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drael6464

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Everything posted by drael6464

  1. Well, as feminists are fond of mentioning, there are different forms of feminism that intersectionality, patriarchy theory and gender relativism. Equity feminism ascribes to none of those theories, and differs significantly from the modern cultural establishment. Likewise there are other forms of feminism that believe in biological "realism", or don't ascribe to intersectionality in terms of classes. So whilst it might be uncommon, I don't see how that's an invalid statement. But hey I don't think people should be apologizing for their POV - ie, people feel they have to prefix their statements that way, because to diverge from the orthodoxy is to be regarded as an alt-right, transphobic, sexist, racist, Nazi by some of the less cool heads on the left. But I don't think they should use those prefixes. Just say it, and don't apologize. Haters going to hate.
  2. Well I wouldn't say the game is 'man hating', but there is definately a progressive political lens, compared to the first game. It's made with a conciousness of those particular ideologies. I wouldn't say it's quite star wars hatred of classical thinking level, but there are anti-traditionalist, pro-progress, anti-religious, anti-commerce, anti-colonial, anti-caste themes, drips of intersectionality - the tribalism is through a species metaphor, and doesn't exist at the racial level, the impact of bio sex on behaviour is minimised (which it always is to some degree in some fantasy, but moreso in poe2 and dragon age, than forgotten realms or conan). I got a hint of a transgender type of subplot with one of the companions as well, and some environmentalism too. Xoti is a bit of an exception, because she's warm. I think she might be the only warm or vulnerable female NPC I encountered in the game. For whatever reason though, she's very flirty but I was never able to produce a full romantic relationship with her. Might be a bug, IDK, or perhaps you need 5 reputation or something or maybe that's how they intended it. But warm and or vulnerable is a big no no in feminist inspired writing, so it's not _entirely_ progressive. I am not sure what the source of these is - the creative team, the backer process, the gaming media and the modern establishment, or some combination but it exists. Some people will like that, others will not. For me, I am just not sure it's a direction that is conscious of it's broader audience. I think it's still a great game, and because of the focus on choice, the player doesn't need to align with these ways of thinking. So apart from some awkward flirting, or some preachy dialogue, you don't _have_ to take that route. I don't know that this was anything conscious however. TBH, it's hard to write moral tales for the modern audience. You have this increasing political divide, with the new right, new centrists and then progressives, and they have completely different ideas what makes a moral right. How do you write to that? But I think this is an element that gives some players pause. It's not however the biggest criticism I could level at the game (which would be the ending, that lacks any features of a normal story - character faces challenge, character grows, character overcomes challenge - here the character feels more like a witness than a participant in the main story arc - in the side stories, not so much, there you participant fully, and grow, and so do the NPCs and the world). It's a story based game, and there is some good writing, but the main arc feels more like a setup for a future game, than a story unto itself.
  3. Few quick thoughts. On the first topic, I don't think the game engine is currently designed to label elevation. It's possible that because some walls are able to bounce things, that there is some level of 3d for "cover", but I doubt this includes every object. As such, this is a great suggestion for a future isometric from obsidian, that will in all likelihood make greater use of 3d, but I don't think it's applicable to the current game state. Regarding spells you are right, that tactically having fewer spells is an obstacle. Some spells are really powerful, others pretty ineffective, and the cast times for some spells is too long (like weapon summons, or healing). The spell system could be tweaked both for balance, and also to allow casters more tactical options. Even allowing more casts of a specialised area (such as illusion or one spell per level) would allow players to develop a specialised play style with their caster more, rather than falling back on damage spells. It's great to have more spells than poe1, but it's still a little lacking next to d20 games. The wall spells don't seem particularly effective for example. For strategy you don't want to rely purely on damaging spells. Regarding rest, well there's a pretty easy way they could make rest meaningful on POTD. They could make it time constrained, so you can only rest once per day, or make injuries help per time, rather than per rest. With the way injuries result in permenant death, that would make getting an injury in a fight a bigger deal. It's odd you say that there is some dislike of d20, or class systems in obsidian, because that's totally what this is. The attributes might be in theory closer to a narrative pnp, but in practice the whole system is not unlike pathfinder, just with a per encounter system rather than per day, and empower points replacing hero points and empower feats. There's a slight 4e/5e ishness to it as well, that the classes don't really feel that different, even if they have different tactical power. If they'd wanted something classless, it'd be more like gurps (just a large collection of attributes and skills you can select). I can see where though, they focus on sort of minor powers that are like other classes, and multi-classing, where they might be trying to make everything blend. But honestly something like pathfinder's hybrid classes (brawler, arcane archer) etc works better than multiclassing, because those are generally not under powered or overpowered and individually balanced for each hybrid. The ability to for example stack things like flurry and ranged bounces, or flurry and cleave is pretty unbalancing. Power gamers are always going to power game, and these are the EXACT same tricks people use in pathfinder - ranged weapon monks for combining flurry and multiple missles, monk/fighters with reach based pole arms to stack cleave and flurry with more targets, fighters with heavy cleave focus, especially two weapon weilders for dps. In fact a fighter monk with a pole arm was my last pathfinder character lol. It's kind of amusing to see the exact same exploits being used here.
  4. If your average gamer is what you say it is, then by default your average backer would be similar purely by proportion. Unless of course this has nothing to do with "pleasing the backers" and more to do with the direction the independent studio is taking. The first pillars didn't have and never promised such content, it was targeting lovers of Infinity engine games, and yet it beat all stretch goals. I don't see why the situation should be different with the second game, and why it suddenly "caters to a certain demographic". I assume the demographic for this game's backers is similar to the average gamer (well with the bent of classic rpg, which will include more women and more older gents - same as with the pen and paper crowd, classic rpg fans are a slightly more various assortment). But what I meant is, by being directly involved with the backer audience, they have more of a sense of "oh we need to please everyone" (ie not just the main demographic), because of that engagement - which is pretty starkly contrasted with how businesses usually do business, which is to achieve a large demographic audience, by pleasing that primary demographic, with other audiences being somewhat secondary. This direct engagement with audience, not just for suggestions and criticisms, but as a dependence for funding is novel and bound to have some impact on the creative process. Does that make sense? Certainly you are right in the poe1 was "establishing itself" and thus more based on the classic genre, and classic storytelling, and this might just be, as you say the direction the studio wants to take. Or it could be a mixture of our two thoughts.
  5. I actually went looking for ydwin using my pre-end game because I saw she was wearing an interesting looking tattered dress that I thought my battlemage could wear (who seems like an interesting sidekick too actually - you could give her one of those fampyr staffs and have her domination/charm focused). Alas she was dead or something. But it was a lot of trouble to go to, just for an outfit. It's odd how much things like this can matter to a player. Character creation, and how they look, is sort of a fun unto it's own - one you don't really see that much with the overview isometric view, but somehow the idea of it is engaging. I guess they went with the enchantment system they did, to avoid power gamers gimping their characters. But there is a high quality watershaper robe, so it seems perfectly easy to add some enchanted cloth gear. Something I'd definately like.
  6. I see this tired old argument is very popular with you guys . I'll humor you once more - sexual relationships are relateable to the real world and people can't help by draw parallels and conclude that a dense congregation of LGBTs in a small group is not normal (and don't go with "LGBT circles attract" theory again, it's still not normal for a lot of people). Nobody can relate truly magical and fantastical stuff you mention to anything in the real world, so it doesn't break anybody's suspense of disbelief when we play or read fantasy, because we just accept it as imagined fiction. But you can't simply make people erase the real world parallels from their minds, so don't act so baffled when they won't treat "everyone is LGBT in this world" as acceptable imaginary fantasy. And, btw, it's not a norm even in the game, at least in some regions - when Xoti talks to the Watcher about Maia you can ask her why does she want her if in Readceras it's a norm only to form couples that provide offspring. And, in any case, it's sad that you're defending this lazy writing, because devs didn't make it just to please LGBTs, they did it because they were lazy to write companions more nuanced in their preferences. Yeah thing is, it's not just lazy writing is it? It's a progressive ideology touched game. You've got your black elves and dwarves - where in usual circumstances those would be golden, ashen, or some weird colouring instead. It's not a region thing or a subtype either, it's just mashed in there. You've got your playersexual romance options - and really there is more companions that won't flirt with you, or romance you, than will. And despite all this high fantasy, you can't put your female wizard or barbarian in a dress or a loin cloth and get decent DR, because hey that might be sexualizing them, and you want them in reasonable, realistic armour. Indeed if you put the watershapers loincloth on a woman, it suddenly transforms into a very modest affair. Pillars 1 had some better light armour outfits, they are basically absent here (I prefer them myself aesthetically for both genders) Then there's the godlike companion who is "transitioning", and also the colonialist narrative. Now fortunately most of this is optional - you can kill the natives if it pleases you, or join the pirates, and you don't have to romance anybody. But unfortunately you can't choose all of it - you'll still get hit on by every player in sight and get visits from randy bisexual crew. I won't argue that it's unrealistic. That's not the issue - the issue is that those themes are all just "jammed in there", in a haphazard and unartful way. You can create great compelling characters who are different races, sexualities and so on. The nativist/colonolist narrative was a little better, but still IDK - it lacked nuance. Where for example were the poor/ex-slave/war fleeing immigrants that typify actual colonists? I think the biggest issue for me, is that it puts such a modern gaze on what is a violent, brutal, class orientated world with mass deaths and slaves in it - but seen through the eyes of someone who reads the guardian and watches Netflix. Now it is fantasy. The genre has always been flexible. Female warriors have always been a thing despite being rarer in history. As with female leaders. And all sorts of ahistorical oddities - for the fun of it. But the way this is done, isn't artful like it can be when you want to tackle those subjects and give them true meaning. It's half-baked, like a lot of progressive influenced media is, and it comes off as at times, unaware of its audience - disconnected, like someone living in an irony tower. It comes off, as not being for fun - but as a way to satisfy a group that are not the majority audience. It's a good game, with a decent plot - especially how all the substories interconnect. It's very artfully produced in terms of the graphics, and for the most part ignoring a few odd borks the system improvements are good. I think this game is better than the last one. And I am not one to complain about something someone else spent thousands of hours making - it's their art, and we don't have to buy it. But if I were to give any advice about this to the developers - I would just say, keep in mind, gamers are not, largely speaking uber progressive. A minority are, and the gaming press is, but most ordinary folks would rather have a saucy or violent tale ala game of thrones. Or a something lighter, like something comedic, or a bit of fluffy heroism. I am not saying I didn't like the game, or indeed that those elements have no place in fantasy - merely that they could be handled better, both to properly respect the subject material, and to be relateable to a mainstream audience who may not otherwise connect. Some of my favourite heros are heroines. I've enjoyed a lot of shows with LGBT material. There's some stories that are deeply moving about our cultural differences. It's just not something IMO, you can have a fluffy hand at. It's a set of deep social issues with a lot of angles. And you could just as easily offend indeed, the people you are trying to please, by stuffing all these things under a unicorn. A world with some much tribal tension, and no racial tension? LGBT but no struggle with social taboo? It's a heady area. Well, sometimes people want to see stories that speak to their experiences as a minority, like Dorian's in DA:I, and sometimes they just want to see people like themselves living their lives and kicking ass without a big deal being made of their gender, ethnicity, or sexuality. Both types of representation are good. Maybe the Deadfire team is making the type of game they want to see more of in the world, and maybe they would like to see a more diverse audience playing their games. Maybe the dev team itself is more diverse than you think. I don't know them personally so I can't say, but it seems like you're making a lot of assumptions about what an "ordinary" person is and who this game is "trying to please". Also, western fantasy, as in the world of ren faires and D&D, is a thoroughly modern invention that only draws from history but is not, itself, historical. The first part of this post is fair enough. It doesn't really invalidate these being topics that might rile people up on both sides of the political fence, but it's fair enough, and if that's what they wanted to do, that's fair and well. As I said, I enjoyed the game, and these felt, as a whole (mostly), more as options or side elements than anything central. I don't think I am off base in assuming who the ordinary person is, or the typical rpg gamer (which is a crowd that is probably more diverse than the mainstream but still has it's demographic averages), but perhaps I am in who the target audience is. Certainly pillars of eternity isn't for the proper mainstream - it's not an action RPG full of gore, it's a story based tale thats a bit niche. I think probably what's happening here is that because obsidian work with backers, they feel a duty and desire to please them as much as possible, rather than the typical commercial set-up of trying to appeal to a larger demographic. And the crowd that does play rpgs, rather than shooters etc is a tad more diverse than that demographic, and so obsidian wants to please everyone in that group rather than the bulk of them. And likely yes, the coders are reasonably diverse too. So they decided to go in a direction that was influenced by that backer process. It's a bit of a contrast with poe1 though - the animancy plot for example. As I said, I'm not going to tell anyone how to create, as if they had to listen. I personally thought it could have gone in a more adult type direction, especially for a pirate setting. Kinda safe in some ways. And the main arc, didn't have a character conflict - you had a slight influence on the ending and that's it. You almost could have not been there. The broader plot was well connected to the main one. There was art in there. I loved the game, but there are those complaining about the writing, and I can kind of see why. But I did play the game twice, so it's definately fun, and better in many ways than the first. But perhaps the complaint of some people (and not really me, because I did enjoy the game thoroughly), is it might feel like in trying to cater for everyone that they (whomever they are) weren't catered to. And maybe they are just used to being the focus demographic historically for these sort of games. Which isn't invalid, but it's also up to the creators whom they serve. I guess, that this isn't really a power fantasy, or hero's journey and more as you suggest, more of an idealistic or optimistic tale. Different groups gets along, gender and sexual equality, the pirates have moral standards, everything has clean moral lines, commerce is evil etc and apart from the cliffhanger, everyone sails off into the sunset. I did at one point feel like I should empathise with the lizard people for quasi-environmental reasons. Which isn't at all typical for a rpg game. And it has those themes of progressive leaning films of being anti-traditional, and pro 'progress' too. So maybe all that was the intent, deliberate. It certainly was packed with subtle political innuendo, whether than was intentional or just a product of the creative teams bent. It's certainly the creators right to express what ever ideas they wish, and the audiences right to make what they will of it.
  7. Actually I thought my last post could use some clarity. I've played through twice with two different play styles. One I played pirate. I romanced Miai. I explored all her dialogue options, and did her side quest. There wasa clear start, middle, begining and ending. I felt like my character was in a relationship. The story arc had a conclusion. If asked, my character would have said they were dating, lovers or courting at various points. I did the same with Xoti on my other play through - the one where I earned level 20, did all the quests I could, explored all the map, and played benevolent and passionate. Did her quest, earned rep with her, explored all her dialogue options. Where it ended and still can be found, in my endgame saves, is "warm appreciation". Not something I'd call definate dating, or lovers, or even courting. more like a sort of "maybe state" where it seems like she might be crushing on me. I've had closer encounters with serafan, to romantic or sexual intimacy, as warm and appreciative as she is, it just never seems to "become" anything. And this is what I mean by "it goes nowhere". Now maybe I've got a bug, or it's broken or many you need 5 reputation to get anywhere with this plot, but in my experience xoti is not a romancable character, she's a highly flirty character that never makes her intentions clear. Sort of if anything, a frustrating dialogue hole that doesn't feel conclusive. Feels like it never really ends. Drinks at the bar with Miai, feels like - cool, that ended somewhere, even if everyone sails off into the sunset. Xoti, nothing really, just a lot of oh you are special and thank you.
  8. That's weird. Must be a bug in my game - I had a good rep with her, followed all the conversation threads, and it amounted to nothing more than aggressive flirting, no romance. I was merely making the observation, that IF there are three male romance options, and one female (which is how it appeared in my game), demographically/commercially that would make it seem like something tailored for female audiences - being that the majority of people are straight. I'm certainly aware that gay people exist, lol.
  9. So there are three male romancible characters and one female right? So I suppose this is generally for the female audience by that reasoning? Xoti is kind of a strange one. She flirts with you incessantly, but it goes nowhere.
  10. Could have something a little middle eastern looking seeing as there are deserts. Veils and whatnot. Or something a bit greek looking, bit of shoulder exposed. Just thinking of the setting - I can't imagine much worse that a deep thick robe on a tropical island.
  11. There is so much dope clothing in this game, and I kind of miss the lighter armour options from poe1. It is after all the sweltering jungle and tropical islands, and deserts, it might make sense to have some more themed armour options for the higher levels - stuff like the clothes that already exist - some jungle loincloths and some pirate clothing. I mean I know you have to do other things, DLC, unbork monk and cypher (which IMO could be very cool), but I miss being able to just enchant up some cool gear and just roll with it.
  12. I see this tired old argument is very popular with you guys . I'll humor you once more - sexual relationships are relateable to the real world and people can't help by draw parallels and conclude that a dense congregation of LGBTs in a small group is not normal (and don't go with "LGBT circles attract" theory again, it's still not normal for a lot of people). Nobody can relate truly magical and fantastical stuff you mention to anything in the real world, so it doesn't break anybody's suspense of disbelief when we play or read fantasy, because we just accept it as imagined fiction. But you can't simply make people erase the real world parallels from their minds, so don't act so baffled when they won't treat "everyone is LGBT in this world" as acceptable imaginary fantasy. And, btw, it's not a norm even in the game, at least in some regions - when Xoti talks to the Watcher about Maia you can ask her why does she want her if in Readceras it's a norm only to form couples that provide offspring. And, in any case, it's sad that you're defending this lazy writing, because devs didn't make it just to please LGBTs, they did it because they were lazy to write companions more nuanced in their preferences. Yeah thing is, it's not just lazy writing is it? It's a progressive ideology touched game. You've got your black elves and dwarves - where in usual circumstances those would be golden, ashen, or some weird colouring instead. It's not a region thing or a subtype either, it's just mashed in there. You've got your playersexual romance options - and really there is more companions that won't flirt with you, or romance you, than will. And despite all this high fantasy, you can't put your female wizard or barbarian in a dress or a loin cloth and get decent DR, because hey that might be sexualizing them, and you want them in reasonable, realistic armour. Indeed if you put the watershapers loincloth on a woman, it suddenly transforms into a very modest affair. Pillars 1 had some better light armour outfits, they are basically absent here (I prefer them myself aesthetically for both genders) Then there's the godlike companion who is "transitioning", and also the colonialist narrative. Now fortunately most of this is optional - you can kill the natives if it pleases you, or join the pirates, and you don't have to romance anybody. But unfortunately you can't choose all of it - you'll still get hit on by every player in sight and get visits from randy bisexual crew. I won't argue that it's unrealistic. That's not the issue - the issue is that those themes are all just "jammed in there", in a haphazard and unartful way. You can create great compelling characters who are different races, sexualities and so on. The nativist/colonolist narrative was a little better, but still IDK - it lacked nuance. Where for example were the poor/ex-slave/war fleeing immigrants that typify actual colonists? I think the biggest issue for me, is that it puts such a modern gaze on what is a violent, brutal, class orientated world with mass deaths and slaves in it - but seen through the eyes of someone who reads the guardian and watches Netflix. Now it is fantasy. The genre has always been flexible. Female warriors have always been a thing despite being rarer in history. As with female leaders. And all sorts of ahistorical oddities - for the fun of it. But the way this is done, isn't artful like it can be when you want to tackle those subjects and give them true meaning. It's half-baked, like a lot of progressive influenced media is, and it comes off as at times, unaware of its audience - disconnected, like someone living in an irony tower. It comes off, as not being for fun - but as a way to satisfy a group that are not the majority audience. It's a good game, with a decent plot - especially how all the substories interconnect. It's very artfully produced in terms of the graphics, and for the most part ignoring a few odd borks the system improvements are good. I think this game is better than the last one. And I am not one to complain about something someone else spent thousands of hours making - it's their art, and we don't have to buy it. But if I were to give any advice about this to the developers - I would just say, keep in mind, gamers are not, largely speaking uber progressive. A minority are, and the gaming press is, but most ordinary folks would rather have a saucy or violent tale ala game of thrones. Or a something lighter, like something comedic, or a bit of fluffy heroism. I am not saying I didn't like the game, or indeed that those elements have no place in fantasy - merely that they could be handled better, both to properly respect the subject material, and to be relateable to a mainstream audience who may not otherwise connect. Some of my favourite heros are heroines. I've enjoyed a lot of shows with LGBT material. There's some stories that are deeply moving about our cultural differences. It's just not something IMO, you can have a fluffy hand at. It's a set of deep social issues with a lot of angles. And you could just as easily offend indeed, the people you are trying to please, by stuffing all these things under a unicorn. A world with some much tribal tension, and no racial tension? LGBT but no struggle with social taboo? It's a heady area.
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