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The world as a character

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You know, I like this game. I really do. But, there is something missing in it for me. And I can't seem to get over it, no matter how hard I try.

Please note and remember the most relevant words: for me.


Now, please, don't treat this thread as a critique towards those that feel the contrary, or as a rant aimed at developers. It's just a subjective preference and I would like to state it here, in hopes that one day, maybe, in/for Pillars Of Eternity 2 (perhaps?), this will be considered.


I don't like static worlds. Most of the times (if not always!) I appreciate and enjoy a game through one of it's most important characters: the game world. The perfect example is BioShock. To get closer to our subject, another example is Morrowind. To get even MORE closer: Baldur's Gate 1.


What's this all about then? It's the static empty world that your character creates after passing through an area. For me, that makes ZERO sense, this is virtually unnatural even in real life, and it flattens the enjoyment of a world. Now, I do know that most of the people hate NPC/enemies respawns and I can agree with that but only up to a point. Having to defeat, after a reload or 24hrs, the same group of level draining mobs that annoy the hell out of you is not my idea of fun, either.


But what about generating a change that will keep the world alive (after clearing mobs/monsters):


- wild life moving in (deers, frogs, turtles, rabbits etc.) <- very simple and can be easily noticeable (or unnoticeable, heh)

- NPCs moving in (sharing quests or, if too complicated, at least offering new dialogue about their story/presence there) <- semi-complex

- enemy respawn after a few days time in 15/35% of previous numbers, maintaining same level (no level scaling) <- my favorite

- world/map changes (previously inhabited camps decaying, disappearing, being replaced by rubble or some remains - as looted or destroyed by time or pillagers) <- haven't seen this yet anywhere (?)

- world/map changes (new locations, camps, small settlements)

- spawns of a different type of mobs/monsters (another NPC faction, opposite, maybe or very different monsters, that conflict with previous wiped ones)

- anything that would bring a breath of life into the world itself.


I am interested to see what do you guys think about this. How important is the world you play in for you? How would you like play/feel in it, or how do you see it evolving past what we have seen so far in games?


Thanks for reading, understanding and keeping the discussion mature and constructive! ;)



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I like your ideas. People have mentioned a similar lack of life in the stronghold and Defiance bay and suggested improvements so you are clearly not alone in this feeling if that helps.


The sequel when it is developed will have a lot more world flair added to it I imagine. Pillars suffered from having to develop an all new ruleset, having a limited budget and I imagine some scope problems that occurred during production.


*Wildlife moving in is a good idea as it will not require a massive amount of coding for just adding scenery animals.

*There's no reason why you couldn't have bandits move into an area you've previously cleared.


"- world/map changes (previously inhabited camps decaying, disappearing, being replaced by rubble or some remains - as looted or destroyed by time or pillagers) <- haven't seen this yet anywhere (?"


Not sure how doable that is but for some story areas you should see changes to an area akin to agricultural centre in Wasteland 2, should you fail to save it.


"- world/map changes (new locations, camps, small settlements)"


This was a missed opportunity in Pillars. With all the refugees headed to Defiance Bay you would expect to see some temporary camps on the way to the city.


In terms of how I see it developing optimally I would hope for a lot more flavour elements and a better sense of a working city and ecosystem in general. i.e the port area of Defiance Bay is described as a bustling center of commerce. Where were the warehouses? Trade depots? People working the docks? The real limitation to this is how hard it is to develop content in this engine. Obsidian really need to find a way to optimise there processes and produce maps more efficiently. They also need to be able to have a lot of npcs on the screen at once .(upgrading to unity 5 should help here)

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Well, good ideas or not, looks it's only the two of us here. ;)


Anyway, I really do hope that PoE2 will improve the feeling of the world, how it plays, how it develops. And since PoE has done very good, I see no reason not to invest in and develop even further almost all the aspects of the game.


One more thing:


Basically, the crafted worlds in videogames have all improved. Even in action games there is a desire (I'd call it a necessity, though) to create believable worlds. Meaning that any environement that the player finds himself in, must adhere to a series of rules that enhance the "feeling" that the player has. So, as a short and mostly incomplete example: we have Dying Light. That game was not fun (for me) because I got to kill zombies (most fun zombie game for me is PvZ1), but it has created a truly wonderful world to play in. It's basically a playground that gives freedom and sustains a high level of interactivity and dynamism. It's a bit far fetched comparaison, indeed, but I hope the point was understood.


Making worlds in videogames feel alive, dynamic and as highly interactive as possible is the future, I don't have any doubts about this! ;)

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There are some locations which actually change their appearance after the player is done with them; the Lighthouse is one of those zones.


But I agree that there should be way more of this stuff. Because it's awesome.

It's actually quite interesting to see how many zones in this game have literally no interactivity. The beautiful coastal cliff zone south of Defiance Bay is a prime example for this. It has only two minor quests and that's it. I can't believe how much effort they put into designing the landscape and then ended up not using it at all.

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Well, look at the game time-frame.  The entire game is played in about 1 month total game time, roughly.   


In real life, if you killed every living being in the woods, it would still be desolate a month later.  It would still be pretty empty even years later -- it takes a while to recover from decimation.


Wildlife exists.  If you don;t kill the green deer, they stay there and run around.  


All your ideas make sense if the game-time were years instead of one month.   It would take a family the whole game-time-frame to

1) hear that there was a home available in guilded vale

2) hear that the area was under new leadership and safe again

3) pack up and settle their affairs and wait on a good time of year (not winter, wait on safe roads... etc)

4) actually travel


So your settlers are probably on stage 3 of that chain of events about the time you end the game...

Edited by JONNIN
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Hey I actually felt this way about the stronghold. After all the money spent fixing it up I thought there would suddenly be people showing up. Maybe using the forum, or wandering around the library or visiting the flower gardens. Something. Even the barracks are always empty, at least the times I checked on it. Yes, there's the occasional visitor, but they are always in the same exact spot doing the same exact thing each time they appear.


Somebody mentioned once that Eder and Aloth (I think it was those 2) had some sort of interaction in their room when left at the stronghold. I thought that was cool and was nearly tempted to try it out.


I understand what the OP is talking about. A month, a year, places do have life returning or just passing through. Probably take too much to script in though.


Other than that this game is very good. I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

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