Today is Sunday, 26th October 2014

Review: Gothic 3 with the Community Patch 1.74

Written December first, 2010.

Where to begin:

Gothic 3 is a game that sucks hard without the Community Patch. It is the only patch you need. Get it here.

With the Community Patch this is one of the best action based graphical RPGs ever made.

It removes the DRM of the original game so you do not need the original disc in the drive. (It does this with the permission of the owners and developers of the game, so it is not illegal in any way.) It includes all the changes of the patches before it as well, so you need not apply multiple patches.

Once you apply it and enter the game, enable the Alternative Balancing and Alternative AI you find in the main menu and in the options under difficulty as well. And if you are playing on a modern gaming system, go to the graphical options and enable everything. It will look beautiful too.

On my system, I set the resolution to 1920 x 1080 and set every last graphical setting to maximum except Anti-Aliasing. There is rarely ever a need to have more than two passes of AA in any game unless you like having greatly reduced framerate.

After setting up the options, we get to the actual game.

Gothic 3 Box Art

Gothic 3 Box Art

In the beginning…

First of all, let me say that the game is brilliantly stable with the Community Patch installed. I can and have played it for ten hours straight during a night of insomnia. Not one crash. Not one bug. I have nothing to complain about whatsoever.

I wrote the following in the comments of one of my other pages here on Geek Montage.

I played Gothic 4 last month and it was like playing a novel. There were no real choices whatsoever. In Gothic 3 I can accept quests from anyone and even betray them if I choose to. Everything *Feels* right. I feel involved. My choices have consequences. But even betraying the Rebels to the invading Orcs in one town does not mean you can not fight against the Orcs in favor of the Rebels in another. Things are how they should be.

I played Gothic 4 beginning to end in about thirty hours. I completed almost every last quest. I even bothered to explore every niche and cranny of the map to find the hidden artifacts that they put there to give you some reason to bother. What a waste of time. I could have had every bit of the fun I had in less than half the time if I just did not bother with that garbage.

In Gothic 3, the map is *HUGE*. Really easily three or four times the size of Gothic 4’s invisible wall syndrome maps.

The above text is entirely true. I may have to bother to write a hateful review of Gothic 4. But it would not be worth reading unless you like hearing how dissatisfied one can possibly be.

Gothic 3 Rain of Fire spell

Gothic 3 Rain of Fire spell

Tell me about the game already!!!

The game itself is huge beyond the scale of the largest RPGs made in recent history. And you the Player Character are not immortal. You can do what you want, but you will pay for it if you choose poorly. In the early parts of the game it may seem that all actions are as simple as they appear. And you will not realize the full scale of this massive game for days or even weeks of solid play.

Even the NPCs that are seemingly vital to the storyline are not immortal. (With few exceptions) You can learn a variety of skills and abilities and spells. But you can also ruin everything in an area or town rather quickly if you get caught stealing from the wrong NPC or going where you should not go. NPCs will commonly tell you that you can not go into a certain area because they do not trust you. You can usually find a bunch of tasks to do for them and those around them to gain respect and prove your worth to them. Then they may trust you.

The tasks are rather well thought out. They are not always the same “FedEx” quests where you deliver a package to an NPC far away. Most quests have several ways that you can complete them. Even the common “FedEx” quests are usually possible to solve in other ways. You can sell the package to another NPC that wants the package for some other purpose. You can tell them you are not their servant and refuse to carry the package anywhere. You can kill the quest giver in some cases, but that has to be done carefully to avoid limiting your options in that area or town.

You start the game in a small town full of wimpy slaves that are being heavily oppressed by the Orcish invaders. The Orcs are in charge. They have already won their war against the Humans. You start in a fight for the town against the invading Orcs. And you will later learn that this town is purely a tutorial. The Orcs here are the weakest you will ever face in the game by far. You could possibly lose the fight, but I fail to see how.

Once you have drove the Orcs out and claimed the town in the name of the Rebels, you have to walk around looting. Left click over a body of a fallen human or Orc and just press “Y” to loot everything. This will save you loads of time if you grow accustomed to it.

Gothic 3 Sword Fight

Gothic 3 Sword Fight

The controls:

The controls are very well thought out as well. I suggest trying to get used to the default controls before you make any rash decision to change everything just because you are not familiar with these controls.

The standard WSAD controls are the usual move forward, move backward, strafe left, and strafe right respectively. Q and E are a bit different from most games. They turn left and turn right respectively. The Left Alt key is the jump key, and the left Control key brings up and hides the quickbar. The quickbar does not have to be showing to work. You can hide it at any time. The T key is a bit troublesome for me. Since I kill loads of things and have to use the Y key to quickly loot everything they had. But the T key changes between first person view and third person view.

Most everything is controllable through the left mouse button. Like looting. Press the left mouse button while targeting the thing to loot and press left mouse to open the loot menu. Then one press of the Y button will loot everything they had and close the loot menu.  The Middle mouse button is the toggle for fight or normal modes. You can not loot or talk to or operate anything while in fight mode. And being in fight mode is usually a certain way to have guards warn you to “Put away the weapon” or “Stop doing magic” or whatever else they say. If you ignore their warnings they will usually attack you.

Gothic 3 Nordmar

Gothic 3 Nordmar

And speaking of attacks…

Usually, unless you actually kill someone or make an enemy of someone or just really mess up in a very bad way, no-one save monsters and certain groups of Humans and Orcs are ever really trying to kill you. They will fight you, and beat you like a red-headed step child. And then they will take a bunch of your stuff as their own. Sometimes you can run away and they will just give up and let you get away with whatever you did to incur their wrath. But that does not mean they will be warm and forgiving to you when you return.

You also have the OPTION of killing them or not. When you use most melee weapons you can fight Humans and Orcs until they fall and then loot them and take their weapons as well. But to kill them with melee weapons you have to stand over them and press shift while left clicking them. Then you will kneel down and impale them. However, note that fighting with magic or ranged weapons is ALWAYS fatal. Even for you.

Gothic 3 Sword of Fire spell

Gothic 3 Sword of Fire spell

Sounds and Voice Acting:

The sounds are great. The Voice acting is also great. This is the way games are supposed to feel. Do not expect the lips to sync with the words. That is just stupid beyond my understanding. This is a GAME, not a MOVIE. Everything feels right in the audio. Really. When I fight with a sword and shield. I swing the sword at a tree and it sounds like I just hit a sword to a tree. It is not the cheap garbage that other games do. Other lesser games use the same generic *Clang* sound of a sword hitting another sword for everything a sword could hit. This game has the class to even have different effects for different weapons. I have not tested all of them, but hitting an Orc with a staff does not generate the generic sounds I heard when I hit an Orc with a sword. Spells are similar in that they have unique sounds for most spells. I can not say all because I have not managed to get every spell yet.

Music:

The following is again a quote from the comments on another page. And it perfectly describes the music.

Even the in game music is great. Do not quote me on this until I find a reference, but I believe all the in game music was recorded from the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. I normally disable music in games, but in this game, the change of music can tell you that you have entered combat. (I.E. Something is trying to hurt you.)

Gothic 3 Bow & Gargoyle

Gothic 3 Bow & Gargoyle

The best of all: The Storyline and Plot:

The game is huge. Beyond huge. It is simply massive. How massive? Check the maps from the World of Gothic site:

http://www.worldofgothic.com/gothic3/?go=g3maps_rendered

http://www.worldofgothic.com/gothic3/?go=g3maps

Why two links? Because they have the maps separated into those rendered in the game itself and those made outside the game.

The plot is a touchy subject. I do not want to spoil it for you. It is a great game. And the plot and story are things that you really have to discover in the game itself to appreciate. And you will appreciate it if you give it a chance. It is NOT an easy game though. You will be challenged. You will find that unlike most games that claim to have replay value, this one really does. I started playing on the side of the Rebels. I tried to be a “Good” guy. But in time I saw that the game is too complex to have a “Good” side and a “Bad” side. It simply has sides. Not just two. Not just a handful. You are your own side. Do what feels right. And on your second and subsequent playthroughs you can again do what feels right and have a very different experience with the game.

Gothic 3 Varant

Gothic 3 Varant

Overall:

I rarely ever recommend a game to anyone. But I recommend this game with the Community Patch to anyone who wants to play a very long action RPG with nice graphics and good sound effects thrown in just to make it all the better.

Comments are welcomed. They remind me that someone is reading these articles. Please take the time to say something. Even a well worded insult at least tells me you read the article. Be well everyone.

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29 Comments

  1. Comments  Vagiel   |  Wednesday, 15 December 2010 at 7:56 AM

    Your review is quite informative and seems very enthusiastic. I was recently going to start G3 with all the community patch, which seems to really make the game stand, and i was convinced to do so by your opinion. It is rare nowadays for true rpgs to stand out and to be appreciated, keep up the good fight.

  2. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Thursday, 16 December 2010 at 12:15 AM

    @Vagiel

    Thank you. You will not be disappointed. It is a great game. I am still playing it a few hours every day. I still have quite a bit to go through before the end of the game.

    I wrote the review on the first of December. I am still playing it more than two weeks later. It really is a great game. It is quite sad that so many let the first impression ruin such a great game experience.

    Just remember to save often and do not delete your savegames. Try to have something in your field of view that will remind you of the significance of that savegame. It does not let you name your saves.

  3. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Thursday, 16 December 2010 at 12:25 AM

    Also, the most terrible game in the series, Forsaken Gods, has been announced for an upcoming community patch that will supposedly be free to download. There will also be an edition sold that will incorporate this patch be default.

    Here is a link to the discussion thread about it.
    http://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/showthread.php?t=902795

  4. Comments  Karthik   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 7:17 AM

    Thanks for this wonderful review, I had skipped Gothic 3 in the beginning due to bugs, but after reading your review, I have decided to give this game a shot with the community patch..

  5. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 1:29 PM

    You are most welcome. It is really a good game. I just have trouble deciding what way to end it. (There are multiple Gods to choose from)

  6. Comments  Andreas   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 1:31 PM

    I have the same opinions of this game as you. I have, however, only played it with the official patches. The only bug I found when playing it for well over 60 hours, was that the water textures were sometimes overlapping the land textures. I got used to it and was only annoying at some points. For the rest it ran perfectly and the experience of playing this game is unique and truly fantastic.

  7. Comments  Naota   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Hi Omni. Long time no see mate. =P

  8. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 9:22 PM

    @Andreas
    It is better by far with the community patch. And I think it fixes some of the water issues too.

    @Naota
    Hello. I intend to post another topic soon. But life is getting a bit troubling. Try to be patient. :)

  9. Comments  Naota   |  Tuesday, 08 February 2011 at 10:32 PM

    No worries. Just saying hi.

  10. Comments  Wolf   |  Monday, 21 February 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Hello.it’s a really good game indeed,but i still have a problem : it doesn’t display the names of NPC,xp won after a kill/win,leveling up,achievement etc. I first installed the game,the previous patches and in the end 1.74 .I tried after this to install just 1.74 after i install the game…and the same. Do you have any idea what is wrong ?

  11. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 21 February 2011 at 11:38 PM

    @Wolf

    Hmmm. I can tell you one thing definitively, you do not need any patch but 1.74.

    The first thing I would check is going through the options and looking for anything about the subtitles and try enabling it all.

    Test if that changes anything. If not then try backing up the file called Gothic3.ttf and replacing it with the same file from the install DVD. Test if that works, and if not then remove the file and restore the same named file from the patch again.

    If that fails, check out the following thread. And those forums are very helpful too.

    http://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/showthread.php?t=947866

    I would like to help you, but I am unsure what is happening to your system. Have you tried uninstalling it entirely and reinstalling both the game and the 1.74 patch?

    I presume you are using a normal DVD install and using only the 1.74 patch. Anything else you do from there could easily be the cause of the problem.

    Let me know if this does not help. I want to resolve this.

  12. Comments  Wolf   |  Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Well…problem solved.I installed G3 and just 1.74.I made this before,yesterday,but i can’t explain why it didn’t work from the first time.I used to play a lot Gothic,but this time they made it bad…in my opinion G3 was released too early.I’m curious how it will be the game with this patch installed ’cause before it wass messed up,damn disappointing.And about 1.74 : on the official site they said it’s not a cumulative patch…it’s jus another one from a long list :))

  13. Comments  Wolf   |  Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 5:13 AM

    Three more things :
    1.How you played the game,with the Alternative balance on or off ?
    2.What’s for the “Alternative A.I.” difficulty ? What it does ?
    3.Where are the crates that Ukrass wants ? ( an orc from Cape Dun )

  14. Comments  Wolf   |  Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Ooops,my mistake,you were right,it’s a cumulative patch.I’ve read the comment for 1.73 then.For the 1.74 patch they say :

    “The CP 1.74 contains all previous patches. So you need only this patch to update Gothic 3.1.7x savegames are compatible with CP 1.74. Older savegames (1.60 or earlier) are not compatible.”

    Still,i have 3 questions :
    1.Did you played the game with the Alternative balancing on or off?
    2.What’s for the Alternative A.I. difficulty ?
    3.Where are the crates that Ukrass wants ?

  15. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 10:13 PM

    First I played with AA on. Second, AAI is just another option on how the game works. They are not dependent upon one another, but they are major overhauls. Each changes many, many things. Far too many to type out here. The changelog tells all the details, but suffice it to say that I think the game is better with all these changes enabled.

    Third, the crates are in a cave nearby. I think they are the oil crates. I could be mistaken though.

    Any other questions?

    In most cases, the answers are probably easier to find yourself on the WorldofGothic site. But I will answer anything I am able to. Sadly that requires you to wait until I have a few minutes free to check and find the answer.

    I am glad you have it working. I was a bit worried I may have messed up the instructions or failed to mention something. :)

  16. Comments  Wolf   |  Saturday, 26 February 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Thanks for your help.I have one more question : what should i choose,the magic or good old sword ? I have 180 learning points and i still don’t know what to do with them.It’s powerful the mage ? I’m afraid that in a close combat i will be killed as a mage.Please give me an opinion ASAP

  17. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Sunday, 27 February 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Sorry about the delay.

    I went in as a mage. You fling spells to kill or weaken them, then you run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off until you have enough mana to fling more spells.

    Swords are good too. It is your call. You can even stick with the good old bow and arrows to kill them like a mage but without mana.

    Note that with a sword it is possible to knock humanoids out, and you have to go intentionally kill them. But with magic they are dead when they drop.

  18. Comments  Wolf   |  Sunday, 27 February 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Well,for now i’ve used the learning points on ancient knowledge,strenght,staff fighting and some spell learned at Innos’s statue from Vengard.I’m in a real difficulty fighting with the whole city of orcs…and they have some shamans that are really pissing me off.I want to become an fire mage,but i need around 60 more learning points.Does it helps somehow the staff fighting ? Until now it’s completely useless…it makes the killing harder,the character is moving slow in comparation with a one handed sword…or even two handed.Well…i’ll have to wait untill i pass at least 10-15 levels,to increase my mana and ancient knowledge,so i can use only spells all the time.Thanks for your time once again.

  19. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Sunday, 27 February 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Honestly, I never found a staff worth using. They simply do not exist.

    Just fling the simple spells like firebolts around and then run in circles until you have enough mana to continue. The entire game is too easy like this really.

    You probably do not want to kill every orc you see though. Do their quests first if you must, then butcher them mercilessly.

    Shaman are the orc mages, and thus the first to pick off. And anyone with a ranged weapon can also be a problem. But it is easier to evade bolts and arrows than spells.

    Have you discovered the WOG site yet? They will have answers to most questions, but a lot has changed since it was written. And the community patch makes some of it utterly useless.
    http://www.worldofgothic.com/gothic3/

  20. Comments  Wolf   |  Sunday, 27 February 2011 at 4:37 PM

    I’ve had a look on WOG.They have some answers,but i wanted the opinion of a player that finished the game.Like you said,i killed the shamans first in Vengard,they are a really problem.After you kill them you stand a chance of killing the group.It’s sadly that i must wait until i have enough learning points to increase my ancient knowledge in order to become a fire mage,learn all the heavy damage spells and increase my mana.

  21. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Really, by the late game I think that each ending is about the same. There is no good path or bad path. Just different ways to go.

    Innos and Beliar by definition will always fight one-another. Adanos is the one I really thought had the best path to take, but it is up to you to choose. And you can always replay to try another route.

    I have tried all three main paths, as well as the other path… But that is another subject altogether. I must not speak of that path. Call it a secret way if you want to.

    Honestly, most of the heavy damage spells take too long to cast to be worthwhile. You would be dead before you finished casting them in most cases. That is the biggest flaw in the game. The simplest spells are the best as you get your Ancient Knowledge up enough to get Mana Regen. (Have you been to the castle behind the barrier yet? If not go to Gothos to get the teleport stone.)

  22. Comments  Wolf   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 3:23 AM

    You mean Vengard ? Yes,i’ve took the teleport stone,been there and cleaned up the whole city of orcs :)) Now i must complete the quests from there.A dissapointment was the magician robe from Karrypto,it’s almost useless.I’m curious how it will be the good old paladin armour,i still have to make reputation,i have only 30 with the rebels.And about mana regeneration…i have to wait a while until i make enough learning points to reach 200 ancient knowledge so i can learn it.I would rather increase my mana for the moment so i can fight with fireballs all the time

  23. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 1:55 PM

    In a way, mana and health regen are useless. Just loot plants everywhere and you can make food and potions for everything.

    Have you spoken to Xardoz? He is up north in Nordmar. And with a few exceptions, all orcs in Nordmar will attack on sight. So feel free to kill and loot them for sport.

    If I am remembering correctly, you need 60 Rebel faction for the Paladin armor, but you can find some elsewhere on a dead paladin.

    Have you gotten the original Paladin Helmet? It is the best in the game if my rusty memory serves me correctly.

  24. Comments  Wolf   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 3:14 PM

    For the moment,i’m keeping the learning points to upgrade my ancient knowledge so i can reach 200 ancient knowledge,learn all the heavy damage spells and become a fire mage.I found some really nice summon spells at the Beliar altars.

    No,i didn’t spoke with Xardas yet.I still have reputation to make in Montera,i have one more quest to accomplish,and after that i must liberate the city(here i have a problem,on the last quest “How loyal are the Orcs’ mercenaries? ” given by Marik i’m supposed to have a letter,which i can’t find,with that letter i should get a password that calls the rebels to conquer Montera).

    About the Paladin armor,actually i need 50% reputation with the rebels…and that dead paladin i don’t know yet where is it.

    For the Paladin Helmet i will go when i reach that city.I want to conquer the map step by step…city by city.

    Once again,thanks for your time,you’re really helping me out.

  25. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I think the letter you need for Marik’s quest is in one of the slave houses. I could easily be getting that quest mixed up with another though. It is nearby in the city though. I think one of the slaves is selling artifacts. Watch where he goes to sleep at if you are stuck.

    I wish I could recall more useful information. But I could easily be leading you down the wrong path. It has been a few months since I last played it and the quests are all mixing together.

    You need not thank me. I am happy to hear that someone enjoys the game as much as I did.

  26. Comments  Wolf   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 5:48 PM

    “I am happy to hear that someone enjoys the game as much as I did ” … are you kidding,this is my favourite RPG game,after Gothic follows The Witcher.

    Well i made a mistake with that quest…i killed the lazy guard that was hiding at the rebel’s meeting place near that tower.Now it’s too late to take it from there,i’ve made a lot of quests since then,and some of them i will hardly do again.I’m planning to liberate the city with Gorn’s help,and i hope i will have 100 reputation in Montera after that,now i have only 83 reputation.I’ll try to find that slave you say…but i don’t think i’m gonna find anything because i’ve read on a forum that the letter must be taken from a rebel.They said that are more rebels around Montera…but i found just those near the tower.

    Well…i’ll see next weekend what i’m gonna do,when i’m coming home.Tomorrow morning i’m going back to work.Have a nice week.

  27. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 28 February 2011 at 6:34 PM

    To clarify, Gothic 3 received terrible reviews because at launch it was unplayable and impossibly bug ridden.

    Since the Community patch there has been so remarkable a change that it is not really even fair to say it is the same game.

    The Witcher is also a game I like. It had terrible reviews initially for exactly the same reasons. But they released a few patches that really fixed every last bug. It seems no-one bothers to update reviews after patches are released.

    The Witcher Enhanced Edition is the same old game with the 1.4 patch incorporated. Then you are just on patch away from the 1.5 version that is practically perfect.

    If I find time I will write a review of it one of these days. The “Moldy Oldies” should get more praise. They are good games.

    The same people who made the Community patch for Gothic 3 are still working to make Forsaken Gods into something worth playing. When they do I expect I will spend a solid week or two playing it.

    I am loath to do such things, but feel free to e-mail me directly at OmniNegro potato at potato gmail potato com. Removing the word for a vegetable to get the correct address. I think I can handle the spam that will slip through. :)

  28. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 5:29 PM

    The Gothic Forsaken Gods patch has finally been released!

    Check it out. And enjoy!
    http://www.madvulture.de/wp/gothic-3-forsaken-gods-enhanced-edition

  29. Comments  Eric   |  Monday, 18 July 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Thank you for this review, it was most useful.

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