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Pillars of Eternity Reddit AMA (03/15)


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http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/2zanll/obsidian_entertainment_ama_answers_are_here/

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/u/Kinetic_Waffle:
So... bit of a more general question here...

What's your favourite part of the game? Both what you've worked on and are most proud of, and what you've played with for the most enjoyment? What're the bits of the game that just came out better than you guys expected and you look at and think, 'Yeah. We did that right.'


Eric Fenstermaker: For what I got to work on, I'm excited for the reactivity in the game. I was sitting in our narrator's voiceover recording session a few months ago, and almost all of it was lines of epilogue, because of all the various permutations of player choices that can be made in the game. We got to the end of the session and he was only like halfway through the script. On the one hand, I'm thinking, I'm gonna get yelled at because we had (at the time) only scheduled and budgeted for one session for him. But on the other hand, I'm thinking, damn straight we need two recording sessions for this ending. That's an RPG, son.

And we went kind of overboard with player backgrounds and development, too. One of the big goals for the narrative was to make sure the player was able to really roleplay the character they envisioned. So we started with 17 backgrounds, but then we added several additional layers of nuance to better define that background. You're a drifter, sure, but are you more of a swindler who gets chased from town to town or are you more of a roving psychopath? You make those choices early on in a conversation with an NPC, and then they show up in a procedurally generated biography. Then you play the game and the bio keeps getting longer with every major choice you make. By the end of the game you've got this entire memoir that you wrote by playing the game - a chronicle of the character you've been defining the whole time. And the odds are that because of all the different possible choices throughout the game, no two biographies will turn out the same.

In terms of my favorite part to play... difficult without spoilers, and I'm biased toward the first half of the game, which I've played more, but there's an area where you're sneaking around a place you're not supposed to be, and you can either go in guns blazing or you can be more clever about it and sneak through incognito. In the latter case, you're prompted for a password when you're right in the belly of the beast, and when they ask it there's a wisecrack you can give instead of the real answer, and I usually can't resist and it leads to a really challenging and fun fight.

Edited by Sensuki
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 On the flipside, there's no level scaling, so when I go through an area that I'm over-leveled and over-geared for, blasting everything to bits with ease is pretty fun.

 

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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You make those choices early on in a conversation with an NPC, and then they show up in a procedurally generated biography. Then you play the game and the bio keeps getting longer with every major choice you make. By the end of the game you've got this entire memoir that you wrote by playing the game - a chronicle of the character you've been defining the whole time. And the odds are that because of all the different possible choices throughout the game, no two biographies will turn out the same.

Wow! That's super cool. And this is a reveal. We know from the very first gameplay demo that Calisca would be asking your character some background questions and that your answers would fill out your biography. But they never said anything about this process being ongoing until the end of the game.
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I

 

You make those choices early on in a conversation with an NPC, and then they show up in a procedurally generated biography. Then you play the game and the bio keeps getting longer with every major choice you make. By the end of the game you've got this entire memoir that you wrote by playing the game - a chronicle of the character you've been defining the whole time. And the odds are that because of all the different possible choices throughout the game, no two biographies will turn out the same.

Wow! That's super cool. And this is a reveal. We know from the very first gameplay demo that Calisca would be asking your character some background questions and that your answers would fill out your biography. But they never said anything about this process being ongoing until the end of the game.

Yeah. That's a cool feature.

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I actually got out of my chair and did a little dance after reading this.

 

Edit: Loved this bit

 

Eric Fenstermaker:

We have a right weapon and it is a pistol called the Disappointer and as far as I'm concerned there's no other way to play the game.

Josh Sawyer:

There will always be efficiency trade-offs where you can show how there's a margin of superiority with a certain build, but overall I think our weapons feel pretty well-balanced. In my recent Hard playthrough, my monk switched between using her bare fists and a spear/hatchet combo. My fighter switched from using sabre and large shield to hammer and medium shield, then dual-wielding hammers, and occasionally changing over to a pike for making attacks from behind allies. My paladin used a greatsword (occasionally a pistol), but in the late game she switched to dual-wielding a sword/dagger combo and opening with an arquebus.

The base weapons all have some nice trade-offs to them and with the unique gear that's available, I think you can develop some really cool characters and strategies.

 

Edited by PrimeJunta
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I think that build variety is a strong point in the game but there are large drop offs of efficiency for weapons, and there's still a long way to go to get more mixed builds worth considering IMO.

Edited by Sensuki
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I confess that having not been excited about this game for several months now (primarily as a result of expectation readjustment and backer beta forums burnout), reading the snippet that Sensuki highlighted gave me a real pang of excitement.

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can anyone with reddit account ask if not too late:

 

will the sequel (hopefully there is) be self contained 

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I

 

You make those choices early on in a conversation with an NPC, and then they show up in a procedurally generated biography. Then you play the game and the bio keeps getting longer with every major choice you make. By the end of the game you've got this entire memoir that you wrote by playing the game - a chronicle of the character you've been defining the whole time. And the odds are that because of all the different possible choices throughout the game, no two biographies will turn out the same.

Wow! That's super cool. And this is a reveal. We know from the very first gameplay demo that Calisca would be asking your character some background questions and that your answers would fill out your biography. But they never said anything about this process being ongoing until the end of the game.

Yeah. That's a cool feature.

 

That's ****ing rad as ****.

 

 

can anyone with reddit account ask if not too late:

 

will the sequel (hopefully there is) be self contained (like elder scrolls) i/e seeing another, mostly unrelated event in different region, or direct continuity to the first story?

They said before it's only twelve levels due to wanting to continue the main character's story.

Edited by Bryy
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They said before it's only twelve levels due to wanting to continue the main character's story.

 

With so many choices that probably change the state of the world, so many epilogues that it takes 2 VO sessions- it would be a monumental task not to mass effect them all in sequel.

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I assumed that the range of epilogues meant a Fallout/Fallout 2 style, where individual areas have their own epilogues, rather than massive changes to the characterisation. I could be wrong, of course.

 

Certainly it doesn't mean that every variation is tied to the main character and needs bringing into the sequel, so fear not.

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They said before it's only twelve levels due to wanting to continue the main character's story.

With so many choices that probably change the state of the world, so many epilogues that it takes 2 VO sessions

 

That actually means nothing, really.  "Changing the state of the world" is a pretty phrase that actually just boils down to a few lines here or there being changed, a character or a quest being there that normally wouldn't be. It's more a programmer hassle than has any real "important" effect on gameplay.

 

Is this to say that it DOESN'T change the game? Not at all. There's just never a huge, Earthquake-type paradigm shift that people think of when they hear this. 

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Why wasn't there any official heads-up for this AMA?...

 

Cool stuff otherwise.

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

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Only if you have recent experience playing the IE games and want a challenge I would recommend hard difficulty. I really, really do not recommend Path of the Damned or Trial of Iron for your first play through unless you are really sadistic. The "Triple Crown" is Path of the Damned, Trial of Iron, and Solo (meaning not taking or creating any companions). The team is looking forward to watching a Let's Play of that. No one on the QA team has been able to accomplish it yet...

 

Be interesting to see the community try to rise to the challenge.

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I notice Path of the Damned mode was discouraged for a first play through. I consider myself highly sadistic when it comes to game difficulties but at the same time it has to be done right to be enjoyable. Example is IWD heart of fury. If you tried this with a L1 party it was ridiculous for the first few levels, but due to t he XP bonus you quickly levelled up and it evened itself out, rendering the whole thing pretty pointless other than the nightmare goblins and orcs.

 

Is Path of the Damned likely to have a similar effect? Or is it created for level one parties and just meant to be ridiculously difficult? If there is no monster xp I suppose the effect would be limited. Finally, will the fact that every enemy from easy medium and hard shows up be immersion breaking or are they all themed?

 

Thanks.

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