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anameforobsidian

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About anameforobsidian

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  1. I agree that that's a pretty good point, but I keep thinking about games like Disco Elysium and Undertale, that sell solely on the plot and setting. Pillars 2 has the setting. You're probably right though.
  2. I think they could make a few mechanical changes to make fights more interesting, but I would love a relatively focused mid level campaign like White March with the current engine. Maybe 15 years from now, another team will discover how good prebaked isometric images look. Or maybe there will be a rush to copy Disco Elysium.
  3. I just read through the thread, and I thought this was the most interesting comment. 1. Games always blame poor marketing. 2. Maybe. However, Pillars benefited from being in the initial wave of Kickstarters, so I don't think all 40,000 would have come back. 3. This argument would hold more water if the game wasn't already going to an incredibly narrow demographic. 4. Yeah, who likes pirates? Oh, everyone. 5. Why didn't this affect the first Pillars? Sure it probably would have increased sales, maybe even to the point where it paid for itself, but there have been plenty of successful single-player games. Not buying it. 6. Sure, maybe. 7. Why is this last? and why is main story last? If 500k+ will buy a game that looks like Undertale for the story, maybe that's a sign that plot is actually pretty damn important, and this game didn't have one. Here's my take on it. In some ways it just felt like there was a lack of ambition from the start. The kickstarter was more about chasing other games (full VO!, character portraits! Romance! Intelligent Sword!) than actually adding interesting features to Deadfire. You can see this in the pointless Fulvano's voyage, no new races, no new classes. The enemy creature design also felt uninspired, except in the DLC. The new monsters were eoten (what do they offer that ogres don't), fire giants (ok, but pretty bog standard), Naga (ok, but certainly nothing new), Exploding zombies (fun game change, but what year is this?), Titans (pretty cool), and grub generators (added neat tactics to combat, but old). The plot felt superfluous because I don't know if they ever thought of a story this game had to tell; similarly, the main characters didn't need to be on your ship. Most times Eder and Pallegina felt like the only ones who belonged (maybe Fassina & Xoti of the new characters, and Xoti is terrible). Similarly, there aren't many fights outside of the DLC that are actually that interesting: flooded street, caves under the city, gunpowder cave, druid's grove, and maybe vampire cave. It's a shame, because the game shines in many ways. Neketaka is one of my favorite cities in any game, easily equaling Tarant, and coming close to Amn. The art is ****ing gorgeous. The itemization is actually pretty good this time. The factions are so. much. better. Multiclassing is really fun and the sub-classes work really well. There's the appropriate amount of piano assassination. The spirit world is really cool. The Gods, except Wael, are really well done. Josh needs to take a long break and make a game he wants to make. Pillars 3 if it ever happens, needs to go to one of the DLC leads; they all did great, particularly whoever lead the Forgotten Sanctum.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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