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So...the End...a bit anticlimactic, isnt it ?

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Yes, but the fact remains that your character needs the blessing of a god to beat his foe, which also has the blessing of a god. If this really was some sort of heavy-handed allegory ala Ayn Rand or C.S. Lewis, the PC would have punched Thaos in the face without the use of any gods while proclaiming how HE's free to forge his own destiny or somesuch. Instead, the gods are central to solving the final conflict, and whatever you do with the souls advances the cause of one or several god(s), which is not really portrayed as a bad thing unless you support Woedica, and even that ending isn't the end of the world either.

 

I agree that the game does have themes that tie into disbelief and atheism, and Iovara is too much of a saint to be a great character, but that's a far cry from being as anvilicious as some here are portraying it, I think. 

 

No, you don't need the blessing of a god anyway, but that's beside the point.  The forays into contemporary, earth-realm ideas about religion and social issues are obstructive and out of place in the setting.

 

 

You don't? Try jumping into the pit without having any of them aid you. Unless there's a special option I missed, you need to have at least one of them support you or you die impaled on a spike.

 

And I disagree that it's contemporary ideas. Theological reflections most definitely aren't anything new. Hell, many of the earliest philosophers, such as the Greeks as frobisher rightly points out, have asked themselves the same sort of questions as the Engwithans. The latter just happened to be better equipped to find the answers, and then act on them. Asking yourself what are the gods or if they exist is nothing out of the ordinary for that kind of setting.

 

Besides, the Engwithans not finding gods doesn't mean there were none beforehand. Perhaps Pillars has an Ao-like figure, who watches over the world somehow but doesn't interact with mortals in any way. They certainly seem to have been arrogant enough to believe that gods didn't exist if they didn't answer to them. The setting is young, we don't know everything.

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Also consider that Thaos knows that all the people he inflicted suffering upon will simply return to the cycle. And justice will be served once Woedica is back. Utopia is just behind the corner.

 

The problem of Iovara is the fact that she Says it, which makes it exactly like an atheist telling a christian that god does not exist. it is just her perspective on things. Who is she? Why didn't we meet her much earlier? Why is she appearing now all of a sudden? What does she want? How do we know that she witnessed the creation of the machines? As it is now it is only a second hand opinion she gives which is completely irrelevant for the story. It would be different if she was there when the machines were built and you as a watcher could take a look on her soul and get some idea of what actually happened back then. That would at least give the ending a twist in that it would give you some uncertainty (we don't know how accurate soul reading is apart from the dialogues with Grieving Mother) as to what powers you are dealing with.

 

And again, she doesn't say gods do not exist. She says these 11 are fake, manmade. The difference is that these gods are patently real with a number of divine attributes, capable and willing to manifest themselves among mortals. Hence the room for doubt - so what are you to do about it under the circumstances.

 

A proper analogy with a Christian god would've been something like: "Hey, your God is actually a mind-controlling spirit residing in a cave somewhere under Sinai. Being a first-hand witness and a victim of the barbarous ancient Mediterranean society he decided enough was enough and brainwashed a number of people to deliver his message of a new gentler deity, and tricked a bunch of villagers into seeing miracles where there were none. You can actually go, see and even vanquish this spirit for yourself - just wear Magneto's helmet."

 

I understand what you are saying and that Iovara is saying the same. What I am trying to argue is that it makes no difference. What is a god? It is the same question as: what is infinity? Both are something that goes outside our logical comprehension. You believe or you don't. So, whether or not the gods in Eora are entities in the sky or machines on the earth makes no difference. This is also why it is the same as the atheist-christian argument. Aloth (the christian) also react to Iovara (the atheist) as if what she said mattered, which is naive.

 

In your example, I could go down and kill that spirit and feel great about it. Two weeks later the doubt, thoughts and feelings of what made me believe in the first place would come back. You get into the same unsolvable problem when you discuss if god created the earth. The inevitable question is always: who made god? Who made the god who made god etc etc. The same dilemma applies for the big bang. What caused the big bang? What caused the cause of the big bang.  Questions ad infinitum that adds nothing to the point of either the concept of god or the big bang.

 

This is important because it questions Iovara place in the fiction. If her voice adds nothing, then why is she there? Obviously, someone thought she mattered, but for the story she adds nothing. As a character, Iovara would work if she would be a small dialogue of peripheral NPC, someone who just felt like speaking their mind. You could shuckle at it and move on. But because she is introduced in the climax of the story she falls flat and brings the ending with her.

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LOL @ people bringing a real world agenda into the game then accusing it of the same thing.  Jesus.. (pun intended)

 

1.  The "Gods" in the game were created.  This doesn't mean that there is no "real" God(s).

2.  Inovara preached that the Gods were fake.  She did this because she thought the truth was more important than a lie.

3.  Her heresy allowed for there to be a real God, but because the Engwithans wanted people to worship the fake gods they sacrificed everything to create, they tortured her to death and threw her in a pit.

 

The theme is not that "God is dead", but rather  MAN should not play God.  This is evidenced by the fact that you spent the entire time trying to stop a guy who PLAYS god with the lives of everyone around him.

Edited by Baleros

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LOL @ people bringing a real world agenda into the game then accusing it of the same thing.  Jesus.. (pun intended)

 

1.  The "Gods" in the game were created.  This doesn't mean that there is no "real" God(s).

2.  Inovara preached that the Gods were fake.  She did this because she thought the truth was more important than a lie.

3.  Her heresy allowed for there to be a real God, but because the Engwithans didn't believe that there was a real god, the tortured her and threw her in a pit.

 

The theme is not that "God is dead", but rather  MAN should not play God.  This is evidenced by the fact that you spent the entire time trying to stop a guy who PLAYS god with the lives of everyone around him.

 

I would disagree with your conclusion. The game, in my opinion, does a pretty good job of Not telling you what man should and shouldn't do. You have many possibilities of supporting animancy and the ending is all about you performing a godlike act but you get to decide what that act is.

 

The discussion, to me, seems to be more about Iovara's place in the story and the artistic implementation of her, rather than being about allegories. Anyway, this is too meta for me so I better stop.

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LOL @ people bringing a real world agenda into the game then accusing it of the same thing.  Jesus.. (pun intended)

 

1.  The "Gods" in the game were created.  This doesn't mean that there is no "real" God(s).

2.  Inovara preached that the Gods were fake.  She did this because she thought the truth was more important than a lie.

3.  Her heresy allowed for there to be a real God, but because the Engwithans didn't believe that there was a real god, the tortured her and threw her in a pit.

 

The theme is not that "God is dead", but rather  MAN should not play God.  This is evidenced by the fact that you spent the entire time trying to stop a guy who PLAYS god with the lives of everyone around him.

 

I would disagree with your conclusion. The game, in my opinion, does a pretty good job of Not telling you what man should and shouldn't do. You have many possibilities of supporting animancy and the ending is all about you performing a godlike act but you get to decide what that act is.

 

The discussion, to me, seems to be more about Iovara's place in the story and the artistic implementation of her, rather than being about allegories. Anyway, this is too meta for me so I better stop.

 

Exactly.  It asks the question, when has man gone too far? How do you draw the line?  What is ethical? What is right? What is ok or not ok for animancy to research? 

 

Iovara's place is clearly one of returning the world to the way it was before Engwithan's changed it.

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As for Iovara, she gives the Watcher the story of how these particular eleven gods were manmade, manufactured in a very obvious fashion. Not sure how that is comparable to Christians and atheists. 

 

 

Atheists generally believe that all religions are man-made and manufactured in a very obvious fashion. The allegory here is not subtle. The religious establishment that Thaos represents is 1) a system of lies created for the purpose of control and domination, 2) relies on the premise that people are too weak-minded to bear the truth, 3) obscurantist to the extreme and hostile to "science", 4) entirely willing to commit atrocities in order to preserve the status quo, and 5) not only unnessecary for the world's peace and prosperity, but an active impediment thereto. These are the same arguments and criticisms pitted against real world religion by atheist polemists. Add the fact that Thaos' organisation has many similarities to the Spanish Inquisition, and that Thaos himself is the ultimate religious boogeyman, and the ending feels like a preachy progressive morality play wherein an atheist protagonist is beating the stuffing out of a strawman that wears a papal mitre.

 

It is within Obsidian's creative freedom to make whatever points it wants, but personally I found the ending's heavy-handed allegory to be a swing and a miss. Despite the early association of Thaos with Woedica, it wasn't clear throughout most of the game that the narrative was building to a smash-the-church climax. Iovara is too under-defined and introduced too late in the narrative for me to care about her person or her valiant undying stand against the establishment, and it doesn't help that much of her dialogue feels like it jumped straight out of an argumentative youtube comment (the "my reality is true whether you believe it or not" or somesuch line caused an involuntary eye-roll).

 

The big revelation was a surprising twist, sure, in that I certainly didn't predict it, but it wasn't an effective one. The motivation behind the engwithan manufacture of their counterfeit gods falls flat for me; a civilization that was (with the exception of its skill at animancy) less advanced than modern Eoran civilization proved the nonexistance of god(s) with such certainty that it altered the course of their civilization and the world... so we're dealing with a civilization that learned how to prove a negative (a logical impossibility) before it mastered metallargy, or chemistry, or invented the printing press. Not particularly convincing. But, okay, I can put up with dodgy logic. The larger issue for me here is that this twist about the truth of this setting was delivered in the very same game that first introduced us to it. I've only just started learning about these gods, I'm not yet remotely invested in them, and therefore I'm not emotionally affected when they are discredited by a sudden revelation that comes with all the theatrical power of sitting on a half-inflated whoopie-cushion. If Obsidian had made Baldur's Gate 3 and written an ending which revelaed Ao the Overfather as some super computer responsible for generating the multiverse, or as the eventual apotheosis of a time-travelling Tiax or something, I might have been impacted. As it is, exposing these gods as fake really meant nothing to me in the context of the narrative. It only becomes meaningful if I consider that Obsidian is not just imparting information about the gods of their new setting, but rather is making a statement about religion in general. Which again is their point to make if they want. I just find it dissapointing to get to the end of the road and find nothing waiting for me but one-sided allegory.

 

 

You really summed up how I feel about the narrative pacing in this game. I feel like it jumped into  esoteric underpinnings of the PoE world way to quickly. BG1 was an accessible story where the main concerns were regional and political in nature, only at the very end was it revealed that there is way more going on than simple political machinations. I felt like PoE was just too much world philosophy crammed into one game. I guess this game feels more like a PS:T successor than a BG successor. Which is good on its own, but I was hoping for a story that was a little more accessible to start with.

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I just finished the game myself. I thought it was pretty good, but yeah I can definitely see some of the criticisms people are making.

 

The game definitely does not give you enough time to get INVESTED in the gods and the setting to have the big reveal that they are "fake" have much meaning. Which is a shame, because they seem very interesting. Which also makes it sort of disappointing that their quests seemed so short and rushed. 

 

I think the third act could have been made much stronger by focusing more on the gods. This is a  morally ambiguous, capricious, self-serving pagan pantheon. I did like some of the touches in the quests (particularly Berath's, where his followers were not particularly impressed by you being his messenger, and not particularly impressed with the judgment of their god, or Rymrgrands, where his 'followers' were actively trying to defy him)

Really, a big recurring message of the game is how the people of the world "worship" gods in ways that we're unfamiliar with. Eothas and Hylea are probably the closest to what we consider as sort of "traditional" gods, in the idea that people pray to them expecting boons, comfort and benefits. (Though even they are not completely familiar, what with Eothas actively leading a war, and Eder, one of his worshippers, going to war against him) But all the other gods are worshiped in ways that seem very unfamiliar to us (Durance constantly calling Magran a "whore", loving and hating her at the same time, etc.) In fact, almost every time you meet a group of people who are 'worshiping' a god, what the worshipers are trying to do often completely contradicts what the god wants. The only exceptions to this that I can think of, in fact, are Thaos, and the Skaen cult. And maybe the fangs, with Galawain. 

 

But anyway, yeah, the third act could have been made stronger. Maybe instead of introducing a "Oh no, have to catch Thaos before he hands the souls over to Woedica" element so early on, you could have the party make it to the city before he actually even makes it there. You try to win the favor of the gods to help intercepting him, but they are unwilling, until Thaos pulls off some really crazy **** to make it through the city. Give some more meat to the plot, give you more of a reason to linger. Have the final fight actually make SENSE (Thaos made it to the machine much, much earlier than you did - why didn't he just hand off the souls to Woedica before you even got there?)

 

And yeah, the elven lady at the end was just...pointless. Should have built her up more. Could have made her a bigger part of the Watcher's "madness" throughout the game. Might have actually felt the impact when you finally meet her, then. 

 

And yes, the final dungeon was also underwhelming. You didn't need to throw tons of enemies at me or anything, but....this is the pinnacle of achievement of an ancient, super-advanced culture. The site where they killed themselves to forge the gods. I don't know, maybe there could have been some symbolic puzzles, some flavor, meat that sort of gave you an idea of the alien nature of the Engwithians. 

 

And yes, it did sort of feel like, towards the end, the game shifted in tone from "Look at this interesting pantheon of morally ambiguous gods and the strange ways they are worshiped" To "Gods are a lie! Religion bad!" which is just NOT a novel message anymore. In fact, it's awfully boring, predictable and grating, and that's coming from an atheist. I would have built up the threat of Woedica more, (she basically sounds like the goddess of totalitarianism), made the big reveal something more personal in nature (like, I dunno, maybe Thaos is decoupled not just from the wheel, but from time too, and the 'connection' between you two is that you are actually one of his incarnations, and he's basically committing suicide?) and save the big reveal of "gods aren't real" of this game for a future game, when we've had more chance to become attached, and accept the gods as a given of the setting.

 

I liked a lot about this game - for example, Eder's companion quest, I liked how the ending was basically just that he had to live, never knowing why his brother did what he did - but I can't help but feel that they definitely stumbled in the third act. 

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Exactly.  It asks the question, when has man gone too far? How do you draw the line?  What is ethical? What is right? What is ok or not ok for animancy to research? 

I personally think the game did a rather poor job of this.

 

As has already been mentioned, Animancy is never shown to help anyone onscreen - despite the assurances from various people that lots of people have been helped. Well... who? We never even meet a single one. This doesn't make Animancy feel nuanced, and it doesn't make me feel ambivalent towards it - it just makes me frustrated. A game which asks you to make a moral decision without letting you investigate the circumstances isn't challenging your concepts of right and wrong, it's just wasting your time.

 

Thaos seems pretty convinced that the world was a monumentally ****ty place before the gods were created. But all he can say is "they fought wars". Well, so what? They're still fighting wars. What has changed? Without being able to question Thaos, we cannot make any sort of decision about whether his efforts were worth it or not. This makes the last 30 minutes of the game pretty pointless. As everyone and their mother lines up to ask me "do people need gods to believe in, or can people be good without them", all I can think is: I have no idea because clearly this universe operates on very different rules from our own.

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The game definitely does not give you enough time to get INVESTED in the gods and the setting to have the big reveal that they are "fake" have much meaning. Which is a shame, because they seem very interesting. Which also makes it sort of disappointing that their quests seemed so short and rushed. 

 

For real. How many gods were even introduced before the third act?

Eothas, Woudica, Magran, Wael, and Skaen.

 

And then how many were introduced DURING the third act?

Rymrgand, Hylia, Berath, Galawain, Ondra, and Abydon.

 

Over half the gods had never been discussed until 20 seconds before we're supposed to start praying to them. A few hours later we find out they're fake. Well who gives a ****, we just met them!

 

Not to mention that of the 5 we actually had been introduced to, 2 were depicted as pure evil, 1 seemed to have gone on an insane killing spree, 1 is chaotic random, and the last is described as a "whore bitch" by the person who talks about her most. We had no reason to feel any sort of affection for the gods at all.

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The game definitely does not give you enough time to get INVESTED in the gods and the setting to have the big reveal that they are "fake" have much meaning. Which is a shame, because they seem very interesting. Which also makes it sort of disappointing that their quests seemed so short and rushed. 

 

For real. How many gods were even introduced before the third act?

Eothas, Woudica, Magran, Wael, and Skaen.

 

And then how many were introduced DURING the third act?

Rymrgand, Hylia, Berath, Galawain, Ondra, and Abydon.

 

Over half the gods had never been discussed until 20 seconds before we're supposed to start praying to them. A few hours later we find out they're fake. Well who gives a ****, we just met them!

 

Not to mention that of the 5 we actually had been introduced to, 2 were depicted as pure evil, 1 seemed to have gone on an insane killing spree, 1 is chaotic random, and the last is described as a "whore bitch" by the person who talks about her most. We had no reason to feel any sort of affection for the gods at all.

 

Um no, all the gods, except for Rymgand, had been introduced beforehand. You should have been paying attention.

Edited by Sleepyreaper
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The game definitely does not give you enough time to get INVESTED in the gods and the setting to have the big reveal that they are "fake" have much meaning. Which is a shame, because they seem very interesting. Which also makes it sort of disappointing that their quests seemed so short and rushed. 

 

For real. How many gods were even introduced before the third act?

Eothas, Woudica, Magran, Wael, and Skaen.

 

And then how many were introduced DURING the third act?

Rymrgand, Hylia, Berath, Galawain, Ondra, and Abydon.

 

Over half the gods had never been discussed until 20 seconds before we're supposed to start praying to them. A few hours later we find out they're fake. Well who gives a ****, we just met them!

 

Not to mention that of the 5 we actually had been introduced to, 2 were depicted as pure evil, 1 seemed to have gone on an insane killing spree, 1 is chaotic random, and the last is described as a "whore bitch" by the person who talks about her most. We had no reason to feel any sort of affection for the gods at all.

 

Um no, all the gods, except for Rymgand, had been introduced beforehand. You should have been paying attention.

 

Mentioning a god doesn't count as introducing them.

Abydon was mentioned once, in the Crucible Keep.

Berath was mentioned as a statue on a door, but that's it. Oh, I take it back. Roderick has priests of Berath who won't talk to you at all and don't do anything interesting.

The only time Ondra is mentioned is in relation with Ondra's Gift, which tells you next to nothing about her.

Hylia wasn't mentioned -at all- for me. Maybe if I'd hung out with bird lady she'd have said something.

I don't recall Galawain being mentioned by anyone, ever.

And of course Rymrgand, who you've already admitted nobody references.

 

There are no quests associated with any of them, none of them are particularly related to the plot (until Act 3 when the game expects you to start praying to them), and the only way to learn about them is by reading their pamphlets.

Edited by dirigible

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I don't recall Galawain being mentioned by anyone, ever.

And of course Rymrgand, who you've already admitted nobody references.

You haven't spoken to Hiravias, then. He has quite a lot to say about Galawain, and he isn't the only one.

Rymrgand was also mentioned by the dead dwarf woman in the beginning of the game, though all she says is that he has something to do with entropy.

Hylea and Ondra I don't remember being mentioned, though.

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I don't recall Galawain being mentioned by anyone, ever.

And of course Rymrgand, who you've already admitted nobody references.

You haven't spoken to Hiravias, then. He has quite a lot to say about Galawain, and he isn't the only one.

Ah. I shelved him in Caed Nua shortly after meeting him.

Who else talks about Galawain?

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Ah. I shelved him in Caed Nua shortly after meeting him.

Who else talks about Galawain?

 

 

The protagonist can right at the start if they've got high INT and pick that option with the leader of the people attacking the camp

Edited by Wulfram

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Ah. I shelved him in Caed Nua shortly after meeting him.

Who else talks about Galawain?

Well, Galawain was probably the first god to be mentioned in the game - by the Glanfathans in the very beginning.

I don't know, maybe it's me, but there were lots of hints that the gods will play a huge role in the ending, so I payed a lot of attention to the topic when it's was mentioned in dialogues - and there were a lot of such cases, IMO.

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I was thinking... what if the ending is about artificial intelligence?

 

Imagine scientists, who after some early failures (early psychiatry and early AI research have a lot in common with animancy) manage to unlock all secrets of the mind, and use that to create super-minds, superhuman AIs, with the goal of improving the world. Are those AIs gods? The AIs can even be specialized in different portfolios to cover all bases, and make sure - through a balance of power - they don't go too far in any direction. And what if then civilization failed, maybe even for random reasons, but the AIs managed to keep most of their infrastructure and technology? Now they can use "future" tech to grant effective miracles to people. Are they gods now?

 

Not sure if the above interpretation was intended by Obsidian, but it is fitting, right?

 

Anyhow, while the ending does use atheistic arguments, I think the conclusions its going for are more along the lines of "What is a god, anyway? What is worth being called one, and  what isn't?" and "think for yourself, question" than anything else. I'm guessing they're going to explore it further in a sequel - we'll likely have to decide whether the gods from the machine are worth it or not.

 

All this being said, I agree that Act III should have been meatier. It feels more like a 3rd village, than a 2nd big city - in Defiance Bay we get so many well developed quests, and fall right in the middle of a subtle many-way power struggle (and often end up stuck with the first side we meet, but that's somewhat realistic, I guess :p ). Twin Elms has some hints of various conflicts, but those are never explored. Not enough budget to make everything perfect, I suppose - and if so, then focusing the money early was the smarter choice, esp. if you think about reviewers and such. I hope they make a killing on PoE, and use it to go all-out in PoE 2 :D

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He didn't do it to stop wars, he did it to consolidate belief in one pantheon that shared Engwithan views and morals.

 

He says they did it to stop each culture from having their own particular religion with its own mores and taboos. He makes a statement about atrocities committed in the name of Gods that they had found didn't exist so to curb that they created Gods that could actually respond and justify worship. They thought the fabricated pantheon with its ability to take some action was better than nothing.

 

It's not really an atheism versus religion argument since she doesn't say don't believe in anything, she just doesn't want people worshipping artificial entities. She thought it was holding people back from finding out the Truth (whether that's another actual creator(s) or nothing, whatever it may be).

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I enjoyed the game overall and I'm glad I backed it, but I was a little disappointed with everything from the start of Act III to the end of the game. The last parts felt rushed and a little threadbare, rather than the narrative picking up pace - I was already slightly disappointed with how few characters there were to interact with in many of the locations in Defiance Bay in Act II, but Twin Elms felt much worse.

 

From reading interviews with the developers it's clear there's a huge amount of thought and writing that's gone into the ideas in the narrative. I think it's great that they try to write a morally grey story, and I find the subjects covered in the game interesting, but they didn't really come across to me strongly enough while I was actually playing, which for me undermines the point. Maybe it's my fault for not doing more background reading before playing the game, but there was too much writing in the style of "a Biawac trapped the Glanfathans in the Engwithan ruins in Eir Glanfath with a Delemgan in St. Waidwen's time!" for my liking, which really slowed my engagement with the story, especially early on. I had a clear idea in my head of what kind of character I wanted to play for my first playthrough, and I was impressed by how many conversation options there were to support that in places, but ultimately the mechanics of what I was doing in the game always felt separate from the overall narrative of the story and the choices I was making.

 

I'm looking forward to any expansions or sequels, hopefully with the experience from making this game and without the pressure to create an entire world-lore from scratch the story will be more engaging in practice as well as in theory.

Edited by Exile2k4

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The reveal at the end was very nice. But I was burning with questions, and Thaos didn't provide answers. You can only ask his soul ONE question, which is quite bad imo. I really liked when, in KoToR 2, you could talk to the last boss at the end. "No more secrets, only truth". We didn't have that here. I get that while Thaos is alive, he doesn't want to answer your questions. He is, after all, your enemy. But if his soul can provide answers, why not more? It simply didn't leave me satisfied, from a story perspective. It's nice to know what happens do your companions, and the rest of the world, but it seemed to me that your character does absolutely nothing with the revelation that there are no Gods. People keep believing. The Leaden Key continues its operations. A bit strange. In my ending, Durance ended up burning himself because Magran wouldn't speak to him. Did this revelation mean nothing to him?

 

Another thing, about the Gods: the quests were short, but that wasn't my problem. At the end, they promise you power, in exchange for doing their will regarding the souls. The god of Death was a pretty idiotic choice. Why the hell would you do that? And he was pretty hypocritical too: he didn't want to destroy the Pale Elves souls because "it will happen on it's own, in time", but when it came to these souls, suddenly he was in a rush. Anyway, I have decided to choose one course of action, and made a promise to a god. To all the others, I could just say "I have to think about it." or "I should listen to the others gods first". I should have had the option to refuse. Also, they all say "make a decision before the end", and I expected to talk to the gods once more after I had left the city, but this doesn't happen.

 

As for the last fight itself, I have enjoyed it quite much. I have died a few times during it (playing on normal), but it was quite satisfying when I won. I wish there were more boss fights like that in the game. The only other one that I can remember was Spider Queen, and maybe Raedric (although I did cheese that one a bit by positioning my party before the fight).

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 I actually thought all the gods had pretty reasonable requests for the souls, honestly. Including Rmyrgrand, or however you spell it. In fact, he's the one I went with initially. (My thinking was that these poor souls had been tortured and abused and used enough, and Rmyrgrand's request to let them decay was the end they were probably looking for.) In the end though, I went with Wael, because he's the god I liked the most, even though he probably had the least reasonable request for the souls of them all. I didn't think Rmyrgrand was being hypocritical, either. He's a god, he chooses when he wants things to live or die, and he doesn't have to justify himself to anyone. 

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Iovara expected me to care the gods were manufactured way more than I actually did. It gave me a new perspective on them for sure. I kind of assume things man-made are just as flawed as their creator, but considering what I knew about their infighting and the fact that one god helped a lesser life form assassinate another god told me they were all pretty douchey anyway. The only god I had any appreciation for was Hylea after she told me her preference for how to resolve the hollowborn crisis, but at most I only appreciated her motivations.

 

I'd agree that Iovara came up pretty suddenly, but the options presented to me (that she was someone I yearned for who friend-zoned me and I betrayed because of her refusing to return my affection) I think made her story interesting. My betrayal of her and the brutal way Thaos ended her is what drove my guilt-madness to avenge what Thaos did to her. And because I was only recently awakened I hadn't fully formed the memory, but it was emotionally harsh enough that I still had a subconscious drive to go through all of that.

 

I agree that there was a strong theme of not all knowledge is good knowledge, and that ignorance of things can truly be bliss. It's a viewpoint I can very much appreciate. I think it all wrapped up quite nicely.

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Liked the ending, got me to think. Are gods fake just because they were created? We are talking about a pantheon of gods, not the monotheistic god of thora, bible and koran. They don't have a claim to have created existence, be all-seeing and omnipotent - so that's not a necessary part of the definition of their godhood. On the other hand, they take an active role in the affairs of mortals, reply to prayers, grant their priests special powers etc. So i'd say they are real and also deceptive and fallible, but it's not necessarily "good" to follow them.

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Liked the ending, got me to think. Are gods fake just because they were created? We are talking about a pantheon of gods, not the monotheistic god of thora, bible and koran. They don't have a claim to have created existence, be all-seeing and omnipotent - so that's not a necessary part of the definition of their godhood. On the other hand, they take an active role in the affairs of mortals, reply to prayers, grant their priests special powers etc. So i'd say they are real and also deceptive and fallible, but it's not necessarily "good" to follow them.

I think that's what the point they were trying to make with the gods are "fake." They're plenty real, but what really is the line between a god and an extremely powerful being?

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As for Iovara, she gives the Watcher the story of how these particular eleven gods were manmade, manufactured in a very obvious fashion. Not sure how that is comparable to Christians and atheists. 

 

 

Atheists generally believe that all religions are man-made and manufactured in a very obvious fashion. The allegory here is not subtle. The religious establishment that Thaos represents is 1) a system of lies created for the purpose of control and domination, 2) relies on the premise that people are too weak-minded to bear the truth, 3) obscurantist to the extreme and hostile to "science", 4) entirely willing to commit atrocities in order to preserve the status quo, and 5) not only unnessecary for the world's peace and prosperity, but an active impediment thereto. These are the same arguments and criticisms pitted against real world religion by atheist polemists. Add the fact that Thaos' organisation has many similarities to the Spanish Inquisition, and that Thaos himself is the ultimate religious boogeyman, and the ending feels like a preachy progressive morality play wherein an atheist protagonist is beating the stuffing out of a strawman that wears a papal mitre.

 

It is within Obsidian's creative freedom to make whatever points it wants, but personally I found the ending's heavy-handed allegory to be a swing and a miss. Despite the early association of Thaos with Woedica, it wasn't clear throughout most of the game that the narrative was building to a smash-the-church climax. Iovara is too under-defined and introduced too late in the narrative for me to care about her person or her valiant undying stand against the establishment, and it doesn't help that much of her dialogue feels like it jumped straight out of an argumentative youtube comment (the "my reality is true whether you believe it or not" or somesuch line caused an involuntary eye-roll).

 

The big revelation was a surprising twist, sure, in that I certainly didn't predict it, but it wasn't an effective one. The motivation behind the engwithan manufacture of their counterfeit gods falls flat for me; a civilization that was (with the exception of its skill at animancy) less advanced than modern Eoran civilization proved the nonexistance of god(s) with such certainty that it altered the course of their civilization and the world... so we're dealing with a civilization that learned how to prove a negative (a logical impossibility) before it mastered metallargy, or chemistry, or invented the printing press. Not particularly convincing. But, okay, I can put up with dodgy logic. The larger issue for me here is that this twist about the truth of this setting was delivered in the very same game that first introduced us to it. I've only just started learning about these gods, I'm not yet remotely invested in them, and therefore I'm not emotionally affected when they are discredited by a sudden revelation that comes with all the theatrical power of sitting on a half-inflated whoopie-cushion. If Obsidian had made Baldur's Gate 3 and written an ending which revelaed Ao the Overfather as some super computer responsible for generating the multiverse, or as the eventual apotheosis of a time-travelling Tiax or something, I might have been impacted. As it is, exposing these gods as fake really meant nothing to me in the context of the narrative. It only becomes meaningful if I consider that Obsidian is not just imparting information about the gods of their new setting, but rather is making a statement about religion in general. Which again is their point to make if they want. I just find it dissapointing to get to the end of the road and find nothing waiting for me but one-sided allegory.

 

"prove a negative (a logical impossibility)" Can you prove that?
Joking aside, proving a negative is quite possible. Not sure why people say you can't prove a negative. You can prove there isn't any milk in my glass, you can prove there is no largest prime number.

Though I did find it odd how easily the companions were convinced of what she had to say. It explained a lot though, but I saw no reason to believe her until.. Well moments later after the talk and fight with Thaos.

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As for Iovara, she gives the Watcher the story of how these particular eleven gods were manmade, manufactured in a very obvious fashion. Not sure how that is comparable to Christians and atheists. 

 

 

Atheists generally believe that all religions are man-made and manufactured in a very obvious fashion. The allegory here is not subtle. The religious establishment that Thaos represents is 1) a system of lies created for the purpose of control and domination, 2) relies on the premise that people are too weak-minded to bear the truth, 3) obscurantist to the extreme and hostile to "science", 4) entirely willing to commit atrocities in order to preserve the status quo, and 5) not only unnessecary for the world's peace and prosperity, but an active impediment thereto. These are the same arguments and criticisms pitted against real world religion by atheist polemists. Add the fact that Thaos' organisation has many similarities to the Spanish Inquisition, and that Thaos himself is the ultimate religious boogeyman, and the ending feels like a preachy progressive morality play wherein an atheist protagonist is beating the stuffing out of a strawman that wears a papal mitre.

 

It is within Obsidian's creative freedom to make whatever points it wants, but personally I found the ending's heavy-handed allegory to be a swing and a miss. Despite the early association of Thaos with Woedica, it wasn't clear throughout most of the game that the narrative was building to a smash-the-church climax. Iovara is too under-defined and introduced too late in the narrative for me to care about her person or her valiant undying stand against the establishment, and it doesn't help that much of her dialogue feels like it jumped straight out of an argumentative youtube comment (the "my reality is true whether you believe it or not" or somesuch line caused an involuntary eye-roll).

 

The big revelation was a surprising twist, sure, in that I certainly didn't predict it, but it wasn't an effective one. The motivation behind the engwithan manufacture of their counterfeit gods falls flat for me; a civilization that was (with the exception of its skill at animancy) less advanced than modern Eoran civilization proved the nonexistance of god(s) with such certainty that it altered the course of their civilization and the world... so we're dealing with a civilization that learned how to prove a negative (a logical impossibility) before it mastered metallargy, or chemistry, or invented the printing press. Not particularly convincing. But, okay, I can put up with dodgy logic. The larger issue for me here is that this twist about the truth of this setting was delivered in the very same game that first introduced us to it. I've only just started learning about these gods, I'm not yet remotely invested in them, and therefore I'm not emotionally affected when they are discredited by a sudden revelation that comes with all the theatrical power of sitting on a half-inflated whoopie-cushion. If Obsidian had made Baldur's Gate 3 and written an ending which revelaed Ao the Overfather as some super computer responsible for generating the multiverse, or as the eventual apotheosis of a time-travelling Tiax or something, I might have been impacted. As it is, exposing these gods as fake really meant nothing to me in the context of the narrative. It only becomes meaningful if I consider that Obsidian is not just imparting information about the gods of their new setting, but rather is making a statement about religion in general. Which again is their point to make if they want. I just find it dissapointing to get to the end of the road and find nothing waiting for me but one-sided allegory.

 

"prove a negative (a logical impossibility)" Can you prove that?
Joking aside, proving a negative is quite possible. Not sure why people say you can't prove a negative. You can prove there isn't any milk in my glass, you can prove there is no largest prime number.

Though I did find it odd how easily the companions were convinced of what she had to say. It explained a lot though, but I saw no reason to believe her until.. Well moments later after the talk and fight with Thaos.

 

I was convinced because in a past life I tried (unsuccessfully) to hook up with her.

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