The International Contest of Spider Games shall now commence!

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AuthorTopic: The International Contest of Spider Games shall now commence!
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #25
You're an idiot.

Sorry, I'm kidding around. :P Seriously, I cannot imagine how you can say melee is underpowered. It's the only useful option, I think. I've killed all kinds of ridiculous stuff with a level 1 party in BoE, relying mainly on melee. Hasting and blessing fighters is essential, of course.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, why do you think BoA is better? I think the multitude of great scenarios scenarios like Shadow of the Stranger and Roots and Tomorrow would put it a long way above BoA. Not that BoA is bad, of course.

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Skip to My Lou
Member # 40
Profile Homepage #26
I have always thought Exile was better than Avernum. True, A1 and A2 have much better interface than E1 and E2, but I think E3 is far better than A3 and BoA still seems somewhat below BoE. Exile is classy and retro, Avernum isn't up to date enough to match the new stuff coming out and isn't retro enough to match Exile.

Edit: And to echo the above, I have nothing against Avernum and in fact own A1-2 and BoA, I just don't think it matches up to Exile.

[ Sunday, April 17, 2005 05:47: Message edited by: Archmage Alex ]

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Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
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I'd say BoA. BoE's graphics are unpleasant by today's standards (and no, I don't give much importance to graphics: I play BoA, remember). I've only played the demo and I must say I prefer BoA's interface and gameplay.

What matters the quantity, if the quality is subpar? (Not the quality of the scenarios, but the quality of the game engine where they were made.)

I still remember playing Exile I many years ago, and I liked it. But I must confess that now that I played Avernum, I wouldn't even consider playing Exile I if I had to choose.

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Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #28
I also want to point out the question was for the Spiderweb game of the highest overall quality, not your favorite. I think it is clear that BoE, while perhaps a better value due to the efforts of some third-party designers, isn't really that good.

I find it an odd fact that BoEistas bash Jeff with no mercy for not correcting bugs in the engine, then assert its the highest quality game. What am I to make of this?

Also, despite BoE's popularity in terms of scenario designs by number of scenarios, that still doesn't improve quality - it only improves quantity.

Given that the criterion described by the initial post in this topic was about quality - to paraphrase others on this board, I think anyone who says the highest quality spiderweb game is BoE is an idiot, or doesn't understand the concept of quality and is therefore an idiot. And your mama too. (Please note that this comment is delivered in the spirit of irony, and not to provoke a flame war. Its really just a gentle nudge in the ribs. If you disagree, please inform us why BoE, despite its flaws and archaic engine, is still higher quality than, say, Geneforge 3 or BoA.)

Z

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Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

I also want to point out the question was for the Spiderweb game of the highest overall quality, not your favorite. I think it is clear that BoE, while perhaps a better value due to the efforts of some third-party designers, isn't really that good.

I find it an odd fact that BoEistas bash Jeff with no mercy for not correcting bugs in the engine, then assert its the highest quality game. What am I to make of this?

It's good because of what the designers have done with it; they've done a great deal, and much of it is very good in numerous ways. There's a lot of enjoyment in those hundreds of scenarios, even if half aren't worth playing. If you want to go by what designers could do with the engine, then yes, I suppose BoA may be better, but we'll just have to wait and see.

(If it seems like I'm showing more charity to the BoE/BoA designers than to Jeff, well, maybe that's because Jeff's just doing his job, while designers are volunteering for the good of the community.)

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #30
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

It's good because of what the designers have done with it; they've done a great deal, and much of it is very good in numerous ways. There's a lot of enjoyment in those hundreds of scenarios, even if half aren't worth playing. If you want to go by what designers could do with the engine, then yes, I suppose BoA may be better, but we'll just have to wait and see.

(If it seems like I'm showing more charity to the BoE/BoA designers than to Jeff, well, maybe that's because Jeff's just doing his job, while designers are volunteering for the good of the community.)

That's a fair point - the value of BoE is the work of the BoE designers. A point I'm completely ready to concede. But that speaks against the credit of BoE, not to its credit, beyond that it provided a flawed canvas for some nice art.

It is clear to me that Jeff put more effort and attention to detail to Geneforge 3 than BoE, therefore I think Geneforge 3 deserves to be considered a higher quality game. Not necessarily a better value, and not necessarily more fun, just more professional in look and feel.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
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Okay, you're right. BoE's quality is lacking. It has bugs, errors, glitches, and other lovely problems that have caused the community to get so angry at Jeff. The scenarios themselves, however, are often very polished and high quality. So BoE the scenario designing tool is sub-optimal (but hardly subpar!) and the scenarios themselves can be high quality as well as high quantity.

Otherwise, yes, quality as some nebulous objective characteristic has improved steadily from game to game. Geneforge 3, Avernum 3, or BoA is the highest quality depending on what style you prefer and how much stock you put in BoA's capabilities.

—Alorael, who still prefers BoE to Geneforge. Quality and fun aren't the same thing, apparently.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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quote:
That's a fair point - the value of BoE is the work of the BoE designers. A point I'm completely ready to concede. But that speaks against the credit of BoE, not to its credit, beyond that it provided a flawed canvas for some nice art.
Interesting. To be honest, we've been left to our own devices for so long now that many of us feel as if the BoE scenario design community is as much a part of BoE as the application itself.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #33
quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

I've killed all kinds of ridiculous stuff with a level 1 party in BoE, relying mainly on melee. Hasting and blessing fighters is essential, of course.
Yes, but you also go through high level scenarios with L1 singletons on Torment, which does not represent the average player. :P

[ Sunday, April 17, 2005 07:48: Message edited by: Eyrin Fontramonn ]

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shaper
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At this point I would have to say BoA. I'll give BoE another try. My trouble with it is not as much quality as it is capability. It is nice to use the arrow keys to move around, uses the character editor within the game instead of having to quit, and most of all the dialogue. I feel I may be missing a lot of information due to being unfamiliar with the way the dialogue works.

It's always seemed to me that BoE quality is as stated above is the hard work of the community and not necessarily the game itself. It has loyal followers that BoA doesn't. The porting tool is terrible, so the BoE are rarely if ever converted. It is inaccurate to compare the two based on number of scenarios in reference to quality.

If I were to advise someone on buying a game from the trilogy based on quantity it would be A3, and if it were to be based on enjoyment I would say A2 or A1. For best graphics I would say GF3, and best story A2. To sum it up, I'll try BoE again. The dialogue is fairly frustrating, but may not be once I get used to it. It also barely runs on my G4 in classic. I had to force quit the character editor as it froze the computer. This is a sign it will soon be unable to run on newer systems.

[ Sunday, April 17, 2005 08:12: Message edited by: Dolphin ]

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Nena
Posts: 2032 | Registered: Wednesday, January 26 2005 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Also, despite BoE's popularity in terms of scenario designs by number of scenarios, that still doesn't improve quality - it only improves quantity.
Well, that's an interesting view.

I'd say that having scenarios like An Apology improves the quality by a fair chunk, given that that scenario alone is more fun and in my opinion better than most commercial games. Certainly better than any Spidweb game.

I think it's a pointless distinction to say that BoE is not good but it has good scenarios. The scenarios are a part (a very large part) of what BoE is. Did Jeff do a better job on other games? For sure. Are any of the others comparable in either hours of game-time or the quality of the experience? In my opinion, no, not by a long way. Maybe if we were only comparing the scenario editors, or only comparing the engines, but even then, it's debatable.

Dolphin, you'd recommend A3 for quantity? Adventurer's Club 3, on it's own, is bigger. At the Gallows would be comparable in size. Plus there's all those others...

[ Sunday, April 17, 2005 13:53: Message edited by: Ash Lael ]

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
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Note that she specified a game "from the trilogy" (i.e. excluding BoX).

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #37
Oops.

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #38
quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:


I'd say that having scenarios like An Apology improves the quality by a fair chunk, given that that scenario alone is more fun and in my opinion better than most commercial games. Certainly better than any Spidweb game.

I think it's a pointless distinction to say that BoE is not good but it has good scenarios. The scenarios are a part (a very large part) of what BoE is. Did Jeff do a better job on other games? For sure. Are any of the others comparable in either hours of game-time or the quality of the experience? In my opinion, no, not by a long way. Maybe if we were only comparing the scenario editors, or only comparing the engines, but even then, it's debatable.


I disagree that one should take into account user-generated content when determining the quality for two reasons - one is that it turns comparisons between games and game-designing systems into apples and oranges, a comparison which provides an inherent advantage to the game design system. And two because motivated, dedicated and, in a couple of cases, talented third-party people can make a game better, but they're still third-party people. They were not paid to contribute content, and thus the game design system should be judged on its individual strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, I've heard from a number of people how great certain BoE scenarios are, and I have no reason to believe they're lying to me, but I've never played them. The reason I've never played them is that, despite multiple attempts, I just can't get into BoE because I dislike the dialogue system (I hate guessing random words until I learn the single "key" that will spring the information I need - I prefer Geneforge's system of dialogue threads.), I'm not really fond of the character creation system, and the graphics don't really set the mood for me. The point is that the BoE game design system gets in my way of enjoying what may well be tremendous user-generated story and content.

Imagine that BoE produced scenarios using the Baldur's Gate engine - very similar in the sense that it is also based on the concept of "towns" to explore. I would find that a much more inviting and playable game engine. If the BoE engine were like the Baldur's Gate engine, and the scenarios were otherwise the same (in terms of story and content), they'd reach what I imagine would be a far wider audience that doesn't have the patience for the Exile engine. Game engine matters.

So, given the above, I think it does a disservice to the designers themselves NOT to separate out engine from user-generated content. It isn't the designer's fault that they've got to work around a buggy system which turns many people off before they get into the story. It is no more their fault than if an author's wonderful book is printed on cheap paper with light ink that make it difficult to read. Why should they be judged by the engine's faults? So I repeat my point that the quality of BoE scenarios, if anything, make the engine's defects stand out more vividly.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #39
True, but it does the customer a disservice to divorce what you actually get with BoE (many excellent scenarios) from what Jeff produced (a fairly good scenario, a low mediocre scenario, and a plain old bad scenario along with a scenario designing kit and a way to play designed scenarios). The scenarios are the majority of what you're getting and virtually all of what you get if you don't aspire to scenario designing yourself.

Your real objection seems to be an Avernum-Geneforge-Exile complaint. You don't like BoE because of the engine. You must dislike E3 for the same reason, and E2 and E1 are worse. That's fine, but there are people who disagree with you on that, and so for them BoE is an obvious top choice.

—Alorael, who definitely prefers the BoA engine to the BoE engine. That doesn't change the fact that BoA does not and, at the current rate, is not ever likely to surpass BoE in sheer fun scenario hours.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #40
Let me refer you back to the actual question that was asked - which is the highest quality SW game - not which one is the most fun, or which one you like best, or which one is the best value. So I agree with you that customers who get BoE do so for the user-generated content, or the ability to create user-generated content. Hell, that's why I bought BoE, but I don't think that adds to its quality.

And I think you've also got an excellent point - my view is definitely driven by my dislike of the Exile engine. I just don't think it is a quality engine. But I do want to make clear that my dislike for the Exile engine doesn't imply I think user-generated creations are somehow low quality. I just don't enjoy the game experience and therefore can't get into the user-generated content. From the comments of others, that isn't an unusual position.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #41
But what reason is there to make such a distinction? Why seperate the scenarios from the engine for purposes of determining 'quality' when they come as an overall product?

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
BANNED
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Simultaneously, you could potentially have a super-awesome scenario creation device with nothing but novices and dolts. Would you argue that such a program has higher "quality" than BoE?

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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It's a bit hard to pick, as they're all superb, but I'd rank them in this order: Geneforge 2, Blades of Avernum, Geneforge 3, Avernum 2, Avernum 1, Avernum 3, Geneforge 1, Nethergate, Blades Of Exile, and all three exiles.

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Posts: 576 | Registered: Wednesday, March 2 2005 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Zorro:


And I think you've also got an excellent point - my view is definitely driven by my dislike of the Exile engine. I just don't think it is a quality engine
You have probably said this before, but what is the reason that you dont like the Exile engine?

[ Tuesday, April 19, 2005 01:08: Message edited by: Sprung Spring ]

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Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
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He has said it before, in this very thread. He dislikes the dialogue system, the character creation system and the graphical style.

[ Tuesday, April 19, 2005 01:17: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #46
quote:
Originally written by Le Martyre de la Terreur:

Simultaneously, you could potentially have a super-awesome scenario creation device with nothing but novices and dolts. Would you argue that such a program has higher "quality" than BoE?
Actually, the about sums up my feelings about Neverwinter Nights. I think the engine is extremely high quality, and pretty much all (with maybe one or two exceptions) of the user-generated content (and even the pro-generated content) is utter crap.

However, if you want me to concede that the scenarios and the engines are inseparable, then you're asking me to say all the BoE scenarios suck without having played them - again, because of the engine. I don't think its fair to do that, but in your case I'll make an exception ;) (with apologies to Groucho Marx)

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #47
Zorro's views on BoE are quite similar to my own. I've heard so much about the greatness of a lot of BoE scenarios, and I'm sure I would find many of them thoroughly enjoyable- if I could only get past my inability to deal with the game engine. There's just something about the 2D interface that rubs me the wrong way, and in combat situations I have an even harder time getting around. I also, like Zorro, dislike the dialogue system, although I sometimes find the Avernum/Geneforge system a bit too dumbed-down. My favorite dialogue system in any JV game is Nethergate's keyword system.

Zorro's point is a good one- an archaic engine can make even excellent user-developed content painful to play through. Although BoA at present has far less going for it in terms of content, its engine is superior to BoE's, and as such its content is quite a bit more accessible to the standard player.

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