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Arcanum of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

dementeddemented Member Posts: 388
I'm curious about this game. It's supposedly has an excellent character creation system, a very interesting story and offers alternative ways of playing.

However it's also supposed to be broken. Mages are overpowered whereas technology is useless. The game is buggy and leveling up system is poorly implemented. What I want to know is whether this game is still worth purchasing. Does the story and uniqueness of design make up for poor choices in other areas?

Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    edited December 2013
    I've enjoyed it myself but I've found that moving around (on a map) is not at all player friendly. I haven't found it to be broken myself though I know that some schools of magic / technology are better than others. I think initially you are just really limited with certain skillsets with regard to the materials you can get for them.

  • XavioriaXavioria Member Posts: 872
    i bought this game off GoG when it was on a super sale, I got it for really cheap, because back in the day I played it a little and Didn't really get to go too far because I couldn't save, so this was a great first hour for me. Choosing the character is fun, any time after that, it because a bit of a hassle.

    It seemed like a decent game, but the issue for me was the over complexity of the character development. Granted, I'm not a simpleton who cannot grasp anything except the most basic of gameplay features; I'm also not someone who likes a near infinite amount of choices. All of the skills and the abilities and the magic and the personalization kind of hits you completely, and doesn't really let you do it bits at a time (kind of like BG does) where you only get access to certain trees, and later you get access to more. You pretty much have direct access to the start of ALL the trees and not everything is very well explained. After playing it for a while I deemed the game a good one, but something that I would have to read up on and study just so that I could understand the basics.

    Sorry if that sounded much like a rant, but I had such high hopes for that game only to have them crushed by the over complexity of it.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,461
    Fireball spell beats everything. So long as you can kill everything in a few castings, you'll be able to heal up 100% afterwards. If you can last one fight at a time, you can beat the game with nothing but fireball.

    OR

    Put points in dex (agility?) and strength and melee weapons. There is one point in the game where weapons break an awful lot... so just carry a dozen spares. Beyond that, no fighter -- no matter how renowned -- can beat your loosely optimized CHARNAME fighter. Just put points into those 3 categories (maybe vitality as well? It's been a while) and your opponents will not be able to move before you've hit them half a dozen times -- or more. I'm serious. There is a single tough melee fight in the game and it's completely optional.


    On the other hand, most builds are very weak. I tried role-playing different kinds of mages... but so underpowered. It was not fun being so weak.

    Tech characters need materials to make their best equipment. There are strong materials for strong attacks. These come late in the game. Keep in mind, I never played a tech character for long.


    Good game with good atmosphere. Just really broken combat system. Lopsided, eh?

  • CoutelierCoutelier Member Posts: 1,240
    I bought it when it came out and played as a technologist; never had any difficulty as I recall. Although you have to invest the points you get on leveling up wisely. I put combat to turn based as I couldn't manage it otherwise.

    Put the story and the atmosphere was very well done, and there are lots of sidequests and places to explore. The city of Tarrant alone is bigger than the whole of Fallout 1 in terms of content, apparently. In fact, I think if you liked Fallout 1 and 2 there's a good chance you'll like this as well.

    typo_tilly
  • SapphireIce101SapphireIce101 Member Posts: 865
    edited January 2014
    To be honest, I loved the story. Well, until I met
    The real Nasrudin. This is after I was starting to believe that my character was truly Nasrudin's reincarnation.
    That was really the only part I hated.

    Another thing that I like about Arcanum is how you can play whatever you want. For instance, you made your character a pacifist? Worry not! You don't need to fight! Gunslinger? No problem! Thief? Awesomesauce! So on, and so forth.

    Also, there is only one character that will stick with you forever. Virgil. Oh sweet Virgin Virgil. You're good aligned? So is Virgil! You're evil? So is Virgil! Virgil is the only character that will be whatever alignment you are. I'm only sad that he isn't a love interest. I could probably go on a rant spree about why Virgil is awesome.

    Now that I've rambled about Virgil. I will say that Arcanum has one of the best villains ever, and awesome endings.

    Post edited by SapphireIce101 on
    typo_tillyelminster
  • dementeddemented Member Posts: 388
    Hm, it sounds interesting. I like games that are unique and aren't afraid to try new things, even if they fail. I think I'll get it, even if just for the sake of curiosity.

    Thanks for the replies.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    It's one of my favorite RPG's.

    The game system is very deep and yes, magic is incredibly overpowered. Level 1 Necromancy can pretty much kill everything and if it can't, fireball and lightning bolt can.
    Technology is way more fun however. A top hat that can reflect bullets, an electric shirt that regenerates you through shocks, a walking staff that shoots lightning and in the end you're walking around in your steampowered mechanical power armour, blasting enemies with your makeshift tesla rifle.
    It takes some luck and effort though, about half the schematics are bought from shops but their inventory changes every day so you might need to spend a few days loitering about the city, going past junkyards to see if they have any metal tubes and springs, general stores for saltpeter and charcoal, then the gunsmith for the plans.

    Meanwhile, magic makes life easier in different ways. You can summon a squad of monsters to help you, polymorph enemies into rabbits, summon a magic sphere around you for protection, teleport from town to town, animate *any* dead enemy to follow you around as a zombie or summon the spirits of the dead to answer your questions.
    In the end, they pretty much balance out (you kill everything) but Technology takes more work.

    The storyline is good, some of the sidequests are some of the best writing I've ever seen (the ogre skulls quest is just deeply disturbing) and there's an actual evil path to follow.
    Play it once, play it twice, play it thrice. You'll discover something new every time.

    dementedelminsterchickenhed
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    Anyone know of any good mods for the game? Specifically one that makes using the map to set waypoints less tedious.

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