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Gold Box Games question.

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Comments

  • PrrshaPrrsha Member Posts: 8
    Funny fact about Secret of the Silver Blades.... the frost giants use magical boulders for some reason. If detect magic is still in effect, you will see an astrisk next to their missle weapon. They are not recoverable after combat oddly.

    Speaking of game breaking bugs.. I've heard in the forums that SotSS has an invulnerabilty bug when cloaks of displacement are equiped on the amiga version? Is this true? While it wouldn't make the game impossible to beat aka game breaking, it would eliminate an often used and favored treasure of mine. I guess one could choose to equip it... but if you never die, where is the fun in that?

    kcwise
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Prrsha said:

    ... but if you never die, where is the fun in that?

    To miss-quote one of the most depressingly awful movies I've personally ever seen,

    "If ya kill em, they won't learn nuttin."

    kcwise
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I've played the Amoga version and I'm certain there was no such bug.

    kcwise
  • proccoprocco Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 911
    atcDave said:

    I've played the Amoga version and I'm certain there was no such bug.

    Heehee. Amoga sounds like a computer for Neanderthals. (Say it in a caveman voice). :smiley:

    atcDaveVallmyrkcwise
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Dang, I even thought I'd fixed that typo! Do I get extra credit (or debit?) for that?

    Vallmyrkcwisethe_spyder
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309
    http://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/pool-radiance-remastered
    Was looking up info on Pools of Radiance and stumbled on this. When I eventually play NWN2 I'll have to try this module n_n

    kcwise
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    Ok, so I've actually managed to make 4 of my 6 characters, so I might start Pool of Radiance in a few days. That's the main sticking point with alot of DOS-era RPGs for me in many cases. You have to set aside nearly an entire evening for party planning before you even set out to adventure. Icewind Dale is the only 6 member party game I can probably knock out in 15 minutes. Stuff like Might and Magic, Wizardry, or these Gold Box games takes the better part of 2 hours.

    atcDavekcwise
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Although I always really enjoyed the process.

    the_spyderkcwise
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Agreed, the party planning is always loads of fun for me as well. It was part of the experience to such a degree that I have (on occasion) planned out a whole party simply to abandon the game and do it all over again. But then again, building my IWD party took a bit more than 15 minutes as well, so maybe that's just me.

    atcDaveVallmyrkcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309

    Agreed, the party planning is always loads of fun for me as well. It was part of the experience to such a degree that I have (on occasion) planned out a whole party simply to abandon the game and do it all over again. But then again, building my IWD party took a bit more than 15 minutes as well, so maybe that's just me.

    I do this all of the time in games such as these >_>
    I'll create a party and be like THAT WAS FUN. /never uses the party ever again XD

    the_spyderatcDavekcwise
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    Ultimately, I have so many CRPGs I could play that it gets overwhelming. I've probably played the first hour of a good chunk of them, but finished?? I have copies of the entire Wizardry series, but unless I develop a yet untapped talent for mapping dungeons, I don't see any conceivable way I will complete them this decade.

    kcwisethe_spyder
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @jjstraka34 - there are always online walk-throughs, if you are that type of player. If not (which I can understand and respect), play them in order of descending fun according to your liking. But remember that some games, particularly CRPG games take some getting into before they get really fun. My personal opinion is that Pool of Radiance is absolutely one of them (again always assuming that you can get past the graphics and the DOS Box thing).

    Or, post the ones that you have to play and let us recommend some.

    kcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309
    edited April 2015
    I have the maps for PoR pulled up in case of emergencies when I'm super lost. I've been trying to keep track of them by hand but sometimes I make mistakes on the map and create impossible spaces lol.

    Edit: Also, I haven't played in like a week now but I have like 2-ish weeks more of college classes then I'll have more time to finally finish PoR.

    the_spyderkcwise
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432

    @jjstraka34 - there are always online walk-throughs, if you are that type of player. If not (which I can understand and respect), play them in order of descending fun according to your liking. But remember that some games, particularly CRPG games take some getting into before they get really fun. My personal opinion is that Pool of Radiance is absolutely one of them (again always assuming that you can get past the graphics and the DOS Box thing).

    Or, post the ones that you have to play and let us recommend some.

    Mostly, I think I have a problem with games that are going to involve mapping. I've played through the first Legend of Grimrock and thought it was superb. I've gotten maybe 40% of the way through Eye of the Beholder, but I, like many I would imagine, get a serious disorientation problem in games like Dungeon Master, Wizardry, and the early Might and Magics and Ultima games. The graphics back then were so limited that after 5 turns, everything starts to look the same, and once you are lost, you might as well be in the middle of the woods blindfolded.

    I don't have any problem with DOS era games in general. I would love to play all of them to completion. It's just that there was a certain point in the history of the genre where things became easier to digest.

    For instance, take Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny. I love the idea of this hardcore, need a bedroll to avoid dying of a cold and every character needing sufficient rope for the journey. The interface and graphical limitation is the problem. There a dozens upon dozens of locations, but 90% of them are completely meaningless, and worse, every tavern, temple and random house look exactly the same. I spent the first 2 hours with that game wandering into residences and getting kicked out by the owners.

    Then you have a game like Ultima VII (which I am playing for the first time since I was younger in the Exult engine and my god does it make this game 100 times better). I feel like this is where things started looking up. A world that is completely alive, daunting in it's size, but accessible all the same. You can say the same thing about the Infinity Engine Games. They are huge and dense, but never intimidating to the point of feeling you can't progress.

    You can also compare the later Elder Scrolls trilogy to the almost comically large copy and paste worlds of Arena and Daggerfall. I played Arena a fair amount earlier this year, and I was over the moon when I got out of the opening dungeon. I eventually progressed to Fang Lair and clearing that was where my journey ended for the time. And I wonder how many people have stopped at exactly that point.

    I love the ideas and obscurities in all these games. I like having them installed on my computer and trying them all out simply because I enjoy navigating and understanding the evolution of the genre. But there is a certain cutoff where games just became easier to actually play, even if the game itself still presents a challenge. The challenge from many of the pioneers of the genre (let's say the first 7 Wizardry games, Ultima 1-3, Might and Magic 1-2 and both Dungeon Masters) is the interface and game mechanics themselves based on the technology of the time.

    As a side note I'm sure all my problems would go away if someone could offer some helpful hints about how to go about mapping these type of games and how you can incorporate them to your benefit you while playing.

    kcwise
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    As far as mapping is concerned, I am sure you already use Graph paper and a ruler. That's pretty much the best solution that I can think of. With a game like Pool of Radiance, each step is 10 feet. So you can walk around a room and block off your map simply by the number of "Steps" in any one direction; hallways as well. Make each square on your graph paper as 10 feet as well and it maps out pretty easily.

    I remember literally stepping around every single square in Pools of Radiance just to do this. This is also an excellent way to determine if there are secret rooms. Pretty much any blank square could potentially be something. Make sure you check all four walls.

    The same can be said for the Eye of the beholder series. That's basically how I beat both of them. Set up a graph page for each level of the dungeon and map it out.

    I'm ashamed to admit that I never played Arkania: Blade of Destiny. I might have to check that out. But you are right in that the games were limited by the technology of the day. That's why I keep on caveating "So long as you can deal with...(whatever the limitation is)."

    atcDavekcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309
    The GBC UI-mod thing I linked earlier also has an auto-mapping tool I believe. I've not used it yet, though, so not sure how it works.

    kcwise
  • PrrshaPrrsha Member Posts: 8
    atcDave said:

    I've played the Amoga version and I'm certain there was no such bug.

    Which bug do you refer to? The Secret of the Silver Blades cloak bug? The Death Knights of Kyrnn portrait animation bug before battle (before you encounter a baddie) or the Champions of Kyrnn bug where white mages get 3rd level spells at the same time as Red Mages?

    Also if you don't have any errors in any of the following, can you point me to a link where I can find an updated copy? If that doesn't work maybe the problem in on my end with the emulator settings (the only bug that I could think of thatbe the culprit of bad settings is the DDoK animation bug. I'd really like to see the enemy monsters portraits move again. I know it is knit picking, but the animations in CoK for say.... a red dragon were some really nice works of art at the time. I've only seen the DKoK animations on the c64. While they were great too considering what limitations a c64 had... I can only imagine what it looked like on an Amiga. :3

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    edited April 2015
    Baby steps....not only do I now have my party, but I have actually managed to purchase and a equip a battle axe and shield for my Dwarven Figher AND successfully save the game. And it turns out you can move around in map view, which is a godsend as far as I'm concerned.

    I think I have two Fighters (one of which I suppose I'll make ranged) a Fighter/Cleric, a Thief, and Magic User and a Fighter/Magic User. I'm not sure how that composition will work out. I have a feeling that my Fighter/Cleric should have just been a Cleric, but there is no going back now. Tomorrow I may buy a bow and visit a Temple or Tavern and call it a day.

    Post edited by jjstraka34 on
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309

    Baby steps....not only do I now have my party, but I have actually managed to purchase and a equip a battle axe and shield for my Dwarven Figher AND successfully save the game. And it turns out you can move around in map view, which is a godsend as far as I'm concerned.

    I think I have a two Fighters (one of which I suppose I'll make ranged) a Fighter/Cleric, a Thief, and Magic User and a Fighter/Magic User. I'm not sure how that composition will work out. I have a feeling that my Fighter/Cleric should have just been a Cleric, but there is no going back now. Tomorrow I may buy a bow and visit a Temple or Tavern and call it a day.

    Only the gates of death awaits those that enter the tavern!

    the_spyder
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    This morning gave some more characters some gear. One question, how does the order of the party (1-6 on the screen) affect things when combat starts?? Do I want my ranged Fighter and pure Magic User in back?? Or does it matter at all when it goes to the combat screen??

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309

    This morning gave some more characters some gear. One question, how does the order of the party (1-6 on the screen) affect things when combat starts?? Do I want my ranged Fighter and pure Magic User in back?? Or does it matter at all when it goes to the combat screen??

    Yeah, those at the top of the list start either in melee range or closer to melee range while those in slots 4, 5, and 6 start in the back.

    the_spyder
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    OK, so I got everyone their starting gear and ventured into the combat area west of town. I survived with 3 people left but I think I'm going to reload and try it again. The problem that came up was my back line fighter with a short bow who had that and 10 arrows ready was able to aim but unable to target to actually shoot, which I found odd. Do I need line of sight with none of my party members in the way possibly??

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    edited April 2015
    And after returning to town to revive some folks, I am now completely stuck in the Temple of Sune, and can't get out no matter what direction I walk to. Every step takes me back to the Priestess.

    Edit: Think this might have just bugged out on me. From what I can gather from sampling some fights:

    #1 the monsters you encounter are random?? Or at least some of them are?? I have no idea about respawns, but it seems you can't take two steps without an encounter.

    #2 Thieves don't seem to be all that useful, I have been trying to get behind enemies, but I have no idea if backstabbing is actually a thing that works at level one in this game. Seems like I should have multi-classed everything.

    #3 There are no casting penalties in regards to armor, only class and movement restrictions, so again, seems like dual-classing every magic user to a fighter would have no downsides. In fact, it seems like you would want to dual-class everything possible to a fighter if you were power gaming. This game seems to run on First Edition, which is both more basic and far more complicated to me than 2nd.

    What I like about the game is the fact that every fight you encounter seems like you just opened the page of your Monster Manual in the graphic screen before it. Even more so than the Infinity Engine, it seems these Gold Box games are the best approximation of an actual pen and paper session. The combat system is also excellent, by far the best that had been implemented up to this point in time, and it still holds up today.

    What I don't like (as I've mentioned before) is the grid-based travel through copy and pasted areas that look identical, though the Area option and ability to move about in it helps tremendously compared to something like the early Wizardry games (I'm not going to map any of this stuff, I'm just going to use ones available online). It seems to me this type of movement didn't become truly intuitive until around Might and Magic III imo, but I think it'll be doable.

    I'm probably going to read some more FAQs and study some more maps before I venture too much farther. I want to know the value of weapons and armor and check out the locations of all the shops, and I'm also not sure what the Holy Symbols and Brass Mirrors sold in one of the shops in town are for as of yet.

    All in all though, it definitely falls on my "playable" side of the line. In the last few days I've decided that the only titles that are off limits for me are the true dinosaurs (Wizardry 1-5, Ultima 1-3, Might and Magic 1-2). After that I think the evolution of the genre became more palatable for your average player.

    Post edited by jjstraka34 on
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    edited April 2015
    Some more thoughts after a long night of getting acclimated to this engine:

    #1 This game is pretty awesome but also excessively tedious. It's not feasible to pick up everything you get in fights, it sells for pittance (much like in Baldur's Gate). This game certainly holds true to the old D&D maxim that the lower levels against kobolds and goblins are often the worst and most dangerous. This is made even more difficult by the way the first area, the Slums, is set up. There are set encounters, and there are random encounters. You have to clear 15 random encounters and all the set encounters to clear the "dungeon" so to speak. Now how the hell do I know this?? Because....

    #2......I am making liberal use of the official cluebook I have in PDF form. Now normally, in a more modern game I would steadfastly refuse any such thing, but after skimming through it, I have no guilt whatsoever. After every fight your party is basically too damaged to take on more than one more random skirmish without serious problems. But most areas of the first dungeon aren't safe to rest in to heal (and you need to spend DAYS healing, and memorizing spells for that matter). HOWEVER, every time you clear a room with a set encounter, you are free to rest there til the cows come home.

    Now this is one of those things about old, hardcore old school games that is both intriguing and infuriating. There is no way I would have figured this out without reading the cluebook. And this actually hearkens back to a theory of mine that games from this era were designed specifically to need a cluebook.

    I'm not the most braindead person in the world, but take into consideration that every time you kill a set encounter, there is a possibility of a magic item. But you have to use a Magic User's Detect Magic spell, in which case for one turn all magical items will have a star next to them (temporarily). But even THAT doesn't allow you to know what the item is. You have to then make sure you know where that item is (because it will lose it's star soon after) and have it ID'd at the shop back in town. Quite the ordeal already, but THEN take into account that every time a spell is cast, it has to be manually re-memorized every time you want to replenish them. A day of rest does not automatically recharge the last spell. THEN take into consideration that in most cases, you are alot better off combat-wise having Sleep memorized at this point in the game (good to see some things never changed). It's insanely tedious.

    So the Cluebook, besides being a great read on it's own, seems all but necessary for me as I go along. Back in 1988, when someone may have played this and one other game that entire year, figuring this out and mapping every square might have been joy. And honestly, from reading ahead, this game's size is nothing to sneeze at. These Gold Box games are pretty damn big. And this entire screed is based upon only the first area. But let me tell you, it ain't no tutorial like Candlekeep. Killing 5 or 6 random packs of Orcs, Goblins, and Kobolds, while save scumming and taking out two of the set encounters has seemed like more of an epic battle than the entire first two chapters of Baldur's Gate. I'm not sure if I mean that as a compliment, but it's impressive nonetheless. This shit is hardcore.

    VallmyratcDave
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,309
    @jjstraka34 I love your post. I have like 20 tabs pulled up for different information on spells, areas, maps if I get lost, and a walkthrough in case I'm utterly and completely lost as well as to check for what enemies drop magical items so I don't miss them. It's sort of cheating but at the same time I'm spoiled by more modern systems. My favorite parts of this game are the exploration and combat. If I can skip the more tedious parts then I'll do as such to make my time with the game more enjoyable.

    Still mapping my own stuff out, going blind into fights, and other such things but just a few edits here and there such as removing the demi-human level caps and using a UI mod to better keep track of health, spells, and other useful information.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    The magic system was slightly improved after Pool of Radiance, at least your previously memorized spells would automatically restore. You won't have to re select all your spells before each sleep. And a "Heal" command will be added that automatically uses all healing spells and then restores them after rest. Much improved. FWIW, I think some of these improvements were made on the Amiga version of PoR. That actually came out several years after the C64/IBM versions, and I seem to remember thinking it was a much improved game (an early EE!) compared to the original.
    I do understand about the mapping. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time around, but I was so happy to have all my carefully crafted maps I shamelessly reused them every subsequent time I played. And by "Silver Blades" I'd gotten in the habit of just buying the clue book; not so much to spoil surprises, but just be able to look at the maps as I went!

    I seem to remember after the first couple of set encounters the game actually told you "this looks like a safe place to rest", so it isn't completely unreasonable to figure out on your own. But no doubt, making a break back for town, loaded down with loot, and hoping to avoid encounters was always a dramatic adventure!

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Regarding multi-classing your Wizard to fighter/wizard, there are advantages here. However there are disadvantages as well. At lower levels, splitting your XP in half will seriously cramp your spell casting advancement. There are at least two combats early on in PoR that are MUCH easier with fireball. Having to wait for a multi-class wizard to get that far means taking those combats without that benefit. it absolutely CAN be done, but it is easier if you don't.

    Plus, I believe that elves and half elves (the only multi-class wizard classes) are level capped. This won't hit until you are well into Curse or the early part of Silverblades, but then you may very well kick yourself for that choice.

    For my money, there are better ways to protect your wizard than armor anyway. Spells like shield and Mirror Image will do a much better job than gimping your caster. Just my two cents.

    Also, the comments about the spells like Detect Magic, the original spell wasn't supposed to do anything more than what it does in this game. In PnP, we often hauled out loads of useless treasure (to our detriment) simply because we didn't know what was magic and what wasn't. And casting Identify (if I remember correctly) couldn't be cast in a dungeon setting. There was no chance of identifying something. It is only because the developers wanted to make things easier for the players that this changed.

    It's the same reason why you can now level up in a dungeon whereas in PoR (and all of the gold box games) that you had to return to town to do that. For my money, I prefer the old method but understand why people might like the newer methods.

    As for the rest, as @atcDave indicates, later games do improve on the interface. You just have to suffer through the first game. But then that is true of the limited class choices as well.

    Finally, I disagree that the original games were designed with walk-throughs in mind. Quite the contrary. Back then there wasn't ready access to that type of thing. We merely had to slog through it. That is at least in part why the quest board is there. you just have to keep on checking it to see if you finished up a given sector. And just an FYI, once an entire zone of the city is clear, you can rest anywhere. And there is a hideout that you can clear as well. But yeah, basically you are LOW levels. Pretty much everything is supposed to be dangerous and you can't merely slog endlessly through waves and waves of low level monsters. That too is something that came later with newer games.

    Glad you are enjoying the game.

    VallmyratcDave
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I seem to recall the level limits in PoR were 6th for Mage or Cleric, 8th for Fighter or Thief. The third level spells being the limiting factor, higher levels simply weren't implemented into the game. It is kind of funny how cleric is a fairly easy experience table, so such characters simply max out early. But as @the_spyder mentions, its worth it to run a single class mage just to get fireball quickly.
    I think armor and spell casting restrictions were more completely implemented in the later games, so don't get too comfortable cheesing the rules.
    Also remember some of those race/class level limits are pretty low (5th for a half-elven cleric?), so use them with care.

    I remember how easy Identify seemed to get in later games. In PnP I believe it costs 5 points of Constitution to cast (at least until you can rest). Which means even with an 18 Const, your mage will loose all hit point bonuses from the very first casting of it. And if they have multiple uses set up they will simply pass out after the third or fourth casting.
    As Spyder indicated, this generally meant in PnP that the spell would only be cast when no action was expected and a safe place to rest was available.

    I do love Gold Box, IE and many other CRPGs. But they are always so different from the PnP experience. Some of those differences make perfect sense, some are a little harder to get used to.

    the_spyder
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 5,432
    I don't doubt that cluebooks, wern't NEEDED to complete the game, but in the mid-80s/early 90s they were absolutely part of the overall strategy of selling the game. For one thing, they are well put together, and very similar to a actual D & D supplement you would buy. Another is the obvious revenue oppurtunity.

    They wern't easy to get your hands on (from my memory of LucasArts games you had to get them by mail order. But I'm willing to bet not one game SSI ever released didn't come with a card or advertisement for a cluebook.

    And, ultimately, the idea that the games were designed with them in mind simply comes from the fact that the cluebook is extinct. That is partially because of the internet, but they also started going out of style when Lycos was still a popular search engine. And I (personally) believe the games were just harder and there was more need for them. Looking in my GOG library, all the Might and Magic games have a cluebook pdf in the extras, until you get to 6. Which coincides with a more modern engine and move away from grid based movement and maps. Every game SSI ever put out has one. All 3 Wizardry games on GOG have them. The idea of a cluebook comes from the maze-like, map based exploration that dominated the genre for 15 years. I would guess the Bard's Tale series has them as well.

    And they I'm glad they exist, because I wouldn't play these games without them. I don't feel it makes the game unchallenging, it just makes it go from "insanely hard" to "pretty difficult".

    Anyway, good discussion. I'll probably take the game in small doses every few days, eventually I'll clear the Slums. The problem with this area as an introduction is the endless random spawns (I hope to god they stop after you kill the 15th pack). From what I undestand, subsequent areas are more set in their encounters, we'll see. The "Advanced" in the title is very accurate here.

    By the way, how much gold is in one platinum?? I've been trying to identify my leather armor and the merchant says I don't have the 200 gold, and I would have assumed 1 platinum was 100 gold, but I now fear it's only 10. This monetary system is also a chalk in the negative column, but this is a very impressive game. I have a feeling I'll enjoy the others (9 of them in all) alot more. I am worried I won't be able to transfer my characters as I am running a pre set-up version from DJ Old Games and I can't find my actual save files anywhere in the folder.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    A platinum is 5 gold.

    And I think there can be more than 15 random encounters; the slums are clear when you've done the set encounters AND 15 random. So you could end up with a couple of extra encounters if you aren't done with the set ones yet.
    But I don't remember ever having a problem with that. You will reach both at about the same time.

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