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After finishing Eschalon books 1 and 2, I got into the urge of playing those retro-style turn-based indie RPGs, and started looking into Spiderweb's games.
I've started a bit the demos of Geneforge 5, Nethergate Resurrection and Avernum 6, and was wondering if I should really invest my money into the full versions.
I only played the beginning parts, and am wondering if they are worth it.
Do they have open environments or is it just dungeons? Are there interesting skills&spells later on? what about equipment? is there any meaningful dialogue and options?
Which one(s) I should get? and where from?
I can get them through the official website, that will aide the devs, and get me DRM-free versions. But to pay through PayPal I have to do it via Email and have the devs handle it manually. This may take some time.
On Gamersgate I get some DRM, and the devs won't get the full money (then again Gamersgate aren't that bad either), but I do get an instant copy, I get GGs normal rewards (blue coins, getting closer to Black member level and therefore 80% discount on a selected game each weekend), and I can download and install the game whenever I please, rather than need to contact the developers should I delete my copy.
I'd appreciate your opinions.
I've been playing A3 lately and really enjoying it, a good mix between dungeon crawling and exploring, but very combat-heavy. Really reminds me of the old RPGs (Gold box games, etc) I used to play, sort of like I've heard about the Eschalon games. I tried out the A3 demo, thought it was ok but nothing special at first, ended up hooked on it within the first hour.
Buying direct from the dev is easy, you should get an unlock code almost instantly in your email I believe. The demos are huge as well so unless you've already played to the end, you can go quite awhile before you need to unlock them.
I've heard the later Avernum 5 and 6 games (haven't gotten into the Geneforges yet) added quite a bit to the combat, but I'm finding it fun if simple in A3 myself.
Thing is when buying from the devs, that I want to use PayPal, and their procedure for it, is to send them a payment, then an email telling them my details and the games (and their registration codes) I'm purchasing.
While this might mean I'll get the unlock code in a few hours, it could take a few days as well.
I think I got mine instantly... I believe when you purchase the game (in your cart), you just plug in the registration number there (it's listed on the title screen of the unregistered game) and then it sends one back instantly. If not, Jeff Vogel (the game's designer) is REALLY quick to communicate, I've lost a key before and gotten an email back within a few hours with a new one, and have gotten responses to questions about the games within a day.
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You use the code from the demo you download during ordering, as far as I remember, and get an email with the key to unlock the whole game. Remember also each demo is like 10+ hours of gametime, so you'll have plenty of game to play before you need a complete unlock.
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I just noticed the games cost considerably more via the official website (both Avernum 6 and Geneforge 5 cost 28$ for the code, where as they cost 25$ and 20$ on Gamersgate respectively).
Guess this decides for me where to purchase from.
Well, I'm not interested in getting trilogies on CDs.
Bought from Gamersgate (Avernum 6), might be others if it is good enough (previous Avernum's, Geneforge 5, and Nethergate), most likely from the devs directly.
Prefer to buy directly from Vogel since he keeps putting out games I dig. Haven't had any problems. As for needing to contact him for re-installing, there is a way to avoid this (that doesn't involve resorting to anything shady). After you've bought your code and registered your game, make a copy of the *Settings.dat (Avernum6Settings.dat, GeneforgeSettings.dat, etc) from the saved games folder in My Documents. Burn this and the demo onto a CD (or email it to yourself). When you want to re-install, install the demo and then copy over your original *Settings.dat file. The game is now the full registered version.
"Do they have open environments or is it just dungeons?"
Both. The Avernums are much more open than the Geneforges, though neither are very railroaded. Avernums are stronger in the exploration department.
"Are there interesting skills&spells later on?"
Sure, but they still tend to be your standard D& style spells (though without the Vancian memorization thing). The Geneforges have a leg up here due to the combinations of spells and creature creating you can play with. The Avernums introduced Battle Disciplines (leg sweep, shield breaker, etc) for your warriors in Avernum 5.
"what about equipment?"
Run of the mill RPG stuff, although some items include stat disadvantages along with stat advantages.
"is there any meaningful dialogue and options?"
Yes, mostly in the Geneforges. Be careful what you say. Invest in the Leadership skill.
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I played Avernum 1-2-3 and enjoyed them. They are long games with lots of dialogue to read but with very interesting quests and humor of all sorts thrown in. The worlds are huge and open to full exploration, nothing linear about it, and yet no level scaling, you will die often and quick if you try to take on the tougher opponents too early. Combat was always challenging, required strategy in coordinating your spell casters with your melee grunts. Many fun hours were spent with these games.