Should I Buy...?

AuthorTopic: Should I Buy...?
Apprentice
Member # 7048
Profile #0
I don't mean to make this a flame war, by any means. But something just bugs me about the changes in Avernum 4. I got the demo and played it last week. I've been playing Exile and Avernum since I heard about the first Exile. I loved Exile, I like Avernum, but this new set-up just...bugs me. It's almost like the game's being striped down each time a new one comes in.

I've seen how people get PO'ed when others come in here and wish for E4...so I won't. I'll simply ask the question of if I should buy Avernum 4. Is it worth my money? Is it expansive? Is it immersive? Does the plot have a lot of depth? Do the new skill changes and spell changes make it better or worse? From what I've played...I can't decide.

*puts hands together* Please don't think I'm trying to put the game and series down. Spiderweb Software has made me put more hours into gaming then any other gaming company in the world. I just want to know where they're going with this new direction to their games.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Tuesday, April 18 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #1
quote:
Originally written by Crystal Blue:

Is it worth my money?
Um... your call, really. Sift through the criticism threads, and you can decide.

quote:
Is it expansive?
Yes. It's huge, with plenty of little side-areas to explore and kill stuff in. Loot abounds, with the return of a few much-beloved artifacts.

quote:
Is it immersive?
Kinda-sorta. The atmosphere is still there, just not as strong as A2's feel. The huge-ness and the lack of outdoors lower the immersive quality, but it's still solid.

quote:
Does the plot have a lot of depth?
Um, no. Not at all, really. Except for the shades, most of the plot is unusually simple. On the plus side, a few leftovers from A3 get settled (at long freakin' last).

quote:
Do the new skill changes and spell changes make it better or worse?
New spells are good. I miss a few that were taken away (Simulacrum, Radiant Shield, Cloud of Blades, rest in peace), but I love Daze and the improved Divine RETRIBUTION!!!

Skills are still well-done. I miss Pathfinder (nothing hazardous can be stepped on anymore, which is very not-cool) and Barter, but otherwise the skill system is intact. Pure Spirit was long overdue.

EDIT: Drat. Quote tags.

[ Tuesday, April 18, 2006 09:33: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #2
Combat is the best that's appeared in any Spidweb game. You can spend days playing with the numbers trying to make a better or more interesting but still viable party. This is a very good thing.

It's slightly more immersive than A3 and slightly less immersive than A1, if you ask me. It's still Avernum with all that entails, but it assumes a little more familiarity with Avernum and makes a few strange, jarring changes. Where did all the worms in the caves come from?

The plot is simple and entirely unsurprising, but it's done just fine for what it is. The only element that has potential never really goes anywhere. We'll see in A5!

—Alorael, who would have bought A4 if he hadn't tested it. It's worth the money for the combat alone, and the rest isn't terrible, it's just not Jeff's best.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #3
quote:
Originally written by Crystal Blue:

...
From what I've played...I can't decide.
...

In that case, the answer is probably "wait for A5". From what I've heard, neither plot nor atmosphere improve after the end of the demo. So if you are uncertain by the time the demo ends, chances are you'll get bored long before the game is over. This game has the smallest fraction of the game available in the demo compared to other Spidweb games and that alone should tell you something.

I personally am waiting for A5. In A4 Jeff was focusing on rewriting the engine, so plot and atmosphere got the back seat. In A5 he'll be able to spend a lot more time on the story, atmosphere, and other such elements, instead of tinkering with the engine.

[ Tuesday, April 18, 2006 12:24: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #4
quote:
In A4 Jeff was focusing on rewriting the engine, so plot and atmosphere got the back seat. In A5 he'll be able to spend a lot more time on the story, atmosphere, and other such elements, instead of tinkering with the engine.
Hmm. That's what we all hope at least. At least he said there'd be no more old villains coming back again, so he'll have to put something fresh into it again. Maybe it'll be as good as A2, but I still expect him to tinker with the engine.

- Archmagus Micael

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"You dare Trifle with Avernum?" ~ Erika the Archmage
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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #5
If you like Geneforge, definitely buy Avernum 4.

If you don't like Geneforge, try the A4 demo before buying. I would say in its defense that A4 does manage to avoid some of GF's biggest irritants (such as realtime townmode and the insane grid). I feel sad about the elements that ought to be there that aren't (such as sea travel, and non-linearity), but I do think there's enough fun in A4 to make it worth buying. I particularly like the revamped spells, magical efficiency, first aid, some of the crafted items, and the opportunity to fight in the Spire arena again after all these years.

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"I can't read this thread with that image. But then, that's not a complaint." -Scorpius

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #6
Jeff took a lot of shortcuts to get Avernum 4 out. The plot is weak, the graphics are swiped from Geneforge, and he got rid of elevations. It comes down to how much you like the game. It does get better after the demo, but if you aren't having fun then wait for Avernum 5.

There are some good features like the combat system is better so you don't have wait as an option. There are area spells like in Exile. The skills like first aid are actually worth getting. It's just that the game is incomplete. Most of the problems will be fixed in A5, but I got though the game by running a singleton for fun since Jeff said it wasn't supposed to be possible. I think in A5 he's really going to make that happen.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #7
Don't buy it.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 961
Profile #8
It's worth the time and money. It's not as good as the Exile series. The plot is weak and the battles are tedious. But nevertheless..you get drawn into it and want to see it to the end. Spiderweb still rules when making rpgs.

I agree with the person who said that if the demo interests you then the rest of the game will as well. That's what the demo is for.

---Zelda

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Hey, where are we going? And what's with the handbasket?
Posts: 63 | Registered: Friday, April 12 2002 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6801
Profile #9
The demo should enable you decide. As many other Exile/Avernum fan's I find A4 weaker than other Avernum games. It's not so much the main plot, of course it is unimaginative. The problem is I can't get the same feeling in the world I get from previous games.
I also realy miss the boats. With the lot of rivers and lake I feel robed of a big part of the game. The absence of regenerating dungeons like in Exile 2 is also a shame, with a rather short game (comparing with A2 or A3) it would have been nice to always be able to grab a bit more money or XP if you wish, especialy with the new special skills.
On the positive side, First Aid is great, the aera spells are back and you have a lot of special equipement to choose from.
Anyway, I bought A4, I have almost finished it and I would buy it again.
Posts: 70 | Registered: Thursday, February 16 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 1993
Profile #10
I didn't like the demo and didn't buy it. Jeffs advice was fair and wise ^_^

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Posts: 1420 | Registered: Wednesday, October 2 2002 07:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #11
quote:
Originally written by spy-there:

I didn't like the demo and didn't buy it. Jeffs advice was fair and wise ^_^
Unfortunately for me, I DID buy it, and lost interest shortly after the demo area.

Mind you, I'm a paying Spiderweb customer who has purchased Exile, Exile 2, Exile 3, BoE, Nethergate, Avernum 1, Avernum 2, Avernum 3, BoA, Geneforge 1, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Avernum 4 and (I kid you not) Galactic Core. I'm probably pretty damn close to the best customer Spiderweb has.

And I didn't like Avernum 4. It is just dull. I stopped playing after clearing out the second bandit lair and have never even had the slightest urge to play it again.

A couple of weeks ago, I fired it up thinking that maybe this time would be different. It wasn't. It was just as dull and monotonous as ever.

I think my problem with the game is that I look at RPGs as a kind of interactive novel. I'm not interested in collecting all kinds of crap, or challenging myself to beat the toughest encounters with a 1st level singleton. Powergaming does absolutely nothing for me. Avernum 4 seems best suited for the powergaming crowd among Spiderweb's fans. They exist, but I'm not one of them.

Then again, Jeff's games are ridiculously cheap, and so buying them is always a low risk proposition.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #12
You heard it here first: A4 is worse than Galactic Core. :P

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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
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #13
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

You heard it here first: A4 is worse than Galactic Core. :P
Kel - you've said a lot of silly things in your time on these boards. Your reputation as a cross between a mental hospital escapee and a rabid wolverine has led me to think that you're best left alone even at Cult ice cream socials. But now you've dared compare Avernum 4 to Galactice Core? Words cannot express a greater insult than "A4 is worse than Galactic Core," except the words "Avernum 4 is better than Galactic Core". Those words stand at a kind of insult nirvana.

Are you not worried about the needle/ferrets? Are you totally unconcerned about the highly probable fact that Richard White is YOUR FATHER? Oddly, he could be your mother as well. And, to risk killing a fluffy kitty, Richard White is TM's Big Daddy.

May Richard White have mercy on our "Lost Souls".

Z

[ Wednesday, April 19, 2006 16:31: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #14
I should start a poll: which makes more sense, Zorro's post there or his signature? :P

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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 # 5437
Profile #15
I bought A4, but only because of overwhelming curiosity of what happens next, and I couldn't resist experiencing Avernumforge.

I'm still not done with it. After I found out who was behind it all I lost most interest in it. Also, the dungeons are way too big. It drove me nuts wandering endlessly through tunnel system after tunnel system.

I don't want to be too hard on Jeff, as I'm sure it's difficult to be 100% original after the 4th in a series, but any other bad guy would have been more interesting.

That said I'm sure I'll buy A5 as well, just as I'll buy GF4 (Please of the love of God let it not be Drakons). A4 really is an okay game, but it's certainly not Jeff's best work. If you've played other SW games I'd say buy it, as it very inexpensive and it's something to do. If someone is new to SW games "don't buy it".

Edit: sp

[ Wednesday, April 19, 2006 21:24: Message edited by: Dolphin. ]
Posts: 2032 | Registered: Wednesday, January 26 2005 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #16
If you have to ask whether or not to buy it, the answer is probably no. In my experience, I've known whether or not to buy a given Spiderweb game within two or three hours of playing time.

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Originally by Kelandon:

quote:
I should start a poll: which makes more sense, Zorro's post there or his signature?
Dikiyoba just came back from reading old topics in the Richard White Games Forum, so both Zorro's most recent post and signature make perfect sense.

Edit: Expanded post and fixed a typo.

[ Wednesday, April 19, 2006 17:38: Message edited by: Dikiyoba ]
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00