I have been playing Spiderweb games for years. I started with Exile and went on to Avernum which I really enjoy. I have also played Nethergate which (except for the ending) I liked. I tried Geneforge but never really got on with it. Pehaps I am just too old fashioned – I like the old Dungeons and Dragons type of Games.
Once when my grandson was visiting me he found the adult conversation rather boring. So I showed him Avernum 3. He liked it so much that I bought the whole trilogy for him for Christmas. I wanted to tell him where I had found lots of hints about the games on the Web but I discovered that the wonderful Avernum Annotated Maps had disappeared. So I decided to try and produce a few hints and tips myself for people who still play these fabulous games.
After three months work I had nearly finished the hints for Avernum 1, only to find that the “Annotated Maps” had been resurrected. I have nevertheless decided to make these tips available to the Avernum Fan Community.
Many of the Hints come from what I remember of the Annotated Maps. Naturally many are straight out of the Hints Books. I have also used other sites in the link list as a source of information.
Navigation: the games (first trilogy, second trilogy, further games, Avernum reworked ), general hints, further links
The trilogy now has six members and actually consists of two trilogies. The games in the two series use different engines and have a completely different look and feel. Spiderweb has also produced some other games like Geneforge, Nethergate or Avadon and recently reworked versions of the first trilogy (Avernum: Escape from the Pit, Avernum2: Cryatal Souls, Avernum3: Ruined World).
I did not originally intend to write notes about the other Spiderweb games. They do however deserve mentioning and for some of them I have produced some hints (actually I intend to write them).
Spiderweb games are developed on Macintosch and are later transfered to Windows and iPad. The original Avernum engine took some time to get right on Windows: there was an annoying bug in A1; A2 was better and it was only in A3 that the engine really worked optimally. Then came Geneforge with a new engine. I have not played this game very much, but the same (or a similar) engine has been used in the second trilogy. The implementation of A4 on Windows was a catastrophe: none of the Windows-specific features functioned correctly and, although things improved a bit in A5 and A6, the situation is still far from satisfactory.
In the reworked triology the basic requirements are satisfied: the game is installed so that all users can access it and the settings and saved games are stored in the user's home directory. There are still only 18 slots for storing games. It was so nice in the original trilogy, that the native filing system was used, so that one could store the game as many times as one wanted and also where one wanted.
There are a few other idiosyncrasies: cumulitive statistics are gatherd and stored separately. They are used for awarding “medals”. These statistics seem never to be reset, even when you start a new game. Saved games can only be removed by deleting the contents of the appropriate directory of Spiderweb Software in the users private documents. (I do not know what these files are called on English Windows implementations because I have only used the German operating systems.)
Navigation is a pain on Windows! A double-click is ignored and the right mouse button does absolutely nothing, the Control Button only works with ^S or picking thing up: CTRL-click transfers an item directly into your “Junk Bag”. The lack of a right mouse button is particularly annoying. The graphics in these games are most confusing. There are sparks and shooting stars the whole time on the screen so that I often miss important events like something sneaking up on me. There are so many irrelevant details like shelves or tables or things lying around in towns and dungeons. Outside there are groups of creatures that I would like to identify. In A3 I could use the right mouse button to identify these things. In these games I must get right up to them and if I am lucky (or unlucky) I find out what it was meant to be. Indoors the situation is even worse. There are so many irrelavent details in the graphics, that I cannot tell what is a useful item and what is just graphical decoration that I am forced to look around (the letter i, the pickup-button or the letter g) at almost every step I take.
In all three of the Avernum games in the first trilogy there are a few guidelines that always work. How far these hints function for the new trilogy I cannot say as I have not played these games much
The first thing is to create a good party. It is always better to use custom characters rather than the predefined ones. I tend to use the standard setup of two frontline warriors (one mêlée and one pole weapons), a mage and a priest. Tool use is necessary fairly early on and I usually give it to one of my warriors. I give my mage a few priest points and vice versa. It is also very useful if the second warrior can cast Haste or Healing. I find the third magic caster a boon, particularly in Avernum 2 and 3, where you can pick up a Slith priest who has good pole weapon skill and can be used as a second warrior. This is especially noticable when you encounter undead and have three people who can cast Repel Spirit. This is also useful when you meet Gazers, who suck up spell points. If you have a spell caster up front who can also fight they will (particularly in A3) concentrate on him leaving your priest and mage with the ability to heal. In Avernum 1 it is the Mung Demons which suck up your spell points and dumbfound you.
In all three games there are Non Playing Characters (NPCs) who will join your party. It is usually worth picking these characters up as they generally have better statistics than your normal party members.
There is an introductory page which contains notes about building a party, the major quests, and the stratagies I have used to get through the game. I have divided Avernum into areas (Valorim is in A3 already divided into provinces). There is a list of towns, dungeons and important outside encounters odered by area or province with short descriptions of the place. For reference there is an index of the same places odered alphabetically and also by the numbers or letters in the hints book. I have also made lists of the important shops and people offering services like training, identification, teaching etc. needed to get through the game.
For each town there is a description with map. I have listed all people you need to talk to (and also most others, who only contribute colour to an otherwise dull background). All important or useful items and encounters are mentioned in these town descriptions.
Although almost everything is described here somewhere, I have deliberately refrained from writing a blow by blow walkthrough, firstly because that spoils the fun of doing it yourself and secondly because my walkthrough is certainly not the only or the best way of getting through. I have written these pages with two goals in mind:
This link list is not exhaustive. It just contains sites I have used to get tips about the games.
|Last update: 1. Apr. 18, Mike Middleton||TOP|
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