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Everything posted by Soaren

  1. They have not. But reloading the way you do wouldn't change a thing, your only out would be to shift your prestige before the adventure turn hits. For more context: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85392-caed-nua-adventures-how-what-level-when/?do=findComment&comment=1832708
  2. No one quite knows how exactly all things over at the Stronghold work, but based on what we know thanks to some inquisitive folks it's safe to say that reloading right before you can trigger an adventure doesn't affect much on its own. The rolls are generally done some time in advance, and the only thing you could change at this point is to try to temporarily lower your prestige further (but a few points less may not do anything if your die rolls were sufficiently high, anyway; I don't think prestige can go to negative values either). Here is the link to the thread/post that deals with this aspect in more detail: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85392-caed-nua-adventures-how-what-level-when/?do=findComment&comment=1832708.
  3. Something like this would require something very cheesy with little micro involved, and unfortunately (for some of us, at least) PoE is indeed full of potential cheese. Your third idea seems to be the closest to that. https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/93570-help-i-created-a-monster-6-chanters-vs-potd/ for one example.
  4. Personal preferences come into play a lot. Given your appreciation for BG and PoE in the cRPG row (and not knowing what else you might've tried), it seems that party-based isometric titles with a fair focus on the story and controlled strategic combat hold more than enough appeal. I'll assume you are familiar with some of the successors of Baldur's, older or newer. The aforementioned Dragon Age also falls into this category (the first one is the most 'pure' in its essence, so to say). Elder Scrolls games (i.e. your Morrowinds, Oblivions, Skyrims) are just vastly different. A type of sandbox experience that will offer you a large open world and options to explore at will, but at the same time can be very unfocused. Bethesda isn't exactly valued for providing large amounts of memorable plots and great characters/dialogues, to put it mildly. The Witcher series, on the other hand, has a well-defined protagonist with his own history (but you still get to shape your choices as you go). Only the third one offers an open world experience, although it's not nearly as aimless as Skyrim's. If you wanted to look into it and value a well-told, mature tale, I'd fully recommend starting with the first one. This way you'll get much more out of the following two, as characters and the world will make even more sense. Both TES and Witcher are more actione-y in terms of dynamic combat. No party experience per se, though at least in the Witcher you've got some recurring friends. Or you could look into the direction of the sky, if you have somehow never stumbled onto Mass Effect series. And last but not least, the wonderfully underappreciated Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. It was made by spiritual brothers and sisters of Obsidian folks (both studios having a fondness for making worthy titles, while also committing grand many atrocious bugs upon their creations).
  5. Sure, you could count me in. That's one of my main areas of interest for any role-playing title. Incidentally, I've been taking various relevant notes on my current playthrough with something similar in mind, but it's still going to take me weeks - if not months - to properly finish it anyway. It would be nice to have a handful of people sharing their findings. I've also done my forum/web research back in the day, and while there are some useful pieces of info here and there, it's all very loosely scattered. It's also worth mentioning that a good chunk of "special" dialogue in Pillars (as it pertains to attributes, races, classes, backgrounds) isn't particularly hidden or easily missable, purely because we have this wonderful ability of enabling dialogue qualifiers through the options - something almost no other cRPGs of this kind offer. What isn't readily shown, however, are triggers that appear only during NPCs portions of conversation, or reactions related to various disposition levels. Doing certain quests in a certain way can also result in missed opportunities. And finally, companion interjections/interactions are sometimes mutually exclusive with one another, aside from not being too apparent. P.S. It should be noted you picked the wrong subforum for this type of thread, as the Stories section would be much more fitting (it also sees less traffic on average, so your post wouldn't drop off the first page as quickly). Might be worth pinging a moderator to have it moved.
  6. In that case you should be fine, experience in navigating squishier characters certainly helps. Ciphers are similar to Rogues in their low Endurance/Health scores, but can be made more defensive with a nice early way to boost one's deflection. Not that you'll want to take hits on your ranged regardless. Mhm, Ciphers can get quite a few stacking damage modifiers, that's why even the ones running around with MIG 10 are capable of respectable damage. The stat spread looks pretty versatile, should serve you reasonably well. Yup, exactly. Aloth and Kana are identical in that manner, it's just that one is going to have far more active spells to cast. With certain scrolls given to Kana, he can alleviate your lack of a priest for more problematic encounters. Brisk Recitation is not something you can avoid picking, actually. It's an automatic class ability that you earn at lvl 4 and which improves every few levels. And sure, ranged works alright for Kana (you'll want to take some care with your positioning if your buffs are to hit both melee and distant characters); there is no harm in giving him a weapon and a shield in a separate slot anyway, if occassions arise where he needs to get more tanky. You should try the route you mention and see how you like it; it could prove to be more interesting/entertainting than the cheesier one-note path of chanting one certain offensive phrase ad infinitum.
  7. I see. It's true, that comp would have some clearly defined strengths/weaknesses, and a certain set of limitations. Newer games like PoE can certainly spoil a person. I never missed AoE highlighting in old Infinity Engine games, since it wasn't much of a concept. But now it's hard to give up on. But yes, it's down to whatever suits your preferences with Expert Mode. I wouldn't worry about that much, because there are bound to be powerful multiclass options for just about anything. Especially something as versatile as Cipher. It's great fun to play. And should the worst case scenario happen, I understand you can still decide for your imported character to start as a different class. It works, if you are good at avoiding damage and shoring up your defenses. But any occasional ranged attacks/spells or anything that can't be fully avoided may spell dire consequences for your character. Thus 5-6 CON is slightly safer. RES of 11-13 works alright for dialogue checks, as long as you rely on your stronghold/item/Salty Mast boosters (then again with Expert Mode you won't be able to see the requirements anyway, unless your memory or notes serve you well). High MIG lends itself more towards damage dealing, but do mind it's not as crucial for a Cipher due to their innate % bonuses to damage through Whip talents. Personally I value having decent DEX for spellcasting and reasonable PER because accuracy is king on PotD, but I'm never obsessed with big numbers or rely on pure damage powers. So it's down to preferences again. More INT is always great, but as usual having anything this high will require some compromises elsewhere. You can end up with a combination of CC/Damage powers, but early on focusing on control has huge benefits. You'll be hard pressed to find any Cipher builds that don't mention Whispers of Treason, Eyestrike, or Mental Binding. Surely. Hiravias' areas of expertise will be slightly different by default, as nothing can really compete with a priest in terms of defensive support. With Kana you'll probably want to focus on Endurance regenaration early on (Ancient Memory + Beloved Spirits), and then decide which path to pursue(ranged/melee, offensive/defensive chanting, etc.). There is no shortage of ideas around these parts for just about anything (for example with freshly bumped chanter-specific threads on the first page of this subforum). 3 Melee + 3 Ranged is sort of a standard spread, so it obviously works fine. But so does 2/4 and 4/2, except for the fact that melee characters suffer much more than ranged when/if you are fighting in tight passages and they can't all get in on the action (or if they can't afford to be focused by multiple enemies, or stand too close to one another due to incoming aoe attacks). It's good if your characters can be somewhat versatile if an opportunity calls for it. I like Aloth as my mechanic, as you can focus mainly on that and Survival. Kana works too, but chanters tend to be a lot more passive than wizards or druids, and as such are a good target for increased Lore and thus scroll usage.
  8. Are you certain about this decision to play with Expert Mode on, especially if it's your first foray into PotD and Hard has already proven to offer some challenges on its own? I suppose a lot depends on how much you've learned during your playthroughs, as that tends to make all the difference. I also suppose you can always disable EM if it proves to be too restricting for you, however you won't be able to enable it again for that particular run. Or you can simply enable/disable extra options in the menu as you see fit, as that's pretty much all the mode does: turns off all of them as a full package. Disclaimer: I am thoroughly biased here, since I consider Expert Mode more of an artificial difficulty rather than actual challenge. One that only adds to general tedium and annoyance and wastes your time by removing quality of life improvements. Like playing with a blindfold on. But that can be strangely compelling to some. I can talk about a Human Cipher focused on maximizing access to all potential dialogue options (well, perhaps 99,9% of them; Glanfathan Leader in the prologue gets a pass). There will be some variation in base stats based on whether you intend to pursue melee or ranged path, crowd control or raw damage dealing, and how exactly do you like to play: for example, you can get by with much lower Resolve (although this applies to all dialogue-related stats, this one gets sacrificed the most for combat efficiency) if you go take your stronghold - and consequently get access to Defiance Bay - before completing any/some of the quests in Gilded Vale and surrounding areas. Once at that point it becomes considerably easier to meet all desired checks, provided enough copper and no severely dumped applicable stat. Added bonus: a few more stronghold turns. Durance and Kana are fine picks if you end up going with MC Cipher, and want to have a relatively easier time on PotD. Although if you can't stand either or prefer to have Hiravias or GM along with you, they can more than carry their weight. White March additions can be trickier since they lend themselves towards some melee routes, just like Eder and Pallegina usually. Less casters would call for different strategies (fully doable of course, but likely harder). If you go with a different class, pick based on your preferences and/or weaknesses of your current party. You can always use more characters than 5 and slot them in for fights where a particular class might help you greatly, as long as you hold onto some gear for them. Re: Itumaak: that's an unfortunate (and likely rare) bug, something PoE is unfortunately very well known for. If you like having Sagani around, chances are it's not going to be a common occurrence. I haven't looked much into PoE 2, but which NPCs may or may not reappear seems to be anybody's guess and something dependent on developers' whims. The rule of thumb generally tends to be: if it's not a companion and can be killed, it's unlikely to have a grand defining role in the continuation. But they coud always have some minor side content. Unless Deadfire decides to break the mold and pull one over on people who enjoy leaving many a dead body in their wake. You can err on the side of caution, follow your usual preferences, go with whatever your character would be most likely to do if you adhere to roleplaying principles, or grab your precious loots without a care in the world. Never too late to pledge if it can help with the ongoing game development and one is interested in pursuing certain perks. I still hope to be able to do it myself later in the year. There should be no issues whatsoever when using PayPal or similar forms of payment, as the currency conversion is being done automatically (and you should be informed of the final value and current rates before having to finalize anything).
  9. Interesting. Albeit not too surprising, as this would only be an nth example of a case where tooltips/descriptions are either incorrect, missing in parts, or omit some important information. It's a shame Obsidian couldn't be bothered to be more dilligent about it. I don't suppose there would be a simple way of correcting these strings for the game to properly recognize them?
  10. You are also playing on a Mac, right? Perhaps it's implied, but best not to assume too much. What problems are you running into, exactly? I.e. not being able to locate the correct savegame files, transferred savegame files not showing up in your game, not knowing where to put them folders-wise, something else? Even if it ends up working, be warned that it might result in potential unexpected/unpredictable bugs and corrupted saves down the line. It's been quite a few patches since (not just minor ones), and at least from my experience PoE isn't too great at handling files from older versions of the game. But I could be wrong too, don't think there's been many accounts of this particular situation being tested.
  11. There is no arguing with the power of a priest in a full party, but nothing is a must-have and absolutely necessary to progress in this game (at least not when you are not trying to meet the mark for solo runs or other peculiar requirements on the highest difficulty). If you are truly struggling with some encounters in certain areas, then it's a fair sign that you might have a lot of potential improvements to be gained through polishing your choices of equipment, talents, abilities, and perhaps the most importantly: picking correct strategies against whatever you are facing. There might also be more easy experience points for you to find through missed quests/places on the map/enemies not yet fully marked in the cyclopedia, if stumbling onto Durance only now is anything to go by. Which can help on its own. So while you should be able to find ways to move forward even without Durance, you might still find it worthwhile to test his usefulness and see if that results in an easier time. Could be instead of Aloth (since you already have one other wizard) or Sagani if you like your casters so much. Eder is another option down the line, depending on the amount of melee/semi-tanky characters you keep. Kana less so if you are after raw party power, as the conventional forums wisdom holds chanters as very powerful (if not borderline overpowered) at the levels you are playing at. You will want to keep GM for similar reasons i.e. the potency of a cipher.
  12. In this game ranged builds are indeed extremely viable (even more so for classes like Rogue, which remain squishy for quite a while), sometimes perhaps a tad too viable for all the distinct advantages keeping at a distance confers. Often it can make your life easier (especially on higher difficulties), if careful micro-managment is not your thing as you say. I see you've already come across a ranged idea by one of the master builders of these forums. As for the general party composition: two fighters can feel a little boring, even more so if you opt to make them both somewhat tanky. While it should work just fine for low micro expectations, it may not be as fun (or even nearly as strong) as it would be with slotting in one of the remaining classes instead.
  13. Unfortunately, you missed out on the latest applicable Steam sales during the summer (I know it was 75% off Paradox Interactive's titles, i.e. the publisher behind Pillars, almost two months ago). It will definitely happen again, the question is just when. Of course this isn't the only platform worth checking, as between GoG/Kinguin/G2A and a plethora of other sellers game deals occur fairly often. You can keep an eye out for regular quick overviews like this: https://www.reddit.com/r/GameDeals/hot/, or anything composing similar lists. I know the situation all too well, been there myself last year - impatiently awaiting some kind of PoE sale a few months down the line in the wake of the second expansion. And then it's easy to forget about it for a little while and only later find out you just missed out on a decent offer. As it stands, I guess the publisher just doesn't feel the need to significantly lower the original base price of the game and its expansions, despite the time that has passed. Which is a shame, especially if the dollar/euro conversion doesn't happen to be favorable for one. Maybe once PoE II rolls around (but I'd expect at least a few deals to come about in the coming months, anyway).
  14. I wanted to give this a 'thumbs up' (so I guess I'm doing it in a roundabout way), minus that one or two politically/socially charged all-too-general statement. Because eh, simple black and white judgments never work too well mixed in like that; regardless of one's actual gripes or experiences.
  15. Hmm, it doesn't seem like it (at least not through perfectly legal means, that is). It's rather weird that Prima wouldn't offer a digital copy (as that hardcover sure is pricey...) as a separate purchase on their site, since they tend to do that with many others - maybe there is some exclusive deal going on with the Royal Edition package. Have you obtained a Steam version of the game? There might be an option to simply update to Royal Edition by paying a little extra. I know the platform allowed this with several different titles, though I am unable to check how it works with Pillars due to not owning it there. Otherwise, you are probably out of luck. However, you do mention looking for strategy more so than the lore background (which I would argue is the biggest value of that book nowadays). It's worth noting that the original guide is now outdated in some places, as many things have been changed over the course of numerous patches. It still works as a general walkthrough and as a reference item, although it doesn't cover the expansion content. If you are just looking for resources to help you along the way, then you might want to take a peek at GameBanshee and gamepressure guides (free, easily accessible) for quests and general info. Besides that, you can pick up some valuable insights on either Steam, Reddit, or especially these forums - more so once you know what you are exactly looking for, or when having any particular doubts.
  16. I was reading through various wizard builds in order to get a better idea for the direction I should take Aloth in (and while many of them tend to be focused on tanky melee/solo types, there is still occasional inspiration for something else to be found), yet I certainly didn't expect to come across a semi-guide covering a number of general game aspects in some detail. This would've provided a decent amount of clarity if I'd stumbled upon it a good year ago when starting to properly delve into PoE. But still, a fine read all the same; even where my sentiments differ. From the position of someone arriving only in the post-3.0 landscape, the bit explaning how Spell Mastery came to be was highly interesting. Suddenly some of the older claims made more sense.
  17. So my greatest takeaway from this thread (aside from noting down how Rymrgand's Mantle used to have a nicer synergy with bathing in a chilly fog of one's own making) was this unescapable compulsion to go revisit a certain blue-themed song, now dating back nearly two decades. Damn... it's been a while. Clearly, one can never fully predict where reading PoE forums might end up taking them. Recalling cRPG days of old is evidently not the only type of nostalgy to be found.
  18. Since Sir Ray of Light brought it up, and at the risk of drawing on a larger digression (I wouldn't want a heated discussion from elsewhere to spill over to this topic): If you are referring to threads and posts such as these: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/88119-whats-the-point-in-beta-patches-if-you-dont-fix-the-reported-bugs/, then I must report that I find myself firmly on the side of such "whiners" (seeing as that description doesn't exactly fit them). Especially when they make compelling, comprehensive, and reasonable arguments to back their "whining" up. They might sometimes get carried away in their zeal, but it's not exactly harmful or unfair if not done in a hateful or offensive manner. Fair criticism is fair. I didn't ultimately decide not to get into PoE during the patch 3.02 because this or that person screamed the loudest. I learned about the issue(-s), figured it's not something I really wish to bother with, and postponed my plans. Good on Obsidian for eventually dealing with that (mostly?). I can even largely agree with this sentiment of yours as eloquently presented by demeisen above, and yet still fully understand anyone who gets triggered by stupid pertaining bugs that had been caught, known and reported, but ultimately not dealt with. I know I would have. Admitting that Obsidian screwed up in their handling of this or that aspect doesn't in any way equal belittling them or their game. It doesn't mean that the work done so far has gone on unappreciated. But just because you got 95% of the things right, it doesn't earn you a complete pass for 5% of the things you might've messed up on. It can still get you a good amount of goodwill, which is precious. And let's face it, many companies (gaming or otherwise) still have so, so much to learn when it comes to simple active communication with the users of their products (especially if they wish to rely on crowd-funding going forward). Obsidian could still improve in this aspect, as well. People are far, far more forgiving if you actually take the time to explain to them what might've gone wrong, why this bug even exists, why that bug couldn't have been properly fixed, and whether anything can be done about whatever issue is out there. Yet too often prolonged silence tends to be the go-to-mode when dealing with these things. I get that after some time developers may want nothing more than to be done with a certain title and ideally be able to move on, yet squashing bugs (however tiny) shouldn't be seen as such an unnecessary burden for creators and a luxury for gamers. It's only "acceptable" as long as people largely disregard it (or improve things themselves), but perhaps that's not always going to be the case. That person who got their playthrough(-s) ruined by a given problem is usually going to remember and remain bitter about it, even if it's hardly a common happenstance. There are some technical differences, insofar that console alterations can be temporary or at the very least limited (to a given saved game or otherwise). But that's alright, as long as it doesn't have any unintended lasting effects down the line (games can be somewhat picky in this regard). After looking around briefly, I learned what kind of hoops people who wish to alter companion attributes have to jump through (https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/490vwk/good_news_everyone_theres_a_way_to_permanently/). Glad that isn't my concern. Is Eternity Keeper even up to date? It was my impression that it wasn't, plus I recall stumbling upon some reports which claimed that saved games nearly doubled in size after tinkering with it. Which is weird, to say the least. I think the necessity of such alterations ultimately boils down to how many conversation options you are comfortable missing out on. While not getting overly frustrated with the perceived limitations and flaws of the system. I may suffer from an occasional affinity for a good ol' wall-o-text, so it's always some relief when it doesn't put off everyone.
  19. If the relative importance of attribute points is indeed not as crucial for combat, then that's definitely a huge plus in my book. It's just not necessarily the impression one gets at a first (or second) glance, I suppose, especially when keeping some of PoE's predecessors in mind. I have no need for a truly powerful character, but at the same time also no desire to find him too much of a weak link, due to heavily compromising for the sake of being able to appreciate the conversation/event system in its fullest. I'll take some comfort in knowing that might not be the case, even if I'm not likely to be able to entirely get rid off this feeling that the devs were way too skimpy with the number of points alloted to the main character. That curve seems rather typical for the genre (at least whenever experienced players apply their knowledge towards min/max-ing), so I'm not surprised to hear PoTD is not an exception. It's pleasing to grow in power as time goes by, just tricky to strike a good balance for the more demanding crowd. I can't think of many titles (without mods) where the combat would remain sufficiently challenging throughout. But as far as beginnings are concerned, I'm rather fond of having it rough and there being things capable of kicking my ass. Oh, it's not about reaching some arbitrary perfection or finding an objectively optimal approach. It merely needs to be just satisfying enough for whatever a person sets out to do. I have no doubt there are people suffering from overdoing what you mention, but I also know the types who jump in blindly (which is fine per se), only to become more and more disillusioned as time goes by and they realize they might've messed up (according to their own standards). Be it by picking a race/class that didn't work out to their liking, by missing out on way more quest/conversation content that they find acceptable, or by feeling they should've done things differently. Not everyone is going to restart/replay a game to find a better experience for themselves, and many simply abandon their playthroughs mid-way once they feel they've been soured to the point of no return. So while I don't disagree with the general sentiment of your message, it's worth noting there is balance to be found between either of these extremes. As long as a person knows themselves well enough. Thank you for that brief list of potential attribute buffs to look out for initially; it should come in handy. Poor Constiution, why can there be no love for thou. I'm aware it features as a chief attribute to dump when looking for these extra points to boost one's conversation capabilities. I may have to get over myself if I decide to go down that route - never been a fan of terribly lowering the likes of INT/WIS in the olden days, even when they didn't influence much. Seeing negative values might be a pet peeve of sorts. On a somewhat related note: can you really get away with CON being noticeably weakened even if you wanted to roll with a front-line combatant supposed to withstand a good beating? You see, one does not necessarily have to get in the way of the other. Just because I prefer to have as many options as possible at my disposal, it doesn't mean it has to cheapen my roleplaying experience. In other words, In Character and Out Of Character approach coexisting such as: a) IC, stick to whatever personality you choose, which means narrowing down dialogue options to the ones most fitting; regardless of whether they are the most effective or rewarding to your circumstances. I generally leave these to explore as the last, since they signify the choices that "stick" with my character throughout a playthrough. b) OOC, just use your freedom at will. Responses that I would've never chosen for my character otherwise (be they too evil/kind/naive/lofty, etc.), but am nonetheless extremely interested in following and learning where they might lead. That's where the bulk of my saving/reloading comes in. This might not be something everyone cares about, obviously, but it just happens to matter to me. It provides great insight. It's often an opportunity to see more of impressive writing, learn of resolutions I would've been normally unaware of otherwise. It only makes my appreciation for a good game grow further as I'm able to experience its richness in terms of various layers. Yes, it can be time consuming, but multiple playthroughs are even more so due to inherently repetitive combat alone. And it's certainly easier to quickly reload in order to see what that MIG 15 or DEX 16 option could do, or what going down this or that route might achieve, than start a new run focused on doing things differently just for the sake of it. While at the same time remembering about all possible different outcomes you had wanted to explore previously, but for some reason couldn't. I don't know about your personal definition of 'well-rounded', but the commonly accepted ones tend to run along the lines of "being comprehensively developed in a variety of aspects". As such, putting 13 in everything wouldn't exactly cut it (and noticeably lowering any stats would put us in the opposition to that by default), since it provides you with very little in terms of potential gains. This number seems to be the bare minimum for most anything (are there even checks going below 13?), thus often unlocking only the least interesting options, if any at all. 14-15 looks to be much more common as a requirement, and more of an initial standard. Mind that my main criticism is directed at how Obsidian chose to handle the distribution of attribute stats during character creation and later during its development, while at the same time designing a dialogue/scripted event system that heavily ties into some of these scores (making it one of the pillars, nomen omen, of the entire game). Whereas your defense has to do with the progression system as a whole (especially as it ties into combat efficiency); I have no problems believing it might look much better on the skills/abilities/talents level. Pillars isn't the first title to allow you only a pitiful amount of raw attribute points to play around with, but it might very well be the first where they cannot be permanently increased further over the course of the game(any buffs or item enhancements are by definition temporary or conditional). It's also probably the first where these scores carry such a large significance for the variety of its conversation aspects. Our perspectives may differ, but are you honestly going to tell me that you believe Obsidian not to have been way too skimpy in this aspect? Why is the number we are given the best or the most balanced number possible, and why having at least these 4-6 points more at your disposal wouldn't be strictly better while still keeping many of the current limitations in their place? It sure as hell would noticeably lower the amount of "how can I have good attribute scores for dialogues while not making my character too weak" inquiries that rank among some of the most common around the web with regards to PoE. Clearly it doesn't make people feel too comfortable. Pain-in-the-ass-wise, I'd argue back that quicky reloading and picking a different dialogue option already available to you is miles more convenient than going out of your way to temporarily boost a score (and then another, and perhaps another); more so if it involves a longer trip, such as when it finds you mid-way through a dungeon. Of course you can never realistically see everything, I said as much. Take any obsessive "must catch them all" with a grain of salt. What you listed obviously doesn't bother me, for it only adds a deeper layer to the game (while being relatively minor in scope). Dispositions seem to be PoE's way of having your attitude and choices matter; it's always great for cRPGs when your character's behavior carries on to enable lasting effects (trying to touch those through a console would invariably mess up too much). It's pretty much impossible (or requires tons of effort) to witness all companion interactions within a single playthrough, too. Really, my focus has only ever been on what is more or less readily available. Which is to say I'm not silly enough (if for whatever reason it wasn't apparent from my initial post) to reload a save from 20 hours ago in order to see whether a different reply made back then would affect the variability of this or that NPC's responses a lot later down the line. It's even okay to miss up to 10%-15% of attribute or skill related options, too, since I can accept the limitations which come with a low-ish MIG or CON (physical or intimidating responses tend to be the most predictable and the least varied, at that) - albeit with a sigh. I just don't find it acceptable to miss out on 20-25% of additional options (or upwards of that threshold), without it souring my experience. Hence the issue in the first place. I figured you might, having read some of your posts on these forums. Even though I am nowhere near as capable of immersing myself deeply enough to begin writing a proper journal. But I don't know that I would deem the reasons I elaborate on above as "irrational" per se. Naaah, I would never roll the die hundreds of times in BG in order to get that mythical 18/00 in STR. *coughs* Ironically, lower attribute scores were much easier to accept in many of the older (A)D&D games, because it didn't impact your dialogue options on the scale that it does in PoE, if at all. I believe it's always a wrong choice for the developers to treat Player Character as "one of the bunch", and pretend they should be just like everyone else. You absolutely can do that in terms of the story you set out to tell; after all, it can be refreshing not to be fated/destined to save the entire world while becoming all-powerful in the process (hence my undying love for the likes of Planescape or The Witcher). But don't go too far in setting various limitations on the protagonist and insisting that their character development be just like everybody else to a tee. Most players will always view their beloved PC as "special", no matter what you do. How could they not? And by that extension they are not going to be terribly thrilled if there are too many heavy compromises to be made. If Obsidian really wanted to get away with this approach, they could have adapted the solutions from Icewind Dale. But it's like they tried to get a little bit of that while still relying on one default main character for the handling of dialogue checks. Which in turn brings us back to the point of them becoming "special" in this regard alone (mind you, I definitely prefer to have one important protagonist to control rather than multiple ones). And back to my point that they kind of screwed up the attribute selection/development process in this fashion - maybe not hugely, but still. I don't know whether I could ever feel entirely comfortable in custom female character's shoes. Due to natural limitations, it's harder for myself to immerse into on a roleplaying level. From a metagaming/general curiosity perspective, there is always this temptation to find out how things might look from "the other side". I just rarely get to find the extra time necessary for that, alas. I keep telling myself that someday I should try to follow in the footsteps of female Commander Shepard and the likes, but I'm not sure whether that day will ever materialize (in this particular scenario, I haven't even been capable of motivating myself to start a different male playthrough ever since the end of ME3). Already pre-formed female protagonists are a different matter (long live Cate Archers and Kate Walkers of the world!). But they are also an incredibly rare sight in cRPGs. Perhaps someday we are going to see a female oriented Torment or The Witcher... I've never considered anything besides PotD (I'm probably going to find it relatively easy later on, as Boeroer says), irregardless of it being my first playthrough. Having an innate game knowledge makes one's life more comfortable, no doubt, but that's precisely why the highest difficulty is the most appealing to begin with. You'll never face a bigger challenge than during the time when you are still largely uninitiated, making mistakes and not knowing optimal approaches. Once you have sufficiently figured things out (plus familiarized yourself with various encounters), it's never again on the same level of difficulty. Aside from this, your general experiences also play a part. There are obvious similarities between various types of cRPGs, so if you have "hardened" yourself enough by playing on the most demanding level possible (let alone enhanced it beyond what the developers allowed, through various mods or file edits), it sort of stays with you. Which is why I expect to feel right at home on PotD.
  20. Greetings. I've been planning to familiarize myself with Pillars of Eternity for a longer while - but there always being too many backlog games to play and way too little time, I was also in no particular rush to get down to it. A few months ago the time finally felt right, so I grabbed the game along with its expansions, and then proceeded to do my usual research before starting my session for real. Which in turn led me to these forums, containing an impressive wealth of knowledge. Long story short, I quickly learned about the ugly sides of patch 3.02 with its infamous stacking bug, heard about patch 3.03 being on the horizon, and eventually decided to wait. I kept checking here on a regular basis throughout May and June, but the update first took its time to materialize into beta, only to then take its time when it came to actual release (since I usually end up buying my games from GoG or other places rather than the omnipotent Steam, the beta was out of reach anyway). In the end I managed to forget about PoE for 1,5 months as life picked up in its intensity again - that is, until several days ago. I discovered that 3.03 was out for almost a month (in not-as-ideal state as one might've wished, alas), and also that nobody can tell for sure whether another (final?) patch will ever materialize, let alone when. All in all, there seems to be no good reason for me to postpone my Pillars adventure any further. After brushing up on quite a few aspects of the game and actually playing it for a couple of hours in order to get a feel for all the various mechanics (it's certainly made it much easier to understand many forum topics), I believe I am ready to start a proper playthrough. With that also comes my main dilemma. Before I delve deeper into it, it'd probably be useful if I took a moment to provide a quick background check, which might help better explain why it's actually a dilemma for me in the first place. I'm intimately familiar with every Infinity Engine cRPG of the past, and most of the spiritual followers that came afterwards (Neverwinter Nights or Dragon Ages, although somehow I have yet to try Beamdog's Enhanced Editions of the classics). Always picking the highest difficulty by default, using good mods (or modules in case of NWN) where applicable, and being extremely dilligent at that (one could say very slow and suffering from an obsessive-compulsive completionist streak to boot). If an average player gets through their cRPG in 60 hours by skipping some things, then I'm pretty sure I tend to clock in at 200h instead. I also tend to spend a good deal of time researching/discussing/learning about any game in question in order to have a more complete picture, as I feel that adds to the overall experience. Given the above, I don't replay games a whole lot. Maybe a second run months or a year later, possibly a third or fourth several years down the line once it's not as fresh in my mind (it definitely used to be easier when one didn't have to bother with such mundane obligations as work...). And as much as I can appreciate challenging combat, I appreciate quality writing even more so. To the point that I've developed a habit of extensively saving/reloading in order to explore various dialogue options (before going with the one that best fits my current character for roleplaying consistency), juggle companions as needed, or learn of different ways to resolve quests. It's obviously not feasible to ever be able to experience everything during a single playthrough, but one can usually see the vast majority of it this way (*shakes fist at Witcher 2*). So... after these rather lengthy introductions and digressions, my issue at hand is as follows: I see no way to create a main character in PoE that would allow me to have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. At least not without having to constantly jump through several hoops while trying to respect the limitations set by Obsidian, and even then have to miss out on some early game exploration possibilities. It just doesn't seem possible to pilot a protagonist with good attribute scores for more cerebral conversation checks (i.e.15 in INT, PER, RES; let alone slightly more), while not giving up decent numbers for more physical options - which incidentally also happen to be useful to have at above average values for Path of the Damned combat. If I wanted to make my PC a tank (luckily I don't), I would be screwed even more as far as conversation trade-offs are concerned, because nobody loves poor CON. I'm aware that later in the game it's possible to somewhat game the dialogue system through a combination of rest/food/item bonuses to temporarily improve attribute points, but: a) there are some limitations to it still, b) it might eventually become a huge pain in the ass c) it takes a while to get there. I like a lot of what Obsidian has done with PoE (making INT desirable in combat not only for spellcasters is brilliant, for example), but it also makes me even more disappointed that they opted for a character creation/development system that doesn't fully allow for a well-rounded protagonist and is sort of at odds with the dialogue/combat mechanics. Especially as this could've been so, so easily improved by not treating Player Character as any other. It really wouldn't hurt to have these 2-4 extra attribute points to spend on initially, just as it would feel good to be able to earn 1 attribute point every 3-4 levels, and/or as a rare reward for some major quests (at least old D&D games got that part down right). It's entirely possible that it bothers me more than most due to the way I like to play. I expect that someone might suggest picking a certain class/race/playstyle combination that is best suited to maximizing as many opportunities as possible (be it conversations or various checks), but this is also not a compromise I'm interested in for the sake of pure enjoyment. I'll probably end up as a dual-wielding Rogue (although Melee Cipher or Monk seem fairly acceptable as well), since it's my go to type in this setting. At the end of the day, it looks like my only alternative to play PoE in the way I'd like (in order to get the most out of it within one playthrough, that is), is having to use Console command for these few extra starting attribute points on my PC. Which is somewhat unfortunate, as it always feels a little dirty; but mainly because I doubt there is a corresponding way to tell the game to "improve enemy stats by X accordingly" or something along these lines. Having a protagonist that is too strong can be just as bad as having one that is too weak, if for different reasons. I don't imagine there are any other potential solutions to find, so I'll wrap this up by asking this: is using the Console the only way to alter attribute stats, or would there be a way to edit an appropriate game file to allow 2-4 more points to be spent during the character creation process?
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