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Collective ideas for an Arcanum successor?

Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by Jwrac, May 30, 2013.

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  1. Jwrac

    Jwrac Member

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    Hey guys, I don't have much to add right now, but...

    But I was wondering if you guys had any personal/lore based conclusions as to what a prequel/sequel might entail, or perhaps what the story should be if anyone were to make a 'spiritual successor'?

    - Could a spiritual successor be in a new land?
    - Could there be drastic changes to the skills, traits, tech and magick?
    - Could there be less or more races without much of a disheartening?
    - Could it be in a different time period all together?
    - Could the musical style be drastically different? Or would it need to use a string quartet?
    - Thoughts?! Opinions?!

    I've read a few topics about what people had to say about the history of Arcanum and where a 'prequel' might fit in best.
    I would agree that it would have to be a point in time where both magick and technology would be in a sort of 'power balance'.

    Else, any ideas what a spiritual successor might start out like, or what story one might follow?
    I'm just pondering really, I don't plan to put anything into action really.
     
  2. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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  3. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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  4. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    Nope.
    I would very much prefer to revisit the cities from the original rather than an all new experience. That's not to say that the world shouldn't be expanded. It certainly should. Each of the major cities (Tarant, Dernholm (if restored by Maximilliam), Caladon) requires massive size bumps and more small towns (suburbs, maybe) should be added.
    Nope.
    I think that would ruin things. A sequel would have to remain classless and the challenge of choosing between (or combining) tech and magick must remain. Small changes could be made though. Combining spot- and disarm traps would be one thing. Adding technological schematics and improving schematic complexity would be another. Maybe one can even add disciplines. However, one must be really careful if changing magick. As I recall, the spells and colleges were fixed so new spells can only be introduced in a prequel (one in each college had been "lost", if I recall correctly, mass resurrection being one). They should be tweaked greatly for balancing though.
    Nope.
    But they could all be greatly improved. Female characters of ALL races is an absolute must. Playable female dwarves, half-ogres, gnomes, etc are needed. Orcs and ogres should be playable too. Now, if a sequel took place in the first half of the 20th century, the subject of ethical cleansing needs to be involved. Very, very carefully.
    Nope.
    A different time period would destroy the steampunk setting, I think. A sequel is the best option, set a few decades after the adventure of the Living One.
    Okay, I've had it with beginning with 'Nope' now.
    It should be changed, but only slightly, in order to better fit with the times. I'm no expert on music of either of the the 19th or 20th century but I'm sure that many things changed. The themes should be recognizable, though. And no changing of genres! I don't care if you'd like to add jazz in a 20th century Arcanum; this is not Fallout.
    Oh, I've got loads of these. But I'm not willing to share any more. NEVER AGAIN!


    A joke, I take it? The dinosaur role is served by dragons in Arcanum, both being fascinating and very much extinct. Wouldn't want any living ones (heh, "living one"). That would be insane. Insane, I tell you!
     
  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    A joke, I take it? The dinosaur role is served by dragons in Arcanum, both being fascinating and very much extinct. Wouldn't want any living ones (heh, "living one"). That would be insane. Insane, I tell you![/quote]
    Yes of course, a reference to a comment I made soon after when I joined.
     
  6. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that the dwindling of magick followed from the extinction of dragons, as in Shadowrun and Game of Thrones and, as in those worlds, the resurrection of dragons could lead to a new burgeoning of magick.

    Maybe arcanum 2 could be set in the Information Age and, idk, that fossilised dragon egg could be geneered back to life, causing the meta races and mages to reappear.

    Also, I've noticed you've made a couple of errors in quoting lately, jojobobo. Are you typing one handed while quivering with passion or something? No, don't answer that.
     
  7. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    "The Continuing Adventures of the Living One!"

    A direct sequel in where the Living One returns from the Void in another land and has to find a way back to Arcanum.

    Alternately, he returns directly to Arcanum and becomes enbroiled in stopping a technological menace to the world.
     
  8. Jwrac

    Jwrac Member

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    Re:

    I don't know, part of the idea of when you started out in Arcanum, was that you didn't really know if you were the Living One or not.
    The game sort of hinted that it was a little clueless as to if you were a "chosen one" or if the plot's fingers were buried in many more, distant pies.

    Generally speaking, let's assume someone were to make an Arcanum successor, albeit improbable, but let's assume that they couldn't rip any of the plot or story out of the original, to avoid copyright nonsense.
    How could it be done?
    "The idea of the Living One escaping the Void and appearing in some new land" is alright, but I mean, he/she has a memory and a brain.

    Reality is, if someone were to make a sequel, they couldn't use anything that is directly 'Arcanum'.
    Things like a generalised 'Void' and hints could be made, but nothing like characters or actual locations, sadly.
    It's got me thinking a bit, but I'm at a loss.
     
  9. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    The main problem with two following RPGs having the same protagonist:
    Living One enters the Void - lvl 50, highly skilled and specialised
    Living One leaves the Void - lvl 1, blank slate

    There's always the overused amnesia card, but that would largely remove the point of the protagonist being the Living One in the first place.
     
  10. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Re: Re:

    A while back I put forth an idea that Arronax, Virgil, and the Living One was going to escape the Void via the "Stargate". Arronax went through first and his powerful magic disrupted the hell out of the energy field. As a result, Arronax made it through OK, but Virgil and the Living One returned more dead than alive. Nursed back to health by some non-magical caring soul but still extremely weak, he or they get thrown into the next adventure.

    This could offer a somewhat plausible explanation for starting at level one.
     
  11. Jwrac

    Jwrac Member

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    Generally speaking any event can be thrown into the mix to remove a person's power, but the fact that you're meant to remember what happened in a game released 13 years ago is a little too much.
    The amnesia card is very overused sadly, but if it's never really mentioned as a part of the storyline, then it could work. (it could be the sole reason for the sequel, without directly linking to Arcanum)

    I like the idea of it being along a similar coin to what you said though, rroyo.
    The idea that something happens in the Void that causes the player to end up in some distant place, back to square one, is rather cool.

    Perhaps it could be a mix of the two, from the Void, huge thing happens, player is sent to new land, perhaps separated from all his followers. (Virgil might have been teleported under an ocean, or into some new town or anything.)
    It would make for a lot more sense that way.
    Who's to say the player did or didn't make certain choices? Didn't team with good or evil, Raven, or Sog Mead Mug? What if Virgil was killed in Shrouded Hills or on the way to Tarant, or even in Tulla? In someone's Arcanum play-through, any of these are factors.
    We can't assume Virgil will sprout out of the ground right next to the player in a sequel.

    Making a sequel fit for everyone is tough, but a new location, setting, with new characters is a must to avoid copyright issues.
    Perhaps it could have a journal, keep the name "The Void" I mean, you can't copyright the void, right?

    Perhaps on the way back through the void, time has passed but kept the player/followers in stasis, preserving them in spiritual and lively form, but time has gone on, by the time you awake, you're somewhere else, in the same or similar time era.

    Since it could be a new land, then who's to say technology didn't advance further and just sort of kept in check with magick as well?
    The opening sequence could be followed up by the character creation, as such, where the theme of the UI is like a journal, but old and faded text is everywhere, not at all readable, except for a few passages that could make subtle links, with a short passage, like a torn note from the book which is still readable "...we are about to escape the void with the device..."

    During character creation, nicely arted faded text sections of the journal, would be where you select your race, gender, background, and such, as well as a thumbnail portrait, (hinted that those are the only memories you have) I think something like that could work out well.

    This would allow for someone to make a sequel, and build an all new world, in a similar era/time period to Arcanum, with or without the old characters as easter eggs, littered about, also with no memories, but perhaps the same personalites?
     
  12. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    For a direct sequel, assumptions about alignment and followers are unavoidable. I'd suggest a lawfully and magic/tech neutral Living One with only Virgil by his side entered the Void. Since pleasing everyone is impossible, going dead-center is usually the best compromise.

    My favorite plot device *, in addition to the trip back to Arcanum, was the Living One learning that Virgil had arrived in this other land about 30 years earlier and was now a hunted heretic preaching a mixture of Panarii and the the Living One saga. Finding a late middle-aged, crippled Virgil, then taking on one of his followers as a replacement for him seems to work. A quick meeting early on, then Virgil has to run from the local Inquisition, but offers his most loyal follower to aid you until the next (and final) meeting.

    Edit: Finding Virgil's location but arriving just in time for his funeral could also work...

    For the last scene, I've had the Living One boarding an exploration ship bound for Vendigroth, and the captain happens to mention he hopes they don't run into that crazy elf who's trying the resurrect Vendigroth City by magic.....

    These two ideas gives closure to the original story but allows for an entirely new cast of characters to help or hinder the Living One.

    * Yes, I do have the occasional day-dream about this. The latest version is the Living One in Faerun. Sue me....

    Copyright issues: If you're planning a commercial release of Arcanum 2, then no matter what, you'll need legal permission.
    The freebee fan mods have always been tolerated without comment.

    The faded journal: I think I like it! Although it does play into the amnesia angle, that could work.
     
  13. Jwrac

    Jwrac Member

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    No doubt you'd want to have reference to a good amount of characters and history of the first game, but perhaps it could be done in such a way that it wouldn't be an official successor, just a spiritual one.

    I mean, overly obvious things like directly linking to Vendigroth at the end, and Virgil being a main story component, that is a good idea for an official Arcanum 2, but I've just been pondering the idea of "how could you do it without being sued"?

    There's been a good couple of topics related to people wanting a sequel, and the majority of the response was along the lines of "someone could best make a different, new game, inspired by Arcanum".

    I just don't think you could have direct reference to the same continent with the same locations.
    Things like characters might not be such an issue, especially if they're littered around in random areas.

    I had another over the top idea that was along the lines of the entire continent shifting and changing, but that would take at least a hundred million years if not three hundred or more. Which is really out of proportion. (extinction events and whatever, stupid idea)

    It would most likely have to be in a new land, with new people, and only vague references to the original, for it to be a legal, spiritual, successor.

    But if Arcanum 2 were to actually happen, keep the same continent, places, and such, advance time a hundred years, and make up some bullcrap about how technology in the hands of humans didn't advance much further, and how magick was still very plentiful by then.

    I don't know.
     
  14. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    OK - Fall back to Plan A: An entirely new story, from beginning to end, set in the world and time of Arcanum.

    The original game has a magic-based threat so make the sequel a tech-based one.
    A "Professor Moriarty" trying to bring about a world war seems to be a common theme.
     
  15. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Of all the ideas for a fan-made sequel to Arcanum, my favourite one was Cloaked Figure's "Arcanum: Dead World".

    It followed an ending in which the Living one killed Kerghan and returned to Arcanum as death's champion himself. He layed waste across the land and killed off most of its life until he eventually stopped and removed himself from the scene. Was he killed? Is he hiding? No one knows. What everyone does know, though, is that the world is devastated and the survivors aren't all the peaceful to each other either. For example, the ruined Tarant is in a state of civil war and dealing with the problem would be one of the main quest lines.

    Sadly, the project was eventually abandoned without much comment from Cloaked Figure. Still, purely as inspiration, here are some locations which were planned and partially implemented, screenshots included.

    Vooriden

    Tarant

    tl;dr: I'd love me some post-apocalyptic Arcanum.
     
  16. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    I like this idea, but with one change. The threat should still be a magic-based one seeing as a mages would benefit far more from a world war than technologists would (if by world war you mean a MAD war).

    I even have an idea for the villian. Jongle Dunne from Shrouded Hills. He is an alchemist sure, but he seems to prefer magick as he wants you to destroy the steam engine. Also his successes in alchemy makes him incredibly rich I would think, (IIRC it's even mentioned in the ending) so he would afford to buy assassins to murder the mayor of Blackroot (obviously a nod to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand) and probably initiate a war between Tarant and a Maximillian ruled Cumbria. Mr Dunne could also mass produce gold to bring about the Depression (since the Tarantian currency is backed by gold).

    As for the Living One's adventures one can go for an Invisible War approach. Everything happened even those things that the PC can't do at the same time. All quests should be considered completed, both good and evil. Most players probably refused Ryan Sander's quest, but that shouldn't prevent him from offering it to another adventurer. A molochean perhaps?

    Also, I believe it's fairly easy to keep most things of the Living Ones identity a secret. For most quests it could be said that someone else took the credit. Owens takes credit for running of Lukan, Henderson takes credit for solving the Whytechurch murders, Willoughsby takes credit for ensuring the alliance with Arland (only to have his reputation ruined when the alliance is brought to an end as a diplomat in his employ (possibly Heinrich Jenks) assassinates August Farad. You see where I'm going with this; other people did everything. If the Living One's victory against Kerghan necessarily needs to be recorded it should be added very diffusely in the Archaeon. The Living One should be referred to as such and should also be presumed (perhaps falsely) to be male and of elven heritage. A non intrusive god ending could also be picked.

    I'd choose either
    or
     
  17. Jwrac

    Jwrac Member

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    But it's still in fact in the same land though, with all the same areas.
    This is, as mentioned, a good idea for an official... but what about spiritual?
     
  18. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    It's the same land, sure, but there are still loads of areas mentioned in the game that never make an appearance. While persuading Ristezze the following locations are mentioned:

    Huntington Dale, Westing, Falsburg, the Meloren Bazaar, East O'Banion and Great Bend.

    That seams like a lot of material to work with. And with the addition of being able to return to (a greatly expanded) Tarant, I think there enough major locations for a sequel to be both familiar and a new experience.

    As for a spiritual successor I don't really know...
     
  19. Lealo

    Lealo New Member

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    "Could there be drastic changes to the skills, traits, tech and magick"

    Yes, I would say combat should be greatly inspired by the Mount & Blade games (newer same style games are War of the roses and Chivalry medieval warfare)
    A very alive sword combat simulator like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Ww9U#at=65
    Watch from 1:05

    Here is 1 handed combat in another mod:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBdHa13B4lY

    A Napolenic war mod of the medieval game Mount & Blade Warband
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7acWOgSUnk
    Watch from 2:27

    (Watch muskets in there, reload, bayonets..., Napolenoic war is around 1800-1820)

    Bayonet mass fight on birdge from 1:20
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0YOB81J-8U

    North and south mod (American civil war) from Napolenic war expansion - based off Mount and Blade Warband
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpvVKL6WAd0
    Watch 10:28 the revolver working : )

    Also Magick! a very small old mod from original Mount and Blade (Therefore slightly akward old sword animation)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiUOHIX62WU

    Archery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz-l74SFKfs
    Throwing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj8x8T2p-3Y
    Crossbow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXgi7r-5qAI


    Well a great Arcanum, should combine all this (all combat styles are present in Arcanum), balance it. I would love to see a 1-2 hit and die style so you have to be careful. Unless you use a plating armour in melee combat... So that the game is dangerous. A very trickie thing to solve is how AI would fight, they dont respond to a feint attack like a humans do. (Most of the videos are multiplayer, the magickvideo-one has bots in it) However I have no skill programming etc etc. But this is how combat should work! Also, Mount and Blade 2 will come out, I would love to see a group modding it making a dummy/model of a real Arcanum style game out of it.
     
  20. Lealo

    Lealo New Member

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    "Could the musical style be drastically different? Or would it need to use a string quartet?"
    "Thoughts?! Opinions?!"

    I think it mostly should be a string quartet in style of the original tracks
    Also I think piano fits into Arcunum, in the finer salons.
    Glorious military marches with pride also fit in I think.

    In Arcanum, the only adds to the qartet was a metalic cling sound (Wheel clan), and a dark sounding drum to make it sound "dwarven". (Also used as general combat music)
    in Quintarra: there is a pling-plong and waterfalls in the background to make it sound exotic/wild like "Elven"
    Tulla uses a weird very close to arabic scale and it sound mystic/magical.
    Void just uses sounds no instruments, abit space/underworld like.
    T'sen Ang its just quiet/silence and abit windy.

    Otherwise it just uses string quartet

    You can build on all this, and keep it this way but make more tracks and build even more on it. Like harp, it probably fits into the elven Quintarra style.
    Waltz style music has to be put in in a Arcanum 2 as well. (the rythm Dom, da, da. Dom, da da). Dancing waltz in finer salons...
    Gnomes, Halfvlings have no music of their own. Half Ogres, Half-orc. Have neither. There is no village/society/location really in Arcanum 1, so they havent gotten any characteristic sounds. So if the focus would be increased on them (and on everything) new characteristics in the sound has to be made for them I guess. Well all of this is highly interesting I might aswell just start at work on a track for fun: ) Other than that, is it just me or in a newer game (first person/much better grapics and details) dose it really fits to have an ongoing track when you walk around? It would probably feel much more realistic and fitting with just sounds of boots on the ground, wind and some birds... (This is rather problematic I think)
     
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