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Default Sacred 2 - English Demo Released

October 2nd, 2008, 13:37
Ascaron has ca. 90 employees at two locations, plus a daughter company for QA. It seems most of them are working on Sacred 2.

The German print mags published late previews, or almost reviews if you like, in last Wednesdays's issues. They're all 40-50 hours in. There's nothing to worry. The preview code is relatively stable, there are more interesting quests hidden in all the filler, it's exactly what the name says: Sacred 2.
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October 2nd, 2008, 13:49
Yep, I've come across as too critical. I'm sure it will do well. I'll be interested in how well, just out of curiosity.

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October 2nd, 2008, 14:03
One of the mags also made clear that they don't expect a 90+ rating. So probably again the usual 85-88%. (Please remember that German scores are lower than US scores.)
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October 2nd, 2008, 14:06
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Remember that Sacred sold ~2M copies
So this amount of people actually know the Order of noXQs … If they have read the credits.

But they all wouldn't know who they are … This is probable the far smallest group ever mentioned in a credits screen …

Most of them, by the way, met again in the earlier days of the Drakensang forum, for obvious reasons.

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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October 2nd, 2008, 15:18
I must admit I'm surprised to hear the number of sales is that high for Sacred, and it's much more than what I would have expected. Is that for the original Sacred alone, and not the expansion and gold version combined with the original release?

Anyway, a high number for what is essentially a mediocre ARPG - at best - from where I'm sitting. It had promise and a lot of nice features, but they were all pretty poorly implemented, including the mounts, combos, and the samey boring seamless world. It got pretty good reviews, though, which always surprised me. Titan Quest is infinitely better as a product, if you ask me.

But anyway, this is about Sacred 2 and things are definitely looking much better. We won't know anything until we get to play the full version, but they certainly had the chance to do things right this time.

Oh, and Gorath, don't take this the wrong way - but you give off a strong "pro-german-developers-vibe" which is not unnatural, I suppose, but it's pretty obvious. I remember our discussions about Gothic 3 before release, where you insisted that the technical problems wasn't going to be a problem, and that everything would be fixed soon

Let's just say I've learned to be wary of previews and early praise - especially from people with an obvious bias.

I'll be getting Sacred 2, but there are things that worry me - and the incredibly poor voice acting is indeed a strange flaw in what some call a "flaghip title".
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October 2nd, 2008, 15:27
Ve don't need natiwe English speekers. German ist good enuf for everyone.

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October 2nd, 2008, 15:36
Sacred 2 voice work seems to have been done in a tongue and cheek manner. Much like the 1st game, with plenty of colorful expressions and phrases. (Think Duke Nukem) form both the main character as well as many npc/mobs through out the game.

And comparing the original Sacred to Titan Quest is complete Apples & Oranges, though both games have their independent flaws and strong points.

Ascaron certainly strove to do far more across a larger spectrum especially in the way of online features and the MP side of the game in general.

Sacred 2 has a lot going for it and many features that ARPG fans like and enjoy.

This isn't (imo) a serious, dark fantasy…it's meant to be fun, and from what I can gather from the demo they've accomplished this very well.
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October 2nd, 2008, 16:07
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I must admit I'm surprised to hear the number of sales is that high for Sacred, and it's much more than what I would have expected. Is that for the original Sacred alone, and not the expansion and gold version combined with the original release?
Its unclear, but I guess they include everything. Which means the average sales price is probably relatively low.

Oh, and Gorath, don't take this the wrong way - but you give off a strong "pro-german-developers-vibe" which is not unnatural, I suppose, but it's pretty obvious.
Oh, I also noticed this a couple of months ago. Its not a "pro-german-developer" bias, though. I would act in the same way in case of games by foreign developers, if I had the same amount of information about them. At the moment I know most about German RPGs. This may change when dtp pushes the Divinity 2 marketing.

It has several reasons. In case of Drakensang it was a counter-reaction to all the unfounded criticism flowing around, mostly from DSA fans who expected them to copy & paste the ruleset into a game. Furthermore Im the only editor left who can write newsbits based on German sources. The Drakensang review collections were not biased, btw. They included every review I found.
Sometimes Im simply too optimistic, which is a contrast to many others who are always pessimistic. I tend to give developers and games the benefit of the doubt.
Many German games are simply much better in German. They lose through crappy translation and are less buggy on German PC configurations. The same is true for every other country.
Furthermore I'm mostly staying away from discussions about games I know other editors are more interested in. Which strengthens the impression.

Our newsbits are as neutral as possible. Our reviews explain in detail why the reviewer believes a game deserves a certain score. Forum posts include personal opinions and biases. They reflect the poster's personal taste.

I remember our discussions about Gothic 3 before release, where you insisted that the technical problems wasn't going to be a problem, and that everything would be fixed soon
Well, maybe not everything I wrote back then was correct in hindsight.
Gothic, G2 and NotR also shipped in bad condition, and they were fixed quickly. G3 was not.
There's sometimes politics involved. I don't want RPGWatch to become such a negative place as other hardcore gamer sites. Then I post a wave-breaker.


Let's just say I've learned to be wary of previews and early praise - especially from people with an obvious bias.
Me too.

I'll be getting Sacred 2, but there are things that worry me - and the incredibly poor voice acting is indeed a strange flaw in what some call a "flaghip title".
That's something I don't understand. Ascaron is also the publisher in the UK and the US, AFAIK. They are in full control. So why the crappy voice acting?
Last edited by Gorath; October 2nd, 2008 at 16:15.
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October 2nd, 2008, 16:38
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Sacred 2 voice work seems to have been done in a tongue and cheek manner. Much like the 1st game, with plenty of colorful expressions and phrases. (Think Duke Nukem) form both the main character as well as many npc/mobs through out the game.

And comparing the original Sacred to Titan Quest is complete Apples & Oranges, though both games have their independent flaws and strong points.

Ascaron certainly strove to do far more across a larger spectrum especially in the way of online features and the MP side of the game in general.

Sacred 2 has a lot going for it and many features that ARPG fans like and enjoy.

This isn't (imo) a serious, dark fantasy…it's meant to be fun, and from what I can gather from the demo they've accomplished this very well.
I'm glad you enjoy the voice acting, but in my opinion it's as out-of-place in Sacred 2 as it was in Sacred. I don't see the connection with Duke Nukem, as that game was entirely different and for me it fit perfectly - here I don't "get it" in Sacred 2. Whether it's me being obtuse or the voice acting being crappy, isn't too important to me. But it seems almost everyone else thinks it's bad as well, so maybe they made a mistake if indeed they meant it to be this way.

An extremely apt comparison, however, is Titan Quest versus Sacred, as they're both in the same action/rpg subgenre, and appeals to the same audience. So, I don't see anything even remotely "apples and oranges" about that comparison. You talk about strong points and flaws, which is indeed a good way of comparing them in the first place.

But beyond all that, it's clear that we were both very impressed with the Sacred 2 demo, and maybe we should be pleased with that. If you don't think it has the flaws that I mentioned, then that's nice, but it won't make them go away to me.
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October 2nd, 2008, 16:43
Gorath

I see what you're saying, and maybe what I perceived as bias is indeed simply you having more insight into those products and what goes on behind the scenes, with a desire to share.

Also, I really didn't mean it in a bad way - as I find that sort of bias (if it existed) very natural and understandable.
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October 2nd, 2008, 17:26
The German intarweb is exploding with Sacred 2 news, tests and everything.

The notebook optimizations seem to work.
The CE includes another DVD with high res textures for power users.

Ascaron's DRM includes an option to get the perfect demo:
Every copy or download will work until 24.00 the same day and then disable itself. The sources are only in German so far, but as far as I understood them this is officially tolerated. More precise infos should become available soon.

The first patch is out!

I also read something about a content update.


edit:
It is legal to download or copy an uncracked Sacred 2. It can be played without a key until 24.00 the same day. Then a message pops up and asks the player to purchase a key. It includes a link to Softunity. (Koch Media / Deep Silver's own online shop).
So far all of this is only confirmed for the German market!

The game comes on 2 disks, DVD-9.
Last edited by Gorath; October 2nd, 2008 at 17:44.
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October 2nd, 2008, 18:32
Nice advertising plan (considering all the asinine DRMs around). Certainly something one would expect coming from developers these days.
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October 2nd, 2008, 19:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post

An extremely apt comparison, however, is Titan Quest versus Sacred, as they're both in the same action/rpg subgenre, and appeals to the same audience. So, I don't see anything even remotely "apples and oranges" about that comparison. You talk about strong points and flaws, which is indeed a good way of comparing them in the first place.

But beyond all that, it's clear that we were both very impressed with the Sacred 2 demo, and maybe we should be pleased with that. If you don't think it has the flaws that I mentioned, then that's nice, but it won't make them go away to me.
Agreed.

The point I was making (without really explaining, my bad) was that you're comparing:

An older 2D 1/2 Isometric game from 2004 to a full blown 3D game (though without camera rotation unless modded) in 2006.

Your claim was that TQ is a much better game…

In some ways yes, in others no.

Yes they are both ARPG type games, but done from completely different points of view and differing development goals.

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October 2nd, 2008, 23:15
An older 2D 1/2 Isometric game from 2004 to a full blown 3D game (though without camera rotation unless modded) in 2006.

Your claim was that TQ is a much better game…

In some ways yes, in others no.

Yes they are both ARPG type games, but done from completely different points of view and differing development goals.
First of all, when I compare games I don't forget when they were released.

That's why I can honestly say that Pool of Radiance (released in 1988) is the best party-based CRPG I've ever played, even though Baldur's Gate 2 is better in almost every single way. I always think of games in terms of how good they COULD be, before I say how good they are.

As for the 2D vs 3D, I've never found that to have any inherent bearing on quality - and I think it's 100% about execution. In both cases (Sacred and TQ) my opinion of the games has nothing to do with this technical aspect.

I don't claim TQ is the better game, I'm saying I personally think it's a MUCH better game. But that's a subjective viewpoint - not a claim.

Honestly, I really don't understand your problem with the comparison. The two games are alike in 9 ways for every 1 they're not. I remain extremely firm in my opinion that they are perfect candidates for a DIRECT comparison.
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October 3rd, 2008, 01:36
I spent more time with it yesterday and quite enjoyed it, although it still didn't excite me.

The biggest improvements I can see (other than graphics) are the mounts and multiplayer - since I don't play MP, this obviously has little impact on me, while others will find this a huge plus. The controls seemed better - maybe I was unlucky getting snagged on a lamppost within a fee seconds.

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October 3rd, 2008, 02:14
What I think is a real boon for MP lovers is the 'drop in' scalable multiplayer. Should be interesting!

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October 3rd, 2008, 07:58
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
What I think is a real boon for MP lovers is the 'drop in' scalable multiplayer. Should be interesting!
Several ARPGs do this, including Diablo 2, Titan Quest, and Hellgate. I don't know why it's being advertised as something special - as I take such a thing for granted in the genre. But it's definitely nice to see they worked to get a decent MP functionality in there. I can't remember how Sacred did it, but perhaps people were forced to go through a rigid setup phase before being able to join forces, and as such this is advertised because it's an improvement over the old one.
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October 5th, 2008, 12:44
Useless fact of the day:
The demo area is 2.85% of the world.
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October 5th, 2008, 22:10
How was this number computed ???

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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October 5th, 2008, 23:57
It doesn't sound all that complicated if you have both area sizes.
Last edited by Gorath; October 6th, 2008 at 02:14.
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