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My love letter to Obsidian (PoE review/wishlist)


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My profile: 30-something y.o. male. I started my gaming life with the NES, then Warcraft and Heroes of Might and Magic series introduced me to the pc world. I discovered RPGs with Final Fantasy 7/8, and only later on I finally met IE games. I played BG2 before BG1 (madness, I know), and I enjoyed them quite a lot. It was such a unique experience in my life, I can still recall those sleepless, feverish nights. You can imagine my surprise and excitement in seeing the PoE kickstarter campaign. Sadly, I was late to the party and I ended up not backing the game, much to my regret.


What I loved about Pillars

- Story, Atmosphere, Graphics. The fantasy setting didn't make the game alien to the real world. The reflections on human nature, instinct, belief etc. were interesting and actual to me.
The graphics are amazing, definitely keep the isometric view with pre-rendered backgrounds for the next titles in the series: it is magnificent!

- Companions. They were all interesting in their own ways. The voiceovers were all above average, some of them fantastic! The random interjections and party banters really made them feel alive, with distinct personalities and traits. I only hope we'll see even more of them in PoE2! The personal quests were interesting; some felt a bit incomplete/rushed (Pallegina especially), but all in all well done!

- Difficulty. I've read many things about this topic, but the difficulty of the game was perfect for me. I played normal during my first playthrough, and even tho it felt a bit too easy after Act 2, I still enjoyed it. Now I'm playing on Hard and it's even more interesting. A friend of mine, completely new to the genre, is having a great (and balanced) experience on Easy. Well done once again!


What I would improve

- Act 3. It felt really strange, boring and almost rushed on my first playthrough... and still feels like this to me. Keeping my post spoiler-free, I think it introduces some "situations" very quickly... and it's also very quick at "resolving" them!
In addition, while I kinda liked DB, TE felt almost annoying, and I ended up skipping all the side quests and extra contents, rushing through the final dungeon. Surprisingly, I've found Act 4 to be extremely interesting and well written once again, like the majority of the game; so the anomality is only in act 3 for me.
If I had to rank the acts of the game (and why not, since it's my post! ^^), I'd say:
Act I > Acts II & IV > Act III

- Party banter on the map: I hated reading the disappearing text over the heads of my companions! Most of the times I missed part of the dialogues, because I wasn't fast enough to read/understand the sentences or because the banter started on a different part of the map and I wasn't looking at my party. This should definitely not happen in PoE2! Party banter is one of the reasons my companions felt alive, I'll never forget the fun I had reading Aloth-Kana or Eder-Sagani. The banter should happen in Baldur's Gate style, or in a different way which still lets the player read and continue when he/she is ready.

- My main character's portrait should be shown in the dialogue box when I'm making a choice. Also, having some portraits for important people/questgivers during the adventure would help the player remember them, especially when they are voiced!

- This last thing is more a wish: I would love to meet the companions again in poe2, not as possible playable companions, but as important/casual characters in the world. I believe the endings of most of them could already hint to this.


Final words

PoE entertained me for hunders of hours already, and I haven't played the White March yet! The reason for this wall of text is to thank Obsidian and all the people involved in the creation of this masterpiece, including the backers of course!
2015 has been especially difficult for me in real life, but Pillars proved to be a great relief and a fantastic way to forget my troubles, at least for a bit.
I strongly hope to play TWM part 2 and PoE2 as soon as possible!

I know the higher-ups won't ever read this, and please forgive my english, but I still felt like I had to do it! ;)
Cheers,
Andrea

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Edér, I am using WhatsApp!

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One thing to prise Obsidian for is how games gets better over time. In release there was no AI and party was just standing idle in the midle of the fight. Good times.

But it was chaned for better. And there was given a option to level companions from level 1 ( no need to rush to grab them all before they pick some weird talent) or even respec if we mae mistakes.

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One thing to prise Obsidian for is how games gets better over time. In release there was no AI and party was just standing idle in the midle of the fight. Good times.

But it was chaned for better. And there was given a option to level companions from level 1 ( no need to rush to grab them all before they pick some weird talent) or even respec if we mae mistakes.

 

I wholeheartedly agree. I had to stop my first playthrough in April after 60 hours (real life took over), and I restarted the game many months later (after 2.0) and the changes were incredible! Party AI options are the best feature other than bugs fixing ofc.

 

The party banter thing also frustrated me, but I just started switching from combat to dialogue log and you can read it all even if you missed the voice over or floating text.

Indeed! I discovered that feature later in my playthrough, but I still think it should be changed in PoE2.

During act I, I had to reload a save a dozen of times in order to read/understand what Aloth was saying to Kana...

 

Bit to slick yer breeches, scholar lad!

grin.gif

This example is particularly fitting, because the disappearing text was not only transcribing the words spoken, but also the situation:

 

Kana's face flushes, his gold-brown skin going a ruddy shade: "I beg your pardon?"

 

Edér, I am using WhatsApp!

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