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Avernum original and modern - a disappointment after the Exiles??


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I've been a fan of the Exiles almost from the start.  I really like char generation and - development. When I DLed the demos of Avernum one - both the original and the latest version - I expected more of the same plus being able to play it under Win10.

I was sorely disappointed. Apart from more sophisticated graphics I didn't find any options to really get into char generation, just a few points to distribute. I read the manual again and again, but couldn't find any trace of it. What happened to 60 points or so to distribute to form my own special characters, with two lvls of priest skill for the fighter to enable them to bless and heal themselves or start my magic users with three lvls of mage and priest skill?

So I'm back to Exile Escape from the Pit.
Is there any modern Spiderweb game that could suit me???

Looking forward to your replies,

Traute

 

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While there are some of us here who prefer the charm of the original Exile games, your specific complaint is something whose differences in the remakes are mostly cosmetic.

 

You get skill points to distribute in all 3 versions.  Obviously they scale very differently, but that's just a numbers question -- and in terms of impact they aren't as far off as you imagine.  For example, in Exile, points in Intelligence cost 3 each and you can put up to 19 points in (since you start at 1).  But under the hood, the game actually translates this Intelligence score into a bonus modifier that ranges only from -3 to +5.  You go to +3 at 12 Intelligence, and you don't go to +4 until you hit 16 Intelligence.  This isn't all that different from the remakes, where every point in Intelligence does the same thing, but either the cost increases as you invest in it (1st remakes) or you are limited in how many points you can invest per level (2nd remakes).  The scaling/pacing exists in Exile, too, it's just hidden rather than being shown to the player.

 

Also, you absolutely can make a character who starts out with both fighting skills and magic skills in all of these games.

 

You don't get to buy quite as many skill levels, at level 1... but you get to buy more each time you level up.  And in terms of making "your own special characters," while at level 1 you have fewer skill points to play with, you get other options that Exile didn't have: in particular, significantly more unique traits.

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2 hours ago, Traute Springer-Yakar said:

What happened to 60 points or so to distribute

You can get this at least in the first Avernum. When you are at the party creation screen, delete characters and create new ones. Then you choose a custom class, or whatever. Or maybe I completely missed the meaning of your post.

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>>Also, you absolutely can make a character who starts out with both fighting skills and magic skills in all of these games. <<

I found it and created a new team. But a lot seems to have changed. I went to Silvar to buy supplies and the woman charges the earth. I have to find out where to shop next. Another new trait is that fighting is not compulsory. I can "leave in peace".

Thanks a lot for your help.

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2 hours ago, Traute Springer-Yakar said:

I went to Silvar to buy supplies

 

If you're talking about Avernum 1/Avernum EFtP, you should have been given the basic supplies during the tutorial/as an issue that everyone receives at Ft Emergence.  There's really no reason to buy anything at first.  I rarely actually buy equipment/food/potions as there's so much of it available while you're out & about adventuring.  Anyway, minor point.

 

To your main point.  Personally I prefer the remakes over the original Exile.  Exile (& 2-3) holds a special place in my heart, but so does my first high school 'love'.  That doesn't mean I want to go back to either though.  Through the years Jeff has streamlined his games tremendously while still giving the player a huge amount of control over how to build the party & how/where to go to gain experience (& the aforementioned loot...), it's just not as nitpicky at the earlier games.  Most players 'don't' want to spend lots of time or thought to where to put their points.  The new games' system of giving points in all the attributes on a rotating basis along with one that you can allocate is a tremendous idea.  It means that you have a well balanced character/party that's really hard to screw up the build for.  Skill points & traits are similarly directed based on what you want those characters to do.  Lots & lots of build freedom, but behind the scenes maneuvering to keep casual players from getting really frustrated/doing dumb things.  And as most of the sales/income comes from casual players, as a practical matter, this is a good thing.

 

Also, the only time I can ever remember a "leave in peace" option is when I've stumbled into a situation that is FAR above my level and attempting a fight would quickly bring about the 'your entire party has died' screen.  You may have to eventually go through 'x'/battle them, but the 'you can leave if you want to' (I'm assuming) discussion option should be a loud & clear warning that you don't want to go this way ... yet.

 

As to the game recommendations - I'd give the Avernums another try.  They really are customizable as far as character development goes (apart from only having a party of four max rather than six) and much of the tedium has been removed (such as now having a bottomless junk bag to store all your loot until you head back to town, not having to rest/eat all the time (just enter a friendly town), etc.  If not, there's a new game coming out in about three weeks (Queen's Wish 2).  That would give you time to play QW1 (not necessary as both can be stand alone games, but much like Avernum, it's a follow on chapter to the story) and see if you like 'that' universe.  There's less character customization, but that's by design as your thoughts are supposed to be on a more strategic level rather than the tactical day to day whomping on bad guys fighting (plenty of tactical decisions though).  Or Geneforge is always a fun romp.  Shrug, if you liked Exile over the years, any of the others should be acceptable as they're all created by the same mind & build upon each other.

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>>I went to Silvar to buy supplies <<

I was given just one loaf of bread or bunch of mushroom/char, and I thought  they would finish that after resting once. In the Exiles I always carried huge quantities of food. Maybe I worry too much.

 

>>leave in peace<<

This occurred just after leaving Ft Emergence when my team came across some goblins resting  who seemed 'reluctant enter into a fight' or some such message. I don't consider goblins hard to beat, even for a newbie party, in fact in EftP I used to earn my first few levels fighting goblins, nephils und brigands, the only hard thing being fighting nephils at all because I adore cats.  In Exile 2 and 3 I finished several games running six nephils.

 

I like random encounters a lot to develop my team and gain some levels, even later in the game; in Exile I there used to be a peninsula in the warren far to the west where I could fight huge armies of soldiers. I could keep on doing this for hours, until everyone's inventories were full, take my boat back to town to sell the stuff and return to start over.

I think I have to go back to Ft Emergence as I hardly talked to anyone there. I might have missed some small quests. 

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Yeah, I also struggle to get into the later gates.  Avernum and Nethergate just seem a bit less polished and the interface less user friendly to me.  I bought Nethergate and the first 2 or 3 Avernums, but never finished them, but I did finish E3 a few times (aaages ago though) and start BoE every so often.

 

Now, E3/BoE were limited, but what they did do just seemed to work for me.  Gotta move with the times, and most people seem to favour the new semi-3D stuff. but for me, it's the difference between watching an old good black and white movie or show and a later good enough colour one.

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I did play BoE, but I don't remember anything about it. Maybe I should try that. Or Nethergate, which I only ever played with an Irish team.

I finished all the Exiles several times. Battles don't scare me, not even the huge ones towards the endgames, I really enjoyed working on tactics, but I hated the crafty little tricks that kept me from proceeding.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/7/2022 at 2:45 PM, Traute Springer-Yakar said:

Is there any modern Spiderweb game that could suit me???

From what you wrote, I'd say « no ». :D

 

That said, I just began playing Exile, after playing Avernum. And quite frankly, Avernum is a relief compared to Exile, at least for all things related to the dialogues... The quality of the graphics is secondary. ;)

 

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