Eschalon Reviews

Ask questions, share hints or chat in general about Eschalon: Book I.
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woem
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by woem » February 18th, 2009, 3:55 am

elsol wrote:Cons:
1. For a caster heavy character, it's druidic or nothing... I wanted to take nefarious but magic was not affected by the axiom.
2. Saves for full magic damage -- throw me the half-damage bone... pretty please :-)
I'm now going through the game and I also noticed that mage spells don't do critical or nefarious damage and I think that's a real shame. So you're a powerful Necromancer but your "trait" only works when you're hitting people with a weapon? I might understand this for a Warlock whose spells are more related to melee combat but for a magick user this doesn't make much sense to me.

I also think the "save for half" idea makes a whole lot of sense. You're spending a bunch of mana on a powerful spell and having it just fizzle is very painful. I understand of course that it a warrior misses a hit with his sword there's no "half" damage either, but he didn't spend resources (in the case of the mage that would be mana) to get the effect.

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woem
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by woem » February 19th, 2009, 7:04 am

Here's a very small review:

It's my experience that the fact that Eschalon is a single player non-cooperative game is a huge addition to the gameplay. The game plays completely different when you're a spell-slinging mage who needs to keep track of his mana, a bow-wielding ranger or a shadow-stalking rogue who tries to avoid combat. Normally in a party-based RPG like Baldur's Gate you complete your own shortcomings by picking up people. If you're a melee fighter then you pick up a mage, a rogue and a cleric. If you're a rogue then you pick up a fighter, a mage and a cleric. The thing is that eventually your party formation will be the same most of the time and the gameplay will be pretty much the same, it's just a matter of who fills what role. Since you're not picking up people here, it really matters what class and especially what skills you invest in. If you focus solely on melee combat then you're going to have a hard time spotting traps or dealing with ranged attackers, or even with picking off those nasty Goblin Bombthugs before they come near you. When you focus mostely on finding and disarming traps, hiding in shadows and picking locks, then any type of combat might prove hard. And when you're only focussing on slinging spells then you'd better avoid melee combat. So your skill choices matter a whole lot.

Luckily there are always many ways to walk through Eschalon. You can kill first and ask questions later (or not ask any questions at all). You can play mister nice guy or follow some of the evil quests. You can look for the right key to open the right door, or you can just pick the lock, or even smash the door. You can rush through a dungeon killing everything on sight or you can keep to the shadows and avoid combat as much as possible. You can follow the main quest, do all sub-quests or you can just follow your own adventure and wander into the wild (and there are many things to be found!). You can take on a gang of thugs that are blocking your path or you can spend your precious time by taking an alternative route around them.

Eschalon doesn't hold your hand, it doesn't dictate what path you should take next and you won't find any "kill the rats in my basement" quests (OK, there is one such quest). This frustrated me at first but on my second and third time through the game I found idea extremely liberating. In CRPGS from the last 10 years the quests were usually very specific. Person A tells you where exactly to find important relic B and what location C to take it to. Eschalon provides more generic information like "west of here". And this usually doesn't mean just one map to the left. This encourages you to explore more of the regions and to wander off the path now and then. Going from A to B rarely goes in a straight line, even if A and B are on the same map. You might have to take a grand detour because the forest is too tight or because the bridge that connects both areas is infested with monsters.

The music is fantastic and really sets the mood. The graphics are detailed and varied and it's well worth traveling both during the day and at nighttime to see the different visual effects of torches and spells being cast. I was awed the first time I shot off a Fire Dart in the woods at night!

Eschalon gave me the same sense of replayability I had with Baldur's Gate 2 which I played for over 2 years trying out all kinds of race/class/party combinations, and the same fantastic atmosphere as Arcanum. I'm giving it a 5/5 and am eagerly looking forward to Book II. In the meantime I'll roll up a new character and see what (un)fortunate places faith takes me now.

Rune_74
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Rune_74 » February 20th, 2009, 5:09 pm

Good review....I hope alot of people realize the gem of a game we have here....

It's funny it's like the start of the old ultima's...now we just gotta keep him motivated to move forward with each one;)

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CrazyBernie
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by CrazyBernie » February 21st, 2009, 2:57 am

Lol, it takes more 'n motivating BW, you need to motivate all your friends to buy the game. He's got diapers he needs to buy... :mrgreen:

Rune_74
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Rune_74 » February 21st, 2009, 9:43 am

Hmm I will have something for you soon that you may find cool....me and basilisk worked on it for the last week...

Tell all your friends about the game, get it out there....

The more he succeeds at the first one the better the sequels will be.

dare49devil
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by dare49devil » May 27th, 2009, 12:46 pm

Rune_74 wrote:Hmm I will have something for you soon that you may find cool....me and basilisk worked on it for the last week...

Tell all your friends about the game, get it out there....

The more he succeeds at the first one the better the sequels will be.
I've been doing that, however, all my friends are obsessed with PS3 and 360 FPS games and such. Damn blood thirsty teenagers these days. ><

nottorp
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by nottorp » July 3rd, 2009, 11:10 am

Not sure if it belongs here, but a review of Eschalon/linux has made linuxtoday:

http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.ph ... 5-RV-GM-SW

(and original review)

http://tuxarena.blogspot.com/2009/06/es ... aying.html

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BasiliskWrangler
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by BasiliskWrangler » February 23rd, 2010, 8:59 pm

No updates to this since July of last year, and this topic kinda strayed off course at some point. Unsticky-ing it and letting it filter down.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

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SpottedShroom
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by SpottedShroom » December 13th, 2013, 6:07 pm

I don't think it's an awful review, although I obviously don't agree with his conclusions. Most of his complaints have come up multiple times on these boards as well and several were addressed in Book II, so it's not like they're invalid. Not everyone is going to like every game, even well-made ones, and it's useful to understand what makes games fun or not for other people.

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Vroqren
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Vroqren » December 13th, 2013, 6:41 pm

Really, are we going to do this again? Listen, you two are close to opposites, with Prismatic Maelstrom having very strong believes and opinions, and Spotted Shroom being willing to see everybody's perspective on any given subject. But you share a common interest (Eschalon). Can we not focus on that for once?
Except the last 6 months, the entire time I have been a part of these forums, every single person got along well with every other person, and I know that both of you were part of these forums long before me.

Check out my walkthroughs:
Character: here
Book I: here

Book II: here
Fathamurk: here
Book III: here
SpottedShroom wrote:There's evil and then there's just being contrary to your own best interests

leonxim
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Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by leonxim » May 6th, 2014, 11:01 am

Thanks BW
for
Eschalon

it is a great game series in the gaming history :thumbsup: :)

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