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Author Topic: Arcanum. Yay or Nay?  (Read 1304 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: May 27, 2009, 04:51:08 PM »

I feel like playing a good PC RPG, but I've already completed the big guns (Baldurs Gate, Fallout, Vampire, Planescape, Elder Scrolls, etc). About the only PC RPG I have NOT played is Arcanum. I remember there being alot of controversy around the game when it came out, and eventually it just fell off my radar.


So, knowing I greatly enjoyed all the RPgs listed above, would you recommend Arcanum? Also, are there any classes that really make the game shine?

Thanks!
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 05:10:30 PM »

This game consumed two weeks of my life when it came out.  So, yeah, definitely give it a shot.  It had a lot of bugs when it came out IIRC but I thin there have been official and fan patches since then so that shouldn't be an issue.

I haven't played it since then but my gut feeling is that it probably has aged relatively well.  With the likes of BG 1&2, Fallout 1&2, Torment, etc being released in that time frame, it was easier to have higher expectations of Arcanum and find it a bit lacking.  However, in retrospect, we haven't seen much on the order of those classics since then so it will probably be able to appreciate it now.

I can't help on classes specifically but I believe that combat was one of the weaker aspects of the game and quests, dialogue, etc were the stongest so I would probably make a character class that minimizes the need for combat. 
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Lordnine
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 05:12:40 PM »

It’s very much a spiritual successor to Fallout, which is not surprising since it’s made by much of the same team.  The amount of options you have in both character creation and game play progression are astounding. 

There are really only two problems I have with what would otherwise be a classic game.  The first is that unlike in Fallout where you could do no wrong, it is entirely possible to create a broken character in Arcanun.  The second problem attributes to that and it’s the fact that the last of the game is terribly combat heavy. 
If you play a technologist, which I would highly recommend to get the full flavor of the game, get used to having to switch back and forth between turn based and real time combat depending on your situation. 

Either way make sure to track down the restoration project that fixes many of the bug/incomplete quest that were in the original game.  Even with all the problems I think it’s still worth a look.
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Aganazer
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 05:34:19 PM »

Not sure if you've played it or not, but I just revisited Arx Fatalis. Amazing game. I forgot just how good this game is. Its a classic.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 05:46:47 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on May 27, 2009, 05:34:19 PM

Not sure if you've played it or not, but I just revisited Arx Fatalis. Amazing game. I forgot just how good this game is. Its a classic.

Yup. Played it and enjoyed it.

Kevin, you bring up a good point about how Arcanum was most likely compared to Fallout and Baldur's Gate and found lacking. However, as you also mentioned, there have been few games of their size, scope, and quality released since then for the PC RPG gamers. The Golden Age of PC RPGs is definitely behind us, never to return. Gothic and Elder Scrolls are about all we have left, but they have a different personality than the old Bioware/black Isle games. It makes accepting these types of games' faults less painful with the clarity of hindsight. I also enjoyed Temple of Elemental Evil after the comprehensive fan patches, but it leans heavily into the dungeon raiding family to the point where the story is simply an afterthought. Of course, this was intentional as it was being faithful to the original work.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 05:58:04 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 27, 2009, 05:46:47 PM

The Golden Age of PC RPGs is definitely behind us, never to return. Gothic and Elder Scrolls are about all we have left, but they have a different personality than the old Bioware/black Isle games. It makes accepting these types of games' faults less painful with the clarity of hindsight.

Yeah,while I don't tend to fall into the "games these days just aren't as good as they used to be" camp, I do think that there is a serious argument to be made that current games haven't necessarilly followed through on the promises made a decade ago by Fallout, Baldur's Gate 2, Deus Ex, Thief, Torment, etc. 
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Aganazer
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 06:19:03 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 27, 2009, 05:46:47 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on May 27, 2009, 05:34:19 PM

Not sure if you've played it or not, but I just revisited Arx Fatalis. Amazing game. I forgot just how good this game is. Its a classic.

Yup. Played it and enjoyed it.

Kevin, you bring up a good point about how Arcanum was most likely compared to Fallout and Baldur's Gate and found lacking. However, as you also mentioned, there have been few games of their size, scope, and quality released since then for the PC RPG gamers. The Golden Age of PC RPGs is definitely behind us, never to return. Gothic and Elder Scrolls are about all we have left, but they have a different personality than the old Bioware/black Isle games. It makes accepting these types of games' faults less painful with the clarity of hindsight. I also enjoyed Temple of Elemental Evil after the comprehensive fan patches, but it leans heavily into the dungeon raiding family to the point where the story is simply an afterthought. Of course, this was intentional as it was being faithful to the original work.

Eschalon: Book 1? A newer game, but old school. Those Spiderweb games are also much better than the graphics would lead you to believe.
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 09:24:29 PM »

I haven't played it but I just installed Arcanum on my netbook and it seems to run great.  The latest unofficial patch appears to fix a lot of bugs and disables the CD check.  Nice stuff.
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JohnathanStrange
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 10:25:31 PM »

I played Arcanum through and through twice and enjoyed it both times. It's very old school now and I think the "good old days" required us - I'd say "allowed us" - to supply the excitement ourselves. I'd think anyone who's ever ended up feeling somewhat sentimental about their character by game's end could still enjoy Arcanum.

So I'd vote Yes, if the gamer is one of those.
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 10:28:30 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on May 27, 2009, 05:34:19 PM

Not sure if you've played it or not, but I just revisited Arx Fatalis. Amazing game. I forgot just how good this game is. Its a classic.

I finally just bought Arx Fatalis from GOG and I agree it's one heckuva great game.
I also recommend Arcanum; wasn't the full title Arcanum of Magicka and Steam or something? Even though it had some faults, there really hasn't been anything quite like it since.  slywink thumbsup
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Azhag
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 10:55:34 PM »

Yup, it wasn't perfect but I enjoyed Arcanum quite a bit. I prefer that older school Fallout to the new Morrowind/Fallout crossover style still actually.
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TK-421
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 11:12:59 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on May 27, 2009, 10:28:30 PM

wasn't the full title Arcanum of Magicka and Steam or something?

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

Also, you can download the entire soundtrack right here.

Actually, it appears that all the download links are broken.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 11:18:40 PM by TK-421 » Logged

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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 01:35:16 AM »

Not sure if this is the one warning mentioned, but there's an Arcanum High Resolution Patch here.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 01:49:19 AM »

I hated this game resoundingly which struck me as odd considering I love the steampunk style. I played it straight through and nothing ever clicked with me. I honestly don't know why. But then I rerolled a character (ogre) and made him as dumb as a post. The resultant dialogue options were hilarious. I'm talking laugh out loud funny here, as were the reactions by the NPCs to whatever I said. If the game doesn't click for you, then try that. smile
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Daehawk
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 02:49:41 AM »

If you want an easy class go melee and build the ax
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2009, 01:45:30 PM »

I liked Arcanum quite a lot back in the day, and got reasonably far before either upgrading pcs or just needing a windows reinstall. One thing I really loved was the snappy turn based combat. I could never stick with Fallout because its combat was just too slow, but Arcanum sped things up nicely, and I really enjoyed some lovely old school turn based combat. This one is on my pile of "Need to go back and retry" games which just seems to grow and grow...
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2009, 03:55:46 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on May 28, 2009, 01:35:16 AM

Not sure if this is the one warning mentioned, but there's an Arcanum High Resolution Patch here.

Wow, that demo was great.. but it looked like ass. With this news...SOLD!
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 04:43:50 PM »

Where can you get Arcanum these days -- is it on any of the DD services/stores?
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Kagath
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2009, 07:15:07 PM »

Make sure you do a search on here for the game. I posted a couple links for it although it looks like that HiRes patch is by the same guy. Drog somethingorother. He has made multiple patches with toooooons of fixes.
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2009, 08:03:15 PM »

Great, now I want to load this up and play again (put me in the "Yes" camp for this being good). I played twice (though never finished), once going the Technology route and the other going Magic. I also recall there were tutorials for making your own character class by simply editing the game files with Notepad.
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