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Favourite improvement in deadfire? Biggest step back?

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Posted (edited)

I'd say that the auto follow camera is my favourite upgrade to this genre, and think it would improve every other old crpg. 

 

Least favourite... ehhh the boat mini game. It's just not very interesting. 

 

You lot?

Edited by daven
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nowt

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Controlling the speed of combat with RtWP - changed my entire opinion of RtWP - I now like RTwP better than turn-based.

Going down to 5 party members, I miss that 6th - either that or the lighter tone of the story, I do miss the darker setting of the first game.

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Well, boat is still better then keep in PoE1, which Is better then keep in NWN2, so it’s a slow progress 😉. As far as RPGs it is still the best “keep” system I have seen (I didn’t play Kingmaker yet) though the bar is overall low. Smart camera is dope. 

Improvements there are quite a few that stand out:

1) items - I like unique weapons and Deadfire is full of them.

2) I am in constant awe by companion reactivity in DF. Having them join conversations and recognise NPCs and each other is impressive. Sadly comes at a cost.

3) I like the map. Always have been a fan of those, be it Fallouts or Arcanum.

 

there is only one fault I see in Deadfire and it’s sideffect of all those improvements: and that is lack of narrative control over the story, be it how plot is delivered, or how companions are explored. There is plenty of good material in DF, which doesn’t get communicated effectively. Companions, world, factions, Eothas it’s all good, but it doesn’t “pop”. Little buildup, little linear progression. Shorter, more controlled adventures in DLC showcase how more engaging those stories can be with a bit more narrative control. I feel Obsidian took the cry for more freedom a bit too literally. 

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Posted (edited)

It's hard for me to pick just one improvement and call it my favorite, as Deadfire—and, vicariously, my impression of it—pretty much is made of all the things Obsidian improved over its predecessor. It is so to the point that, though I'd love to go through the first game again for the story, I can't seem to go back to its graphics, sound, or mechanics.

I love the updated graphics, the fantastic sound design, the much-improved itemization, the voice acting, the new mechanics (especially subclasses and multiclassing), and how companions' interjections are recognized and responded to by your interlocutors. Soundtrack and scripted interactions are also amazing (but I loved both about the first game too.)

As for the least favorite, I'll have to go with ship combat.

There are also a couple things I'm lukewarm about:

  • I understand the completely different setting compared to the first game also called for a different tone (in the same way as BGII differed from BG), but I often miss the darker, more serious tone of the first game.
  • The companion relationship system was a letdown, as it often feels gamey and a little ... shallow. It also increased the cost of making companions, and I would have preferred a more deterministic approach to companion relationships with, say, Rekke and Ydwin as full companions.
  • Most areas are great but clicking on an icon on the map and being thrown immediately to the inside of a dungeon, with no outdoor area, felt sometimes jarring.
Edited by AndreaColombo
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Agree with pretty much all that's already been said. I would add that multiclassing is probably my most favorite change. And yeah, ship combat is not my thing (though the ship as my home base is great).

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My most favorite is the better stealth/sneaking and the more coherent Inspiration/Affliction system.

The least I like the reduction of endurance & health to simple health - and the PEN/AR system.

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Liked:

Obsidian love and support to the game, 1 year of full commitment to player feedback.

Artwork is gorgeous

Multiclass system is really fun for me

The newly introduced Turn Based System

 

Disliked:

The simple health system, could have worked if the food crafting had a system where you can mix ingredients and have custom bonuses.

The boat combat, it has some good intentions, but sadly the lack of visual queues kinda kill it. If resources were unlimited, something like a simple version of Faster Than Light system could fix it. But thats just me tripping in personal ideas lol.

 

 

 

 

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The improved stealth and thieving system is great. And the game makes great use of this in the Arkemyr mansion quest and the Benweth quest, for some solid early examples. And it really adds a main PC roleplaying option that the original game lacked. There's much more as well, improved companion interactions, improved dialogue, improved scripted interactions, and of course the wonderful job the entire art team did.

Biggest step back is of course combat. It's really a shame that the White March expansions showed what the team could do by iterating on the original's combat system to just throw out all that progress when they more or less invented a new system. Obviously there's some carryover, but it's still a radical departure. And one that generally has not produced funner results.

Because fight diversity has been shrunk by the need to make every encounter match up to a fully loaded party, a lot of shortcomings have been introduced into the system. RNG plays a larger role in the system, which can make some defeats feel unfair (as well as some victories). Encounters depend much more on one-off gimmicks such as ambushes, second-phases, or a peculiar weakness. So now the game is much more trial-and-error and memorizing the specific plot twists of a battle as opposed to learning and mastering a strategic system.

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2 hours ago, takamorisan said:

 

Liked:

Obsidian love and support to the game, 1 year of full commitment to player feedback.

Artwork is gorgeous

Multiclass system is really fun for me

The newly introduced Turn Based System

 

Disliked:

The simple health system, could have worked if the food crafting had a system where you can mix ingredients and have custom bonuses.

The boat combat, it has some good intentions, but sadly the lack of visual queues kinda kill it. If resources were unlimited, something like a simple version of Faster Than Light system could fix it. But thats just me tripping in personal ideas lol.

 

 

 

 

What you're saying about cooking, something like in zelda breath of the wild. I really like cooking in that, it feels a bit exciting wondering what you're going to make and also the results are useful. That's one of the best crafting systems I've seen in a game.


nowt

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Posted (edited)

No trap builds attribute system was nearly the same in PoE?

Edited by Boeroer
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gonna indulge (relative) uncharacteristic brevity.

improvement:

combat mechanics with a specific nod to shift towards per-encounter as 'posed to resting.

regression:

lack of thematic focus, particularly 'mongst companion stories. poe had a unified theme and all companion stories reinforced the common theme. poe storytelling total were greater than sum o' parts. converse, deadfire were all over the freaking map. back to largely thematic insular companion stories and a critical path narrative which answered no great questions 'cause it asked none. 

HA! Good Fun!

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Biggest improvements for me: 1. AI scripting 2. Slow combat speed

There are several things that I don't like in the game but they are mostly subjective. I don't think I like this open world thing, because it leads to numerous small stories instead of one big and well developed story. The world is nice though.

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Biggest improvement : the additional depth of the (multi) class system and overall combat design. 

Biggest step back : the main story might be one of the worst ever made for a CRPG. Thaos arc wasn't the greatest ever but it was okay, with some interesting ideas.

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Favorite: Multiclassing, companion interaction, and the hypertext system within the text to make various parts of the lore either easily accessed or skipped at will. I know they stole that last one from Tyranny, but I cannot overstate how much it improves the game. It's one of those things that a lot of people gloss over because it seems small, but has a broad impact and overall feel.

Least favorite: PENETRATION. I *loathe* the penetration system. Probably always will.

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I can't overstate how much more I enjoy this game because of multiclassing and subclasses. I love making builds and I find it was implemented very well.

As for the step back, I feel like most companions in PoE had internal conflicts they were struggling with. By the end of the game they felt like they developed, and that you could really roleplay your character's feelings about their conflict. In contrast, Deadfire companions feel mostly set in their ways; their companion quests are just things they want to get done and rarely anything that changes them significantly, or that your character has much to say about. Unfortunately, Xoti is an example of a companion who does change but she is not well written.

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Posted (edited)

Why is Xoti not well written?  Doesn't she rather well represent a particular kind of religious zealot (say, a North American foaming-at-the-mouth-abortion-campaigner who is so set in their ways that objective facts simply don't register)? I agree that she is unlikeable and foolish - but not well written? Why?

Edited by xzar_monty
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Naval combat. I hate to chime in on that. I really do. I tried with it, really I did. But when I realised that there is no way to actually move around the enemy vessel (meaning you'll be stuck facing its gun after turn one unless it very rarely tries to charge you), it meant that there were no tactics really worth bothering with. You can't, for instance, shooting their mast off and then sailing around their arse or the side without so many guns or something.

(Nevermind I spent the first three-score hours misunderstanding why grapeshot never hit the enemy gunners...) Once you get to the mid-game ships, it's all down to RNG and you are better off charging. Which disappoints me greatly.

It does not seem like it would have been beyond even this ship combat system to have had a very simply relative position as well as relative facing (I mean, you only need quarters!) - you could have done it just by having straight move+turn+ straight move (if you imagine each section as seperated by a diagonal).

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12 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

Why is Xoti not well written?  Doesn't she rather well represent a particular kind of religious zealot (say, a North American foaming-at-the-mouth-abortion-campaigner who is so set in their ways that objective facts simply don't register)? I agree that she is unlikeable and foolish - but not well written? Why?

I guess most people don't really distinguish between "I don't like it" and "it is bad". Because if I don't like it then surely there must be something wrong with it. :)

I also think that most people are unfit for judging the quality of writing.

I loathe books like "The Name of the Rose", "L’Homme qui rit" or "La sombra del viento" (still read them though, urgh). But I would'nt say tht they are not well written. 

 

Or would I? ;)


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7 hours ago, Aotrs Commander said:

Naval combat. I hate to chime in on that. I really do. I tried with it, really I did. But when I realised that there is no way to actually move around the enemy vessel (meaning you'll be stuck facing its gun after turn one unless it very rarely tries to charge you), it meant that there were no tactics really worth bothering with. You can't, for instance, shooting their mast off and then sailing around their arse or the side without so many guns or something.

(Nevermind I spent the first three-score hours misunderstanding why grapeshot never hit the enemy gunners...) Once you get to the mid-game ships, it's all down to RNG and you are better off charging. Which disappoints me greatly.

It does not seem like it would have been beyond even this ship combat system to have had a very simply relative position as well as relative facing (I mean, you only need quarters!) - you could have done it just by having straight move+turn+ straight move (if you imagine each section as seperated by a diagonal).

You are correct that the naval combat lacks some fetures that would make it make more fun (like being able to sail around a big, heavy ship with a much smaller, faster ship as a tactic).

Also the game does a very, very ppor job of explaining the rules to you. Actually it's a complete refusal... 

But: once you figured out how it actually works it's a very easy way to get XP and money (and some items) really early - and it takes a lot less time and levels than boarding.

However: if you don't know how (and don't want to spend your time with testing session or browse the forum for any ideas on how to do this naval battle stuff - which is totally understandable) - it can be a real chore. Missed opportunity. As I said so many times already: the biggest gripe I have with both Pillars games is the lack of proper explaining/examples/tutorials - let's call it communication.

It's like in general software development: everybody codes the heck out of his keyboard - but nobody does seem to so  proper commenting and documentation.

Of yourse usually you want to get the code done and afterwards do the documentation (because else you would have to change it all the time) - usually that means that the documention suffers the most from crush/deadlines. Also nobody likes to do it it seems...  


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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I guess most people don't really distinguish between "I don't like it" and "it is bad". Because if I don't like it then surely there must be something wrong with it. :)

I also think that most people are unfit for judging the quality of writing.

I loathe books like "The Name of the Rose", "L’Homme qui rit" or "La sombra del viento" (still read them though, urgh). But I would'nt say tht they are not well written.

 

I would probably agree with your first statement: for an awful lot of people, there is no distinction between what they don't like and what isn't well done. As for people's capacity for judging quality in writing: a pretty good clue is in the way they write themselves. If there are serious problems with syntax or if the vocabulary seems sorely lacking, they probably aren't in any position to comment on other people's writing.

 

I would be interested to know why you loathe The Name of the Rose. I mean, loathing is pretty strong. I can easily understand why somebody might not like it -- the exceedingly slow tempo would be reason enough -- but loathing is interesting.

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Yeah that was hyperbole. I just think it's boring. :) But I threw the book into a corner. One of the few books I didn't want to finish.

I like character development and expositions in general - but what I don't like is excessive descriptions of.... I don't know... archways, food, faces, clothing, whatever...

I like Ivanhoe. ;) Can't say if it'swell written or not (not my mother tongue and also fairly old) but it was entertaining for me.  

Other non-contemporary (yet well-known) stuff I like is e.g. "Kleider machen Leute" from Gottfried Keller. Also can't say if it's well written (difficult to say since I don't know what whas considered to be "well-written" during that time period) but it's a nice read (for me).  


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When it comes to the slow tempo and/or boring nature of The Name of the Rose, the main thing to understand is that the main characters have to adhere to the rhythm of the monastery, which is very strict and leaves them precious little time to carry the plot forward. This is an intentional constraint that Eco embedded into the story by his choice of venue. Of course it's perfectly fine not to like it. But it's not as if it's poor writing or planning -- quite the opposite, really, it's very meticulously executed.

 

But then, if someone is inclined not to like something, it's almost impossible to change that. Like, I am a musician of some skill and can easily recognize that Dream Theater, for instance, is comprised of superb musicians who really know what they're doing. But in my view, there's almost nothing interesting in what they do -- they just can't write music that speaks to me. And it's not as if it's "overly technical" or anything like that; someone like Allan Holdsworth is even more technical(ly demanding), and he's brilliant, utterly brilliant.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2019 at 12:33 AM, daven said:

Favourite improvement in deadfire? Biggest step back?

Most favorite:

  • the addition of subclasses

Additionally liked a lot:

  • improved visuals and audio/music
  • addition of multiclassing (it would be the most favorite thing, if it was less restrictive, yet still balanced somehow)
  • equipment really unique upgrades and mutually-exclusive paths
  • combat speed slider
  • ai behavior editor
  • improved reactivity

 

Didn't really like:

  • getting rid of endurance-health double pool. I actually liked that health pool was limited in PoE1; and for Deadfire it could just get a bit bigger, and with some extra per-rest/per-end-of-encounter means to regenerate a part of it.
  • hp bloat of certain boss enemies. Such encounter design undermines to some degree party compositions without resource sustain.
  • current AR/PEN system/values. While I do really like that we have penetration as a second axis for weapons' effective damage, I find that the current approach is too all-or-nothing. Having incoming damage reduced 4 times, is too sweet for not maxing own AR values. Additionally there is less incentive for high-cc-high-dps glass cannon parties.
  • double inversion. Which I view as a neat trick, but still a trick.
  • existence of "-recovery time" and "-reload time" effects. You could use "+recovery speed" and "+reload speed" instead. Just use speed everywhere, even in mouseover tooltips for weapon attack/recovery time (just specify that there is division going on).
  • devs apparently getting confused in the mechanics themselves. (e.g. ApplyOverTime; multiplicative/additive Might; forgetting about inversion; approach towards recursion; indecision towards alchemy, potion scaling and scrolls; putting negative base defenses for some bosses in order to compensate for bloated attributes; inconsistency between spells and weapon abilities when it comes to PL)
  • spellbound spells benefiting from weapon quality; and same thing for spell effects triggered on hit from weapon abilities
  • weaker defense maluses from hostile status effects (compared to PoE1)
  • quite a range of tooltips being inexact
  • that the ship 'minigame' is felt unfinished. But I like that it was added to the game at least in that state)
  • stuttering and long loading times

Most disliked:

  • main quest was kinda short, and the ending didn't match expectations. Yes there is an argument that you can't really expect more agency/influence from a mortal in the gods' affairs. But still.
  • gods resembled quarreling kids, more than mysterious and really powerful beings from PoE1
Edited by MaxQuest
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That last point, by the way, is excellent. One of the distinguishing characteristics of an immortal or at least very long-living deity should be a certain dignity and quiet calm. It just follows logically: if you've got eons of time on your side, you will have experienced just about everything, and there is never any reason to lose your temper or get hasty. But for whatever reason, this fundamental fact escaped the writers, and what we got was quarreling kids, as you so aptly put it. It's terrible. Definitely among the most dislikeable factors in the game.

 

As for stuff that I really like: the graphics. They're just gorgeous. Boy but they're good.

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