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Should POE's Final release have been called "Early Access?"

Should the POE that was released have been more appropriately called and Early Access Game, rather than marketed as a finished product?  

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  1. 1. Should the POE that was released have been more appropriately called and Early Access Game, rather than marketed as a finished product?



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Amentep

 

"I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that."

 

Don't care added. :)

 

Don't care would have been the right option for me as well if it existed when I voted.

 

 

Should the POE that was released have been more appropriately considered Early Access, rather than marketed as a finished product, based on these comments:

 

"Since the release of the game with have fixed around 1000 bugs with the help of the community."

 

Why were 1000's of bugs in a game that was released as a finished product?

 

"There are many of you, with many different playstyles. It isn't something that we can easily replicate on our side so we will gladly take any help that the community is willing to give us."

 

So why not early access?

 

The description of Early Access suits the released version of Pillars of Eternity perfectly, especially version 1.01:

 

"Early access, alpha funding, or paid-alpha is a funding model in the video game industry by which consumers can pay for a game in the early stages of development and obtain access to playable but unfinished versions of the game, while the developer is able to use those funds to continue work on the game."

 

"This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development."

 

"These are games that evolve as you play them, as you give feedback, and as the developers update and add content."

 

 

Playable but unfinished version of the game: Check (Version 1.01 was not even playable due to some bugs.)

Pillars of Eternity is not complete: Check

Pillars of Eternity may or may not change further: Check

Pillars of Eternity is Evolving as we play: Check

Pillars of Eternity developers are getting feedback from the players and updating and adding content: Check.

If you (i.e the customer) are not exited to play this game in its current state: Check (for many customers)  then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. (POE is developing further, with UI tweaks, bug fixes, additional features, balances and so on, except this was not mentioned as a disclaimer for POE, it was marketed as a completed product, which it is not.)

 

So next time, please release the game as early access and spare paying customers like me who do NOT want to get involved in the development of an unfinished product and who simply want to play the game.

 

This poll is solely related to POE, please do not make comparisons to "other" buggy released games to justify the label "Finished product." Simply weigh up the state of completion of POE on its release and consider the amount of changes and fixes brought into the game based on both community feedback and developer input. Also consider whether the game is "Playable but not complete." and if it is subject to "Further development" or not.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Baladas

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Well, it was Early Access, to Backers. That was the entire point of that reward tier. The Backer Beta. Would they have gone EA without Kickstarter obligations? Who knows. 

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EA wouldn't have helped PoE. I think one more year of development would have. Now I have to wait for it to hopefully become playable with one playthrough stopped before the end of Act 2.

 

BTW one of the consequences of releasing the game in a half-complete state is that it has the most useless strategy guide I've ever seen. Factually wrong, lacking useful statistics, and totally outdated. If I hadn't bought it just so I could give more money towards the game development, I would have been really pissed, now I'm just disappointed.

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EA wouldn't have helped PoE. I think one more year of development would have. Now I have to wait for it to hopefully become playable with one playthrough stopped before the end of Act 2.

 

BTW one of the consequences of releasing the game in a half-complete state is that it has the most useless strategy guide I've ever seen. Factually wrong, lacking useful statistics, and totally outdated. If I hadn't bought it just so I could give more money towards the game development, I would have been really pissed, now I'm just disappointed.

Please vote YES above if you agree its could have been early access then since you are waiting for it to become playable.

Edited by Baladas

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I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that.

 

Here was some posts about Early Access worth noting:

 

 

 


 


The PE team themselves are probably not ready to answer questions about this, but if PE is able to bring in enough money during the early access for another development month, would that money be used on the vanilla game, or put in the piggy bank for the expansion ?

 
Our team is still discussing whether or not we are going to do Early Access. Early Access has pros (influx of money, additional feedback from the community) and cons (releasing the game in an unfinished state to the general public, lesser impact of our final release), so it isn't really a slam dunk either way. As a gamer, I am not a huge fan of Early Access and I am usually wary of games that go that route. It is a good thing for some games (I think WL2 did a great job of using the money to help polish and finish out their game), but other games use it as an excuse to have a never-ending development.
 
PE's asset list and feature set is essentially locked at this point. There are still a large amount of bugs to fix and things to polish, but we aren't really generating additional content (besides audio, VFX, and a few B priority weapon and armor sets). Any money raised would likely into future projects (PE XP1).

 

 

 

 




Early Access has pros (influx of money, additional feedback from the community) and cons (releasing the game in an unfinished state to the general public, lesser impact of our final release), so it isn't really a slam dunk either way.

 
There is an additional pro. The beta costs more than the final game, since you need to match its price to the beta Kickstarter tier. As Wasteland 2 has demonstrated, there are plenty of people out there willing to pay $60 for an unfinished RPG. It'd be a shame to leave that money in their pockets.

 
That is a pro, but it isn't as good as it seems at first blush.
 
Let's say that EA is a $10 premium over what we would normally sell the game for on Steam. This isn't necessarily the number, but it is an okay placeholder. Say we sell an additional 10k - 25k copies of the game as EA. Again, I am not sure if this number would be legitimate, but it seems reasonable. Assuming that EA cannibalizes our future sales, this would generate an extra 100k - 250k in cash. After Steam takes its cut (30%) that leaves anywhere from 70k - 175k.
 
That isn't a paltry sum of money, but it also isn't enough to really affect the game's development in any substantial way. That is enough to pay for an extra couple of weeks of development on the game. We have to weigh that against all of the potential problems and ill will if things aren't handled perfectly. EA is like playing with fire, in my mind, and if it isn't handled correctly it could burn the project (and the company).
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Hmm. perhaps my point is not clear.

 

The question is not "whether POE should have actually been EA"

 

but whether the game that was actually released warranted the title "Early Access" as it was not a completed product.

 

I.E was the game we got worthy of the title "Completed product" or would it have been more fitting to have called it "Early Access" in the state it was released, since it seemed to have needed "one more year of development" (Gairnulf) before some people can actually play the game.

Edited by Baladas

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I can only say that D:OS and POE were the first games that didn't outright crash to desktop on me on release.

 

Bugged, yes. But not as bugged and in some places outright unplayable as many so called AAA titles in the last few years.

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Amentep

 

"I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that."

 

Don't care added. :)

 

Don't care would have been the right option for me as well if it existed when I voted.

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In the post above by Amentep   BAdler said that one of early accesses cons is "releasing the game in an unfinished state to the general public"

 

But they did that anyway and marketed it as a finished product.

 

So.... Clearly we got an early access game whether it was called that or not.

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Amentep

 

"I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that."

 

Don't care added. original.gif

Don't care would have been the right option for me as well if it existed when I voted.

 

You can delete votes and re-vote

 

In the post above by Amentep BAdler said that one of early accesses cons is "releasing the game in an unfinished state to the general public"

 

But they did that anyway and marketed it as a finished product.

 

So.... Clearly we got an early access game whether it was called that or not.

I thought that was an interesting quote.

 

I suppose there is a question of perception - I know sometimes when I see Early Access, I'm thinking "this game isn't finished, why would I want to try it". Which wouldn't be a notion in a regular release being patched.

 

Mind you back in the days of BG/IWD/PST release and patch was normal - perhaps I just haven't gotten into the swing of the new digital distribution days...

Edited by Amentep

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Amentep

 

"I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that."

 

Don't care added. :)

 

Don't care would have been the right option for me as well if it existed when I voted.

 

+ Delete and re-vote.

Edited by Baladas

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The question is not "whether POE should have actually been EA"

 

but whether the game that was actually released warranted the title "Early Access" as it was not a completed product.

If that was your question, then answer is clearly no. The number of bugs is comparable to previous games of the same kind. Do you remember how many bugs the Baldur's Gate series had even after all of the official patches? PoE had maybe 3 rare (but not negligibly so) showstopper bugs which were quickly fixed in about a week after release (again, comparable with most games of this genre). The other bugs are minor nuisances -- they have practically no impact on the overall game.

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OK

 

I adjusted the poll name and question to reflect what I actually wanted to express. :)

 

Any re-votes based on this can be appropriately considered. 

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Hmm. perhaps my point is not clear.

 

The question is not "whether POE should have actually been EA"

 

but whether the game that was actually released warranted the title "Early Access" as it was not a completed product.

 

I.E was the game we got worthy of the title "Completed product" or would it have been more fitting to have called it "Early Access" in the state it was released, since it seemed to have needed "one more year of development" (Gairnulf) before some people can actually play the game.

I don't think it would have warranted the title "Early Access". There are bugs that are being corrected, sure, and tweeks to the UI, but the game is feature complete and the things added are corrections rather than evolutions. Early Access games which actually use that time and money to improve the game generally go through much more impressive steps. I don't think Kerbal Space Program was anywhere as complete when it went out on early access than it is in its final release, for example. And there are, of course, the games that are/were released in an even worse state, The Witcher being my go-to example here, with multiple patches throughout its life which brought massive improvements to the games (the loading times one, and then the one with the graphical enhancements).

Edited by Sannom
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The question is not "whether POE should have actually been EA"

 

but whether the game that was actually released warranted the title "Early Access" as it was not a completed product.

If that was your question, then answer is clearly no. The number of bugs is comparable to previous games of the same kind. Do you remember how many bugs the Baldur's Gate series had even after all of the official patches? PoE had maybe 3 rare (but not negligibly so) showstopper bugs which were quickly fixed in about a week after release (again, comparable with most games of this genre). The other bugs are minor nuisances -- they have practically no impact on the overall game.

 

I disagree.

 

Enemy AOE buffs affecting party affects the game combat, which is a huge part of the game.

 

Bugged Noonfrost quest affects character abilities.

 

Other bugged quests reported by other players prevent progress.

 

Endurance on characters bugged affects the game

 

The perma health and stat increase affected the game.

 

Many side quests bugged.

 

Balance changes are certainly evolutions and not corrections as are extra functions.

 

Sneak mechanics changed.

 

And so on.....

 

Remember I said this poll was not about comparing to other games. It is about POE in its own right. Other games are not a justification for 1000's of bugs (yes 1000's! Quoting the devs here,, at least they are honest.) on release.

Edited by Baladas

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Amentep

 

"I voted no, albeit I actually don't care one way or the other but there wasn't an option to choose that."

 

Don't care added. original.gif

Don't care would have been the right option for me as well if it existed when I voted.

 

You can delete votes and re-vote

 

In the post above by Amentep BAdler said that one of early accesses cons is "releasing the game in an unfinished state to the general public"

 

But they did that anyway and marketed it as a finished product.

 

So.... Clearly we got an early access game whether it was called that or not.

I thought that was an interesting quote.

 

I suppose there is a question of perception - I know sometimes when I see Early Access, I'm thinking "this game isn't finished, why would I want to try it". Which wouldn't be a notion in a regular release being patched.

 

Mind you back in the days of BG/IWD/PST release and patch was normal - perhaps I just haven't gotten into the swing of the new digital distribution days...

 

Exactly my point!

 

I did not want to "try out" this game and compile and read endless bug reports on it only to wait for it to be finished after I had already paid for it.

 

I wanted to buy this game and play it in a state that was enjoyable to play.

 

For me, considering the amount of unaddressed bugs, it is not enjoyable to play as I will not experience the game the devs themselves intended me to experience.

 

This would not have happened if it was honestly labeled as "Early Access"

 

I would have thought "this game isn't finished, why would I want to try it" and waited until it was released in a better state.

 

As it is they have my money and I have not used their product.

 

More than that I have spent time on their product trying to compile bug reports in the hope that I will one day be actually be able to play the game the devs intended to release in the first place.

 

Just because other studios do this it does not make it excusable. It is something we as customers have  right to be upset about and something that needs to change in the industry.

 

Leave the games in development longer or at least give us people who want to play, not bug test, a choice of avoiding the purchase by labeling it honestly as "Early Access".

Edited by Baladas

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Christ, this is one of more polished big games I have played for a long time.

 

After Civilization V, Total War series and Europa Universalis IV, PoE has never had a chance of annoying me with its bugs :D

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I think they should have released the full game as EA, to get help with bug reporting from the backer base (who are more than willing to assist generally). But otherwise, not particularly upset over anything. I always wait a few months before playing big RPG releases. 

 

For me, I broke the trend when I started playing it on release, just out of curiosity and love for the genre, but had issues until the v5 patch... so took time off once past the initial honeymoon of discovery.

 

There are just a lot more things to get upset over in life than game bugs. I try not to let my world revolve around such things, or it contributes to the encroaching madness.

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Remember I said this poll was not about comparing to other games. It is about POE in its own right. Other games are not a justification for 1000's of bugs (yes 1000's! Quoting the devs here,, at least they are honest.) on release.

It's hard to judge something without comparing it to other things of the same kind. A thousand sounds like a large number, but in fact there is probably well over a million different parameters and branches in the game where things could have possibly gone wrong so if you think about it as a fraction of that, it's actually quite small. The same is true for Baldur's Gate and other games of this kind -- they're just inherently very complex.

 

Personally, I played through the game starting at release time and I only found one bug which was genuinely annoying (though not a showstopper): the map was too dark at night and in dungeons (fixed in 1.03). Sure, there was probably a bunch of others, but they were either promptly fixed (i.e. before I got to them), specific to certain setups (i.e. rare) or relatively harmless.

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I think they should have released the full game as EA, to get help with bug reporting from the backer base (who are more than willing to assist generally).

Problem with that is, Early Access means buying the game, right? And Early Access is a Steam feature. So basically you lock out any and all backers who may have wanted to use GOG or another service. That does not seem efficient at all.

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"This poll is solely related to POE, please do not make comparisons to "other" buggy released games to justify the label "Finished product." Simply weigh up the state of completion of POE on its release and consider the amount of changes and fixes brought into the game based on both community feedback and developer input. Also consider whether the game is "Playable but not complete." and if it is subject to "Further development" or not."

 

If you already think you're right, why bother asking other people?

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"This poll is solely related to POE, please do not make comparisons to "other" buggy released games to justify the label "Finished product." Simply weigh up the state of completion of POE on its release and consider the amount of changes and fixes brought into the game based on both community feedback and developer input. Also consider whether the game is "Playable but not complete." and if it is subject to "Further development" or not."

 

If you already think you're right, why bother asking other people?

Its a poll, that's what a poll is for, right?

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I think they should have released the full game as EA, to get help with bug reporting from the backer base (who are more than willing to assist generally).

Problem with that is, Early Access means buying the game, right? And Early Access is a Steam feature. So basically you lock out any and all backers who may have wanted to use GOG or another service. That does not seem efficient at all.

 

At least the backers, and the other customers, would have been more likely to have a finished game on release.

Edited by Baladas

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