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An antagonist is not necessary. Ultima IV, for instance, did brilliantly well without any kind of antagonist, and its approach remains very commendable, although the game of course is outdated as heck.

 

An antagonist tends to lead to a simple and direct narrative. It can work extremely well, of course, and sometimes does, but it's not subtle in the least. Personally, I think there are narrative problems in Deadfire, but the lack of an antagonist is not one of them. I also think it's a very good game.

 

Absolutely.  However, to have a narrative without an antagonist requires a different plot structure than the one this game chose.  This narrative was very adversarial in nature, and less like a pilgrimage.  Brought back from the dead to track down the person that killed you is a classic revenge story.

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Eh, it's hard to discuss here because it's a non-spoiler part of the forum, but basically halfway through the game you lose any reason to continue chasing a giant statue. Tbh Eothas seems like a chill guy. Not to mention I'm pretty sure a God who can kill you with a snap of her fingers could find a more efficient way of handling this situation than sending you after him. Also the ending gives heavy Mass Effect 3 vibes. A proper antagonist would solve that.

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An antagonist is not necessary. Ultima IV, for instance, did brilliantly well without any kind of antagonist, and its approach remains very commendable, although the game of course is outdated as heck.

 

An antagonist tends to lead to a simple and direct narrative. It can work extremely well, of course, and sometimes does, but it's not subtle in the least. Personally, I think there are narrative problems in Deadfire, but the lack of an antagonist is not one of them. I also think it's a very good game.

 

Absolutely.  However, to have a narrative without an antagonist requires a different plot structure than the one this game chose.  This narrative was very adversarial in nature, and less like a pilgrimage.  Brought back from the dead to track down the person that killed you is a classic revenge story.

 

 

Yes, you are quite correct in this. The story in Deadfire appears somewhat disjointed, although it has to be said that I haven't finished it yet, so maybe everything will be explained.

 

But from the start, it appears that you have a great interest in Eothas, who in turn has essentially no interest whatsoever in you. There's a slight imbalance there. Also, once you get to talk to Eothas, things don't really get that much clearer. What happened to me after a couple of talks with Eothas was that I just lost interest in him.

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Not to mention I'm pretty sure a God who can kill you with a snap of her fingers could find a more efficient way of handling this situation than sending you after him.

 

Actually...

 

 

she can kill you, but if she had a better way to handle the situation she'd probably have used it, since in the end nobody stops him.

 

 

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Come to think of it, there is no prominent antagonist in the game. No Big Bad Guy. No one is evil for the sake of being evil. The slavers and fapyrs get kicked in the head 'till they are totally dead in my playthroughs, but I guess they have their understandable motives too... No one is really nice, but I could sympathize with all the major factions. And the god of collateral damage. That should be one of his titles.

 

And I think that's great!

There is literally no antagonist in this game. That's horrible from an RPG perspective. The presence of Thaos was one of the reasons why Pillars 1 had a much better story. I can't image BG2 without Irenicus. And the list goes on. Every protagonist needs an antagonist.

 

 

As others have said, the lack of--for lack of a better term--"obvious" antagonist is not a handicap for any RPG. Ultima IV is a notable example, but we don't even have to go back that far. We can just go to Fallout: New Vegas.

 

You basically have a MacGuffin in chasing down Benny for a while, and strictly speaking Caesar's Legion forms a potential early antagonist. But you can in fact, ally with Caesar's Legion, which means your early potential allies (NCR) become your foes. Or you could say screw it to everyone. The antagonist really, is up to the player, and the main critical path is just a macguffin that weaves its way through that. The adventure was the friends we made along the way, per se. Probably no coincidence that Deadfire very strongly mirrors this set up, and in fact JE Sawyer cited the earlier Fallouts as inspiration for how the free-roaming nature of Deadfire could still have a plot.

 

EDIT: DANG i got ninja-ed by house2fly.

 

Eh, it's hard to discuss here because it's a non-spoiler part of the forum, but basically halfway through the game you lose any reason to continue chasing a giant statue. Tbh Eothas seems like a chill guy. Not to mention I'm pretty sure a God who can kill you with a snap of her fingers could find a more efficient way of handling this situation than sending you after him. Also the ending gives heavy Mass Effect 3 vibes. A proper antagonist would solve that.

 

The intrinsic character motivation is a little weak, sure. In-game, to really provide a role-playing relevant character motivation, you have to either be really curious about the answer, or you have to be strongly aligned with a faction's interests for it to make RP-ing sense that you keep pursuing Eothas. Aside from that, simply having Berath threaten to end you if you don't hold up your end of the bargain is pretty weaksauce IMO and is a fair criticism of the story's narrative.

 

That being said, since PoE1 the gods have said that there are limits to what they can do to interfere with the world of kith, some of it self-imposed (e.g. in the wake of what happened in the events setting the background for White March) and others still. As Eothas gets closer to his goal, the self-imposed limits are clearly lifted (though they still pull their punches a bit

because they don't absorb their godlikes for power)

but like I said elsewhere, those Engwithans really made a really good statue.

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I have a decent machine, i7 processor and Nvidia 980, 16G RAM, so the game runs well. It will freeze occasionally when there is a lot happening on screen but that is an easy fix, my Asus brand Nvidia 980 comes with software that will allow me to turn off all Windows processes that are not game related. It will stop 40-45 processes and when that happens there is no longer any freezing. I am on my fifth play through now and I do not recall running into any companion bugs, maybe they happened and I didn't notice.

 

Romance I find amusing because nothing happens, just a few comments and nothing more. The first time I played the game I was expecting something like Witcher 3. The DLCs do add to the game because once you reach level 16 there was not much more to do except play the ending, now you have two more fairly large areas to explore plus two bosses that are really tough. The third DLC will probably give even more.

 

The start of the game at Port Maje is pretty boring the fifth time through because it is always the same. Though this time it was a little different. The Watcher is a Herald and in every combat the Chanter half automatically calls in 3 wurms for every combat, and will do it again when they die which takes a while because he can chant healing repeatedly. And he bought the Essence Disrupter bow in Port Maje which is an awesome weapon.

 

I am now in the Winter DLC and playing at standard difficulty, will probably raise it one notch next time. I find I can usually let my team fight automatically with no control on my part, when they sometimes die then I will take a hand. The main game quests make it sound urgent, but that urgency can be ignored because the game will wait.

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I don't think it's fair to say that NV doesn't have an antagonist, because Benny is clearly the antagonist.  He betrays you, tries to kill you twice, and leads you pretty darn close to the endgame.  Also he has a special death scene.  Benny is just a poorly written antagonist, because you interact with him rarely.  In a way, the narrative in this is similar to New Vegas.  A chase quest that leads you to factions that have a far more interesting conflict.  It probably would have been better if it had followed NV's lead and ditched the chase quest almost altogether.

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if you think about movies, the protagonist doesn't really interact with the antagonist that much. deckard only gets to talk to batty once, at the end.

 

benny gets killed halfway through, so by that point you have a "pick your own bad guy" adventure, like pillars

 

i think the noavatar complaining about the "bad main quest" really sells short the like 90% of the game that also exists, and all the factions are well written and have allegorical connections to modern politics. anarchists are depicted extremely accurately. ;3
 

there's a lot of people who think video game narratives can only be good if they make you feel big, like its literally bad if you don't do that. thats not actually true and i wonder if there's some rent-a-college video game design curriculum that is responsible for this misunderstanding

 

i know there's a movement in some corners of the internet that seem to be lashing out at "badfeels" in media like everything has to make you feel good which is just uh

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if you think about movies, the protagonist doesn't really interact with the antagonist that much. deckard only gets to talk to batty once, at the end.

Is perhpas notable that batty is hardly a charcter in the original text.

 

Ive actually got some time for deadfires structure, but id rather keep my powder dry re that until ive played thru everything + the dlcs.

 

I think the main problem i have re the writing is that is hard to shake the sense of peeps - in a locked room - second guessing themselves into a gordian knot. I actually think it would have lent a bit of clarity or force had they just rode the lightning a bit more, or brought in an outside editor rather than stewed in their own self-criticism.

 

Like i vaguely remember reports of them carving chunks of text out of the critical path. Eh, maybe they did that for good reason, but starting from assumption that u have to apologise in advance for ur left-field narrative not a productive thing imo.

 

Like, whatever u think of him, MCA shows tendency to do his own fking thing and peeps can complain if they want. Sometimes folk do, obviously, but i think theres something to be said for that bullheadedness.

 

Deadfire does do a lot of interesting stuff. I like idea that ur mainly there to bear witness to conflict and revolution. U r the watcher after all.

 

Puts u in slightly odd position at end as now u potentially one of only five people who can explain roughly what eothas did and why. Good opportunity to make **** up and set urself up as a false prophet if so inclined lol. Kneel b4 the inquisitor of eothas or he will return and drink moar souls.

I AM A RENISANCE MAN

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I finished Deadfire vanilla twice now, once on Story Mode (which at release was called Veteran) and a couple days ago on Path of the Damned, so here's my two cents:

 

The Good:

 

 - Imps

 - Looks, Sound & Feel: The graphics are astonishing, the world looks really beautiful and feels so alive with all the reactivity, everybody always doing something, the weather etc. Soundtrack is again great, especially the Sea Shanties are such a nice touch

 - Improved loading times and framerate compared to PoE1 (except the fps in Lifters Refuge and loading times and fps in freaking Queens Berth, jeez)

 - You're the Herald of Berath, so you can impress everybody with your parlor tricks

 - Subclasses & especially multiclassing is so cool

 - Itemization is really solid & the unique upgrade paths & choices between 2 paths is really neat, although I miss the Burning Lash :(

 - You can piss off the gods by teleporting around & decreasing the size of some fish

 - The factions are really interesting and all of them are a bunch of **** (the Vailians are sorta okayish, but they're still filthy capitalist pigs), 70% of the fulfilled factions quests make you feel dirty

 - Some of the (side)quests are so good, especially the Nemnok quest, the adventures of Copperhead, Old City and the retrieval of Lilarcor and the magic conch, the Deadlight situation, robbing Arkemyr & a few more

 - If you sacrificed Kana Rua to Skaen in PoE1 you can tell Maia about it (I don't like Maia)

 - For the mortal players PotD may be perfectly balanced (it was perfect for me)

 - Getting to kill Concelhaut again, good times (if there ever will be part 3 there better be one more of those)

 - Nice tactical encounters

 - Combat overall (except for Empower, that's stupid)

 

The Bad

 

 - A lot of weapon types lack some more uniques

 - Too many 1 encounter areas, I miss the meaty dungeons

 - PotD is probably still too easy for the really advanced players

 - Missed opportunity to have you enter Drowned Barrows by sticking a key into it's ear

 - Empower mechanic

 

The Ugly

 

 - 5 Soulbound weapons? Really? 1 of them is a dagger and the other an ugly mace, so basically it's only 3. I mean they're not *that* important but after WM I expected more

 - Stinky Ground Meat

Edited by Armanz
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Dank Memes for Dank Spores.

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I thought all the factions were complete morons. Most people involved are idiots and I have to resolve the entire worlds problems.

 

I flat out refused quests half the time because (trying to role play...) why should I do this menial task? Sort it out yourself! Why is everyone so incompetant? I wish sometimes the quest would actually close off if you tell them to do one. Instead of having them wait around forever for you to come help them.

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nowt

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I thought all the factions were complete morons. Most people involved are idiots and I have to resolve the entire worlds problems.

 

I flat out refused quests half the time because (trying to role play...) why should I do this menial task? Sort it out yourself! Why is everyone so incompetant? I wish sometimes the quest would actually close off if you tell them to do one. Instead of having them wait around forever for you to come help them.

 

Yeah, well, that is because any game has to be centered on player, but more recent games tend to overdo it to a degree they feel like a narcissist's fantasy; not only you are the centre of the universe, but everyone tries hard to be excited about it. I just burgled to a room in Kraken's Eye, the one with a person lying on bed, and guess what he said? The Dyrwoodan captain! Are you here to stay?

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I just burgled to a room in Kraken's Eye, the one with a person lying on bed, and guess what he said? The Dyrwoodan captain! Are you here to stay?

 

Don't forget that even if you choose the ugliest portrait ever, you are still the most attractive person in the Deadfire. That's why they want you to stay. :wub::rolleyes:

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I thought all the factions were complete morons. Most people involved are idiots and I have to resolve the entire worlds problems.

 

eh, is inevitable really. an rpg without conflicts to resolve is an rpg with little content.

 

I wish sometimes the quest would actually close off if you tell them to do one. Instead of having them wait around forever for you to come help them.

 

im okay with this design decision, but many folk arent. feel its the sort of thing that works better in a shorter, replayable game like tyranny. for stuff like pillars, peeps like to plan and execute their 100% perfect playthroughs.

 

Yeah, well, that is because any game has to be centered on player, but more recent games tend to overdo it to a degree they feel like a narcissist's fantasy; not only you are the centre of the universe, but everyone tries hard to be excited about it. I just burgled to a room in Kraken's Eye, the one with a person lying on bed, and guess what he said? The Dyrwoodan captain! Are you here to stay?

 

lmao think this just shows up the limitations of ambient dialogue. sometimes is better for unimportant characters to just stfu.

 

world might have benefited from torments approach of littering the place with generic thugs wholl pull a knife on u if u engage them in conversation. would have left designers with a nice convenient copy+paste routine for filling in awkward gaps where ud expect more hostility.

 

re: the narcissist thing. ive noticed tendency for gamers to throw toys out of pram when confronted with fatalism, powerlessness and 'railroading'. if u dont enable peoples fantasies - or their preconceptions of individual agency - they take to the internet and fk ur **** up.

 

i kind of understand. everyone wants to be the centre of attention at some point. esp if they feel worthless irl - but i feel it can, and does, result in a denial of new experiences and people.

 

feel deadfire is strange example of this pandering tendency tho. u r plaything of gods, u r bounced between political factions and theres no perfect way of resolving them. eothas largely does what he wants with little regard for u. if anything, deadfire is digging its heels in against tide.

 

regardless of many longform articles, i feel the prevailing view is 'games as service' not 'games as art' - esp among western rpg and mmo fans.

 

weirdly enough, i feel action gamers more likely to discuss games as art form. From software, drakengard, metal gear solid and zelda fans all good examples. uve also got the audience for all those stylised/cinematic side-scroller things that trace back to 'another world'.

 

western rpgs, not so much. theyre more likely to be discussed as systems that break - or contracts between dev and player that go unfulfilled.

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regardless of many longform articles, i feel the prevailing view is 'games as service' not 'games as art' - esp among western rpg and mmo fans.

If you indeed feel like that, it means mega-corporations succeeded in their campaign to indoctrinate the gamers. "Games as services" is much more convenient for corporations, hence populous better begin to believe it's exactly what populous wants. 

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regardless of many longform articles, i feel the prevailing view is 'games as service' not 'games as art' - esp among western rpg and mmo fans.

If you indeed feel like that, it means mega-corporations succeeded in their campaign to indoctrinate the gamers. "Games as services" is much more convenient for corporations, hence populous better begin to believe it's exactly what populous wants.

Early access and games released in beta stage (e.g. Fallout 76) support what he is saying and I agree. It's not what they want us to believe...it's reality and the companies are doing their best to obfuscate it. But take a look at EA stock for example...this type of bs practice is hurting them and allowing better companies like Take Two to rise to the top. Bethesda is next - about to be cut down at the knees. When all you see is gold, your mighty castles will burn.

Edited by Verde
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Guest Psychovampiric Shield

Do not read too much into stock. It is not as though the company was losing money, because its profit comes from selling games, not selling its own shares, and even shareholdes do not have to sell their stakes to make profit; they can simply order the company to pay dividends.

 



 


Yeah, well, that is because any game has to be centered on player, but more recent games tend to overdo it to a degree they feel like a narcissist's fantasy; not only you are the centre of the universe, but everyone tries hard to be excited about it. I just burgled to a room in Kraken's Eye, the one with a person lying on bed, and guess what he said? The Dyrwoodan captain! Are you here to stay?


lmao think this just shows up the limitations of ambient dialogue. sometimes is better for unimportant characters to just stfu.

 

Certainly that person should have either continued sleeping or been hostile, but the problem is not that the reaction was not appropriate, but that it was not appropriate in particular way, i.e. he/she started talking about ME, and that is so because everyone likes to talk about ME. That is what I find mildly disturbing.

Edited by Psychovampiric Shield
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regardless of many longform articles, i feel the prevailing view is 'games as service' not 'games as art' - esp among western rpg and mmo fans.

If you indeed feel like that, it means mega-corporations succeeded in their campaign to indoctrinate the gamers. "Games as services" is much more convenient for corporations, hence populous better begin to believe it's exactly what populous wants. 

 

 

eh, dunno mang. i feel this is more driven by consumer culture in general. i suspect devs and games publishers would rather deal with happy, fluffy fandom people drawing fanart (ie free advertising) than get dealt scars for not meeting 100,000 unique and poorly communicated service level agreements.

I AM A RENISANCE MAN

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regardless of many longform articles, i feel the prevailing view is 'games as service' not 'games as art' - esp among western rpg and mmo fans.

If you indeed feel like that, it means mega-corporations succeeded in their campaign to indoctrinate the gamers. "Games as services" is much more convenient for corporations, hence populous better begin to believe it's exactly what populous wants. 

 

 

eh, dunno mang. i feel this is more driven by consumer culture in general. i suspect devs and games publishers would rather deal with happy, fluffy fandom people drawing fanart (ie free advertising) than get dealt scars for not meeting 100,000 unique and poorly communicated service level agreements.

 

 

Actually, EA voiced the desire to make "games as service" since now on in response to complains about Viceral closer. Other studios used the momentum to say "single player games are here to stay", but since then everything you see around is advertisement of the games with services attached, that can be run a la MMO.

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Do not read too much into stock. It is not as though the company was losing money, because its profit comes from selling games, not selling its own shares, and even shareholdes do not have to sell their stakes to make profit; they can simply order the company to pay dividends.

 

 

Yeah, well, that is because any game has to be centered on player, but more recent games tend to overdo it to a degree they feel like a narcissist's fantasy; not only you are the centre of the universe, but everyone tries hard to be excited about it. I just burgled to a room in Kraken's Eye, the one with a person lying on bed, and guess what he said? The Dyrwoodan captain! Are you here to stay?

lmao think this just shows up the limitations of ambient dialogue. sometimes is better for unimportant characters to just stfu.
Certainly that person should have either continued sleeping or been hostile, but the problem is not that the reaction was not appropriate, but that it was not appropriate in particular way, i.e. he/she started talking about ME, and that is so because everyone likes to talk about ME. That is what I find mildly disturbing.
News moves stocks. When companies get hit with bad news, it moves their stocks, regargless if the company is making money. Look at Activision Blizzard falling solely bc of the Diablo Immortal announcement. Deceptive business actions and missed estimates will hurt a company even more. Edited by Verde
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The point is that falling stocks do not hurt; actually spending money on a game that flops does.

And while I suspect (and hope) mobile Diablo will flop, I also learned to never underestimate stupidity. After all, players spent $200M on a game that is not even out yet, so I can not rule out disgusting possibility of mobile Diablo not flopping.

Edited by Psychovampiric Shield
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The point is that falling stocks does not hurt; actually spending money on a game that flops does.

And while I suspect (and hope) mobile Diablo will flop, I also learned to never underestimate stupidity. After all, players spent $200M on a game that is not even out yet, so I can not rule out disgusting possibility of mobile Diablo not flopping.

Falling stocks don't hurt companies? I want whatever good good you're smoking brah haha. And if you know about stocks you'd know EA has already passed it's 52wk low, which is a big deal. So yes, falling stocks do hurt companies and those stocks fall because of high profile flops. Gamers wasting $ on a crappy game only encourages them and hurts gamers in the long run. Edited by Verde
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Let me reiterate: no, revenue/profit going down (or expenses up) hurts. Falling stocks may hurt some shareholders, but not necessarily, because they may rake dividends from that revenue/profit.

 

EDIT: though I understand players prefer to "hurt" predatory companies by bad press, rather than hurt by stopping buying their producs.

Edited by Psychovampiric Shield
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