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Default Troika Games - Gone But Not Forgotten

March 20th, 2018, 13:20
Bloodlines - bug-o-rama that shares Gothic 3 fate, a potential market changer that didn't become bestseller due to it's poor release state so noone cared to clone it's superb designs.

Arcanum - a rare magic&tech hybrid with chakram among weaponry, a huge world full of secrets and a game with ZXspectrum/C64 sprites quality released in wrong times when graphics whoring became a trend even among those who didn't care much about visuals. It needed a remake in a better engine immediately after release, sadly we won't see one ever.

ToEE - d&d combat on PC was never done this great, but it's a proof that brilliant combat system doesn't make a good game. If it was a console title it'd sell like hotcakes, on that platform noone cares about anything but combat. On PC, it was received a disappointment. Well deserved IMO.


They had potential. I'll never understand why they closed doors, but then again better dead than sold to EA.
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March 20th, 2018, 13:40
I liked their ideas but many of the final implementations were lacking.
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However, they aren't really dead - they just have new names.
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March 20th, 2018, 14:34
I loved ToEE for the fantastic combat and very nice design and hand-painted backgrounds. The "roleplaying" part in town was honestly pretty dull and consisted mostly of a lot of running back and forth.

But like VTM, a dedicated modding community has been fixing/improving ToEE for over a decade. You can truly play something great now, if you have the original game. There's also a total conversion utilizing Keep on the Borderlands.
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March 20th, 2018, 14:39
Honestly, ToEE needs no adjusting, that is an excellent game as is. I've played through it maybe five times over the past fifteen years, and it just stays at the same goodness level. Right after the gold box games, this is my favourite setting for a dungeons and dragons experience. This game was so great it snatched me right out of Everquest one for a bit!
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March 20th, 2018, 14:47
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'll never understand why they closed doors
It takes money to keep the doors open.

They run out of money (not that their released games made a lot to start with) and they couldn't fund their next game (no publishers were interested).
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March 20th, 2018, 15:38
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Bloodlines is the best of the three by far.

Bloodlines > Arcanum > ToEE for me
It is very hard to compare these three gems as they are all completely different experiences. Also, the patching odyssey for each is entirely unique to each game, making comparison next to impossible. I can pick my *favourite* of the three (ToEE), but not the best of the three. Would not be fair to the legacy of each of these games.
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March 20th, 2018, 15:41
I loved TOEE, one of my fave games ever, even in its 1.0 bugged version. I loved its story, the mood, the surprises (the frog ambush was just a perfect encounter to me).

It had its hard edges, for instance, once the whole town of Nulb, in perspective, seemed to me the story offering god and bad paths to the end, like they were of the same value; while that might even be the case, it seemed too much, like every choice is the same.

But that's a matte of taste more of design, maybe. Still, great game!
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March 20th, 2018, 15:56
I love Fallout three to death, but I'll always wonder what the Troika version would have been like, had they won the bidding war. One of my fondest wishes is that someday maybe we'll all find out.
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March 20th, 2018, 19:09
I just replayed ToEE this month with the circle of eight mods. It's moving to my top 5 favorite cRPG's. This is about the 5th time I have completed it. I love the temple. Who needs roleplaying and a story. Here is an evil temple and my paladin and lawful good cleric shall smite this evil that is rising again. Can't get better roleplaying then that.
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March 20th, 2018, 19:10
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Bloodlines is the best of the three by far.

Bloodlines > Arcanum > ToEE for me
I found it actually weakest of three…poor story, messed up progression system, weak gameplay, entire second half of the game, not much consequences for player choices, let's not get into technical issues etc. Though it definitely has character/ most interesting out of their work.
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March 20th, 2018, 20:33
As I understand it, early players of Vampire got confused because the combat was stat based and not twitchy - as well as the bugs.

Arcanum, don't forget, choose black. grey and earth tones to make a thoroughly poor style choice of game, although it was 3d rendered into 3d, so the "models" were an improvement. The last minute choice of going with the newly released DirectX 8 out of the box instead of 7 lead to all sorts of sound bugs. And let's not forget the lack of balancing. That said, there is so much depth to this game it's unbelievable. And in fairness, they were forced to launch too early because the near complete, localization copy got out on the internet just a few months before.

There was one amazing Easter Egg I ran into on ToEE when you first meet the merchant in the early part of the Temple or another dungeon (why are there merchants in dungeons). My Paladin was physically in front and all of a sudden he takes issue with the merchant - this was my second playthrough, it didn't happen before. It seems the Paladin detected the merchant was evil right away, had a few words with him, then suddenly we were in combat whether I wanted to be or not. I would have missed this in any other situation.

Troika's biggest fault was taking public issue with their own publishers, because Bioware was getting away with it they felt bold enough too. They had public spats with both Infogrames/Atari and Sierra. After that, they couldn't find any new publishers for new games. They made their bed…
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March 20th, 2018, 20:36
Even after gaming for three decades, Arcanum easily tops my list of desired remakes. Pair it with solid modern graphics, a la Pillars or the new Torment, and a decent combat system…or heck, just crib from ToEE's, given that it basically falls under an open license now and already represents one of the best TB combat implementations in gaming history.

Sigh.
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March 20th, 2018, 22:19
Originally Posted by suibhne View Post
Even after gaming for three decades, Arcanum easily tops my list of desired remakes. Pair it with solid modern graphics, a la Pillars or the new Torment, and a decent combat system…or heck, just crib from ToEE's, given that it basically falls under an open license now and already represents one of the best TB combat implementations in gaming history.

Sigh.
I am sure someone like Beamdog has it on their radar. But with them be careful what you wish for
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March 20th, 2018, 22:26
Originally Posted by marcuz View Post
I loved TOEE, one of my fave games ever, even in its 1.0 bugged version. I loved its story, the mood, the surprises (the frog ambush was just a perfect encounter to me).

It had its hard edges, for instance, once the whole town of Nulb, in perspective, seemed to me the story offering god and bad paths to the end, like they were of the same value; while that might even be the case, it seemed too much, like every choice is the same.

But that's a matte of taste more of design, maybe. Still, great game!
I felt there were choices, especially when you get to the temple. But maybe I'm wrong. I don't know a ton about ToEE.

What I'd like to see in either a remake or new D&D game, is the same setting, style, etc., but like you said, offer an evil/neutral/good path through the "story" that is there. Each with a completely unique arc.

Side note, I was getting the vibe from Siege of Dragonspear that they wanted to do that. There are hints that you could possibly
Spoiler – SoD spoiler
But it never amounted to an actual choice, just false choices. Maybe they wanted to add that but decided just to keep it like Baldur's Gate 1. But I thought it would be awesome to see something like that in the campaign.

There's this game, Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics for, shockingly, the Sony PSP handheld device. It's from 2007 or so, and it's actually one of the deepest D&D RPGs ever. It has combat even rivaling (or IMO, surpassing) ToEE in depth and ruleset implementation. You can even roll Psions and Psychic Warriors. It has choices in the story, but even your choice of Deity and alignment at the beginning plays into how the "cutscenes" play out (a cutscene is a story moment where a couple characters talk to each other, usually involving your main character.) Based on your alignment, those scenes will have your main character use neutral/evil/good responses. And in other situations you still get your own options of how to proceed (do you want to help save the elf town, or help destroy it?) There's side quests, even hidden "quests" in the large, turn-based maps that you can explore (fight through a cave, take a side door exit, opens up a new map.) It's really cool. Wish they'd port it to PC. It was a bit too easy, too, so added difficulty options would be great.

But check it out if you guys are interested in an overlooked D&D gem. A ToEE-style CRPG with elements from D&D:T would be amazeballs.

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March 20th, 2018, 22:36
Or you can play Knights of the Chalice, a game that is better than ToEE.
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March 21st, 2018, 00:29
Originally Posted by Hastar View Post
I just replayed ToEE this month with the circle of eight mods. It's moving to my top 5 favorite cRPG's. This is about the 5th time I have completed it. I love the temple. Who needs roleplaying and a story. Here is an evil temple and my paladin and lawful good cleric shall smite this evil that is rising again. Can't get better roleplaying then that.
Hah! What's not to love in a game that let you even skip all the roleplay in a smart way, (NPCs having no idea who you are and why you are there for) if you are inclined to?

Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
What I'd like to see in either a remake or new D&D game, is the same setting, style, etc., but like you said, offer an evil/neutral/good path through the "story" that is there. Each with a completely unique arc.
I 'd like that too! While I would not care for good / neutral / bad distinctions, just different paths, that have specific content would be great!
I'm not a fan of having ethics streamlined spelled out by the designers for me to choose, or forcefully bungled up so that they present a "neutral" path, but choice is good!

Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
Or you can play Knights of the Chalice, a game that is better than ToEE.
Great game sure, but nowhere as deep as TOEE, even with the latter's many hiccups.
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March 21st, 2018, 02:36
I did a little artwork for Leonard and those guys on Arcanum. They are all really such great people; truly passionate about their games and doing things the right way. I know the studio was a massive stressor for all of them, but I’m super proud of what they did with almost no capital inflows. I’m glad they’re all happy doing what they’re doing now.
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March 21st, 2018, 02:46
Originally Posted by Michael Dean View Post
I did a little artwork for Leonard and those guys on Arcanum. They are all really such great people; truly passionate about their games and doing things the right way. I know the studio was a massive stressor for all of them, but I’m super proud of what they did with almost no capital inflows. I’m glad they’re all happy doing what they’re doing now.
You should be proud too. Arcanum still looks lovely today. I think these modern games still don't look as good as the old isometrics do. Those games just need a true HD update with the same exact art style. The modern isometrics look too plastic IMO, but that's another topic.

Thanks for your contributions to one of the best RPGs ever.

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March 21st, 2018, 10:52
Better how ?

Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
Or you can play Knights of the Chalice, a game that is better than ToEE.
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March 21st, 2018, 10:52
Originally Posted by marcuz View Post
Great game sure, but nowhere as deep as TOEE, even with the latter's many hiccups.
I don't agree. KotC had story and content up to lvl 20, ToEE only up to lvl 10.
Also encounters in KotC were often superior to ToEE even if ToEE implemented more of D&D rules and had more classes and had prestige classes.
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