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Dear Obsidian Team, I normally don't do such reviews and thoughts about the games I finish, but keeping in mind the next installment - POE 2, I'd love to give you my thoughts and feelings after finishing your first game - POE 1. I am the 24595th backer for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - pledged 65 $ - I really wish I could support you with a bigger amount. First of all I really hope this text will somehow get to you Folks, I know you will not maybe agree with all the things I will mention here but at least please try to cosinder it TY. Keeping in mind this is the first game you made in the world of Eora I will start with PROS. PROS: 1. It's a cRPG! God, I just love this genre 2. Beautifully made locations, with a big emphasis to details 3. GREAT combat - it really felt good, clear/transparent 4. Interesting and nicely created monsters 5. Well desinged inventory, maps and interface CONS: 1. THE STORY Sadly it wasn't enough interesting to keep me excited and wanting to know more about the upcoming events/future. The story is a strong part in both BG2 & Icewind Dale. 2. ITEMS CONS It felt really discouraging when you spent so much time on doing quests and slaying monsters just to get regular magic *blue* items. Too many in the game. It was sad that my best weapon for Kana was a found Exceptional Arquebus that at the end of the game have been upgraded by me to a legendary item. None of the yellow (rare?) items where good enough. Very rarely there was a yellow that was actually better then any type of item I was equipped with. TOO MANY repeating items, with the same stats, names and looks. Another exaple: Hand & Key, found early in the game and I finished the game with it. Sadly, if im not mistaken, only with in the White March there were items like Abydon's Hammer, Stormcaller or Gyrd Haewanes Stenes that you could assign with a specific charakter and get them better in time, instead of upgrading on your own. I like the idea, but please try not to make too many of these next time. PROS I really liked the idea with the White Forge, Blade of the Endless Paths that reminded me of FLAIL of AGES from BG2 ENCHANTING It needs an overhaul. Sadly only with using very rare items like eyes of dragons, krakens and epic monsters you could really make a change that felt as an upgrade. What about obtained in the game items that coundn't be used like for enchanting: Fangs & Claws from: Lions, Wolves, Stelgaers, Bears, Boar Tusks Elder antelope Horn, Stag Horn Hides from: Lions, Wolves, Boars, Bears, Stelgaers, Stags Items like: Shattered Animat Armor, Readceran prayer bracelet (found 20), Durgan Copper bracelet, Bronze Abydon Statuette (6) IMO there should be enchanters in the game in the world of Eora that could do enchanting for us, that could do lets say a nice bow from Antelope's Horn, good armor from Hides we find. CRAFTING What about ingredients that I found hundreds of, picking every single plant I found. I never used them. Crafting could not exist - I wouldn't mind. It was too basic. I didn't even use food, maybe only when I had to raise my STATS to do a specific quest or to open a dialog option with a NPC - it felt weird. Items: Conclusion - We need a good loot system - which is a strong and important part of every RPG game. That everytime you fight this epic monster or FOE you will be rewarded and you can be sure you will get an upgrade - that your party will get stronger through items. 3. MONEY When I finished the game I had approx: 500.000 GOLD. We need ways to spend the money. Too many regular items that are beeing sold over and over again. Lets limit the amount of money we get from an NPC for the same item. NPC should just say: I'm sorry I just can't take more of these, have you got anything else? I remember it was a challenge to buy something in the Waukeens Promanade in BG2. Just like in real life - if you want to buy something - save the money for it. I'd like to have an indecision what to buy or spend the money for. Bribe a NPC or save the money cause I need them for something else. 4. MUSIC I understand there is a budget and some other limitations. Music was solid, but nothing really memorable (Icewind Dale, BG2). I really hope POE2 will do much better in this manner. MUSIC is the third most important thing after the STORY and GAMEPLAY imo. 5. THE WHITE MARCH Should be an addition to already finnished main story quest. I finished the game (the pit that I couldn't get out of) and had to reload the game from earlier save to go to White March and do the expansion - One big location with best items in the game... 5. SMALL THINGS & CONCLUSION Wounds - we should have an option to heal/fix them without having to rest every single time. I like the idea of having different wounds in the game - keep it that way, it's great. Knowledge - I remember having this option in the game where as a mage I could know what is enemy mage/wizzard casting. Sure, I believe there was an icon - but please add text for clarity. Would be great to also have all (at least known) spells (mage, priest, bard) & skills/abilities in the encyclopedia. That's about it. Pillars of Eterniety has its flaws as every other game. There are also many strong sides that makes this game a very SOLID cRPG title. In summary POE is not a game that I look forward to get back to one day, as I did with Icewind Dale & Baldur's Gate series so many times I can't even count. I will definitely have fond memories of POE and can't wait to see POE2 become it's very best successor. THANK YOU Obsidian Entertainment for all your great work so far, and keep it up. It would make me a happy man to know you actually red this text. I'll check back after some time to see if you did Best regards, KARNASHUK
I can't match Sensuki's dedication, but I thought it might be useful to summarize my thoughts on the BB so far. I think I'll leave this build alone for now, despite having skipped some classes, notably the Druid. I'll follow the list of high-priority feedback requested in the announcement. Classes Fighter: With the rogue, probably the most restrictive and role-limited of the classes. I would very much like adjustments and talents to make ranged fighter builds viable. I don't think they'd displace the Ranger, because that class's gameplay revolves around the animal companion. Suggested talents (lifted from other threads): Swords to Crossbows (swaps melee and ranged base accuracy), Knockdown Shot, reuse of some Ranger ranged talents. It would also make possible a highly lore-appropriate "musketeer" build who opens up with a musket, then goes into melee when the mobs close up. Knockdown made it extremely useful to quickly put high-priority targets out of commission for the time it took to disable them with something stronger. Basis is good but needs fleshing out. Feels weak overall compared to most other classes. Rogue: Underwhelming. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the only tactic I discovered was hobble+stab-stab-stab. Just a point damage machine, and not all that great at point damage. Sneak Attack needs to be beefed up to make using it worthwhile. Adding Talents that inflict a larger variety of status effects could help too. Feels weak. Wizard: Predictable. I really liked the possibility to make an armored caster, and thought the increase in casting time balanced out the added protection nicely. I could finally use all those nice cone-shaped spells that were mostly doing nothing for me in the DnD games because it was usually just simpler to use something else. Spell selection is currently a bit lacking in variety though, like someone went through a checklist and put them in. In particular, I would like more spells/talents supporting gish tactics, for example something that gives a medium-duration Accuracy boost (rather than the ultra-short one from the L1 spell). It's solid enough but somewhat lacking in 'flair' as Sensuki puts it. Power level feels about right. Priest: Supremely useful set of buffs, debuffs, and heals making it one of the most strategically useful classes to have around. I thought it suffered a bit from the same as the wizard--it's more "fundamentally useful" than "fun." I also couldn't figure out many alternative ways to play it--it's basically a support machine hanging back casting support spells, occasionally plinking with a ranged weapon. Feels a little overpowered; some of those buffs seem to confer near-invulnerability for fairly long durations. Unfortunately I can't think of any simple ways to remedy this. I like playing frontline support characters, but that's already covered by... Paladin: Liked it a lot. The auras and per-encounter abilities plus decent melee skills strike a really nice balance between high-maintenance and low-maintenance. One of my favorite things in DnD based cRPG's was to build a melee-oriented cleric, throw Battletide, and wade into melee. The paladin feels very similar. Power level feels about right. Barbarian: Liked it even more. Lots of tactical variety here; armor up and take Hold the Line and you've got an excellent, strategically durable tank with serious damage output, or Wild Sprint to take out backrow squishies, then Defiant Resolve when you're about to go down. Everything could use more talents, but all in all IMO the best melee class by far. Power level feels about right, maybe a little underpowered. Cipher: One of my favorite classes although needs nerfing, especially durations and obviously Soul Ignition which lets you cheese through the whole thing. Cool take on the gish. I played this as a disabler/melee combatant: took spells like Puppet Master, that multi-target paralysis thing, and so on, and had a ball. Good job on this one; don't change anything (much) other than dial down the power a bit. Chanter: Another of my favorite classes although the summons are obviously way OP at the moment. Feels genuinely different: a low-maintenance caster is something new and cool. Again, don't change everything other than fixing the obviously broken bits. Power level is over 9000. Ranger: Not my thing, I think, but that's probably just personal preference. Gameplay is unique what with the shared health pool, but frankly it felt a little bit gimmicky, different for the sake of being different. Other than that, the implementation works well enough. Power level is too dependent on the animal companion; with the lion he felt too fragile, with the bear definitely overpowered. Needs tuning. Edit: forgot about this one -- Monk: I liked this more than I'd have expected. Main obstacle to enjoyment was the lack of feedback; you have to watch that Wounds counter like a hawk or risk taking unnecessary damage. Needs very noticeable visual/auditory feedback when the monk gains a Wound. Consequently I didn't play with it all that much. I'll file this under "promising," once the combat is more sorted I'll be able to explore it more. Seemed to have rather few talents to choose from; similar issue as the rogue, only with the monk it was ow-ow-ow-Stunning Blow, ow-ow-ow-Stunning Blow. Power level was about right. Druid: Did not play enough to be able to comment. Maybe in the next build. Overall: There were two concepts I wanted to build, but couldn't: the archer/musketeer (with no animal meat shield), and the wizard-based gish who self-buffs, rushes into melee for great burst damage, and then buggers off magically when the buffs run out. (The rogue's Escape ability would be rad for that, as a spell or otherwise.) Races Due tot he limited impact of ability scores on anything, the racial bonuses felt fairly insignificant; if this isn't changed I'll probably pick a race for aesthetic and role-playing rather than mechanical reasons. The aumaua are cool, as are the fire, moon, and nature godlikes; the death godlike doesn't really appeal to me. Never cared for furries so pass on the orlan. Elves and dwarves are what you'd expect them to be. I do like the ability to pick your culture and your background, and that they're not bound to your race. Again, mechanically no big deal but I hope there's some roleplay mileage to be had from them. Attributes Yeesh, almost said "won't go here again" but hey, once more into the breach. I have a few quibbles with them, PER in particular is too easy to dump, but my main beef is that they don't matter all that much. I've kind of gotten used to this already, but yes, I would like it to bite if I dumped something to 3 and feel the punch if I pumped it to 18. I also think that it would be aesthetically better to represent below-average adjustments as penalties and above-average as bonuses, rather than just add everything to a base, even if the numbers ended up in the same place. Equipment Overall, I liked the gear selection, especially the armor. I'd say the design objective of not having one objectively 'best' choice is close to being met here, although I suspect that if I wanted to minmax I'd just go with robes or clothes for the back row, with more variety in the front row. Edit: I have to add, I really like the way the armor looks, and the way they take on the color. Brigandine, padded, leather, and breastplate were especially nice. I even made BB Wizard wear padded armor just because I liked the looks. If you've managed to make armor look so neat I'll take a 20% casting time penalty for it, you've got to be doing something right. Firearms and arbalests felt overpowered, hunting bows underpowered, and I couldn't get a good handle on damage type vs. enemy. I figured out that you're supposed to crush bugs, but that was more by trial and error than by something I could more or less easily understand by looking at the system. So that part could use more transparency. Also if damage type/defense matters as much as it appears, I think it would be important to have more weapon slots from the start. The ability to switch between ranged and melee isn't enough if you also have to switch between crushing and slashing, for example. Some of the hidden powerful weapons felt appropriately punchy; I really dug the way it changed things when I found and started using them. Crafting and Enchanting Glanced at it, did not try due to all the inventory bugs. Maybe next build. Conversations and Quests Oh yes baby: The best part of the beta by far. Won't rhapsodize about the specifics here, just keep doing what you're doing. A+ Combat Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? Actually it's not bad. There is a good combat system underneath the bugs and overall lack of feedback, but it desperately needs digging out. Please, please, please take Sensuki's suggestion #008 to heart and add the combat feedback it deserves. As it is, it's desperately difficult to figure out what's going on, even apart from the bugs. Movement speed is too fast. Basic mechanics are, as far as I can tell, fun, varied, and interesting. Nothing wrong with miss/graze/hit/crit. Relationship between damage and DT was too murky; it really needs clarification e.g. in the weapon descriptions and combat feedback -- I need to be able to clearly see that my attacks aren't doing damage due to DT; as it is it's quite unclear why I'm doing little to n odamage. Relationship between stamina and health is crystal, except for the petrifying spiders thing. I thought that was bugged. If there's an effect that makes damage go straight from health, that needs to be made extremely clear. User Interface Character creation was fine. The main game HUD was... not perfect; again Sensuki has that part covered, although I kind of liked it that the character abilities popped up above the portrait. The combat log is a mess and in the wrong place; it needs filtering and more info displayed directly to be useful at all. Inventory, character sheet, and journal were fine except for the bugs. One consistent issue I noticed was a general dearth of "Accept/Cancel" buttons in dialogs; it's counterintuitive to accept choices by closing the dialog from the [x] and then going through a dialog. I'll probably return to this when going through builds with the most egregious bugs removed.