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It's be a real shame if we didn't get PoE3 because PoE2's marketing failed.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I mean marketing fail for release day is one thing but shouldn't sales pick up after a while if game was good enough? My take on why Deadfire was less succesfull would be:

-PoE1 was really first serious bg2 successor "worth" title in years so a lot of people starving for that kind of game jumped on it, with Deadfire some people might have burnt out of the genre with first one and original sin 2. So bad timing and increased competition.

-Setting is god damn awfully offputting for "average isometric rpg fan", take it with a grain of salt but I only came to Deadfire knowing PoE1 had this gritty, dark theme and hoped for more of that in PoE2 but if I only saw azure seas and ships sprinkled with yoho and a bottle of rum that radiated from trailers and previews I wouldn't touch this game with a 10foot stick. I'd say it was too "merry adventure" for most isometric rpg fans. I mean with PoE1 ur first town you are welcomed by a hanging tree and a guy hinting you might be next. If that ain't welcoming I don't know what is.

-Game was super easy and imbalanced at first - I guess people youtubed that **** and went like "ok its a flop" and never checked back. Hype died down and thats it, then you had pathfinder and other games, seems isometric rpgs got revived as a genre and it takes much more effort to grab attention even among genre fans.

Edited by Phyriel
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On 5/14/2020 at 10:22 AM, AeonsLegend said:

I don't think personal complaints have much to do with this. If you look at online reviews and steam player reviews this game is stated as awesome. This is what drives many people to play a game. Anything else is marketing. You have to reach your potential players and make sure you send them the right message. I myself don't rate POE2 as an incredibly good game. It's a fairly average game overall. It does a few things really well and a few things really really poorly. But opinions like this don't affect sales because I would only know this when I play the game, meaning after I bought it.

Well you'd be right if you talk about preorders only. After release tho a lot of people checked youtube, listened to personal opinions of people who bought it and decided based on that and it affected sales in following weeks, months etc. Not to mention about less legit side of PC gaming, a lot of people rather try it for free torrenting a cracked version and buy game only if they find it good, so all in all I think if good was legit GOOD enough more copies would sell. I dunno what exactly feels off about Deadfire but for me its a mix of meh combat system, meh setting, a lot of things too meh to go cult about it. PoE1 was much better in that regard somehow.

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4 hours ago, Phyriel said:

I mean marketing fail for release day is one thing but shouldn't sales pick up after a while if game was good enough?

Usually the first two months is roughly +70% of total sales of a game over its life. Due to how all entertainment mediums are now mostly digital, velocity at release is more important than ever in sales. High velocity in sales earns more exposure which leads to more sales and the circle goes round. This is why publishers push preorders and marketing budgets can be nearly as large as the game development cost itself for large companies. Sometimes a game manages to bounce back after a bad release but those are an exception and almost all of those are due to an after release marketing push after many fixes and an enhanced edition/re-release. Obsidian tried to do this with Deadfire, adding super bosses, challenge modes, new subclasses, and a turnstyle mode but they still didn't have the marketing budget to capitalize and even then they did see a bit of a sales spike after all these changes were made. It just wasn't enough in the long run to turn the game into a financial success.

Edited by the_dog_days
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4 hours ago, the_dog_days said:

High velocity in sales earns more exposure which leads to more sales and the circle goes round.

This phenomenon is an extremely important factor for both success and lack of it. It's unfortunate and unfair, but there's essentially nothing you can do about it.

If something starts selling well, its sales tend to increase, and there's even a point of critical mass somewhere in the sense that once something is successful enough, the fact of its success alone is enough to make it even more successful (in popular music, think of Dark Side of the Moon or Metallica's so-called black album, both of which have had an incredibly long tail and just continue to sell and sell and sell).

Conversely, if something fails to get going, sales-wise, it is extremely difficult to get the circle going.

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This is also why publishers/developers try to avoid releasing a game at (roughly) the same time as a direct competitioner.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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On 5/17/2020 at 5:13 AM, Phyriel said:

Well you'd be right if you talk about preorders only. After release tho a lot of people checked youtube, listened to personal opinions of people who bought it and decided based on that and it affected sales in following weeks, months etc. Not to mention about less legit side of PC gaming, a lot of people rather try it for free torrenting a cracked version and buy game only if they find it good, so all in all I think if good was legit GOOD enough more copies would sell. I dunno what exactly feels off about Deadfire but for me its a mix of meh combat system, meh setting, a lot of things too meh to go cult about it. PoE1 was much better in that regard somehow.

If people solely focussed on what a guy in a video online has to say then Fallout 4 would not have broken all sales records ever. I do believe that people are more inclined to follow some nobody with a streaming account rather than trust their own opinion nowadays.

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Here's a thought that may be unpopular, but I'm going to share it anyway. 

One of the things I loved about POE 2 was the diversity of the characters and the uncompromising representation of foreign culture. The focus on the Huana, the Rauatai, and the Vailian Republic presented factions which were almost completely ethnic as the focus of the player's journey. The accents were all foreign, the Huana sounded native, so did some of the Rauatai. The most underrepresented accent and phenotype in Pillars of Eternity 2 were the usual euro-centric characters. In talking to some of my peers what I kept hearing was how DIFFERENT everything was, even Xoti's southern American accent was commented on. I think the story and character development of POE2 is superb, more so because of the attention to detail for these factions. Critically, it has also been recognised as having very high production values and attention to world building, environment and storytelling.

Looking through this thread there is a lot about this difference, and talk about traditional Fantasy settings. POE2 is a Fantasy/Sci-Fi setting that is extremely popular now and has worked very well for several franchises. I'm proposing that this talk about " Setting" refers to something else. The one area where POE2 deviates from the norm is a massive underrepresentation of eurocentric, hetero-normal characters. So when so many people talk about the setting one has to wonder If this is what they really mean. 

In all other ways Pillars of Eternity's world is as fully realised as a new IP can be and was an interesting philosophical journey across Eora. I think perhaps the team needs to start looking at some uncomfortable realities about their market and the work they created. Replace the Huana with white elves, the accents with either British or American, the Vailians as eurocentric bankers, and the male characters not trying to jump the bones of a male protagonist at the drop of a hat and I think the reception would have been a bit different. 

I'm putting it out there that this was the reason the audience did not take to PoE 2. When people talk about "Setting" or "Different" this is what they mean. And it is something that most persons either would not realise, or simply would not admit. However in discussing it with several people, it's one common theme I've found between the complaints, and the thing that most have great difficulty in articulating. 

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On 5/18/2020 at 12:19 PM, Gel214th said:

Here's a thought that may be unpopular, but I'm going to share it anyway. 

One of the things I loved about POE 2 was the diversity of the characters and the uncompromising representation of foreign culture. The focus on the Huana, the Rauatai, and the Vailian Republic presented factions which were almost completely ethnic as the focus of the player's journey. The accents were all foreign, the Huana sounded native, so did some of the Rauatai. The most underrepresented accent and phenotype in Pillars of Eternity 2 were the usual euro-centric characters. In talking to some of my peers what I kept hearing was how DIFFERENT everything was, even Xoti's southern American accent was commented on. I think the story and character development of POE2 is superb, more so because of the attention to detail for these factions. Critically, it has also been recognised as having very high production values and attention to world building, environment and storytelling.

Looking through this thread there is a lot about this difference, and talk about traditional Fantasy settings. POE2 is a Fantasy/Sci-Fi setting that is extremely popular now and has worked very well for several franchises. I'm proposing that this talk about " Setting" refers to something else. The one area where POE2 deviates from the norm is a massive underrepresentation of eurocentric, hetero-normal characters. So when so many people talk about the setting one has to wonder If this is what they really mean. 

In all other ways Pillars of Eternity's world is as fully realised as a new IP can be and was an interesting philosophical journey across Eora. I think perhaps the team needs to start looking at some uncomfortable realities about their market and the work they created. Replace the Huana with white elves, the accents with either British or American, the Vailians as eurocentric bankers, and the male characters not trying to jump the bones of a male protagonist at the drop of a hat and I think the reception would have been a bit different. 

I'm putting it out there that this was the reason the audience did not take to PoE 2. When people talk about "Setting" or "Different" this is what they mean. And it is something that most persons either would not realise, or simply would not admit. However in discussing it with several people, it's one common theme I've found between the complaints, and the thing that most have great difficulty in articulating. 

I have been playing PoE2 for about a week now. I love the setting, and how it is a blend of Polynesia and the Caribbean, how the Vailians are half Renaissance Italian, half African, How the Ruatai seem to be big Asian people, and so on. Even the music with its deep drum beats and buzzing didgeridoos, create this very unique feeling that I don't often get from CRPGs.

One thing I do not like is the 'watercolor' artwork. I have been replacing it with standard artwork from portrait packs and shrinking them down to size. While doing so I noticed something. There are a lot of people of color in this game. A lot more than there were in PoE1. I have been forced to reuse a lot of pictures over and over again, as there are no where near enough portraits of people of color out there. While there is an over-abundance of white males and females in every portrait mod I download. So yeah, I would not be surprised if the game is not 'white' enough for a lot of people.

OTOH, there are several things I do not like about the game. Namely all the sailing around and walking across empty islands only to be rewarded by a few text encounters, and maybe if I am lucky a one or two room dungeon. TBH, I sometimes wonder if I am playing the old Sid Meier Pirates game. I am an old school CRPG fan. I love me a big dungeon packed to the gills with mobs of monsters to cut my way through. PoE2 is clearly not that. Dungeons are rare, small, and posses only a handful of encounters. So it might be that which is keeping people away.

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5 hours ago, SubRosa said:

OTOH, there are several things I do not like about the game. Namely all the sailing around and walking across empty islands only to be rewarded by a few text encounters, and maybe if I am lucky a one or two room dungeon. TBH, I sometimes wonder if I am playing the old Sid Meier Pirates game. I am an old school CRPG fan. I love me a big dungeon packed to the gills with mobs of monsters to cut my way through. PoE2 is clearly not that. Dungeons are rare, small, and posses only a handful of encounters. So it might be that which is keeping people away.

But again, getting to know this takes time playing the game, and that requires purchasing it. Deadfire's sales were poor right from the start, so what you describe is probably not the reason.

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If it was all that sailing around etc. was what kept people away (same as the "unusual" Scenario for such a game), that'd be pretty disheartening. I do love me some fine dungeon crawling in fantasy la-la land etc. , but there's got to be some games that shake that formula up or all that crawling in medieval Europe land would grow old real fast.

Btw, as to personal tastes and opinions: Intererstingly, usually I am not that fond of all this "Player stronghold" kind of stuff. But in Deadfire, it felt far more natural, as the ship was your means of exploring the Deadfire. You can trace the origins of the player stronghold straight back to the original Baldur's Gate 2 (same as player romances). It's like some kind of repeat formula usually, and if every game does it, it gets tiresome real quick. I wish the random adventure sections during sailing wouldn't have repeated so fast, as there was so few of them.

Additionally, strongholds eat up resources that could have spend on something else. Not sure if Tyranny needed those towers for instance (for PoE1, it was a backer Goal, so..). In my opinion, they added not much to the game -- but again, I'm usually biased against that sort of thing. 😄 Deadfire without the ship as such meanwhile would have been a different kind of game. Besides, the traveling as such isn't all that overly different to the original Fallouts. 

 

Edited by Sven_
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57 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

But again, getting to know this takes time playing the game, and that requires purchasing it. Deadfire's sales were poor right from the start, so what you describe is probably not the reason.

That may well be. But it only took me about two days to figure it out. I talk to other people about my experiences. After the first day some were excited about what I told them. One was pretty much on the verge of buying it. But after the second day I told them about the lack of big dungeons,  or large clearable outdoor areas, and they weren't so enthused.

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2 hours ago, Sven_ said:

If it was all that sailing around etc. was what kept people away (same as the "unusual" Scenario for such a game), that'd be pretty disheartening. I do love me some fine dungeon crawling in fantasy la-la land etc. , but there's got to be some games that shake that formula up or all that crawling in medieval Europe land would grow old real fast.

I agree it would be disheartening. The people who play games like these give the impression of being a fairly conservative bunch, and this strongly conservative nature of the gaming community may indeed be one reason why Deadfire didn't succeed -- it was too different. But we don't know. And we don't even know whether the gaming community as a whole is conservative; what we can say is that an awful lot of people who contribute to cRPG forums appear very conservative.

Dungeon crawling is fine, but not necessary, and we've certainly seen enough of it. The Endless Paths were quite poor in PoE, and I was happy that there was no such thing in Deadfire.

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1 hour ago, xzar_monty said:

I agree it would be disheartening. The people who play games like these give the impression of being a fairly conservative bunch, and this strongly conservative nature of the gaming community may indeed be one reason why Deadfire didn't succeed -- it was too different. But we don't know. And we don't even know whether the gaming community as a whole is conservative; what we can say is that an awful lot of people who contribute to cRPG forums appear very conservative.

Dungeon crawling is fine, but not necessary, and we've certainly seen enough of it. The Endless Paths were quite poor in PoE, and I was happy that there was no such thing in Deadfire.

Well to be fair, it's not the sailing around per se that dampens the experience, but more the implementation of it. In the end you have to have an engaging experience and feel connected to the world for your actions to feel noteworthy. The main issue with PoE2 is that I don't get that engaging experience. Is it the way the world is set up? Maybe. But it's definitely not just that.

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I did get an engaging experience. It would be easier to discuss this if you were able to specify why you did not, although I understand that it's sometimes difficult to put one's finger on what is wrong, even if something definitely is wrong.

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13 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

I did get an engaging experience. It would be easier to discuss this if you were able to specify why you did not, although I understand that it's sometimes difficult to put one's finger on what is wrong, even if something definitely is wrong.

For me the disjointed island with not much to do took away from any engagement. Just sailing from point A to B basically. Most islands have 0 story or don't even have any NPC's. Some islands are just there so they can have a quest for the main story, but other than that you will never visit them again. 

I think it also has to do with the main story being this paper thin. Also the fact that it is open world so there's no path to follow where the story teller guides you. This is true for many open world games. At one point you have to choose between player freedom or story telling. Doing both usually ends up with either one or both being half assed.

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15 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

For me the disjointed island with not much to do took away from any engagement. Just sailing from point A to B basically. Most islands have 0 story or don't even have any NPC's. Some islands are just there so they can have a quest for the main story, but other than that you will never visit them again. 

I think it also has to do with the main story being this paper thin. Also the fact that it is open world so there's no path to follow where the story teller guides you. This is true for many open world games. At one point you have to choose between player freedom or story telling. Doing both usually ends up with either one or both being half assed.

Yeah this isn't true. Every Island has a back story and almost all tie into a quest from Neketaka. There are multiple two or three story dungeons/indoor areas on several of the islands. The islands also are where you will find the mega bosses. 

I would remind people about Assassin's Creed Black Flag, and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Pathfinder Kingmaker which all had a lot of overland travel or on the seas travel. The sailing replaces walking around on a main map from point to point. Mass Effect series also has a lot of travel time filler in them. Pathfinder Kingmaker had absolutely awful directions for the plot and required players to bungle along looking for the correct location which is something I hated about that game.

I really think the primary reason was the "exotic" characters and the "Different" setting as I mentioned. That seems to be the only unique thing about PoE 2 that really sets it apart and that is immediately apparent to the player from the very start of the game, and from all the promotional material etc. That's where my vote for what did not resonate with this gaming market. 

And I agree, it is sad because the world they created is absolutely beautiful. 

Edited by Gel214th
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

For me the disjointed island with not much to do took away from any engagement. Just sailing from point A to B basically. Most islands have 0 story or don't even have any NPC's. Some islands are just there so they can have a quest for the main story, but other than that you will never visit them again.

Hmm. I don't see any difference between this and most cRPGs. Many locations in all cRPGs I only ever visit once, and they only carry the story forward a little bit, and I don't see any problem with that at all.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Posted (edited)

Fair enough. But it was not the structure of what you describe, rather the content (or something else like that). Again, I agree that sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint why something doesn't "click", so to speak.

As I've said, I enjoyed Deadfire a great deal, although the main setting was problematic: on the one hand, the main story implied urgency because Eothas was clearly up to something drastic, but on the other hand, you actually didn't have to hurry at all, you could spend as much time as you wanted doing other stuff, and in the end you didn't even affect the main story in any way whatsoever (although I have subsequently learned that there IS a way to affect it). So the whole concept is all over the place, narratively speaking. But I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Posted (edited)

Yeah, that "story urgency" thing holds definitely true. It's kinda like the BG2 chapter 2 trap, a bit. But then this was announced as spiritual successor, so. 😄 

For something completely different, and in an attempt to brighten the depressing tone of this thread some up: Does anybody know how it came about that Obsidian worked together with Frölich Geschray for some of the game's music (in particular the tavern tracks)? Their homepage as well as Facebook hasn't been updated in ages -- one of the last news was about the impending release of Deadfire. Two years, wow.

Sounds like a Josh thing. Could be wrong though.

 

 

Edited by Sven_
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Posted (edited)

I'm replaying and i have no friends so this seemed as good a place as any to spew nonsense.

I'm just starting deadfire(for the 3rd time) after playing pillars of eternity again.  The tone of POE was very grim darkish  Walking into the guilded vale and seeing the bodies hanging from the tree.  Then you find out about the hollowborn crisis after the bell tolls.  It really sets up what is a dark and tragic world where everyone is struggling.

 

In Deadfire you wake up on a boat and are attacked by pirates. Then you go to a town where people are complaining about... something.  They will help you if you help them.  Then you're off into an open world.  The world is vibrant and beautiful(the art really is beautiful in Deadfire).  The factions are all surviving and don't really care about Eothas.  There is no real tone to the game.  Some are struggling of course, but it's not a universal suffering.  I found the Factions well done, but by the end of it, they all just seem like dinks. 

edit: that's actually quite realstic come to think of it.... because in real life all the factions seem like dinks.

 

The biggest problem with Deadfire is that it is an open world.  Open worlds are fun, but it is hard to pace a story when you can go anywhere.  I really wish there was an option (maybe new game plus)  where you had the dialog option to just say "We can't stop him, don't bother." because that pretty much cures the feeling of "why am i doing these quests?"

 

The thing about Deadfire, is that if its the end of the series... it is not a good game story wise.  Though if there is a third game that wraps up the watchers story, then i think the story in Deadfire is great.  It's a real middle episode of a trilogy type of game.  It's setting up a world going through change, where people will have to adapt.

 

I do love Deadfire but those are 2 things that i think POE did better.

Edited by Theonlygarby
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5 hours ago, Sven_ said:

Yeah, that "story urgency" thing holds definitely true. It's kinda like the BG2 chapter 2 trap, a bit. But then this was announced as spiritual successor, so. 😄 

For something completely different, and in an attempt to brighten the depressing tone of this thread some up: Does anybody know how it came about that Obsidian worked together with Frölich Geschray for some of the game's music (in particular the tavern tracks)? Their homepage as well as Facebook hasn't been updated in ages -- one of the last news was about the impending release of Deadfire. Two years, wow.

Sounds like a Josh thing. Could be wrong though.

 

 

Wow - I had no idea they were involved. I will aks Josh when he streams next time (if I don't miss it).

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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