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Player character = Watcher


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Was just thinking about a core mechanic of the Poe world is the protagonist is a watcher, and thus is able to interact with the spirit realm.

I feel that if the PC of Avowed isn't one, or doesn't become one early, a pretty big and interesting part of the world will be missed out on, and it's another way to distinguish itself from games like Skyrim.

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This is an interesting question, can a game in Eora be interesting without a Watcher for MC ? 

Personally I think yes, even if the fact of being a Watcher brings a lot especially from the point of view of quest writing, writers are not obliged to place obvious clues for investigations for example, explaining why we’re the only ones who can solve them. It also gives interest to our character, explaining why the powers of the universe are interested in him.
That’s why I think we’re going to play a Watcher in Avowed.

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I don’t think we will be a Watcher, and I disagree that Watcher identity has been key to Eora’s appeal.

While our role as a Watcher was key to PoE1 narrative, I didn’t feel that way in PoE2 - our identity was surpassed by Herald of Berath identity - and sure, while being a Watcher has been use as a plot device I feel it’s role could have been replaced by any other plot convenient excuse. 

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1 hour ago, Wormerine said:

I don’t think we will be a Watcher, and I disagree that Watcher identity has been key to Eora’s appeal.

While our role as a Watcher was key to PoE1 narrative, I didn’t feel that way in PoE2 - our identity was surpassed by Herald of Berath identity - and sure, while being a Watcher has been use as a plot device I feel it’s role could have been replaced by any other plot convenient excuse. 

I agree.  I'm fine either way, but in open world games I prefer a blank canvas for a character... though with the title I'm a little skeptical we will get a blank slate

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See I feel that the interactions with souls that haven't returned to the cycle, and the memories of souls is a key element of the unique storytelling ability of POE, and the closest any class even gets to that is the cipher, but I just think from a storytelling perspective it is an extremely useful tool for storytelling and world building/expansion.

And I don't think it outright takes you out of being a blank slate either, you could wake up at the start of the game after the event that turned you into a watcher and have to learn to deal with it. And as for the past lives stuff who you are in a past life doesn't determine who you are in your current life which is shown in many questlines.

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5 hours ago, InNate said:

See I feel that the interactions with souls that haven't returned to the cycle, and the memories of souls is a key element of the unique storytelling ability of POE.

True, but so far it is unknown if Avowed will in any way try to continue plot of PoE1&2. Eora has couple other things it's been leaning on - including it's more "modern" setting then your average D&D like, focusing on politics, colonisation - arguably already PoE2 had more interested in those, then souls and Gods stuff. What if we get a watcher companion to give new player glimpse into metaphysical aspect of the universe, to introduce that stuff? Or one of the old companions will return, introducing us to secred discovered by the Watcher - acting as a continuation for series fans, and "What happened in PoE1&2" in game source for newcomers? 


At this point direction Avowed could be taking are endless. And even if PoE1&2 were laser focused on Gods, souls and reincarnation Avowed could be a way of fleshing out different aspect of the world. 

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It would be interesting to have a plot less focused on gods in Avowed, but they are so important in the universe of Eora (like religion in the modern era finally), they are present in all aspects of society and animancy ultimately also refers to the gods. So I have a hard time imagining a plot that wouldn’t focus on them, it could still be very interesting.

I mean, even if Avowed’s plot revolved around some sort of secularization movement of a parts of societies, it would still refer to the gods.

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12 hours ago, InNate said:

See I feel that the interactions with souls that haven't returned to the cycle, and the memories of souls is a key element of the unique storytelling ability of POE, and the closest any class even gets to that is the cipher, but I just think from a storytelling perspective it is an extremely useful tool for storytelling and world building/expansion.

And I don't think it outright takes you out of being a blank slate either, you could wake up at the start of the game after the event that turned you into a watcher and have to learn to deal with it. And as for the past lives stuff who you are in a past life doesn't determine who you are in your current life which is shown in many questlines.

I was more referring to the name "avowed" seeming like you won't be a blank slate... not a for sure thing obviously, but the name makes me think you will be... avowed

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  • 1 month later...

Assuming being a watcher is going to be as simple as having the ability to see and interact with the souls of the deceased, it could even be an ability that you can acquire, most likely through a side quest.

It wouldn't be too different to say Pet Pal in Divinity in terms of the A) The missable content and B) Alternate means of solving quests.

Imagine a murder mystery side quest where a regular player character would need to interview witnesses and gather evidence. A watcher character can just speak to the victim and confront the guilty party.

I don't think the player character NEEDS to be a watcher, but it would be cool if we were given the option in one way or another.

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On 5/11/2022 at 5:15 AM, UrbaNebula said:

Assuming being a watcher is going to be as simple as having the ability to see and interact with the souls of the deceased, it could even be an ability that you can acquire, most likely through a side quest.

It wouldn't be too different to say Pet Pal in Divinity in terms of the A) The missable content and B) Alternate means of solving quests.

Imagine a murder mystery side quest where a regular player character would need to interview witnesses and gather evidence. A watcher character can just speak to the victim and confront the guilty party.

I don't think the player character NEEDS to be a watcher, but it would be cool if we were given the option in one way or another.

To me, it would be better to have an NPC watcher if they're not going to go heavy into the effects of being a Watcher, with a spirit vision layer or some such and interesting mechanics. In isometric it was fine for the stuff to just pop up and be a bit of fluff content, trying to get across the visions that you're seeing. First person necessitates a different approach IMO, depending on when they are in the timeline you could have a soul capture minigame, to try to get souls of the fallen into some Adra for storage. Some conversations with spirits to offer alternate quest solutions is kind of low hanging fruit, but it would be neat.

I feel like the main game mechanics need to be solid in this title, if there's going to be a new character each title instead of following a single character like Pillars, they can really just give it a miss this title. An ally who was a Watcher would be fine, instead of being able to interact with every spirit we'll be able to interact through an NPC whose motivations for telling us things aren't our own. A Watcher should be capable of talking to a lot of spirits, which means a ton of NPCs could have "before and after" conversation trees, or other interactions. Finding and helping ghosts could be an awesome thing, but if they're not all in on it I don't want some crumbs because they wanted the PC to be a Watcher.

To me, I'd be interested to see the Player Character be Awakened and not a Watcher. Why can my character level up in the field and doesn't have to go into town to train? Unlocking memories of his past life. Why do I know magic now, after I just had a slog of a battle instead of before? Unlocked soul memories. Give us an antagonist who's a fragment of a soul we used to be, and that's a story that tells itself.

I'm more than willing to take a wait and see approach with this one though, with that Microsoft money I just want Obsidian to focus on making the best product they can. Lore fluff is all well and good, but I don't really want anything shoehorned in. I'd rather new interesting things be cut from whole cloth than get a poor exploration of a concept that has so many possibilities that I can't keep track of them all, especially in a game set after Deadfire. I don't think entirely optional Watcher side content would justify enough attention to make it a valuable addition to the game, but I'm not the one budgeting that Microsoft money.

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Who knows. We could instead be an Animancer! 
personally I think I’d prefer to be a watcher myself. Gives the PC more interesting dialogue options. Delving more into the weird and wonderful. 

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