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I have removed my words from this site.

Having played and enjoyed (but in the case of Arx Fatalis never got around to finishing for some reason, though I got fairly far along) all of those games, I understand perfectly why you would quit playing all of them. Well, Bloodlines perhaps less so as I never really found myself bothered by the "floaty" movement (and I never even bothered trying to use guns so the bit where gunplay is generally horrible didn't bother me much), and the game itself wasn't quite buggy enough to make me quit in frustration, and I was playing it on release day before all the patches (that actually solved the problems I had with the game). Speaking of which, the major community patch that's floating around the net isn't so much a patch as an extensive total conversion that isn't compiled very elegantly, so that might have something to do with the performance issues - there's another one that just fixes bugs without changing or adding any new content, I've always used that myself.

Gothic 3 though... Gothic has pretty much always had horrible combat that I circumvented by finding the cheapest way to exploit it and win forever, but the whole "everything can knock you down, all the time, and you can't really block, whee!" angle was freaking annoying. I loved the music and the sense of exploration as I tooled around the fairly large world, but man was it a bitch getting to the point where I could just toss nearly infinite lightning bolts at entire camps of orcs and win forever (at which point the game became a power trip). For all that I was able to glean quite a lot of gameplay and genuine enjoyment from it, I don't really recommend Gothic 3 to anyone (unlike Bloodlines and Arx Fatalis, which I frequently recommend with the caveat that they are "flawed masterpieces").

I have removed my words from this site.

Just letting you know that I saw this, and I'll be posting again soon enough when I can. (It being exam time and all)

joethekoeller:

Gildan Bladeborn:

Gothic 3 though... Gothic has pretty much always had horrible combat that I circumvented by finding the cheapest way to exploit it and win forever, but the whole "everything can knock you down, all the time, and you can't really block, whee!" angle was freaking annoying. I loved the music and the sense of exploration as I tooled around the fairly large world, but man was it a bitch getting to the point where I could just toss nearly infinite lightning bolts at entire camps of orcs and win forever (at which point the game became a power trip).

Perhaps in that regard what really fueled my hatred for the game was my perspective on the series and what I drew from the previous games. The combat in former games still used to be dodgy and clunky, but only initially. With more skill points spent on weapon slills, along with your actual mastery the game eased up a great deal about how precise you had to be about combos. Combat was still hit and miss (in the sense that enemies either fell within seconds or beat the crap out of you depending on your performance), but there was at least a clear hierarchy. Enemies from early on cease to be a threat by a certain point, new ones step forth. Those in turn cease to be a threat and so on. Gave this "underdog rising up" feeling. With Gothic 3 that system is completely blown over. Even more so it's actually inverted since the fights you're supposed to fear, like arena champions, are solved with ease just by hammering down the right mouse button, while puny critters will go into killing mood from time to time and floor you just because.

I guess it still isn't technically a bad game, but it takes a very unique perspective to actually derive fun from it.

Ah, well I tend to be a meta-gamer so I would set about the Gothic 2 universe doing things that were absolutely insane and clearly not intended, because I realized that monsters only ever respawned between chapters, but you got experience points for killing them each time. I would therefore kill everything I possibly could even while wielding toothpicks and wearing armor made of wet cardboard - surprisingly that's a lot of things. Trolls for example are completely non-threatening once you know that the trick is to get close enough that they go into the "threatening" pose... and then get behind them. Turns out their turning rate is such that you can circle around them constantly, stopping to whack them a few times, and they'll never actually make it around to hit you with their gigantic fists that can send you flying 20 feet or kill you outright depending on how leveled up you are. Take that, giant scary monster who makes the ground shake when he moves!

Ashbeasts? Sneak up on them and do the strafe attack over and over - preferably having saved prior to trying that; you're only dead if they actually get a chance to hit you! And Orcs? I would kill the entire besieging Orc army outside of Old Camp in the mines by "pulling" one of them away from the group and then stand in place while swinging left and right nonstop (otherwise known as "the strafe attack - until you've mastered weapons this is pretty much all you'll ever use") - most of the time they're out of range and you'll be standing there looking silly, but when they try to move forward to attack you'll hit them, almost always without them even scratching you; sure it's cheap but orcs are what, 200xp each, more for elites and shamans[1]? That adds up!

Of course when you get to the point where you're fighting dragons you have to actually battle, and probably don't even need to bother with the insanely cheap tactics of the meta-gaming bastardTM, but that was the experience I brought over from Gothic 2 to 3 and it was immensely disappointing to find out that melee combat didn't work like that anymore, and pretty much everything could knock you down and then you wouldn't be able to get back up as they continued to wail on you while you sat helpless on the floor, weapon lying out of reach. Even when you got to be "sort of good at it" combat will still be a very risky prospect - it wasn't until I got the training that let me regenerate mana and "infinite lightning bolts" became a reality that I had to stop really worrying about the fights I picked and could start enjoying them.

The meteor spell almost made all that earlier nonsense worth it - if the animation didn't effectively limit it to a one shot deal against groups of enemies that were out of reach or otherwise occupied with fighting people who were not you (getting interrupted while casting spells sucks so hard) before all the other nearby enemies got too nearby for you to cast it anymore, I would have used that and nothing else for the end-game assaults on cities; smiting things with fire from the heavens is freaking hilarious.

[1] The trick with THEM is to rush in at an angle and THEN strafe attack forever for the wins.

I have removed my words from this site.

joethekoeller:

Gildan Bladeborn:
epic snip

I did get my fix by now though. Have you gotten round to playing Risen yet?

Indeed I have - Risen first came to my attention when my brother started talking up this new RPG he'd gotten his hands on that I really needed to check out. So I sat down and watched him play it for a while, and all the while I'm thinking to myself (and saying out loud) "Man, this game looks super familiar - did they make a new Gothic game and I just didn't hear about it until now?". Looking it up afterward I realized it looked so much like Gothic because the team behind Gothic had made it.

I didn't get around to actually playing it though until fairly recently (picked it up in that Steam sale that had people complaining about fraud after they "ran out of keys" but kept selling it), but after putting in my 80+ hours I can attest that it really is the pure distilled Gothic experience, with all (well... most - the important ones anyways) of the rough edges sanded away. Very fun, much better than Gothic 3 (in terms of gameplay, I would have liked a larger world to explore though, but that's not much of a complaint when you simply want there to be more game).

I have removed my words from this site.

joethekoeller:

Gildan Bladeborn:
snip

True, the games pretty nifty. I don't much mind the fact that the game world was so small as I've always preferred Gothic's tendency to cram a lot of content unto a small place (as opposed to the third installment where large parts of the game simply feel empty). It didn't do a very good job of refilling content though. I mean once you plow through the first act there'll be how many new quests popping up in town? Two or three?

Yeah, there was a lot of front-ending going on with the quests in the major population centers - places like the monastery felt more dynamic in later acts even as there still weren't very many things to do (what with all the npcs getting killed or leaving, heh), but Harbor Town just sort of... stopped. I don't think there are even any additional quests to start in town if you become a mage, beyond talking to the one smith about obsidian weapons.

Of course you eventually run into that problem no matter what, but they could have spaced things out a bit more - but then one could also make the argument that it does lead the player to be more focused on the big goings on by way of making those just about the only thing you have to do, so there is that.

Read the two first, pretty sleek reviews. Been planning on picking up Vampires: The Masquerade: Bloodlines once I'm done with my backlog (so, in like a year or two -.-). Out of curiosity, can you play it in 3rd person perspective?

Littaly:
Read the two first, pretty sleek reviews. Been planning on picking up Vampires: The Masquerade: Bloodlines once I'm done with my backlog (so, in like a year or two -.-). Out of curiosity, can you play it in 3rd person perspective?

Yes, you can change your camera perspective at will, except when you actively equip a melee weapon while in 1st person - the camera will switch to 3rd person and you literally cannot change the view back to the 1st person view until you put the weapon away; evidently the programmers understood that 1st person melee combat doesn't work so well, heh. Guns though will let you use either perspective, though I'm not sure why you'd want to shoot from a 3rd person view exactly; still, you totally can. Having that camera option is both functional and neat, since there are some nifty discipline effects (like Obsfucate's sort of shimmery Predator-style cloaking animation) you wouldn't really see if the game forced you to play in 1st person view all the time, plus that way you can check yourself out in the fancy (or very unusual, if you're playing a Malkavian) new duds you've picked up (yay armor!).

 

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