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Hopefully POE3 will do a better job of side quest/main story pacing and integration


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Because the best way to play this if you want to explore is to totally forgot about Eothos until you want to move the critical path along.

 

It's a shame they couldn't come up with something creative like - you need to figure out/do something with the adra pillars. But alas knowing what they are is sufficient. Secondly, the game makes it seem like you need to build up a fleet...you don't. That could have been handled better, e.g. Eothos is bringing out all the water baddies plus you have to contend with the storm. And a final showdown with him if you want to stop him (how isn't this an option?) Plus the Gods are squabbling morons who add basically nothing but annoyance and curse/boom depending on choices. Could have been integrated much better. Maybe Rym sends his minions if you dont abide by his suggestion. Maybe there is an element of chaos between the Gods based on your choices- not round table therapy sessions.

 

Lastly, no one else outside of the main quest seems concerned about Eothos. They could have tied most quests in much better. Even personal quests. But hey, Eder is still trying to get some action from an Ex, who's to say his priorities aren't in order?

Edited by Verde
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Par for the course in RPGs, really.

 

Geralt! Your beloved daughter is being purseud by the Wild Hunt! You must save her! Please potter around the countryside saving peasant villages from goblins for 85 hours!

 

I agree that ideally every side quest would have a reason for you to do it in the context of the main quest. The alternative is to have a main quest where the stakes aren't so urgent that you feel you have to do the next step right away, but people didn't seem to like that in the previous game

Edited by house2fly
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Def par for the course esp in W3.

 

I like the idea of the initial part of the main quest not being super urgent but then it picking up. Like BG2 :) but I hear you, easier said that done.

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Part of the problem is that "linear" has become such a dirty word among RPG gamers that developers are increasingly moving toward open worlds where narrative urgency is harder to convey. Josh Sawyer has a lot of great ideas, but the belief that games like Fallout: NV (choice, no restrictions) are more conducive to roleplaying than games like BG:II (narrative engagement, structured storytelling) is why we've yet to see a modern CRPG that lives up to the latter, imo. Giving players access to the whole map and virtually every quest from the very beginning of the game isn't just bad for the main story, but it creates scaling issues as well. Heck, even the FarCry series (which is as open-world as you can get) locks part of the map to better serve its narrative. 

Deadfire could have been better paced by at least imposing conditions on the player to reach critical path milestones (requiring a Galleon or Junk to navigate the islands surrounding Ashen Maw, for example; or a sea monster that requires the acquisition of certain resources to overcome). The game also lacked an antagonist to drive the narrative forward - another captain trying to reach Eothas for some nefarious reason would have gone a long way toward adding structure and linking side content to the main plot. I still like Deadfire a lot, but I basically have to headcannon some narrative tweaks in order for it to make sense to complete bounties/collect grimoires for Nemnok/put on a play in Dunnage while Eothas is tearing across the archipelago.

Edited by Purudaya
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honestly , I think one can do both (haven't seen a game that does it though ) . I think you can have a good gripping story , and the open world stuff . 

 

But so far , nobody found a balance . It's either , have open world and the story suck (Skyrim is a good exemple , DAI did the same ) , or have a good story but then you have open world fan whine that is 'Limiting' . 

 

Also , maybe open world games could be their own games . I mean , let say someone make a BG3 . Why should it be open world ? cose someone like it ? 

 

No , maybe some games should be linear and some should be open world . Just remember to put the right TAGS on the boxe . THIS GAME IS OPEN WORLD (SANDBOX , STORY IS SMALL) and this game is LINEAR , STORY HEAVY !

 

Of course , in a better world..we should be able to strike a balance between good story and open world . So far the exuses were 'Lack of time , we made this huge world..never had time to fill it up ' . 

 

Side quest are part of any RPG that dare to call it's self RPG . The difference is when said side quest become a mundane (go fetch 10X of  something) in comparaison to some others games where a side quest is SOOO good it doesn't feel like a simple side quest . A good exemple , is Jade empire which had such good side quest . The Arena fight , the School politic stuff going , the Graveyard ghost and such . 

 

The difference for exemple between PO2 and Jade Empire , whole time in Jade empire you could see the 'effect' of what was going on which was tied to the main story . 

 

That's the main issue with open world . The main story is rarely tied to this huge 'Explore' map . 

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I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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Yeah, I was a bit surprised at how utterly inconsequential the main plot felt. I kept having flashbacks of Elder scrolls 4: Oblivion. Heck, Pillars 1 sometimes fell into this, but the nature of its plot was such that it could afford to be a little in the background till things got serious (council hearing). Here, I honestly did just stop caring about Eothas or any  of it because I was so busy chasing bounties and running other quests.

 

Mind, I ENJOYED IT ALL. The story was also interesting (by the mid and late point, not the first half), but it's interesting more for its implications than the actual going-ons of the moment. 

 

Personally, I think the bigger problem is that the critical path doesn't end with you doing or finding as much as the side quests. I keep thinking back to Icewind Dale 1 and 2 when this comes up. While those games didn't exactly have much in the way of side quests, they never felt lacking, because the main quest had enough points of interest in them. Here, the main quest feels like the side show. 

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Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.

Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.

You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.

Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.

You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

that's one of the reasons I hate Open world . The Story always end up watered down , in the back burner . 

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I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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The issue with all Open world games: main story progression.

 

Fallout 3: wait what was I doing again? Water? I dunno I'm getting a new penthouse appartment and blowing up megaton.

Fallout 4: Give me back my baby!!!!! ..... ohhhhhh let's build a town and some crops and help some idiots I've never met before build a bed, because you know, they can't do it themselves.

Skyrim: I don't even remember the story here. All I remember is that after I did all side quests in the game, built a bathouse with hot chicks in it I went ahead and killed a dragon in two hits and then the credits rolled.

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Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.

Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.

You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

 

that's one of the reasons I hate Open world . The Story always end up watered down , in the back burner .

Absolutely. Open world are not my favorite. But sadly it seems that that's the way games are going. It's a pity that Obs have jumped on the bandwagon.

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.

Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.

You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

that's one of the reasons I hate Open world . The Story always end up watered down , in the back burner .

Absolutely. Open world are not my favorite. But sadly it seems that that's the way games are going. It's a pity that Obs have jumped on the bandwagon.

 

almost like linear RPG games..are going exctint at this rate...

 

R.I.P. Good story  :getlost:

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I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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I really hate to say this...(cose I really do!)..

 

But in a way , POE3 trailer is Totally misleading . Eotha come from underneath your castle ! peoples die ! Intro and Berath send you on a quest : Find him or die !

 

Then....you land...and it's.....about something else . 

 

Well you can chase after him..but that make the game so short !!! 

 

Urgh....

 

I played Fallout 4..and you know what ? I only chased the main story and it actually was engaging (if short) but still felt longer then the story here . 

 

300px-Crycry.gif

Edited by E.RedMark
I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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They could have closed Eothas in a "Annihillation" bubble while he was draining the Adra.

That would have given a plausible justification to the players for not going straight behind him. 

Edited by Suen
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I've come to burn your kingdom down

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Par for the course in RPGs, really.

 

Geralt! Your beloved daughter is being purseud by the Wild Hunt! You must save her! Please potter around the countryside saving peasant villages from goblins for 85 hours!

I thought Witcher 3 did excellent job marrying open world with storytelling. While your goal was to find Ciri it was never that urgent, even at certain point giving you a story reason to not find her, and do the side stuff. Even to go further, I would say Witcher 3 storytelling improved by use of open world giving you more context to the place you spend your time in.

 

Another example of great open world game is Fallout:NV, which simply doesn't really have urgent main quest. And 1st two Fallouts which give you McGuffin to find and let you discover wasteland on your own. 

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Par for the course in RPGs, really.

 

Geralt! Your beloved daughter is being purseud by the Wild Hunt! You must save her! Please potter around the countryside saving peasant villages from goblins for 85 hours!

I thought Witcher 3 did excellent job marrying open world with storytelling. While your goal was to find Ciri it was never that urgent, even at certain point giving you a story reason to not find her, and do the side stuff. Even to go further, I would say Witcher 3 storytelling improved by use of open world giving you more context to the place you spend your time in.

 

Another example of great open world game is Fallout:NV, which simply doesn't really have urgent main quest. And 1st two Fallouts which give you McGuffin to find and let you discover wasteland on your own. 

 

To be completely honest though. I lost track of what I was doing in the Witcher 3 as well. So no, that's not an excellent job. It does slowly feed you side quests unlike Bethesda and PoEII where having over 20-30 side quests active is not unique. So I guess that's a plus in these types of environments.

 

I have not played Fallout New Vegas, but my wife has many many times and she's not able to tell me what it is about. So I'm not sure how well implemented that story is either.

Edited by AeonsLegend
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Par for the course in RPGs, really.

 

Geralt! Your beloved daughter is being purseud by the Wild Hunt! You must save her! Please potter around the countryside saving peasant villages from goblins for 85 hours!

I thought Witcher 3 did excellent job marrying open world with storytelling. While your goal was to find Ciri it was never that urgent, even at certain point giving you a story reason to not find her, and do the side stuff. Even to go further, I would say Witcher 3 storytelling improved by use of open world giving you more context to the place you spend your time in.

 

Another example of great open world game is Fallout:NV, which simply doesn't really have urgent main quest. And 1st two Fallouts which give you McGuffin to find and let you discover wasteland on your own. 

 

it did . 

 

Mixing open world + Story doesn't mean every quest has to say 'Oh eotha passed over here ! Look at mah house ! Now fix it CHARNAME' 

 

But the main story could be felt all over the place . And if it isn't , it can also be a 'reason' why you are going south instead of North . In the case of the witcher 3 , It felt right to do this and that..every place could hold a clue for ciri destination . 

I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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To be completely honest though. I lost track of what I was doing in the Witcher 3 as well. So no, that's not an excellent job. It does slowly feed you side quests unlike Bethesda and PoEII where having over 20-30 side quests active is not unique. So I guess that's a plus in these types of environments.

 

 

I have not played Fallout New Vegas, but my wife has many many times and she's not able to tell me what it is about. So I'm not sure how well implemented that story is either.

 

Wut. It's a pretty straightforward battle for control of Hoover Dam. And yes, it's a very well implemented story, especially taken together with DLC.

 

PoE2, I felt the pacing was awkward. Maybe they shouldn't have had Eothas reveal his next destination and you had to search all the luminous adra pillars in the region.

Edited by Celan
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Maybe they shouldn't have had Eothas reveal his next destination and you had to search all the luminous adra pillars in the region.

pretty much this . Cose as soon as you know..I'm like 'why should I stick around for ? Sorry! Gotta go..Eotha...soul..Berath..death stuff..byebye!'' . 

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I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.

Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.

You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

 

You can do both to some degree by offering a limited or staggered open world with areas that unlock as the main quest is completed. Baldur's Gate 1 did this - the entire southern half of the map is available to you from the beginning, but you're soft-locked out of doing too much exploring by your level/overall squishiness until after you complete the Nashkel mines. Then the game opens up in stages: Bandit camp (act 3), Cloakwood (act 4), and finally Baldur's Gate (act 5). It's both open enough to give the players lots to explore while also being fairly tightly controlled. PoE1 does something similar - the western bridge to Defiance Bay is cut off so as to encourage players to finish Gilded Vale/Raedric/Stronghold before moving on, after which the gorge leading to Twin Elms is flooded until the player completes Act 2.

 

The nature of Deadfire's setting makes it difficult to geographically block access to certain areas (they sort of do so with Ukaizo, but more than one 'impenetrable storm' would've felt cheesy), so I understand why the developers decided to leave it open. But imagine how much better the narrative flow would've been if a faction fleet had surrounded Hasongo and you had to complete quests/favors in order to get through, or if the shoals at Ashen Maw did gradual hull damage, forcing players to turn around after realizing that they needed to earn money for a stronger ship. That would have created both an in-game motivation to complete side content while also mitigating the urgency problem: it's no longer about whether you should prioritize going to Ashen Maw, but whether you are able to go there yet. 

 

It's probably beyond the current capabilities of our talented modders, but I'd donate good money towards a mod that does something like this.

 

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This problem has been on my mind for some time; how to marry an open world with a pressing main quest. Can't say Deadfire does it well. I don't have any solid answers but I agree with some of the ideas mentioned here. One, mentioned above by Purudaya: throw obstacles in player's path. Two, restructure the whole chase so that the player is largely in the dark and has to figure out the course rather than them knowing where to go and then stalling because I guess Eothas will just patiently wait for them to catch up. After the first quest in Engwithan Ruins I thought next steps would be more like a puzzle. Investigate more Adra Pillars and from that figure out Eothas' course or something.

 

I've been also thinking about Fallout New Vegas and what exactly did it do that it felt okay. And I guess it boils down to player's agency and their actions being connected to factions/antagonists actions. Some things wouldn't take place without player's action first. The Platinum Chip might have been a MacGuffin at first, but turns out it has its uses for either Mr House or the Legion. So what the player will do matters to the involved parties. The overall tempo is different than in Deadfire though; the final conflict is slowly but surely approaching. It's nothing like chasing a god. And there's the whole question of what a mortal can do when confronted with a god (turns out not much) so I'm not sure if the same approach would work well in Deadfire too. I'm not sure if gods not taking action is actually a weakness. It might be a theme. Though of course if something dramatic was to happen the whole game would be much more interesting.

 

I really liked how it's resolved in BG1. I haven't played Witcher 3 yet, but it looks like I need to give it a try.

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Great discussion everyone thanks. Wasnt sure how the OP would be received.

 

After playing W3 and thinking about POE2 vs say POE1 and BG, I think the main issues are urgency and "tollgates". Like we said before, having to gather/research, etc while there is a plausible reason why you dont need to chase after the main quest at breakneck speed can do wonders. And then once it picks up, to tie in more of the sidequests (BG2 crushed it here). POE2 unfortunately had an opportunity to push the RPG genre forward but instead regressed in the main story by following the open world trend.

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I like structure and a solid main story. The game should use some gating. I learned not to go exploring in Deadfire because it messes up quests. Things like exploring the Old City and Undercroft should be blocked until you gain the appropriate quest. Just walking up to the Overseer, who just sent a screaming man in a cage down to the undercity, and him just giving you access to it seems nuts to me.

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Atsura, the intelligent Psychopath of my dreams.  I like my elves grumpy and my godlike fishy!


And my Rekke romancable!

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Oh yeah some of the quest triggers are just unbelievable, lazy, or bugged. Immersion killing is when you stumble upon a quest by accident but the dialogue choices make it seem like you know all key parties.

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