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Re: GOA (and general advice on playing, and asking / giving help)
Posted By: gremlinn, on host
Date: Monday, December 8, 2003, at 15:30:26
In Reply To: Re: GOA posted by silverfox on Monday, December 8, 2003, at 14:34:35:

> > I have made it to the well in the begginning,should I take the dead fish or dump it back in the well
> > Inventory
> > 384 silver coins
> > diving mask
> > ticket
> > food rations
> by all means keep it. keep anything you can get. go redeem the ticket. and u will need armor. be persistant.

Another piece of advice that seems to deserve repetition these days: no AGL will game will allow you to do something that makes the game unwinnable (and nothing you can do will even set you back all that far). If you come to a point where you're not sure which of two things to try, just try them both.

Also, the games are designed to get you stuck every once and a while. That doesn't mean the best thing to do, the instant you don't know just how to proceed, is to ask for help. At the VERY least you should have tried every option you've seen, and (especially for a stage in a game where your range of exploration is limited, as is the case in the start of GOA) probably have gone around and retried all the options you've tried before with a mind to how things might work differently if you've picked up any new, useful items or information since last trying those options.

Otherwise, you'll find it easy to fall into the habit of giving up early and getting walked through large segments of the game. Now that's not entirely a waste of time, perhaps, as you're at least enjoying the story...but there's much more satisfaction to be gained by struggling with the puzzles and finally figuring them out (though after several hundred moves, it might just be time to draw the line and figure that's it's just not worth it to hold off asking for help).

[In a much more expansive game, however, I think it would not be reasonably expected that players should have to brute-force search the entire accessible world for a way to advance, especially several times over in close succession. Asking for a hint in this case is just what the Hints Board is for (or even in the case of smaller games, if the missing step is more subtle than just clicking on a single option once).]


On the other side, I would advise hint givers not to tell the person soliciting help any more than they need to get past whichever problem(s) they've mentioned -- that especially goes for giving hints for problems which *can't* be solved until another problem has been solved.

For example, let's say a person is stuck on puzzle X, which you need to solve to be able to solve Y and Z. Perhaps the player even mentions Y and Z, not knowing which of the three can be solved immediately. Don't tell this person something like, "Here's a trick to get past X, and then be sure to use that to tackle Y and Z! And don't forget to go back and get item M afterwards to solve puzzle N later on!" It might be that the player asking for help would have wanted to try figuring out Y and Z on his own, and would have been able to do so if he had known how to get past X. Also, if the person didn't even mention M or N in his post, that last part could easily be a direct (and non-helpful) spoiler. You'd only want to mention M or N if it were the case that the player couldn't solve *any* of X, Y, and Z, but in fact needed to know about M or N to proceed. This is why it's important to post your inventory when asking for help. That way the hint giver can know whether you can reasonably know about/access M or N, thus know whether it's likely a spoiler to tell you about M or N even if you haven't mentioned them in your post.

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