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Posted (edited)

 

 

As for "explaining" the success of one game versus another, you cannot do that. There's just no way. Too many people buying or not buying a game for too many different reasons.

Monty you literally said this above, so I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Please refer to a dictionary for the difference between examining and explaining. You're embarrassing yourself here. Please stop it.
Semantics and petty insults. An obvious indication you've lost this argument. I suggest putting a stop to your constructive criticism till you learn how to to be clear and sensicle. Edited by Verde

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Where's the insult? There is a significant difference between examining and explaining that you apparently choose to ignore -- but in doing so, you also make your rancorous comments lose their thrust.

 

I don't see any losing or winning here, or any point to it, either. You are relentlessly combative and insistenly obdurate, and it certainly does not further the discussion.

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Posted (edited)

Where's the insult? There is a significant difference between examining and explaining that you apparently choose to ignore -- but in doing so, you also make your rancorous comments lose their thrust.

 

I don't see any losing or winning here, or any point to it, either. You are relentlessly combative and insistenly obdurate, and it certainly does not further the discussion.

Everything you say applies to you. You refuse to accept any accountability for things you say, right here in quote texts. There isn't a single topic I don't see you trying to "correct" and deconstruct people's semantics in lieu of the topic at hand. Until you stop doing that I will be right there, standing up to your bullish, avoidant ways. Edited by Verde

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To demonstrate that you are -- again -- just hopelessly wrong, I suggest you do a search for the words "I stand corrected" in my posts. (But this is the point where there is no point in wasting the forums' space for something as asinine as this. So, this is over.)

 

You might also study the difference between examining and explaining, to get back on track.

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Posted (edited)

So what is the difference?

 

Explaining can be an output of examining. You examine and then you explain. But again it's just arguing semantics. It's still the same subject matter - why one game sold better than another. I'm still interested in hearing your response. If you cannot concisely (key word, concisely) explain the difference, than that is an inability on your part, not on the reader.

 

But regardless, this is taking too much time. The topic title is "ideas for better sales" and you've provided none, only criticisms of semantics, saying you don't see an issue. Ironically in the PoE3 speculation thread you say PoE3 may never happen due to sales. So if that's not a problem, then I'm not sure what is. I think it's best of we just ignore each other going forward. Good day.

Edited by Verde

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Posted (edited)

To examine something is to attempt to understand a phenomenon -- in this case, the question of what happened with Deadfire. This would mean a study of marketing, player response and so on, via consumer surveys, telemetry and data collection, etc.

 

To explain is to state (ideally, in a comprehensive and conclusive manner) why something is the way it is and/or happened the way it happened.

 

In terms of chronology, first you examine, only then can you attempt to explain.

 

When it comes to a commercial product such as this, an examination of the causes and effects for its success or lack thereof can only be so thorough. This is because many of the important reasons for the success or lack thereof are unique phenomena that cannot be replicated or studied. To give you a few examples:

 

1) It is realistic to pose the idea that Deadfire suffered from poor timing in relation to other products on the market, i.e. plenty of consumers spent their money either on a different game or a different thing altogether. Would it have done better, had it come out at a different time? This is an impossible question, because we cannot make the experiment: the game's already out there, we cannot take it back and release it anew at a different time.

2) It is realistic to pose the idea that Deadfire came out either too late or too early in relation to PoE, in the sense that consumers were not expetant and/or enthusiastic enough. Would it have done better, had it come out at a different time? Again, this is an impossible question.

3) Interestingly, the question of other related products and their effect to the sales of other products is anything but straightforward. A competitor on the market can make all customers stampede for that particular product and not yours, but it can also be that a competitor on the market can generally activate potential customers, which in turns generates better sales for all products on that market. But, again, the variables surrounding any one particular product are numerous, and we cannot really study their effect, because any given product is only released once, in the circumstances that happen to surround its release when it happens. We can never study what would have happened in other circumstances.

4) It is realistic to pose the idea that the money spent on marketing was spent poorly, and in the wrong place, perhaps even at the wrong time. But there is ultimately no way to know what would have happened if Obsidian had spent more money, or in a different way, or in different places.

 

So, the question of Deadfire's lack of success can be examined -- and probably should. We can examine the variables, we can come up with plausible theories, we can ask the customers, we can study the data, we can do all of this, and it's not meaningless. But, and it's a big but, all of this examination can never add up to an explanation of why things happened the way they did, because as I iterated above, there are too many variables that cannot be studied. (And again, I only brought up four variables. There are dozens.)

 

A good examination can be done. Reasonably plausible conclusions can be drawn. But a thorough explanation is irrideemably beyond anyone's reach.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Explanations do not need to be absolute. You can merely explain your findings, as you've done above, understanding that a definitive conclusion may never be reachable.

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Yes. But explaining the findings is not the same as explaining why Deadfire did the way it did. My point was precisely was that definite conclusion is not reachable. And then you started arguing.

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Posted (edited)

You say "better marketing" but how? I don't think the gaming community was unaware of PoE2's existence.

Very good question.

 

But must say I only knew of upcoming Deadfire, because I often check this forums and occasionally /r/projecteternity.

And after Deadfire release, I've only noticed it:

- on Twitch

- and briefly mentioned on Little Bit News (which is a gaming related feed)

 

 

I was also unaware of PoE1 until 2016. And got into it only because I was replaying through NWN2, and decided to search if it's creators finally made any new RPG in magical setting. (specifically was searching for "Obsidian" and "Josh Sawyer", hehe)

 

 

Generally the best ways to reach to a player like me are:

- wikipedia (if I've liked some previous games of the studio, I might check it)

- twitch

- promo/info windows that appear when one opens steam.

- and once I heard of the game: gamepedia, where I would check for some introduction on story/classes/mechanics

Edited by MaxQuest

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There is a big marketing/word of mouth issue, as I'm definitely PoE's target audience but I only knew about the games last year after purposefully looking for something similar to play after replaying both Neverwinter Nights games. That said, I don't know what they could have done to reach me without a AAA marketing investment.

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wih: Those are all plausible explanations, but without conducting really extensive surveys, there's no way you can say any of them are true.

 

For instance, I would personally respond that:

 

1) None of that's true, except for the combat log scrolling too fast.

2) Not true. How was it abstract?

3) Not true. Incidentally, the story was rather well written, and in good English (this is my area of expertise, so I won't  hesitate to make claims).

4) This is true in the sense that if you didn't like PoE, you probably won't even try Deadfire.

Nobody will do extensive surveys. Obsidian knows best what are the reasons, because they have the most experience to judge. However they won't tell us so...

 

1) Maybe you are right and maybe I am right. Without extensive survey we only have opinions here.

2) Abstract in the sense it was not personal and down to earth. Too philosophical. I have read such things, but mostly in my own native language. If I was native English speaker maybe I would think differently.

3) We have different perspectives here. I was able to understand what is being written, but the problem is that the writer tries to create a picture in the reader's mind using words. However, for the non native Engish reader those words do not evoke the same images and associations that the writer is expecting. So such a reader remains cold and is bored. Since you are saying that the game was well written, I will not insist that Obsidian should have written PoE in a different way, just that  this probably led to some PoE players not buying PoE 2.

4) I mean this in the sense that PoE 2 only draws from the pool of PoE 1 players. By making the game a direct sequel Obsidian limited the potential player base for POE 2.

 

 

Gotta strongly disagree with you there.  your "solution" seems to be dumbing down pillars of eternity.  the story being philosophical was what made me really like the series.  in my view the story and world were better than baldurs gate.  what i think was lacking were the characters.  they need to have better reactivity.  pillars and other crpgs can not be inferior to baldurs gate in any way.  they need to be superior in almost anything. and pillars character reactivity is not as good as baldurs gate. 

 

 

perhaps my solutions were too vague. as far as gameplay , i think obsidian will have to modernize it even more, the classic aspect of gameplay will have to cede more to the modern . also,   it was also a mistake to not apply romances in poe1. i think romances are not important. but most players think they are and many will not buy rpg games of this sort without them, the solution is to make them good , as it is easy to ruin them up .  also,  this thread is for everyone suggest solutions. if mine are wrong people can try something different.

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Posted (edited)

If pillars was not philosophical and was a generic "down to earth" rpg full of cliches. i would probably not even play it.  the story needs to be intelligent. and it was. In my view the gameplay is that will unfortunately have to be even more modernized  and more symilar to new rpgs like dragon age (despyte story and world setting of pillars being superior to dragon age) , in order to attract new players that are not into old classic rpgs.  the reactivity of characters with the actions of the players and other characters need to improved.  pillars also needed evil characters to join the party. sideckicks were a mistake in my view because they end up reducing the number of real companions. 

Edited by nouser

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D:OS2's tremendous sales success (yes, it is indisputably a huge sales success) is very easily explained:

1. Co-op play

2. DM mode

 

These are very much the things a great many of today's young gamers really like to have in their games.

 

The classic RPG in the tradition of the IE games is and has always been very much a niche genre, and the D:OS games do NOT fall into that genre. So if someone is going to make new RPGs in that genre, they're going to have to accept that sales will be in the ballpark of what they have been for the PoE games. I think OE was kinda' ok with that up to now, but from a Microsoft pov that's just not going to cut it. Which is why I have predicted that we have seen the last of PoE1/2-style games from OE. If there is ever another "PoE" game, it will be a third-person ARPG with co-op/multiplayer included and released for consoles right from the beginning.

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Posted (edited)

D:OS2's tremendous sales success (yes, it is indisputably a huge sales success) is very easily explained:

1. Co-op play

2. DM mode

 

These are very much the things a great many of today's young gamers really like to have in their games.

 

The classic RPG in the tradition of the IE games is and has always been very much a niche genre, and the D:OS games do NOT fall into that genre. So if someone is going to make new RPGs in that genre, they're going to have to accept that sales will be in the ballpark of what they have been for the PoE games. I think OE was kinda' ok with that up to now, but from a Microsoft pov that's just not going to cut it. Which is why I have predicted that we have seen the last of PoE1/2-style games from OE. If there is ever another "PoE" game, it will be a third-person ARPG with co-op/multiplayer included and released for consoles right from the beginning.

 

Gotta disagree with you there.  Because mass effect and dragon age were sucessful , although i think the world  setting of dragon age is  inferior to pillars.  rpgs focused in story are not dead. but as i said before. the poe gameplay will unfortunately have to be modernised even more. lets hope the old workers , writers and directors of obsidian manage to preserve aspects of crpg even with the selling to obsidian.

Edited by nouser

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but yeah , microsoft seems to like dumbed down games.  the "nearest" thing to to a crpg is fable.

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If pillars was not philosophical and was a generic "down to earth" rpg full of cliches. i would probably not even play it.  the story needs to be intelligent. and it was. In my view the gameplay is that will unfortunately have to be even more modernized  and more symilar to new rpgs like dragon age (despyte story and world setting of pillars being superior to dragon age) , in order to attract new players that are not into old classic rpgs.  the reactivity of characters with the actions of the players and other characters need to improved.  pillars also needed evil characters to join the party. sideckicks were a mistake in my view because they end up reducing the number of real companions. 

I never said I am interested in generic rpg full of cliches. "Evil character" is a cliche, by the way. And one that's especially untrue to life. Nobody thinks of themselves as evil. This was one of the bad things with some older RPGs - Hey, I'm evil, so I will do evil things, like let's massacre this entire village, because that's what evil people do.

 

Raedric was a character I liked. He did evil things but he had reasons to do them and he thought he is doing the right thing. Maybe he was even right about that?

And there were many, many good things with PoE like that, so don't think I'm dismissing all the story and writing in the game. I think that the writing could have achieved it's goals more effectively with less text, however. Because lines of text are not the goal. They are means to an end.

 

Better reactivity is something that I also want, but it is so much work for the studio it probably means the game will have to be shorter (Tyranny).

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I entirely disagree with your assessment that there was too much text in PoE. Not at all. The text created a very interesting world, and it succeeded really quite well in this. However, this is a fairly difficult argument to quantify, because I don't think you're likely to want to demonstrate all the places where you think there's too much text (and I don't blame you for that).

 

Incidentally, my side of the argument rests on the idea that all texts related to the gold-plated NPCs are to be skipped entirely. Maybe there was something interesting in there, I don't know. But I wasn't interested in any of it, and none of it was necessary. But that doesn't qualify as "too much text" because you didn't need any of it for your game.

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POE needed some serious editing in the text department.

 

Brevity is the soul of wit.


nowt

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Posted (edited)

Honestly I'd take the text heavy PoE over the fully voiced and shallow dialogue trees of Deadfire. I am a big proponent of brevity (and love that quote) but Deadfire does too much of a 180 imho. A balance is prob best.

 

I'd like to note that the DLCs, esp Forgotten Sanctum, are major steps in the right direction however.

Edited by Verde
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Brevity is the soul of wit.

 

Only if it's good brevity. Similarly, less is more only if the small thing is very, very good. Neither brevity nor verbosity are an end unto themselves.

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D:OS2's tremendous sales success (yes, it is indisputably a huge sales success) is very easily explained:

1. Co-op play

2. DM mode

 

These are very much the things a great many of today's young gamers really like to have in their games.

 

The classic RPG in the tradition of the IE games is and has always been very much a niche genre, and the D:OS games do NOT fall into that genre. So if someone is going to make new RPGs in that genre, they're going to have to accept that sales will be in the ballpark of what they have been for the PoE games. I think OE was kinda' ok with that up to now, but from a Microsoft pov that's just not going to cut it. Which is why I have predicted that we have seen the last of PoE1/2-style games from OE. If there is ever another "PoE" game, it will be a third-person ARPG with co-op/multiplayer included and released for consoles right from the beginning.

 

Gotta disagree with you there.  Because mass effect and dragon age were sucessful , although i think the world  setting of dragon age is  inferior to pillars.  rpgs focused in story are not dead. but as i said before. the poe gameplay will unfortunately have to be modernised even more. lets hope the old workers , writers and directors of obsidian manage to preserve aspects of crpg even with the selling to obsidian.

ME and DA are AAA franchises, so apples and oranges.

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Honestly I'd take the text heavy PoE over the fully voiced and shallow dialogue trees of Deadfire. I am a big proponent of brevity (and love that quote) but Deadfire does too much of a 180 imho. A balance is prob best.

 

I'd like to note that the DLCs, esp Forgotten Sanctum, are major steps in the right direction however.

I played PoE and Deadfire back to back, both for the first time, and didn't notice any significant change in dialogue style.

 

Reading this thread makes me feel like I must be playing a different game to some of you. I mean - it didn't sell because there's too much philosophy? What?

 

The only person I know confirmed to have tried Pillars and then shortly abandoned it was because it was too hard. If there is anything making this game (or at least the first one - I've never tried Deadfire's lower difficulties) inaccessible it's because it was made for and by powergamers. People who just want to pick a character to RP and click things to death are intimidated by how punishing it is.

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