Changes for Better or Worse?

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AuthorTopic: Changes for Better or Worse?
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #50
My dissappointment with the infinte arrows is that I always enjoyed being able to switch ammunition with the same bow. It was a little bit of work to deal with running out of arrows, but I considered it like running out of spell points; as a good player it was a constraint that one dealt with carefully, and which really made dungeons more interesting. Now, there's less thought involved; just point and shoot over and over until everything is dead.

Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Member # 6912
Profile #51
I agree that there are some disadvantages in having unlimited arrows, but the pros out weight the cons. The only thing that would make me want them back the way they were is if they were weightless and something tells me there is no way that’s going to happens.

I think someone mentioned this before but I cant remember who. It feels lame giving your archer extra points of strength only so that he/she could carry a modest pack of arrows.
Posts: 89 | Registered: Wednesday, March 15 2006 08:00
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #52
I like unlimited arrows because I use them so rarely that I don't think about it. I tend to only use them when spells fail. But I didn't have much against finite arrows either, since each character never carried around more than ten at a time.

Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Member # 6997
Profile #53
Hello everybody,

Exile 3 was one of the first RPGs I fell in love with, played my way through many spiderweb games since. Just finished Avernum 4 a few weeks ago and I thought I'd post my two cents since it was asked for.

:) I liked the way the Geneforge engine had been adapted to make a seemless world. One thing that always annoyed me occasionally in Avernum and Exile was accidently wandering out of town, getting kicked to the outdoors and then having to walk back in. The seemless world was pretty slick.

:) The movement system was a bit disorientating at first, but I warmed up eventually and I actually think that it's the most efficiant out of all the other systems deployed in Spiderweb RPGs. The movement range limit was bothersome at first, but totally understandable from a technical standpoint. The range eventually became intuitive and didn't really bother me after that.

:) The pylon system was very nice. I like to play an RPG to spend time exploring, not walking through an area i've allready explored and despoiled twenty times just because it's between two important towns.

:) I LOVE the return of area spells, however they still arn't as satisfying as watching a fireball arc towards a hapless group of goblins and the insuing impact crater.... a little variety in the effect areas of the spells would be a nice touch next time- icing on the cake kind of thing.

:) The crafting system is nicely done and there was a very decent variety of items that could be made.

:) Infinite bow ammo was convient and made bows much more useable for me at least. The specialty bow effects were nice, but too few in number- I miss my arrows of light and life.

:) I like how the world was layerd, it felt the most three dimensional of all the games. For example how lots of people living in homes burrowed into the cave wall had a spare room burrowed out above them because, hey, they can! The architecture was very underworld-ish.

The Bad:

- Frankly, the plot felt a little skeletal. The intrigue, multi-tiered sidequests and artifact quests just wern't present to the same extent as they were in the previous games. Avernum 4 felt like it had only two game-spanning quests- Hunting down Rentar and dealing with the Loyalists. I even felt that the loyalists were a bit shaky as I had only gone through two dungeons before I was fighting their leader. They provided plenty of plot intrigue, but they just didn't have a strong dungeon presence in the game. In Avernum 3, the slimes, roaches, giants/troglos and golems each felt as massive as these two quests and probably made up only 2/3-3/4 of the game's main plotlines. Same goes with Avernum 2 with the Crystal Soul quests, the portal quest and the quest to assassinate Garzahad.

- I miss alchemy. I thought it was a lot of fun, as collecting recepies provided great incentives, rewards and just plain story fodder for quests. I especially miss the Heroic Brew, popping one open and chugging it down before a fight felt just like opening up a can. ;)

- I also miss the character actions such as being able to heal yourself or restore spell points once a day. The berserk ability really added to the character of the berserker class. Sanctify was especially missed, it was a lot of fun to run back into old dungeons and bust up the evil altars as a final gesture to your enemies. Sanctify also provided very interesting plot material time and time again in each game it was used in.

- I personally loved hidden passages, bumping into all the walls was just too annyoing for me so I never wasted the time to do it. The far sight spell was put in the game for a reason and so I used it. Plus, it was fun revisiting old dungeons to map them out and finding say, a secret passage blocked off with a magic barrier in a level 5 dungeon that held level 25 loot for whoever remembered to come back and check. Undiscovered passages also added immensely to the replay value. I know there are some hidden passages in Avarnum 4 that were supposed to fill this role, but they just wern't numerous or random enough to provide the same thrill of discovery.

- The game world felt small. Sure, it was huge and expansive even and some things about the tunnel layouts had been changed I really didn't feel like much had been subtracted. It FELT small and cramped because everything was packed close together. I know this was done to save space, cut down on wasted space and keep everything compact and I totally understand. But paging over and noticing that Rentar-Inhro's keep appeared to be about twenty game feet away from the commander's office in Fort Saffron completely shattered my conception of a huge world. Hard to take a soldier pining about a failed assult on a remote fortress when it appears that all they have to do is burrow a short ways from a main fort of the Avernite army to bypass any defences.

- Finally, no dragons, orb of thranali or blessed athme? Man, they just added so much to the character and atmosphere. Sulfras and the gang were some of the most intersting characters in the game and fighting them for their loot always felt epic if you chose to do it. The orb could have been used so well in the plot especially since all the boats were out. I was itching to revisit the waterfall warrens which could have been especially interesting since that's where Thranali lost his life using the orb there in the first place.

Wow, I had no intention of writing something this beefy or in depth and I pity and admire anyone who had the patience to make it through. I realize that it's probably a little heavy on the criticizm, so I would just like to end this post by saying that on the whole I thought Avernum 4 was an impressive and worthwhile addition that took the series in a promising new direction. With all this new potential, I can't wait to see what comes next!

[ Thursday, April 06, 2006 17:40: Message edited by: Sharpie ]
Posts: 9 | Registered: Thursday, April 6 2006 07:00
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #54
Originally by Sharpie:

The range eventually became intuitive and didn't really bother me after that.
Agreed. Dikiyoba grumped about it earlier, but Dikiyoba got used to it eventually. Dikiyoba hasn't overstepped the boundrary for about two weeks. (Of course, that's only about two hours worth of playing time.)
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Member # 6975
Profile Homepage #55
:) all the people are bigger (not like the sive of boots in 1,2,3 and blades)

:mad: spears take bothe hands evin slith spears

:) portal sistem

:mad: not haveing the portal sistem
Posts: 80 | Registered: Wednesday, March 29 2006 08:00
Member # 2936
Profile #56

ii. The new first aid and death systems.

While I like the new death system (or lack thereof), the current system lacks the 'last chance' aspect that the 0hp-stunned system had. And it makes death significantly less notable, as you can just go to a town, or healer, and be back at full, whereas the old method had significant costs (at least until you got 'return life').


iii. The new seamless world. (Avernum 4 would not exist if it weren't for this. I was completely fatigued with designing in the old system. Also, I'm not sure why people say there is no outdoors. Most of the game is outdoors, and the Avernum 4 outdoors has more detail and characters and stuff than any of the earlier games!)

Bah. I hope you consider other methods to address this issue. I love how 'outdoors' is mechanically the same as a town. Drop things, they don't disappear. The graphics are the same, and the other aspects of being seamless.

However, the size of towns, compared to their surrounding territories is ridiculous. THe size of several towns and their notable metro area is significantly larger than the distance between towns. Avernum has felt, until A4, like a vast expanse of uncontrolled wilderness with occasional bouts of civilization. Now it feels like a sprawling metro area. (Compare, as before A4 it felt like the midwest/great plains. Towns and cities of size, but if you want, you can drive for days or weeks and never deal with anything larger than the occasional hamlet. Now, Avernum feels like the Boston-Washington metro area. There are expanses and open areas, but they are occasional and far between. Cities and major towns make up most of the land).


iv. No secret passages. (Bumping into every wall was just lame.)

I hope you reconsider, or get a different mechanic for this. I miss secret passages. Maybe there is a better way than bumping into every wall (and more predictable than based on luck). And with the posts on this thread, there are a bunch of us who miss some secret mechanic.
Posts: 7 | Registered: Tuesday, April 29 2003 07:00
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #57
IMAGE( Area effect spells were back!

IMAGE( Area affect spells were useful at times, but not as much as I'd hoped.

IMAGE( "Huge" seamless world. It made Avernum feel more "real".

IMAGE( Well, yes, I've always thought that two major cities should only be half a map sector away from each other. This definitely takes away the "realness".

IMAGE( We were finally back in Avernum, and saw how it recovered after the Empire-Avernum War.

IMAGE( How did Avernum ever survive the war if this is all they had. The Empire had far worse than a few shades and some sea-monsters.
Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #58
IMAGE( The characters were refreshing, after Geneforge.

IMAGE( There are meant to be people in Avernum - aren't there? I swear I only saw around 250 normal people so far. I always thought that there were more people than that in Avernum.

IMAGE( You could see exactly how much health an enemy or ally had. Much more accurate than the Health Bar.

IMAGE( It's way too easy now, even on torment.

IMAGE( You have no "last-minute-chances" if your health goes beneath 0.

IMAGE( You can't die.

IMAGE( New graphics!

IMAGE( Is everyone in Avernum an identical twin or something?

... And much much more.

I have to say though, I still bought the game.

- Archmagus Micael

[ Friday, April 07, 2006 10:15: Message edited by: Archmagus Micael ]

"You dare Trifle with Avernum?" ~ Erika the Archmage
My Scenarios:
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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #59
I never played the original Avernum trilogy, but I can see that the scale change is a big effect. I kind of like it, though. To me the A4 cave system is big enough to feel like a huge cave system without being so big as to be just a generic fantasy setting that is -- oh, yeah --supposed to be underground. Underground should feel a little confined. To me it's a very credible feature of the world that what everyone thinks of as a major journey is really quite short as the crow flies. There ain't no crows.

I agree that it feels as though the total Avernum population must be under 1000, maybe well under, even after making due allowance for many extra people being somehow offstage. This is fine with me -- a larger population than you can ever interact with doesn't add anything to a game, anyway, and it's cool to think of Avernum as being a sort of a scattered village of the Empire's worst hard cases. But the game still talks in several places as though Avernum is a large nation state. That doesn't really fit, now. I think it would be better if some of the speeches got tweaked a bit to allude to Avernum's actual modest size.

We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Member # 2476
Profile #60
if some of the speeches got tweaked a bit to allude to Avernum's actual modest size.
You don't have to play the trilogy to learn about Avernum's size. Just look at Silver's Annotated Maps. They give you the outdoors, sectioned into many different parts, each clickable; each clicked section showing you its villages and towns. Avernum's huge.

Rache's A3 Site reformatted 2/3 done
Rache's A3 Site, original version
Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00