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Is Avowed just Pillars 3 by another name?


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25 minutes ago, ComradeMaster said:

A completely risk free crowd funded project paid for by fans who received zero of the post-release profits could very well be considered a cash grab if you want to get down to it.

Which is why so many studios found Kickstarter absolutely seductive and started using it, no risk attached whatsoever.

The game brought in $4m. I think their burn-rate is $1m/month.

Conceptually, I understand why the argument seems intuitive. In reality though, it doesn't really hold water. You can't run a studio of that size on kickstarter campaigns that just happen to blow past the goal.

And at the risk of nitpicking, I've backed games that never saw the light of day or shipped with huge chunks of promised content MIA. "Risk free" doesn't belong in this conversation either.

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56 minutes ago, the_dog_days said:
9 hours ago, slopesandsam said:

So, the thing I think here is: if they're making a AAA game, and assuming it is intended to be a competitor for the Elder Scrolls games (and therefore, likely a very big, open-world game), why use the PoE universe if this isn't intended to be the flagship title going forward?

I bet if we had the numbers we'd see a sells spike for POE 1 and Deadfire since the announcement. So why use Eora as the setting? Because they already had two games in the setting and they're probably already financially benefiting from the games taking place in the same world.

9 hours ago, slopesandsam said:

Because any future isometric PoE games would be overshadowed by this one.

From what I've heard, it sounds like they won't be making any more isometric games. 

I don't remember where I saw it, but I seem to recall a spike in Deadfire sales when the pandemic started. Hopefully that helps too.

And to your second point, I really hope that isn't the case. They made a fairly persuasive argument that gamers didn't stop wanting isometric games, rather publishers stopped wanting to fund them. My sincere hope is that they can convince Microsoft to keep making relatively-low budget isometric RPGs.

"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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It's OK though, I think a synthesis is being achieved, publishers I think are starting to look at why people turned to Scamstarter in the first place and are focusing on curating better quality but maybe perhaps smaller budget titles.  Like TOW for instance.  A high quality game with a modern atmosphere.

As for working conditions in gaming studios, I've heard horror stories in the past but I'm not sure if they've improved over past few years, may have to look into it.

But back on topic, I'm not sure why they couldn't call Avowed 'Pillars 3', but then again it is a complete overhaul of the series by the looks of it unlike Daggerfall to Morrowind so I guess 'Re-imagining" may be a better term than a sequel.

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50 minutes ago, ComradeMaster said:

A completely risk free crowd funded project paid for by fans who received zero of the post-release profits could very well be considered a cash grab if you want to get down to it.

Which is why so many studios found Kickstarter absolutely seductive and started using it, no risk attached whatsoever.

I don’t think the Kickstarter money was enough to call these games “paid for by fans”. I mean what were the numbers? 4 million? That’s not a lot of money to fund a medium sized team for a few years, counting insurance, rent, tech and salaries. Kickstarter is more a thing to get the hype going and have some of the dev costs in and see if there is interest in your games but you can’t fund projects like these with so (comparatively) little money.

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8 minutes ago, the_dog_days said:

Yes. Still a thing. Devs seem too ambitious for they're own good, but game's still underway.

Nice... That will scratch the itch... The more I think about it the more I think POE is no more.

 

Deadfire could be the end of watchers story and this takes place after...  I mean obviously no one knows... But woedica/aedyr rising up after deadfire kind of makes sense

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26 minutes ago, the_dog_days said:

Yes. Still a thing. Devs seem too ambitious for they're own good, but game's still underway.

Yeah it's in backer beta testing right now.

And I agree the devs have been over-ambitious, but at the same time they also seem very dedicated and committed to the game, so eventually we should get a pretty decent game from them. :)

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13 hours ago, slopesandsam said:

So, I know there's no information out there on this game beyond what's in the trailer, but...is this PoE 3 in all but name?

What I mean is, this wouldn't be the first franchise to drastically alter its presentation in its third installment.  GTA 1 and 2 were these tiny little top-down driving games before suddenly becoming giant, 3D worlds with GTA3.  And, of course, Fallout 3 drastically changed the presentation of that franchise (for better and/or worse).  So I'm wondering if Avowed is doing the same thing for the PoE franchise, and if so, is it only called Avowed for marketing reasons?

Or is it its own thing that just happens to be set in the PoE universe?

That depends on what you consider "PoE 3" to be. If you think any game set in Eora is a Pillars of Eternity game, then Avowed is PoE 3 in the same way Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was Fallout 4. If you think PoE 3 would be a game that followed the specific story of the watcher and/or a RTwP/Turn-based D&D ripoff set in Eora during a time period that mirrors the early years of colonization, Avowed is not PoE3.

Personally, I'm going to take Avowed as being Avowed and leave it at that. I'd like a PoE3 that is a RTwP/Turn-based D&D ripoff, but after Deadfire didn't perform as expected (which I blame on the lack of sea monster battles, seriously Obsidian you had one job), Josh Sawyer feeling bummed about it, and the general decline of RTwP Baldur's Gate ripoffs spiritual successors in favor of turn-based games or action rpgs that is an uncertainty.

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10 hours ago, algroth said:

I actually think it would be good to develop Pillars as the more niche side-venture to the Avowed flagship, actually. I think in this day and age isometric games will be largely a niche interest and if anything it takes pressure off the franchise to overperform whilst also potentially having a better gateway into the series for newcomers. My one issue about that would be if Pillars suffers as a consequence in the way of either feeling the need for Avowed tie-ins or seeing resources syphoned away, causing a drastic impact in scale, ambition and whatnot, or even leading to the cancellation of Pillars as a franchise in favour of more Avowed games - but if Avowed also renews interest for Pillars and the Eora setting, and we can see a Pillars 3 off of it, that'd be an absolute win.

Anything is possible...but with the Microsoft purchase, Obsidian we can probably assume that Obsidian is a AAA studio now.  Microsoft almost certainly hope that Obsidian will become their Bethesda, with TOW and POE/Avowed as the big, flagship franchises.  So it just seems unlikely that a niche, isometric PoE3 is going to be something they want to put resources and talent into.

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3 hours ago, KaineParker said:

That depends on what you consider "PoE 3" to be. If you think any game set in Eora is a Pillars of Eternity game, then Avowed is PoE 3 in the same way Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was Fallout 4. If you think PoE 3 would be a game that followed the specific story of the watcher and/or a RTwP/Turn-based D&D ripoff set in Eora during a time period that mirrors the early years of colonization, Avowed is not PoE3.

I don't think this analogy is particularly accurate.  I think Fallout 3 works much better as a comparison, because it was also the shift between 2D isometric and 3D first-person, with drastically different mechanics to reflect that, and a story that was far removed (other than superficial iconography) from the stories of previous games.  At this point, nobody claims that Fallout 3 must be an isometric turn-based game set on the west coast.  The franchise changed format.  And there's nothing to say that PoE can't do the same.

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Fallout 3 was named and advertised as Fallout 3. Obsidian is not calling Avowed "PoE3" nor do they drop that name at all.

Josh said it's uncertain that there will ever be a PoE3 given the poor sales of Deadfire. This was said when most likely the development of Avowed had already started. And Josh is not known to be deceptive.

This will not be PoE3 but a First-Person RPG set in the same world as PoE and Deadfire. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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my take on this is that PoE was made in order for Obsidian to have their own IP and PoE 2 was made to expand the lore and mechanics. both were kickstarter projects, both made on a budget and both meant for a niche audience and all in preparation for the time when they can get a AAA publisher interested in their IP and make a big game for a larger audience.

not that the 2 PoEs were not good games, but the limited budget shows itself in the details like how thinly stretched some mechanics are

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By the way:

Do you know any example where a company invented a setting, made 2 games in this setting and then made a huge game with different gameplay and different name in the same setting?

I know examples where they keep the name and change gameplay ( Fallout 1/2 -> Fallout 3 onwards) or the setting ( almost all Final fantasy games are independent of each other), but I do not know an example where they keep the setting and change the name.

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6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Fallout 3 was named and advertised as Fallout 3. Obsidian is not calling Avowed "PoE3" nor do they drop that name at all.

This is the crux of it, really.  We could all argue forever about what "makes" a game into a PoE game.  Does it have to be isometric?  Does it need to have the D&D-esque mechanics and classes?  Should it be a direct continuation of the story of PoE 1 & 2?  Etc.  But at the end of the day, it's basically a marketing decision.  If marketing decides that the game will sell better if it has "Pillars of Eternity" in the title, then just like that, it's a PoE game.  But as of now, it's not, and we have no reason to believe it'll change other than wild speculation.

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17 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

By the way:

Do you know any example where a company invented a setting, made 2 games in this setting and then made a huge game with different gameplay and different name in the same setting?

I know examples where they keep the name and change gameplay ( Fallout 1/2 -> Fallout 3 onwards) or the setting ( almost all Final fantasy games are independent of each other), but I do not know an example where they keep the setting and change the name.

The Oddworld saga?

They started with two platforms (Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus) and then did an FPS (Stranger's Wrath), although they all keep the Oddworld name in the title.

I guess Rayman and Rabbids could count as well? 😂

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52 minutes ago, slopesandsam said:

But at the end of the day, it's basically a marketing decision.  If marketing decides that the game will sell better if it has "Pillars of Eternity" in the title, then just like that, it's a PoE game.  But as of now, it's not, and we have no reason to believe it'll change other than wild speculation.

In a way. I see it as a brand identity. I don't think it has to be a "game wouldn't sell as well if it had Pillars in the title" but a case of what Obsidian wants "the Pillars of Eternity" brand to represent and what they want Avowed to be. I don't think pitting "PoE" in Avowed title would hurt it, but why would you do it? It won't boost Avowed's profile and and you will only annoy PoE fans. 

If Obsidian doesn't completely erase a possibility of making PoE3 at some point in the distand future, it's good to leave the brand untouched. All they will have to do is announce that they are working on PoE3 and everyone will understand. At the same time they are free to do whatever they want with Avowed and not face a backlash from people invested in the IP. 
 

Edited by Wormerine
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10 hours ago, slopesandsam said:

 

Anything is possible...but with the Microsoft purchase, Obsidian we can probably assume that Obsidian is a AAA studio now.  Microsoft almost certainly hope that Obsidian will become their Bethesda, with TOW and POE/Avowed as the big, flagship franchises.  So it just seems unlikely that a niche, isometric PoE3 is going to be something they want to put resources and talent into.

Why not? They've done it with Grounded. Just because MS wants big, open-world AAA games from their studios does not in any way translate into "no small, niche games." In fact, Matt Booty has publicly said on multiple occasions that he wants the newly acquired MS studios to keep making the same types of games they have been making and are good at making, because that's why MS bought those studios in the first place. Yes, now that they have MS's money, they will make those big-budget games that they simply couldn't before, but no reason at all to think they won't also make small-budget "passion project" games (like Grounded, and a future PoE3), because allowing your talented developers to flex their creativity and work on a range of different types of projects is what will keep them sane and entice them to stay with Obsidian.

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35 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

In a way. I see it as a brand identity. I don't think it has to be a "game wouldn't sell as well if it had Pillars in the title" but a case of what Obsidian wants "the Pillars of Eternity" brand to represent and what they want Avowed to be. I don't think pitting "PoE" in Avowed title would hurt it, but why would you do it? It won't boost Avowed's profile and and you will only annoy PoE fans. 

If Obsidian doesn't completely erase a possibility of making PoE3 at some point in the distand future, it's good to leave the brand untouched. All they will have to do is announce that they are working on PoE3 and everyone will understand. At the same time they are free to do whatever they want with Avowed and not face a backlash from people invested in the IP. 
 

I think the main reason this does not carry the pillars name is to not scare away people who haven’t played the first 2 games. Pillars of eternity does not carry the same weight as fallout did when Bethesda acquired the rights to it so I imagine a lot of people who would be interested in a Skyrim like experience and see a “3” on it would not pick it up because they don’t know the previous games.

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2 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Why not? They've done it with Grounded. Just because MS wants big, open-world AAA games from their studios does not in any way translate into "no small, niche games."

I agree here. Micr business revolves around many things. Sure, they want system sellers to push XBOX but they also have Game Pass. Adding more niche games to it's library is something they might be interested in. 

2 hours ago, Chinz said:

I think the main reason this does not carry the pillars name is to not scare away people who haven’t played the first 2 games. Pillars of eternity does not carry the same weight as fallout did when Bethesda acquired the rights to it so I imagine a lot of people who would be interested in a Skyrim like experience and see a “3” on it would not pick it up because they don’t know the previous games.

Did people who played Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim or Witcher3 played all previous games? Nah, also fallout might have weight, but not to audience Fallout3 was targeted at.

Did a game ever not sell because people got scared of a number? 

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57 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

I agree here. Micr business revolves around many things. Sure, they want system sellers to push XBOX but they also have Game Pass. Adding more niche games to it's library is something they might be interested in. 

Did people who played Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim or Witcher3 played all previous games? Nah, also fallout might have weight, but not to audience Fallout3 was targeted at.

Did a game ever not sell because people got scared of a number? 

Right now, I think MS is probably interested in having a lot more big AAA franchises, because right now all they really have is Halo.

And a thing a lot of people forget (or were too young to notice/care at the time) is that Bethesda really worked hard to court existing Fallout fans before the release of FO3.  If you go back an look at archives of the interviews and demos they were doing at the time, it was all about stressing how much VATS was still like the old turn-based system, and how the experience would still be the same even though it was in 3D, etc.  But once it was clear that FO3 was a massive success that had expanded the audience for Fallout games far beyond that core group of old fans, Bethesda dropped any pretense of trying to appease them.

(Which sort of answers my original question for me.  Bethesda were trying to win over the old fans at the time, and to create a continuation of what had come before, so it wouldn't have made any sense to call their game anything but Fallout 3.  Obsidian, on the other hand, aren't trying to win over old fans, they're trying to bring in new ones with a shiny new game.  So calling their game PoE3 would be similarly counter-intuitive.)

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1 hour ago, Wormerine said:

I agree here. Micr business revolves around many things. Sure, they want system sellers to push XBOX but they also have Game Pass. Adding more niche games to it's library is something they might be interested in.

Yes, Game Pass is what its all about. Making Game Pass something very attractive to customers was exactly why MS went on that studio-buying spree. They need games to fill out Game Pass and make it worth the money for customers. But it's just not reasonable to expect they can fill out Game Pass quantitatively with huge AAA games. They need filler games. Many, many filler games, but where those (niche) filler games are still of good/high quality. Furthermore, from the pov of Obsidian, Obsidian is the kind of studio that was one weak-sales game away from bankruptcy. But now they are secure. And that means it's only now that they *can* afford to make niche games that don't sell a lot, as long as they're also making big AAA games that do sell a lot. So, if anything, I am willing to go out on a limb and say that MS buying Obsidian is what has actually increased the chances that we will someday see a PoE3, where pre-MS those chances were virtually zero. Now a low-sales niche game like a potential PoE3 is financially feasible for Obsidian so long as they also have games like Avowed (and maybe also a TOW2) that are bringing in plenty of profit for MS.

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4 hours ago, Wormerine said:

I agree here. Micr business revolves around many things. Sure, they want system sellers to push XBOX but they also have Game Pass. Adding more niche games to it's library is something they might be interested in. 

Did people who played Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim or Witcher3 played all previous games? Nah, also fallout might have weight, but not to audience Fallout3 was targeted at.

Did a game ever not sell because people got scared of a number? 

I actually have a hatred of Witcher 3...  I started with Witcher 3...  Then I thought "crap I don't understand who anyone is... I gotta go back". I beat Witcher 1 and 2 and thought... Wtf I guess I gotta read the books before anything makes any damn sense.

 

They are good games but personally I hate playing sequels if I haven't played the previous games.  And Witcher needs a ton of work to catch up to Witcher 3...  Therefore I will probably never beat it.  I read a couple of the books and imo they aren't great.

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52 minutes ago, Theonlygarby said:

I actually have a hatred of Witcher 3...  I started with Witcher 3...  Then I thought "crap I don't understand who anyone is... I gotta go back". I beat Witcher 1 and 2 and thought... Wtf I guess I gotta read the books before anything makes any damn sense.

I read the books in highschool so can't relate. Still that's first time I heard that. I thought Witcher3 did a good job giving an idea of the relationship those characters had together even if I didn't remember them from books (like Keira). 

Edit: It's doesn't really apply to PoE though. To understand PoE1 you need to read books as well. 😉 Getting into PoE3 shouldn't be that much harder then getting into PoE1.

Edited by Wormerine
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