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November 26th, 2010, 09:25
A reasonable question. This should answer all questions…

Regarding Gothic 1:
Most people have no problems with it because they have Nvidia cards on WinXP, or if they have ATI they are likely running it on a Win7 or Vista OS. It is a known bug in Gothic 1 that ATI cards on Windows XP cause problems in certain parts of the game world, such as the Sleeper Temple, the Orc Tomb, and the Crawler Nest in the Old Mine. It is due to the high poly textures used by the game that were never optimized for today's systems. ATI cards on WinXP just can't handle them, and the only way to get them to be able to handle them is to run (in my case) a tool like a video card stress test in the background while playing. That was just annoying for me, so I decided to give up on Gothic 1 for that reason. Never mind the myriad small bugs that also plague this game, such as having to put all the music and sound files under a certain folder so the game would recognize them and not crash in the Sleeper Temple. An admitted bug mentioned at World of Gothic that I encountered in my copy of the game and a friend's copy as well.

Regarding Gothic 2:
Because it used the identical engine as Gothic 1, I was forced to run that darned stress test in the background or the game would start to lag after a while. The way I saw it, even if I removed the community patch and fixed the enemy AI bug that way, I'd still have to deal with playing the game in a way that was not really good for my PC, given the heavy load of running a stress test plus a game the size of Gothic 1 and Gothic 1. I felt that was too risky, putting my video card under a load liek that just to play two games. A second unfortunate mess was the video that playes when [SPOILER ALERT] Xardas takes the dragon's soul. On the gold edition of the game, which mine was, it crashes. A friend of mine sent me a copy of her movie files and I replaced mine with hers. They worked without crashing after that. I could almost have dealt with Gothic 1 and 2's bugs. But it was Gothic 3 that drove me to give up on the series for good. It was the only one that bested me.

Regarding Gothic 3:
After replacing my Hard Drive, my Fan, my Video Card, and my Sound Card for all new ones and doing a complete reformat of the hard drive, I still could not get Gothic 3 to stop stuttering and freezing on me. The only difference is no BSODs happened after all that. The freezing made the game unplayable and tainted my view of the series as a whole, thus convincing me the effort to play them was in fact wasted and not worth the effort. Crashes that at least have an error I can read and fix somehow, I can deal with. But a faulty game engine that stutters all the time from streaming and loading on the fly, I cannot deal with. Too much!

Final thoughts:
Believe it or not, my PC runs the following newer games flawlessly with maximum settings, with no bugs or any crashes. All of these have their latest patches, too:

Oblivion with Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles
Neverwinter Nights 2 with Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir
The Witcher: Enchanced Edition
Hellgate London
Crysis and Crysis: Warhead
Risen
Mount and Blade: Warband
Empire: Total War
[Just to name a few!]

And I can even run older games with no difficulty, either. Some way older than the Gothic series, in fact. So that isn't a factor, either. It really is just the Gothic games!
My older games include such titles as these extremely old classics, in fact…

Ultima IX: Ascension
Alice
Heavy Metal: Fakk2
Neverwinter Nights: Platinum Edition
Temple of Elemental Evil
Emperor: Battle for Dune
Morrowind with Bloodmoon and Tribunal
Medieval 2: Total War
[Just to name a few!]

I hope this helps to clear up any questions regarding my experience with Gothic.
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