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Honestly, I really commend Obsidian for this game, story in particular.

 

When was the last time games weren't afraid to explore themes like this? Maybe I'm overexaggerating, but holy **** did I love the exploration, the ambiguous choices, the way the game really got me invested into its own conflicts. In the last ten years, I have not remembered a game that made me actually sit down and ponder multiple times during a playthrough. I remember getting to a part, after playing most of the game in a very neutral-rational choice-style, where I just went: "if i just keep thinking and observing, observing and thinking, this might be the closest I can get to understanding, but then my own actions will never have incidence, and what little knowledge i will have accumulated will never be put to use, thus worsening our condition and allowing accidents like Thaos to happen". And after that, I was actually swayed to make more decisive dialog choices. By a game. And... and... Oh lord. I might be fanboying all over this game right now, but honestly... 

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I agree, the story is what drives this game. This is not a level-grinder where you reach level 60 and can kill anything that moves. Each level up counts, and you can really weaken your character by not putting thought into what abilities you choose. I like the fact that you only get a small amount of exp for the first few kills of a creature type, and then nothing. And I don't believe you get any exp for killing Kith. It's not a game about killing as much as it is about solving quests. It's a radical departure from most rpgs, and I think it works well. And some of the decisions you have to make really take some thought, as there is seldom a true "good" or "evil" choice as in a lot of the earlier D&D games.

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If you haven't played Knights of The Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords, then get it (and the restored content mod) and enjoy one of the better RPG stories since Planescape. Obz is thankfully not afraid to throw ambiguity in your face and Chris Avellone's general approach of "what story clichés annoy me the most in this setting - and how can I turn it on its head". Especially the ever so black and white morality of Star Wars really shines when critically and intelligently criticized.

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Fortune favors the bald.

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Back on the topic of Pillars of Eternity's story: it's heavy stuff! Heavy and thought-provoking! It's intelligent, it's fleshed-out, and there are worthwhile themes to take away from it. It will make you get up and pace around the room and really think, and I love it. Let me fangirl alongside your fanboying.

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I stream every Friday at 9pm EST: http://www.twitch.tv/ladaarehn  Currently streaming: KOTOR 2.

 

Pillars of Eternity homebrew tabletop thread: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84662-pillars-of-eternity-homebrew-wip/

 

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I like how every little thing in the game has a description from the shiny new flail you get to the first springberry you pick. This game has turned me into a obsessive reader of Pillars of Eternity. In my first play through I would gleefully jump at the opportunity to grab a book from a shelf in a room somewhere and read what it had to say. And now that I'm almost 300 hundred hours into this game I'm still reading lore I must've forgotten and enjoying it just like the very first time I played. The only downside is I'm craving more of it.

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I think the lore, setting and history of this game is top-notch. And of course I love the gameplay. 

 

If I had to complain though, I would say that the main character's motivations are pretty weak through-out the game. The weird past relationship with the big bad didn't really fire my blood. 

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I think the lore, setting and history of this game is top-notch. And of course I love the gameplay.

 

If I had to complain though, I would say that the main character's motivations are pretty weak through-out the game. The weird past relationship with the big bad didn't really fire my blood.

I agree completely. PoE really could've benefitted from taking either (a) DA:O's route of constantly reminding you that the main character is cursed, or (b) KotOR2's approach of giving you a protagonist who was keeping secrets from the player.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

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I think the lore, setting and history of this game is top-notch. And of course I love the gameplay.

 

If I had to complain though, I would say that the main character's motivations are pretty weak through-out the game. The weird past relationship with the big bad didn't really fire my blood.

I agree completely. PoE really could've benefitted from taking either (a) DA:O's route of constantly reminding you that the main character is cursed, or (b) KotOR2's approach of giving you a protagonist who was keeping secrets from the player.

 

 

I've used that particular ploy in my own "mental gymnastics" I do with games like this.  Where yeah, I'm the player, but I know that the protagonist is hiding something - and I don't know what it is until the last dog is dead.  At that point (for instance way back when I finished BG1) the main character writes the end of her story for me even though I'm the active principal in gameplay.  I have one of those hinky imaginations that always prefers its own machinations to those of the devs as storytellers, so it works for me (better than the clichéd "child of a god" thing did in BG1 for sure).

 

I'm not sure yet how it's going to play out with this game - because I haven't finished it yet.  I won't go back to finish the MQ until I play WM 2 - and dollars to doughnuts, I'll start a new game at that point.

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I agree completely. PoE really could've benefitted from taking either (a) DA:O's route of constantly reminding you that the main character is cursed, or (b) KotOR2's approach of giving you a protagonist who was keeping secrets from the player.

 

 

If I loved DA:O for anything story related, it was for the different character expositions, depending on your original choices. In my book way better than the Bethesda approach of starting out as a nameless prisoner in every darn Elder Scroll game or POE where your original choice of descent only matters for stats and one or two interactions.

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I agree that the motivation is a bit iffy for the player unfortunately. There are also some other things I can dislike in some ways (being funneled through the whole Lady Webb deal in Act II for example).

 

I thought the whole thing about you being able to develop your past personality in the flashbacks was pretty cool though. I wish there had been more of those flashbacks though, as that side of the story is pretty thin. If there had been more of it (with more twists and turns), I think more players would've resonated with the whole "past self" thing.

 

A really interesting experiment though.

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If you haven't played Knights of The Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords, then get it (and the restored content mod) and enjoy one of the better RPG stories since Planescape. Obz is thankfully not afraid to throw ambiguity in your face and Chris Avellone's general approach of "what story clichés annoy me the most in this setting - and how can I turn it on its head". Especially the ever so black and white morality of Star Wars really shines when critically and intelligently criticized.

The exact opposite of this.

 

KOTOR2 was garbage. Buggy beyond belief but its greatest flaw was a very weak covoluted story. Kreia is possibly the worst written rpg character obsidian has ever done. Also the ending was beyond rushed and unfinished.

 

 

KOTOR1 was much much much better. I loved that game. To bad kotor2 wasnt a worthy follow up at all.

 

The main story in POE is pretty weak aswell but not anything near kotor2 (which is a hundred times weaker) but the side quests are really good and some npcs are well written which saves POE and makes it good overall background wise.

 

 

If you want to play a great obsidian game, one of the best games ever made all genres, then the final new vegas ultimate edition is what you need.

Edited by Tennisgolfboll
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I enjoyed the story a great deal. However, I think it wraps up too quickly, and the conspiracy isn't given all the time to develop that it needs. To some extent, the revelation at the end made me wonder why someone never managed to discover it before, particularly because your character is not the only watcher to have ever existed. What does your character have that allowed them to discover the truth that others don't?

 

Then again, maybe other watchers or characters in the past HAD discovered the truth, they just didn't live to reveal it to others...

 

Also, Thaos seemed too easy. I'm working my way through the expansion and heard that you can get the final battle buffed, so I'm hoping that makes the fight more interesting.

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I enjoyed the story a great deal. However, I think it wraps up too quickly, and the conspiracy isn't given all the time to develop that it needs. To some extent, the revelation at the end made me wonder why someone never managed to discover it before, particularly because your character is not the only watcher to have ever existed. What does your character have that allowed them to discover the truth that others don't?

 

Then again, maybe other watchers or characters in the past HAD discovered the truth, they just didn't live to reveal it to others...

 

Also, Thaos seemed too easy. I'm working my way through the expansion and heard that you can get the final battle buffed, so I'm hoping that makes the fight more interesting.

I believe the difference that allowed your character to uncover the truth is the past life you shared with Thaos.  It put you on the path to finding out what Thaos was actually doing whereas other Watchers like Maerwald probably focused more on having lived two lives on opposite sides of a war that they pretty much caused and so were a little... distracted. ;)

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^ Agreed.

 

Being a Watcher is, in and by itself, completely unrelated to the Leaden Key, the whole Woedica conspiracy, and the Hollowborn thing. So other Watchers might as well have spent their entire lives completely unaware of what Thaos was doing, or even of his very existence.

 

... and it could have been possible for you too, theoretically speaking, to become a Watcher and also be unaware or not give much of a damn. The game explicitly says that an Awakening can be caused by contexts, sounds, images, or other external stimuli that suddenly and violently remind your soul of one of its past lives. In your case, seeing Thaos perform a ritual in ceremonial robes with an Engwithan machine triggered your soul's memory of a past life in which you were a member of the Leaden Key who had discovered the truth and couldn't come to terms with it.

 

It was a matter of being in the wrong place at wrong time. If you had not been there at that time, you could have spent your entire life without ever being Awakened—or something else could have Awakened a different memory of a different life from your soul's past.

 

But you were Awakened by Thaos and you do not chase him because of his consipiring with Woedica, of which you are completely unaware until the end of the game. You do not chase him because of his causing the Hollowborn phenomenon, as you only learn that at the end of Act II. You chase him because you hope he can undo your Awakening so you won't go nuts in time. It's a very personal matter.

 

When, later in the game, you find out about the cause for the Hollowborn and the whole conspiracy, you may as well decide that your character doesn't give a flying and just wants to avoid going nuts. Or you can decide that your character cares very much, but the fact that these things are intertwined still remains very much coincidental.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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^ Agreed.

 

Being a Watcher is, in and by itself, completely unrelated to the Leaden Key, the whole Woedica conspiracy, and the Hollowborn thing. So other Watchers might as well have spent their entire lives completely unaware of what Thaos was doing, or even of his very existence.

 

... and it could have been possible for you too, theoretically speaking, to become a Watcher and also be unaware or not give much of a damn. The game explicitly says that an Awakening can be caused by contexts, sounds, images, or other external stimuli that suddenly and violently remind your soul of one of its past lives. In your case, seeing Thaos perform a ritual in ceremonial robes with an Engwithan machine triggered your soul's memory of a past life in which you were a member of the Leaden Key who had discovered the truth and couldn't come to terms with it.

 

It was a matter of being in the wrong place at wrong time. If you had not been there at that time, you could have spent your entire life without ever being Awakened—or something else could have Awakened a different memory of a different life from your soul's past.

 

But you were Awakened by Thaos and you do not chase him because of his consipiring with Woedica, of which you are completely unaware until the end of the game. You do not chase him because of his causing the Hollowborn phenomenon, as you only learn that at the end of Act II. You chase him because you hope he can undo your Awakening so you won't go nuts in time. It's a very personal matter.

 

When, later in the game, you find out about the cause for the Hollowborn and the whole conspiracy, you may as well decide that your character doesn't give a flying and just wants to avoid going nuts. Or you can decide that your character cares very much, but the fact that these things are intertwined still remains very much coincidental.

 

All very good points!!

 

On an unrelated side note, that quote from Fall-From-Grace is my favorite quote out of any video game I've ever played.

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I enjoyed the story a great deal. However, I think it wraps up too quickly, and the conspiracy isn't given all the time to develop that it needs. To some extent, the revelation at the end made me wonder why someone never managed to discover it before, particularly because your character is not the only watcher to have ever existed. What does your character have that allowed them to discover the truth that others don't?

 

Then again, maybe other watchers or characters in the past HAD discovered the truth, they just didn't live to reveal it to others...

 

I agree. There was a big plot dump when you finally get to talk to the Gods. As much as I enjoyed that sequence, it could have used a little build up.

 

Also... wow, a place where you can talk directly to the Gods... in retrospect, why don't more people use that? Surely it should be a pretty damn important religious destination!! When Waidwen's Legacy started, didn't anyone think to ask them?

 

^ Agreed.

 

Being a Watcher is, in and by itself, completely unrelated to the Leaden Key, the whole Woedica conspiracy, and the Hollowborn thing. So other Watchers might as well have spent their entire lives completely unaware of what Thaos was doing, or even of his very existence.

 

... and it could have been possible for you too, theoretically speaking, to become a Watcher and also be unaware or not give much of a damn. The game explicitly says that an Awakening can be caused by contexts, sounds, images, or other external stimuli that suddenly and violently remind your soul of one of its past lives. In your case, seeing Thaos perform a ritual in ceremonial robes with an Engwithan machine triggered your soul's memory of a past life in which you were a member of the Leaden Key who had discovered the truth and couldn't come to terms with it.

 

It was a matter of being in the wrong place at wrong time. If you had not been there at that time, you could have spent your entire life without ever being Awakened—or something else could have Awakened a different memory of a different life from your soul's past.

 

But you were Awakened by Thaos and you do not chase him because of his consipiring with Woedica, of which you are completely unaware until the end of the game. You do not chase him because of his causing the Hollowborn phenomenon, as you only learn that at the end of Act II. You chase him because you hope he can undo your Awakening so you won't go nuts in time. It's a very personal matter.

 

When, later in the game, you find out about the cause for the Hollowborn and the whole conspiracy, you may as well decide that your character doesn't give a flying and just wants to avoid going nuts. Or you can decide that your character cares very much, but the fact that these things are intertwined still remains very much coincidental.

 

Exactly, being a watcher and being awakened are two separate issues. Does the machine in the beginning cause both? That point is pretty vague. 

 

I think it would have been more interesting if the PC was actively trying to help the hollowborn. As I said, I really didn't give a damn about Thaos, except maybe at the end.

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Exactly, being a watcher and being awakened are two separate issues. Does the machine in the beginning cause both? That point is pretty vague. 

 

I think it would have been more interesting if the PC was actively trying to help the hollowborn. As I said, I really didn't give a damn about Thaos, except maybe at the end.

 

Well, not quite :) Being a Watcher is a form of Awakening. Remember Bellasiege in the Sanitarium? She's looking for an Awakened soul on which to conduct her research and you can offer yours if you meet her prior to starting Aloth's quest, but she declines. Yours won't quite do; she needs a different kind of Awakening. Your Awakening made you a Watcher; Aloth's just brought forth a personality from a past life.

 

Honestly, I like it better this way than if the Hollowborn had been your primary motivation from the start. Yours is a personal matter. You're not out to make the world right; you're not the herald of justice single-handedly taking the world's problems on their shoulders and fixing them because they're oh-so-much-superior to the average Joe. You're just another dude/dudette who becomes a Watcher because sh!t happens. Then, as the story unfolds, you may decide to take the Hollowborn thing at heart seeing as your predicament appears to be tied to it in some way. But had that not been the case, why should you look into the matter any harder than anyone else? You possess the same means and the same knowledge—or less, even, since you come from abroad and people need to explain the Legacy to you when you get to Dyrwood.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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I think the crux of the matter is that people tend to get confused about Watchers, Awakening and awakened Watchers and why it's a supremely bad thing. That and the insanity angle just kinda wears off after a while. No more ghosts (until almost the very end), no more anything (except a skill which is very useful in solving quests).

 

I quite like the story overall but there are certain plot points that I think needed to be hit harder than they are. 

 

It's kinda noticeable since people tend to bring it up time and time again, so there's obviously something that's not quite being communicated quite right. And I don't think this is a particular case of "well duh, the guy playing is just stupid and doesn't understand" so to speak,

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KOTOR2 was garbage. (...) very weak covoluted story.

 

KOTOR1 was much much much better.

 

Yeah, seeing these two statements side-by-side, one immediately thinks the fault does not lie with the game.

Some people cant handle the truth. Sad but true.

 

The bugs, the rushed incomplete ending and the poor story and npcs really crushed kotor2 even though it had, for its time, a great gameplay engine.

 

It was a sad excuse for a game

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KOTOR2 was garbage. (...) very weak covoluted story.

 

KOTOR1 was much much much better.

Yeah, seeing these two statements side-by-side, one immediately thinks the fault does not lie with the game.

Some people cant handle the truth. Sad but true.

 

The bugs, the rushed incomplete ending and the poor story and npcs really crushed kotor2 even though it had, for its time, a great gameplay engine.

 

It was a sad excuse for a game

 

 

i have the exact same feeling about KOTOR 2. i loved the first (especially the darkside path) but everything in the second felt rushed and incomplete, with a huge part of lazyness in the conception. outside of some good text lines, everything in this game is pure garbage. please save you time and do not play this game, and never, NEVER instal the droid planet mod.

 

PoE is 10X better than kotor 2 in every aspects.

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I think the crux of the matter is that people tend to get confused about Watchers, Awakening and awakened Watchers and why it's a supremely bad thing. That and the insanity angle just kinda wears off after a while. No more ghosts (until almost the very end), no more anything (except a skill which is very useful in solving quests).

 

I think this would be my biggest criticism. There needs to be more clarity about the different states, but much more importantly, the narrative really just absolutely needs to emphasize your slow slide towards the precipice of insanity. Edited by Luma Akasha

"Walk away, before you get hurt." [benevolent] - Luma Akasha

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I don't think insanity is inevitable.  I think that if you are a balanced integrated personality, you will not wind up the sort of madperson Maerwald devolved into.  And that's exactly how I play the game:  that my PC is a mentally balanced person who is doing her best to integrate Watcherness into her emotional and mental selfhood.

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