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Seeing a bit of (admittedly shallow) criticism of the story here and elsewhere which suprised me. I think Obsidian have been innovative and many people are missing the point.

 

The Eothas story is simply a framing device for the adventures of the Watcher. If you are beelining the crit path and feel like the story is shallow or rushed, well, you're missing 80% of the narrative. This might be compared to Breath of the Wild or more accurately, New Vegas, where the goal is extremely simple because it makes room for the player to make their own narrative journey. Might I also add that this is exactly the type of thing PoE1 copped criticism for neglecting?

 

Instead, the faction politics, exploration and side quests, completed at the leisure of the player, and the Watcher's choices form the narrative, which is far more satisfying than anything on rails.

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I agree that the faction side of things ends up being the real 'main story'.

 

The Eothas / Wheel thread still could have been a bit more involved however, or at least a little less vague.

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 This might be compared to Breath of the Wild 

Wait, didn't you want to defend the story?

Breath of the Wild tells it's story through the gameworld itself, and the very few cutscenes/memories you discover as you play the game.  It is bare bones, but it is done in a very nice way and every time you see a new scene it has an actual point and merit to it.  It teaches you something about the world, the characters in it, or even yourself (Link).

 

It is just a different kind of story telling, and considering I haven't seen a single reviewer knock the games story, or even give Breath of the Wild a bad review... they did something right.  In fact didn't most sites/publications say it was game of the year last year?  It was certainly in my top 3.

 

So you could do a lot worse than being compared to it.

 

That said all the OP means, is that if you beeline the crit path you miss most of the game, and the real world building story around it.  Which means you gimped yourself out of the better part of the game, and most of it's lore/history.  He only used Breath of the Wild as an example of another game where you definitely can do the same thing, he did not mean to compare their actual stories.

Edited by Karkarov
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Why can't people like you just admit that the main plot sucks and that Obsidian need to do better in the future? Is it really so hard?

 

There were a million different ways they could have made the Eothas plot and factions/side content coexist with each other. If they wanted the Eothas plot to be a "framing device" and to focus the main plot around the factions (e.g. New Vegas), they could have easily done so. That's not what happened. What we got instead was railroaded garbage that took up far too many conversations and robbed the game of a more interesting ending.

Edited by Selky
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 This might be compared to Breath of the Wild 

Wait, didn't you want to defend the story?

 

I didn't mind Breath of the Wild's story. It basically allowed you to do things at your own pace.

Edited by Gritino
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I am enjoying the hell out of the story! I love the twists and turns with these characters, nothing is black and white in this story. 

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The thing is that, in New Vegas for example, there's no real reason for you to hurry and finish the critical path. Sure, the guy shot you in the head, but there's no real hurry in finding him, after which the faction stuff is in essence the main quest. While the critical path in deadfire makes an important point of you finding Eothas before everything is lost, including how you could die if you get too far from Eothas while he still has your soul, yet you end up sailing around the deadfire having fun for two years.

 

The game is great if you don't count the main quest, and the factions are definitely meant to be the spine of the game. That's not an excuse for the main quest to essentially be "I have to get my soul back from Eothas because Berath told me to" since losing your soul never is shown to be a problem nor is it referred to after the prologue. None of the factions ever bother mentioning or worrying about a giant divine adra statue sucking souls from people unless it's as part of the main quest, nor is there any real involvement of the player in the events that transpire during said journey: the only C&C involving Eothas and the gods is in 4-5 lines of chosen dialogue in the end. No effect from previous conversations, no effect from your meetings with the other gods, nothing. The faction C&C is brillianty done: so why is our involvement in the main quest minimal at best?

Edited by Taevyr
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 This might be compared to Breath of the Wild 

Wait, didn't you want to defend the story?

 

I didn't mind Breath of the Wild's story. It basically allowed you to do things at your own pace.

 

Yes and so does minecraft, nonexistent things can't get in the way of anything.

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The thing is that, in New Vegas for example, there's no real reason for you to hurry and finish the critical path. Sure, the guy shot you in the head, but there's no real hurry in finding him, after which the faction stuff is in essence the main quest. While the critical path in deadfire makes an important point of you finding Eothas before everything is lost, including how you could die if you get too far from Eothas while he still has your soul, yet you end up sailing around the deadfire having fun for two years.

I have mentioned this in other threads, but this isn't exactly a new thing.

 

The much worshiped greatest villain of all time (some level of sarcasm is intended) Jon Irenicus is in no hurry to lay waste to his Elf City.  In Eternity 1 Thaos is happy to sit down at that old Engwithan machine and think about turning it on while you go play in the snow, also doesn't your sanity have an expiration date?  In Dragon Age Origins I hope you are ready to rally your men for the cause of defeating the Dark Spawn!  I mean they just wiped out an army and sacked a town.... surely they will be wiping out all Ferelden sometime this year.... maybe?  Meanwhile I better go put a stop to Alduin's madness and save all of Skyrim.... just as soon as I finish becoming master of the Mages College, head of the Fighters guild, speaker of some old crusty lady, put down a rebellion, pick those flowers.... what was I doing again?

 

I think you get my point. 

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I think you get my point. 

 

 

Yes your point is that we should just ignore flaws instead of criticizing them because there are other games with the same flaw. 

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personally, when i'm playing open-world titles i think of reasons that would allow my character to muck about for a while. in skyrim for instance, for quite a while my character doesn't know about alduin, the end of the world or all that nonsense. all s/he knows is that dragons are back. so why not join the fighters guild, mage college, or end the civil war? 

 

in deadfire, it was simply... i'm still fairly weak, flat broke and i'll be following eathos into rather lethal terrain, so i better get some gear, fix up my ship, or buy a bigger one, recruit some adventurers, etc. as i'm not likely going to survive another go if i muck this up.

 

to me perfectly acceptable reasons to muck about for two years.

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Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away... -Hughes Mearns

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Due to over zealous editing of dialogue, Eothas' motives and plans don't make much logical sense (https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/174058952291/so-is-the-idea-that-before-the-wheel). That's primarily why I'm disappointed. Logic is the minimum requirement of a story, yes?

 

The second reason I'm disappointed is perhaps that the Watcher is ultimately ineffective. All he does at the end of the game is give his 2 cents to Eothas about what direction he wants the world to go in. 

Sure, lots of the secondary content is awesome, but the ending plays a big role in what taste the game leaves in your mouth afterwards.

Edited by Heijoushin
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Seeing a bit of (admittedly shallow) criticism of the story here and elsewhere which suprised me. I think Obsidian have been innovative and many people are missing the point.

 

The Eothas story is simply a framing device for the adventures of the Watcher. If you are beelining the crit path and feel like the story is shallow or rushed, well, you're missing 80% of the narrative. This might be compared to Breath of the Wild or more accurately, New Vegas, where the goal is extremely simple because it makes room for the player to make their own narrative journey. Might I also add that this is exactly the type of thing PoE1 copped criticism for neglecting?

 

Instead, the faction politics, exploration and side quests, completed at the leisure of the player, and the Watcher's choices form the narrative, which is far more satisfying than anything on rails.

 

The problem is the mainstream majority market of casual players that are wanting an interactive novel.

 

That are wanting the depth and quality of story of a novel or movie series - through the medium of a game.

 

Instead of just going and reading a novel or watching a movie..

 

But they are the majority market so we need to cater to that more correctly, so it's Obsidians fault. (/s)

 

Edit: I mean, they are already priority number 1, with even balancing of the game and especially higher difficulties - for people that actually play the game for the gameplay - having been all but completely abandoned until post release and so nothing more than an afterthought. But it's still not good enough apparently. That's what they get i spose.

Edited by whiskiz

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The problem is the mainstream majority market of casual players that are wanting an interactive novel.

 

That are wanting the depth and quality of story of a novel or movie series - through the medium of a game.

 

Instead of just going and reading a novel or watching a movie..

 

But they are the majority market so we need to cater to that more correctly, so it's Obsidians fault. (/s)

 

Edit: I mean, they are already priority number 1, with even balancing of the game and especially higher difficulties - for people that actually play the game for the gameplay - having been all but completely abandoned until post release and so nothing more than afterthought. But it's still not good enough apparently. That's what they get when they get i spose.

 

I'd hate to side with the filthy casuals, but can't we have good gameplay and a quality story?

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Lol @ the assumption that a great story or themes and ideas should be exclusive to film and literature. Far as I'm concerned games of a narrative kind should most definitely aim for these goals just as much as they should good gameplay. Better yet, they ought to think more regularly about how to integrate the two and use the interactivity offered by the medium as a narrative tool and means of expression. That's what I seek in the videogames I play, at least, and why I value videogames as an artform independent of literature, cinema or any other. But hey, maybe I'm just a lazy casual.

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 This might be compared to Breath of the Wild 

Wait, didn't you want to defend the story?

Breath of the Wild tells it's story through the gameworld itself, and the very few cutscenes/memories you discover as you play the game.  It is bare bones, but it is done in a very nice way and every time you see a new scene it has an actual point and merit to it.  It teaches you something about the world, the characters in it, or even yourself (Link).

 

It is just a different kind of story telling, and considering I haven't seen a single reviewer knock the games story, or even give Breath of the Wild a bad review... they did something right.  In fact didn't most sites/publications say it was game of the year last year?  It was certainly in my top 3.

 

So you could do a lot worse than being compared to it.

 

That said all the OP means, is that if you beeline the crit path you miss most of the game, and the real world building story around it.  Which means you gimped yourself out of the better part of the game, and most of it's lore/history.  He only used Breath of the Wild as an example of another game where you definitely can do the same thing, he did not mean to compare their actual stories.

 

Yeah - this is what I meant, but you've said it much more elegantly than I'm capable of. 

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I think you get my point. 

 

 

Yes your point is that we should just ignore flaws instead of criticizing them because there are other games with the same flaw. 

 

 

 

Or understand that games need a central conceit like this so that they are actually playable? 

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The thing is that, in New Vegas for example, there's no real reason for you to hurry and finish the critical path. Sure, the guy shot you in the head, but there's no real hurry in finding him, after which the faction stuff is in essence the main quest. While the critical path in deadfire makes an important point of you finding Eothas before everything is lost, including how you could die if you get too far from Eothas while he still has your soul, yet you end up sailing around the deadfire having fun for two years.

 

The game is great if you don't count the main quest, and the factions are definitely meant to be the spine of the game. That's not an excuse for the main quest to essentially be "I have to get my soul back from Eothas because Berath told me to" since losing your soul never is shown to be a problem nor is it referred to after the prologue. None of the factions ever bother mentioning or worrying about a giant divine adra statue sucking souls from people unless it's as part of the main quest, nor is there any real involvement of the player in the events that transpire during said journey: the only C&C involving Eothas and the gods is in 4-5 lines of chosen dialogue in the end. No effect from previous conversations, no effect from your meetings with the other gods, nothing. The faction C&C is brillianty done: so why is our involvement in the main quest minimal at best?

 

I think this is a fair body of criticism.

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Due to over zealous editing of dialogue, Eothas' motives and plans don't make much logical sense (https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/174058952291/so-is-the-idea-that-before-the-wheel). That's primarily why I'm disappointed. Logic is the minimum requirement of a story, yes?

 

The second reason I'm disappointed is perhaps that the Watcher is ultimately ineffective. All he does at the end of the game is give his 2 cents to Eothas about what direction he wants the world to go in. 

 

Sure, lots of the secondary content is awesome, but the ending plays a big role in what taste the game leaves in your mouth afterwards.

 

I'd argue that no, logic is in no way a minimum requirement of storytelling, at least not on this planet. See: Romeo and Juliet's motives for marriage/suicide, Iago's motives for jealousy, or Achilles' motives for staying out of battle with the Trojans. 

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Lol @ the assumption that a great story or themes and ideas should be exclusive to film and literature. Far as I'm concerned games of a narrative kind should most definitely aim for these goals just as much as they should good gameplay. Better yet, they ought to think more regularly about how to integrate the two and use the interactivity offered by the medium as a narrative tool and means of expression. That's what I seek in the videogames I play, at least, and why I value videogames as an artform independent of literature, cinema or any other. But hey, maybe I'm just a lazy casual.

 

I think what they meant was gamers want a cinematic or literary tale which also affords the conceits of gameplay, which, unless you make something like Uncharted or the Last of Us, is not possible in all formats, because player agency and experimentation and nonlinearity is involved. Something has to give. If , for example, the Witcher was really on a dire quest to save the one person in his life he truly unconditionally loved, he wouldn't stop every two seconds for every peasant who needed help. 

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personally, when i'm playing open-world titles i think of reasons that would allow my character to muck about for a while. in skyrim for instance, for quite a while my character doesn't know about alduin, the end of the world or all that nonsense. all s/he knows is that dragons are back. so why not join the fighters guild, mage college, or end the civil war? 

 

in deadfire, it was simply... i'm still fairly weak, flat broke and i'll be following eathos into rather lethal terrain, so i better get some gear, fix up my ship, or buy a bigger one, recruit some adventurers, etc. as i'm not likely going to survive another go if i muck this up.

 

to me perfectly acceptable reasons to muck about for two years.

 

Well, yeah, this was my experience too! I found that my Watcher, who was a cut-throat raider at the beginning, became disillusioned with the wantonness of piracy and ended up siding with the Deadfire Company because she admired their ability to do what was necessary. This was a little unintentional character arc that was really just formed out of me running around a making decisions, rather than being told how I should feel. This even got acknowledge when I had the chance to merge back with my soul - I chose the 'I'm not that person anymore' option. 

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Lol @ the assumption that a great story or themes and ideas should be exclusive to film and literature. Far as I'm concerned games of a narrative kind should most definitely aim for these goals just as much as they should good gameplay. Better yet, they ought to think more regularly about how to integrate the two and use the interactivity offered by the medium as a narrative tool and means of expression. That's what I seek in the videogames I play, at least, and why I value videogames as an artform independent of literature, cinema or any other. But hey, maybe I'm just a lazy casual.

 

I think what they meant was gamers want a cinematic or literary tale which also affords the conceits of gameplay, which, unless you make something like Uncharted or the Last of Us, is not possible in all formats, because player agency and experimentation and nonlinearity is involved. Something has to give. If , for example, the Witcher was really on a dire quest to save the one person in his life he truly unconditionally loved, he wouldn't stop every two seconds for every peasant who needed help. 

 

 

It's not possible because of a number of factors:

 

Player agency/non linearity/lore as you said.

 

Funding - this is not a Triple-A company and if you ask some, they are barely holding on financially. It seems to be one of those smaller devs that are being supported by the crowd and able to keep going because of it, not some faceless money beast that is just cutting corners for the sake of it.

 

Time - they already had to sacrifice balancing the gameplay of the game and higher difficulties for bugfixing as they stated, having to do those post release instead. Level scaling straight up didn't work on release, there were plenty of bugs and performance issues on release still and a whole host of other problems. Where are they going to get the extra time and again funding, to increase the quality of the story in a game more than it already is - when there's so many other problems, too? (that are arguably more important to the medium.)

 

The fact that it is a game after all, as touched on - You may want to have the best of everything, but it's just not realistic. Some things are more important and more central than others in every medium and arguably the systems, mechanics, performance, bugs, balance, depth, length are all more important and then there's things like variety, audio, visual and other things that all need to be considered and worked on to end up at an above average level. Wanting to push the one aspect you happen to value higher than others, personally, is again just not a realistic expectation to have. I personally prefer combat depth and challenge and would rather that be expanded upon, but i get there are other needs.

 

Etc.

 

With the above in mind, it's a careful balancing act - where you can't just pump one thing, one aspect to suit individual needs. But rather shoot for a product that is great in all areas, rather than multiple areas suffering to make one amazing. So we get a "good" story, with good combat, good graphics, good audio, good exploration, good sized world that is also open etc etc.

 

P.S I get it - the casual crowd just wants, again, an interactive novel. Well i'm sorry but there's more to a game than that, thank god. There are again other mediums that do specialize in that though. You can't have everything and if you ask me, the gaming industry and anything for-profit caters to you enough already.

Edited by whiskiz

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I wouldn't mind the short main quest with little player reactivity, but also the side quests and factions provide way too little of that. You can work with all of the factions at once right up to the final showdown, nobody gets angry at you for sinking their ships without hesitation (and even parading the little victory flags around to announce it to the world), and you cannot change the course of any faction in the least (exception being one case where you can change leadership, but that's where it ends). No options to let everybody (or no one!) have a piece of the cake in the end too.

Edited by M4xw0lf
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Haha, OP. And I was hoping for a sensible defence.

 

Of course, factions are the main content of the game. Have been argued that with everyone who complaints that main story is 4 missions long. Faction content is good but the finale is unsatisfying. Faction stuff is not on New Vegas level. I have written al length about my thoughts of factions and why the climax doesn’t feel right:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/100592-critique-of-the-faction-system-and-its-negative-impact-on-the-ending-spoilers/?do=findComment&comment=2033339

 

Yeah, Eothas is a McGuffin we chase, and an excuse to do other stuff. And that’s the problem. New Vegas’ “fight the guy who shot me” wasn’t a great hook (so I want to find the guy who shot me?) but:

 

1) unlike Eothas it was tied to the core of the game (factions). Even if “sidecontent” would be just that for you for a while, after progressing the game the factions would become your sidecontent, with Benny disappearing after you dealt with him. In New Vegas you don’t rush through battle for Hoover Dam, in order to confront Benny, whom you by that point don’t really care about. Benny leads into factions, Eothas and factions fight for your attention - factions easily win, however, Eothas should be a much bigger concern to everyone there.

 

2) we are newcomers to Deadfire and Watcher from the first game. There is no reason for us to be interested in Deadfire, but there is reason to be interested in Eothas and Gods. I role played around it - my orlan was mainly focused on regaining wealth, with gods being an annoyance. He followed Eothas purely because he had to.

 

3) game doesn’t continue themes of the original - the dilemma set up by revelation at the end of the first game, is not addressed, certainly not by the player. Urgency that your character should have, is taken over by Eothas who takes appropriate actions. I found Watcher to be tacked on, with little payoff coming from his return - familiar companions feel distant, better suited to interact with new blood, rather than an old friend which whom they discovered cosmic secret.

 

4) the “framing device” challenges basic laws of the set up universe, without expanding on them, which introduces a lot of doubt on how eora works, and if it makes any sense.

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