Ye Great but Totally Subjective 'PoE' Comparison Table (by Messier 31st of His Name)
Lo, and behold! I give you my subjective 'PoE' comparison table, in which I briefly describe what Obsidian did better in my humble opinion. Note that inferior/superior doesn't automatically mean that it is awful/awesome, it just means which one I liked better.
There are also things I would like to personally see in the hypothetical third part, if it ever comes out. We know that Josh wants to learn from the low Deadfire sales and it isn't clear if we get to see a continuation anytime soon.
Super brief notes regarding a specific feature are in the right-most column but if you want to see a lenghtier explanation, then scroll down to the less interesting text part down below.
Don't discuss, as there is nothing to discuss, because my will be done, my will is law.
Sorry, got carried away there for a minute… what was I? Ah, yes, feel free to comment! Cheers!
Ye Not-So-Great 'cause Less Interesting Text-Only Part for Reference
That's right. I like the medieval feel, and this is why I prefer the Eastern Reach. Deadfire is a great addition to the RPG genre, but I sure wouldn't like to see another tropic regions of Eora too fast. I guess a big chunk of Aedyr is out of the question.
I wouldn't call the story in Pillars 'down to earth', but truth is the first game has an impact on a nation-scale, whereas the sequel decides the fates of all Eora. Aren't the stakes too high too fast?
Iovara dropped a huge bomb there, telling you that the gods are artificial beings made by kith. Eothas wants to do exactly what I suspected all along (destroying the Wheel of reincarnation), thus the reveal is predictable. Deadfire had better moments, e.g. the true meaning of the godlikes (they act as failsafes for the gods), or what Eothas was thinking when he marched as Waidwen toward the Evon Dewr Bridge (he was aware of the Godhammer bomb and walked into it on purpose).
Thaos is not the best arch-villian out there, but sure he is a memorable one. Deadfire lacks a character like him, but the story of the game clearly doesn't need a nemesis type. Hypothetical sequel could use one, though. The great come-back of Fyonlecg! Oh, and the final boss of Deadfire? In my playthrough someone took care of him for me, so that's a small disappointment.
The White March is not only a great story - it blends in with the main game quite nicely. The expansions to the Deadfire are really good, but some things bug me. BoW seems as an excuse to make yet another Icewind Dale shout out, SSS is an arena (and I detest arenas) with a 'meh' plot behind it, and the FS (the best of the lot) has the Cult of the Unseeing Eye (BG2) vibes. And Fyonlecg.
PoE companions are both good and bad. If you wanna know any better here is the ultimate PoE1 companion review (https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/94100-companions-the-ultimate-review). These companions are fine, I like the idea to finish some of their quests with a feeling of no closure. Yet it was Deadfire that gave the companions more life. They speak more often, and are not so incapacitated as in the original. I can hate Tekehu, but I must admit he is better written than - let's say - Maneha. What I really need from the 3rd game is a fully fleshed out proper dwarf companion. The DCRF will not stand idly, I say.
Sidekicks are a good way to spice up the roster without having to spend too much of the precious devtime. Maybe this could be a way for Cadegund, Gacgen or Bonteru to make an actual in-game return? Ekera, do you even remember Cadegund?
Open worlds tend to get you marooning in the dark too much, or running straight ahead to the final levels. I think that the Baldur's Gate style map and travel system looks and works better. There could be a line showing progress while traversing the land, just as it is done within the Deadfire cities. And speaking of cities...
First of all, I think that the Deadfire city screens are fantastic. You know, them places where you decide where to go and also see info regarding population, trade, et cetera. Neketaka is a huge improvement since Defiance Bay, but… I really want to see another Athkatla, where the background sounds of chatter and ringing bells give the best impression of a city in a computer game. Other than than that, I'm waiting for a dwarven town that hasn't been abandoned, destroyed, and/or fallen. Durgan's Battery was close in the second part of the expansion.
No brainer, this one. PoE1 factions were interesting, but lacked significance. Once you're out of the capital, nothing about them really matters anymore. Factions from the Deadfire are so much more meaningful, like the ones in Fallout: New Vegas.
Caed Nua started as a joke of a stronghold, and is much better after lot o patching. I think that the idle companion adventures are a great addition, and the whole questline revolving around a certain Lord Gathbin is one of the most fun things to do in the first game. The worst thing that persists is them darn loading times, which prevent you from walking around your hold. The Defiant, on the other hand, is a much more useful thing (being a aprt of the whole travel mechanic, duh), yet nothing important happens there. Naval combat is a chore, so I just hang out and listen to the shanties.
The Endless Paths are serious business. You can't rush through it at the beginning, it is a memorable experience that has to be cleared in intervals. Despite the great ambition you can tell that levels are inconsistent, and sometimes boring. Also, I had a different vision of the final level at the bottom. The closest thing to a dungeon like that in Deadfire are the Drowned Barrows. Writing is top notch in this adventure, but the whole thing ends quite quickly. So the future grand dungeon should be either shorter version of the EP, or a longer version of DB.
Questing in the original game was simply better. More side quests were fun in PoE1 than in PoE2 in my humble opinion. The greatest thing I remember from Deadfire is exploring the Narrows and finding my way into the Delver's Row (fantastic locations). Naval battles? Don't get me started - they're a chore, and I almost always end up in direct combat. Bounties always were alright, and the addition of optional mega boss fights is a nice move.
Full VO and watercolour portraits do their job, change my mind.
Never was I a supporter of multiclassing. But given the fact that it is optional even in case of your companions and not thrown upon you/them by force, (+ the addition of great subclasses), well, it would be a setback to not give this option in a future game.
Skill trees are kinda standard procedure, aren't they?
Similar situation as with multiclassing - as long as there is choice, all is good. My preference is RTwP as in Baldur's Gate, but I don't have a quarrel with good turn-based system.
Dragons! (yay!) Yeah, it bugs me to see an unnamed dragon. I wonder why the name of the adra dragon (Sefyra) isn't revealed untill you venture into the Mowrghek Îen… Anyway, I can't have enought of these lizards. That is fully grown dragons, Searing Falls was crawling with them younger drakes, and it was driving me crazy, why so much spam? I also like the possibility to talk things through with dragons, because I like using diplomacy with powerful creatures.
Music coulda been more throneofbhaaly. I still remember "Abazigal's lair", "Amkethran", or the "Domain of the Dragon" from Shadows of Amn. I caught myself humming them the other day. Lots of Deadfire tracks blend into one, and are easily forgetable. Taverns and inns are both great, though.
This is such an improvement!
I couldn't care less for more eye-candy in a isometric cRPG.
First Pillars were the last game that I've tackled on normal. Ever since I've become a father I'm playing on easy or story related modes, because of the lack of time. I'm sure there are a lot of parents who play more than me, but in my case there's just not enough time. High difficulty and big challanges were not for me to start with (I had immense trouble with Big Boss Battles on story-mode, good thing this is all optional).
Lack of time means I'm not going to replay the game anytime soon, but that's a nice addition.
There you have it, I like PoE1 slightly more.
And now for the Pathfinder: Kingmaker *cracks knuckles*