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Strongholds so close to getting it right.


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I have been playing RPG's since Ultima 1 so I have been around for quite a while. Firstly I think Pillars of Eternity is a great game and nearly has got it spot on when it comes to an RPG.

 

Strongholds- The concept I have seen before and it is so nearly right. If in later updates you do the following it would be perfect.

 

Construction of Building- Lets see them being actually built, the wagons coming in and the workers putting up walls etc to add to the realism to the game.

 

lets make all constructed types have an active roll. For example the training area actually being used (not sure if it is at the moment) and the gardens etc. rather than just having a bonus perk.

 

Stronghold attacks - If by creatures from the Endless paths we should have defenses to stop them accessing first level of Endless Paths, if other attackers lets have them attack the Stronghold from outside it and we can then put into use all those defenses we paid for and even add additional elements like defensive weapons etc. Some would say this is more Strategy than RPG but it would certainly add another dimension to Stronghold and make it more purposeful.

 

Hirelings- More occupations not just wayfaring hirelings but servants, gardeners etc. We wan to see an active community in the Stronghold.

 

Equipping Hirelings - we got all that good gear and wish to put it to use?

 

Lastly the only other thing I would like to see is the NPC's more active in the game, going on their daily business and not just standing their 24/7 night and day doing nothing.

 

Thanks for listening 

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i agree

With what exactly? Anything to add?

 

All the OPs points are good. For me I would particularly like to see the construction of buildings, the training area and forum be usable. As well as stronghold attacks.

 

I would also like to be able to participate in diplomatic missions extending your area of influence with factions such as the ones in those cities you visit, winning political concessions from neighbours such as Raedric, negotiating trade treaties and having a hand in managing the refugee crisis if you desire (maybe even housing some refugees).

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I would just rather the developers didn't waste time on shoehorning The Sims or and RTS into a CRPG.

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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The stronghold isn't anywhere near to getting it right, it's awful. If Josh's attitude is "some people aren't interested in this feature, so let's half ass it and call it a day", then I'd rather they didn't include it at all. Even at the cost of breaking a stretch goal promise.

Edited by Rosveen
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The things mentioned above sound real good, but they also sound like a lot of work. Plus I and I think a lot of other people too, expected something different. Something more like the strongholds in BG2. And in my opionien turning the stronghold into something like this would be much easier. Just add a little interaction and a little less turnbased crap. Instead of a ****ty attack every X rounds, it would be nicer to have only 1 attack. Like you return to the stronghold and find it filled with, lets say trolls (Dont know where I got that from :) ). The trolls are not just standing in you main hall. They are everywhere, strategically placed and the main troll even has something to say ("I hate humans, so I invaded your fortress").

 

What I really like is the idea of having inhabitants in your fortress. I even was convinced the whole game through, that it would happen anytime soon. I want a cook and a gardener and maybe they would have miniquests and problems and something to say in general. Like: "Your garden looks ****ty, do something" or "Im so so saaad, do something" or "My magic ring got lost, do something" or "Lord Binky from the fortress nearby does not like you and is planning an intrigue".

 

Most of the things, people want for the fortress would require some sort of change in the engine or the way things work in general. But even with the mechanics that are already built in, there is a lot of room for improvement. Like modders did with BG for the last 15 years.

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It would have been great if they had been able to little bit of effort into making the content less dry. It's a shame from a developer that clearly has a great team of talented writers. Take the quests for example, 'average adventure, reward 10% exp, minor item'. Would it have been too much work to have at least given the quests a decent title and basic background?

 

For example, 'The trouble with xaurips', A local farmer complains that a xaurip clan is raiding his crops, will you help?  'Troll Bridge' A troll has taken residence under a bridge and is preventing travellers from crossing, will you help? 

 

The quests could even  play out as a scripted text encounter, the mechanics already exist.      

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A brief history of Strongholds in RPGs:

 

 

1) First appeared in 1st Edition AD&D DMG, as something for retired adventurers who have reached maximum level to do. Intended to help the DM with worldbuilding.

 

2) Featured in BG2, again for high level characters. Featured a set of class-specific sidequests, and hence enhanced replayablity and class-distinctiveness.

 

3) Featured in NWN2 OC, incorporating elements from strategy gaming. Largely successful, but the plot felt bent in order to justify the stronghold, rather than a natural adjunct. As such, contributed to the linearity and poor storytelling that blighted that release (along with the bugs).

 

4) A half-baked, pointless, and impossible to completely avoid blight on Pillars of Eternity.

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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A brief history of Strongholds in RPGs:

 

 

1) First appeared in 1st Edition AD&D DMG, as something for retired adventurers who have reached maximum level to do. Intended to help the DM with worldbuilding.

 

2) Featured in BG2, again for high level characters. Featured a set of class-specific sidequests, and hence enhanced replayablity and class-distinctiveness.

 

3) Featured in NWN2 OC, incorporating elements from strategy gaming. Largely successful, but the plot felt bent in order to justify the stronghold, rather than a natural adjunct. As such, contributed to the linearity and poor storytelling that blighted that release (along with the bugs).

 

4) A half-baked, pointless, and impossible to completely avoid blight on Pillars of Eternity.

 

Yeah, we get it.  You don't like strongholds.  So what else is new?

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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A brief history of Strongholds in RPGs:

 

 

1) First appeared in 1st Edition AD&D DMG, as something for retired adventurers who have reached maximum level to do. Intended to help the DM with worldbuilding.

 

2) Featured in BG2, again for high level characters. Featured a set of class-specific sidequests, and hence enhanced replayablity and class-distinctiveness.

 

3) Featured in NWN2 OC, incorporating elements from strategy gaming. Largely successful, but the plot felt bent in order to justify the stronghold, rather than a natural adjunct. As such, contributed to the linearity and poor storytelling that blighted that release (along with the bugs).

 

4) A half-baked, pointless, and impossible to completely avoid blight on Pillars of Eternity.

Add Dragon Age 3: a great place for advancing the plot, interacting with companions in meaningful dialogues, furthering quests, and brandishing trophies.

Although I'm only halfway through construction, the stronghold feels like a minigame in a holiday house. It's very static, unimmersive, and could almost be completely avoided.

 

I'd like to see Caed Nua better reflect my character's relationship with Dyrwood.

I would like to feel like there's a good chance something new could happen for visiting.

I'd like to see the land and spaces come alive with my growing influence.

And I'd like my visit there to give me good reason to go back out into the world rather than just as a stop-over.☺️

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A brief history of Strongholds in RPGs:

 

 

1) First appeared in 1st Edition AD&D DMG, as something for retired adventurers who have reached maximum level to do. Intended to help the DM with worldbuilding.

 

2) Featured in BG2, again for high level characters. Featured a set of class-specific sidequests, and hence enhanced replayablity and class-distinctiveness.

 

3) Featured in NWN2 OC, incorporating elements from strategy gaming. Largely successful, but the plot felt bent in order to justify the stronghold, rather than a natural adjunct. As such, contributed to the linearity and poor storytelling that blighted that release (along with the bugs).

 

4) A half-baked, pointless, and impossible to completely avoid blight on Pillars of Eternity.

 

Yeah, we get it.  You don't like strongholds.  So what else is new?

 

I see why some people would not like it especially if they are pure RPG only fans, however I like the idea of an extra dimension to a game. It was the same with Mass Effect when I said you have a space ship why not see it slug it out in space battles like in Tie Fighter or Wing Commander they were appalled ;(

 

Another thing I would like to see are your Characters who are currently not being used in your party being involved in Stronghold activities either defense roles are various other daily activities.

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Sawyer's attitude towards the stronghold is pretty much the reason why it failed. Also calling bull**** on his claim that the amount of people that dislike stronghold mechanics are close to percentage that loathe romance. Just sounds like deflection and excuses towards one of the most criticized aspect of the game. Even people that loved the game overall called Obsidian out on the stronghold and considered it the most disappointing feature.

 

Instead of excuses, I'd like to see Josh actually own up considering his post on another forum where he even claims "yeah we could have done more with the stronghold". Doesn't sound like a money issue to me. More like a Lead Designer decision. 

Edited by PIP-Clownboy
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I have no problem with the stronghold in principle, but I do feel like in Pillars of Eternity, there's not much reason for the Watcher to have one.  At least through the first two acts, it doesn't have anything to do with the plot and is just a few more stores and a place to dump characters you're not using.  Unlike say, Dragon Age: Inquisition where you're supposed to be building an army and it makes sense for you to have a stronghold, the Watcher doesn't have a real need for a base of operations.  It's just a potential source of revenue for him, and I'm guessing that I've pumped in far more than I'm likely to get back.  Also, in DA:I, the opposition can attack you there.  Perhaps the Leaden Key will attack Caed Nua in Act 3, but even if they do, what does the Watcher really lose?

 

To make it work, I think they really need to have it actually provide some real assistance in the main plot not just the odd item from a traveling merchant or a smattering of crafting.  Maybe sages in the library could unearth information that identifies the location of lost artifacts or vulnerabilities or plans of the Leaden Key.  Maybe visiting nobles could come bearing requests for aid on something more substantive and interesting than just bounty hunting.

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The stronghold to me is one of those things where I didn't realize I hated it until someone explained it to me that I did. :Cant's wry grin icon:

 

Actually I still enjoy the stronghold, but the points people make about fleshing it out are sensible. In fact, I had no problem with 'average adventure' and 'minor item,' but farleybear made an excellent point about at least giving some RPG flair to the descriptions and stories. I don't know how hard that would be, although intuitively it doesn't seem like it would be particularly difficult.

 

I'm glad to have the stronghold in the game, but if it could be infused with some of the ideas that people have had here, I imagine I would like it even more. Some things don't appeal as much to my tastes, however. For example, I don't want to be stuck in an RTS strategy game. Right now, the stronghold improvements and staffin decisions are by and large unobtrusive. Hell, if anything, I would rather be able to set up defenses so that I don't even need to worry about heading back to take a personal hand in fending off attacks.

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The stronghold isn't anywhere near to getting it right, it's awful. If Josh's attitude is "some people aren't interested in this feature, so let's half ass it and call it a day", then I'd rather they didn't include it at all. Even at the cost of breaking a stretch goal promise.

what an amusing misrepresentation.  josh noted that there were implementation issues with the stronghold and when folks offered resource intensive "fixes," then josh observed that stronghold are, regardless o' quality, a feature that many folks active dislike.  game development is a zero-sum endeavour; if you wanna add X or fix Y, then you must necessarily take resources from Z.  so, for a polarizing feature such as strongholds that faced implementation issues during development, what other poe features or content would you sacrifice to improve the stronghold?  

 

as a paid-for stretch goal, not offering a stronghold were likely considered impractical.  no doubt the perfect reasonable fanbase and game reviewers woulda' listened to obsidian's cost v. benefit analysis regarding the sacrifice o' the stronghold and given such arguments due consideration.

 

*snort*

 

heck, spend 20 minutes reading posts on this board should makes clear that folks is not gonna be reasonable.  listen to continued complaints 'bout romances or per kill xp or how addition o' an optional feature that bob will never use (respec) nevertheless ruins his game.  

 

*shrug*

 

would be interesting to hear what obsidian had wanted the stronghold to be, but am doubting that would improve the disposition o' the fans.  

 

the uninspired implementation o' the poe stronghold is the fault o' none save obsidian.  nevertheless, the mischaracterization o' josh comments on the matter is unfortunate and unhelpful.  

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Sawyer's attitude towards the stronghold is pretty much the reason why it failed. Also calling bull**** on his claim that the amount of people that dislike stronghold mechanics are close to percentage that loathe romance. Just sounds like deflection and excuses towards one of the most criticized aspect of the game. Even people that loved the game overall called Obsidian out on the stronghold and considered it the most disappointing feature.

 

Instead of excuses, I'd like to see Josh actually own up considering his post on another forum where he even claims "yeah we could have done more with the stronghold". Doesn't sound like a money issue to me. More like a Lead Designer decision. 

 

Honestly, as much as I like this game, he's a bad lead designer and some of his derision left some huge flaws in the game.  The stronghold's current state is probably one of the worst things about the game.

Edited by bonarbill
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I'll start with the disclaimer that I'm a Sawyer fan.

 

The way I see it, there is no argument that overcomes success. If you like the game, then you must give credit to the lead designer. If you like the game, it seems to me you should at least give some nod to the lead.

 

I do see one particularly glaring error in the game, but it's a continuity issue with the main story line. The stronghold? Okay, it might not be the best part of the design. Fair enough, but just like you to have to take the bad with the good, to be intellectually honest you must take the good with the bad. So, clamor for improvements in the stronghold design, but it's only one part, and not even the biggest part, of a large game.

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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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Sawyer's attitude towards the stronghold is pretty much the reason why it failed. Also calling bull**** on his claim that the amount of people that dislike stronghold mechanics are close to percentage that loathe romance. Just sounds like deflection and excuses towards one of the most criticized aspect of the game. Even people that loved the game overall called Obsidian out on the stronghold and considered it the most disappointing feature.

 

Instead of excuses, I'd like to see Josh actually own up considering his post on another forum where he even claims "yeah we could have done more with the stronghold". Doesn't sound like a money issue to me. More like a Lead Designer decision. 

 

Honestly, as much as I like this game, he's a bad lead designer and some of his derision left some huge flaws in the game.  The stronghold's current state is probably one of the worst things about the game.

 

 

Quit being so melodramatic. So the game isnt perfect. You claim you like the game but dont like the lead designer of the game. This post was trying to give constructive ideas for the stronghold. What is the point of posting your whiny crap.

 

As for this post, I do like some of the ideas for stronghold.

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Sawyer's attitude towards the stronghold is pretty much the reason why it failed. Also calling bull**** on his claim that the amount of people that dislike stronghold mechanics are close to percentage that loathe romance. Just sounds like deflection and excuses towards one of the most criticized aspect of the game. Even people that loved the game overall called Obsidian out on the stronghold and considered it the most disappointing feature.

 

Instead of excuses, I'd like to see Josh actually own up considering his post on another forum where he even claims "yeah we could have done more with the stronghold". Doesn't sound like a money issue to me. More like a Lead Designer decision. 

 

Honestly, as much as I like this game, he's a bad lead designer and some of his derision left some huge flaws in the game.  The stronghold's current state is probably one of the worst things about the game.

 

 

Quit being so melodramatic. So the game isnt perfect. You claim you like the game but dont like the lead designer of the game. This post was trying to give constructive ideas for the stronghold. What is the point of posting your whiny crap.

 

As for this post, I do like some of the ideas for stronghold.

 

 

My point was to give my opinion and to expand on what clownboy is talking about, which I assume is allowed.  If it offends you, then you're welcome to put me on your ignore list.  :)

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A brief history of Strongholds in RPGs:

 

 

1) First appeared in 1st Edition AD&D DMG, as something for retired adventurers who have reached maximum level to do. Intended to help the DM with worldbuilding.

 

2) Featured in BG2, again for high level characters. Featured a set of class-specific sidequests, and hence enhanced replayablity and class-distinctiveness.

 

3) Featured in NWN2 OC, incorporating elements from strategy gaming. Largely successful, but the plot felt bent in order to justify the stronghold, rather than a natural adjunct. As such, contributed to the linearity and poor storytelling that blighted that release (along with the bugs).

 

4) A half-baked, pointless, and impossible to completely avoid blight on Pillars of Eternity.

 

Yeah, we get it.  You don't like strongholds.  So what else is new?

 

If fine with them if they work within the game. The DA:I Stronghold has been mentioned, and it works fine. As the plot has you leading an organisation, it makes perfect sense to have a base of operations. It's much less ambitious, in terms of number and range of upgrades, that what was attempted in PoE, and is so unobtrusive that I had forgotten about it.

 

Games where you have a spaceship (KOTOR, Mass Effect) IMO don't actually do enough in terms of upgrades and customisation.

 

But in PoE, your character isn't high level and facing retirement, they aren't running an organisation, and they haven't been charged with defending a boarder. i.e. there is no story reason for it's inclusion. Nor does it add any class-specific sidequests. It really is just there to pander to forum whiners, and is both overambitious and completely useless, whilst being impossible to completely ignore.

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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The stronghold isn't anywhere near to getting it right, it's awful. If Josh's attitude is "some people aren't interested in this feature, so let's half ass it and call it a day", then I'd rather they didn't include it at all. Even at the cost of breaking a stretch goal promise.

what an amusing misrepresentation. josh noted that there were implementation issues with the stronghold and when folks offered resource intensive "fixes," then josh observed that stronghold are, regardless o' quality, a feature that many folks active dislike. game development is a zero-sum endeavour; if you wanna add X or fix Y, then you must necessarily take resources from Z. so, for a polarizing feature such as strongholds that faced implementation issues during development, what other poe features or content would you sacrifice to improve the stronghold?

 

as a paid-for stretch goal, not offering a stronghold were likely considered impractical. no doubt the perfect reasonable fanbase and game reviewers woulda' listened to obsidian's cost v. benefit analysis regarding the sacrifice o' the stronghold and given such arguments due consideration.

 

*snort*

 

heck, spend 20 minutes reading posts on this board should makes clear that folks is not gonna be reasonable. listen to continued complaints 'bout romances or per kill xp or how addition o' an optional feature that bob will never use (respec) nevertheless ruins his game.

 

*shrug*

 

would be interesting to hear what obsidian had wanted the stronghold to be, but am doubting that would improve the disposition o' the fans.

 

the uninspired implementation o' the poe stronghold is the fault o' none save obsidian. nevertheless, the mischaracterization o' josh comments on the matter is unfortunate and unhelpful.

HA! Good Fun!

I wouldn't sacrifice any feature of PoE, I said I wanted the stronghold removed entirely if it can't be done right (by this I don't mean "exactly like game X", simply thoughtfully designed and fun) with the resources available. I stand by this statement. It's only my opinion, of course. I understand they were worried backers would protest. Well, this backer wouldn't, I think they should be aware of that too. Larian broke down their promised megadungeon, so evidently it can be done without the sky falling.

 

In any case, consider what happened. Folks who don't like strongholds ignore it anyway. Folks who do like strongholds are disappointed. Who benefitted from this feature being in the game at all? How many people liked it? It actually detracted from my experience. I'm serious when I say I'd enjoy the game more if it didn't have this stronghold. It was tied into the main story so strongly I felt compelled to restore it, but the restoration process was nothing but an annoyance and failed expectations. I wouldn't mind so much if it was completely optional, but I was railroaded into it. I was indifferent to the stretch goal when it was announced and I'm not nearly as upset about the result as I may sound, but at the same time I also didn't back PoE to play poor Facebook minigames. I imagine the implementation issues were discovered so late in development that it was impossible to move the stronghold out of sight. Unfortunate, but understandable. Let's hope they don't repeat the same mistake next time.

Edited by Rosveen
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then josh observed that stronghold are, regardless o' quality, a feature that many folks active dislike.

 

Then he should make it less strongholdy and more people will like it. If he abandones the idea and leaves it as is, everybody will remember it is the ****ty thing it is. When did the gaming industry become so uninventive? Game X has a stronghold that works a certain way. Game X sold well, so people seem to expect, that a stronghold works this way. I didn't play Game X or any other game since 2000. Josh promised a place, that the player can inhabit, not a specific mechanic, how that place would work. That can mean everything. I expected the stronghold to be like BG2, only better. And better does certainly not mean that wannebe-citybuilder-thingy. That worst thing about the BG2-strongholds was that unnecessary moneymaking aspect. Here in the forum there are only pro and con stronghold people, but can nobody of you imagine a stronghold that is just a bit different from other games?

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Eh.  There's a lot of blaming Josh for everything around certain corners of the internet.  "Josh Sawyer looked at my cow funny, and now it only gives chocolate yogurt."  If he wanted the stronghold to fail then Tim ****ing Cain probably wouldn't have been working on it.

 

The stronghold just needs more content (written npcs & npcs wandering around).  It's one of the many places where the budget of the game shows.  If the game had two more small villages, six to eight more wilderness areas, and three to five extensively written characters in the stronghold it would be right next to BGI in terms of quality.

Edited by anameforobsidian
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You guys can brutalize Sawyer within reason, but remember to be gentle with one another. :Cant's equable smile icon:

 

I say that because I'm probably going to get considerable push-back for what follows. I liked the stronghold. I understand the arguments about the stronghold and I agree with some of the suggested improvements. In fact some of them aren't just reasonable. Some of them are great. For example, naming the quests that come available and giving at least a little backstory for them.

 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the stronghold. Now, to be fair, I'm not a 'stronghold fan.' I think of it as a cool little add-on that came included in the game. Still, I enjoyed clearing out the joint. I liked seeing the various places restored. The shops were cool as they opened for business. It was great seeing the population grow. Most of all, I liked having a place to call home, as it were.

 

Now, it would have been good to see a little bustle with population that wasn't entirely shopkeepers and hirelings. I was okay with the bounty hunts, but they did strike me as a bit out of place. Having a place to store your stuff isn't nearly as useful when you carry around all your belongings in an invisible u-haul.

 

Sure, there were issues, but I don't think the stronghold is as universally unpopular as people contend in this thread. Yes, it's clearly got a very vocal group who want it changed to varying degrees or removed completely. I respect that and I say keep arguing for your point of view. I'm just saying that I doubt I'm the only person who played the game and got some enjoyment out of the stronghold feature. I personally think that many of the people who are more or less indifferent about strongholds liked the stronghold that's in the game.

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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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