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I liked PoE I well enough (to finish it on PotD), but Deadfire surpasses it in just about every important aspect. The introduction of multiclassing and a quick leveling curve (especially when playing solo) makes coming up with new builds very entertaining. The game is almost like an action RPG (like Diablo, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn etc.) in its diversity of builds. Part of this is facilitated by the great variety of mods found in unique items. It's clear the team put in the effort to build a very powerful item mod system and examples like Hand Mortar, Tuotilo's Palm, Pukestabber, Deltro's Cage, Reckless Brigandine, Whitewitch Mask (all off the top of my head) are testaments to the flexibility on display. However with the strength of the itemization some things stand out: Some item types are disproportionally underrepresented (Wands, clubs, crossbows, etc.). A total of five soulbound items in total Lacking any enchantment options, Magic items have no use at all The first two points are easy enough to fix: just add more! More items, especially with an eye for enabling new or exclusive character builds, can only benefit the game. I might as well make the suggestion when there are two more DLCs still in the process of hatching. For the third, I recommend taking a page out of Diablo II (not I, not III)'s book -- where magic (blue) items had exclusively powerful +skill mods that still kept them relevant in some cases -- and provide magical items with a diverse pool of enchantments that also happen to be somewhat stronger than the mods on unique items (that is, numerically). Let magic items have more aggressive scaling from Skills, or have higher proc rates for on-hit/on-kill/on-engage abilities, or have a higher stack count for stacking bonuses, etc. that sort of thing. I stress that the existing Deadfire game is much more interesting than Pillars 1 as it is, partly owing to the itemization. But I absolutely believe that it could be much more.
I just found myself comparing my experience in Baldur's Gate and Diablo 3: Raiders of the Infernal Department Store. Two wildly different games, true, but I found it ironic that, while one of Diablo 3's selling points was compulsive and awesome looting, I simply couldn't be any excited when Demon Invader number 667# would spill another pair of pants. I was once told that one reason for that is the attribute metagame in the Diablo series was simplified, items don't compete with each other simply because one yields more 'DPS' than the other. There's no question of what is actually best for your character (which is fundamentally equal to every other character). I can't tell if that's true since I haven't played Diablo 1 and 2, but my own experience with other 'diablo-likes' supports that argument. But I think there's more: I believe that the attribute metagame isn't enough. Which brings me to Baldur's Gate. In the first game, simple enchanted items are relatively rare. Items with specialized and higher bonuses (such as +X against Undead) are even rarer. Items with special abilities are almost self-contained to the expansion. This denotes one difference between BG and Diablo 3, loot that is meant to be interesting are rarer and, therefore, actually interesting and meaningful. But progression is still linear, since its still mostly about the attribute metagame. Every party member fills a niche, meaning that each party member will benefit the most of a given attribute increase, items are still simply better than each other. Granted, if Diablo 3 had managed to accomplish this much, I'd have been pleasantly surprised. But the IE games, I believe, went beyond that. In Shadows of Amn the structure is mostly the same, but there's more loot and the stakes are a higher. And with a higher power level, you can have more diverse items when it comes to special abilities. I remember hoarding a number of rings, cloaks and such, not because of different attribute bonuses and the like, but rather because of special abilities. This is something else that loot in Diablo 3 didn't have, creative and situtional spell effects. For the most part, I might wear that cloak of +X protection, but I'll occasionally switch into that other one that transforms me into a troll for healing purposes. And it might even remain useful levels and levels after I acquired it.