Profile for La Vaca Morada

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Pike / Spear / Halberd vs Sword / Dagger aka Pole vs. Melee in Avernum 4
Member # 6907
Profile #21
Originally written by Chosimba:

[QB]I must disagree here, sorry :D

Spiderweb games are easy enough not to worry if you crank the difficulty of them down, but with higher difficulties Spiderweb games are some of the most difficult games ever invented. You have to take every single little advantage point you can get by every little last point if your difficulty is raised. They're easy if you want them to be and set them to easy, but you can certainly play on some of the most difficult levels ever put into gaming too.
I played through A4 on Torment, and it wasn't too difficult even despite my huge mistakes (such as going for Riposte and Lethal Blow, each of which I had spent only two points in when I won the game, and making one character both a mage and priest without either Natural Mage or Pure Spirit.) Of course, this may have to do with the fact that I do every little side quest and explore every area, so my party is much stronger than most peoples' parties when they get to the same stage of the game.

This sentence is false.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Tuesday, March 14 2006 08:00
Changes for Better or Worse? in Avernum 4
Member # 6907
Profile #25
The things I liked:
1. Area damage spells are good.
2. Pathfinding is good. (See #1 in the things I didn't like though.)
3. Teleportation is good, although a little overdone. (Was it really necessary to have pylons in both Dharmon and Blosk?)
4. Most of the unique items are actually useful in some way or another. (Does anyone remember Demonslayer - or any other weapon with +X damage to something - in A3?)
5. No more surviving at 0 health, which made many fights way too easy.
6. Lots more inventory space, plus the ability to carry extra at the cost of being encumbered.
7. No instant death encounters. I don't miss them one bit.
8. No arrows, especially 1 pound arrows that require you to give your archer more strength than your warrior just so you can carry all the arrows around.

The things I didn't like:
1. The maximum pathfinding range is about half a screen. It would be a lot better if it were a whole screen, at least in wide open spaces with nothing in them. This could be done by setting certain points as default waypoins, which would reduce the problem to finding two paths, each half a screen long.
2. The world felt rather cramped. The cities were very close to each other, and many areas are gone altogether. What happened to the tunnels north of Motrax's Cave? How about the nephil settlements east of Mertis? Or the numerous small caves scattered throughout the Eastern Gallery? There may be more individual tiles in A4 than in the trilogy because of the lack of outdoors, but there is no more content.
3. There were no endurance matches at all. The most satisfying experience I ever had in an Avernum game was clearing out Angierach in A2. Why? Because it was a long series of difficult fights with a limited supply of mana. (The seven level dungeon in Canopy, from BOA, would have been even more difficult had I not had about 50 mana potions lying around.) In A4, there are no such fights. There are only two or three cases where you enter a dungeon and cannot leave until some objective is completed. In addition, almost no enemies respawn, so almost every dungeon can be completed by running in, killing one or two enemies, and then running back to town.
4. Melee is extremely gimped. One of my warriors can sit in front of a melee attacker all day and hardly take any damage. In fact, she deals more damage with Riposte than she deals by attacking. My archer, who is not a dedicated archer at all but a nephil priest with a couple points in Bows, does more damage in many fights than she does just because his attacks usually hit, whereas hers are parried or riposted about three-quarters of the time.
5. Increasing the level of a spell has very little effect. Considering how many coins I spent buying level 2 of every spell I could get my hands on, I expect more than the equivalent of one point in Spellcraft.
6. Also on the topic of spells, all the powerful spells deal fire or magic damage. Of course, vahnatai are resistant to fire and magic. Would it kill anyone to make a cold or acid damage spell that's useful late game? (Okay, yes, it would kill the evil vahnatai and everything else that is vulnerable to cold and acid. But you should do it anyway.)
7. More about spells. Do more than half of the damage spells have to be the same? Other than Lightning Spray and Divine Retribution, all the damage spells follow a predictable pattern: one weak single target spell, followed by more spells that deal damage in a circle with diameter 5. Would it be too hard to make some of the spells have a larger area, or a smaller area, or deal damage over time like Cloud of Blades?
8. Summoning is also extremely unbalanced, especially in the early game where one Wyrmkin can ruin your day. Some of the summoned monsters are much more powerful or much weaker than others summoned using the same spell.

This sentence is false.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Tuesday, March 14 2006 08:00