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Even if it was impossible to play PotD without meta knowledge: it's something completely different to take that statement and then use is as a reason for bad sales numbers of Deadfire.

Only a very low fraction of players even tried PotD or even Hard. Most players just started both games on normal, enjoyed it for a while and that's it.
So the majority of players wouldn't even know how the game's like on harder difficulties, nor would they follow a pedantic min-maxing path to optimization. For them the look, feel, atmosphere and story are more important than the exact stacking rules and potential powergaming. That is the bulk of players - at least that's what telemetry and surveys were telling Obsidian and I have no reason do doubt that data. 

So to take a very special approach to play those games - which isn't the apporach of the majority of players - and then deduce that this failed approach and the feelings it induced represent the feelings of a majority of players - who then didn't buy Deadfire in disappointment is rather... venturous. :)

The issues that are mentioned do exist, no doubt. But I doubt they are the reason for a massive sales drop - because most players didn't even notice. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I understand what you guys are saying. While my issues are specific, optimization is a part of the journey and will affect everyone on the minor or major sense, they may just come out with the "meh" taste without getting to the why of it, happens all the time.

Another issue I'm finding with the game difficulty is that going to X area and the fights are hard, then going to Y area and the fights are a lot easier. Currently went from the inside of Durgans (Mines/Forge areas), to Od Nua Dungeons depth 9-10-11 and then to Elmshore.
Seems that the game was designed with a "specific pre-determined path" that would make the advancement look correct or more digestable (for example if I did Od Nua 9~11 first, Durgans would be easier as the Spirits there were pretty mean). So again it requires meta in knowing wich way to proceed. That in PotD at least.

I'm at lvl 11 almost 12 and did increase the xp required to lvl up by 25%, so could be with party around lvl 14~15 instead, but from the last time I played ages ago, remember reaching XP cap around 2/3 (maybe less?) of the game, so yeah requiring more xp and having tough encounters probably suits me better than breezing through (even underleveled, Hard difificulty required little micro management, something is clearly wrong with the Hard). Even if I have to sacrifice roleplay for it I'm enjoying the journey, my approach would be impossible without the IEmod and would obviously be better if I didn't had to sacrifice roleplay.

Just trying to point (in previous posts) some stuff where the game mechanics could go about differently and that would (IMO) provide better enjoyment for everyone, despite whatever difficult they choose, because its not like anybody stops improving.

Edited by Himself
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I find it pretty ridiculous that anyone would confuse the low sales of Deadfire and associate it with POTD. That's hardly the most visible aspect in a game purchase, and even the combat systems are something you'd need hours to realize the flaws, which usually is past the point of no return with Steam purchases.

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2 hours ago, EveryThorn said:

I find it pretty ridiculous that anyone would confuse the low sales of Deadfire and associate it with POTD. That's hardly the most visible aspect in a game purchase, and even the combat systems are something you'd need hours to realize the flaws, which usually is past the point of no return with Steam purchases.

Not PotD or the difficulty specifically, its mostly the way mechanics roll in PoE1, in a general sense.

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I can close the circle then and ask:

If that was a problem for the majority of PoE players and a reason of disappointment so big they decided to not buy Deadfire: why isn't that reflected in the user reviews of PoE - which are very positive and don't talk about the mechanics a lot?

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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12 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I can close the circle then and ask:

If that was a problem for the majority of PoE players and a reason of disappointment so big they decided to not buy Deadfire: why isn't that reflected in the user reviews of PoE - which are very positive and don't talk about the mechanics a lot?

I can only imagine 2 major reasons. 1st is that people go along without getting the mechanics fully, it is not a requirement to play and a field that becomes shadier the deepper it goes. Second is that people mostly talk about what they understand: Theres clearly a mechanics system that 'seems to be' very deep and well thought, but since they didn't get to really understand/commit (ex. memorizing stack rules), they refrain to go into detail at an area where their opinion might be seem as wrong or stupid. But the impression lingers afterward nonetheless. Players may unconsciously do the reasoning of 'gonna pass this one', since they don't have pleasant enough memories from the gameplay in 1st game. And gameplay/mechanics are the foremost reason to sell a game or keep playing it over and over beyond reason (diablo or counter strike or league of legends or gee anywhere the success formula is evident I guess).

Granted that is all conjecture.

Edit - One may also look at the topics either here or reddit or steam forums. Majority of topics are about mechanics, trying to figure out how X/Y/Z works or players wanting to approach a given area/field in a way that feels better to them. While that is normal for most games, in PoE1 I found myself needing to do lots of testing or dig for mechanics info at sources outside the game.

Edited by Himself
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13 minutes ago, kanisatha said:

Subconsciously? Otherwise they're fast asleep. 😜

Unconsciously is correct as well. It is probably even "more" correct, since that's what Freud termed the thing that everyone casually calls the "subconscious."

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

Unconsciously is correct as well. It is probably even "more" correct, since that's what Freud termed the thing that everyone casually calls the "subconscious."

As a side note, this is also a good example of a word where not all of its meanings follow the logic you'd expect. So while "unconscious" means both "insensible / insentient" and "unintentional / unwitting", "unsconsciously" only means "unwittingly". It doesn't mean "while insensible", although it most certainly could, logically. @kanisatha's question is valid, but the word doesn't really have the meaning he suggests.

Language is extremely interesting. And the more languages you know, the more interesting it seems to get.

Edited by xzar_monty
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I am once again late to the party but my answer to the original question is: "Pirates. Duh."

I am a huge fan of isometric rpgs and loved PoE1 but lost all interest in the sequel once I heard its about pirates. Never understood the hype (One Pirates of the Caribbean is enough, thank you very much...) and the idea therefore seemed lazy at best. I believed the game to be a cynical cash-grab and did not bother to play it. Two of my friends felt exactly the same way and were suprised when I praised the game a few weeks ago - and several years late. Its not the largest sample size but given that we are pretty much the target audience (fantasy nerds in our 30s with some money to burn) I think its still saying something. Whats interesting is that I liked the game because of the setting so...my bad I guess?

Edited by Tillbot87
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That would at least explain why Deadfire sold significantly less copies than PoE without PoE nor Deadfire having bad user reviews. If disappointment and problems with Poe lead to such a massive sales drop it would have found its way into revies, I'm still convinced about that. 
Same as the "abysmal marketing" and "IE games nostalgia was satisfied with PoE" theories: All three don't contradict the fact that user reviews for both games were good. 

That's why I favor those explanations. 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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9 hours ago, Tillbot87 said:

I am a huge fan of isometric rpgs and loved PoE1 but lost all interest in the sequel once I heard its about pirates.

Wow! This is a really interesting and surprising comment. I mean, you love isometric games and loved PoE, but the fact of pirates alone was enough to make you not even try the sequel (at first). I know there's apparently been a lot of hype around the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but I haven't seen any of them and aren't interested in seeing any of them, so all of that has completely passed me by. Moreover, I thought that any setting other than the classical (which they sort of used in PoE) had a chance of being more interesting than your average RPG, so I was very interested in seeing what the game was going to be like.

After playing it twice, my sense is that the pirates part is the worst in the game, and I basically ignored the idea of improving my ship (it's not necessary). I only ever fought one naval battle, as I thought they were poorly done. So the pirates theme as such didn't really add to the game. But the game was great.

If your opinion is common, and I suppose we don't know whether it is, it could explain at least part of the drop in sales.

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It's pretty hilarious to think that Deadfire wanted to ride on the wave of "Pirates of the Caribbean". That hype was so dead at the time. Also Josh never intended Deadfire to be or even seem like a pirate game. As he said in some talk some devs liked the whole pirate theme so much they got carried away with it while Josh tried to step on the brake. But I think the promo pictures and other first impressions still transported that picture. 

@xzar_montyyou should maybe watch the first PotC movie. It is entertaining imo. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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8 hours ago, Boeroer said:

It's pretty hilarious to think that Deadfire wanted to ride on the wave of "Pirates of the Caribbean". That hype was so dead at the time.

I dont think I made my point very well. I know that the Pirate of the Caribbean franchise was dead by the time PoE came out but there were still lots of stragglers fighting over scraps. Back then I just believed that Deadfire was trying to cash in on a hype well beyond its peak and yeah...that seemed very lazy. Imagine they'd churn out another installment focused on zombies next week and you know how I felt ;)

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11 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

After playing it twice, my sense is that the pirates part is the worst in the game, and I basically ignored the idea of improving my ship (it's not necessary). I only ever fought one naval battle, as I thought they were poorly done. So the pirates theme as such didn't really add to the game. But the game was great.

Not to me, I think the ship combat is fun and wish there was more of it.  I cleared most everything with the sloop, but then I bought the biggest ship available with all upgrades so I could fit more crew on board. You made your judgement based on 1 fight?

1 hour ago, Tillbot87 said:

I dont think I made my point very well. I know that the Pirate of the Caribbean franchise was dead by the time PoE came out but there were still lots of stragglers fighting over scraps. Back then I just believed that Deadfire was trying to cash in on a hype well beyond its peak and yeah...that seemed very lazy.

And that's a lazy assumption. Pirates were popular long before Johnny Depp.

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Another thing that just came to me even though it might sound like a long shot and a little convoluted when written down ;)

I didnt have a strong emotional connection to PoE1. I loved the graphics and mechanics but didnt care on a deeper level.  A possible explanation could be sound, voice over and music. All three were merely okay. I usually love or care about games who nail those aspects in addition to being good games. (Dawn of War 1+2 are good examples for that, especially since they arent super special story wise.) I dont think thats to unusual and actually common place in advertising.

So in conclusion I think that PoE was a game for a niche market to begin with. It was - even though one might argue that this was one of its strenghs - demanding and not a game one would pick up for an hour or two after coming home from the office. (Which could in itself be a problem because a lot of the people who loved BG1+2 are now working adults...) At the same time it failed to create a strong emotional connection with its audience. So when the people who played part 1 heard of part 2 they might remembered the time they spent playing without feeling that urge or longing to dive into the story again. The whole pirate thing might just have been the final straw.

Interestingly I felt like music, voices and sounds in Deadfire are much better and - surprise - I have that connection again and am now super upset that theres no part 3 😄

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1 minute ago, Helz said:

And that's a lazy assumption. Pirates were popular long before Johnny Depp.

Meow :p Joking aside: I guess thats true. (I'd like to make a point against it but just found my old Lego pirate kits when cleaning up the basement :D) It was however a phenomenon or at least trending for a while prior to the release of Deadfire so it still makes sense to me. Although one might argue that Deadfire merely suffered from bad timing in that regard...

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22 minutes ago, Helz said:

Not to me, I think the ship combat is fun and wish there was more of it.  I cleared most everything with the sloop, but then I bought the biggest ship available with all upgrades so I could fit more crew on board. You made your judgement based on 1 fight?

Yes. The interface was unappealing, the mechanics felt poor, the sound effects were unpleasant, and overall, I didn't think there was anything enjoyable about it. Years ago, I played Sid Meier's Pirates for a while, and that was quite a nice game for its time. Everything in that game was made an awful lot better, when it comes to ship battles.

I didn't upgrade my ship because there was no need for it: even if you have extra crew, it makes no difference. When you concentrate on boarding other ships, everything works just fine no matter which ship or what kind of crew you have.

If anyone enjoys this sub-game in Deadfire, that's just great. The fact that you never no need to take part in it (i.e. you never have to engage in ship battles, you never have to upgrade your ship) shows that it is not an essential part of the game in any sense.

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Well ship battles were made optional after player complaints (players who didn't want to do it) so straight to boarding became an option with a patch.

If Josh Sawyer would have had a say in this we wouldn't even have ship fights (and also no Full VO). We would have had lots of other content though...

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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43 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Yes. The interface was unappealing, the mechanics felt poor, the sound effects were unpleasant, and overall, I didn't think there was anything enjoyable about it.

You got all that from a single fight? Okay.

46 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

The fact that you never no need to take part in it (i.e. you never have to engage in ship battles, you never have to upgrade your ship) shows that it is not an essential part of the game in any sense.

Not really, I never used a cipher, chanter, druid, or paladin in my playthrough, but they're essential.

I think the fact the PoE2 was a direct continuation of PoE's story probably hurt it. It almost makes it a requirement that you played through the first game.

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24 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Well ship battles were made optional after player complaints (players who didn't want to do it) so straight to boarding became an option with a patch.

If Josh Sawyer would have had a say in this we wouldn't even have ship fights (and also no Full VO). We would have had lots of other content though...

I think they ship battles were fun but felt more like a game within a game than an integral part. What annoyed me most was that the AI fled or charged you right away once you had a decent ship. Would be horrible if they sacrificed a whole lot of other content for that. That being said: I cant imagine that they sunk too much time into them. They didnt look very complex from a programming point of view...

 

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52 minutes ago, Tillbot87 said:

Would be horrible if they sacrificed a whole lot of other content for that. That being said: I cant imagine that they sunk too much time into them. They didnt look very complex from a programming point of view...

Oh boy, you should really watch Josh Sawyers post mortem for Deadfire. :)

He named the ship combat "quicksand": no matter how much money and resources you threw at it, it was swallowed and gave nothing back.

Here (it's interesting - he's giving great talks imo) :



 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Well ship battles were made optional after player complaints (players who didn't want to do it) so straight to boarding became an option with a patch.

If Josh Sawyer would have had a say in this we wouldn't even have ship fights (and also no Full VO). We would have had lots of other content though...

This is interesting! I thought they were always optional -- but then, I probably started playing only after the game was patched up a bit, because that tends to be a good strategy. You know, buy a game, wait six months. 😀

Edited by xzar_monty
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