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So, what's the deal with...


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...the Avernum rewrites? Are they vastly different than the originals? What's changed? What's new? What's old? What's on Netflix? What's on the other side of the moon?

 

Also, hello everybody! Welcome new members (member number > 4000, which gives you an idea when I last visited), and hello old members!

 

— SMoE, who, due to visiting once every three years or so, will take this very rare opportunity to appropriate Alorael's signature signature, all the way down to using the correct dash at the beginning (admittedly, by copying and pasting it from one of his posts).

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Welcome back and in before the apocalypse.

 

Avernum rewrites add features from later games back into the earlier ones. So now you have caches, job boards, battle disciplines, and whatever changes that seemed useful. Some new dungeons and/or city levels, but most of them were in Avernun 1 than in 2.

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Also, hello everybody! Welcome new members (member number > 4000, which gives you an idea when I last visited), and hello old members!

'Sup, SMoE. As I recall, my original member number was 4045, so you may or may not remember me, but I remember your old posts. Good times.

 

— SMoE, who, due to visiting once every three years or so, will take this very rare opportunity to appropriate Alorael's signature signature, all the way down to using the correct dash at the beginning (admittedly, by copying and pasting it from one of his posts).

Delete that space after the en-dash and you'll have it.

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Hey, a link to Polaris! That takes me back.

 

The Avernum rewrites are the same plot with a moderately different engine. The graphics are different, or at least like those of A4-6. The mechanics of combat are a little different and continue the Spiderweb trend of making things more varied and interesting and using special scripts in special fights. They're still fun.

 

—Alorael, who had to Google himself to see if he has previously had a comma immediately after his personal pronoun. Precedent says that that's an unusual but canonical signature style, and a quick perusal shows that it is, in fact, perhaps only done with adjective phrases beginning with "due to" in exactly the manner demonstrated by SMoE. Official seal of approval!

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Hi Kelandon! Yes, I cretainly remember you, despite my senility. My apologies for setting the member number too low. It is now set to 5000, until the next oldbie proves that I am indeed senile. What is new on your end of the internet?

 

Member #2001... Arancaytar?

 

Alorael, your seal of approval is uncalled for. Kelandon's astute observation was correct, going to show that even I cannot imitate the great Alorael, lord of signatures, snipers, and... that hallucinatory stuff he's holding whose proper name I cannot at the moment recall.

 

Thank you everyone for your information. I shall try to use the Avernum rewrite to keep me warm through these cold and desolate winter months.

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Here's a brain teaser for you: I remember that name

 

It's skribbane by the way. I played the avernum 1 remake and the leveling system was completely different from any other spiderweb game I've played. I didn't like it, but if I have more time in the future I might buy the full version and give it a proper try.

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Hi ADoS! Hi... 2577... even my (decidedly poor) internet stalking skills could not figure out who you are. :/

 

Aran, I think I posted 3 or 4 years ago... I'm surprised that didn't turn up. Right now I'm sitting in purgatory for 2 weeks or so after which I will either be numbing my misery with a lot of (updated) Avernum or working like a madman and thus vanished once again from this cozy corner of the internet.

 

Browsing the archives... it's very interesting to read what I was like eleven years ago. I mean, it's surprisingly not quite as embarrassing as I expected it would be looking eleven years back. Or rather, it's in the very least fairly consistent with who I am. But seriously I don't understand like 80% of my jokes. I guess that's consistent with who I am today as well. :/

 

Is there going to be a Blades of Avernum remake with the new system... or something...? On that note, how is BoA?

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Unfortunately, Jeff swore off Blades completely.

 

BoA is still marginally alive (Kel actually released a scenario earlier this year). A few years back, Jeff mentioned he'd some day consider open-sourcing BoA, but not yet.

 

(And Slarty is right, the archive as it is only goes up to 2008. There's a bunch of stuff from 2008-2010 that is gone completely.)

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I still haven't gotten around to playing A:CS through, but in A:EotP there is one whole extra town with some related quests.

 

That said, Avernum 3: Ruined World is going to have all four Ermarian continents, lods of new details in Valorim, and the ability to go into both all of Avernum proper, the Vahnatai caves, and the northern caves from Avernum 5! That's the rumor that I heard, at least.

 

Member numbers are a social construct, but I've been here long enough (yikes!) that I don't care anymore.

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That said, Avernum 3: Ruined World is going to have all four Ermarian continents, lods of new details in Valorim, and the ability to go into both all of Avernum proper, the Vahnatai caves, and the northern caves from Avernum 5! That's the rumor that I heard, at least.

 

And released shortly after we colonize Mars.

 

... Is it really terrible, though, that I'd be perfectly happy if, instead of remaking Av4-6, Jeff reboots the second half of the series completely? :x

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You know, I'm really feeling nostalgic for the old 2D format of the original Exile games. Visually, I think there was a lot more contrast between objects on the ground and the tiles they were on. In Avernum, I keep missing stuff that's on the ground because it all looks like a brown line on a gray background.

 

Also, is there a way to figure out your range to a target during battles (i.e., a range indicator)? For example, if I want to fire an arrow at a target, I never know whether my character will have to move first before firing. This has at times resulted in my character attempting to circle around stupidly long distances due to other characters being in the way (a situation where, had I known the archer was out of range, I could've moved them forward to switch places with the mage, for example). Does my question make sense? Am I making sense? Does any of this make sense?

 

Secondly, are there secret walls as in the old Exile games where you just walk through it by walking through it, or do all of the "secret" walls require pushing bricks by clicking on them?

 

I'm just not getting used to this game's environment. :/

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Also, is there a way to figure out your range to a target during battles (i.e., a range indicator)? For example, if I want to fire an arrow at a target, I never know whether my character will have to move first before firing.

This has been an incredibly frustrating thing for over a decade now. Sigh.

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You know, I'm really feeling nostalgic for the old 2D format of the original Exile games. Visually, I think there was a lot more contrast between objects on the ground and the tiles they were on. In Avernum, I keep missing stuff that's on the ground because it all looks like a brown line on a gray background.

...

I'm just not getting used to this game's environment. :/

This is exactly why I never played the first Avernum games, I actually just started Blades of Avernum for a quick taste of what they were like, I wasn't expecting damage to be so high. I find I'm using the key board to do everything instead of clicking because I missclick all over the place on this unclear isometric grid. But I'm liking how the skill table works compared to exile, and the extremely descriptive tooltips on items are great so I don't need to look up the scaling on everything. The damage is taking some getting used too, even lower level enemies are bringing my PC's life to 0 in a single hit, evasion feels strong.

 

I have yet to try the second trilogy which I know has some changes, but I like exile and Avernum(2012) a lot more than the Avernum games.

 

in Avernum(2012) the UI is much better, items and interactables stick out more, and the game highlights the tile you are mousing over so you wont missclick!

The skill tree looks offensive at first but it actually adds a lot while only taking away a few builds.

Traits as we knew them are gone, but I feel like they never reached their potential anyway(there always seemed to be 1 trait that made the others look like trash), at least the new "trait" system has more viable options... and also just as many terrible options.

Reviving characters is free, but the ability to hang on with 0 HP is gone. Coming from Exile I was against this change but the original Avernum games have soured me on the old ways a bit :p

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Secondly, are there secret walls as in the old Exile games where you just walk through it by walking through it, or do all of the "secret" walls require pushing bricks by clicking on them?

 

I'm just not getting used to this game's environment. :/

 

On the interior maps, all the of secret doors require pressing hidden switches, all of them (except for one that I can think of) are bricks that you click on. On the exterior maps you move close to/through a secret passage by moving to it which is closer to the old system, but they are pretty well marked.

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Thanks all for the replies and tips.

 

So I'm definitely getting more used to the environment. I'm definitely nostalgic for the old-school everything-could-be-a-secret-door, I miss the "look" button and the free-form conversation interface, I miss the useless spells, but this is definitely more... functional.

 

I have two gripes: I still hate the targeting system. One misclick where I think I'm clicking on the enemy but instead click the tile above said enemy will send my mage charging bravely into the middle of a team of nephil warriors. That is highly irritating. Along similar lines is the issue with not knowing whether your archer needs to move in order to shoot, and not knowing whether your blessing spell will actually target your warrior who's sort-of-but-possibly-not around a corner.

 

The second gripe is a lack of being able to place a marker on the map. For example, I'll find a cache for which my cave lore is not high enough, but I want to mark the spot so that next week when my cave lore IS high enough, I'll able to return and get the 200 gold or rusty broadsword or whatever's hidden away there. Do any of you have strategies to deal with this issue? I know it's not something you've ever been able to do in the Exile games (and I should mention here also that I do much appreciate the quest log), but it'd still be nice to have. My Notepad file I have open while I play is a poor substitute for a picture on a map.

 

Now, a question about strategy: I'm playing on hard, and I find that lowly minions of bosses are pretty easy to dispatch, but bosses are damn-near impossible. For example, I had a hell of a time with the Nephil chief, and that ogre mage (it's an ogre mage, yes?) on the 1st floor of the nephil fort basically evaporates my party in one round, but I'm flying through the non-"boss" encounters. So I'm in this odd position where I feel like I can complete MOST of a dungeon, but would need about 5-10 more levels/thousands more gold in training in order to complete said dungeon. Any thoughts on this?

 

Edit: Also, I meant to ask: what's the deal with theft and murder? It seems that I can steal stuff right in front of guards from barraks and they don't become hostile. I even killed the mayor of Formello just to see what would happen, and the guards in the room didn't become hostile. This confuses me greatly. Not that I WANT to go around murdering townsfolk, but are there consequences to crime? Does your reputation take a hit? (On that note, can you check your reputation somewhere?)

 

Edit 2: Also, what's the deal with food? Is it just a crappy healing potion, or can your party get hungry as in the old days?

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Food is just a lousy heal potion and useful in the beginning when it is a significant percentage of your health. Some food types can be sold.

 

On Hard and Torment difficulty the boss may need to done later or at least when at full strength. Jeff decided in the remakes and newer games to give the boss monsters added powers over normal difficulty in addition to more health and just multiply the monster's level.

 

The newer games highlight the monster when you are targeting it. This helps to avoid clicking next to it, but doesn't help with range attacks.

 

Newer games now have NY (not yours) on items that you can't take if someone is watching, but you can take if no one has line of sight on your party or the item. So some places it pays to wait until the NPCs move out of the room or sight. Standing near a window where they can't see you might work.

 

There are different crime levels for the areas from steal anything and they go hostile to loot everything and no one cares. A few key NPCs are set to never go hostile to allow you to come back for quests.

 

I never tried killing certain NPCs like the mayor of Formello so I can't help there. Jeff has added a few cheat codes to get around killing dragons and others that are required to finish the game.

 

Reputation should be at the bottom left corner of the character screen, type a "?".

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Well! Not that anyone asked, but my overall assessment is that this game is quite good, does a great job maintaining (and even improving upon) the atmosphere of the original, while being made with a combat system that is at times much better and at times horrendously painful. Since I like to gripe, I'll gripe first.

 

1. The targeting thing is just a disaster. I am often in situations where I'm one space too far, so my mage tries to run around the other side of the building to get into range, which means that he's just way out of place and gets himself clubbed to death by the pair of ogres standing there waiting for some dumb human to round the corner.

 

2. The lack of summed information regarding character stats. Resistances and such are listed, but it would be supremely helpful to have some kind of indicator of hit chances, damage, and a few other stats that are certainly operational under the hood but are not communicated directly to the player.

 

3. In the same vein, the lack of (quantitative) transparency about what some abilities do is quite frustrating when selecting upgrades. I really didn't want to use the internet to figure out how Swordmage works (or does not work), but the tooltip is not helpful in making informed decisions regarding upgrades. Sadly, I had to resort to the character editor to respec a few decisions I made early on that were not in fact helpful. Ditto with arcane lore/tool use/cave lore - I think these should be maxed out, or in the very least there should be some information the player can use to figure out how many points to put into these (I guess that without the internet, one could use the character editor on the fly to respec when necessary, but that's not a particularly elegant solution.

 

That said: playing on hard without looking up strategy, is, well, hard, but not impossible. I've definitely had to resort to some shady tricks (for example, in the Spiral Crypt, killing off the Cryptmaster's (or whatever his name is) minions before the special encounter is triggered, and I've found the transition from nephils to sliths horribly difficult (I can easily take the nephar fort in one go, but 3 slith warriors + 3 slith flingers can still kill most or all of my party in outdoors encounters). That said, the difficulty is forcing me to come up with better strategies and be more deliberate with skills and itemization, which I think is a very good thing as far as gameplay is concerned.

 

Getting enough gold is pretty horrendous as I tend to be a "completist," and the idea of not having a fully upgraded Call Beast by the end of the game is highly upsetting to me. However, given how difficult it is to get enough gold to buy skills/spells, again, I'm forced to make hard decisions about how I spend my money, and in the end, I think this is a good thing.

 

All things considered, I've enjoyed playing and will continue to do so until reality rears its ugly head once more.

 

Thanks Randomizer and ADoS for the tips.

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I always click the space the enemy is on rather than the enemy itself, only issue I've had is when a giant rat overlaps onto another space preventing me from clicking the guy next to it.

 

Those bosses you had trouble with in Nephil fort were optional, optional bosses being insane is OK in my book (as long as there is a warning sign outside their door.

 

Remember, if you are getting wiped you can always run away like a huge coward, only 1 PC needs to make it out alive since reviving is free and PC's don't drop items on death. (I regret to admit doing this a couple times)

 

Spiral pit has a crazy difficulty spike just before the boss, oh and a warning if you aren't using a mod then that molten halberd you find there is the best pole weapon in the game (depending on your decisions). The Jade halberd is oddly missing in this game so get used to that molten halberd, its your best option for a long while... that's my biggest gripe with Avernum(2012) tied with how dex and strength are basically the same thing now. If it weren't for those 2 things I'd say Avernum(2012) is definitely better than the originals.

 

Also you can kill the king of Avernum, leave the castle and immediately walk back in, and the castle will be friendly again. WTF? I want to say it has something to do with reputation works, since I did this after completing every quest in the game my rep was still high so they forgave me.

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