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My short review and a few suggestions ( Mostly for developers)

Review 1.02 spoilers

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Nameless noob

Nameless noob

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Having finally finished the game (Patch 1.02) after 70 hours I do find myself on this very rare occasion to say a few words about the game.

In short I liked it, but it could have been better. Why? well here is my few scrambled up thoughts on the matter. 

 

About myself:

A crpg fan from BG, Torment, IWD, completed pillars1 with cipher. Played as Monk/Cipher in veteran difficulty with no level scaling in PoE2. Play and GM tapletop games.

 

 

 

Bugs

- Couldn't finish the Wakaha tribe quest line, it never updated on the alliance, but the queen said I had convinced the wakaha tribe  to join her ( but I hadnt even met them at that point in the game)

- The Explorer achievement was never completed ( im 99 % sure I have been on every island and named them)

-Couldn't finish the mapping quests in Queens berth, it just says " im partway there on islands southwest of neketa

- The Old city in Neketa and the Conchets of the sea quests went really oddly when I wondered in, and found the first conch before even I knew what the hell I was doing. I think the Quest got stuck on the Watershapers guild and in with the criminal boss ( D something) 

- A lot of enemies will not engage the players if they are not in their line of sight, problematic when the Boss summons adds and you end up finding them standing all alone and not going to the fight ( for example the Mecha boss in Ukaizo)

 

Game play

Companion classes

- Allow custom classes from lv1 for the companions ( Like Edér to become a  Swashbuckler street fighter/Unbroken and not just generic swashbuckler)

 

- The Spell casters (Druid, Priest, Wizard, Cipher)

In general, a lot weaker than their melee/ranged hitting counterparts, they have limited spells which deal about the same or even less damage as just basic attacks with a lot more micro involved. Seems like for doing damage going duel wield is preferable to any other weapon combo. Defensive spells are favored over offensive ones ( since most of them hit your party as well) and the Condition ones seem unreliable.  Going full caster seemed like a bad choice, you really pick up 1-2 spells from your spells available and use them repeatedly. Once you get higher level spells you dont really need to use the lower level ones, or you just use the spells that are easy to use.  Situational spells - you dont really want to pick up these because you only get a few spells to choose from. 

*Suggestion - make the offensive spells more reliable ( maybe even guaranteed HIT or graze at least) and cast faster, lower the damage done from melee attacks, maybe allow the casters to get a separate level up point in Spells and separate for the other skills ( this includes the chanter as well)

-

AI 

Pretty horrendous, if you have AI on they will ignore player commands, if not they will stop auto attacking once they have finished whatever command they were repeating. It should be more like finish player command - then go on your silly little AI routine. More often than not they characters will choose to run from their current opponent to engage someone long ways ahead leaving the enemy just battering them for no apparent reason. They will start long 6 second casting times when there is a 1 or 2 weak enemies left

 

- Traps

If you dont have a character with perception of 16+ in your party you are going to just step on every trap in creation which just means you step on on all of them, then rest. whilst having a character with 16+ perception makes traps utterly pointless. Traps are boring and pointless. BUT there were a few encounters where there were traps hidden within a fight ( this was good!)

*Suggestion - maybe adding a skill check to traps so that they can fail, stepping on traps should alert the enemy of your presence. At least make the obvious rope traps into a lower Perception check. Dont make the standard AI run trough traps in combat though.

 

- Ship combat

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 close in to encounter seems to be the most effective way ( granted your deckhands can die, which is a bit of shame since you cant even gear them). 

*suggestion. Ship combat needs an overall haul, its boring and pointless. I think it needs a graphical interface that happens either in real time (slow) or turn based.

 

-Difficulty

As it stand the game is too easy and doesn't require any tactics to complete, just click on the most effective most damage dealing options and once in a while maybe cast a healing spell or drink a potion. 

 

The PLOT

- The overall structure seems to be very similar to pillars1 even with the major towns and factions, the eir glanfathans are replaced with the huana. Except this time were actually in the plot doing stuff ( unlike in pillars 1 where the backstory was more interesting that what you were doing)

- Main story seems a bit short and theres basicly just one choice in the end you can effect.

- Freedom of exploration seemed to not fit into this, since I ended up being in most of the places before I actually needed to go there. Maybe more locked doors for plot reasons. Most of the time I just wondered in some random place and did everything in there without actually knowing why im there in the first place, but not bothering to backtrack.

- All the companion plots are very short and end abruptly ( especially aloth, was there like anything in there? did Pallegina have a quest at all?)

* suggestion - when in doubt look about  how companions  in Dragon age origins and Mass effect were done. 

- Why cant you use your diplomacy or intimidation to at least sort out some kind of deal with the 4 powers? it feels a bit odd since you have been doing jobs for all of them and now you suddenly have to choose 1 while damning all the others. I mean heres my point, they have been living in Neketaka in relative peace, and profiting from each other, but UKAIZO drives them mad for golddd!!!. Shouldnt they be more bothered about dealing with the Eothas situation and maybe after that fighting over UKAIZO.

- No choice to backstab the princinpi leader and become the pirate king yourself? :(, BOO! I was expecting to do this to Aldys but I guess not.

- Your choices seem to matter very little. 

 

* Suggestion: well of all the things mentioned here the plot I think cant be fixed. Guess well have to wait for pillars3

 

 

For the future ( pillars3)

I think the biggest problem with Pillars of Eternity is its game play system. To offer any difficulty it really needs to have level scaling mobs. which kills the feeling of a real living world ( why are these goblins lv20??, why wont these lv20 goblins just take over the world?? oh because then they'd face lv20 peasants with legendary pitchforks and torches) .

 

The greatest problem with the system is that you gain power from leveling up which means low level mobs will never hit you. A similar problem in many tabletop games such as D&D 3.5/Pathfinder. You should really look into D&D 5e and into the lowered power from gear and leveling up.

As and example a lv10 D&D 3.5 character could have +15 to 17 to hit and 25 to 30 AC while a D&D 5e char would have +7 to 9 to hit and AC 18 to 20. This means that a D&D 5e lv10 char would still find difficulty in  level 1 monsters that have a +4-5 to hit and ac 13-15 in greater qualities. whilst in D&D3.5/Pathfinder a lv1 monster would have no chance except a nat 20 to hit the player.  You have tried to encounter this problem with your Engagement system but the overall +3 per all defenses per level ruins the lower leveled monsters. ( im not saying 5e is the perfect system mind you, just that the lower level power ups benefit the overall believability of the world.

 

 

Overall:

well in the end of the day a PC game can never be perfect so I give deadfire in its current state a " Decent " rating.

 

Ill  give it another go at some point, after all Pillars 1 (at least game-play vice) is a totally different game in its currents state than it was at launch and will most likely give it another review. Thanks for all of your efforts and I hope the game gets another sequal. 

 

After reading this "review" I realized I had a lot more negatives to write but I did overall like the game. VA:s were great, most of the dialogue was great, and there were a few interesting fights.

 

 

 

 

 


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