Changes for Better or Worse?

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AuthorTopic: Changes for Better or Worse?
Member # 716
Profile #0
Now that those of us who use a PC have had a chance to play A4 I have some questions. What do you think of the differences between the Avernum Triology and Avernum 4? Having played a lot of Geneforge I was able to adapt to the changes easily but if someone had only played the Avernum games the differences would be a shock.

What do you like and dislike?

:) I really do like the portal system, saves a lot of running around.

:mad: I really don't like the lack of a Charactor Editor.

:) I really do like the grid lines in combat. They help me not move to far and lose a turn.

:mad: I really don't like how dark the dungeons are. I have to play with the brightness setting on my monitor all the time.

:) I really do like when the bad guy dies you automatically get the money. That way if I don't see anything else I want I don't have to pick up stuff to get it.

:mad: I really don't like the lack of selection in the icons for my players, there used to be more. You can't even change the small image separate from the larger one any more. I am not even counting the color change part, I never use it.

:) I really do like the way the map shows the boxes with question marks so I can find people again. In a game this big I can't remember where everyone is in every town.

So what do you think? What do you like about the new format?
Posts: 53 | Registered: Wednesday, March 6 2002 08:00
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:) -The Portal System is awesome.
:) -There are endless sub-quests that you can do.
:) -There are great items you can get without having to do insane puzzles. (Tower of Shifting Floors ><)
:) -The graphics are great, a mix of Avernum and Geneforge was a great idea.
:) -The creatures look so much better than in previous games.
:) -The whole "Fine Leather" and "Fine Steel" idea was great. Now I can get custom made pants!


:o -The 3D grid system is a bit confusing.
:o -The demo itself is a bit small.

But if you regester it's so much better, as it usually is.

[ Saturday, March 11, 2006 06:03: Message edited by: Happa Tai Yattai ]

And everybody say....Yatta!
Posts: 1287 | Registered: Thursday, August 14 2003 07:00
Member # 6857
Profile #2
:D Animated models roxor and graphics are all the way much better.

:mad: There aren't enough character looks. Same models are used multiple times with only their colours changed. Also some creatures look a bit stupid, like drakes and town guards.
I really liked the leather bikini amazon in Avernum 1-3. Bring her back.

:mad: The fact that there is no out-and indoor sections don't fit for me. The world kinda feels much more little.

:mad: The cute pictures in characteristics sheet has been removed.

:mad: Only npcs can make potions. I really liked producing several hundreds of Knowledge Brews in Avernum 3.

:mad: No greatswords and spears fill both hands. Also infinite arrows is pretty stupid.

:mad: Those small mini-quests have nothing to do with the main plot and the reward is always money, potions, scrolls or wands.

I wish there could be bashing weapons and fighting with weapon in each hand.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Sunday, March 5 2006 08:00
Member # 6508
Profile #3
avernum 4 is less real:like unlimited arrows....bieng revived if you enter a town.......and i can think of a lot more.

:mad: :not bieng able to ride botes,not bieng able to rest outside towns and man.....the pylons look stupid and the vanatai looks like humans.

Spiders,webs and software is great but Spiderwebsoftware is the best.
Posts: 85 | Registered: Sunday, November 27 2005 08:00
Member # 374
Profile #4
The only thing I dislike are the lack of awesomely detailed item descriptions of the exile series and no Scry monster spell. I guess I miss capture soul/simulacrum as well. Otherwise great game, everything is streamlined for less headache and more gameplay. Like the seemingly seamless world too.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Tuesday, December 11 2001 08:00
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #5
I do not like the grid or knowing how many HPs a monster has left. Please give me an option to turn this feature off in A5!

The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 125
Profile #6
I guess I can see why you might not like the grid, but what's wrong with knowing how healthy a monster is? Shouldn't you be able to tell when a goblin's about to collapse, and even about how many attacks it will take?

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Posts: 256 | Registered: Monday, October 8 2001 07:00
Member # 6401
Profile #7
Having only played the demo:

- having a new game to play
- seems like a big world...
Sorry, can't really be much more specific...

- No secret passages! I loved those in the Exile and Avernum trilogies.
- Prefer the Avernum trilogy graphics in general. It was cool that on the automap a wall was just a line, and you could walk right up to the wall and start bashing into it to find passages. In A4, there's always space between you and the wall and it's a lot less clear on the map what is a space to walk on, and what is just a space between spaces.

I think this is really wonderful.
Posts: 147 | Registered: Tuesday, October 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #8
Originally written by VCH:

I do not like the grid or knowing how many HPs a monster has left. Please give me an option to turn this feature off in A5!
This has been a standard feature of the entire Avernum series... I fail to see why it's a problem now. Granted, you had the option to conceal the grid in the previous games, but seeing the health bar is just standard.

Thuryl: "Runescape: for people who are too stupid to save their games."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
His Mighty Tentacle
Member # 627
Profile #9
There are secret passages. They stay secret! What a concept. Somebody has to tell you about them, or you must have high luck to find them.

And some secret passages are worth finding.

If I could make just one wish, I would want a tasty vlish.

Geneforge IV. Still no tasty vlish.
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Tuesday, February 12 2002 08:00
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Profile Homepage #10
Originally written by Delicious Vlish:

There are secret passages. They stay secret! What a concept. Somebody has to tell you about them, or you must have high luck to find them.

And some secret passages are worth finding.

I've actually never approached it from that perespective. now you mention it, I have the feeling tis was a master move. I should put it in my scenario too, actually, only it will make the scenario impossible to finish :)

Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Member # 6508
Profile #11
8i liked the grafhics from the avernum triology better.

Spiders,webs and software is great but Spiderwebsoftware is the best.
Posts: 85 | Registered: Sunday, November 27 2005 08:00
Member # 5302
Profile #12
The Good:
- No outdoors.
- Being revived when you enter a town. It makes a LOT more sense than ressurection...why is it that adventurers can come back but major villains can't?
- Infinite arrows. Holy crap, Archery is useful?!
- First Aid. Double holy crap, first aid is useful too?

The Bad:
- Lack of height (Elevation was the only thing I really liked about the Avernum engine.)
- The silly skill graphics are gone!
- Almost all of the gameplay, actually.

The Ugly:
- The graphics. :(
Posts: 70 | Registered: Sunday, December 19 2004 08:00
His Mighty Tentacle
Member # 627
Profile #13
Yeah. I would like to add, I was BITTERLY BUMMED OUT AND DISAPOINTED about the skill graphics being gone. Some of them would catch me off guard, late at night, during the black hours of insomnia, and would cause me to have fits of laughter.

I liked the missiles picture, with the guy laid out flat with a rock, and the one in Blades for pole weapons, the kilted fella tossing the telephone pole.

Shame they are gone. Those pictures made the game worth having... Graphics be damned, the pictures were funny.

If I could make just one wish, I would want a tasty vlish.

Geneforge IV. Still no tasty vlish.
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Tuesday, February 12 2002 08:00
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #14
By Arachnid:
The silly skill graphics are gone!
Maybe JV had copyright issues with Phil Foglio. Too bad, I love his work.

Funny, she don't look Druish.
- Barf (Spaceballs)
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Member # 6562
Profile #15
Bad and sad:
-no outdoors
-I didn't find my favorite character icons
-Geneforge-like graphics
-damn the whole new game engine, Avernum should have been left Avernum

Good and better mood:
-the story continues
Posts: 3 | Registered: Friday, December 16 2005 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #16
Now, with some distance, here's my general feeling on these.

- The plot. No, I wasn't hoping for some stunningly surprising turn of events, but I was hoping for something like the jump from A1 to A2. The Empire War was relatively predictable but reshaped the land of Avernum in unpredictable ways. The vahnatai were almost completely unexpected. From A3 to A4, though, there are no surprises.

+ The combat system. It loses some for realism (unlimited arrows, impossible to die), but it gains more back for gameplay convenience (none of the skills are useless, nothing is particularly annoying). Good hacking here.

- Lack of puzzles or anything other than hacking. The AT had at least a few puzzles here and there. A4 has nothing.

- The shift from outdoors to a portal (GF-like) system. I'd much rather tromp through vast outdoors and have a good sense of what the larger world looks like than have a game that is made up of a series of locations. If I'm deep in enemy territory, it's kind of lame that I can take two steps and be home again. Less adventure.

- The graphics and GF-style interface. I liked the AT's graphics.

+ As usual, the individual characters. There were a few that were kind of cool. Fewer than normal, I think, but still.

- The repeated characters from the AT that didn't entirely make sense. Some of the mages were too old, and having them be there but just be really old was lame.

+ The shades. Very nice.

- Lack of height variation. One of the secrets to making a pretty town in BoA is height. GF and A4 are much poorer without it.

- Lack of secret passages. Too many and too necessary are bad. But none at all is also bad. (Being told about their location just is not the same.)

- Lack of artifact quests. That was part of what made A3 fun. A1 and A2, to some extent, too.

~ The fact that characters make customized artifacts for you. It seemed fairly lame, but it didn't actively bother me.

~ The movement system. I preferred using the keyboard, but it seemed horribly awkward (at least in the betas). The new way is okay, I guess. But that leads to...

- Lack of interesting floors. No longer can floors do damage with a GF-style movement system.

And finally:

- Overall. This is the worst of the four Avernums, I feel. Still fun, but not great.

[ Tuesday, March 14, 2006 07:15: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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.

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The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Profile #17
Really has changed my opinion of TM scenarios. Used to hate them (various reasons), now I really appreciate the effort into creating alternative storylines, especially ones that differ from hack and slash. Going to go back and play them all (except RoR, sorry).

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Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
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Profile #18
:) I like not having to watch where I step (i.e. swamps)
:) I liked Geneforge and I like the graphics for AV4. The monsters are better, but I keep running into the same blue-shirted blond guy everywhere. Must be a big family. If the same graphics are used everywhere, they ought to be less memorable.
:) Job boards. Seems less fussy than using dispatchers and time limits.
:) Unlimited arrows. While not terribly logical, it's perfect for us packrats who always hit their weight limit.

:( The dialogue in previous versions seemed wittier. Now people (in the demo anyway) just seem rude, depressed or sick.
:( Don't like the character graphics for male humans. They all seem dorky.
:( Only played the demo so far but it seems that there is less puzzling/adventuring/discovering than simply hack 'n slash.
:( Also liked the witty graphics in previous versions, on the skills screen. My fave: the anatomy one where a character is earnestly studying someone's innards.
Posts: 48 | Registered: Saturday, August 13 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #19

The combat system because it makes more sense. You no longer delay action in order to have the last spellcasting of haste and slow. The magic system seems to be better although I miss mass haste.


No elevations and the game is one continous closed in board.

The new experience system is like Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (3rd Ed.) with the ratio of adventure to monster level. But that means that very soon all the major experience is from doing minor quests. You plateau between job boards and quests in the cities is boring. Also there is no point in taking disadvantage traits or low penalty advantage ones. Even less in running a human in this game. Maybe Avernum 5 will have NPC reactions based on party racial makeup like A3. Comparing two singletons with 30% and 55% experience penalty, after leaving the Eastern Gallery there is an almost constant 2 character level difference,

Miss the old terrain and watching for their effects.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3513
Profile Homepage #20
I dislike how it limits the distance you can move per click. Seriously, if you've already explored there there's no reason you can't walk all the way there in one go.

Nobody appreciates me. It's all "Igor! Fetch some wine!" "Igor! Clean up this experiment!" or "Igor! Bury this in the garden, we're leaving town in 10 minutes!"

—Alorael, who tried to become a deivore once. The priest gave him a funny look after the third wafer.
Posts: 301 | Registered: Thursday, October 2 2003 07:00
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Profile Homepage #21
That is annoying, especially since I tend to click just two or three spaces too far. I actually prefer Geneforge's movement, since the time spent walking to a place far away meant I could get up and grab a snack or move a load of laundry.

Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
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Profile Homepage #22
The limitation on how far you can walk in one click is a technical one, I think; the pathfinding algorithm breaks down if you try to go too far.

[ Monday, March 13, 2006 18:45: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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Is there any way to extend it?

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Posts: 462 | Registered: Tuesday, June 21 2005 07:00
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Profile Homepage #24
I believe the amount of CPU time required to run a pathfinding algorithm increases exponentially with the length of the path. So, until computers get hundreds of times faster than they are today, the answer is "not really".

EDIT: I checked, and apparently time to find a solution only increases polynomially, not exponentially. That's not as bad, but it still means that longer paths are a lot more difficult to work out.

[ Monday, March 13, 2006 19:26: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00