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Mendosa

Beat the game - my "gut reaction" review and suggestions *spoilers*

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Overall I loved the game, glad I backed it and was well worth my money. Definitely satiated my BG cravings. I beat the game on normal difficulty and grabbed all the companions. 

 

Here are some nitpicky things that bothered me throughout the game:

 

Adra Dragon and Thaos are the only difficult fights in the game. Minus certain spots in the Endless Paths, I employed little to no strategy throughout the game. Once you're at the mid-way point, your un-enchanted weapons and armor are good enough to auto-attack your way through most everything. 

 

I found myself digging into my Durance's spell book just to see what spells looked like and how they would perform. I like coming across ridiculously hard bosses along the way, that's old school, but they were just too few and far between. I'd have really liked facing enemies that forced you to use certain spells and learn how they work. 

 

The stronghold is a great idea but was kind of a fail to me. I got nothing out of it, the money generation was weak and useless, I was rich half-way through the game sneaking and selling base items and then blue/yellow that I didn't use.  I never went back for the rested bonuses as they were also weak. I wanted to interact with it a lot more...defend it, personalize it in some way, something to make me care about it, but I never really did. 

 

Another thing I didn't appreciate was maxing out on stats so quickly. I never did Warden Quests because of the XP bug early on and I wanted to challenge myself through the story at the appropriate levels, but maxing out stats had me a little sad. Sticking with the theme of old school, many games used to let you be OP as you want based on what you found. The idea is you sort of earned it or were extremely lucky. While this isn't the healthiest most diverse gaming, it was still a choice. Adding some basic diminishing returns would've been acceptable. 

 

Again, all this is sort of nit picking.

 

Now, I have some suggestions for this game that I would LOVE to see in the ex-pack and hopefully - the series!

 

- Detect Evil - Man! I was so bummed when I found out this wasn't in the game. That added such a layer of intrigue and information to the BG series. You would talk to so many people in BG and detect them as evil and then you would try to figure out why via dialog, sometimes you found out later in the game and sometimes you would never find out at all, and kill them! This would add a ton of immersion.

 

- Knock Spell - such a great utility spell.

 

- Vendor Updates - I'd love to see Vendors rotate their inventory randomly from a pool of items so that over time they sell better items as you level up. This is a great way to explore the map and come back to places to visit and possibly pick up new quests. 

 

- Diversify Crafting - Crafting in this game is odd and easy- no requirements or talents needed whatsoever. There needs to be some more "game" there, make us find/learn/create recipes - skill based with chances at discovering new things. I only crafted and enchanted for the achievements, which leads me to my next item..

 

- More Achievements - obviously applies to Steam users but would love to see some more achievements. 

 

- More Zoom out - I love the super close zoom, but really wish the zoom out was farther - especially at your Stronghold and towns.

 

- More Models for gear - Loved seeing weapons and chest gear update my look but boots, gloves, pants, belt, etc. need to change too. 

 

 

That's about it for now, I knows there's more but this covers the bulk of it. I had a great time playing this game and really enjoyed it. Now looking forward to replaying as solo/evil.  :devil: 

Edited by Mendosa

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I agree on most suggestions except:

- Detect Evil - Man! I was so bummed when I found out this wasn't in the game. That added such a layer of intrigue and information to the BG series. You would talk to so many people in BG and detect them as evil and then you would try to figure out why via dialog, sometimes you found out later in the game and sometimes you would never find out at all, and kill them! This would add a ton of immersion.

In which I go: "NoooooOooo nonononono NO."

 

I hate it when character morality is reduced to a check-box tracked on a character sheet. If you spend time talking to an npc and nothing about them convinces you they're a bad person, having a spell that makes them glow and say 'yes they're bad who knows why it doesn't matter' is the exact opposite of immersion.

 

In-game, the traits your character picks up (benevolent/deceptive/honest/stoic/ect) are a nice substitute for alignment. Besides, the games entire story runs on grey-morality. Having defined good/evil stats attached to NPCs would ruin that entirely :(

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Wait, did you really just complain that the fights aren't hard, but state you... didn't play the game on Hard difficulty? Why would you expect the game to be 'Hard' if you don't select 'Hard' difficulty?


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- Detect Evil - Man! I was so bummed when I found out this wasn't in the game. That added such a layer of intrigue and information to the BG series. You would talk to so many people in BG and detect them as evil and then you would try to figure out why via dialog, sometimes you found out later in the game and sometimes you would never find out at all, and kill them! This would add a ton of immersion.

 

You are aware that this isn't based on the D&D ruleset? So good and evil don't figure into this kind of game. And personally I'm rather glad about it that usually we don't get these black and white alignments anymore. Grey is the color of reality when it comes to good vs evil.

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I agree on most suggestions except:

- Detect Evil - Man! I was so bummed when I found out this wasn't in the game. That added such a layer of intrigue and information to the BG series. You would talk to so many people in BG and detect them as evil and then you would try to figure out why via dialog, sometimes you found out later in the game and sometimes you would never find out at all, and kill them! This would add a ton of immersion.

In which I go: "NoooooOooo nonononono NO."

 

I hate it when character morality is reduced to a check-box tracked on a character sheet. If you spend time talking to an npc and nothing about them convinces you they're a bad person, having a spell that makes them glow and say 'yes they're bad who knows why it doesn't matter' is the exact opposite of immersion.

 

In-game, the traits your character picks up (benevolent/deceptive/honest/stoic/ect) are a nice substitute for alignment. Besides, the games entire story runs on grey-morality. Having defined good/evil stats attached to NPCs would ruin that entirely :(

I understand what you're saying here. I'm just looking at it from the other side. It enhanced my BG experience - I never wrote them off if they were evil, I'd use it to tailor my dialog with them. It can be difficult to pick up nuance in reading text - unless it voice acted. Although, Pillars has some of the best narration I've ever seen in a game. 

 

 

Wait, did you really just complain that the fights aren't hard, but state you... didn't play the game on Hard difficulty? Why would you expect the game to be 'Hard' if you don't select 'Hard' difficulty?

 

I didn't complain about the difficulty. I said I didn't utilize any spells or strategies throughout the whole game - minus 2 fights. There was no expectation for the game to be Hard, but there was expectation on being challenged more often. I think the difficulty on Normal was well tuned for the most part, just need more stuff like the Endless Paths. 

 

Perhaps he's comparing it to normal difficulty on other games, such as BG.

 

:thumbsup:

 

- Detect Evil - Man! I was so bummed when I found out this wasn't in the game. That added such a layer of intrigue and information to the BG series. You would talk to so many people in BG and detect them as evil and then you would try to figure out why via dialog, sometimes you found out later in the game and sometimes you would never find out at all, and kill them! This would add a ton of immersion.

 

You are aware that this isn't based on the D&D ruleset? So good and evil don't figure into this kind of game. And personally I'm rather glad about it that usually we don't get these black and white alignments anymore. Grey is the color of reality when it comes to good vs evil.

 

I am very aware. I have mixed feelings about the game forcing you into grey options. Every choice seemed to have a consequence - even the seemingly obvious ones. Not everything in reality is this way, and I would have preferred they toned down the amount of double edge swords. Regardless of this fact, I still enjoyed it all. It always kept the game interesting. My thoughts on all these suggestions are for the future of the series.

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We each have our likes and dislikes and are free to make suggestions.  The final decision is up to the developers.

 

I would like to see Vendor updates.

 

As for Detect Evil spell I would not want it.  I like that evil in this game is not black and white but grey.   For me it adds to the role play and the replay-ability.  The game raises questions and I really like that aspect.

 

As for the difficulty of the fights the game provides options for making the combat more difficult.  With all the variety of players we need variety in difficulty or some will simply become frustrated and give up or others will become bored and give up.    IMO the game does provide variety.

 

Knock spell I see no real need for but am not against it either.  Don't care one way or another.

 

The Stronghold has it usefulness but could use some improvement.  I like having it.

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 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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I would like to see Vendor updates.

 

 

Yes, me too. I would say, D:OS solved it pretty well. Vendors were restocking as you levelled and didn't hold on to every junk item you sold to them. That made it really interesting to pay them a visit every now and then.

 

As for the stronghold, I like having it too, but the purpose of some additions just escapes me. Especially the vendors, which brings us again to the restocking issue.

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:cat: Well the Orlan shopkeeper gives Korgrak the Ogre something to comment on.  He also likes it when you upgrade the kitchen although how he manages to use it I have never figured out.


 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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:cat: Well the Orlan shopkeeper gives Korgrak the Ogre something to comment on.  He also likes it when you upgrade the kitchen although how he manages to use it I have never figured out.

 

Yeah, I had that Korgrak comment, but not the kitchen one. I assume, you mean restoring the hearth.

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:cat: Well the Orlan shopkeeper gives Korgrak the Ogre something to comment on.  He also likes it when you upgrade the kitchen although how he manages to use it I have never figured out.

 

Yeah, I had that Korgrak comment, but not the kitchen one. I assume, you mean restoring the hearth.

 

Yes, to me it is a kitchen and hearth refers to the fireplace in it.    Actually he likes the hearth.  He has some cute comments about a few things.


 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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Thirding "oh God please no Detect Evil", although I'm pretty sure it's completely unnecessary.

 

Challenge to those who care: write a nuanced RPG setting where the existence of Detect Evil makes sense.

 

...Maybe I should open a different topic for that.


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

 

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Challenge to those who care: write a nuanced RPG setting where the existence of Detect Evil makes sense.

 

That would be quite the challenge to write a nuanced RPg with black and white alignments. I guess right in the squaring a circle league.

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Re: alignment -

 

I'm always amused when I see posts/comments regarding the D&D alignment system. People always read that the characters alignment was set in stone and could never change however this was never the case and if anything was a starting point that helped shape a characters personality plus also helped players play their better characters as they had a guide as what the character believed in [or didn't] and gave them a morality [or lack there of] in which to base their characters choices. In addition, any decent Dungeon Master would have said at the outset of any campaign that alignments can shift through the actions the character makes. The BG series reflected this rather well as it gave you some fairly clear cut choices on the consequences of your actions throughout the game. Unfortunately PoE doesn't really reflect that & it seems in dialogue choices, when you pick the "evil" option, all that happens is you sound like you're being an as*hat. Yes you can alienate companions but that doesn't effect the over all outcome of the game. There are only a few key choices you make in the game that have any definable moral gradient in their results in the epilogue. 

 

Anyway, PoE is not D&D but it does stands in its shadow and since many people have played BG & D&D comparisons will always be made. Thus in conclusion, Detect Evil is not necessary in PoE at all especially since you are The Watcher and can peer into peoples souls and see a defining moment in that persons life thus get an impression of who that person is. To me that's a far better ability than just being able to detect evil which is, in all honesty, very vague and unspecific. 

 

In regards to some other points the OP has raised:

 

I found the difficulty on normal level quite acceptable. I've only played the game once all the way through [just finished yesterday] and beat Thaos on my 2nd battle after being stomped on my 1st attempt. I missed fighting the Adra dragon as I was more focused on the main storyline rather than the main side quest "The Master Below".

 

Knock Spell - there is no need for it and I doubt they could have included it as that'd be encroaching on D&D's IP. Yes there could have been an equivalent spell however I found the mechanics skill sufficient enough to cover that area.

 

- Vendor Updates - agreed. More variety and an updating roster of merchandise over time would be nice to see.

 

Diversify Crafting - agreed. I have to say I hardly bothered with crafting in the end as I found enough consumable items from  loot drops throughout the game making the whole crafting of potions/food/scrolls sort of a pointless distraction. I liked the idea of upgrading your equipment but I never saw that as actually crafting as such, just enhancing. Crafting is making something from scratch from raw materials. I'd have liked to have been able to create my own equipment in game and enchant it. 

 

- More Models for gear - again agreed. I would add more gear as well plus, as it's been said elsewhere, separate the neck item slot from the shoulders. I found it very disappointing that I could not equip a character with an amulet and a cape at the same time.  And, returning to the previous point, I'd like to have been able to create my own items from a a palate of styles.

 

The stronghold needs more work. Assigning characters not in the main party roster to go off to do solo adventures & escorts is nice but they too need more work. I think the adventures could be like those points in the game where you go to text & a selection of choices. It'd be like a choose your own adventure for the particular character and in addition, success should be determined not only on the choices made but also the level & equipment the NPC has. A grand adventure should require a level 10+ NPC with a full set of equipment to have any chance of success. If you don't equip them properly and send them off on these adventures then the NPC should have a high chance of failure & perhaps even be permanently killed thus lowering your reputation and overall standing/morale. I'd also like to see hireling & perhaps unassigned NPC 's guarding the dungeon. There should be a number of random attacks that get progressively nastier if you ignore Od Nua and of course this gives you more incentive to totally clear out the dungeon otherwise you'll be facing more & more assaults from the creatures below. Oh and while I'm on the topic of Od Nua, I did find it a little bit disappointing. Some of the maps/levels where just far too small with only a few set encounters in them. I was hoping for something like the Underdark from BGII which was huge and had multiple levels and areas to explore. Ahh well.  I also agree that the rest bonuses given by the fully upgraded stronghold were pretty lame compared to the ones you could get from resting at certain Inns. Perhaps once you've unlocked all the upgrades they should stack together? It'd make upgrading Caed Nua far more attractive plus you'd want to rest there as you'd be getting +1 to a lot of attributes. I'd also like to see more of the lands around Caed Nua, ie; more maps/areas that are unlocked once you start rebuilding the stronghold. You're getting taxes from somewhere, why not go out and actually meet your "peasants"? In addition how about you decide what sort of landlord your going to be: an evil tyrannical high taxing one who ignores his obligations to his people or a benevolent compassionate one who actively aids them and only takes from them what is absolutely necessary to maintain the stronghold? Another stronghold addition should be you holding court, ie; you have to be there to settle disputes, enforce justice, solve the odd crime/mystery that has arisen. If you're not there to do that then you could delegate an NPC companion to be your seneschal however that runs the risk of them failing if their attribute scores aren't high enough such as Intelligence, Resolve etc. Thus again your reputation would suffer for it etc. 

 

I also found the spellbooks and numbers of spells a wizard could have in their grimoire  was a bit limited. Plus the clerical magic was also not developed enough. Basically I wanted MORE!  :yes:   I did though very much like the cipher character class and I'd really like to see that expanded in any further updates/games that come out. 

 

 

In regards to achievements I couldn't care less about them. I would rather see more focus on better game play and enhanced storytelling than knowing that I've now defeated the Quaziqwargs of Qwarg and unlocked the Golden Spoon of Egg Destruction. Give me more  magic/spell content is what I'm saying   :yes:

 

 

 

Overall I liked the game however I can't help but compare it to BG and in all honesty, BG still just had so much more than PoE and for me at least is where I'm feeling a little let down as I had hoped that PoE would be as big, as enthralling, as in depth as BG was. I'm glad that PoE has happened and I'm proud that I backed it and don't regret that at all. Here's hoping that the follow up for PoE can be more like BG II. Just do more please :)

Edited by Talwyn224

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Challenge to those who care: write a nuanced RPG setting where the existence of Detect Evil makes sense.

 

That would be quite the challenge to write a nuanced RPg with black and white alignments. I guess right in the squaring a circle league.

 

You could do something on an Owellian theme, in which a fantasy Thought Police arrest citizens on whom they "Detect Evil".

Edited by Fardragon

Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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