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  1. Some time passed since the release of Wasteland 2 so IMHO it's about time to make a summary of what PoE can learn from Wasteland 2. Wasteland 2 was pretty much the first big "old-school RPG resurrected" in this recent flood to come, so I find it very relevant to the Pillars of Eternity and I'd love to see what you guys think. Tell us what you guys liked and disliked in Wasteland 2 and how PoE can take clues from Wasteland 2 on it's future, final release of the game? Any particular points you didn't like a lot in the game and either gladly see "done right" in Pillars of Eternity, or would like to see done well in future? Let me start Beware very long post, for TL;DR read first sentence and then last few of each point. First 5 hours of gameplay matter. They matter a lot. People will post bad reviews online if they won't get engaged in the game during the beginning of a storyline. Wasteland 2 really screwed beginning of the game. It was boring, long, with nothing to spark your interest. Main plot was one of the weakest links, but side-quests didn't do it much of a favor either. Stories do get better somewhere past 12 hours, but most of people will never see that before posting their negative opinion online and/or quitting the game. I wouldn't know any of this not the fact that my internet went down and I got no other games on my hard drive. There's literally nothing in first hours of Wasteland 2 writing that sets it apart from "all the other RPGs" out there. And that directly translates to all these reviews riddled with complains that you see online. PoE really needs to have that "spark" in at least some of the first few main storyline quests. There really needs to be something driving people's interest into the game. Even if you'd have tons of interesting things in last 5 hours of the main plot - it'd be meaningless for good 99% of people who never got there. And let's not forget about the side-quests. Flooding the game with "go there kill that" or "go there fix that" quests doesn't make it better or content rich. It turns game into the grind. Graphics DO matter. When asked people will tell you that they don't, but in the end they will have an impression of a "cheap" game. And graphics isn't just the amount of details game got, but also how "inspiring" locations are and how much "ave" do they bring, how good character animations are, how "alive" does the game world feel. I have well over 20 hours on Wasteland 2 (no idea how much exactly, but still) and so far I haven't seen anything I would call "amazing", anything that would make me want to explore certain location. Everything feels static, dull, repetitive. There's almost no animation in the game world (trees are perfectly still, windmills don't move, none of the NPCs interact with anything around them) and character animations feel very unnatural, almost as if they'd be floating underwater. PoE even in it's current state delivers much better experience on both fronts: Amount of details and how "inspiring" locations are. So I only can hope that game continues in that direction and in first hours of the gameplay people will see some amazing locations I also hope that we will see more elements brining "life" to the game, such as people moving stuff around, attending their every day duties (eg. house wifes washing their clothes by the river, kids catching butterflies, traders traveling between the towns and when in town - people buying stuff from them, etc. - everything that adds to the immersion and makes game world feel "real", not just a static scene you move around). Non-combat characters. I want them, and reading many reviews posted online: it seems like people in general do want them too. Sadly I don't have enough grasp on PoE just yet to comment whatever they're done "right" or "wrong" - I got somewhat mixed-towards-positive feelings at the moment, but in general: Making a game where you absolutely need to have every single character outputting DPS is a very bad game design. So is the fact that non-combat characters can be used relatively rarely and their skills don't really matter do due save&load&save&load cycle. Wasteland 2 is riddled with purely percentage-based skill-checks that literally ask player to reload the game over and over again. I'm not the kind of player who does that in almost any game at all, but Wasteland 2 pretty much forced me to do so (scarity of ammo combined with visible %, fully random loot, overleveled obstacles, critical failures and much more... there's an awful lot of things they designed in a way that's pushing people towards save&load cycle). Combat - Wasteland 2 combat is simple to grasp: You got guns that you shoot at the enemy, explosives that you throw at the enemy, some melee combat and a very basic cover system. That's pretty much all. Sadly this simplicity lead to the creation of something I would call "the most boring combat model in last 5 years or more". Simplicity is the only positive I can find in how Wasteland 2 combat was designed. Everything else about it is just plain wrong. At the beginning of game ammunition is horribly expensive (you sell heavy machine gun for less than 10 bullets?!) and difficult to find (especially if you don't reload to get ammo types you need), tactical challenges are close to none, the only reason to use certain types of weapons is that they use different types of ammo, random encounters are horribly repetitive and happen in more-or-less 4 locations that repeat over and over again, turns are tedious and completely take out any immersion from the game... it all feels like playing Draughts with a 5 year old kid where you know you will win for sure, only question is how long you will have to sit and wait for that. Basically: Wasteland 2 shows what's wrong with Turn-Based combat and adds it's own issues on top if that. Current version of PoE looks like a heaven full of variety, possibilities and abilities. You care about your characters and game flow is much more natural than in turn-based combat. There's basically no comparison. Only problem I have with it is that it's much harder to grasp (for me the hardest part was remembering all of the abilities, what goes where and when....). Opponents - Wasteland 2 is crippled by another problem related to combat - opponents. There's basically 3 types of them: Ranged, Melee, and explosives (throwing dynamite, etc.). Within each of these types there's basically no variety. You always deal with them in exactly the same way. There is absolutely no reason to adapt your tactics from one encounter to another, change your weapons, change formation, do anything differently than you would in a previous encounter. It's always the same: Spread around behind the covers, shoot, move on. Yes, enemies do use different weapons and either come close or stay behind accordingly, but that's pretty much where the variety between different AI models ends. The AI variety between different NPCs, even within the same type, is something I would love to see in every RPG I play. I don't care if game got 3 or 30 types of opponents - I do care how they behave. I would love to see some of the NPCs in enemy groups focusing only on healers (even if it'd mean putting themselves in danger), or trying to stay at the maximum range of their abilities (cowardly caster ), or blindly rushing in the middle of my group hoping to kill a team leader with melee weapon... ideas can go on and on. Wasteland 2 did two things wrong with their AI opponents: they lack variety and they lack in AI department. PoE got "variety" part by far better, but I still would like to see some different AI behaviors. Useless skills - again something that I don't feel knowledgeable enough to judge in PoE, but Wasteland 2 is riddled with skills and attributes that literally have next to no use. Most obvious example is the alarm disarming skill. Through whole my gameplay so far there's been just one place where using that skill was benefitial in any other way than few free XP points. Most of the alarms are either in a middle of enemy groups that you are going to kill or right next to them. And the only effect alarms have is calling in enemy support... which is already dead by the time I get to opening alarm-secured boxes/doors/whatever. Similar thing with "luck" attribute - in theory it affects everything, in practice 1 upgrade to the skill gives much better bonuses than attributes invested in "luck", considering how many skills you get comparing to few attributes - it's a complete waste of points that could be put in other, by far more beneficial, attributes. Sadly you can't really tell that until you are will into the game (at least past lvl 10) so it only adds to the frustration. I'm fine with situational skills, but when "situational" means "useful only once per 5 hours of a game" then something is obviously wrong.
  2. For those of you who have Pillars of Eternity tiers that come with Wasteland 2 and you haven't already redeemed your key for use on Steam, it's now available on GOG.com! To redeem your Wasteland 2 for GOG.com, visit the Products tab in your Account Profile, click on Wasteland 2, and click on Choose Platform. If you don't see this option there and you definitely have a confirmed order with the $165 Digital Collector's Edition reward tier or higher, please contact us via the Contact page on the Eternity site.
  3. Update by Brandon Adler, Lead Producer Hey, everyone. We have some important information for you regarding the Backer Beta and how to manage your pledge. We also have exciting news for you regarding Wasteland 2 keys and how you can get your key from the backer portal. Our next update will be focused on how to redeem your Eternity beta keys and special Backer Beta information. Important Backer Information A few very important changes will be happening on August 22nd. First, we will be ending the crowdfunding period for Eternity. This means that as of August 22nd, you will only be able to preorder the game and will be unable to back the game at reduced prices. If you have already backed the game before August 22nd this won't have any effect on you, but if you would like to back an additional copy of the game at reduced prices or buy any add-ons, please make sure you do it before August 22nd. Second, we are completely locking all tiers on August 22nd. This is necessary so we can start the manufacturing process for the various fulfillment rewards. We are going to completely lock down all surveys as well. We locked these surveys a few months ago for anyone that had in-game content (items, NPCs, inns, etc.), but we were still allowing people to enter in content for their credits and memorial stones. So, if you have any remaining credits or memorial stone surveys to finish, please do so before the 22nd. Wasteland 2 If you backed a tier which included a Wasteland 2 key we have exciting news for you. Starting now, you can head over to the Products tab in your Account Profile to snag your Wasteland 2 Steam key. Please note: Only Steam keys are presently available. If you want Wasteland 2 on GOG, that won’t be available until InXile has released the game. On the account page, you will want to click the link on the left that reads "Products." This tab displays all of the products you have associated with your account. Click on the Wasteland 2 entry to expand the entry. Once the Wasteland 2 entry is expanded, click on the "Generate" button. You will be asked to confirm that you would like to generate a key for Wasteland 2. If you wish to generate a key at that time, press the "Generate Key" button. If you generate a key, you should see a banner at the top of the tab that confirms your success. Expand the Wasteland 2 entry again and you should see your key with instructions in how to install it on Steam. Enjoy your post-apocalyptic experience! Backer Portal Additions Darren and the web support team have been hard at work adding some additional functionality into the backer portal to make it easier to manage your pledge and your account. Below we will discuss a couple of the new features and how to use them. Address Verification For those of you that will have physical goods shipped to you, you may now view your address on record. If you have a physical goods order, please verify that the address we have on file is correct. You’ll have some time to update us if not; we’ll let you know exactly when we need to stop taking address changes. Once you are on your Account Profile page, you can click on the "Addresses" tab and view your default address on record. If this address is incorrect, you can click the Edit link below the address to update us. For now this will bring you to a form where you can request that the Obsidian team changes your address, but in the future we will add in functionality for backers to edit their addresses directly. Add-on Purchases One of the cool new features we have been working on is the ability for backers to purchase additional add-ons without having to create a new order or cancel existing orders. This means if you would like to add a beta key add-on (or any other add-on) to your order you can do so easily. It is as easy as heading to your pledge management page and pressing the "Buy Addons" button. This will take you to a list of add-ons that we have available for purchase. Please note: Physical addons will no longer be available after August 22nd! Backer Beta Backer Beta is still on track to be released on August 18th. There were some key pieces of information I wanted to make sure everyone knew about, though: We will be releasing the Backer Beta on Steam only. The reason for this is because Steam makes the process of uploading new builds much easier than other platforms. This will allow us to put out updated versions of the game more quickly than we could otherwise. The main game will still be available on all previously promised options (Steam, GOG, etc.) You will be able to download your Backer Beta key from our backer portal. Once we release the Backer Beta, we will send instructions on how to get your key. The Backer Beta key WILL NOT be the same key that you use to get the final game. It will only give you access to the beta version of the game. The main reason we are doing this is so that backers are not locked into Steam for the final version of the game. For example, you can use Steam for the Backer Beta and GOG for your retail copy of the game if you wish. For feedback, we will be creating a special forum for Backer Beta discussions and bug reports. Our QA Lead, Matthew Sheets, will be on the forums often to collect data and get it input into issues for the team to fix. Initially, we are releasing the Backer Beta on Windows only. We are still working out a few kinks on Mac and Linux, but we expect that we will be able to release those a few weeks after our initial release, if not sooner. We want to get Mac and Linux players in the game as soon as possible too. That's it for the update. Our next update will be when we release the Backer Beta!
  4. Hey, everyone. As you may have heard our good friends at inXile have announced that they will be giving beta access to all of their Wasteland 2 backer tiers. This is great news and we are really excited for them. As a reward in some of our Kickstarter tiers, our backers were offered a retail digital download of Wasteland 2. For those folks we are currently working with inXile to offer those backers early beta access to Wasteland 2, as well. We will keep you updated on when we can offer you those keys and how you can redeem them. Stay tuned.
  5. Hi! So I got Wasteland 2 from Steam and absolutely loving it. It feels slick! Regardless, that's not what I wanted to talk about. Character creation. Some backstory to the idea: Wasteland 2 has a very nice chargen, there's lots of pieces you can put together to create the character. I do have one issue with Wasteland 2's character creation, and that's the biography/history section where you can write your characters history yourself. Wasteland 2 has a very open ended beginning so your character can truly be anyone... but who is anyone in the Wasteland 2 world? When did the fallout begin? What are the factions? What are their roles? What's the timeline? I had no clue at first (I have now both looked it up and got some ideas from some replies on the same issue on the WL2 forum). Regardless, these are important things for the Player to be able to insert their character into the world authentically. The idea for Pillars of Eternity & Wasteland 2: Make it a bit easier, accessible, for the Player to write their backstory. Give some pointers or hints about the world in some descriptive tooltip-box of some kind during Character Creation. Hover over a "?" (Questionmark) and some text pops up. Maybe have a bullet-point list of some important things~ I don't want to write "My character is an X coming from Y" and then when I play the game/progression I don't want to encounter something pointing out my own created loopholes or flaws in the story saying "There hasn't been anyone coming from Y being an X" if you catch my drift. In my opinion and experience, I find it way more fun to play as a character that makes some sort of "sense" that they are in the world. I get more invested and immersed writing a backstory. The thing is, I don't think the majority of gamers will alt+tab out of the game and research the story/lore to be able to write a "proper" character or even write anything at all. I have created many characters in Wasteland 2, but only written what I think is a proper story for 1 character. I know Pillars of Eternity will have some sort of banter early-game that creates your characters backstory so maybe this idea isn't entirely actual for Eternity, but I wanted to throw the ball here as well as I think it's a valuable addition... just in case it works. It's an "Easily Implementable Idea" as well. I think it is something to consider... what do you think?
  6. With only seven days left on the Project Eternity Kickstarter, we want to start the last week off with some pretty incredible things to announce. You might not know that Brian Fargo is the guy who gave many of us our start in the games industry – myself (Feargus), Josh Sawyer, Chris Avellone, Scott Everts, Brian Menze, Chris Jones, Chris Parker, Darren Monahan – and the list keeps on going from there. He also gave the guys who started a little company called Silicon & Synapse their first few projects – pretty crazy to think that little company is now Blizzard Entertainment. Personally, we are incredibly thankful to him and for the second wave of Kickstarter attention he brought with Wasteland 2. But, Brian hasn’t stopped being the great guy that he is, and so, he’s helping us out by letting us add Wasteland 2 as a reward at our higher tiers. So, what tiers will that be? A lot of you have asked for a digital tier after $110, so we are adding a $165 Digital Only Tier. That means Wasteland 2 will get added to this new $165 tier and all the tiers above. What we are also doing is adding the first expansion pack for the game to the $165 Tier (and above). The expansion will come out approximately six months after Project Eternity is released. That’s right, it’s not DLC, but a real honest to God RPG expansion pack. We don’t have the details on the Expansion yet, but you can bet it will be what you’d expect from an Infinity Engine game expansion. With all that Brian has done for us in the past and his incredibly generous offer, we also want to kick something in. To do that we are now supporting Brian's Kicking It Forward initiative. The Kickstarter community is pretty amazing and we want to help whomever we can be as successful as we have been. For those of you that missed the announcement over the weekend, we will be adding another level to the Mega Dungeon if we hit 20,000 Likes on Obsidian's Facebook page. We are getting close to halfway there! That’s a lot for today, and we have so much more coming up tomorrow. Maybe some new stretch goals, maybe some new add-ons, or heck maybe all of that! Stay tuned all of this week as we ramp up to the Project Eternity Kickstarter finish next Tuesday, October 16th with an all-day live video stream from Obsidian. We are trying to get Tim to do the cooking! Oh, and we also owe everyone an update that goes through everything you get at each of the tiers listed out with a bit more detail than we can squeeze in on the front page of our Kickstarter site. We will get that update out in the next few days, but to tide everyone over – we’ve attached the full concept for Aloth below. Have a great week everyone! Update by Feargus Urquhart
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