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TerenZero

First Play Through

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I have spend about 8 hours with the beta now. I have only played the 333 build but have followed the discussion sporadically over the past few months. My overall impression is I will love this game once it is finished.

 

Characters

I have toyed with Chanter, Cipher, Barbarian, and Paladin. Chanter seems really cool but the summons do not work so cannot get a good impression. Also chants often do not turn off after combat and it is difficult to tell how effective they are. Barb will be good clean wreck everything fun. Cipher I could not find a way to use effectively. I probably need more time with it. I spent the most time with the Paladin and wielding Justice he wrecked house. The zealous accuracy aura doesn't seem to do anything nor do the boots that boost it but it is still an effective character just as a melee powerhouse.

 

Interface

I like how everything is adjustable. Overall I found the UI very easy to learn. I love the journal and incremental quest updates. I do wish I could zoom further out when exploring. 

 

Combat

Playing on normal, I found the combat to be easy. My only party wipe was to an ambush of ghosts. Otherwise I was able to handle everything I encountered with only one or two characters dropping. I find myself resting maybe once per map or two which seems like a good pace of exploration. Please give me experience when I kill things because 1) it is how I have been conditioned since I started playing D&D 20 years ago, and 2) why else would I kill any optional mobs? Maybe more loot is reason enough for some, but I only need so many spider venom sacs. When the queen doesn't drop anything or have any impact, it just makes me sad.

Auto-pausing helps with the micromanaging but it does seem like the AI could be greatly improved. Can I make scripts for party members to auto attack after using a specific skill?

 

Skils

As a long-time gamer, I appreciate the acknowledged need to make skills more relevant and really like how skills are being use more in PnP and CRPGs. My problem here is the lack of options, as many have already discussed.

Example: I used both rope & hooks to get the dragon egg safely. That was awesome, good use of athletics skill (which everyone seems to have). Now I have no more rope and cannot use it on the cultist cave. But because I do not have a character that took all 3 mechanics talents, I also can't open any doors in the cultist cave. I have onyl found 1 lockpick. I cannot bash the doors or use other skills to get through them so  am at a dead end. In the full game this will be less of an issue. Here is is very apparent.

 

Specific Moments of Awesome

Crafting the spear with your soul is a great event, well written, good atmosphere, and results in a useful item. I am curious what the consequences of letting the spider-man go are down the road. Will there be a comparable benefit or is killing him clearly better?

I have a huge amount of respect for the non-combat solutions to him and the ogre.

All the scripted interactions are awesome, I want more.

The flavor and immediate immersion, even in an area I understand to be completely optional for the full game really shows the artistry that is going into making Pillars.

 

Bugs

Oh so so many. Other than the ones alluded to above, I most frequently find enemies do not turn into corpses and combat affects (positive and negative) do not end. I've had lots of crashes with no explanation, and loading screens that just hang with no indication it is a crash. Party members leave the party and just stand there. Characters get frozen in place. As a beta this is totally acceptable. Let's find the bugs and squash them. If these don't get ironed out by release they will torpedo the game.

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