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Just finished Avadon. My thoughts and opinions...Obviously spoilers


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I just completed the game last night and thought I'd share some feedback. I'm pretty sure I've played(and beaten) every Avernum and Geneforge game, as well as Nethergate. There might have been one in there that I missed, but I'm pretty sure I played them all. My main was a Blade, with decent endurance, and the rest into strength. My two other characters were the Shadowwalker(speced straight strength) and the shaman(first speced for summons and heals, then attack spells and heals). I finished the game around level 28.

 

1. I started the game on normal difficulty level but it was preposterously easy. I switched to hard and this most resembled the other spiderweb games in terms of difficulty.

 

2. The auto heal after battle was fine. Vitality, on the other hand, seemed to serve little purpose. If you didn't want to use potions, then you'd just have to waste some time going to Avadon and back.

 

3. Skill trees were interesting in concept, and in some ways I liked the ability to respec. Many of the skills felt lacking though. Shaman had the worst of it. Earthquake does pitiful damage, and is one of the final 2 skills. The cone version of the wind skill(right before earthquake on the left side), does pitiful damage. Summons do pitiful damage even with +10 to their level from the skill. They do 15-20 per hit, and 45 damage or so in their once every 4 round cone attack. The salamander/drake endgame summon is not much better.

 

4. Very few skills and long cooldown timers lead to repetitive combat and little for casters to do. As shaman, I had 2 heals, 2 good combat skills(spirit and acid) and 2 poor skills(the wind one which did little damage with the aoe cone and earthquake).

 

5. Instead of going out the west entrance of a map and finding a new area, as in Geneforge, all areas funnel into new areas that are only discovered in dialog/quests. This feels incredibly limiting and makes the game world seem tiny.

 

6. The game feels like 3 quest hubs. Retread to old area, talk to handful of quest givers, discover 1-2 new areas and then repeat. The quest givers might as well have huge yellow exclamation point above their heads. Gone is the big world. We are now repeating the same areas, going to the same quest givers. I did not like this one bit.

 

7. Bosses near the end relied too much on confuse/terrify/daze and battle gimmicks. Even with a shadowwalker with high mental resistances and a blademaster with the mental spell buff(which only lasts 3 rounds), my characters were often taken out of my hands. Taking characters out of the player's hands is never fun. It just isn't fun and is poor/sloppy game design in my opinion. Many of the endgame bosses also resisted the shaman's base spell attack, which made the character near worthless for most turns. Since every spell has huge cooldowns, the caster just sat around most battles.

 

8. For some reason I found a few of the quests to be intentionally vague(moreso than the avernum/geneforge games).

 

I enjoyed the game for the most part, until the end. That being said, I just felt that it wasn't polished, and the game kind of just ended suddenly. The lack of real exploration, the poorly conceived skill trees, vitality system, long spell cooldowns, and linear quest hub based gameplay was just a step back from previous games.

 

What do you all think?

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I just completed the game last night and thought I'd share some feedback. I'm pretty sure I've played(and beaten) every Avernum and Geneforge game, as well as Nethergate. There might have been one in there that I missed, but I'm pretty sure I played them all. My main was a Blade, with decent endurance, and the rest into strength. My two other characters were the Shadowwalker(speced straight strength) and the shaman(first speced for summons and heals, then attack spells and heals). I finished the game around level 28.

 

1. I started the game on normal difficulty level but it was preposterously easy. I switched to hard and this most resembled the other spiderweb games in terms of difficulty.

 

Normal is designed to be fairly easy: it's based on the assumption that the average player won't necessarily have a well-optimised party build and doesn't want to have to retry fights until they find a winning strategy. Even then, there are players who still find the game difficult even on Normal -- the Avadon forum is full of people asking how to overcome certain fights while playing on Normal or even Casual.

 

2. The auto heal after battle was fine. Vitality, on the other hand, seemed to serve little purpose. If you didn't want to use potions, then you'd just have to waste some time going to Avadon and back.

 

Jeff Vogel's written a little bit about Avadon's vitality system, and it's designed to be more of a psychological effect than a major gameplay element. The idea is that you'll rarely or never actually have to worry about vitality during a fight, but seeing the number go down as you use abilities will make it feel like repeated battles are wearing you down rather than you just sailing through them. I'm not sure whether or not that improves the overall gameplay experience, but either way that's the rationale.

 

3. Skill trees were interesting in concept, and in some ways I liked the ability to respec. Many of the skills felt lacking though. Shaman had the worst of it. Earthquake does pitiful damage, and is one of the final 2 skills. The cone version of the wind skill(right before earthquake on the left side), does pitiful damage. Summons do pitiful damage even with +10 to their level from the skill. They do 15-20 per hit, and 45 damage or so in their once every 4 round cone attack. The salamander/drake endgame summon is not much better.

 

The problem with Earthquake and Call the Storm is that because they do physical damage, their damage is based on your shaman's Dexterity instead of Intelligence. This is a strange design decision, but it was retained in Avadon 2 so we can only assume it was intentional. And yeah, summons are strong early on if you beeline for them but later in the game they're mostly useful as meatshields.

 

4. Very few skills and long cooldown timers lead to repetitive combat and little for casters to do. As shaman, I had 2 heals, 2 good combat skills(spirit and acid) and 2 poor skills(the wind one which did little damage with the aoe cone and earthquake).

 

There are usable items that can reduce skill cooldowns, although they're in limited supply so they should be saved for major fights.

 

6. The game feels like 3 quest hubs. Retread to old area, talk to handful of quest givers, discover 1-2 new areas and then repeat. The quest givers might as well have huge yellow exclamation point above their heads. Gone is the big world. We are now repeating the same areas, going to the same quest givers. I did not like this one bit.

 

Yeah, the prevailing opinion is that a lot of development time went into building the new engine which meant less time for content, so the game world can feel a little small. It's definitely shorter than average for a Spiderweb game, too.

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1. The game difficulty is really bumpy, and the beginning is especially easy. I don't think this is particularly good design, and Avadon 2 does it much better.

 

4. You really shouldn't have casters in Avadon, except maybe Nathalie. The optimal party has Dexterity-based ranged weapon users doing most of the work. The fact that the game is so unbalanced (i.e., casters are not good but other uses of characters who could be casters are good) is also probably not optimal design, but Avadon 2 again does it better.

 

5-6. I didn't like the shortness — though I didn't mind it much — but I did like coming back to the same areas and talking to the same people again. I wished they changed a little more over time, so we got more of a sense of progression, but in general I like being able to see things from a different angle as the game goes on.

 

7. The shaman should use javelins, not magic, for optimal efficiency, largely for the reason you give. I didn't have much of a problem with mental effects in the late game — not sure why.

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4. Using a sorceress for your main character is fine if you concentrate on the center and left columns and have a decent scarab group to heal and give additional attack abilities. You can do almost the entire game without other hands except a few encounters.

 

7. Mental effects are nasty if you do the final fight with Redbeard and a low intelligence party getting stunned by basilisks that then can't hurt your high dexterity party.

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I doubt the physical spell > dex thing was intentional per se. I suspect it was originally an oversight, but then became something that would take a disproportionate amount of effort to fix, as it would involve altering the ability definition structure and hence all the ability definitions. Why the spell hasn't just been changed to a different damage type though is beyond me.

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4. I used Nathalie in my party as much as possible as I preferred her over the Shaman, and I found her useful.

5. Story wise, I believe the game area is far vaster than N or A. In those games, you explore every part of the world, in Avadon, you are only visiting a tiny fraction of a much larger whole. I just started A4, and while it arguably is bigger/takes more time to explore than the same map did in Exile or A:EftP, I actually prefer the A:EftP and Avadon style with more emphasis on the destinations and less on the journeys.

7. I did not really have that problem, but I tended to make sure that my characters were equipped with equipment that protected against mental attack.

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1 - More power to you. I generally stick to "normal" when offered the choice myself. I like a balance between accomplishment and tedium I suppose.

2 - The one thing I have to hold against Auto-heal in these situations was it really trivialized any traps that didn't result in instant death.

3 - Yeah... there were a few lumps that could have been ironed out here, and the Shaman was definitely one of them. While I tended to rotate my roster liberally, I do recall the Shaman being fairly... lackluster.

4 - Agreed. I found this to be particularly problematic when fighting either bosses or just very inflated mooks armed with an undo plethora of abilities.

5 - I liked to think of the word as focused this time around.

6 - Yeah, I'll give you that. Particularly problematic was if you missed a quest giver the first time around.

7 - Absolutely. When I'm already outnumbered three to one, taking my characters away from me doesn't add to the experience, and Avadon felt particularly terrible about this. Mental resistance was entirely useless in my experience, and I was really bothered by how many times the game opted to take my characters away and play with itself for a few turns because of it.

8 - One thing I didn't care for was how quest series never seemed to conclude properly. Despite there being no further steps, they'd always rehash the canned "come back later and I'll have more for you to do" line.

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Despite there being no further steps, they'd always rehash the canned "come back later and I'll have more for you to do" line.

Yeah, this was pretty seriously obnoxious. Once you got the pattern — people who give you new things give them to you when you come back to the same place on a new iteration of the main quest to that location and finish when you're done going to that place — it was okay, but it was never really clear that this was what was going on until the end of the game.

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I disliked Avadon 2. I thought Avadon 1 was great with dexterity at 5%. Once they changed that then the game wasn't playable. I also disliked the fight at end game where you have to run the gauntlet. That was in Avernum Escape from the Pit (Emperor) and I dont like it when they do that. It takes forever and if you screw up you just wasted an hour. Avernum the Pit was playable on 2 of the endings but I dont think I will replay Revenge.

 

Avadon 1 was perfect, nuff said.

Geneforge 1 was great but can get challenging. The difference in Geneforge is that battles are over in minutes rather than hours. Geneforge 2 was good as well. The rest of the series I thought were awful.

 

I havent played Avernum's second trilogy much.

 

The problem with alot of Jeff's games is that Casual should really be renamed Normal, Normal should be renamed hard and hard should be torment. I thought that there were only 1 characters I had that were able to get past Avadon 1 without switching to casual.

 

So thats 1 character out of 3 that played through normal whereas otherwise Geneforge games are likely to all be played on casual. Geneforge is just flat out difficult. But it might be that charm that keeps me coming back.

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Some people mentioned things that were improved in Avadon 2. Is there a comprehensive list anywhere by any chance?

Not that I know of, though you'll find some interesting tidbits here. Some of that is the same, some different.

 

Let's see...

 

Shamans still suck in Avadon 2. Though perhaps not quite as badly.

 

As Valdain sort of mentioned, Dex got nerfed slightly because it was OP for evasion in Av1, but you weren't using dex-based characters anyway.

 

I think the biggest change is the addition of a new class, the Tinkermage. Which rocks.

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I thought that Avadon 1&2 and A:EftP were well balanced on normal. My Avadon 1 party was not optimal and normal was not excessively hard and the quick recovery of the characters, in my mind anyway, reduces the difficulty (or at least frustration) a lot. In Avadon 2, my party was a little closer to more optimum (my PC was a Tinkermage), but still not perfect. The Tinkermage is probably a bit overpowered, just like the dex based shadow walker was in Avadon 1. Slartibus had a mod to Avadon 2 that re-balanced a lot of things, but I believe that he ran out of time to finish it.

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I thought that Avadon 1&2 and A:EftP were well balanced on normal. My Avadon 1 party was not optimal and normal was not excessively hard and the quick recovery of the characters, in my mind anyway, reduces the difficulty (or at least frustration) a lot. In Avadon 2, my party was a little closer to more optimum (my PC was a Tinkermage), but still not perfect. The Tinkermage is probably a bit overpowered, just like the dex based shadow walker was in Avadon 1. Slartibus had a mod to Avadon 2 that re-balanced a lot of things, but I believe that he ran out of time to finish it.

Ugh, yes. It's actually mostly done -- I got stuck in a bog trying to find a smart way to deal with consumables, which I shouldn't have touched in the first place. Maybe I should just kill those changes and post what I have with a disclaimer about being a very beta version and not quite complete.

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I would go ahead and post it. It appeared that you put a lot of time into it, and it was very playable, and in my opinion enjoyable. Of course posting will generate a lot of feedback of things to change and calling it a Beta will cause people to suggest even more changes.

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Avadon 2. Woah. Huh. I never did finish it, did I? I got up to where I was visiting the whatsitname empire in the northeast around last December and real life came up and I never got back to it.

 

I feel kind of feel validated in never getting Ava1, considering that I found Ava2 boring enough I never finished. It was all just so...blah and generic fantasy flavor, and everyone-was-a-lying-scheming-jerk-so-what's-the-point-of-caring, compared to the more interesting worlds and conflicts of Nethergate, Avernum, and Geneforge. I guess if the Avadon games sell well I'm in a minority, though. Still, this is the first Spiderweb I've ever owned (out of N:R / G1 / G2 / G3 / G4 / A:EFTP) where I had such a hard time finding the motivation to finish.

 

I should try to get around to finishing the game at some point, I guess. Maybe?

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Avadon 2. Woah. Huh. I never did finish it, did I? I got up to where I was visiting the whatsitname empire in the northeast around last December and real life came up and I never got back to it.

so i see i'm not the only one not to finish. i made it all the way to the point where you need to betray Odil to advance the love plot and just stopped. i wanted to leave a save there so i could see both endings but i just never went back to it. ........and many months later......it makes a blog post.

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Wow. I bought both of the Avadons through Gog (and Humble Bundle during that Spiderweb sale?) but I never really got around to playing them and now I am starting to regret buying them based on what you guys are telling me here. For starters I absolutely will not touch a supposed CRPG which does something akin to 'auto-healing' between battles. Hell it bothers me to no end that even the CRPGs I DO like have such lazy design that they allow people to heal up all damage by sleeping for 8 hours or the 'increased hit points with experience' nonsense. The problem with being a rationalist: I cannot shut it off. So I can rarely enjoy a movie or TV show that most people find entertaining because I am almost fully aware of every single nonsensical element (especially regarding behavioral matters) and those things pile up and grate on my nerves.

 

I do not think I will bother trying to play Avadon 1 and will probably never try Avadon 2 either.

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Wow. I bought both of the Avadons through Gog (and Humble Bundle during that Spiderweb sale?) but I never really got around to playing them and now I am starting to regret buying them based on what you guys are telling me here. For starters I absolutely will not touch a supposed CRPG which does something akin to 'auto-healing' between battles. Hell it bothers me to no end that even the CRPGs I DO like have such lazy design that they allow people to heal up all damage by sleeping for 8 hours or the 'increased hit points with experience' nonsense. The problem with being a rationalist: I cannot shut it off. So I can rarely enjoy a movie or TV show that most people find entertaining because I am almost fully aware of every single nonsensical element (especially regarding behavioral matters) and those things pile up and grate on my nerves.

 

I do not think I will bother trying to play Avadon 1 and will probably never try Avadon 2 either.

 

Maybe it would have been rational to try the free demos before buying the games, then.

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Rapid healing has been part of the RPG trope for at least 30 years, and to most players it is not a case of lazy design, but a way of making the game enjoyable. Is auto-healing really any less rational than healing spells, fire breathing dragons, etc?

 

I enjoyed both Avadon games. They have multiple design differences from Jeff's other games. I enjoy the differences, other do not.

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I agree, it's often a good game design decision even if it's totally unrealistic. But then, realism would probably mean permanent crippling after taking a couple of serious hits in a battle. In any case, realism or not, good design or not, taste is taste. If SkeleTony doesn't like it he doesn't like it.

 

—Alorael, who mostly thinks that rapid healing opens up different kinds of battles. If you don't heal in between then areas often run on attrition, either running out the party's health/energy/whatever or their consumable resources to restore those (downside: often instead it's a test of how often you're willing to waste time going back and healing up). If there is automatic healing you can make each battle difficult, but it's harder to get the same slow grind where optimal management of even easy encounters matters.

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Maybe it would have been rational to try the free demos before buying the games, then.

 

Yeah and if the game cost more than a few dollars I might have stopped to wonder if people still made demos for their games anymore (the last time I downloaded and played a demo was over ten years ago so I honestly did not consider doing so), but I was supporting GOG so they would get more games in this specific genre(turn-based, indie, not-exactly-modern-3D-graphics, with good game play CRPGs). Nothing to do with rationality bud.

 

Rapid healing has been part of the RPG trope for at least 30 years' date='...[/quote']

 

As I believe I indicated in my first post I am well aware of this, which is why I consider it poor design in ANY and ALL CRPGs which feature such. Just my personal preference and revulsion for what I consider to be poor game design.

 

 

...and to most players it is not a case of lazy design,

 

Let's not drag speculations about "most players" into this guy. Not relevant even if your conclusion were or is true.

 

 

...but a way of making the game enjoyable.

 

?!

 

Ignoring our disagreements about what might be enjoyable, your assertion here makes no sense. Like saying that leather upholstery is used to insure better gas mileage.

 

 

Is auto-healing really any less rational than healing spells, fire breathing dragons, etc?

 

Yes and here is why: Since the early days of TSR RPG players have repeatedly misused the term "realistic" in the same way as you are misusing "rational". Whenever the subject of "realism" came up in RPG design discussions it was meant as 'logically consistent' and had NOTHING at all to do with the subject matters(fantasy, sci-fi, etc.). What that means is that even in the Marvel Universe one cannot trip over a square- shaped circle while blasting villains with magic bolts or radiation beams.

Rationality (I had no idea this word offended so many so I won't use it again after this post) as per my usage here is merely my knack for spotting things which do not make sense to me (in the same way that a cop show where every female in uniform looks like a super model and coroners are chasing bad guys and such will drive me to turn off the TV). I am not at all removing your right to disagree with anything I said so let's keep this friendly. I was trying to be humorous and good natured and I guess I failed. Live and learn eh?

 

@ Alorael - Can't disagree with that. :)

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boy SkeleTony_13 do you have a chip in your shoulder!

if you think the game is stupid delete it, blow it up or whatever. you are entitled to your opinion. i disagree with you, but it's a free country. believe what you want.

but signing up to the forums to tell us that we are all losers and our opinions are all stupid is arrogantly wrong.

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:puts mod hat on:

Let's keep it civil, people. That includes not accusing people of saying things they didn't actually say, and preferably easing up a little on the condescension. Or in other words, discuss; don't escalate.

 

Nice thread you got here. Shame if anything happened to it. :cool:

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Yeah and if the game cost more than a few dollars I might have stopped to wonder if people still made demos for their games anymore (the last time I downloaded and played a demo was over ten years ago so I honestly did not consider doing so), but I was supporting GOG so they would get more games in this specific genre(turn-based, indie, not-exactly-modern-3D-graphics, with good game play CRPGs). Nothing to do with rationality bud.

 

You wanted to support GOG, well that's great. But a good rule of thumb would be to check out demos for games, even if you've got extra dollars lying around, why would you regret buying it then? At least, you've supported Jeff's family and GOG itself.

 

I'm not trying to start a trash talk here (although I admit that I sound I do), but your approach could have been less hostile. If I was a game dev and a lot of people liked auto-heal, and a minority did not, why should I risk my money in removing the auto-heal if a lot of players liked the feature. And as Darth Ernie meant, you could simply uninstall the game and play Dark Souls if you hate auto-heals and want a hardcore combat like it.

 

Personally, I lost interest in isometric top-down RPGs, mainly because I didn't like how my characters have to rely on percentage to dodge or parry attacks, I prefer to use my reflexes in dealing with block and dodges. Standing and waiting in combat turns doesn't sound realistic and isn't immersive either, unlike Skyrim, Dark Souls or Witcher or many other real-time rpgs that do. I don't like how you cannot sneak into those games, making stealth-based characters seem like warriors with debuffs. While in... etc etc

 

What I mean is, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Is the game moddable? Cool, check the scripts and turn off a the healing string or whatever there. Can't mod the game? Deal with it, play another game, that suits your taste. No demos? There are a billion let's play videos out there. Simple as that.

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There are certain times I will agree with every single statement made here. Certain times. If I am playing Icewind Dale and one of my party's fighters gets turned to stone, the fight is over. In certain games it made it more thrilling. But taking away that feature for some games is more than impossible. Even though disliked Avadon 2, I learned that if you lose a Party, you can go to corner, exit combat, quickly teleport back and forth entering/exiting combat until party is back.

 

If that wasnt in the game you would LOSE an hour and 15 minutes at the endgame trek in that specific game. I dont cater to Avadon 2 but I am glad its in the game because the first is more strategic because of it.

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Really, if you're going for realism, any hit points-based system should be right out the window. . . if it helps, in my head I don't conceptualize hit points as "how many direct sword wounds can you take", but a sort of abstracted blend of general defense, minor wounds, and fatigue? Like, a character being at 13/40 hit points doesn't mean they've taken several arrows to the chest, but instead have taken a couple minor wounds(small lacerations, bruises, w/e), are tired, their attention is fraying, maybe some equipment damage, etc, and only the final blow is going to be a really serious one. Characters take a minute after fights to catch their breath and otherwise recover. Makes enough sense for me.

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@Nalyd

 

Wow, thanks, I didn't perceive combat for that once. I've always thought an HP of 13/40 is wounded and bleeding to death, and auto-heals are impossible, advanced regeneration passives that no one can do. I've pretty much hated those things, to remedy that, I keep in my mind that your character is the overused "Chosen One" and can destroy 5387379 planets in a lift of a finger.

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I agree with Nalyd's explanation, and from what I remember from 30 years ago, that has been pretty much the traditional explanation of hit points. As characters advance, they end up with more hit points than an elephant or giant, yet obviously they cannot take more physical damage than an elephant or giant. Higher hit points represent your better luck, conditioning and ability to dodge, not just your ability to take physical damage.

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D&D, the grandfather of hit points, has offered up any number of tortured explanations. Sometimes hit points really can't be anything but health. Sometimes they can. Mostly they are game mechanics.

 

—Alorael, who accepts unreality from his CRPGs and mostly plays games that don't use HP for tabletop.

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boy SkeleTony_13 do you have a chip in your shoulder!

if you think the game is stupid delete it, blow it up or whatever. you are entitled to your opinion. i disagree with you, but it's a free country. believe what you want.

but signing up to the forums to tell us that we are all losers and our opinions are all stupid is arrogantly wrong.

 

?!?

 

Where in the HELL did you get THAT from?! Did you actually read what I posted or did you just 'get a feeling' that I intended to do what you think I intended to do?

 

 

You wanted to support GOG, well that's great. But a good rule of thumb would be to check out demos for games, even if you've got extra dollars lying around, why would you regret buying it then? At least, you've supported Jeff's family and GOG itself.

 

Again, this opinion is noted and has already been addressed by me.

 

I'm not trying to start a trash talk here (although I admit that I sound I do), but your approach could have been less hostile.

 

You mean I could have expressed myself better so that others did not feel as though I were out to get them. Fair enough and I have already conceded this point as well.

 

Personally, I lost interest in isometric top-down RPGs, mainly because I didn't like how my characters have to rely on percentage to dodge or parry attacks, I prefer to use my reflexes in dealing with block and dodges. Standing and waiting in combat turns doesn't sound realistic and isn't immersive either, unlike Skyrim, Dark Souls or Witcher or many other real-time rpgs that do. I don't like how you cannot sneak into those games, making stealth-based characters seem like warriors with debuffs. While in... etc etc

 

And I would argue the exact converse of every point you make here. As far as I can tell using one's own reflexes does not belong in a RPG because you are not playing yourself and turn based combat is far more 'realistic' for a bunch of reasons. But again, to each his own.

 

 

If I was a game dev and a lot of people liked auto-heal, and a minority did not, why should I risk my money in removing the auto-heal if a lot of players liked the feature.

 

I have no idea how this question is even relevant to anything I said. I don't recall ever telling ANY game developer to risk money or to adopt ANY position, popular or not. I only stated my own distaste for certain features like auto-heal.

 

 

 

And as Darth Ernie meant, you could simply uninstall the game and play Dark Souls if you hate auto-heals and want a hardcore combat like it.

 

I have no idea what Dark Souls is or what it has to do with my positions or points here, nor am I sure what you were trying to say with the "hardcore combat" bit. I think you are reading a LOT into what I wrote...

 

What I mean is, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Is the game moddable? Cool, check the scripts and turn off a the healing string or whatever there. Can't mod the game? Deal with it, play another game, that suits your taste. No demos? There are a billion let's play videos out there. Simple as that.

 

Agreed but, again I am not sure why this is relevant to what I said?

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I agree with Nalyd's explanation, and from what I remember from 30 years ago, that has been pretty much the traditional explanation of hit points. As characters advance, they end up with more hit points than an elephant or giant, yet obviously they cannot take more physical damage than an elephant or giant. Higher hit points represent your better luck, conditioning and ability to dodge, not just your ability to take physical damage.

 

My problem with this is that it should lead to all manner of luck/stat increases and bonuses whenever a priest casts a heal spell. If HP are some sort of abstraction for, as you describe a combination of several things aside from physique then priests/healers are in effect replenishing luck, stamina, dodgy-ness etc. with every heal spell or first aid usage. Furthermore, and pardon the hypothetical here, say a magic guy casts a spell or grants some mystical bonus to luck or intellect; shouldn't this also raise hit points? And why do 'tougher'/bigger/more physical beings get such greater hit points than some leprechaun rogue who usually wins at gambling?

 

Again, I am just addressing points here with my thoughts on the matter and please do not take this to mean I think people are somehow "stupid" or less intelligent than me (I would be the first person to reject that idea without having to think about it much) for having a different take.

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This is a second warning to keep this thread friendly.

 

Where in the HELL did you get THAT from?! Did you actually read what I posted or

SkeleTony, I think you are coming off as angrier and less respectful than you realize (or intend to). In particular, when you think someone is wrong about something, you are expressing it with fairly intense language. I know you kind of acknowledge this later in the post I'm quoting from, but let's all turn the intensity down a couple notches, please.

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My problem with this is that it should lead to all manner of luck/stat increases and bonuses whenever a priest casts a heal spell. If HP are some sort of abstraction for, as you describe a combination of several things aside from physique then priests/healers are in effect replenishing luck, stamina, dodgy-ness etc. with every heal spell or first aid usage. Furthermore, and pardon the hypothetical here, say a magic guy casts a spell or grants some mystical bonus to luck or intellect; shouldn't this also raise hit points? And why do 'tougher'/bigger/more physical beings get such greater hit points than some leprechaun rogue who usually wins at gambling?

 

Again, I am just addressing points here with my thoughts on the matter and please do not take this to mean I think people are somehow "stupid" or less intelligent than me (I would be the first person to reject that idea without having to think about it much) for having a different take.

 

I didn't mention luck, for a reason. I know Edgwyn did, but yeah. What exactly is being abstracted by hit points is up to you, of course, and it can make as much or as little sense as you're willing to give it, but a luck meter is at least as silly as hit points. Continuing with the way I contextualize hit points, hit points are actually your ability to continue functioning in spite of damage, and so healing spells are actual healing spells - they repair minor injuries, steady your nerves, refresh your strength, whatever. It's not a buff, it's undoing what's been lost.

 

A stat buff often does provide some increased ability to survive or avoid damage, but that depends on even more minutiae around what game mechanics actually mean, and that's generally up for interpretation. Much like above, it can make as much or as little sense as you're willing to let it. In my head, hit points are the kind of thing where one guy can take a kick in the gut and keep fighting, while another guy will go down right there, and that's sort of the level of injuries being delivered here. The depletion of hit points is how long until someone's taken too much damage to effectively defend themselves from someone trying to kill them. Only the final blow is gonna be an even potentially mortal one, but the more minor injuries you take, the less able you're gonna be to avoid it. So, a healing spell would not provide stat bonuses, because those stats refer to other methods of defense, like dodging or having good armor.

 

It should be self-evident why more physical characters get more hit points, if that's what hit points represent. A big beefy dude can take an elbow to the face or a nasty cut on the arm better than a twig, and will continue fighting better afterwards, the better to continue deflecting or avoiding or mitigating potentially lethal attacks. If you've ever actually seen medieval european martial arts

or
, it can be a lot easier to picture what someone being "worn down" in this kind of fight looks like.
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You wanted to support GOG, well that's great. But a good rule of thumb would be to check out demos for games, even if you've got extra dollars lying around, why would you regret buying it then? At least, you've supported Jeff's family and GOG itself.

 

I'm not trying to start a trash talk here (although I admit that I sound I do), but your approach could have been less hostile. If I was a game dev and a lot of people liked auto-heal, and a minority did not, why should I risk my money in removing the auto-heal if a lot of players liked the feature. And as Darth Ernie meant, you could simply uninstall the game and play Dark Souls if you hate auto-heals and want a hardcore combat like it.

 

Personally, I lost interest in isometric top-down RPGs, mainly because I didn't like how my characters have to rely on percentage to dodge or parry attacks, I prefer to use my reflexes in dealing with block and dodges. Standing and waiting in combat turns doesn't sound realistic and isn't immersive either, unlike Skyrim, Dark Souls or Witcher or many other real-time rpgs that do. I don't like how you cannot sneak into those games, making stealth-based characters seem like warriors with debuffs. While in... etc etc

 

What I mean is, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Is the game moddable? Cool, check the scripts and turn off a the healing string or whatever there. Can't mod the game? Deal with it, play another game, that suits your taste. No demos? There are a billion let's play videos out there. Simple as that.

 

Personally, I don't consider games like Skyrim to be rpgs. I consider them to be FPS games with some stats and quests tacked on. Single player FPS games bore me personally(I play multipler, team based fps games regularly-700+ hours in BF4), so I stick to turn based or if I have to, rtwp for my rpgs.

 

As to the other poster, a demo isn't necessary. Just skim a review. As I posted in the OP, I knew about the auto healing ahead of time, and was interested in how it would be balanced. I didn't mind it, even though I expected I would.

 

I'm decently into Avadon 2 right now(level 22 or so) and I find it to be a better game, without as much of the constantly jumping back through hubs. I did encounter one supremely annoying boss though. Everything about 2 is better, outside of the questionably balanced tinkermage class, imo. I can't quite put my finger on why though. Maybe because there is more to do per area and more variety in the location types.

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Personally, I don't consider games like Skyrim to be rpgs. I consider them to be FPS games with some stats and quests tacked on.

 

 

Full agreement on this point, although I try not to get into the war about defining "RPG" for everyone these days my take from decades of study on the matter tells me that an RPG should be defined as a 'Squad-based tactical simulation game', wherein a 'squad' is a party of at least one and often more individual 'characters', ideally and usually created by the player (this interactivity being important) and this pretty much demands turn-based gameplay because if you are relying on your own reflexes to determine whether Breglok, the Hill Orc berserker can avoid being shot with an arrow then you are not playing a character so much as you are just playing a game of an 'arcade' or 'FPS' (etc.) type nature.

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This is a second warning to keep this thread friendly.

 

 

SkeleTony, I think you are coming off as angrier and less respectful than you realize (or intend to). In particular, when you think someone is wrong about something, you are expressing it with fairly intense language. I know you kind of acknowledge this later in the post I'm quoting from, but let's all turn the intensity down a couple notches, please.

 

My apologies again as I certainly did not intend what you infer here. I have not once posted 'angrily' here and my use of the 'H-E-Double Hockey Sticks' word was in no way meant to attack anyone else for any reason. I do not think I am alone here in in how I reacted to someone making false accusations against me about what I said though. If I responded to your post here by saying "Well Slartibus, you may believe I don't deserve to live or have the same rights you have..." then would you not think "Where the **** did you get THAT?!" ?

 

But duly noted and I will not use the word again.

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I didn't mention luck, for a reason. I know Edgwyn did, but yeah. What exactly is being abstracted by hit points is up to you, of course, and it can make as much or as little sense as you're willing to give it, but a luck meter is at least as silly as hit points. Continuing with the way I contextualize hit points, hit points are actually your ability to continue functioning in spite of damage, and so healing spells are actual healing spells - they repair minor injuries, steady your nerves, refresh your strength, whatever. It's not a buff, it's undoing what's been lost.

 

A stat buff often does provide some increased ability to survive or avoid damage, but that depends on even more minutiae around what game mechanics actually mean, and that's generally up for interpretation. Much like above, it can make as much or as little sense as you're willing to let it. In my head, hit points are the kind of thing where one guy can take a kick in the gut and keep fighting, while another guy will go down right there, and that's sort of the level of injuries being delivered here. The depletion of hit points is how long until someone's taken too much damage to effectively defend themselves from someone trying to kill them. Only the final blow is gonna be an even potentially mortal one, but the more minor injuries you take, the less able you're gonna be to avoid it. So, a healing spell would not provide stat bonuses, because those stats refer to other methods of defense, like dodging or having good armor.

 

It should be self-evident why more physical characters get more hit points, if that's what hit points represent. A big beefy dude can take an elbow to the face or a nasty cut on the arm better than a twig, and will continue fighting better afterwards, the better to continue deflecting or avoiding or mitigating potentially lethal attacks. If you've ever actually seen medieval european martial arts

or
, it can be a lot easier to picture what someone being "worn down" in this kind of fight looks like.

 

I understand what you are saying but I still cannot accept this as being very sensible. I feel there are much better ways (and not necessarily more complex or complicated ways) of achieving these things. The example I usually cite in these discussions is the D&D vs. RuneQuest pen and paper RPG systems. RQ managed to do everything that (A)D&D did plus a thousand things D&D could not do, while being very logically consistent (aka "realistic") and losing none of the heroic fantasy fun. RQ had 'hit points' based primarily on the "Size" attribute (with "Constitution" contributing as well IIRC) and it had "Fatigue Points" (aka stamina) based primarily on "Strength" and "Constitution".. D&D's particular version of hit points does not seem to line up with your own completely (as Gygax most certainly considered them to be a measure of luck/fortune and a half dozen other things) but I think my point stands that if you try to abstract HP as being a combination of several things like stamina, will/determination, etc. then it begs the question of why healing spells and regeneration potions and such work the way they do. In my mind jogging up a mountain road should tire one out (drain stamina) but should be distinct from the amount of physical; damage they can absorb for the same reasons that "intelligence" should be separated from "Dexterity" and "Agility". Many who have great intellect do not have great coordination or dexterity and many who can jog a marathon cannot take a punch or a bullet the way a big guy can.

 

Of course this is ultimately not very important as I think of CRPGs the same way I think of sex: When they are good they are GREAT but when they are bad...they are still pretty good.

 

 

In short I think gaining better "defensive" abilities (to take one of your stated factors that HP may represent), like an increase in "parry" skills or dodge skills or what have you should not be accompanied by an increase in Hit Points with experience. Otherwise why don't hit points also increase every time you raise your sword parry or 'dodge blow' skills?

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D&D's particular version of hit points does not seem to line up with your own completely (as Gygax most certainly considered them to be a measure of luck/fortune and a half dozen other things)

 

For what it's worth, I've spoken to people who played at the same table as Gary Gygax back in the 70s and 80s, and he reportedly didn't consider hit points a measure of anything at all: to him they were purely a game mechanic designed to give fights the kind of pacing he wanted. Healing works the way it does for similar reasons: it provided the desired kind of pacing for recovery between adventures. Players asked for explanations of what HP "really meant", so he gave somewhat waffling justifications for what they might represent, but in reality he didn't particularly care what if anything they represented. He pretty much saw D&D as a game of logistics and problem solving, and the idea of simulating a world beyond the level of scope or detail needed to play a fun and challenging game seemed unnecessary to him.

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If I responded to your post here by saying "Well Slartibus, you may believe I don't deserve to live or have the same rights you have..." then would you not think "Where the **** did you get THAT?!" ?

Yup, probably! But

 

1) I don't post everything I think. (And we're all thankful for that, I imagine :p)

2) If I can't tell where something comes from I'd probably look at the most likely place and try to imagine what sorts of thought processes might have led from A to B. Even when people are extreme or make exaggerations you can often see what launched their line of thinking in the first place.

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Personally, I don't consider games like Skyrim to be rpgs. I consider them to be FPS games with some stats and quests tacked on.

 

Strongly agreed, Skyrim is open, yet too huge to be filled with a rich atmosphere. No, I don't want to label stuff as RPGs and such as it leads to unnecessary debates. I only added it to my own opinion of an RPG as you can roleplay almost any character you build from the different combinations (or permutations? Math guys? Anyone?) of skills, rules and restrictions you can make.

 

That said, I'm sorry about my random crap-posting in the thread, I went hasty and judged a person by his post, although, there is no guarantee that won't happen again, but I'm going to avoid from such things.

 

use of the 'H-E-Double Hockey Sticks' word

 

LOOOOOOOLL

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I am around 28 now. Much less bouncing back and forth between hubs. More areas per region in a row. Better story with much better flow. More quests and better flow to them. Still don't like the "return later for possibly more quests" part and I ESPECIALLY do not like that these are kept in your quest journal, which makes figuring out what quests you are on a nightmare.

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Remember 160k floppies?

Of course, I never got around to finishing my game of Ultima 1 on DOS 1.0. I still have boxes of those floppies and nothing to read them.

 

I got to use an IMSAI 8080 for a while as a grad student. I joined when they were using 9" floppies which was way better than loading paper tapes. One typo meant starting all over making a new one.

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I remember 143K floppies on my Apple II+, and cutting an extra notch in them with a hole punch so that I could manually flip them over and use the second side. I played Wizardry 1-3, Bard's Tale 1-3 and Ultima 1-4 on those floppies. Upgrading to the 800K 3.5" floppy disks was huge. The IBM PC had the higher capacity 160K format. I never had to do any real programing on punch cards although the capability was there in our computer lab. As to paper tapes, I used a certain system in the late 1990s that still took certain information on a paper tape. I was a late purchaser of a modem, so my first modem was a blazing fast 2400 bps. I still find my 128 MB thumb drive adequate for 99% of what I do.

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