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Avowed will not be PoE3, and that's a good thing


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I think that a lot of people speculating and dreaming of what this game will be should remember that it's clearly not even trying to be a continuation of PoE. Just like TES fans should accept Bethesda will never make another Morrowind, we should accept that there might never be a continuation of the style of gameplay and storytelling we saw in previous titles that were placed in Eora. And I for one am fine with that. If anything, after the financial results from PoE2, a title set in Eora that actually sells well might be our only shot at Obsidian reconsidering the possibility of continuing its line of cRPGs set in the world.

We should be more open to the idea that the game will be, comparatively speaking, shallow in terms of worldbuilding, characterization of your companions, and the depth of the plot. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a game that's meant to be fun. I love the pillars games, I love cRPGs, but I also like to have games I can play without investing so much of my time and energy into understanding. And anybody who's kept an ear to the ground on what sells to modern consumers, you would know that the market would agree with the sentiment.

Even besides the financial benefits of making a game like Skyrim rather than a game like Baldur's Gate, there's no reason for us to be disappointed by a game just because it forces us to play in a familiar world in an unfamiliar way. The shift in perspective, quite literally in terms of going FP from isometric, will feel fresh, if you allow it to. Don't go in thinking we'll see the same kinds of depth we had in PoE1 & 2, but look for something different in it.

Who knows, maybe I'm completely in the wrong and Obsidian will manage to make the game feel like a first person cRPG. I heavily doubt that, and I'm not expecting it, but nobody really knows yet. I'm just making this post because I've seen quite a lot of discussion (not necessarily all here, mind you) about Avowed that seems to presume the same things you'd presume from a straight up sequel to PoE2. And we should taper our expectations for our own good if nothing else. The less you expect from it, the more it can surprise you rather than disappoint you.

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I think the saddest thing would be not getting an end to what was supposed to be a trilogy.

Deadfire is very unsatisfactory as an ending.  So many unanswered questions.  Maybe avowed will answer those?  But I doubt they would confuse new players by having it be a sequel to deadfire.

If we never get a POE3 then I hope avowed or an eora based game eventually does answer those questions

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If Obsidian wants to explore aftermath of PoE2 in Avowed, I think this is a perfect place to bring new players in. This is where secrets can be revealed to the whole world, and Avowed protagonist could face the truth by following consequences, rather then learning about Watcher’s journey - in the end while PoE2 set up many things, many storylines did come to a close. Leaden Key’s secret is not to be secret, Eothas completed his journey. Events that led up to

 

destruction of the wheel

aren’t as relevant as the event itself. It could be a good place to invite new players and hopefully they might be interested enough to try older titles.

But yeah, I assume it is not called PoE3 for a reason - as far as we know it might have nothing to do with PoE storyline. Whatever it will be, I am not worried about it. Obsidian has never compromised on RPGness of their RPGs. Even their most streamlined RPGs (like Outer Worlds, Tyranny) are still really good. 

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I feel like a good setting for Avowed, temporally speaking, would be about the time the events of Pillars of Eternity are happening. The lore is firmly established for other places, so all the books and so on will easily be able to be imported into Avowed. Furthermore, rumors ranging from the likely accurate to the outlandish about The Hollowborn Crisis and The Watcher of Caed Nua could be sparsely sprinkled in random NPC dialog. Since there's not exactly a canonical ending to Pillars, even if there basically is one to 2, there wouldn't have to be anything that disputed events of people who have played the games.

At the same time, that time period would allow for a solid set of known unknowns to explore, known knowns that can be easily redistributed, and unknown unknowns to discover. By placing the games concurrent in the timeline, players who know the end of Deadfire would know something was coming that would be really interesting to explore from a new perspective. Moreover, you could gradually introduce concepts to new players instead of giving them a deluge of WTF at the start of the first game of a new series in an established universe.

I'd love to explore the consequences and aftermath of the events of Deadfire, but I'm fairly certain that it's not a great idea to do it in the first game of a new series. The events are so massive that there's no real good way to engage with them without covering a huge swath of fantastic concepts. An organic introduction to the universe, where you meet people who explain what things are, perspectives offered on e.g. souls, animancy, adra, and so on could be explored at player's own pace instead of having to be like "First there was the natural wheel, then there was Berath's wheel..." and so on fairly soon into the game. Lore dumps aren't generally enjoyable experiences, and a lot of people will skip over them and be confused.

As for Deadfire sales, I really honestly feel like Deadfire had two major issues it failed to overcome. One, people bounced off of Pillars, I can't offer percentages or anything but most of the people I know never got out of the first chapter of the game and had no desire to play it anymore. They did various things, reading the fan NPCs "history" stuff a lot before realizing it was completely extraneous, not paying much attention to what was happening and being confused and turned around. Missing things that felt obvious to me my first time through the game, but clearly weren't spelled out quite as well as some players might have benefited from... And the second issue, Isometric RPGs look and play the same a decade after launch as they do at launch, more or less. Planescape Torment looks rather good on a 1360x768 resolution 50" screen, and while Pillars has more 3D in the pipeline it's still all baked into flat backgrounds. People who jumped at Pillars and bounced off probably want a Deadfire experience with all the DLC for like five bucks in case the same thing happens. They're not necessarily paying attention to e.g. a lighter tone and everything being voiced, they just know they didn't care for the first game and they're not eager to return. I guess you could also say that there are a lot more 50+ hour RPGs on the market than there were when Pillars came out, so people can afford to be pickier about what they'll pay full price for and what they'll sleep on.

Honestly IMO the worst time period to set Avowed in is probably post-Deadfire, any time prior to any of the Pillars titles that's post-Engwithan would be fine, right up to being concurrent with the Pillars games. There's just too much lore to cover to really get into what's going on and why after Deadfire, IMO. That said, I am pretty sure Obsidian wouldn't set Avowed post Deadfire because then there needs to be an established canonical story for Pillars and Deadfire. It also would eat into any potential Pillars 3 which isn't necessarily out of the question if Avowed does well and brings attention back to the universe. It's not inconceivable that Deadfire could see a sales spike if people love the world of Eora and enough people are getting their first taste of it from Avowed. 

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Yes I'm starting to realize the Microsoft acquisition was probably for the better.  Talent + curative content is the breadwinner here.  Now if only they could distance themselves from InXile and Kickstarter we'd be golden.

'He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing."

King Frederick the Great of Prussia

OUT OF STOCK

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10 hours ago, ComradeMaster said:

Now if only they could distance themselves from InXile and Kickstarter we'd be golden.

What do you mean? They are unlikely to kickstart anything now when they are owned by a sizable corporation and InXile is a different studio.

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On 9/8/2020 at 2:46 AM, ComradeMaster said:

Yes I'm starting to realize the Microsoft acquisition was probably for the better.  Talent + curative content is the breadwinner here.  Now if only they could distance themselves from InXile and Kickstarter we'd be golden.

Ignoring that they're quite unlikely to rely on funding campaigns post-aqcuisition, Kickstarter did an excellent job for PoE. Deadfire, meanwhile, got stuck with Fig, which in my opinion severely hurt its visibility as no-one even knew that platform existed.

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On 8/31/2020 at 6:27 PM, necrobrain said:

 

We should be more open to the idea that the game will be, comparatively speaking, shallow in terms of worldbuilding, characterization of your companions, and the depth of the plot. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a game that's meant to be fun. I love the pillars games, I love cRPGs, but I also like to have games I can play without investing so much of my time and energy into understanding. And anybody who's kept an ear to the ground on what sells to modern consumers, you would know that the market would agree with the sentiment.

 

so, addition by subtraction? take out non-specific quantity o' world building and character development may improve a title? 

...

well, that doesn't sound right. perhaps an effort to improve what is wrong with the poe2 implementation might be more constructive. if a game is 'posed to be having an enhanced focus on action as 'posed to being narrative driven, then world building and character development actual requires more deftness as 'posed to less and simple abandoning those aspects feels like an admission o' lack o' capacity as 'posed to an enlightened design direction. an imperative to get to the killing/action asap does indeed require more economy from the writer/developer. reduce the word count and tangential subplots? streamline? cut out any detail not necessary to advance plot or develop character? hemingway would approve. 

implication that somehow, "worldbuilding, characterization of your companions, and the depth of the plot," is obstacles to fun is antithetical to our personal notions o' game development. anybody else?

games. whether is a crpg or chess, gameplay is fundamental to a game. am thinking it should be obvious that story, where appropriate, should enhance gameplay. story advancement may be the most important aspect o' gameplay as were the case in ps:t. however, ps:t were not a model for every crpg and its relative financial failure makes it a dubious benchmark for any future crpg. get no argument from us that focus on narrative elements is other than a constant in games and is not even the goal o' all crpgs.

am not doubting avowed will be more economical with its worldbuilding, character development and depth o' plot. am disturbed by the suggestion such aspects is implied to be obstacles to fun. 

am gonna once again suggest the game developers look to children's books for guidance. is a whole lotta excellent children's literature which we suggest is as deep or profound as any fiction written for so-called adults. we will (warning:sweary) cut you if you try and tell us the works o' lewis carroll, norton juster and neil gaiman is childish when they were writing for children. a competent children's author understands the functional attention span o' their audience and they necessarily reduce all the extraneous navel gazing baggage and tedious world building exposition which would appear to be distractions for many an author o' grownups fiction. crpg developers could learn valuable lessons by reading more children's fiction (and graphic novels) as 'posed to lotr and similar. 

for avowed, obsidian should pretend their audience has the focus and intellect o' precocious eleven year olds. (overly optimistic?) don't sacrifice world building and character development or plot. recognize instead how such elements must be communicated with greater economy and focus. 

is not addition by subtraction. should instead be a recognition the developers have fewer dialog encounters and a smaller word count to do the same job o' world building and character development. more skill. more deftness. more clever and creative. should be emphasis on more and not less

HA! Good Fun!

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4 hours ago, Taevyr said:

as no-one even knew that platform existed

In the case of Deadfire, at least 33,614 people knew.

Pretty sure I got 4 or 5 emails when the platform was announced/launched.

I'm also pretty sure that there was about a week of daily coverage by video game "journalists" as Obsidian dropped teasers leading up to the launch of the campaign.

"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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On 8/31/2020 at 10:27 PM, necrobrain said:

We should be more open to the idea that the game will be, comparatively speaking, shallow in terms of worldbuilding, characterization of your companions, and the depth of the plot. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a game that's meant to be fun. I love the pillars games, I love cRPGs, but I also like to have games I can play without investing so much of my time and energy into understanding. And anybody who's kept an ear to the ground on what sells to modern consumers, you would know that the market would agree with the sentiment.

Do they? The market's comprised of several oceans, each overlapping with one another. Some might agree with your point of view, yet others distinctly do not. A multiplayer FPS person might have no interest in story, worldbuilding, characterization, depth, etc., but all these things are what make the brands of CDPR for instance one of the leading developers worldwide. It's what once brought BioWare to the forefront of the scene. That's the same ocean Obsidian works in. It's like saying cineastes making realist dramas should include more action sequences because that's what "the market" wants to see.

I think you can speak with most RPG players and they'll usually point at elements precisely like worldbuilding, characterization, depth of plot, choice and consequence as being the elements that make the game *more fun*, not less so. It certainly is the case for me.

Edited by algroth
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1 hour ago, algroth said:

Do they? The market's comprised of several oceans, each overlapping with one another. Some might agree with your point of view, yet others distinctly do not. A multiplayer FPS person might have no interest in story, worldbuilding, characterization, depth, etc., but all these things are what make the brands of CDPR for instance one of the leading developers worldwide. It's what once brought BioWare to the forefront of the scene. That's the same ocean Obsidian works in. It's like saying cineastes making realist dramas should include more action sequences because that's what "the market" wants to see.

I think you can speak with most RPG players and they'll usually point at elements precisely like worldbuilding, characterization, depth of plot, choice and consequence as being the elements that make the game *more fun*, not less so. It certainly is the case for me.

Agreed... I don't generally find "fun" games fun.  Aside from occasional sport games, I basically only play games for the story.  Even in sport games I wish they would focus more on rpg elements, as sports are actually very ripe for role playing.  Instead they are all about pay to win online garbage.

 

Luckily I highly doubt avowed will be shallow with its world building and story... I do think character building(stats skills ect) might be shallow though, which is a bummer but something I can look passed if the story/world building/character building(personality/character story building) is good.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/31/2020 at 11:36 PM, Theonlygarby said:

I think the saddest thing would be not getting an end to what was supposed to be a trilogy.

Deadfire is very unsatisfactory as an ending.  So many unanswered questions.  Maybe avowed will answer those?  But I doubt they would confuse new players by having it be a sequel to deadfire.

If we never get a POE3 then I hope avowed or an eora based game eventually does answer those questions

It would be nice if the outstanding questions and the hanging plot of POE2 was resolved, for sure.

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On 9/1/2020 at 7:36 AM, Theonlygarby said:

I think the saddest thing would be not getting an end to what was supposed to be a trilogy.

Deadfire is very unsatisfactory as an ending.  So many unanswered questions.  Maybe avowed will answer those?  But I doubt they would confuse new players by having it be a sequel to deadfire.

If we never get a POE3 then I hope avowed or an eora based game eventually does answer those questions

I'm sure there are people at Obsidian who would love to make the 3rd game in the series. Brandon Adler is leading a project of his own, maybe that's Pillars of Eternity 3. He did lead two of the DLC's after all.
Naturally the team won't be as large as on Deadfire, but then again is that such a bad thing? It's not like they are in any rush to get it out this time. Obsidian has Outer Worlds DLC #2 coming up next year, Grounded is getting updates almost monthly with the full release scheduled for next year. Avowed is supposedly coming out in late 2022 or early 2023. Sawyer's and Adler's projects have been both worked on for some time now, maybe one of them will revealed sometime next year.

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2 hours ago, Flouride said:

I'm sure there are people at Obsidian who would love to make the 3rd game in the series. Brandon Adler is leading a project of his own, maybe that's Pillars of Eternity 3. He did lead two of the DLC's after all.
Naturally the team won't be as large as on Deadfire, but then again is that such a bad thing? It's not like they are in any rush to get it out this time. Obsidian has Outer Worlds DLC #2 coming up next year, Grounded is getting updates almost monthly with the full release scheduled for next year. Avowed is supposedly coming out in late 2022 or early 2023. Sawyer's and Adler's projects have been both worked on for some time now, maybe one of them will revealed sometime next year.

Any idea what the project code name is for Adler's project? You always seem to know this way ahead of anyone else. :)

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2 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Any idea what the project code name is for Adler's project? You always seem to know this way ahead of anyone else. :)

No idea at all. He has been on the project since summer last year. He worked on Avowed as Gameplay Design Director until July of 2019.

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I think it is a shame that the pillars games where not commercialy successfull. This game will be like skyrim and that game was so ridicioulus easy, no challenges at all.

I never cared about the story, but i know right now, this game will not make as much fun as the pillars games.

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On 11/8/2020 at 12:33 PM, baldurs_gate_2 said:

I never cared about the story, but i know right now, this game will not make as much fun as the pillars games.

That's like, your opinion man.  Pillars games are riddled with micromanagement and bored me to tears.  I guess I'm just getting too old for such games want something more refined and resolute.

'He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing."

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1 hour ago, ComradeMaster said:

That's like, your opinion man.  Pillars games are riddled with micromanagement and bored me to tears.  I guess I'm just getting too old for such games want something more refined and resolute.

It's only micromanagement, if you play in a party, what i avoid of all costs. The games are just too easy in a party, i want a challenge, so solo is the way to go. And i hate micromanagement. It's ok in JRPGs and round based combat like divinity OS, but in pillars or baldurs gate it's just tedious.

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On 11/8/2020 at 5:33 PM, baldurs_gate_2 said:

This game will be like skyrim and that game was so ridicioulus easy, no challenges at all.

Meh, maybe they will get some pointers out of good action RPGs, like Dark Soul or Messiah of Might and Magic.

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