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Avernum V ideas in Avernum 4
Member # 7210
Profile #94
I didn't want to make my last post too large so I decided to include ideas for AV5 in this post, in no particular order.

Move far enough forward in time or to a new area in Avernum for all old plots to die a complete death.

Create magic system that has elements to it that can be countered or nullified by another element. Same with the divine based magic. Each type of magic should have an opposite and equal force that balances it. If someone can cast magical damage at me, I should be able to shield myself/others from it, reflect it, absorb it, etc...

Each magical spell/ability should be learnable by the playing characters. No magic should be out of the range of understanding of a magic user of same type or class. (for ex. crystal worms using mind control that you (as a mind control expert) have no way to learn or defend agasint, this shouldn't be in an rpg game).

There should be different types of damage for melee, peircing, slashing, crushing, etc... Monsters should have weaknesses that allow a balanced team to depend on one character or another, and armor should have different degrees of protection for different types of damage. (for ex. Leather does not defend well against crushing damage, but plate does).

Weapons and items should be clearly thought out for character advancement path. If I choose to make a character an expert at Bows, but there is a very poor selection of bows, doesn't that ruin that entire character path? Having so many useless items in a game doesn't make sense, the player will never use it or pick it up, so why waste time with it? Its better to hide useless items then to make a player pick throuh mounds of item trash to find what they want.

Allowing people to make super generalized characters that can end up being completely useless should be avoided with an advancement system that is smart enough to understand what type of character your creating. Feats and skill advancement should be rewarded with more advanced feats and skills being tied to your previous choices. Example - I am a thief/archer, I have advanced flethching skill, I should now be able to choose the ability to poison my arrows (since I am an expert at making them). Abilities should be more than just a percentage of a chance to poison a person with arrows, they are abilities and should always be on and whether they work or not should be determined by the monsters weaknesses and strenghts.

Thieves should have some kind of stealth variable, just becuase one of my party can be seen shouldn't automatically make my crime seen. If my thief is an expert at stealth and hiding, the thief should be able to hide and steal something out of sight regardless of other pary memebers visibility. Also, they should be able to sneak up on people in combat.

There should be the ability to use either keyboard or mouse without having to switch back and forth, or to use both (one hand on the keyboard, and one on the mouse). In other words, ergonmics should be considered when designing the interface.

Pack animals! Why can almost every Avernite own beasts of burden but your own characters can't, or allowing characters to have storage areas (or purchase them).

Item crafting! If other Avernites can make wands out of sticks, or potions out of herbs, then why can't one of your characters specialize in that too? I say this within reason, creating kites from string, wood, and cloth is not relevant to the spirit of the RPG or plot, so item creation with a purpose is all I am saying.

Music? I know, it was said its too expensive, or the nice reply of "Use headphones and listen to your own crap" is not a constructive answer. There are plenty of freeware, royalty free music and songs, really... Do you know how to use a search engine?

Sounds could be enhanced, after all, if your not going to go for the "WOW!" factor with graphics maybe you could do it with sound immersion. Hearing the same creature screech and continous dripping looped over and over and over again really destroys any type of immersion your imagination can muster. There are plenty of royalty free sounds, and sounds that have no copy rights, so saying that its a price issue doesn't make sense.

Thats all I can say for now, I got more but I have to get something to eat, lol.

[ Sunday, June 25, 2006 06:51: Message edited by: Aaron ]
Posts: 4 | Registered: Sunday, June 11 2006 07:00
Avernum V ideas in Avernum 4
Member # 7210
Profile #93
It was me who originally posted the sound/music idea for AV4 and beyond. I don't really get some of these point of views, although I respect the process it must have taken thier minds to come to this conclusion, unless they can't explain thier rationale.

I think the original topic was about AV5 ideas, so to be true to the spirit of the thread...

To the ones who post about how Avernum series is not fantasy, or is a unique fantasy with no ties to fantasy, I have to say you are full of it.
Wands? Swords? Armor? Magic? Come on, these are all classic fantasy ideas, so please jump off the high horse and don't attack people just because they like an idea from some other fantasy set.

Until you have been married for at least 15 years, then I don't think you could really understand the need for variety (joke for the mature).

I don't like continued plots and arcs unless there is a REALLY good reason too. It really cheapens the whole experience when Mr. X who you killed many times before keeps coming back from the dead and you have to fight Mr. X again and again.
I prefer new horizons, after all, lest you forget, the definition of what adventure is - an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks; an exciting or remarkable experience.

Its not really an adventure if you know what to expect around every corner, and every character is identical to all the previous. Its becomes repeated boredom. Thats, IMHO, is the single most destructive element to any RPG. Anything that makes you feel like you are exploring the unkown is what is needed for any adventure based plot to succeed. In AV4 I guessed the bad guy really early in the game.

In AV5 (if it's made) I would like to see a complete departure from all old characters and plot ideas. I would love to see more playable races, and new enemies with unique racial abilities, and a clearly thought out leveling system. You have to add feats and skills that actually do something, not just add a percent to do more damage. Am I role playing my character in the world of Avernum? Or, am I roleplaying your book, with just some repetitive tasks to fill time and prolong an obvious plot, so the story doesn't end too soon.

*ducks* knowing intense insulting of intelligence to follow .

[ Sunday, June 25, 2006 05:14: Message edited by: Aaron ]
Posts: 4 | Registered: Sunday, June 11 2006 07:00
Removal of waiting and interface things in Avernum 4
Member # 7210
Profile #1
I agree with you. I find myself switching back and forth from keyboard to mouse to keyboard to mouse. Its gets old real quick, but since its the only option you don't have much of a choice.
If you suggest something like that, on this forum, a few people will always post about how there needs to be more focus on story and not silly things like User Interface, sound, graphics, engine features, and making the controls more configurable, and my suggestion (better sounds, and music).

Story is paramount for some of the forum regulars and I also feel its important, but I think sometimes people fail to see that no matter how good a story is, if you can't really "role play" the story becuase of lacking engine features then why even play the game? Just write/read a book, it would probably be more satisfying.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Sunday, June 11 2006 07:00
Probably a repetitive questions but... in General
Member # 7210
Profile #0
Greetings to everyone, my first post here.
I have been playing Avernum 4 (its the only one so far) and I seem to love this game. I noticed from the screeshots of older games that it looks like the same engine is used for all these games. I also noticed that someone said Avernum 4 had a new game engine behind it.
I was wondering what was new in the AV4 engine compared to the older ones?

I was also wondering why music and sound have been neglected? I remember playing a demo from 4 or 5 years ago and the sounds are identical. I can understand the graphics, as the best I can draw, is silly stick figures, but sound requires nothing but an editor and a microphone. Music? Even the old Bard's Tale series for the Apple II had music. The intro music for AV4 is good, but it cuts off leaving you wanting more while your playing. Even if the graphics never change, I think the audio and music could make a really big difference.
Of course I would love to see the engine move out of the "Ultima V" look and into a 3D tiling system with model support and dynamic lighting, but I would rather have cool audio and music first!

You remember star wars right? They made all of the cool sound effects out of recorded everyday sounds. Take the laser blast for example, it was someone hitting a steel cable with a metal wrench then it was slowed down and processed a little. So you don't have to spend a fortune on sound effects, just have a little patience and creativity. The music on the other hand you will probably need to find a good musician.

Anyone else think the sound should be enhanced for the game engine?

[ Sunday, June 11, 2006 11:01: Message edited by: Aaron ]
Posts: 4 | Registered: Sunday, June 11 2006 07:00