Since last time I have become a Hand of Avadon and have been sent out on various missions that belong to the mainquest. I have either helped out allies with local problems like cleaning an ogre lair or investigate things or follow the traitor Miranda – a former highranking Hand of Avadon – that collaborates with the rebels in the land. My quests have taken me to the lands of corruption where the evil and chaotic influence is particularly strong and impossible to understand or contain. Avadon have some bases there to keep track of this phenomenon to be able to better understand it but with no success and some of them have already been overrun. I have been part of missions sent there to investigate what is happening and also to give advice of which policy Avadon should take on that. Everywhere you meeet NPC:s that are willing to give you sidequests.
What I also like is that there are atmospheric texts that elaborate on what you see, feel and hear. They are often really well written and add to the immersion of the game.
I have read opinions that Avadon 2 contains too much fights and gets repetitive and I am inclined to agree to some extent. But there is not more fighting here than in any other Bioware title.
Combat is turnbased and you have action points (AP) to spend on movements, attacking, using abilities or items. The number of AP is derived from your dexterity but if you attack you immediately end your round. There is no flanking bonuses as such but your movement is hindered if you pass into enemies zone of control. Enemy A.I is generally quite good and tries to take out your weakest characters first and surround you. I have found that you can use the environment to your advantage by blocking small passageways or fighting at doors so enemy number superiority won´t count as much.
Enemy spellcasters could be really tough and often I try to take them out as soon as possible. Especially if they summon creatures to fight at their side. Enemies also have a lot of different resistances and abilities like fire breathing or raining poisions so there is some diversity involved.
Looting in the game is not as rewarding as I have hoped. You will find chests here and there but they often contain only potions or some valuables. The merchants in the game have limited stocks and powerful weapons is hard to come by. Most of my weapons have been dropped by bosses. This makes exploration less fun than it could be.
At every level you gain one point to put into an attribute and two skill points. Every character class generally have three different branches in their skill tree. The more you put into one skill the more effective it gets. At level 3 and level 6 it adds another bonus. That causes motivation for specialising. The skills further away on the tree is more powerful but you can only put as many points in a tree node as you have put in the immediate previous skill node which forces you to some careful planning. Fortunately you will meet persons later in the game where you can respend your skill points.
We will see if I have the patience to get through to the end with this game. The fights have generally become harder and harder the further I get. When I first met Miranda in a fight and was held hostage at a demons mercy I thought I had got stuck. I had to change difficulty one step below normal to be able to survive that fight. I had to do that at the ogre boss fight as well. I feel I lack the offensive spells I would like and while my fighters are good there are no better weapons to buy for them despite me having enough gold.
Next post will probably be my review….