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

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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.

Thaos makes the same argument. The gods are man-made, but they are also real. The entire argument behind having these gods is to put the argument to rest - they are real and can interfere. They are not like the fictional gods which spread chaos on the world before them. With one pantheon of real, powerful gods you can bring order to the chaos left by the void of false gods. However the thing is that for a god to be real to people it also needs to have a mysterious or unknown origin. Thus you keep everything secret - whatever the cost - and that is where the Leaden Key comes in. And quite likely the savages protecting the ruins as well.

 

So, I wouldn't say the gods aren't real, rather they are artificial.

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"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.

 

 

"You cannot prove a negative" is an unfortunate piece of pseudologic that refers to the appeal to ignorance, but condenses the fallacy too much (so much its not true anymore).

 

It would be better to condense it like this: "Sth. is true because there is no proof that sth. is false." -> fallacy. This would make it short without distortion of the meaning (i think) 

 

Edit:

Here is a link for a more in-depth description http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof

Edited by pstone
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After beating Thaos and dealing with the souls, i was expecting Woedica to be pissed and come after me for revenge, but the game just ended. Luckily i got a proper fight once i went back and did the remaining floors of Endless Paths. That one was quite brutal and took some thinking and mico managing on hard.

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"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.

 

 

"You cannot prove a negative" is an unfortunate piece of pseudologic that refers to the appeal to ignorance, but condenses the fallacy too much (so much its not true anymore).

 

It would be better to condense it like this: "Sth. is true because there is no proof that sth. is false." -> fallacy. This would make it short without distortion of the meaning (i think) 

 

Edit:

Here is a link for a more in-depth description http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof

 

I usually see it used in regards to god/s so maybe that is why it's used here? Because in the game we don't really know the definition or rules laid out for the old gods to say they couldn't have been disproved with animancy.

It seems with advancement of science in our world, god has been placed outside of our universe to try to make it work. Which makes proving it's existence, or lack thereof rather tricky... 

But we don't know much about the old gods in PoE, so in whatever way "You cannot prove a negative" is interpreted it's possible they could have been proven false. 

At least, that's how it seems to me.

 

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"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.

 

 

"You cannot prove a negative" is an unfortunate piece of pseudologic that refers to the appeal to ignorance, but condenses the fallacy too much (so much its not true anymore).

 

It would be better to condense it like this: "Sth. is true because there is no proof that sth. is false." -> fallacy. This would make it short without distortion of the meaning (i think) 

 

Edit:

Here is a link for a more in-depth description http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof

 

I usually see it used in regards to god/s so maybe that is why it's used here? Because in the game we don't really know the definition or rules laid out for the old gods to say they couldn't have been disproved with animancy.

It seems with advancement of science in our world, god has been placed outside of our universe to try to make it work. Which makes proving it's existence, or lack thereof rather tricky... 

But we don't know much about the old gods in PoE, so in whatever way "You cannot prove a negative" is interpreted it's possible they could have been proven false. 

At least, that's how it seems to me.

 

 

 

The point was that the burden of proof was on proving that the Gods did exist, not proving that they didn't. The Engwithans saw no master moving pieces around and order once they had mastered animancy.  They then determined that if there was no higher power or fate and that bad things happen just because of luck then they would create a purpose and share it with the world. They would get rid of all of the religions of the other civilizations and replace it with their own which would have order and beings which could communicate and offer a purpose in life.

 

It's true that there could have been god or gods outside of their realm of knowledge but they lacked faith to continue to believe without proof. They felt that in the absence of purpose and meaning they would create one because it was better than nothing.

 

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"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.

 

 

"You cannot prove a negative" is an unfortunate piece of pseudologic that refers to the appeal to ignorance, but condenses the fallacy too much (so much its not true anymore).

 

It would be better to condense it like this: "Sth. is true because there is no proof that sth. is false." -> fallacy. This would make it short without distortion of the meaning (i think) 

 

Edit:

Here is a link for a more in-depth description http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof

 

I usually see it used in regards to god/s so maybe that is why it's used here? Because in the game we don't really know the definition or rules laid out for the old gods to say they couldn't have been disproved with animancy.

It seems with advancement of science in our world, god has been placed outside of our universe to try to make it work. Which makes proving it's existence, or lack thereof rather tricky... 

But we don't know much about the old gods in PoE, so in whatever way "You cannot prove a negative" is interpreted it's possible they could have been proven false. 

At least, that's how it seems to me.

 

 

 

The point was that the burden of proof was on proving that the Gods did exist, not proving that they didn't. The Engwithans saw no master moving pieces around and order once they had mastered animancy.  They then determined that if there was no higher power or fate and that bad things happen just because of luck then they would create a purpose and share it with the world. They would get rid of all of the religions of the other civilizations and replace it with their own which would have order and beings which could communicate and offer a purpose in life.

 

It's true that there could have been god or gods outside of their realm of knowledge but they lacked faith to continue to believe without proof. They felt that in the absence of purpose and meaning they would create one because it was better than nothing.

 

 

Not sure if I get you right, but my reply on top dealt with someone taking issue with the Engwithans finding out there were no gods. Saying "so we're dealing with a civilization that learned how to prove a negative (a logical impossibility) "
Which isn't true, and regardless if read literally or not they could have proven the old gods false even if the burden of proof wasn't on them. Which as far as I gathered, is what they did.

It would have been strange to preform mass suicide thinking "X is false, because there is no proof X is true."

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They only needed enough proof to convince themselves of this truth. They used the technology at their disposal to prove that there were no beings that they would define as a deity that they could detect effecting their world in anyway they could measure. This was enough to convince them to draw the conclusion that there were no deities.

 

They had zero evidence of a being that they would classify as a deity which was enough for them to assume that they don't exist since they had nothing to give them hope that they did. You can prove a negative by the way, if you establish that there's no proof that it's positive.

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Just finished the game for the first time and i must say that Act 4 was a major letdown....didnt feel to be in tune with the rest of the game.

the quests you get from the gods are each done in a matter of minutes + travel time

 

cant exactly put my finger on it but after descending the pit i was expecting an epic dungeoncrawl and not a "run through in 15min with some minor trash mobs" experience leading up to Thaos. thats kinda symptomatic for the entire act...just feels cheap and somewhat rushed compared to 1-3

 

 

also, imo, the Thaos fight has waaaaaaaaaaaay to many loss of control effects ... attempted it numerous times and more often then not half my party was dead from the first hit from the judge despite trying like hell to get away from melee...

 

and then theres the actual ending...10min. of narration and thats it...it just doesnt feel like you've accomplished something big...sure, the narration tells you otherwise but the feeling after defeatint Thaos is just kinda...meh...

 

oh, and for the record, without reading a lot of the non-main quest stuff it took 29h....

 

I have 156 hours (holy smokes didn't even notice) and just finished the game.  I restarted a number of times to find a character that had the right specs for the dialog options I wanted.  The character I used to finish the game was a Paladin with very high perception, intelligence, and resolve... min maxed pretty much.  A tank and pretty much nothing else.

 

I played the game on hard. After working through most of the companion arcs I ended up with Eder, Aloth, Durance, and the Grieving Mother.  The other two characters were my paladin and a min/maxed cipher.  I found the adra dragon and Returned Raedric much more difficult than the fight with Thaos.  In fact the fight with Thaos was over before it started.

 

Both my ciphers had unique fully enchanted blunderbuss weapons.  At the start of the battle both ciphers cast amplified wave and knocked down the 2 minions. The ciphers then turned and fired their blunderbusses at Thaos.... he exploded.  I checked the damage log on both attacks, it was upward of 200+ damage from both characters.  I then just mopped up the rest of the trash.

 

The ending does seem rushed.  Although, the way the story is setup I'm not sure how it would feel much different.  When all those questions are built up so high when the answers flow in it will feel short almost no matter what they do.  But still it did feel rushed some what.

 

I still have a lot of questions after the ending.  I'm curious if the gods are individual machines hidden around the world?  Or are they just one machine acting out each part?  How do they execute their power with no avatar? Soul manipulation?  Did Thaos gain the ability to move his soul at will from the machine?  And there are many others.

 

The ending slide for my character makes it sound like there is more yet to come.

Edited by irongamer

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The thaos fight was incredibly easy.. i kept waiting for him to resurrect into his final form :D. Raedric 2.0 gave me fits however.

 

As for the ending in general.. I find most game endings to be unrewarding. But to be fair I think its probably pretty difficult to make a truly epic ending and Im not even sure what that would be.

Edited by Skolinkinlot

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Just finished the game for the first time and i must say that Act 4 was a major letdown....didnt feel to be in tune with the rest of the game.

the quests you get from the gods are each done in a matter of minutes + travel time

 

cant exactly put my finger on it but after descending the pit i was expecting an epic dungeoncrawl and not a "run through in 15min with some minor trash mobs" experience leading up to Thaos. thats kinda symptomatic for the entire act...just feels cheap and somewhat rushed compared to 1-3

 

 

also, imo, the Thaos fight has waaaaaaaaaaaay to many loss of control effects ... attempted it numerous times and more often then not half my party was dead from the first hit from the judge despite trying like hell to get away from melee...

 

and then theres the actual ending...10min. of narration and thats it...it just doesnt feel like you've accomplished something big...sure, the narration tells you otherwise but the feeling after defeatint Thaos is just kinda...meh...

 

oh, and for the record, without reading a lot of the non-main quest stuff it took 29h....

 

I object to the ending, but not for the reasons you described.  To me, it just feels unfinished.  I was given a choice of what to do with the machine at the end, but without any real understanding of the consequences of those decisions, it just felt like an empty choice.  I didn't have any reason to pick or not pick any of the options, because the story leading up to that point had not prepared me to make that decision.  Where was the option to overload the machine to destroy it, for example?  I ended up picking the option that sounded the best, but honestly my character would have been just as likely to leave without doing anything because of the lack of information about what the machine is really doing and what is really going on.

 

From the name "Pillars of Eternity" I came to expect, as I progressed through the story, something more like a showdown with the gods.  I've learned something of their true nature (and in theory should have known much more or all of it from Thaos' soul by the end), and am now in a position to affect their position in the world.  Shouldn't the gods be trying to influence what I do with this knowledge?  Shouldn't they want me to fill the void created by Thaos' death, but also each vying for me to do so with their personal interests at heart?  They are "real" enough to aid me to reach Thaos, but not "real" enough for them to try to manipulate my decision at the machine?

 

I fought my way to Thaos and defeated him, made an uninformed choice about the machine he was (ab)using, and then wandered off.  I feel like I started on a quest to defeat an evil warlord, found out that he was a tool being used by a greater evil, killed him in single combat, and then retired.  What about his army?  What about the greater evil?  Nothing is resolved, but worse there isn't even any indication that I know it isn't resolved and plan to do something about the rest of the problem in a sequel.  Instead my party disbands and we all just walk off in different directions while the Leaden Key picks up right where it left off.  There isn't even a final save file generated, after the decision at the machine, for the purpose of importing into a sequel.  The game just

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I actually would have liked it if they had given less information about the Gods / hadn't given the big reveal.  Save that for a sequel, because it felt a bit rushed and less climactic than it should have been.

 

I think the game sort of lacked thematic focus in general though.  They should have honed in on one of these aspects, and repeatedly made all of the companions and story affected by it:

  • The dangers versus potential of animancy.
  • New technology leading to a conflict with piety.
  • The danger of going insane from your past lives (plural).
  • International politics and the consequences of Colonialism.
  • Focus on fixing Waidwen's Legacy.

As it stands, we got a bit of each, but I would like it if a few were made more dominant and thus stronger.  As it stands, only Pallegina and possibly Durance adequately incorporate multiple themes.

Edited by anameforobsidian
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I see my comment about proving a negative got people talking. I could have been more clear about my meaning, but I stand by it. I'll explain and relate it back to my criticism of the writing so as to stay on point.

 

Firstly, when people talk about not being able to prove a negative, we are not saying "something is true because there is no proof that it is false", we are saying "there is no proof that something is false, therefore it is not necessarily false". That is an important distinction.

 

Someone mentioned "you can prove there is no milk in my glass". Yes, you can do that. But that's not really "proving a negative" in the way that people mean it in contexts like this. If you want to rigorously prove that there is no milk in your glass, you use positive proof. Milk is a measurable substance which we can observe, with known properties (or properties that can be known through observation even if you've never encountered milk before). Therefore you prove that there is no milk in your glass by proving that your glass is full of other measurable substances (air, water, whatever) with their own known properties. You demonstrate that the possibility of the glass containing milk is not compatible with the measurable contents of the glass, therefore the glass contains no milk. You arrive at a negative conclusion via positive proof, and this is enabled by the fact that you are dealing with substances which can be observed and measured, and which have known properties.

 

It becomes a different matter when you're talking about disproving god(s), because you are dealing with things which cannot be observed, cannot be measured, and do not have known (material) properties. So disproving a god is not as simple as using positive proof which can overrule a positive assertion. Here you have to absolutely, explicitly prove a negative; prove that something does not exist without being able to observe it, and do so in a vacuum. That's what I meant by "logical impossibility". This can't be done. That's why the burden of proof is a thing - some claims just can't be disproven, but that doesn't mean they should be accepted.

 

Now I have a few issues with the Engwithans proving that there are no gods before deciding to create some.

 

For one thing, it seems an incongruous thing to arise from their level of technological sophistication. This is a civilization that was less technologically developed than the Dyrwood in all ways except animancy (which is an odd catchall science-of-supersitition), so their quest to scientifically prove/disprove the gods feels forced and out of place to me (like Aztecs debating whether or not there is anything smaller than an atom, or Hitites developing evolution theory). The fact that Obsidian created a dead civilization which just so happens to have been inexplicably advanced in the one area that permits them to solve and discredit religion is inelegant writing. The needs of allegory lead this world by the nose.

 

Moving on from their technological inconsistency, the culture and values of the Engwithans are also problematic. This is a civilization that clearly placed a great value on gods and organised religion. Therefore they must have already had established religion(s) before their great discovery. They must have had very dearly-held religious commitments in order to be so convinced that a world without gods would be so awful. So this god-loving civilization somehow disproves the very gods which made them value religion so highly (I don't know if they built a really tall tower and failed to find heaven in the clouds, or sent a drone to the top of Mount Olympus and couldn't find a man chucking lightning bolts, or whatever) and then proceeds to accept that its beliefs were based on falsehoods.... before deciding to start a new religious tradition based on other falsehoods.

 

Part of why no one has ever been able to point to a new scientific discovery and discredit the concept of deity once and far all is because the concept of deity is flexible. People can and will move the goalposts. If something is deeply important to you (as religion must have been to the Engwithans), you can do all sorts of mental gymnastics in order to preserve your faith in it. On failing to find any positive evidence to support their gods or anyone's else's gods, a religion-loving society like the engwithans could have processed this in several ways. They could have responded to the revelation that "the wheel" doesn't need gods to operate by developing a divine watchmaker theory. They could have placed their gods outside the universe, excusing their inability to locate and observe them. They could have started deifying "the wheel" itself, or gone in a gnostic direction of demonizing the wheel and reincarnation as things that come between them and their increasingly-abstract gods. In any scenario there would be a lot of division and disagreement, and the mere inability to find a god hiding behind the dark side of the moon would not have settled the manner. 

 

But instead we're asked to believe that the Engwithans, having dug a really deep hole and not finding Hades, accepted that were really no gods. That's a remarkable concession from a civilization that places so much value on religion. But because they can't handle the truth (despite being wholeheartedly willing to accept it, apparently, because otherwise their goalposts for the gods would have moved) and can't bear the thought of a world without deities (despite having made it their national obsession to somehow disprove them) they decide they're going to start a new world order based on lies. None of this is organic. This is not a natural progression of ideas and values. It is just a shoddy construct built to relieve the whole question of any ambiguity. Engwithan culture and their role in the world, like their inexplicable technological eccentricites, has been dictated by the needs of the brute-force allegory that has us ride the plot-rails on the religious atrocity roller-coaster all the way to the end where we beat the stuffing out of Thaos the Straw-Pope.

Edited by Sarog
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But instead we're asked to believe that the Engwithans, having dug a really deep hole and not finding Hades, accepted that were really no gods.

 

I like your comment, but I interpreted the situation with the Engwithans slightly differently.  The impression that I got was that they tried to prove that there were gods and failed.  Then, they analyzed their attempt to prove that there were gods and determined that anyone else who tried to prove that there were gods would also fail.  Finally, they considered the ramifications of widespread knowledge of these facts and determined that chaos would result.

 

I don't see this as a result of their strong religious beliefs, but rather a sign that their religious beliefs were in the process of dying.  A people with a strong faith won't be questioning the roots of that faith, or trying to prove it scientifically.  Rather, that measure to me indicates that most of their society had fallen away from their faith and this attempt to prove the existence of the gods was a desperate attempt by the theocratic elite to restore the base of their power.  They didn't go looking for the gods expecting to find nothing, they went looking for the gods expecting to be able to find them and restore the faith of the masses.  When their search failed, and they convinced themselves that their failed attempt was certain proof that the gods did not exist (whether it actually was proof as we understand it being irrelevant), they panicked.  Being theocratic elite they picked a solution that was comfortable to them (preserving faith at any cost).  In other words, a primitive people with power undertook an extreme and violent campaign to contain a perceived threat to the source of their power.  That's about what I would expect, and so in that respect the story makes sense to me.

 

Their level of scientific or technological or theological development isn't necessarily an issue with regard to these determinations, because there is no necessity that their determinations be "true".  All that is necessary is that the Engwithans believe those determinations to be "true", and demonstrating flawed logic on their part or a lack of the necessary development to correctly reach those determinations simply reinforces the possibility that they reached those determinations incorrectly - rather than demonstrating that they could not have reached them.  If they were not advanced enough to see the flaws in their reasoning, well, that just makes them all the more likely to respond to that faulty reasoning fanatically.

 

The story says that they did what they did to try to save the world from the eventual chaos by creating gods (although it isn't clear exactly what that means), presumably ones that will hold up to cursory scrutiny (although it is not clear how they accomplished this), and then spread that faith while also secretly working to prevent anyone from repeating the experiments (or whatever) that they performed which caused them to conclude that there were no "real" gods.  One of the advantages (eyeroll) of the vague nature of the story is that we don't know anything about the real nature of the world or how it works, and so we don't really know whether the Engwithans were right.  We really don't have any answers about the "true" cosmology of the world; we only have (some) answers about how the Engwithans perceived the world.  To a certain extent that is okay...this is after all our first foray into Eora, and it isn't unreasonable for the writers to hold back details for future products.

 

I do feel though that the name of the game sold a story that was going to strike more deeply into this aspect of Eora than it actually did.  There were lots of pillars, but no so much eternity (so to speak).  So, while I can rationalize away a lot of story flaws, it bugs me that the story stopped so far short of where I expected it to go.

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But instead we're asked to believe that the Engwithans, having dug a really deep hole and not finding Hades, accepted that were really no gods.

 

I like your comment, but I interpreted the situation with the Engwithans slightly differently.  The impression that I got was that they tried to prove that there were gods and failed.  Then, they analyzed their attempt to prove that there were gods and determined that anyone else who tried to prove that there were gods would also fail.  Finally, they considered the ramifications of widespread knowledge of these facts and determined that chaos would result.

 

I don't see this as a result of their strong religious beliefs, but rather a sign that their religious beliefs were in the process of dying.  A people with a strong faith won't be questioning the roots of that faith, or trying to prove it scientifically.  Rather, that measure to me indicates that most of their society had fallen away from their faith and this attempt to prove the existence of the gods was a desperate attempt by the theocratic elite to restore the base of their power.  They didn't go looking for the gods expecting to find nothing, they went looking for the gods expecting to be able to find them and restore the faith of the masses.  When their search failed, and they convinced themselves that their failed attempt was certain proof that the gods did not exist (whether it actually was proof as we understand it being irrelevant), they panicked.  Being theocratic elite they picked a solution that was comfortable to them (preserving faith at any cost).  In other words, a primitive people with power undertook an extreme and violent campaign to contain a perceived threat to the source of their power.  That's about what I would expect, and so in that respect the story makes sense to me.

 

Their level of scientific or technological or theological development isn't necessarily an issue with regard to these determinations, because there is no necessity that their determinations be "true".  All that is necessary is that the Engwithans believe those determinations to be "true", and demonstrating flawed logic on their part or a lack of the necessary development to correctly reach those determinations simply reinforces the possibility that they reached those determinations incorrectly - rather than demonstrating that they could not have reached them.  If they were not advanced enough to see the flaws in their reasoning, well, that just makes them all the more likely to respond to that faulty reasoning fanatically.

 

The story says that they did what they did to try to save the world from the eventual chaos by creating gods (although it isn't clear exactly what that means), presumably ones that will hold up to cursory scrutiny (although it is not clear how they accomplished this), and then spread that faith while also secretly working to prevent anyone from repeating the experiments (or whatever) that they performed which caused them to conclude that there were no "real" gods.  One of the advantages (eyeroll) of the vague nature of the story is that we don't know anything about the real nature of the world or how it works, and so we don't really know whether the Engwithans were right.  We really don't have any answers about the "true" cosmology of the world; we only have (some) answers about how the Engwithans perceived the world.  To a certain extent that is okay...this is after all our first foray into Eora, and it isn't unreasonable for the writers to hold back details for future products.

 

I do feel though that the name of the game sold a story that was going to strike more deeply into this aspect of Eora than it actually did.  There were lots of pillars, but no so much eternity (so to speak).  So, while I can rationalize away a lot of story flaws, it bugs me that the story stopped so far short of where I expected it to go.

 

 

I just wanted to do more than like this.  That was a really good post.

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Hello everybody,

i also just finished the game, liked it a lot and would still support it.

This is complaining on a high level, but nevertheless i was kind of disappointed of the story in the end.

 

(As for my choice: i promised none of the gods something, just did their quests, and then followed Wael's hint.)

 

The story is build up slowly during the first two chapters, more tension getting up, rising curiosity.

(You even start liking your fellowship members, that seemed just like a bunch of crazy people with mental Problems on first meeting.)

But 3rd chapter was, concerning the story and game flow, too rushed and fragmented at the same time.

(Also twin elms was lacking atmosphere somehow.)

 

Iovara and the gods are somehow out of the box too late, but thats not the main problem.

Also the Engwithians seem pointless.. so they sacrificed their whole civilisation, to create the "modern" gods.. leading in their "high priest" (Thaos) getting crazy about Woedica as the mightiest god someday.

 

Imho the main problem is that you get the knowledge very late,

and  that you neither can act on the knowledge you gain, nore you get real explanations that gives you at least "philosophical satisfaction".

This leads to an unsatisfiying feeling.. increased by the fact, that your actions just affect a small region in the end.

 

You cant figure out more about the Engwithians and Thaos' role, as the only one surviving that ancient civilisation.

(So Thaos lived for thousands of years and just now started to collecting lots of souls for Woedica!?)

 

You cant figure out more about what exactly the gods are.

(some machines somewhere in the inside of the earth?)

How could you chose one then? Just by personal favor?

 

All those promising threads that were layed out, just ended in nothing or something you have to search for between the lines or hope for in an expansion or PoE2.

(This isnt balanced by the fact that you can choose your motivation to hunt Thaos in some explanations.)

 

When all gods are manmade and the "Guardian of the Gods" (=Thaos) is starting to destroy the balance and make one of the gods  stronger then everyone else..  this is something that should affect the world, not just a small region.

 

The story settles up for something like: You stand up against the gods or have to bargain with them or restore the balance or  destroy those old mind-controlling-machines or sth..

.. but the moment the story should fan out and give you real possibilities, it just ends.

 

First Iovara throws parts of her background on you out of nowhere .. Thaos says nothing binding and you just get some unclear visions when scanning his soul.. and then you have to choose to follow one of the gods though you really know nothing about them .. end... that leaves you totally impotent for a real change...  but this is a video game, not a novel .. the player should have had the possibility to really interact with the gods and change something.

At least the confrontation with Thaos could have been less vague.

 

So in the end PoE loses his story's big potential, because of a hasty 3rd chapter. The player is pushed too much into a narrational nebulous way, instead of letting him play longer on developing his final decision by finding out everything. Also the balance and feeld of the story's epicness is not outplayed properly.

 

Penalty missed! - Still a great game! :)

(sorry for my bad english)

Edited by nakno3

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Problem with people feeling unsatisfied with the ending is that the game didn't make you care about Dyrwood and Waidwen's Legacy. Honestly this felt like a problem in the game in general.

 

I didn't come to care about Dyrwood or the Legacy. I don't care about any of my companions, and I certainly really didn't care about going mad because I am Awakened.

 

So the game felt like it had no purpose. You are just doing stuff because the Journal tells you to do it. The different gods didn't really matter that much, and the different endings didn't really matter all that much.

 

Usually in RPGs, it's really hard for the player to care about something besides themselves. To do that it usually takes a few games to set that tone (e.g., Mass Effect). The problem with PoE, at least for me, is that I didn't really feel personally invested in this whole ordeal. You were told about what would happen to you at the end of Act 1 with Maerwald, but that's it. With just this one instance it doesn't really instill this in the player's mind. As a result, finding Thaos wasn't really a personal thing.

 

Then they kept trying to make you feel curious about your previous life starting in Act 2. The problem, is that the previous life as an Inquisitor isn't really that interesting. They also didn't explain much of it even until the end... so... the game's ending felt anti-climatic and hollow.

 

It doesn't help that the companions were all pretty boring too.

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Their level of scientific or technological or theological development isn't necessarily an issue with regard to these determinations, because there is no necessity that their determinations be "true".  All that is necessary is that the Engwithans believe those determinations to be "true", and demonstrating flawed logic on their part or a lack of the necessary development to correctly reach those determinations simply reinforces the possibility that they reached those determinations incorrectly - rather than demonstrating that they could not have reached them.  If they were not advanced enough to see the flaws in their reasoning, well, that just makes them all the more likely to respond to that faulty reasoning fanatically.

 

Some thoughts in reply, and to clarify my criticism.

 

- Whether the conclusions reached by the Engwithans are actually true or just something of which they've convinced themselves is irrelevant, since their "truth" is the only truth that the narrative presents. The ending does not allow one to really challenge any of Iovara's claims and assumptions, and Thaos gleefully twirls his mustache and vindicates her. After the big reveal, the narrative seems to assume that it has convinced you, and you passively become the champion of its message.

 

- The Engwithans must have had hard certainty in their conclusions in order to abandon whatever belief systems they had previously held and to dedicate themselves towards the establishment and propagation of their manufactured gods. But there is no credible way for the Engwithans to have reached such certainty. Whatever the means by which they observed the universe, observation of the universe cannot disprove god(s) to people who believe in them, because god(s) can always be put outside the univese, outside mortal perception, etc.

 

- The Engwithan progression of logic from 1) looking for gods, to 2) accepting that there are no gods and probably have never been gods (thus the implied realization that gods are not necessary), to 3) believing absolutely that gods are necessary and thus being willing to make fake ones, is absurd. It isn't how the religious mind works; the kind of civilization which would accept that gods are so necessary is not the kind of civilization that would, upon learning that the sun is not in fact drawn across the sky by Apollo's chariot, decide to accept that there had never been gods in the first place. It isn't how the irreligious mind works; the kind of civilization that would believe that it had proved that there had never been gods is not the kind of civilization that believes gods are necessary for people to behave morally.

 

- The Engwithans therefore don't feel like a real, credible civilization. They feel like a plot device. Whether they are supposed to be religious fanatics, or scientific free-thinkers, or a hybrid of both, they reacted to their discovery by scooting by every sensible philosophical conclusion in order to arrive at a bizarro non-solution for everyone. Do not pass go, do not collect two-hundred dollars. Everything about the Engwithans, technologically or culturally, seems to be led by the nose to this subject. They inexplicably have the technological/reasoning powers to disprove god(s) while at the same time being so weak-minded and philosophically unsophisticated as to believe that the threat of divine lightning bolts is the only thing keeping society from falling apart.

 

- Things only start making actual sense when I accept that I'm dealing with allegorical message-fiction. The Engwithans don't hold up to scrutiny because their purpose is not to be authentic or internally consistent, nor to get me to invest my interest in the franchise. Their purpose is to unambiguously settle the question of the validity of religion in this setting, and thus to support all the edgy edgy subtext that underlines Thaos' villany. At which point yes, the subtext is clear and consistent and makes sense in a way that the setting at-face-value does not... but it just isn't particularly compelling.

Edited by Sarog

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....They inexplicably have the technological/reasoning powers to disprove god(s) while at the same time being so weak-minded and philosophically unsophisticated as to believe that the threat of divine lightning bolts is the only thing keeping society from falling apart....

 

Well reality has disproved you. This widely believed today.

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Well reality has disproved you. This widely believed today.

 

 

I think you are confused about the point, as you're not making much of one. Might I ask you to rephrase?

 

(edit for clarity) In reality, the people who think that faith in a deity is necessary for people to live morally are not the same people who believe that no deities ever really existed. The two schools of thought are very much at odds with each other, which is why Engwithans don't make sense, because they believed both things simultaneously.

Edited by Sarog

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Why should it not be possible to believe both things? I fail to see why this should not be a logical thing.

 

If you accept that there are no gods, you must necessarily accept that gods are not the source of morality. If morality is thus independent of gods, there is no reason to believe that you need gods to prevent the world from sliding into chaos and immorality.

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(edit for clarity) In reality, the people who think that faith in a deity is necessary for people to live morally are not the same people who believe that no deities ever really existed. The two schools of thought are very much at odds with each other, which is why Engwithans don't make sense, because they believed both things simultaneously.

 

I don't see a contradiction, as long as one assumes the Engwithians were a deeply cynical and controlling culture (and they'd have to be, to go about creating Gods from scratch). Maybe they didn't need Gods as a moral compass themselves, but the concept was a useful means of avoiding total chaos in the non-Engwithian world at large; all those savages out there. 

 

It wouldn't be the first time a "higher" culture used enforced religious conversion as a convenient tool of controlling "the Other." It's a classic tool of colonialism. 

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...

 

Someone mentioned "you can prove there is no milk in my glass". Yes, you can do that. But that's not really "proving a negative" in the way that people mean it in contexts like this.....

 

 

 

 I see where you are going with this but let's be careful: You can prove that a particular glass doesn't have milk in it, as you said. What you can't prove is that there does not exist a glass anywhere in the cosmos that contains milk (though you could, of course, prove that claim false by demonstrating a single glass with milk in it). To prove the negative assertion would require knowledge that you can't get without looking absolutely everywhere which is impossible. That is the sense in which "you can't prove a negative."

 

 

 

....
It becomes a different matter when you're talking about disproving god(s), because you are dealing with things which cannot be observed, cannot be measured, and do not have known (material) properties. So disproving a god is not as simple as using positive proof which can overrule a positive assertion....

 

  Ok, but specific god claims are no different - you may very well be able to prove that a particular claim or set of claims about a particular god or gods is false if there is a claim that the god manifests in a physical way that you can measure. E.g., you can prove that the sun is not dragged across the sky behind a chariot by the sun god.

 

 Of course, doing so doesn't prove that there isn't a sun god - perhaps it orbits the sun hiding in a tea pot that we just haven't found yet (as so many gods have 'decided to do' ever since we have developed the ability to measure them).

 

 Anyway, your point about burden of proof is spot on, I just wanted to be a little more careful (ok, ok, pedantic) about your lead in.

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Just a few points.

 

First of all, in the Iovara dialogue in the cave, your character remembers some of what actually happened in the past. Therefore Iovara preaching her "herecy" to you isn't comparable to the atheist vs Christian scenario because you already know (parts of) it. Also, she clearly says "I have no proof, but you can look in that room over there and see for yourself" which also annihilates this analogy.

 

For someone who really wants to keep his knowledge and purpose a secret, Thaos ix Arkannon chose a very interesting name for himself. Kudos to the writers, but the voice actors could have pronounced it differently. Calling him "theos" didn't help the story at all.

 

Earning the gods' blessings quests were indeed rushed. Too short and not developed enough.

 

If Thaos is no more and no one takes his place, what happens? Presumably he was the only one who knew enough to keep things running. You need to speak Engwithan to run the machines, no? I know it is revealed in the end that someone reactivated the machine in Defiance Bay, but it was also revealed that the Leaden Key is a highly centralized organization and that most members have no idea what's going on. Also, how do the Gods sustain themselves? Is there also some natural process that has nothing to do with the machines? Like people voluntarily giving their souls (or parts of them) to the gods through praying and devotion? Would then the Gods die if people stopped believing and/or no one maintained the machines? What of the six people who know the truth and were allowed to leave the place? Will the gods try to hunt them down? I'd have appreciated at least some hints, if not answers. I know a sequel might bring answers, but making the final choice, if you can call it that, would feel better if I had more information.

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