Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Longknife

Choice and Consequence in this game feels....lacking. [Spoilers Galore]

Recommended Posts

Can we discuss this?

 

 

I've played the game a couple times now, and the difference between what my characters do feels very minor. Any time I'm handed a quest, the decisions are very limited in scope, or they ultimately won't carry much weight or consequence. One quest might offer three options, but those three might be the difference between tons of reputation, 100 coin and minor reputation, or bad reputation and tons of items and coin.....but what does reputation even do? The only thing I've seen rep do is provide shortcuts to quests that could already be started without reputation bonuses, or a shop cuts it's prices down for me cause they like my reputation. If my rep is bad, at worst it's a squad of angry guys come after me and that's that: a forgettable encounter that only added some flavor.

 

 

Let's talk Gilded Vale for a second, because I'm sure it's a town everyone's experienced and it does wonders to highlight my point:

 

Who here has negative reputation with Gilded Vale?

 

That's my point: the system acts as though there's choice and consequence, but the quests and interactions themselves don't allow for such a thing. The only way to really accrue negative rep with Gilded Vale is either petty insults to it's citizens (which doesn't accrue nearly enough to matter) or go on an absolute slaughter of it's citizens. There's gotta be like 5 quest opportunities to gain positive reputation with Gilded Vale, and only one quest that comes to mind that even offers negative reputation as a result of one of it's options.

 

  Quests are woefully linear most of the time, and even when they deviate, the typical deviation you can expect to see from a quest in Pillars? You've just confronted the bad guy and he's offering you something shiny if you allow him to walk or work for him instead. This is typically how it goes, and I can't say that the offers ever vary that much. Maybe I'm mistaken here, but I've yet to be offered, for example, a really badass weapon that I've just GOT to have, that I can only get if I solve the quest a certain way. It just doesn't happen. Maybe I can think of one instance where this happens, and it's only in conjunction with a specific class.

 

 

 

 

  Not that it matters though, because the effects of reputation are limited too. Either you get better prices or you can get someone to give you their quest quicker in dialog because they see your rep. That's it. At one point in a later stage of the game, I gained rep with a very small, insignificant group. I thought "what the HELL does this matter and why do I care?" Turns out that small insignificant group had a merchant amongst them. You can guess what my bonus was for getting the good rep.

   I also can't say I've ever proc'ed conversation reputation and thought "oh thank god, my rep saved me and allowed me to do this!" Nah, most of the conversation reputations, again, feel like flavor text. You go to a guy to get his quest, like you normally would, but this time he says "[Aggressive 2] Good, I need someone who knows how to take the bull by the horns!" If you lack that reputation, then he still gives you the quest exactly as he normally would.....For some reason the reps seem obsessed with rank 2 aswell. I can't really recall a rep above 2 being needed, which means if you wish to metagame, just switch up your responses after getting rank 2 of a certain kind.

 

 

 

And finally, the endings. (ending spoilers ahead)

 

Overall, it just doesn't feel like we even touched on enough for the endings to matter. What's more, if you're not afraid of spoilers, have a look: http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Pillars_of_Eternity_Endings

 

 

If you are afraid of spoilers? What I want to point out there is the endings tied to the Gods are almost unanimously good. It's like they were afraid to dish out bad endings, so instead there...aren't any. When you talk to the Gods, they'll warn about each other's wishes and why the desires of the other God could be bad. But when you actually try it their way.....it's just good. Breaking pacts is bad, but I suppose what my point is is that none of the conversations you have leading up to that matter. All of the warnings the gods give about one another? Unfounded and meaningless. Every single choice only sings of the success it brings about. There is now "we were infused with extra souls to give us strength, but now we're bipolar." Hell, even the endings that seem like they're bad all around conveniently skip over the potentially bad parts of their mechanisms and only praise the good.

 

   Oddly enough, the exception is the companions. All of the companions within Pillars seem to have both success and failure conditions. They can come to terms with their issues, they can fail horribly, or said issues can go unresolved. Why don't we see more of this in general? The companion endings are exactly the types of endings I want to see, as they help make each character feel unique. Whereas the God endings all involve the Hollowborn curse being done and over with and people reproduce once again and feel great regardless of what you did (unless you crossed a God, in which case everyone suffers regardless of who you crossed), the companion endings can be good or bad or everything in between.

 

 

Overall, I'm just frankly quite disappointed in Pillars in this regard. A prime example would be Heritage Hill. You blow the machine up? You're a hero and amazing. You turn it off? You're a hero but the neighborhood is still doomed. The moment you realize one ending is absolutely 100% superior to the other, you'll take that ending every single time. OR if you want to bring chaos to the world, you pick the other. There's no depth or consideration to any of the decisions you make within this game, they're all just very obvious and straightforward.

 

 

 Finally I'd just like to clarify that choice and consequence at least does matter for combat and character building, as you can design (for example) a Cipher multiple different ways based on the upgrades you pick.

 

In the end, I feel Obsidian lost themselves in their desire to make everything viable, to the point where all is viable, but only because there's no real consequence to be had for the majority of the game.

 

Thoughts?

  • Like 1

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I mean to be fair, how is that different from any other game that ends using title cards? 

 

Arcanum has perhaps the most interesting title cards for the end (since there are ~6 you can get + 3 deleted ones ;( ) as regards the main storyline. 

 

In general you're only going to get 1-3 possible endings for each major area - if they are mentioned at all lol.  In fallout 1 the Hub is (still to this day) glitched and will only give the bad ending 100% of the time, unless you use a fan mod for example. 

 

I was mostly impressed about *how* much stuff came up in the ending at all.  It's fairly rare for the ending to last so long and go over everything. 

 

The companions were another really surprising aspect, because usually it's like 2-3 lines like the ending to an 80's B movie - if the companions are mentioned at all. 

 

My main question here is which game is your baseline for "reactive" story?  What I see from this game is *at least* on par, or beyond, what most of the other games made by these folks (even if you throw in the DA/ME series too just for good measure). 

 

I mean... in BG you don't even get an ending besides a cinematic lol - the same goes basically for Torment as well once you've made your choices (a/b/c).  

Edited by Gallenger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I mean to be fair, how is that different from any other game that ends using title cards? 

 

Arcanum has perhaps the most interesting title cards for the end (since there are ~6 you can get + 3 deleted ones ;( ) as regards the main storyline. 

 

In general you're only going to get 1-3 possible endings for each major area - if they are mentioned at all lol.  In fallout 1 the Hub is (still to this day) glitched and will only give the bad ending 100% of the time, unless you use a fan mod for example. 

 

I was mostly impressed about *how* much stuff came up in the ending at all.  It's fairly rare for the ending to last so long and go over everything. 

 

The companions were another really surprising aspect, because usually it's like 2-3 lines like the ending to an 80's B movie - if the companions are mentioned at all. 

 

My main question here is which game is your baseline for "reactive" story?  What I see from this game is *at least* on par, or beyond, what most of the other games made by these folks (even if you throw in the DA/ME series too just for good measure). 

 

I mean... in BG you don't even get an ending besides a cinematic lol - the same goes basically for Torment as well once you've made your choices (a/b/c).  

 

 

But Fallout for example offered both more choices and more....thought-provoking situations. This goes for all Fallouts Obsidian has had a hand in (1 & 2 and New Vegas). A simple example would be that it's possible to passively rescue Tandi from the Khans, but this will result in the Khans survival, which leads to them terrorizing small communities in the future. It's this mix where a good karma character who avoids conflict and killing as much as possible will face the reality that sometimes avoiding conflict does not give the best ending. It's a stark reality shown where even well-intentioned actions can have bad reprocussions.

 

   Pillars of Eternity lacks this. There's not really a single decision made in the game that's some degree of morally grey. Quests in general have a tone of "help me with my problem, you good samaritan." After taking the quest, you can either follow through and be a good samaritan or you can somehow double cross somebody and screw them over....or simply ask for payment. I never ran across a quest in this game that got me thinking "damn this is a tough choice...." It's either clearly good or clearly bad. I mean I've caught myself asking before "how the HELL do I roleplay a character that would support the Dozens?" And that question is still highly relevant. Your character is shown firsthand that animancers are framed. Your character is practically given a bias towards animancy, if not for believing it's valuable, then at LEAST in it's defense as not being the source of the Legacy.....and even if you wanted to, you couldn't. This game shoehorns you into positions a lot. Maerwald will fight you regardless of what you say, Thaos will attack the duc regardless of what you say at the meeting, you cannot side with Thaos at the end (you can't agree with him) and you cannot lie and speak out against animancy at the hearing; even if you detest animancy and think it's worthless and choose to publicly disgrace it while personally investigating the Leaden Key yourself, the dialog options force you to announce animancy was framed. At the end you're given a rather bipolar option to passionately say animancy should be outlawed anyways...

 

Fallout as a series (again, 1 & 2 + New Vegas) would be the standard I'd compare to. Which seems fair, considering this is a studio that houses people involved in making those games, and directly made New Vegas themselves.

 

In that sense it's disappointing, because I recall when this was kickstarted they said some selling points would be morally grey areas and adult themes. Not adult themes like sex and violence, but like more refined areas of discussion. On that last part, I have to say I think they fell a little flat. They briefly touch on some, but nothing's ever explored in depth enough to really hit it home. For example animancy can touch on a lot of things in regards to personal freedoms, scientific practices of research and all sorts of other stuff, but is any of that explored? Not really. At best it's touched on once and that's it. It feels like a lot of good opportunities were passed by.

 

 

 

  Another criticism I have to voice (somewhat of a tangent) is that the ending "hook?" It's so weak. It's solid, don't get me wrong it's not that it's poorly executed or poorly done, and it's a good story with plenty of refined questions sparked by it. The problem? I think EVERYONE asks themselves about the existence of God by the time they're age 14. It's been done before. Atheism is not Bigfoot; you can see an atheist just by leaving your house, assuming you aren't already one, and merely encountering an atheist will make you face that question. Hell this vid popped up in my recommended vid list the other day and this really drives home that the whole "do Gods exist? Did a God create us or did we create God?" has been done before. This is just ONE episode of Bebop and it manages to concisely present the exact same question Pillars does:

 

 

 

Iunno. I get the importance of the question and all, it's just....I got that 10 years ago. There's nothing daring or new about the main plot. It's been done before and I've already done all the thinking I think I can do on that subject. Pillars didn't bring ANYTHING new to the table for me on that subject.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I can see a little bit of that.  If one looks through the fallout wiki vs the wiki for this game, the *number* of endings is on par, but the *ways* you get to that are less confusing in this game.  For example, either Junktown ending is generally good, although the Killian ending (what you'd think is the "good" option in the game) is somewhat less good - and even less good with the restored original content lol. 

 

For example with Gilded vale:

 

Kill raedric twice: things are wild, but it survives.

Kill Raedric once: Vampire Raedric kills everybody

Never Kill Raedric: non-vampire Raedric kills everybody

 

However, the endings for defiance bay are *quite* reactive - even simple conversation choices can make a difference and there is a bit of ambiguity in your choices.  I think as it stands right now, a lot of people got roped into the dozens because of the "bug" there or quest structures not being clear enough lol.  But even with the dozens there are small variations based on your conversation choices - which are mostly ambiguous to the player in the moment

 

  

http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Pillars_of_Eternity_Endings?cookieSetup=true  Not everything is filled out yet, but you can see some of your concerns aren't fully realized lol.  Some things are cut and dried, but there's a lot of reactivity in there - and a few mysteries lol. 

 

I would say the tower is a bit of an ambiguity, since when you first come across it, chances are, you have no idea what it does - I was tempted to simply shut it off, thinking it may be valuable for some other purpose, but ultimately decided to destroy it because it clearly caused bad things to happen, and would've been useable by anybody who could speak a dead language. 

 

 

 

The Atheism theme at the end as you've dubbed it is something I don't particularly agree with however.  The point isn't to dwell on the existence or non-existence of God(s) or even that they may've ultimately been made by people.  It's knowing that the Gods are in-fact quite real and quite able to influence events, but were created by somebody - and that such things could be done again.  The Gods of multiple cultures the world over are a legacy from the Engwithans weighing down on everything, and for better or worse, they're here for good more or less - whether you believe in them or not. 

 

I mostly saw it as trying to aggrandize the achievements of the Engwithans.  I mean, they could literally make Gods - and to demonstrate to the player how these empty ruins and this lost civilization still, in many ways, controls the modern society - which has very little understand of who the Engwithans actually were. 

Edited by Gallenger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I want to point out there is the endings tied to the Gods are almost unanimously good. It's like they were afraid to dish out bad endings, so instead there...aren't any. When you talk to the Gods, they'll warn about each other's wishes and why the desires of the other God could be bad. But when you actually try it their way.....it's just good.

 

Hey, it's almost as if like the gods are just super-powerful soulforged AIs made by a certain earlier civilization with a pre-written set of preferences and behaviors, and no particular insight into the real nature of the world... oh wait.

  • Like 2

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The part about the Heritage Hill ending, well, I actually like how it came out. It's realistic. Doing the right thing (safely turning off the machine) ends up in an unintentionally bad ending, while doing the reckless thing (blowing it up) gives you a good ending.

 

It's kind of like the dwarf political intrigue in Dragon Age: Origins. If you support the reasonable and honest Lord Harrowmont, the dwarf nation ends up stagnating and the rigid caste system stays in place. If you support the murderous Prince Bhelen, the dwarf nation prospers and becomes a more egalitarian society and a much nicer place to live. Also, what you do to the golem factory (can't remember the exact name in the game) affects the dwarf ending. It's a horrible thing that turns dwarves into golems with little to no free will, and keeping it running will result in many dwarves being condemned to golemhood (though, on the bright side, there are some genuine volunteers). However, having golems will let the dwarves make the Underdark (can't remember the Dragon Age name) a much safer place, and for the first time in forever, people can travel the Underdark safely, without fear of darkspawn and other subterranean monsters.

 

How many times have people done the right thing in real life only to make things worse? How many times have people done stupid or even outright evil things and made the world a better place? You can't really predict these things, so all you can do is to hope that you did the right (morally superior) thing and got the correct (desired) resolution.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a very long answer ready to go, but here's simply the gist of it.

 

All in all, I'd say that the design is rather sound. The watcher and his/her influence are not blown out of proportion; the quests and their outcomes always matter to someone ingame; the paths to solve them may be similar but you are rarely limited to one solution and care has been taken to accommodate multiple playstyles; the reach of the consequences fit the stakes; and the game gives the player feedback anyway it can, particularly via what NPCs say and think of you depending on what you say and do. Particular quests can always be improved in their pacing, in the options made available, in the rewards given, or even in their outcome but I don't think the way Pillars of Eternity handles choice and consequence is fundamentally lacking - except if you demand your every choice be on an epic scale or if you want instant karma/drama; then, sure, the game is bound to disappoint you. Do not play Pillars of Eternity thinking you are playing against a computer; play it thinking you are playing with a computer GM.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

You only really get 1 chance to roleplay, thats your 1st run through the game, after that you're meta gaming

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

You only really get 1 chance to roleplay, thats your 1st run through the game, after that you're meta gaming

 

What, knowledge obsessed ciphers that care about Engwithan constructs more than about people are not a thing anymore? I know that my cipher wouldn't destroy the machine unless her very life depended on it.

 

Plus one has to consider that the souls would get destroyed with the machine, if you chose to blow it up. That is why I didn't blow it up on my goodie-goodie rogue.

 

 

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

What would you like to have? Sunshines and bunnies solution to this problem? Or a solution that makes you benefit from this situation somehow? 

 

This is exactly why we always get good/evil decisions in RPGs. Because as soon as there both options are more ambivalent, people start complaining.

Edited by Sonntam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

To destroy the machine, you have to destroy the souls as well.  My character wanted the machine destroyed but ultimately wasn't willing to pay that price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on guys, let's be real. Of course Longknife is right. If there is one thing Mass Effect 2's ending has taught us, it's that blowing up machines we know nothing about because they have been evilly used by evil people to do evil things of epic evilness we do not understand is the paragon thing to do, and paragon means good. Don't even think about trying to study it or coming back to it to see what you can do about those souls because you are a watcher, that's just inconceivable, we don't want any of that.

 

No, what we do want is a morally greytm option to swallow these souls and become a god, because that's obviously a skill your character has, and a chaotic dumb option to use an unmoveable machine that your character knows sucks the souls of kith in its surroundings (especially those close to it) to suck souls across town, because who cares about boring logic as long as we have edgy C&C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

To destroy the machine, you have to destroy the souls as well.  My character wanted the machine destroyed but ultimately wasn't willing to pay that price.

 

 

One of characters had difficulties in her decision to blow the machine up because it meant destroying all those souls but at end she decided that blowing it up it is only way that she knows to prevent anybody ever again using machine to steal souls from others and she will answer for her god about her decision when that time comes up in sometime in future.

 

Another character decided that machine should be spared because there could be option to use it to reverse its effects or at least it should be studied and understood better before it is destroyed.

 

So you can roleplay it in both ways if you feel like it. Of course meta game knowledge can some times be such that it is hard to ignore, but I am lucky that it is somewhat easy thing for me, because I usually can make myself to select only things that I think my character would choose instead of choosing best options by using my meta game knowledge.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

There most definitely IS a way to siphon energy from the machine for your benefit. You have to feed the animancer first. It gives you a great perk (+1 Might, +5% endurance). It is incredibly tempting, especially in an ironman playthrough where you know those few HPs and that extra damage might be make or break when you take a hubristic or difficult fight.

 

On a basic level the decision is between making a decision to save the souls in front of you or to guarantee for the future at the cost of the souls already in there. With the siphoning you've a third option where you decide that increasing your power to fix problems is more important than the souls there or the safety of this one district.

 

I also like that getting the full information about what the machine is really *for* (i.e. sucking up souls to become power) requires a moral compromise, while taking the better safe than sorry route is all about wrecking things you don't understand.

Edited by Blovski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh.

 

Out of all of the games made by the folks currently working at Obsidian that I've played, I think Pillars is weakest in this area despite having more mechanics built around it. It doesn't really help that none of the factions are terribly interesting. It's a pretty huge downgrade going from the factions of Fallout (Planescape: Torment and Vampire: the Masquerade too, but Obsidian didn't create those settings) to the Dozens and the Crucible Knights. Ultimately everyone, including your (former) self, is just a stupid dupe reacting to the whims of the villain right up until the ending when you finally kill him. Too bad he's not much of a villain, either.

 

To be blunt and honest, if we're talking about choice and consequences, in my opinion the bit where Thaos walks into the Duc's meeting and murders him before wandering off is, in context, one of the worst instances of writing in a video game I've ever seen. It renders everything you've done up to then (probably dozens of hours of gameplay) completely pointless and raises a whole bunch of questions like: If Thaos can just do whatever he wants wherever he wants whenever he wants, why does he need the Leaden Key? Why doesn't he just teleport into your face and detonate your head before siphoning your soul into his machines so you can't ever reincarnate again? You have to spend an entire act to get the chance to attend the stupid meeting (for no reason, mind you, since it's not like the Duc gets the chance to help you with your quest or anything) and he just gets to strut in like he owns the place? Well, thanks for wasting my time, I guess. Good thing I just did the easy thing and murdered faction members in Defiance Bay until Lady Webb let me go to the meeting, though not before wagging her finger at you and insulting you. Nevermind that her concerns about not having a faction's backing are completely unfounded since no one at the meeting actually cares who's supporting you. Maybe that's how Thaos got in, he just killed Crucible Knights or whatever until Lady Webb called him incompetent and gave him an invitation. Not exactly the trial from Neverwinter Nights 2, is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

finish the game and tell me your decisions dont have consequences, you get an entire laundry list of all the stuff you personally did to the lands during your stay there, looks like I made a serious impact

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There most definitely IS a way to siphon energy from the machine for your benefit. You have to feed the animancer first. It gives you a great perk (+1 Might, +5% endurance). It is incredibly tempting, especially in an ironman playthrough where you know those few HPs and that extra damage might be make or break when you take a hubristic or difficult fight.

 

 

 

Sorry HH but I needs me some +1 might, how do you get this option?

Edited by Exyll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh.

 

Out of all of the games made by the folks currently working at Obsidian that I've played, I think Pillars is weakest in this area despite having more mechanics built around it. It doesn't really help that none of the factions are terribly interesting. It's a pretty huge downgrade going from the factions of Fallout (Planescape: Torment and Vampire: the Masquerade too, but Obsidian didn't create those settings) to the Dozens and the Crucible Knights. Ultimately everyone, including your (former) self, is just a stupid dupe reacting to the whims of the villain right up until the ending when you finally kill him. Too bad he's not much of a villain, either.

 

To be blunt and honest, if we're talking about choice and consequences, in my opinion the bit where Thaos walks into the Duc's meeting and murders him before wandering off is, in context, one of the worst instances of writing in a video game I've ever seen. It renders everything you've done up to then (probably dozens of hours of gameplay) completely pointless and raises a whole bunch of questions like: If Thaos can just do whatever he wants wherever he wants whenever he wants, why does he need the Leaden Key? Why doesn't he just teleport into your face and detonate your head before siphoning your soul into his machines so you can't ever reincarnate again? You have to spend an entire act to get the chance to attend the stupid meeting (for no reason, mind you, since it's not like the Duc gets the chance to help you with your quest or anything) and he just gets to strut in like he owns the place? Well, thanks for wasting my time, I guess. Good thing I just did the easy thing and murdered faction members in Defiance Bay until Lady Webb let me go to the meeting, though not before wagging her finger at you and insulting you. Nevermind that her concerns about not having a faction's backing are completely unfounded since no one at the meeting actually cares who's supporting you. Maybe that's how Thaos got in, he just killed Crucible Knights or whatever until Lady Webb called him incompetent and gave him an invitation. Not exactly the trial from Neverwinter Nights 2, is it?

 

Meeting and faction that backs you up has quite heavy impact in end sequence of the game and there is some impact in how people react on you if you go back in Defiance Bay after riots. It just don't have consequences that benefit you directly and immediately, but it has consequences and meaning. And Thaos don't do what you suggest because his power has limit and he would not had assasinated the Duc if you hadn't spoiled his other plans, and you will see that his assassination of the Duc will eventually lead destruction of everything that he had build over millennia (if you don't later on the game decide prevent that from happening). So it was desperate measure from him that eventually causes his plans to fail completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

There most definitely IS a way to siphon energy from the machine for your benefit. You have to feed the animancer first. It gives you a great perk (+1 Might, +5% endurance). It is incredibly tempting, especially in an ironman playthrough where you know those few HPs and that extra damage might be make or break when you take a hubristic or difficult fight.

 

 

 

Sorry HH but I needs me some +1 might, how do you get this option?

 

 

Talk to the Animancer before you go off to talk to Icantha (or after, at which point he's so degenerated you need to feed him to keep him ready). He promises to show you something about the machine if you send something his way. Then tell the guys from Icantha's house it's safe on top of the tower. I don't know if you can do it with the Valtas child as well (I'd imagine you can, though). Talk to him again once he's had his sacrifice and you know Engwithan from Icantha and you can siphon the souls and get your Gift From The Machine perk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

To destroy the machine, you have to destroy the souls as well.  My character wanted the machine destroyed but ultimately wasn't willing to pay that price.

 

 

Touche on this point. I'd forgotten that when I wrote that. Still, some of my other complaints remain solid:

 

 

1) Community reputations do nothing for you beyond making some merchant prices cheaper or help to end a quest one step faster. The only time you'll encounter choice and consequence is the three factions all have a merchant offering different things. That's it.

 

2) Dialog reputations seemingly do nothing. It's an amazing illusion of uniqueness, but the amount of times a dialog reputation actually changes your outcome can be counted on one hand. Typically dialog reputation amounts to little more than someone commenting on what a great person you are (Benevolent) reputation before offering you the quest they were going to offer you anyways.  Prime example? There's a quest where you find a monk who asks you to deliver a sealed message to his order. If you have Honest reputation he thanks the gods you found him, if you're deceptive he comments on it but also says you're sadly his only hope. In both scenarios, you're treated exactly the same. There is no situation where his monk order will be skeptical of what you tell them because you're deceptive or the like, it plays out exactly the same. All scenarios where dialog reputation is recognized, it has no actual impact on the quest and the quest would be obtainable anyways. The only exceptions I can name off the top of my head is it's possible to psyche out some enemy attackers with Aggressive rep and get them to back off.

 

3) Endings feel meaningless as far as difference goes, at least on the Gods. Helping a God is always universally good; even supporting Woedica does not support in the game feeding you tidbits about the bad it did, but rather only good or neutral aspects of this choice are mentioned. Betraying a God is always bad. I enjoy morally grey, but I also think trying to be as good or as evil as possible should be a thing. As far as the Gods and Companions go, bad endings are achieved by purposefully breaking a pact with a God or by just not bothering with a companion's quest (usually). It just feels a little weak. Unfortunately, Gods and Companions endings make up the majority of the endings.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Why would you always destroy the machine simply because you know it leads to the "good" ending, or vice versa?  That's not roleplaying.

 

How on earth would you even roleplay that scenario? There is no good-neutral-evil sort of options on the table. There is no "you can siphon energy from the machine to your benefit," there is no "you can activate it again to wipe out another part of the city," what you're doing is undeniably good. You gain positive karma regardless of what you choose to do there, and you do a good thing regardless of what you do. Deactivating the machine is half-assing it, blowing it up is doing the full job.

 

To destroy the machine, you have to destroy the souls as well.  My character wanted the machine destroyed but ultimately wasn't willing to pay that price.

 

 

Touche on this point. I'd forgotten that when I wrote that. Still, some of my other complaints remain solid:

 

 

1) Community reputations do nothing for you beyond making some merchant prices cheaper or help to end a quest one step faster. The only time you'll encounter choice and consequence is the three factions all have a merchant offering different things. That's it.

 

2) Dialog reputations seemingly do nothing. It's an amazing illusion of uniqueness, but the amount of times a dialog reputation actually changes your outcome can be counted on one hand. Typically dialog reputation amounts to little more than someone commenting on what a great person you are (Benevolent) reputation before offering you the quest they were going to offer you anyways.  Prime example? There's a quest where you find a monk who asks you to deliver a sealed message to his order. If you have Honest reputation he thanks the gods you found him, if you're deceptive he comments on it but also says you're sadly his only hope. In both scenarios, you're treated exactly the same. There is no situation where his monk order will be skeptical of what you tell them because you're deceptive or the like, it plays out exactly the same. All scenarios where dialog reputation is recognized, it has no actual impact on the quest and the quest would be obtainable anyways. The only exceptions I can name off the top of my head is it's possible to psyche out some enemy attackers with Aggressive rep and get them to back off.

 

3) Endings feel meaningless as far as difference goes, at least on the Gods. Helping a God is always universally good; even supporting Woedica does not support in the game feeding you tidbits about the bad it did, but rather only good or neutral aspects of this choice are mentioned. Betraying a God is always bad. I enjoy morally grey, but I also think trying to be as good or as evil as possible should be a thing. As far as the Gods and Companions go, bad endings are achieved by purposefully breaking a pact with a God or by just not bothering with a companion's quest (usually). It just feels a little weak. Unfortunately, Gods and Companions endings make up the majority of the endings.

 

 

1. Yeah, I more or less agree. It's kind of silly that you can be hated by the Doemenals, have killed at least one of them and then walk into their mansion full of guards to do a quest peacefully. You can also access all the faction merchants simultaneously. I like the different perks for them, though.

 

2. Well, kinda, though I feel the alternative is the builds-to-meet-dialogue-requirements problem that's dogged the Fallout games and so on. The few occasions where these are meaningful are really refreshing though.

 

3. Personally, I think all the gods' results are portrayed as valid, meaningful decisions rather than there being good and bad endings. I dunno, it felt meaningful to me but I get where you're coming from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

2) Dialog reputations seemingly do nothing. It's an amazing illusion of uniqueness, but the amount of times a dialog reputation actually changes your outcome can be counted on one hand. Typically dialog reputation amounts to little more than someone commenting on what a great person you are (Benevolent) reputation before offering you the quest they were going to offer you anyways.  Prime example? There's a quest where you find a monk who asks you to deliver a sealed message to his order. If you have Honest reputation he thanks the gods you found him, if you're deceptive he comments on it but also says you're sadly his only hope. In both scenarios, you're treated exactly the same. There is no situation where his monk order will be skeptical of what you tell them because you're deceptive or the like, it plays out exactly the same. All scenarios where dialog reputation is recognized, it has no actual impact on the quest and the quest would be obtainable anyways. The only exceptions I can name off the top of my head is it's possible to psyche out some enemy attackers with Aggressive rep and get them to back off.

 

 

My biggest problem with this quest is that with a high dexterity you can open the missive. What it says sounds pretty awful but you can't do anything about it when you talk to the monks, I almost felt it was pointless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

2) Dialog reputations seemingly do nothing. It's an amazing illusion of uniqueness, but the amount of times a dialog reputation actually changes your outcome can be counted on one hand. Typically dialog reputation amounts to little more than someone commenting on what a great person you are (Benevolent) reputation before offering you the quest they were going to offer you anyways.  Prime example? There's a quest where you find a monk who asks you to deliver a sealed message to his order. If you have Honest reputation he thanks the gods you found him, if you're deceptive he comments on it but also says you're sadly his only hope. In both scenarios, you're treated exactly the same. There is no situation where his monk order will be skeptical of what you tell them because you're deceptive or the like, it plays out exactly the same. All scenarios where dialog reputation is recognized, it has no actual impact on the quest and the quest would be obtainable anyways. The only exceptions I can name off the top of my head is it's possible to psyche out some enemy attackers with Aggressive rep and get them to back off.

 

 

My biggest problem with this quest is that with a high dexterity you can open the missive. What it says sounds pretty awful but you can't do anything about it when you talk to the monks, I almost felt it was pointless.

 

 

 

You can use the info from the missive to get a sweet shirt before they do.

It's a really sweet shirt.

 

 

But again that's besides the point. The point is it's hard to make a playthrough feel truly unique in this game because everyone is treated the same. Different treatments are a pure illusion with no concrete consequences.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...