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Strongholds so close to getting it right.

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I'm completely new to POE's community - I heard about and got the game only a few weeks ago, unfortunately never having heard of it before. I haven't read any feedback on it yet. I have to say, I really enjoy the Stronghold, though I agree that it can be fleshed out. It's kind of hilarious how upset some people are about it, going as far as attacking the gamedevs. I've never really seen what other RPGs did with strongholds (other than M&B ad Ultima Online, but that's different). But I really enjoyed the idea of having a home in a dilapidated stronghold, paying to have it restored and cleaning out a huge infested dungeon underneath it. Having there be a big dungeon under you home gives you an intriguing quest that you can come back to over and over throughout the first half of the game. It also gives you something to spend money on other than gear, which really adds some depth. I'm really glad the feature is there.. Sorry? 

 

It does feel like it needs a bit more work though. I enjoy paying to have bits of the stronghold restored, but I feel that the restoration doesn't have enough impact on the world. The rest bonuses and prestige are nice, but even when fully restored, the Stronghold feels a little deserted. For example, there's no reason (afaik) to ever go to the library. Rest bonuses and prestige are nice, but it would be more rewarding if the stronghold gradually came alive with activity, npc's, animals..etc. Some restorations feel like they make no difference at all. 

 

Having your stronghold attacked can be way more dramatic and interesting. Compared to the visceral fights in M&B, the 'manual resolve' of being attacked by bandits is not very interesting. I think maybe a text/ui-based minigame where you defend the fortress from an assault would be better. Having the player imagine a large battle, instead of a generic in-game battle. 

 

There isn't any meaningful dialog (or much meaningful interaction) with the people who come to your stronghold. I expected to share stories, get quests, hire companions...  but most characters that are set upon by brigands and end up in your keep provide no meaningful gameplay. 

 

The value of having real estate in POE depends on how much resources the devs put into it. I don't see anything inherently wrong with it - I really enjoy it. I agree that more effort should've been put into the stronghold.. maybe the reason people are so butthurt is that it's a bit half baked. Still, I enjoy it. So I guess the feature has at least one, admittedly casual, fan. 

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Sawyer's SA response to criticism about the lack of content for strongholds:

 

Content does not burst forth from our foreheads fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus through desire and good intentions.

 

 

 

 

I laughed.

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Sawyer's SA response to criticism about the lack of content for strongholds:

 

Content does not burst forth from our foreheads fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus through desire and good intentions.

 

 

 

 

I laughed.

I don't think that's much of an excuse, when you could post on the forums "what would you like to see in your stronghold?".

 

Anyway, the DAI stronghold has LESS actual content and features, and is all the better for it.


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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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 

Nice, would love all of this.


Eder: 'Can I pet him?'

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I don't agree at all. It not nearly being close. It is so far away it would be better if it didn't exist. It also makes no sense in the story of the game.

 

What it needed to be is like NWN2 stronghold but also improved (there in the defense of the stronghold battle only the power of your group meant anything, everything else you built was pointless).

 

Or like Castle in BG2 that is out of the way of the main story and that one is truly completely optional and you don't even own it so it does not create any problems in the story.

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I don't agree at all. It not nearly being close. It is so far away it would be better if it didn't exist. It also makes no sense in the story of the game.

 

What it needed to be is like NWN2 stronghold but also improved (there in the defense of the stronghold battle only the power of your group meant anything, everything else you built was pointless).

 

Or like Castle in BG2 that is out of the way of the main story and that one is truly completely optional and you don't even own it so it does not create any problems in the story.

 

Actually you can "own it" if you are a fighter/warrior class altho it  and all the other BG2 strongholds are indeed optional - some better than others but I wouldn't call the better than PoE just different - I'm OK with PoE stronghold - but would welcome improvements.


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Stronghold is generally fine as a idea. However my concerns are:

1. Proper naming and recognicion, this filthy peasants should learn to name PC Lord/Lady of Caed Nua or suffer wrath of legions of terror. Also having high prestige/upgrades on stronghold should open some doors. Generally people of interest should hear of PC.

2. More occasion to strenght our stronghold in questing. The recruitment of one enemy was good. Time for more. Like asking merchants to come to my stronghold. Or claim Roderick Lands as our own ;-) Time to Gilden Dale to shine again under just rule of Lady of Caed Nua beatufull as Morn and treacherous as the sea.

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Even though BG2 had waaaaaay less systematic and art content for strongholds, it felt more satisfying for two reasons:

1.  Not everybody had the same stronghold.  Getting a mage sphere, thief's guild, or castle felt very different.

2.  It's all about the writing.  To Obsidian's credit, the chairlady does notice when you reach certain levels of prestige / security, when you slay the big bad of the Endless paths, and when you finish restoring everything.  However, having some non-random quests with some dialogue given to you by quest givers would feel far more satisfying.  If they fed back into the strength of the stronghold that would be excellent.  If once you had a warden, he would tell you to go talk to a specific merchant, etc. in your stronghold and they would have the quests, it would feel more like you were building something.

3.  Addendum to 2.  NPCs man.  Put some NPCs in.  If I replace a garden, how bout a gardener?  If I fix a fora, how bout a philosopher?

 

I feel like they put a lot of art and systems work into the stronghold.  The dual floor in the inn is very clever (it changes if you fix it).  The hand around the weapons shop is too.  The ability to take prisoners is awesome (and they talk to you).  The bounties are some of the more fun fights in the game.  

 

They just needed the content to back it up.  Note, this would be prime work for modders, so I hope they do the next one in Unity 5 and either they or a clever modder backports this game in.

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I don't agree at all. It not nearly being close. It is so far away it would be better if it didn't exist. It also makes no sense in the story of the game.

 

What it needed to be is like NWN2 stronghold but also improved (there in the defense of the stronghold battle only the power of your group meant anything, everything else you built was pointless).

 

Or like Castle in BG2 that is out of the way of the main story and that one is truly completely optional and you don't even own it so it does not create any problems in the story.

 

Actually you can "own it" if you are a fighter/warrior class altho it  and all the other BG2 strongholds are indeed optional - some better than others but I wouldn't call the better than PoE just different - I'm OK with PoE stronghold - but would welcome improvements.

 

You still don't own it, your "wife" does. And the your main opponents/contacts in the city are mages and they don't care for your castle. But they care about the Sphere and they oversee you there. You can even force them to help you with your Imoen quest there (even if it turns out useless in the end, at least it is recognized).

 

PoE Stronghold is recognized by nobody and you deal with people in Defiance Bay that MUST be aware of it and who SHOULD care about it.

Edited by archangel979

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if i'd have to choose to have a stronghold in an rpg i'd take bg2 type strongholds over theme park simulation.

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It would be nice if there ware more merchants in our super upgraded Strongholds. Every generic good, supply, ingredient should be avaiable in out base of operations. There is no value in need to travel to one city for scrolls, and to other for potions. Watching reload screens is really MMO like experience.  Just make some smart script to stock refresh each week, and good selection upgrade/expand with some critical levels. There could be merchants like: Chief with food and ingreediens, inventor with traps, gardener with potions and natural ingrediens, the halfing lady could provide stones as well, blacksmith could sell all kinds of weapons in fine and exeptional quality when the time comes, scribe could provide scrolls. The generic merchant could sometimes have more rare items to sale (like superior weapon or some fun item, rare ingredient, helmet +1).

 

All this merchants could chittychat in some funny way. And have some task for PC. Like Cook having cookbook stolen by Xuirps, and Blacksmith reading about epic armor. Giving us more reason to explore Endless Paths.

Edited by evilcat
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I don't agree at all. It not nearly being close. It is so far away it would be better if it didn't exist. It also makes no sense in the story of the game.

 

What it needed to be is like NWN2 stronghold but also improved (there in the defense of the stronghold battle only the power of your group meant anything, everything else you built was pointless).

 

Or like Castle in BG2 that is out of the way of the main story and that one is truly completely optional and you don't even own it so it does not create any problems in the story.

 

Actually you can "own it" if you are a fighter/warrior class altho it  and all the other BG2 strongholds are indeed optional - some better than others but I wouldn't call the better than PoE just different - I'm OK with PoE stronghold - but would welcome improvements.

 

You still don't own it, your "wife" does. And the your main opponents/contacts in the city are mages and they don't care for your castle. But they care about the Sphere and they oversee you there. You can even force them to help you with your Imoen quest there (even if it turns out useless in the end, at least it is recognized).

 

PoE Stronghold is recognized by nobody and you deal with people in Defiance Bay that MUST be aware of it and who SHOULD care about it.

 

 

You don't even have to keep that silly girl in your party never mind marry her to "own" (have control of) the castle - BG strongholds had pretty much no recognition by anyone as well - the mages aren't interested in YOU or the fact that you have aquired the sphere, nor are the paladins, or the priests or the members of your thief stronghold - there is a huge disconnect between the thieves guild helping you to find Imoen and the operation of the thief stronghold - so much so that you get in trouble over the dues while you are unable to take care of them - :p


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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I'd be content with just bug fixes and the prestige/security making a bit more sense to start with.

 

I see people mentioning da:i... too bad the game itself is rather mediocre.


✔ Certified Bat Food

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I don't agree at all. It not nearly being close. It is so far away it would be better if it didn't exist. It also makes no sense in the story of the game.

 

What it needed to be is like NWN2 stronghold but also improved (there in the defense of the stronghold battle only the power of your group meant anything, everything else you built was pointless).

 

Or like Castle in BG2 that is out of the way of the main story and that one is truly completely optional and you don't even own it so it does not create any problems in the story.

 

Actually you can "own it" if you are a fighter/warrior class altho it  and all the other BG2 strongholds are indeed optional - some better than others but I wouldn't call the better than PoE just different - I'm OK with PoE stronghold - but would welcome improvements.

 

You still don't own it, your "wife" does. And the your main opponents/contacts in the city are mages and they don't care for your castle. But they care about the Sphere and they oversee you there. You can even force them to help you with your Imoen quest there (even if it turns out useless in the end, at least it is recognized).

 

PoE Stronghold is recognized by nobody and you deal with people in Defiance Bay that MUST be aware of it and who SHOULD care about it.

 

 

You don't even have to keep that silly girl in your party never mind marry her to "own" (have control of) the castle - BG strongholds had pretty much no recognition by anyone as well - the mages aren't interested in YOU or the fact that you have aquired the sphere, nor are the paladins, or the priests or the members of your thief stronghold - there is a huge disconnect between the thieves guild helping you to find Imoen and the operation of the thief stronghold - so much so that you get in trouble over the dues while you are unable to take care of them - :p

 

Why would you need to keep her in the party? You send her home to cook and clean :D

Mages are interested if you keep the Sphere, what are you talking about? You even make a deal where they find out about Imoen and you do their quests in return. 

 

And BG2 strongholds are always meant as a optional content and unlike PoE stronghold can truly be ignored. And if you don't ignore them, they don't change your social standing that much and ARE per class. Many players don't even own a thief guild for instance. In PoE 100% of players get that Stronghold and you cannot bypass it in any way. Then it becomes yours without being able to reject it. So it is 100% part of your story but it is ignored by everyone in the world (except those that attack it lol). 

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I'd be content with just bug fixes and the prestige/security making a bit more sense to start with.

 

I see people mentioning da:i... too bad the game itself is rather mediocre.

It's a curate's egg: good in parts. It certainly does the stronghold right, shame about the sidequests.


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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It would be nice if there ware more merchants in our super upgraded Strongholds. Every generic good, supply, ingredient should be avaiable in out base of operations. There is no value in need to travel to one city for scrolls, and to other for potions. Watching reload screens is really MMO like experience.  Just make some smart script to stock refresh each week, and good selection upgrade/expand with some critical levels. There could be merchants like: Chief with food and ingreediens, inventor with traps, gardener with potions and natural ingrediens, the halfing lady could provide stones as well, blacksmith could sell all kinds of weapons in fine and exeptional quality when the time comes, scribe could provide scrolls. The generic merchant could sometimes have more rare items to sale (like superior weapon or some fun item, rare ingredient, helmet +1).

 

All this merchants could chittychat in some funny way. And have some task for PC. Like Cook having cookbook stolen by Xuirps, and Blacksmith reading about epic armor. Giving us more reason to explore Endless Paths.

 

Yes, yes, yes!

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I don't really mind the stronghold, but I guess having more options would make it better. Actually, I was expecting an option to just leave the hold as it, instead of auto-claiming it. 

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Personally, I love strongholds. I have no idea where people get the idea that RPG players do not like them. Player houses are one of the most popular downloads for Skyrim for example. For me, not having a place of my own breaks immersion unless I am playing a drifter character. I tend to play Hero chars though, so I want a castle or something where I can take a rest from my labors, and the common folk can come ask for help.

 

 

I would love to see the strongholds expanded with more side quests (good and evil), and the reputation of the stronghold expand through out Dyrwood.

 

 

My biggest complaint though is not getting Raedric's land.

With out giving a spoiler, there is an event later in the game that should let you take control of the area.

 

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The travel time to and from the stronghold it pretty nasty. I expect in one of the future expansions there'll be some sort of in-game mechanic made to alleviate this. :yes:

 

I posted an idea here on the forums on give the Stronghold more attractiveness to people wanting to upgrade their equipment but not remembering where to go:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/81001-stronghold-upgrade-suggestion-brokers/

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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

I fully second all these propositions.

 

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.

As well as these.

 

It would be nice if there ware more merchants in our super upgraded Strongholds. Every generic good, supply, ingredient should be avaiable in out base of operations. There is no value in need to travel to one city for scrolls, and to other for potions. Watching reload screens is really MMO like experience. Just make some smart script to stock refresh each week, and good selection upgrade/expand with some critical levels. There could be merchants like: Chief with food and ingreediens, inventor with traps, gardener with potions and natural ingrediens, the halfing lady could provide stones as well, blacksmith could sell all kinds of weapons in fine and exeptional quality when the time comes, scribe could provide scrolls. The generic merchant could sometimes have more rare items to sale (like superior weapon or some fun item, rare ingredient, helmet +1).

 

All this merchants could chittychat in some funny way. And have some task for PC. Like Cook having cookbook stolen by Xuirps, and Blacksmith reading about epic armor. Giving us more reason to explore Endless Paths.

And finally, this would finish it nicely :)

Edited by gogocactus

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I think one thing that would have been better would be to recruit the NPCs for the stronghold. You build each part of it, but you need to do some small quests to recruit a weaponsmith and such. Crossroads Keep was almost perfect in its implementation, and I don't expect sieges and such in POE, securing resources and recruiting npcs to unlock new stores and items would have made it more personal and less "i pushed a button and now I have a blacksmith"

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The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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the stronghold did suck in this game. They did a better job with neverwinter 2 and storm of zehirs stronghold. Besides the bounty lodge it felt like a cheap pointless phone game managing it. 

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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 

This sounds cool. I've really fallen in love with the rest of the animations in game so far... to see scaffolding, carts and wagons of supplies bring in materials and workers pounding away or laying brick, that would add a nice flair to the game. 

 

Most of the time, I'm away adventuring while all the construction is going on, but I'd be interested in returning and even watching while it was taking place. 

 

They do something similar in Cities: Skyline when buildings are being built or upgraded. The have some cool animations in that game as well.

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I really hope they use the part 2 expansion and revisit the Stronghold design and give it some more love. And then release it to base game as Patch 3.0 or something.

But even it is expansion Part 2 only content that also improves the base game it would give me incentive to buy that expansion. This Part 1 gives me little of interest to spend money on since it does little to fix the base game outside what Patch 2.0 has which is OK but not enough.

Edited by archangel979

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Agreed, I would really like the stronghold to breath life. Rebuilding the Stronghold should attract NPCs - farmers, workers, etc. If the stronghold is attacked let these NPCs flee (Disappear from view) until the threat is defeated.

 

Rebuild the West Wall = Let us see a guard patrolling the top of the wall

Rebuild the training grounds = Let the player see three NPCs training during the DAY (no one trains at night)

 

For each improvement built I would like to see an new NPC wandering the interior grounds of the stronghold during the DAY, at night the NPCS wandering the grounds go home

 

Rebuild 1 improvement and you see 1 NPC wandering the grounds

Rebuild 5 improvements, and you see 5 NPCs wandering the grounds,

Rebuild 10 improvements and you see 10 NPCs wandering the grounds of the stronghold.

 

I wonder if this could be added to the next update?

 

Likewise, rebuilding the library should add a librarian NPC, rebuilding the hearth should add a cook NPC to the relevant buildings and improving Bright Hollow should add one or two servant NPCs.

Edited by EdwinP
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