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Everything posted by Nachel

  1. I'd qualify most of what you said, chouia, but I'm on the whole in pretty close agreement with you, so for all intents and purposes those sane enough not to read the very lengthy examination I posted under the spoiler tag can safely consider I simply repeated chouia's opinions in a long-winded, pretentious voice. WARNING Only proceed if you have the patience of a saint. I am not trying to dare you. The following examination of an earlier post by Longknife has been expressed closely and concisely enough elsewhere. It is long. It is boring. It was written by a moronic nobody (yours truly). Seriously.
  2. I don't care that you find the game lacking, I don't care that you think Obsidian makes subpar games, I don't care that you think you're a real RPG connaisseur. What I do care about is that your only reaction to a long, developed post was a throwaway disparaging snigger.
  3. Maybe "I am glad you were able to derive enjoyment from a feature I hate so much I cannot stop harping on it" or simply "good for you"? Thanks for taking the time to leave some solid constructive criticism, Danvil.
  4. @archangel979 I think most of the information Sonntam has on vithracks is gathered from encounters with vithracks in Caed Nua (Lvl 12). If you do take the time to know them they can be quite chatty.
  5. The companion with the backstory the most relevant to the plot's background is Durance. He will provide you a very... colourful first-hand testimony on events that have quite the bearing on the current situation. The other companions will mostly give you an insight into and put a face on what it is to live in various parts of Eora, be a certain race or face the most troublesome events in Dyrwood. Each has their own take on a certain god or on animancy and souls, etc. It is worth noting that Aloth is the only companion whose backstory has very tenuous ties to your own quest in the game. The factual value of the exposition the companions provide can also be found in the Cyclopedia and in in-game books. As far as content goes, you will miss on a few encounters tied to their quests (which are not extensive, though Durance's and Grieving Mother's require a lot of talking and rests while in your party) and on a few comments and interjections (with a very irregular distribution companion- and time-wise), but that's pretty much it. The main things the companions bring to the game (and these are good) are a way to relate to the setting on a personal level, a way for your PC to express a personality (when they ask for your input) and a way for the writers to echo the themes of your PC's main quest. So I'd just invite you to experiment and roll with the companion(s) that strike(s) your fancy. I think travelling with them adds to the experience but they're definitely not necessary to it.
  6. Come on guys, let's be real. Of course Longknife is right. If there is one thing Mass Effect 2's ending has taught us, it's that blowing up machines we know nothing about because they have been evilly used by evil people to do evil things of epic evilness we do not understand is the paragon thing to do, and paragon means good. Don't even think about trying to study it or coming back to it to see what you can do about those souls because you are a watcher, that's just inconceivable, we don't want any of that. No, what we do want is a morally greytm option to swallow these souls and become a god, because that's obviously a skill your character has, and a chaotic dumb option to use an unmoveable machine that your character knows sucks the souls of kith in its surroundings (especially those close to it) to suck souls across town, because who cares about boring logic as long as we have edgy C&C.
  7. I have a very long answer ready to go, but here's simply the gist of it. All in all, I'd say that the design is rather sound. The watcher and his/her influence are not blown out of proportion; the quests and their outcomes always matter to someone ingame; the paths to solve them may be similar but you are rarely limited to one solution and care has been taken to accommodate multiple playstyles; the reach of the consequences fit the stakes; and the game gives the player feedback anyway it can, particularly via what NPCs say and think of you depending on what you say and do. Particular quests can always be improved in their pacing, in the options made available, in the rewards given, or even in their outcome but I don't think the way Pillars of Eternity handles choice and consequence is fundamentally lacking - except if you demand your every choice be on an epic scale or if you want instant karma/drama; then, sure, the game is bound to disappoint you. Do not play Pillars of Eternity thinking you are playing against a computer; play it thinking you are playing with a computer GM.
  8. I'm in complete agreement with Varana. You can lament the fact that the designers didn't go for a realistic simulationist economy; you can say that what they came up with hasn't been thought through but you cannot claim that it doesn't make sense. It is simply tentatively balanced around what is precious or worthless to you, and not around the acceptable minimal wage in Defiance Bay.
  9. @OP So what? A "Benevolent" in a line of dialogue shouldn't matter to you if you're craving for loot and/or a fight, and if you are roleplaying it should only matter to you in as much as it dispels any ambiguity about the intent of the line. Personalities only open up new options, they never take away from your choice, and you should certainly never feel compelled to choose the lines with their labels in them just because of that label. You make that choice, and you give up on a big fight (and so loot) with a defenseless, adorable and all around huggable vithrack and his/her bros, who get to live another day to spread their loving webs and eggs and you give up on a seemingly powerful artefact; you attack them, and they die, you loot their horribly mangled and yet surprisingly accusing lifeless bodies and you get a seemingly powerful artefact. Choice, consequence, risk, reward, your character's morality, roleplay, munchkin, you know, that kind of stuff.
  10. The point of reproach in the OP was that the only way you could progress that quest was by killing that specific xaurip tribe when we are shown in the very setup of that stage of the quest that xaurips are quite clearly sentient and capable of reason even if the PC cannot understand them, not that "[xaurips] are for killing" - obviously not, since you are wiping out a tribe of xaurips to save a xaurip (The PC does it to get a potion to save an unborn human to... make them feel good about themselves I guess? But the healer's motivation is to save her xaurip buddy. There can be no debate about it.) The general undertone of the OP was that the quest and its author were obviously brainless xenophobes (shameless caricature on my part, I know, what a bad reader I am, putting words in people's mouths): "You cannot communicate with the tribe you murder, because, well, they are different (smaller, ugly, less developped culture, seen as between animal and civilised ... In a word : Xaurips)" (my emphasis) Never are you presented with that line of reasoning in the game, not even implicitly. What you are presented with is a creature of the same "type" as you (=kith=human-like) that is asking you to kill a whole lot of creatures with a red circle (=enemies!) that are not the same type as you for the sake of one exact same creature but with a green circle (=friend!). I agree that this quest could have been designed in a less xaurip-hating way. Your PC could have tried hand gestures, they could have tried putting their down on the ground, they could have tried spending ten years learning the xaurip's ways, I don't know. But it certainly was not designed with a neo-colonialist state of mind. (Fair warning: I'm about to prove that I can read the writer's mind too.) It was designed with a "now I need an obstacle that fits the map and hopefully presents some sort of quandary" state of mind. Because it is a quandary, and it is obviously set up to be one. Why not simply have the most important ingredient be in a cave full of unequivocally righteously killable creatures? Or only accessible via a scripted vignette the healer herself was not fit for? Why introduce that friendly xaurip outcast and his/her/its tribe? Maybe the journal should have had an extra step to make the writer's intentions crystal clear, like , "now stop and think really hard about what you are about to do" or "now take a moment to bask in your glorious kith supremacy" or even "now turn off your brain because there is no deeper meaning to what you are doing."
  11. If I'm not mistaken, you just have to go to Options>Controls, and change the binding for "Move" in the "Party" category to something else or unbind it.
  12. @Nevrose: Did the game give you good guy points for killing the evil xaurips and tell you you were the most moral of them all for helping that poor mother-to-be? No. Did the game give you good guy points for not killing a whole tribe of xaurips who hadn't done you any harm just for the selfish emotional comfort of one cowardly character? No. Did the game expect you to start or finish that quest? No. The story that gets written is the one you write with the elements the game makes available to you. You chose to act as what you consider a chaotic evil character. Granted, the designer of the quest did not include another way to resolve it (lazy design, a plague upon their house unto the seventh generation, how dare they), but you can't always get what you want. I'd say that quest says as much about its designer as it does about the setting (if you insist) or the player. I know I certainly didn't lose any sleep over it. Huh? Kill a tribe of dragon-worshipping lizardlings that haven't stopped attacking me on sight ever since I set foot on this beach? Sure!
  13. So did I (with a high score in Clever as well), yet I was offered the option to restore Woedica, so it must be some other factors. Ditto for the "god-machine creation" interpretation.
  14. It's interesting to see the different endings and overall experience you had compared to mine. I certainly understand where your rant comes from - the desire to see your choices bring about the consequences you want - but I don't think a game can work like that. In the best of circumstances, you do something that should logically have an impact and it has an impact because the game's programming has already taken it under consideration. And in all the cases you bring up I find that the game's programming has taken my input into consideration and done something with it. The consequences were not always what I had wanted or even foreseen, they were not always a spectacular instant gratification but they were always there at some point, and I feel that really rewarded proper roleplay. An outcome that is not your or my perfect solution is only bad if you can't trace it to the preceding situation without throwing logic out of the window. I can't speak for any ending slide that didn't appear in my one epilogue, but those I did get make sense knowing both what my PC did or said and what other forces were at work.
  15. TL;DR Companions meaningless to to the plot in the game = no contest /// Companions not important to the story and theme = have at you Wall of text The OP is right, as far as the plot is concerned, the companions "don't have any part in it", but so what? That's not to say that they are not important in some other regard. As many have said here, they put a - hopefully memorable if not relatable - face on what it means to live on Eora (=ways for the writers to explore the situations that their premises throw a new light on, otherwise why bother writing at all?); they provide an avenue of exposition that is more palatable to some; as SpitefulOne puts it they "act as a sounding board to find out the character's stance on the big issues"; and they also (perhaps the most important aspect in Obsidian companions) act as dramatisations of the narrative's themes. That may look like some pretty standard fare for cRPGs but it is well executed and the character concepts are varied - except for how you pick companions up, one can argue. I'd even say that the thematic unity of the whole game is impressive. You can easily divide the companions into those that provide exposition primarily on the history of the setting (including cultures, races, nations, etc.) and those that provide exposition primarily on animancy and souls, but deep down (or not so deep for some) they all share the same defining need that only the PC can calm, a need that also drives the PC (... and the player to some extent), a need that the gods were supposed to keep in check. They are looking for something certain beyond a doubt and for the freeing comfort that brings with it. They all want to know and be certain. And they all come to see the PC as the only means to get definite answers. Their quests and the PC's soul's quest are quests for answers and/or questions. Even the pantheon is organized around that idea (and the reason why becomes clear at the end). Let's have a look at Edér. He provides living, breathing exposition on the Saint's War and the following Purges as seen by one Eothasian Dyrwoodan - which is good world-building - but even though his own quest relies on the Watcher's power – which is proper if flimsy motivation for following the Watcher -, the Watcher's quest does not depend on his - which is what Obsidian was originally reproached with here. However, he is thematically resonant on two accounts. First, he is part of a systematic exploration of the base premises of the world - what if souls were real, were reshuffled and ground down in reincarnation cycles, could leave a mark on the world and could be manipulated? If that were the case, wouldn't there be people who would want to get in touch with their beloved departed in some way? Second, his is a quest not for glory, not for riches, not for revenge, but for answers, like yours, and his is a quest that ultimately invites you to question answers and to question questions, like yours. What answer are you looking/waiting for? What question(s) does it answer? Why do you want it? What do you want it for? Would you be looking even if you were not aware of the question? What if you cannot get one? What is an answer? Does it have to account for the letter or the spirit of the question? Does Edér want to know what his brother did, why he did what he did or how to live on and move on? Does he want an answer, meaning, closure, a solution, all of the above in one easy-to-process sentence? And how will he deal with that knowledge or absence thereof? What about your character? What about you? Is the answer good enough or do you need another, more satisfactory one? All of the companions are in a crisis of faith or trust or belief - just as the world itself is adrift. They are looking for guidance and latching onto the PC for it: they're a watcher, they see all of the eternal souls as they are, they'll know! "They are drawn to you", so to speak. You can criticize that aspect of the game and of the companions on many grounds, but you cannot say it is not there, and if you are right in saying that the companions do nothing for the plot, you certainly cannot say they do nothing for the story.
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