Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Officially Announced
Jeff Vogel has officially announced Avernum: Escape from the Pit, a "ground up re-write" of their "most popular and best-selling series" due late this year (for Mac - PC and iPad to follow). No doubt many will rue the repetition but fans will note the return of the "overworld" map exploration and new avatar art. Head to the new sub-site for a description and screens.
There's also a FAQ and Jeff discusses the decision to do this game in a new blog post, including news that the price will be $20 and existing owners of Exile/Avernum 1 will get a discount. Here's a snip from the FAQ on game system changes:
Will the Game System Be the Same?
No. The game system has been heavily revised. It's a mix of Avernum 6 and Avadon: The Black Fortress. It is still entirely skill-based and most of the skills are the same. However, the way you train has changed. Instead of saving up skill points, each level you get to increase two skills. You will make the same number of choices to shape your character, but you will be making more of them later in the game and fewer of them earlier. We are also taking pains to make it much more difficult to create a party that is too weak to progress through the game.
The Traits system has been massively reworked. Instead of picking two traits at the beginning of the game, you can select one new beneficial trait every two levels. A lot of these traits give simple bonuses, while others (like Backstab and Swordmage) can dramatically change the way you play the game.