Spiderweb Games Engine Preferences Poll

AuthorTopic: Spiderweb Games Engine Preferences Poll
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #0
There have been plenty of Exile vs. Avernum polls, but I've never seen one that actual breaks down engine differences detail by detail to see what people prefer. That's the idea with this one.

I've put what games use which option in parentheses. Unless otherwise specified, "E" covers the whole Exile series, "A" covers Avernum 1-3 and BoA, and "G" covers Geneforge 1-3. "A4" and "G4" (and "N" for Nethergate) will always be mentioned individually since their engines are all fairly different.

Poll Information
This poll contains 23 question(s). 44 user(s) have voted.
You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #1
Just a note: Question 17 is wrong. The A4 engine used the same inventory as GF3, not the scroll down thing.

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*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #2
Ack, you're right.

I have a feeling one or two other errors crept in as well, and I probably left out a few salient engine differences. Eh, publish or perish.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #3
For the record though, very good poll. You manged to cover everything I could think of. :)

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*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #4
I don't think E1 had random junk items and I can't remember E2, but E3 definitely introduced them.

—Alorael, who has found that he generally prefers a mix of Avernum and G4. The problem is he likes them as units. Mix and match could end very badly.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #5
Geneforge is overall my favorite engine. It's just smoother than the Exile one and it also reminds me of Fallout, which I guess makes me biased. Too bad.

Question 11: Avernum 4 had area of effect spells, too.
Question 20: All missile weapons use up charges in the Geneforge series.
Question 22: Exile had a few useless items. Garbage, at least.

I can't beleive some people said they prefered white dots alerting them. That was the worst feature ever. At least no one said they liked the Geneforge 3 boat system. That comes in as the second worst feature ever. You should have had a question about graphics: Exile icons or Avernum ones? I like the new 3D view but I really miss all the cool Exile monster pictures.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #6
E3 introduced junk items, but there wasn't really a flood of them until Nethergate.

ET, please read the entire sentence before objecting. The area of effect spell question deliberately said PRIMARILY. The ammo question, which perhaps I could have worded better, nonetheless did not say missile weapons, it said missile attacks. The comparison I'm making is between Geneforge/A4, where infinite use ranged attacks are both good and plentiful (creation breath attacks and Firebolt), and all the other games, where few to zero missile attacks are infinite use, and almost all missile attacks suck compared to melee.

I voted for white dots. Hee. They were actually one of the features of Exile that endeared it to me in the first place. I don't have a problem translating it to "you see something over there... is that a ____? Let's go investigate," and I definitely prefer that to having to cover every square inch of every map to find all the encounters.

Ooh, secret doors! That was a big omission.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6666
Profile #7
One major gripe I have with the 'new' engine (GF, A4)is the elimination of height variation. The huge cliff at the beginning of Nethergate was really cool, and I just find rolling hills to be more pleasing than endless plains, aesthetically speaking.

Oh, and a definite YES for secret doors! Banging my head on walls to find secret areas is loads of fun!
Posts: 353 | Registered: Monday, January 9 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #8
One of the things I missed the most in A4 was walking through the overworld map. I felt like I could see where I was going and I knew where I was. In A4 I always felt stifled and wanting to get 'out of town' to be able to see where I was. I also preferred the A1-BoA AP system over that of A4; while it wasn't necessarily very realistic I felt that it gave more enjoyable game-play.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #9
Slarty: Fair enough on the area of effect point. I still don't understand the missile attacks question. Firebolt and breath attacks still use up spell points, and they don't recharge in combat so it is possible to run out of them. That only really happens in the begining of the game, but still. I wouldn't have grouped it with Avernum 4 and the neverending supplies of arrows.

Secret Doors: I'm with Redstart here. Secret doors suck. Haven't you ever worried that you missed something because of them?

Niemand: Don't you think that that feeling of getting lost and not being sure where you were added to the effect? I like the way that the big Avernum map in the game was full of inaccuracies and didn't even help at all in some areas, it added to the feel for me.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 11:33: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6489
Profile Homepage #10
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Secret doors suck. Haven't you ever worried that you missed something because of them?
That's what Piercing Sight is for.

Anyway, there seems to be a large amount of support for the Exile combat system and spells, which is something I wholeheartedly support. :)

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Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sunday, November 20 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6666
Profile #11
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Secret Doors: I'm with Redstart here. Secret doors suck. Haven't you ever worried that you missed something because of them?
Oops, I've been misinterpreted. I really meant what I said - no sarcasm. Secret doors are fun.

quote:
Tyranicus said:
That's what Piercing Sight is for.
Let's call it Far Sight, or the younglings won't get it. :P

EDIT: Graemlin added for emphasis.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 12:29: Message edited by: Redstart ]
Posts: 353 | Registered: Monday, January 9 2006 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #12
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I still don't understand the missile attacks question. Firebolt and breath attacks still use up spell points, and they don't recharge in combat so it is possible to run out of them. That only really happens in the begining of the game, but still. I wouldn't have grouped it with Avernum 4 and the neverending supplies of arrows.
Spell points *do* recharge in combat. (I haven't paid attention to this in G4 but I assume it hasn't changed.) If I remember correctly, you get a recharge of something like half your level plus 2 every turn, which means that a level 4 PC can cast Firebolt every turn and not lose SP. I'm not sure I ever tested the recharge with creations, but even an out of combat recharge means for anything not a long drawn out battle, your will have all the shots you need. The contrast is with Exile and its ilk where you need to pack lots of arrows or energy potions if you want to attack from afar in every minor battle you face. This may not be a big difference in strategy, but it affects the gameplay experience greatly.

And, AUGH! I can't believe I forgot elevation.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 34
Profile Homepage #13
The original Exiles shall always triumph o'er these newfangled imposter creations! Yar!

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Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

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Posts: 702 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #14
The hardest question for me to answer was the AP system. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and I'm not yet sure which I prefer.

Regarding question 11: the worst thing about losing grid-based targeting was that it's no longer possible to attack invisible creatures with spells.

Regarding question 18: generally speaking, armor that reduces damage directly is more useful at low levels, while armor that reduces damage by a percentage is more useful at high levels (although Exile and Nethergate manage to make direct-reduction armour useful at all levels, since damage scales relatively little as level increases). A Fallout-style hybrid would probably be ideal.

Regarding question 20: Exile, Nethergate and Avernum all had slings, so there aren't really any SW games in which there's no missile attack that doesn't use significant amounts of resources. (Woo, a triple negative!)

Regarding question 23: Non-random unlocking was first introduced in BoA.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 14:26: Message edited by: Perpetual Motion ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #15
Not quite. IIRC, Exile 1 and 2 didn't have any slings. (I do remember 2 having a Returning Arrow that never ran out, but it was worse than a standard nonmagical arrow.)

Anyway, the slings were never common, and in general were significantly weaker than melee weapons and magic, so it's essentially the same paradigm.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 2820
Profile #16
I like the overall trend that the poll data shows. It means that Jeff is on average making more favorable changes to the engine than not. As a whole, each game has its own unique merits, but I for one think that each successive game engine version is more fun to play.

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Posts: 1415 | Registered: Thursday, March 27 2003 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #17
quote:
Originally written by Tyr's Severed Arm:

Anyway, the slings were never common, and in general were significantly weaker than melee weapons and magic, so it's essentially the same paradigm.
I dunno. I used them a lot in Nethergate and BoA, and in Avernum/BoA they were basically as good as most bows, and only a little worse than blessed bows or crossbows.

They sucked in E3/BoE, but then so did all missile weapons.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 15:19: Message edited by: Perpetual Motion ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #18
You left out the change from earlier Exile and Avernum games of the wait command. It let certain characters pause their actions to see how lower dexterity character actions turned out. So in Exile the fighters could go in and kill anything left after the mages used shockwave.

Jeff usually improves the games as he adds new features and removes things that were a problem. The Avernum 4 map lacked a true sense of proportion. The days of travel between cities was reduced in some cases to a few steps that could be done in a few rounds in fight mode. The starting area seemed about right, but by the time you reached the Eastern Gallery it was too small since Jeff didn't want to program all that area. The Great Cave was even worse.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #19
Most of mine reflected a favor toward A1-3 and BoA. Big surprise. I guess it's just what I'm used to.

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Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00