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Madscientist

Is the stronghold boring on purpose?

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I have backed Divinity: Original Sin 2 and yesterday they have reached the stronghold stretch goal.

I started a dicussion how to make better strongholds.

 

Link: http://larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=569166&gonew=1#UNREAD

 

Somebody wrote:

In Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer created the stronghold as meaningless as possible becuase many players hate strongholds. In PoE you can skip the stronghold completely and do not miss something importand. Many people would complain if we create interesting content that requires the stronghold.

 

1.) Is that true?

2.) If it is true, why did he create the stronghold stetch goal at all?

 

There is no reason to put an area in a game that is designed to be meaningless.

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Because Kickstarter in 2012 was a land of boundless optimism and unrealistic expectations. Since Mr. Sawyer isn't known for possessing those qualities, the stretch goal probably wasn't his decision.

 

Source: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3706905&pagenumber=576&perpage=40#post447867960

Edited by Infinitron
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It wasn't meant to be boring and bare-bones, but they had a release date (limited time) and limited funds so they couldn't accomplish everything they and their fans desired. Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda, etc) once said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." Now obviously things are not so black or white, but this quote veritably holds true for elements of a game (which make up a game), such as Pillars of Eternity's stronghold. I remember hearing in an interview that Pillars 2's stronghold will be more fleshed out.

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Source? Besides someone saying it?

 

I highly doubt that Josh Sawyer said anything along these lines. From a pure marketing perspective this would be akin to suicide.

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Because Kickstarter in 2012 was a land of boundless optimism and unrealistic expectations. Since Mr. Sawyer isn't known for possessing those qualities, the stretch goal probably wasn't his decision.

 

Source: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3706905&pagenumber=576&perpage=40#post447867960

Thanks for the link.

 

 

It wasn't meant to be boring and bare-bones, but they had a release date (limited time) and limited funds so they couldn't accomplish everything they and their fans desired. Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda, etc) once said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." Now obviously things are not so black or white, but this quote veritably holds true for elements of a game (which make up a game), such as Pillars of Eternity's stronghold. I remember hearing in an interview that Pillars 2's stronghold will be more fleshed out.

 

Mr. Miyamoto is right. Zelda Ocarina of Time came one year later than planned, but it was one of the best games ever. Looks like Nintendo had much less money problems (at that time) than Obsidian has now.

 

Obsidian is very good in creating epic stories and interesting characters. PoE has also a much better stat and combat system than the IE games. But PoE did no really help Obsidian to lose its nickname bugsidian

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Do we have any evidence that this "rope kid" is josh ( or somebody else from Obsidian)?

I think somebody as famous as him would use his real name when he says something.

Edited by Madscientist

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Sorry, I have never seen the forum in the link before. (Or another forum where Josh used this name)

 

Just because somebody says something that sound official does not mean it is.

 

Thanks for the info.

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I have backed Divinity: Original Sin 2 and yesterday they have reached the stronghold stretch goal.

I started a dicussion how to make better strongholds.

 

Link: http://larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=569166&gonew=1#UNREAD

 

Somebody wrote:

In Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer created the stronghold as meaningless as possible becuase many players hate strongholds. In PoE you can skip the stronghold completely and do not miss something importand. Many people would complain if we create interesting content that requires the stronghold.

 

1.) Is that true?

2.) If it is true, why did he create the stronghold stetch goal at all?

 

There is no reason to put an area in a game that is designed to be meaningless.

I think the truth is that creating content for the stronghold was low-priority compared to the stronghold systems, the stronghold interface and the content for the rest of the game. So in the end, the stronghold doesn't integrate very well in the rest of the game and is really just a distraction for those who likes bone-bare management in their RPG

 

It wasn't meant to be boring and bare-bones, but they had a release date (limited time) and limited funds so they couldn't accomplish everything they and their fans desired. Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda, etc) once said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." Now obviously things are not so black or white, but this quote veritably holds true for elements of a game (which make up a game), such as Pillars of Eternity's stronghold. I remember hearing in an interview that Pillars 2's stronghold will be more fleshed out.

Sawyer said on Something Awful that creating content for the Stronghold is a focus for him for Part 2 of the White March, so we might see improvements sooner than you expect :

 

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3706905&userid=17931&perpage=40&pagenumber=7#post449402007

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Raedric's Hold would have been a better stronghold than Caed Nua. You can overthrow a tyrant lord and take over and oversee the village of Gilded Vale instead of an imaginary place.

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Call me crazy, but people probably don't work for months to make something in their product boring on purpose. 

 

rope kid is Sawyer.

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Raedric's Hold would have been a better stronghold than Caed Nua. You can overthrow a tyrant lord and take over and oversee the village of Gilded Vale instead of an imaginary place.

 

Considering you have the choice of siding with Raedric or ignoring the questline all together, Raedric's Hold would have been a terrible choice if it was the only stronghold.

 

 

Source? Besides someone saying it?

 

I highly doubt that Josh Sawyer said anything along these lines. From a pure marketing perspective this would be akin to suicide.

 

Most of us have been monitoring Rope Kid on SA forums for over a decade now.  It's Josh Sawyer.

Edited by bonarbill

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What's really baffling about Josh's whole argument - that a more developed stronghold would have pissed off this mysterious "anti-stronghold" faction of players - is that for all that Caed Nua's really bare-bones, you can't actually ignore it. Sure, the player can choose not to visit or spend money on the buildings, but costs do accumulate because of bandits and monster raids and whatnot. This makes it actually easier to ignore if you invest in it, which is odd, to say the least.

 

Raedric's Hold would have been a better stronghold than Caed Nua. You can overthrow a tyrant lord and take over and oversee the village of Gilded Vale instead of an imaginary place.

 

inorite? The whole setup in Gilded Vale really seemed like it was leading to that. The two should really have been blended together.

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

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I'm the person the OP is referring to, so I feel obliged to comment :p Admitedly, for me, the stronghold is the least of PoE's problems, but I don't think it's anything malicious. I think it's either a) they thought they would attract more backers with a stronghold stretchgoal or b) it was a miscommunication somewhere and they couldn't back out later. I'm purely speculating though. It does seem bizarre that they'd make it a stretchgoal with the knowledge JS shared about the NWN2 SH and then make it as pointless and boring as possible. Though if they could rectify it in the expansion and think it's worth it, then go ahead.

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The stronghold in NWN2 wasn't that hot either. But, truth to tell, I have no problem with that. I view it as a base of operations, a place to trade something in and get some attribute buffs that last for 3 rests.

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The stronghold in NWN2 wasn't that hot either. But, truth to tell, I have no problem with that. I view it as a base of operations, a place to trade something in and get some attribute buffs that last for 3 rests.

It wasn't amazing in a mind blowing way, but it is the best stronghold in an RPG I've come across. All others feel either pointless or simply menu navigation in a pretty dress (in PoE it is literally menu navigation). We simply don't have better made strongholds to compare the one in NWN2 to. I was very surprised when I came across the quote from Josh saying that many people hated the stronghold, because I've never encountered such hate myself.

Edited by Christliar
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What's really baffling about Josh's whole argument - that a more developed stronghold would have pissed off this mysterious "anti-stronghold" faction of players - is that for all that Caed Nua's really bare-bones, you can't actually ignore it. Sure, the player can choose not to visit or spend money on the buildings, but costs do accumulate because of bandits and monster raids and whatnot. This makes it actually easier to ignore if you invest in it, which is odd, to say the least.

I don't think that's Sawyer's argument. His argument is that some people hate strongholds on principle and hate them even more when there is content gated by it, which makes developping content for the stronghold low priority.

 

inorite? The whole setup in Gilded Vale really seemed like it was leading to that. The two should really have been blended together.

I don't think that would have been a good idea. Everything about Caed Nua is abstract, we don't know the people we tax, the merchants are generic, but it "works" because we don't know the castle's history. If we had been given stewardship over Gilded Vale, the lack of content would have been even more jarring!

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I feel like Caed Nua along with Twin Elms were ideas that worked much better for a kickstarter campaign than as an actual general design template to start from. It sounds great on paper, but in execution the game didn't need more things. It just needed lots of polish and focus on the things necessary to make it work. The stronghold wasn't necessary and doesn't feel like it adds optional functionality. The strongholds in BG2 all had useful things about them, but most importantly they could give you great loot or some fun stories. They also give class identity. Caed Nua doesn't really do anything aside from adding an epilogue.

 

I think even if they kickstart a sequel, they really need to keep a tighter leash on big content decisions like that. The game would have been unquestionably superior if Od Nua and Teir Evron were moved to Defiance Bay.

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I don't think the stronghold is boring on purpose. I think initially it was going to be a great place to forge weapons and craft and would have been an essential hub.

Unfortunately with the changes to enchantment ie not being able to craft every mod for weapons and armour, the importance of the stronghold was diminished and then it became irrelevant.

The focus changed. Don't believe me have a look at bright hollow.

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I don't know that it's boring.  I don't historically like player-stronghold setups, but this one at least is hardly likely to upset me.  It's a few clicks of the mouse, and some copper.  I've never run out of money to "fix it up" in a play through yet, so that's fine (unlike Might and Magic's setup where I was always broke and the stronghold was ALWAYS pinging me for "FIX ME" etc....)

 

Caed Nua has the resting bonuses to recommend it.  AND you can pick one of the merchants to sell everything to, so if you want something back you at least know where to find it!  (Eh, I'm old.  I don't always remember who I might have sold something important to, before I knew it was important....)  I've enjoyed the interaction with the Steward (I'd LOVE to know who she was "back then" and more of her history....) and I've also enjoyed most of the Od Nua levels - could have quite handily done without the fampyr level, but hey, it's only one of them.  Thankfully.

 

I've run across a lot more stupid, boring, intrusive, idiotic stuff in the many games I've played since 1985.  This one's not bad at all.

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There's only two main things I would have liked to see with the stronghold.

 

First one is it would be nice if it came into the story more, like if a certain group's HQ was burned down and they were being witch hunted the main character could offer safe haven to them in the stronghold. Or if a bunch of NPCs were looking for jobs the main character could hire them at the stronghold.

 

Another is if to have more control over what the stronghold produces. There's a few pesky crafting materials that I can't ever seem to find enough of and it would be nice if there was a way to farm or negotiate trade agreements for them at the stronghold. Right now they do give crafting mats, but it's RNG-based.

 

I'd be pretty happy with just those two changes.

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There's only two main things I would have liked to see with the stronghold.

 

First one is it would be nice if it came into the story more, like if a certain group's HQ was burned down and they were being witch hunted the main character could offer safe haven to them in the stronghold. Or if a bunch of NPCs were looking for jobs the main character could hire them at the stronghold.

 

Another is if to have more control over what the stronghold produces. There's a few pesky crafting materials that I can't ever seem to find enough of and it would be nice if there was a way to farm or negotiate trade agreements for them at the stronghold. Right now they do give crafting mats, but it's RNG-based.

 

I'd be pretty happy with just those two changes.

 

Once you complete the Barracks, you can hire NPCs.  You can have up to 8.... of course you do have to pay them.  Also, you can recruit every "special" NPC in the game, and drop them at Caed Nua, then send them on those special adventures.

 

The thing that's most annoying to me about the hirelings is that if you're out in the middle of nowhere and someone's invading Caed Nua, even if you have 8 hirelings INCLUDING Korgrak the Ogre, auto-resolving the invasion always costs you money - so far as I've been able to determine, you never "win" at auto-resolve.  And since you can't manual resolve if you're not AT Caed Nua - which believe me is a ROYAL PITA to accomplish if you're in the bowels of the Battery for instance - I find that particular setup fairly irritating.

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I don't think the stronghold is boring on purpose. I think initially it was going to be a great place to forge weapons and craft and would have been an essential hub.

Unfortunately with the changes to enchantment ie not being able to craft every mod for weapons and armour, the importance of the stronghold was diminished and then it became irrelevant.

The focus changed. Don't believe me have a look at bright hollow.

Yep, the lab and kitchen improvements make more sense if you assume they were intended to allow you to do crafting there or provided some bonus to it.

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What's really baffling about Josh's whole argument - that a more developed stronghold would have pissed off this mysterious "anti-stronghold" faction of players - is that for all that Caed Nua's really bare-bones, you can't actually ignore it. Sure, the player can choose not to visit or spend money on the buildings, but costs do accumulate because of bandits and monster raids and whatnot. This makes it actually easier to ignore if you invest in it, which is odd, to say the least.

 

Raedric's Hold would have been a better stronghold than Caed Nua. You can overthrow a tyrant lord and take over and oversee the village of Gilded Vale instead of an imaginary place.

 

inorite? The whole setup in Gilded Vale really seemed like it was leading to that. The two should really have been blended together.

 

Josh's argument is logical if you look it from point that they didn't had enough resources to polish every feature in the game and as Stronghold turn out to be much more difficult to implement than they expected, so  when they had to look features that they don't polish they probably had bias to look reasons not to polish Stronghold (as they didn't really have resource to do that anyway), which lead them notice anti-stronghold faction much more than they noticed other anti-factions (not including anti-romance) and use that as rationale why it would be wasteful to put resources in the stronghold.

 

Their original concepts for stronghold show that they planned to make it much more interactive than what it become at end. As Tim seemed to have planned whole own mini-game around it. Similarly crafting, skills, resting and cooking become much simpler than what their original plans for them were.

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