Realms of Arkania II: Star Trail Retrospective

28 Dec 2011

Iron Tower's Vince D. Weller has taken a break from The Age of Decadence development to pen a retrospective piece for Sir-tech and Attic Entertainment's excellent CRPG sequel, Realms of Arkania II: Star Trail. A slew of screenshots accompany the text:
The game is powered by Das Schwarze Auge, which, as all German things are, is better designed and more complex than its American counterpart. In other words, rolling “six whole characters” takes awhile. You have to consider countless options, make and delete characters, and figure out who’s doing what (talking about non-combat abilities) and how to spread these abilities in the most efficient way. In the age of semi-retarded action rpg hybrids the number of things you characters are expected to do is staggering.

You start by rolling your stats: Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Courage, Intuition, Wisdom, Charisma. Then your personality traits: Superstition, Acrophobia (fear of heights), Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed environments including but not limited to caves, crypts, dungeons, and other popular destination spots), Avarice (everyone’s favorite sin), Necrophobia (fear of undead), Curiosity (the silent killer), and Violent Temper (collar grabbing).

If you are not happy with some values, you can increase them manually, but for every point you add to the stats, you must add two points to the traits. I’m not sure if it’s an invitation to abuse the system or not, as I don’t recall how important the traits are. Superstition affects your magic resistance, so it appears to be an important trait. I don’t want my party members to freak out when they run into a skeleton in a dungeon deep beneath the earth, so I’ll keep the fear of undead and underground places low. Not sure about Acrophobia though, but I suppose we’ll get a chance to discover it soon enough.

Then you select a class that matches the stats' and traits' values. Sometimes, you get 3-4 options, sometimes none (if you didn’t consult the requirements and just rolled some numbers to see what happens). For example, dwarves are greedy little fuckers, so unless Avarice is high enough, it aint a dwarf. Hunters are used to open spaces, so their Claustrophobia is through the roof. They are deadly with bows and are handy in the wilderness, but, apparently, inviting them for a stroll deep underground is asking for trouble.

The game offers you 12 classes: Warrior, Thorwalian (Vikings who like to poison their weapons; apparently, other classes frown upon it), Dwarf (it’s a class, not a race, as the game implies that dwarves can be nothing but fighters with a penchant for weapon-crafting), Hunter (archer with good wilderness skills, which is what will keep you alive during long marches), Jester (gypsies who can survive anywhere), Rogue (masters of urban survival), Magician, Warlock (relies on intuition), Druid (magic and wilderness skills), Green Elf (archery and magic), Sylvan Elf (archer/druid), Ice Elf (combat/magic).
 
 

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