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Recently, Josh Sawyer posted his thought about the low sale volume of Pillars of Eternity 2 : Deadfire. I believe most of veterans and fanboys in this forum have already read it.
 

https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/188915786456/will-there-be-a-pillars-3-that-is-not-something

 

I myself really like Pillars of Eternity series a lot. I love the story. It is so interesting that it should even be made into series on Netflix or something. However, I kinda agree that PoE2 lacks something, which makes it less interesting than PoE1.

The combat mechanics have been improved. It is definitely more systematic and logical than that of PoE1. The graphic is much nicer. Other than these two, I think PoE1 is better in any other aspects.

  1. The writing in PoE1 has more depth and is more stylish.
  2. The main story of PoE1 is slightly better. Each story arc is woven together in a very smooth and interesting way.
  3. Side quests are more interesting. Some is dramatic. Some is political. In PoE2, most side quests are all about politics.
  4. Companions' quests in PoE1 is much much better than those in PoE2. Even Eder's quest leaves some questions to the player's heart, though many players have complained about its abrupt end. Companions' quests in PoE2 feel like they are unfinished.
  5. The difficulty is not consistent. Thugs on Gorecci Street are more hard to deal with than any dragon in PoE2. The groups of animals on the first Adra dig site is more challenging than any dragon. This is not translated well in terms of role playing. Especially, when the game is firstly released, it is super easy even on PoTD. The only way to make this game harder is to play solo, not recruiting companions, but that is not what most people want. They want the game to be challenging on the hardest difficulty while enjoying the journey with companions.
  6. Class balance on PoE2 is better than PoE1, but it is still not there. Some single classes are considered substantially weaker than others. For examples, single class rogue is by far weaker than single class wizard or monk.
  7. Even Obsidian does not love this game that much. They left so many story-related bugs up until now. I have reported some of them recently and none of the staffs responds. When you are selling RPG game, the most important thing is story, not game play.

I really like this game. Do not get me wrong. It saddens me to see that the sale volume is less than the inferior (IMO) game like Pathfinder. I am really sad reading Josh's post.

I strongly wish my critics help someone somehow.

 

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Any of those points though (I agree with some, and strongly disagree with others), are relevant only to people who bought And played the game. 

none of the things you mentionEd a person who didn’t play the game could have an opinion about. 

there is also another thread on precisely the same topic already.

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In addition, even Cohh Carnage, who likes PoE1 a lot, likes Obsidian a lot, gave approximately $10,000 to back PoE2, still does not come back and play any PoE2's DLC. The funny thing is that on this month's schedule he chooses to play Arcanum over another run of PoE2.

 

6 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

Any of those points though (I agree with some, and strongly disagree with others), are relevant only to people who bought And played the game. 

none of the things you mentionEd a person who didn’t play the game could have an opinion about. 

there is also another thread on precisely the same topic already.

 

I see your point but I disagree. People can read reviews or watch streamers play the game before they decide to buy it. Through that medium, flaws are shown.

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Hmm, is single class rogue really significantly weaker than single class wizard or monk? I really don't know, but if that's true, it would clearly go against one of my main points about the game (that everything is in too-perfect balance).

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I just found out "PoE 3 wont happen cuz developer dont know reason for unsuccesfull"

 

My very own opinion:

1. People still didnt finish PoE1.

2. People was expecting PoE1 be like dungeon and dragons, but PoE is not. Is about gods and anymancy. =I LOVE IT, however todays fans MAY not like it=

3. PoE2 is about pirates.  And not about dragons.

4. Shortly after original sin 2. Poe1,Tyranny,Poe2. TO MUCH. Still PoE2 is better than all of this, however noone found out it.

5. I belive if PoE1 was like PoE2(but with no pirates), continuation would be MUST BUY. PoE1 for most of time was boring.

 

 

And what i think could be solution:

Make ETERNITY (not pillars of eternity, pillars of eterrnity 3, or whatever) If u would do poe3 noone buy it again.

Do same what Hitman1/Europa universalis series:

Sell game cheap with limited content, but with same character and saving progress. If u make Base game cool(i dunno for 10 hours content) people will like more. Game can be short(lets say lvl1-6), but it should be prety sandboxing(5-6 classes maybe), sell more classes(with some different story soultions maybe) as DLC, sell ACT 2(lvl7-8), ACT 3(lvl9-10), ACT 4(lvl11-12) as DLC. They have to be quite large dlcs(lets say6-8hours, but with very slow EXP gain) make DLC with no EXP gain(to not ruin balance) to get some more story + get some extra items/traits(like WM but no exp gain).

Make this game this way, that after couple of months when DLC will come i will be happy to buy dlc and return to this world[maybe with autolevelup+random choices] if customer would be happy to start from new act(dlc).

 

Make story EASY for casual player for (lets say first 2 acts), and then hopefully give us cookies.

 

Make big price cuts on base game, but not on DLC. Todays fans dont have that much time. We want games shorter, but more interesting.

 

Dont need to waste time for turn-based content. Give us more STORY content. Even if we have to pay.

 

 

GOODLUCK!

Edited by lejdi
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Marketing.... or lack of it. 

Not sure how big the market is for this type of game anyway. Don't compare to DOS2 as it's completely different.


nowt

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This is solely my opinion.

DOS2 trumps POE2 for me. No NOT TB. I prefer RTwP. But how did a TB game > POE2 for me?

- The world in DOS2 seems more beautiful for me. Maybe perhaps their rotatable 3D engine? In terms of art style POE2 is nicer. But they should have just dump the nostalgic idea of old 2D aesthetic feeling of the game.

- DOS2 quests, story and voice-over were really top notched. The amount of content, no hand-holding, no marker on maps, no telling you what you should do and how you should play the game. This easily POE2 was out beaten. Maybe DOS2 has a far bigger budget.

- POE2 was a different game after 3 months from it's release. Major nerfs and nerfs and nerfs till i don't have any more idea. I play the game quite late and game is really hard for me. Thankfully there are many veterans here who helped me out. Most should already knew him without me naming him.

- POE2 claims that each battle were hand-crafted but i somehow feels DOS2 battle far more better than that.

Also all you see here was me mentioning DOS2.. i did play some Pathfinder:KingMaker and that was really good too!. I think Obsidian can really learn from Larian and Owlcat.

 

I really hope for a POE3 but IF they were going to make one.. they have to ensure it really feels NEW and really good. For example comparing DOS1 and DOS2 was a big difference for me. They have to make such changes to lure audiences. 

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1 hour ago, ekt0 said:

For examples, single class rogue is by far weaker than single class wizard or monk.

Single class rogue is second most broken build right after priests with BDD+SOT+Brilliant , and much easier to pull it off than priest combo since u click 1 skill and with right build you auto attack everything in the game while being invisible all the time, its by far easiest build to solo the game 

Edited by Blunderboss

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39 minutes ago, Archaven said:

- DOS2 quests, story and voice-over were really top notched. The amount of content, no hand-holding, no marker on maps, no telling you what you should do and how you should play the game.

Interesting, for me that was the reason I didn’t care for D:OS2. Without objectives and characters to cared for I was wondering aimlessly doing things, and completing quests but never caring one bit, about what was happening. It was a game about walking around, doing chores and stuffing meat into my elf’s mouth. It was a  game with so many options, that nothing felt worth doing. I mean first quest, is to get out of the prison, which should be exciting, but whenever you move you stumble into so many easy ways out of prison. nothing felt earned, and made me wonder how this prison hold its prisoners with so many holes in its security.

It was the first RPG where I dreaded entering a new city, as every NPC would have something to say, but none of it was interesting. You could kill an NPC but it would have no impact as ghost thing was there to still talk to him. but maybe it just my taste. It’s a bit like Skyrim to me: “You can climb every mountain!”. Yeah, but why would I, if there is nothing interesting on top. Give me one memorable quest line with couple interesting ways of progressing, instead of bunch of boring stuff.

however, this game had an amazing marketing. Trailers for this game beam with fun, humor and character. I did find PoE trailers unappealing even to someone actively interested in the game.

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most of the people complain about are things that you need to buy the game to experience.

So it must be a combination of bad marketing and focus on other games that came out at the time

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Or disappointment with PoE or not liking the pirate theme... all the stuff you can see before buying.

Deadfire had good reviews, so that can't be the reason. 


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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2 hours ago, ekt0 said:

In addition, even Cohh Carnage, who likes PoE1 a lot, likes Obsidian a lot, gave approximately $10,000 to back PoE2, still does not come back and play any PoE2's DLC. The funny thing is that on this month's schedule he chooses to play Arcanum over another run of PoE2.

That is an interesting point.
 

it does indeed seem, like streaming is a way for people to engage with games. I can’t imagine PoEs being very engaging streaming games - in-depth combat mechanics, lengthy conversations, somber tone, all seem like a horrible fit for a stream. I couldn’t imagine playing it with a friend, not to mention thousands of passive viewers waiting to be entertained. “YOLO!” Nature of something like D:OS2 might make for a better viewer experience, and invite more younger audience in. 

I can’t talk about Cohh’s streaming habits. Does he often do multiple playthroughs of the same game?

that still however, doesn’t address discrepancy between PoE1 and PoE2 sales, and none of them seem very streamable. 

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43 minutes ago, Ancelor said:

most of the people complain about are things that you need to buy the game to experience.

So it must be a combination of bad marketing and focus on other games that came out at the time

am largely repeating what we said elsewhere...

marketing is the frequentest excuse for why a good game sold poor. is a pleasant illusion 'cause it means the game you liked were still good, and it also means the developers you approve o' did nothing wrong. cheap. easy excuse which shifts blame.

deadfire were the wrong game if goal were to improve sales o' poe. poe2, from start o' development, were making clear that design philosophy were refinement o' poe-- those who liked poe would get a better game in poe2. that were the problem. poe were selling ie game nostalgia, and too many folks who played poe did not get the bg3 for which they hoped.  

hardcore crpgs is an admitted niche genre. hardcore fans tend to become more polarized over minutiae than ordinary fans. unfortunate, deadfire developers narrowed appeal o' their title by letting those who were disappointed with poe failure to be another bg2 know that deadfire would be even more unlikable. 

as somebody who enjoyed poe, deadfire design were targeting Gromnir. save for a few mechanics issues, we appreciated deadfire improvements. yes, we did have more than a couple narrative concerns, but such has been belabored ad nauseum and were not, we believe, contributing to underwhelming initial sales. deadfire were made for folks such as Gromnir. liked the first game and wanted the sequel to refine what were done well in poe.  the problem is, there were too few Gromnirs... which is pretty much insane. should never be more o' us. but again, deadfire were appealing to an already niche genre and developers made clear the game were gonna be even more exclusive than first title. diminished sales, in retrospect, should not surprise.

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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oh boy, there has been so much hashed about this already (in currently active threads even), so hopefully i will only say relatively new things.

 

4 hours ago, ekt0 said:

Recently, Josh Sawyer posted his thought about the low sale volume of Pillars of Eternity 2 : Deadfire. I believe most of veterans and fanboys in this forum have already read it.
 

https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/188915786456/will-there-be-a-pillars-3-that-is-not-something

 

I myself really like Pillars of Eternity series a lot. I love the story. It is so interesting that it should even be made into series on Netflix or something. However, I kinda agree that PoE2 lacks something, which makes it less interesting than PoE1.

The combat mechanics have been improved. It is definitely more systematic and logical than that of PoE1. The graphic is much nicer. Other than these two, I think PoE1 is better in any other aspects.

  1. The writing in PoE1 has more depth and is more stylish.
  2. The main story of PoE1 is slightly better. Each story arc is woven together in a very smooth and interesting way.
  3. Side quests are more interesting. Some is dramatic. Some is political. In PoE2, most side quests are all about politics.
  4. Companions' quests in PoE1 is much much better than those in PoE2. Even Eder's quest leaves some questions to the player's heart, though many players have complained about its abrupt end. Companions' quests in PoE2 feel like they are unfinished.
  5. The difficulty is not consistent. Thugs on Gorecci Street are more hard to deal with than any dragon in PoE2. The groups of animals on the first Adra dig site is more challenging than any dragon. This is not translated well in terms of role playing. Especially, when the game is firstly released, it is super easy even on PoTD. The only way to make this game harder is to play solo, not recruiting companions, but that is not what most people want. They want the game to be challenging on the hardest difficulty while enjoying the journey with companions.
  6. Class balance on PoE2 is better than PoE1, but it is still not there. Some single classes are considered substantially weaker than others. For examples, single class rogue is by far weaker than single class wizard or monk.
  7. Even Obsidian does not love this game that much. They left so many story-related bugs up until now. I have reported some of them recently and none of the staffs responds. When you are selling RPG game, the most important thing is story, not game play.

I really like this game. Do not get me wrong. It saddens me to see that the sale volume is less than the inferior (IMO) game like Pathfinder. I am really sad reading Josh's post.

I strongly wish my critics help someone somehow.

 

 

2. This is opinion, also one I strongly disagree with. One of the biggest criticisms I have of PoE1 was how flat all the faction stuff was. It was literally like, do two quests for one faction and WHOOPS now you failed all the other factions. There was no feeling of impact or weight to those decisions. There was basically a thin central plot line (which admittedly I find more compelling than Deadfire) and everything else was pretty weak.

3. This is opinion, really, and can't explain a sales drop of like 600k+

4. This is opinion, really, and can't explain a sales drop of like 600k+

5. Difficulty was not amped up for PotD until well after the peak of sales for a game should have happened. While this is not opinion, it can't explain a sales drop of like 600k+, because it's not even relevant (the game was in fact criticized for being too easy on PotD).

6. Less of an opinion, but still can't explain a sales drop of like 600k+, because there's literally no perfectly balanced role playing system out there. I challenge anyone to argue otherwise.

7. This has nothing to do with Obsidian "not loving the game." Obsidian time is limited, and in any big RPG there are going to be tons of bugs to iron out. Dev time costs money, lots of it, easily 100k+ per person per year, probably 200k-ish considering benefits. It's a cost-benefit decision. If Deadfire sold like PoE1 i'm pretty sure we'd still be seeing ongoing support and even more mini-content. However, given the low sales, Obsidian can't sink the same kind of resources as they could in PoE1 (and frankly there are more game-breaking bugs in PoE1 at end of life than Deadfire anyway), it would be stealing money that could be spent for more successful projects (TOW) or new projects. While a lot of the original post was a lot of opinion, I think here you're just objectively wrong. Frankly, given how much new content they gave out (including fully-voiced mini-content, like the woedica book), I feel like all the support they gave helped them lose more money given the low initial sales. I think they persisted in spite of that because they love their game. If they didn't love their game, why did they make it? Obsidian is (was) a small indie dev studio with lower pay and worse job security than big corporate minders, love for their own style of RPG is (was) what drives (drove) them despite that.

 

Edited by thelee
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Nice argumentation, thelee. Especially on point #7. I agree with you there. The Woedica book and the added voiced lines for Eothas very much look like Obsidian caring, a lot.

Many of the other points are, as you quite rightly say, opinions only, and dubious explanations for such a drastic drop in sales. (Am I detecting something along the lines of surprisingly many people being unable or unwilling to see the difference between opinions and more objective facts?)

Edited by xzar_monty
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Honestly if you look at PoE1 completion rates very few players even finnished the game and then deadfire is like direct sequel that does not improve that much from original and even fails at some things PoE was great at(like that thing called main quest). Also these cRPG games sell by word of mouth mostly(and im not talking about shill 11/10 goty reviews) and deadfire had plenty of issues that people disliked and even if those issues alone are minor but they add up into bigger picture which results in lost sales. Also at the start of the Deadfire player gets dropped into beraths intro where you have to choose poe1 history import your character etc, i wouldnt be surprised if a lot of players who bought it refunded right after that intro as they thought you have to play first game to understand whats going on.

Also its important to realise that stuff like full voice acting increased production costs by a lot and then deadfire needed to sell much more copies to cover the costs which it didnt, i think moving forward devs should really consider if costs of Voice Acting are worth the sales they will get from people who bought game just because its Voice Acted(obviously it does not), and maybe that money could be put to better use enriching existing game features and adding more content .

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24 minutes ago, Blunderboss said:

Honestly if you look at PoE1 completion rates very few players even finnished the game

ugh, ok, now i do have to rehash stuff mentioned elsewhere.

very few people ever complete a game. this is true about any game. the completion rate may very, but even getting a majority of players to finish a game is a challenge and seems basically limited to linear, relatively short action games.

Fallout 4, for example, has a 25.9% completion rate (this is just for the main quest). https://steamhunters.com/stats/377160/achievements "Prepared for the Future"
Pathfinder: Kingmaker (which keeps getting brought up by comparison as more "successful") has only a 6% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/640820/achievements "The Story's End" (though apparently this is understated due to how buggy P:K is)
D:OS 2 (which also gets brought up as wildly more successful) has a 11% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/435150/achievements "Sourcerer"

edit - For reference, Deadfire has an 18% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/560130/achievements ("The End of the Beginning")

I don't think you can draw many (if any) conclusions about a game's critical or audience success from a completion rate. It probably just tells you a lot more about how accessible/long the main quest is.

 

edit 2 - just to really pile on, completion rate is information that is trivially available to anyone, including--for example--product managers. If completion rate was predictive of future game success at all, and this was signaled by PoE1 completion rates, there's no way that Obsidian would've plowed ahead on a bigger-budget sequel.

Edited by thelee
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Maybe this is all a manufactured drama in order to boost sales of PoE3 ☺️ #wishfulthinking

Edited by Wormerine

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20 minutes ago, thelee said:

ugh, ok, now i do have to rehash stuff mentioned elsewhere.

very few people ever complete a game. this is true about any game. the completion rate may very, but even getting a majority of players to finish a game is a challenge and seems basically limited to linear, relatively short action games.

Fallout 4, for example, has a 25.9% completion rate (this is just for the main quest). https://steamhunters.com/stats/377160/achievements "Prepared for the Future"
Pathfinder: Kingmaker (which keeps getting brought up by comparison as more "successful") has only a 6% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/640820/achievements "The Story's End" (though apparently this is understated due to how buggy P:K is)
D:OS 2 (which also gets brought up as wildly more successful) has a 11% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/435150/achievements "Sourcerer"

edit - For reference, Deadfire has an 18% completion rate: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/560130/achievements ("The End of the Beginning")

I don't think you can draw many (if any) conclusions about a game's critical or audience success from a completion rate. It probably just tells you a lot more about how accessible/long the main quest is.

 

edit 2 - just to really pile on, completion rate is information that is trivially available to anyone, including--for example--product managers. If completion rate was predictive of future game success at all, and this was signaled by PoE1 completion rates, there's no way that Obsidian would've plowed ahead on a bigger-budget sequel

Well Deadfire is direct sequel to PoE, so why people who did not finnish first game would buy the sequel , why would new player buy this game if at very intro of the game you have to choose your legacy from first game and this is not even optional, especially since this is obsidian game where story is big part of it 

Edited by Blunderboss

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Aw man, this is all thoroughly hashed out in another concurrent thread.

Anecdote -

1. I beat BG2 way before I ever finished BG.

2. I still have not beaten Fallout, but I have beaten Fallout 2 tons of times.

3. I know plenty of people who never finish RPGs like Fallout 3/4/NV, Oblivion, but always buy sequels.

 

I would imagine any new player would just pick a random background. It's not even mentioned in many reviews, any hurdle here would not account for 600k+ in dropped sales.

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cRPG’s Is niche genre people dont just blindly buy these type of games they look up info about them and then decide, by the way fallouts and oblivion are not direct sequels so Im not sure why you mentioned them

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we have to keep in mind that the sales drop explanation has to account for a massive amount. all these threads frequently hash out minute details that most people just plain wouldn't care about, at least to do the degree that it would predict possibly a 60% sales drop.

the only really compelling theories i've heard - 1. gromnir summarizes it in another thread, basically the "deadfire not enough nostalgia/it wasn't BG2-enough" theory.

2. based on a casual survey of my own peer group (many of whom bought/backed poe1 but only one backed deadfire, and one more bought it much later) if i were to ask them their response would probably be "meh" which leads to the "market now saturated/already satisfied the demand" theory that has been put forth by paradox and possibly je sawyer.

3 minutes ago, Blunderboss said:

fallouts and oblivion are not direct sequels so Im not sure why you mentioned them

those are examples of games with extremely low completion rates that keep having huge sales. the difference between "sequel" and "direct sequel" is one that consumers probably wouldn't care about. 

Edited by thelee
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1 minute ago, thelee said:

 the difference between "sequel" and "direct sequel" is one that consumers probably wouldn't care about. 

Keeep believing that 😂

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