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Hello Obsidian Entertainment. Thank you for the incredible game and congratulations on the well-deserved accolades it has garnered. If I had to assign a number on a scale of 1-10 to PoE, I'd give it at a solid 8.8; an incredible game, albeit one with some room for improvement. I kept a document open while playing to jot down ideas/observations/bugs... it's a very long game so there ended up being quite a few of them! I can't wait for the sequel since I'm certain it will prove to be the BG2 to PoE's BG1... perhaps—hopefully—even surpassing that venerable legend.
 
 

Gameplay Improvements:

 
 
-In my opinion the Stash is the worst part of this game (excluding the inevitable initial bugs and I can hardly believe that disabling the stash not actually disabling the stash isn't one of them). In-game mechanics, especially fundamental ones, must have some attempt, no matter how feeble, at in-game explanations: bags of holding; pocket-planes; storage demons; some sort of spell; a donkey (pets are already in game and who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to have a 'dirty ass' follow them around); you're a priest in the service of Storly, god of storage and miscellaneous items; etc. The more powerful the in-game mechanic is, the greater the importance of explaining it becomes, at least if your intention is an immersive and believable world. A completely realistic system would be terrible too, however, making no attempt whatsoever to address so fundamental a mechanic as item storage, both on the character or in the world, is horrendous, more so when considering the fantastic lore and world-building achieved via the supplementary material: the myriad books, cyclopedia and bestiary. The stash, in its current iteration, totally negates all the considerable effort put into the creation of alternatives to combat. This is exemplified by Raedric's Keep. Why avoid killing all the enemies and forego 15000+ copper from selling all their equipment? Wasn't the point of quest only experience to disincentivize indiscriminately killing absolutely everything? The current inventory system also renders money a total non-issue less than 1/3 through the game. At the very least, if total replacement (optimally with Josh's original, involved—not dumbed down to the point of mindlessness—inventory system) for an enhanced expert mode is not an option, the disable stash toggle should disable both withdrawal and deposit when not in a tavern/resting and bags for crafting materials should be added into the game.
 
-I was very surprised by the absence of a tutorial option when I started the game for the first time. Some sort of primer would be incredibly useful for people new to this type of RPG, as there is a ton of information and systems that would be better learned if shown first-hand than read about in the manual. Also, there are many shortcuts and UI tricks not even mentioned in the manual that could be taught in a tutorial.
 
-An overarching narrator (ideally a pitch-perfect Morgan Freeman imitator) who spoke the gray 'flavor' text for the voiced sections would be wildly entertaining as there usually is insufficient time to actually read that text before the VO resumes. If that's not feasible, perhaps a slight delay to allow the player to actually read that text could be implemented?
 
-It would be great if instead of automatically succeeding, adventures forced the player to take control of the assigned character and fight solo to determine the outcome of the adventure. The difficulty of the fight(s) would be determined by the quality of the adventure.
 
-Enemies should not just line up behind each other at a blocked doorway if there are other available paths to the blocked room.
 
-Music volume should be reduced 50% when voiced dialogue begins.
 
-NPC banter has too long a delay between quips. Furthermore, it'd be nice if the portraits had some indication showing which NPC was speaking.
 
-It's very hard to see NPCs or loot if they're behind things. Increasing the transparency of foreground structures when something is behind them would help a lot.
 
-When sending someone to your dungeon you should get their equipment.
 
-Your party should never automatically attack charmed members, nor should enemies immediately attack their charmed allies for that matter.
 
-Important outdoor quest NPCs/merchants should adhere to a rudimentary day/night cycle, e.g., why is a fisherman on the docks 24/7... is the fishing really that good?
 
-It'd be very cool if reading books opened choices in dialogue or gave quests, but only if the book was actually read, which would be determined by a combination of the player scrolling to the bottom of the text and keeping the book open a minimum length of time, which would vary depending on the length of the book.
 
-A high reputation with a city should grant a discount on items bought at stores and a very high reputation should result in a premium being offered for items sold by the player.
 
-Items sold at the stronghold should be priced similarly to those sold by stores in a city at maximum reputation, or even cheaper.
 
-Getting caught lock picking a chest, or even opening it to see what's inside, should cause loss of reputation or hostility depending on the situation.
 
-There should be armor proficiency talents. As it stands, characters are either in plate, if they're front-line, or, if they're back-line, in enchanted clothing... medium armor is garbage. With armor talents the recovery speed penalty could be reduced (or DR increased or a combination of both) and make medium armor a more viable option, increasing build diversity.
 
-Stronghold resting bonuses must stack to be even remotely competitive with mid-game or later inns.
 
-It would be interesting if the stronghold's library offered experience for depositing books not currently found within. Perhaps the steward could offer an item that started a quest if every possible book was collected? This also opens up an interesting, alternate resolution to a quest where you have to procure a certain book.
 
-There should be a way to deposit pets in the stronghold, so that they can wander around. Some sort of pet fighting mini-game would be rather interesting. Hell, an NPC that allowed you to sacrifice all the available pets and choose one to turn into a figurine that would summon a giant version of that pet would be incredible.
 
-Supplicants should stay at the stronghold longer. It's frustrating to be incapable of travelling large distances on the map in one go without risking having a supplicant come and go whilst in transit. The current solution is to split that long trip into multiple medium ones... which is an annoying circumvention.
 
-The hide merchant in Twin Elms should pay more for hides.
 
*Mild Act 3 Spoilers*

The dialogues with the gods could be improved by using sketches (similar to the scripted interaction sections) to show portions of what is described in the text. Currently there's only the adra pillars/stars background for each conversation. It would be great if a drawing, or series of drawings, accompanied each portion of text, appearing above the dialogue box and on top of the background. Really, this could be applied to any section with a similar presentation.


 
-It'd be nice if the slides in the epilogue could be navigated both forwards and backwards, currently you can only skip forwards.
 
 
 

UI Improvements:

 
 
-Hovering over the name of a combatant in the combat log should highlight that combatant on the screen so that the player can see which of the identically named enemies was responsible for the respective entry.
 
-It'd be nice if the combat log could be toggled to show only specific types of entries: individual characters' entries, rep gain/loss, exp, crits/grazes/types of damage, item gain/loss, etc.
 
-List identical items numerically in shops, e.g., 13 daggers collectively instead of showing 13 individual daggers. Food/scrolls/potions/crafting materials already stack so I can't imagine this would be overly difficult to implement for other items.
 
-Items sold by the player should go to the bottom of a shop's inventory.
 
-When moving/selling large quantities of items the number should be able to be set using the number keys instead of just clicking the arrow to make the total lower or higher 1 by 1. For example, if I have 100 vessel bones and want to move 50, currently it requires clicking the arrow to make the total smaller 50 times... which is absurd.
 
-Numerous properties on magic items are not listed in the cyclopedia and have no explanation, or, at best, an insufficiently detailed explanation, e.g., does an amulet that grants a 1.15 healing bonus apply to healing given or received, or does it apply to both? How far is a 'distant' enemy? Is 'low endurance' considered 'near death' or 'badly injured'? How often is 'every few seconds'? How often does 'overbearing' proc and what determines if it does? What's the difference between major and minor spellbinds? These are just some examples of missing or insufficient information pertaining to items. In addition, Spell Striking and Spell Holding have no in-game explanation whatsoever.
 
-When an item grants/modifies a spell it should show a tool-tip on mouse-over for that spell, in addition to indicating how many times it can be used and whether it is per encounter or per rest. It's very annoying to have to close the level-up screen to check a spell that's modified by a potential talent.
 
-It'd be nice if the transparency of the combat log could be adjusted.
 
-NPC text bubbles shouldn't overlap, instead, a new text bubble should be forced to the top or bottom edge of the existing one.
 
-Switching weapons should be capable of being bound to a hot-key.
 
-Displaying stealth mode on portraits when the central UI is minimized needs a rework, the small green square highlighting the stealth icon is still visible through the 4'th PC's portrait.
 
-There should be a toggleable icon on the portraits showing the current activity of the character, also, if a character is currently attacking there should be a small icon above that character (like there is when they're using a skill) that resembles the attack cursor.
 
-The total number of enemies that a character is capable of engaging should be shown on that character's information screen.
 
-Stop movement on trap spotted would be an excellent addition to the auto-pause menu. Also, it's quite odd that the party doesn't avoid traps once they have been spotted, I have a hard time believing my mechanic wouldn't say, “Hey, watch out, there's a trap right there, how about not killing everyone... stupid Aloth.”
 
-The inability to add markers to the map is a particularly glaring omission. Being unable to click on the map to move is kind of disappointing as well.
 
-The cursor should be capable of being positioned mid-note with the mouse when taking notes in the journal. Or, if that isn't possible, the cursor should be capable of being moved with the arrow keys instead of forcing the player to delete what is written.
 
-It would be nice if, when in the journal, quests & tasks were capable of being selected with the arrow keys instead of just the mouse. This capability would also be nice when perusing possible talents during level up. Really, every UI screen featuring a multitude of vertically listed entries, be they quests/talents/spells/monsters in the bestiary/etc., should be navigable using the arrow keys.
 
-Holding ctrl+click-and-drag selecting other characters should add them to the currently selected group, similar to how you can add characters to the currently selected group by holding ctrl+clicking on their portraits.
 
-An option to disable switching to fists while clicking to switch weapons would be nice.
 
-It should be possible to zoom out when viewing the Od Nua staircase interface.
 
-The icon for stairs should show whether those stairs go up or down, after a few days without playing
it can be hard to remember which set of stairs heads down upon exiting the master staircase in Od Nua. It would be an excellent addition if the map showed 'Stairs Down' or 'Stairs Up' instead of just 'Stairs'.
 
-It would be nice if it was possible to zoom in on the map.
 
-It would be useful if it was possible to click on a region when looking at the world map and see that region's map. There are quests that describe geological features that could be seen through the fog of war, making this a practical addition.
 
-Completed quests/tasks should be arranged so that the most recently finished is at the top of the list. Also, when a quest is completed and the tool-tip pops up, clicking on it doesn't actually select that quest when the journal is opened... it should.
 
-Stronghold status updates should list the most recent at the top and continue in descending order. Currently the oldest is at the top and the most recent is at the bottom.

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Very good suggestions! I hope Obsidian will continue to tinker with this game for months to come. I would also like to see a "hardcore" inventory system option. Lots of good suggestions there.

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This hits the spot ...
 

Side note: There is a way to auto-pause on trap find but it also applies to other hidden objects (can't remember which box to check though)

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Agree with the vast majority of these suggestions. Kudos for taking the time to compile such a comprehensive list:

 

 

This hits the spot ...
 

Side note: There is a way to auto-pause on trap find but it also applies to other hidden objects (can't remember which box to check though)

Hidden Object Found. :)

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Josh's original, involved—not dumbed down to the point of mindlessness—inventory system

 

Aw, man! I bet that would've been great. Is there a link to a description? I've never seen this system mentioned before.

 

(Yes, the stash irritated me too.)


DID YOU KNOW: *Missing String*

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You can take the stash from my cold dead hands. Inventory Tetris is not a game I want to play.

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"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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Josh's original, involved—not dumbed down to the point of mindlessness—inventory system

 

Aw, man! I bet that would've been great. Is there a link to a description? I've never seen this system mentioned before.

 

(Yes, the stash irritated me too.)

 

If my memory serves, you started with just one row of slots per character. The stash was still infinite, but you could not access it unless at an inn or merchant.

 

*edit* Or while camping.

Edited by Ink Blot

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If my memory serves, you started with just one row of slots per character. The stash was still infinite, but you could not access it unless at an inn or merchant.

 

Oh. That actually doesn't sound any better.

 

Personally, I would favor having nothing beyond quickslots as personal inventory, but the whole stash freely available anytime you're out of combat.

 

A kind of goofy idea that I would enjoy would be to access the stash through a literal mule you would acquire early in the adventure (perhaps ridden by a Sancho Panza-esque character).

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DID YOU KNOW: *Missing String*

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I wish I had started taking notes immediately, instead of 1/3 through the game, I'm sure there'd have been many more suggestions. Oh well, I'm sure there's going to be more observations during my TCS run in a few months, once the game has been refined and polished until its positively blinding (I hope).

 

Side note: There is a way to auto-pause on trap find but it also applies to other hidden objects (can't remember which box to check though)

 

I was thinking more along the lines of the 'Stop Party Movement' option underneath the 'Enemy Spotted' and 'Combat Start' Auto-Pause options. It's pretty trivial but I love an overwhelming amount of UI options... it's one of the main differentiating factors between true CRPGs and console RPGs in my eyes.

 

Aw, man! I bet that would've been great. Is there a link to a description? I've never seen this system mentioned before.

 

(Yes, the stash irritated me too.)

 

It's only alluded to, with no specifics being given, but even the vague description sounds like it would have been very interesting. http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-tabletop-rpg-and-card-game-in-the-works/ (ctrl+f inventory to find it) Although Ink Blot described it in detail, I'm sure that it'd have been refined and expanded beyond that if it had actually been incorporated into the game.

 

The current inventory system is even more disappointing when considered in conjunction with the recovery time mechanic and how encumbrance could have been implemented in relation to it. Imagine if loot disappeared after leaving the area and you didn't know if backtracking would be possible in the zone you were exploring due to any number of potential events: a cave-in, flooding, Glanfathan tribe evicts you, etc. Would you take as much loot as you could, dramatically increasing the recovery time of your over-loaded party and potentially dooming yourself on Trial of Iron? Would you carry it with you and have one member stealth ahead, having everyone drop the heavy stuff before engaging, so you could remove the encumbrance penalties, hoping the entire time you aren't ambushed and thus denied the opportunity to shed the excess weight? Would you only ever overload your tank(s), since their recovery time doesn't matter anyways? Would you keep a set of +2 might enchanted clothing for each party member to increase their carrying weight, even though they'd take up 6 inventory spots, potentially proving detrimental if an abundance of light-weight, highly valuable items were found? It would have added multiple layers of complexity to the game... instead we get an entirely mindless system more at home in an MMO or console ARPG.

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The current inventory system is even more disappointing when considered in conjunction with the recovery time mechanic and how encumbrance could have been implemented in relation to it.

 

At minimum, even having an encumbrance system would have balanced out fatigue gain between the full-plate-wearing tanks with high athletics and the mages with lore and whatnot.

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At minimum, even having an encumbrance system would have balanced out fatigue gain between the full-plate-wearing tanks with high athletics and the mages with lore and whatnot.

I agree, the skills in general were mildly disappointing.  I think there's a lot of potential in them though, and I'm certain that their in-game use will be expanded significantly in the sequel.

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I have the feeling they were at least considering encumbrance. There's a character bark something like "I'm not a pack mule" when an individual inventory gets filled. Can't recall the complete bark but every time I hear it, it makes me think they were going to go with encumbrance because of the way the line is delivered.

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Man, all you stash-haters really surprise me.  As much as I hate this response, I'm going to use it: "you could always not use it".

 

If you only want to carry stuff on your characters, by all means do so!  It seems a terrible waste of time (I hate having to do it in BG2, blech!).  It would cost a little bit of gold, not being able to sell all the 5cp spears, but whatever, hardly the end of the world.

 

I mean, BG2 has rest anywhere/anytime but I always try to do dungeons w/o resting because I think it's more fun.  If you think juggling armor on individual character inventories is fun, you have that option.  (In fact, switching to BG2, I really miss the multi-character inventory screen.  An under-appreciated improvement.)

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Some good ideas, I agree with some, others I can take it or leave it, however I must comment on:

 

"- In my opinion the Stash is the worst part of this game " If I where playing table-top RPG, I would of course be limited by encumberance. However at the end of the dungeon, we'd all go "allright, we're done! Cool! We spend the next 3 days dragging all the loot back to town and selling it". This takes 10 seconds to say. I do NOT want to do it ingame. For the love of all that is holy, this would be the worst waste of my time since... well since I did it in BG1&2! It doesn't stretch my imagination very much to think they have a stash somewhere, where they put all their loot while catching their breath and tending their wounds. I don't really need to roleplay it.
  
"- Enemies should not just line up behind each other at a blocked doorway if there are other available paths to the blocked room." Agreed! They shouldn't even do this IF there is no other way out. Giving all enemy types a ranged attack option, even if it's weak, could be a way to go. For instance, why aren't Trolls hurling giant rocks at me?

  

"- There should be a way to deposit pets in the stronghold, so that they can wander around." Would be neat "Some sort of pet fighting mini-game would be rather interesting." What? Seriously? What... no.. just no... "Hell, an NPC that allowed you to sacrifice all the available pets and choose one to turn into a figurine that would summon a giant version of that pet would be incredible." I don't see the lore supporting this, but it's not a terrible idea as such
 

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Some things I'd like to see in the game have mostly to do with the dialog:

 

1) Allowing non-priests to pick a god. This would open up some interesting roleplaying directions and allow non-priests to choose those dialog options. Priests would still be the only class to get bonuses/negatives from going against the dispositions of their god. I think it would be cool to roleplay as a rogue who worships Wael and uses their talents to find secrets or a Skaen worshiping cipher who uses his talents to subvert people.

 

2) More racial, paladin order, and priest dialog options. 

 

3) Tone down the stat requirements for some of the dialog options a little bit. Or at least vary it up a bit more. Stats like Resolve and Might seemed to have been used a lot more than other stats and when stat dialogue options appeared they tended to be a little high for some of the conversation. 

 

4) Rare instances where you need a combination of stats and abilities to be able to choose a dialogue option e.g. Lore 5 and a minimum Intelligence of 15 for a hard to succeed option. 

 

In addition, I'd like to see

 

1) Racial talents. Maybe a talent that makes a Fire Godlike's ability trigger sooner but at some cost or gives gives a per rest/encounter ability so that you can get a little more interesting class/race combinations. 

 

2) More abilities that force disengagement from an enemy so the player party can get make use of that mechanic. As it is, you can knock someone down or whatever to be able to get away. However, I'm talking about forcing an enemy to flee so that you get a free hit. 

 

3) Buffs that act as aggro magnets. For instance, a druid might cast a spell "Aggressive Pheromone" on the tank. Adjacent enemies are driven mad and turn their attention to that character for X seconds allowing previously engaged characters to get away without provoking a disengagement attack. The cipher version might be "Illusory Vendetta", enemies see their most hated foe standing where the character is and disengage their current target to take revenge. 

 

4) Enchantable hand wraps for monk unarmed and "monk" armor that doesn't look like plate. Maybe something like mystical tattoos or imbuements. The character would appear appear shirtless but with a couple cool looking marks that act as armor. It would even look great on barbarians and druids. In a similar vein, face slot war paint or something like vitaar stuff Qunari wear in Dragon Age.

 

5) I really won't mind a necklace slot and a cloak slot

 

6) Making paladins less of a drag to play

 

7) More and cooler looking clothing options. Some of those clothes look pretty garish. 

 

That's all...I go play now

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"Hell, an NPC that allowed you to sacrifice all the available pets and choose one to turn into a figurine that would summon a giant version of that pet would be incredible." I don't see the lore supporting this, but it's not a terrible idea as such

Animancers did put animal souls into children... surely it can't be too much of a stretch to imagine encountering a rogue animancer in the woods who had an offer if you brought him a pristine chunk of raw adra.

 

1) Allowing non-priests to pick a god.

 

2) More abilities that force disengagement from an enemy so the player party can get make use of that mechanic. As it is, you can knock someone down or whatever to be able to get away. However, I'm talking about forcing an enemy to flee so that you get a free hit. 

 

4) Enchantable hand wraps for monk unarmed and "monk" armor that doesn't look like plate. Maybe something like mystical tattoos or imbuements. The character would appear appear shirtless but with a couple cool looking marks that act as armor. It would even look great on barbarians and druids. In a similar vein, face slot war paint or something like vitaar stuff Qunari wear in Dragon Age.

That was both a surprising and disappointing exclusion, considering the plethora of role-playing choices present during character creation.

 

That was another feature I couldn't believe wasn't incorporated into the game, it really handicaps monks when they can never get any enchantment bonuses when using their primary means of attack; their fists.

 

The only problem with that would be it could prove too powerful with multiple melee characters, if you had 3 front line characters bunched together wielding two-handed weapons with extended reach and the enemy fled, it would probably be killed by the 3 simultaneous attacks.

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Some good ideas here... I like how someone offered his Perspective and doing it in polite way, for once.

Personally one thing that bothered me is monk's wound mechanic...Monk should be able to build his 'Chi' ( or something) through hitting his oponnent, since we usually picture them as fast, finesse (spiritual) warriors. I would change Cipher attacks into something similar to NWN2 warlocks... by using their psychic leash innate attacks, (some kind of unique ray attacks, (it makes no sense to do it through crossbows), which would be weaker than weapons or magic, but capable of empowering them with different effects( strength drain, slow...etc)), they would build up power for their special abilities.  

On the other hand, "Wounds" would be perfect for barbarians, as something that intensifies their abilities...so that barb would really release Raaaaaaaaargh! battle cry, when near death, as opposed to usual Whelp!

I would also change stealth to single player "mechanic", but allow rogues to develop something like 'back flip'/fall back' ability so that they don't instantly get swarmed by enemies.

Edited by Tylaris
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