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New melee/archer options for A5 in Avernum 4
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Profile #18
I like the idea of these special abilities using mana points. First off, it makes it easier for Jeff, since he hasn't got to develop a new system (stamina points or something?). Secondly, it limits the amount these abilities can be used, since warriors need a lot of stats other than int. Thirdly, this is more fair to mages, since if they run out of mana they are SOL, but a warrior out of mana can still use his highly effective normal attack. So warriors having a tiny mana pool for their skills seems fine.

At the end of the day, fighters need something. By the later stages of the game, they are just downright boring. Melee attacks only hit maybe 50% of the time, getting parried and riposted on a regular basis. On top of that, many monsters do physical or other damage to you every time you hit with a melee attack. There's something wrong when my melee tanks, with no points spent in ranged skills, resort to using bows because they are more effective.

Honestly, archers aren't too bad in the endgame. Due to the high difficulty of parrying arrows and avoiding the ill-effects of spined creatures and the like. Even so, just point and shoot is kind of boring. And archers are only good in the damage department due to the horribly overpowered heartseeker.

Melee just needs some interesting options. And it wouldn't be terrible if it were actually useful in the end-game as well. I'm not looking to have archers or melee fighters dishing out the kind of AoE damage prists and mages can. But something other than mindless point and bash would be good.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
New melee/archer options for A5 in Avernum 4
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The spellcasters get all the cool options. Buffs and debuffs. Various types of damage. Single target vs. AoE.

Warriors only get to shoot or bash. There need to be more options in A5. They should get a bunch of special techniques they can learn, but they have to expend mana to do them. You learn them much as you do spells, and increased level of ability results in more powerful effects.

Some may dislike the use of mana, but I think this is easier to implement than some kind of stamina system, or Rage like in world of warcraft. These would be techniques, not spells, and so would not be affected by spellcraft.

Possible new abilities:

Melee:

Charge: small mana cost, activate and click on a target within the distance you can move with your AP and you will run up to them and attack. You get a modest bonus to accuracy and damage, but suffer a defense penalty until your next turn.

Trip: There is no real falling over in Avernum, but tripping someone could be represented by stunning them (costing them AP to get back up before they can move or attack).

Multiple Strike: allows you to attack multiple opponents at the same time. Moderate mana cost, big penalty to to-hit, but higher levels of skill reduces this penalty. At skill level 1 you attack up to 2 opponents, higher skill levels let you attack more.

Great Reach: Polearm only skill, and passive (no need to activate). Lets you take advantage of the greater length of polearms; you can attack any opponent 1 or 2 squares away. This plus Multiple Strike would make polearms nasty against groups, and help make up for the lack of a shield. Should be very expensive to learn, or better yet a quest reward.

For bows:

Rapid Fire: short-term buff, self only, moderate mana cost. The archer enters a state of highetened reflexes, and is able to take advantage of quick action to get multiple attacks like a melee character does. Stacks with quick action for this effect (if your quick action is 5 and the spell strength is 3, you get the effect of quick action 8).

Multi-shot: small mana cost. You fire multiple arrows at once, at targets near your main target (like lightning spray). If no secondary targets are nearby, the spell is wasted. Big hit to accuracy; higher skill reduces the penalty and lets you fire more arrows at once.

Just some ideas. Melee/archery gets boring after a while, and could use some new toys to spice things up.

[ Friday, June 16, 2006 09:02: Message edited by: Dunbar42 ]
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Things that bug me about A4 in Avernum 4
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Member # 6149
Profile #10
quote:
Originally written by Archmagus Micael:

Glad you enjoyed the game. ;)
Actually, I am enjoying the game...I know my post was negative, but there are a few things about the game that lessen my enjoyment. Overall I'm having fun, and I'm interested enough in Avernum now to go back and try A1-A3.

There are ways the gameplay could be improved, however, so I thought I'd voice my opinions. Having the monsters be a bit more intelligent would be nice, even if it is just some heavily-scripted battles.

The tedium of some of the game sometimes just gets to me, though. Fields of uber-pylons that are nothing but a time-sink are just unoriginal and boring. Carting off loot gets old really fast...it's the same problem in the geneforge games as well. I remember replaying G3 and using a money cheat. It was actually a lot of fun to just play through the game, and ignore any loot that wasn't an upgrade. I realized just how much of a timesink gathing and selling items was...and from the first time I played, I knew what training I could afford when, so I only gave myself the appropriate amount of money at different points in the game. So it was, to my mind, "fair" cheating...I was only really avoiding an unfun timesink.

But I'd really love to see epic dungeon crawls where you do not have the ability to go home and recharge in the middle...geneforge suffers from this problem as well. I'd like to see gameplay that requires characters to have some endurance, to have to ration their resources, to make me think hard about how I will press forward because I have to. Instead of just saying hmm, I'm low on spellpoints, I'll just pop back to town and pick up where I left off. If you are going to do that, just add a rest button that refills your health/mana if you are out of combat and no monsters are coming for you.

This would really change the game, and for the better IMHO. You have to really think about your tactics beyond just winning the current battle.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Things that bug me about A4 in Avernum 4
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So I'm just past fort remote now, almost done tearing down the pylons before going after Rentar. There's a number of things that bug me about A4, so I thought I'd make a list. These are in no particular order...

1. Monster AI.

Now I understand no independant gaming company is going to be able to design killer AI when even the big boys have trouble doing it, but sometimes the monsters are just stupid. They can't open doors, allowing them to be exploited. Sometimes I can pop around a corner while hasted, shoot or cast a spell at them, then pop back into hiding, and they won't come find me.

Or archers (casters too) who won't move just into range and fire. If I see an archer and enter combat mode, I can simply step back just out of range. They will then run their fill movement forward. This is too easily exploited; if they would only step just into range and fire, they can force me to fight at range (where they are far more deadly than in melee) or draw me closer (perhaps into some turrets).

2. Carrying Capacity

Weight limits, for me, are just annoying. As in not fun. You offer training at crazy prices, then make people make several trips just to cart off loot. On the other hand, weight limits are good for making strength worthwhile, as casters can ignore it but then have trouble wearing heavy armor and such without being encumbered.

My solution is to count ONLY items in the quickslots and actually worn by your character against encumberance. Say adventurers get a standard-issue bag of holding for loot. Now you can lower the amount you can carry at any strength to rebalance it for only equipment worn. This way encumberance is still an issue, but you haven't got to either drop all your loot on the ground to pick up later, or go back through an area you cleared to loot it. Both of which solve the problem, but are clunky and annoying solutions.

3. Buying Training

Only being able to train if you haven't bought the skill is annoying to me. It encourages you to do without skills until you can train in them...which is annoying. You should be able to train up to twice only in any skill at any time, but have it not count as if you had trained the skill yourself (like it currently does...if you train twice, the cost to increase a skill goes up just like if you trained it manually).

Waiting to buy skills is unfun...as is finding out you could have trained in a skill, only you just spent skillpoints on it before finding the trianer.

4. Undefended Turrets

This is a big one for me right now, after facing those uber-pylons. Taking out undefended turrets is just time-consuming and unfun. Pylons can't even shoot as far as you can...so you just haste, stand out of range, and attack until it dies. Return to town on occasion to refil mana. Rinse and repeat. Even turrets that have the same range as you are just timesinks once you have haste and can dance in and out of range at will.

Now if they were defended by archers and other ranged monsters seeking to draw you into range of the turrets, they would serve a combat purpose. Or worse yet, if there were monsters that had a chance to push or pull your character around, drawing them into range against your will...

The only other way turrets/pylons can have an impact on gameplay is covered next...

5. It's too easy to recharge

Right now, if you clear an area, it's cleared (with very few and minor exceptions). So you clear as far as you can, run home and recharge, and clear a little further. It's like having effectively unlimited mana once you have enough to get through a single fight.

If this were changed so characters were required to have more endurance more often, that would be good. Like when you first talk to Rentar via crystal and he activates a bunch of pylons and monsters and you have to fight your way free. Here you have to have the endurnace to survive several battles in a row to get out. It would be tougher if it wasn't so obviously a trap and if you couldn't destroy the pylons ahead of time...

This also makes even undefended turrets useful to gameplay, as you have to spend precious spell energy to haste characters to dance in and out of range to eliminate them, or just run at them and take the hits.

The game would change completely if there were more areas that required you to be able to fight multiple battles and press yourself forward before you get to a safehaven to recharge. Potions would be more vital, magical efficiency more important, and battles more strategic...you'd have to really ration your spell use. I'm not sure the best way to accomplish it...traps like Rentar uses on you would work, as would dungeons that regenerate or repopulate over time...so if you try to chip away at them, they just respopulate monsters and such if you run back to town (spawners buried deep in them, perhaps).

Wow, this has gotten to be a novel. Those are the issues I can think of at the moment. Let me know what you think!

[ Wednesday, May 03, 2006 11:26: Message edited by: Dunbar42 ]
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Coin Cap at 30k? in Avernum 4
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Member # 6149
Profile #16
quote:
Originally written by Reve:

I think at least a text warning that you didn't collect pick up any more money each time you do hit the limit is vital. Otherwise, you have to keep an eye on it, and if you miss spotting that you are at the limit, you suddenly permanently are losing all that money with no warning :(
Gotta agree here. I didn't realize there was a cap until I read this thread...and then I went back into my game and realized I was at the cap. I didn't pay any attention to my total cash as I wasn't buying anything...and now I have no idea how long I was at the cap, and I don't have any earlier saves that aren't a LONG time ago.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Job board quest. in Avernum 4
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Member # 6149
Profile #6
But it should still let you finish the quest. So you return to the guy and tell him you got the drake to leave. He then maybe tells you off for letting it go instead of killing it, then gives you a reduced or no reward.

That way you can still get the qeust removed from your quest list.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Behold the Power of Doors in Avernum 4
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This kind of bugs me. Well, a few things about A4 bug me, but this is pretty silly. NPC opponents, apparently, cannot use doors. I have defeated a number of opponents by using a door...the latest being the creature guarding the crystalline plate in the King's chambers.

It works like this: figure out what position in the initiative order the monster goes at; say after your priest is finished. Now just go through the combat round and when your priest comes up, close the door and pass. Have your next character open the door (only takes 1 action point and he doesn't even have to be near it, any of your characters can be) and attack from range. Rinse and repeat until your foe is dead.

I also killed the eyebeast you fight really early on (in the demo I think...he's in a cell and you are supposed to talk to him for a quest) using this strategy.

NPCs need to have the ability to open doors. Intelligent NPCs should be programmed to open doors and join the fight if they hear a battle going on.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Are Geneforge and Avernum related? in Avernum 4
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Profile #12
Thanks for the replies! It seems I was reading a bit too much into a single comment from the Vahnatai. I had no idea that Avernum had been using the term "shaper" long before Geneforge existed.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Are Geneforge and Avernum related? in Avernum 4
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Are the worlds of Geneforge and Avernum related? I haven't played the earlier Avernum games (though I plan to give them a try), but it seems there are a lot of connections between the two worlds.

I had thought they were related for a while, since they have similar magical spells, many of the creatures look the same between the two games, many of the other graphics look similar (shaping-pad-like areas and such). Much of that could be to make it easier to program, and I understand Avernum underwent a graphics overhaul, which could explain it.

However, last night I was talking to the Vahnatai I rescued from under Almaria. He said something very peculiar...I asked if he could locate Rentar (or something to that effect) and he replied that "I am not a Shaper, er, magic user" or something like that. I know he specifically said Shaper. Why would Jeff use that term here unless he is specifically relating it to Geneforge?

Does this mean the Vahnatai are what are left of the Shapers, in the future? It could go something like this:

Geneforge is headed for all-out war between the shapers and their creations. The shapers, I'm thinking, are defeated. A few of them (enlightened shapers who know the error of their ways) decide to retain their secrets and hide underground. They perform shaping experiments on themselves not to attain power (as they now know where that leads) but only to survive in their new environment. They no longer use shaping powers to create new life.

Meanwhile, on the surface, the Drakons revel in their victory. Only they become no better than the Shapers they sought to defeat (already foreshadowed by their treatment of serviles in geneforge 3). Several surviving nations band together to overthrow them. It is during this conflict that the Slithzerikai and Nephalim races are created, probably for use as shock troops and assassins, respectively. The slithzerikai are likely offshoots of the Drakons; the Nephalim may well have been created from the Serviles.

In the end, the Drakons and their creations are defeated. And in part, only because a few more enlightened Ur-Drakons turned on their own kind...these survive the wars and become the Dragons. The human peoples that banded together to defeat their Drakon overlords now form The Empire. The nephalim and slithzerikai go into hiding to survive, and are still hunted and persecuted by the Empire generations later.

Shaping is now forbidden. All records and traces of how it is done are destroyed and lost. Magic continues to thrive...thus the plethora of new spells above and beyond what the shapers are capable of in the Geneforge series. What little shaping lore remains is transformed into the summoning of creatures to do your bidding. Although, now that I think about it, one of the mages in the Tower Colony asks you to test a new kind of lizard he created. Perhaps that is why they were banished to Avernum in the first place? Some mages, either accidentally or maliciously, started down the path to shaping and so were banished?

This could be another reason for the graphics shift for the Avernum series...to better tie it in with the Geneforge games.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Who has good loot? in Avernum 4
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I saw in mentioned in another thread that Sleater (mage in the honeycomb who blesses you so you can kill undead) drops a robe of the magi.

Now I generally don't kill NPCs, but that robe rocks. And he already helped me kill undead, and I did his second quest to explore Athron's lair. Since as far as I know you don't need him for anything else...well, I thought I could put his robes to better use.

So I'm curious...do any other NPCs have powerful items on them? Preferable ones you can kill without angering a whole town.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
How important is Luck? in Avernum 4
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In the geneforge games, I always put a few points in luck at the start. It's also dirt cheap, starting at a cost of 1 point.

In A4, it starts at 4 points! This seems like a really hefty investment. So far, none of my characters have any luck at all. Now I'm wondering if this is a bad move...is luck worth it? And if so, how much?

I've also read that it may increase item drops...is this true? And if so, does it work off the highest luck in the group (like tool use), or off the group's total luck (like lore)?
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
A4 questions in Avernum 4
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Member # 6149
Profile #5
Thanks for the help everyone! I've been trying a pair of elite divinely touched warriors (one sith and one nephil), a human divinely touched mage/theif, and a nephil pure spirit divinely touched priest/archer. It's going well so far, and I'm glad to hear the xp penalties aren't going to ruin me in the long run.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
A4 questions in Avernum 4
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I'm new to A4 (to the whole Avernum series, really); I've only played the geneforge games. I have a couple questions...

I read on the boards that XP penalties aren't a big deal, so I made a Slith fighter with Elite Warrior and Divinely Touched. I'm worried now that his XP penalty is crippling...45% for the traits and 20% for his race. Is divinely touched worth it, as I only really got it for the boost to blademaster? Or would would something else, like fast on feet, be better?

Also, it seems as you level up you get less XP from fighting the same foes. How does this work if you have characters of different levels in the party? Does everyone get XP based off their own level, off the highest level character in the party, or off their average level?

Thanks for your help!

Edit:

One other question, about lore. It says in game that you characters will share the lore skill, so you don't need to focus on one character. I've seen it mentioned on the boards that you need 15 magic lore or 25 nature lore for various things...is that 25 nature lore total? So my characters have 6, 6, 6, and 7 nature lore?

[ Wednesday, March 22, 2006 20:20: Message edited by: Dunbar42 ]
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Henchmen stats in Geneforge Series
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Profile #3
-T-O-E-N-A-I-L-:

Actually, I'm not sure dex helps, despite what the game description says. Well, I know I have increased her str and seen her chance to hit and her damage increase; I should try bumping her dex and see what effect that has. But so far str has seemed to be the way to go.

mok:

Um, thanks for the advice, but I was referring to the agent henchman you can take on just outside the beginning area (greta is it?).

But for an agent, I agree with you; intelligence is of prime importance.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Henchmen stats in Geneforge Series
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So I've taken on the agent-wannabe (I forget her name :confused: ) and I'm wondering what stats to upgrade.

I've noticed that increasing her strength seems to increase both her chance to hit and damage with her ranged spells; is there any real need to raise her dex?

Endurance provides obvious benefits, but what about intelligence? I've never had a problem with her running out of energy to cast spells...should I ignore int and go for end?

My current plan is to max out strength and then endurance; is this the way to go?
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
What items to keep? in Geneforge Series
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Member # 6149
Profile #6
Thanks for the advice guys! I don't worry about encumberance, I pick up all sellable items as I find them and dump them in piles if I get encumbered. Then when I'm done clearing an area I gather up my piles and sell it off.

I know there's no need to buy weapons/armor...heck, being an Agent I don't use my melee weapon at all and try my best not to get hit anyways. But I would like to gather cash to pay for training.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
What items to keep? in Geneforge Series
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In previous geneforge games, you could turn-in certain items for XP and cash. Iron bars, for example, in the first town in G2.

So what should I keep and what should I sell in G3? I've been lugging around iron bars, crystals of all types, shaper equipment, shaper records, some different herbs, etc. Is any of this needed later? Or can I sell some of it?

Thanks for the help.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00
Leadership, Mechanics, Luck in Geneforge Series
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I'm playing through G3 for the first time, and I'd like to know how much of these skills it is worth it to get.

For example, in the original geneforge game you could buy up to 30 luck. It wasn't worth it to train more than 1 point with your character points (1 point was needed when using certain pillars if I remember right, though you could forgo even this point and come back to the pillars later). Is luck worth it to buy with character points in G3? Are there special events that depend on it, and if so how much luck is required? How much base luck that is, taking into account any items that grant luck?

For mechanics, I assume there will be traps and other special objects that you can't use living tools or unlock magic to get past, just as there were in G2. How much base mechanics is needed to get through all areas of the game? Base mechanics meaning how much do I need before donning +mechanics items.

Same thing for leadership; how much is necessary to see all there is? Taking into account various items you can wear to boost leadership?

I'm asking because I get a bit silly with these games. I think waaay too much about where to spend points, and I hate to think that I've "wasted" points in these skills. So I save points, think about it, etc., when if I knew I needed say 7 base mechanics and 8 base leadership to do everything in the game I could buy up to those amounts and feel good about it. Instead of say stuggling with 3 or 4 mechanics through the early portions of the game, then realizing I need to buy more anyways later.

Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, July 25 2005 07:00