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About anameforobsidian

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  1. I'm not sure I have that much to add to a 10 page thread that's all speculation, but here are my guesses / grievances: There's very little about the game that's joyful. Stupid little jokes that you put in for the player to see. I'm not sure that a ton of people had fun making this game. The adventurer portraits in BGII, the Bob Newhart(?) tasloi autograph in BG I, the rug in the city tavern in Pathfinder Kingmaker, the Wild Wasteland Perk in F:NV, the 30s preacher clips in Wasteland II. Other than the unique way of assassinating a pirate, I don't see a whole lot of that in this game. It didn't give a large part of its audience what they wanted. Many players just wanted a 3.75 campaign, complete with cartoonish characters, vancian casting, rounds built in, power treadmill etc. Something Josh mentioned is that Pathfinder Kingmaker sold more than they did. I am currently playing Pathfinder Kingmaker, and am deeply unhappy with some parts of the game and while other parts are pleasant and innovative, but I recognize it as giving those players what they want. Apparently that works. It's worth pointing out that the Pathfinder devs. have separated from their publisher, so it probably didn't set the world on fire either. The combat lacks variety of player actions. It seems like Josh's reaction was to criticism was to hack out any attempt at a strategic layer, particularly the rest, health, and Vancian casting. The problem is that for any players preferred party this creates an ideal economy of actions with few at all differences in each fight. This had not one, but two negative side-effects: Wizard spells got the oomph taken out of them (which a significant minority of players expect, right or wrong); now you can do the same actions over, and over, over again, every fight. It made battles almost algorithmic, certainly some were tedious. This is really significant, because one of the reasons Josh took prebuffing out is that it made certain actions feel superfluos and game-y; with the new system it made all of combat that way. Related, but different. The combat lacks dynamic range. Since there's no Vancian casting / strategic layer, the very little difference between the mobs in place and bosses, and I didn't feel like we got proper boss fights until the end game boss and Forgotten Sanctum. No easy fights means not getting to see your power grow, but it also means there's a very tight limit on how difficult the bosses can be. They responded to this criticism with soulless, narrative free 20 minute boss marathons. The game is not very ambitious. They already had the changes they were going to make in mind and partially implemented when they went to kickstarter. Like dual-classing, full VO, and character portraits. That's all well and good, and the portraits and dual-classing made the game more interesting. Josh talks about why on his tumblr. The plot is just not great in Pillars II. It (and the limited advertising) misleads you into thinking it's a vengeance plot, when it's a pilgrimage plot. It was short-sighted not to let the players try to fight Eothas. Furthermore, it's superfluous compared to the much better, much more interesting faction mechanics. The characters are just not great, particularly the new ones. Very few of them have actual dilemmas in their personal quests. Very few of them have good reasons for joining or staying with you. They don't have a funny character (Eder is working overtime to fill different narrative roles.) A lot of people bought Pillars I, played it before Whitemarch was released and walked away unhappy. Whitemarch really should have been a standalone game like Dragonfall. The difference with the DLC is astonishing. It needs more content. About 10 more islands, maybe 15. Obsidian seems stuck in a place where they're having a hard time doing short (under 3 paragraphs), atmospheric story-telling. TToN, which had many other problems was better about this. Pathfinder is very good at this. BG I is the master of this. Obsidian has been working on shoestring budgets for so long, that they might have forgotten about the thrill of exploration and running across tiny little pieces of flash fiction in the wild. All this said, I liked the game quite a bit on my one and only playthrough. I think it's probably the most polished and well-put together crpg of the new era that I've played so far. However, I'm not going back and replaying it. For one or all of the reasons above I had 500 hours in Pillars I and 100 in Pillars II.
  2. My bigger problem is that the end of Xoti's quest is all over no matter what conversations we've had. In some I divested her of her virtue (I didn't, she's annoying). In others she formed a really close friendship with Eder.
  3. agreed. well, except for the fact that everything he/she said is wrong. is just as likely to be decisive moments in deadfire battles as poe battles. depending on party composition, gorecci street on potd still has us frequent facing decisive moments whenever we play it. if an encounter is challenging, then there is likely to be a decisive moment, and there is nothing 'bout vancian which affects likelihood o' decisive poe moments poe... unless a "decisive moment" is reduced to the realization by player a more recent rest woulda' been smart. The early game isn't very indicative of this problem, because the early game is still resource limited, just by level rather than sleep. At later levels, where there's some pretty significant HP bloat, it definitely falls prey to chipping down boss HP with a prepared order of spells.
  4. It's interesting that we have the opposite opinion on this. I do think the ship was lacklustre and a lot of the features were not very good. As for the endless paths that was a crowd funding bonus thing. Deadfire had Fulvano's voyage as it's bonus (Dunnage, The Drowned Barrows, Ori O Koiki, Crookspur and splintered reef) A lot of good content there though then again without that content the game would feel a tad empty and the same can't be said for the endless paths. As I and others have said I found the micromanaging of the keep to be incredibly annoying where as the ship it's only slightly annoying. I do think you have a good point about resting bonuses and there could have been more ship upgrades available that did stuff like that. The ship does have things like merchants, visitors, other ship encounters ect they just are dotted around the map because it's a ship. I do think that a lot of them are not that interesting but they are nowhere near as awful as the repetitive and pointless stuff that happened at the keep. It's a shame the sea monsters goal was never reached though, it really feels like there should be more sea monsters in deadfire. I'm with you that the PoE1 stronghold was rather annoying to micromanage. I didn't find the ship particularly annoying as a stronghold. Of course, it had its other annoyances. IMO, it would have been nice if behind the scenes, your party got a rest every 24 hours spent on the ship while on a long voyage. OTOH, maybe some people would dislike losing that costly bonus you might have "purchased" when staying at an inn, if an auto-rest on the ship negated it. I agree that the generic ship encounters can seem repetitive. In my last party, I was constantly beating up on slaver ships, since they were an easy way to make a little cash from their swag, as well as a good way to work on some soulbound requirements. And I got a bit annoyed at myself when I went to Crookspur and defeated the slavers, because it put a stop to the respawning slaver ships and their nice little stream of goodies. I didn't beat up on the generic ships of other factions, because I hadn't picked a faction and didn't want to annoy any of them and risk losing one of my companions. (Having a deep reserve certainly makes your ship/party incredibly difficult to defeat in boarding actions. Your active party may only be 5 people, but having another 9 or so reserves makes for quite a powerful force during those boarding actions.) Honestly, I really missed having a deep dungeon like the Endless paths, or at least a greater number of more involved locations, like the "city" under Nekataka or the 3 level Engwithan ruin on the east side of the map. There were too many overly "shallow" locations that were little more than one, maybe 2, small levels. And in this way, I found PoE2 rather disappointing. If there is a PoE3, I hope that they spend more of their effort on developing larger, more involved areas than were in PoE2. They don't have to be as truly immense as the Endless Paths. For what it's worth, perhaps my favorite dungeon in all of the BG/IWD/POE games was the one in the Tales of the Luremaster. I absolutely LOVED that dungeon, and was both happy to complete it and sad that it was all done. I know that I replayed IWD1 a number of times, just to get to play TOTLM once again. I had a similar complaint, but the final DLC fixed that in my mind. I just wish they gave me a reason to fight the megabosses.
  5. I think more of Pillars I characters had quests that matched the theme of the game: seeking meaning in existence and finding that the only order is artificial. Sagani, Eder, and Durance's quests matched the theme quite nicely. Hirviras, Grieving Mother, Zahua, and Kana weren't quite as close, but you could definitely make out thematic influences of seeking order to find it meaningless. Pallegina's quest was a mess, but her dialogue with Hylea greatly matched the theme of the game. Devil, Aloth, and Maneha didn't really get it for me. Pillars II characters are split because the plot is far more split. It can't decide if it wants to be about colonialism or God squabbles. Pallegina hits both. Xoti, Takehu, and Vatnir are godbotherers (Eder and Ydwin sort of). Maia is purely colonialist. The rest of them don't really hit either one.
  6. I like PoE better, although the DLC moved it closer. I think PoE2 has a better character building system. I think it has a much better main city. I even think most of the content is better. I should like it better, but I don't. The plot never really finds its footing, but Pillars I base campaign had this problem to a lesser extent. The real problem for me is that combat isn't as interesting. For me, the moves to streamline combat made fights too similar, and this wasn't addressed until the DLC. Even then, you reach max early, and then almost every fight has you using the same abilities over and over again.
  7. I would have really like a hexer / vodoo class in Deadfire. It would have fit the aesthetic really well. Honestly, just an island variant of druids have done that.
  8. I had Fassina using the summoned bow. That's great because it's fast, bouncing, and interupts. She shut down the adds while the rest of my party whittled down the boss.
  9. I would rank Forgotten Sanctum as my clear favorite. The Dungeon was more complex, it offered you some fun choices that seemed like they had impact. Tayn and Llengrath were fully developed characters and their banter was well written. The lore was really cool, and it offered a fun mix of stealth, problem-solving, and combat. Next comes Seeker, Slayer, Survivor. The story was pretty garbage, but the combat was really, really fun. Better yet, I love the way they pushed the challenge system. The challenge of the Boar is one of the most memorable parts of the game. And the setting really fit in with the lore. The ending was rushed however. I thought Beast of Winter just didn't feel finished. St. Waidwen's prison was really cool, but the other two didn't quite match up. The town was pretty cool, but there wasn't as much to do there. The whole thing needed another five hours of content and explorable area. It also was waaay too linear. All of that said, I think White March was better than DLC any day of the week. It told a more cohesive narrative, had many places to explore, and told several stories instead of just one.
  10. Tyranny has an interesting setting, interesting characters, and an interesting take on the spell system. All of them feel unfinished. It's a worthwhile game to playthrough, but doesn't feel as complete as either Pillars game.
  11. I think they'll have to change the system pretty radically to accommodate TB mode. The good news is this might clarify speed. The bad news is it might turn out like Arcanum's combat system. Arcanum was a fantastic narrative and setting welded to a really janky world-map.
  12. Here's my problem with the megabosses I've gone against: there's no narrative weight to the fight. No talking. No quest. Just plop, here's a monster. The Skydragon was part of a quest, the ardra dragon was alluded to multiple times, the ice dragon had a bit of flavor text and an interesting resolution. The Llengrath fight was really cool, both in the dialogue before and the fight itself.
  13. It's my favorite by far. Better writing and better pacing, fun new characters, and the dungeon is really good.
  14. The speed system is pretty hard to understand. I imagine translating it into turns is going to require action points (maybe they carry to next turn). That could easily invalidate dexterity or make it critical to all builds, or more likely create dexterity threshholds. Fight areas are much bigger than you find in most turn-based games to increase movement opportunity cost, so navigating that will be interesting. You don't want to spend 3 turns moving with no combat. Movement itself will be interesting. They would need to overlay various shapes on the world. Engagement would work differently and characters couldn't stand as close. They'll probably have to lower enemy HP as well, and make waves spawn faster. Belranga fight would just be way too long as a turn-based fight. They need to be able to skip animations without the game bugging. In short, this is not a trivial mod.
  15. You don't need to do this fight at all, but I was challenged the first time. I split my party up, two melee heavys focused on interrupting the moon spiders. The rest burned down the exarch first, and then teamed up on the moon spiders. Citzals Bow and wall of colors are great for shutting down the brutes. Summons help too. Save most of your spells for when the minispiders show up and burn them down quickly.
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