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About hobbitmonk

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  1. I can't say with any real certainty on this one, since in the case of Deadfire I knew a sequel was coming so I kept an eye on it. Tyranny just came from nowhere for me. But I think you're right, the marketing wasn't very proactive for Deadfire. If you were interested, you had to actively look for info about it. Add that to the list of reasons I suppose. That's interesting, I didn't know that. One of the challenges in any creative project is knowing when to really put your foot down on something. Maybe Josh should have been more stubborn about the pirate stuff. But I'm not here to judge past decisions, I just hope we can learn from them for a more promising future for the franchise. I don't think it's controversial to say that part of PoE's problem, all the way back to the original, was too many stretch goals, too many concessions to the mob. Everyone knows the unfinished castle management. The one that stuck out to me though was Josh saying somewhere that elves and dwarfs were only added because people expected to have them in a fantasy setting. Consequence being, creatively elves and dwarfs in PoE had nothing going on, literally feeling like skinny humans and short humans. I don't think it's a coincidence that they're absent from Tyranny.
  2. I've heard this before, but I think it oversimplifies things a little. Mainstream audiences want familiarity yes, but not TOO familiar. Using Marvel as an example, the difference between the early Marvel films and the later films is actually quite significant imo. Imagine jumping blind into a recent Marvel film, with universe-shattering stakes and a miasma of different characters and settings messily slapped together. Viking gods? A talking raccoon in space? Why is the green man so angry? It would be absolutely nonsensical. You'd have no idea who these people are or what's going on or why you should care. The Marvel formula works because the similarities and differences between the individual films work together effectively to keep audiences coming back. Familiarity with just the right amount of novelty. PoE was an indulgent nostalgia piece (I mean that in a nice way) that captured genre interest at a time when CRPGs were not really popular. Things are different now. Would changing the setting to something more familiar (or exotic) have been sufficient to make Deadfire a success? I don't know. Probably not. Imo Deadfire's lack of success is down to a confluence of smaller failures, not just one magic bullet. The pirate setting is my personal bugbear, and it seems to be a significant enough problem that lots of people mention it. But I think the biggest problem financially was being a direct sequel to a nostalgia piece. The nostalgics in the audience were satisfied with PoE. The newbies to the genre have other CRPGs to choose from now. So where does that leave Deadfire? Trying to sustain interest from a depleted audience of people who played the first game. It's not a recipe for financial success. As for Tyranny, that one's a bit trickier to explain, but part of it is probably poor marketing. It completely passed me by when it first came out. I've seen other people mention the same problem. It wasn't until it popped up in a Steam sale that I even knew it existed. I have played it, though not to completion, and the setting and concept seem more interesting than Deadfire. It's sad if developers feel they can't take a risk or experiment because everyone is chasing the mainstream audience. I hope that isn't the case. There's something to be said for knowing your niche, being part of that niche, and developing for that niche. Not every game has to aim to be the gaming equivalent of Marvel or Bond. But while we're on the topic of films, successful independent films tend not to have stuff like bloated and unnecessary stretch goals. The best independent films have the confidence to be the authentic vision of the writer or director, and be tightly focused on that, to the exclusion of unnecessary fluff. Or is that too much to hope for in the Kickstarter age?
  3. Fair enough. I'm not against that kind of texture. But there's more ways of achieving it than a direct sequel. Personally after completing PoE I didn't feel any sense of narrative incompleteness or lack of closure. Did you? Returning characters could have been integrated in other ways. For the record, I'm not necessarily opposed to PoE2 being a direct sequel. I don't think it was financial prudent though. And narratively it feels unnecessary to me. You're right, it's not fair. And yet it does make a certain kind of sense. This is an awkward point to explain, so bear with me. I think the difference is that Tolkeinesque settings can get away with it because it is the "every day" setting. For most people playing these games or reading these books, it's the default setting not just because of Tolkein's long shadow over the genre, but also because it roughly mirrors their own culture, their own history, and their own environment. As such, it's easier to drop into, and it's easier for an author to modify without confusing or disturbing the reader/player too much. So it made a good first setting for PoE, and it's likely to remain the standard in other fantasy settings for the same reason. The more complex the modifications you want to make to our own world in terms of ethics, theology, metaphysics, magic, technology, philosophy, politics, and so on, the less safe changing the environmental flavour of the setting becomes. It's another layer the reader/player needs to get acclimatised to. Not impossible of course, but the more you deviate from the standard setting, the more talented your writing team is going to have to be to do it elegantly and with minimal confusion. In PoE's case, the writers needed to convey some fairly unusual ideas like the way souls work in this setting and the nature of the Hollowing. That's the narrative focus. Having a heterodox setting could have muddled the focus. Keep in mind I'm not defending this per se, just explaining it as I see it, and why fantasy settings so often play it safe, even if in other ways they try to experiment with things. I think part of it is financial considerations. Try too many things at once and you risk creating a mess that people stay away from. So anyway, along comes the sequel. Now your setting is established. You can start experimenting more with the setting. You have a huge fantasy world to explore. You've already dropped some hints in the last game. Interesting possibilities you could explore; I like Raedceras and the Living Lands myself, but I'm sure there's others you could think of. And they chose... pirates. Maybe the second safest setting after Tolkeinesque? Maybe PoE3 will be zombie apocalypse... Why pirates specifically send a lot of people to sleep is difficult to say. It's a very subjective problem. It should be cool. But somehow it just feels tired. Blame Pirates of the Caribbean perhaps.
  4. I'll clarify then. My point with Discworld was merely that they had a choice of direct sequel (Harry Potter) or expand the scope (Discworld). Or if we're generous, they had a third option, quasi-sequel (Hobbit/LotR).
  5. I'll just throw my 2p in about why I personally still haven't got around to playing Deadfire, despite loving the first game and White March. For context, that makes me a lost customer I suppose. As a disclaimer, I feel some people in these threads (I've skimmed a few threads, so I'm not picking on anyone in particular) are getting a little defensive. Devs and fans should both wonder why the success of the first game didn't translate into the second game, or this community will continue to dwindle and any hope of PoE3 will dwindle with it. I hope in 10 years time, the PoE community is thriving, and doesn't just consist of a few bitter fans sniping each other over where things went wrong. Anyway, my post is purely an explanation of my own opinion. But if you get enough opinions, you have data. There's lots of reasons I could talk about. Some have already been discussed at length elsewhere. The most important one for me personally, and the one that probably biased me against the game from the outset, is that Deadfire as a setting is boring. I loved the setting and lore of the first game. Digging through the books and scrolls you find, learning about this world that you're only exploring a tiny fraction of. And most of it (Twin Elms not so much) is really interesting. The world is intriguing, and explores ideas that are normally only skimmed over in fantasy. It made me hope there would be sequels where you could see more of the world. Raedceras and the Living Lands in particular stood out to me as interesting and unusual as far as fantasy settings go. I was eager to see more. Instead, they went with Deadfire, and a pirate motif that was already feeling tired years ago. My enthusiasm deflated. A few secondary issues that I'll skim over quickly to save boring you: - The Eothas statue storyline didn't hook me. Core story seemed uninteresting and uninspired. That's a big problem for a rpg. - I'm older now. I have a career and family that keep me busy. I don't have the same kind of time any more to dedicate to long rpgs. For instance, I loved FF7 as a kid. But I'm older now. The remake came too late for me. I don't care any more. Rpgs are a serious time investment, and I don't have that kind of time any more. Is the audience for CRPGs ageing out of viability? I don't know. Maybe? At least those in it for nostalgia. - But if you're a young whippersnapper, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just coming to CRPGs for the first time, there are a lot more CRPGs to choose from now. What makes Deadfire special? If you're in it primarily for the gameplay, PoE doesn't stand out as much as it did when it was released. - Unlike, say, Zelda or Final Fantasy or Fallout, Deadfire is a direct story sequel. It's like picking up the third Harry Potter as your first Potter book. Sure you can, but I can't imagine why you would. It sort of sets a cap on what your audience is going to be. What they should have done was Discworld, creating new stories with new characters in a shared world. I know there are fuzzy examples that don't fit neatly into either category, but I don't think Deadfire is one of them. This is turning into a ramble, so I'll end on some positives. I still have a lot of hope for PoE as a setting. There's so much potential there. Hell, I'd even be up for some novels. Think about what makes PoE unique. Because it's not pirates.
  6. It's doable, but since a priest is normally best when spamming spells rather than hitting things with a hammer, the traditional frontline cleric priest isn't ideal. Paladin is probably closer to what you're looking for, you lose spells but you retain the holy warrior gimmick. The best 'caster' for sitting on the frontline hitting things is probably chanter, since their 'casting' is mostly done passively, so you can still hit things at the same time without issue; probably not quite what you're looking for though, although from a fluff pov a chanter could make for an interesting shaman cleric. If you still want to do a battle priest anyway, take a look at Dr <3's Pale Knight build as something to get you started. If you don't mind playing an evil character, there's also Skaen.
  7. You have a few options. 1. Hands down the easiest - and imo best - method is to stealth to the door with Stealth 5. The convo with the statue triggers, drop the animat summon as a distraction, run through the door, and wait for combat to end. Done. This fight is not worth the hassle imo. Respec out of Stealth 5 later if that's your style. 2. There's a summon distraction method that doesn't require Stealth, but I found it to be quite picky to get to work. Expect to have to try it a few times to get it right. 3. If you're determined to do the fight the manly way, then you'll need as much Fortitude as possible to endure those stun attacks; max Might and Constitution and take the Bear's Fortitude talent. After trying it a few different ways with a few different classes, my take is that the Deflection strategy isn't ideal. You want to try to out DPS the phantoms and pray your high Fortitude gives you some reprieve against chain-stunning. Dual-wield fine weapons, don't forget fire lash and spirit-slaying. It should go without saying that you should be hiding in the corner, fighting them one-on-one only. Fan of Flames scrolls are your friend too, just make sure you're being attacked by a shadow, and Fan of Flames over his head (though I've done it without scrolls before, so they aren't required if you'd rather not). Try to open combat with a fine arbalest, which should at least knock out or weaken one enemy straight away. So you want max Might and Con for Fortitude, and high Perception for accuracy. Coastal Aumaua is my favourite race for soloing mostly because stun and prone is so common, their racial is a great quality of life bonus in the early game where such things matter the most imo. Iirc, One-handed no longer works with a shield.
  8. I ran through most of PotD solo with a monk (one day I'll wrap it up, but life got in the way and I'd rather just start a new run right now), and I've used monks in regular party play too. My observation with Clarity is that most of its use is as an emergency escape button. If you're playing a full party, you probably have a paladin or a priest who can do anti-CC duty (and enemy CC normally isn't as dangerous with a full party anyway), so you can normally safely skip it imo. Monks have no shortage of tasty abilities, so unless you're dead set on having a very defensive monk, I'd go for something else most of the time. That said, Clarity does have niche utility, but it's mostly of interest to soloers or party monks who spend most of their time behind enemy lines targeting casters (combo with Long Stride and Flagellant's Path). If you have high defences/Res, the enemies are probably just grazing you most of the time, so even dumped Int is fine to make CC quickly expire. re your bug, I don't recall seeing it myself, or maybe I just didn't notice. Maybe report it if you haven't already, though I don't know if there are any more patches forthcoming. Clarity does have other buggy problems I found. One particularly irksome one was that if you tell your monk to, say, Torment's Reach, but before your monk has executed the ability you change the order to Clarity... the monk will do neither and just stand there doing nothing. I haven't run into this problem with anything else, so it seems to be a bug with Clarity. Buyer beware. tldr I don't regret using it on my solo run exactly; it made some tough fights go more smoothly, but there are issues with using it. If you're content to reload when fights go against you anyway, then Clarity loses even its niche use. If you're playing with permadeath though, I'd say it's worth it. You really don't want to die due to CC you could have escaped with Clarity. I'd make sure you practice with it first before doing a permadeath run so you know where it's bugginess is going to let you down.
  9. If you don't mind cheesing it a bit (and I didn't mind, after carving through all those mercenaries outside all bets were off), he's one of the easiest bosses in the game imo. Use a monk with Long Stride (or a paladin with Zealous Charge, or iirc you can do the same thing with a ranger's pet) and kite the enemies out in manageable chunks, or even one at a time. Boots of Speed are always handy for kiting, but I don't think they're absolutely required here. Then dogpile Concelhaut and chop him into sushi. Without his goons to play meatshield, he's nothing special, and should be down in seconds. No buffing/food/scrolls/needed, just a good old fashioned beat down, consistent and reliable, if cheesy. If you're still having issues, I'm pretty sure he isn't immune to prone, so have your melee characters grab prone weapons like Tall Grass pike and the Hours of St. Rumbalt/Temaperacl greatswords, flank him, and beat him down.
  10. Just fyi, the ring isn't particularly interesting, and certainly not worth the loss of the warm fuzzies I get by not looting the poor woman's ring. In fact, the ring is so meh, I'm convinced it - and the whole burning building event - is only there as a "f**k you" by the developers to compulsive looters. PoE in general suffers a bit from high effort/low reward loot at times, but the burning building feels deliberate. See also stealing Captain Fortanero's hat (though that one is at least funny). Also, spells granted by equipment don't seem to work. I tried that with the blizzard estoc from Crucible Keep during a solo run, but no luck.
  11. To be honest, stats aren't THAT important unless you're planning something specific, such as solo or doing something funny with status effect weapons or so on. Most builds wont fall apart if you tinker with their stats a bit (e.g. taking 1 point out of each stat to boost a talky stat sky-high). Hell, nothing will go cataclysmically wrong if you just slap 13 on every stat for any class and call it a day. So don't be disheartened when you compare your character to builds online. Also remember that a lot of builds posted online make use of late-game equipment/talents/abilities which you'll be spending most of the game - and certainly all of Act 1 - without. Paladins also have a bit of a rough power curve in that they're titanic gods when they hit lv13 and get per encounter Sacred Immolation, but until then are mostly jack-of-all-trades, so some people get frustrated and assume they suck. I've always liked them though, even when most of the internet seemed to think they were underpowered. They grant permanent buffs with their auras, they can heal, they're quite resilient, they have some nice damage dealing potential with Sworn Enemy and so on; they're team players for much of the game. If you just want a convo-centric PC, that's your focus and you should think mostly about that imo, the rest of the team can pick up the combat slack. Something like 10/10/10/16/16/16 is fine. If you want to make sure you're getting all the best convo options, then focus on boosting Int and Res; Per is a nice bonus, but not as important as Int and Res. If you're dead set on having a build to work from, there are some builds out there that focus on talky stats, but they tend to be weird tanks (Res for defence, Per + Int for status effects). I quite like NerdCommando's pr0n tank monk for that: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=416939844
  12. I ran a 3 paladin party that was a lot of fun. 2 Kind Wayfarer pikers (Tall Grass, Lost Thayn's Reach) behind a Coastal Aumaua tank (I hate prone-spamming enemies, and there are a lot of them). Tank takes Zealous Charge for kiting mobs into doorways. Kind Wayfarers' Strange Mercy heals help keep the tank alive. Even with just 3 paladins, even on PotD, Sacred Immolation breaks the game in half when you get it, it's grotesque really. I love 'em. The biggest issue was enemy casters, so keep some ranged sidearms around for annoying casters and enemies immune to pikes. I have thought about a 6 paladin party in the past. 5 Kind Wayfarers for stacking heals (make sure you're standing close enough together that the healing aura covers the frontline) would provide an absurd amount of healing even for the toughest fights, though I found even 3 paladins ample for healing purposes. Whatever tanking paladin takes your fancy to camp doorways. You could easily include Pallegina in a party like this if you wanted to. Ranged paladins aren't really optimal, but they're resilient and consistent damage dealers at least. Sworn Enemy is now per encounter, so that's an added nicety for sniping irritating casters. Alternatively, spec another paladin with a prone/stun weapon and Zealous Charge and send him caster-hunting. With 6 paladins, you have the redundancy. In that case, making him Kind Wayfarer might be a bit of a waste. You could even spec a pair of paladins this way so they can flank casters and beat them down in no time at all (Apprentice's Sneak Attack for added fun).
  13. This probably wont be the most helpful answer, but for me my motivation is laziness, so my Mechanic is always my tank. He's at the front of the formation anyway, so he's also my Mechanic, two birds with one stone. I dislike having to rearrange my party for every mob, pulling my Mechanic back into formation and so on. So my party moves around like a phalanx who can immediately jump into combat. It's probably not the most optimal choice, but for me it's a great quality of life boost.
  14. The faction system in Pillars is a little strange in some ways. Near as I can tell, unless you actively try to murder people in a faction's home building, then you can always accept their first quest. Accepting the second quest from a faction locks you out of the other factions' second quests. The Doemenels are a little bit strange in that to even get through the door you need a reason for being there. From what I recall, there are a few options: 1. kill the thieves in Copperlane, and bring the AD letter to the Doemenels' mansion. The doorman will then let you in. 2. Help Medreth in Dyrford Village. The game is a little nonlinear here, so you can visit Dyrford village before even entering Defiance Bay, and his quest is quick and straightforward to complete (you can even lie to him and you'll still get a good rep with the Doemenels anyway). Mention Medreth to the Doemenels' doorman, and he'll let you in. 3. Side with Danna against the merchant. 4. When helping the Salty Mast's owner against the local thugs, don't take a quick resolution to the quest. Instead, talk to the thugs' leader, agree to talk to the Mast's owner about reducing prices, and she'll send you to Bricanta Doemenel to ask about reducing prices. The quest takes longer this way, but is another way to get through the door. You can actually get access to their shop without completing any of their faction quests (or delivering the letter to Reymont instead); Bricanta has her own sidequest, Hard Feelings, that grants access to their shop instead. As far as I can tell, killing Danna doesn't matter in the long run as long as you have another way of getting through the door. They'll still send assassins after you at one point, which is kind of funny. Like I said, the faction system is strange, and there are odd little oversights like this. But the tldr is, you should be fine killing her as long as you haven't otherwise resolved the other routes through the door.
  15. Anslog's Compass is doable early on, I usually do it around lv4. Movement speed breaks a lot the game's difficulty in half, and while it's harder to exploit in caves, it is doable. Start combat with the fine arbalest, then run all the way to the far south-east corner, as close to the cave entrance as possible; if you did it right, all but the closest of the sporelings will stop chasing you, allowing for a one-on-one fight. Rinse and repeat until they're all dead. The remaining dank spore towers are tiresome to fight due to mind control, but otherwise don't pose much of a threat. Monks and paladins get easy +2 movement with Long Stride and Zealous Charge respectively; other classes can achieve the same result with Survival 3 and the Fast Runner talent. If you're still having trouble, consider taking the Bear's Fortitude talent, which helps against Prone. Note when dealing with the spore towers, there's STILL a bug that means the towers get to keep your buff auras after mind control has expired, so if you're, say, a paladin with Outworn Buckler equipped or a Zealous aura, either remove it before fighting them, or better yet just slowly plug away at them one at a time from a nice safe distance with the fine arbalest. You can do the same trick with the bear cave, but it's a bit more erratic there (sometimes the big bear doesn't turn back), so it may take a reload or two, but otherwise it's reliable. I normally do the bear cave at lv3. If you have no RP preference one way or the other, it's usually worth killing Raedric for the unique armour you can only acquire later if you kill him, since it's one of the better pieces of armour in the game imo. There's no real rush on finishing that quest though. If I recall correctly, on my last solo run I eventually wrapped up Raedric around lv7, although there's no harm in doing as much of the quest as you can asap, it's a good source of early cash and some fine equipment. Whatever triggers this convo must be incredibly picky, because it must have taken me close to a dozen attempts to duplicate this without any points in Stealth. For those like me having trouble getting this to work, here's how I managed it: kite the ghosts down towards the entrance a little bit, pop the summon as far down as you dare (top of the stairs or so on my successful effort), making sure to leave enough room for you to run past to the statue. When the summon is dead, assuming you kited them down far enough, the statue convo will trigger, and you can dash through the now-open door before the ghosts have even returned to their positions. Popping the summon too far up the room will result in the statue convo not triggering, leaving you high and dry against angry ghosts. As far as I can tell, hiding in corners etc doesn't help trigger the convo either. From what I can tell, the trigger is some sort of timer, so if insufficient time has elapsed before the ghosts return to their positions, the conversation wont trigger, even if you're hiding out of sight. It's a pain, but once you know what triggers it, it seems to be fairly reliable, you just need to make sure to kite them down towards the entrance before deploying the summon. The more reliable approach if you can't be bothered with that is with Stealth 5. With Stealth 5, you can safely stealth all the way to the door, triggering the conversation, which forces you out of stealth. Combat starts, pop summon, run through the door, job done. If you don't care about respeccing (always feels scummy to me so I avoid it, but whatever floats your boat), respec out of Stealth 5 later if you want to save the points for something else.
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