Arcanum Press Beta: Differences from the final game

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by Drog Alt, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt Member

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    So I recently got my mittens on the widely known press beta version of Arcanum. A fully playable version this time. Played it for a bit, figured I might as well document the differences. For all five basement dwellers that give a shit.

    But first, a bit of history.

    The press beta is dated 03/14/01, it's exactly the same build of the game as the public demo, but it's a full game, with functioning multiplayer, WorldEd and everything. The release version (1.0.6.4) is dated 05/02/01, even though it was released at the end of August, this is because Sierra made them wait until the localized (French and German) versions were ready. Of course, the master version got leaked, and everyone pirated it (it was the only choice!), so Sierra and Troika actually lost a lot of money that time.

    But I digress.

    My point is, the difference in time between the press beta and final game is only one month and a half. But this month was especially crazy for Troika. Everyone initially thought the game had to be finished by May, so they made a LOT of changes during that 'last' month of the development. Some of these changes were actually pretty rash.

    Let's start with the graphics, I guess. Most people are probably curious about this. The animations for low attacks have already been removed by that point in time and the sprite mirroring has already been added. However, robed sprites for dwarves and halflings still have the old robe colors. Another important difference is Lizard People/Bedokaan, they use a completely different model (cleaned up and released by me ages ago, now an optional component of the UAP).

    Music and sound effects are usually implemented very late in development of any game, so it's no wonder that the press beta is missing most sound effects and several music tracks. However, the rats do have a completely different, somewhat funny soundbank.

    Now we're getting to the interesting stuff. The actual game content and the gameplay mechanics. There are several important differences which affect how the game plays.

    Gypsies/Wise Women:
    Turns out, the system was very different originally. There were only two gypsies in the game (instead of the four in the final) and not in plain sight, they were hidden somewhat. Shrouded Hills and Tarant didn't have gypsies originally, only Ashbury and Caladon had them, and they were cleverly hidden outside of the town, you had to follow a narrow, unremarkable path until you find a small hut decorated with various witch artifacts, far away from the town. This completely changes the importance of the Divination spell and scrolls. Visiting one of the two gypsies is simply too time consuming. Also, far fewer opportunities to farm the Arcane equipment.

    Spells:
    You won't believe me, but turns out the magick wasn't that overpowered initially. It got crazy only because of that last month. Some numbers:
    Harm: only 4-12 instead of 3-40(!) in the final
    Stone Throw: only 5-17 instead of 1-50(!)
    Bolt of Lightning: 17-50 instead of 20-70
    Jolt: 2-15 instead of 2-25
    Fireflash: 16-40 instead of 15-45
    Minor Healing: 4-20 instead of 5-30
    Major Healing: 20-40 instead of 40-80

    Yeah. Fuck.

    Summon Undead doesn't use a scaled monster list, it always summons a Bone Butcher, who is hostile to EVERYONE (this seems to be intentional, pretty much the 'playing with black magic may hurt you' trope). Fireflash has friendly fire, which makes all your followers instantly hate you. A few spells have different visual effects, e.g. Teleport and the 'Wall of' spells.

    Other Differences:
    - Machined Plate can be bought from the Quality Blacksmith in Tarant, at least on the first visit
    - Medallion of Beauty and Ring of Protection are common in General and Magick shops
    - Different unarmed damage calculations, caps at 18-18 (instead of 10-10 in the final)
    - NPC's age is displayed in the character sheet
    - No force quit dialog by clicking on a quickslot bug
    - No throwing an item costs no AP bug, throwing any item always takes 4APs
    - The schematic for Schreck's Multi-Barreled pistol can be learned and crafted
    - The arrival location in Ashbury is in docks, so it's much harder to miss Worthless Mutt and let him die
    - The 'Hand' book in Ashbury's docks is right in front of the barrel, instead of being inside of it, but the barrel is unlocked anyway
    - The small warehouse in the north of Tarant doesn't exist
    - No Junk Dealer in Tarant
    - No poles with blue spheres on top of them in Quintarra (just like what the townmap in the final version showed)
    - Stringy Pete and his crew are HUGE in size (seem to be scaled 200%), the snake spirit guarding Arronax is also huge
    - Different inventory graphics for Sword, Rusty Sword, Broadsword
    - You can see a chain attached to the Aerial Decapitator when you throw it, it doesn't look very fluid though
    - Followers cannot pick locks for you

    To be continued...
     
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff, especially in regards to the magick - I wonder why they bothered to change it? Something I noticed when playing the game after having played the demo was that Halflings could have the Feral Child background in the demo but not the main game - which struck me as weird as it synergised well with their naturally high dexterity, plus it seemed fitting to me that a small person could go unnoticed in the wild more easily than some of the other races.
     
  3. Yuki

    Yuki Well-Known Member

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  4. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Excrement delivery successful. Third basement dweller reporting in.
     
  5. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    Fourth one's here.
    Drog, you've gained my respect.
     
  6. moonlight

    moonlight Member

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    Interesting topic , please continue with this thread drog.
     
  7. UndeadPerson

    UndeadPerson New Member

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    If you're also wondering how the heck he got his "mittens" on the press beta, then here's the drama: He did download it from the ArcanumClub.ru forums, i.e. that "shitty Ruskie forum" as he calls them. They have both (i.e. preview and press) of the beta versions there for a long time and there are a plenty of topics and posts regarding the beta versions. So if you really want to know something about the beta versions, find it by yourself by playing them, or by visiting ArcanumClub forums.

    And if you want to thank to someone, then thank to folks from ArcanumClub, and not to this "I don't give a fuck" plagiarist, who took from them everything he could, ran away, and presented it here, so he can be a hero.

    Someone really should catch the Drog Black Tooth and burn a two things onto his forehead - a logo of Creative Commons and a bold and underlined "I'm just being a dick" line.
     
  8. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt Member

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    The years go by, but the Ruskie never changes. Maybe it's the vodka that is to blame.

    Yes, of course I did "steal" your shitty script fixes, there was pretty much only one way to fix the bugs, so of course I did "steal" them, it would be ridiculous to presume you would have any other train of thought, huh. Of course, I wasn't qualified enough to fix them shitty scripts, else how I would fix a lot of engine only stuff and even write a full fledged high resolution patch, all in pure assembler. Oh, wait. Nobody ever touched the engine before me.

    So how about you post a direct link to the beta then? And get permabanned for piracy. Dimwit.
     
  9. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I always knew Russians were watching this forum every minute of every day. I could just sense it.
     
  10. Yuki

    Yuki Well-Known Member

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    Re:

    It's really creepy, actually.
     
  11. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I can't make out whether your comment's genuine or a subtle dig at my completely respectable and in no way annoying overuse of the words actually and really. If it's the latter then I actually just won't be very pleased with you, like really.
     
  12. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Well my voyeur fantasies have been fulfilled now that I know the Russians watch us.
     
  13. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    Now the only thing missing is russians watching us pee.
    Damn, that's hot!
     
  14. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    Re:

    No. Thank you. It's not. I would be pissed when they're doing that.
     
  15. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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  16. Pyotr

    Pyotr Member

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    UndeadPerson & Drog Alt
    Face it, ArcanumClub and Drog are both equally retarded, hence the drama in the first place.
    Lurking both sides where russkies accused Drog on "plagiarism" of the game which didn't belong to them in the first place and THAT buttdevastation thread of Drog on RPG-codex was quite a fun read.
     
  17. Crypton

    Crypton Member

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    Re:

    If I may join the discussion...

    The fact that you have moved into a different country doesn't change the fact that you also a Russian. So please stop acting like you're not one. If you hate them so much, then you probably hate yourself as well, for being a Russian.

    After translating all those Drog-related threads at ArcanumClub.ru, I can confirm that you indeed took a lots of fixes and hacks from their fan-made patches and hacks, and that their accusations are correct. You also didn't give any credits to the original authors of those patches in the Readme, not even in the topics at TA and rpgcodex, and you claimed that you made it all by yourself. Later, even after you admitted at rpgcodex that you took a few fixes from one other patch, you didn't credit the author, again.

    Your UAP does contain the game's main executable file and it also removes the build-in CD copy protection, thus your patch isn't legal too. So stop acting like all your releases are so "piracy-free".

    Anyway, I believe that I'm not the only one here who found out that you actually do not worship any kind of intellectual properties and values, and those fans of yours are admiring you only because they're a naive users, and they don't care about how you created that content of yours and how much your hands become dirty.

    When I look at some of the content that you have released so far, I see mostly a rip-offs of work of others. For example, here are the "issues" I'm aware of (there may be even more):

    Unofficial Arcanum Patch
    This one is clearly a rip-off of the other fan-made patches. Especially the first versions of UAP were, before you actually started adding your very own fixes. You didn't credit the original authors of those patches and you even didn't credit all those people who sent you the bug-reports, ideas and suggestions.

    Not to forget, your "-window" mod, is a rip-off of my Window Mod. You have even admitted in that topic that you analyzed my mod, and that you found a better way how to do it.
    Later on, I checked your *better* version of my mod, and found out that it patches the very same offsets as my mod does, but in a different way, of course.

    High Resolution Patch
    This is purely a rip-off my Arcanum 1024x768 patch. I made this very first version of high resolution patch, and I sent it to you through a PM and asked you to join the development.
    You told me that you're not interested, but after that, in less than a month, you publicly released your own version of my patch, that you renamed to "Arcanum High Resolution Enabler", and that also allowed only the given 1024x768 resolution, as my patch.

    Then you even tried to deny all of this, and make me look like a fool and liar, when I accused you of ripping-off my patch.
    Later, I found out that you have tried this "trick" on others at ArcanumClub forums once before.

    Extra Animations Pack
    I don't know if anyone still remembers, but I released the "ArcanumBeta - Beta Content Restoration Pack" (ABCRP) in Dec 2010, as a Christmas gift. Then in Oct 2011, you released your "Extra Animations Pack", that is basically the ABCRP, but stripped down, with a few extra fixes.

    This time, I didn't say a word, because you actually mentioned me in the Readme. However, we did agree on not sharing any of the stuff we exchange, including the preview beta, that I gave you as well.
    You told me that you won't publicly share anything from the beta, and you asked me to not share the stuff you gave me in a exchange, so I didn't, but you could have at least asked me when you wanted to make your own version of the beta pack.

    Also, you just could have fixed the original beta pack and continued with the development, instead of making your own "so much better" version of it.

    ArtView
    You took the original ArtView tool, fixed a few things, and then released it as "ArtView by Drog Black Tooth". You obviously didn't ask for a permission from original author and you claimed that you created the tool. Only after all those accusations, it was renamed to "Artview.Fixed - A small mod of the original program, done by Drog Black Tooth. Fixes a few things.".

    Now this beta-related stuff again. You obviously found the links to the beta CDs at ArcanumClub forums, and you have "forgot" to mention it here. Also, you knew that I got the press beta a months ago, but this time, you didn't ask me to give to you, as you knew that I would probably want something in a exchange, perhaps something from your "large" collection of rare content, that you keep to yourself. Well, now you're probably happy, because you got it "for free".

    That's okay, but you could at least said a thanks, instead of silently lurking there and trying to find there anything you can just take. That's just low.

    First of all, you're repeating yourself. Secondly, you obviously didn't read those topics at ArcanumClub, otherwise you wouldn't be saying this. He obviously didn't give any credits to anyone, and if he would have, there wouldn't be such a drama around it. Also, it seems that you hate "them" as well, for no reason.
     
  18. Crypton

    Crypton Member

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    Btw, we are currently building a centralized web-based online patch database for Arcanum (and other games). It would be also possible to patch the executable and other files on the fly, with the fixes you choose, so it won't be needed to distribute the main executable files anymore. This database will also reveal the true authors of certain patches and fixes. :wink:
     
  19. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    No one cares Crypton, no one cares.
     
  20. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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