Profile for Joel Sanda


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MacBook Fan with Avernum Games in Tech Support
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Anyone else notice their MacBook (2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) fan runs quite a bit with Avernum games? It probably isn't restricted to Avernum - it's just that's the only games I have on my machine (I'm either fiercely loyal or more likely haven't found anything better :-)

I'm running Leopard (with latest software and firmware updates) with 1 GB RAM. Avernum 1 or 5 is the only application running. The fan runs about three minutes every four or five minutes, whether I'm playing or not. Anyone seeing this behavior? The fan doesn't seem to kick on when I'm running a large spreadsheet in Numbers, where I'd expect it to - and Avernum games aren't that processor intensive so it's rather curious.

I know there have been some fan 'issues' with the MacBook line - is this expected behavior?
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
A Slightly Different (and much worse) Graphical Problem in Leopard in Tech Support
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quote:
Originally written by Technoctopus:

It's a full version, I tried redownloading it, which didn't help. Then I deleted the prefs and tried again to no avail.
I've seen a similar problem with Avernum 4 on my new MacBook with Leopard. I tossed Avernum 4 on to play a bit before Avernum 5 was released. My problem seems to be in between what you describe and the lines described in the previous thread. I downloaded the latest version from Spiderweb when I installed it - and there were no preference files since it was a clean install on my new computer.

The problem I had developed into something very similar to what your screenshots show - the longer I played the worse it became.

Bummer ... one of the first things I *always* put on a new Mac are the Spiderweb games I own. I hope the problem is sufficiently simple enough new builds can be made of the Avernum series.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Released in Nethergate
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What a great game! If I weren't leaving for vacation tomorrow I'd order the CD now - will certainly order it when I return so I'm here for the postal delivery.

I never played the original Nethergate, though I've played Avernum and Geneforge. This game is a blast - I'm glad it was released!

- Joel
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Avernum I "DEBUG" mode? in The Avernum Trilogy
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Anyone know what's up with the "DEBUG" mode in Avernum I? I think I entered by hitting the caps lock key (MacOS 10.4.5) accidentally, then the "e" key when I tried to exit combat. Everytime I accessed the "e" key the following text was displayed, in bold red text "DEBUG: ADD XP." When I tried to look into a container with the "L" key it read ""DEBUG: GET AN ITEM."

I can't replicate it, so I'm guessing it resulted from hitting the caps lock key.

Game seems fine, just curious.

- Joel
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
windowed mode? in Avernum 4
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I had the same question, but I'm not at my Mac to try this - have you looked at the .plist file to see if that's an option that can be changed by editing the preferences list file?

I miss the Window mode in Blades of Avernum.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Slow on ... well, to be expected? in Avernum 4
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quote:
Originally written by SNM:

Video drivers for this? Heh.

I've never found Jeff's newer engines to be terribly efficient; when I was using my upgraded-to-G3 400MHz system Geneforge and BoA had some noticeable slowdown points.
If it helps you any, sometimes when traveling long distances it burps on my 1.5 G5.

Yeah, with my RAM (I know one can never have enough, but ...) at 256 MB I was hoping I could keep skating on the G3 iBook through a good chunk of 2006 - I want an Intel-based Mac but I also want to wait about six months so those less patient experience the first growing pains ;-).

When I was in the Goblin area just SW of Fort Monastery it ran about as slow as Neverwinter Nights did when I played that - which was uncomfortable on a G3 iBook.

But if you notice some creepiness on a 1.5 G5 ... well ... guess I won't complain too loudly with my G3!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Slow on ... well, to be expected? in Avernum 4
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Alright, hate to post this, but one of the many things I've always loved about Spiderweb games is their low system requirements. I played every Exile game on a Mac LC, and never once noticed performance issues.

But Avernum 4 seems rather sluggish on my meek Mac 800 MHz G3. Compared to Blades of Avernum and Geneforge it's really sluggish - I'm sure compared to the latest bloatware game from my local Apple store, though.

Anyone else notice this? Am I still in the dark ages running an 800 MHz G3? The mouse tracks across the screen very slowly, though movement is a little better.

Anyway ... can't complain. Price is always right on a Spiderweb game and I really enjoy playing them. If nothing else, this is another reason to pick up a new Intel Mac early next year!

[ Monday, December 12, 2005 18:53: Message edited by: Joel Sanda ]
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Requests for future games in Avernum 4
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I think you are absolutely correct about the fonts. I'm not sure why, but reading text in Avernum is damn near impossible for me - and I just use reading glasses. No other UI gives me as much trouble as the font and poor contrast in Avernum.

Having said that, it's still my favorite game. Though I'll admit to longing for Exile on my old Mac Performa every now and then!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Movement with laptop keyboard ideas? in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Originally written by Marvin, the paranoid android:

I use the arrows for walking, and I only walk diagonally (wjich I do with the mouse) when I'm in combaot or have some sort of a time limit.
Hah! That's an idea - I hadn't thought of that before. Outside of combat there are few reasons to move diagonally - most of them to avoid a certain square.

I think the problem is really the MacOS laptop keyboard - it doesn't seem to behave the same way a Windows/Linux keyboard behaves with numlock activated.

You're solution is a lot better than dancing around the keyboard using the numlock and fn keys all the time!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Movement with laptop keyboard ideas? in Blades of Avernum
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Does anyone have any suggestions on movement with a laptop keyboard? I'm aware movement can be done with the mouse, by clicking on the 'square' you'd like to go, but moving with the keyboard is much better (nearly all things are better with the keyboard than mouse, IMHO) - except on laptop keyboards that don't have a numeric keypad.

I can use num lock on my iBook, but that still requires use of the fn key on my iBook (OS 10.4). Hence, to move with the keyboard means using num lock and the fn key together, then pressing the directional key. But this means laptop keyboard keys 7, 8, 9, U, I, O, J, K, and L can't be used; without turning of num lock.

I realize this is a small issue, but a snag nonetheless (especially for BOA players who come from the world of Angband and Rogue!).

Has anyone had any luck re-mapping their iBook keys for BOA? Am I overlooking an OS-level settings that are impacting how keys are mapped? What do other laptop users without dedicated numeric keypads use (yeah ... I have a full sized Apple keyboard at my desk but I buy laptops for their mobility!).

Thanks for any suggestions!

- Joel
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
valley of dying things in Blades of Avernum
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The bugs are a little tough - but you have to get past them to get access to that part of the adventure granting access past the barriers.

The only way I could get past the bugs was to cast Haste and Enduring Barrier on a fighter and have him wail on the queen bug. War Blessing should also help.

I kept the rest of the characters in the hallway picking of the bugs that were going after my fighter nailing the queen bug. A cleric is also needed to cast healing spells on the fighter.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
"Way of the Blade" in Valley of the Dying Things in Blades of Avernum
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So the book has no purpose, in other words?
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
"Way of the Blade" in Valley of the Dying Things in Blades of Avernum
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Does anyone know what the "Way of the Blade" does? It's a book and the description (from the inventory screen) says its ability is special and takes no charge.

I've used this - my Soldier read the book but I didn't see any improvement in ability, and it doesn't appear I can sell it in shops.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Escaping Empire Outpost? in Blades of Avernum
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And run fast. Follow the hall to the end, which will end in a secret door. The quickfire didn't follow me past the secret door, so make sure all your characters are in the room, past the secret door.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Za-Khazi Run: Giant's Cavern & Dark Maze in Blades of Avernum
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Thuryl;

Well ... three more attempts later and haste potions all around did the trick! I must have made too many moves in the past when casting spells and drinking potions before entering combat.

Thanks!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Za-Khazi Run: Giant's Cavern & Dark Maze in Blades of Avernum
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My characters are:

18th level Soldier
18th level Archer
19th level Rogue
18th level Priest/Wizard

The Giant battle is the one on the bridge. I've tried hasting and potions just prior to the battle, but the effects don't seem to be present once the battle starts (there are no icons indicating the effects).

The issue is my Priest/Wizard is buried beneath a ton of boulders before he can even get a spell off - and the other three characters are also either dead or at zero hit points before the first round is over.

I tried increasing their HPs with the Character Editor - though I hate doing that (may as well not finish the scenario at that point;-), but the Editor doesn't seem to have the ability to modify just hit points.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Za-Khazi Run: Giant's Cavern & Dark Maze in Blades of Avernum
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Alright - either my Irish roots are betraying me with the loss of luck or my party is weaker than a group of laid off I.T. tech salesamen or this adveture is damn hard.

What have folks done to get past the Giants in the Giant's Cavern or the snakes? I can't get past either. The Giants and Snakes tend to decimate my party after two of my PCs have acted. I've played each battle 5 - 6 times and the result is always the same. I can't even get a spell off (damn mage is smart but slooooow;-).

Any suggestions? Do these battles have to be fought to continue the scenario? Am I leading a troupe of whimps to certain death here?

Thanks!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
A Small Rebellion: Guardian in "Stalker's" Dungeon in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Originally written by Tentacle Monster:

Bless your warriors and get your magi out of that room immediately.

Let the guardians come to you, then run into them (and thusly attacking them.)

With all due apologies to Thuryl: I blessed my fighter and hasted him. I opened the door and just waited, then wailed in the areas before the doorway.

Phew. Thanks for the help!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
A Small Rebellion: Guardian in "Stalker's" Dungeon in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

Run around like a mad headless chicken until you hit something.
Well, that works about as well as voting - it takes some time and effort but the results are the same ;-)
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
A Small Rebellion: Guardian in "Stalker's" Dungeon in Blades of Avernum
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Yikes. I'm in the dungeon the Hill Runner's said I could find Stalker in (I was sent there after I was told to kill Empire Soldiers and the Empire said to first speak with Stalker).

There is a Guardian in a central northermost room that is killing my party - but when I enter combat mode I can't see him, so there's no one to fight. How do I get past this guy? I've explored everything else (I think), so I'm hoping this at least leads to an exit ;-)

Thanks for any advice!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Archery in Blades of Avernum
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I've got an Archer and a Rogue. The Archer normally deals about 40 - 50 pts of damage per hit, and it seems every other round he gets to shots instead of one.

My Rogue has skills split between Assasination, Tool Use, and Bows. She will deal 30 - 45 pts. of damage per round.

This means my fighter ambles into combat soaking up hits and every now and then takes a bad guy down. With this set up I use my two archers, well behind my fighter, to rain death down upon the bad guys. My Mage/Priest casts damage spells - and my fighter mops the rest up.

Artillery.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Cleric/Sorcerer Combination in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Originally written by Thunvael:

I think a cleric fighter combination is usually more strategically economic. Because both mages and clerics have veru useful spells, so if you converge all your high level spells into one character you will often be faced with a choice between both spell trees.
Yeah - I'm realizing that now. Those times when I have to choose between an offensive magic spell or "I'd-better-save-my-fighter's-ass-now" spell are a bit frustrating. My Rogue's points are split evenly between Tool Use and Bows - so she's capable of adding some firepower to my Soldier and Rogue.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Oh for a keypad! in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Anyone else experiencing the num lock woes?

Not sure what you mean - other than having to hit the fn key or remember to turn num lock off. Unless I'm somewhere other than my desk I use a full size Apple keyboard and mouse.

But it is a pain with the straight-up iBook keyboard.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Vale Infestation in Blades of Avernum
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Sheesh. And how many times did I walk into every wall but just that one? ;-)

Thanks!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00
Vale Infestation in Blades of Avernum
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Argh. I've made two trips through the Vale Infestationand cannot find a way into the rooms I'm getting shot from and shooting into ;-). I think I've covered nearly every wall looking for a secret door but I can't find a way into the rooms.

Is there a secret door? Someway across the small stream I can't seem to walk across?

Thanks!
Posts: 33 | Registered: Monday, December 22 2003 08:00

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