowledge present on how to manipulate the scenario editor, so to speak, to do what you want in your scenario.

 

I think as BoA gets older and more scenarios are made, they will continue to grow in quality to or even beyond the stage we see with BoE now, but it will take time. Just as it will take time also to associate up and to the right with north, but I also agree that those are definite limitations. However, for now, BoE is better.

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I think we play these games for technical merit over graphical pleasure (there are better 2D and 3D graphics in a myraid of other games). On that point, BoE is more engaging as one feels more "immersed" in the world of Avernum. This may be partly the maturity of scenarios out there for BoE vs BoA, partly the criper graphics and/or better dialogue interactivity.

 

That being said, I played BoA first and still enjoy it as I am able to participate in its development (although not as a designer). I am curious to see what designers will do with the engine.

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OK half-wit, read between the lines. Wait, you cannot do that, let me fill in what was implied.

 

Quote:
On that point, BoE is more engaging (to me) as one feels more "immersed" in the world of Avernum.
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fatman - Please refrain from such impulsive comments. Failure to do so will result in action possibly up to the permanent suspension of your account.

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What, half-wit? That's taboo? TM regularly gets away with motherf***er.

 

I think he's pretty much right, besides. This is a thread where people explain why they prefer BoE. OF COURSE there are plenty who don't. We all realize this. They just aren't a subject of this discussion, and I see no need to refer to them. If he was generalizing by not allowing for people like Kel, so was Brett when he wrote the topic title.

 

Okay, fatman WAS a bit rude, but still.

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Take it as a comment about precision in language, then. Say, "I feel more engaged" rather than "one feels more engaged," if that's what you mean.

 

I wouldn't've said anything except that it seems to be pretty pervasive throughout this thread. At least try to be correct.

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Numerous comments have been made over time about and to individuals expressions in linguistic lunacy. Any more would only add fuel to the fire.

The Moderator's interjection was not only proper, but appreciated by, I feel reasonably sure, the majority of us.

There are numerous alternative platforms that are more designed for exchanges between dissimilar perspectives.

These boards have held a mature and decent level of social behaviour and it is hoped that we can all keep on "playing nicely". laugh

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Quotes from earlier posts:

 

they're all philistines who want to live out their Conan the Barbarian wet dreams.

 

I think we'd all appreciate it if you stayed away from Kel's privates.

 

What privates?

 

Then there is the always useful "go to hell" aimed directly at one individual and the ever descriptive graphic ^o^

 

None of these merit aeven a raised eyebrow yet "half-wit" does? Perhaps no-wit would be better? Or maybe I should of used a sexual slang (as from above it appears that is A-OK)?

 

Really children, grow up. It was so obviously a slur against Kel that no credit should have been given to the comment. ALos, if you note from earlier posts, I actually have a high regard for the individual, at least as it extends to the type of scenarios created.

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So, I take that priviledged few are allowed to make sexual innuendo, denigrate others or call into question the character of another.

 

Is it because of my relative few posts that I am being singled out for rudeness? Or, (heaven forbid) is there a movement to create a greater level of propriety on the boards - will I see others called to task for comments similar to the ones I cited in my earlier post?

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Here are more recent comments that did not merit warnings:

 

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally written by Hawk King:

if you meant I should have had the sense not to say I support bush because people who do not like him would rate me bad I knew perfectly well that would happen when I posted. And I really don't care

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

No, I meant that people with sense don't support Bush, so in essence or a sense, I was supporting the other camp. Savvy?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Well, at least not all Americans are stupid then.

 

"What crack are you smoking?!?!"

 

I like your logic, Mr. Goebbels.

 

So, in the first comment there is an implication the Bush supporters have no sense, the second comment advocates that some Americans are stupid, the third comment addresses lunacy in the form of mind-altering drugs and the fourth comment calls another person a Nazi of the worst sort (are there any good Nazi's).

 

I would suggest that "half-wit" and "children" are mild admonishments campared to the above - OK, perhaps not the first comment, it seems on par with the tone of my two earlier statements.

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I wish it wasn't. I would really like to see some measure of fairness applied. There is no good reason for some senior members to get away with what they do without so much as a tut-tut and fatman to be threatened with banning for calling someone a half-wit.

 

Seriously, how can any admin or mod expect a new member to follow the rules when many of the most prominent posters don't?

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This is neither the time nor place for such discussions. As far as universal enforcement, I hate to say this, but I am unable to read every single post on this board. I largely skim the topics for things that are blatantly offensive and out of total context.

 

fatman -- This is your final warning. Discussions on this board are to be related to BoE, not discussions of board policy. Feel free to carry said discussions on the General board.

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I prefer BoA really, at least atm. I haven't played BoE in a long time though. Having played BoA it's quite difficult to get back into BoE because I'm so used to the 3D-ness and things like that. Sometimes I press 9 instead of 8 to go north, as well, and similarly indeed in the BoA editor with the 2D-ness.

My sister hates BoA, though, cos she's been playing BoE a bit (not as much as me playing A3 and BoA though!). A good point as well; I'm partly so used to it because I recently played through A3 and completed it....

Maybe it's the new feeling of BoA. I do remember finding it sometimes difficult to start a new BoE game, perhaps because there are so many scenarios out there. I don't know. I'm going to shut up now... laugh

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I think that, speaking for myself, I enjoy those BoE scenarios that I do like because of the story, not the graphics. Plus I like the 6 person party (more places to carry stuff).

 

In addition, I'm a semi-Luddite at heart. wink

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