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Suggestions for CRPGs like PoE


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10 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I don't think it was Avellone's problem though. Most of your "Watcher vision" sequences are overwrought in general, so it was probably a team decision.

But there is a difference between Watcher visions in general and Durance & the Grieving Mother in particular. I am inclined to agree with @theleeon this. For the record, I have no previous opinion or even knowledge of Chris Avellone, but my experiences of his writing (Durance, the Grieving Mother, Nok-Nok in P:K) are not anything special. Durance is genuinely good, but a fair amount of that is due to the voice acting. The Grieving Mother is ok, but she remains too distant and ethereal to be engaging. Nok-Nok is not interesting.

(I think the best-written characters in PoE are Eder and Sagani. There are no best-written characters in P:K.)

Where did Avellone gain his reputation? This is a sincere question; I really do not know. I am not saying he's poor, but he hasn't especially shone in what I've seen, so I'm curious.

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55 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Where did Avellone gain his reputation? This is a sincere question; I really do not know. I am not saying he's poor, but he hasn't especially shone in what I've seen, so I'm curious.

One of Avellone writing strenght is his ability to flip well known rpg tropes on its head, providing either deconstructing take or bringing something fresh into them. For example Durance on its own isn't something special indeed, however try to name any other rpg priest who is like him. Fantasy priests are generally either goody holy mans(if they follow good or neutral gods) or sadistic maniacs. Durance is very separate from what you expect rpg priest to be. When he have bigger writing role it becomes even more noticeable, like his work on Kotor 2, which essentially deconstruction and analysis of entire Star Wars universe

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In my view, Durance's a zealot driven to extreme actions by the power of his faith. I would say this applies quite well to Xoti, too. He does do some soul-searching towards the end, which is good, and I agree that he is a nicely-written character, but I don't think he's especially different. What is certain is that he's not your goody-good rpg priest, that's for sure.

Thanks for the Kotor info. I haven't played any of the Star Wars games, so I cannot comment on them, but if he's done good work there, that's obviously great.

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7 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

I think the best-written characters in PoE are Eder and Sagani.

Very interesting. I've always loved Sagani too and always have her in my parties (just as with Eder). But many other posters tend to put her character down, so it's nice to find another Sagani fan.

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Do you know any of the reasons why they're putting Sagani down? She has a very good backstory, and there's a fairly poignant, almost a tragic sense to her quest and her being so far away from the rest of her life. I think it's well-written and well thought out.

Aloth's indecisive nature is also quite well portrayed, but what keeps him from being one of the best characters is the fact that although you can give him a kick on the backside, as it were, you don't really get to know whether anything happens, whether it changes anything. Now, this is realistic, because change is genuinely difficult and people tend not to change even if they should, but it doesn't make him an interesting companion in a fantasy game. If there's a sense of being caught between two worlds, it's best (in a fantasy game) if you can somehow affect change -- see, for instance, Viconia and Sarevok in BG2.

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23 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

Do you know any of the reasons why they're putting Sagani down?

It's been a while and I can't recall exact comments. But they were generally along the lines of she's lame, she's boring, she's useless, etc.

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I guess it's just a projection of those players' inability to play PoE-Rangers and the resulting frustration with the class - and not that Sagani isn't well written. Most players don't seem to be able to tell "I don't like it because duh" and "It's not well written" apart...

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23 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Most players don't seem to be able to tell "I don't like it because duh" and "It's not well written" apart...

I'm not sure about "most", but yes, this is a frustrating phenomenon, and it appears to be getting more and more common. The inability to distinguish between one's own reactions and the source of those reactions... Heck, I don't like James Joyce's Ulysses, but it would be mad to claim that it's not well written.

Another aspect of this baffling black-and-whitism is that if you present a criticism of a game or some other thing, or if you simply don't like it, then for some reason you're regarded as a "hater". I just can't get my head around it. Metallica haven't been interesting for ages, and their drummer has got so much worse than he used to be, but that doesn't make me a "hater".

And of course, if you do like something, then you're a "fanboy", as if you don't have any critical faculties at all...

It's all very strange.

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20 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

It's all very strange.

It's because internet discussions aren't about addressing your opponent's arguments but about invalidating their right to present any to begin with.

On that note, if you disagree with me you're obviously a troll.

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Just keep in mind that most people just don't bother to write something into "the internet". So what you get to read are often the outpourings of passionate users (passionate for whatever reason) - or simply wackos.

I should have said "most players who voiced their dissatisfaction with Sagani", not "most players". That brush was way too broad.

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45 minutes ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

It's because internet discussions aren't about addressing your opponent's arguments but about invalidating their right to present any to begin with.

In fact, the internet used to be an incredibly good place for excellent argumentation. It's only with the Eternal September of 1993 that things went wrong. Before that, lemme tellya, it was great. 😀

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

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On 4/24/2021 at 12:08 AM, Desmodeus said:

One of Avellone writing strenght is his ability to flip well known rpg tropes on its head, providing either deconstructing take or bringing something fresh into them. For example Durance on its own isn't something special indeed,

yeah, that tracks. My original post I mentioned that even if I find Durance and GM eye-rollingly overwrought to re-read through they still remain very interesting characters overall (in spite of the writing, GM is my favorite PoE character).

 

I'll also make a controversial point and say that Hiravias is woefully underappreciated. Probably because he comes so late and it's actually easy to miss him.

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18 minutes ago, thelee said:

I'll also make a controversial point and say that Hiravias is woefully underappreciated. Probably because he comes so late and it's actually easy to miss him.

I don't know if that's controversial, but I honestly don't know what he's like. As you say, he appears so late, perhaps even too late. I've done a couple of playthroughs, and it just hasn't felt natural or right to take him along. By the time I get to him, everything's already pretty settled, and I don't want to change things around just for the sake of it.

Apparently, Hiravias has something hilarious to say at the final confrontation with Thaos. I've no idea what it might be.

(You get to Kana early. You get to finish his quest quite early. After that, it's easy to give him a rest and take someone else along. But at that point, you're not even close to meeting Hiravias -- or at least I was not.)

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On 4/24/2021 at 3:05 AM, xzar_monty said:

Where did Avellone gain his reputation? This is a sincere question; I really do not know. I am not saying he's poor, but he hasn't especially shone in what I've seen, so I'm curious.

Have you played Planescape: Torment, KOTOR 2 and Fallout 2? 😄

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

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1 minute ago, xzar_monty said:

No.

Might want to give them a go! Planescape: Torment at least. I feel like Avellone is quite fantastic at the top of his game, and some of his work recently has been very good, but he's in a rockstar state of mind at the moment. Feels like he's only coming in to put his name on something moreso than much of what makes his better work special.

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37 minutes ago, thelee said:

I'll also make a controversial point and say that Hiravias is woefully underappreciated. Probably because he comes so late and it's actually easy to miss him.

Best companion after Zahua imo. Maybe better because you can get him a LOT earlier than Zahua. 

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56 minutes ago, algroth said:

Might want to give them a go! Planescape: Torment at least. I feel like Avellone is quite fantastic at the top of his game, and some of his work recently has been very good, but he's in a rockstar state of mind at the moment. Feels like he's only coming in to put his name on something moreso than much of what makes his better work special.

At this point, I'm quite unlikely to try them. But thanks for the info on where he's got his reputation from. Appreciated.

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Not an RPG, but I strongly remember playing FTL and noting that the writing was really good. It's not a narrative-driven game, but it's much better than what you expect out of the average roguelike. Lo and behold, I check the credits and Avellone is a guest writer.

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FTL is one of my favorite games (I've got ~450 hours I believe). Not really because of fabulous writing (like... what writing? ;)) - but because of everything else. 

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FTL is described as roguelike, which sounds great (NetHack being probably the best game I've ever played), but although the game does look interesting, I think I'll give it a pass. But Avellone appears to have been quite busy at some point.

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19 hours ago, thelee said:

I'll also make a controversial point and say that Hiravias is woefully underappreciated. Probably because he comes so late and it's actually easy to miss him.

He's my favourite POE companion. :) I always beeline for him straight outta gates of Defiance Bay before doing anything there. 

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