126 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
Several years ago I wrote my first review of a pc game here on Amazon. It was a review of Gothic 3, which I declared to be the worst game I had ever played. I now have to retract that claim. Gothic 3 may have been so buggy it was nigh on unplayable, but at least there was a somewhat enjoyable game buried under all those bugs. This game, however, is not enjoyable in any way. There is no chance that future bug fixes will ever make this a decent game. Unlike my experience with Gothic 3, this time around I wasn't expecting anything great. I would have settled for mediocre. I thought surely it couldn't be worse than Gothic 3. I was wrong. There are many, many reasons why this is not only unworthy to carry the name "Gothic," but also why it is a terrible game in its own right. Here is a very brief list.
1. First and foremost, it is the most linear RPG I have ever played. Even admittedly linear RPGs like KOTOR at least let you select the order in which you complete some of the areas. This game is a straight line, and there is nothing you can do that will change anything that happens in the game world. There is literally not a single choice your character can make that has any noticeable effect on the game world. Every time you play the game everything will happen exactly the same way. I have never seen a game with less replay value. Gone are the guilds/factions from previous Gothic games. Gone is any actual role playing element in the game. You can't even attack any NPCs for crying out loud! If you blatantly steal their belongings from right under their noses, they don't even care. You literally have no effect on the world outside of the narrow, pre-scripted route the game designers wrote for you. You move from one little enclosed area to the next, and are prevented from moving on to the next area until you complete the five or six quests in the current area, after which there is no reason to ever go back to earlier areas.
2. There is no exploration allowed in this game. The main selling point of Gothic, at least in my opinion, was the combination of the open-ended RPG elements and the ability to explore the huge game world and find new things each time you played. This game literally punishes you for exploring. They took away the ability to climb, and the developers placed slopes, rocks, and cliffs all along the paths across the island to prevent you from leaving the narrow strip of land bordering the paths. The world looks large, but you're only actually allowed to use a small portion of it. If you try to go anywhere off the paths that has the slightest bit of slope (keep in mind that this entire game takes place on a mountainous island) you lose control (as in you literally have no control over him) of your character while he skates along the ground being pulled back and forth by some invisible force until he gets back to level ground. His feet don't move during this odd phenomenon (which happens quite frequently), and he looks like he's ice skating. He constantly gets stuck while doing this, and you have to load a previous save. If you try to explore somewhere near water, you just die (literally, you fall down dead). And if, by some miracle, you actually manage to get somewhere off the beaten path and find a cave, you can't get in it, because they're locked and you can't get in them until the point in the game the developers decided it would be appropriate for you to be able to go in them. The game is filled with quest-specific areas that you can't enter until you get the right quest, so exploration is a complete waste of time. Did I mention the invisible walls they placed everywhere? There are tons of them. They really, really don't want you to go off of their scripted path.
3. The leveling system is so dumbed down it is almost non-existent. Gone is your ability to place your skill points into strength, dexterity, etc. All you get to do is use their new skill "tree," though it's more like eight straight lines than a tree. Nothing branches into new options. You simply get a choice of putting points into your power attack, flurry attack, precision, bow skill, sneaking, a fire spell, an ice spell, or shock spell. That's right, the game has a grand total of three learnable spells. They just get a little better every time you put more points into them. None of the combat skills are even necessary, since the combat in the game is so worthless that you can defeat any enemy right from the start. Which brings me to the next point.
4. It is beyond easy. There are four difficulty settings. Easy, normal, hard , and Gothic. Yes, that's right. Their game is so dumbed down from the previous Gothic games that they called their extreme difficulty setting the "Gothic" setting. Even on the Gothic setting it is way, way too easy. They put in this new roll move, and you're expected to just roll all around during combat. The problem with this (besides looking stupid) is that it's very overpowered. You just roll out of the way every time the enemy is going to hit you (which you can see in advance because for some reason they exude red or green smoke when they're about to hit you), and you never take any damage. All you do the whole game is attack a few times, roll away, attack a few times, roll away, etc. It's extremely boring and repetitive. And once you get a shock spell, it gets even easier. Then you just shoot a spell at them and it stuns them for a few seconds, during which you hit them a few times, then you cast the spell again and repeat. By that point you don't even need the overpowered roll anymore. I only died in combat three times during the entire game. On the hardest difficulty setting. Without ever drinking a potion, using a shield, or buying a single thing from the various vendors during the entire game. There was simply no need. It doesn't even get any harder as the game goes on, because the enemies you fight are scaled to your ability. The enemies themselves aren't scaled, but they only place enemies of certain levels in each area. Since the game is so linear that they know exactly what level you'll be in each area, the difficulty stays the same during the whole game because the enemies are always the same level as yourself, though the increase in enemies with ranged attacks later in the game would probably make it slightly more difficult if you were playing as a straight melee fighter. The ridiculously stupid AI doesn't help either. They always do their power attacks, which take about four or five seconds to charge up. They attack wherever you were when they started charging their attack, and by the time they actually get around to attacking that spot, you're standing behind them hitting them in the back. If I'm making it sound like you just breeze through, you don't. You never die, but it still takes forever to defeat everything. You just click and click and click and click and click...
5. The NPCs are atrocious. There are actually only a few different NPC designs, but each one has about thirty clones dressed in different clothes and with different hair spread throughout the game. On top of that, the voice acting and dialogue are both terrible. The scripted dialogue is insultingly stupid, and most of the very little dialogue in the game is just filler. And when they try to move the plot (which is an extremely blatant rip-off of the Théoden storyline in Peter Jackson's version of the Lord of the Rings) along, it's like reading a badly scripted soap opera. I'm pretty sure it was written either by or for Jr. High students who had just watched The Two Towers. The voice acting for these dialogue lines is mostly bad. Some are decent, but many are so bad it's painful. The voices range from understandably uninterested to outrageously hammy, and all of it is set to some of the worst lip syncing I've seen since the 90s. On top of that, the game goes into a cutscene every time you talk to someone. Every single time. Apparently they can't talk anywhere but the exact spot the conversation was scripted to take place in, so every time you try to talk to someone it always goes to a cutscene of you talking at that scripted spot, teleporting you there to do it. It becomes even more ridiculous than usual when you have a conversation involving more than one NPC, because it has to shift to a new cutscene for each character's line.
6. It has a lot of technical issues. Not nearly as many as Gothic 3, but enough to be really, really annoying. To start with, it lags. A lot. I have a pretty nice gaming pc, and can play any other game on the highest settings, but I can't even play this one on low without getting lag. They acknowledged that the game doesn't perform well, and released a hotfix to improve performance, but that still didn't fix it. It's not too bad in most places, but in any cities it slows to a crawl and borders on unplayable. The slight bit of lag you get even in outdoor areas makes any ranged weapons useless, as you can't aim well enough because of the lag. Thankfully their hit detection is terrible for spells, so as long as you get your spell in the general vicinity of an enemy it will hit it. Unfortunately the same goes for enemies attacking you. There are lots of annoying little gameplay issues like your screen turning red when you get down to half your health (is that really necessary? Couldn't it be like other games and only do it when you're just down to a few hitpoints instead of half your heath?), the camera you can't control that likes to zoom way out during combat so you can't see what you're doing, the huge red exclamation points that appear over anyone that is related to or can give you a quest, the useless map, the appalling lockpicking minigame (which consists of clicking at the right time while watching a slideshow of lock silhouettes), the inability to map the middle mouse button (or any of other mouse buttons on a gaming mouse), and the failure to include any anti-aliasing.
7. Finally, there is the complete disregard for any of the previous Gothic games. Only a handful of the characters from the original Gothic games make an appearance, and they are nothing like what they were before. They don't look or sound like them at all, especially Milten and Lester. This game has nothing to do with the previous Gothic games. All they did was use a couple character names and take the title to try to cash in on its fan base. None of the good aspects of the other Gothic games are present in this one. You can't explore, you can't make any meaningful decisions, it's not a real RPG, you have no character choices, the combat and magic systems are completely different (and awful), and it's unbelievably easy compared to other Gothic games. It is abundantly clear that they just made this a "Gothic" game to try to make money off of the name.
In short, this game is atrocious. The producers took a more serious RPG franchise and tried to dumb it down to make it appealing to fans of casual RPG games. What they managed to do is make it unappealing both as a serious RPG (by removing most of the RPG elements and challenging gameplay) and as a casual RPG (by making it boring and repetitive). The only redeeming element in this game is the graphics, which look very nice in some places. Parts of the game look so nice I gave the game an extra star just for that. However, looking nice doesn't even begin to make up for its shortcomings. It is one of the most boring and repetitive games I have ever seen. Thankfully, it's very, very short. I couldn't believe it when the game ended. All of a sudden it just went to this cutscene of three people we haven't even seen before in the game chanting "gorchama" (whatever that means) over and over and over before reenacting a scene from The Two Towers. I had no idea what had just happened in the cutscene, and thought it was just a regular cutscene like it has at the beginning of each new stage of the game, but then it cut to the end credits. I still don't understand what happened, or why it happened, but I was happy it was over. When I checked my game status, I saw that I finished the entire game a little over 12 hours. That's right, I did every quest there was (that should give some indication of how few quests there are), and still finished the game in twelve hours. Given that I spent a good deal of time at the beginning trying to explore, I'd imagine it actually only takes about ten to eleven hours to do everything. Normally I'd be upset, but not with this game. I just wish it had been shorter.
55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
This game has been out for a week now(Germany), and while english is not my native language, i like to add another review here on amazon.com.
I played the demo of Arcania, and the game itself, at least for 8 hours.
Let me tell you one thing upfront:
Arcania in it self has NOTHING to do with the Gothic series. Yes, Diego and a few other characters are in the game, and the story is supposed to play after the third (and also awful) installment of the series.
But the game content has little to do with the features, that made "Gothic" a great gaming experience. Another thing: Piranha Bytes, the makers of the first 2 games have NOTHING to do with Arcania. Spellbound, another german developer made it and it's their first RPG.
But back to the game.
You start with a very mediocre intro, that tells you a retarded story about the old nameless hero. After that, the first 15 minutes of the game is a dream sequence, where you clean out a dungeon. There are no explainations, no health bar and you can't be killed. You just kill 50 enemies, and that's it. This is explained later, but this is just horrible storytelling and a pretty stupid start.
You meet your fiance, and the first thing you will notice is, that the graphics are nice. Really they are, but unfortunately, thats one of the very few things good in Arcania.
The next things you will notice are the really bad dialogs and the asynchronous lip movements. I haven't seen THAT for a long time. The last time i saw that in a game was 2002..i think.
I won't go into the story much further, to avoid spoilers, so i will just tell you what the game is, and what it isn't.
- The dialogs are horrible. Most of them are one-liners which could have been written by a 6th grader. I addition, some of the voice actors are horrible too. The witch on the starting island for example(Don't worry, i played with english dialogs, so i know what i'm talking about) is horrific. After listening 1min of her awful speech, i had the feeling my ears will start bleeding any second now.
- The crafting system is not realistic. You practically craft in your trouser pocket. You can craft in the forest, at night, in the rain, yes even in combat. Meat will be roasted in your pocket (Bon apetite!) too. You don't need any tools like an anvil or an alchemical laboratory, you just open your inventory, combine the ingredience(if you have the neccessary recipes) and voila, your new sword is ready to swing.
- There are no consequences from stealing. You can rob a traders house while he is watching, and then sell the stuff back to him you just stole. Running around with a weapon in the castle or village has no effect. Most of the npcs are not even attackable.
- There are very few quests, and they are all the same. Kill this and bring me 10 of that. Oh and there are "archievement"-quests like "Collect 30 Innos-statues". Very entertaining. *yawn*
- This is not an open world game, like Gothic was. You can roam the countryside, but there are invisible barriers all over the place, which prevent you from exploring a good portion of the island.
- There is not much to explore anyway. From time to time there are a few ruins, but there is no lore about them, and the only things that can be found, are herbs and identically looking chests with random loot in it. The climax is the random dead person with some useless stuff on it.
- The game is very linear. You come into one area, do the available 2-3 story quests, maybe the 2 non-story quests too, and then move on. Until you solve the story quests, the entrance to the next area is blocked. Most of the time for very flimsy reasons. If you have done anything that can be done in an area, you don't have to come back. Ever. The area will not change, there will be no new dialog options, regardless of what you do.
- The combat system is very simplistic. It works, but its just hitting the left mouse button and dodge by rolling sideways or backwards until the stupid enemies are dead. The enemies have a "strong" attack, which is indicated by a green fog around them. But even on the harder difficulty settings, you will always have enough time (2-3 sec) to dodge these attacks.
- The skilltree is a joke. Diablo, anno 1997 had a better skilltree. There are a number of bars, and every level you can distribute 3 skillpoints among them. You don't have to find teachers like in the first Gothic games, you just put a point into fire magic, and wosh, suddenly you can cast fireballs. Oh and there are only 3 spells. Thats it. AND the magic is very weak in comparison to melee weapons or the bow.
- There is a teleporter system later in the game, but it's really not much help, because the teleporter platforms are never in places where they would be useful to you. And there are no mounts in the game. I know this feature has been announced, but they canceled mounts altogether.
- The game is very simple. You are always to strong, no matter the difficulty level. You don't feel weak at the beginning(even with laughable weapons and armor) and you don't feel significantly stronger at the end. There is no challenge in the game. The enemies are stupid, slow and seldom hit at all. The boring skilltree is no help either.
- The game is VERY short. In about 16 hours you will see the outro. You can reach 20 hours but only if you walk around an empty landscape with nothing to explore or do all the repetetive non-story quests. For an RPG, that is very short.
- The NPCs are often look the same. Most character models are recyled every few steps. That could have worked, if the clones were more randomly distributed, but there are locations in the game, where you can see two clones walking around at the same time.
Lets get to the good parts of the game. As i said before, the graphics are good.
If you buy this game, i recommend installing the first patch at least. Its a hotfix that makes the game playable in terms of FPS. The version you can buy is unpatched and unplayable most of the time. Even on very strong systems, because there are multicore-optimizations missing in the gold version. The first patch increases the performance significantly.
Another good thing is the music. Its not groundbreaking, but it works.
Before i come to an end, i like to inform you about a strange thing that happened on Amazon.de. It seems that a few employees of the austrian publisher(Jowood) of Arcania wrote fake reviews under false names, to increase the score of Arcania on Amazon. One of these obvious fake profiles has been deleted by amazon yesterday morning. So be careful. It's very possible that they try the same thing here, so a few of the first 5 star ratings maybe fake too.
Another warning goes to the potential buyers of the Special Edition: There are confirmed reports of missing maps in the Special Edition, and there is also a problem with the included book. The last 3 pages are missing(in ALL special edition packages), so you can't read the end of the story. When and IF that will be fixed is unknown.
To come to an end, i have to say that this game could not have disappointed me more. It lacks depth on every level. The story is weak, the quests are boring and repetetive, the enemies are not in the least challenging, there is nothing to explore or find, stealing has no consequences, the crafting is a joke, and so is the skilltree.
My recommendation: Avoid this game, and wait for Two Worlds 2 , Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III or The Witcher 2.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
I know that everyone has their own taste in games, but this game is poorly designed and not very much fun. Whether you've played other Gothic games or not, this game is a major let down. If you're going to buy the game, please don't pay $50, $40, $30 or even $20 for the game. It might be worth $5.
First of all, I am an American reviewer who actually bought the game (and I regret it, even though I had a gift card). I have also ONLY played Gothic 3, and never 2 or 1. This game, with the first patch, runs fine on my system. The game play is awful.
1. You can steal everything from everyone--but don't worry, because you won't need to sell it as you will already have better equipment than any vendor will be able to sell you. The second part might not sink in until you play the game and realize that you randomly find everything.
2. Magic is worthless. If you were deceived into believing that you could be a mage, forget it. If you like being a magic user, don't waste your money. Having maxed out the mage skill trees (of which there are three straight lines in which you learn fireball, frost, and shock) I can now cast 5-6 fireballs. It takes 2 fireballs at level 24 (skill trees stop at level 16, by the way, and I used a trainer to fill every skill point in magic) to kill a bloodfly. Magic doesn't even restore all that quickly, and even though you get more mana, the spells cost seemingly just that much more so you cannot really cast any more spells as you level up. Was it really too much for the developers to put more than 3 spells in the game? Even the Witcher--where you were not supposed to be a magic user--had more than 3 spells.
3. The characters mostly all look alike--and this is no understatement. What, the developers didn't have enough time or money to put more than 6 heads in the game? You might think that doesn't matter, but after you see the same bald guy with a mustache and his 27 identical twin brothers, you'll get aggravated.
4. You are like a rat in a maze. You follow these paths and don't go off of them. If you go off of them, you die. If you accidentally jump while fighting an enemy and you fall off the path, you will continue to "skate" on the ground as you head toward water, where you die.
5. The voice acting is so bad you'll want not to listen. You can see this in the Demo, or the real game, when you meet the witch.
6. There is no real role playing element in this game. You are a smash and bash fighter -- even if you're a "mage." You're not a thief, you're not a mage, you're not anything but a smash and bash fighter. And just to make the point, Gothic 3 with the Community Patch and Add-ons had much more interesting Melee combat, in my opinion. This combat is just plain boring and repetitive.
7. You never feel like you're getting stronger, and you don't need to. If you think I'm off, play the demo and you'll see that at level 3 you can kill stone golems, because there is no point in leveling. Hit the enemy with lightning, bash them with something, roll away, repeat. Actually, you don't even really need the lightning, but it stuns them. Stuns them? Yes, you read right. It doesn't do much damage, but it stuns them. Shouldn't lightning electrocute the enemy and turn them into goo? Well, not in this game.
8. Even the fun of leveling up is non-existent. Your character gains more health, mana, melee damage, magic damage, and stamina with each level. However, you have no say over how it is allocated. It just happens.
9. Those 8 points above are not the only negatives to this game. There is much more.
This game was such a terrible disappointment. I'm not comparing it to any other game, I'm just saying that the game as it is is not that fun to play. You'll be better off waiting until this game is selling for $5, or 5 cents plus S&H.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
Where do I start? As an avid fan of the Gothic series, I was excited to finally try out the latest installment. I know another company took over the production of the game, so I was hoping it would be finely polished. Boy was I wrong. This game has more bugs, glitches, and lag than any of the previous games. You could be in the middle of a conversation with someone, and they will just start walking off and you are stuck with no option of getting out. They will also sometimes repeat the SAME conversation numerous times. The game is also VERY glitchy. Now, I spent $3000 in parts when I built my current system. I'm talking about JUST the tower. I built the system on 09/05/2012, so at the time of this review, it's still extremely new and powerful. This game STILL lagged, and got low FPS at certain points. which shows the programmers were awful. I doubt it's even utilizing my SLI configuration.
The game LOOKS nice, but that's really the only upside to it what-so-ever. I'm glad I spent under $4 for this game, otherwise I would be pretty mad. For the price, if you REALLY want to try it, I say go for it. But don't be surprised when you're gravely disappointed.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
There once was such a thing as fantasy RPGs. Titles like Gothic and Oblivion entertained adventurers for days, months and years. Adventurers could go on innumerable quests, make game-changing choices, and explore and discover intricate and beautiful worlds. Alas, it has been 4-5 years since such games were created. This new game bears the name of Gothic and parades some of the characters from GI-III. But names are all it actually shares with RPG legends.
--Stunning graphics: as so many games out now, this one looks good. Clearly a place where the developers made an effort.
--Main plot: a well-worn but bearable tale about revenge turning into something with greater meaning.
--Sound: nice music, ok dialogue
--Side quests: there are almost none.
--Role Playing Choice: you can choose between being a warrior and a mage. That's it. No guilds. No moral choices. No thieving. No stealth that's worthy of the name.
--Exploration and discovery: the game looks like it has places to explore. But in fact, you are shunted from small area to small area with very few options for going anywhere else while you play out the main quest. So: no hidden areas, quests or treasures.
--Personalization: it's hard to make your character 'yours'. You can't choose how he looks, or even whether he is a he or human at all. There are no houses to buy, mates to meet, or anything to make your character live in the world.
--What you do: your work in this game is to follow a script. To complete each part of the script, you need to defeat a large number of creatures and skeletons. There are also occasional humans to talk to or fight. All in all, Arcania is a shooter with swords.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2010
It is just another shorter, stubbier, cheaper Gothic to make money. JoWood is only destroying himseself.
It is a horrible game in my opinion. I just stayed on my PC and beat it in 8 hours.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
First off, I love playing fantasy computer games. I am very forgiving when it comes to video games, but this game was simply released to early and half a$$ed. After installing the game, I started a new game and found it was choppy and extremely buggy. I downloaded the patch which fixed this issue, but then the other issues started to show.
The story is poorly conceived, following fantasy stereotypes through the entire game. The facial animations, (or lack thereof) leave a lot to be desired, and the lack of character development is maddening. I will close with this; the meaningless side quests and even the main quests are not very fun, and going out of your way to finish these side quests will quickly become a bother rather than compelling gameplay.
All in all, not worth more than fifteen dollars.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
There are good RPG's, and there are poor RPG's and then there is Gothic 4. The worst of all worlds. Buggy to the point where I have yet to get it to run past the initial setting at the Kings throne. With over four voices speaking at the same time, it is difficult to follow the plot. With the controls spotty at best, it is quite difficult to have the character move. Gothic 3 was a buggy beast, but at least it ran, and you could have some fun. This is nothing close. I have wasted a sizeable amount of money on a trashy, unpatched, piece of crap. Another piece of Eurotrash. Perhaps in a year or two or three, someone may give enough of a damn to patch the thing to the point where it works. Until then, it sits.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
If you played and enjoyed any Gothic before, spare yourself some disappointment. If you void the title and try to play it like a bargain bin RPG, ignore any semblance of slightly familiar character cameos. It's just terrible. At least you could fix Gothic 3 with a patch, no amount of patching can put a game into this game they forgot to finish. Even the choices are pointless, with exactly the same outcome. It's a one-track game.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
I just finished this game so I thought I will write a quick review while everything is still fresh in my mind. Before I begin let me say this, I did read a few reviews here stating how bad the game is and don't buy it because it's not worth your money. Boy was I glad I didn't listen to them. Let's just leave it at that. I will make it quick and to the point plus some crafting requirements that was not mention well in the game so for future reference for anyone who decide to buy it, read this and you will be set to complete the game much more efficiently than me.
Best One-Handed Weapons
(Ore-Forged Bearded Axe)
37 Melee Power
+2 Health Regeneration
1 Bearded Axe
8 Magic Ore
6 Steel Ingot
(Sword of Vengeance)
40 Melee Power
1 Holy Essence
16 Red Ore
26 Magic Ore
18 Steel Ingot
Best Ranged Weapons
35 Ranged Power
+7 Melee Power
+4 Mana Regeneration
+3 Health Regeneration
20 Minecrawler Mandibles
(Bow of Woe)
44 Ranged Power
+5 Mana Regeneration
1 Holy Essence
12 Red Ore
12 Magic Ore
1 Box full of Ebony
Best Runic Armour
(Rune-Carved Myrtanian Cuirass)
+9 Health Regeneration
+6 Melee Power
+3 Stamina Regeneration
2 Quintessence of Spite
13 Essence of Pain
1 Myrtanian Cuirass
20 Dark Ore
(Shield of Bitterness)
+4 Health Regeneration
1 Holy Essence
18 Red Ore
20 Magic Ore
15 Lump of Gold
Best Two-Handed Weapons
35 Melee Power
100% set target on fire for 200 more damage for 4 seconds
1 Winged Axe
10 Fire Gland
(Wrath of Innos)
65 Melee Power
+21 Magic Power
1 Holy Essence
15 Red Ore
16 Magic Ore
20 Steel Ingot
Supposedly there is a "Awaken Wrath of Innos" that does +200 fire damage over 4 seconds by upgrading the Wrath of Innos at the forge in the temple but I never got the chance to because there was no where in the game that let me know of this information ahead of time. There is also no backtracking during critical quests as the gate will lock you from backtracking. I had no idea it took 20 steel ingot to craft so when I got to the forge I couldn't craft it nor upgrade it. It was after I read the plan (which was given in the temple during the quest), but at this point it was too late because there is no backtracking so you only get one shot to craft it and upgrade it on the spot. Make sure you buy all the necessary crafting requirements before you enter the temple to fight the guy with one eye.
Do not buy anything from merchants other than the necessary crafting materials, but even then the game will provide most crafting materials through quests if you look around. I repeat, do not waste gold buying anything from merchants otherwise you will run short of gold to buy plans for crafting gear. The Dragon Axe plan cost 12000 gold so save your gold. Pretty much everything you need will be provided from questing. Anytime you see a merchant sell any of the crafting materials is the only time that I would recommend buying it ahead of time. Also, you only get one "Holy Essence" in the game so choose wisely which gear you want to craft with it.
Do not buy any runes because you'll eventually get them through questing. Especially do not buy "Rune of Tremors" or "Rune of Earthquakes" because I found them to be virtually useless and it will take a big chunk of your gold. The only useful runes are "Rune of the Four Winds" and "Rune of the Seven Winds" that allow you to run faster for a short period of time. Running is essential in this game as it has horrible teleportation system. The teleport system only transport from point A to B but not A to C, D, E, or F and vice versa so you will need to do a lot of running.
(1) Terrible teleportation system.
(2) No backtracking for critical quests.
(You need backtracking in case you missed a crucial ingredient for crafting that is only available during certain quests, which more times than not you will missed it, thus the need for me to create this review)
(3) Frame rates issue.
(I'm able to run Battlefield 3 and Skyrim on Max settings smoothly but this game gives me the stuttering effect at times)
(4) No way to travel around fast enough. No horse. Only running.
(5) Lack of information provided ahead of time for crucial quests.
(I often find myself reloading to an earlier saved to get all the materials needed before I proceed)
(6) Combat system doesn't react fast enough according to mouse click.
(7) No way of knowing if you're affected by a spell/effect; no sound or visual indicator.
(1) Beautiful graphics.
(2) Fills my need for a good RPG gaming experience.
I played as a melee type with all the stats focus on "Melee Power", "Armour" and "Health Regeneration". I found that "Stamina" was virtually useless as the stamina bar fills up rapidly on its own and I've never had the need to drink a stamina potion once. I ended up playing the game and finishing it with the "Bloody Harvester" two-handed weapon that does 20% life steal per hit because it negates the need for me to use health potions. The only time I found the need to use health potions was boss fights. I would have used the Awaken Wrath of Innos but due to the questing system, I wasn't able to craft it due to the lack of materials needed. It was only after I've completed the quest and bought the materials afterward that I was able to craft it but by this time it was too late to upgrade it because the forge gate was locked and I was too lazy to reload to the beginning of the quest to do it all over again. Make sure to buy all necessary crafting materials before proceeding on with the quests as the questing system can be unforgiving.
Overall experience with this game; I had fun and glad I didn't listen to those negative reviews.