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Default Avadon 2 - Now Available

October 31st, 2013, 22:49
Nope, I always like your opinion, I was just looking for more folks. Are you gear diary? You could be, I don't keep track of that stuff very well. I thought yours was Gamer Dad?



You are Gear Diary! Geeze!

'nut
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October 31st, 2013, 23:10
I know, I actually thought you were giving me crap for self-promotion since no one seems to have noticed the review on the front page

Yeah … GamerDad died several years back, and I do a variety of stuff for Gear Diary. I'm an editor, doing general tech, music, video games and so on. Fewer games than in the past, though. I was doing running / health stuff but moved it to my personal blog … a reminder that even in small, volunteer side-stuff there are politics to deal with …

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October 31st, 2013, 23:19
Welp, I grabbed if off of Gog and installed, so I'll give some impressions later. I'm sure I won't love it as much as most, but I'm a tiny-bit graphics whore as I get older.

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October 31st, 2013, 23:20
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Welp, I grabbed if off of Gog and installed, so I'll give some impressions later. I'm sure I won't love it as much as most, but I'm a tiny-bit graphics whore as I get older.
It is interesting that I have become less of one …

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October 31st, 2013, 23:25
I've just become more fickle in the graphics department.
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November 1st, 2013, 03:04
The graphics don't bother me (I finished Ultima VI and SE no long ago!), but Avadon was the first of the Spiderweb games that I've tried. I got on one of those humble bundle sales. I played 8 maybe 10 hours of it, so I got my money's worth for sure. But I had trouble getting into it. The world seemed big with lots in it, but at the same time a bit empty. I don't know exactly how to describe it.

I also just really don't like things being real time, then switching to turn based when the combat begins. Either one or the other full time, otherwise, its jarring to me.

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November 1st, 2013, 03:35
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
but is it recommended to play the first Avadon before this one? How "direct" of a sequel is it?
I'd suggest that whilst it's not a requirement by any means to play the first game, one's entertainment would be somewhat enhanced by having done so.
I'm not certain what the exact time gap is after the first game, but the sequel does carry on continuity wise from an established canon ending after Avadon.

I only finished the first game a couple of months ago; thus it's still relatively fresh in my mind. (Impressions were posted here for other players interested) http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21875

To those currently playing, I'd like a few more details in impressions please chaps:
For instance, do any of the npcs make a return from the first game?
Do the skill trees show improvement/variety of branching/flexibility?
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Lastly, has Jeff Vogel finally gotten a full soundtrack yet? I can deal with the usual sub-par presentation efforts, but the lack of an atmospheric soundtrack is pretty harmful in a game that is so limited visually (imo of course).
I can understand his perspective on this one and while a full soundtrack would be quite spiffy, I think the problem is relatively easily solved by making apt playlists of your favourite RPG soundtracks and just having them play in the background.
They can sometimes blend well with Vogel's soundfx if you choose well enough!
I did this for both my Escape from the Pit and Avadon playthroughs.

Anyway, I'll most certainly be picking this up after awhile. But like Nev, I have a hefty backlog of games still to catch up on. Currently playing Eschalon Book 2 for instance…

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November 1st, 2013, 17:18
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Anyone care to get me up to speed on the story so far?
The game quickly fills you in. And frankly, it does spoil one of the twists of Avadon 1 early on. I'd say better learn this in-game than here

I just met Redbeard. The game kinda slowed, but the pace still is better than in Avadon 1.
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November 1st, 2013, 18:12
Sounds good! My Christmas shopping list keeps growing and growing…
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November 2nd, 2013, 06:14
Thanks for the answer Pessimeister! I knew it was a longshot, but one of these years I figure Vogel will have to at least try to put in some atmospheric touches…right?

That little jab aside, I probably will play this eventually. I liked Avernum: EFP and thought it had solid enough writing and combat, though I never finished it. I'd love to see Vogle as a lead designer for this exact type of RPG with a small team of artists/modelers/etc; he's quite talented at what he does, when looking past his game's limitations.

Good suggestion on using RPG soundtracks too. I just wonder which one would be good to use…some songs are so synonymous with their respective game worlds that it would be hard to use in a different game.
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November 2nd, 2013, 09:23
Everytime I read about these games from fans, I start thinking I've been too harsh.

I will have to try Avadon again some day.
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November 2nd, 2013, 13:34
I played it for 19 hours now. Besides of the title track there is no music as we are used to in Spiderweb games. I recommend Nox Arcana as background music.

While having "linear zones" meaning the spots on the map are unlocked one by one, the tons of sidequests can be done whenever you like and it's still very open.
Also as in the other games it is of real advantage to keep notes of NPCs and Places you can visit later. While quests are tracked "potential quests" are not always tracked.

I am playing on Torment and compared to the other games it became easier. That's mainly because of the tinkermage. The turrets are incredibly powerful, especially the ice turret which you can get quite early. You can only design one character though and therefore it's not as much of an issue as if you could make a 3 tinkermage-party (you can have 2 tinkermages at most).

Also as the other Spiderweb games it is extremely text heavy. I am doing a let's play in German and when I entered Avadon the first time I recorded like 3 parts in a row (~1h each) with nothing but texts and running for a few meters in between.

If you like to take a quick look and check out how Avadon 2 mixes with Nox Arcana on the one hand and listen to my harsh German accent on the other, you can find it here.
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November 2nd, 2013, 14:25
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Everytime I read about these games from fans, I start thinking I've been too harsh.

I will have to try Avadon again some day.
There are no guarantees, but Vogel definitely did take the type of criticism we see here - slow to start, short compared to his other stuff, too linear, not enough impact on endings, etc - into account.

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November 3rd, 2013, 05:16
I'm not much of a Vogel fan either, but outside of the Black Fortress, which is still terribly boring, the other areas are fairly fun. The crap around the BF is just too wordy and it feels like a carbon copy from the first game.

Jeff is trying to make me take a side, but didn't bother to make any of the factions feel different from one another. I'll do quests for everyone until I piss someone off. Then I'll kill that faction.

I assume there is supposed the be a chance to romance Silke, but the writing doesn't make me care one way or the other. I'm visiting BF but really need to get away from there as it kills the otherwise decent pacing.

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November 4th, 2013, 04:37
Progressed to the second pylon area and it is nearly constant combat. This will probably kill my interest in the game, but I only paid $7.50 for it, so no big deal. I think the game would have been a lot more fun if the party was all 6 members instead of your character and two others. I'd say I got about 15 hours of fun out of the game, which is pretty good for a Vogel title, at least for me.

What's the big fail with the game? Fodder battles last way too long and serve no purpose. You constantly run into little groups of monsters that have no chance against the party, but it takes 5 minutes of real life time to kill them and move on.
There might be 20 of these battles on every stinking map, making the game seem much longer than it really is.

Another annoyance is vitality. You characters can only use their non-default attacks X number of times before you run out of vitality. This means backtracking to a pylon to recharge and then walk all the way back to where you can continue. There are potions of vitality that help this somewhat, but it's an idiotic idea in the first place. Some classes can play a long time without restoring vitality, but tinker mages and sorcerers need to recharge a lot.

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November 4th, 2013, 05:14
Could someone who has played the original game as well answer my previous questions? Cheers.

I like vitality actually; makes you very selective on using particular abilities. I'm glad the mechanic exists as it means you can't simply spam the more powerful attacks without some kind of consequence. Thus if you want to be a glutton on vitality, then be prepared to walk back to the pylons or quaff many vitality potions.

As for soundtracks, I used a variety and experimented with it to find a good fit.
One does have to make a mental adjustment for their usage outside of their respective worlds, but it's not so bad.
Divine Divinity, exploration music from elder scrolls games, ToEE, The Gothics, Risens, Ultima Ascension soundtrack, even the Baldur's Gate and infinity engine scores; which often work well with the plethora of combat scenarios.

Diddledy high,
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November 4th, 2013, 06:50
I am also in the second pylon area and also experienced a lot of combats. Which would not be a bad thing if they would actually be a challenge. But as CRPGnut stated: They aren't. I am playing on torment, and most of the combats are extremely easy. Avadon 1 and especially Avernum were much more of a challenge. The turrets are just too strong.
I am using a Shaman, a Tinkermage and a Blademaster as standard party and only use emergency heals for normal fights. I only need to recharge my vitality about once for each complete zone. Only use turrets and other magical stuff, when the enemies I am facing are harder.
I disagree that it would be more fun if you would have more members in the party. That would mean that fights would inevitably be even longer and it would be much harder to balance to make fights challenging. Probably resulting either in all fights being long and boring or most fights being long and boring and a couple being so hard that you can't beat them if you skilled the wrong stuff.
I am also glad that it's only 3 characters so that I don't have to bother leveling up the other 3 constantly.

I prefer that mechanic to the one from Might and Magic X Mechanic, where your HP also do not regenerate and where you go out of mana after using it in two fights.


@Pessimeister: I am pretty sure that you see a couple of characters coming back. But my memory isn't that fresh anymore. Played Avadon 1 at release.
You got Readbeard of course. Also the wretch seeking for Audience waiting in his "lobby" is the same. I am pretty sure that Miranda is also from the first part. Also I met a guy named Ibu which sounded very familiar.

About the talent trees:
They aren't exceptionally exciting. There are a couple of decisions to make. But I find myself constantly in the situation where I get a level up and don't know where I should put my points because it doesn't really seem to matter anymore.
Last edited by Kordanor; November 4th, 2013 at 07:07.
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