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mc_kracken

Pillars is overwritten and too esoteric (also purple prose)

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It's a rather jarring gameplay experience when you have for instance such (over) detailed descriptions of facial features accompanied with only the tiny puppet theather top down view.

 

The writting in general is too purple or simply filler (backer npc)

 

Storywise the soul aspect is kind of interesting but there is too much mumbo jumbo essence, memory out of body esoteric experience and so forth.

 

All in all i still enjoy the game but hope for a more straight forward, down to earth world in Pillars 2. 

(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

 

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Just remember, there is no in game reason to ever inspect a backer NPC or read one of the obelisks/grave markers.  I know I don't.  They add nothing to the game and are there purely because of the kickstarter promises.

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All in all i still enjoy the game but hope for a more straight forward, down to earth world in Pillars 2. 

(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

 

I feel the exact opposite way :)

 

It is true that Pillars can at times be a tad too verbose (not all the time, though; some dialog and descriptions are excellent imo) but I find it generally well written and pleasant.

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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

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Just remember, there is no in game reason to ever inspect a backer NPC or read one of the obelisks/grave markers.  I know I don't.  They add nothing to the game and are there purely because of the kickstarter promises.

 

Unfortunately someone like me who has inherited the habit of spamming tab from Infinity Engine games has a hard time ignoring the fact the first gold-plated NPC you run into right at the start of Gilded Vale is named "Zloxx the Usurper", something I'd except in Commander Keen or Calvin & Hobbes.

 

Don't even get me started with Palzerker and the rest.

Edited by kvaak

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The writing is a mixed bag, in my opinion. Some of it is needlessly elaborate and ponderous. Some of it is breathtakingly thoughtful. As a reader I often feel rewarded for "forgiving" the tedious parts, as there are a lot of gems buried in the mud. 

 

The lore is the real selling point for me. Regardless of the quality of the Pillar's prose, Eora is a fascinating world full of mystery and intrigue. I've invested almost 400 hours of my life exploring this world. It only get more and more interesting with each playthrough.

Edited by Hebruixe
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You are reading other people souls and you didn't expect mumbo jumbo? :biggrin:

 

As for graves, personally, I don't even how is that a problem. Maybe it's tradition there to write things that way. Certainly more interesting than dates nobody cares about anyway.

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Pillars of Bugothas

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Just remember, there is no in game reason to ever inspect a backer NPC or read one of the obelisks/grave markers.  I know I don't.  They add nothing to the game and are there purely because of the kickstarter promises.

i stopped long ago reading them..but consider if youd take out all those gold NPCs eora would be rather empty. Also im not using TAB (i like to discover things) so these guys are extra annoying.

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​I quickly learned to skip the grave markers, which I find to be immersion breaking.

There is very nice writing in PoE, and perhaps some that could be tightened up a bit.  What I ​really don't want to see, though, is one of the few game franchises that doesn't pander to the attention-deficit crowd being dumbed down for people who find it onerous to read a paragraph of text.  There are thousands upon thousands of games that demand little more than a gnat like literary attention span, delivering what little text they almost apologetically contain in small chunks digestible by the average grade school child.

 

Please let those of us who enjoy rich textual descriptions and complex dialog have the paltry few games we still have left that haven't chased the ADHD demographic.

tl;dr = words good. :biggrin:

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The thing is tough it's a game, a visual medium so "show, dont tell" applies. And for an isometric perspective it applies even more so.

Also im not against complex dialog (dont equal complex with meaingful, well written) or want to thumb down anything.

 

Some of those descriptions of how "the leftside forehead vein crinkles when she smirks" (that's from me) etc. for instance would even be too much (i.e. not good writting) in a novel, way i see it.

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All the backer stuff is terrible, but it's not supposed to be there at all. Promises to backers forced them to include the nasty warts, and the most we can do is just our best to pretend they don't exist.

 

I'm thankful it's at least not so in your face about it as say, SRHK is, but still wish we had an option to get rid of it.

 

Outside of that, the old adage is 'good writing is rewriting' which devs don't get time to do. Especially not in a game such a tight budget. So it's expected it won't all fit together perfectly, or even very well. It gets the job done, and you can generally see what they wanted to do with it, so I forgive.

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The thing is tough it's a game, a visual medium so "show, dont tell" applies.

 

"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed.  The power of this 4 teraflop 128 SIMD core 8GB graphics card is insignificant compared to the power of language and your imagination."

   -- Darth Vader

 

Speaking as someone who was playing computer games before computer graphics existed, when games printed text to paper, I do not buy into your equivalence between "game" and "visual medium".  I love the PoE graphics as much as anyone, and it is a hugely important part of the game's experience. I am frequently in awe of how beautiful it looks, and it makes exploration of Eora a joy.

 

Still, language gives game designers an expressive avenue to your imagination, which is more powerful than any graphics card could ever be.  The beautiful artwork and the words, together, are richer than either one alone.

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The thing is tough it's a game, a visual medium so "show, dont tell" applies.

 

 

"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed.  The power of this 4 teraflop 128 SIMD core 8GB graphics card is insignificant compared to the power of language and your imagination."

   -- Darth Vader

 

Speaking as someone who was playing computer games before computer graphics existed, when games printed text to paper, I do not buy into your equivalence between "game" and "visual medium".  I love the PoE graphics as much as anyone, and it is a hugely important part of the game's experience. I am frequently in awe of how beautiful it looks, and it makes exploration of Eora a joy.

 

Still, language gives game designers an expressive avenue to your imagination, which is more powerful than any graphics card could ever be.  The beautiful artwork and the words, together, are richer than either one alone.

Well said. People are so impatient these days. Love the details in the dialog and I wouldn't mind more.

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Words=good is just as much a fallacy as words=bad. As always, have to make a judgement on every situation.

 

For POEs case, I appreciate what they did with the resources they had. It has lots of issues, but video games just arent a medium to deliver high % writing.

 

Well, they can be, but economic concerns will rarely let it be so.

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The thing is tough it's a game, a visual medium so "show, dont tell" applies. And for an isometric perspective it applies even more so.

Also im not against complex dialog (dont equal complex with meaingful, well written) or want to thumb down anything.

 

Some of those descriptions of how "the leftside forehead vein crinkles when she smirks" (that's from me) etc. for instance would even be too much (i.e. not good writting) in a novel, way i see it.

In general, I agree with the "show, don't tell" rule (even in literature, strangely). But what we call "video games" is primarily an interactive medium. It utilizes and blends video, sound, text etc. to various degrees. We don't have the proper categorization yet for interactive fiction beyond visual novels, for all of the sliding scale between narrative and gameplay focus. To diminish it just to a visual medium would be misguided.

 

Even so, as an isometric game PoE is actually less suited for "show, don't tell". Character models aren't very detailed and we can't comfortably zoom in and rotate the camera as we please. We don't have cinematic cutscenes. It's very difficult to show the details of people's appearance and behavior in these circumstances. We can be told about them, however. I appreciate that Obsidian did.

 

I like the writing style of PoE and hope it's retained in the sequel. Sure, it needs some work: early game lore dumps need to go, a few moments are jarringly poetic (Zahua's "scars faded like memories", wtf?) and all backer content needs to either be removed or closely monitored for lore-friendliness. Gravestones were garbage and backer NPC names were often embarassingly bad. But overall, I think it's good we have this kind of games as a counterweight to many AAA RPGs with paper-thin story, designed for teenagers with attention deficit. Long, thoughtful texts to chew into are a rare pleasure in video games.

Edited by Rosveen
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It's a rather jarring gameplay experience when you have for instance such (over) detailed descriptions of facial features accompanied with only the tiny puppet theather top down view.

 

The writting in general is too purple or simply filler (backer npc)

 

Storywise the soul aspect is kind of interesting but there is too much mumbo jumbo essence, memory out of body esoteric experience and so forth.

 

All in all i still enjoy the game but hope for a more straight forward, down to earth world in Pillars 2. 

(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

 

 

Well, now that we've gotten out of the way the fact that you apparently have no ability to judge video game writing... the complaint sounds rather anemic  :)

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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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It's a rather jarring gameplay experience when you have for instance such (over) detailed descriptions of facial features accompanied with only the tiny puppet theather top down view.

 

The writting in general is too purple or simply filler (backer npc)

 

Storywise the soul aspect is kind of interesting but there is too much mumbo jumbo essence, memory out of body esoteric experience and so forth.

 

All in all i still enjoy the game but hope for a more straight forward, down to earth world in Pillars 2.

(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

Well, now that we've gotten out of the way the fact that you apparently have no ability to judge video game writing... the complaint sounds rather anemic :)
Well, he didn't say IWD had better writing, just that he prefers combat over story - and I agree that in a combat-focused game PoE writing would actually be out of place. There's really nothing wrong with that... Except I think most of PoE backers wanted it to be more balanced, not go all the way the IWD path. Edited by Rosveen
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(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

Well, now that we've gotten out of the way the fact that you apparently have no ability to judge video game writing... the complaint sounds rather anemic :)

 

Well, he didn't say IWD had better writing, just that he prefers combat over story - and I agree that in a combat-focused game PoE writing would actually be out of place. There's really nothing wrong with that... Except I think most of PoE backers wanted it to be more balanced, not go all the way the IWD path.

 

 

IWD's combat wasn't even good (no matter what the grognards say).

 

I think it's fair to say that someone who prefers mediocre combat to literally the best writing the entire genre has offered so far (warts and all - I'm not going to pretend PST didn't have its fair share of problems, writing-wise, but it's still the best we've got), that person has no credibility in my eyes to judge writing quality.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I dont think Torment's writting was more than good. (i,e. less is more and not getting drowned in text)

Main story? Amnesia? Like *really* original. And a ho-hum plot twist worthy of a Shymalan movie?

If you take in mind the limitation's with text Ultima 6 but especially 7 are shining examples of story and dialog.

but maybe you guys are to young to have played that.

 

What I wanted to say was that Torment's combat (you know the thing why we call RPGs usually RPGs and not Adventure game) was AWFUL.

Edited by mc_kracken
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Too bad, that for the kickstarter they promised combat like ID and story like Torment. What a great game Pillars could have been, if it was the other way around.

 

And in case that that was too purple for you: It was sarkasm.

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We're all doomed

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combat (you know the thing why we call RPGs usually RPGs and not Adventure game)

What.

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If ignoring gravestones and kickstarter npcs doesn't fix your problem, PoE probably isn't the game for you. A lot of the target audience doesn't mind some prose.

 

Also, writing prose is easier on Obsidian's time and budget to implement, so they can do things like make the writing good instead of just animating one small thing.


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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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Also, getting into what actually makes an RPG a role-playing game - you need prose, you need telling. When you can't have a reactive GM there, handling all of your choices and actions, you still need to facilitate that interaction within the mind of the player. So you do it with text, just like any GM would do with explanation and detail. There's so much there because the player can't just ask for specific detail pertaining to their interests or curiosity. Getting into the detail of things is not a realistic goal from the 'show, don't tell' perspective, well without completely detracting from the game play mechanics and consistency, let alone budget. Pillars shows plenty with it's beautifully crafted environments - you're selling it short. This is what Pillars was promised to be, this is what got it funded. I think you just want a different game. Which is a strange expectation to have for the sequel.   

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What I wanted to say was that Torment's combat (you know the thing why we call RPGs usually RPGs and not Adventure game) was AWFUL.

 

It is called RPG because players have control over what makes and defines their characters, where in adventure game they don't. Combat has nothing to do if game is classed as RPG or not. Although for some people combat seems to be only thing that defines games for some reason.

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Yeah guys hold up I'm sorry I'mma let you finish but I didn't like all the reading and I never read the golden-texted NPC stories, but I'm on my 3rd playthrough now and I'm doing a slowwww burrrrn and just enjoying it for the story and I'm loving it.  I'm almost to the mega lore-dump a.k.a "Act 3" so I'm sure there will be too much elf-god peyote visions, but this game hits me harder every time and I haven't seen any text that is superfluous this time around (maybe they edited it?).  One of my first two playthroughs was done without reading any of the descriptive text (unless maybe skimming if part of the main story), and I think that was my worst game experience actually.

 

Edit: I think I might know part of the difference in my enjoyment across playthroughs.  A lot of the descriptive text in the main story is vaguely describing important pieces of the narrative puzzle, which will only be clear to you later on in the game.  So now that I've played the game already, these introductory dream-like descriptions are not random, but recognizable.

Edited by Grape_You_In_The_Mouth

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It's a rather jarring gameplay experience when you have for instance such (over) detailed descriptions of facial features accompanied with only the tiny puppet theather top down view.

 

The writting in general is too purple or simply filler (backer npc)

 

Storywise the soul aspect is kind of interesting but there is too much mumbo jumbo essence, memory out of body esoteric experience and so forth.

 

All in all i still enjoy the game but hope for a more straight forward, down to earth world in Pillars 2. 

(Im that guy who prefers Icewind Dale's combat over Torment's story)

 

i prefer a good balance of combat and story. but i will lean more towards combat/gameplay. for me combat and gameplay is the essence of a great game that makes me replay the game more than once. sure a good engaging story is important and the different endings/outcomes but that does not makes me want to replay the game more. if t he combat and gameplay are mostly the same, then replaying the whole experience again for a different cutscenes at the end of t he game, i had rather just watched it on youtube.

 

i see this is the problem with most games now. you basically can just play the game once with longer playing hours but not much incentives in replaying the game again. i think it's alittle similar here for pillars. because all the NPCs in the game already covered all the available classes. it's like why i love action hack/slash RPGs like Diablo, because you can replay the same game with a different class that plays totally different!

 

I think this problem can be mitigated when there's more specialized classes that when you create a new game with a new character, your role will not be overlapped with existing NPCs. i love NPCs with their own origin story. it makes Eder .. Eder and it makes Durance.. Durance. i love it because it focuses who they are and their origins and hence why they are that race/class.

 

Let's hope Pillars 2 can be much better!

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