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LordCrash

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  1. I wish that was true. But in my experience you can't talk about the topic without being counted sooner or later to one of two camps: those who love "romances" and those who hate it. It's a topic in which it's extremely difficult to be heard as a differentiated voice of reason, like you (or me, in my humble, biased opinion). If somebody says that they'd like to have deep, dynamic relationships between characters there are always some who almost immediately scream "No, no romances!" while other scream "No, that's not enough, we need romances!" It's a mess and the topic is just one huge minefield. I understand why Obsidian dodge the topic almost completely but then again I can't say that I was really convinced how they handled relationships between characters in PoE. Some of the backstories you mentioned were well written but that's a completely different topic. The direct interaction with the PC and with others in the group is imo much more important to be able to be emotionally bond to the characters and the whole party. And with a party of five or six people who go through a lot of dangers and crap together you'd at least suspect some kind of mutual affection, like a certain kind of trust you usually find within a good friendship. I really think Obsidian could improve their game here and I think that their ongoing attempt to dodge the topic might be less helpful in the long run. But then again these "Romances! We need romances as a special feature!" comments are really annoying so I can understand them...
  2. They can do 2 or 3, like in PS:T. In BG2 there were only 4 among how many? 17? So definitely no need to go "current gen BioWare" style in this. Actually the whole problem with "romances" in the current Bioware implementation is THAT they need so much work. But that doesn't need to be the case to implement human emotions concerning mutual affection. There are indefine ways of implementing aspects of love and affection between two persons Apparently many people think that a full-blown "romance" with a certain "start point" and "end goal" in having sex and/or some kind of marriage-like-relationship, going through different states along the way, is the only way of tackling apsects of love, romance and affection in a video game. That's of course not the case. Small example: There could be a certain stressing situation in which one companion had a "weak moment" in which s/he addresses the PC, looking for help, or counsel or just propinqity. In the following dialogue there could be a point in which the PC had the possibility to engage in a "quick'n'dirty" sexual activity, kind of abusing the situation. Or the PC could try different ways of dealing with the PC, maybe by deepening the friendship by just listening, by soft and polite rejection or by openly and aggressively rejecting the advances. Either way, it's just a single moment in a life full of danger and death and that's it. The next morning, almost everything is the way it was before - maybe with a sightly different tone between the companion and the PC, only affecting some single lines of codes in future dialogues, expressing their evolved relationships. No ever-ongoing romance, no need for writing thousands of lines of dialogue. Nobody can tell me that something like that would require a ton of extra work or would be bad in general in terms of exploring narrative themes. On the opposite, bits like that can change the way we look at characters, make them likeable, loveable. It's much easier to bond with them if we get the chance to see that they behave like humans and that they're not some cold-hearted intellectual robots who stand above such things like desires, personal weaknesses, affection or pure, old lust. If anything that's the kind of "romance" and affection I want to see, embedded in whole lot of other scenarios that explore different aspects of human relationships on all different layers...
  3. Ironically almost every groundbreaking work of literature is about various aspects of love at its core. Telling a really good story without even tackling love is not only extremely hard, it's almost a certain recipe to tell a story that is cold and heartless and ultimately one-dimensional in its impact on the player. That way you can speak to the mind, being overly rational and explore "big concepts", but wihout tackling aspects of love you can never truly speak to the heart. This is by the way one of THE core elements in which PoE was severly lacking. For all its clever writing and deep and complex character design the characters never enabled the player to bond with them in a positive way, to feel with and about them. Sure, you could feel pity for them or you could even hate them but it was very hard to like or even love them. And how so if feelings of affection are deliberately excluded from the writing from the very start? Such a limited narrative is bound to fail to speak both to the hearts and minds, sorry. And why would one want to only speak to one? It just makes no sense at all. Edit: Acually a setting like the one in PoE (and every other Infinity Engine type game with a party) is MADE for any kind of strong feelings, relationships and conflicts between party members. It's not a secret that it really brings people together (in both good and bad ways) if they share extremely stressful life-threatening situations. Men fighting alongside others usually tend to bond in a way that resembles a relationship of trust and deep friendship. You need that kind of deep relationship when you need one another in constant fights about life and death. Sexuality is another big topic in these situations (much more so than "soft romance"). For the old Greek mutual sex and sex with outsiders was a part of the way as a warrior - and not much has changed ever since. Killing and hard violence is extremely stressful and sex is a perfect way to let of some steam. There is a reason why rape usually goes alongside wars and why brothels and prostitutes followed armies and warriors everywhere they went. If you face death on a daily basis sex isn't something that you wait for until marriage. I only tell you this stuff because it's so incredibly counter-intuitive to seperate violence and themes of affection, love and sexuality. In the world of human experiences they're strongly interwoven and trying to seperate them in such absolute ways can't make any believable deep and complex narrative. What I especially liked about older RPGs is that characters were not that "one-dimensionally soft" in certain topics and that they at least covered a wider array of possible human feelings and evolutions. But in today's pop culture we're kind of used to politically correct characters that use extreme violence in various forms - but without ever bearing the consequences or acting accordingly. It's like we only took the apparently heroic things out of war, never caring much if there is anything left that still makes our heroes human...
  4. You care to elaborate on that? I'd like to know more about those "easier ways to make deep character interactions", especially when you exclude the one human feeling that is both central to about 99% of all essential storytelling mediums out there and to human life in general...
  5. Yes, it's confirmed that Aloth will always start as a wizard and Pallegina always as a paladin. But they can become multi-class later on when leveling up.
  6. If that was the case devs shouldn't talk about that matter ANYWHERE before they come up with the update. It makes no sense just to be silent on your own place while spilling all the information somewhere else on the web.
  7. Who's "rope kid"? Josh? Why doesn't he explain the stuff here in Obsidian's own forum but on a forum like Somethingsaweful??? That's kind of weird... Apart from that, the maintenance explanation for the reduction of party cap is bollocks especially if we reach the 2M stretch goal. I mean, you don't like micromanagement? Fine, just give your guys advanced AI scripts and you don't need to micromanage them all the time. Easy solution, no reduced party cap needed. But I see why they did it. It's not because it's more fun that way but because they were no able to really improve the pathfinding. With this reasoning they could bring the whole party down to one player, the PC. That way pathfinding wouldn't be an issue anymore for sure... Josh, really, I don't f***king care whether everybody in my team is min-maxed. That's not everything these games are all about for everybody...
  8. Blame Josh. He blew the information without backing it up with reason...
  9. That new stretch goal is not made for me because I usually want to control all my party members with my very own hands. I hope for better stuff the next time...
  10. Well, you might understand that not everybody is guided by blind faith... Problem with that is: "Fun" (while being essential for making good video games) is quite a subjective term. What is fun to you isn't necessarily fun to me. The concept of choice usually helps to make it possible for us both to have fun. Therefore reducing choice (like limiting the amount of people you can have in your party) should be backed up with one hell of a good reason. You know, if you have fun with 5 companions, nobody says you need to have 6. But if I think it would be more fun with 6, I can still only use 5. One choice less...
  11. Actually being so harshly against "romance" while being for deep, rich and complex characters is a blatant contradiction. Affection and repulsion should be allowed parts of a relationship between two believable and complex characters (that includes everything from friendship to sexual encounters to love and from distrust to betrayal to rivalry). I understand that some people are against silly composed and badly written relationships that have little substance beyond "hey, let's band." I'm against bad writing in general which includes such one-dimensional and overly intentional dialogues and character arcs. But excluding such important themes of the human life and mind like love and hate from the game altogether still sounds extremely stupid to me. And no, it doesn't make a more "mature" or more "philosophical" or whatever experience, quite the opposite. Obsidian should never write "romance plots" for the sake of including romance but at the same ime they shouldn't exclude everything that even faintly seems to be romantic from the game. Romantic feelings and various aspects of love and mutual affection should be part of any serious storytelling approach and it should evolve naturally, not as an intended goal but as a natural evolution of a relationship. And relationships doesn't need to end there. Real human relationships can offer so much depth, it would be quite a loss not to touch them, especially while having a party around to apply all those nasty human feelings upon (both good and bad, often at the same time)...
  12. Actually it's the other way round: Nobody has provided any kind of sound reason why the party must be capped at 5... What we have though is a range of very similar games from both the far and recent past that worked quite well with a party size of 6 rr less, if people wanted. So there is sound empirical evidence FOR capping at 6 while there is completely NO evidence or reason of any kind why capping at 5 would serioulsy improve this type of game...
  13. Jana Schirmer (freelance artist) made the cover artwork according to Feargus (in the FIG comment section).
  14. I think you might be a very rare person to think this. I personally found it a huge chore to try and round up all the companions in Pillars, and it's just annoying that some of them aren't even available until level 7-8-ish, by which time you could easily be most of the way through the main game. It'd be much better for Pillars 2 to give you all the companions in the first few hours, given they only have seven of them. The only times it makes sense to have companions available late in a game is when you have a vast number of them (as with some JRPGs), or when you can only have one companion at once (as with TES/Fallout 3/4/NV). This. If PoE 2 offered 16 companions like BG2 did nobody would complain if some of them were met a bit later in the game. But with only 7 companions around you need to meet them pretty early or you can't play with a full party ("the way its meant to be played") until a certain point in the game. And I don't see why this should be a good idea. It also means that some companions had less time and space to express their personality. Why putting all the work into a character if the player hardly gets to know them?
  15. Well, they also thought they could create a better combat system than D&D back in the Infinity Engine days... And well, look at how that turned out...
  16. Game design forces you. The game is designed around played with party cap. If you play with 4 or 5 you increase the difficulty when you don't want to. As for Sawyer's post about multiclassing, we still don't know how it's gonna play. After all, if devs say it'll play better with 5 than 6, I trust them more than any speculating fan. Sorry but until I see a gameplay demo/video of a combat encounter that proves 6 is better, I cannot support this. You know, better is relative. Not everybody wants to min-max the hell out of the game. For what are only four companions better? Gameplay? Maybe yes, probably not. Roleplaying? I very muhc doubt so. And if Tyranny is anything to go by reducing the party isn't a good idea... That might be connected to the fact that Obsidian didn't deliver ANY serious explanation for the reduced party size yet. Why holding back with such crucial information? It's something I expected them to be very open and transpartend from the start. Being secretive about that surely doesn't help anybody around here.
  17. I clearly need to clarify: I didn't mean an open world in terms of maps à la Skyrim, that would not fit the style of the game at all. I meant open in terms of content à la Baldur's Gate 2's Act 2. As I said in a message above, I'd like to see a short, linear intro followed by a big, open mid-game, tied up in a short, tight endgame. That rather than the sequence of sandboxes we had in Pillars 1. Well, but let's not forget pacing. Witcher 3 for example had A LOT of narrative issues with this exact approach to open world quest design. The problem with that approach is that you can't really build up any tension or urgency for the overall main story. Too much freedom actually means that your main goal isn't that important or even time sensitive. At least it feels that way sooner or later. The game tells you that it doesn't matter if you do X tasts before taking care of your main goal or not. That might work for some stories but hardly for all. I'd say it only works for a very specific kind of story. Using that approach reduces your narrative freedom to that kind of story - or you risk to destroy the narrative pacing. Anyway, you can't have both a dense and tense main narrative AND completely freedom in quest design. It's either or.
  18. 6, not more and not less. If somebody only wants to go with 4 or 5 nobody forces them to use 6. Why making so many classes if you can only use some of them? Also a party of 6 is imo the sweet spot for D&D style RTwP combat. It allows for various fighters, rangers and casters and even for taking along somebody you don't even need that much in combat. Reducing the party size is something that is ok in 3D games or in games that work in fumdamentally different ways but not for an Infinity engine type of game. Fair enough. How it will turn out for PoE2 depends on the multi-classing system and ability of frontliners to contribute at crowd-controling. "There are a few keys to making Deadfire’s multiclassing work in ways that 2nd Ed/3E multiclassing generally does not. I’ll go into this in detail in an update next week, but it was the subject of a large amount of design internally. In the end, our math is balanced such that, e.g., a fighter 6/druid 6 (displayed collectively as a 12th level warden, btw) has about 75%-85% of the fighter power and druid power as a 12th level fighter or a 12th level druid. That may seem odd, but what we found in looking at various multiclass combinations from different editions of A/D&D is that the 50/50 power splits (e.g. 3E wizard/clerics) are the ones that perform and feel the worst. The ones that operate in the 90%+ efficacy band compared to single-classed characters feel like no-brainers. The 75-85% range is powerful enough that the combinations don’t under-perform, but they don’t inherently outshine the single-class characters. While the numbers for all of these calculations will be available for players in game, our goal is that someone who multiclasses because they have a specific character concept and isn’t going to min-max everything will have a viable and good and cool character. Min-maxers can go to town and eke out marginal gains, but they should be just that: marginal." ​ http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/156540101641/i-know-that-you-tried-to-avoid-trap-builds-in-poe
  19. Ahem, no. This thread is NOT AT ALL about Pillars 1. Complaining about a game that was released years ago is pointless anyway. But of course I want PoE2 to improve upon PoE, that's only natural. I guess everybody around here wants that. This is a wishlist, not a list of suggestions and not a list of complaints about Pillars 1. Just take it for what it is and don't try to interpret more into it than there is. Nothing wrong with disagreeing with me, but please do so on topic, without dismissing stuff in such a sweeping way. You don't need to be so defensive anyway, because - again - this is not an attack on PoE in any way. I enjoyed Pillars 1 very much for what it was. And 1 is hardly just a complaint about writing. For example, I asked for MORE interactions and different kinds of interactions. That's a purely quantitative wish, not a qualitative one - so it's not about the quality of the writing. But yes, I want the quality of the writing to be top notch in PoE2 since it's central to a game like Pillars that not only the storytelling is extremely good but that you can also emotionally connect with your teammates. I hope that Obsidian will deliver on that wish in both quantitative and qualitative ways. That might be true. But still I think that BG2 did it in a very good way, especially compared to other games. I don't only compare games to external pop culture and RPG culture but also to other video games in particular. Every game has to compete with games that already exist. BG2 was IMO a lot better than most or every other RPG that was released before. And Pillars has now to compete with BG2 and every other RPG released in between. You might say that it's harder for Obsidian now than it was for Bioware back in the days to come up with new stuff in the world of video game RPGs - and you might be right with that assumption. But that's just how it is, I didn't make the rules and I can't forget my experiences. Comparing stuff to things you already know is just natural. Well executed and creative for a video game at that time - and compared to many other RPGs still creative today. The point is that I want Pillars 2 to feel at least equally creative and fresh than BG2 felt way back in the time. Huge tast, I know, but nobody said that I had small wishes... True enough. That doesn't negate my wish for creativity though. And by the way, trying for the scope of BG2 is EXACTLY my biggest wish... I think it's quite possible to come up with complete "fresh" monster designs. But I do agree that it's a difficult task that can't be forced or automated. Either you have good, fresh and creative ideas or you don't. We'll see how that turns out to be in the final game.
  20. I'd firmly oppose that. The less open worldy the better. The hub-based "small sandbox" approach is exactly how it should be. A game with a strong focus on storytelling needs a pretty linear level and world design. Real open worlds are for real sandbox games - something Pillars isn't and hopefully won't ever become. BG2. The game opened up immediately after you were out of Irenicus's dungeon. The meat of the game is the wide-open Act 2, with some of the quests possibly way over your level. I have issues with BG2's structure -- specifically: the game throws all those quests at you at once, and doesn't give any hints at all about which ones are easier than others; in fact the best "starter" quests require you to go out of your way to discover them -- but I think those issues would be easy to fix. I.e., I would like a short, linear start followed by a big, open structure laid out in such a way that I don't innocently walk into a dragon's jaws first thing (but that lets me do that if I want to), and then a short, tight endgame. I guess we had different concepts of "open world" in mind. If it's still (smallish-)hub-based and if these hubs are dense and filled with stories, events and quests I'm fine with it. But I really dislike the typcial open world slack, all the running around for nothing and all the so-called exploration with nothing to show for, especially no dense narrative. Having a lot of quests available at the same time is something I actually value in an RPG if the structure and pacing still makes sense.
  21. I'd firmly oppose that. The less open worldy the better. The hub-based "small sandbox" approach is exactly how it should be. A game with a strong focus on storytelling needs a pretty linear level and world design. Real open worlds are for real sandbox games - something Pillars isn't and hopefully won't ever become.
  22. This means completely changing the design strategy. Looking at backer goals I get the feeling this is not feasible. Obsidian seems to prefer to make less companions but with more diverse backgrounds/ideals/classes. Two characters filling the same role would be a "waste" under current design ideology. If anything Obsidian seems to prefer to have less companions and then to get more "depth" for them. I'm not so sure that this would change the design on a fundamental level. Nobody forced people to play the old Infinity Engine games or PoE with a full party of 6. I know a lot of people who used less party members without having too many issues. So I don't see why allowing for a bigger party would be a big issue. I mean, they could always recommend a party of 5, telling the players that the game is balanced for such a party. I also can't agree on the diverse classes. Many companions in BG2 were multi-class. This is not a new concept in any way, but rather an old one. Having characters with two classes was standard back in the day. And still these games worked well with a party of 6. I think that's more of a financial question and not a functional one or one that is dominated by game design. And ME 2 is pretty bad example anyway because you can't even call that game a tactical party RPG anymore. In term of gameplay it's more of a 3rd person shooter with some RPG elements and mostly AI-controlled companions. This is indeed the "new" way to make RPGs in 3D worlds but PoE is neither a "modern" game nor is it a 3D game. So I don't think the same rules apply here in respect to game design. It's probably merely a financial question indeed. Obsidian said they wanted to cut down on trash fights, so if I had to guess there will be less and not more fighting. I also did not have a problem with lack of peaceful solutions in PoE. I very often solved conflicts by talking my way out of problems (especially when confronted by sentient beings). I also think that if even one third of encounters in PoE 2 can be solved in a peaceful way I will be completely satisfied. They said so - and still MCA seem to have left Obsidian at least partially because to this question. It seems like MCA was pretty diappointed about the way Obsidian handled the whole design approach in general with a much too big focus on systems and combat and and much too small focus on non-combat solutions. But I agree that people can see this point very differently. To be honest, I don't have many issues with solving almost every conflict in Divinity Original Sin violently. But that's because combat is SO fun. Combat in PoE was, well, servicably but it became too much busy work in the long run. So personally, I'd rather have more choices to resolve conflicts without hours and hours of always samey fights. I'd be happy if at least 50% of all situations and conflicts could be resolved in non-violent or at least non-direct-fight ways. One third sounds not enough for me.
  23. 1. No! Bad Bioware fan! No VN romances! 2. Sure, but the game doesn't have a jillion dollars to develop. They've explicitly said multiple times that they lowered the total number of characters to provide more ind-depth characterization. 1 and 2 are at odds with each other. That said, I agree. I would honestly rather keep Eder-level characterization and have more characters, because what happens if I don't care about 4 characters out of 7? 3. Considering that they're obviously well into development, I would say keep it five now. I like six party members for gameplay, but the decision was made. Also, keeping six for interactions is a bad argument. Why not use all of the characters in your party, then you would have all the story options? 4. They already addressed this multiple times in the figstarter. There will be levels without combat. However, the series is combat focused. It's neither an isometric adventure nor fallout. Pacifist runs work better in classless single-character games. 5. Soulbound weapons solved this pretty handily, WM shows a great deal of progress in this direction. 6. Already had this in the base game. In some cases they were too long (Devil of Caroc). 7. They already had this in the base game and added more in the expansions. Three dragon fights and a superhard mage fight. All were optional. 8. They already had an analog to mindflayers in the base game with the Vithrack (honestly they were better written than flayers). I too would like a significantly expanded bestiary. I think you might need to play the first game with the expansions. I've played PoE and its expansions, mate. 1) That passage is not at all about "romances", not primarily and not even secondarily. Stating "no" and only refering to a tiny, tiny bit of what I say (somewhere between brackets) is complete bollocks. It's like you scanned my text, found a word you disliked and then automatically denied everything. Come on, man... 2) I've stated my wishlist on the basis of what really made BG2 (primarily) made special to me and what I'd want to see and experience is up to them. Whether Obsidian has the money to do so is up to them. Speculating about the cost of one additional companion is pretty pointless here anyway because I'm pretty sure nobody of us really has substantial knowledge on Obsidian's internal calculations and business plans. 3) With la smaller party you have a smaller chance to include characters/companions who wouldn't be needed or suited for a perfect min-max party. But not everyone only cares about that. I'd like to have a party with e.g. two rogues or two paladins, just in order to experience their interactions and roleplay - but without giving up on my combat chances altogether. 4) Pillars 1was never dedicated to being a close spiritual successor to IWD, but to all Infinity Engine games and BG in particular. But yes, Pillars 1 turned out to be more like IWD than BG in quite some aspects but that doesn't mean that there can't be a minor or major shift of focus in another Pillars game. It's a bit bold anyway to say that "the series was always combat focused" with only one game being released so far in the "series". One single game is not yet a series. And I strongly disagree with you that "pacifist" runs are only suited for solo games. Other party RPGs (like e.g. Wasteland 2) had a much bigger focus on social and special skills and it worked quite well. Also, me wishing a less combat focused game doesn't equal a pacifist run without any violence at all. I already stated that it's quite fine to have some mandatory fights, but it would be nice to have other options as well, in terms of dialogue, in terms of special skills or in terms of thorough exploration. 5) I'm not a big fan of the soulbound weapons but yeah, WM was an improvement anyway. That doesn't mean that they can't improve on that again. And I brought up Lilarcor for a reason. It was more than just a weapon with a unique description and epic stats. It was creative, something special. BG2 was full of these "small bits" that made the difference in the big picture. Without these creative bits it's just not the same. It's too much "color by numbers" if you know what I mean. A well working concept is not the same than those creative bits of genius. 6) I never said that those were non-existent in PoE. But the feels weren't quite the same (I can't even tell for sure why, but I guess it's at least partially because I wasn't that emotionally attached to most of my party members). 7) First, same what I said in the previous post in the first sentence. But yeah, three of these special enemies were dragons. I wished PoE2 had more variety here without cutting back the numbers. 8 ) Ahem, copying Mindflayers (or borrowing elements from them) isn't exactly a sign of creativity but the opposite. I don't want the same old stuff only in new clothes. I want new and creative monsters that are fresh, that surprise me, that feel both new and creative. But yes, I think the game would significantly benefit from a bigger variety of dfferent enemies and monsters.
  24. I'm just guessing, but giving us a 5-man Party with 7 Companions compared to 6-man Party with 8 Companions sounds like they've cut some work loads, honestly. It's essentially 2 characters cut. 1 character if Xoti (Monk/Priest) gets in through stretch goals. ​I'm also guessing that important characters like Companions cost a lot to make. And combat balancing for 6 characters should be more complex than balancing for 5 characters (Look at Dark Souls series, would it have been easy to balance it if you had 6 characters to play with at the same time?). Zedyl: "I know it's a small detail, but I love that Eder has a scabbard for his sword now. I hope my PC gets one as well! " Feargus: "Eder having a scabbard was something a lot of people asked for, and was something Josh really wanted to do. I might have had a frowny face on the cost of it (I get that way sometimes), but I relented. With all the animation the animators have done on top of that - it's turned out very, very cool." From Reddit (Summary of Obsidian Comments on Fig). My point is that if Companions are costly (Voice Acting, Background, Interactivity, Choices, Quest lines, Comments, Dialogue, unique Animations/Graphics), cutting a few characters allows Obsidian more budget to flesh out a 5-man party more effectively (They should've learned a lot from Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Divinity: OS, Tyranny), and can focus on other areas, such as more meaningful companion interactions (Fewer characters, more tight-knit group). ​I'd like to know how much a Companion costs to make in comparison to, say, the entirety of Dyrford. Just out of curiosity. ​Other than that, I totally agree with a 6-man party, but I understand Obsidians reasoning. In the timeframe we've been given (Early Access in 2019 Q1? I'm expecting Q2, depending on how the Fig campaign goes). I think Obsidian would have to develop the game to 2020 Q1-Q2 to get to the level of richness of Baldur's Gate 2 companions (16, plus 6-man party). Just a wild guess based on the Pillars of Eternity development cycle. Also depends on how far along they are right now too I suppose. I'd really like to know how much money Obsidian needed for 16 deep and reactive companions (of the scope of BG2 or better) and a 6 player party.
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