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  1. Rather than make a traditional review I thought i'd indulge in a spot of backseat developing, share with the Obsidian devs my invaluable (read worthless) opinions and query the ladies and gentlemen on some of their choices. I would have done this on a dedicated review/feedback thread, but couldn't find one. Firstly a little praise, with this game I got exactly what I was promised, and Obsidian should be praised for this when so many Kickstarters have cheated their backers even when massively overfunded. I am more than satisfied with my purchase, and count Poe as a good game. On my personal old fashioned scale of 1-10 I would attribute Poe a 7, bearing in mind that 10 is an unattainable perfect score (and perfection is impossible) and five is a perfectly average game that is fit for purpose. I have some problems with the game; The MMO classes that are infecting all RPGs now, the fact that a Rogue is misnamed as roguishness has no connection to brutal combat whatsoever. The stash reinforcing the tyranny of loot that has to be included in all games now rather than worthwhile content. The amount of copy pasted combat encounters scattered over maps, that is somewhat necessitated by making an IE successor game, as they were similarly combat heavy. However all of these are little things that do not detract from the game too much. However to get to the meat of the matter, I question some of the design choices: For instance the massive amount of content invested in the Endless Paths, that is totally dispensible and seperated from the game itself. I would have merged a good deal of this in one of my pen and paper campaigns. Caed Nua I would have made Raedric's stronghold, and Gilded Vale the demense that a character may rule over and tax upon seizing the paths. If the character wished to. Furthermore the Endless Paths themselves (and the giant Adra statue within them) I would have made into the machine that created the Gods of Eora, and contain hints, histories and visions of Thaos that could be accessed through exploration and keys available through the main quest. However this would restrict the players whom do not choose to explore the paths, so I would have secret entrances and portals into each level of the paths that are unlocked upon the main quest path. Defiance Bay I would largely leave untouched apart from making the end of Act 2 reactive to the player in some way, perhaps have Thaos take control of the protagonist to murder the Duc, but in so doing reveal much of himself, the Endless Paths and the secrets that the Glanfathans hold. A give and take situation, though that is just spur of the moment thinking. I would start the game in the blasted ruins of the Godhammer crater, as this seems an area that cries out to be shown to and explored by the player, and have a little travel and adventure before the protagonist stumbles upon the incident that awakens him. Or even have it occur there. Two further settlements are needed in my opinion, one frontier township somewhat like the Dyrford but with stockade, defences and a more military demeanour to show the tension between the Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath. This should lead of course to Twin Elms, the path to confronting Thaos and the endgame content that will lead the players back to the Endless Paths eventually and the vast statues that breathed life into the gods. There would also be numerous adventuring areas connecting these of course, but perhaps a few less with a little more worthwhile content. Also i'd make Gilded Vale a depressed ghost town barely clinging on to life when the protagonist stumbles into it, and through the characters decisions i'd make it grow, adapt or be dispersed over time. For instance if the protagonist takes the stronghold, rebuilds the castle and village, rules fairly and justly then i'd have Gilded Vale become a bustling township and an important destination in the Dyrwood. If he disdains rulership but takes a home in the manorhouse of the stronghold, and defends the village then the people endure and become stronger, taking their cue from the local hero to carve out their mark upon the land and remain independent and strong. Etc. However hindsight and detatched observation is flawless as they say, and I am not faced by the struggles and problems that arose for the Obsidian staff, so my theorising is hardly a condemnation of them. I'd prefer to think of it as an alternate form of review, and an indication of how much the setting made me think and become invested, and therefore prove itself both as a game and a piece of art.
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