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kreso

Opinion on the game from an old BG2 fan

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Nearing the end game I realized I didn't really care about the factions to any significant degree. I just felt a slight sympathy for the Huana and some loathing for the Principi. But none of them really drew me in and made me feel engaged or willing to be supportive. Mostly they were there for quest assignments. The main plot pretty much squashed any interest in aligning with a faction, but apparently we're supposed to do so.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I agree I am pretty far through PK and no game breaking bugs yet - I started after the new year though. 


“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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I started new run of Deadfire, this time with DLC, and writing here feels horrible after P:K. I am drowning in all purple prose (smiling rotting rictus right in first dialog), twitter-style snark and Ekera's. Just got to Xoti and "please let me kill this thing with fire" is only reaction she provokes. 

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I also understand that Avellone has something to do with P:K. You'd never guess from the writing. I wonder what the truth is, there.

He wrote two companions. Did a good job, too.

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Ok, good to know. Thanks. Which ones? There hasn't been anything interesting in the ones I've seen so far.

 

I mean, the dwarven cleric is nothing but a depressed pessimist, the barbarian is nothing but cliched rage, etc. They're all nothing but rather tired jokes.

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Avellone wrote Nok-Nok. I am not aware whether here second companion in P:K written by him. 

Edited by Daidre
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Hey, thanks for that, much appreciated. I haven't met Nok-Nok yet, so I cannot comment on the writing there. But I will pay attention now.

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Difficulty has nothing to do with the game itself. It has everything to do between balanced classes and stacking. Having a chanter and paladin in your party basically makes you invulnerable. Why don't you play without a chanter, priest and paladin and then try PotD without creating your own party, but just use the ones given. some parts will still be easy, but some parts will be rediculously hard.

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I started new run of Deadfire, this time with DLC, and writing here feels horrible after P:K. I am drowning in all purple prose (smiling rotting rictus right in first dialog), twitter-style snark and Ekera's. Just got to Xoti and "please let me kill this thing with fire" is only reaction she provokes.

The DLCs are particularly well written.

Edited by Verde

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Difficulty has nothing to do with the game itself. It has everything to do between balanced classes and stacking. Having a chanter and paladin in your party basically makes you invulnerable. Why don't you play without a chanter, priest and paladin and then try PotD without creating your own party, but just use the ones given. some parts will still be easy, but some parts will be rediculously hard.

It was same in first POE. PoTD with Priest and without one was like two different difficulties. Alas, they are pretty pathetic in Deadfire (except salvation of time shenanigans).

Edited by Daidre

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Wow. I wonder why Xoti provokes such violent hatred (see Daidre above). I agree she's both naive and a zealot, but why such extreme rancour? Given how Aerie also created extraordinarily strong aggression, I'm sorta inclined to think there's a male-female thing going on, as much as I'd like to discount that angle.

 

(The NPC I like the least is the watershaping druid fellow.)

Edited by xzar_monty

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Avellone wrote Nok-Nok. I am not aware whether here second companion in P:K written by him. 

 

Apparently he contributed to others - there's an interview where he mentions contributing to Amiri, which is bizarre as it really is one of the last characters I would have expected him to have anything to do with. That said, Nok-Nok is *fantastic*, and easily the best companion in the game. He's Morte levels of hilarious and endearing.

 

As for the writing I don't specifically find it to be *bad* moreso than pretty patchy throughout. It *is* very pulpy but that's perfectly fine, it's clearly what the game is aiming for, and in that sense there's plenty to enjoy in some of the colourful exchanges and high octane melodrama and whatnot. I for one greatly enjoyed the writing for Vordakai, just because it was suitably campy for what is a Four Horsemen-worshipping cyclopean lich amassing an army of undead to give rise again to a long lost empire. But of course these encounters are sprinkled amidst utterly waterbrained exchanges like convincing a nereid that playing malicious jokes on others only makes them suffer, or hearing a paladin of Shelyn attack a chosen of his goddess whilst screaming, quite literally, "ONLY I KNOW THE WILL OF MY GODDESS". It's all utterly daft but much like Baldur's Gate II it can be at times played with enough wit and colour to be greatly enjoyable regardless - it's just not always the case.

Edited by algroth
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My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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Wow. I wonder why Xoti provokes such violent hatred (see Daidre above). I agree she's both naive and a zealot, but why such extreme rancour? Given how Aerie also created extraordinarily strong aggression, I'm sorta inclined to think there's a male-female thing going on, as much as I'd like to discount that angle.

 

(The NPC I like the least is the watershaping druid fellow.)

 

I think you are very close with gender angle. Of course, it depends on person a lot, but my main gripe with Xoti that I never allowed to be rude with her. 

She is dumb and needy and in denial all the time, but reactions available to me range from romantic and endeared (meh!) to friendly - neutral. I constantly feel like I stuck in bad fanfic talking to Mary Sue.

 

It is like Octavia in P:K. Hers "I am a rose and you are my thorns. Give me your complements!" is barely noticeable for guys (maybe even cute) but makes most of the girls really nasty.

 

Still, I was pretty ok with Aerie in BG and loved how bitchy she could be when competing over the man. Anomen is another story though since there is no other choice. But he is so distasteful in his opinions that it is funny.   

Edited by Daidre

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Yeah, just in case I gave the wrong impression earlier, I wish to reiterate that P:K clearly aims for pulp. It's not as if it tries to be Dostoyevsky and fails miserably. The pulp is clearly very much the intention.

 

Every once in a while I do feel some frustration because my dialogue options are all so silly and pulpy. I mean, Deadfire at least gives me the sense of playing someone with a bit of sense, not just cliche.

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It's not the pulpy-trashy feel that I find awful, it's this clumsy-bizarre way to form sentences I've only encountered in bad fanfiction, never in professional prose. You know -- "The half-elf giggled prettily as the half-orc crammed his tongue into blushing prettyboy cleric's ear while the snarky gnome tutted disapprovingly and the dark-haired barbarian guffawed rudely". Thanks, game, I memorized that she's a half-elf after your first five uses of her race for description, what's wrong with just 'she' or Olivia...pardon, Octavia. See, game? if you weren't so weirdly averse to proper nouns and pronouns it would be easier for me to remember her and her bf Reginald's names. Also, "verbed adjectively" must be used verily sparingly because if overused extensively it sucks terribly.  :getlost:

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Yeah, just in case I gave the wrong impression earlier, I wish to reiterate that P:K clearly aims for pulp. It's not as if it tries to be Dostoyevsky and fails miserably. The pulp is clearly very much the intention.

 

Every once in a while I do feel some frustration because my dialogue options are all so silly and pulpy. I mean, Deadfire at least gives me the sense of playing someone with a bit of sense, not just cliche.

 

(Hiding behind a spoiler wall because there might be some slight spoilers to the early acts Kingmaker here)

 

 

Yeah, player choices are likely where Kingmaker suffers the most. It is reminiscent to Tyranny in how it often forces you to false dilemmas by the sheer fact that it either doesn't account for the "third option", or otherwise locks it behind some arbitrary variable like alignment and so on. To reiterate myself, this too is *arbitrary* because there seems to be no real consistency to these choices either - letting Hargulka or Tartuk live as vassals in your kingdom is a chaotic-only option, but vowing to help the spriggans recover their cave is a lawful-only option; sparing a priestess of Lamashtu is a "good" choice but letting Nok-Nok worship Lamashtu if he so chooses is an "evil" choice; and so on. This aside, it also assumes the character's intent behind the choices, and this is something Kingmaker seems to do time and time again: if you take no side in the conflict between kobolds and mites, the game assumes you are apathetic to them instead of maybe being concerned with finding a peaceful solution instead; likewise if you wish to spare and take Hargulka or Tartuk as a vassal, or give shelter to the goblins or whatnot, you could do so under the hopes - however false or idealistic they may be - of introducing them to civilization much in the same way those two wanted to do, which by all means should constitute a "lawful" act as far as I see it - not so as far as the game is concerned. Freedom of worship is generally seen as a chaotic evil deed whereas pure unabashed "kill the unholy" fanatism is the modus operandi for more lawful good options, with few other options to go with often should you be playing a character of those alignments (also all of this leads to a rather queasy effect with me, whereby I can't help feel like the game generally rewards or deems virtuous several utterly reactionary and conservative beliefs whilst often associating progressive ideas to evil or chaos or whatnot - all this without mentioning the sheer condescension with which female characters like Valerie, Amiri or Octavia seem to be written).

 

 

This is precisely one of the fields where Deadfire and its approach to choice really shines - more often than not you're given several choices for action without assuming intent, and you can *then* apply the justification you wish when the question of "why" arises separately. It leads to a much more open approach to roleplaying, and turns several options into viable ones for any one character. If you kill a party you meet outright, you can then proceed to justify it as a holy deed or as yourself being a greedy murderhobo; if you want to strive for the peaceful solution, you can then appeal to peace as an ideal or maybe see in that option the most profitable one and so on. Kingmaker doesn't really allow for this looseness, and whilst some might fault the alignment system for it, I will also add that it wasn't the case for Planescape: Torment or Mask of the Betrayer either, which also work with the same approach to alignment. Heck, Tides of Numenera and Pillars both work with their own alignment systems, however more abstract they may be, and they don't feel nearly as square about it as Kingmaker does.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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It's easy to spot amateurish writing - 1) tell don't show 2) adjectives and adverbs, oh my!

 

Lmao at 'prettily'. Let the reader come to that conclusion, don't cram it down his/her throat (forcefully - see, do you really need to add that adverb?).

Edited by Verde

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It's easy to spot amateurish writing - 1) tell don't show 2) adjectives and adverbs, oh my!

 

Lmao at 'prettily'. Let the reader come to that conclusion, don't cram it down his/her throat (forcefully - see?).

 

To be fair, Xoti is not innocent of such descriptors either. I recall the game being pretty insistent on her rosy cheeks when I first met her in my playthrough.


My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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It's not the pulpy-trashy feel that I find awful, it's this clumsy-bizarre way to form sentences I've only encountered in bad fanfiction, never in professional prose. You know -- "The half-elf giggled prettily as the half-orc crammed his tongue into blushing prettyboy cleric's ear while the snarky gnome tutted disapprovingly and the dark-haired barbarian guffawed rudely". Thanks, game, I memorized that she's a half-elf after your first five uses of her race for description, what's wrong with just 'she' or Olivia...pardon, Octavia. See, game? if you weren't so weirdly averse to proper nouns and pronouns it would be easier for me to remember her and her bf Reginald's names. Also, "verbed adjectively" must be used verily sparingly because if overused extensively it sucks terribly.  :getlost:

 

In Valerie's case she's just "the girl". Dunno about you, but if you were to call Valerie a "girl" she'd most likely bash your head in with her tower shield. You don't go referring to Ekun as "the boy", do you?

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My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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But POE does exactly same thing with Dispositions all the time. Sometimes it looks like every writer has his own idea what "passionate" or "aggressive" even is. And solution is the same for both games - if you are not alignment-dependent cleric/paladin switching them off in dialogs is easier then constant annoyance: why "this" is benevolent? I did this quest hoping for money/faction rep!   

 

POE allows wider range of responses, yes, but in Deadfire it is extremely glaring that all this fancy RP options lead to same 1-2 dialog nodes and completely ignored by NPC more often than not.

 

P:K has more different reactions and much more real consequents that could appear several chapters(!) after some choice. All while Maya eagerly helps you clean Ruatai headquarters after refusing their quest and never notices it even happened.

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It's easy to spot amateurish writing - 1) tell don't show 2) adjectives and adverbs, oh my!

 

Lmao at 'prettily'. Let the reader come to that conclusion, don't cram it down his/her throat (forcefully - see?).

 

To be fair, Xoti is not innocent of such descriptors either. I recall the game being pretty insistent on her rosy cheeks when I first met her in my playthrough.

 

Whatever is pretty is subjective. Rosy cheeks aren't.

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It's easy to spot amateurish writing - 1) tell don't show 2) adjectives and adverbs, oh my!

 

Lmao at 'prettily'. Let the reader come to that conclusion, don't cram it down his/her throat (forcefully - see, do you really need to add that adverb?).

 

And Deadfire hits you with two paragraphs(!) of horrific adjectives right in the first dialog when describes weird dwarf who opened the door. Two voiced paragraphs...

Edited by Daidre

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But POE does exactly same thing with Dispositions all the time. Sometimes it looks like every writer has his own idea what "passionate" or "aggressive" even is. And solution is the same for both games - if you are not alignment-dependent cleric/paladin switching them off in dialogs is easier then constant annoyance: why "this" is benevolent? I did this quest hoping for money/faction rep!  

 

There is a dispositions system and yet it is handled in a much subtler and malleable manner than what I've seen of Kingmaker thus far, which all points again to this being an issue that is very prevalent in Kingmaker regardless of alignment as such. I don't recall many moments at all when such disparities between what my character did and what I felt were my justifications behind the choice were incongruent, whereas it seems to describe an issue I face all too frequently with Kingmaker.

 

 

POE allows wider range of responses, yes, but in Deadfire it is extremely glaring that all this fancy RP options lead to same 1-2 dialog nodes and completely ignored by NPC more often than not.

 

P:K has more different reactions and much more real consequents that could appear several chapters(!) after some choice. All while Maya eagerly helps you clean Ruatai headquarters after refusing their quest and never notices it even happened.

 

I am enjoying the degree of consequence down the line behind the choices in Kingmaker at least - at least, when they're represented, which is not always the case (nor is it for Pillars but at least they often pay lip service to what you did in some fashion or other). But I disagree that Pillars is without consequence or several outcomes in its choices, and what's more, dialogue options matter not just because of what they reflect in the game but the overal *meaning* they give to the experience and the way they allow your character to formulate their personality and beliefs. This goes back to that classic Planescape: Torment example upon which Ravel asks you "what can change the nature of a man". You're given nineteen or so options, and roughly all of them lead to the same response. Speaking in pure gameplay terms, this choice is irrelevant, it affects nothing and leads to the same outcome, I'm not even sure the game bothers to remember what you chose; but that's not the value the choice provides, or why it is there in the first place. It's there for the sake of narrative, for the sake of allowing you to define who your character is (essentially, to roleplay in the purest of forms), to question the player's position regarding the themes and topics driving the story and so on. Ultimately it doesn't matter that the choice changes nothing mechanically in the rest of the game, it *does* change something for the player, as it informs the protagonist's beliefs and motivations and makes the player a participant of the discourse. A franchise like Pillars is deeply concerned with exploring themes and ideas, regarding the relationship between society and religion, and gods and men, and their evolution over a particular period of history, over cultural tensions of a time and so on - that the saga happens during a fictional Renaissance is no accident. In this sense, the choices you make, whether they lead to the same dialogue branch as others or not, is hugely relevant. Maybe the many responses you can come up with or the actions you can follow can still only lead to a few outcomes, and that's fine - but at least you had a way of engaging in them as you felt best, and in ways that made you consider where you stand in the conflicts and debates of that specific setting and story. Good writing is not about the sheer amount of branching paths and options, but what you tell through them and how, and that is where the Pillars saga as a whole - and much of Obsidian's work for that matter - really shines.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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In the same time when I tried to RP cleric of Magran who actually respects gods and support them as ideas to guide societies I was constantly running into situations when all my responses was 3 different flavor of snark and generally not-respectful.

Trying to RP Pale Elf with nonexistent sense of humor was even worse. 

 

I love to explore themes and topics, it annoy me when all opinions I hear so modern american from so colorful cast of characters with different backgrounds.

Edited by Daidre

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