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A few flaws that might make Exile 3 a better game than Avernum 3 RW.


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I have a few problems with the changes made from Exile 3 to Avernum 3 Ruined World. First problem (and one of the biggest most crippling changes), is the nerfing of Capture Soul and Similacrum. In Exile 3, one of my favorite things to do was capture a the Vahnatai Lord in Ghikra, followed by the Empire Dervish in Silvar, and then (eventually) the Empire Archer in the Slime Pits and a basilisk in the area south of Storm Port. No longer does that work. First, Capture Soul is both level based AND spell based, rather than a random chance based on your level. Second, those creatures were changed from generic creatures to named characters (with the exception of the Empire Archer in the Slime Pits- he was just demoted to a normal archer). Third, you also can't capture Basilisks anymore (atleast that's what I've read, and they were nerfed anyway from stoning an enemy to just stunning them).

Second, from what I've read, there is now a limit on the number of times you can do the Squiggus-Libra trade route. But that's not as much of a problem, considering you can't refresh the Job Board and the random merchants anymore anyway.

Third, stealing is much harder in Avernum 3, since you can't close doors (I had the same problem in Avernum 2). Another way of effective stealing (particularly in instant death areas like Fort Emergence) was to surround my party and what I wanted to steal with webs. That also worked, but that leads into problem number 4. The removal of spells. Granted, most spells were useless, redundant, or just outright not powerful enough. Why bother with Light when you could just cast Long Light for example? But the removal of Major Blessing, and the general reworking of Haste in general- no longer will it definitely increase the number of AP you have, but it seems to be a random chance, is a major blow. Removing Fireball and replacing it with Pool of Fire isn't much better.

A fifth problem is that spells can miss. Even with a maxed out intelligence, a maxed out mage (or Priest) level, and maxed out Sword Mage, I still find myself missing about 25% of the time.

Don't get me wrong, some of the changes are great. I love the added quests, and having a named character in place of a generic creature adds immersion, but when it kills some of my earlier strategies, it gets a bit irritating.

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1. More or less answered in the other thread.

2. Eh, simple supply & demand. Jeff/SW (I'm assuming) would rather have you out exploring the continent rather than setting up a side business running up & down the east coast until the ToM blows up... There are plenty of other ways to make money in A3.  Head up the coast to Spineridge to get the really high paying jobs.

3. Again, Eh.  You aren't supposed to be stealing everything that's not nailed down anyway... (not that it really stops me from doing so where possible).  You can still loot most everything by tucking your party into a quiet corner/room, going into fight mode & sending one person out to slip into an unseen space to clean out the desk/chest/etc.  Many of the storekeepers/guards wander around so if you stick your party along a wall, out of sight of the outside hallway, eventually (if you're willing to lean on the space bar for a while) the room will be empty & available for some quick looting.  Honestly, after a few weeks it's kind of surprising that the city guards/townspeople don't preemptively beat the hell out of any adventurer that wanders into town given prior history with pretty much every other group of adventurers over the years (or notice that all their stuff with any value disappeared when you were the 'only' possible suspect).

4. A matter of balance/reality/immersion.  If you would rather 'know' you can go into pretty much any battle with God Level skills/protection, then just leave the game on 'Casual' difficulty.  The amount of spells I 'never' use is probably somewhere between 60-70% of the spells available.  I probably should cast 'x' occasionally, but when 'y' does essentially the same thing but deals more damage/buffs better ... why?

5. See #4.  Ever seen videos of actual gunfights? Most shots ... miss.  Expecting to be able to hit your opponent with every bolt of fire on a chaotic battlefield (even though you lose the flavor of chaos by making everything turned based where you can plan out each move) just isn't realistic.  A 95% to hit chance is pretty good actually (although I will admit/agree that you do tend to miss a LOT more times that statistics would indicate...).

 

New(ish) game, new strategies, you adapt/figure out what works best & go out & whomp on ever stronger monsters as things go along.

 

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Just want to point out that A3RW is a remake of a remake -- it went from E3 to A3 to A3RW, not straight from E3 to A3RW.

 

I too hate the loss of spell variety, and the loss of neat things to do with Capture Soul / Simulacrum.  But I agree with TriRodent, things like spells missing and not all items being plausible to steal seem less like "flaws" and more like slight shifts in balance.  I totally understand not liking them, but declaring something like that an abject "flaw" rather than a departure from personal preference (or genre habit), idk.

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5 hours ago, TriRodent said:

5. See #4.  Ever seen videos of actual gunfights? Most shots ... miss.  Expecting to be able to hit your opponent with every bolt of fire on a chaotic battlefield (even though you lose the flavor of chaos by making everything turned based where you can plan out each move) just isn't realistic.  A 95% to hit chance is pretty good actually (although I will admit/agree that you do tend to miss a LOT more times that statistics would indicate...).
 

 

But mages don't get into gunfights. They get into artillery duels. Or (if you're Erika level power) Hamburg level destruction. It's pretty hard to dodge an explosive artillery shell. And even harder if said explosive shell is armed with a proximity shell and shrapnel. Which is what Fireball (or Icy wind, or Lightning Spray or Arcane Blow) is...

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The reality is that much of fantasy combat is unrealistic.  Maybe it's unrealistic to dodge a fireball or an explosive ordinance -- but not any more unrealistic than it is to take five direct slashes from a bladed weapon, each causing physical injury, and at the end be (1) alive, (2) with no systemic impact on your fighting ability or any other ability, (3) with no chance of lost or incapacitated limbs or other injuries.

 

It may be legit unrealistic according to the combat paradigm you have gotten used to.  I say this with all empathy; I experience it too sometimes.  But that is still a paradigm far removed from reality.  So "unrealistic," like "flaw," is a bit of a grand proclamation, IMHO.

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  • 6 months later...

I played Exile as a little kid, and the huge variety of spells was just fun. Now it's 20 years later and I guess I'm more practical, since I like having a smaller selection of spells that are actually useful.

 

I do have a complaint about the named bosses though. Which is that some of them, you can't attack them until you've talked to them. Like, in Avernum 2, the bandit leader under Fort Draco. I want to line up three characters outside her door, so the bandits in the room have to fight me one at a time. But if I do that, they won't move, and I can't hit them with ranged weapons. I have to forget everything I know about tactics, walk in and introduce myself, and instantly be surrounded by enemies. It was the same with the Faang clan chief. Very annoying to have to throw away tactics precisely in the hardest battles. Unless there's some way to activate the event at a distance?

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4 hours ago, waterstrider said:

Which is that some of them, you can't attack them until you've talked to them.

 

First welcome (or welcome back to SW it sounds like).

 

To your point, yes sort of.  Many of the named bosses you do have to interact with to get the combat going, true.  However most give you at least one turn if you rush the room while in combat mode.  They way I usually handle those situations is to buff/hast everyone outside, go into combat & rush into the room, but leave everyone at least one action point when they're done moving, 'then' summon some sort of creature/undead to help out with things (all my characters, even the melee, have at least one point of magic & priest (for fireball/healing purposes).  That gives you four additional friendly bodies in the area to absorb hits if not deal damage.  If the conversation doesn't immediately start, (stay in combat) use that time to buff your creations. 90% of those boss fights/conversations will initiate without having to exit combat to speak to him/her.

 

Alternately, I suppose you could try buffing/stacking outside the door, entering combat, sending your first guy into the room a few spaces away from the boss/group (far enough for them to 'see' you.  All others stay outside where they are.  If the conversation doesn't initiate on that turn/start of the next one, have your first guy run back out of the room & see if that will start it then.

 

For the occasional encounter where you do have to talk to the boss outside of combat, buff outside, enter combat, everyone rushes the room but stops, in marching order next to your first guy, exit combat & talk to the boss (this keeps all the buffs active/only one turn burned off of their duration - rather than strolling across the room normally in several turns).

 

Then too, the boss fights aren't supposed to be a cakewalk...

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Yeah, they're not supposed to be easy, but I wish the difficulty was ordinary combat, rather than gaming the mechanisms for the conversion from "friendly townsfolk" to hostiles. In any case, those ideas sound better than what I was doing, thanks.

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