That's the point of the topic. Usually one would think a point would require infinite sophistication (and finally be ground down into nothingness by endless discussion, which feels endless although it's just 2 pages over 4 months) and precise references and background knowledge to have any sort of validity. But I can't bring myself to the effort, and frankly I have forgotten much of the "finer sophistication" regarding an understanding of the game, but I'm carrying the basic points around with me since forever, and they never were particularly sophisticated and all the more fundamental issues in the game itself. Now here come my totally unsophisticated points. Let's see if I can find them. The story has no hooks. I always thought so about the first game, and just realized this about the second when trying to find out why I can't bring myself to finish it. 1. Why does one follow the main story in the first game? Granted, some quests may have their own motivation (usually as primitive as "Imma getcha!", but basically it feels like everything one is doing just because one has nothing better to do, nothing else to concern oneself with. One runs into these issues, and then strives to settle them, since everyone is pointing one towards them. Okay. Whatever "philosophical" justifiation you want to find for that, it doesn't work. A main story needs a motivation. I don't care who I am in this game, this "Watcher", it evokes no feeling whatsoever, and absurdly you seem to think that if one makes up some view about this oneself, it's better. No, it needs a hook. I can't have a view of this if it literally doesn't matter! This is tied to an even more fundamental problem of the setting. 2. All this talk about "souls" seems fairly dumb. However it comes across as dumb not merely on its own, but because again there is pretended some sort of deeper complexity, which however is just construed and absurd and one can't bring oneself to care about. A machinery of souls, or crystals in the continental bedrock which are some sort of soul stores? And this is now deep, and I should care why exactly? It is a dumb setting that seemed like that right from the first second and never vindicated itself! This carries over to the second game and its lack of a hook. 3. I admit I was at first a bit enchanted by the game. Its meditative, other-dimensional beginning and conversations with the gods, and the exotic setting. Yes, but then? What am I supposed to do, why should I care? There is this dumb brute giant god who talks across the isles and the other gods don't want that (or do some? how interesting!). What does this mean? Again this is like the dumb "soul machinery" of the first part with vague significance and badly construed complexity that means nothing. There is no motivation, no meaning, and you can't just refer one to "find the meaning of this". There is no hook, no reason. It's not an interesting story, I doubt it is even any story at all. 4. And underneath this all is a problem in trying to translate the charm or magic of the old games to the present. I find the charm and "atmosphere" of the Baldur's Gate series and its setting comes from a feeling of "strangeness". (This is where sophistication would actually be most useful, because it is a difficult point that also should be poignantly explained.) You may say Baldur's Gate for the most part has a fairly standard fantasy setting. Obviously, it is sort of THE standard setting, but at the same time there are incredibly exotic elements and flights of fancy which were hardly ever topped. Which is not even the point. What I mean is that even in its "ordinariness", there was a genuine feeling of strangeness to the other world, as a world magic and adventure, with an underlying feeling of "vastness" of the world courtesy of the expansive setting. I want to contrast that "strangeness" with "rationality", because most newer games, including Dragon Age, have found they should rationalize that strangeness, to sort of make it more "realistic" and "smart". I think Pillars of Eternity is especially concerned with extensive rationalization to come across as smarter. However it doesn't benefit the stories, and the setting itself is just baffling and not really attractive. This "strangeness" and vastness by the way is what I would argue also work in other greats like LotR and the old Star Wars... It is an integral element, even if I couldn't make it clear (a result of not having been really deeply invested in all of this recently). So, this was all very badly explained and one would wish lack of sophstication would translate to simplicity. Sorry about that. But the things are fairly fundamental and I think mostly immediately obvious: unmotivating stories with no hooks (and often even sense). Construed, vague, overly complex but ultimately meaningless setting-elements. And a lack of a feeling of "strangeness" due to the rationalization of all strangeness, and therefore an important element of a "deep" atmosphere (some manage to marry rationalization with that fundamental "strangeness" of fantasy, however it seems not all). I hope you get a part of what I say.