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Default How To Play G3 (And Not Give Up In Frustration)

October 23rd, 2006, 14:03
The Gothics never were your grandfather's CRPG. Gothic 3 is like the ones that came before, only more so.

I've spent a few fluey days hacking away with it, and been about equal parts frustrated and delighted. Years of your grandfather's CRPG's made me play it in the wrong way. Or at least in a way that wasn't as enjoyable to me as the way I finally figured out, which may, of course, not be at all as enjoyable to someone else. These are my thoughts on it.

Before we go any further:

(0) Install the patch, update the drivers on your system (including the CPU drivers if you're on AMD X2), and read through and apply the tweaks from the Tweaks thread. Oh, and check that your GPU gets enough air not to overheat. Failing to do so will result in a painful experience.

So, how to play G3 and enjoy it? In many ways, it's just the opposite of playing most other CRPG's. Most CRPG's hand-hold you. The only throw challenges at you that are carefully calibrated to your strength, they reward you with appropriate loot for surmounting appropriate challenges, and they carefully advance a plot. G3 isn't like this. At all. It's basically a huge world for you to play in, with challenges at all levels to be found in (almost) all parts. If you wander into the wrong cave at the wrong time, you'll end up as a wet stain on the floor. If you pick the wrong quest, you'll end up spending more time listening to that mournful death music and watching the load screen than actually playing.

So don't. In particular, *don't* do any of these tried-and-true CRPG power-gamer tricks:

(1) Try to kill every enemy you see. At worst you'll die all the time. At best, you'll spend 45 minutes sticking arrows into a really nasty beast from a safe location, and then get a few hundred XP and some lewt that will make virtually no difference to the game. Instead, if you see something that kills you in no time flat, run away. (Unless it's a bloodfly or wild boar, in which case curse roundly and deal with it.)

(2) Try to do every quest in sequence as you get them. You'll easily get quests that are way too tough, or only doable through obsessive save-reload. Just gather up those quests, and do the ones that feel about the right size to you. If quests in an area get too tough, wander off somewhere else -- there's a huge number of places with a huge variety of quests, most of them interesting and atmospheric.

(3) Min-max compulsively. The interesting thing about G3 -- and I've only started to appreciate it -- is that it's all about using a fairly small variety of "tools" on the right situations. This is different than in G2, too. A character that's reasonably good at most things will have more fun and get through most things more easily than a character that's put all of the learning points into a single skill group. The halberd works great against wildlife, for example, but a good sword works better on human(oid)s. Scrolls and magical effects are very powerful. Moderate thieving skills will open up yet new options. Moderate skills with a bow will make otherwise tough fights much easier to manage. So, at least at reasonably early levels, it's a better approach to make your character a decent all-rounder with perhaps one area a bit more emphasized than the others; I suspect min-maxing will become more important later on in the game though.

(4) Try to approach the world area by area. Instead, explore. There's a tremendous amount of stuff to discover, tucked away in secret places. And never mind if there's a chest you can't open or quest you can't do; there'll be plenty more chests and quests elsewhere. A big part of the fun is coming back to areas you already know, and doing more stuff there.

OK, so there were the don'ts with some do's added in for flavor. Here are a few do's (very, very mild spoilers):

(1) Do make friends with the rangers. They're your best bet for decent armor and magic before having to do some pretty heavy-duty fighting. It's much easier to become friendly with them than the major factions, and they're close by to the starting point.

(2) Do be mercenary. (Not necessarily *orc* mercenary, but mercenary -- kill people for money, basically.) The Nameless Hero is not a very… nice person. (In fact, he's more of an anti-hero than a hero; think Riddick, not Sir Galahad.) He was imprisoned in what amounts to a death camp, was betrayed by his mentor and a few people he considered friends, saved the world twice, and never got any thanks for it. He doesn't owe anyone anything, not the King, not the Orcs, not Xardas, least of all the whiny peasants. The only reason he's still alive is that he knows how to look out for Number 1. So do that. For a long, long time you won't be strong enough to be a mover and shaker, so don't try to be. Instead, be what you are -- a sellsword. Keep a low profile, and take on those jobs everyone else is too weak (or too scrupulous) to do. Once you're tough enough, there will be time to pick a side.

(3) Pick your own fights and set your own objectives. The world of Gothic is a mean place, and the only way you can survive in it is by fighting it on your terms, not theirs. It's also varied enough that setting your own objectives actually makes sense, and makes a difference -- the Gothics are the only games I can think of that really have meaningful choices in them. Sometimes the choices are forced on you -- not by the scriptwriters, but by events. For example, you may have gotten into an argument with a group of individuals out in the wilderness that ended up badly for said individuals, and later discover that they were important enough that you'll never be able to become fully accepted in a city because they're no longer around to talk to. Them's the breaks, so deal with it.

(4) Take the main quest slowly. It's possible to get in way over your head (essentially because of an early badly-designed boss fight with a really, really huge loophole), so don't try to pursue that too early. Instead, keep doing those odd jobs, learning what the factions are all about, developing your character, and just soaking in the atmosphere. If the going gets too tough, it's probably because it *is* too tough, so do something else instead. G3's main quest is the diametrical opposite of Oblivion's -- where the O-games main quest feels like throwing yourself at a door that wasn't locked after all, G3's main quest feels like finding a pool full of piranhas behind that door. So take it easy.

Bottom line? The more I play G3, the more I like it. It just demands a very different approach than almost any other CRPG I can think of. Oh, and the wildlife still does needs to be toned down -- my character is closing on level 30, and can *still* be killed within seconds by being jumped by a bloodfly or wild boar. That just ain't right.
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October 23rd, 2006, 19:09
Awesome. I already had a feeling that playing the game in a certain different way would lessen the frustrating parts that some people experience. Not to say that they are not there, but you just don't go picking up the arrow that landed on your feet and start sticking yourself with it, as the saying goes.
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October 24th, 2006, 02:32
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
-- where the O-games main quest feels like throwing yourself at a door that wasn't locked after all, G3's main quest feels like finding a pool full of piranhas behind that door.
..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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October 24th, 2006, 06:10
A very good, thoughtful and well reasoned piece. I agree with you.
If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 24th, 2006, 08:37
You mean play the game like the other Gothics.
Good read, but that's exactly the same advice that was given when Gothic 1 or Gothic 2 was just released. Except for the Rangers part of course.
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Last edited by Sem; October 24th, 2006 at 17:34.
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October 24th, 2006, 09:31
I've given the same advice countless times for G1,G2, and Notr…..maybe not as well written…..but the same advice.
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October 24th, 2006, 11:39
Damn straight. Thing is, it's been years since I last played the other Gothics, and I'd forgotten. Besides, in G2 the best survival strategy was to put everything in two-handers as early as possible, and ignore one-handers. And put everything in weaponsmithing if you were playing for the mercs, too.

Incidentally, I've come to appreciate the combat system more as well. The WBOD's aren't bad at all if you have a bow and the Game Hunter perk (just run away when they come at you and stick 'em full of arrows). And while swordfighting is still a bit too heavy on click-time-swingfest (especially against beasties), there are subtleties there as well. For example, when fighting against human(oid)s, it works quite well to stay behind the shield, give a couple of quick jabs to stagger the opponent briefly, then do a slow jab (hold both buttons) to stagger him more, then a power attack to knock him down, the another slow jab as he gets up, and repeat. IOW, there is a fair bit of stuff to discover there too.
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October 26th, 2006, 18:20
indeed i agree with the original posters comments

i also must add that i found it surprising that in this game xp is mainly (at least for me) gained by doing quests. I'm currently lvl 23 and have bypassed tons of bloodflies and wild boars because i found it frustrating to fight them. Most xp i got from quests. I have only visited 5 settlements so far only in Myrtana (doing all possible quests in them) and never really had to do any tough fighting (i'm still only wearing the leather armour because i couldnt find a robe ). And i have about 92 lp's sitting on my bank waiting to be disposed….
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October 26th, 2006, 23:29
Good guide.

I wouldnt blame one for giving up on G3, but it's a shame. I hope PB can patch the game up good before the US release and that people who bought it here in Europe give it another chance once it's "done". G3 right now is a bit unbalanced and there are a few showstopping bugs and I do not know if I could pull together to try again after playing a whole week to learn that I cant continue due to broken save or because my faction is screwed up.

For now it might be nice to put together something that directly adress some of the nastier problems and how to avoid them. Kinda like "If you do not want to screw up, dont do this" and "To kill a boar, try theese tactics".
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October 27th, 2006, 02:25
A FAQ or wiki you mean? That'd be a good idea yes.

Speaking of which, to kill a boar all you have to do is use anything but a 1h weapon. If you're using a 1h weapon anyway, start with a few fast slashes to interrupt his initial charge, and as soon as you hit him once, use normal attacks till he's dead. Why not use fast attacks all the way? They kill him too slowly, and he'll break the attack at some point(often at least, not always).

Regarding xp - the fastest way to get xp is to do quests, yes, or to liberate cities. Liberating Montera for instance will give you two whole levels in most cases, because of the high number of orcs/mercs.
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October 27th, 2006, 04:04
Quick FAQ, very quick

For example:
* Tactics to beat boars and other nasty low level creatures
* Do not tell the Slave watcher that he can go look for his own slaves, that screw up the main plot
* Avoid liberating cities if you get the firce chalice by other means, liberating too many screw up the main plot

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October 27th, 2006, 11:46
I was a pure sword fighter in Gothic 1 and Gothic 2, but in Gothic 3 I have to use the bow, too - and I like it.
It's simply the best weapon against bloodflies, boars and minecrawlers.
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October 27th, 2006, 11:56
You know I find boars, pretty easy. Just walk forward/backwards while hitting that left button. It works fine. If they do stun you hold back/forward as your getting up and that whacks them. I never get stun locked till I die any more.

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October 27th, 2006, 13:59
I take them out with 1 fireball, but if they get one hit on me I am pretty much dead already.
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