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Vaneglorious

PoE decisions almost completely irrelevant?

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Apart from which god you chose in Teir Evron in Twin Elms, what other substantial consequences of your PoE decisions can be found in Deadfire? Maybe I wasn't thorough enough, although I completed most everything. This seems to be the same problem that's in the Dragon Age series.

 

Your choices' consequences didn't have any gravity. What I mean by that is I make a kind of big decision in the original game, and the best I get out of it is having a few short sentences from an NPC that was in the previous installment. 

 

Did I miss something..?

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I don’t think you did. Most of the stuff the game reacts to is minor enough—especially in consideration of the fact that the second installment takes place in a completely different area of the world—that a few lines from the relevant NPC are about adequate. Frankly, one might even find it jarring that so many known faces show up in Deadfire, depending on the choices made.

 

I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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I see. What a shame and a missed opportunity (yet again).

 

I honestly don't know of any other games than the Mass Effect trilogy that did the consequence thing right. I remember making important there decisions actually had significant ramifications in the following games.

 

"I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods."

 

That to me sounds like a convenient cop out, to be frank. Not on your part, but on Obsidian's. Oh well.

 

Nagy kár.

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Inter-game consequences never seemed worthwhile to me. It's way too hard to do relative to the payoff. I want to play the game to get choices and consequences in the game, that's much more rewarding & feasible than all this trouble of porting over saves and having it impact something else down the line.

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I see. What a shame and a missed opportunity (yet again).

 

I honestly don't know of any other games than the Mass Effect trilogy that did the consequence thing right. I remember making important there decisions actually had significant ramifications in the following games.

 

"I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods."

 

That to me sounds like a convenient cop out, to be frank. Not on your part, but on Obsidian's. Oh well.

 

Nagy kár.

 

Yeah, it's unlikely we're going to see a reactive trilogy the likes of Mass Effect for a *long* time - you could tell from the interviews that they regretted the lengths that they had gone to by ME3 - Bioware had to create entire quests based on decisions small minorities of players made in ME1 (there are more M&Ms in a single bag than there are people who saved Kaiden) or for DLC companions only a handful of players were fans of. They pulled it off beautifully imo until their narrative cluster**** of an ending flushed the whole narrative retroactively down the tubes, but I think a lot of developers look at the reactivity of the ME series as more of a cautionary tale than an aspirational one. The more impactful the choices, the more mutually exclusive (and multiplicative) content you have to implement.

 

Even if they wanted to, Obsidian doesn't have nearly the money needed to pull of anything close to that kind of reactivity over the course of a trilogy. It's extremely labor intensive and my guess is their telemetry showed that too many players made similar core PoE1 choices to really justify it. 

Edited by Purudaya
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Yeah, it's unlikely we're going to see a reactive trilogy the likes of Mass Effect for a *long* time - you could tell from the interviews that they regretted the lengths that they had gone to by ME3 - Bioware had to create entire quests based on decisions small minorities of players made in ME1 (there are more M&Ms in a single bag than there are people who saved Kaiden) or for DLC companions only a handful of players were fans of. They pulled it off beautifully imo until their narrative cluster**** of an ending flushed the whole narrative retroactively down the tubes, but I think a lot of developers look at the reactivity of the ME series as more of a cautionary tale than an aspirational one. The more impactful the choices, the more mutually exclusive (and multiplicative) content you have to implement.

 

Even if they wanted to, Obsidian doesn't have nearly the money needed to pull of anything close to that kind of reactivity over the course of a trilogy. It's extremely labor intensive and my guess is their telemetry showed that too many players made similar core PoE1 choices to really justify it. 

 

I know it must be a difficult thing to pull off, but it's just so gratifying. To me, at least.

 

And I'm not talking about all the tiny random NPCs and whatnot. I'm talking about big things, like the steps you have to take in ME1, ME2 and then ME3 to be able to unite the Geth with the Quarrians. That isn't a small consequence lore-wise, it's huge. And while the ending had failed bad, that doesn't diminish the overall experience for me. I still remember ME fondly and sometimes whip them out to play them yet again with mods.

 

It just feels bad that my big decisions in PoE basically had no impact whatsoever. Makes them feel...pointless.

 

edit: Dragon Age had a bigger funding, yet they failed hard with this. Even the biggest decisions end up being just a few extra dialogue and cutscenes in DA:I.

Edited by Vaneglorious
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I see. What a shame and a missed opportunity (yet again).

 

I honestly don't know of any other games than the Mass Effect trilogy that did the consequence thing right. I remember making important there decisions actually had significant ramifications in the following games.

 

"I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods."

 

That to me sounds like a convenient cop out, to be frank. Not on your part, but on Obsidian's. Oh well.

 

Nagy kár.

Have you tried The Banner Saga?  Slightly different type of game but really impressive reactivity and highly recommended if you don't mind a more hardcore RPG outside the traditional style.

 

I'm pretty ambivalent about the ME trilogy (haven't played the third one tbh; maybe I should; thought the first game was pretty 50/50, the second was a better game but an awfully weak and artificial story). Personally I think Deadfire did about as much as was practical (and frankly there is a hugely impressive amount of reactivity for a game this open) and probably a little bit more than was sensible. I think putting this reactivity stuff in is pretty problematic because once you start including it anything you don't add will seem odd and any bugs relating to it will seem like a much bigger deal than they really should be.

Edited by Blovski
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I wish they could've at least expanded a bit more on the end choices in PoE.

 

Giving the souls to Woedica literally changes nothing. Neither does freeing the Adra Dragon.

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Apart from which god you chose in Teir Evron in Twin Elms, what other substantial consequences of your PoE decisions can be found in Deadfire? Maybe I wasn't thorough enough, although I completed most everything. This seems to be the same problem that's in the Dragon Age series.

 

Your choices' consequences didn't have any gravity. What I mean by that is I make a kind of big decision in the original game, and the best I get out of it is having a few short sentences from an NPC that was in the previous installment. 

 

Did I miss something..?

Sadly even the god you chose has little impact. Hylea gives you a cake, for Pete's sake.

 

And what if you chose to give the souls to Woedica? Does it empower her enough to return to her throne as Queen of the Gods? No. She doesn't even acknowledge it, nor does Skaen.

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I see. What a shame and a missed opportunity (yet again).

 

I honestly don't know of any other games than the Mass Effect trilogy that did the consequence thing right. I remember making important there decisions actually had significant ramifications in the following games.

 

"I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods."

 

That to me sounds like a convenient cop out, to be frank. Not on your part, but on Obsidian's. Oh well.

 

Nagy kár.

 

Yeah, it's unlikely we're going to see a reactive trilogy the likes of Mass Effect for a *long* time - you could tell from the interviews that they regretted the lengths that they had gone to by ME3 - Bioware had to create entire quests based on decisions small minorities of players made in ME1 (there are more M&Ms in a single bag than there are people who saved Kaiden) or for DLC companions only a handful of players were fans of. They pulled it off beautifully imo until their narrative cluster**** of an ending flushed the whole narrative retroactively down the tubes, but I think a lot of developers look at the reactivity of the ME series as more of a cautionary tale than an aspirational one. The more impactful the choices, the more mutually exclusive (and multiplicative) content you have to implement.

 

Even if they wanted to, Obsidian doesn't have nearly the money needed to pull of anything close to that kind of reactivity over the course of a trilogy. It's extremely labor intensive and my guess is their telemetry showed that too many players made similar core PoE1 choices to really justify it. 

 

 

In addition, there are so many players who didn't even finish the first PoE. It is just not worth it to provide much continuity between sequels. Too much work for not enough payoff. I wonder what will Obsidian do with PoE 3. Will they have to write content depending on players decisions in PoE 1 and PoE2 combined?

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Guest Blutwurstritter

The Watcher guy did not strike me as an beloved character on whom the franchise hinges, they could simply use a different character as main protagonist avoiding much of the continuity problems.

And i think a focus on very few major events with substantial consequences works fairly well, while disregarding the small encounters with every Tom, **** and Harry. 

There where so many events that you could decide upon the outcome in the creation of your personal history, i couldn't even remember what most of them were about. 

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Yeah, it's unlikely we're going to see a reactive trilogy the likes of Mass Effect for a *long* time - you could tell from the interviews that they regretted the lengths that they had gone to by ME3 - Bioware had to create entire quests based on decisions small minorities of players made in ME1 (there are more M&Ms in a single bag than there are people who saved Kaiden) or for DLC companions only a handful of players were fans of. They pulled it off beautifully imo until their narrative cluster**** of an ending flushed the whole narrative retroactively down the tubes, but I think a lot of developers look at the reactivity of the ME series as more of a cautionary tale than an aspirational one. The more impactful the choices, the more mutually exclusive (and multiplicative) content you have to implement.

 

Even if they wanted to, Obsidian doesn't have nearly the money needed to pull of anything close to that kind of reactivity over the course of a trilogy. It's extremely labor intensive and my guess is their telemetry showed that too many players made similar core PoE1 choices to really justify it. 

 

I know it must be a difficult thing to pull off, but it's just so gratifying. To me, at least.

 

And I'm not talking about all the tiny random NPCs and whatnot. I'm talking about big things, like the steps you have to take in ME1, ME2 and then ME3 to be able to unite the Geth with the Quarrians. That isn't a small consequence lore-wise, it's huge. And while the ending had failed bad, that doesn't diminish the overall experience for me. I still remember ME fondly and sometimes whip them out to play them yet again with mods.

 

It just feels bad that my big decisions in PoE basically had no impact whatsoever. Makes them feel...pointless.

 

edit: Dragon Age had a bigger funding, yet they failed hard with this. Even the biggest decisions end up being just a few extra dialogue and cutscenes in DA:I.

 

 

Oh I agree - the reactivity (and overall story delivery, character development, and world-building) made the ME series one of my all-time favorites and had me believing that ME3 was the best game I'd ever played until the last 15 minutes (I'm glad you were able to continue to enjoy the series; I just can't knowing that it all builds up to a giant nonsensical insult to my intelligence). I'd absolutely love to see a game that offers that same level of narrative complexity and personalization, but we're unlikely to get it because 1. indie developers like Obsidian can't afford it and 2. AAA developers don't seem to be interested in telling those kinds of stories.

 

That said, BG2 has no reactivity whatsoever and it still stands as one of the best (probably still *the* best) CRPGs of all time. It all depends on what you're looking for from a game - Deadfire didn't quite hit all the marks for me either, but overall it gets much more right than it gets wrong imo.

 

Edited by Purudaya
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Yeah, it's unlikely we're going to see a reactive trilogy the likes of Mass Effect for a *long* time - you could tell from the interviews that they regretted the lengths that they had gone to by ME3 - Bioware had to create entire quests based on decisions small minorities of players made in ME1 (there are more M&Ms in a single bag than there are people who saved Kaiden) or for DLC companions only a handful of players were fans of. They pulled it off beautifully imo until their narrative cluster**** of an ending flushed the whole narrative retroactively down the tubes, but I think a lot of developers look at the reactivity of the ME series as more of a cautionary tale than an aspirational one. The more impactful the choices, the more mutually exclusive (and multiplicative) content you have to implement.

 

Even if they wanted to, Obsidian doesn't have nearly the money needed to pull of anything close to that kind of reactivity over the course of a trilogy. It's extremely labor intensive and my guess is their telemetry showed that too many players made similar core PoE1 choices to really justify it. 

 

I know it must be a difficult thing to pull off, but it's just so gratifying. To me, at least.

 

And I'm not talking about all the tiny random NPCs and whatnot. I'm talking about big things, like the steps you have to take in ME1, ME2 and then ME3 to be able to unite the Geth with the Quarrians. That isn't a small consequence lore-wise, it's huge. And while the ending had failed bad, that doesn't diminish the overall experience for me. I still remember ME fondly and sometimes whip them out to play them yet again with mods.

 

It just feels bad that my big decisions in PoE basically had no impact whatsoever. Makes them feel...pointless.

 

edit: Dragon Age had a bigger funding, yet they failed hard with this. Even the biggest decisions end up being just a few extra dialogue and cutscenes in DA:I.

 

 

The more world-changing branches you have in a previous story, the harder it is make a coherent narrative in the next game. Yeah, ME3's endings weren't great, but getting the super special snowflake endings for every choice that fans demanded was impossible. While I liked DAI, it pissed all over official canon, not just that of individual players. Tevinter and the Qunari pretty much get a crap ton of retcons that fly in the face of characterization from the previous two games, for instance. You big choices do carry over from DAO, but all of the little ones don't since it is 10 years later. I don't have a problem with that.

 

One thing I liked about DA2 was that Hawke was not the Bioware Mary Sue protagonist that can change the civics of a nation by saving a cat from a tree. Cas discovering that he is just a regular, badass dude, not someone with plot armor and plot magic, is one of the key narrative points of the game.

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I agree that your choice with regards to the souls could have had a bigger impact, but perhaps that shows us how small our matters are in the eyes of the gods.

 

I think that is the point here.

 

 

 

considering how rarely they acknowledge their own priests and how sometimes you can confront and offend them without any serious consequences.

 

 


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The more world-changing branches you have in a previous story, the harder it is make a coherent narrative in the next game. Yeah, ME3's endings weren't great, but getting the super special snowflake endings for every choice that fans demanded was impossible. While I liked DAI, it pissed all over official canon, not just that of individual players. Tevinter and the Qunari pretty much get a crap ton of retcons that fly in the face of characterization from the previous two games, for instance. You big choices do carry over from DAO, but all of the little ones don't since it is 10 years later. I don't have a problem with that.

 

One thing I liked about DA2 was that Hawke was not the Bioware Mary Sue protagonist that can change the civics of a nation by saving a cat from a tree. Cas discovering that he is just a regular, badass dude, not someone with plot armor and plot magic, is one of the key narrative points of the game.

 

I don't remember anything significant that carried over to DA2 and DA:I. Pretty much just a few dialogues and cutscenes as extra.

 

"Oh, you put a dead god's/archdemon's soul into a newborn child? Here, you can speak 2 sentences with him! Pretty neat, huh?"

 

All of the big choices end up like that.

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The more world-changing branches you have in a previous story, the harder it is make a coherent narrative in the next game. Yeah, ME3's endings weren't great, but getting the super special snowflake endings for every choice that fans demanded was impossible. While I liked DAI, it pissed all over official canon, not just that of individual players. Tevinter and the Qunari pretty much get a crap ton of retcons that fly in the face of characterization from the previous two games, for instance. You big choices do carry over from DAO, but all of the little ones don't since it is 10 years later. I don't have a problem with that.

 

One thing I liked about DA2 was that Hawke was not the Bioware Mary Sue protagonist that can change the civics of a nation by saving a cat from a tree. Cas discovering that he is just a regular, badass dude, not someone with plot armor and plot magic, is one of the key narrative points of the game.

 

I don't remember anything significant that carried over to DA2 and DA:I. Pretty much just a few dialogues and cutscenes as extra.

 

"Oh, you put a dead god's/archdemon's soul into a newborn child? Here, you can speak 2 sentences with him! Pretty neat, huh?"

 

All of the big choices end up like that.

 

 

The King of Fereldin, the King of the Dwarves, who killed the AD, all those carry over, which are all the big choices. I gave freedom to the mages, which carried over, but kind of became moot after DA2. How you ended Nature of the Beast had consequences as well. Not much to complain about beyond that, as whatever story they were doing with the God baby got scrapped. Honestly, read the ending slides of DAO from two different playthroughs and try to figure out how you could make a narrative out of the vast differences.

 

Broad strokes is the best you can hope for in carry over between games. Even ME3 had to wheel out crappy replacement characters if Wrex or Mordin had died, since the storyline was screwed without them.

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The more world-changing branches you have in a previous story, the harder it is make a coherent narrative in the next game. Yeah, ME3's endings weren't great, but getting the super special snowflake endings for every choice that fans demanded was impossible. While I liked DAI, it pissed all over official canon, not just that of individual players. Tevinter and the Qunari pretty much get a crap ton of retcons that fly in the face of characterization from the previous two games, for instance. You big choices do carry over from DAO, but all of the little ones don't since it is 10 years later. I don't have a problem with that.

 

One thing I liked about DA2 was that Hawke was not the Bioware Mary Sue protagonist that can change the civics of a nation by saving a cat from a tree. Cas discovering that he is just a regular, badass dude, not someone with plot armor and plot magic, is one of the key narrative points of the game.

 

I don't remember anything significant that carried over to DA2 and DA:I. Pretty much just a few dialogues and cutscenes as extra.

 

"Oh, you put a dead god's/archdemon's soul into a newborn child? Here, you can speak 2 sentences with him! Pretty neat, huh?"

 

All of the big choices end up like that.

 

 

The King of Fereldin, the King of the Dwarves, who killed the AD, all those carry over, which are all the big choices. I gave freedom to the mages, which carried over, but kind of became moot after DA2. How you ended Nature of the Beast had consequences as well. Not much to complain about beyond that, as whatever story they were doing with the God baby got scrapped. Honestly, read the ending slides of DAO from two different playthroughs and try to figure out how you could make a narrative out of the vast differences.

 

Broad strokes is the best you can hope for in carry over between games. Even ME3 had to wheel out crappy replacement characters if Wrex or Mordin had died, since the storyline was screwed without them.

 

Sure, but those all were just a few extra cutscenes and dialogues. I'm repeating myself here, but it is what it is haha.

 

I also dislike retcons, especially what they did with the Qunari.

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I think that part of it is the same problem that Bioware has been struggling with - the fact that developers only really get to write one game at a time. There was an interview or something similar where a Bioware developer talked about some of the ideas they had for the plot of Mass Effect 3, and there was a plot revolving around dark matter that they had hinted at during Tali's recruitment mission in Mass Effect 2, but they ultimately decided not to go with that in ME 3. Think similar stuff happened with ideas about indoctrination and the like. Now this happened with the Mass Effect trilogy, which was built from the ground up with the idea that decisions from one game would carry over to the sequels. And even then they were still figuring out the plot as they wrote (outside of some big concepts and the idea of a trilogy) which meant that sometimes ideas or plots were built up in one game and then just fizzled out with no major impact later. The original Mass Effect trilogy was better than Dragon Age or PoE about not letting players completely rewrite any parts of the setting until the third game (see how Dragon Age keeps hinting that players will get to resolve the Mage-Templar conflict only to let it continue into the next game).

 

PoE has it even worse - the first game was made with no firm plans that a sequel would happen, so players were given the opportunity to make decisions without any plans about how they would impact future games. Having a dragon owe you for letting it possess someone, or empowering one god with tons of extra power can have fun consequences - but they are best explored in a single game where you can write just enough of the consequences into a single quest or ending slide. How could Deadfire really reflect tons of different choices - the Defiance Bay faction, the dragons, the fate of the Hollowborn souls, the fate of Thaos's soul, your decisions with the Eyeless - and make each different outcome feel unique and consequential? It could probably be done, but it would take a lot of work, and basically turn a huge chunk of the game's development and story into continuing the decisions of the previous game. Every time developers let players make huge decisions, they let players choose some content to see and some to not see, and if the developers want to have decisions effect later games, they need to plan in advance about what decisions they will let players make and how they will change their future interactions and options. In a sequel to a crowdfunded game that they had no way of knowing they would get to make? There was almost no way for Obsidian to properly plan out their quests and choices that far in advance. I want to see games that really do reflect that level of player agency, but until developers have the freedom and resources to plan multiple games in advance, I'm going to expect the best reactivity to be limited to only being explored in the course of a single game.

Edited by PantherX14
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@PantherX14

 

Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I'm not mad at Obsidian or anything, it's just a little disappointing that they couldn't pull it off. Pretty sure they could if they had more funding.

 

At the end of the day I'm still glad cRPG games are being made, and it's great that they have such a caring community that's willing to trust them with their money in advance.

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Come to think of it, I remember doing what Wael suggested in one of my playthrough. It was also of no consequence in Deadfire, other than making whichever god you pledged yourself to angry at you. I can't even say if it works for all of the gods, I only know of Berath's curse so far.

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I believe all the gods punish you in some way if you break their oaths.  I don't think they all recognize or seem to *especially* care if you did what they asked (which, in retrospect, is kind of funny).

 

I actually thought the reactivity in Deadfire was generally really, really good.  There are tons and tons of small things that are reactive to what you did in the previous game, especially for smaller choices you made.   And Aloth (and I think Eder?) acts significantly differently based on the routes you took with him.  Eder's quest endings are significantly different, for sure, depending on which way you pushed him in the first game.

 

And an extreme example of specific reactivity with Maia is:

 

 

that you can actually have a conversation with her telling her that you sacrificed Kana in PoE1 (if you did), and your other companions from first the game actually react to that, too.

 

 

I think Obsidian did a pretty spot on job with it.  There's a huge list of things they added to the game that are just nods to the different choices you made in PoE1.  They didn't make huge changes, for the most part, but that would be insane amounts of work, for choices that generally wouldn't apply when you're not in the Dyrwood, and would probably sacrifice the quality of other aspects of the game.    

 

 

 

My only complaint about reactivity in Deadfire is actually more a complaint about this weird story segregation between the main quest and the rest of the world.  With exceptions, you can't talk about the nature of the gods or try to change things based on that directly, unless you're in the main quest or talking to your friends/companions from the first game.  And even when new companions are around during moments that pretty much tell them what's going on, they don't react to it.  They react to everything else (which is good, but makes it weirder).

 

I get that a lot of people would reject what you have to say in the world, and the game does let you push the kith autonomy thing still (which is great!), but it's still so bizarre. 

Edited by Tick

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