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I remember that I didn't quite know if I liked the scripted interactions or not in the beginning, but after watching all the streams and videos, and playing the beta myself, I found myself loving it. The art in the interactions are amazing, and the style of the interactions make me use my imagination as well to paint the whole picture - which I like. 

 

hJuO8JS.jpg

 

I also really like the art of the spell animations. I can't really remember playing or watching a game were I went "Wow! That's some awesome spell animation!" - but I actually did think that to myself with Pillars of Eternity. (A single shot, bad quality screenshot dosn't really do it justice, but I'm gonna add it anyway)

 

EOmtVKx.jpg

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Lol, is that a dog??

 

Yeah, it seems to be the infamous Black Hound from the canceled BG3 :p

 

Edit: although in this particular langauge version its probably called Schwarzhund!

Edited by Messier-31
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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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As people like to post resumes about the art style here, here's mine so far after watching lots of videos and screenshots:

 

Area/landscape design

 

Bipolar. Several landscapes look stunning and crisp, incredibly detailed and overall well-made. Some, however, are bland and boring (especially the main town lacks a lot of love and detail). That flat ground looks weird at times; some landscapes don't feel natural at all because of this.

I know that obviously, since the game is 2D, there can't be any real z-information on your heroes position; however, it is still perfectly possible to create the illusion of height via the design of the landscape background texture.

Remember Umar hills in BG2, which had an awesome feeling of depth and 3D-ness to it.

Interiors are stunning and perfect. Overall, the terrain artists imho did a great job and there is not much to complain about. Some areas lack detail, but that is imho nitpicking.

 

 

Animation and Spell effects

I got to say that spell effects have gone a long way since the earliest backer betas. They have improved a lot and it's great to see flashy light and fire effects going off everywhere. Not much to complain about in terms of spell effects. 

 

However, the character animations are still lacking. Especially the missing combat idle animation is a big turn-off. Characters don't even look like they are participating in a battle when not attacking. The complete lack of believable combat stances is a real immersion breaker. A character using sword and shield doesn't even raise his shield inbetween attacks.

As those flaws are still there in the latest released trailers, I have my serious doubts we will get good combat idle animations in the official release build. I hope Obsidian will ship them in a content patch post-release.

 

 

Character models and portraits

The portrait style is a matter of taste, really. I can understand some people not liking it, but so far, they seem fine to me. I probably use one for my first playthrough, but then go for custom portraits. After all, we are not forced to use them so not much to complain about here.

The character models got a huge revamp since early backer beta releases. Especially in close-up scenes, they have improved a lot. They could use some more polys in the face, but overall, they look acceptable now for a modern non-AAA release.

I think we can easily count on the community here to get HD remakes of some textures or models or even completely new designs for those that like more variety.

 

 

UI and image-events

The UI looks functional. Nothing fancy or heavily stylized. It doesn't distract from the game and as long as some elements are movable (like the combat text... I prefer to have it in the center, not on the right) via mods, there's not much to criticize here.

The image events, however... I gotta say that I wasn't immediately convinced when the idea turned up first. Especially as it "rips you out of the action", giving you just a heavily stylized painting as visual representation, I feared it would break the immersion of the game. However, it turned out my worries were unfounded. The intermissions look great, the paintings are well done and I like the freedom it allows (especially as you don't need to support any special action with animations or videos). In fact, I could imagine this feature being very dominant in a hypothetical modding environment.

Modders could use sketches from deviantArt, using filters to match them with the PoE style and thus create loads of custom events, supporting their mods. Or they could completely take them out of context and use them for completely new mechanics, like text-adventure-style minigames or management HUDs (or options menus for mods). I could imagine using them for strategical maps in tactic games or simply for new party interactions like scripted campfire-scenes.

 

 

Summary

Overall, the art style is fine. Backgrounds are stunning, the unit models are decent. UI is functional, scripted intermissions yield a lot of opportunity for modders. Combat animations are the weakest point of the game. This, imho, should be a main priority issue for a possible expansion.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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I also really like the art of the spell animations. I can't really remember playing or watching a game were I went "Wow! That's some awesome spell animation!" - but I actually did think that to myself with Pillars of Eternity. (A single shot, bad quality screenshot dosn't really do it justice, but I'm gonna add it anyway)

 

EOmtVKx.jpg

 

 

Also, these types of fx are WAY better than the ugly green and yellow selection circles currently being implemented. More of these types of circles and less of the regular circles. Not to say they all need runes on them, just this feels like it fits the context in the world than a simple circle does with ugly yellow and green.

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Better visual representation of Auras and persistent/active character effects.

So far imho, D2 is the only game that got that right.

 

So for example, when i turn on Zealos Endurance Aura, i want some kind of visual representation of it on my char and party members.

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Cartoony? i don't think so. Original Sin has cartoony forests, not PoE.

.

And the fairy tale effect is typical of fantasy forests, unless there is a superdark setting (Diablo, Dark soul)

 

This is what i'm referring too. this looks very cartoony compared to the gameplay. 

t0n6t38.jpg

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The art is generally really good but yea they do have some inconsistencies. Its a good point you bring up about the night as some places are darker than others but maybe its different starlight or *insert whatever*.

 

I find some of the visual FX from spells and such to be way too much.

 

The portrait thing isn't so bad since we can use our own...and lets be honest most of us on the forums actually do use their own. 

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Mmh, can u make some 2d isometric games examples for this?

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, the Arreat’s Summit.

I’ll come back with a screenshot soon wink.png

 

-----

 

1426108334.jpg

 

There is a perspective effect when you move around giving the impression the background you see is really far below the point where your character stand.

Edited by vv221
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That hood is one smexy hood, though.

 

Makes me even sadder that godlikes can't have helmets and such. D:

Seconded. A lot of games can't seem to get hoods right. They end up looking really goofy. This one looks legit. :)

 

I really like a lot of the detailing on the character/equipment models. The feathers/fur, for example, on the starting "barbarian" armor (hide armor?). And that hood.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Sensuki - We use Shroud for our cape/cloth solution. The creator stopped supporting it and on our side it has been a real pain in the ass to deal with with our dynamic rigs. The capes won't be perfect but they will be OK, in the future we will focus on a better implementation. I wish we had a lot more custom/dynamic cloth assets all across the board. 

 

Gairnulf - Actually Lephys hits it on the nose. I will tell you, outfit detail size/placement has been quite an issue to balance for this entire project because we have two (or three) sizes of characters, and nothing in between. Initially a lot of details were made larger so they would read better at gameplay level, but once we implemented character creation screen they looked rightfully ridiculous (this applies to early character proportions as well). Right now there is a sort of balance where you can still see certain features at gameplay view and they don't look too silly during CC/LevelUp. I think a lot of lessons were learned and if there is another Eternity ( :dancing: ) we will make you happier, promise. 

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Can some dev please explain why some areas have a superbright nighttime while others are darker? don't you use the same "time of day" lighting for all maps? 

Do you have to tune every single map?

Edited by Mazisky
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We do tune every map.  It would not work well to have a universal solution.  Most of those screenshots are from a couple months before a pass was done.

 

Dyrford is using newer look up tables that I made.

 

That's one of the drawbacks of this type of development. You guys get hit with stuff because you are sharing a lot more than you normally would so old and outdated things are still brought up, even when they've been addressed.

 

Still I think you guys probably appreciate it more than working with...lets say EA....hah.

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We do tune every map.  It would not work well to have a universal solution.  Most of those screenshots are from a couple months before a pass was done.

 

Dyrford is using newer look up tables that I made.

 

Thank you for clarifying. As expected, everything seems easier from the outside (i mean, from a non-programmer point of view), i can imagine there is a lot of work behind the scene that normal people do not notice.

Nice to hear that you did some tweak since then  :dancing:

Edited by Mazisky
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-SCRIPTED SEQUENCES: They are simple but efficient because of the pen&paper feeling they communicate: +1 to the atmosphere.

 

1znr521.jpg

 

 

Not an art critique but more of a UI thing.  The scripted sequences artwork looks great, really invokes a storybook feel.  However the options and the bonuses they rely on I feel like could give more information.  For example, would there be a way to list the Constitutions or Athletics skills for various characters?  For the picture above, you could list [Athletics - 18] for the PC or corresponding character.  In the last PAX panel Josh could chose a character to swim though a tunnel here:

https://youtu.be/BsX3RLUAU6Y?t=13m10s

 

Which was implied to be based on a characters endurance, or constitution.  If each character's relevant stat could be listed that would make it easier to choose who to send, as you can easily tell who has the highest score, instead of having to memorize the stats, as I don't think there is a way to exit the sequence and look it up.  

 

If the attributes omitted due to a higher difficulty setting, and the normal version does this then I'm fine with it.  I'd still like some numbers anywhere the listed attributes are displayed though.

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I really hope they will implement some proper combat idle animations and a desynchronized movement for party members.

May we have an official response regarding these two issues?

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  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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