What's your opinion...

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AuthorTopic: What's your opinion...
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #25
Uh-oh.

Now Slarty is gettin' all uppity and stuff. Quoting stuff and things like that. Knowing stuff. Better watch out. That's all I can say. Rough water ahead when Slarty is on the loose.

..
...

Ayuh.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #26
Porting Towns: I personally think that the most annoying part of making any dungeon (mostly ones that are caves) is getting the general shape started. So sure, port the hell out of those towns, you seem to be altering them enough.

Your Scenario: People are so critical, aren't they? They just can't wait to be the first to say something is wrong, rather than give a compliment. I think the screenshots look cool, Nioca. But then again, I'm also the only one that thought Avernum 4 was cool.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #27
quote:
Originally written by Auroraloraelis:

But there are really very few reasons one would exist. "Revenge on an entire race and/or civilization" (see Avernum 3, Avernum 4, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Geneforge 4) works, I guess, if that's your thing.
There's two reasons. The first one is revenge. The second... I think that's about all of the plot I'll give away in that direction.

quote:
Mind control or no mind control, it would take an awfully complicated backstory to convince me that anyone would reasonably use that particular combination of creatures as minions. Why those?
As bizarre as this may sound, they could actually fall into modern military classes.
Undead -> Mainline Soldiers
Gorgons -> Shock Troops
Netherspiders -> Artillery
Each of these classes support each other. A handful of Undead and Netherspiders would be able to take down a much larger group of Gorgons. Basically, if two of these classes went against someone, they would have a higher chance of success then just one class.

quote:
Not to mention, mind control over all those creatures, particularly the Vahnatai, sounds like an insanely powerful ability. I'm just sayin'.
This one is on me. What I meant to say is that the creatures are mentally programmed not to attack each other. Though now that you bring it up, I may add a few conflicts here and there. And the Vahnatai are brainwashed, not under direct mental control. However, the antagonists probably could pull off complete mental control if they wanted to do so.

EDIT: Thanks, Tullegolar. And I thought A4 was cool too. :)

EDIT 2: What woul be even cooler is a functioning keyboard. For some reason, it can't handle the letters D and Z, nor does it like typing the number 8.

[ Sunday, October 08, 2006 18:42: Message edited by: Nioca ]

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #28
Nonfunctional keyboards suck. (Don't even get me started about AZERTY keyboards.) You have my deepest sympathy.

quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

quote:
Originally written by Auroraloraelis:

Mind control or no mind control, it would take an awfully complicated backstory to convince me that anyone would reasonably use that particular combination of creatures as minions. Why those?
As bizarre as this may sound, they could actually fall into modern military classes.
Undead -> Mainline Soldiers
Gorgons -> Shock Troops
Netherspiders -> Artillery
Each of these classes support each other. A handful of Undead and Netherspiders would be able to take down a much larger group of Gorgons. Basically, if two of these classes went against someone, they would have a higher chance of success then just one class.

That wasn't quite what I meant. The problem isn't so much that the creatures wouldn't work well in conjunction -- I can't imagine they'd have much synergy, but it doesn't take much synergy to guard or kill things when you're a monster. The problem is thinking about why your villain would choose to use each of those creatures to begin with. Since we are on the surface, they obviously weren't just the closest formidable creatures to grab. Why gorgons, as opposed to something more common? Why Vahnatai, as opposed to something more obedient? And why this strange variety of creatures, rather than just an army of one type? It adds versatility in combat I suppose, but I imagine it would also add a lot of hassle when it comes to recruiting the creatures, particularly when they don't live nearby.

The biggest question for me is about the undead. Undead don't have minds; if they are controlled at all, it is inherent to their creation. So pretty much anyone who can tell an army of undead what to do or not to do used necromancy to obtain said army. That begs the question of why not just use more necromancy and make more undead, instead of spending (presumably) greater resources acquiring the other critters?

FWIW, I also thought A4 was cool as a game -- just not any of its text.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #29
I don't see much point in asking all these questions when the scenario isn't even finished yet. What, do you want Nioca to just reveal the whole plot now? At least wait until you know more before you start to tear it up.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #30
I haven't fully read the details of each criticism on this thread, but I think that it's worth mentioning that people trashed Bahssikava so hard in beta that I nearly didn't release it.

Some people — most people — in this community need to calm down and be nicer about other people's work.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #31
The villains easily could have chose something more common. Thing is, if the monster is exotic and rare, very few people would know how to counter it. Since I've pretty much given the plot away on this issue, I feel comfortable in saying that the vahnatai are merely scapegoats. If someone, such as a brave party of adventurers, gets down there, they will immediately blame the vahanatai. It keeps the heat off the real villains.

Also, Netherspiders were made by the villains. It's a sort of super-creature. And trust me, these villains have a close to inexhuastable supply of resources. More then that, I won't say.

As for the final question, Netherspiders and Gorgons may be more powerful, but undead can be pumped out by the thousands with minimal requirements. If the villains used just undead, they could be destroyed fairly easily. If they just used Netherspiders and Gorgons, they just wouldn't have a large enough force to take down the Agadians. But combine both, and you get a far more powerful force. The undead keep the harder to create creatures alive, while the more powerful ones blast away defenses and stuff the undead normally wouldn't be able to defeat.

EDIT: It's all right, Kel. The more they complain about it, the more motivated I am to complete it. If only to prove them wrong.

[ Sunday, October 08, 2006 19:28: Message edited by: Nioca ]

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #32
quote:
And trust me, these villains have a close to inexhuastable supply of resources.
Gotta love the generic never ending monster factories that we've seen about 539+ times already. :P

By all means, don't let criticism discourage you from finishing. Just be aware that there are common pitfalls that beginner scenario designers fall in to and we're pointing them out. Point being the concept of villains with lots of resources that want revenge is something we've seen a lot of in Jeff's games and from others. Another one is not all that impressive.

Also, mind control is a pretty weak plot device. It allows the designer to pass on the motive of why this particular group would be against you onto the villain behind the curtain. Basically less creative work for the same amount of player action.

I think one problem comes from that Jeff's style has a lot of influence on beginners. In turn, they churn out Vogellian works. These have their own charm, but unfortunately, they are just remakes of what we've seen before.

My advice: Primarly Focus on the characters in the story, make them alive, make us understand and have feelings about them. Dungeon design and logistics are secondary.

[ Sunday, October 08, 2006 19:39: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #33
quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

EDIT: It's all right, Kel. The more they complain about it, the more motivated I am to complete it. If only to prove them wrong.
I think you may be missing the point. We are not complaining, we are offering constructive criticism. We point out areas that we find troublesome, and offer specific suggestions that would improve those trouble spots. We also have given you positive feedback.

This is not a discussion on how your idea sucks or your scenario is a waste of time. This is a discussion of ways to improve your idea and scenario so that no one will see them as sucking or being a waste of time. I think I speak for many people on these boards when I utter these words...

We want you to complete a scenario.

Get it?

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #34
Originally by Slartucker:

quote:
That begs the question of why not just use more necromancy and make more undead, instead of spending (presumably) greater resources acquiring the other critters?
Because an army of undead and/or demons would be boring and, as Nioca pointed out, pathetically easy to destroy. I will gladly accept some illogical minor plot points if it means avoiding combat that is nothing more than mindless casting of repel spirit until nothing moves.

Originally by Jumpin' Salmon:

quote:
[b]We want you to complete a scenario.[/b]
Seconded.

Dikiyoba.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

I think you may be missing the point. We are not complaining, we are offering constructive criticism. We point out areas that we find troublesome, and offer specific suggestions that would improve those trouble spots. We also have given you positive feedback.

This is not a discussion on how your idea sucks or your scenario is a waste of time. This is a discussion of ways to improve your idea and scenario so that no one will see them as sucking or being a waste of time. I think I speak for many people on these boards when I utter these words...

We want you to complete a scenario.

Get it?

Seconded, thirded, whatever. Nioca, if you seriously want to improve your scenario, I recommend that you speak with any of us privately. I'm sure anyone here will be happy to coach you through the "making-things-less-painful" process.

quote:
Originally written by Kel:

I haven't fully read the details of each criticism on this thread, but I think that it's worth mentioning that people trashed Bahssikava so hard in beta that I nearly didn't release it.
Let it be noted that TM has several very TM-like things to say about this statement, and let the record stand at that.

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #36
Armies of undead don't have to be boring. Not that I'm advocating them, mind you. But there are plenty of examples of modified minor undead, Ruby Skeletons and Slime Zombies and the like. Jeff did this in Exile II, with Quickghasts and Vahnavoi and the like keeping undead fights interesting. Any undead army CAN be interesting. They just usually aren't.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #37
To expound on Slarty's comments, use scripts to make the undead interesting. For example, zombies are typically rotting animated corpses. Think to yourself, how can fighting a rotting corpse be made a) more difficult, b) more interesting, or c) more realistic? Should you be able to hack bits off? Are those bits still animated? Why does a skeleton suddenly become "dead"? Should it reanimate after a suitable delay? Can you totally kill a horde of undead with a suitable trick, like fire?

These are the types of things that I want to experience in a scenario. Realism. Even fantasy can be realistic. Unending resources and power is not realistic. It is rather a thing which most people (read role-players) would avoid altogether. Even Jeff gave us a hint in E3 of the impossibility of certain things when he excluded the party from the Third Army outpost.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #38
quote:
Originally written by Auroraloraelis:

I can't imagine they'd have much synergy, but it doesn't take much synergy to guard or kill things when you're a monster.
Darn tootin'! A little synergy goes a long way.

Anyone see Southpark lampoon World of Warcraft this week? Funny funny stuff.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #39
Kind of reminds me of the Myth series. All you did was fight undead, hordes of them, nonstop, for two games. Interesting that no one complained when Bungie just reused the exact same plot from Myth 1 when they made Myth 2. And Balor was a better villain than Soulblighter, in my humble Imperial opinion.

Southpark Warcraft: Awesome. Deserves its own thread.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #40
* -S- should stand for South Park

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #41
Jumpin' Salmon, where did you get this quote?
[quote=Nioca?
Your opinion is incorrect because of alpha, beta, and you never even considered gamma. But since I mentioned gamma I might as well describe it for the first time.[/quote]I'm sure I didn't write this at any point in time. And if this quote was indeed made by 'Nioca', then someone's impersonating me.

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #42
Just because something is in quotes doesn't automatically mean that it was actually said. If a quote seems funny, it probably is. (Especially if it has a FYT after it.) Jumpin' Salmon said it.

Dikiyoba will let Jumpin' Salmon explain why, though.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #43
quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

Wave after wave of guards is dull. Disparate groups of creatures, make no sense to me. If you want to provide a challenge, do something creative with scripting.
Actually, I have replaced the original basicnpc with a main creature script of my own, elitenpc. Also, you're not actually supposed to fight those monsters in the screenshot, at least not directly. I just wanted a good combat screenshot. Gamma

quote:
Don't use mind-controlled monsters that traditionally appear deep underground when you are presenting a scenario that takes place on a surface island. (Please.)
Gorgons are both on the surface and in Avernum. Undead can appear anywhere, and Netherspiders don't even exist in Avernum. And it's not like I'm using Netherbats, or NetherGIFTS. alpha

quote:
No force that has the capacity to mind-control monsters is going to waste the economic resources to build that crap.
But the monsters have to come from somewhere. The complex this takes place in is a Barracks/Lab/Fortress/Monster Factory, all built under a mountain. You don't think that's going to take a lot of power? beta

quote:
I realize it is neat and exciting to use beams. But don't. Beams for the sake of beams are dumb.
I don't call 48 hours of coding so that the beams fire in a specific and precise pattern 'exciting'. And they aren't beams for the sake of beams. beta and gamma

quote:
Simple and elegant is always better than complicated and busy.
Most of the puzzles in that dungeon are simple and elegant. Or at least simple. alpha and beta

quote:
Originally written by Swashbckler:

After surfing your site some more, I'd also like to point out that almost all (if not all) of the graphics you are hosting are edits of Spidweb graphics. Yet you make no mention of Spidweb and ask that credit be given to yourself.
Thanks for pointing that out. I'll fix it as soon as I can.

So, you like the look of this better? Does it warm the cockles of your heart to see your exact words being quoted? All it does is take up time and space, and it has become acceptable to paraphrase in some cases. I've marked above the alpha, beta, and gamma for your benefit.

I'll add the :P next time, or a simple note that indicates that I paraphrased. Perhaps a time/date stamp of your original post would suffice. Rest your fears that you have an impersonator. Well, that is probably something that all of use should worry about, but it doesn't apply in this case. :P

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #44
Trollin' Salmon!

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #45
I don't exactly understand what you're talking about. What does Alpha, Beta, and Gamma stand for?

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #46
He's substituting the actual stuff you said for variables, basically. He means to say that you just rambled on for a while. :D

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #47
quote:
Originally written by Auroraloraelis:

Trollin' Salmon!
You are a bad, bad man.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1249
Profile Homepage #48
In my opinion, the town in your screenshot looks modified enough.

I'd like to at least see some version of the scenario itself before making general conclusions about the plot and combat.

Anyway, the screenshots look aesthetically good enough, in my opinion. Undead, spiders and gorgons together can be explained. Whether a scenario is interesting, depends not only on combat but also on what else there is, unless the monsters are unwinnable.

I'm not a fan of Avernum 4, but I still think some of the criticism in this thread seems too black-and-white, or would give me headache if someone said it about an unreleased scenario of mine. I mean criticism like "That's ****, you should do this instead," or making fun of some assumed part of it.
Posts: 259 | Registered: Saturday, June 1 2002 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #49
Thanks, Milu. Also, I just realized where some of this confusion is originating from: I didn't state the level range for this scenario. This is a very high level scenario, for parties leveled between 60 and 70.

EDIT: Something interesting I just noticed:
quote:
Originally written by Milu:

Whether [life] is interesting depends not only on [you] but also on what else there is, unless [life is] unwinnable.
:cool:

[ Saturday, October 14, 2006 15:12: Message edited by: Nioca ]

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00

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