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OK so I restarted playing the game, after several months, after WM2 came out and I had forgotten how much text one has to go through to get the complete experience of the game world and then realise that much of it didn't mean anything........

 

I remember the old games like BG series, PST, IWD series etc, these games had texts but not in such large quantity and the worlds of those games left even a greater lasting impression....and that impression is one the reasons why we have games like PoE still coming out in this generation.....

 

What I have found that the text in PoE could have been much more concised, which means it could have given the same amount of info or even more in fewer words.......... there are certain longer conversations where party members or even NPCs could have said the same thing in 5 lines instead of 15 and that happens because they keep repeating themselves in different words and some of the info that is given is entirely useless for questing and even environment / atmosphere building.......

 

A lot of text (grey text) also just describes the environment or area you are in and behaviour and expressions of the character you are interacting with.....this is a good thing.......but this text could also be concised.......there is no need to write 3 paragraphs to describe  a wall and every tiny nook and corner on it,  they should leave some room for players imagination.......

 

The reason I say this is that, in my first playthrough I read everything in the game, it was damn exhausting, I almost burnt out and was on the brink of moving on to another RPG but I persevered and was eventually able to beat the game, now after several months I restarted playing the game and I have forgotten much of what I read before because much of it was meaningless and I find myself reading it again and once again I am at the brink of abandoning the campaign..........its just simply too much to read, I mean if I want to read then I will go and read a book, I am playing this game because I want to 'play a game' and not read a novel.....

 

Games like BG and PST got it right or may be they could have done with some more text but PoE has too much of it and people like me who don't want to miss out on anything find it way too exhausting to go through every word and in the end find out that much of what we read does not amount to anything.......

 

Don't get me wrong this is a great game but I hope that Obsidian's next top down RPG uses more concised and refined text...... 

Edited by Brimsurfer
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PST had even more text i think. I especially remember the inn, the "somldering corpse", or whatever, where i spent several hours in a row reading. It was quite exhausting in a way, but definitely interesting. Btw, PST is the best RPG ever :D.

 

I, too, sometimes had the impression that some text in PoE was indeed meaningless. It's quite well written, by there are some occurrence, sometimes, when i wondered why i read some lines. In these several occurences, i thought that these lines did not bring anything usefull, whether it was information, or elements for flavour. Almost like the NPC just listened to themselves speaking. Text is important, and sometimes, to have things right, you need much text. And sometimes, you end up wondering what was the purpose of it in a precise case, wanting to say to some NPC "ok, great, now, to the point, damn!" :p

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But for nostalgia glasses, PS:T is greater 'offender', in my opinion.

If, unlike me, you don't read every book, item description and backer NPC soul, then I don't find it text heavy at all. Compared to IWD, yes; compared to BG2, no.

 

Also, if PoE has too much text for You, I'd steer clear of Shadowrun: Hong Kong, if I were You :) Too bad, though, since being a BIG PoE fan, I still deem it better than PoE.

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It is never to do with the number of words, it's about their quality and their pacing vis-a-vis the rest of the game.

 

The opening sequences commit the familiar mistake of cramming too much exposition, and throughout the game too often key information is packed into singular key NPCs, from Maerwald to Iovara. 

 

There is never such a thing as too much or too little text, and people use cliches like it's a book, it's a movie, but what does that even mean? The burden of dense reading required by books and movies themselves have changed wildly over the years. POE2 simply needs to improve how it tells its stories.

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Personally, I don't find the game text heavy at all and I'm not sure how someone could perceive the opening sequences as having 'too much exposition'. Maybe someone could make that argument for some of the companions, but those tend to be the best written ones. Then again, I read a lot of books and I appreciate the little details - it's what fleshes out the world and separates this game (and BG II) from the hack-and-slash snoozefests.

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Eternity has fewer written lines than BG2 or PST, pretty sure Obsidian has confirmed this.  Thank god too, you can't go to the toilet in Torment without getting a 3 paragraph description of what the door knob you had to open to get in the bathroom looks like.

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Eternity has fewer written lines than BG2 or PST, pretty sure Obsidian has confirmed this.  Thank god too, you can't go to the toilet in Torment without getting a 3 paragraph description of what the door knob you had to open to get in the bathroom looks like.

I disagree with you about PS:T overall, but I did get a kick out of this post. One thing I can't deny is that it had a boatload of text. I liked the vast majority of it, but I think they should have decimated it. Yeah, I think cutting out 10%, although not randomly, would have made it better.
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I found it just about right.  The only bits I didn't read were the books you find in drawers strewn around various places.  I did read and mostly enjoyed the soul stories, and the available character interactions.

I suppose if you just wanted the combat without the story and literary bits of world-building, you could ignore or skim most of it, but for me it's part of what it means for a game to be an RPG.  The first RPG-ish games I played in the 1970's had no graphics at all.  They were purely text, and you interacted with them in simple verb-noun text in return.

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Okay, I was a little mean in my post above. To be honest, I thought old Durance, the Grieving Mother and a few other bits were a little long-winded. But there's also some really great writing in there.

 

I suppose text-heavy RPGs aren't everyone's cup of tea.

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Okay, I was a little mean in my post above. To be honest, I thought old Durance, the Grieving Mother and a few other bits were a little long-winded. But there's also some really great writing in there.

 

I suppose text-heavy RPGs aren't everyone's cup of tea.

I would agree Durance gets a little heavy.  I don't think Grieving Mother is that bad but nothing she has to say is particularly gripping.  They both share one major problem and that is they love to reiterate things they previously said, or tweak some basic point they made before and just restate it in a minutely different way.  It can get pretty redundant, especially with GM.

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But for nostalgia glasses, PS:T is greater 'offender', in my opinion.

 

That's not an opinion. PS:T script is over 800,000 words long. That's longer than War and Peace.

 

By a *LOT*.

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I was reading somewhere that one of the lead design dudes doesn't really like long texts. He like a lot of the information to be conferred as concisely as possible, such as with floating text and shorter exchanges or something like that. I'm surprised that the game has as much text as it does, but the game, especially the NPCs, seem uneven in the amount of text. From my perspective, I don't mind a lot of text, although most of the text in Pillars isn't good enough for me to read through it over again. I loved PS:T. Still do, but a lot of games and movies could do with a stiff whack with the editor's bat to knock out a few lines here and there. Some even could use a few more words.

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From what i've seen so far, Torment Numenara looks like it has really good pieces of writting. There seems to be much more text than in Pillars, but the descriptions of the weirdness of the universe seems pretty inspired.

 

I wouldn't mind delving into such a text heavy adventure. Oh, wait, i backed it, sure :)

Edited by Abel
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One of the goals of art of writing is to be concise that is in fewer words impart as much information and atmosphere as possible as long as it doesn't overwhelm the reader, in my experience that is not the case with PoE, writing seems redundant at many places in this game, I don't think they took much time to refine the writing.......

Edited by Brimsurfer
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The writing in PoE was a postive feature for the large majority of initial game reviewers.  It's always a challenge to make repeated game play workable, and it's utterly unsurprising that some people might not like reading the same story over and over.  I really liked the Witcher 3 storytelling, for example, and also found the replay value extremely limited (basically, any surprise story elements aren't, well, surprises the second go around.) 

 

The writing here, especially for a game, is very well done.  The books and backer and tombstones are strictly optional and I didn't bother with them on a replay.  I'd rather have fewer trash battles, to be blunt, as opposed to fewer lines of text.

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One of the goals of art of writing is to be concise 

 

No, it isn't. It is well known amongst those who read historical works or otherwise have an awareness of writing over history that 'conciseness', which now means 'plain simple words, short sentences, minimal poetic language', etc, etc, only became a golden rule for every kind of writing over the last century (at most). It is no coincidence that this has happened where poetry has become relatively marginalised, scholarly work has been forced to become basically a more pretentious form of journalism, and journalism itself has become so 'concise' sometimes that it is hardly worth reading. In other words, the insistence that everything is written in the same plain style has solved some inefficiencies while destroying many good kinds of diversity. There is no reason to say anything and everything should be concise as if there was one rule for writing.

 

That said, of course there should be good reasons to not be concise. POE's issue I would suggest is less to do with individual pieces, which are often fine, but their effect as a whole, and how you come across one detailed description then immediately another. Again, POE needed better deployment of writing, not "less writing". The basic confusion over this issue is why so many movies, games, etc. today basically read/sound like trailers + TV Tropes. "We have a problem!" "The [bad guys!] They're going to regret crossing us." "My [weapon] is with you." "For [homeland name]!"

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One of the goals of art of writing is to be concise

 

...the insistence that everything is written in the same plain style has solved some inefficiencies while destroying many good kinds of diversity. There is no reason to say anything and everything should be concise as if there was one rule for writing.

 

Being utterly devoid of talent myself, I can't speak as to how to write something compelling, but I can speak as to what I find compelling when I read others. While I think you were a bit harsh in your assessment, I agree with the spirit of it nonetheless. I tend to believe that writing should be efficient, but not necessarily terse. That's a stylistic choice and, if you want your style to be more minimalistic, I say go for it. However, some styles are more effluent than others and those works in which the effluence of the writer compels argue against the idea that everything must be as concise as possible.

 

A while back, I helped out at an event where a public library had a showing of The Fellowship of the Ring. Some author or another held a short symposium of sorts afterwards. There was one old feller in crowd who, as it seems to me, came for the sole purpose of complaining 'bout the younger generation. His stance, which he put forth many times, was that it was a three hour film with a story that could have been told in fifteen minutes, and then bettered by summing it up in about 30 seconds. At some point, we might want more from our literature than, as you say, "A bad guy is trying to do something bad and a good guy does something to stop him." If that's the gold standard, every story ever told can be summed up by the theme of someone bad, someone good, and a laundry list of things they did to each other.

 

There, now I've shown that I not only lack talent, but I'm also decidedly not concise. Plus I make all manner of typos and, unless the meaning is muddled by them, I'm too damned lazy to fix 'em.

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Lol at this thread, author comes complaining on text in cRPG, seriously?... PoE text may not always be very engaging and extremely interesting, but it very well contributes to game lore and setting in every possible way, still, noone holds your hand, you can freely skip any text you come across, turn the game into Diablo with party, haha.

 

@Jajo

So true... Both SR:D and HK got me basically glued to screen reading, I can't remember reading ANY books/novels with such craving interest in my life.

Edited by Stoner
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I agree with Tigranes. The issue is more with story telling than the actual writing itself. They just have to find a more exciting way to get info to the player. (And a bit quicker wouldn't hurt.)

 

I hate Maerwald. I always dread going to see him. I have a hard time skipping dialogues in my RPGs, so it's a drawn out torture. Just about any old man voiced dialogue is excruciating. Haha.

 

Though I do prefer more concise writing as seen in writers like George Orwell, and just about all modern writers alive today. I think Pillar's writing is more in line with what your overly-dramatic DM might tell you when trying to set the mood, but I'm not sure that translates well when it's consumed in reams of text.

Edited by Ignatius
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One of the goals of art of writing is to be concise that is in fewer words impart as much information and atmosphere as possible as long as it doesn't overwhelm the reader.....

I only like your post cause well, this sentence I quoted is correct.  In modern writing, especially in the professional world, concise writing is stressed to an extreme extent.  Maybe a little too much, but it is what it is.  Obsidian definitely does not subscribe to the idea of concise writing though, whether that is a bad thing or not in the world of fictional fantasy game writing is a matter of opinion.

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I just think we've gotten side railed into a concise opposing verbose argument. I don't have anything against side arguments, mind you, but I don't think that's a matter of taste. I'm sure sure that just about everyone in this thread has enjoyed some works (movies, books, tv shows, games, songs) that are short and concise and other works that are more flowery and verbose. The point, and others have touch on, alluded to, or even stated this argument previously, the point is whether the work touches you in some way. If you find something in it, it's good. Kind of like a lot of people say, they might prefer one genre, but a good song is a good song.

 

In academic writing, I prefer concise, but the point is to inform and argue. Concise arguments that do the work are good. Concise arguments that lead things out for the sake confining to a standard of concise are not. In stories, I want a little more meat on the bone. Dry is fine in academic circles. Dry can be good in fiction, but so can meaty or even downright effluent.

 

P.S. My favorite poem about Ulysses is by a 19th century poet. Now, I think of an ol' Greek feller named Odysseus when folks talk about Ulysses, and I love Odysseus and his happy (ha!) cohort of Ancient Greek mythological figures, but the relatively long poem by an less old but equally dead English dude is my fave. Go figure.

 

P.S. and I love the epics on which Ulysses is based, and they're loooooooooo [insert a bunch of ooooooooos] nnnng.

Edited by why
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