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Sissy teleporting punks in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #3
I like to call this the "Buu and the Z Fighters" Dilemma. Anyone watch Dragonball Z at all?

This dilemma occurs whenever the party is facing a monster or enemy who is , to a large degree, hiding his power or true intent/nature. The first battle occurs only so that the villain can "Sum up" his foes, but the villain doesnt unleash much of his own power...in DwtD, Vahkos himself actually says this... "Now I know what I am truly facing"...and the next time you see him, he is stronger and has exploding freezy things. Each successive battle is almost like a science experiment in which the villain employs a new power, and sees how it works. The result is a progression of "Transformations" or different battles and battle-scenes, between the antagonist and the party.

The normal climax becomes epic, but the Climax is dampered. (Almost no matter what, I mean, old Greek epics had this problem).

The problem is that its really tough to actually get a good Climax out of the last fight. Destroying someone cant be the simple solution. Introducing a load of new tricks and new graphics can help. Other ways to get an interesting climax include a change in enemy or focus, like in DwtD (Though certainly not perfect); after three battles with Vahknos, you are sent back to the castle, and you MUST make an ultimatum. The pressure of deciding what to do adds to the climax. Then, the climax is further emphasised by the INFINITE number of guards chasing you up the tower. Lastly, when you reach the Crystal, who is there but Lord Maynard himself? All is revealed. I think this ending is fantastic. The only thing I would have asked for more would have been a better fight out of Maynard...he clearly showed his age. And maybe a better death speech :)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Realism in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #9
A dialogue tree is simply a what you call in programming a "Directed Graph". Each question(branch) leads to a new state (a node in programming) which has a bunch of different branches (links pointing to other talknodes). If you draw it like a big web dialogue programming makes a lot more sense. A big, mixed up web.

Anyway, as someone earlier said, you can force someone to answer a question by typing in text. Its just generally understood that in Avernum, the small amount of text an NPC gives you leaves you with only a limited number of totally obvious questions. Nuances, unfortunately, are truly difficult to capture, and kudos to any designer who has the foresight (patience, raw WPM), to make a dialogue very engaging.

Jeff does a good job, but only the main characters have monologues. Most of the side characters , its more you talking than them speaking. (He uses wayyy too many talknodes, imho).

Anticipating every question a gamer would think of is a difficult task for a game designer or programmer. This is one of the reasons I'm a HUGE fan of pen and paper roleplaying. In this situation, where a gamer asks a question that was previously unanticipated, the designer of the game can instantly provide a solution or answer. Not so in the world of computing. The more alpha and beta testing that is conducted on a module (and the more back and forth response or activity that results), usually provides a great spectrum of questions in the end. However, Avernum is still limited...I'm not sure how many questions can be linked to a state, but I'm sure its not a very large number.

Games that dont have a dialogue tree, though, are generally much harder to play. For instance, how many different words are there for brush? Shrubbery? Plants? Scrub? A sleepy designer can easily make one or two mistakes like that. Caldera is a game such as that, and I remember giving up halfway through, frustrated. (Though it was pretty good while it lasted).

Highlighting words in the dialogue (like Caldera) is also just like Blades of Avernum, but perhaps better for the gamer. Maybe a good compromise :) Its also a good design technique. Wonder what questions you should link to your node? Just look through the dialogue that links to it. Pick words out. Make sentances. Easy :)

Anyway, just my two centavos. Mucho gusto amigos.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Playing through the included campaigns... in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #6
Much dexterity, quick strike, and gymnastics help greatly
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Decency Question in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #7
I think its just that people ramble when they type at the computer too much. :) I do it too.

And as for the brothel, its not like the game has the capacity to be truly adult... i mean scantily dressed ladies are probably mature, and that fits your rating. As long as you dont make a cutscene or anything, lol...
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Roses of Reckoning (BoA) is Released! in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #39
I dunno if i trust any direction given to me by a "Literary Necromancer" anyway. BWahahaha. I basically just ran around until i found the roses, then ran around until i tripped over Koji's grave. Its not too too hard. Its certainly easier than the vampires :)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Move mountains in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #10
Yeah you can really lose alot in the Magery School if your not careful, several are actually passable and there is a roundabout route to the downstairs.

I use spy's tactic most of the time ;)

Whenever you see a big barrier , like a line barrier in the Spiraling Crypt, I suggest learning the spell Dispel Barrier. Most of the time you only have like a 10% chance of dispeling the barrier, but if you have 10 barriers in front of you and only say, one of them needs to go, you have a good chance of destroying one.

As for Move mountains, its invaluable once you get it, especially in certain situations. (ZKR and DWTD its a nececcesary) Try to get it before you get to the Abandoned Fort in "A Small Rebellion", because that fort has ALOT of cracked walls and you can own the upper floor in no time. (Ambush bah) Its also fun to leave a place as a pile of rubble. Heee.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
stuck on ... in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #12
If you see Strength or Pick Difficulty 200, it *generally* means one of two things

1 you need a special key
2 you need to find a hidden door that goes "Behind" that door. Hope that helps.

Some places, i would like to note, ive had no luck at all in trying to enter restricted areas, such as the center room in the top of the spiraling crypt in ZKR.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Really Minor Bugs in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #7
6 If a terrain space says block_entry, and there is substantial room beyond the block_entry terrain, you can line your party along the terrain in combat mode and then end combat. Your party will reform past the block_entry terrain. Hahaha.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Roses of Reckoning (BoA) is Released! in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #36
Aye I agree. The BoE interface isnt the best, i have a new computer, and it doesnt work well with my computer (try running it in Carbon, shiver)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
creature memory cells? in Blades of Avernum Editor
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #3
Its a short. Aww :(
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
creature memory cells? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #3
Its a short. Aww :(
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Beta-Call for Roses of Reckoning in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #7
mckinnsb@bc.edu

You bastard Tentacle Monster! :)

~sigh~

I think mine will be done in a month.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
scenario criticism in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #25
Plus, uh, I'm giving these scenarios ratings because I never got BoE...

I hope people translate their BoE scenarios to BoA...there are some fundamental differeances between the two systems but Vogel has something in place that will at least make the transition quicker.

Plus writing a scenario is very hard. Most of of the time someones first effort wont be their best...areas with lots of dungeons appeal to those who like to crawl but areas with just one town and all 100 dialogue nodes used more appeal to people who like social games. I myself am trying to find a balance between the two and "Suspend the curtain of disbelief" but its easier said than done. I really respect anyone who took (takes)the time to hack out a scen in BoE or BoA. Its easily a waste of...I dunno, hours upon hours of time? Granted I'm just a beginner, and alot of time was spent reading the instruction manuals that come with the game and playtesting, but through 20 hours of work I just barely finished my first town and a rough sketch of the outdoors. ;) If you don't like a scenario, try to write your own. ;)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Anyone designing scenarios? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #11
I'm working with scripting and im finding out dialogue takes a long, long time to work out all the bugs. And thats just one of five scripts types. No wonder most places only have 4 people who talk to you lol...
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Using a party form VoDT to ASR in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #4
Wait till you get to ZKR. Heeeee.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Anyone designing scenarios? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #7
If you install developer tools it has a feature that checks brackets. I hate learning to script for every new game that comes out. They should all use Python.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Anyone designing scenarios? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #4
Well right now im making a scenario thats going to make the best of whats around and should be pretty shortish.

Then we think about adding graphics to the game...

anyone know how to do that already?

I might want to modify some existing graphics in the game instead of start from scratch in this scenario...
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Anyone designing scenarios? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #0
I'm currently working on a scenario for 36-42. Tell me if anyone else is working on anything else :)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Empress Prazac's Reign in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #30
In terms of designing scenarios I suggest people stay away from dates because the year will shift 1 year for each new area you enter... and dates in the game may clearly contradict what time the present is. (or appears to be?)

Hehe..but its an interesting discussion. Maybe Jeff should change the year thing and let designers decide the scenario year. Maybe he already has, but i havent found anything to do that yet. Correct me if im wrong.
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Morog's Sucky Sceptre in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #0
This guy is supposed to be a Lich. And this is what you do to me??? I was all happy that I had finally defeated one of the stronger creatures in the game and then suddenly im all like...lame...is there a use for this that I am missing?
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
DwtD: Find Desirea in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #0
Er, I thought she would be in the sspawning caves, given what Brigid said....i go there though and cannot find her....(where the ghouls are made)...where is she (I found the others)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
ZKR: Fastest time to Cavalier? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #3
I completely forgot about the Crystal of Purity. I didnt finish that quest...rats! I wonder if you could get all three...is the secret door a quest flag from the Lich?
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
DwtD: How non linear do you get??? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #0
Is it just me or can you take 15 minutes to 40 hours to finish this scenario?
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
Za-Khazi (overpowered creatures) in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #7
After I finish DwtD I'm going to go do the Run again and challenge everyone. Morog, Khoth, That Forge Efreet...Cave Giant Bridge...I will leave nothing alive in my wake of destruction!!!
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00
ZKR: Fastest time to Cavalier? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4160
Profile #0
I got there in six days. Beat it, punk :)

Semi-spoil

I actually spent the time to get things like the Maulers Gauntlets, the Assassin Dagger, and the Wyrm Fang....i tried to make as full and quick a run as possible. If I just *ran* and skipped the first Crypt, maybe five days...I think I can improve it but I also tried to make sure I got my fair share.

Oh, BTW....what other treasures are there than the Melora Opal that you can give to Khoth? The scroll? He likes knowledge..

Oh, and you better get that poppy charm. Unless you think you can make it through the poppy cave and fight the slith warband....but then again I kinda want to try this haha ;)
Posts: 40 | Registered: Saturday, March 27 2004 08:00

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