When all is said and done, my problem with Arcanum

Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by Childe Random, Aug 8, 2002.

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  1. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    The character developement is on such a small scale. For all my time spent doing quests (most of which is spent traveling rather than doing anything) I get one skill point per level. I suppose a bit of it combines with how tedious it can get to travel through such a huge world that is so ugly with such horrible animations, but there's definately more to it than that. It takes ages to develop your character, and if you develop into a direction that isn't effective in the game it takes just as long again to get back to a workable concept. Not to say Arcanum is a bad game, but lately I've shuddered when I looked at the CD sitting on my desk. It pains me that a game that obviously has so much work put into it and so many good ideas is held back by a few things that weren't.
     
  2. Dragoon

    Dragoon New Member

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    Actually lots of people were coplain that they develop their characters to quickly. That happens especially when you decide on dodge/melee character. It's better when you play a tech character, the game seems to be much more balanced then with respect to character development speed (not your enemies strentgh mind you). The easiest way to develop properly is to plan - just think what you need to survive at the current stage of the game and when you reach stats that give you enough strength concentrate on what you'd like to have. Rinse and repeat :)
     
  3. Aura Emenator

    Aura Emenator New Member

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    Hmm...

    The character development is positively my favorite aspect of this game. I don't know how you are playing the game, but level advancement comes pretty quickly, if you know what you are doing. There are so many ways to make your character that a little planning can help you from making decisions you wish you hadn't. Go to Terra Arcanum and try out the character bank, take some notes, and approach the game with a definite direction you wish to take your character in. Your complaints about the world map and animation are reasonable, I suppose. Sure it's not the greatest looking game, but a huge world map enhances the realism of the game, and besides, once you take the time to learn what locations are neccesary for what quests, and where all the important areas are, it's not as daunting as it seems at first. What would a role playing game be, without a detailed, expansive world to explore?
     
  4. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Hmm...

    Apparently, that's why a lot of people play as a mage and use teleport. They can't be bothered running around everywhere and fighting more random encounters of wolves, wolves, kites, wolves, kites and wolves.

    The problem with the one skill point per level is that you can spend it on anything, meaning you do have a wide range of skills to choose from. Only, right from the start with your 5 points, you can put 1 point into dexterity and 2 into melee and dodge. The rest of the game from that point on is fairly easy. I survived on that until the end, slowly upping my tech skills and firearms until I mastered gunsmithy, that metal one (I forgot what it is, blacksmith?) and whatever that last skill was that I needed to make my army of Automatons. If I put all those points into strength, dodge, melee and dexterity, I'd be unstoppable. MUAHHAAH!!
     
  5. Aura Emenator

    Aura Emenator New Member

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    The world is yours

    One man's creed is another man's dickweed.

    This game needs an enema!

    In the quiet words of the virgin Mary, come again?
     
  6. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    There's no one thing that ruins Arcanum for me. I played it almost to the end, and did a lot of the side quests, but so many smaller things just didn't sit right. The uselessness of guns, the ability to fire 20 arrows in 4 seconds, the sight of somebody bashing away with a rapier like a club, etc. Also, most of my memories of Arcanum right now are of wandering around looking for things, quests, quest locations. I would call the gameworld expansive, but not really detailed. Troika's design strategy is to cut corners to bring a huge gameworld to players. Not to mention the player is forced to go dungeon crawling in most steps of the main plot.

    For whatever reasons, it came down to the fact that I realized I was spending more time bored out of my skull traveling than enjoying the game. Also the game heavily weights towards certain types of characters, leaving the others there for masochists.

    Hasn't anybody else gotten slightly bored with Arcanum? To me it seems that the game just doesn't function as well as, say, Fallout overall. Fallout also had better graphics, egads.

    Oh yes, and guns were effective in Fallout, heh heh heh.

    Edit: if you guys are trying to convince me to enjoy Arcanum again, I can't tell. I just feel like I'm being verbally assaulted.
     
  7. Dragoon

    Dragoon New Member

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    I fail to see how guns like looking glass rifle, elephant gun, fine revolver, droch's warbringer, tranquilizer gun and many others are useless. I played a dwarven tech gunslinger and it was a LOT of fun. You must remember to plan how you distribute your cps of course but that doesn't hurt.
     
  8. tzehoong

    tzehoong New Member

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    I never remembered character development as being slow or fast. It seemed just right to me. What's so wrong with one skill point per level? You get more than fifty of those to distribute anyway. Have you played other games like this (non-D&D)?

    I shall always remember Arcanum fondly as having one of the best environments and settings that I have ever seen in a game. It makes me feel nostalgic, somehow. And the interactions between races are interesting.

    It had so much potential. If only more thought had been put into optimizing the game, game balance, and graphics...
     
  9. Jarinor

    Jarinor New Member

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    You know what my favourite character in Arcanum was? A techie. I didn't like magick. I spent hours and hours planning all my various characters, what skills they would have, what levels, what followers, their look on the world, etc etc etc.

    In the end my favourite guy (and the only one of my characters to actually solo the Vormantown module successfully) was the techie. He had max smithy, max mechanical, some gunsmithy (up until the repeater rifle I think), 1 herbology, full repair, full firearms, and I forget the rest of the skills.

    By the end of the game, I was running around in machined armour with a flamethrower (it's really cool, despite the lowish damage, short range and high ammo cost, you should see it in real-time...), backed up by about 4 automatons and my four followers. It was brilliant - I could actually successfully play in real-time with my little posse (can't do that accent thing on the e) and kick anyone's ass without seriously endangering myself.

    Much better than playing a pussy mage.
     
  10. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    I'm not even going to gratify that question of whether or not I've played any other roleplaying games with a response. I also knew that even though I already mentioned it people would argue about how good the high level technology was. What I said about the elephant gun applies to ALL the higher level things. Arcanum is very tilted towards magic and melee, and if you don't think that you're in denial.

    Planning out your character leaves no room for classic character developement. You know who your character is from the beginning and you just play your part in the script. Some people like power gaming, and they're free to do so.

    And why are you so quick to discount AD&D? It has a decent skill system in 3rd edition, and feats are nice. If you want me to list pnp and CRPGs with better character developement systems I could do it for quite a while.

    Overall, I just feel like a lot of you are plain disregarding and disrespecting my points. Pretending I *haven't* played any other RPGs, or that I *haven't* played Arcanum most of the way through with multiple characters. Arcanum was a really good idea, and it crashed in execution. I realized this after playing it for a long time. It's not like I went through the first point in the main quest and said "omfg this is crap." The balance and graphical issues are DEFINITELY there and like I said you are simply in denial saying otherwise.
     
  11. Sheriff Fatman

    Sheriff Fatman Active Member

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    I wouldn't say people are discounting (and certainly not disrespecting) your opinion. Give them their credit. They played the game too, and are entitled to feel differently. Also, this is an Arcanum board, so there could be an element of gallantry involved.

    I think you do have some good points. Several people have noticed the magic bias (which noone appears to be discounting). Maybe it just didn't spoil the game for them.

    The underpowered gun point is made time and again (which could be why people don't feel the need to back you up on it), so there could well be something in it. That doesn't mean Dragoon and others couldn't have found ways to use them effectively.

    Arcanum was one of the few games released in the last year that held my attention past the first couple of weeks, so I WOULD question the validity of your statement that it was a good idea that crashed in execution. Sure, it had some flaws, some pretty big ones, but I think it was well enough executed to be considered a big success. You said yourself you had quite a lot of play before the problems spoiled it for you.
     
  12. tzehoong

    tzehoong New Member

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    I didn't discount D&D. I play it and I love it. I just thought that you might be so used to it that you couldn't like Arcanum because the charcetr planning was different.

    As for the magic/melee skew, everyone knows about it. no one denies it. (Heck maybe at that age tech was so new that it was still weaker than magic). But it doesn't spoil the game completely.
     
  13. Aura Emenator

    Aura Emenator New Member

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    It just goes to show

    There are as many ways to play this game and develop your character as there are people playing it. It might seem unbalanced, if you only look at it from a limited perspective. I've played through as a magic user and a techie, and both types have the potential to be very powerful if you spend your points wisely. Sure, the mage always has his spells, and gains the benifit of useful magic items, but the tech based characters have some powerful options. There is no shortage of ginka roots and kadura stems around to heal yourself. My gun is a looking glass rifle made from the ancient looking glass found on Shades Beach. It does 40-40 Damage, 40-40 fatigue, TH+10, and has a range of 25. I can't wear magical armor, but nothing gets anywhere near me anyways, because I have my followers form a front line, whilst I drops baddies one shot at a time. Bronwyck's Gun is a barrel of monkeys too. If you think tech characters are weak, then maybe you should try using their strengths, instead of lamenting their weaknesses. And I couldn't see how the game could stay balanced at anything more than one skill point per level. Many games, when played a certain way, can be considered unbalanced. It's up to you how you want to play the game. I thought that the world map system was nice, and only rarely did it seem that my travels were too tedious. Sure, there is a lot of time spent traveling, but there is usually at least a couple of places to discover along the way. Some people actually enjoy exploring a vast world, whether or not every location you come across is stocked full of powerful magic items. If there was a hoarde of treasure at every simple cave or clearing, if you grew any more powerful any faster, the game would be too simple. It's pretty easy anyway. All things said and done, I was enthralled by the originality, and depth of the storyline, and though Virgil sucks, there are some interesting characters to be found and allied with. Don't let your short attention span ruin a good game.
     
  14. Ferret

    Ferret New Member

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    *stares in awe* :eek:

    Wow! For once, a considered and well thought-through answer. Makes a change from the single-line derisive newbie spam!
     
  15. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    Great, a considered and well thought-out insult to my intelligence and patience. I obviously had the patience to make it most of the way through the game soloing with a tech character, which you seem to think is an accomplishment. How about you separate the immature insults from the actual valid points and repost one of the two? In it's current state I can only call your post pathetic. A pethetic attempt at something, though I don't know what.

    Edit: to the other guy: if anything actually "ruined" Arcanum I wouldn't have played it so much. I might have played it more than most of you, though I won't presume anything.
     
  16. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    After reconsidering my thoughts on Arcanum, here's a revamp of my problems, because there isn't one.

    1. Character developement. Neither myself or my Arcanum-hating friend can think of a game with slower developement. It takes ages to level up(unless you use cheap tricks), and when you do you improve an insubstantial amount in one skill or attribute. FREAKIN GLACIAL, is all I've got to say.

    2. The tech implementation is just bad. It's not EXACTLY that it isn't useful, it's just that the implementation of it is off. It's basically like a weaker version of magic. Sure you could whine at me about exact details, but that's the overall effect I've learned.

    3. Bad jump between RT and turn based: My guns are ten times more effective in real time than turn based, while melee acts about the same. Nevermind that any remotely dangerous opponent can close with ranged weapon users in a single turn. It doesn't fit.

    4. Aesthetics - the graphics are worse than fallout, the animations are atrocious, and the music is two good tracks, nothing more. This really isn't a major point but it stacks up with how repetitive the game itself can get.

    These are simply things I'm pointing out that I think are wrong with Arcanum, so it'd be nice if the next person to respond didn't fall out of his computer chair with anger towards me before replying. Take a deep breath, think about it, and ask yourself if there's a chance in hell I have a point or two.
     
  17. tzehoong

    tzehoong New Member

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    Man, talk about touchy. Has no one ever differed in opinion from you before?
     
  18. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    That aura guy didn't just argue with me, he went straight to insulting me personally. I don't like that. Notice that I wasn't at all irritated by MOST of the posts in this thread, which were posts made in a constructive fashion rather than to demean me below them. That's the difference.

    Edit: and my apologies for putting it on the wrong forum.
     
  19. Ferret

    Ferret New Member

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    I think you are touchy.

    AE did not derise you personally, he just gave his view on a balanced way of playing the game, saying that it is up to the player how they play to the game, whether using the clitches or just playing through them.

    This is the only bit that could actually have been the 'personal insult'. It doesn't sound like an insult to me - just a piece of advice, suggesting how you could get more out of the game.

    I think you're reading too much into people's views and are not open to interpretations other than your own. If anyone dares to say anything different to your own personal view, then you appear to believe it's a direct, personal insult, to you and your beliefs, and then you get all shitty about it.
     
  20. Childe Random

    Childe Random New Member

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    Just forget it. This isn't a forum for talking about personal problems, and it is reaching ridiculous proportions in that respect.

    It seems to boil down to the fact that all of you think the character developement isn't too slow, the graphics aren't *too* bad, and you don't mind the gap between RT and turn based. And the tech balance is just something you 'deal with.'

    I can't really give concrete evidence that the developement is too slow, except that no RPG pen and paper or computer that I've seen developes that slowly.
     
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