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Review Leave Arcania Alone!

VentilatorOfDoom

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Tags: Gothic 4: Arcania; JoWood Productions

<p>RPGWatch reviewed <strong>Arcania: Gothic 4</strong>. Their reviewer figured - or at least pretended to have figured - that <em>as the successor to <em>Gothic 3</em> in the spirit of a classic RPG, one would find <em>ArcaniA</em> to be a very disappointing release. </em>On the other hand viewing <strong>Arcania </strong><em>only through the lens of a classic RPG is unfair</em>.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>The difficulty lies in that reviewing ArcaniA only through the lens of a classic RPG is unfair.&nbsp; It is important to remember that a classic RPG is not the game Jowood intended to release.&nbsp; ArcaniA&nbsp; is one of the first major releases by a leading developer using a solid graphics/game engine aimed at the new "Casual RPGer" mass market that all the top RPG developers seem to think is their future -- customers who demand simplicity and easy accessibility in order to try RPGs.&nbsp; Kamaal Anwar, Producer for ArcaniA, summed it up very clearly for RPGWatch -- "...The challenge studios face is to avoid chasing away potential fans with too many possibilities and too much freedom. Some gamers more accustomed to jumping into games in short bursts may find the lack of a clear direction daunting".</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Well, if they intended to not make a proper Gothic game but a game that provides next-gen popamole brainless fun... I guess it's OK then! I bet this game will <em>help build a new generation of RPGers who will soon want to try traditional RPGs</em>! So basically, we should be thankful.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Your reaction to <em>ArcaniA</em> will vary widely depending upon what pair of glasses you are wearing.&nbsp; If you are a new or casual RPGer, then <em>ArcaniA</em> is a fun game that you will enjoy greatly.&nbsp; Even for classic RPGers it will be a nice game to have if you can afford it for when you do not have the time for a more immersive RPG.&nbsp; At the other extreme, if you are a fan who hopes to continue the Gothic series with the same game mechanics and experience you had back exploring Myrtana and Nordmar, then you will be sorely disappointed with <em>ArcaniA</em> -- for it is a very different game than you would expect.&nbsp; As a classic RPGer somewhere in the middle, caveat emptor.</p>
</blockquote>
<p><a href="http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=165&amp;ref=0&amp;id=280" target="_blank">Read the whole thing here.</a></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Spotted at: <a href="http://www.rpgwatch.com/#15958">RPGWatch</a></p>
 

markec

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I got the impression from the demo review which the reviewer made before that he actually really liked this abomination, so when the shit storm began he switched opinion and in this full review become a bit more critical but still trying to find an a excuse for his liking of the game.
 

Andhaira

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Kamal Anwar eh...so a Pakistani is woked on this game? Or an Indian Muslim at the least.
 

hakuroshi

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Hice and honest. I like that "go and fuck yourselves while we making money" attitude.
 
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I might end up looking like a fool in a few weeks if they end up selling bucketloads, but right now I suspect that Jowood might be about to learn that it is a cold, lonely place sitting out on the edge of the mass-market. The saddest thing about current AAA crpgs is the sheer amount of talent and money that is required to make a mediocre mass-market 'popamole' crpg. The Arcania crew just doesn't have the writers, the coders, the artists or the cash that Bioware have - or even, yes, Bethesda. If you can't be number 1 or 2, the last thing you want to do is go toe-to-toe with number 1 and 2.

I just can't see the current crpg fanbase lining up to buy a slightly-less-'xTREME' / slightly-less-giant-world-hiking-simulator version of a Bioware or Bethesda game.
 

MicoSelva

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hakuroshi said:
Hice and honest. I like that "go and fuck yourselves while we making money" attitude.

Seconded.

The challenge studios face is to avoid chasing away potential fans with too many possibilities and too much freedom.

Exactly. Why would anyone want FREEDOM and POSSIBILITIES in an RPG? Those things only distract people from the awesome gameplay.
 

DalekFlay

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Azrael the cat said:
I might end up looking like a fool in a few weeks if they end up selling bucketloads, but right now I suspect that Jowood might be about to learn that it is a cold, lonely place sitting out on the edge of the mass-market. The saddest thing about current AAA crpgs is the sheer amount of talent and money that is required to make a mediocre mass-market 'popamole' crpg. The Arcania crew just doesn't have the writers, the coders, the artists or the cash that Bioware have - or even, yes, Bethesda. If you can't be number 1 or 2, the last thing you want to do is go toe-to-toe with number 1 and 2.

I just can't see the current crpg fanbase lining up to buy a slightly-less-'xTREME' / slightly-less-giant-world-hiking-simulator version of a Bioware or Bethesda game.

Yep. You can make good money appealing to a small and dedicated fanbase by budgeting accordingly, but you only lose money by shooting for the mainstream market without the game or marketing to back it up.
 
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The challenge studios face is to avoid chasing away potential fans with too many possibilities and too much freedom. Some gamers more accustomed to jumping into games in short bursts may find the lack of a clear direction daunting.

Why would these people want to try a genre that focus on the exact opposite playstyle is beyond me.

I also like how he makes "freedom" and "having a clear direction" seem impossible to concile.

edit:
Jaesun said:
So basically "Causual RPG"

Can't get more codexian than Causal RPG. Choosing to play it is a consequence itself.
 

Jaesun

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So basically "Causual RPG" is the new term for shit RPG?

Hey guise, I just got Arcania!
Dude! It's Shit!
Not true my friend... It's Casual.
Oh OK.
 

Silellak

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RPGWatch Review said:
If a game like BG2 (to use an old example) were shipped with the options to add quest markers, eliminate repair or rest needs, etc., then I would welcome such a possibility. It would let both the casual and classic RPGers enjoy the games they most like.
:retarded:
 

Jaesun

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Silellak said:
RPGWatch Review said:
If a game like BG2 (to use an old example) were shipped with the options to add quest markers, eliminate repair or rest needs, etc., then I would welcome such a possibility. It would let both the casual and classic RPGers enjoy the games they most like.
:retarded:

jebus fucking christmas.
 

DalekFlay

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Clockwork Knight said:
Why would these people want to try a genre that focus on the exact opposite playstyle is beyond me.

Dude if you make the games simple enough and easy enough then everyone will play them and you will make mad tons of money. It's a proven fact.
 

treave

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All of our positivity fled the Codex and settled in the Watch, I guess.

I wonder why the review sounds like something right out of a fuckfaced marketing shill.
 

Mortmal

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Franz Rossler Jowood CEO:


"The classic Gothic fan might be disappointed because the game no longer follows the classic Gothic approach. But we did this intentionally. We wanted to reach a broader audience, to make the game more marketable internationally. It's the old problem: I can't please everybody. It is clear, Arcania comes at the expense of Gothic's long time community [the German "Urgemeinde" is untranslatable; Ed.]. But the sales success seems to prove us right."


At least hes honest about it.
Now why should we be thankful like the the rpgwatch reviewer who cream his pant while playing it but cannot admit it ?
This will not bring mainstream player to quality rpgs, this will just fund the next game wich will be even more mainstream and even more dumbed down.
You just need a different lens to approach that game.... my ass. My old monocle is still good enough.
I remember how it was in gothic 1, you are a common convict thrown into the prison colony, you get beat up on arrival, hardly anyone is friendly and they require "protection money" .You want to enter the huts , people strongly react and tell you to get the fuck out of there. Even better if you move around the camp at night the guard tell if he catch you in any hut you will remember it. That was certainly a new and refreshing approach of gaming.
Now arcania has the story of a 4 years old audio book, zero surprise, no one give a damn about you taking everything in the village,of course you are the chosen one ! I could have wrote all that plot and quests in 10min in my spare time, i see nothing outstanding to mention , its just so bland.
 

Phelot

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Eh... the review wasn't so bad. I mean, I think it's stupid in a lot of parts and there sure are some lulzy points, but his conclusion seems solid enough. Basically, he says a casual gamer would like it since that's what the game is designed for, everyone else will hate it.

* The story is very linear with no meaningful choices or options along the way. There is no way you could actually do anything other than succeed in ArcaniA -- the worst that happens is that you lose a fight and reload. I discovered no choice in the entire game that would have a meaningful impact on the story. Most of the dialogue is just a single line for you to "choose" so the dialogue box is little more than a way to pace your reading.

* Storyline linearity means that replayability is limited to trying the three specialties of mage, warrior, and ranger.

* There are lots of "named" in the game -- but at best they are minibosses of no consequence. Most seemed to be just slightly stronger versions of the rest of the pack you were fighting.

* Even with "Quest markers" turned off, you are pretty much led by the nose through quests, if compared to traditional RPGs. Targets are easy to find, dungeons usually are pretty clear in what direction to take, areas you should avoid are "locked," etc. The worst example of this was one time when you actually would have had to search a large area to find someone -- a mage cast a special spell that made bunches of swampweed glow along the path he took. When you approach the NPC who is the target of many quests, the game will go into an automatic cutscene so you cannot miss him.

* Graphically weather and daytime changes are impressive, but they have no discernable impact on the story

* Steal anything anytime. Take it right off the table where someone is sitting. There are no consequences for taking anything in the game.

* No need to have a lockpicking skill. All chests open in the first part of the story. After that you get a "special key" that lets you play a minigame to open any locked chests.

* No hidden traps, only a couple visible traps, and no disarming in the game. I found just one instance where a trap could be disabled (by a lever if you were able to get through some fireballs).

* Skills and spells were deeply reduced from G3. There are no trainers. There are only eight major skills, including just three spells.

* All attribute level-ups are automatic.

* Fighting seems much easier, at least on normal. Arrows fly in a straight line. Targeting is "kind" for ranged and casting. As a mage I was able to die just twice in the first 3/4ths of the game. Fighting did become much harder in the final quarter of ArcaniA. There is no friendly fire and you cannot harm yourself with area spells. Other than burning, I did not find any other damage over time (like poison) that could affect you. Melee attackers seemed to come one at a time -- ranged attackers did fire at will. All mobs tether back to their starting point if you run far enough.

* Crafting is a simple select-and-click if you found/bought the recipe and have collected the ingredients. Craft anywhere -- no workbenches or forges needed.

* No needs for repair, rest, food. There are no limits to inventory quantity or weight.
 

FeelTheRads

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ArcaniA is one of the first major releases by a leading developer using a solid graphics/game engine aimed at the new "Casual RPGer" mass market

What? Kinda like those "X is the best alive writer in his town"? Boy, they try hard to blow-job. Of course, it doesn't make sense either way, because it's hardly one of the first.

Why would these people want to try a genre that focus on the exact opposite playstyle is beyond me.

The classic Gothic fan might be disappointed because the game no longer follows the classic Gothic approach. But we did this intentionally. We wanted to reach a broader audience, to make the game more marketable internationally.

It's not like people really sit around thinking "man, if that game had a quest compass I would totally play it". It's all in the marketing, and they'll sell to them because they're gonna be told it's so awesome and accessible too.

It's the old problem: I can't please everybody.

More like the old excuse. At least he admits they wanted the largest number of sales possible, unlike other fuckshits like Bioware or Bethesda who keep lying about how they're streamlining to offer a better experience not to attract more and more players.
 

CraigCWB

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This seems to be an inevitable progression that every game company goes through. At some point the suits say "We aren't making enough money!" and they try to come up with excuses that make their greed seem altruistic. Origin and Sirtech jumped the shark in the early 1990s and neither survived. Interplay held out until the late 1990s, and it didn't (really) survive either. Gotta say, though, this is about the first time I've seen a little indie company try it. Seems a bit idiotic for a niche company to abandon it's niche market before it's established itself.
 

Tails

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Franz Rossler Jowood CEO said:
"The classic Gothic fan might be disappointed because the game no longer follows the classic Gothic approach.
Then what's the point of putting Gothic name I ask, since their main target is audience who doesn't give a flying duck about Gothic games.
But the sales success seems to prove us right.
Cool, but I like to see comparison of Arcania marketing and Gothic games. As far I recall, the latter (Gothic I&II) had pretty poor marketing outside Germany, and the American advertising was almost non-existent, rite? also it would be nice to see if in the end Arcania will sell more then Risen. It would be pretty interesting in fact.
 

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