Some random collected thoughts after playing the trilogy

AuthorTopic: Some random collected thoughts after playing the trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
Overall this has been quite an enjoyable ride for me, playing Avernum 1-3 and Blades, and has left me with thoughts about how I might wish to improve or change the games myself if I were building or modifying them myself. So here are a few thoughts in retrospect and curious what others might think and why.

1) Apart from the Mind crystals which I like, I found the Vahnatai odd, wimpy, and ultimately distracting from the otherwise very engaging fantasy world environment Jeff has created. They were clearly sci-fi alien in inspiration and I didn't much enjoy all the modern lasers & machinery and sci-fi feeling they brought into the game. I didn’t like the golems and especially did not enjoy the golem factory, which entirely became a sci-fi, rather than fantasy environment. I realize maybe just as many people or even most perhaps might have loved all these aspects. I would have liked to see another race that seemed ancient, mystical and formidable instead of the alien Vahnatai who leave crystal pieces worth 5 coins lying everywhere.

2) Somehow, I found myself wishing the game would somehow encourage far less redundancy. I spent much back and forth exporting loot from conquered dungeons for sale and running back and forth to the same locations repeatedly. This becomes tedious, just work, not fun, and stifles a sense of progression. It led me to think about modifyibng the way the game works so loot and armor dropped and found would be much sparser, but more valuable perhaps. I’d emphasize more lightweight gems and coins and other trinkets of value or use, and less of the massively heavy suits of armor and weaponry from everyone killed. It pushed me to want to max out strength at ten in all of my characters just to optimize carrying capacity which is not really the best strategy for maximizing skill points obviously. I hate leaving things behind deep in dungeons, and spent way too much time juggling items between my four characters trying to maximize what everyone could carry and making triage decisions on what to drop and pick up and take out. Loot is very fun and motivating, but should be more special, centralized, and sparse rather than merely copious perhaps?

Realistically speaking, no one should be able to carry more than one extra piece of armor along with their own gear if you think about it. Wands or gems or small items you could carry in quite a quantity. Maybe a more realistic carrying model could be created. Maybe stuff like normal armor and weapons wouldn't really be worth salvaging for money, but only for personal use if it is an upgrade. The real value would come from gems, coins, jewelry, or magical items. I don’t think potions and herbs should be found all over the place either. It reminded me of all those 3-D Doom-inspired games where you find ammunition and health packs lying around anywhere you go, just because you need them, not because it makes any sense. I like the thought that many things might be quite rare and should be used more sparsely and carefully.

3) I found the plethora of wands and potions to also be items I felt compelled to collect en masse, but not often actually use, also taking up my carrying capacity through much of the game or forcing me to make a big cache dump of it in some town and then not have it on hand in the rare instances when I really wanted that one particular kind of wand or potion for a fight. I eventually started making rules for myself, like “no scrolls allowed, period” and would sell them all. I think there are simply too many magical items like this which maximize carrying space even though practically they should weigh very little. You could carry 50 scrolls much more easily than one extra plate mail, really now. Maybe these kinds of magical items should be much rarer, but more powerful and useful? Potions to me seem like they make more sense being items you make after a battle or encounter to counter ill effects: to heal, to cure, to remove curses or dumbfounding. I like the idea of having potions to create jacked up battle conditions, but think there are too many to choose from for battle situations, again encouraging too many diverse items to carry around too much.

Wow, this in lengthy already, though there is more I could explore. I’ll leave this topic with these. Comments, thoughts, similar experiences or violent disagreements anyone? How do you some of you play to remedy these annoyanaces/limitations/unrealisms? I’ve seen some say they only carry one kind of potion, for instance.

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #1
I typically stack my potion ingredients on one person. I allot each character a kind of potion to carry (or two sometimes), and I sell everything else. I sell all scrolls.

And my rule of thumb for taking items is that the item needs to be worth at least four times as many coins as it weighs and never less than 50 coins, although sometimes I end up with lots of lightweight stuff and end up dropping some light things for heavier, more valuable things.

With this, I rarely had to leave a dungeon to sell things before I was ready to leave, and I almost always had enough money to buy spells (since I never bought items).

And you know, I didn't have a problem with the vahnatai as a race. I had a small problem with them as characters (their motivation in A3 seemed bland), but not as a race.

[ Monday, September 12, 2005 12:00: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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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 # 6292
Profile #2
Those sound like some good tactics, Kel. One problem is I am one of those persons who has a hard time leaving much behind. I kind of feel compelled to collect most anything of much value at all and pawn it off.

The Vahnatai I think I would have enjoyed more as a minor novelty encounter for amusement somewhere in the Avernum world rather than as repeatedly key players. I do appreciate Jeff's sense of humor...feisty slap of pain, etc. heh.

What do you do with wands? Use them up quickly? Sell them? Store them for some major future showdown? I t seems like in each game, eventually I realized I could get by almost entirely without any wands or most potions and wound up with far more potion ingredients than I ever used...except sometimes running short on graymold for energy elixirs as I recall.

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #3
Typically I kept a wand or two on hand for emergencies and sold all others.

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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
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #4
I collect potions and store them in some town I visit regularly in neat stacks. I do the same with anything else I can't bear to sell. I don't actually carry much around at all, so loot isn't much of a problem. Like Kel, I only take things that have value, and I usually don't have to make multiple trips.

Scrolls and wands are largely useless. Sell if they're valuable, don't take if they're not.

—Alorael, who liked the vahnatai just fine. In A2 they have nothing to do with lasers or machinery. In A3 the do, to some extend, but it didn't bother me as much as it seemed to bother you. I'm willing to forgive the Filth Factory, and the Golem Factory was too painful to be objectionable for reasons of flavor.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00