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Suggestions for next series


Kref
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Hello!

I've read recent Jeff's interview ( http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/17/the-original-indie-dev-how-one-man-made-22-games-in-22-years-mostly-from-his-basement/ ) and I do have suggestions for the next game title.

 

I think Jeff overestimates the gradual combat power growing in RPG. I think that there is very much joy in other critical aspects of true RPG. For now, the gradual power growing of a character (what if a next fight won't be tough?) takes too much attention, a genious game can fail that aspect and do not worry about it.

 

I want to point out the next games: Fallout 2 (made in 1998), Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines, Space Rangers and tbs game Dominions 4.

 

Fallout 2 is the best RPG ever made. The character is free to go anywhere (in Jeff's games on higher difficulties it is actually not quite so, I personally sometimes do look where is the area which is not too hard for my current combat skill). The world in Fallout 2 is well interconnected both in quests (yes, you may well fail one quest by killing some character through the course of another, it affects the balance in power growing but it fails to affect the quality of the game) and in lore (for example, first you can help some gang in buisness on getting and protecting some chemicals, and closer to the end (if you do still remember that episode) you understand that this chemicals were supposed to use in genocide against most of mankind, those gangs including). In the Fallout 2 you can make do what you want on your responsibility (including attacking any characters you can see, if you'll make the game impossible for finishing initial goals it's your problem). So, the mechanics of the game in Fallout 2 generally allows gamers to make things which were not predicted by it' creators or somewhat unbalanced. For example, with high pickpocketing your can arm dynamite and put it in the inventory of some guy, and he would take great damage without armor protection. It is not some individually specialized action, it's possibility defined by engine: armed dynamite does explodes, items can be placed with pickpocketing. The other example: at first playing, I wanted to free Vic from Merzger immidiately, to go in future cities with hin now and not later after I'll get more powerfull. I didn't have enough money to buy him; I do not remember clearly but perhaps my girl protagonist could made some sevice for Metzger but I didn't want her to do that; I also didn't want to join Metzgers slavering band to accumulate more money and I was not strong enough to do what I want with force. I've found another way: I used drugs on Metzger and his people (drugs increased combat abilities right after their usage but decreased signifficantly them later, and some time after the abilities were restoring to normal but character become addicted), waited for some time when they would be weaken by drugs, and then killed them.

 

VtM is a linear RPG, with great world and storytelling, which failed to achieve combat difficulties at late game, still having a great fan community. The worls is in well-known setting made by White Wolf company. According to that setting, different vampire clans and individuals oppose each other in some sort of political-guerilla struggle. The plot of VtM is the next. The camarilla prince (powerfull "official" vampire) moves in Los-Angeles. Even more powerfull, but "unofficial" and working as an individual vampire Jack create a plot which would mostly ineventably (just ineventably in the game) lead to death of the prince. Our protagonist becomes a laborer of the prince from the start and mostly work for that prince on his orders, helping him to achive his ineventable death orchestrated by Jack. So, generally we are a fighting supernumerary which "do what he shpold to do". The game is quite good, of course the next great step would be if the develpoers one day would manage to make a a game where persons like Jack or prince our protagonist, so that player would be able actually plot and\or avoid plots against him.

 

What, as I think, can be taken from Fallout 2 and VtM (it is possible to find out other thing, so as the games are an art)?

1) VtM has an execellent XP system, which does not rewards for killing, it rewards for completing the tasks (but I would remove rewarding for finding cunning ways for completing the tasks or subtasks). Often you are not obliged to kill, you can sneak, steal, bluff, bribe - if you achieve a task witg 0 or 1 corpse your XP is the same as if you killed 100 subjects completting the quest.

2) Money. I don't say that money systen is extra good at that games, perhaps there are games where it is better, But now in Jeff's games, as I see, there are no money at all, money is just another XP type. I think that 90% and more players do spent 99% money on skills in Jeff's games. Potions are stockpiling by themselfs if you choose where you should go now rightly, and spending a signifficant some of money on a sword which would increase the effectivness of one of four characters on 3% for 3%-10% of game duration (before you'll find equal or better sword) is just silly. In should be more valid options for spending money on equipment, perhaps on buying temporery mercenaries, in quests and so on.

3) Choices. I like the choices in Fallout 2 (in VtM the situatin is somewhat not so good) because you can make them according to your own life experience and understanding. For example, if in New Reno you do decide to refuse to become a member of Salvatore gang (if and when you achieved the offer), the result would be in the Salvatore's order to kill you immidiately. This can be predicted if we understand the motives of mafia in reality. That's better then the situation even in Fallout: New Vegas where we can refuse to Caesar, and he just threatens in response, and better then in Witcher where there are consequences on different choices but they, as well as their usefullness, is unpredictable.

4) Engine and freedom, like in Fallout 2. The player can do what he wants and can be whom he want to be, he even just kill anyone he sees throw the game as long as he have enough strength.

 

Space Rangers. The game is somewhat of another type. It can be played at different settings, it is somewhat unbalanced in possibilities of power growing. I've seen a guide, where there were a suggestion (for a free owner of spasecraft) to get at a jail as soon as possible (by smuggling) and get initial capital in a jail as a crime authority. The concept of the game is intresting because it is possible to loose if the global situation becomes harder with time (if enemies are slowly advancing) and you do develop not fast enough to stop it. So, it is possible to implement such methods where player should calculate his resources to get tasks to be made in a reasonable time (what is better - spent more scrolls and potions in this dungeon or go to another not so dangerous or with more proper benefits for now?).

 

Dominions 4 is a strategy game, so only general concepts can be looked there. Dominions 4 is totally unbalanced (for example, quite few nations can fight against middle-age Ermor on their own). It doesn't have some defined scenarious. Thing is, events in dominions 4 do have a very detailed enviroment. For example, there is (not an epic) fight of an army of 500 soldiers and monsters against an army of 543 creatures and monsters. Looking at some time at one soldier, we can tell, for example, that he has 7 hit points out of 10, he is fatiqued at 52% (due to different reasons like actually fighting in heave armor, spells, fatiquing damage). He has crippled arm and so he fights with a sword without a shield he initially had. His armor could be broken, his morale can be altered. He has an age of, for example, 30, and if he is unlucky he could be affected by a spell which makes him 5 years older per combat turn (also there are nations and monsters with a long lifespan). So, general concept of dominions 4 is like that I've heard about Dwarf fortress. The fun game can be made with sheer complexity, where creators are clearly beyond to balance game because there are too many possibilities which can vary very unpredictably from game to game.

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I'm afraid I don't have the time to answer all of the points in the OP but I'd like to make a correction concerning the money in Jeff's games, especially Avernum series as that's what I've been playing the most. Especially at Hard and Torment difficulty settings I've found myself buying a lot of potions and scrolls and other goodies, because whenever you get into a boss-battle, every little item that can be used is extremely necessary and can mean the difference between life and death.

 

Also in the newest remakes, Escape from the Pit and Crystal Souls, I think the skills cannot be raised above 10 by purely leveling up, and as thus for a good portion of the early game the skills should not be raised by buying as one can raise the skills above the hard-cap by first maxing them to 10, then buying several training levels. This leaves a lot of the money to be used to buy items.

 

These few points came to mind off the top of my head and thus I feel like money is quite useful in the Avernum-series. (In hind-sight, this is just my personal, humble opinion. Someone like Randomizer etc. may have a much better view unto this topic as, from what I've understood, he/she has played a lot of Torment playthroughs.)

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Fallout 2

 

Read a lot about this one. I wish I was old enough to have played Fallout 2 back in the day, and now judging by a video of how it looks like I'm doubtful of whether I'll enjoy it, and it's not like I'm desperately looking for old-school rpg's anyway.

 

Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines

 

Read about it, seems interesting. Especially the part about Project Vaulderie, a remake of the original game in the Unity engine which was forced to stop after receiving a Cease&Desist from the copyright holder. And hey the fans have taken this alpha-released game and made it all awesome and everything, with the latest patch in 2014 :lol: Putting this on my games-to-play list.

 

Space Rangers

 

I'm put off by the word 'Space' in the title. And 'Rangers'. Ewww.

 

Dominions 4

 

That description seems promising. Putting this in my games-to-play list too.

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Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines was a lot of fun at first. When I get into the 2nd chapter I usually get really really bored with it. It is no better than Gothic 1 and 2 or Morrowind. The leveling systems is terrible in that game too. Morrowind wasnt even about Vampires yet There were more possibilities with stats as the leveling system in VT-Bloodlines was one of the worst ones going.

 

I like to exp grind through battles and get up to a higher experience level-Nope cant do

 

I like to differentiate between character-Nope cant do-All builds are basically the same in Bloodlines-Melee with other perks, thats it

 

I like to have magical weapons or at least weapons with stats and skills-Nope, there arent even any prefixes or suffixes on any items in that game.

 

The only thing going is the plot but like I said it gets boring after a while. If it was true openworld I should be able to attack Lacroix in chapter 2. Forget about doing his dirty work! I want to play a free vampire! :mad:

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What about a long drawn out game that could be an avernum or geneforge...after party? Like after all is said and done just to see what the world looks like. The surface portal is fixed and everybody lives in harmony.

 

I really think that from A3-6 they should have let you choose siding with Rentar-Irhno

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In A3, maybe. In A4 she has no interest in getting collaboration from Avernites. In A5-6 Rentar-Ihrno is very irrelevant.

 

—Alorael, who can even see siding with Rentar in A3 as a reasonable choice based on callous pragmatism instead of puppy-stomping evil.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One thing I would definitely like to see is more item interaction. If I might make a comparison to one of the games that greatly inspired Jeff-- Ultima 7 has some of the best item interaction in any game. You could bake bread, weave cloth, mine ore with a mattock, forge swords, throw buckets of water/blood/beer on people and animals, cut bolts of cloth into bandages, smash doors/chests open, light/snuff out candles, and change diapers (and, if you so dared, hurl the diapers at an enemy and inflict the fear status upon them). You could also do mundane things such as click on those little metal ball clackers, rock a baby cradle, and stuff like that.

 

I did come up with several things so far while writing my G3 fic.

--Granted, I don't think I would want to see a lot of those, but doors that have to either be oiled or bashed down might be interesting.

--Or a stealth skill/ranking (like hit) which most types of metal armor give penalties to.

Though for the most part, it would probably be best to make interactions optional.

--For say-- desert areas, penalties to hit and dodge unless you use a stick of charcoal (only one character needs to use it, and it lasts until you leave the zone. Takes the Incense sprite)

--Possibly, the ability to make certain (mostly simple and low-level) items from leather hides rather than give them to a crafter-- like say, ratskin shawls, rat-tail bands, and coated/polarfur cloaks. Only after you find a recipe, though. Granted, this would probably be more likely in Avadon games and Geneforge remakes than Avernum remakes.)

 

 

DEFINITELY something I would love to see is "hollow tree" containers like in Ultima 7 Serpent Isle and Ultima 5. Except that the majority are either empty or lead to special encounters (e.g. "You reach into the hollow. Something bites your hand!" or a slime comes out when you search it) The few with something in them however usually have really good stuff (think the magic axe in the hollow tree on the outskirts of Jhelom in Ultima 5)

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One thing that has actually always bugged me is that the adventurers in the games (well at least in Avernum) always have to learn the spells from trainers, rather than ever coming up with anything of their own. I do understand, of course, that the adventurers are quite a busy bunch surviving the tough life but it would be certainly interesting to see a possibility to buy a house for 10,000 or 15,000 coins where the adventurers could spend time in a study or a training area and learn spells and new battle techniques in exchange for experience points.

 

(Level drain not possible. Take for example that you have level 10 hero who has 5xp points earned above the level zero-point. You take the hero to a learning room and try to train him in battle-techniques. A new move called Well-Aimed Blow costs 50 xp. Thus, you cannot train the hero, until you go out and kill some monsters and return back with more xp.)

 

As for what Hyena of Ice said about the item interaction, that would sound very nice. It'd possibly require adding several misc. skills - like Metalcrafting, Enchanting and Tailoring, unless Tool Use and Mage Spells could just take over those areas of expertise.

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I think that too many fans would not want to see crafting skills as a requirement to making items as opposed to getting an NPC to do it for them-- not unless it's optional.

As for coming up with one's own spells, maybe late into the game, but you have to remember that the PCs begin as inexperienced novices-- the Avernum PCs have never seen a battle and just graduated from Basic when they start the game, while the PCs in Geneforge just graduated from primary shaper education and just began their vocational training (excepting Geneforge 3, when you're still in primary education) Thus it is unlikely that they could engage in 100% self-study until you're around 3/4ths done with the game.

It would definitely be fun to see the ability to purchase a house like in Avadon 2, though.

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Thus it is unlikely that they could engage in 100% self-study until you're around 3/4ths done with the game.

 

Indeed, it is a good point. It would be certainly interesting thing to see, even if the PCs were able to learn only a small amount of spells / battle-moves on their own. Moreover by keeping the cost of such a purchase (their own house) as high, you could easily ensure that the PCs must be high-level anyway, before they can buy the residence.

 

And as for the skill points' question, both of you Darth Ernie (sorry, I have no idea how to spell that name... :D) and Hyena have good points there.

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[spoileralt=Spoilers about A3:RW, don't look if you don't want to know!]In Exile and Avernum 3, and presumably the upcoming remake, there is a small house called the House On A Hill which you find, abandoned. You can take it over and store your stuff there. There is also a large house called Hawke's Manse which you can purchase in one of the citiies.

 

Conceivably Jeff could add a bit more functionality to it if enough people beg. He added a lot to it between E3 and A3, anyway.[/spoileralt]

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Yeah, almost all of the item interaction in Ultima 7 Black Gate was optional as I recall, which IMO is how it should be. I can't remember if that was the case in Serpent Isle or not, but it seems like I vaguely remember some mandatory stuff (ah, yes, now I recall one-- you had to make one of the magic reagents, which required damaging yourself to make each one. Seems like there was more than that, however)

 

All of the interaction I can remember-- I am sure there are many that I missed. Won't bother mentioning the stuff you can already do in SS games.

--Sitting in chairs

--Sleeping in beds

--Lighting and snuffing light sources (either carried or in the scene)

--In Ultima 5 you could break mirrors by attacking them.

--Talking to parrots

--Mixing flour (procured from sacks of flour) with water to make dough

--Kneading Dough

--Baking dough in the oven

--Dipping a bucket of water into a well to get a bucket of water

--Placing a bucket under a beer tap, then turning it on to fill a bucket with beer or ale. (with amusing results if you let it overflow or misplace the bucket before turning it on)

--Using grapes on the wine press to make... what was it, buckets of wine or bottles of wine? Can't remember.

--Changing Diapers (which you could then carry with you and use on an enemy *or townsperson :p* to inflict the fear status on them

--Throwing diapers in the hamper

--Making bolts of cloth on a loom

--Cutting cloth into bandages

--Playing musical instruments (not as interactive as it was in Ultimas 5 and 6 where you could enter keys to play a tune.)

--Rocking cribs

--Enchanting arrows

--Mining ore

--Making a potion in Skara Brae

--Forging the Black Rock Sword

--Throwing buckets of water, beer, ale, or blood on someone

--Pouring blood from a magic tree on a pentagram in order to revive a golem

--In Serpent Isle you could break down locked doors/open chests by attacking it enough times. Granted, you could bash down doors in the first Exile trilogy and Nethergate Res, as well... Only wooden ones, of course.

--In Ultima 5, you could insta-kill characters by attacking them while they're sleeping. Blackthorn is invincible, and hilariously, if you try to kill him in his sleep, you'll get a bloop sound and the text "missed!"

 

I also hate how in Crystal Souls you can't attack friendly characters, anymore-- I hope that is brought back.

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My suggestions:

 

Some improvements on stealth

 

 

 

I don't think Avernum will be included in this, might be for Avadon (to give more purpose to shadowwalkers than just being a debuff) and a total yes to Geneforge remakes.

 

I usually go stealth in both Geneforge 4 and 5 when it was first implemented, but the XP rewards and loot are too tempting to be missed so it kinda breaks the whole sneak around thing.

 

It's like, would you rather plan your attacks on a pack of roamers, or just sneak around them to get to the other side? They've got nests and places ripe for looting, plus killing them is more XP gain, whereas sneaking around them to get to the other side gives you no XP for getting across undetected.

 

Surely, let's say replace the roamers with the Unbound, now sneaking has some uses, but you'll still miss the XP from killing feared beasts and their stash or scale drops.

 

There should be XP rewards or something like in Deus Ex: HR where you get about 500 praxis points? iirc for sneaking undetected, or some xp for neutralizing enemies without raising the alarm.

 

With those things implemented fairly in terms of both sneaking difficulty and the difficulty of the creatures itself, the Geneforge remakes will surely be in my Steam library without hesitation

 

 

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Stealth would still be useful for raiding guarded warehouses without notice (well, guards stationed outside the warehouses that is) and sneaking past those monsters when you need to reach a safe place to heal and re-buff. It would be nice if in addition, it would allow the closing of doors during combat. I always hated that change because I have used doors since G2 to recover my HP/EP and rebuff when needed. I very rarely used it for the exploit purposes that Jeff banned it for. Besides the fact that at least in G3, it's not 100% effective because ray attacks can still get through the walls. Doesn't make sense, but I still like that some debuffs and mind-affecting attacks can get through walls/closed doors.

So many times I remember running 2/3rds of the way across the Demon's Pit in G2 to reach the room with the healing pools and closing it behind me, all the while being chased by rotghoroths and/or guardian spectres. Ah, the memories.

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I think some basic UI improvements would be nice and non-invasive.

 

Yeah, complex systems of spellcrafting and talents and whatnot are more dramatic, but the damage they can do to a game's balance are without question. Jeff's never taken the ElderScrolls "laissez-faire" approach to game balance, so I really don't think the likelihood is all that high. That said, a bigger window for your junk bag (which remains one of my all time favorite Spiderweb Software concepts and no I don't care if anyone else did it first) with autosort capacities doesn't really hurt anything on the "how hard can I hit and be hit" front, so why not?

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I agree about the balance problem. Which is why I said that spellcrafting should only be late into the game. It should also be limited-- e.g. maybe you can get an extra rank of 3 spells and one of say-- spellcraft plus priest spells or magery.

I do agree that the number of skills and talents should be kept to a minimum.

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I do agree that the number of skills and talents should be kept to a minimum.

Yes, this is something that I had in mind, too. Or maybe you could change one or two spells so that the element changes (switch Icy Rain to become Acid Rain), but as is established, the amount of changes should have to be in a minimum.

 

There should be XP rewards or something like in Deus Ex: HR --- iirc for sneaking undetected, or some xp for neutralizing enemies without raising the alarm.

This is how the stealth should have to implemented, I'd wager. You'd have these specific areas, maybe, for the sake of clarity, where you are presented with a choice to either kill everyone or sneak around and gain a similar amount of XP that you would've gained if you had killed all of the bad guys. There should be some way, of course, to keep people from abusing this mechanic by first sneaking past and then killing everyone for the extra XP.

 

Finally, getting back the ability to close doors would be really nice.. My OCD to close doors after myself drives me nuts in the recent Remakes where I can't close them... :p

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Yes, this is something that I had in mind, too. Or maybe you could change one or two spells so that the element changes (switch Icy Rain to become Acid Rain), but as is established, the amount of changes should have to be in a minimum.

this could actually be workable. set up a base spell and then be able to learn enhancements/additions to it. it would almost be a second game though. there would need to be a massive amount of random building blocks with varying effects and power.

for example starting with the initial spell firebolt, you could add a multiplier to send multiple bolts or an enlarger to make a fireball or cold energy to make a coldfire bolt. with enough elements there would be a great amount of combinations that can be explored for greatest effect.

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That was actually something I came up with for a spell-based discipline for the Geneforge remakes, which requires a certain level of spellcraft to be able to learn. It costs extra sp and EP on top of the spell you want to cast. A melee discipline I came up with was one that converts a certain amount of phys damage to fire/etc. damage-- in order to use it, you need to have either the flaming blade or an augmentation crystal attached to the weapon-- best part is that a golden crystal allows you to choose from any of them (fire, cold, energy, acid, or poison) With a runed amethyst you can choose from either acid or poison-- the damage is primary rather than secondary (e.g. the target takes x amount of acid or poison damage rather than being covered in acid or poison) (how it would work is that from the melee discipline menu, you select the ability, then another special menu comes up, with non-eligible types greyed out.) This was all based on Geneforge remake disciplines I came up with in the "things you'd like to see in the remakes" but never got to creating a separate topic for yet because I haven't brainstormed enough to be pleased with/laziness. (What I came up with was that the disciplines work just like spells, save that with two or three exceptions, they don't use EP. They use SP instead, and generally less than spells-- of course, the only problem is that this creates a bit of a balance issue since Agents have way more SP and have moderate combat skills. Also like spells, you have to train in the disciplines in order to use them, AND you must have the necessary ranks of the needed skill-- the disciplines are split into 3 categories-- melee, missile, and QA-- QA disciplines excepting Dagger Dance and Blinding Slash can be used for both melee and missile attacks.)

 

A few of the other more useful ones I came up with:

Impaling Pin: bit overpowered possibly, intentionally-- extra damage to the target plus possible reduced-damage cleave. Also, likely to stun, small chance of immobilizing.

 

Farshot: Lv 2 or 3 missile discipline; Adds two extra spaces to missile attack (but not spell) range. In G1~3, most missile weapon attacks and battle spells have a range of 8-- Farshot ups it to 10 for javelins/batons/wands/gems. Downside, however, is that the penalties to hit and damage are even greater than those from 6 to 8 spaces. However, good news is that higher skill/level ranks reduce the distance penalty, not only for the farshot 9-10 spaces, but for the regular 6-8 spaces penalty as well! So basically this discipline is not-so-useful when you first get it, but becomes more useful/powerful if you invest a considerable amount into missile weapons/Dex.

 

Powerful Throw: Low-SP Lv 1 discipline that makes standard javelin attack strength rather than dex based. Intended for Guardians, obviously. Downside, of course, is that you can't combine this with Farshot or other missile disciplines.

 

Blinding Slash: Lv 2 QA discipline; standard attack that uses Dex instead of Str.

 

Dagger Dance: Melee attack on all adjacent enemies-- uses Dex instead of Str; intended for Agents. Lv 4 discipline.

 

Bull Rush: Lv 4-- overpowered but expensive discipline (by G3 terms, something like 15 or 20 SP, which is quite a lot for a Guardian) Full movement in a straight line past opponents without being slowed by them, (or by G3 and earlier game terms, move a full 8 spaces and attack opponent within that range) + inflicts a good bit of damage to an opponent within said straight line + knockback. Tactical move good for when surrounded by enemies or when you need to drive an enemy away from a weaker ally. Again, you can only move in a straight line, including diagonally.

 

Whirlwind Blade: Same as the Avernum and Avadon move, save that it uses Str instead of Dex. For the unfamiliar, it inflicts standard attack damage on all opponents within 2 spaces of the user. Avernum/Avadon version to my understanding is based on Melee Weapons and Dex, though. Probably lv 7 or 8 discipline.

 

It would also be cool if you could parry attacks on nearby allies (or behind you in the case of missile attacks) standing within two spaces/squares of you-- or in the case of missile attacks, the missile passes you by within two spaces-- obviously, it has to be an attack that can be parried. Only single-target missile attacks/spells can be parried in this way, however, regardless on whether or not said attack is parry-able or not. You can protect allies from multi-target melee attacks, though.)

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Darth Ernie

For example starting with the initial spell firebolt, you could add a multiplier to send multiple bolts or an enlarger to make a fireball or cold energy to make a coldfire bolt. With enough elements there would be a great amount of combinations that can be explored for greatest effect.

 

It occured to me, however, that in case these kind of enhancements were possible, how would they affect the whole party? For example if you had two wizards, would the spell enhancement affect both wizards' spellcasting or could these kind of spell-tweaks be done on an individual basis? If we followed the latter, it might add some variability to the party, so that you could have two wizards with quite different repertoires of magic.

 

PS. The double XP.. I guess it might be nice to have that especially on a torment playthrough.. :p

 

Hyena of Ice

Just reading all of those ideas for different disciplines make me want to go and give the Geneforge series another try. I got through the first five or so towns before I gave up on the series for the lack of time and other reasons.

 

Also concerning the idea on Whirlwind Blade, I like Your version more than Jeff's because a lot of the melee warriors have much more strength, at least that's how I'd picture it. Another cool idea might be that instead of using a fixed statistic (either strength or dexterity), the game should check which is higher and use that for the damage calculation.

 

Concerning the other ideas that You've written here, I must say that they're all brilliant. One more point, however:

 

Only single-target missile attacks/spells can be parried in this way, however, regardless on whether or not said attack is parry-able or not. You can protect allies from multi-target melee attacks, though.)

 

I wonder if it might be a good idea for magical attacks to be only parryable with shields? When I think about a blazing arrow of fire directed at me or my companion, I cannot imagine I could achieve much if I was wielding anything but a shield in one of my arms.

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It occured to me, however, that in case these kind of enhancements were possible, how would they affect the whole party? For example if you had two wizards, would the spell enhancement affect both wizards' spellcasting or could these kind of spell-tweaks be done on an individual basis?

 

They would be trainable like other disciplines. So the character needs the requisite level of spellcraft + 1 or more ranks in the discipline.

 

Another cool idea might be that instead of using a fixed statistic (either strength or dexterity), the game should check which is higher and use that for the damage calculation.

Seems like a scripting nightmare.

 

I wonder if it might be a good idea for magical attacks to be only parryable with shields? When I think about a blazing arrow of fire directed at me or my companion, I cannot imagine I could achieve much if I was wielding anything but a shield in one of my arms.

That was the idea visual-wise, though I don't know if Jeff could implement that script or not.

Oh, actually come to think of it, Bull Rush probably isn't overpowered at all. It inflicts probably 50 or 60% more damage in addition to knockback on any opponents in your path, and not get slowed by opponents, but the downsides are that 1. You can only move in a straight line (diagonally, horizontally, etc.) and 2. You can only use it if you haven't moved a single square. You can choose not to use your full movement of squares, but it would probably have the an additional drawback of ending your round, anyway,

 

I originally toyed with a fourth discipline category that involved misc skills, but on second thought I think it would be better to have a class-based category with only 4 levels instead of 8-- again would be trainable skills, thus would depend on trainers, books, or canisters. The energy conversion spell would be Agent-only, as would the SP transfer. Agents also get a level 4 ability to close doors when an enemy is visible or during combat provided they're not within a certain number of spaces (higher ranks allow for more spaces like every 2 or 3 levels, and the skill is Dex-based) It can also be used to take a full round to change armor during battle.

Guardians get some pretty nifty abilities as well-- I've come up with three for them, all Leadership-based, and obviously inspired by the Avadon series.

 

Guardian's Resolve (Lv 2 ability-- (Heal a small amount of HP + remove stunning, slow, immobilization, and entanglement on self)

 

Howl of Terror (lv 4 ability-- Similar to the Terror spell)

 

Rallying Cry: (Lv 6 ability-- Removes one ailment per level of Leadership/Discipline -5 to all allies from one or more of these, in the following order: Stunned, Dazed, Terror, Charmed, Entangled, Slowed, Immobilized + casts Mental Barrier and War Blessing.)

I don't know if G4 or 5 have a means to remove slow/entanglement/immobilization, but in G1-3 Guardian's Resolve and Rallying Cry would give the Guardian an advantage over other classes in that he/she (hey, man, we need to be able to choose our gender in the remakes :) ) is the only class who can remove those status effects.

 

Only one I've come up with for Shapers is "Confer Resistance", which changes resistances (but NOT Armor) of his/her creations to that of the Shaper's. Which of course is a real mixed bag, esp. since it includes stun resistance-- which creations often have more of. Great for damage zones, though. I can picture wizards or priests in the other series having this as well-- great for conferring mental resistance and probably elemental resistance, bad for stun and probably poison resistance except in Avadon for the latter (at high levels, that is) Obviously for the Avernums you'd want to at least get Pathfinder and some Hardiness for your casters, and the inertial shield (or was it null shield?) would be handy for this until you get a magic-enhancing shield late in the game. This would actually be a lot more useful in Avernum and Avadon than in Geneforge, since the lattermost doesn't have a skill that greatly enhances all or 3~+ resistances, on top of the fact that some creations (esp. the tier 4 and 5 ones) have 90 to 100% resistance for one or more types, and the Shaper is unlikely to get all of them to 100%.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really liked in Avadon how there would be red arrows indicating distant enemies. I'd like to see that again (and maybe also in the remakes), possibly even linked to a skill (e.g. Nature/Cave Lore in the Avernums)

 

I seriously want/beg Jeff to bring back the ability to close doors during combat. Did I ever exploit it? Yeah, once in awhile, though I overwhelmingly used it to regroup when my party needed healing and/or rebuffing. In G3, it wasn't foolproof, either-- ray attacks could go through walls O_o so you could still get debuffed and dazed/charmed by some opponents. Man, I can't count the number of times that I ran 2/3rds of the way across the Demon's Pit to slam the door behind me and bask in the healing pools in G2. Sometimes, I didn't make it >_> At the very least let us keep it in the Geneforge remakes, since it's a lot harder to exploit in those games (excepting maybe a G3 remake if Alwan and Greta become full characters rather than creations...) At the very least let us have a skill or stat (Dex?) that lets us close the doors provided monsters aren't within X number of spaces per x number of skill levels (with a maximum cap of like 3 spaces or something)

 

<b>However, I think we can all agree on THESE Hotkey-based points however:</b>

--Keep the recent trend of allowing us to choose the gender of each character class.

--Either keep the hotkeys consistent in all games in the near AND distant future---- <b>OR</b> allow us to customize hotkeys OH YEAH YEEEARRRGH!!! /deanscream

--Allow us to change whether arrow keys are for movement or scrolling in the options/preferences menu like it is in some of the newer games

Those are all I can think of right this moment.

Oh, and can we please be able to sell more mundane stackable items again? I mean I have a difficult time believing that nobody will by 100 sheets of papyrus or 20 bottles of ale... Actually, now that I think about it, wine and ale being non-resaleable is pretty unrealistic. If a dealer can easily sell them to minors, college students, and hobos IRL, then I fail to see why you can't sell them in a fictional world where people are depressed over the fact that monsters are killing them, destroying their crops, and bringing a halt to sea travel...

I would think that blankets would be a saleable good as well (though not for very much money)-- they were popular trade items prior to the 20th century. Should be stackable, too, along with towels. Just sayin'.

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I don't know about other games, but in A:EftP, you CAN sell ale, blankets, towels, wine, papyrus, etc., and pretty much anything not total rubbish, for money. You have to put it in your junk bag and sell that, but you will get a few coins if you sell enough of them at once. Just not enough that you could sell them one at a time.

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  • 4 months later...

Huh...what's going on in that Filth Factory screenshot? There's a demon and lots of random stuff on the floor.

 

Anyhoo, going to go out on a limb here and say that the mechanics aren't that important. Take E3/E4 for example. There's no point taking double handed weapons that aren't pole weapons, and the halberd is always best. There's no point taking single handed weapons that aren't edged weapons, and the broadsword (or waveblade if you can find it) is always best...except if you can find weird magic stuff. There's no point to lots of the spells, you won't actually use them. Lockpicking is useless because you have the unlock spell, archery and throwing weapons almost useless. Shortly after starting the golems or alien beast quests I get fed up and use the editor to give maxxed stats and multiple pachtar's plates and rings of magery.

 

Despite that, though, the game was a lot of fun. Sure, a lot of little things could be done better, but the game was simple and easy to use, and for the most part not annoying. For example, press the End Combat button and combat would end. I don't have to get the party back together first, which seems like pointless musiance to me. Sure, you can use that for your own advantage (did that a lot in the sewers of Shayder), but it's just much more convenient. Also, I like games that use the same old boring set up that most programs of Windows seem to use, because it's functional and user friendly.

 

IMHO, an easy to play game, with good worldbuilding and story and enough interesting weirdness and gimmicks can have loads of broken non-essential stuff and get away with it.

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  • 1 month later...

(Seriously, does Jeff read this thread? If not, then how would I drop this Sholai idea to him?)

 

He doesn't, and for liability reasons he can't take ideas from fans, so you're better off not telling him and hoping he arrives at the idea independently.

 

—Alorael, who also doesn't think Jeff has ever been really hurting for game ideas. Ideas are cheap and easy. Good execution on games is the long and hard part.

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Liability reasons? I don't understand...

 

Well, that ruined my day, if not week. The very idea of such a game had me excited-- ecstatic. I really, really wanted to see this, to the point that anything else for a new series would have been a massive letdown for me. Man, this sucks so, so, so much...

I feel like I shouldn't even be posting here... like there's no point... Plus I always step over the line... I hope I can get myself to leave... :(

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Liability reasons? I don't understand...

 

basically the issue is if jeff vogel sees a story idea someone posted on a forum and uses it, and the person who posted it then turns around and sues for royalties because they decide they want something in return for their idea being used, it can turn into a big mess. it wouldn't be a particularly strong case since ideas alone aren't generally copyrightable material but it's still possible to drag it through the courts in hopes of getting a settlement as go-away money -- and the more specific and detailed your ideas get, the more likely that using them could be seen as copyright infringement. (making a game with the exact same set of character classes that you posted, for example, could easily cross a line.) i'm not aware of cases of it happening to game designers specifically but it's definitely happened to novelists before

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It can happen to almost any type of content. There was a recent lawsuit over a song and how much was in the style of another composer and how much was derived from his existing works.

 

We once had a poll and discussion about the next game Jeff was writing at the time and Jeff commented on what he thought of what had been posted.

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I know "Karma Police" by Radiohead lifted a lot from The Beatles song, "Sexy Sadie", right down to the piano melody. They had been listening to the White Album a lot for inspiration and they didn't even realize they had done it until someone pointed it out after the OK Computer album was finished and released. Whoever had the rights to that song (some combination of Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, or Michael Jackson, I think) could have sued for a lot of money if they wanted to. They let it slide because the band apologized and, I think, possibly maybe my memory sucks, offered royalties willingly. It could have been a nightmare for them though.

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I'm skeptical about how real the legal menace is for game developers if we're just talking about game mechanics, which are not copyrightable, at least in the U.S. From the U.S. Copyright Office:

 

Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

 

Furthermore, there are actually several examples of times that Jeff has actually used ideas or work posted on the forums (or derivatives of those ideas) and acknowledged it.

 

I could be way off here; but I think the truth is that there are lots of good reasons for a creator not to spend too much time indulging in the ideas and suggestions of her fans, and that the legal concerns, while relatively minor and very unlikely, are just a simple way to explain this that won't make anyone feel bad or awkward or lead to long discussions.

 

(Also, if this doesn't apply to your ideas, I apologize. I can't find them, and I can't even find the original text that other people quoted. Did you erase them?)

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Names and descriptions, yes, as long as they aren't generic. If the name of a character class is already used as the name of a profession, a type of person, an order of some sort, etc., that wouldn't apply. However, this is hard to discuss because we can no longer see the original suggestions we're talking about.

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Names and descriptions, yes, as long as they aren't generic. If the name of a character class is already used as the name of a profession, a type of person, an order of some sort, etc., that wouldn't apply. However, this is hard to discuss because we can no longer see the original suggestions we're talking about.

 

GW did try with someone using "Space Marine", though. IIRC, they didn't win, but they could cause a headache.

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That was completely different. It wasn't on the basis of someone stealing the idea, it was on the basis of having explicitly trademarked the term "space marine." (Which seems to have been a largely bogus trademark to begin with, but it was still an actual trademark.)

 

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/02/trademark-bully-thwarted-spots-space-marine-back-online

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In the grim darkness of the present, there is only litigation.

As legal counsel for the esteemed member of this community, one Lord Grimm, I must inform you that your blatant infringement of my client's name will not stand.

 

You must cease and desist all infringing uses of my client's name or you shall face litigation under AMERICAN LAW.

 

Regards,

Sylae, Sylae, and Sylae, Attourneys at Law.

Edited by sylae
dont think we wont extradite your punk-ass. however that works.
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