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MedicineDan

A few early observations from a backer

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*Sorry, mates this will be a long-winded rant*

Deadfire is truly incredible.  I can’t recommend it until I finish because… well on principle, I never recommend a game I haven’t finished.  However, this is truly shaping up to be Obsidian’s chef d'oeuvre.  At this point, having visited four areas of Neketaka, I’m convinced that this effort will be on par with Fallout:  New Vegas, which makes two Obsidian games in my top five.  That’s simple astounding.  Moreover, I’ve had the game for over a year and a half but only recently started playing.  I’d started a game on release but for some reason I wasn’t interested so I stopped playing after I ended up on the ship in the first five minutes or so.  Now, I can’t let it go.  Anyhow, that’s my testimonial.  Here are specifics.

The empire building in ship form is a nice break from kingdom building.  I haven’t done much of it, but I’ve like it.  I just hope it doesn’t become sheer tedium.  I’m looking at you, Pathfinder:  Kingmaker!  So far so good and I have my fingers crossed.

Edér is one of the best companions of any CRPG.  His voice acting is spot on.  The writing is clever, witty, and succeeds at making Edér a truly sympathetic and likeable character.  So much better than the over the top and often grammatically incorrect Kreia from KotOR 2.  Don’t get me wrong.  I make grammatical errors all the time.  That’s why I’d be an extremely poor NPC.  Well, maybe as a pathetic comedy figure, but probably not even that.

The NPCs overall are simply wonderful.  I like the interparty banter.  I like the fact that the dialogue isn’t mind-numbingly long and wandering.  Hell, I have four NPCs and an… NPCesque kind of dwarf I sent back to the ship.  The party is a gratifying combination of new and old faces.

Arkemyr’s mansion is just brilliant!  I had a few options for how to get into the place.  I ended up finding a way in by accident, snuck around until I found a way to finish everything without fighting anyone, got what I wanted and left.  These days, I don’t pilfer everything in sight, so I had to leave all that great loot behind, including at least one epic weapon, but it was fun times.  I did pick all the locks and take a look to see what I was missing.  All I took out of the place was a robe, for obvious reasons, and the tablet I needed for the greater good of the Huana.

The Old City is very well done.  I stayed down too long so the lift left.  I found a way out, but it did entail having to engage in unwanted combat.  There’s still a big bad beasty down there I’m going to come back to see when I’m a couple levels higher.  Maybe nine or ten.  I don’t know if I could have beat it, but it looked like too much work.

I guess I’ll truncate this rambling rant about the game and just jot down a list.

Pros:

Playable NPCs are great

A lot of info and lore packed into short and easy to read bites

Interactable NPCs names’ show when I TAB

Floating flavor text is fun, sometimes witty, and economically conveys information

Island exploration (only a couple so far, but fun)

Pacing is good

Brought back good ol’ Eothas

A bunch of other stuff, but I’m tired now

Cons:

In terms of things that irk me, probably only two

I wish that dialogue scrolled so I could read it during the conversation.  I need to keep experimenting and see if there’s some way to do that because, while it’s great to have it in the log, I often want to reference preceding lines of conversation while I’m in the middle of it.

I was irked at having to fight my way out of the Old City because I’m afraid it impacted my rep with one of the factions significantly.  On the other hand, Dudenheim up top warned me that lift wouldn’t be there for long.  …And I could have loaded a save, but I firmly believe in living with the consequences of my actions.  In that case, maybe this belongs in the pro section also.

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After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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1 hour ago, MedicineDan said:

These days, I don’t pilfer everything in sight [...] 

Ow. ;( Did the doctor say what's causing this? In any way, my condolences and do get well soon, will you? (And don't forget to wear Arkemyr's robe when he summons you for a little chat)

And that beasty down there isn't really that dangerous, he just looks intimidating (and hideous). Gotta say his tactics of being really ugly worked, because I left him alone too on my first playthrough. 

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17 hours ago, MedicineDan said:

I wish that dialogue scrolled so I could read it during the conversation.  I need to keep experimenting and see if there’s some way to do that because, while it’s great to have it in the log, I often want to reference preceding lines of conversation while I’m in the middle of it

click that dot on top of dialog window

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I finally got home and tried this, Waski.  Awesome!  Thanks!

EDIT:  ...And I just found Tekehu.  I rolled my eyes for the first few minutes he was in my party and I even found myself agreeing with my poor old friend Aloth, the newfound misanthropist.  However, after I had a certain experience and a long discussion with Tekehu, I find I sympathize with him quite a bit.  Great character.  Voice acting is quite well done.  No cringeworthy performances so far.

Edited by MedicineDan
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After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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I  warmed up to every companion aside from Maia. Takehu was the last one, but it took a playthrough with a character who sympathised with Huana and their tradition. The arc Takehu got was actually really compelling. 


h1dczBG.jpg

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wait'll you see the expansions ... 

so interesting, New Vegas is a dud for me but Deadfire is right up my alley

sound design, music score, voice-acting, special effects, the new lighting engine, narrative, even turn-based is serious fun ... Deadfire is a true gem


All Stop. On Screen.

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I personally got a huge kick out of the bathhouse.  Romanesque except that there would have been hot and cold baths.  Still, it was damned impressive!  I took Maia into my party, but I haven't used her yet.  She does come in handy in ship to ship combat.  I think that bird is hers and it pecks the hell out of the enemy.  I also took Pellegrino with me.  She puts the hammer down!

As for you, Manifested, we might not agree about the beauty of New Vegas, but I'm even father into the game at this point and my enthusiasm has not waned at all.  I just killed off Benny.  I tried talking to him, but the little bastard was determined to go after me.  I guess I could have let the rest of the party watch as my main went mano a mano with the runt, but instead we bum rushed him and dumped his body off the wall.  Then I went down, found his room full of henchmen, and put paid to them also just for the hell of it.  Great times!  I did everything I could in Neketaka, took care of things in Deadlight, and now I'll go back to exploring.  At least, when I get home again, I will.


After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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Pellegrino? The Paladin from the order of the Sparkling Waters? With the special ability "Faith and Carbonisation"? ;)

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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hehehe  I couldn't remember her name, but I do like wasting my money on San Pellegrino.  I'm drinking some with some lemon and gin right now!

In other news, I finished everything I could find in Deadlight and now I'm scouring the seas.  I've collected three bounties so far.  I also knocked off a Principi who attacked me.  My ship isn't all that great, but one salvo and then we board.  My people are brutes!  Good Lord, this is the best game I've played in... years?  I really enjoyed Pillars 1.  I backed it with what was, for me, a lot of money.  For my own reasons, I'll always love it and, for one specific reason I will always have it installed with one save that will never be erased.  However, Deadfire is simply glorious.

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After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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Sorry to double post.  I finished this game earlier today.  Now I'm... sad.  I've often plagiarized a post from years ago, probably over 20, where I saw someone say he wished that he hadn't played Half-Life already because he wanted to play it again for the first time.  Over the years, I've had several favorite games.  Planescape: Torment has held the title on the balance since I first played it.  I finished it multiple times. Used a hex editor to bump my stats and played it some more to get all the content.  Used an editor to read the dialogue I'd missed.  I'm not going to do that for Deadfire.  I'm older now.  I don't have that kind of stamina and I don't have the time to invest in picking the carcass clean.  On the other hand, I can appreciate getting what I could from the game.  I love it for what I've already known.

I hope to play it again.  There's still something to be had from the experience.  ...But what Deadfire means to me won't get better from replaying, hacking, or editing.  I've always felt like something was missing from Pillars.  Deadfire answers those deficiencies.  The potential of Pillars is fulfilled in Deadfire.

For a long time, Durlag's Tower was my favorite DLC.  The Bridge Ablaze changed that.  My sole substantial complaint is where the team decided to go with "the Forgotten Sanctum," but even that was fun, if misguided storywise.  I was going to write a long review, but the game's been out so long, who would care?  Also, it just seems as if I couldn't do justice to it.  What a great game.  Eothas and Berath… Eder and Aloth… Gods and Kith?  The devs are masters.  I'm just a middle aged talentless hack.  Who am I to speak to their masterpiece?

 

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After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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7 hours ago, MedicineDan said:

The Bridge Ablaze changed that.  My sole substantial complaint is where the team decided to go with "the Forgotten Sanctum," but even that was fun, if misguided storywise. 

What in your opinion was misguided about FS?

And I agree with Bridge Ablaze. I can count only a handful of times where a story beat in a game just really stunned me, and Bridge Ablaze is one of them (some of the others are also Planescape Torment for me). Both from a writing perspective (fleshing out and humanizing an aspect of lore that I never expected to have/want fleshed out) and just from an art direction perspective.

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The premise of Forgotten Sanctum works within the overarching story.  However, the Pillars story is about the Watcher.  The Deadfire story is all about the Watcher and Eothas.  The DLC comes very late and introduces an element that dilutes from what is a disciplined story.  I don't think it's bad for people who'd already played the game and came back for the DLC.  I think it's bad for people who are playing and then end up in a story add-on.  I contrast that with The Beast of Winter, which I think adds to the end story.  I find it rare that a DLC or xpac will actually improve the story of the base game, which makes The Best of Winter an outlier in my experience.

On the other hand, Forgotten Sanctum is fun.  I killed off Wael, but I played out all available endings on my run.  I then looked up videos of the other endings.  The main story is fabulously disciplined in that Eothas always dies and the wheel is always broken.  Wael's titan doesn't make any difference in that ending.  The wheel is still broken and Eothas dies.  In that regard, I can entertain the idea that I am mistaken, although I don't believe that I am.

No matter what, I love the game.  Easily in my top five and perhaps my favorite.  Looking back on Planescape:  Torment, I often see things that could have been improved or changed, but I'm always the same young guy who played it and loved it.  I don't know how to evaluate what would have been best.  I waited to play Deadfire.  I'm the guy who put it off because he lacked faith in the design team also loved the game and was slightly irritated by The Forgotten Sanctum.  ...But I played the game with The Forgotten Sanctum and loved it.  (shrugs)  I don't like to second guess success.


After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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Really? Personally, I thought FS was the best of the DLC and actually bolstered the main story rather than diluting it. The other two DLC fell rather flat for me, since BoW was a separate adventure (more so than the White March) and SSS was really just an excuse to have a battle royal arena, FS was a welcome reprieve. Since the main quests were... of poorer quality than the side quests, FS just helped give the story a nice boost. What with the rather unexpected return of Llengrath, whom I thought was a nice call-back to PoE.

I just think FS as a whole is both a lot more polished and better integrated that the other DLC. For one, we have returning characters in Llengrath, Concelhaut and Bekarna (kind of) and mentions of previous quests (The Phylactery's Promise, The Siege of Crägholdt, The Archmage's Vault, Berkarna's Folly, etc). While lots of these connections are quite superficial, they allow FS to build on previously established lore and make it feel more personal? I guess. It's also a lot more character-driven, and by focusing on only a handful of NPC's, comes across as narratively stronger. 

But the writing in BoW is also incredible and these are just my two cents 🤷‍♀️

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This has the beginnings of a great discussion.  I agree on some points and disagree on others, but I can't do justice right now.  I guess my only point is that I disliked bringing Wael into the mix.  Even though he didn't make any difference to the outcome, it took away from what I thought of as the culmination of the Watcher's pursuit of Eothas.  The BoW explained things that happened in the previous game.  It helped the main character (and player) understand Eothas and Waidwen.  Still, the point about Llengrath and Bekarna is well taken.  It did help to bring some of those loose storylines to a close.   Plus it was fun.


After our bodies fail and memory fades, only our ideals will remain.  Did you fight for yours?

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