Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Review RPG Dot reviews Avernum 4

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Vault Dweller, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Parrots:
    26,398
    Click here and disable ads!
    Tags: Avernum 4; Spiderweb Software

    <a href=http://www.rpgdot.com>RPG Dot</a> has posted a <a href=http://www.rpgdot.com/index.php?hsaction=10053&ID=1229>review</a> of <a href=http://www.avernum.com/avernum4/index.html>Avernum 4</a>, giving it 7/10:
    <br>
    <br>
    <blockquote>That's not to say the story and dialogue are unimportant by any means. Jeff Vogel is a gifted storyteller and although the plot of Avernum 4 is fairly straightforward, it is well written and quite engrossing after a (very) slow start. There are limited opportunities to really develop memorable NPCs but encounters are always accompanied by plenty of descriptive text that add atmosphere and dialogue with personality that lifts Avernum 4 beyond mere dungeon-crawler to an expansive adventure. The role of dialogue, however, is clearly to develop the story and add flavour rather than offer real choices or branches in the plot.
    <br>
    <br>
    Ultimately, the combat is the crux of the gameplay. Avernum 4 uses a simple but solid turn-based model with a movement grid, action points and attack order based on speed (which is determined by several factors). Each round, characters get a default base of eight action points to attack with a melee or ranged weapon, cast a spell, move, use items or some combination.
    <br>
    <br>
    While the system is very simple - there is only a single melee attack, for example - the range of options with an effective party is reasonably satisfying. At its best, such as storming a keep with archers at the embattlements to engage mixed enemies within, combat is quite exciting. Unfortunately, it can get tedious against the random single encounters across the map - the classic repetitive rat (or the myriad of chitrachs in the Eastern Gallery, for example). This can be somewhat mitigated with the Natural Lore skill, which can calm some monsters, but remains an issue. As the game progresses, some special (and undocumented) skills can open up (such as Parry or Quick Attack) and these certainly add extra depth to the character development but being passive skills, they don't add any additional interactive options to combat encounters.</blockquote>The combat system can definitely use some options.
    <br>
    <br>
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Fodelgender: ⚧ Novice

    Fodel
    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Parrots:
    49
    Location:
    Spain
    Avernum4 (only play the demo) as all the Avernums games are excelent dungeon crawler and very fun, but the "roleplay" factor is out, not choices, even Oblivion or Morrowind are more crpgs.

    Agree , but waiting for Geneforge4. :D
     
    ^ Top  
  3. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    I can't believe someone actually said that.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Diogo Ribeirogender: ⚧ Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Parrots:
    5,706
    Location:
    Lisboa, Portugal
    That's Fodel for you. Everything you can't believe someone can say, he eventually will.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. bryce777gender: ⚧ Erudite

    bryce777
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    Parrots:
    4,225
    Location:
    In my country the system operates YOU
    Even though I liked geneforge I somewhat, the idiot things he says make me want to not try his other games.
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Twinfallsgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Twinfalls
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Parrots:
    3,903
    time to hobble out for a new lens prescription, brycey
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Azaelgender: ⚧ Magister

    Azael
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Parrots:
    4,382
    Location:
    Multikult Central South
    Wasteland 2
    That's the biggest problem with Vogel's games. They have a heavy emphasis on combat, but the combat isn't very good. The Avernum games are a little better than the Geneforge series, but the lack of options for non-spellcasters is just pitiful.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. elander_gender: ⚧ Arbiter

    elander_
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Parrots:
    2,015
    A good crpg shouldn't be made all around a story but a world seting with many stories and many possibilities to experience the world depending on the chaaracter the player picks. This said and this is what i believe i can't possibly find A4 much interesting from a rp perspective.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. WouldBeCreatorgender: ⚧ Scholar

    WouldBeCreator
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Parrots:
    936
    Another problem, at least to my tastes, is that (1) casting powerup spells before battle is hugely important, (2) casting those spells takes a more than trivial amount of time, and (3) resting has no real cost (with the exception of A3?), meaning that you should always cast those spells with the expectation of resting when you need to replenish magic. I would say some nontrivial amount of my playtime (2%?) was spent casting bless, haste, armor, etc. before every battle. The more important combat became, the more time I had to spend casting those damned spells.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Fodelgender: ⚧ Novice

    Fodel
    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Parrots:
    49
    Location:
    Spain
    Well, ¿can you tell me any choice, any roleplay decision in Avernun 2 or in Avernum 4 demo? :? , in Morrowind or in Oblivion you choice the factions, you choice be a vampire or the end of any quests, of course are very poor choices, but are choices.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    Agreed. But then later in the game you'll have access to higher levels of those spells - buff the entire party, last longer etc, making the buffing process easier. I never really had any problems with buffing, compared to most MMOs the buffs in any spidweb rpg are quite forgiving. Imagine having f1-f10 as shortcuts just for buffing spells and having to cast them every 10 seconds or so.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. bryce777gender: ⚧ Erudite

    bryce777
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    Parrots:
    4,225
    Location:
    In my country the system operates YOU
    Doh...fodel...vogel. I actually thought he made a typo.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    Well, for one in A4 you can choose if you want to kill the goblin leader (first main quest) or to let him go. The game even gives you a choice on how to reach him, either through stealth or muscle. Poor choices, but are choices.

    The actual "roleplay factor" of any RPG depends on the player himself, not just on what the game tells you what or what you can't do. I mean, what would Dungeon Master become then, if you judge its "roleplay factor" based on what choices the game gives you (aside from character generation)?

    That being said I don't have anything against any Elder Scrolls game, I think they're great and Im not really picky when it comes to RPGs (very little choices anyway), but I won't say Avernum's "roleplay factor" isn't there just because you can't choose how every quest would end.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. WouldBeCreatorgender: ⚧ Scholar

    WouldBeCreator
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Parrots:
    936
    Never played an MMORPG (other than MUDs, back in the day). You're right, of course, that the whole power-up issue is pretty endemic to the genre. I always found it somewhat more annoying in Spiderweb games, though. I'm not sure why that is (maybe because the spell durations are so short?).
     
    ^ Top  
  15. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    Betrayal at Krondor is a very good example of how an RPG could be great even when made around a story, and no actual character choice. Try it, if you haven't yet.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Volourngender: ⚧ Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Parrots:
    20,693
    "Well, for one in A4 you can choose if you want to kill the goblin leader (first main quest) or to let him go."

    Woah. That's deep. This explains why the Spiderweb games are so popular amongst the 'role-playing elite' of the Codex with role-playing like that.

    WOWSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:
     
    ^ Top  
  17. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    Yes, I know. But Fodel's question is that of choice, not of depth.

    I've yet to see a better game made by you.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. sheekgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    sheek
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Parrots:
    8,659
    Location:
    Cydonia
    Just because I can't make a better game (I'm not a programmer) doesn't mean his game is any good. I have seen it and it looks ugly and boring (and overpriced).
     
    ^ Top  
  19. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Parrots:
    507
    Of course, graphics first before anything else. That's really what RPGs are all about. The looks.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. sheekgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    sheek
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Parrots:
    8,659
    Location:
    Cydonia
    Go play Akalabeth then.

    Making a game look appealing and easy to use is as much game design as the mechanics or story. I think we should expect some progress in that department since the 1980's.
     
    ^ Top  
  21. LlamaGodgender: ⚧ Erudite

    LlamaGod
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Parrots:
    3,095
    Location:
    Yes
    lets just ignore gameplay progress, progress is defined by how pretty it is!!!
     
    ^ Top  
  22. sheekgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    sheek
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Parrots:
    8,659
    Location:
    Cydonia
    No.

    I said progress is defined by a bunch of different factors: gameplay is one, the graphical interface is another.

    And I'm not dismissing Avernum just because of graphics, it also looks boring.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. elander_gender: ⚧ Arbiter

    elander_
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Parrots:
    2,015
    I did it. It's a great game and a very well writen plot. I had a lot of fun playing ti but if i was looking for a crpg i would not pick up that game. Anyone can make a game, put some stats on it and call it an crpg but i think we need to be more refined to what we call a crpg otherwise even Doom3 can be tagged as a crpg. It's ridicule but it's how games are evaluated. It's more about marketing (because puting rpg in the game sells and is a synonim of more deep and quality than a simple action game) than making an inteligent classification system.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Fodelgender: ⚧ Novice

    Fodel
    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Parrots:
    49
    Location:
    Spain
    Yes, I forgot the quest :oops: , is a choice, poor, irrelevant, no-stats/skills based, but a choice :D , the only choice in the demo, i think :?

    ¡¡¡ Morrowind ¡¡¡ :twisted:

    In Geneforge 2 you decide what you do :D

    A dungeon crawler, ergo action games with stats and loot.

    If you like TB combat with plot,you like Avermum games.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Sarvisgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sarvis
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Parrots:
    5,050
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I've gotta agree that the problem with avernum games is the combat.

    The thing is, it's usually fun at first when you're struggling in every combat, but towards the end of the game it always turns into a simple process of Cast Buffs, Enter Fight, Cast Big Damage Spell, repeat.

    I've never finished an Avernum because about 3/4 through the game I just get bored with the fights.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)