I would like to point out that constantine's thread here about the author of the RPGCodex review #1 is full of fallacy, and he does not even remotely know the author, or his opinions.
He says in his third post in the thread
Well, if that's the case - I consider it important to me to point out "the truth" about this post.
As far as I am aware, a review is allowed to contain spoilers. In fact, there are plenty of reviews online that contain spoilers. A simple google search will produce such results.
The other review for the Codex is going to be written by the prestigious Vault Dweller who recently let us know his opinion of reviews:
The aforementioned Pillars of Eternity review by Darth Roxor is essentially "I hated it, here's why" - that's a review, whether you like it or not.
I contest the notion that Darth Roxor wanted a CRPG with Baldur's Gate (or rather Infinity Engine) mechanics. I am under the impression that Darth Roxor is neither a big fan of D&D or the Infinity Engine games. His favourite recent RPG is a game called Blackguards which is a strategy RPG with turn-based combat. Blackguards received critical acclaim on the Codex for it's deep and challenging combat system.
Based on this I can conclude that Darth Roxor simply wanted a game with good combat. He seems to have enjoyed the Baldur's Gate 2 combat but thought Baldur's Gate was mediocre, according to his statements made in the review. He played Pillars of Eternity and did not think the combat was very good. This is not a controversial opinion as there are lots of people (including myself) that criticize the combat as poor for one reason or another. Darth Roxor illustrated the same issues that myself and many others on this forum and on the RPGCodex have with the combat.
Darth Roxor made an individual comment about each attribute and then provided a summary, moving onto the other parts of the character system. He did not contradict himself as constantine said - he outlined which attributes he thought were weaker than others and then summarized that you can dump attributes based on your combat role.
In his summary of the character system he stated that:
everything you pick is kind of, sort of, equally useful (with some exceptions). But the flipside to this is that everything is also equally bland. The characters are samey. The playstyles for different parties hardly ever differ, unless you go for something crazy like 6 wizards. The statistics you pick hardly even matter as long as you have the levels to support them. It is simply weak, generic and uninteresting to boot, and it’s particularly funny just how much it feels like a neutered DnD.
He is saying here is that in trying to make everything equally useful, the system is less interesting than D&D. I assume he's talking about D&D 3E/3.5E which has a very rich character system that lends itself well to min-maxing and crazy multi-class power gaming builds.
He continues with
But speaking of DnD, I suppose a question needs asking: how does this system compare to the IE games? Well, it definitely has more options than the early 2nd edition ones, like BGs and IWD1, but it simply can’t match Obsidian’s very own NWN2, or hell, maybe even IWD2. Not to mention that the character systems of the IE games were weak to begin with, and saying that PoE reaches higher than that is not exactly much of a praise.
Everything he says here is absolutely correct.
The character system does not reward min-maxing and munchkin builds as much as D&D 3E/3.5E, in the sense that even if you do make such a build in Pillars of Eternity that they end up 'feeling similar' to playing a completely different character, due to the way the character system works.
It was one of the goals of the character system to be this way, and I believe the 'feeling similar' to a different character part was not an intentional thing, as the outcome or 'feel' was not the focus in the first place.
Darth Roxor simply thinks this is a bad thing.
Constantine then goes on to kind of agree(?) with the three statements that encounters are uninteresting, easily beaten and feel a bit MMO-ish. However he then goes on to make a statement about the "typical player", who doesn't specifically look to "cheat the game" and how they will have a vastly different experience.
If you change "cheat the game" to a person who "is good at combat in games" then you have a true statement. People who learn systems and gameplay and optimize their playing tend to find Pillars of Eternity's combat a dull, repetitive affair - as Darth Roxor does. Others who may not necessarily learn systems, perform optimal movements and actions in combat or learn from their mistakes, if they even realize they are making one - these people will have a great time.
The difference here is, Darth Roxor belongs to the former crowd, whereas Pillars of Eternity's combat is aimed more at the latter crowd. This is why constantine might enjoy it but Darth Roxor does not.
This next bit is where it gets gnarly
Pillars of Eternity also includes quite a few exploits, as demonstrated by the first person who completed a TCS. There are also more broken and imbalanced combos. One thing may be that Obsidian (well, Josh Sawyer) care more about exploit preventation that BioWare did, and have been trying to actively remove them and they had the benefit of a 7 month backer beta to help them do so. I think this statement is unfair because both games include these things. The difference is that Constantine may not know about the exploits yet as he does with the Infinity Engine exploits, and maybe he finds it hard to resist using them or something as he thinks that not using them is 'hampering himself' to enjoy the game. I disagree with the notion that not using exploits is 'hampering yourself', it's simply not using exploits/cheating.
This also has a bunch of false statements in it. Here is what he had to say about reactivity
Obsidian even put in a whole system tracking the player’s reputation and demeanor. Most dialogue options you pick have a mood associated with them (aggressive, stoic, rational, etc), and every now and again you’ll find NPCs reacting to them if your score is big enough. Sometimes it can even alter quests in a minor way or scare a combat encounter away. The system has its issues because the reputations aren't mutually exclusive, so you can be known as cruel, benevolent, honest and deceptive at the same time, plus many of their dialogue lines aren't very well-written (all you do as a [stoic] person is nod at everything), but at least it’s something, a good idea. And it’s simply another element in PoE that is disappointingly underused.
Darth Roxor did not make a comparison of the reactivity in the Infinity Engine games and Pillars of Eternity other than the fact that if you attack people in the Infinity Engine games you lose reputation and people turn hostile, which more often than not does not happen in Pillars of Eternity (you might lose reputation but people don't care).
He did however think that the disposition system was underused.
Constantine is right that Pillars of Eternity contains more reactivity as a whole than any of the Infinity Engine games that are not Planescape: Torment, but one of the problems is that this reactivity is spread very thin over the many races, classes, cultures, backgrounds, reputations with various factions and dispositions - so while there is a large gross of reactivity based on these things in total, you may not actually experience many of them. They made it difficult for themselves in that regard with the sheer amount of options, probably going way overboard.
Darth Roxor finds this disappointing, especially coming from Obsidian.
I don't see any hate here, considering that Darth Roxor stated that he enjoyed past Obsidian games. I see disappointment that he thought that the writing was not as good as their past games that had any sort of focus on writing.
I link you here to a 40 page thread discussing "the writing is average": http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/the-writing-in-this-game-is-average.98103/ that contains many good points.
In summary, I disagree with everything Constantine says in his thread. Darth Roxor's review IS a review, which makes many good points, and he did not just want "BG mechanics".
You do not have to agree with his review, feel free to make up your own mind. Coming from Roxor's gaming background I can easily see why he feels the way he does.