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I never finished Pillars of Eternity.


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#41
dukeisaac

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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.

Well put. This also gives me hope for PoE2, since the devs will be able to build upon this latest experience. I was speaking recently with someone who played vanilla POE and was disappointed by it. To them, POE was supposed to be BG3 or at the very least, a BG2 clone, a pretty impossible task according to me, given the circumstances of crowdfunding.

 

So far, I feel POE2 is aiming for this kind of game.


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#42
Abel

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Interesting post OP. I feel like it is usefull to do what you did. I guess i'll do it too, since i never finished it either. Though, i did not drop it. I kind of struggle to advance, because of some (numerous in fact) reasons, but i still find it is a great game, and plan to resume my playthrough soon. My very own reasons for struggling:

 

-Like someone else said on the FIG page, wizards spells are not appealing enough.

The guy spoke about some kind of power gamer issue, regretting the lack of utility spells both in and out of combat. I agree with this. There are barely any spell from Baldur's gate that i feel should not be there (even though some, very rationals, would argue that anything that has not enough of a measurable impact on the gameplay should be cut). Magic should not be all about ways to make DPS. BG had it right (or better, at least), imo. The fact that magic items only allowed more use/days and not more slots to memorize spells (and utuility ones if there were more of them) was a problem to me, too. Long story short: il lacked variations. Magic seems to just be another weapon.

 

-Some mechanics i deeply disliked that i could not fully ignore:

Rests heal everything (even severed limbs i guess. BG did it right, at least for me), bonus through rest and food that does not feel right to me (i never felt more clever or strong few seconds after eating fish), infinite stash (at least try to create some lore about it, like the bags in BG), numerous, souless and useless pets i can't bring myself to care about (unlike the familiars in BG, which i miss a lot), no healing spells for priests (combined to the rest issue, it's a problem for me, who does not use the endurance/health system at all, because i definitely dislike it), the early state of the stronghold (was way better in later versions of the game), ...

 

-The reading.

Although it's strange, i don't think it's a bad aspect of the game. Maybe the fact that reading became a chore quite fast is because the french localization was upright awful, and that i played several doens hours in english. I struggled quite a lot actually, and it was tiring. But sometimes, there was no purpose to some walls of text. I definitely feel that Pillars would lose its essence without most of the text it has, but still, me struggle reading was a huge factor why i did not finished the game yet.

 

-Companions.

I found myself having a real huge problem regarding the souless companions. When, occasionally, they would say something in a dialogue, most of the time, the NPC would not even notice it. Their skills were almost useless since for... reasons, they could not use them in dialogue. I could not understand why Sagani won't use her knowledge to warn the boy about him handling the knife the way he did, why i did not have the option. In the same fashion, i felt that whatever i could do, they would never be happy or bothered. They felt like bots, however well written they were otherwise.

 

-No multiclassing.

Well, it's weird, but it's true. Since the very, very start, months before the game was finished, i really, i mean really wanted to play a priestess/warrior of Eothas. I tried my best to emulate this muticlassing with a priestess. As a result, i may have spent more time reasearching how i could do this than actually playing. In the end she is... well ok-ish. But this damn flail won't have much of an impact in combat. Priests are way too vulnerable without a shield. In the end, i could not build the character i wanted, even though it was not a far fetched idea.

 

-Game was unclear and spells were a chore to use.

I'm ok with complexity needing a learning curve, i don't like dumbed down crap. But the tooltips and mechanics were way too unclear. Tooltips lacked crucial informations or were not better than chinese for me. And i had a very hard time to figure out how i could possibly make use of this mere 2,5 seconds lenght status effects with the panels of the abilities of my 6 characters. I still don't understand why they would create spells with status duration this short. Why not replace these low level, low duration, AoE spells par single target versions with more duration? There are way too many AoE spells while i feel more effective single target spells would add variation and more possibilities. Including to adapt to different encounters, different type of battlefields, different deployments of the opponents, different scarcity, too. It's true for wizards and priests. Never tried the other spell casters. But i feel that priests and wizards definitely miss single target, strategic, pin point spells, buffs/self buffs. The whole AoE thing made things boring for me. These 2 elements made the use of abilities and spells in combat a true chore.

 

-Defiance Bay.

The town reminds me of the shots i saw about cities like Los Angeles on TV. Large roads, large places, large buildings. Even Purnisc lives in a building that is several times the average size for a house in my city of Pau (France). I get that US people tend to think sometimes that bigger is better. But it's disturbing in a med-fan RPG. This made the city even more empty. Because there is so much empty space everywhere. I feel like the city of Baldur's Gate made it right: clustered houses everywhere, narrow alleys. There was a really good med-fan vibe to it.  When we enter Defiance Bay, we are warned the city is overheated, brimming with refugees. Aside from 2 dwarves in the first area, i don't remember any refugee. And more than overheated, it felt dull. Which was a really big problem for me.

 

-I would have liked more "communitary settlements".

Don't know how to say it better. But i felt that the race mixing everywhere deprived all of them of a sense of identity. The dwarves in White March had an identity. They were dead, but i loved them. But by mixing too much everywhere orlans, dwarves, humans, aumaus, elves and such, in the end, everyone lose their interesting racial specificities. They are just people in the town with different sizes and shapes. Well... a shame. I loved Gullykin in BG 1.

 

-No rewarding combat.

The fact that even dragons drop poor ingredients did not fuel any urge to battle them for me. Though you could argue that Firkraag did not seem to have a bag to carry Carsomyr, i would say i don't care, for once. Too many good items are found at merchant's. Not enough are rewards for though battles or exploration. Add the fact that there is no XP for combat proper and combat tends to make me feel like "Oh... ****... another fight....". I never ever felt like this in Baldur's Gate. And i played it several tens of thousand hours over 15 years. Can't even count the number of my playthroughs.

 

-Crafting:

One major problem i had with the game. I disliked the fact that you could just press a button and get it done whenever, wherever, with whoever. I read on the wiki way back, that at start you should have needed to use some crafting place to enchant, found the recipes. This would have made more sense. Find a magic store to get ingredients, rares recipes to learn, and tools. Find someone who is capable enough for the most powerful enchantments. Learn about enchantment with lore, talk about it to this guy who run the shop. Make crafting a part of the world and the lore, show us people that make their living with it. Don't allow any party member to craft legendary weapons. Don't just randomly throw the crafting into the game. The recipe of 1 gem, 1 creature ingredient and copper was repetitive, and i could not fathom how these could bring the result they brought. The recipes seemed random. And the fact it needed copper looked like an obvious, really disturbing, cheep and irrational money sink.

 

-No rewarding items in the core game.

I see several reasons to this. One is the crafting system. Since you can craft most of the basic enchantments, it was rare to find really specific items. Another reason is the way you obtain these items. I feel like the way you get them is as important as their statistics for them to be memorable. There is no mysteries or secrets. No Kangaxx, no teleportation through a thief stone, no Crom Faeyr. And the last reason i see for this is probably the backer items. There where too many unique items that were just plainly basics and made uniques look bad (mere exceptional should not be unique). The merchant in the brothel of Ondra's Gift is the perfect example of this.

 

-Experience pacing.

I add to research a way to slow down the xp gains. I still don't understand why Obs felt the need to make players max their lvl out this early in the game. I had to tamper with the game files and the console (this forum helped since i'm no good at that) in order to avoid the problem. I would have dropped the game definitely once maxed out otherwise. If Obs really feel like they need to cater to people that just do the main quest, then, they should at least provide a slider in order to adapt the experience gains for the completionists. It should not be this hard to do i guess, since i only had to modify 2 hex entries to do so.

 

 

These and probably some others are the reasons why i struggle this much to finish the game. Although i see so many qualities to the game (graphics, ambiance, music, lore, quests, lenght, art, many game systems and mechanics, core concept, and so on), there are still many things that made me stop my playthrough thrice already. I'm still in the second act (Defiance Bay) and i've done with the excellent first half of White March (a blast).


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#43
Yonjuro

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Does that remove my right to argue, critique or contribute to the sequel? You decide.

 

I've played until I arrived in Twin Elms, I cleared out the entire 15 level dungeon but after I arrived in Twin Elms I saved the game

and then didn't return to it, eventually I uninstalled PoE to clear space for another game on my small SSD drive......

 

 

 You make some good points. There was a lot to like in Pillars but it didn't quite click in a lot of subtle ways. As several others have mentioned, the WM content was good and it improved the pacing of the base game since it gave you options to do a quest in one place or the other. I'm optimistic about Pillars 2 since I think the WM indicates that Obsidian is able to identify the issues and improve. 


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#44
JFSOCC

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Someone mentioned Baldur's Gate II as a comparison, that was an interesting thought. I had a similar experience with Baldur's Gate II where I lost much of my motivation after moving on from Athkatla. I've remember some posts back for PoE where Josh talked about quest staggering and the questlog dump in BGII's early game which I think I may need to read again.

 

Some people pointed out the scope of PoE and its budget meant that the team had to narrow its focus, and rightly pointed out that Deadfire will likely be in a much better position. I sense a similarity to the Baldur's gate games.

Perhaps it was a case of wanting too much, the stretch goals are a perverse incentive when it comes to that. The second big city, Stronghold, crafting, 15 levels for the dungeon. All these are great if you can spend proper time on them, manage to make them interconnected, give them full polish. But perhaps with the resources Obsidian had the focus should have been narrower? I can hardly blame them, since I was one (of many) to push for the largest possible game. I wanted a second big city, I wanted that stronghold...

 

Abel also has some interesting thoughts, not being able to make the character you want to make due to limited customisability, something Deadfire will likely mitigate with multiclassing. (I still want to know if there are going to be class synergies) a focus on abilities/spells for combat but not utility, also a design choice. I heard that there will be a great deal more skills in Deadfire, which means that perhaps the focus may have shifted away from combat.

 

Someone said that the team had no clear vision for PoE, I don't agree. To me it's clear that they had a story to tell, and made choices to focus on the critical path story at the expense of other things. And when you want to do too much eventually things are not going to get the attention they deserve. I've heard the white march recommended by several people (I'll wait till it drops below 10 euro for both) and I think this might be so well received because its scope allowed the team to focus more on what they wanted to achieve.

 

I also intend to reinstall and play twin elms. (but first I will finish my first playthrough of T:ToN) I think steam might still have that save in their cloud.


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#45
Rekombo

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Is there a modern game which you like?


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#46
Abel

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Is there a modern game which you like?

 

Is it a question, or a criticism?

 

Well, Fallout 4 is probably fancy "modern", so it may be more of a praise than a criticism actually.

 

You have some good points JFSOCC, and i mostly agree with you. Though i would never stress enough that White March is really worth it.


Edited by Abel, 19 March 2017 - 06:22 AM.


#47
SonicMage117

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Personally I don't think that not finishing the first game denies you any right for input on the second game... at least you played it.

Even though Deadfire is a direct sequel in story, tons of both small and big things will be changed. Even mechanically. So I suppose it would be more important to do research on the changes than play the first game - unless one is criticising the story, of course.
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#48
bjon045

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White March Part 2 was the highlight of the game for me. Some really great encounters and good zone design.

 


I've heard the white march recommended by several people (I'll wait till it drops below 10 euro for both) and I think this might be so well received because its scope allowed the team to focus more on what they wanted to achieve.

 

 


Edited by bjon045, 24 March 2017 - 08:01 PM.

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#49
hilfazer

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-No rewarding items in the core game.
I see several reasons to this. One is the crafting system. Since you can craft most of the basic enchantments, it was rare to find really specific items. Another reason is the way you obtain these items. I feel like the way you get them is as important as their statistics for them to be memorable. There is no mysteries or secrets. No Kangaxx, no teleportation through a thief stone, no Crom Faeyr. And the last reason i see for this is probably the backer items. There where too many unique items that were just plainly basics and made uniques look bad (mere exceptional should not be unique). The merchant in the brothel of Ondra's Gift is the perfect example of this.

Besides that backer (without whom there would be no game) content you mentioned it's very hard to find unique items with quality enchant only (one such weapon on wiki) or even with enchantable properties only (two such weapons on wiki).

#50
Kinowek

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Well, you have the better part of a year (probably more, knowing Obsdian) before Pillars 2 is released.  Then perhaps several months after that of patches. :o

 

Plenty of time to play Pillars 1 through from scratch, let alone from your Twin Elms save.  If you don't even WANT to reinstall at this point, don't?  It sounds like you disliked quite a bit of Pillars 1, although to be fair it has been patched quite a bit since, several mechanics are revamped entirely.


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#51
Ninjamestari

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*a lot*

 

I could kiss this guy. Seriously, thank you for writing that post; it needed to be written and seen. Every single word of it, as I can guarantee that you're not alone with your story, mine is quite similar. The biggest difference between our stories is that I recently reinstalled PoE with the "now I'm going to finish the game, if for nothing else then for being able to import a save to Deadfire", but what happened was that I found myself, *again*, quitting shortly after reaching Twin Elms. This time my save still exists, so I might eventually suffer through the rest of the game, but I can whole heartedly sign the notion that what I've realized about the game twice now is that I'm not having any fun playing it.

 

My list of issues is a bit longer though, for example the stat system is too divorced from reality to forge any connection with my character. They butchered the extremely well formed interface between instinctive perception of reality and the fantasy of the game that was present in D&D, because they had this arbitrary political view of the "there should not be bad builds" and "every build is equal" - type, which I find to be a rather infantile mentality (it actually has an eerie resemblance with a Social Justice agenda, which just adds in another layer of disgusting). Make a system and let the nature of that system determine what works and what doesn't instead of forcing some ridiculous "anything goes" agenda. Unlimited freedom is the ultimate lack of freedom; you're free to make a choice that isn't interesting enough to make you even want to make a choice. I faced this issue especially when creating my character. Every single class felt uninspiring, the stats and abilities all felt arbitrary and I simply wasn't interested in making any of the choices the game presented me with, as none of those choices had any real meaning. I never felt like I was playing an actual game, I felt more like I was expected to play make-believe, and that definitely isn't my cup of tea. Hasn't been for a long time, I had enough of that when I was a child.

 

Another gripe I have is with the spell design; especially with ciphers there are way too many weird spells that work in very unintuitive ways, and which are obviously made unnecessarily more complicated simply to make them appear fancy and different. When leveling up and picking up spells, I'd go through them and be like "I don't really want to take this one" with every single spell and ability, until I realized I didn't want to pick any of them, and then I just took the ones that were the most straight forward or mechanically powerful.

 

There's one thing you said that I really have to criticize though, and it's this:

 

3. I have very strong ideas, notions and beliefs for an RPG, but that would be -my- game. (It will never be made because I have no coding skills and no art skills.)

 

The gaming industry is in a desperate need of strong ideas, weak and pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want" and "working together to come up ideas" and "respecting every point of view as equals" have resulted in a steady stream of extremely uninspired and uninspiring games. You obviously have good vision for gaming, and what makes your ideas strong is that instead of being grounded in meaningless rhetoric like most people, your ideas are grounded in reality. Not everyone will like your ideas, but screw them. A good strong idea will win over everyone who is worth winning over in the long run if it receives the love and care it needs to grow into a practical implementation.

 

The industry needs people like you, and I think you could bring a better type of passion for it. If you can't code for yourself, try to find people who can and try to learn these skills. You already have the gift of vision, that's all you really need, everything else, including those skills you feel you lack, you can build. Start small. A friend of mine has a saying that I sometimes have trouble implementing but really like the wisdom of: "How do you eat a whale?" -"With one piece at a time"

 

EDIT: Oh, and don't listen to people who try to give you advice on 'how to enjoy something you don't like'. You're wise enough to know that it's simply not worth it.


Edited by Ninjamestari, 25 March 2017 - 12:55 AM.

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#52
Katarack21

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weak and pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want"

 

Remind me to never play any game with you ever.


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#53
Pinsalinj

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weak and pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want"

 

Remind me to never play any game with you ever.

 

 

I liked the "equality is disgusting" part, too.

Okay I'm exaggerating, that's not exactly what he said...


Edited by Pinsalinj, 25 March 2017 - 05:32 AM.

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#54
Wormerine

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Does that remove my right to argue, critique or contribute to the sequel? You decide.

 

I've played until I arrived in Twin Elms, I cleared out the entire 15 level dungeon but after I arrived in Twin Elms I saved the game

and then didn't return to it, eventually I uninstalled PoE to clear space for another game on my small SSD drive.

So, I've been thinking about why I didn't finish PoE and what could be learned from my limited experience.

 

Why didn't pillars work for me? It wasn't immediately obvious to me. Longstanding members of this forum will know that I was quite active here during development of PoE, and felt very invested in its success. This may have influenced my reception somewhat, so perhaps there are some lessons for those of you who now feel the same way about Deadfire.

 

One of the reasons might have been the balance update that came out right after I saved, which changed stat allocation to different attributes. I actually believe my character might have been fine regardless. One reason is because I feel that stat bonuses were relatively insignificant. When I started the game I had high hopes that through gameplay I would improve my character in such a fashion that I could spec her out the way I wanted to. Make her feel distinct. Having achieved a relatively high level for the point in the game progression that I stopped playing (I think it was two below the cap) I didn't feel like my character had significantly been improved. What improvements I did have were all from items, which I hoarded on my own character at the expense of the party because screw them.

 

So the granularity of the progression might have been a factor.

 

I also learned, whilst levelling, that I was fairly limited in my options. Not only were abilities level gated (which meant I HAD to take another ability and commit before finishing my levelling, severely restricting the build.) but they were also obfuscated so you could not plan ahead. (But what about the wiki, you ask? at the time it was incomplete and I shouldn't have to rely on a third party resource to begin with)

I believe this resulted in feeling less ownership of my character.

 

The Stronghold. I focussed on upgrading my stronghold completely as fast as I could, and I did. What did it bring me?

A choice of rest bonuses, a place to store my companions so that I could click through the conversation story progression of each of those I didn't use whenever I was back there, and a prestige and security rating that I'm not quite sure affected much of anything.

Now from what I've seen the team has understood that the Stronghold failed in its execution and is trying to remedy this with your ship in Deadfire. It's looking to go the right way this time. Still, I'd like to list what I think made the stronghold so shallow an addition to PoE

1. It didn't seem to produce content based on your input. If I upgrade a section, it was upgraded, there was some loot, maybe, some lore, perhaps. This is failed potential. Say I upgraded the library, why didn't it unlock for me a bunch of quests to go hunting for books, lore, scrolls, a librarian? To actually BUILD the library, to have people come who specifically came looking for the books you brought back. To make choices.

Other than minimal loot, lore and a visual change, it was just a checkmark off the list of things to upgrade.

2. There was no customisation. This meant that I felt very little ownership of this place. After all, I could rebuild it, but I could not put my personal stamp on it. (with exception of perhaps two mutually exclusive upgrade choices that altered fortification/prestige.)

If instead there had been a spot that could be upgraded, but you had to choose what to put in, that choice would already have given you more ownership of the stronghold.

If you could combine customisation with produced content, you would have had diverging narrative, and I think that would have been great.

Now, I know, with the limited time and resources, trying to work all that in would have forced the stronghold to either be the centrepiece of the game or be cut entirely. I think either would have been OK. (and it pains me to say that)

 

Quest density, progression, and reactivity. When I left for Twin Elms, I had done everything that I had found I could do in Defiance Bay, None of the quests have been memorable enough for me to recall exactly what happened. I ticked them off my list so I could continue to grow stronger, I don't think I was very invested in any faction I encountered. I picked one (the knights) and then there was a binary conflict.

What I do remember? I remember the asylum being full of phoney scientists, and stealing treasure from a noble's house by going in through the side window.

Time and time again the game wanted me to follow its story, and denied me the opportunity to make my own.

That is a design choice, one that I now believe was communicated well enough by the developers here on the forums and elsewhere. I just blinded myself because I was looking forward to that other type of RPG. The one where you make the story and the worldbuilding elements tell the narrative.

This false expectation will most certainly have affected my enjoyment of the game.

 

So beware those of you who might not be; while Obsidian will love your feedback, never forget that they are making THEIR game, through their vision. If you want to make the argument that I was looking to play another game than PoE, you may be right. It's very easy to get blinded to this because you're overly invested.

 

Combat

I hated combat. Not because it was hard, or easy, or simple or complex, mostly because of the epic battle music. It started to grate on me really fast. Variation, not as bombastic when I'm fighting a less impressive group of opponents, that might make a difference.

I also didn't quite ever get that "click" moment where I felt that the toolkit of character abilities I got got used strategically or tactically.

Either they were unnecessary, or by the time I could use them the battlefield had changed. I played a rogue, I cleared the 15 level dungeon, I don't know if that's meaningful. Never did beat the dragon though.

This is probably because I suck at combat, and I'm stupid and I should feel stupid. so please tell me in the comments below. (and don't forget to like and subscribe)

Flow of combat just did not work out for me.

 

Reading

Yes, Josh repeatedly stated that this was a game for people who love reading.

Well, Josh, I ****ing love reading. I've read James Clavell, I read Rothfuss, I've read Tolkien, Douglass Adams. I read a whole bunch of fantasy and science fiction authors, travelogues, popular science, news articles, I spend altogether way to much time on forums reading. I read for fun. So please don't dismiss me when I say there was too much reading.

Any backer NPC I clicked was essentially nothing more than a wall of text. I'm actually kind of glad that I was too poor to pay for the tier I wanted because I would have been disappointed finding out that's all you meant by backer NPC. After a while it doesn't matter how well its written anymore. In a game, there needs to be some purpose, some interactivity. It doesn't have to be the case with every.single. NPC, but it would have been nice to see it with more.

I felt incentivised to click every one of them because I didn't want to miss anything. However, after a while, I got that this was flavour and flavour only. Games are a visual medium, I think there could have been a great deal more of show than tell, and there would still have been room for volumes of text that I would have been happy to pour through.

I noticed myself sometimes fast forwarding dialogue to my dialogue options. That's bad player behaviour. Something went wrong when that happens, especially if that someone is a self-professed lover of the written word.

 

What happened was that reading became a chore. ticking quests off the list was a chore, clearing out the dungeon was a chore, combat was a chore, upgrading the stronghold was a chore. They were things I did to myself, grinding things, waiting for the game to become fun.

 

I suspect that when I reached twin elms, having cleared my quest log, cleared the dungeon, finished my stronghold, I was unburdened from the to-do list, and when I reached and new quests got dumped on me, I instinctually had enough. I hadn't been having fun. I didn't feel engaged.

 

The activities in themselves have to be fun/engaging. If you want me to read, what makes reading engaging? If you want me to play the stronghold, what makes the stronghold fun? The activity in itself needs to be fun, my neurotic psychological tendency for optimal play by wanting to do everything I can wasn't. But that's a psychological tendency that many players will be vulnerable to.

 

So why am I being such a downer on Deadfire's forum? Well honestly, I hope it won't be seen as that. I hope my critique and perspectives will help Deadfire's development, whether that lies in expectation management, game focus or scope or anything else.

That I'm back here should tell you something.

 

Do I think PoE was bad? No. It was flawed, and it probably wasn't for me, but I already was invested.

Learning that Deadfire will allow savegame imports actually made me consider finishing Pillars, briefly. There were things I liked. I loved the visuals of that dungeon right after were Eder opens up. I liked the reputation system, I was one of the few who actually liked the item improvement mechanic. Though I see its limitations and I like what the devs are suggesting for Deadfire items.

 

I've learnt some things

1. I will refrain from being as invested in Deadfire as I was with PoE. If I want Obsidian to make my game, I should contract them. Let them make theirs instead. I hope this will prevent me from blindly acquiring unfair expectations.

2. I can't stay away. I love Obsidian and what they do.

3. I have very strong ideas, notions and beliefs for an RPG, but that would be -my- game. (It will never be made because I have no coding skills and no art skills.)

4. I shouldn't lie to myself, I try to play optimally and I will grind in order to do so.

 

For the future:

I think the team working on Deadfire has made some good changes. Having your ship be your stronghold means it plays a central role in your story, there will be customisation as well. Reducing the number of big cities to one will allow for more focus, it will be a larger quest hub. The differences in each section of the city seem rich in potential for interplay and aesthetic.

The limitation PoE had with animation budget led to the story book segments, it's a different choice than I would have made for PoE, but seeing it return in Deadfire with it being expanded upon I think is going to really make the game distinct. It's an interesting feature that I like to see reach its full potential. I also think it will help transitions really well.

The change in approach to items will likely make those more distinct and therefore memorable, it might also add to player build customisation.

And lastly, YES! (sub)tropics baby! Whoo!

Great post. I certainly don't think that your complains are invalid, and there are quite with which I agree with. I did have a hard time making my way through PoE even though I enjoyed it every time I played it. I felt it was underdeveloped. The thing is, my complains for the game are usual for the first game in the series and bear some signes of a game funded by kickstarter.

My biggest complain was that the game felt underdeveloped. Quest weren't as elaborate and reactive as I expected from Obsidian RPG. It was a big game, but shallow - lots of areas were farily empty with no significant importance. The game seemed big for big sake. It was also fairly conservative, while I always like about Obsidian that they did try new and cool things, rather than following set formula. 

 

I was disappointed with the scripted interactions (story books segments.) When I saw them for the first time, I imagined a creative and versitile way they could be used. They never reached their potential. For the most part they were interactions you could simply win by having one of the one-use item like hook and rope or crawbar.

 

The story is the interesting thing. I wasn't a big fan of it as it was going on. I wasn't engaged by it. It was clever. Using old and tired tropes and reimagining in an interisting way. However, I got very Dragon Age vibe from it. Being dark, broody and vague without having the point. Now, the ending is what changed it for me. It is a shame, you didn't push through, as I strongly believe that the ending pays off for a lot of the problems the game had. Storylines reveal common themes, the small sidequests bring you the knowledge of the world to understand games main point and it all very nicely ties together. From dull but solid became one of the most thought provoking games I played in a while. 

Now, the good ending doesn't invalit previous concerns. A lot of story telling is done by plain writing and I believe the problem is in lack of reactivity/weak quest design. You talk a lot, and learn a lot but rarely influence or are part of anything important. Even when you do (finale of second act) it is all the smoke screen, invalidating choices you made just after you made them. It is all bad, but it also very smells like the first game in the series. Building engine, figuring world, themes and mechanics and not enough time to flesh out what was built. Here is me hoping that sequel will fix those problems.

Also stronghold. It was weak, and felt like kickstarter promise fulfilled rather than sensible addition to the game. and so did Caed Nua dungeon. It was a lengthy and visually cool but lacked interesting content. Enemies you fought were just enemies you would fight outside, with no twist. Later stages felt especially added for the sake of floor length rather than meaningful contet. Adra dragon was cool though.

 

I found expansions to be the best part of the game, with more interesting quests, better designed locals, and better told story. Scripted interactions were much better utilized. If Deadfire will be on the level of White March I will be happy with it, and I still hope they will do better!



#55
Ninjamestari

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weak and pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want"

 

Remind me to never play any game with you ever.

 

 

I liked the "equality is disgusting" part, too.

Okay I'm exaggerating, that's not exactly what he said...

 

 

Spoken like someone who relies on enforced equality for validation. Don't you think one would get better results in an environment where ideas actually have to earn their validation? How do you even recognize bad ideas if you pretend that every idea is equal?



#56
Wormerine

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1)My list of issues is a bit longer though, for example the stat system is too divorced from reality to forge any connection with my character. They butchered the extremely well formed interface between instinctive perception of reality and the fantasy of the game that was present in D&D, because they had this arbitrary political view of the "there should not be bad builds" and "every build is equal" - type, which I find to be a rather infantile mentality (it actually has an eerie resemblance with a Social Justice agenda, which just adds in another layer of disgusting). Make a system and let the nature of that system determine what works and what doesn't instead of forcing some ridiculous "anything goes" agenda. 

 

 

2)The gaming industry is in a desperate need of strong ideas, weak and pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want" and "working together to come up ideas" and "respecting every point of view as equals" have resulted in a steady stream of extremely uninspired and uninspiring games. You obviously have good vision for gaming, and what makes your ideas strong is that instead of being grounded in meaningless rhetoric like most people, your ideas are grounded in reality. Not everyone will like your ideas, but screw them. A good strong idea will win over everyone who is worth winning over in the long run if it receives the love and care it needs to grow into a practical implementation.

 

 

Ok, there is so much wrong with this post: arbitrary political view of the "there should not be bad builds" and "every build is equal"

 

Since when game design means politics? They want to give you more freedom of roleplaying and opening the way of building your character. The problem with D&D is that there is a good way of building character and a bad way. Class define what will you do, and certain classes require certain stats. Therefore, no you don't have a choice. You cant build a wizard with low intelligence. If there is a one good way of building character and all other are bad, then why to have a choice at all? Josh mentioned he isn't a fan of class based system at all, and maybe it is why. In something like fallout&fallout2, you build character and then decide what he will become. In here you choose a class and then give him stats which allow him to do, what he does best. To open up roleplaying possibilities they decided spread importance of stats to be similar for every class. Yes, it does create new problems. No, it is not a political statement.

 

 

pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want" and "working together to come up ideas" and "respecting every point of view as equals" have resulted in a steady stream of extremely uninspired and uninspiring games. I guess you never worked in creative field. There is no weakness in listening to feedback. Yes, you need to respect your artistic vision and keep in sight a goal you want to achieve. However, listening to feedback is not the same as betraying your artistic vision. No matter if you are a film director, game developer, musician, painter you always create for someone, for audience. It might be a narrow audience, but it is still someone. You always serve. If you want to see what masterpieces you get when you shut down all criticism and do what you believe is good just look up "games" by Digital Homocide Studios. Believe me, there is no thing more difficult than throwing out an idea you are attatched to, or one you worked on for a long time. 


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#57
Karkarov

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So couple things.

1: Everyone's feedback is always valuable, even if you didn't play the game.  After all, there is a reason you didn't play it.  Some feedback will be better than others, but all feedback is useful.

2: People who thought Eternity was BG3 really annoy me, because they made it abundantly clear to anyone who looked that Eternity was a new IP, with a new ruleset, in a new world, that would have nothing to do with BG3 other than being "an Isometric 2d background RPG using real time with pause".  If you thought you were backing BG3 that was your bad, not Obsidians.

3: Yes it was doomed to fight a nostalgia fight against BG2, which it was going to lose no matter what.  Why?  Because it is a nostalgia fight.  Nostalgia isn't based on reason, or fair analysis, it is based on emotion.  The new will always lose to the nostalgic, because the new doesn't have the same "feeling".  It doesn't matter if that "feeling" is just in your head, or if the new is actually just as good, or superior in multiple ways. 


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#58
Ninjamestari

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Ok, there is so much wrong with this post: arbitrary political view of the "there should not be bad builds" and "every build is equal"

 

Since when game design means politics? They want to give you more freedom of roleplaying and opening the way of building your character. The problem with D&D is that there is a good way of building character and a bad way. Class define what will you do, and certain classes require certain stats. Therefore, no you don't have a choice. You cant build a wizard with low intelligence. If there is a one good way of building character and all other are bad, then why to have a choice at all? Josh mentioned he isn't a fan of class based system at all, and maybe it is why. In something like fallout&fallout2, you build character and then decide what he will become. In here you choose a class and then give him stats which allow him to do, what he does best. To open up roleplaying possibilities they decided spread importance of stats to be similar for every class. Yes, it does create new problems. No, it is not a political statement.

 

 

pathetic ideas that revolve around "communicating with the players to see what they want" and "working together to come up ideas" and "respecting every point of view as equals" have resulted in a steady stream of extremely uninspired and uninspiring games. I guess you never worked in creative field. There is no weakness in listening to feedback. Yes, you need to respect your artistic vision and keep in sight a goal you want to achieve. However, listening to feedback is not the same as betraying your artistic vision. No matter if you are a film director, game developer, musician, painter you always create for someone, for audience. It might be a narrow audience, but it is still someone. You always serve. If you want to see what masterpieces you get when you shut down all criticism and do what you believe is good just look up "games" by Digital Homocide Studios. Believe me, there is no thing more difficult than throwing out an idea you are attatched to, or one you worked on for a long time. 

 

 

I use the word 'politics' because it describes the phenomenon quite accurately. "Everything should be equal" is a political belief, as it implies not only an assumption of what reality is like (all things aren't necessarily equal), but also that active measures are to be taken in order to affect that reality (make things more equal). In game-design context this is often referred to as "design philosophy", but it is also a policy (a principle or a set of principles through which decisions are made). I really wasn't expecting that I'd have to spell this out for anyone, but what the hell, I have the time now so no skin off my back.

 

When you make a statement like "the problem with D&D is...", you make it based on the general assumed principles you believe in. This is politics. The term politics is quite broad and isn't restricted to matters of the state. Even families have internal politics, they're the inevitable consequence of a group of humans sharing common space. There are several assumptions you make with your beliefs for example that I very much disagree with. For example, you seem to operate under the belief that "more choice is always better than less choice", and I would point out that this is not true. Also you claim that in D&D you don't have a choice to make certain kinds of characters, but this isn't true either, you *can* make a fighter with a negative modifier in every physical stat, there just happens to be consequences of that choice, the character not being very good at what it is supposed to be doing (fighting) among them. So we disagree on a very fundamental level on what makes a game good, because where you see this as a lack of choice and thus a bad thing, I see it as a consequence to your choice, and I think that those consequences are what give those choices meaning. Having all the choice and no consequences is the same thing as having no choice at all since all choices lead to the same outcome.

 

 

Now let's tackle this feedback problem, you know there is this gray area between the "only my ideas are good, **** you all and I'm not going to listen to anything you say, lalalalalalala!" and the "All your ideas are very good, none of them are better or worse than the others, so we will distribute our time equally among ALL of them without having any sort of priority because all the ideas are equally important" - extremes. My whole point revolves around the observation that these days people tend to fail in the latter manner way more often than the former. Neither extreme produces viable results in the long run. Perhaps I should have articulated that more clearly in the first place but here it is now. You can tell which problem is the more prevalent one due to the fact that the problems they produce are very different. The too authoritarian group can't learn from their mistakes and keep repeating them over and over and over and over again, trying the same failed approach until the earth is devoured by the dying sun, while the too liberal group keeps re-inventing the wheel and never being able to really build anything and will essentially produce an experiment after experiment after experiment. In essence the first group keeps banging their head against the wall while the latter group will just aimlessly wander around in circles without ever really getting anywhere.

 

Now obviously neither of these problems exist here in these extreme forms, but the problems PoE does have clearly indicate the too liberal approach, the unwillingness to commit to a single idea and accept its flaws and start building around it, and everything I've heard about Deadfire sounds like an experiment rather than something solid. The first PoE suffers from the very same thing. Now I do have faith that even if Obsidian fails to deliver an outstanding game, at least their experiments will be interesting ones, so no real catastrophe is going to come that way.

 

Damn I hope this made any sense. Feel free to ask for clarification if I didn't cover some point sufficiently.


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#59
Karkarov

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I use the word 'politics' because it describes the phenomenon quite accurately. "Everything should be equal" is a political belief, as it implies not only an assumption of what reality is like (all things aren't necessarily equal), but also that active measures are to be taken in order to affect that reality (make things more equal). In game-design context this is often referred to as "design philosophy", but it is also a policy (a principle or a set of principles through which decisions are made). I really wasn't expecting that I'd have to spell this out for anyone, but what the hell, I have the time now so no skin off my back.

Uh logical disconnect of the day here?  Real life, and video games, have nothing to do with each other.  "I want all player builds to be viable" is not on any level, by any ridiculous stretch of imagination, a political statement.  It is a video game design choice.

Considering the first game in this series opens up with a tree of people hung for literally no reason, and or crimes they did not commit, I think it is safe to say Obsidian understands that "all things aren't equal in the real world".


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#60
Ninjamestari

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I use the word 'politics' because it describes the phenomenon quite accurately. "Everything should be equal" is a political belief, as it implies not only an assumption of what reality is like (all things aren't necessarily equal), but also that active measures are to be taken in order to affect that reality (make things more equal). In game-design context this is often referred to as "design philosophy", but it is also a policy (a principle or a set of principles through which decisions are made). I really wasn't expecting that I'd have to spell this out for anyone, but what the hell, I have the time now so no skin off my back.

Uh logical disconnect of the day here?  Real life, and video games, have nothing to do with each other.  "I want all player builds to be viable" is not on any level, by any ridiculous stretch of imagination, a political statement.  It is a video game design choice.

Considering the first game in this series opens up with a tree of people hung for literally no reason, and or crimes they did not commit, I think it is safe to say Obsidian understands that "all things aren't equal in the real world".

 

 

Did you even try to understand what I was saying?


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