thievery

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by DokEnkephalin, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Oblivion thieving isn't so difficult, and at least you can develop your skills by doing more thieving. You may have to pay the price of failure from time to time, but you never have to rely on combat experience to develop your thieving skills. And you can ghost the entire questline, with the exception of two vampires, you can pass without trace, witnessed by none, the only clue that you were there is the things that are missing. This is the ideal thief.

    Can't do that in Arcanum; the Thieves' Underground isn't too accomodating to developing thieves, and don't give jobs that match your skills. If you distribute your points evenly, you may be unable to do any job, and if you specialize in one skill, you may be stuck with a backlog of jobs requiring a different skill (and why the fuck do so many people NOT have keys to their own damn locks?!?)

    When you're left without thiefly ways to advance from a thiefly foundational skillset, all you can really do is order your followers to attack and watch them get their asses kicked, because they can't level up either. You'll level up more smoothly if you focus combat skills first, but that's really not a thiefly approach; you just aren't allowed one.

    What you do get is a redundant expenditure on two skills that should be one, traps, and another one that shows complete ignorance of actual combat, backstab. What bullshit.
     
  2. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf New Member

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    Well, this bit is entirely your opinion, and I can't say I agree at all.

    I'd say the problems with burglary in Arcanum are more fundamental: you can steal shopkeepers blind without any reprecussions. The shopkeeper won't go out of business, and won't even recognize it if you sell his own stuff back to him hours after stealing it. No one else will recognize the stolen items either. After a string of burglaries, there is no effort to increase policing, or defend against further thefts.

    What if you stole from a shop, and the next time you went back to rob it again there were guards hiding inside waiting for you? That would be cool.

    I agree, though, that the way you gain experience is flawed. It really favors combat characters over those who use stealth or persuasion, or any other method that doesn't inflict damage on monsters.
     
  3. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    It looks like Backstab is pretty powerful without Melee, and Dodge isn't so necessary for a Master Prowler using hit and run tactics. So classic thieves aren't completely screwed in a fight, but the level design definitely doesn't permit perfect stealth.

    However, the skill load is still pretty high, high enough to prevent much development of other fun skills unique to Arcanum, it's easily substituted with lower cost skills just as effective, and it doesn't give much back in exp opportunities or plot secrets. So many times a cherecter seemed to be lying or hiding something, I thought, 'Is that so? Lemme go dig up the dirt on you...'

    And Gilbert's journal, why give it to Appleby when you can use it to shake open the moneybags at any point, ("Mister Bates, after reading these damning confessions in your own handwriting, I think I like you. I like you so much, I'm going to let you give me your boat, your captain, your bodyguard, and 500 coins a day to keep running your errands. Do we understand each other?")
     
  4. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Out of all my complaints, I was wrong about some of them:

    1. Combat ability isn't a problem. This skillset makes a hell of a commando. It's very easy to avoid any damage situations, and you can deal absurd buttloads of damage yourself.

    2. Scarcity of usable equipment isn't a problem. I've managed to mop up the place with a smoking jacket and a balanced blade, and during the final battle I didn't even have the smoking jacket (damn ghoul decayed it off me.)

    3. Scarcity of character points to build supplemental skills isn't a problem. This build takes a long time to peak, around level 45 to get all skills Mastered and all associated stats maxed. But then there's really nothing else you need. There isn't enough character points left to fully explore new trees or pick up fun skills. But you really don't need any of them.

    None of these invalidate the main complaint, that thieving in Arcanum just isn't that fun or rewarding and doesn't yield exclusive benefits, but it makes for a pretty solid character build.
     
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