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June 21st, 2010, 20:38
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Playing a mage in G2 was always more difficult (and required paying more attention to character building) than other two classes though.
In NotR, however, you can make your mage at least a bit more versatile - there are some nice dexterity based swords with quite low requirements. There´s also an added Ice Lance spell which makes a lot of difference when it comes to mage´s offensive abilities in early chapters.
True, but that won't do you much good if you don't have the stats needed because you wasted a few talent points here and there. Even Master Sword will do no damage to higher level monsters if you don't have a lot of strength (it requires Dexterity to use, but uses Strength to add damage, similar to all melee weapons).

Even a Paladin or Dragon Hunter can utterly fail by not pumping Strength enough. There's a reason most recommend saving stone tablets and strength potions untill you've reached 90+ Strength - the talent points become more and more expensive).

How are players supposed to know that when they've never played the game? Who's to stop them from putting points into sneaking, pickpocketing, dex, etc ending up with a hybrid build?

Hybrid builds just won't cut it, as such characters will quite literally do 0 damage to orcs and beyond (or stone guardians for that matter, though blunt weapons help a lot).

The only way to actually play through NotR with a character that has wasted talent points is:
Spoiler
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June 21st, 2010, 22:15
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
True, but that won't do you much good if you don't have the stats needed because you wasted a few talent points here and there. Even Master Sword will do no damage to higher level monsters if you don't have a lot of strength (it requires Dexterity to use, but uses Strength to add damage, similar to all melee weapons).
Strength adds damage only to successful critical hits though, IIRC. Normal damage is base sword damage minus opponent´s armor/resistances, which means some of these dex swords can be still useful against weaker enemies to preserve mana.
Anyway, mages are comparatively lacking in both game´s iterations, mainly because of chapter based requirements on spells, so that´s not really a point for not playing NotR right away imo.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Even a Paladin or Dragon Hunter can utterly fail by not pumping Strength enough. There's a reason most recommend saving stone tablets and strength potions untill you've reached 90+ Strength - the talent points become more and more expensive).

How are players supposed to know that when they've never played the game?
Well, you won´t know these things just from playing vanilla G2 beforehand either .
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June 21st, 2010, 22:29
My first character was a mage in G2+NOTR (not having play G2 standalone before). I spread training on staff at beginning, sword later on, and summoning. I got a blast through the game and made ton of sword fighting with help of some summon. I won't say it's the easier path but there's one point that's often forgotten in G2+NOTR it's that the difficulty is very difficult at start, then easier and then there's a relative increase, not much because your character and your own skills increase, and then the game become easier and easier in last parts. That means that ultimate optimizations of a character are totally pointless because when you achieve them the game becomes relatively easier.
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June 22nd, 2010, 01:12
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
How are players supposed to know that when they've never played the game? Who's to stop them from putting points into sneaking, pickpocketing, dex, etc ending up with a hybrid build?

Hybrid builds just won't cut it, as such characters will quite literally do 0 damage to orcs and beyond (or stone guardians for that matter, though blunt weapons help a lot).

So what's wrong with that? This is how more games *should* be. Instead of being able to breeze through as a "Jack of all Trades".
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June 22nd, 2010, 08:52
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Strength adds damage only to successful critical hits though, IIRC. Normal damage is base sword damage minus opponent´s armor/resistances, which means some of these dex swords can be still useful against weaker enemies to preserve mana.
Anyway, mages are comparatively lacking in both game´s iterations, mainly because of chapter based requirements on spells, so that´s not really a point for not playing NotR right away imo.
Right, but in NotR only critical hits are strong enough to hurt most monsters. You'll do 1 damage on every normal hit (regardless of weapon) to all types of orcs for example. This is also why you should have a very high crit chance (90%+ or so for melee characters).

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Well, you won´t know these things just from playing vanilla G2 beforehand either .
Not sure what you mean here. The whole point is that in vanilla you can not only become jack of all trades, you can become master of all trades. You'll have enough talent points to max out Strength, 1H and 2H weapons in addition to a bunch of Dex, sneaking, animal trophies etc. In NotR, you have to streamline your build to the point where taking anything that is not directly related to your damage output is a serious weakness.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So what's wrong with that? This is how more games *should* be. Instead of being able to breeze through as a "Jack of all Trades".
Well yes and no. Yes, I agree that a certain level of challenge and planning should be needed. No, I don't feel it should be a requirement to the point where you have to re-start a game you just spent 100 hours on, because you realize Dragons regenerate faster than you can damage them.

Don't get me wrong here - I love NotR and consider it one of the best RPGs out there. Everyone knows how fond I am of the Gothic games. I just think prior knowledge of the Gothic games is required first, or we'll lose a potential Gothic fan as the game will break them.

All in all, I feel Gothic 1 is the right place to start - in G1, you can't really screw up your character, as you get loads of talent points.
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June 22nd, 2010, 10:11
Don't get me wrong here - I love NotR and consider it one of the best RPGs out there. Everyone knows how fond I am of the Gothic games. I just think prior knowledge of the Gothic games is required first, or we'll lose a potential Gothic fan as the game will break them.
Because people think like that, we are getting those simpler and simpler (read console-dumbed-down) RPG games every year. I even didn't know what to do with leveling points in the beginning, but in nowdays RPGs it's been tutored so many times by the time I got first level up, that even 10 yo kid will know how to level up!

I loved how I got kicked in the ass in the beginning of the game and I had to work on farm to get money. If I happened to go in a wrong place, got kicked in the ass again, but oh boy, later on when I finally got skills and stuff, I really enjoyed the revenge. Yes, NoTR is tough, but not impossible. And if you are not complete idiot, you'll manage after the start. If you invest most of your LPs on non-combat skills, then of course you are going to have hard times in combat, but usually there is a way to defeat even a dragon if you have the wits.

The UI is the thing that pushes people away from Gothic, not the difficulty. I think Risen or Gothic 3 (with 1.7X patch) is even better place to start, after that it's easier to got past the akward controls.
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June 22nd, 2010, 10:33
Actually, NotR evens out the balance. Unlike previous Gothics, the start is not the hardest part. This is actually part of the problem. You can do just fine the first 10-30-50 hours and *then* meet a brick wall as you are supposed to take down Dragon Snappers and Orc Elites.

Also, I can't think of a single game that took me more re-loads to complete than NotR, despite having played through G1 and 2 many times before attempting it. I'd really like to hear of RPGs that gave people more trouble than NotR, because I obviously missed something here since people consider this kind of difficulty perfectly normal, even for a player that has never touched Gothic 1 or 2. Oh yes, and don't bring up game X put on diffulty level "Redicilously Insane" - in games with a difficulty slider you can always make it easier if you find yourself loading savegames too often.
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June 22nd, 2010, 11:04
True, Maylander, previous knowledge of the Gothic games is a big help. Since NOTR is the most difficult one, I'd say even doing some G3 will help you.
I still feel that G1 is a good start to the series. Especially since G2 refers back to G1 quite a lot.
What a pity Gothic Universe only comes out with NOTR and not with the vanilla G2.
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June 22nd, 2010, 11:25
Well it goes without saying that everyone should play Gothic 1 first. Gothic 2 just wouldn't be as fun without the familiarity of the world and characters.

I didn't find the difficulty of NotR as overwelming as some people claim. Off the top of my head, I can name Baldur's Gate 2 and Dragon Age as games that had me reloading more often. In fact, I found Gothic 3 to be far more frustrating, although that was probably due in large part to the terrible combat mechanics in that game.

Regardless, I just can't play vanilla Gothic 2, I found it to be a very disappointing experience compared to Gothic 1.
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June 22nd, 2010, 11:44
G2 with NotR is a long game, so replaying might not be an option for everyone.

NotR adds a lot to the first few chapters story-wise. If one can handle the difficulty and picks up some hints on character building it is worth playing it right away. The difficulty is ok if you know how to build your character.

Alternatively you can play through the significantly easier vanilla, and only do chapter 1 and 2 with the add-on. Most of the new content are in those two chapters and replaying the rest can be quite tedious. Dragon snappers and the like are a pain with the add-on installed.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Well yes and no. Yes, I agree that a certain level of challenge and planning should be needed. No, I don't feel it should be a requirement to the point where you have to re-start a game you just spent 100 hours on, because you realize Dragons regenerate faster than you can damage them.
This. I like games that force you to choose between specialisation and versatility, but it can be taken too far.

Permanently handicapping due to suboptimal early character building doesnt have to be a big deal, but if it goes to the point of making the character unplayable without any "repairing" options we are talking bad gameplay.

In particular G2NotR has some designs that make it very important to do things at the right time (like not wasting your potions and tablets too early) which are pretty nasty.
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June 22nd, 2010, 12:02
Gothic 1 wasn't released in English until recently, so my order of gameplay was like this:

G2 -> G3 -> G1 -> G2:NoTR -> G3: EE

But I can assure, the familiarity of the world and characters that JDR13 spoke of, works the other way round too perfectly. It was cool to have those "ah this why"-expressions when the background story of Gothic 2 was opening while playing Gothic 1.
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June 22nd, 2010, 12:09
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Right, but in NotR only critical hits are strong enough to hurt most monsters. You'll do 1 damage on every normal hit (regardless of weapon) to all types of orcs for example. This is also why you should have a very high crit chance (90%+ or so for melee characters).
Well, obviously trying to play a mage who can take everything down in melee would be quite silly. I said those swords are useful, not be all end all.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Not sure what you mean here. The whole point is that in vanilla you can not only become jack of all trades, you can become master of all trades. You'll have enough talent points to max out Strength, 1H and 2H weapons in addition to a bunch of Dex, sneaking, animal trophies etc. In NotR, you have to streamline your build to the point where taking anything that is not directly related to your damage output is a serious weakness.
You were talking about how it´s good to save tablets or strength potions for later. I just pointed out that whether you played vanilla or not has no bearing on this knowledge.

As for the streamlining, after spending some time in game´s environment, it should be quite clear to anyone that specialization would be a smart move. You certainly don´t have to sacrifice everything else though.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I'd really like to hear of RPGs that gave people more trouble than NotR,
Wizardry 7 on easy .
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June 22nd, 2010, 14:29
Aren't we a bit far off topic now?
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June 22nd, 2010, 14:57
There is no need to have the perfect build. You can have a great experience even if you waste few bonus items (tablets, potions, stew etc) too early on. Notr is a fair game by in every sense. It doesn't require you to spend every lp to combat skills. You can easily learn quite many of those secondary skills such as thieving and alchemy and still kick ass. Hybrid builds just don't work though. A guy who focuses sword or bow is always going a lot more effective than a guy who tries to master them both. To me this makes sense. Its nothing new under the sun. In baldur's gates, fallouts, nwn… The hybrid builds are just a lot harder to play. Notr is no exception. I'm not saying that it couldn't be done but then you'll have to know ins and outs of the game. Like knowing how to maximize your lp gain and when to use bonus items.

How are players supposed to know that when they've never played the game? Who's to stop them from putting points into sneaking, pickpocketing, dex, etc ending up with a hybrid build?
The gothic manual has all the info about new lp costs and higher difficulty. I think its common sense really. If i put X ammount of lps into swords fighting and Y ammount of lps into bow, will i be able to increase my primary stat strenght to be really effective later on. If i waste my lps into str and melee skills..will I have enough lps to learn runes and increase my mana?

Here is a short quote from notr manual.

"8 Game Balancing
A lot of people criticized that Gothic II was much too easy. Well, we’re sure that’s changed in the meanwhile.
1. Almost all monsters are more difficult to defeat.
2. Good weapons are expensive and you will need up to 170 strength points to fasten them to your armor.
3. Now you need strength to fasten your crossbow to your armor, and you still need aptness for bows. Nonetheless, the damage-bonus for BOTH weapons depends on your aptness.
4. Some weapons, particularly the hand-made ones, have a hit-chance bonus up to 10%.
5. Now you can also forge some of the “normal” weapons – to receive this ability you must become Harads apprentice. All your self-forged weapons have advantages opposed to other weapons (easier to fasten, hit-chance bonus).
6. Aside from rings and amulets you can also find belts now.
7. Learning Points (LP): For one attribute point you must now pay
from 10-30: 1 LP
from 31-60: 2 LP
from 61-90: 3 LP
from 91-120: 4 LP
from 120: 5 LP
Don’t panic! There are magical possibilities to increase your combat talents and attributes, for example by reading the stone tablets of the lost culture (also see: Language of the Creators). Some talents have become more expensive and others now cost less. For example, now you only have to pay 1-3 LP for certain animal trophies. However, lock-picking and pick pocketing cost 10 LP. A hint: If you can’t find any magical scrolls, buy some. From now on, all scrolls only cost 5 Mana, whether you want to purchase a tiny magical bullet or a giant firestorm."
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June 27th, 2010, 18:44
I should print this discussion out and frame it and hang it on the wall next to my RPG packages, especially next to my Gothic 2 Gold package.

Discussions like these are the reason why I decided to never play Gothic 2 Gold with includes NOTR.

I know myself. I know my playing style. And if you knew my playing style much more clöosely, you would despise me.

Because I'm a person who wants to play a "jack-of-all-trades". Very consciously. I want to actually *use* my skills, and not having some of them lying undeveloped, because i need my skill points in other areas.

I think you all know my now, good enough to say that I like to play a role that does consist of different, of other thankls than only fighting, too.

If I accept a quest from any NPC I do this not for the prospect of future fight ("Oh ! Great ! Another enymy to whack down 111 This is sooooooo much FUN !!!!!") but for the social interaction this quest provides to me. I do an NPC a favour … and want to get repayed for it, for example.

This is clearly rooted in my love for adventure games.

And this is why I don't consider fights a major challenge for players to come aross. I simply know myself : I'm far too much turned off by having to try a fight over and over again in order to suceed.

I have nothing against decisions. Nothing at all. I actualy like the idea to force the player to DECIDE on which points go into which skills.

But I also want a penalty for that. I want a clear and strong penalty for underdeveloped skills. Gothic - as far as I know - doesn't have it the way I would like it to (apart from the fact that the skills in the Gotghic series are very much combat-centered).

In Drakensang 2, there is a skill called etiquette.
Normally, all gamers would want a strong fighter. especially if they come from Action-RPgs. Or from the Gothic series. They wouldn't incvest points into such stupid an clearly unnecessary skills like "Etiquette" at all.
But later, you'll need them. I put some points there, which means I can't tell what happens within the game without them.
But fighter-types wouldn't bother anyway. It's totally pointless for them even if you need them to invest points in etiquette.

And THEN they wonder hy the game has been far too easy - there actually have been a few reports like that. One called himself a "roxx0r" and didn't like Drakensang 2 at all, because he had rushed through the game, and found the fights far too easy.

Well, he just put too many points in his fighting skills. That's a definitive and good way to ruin one's game.

And it is the clear opposite to those fighting-based RPGs here the rule is : "I fight, therefore I play a role".

Me, I want to play a role, therefore I would be fighting. No other reason why.
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June 27th, 2010, 21:55
That's a shame, because Gothic 2 with NotR is a far superior game in almost every aspect. You also miss out on expanded story details from not playing the add-in.
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June 27th, 2010, 23:40
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I think you all know my now, good enough to say that I like to play a role that does consist of different, of other thankls than only fighting, too.

If I accept a quest from any NPC I do this not for the prospect of future fight ("Oh ! Great ! Another enymy to whack down 111 This is sooooooo much FUN !!!!!") but for the social interaction this quest provides to me. I do an NPC a favour … and want to get repayed for it, for example.

This is clearly rooted in my love for adventure games.
NotR actually significantly expands upon game´s social aspects. It adds a lot of new characters to interact with, as well as adds new dialogues to existing ones. Among other things, this makes the whole G1 + G2 narrative much better as a whole because NotR adds quite a lot of ties to the first game.
One aspect that I liked in G1 and found rather lacking in vanilla G2 was the opportunity to tackle some parts of the game along with a companion. There were few such instances in vanilla, most notably in chapter 4, but NotR adds quite a few more to chapters before which results in a more diversified gameplay and more sociable feel. There´s even one moment when you can have 5 dudes under your command.
Also, there´s a relatively long "detective" quest in the addon which requires next to none combat.

And you can still feel as a jack-of-many-trades in NotR. You probably shouldn´t try to boost all your combat abilities at once, sure, but you can still easily learn most of non-combat ones, like pickpocketing, hunting, forging etc. Plus, NotR adds new non-combat skills - ability to understand language of the builders (which you can use to read skill/attribute boosting stone tablets), you can summon a Wisp which can find some treasures for you (not really all that useful though) and you can learn mining ore which can give you quite a nice money boost.
And, every character can use magic scrolls which adds quite a lot of new variety and tactical possibilities (this is actually the reason why I think mage characters drew a bit of the short straw in G2 when it comes to diversity - there should be some spells only usable by them, at least NotR tries to remedy this somewhat with Beliar runes).

The expansion doesn´t change the overall combat/non-combat gameplay ratio.

Also, and that goes for both vanilla and NotR, you certainly aren´t always expected to whack your way through. For example, you´re not really forced, or even expected, to kill everything in chapter 2. The brilliance of the whole second chapter´s design lies in that it forces player to find creative ways how to avoid galore of potentially very lethal combat encounters. With NotR however, you can have some fun whacking orcs with Diego and if you´re thorough even get a Nostalgia bonus, heh. Still, the whole chapter is really an exercise in survival, not in hack´n´slash - and this goes, to maybe a bit lesser extent, for the rest of the game as well.

The game´s weak points were always the hack´n´slashy chapter 4 (though most of combat can be avoided there as well), sketchy chapter 5 and unimaginative and rushed chapter 6. If you play with NotR, these weaker chapters at least become comparatively smaller part of the whole game.

Basically, my point is, your reasons for not playing with NotR are actually more valid for not playing the game without it.

Obviously, my advice would be to give Gothic Gold a try one day, maybe just don´t play a mage. I´m quite sure that you´d be able to get a reasonably jack-of-all-trades-y experience if you´ll play either palladin or mercenary.
Last edited by DeepO; June 28th, 2010 at 00:48.
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June 28th, 2010, 14:24
Thank you for your thorough explanation.


What I still just don't get is this line :

A lot of people criticized that Gothic II was much too easy. Well, we’re sure that’s changed in the meanwhile.
I ask myself : What's going on within the mids of a developing studio - AND within the minds of the fans as well - if they decide to make a gme harder ?

If I turn around by 180 degrees (which is my preferred method of analysing things), then this means that the game was not made easier (the normal, more cliché-like complaint to whih developers respond is *usually* to make a game easier and NOT harder ! ) , but made harder instead.

What kind of gamer is a person who wants to have a game harder. I mean, I could understand things very well if the gme was ridiculously easy. Just like … well, for totally inexperinced people. Like … for Looneys.

But Gothic is already kind of a hard game. I loved it, but the fights were very, very hard for my taste, especially since I'm not used to all of this swinging-around-and-then-hit-stuff , especially with swords. One already had to be very, very gareful with where to spend points.

And then - fans criticised the game to be too easy. Not Looneys, not inexperienced average players, who did puzzle games before or whatever.

Being a fan implies that one knows a game. Very much, more than the "usual average player". These have not been looneys at all, they have been experienced people. They knew the game. They perhaps knew it so much the whole game appeared too easy for THEM, although it might have been appearing as HARD for everyone else.

I remember only a single similar incident with the strtegy game of "Z", for which the developers later said (in one interview) that they knew the game so good they actually didn't realize how difficult it was for the average player.
And it *was* hard !

I assume since than that *too deep* knowledge of a game makes it appear easier than it actually is.
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June 28th, 2010, 14:42
I have to admit, the added difficulty does not affect my overall rating of NotR. I consider it amazing due to all the extra content.

In other words, I'm simply not able to answer your question Alrik.
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June 29th, 2010, 19:32
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post


I assume since than that *too deep* knowledge of a game makes it appear easier than it actually is.
Yes, of course. For me, the first playing was somewhat frustrating because I hadn't figured out that every point was precious but I still liked the game so much that I was determined to understand it. By my third game, I had it together; there are several paths through the game but each path has a narrow point distribution requirement that must be followed.

Lot's of players, me included, plan out the entire game in advance because even a few misplaced XP's can hurt you in the long potentially difficult 4th chapter.
So, yes, this can be a frustratingly hard game that a casual player can not, and will not want to, master.

To new players, I recommend the full NOTR game. Play it 10 hours and see if it calls to you, you'll know what I mean. It's available cheap enough now that it's worth the effort.
If you like NOTR, don't miss the excellent Velaya mod. It's a full length (35+ hours) sequel.
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