Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

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Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by KarlXII » November 7th, 2010, 3:34 pm

I have only played Eschalon Book II but are thinking of buying book 1 as well. What do you think of them when comparing them to eachother ? Take away all improvements to the GUI and game engine. What about the story and adventure, which did you enjoy the most and why ?

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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by Kreador Freeaxe » November 7th, 2010, 4:43 pm

The story in Book I is a bit more open. There are more ways to complete many of the tasks in the game. The main quest storyline is not as linear (go see A who sends you to B who sends you to C...). So, storyline I like Book I, but the game engine and tactical improvements in Book II are big. Of course, I started with Book I. I'm not sure If I'd started with Book II that I could step back to the earlier game. I tried that with Spiderweb's games, having started with Avernum 6, and I really couldn't deal with the drop back in interface with the earlier games. I don't think the changes between Book I and Book II are as severe, but they're there (Book I graphically is still better than Avernum).

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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by IJBall » November 15th, 2010, 11:29 am

This is an interesting question.

I'd have to say that I enjoyed Book I more - there was just something about stumbling upon a game like this that I'd pretty much been waiting two decades for that can't compare!! :mrgreen:

Book I definitely has flaws, no doubt. And Book II makes some welcome improvements (esp. on the graphics/visuals end; also, some of the Book II music is superior (though I liked Book I's nearly as much...)). Still, of course, there are also some changes in Book II that I don't like. :|

But, overall, I preferred Book I. That's nothing against Book II, which I also like quite a bit. But I think Book I was pretty amazing. :)

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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by CrazyBernie » November 15th, 2010, 9:25 pm

The correct answer is "Yes."

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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by BasiliskWrangler » November 15th, 2010, 10:13 pm

Am I ineligible to throw in my own answer?

After finishing the development of Book II and looking back on it as a completed work, I do feel that Book I has a bit more of a "personal" storyline which probably brings players deeper into the world. This makes for a strong, lasting impression.

With Book II, the storyline becomes more "global" and it might be harder for some people to get as emotionally involved with the story, yet I think the gameplay improvements make it more of a true dungeon-crawler, stat-lovers type of game.

Book I has a unique way of allowing the player to access the end-game areas via three different paths. While Book II is more linear from start-to-finish, there are several similar "multi-path" options to gaining access to specific areas. Most certainly, with the 1.05 additional content, Book II is a notably longer game.

In the end, Book I probably has the more engrossing storyline, while Book II has generally better play mechanics and more game world to experience.
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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by kenoxite » November 16th, 2010, 2:37 pm

If you really liked Book II then, really, go ahead and pick Book I already.
Why? Because it has one of my favorite starting dungeons ever.

Really, going through that mysterious downstairs dungeon/cellar in that burned and abandoned town was just about as right as you can get it in a cRPG. I went down there just for the sake of exploring (no quests, just exited the starting cabin) and to test how further would the game allow me to go with a naked lvl1 mage/thief. And what I found down there was a good and logical layout and the right amount of mobs at the right level, which both made it challenging for my totally unprepared character and enhanced the creepy atmosphere. Not to mention that glimpse you have almost at the start of the dungeon of that chest full of loot (I have to get there!). That was textbook dungeon design for all I care, and really told me heaps about what kind of guy was behind the game here (a quite crafty and ingenuous basilisk DM, as it turned out to be). I was so excited and enthralled that I couldn't even believe it. Well, I have no words for all the enjoyment I had down there.

That dungeon virtually sold me the game. Meaning I payed full price for a game for the first time in a long, long time (on Steam, which later turned out to be not such a great idea). And that's saying quite a lot, as I'm the cheap bastard kind of player.

Well, the point is that I loved Book I as much as the second one, if not more. Both are mostly the same, better in some places, worse in others. So, go ahead, buy it. You know you want to :)

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Re: Which did you enjoy best Eschalon I or II ?

Post by Cairn » July 4th, 2017, 6:18 pm

I know this is old, but I want to answer. So far, book I is better. It's more motivating. You have a purpose. In book II, I'm finding a lot of issues with knowing what to do next. I've never ever been a fan of dungeon crawlers because they feel like aimless wandering around looking for things to kill. They feel pointless to me, like I'm not accomplishing anything. I'm just wandering aimlessly about in the direction that the path seems to go.

In book I, you always knew what you were supposed to be doing, and the instructions were quite clear, so if you went off on a wandering tangent to explore, it was okay because you knew ultimately what you needed to do to get where you were headed. In book II, it's sort of aimless. They tell you to go talk to someone, but there's no real build-up. It's go to point A, point B, point C, and at each point, the main story is further revealed.

But the side quests are like few and far between and overly simplistic so far. In the main quest, you're told go to places you're way not ready to reach yet, so you don't go there fighting. Of course you could try and go there fighting, and then it starts feeling like grinding to build up levels rather than purposeful fighting towards progress. In short, it feels like a dungeon crawler. I went there avoiding enemies. Then, with no warning or any indication of what you can feasibly do, you learn you need a writ to get into the city. You need it to get into another city as well. But there's absolutely no indicators, no hint at all whatsoever on how to feasibly get a writ.

The writ is only one of the ways to actually get into Kuudad. So, what do you do? You wander around aimlessly at that point hoping to accidentally find a clue because you have no idea what to do now. Really, the game feels like it was thrown together at the behest of a fan-base wanting more after playing Book I. And then, so far hide in shadows, even at level 6, is utterly pointless. I can't even hide from enemies that I don't need to hide from, and the ones I do, it doesn't work once they're looking at me from viewing distance. But then, truth be told, most RPG's don't seem to get hiding right anyway. You have to put absurd numbers of points just for it to be at all useful. But they did make it actually useful in Book I.

So, you end up piling on the points into fighting skills because doing so with hiding feels like it will mean that you eventually reach a point where you can't afford to find enough food and repair equipment and buy arrows because lets face it, you'll be having to do a lot of walking away and firing arrows if you want to build up your hiding to something actually useful. Now, I'm making assumptions of course. I haven't actually gotten higher yet in hiding because I'm trying to build up my fighting skills enough to keep the story moving along. Really, I'm falling asleep while playing book II because it feels like I'm just aimlessly wandering around a lot. There's a few interesting places that you find wandering around, but more often than not, they're way above your level, oh, and they trap you so that you have to finish them. So if you forgot to save it beforehand, you're either reloading way back or quitting the game because you won't get through the area you're trapped in. Sometimes they warn you first.

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