Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by Childe Random, Aug 8, 2002.
I've known p&p D&D games go for 6 months between levels!
My DM leveled my party up the very first session cos he was so irritated by us lvl 1 newbies trying to survive a dungeon (Sunless Citadel I think)with all of <10 hp :wink:.
try Morrowind. Took me hours to get my first level. Speeds up towards the mid-levels though.
Well, it hasn't been brought up before. My last character reached the level cap right before his encounter with Kerghan, which I think is the way it should be. What I liked about Arcanum is that you don't get invincible due to high levels early in the game, and you have to actually focus your skills (Morrowind comes to mind).
Maybe it seems slower, but bear in mind that in this game the difference between a Melee apprentince and Melee Expert is only about, say, five ranks (factoring in the Dex you have to get) - which equates to about four levels. The chance to hit improves from virtually zero to around 60%, which is pretty good. Consider how many levels a D&D character would have to gain to reach the same percentile increase.
Actually no one in this thread has said that :wink:. Do a quick search - you'll find that the bad graphics are a major, regular gripe in these forums. Bad optimization, bad animation, etc.
Well, Arcanum is meant to be played in turn-based. I do agree that the implementation of RT was particularly bad - images of my char being able to fire 5 arrows in one second come to mind. I personally think that the inclusion of RT was either an afterthought, or included for gamers who were used to the BG2 style.
Yep. I had to deal with it too. My first character was a mage because I was a little suspect of the whole techie thing. One of my following chracters was a dumb melee half-ogre, who needed half the time to hack through the game but provided half the enjoyment (well the dialogue lines you get when you have low INT are funny tho). When I tried a tech character I think I had more fun. It was more challenging, I had to scrounge around more for items and had this feeling of accomplishment whenever I made something. Picking off enemies at a distance with my looking-glass rifle was fun, as was successfully taking a bunch of baddies out with a stun grenade.
I would agree that the fact that mages can teleport sucks though. If only techies could build aeroplanes or something...
The character developement in Morrowind is perfect. Forget the time it takes to get your first level, think about the time it takes to improve your character one point? Not all that long. If my character is improving I consider it active developement. If I spend too long between any sort of creative input on how my character's skills develop I start to feel like he's static.
The problem is inherent in most "level" systems, because you don't just do a bunch of completely unrelated things and then gain a point in underwater basket weaving. However, Arcanum's is much more pronounced to me because I can only use one point per level. And if I were to carefully and evenly distribute my points between my skills I'd probably end up using melee because it would be the most effective of my choice skills. Morrowind circumvents that, because the only ways you can improve at a skill is to do it or train in it. I don't think it's slow developement because to me every point is something.
I do agree that character development in Morrowind can be fun. I had lots of fun choosing which skills to major or minor in, and figuring out how to get the best out of attribute modifiers.
But the developers failed to put a (effective) level limit system, so at the end of the day you will be able to produce a character with 100s in all skills. Yes, I agree that training in skills to make them better is good, but ONLY if there is a limit to the number of skills you can train. Otherwise you become invincible and the game challenge ends.
Another issue in Morrowind is that some skills (acrobatics, athletics, sneak, xxx armour, etc) can be cheaply increased by repetitive pressing of buttons. While Bethsheda was aware of these problems, they chose to adopt a "if the player wants to play that way then so be it" attitude. Which is not wrong, but it would have been better if more thought was given into how these skills would be developed (I personally thought Arcrobatics and Athletics should not have been put into the game). And btw Creeper just kills the game, even if I do say so myself.
I would say that the main weak link in Arcanum's character development is that experience is gained exclusively by killing creatures and solving quests. This issue has been brought up many times so I shall not elaborate on it further.
I think a good character development outside of D&D would be a combination of both Morrowind and Arcanum. You train in skills you want to improve, but there absolutely has to be a level limit that makes you either be a jack-of-all-trades or a chacracter focused in three or four fields, not a uber PC capable of defeating any enemy.
Morrowind *does* have a problem with characters being able to train themselves to invincibility, but abilities are just abilities. I personally don't think it'd be better if the game required you to reach extremely high levels to win. To me Morrowind is more of a game with emphasis on roleplaying rather than tactical challenges of building your character. It lets you get away with awkward or unusual character concepts. The satisfaction has to come from seeing your character flesh out into what you imagined them to be, otherwise Morrowind seems like a jumble of repetitive quests with hours of traveling on foot through the beatiful but also repetitive 3d world. There are people who's only goal is to make the most effective killing machine possible, and Morrowind probably will leave them disappointed unless they up the difficulty setting. That's likely why morrowind has no multiplayer mode (besides extra dev time).
I guess the best way I can think of it right now is that the only real challenges in Morrowind are the ones that the player decides to create for themselves, be it having a character with no combat abilities or attempting difficult tasks with weak characters or whatever. This isn't some players' cup of tea naturally. They want to struggle all the way from the bottom to the top and look back with satisfaction at how far they've gone.
It seems I have some explaining to do. I didn't intend for my argument to be taken as an insult, and I don't mean to demean or criticize your technique in any way, Childe. When I compose freely, I have a tendancy to be a little rude, unintentionally. But that is niether here nor there. I was simply trying to make my thoughts known, whether agreeable or not. It kind of bothered me when you accused Troika of cutting corners. Maybe all of the detail isn't in the places you would have liked, but the game is full of detail nonetheless. I can't think of many role playing games that didn't involve travel, dungeon crawling, and a fair number of here to their with a note / item quests. I didn't mean to say that you were playing the game wrong. I've had the same complaints you've got here about plenty of games that my friends, or the critics loved. I think it has to do with the unique atmosphere. I might have dissmissed the length of the travel time, or any of the other tedious parts, simply because I found the game's environment to be highly enjoyable and unique. It all boils down to personal taste, like everything else in life.
In a large world, small details get left out. The main focus of their past & present games seems to me to be bringing a large gameworld to the player. To do that on a time crunch they had to reuse ideas and rush the game engine. I mean, offhand the only massive roleplaying game ever to implement dual wield I can think of has been Baldur's Gate 2.
Edit: oh yeah, and Jagged Alliance 2 if you're into that sort of thing.
In an extremely linear game the environment and atmosphere become critical to gameplay and graphics etc play a larger part. Because the developers have to do less meter for meter level design they can work on finding the perfect balance of gameplay and accomodating as many playing styles as possible. Example: Metal Gear Solid 2 (if you haven't played it, trust me).
Don't get me wrong, I loved Morrowind. Char development (and boring combat) were the only problems I could find, and that was what we were discussing, wasn't it? :wink:
Have you seen the Morrowind review over at Madgamers? It's a fine example how the amount of detail in the game can amaze even the most seasoned gamer.
I like the way you ignored Neverwinter when talking about dual-wielding in a roleplaying game. Seriously, I do!
Heh, yeah. I don't think by any stretch NWN can be considered massive out of the box and all the player modules so far read as follows:
"Hey d00dz this iz my 1337 dungeon hax0r I hope u liek it."
I dont think that it matters that magic is stronger than technolog, alll in all the game is easy to complete in almot any way you like and the purpose of the game is to explore lots of the ways you can win not to win by the easiest way possible. (If it were all players would be melee, dodge ,backstab, prowl half orc males with raised by orcs and no folollowers and 2 points in phantasm) even though to my knowledge no player has been that desperate to win.
I agree guns (especially shotguns) should do more damage and have more attack speed.
Also I think worldmap travel should take you straight to the place your going or the next random encounter and justy tell you when you find a new place (and give you an option to divert to there.)
I think balance is important, personally.
Balance is less important in single player than in multiplayer (Arcanum not really having a multiplayer) If it had a multiplayer then evreone would be the same character (pretty much)
Well, I agree somewhat. The main problem with Arcanum is that it is a "frozen world". By this, I mean that it is just a character moving around on a still map changing triggers. Nothing in the world of Arcanum, besides the critters, actually MOVE. Now, if they did, there would be possibilities like, sailing a ship like walking on the ocean, driving cars/horses/etc., and possibly, simpler creation and quicker gameplay in both single player and multiplayer. Follow me?
The thread never dies . . . . I guess that might make a difference. More entertaining animations would help too, but I don't like only improving in one thing when I level. The level system is unrealistic enough as is, but in Arcanum it's taken to an extreme in that department.
Let us not forget that it is a GAME.
Would you like Tom & Jerry as much if they were real animals?
What about the Muppets?
Think watching Ms. Piggy all over Kermit would be as fun if they were real?
Coming to think about it, that might just be as funny, but that's not the point...
Some of the best games I have played didn't have the visual interface that this game has.
Did anyone play Ultima IV? (Long time ago ... )
I really liked the gameplay and character development. In fact, what I miss the most from that game is the way that you "talked" to people and you had to find the right clues to actually ASK them. Not just a text option that appeared on the screen.
Just a series of unrelated opinions ...
People always use the fun > realism excuse against any realism argument whatsoever. I just don't find Arcanum's level system nearly as fun as most RPGs.
Like Fallout's talking portuates, and search-for-word interface.
I keep seeing the whole magic is better thing. But can you create and army using magic? You can have how many creatures at once if you are in summoning? And if you summon all the creatures you can, then it drains fatigue fast and makes you get knocked out. With tech, i can have a ton of mechanical creatures helpin me like the mechanical arachnid or the.. dang it, cant remember the name of the bipedal robot right now. I am not sayin that magic is bad, but technology is nowhere near as bad as people keep sayin. also, graphics seems to be what players complain about the most. I agree the graphics arent too great, but graphics dont make a game. I found the storyline very deep and involving and i find that more important than graphics. BTW, i played the entire game basically in RT, only changing over to TB when i was chasin down some critter that was runnin away. I found it extremely enjoyable that way. But, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I will probably get flamed for saying tech is good
No you'll get flamed for saying most people just complain about graphics.
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