|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Review

Default RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Review

October 14th, 2010, 01:38
Whether or not you planned to buy Arcania, there's a good chance that visitors to this site will have at least a passing interest in a new Gothic title. It's finally here for some territories and we geto assess the new developer and a new direction for the Gothic series - will JoWood bring the fans down this new path? Here's a sample:
"In the struggle to make games more accessible to larger audiences, it becomes a question of how much is too much to tone down and sometimes that can be too much".

That comment, also by ArcaniA's producer, Kamaal Anwar, sums up the issue that has been so hot on the RPGWatch forums. When does the compromise of making a game more accessible turn into "dumbing down"? We can look at any of the recent RPGs to make this point, including Dragon Age to Mass Effect 2, not just ArcaniA. Where ArcaniA stands out is that it is the first I can recall that openly set a design goal to attract the new and casual RPGers. Other than the name (which is a BIG marketing mistake in using the term "Gothic 4") ArcaniA never pretended to be a Classic RPG of the type most of us on RPGWatch seek and prefer. I would not be surprised, given our very high percentage of classic RPGers compared to most sites, if the reaction in the RPGWatch forums to ArcaniA was mostly negative.
Read it all here.
More information.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 01:38
I really enjoyed your well written review.

But I'm afraid the disclaimer you began your review with, diploamtically differentiing 'casual' and 'classic' RPGers will fall on deaf ears at this sight.

You will probably be reminded, quickly, that this sight pretty much cators to the 'classic' RPGer - and that should have been the lens you cast your reveiw through. At that point I suspect a lot of anger and flames.

Still, it was a great review and I enjoyed reading it.

Also, one little fact you got wrong. In your article you wrote:

•Inventory limits — eliminated
G1-G3 had no inventory limits. So if Arcania has no inventory limits then it is actually the same as prior gothic games in the inventory department.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
Last edited by TheMadGamer; October 14th, 2010 at 01:58.
TheMadGamer is offline

TheMadGamer

TheMadGamer's Avatar
SasqWatch

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,022

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 01:43
I've been a critic of Arcania for a while, so my opinion - not having actually played - is not surprising: JoWood is following a flawed premise. I think your hope of generating new RPG fans is similarly flawed (or naive?), Vox.

There is a definite casual, mass market but they play Bejewelled. There is a market of casual console players who buy Madden and racing games and perhaps shooters. I don't believe there is a big mass market for simplistic RPGs. Let me be clear: obviously some gamers are put off complex RPGs, so there is some middle ground. BUT, a good game is a good game. Games that last always have some depth. So, yes, perhaps people will pick this up because the quest markers make it accessible but that doesn't mean they want a bad story and nothing but Fedex quests.

Diablo is often used as an example but if you drill below the 2-click combat, the character building can be incredibly deep. Look at WoW - yes, everyone laughs at it for being an "accessible" MMO but take another look: the UI is complex, the character building, macroing, team-play is quite deep.

As far as I can tell from this, JoWood has set out to make an "accessible" RPG but mistaken a stupid one as being the same thing. It might be modestly successful but it won't be a hit without some depth behind it.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#3

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:02
So, here you are:
ArcaniA Gothic 4 Demo review from a casual RPGs gamer point of view
kroto is offline

kroto

Watcher

#4

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 21

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:05
I'm from the US and notcied that GamersGate had Arcania on sale Sunday night/early Monday morning. I was going to boycott this game, but made an impulse buy since I would have it a full week before the real release date next week. I am one of the very few people in NA with the opportunity to play Arcania this week.

After playing it for several hours, I have to say that it is a fun game. I agree with this review 100%. Its a lite-RPG and fun to play. Im going to have a blast banging out 30 hours of gameplay and have it finished by next week. This is the perfect game to hold me over until New Vegas and Fable III comes out over the next two weeks.

If you were not as fortunate to get it like it did, then wait a few months for the price to drop as it surely will. I think this game is worth about $25.

After reading the JoWood Franz Rossler article, I can only wonder if there will be a true Gothic 4 in the future.
spiraling69 is offline

spiraling69

Sentinel

#5

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA, New Jersey
Posts: 324

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:07
@kroto - I stand utterly corrected!

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#6

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:10
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I've been a critic of Arcania for a while, so my opinion - not having actually played - is not surprising: JoWood is following a flawed premise. I think your hope of generating new RPG fans is similarly flawed (or naive?), Vox.
Actually, Dhruin, you and I are on the same page. I will go a step farther and say I believe that the market they believe is the holy grail of new sales does not even exist. I very sadly admit that the dumbing down that occurred in other titles (think ME2) is probably needed — no matter how much I hate it. A fact of life I find disturbing is the degree to which newer gamers in any genre want less and less complexity and more and more flash. But ArcaniA went much farther than ME2and basically developed a hack-and-slash with RPGish elements. I am convinced they went too far and lost their Classic RPGers, but not far enough to morph into Diablo III.

MadGamer said: But I'm afraid the disclaimer you began your review with, diploamtically differentiing 'casual' and 'classic' RPGers will fall on deaf ears at this sight.

You will probably be reminded, quickly, that this sight pretty much cators to the 'classic' RPGer - and that should have been the lens you cast your reveiw through. At that point I suspect a lot of anger and flames.


All too true!! :-)) Even though two-thirds of the review was critical because I share the views you cited, many will be as disturbed as I am about this trend in RPGs. (I don't mind development of a new Casual RPG niche — I just dred the idea this might be a replacement for Classic RPGs.) I have a thick skin — you have to if you want to write a review — and I am hopeful readers will see I pulled no punches on how little ArcaniA offers to most members here. Yet, presenting both views is pretty important. My goal is to give any reader here, including classic, hardcore, and casual RPGers, with enough data and insight to draw their own conclusions. The easiest review to write is the "this game bites…" or the "this game is awesome…" variety with no details. Those make the writer feel good (like losing your temper …) but accomplishes nothing for the reader.
Voxclamant is offline

Voxclamant

Voxclamant's Avatar
Watcher

#7

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 63

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:13
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post

Also, one little fact you got wrong. In your article you wrote:
  • Inventory limits — eliminated

G1-G3 had no inventory limits. So if Arcania has no inventory limits then it is actually the same as prior gothic games in the inventory department.
Get some new glasses. There is no such point in the article.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#8

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,892

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:15
Thanks D,

your review confirms a lot of what I was thinking. Not Gothicy but it could be fun. I am a hardcore RPGer but I play those OTHER (adventure, puzzle, console, simplified RPGs) games and have no qualms about it. But since the dummies delayed the release, it might be a long while before I get to this game. Fallout Vegas, here I come

One thing I've always wondered about RPGs. Why do some developers (marketers) feel they have to dumb down RPGs to make them more accessible? Aren't there any developers out there that feel they can make the game more accessible with a better story, more immersive environment, or alternative graphics. Why is the conventional wisdom of getting a bigger market share mean having to play down and not play up? Because that strategy works for selling auto insurance it has to work for CRPGs?

Okay I'm naive, but it still pisses me off.
Dajjer is offline

Dajjer

Dajjer's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 1,045

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:17
@MadGamer- I thought the same thing at first, but he actually says: "Some of the other elements from Gothic (and other classic RPGs) eliminated include:…"
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#10

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,237

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:19
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Get some new glasses. There is no such point in the article.
Then you might want to delete "Encumbrance — eliminated" as well. There was no encumberance in G1-G3.
DeepO is offline

DeepO

DeepO's Avatar
deep outside

#11

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Prague
Posts: 2,332

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:25
"Casual RPGer " is a contradiction in terms.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
HiddenX is offline

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Donor

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 4,544

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
@MadGamer- I thought the same thing at first, but he actually says: "Some of the other elements from Gothic (and other classic RPGs) eliminated include:…"
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Then you might want to delete "Encumbrance — eliminated" as well. There was no encumberance in G1-G3.
See above.

Seems I was a bit too quick in deleting it.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#13

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,892

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:28
Meh. I don't think I'm a casual RPGer per-se, but I'm enjoying Arcania so far. The setting and the world is beautiful, and somehow I'm not missing the difficulty of Gothic 1/2. The simplification of skill/level up system is disappointing, but then again I'm glad that I don't have to run back to sleep on a bed after expending all my mana to kill a single orc ala rinse and repeat x100 ala Gothic 1 and 2.

Don't get me wrong, Gothic 2 > Gothic 1 > patched Gothic 3 > Arcania would still be my rating scale, but damn it: I'm still having fun with this Arcania game.
Sergius64 is offline

Sergius64

Watchdog

#14

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 162

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:29
MadGamer and DeepO: Drat! You guys are right. Nice catch. I have played far too many RPGs and must have been picturing the wrong game. (The problem with writing a review for a site with long-time RPGers that know the games so well!)
Voxclamant is offline

Voxclamant

Voxclamant's Avatar
Watcher

#15

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 63

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:31
I added the "and other classic RPGs", which I feel covers it. Perhaps I could have been more eloquent but there's no need to get stuck on some minor semantics.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#16

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:34
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
See above.

Seems I was a bit too quick in deleting it.
Given which segment of the article itīs in, itīs fair to assume author meant to list aspects which were in previous Gothic titles and are not present in Arcania.
The note in the parentheses just points out those aspects were not exclusive only to Gothics, at least thatīs how i read it.
DeepO is offline

DeepO

DeepO's Avatar
deep outside

#17

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Prague
Posts: 2,332

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:35
I put it back in, but it would take only a minute to delete both points again.

I think Vox should decide this.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#18

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,892

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:38
I enjoyed your review. Not sure if I'll get this or not since I have F-NV pre-ordered, but depending on price I will consider it.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#19

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,616
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

October 14th, 2010, 02:40
Originally Posted by spiraling69 View Post
After reading the JoWood Franz Rossler article, I can only wonder if there will be a true Gothic 4 in the future.
It's already in development. It will be called Risen 2.

I doubt JoWooD will make another Gothic. If JoWooD survives they'll make Arcania 2.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#20

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,892
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Review
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:02.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch