Avadon: The Black Fortress

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Saxon1974
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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Saxon1974 » May 6th, 2011, 10:30 pm

Thanks Paintedlady, that sounds interesting I might give the demo a bit more time then...I wanna like the game.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Evnissyen » May 7th, 2011, 2:06 am

I haven't gone back into the demo yet, so I guess I'm passing on buying this one, oh well. I was hoping Jeff would come up with something more interesting, something crazy different from Geneforge & Avernum.

I think he needs a team of writers. And more graphics people as well.
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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 8th, 2011, 5:44 am

I like it a lot. My first impressions based on the demo were these:
I've been playing the demo quite a bit. I got the hang of it, levelled up a few times and saw how the core mechanics work. The game drew me in and I can already see the sinister potential the story holds under the rather straightforward introductory fluff I have to go through. Hopefully it does ramp up later on. It might not look it, but it's been a joy to play after I got over the initial annoyances and disappointment with certain details here and there. It's basically fun like Infinity Engine games used to be, though not as ambitious of course, the team isn't exactly the size of Black Isle. It's trying to be more accessible I guess, so don't expect the same depth in every way (such as combat, it's neat but it's no d&d). The areas seem pretty large though, with multiple levels each, and the writing, while simple (I'm still basically in my first main quest, though you can do various simple side quests along the way) is better than most games.
After I bought it and progressed more they evolved into these:
I bought the game after exhausting the demo's playability. It's certainly been much more straightforward than previous Spiderweb games. You could say it's their Icewind Dale of sorts. No major complaints from me, I loved that game even though it wasn't an open RPG and so far this is pretty damn good too. I just got done with the third main story mission, though the situations in the second are sure to be revisited later, too many loose ends were left over. I only didn't like having no choice to stand against an obviously malicious character, but other than that so far I like how the stories are told (there has been some decision making too, the conseqquences of which are not yet apparent) and the dungeon crawling is fun and challenging. I die a few times here and there until I figure out how to beat a boss or other strong enemy. I'm only playing on Hard (not the highest).
720p Screenshots (most, if not all, are from the demo areas):
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A handful of them near the middle had the text set to larger than default so they may look a little different. Or maybe you won't notice. I just saw that old post i had written in this thread about smooth scrolling and what not. I'm glad that was put into the game after all. The Avernum way kills my brain.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Saxon1974 » May 8th, 2011, 3:10 pm

So Al3xand3r, it sounds like your saying the game is linear like the IcewindDale games?

I still might get the game but I don't like linear games much.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 8th, 2011, 4:31 pm

Yes, it's similarly linear, but unlike Icewind Dale so far it doesn't block access to previous areas, you can still go back and complete quests you left or explore areas you didn't. There have been a few choices here and there but so far they don't have any apparent effect outside your own morals, and the amount of loot. Perhaps heavier consequences show later rather than on the spot, similar to The Witcher, or perhaps these initial steps don't even matter and are just setting the mood for what's to come later, I don't know for sure just yet. There's a lot of optional content (quests, dungeons, quest strings around your own party members' stories, etc) and the areas are fairly large though. So yeah, it's more restricting than previous Spiderweb games but it's not a straight line to the finish either.

I don't care if it's linear or open, just if it's well done and fun. Fallout is open, Baldur's Gate is linear, both are great for different reasons. Eschalon's story is linear too, even though its world seems open.
Last edited by Al3xand3r on May 8th, 2011, 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Randomizer » May 8th, 2011, 5:08 pm

Jeff has moved more to a linear game style where you no longer can just explore and come back later to do the main quest path. This game forces certain choices no matter how you might feel about doing them. On the main quest path you don't have a choice of letting the boss go or switching sides like in Geneforge.

The fights do get harder farther into the game. Making it easier at the start to attract new gamers is alienating the old school one from the earlier games.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Saxon1974 » May 9th, 2011, 1:59 pm

That's dissapointing. My favorite part of games are freely explorable.

I dont mind a linear main story if the world is explorable like Eschalon but it sounds like the world in Avadon is not openly explorable. If that is the case I think I will pass on it.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 9th, 2011, 5:51 pm

Edit: well, nevermind, I don't have any interest in talking you out of it. Whatever works for you, you could just try the demo, read a bit about how it progresses from the point the demo ends, and decide for yourself. You either like it or you don't. I do and don't find it lacking in exploration or anything, it's just different. So sometimes I use magical portals instead of gates, roads or other conventional means to access different areas, big deal. Not everything in the world is accessible by foot. Most RPGs lock access to areas before the main or side story allows you to go anyway, Avadon isn't the first.

Anyway, I finished the shaman companion chick's homeland quests (and a few side quests here and there before moving on with the main plot), that was pretty good (and tough, maybe I went too early?) except for the very end. You get to make a choice there about an NPC but after making it, nothing changes, you can even talk to the NPC again and have the same dialogue and choose something else, Bioware style. He could at least make the dialogue show the matter is closed and they'll make preparations for what you chose or whatever, even if nothing more happens before your eyes. Other dialogues in the game do at least do this and so have a better feeling of choice, closure and what not.

Also, maybe I suck at this because I'm reading online how people manage to go through whatever area, on Torment difficulty, without using skills or consumables, to show that the system is apparently broken and too easy, but I often have trouble on Hard and resort to using up many consumables (like group healing scrolls, blessing stones, etc), which aren't virtually infinite as in other games, money is limited despite selling all that loot. Traders only sell limited supplies anyway, and you'll want to spend the money on armor and other things depending on the part you're on (I just got to a castle and there's a tailor and a smith that sell some good stuff and I only have enough money for a few pieces, nowhere near enough to get things for all my party, not that they even sell enough for everyone).

Also, is it a bug that makes gates, crates, stairs, etc, not show under the fog of war (or whatever you call what's outside the characters' view) after you leave the area and then go back to it? It makes it hard to find chests you left locked or exits that aren't marked on the large map. It's not a big deal.

Anyway, fun game, I only have minor issues with it (as in my first paragraph). More screens (800p).
http://i.picpar.com/9f8963ec2db7b3134a6 ... de48f8.png
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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Saxon1974 » May 10th, 2011, 11:16 pm

I appreciate your feedback and I wasn't trying to be talked out of it :)

My problem is lack of time and too many games. I will probably give the demo another go sometime soon.

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by CrazyBernie » May 11th, 2011, 8:14 am

Wow, he's finally gotten all of the graphics to mesh well together!! Color me impressed! :mrgreen:

Maybe I'll download the demo and give it a go, but I'm with Saxon on the lack of time... =P

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 11th, 2011, 9:38 am

The game crashed while I was fighting a Drake as I attempted to cast Ice Storm. That sucked but I wasn't doing too great anyway, it's a weird battle that lasts a while. Before that in another quest I fought some kind of ghost that kept banishing party members. I won't explain what that does exactly, it was cool (in an oh shit sort of way). It's all been pretty fun, I love the battle system. For me, it's challenging on Hard, I rely on consumables a lot and they are far from virtually infinite as I explained before.

I tried the Drake again after that and it didn't crash so I passed that quest too. The story's getting more and more interesting, both the main as well as the stories you come across in the areas you visit. Also, lol @ Avadon's version of Q giving me crazy and mostly useless items. This game's great.

Have some more screens.
http://i.picpar.com/a0beb8aadb8a33412bb ... 81abb5.png
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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 13th, 2011, 11:18 am

Man this game keeps getting better. I progressed some more, I did the Blademaster companion's side story, now I'm about to do the same for the Sorceress, she's super crazy and I'm like oh shit with what she's dragging me into. There may not be too many dialogues and choices outside smaller or bigger decisions within missions you're tasked with, letting you choose your own path according to your morals, interest, play the hero, or whatever, but what is there is done very effectively. I really like how people react to you as a Hand of Avadon depending on the situation. And I do like how the encounters are done, it has the old school isometric RPG equivalent of FPS scriped sequences very often and rarely allows things to get dull and predictable for too long, in how you progress and what challenges are met.
http://i.picpar.com/bb9ffdb6ccb611b778b ... 051ec5.png
http://i.picpar.com/3b1050c4f70ff2e8cd5 ... 54cd0b.png
And a loading & map (just one region, not the whole game world) screen.
http://i.picpar.com/46d8a02dfbcc6993783 ... 3470e6.png
http://i.picpar.com/01fa621e384526a0d8f ... f67520.png

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Evnissyen » May 13th, 2011, 4:57 pm

When I was playing the demo, I wanted to have the sorceress in the party since she seemed like the more interesting character, but having the healer and the warrior in the party seemed more tactically advantageous. (I was playing a rogue.)

If I go into it again: Maybe I'll take the healer & sorceress.

It's funny that in the Avernum games, while 4 was suggested, I'd typically reduce it to a party of 3: one tank and two casters. Here: I felt like 3 wasn't enough.
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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Al3xand3r » May 13th, 2011, 10:22 pm

I only ever used the shaman in her own side quests. I made the sorceress my healer by giving her a scarab that has a heal party skill and also passing all the healing scrolls to her and generally keeping her out of trouble outside enemies that are particularly weak to magic damage. She's now wearing gear that reduces the time it takes for skills to cooldown but such things are not accessible early on. The blademaster and shadow walker also have their own self heal skill you can use once in a while. It's more than viable to play without the shaman (I'm playing on Hard, I don't know about Torment).

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Re: Avadon: The Black Fortress

Post by Randomizer » May 13th, 2011, 11:12 pm

On torment difficulty if you use the shaman you have to decide between a support character that can heal and cast defensive spells while using a pet for attacks or one that is made for the offensive attacks up to earthquake. The shaman class is the weakest against physical attacks.

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