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mwoody

Exploration - Why am I getting nothing?

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A min/maxxer at heart, I built a character whose specialization would be exploration. With that in mind, I got my luck to 4 and my "explore" major skill to 10 (via knots, climb, and cartography). But when I try to use that action, I almost always get absolutely nothing! In particular, the City of Mineta has given me the same two locations, in the same order, with every character build I've tried (regardless of exploration) - and then nothing more, no matter how many times I do an explore action. Am I misunderstanding this mechanic? Does it have something to do with selecting the first location (i.e. the one that defaults to "Character's Room")?

 

A related question: one of the few interesting places I _have_ found was the Charanglaith Path. I'm confused, though: it claims I get bonuses if I "spend a turn" there. How do I do that? Selecting, say, "study" with the path as the location has no noticeable effect.

 

EDIT: Oh, and I keep discovering locations I started the game knowing existed. Is that normal?

 

Thanks!

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I've also had the problem of 'discovering' locations I already knew about. It's annoying to waste an action like that, so I stopped using the explore command.

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Thirded. I was 'finding' locations I already knew about, like the dining hall, entrance to the great hall, etc. I had wondered if I were discovering abilities to use at those locations, rather than the existence of the location itself, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Clarification would be appreciated as to how exploring is supposed to work.

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mwoody and OokEek;

 

First things first- are you fully up to date on Patches? If you go into the game, press F12, and look in the bottom lower left you should see 1.1.7.0 (if Patch 17) or 1.1.5.0 (if Patch 15). Patches earlier to these indeed had issues with Explore, but I thought we had cleared them out. If the issue has returned, I'd definitely like to know for Patch 19!

 

89157Z;

 

I know you wrote that you had stopped using it- have you tried again in later Patches?

 

Thanks!

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mwoody and OokEek;

 

First things first- are you fully up to date on Patches? If you go into the game, press F12, and look in the bottom lower left you should see 1.1.7.0 (if Patch 17) or 1.1.5.0 (if Patch 15). Patches earlier to these indeed had issues with Explore, but I thought we had cleared them out. If the issue has returned, I'd definitely like to know for Patch 19!

 

I've been keeping up with the patches, but couldn't swear to the last time I tried exploring. I'll verify whether it's still a problem and come back to yell at you some more if it is. ;)

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Oh wow, 1.0.0. Since I purchased it recently, I figured the version I downloaded was up to date, and didn't know how to confirm otherwise. Whoops.

 

So, testing with patch 17 installed now. Note that this is an old save, so if said issues would be corrected by starting anew with an updated game, ignore me.

 

Issues with repeating locations seem to be much less. I still discovered something I'd seen before - the Great Hall, I believe it was - but for the most part I was getting random classrooms and the like, which is probably how it's supposed to work.

 

However, I still get nothing from Mineta or Elumia Proper. And the Imperial Reserve gives me 3 locations and then nothing else, ever.

 

It's a pity because for a game like this one, exploring the grounds is a very enticing and fun-sounding proposition. But from a gameplay standpoint, the entire mechanic is a real waste of points.

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mwoody450;

 

Firstly, I am amazed you were able to load 1.0.0 saves- that's the only save game serialization that we do not guarantee a successful load! I am glad that you were able to bring it up.

 

However, old saves will alter how Explore functions, so for a true test you'll need to be begin a New Game.

 

Your range of Locations will be determined by your Explore Skill, so maximize that (and Luck) for the broadest range of possibilities in any given Location.

 

Have fun!

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I'm currently playing Patch 17, I just explored Elumia Proper and re-discovered Tertoliod's Observatory (City of Mineta) - which I had previously discovered already by studying astrology.

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mwoody450;

 

Firstly, I am amazed you were able to load 1.0.0 saves- that's the only save game serialization that we do not guarantee a successful load! I am glad that you were able to bring it up.

 

However, old saves will alter how Explore functions, so for a true test you'll need to be begin a New Game.

 

Your range of Locations will be determined by your Explore Skill, so maximize that (and Luck) for the broadest range of possibilities in any given Location.

 

Have fun!

 

Sweet, I'll restart a similar character and check it out. I like a lot of the other upgrades to the UI I'm seeing, too (like color coding for actions/abilities).

 

It might be a good idea to put a big "you're downloading version 1, here's a link to the newest patch you should grab, too" link when people buy the game from your site, particularly since the F12 version check isn't self-evident. It's easy to assume that the full download will be the newest. Then again, it's possible it was there and I missed it, of course.

 

Anyway, thanks for the help!

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mwoody;

 

We're also thinking about a friendly 'update' button in the game itself- we'll see what we can do.

 

Thanks! ;)

 

Also, I figured that Impulse would have the newest version and update it for me, but that isn't the case. I'm not sure how far behind they are, but I was missing a lot of the new color coding.

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yes I have given up on using explore myself, I use it the first day and never again after that because I always find the same places over and over again. I can hardly ever find the places I want to find like Tertoliod's Observatory (City of Mineta). It would be so helpful to find this early in the game BUT it's not made known until astrology is like level 8, by then it is almost useless.

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yes I have given up on using explore myself, I use it the first day and never again after that because I always find the same places over and over again. I can hardly ever find the places I want to find like Tertoliod's Observatory (City of Mineta). It would be so helpful to find this early in the game BUT it's not made known until astrology is like level 8, by then it is almost useless.

 

After patching to 17, and playing a luck/explore/astrology character, I found that in the first couple weeks. Terribly useful.

 

That was a lucky one, though. Altogether, I'm still not sold on the usefulness of exploration. There are so many locations, but so few are actually useful to any one character... But the real problem, to my mind, is that it makes the already unwieldy location list like five times larger. I actually quit playing that character after midterms specifically because I was tired of searching through the abilities / location list.

 

My suggestions to make exploration more interesting: a) make locations that can ONLY be found through exploration (unsure if this is done already), rather than have the character exclusively find things usually unlocked via other means. :) Give the player the option to hide abilities and locations from the drop-down list - or, alternately, mark a specific few to be moved to the top of the list as "favorites." The list could also be sorted by the effects of an ability rather than name (i.e. all job-types in one area, all +1 to stat while here in another, etc), but I'd wager that's a huge code change not worth the rewards. And c) Create specific mini-events for exploration. Specifically, have certain more valuable locations - perhaps those mentioned above in (a) - require brief stat checks to be found. I'd do it as something like: hidden min exploration/luck roll v10 to find event, then you have several choices of alternate skills to unlock this area, or if you can pass a much harder exploration roll (v18?), you can get in anyway.

 

So, for example, an explorer's league. Simple money-for-increasing-skill-checks job, but can only be found via exploration. Can be found with a medium-hard roll randomly while exploring the City of Mineta, and doing so gives a little event: you can get in with a hard navigation, observation, or perception roll, or you can just blow past those skills with a very hard explore roll. I like this method because it gives a visible reason to keep pumping the exploration skill (it's hard to gauge its usefulness now), it's hard to save-scum because the event is random (i.e. you can't reload if you don't have the skill check skill like you can with adventures), and it gives the explore skill a more explorer like feeling.

 

Another thing to try is to give more locations cheap, small items to be picked up. Then, even if you can't use a location, you can maybe use or sell the item, so there's some small reward.

 

Or, perhaps, a "search nearby" option. The player picks a specific location rather than a general area to search, and in return he does an explore random location roll weighted slightly to be nearer on the list of locations to the one selected. Assuming specific locations are generally grouped by function - i.e. all the thieving stuff is together, all the cooking locations are together, all the courts are together, etc - the result would be a tiny statistical tendency to get something close to another useful, already found location. I'd also make the explore checks 4 or 5 harder, to compensate.

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mwoody450;

 

There are some great ideas here- notably, the Explorer's League. :)

 

For Year 2, Exploration has been somewhat redesigned so that you can focus on specific areas or search for specific things, but I don't think we'll be able to make any modifications to the system in Year 1.

 

Thanks!

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