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Hey guys, I've been playing POE for a while now and I really like the gameplay, but I am kinda disappointed by the story/setting. I am a huge fan of fantasy medieval genres, the story of POE  doesn't feel epic compared with fantasy medieval setting like dragon age:origin, warcraft  or lord of the rings.

 

The world where pillars of eternity takes place in feels a bit empty. There is no war going on in the world. It doesn't feel like your party is in danger.  It doesn't feel like you are making a huge impact on the world.

 

In POE,  it feels like all these regions are disconnected from each other and they feel kinda rigid. For example: lord raedric just sits in his castle doing nothing where his story isn't tied to the other regions. Defiance bay is big, but there nothing going on except for picking up quests. Your huge stronghold may as well not exist in the world. There is little to no conflicts between regions/races. Every map you visit feels isolated from the world.

 

If you take story of dragon age: origin for example. You have a huge impact on the world where your character eventually becomes the leader of a huge army to fight the blight. All these regions are connected to each other. Cities are being taken over by the blight and sometimes you have to defend a village (whereas in POE, you don't see Defiance Bay getting attacked for example). Conflicts between humans, orcs and elves. Your main character has to travel through the world to gather armies from different races to fight the evil. The world constantly changes.

 

I know POE is the spiritual successor of the bg series, but I would also like to see these epic stories in POE  where the main character has a huge impact on a constantly changing world and where there is conflicts/war going on. Do these type of stories not fit with these isometric rpg genre?

 

I'd like to hear your opinion. Do you prefer POE as it is or do you prefer a larger scale story like Dragon age, Warcraft, LOTR etc.?

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Huh, funny -- the setting is without any question my favorite thing about the game. One big reason is that it isn't epic; saving the world gets really old -- although saving a realm from Waidwen's Legacy is pretty impressive in its own right. Epic is overdone: I'll take a personal, human-scale story any day of the week.

 

I also especially like the way they broke with some fantasy tropes, like race=culture and wars between races. Instead you have wars for the same reasons people fight wars in real life -- religious conflict, social revolution, conflicts over land with foreign colonizers, that sort of thing.

 

I disagree with your criticism re Raedric and Defiance Bay: Raedric's story is directly connected to Waidwen's Legacy, which is directly connected to the stuff you're doing. Defiance Bay has an ongoing conflict between two opposing factions which culminates in a violent revoluion, where your choices determine the ultimate outcome. And the regions are connected -- people are coming from or going to them, some of which don't even appear in this game; for example I got a pretty good idea of what's up with Rauatai, the White that Wends, and the Vailian Republics from people who came from there.

 

So yeah: I strongly prefer P:E's approach to storytelling over, say, DA:O's or LotR's. I find the story of the Chosen One Saving the World really, really threadbare and hard to do in a way that brings anything new or interesting to it. The last game I've played that managed to pull this off satisfactorily must've been... I dunno, KOTOR maybe, and that was a really long time ago. (I haven't played WoW, and I thought the story in all the DA games was really, really, REALLY dumb. DA:O had some redeeming qualities, but story wasn't one of them.)

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If we look epicness of overall story arc in Lord of the Rings and Pillars of Eternity, we see that they are quite similar.

 

1. There is disagreement in divine order (in PoE gods have some disagreements and in LotR Valar have some disagreements), these disagreements are the original force that has pushed everything that happens to happen (although in PoE things are bit muddier, because of nature of gods and so).

 

2. One side of disagreement has player in the shadows that has favor of someone/someones in divine order, who play power game to strengthen cause of their patron.

 

3. There are elements in play that put current order of things in peril (War in LotR and Waidwen's Legacy in PoE)

 

4. Main protagonist is one that comes in play by change and heritage

 

5.

In both disagreement in divine order isn't solved, but shadowy agent is destroyed by protagonist.

 

 

6. In both tale motivation behind protagonist is personal. (In LotR Frodo first need to seek help against things that hunt him [or more accurately what he possess] and then it changes to want to do the right thing (and that he don't want to give up the ring), in PoE protagonist is motivated first by curiosity and worry of what happened to them and then motivation changes bit more complex by player choices that make every player's protagonist's motivation at least somewhat different from each other)

 

7. In both tales there are adventures, twists, dangers etc. that protagonist needs to face.

 

In case of LotR story is not fully focused on main protagonist as it is multi character story which gives reader much larger perspective on what is happening all around. Which is why we know about things like the war (at least humans part in it), Saruman's betrayal and etc. so much. If story had only followed Frodo then we would know much less on the peril that current order of things faces. We would have quite little personal touch to the war and the desperation it causes and heroism that it inspires. Or we wouldn't see the magnitude of Saruman's actions and destruction that they have caused. This things make the story feel more powerful but they don't actually add the epicness to it. 

 

In PoE we see only glimpses of devastation and desperation that Waidwen's Legacy has caused, but we don't feel those by ourselves because that devastation and desperation don't touch directly to our protagonist so it's all filtered by people who we hear about them, which softens the blow so much that we are able to make it background noise that don't need our immediate attention, similar effect how we filter news from war zones, disaster areas and such in real life. This approach don't make PoE any less epic story, but impact how those parts of story effect us isn't as direct and personal.

Edited by Elerond
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WarCraft and LoTR have a wealth of background info since they come from a 20+ year history of written Content. Dragon Age is awesome, however, the one thing that all 3 have in common is that the overall approach is very cookie-cutter. Things start to feel overly common, especially if you're a fan of the fantasy realm (final fantasy, elder scrolls, chrono trigger, shining force, secret of mana, Dark age of Camelot, Everquest, Star Wars the Old Republic, etc)

 

I think that PoE does a great job of creating a world that doesn't necessarily feel like the same 'ol cookie cutter story-driven content. Just my opinion tho.

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I agree, to some extent. There isn't any interplay across regions. No one except the town crier references Gilded Vale. 

 

Despite the majority of Glanfathans being elves, elves live everywhere and are equal in status among humans. Even the podunks of the Dyrwood are ludicrously cosmopolitan.

Coastal Aumaua are specifically noted as being rare, yet there's one in the first village you come to.  

I certainly DON'T miss the fantastic scale, or feel the need for a major war. but some of the larger context seems to be missing in action. 

Edited by Parasol_Syndicate

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Dyrwood has been relatively recently colonised. You know, by colonists. From elsewhere. It's something of a frontier attracting enterprising people much like America did back in the day. As such, it would be weirder if there weren't any people with obviously foreign ancestry or background there.

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There was one particular aspect of the story I didn't like. Maybe not dislike so much as it simply strained credulity. However, this is a non spoiler section and I don't want to kvetch about it here. Plus, I'm lazy.

 

Except for that one thing, and despite that one thing, I loved the story. Like Junta, I think the best aspect of the game is the story itself and the fact that it's entirely personal. One of the reasons I liked the IWD games so much is that the backstories weren't fixated on saving the world, only surviving your own little corner of it and, maybe, helping it out a little.

 

I also like the atmosphere. A little dark and certainly the situation is grim, but not so ridiculously cliched that I was rolling my eyes at every step. I enjoyed the combat, but I think it clearly has room for improvement. I enjoyed the puzzles more, but it could likewise use a little spit polish. ...But the story really makes the game and it serves as a good foundation for something that could become more epic if that's Obsidz' vision for upcoming sequels.

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I agree, to some extent. There isn't any interplay across regions. No one except the town crier references Gilded Vale. 

 

Despite the majority of Glanfathans being elves, elves live everywhere and are equal in status among humans. Even the podunks of the Dyrwood are ludicrously cosmopolitan.

Coastal Aumaua are specifically noted as being rare, yet there's one in the first village you come to.  

I certainly DON'T miss the fantastic scale, or feel the need for a major war. but some of the larger context seems to be missing in action. 

 

I just find it strange how there is no racism between elves and humans.  Neither race can reproduce, elves dominate the "hut Dweller" culture, and not to mention that elves can live longer than humans.  You would think that last reason would give some elves a superiority complex. 

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I agree, to some extent. There isn't any interplay across regions. No one except the town crier references Gilded Vale. 

 

Despite the majority of Glanfathans being elves, elves live everywhere and are equal in status among humans. Even the podunks of the Dyrwood are ludicrously cosmopolitan.

Coastal Aumaua are specifically noted as being rare, yet there's one in the first village you come to.  

I certainly DON'T miss the fantastic scale, or feel the need for a major war. but some of the larger context seems to be missing in action. 

 

I just find it strange how there is no racism between elves and humans.  Neither race can reproduce, elves dominate the "hut Dweller" culture, and not to mention that elves can live longer than humans.  You would think that last reason would give some elves a superiority complex. 

 

Humans and elves are united in their distrust of orlans. ;)

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I agree, to some extent. There isn't any interplay across regions. No one except the town crier references Gilded Vale. 

 

Despite the majority of Glanfathans being elves, elves live everywhere and are equal in status among humans. Even the podunks of the Dyrwood are ludicrously cosmopolitan.

Coastal Aumaua are specifically noted as being rare, yet there's one in the first village you come to.  

I certainly DON'T miss the fantastic scale, or feel the need for a major war. but some of the larger context seems to be missing in action. 

 

I just find it strange how there is no racism between elves and humans.  Neither race can reproduce, elves dominate the "hut Dweller" culture, and not to mention that elves can live longer than humans.  You would think that last reason would give some elves a superiority complex. 

 

Because race does not automatically equate to culture. I forget the exact timeline, but meadow folk and wood elves in Aedyr have been melded into a single culture for something like 2000 years? I'm sure telling an elf in Gilded Vale that they should feel kinship with some elven "face painter" because they both have pointed ears would get you a black eye and some missing teeth ;)

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I liked the setting, didn't like the hero's personal story.

 

The Hollowborn epidemic, Waiden's story and some of the ideas about souls are all pretty interesting. You just have to dig a bit to find out the details. Like the story Eder tells about animancers implanting an animal soul into a little girl? Great writing! 

 

But yeah, maybe it would have also been interesting to play during Waiden's reign. Then OP could have his war/grand conflict, and Waiden could have been the final boss;)

Edited by Heijoushin
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Heh, if Waidwen had been the final boss, we wouldn't have stood a chance :)

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Heh, if Waidwen had been the final boss, we wouldn't have stood a chance :)

 

We don't have to win! Just distract him until the bomb goes off;)

 

Nope, I don't want to fight with him. I want to fight for him! 

 

It would have been nice to choose sides. Just like with factions in Defiance Bay.

 

Returning to setting, it is just right. Not too light, not too dark. It just needs more racial content (the only marginalised race are now orlans). And much more emphasis on countries stuff around Dyrwood.

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I do actually wonder how much of a problem would racism be in a world like Eora - on Earth, from the highly developed races, all you get are Human of various colors and Rats (totally on the level of humans, I science'd this shiz with my rats)

 

But, if you get into a setting in which there are not only regional variations of every single specie, but also a bunch of species themselves, I wonder if these would evolve in such a way that variety is expected and 'normal' - they all speak a common tongue, it's quite clear that they have mixed a long time in the past. After all, the reason for racism to exist is because people have difficulty perceiving anything different than them 'normal', and our brains automatically jump to the conclusion of 'not normal = bad'

Edited by Fenixp
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I do actually wonder how much of a problem would racism be in a world like Eora - on Earth, from the highly developed races, all you get are Human of various colors and Rats (totally on the level of humans, I science'd this shiz with my rats)

 

But, if you get into a setting in which there are not only regional variations of every single specie, but also a bunch of species themselves, I wonder if these would evolve in such a way that variety is expected and 'normal' - they all speak a common tongue, it's quite clear that they have mixed a long time in the past. After all, the reason for racism to exist is because people have difficulty perceiving anything different than them 'normal', and our brains automatically jump to the conclusion of 'not normal = bad'

 

I dunno. I see where you're coming from but I think there would still be a certain degree of mistrust and racism among the species. But as someone mentioned on another thread, racism, while realistic, is kind of an ugly theme, and not one that everyone wants to explore in their game. Much better to keep it a conflict of ideals. Which Pillars gets right, although there's a bit of an information dump near the end. 

Edited by Heijoushin
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I honestly would not mind a low-level campaign focusing on something low-key like a bunch of militiamen investigating a murder in a village.  I've saved the universe enough times now that it's actually old hat, and having my ego stroked by sycophantic companions actually irritates me now. 

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Despite the majority of Glanfathans being elves, elves live everywhere and are equal in status among humans. Even the podunks of the Dyrwood are ludicrously cosmopolitan.

Why would elves not be equal in status with humans? They've been an integral part of the Aedyr Empire for centuries!

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I honestly would not mind a low-level campaign focusing on something low-key like a bunch of militiamen investigating a murder in a village.  I've saved the universe enough times now that it's actually old hat, and having my ego stroked by sycophantic companions actually irritates me now.

I've been jonesin' for a game like this for a long time! ...And the way your learn to use your weapon and become more skilled relative to your starting point would make a hell of a lot more sense in a game like this than starting as a farmer and ending up saving humanity and defeating all demons or some such. Don't get me wrong, I like saving the world every now and then, but maybe not *every time* between now and then.

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Well I agree the game is not near DA origins on "epicness", but more in line with the "the world is ending but nobody is noticing" BG kind of plot. I like both concepts if carried properly.

 

I find the story of PoE the best part of the game. It got me hooked from start to finish, but calling it "the spiritual succesor of BG" has put impossible-to-beat expectations in the title. The story is not so good, the world is not so reactive and the characters do not have so much personality. Also, the duration of the main quest is relatively short, too short to develop a strong bond with the characters and too light paced to feel you are in danger.

 

I believe Obsidian can make better and will do better in the sequel.

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low-level tasks without ever saving the world... just pick any MMORPG w00t.gif

No, I'm not talkin' about killing 30 mushroom-walkers in order to get the bean soup recipe for the starting area inn keeper. I don't want to grind. That's why I like the example... I can't remember who gave the local guards militia example above, but it's perfect. The quests you undertake work towards a goal. You ask citizens about the events. You look for physical clues. Maybe you're forced to face a local group of brigands or travel to another town and face dangers on the road. Combat would be somewhat less likely, but the threat of combat, as well as the actuality, would be ever present. You *could* have side quests that range from trivial to actually quite important. For example, the threat of the brigands falls squarely in your duty as the leader of the local militia, so dealing with them is part of the main story arc (even if it's presented as outside your current investigation), but finding and returning stolen items, bringing surviving brigands back for trial, or rescuing hostages being kept for ransom could all fall under side quest material. Dealing with the overall situation is a main/major story arc. ...And, the people for whom you do small or trivial tasks would be friends and neighbors, so it would make more sense. For example, Sally, the barmaid at the local tavern where you and your guards take lunch asks that you find her kid and set him on the straight and narrow. That's a sensible request from your friend Sally. It's a little less sensible for Sally to ask a stranger who happens to come into her bar one day.

 

To me, the Pillars story is a good low level spin on a personal matter that ends up being important to the region, but the affliction and dealing with the affliction, is personal. I liked it with one particular issue withstanding. However, I think something even more personal and with less grandiose eventualities would also be good.

 

It's one of the reasons I loved the PS:T story. It was almost entirely personal. It mattered to you and to a small cadre of people drawn close to you by history and shared experiences.

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No, I'm not talkin' about killing 30 mushroom-walkers in order to get the bean soup recipe for the starting area inn keeper.

 

Jumpin' Jellybean Jeezus! That made me hungry :huh:

 

Point taken, although I wasn't really referring to flat out grinding. Take World of WarCraft or Star Wars the Old Republic as prime examples. There are a plethora of fun/challenging/epic quests and tasks, none of which ever fully resolve to some finality.

 

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The first Witcher is indeed pretty exemplary on the regional fantasy scale, if we weren't stuck with the shallow, Mary Sue-ish protagonist. 

Would almost be better to play as Leo, to get a clean slate. 

 

Expert Mode: We'd make our own witcher, and get randomized mutations each time. 

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