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I never finished Pillars of Eternity.


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#21
Dr <3

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I did finish PoE so many times I lost track of it. BUT the OP has truth in it: in my first play through I also nearly stopped right after reaching Twin Elms. There is a sudden drop in motivation, a break in the game flow, whatever.

What kept me going was this forum. More precisely the character builds subforum.

It's fun to build powerful, quirky or even game breaking characters and try them out, then posting them here and discuss. Actually the last part is most fun I guess.

So I would say what kept me going all this time is the forum and not the game itself. Although I like it a lot, too.


100% the same

1 addition: playing mainly as a solo player in potd i have to say that i like much more the First part of the game, where every fight is diverse and you didn't have many option. In late game all fights become "you vs the horde", when you have to fight costantly 10+ enemies, their type and abilities matter much less, and the fight is reduced to survive alpha strykes/ do massive aoe DMG until you remain the only one alive. I would have liked much more some fights in end game against only 2-3 very powerful enemies, instead of constant floks of lower ones. The grey bear in wm1 can be a rare example of sigle Monster fight

#22
Sedrefilos

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Don't forget people who played it via GoG and pirated the game too. There may be more that finisehd it than steam suggests.

 

Also, Twin Elms was great. Defiance Bay sucked. :p



#23
Katarack21

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Twin Elms had everything going for it except, you know...quests, NPC's, and activity in general. :D


Edited by Katarack21, 18 March 2017 - 05:34 AM.

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#24
rjshae

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Same here. I think Twin Elms itself is part of the problem. It's....boring.

 

Agreed. It certainly is a colorful and well populated area with plenty of one-liner NPCs mulling around. But it felt a little disconnected from the rest of the story. Maybe the developers had run out of time and energy at that point?



#25
JFSOCC

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Before everyone goes off on a tangent, I don;t know twin elms, I literally stopped before exploring it. I think I entered that inn, and saved there.

 

That so many in this thread comment about a break in motivation when reaching twin elms makes me wonder though. I know that this was the point for me where I had worked through (most of) my questlog, and I had nothing listed that I *needed* to continue.

 

This leads me to a question: Would it have been good for PoE to have had several quests open that continued in Twin Elms? On the one hand it might have given me the motivation to continue, on the other, it might have been a coercive motivation that reduced my enjoyment.

It also makes me think about how quests are listed. I've been thinking a lot about obfuscation in game mechanics, and I'm currently leaning to it being capable of improving your enjoyment.

 

So as a thought experiment, do you think it would have made quests more engaging if they weren't listed, or you were forced to write your own quest journal? I think there are good reasons why that would lead to frustration. If you haven't paid attention to a detail or key bit of information, or if you load a save after a long absence, that would potentially be destructive. However it could also have led to greater engagement with that one aspect of which I found the implementation so troubling: The reading. Obfuscating the quest log may have forced me to engage more with the dialogue, having a journal that I myself could edit would also mean that I wouldn't be certain if I'm finished with a questline or if I may have missed something, and would incentivise me to keep exploring, maybe.



#26
Sedrefilos

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Quest logs are always helpful imo. Pillars has the expert mode though, that "hides" the details from your questlog, leaving each to just a simple note (or something like that anyway). So that might be somekind of a solution to you.

As what you said about the reading, I agree with you in the part that it is too much. It doesen't fit much in Pillars; it's more Torment-y imo (maybe that's why I got bored with Torment Tides of Numenera so quick). White March doesen't have that problem and the "boring" reading parts are shown through the scripted interactions with pictures and choices.

 

So my opinion about questlog and reading is, leave questlogs as they are - they are helpful - develop a writing style that fits in a game like Pillars.


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#27
rjshae

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So as a thought experiment, do you think it would have made quests more engaging if they weren't listed, or you were forced to write your own quest journal?

 

No.

 

I have limited free time, so it may go several days between sessions. I need the quest log as a reminder, especially when I have a couple of dozen open entries in the log. Taking that away would not make it more engaging, it would be a waste of time.


Edited by rjshae, 18 March 2017 - 08:15 AM.

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#28
QuiteGoneJin

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I understand the criticism even though I've played this game more than any other I've put in enough hours to finish it 20x over and only beaten it once! And not finished WM2! So I get it, for me the story also wasn't as fully engaging as I wanted, nor as reactive. And combat (as I am much much MUCH more of a melee fan then ranged) was entirely too droll and auto attack centric for my tastes.

 

Still, I grew up with black isle so nostalgia helps, I like creating characters almost as much as playing them, and I beleive in Obs's passions for making RPGs more then any other company. 



#29
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Finished the game 4 times, twice before and twice after WM. In general, I loved the game (brought back BG2 nostalgia for me, even though there were flaws, reactivity and party dynamics being the largest ones).

 

Loved combat, I felt it was challenging on POTD while being manageable if I applied myself. While the story was sometimes slow to pick up and never quite fully attached to the PC, I felt the plot as a whole was pretty strong. The late game reveals (which truly only appear in Twin Elms) were IMO very clever and opened a myriad of moral outcomes. The end slides were also very well done, compared to other games.

 

I would strongly encourage anyone to finish the game, just for the reveals. WM is especially strong and most gameplay (encounters, reactivity, story, etc) mechanics are very well done.

 

Its in my top 3 of favourite games ever (with BG2 and Battle Brothers, man that game kills me), with maybe the Civ series. If you have the time, do complete it, its definately worth it.


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#30
Hynkel

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Story progression in PoE is actually very linear, and your choices have very little influence on the world surrounding you ; or when they do, it's only visible in the endgame textual epilogue.

 

I can guess how someone looking for a make-your-own-adventure kind of game can be disappointed. 

 

Actually, everybody who beat the game several times probably noticed how you always end up doing the same things in the same order. Replay value mostly comes from combat and gameplay variety between classes and builds.

 

Pillars of Eternity is a very good game nevertheless. It's close to Baldur's Gate in spirit, who was a little more open-world-ish but was very linear as far as the main storyline goes. Combat is fun and not repetitive, the environment is very pretty, the world is interesting, some of the companions are very endearing. 

 

But yeah, it's not the big ultimate RPG we all dream of. It's a crowdfunded game with limited budget, who prefered focusing on a few things and making them right rather than being crazy ambitious on paper and end up releasing a half-***ed, unfinished game (inXile I'm talking to you). 


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#31
Sedrefilos

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The problem with Pillars not being the uber rpg we all dreamed of was, I believe, that the team had no clear vision from start other than the general idea of aspiritual successor to IE games. It looks as different lead members took a portion of the game, developed it by themselves and then they met and stitched it together. White March (again) has a more clear vision of what it want to be that's why it's so good compared to base game.

 

Also, I'm ok with choices' concequence revealed at the end slideshow. I'm fan of that kind of ending in rpgs. Story, as linear as it may be, turns out great at the end (in both base and expansion) and has some tough choices to make. I know I said it many times, but I'm trying to point out how it's totally worth to play the game to the end :p


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#32
eselle28

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Oh, I thought that was just me who got tired in Twin Elms. I'm fond of making new characters, and when I got to Twin Elms with my chanter, I stopped and made a druid...and a wizard...and a cipher and messed around at the low levels of the game for a bit. Then I took a break from the game, came back to it later, finished, and replayed a couple more times.

I think that it kind of shows that Twin Elms is a stretch goal, and that interferes with pacing and momentum. At that point, I was ready to be done with the game, and the new crop of side quests weren't that tempting. I don't think being forced to keep my own quest log would have helped. There just wasn't enough time for the area to be engaging without making the game much longer. I would have preferred to get on with the final quests at that point, which wouldn't have truly needed a new city.

I'm glad that particular cities weren't stretch goals this time. If the narrative requires it, I'll welcome one. If it doesn't, I'd rather they save the idea for an expansion or another game. I think Obsidian has a firmer idea what they want to do this time and hasn't locked themselves into as much promised content, do I'm expecting Deadfire will be more cohesive (which certainly doesn't mean POE was bad - I love the game).

Edited by eselle28, 18 March 2017 - 09:55 AM.

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#33
Sedrefilos

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Dammit. Is it only me that I liked Twin Elms so much? I though it was a breath of fresh air after the tediousness of Defiance Bay. Also the companions strat to feel more alive at that point. They interjected and participated in conversations whay more (I almost forgot I have them with me till then!). The city itself felt more alive than Defiance Bay; it was more densly populated and its inhabitants were more active. Also the factions and the quests were more interesting. *Spoilers!* The druids who wanted the baera and the cat to fight, the pale elves with their god, the druids that helped the suciders etc. Waay more interesting!

 

EDIT: oh, the Orlan baby!...


Edited by Sedrefilos, 18 March 2017 - 09:57 AM.

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#34
eselle28

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I thought Twin Elms had lots of good ideas, particularly that last thing you mentioned. I think the gating was part of my problem. I was ready to be finished, and the game had signaled to me that it was winding up, and then on the other side of the gate were a bunch of quests. Twin Elms struck me as something that would have shone in an expansion, especially with a new companion.
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#35
Sedrefilos

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You were ready to end the game? But you knew there was another city. Also it was too soon for it to end at that point... :(

 

Anyhow, just one big city in the sequel. Hope it'll be around from start to finish :)


Edited by Sedrefilos, 18 March 2017 - 10:23 AM.

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#36
Blutwurstritter

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Pillars certainly lacked motivation. There is nothing that gives you a sense of urgency or pushes you to fulfill your quest. Especially the main quest is poorly designed, i barely felt any tension or excitement as it progressed and often had no idea how it would progress. The is no clear goal you are trying to achieve and for a long time it isn't even clear why you oppose the leaden key or why you should care for the hollow born crisis as you have no attachment to Dyrwood. Everything is presented as if you are an observer that is barely connected to anything that happens. This is something Baldur's Gate 1/2 did much better in my opinion since your character has a very clear motivation and your actions clearly serve to achieve your goal.

The problem with the text in Pillars was not the amount but rather the format in which it was presented. It was always extremely passive, like listening to monologues of other people. It never felt like leading a developing dialog with another person when you spoke to an npc, rather like clicking through his monologue options. Tyranny for example, did this much better.


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#37
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"This is something Baldur's Gate 1/2 did much better in my opinion since your character has a very clear motivation and your actions clearly serve to achieve your goal."

BG 2, yes. BG 1 was a hot mess for motivation, goals, etc. You start the game literally with no goal other than survive. There's a suggestion to go to the Friendly Arm Inn, and once you go there and meet your two new party members the game utterly fails to provide any clear goal or motivation until after Nashkel--which you only know about as a vague suggestion that stuff is happening there.

Really, BG 1 is *terrible* for clear goals and motivation.


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#38
Varana

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That's the old conflict between player freedom and story progression. A story is better when it is tightly controlled, linear, and scripted. That directly opposes the freedom to explore and do things at your own pace.
PoE tries to do something similar to BG2, with the urgence coming from something destroying your soul / mind (generally speaking). It just fell really flat in doing so.
Although, at least for me, it created a very strong secondary motivation with the prospect of ending the hollowborn plague. That was enough to feel sufficiently motivated (at least in RPG terms, where "this is the quest, you're supposed to follow it else there's no game" is commonplace).
Sure, that wouldn't apply to a PC who doesn't care about lots of dead babies and mad children, but then, I'm not really interested in playing such a character. :D

---
The point with Twin Elms is, I agree, mostly pacing. The game has a large hub with Defiance Bay, you're free to explore basically the whole map (and Dyrford has quite a lot of side quests, as well, even if it's not a big settlement itself), and then shuts off Defiance Bay while driving you to Twin Elms. Closing the main hub (even though it becomes accessible again rather quickly), making the game more linear, with possibly the large majority of areas explored, together with the feeling that you're getting closer and closer to Thaos and (after meeting Lady Webb) understanding his motives, seems like a sure sign of the end if you've played RPGs before. And then, Twin Elms opens up, taking all remaining urgency out of the story (side quests are supposed to be done, after all, and Twin Elms gives the impression that it has lots of them). It's no so much Twin Elms in itself, it's its place in the flow of the game that creates that drop in motivation.
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#39
Blutwurstritter

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"This is something Baldur's Gate 1/2 did much better in my opinion since your character has a very clear motivation and your actions clearly serve to achieve your goal."

BG 2, yes. BG 1 was a hot mess for motivation, goals, etc. You start the game literally with no goal other than survive. There's a suggestion to go to the Friendly Arm Inn, and once you go there and meet your two new party members the game utterly fails to provide any clear goal or motivation until after Nashkel--which you only know about as a vague suggestion that stuff is happening there.

Really, BG 1 is *terrible* for clear goals and motivation.

 

While it is less clear than BG2 you still have a fairly good motivator by witnessing the murder of your foster father in the beginning, at least it is obvious who your enemy is and your motivation is very personel. I agree that afterwards it is not straightforward and clear cut as BG2, but still better than Pillars in my opinion.



#40
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I think this is a game that will grow on people with hindsight. It was always doomed to fight a battle against nostalgia for a sixteen year old classic in combination with the AD&D system. For me at least, it succeeded at that task, especially in combination with WM. I enjoyed it more than many other cRPGs I've played over the last decade.


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