Author Topic: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction  (Read 10285 times)

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Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 01:04:25 AM »
A new day dawns, and my people are learning!  They have amassed enough worldly experience to each grow in their own way, based on who they are and what they have done.



Among my explorers, my Healer gains Herbalism (but not any sorely needed incremental Medic skills), and my Warrior Helena gains strength (allowing her to carry more loot and also heavier equipment--encumbrance is tracked carefully in this game, and yet another factor that has to be considered as you craft new weapons and armor, or as you decide whether to pack your adventurers with more bulky raw food or the more compact cooked and baked goods).  Ostrogniev gains health (due in part to the sneak attack he led against the Witch), while the others mostly learn to be more cunning in the battles ahead (Tactics helps with things like improving your own party's initiative or confusing your opponents).  For almost all of them, the skills that they gained were related to the actions they performed in my various challenges.



My Villager's growth was a bit less helpful.  None got an increase in their Gathering or Crafting skills, but those can be accomplished eventually by Crafting (a work bench for the Crafting skill and weaving some baskets for the Gathering skill).  Still, they grow every day and it is wonderful to see my people become anything more than they were in this cursed world.

I'm also relieved to see that Lutoslav has now fully healed from his wounds.


Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2017, 08:16:59 AM »
A very interesting read Sooner. Looks like a surprisingly deep game. Can you rename any of your characters or towns? Soonerville would be a logical choice.  ;D
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Offline undercovergeek

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2017, 11:11:13 AM »
Afaik you can rename - rps did an aar and the guy chose his own names

Great read, waiting to hear about Theodore

Offline Ubercat

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 12:20:47 PM »
I bought this game on Steam a few months ago. Tried playing a few times. CTD about a minute in, every single time. Oh well, at least it was on sale.
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Offline undercovergeek

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2017, 12:39:38 PM »
You done the whole check file integrity thing?

Uninstall reinstall?

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2017, 12:40:29 PM »
I've had the game for several months, but haven't tried playing it yet.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

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Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 01:49:43 PM »
Ubercat, I found the following on a quick Google:

Quote
This should do the trick. It's from the FAQ.

Q: Help! My game crashed!
A: We would be very grateful if you could send us your output_log.txt from right after the crash. It is located in your game folder. Send it over to khash[at]muhagames.com with a brief explanation of the problem, it will greatly help us with resolving the issue. Some graphic cards (commonly GTX 570 & 580 series) also don't like our game, but there is a solution. Right-click on the game in steam library, and go to Properties - set launch options "-force-d3d9".

The original link is at https://steamcommunity.com/app/378720/discussions/0/487876474227747728/ but it looks like they're quoting an FAQ (I'm not sure where that FAQ is, but this tidbit might prove sufficient).

Hope that works!

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2017, 11:18:42 PM »
Well, once my villagers stopped glutting themselves on the Bigos, Theodore showed up quickly.  He provided my people a basic lesson on Nutrition in The Age of Darkness, a lump of shiny gold bricks they can use to build something (neither I nor they know what at this stage), and another mission:  to build a building. 



The only building that my Craftsmen know how to build is a Pasture, but that requires far more wood or stone than my villagers currently have.  In addition to being my people's primary source of fuel and warmth, Wood seems to be used to craft almost everything in this now-primitive world:  cooked meals, axe handles, fences for a pasture, baskets, even a set of hammer and tongs to enhance my own crafting. 

To the people of my village, and in particular their Craftsmen leader, the lady Felislava, the next step seems obvious:  Build a Gathering basket and get us more wood.  I experiment with the ingredients required and come to an interesting realization.  Felislava does not have straw to fashion the wicker for my baskets, but she does have a small supply of Cane on hand which will do nicely and might work even better than the straw.  She then faces the option of whether to tie together this basket with String (of which my people have 10 lengths), or the stronger and longer Vines (of which my people have only 5). 



Fashioning the baskets with Vine will allow for a larger basket (with a Gathering +3 bonus), as opposed to the smaller basket woven only with the shorter, coarse strings of plant fiber.  I have a source of neither around my Village at the moment, although I suspect my people will be able to harvest Spider silk at some point in time to serve this purpose quite nicely.  There might be a better use for the Vines at some point down the road, but my people need more of everything now, so we opt to use the Vines.  It should take Felislava only two days to fashion my first basket.

She is the prettiest woman in the village and has yet to take a husband.  Hopefully Lutislava will stop mooning over her sometime soon.  He is here as a body guard for the rest of my village, but idle hands of any sort are a waste, so he is necessarily put to work.  It probably doesn't help his preoccupation with Felislava that he's asked to spend all day clumsily stirring the cabbage in a stew pot.

Perhaps sending him a short distance outside the town with Falibor to gather some additional Cane will help there as well?  To make better use of their travel time, I'll keep them both here in town until such time as Felislava's new basket is ready.  Frankly, we'll need a second basket soon, so the Cane will come in useful there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 11:27:52 PM by FarAway Sooner »

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2017, 11:46:01 PM »
My hunting party has traveled south now, both to explore and to clear out the area of potential menaces before Lutislava and Falibor leave the relative safety of the village to gather some cane.  They run across a pack of Hungry Unliving--2 Skeletons and 1 Rotting Dead.  Since The Tree of Life burned to the ground 100 years ago, the dead have not been able to move on to The Afterlife.  In their torment, a disturbing number of them return to this world as Undead, hungry for the life that was once theirs.

Milosh, who is the smartest among my villagers and has a passing interest in Folklore, has told the others that those whose corpses reanimate are often the ones who had the most troubled feelings in their own lives.  Life in this world is hard, breaking the back and too often the heart.  Milosh's words about the Undead ring familiar chords in my own memory, but they are distant things, more like something I might have read out of a tome than something I ever experienced for myself. 

When my people confront creatures like this, an image sometimes appears in my mind of a whole battlefield full of vile undead, bathed in the glowing splendor of my Holy Burning Light and turning to ashes.  It is a snapshot, with detail so startling that I know it is not a painting I have seen. 

It must have been something I have done.  But it is not alive, there is no sense of memory or recall.  Only a picture.  Much has been lost since the Darkness fell.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2017, 12:07:00 AM »
"Well now, that wasn't so had, was it?" asks Pavel, withdrawing his clumsy but massive iron sword from the shattered pile that was the last of the 3 Skeletons they faced.  He has that irrepressible smile on his face that is always there after a heavy moment.  It is a source of amusement at the right times, but also a source of bitter consternation at the wrong times.  He and his colleagues are all uninjured, which makes this one of the right times.

Chebira reaches down to the ground a pulls away a medium-sized shield, made of the magically tainted Dark Wood that now grows best in this world where somehow trees have survived without light for a century.  Until one week ago, none of my people had ever seen the sun, but they all knew that in the Old Days, all plants had required sunlight to survive.  Milosh has been asked how trees of any sort could survive for decades without sunlight, but he has only offered a shrug in return.  Questions like this can chase each other around inside a person's head until one goes crazy.  Chebira's new shield is larger than the small Iron Buckler she was using before.

"What do we have here?" Helena asks, lifting a well-crafted iron short sword from the shattered skeletal hand of another opponent.  She currently wields a shortish, crude Iron Pike.  It's length usually gives her the first attack against an opponent, but it requires both hands and leaves her defenseless to counterattacks when she is not able to vanquish an enemy with the first strike or when she faces more than one foe.  The sword will not strike as hard, but when combined with the small iron buckler that Chebira just relinquished, it should provide her more confidence facing foes.

In a world where even small wounds always seem to fester without a thorough and immediate cleaning, a sturdy piece of iron between you and a sharpened axe or a grasping claw can be a source of great comfort. 

Milosh has hefted a large monster bone that he has found.  He speculates that it might be the femur of an Ogre, but when Ostrogniev pushes him on why he thinks that, he backtracks quietly.  Milosh is smarter than anybody else in the party, but Ostro is not a man without faculties himself.  Others in the hunting party suspect that Milosh often makes answers up, but none have ever been able to catch him in an outright lie.  It is a game of cat and mouse that the two men have been playing for years now.

Milosh places the large bone in his backpack.  He'll probably find some use for it eventually, even if it's just as the handle of a new axe.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2017, 09:10:31 PM »
Another day passes.  The hunting party explores further south, looking for the hut of a herbalist that we'd heard tales of in the past.  The explorers find her hut and engage her in conversation, but (aside from an offer of expensive healing that they do not need and probably could not afford in any event) little of interest comes out of the conversation.  There is a vague hint of a favor she would like done, but she seems to guard her secrets closely and since we offer no payment for services, she mentions no task.

I remember few things from the old world, but I was the God of Light and I remember the sun well.  What I see now in the sky is a faint reminder of the warm, sunny days that once blessed this land through all of Spring and Summer. 

But, to my people, it is a beacon.

In some hearts, I sense a stirring of hope.  In others, only dutiful determination and a dogged refusal to indulge in the luxury of hope.  In this wretched world of theirs, hope is most often just an intermediate step on the way to despair.

However they cope with this, there is a quickening of their hearts.  All of them seem invested in their work, learning and striving as best they can.  Perhaps this (along with the greater safety of travel afforded by the brightness of a day) accounts for the personal growth I sense in all of them.


Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2017, 09:30:52 PM »
I've already mentioned how different characters level up differently, but I thought this moment of my characters gaining another level might help me to tee up a broader-ranging conversation of different classes.



I don't even know all the different classes available, but I do know that they fall into 3 main categories. 

The first is Gatherers.  Their main skill in the game is (unsurprisingly) Gathering, and they are orders of magnitude better at collecting resources than any other class, (especially without any tools to help).  The have basic combat abilities, and can do fine in a fight if given decent equipment (at the start of the game, their weapons are little more than fishing spears or axes with sharpened bones on the end.  As they level up, they might gain a HP, but their skills seem to lack any major application in the game.  Still, without them, there would be no raw materials to craft with, much less any food or fuel to keep the villagers alive.

The second main class is Warriors.  Their man skills have to do with Attack and Defense, but as they gain levels, they acquire proficiency in skills like Tactics (very useful if a character is in "the reserve hand" during combat) or Strength (allows you to wear more and heavier armor, but also to carry back more stuff on an expedition--it's quite common to get overloaded with treasure and need to return home to deposit one's materials).  Warriors start off with more HP and better armor than other classes, but they also seem much more likely to get HP.

The last main class is Specialists.  In many ways, these serve as the leaders of your group.  Right now, I have 3 of them.  Felislava in my village and Ostrogniev in my exploration party are both Craftsmen.  If you don't have at least one Craftsmen in your village, your progress grinds to a halt--no new weapons, no new structures, no new tools.  Both Craftsmen have strong Speech skills, which often can open up possibilities in encounters that I might not otherwise see (e.g., a chance to clear out a mine in exchange for some of the goods located therein).  Ostrog's "Animal Kinship" ability is one I haven't seen before.  The tooltip says it will help in Hunting Challenges, but I've yet to encounter any of those.

The other specialist in my party, Milosh, is a Medic.  He also has good Speech, but also excellent Intelligence.  This can help in puzzling out peculiar riddles, researching the best way to repel a demonic haunting of my village, or any sort of Intellect challenges. 

The whole game is broken up into many types of challenges besides Combat Challenges, so having a diverse skill base is important.  The world here is too deadly to bash your way through every encounter, as we saw when Milosh was able to poison the Spiders.

Offline airboy

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2017, 10:29:47 PM »
This is interesting, but you really start with nothing.  It will be interesting to see how fast the power build-up cycle is.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2017, 11:36:00 AM »
This is interesting, but you really start with nothing.  It will be interesting to see how fast the power build-up cycle is.

Airboy, I've played the demo about 4x as far as I've gone in this narrative, but this is my first play-through with the full version so I don't know for sure.  Based on my last play, though, there are a number of balancing factors.

  • You can add people (of all classes) to your village as you play, but only slowly.  There are currently 4 children in my village, and at some point in the game, they grow up, but it takes many turns.  New children are sometimes born as well, although certain structures (e.g., a Cabbage Patch) increase the frequency there.  I think I added a person or two to my village through completing quests, but those were very rare and very precious. 
  • Gathering in this game is not easy.  You can only gather resources if you're in a hex with them.  Quests can be good for getting a small supply of more advanced resources, but if my iron mine is 2 days journey from my village (the closest source of iron I've found in my exploring so far) and I need iron, I need to send a Gatherer on a 2-day march, let him work on gathering for however long that takes, and then transport him back home on another 2-day march.  And the wilderness is dangerous, so if you go far from your village, he'll need a big escort.  Most recipes take 2 or 3 resources, so planning which resources you'll need when is key.
  • At the higher difficulty levels, it becomes an intricate balancing act between Gatherers (to get the raw materials), Craftsmen (only one class of Specialist, so you can't always get another Craftsmen when you want one), and Warriors (to protect the village, complete external quests to advance the story, and escort Gatherers as appropriate).  You can pick the major class that a child is trained in (e.g., Warrior vs Gatherer vs Specialist) when the children come of age, but the sense of scarcity remains there.
  • Craftsmen and Gatherers can only do one thing in a turn, so while a more skilled villager might be able to gather lots of veggies or make 2 axes in a turn, that's only useful if you want and need 2 axes or a ton of turnips.
  • As your society advances, it takes much more crafting to build better things (e.g., Leather Clothing might only take 3 turns, whereas a suit of Chain Mail could take a week or more).  At least as far as I played in the demo, the difficulty of crafting and gathering scaled appropriately.

I'm not sure if that answers your question.  There might be a point where exponential growth takes over, but the game seems to have more balancing factors built into it than the simple 4x model first seen in Civilization.  Villagers are precious, and the need to escort your Gathers makes for some challenging trade-off decisions.  At least, that's been my experience early on.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Thea The Awakening: An Introduction
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2017, 03:12:42 PM »
The villagers have just acquired another advancement.  There was much debate in the camp about what might best serve their needs.   Only 3 of my 10 villagers have armor of any sort, so learning to fashion some kind of Light Armor would be a very logical choice.  But at this point, they have only very limited access to the materials (String, Leather, Bones) that might be used to fashion such.

Ostrogniev and Felislava argue persuasively for building a Smithy.  Ultimately, his persuasiveness and her honeyed tongue carry the day, although not without a lot of grumbling from the others.  Ostro and Felislava both argue that they will be able to fashion armor for their fellows much more quickly, and also more skillfully.  Many of the others remain skeptical, especially Milosh, who is older and weaker than many and could not likely withstand more than a single blow if he ever gets caught in combat.

Ultimately, though, the notion that a smithy's fire would also help to cook food wins the day.

Felislava finally finishes her basket of vine and woven cane.  She wastes no time in passing it along to Falibor.  Nowo, the other Gatherer, eyes it jealously, but both know that the gathering of wood is more important to so many different endeavors.  Felislava informs the others that, with only two more days of gathering wood, the village should have enough materials for Felislava to to start work on a small Pasture. 

Thinking back on Theodore's last words, they realize that it makes more sense to keep Falibor and Latislova in the village for another two days.  A second basket for Nowo is coming, but if Felislava can stay actively engaged on a big project while Lutislova and Falibor head out to gather more Cane, it will serve the whole village well.