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Default Arcanum - Now Available at Good Old Games

January 29th, 2010, 04:54
Oooh thanks Aries for pointing out the Gabriel Knight game Thats the very first PC game I purchased with my own money back in 1993, for all the others before that I had to "torture" my parents into getting them for me heh…!

This game is a classic! Mysteries, murders, voodoo and what not…great atmosphere, great art direction and an awesome game.
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January 29th, 2010, 05:36
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Out of how many though?
A few. You would be surprised by how many games there are. Some really good and others not so good. I would say the best steampunk game I played before Arcanum would be Ultima: Martian Dreams.

There are of course others, but mostly they just add a few steampunk flavors to the game. Like Morrowind's Dwemer race was all about steam power and clockworks.

Thief was without a doubt a steampunk. Everyone seemed to love it, but I can't stand stealth games.

Septerra Core and a few other JRPG were heavily influenced by steampunk.

A few of the more modern steampunk would be A Farewell to Dragons and maybe Bioshock for the atmoshere. I know it's not technically steampunk, but it had that steamy feel to it.

Arcanum is what made me fall in love with this setting. This is one of the best games I've played and I don't give a rat's behind about the bugs. Those could be overlooked because the whole game just screamed fun.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; January 29th, 2010 at 05:51.
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January 29th, 2010, 05:39
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Out of how many though?

I wonder if any changes have been made to this version. There doesn't seem to be much info about it at GoG. Just a brief gameplay description, nothing else.
I didn't notice anything - I had my CD version installed on my netbook, played a few minutes, uninstalled, installed the GoG copy, loaded the same save and everything is the same. Unlike the resolution issues I had with DivDiv at first.

— Mike
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January 29th, 2010, 06:08
I don't know if you could call it a classic…

When I first got it it was literally broken from bugs. You got stuck and the story wouldnt progress.. Then years later after a patch i thought id try it again and thought the combat system was a little weak, the spells were a little weak, the dungeons were a little weak… and still very buggy. It was potentially good, and totally the kinda games I love, but not good enough to play considering the constant feeling you were about to hit a major bug. I never finished it.

So i thought id play it multiplayer coop… but the multiplayer code was amazingly bad.

Yeaaah… Not a classic? Just a valid attempt?

If they had have worked on it another year or two and released a finished product I'd probably agree as fallout2 was a classic in my eyes (but not 3, hell no. wtf was that)
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January 29th, 2010, 07:53
The mechanics in Arcanum are broken, I can tell you that much.
But it's a game littered with making real roleplaying choices and the large unique world is quite cool. It's this aspect that makes the game worth playing. But it's not for those who are into combat no. I am not sure, but I think I beated most of the game using only the harm spell.

That description kinda remind me about Divine Divinity that I beated using hellspikes alone but enjoyed thanks to the world.

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January 29th, 2010, 08:22
The game is unbalanced, but it can be fun to try out other classes that aren't killing machines. Even as a mage you can pick magic schools that might be intersting, but not the most destructive school. Definitely stay away from spells that make combat too simple like Tempus Fugit. After I got that spell I could kill anything before they had a chance to respond.

I've played a mix of tech/mage character. Your spells are weak and your tech isn't the best. Surving with that character is difficult, but I never set the difficulty to easy

One of the most fun I had was with a gunslinger. I had to switch between real-time and turn-based or my character would get stomped on by almost every enemy I faced, but it was that challenge that made that character fun. I know most of you would say that is a flaw, but I don't see it that way. I worked within the limitations of the game to make it fun.

Once I tried out a social dandy that basically only had followers for protection. No weapons, one or two techs and tons of social skills. Now that made for an interesting game. In that game I knew I didn't have to max out persuasion to be able to persuade everyone in the game, but I did it anyways. Actually roleplaying these guys was half the fun.

Those are just three different characters that made for a unique game everytime. The character development and the setting is what I love about this game and to hell with the bugs. As long as they were not the CTD or bluescreen of death type of bugs then I could live with that.

In a way this game reminds me of Dwarf Fortress or Armaggedon Empires. You have to set rules for yourself to enjoy the game, like refusing to get the spell Tempus Fugit.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; January 29th, 2010 at 08:50.
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January 29th, 2010, 08:31
I play it as a Magicker. Harm is an awesome spell. It scales nicely as your Magick aptitude goes up. I spam it around in real time for trivial fights, and go into turn-based mode for serious fights. I quite like the ability to play in real time, it's irritating in Fallout when you're exploring and the game stops so that you can fight one scorpion in turn based mode.

I think the fact that it's not balanced is one of its charms. So many games these days are streamlined and balanced to the point where something is just lost. Imbalance can actually be a good thing, because imbalance makes some abilities more fun. Being overpowered can be good fun. In a single-player game, balance is not that important. Balance problems are when certain abilities are useless, or certain classes have no appeal.


The reason to play Arcanum is the role playing. That's why I think it's required gaming for an RPG fan.
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January 29th, 2010, 08:52
Is it party based?
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January 29th, 2010, 10:49
In a way. You get followers based on your charisma, but you can't control them. They are still very helpful, however.

Personally, I love Arcanum. If I didn't already own a copy, I'd definetly grab one now. An incredible game!
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January 29th, 2010, 11:00
I'd pay 6$ just for the theme music!
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January 29th, 2010, 11:07
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Acanum had a multiplayer mode interface though i never used it.
I honestly wonder what they were thinking with that implementation. Since I never had anyone to play MP with I didnt try it, but according to the descriptions only small mod maps would be playable, as multiplayer lacks both fast travel and turn based combat.

Overall there are signs that the game was intended to have a modding community, and some mods can be found (which I havent played much, starting at level 1 without followers is a nightmare in that game).

I'd buy it again if they fixed a few glaring interface issues (inventory issues make tech healing worse than useless, lack of warnings make you sometimes miss when weapons are dropped leading to loss of valuable equipment, you cant rest or even wait inside dungeons)…
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January 29th, 2010, 12:11
Thanks for the reply Maylander

It looks very interesting , i ll buy it.
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January 29th, 2010, 12:16
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
I don't know if you could call it a classic…
Well, to each their own … I still consider it one of the best games of the last decade, despite having some bugs and being unbalanced in favor of Magick against Tech.

— Mike
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January 29th, 2010, 12:27
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I honestly wonder what they were thinking with that implementation. Since I never had anyone to play MP with I didnt try it, but according to the descriptions only small mod maps would be playable, as multiplayer lacks both fast travel and turn based combat.

Overall there are signs that the game was intended to have a modding community, and some mods can be found (which I havent played much, starting at level 1 without followers is a nightmare in that game).

I'd buy it again if they fixed a few glaring interface issues (inventory issues make tech healing worse than useless, lack of warnings make you sometimes miss when weapons are dropped leading to loss of valuable equipment, you cant rest or even wait inside dungeons)…
We tried when the game was new. We didn't find a way to save the game and the server was prone to crashing. We gave up after awhile. The MP issues made me hold off the SP campaign for a loong time.

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The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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January 29th, 2010, 14:12
I think Arcanum definitely qualifies to be called a "classic", at least for its uniqueness if nothing else. There's nothing else that really compares to it, and the atmosphere and music were superb.

Strangely enough, Arcanum makes me think of Gothic 3, and vice versa. Both games were similar in that they could have been among the all-time best crpgs if they just had a decent combat system.
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January 29th, 2010, 15:07
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Strangely enough, Arcanum makes me think of Gothic 3, and vice versa. Both games were similar in that they could have been among the all-time best crpgs if they just had a decent combat system.
Not strange at all, even if the parallell isnt obvious at a superficial glance Both are definitely flawed yet shiny gems as far as I am concerned.
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January 29th, 2010, 16:48
Ok, I got it. I was googling for mods that fix the supposedly broken balance, and found many different options. So, considering I'll be playing it full turn based, what mod(s) should I use that fix the broken balance as you know it and add the stuff that was left out of the game? Should I install the last official patch and then whatever mods?

By the way, I was trying to read through some threads in RPG Codex about this topic but just couldn't wade through all the drama, wow.
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January 29th, 2010, 17:10
I am playing with patch 1.074 and Drogs UAP (not sure where to find it, maybe terra arcanum). The latter removes my favourite techie exploit (throwing a molotov cocktail used to take 0 time, giving you an infinite supply of area effect weapons that didnt incur friendly fire).

As for balancing the game properly it would be nice to be able to stack things so that tech healers became viable, but I dont think there is any such mod. Instead I use a savegame editor and give the main character master skill in repair (bloody annoying gameplay element that can go to hades) and one level of white necromancy magic for a basic healing spell (which works even if you have a fairly high technical aptitude, and "mana" regenerates over time).
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January 30th, 2010, 00:26
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Well, to each their own … I still consider it one of the best games of the last decade, despite having some bugs and being unbalanced in favor of Magick against Tech.
So do you have to play as Tech to get a decent challenge. I think when I originally played, I was going for a magic-aligned melee character just using self-heal and buffs. I believe I quit because I felt it lacked challenge even without abusing Harm or other spells.
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January 30th, 2010, 01:49
Originally Posted by dagoo7 View Post
So do you have to play as Tech to get a decent challenge. I think when I originally played, I was going for a magic-aligned melee character just using self-heal and buffs. I believe I quit because I felt it lacked challenge even without abusing Harm or other spells.

It's a well known fact that Arcanum is much easier if you go the Magic route, it was always one of the bigger balancing issues in the game. There might be a mod by now that addresses that particular issue.
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