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best features of Arcanum (what you want to see in Project Eternity)  

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  1. 1. What was your favorite feature from Arcanum, that you would like to see translated into Project Eternity?

    • Merchants with variable inventories and re-stocking.
    • Awesome backgrounds that really customized your character.
    • How skills progressed- with trainers AND skill points.
    • How pickpocketing worked, where you could target specific items.
      0
    • The map travel method.
    • The sheer scope of the dialogue possibilities and subjects.
    • The impact of race on how you were reacted to and treated in the game.
    • Being able to find recipes/schematics that were rare, and made items available that would otherwise not be available if you didn't construct them yourself.
    • The amount of things you could do that had nothing to do with the main storyline.
    • Other. Please respond with what it is in the thread.


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Liked:

 

- Dialogues' variety

- The idea and overall implementation of tech-schools and stuff.

- A lot of side quests

- Fresh idea of steam-magic-punk world.

 

 

Disliked:

- Unbalanced (nearly broken) combat system

- Unbalanced economy (played as tech - there is nothing to buy at some point)

- Unbalanced difficulty (game is much easier to beat as a mage)

- Unbalanced skill/attribute system (worthless skills like pickpocketing and attributes like Beauty, worthless backgrounds - good on fluff level, but that's all)

- Unbalanced approach to tech speciality with all those manuals for 750 gold!

- Map travel. Huge but really empty map.

- NPCs are absolutely don't have any involvement in plot/story - no banter or inter-party relationships.

- Weak story, absolutely lacking BBEG.

- Not engaging world without compelling history. Items don't have story behind them, and playing as tech you basically create everything by yourself - not fun at all.

 

 

Overall

 

I liked Arcanum (and replayed it 2 times), but this game really suffered from a lot of issues - I would say it was even not complete game, something more like beta, so it's not as near as good as BG2.

 

So I hope that Obsidian will note the experience of Arcanum in PE.

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No to experimentation!

No to fixing that is not broken!

No to changes for the sake of change!

Do not forget basis of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Just put all your effort to story, fine-tuning and quality control.

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I really liked character creation and how the character I created was reacted to. Yeah all the background may not have worked out as well as others, but I enjoyed this aspect of the game.

 

Also did like going through windows (except when I was trying to go through a door and my character decided to leap through the window instead. Not so bad when playing a barbarian, but a bit embarrassing when one is playing a talky character with the utmost decorum). :D

 

Didn't like the bug that caused my first game's inventory items to be eaten taking out a quest item and making the game unfinishable about 8/10 of the way through the game.

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It's a fact that the combat was unbalanced ~it supported RT and TB. I prefer TB, but I'd have preferred one or the other ~not both.

Edited by Gizmo

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Yes, It is quite fortunate they are DEFINITELY not going to be using the combat system as a guide. I'm actually sorta hoping Chris Avellone contributes something to this thread after he is forced to play it. I mean, I would love to hear his seasoned thoughts on it. Plus, it might help some of its "winning!" features find their way into PE...


"1 is 1"

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Disliked:

- Unbalanced skill/attribute system (worthless skills like pickpocketing and attributes like Beauty, worthless backgrounds - good on fluff level, but that's all)

- Unbalanced approach to tech speciality with all those manuals for 750 gold!

- Not engaging world without compelling history. Items don't have story behind them, and playing as tech you basically create everything by yourself - not fun at all.

 

I've to say I disagree with this points. The difference in reactions and dialogues is you have a high "beauty" is very interesting. I played 6 or 7 times arcanum one as half-ogre.

I was able to buy anything without any cheat so I think the game was ok with this 750 gold manuals.

The world was very interesting because is the only steam-punk Victorian world ever created for this kind of RPG. Just the clash between magic and machinery was very interesting.

 

I don't care about the unbalance between mages and technicians, I love to be a tech in Arcanum, I play as mage just one to taste it.

The recipes/schematics idea was brilliant, I'm still remember when I make the automaton.

 

The only thin I hate from Arcanum was the combat system but I'd really like the idea of an spinoff from PE with the advanced civilizations going to the steam age and we can see a spiritual successor to Arcanum.

 

Or just maybe in some time the can make another kickstarter for a next generation game in a steam-punk universe.

Edited by Alc Cides

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I had a hard time deciding on my *one* choice. I chose the variety of things you can do. I also wanted to choose the sheer volume of dialogue options. Oh, and the impact of race, too.

Edited by okiraan

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i'm pretty agree with all the proposal of the poll, because it is the heart of a good rpg game

except one : the training, it's remind me the long and anoying search of trainers in migh and magic (adventure/rpg games, not the strategic one)

and i would add a plus on the recipe thing : i would love to have the possibility to research a recipe in the stronghold, that means create a totally new one (like in star ocean 3 for how knows)

(sorry for my poor english)

Edited by ichfallen

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So many options I wanted to pick for this poll. All of the following I really enjoyed:

 

- Backgrounds/Races (lots of choices and has effects depending on your choice)

- Skills Advancing (training and levelup)

- Dialogue (tons of options)

- All the stuff outside the main storyline you can do

- Character Customization (tons of options and you can virtually train and learn whatever you like)

Edited by Aleron

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If I where to pick a single option I would go with the impact of race, it was really nice that the game recognized that and an orc was not the same as an elf, something I think many games fail at.

If PE would also add backgrounds and treat them to some extend like that it would be great.

 

The dialogue comes in as a close second, there where a lot of options and they where fairly diverse.

I also hope the game will add some sort of skill system similar to what arcanum had. Given that there are classes in PE and not in arcanum it cannot be identical naturally, but some sort of non-combat or crafting skill would be great

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Other: The opposed schools of magic and technology, and in general how you had to specializein in whatever path you chose to take. I played a diplomatic thief, and I was utterly useless in combat, with both low hp and low stamina I would pretty much die in seconds. But, with all the points I had put into Beauty and Persuasion, and the fact that I was a half-elf, and so on, I gained some big advantages when talking to people, with them being more positive on first approach and easily coerced and tricked. I loved the fact that I had chosen one path and was forced to stick with, rather than becoming jack of all trades. The demo of Age of Decadence echoed this, and I loved it for that.

 

Also the cities. I liked that you had to actually make note of street names and house numbers in order to find locations. No divine quest compass.

Edited by AgentOrange
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Also the cities. I liked that you had to actually make note of street names and house numbers in order to find locations. No divine quest compass.

 

Yes, I forgot about this. To be honest, I also felt like all the various areas succeeded EXTREMELY well at conveying different cultures and atmospheres. I'm not going to name all the locations, since I don't want to spoil anything for someone that might still play it, but I loved that there were cities that were dilapidated, others that were well-kept and clearly wealthy, but there were distinctive qualities about them all. I DID have a preference for a certain city that was on the coast, to all the others. And the dwarven areas very much "felt" dwarven, with the architecture and layout and such. On a similar note as there being no "divine compass", I liked that you could naturally find something on your own, by accident, if you were wandering around, exploring (like in Fallout). It was certainly easier to have someone tell you where something was, but it wasn't precluded as an option if they didn't.


"1 is 1"

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I always thought the combat was fine - obviously it's not a strategic marvel but I had no real problems with it either. My only real thing which I wouldn't want to see translated into Project Eternity (which almost certainly won't be as location design seems to be based on the purty IWD series from the screenshot) is how samey some of the locations looked.

 

All the pros that were listed are all examples of what make Arcanum a great game, but narrowing the focus down I went for "Awesome backgrounds that really customized your character". Having almost unlimited options and customisation really helps make a game that much more replayable - I've probably started Arcanum over 80 times with different characters (well, probably - who keeps track?) and completed it just shy of 20 for this very reason.

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Yeah, it is the game I have most replayed besides BG2, for that very reason. Playing each character was different, though, the story was too short to make it as different as it could have been, with more quest options and a longer game.


"1 is 1"

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- NPCs are absolutely don't have any involvement in plot/story - no banter or inter-party relationships.

 

I don't think you're being fair here; NPCs in Arcanum are similar to NPCs in Fallout; they're not the main focus of the game. However, if you think the game doesn't have any banter or inter party relationships, then I think you need to play the game again with the right NPCs. Some characters had more development then others in the game.

 

Nevertheless, I personally think Virgil was is of the most interesting parties members ever in an CRPGs. Not just for his involvement in the story, but how he can be influenced depending on what you do in the game.

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Yeah, that I think is the whole problem. NPCs really aren't meant to be that important in Arcanum, so they aren't much emphasized. I think all of them had interesting "back stories", but after you got them in your party, they generally didn't do or say much. I had QUITE a few different playthroughs, and I don't really ever recall a whole lot of interaction from them. I think Virgil was one of the few that had conversation triggers all over the game, with Magnus and Raven having a few as well. I imagine that it just boiled down to the small staff they had on the game and relative lack of resources.

Edited by Michael_Galt

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- Unbalanced skill/attribute system (worthless skills like pickpocketing and attributes like Beauty, worthless backgrounds - good on fluff level, but that's all)

 

 

High beauty opened some unexpected doors (for example dialog with dark elf leader was quite different with high beaty character :) ) in the game so I would not say that it is worthless. And pickpocketing was really not worthless skill in high level as you could steal armours npcs weared from them and it also gave some nice short cuts.

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I only started playing Arcanum recently, but this is what I found.

 

What I loved: (1) The selection of background traits afforded to you. (2) The music was soothing.

 

What I hated: The local map function. The world map worked perfectly, but the local overheard view was awful in my opinion. In looking over a city I felt it did a terrible job, especially when you are trying to navigate. I think a good local map function is found in Planescape Torment (PST). I know they are they vastly different games, but in PST you were given complete view of the local zone that you were in. This made navigating a city simple and clear in my opinion. Unless I am missing something, Arcanum's map is far less functional and convenient to use.

Edited by Nixl

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backgrounds, because I love character building. Unfortunately their impact on gameplay tended to be fairly small, unless you picked one of the intelligence diminishing variety and stuck with your INT score to get that dumb dialogue.

 

One thing I didn't like was how magic and technology were not only at odds but 'allergic' to each other, but as it seems now this wont be the case in PE.

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Unless I am missing something, Arcanum's map is far less functional and convenient to use.

You can place route of points on map and your character would run automatically in game using them.

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High beauty opened some unexpected doors (for example dialog with dark elf leader was quite different with high beaty character :) ) in the game so I would not say that it is worthless. And pickpocketing was really not worthless skill in high level as you could steal armours npcs weared from them and it also gave some nice short cuts.

 

Yeah, I was going to point out that all the attributes actually impacted the gameplay, but it's been a while and I was too lazy to replay or remember specific instances. I really hope they use a lot of features from Arcanum in PE. I liked how weapons and armor degraded too. The harder the armor, the more it took to damage it, but it still degraded. And if you didn't get a skilled smith to work on it, then it would lose overall endurance. It was a pretty brilliant system. It was one of the reasons I hated the various golems and elementals, as well as machines, since using melee weapons on that could result in your weapon breaking, which is pretty "realistic".


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Unless I am missing something, Arcanum's map is far less functional and convenient to use.

You can place route of points on map and your character would run automatically in game using them.

 

I figured that out, but I still feel that it is weak and less convenient compared to Planescape Torment's map system. Arcanum's local map simply did not cover enough ground in my poinion. Also, the simplest of paths (straight lines) kept giving my character's pathfinding hiccups.

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Unless I am missing something, Arcanum's map is far less functional and convenient to use.

You can place route of points on map and your character would run automatically in game using them.

 

I figured that out, but I still feel that it is weak and less convenient compared to Planescape Torment's map system. Arcanum's local map simply did not cover enough ground in my poinion. Also, the simplest of paths (straight lines) kept giving my character's pathfinding hiccups.

 

No, you're right, the map was quite awful. There's really no benefit in having a map that is permanently focused on a small area, it's just disorienting, especially in a large city - which Arcanum happens to have more of than most similar RPGs. A map like Planescape's or Baldur's Gate would have been far more useful. I think the HQ Map and Widescreen Mod fix the problem somewhat.

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I'm actually replaying Arcanum (bought it from GOG).

 

Things I've loved:

- The history and lore of Arcanum. The library has some extremely amazing books.

- The fact that some "quests" are riddle-like in their execution. You can't just use the map to figure out exactly where everything is. You have to actually explore the areas.

- The philosophy of Stone and Form - one of the best lore items I've found in-game thus far.

- The twin skulls of Kree: didn't like it's anticlimatic ending though.

- Crafting. The fact that you can't become a "professor" in more than 3, maybe 4 fields makes the game replayable. (Unless you take off max level cap).

- Dialogue matters.

 

Thing's I've hated:

- The main character cannot attack doors. Only your companions can do so.

- Picking locks is the worst!

- I don't like point-buy very much.

- Experience and how it's given. I always told my companions to "back-off" so I could get the exp for hitting an enemy.

- The game has a very vague sense of direction. You could pretty much travel aroun arcanum for days and not get on with the quests. Sometimes I lose interest in the game, just because of the lull in story. Having to grind to get to the level I need to move on because frankly some of the monsters will destroy me.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Map stuff- I actually liked the "connect the dot" method, since it allowed you to create circuitous paths that otherwise would have been difficult to accomplish in a normal RPG- I mean, you could literally make your party go through a specific door. It just gave more flexibility. And as hormalakh mentioned, you were forced to actually explore and find things. I actually LIKED having to search around for stuff, because that is what you really do when you're looking for things. "Wait, did I take the first or second left after the 4-way?", "Damn, all these houses are some sort of beige color!", "She said it was right near the monument, but I'm not seeing it!" I very much dislike being spoon fed my directions, like I'm wearing a Tom-Tom in the game...


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