Speculating about Avernum 4's plot

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AuthorTopic: Speculating about Avernum 4's plot
Warrior
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It wouldn't be too big of an advantage, because there are different categories for each type of magic. Just like there is mage and priest magic, there would be vahnatai magic. Similarly, there could also be categories for mele weapons, pole weapons, and vahnatai weapons, or he could make their mele weapons skill low, but have a special skill "vahnatai weapons," (just like anatomy, etc.), that only vahnatai could have, and would increase their damage with vahnatai weapons.

I would also like to see a *lot* more magic variety (as well as weapons variety!), too. I mean, we're always seeing towers full of tomes of arcane magic, lots of supposidly amazingly powerful magical beings, but what useful stuff can we do? Heal, haste, slow, shield, and some stuff with fire. There need to be a lot more options here, and a lot more variety! After all, we do have two (or three!) entire categories of magic to use, mage and priest (and vahnatai), we have plenty of room to add a whole lot more!

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Triad Mage
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Four different paths? Have you even taken a look at Geneforge 2?

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I say stay away from the newer style and gameplay techniques. Choosing different paths that alter gameplay would make avernum just like geneforge. Keep to the original series, but make a different storyline, and hopefully a different plot. I highly doubt people would enjoy being back to the pit again.

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Posts: 394 | Registered: Saturday, November 20 2004 08:00
Lack of Vision
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Well - against my better judgment, I'm going to go a bit off topic to answer those who suggest that Jeff is either too lazy or too formulaic to create a complex plot with branching story lines.

I believe the future game will be complex for the following reasons -

(1) Jeff's games have become increasingly complex, and increasingly about role playing as opposed to simple "go kill goblins, then sliths," quests.

Think about it; the Exile series (and the plots for the Avernum series) were all created from about 1994 to 1998. Since then, his work has included Nethergate (very nice way of showing how different sides interpret the same events, particularly the ending), and the two Geneforge games (with Geneforge 2 being very complex and interactive in the role playing sense of the word).

Since the new Avernum is not a recreation of a previously-create game, like all the other Avernums, it makes sense to assume the plot content it will look more like his latest games (Nethergate, Geneforge, Geneforge 2) than the Exile/Avernum series.

(2) Jeff replies consistently in interviews that he finds engrossing and ambiguous ethical situations to be key to making a genuine and memorable role playing experience.

Jeff has mentioned in his "grumpy gamer" column that every game designer should read the New York Times every day. It is very hard to imagine that if someone follows this advice, they won't start thinking deeply about their ethical beliefs and convictions. Take Geneforge - I think one can legitimately say that it was, in many ways, Jeff's artistic exploration about what it means for humans to have the power to create life. And not in an abstract "I give thee life" kind of way. The NY Times has had many articles on the cloning of Dolly, and the steady stream of cloned animals, along with articles about its political and social consequences of human cloning. The Shapers themselves, in the Geneforge games, represent a side of these arguments – namely that we’re smart enough to know what we’re doing. Is it ever responsible to create life, or does the mere act of so doing render the creators less human and less able to identify with cloned life, or even life in general? What reaction does one expect from someone who discovered they are cloned? Do they owe gratitude, respect or hatred to their creators? What obligations to creators have to their creations?

The point is that Jeff had to be thinking about some very deep issues to make the Geneforge games as compelling as they are. This was not a typical game where the mutants are all murdering freaks. It is much more true to life in terms of human cloning than anything I’ve seen in the gaming world.

Should we expect anything less from Jeff’s next Avernum effort? Possibly, but I would suspect that Jeff is much more likely to work on, and release, a game that does more than offer a cave full of things to kill and/or steal. If nothing else, because he's sure to have many questions running around his mind every morning about the world around him. His natural creative side will be influenced by those thoughts.

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All that being said, it is obviously only a guess. Perhaps it will just be another dungeon romp in the cave. But I don't think so.

Z

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Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Zorro:
Jeff replies consistently in interviews that he finds engrossing and ambiguous ethical situations to be key to making a genuine and memorable role playing experience.
That's interesting. I don't recall him ever saying that in any interview that I've read with him, although I admit I've only read a few. I do recall him saying recently on these boards that plot shouldn't get in the way of good hack n' slash, though, which is probably why, despite the fact that the Geneforge games certainly do bring up complex ethical issues, they don't develop them particularly deeply, since each ending requires essentially the same thing: go and kill a bunch of stuff and then I'll give you some text in the very, very end that changes depending on what you did.

I suppose we're all just speculating, though.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by [b:
Zorro[/b]]
quote:
(1) Jeff's games have become increasingly complex, and increasingly about role playing as opposed to simple "go kill goblins, then sliths," quests.
Pretty valid argument I suppose

quote:
Think about it; the Exile series (and the plots for the Avernum series) were all created from about 1994 to 1998. Since then, his work has included Nethergate (very nice way of showing how different sides interpret the same events, particularly the ending), and the two Geneforge games (with Geneforge 2 being very complex and interactive in the role playing sense of the word).
I guess he has to make the game complex to keep his fans. However, that doesn't mean he has to alter the style of the games. Ex:take geneforge style and apply it to a4.

quote:
Since the new Avernum is not a recreation of a previously-create game, like all the other Avernums, it makes sense to assume the plot content it will look more like his latest games (Nethergate, Geneforge, Geneforge 2) than the Exile/Avernum series.
More likely than not I suppose. I don't think he would make it like Geneforge though, where you can choose from several different factions.

quote:
Jeff has mentioned in his "grumpy gamer" column that every game designer should read the New York Times every day. It is very hard to imagine that if someone follows this advice, they won't start thinking deeply about their ethical beliefs and convictions. Take Geneforge - I think one can legitimately say that it was, in many ways, Jeff's artistic exploration about what it means for humans to have the power to create life. And not in an abstract "I give thee life" kind of way. The NY Times has had many articles on the cloning of Dolly, and the steady stream of cloned animals, along with articles about its political and social consequences of human cloning. The Shapers themselves, in the Geneforge games, represent a side of these arguments – namely that we’re smart enough to know what we’re doing. Is it ever responsible to create life, or does the mere act of so doing render the creators less human and less able to identify with cloned life, or even life in general? What reaction does one expect from someone who discovered they are cloned? Do they owe gratitude, respect or hatred to their creators? What obligations to creators have to their creations?
This seems to have more of the effect for Geneforge than avernum.

quote:
The point is that Jeff had to be thinking about some very deep issues to make the Geneforge games as compelling as they are. This was not a typical game where the mutants are all murdering freaks. It is much more true to life in terms of human cloning than anything I’ve seen in the gaming world.
So you're saying cloning will be an attribute of avernum4?




[ Tuesday, December 28, 2004 07:45: Message edited by: - ]

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Skip to My Lou
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I loved the variety and number of spells in E3/BoE! I was greaty saddened by the way Jeff cut it down from 124 spells to 40. Sure, there were few, like Symbiosis, that were mostly useless and only cast once or twice for the novelty, but more spells is better!

A vast selection of spells kept combat more interesting. It made opportunity for more varied tactics. Area of effect spells were great! I also really miss being able to make magic barriers, summon demons, see the map of the whole area, poison your weapon, create clouds of ice/fire/shock/sleep/cursing, identify your items, create webs, actually unlock doors with your unlock doors spell (curse BoA!!!), make your party resistant to magic, stealth, kill, paralysis, antimagic cloud, flight, mindduel, death arrows, quickfire, shockwave, manna, wound, disease, holy scourge, detect life, remove curse, sticks to snakes, martyr's shield, revive, guardian, mass charm, protective circle, word of recall, divine thud.

I would rather have 300 spells with only 1/2 of them being practical/useful than 40 spells with 7/8 being practical/useful.

[ Tuesday, December 28, 2004 09:38: Message edited by: Archmage Alex ]

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Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Agent
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The ideal situation would be kind of complex. A cold war between Empire/Avernum/Vahnati. A hot war between Avernum and the dark Sliths. A hot war between the returning risen Nephilim. The risen Nephilim would release a huge "quickfire" bomb. The Nephilim being the remnants of a larger stronger Nephilim civilization from another world or dimension. Eventually the Empire/Avernum/Vahnati would have to put their differences aside to fight off the two invaders.

Just my two cents.

I would also like to see a larger variety of spells. Along with crafting skills, and a more extensive alchemy system. Also add a few more options to the combat system. It needs a boost.

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Shock Trooper
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Definately. The importance of alchemy in Exile/Avernum seems to be looked over without much thought.

It seems that it would be nice to have a completely new race. Or something weird like a melding of nephlim and vahnatai.

And Drakfyre, I have never played any of the Geneforges. I would like to though. I think I will get Geneforge 2 with my christmas money.

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Wham Bam Shizam
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Warrior
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an idea I've always been interested in, and perhaps could be well fulfilled in an Avernum game is essentially what the BoE scenario creator brett Bixler came up with- that is, using portals to enter other realms/univeres/realities- it would be quite interesting to advature in a new world, perhaps discovered by the empire, that is currentlly being annexed by the empire; giving th epayer th eoption to help instll peace, and prosperity, and the other beniftis fo the empire (when it has an at least mildlly sane ruler) or the option to resist the empire, in the name of uniquness and freedom from what could be considered forign domination... it takign place in a new world gives the player many opertunties to explore uncharted wilderness, fight strange new monsters and beasts, and do many other sort of side quests- perhaps even exploring ancient ruins of a people who once inhabited siad realm, but have since vanished- and all of it woudl work into enderaing the populace to you, and your particuler cause.
Posts: 59 | Registered: Friday, December 24 2004 08:00
Agent
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In the Za Khazi Run, Khoth states that Sulfras is hiding somewhere, planning a day of reckoning for humans. This might be something to consider.
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Agent
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Khoth must have a resurrection golem on a timer. You kill khoth leave. Then a golem comes out anoints him with resurrection balm and brings him back to life. :P It goes back in its secret place again and the wall closes up again.

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Shock Trooper
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Yea I think the idea of an entirely new island that you are called upon to help settle would be good. You would have to rid the area of the multitudes of monsters and maybe find that it is the stronghold of one or more of the many monsters that have a grudge against the empire. Like a League of Nations except it would consist of the leaders of all the different monsters.

This could in turn be another area which Empress Prazac (considering she hasn't been assassinated) allows the Avernites to settle.

[ Friday, December 31, 2004 08:41: Message edited by: Chaosfox ]

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I don't like the idea of raiding an island. Sounds too geneforge-ish.

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Law Bringer
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There aren't that many Avernites, and anyone who hasn't come up in the first settlement wave into what belonged to Karnold Province can't be that desperate to leave the caves. It's not like living space in Valorim is short in this day and age. So why would the Avernites want to colonize a new island?

Not that I wouldn't find it fascinating myself. I'd love my players to be part of a "pioneer" mission and secure new lands in preparation of a colony. I'd just want the storyline to hold water...

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I don't like the island idea. First, as I said before, it's too much like Geneforge. Second, there wouldn't be any civilization. The game would be just like killing monsters, and how fun can that be? Also, how much space can the island plot really hold? Not that much, as islands are pretty small.

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Ok, a planet then?

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That could work. :)

I always wished something for a boe scenario a different world like an ice or fire world with blue or red graphics. I was just too lazy to try it.

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It's possible but improbable.
I think it's too bad, but I'm certain there won't be "rift travel" or howeverelse to other planets. It would provide an opportunity for the Avernites to escape the Empire, and do pretty much anything Jeff could think of, because it is after all a different planet.
All he has to do is say that some Empire mages did something so the Avernites could get lost.
Maybe the worlds recources are getting low, so they send the Avernites to another world with whatever aliens makes Jeff happy, and all the Avernites leave. The new planet requires tough fighting and diplomacy between the stupid and smart natives respectively. After trust with the smart natives, the Avernites learned the Empire were lying the whole time, so they find a way to return and kick the Empire's ass.
Or maybe I need to get drunk for New Year's.
Yeah, sounds good.

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I'm tired of the strain and the pain ___ ___ ___ I feel the same, I feel nothing
Nothing is important to me ___ ___ ___ ___ __ And nobody nowhere understands anything
About me and all my dreams lost at sea ___ __ But we’re not the same, we’re different tonight
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight _ The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight ___ ____ ___ Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

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Yeah, I don't think it would be on another planet. After all, look at all the spiderweb games. The plot is at earth. I doubt he would make an exception to avernum 4.

I'd like a new storyline, something besides the empire. That thread is getting watered down.

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Agent
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I think there should be major political upheaval. The leading general of the empire marries his son to the emperors daughter effectively taking over the empire and forming a shogun style state. In Avernum, a constitutional monarchy is formed after the kings children are deemed unfit to rule by the council of mayors, etc.

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Back to the island idea which I don't know why I'm defending because I really don't care about it to much but... The new island that you would be helping to settle wouldn't be completely untouched. There would be a Province or two in the very beginning and along the way you could find some sympathetic creatures. Maybe some tamed Nephilim or a nice group of Troglodytes who just wanna be your friend. Maybe some other people who were on a wayward ship and managed to survive a few hundred miles of treacherous open seas and miraculously find a brand new uncharted island, created a few prosperous towns and are completely civilized.

[ Saturday, January 01, 2005 18:24: Message edited by: Chaosfox ]

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Legends tell that Avernum,
Is a gateway to the underworld,
from which the dead never return,
Well thats a lie because im here now aren't I.
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Im pretty sure it would be easier for Empire mages simply to destroy the Avernites, than it would be to transport them to another world
Anyway, that doesnt look to be Jeff's style.

Edit: An edit a day keeps the spelling ok.

[ Sunday, January 02, 2005 05:22: Message edited by: Angry Ogre ]

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I dont know. I never bought a3 or e3. Would this be like a just after a3 game plot?

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Unless A4 takes place a long time after A3 I don't think that it would involve the Vahnatai or Dragons wreaking vengeance upon the Empire since both of them have said that they’re patient and that their vengeance would be slow and take place over many generations.

I think that A4 won't have just one main plot, it'll have a lot of things going on at once. With the Avernites returning to the surface it seems like a perfect time for the demons to try to claw their way back into the world. The Sliths would be torn between trying to return to their homeland deep beneath the earth or making a new home on the surface. Empire hardliners plotting against Prazac. Maybe a powerful necromantic cult will rise in Valorim because of all the people who got killed by the plagues.
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