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blotter

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Everything posted by blotter

  1. You have a point, but even this could be less cut and dry than you suggest. If you are consistently benevolent to certain groups and consistently cruel to others, the former group may well consider you to be a beloved and heroic figure regardless of how you treated the other group or even partially because of it depending on the relations between them. History is full of examples of people celebrating various groups and individuals for their accomplishments while turning a blind eye to the suffering and degradation that these groups/individuals inflicted upon others in the process. You can make a similar point in regards to Honesty and Deception, given the extent to which people selectively favor particular narratives. Of course, this only applies to consistent but discriminatory practices. The fact that there is no differentiation within the Disposition system itself between practices of this sort and just a purely whimsical alternation of compassion and brutality (or candor and duplicity) is problematic, but perhaps can be mitigated somewhat through other existing reputation sources such as faction attitudes. If you favor a certain group while brutalizing or exploiting others, the resulting sorts of differences in trust and respect that various faction attitudes can potentially account for are not only reasonable but to be expected. That being said, I think that the developers touched upon the possibility of greater reactivity in terms of Disposition checks among other things, and that could potentially encompass checking against multiple Dispositions. More specifically, I think they mentioned something about how contrasting Dispositions for Honesty and Shadiness (Shady's replacing Deceptive for Pillars 2) might make it more difficult to win the trust of others, but I couldn't find a mention of it in my cursory search of the second Q&A's transcript. It's something that may be worth following up on to see if the developers can provide further details during next week's Q&A.
  2. I could muster some interest in a swarm ranger and the swarm could fit the bill by hatching larvae from the corpses of your enemies. I'm not sure Eder would enjoy petting them, though.
  3. That's a pretty good list and I wouldn't mind seeing a lot of it in the game myself. I'll address some of them in line with what we know is currently being planned through Q&A sessions and so forth. Like Ganrich said, they are planning to include more skills. To elaborate a bit more, skills are divided into two categories (action and lore, I think) and points for each category are gained separately so you don't need to choose between, say, Athletics and Streetwise. The developers have also mentioned that Pillars 2 will have a stronger emphasis on NPC reactivity and fleshing out companions in particular. More specifically, they have mentioned putting more work into tracking companion attitudes toward the Watcher and each other throughout the game. They also mentioned that companions' attitudes toward you can change the way the respond to commands in the game. Ganrich is right about detecting traps and hidden things not requiring the party to be in scouting mode anymore (I believe this was mentioned in this week's Q&A as well). As far as conversation options are concerned, the developers also mentioned trying to tie backgrounds into dialogue choices more than in Pillars 1 in addition to mentioning working on reactivity towards race. I would imagine that they are similarly interested in expanding reactivity and options based on class, but it's inevitable that at least some (hopefully not most) options we'd like are going to absent from some dialogues. It certainly would be, but like you said, unfortunately, it's most likely an unrealistic expectation. They did mention that there were keywords (such as fire and water) tied to spells now, so maybe some sort of affinity and/or antipathy toward certain spell types could be considered a bit more easily, but I suspect that the merits of such an approach would be largely dependent on there being a relatively balanced number of spells of the various categories being available to priests. Some people are honest to groups they relate to but have no compunctions deceiving or manipulating others. Similarly, someone can normally be stoic but be known for outbursts under exceptional circumstances. The same applies to cruelty and benevolence; perhaps the Watcher has empathy for only some types of people and considers others subhuman. These sorts of contradictions can actually be opportunities for more nuanced characterization and, in my opinion, should be kept in place.
  4. Never in polite company. They extrude their retractable tentacles/proboscides through the cracks in their scabby face masks, predigesting their meals before slurping them back up like any proper eldritch nightmare would. Or maybe those shadowy wisps that trail around their face allow them to telekinetically subsume inert organic materials. Part of the fun for me in Pillars one was imagining the distinctly malformed and inhuman mouth shapes that might greet someone who actually got up in there to peer into the cracks in the third death godlike model's face covering (circular lamprey suckers, spidery pedipalps? Why not a cancerous/vestigial combination of both!) That said, even I think that it's more interesting to have the models reflect more of a continuum of death godlike freakishness between the subtle and the nightmarish rather than make them all more or less faceless. Maybe they'll make a godlike model with someone else's face stretched over their carapace if we ask nicely enough. There's a compromise that works for me.
  5. I'm not seeing an actual argument, or point for that matter (beyond maybe "nuh-uh"), in this particular turn of the wheel, but that does make it stand out as a good point to hop off.
  6. If the use of spell components were identical to empower, you might have a point. Then again, describing something as an alternative isn't the same as stating that there is perfect equivalence between them. I've already discussed some ideas as to how the two features might be differentiated from one another. Still, I'm glad to see some change of direction in discussion toward the flaws of the idea itself rather than another outcry of 2e regression. Maybe that's a kind of progress.
  7. Yes, I'd say that the difference between not being able to cast a spell at all without a resource and not being able to cast a particular augmented form of a spell is an essential one. The former restricts access to the basic features of a class, while the latter only limits a particular casting option that already has a built-in, component-free, alternative in the form of Empowerment.
  8. It'd be more limited in terms of what it can affect and most likely less dramatic in the improvements it offers, but yeah. At least the way I considered it, anyway. Other possibilities could include things like adding minor inspirations or afflictions to spell effects, having environmental effects like producing areas of light, darkness, or fog, or what have you. That would depend on the implementation of the feature itself and the variety of alternative uses for the components in question. The use of components in this fashion could easily have built-in limitations in regards to its frequency during encounters, there could be added risks associated with the disruption of spells cost this way (e.g., the caster suffering burn damage from a failed fireball as they lose control of the energy they were channeling from the component), it could potentially increase casting time, etc. My initial thought was simply that the range of competing applications could be enough to discourage excessive use of components without making the whole thing too convoluted, but maybe. As for whether the difference is between what I suggested and what you condemned is significant, I suppose it is only if it's important that criticisms be relevant to the ideas they're directed towards. This could very well be a bad idea and I'm certainly not demanding that you or anyone else like it, but it's not a callback to 2e spellcasting like you described.
  9. Like I said, spell components of the optional variety. Things that might bolster magic if used, but would most likely have competing applications as potion or crafting ingredients. That's clearly different from how they're used in D&D, so the association and condemnation on its basis doesn't hold.
  10. Spell components might be an interesting way in which to introduce the possibility for more research management to formerly Vancian casters. Not necessarily in the sense of requiring specific items to cast spells, but perhaps allowing the expenditure of sufficiently rare and valuable items to augment various spell types.
  11. Sawyer posted more multiclass titles yesterday. During the Q&A he also mentioned that Fighter + Barbarian would be Brute and Rogue + Wizard would be Spellblade.
  12. I don't see this as particularly likely to happen, but one simple way to diversify deity subclasses without necessarily requiring a lot of work would be to introduce thematically appropriate multiclass affinities. Perhaps a Priest of Skaen would advance Cunning a bit more quickly if they took Rogue levels, for example. Magran's priesthood could similarly have affinities with the Discipline power source and Wizard/Arcane or Cipher/Psionics could work for Wael. Paladin/Zeal might work for an Eothasian multiclass affinity, but I'm drawing a blank for Berath (actually, Monk/Mortification might fit).
  13. Do you have a link for this? It's good news if it's confirmed; multiclass titles like "Brute" and "Spellblade" aren't really doing it for me.
  14. Heh, magical viagra potions... I hadn't made that connection but I can definitely see a bunch of rich old bastards sending out their armies to butcher and enslave people by the thousands if it brought them closer to those. As for the concerns about colonialism as a thematic focus, the Q&A does go into the Watcher's potential role in shifting the balance of power within the area and I'd hope that the dynamics of the area itself allow these themes to be explored through more natural methods than companion info-dumps. Taking cues from Avatar would be grotesque, but Huana culture seems to have enough wrong with it that they won't automatically get propped up as noble savages who can do no wrong. The Battle of Algiers film might be a more interesting place to draw inspiration from; I couldn't find to handy video to post here, but Prince Aruihi sounds like a likely source for some variation of its "Give us your bombers, sir, and we'll give you our baskets" line.
  15. In the twitch Q&A, it sounded like Sawyer said, "Potions of, not youth, but vitality." That could be interpreted as healing potions, sure, but the fact that he wanted to differentiate between potions of youth and what these potions provide suggests to me that he may have meant vitality in the sense of increased longevity through bolstered long-term health rather than vitality in the sense of hit points. Unless they plan to retcon the fact that potions of regeneration/endurance were already craftable without adra of any kind, tying luminous adra to healing potions would hardly account for the sudden interest in it.
  16. The Ghost Heart Ranger's setup isn't all that unconventional. It's actually pretty evocative of rather well-established themes like spirit guides and totems, to say nothing of the fact that spirit animal companions specifically are well-tread ground by Obsidian itself via Mask of the Betrayer. I'll grant that it's not as bog-standard as the sort of hyper-focused archer they could have introduced in its place, but let's be realistic here: we're probably not going to get much in the way of unique dialogue options and NPC reactions based on subclasses. Hell, if Pillars 1 is any indication, we probably shouldn't even expect too many unique options based on broader class categories either (how many times were monk-specific dialogues available, for example? I can think of maybe two or three.) With that in mind, I wouldn't expect much on the lore front beyond the name itself and the descriptions we read during character generation, and if I'm right, it seems more appropriate to judge how interesting a subclass ends up being based on how it actually plays. Thanks. I definitely agree that it's a pretty striking representation of ritualized suffering and the altered states of mind that can be produced alongside it; I'm a fan of the direction that Pillars took with monks and personally find it to be far more interesting than its counterparts in games/franchises like D&D. Like I said earlier, I don't find the Nalpazca subclass to be morally objectionable and insofar as I'm concerned with it being too niche to merit occupying one of the very few subclass spots available, I base that position more on excessively narrow cultural associations that come with it - ideally, I'd like subclass options to be unique in applications and broader in terms of the areas and backgrounds that they can encompass. If they renamed the subclass the Lotus-Eater, Ecstatic, or what have you, and then mentioned the Nalpazca in the description as a regional example of a broader set of practices that the subclass represents my issues with it in this regard would mostly disappear. Beyond that, though, this sort of subclass seems like the sort that would negatively stand out more than others if it suffered from a dearth of unique dialogue options and NPC interactions. Assassins, for example, have a comparatively broad range of motivations and presentations in media where they're present and the stereotypes surrounding them are pretty easily represented by Dispositions that are already in the game (e.g., cold and pragmatic as Rational and Stoic, treacherous and vile as Cruel and Deceptive/Shady, etc.) By contrast, nothing from the first game or from what I know of the second leads me to believe that there will be much opportunity to characterize the Watcher in terms of the subclass' philosophy or associated tropes/stereotypes (for better or worse). From what little we know of the other subclasses, their themes and skill sets either don't seem to map as closely to expectations in terms of character beliefs or behavior, or the expectations that come with them are more easily accommodated within the scope of conventional options. In either case, no other subclass that's been introduced thus far seems to be quite as keenly at risk of falling flat due to the gap between gameplay options and options available through interactions with NPCs.
  17. 1. A soulknife subclass for ciphers using a modal ability similar to the Reaping Knives power from Pillars 1 with partially resettable enchantment options and unique powers to temporarily boost its damage/features at the cost of being unable to bind with soulbound weapons. 2. Unique dialogue options based on low intellect/intoxication/current injuries.
  18. Given that abilities such as Sneak Attack and Carnage are going to scale in power with class level, I wouldn't expect a single level of Nalpacza monk to dramatically boost the power of any drugs/consumables you use. That being said, I'm less than thrilled with the Nalpacza taking up one of only two subclass slots available for monks as well. It's not because it's controversial or even that I'd never consider using it, but rather that there's nothing particularly exciting about it and, like you said, it's the kind of ability that thematically works for a broad enough range of other characters (druids, priests, and ciphers seem to me like strong fits for this as well) that it should probably just be a talent. On top of that, it stands out as the most specific and narrow of any of the subclasses I've seen thus far. Training in the ways of an Assassin or a Black Jacket, for example, seems like the sort of thing that could potentially be done anywhere, but the Nalpacza not only suggests association with a particular area in the world that may be far removed from where the Watcher and/or any NPCs hail from but also suggests ties to a culture that has been massacred and subjugated more or less to extinction. I'd argue that the fact that a Watcher from anywhere in the world can pick up the Nalpacza's tricks at all after, at most, sharing a bit of Zahua's stash during one comparatively brief quest seems to trivialize their culture and legacy immensely.
  19. I hope you're right, but it's worth noting that they could easily make an expansion without adding new NPCs to the roster. I'd be interested in having a matured Wicht barbarian/cipher (or maybe druid with the shapeshifter subclass) as one of the NPCs. The ones we met in the original game were way too feral for that to work, but they occupy an interesting space in the Vessel continuum: they aren't technically undead and the full course of their development has yet to be observed. Perhaps they develop increasing levels of sentience as they progress through their teens and into early adulthood, or perhaps the ending of Waidwen's Legacy triggered changes in the course of their development. It could provide a callback to the Legacy, an opportunity to explore the implications of your endgame decisions, and offer a unique perspective on the events of the first game.
  20. I'm not sure if this is necessarily the reason why they decided to implement an enchantment ceiling, but Sawyer does also reference complaints from others that they don't get much of a sense of progressing to new and better weapons throughout the game. If this ceiling is an effort to enforce that, I'd tend to agree that this particular method has no real advantages over introducing new weapons with interesting features of their own to entice players to switch over. Similarly, I'd argue discovering new weapon enchantment options and materials can provide a similar sense of progression and excitement for the player, but this ceiling would adversely affect it by limiting the player's options for applying them to their existing equipment. Limiting the range of weapons/armor that happens to be worth the players' time and resources to enchant could make it easier to balance equipment in the sense that it might spare developers the effort of considering powerful enchantment combinations that may arise by advancing unique low-level items. That's about the only thing I can think of, and it would only make sense if particular item qualities only existed for certain low-level weapons, armor, or accessories. Of course, that would make this decision even more objectionable to me and, I suspect, to others since it would increase the incentive to hold on to such unique equipment.
  21. Not really, as things currently stand, update #7 specifies that paladin orders and priest deities are required subclasses, as was stated earlier in this thread. So I wouldn't expect any orderless paladins unless that changes.
  22. Then don't take any druid levels for Edér. Problem solved. Obviously. But from a story perspective, if someone does chose to take druid or mage, how does the story accommodate that? Or is it just a gamey thing that won't get explained? It seems pretty unlikely that they'd bother to create the hosts of throwaway lines necessary to cover each and every multiclass permutation that players may choose to cover with their npcs, and only doing a select few seems equally improbable given that this would make the lack of explanation for other combinations stand out even more. I'd imagine that the developers will simply trust us to produce our own rationales for npc multiclassing or at least not drive ourselves insane with the absurdity of our decisions on that front. Who knows, though. I believe there was some discussion in one of the Q&A videos about potentially introducing some character-based limitations to multiclassing in regards to deities at least, and it's not altogether inconceivable that they might expand on that to add other restrictions as well if they went that route.
  23. My general preference is for six party members, if only because I'd prefer that artificial constraints on party size allow for as many as possible so as to allow more exploration of character/class options and to increase the party's range of potential reactivity to dialogue. That being said, multiclassing should allow for more opportunities for exploration in character building and it sounds as though there will be a greater emphasis on companion relationships and reactions as well, so PoE 2 may come out ahead of its predecessor on both counts even with the reduced party size.
  24. 1. I suspect that this may require more of an investment in time and resources than can be justified in given its limited applicability to a wide range of playstyles, but I'd like to see unarmed combat made more versatile than it was in PoE 1 rather than competing with weapons through raw damage output. This could be done through specialized items (e.g., spiked or bladed gloves to allow for different damage types with unarmed attacks) or through modal abilities or stances, which could similarly allow for a broader array of features to be associated with unarmed attacks while the item is equipped or the ability is activated; for example, a monk might be able to learn a stance which would enable them to drain health from enemies they damage while diminishing their ability to health from other sources (perhaps through some mortification of the spirit that effectively emulates the hunger of Vessels or something). 2. Faction-specific bounty lists. 3. More animancy-related items, talents, and/or skills, which would ideally present options for the Watcher to independently practice animancy over the course of specific quests or dialogues rather than merely assisting or impeding others' efforts to do so. 4. More opportunities to sacrifice companions for power and/or favor with factions. 5. Missives communication options as in Tyranny. 6. Optional Watcher talents/abilities available when gaining levels in addition to any that are automatically awarded through quests and story progression, and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing additional talent options being tied to Godlikes as well.
  25. I didn't expect to come up with this many Barbarian multis given that I've never played or even considered playing as one, but here they are along with a few other class combinations: Barbarian/Chanter - Howler Barbarian/Druid - Atavus, Skinwalker Barbarian/Fighter - Hordebreaker Barbarian/Paladin - Warlord Barbarian/Ranger - Alpha Barbarian/Rogue - Marauder Barbarian/Wizard - Destroyer Chanter/Priest - Liturgist (I think Hierophant's actually a better fit for this combination where the etymology of the term is concerned - showing/revealing what is holy seems a close match for the concept of a priest who also brings stories to life, after all - but I've already seen it here in various capacities) Cipher/Monk - Transcendentalist Cipher/Priest - Gnostic, Mystic Cipher/Rogue - Scourge Fighter/Paladin - Vanguard Fighter/Rogue - Cutthroat, Slayer Monk/Wizard - Blood Mage Paladin/Priest - Paragon Paladin/Rogue - Avenger Priest/Wizard - Ritualist, Sage Ranger/Rogue - Prowler
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