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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Drakensang » Drakensang » Drakensang vs. TRoT

Default Drakensang vs. TRoT

August 29th, 2013, 01:40
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I only played a few hours of the first game but plan on playing both when (if) I get done with skyrim.

Should I start with TRoT because it's a prequel? and where does the expansion come in story wise?
I would start with Drakensang: The Dark Eye first. Then play Drakensang: The River of Time with the expansion installed.

The expansion is tied into The River of Time. Think of it as an add-on instead as a quest apppears as you play the game.

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August 29th, 2013, 01:45
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I would start with Drakensang: The Dark Eye first. Then play Drakensang: The River of Time with the expansion installed.

The expansion is tied into The River of Time. Think of it as an add-on instead as a quest apppears as you play the game.
Ok, thanks.

I will have to do some reading on stats and stuff. If I remember it seemed quite a bit different than D&D.

Is it possible to gimp your party so bad that you couldn't beat it or can pretty much any party and stats make it through.
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August 29th, 2013, 08:46
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I will have to do some reading on stats and stuff. If I remember it seemed quite a bit different than D&D.
GameBanshee is a good place to read up on Drakensang.

http://www.gamebanshee.com/drakensangthedarkeye/
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August 29th, 2013, 12:19
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I remember being annoyed at the lack of audio and bugs in the first game,
You were annoyyed by the lack of bugs in the game ?

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August 29th, 2013, 12:21
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I will have to do some reading on stats and stuff. If I remember it seemed quite a bit different than D&D.
You can do a right-click on almost anything within the game (especially within the character sheet !) to get explanations !

Plus, here in the Drakensang sub-forums are a lot of explanations, too.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 30th, 2013, 01:28
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
You were annoyyed by the lack of bugs in the game ?
Why yes and I'm glad someone spotted that. Have to get others to buy the game you know.) Even if it's a lie.

Can't help myself sometimes sorry everyone.

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August 30th, 2013, 14:11
These games were actually among the most bug-free games I had ever encountered.

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August 30th, 2013, 16:19
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Is it possible to gimp your party so bad that you couldn't beat it or can pretty much any party and stats make it through.
Of course randomly distributing your skill points will gimp your party. Just as it should.
Just keep focused. Powerlevelling is unnecessary.
It's important to remember that you will be outnumbered in the majority of the fights though. So make sure to have an answer if 5 skeletons appear next to your mage. Every character must be able to hold his/her own in close combat, at least long enough to give the others time to sort things out.
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August 30th, 2013, 16:24
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I only played a few hours of the first game but plan on playing both when (if) I get done with skyrim.

Should I start with TRoT because it's a prequel? and where does the expansion come in story wise?
You have to weight up whether you want more suspense by playing the prequel first (-> some characters must survive because they appear in DraSa too!) or if you want to play the older, slightly more uncomfortable game first. Then it would be easier to play TRoT because the learning curve would be flat.
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August 31st, 2013, 15:40
Borrowed the first one from a friend and only played it a couple of hours before I dropped it.
That had several reasons though I only remember them very foggy: 1. The story just didn't get rolling. First quests you did felt like doing some random quests in a MMORPG. In order to get X you need to help 3 NPCs, each want you to do a "kill 10 X" quest. Was a horrible start. I also remember that Drakensang had longer Texts, which were not interesting enough to keep my attention for their length (in difference to Avernum for example where the content and importance per sentence ratio was much higher). Last thing I remember negatively about the game was the time spent for running. After a little conversation you spent Minutes of running through the city again to get to the next snippet which then again sent you back running through the city. And with running I actually mean walking slowly without fast traveling.

River of Time basically improved all of it: The quests were more interesting, the texts were all voiced with extremely good voices* like the voice from Brad Pitt, Ben Afflek, Leonardo Di Caprio, Julia Roberts and I also remember the Spongebob voice on the market. One of the most memorable moments in the game I had right in the beginning when you try to listen to the other passengers mumbling and as soon as you got close to them they said like "pssst, the boy is coming over again" and started to talk about random crap like the weather. Combined with the creme de la creme of voices the staging of the game was awesome. Of course that is the German version. Can't speak about the english one. I guess that the high costs for the voices in the German version might then also be a reason why the money management for the game did not work out so well. They maybe should have spent more attention to the international version.
But back to the game: I mentioned the horrible traveling times in the first Drakensang, they fixed it in the second game. And while I don't remember much of funny moments in the First Game, River of Time had several of these. So you meet some philosophers in the Inn which were talking about hilarious stuff, and it also had a funny reference to the first Realms of Arkania game as you met a group preparing to follow Hetmann Tronde's call.

If you speak german and played Dragon Age, you might want to take a look at the comparison I wrote a while back on myBuffed

After that I couldn't wait for the expansion: Philleassons Secret. And I can tell you that this was one of the most horrible expansions I played so far. Not just that I didn't like this egypt-like setting: The quests were also stupid and random, you were also sent back to random places for a couple of fights as if their goal was just to throw random content into the world. Out of the 6 hours of total playtime it brought, 4 were boring as hell (I can hardly remember the content but I wrote a little something about it back then):
1. Find 3 artifacts for 3 people and go into 3 caves for that, to just revisit all zones from the basic games. The caves are done within 5 minutes.
2. Fight for 6 artifacts in 6 rooms, where you encounter the same enemies over and over again together with a NPC which gives you the same sentence each time. After you did this you had to use these 6 artifacts in 6 different rooms. Pure boredom.
3. Thre were dialogue-quests like "if you want to join us, you have to make an oath on an element. Speak to my servants and chose one". You speak with the servants, chose one and get a reward. Completely without content and with totally dumb dialogues.

So to summarize it:
Drakensang wasn't exactly my taste, too many flaws. But it might be enjoyed by others who don't have problems with these.
Drakensang River of Time was an awesome game (in German at least, can't say anything about the translated versions) and almost on par with Dragon Age 1.
Phileassons Secret was a horrible experience and I would recommend to skip that. You might even skip it if you already own it because it might ruin your overall impression of the game.

EDIT: What I forgot to mention is that the normal Collectors Edition (not the persolanzied one) of River of Time also included the best coth map I have gotten so far. I framed it and put it on my wall (59cmx42cm):


*for non German people that's probably hard to understand but in Germany some voices like the voice of Bruce Willis (which is not in the game) are cult by themselves)
Last edited by Kordanor; August 31st, 2013 at 16:03.
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August 31st, 2013, 16:02
For more discussion/comparison, check out my own thread here at the Watch on the same topic. I think posters like DeepO get to the heart of the matter and don't fritter away so much on the details. However, the main virtue that I extol the original over the River of Time, is most certainly the greater party configuration options. Otherwise, the stronger narrative and better dungeon design made the second game overall, the tighter experience.

I've also never really understood the problems with Philleasson's Secret. Whilst I've only played it the one time, I didn't mind it at all - the more content the merrier. Mind you, I was very much in love with the setting at the time.

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You've a goodly way to go.
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August 31st, 2013, 16:15
@Pessimeister Did you also play and enjoy the DA1 DLC "Return to Ostagar"?
Imho that had pretty much the same design and level of quality as Philleassons Secret.
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August 31st, 2013, 16:19
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
@Pessimeister Did you also play and enjoy the DA1 DLC "Return to Ostagar"?
Imho that had pretty much the same design and level of quality as Philleassons Secret.
I have to give you a high five for your comment.

It wasn't the best expansion, but at least it added more content to the game. If you read up on the development I'm surprised it even came out.

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August 31st, 2013, 16:43
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
After a little conversation you spent Minutes of running through the city again to get to the next snippet which then again sent you back running through the city. And with running I actually mean walking slowly without fast traveling.
Agreed that running in Drakensang could be tedious. Although, it was a compromise between your movement speed and the enemies' speed, certainly. You still ran fast enough to run away from pretty much any enemy - as long as you didn't have to turn back or clicked someplace inaccessible.

River of Time basically improved all of it: The quests were more interesting
Hum? If you don't like "kill 10X" quests, what did you like about the starting vignette for fighter characters (the only starting vignette I've played)?

the texts were all voiced with extremely good voices*
Eh. Forgrimm's voice was the same, Cuano's voice was selected (and the script written) to be a 1:1 copy of Dranor, which certainly wasn't the height of acting.

So you meet some philosophers in the Inn which were talking about hilarious stuff, and it also had a funny reference to the first Realms of Arkania game as you met a group preparing to follow Hetmann Tronde's call.
Weren't there three philosophers (or were they supposed to be bards) in that one tavern in Drakensang as well?

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August 31st, 2013, 17:24
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
@Pessimeister Did you also play and enjoy the DA1 DLC "Return to Ostagar"?
Imho that had pretty much the same design and level of quality as Philleassons Secret.
Uhh, yes…but I think they're entirely different settings and experiences to be a valid comparison. They're both hack and slash heavy I suppose, but that's about it.

From memory, Return to Ostagar wasn't especially meaty. It was a DLC and not an expansion after all, full of fairly generic darkspawn laden combat. I guess the atmosphere and background lore to the whole thing was ok. I liked Philleasson's Secret more though. Maybe it was Forgrimm and all of the wacky screenshots I took at time that made my time with it decidedly more memorable…

Diddledy high,
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August 31st, 2013, 17:39
Of course the one was a DLC and the other one a Add On, but considering the Add On only had 6 hours of content, which a DLC may surpass I think you can compare them pretty well.
But what I am going for is that both "expansions" just recycled old game content and put something new in it which was more tacked on than thought through. Well, the egypt style area in Philleasons Secret was completely new of course. But both of the expansions added a lot of boring fights (they were not challenging at all) and almost zero content, and the content which was added was of very low quality.
In Return to Ostagar you had almost no comments from your party members and the "only quests" consisted of "go there, kill the boss, and find the next part of the armor", which was pretty much the same in Philleasons secret. It did not expand on the game in all levels. It just added some fights. Like if you added an Arena in a game where you can fight through 20 waves of enemies.

As you said yourself, they were very hack and slash heavy. But neither the core game of Dragon Age nor of River of Time was hack and slash heavy. So you did not get more of the game you liked from it. Bit more of one game element.

Well, if you enjoyed this game element (hack and slash) a lot, that's fine. But I guess the majority of the players expected something more in line with the core game and was therefore disappointed (especially considering the retail price of philleasons secret at around 25€).
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August 31st, 2013, 17:41
Yeah, I blame DTP for the demise of Randon Labs as well. I totally don't understand why they delayed the English version of TRoT for so long. Getting it out on Steam and other digital vendors could have made a big difference. Sure, calling a sequel "The River of Time" probably didn't help either, but not making it available for potential buyers for so long was in my opinion the biggest mistake.

And now we'll probably never see a sequel.
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August 31st, 2013, 19:03
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
Yeah, I blame DTP for the demise of Randon Labs as well. I totally don't understand why they delayed the English version of TRoT for so long. Getting it out on Steam and other digital vendors could have made a big difference. Sure, calling a sequel "The River of Time" probably didn't help either, but not making it available for potential buyers for so long was in my opinion the biggest mistake.

And now we'll probably never see a sequel.
You're making it too easy. While dtp clearly screwed the publishing up and missed the boat on digital distribution, Steam was simply not an option at that time. It's a closed platform, and dtp wasn't on it back then.
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August 31st, 2013, 19:21
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
You're making it too easy. While dtp clearly screwed the publishing up and missed the boat on digital distribution, Steam was simply not an option at that time. It's a closed platform, and dtp wasn't on it back then.
Yes, but even at that time it was already quite obvious how important being on Steam was, and I don't understand why publishers wouldn't have done their best to sell their games on that platform. Or was there a reason which was out of dtp's control other than not having bothered early enough?
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August 31st, 2013, 19:49
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
Yes, but even at that time it was already quite obvious how important being on Steam was, and I don't understand why publishers wouldn't have done their best to sell their games on that platform. Or was there a reason which was out of dtp's control other than not having bothered early enough?
I thought my last post was clear enough, but let me repeat it even more directly:

Steam is a closed platform. You need Valve's explicit permission to sell there! It's incredibly hard (or at least it used to be incredibly hard!) for small publishers or developers to get access to the Steam platform. Just imagine 2 guys in an office at Valve HQ, who get 25 submissions per day. There is no time to actually play the games for more than 5 minutes before making a decision. So you had to get lucky to be allowed in.
A year ago Daedalic (Memoria, Blackguards, Deponia), ex-dtp guys, partnered with Deep Silver. Not because they needed a co-publisher, but because Steam didn't let them in, while Deep Silver was Steam's new best friend after selling 3 million Dead Islands. After that Daedalic was granted a publisher account at Steam, probably based on the positive experience with Chains of Satinav.

Steam, PS3/4, XBox, Wii, iOS, … all are closed platforms with a gatekeeper between publisher and market.
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