2.0 for this mod is underway, so if any of you out there have a desire to replay Arcanum, I would ask you to use this easy to install mod.
I'll give it a shot. I've been on an Arcanum binge lately, and I'm enthusiastic about anyone trying to make more content for this game, because it's so killer. I'm going to be travelling in the near future, so my attention may be sporadic, but I'll check it out.
Here are my thoughts on this:
First, I applaud your efforts. I can tell you put a lot of thought and work into this, so good job.
There are things I like about it, and things I don't like. Overall I'd say that, although some people will surely like it, it's not my cup of tea. I think it boils down to a disagreement with your fundamental approach to changing the game. In the name of increasing difficulty, you've sacrificed logic. A weapon that's constructed using a gem or a wooden ring makes no sense; it's just a change that exists solely to limit the availability of the weapon. That lack of common sense bothers me more than the exploitable mechanics of vanilla, unfortunately. On the other hand, the functionality of firearms is greatly improved. They perform more like you would expect, and they feel more realistic.
I think you should consider removing the portraits, and making that a separate mod. Not that they're bad, mostly, but it would dramatically reduce the size of the download at the cost of something that doesn't have anything to do with functionality or balance. Personally, the first thing I did was replace the portraits with my own set that I always use, so that part of it was wasted on me. Interestingly, we both used some of the same paintings (the John Singer Sargent collection is particularly fruitful).
Machined Gauntlets are so heavy no one can pick them up, and the blacksmith in Ashbury has a pair, so he can't accept any money into his inventory. This includes his daily replenishment money, which simply piles up at his feet, meaning he can't pay anything for items he wants to buy from the player.
I think the UAP fixed the old crash-on-exit bug, but this mod brings it back for some reason. I have four copies of Arcanum on my HD (vanilla, UAP, AWIP, and Equilibrium), and Equilibrium is the only one that crashes on exit.
The huge number of bullets, charges, and fuel from crafting is vast overkill. Getting more bullets from crafting is a really good idea, but I'd go back to double or triple the number from vanilla instead of 5000.
I disagree with a lot of the "convenience" changes you've made, as well, like magick item identification being a first-level spell, and resurrection and teleportation scrolls being cheap. Those are changes I might want if I'm doing dozens of speed runs, but personally I hate playing the game that way. I'd consider making them optional.
So, like I said, there are some good things, and some bad things. Overall I don't like it, based purely on your approach and my personal preference, but others will surely differ. Considering how messed up combat is in regular Arcanum, I think you've done a good job trying to make things better.