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Default Avadon - Windows Version Released

May 2nd, 2011, 23:39
As promised, the Windows version of Avadon has been released. Head here to download the demo and here's the feature list as a reminder:
Spiderweb Software brings you Avadon: The Black Fortress, the first chapter in a new, epic fantasy saga. You will serve the keep of Avadon, working as a spy and warrior to fight the enemies of your homeland. As a servant of the Black Fortress, your word is law. Experience an exciting fantasy role-playing adventure and battle a conspiracy to destroy your people.
Avadon: The Black Fortress Features:
  • Epic fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous and unique world.
  • Four different character classes, with dozens of unique spells and abilities.
  • Uncover the fascinating history of Avadon and the land of Lynaeus.
  • Many different endings. Your choices will change the world.
  • Dozens of side quests, hidden dungeons, and secrets to discover.
  • Hundreds of magical items to find. Use powerful crystals to make your artifacts even more powerful.
  • Huge adventure with lots of replay value.
More information.

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May 2nd, 2011, 23:39
I'm going to *try* to do a an impressions or review piece at the end of the week, having played the beta for the last couple of months.

Note that the demo areas don't show the game to its full potential. Yes, I know that's a demo's job and, no, you shouldn't just trust me if you don't like what you see. Still, it does start slowly. I think Jeff tried too hard to ease new players in, making it too easy and straight forward. There are definitely parts that will hand your ass to you later but you won't see them in the demo bit. Just *after* the demo is the first part that will make you sit up - it's a pity one more areas wasn't included.

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May 3rd, 2011, 00:29
I remember reading on Jeffs blog or something about how he thought people wanted to be challenged, but it turns out people just want to win. This could explain why the demo is so easy. Just installing it now, anyway.

Screenshots look great, this is totally my kind of game! I'll come back with some impressions later tonight!
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May 3rd, 2011, 00:53
As I said in the indie thread the game is surprisingly extremely bland if you ask me. Maybe that's just the demo area though, I can't really say, but it put me off buying it right away.

I'll see if there is some video of later sections. Right now though I am wondering why he made something so common that I could get so many other places with better production values.
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May 3rd, 2011, 07:08
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
I remember reading on Jeffs blog or something about how he thought people wanted to be challenged, but it turns out people just want to win. This could explain why the demo is so easy.
Not just the demo, in my opinion. The difficulty remains way too low. I'm playing it at insane right now and it's still a snooze-fest. It does get more interesting, but the difficulty doesn't start spiking until way, way into the game.

Definitely not one of Jeff's best. Review later.
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May 3rd, 2011, 07:30
Pity about the difficulty. I won't buy a game that is a snooze fest. I've played too many of them before and they just aren't worth the time to play even if there is a great story to them. Maybe he could fix that in a patch if it really is a problem.

We'll see how well this one sells. If it doesn't do as well as he thought then maybe his theory on RPG players just wanting to win isn't as sound as he thinks.

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May 3rd, 2011, 07:50
I'm not sure who thought the graphics were way better…they reuse a lot of the avernum graphics.

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May 3rd, 2011, 08:11
I prefer the difficult ones. I finished Avernum 6 fully and found the enemies had too many HP but weren't challenging. Is geneforge 5 a better option than avadon?

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May 3rd, 2011, 09:09
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I'm not sure who thought the graphics were way better…they reuse a lot of the avernum graphics.
Indeed, but still it feels and looks a lot better.
So far the game is easy but only played one hour. Perhaps i should increase the difficulty too.
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May 3rd, 2011, 11:49
Normal is the new Casual it seems (probably not to upset the more casual new generation
of players with having to die/reload to often).

Hard is the lowest you should go with Avadon imho (and that may seem too easy to some
too). Mike Anderson noted something on that front in his review.

Seriously I have stopped using anything below Hard in RPGs the last few years (and with
the Notable exception of Stalker which I also play on veteran I don't play anything else
these days).

Thats not because I am hardcore or old-school or any of that, but because I honestly
believe that developers gear game balance to easier levels to pander to younger audiences.

Said audiences can then set the difficulty to hard (i.e. normal) and bask in the feeling
of how Hardcore they are

I haven't found any recent game that breaks the mold but admittedly I only buy 3-5 games
per year these days.

I'd rather not start another round by citing a well known example again here, but most recent AAA RPGs are quite frankly boring and unbalanced on normal (too many
convenient friendly and some times immersion breaking allowances for the player).
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May 3rd, 2011, 12:37
Don't forget that most of us probably are pretty good players. Nevertheless I found I had to lower difficulty in my recent playthrough on DA:O in some key battles, although hard was just fine for your run-of-the mill encounter. Without "easy" mode I would have had to give up on the game, because currently there is no way I would replay 40 hours to build a better party that can beat that fight. Of course if you have a "hard" level, it should really be hard, otherwise something is wrong. Well, downloading the demo now.
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May 3rd, 2011, 12:50
I know what you are talking about although my example would be starcraft 2 (oh yeah bought this one too).

I played on Hard and it was mostly a pleasant walk in the park (mildly to moderately
challenging at some points). Then on some maps (1 out of 10) I got my ass handed to
me, repeatedly. So I had to lower difficulty to normal on which case the map became
mind-numbingly easy! (and that coming from a Company that fine-tunes their game's balance to death).

Now perhaps there was some obvious strategy that I somehow missed (Or perhaps I am getting dumber as I age ) But the difference from normal to hard was jarring
(and also speaks perhaps of suboptimal overall balance inside the same setting).

Anyway I was speaking of a general trend I believe I am seeing (although in an
admittedly limited sample) perhaps "forced" upon developers by Market analysis etc.
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May 3rd, 2011, 12:57
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Normal is the new Casual it seems (probably not to upset the more casual new generation
of players with having to die/reload to often).
This is waaaayyyy off topic, but all this talk of difficulty reminded me of a great game that just kicked my butt from here to high water. It's called Age of Fear and by god it was like a breath of fresh air when I got my butt kicked for the 10th time in one scenario and had to dial down the difficulty to easy for that encounter.

The great part about it is that the computer doesn't cheat. It may have more units than you, but I have a brain and the computer has an AI I should be able to compensate for a few extra units

Anyways, it's not an RPG, but a fantasy TB strategy game. It's really short, but it is beautiful. The game doesn't like you and wants to kill you from the word go. God I miss those kind of games from the AAAs

Ok, sorry about that, but all this talk of easy games reminded me just how hard that one was.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; May 3rd, 2011 at 13:06. Reason: grammar
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May 3rd, 2011, 13:00
I like challenges.

But when I've got to retry let's say from 10 times on, I'm beginning to lose my patience.

It's a matter of releading times, at least partly, to me.
The more often I have to reload, the more often I feel bad.

And - what's even more important ! - the game must give me the tools to actually see what I did wrong !

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May 3rd, 2011, 13:03
Alrik….don't play roguelikes You'll be throwing your machine out the window in no time.

Yea, it's a hard game, but not so hard that you can't figure out a better strategy. I tried a few different ones until I found the right one or dialed down the difficulty for that one scenerio. I bumped it back up after that. I'll give it another go a little later since it really isn't that long of a game.

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May 3rd, 2011, 13:05
@skavenhorde

That looks like a fun little game to try on my Macbook. I'll give it a try (probably after
the Witcher since I am knee deep in a weird combo of Avernum 6 and Stalker:COP
Complete now ). Thanks.
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May 3rd, 2011, 13:16
I'm getting strange faint grayish/blackish lines all over the screen in the demo. It says you can try a direct x version if graphics aren't displaying right, but I guess the demo doesn't have that version. Its not something that is bad enough where I can't play the demo, but is a bit annoying.
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May 3rd, 2011, 13:17
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
@skavenhorde

That looks like a fun little game to try on my Macbook. I'll give it a try (probably after
the Witcher since I am knee deep in a weird combo of Avernum 6 and Stalker:COP
Complete now ). Thanks.
NP JonNik,

Just be warned if you play the demo you will want more. I bought that dang thing right after I played the demo because I HAD TO KNOW what the next units were going to be. The demo ends right before you get some really cool ghosts. That was just too much to handle and busted out that credit card right then and there.

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May 3rd, 2011, 14:08
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Alrik….don't play roguelikes You'll be throwing your machine out the window in no time.
I've played Nethack several times - never succeeded far, though !

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May 3rd, 2011, 14:36
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
As I said in the indie thread the game is surprisingly extremely bland if you ask me. Maybe that's just the demo area though, I can't really say, but it put me off buying it right away.

I'll see if there is some video of later sections. Right now though I am wondering why he made something so common that I could get so many other places with better production values.
I can't argue that the demo area is dull but party-based CRPGs - especially turnbased ones - are most definitely not common. I'm pretty sure I'm across every cRPG "with better production values", so where are you finding all these better options?

[Side note: I maintain it gets better, but I'm not asking you to accept that]

Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Not just the demo, in my opinion. The difficulty remains way too low. I'm playing it at insane right now and it's still a snooze-fest. It does get more interesting, but the difficulty doesn't start spiking until way, way into the game.

Definitely not one of Jeff's best. Review later.
Agreed it's not his best but I thought "hard" offered a decent challenge, "trash" monsters aside which he clearly intends to be just that. Interesting that you are clearly so far ahead of me on the difficulty curve. I also thought the encounter design (again, trash mobs aside) was quite creative, though I agree it takes a while to get going.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I'm not sure who thought the graphics were way better…they reuse a lot of the avernum graphics.
They are unquestionably better, taken as a whole. The underlying tech is essentially the same (I've been saying for a long time that A6 looks better than people give credit) and item icons are reused but all the background tiles are new and much, much better. The interface and portrait art are much better and the whole thing has a more consistent artistic feel. I'm a bit perplexed that you seem to like indies but you don't see this.

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