Strategy Guide - Guide for Sacred
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The Unofficial Sacred FAQ A work in progress by Yoko Kurama (Version of March 3rd, 2004) Introduction This document offers answers to frequently asked questions about the demo version of Ascaron's upcoming release, "Sacred". It also provides answers to questions about the release version, however, several aspects of the international final product are still in flux. This FAQ is an unofficial document and does not necessarily reflect Ascaron's opinions; all information within is subject to change, and there is no guarantee that all answers are accurate. Please do not distribute the document without permission. No one would benefit from different, outdated versions of a resource that is meant to be useful. For suggestions, corrections, or questions, please leave a message at http://www.ascaron-forum.com or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. *** A revision history can be found at the bottom of the document. *** Overview A. General * Who developed Sacred? * Who publishes and distributes Sacred? * Where can I download the English demo version? * Is there a Macintosh or a Linux version? * I heard the game is like Diablo? * I heard the US version won't have "gore". True? * What exactly will be missing? * I am Canadian, will I still get the declawed US version? * I am Australian, which version will we get? * Will there be technical problems if I get an import version? * I didn't see any blood in the demo, how come? * Will there be a version in French language? * Do all three versions feature the same cover artwork? * Can I pre-order Sacred? * How much does it cost? * Can I get the soundtrack CD that the Germans get? * Can I use saved games/characters from the demo in the release? * Are there English fan sites for Sacred? * Where can I download Sacred wallpapers for my desktop? B. Features * What are the six character classes? * Can I change the gender of my character? * Are there levels? What's the maximum level? * Are there rare, set and unique items in Sacred? * Are items and drops random? * Are there different difficulty levels? * Can you tell me more about the horse? * How many different monster types are there in Sacred? * Do monsters respawn? * Does Sacred feature random maps? * Are all areas in Sacred forest regions? * Is there an editor for Sacred? Can I make mods? * Can I interact with the environment? * Does Sacred have a day/night cycle? * Does Sacred have weather effects? * Does this game support PvP and Hardcore? * What are the available screen resolutions? C. Gameplay * How do I assign skill and attribute points? * I only got one attribute point, where did the others go? * How many points does the game add to my attributes? * How do I learn a new skill? * I don't see the "New Skill" option anywhere. What's up? * How many skill points do I get? * Can I "save up" skill and attribute points? * How do I learn and increase combat arts? * Doesn't that make increasing combat arts random? * Is higher always better, in regard to combat arts? * I read about "combos". How do you make them? * What in the world is a "combo"? * Will the combos be updated when I raise a skill? * How do I socket equipment with runes and jewellery? * Are there hotkeys? How do you configure them? * Five hotkeys each? How do I get the ten slots? * How do I assign a weapon to a hotkey/slot? * How do I assign a weapon and a shield to a hotkey/slot? * How do I assign a special attack to a hotkey/slot? * How do I assign a combo to a hotkey/slot? * Where can I find an in-game map? * How can I open the quest log? Is there one? * Can I highlight chests, barrels and other containers? * Will my Vampiress die or get damaged when day dawns? * Why does my character stop fighting when I drink a potion? * Why are the potions so expensive? * How do you stack potion bottles? * Is the blue chest I see in every town like the D2 chest? * How/where can I buy a horse? * Do I have to feed my horse? * How do I mount or dismount my horse? * Why can't I use my special attack from horseback? * Why can't I use any combo from horseback? * Can I take my horse everywhere? * When I dismount the horse, can monsters attack it? * If I die, does my horse also die? * Is my horse invulnerable when I am mounted on it? * Is there a way to call the horse? * How do I "trample" monsters into the ground? * Why do I always dismount when I pick up items? * Is there a way to prevent that my ranged character runs towards enemies? * The $!@# kids in town annoy me! Can I kill 'em?! * I walk around and all monsters die when they see me! * I saw a huge spider across a river. Can I kill it? * Did my arrows/spells just miss?! * What level can be reached in the demo? * How many quests are there in the demo? * When does the demo end? Is there a time limit? * At the end of the demo it says I saw 30-40% of the world. That small? * Where do I find these statistics? D. Multiplayer * Does Sacred support multiplayer gaming? * Can I play online with my single player character? * Is the closed Ascaron.net similar to battle.net? * I heard battle.net was full of cheaters. Will Ascaron.net be like that? * Will I have to pay for playing on Ascaron.net? * I heard you can't currently create closed a.net games? * Can two people play on a LAN with just one copy of the game? * Do all players need the same language/country version? * How many people can play in an online game session? * Sacred has a huge world, how will I find my party? * What about player killing (PK)? Is it allowed? * Do I need broadband to be able to play online? * Can I password protect my games and just play with mates? * Can I prevent high level characters from joining my game? * Will I be able to "mule" solo? * How many characters can I have online? * Won't the "pick up all" option help item grabbers? * I heard that there is no trading screen? E. Technical Stuff and Bugs * What kind of computer do I need for Sacred? * Why is Windows 98FE (First Edition) not supported? * Do I really need DirectX 9? * I can't minimize the demo with ALT+TAB! * The demo runs slowly and freezes! * I noticed some grammar and spelling mistakes. * I can see a magical stash, but can't reach it. Help! * Help, I am stuck in the landscape! * My Seraphim stands on the horse! What's up with that? * Pathfinding really sucks, has that been fixed, too? * I loaded a demo savegame. Why is my character's name "PlayerName"? * I need technical help. Who can I contact? Q: Who developed Sacred? A: Sacred is developed by the German company Ascaron. They have been in the game development business since 1991 and are well-known for eco-sims like the popular Patrician and Port Royale series. Sacred is their first action-roleplaying game. Q: Who publishes and distributes Sacred? A: The German version of Sacred is distributed by Take2. Koch Media distributes the UK version, and Encore is the distributor of the North-American version. In Scandinavia, Sacred is published by Atari. Red Ant is the publisher for Australia, Akella for Russia, Take2 for the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), WWE for South Africa, and in France Sacred will be distributed by SG Diffusion. Check back later for information on Sacred publishers for other areas of the world. Q: Where can I download the English demo version? A: The English demo can be downloaded from a number of sites. The "official" download site appears to be http://www.edbisfiles.com/all/index.php?dlid=461, but you can also get it from http://www.gamershell.com/download_5124.shtml and numerous other locations. Q: Is there a Macintosh or Linux version? A: No, and there are apparently no plans to develop Sacred for platforms other than MS-Windows. It supports Windows 98SE through Windows XP. Note that Windows 98FE is not supported. Q: I heard the game is like Diablo? A: Sacred is an action computer roleplaying game with a medieval fantasy setting. You slip in the role of one of six character classes, and face the adventures and epic battles that await you in the world of Ancaria. Visit http://www.ascaron.com for more detailed information about the game's background story. Sacred is often compared to Blizzard's classic game Diablo II. The games do have a lot in common, but they are nonetheless independent titles. Sacred is not a "clone", but introduces a large number of new, innovative features, while also incorporating aspects that gamers have loved in other games. Sacred offers thirty main quests, two hundred sub-quests, and a huge world full of vibrant life. Diablo II is not the only title that Sacred is compared to. Some players felt positively reminded of Divine Divinity, while others saw similarities to Baldur's Gate, Blade & Sword, and Ultima Online. If you enjoyed any of these games, Sacred is for you. Q: I heard the US version won't have "gore". True? Yes, this is true. The North-American publisher, Encore, wanted to get a teen rating for the game. In order to achieve this, the full gore option was taken out of the US version. There has been talk about whether it will be possible to turn on full gore by ways of editing the textual configuration file, but Mirko Worsley from Ascaron posted a definite statement to end the speculations: "It will NOT be possible to change any part of the config file to include blood in the US version. It will also NOT be possible to add settings in the registry, create a blood patch for the US Version to include blood. In general, it will NOT be possible to do this." Q: What exactly will be missing? A: Alan Wild of Ascaron UK said about this question, "I just want to clarify some points in the discussion on Blood & Gore. The version which has been tagged as 'NON-Blood&Gore' has the following differences from the European version: There is no dismemberment of enemies; There is no blood 'pooling' around corpses; There is no blood 'squirting' from wounds, corpses or lost limbs. However, there are still blood 'splats' or blood 'clouds'. Blood has not been totally removed from the North American version. Equally, there are no gameplay changes whatsoever. The above notes are the only changes between versions." Q: I am Canadian, will I still get the declawed US version? A: Yes, Canada is part of North-America and you get the same version as your neighbours. The UK import version is also available in a number of places. Q: I am Australian, which version will we get? A: According to Alan Wild of Ascaron UK. the Australian version will be identical to the North-American version of Sacred (no gore). The UK import version is also available in a number of places. Q: Will there be technical problems if I get an import version? A: No. Seraphine of Ascaron wrote in a post that the executable files are identical in all versions. This indicates that you won't have any update/patch problems with, for example, the UK version if you live in North America, or if you are in Germany and play with the US version. Also, you can play online regardless of the language version you use, or what the people you play with use. CD keys are also not bound to a certain language version of the game (confirmed by Ingo Mohr). Q: I didn't see any blood in the demo, how come? A: It is there, but you might need to first turn it on in the options menu. Q: Will there be a version in French language? A: Yes, it seems so, though little is known about it. Ascaron's Topdog said, "Sacred is due to launch in France in full French (over 100k words) in April , localisation process is now completing and then [the] test process needs to be completed. Our target date is April 16th." Q: Do all three Sacred versions feature the same cover artwork? No. All three major distributions of Sacred exhibit distinct cover artwork. You can view samples at the following locations: German version http://www.ascaron.com/d/sacred/zoom1.asp?bild=sacred_cover_artwork.jpg UK/European version http://www.ascaron.com/gb/gb_sacred/zoom1.asp?bild=sacred_cover_3d_gb.jpg US/Canada version http://www.encoresoftware.com/images/games/Sacred_SB_LT_M.jpg Joe177 also posted the link of the concept art for the German version. It was not used for the final product, but the horse with the sword wielding Seraphim appears on the cover of the UK/European version. You can see it here: http://www.noxqs-orden.de/Sacred/cover.jpg. Q: Can I pre-order Sacred? A: Yes, most of the large game dealers allow you to pre-order Sacred so that you get it on the release day. Q: How much does it cost? A: This depends on where you order it. The retail price for the US version is 39,99 USD, and the German version's recommended price is 49,99 Euro. However, these prices vary from vendor to vendor. Q: Can I get the soundtrack CD that the Germans get? A: No. The soundtrack CD was only given to customers who pre-ordered the game directly at the online shop of Ascaron Germany. It was an exclusive offer. As far as I know, no such offer has been made for the international versions. Q: Can I use saved games/characters from the demo in the release? A: No. The saved games and characters of the demo version are not compatible with the full release of Sacred. Q: Are there English fan sites for Sacred? A: Yes, there is a number of fan sites for Sacred. http://www.sacred-fans.net is the most established source for information about Sacred in English language. Another site worth visiting is http://www.planetsacred.com. A general fan site for Ascaron games is located at http://www.ascaron-fanpage.com/. The official forums can be found at http://www.ascaron-forum.com. Q: Can I download Sacred wallpapers for my desktop? A: Check out http://www.sacred-fans.net/view/wallpapers.html for a number of beautiful wallpapers in different sizes. B. Features Q: What are the six character classes? A: You can choose between the Battle Mage, the Vampiress, the Wood Elf, the Dark Elf, the Gladiator and the Seraphim. In the demo, only the latter two classes are available. Detailed descriptions of the classes can be found at http://www.ascaron.com/gb/gb_sacred/gb_sacred_diecharaktere.html. For information on class skills, check out the character information at http://www.sacred-fans.net. Q: Can I change the gender of my character? A: No, the genders of the six classes are "fixed". Battle Mage, Gladiator and Dark Elf are male, and Wood Elf, Seraphim and Vampiress are female. Q: Are there levels? What's the maximum level? A: Yes, there are levels. This particular question has been the cause of a lot of confusion in the past few weeks and months. Various Ascaron officials gave different answers, ranging from 150 to 250 to unlimited. Shortly before the release of the German version, Ascaron now cleared this up and officially confirmed that there will be no maximum level at all. That's right, you can just keep leveling your character for as long as you want. Whether that's very practical is another topic altogether. But for now (first release at least), there will not be a level cap for characters. The same is likely to apply to the levels of skills and combat arts, though at least skill levels cannot exceed the character level. Q: How many different skills are there? A: There is a total of twenty-seven different skills, most of which are available to all character classes, though not all classes can learn every skill at the same level. Some have to wait a bit longer. Note that the skills are not combat arts or spells. Each character class has, in addition to the skills, a unique set of up to twenty "special moves" (combat arts) and spells. Skills give passive bonuses or allow you to do certain things better, for instance riding a stronger horse, or wiedling two weapons at the same time. Combat arts and spells are active, meaning that you can use them and "something happens". Q: Are there rare, set and unique items in Sacred? A: Yes, there are, and class-specific items as well. Q: Are items and drops random? A: Except for quest related items, the treasure drops are random. Some items are generated with random stats and attributes. It is also possible that items have skill modifiers. Q: Are there different difficulty levels? A: Yes, there are four difficulty levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. You can start a character in either bronze or silver, but you need to beat the game in silver to unlock the gold difficulty. When you have won Sacred in gold, you can enter the platinum difficulty to face the real challenge! Q: Can you tell me more about the horse? A: Yes. It is big, has four legs, and ... oh! That's not what you wanted to know? All right, then. :-) Horses in Sacred are more than mere eye-candy. First and foremost, they enable your character to cross wide areas of Ancaria faster, which drastically shortens the time required to travel to a far away place. But horses are also weapons. You can "crash into" enemies and trample over them. Depending on the level of your riding skill, you can choose between different types of horses, ranging from fragile animals that faint when they spot a goblin to elite horses that will take you to hell and bring you safely back. Horses can be equipped with special gear to improve their performance further. The Gameplay section of this FAQ contains additional information about the horse. Q: How many different monster types are there in Sacred? A: According to Ascaron, Sacred features about "270 different opponents which are [roughly] 100 different types of monsters, not including sub types". Q: Do monsters respawn? A: Yes. Monsters respawn even in the single player campaign. Mirko of Ascaron said, "The monsters will respawn after a time. In freed areas, there will be fewer monsters than before. During the story the character will move through some regions several times. Later in the story line, regions will be overrun by the undead. Then there will be a fresh respawn in this region." According to Seraphine, also from Ascaron, more monsters spawn in higher difficulty settings. Q: Does Sacred feature random maps? A: Sadly, no. Sacred offers a large and beautifully designed world, but its geography is static. Areas, including dungeons, are not randomly generated. Q: Are all areas in Sacred forest regions? A: No, not at all. There are sixteen very different, distinct tilesets, including deserts, polar areas and mountains. Q: Is there an editor for Sacred? Can I make mods? A: As of this point in time, there is no editor and also no support for player-created mods. Ascaron has not announced any plans to change this in the foreseeable future. The game world is very large and features different tilesets, though. It won't get boring very fast. The Editors which the Developers use are too complicated for the Public and these will therefore not be released either. Q: Can I interact with the environment? A: The world of Sacred is a lively one. Animated animals can be found everywhere, and the cities are populated by NPCs. You can initiate a conversation with many of them, and you can even see (by the little icons above their heads) what each of these NPCs is currently thinking about, doing or going to do. There are hidden stashes and uncounted containers, just waiting to be looted by you. Unlike in many other games of this genre, the world in Sacred feels alive and vibrant. Sacred also has "henchmen", though they only join you temporarily (as part of quests). Q: Does Sacred have a day/night cycle? A: Yes, and the gameplay is affected by this cycle, too. For instance, the Vampiress' abilities depend on whether it is dark or light; she cannot "bite" creatures when the sun shines brightly. Q: Does Sacred have weather effects? A: Yes, it does. Weather effects do not really affect the gameplay, though, except that it can be a bit harder to find your way around when it's really foggy in Ancaria. Usually, the fog clears up quickly, though. Q: Does this game support PvP and Hardcore? A: The PvP option is optional. See the Multiplayer section of this FAQ for more information on the available multiplayer modes. Sacred also has a hardcore mode where your character only has one life. This is optional also. The hardcore mode is available only for online games, not for single-player. Q: What are the available screen resolutions? A: Sacred only supports 1024x728. Lower or higher resolutions are not offered. However, there are three zoom levels, so that you can zoom out for a broader view, or zoom in if you are prone to eye strain. C. Gameplay Q: How do I assign skill and attribute points? A: You need to open the character's inventory ("I" key), or click on the flashing plus symbol next to your character portrait. The skill/attribute scores are on the top right. It says either "Skills" or "Attributes", and there is a small circle that's either red or green. Click on this circle to switch between attributes and skills. To assign an attribute point, click on the plus sign next to the attribute you'd like to raise. Raising a skill works in the same way. Skill levels cannot be higher than your character level. Q: I only got one attribute point, where did the others go? A: Sacred uses a different system than other games in this genre. While you can distribute skill points freely, you can only assign one of the stat points that you get at a level up to an attribute of your choice. The game assigns the others automatically, depending on the chosen character's class. The purpose is to allow diversity, while also preserving the typical aspects of each class. Q: How many points does the game add to my attributes? A: 10% of the starting score. If your character starts with a mental regeneration of 30, the game will automatically increase the mental regeneration attribute by three points every time you gain a level. After the game has done this, you get to distribute your one attribute point per level. While this seems minor, with this one point you can really influence your character's development. A level 50 character might have hundreds of hitpoints more than other characters, because the player put all points into strength (which increases the number of hitpoints). Q: How do I learn a new skill? A: Go to your skill menu/list (as explained above), and you might see the option to learn a "New Skill". If it is there, select it and then choose the new skill you'd like to pick up (click the plus symbol). This new skill will be at skill level 1. Note that picking up a new skill does not use up one of your available skill points, even though it starts at skill level 1. To increase an already known skill, click on the skill's plus sign. (Note that skills and special class attacks/combat arts are not the same thing. All classes have access to the same skills, but combat arts are specific to each character class.) Q: I don't see the "New Skill" option anywhere. What's up? A: You can learn a new skill at levels 3, 6, 12, 20, 30 and 50 (in addition to the two that you are starting out with. It is possible to save up those new skills, but not necessarily the best approach. Q: How many skill points do I get? A: The number of skill points that you receive depends on your character level. At level 2, you get one skill point. At levels 3 through 11, you receive two points every time you gain a level. At levels 12 through 29, you receive three skill points, and starting at level 30 you get four skll points every time your level increases. Q: Can I "save up" skill and attribute points? A: Yes, if you don't use new attribute or skill points, they'll just sit around and add up. You can assign them to attributes and skills at a later time. Q: How do I learn and increase combat arts? A: In order to learn or increase a special attack, you need to find the appropriate rune for the particular combat art you wish to learn or increase. Right-click the rune in your inventory to add it to your selection of combat arts. If this is a new special attack for your character, he or she learns it. If you have already learned it previously, the level of the combat art is increased by one. Q: Doesn't that make increasing combat arts random? A: In a way it does, because you never know when, or if, you'll find the desired runes you want. Runes are common drops, though. Some NPCs will allow you to trade runes for combat arts of other classes for one of your own class. In multiplayer, you can also trade with other players. Q: Is higher always better, in regard to combat arts? A: No, definitely not. When you increase the level of a combat art or a spell, the time needed for the combat art or spell to replenlish (become usable again) increases. In some cases this increase is quite drastic. There are some skills that decrease the regeneration time of combat arts and spells, but until you have those at a decent level, you may wish to consider to keep the combat arts and spells at a low level. Q: I read about "combos". How do you make them? A: You need to find a "Combo Master" in the game who will "make" a combo for you. Not for free, however, prepare to pay a nice gold sum for this advantage. How exactly this works is explained in greater detail at this URL: http://www.sacred-fans.net/combos.html. Q: What in the world is a "combo"? A: It is a custom sequence of up to four special attacks that your character can perform. It can be hotkeyed and replayed. It replenishes much like combat arts and spells. For instance, you could have a combo made to shout a "war cry", leap towards an enemy, and release a mighty attack twice in a row. Q: Will the combos be updated when I raise a skill? A: No, the levels of the special attacks in your combos remain where they were at the time when you had the combo made, even if you increase the combat arts later on. Ascaron designer Aarne Jungerberg implied that Combo Masters might offer an upgrade -- for a hefty fee -- in a later patch. Q: How do I socket equipment with runes and jewellery? A: You need to go to a blacksmith who offers this service. The smith can also remove items (runes, rings, etcetera) from sockets, however, as of right now, you will only get one of the socketed objects back. Q: Are there hotkeys? How do you configure them? A: Yes, 1-5 for the weapon slots and 6-0 for the special attacks and combos. In the demo and the first release, it is not possible to configure the hotkeys. This may be changed at a later time. Q: Five hotkeys each? How do I get all ten slots? A: When you start a new character, you only have one slot each for a weapon and for a special attack/combo. As you level up, you'll get more slots. One slot at level 1, two slots at level 2, three slots at level 8, four slots at level 16 and finally five slots at level 30. Q: How do I assign a weapon to a hotkey/slot? A: Drag the weapon into the slot of your choice (to the left of the control panel). Q: How do I assign a weapon and a shield to a hotkey/slot? A: Just drag both the weapon and the shield in the same slot (to the left of the control panel in the middle). This only works with one-handed weapons. Q: How do I assign a special attack to a hotkey/slot? A: Open the inventory ("I" key), select the "combat arts" tab in the middle, and drag the icon of the desired special attack into a hotkey slot (one of the right-handed ones). Q: How do I assign a combo to a hotkey/slot? A: Open the inventory ("I" key), select the "combos" tab on the right side, and drag the icon of the desired combo into a hotkey slot (one of the right-handed ones). Q: Where can I find an in-game map? A: You can either press the "M" key or push the appropriate button on the control panel (bottom-center of your screen). Q: How can I open the quest log? Is there one? A: Yes, there is one, and it's actually very useful. To open it, press the "Q" key (might be "L" in the release) or push the appropriate button on the control panel (bottom-center of your screen). The quest log doesn't only provide information about on-going and completed quests, but also offers statistics and background information. It's quite nice and will soon become your best friend. Q: Can I highlight chests, barrels and other containers? A: Yes, this can be done with the ALT key. Just hold it down. Doors and other entrances are not shown, neither are magical hiding places. Q: Will my Vampiress die or get damaged when day dawns? A: No, but she won't be able to use her special vampire abilities during the daytime. She'll be sort of a human knight when the sun shines. At night, though, she turns into a deadly hunter with pointed teeth and a thirst for blood. Q: Why does my character stop fighting when I drink a potion? A: When your character quaffs a potion, you'll see an animation. During the animation, the character is busy guzzling the fluid and cannot fight back. This way, battles become more challenging since you can't just refresh your health at any given time without possibly fatal consequences. You can use the Option Menu to switch off "Atmospheric Animation" to stop the drinking animation. Q: Why are the potions so expensive? A: The idea is to make the game more challenging and encourage a tactical playstyle. In other words, you'll have to carefully evaluate a situation before you jump right in the middle of it. Also, in the full release you'll not be as broke as in the demo. The relatively rarity of potions is a deliberate feature of Sacred. Q: How do you stack potion bottles? A: You cannot stack potions. Each bottle takes up a square in your inventory. In Sacred, you are only limited by the inventory space, not by weight. It is a trade-off: If you take a lot of potions, you can't carry as much loot. Safety or profit? You decide! Q: Is the blue chest I see in every town like the D2 chest? A: Yes, this blue, shimmering metal chest is your personal town chest. By means of ancient magic, you can access the items in this chest from every town. It is like a bank box. Q: How/where can I buy a horse? A: There are numerous horse traders in the game. In order to buy a horse, you only have to left-click the animal that interests you. A box with information about the horse will show up and you can decide if you wish to purchase it. In the demo, there are two horse traders: One in the garrison in Silver Creek, and one in "Schnabling" (the village where the noble asks for an escort and where the Gandalf look-alike waits for you). Note that for the better horses later in the game you will need a sufficient level in the horse riding skill. Q: Do I have to feed my horse? A: No, the horses in Sacred do not require food or water. Q: How do I mount or dismount my horse? A: To mount or dismount the horse, click on the horse shoe symbol below your character portrait, or, alternativly hold the SHIFT-key while right-clicking the Horse. Q: Why can't I use my special attack from horseback? A: To keep the game balanced, not all special attacks can be used when the character is mounted on a horse. Some special attacks work, some do not (this is listed in the skill description in the game). The only exception is the Wood Elf. All of her attacks can be used from the horse, and some of them even only work when she sits in a saddle. Q: Why can't I use any combo from horseback? A: In the German release version (as of the first patch) you cannot use any combos from horseback, even if they consist of combo arts that work, if used individually, from horseback. This may be a deliberate design decision in order to keep the game balanced. Q: Can I take my horse everywhere? A: No. You cannot take it indoors, and it also cannot be used in dungeons. When you know that you are going to hunt in a dungeon, leave the horse in a safe town. Q: When I dismount the horse, can monsters attack it? A: Yes, the horse is vulnerable when you dismount. If you are in a PvP mode, it can also be killed by players. It may be worthwhile to leave your horse in a town when you hunt in places where the horse gets in the way. Q: If I die, does my horse also die? A: Not necessarily. This may or may not happen, though based on some very basic and by no means sophisticated tests, it seems that monsters don't do anything once you're gone. The horse will still be at the spot where your character got slain. Q: Is my horse invulnerable when I am mounted on it? A: No, it seems that the horse is taking a certain portion of damage that is dealt to the character. The exact details of this are still unknown, though I had my horse killed from under his butt! Q: Is there a way to call the horse? A: Yes. Click on the horse shoe symbol below your character portrait. If you are close to the horse, you'll mount it. If the horse is some distance away, clicking this symbol will make your character whistle for the horse, and it'll come to you. In the demo this can have some obscure side-effects, like the horse popping up in inaccessible places. In the release version, the horse's pathfinding is much better and it walks up to you. Q: How do I "trample" monsters into the ground? A: When you mount a horse, your "attack" special attack symbol in the special attack slot (still with me?) changes to a horse icon. Before you can crash your horse into a monster and damage it, you need to select this special attack (the horse one) and right-click somewhere on the ground. When an aura appears around your mounted character, you are ready to ride over monsters and damage them. This special attack does not require a rune. Q: Why do I always dismount when I pick up items? A: Have you ever tried to pick up something from the ground while sitting on a tall horse? See! Seriously, this is a demo-specific problem and has been changed in the final release of the game. You'll be able to pick up items without dismounting every time. You can work around this by using the "A" key to pick up all items at once (check the options). Q: Is there a way to prevent that my ranged character runs towards enemies? A: Yes, just hold down the control key when you use ranged weapons to attack monsters. In the release, this currently (German version, first patch) does not work when you're mounted. Q: The $!@# kids in town annoy me! Can I kill 'em?! A: No, but you can scare them away by pressing the shift key. In the final release they also will not follow you out of town. Q: I walk around and all monsters die when they see me! A: This isn't an actual bug. You have an item equipped (probably a piece of armor or a weapon) that has an attribute similar to "Enemies with Lower Levels Die on Spot +2". Any monster, whose level is lower than your own, dies when it gets close to you. You do not receive experience if you "instant-kill" a foe this way. While this modifier isn't a bug, there are two related flaws in the demo: a) Equipment with this mod shouldn't drop so early in the game, and b) monsters killed this way shouldn't have a guaranteed drop of a plain item. It is not a bug that they don't give experience, however. Q: I saw a huge spider across a river. Can I kill it? A: In the demo version you can't get on the other side of the stream, but if you find or buy a ranged weapon (a bow, for instance), you can try to slay the spider from the distance. This may take a while, though. Q: Did my arrows/spells just miss?! A: Arrows and spells can miss. They can also be blocked by houses, trees and other obstacles. It is also possible to dodge spells and arrows, by running zig-zag or alternative "evasive manouvers". Q: What level can be reached in the demo? A: You can get to about level eight in the demo, but you'll have to find and kill just about every monster in the demo and also complete all available quests. Most players reach level six or seven when the demo ends. Q: How many quests are there in the demo? A: There is a total of thirteen quests in the demo. The full release features over 290 quests, many of them optional. Q: When does the demo end? Is there a time limit? A: No, you can play for as long as you want, but if you leave the beginner area (where the demo takes place), the game ends. As long as you stay within those borders, you can explore for as long as you wish. Q: At the end of the demo it says I saw 30-40% of the world. Isn't that small? A: The percentage only refers to the tutorial area. This is the part of the map that can be accessed in the demo. The world in the release version is huge and it will take dozens of hours to explore it. Only 70% of the game world is accessible at first, the remaining 30% can be unlocked through quests. There's a lot to see! Q: Where do I find these statistics? A: The statistical information can be found in the quest log. Press the "Q" key to open it or push the appropriate button on the control panel (bottom-center of your screen). One of the tabs here provides information on the progress you've made in the game so far (monsters killed, area discovered, and so on). D. Multiplayer Q: Does Sacred support multiplayer gaming? A: Yes, it does. There are three different multiplayer modes: LAN, TCP/IP (open Ascaron.net) and Internet (closed Ascaron.net). Q: Can I play online with my single player character? A: Yes and no. You can participate in LAN and TCP/IP (open Ascaron.net) games with your single player character, but Internet (closed Ascaron.net) characters are stored on Ascaron's dedicated server. They can only be used for this specific type of online playing. Q: Is the closed Ascaron.net similar to battle.net? A: Yes, it is very similar, though the interface differs a bit. The advantage of playing on closed Ascaron.net is that you can be sufficiently sure that no one has edited or manipulated their character. This makes playing with strangers much more fun. Q: I heard battle.net was full of cheaters. Will Ascaron.net be like that, too? A: At the time of writing this FAQ, Ascaron.net is very new and parts of it are still under development, but Ascaron is determined to curb any kind of cheating and exploiting. They have not promised perfect security, but expressed their desire to do their best to offer a safe, fun, and clean environment. Q: Will I have to pay for playing on Ascaron.net? A: No, Ascaron.net is free, there are no recurring subscription fees or the like. You'll need a valid CD key/license for Sacred to play online, though. Q: I heard you can't currently create closed a.net games? A: This is true, however, there was an announcement that creating games on closed ascaron.net will be possible if a few requirements are met. Details will be released soon. Q: Can two people play on a LAN with just one copy of the game? A: Originally the answer here was "No", but Ascaron listened to the player feedback and changed their philosophy. Ingo Mohr of Ascaron Germany said this: "OK. You wanted a solution now you get it. :-) It is possible to start up to 4 games in a LAN with one CD. Just install it and start the game. Get the CD out of the CD ROM and start the game on the next PC. Not elegant in the moment but it works. This feature is included in the international version." Q: Do all players need the same language/country version? A: No, you can play together (in any of the multiplayer modes) with everyone who has Sacred. It does not matter if you or they use the US, UK, German or French version of the game. CD keys are also independent of the language/country version of the game, and the same key works with any given version. Q: How many people can play in an online game session? A: This depends on the type of game you create. A questing game is limited to a maximum of four players. The "do whatever you want" type of games allow for up to sixteen players. The sixteen players can form any number of parties, or play solo on their own. Both types are available in all three multiplayer modes. Q: Sacred has a huge world, how will I find my party? A: You can teleport to your party members, so you won't have to travel half an hour before you join up with your friends. Q: What about player killing (PK)? Is it allowed? A: This can be individually decided by the person who creates the game. If a game has PvP (player versus player) enabled, PKing is possible. If the creator opts against this, it will not be possible to hostile and attack other players. Q: Do I need broadband to be able to play online? A: According to Ascaron, dial-up connections work just fine, though in general, speed never hurts. The author of this FAQ speculates that sixteen players in the same area may cause some lag for dial-up users, but this is not verified. Q: Can I password protect my games and just play with mates? A: This is a bit of a hot topic. The answer is "yes and no". Yes, in open TCP/IP games you can password protect your games. No, Internet games on the closed Ascaron.net cannot be password-protected. The reason for this is that Ascaron does not want their servers to get overloaded due to thousands of one-player games. Q: Can I prevent high level characters from joining my game? A: It is/will be possible to specify level restrictions for games. If your game only allows characters between levels 10 and 20, characters who have a lower or higher level won't be able to enter your game. Q: Will I be able to "mule" solo? A: No. Games reportedly close immediately when the last player leaves. Also, according to a beta tester, items on the ground allegedly disappear very quickly when there is no one around. It may not be possible to mule at all without the help of a trusted friend. Q: How many characters can I have online? A: On closed Ascaron.net, you are limited to six characters on your account. Q: Can I have as many online accounts as I want? A: No. You are limited to one account per CD key. If you need more, you might have to purchase another copy of the game. Q: Won't the "pick up all" option help item grabbers? A: The "A" command is disabled in any of the three multiplayer modes. Q: I heard that there is no trading screen? A: Yes, this is true. The German release won't have a trading screen, because there was not enough time left to add it. However, Ascaron confirmed that this will be added soon after the release. E. Technical Stuff and Bugs Q: What kind of computer do I need for Sacred? A: For a new release, Sacred's system requirements are relatively low. The listed minimum specifications are: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP; PentiumIII 800MHz; 128MB RAM; 4x CD Rom drive; DirectX9.0b compatible 32mb video card; 1GB free hard drive space; DirectX9.0b compatible sound card; mouse & keyboard. Recommended are Windows XP, a processor with 1.3Ghz, 256 MB RAM and a video card with 64MB RAM. As with all games, more resources do not hurt. Windows 98FE (First Edition) will NOT be supported. Q: Why is Windows 98FE (First Edition) not supported? A: Due to the age of the operating system, Windows 98FE is not supported. It is also due to the fact that Win98FE cannot handle large files, which are required for Sacred. Q: Do I really need DirectX 9? A: It is listed as a minimum requirement, but Mirko of Ascaron stated in a message that DirectX 7 may, in rare cases, work. However, DirectX 9b is recommended and there are few reasons not to use it. Q: I can't minimize the demo with ALT+TAB! A: You cannot minimize the demo. If you would like to run the game in a window, select "Sacred Demo Window" from the "Ascaron Entertainment" program group in your Start menu. Q: The demo runs slowly and freezes! A: The Sacred demo is not optimized or tweaked. You can try to update your video and sound drivers, but if it runs sluggishly for you even though your system meets the requirements, don't worry too much about it. The release version is highly optimized and will run much faster. You can also try to lower the graphics quality in the options. For the release version, you might want to defrag your hard drive as Sacred often reloads from the disc. Q: I noticed some grammar and spelling mistakes. A: That wasn't a question, was it? ;-) Yes, the English demo has some translation flaws. The reason for this is that demo was translated in a hurry before the localization (for the international market) was finished. The final release of the game will have the professional quality of all of Ascaron's English titles. Sacred was originally developed in Germany. Q: I can see a magical stash, but can't reach it. Help! A: This is a bug in the demo version. In the release version this has been fixed. There is no way around this in the demo. Q: Help, I am stuck in the landscape! A: This bug has been fixed in the release version and is specific to the demo. If in rare cases, you are stuck in the Release, you should contact the Sacred Support Staff with a Savegame. Q: My Seraphim stands on the horse! What's up with that? A: This is a known bug in the demo version. Basically, whatever abnormalities you observe in the demo are likely to have been fixed in the release version. The code base for the demo was separated from the release in early December 2003 already and does not reflect the state of the final product. Q: Pathfinding really sucks, has that been fixed, too? A: Yes, Ascaron says this has been optimized and works much better in the release version. Q: I loaded a demo savegame. Why is my character's name "PlayerName"? A: This is a demo-specific bug that has been fixed in the release. It doesn't have a negative impact on the gameplay. Q: I need technical help. Who can I contact? A: You can contact Ascaron's technical support via the German contact form at http://www.ascaron.com/d/service/index.html. If there is an English form, then I haven't found it. I'll briefly explain the form to you, though, it's not difficult. The fields, from top to down, ask for the following information: first name, last name, e-mail address, name of the game you are having trouble with, type of problem (choose one that sounds familiar: Grafik for graphics issues, Sound for sound troubles, Installation for installation difficulties, Absturz for crashes), a brief description of the problem you're having, and lastly the content of the DXDIAG output. Then click on "abschicken" to submit your report. You can write in English. To get the DXDIAG output, click on the Start button and select "Run ...". Type in "dxdiag" (minus the quotation marks) to run the diagnosis tool of DirectX. Save this information to a text file, open the file in an editor and copy/paste the content of this file into the form. Revision history * 2004-03-03, 1.04: Added Alan Wild's comment on no-gore in US version, added information about the Australian version, added Ingo Mohr's information about the philosophy change regarding LAN (can now play with up to four people and only one CD). Added the question about weather effects, clarified and explained when exactly you can learn new skills. Further added a question about combat arts and why higher isn't always better. Added information on the levels at which new weapon/spell/combat art slots become available. Added and clarified various horse-related questions. Also added a question about joining a party and closed ascaron.net. Added a question about number of skills. Added information on random items/loot, and also explained where equipment can be socketed. Added an explanation of how the game increases attributes automatically, and also answered the question how many skill points a character receives. Made some other minor changes. Removed one gore-related question, since it was redundant, and also removed the mention of specific vendors. Added the information that players with different language versions can play together, that CD keys are independent of the language version and that there won't be patch troubles. * 2004-02-24, 1.03b: Fixed a few minor things, and added new technical question to the index. * 2004-02-24, 1.03: Mirko Worsley has added technical information about Windows 98FE (First Edition), extended the Drink Animation question and corrected various other pieces of information. * 2004-02-24, 1.02: Added Ascaron's clarification about "no gore" for US version, added feature question about monster types in the game, added information on the UK import version, added a couple of demo related questions (level, where it ends), added information on how to learn/increase skills and special attacks, moved a number of bug-related entries from the Gameplay section to the Technical/Bugs section, added a LAN question to the MP section, added information on the PlayerName bug. Further added various questions dealing with the horse (purchase, maintenance, handling, attack) and hotkeys. Also added information on the quest log and the in-game map. Clarified various questions and made minor chances to wording and grammar. Added Ascaron's definite clarification on the maximum character level, and squeezed in a question about the missing trading screen in multiplayer. Changed "special attacks" to "combat arts" in many places, though kept "special attacks" in some spots to avoid repeating the same term over and over. * 2004-02-23, 1.01: Updated release dates, added additional names of publishers, added skill/attribute related questions to the Gameplay section, minor grammar fixes to a number of entries, added item highlightning question. * 2004-02-22, 1.00: Initial release of the FAQ. * 2004-02-21, 0.90: Release of the draft version. A big "Thank you!" to everyone who has contributed to this FAQ! You guys (and gals) are the greatest!