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Spiritual Successor of Tyranny in the Pillars of Eternity universe.


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Now that Avowed is coming and being set in Eora, perhaps time is to start thinking about Pillars of Eternity as a franchise (you should add the Pillars of Eternity title to the Avowed logo btw, seems silly not to use the new product to also market the old ones), and the opportunity it offers for revisiting Tyranny. Tyranny was a failure as a game in many ways, the setting was unique and infinitely more inspired and inspiring than what PoE was at the time, the theme of power is interesting and fundamentally tied to the whole roleplaying genre, the art and music were simply phenomenal in creating the atmosphere and I could sing praises to the game all day long, but there is a big but. Tyranny also shot itself in the foot by simple bad game design decisions when it came to character progression and a lack of commitment to make it a proper full game and tell the whole story. In the end it felt like the story skipped most of the steps it needed to take in order to rush you into heights of power and didn't really cash in on the whole theme of the setting where you are a PAWN of the evil overlord, instead turning it into the boring "you are the chosen one" narration, which left the character's gain in power feeling utterly undeserved.

Now that being said, there are MANY people who tasted what was good in Tyranny and were left hungry for more, myself included. Tyranny being owned by Paradox seems to be the end of hope for those of us who want to see more of Tyranny, but I think it is more of an opportunity to re-invent the game and the setting. A very similar game with the themes and style of Tyranny with a new story could be made for the Pillars of Eternity universe, set in the late Bronze Age era of Eora, in a time where the gods were not yet gods. Tell the story of how the gods became gods and create a spiritual successor for Tyranny all the while strengthening the existing Pillars of Eternity franchise. I really believe Obsidian should commit to this universe, making it richer with each game they make. There's absolutely no point in inventing new universes when you can draw from a rich existing one and keep enriching it with every story being told.

Tyranny I think could be revisited in this manner, but this time without rushing the story and using proper game mechanics instead of a bastardized version of Skyrim that simply created a horrible unbalanced mess where you first had to plan the timing of your level ups to maximize training opportunities and where you could exploit xp mechanics by simply taking damage and healing yourself to become an unstoppable monster very early on in the game. This was later changed in a patch that tried to fix things but didn't really improve them, as you now had the most unintuitive system where you had to switch leveling skills on and off to essentially kill the whole point of having this kind of system in the first place, all the while now having to contend with level-scaling enemies which makes leveling up a completely pointless endeavor.

There are countless ideas that could be pursued with this to also turn it into a universe of its own. For example, maybe Adra didn't exist yet in this time period and magic worked differently enough to have a different set of character classes, so it would also be an opportunity to explore new ideas while still strengthening the 'parent' universe. Maybe the gods didn't exist yet, or perhaps they weren't gods yet, rather something between a man and a god. Not rushing the story into heights of epicness and power would allow starting the story slow and telling it in parts; testing the waters with a first game that would progress between power levels equivalent to 1-10 in D&D, and if the sales justify a sequel, have the story continue for 11-20 and then perhaps 21-30 in a third game.

I'm sure I don't really have to go into detail about the failings and successes of Tyranny, I'm sure they've been thoroughly analyzed by multiple people already, the essence of what I'm trying to say is simply that I think Pillars of Eternity as a universe offers a potential for a spiritual successor for that failed legend, and I absolutely think that the idea of that game deserves to be revisited, and the game could be a success if made properly and avoiding the pitfalls that caused the problems plaguing the original Tyranny. I really loved what Tyranny tried to do but I couldn't in good conscience recommend that game to anyone. I'd really love to see the idea resurrected in a form that I can honestly recommend to my friends and talk about without feeling the pain of witnessing so much wasted potential.

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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I'm holding out hope that Microsoft buys the rights for Tyranny outright. I don't think Paradox will actually use them and I'm not sure how much their bean counters will value the property at. Honestly, I don't think it'd cost them that much, relatively speaking. I think there's plenty of room for Obsidian to make games for two different fantasy franchises especially since they're so stylistically different.

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Having a game set in the "past" of PoE (or in the present but in areas which aren't explored yet and are just more archaic) with Deadfire's mechanics but  more tyranny-esque vibes doesn't sound like a bad idea.   

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Yeah, the past is what I'm interested in more because I'd really like to delve more into the history and origins of the gods of the setting. Then again, a post apocalyptic future version could work just as well, and an archaic part of the world would also raise interesting questions, such as does that area have its own gods, is the adra a global phenomenon and such. Either way, I thought that the two things could be combined; re-visit the themes of Tyranny AND broaden the lore of Eora at the same time, both of which I'd really like to see.

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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