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Well that was a lot of fun. Frustrating at some points, but I've logged a little over 45 hours of game-time and that's well worth the money I put into it. Great work, Obsidian.

 

Overall, I'm happy with it. There are some nasty bugs, but the console commands let me work around them and patches will take care of those in time. I enjoyed the mechanics and gameplay, though I think some rudimentary AI (setting combat behaviors perhaps) would've gone a long way towards not dying as often as I did.

 

I think the story could've been stronger if it didn't split its plot between your soul going mad, and Thaos' soul harvesting. The former is almost a side-note; you get some hallucinations, but it mostly serves as an impetus to pursue Thaos. It kinda feels like they tried to mix some Planescape: Torment in with Baldur's Gate and didn't quite get the levels right. The personal quest just didn't feel as compelling to me as the threat to the country - soulless infants are serious business.

 

I was really wowed by the subject matter there. Especially with the various instances where you could see families taking care of still children. I think that was a really strong point, and it pulled me into the game more than anything else. That was what motivated me, rather than fixing my soul, to the point where the latter could've been dropped entirely and I wouldn't have noticed anything.

 

In fact, the whole "you're going insane" plot was basically carried in a few text-boxes that you could completely ignore. I think it would have been stronger if there were periodic hallucinations, where instead of a purple haze and text, the game transitions to a scene from one of your past lives that you play out, only to come back to reality and see that your actions had real effects. Maybe you hurt someone, or destroyed something valuable. It'd give you more of a reason to get the problem fixed, I think. As it stands you can pretend it's not happening and just focus on saving the children.

 

I didn't complete everything, though. Didn't finish the Endless Paths because of the 13th-floor door bug, never finished Durance's quest (it never seemed to advance even after I went through all the dialogue trees) and I never finished the Eskimo-knockoff's quest because she kinda irritated me. I was also kinda saddened by just how poorly my epilogue went; it felt like I got the worst endings for a lot of things, despite trying to be a good person and do the right thing. I must've put my faith in the wrong people, or maybe you just can't change some things after all.

 

I enjoyed the more direct consequences for my actions. Having assassins come after me and people I spent time with was a nice touch (I was actually shocked and dismayed to see Seral's body in the streets after I paid her enough money for her to start a new life). But I didn't notice a whole lot of results from guiding characters down one path or another (telling Aloth to accept or dominate his other personality, wiping the Grieving Mother's memories or not). Maybe I'll notice more differences when I do a new playthrough with different choices.

 

There's a whole lot of material and worldbuilding here, and I'm hopeful that Obsidian found this to be enough of a success to create a sequel or two for it. I'd love to keep playing in this setting.

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Didn't Like Sagani either. I mean she is nice in terms of personality, but gameplaywise...meh, at that point I had found my playstyle and she just didn't fit in and didn't bring enough to the table (like the Grieving Mother does).

@OP: with the 13th-floor-doorbug...do you mean the door where you have to say a password or the one to the "secret" treasure chamber? The former doesn't seem buggy to me, you just have to a) advanced the main story enough to learn the language (which you probably have) and then first talk to the doorman and then the spirit before you can open it. 
If it is because of the treasure:

by vehemently clicking on the wall I actually got one of my characters to enter it THROUGH the wall, to find boots of speed (NEAT!) and I think a decent sabre (meh) in there. Nice to have but not gamebreaking

 

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 How could you not like Sagani ! She is my favourite I think. I'm curious which companions you did like best.

Just her word choice, really. Referring to the group as "the Pack" and whatnot. Small things really, but I just didn't find her interesting enough to swap out any of my other people.

 

Favorite companion is probably Pellagina. She's an honorable, honest character with a strong moral core and a forward-thinking attitude towards scientific and social progress. She's a patriot and willing to follow orders she doesn't understand or necessarily agree with, but when she sees that those orders will cause more harm than good, she uses her own brain to work out a solution. Like she says, her oath is to the Republics, not the ducs. Or something to that effect.

 

Also, feather-hair is awesome. Kinda wish all of it was feathers, just a big crown of them like a pea**** or something. (EDIT: lol peac-ock is a blocked word).

 

After that, probably Aloth. He's a very small person at the start. A little dishonest, a little manipulative, a little hopeful and a lot afraid. But as you journey together he realizes how much of a dupe he's been, and by the end of the game he becomes a major force for good in the world. He has strong opinions about personal freedom and the responsibility of the strong to use their power wisely. He grows from being a sneaky leech to trusting your friendship and telling you about his connections with the Leaden Key.

 

Both of them are real stand-up people, even if Aloth had to grow into it. I respect that kind of willpower, especially in the face of what the party is fighting against.

 

I'm kinda torn about Durance. On the face of it, he's a man of great conviction, but when you get him talking it becomes pretty clear that he's deluding himself, hoping that if he pretends hard enough that Magran will talk to him again. He bought in all the way, and then she dropped him. He's full of directionless anger and grasps at any string he can see. I like how earnest he is with his beliefs, but I dislike how he's using them as a crutch to avoid coming to terms with reality.

 

Grieving Mother was the one I waffled on most, especially when she asked me to wipe her memories. I definitely think that mindhacking people into thinking their hollowborn children were normal was wrong, but I think you could argue diminished capacity for just about everything she did. She's off her rocker, is what I'm saying. She badly wants to do good, but as she sees it, and she's willing to use her power to enforce her decisions over other people's desires. Being a cipher brings that temptation, but she uses mindhax as the go-to option rather than a tool of last resort.

 

Those guys were my "core" team. The last slot I shuffled around as needed. Either didn't like or didn't care about them.

Didn't Like Sagani either. I mean she is nice in terms of personality, but gameplaywise...meh, at that point I had found my playstyle and she just didn't fit in and didn't bring enough to the table (like the Grieving Mother does).

 

@OP: with the 13th-floor-doorbug...do you mean the door where you have to say a password or the one to the "secret" treasure chamber? The former doesn't seem buggy to me, you just have to a) advanced the main story enough to learn the language (which you probably have) and then first talk to the doorman and then the spirit before you can open it. 

If it is because of the treasure:

by vehemently clicking on the wall I actually got one of my characters to enter it THROUGH the wall, to find boots of speed (NEAT!) and I think a decent sabre (meh) in there. Nice to have but not gamebreaking

 

Huh. I think I may have overlooked that. I'll be sure to grab it on my 2nd playthrough, thanks.

Edited by Peanuckle
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 I really liked Sagani because of her dedication to a task which was so much bigger than she was. In my real life I have a problem with open ended problems. Sagani has spent five years chasing someone she has no idea(or very little) how to find. This more or less puts me in awe of her. Her in game dialogue/banter pretty much kills me too. I havent really had Pellagina in my party for enough stuff to see her really come out enough. I only just got to dyrwood. Aloth I have really enjoyed right from the word go. I like Kana a lot too. His attitude and thirst for knowledge is admirable to me. 

 Can't wait to meet this grieving mother. She sounds like crazy fun. Since my character is rational I am not so sure that I will be able to justify having her around though.

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I thought Durance had one of the most satisfying conclusions out of the companions, if you manage to convince him of Magran's deception. The fact that you turn his convictions and belief system completely upside down at the end had a really powerful effect on his story. It also made me a lot more sympathetic to his cause, after finding out that he had been lied throughout his whole journey. 

Edited by Augustus
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However if you don't complete Durance's quest -the ending card you get for him - that was some heavy stuff lol. 

 

I got *mostly* positive outcomes so perhaps i just lucked out. 

 

 

To be honest, the biggest "change" that could be made to the game, I think, that'd make it a bit better story-wise, would be to stretch out some of the Defiance bay content so that the player has to somehow become involved in the animancy debate without having any concrete information.  This is hinted at and brought up a bunch, but the player is never really pressed to think about, or take a side in the wiadwen's legacy debate - until you have definitive proof as to what is going on.  I dunno, I think it'd just be cool if they tried to draw the player into that, and make certain conclusions about what is going on (of course you can do that organically on your own to a degree) then the mid-game reveal would be a lot more powerful.  But on the whole that's just a minor thing.

 

I don't know if it was a bug or what, but after the defiance bay riots I started to see and hear a *lot* more freaky stuff as my watcher.  Lots of souls hanging out in bars that didn't belong (they were purple and hazy like so souls), and around town, I also got that creepy whispering sound track a *lot* more often.  I don't know if it was my game wigging out or by design, but it did really make me *feel* like my PC was starting to lose his marbles lol.

 

Another thing that got me curious is that sagrel, in my game, didn't die in the riot - she was still just chilling by that fountain - and she had some pretty interesting quips about the riots lol.  So I wonder why she lived in mine? lol. 

Edited by Gallenger
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Another thing that got me curious is that sagrel, in my game, didn't die in the riot - she was still just chilling by that fountain - and she had some pretty interesting quips about the riots lol.  So I wonder why she lived in mine? lol. 

Did you pay her the money, or use a dialogue option to convince her to give you the amulet? I had to pay her because I didn't meet any of the requirements, and that got me some funny dialogue and made her day.

 

She probably was killed because the game read that as "Player likes this person, assassinate her for maximum feels."

 

Which totally worked btw. My feels were sore after that.

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Thing with Durance is after the rest scenes you get when you have asked all questions, final part unlocks at Teir Evon when you talk to gods.

 

My guess about assassin's attacking that npc is because that npc isn't normally there, so devs forgot to add something to code to make that npc not count as target to assassins :p

Edited by BrokenMask
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