llew silverhand wrote:I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on Realms of Arkania, once you sit down to play them.
Well I couldn't help myself so I decided to start up Blade of Destiny (the first game) and just create some characters to bring back memories even though I won't really jump headlong into the game for a little while, and bring back memories it did. A couple things that came back immediately about RoA I: Blade of Destiny:
* The character creation process can be quite time consuming and even a bit daunting at first. There are a dozen different archetypes (character classes) and they have stat prerequisites which can be difficult to achieve. You will find yourself rerolling your stats quite a bit just to get the archetype you want, even if you aren't trying to make uber-powerful characters. Of course you can just use the premade characters or use the quick creation system which fills in the stats and details for you according to the desired archetype, but where's the fun in that?
* In addition to the usual assortment of stats (strength, agility, wisdom, etc...) there are also "negative" stats such as superstition, curiosity, necrophobia, etc... that also impact the game in some ways.
* There are definite balance issues amongst the archetypes (classes). Now balancing a game I'm sure can be a daunting task and few if any games are perfect, not to mention what classes are better than others in a game is generally a matter of opinion and/or playing style preference. With that said there are archetypes in this game that are CLEARLY better than others, it's not even so much an opinion as a clear cut fact. I seem to remember there was some re-balancing in the second and third game but I don't remember right now how well it went. With that said you can still play the game with the "weaker" archetypes and some may relish the challenge (I myself will probably include several of the "weaker" archetypes in my group).
* The game drops you into a town with pretty much no instruction or direction. You have to read the manual to get any sort of backstory and even then you get sort of plopped into town with no clear indicator of where to go.
* The user interface is far from user friendly, think The Bard's Tale
. Then again the game was made at a time when user friendly interfaces were still a figment of people's imagination.
* Without even having played the game proper yet I clearly remember that the game is really hard and there is practically zero hand holding. Also there are strict realism systems kind of like "Hardcore Mode" in Eschalon Book II, but much more hardcore. You have to eat, drink, and sleep regularly. If you are not dressed properly for harsh environments you will get sick. If you don't treat wounds quickly they will get infected. Weapons and armor wear out. And so on.
* This is a game for old school RPG junkies. By comparison most games these days are WAY easier. Younger players will almost undoubtedly be turned off by the unfriendly and not particularly intuitive interface, hardcore difficulty, and complete lack of hand holding. Old school RPG addicts like myself will relish the challenge, size, and depth of the game.
* The old school midi music f'n rocks!