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Posts posted by Stef

  1. I accidentally found the culprit behind these insane long load game times...

    In the game there are six harbor town/cities. Port Maje, Neketaka, Dunnage, Tikewara, Sayuka and Splintered Reef. These places have "supplies" button for purchasing ship supplies once the ship is in the harbor. I clicked on this button somewhere at the beginning of the game (I think in Port Maje), only to notice that I had no need for those kind of general ship supplies so I ignored these "shops" during the game.

    Now I happened to once again click on this button in Dunnage and the game was frozen for nearly a minute. Then it listed all the items in the Dunnage's list and any further click would list all the item's again without freezing the game. And then I also notice that the save I made after that, was loaded about ~20 seconds faster. Thus I went to all six cities to use these shops. In three out of six (beside Dunnage... Neketaka and especially Splintered Reef) game was again frozen for about a minute, before listing the items. However, the saves I made after visiting harbor shops in all these six cities and any save further down the line, were loaded for about ~30 seconds. MUCH MUCH more bearable than over 2 minutes as it was before. So it seems it's not the discover of world map but discover of these harbor cities that slow down loading times...

    How the heck did you do this...!? And also, why those ship upgrades like cannons or sails, are listed as 999+ items (assuming that has anything to do with prolonging loading times)? I also wonder if there are more oddities like these to further lower the times of game loading...

  2. I don't know if this is just me, but I am finding loading of the saved games, unbearable in the late game.

    I have SSD and I have no problem with area loading time (which is quick) but as soon as I initiate loading of the saved game, it needs over 2 minutes to complete! At the beginning of the game, it was quick, but as game progressed, it was getting longer and longer. I suspect it is related to the world map, as it seems to me that the more of the Deadfire world map was uncovered the longer loading time was getting.

    Is there something I can do about this or is this just the way it is??

    Loading procedure begins with about ~60 seconds of black screen where whole system is unresponsive (for example, switching to desktop doesn't work). Then ~10 seconds of loading splash-screen where system is again responsive, then another ~60 seconds of black screen with unresponsive system. And then saved game is finally loaded.

    My version is Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Obsidian Edition from GOG with all DLCs installed, and OS is Windows 10.

  3. This is my top problem with RPG games with involving story and many deep characters. Which are, btw, rare and few to meet those criteria, hence one of the reasons why this problem is not as exposed, I believe. Often it makes choosing party for some quest, a real chore.

    I am not a single playthrough guy, but multi playthrough is not a solution to this problem. Some missed lines and even one-two whole quests are not enough to warrant the whole new 100 hours long game (and my games are usually that long because I like to peek under every rock) yet it is annoying to me, when in a current playthrough, I miss something like this. Small-talk missed lines I can swallow, but anything deeper... meh. Further more, if I am particularly satisfied with the first playthrough, then I may want to repeat a lot of it in the next, so that I could see again those same cool moments. And that often means missing the content that I have missed... again. Not to mention that one may simply forget about stuff that he has missed, in some other playthrough, which characters were present in which quest, etc.

    I am almost at the point, as long as this is solved, I fine with solution. No nitpicking :)

    • Like 1

    Removal of Goldpact order. Burn it with fire, and pretend it never existed in lore, since it's absurd :)


    I am not exactly fine with Bleak Walkers either, but at least I can understand wider reasoning for introducing those.


    Why is the stuff the Goldpact Knights and Bleak Walkers are fanatical about more absurd than the stuff the Wayfarers or Shieldbearers are fanatical about?



    Well, Bleak Walkers I kinda understand, although I personally don't like idea... it's somehow, too raw.


    As for Goldpacts, nope, just nope. If you actually mean to ask, I doubt, you would understand or agree anyway.

  5. As for DA:O, there are mods to skip the Fade, and I liked that the second time around. ;)

    Being a party based game, characters are meant to complement each other. I can safely skip abilities that are vital to gameplay on my Watcher because some other character has them; I can have my Watcher be not really all that good in combat, or at least solo combat (which isn't that rare for support characters).


    Well... I also heard that there was a mod for Baldur's Gate 2, used for skipping the Irenicu' dungeon at the beginning of the game. All that I can say about reasoning behind this... it's completely alien to me.


    Party members complementing each other, is a big advantage of party-play, indeed. However, well crafted solo parts should take that in consideration as well. Vast majority of game is about the party-play anyway, and I doubt that player can create a character so incapable of standing on its own, especially considering all the equipment stuff (bloat) that is present in usual Obsidian's RPG (this is something I would like Obsidian to finally address too, but it's entirely different topic).


    Big advantage of soloing in bg series is that you level up much faster than partying, therefore, it's grant your 1) single class to access their HLA and high level spells earlier. 2) makes your multi class to pass their early period of weakness more easily.


    Actually I consider that a disadvantage of solo-play, unless gameplay is carefully tailored for solo in mind (EXP distribution and so on). There's risks of gaining too much power too early which may lead to disbalanced gameplay for a while or loss of leveling fun. In my experience, power gaming is bad business and I don't like it the least. It may be good only as corrective mechanic (i.e. player makes EXP-related mistake and then fix it though power gaming)


    Just to add, this is why I think that PoE 4th chapter should have been solo:


    - All story narrative up until the pit ("You will be granted favor...", "Watcher may descent...", etc... nobody mentioning anything about companions) made me think at one point that final part of the story might actually be a solo part. And I thought that would be cool as it really made most sense. It was totally personal matter and gods hesitated enough to grant passage even to Watcher, it is kinda bleh that they would just like that allow some other five people to follow and learn world-changing secrets. I was slightly disappointed to see that wasn't the case, but not really surprised.

    - Six people, armed to the teeth standing in front of monk-like old man, ready to whack him is less impressive than Watcher standing alone. Sure, Theos is more than meets the eye, but still... solo thrill is just better at that point.

    - In the end, party goes back to surface through some, apparently third exit from Sun in Shadows, just like that. It really cheapens the whole point of Court of Penitence.

    - It was a chance to add more IC weight behind Watcher's class or perhaps even original Watcher's background, if events through the chapter were slightly different depending on all that.

    - Finally, 4th chapter (Sun in Shadow) in many ways resembles finale of Planscape: Torment (Fortress of Regret). What would have been better? Nameless one, storming fortress with his companions until all of them stand before Transcedent one? Or the way it was done? I don't dare to speak for others, but to me, the way it was designed (which was solo or almost-solo), was far superior.


    If, devs behind 4th chapter, didn't think at all about solo-only and was thinking all the time about party, then it's alright. But if idea about solo-only was floating around, yet some sort of OOC feeling like -- finale without party!? Preposterous! -- overrid it, then it was wrong call to follow. And missed opportunity for even better finale, in my opinion.

  6. In Baldur's Gate 2 solo parts were dreams for example. And I quite enjoyed them. However, those parts of the game, were more player controlled cutscenes than the real game. No encounters, no foes to fight (unless we count half-serious fight with manifestation of Bhaal), nothing. It is like whenever solo moments come up, designers want to rush player though them as quickly as possible so that game could switch back to party-play. Almost like they have some OOC fear of the very idea of solo-play (such being reserved only for Diablo and other less serious, action RPGs). Such train of thoughts is wrong in my opinion. They should spend time, designing those parts for real solo gameplay, since solo gameplay has a set of serious advantages over party gameplay, that should be put to use. As I mentioned in the OP, solo-play and party-play complement each other rather than exclude one another.

    I remember Dragon Age Origin, having a seriously designed solo part, that took place in the mage tower. And I liked it. I remember, I was hoping for more such moments through the game. Turned out, it was the only one.

  7. No, no, I am not suggesting that the whole game should be played solo. Vast majority of the game should be designed for a party of five, of course. But sometimes there are some parts during the story (like, in my opinion, that final, fourth chapter of PoE main story) where party looks more forced upon than it makes sense to be present. Thus game should switch to solo-play (or smaller party) during those parts, since solo-play has certain advantages over party-play that would simply make gameplay and immersion better at those points, if designed well.

  8. Common arguing whether 'party-play' is better than 'solo-play' or vice versa, is wrong in my opinion. Both should be respected and made to complement each other in a good story. It's almost like there is (or at least was) this unwritten rule where solo-play in serious party based RPG is perceived as pure blasphemy. However, I think this is a nonsense, as in truth each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

    Biggest advantage of solo-play is full, undivided control over the combat and various item strategies, and real chance to see how well can main character stand on it's own. To me, it is also somehow, relaxing and refreshing to suddenly have only one character under control for a little while. On the other hand, the biggest advantage of party-play is a lot more choices in combat, chance to experience different classes and party members, and various party interactions in dialogues and the story.

    I think that, if some part of the story makes most sense to be played solo, then it should be designed as solo-play. In Baldur's Gate 1, I believe that whole second visit to Candlekeep should have been either solo-play or two-people party (main character and Imoen). In Pillars of Eternity, I think that whole fourth chapter of the main story should have been solo only and designed with that in mind, perhaps even for each class of the main character, individually. That way, it would have been more intense, more interesting, and would overall fit better in the story and its general mood. Further more, perhaps there wouldn't be need to offer player that, rather annoying, choice of upscalling foes in White March (whether AI would be allowed to cheat or player would be a tourist) if only Zahua, Devil and then Maneha in part two, were available companions for White March campaign. That is party of 3, then 4... but so what. If more is needed due to unexpected difficulty, one could always create custom character or two in Stalwart tavern and there also wouldn't be a need to spend resources writing somehow vanila companions into that campaign.

    I would say, for PoE2, don't stick to party size as some sort of dogma. Sure, most of the time, it should be party of five, but when it makes sense to be less or solo due to story, then it should be made so. And before offering OOC choices like upscalling, factor in first if player's party has to have five members to begin with.

  9. Just to clarify, I do not advocate any of the mentioned solutions. I am not too happy with either of them (perhaps solution 2 might be the good starting point). These examples are just some quick thoughts of mine, how to tackled the problem...

    Basically, as long as this is sorted out somehow, without breaking something in the process, I am probably fine with any solution that devs might come up with.

    And I disagree with this...


    However, this is a good problem to have, not a bad one


    ...it is too little to matter in replaying of the game, yet a shame to lose during the current game. Particularly when after some quest, I am suddenly well aware that I brought "wrong" party members. Not to mention the awkward moments, when certain party member talks to your character like he/she was tagging along all the time, as Quillon mentioned.

    Oh and I don't mind missing line or two, and definitely don't expect to see everything in one go. That would be silly. I have nothing against big decisions (like in DAI, where you can side either with templars or mages in the first half of the story) or decisions that are obviously in spirit of my character even if those are going to make me miss vivid portion of narrative :)

  10. This one thing buggers me and would like if Obsidian could address it somehow in all future RPGs...

    As complexity of all available party members (deep backgrounds, personal quests, dialogue moments, main story involvement, etc.) is rising too high, particularly in Obsidian and Bioware RPGs, something really needs to be done about dispersion of all those characters during first playthrough. For a while now, whenever I see a new potential party member, I don't feel fun, but very unpleasant feeling of burden, unless its beginning of the game and there are still free slots in the party. Discovering "who-fits-where" (which party members fits most for what quest or piece of the main plot) is becoming a nightmare and has turned literary into the parallel game for me with tiresome amount of saved and loaded games. When I finished Pillars of Eternity for the first time, I left myself notes "who-fits-where", and second playthorough left impression of much more coherent experience where each party member had its role over the course of story (I even saw one minor event I missed, because my intuition failed me in that case first time). This is how I should have felt after first playthrough. I remember that the biggest joke of this type was in "NWN 2: Mask of Betrayer". There was four intriguing characters, but only three party slots. Sufficient to say that I felt sour at that, and I was -- this close -- to use a console command to expend party and cover that fourth one... but didn't do it in the end because it was obvious that balance would go to hell (on already too easy game) and juggling with just one more "variable" was bearable in, overall, short story. Now I may be sick of completionist syndrome but it really makes no sense to me that you get to meet (intriguing) characters only to pile them up in the storage room for the rest of the game, with only bringing them out when you are ready to finish their personal quest. That's one big shame. And "replayability value" is not excuse here, because while feeling of missed content is unpleasant during the current playthrough, it's hardly motivating to repeat the whole game just to see some of dialogues or (minor) events missed. Beside, point of repeating the game isn't necessarily to search for missed moments, but also seeing again those that were particularly cool.

    I can think of three possible solutions for this problem:

    Solution 1:

    Create, say, 10 potential party members, but make sure only 5 are available during one playthrough. Which 5, is decided by some algorithm upon beginning of the game. This way game receives a -- real -- replayability value, because meeting whole new richly-written characters is far more motivating that seeking those (few) missed corners at first, and in the same time you do not distract player from current playthrough to meta-search for those corners due to frequent suspicions. Downside of this idea is that, meeting exact number of characters as there are free slots in the party is too... convenient in sense of immersion and the mentioned algorithm has to be really smart. Also there could be a problem if one of those 5 characters, player finds very repulsive for whatever reason and send him/her away... though Obsidian RPGs are easy enough to be solved with far less than six characters (and if player desperately needs all six, he can always make a custom ones in the inn).

    Solution 2:

    Long time ago, there was this RPG "The Summoner". Player didn't have any control who is in the party or how big the party was, since course of the story was firmly dictating both. While this fully solves the problem, I am not fan of this idea, because essentially control over the party is taken from the player completely and pushes immersion more toward "interactive movie" experience than "open game" experience. However, a lighter version of this idea might work. It is not unusual in today's RPGs, that for some quests, some party member addresses main character directly asking to come. However, that happens ever so rarely and usually when it is quite obvious who should be brought on that particular quest. Maybe it would be good idea that this happens much more often over the course of the whole story? For example, lets take "Ciders of Faith" quest. When you pick up the quest, or better, when you are just about to address the NPC and pick up the quest, game quickly (and subtly) nudges you, that you should have Durance in the party before doing that. It's still up to the player to accept or ignore that nudge. Or lets take the first journey to Twin-Elms in Act 3 as example. Game could (subtly) nudge you to have Pellegina in the party for that journey (btw, this is that minor event I missed first time and then the following event in Valian embassy due to that). Vice versa could work too, where often party members express disinterest toward some quests, thus letting player know that they will be nothing more than a "tool" for getting it done. Also, when player is in some HUB, like city, party members that are not in the party could be allowed to scatter around and appear near the NPCs whose quests interest them. Lets take "Ciders of Faith" as example again. Durance could be around the shrine, for whatever reason, even if he was not in the party, so when player address quest-giver Durance takes a part in that conversation like he was in the party. Downside of this idea is, while it would certainly make party dispersion better, it wouldn't solve the problem completely and in the case of mentioned nudges, those would most certainly carry some degree of meta-gaming experience.

    Solution 3:

    Remove party limit, but add some sort of major penalty for everyone, if party has more than 6 characters. So player would bring more than 6 characters only if, for whatever reason, there is suspicion that a lot of NPCs are interested in particular quest and would have interesting things to say and do. Again, it does not solve the problem entirely.

    In old RPG games, party members used to be not too much developed and overall, simple. Take Baldur's Gate 1 for example. Most (if not all) of potential party members in that game were a little more than custom generated. In that case, it is easy to leave things as they are, but as stories become complex and potential party members richly-written to the boot with increasing involvement in the main plot, this content missing is becoming a big problem in my opinion and needs to be addressed. It's even bigger problem, if main character and (some) decisions gets transferred in the sequel. Grieving mother was the last party member I met in PoE during first playthrough and after checking on her, my first reaction was frustration -- oh come on!! How am I going to juggle with this, obviously main-story-important character, now!? Like juggling wasn't tiresome enough so far... (turned out she wasn't as main-story-important as it looked to me at first but still was one of the top intriguing party members).

    • Like 3
  11. There has been quite a few patches to the game so far, but according to this topic...


    ...I am not sure if Song of the Wild task is working correctly.

    "Song of the Heaven" talent is given as reward also in case when Delem is persuaded three times NOT to eat each of three birds. Is this intended behavior or not? I don't want my character to receive talent out of bug.

    Other than this...

    Is it just me, or this talent is quite serious reward for such a trivial task? And assuming this is not bug, it is rather annoying that Tiam bird can be obtain only through cruelty or deception... heck, one should be able to find it in one of the forests or on the Twin-Elms market...

  12. I was in the middle of the game -- both PoE 2.02 and WH1 2.02 installed -- when I decided to patch it to 2.03. Just in case patcher bugs something up (like report wrong version which happened to me in the past), I simply re-downloaded full PoE 2.03 and full WM1 2.03, de-installed the current game and installed new one. Everything went well and reported version is now 2.03. However... as soon as I loaded the last save, I noticed few broken and few weird things:

    - Mail coif helmet doesn't show up on female characters anymore. On male characters it works fine. Any other type of helmet that I tried seems to work fine on females too, just mail coif for some reason is broken. Azalin's Helmet broken too.

    - Quests are not tracked any more. Before this new patch, any time when I would receive that journal was updated, when I opened it, it would bring me to the page of that latest quest which was updated. Now it opens always on the blank page after this message and I have manually to navigate to the quest to see that update.

    - Some secrets can suddenly be highlighted even if those are not yet uncovered. Basically I see purple haze at the spot where secret is, when I highlight objects on the screen, but I cannot interact with that purple haze until secret is properly uncovered first. Is this... some new intentional behavior??

    - Message about stash availability is inverted. When I am in area where I can access stash at my leisure, I receive message "Stash can only be accessed after rest" (although I can access it just fine) and when I am in area where I can access stash only during the rest, I receive message "Stash can be accessed now" (which I can't so I guess it's fine except messages are wrong).

    I haven't yet visited White Marches (although its already available to my character), so all this experience of mine is related to the main campaign.

    • Like 1
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