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Default Arcania - E3 Previews @ RPGamer, GamingExcellence

June 5th, 2009, 00:47
Nice to see games like Arcania getting a little bit of E3 coverage, even though the articles are short. Here's a snip from RPGamer, who apparently hadn't encounted the Gothic series previously:
I entered into the game and was quickly run through the differences between old hardcore Gothic and new, more approachable Arcania. Quest logs which can be activated or turned off to increase or decrease difficulty are one of the most thought-out quest systems I've seen, catering to both casual and dedicated gamers. There are approximately 300 total quests, of which about 200 are part of the main storyline (including a branching ending about 75% of the way through play), and the rest are optional quests with the three factions the game holds as well as the five guilds.
…and GamingExcellence:
Ya know, I really have to wonder about the mental state of people who are big fans of the Gothic series? Not that it’s a bad series, not by any stretch, but the mental fortitude that’s required to play through one of these games to completion is staggering. Only having clocked around seven hours of gameplay between the second and third game the sheer beating you receive from even the first enemies can be a life altering experience. These are truly games for the hardcore gamer and if you don’t have the stones for it then too bad for you.

Luckily for the rest of us humans the developers are going for a slightly different approach with Arcania. Rather than focusing exclusively on the hardcore crowd they’ve expanded their approach to make the game more accessible to the rest of humanity. A good example of the starting point of this is the fact that you can now turn on a quest tracker. This will give you a quick way of traveling to the waypoints that will help you actually find your goal.
Finally, IGN has some screens.
More information.
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June 5th, 2009, 00:47
*yawn*

I'm an RPG nut and enjoyed Gothic 2&3 (haven't played 1) but this one's going to have a hard time convincing me it's worth my money. A new developer, easier on the masses, a "funner!" name, I smell watered down garbage.

Is it just me or do the screen shots look exactly like Gothic 3? Except a few shots that look like their in a bad need of some AA.
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June 5th, 2009, 01:31
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
…I smell watered down garbage.
Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you don't smell good.

I suspect Arcania will turn out like a rare vintage with a fragrant bouquet.

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June 5th, 2009, 03:50
I question this writers analysis of the Gothic situation. The comments against Gothic, from my experience (not mine personally but from what I've read on the boards) has nothing to do with facing hard monsters right off the bat, but more along the lines of a clumsy interface, small cast of voice actors, and a combat system that bordered on point and click. The vast majority of gamers who gave the game a chance loved it. The proof is as close as Amazon.com. When I read comments about the joining of the hardcore with the casual, I really wonder what is this writers agenda?
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June 5th, 2009, 03:56
** but the mental fortitude that’s required to play through one of these games to completion is staggering. **


Say What!? Is this guy serious? The Gothic series is 'hardcore'? By what standard, MS Solitaire? I suppose if you are used to instant results and gratification and you don't like games that require a modicum of forethought or planning, then yes, the series is hardcore. I fell in love with the series when I bought G2 and then had to play G1. I then played NotR and finally, G3. The series has its faults and bugs, but I think, overall, it's an excellent and satisfying series. But 'hardcore'? Not unless you're an idiot or RPG neophyte.
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June 5th, 2009, 05:18
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you don't smell good.
Haha, well, you got me there.

Do you have some vested interest in the game?

I hope I'm wrong, I really do. I hope all single player RPGs (that deserves it) are a huge success, there's just not enough of them. However, when I read things like "more accessible" and "easier", that's usually marketing speak for dumbed down so far there's not a whole lot of RPG left (see Oblivion). Along with earlier reports of "wow like" color palettes for "the Americans" and I'm skeptical the game is heading in the right direction.
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June 5th, 2009, 08:30
Mmmm hardcore? No but I can understand his view, I mean how many of us died in G1 by aking a shoortcut an run into a shadowbeast or got killed by a molerat in the 1st lvls of Gothic 1? It is hard to die in most RPG in the beginning, not in gothic.

Questpointer? Target Lock? Doesn't sound good. The spell effects of changing weather does sound good though

The other preview:
Factions and guilds have been completely re-thought for Arcania; in prior Gothic games they were tied together. Now, the five guilds are factionless and a player may interact with all, some, or none of these establishments

Uhm wasn't that what gothic was all about? The choosing of a faction and have to stick with your choices?

As I hacked through a variety of enemies, my sword would glow, and if I timed my next swing right I could chain together multiple combos for a devastating amount of damage. I was almost sad when something died….

Does anyone want to scream the witcher?
Don't know about Arcania

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June 5th, 2009, 09:59
Target lock is in since Gothic 2.

Quest pointers can be disabled.
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June 5th, 2009, 10:56
There was manual target lock in G1, as long as the opponents name focus was on screen (even though out of sight) and providing no solid obstacles were in the way, the adversary would be killed by the bow. Even if the target moved from off the screen, so long as the key was held the target lock would be maintained until re-entrance into the screen visual zone. In the logical applied mechanics of killing it worked perfectly.
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June 5th, 2009, 11:13
You do need exceptional patience to bother saving/reloading 200 times to finish a game. G2: NotR is possibly the most challenging RPG I've played, and most certainly the game I've had to reload the most to complete. All in all, I understand his point of view - Gothic is not for the average gamer, and I would never recommend it to anyone who's not an experienced gamer. That being said; once you have what it takes to get through G1 or 2, it might just end up being one of the best games you've ever played.

If people consider Gothic to be easy, I'd really love to see what is considered hard, as it all depends on the context (what context do you put Gothic into, to make it seem easy). Fallout, PS:T, every D&D game I've played.. they're all a whole lot easier to complete than Gothic, and require far less saving/reloading.

Remember, we're talking about RPGs here. There's no point bringing up "I've played chess against Magnus Carlsen, Gothic is easy!", as that's not what the writer is going on about at all.

PS. No, I've never played chess against Magnus Carlsen, that was just an example - a player of his level would beat me in his sleep.
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June 5th, 2009, 11:42
Obviously, Arcania is a casual-friendly imitation of Gothic.

Since the concept of Gothic is solid, there's a good chance the masses will latch on to a more accessible version. It will represent "scraps" for us enthusiast fans - so let's not kid ourselves.

But I can certainly see how the average casual gamer would think of Gothic as extremely hard, because it IS quite hard initially. I certainly remember a relatively steep learning curve - and even with decades of UI experience, it took me an hour at least to get comfortable with it. Casual gamers will put down a game if they don't nail the controls within a few minutes - so I get where he's coming from.

Also, the combination of static levels and a freeform world will always represent early challenges for those inclined to explore a little. Gothic pulled no punches in this way, and even the low level beasties were a challenge until you got the hang of combat.

I'm holding out hope this will have just enough of that Gothic magic to keep me entertained for a little while, but my real hope lies with Risen - though I'm sure that game will ALSO have a certain measure of casual friendly changes to the formula. They'd be pretty bad businessmen if it didn't.
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June 5th, 2009, 12:43
Originally Posted by titus View Post
Uhm wasn't that what gothic was all about? The choosing of a faction and have to stick with your choices?
No, I didn't see it so.

To me, it was (Gothic 1, still) just a "game of/for survival".

I tried to avoid fights at all costs, maybe that's the reason I never got too far.
Obviously, gaining experience points by killing creartures was implemented as a design decision from the beginning on, otherwise there would have been possibilities implemented to end the game without slaughtering every living beast.

I would have preferred a game which was a *pure* "game of/for survival", without the option to kill. But as there seems to be a consensus that an RPG without killing something ain't an RPG, that was to be expected, I'd say from my current standpoint on.

So, I considered killing beasts as an unpleasant, but necessary thing to move on, forwards.

Same goes for the factions: An unpleasant, but necessary tool for survival.

I don't know why this factions thing has reached so much importance. I can only guess that it was the fans who liked it and wanted to see more of it.

Factions is a phenomenon in itself. There are so many "Clans" for shooters and for other games that I just wonder sometimes why no-one wants to remain independent … ?

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June 5th, 2009, 14:38
I personally did not find anything to disagree with based on the excerpts posted from the articles.

Yes, I think Gothic and G2+NOTR WERE hardcore, and I'm proud to say that I completed them. I don't see anything wrong with giving the option to have a quest tracker for the casual gamers. I will certainly turn it off, but as long as turning it off is an option, then who cares?

The deal about the number of quests is what I appreciated most here. 300 quests and 200 of them deal with the main story. Most RPGs it seems turn that ratio around (300 quests and 100 deal with story). This to me is a refreshing change, and seems like it would provide more substance to the game than doing countless fed-exers with an occasional brush with a story.

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June 5th, 2009, 14:50
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I can certainly see how the average casual gamer would think of Gothic as extremely hard, because it IS quite hard initially. I certainly remember a relatively steep learning curve - and even with decades of UI experience, it took me an hour at least to get comfortable with it. Casual gamers will put down a game if they don't nail the controls within a few minutes - so I get where he's coming from.
That's exactly how I felt as well when first playing Gothic. Luckily I was captivated by the world (mostly Old Camp at the time) and the general concept to stick with it. If not, I'd probably quit (i.e if the start was boring in addition to hard).
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June 5th, 2009, 15:09
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
That's exactly how I felt as well when first playing Gothic. Luckily I was captivated by the world (mostly Old Camp at the time) and the general concept to stick with it. If not, I'd probably quit (i.e if the start was boring in addition to hard).
I started with Gothic 2, and dropped it quickly due to controls and lack of direction and merciless death from straying from the path … fortunately I grabbed it up again and have been a massive fan ever since.

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June 5th, 2009, 15:25
GameStar filmed Arcania at the E3.

www.gamestar.de
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June 5th, 2009, 16:03
What a nice Oblivion v2… Wait, it's supposed to be Gothic? Noooo!
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June 5th, 2009, 16:18
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
I will certainly turn it off, but as long as turning it off is an option, then who cares?
If the tracker is merely an afterthought it should be ok, but if the quests were designed with the tracker in mind, I can see it potentially hurting their quality, plus playing it without the tracker might turn out to be PITA.

The game seems a lot like an Oblivion clone to me.
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June 5th, 2009, 16:18
Looks like an action-oriented version of Gothic with a color palette suitable for the masses

But the engine was smooth - I gotta say.
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June 5th, 2009, 16:28
It's obvious that it's not similar to Gothic but I wonder why do you call it an Oblivion clone?
Just cause it's medieval and tries to be an RPG?
Oblivion wasn't that good and certainly doesn't deserve many clones,I fully disagree with that term.
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