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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » JoWooD - Universe Editions for Gothic, Spellforce & The Guild

Default JoWooD - Universe Editions for Gothic, Spellforce & The Guild

November 13th, 2007, 23:30
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
While we're at it: Would I lose any enjoyment from the first game playing Gothic 2 before Gothic 1? I'm thinking of things like: would it spoil the story or would it be difficult to go back to more primitive interface/controls?
I actually did that, and played 2 before 1. That's very atypical for me, I still don't know what possessed me; I guess it was because, back then, I disliked games with that camera position so much I didn't expect to enjoy it at all. If you are into involving yourself in the story and characters and even environment, then yes, you will miss out, as I did, on a bunch of stuff. But I wouldn't say spoil.
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November 14th, 2007, 01:31
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post

Originally Posted by Dark Savant View Post
Are these universe releases exclusive to US market or will they be available in continental Europe or at least UK?
Any info about the content in the boxes? Any printed material (manuals, maps…) or just plain discs.
They´ll probably be released in all territories JoWooD / DreamCatcher / The Adventure Company cater for with their own distribution or distribution partners. This means North America, DACH, parts of Eastern Europe (though CDV), the UK, Scandinavia and most of Old Europe.

Content: Unclear. Probably only a couple of DVDs. Manuals on disk as pdf. It is possible that the bundles come without copy protection though. It´s often dropped somewhere down the value chain to save a few cents per game.

Since I've finished installing the Canadian release of Gothic Universe, distributed by Dreamcatcher, I can tell you what I've found.

The only manual included for any of the Gothic games was a Pdf for Gothic 3.

Gothic 1
Has a brief html file listing basic Keyboard/mouse commands. Infact it appears to be the file released for the original Demo. It even says "In this Demo you will be able to play a part of the surface level."

Although each game comes on its own DvD this was also the only game of the 3 which would auto-install.

Gothic 2: Night of the Raven
Includes an extremely basic readme.txt file with a few lines about some keys changing for Night of the Raven and why. If a person never played Gothic 1 or Gothic 2 it's useless.

Gothic 2 is installed with the expansion "Night of the Raven" in place as a complete game. It installs to the C drive and oddly the installer gives no option to change where you can install it. You do not have the option of playing Gothic 2 as a stand alone first and then start over with "Night of the Raven" expansion.

I never install games to the C drive, I have a large seperate drive explicitly for game installations. So this behaviour really annoyed me. When the installation completed, before attempting to run the game, I copied the whole folder to another drive. This appears to work fine but of course the uninstaller will not remove the game now.

Concerning Copy Protection:
After reading Gorath's statement saying copy protection might be removed I tried running each of the 3 games without the DvDs in the drive and surprisingly each appears to run fine without the DvD. I played each of them a ways past their intros and even tried reloading saves without issue. Possibly at some future point into the game they might want to check the DvD.

It's a real shame and I was stunned not even the Pdf manuals for Gothic 1 & Gothic 2 / Gothic 2: Night of the Raven were not included. To me this is simply unforgiveable. Anyone attempting to play the games for the first time will be doing so at a severe disadvantage.

Using your Google Foo I'm sure the "Game Manuals" situation is resolveable

Ubbax
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Last edited by Ubbax; November 14th, 2007 at 02:12. Reason: To remove the garbage inserted by a spastic keyboard..
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November 14th, 2007, 02:07
Originally Posted by Ubbax View Post
The only manual included for any of the Gothic games was a Pdf for Gothic 3.
Thank goodness for http://www.replacementdocs.com/. A shame, nevertheless.
Originally Posted by Ubbax View Post
It installs to the C drive and oddly the installer gives no option to change where you can install it.
That's irritating. I haven't installed a game to C: since the days of MS-DOS, I believe.
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November 14th, 2007, 02:33
Originally Posted by Ubbax View Post
Gothic 2 is installed with the expansion "Night of the Raven" in place as a complete game. It installs to the C drive and oddly the installer gives no option to change where you can install it. You do not have the option of playing Gothic 2 as a stand alone first and then start over with "Night of the Raven" expansion.
Are you sure? Many people also thought the same about G2 Gold, until they found out NotR had its own installer.

Could you check the DVD if G2 and NotR have installers in their sub-directories?
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November 14th, 2007, 04:50
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Are you sure? Many people also thought the same about G2 Gold, until they found out NotR had its own installer.

Could you check the DVD if G2 and NotR have installers in their sub-directories?
The DvD is actually identified as "Gothic II Gold" and it installs in a directory with that name. I initially thought NotR would have it's own installer as well Gorath. However on the DvD there is only one setup.exe and a large cab file. I've attached a pic of the DvD's contents. In the Bin folder you see in the pic there is only a Gothic2.exe and a protect.dll application extension.

Gothic II Gold.gif

Its possible there may be a hidden installer for NotR in the Cab file but when I finished installing the DvD it actually cleaned up after itself so there was no way to tell.

I remember reading replies, regarding the seperate NotR installer, at the time in the Jowood forums to the effect that this wasn't something that had been intended. I'm wondering if they may have finally amalgamated the two seperate installs into one with this release.

When I get a bit more free time I'll look into this a bit deeper. Fire away ff you have more questions or suggestions though I may not answer till tomorrow. If you hear it is possible with this particular release please post and let us know.

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We grow old because we stop playing."
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November 14th, 2007, 09:26
Bad decision by JoWooD.

Thanks for the infos.

In that case I change my recommendation regarding the order the games should be played in:

Start with Gothic, download JemyM´s FAQ. If you have further question feel free to post them in the forum.
Play the other games in chronological order.
Don´t give in to the temptation to play G2 Gold first. It´s a very hard game according to today´s standards.
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November 14th, 2007, 10:19
I've seen Gothic 3 universe in Swedish shops (we usually get the UK versions of games AFAIK). I'd assume that means that the games show up in other European countries as well.
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November 14th, 2007, 11:44
BTW, I don't think that the 2-in-1 installer for NotR and Gothic 2 is something new. As far as I can remember, the G2 Gold editions that were "freely" (you had to buy the mag obviously) distributed via various German game mags had just one installer for G2 and NotR as well.
Contrary to Gorath, I don't think that this is necessarily a bad decision though. I would always recommend to play the Gold version in order to avoid being forced to replay chapter 1. G2 Gold is not that hard, especially if you have finished Gothic 1 before. You just need to keep your character development focused on one weapon type and on one stat in the beginning (like bow + dex or one-handed + strength… don't try to level both until later in the game when combat becomes easier) and then it isn't really much of a problem.
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November 14th, 2007, 16:00
I agree, there is really no good reason at all to play Gothic 2 without NOTR. G2+NOTR is superior in every way, it's the game Gothic 2 should have been to begin with.
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November 14th, 2007, 16:35
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I've seen Gothic 3 universe in Swedish shops (we usually get the UK versions of games AFAIK). I'd assume that means that the games show up in other European countries as well.
I can find no reference to Gothic Universe in any of the major UK retailers. Kochmedia was the UK distributor for Gothic 3 and I can find no reference to Gothic Universe on their site either. As far as I know Night of the Raven has never received a UK release in any shape or form
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November 14th, 2007, 18:55
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I agree, there is really no good reason at all to play Gothic 2 without NOTR. G2+NOTR is superior in every way, it's the game Gothic 2 should have been to begin with.
IMHO the balancing makes a mage career almost impossible.
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November 14th, 2007, 19:44
Originally Posted by MudsAnimalFriend View Post
I can find no reference to Gothic Universe in any of the major UK retailers. Kochmedia was the UK distributor for Gothic 3 and I can find no reference to Gothic Universe on their site either. As far as I know Night of the Raven has never received a UK release in any shape or form
Koch was co-publisher. They´ve decided to pull out of JoWooD. Just yesterday they´ve officially announced that their amount of JoWooD shares sank below 5% (coming from 46%). One of Austria´s biggest newspapers (Der Standard), using agency material, talks about "fierce arguments" between Koch Media and the new JoWooD board.

Since early 2007 JoWooD has signed with Pinnacle for exclusive distribution (-> not publishing!) in the UK. It would make sense to put the bundles on the shelves in the UK too.
Last edited by Gorath; November 14th, 2007 at 19:57.
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November 15th, 2007, 01:03
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
IMHO the balancing makes a mage career almost impossible.
Stop being such a wimp!

The path of the mage is indeed difficult in NOTR, but only in the earlier stages. The later stages and endgame are actually easier with a mage as long as you spent your LP's wisely.
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November 15th, 2007, 07:27
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I agree, there is really no good reason at all to play Gothic 2 without NOTR. G2+NOTR is superior in every way, it's the game Gothic 2 should have been to begin with.
I tend to disagree in part. While the storyline makes more sense and the extra areas are very cool, the balancing is far too tight in NOTR. It's too easy to end up with a build that just scrapes by for a while but get stuck in the late mid game (for instance by not being able to dish out damage fast enough to kill the regenerating dragons). Making character building an exercise in optimization by necessity takes some fun out of the game

EDIT2: I'd still recommend to install NOTR right away though, as one otherwise would have to replay too much of the game. Just grab some hints on character building first.
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November 15th, 2007, 07:48
The only downside of NOTR is that the devs didn't make it more clear that you need to be very precise in how you spend your LP's. Obviously you can not succeed in that game if you attempt to be a jack of all trades. As long as you know that fact beforehand, it doesn't take any fun out of the game at all imo.
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November 15th, 2007, 08:08
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I tend to disagree in part. While the storyline makes more sense and the extra areas are very cool, the balancing is far too tight in NOTR. It's too easy to end up with a build that just scrapes by for a while but get stuck in the late mid game (for instance by not being able to dish out damage fast enough to kill the regenerating dragons). Making character building an exercise in optimization by necessity takes some fun out of the game
I think this is only a problem with the mage build, I actually did that playing
first time in NOTR as a mage and stubbornly spending LPs in worhtless
directions (skinning and smithing for a mage etc) despite being warned…

So I got to the stone dragon with very little max mana and lesser fire storm
as my most damage dealing spell (couldnt even scratch him). Thankfully this
was a Gothic game(meaning a little creative thinking and perhaps a couple of
exploits can get you anywhere ) . Believe it or not my solution was summoning
hordes of goblin and human skeletons simultaneously ! and it worked for all the
dragons ! (funny stuff) . After the dragons the game never became really difficult
again (although I did stop fooling with the LPs after that lesson).

Totally recommend NOTR and agree with JDR13's comment (that it makes G2 what it should have been from the start)…
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November 15th, 2007, 08:41
For those of you that have difficulty with NoTR balancing: You can use the NoTR customizer to edit the ruleset, you can revert back to the GII ruleset, or you can make the game even more difficult if you so wish. You can also adjust other minor details, such as increasing the exp from quests etc.

Playing as a pure mage is possible but requires careful decisions in-game, both during level-up and during play. Another viable approach is the battlemage path, forget all about magic until chapter 3, and then learn only the high level spells but be sure to pick up healing (light is also nice).

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
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November 15th, 2007, 09:03
notr was a great addon but i completely disagree with the philosophy of saying its what gothic 2 should have been from the start.

its easy to judge a game that improves upon a game rather than a new ground up build and say this is how it should have been. of course if time and manpower weren't factors i would agree but i don't know about your workplaces but those assets are always in demand due to not enough employees so everything that can gets done. pirahna bytes is a small staff especially back then and there's only some much they can do. i mean, do you all not remember how long the english versions took to arrive in the first place. i can't remember sufferering through waiting for any game more than gothic 2 even without the addon (gold) delay.

also by the same notion that one would say notr is what gothic 2 should have been many like gothic 2 better than the first. i also attribute this to the fact that gothic 2 and notr are all just refinements of the original and each other since they use basically the same engine and gameplay and thus don't have to be reinvisioned like with gothic 3. this is part of the reason why i feel that although gothic 2 and notr is the "tightest" and "flawless" game of the series it is also the most unoriginal and uninspiring. to me novelty is just as important if not more than a "polished" game.

its like with dreams: the ones i remember are the ones that are unique in their actions/adventure rather than a gratification of a conscious dream. video games are the only visual medium that really saites that desire for me, as i imagine others, and while sometimes more of a good thing is…good, i prefer seeing and playing an experience that entralls me through its environment that no game or dream has done before. nordmar in gothic 3 was one of those experiences along with the old camp in gothic. gothic 2 was splendid but had no one utterely unique experience for me.

i only played through notr once (not as a mage) and i had zero problem with any kind of balance, but that could be because i played through gothic 2 around three lengthly playthroughs.
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November 15th, 2007, 15:24
NOTR is what G2 should have been from the start, bottom line. It improved the game world, added more monsters, added more weapons\items, and tied up the loose ends in the story. It improved on the game in every way and made vanilla G2 obsolete.
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November 16th, 2007, 12:41
Play.com (UK e-tailer) now has Gothic Universe in their DB, due for release on 29/02/2008! (why the wait )
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