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mc_kracken

Pillars is overwritten and too esoteric (also purple prose)

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I had a great time with the story and the writing. My favorite aspects were the central plot, Thaos was a very memorable antagonist, and the writing of the companions. I would actually remove about 50% of the trash fights and focus more on the battles that tied in to the story. Combat was definitely not the highlight for me here, but it never was in IE games either.

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game play is good but writing in this game is entirely bogus and unrefined and the world philosophy is flawed and has wholes in it......doesn't feel like a proper professional and finished product in some regards....

 

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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.

 

 

 

I have to seriously disagree.  I think that the combat in IWD1/2 was good and often excellent.  In a lot of ways, it was better than what's in PoE, particularly IWD2.

 

Why do I say this?  Because however nice PoE is (and I do enjoy it greatly), combat in PoE is largely the same thing over and over and over and over again.  Party walks up to enemy B.  B sees A.  Battle starts (sometimes with a little bit of pre-battle dialog). Rinse and repeat.  The combat scenarios are always the same.  BTW, don't get me wrong.  There was a lot of this in IWD2 as well.  But in IWD2 there were a significant number of battles where the combat scenario was more interesting and complex than in PoE.  The defense of Targos in act 1.  The battle on Shaengarne Bridge.  The battle in the fort when you first came up from the caves below.  The battles in the cave where the hook horrors were dropping down all around you, constantly forcing you to fight not only the HH's in front of you but also behind you.  And so on and so on.

 

Honestly, I found the battles in IWD2 a lot more tactically challenging and interesting than those in PoE.

 

So, if you want to go down this road, I'd have to say that anyone who thinks that the combat in PoE is superior to that in IWD2 has, to use your words, "no credibility to judge"the quality of good, tactically diverse and interesting, combat.

 

 

 

 

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I had a great time with the story and the writing. My favorite aspects were the central plot, Thaos was a very memorable antagonist, and the writing of the companions. I would actually remove about 50% of the trash fights and focus more on the battles that tied in to the story. Combat was definitely not the highlight for me here, but it never was in IE games either.

 

Oh, here we go again.  Enough with calling battles and lesser combatants "trash"!!!  :banghead:   I'd prefer MORE battles not less.  I'd prefer that there were random encounters when you traveled from area to area.  I'd prefer that there was a chance for your party's rest to be interrupted with random battles when you aren't resting at an inn.

 

If I wanted to read a story, I'd buy a book (and often do).  I'm not here to read a story.  I'm here for the BATTLES!!!!  And more is better!!!  The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

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"Because however nice PoE is (and I do enjoy it greatly), combat in PoE is largely the same thing over and over and over and over again.  Party walks up to enemy B.  B sees A.  Battle starts (sometimes with a little bit of pre-battle dialog). Rinse and repeat.  "

 

this is very true. Also the exploration maps are small and encounters are sort of I dunno how to put it. But the wilderness areas in Baldurs Gate 1, did the exploring much better. (i think, its been years)

 

Im beginning to think all those shortcomings in Pillars are the result of kickstarter development time of what? Only 2 years? Or should that have been enough time?

Edited by mc_kracken

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I had a great time with the story and the writing. My favorite aspects were the central plot, Thaos was a very memorable antagonist, and the writing of the companions. I would actually remove about 50% of the trash fights and focus more on the battles that tied in to the story. Combat was definitely not the highlight for me here, but it never was in IE games either.

Oh, here we go again. Enough with calling battles and lesser combatants "trash"!!! :banghead:
"Trash fights" and "trash mobs" are established terms people have used for years, you're not going to change it overnight. We don't actually think they're trash as in worthless; it just means they're regular run-of-the-mill enemies as opposed to unique bosses requiring deeper tactical thought. That's all. Having a decent number of these battles is actually beneficial for a typical RPG.

 

If I wanted to read a story, I'd buy a book (and often do). I'm not here to read a story. I'm here for the BATTLES!!!! And more is better!!! The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

That's all well and good. As for me, I'm here mostly for the story and battles are a fun passtime moving the story forward. If I wanted a game about battles, I'd play Dark Souls, Battlefield or Fire Emblem. :)

 

PoE can't be everything for everyone. Maybe some of us just aren't the target audience. It happens. Better to discover it now than 3 games into the series, as it happened to me in the past.

Edited by Rosveen

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Thing is Icewind Dale had a nice story (from what i remember) and excellent combat. So it was the best of both worlds. There were hardly any side quests - which in the case of Pillar's are mostly bland.

 

It was linear (which i find good, because it doesnt screw up the level cap and therefore difficulty see Pillar's HUGE balancing issues)

Edited by mc_kracken

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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.

 

Interesting thought, there.  I am about to embark on my 2nd playthrough (waited for WM pt 2), and while I generally liked the writing and story, I did find some of it, particularly early on, to be a bit murky or scattered in a fashion. 

 

It could just be that I was trying to process a new world with all of its culture and nuances along with the main plot so it felt like info overload, and the follow-up playthroughs with familiarity might bridge it all much better.

 

This is Obsidian, I expected my fair share of descriptive/heavy text from past experiences, and I felt they definitely delivered what I hoped for in an Obsidian fantasy rpg, in a general sense, and I'm happy to keep supporting their projects.

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game play is good but writing in this game is entirely bogus and unrefined and the world philosophy is flawed and has wholes in it......doesn't feel like a proper professional and finished product in some regards....

 

 

"Wholes" indeed.

 

PoE is large and contains multitudes, one assumes.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

I have to seriously disagree.  I think that the combat in IWD1/2 was good and often excellent.  In a lot of ways, it was better than what's in PoE, particularly IWD2.

 

Why do I say this?  Because however nice PoE is (and I do enjoy it greatly), combat in PoE is largely the same thing over and over and over and over again.  Party walks up to enemy B.  B sees A.  Battle starts (sometimes with a little bit of pre-battle dialog). Rinse and repeat.  The combat scenarios are always the same.  BTW, don't get me wrong.  There was a lot of this in IWD2 as well.  But in IWD2 there were a significant number of battles where the combat scenario was more interesting and complex than in PoE.  The defense of Targos in act 1.  The battle on Shaengarne Bridge.  The battle in the fort when you first came up from the caves below.  The battles in the cave where the hook horrors were dropping down all around you, constantly forcing you to fight not only the HH's in front of you but also behind you.  And so on and so on.

 

Honestly, I found the battles in IWD2 a lot more tactically challenging and interesting than those in PoE.

 

 

 

"IWD vs PoE" is a thorny issue because the core combat engine in PoE is miles ahead of IWD, but the encounter design absolutely does suck balls. IWD2 had a lot more memorable encounters but - solely by virtue of being an exclusively combat-focused game - also a lot more of whiffy bull**** fights that posed no particular challenge, required little tactical insight to get through, served no purpose other than consuming character resources, and ****ed up pacing and story/gameplay flow simply by existing

 

Also worth noting that literally every single example you brought up was from IWD2, while my original post was about IWD (in which I can recall a grand total of one memorable combat encounter, which is about on par with what Pillars is offering).

 

 

 

I'm here for the BATTLES!!!!  And more is better!!!  The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

 

 

 

Why play an RPG like Pillars, then, instead of a combat-focused dungeon crawler?

 

 

Thing is Icewind Dale had a nice story (from what i remember)

 

 

If you can barely remember the story, it can't possibly have been that good?

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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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I'm here for the BATTLES!!!!  And more is better!!!  The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

 

 

 

Why play an RPG like Pillars, then, instead of a combat-focused dungeon crawler?

 

 

Such a good point.


It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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Thing is Icewind Dale had a nice story (from what i remember) and excellent combat. So it was the best of both worlds.

 

- No, it had not.

- Yes, that is true.

- No, definitely not.


---

We're all doomed

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I had a great time with the story and the writing. My favorite aspects were the central plot, Thaos was a very memorable antagonist, and the writing of the companions. I would actually remove about 50% of the trash fights and focus more on the battles that tied in to the story. Combat was definitely not the highlight for me here, but it never was in IE games either.

 

Oh, here we go again.  Enough with calling battles and lesser combatants "trash"!!!  :banghead:   I'd prefer MORE battles not less.  I'd prefer that there were random encounters when you traveled from area to area.  I'd prefer that there was a chance for your party's rest to be interrupted with random battles when you aren't resting at an inn.

 

If I wanted to read a story, I'd buy a book (and often do).  I'm not here to read a story.  I'm here for the BATTLES!!!!  And more is better!!!  The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

 

 

I actually agree here. I'd like more MEMORABLE battles. 

 

What battles do you guys remember from IWD and BG(2) and NWN(2)? I remember the massive battles. The ones against dragons and REALLY hard enemies like lich kings. The ones where I casted every buff I had on my party before it started and the character portraits were COVERED in status effect symbols. The ones where I accidentally pissed off an entire city and I was running for my life while fighting off hoards of enemies. Those are the battles I remember from the old games. Those are the battles I like. Unfortunately, those battles require forethought. It's hard to create unique enemies. That's why I like the bounty system in PoE. 

 

I find PoE a bit wordy, at times. Not all the time. The 2nd conversation with the priest (first one after you recruit him and travel with him for a while) was needlessly wordy. As an RPG I don't dare cut the conversation short for fear of not furthering the relationship, but I just remember thinking "Jeeze, when will this freaking conversation end." It went on for AGES. (And the priest is a **** so it didn't make the conversation fun.) Other than that I ignore the gold plated NPCs, and I ignore the grave markers. Not that hard to do. I do spam tab all the time though (old habit from the older games.)

 

However, I would not want any LESS words in the game. Like people mentioned above, many games today pander to the ADD crowd, and I like my RPGs to be fleshed out, even if I don't read everything. One day I'll get bored and start reading everything, which will add to the atmosphere. 

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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.

You can get rid of them with mods or play an evil but justified warrior a slaughter all of them you can get away with killing.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Reddit generation.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Nope, I never owned a cell phone. Never was on twitter or facebook. Don't really know what reddit is. (some sort of message board I think?) And my favorite book ever (by a lightyear) is the Illiad.

 

And i must stress again: It's not about the word count.

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And my favorite book ever (by a lightyear) is the Illiad.

 

The complaints about purple prose definitely ring super weird now.

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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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Yeah, purple prose is in essence bad writing. So, if you wanna excuse me, I don't think we two have much too discuss here.

Edited by mc_kracken

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I had a great time with the story and the writing. My favorite aspects were the central plot, Thaos was a very memorable antagonist, and the writing of the companions. I would actually remove about 50% of the trash fights and focus more on the battles that tied in to the story. Combat was definitely not the highlight for me here, but it never was in IE games either.

 

Oh, here we go again.  Enough with calling battles and lesser combatants "trash"!!!  :banghead:   I'd prefer MORE battles not less.  I'd prefer that there were random encounters when you traveled from area to area.  I'd prefer that there was a chance for your party's rest to be interrupted with random battles when you aren't resting at an inn.

 

If I wanted to read a story, I'd buy a book (and often do).  I'm not here to read a story.  I'm here for the BATTLES!!!!  And more is better!!!  The story is just the means of tying those battles together, not the reason for playing the game itself.

 

 

I actually agree here. I'd like more MEMORABLE battles. 

 

What battles do you guys remember from IWD and BG(2) and NWN(2)? I remember the massive battles. The ones against dragons and REALLY hard enemies like lich kings. The ones where I casted every buff I had on my party before it started and the character portraits were COVERED in status effect symbols. The ones where I accidentally pissed off an entire city and I was running for my life while fighting off hoards of enemies. Those are the battles I remember from the old games. Those are the battles I like. Unfortunately, those battles require forethought. It's hard to create unique enemies. That's why I like the bounty system in PoE. 

 

 

Honestly, corrado, all that massive buffing was something I loathed about those otherwise wonderful games.  To me, it was no fun at all having to spend minutes before some major battles casting seemingly every buffing spell in the game (perhaps a little hyperbole here).  I very much like how they've largely done away with this in PoE. 

 

Hell, I wouldn't mind in the least if the devs did away with those food items that do exist as pre-battle buffing.  It's ridiculous that a character is allowed to eat many different meals prior to a battle, though apparently some so.  It would never occur to me to do so.  In reality, if you ate that much, you'd be so bloated that you'd want to sit down and take a nap or something.  The last thing you'd want to do is engage in the physical exertion of battle.  But I digress.

 

I agree conceptually about memorable battles.  But my definition of what makes a battle memorable differs from yours.  I don't need some big boss monster to be present to make the battle memorable.  I care much more about interesting and engaging battle scenarios.  IWD2 had a number of memorable battles where there really wasn't any major big nasty monster.  What made them memorable was how the battle was constructed.  Think of the final battle for Targos early in IWD2.  Or the Battle for Shaengarne Bridge.  Or the battle for the Goblin fort.  Or the area where there were hook horrors dropping all around you, forcing you to fight enemies both in front and BEHIND you. 

 

Frankly, the battles in PoE all seem too generic.  Everything, no matter where you are, seems to be the same combat scenario over and over again, with the only real difference being in the roster of enemies you encounter.

 

I also like the bounties, but at the same time, I think that they have the same problem as all other battles in the game.  The only thing that makes the bounty battles a little different is that the group of bad guys are deliberately designed to tougher than average.  And that's fine.  A change that I'd like to see for bounties is something to make them more interesting.  Don't have the bounty group reside in a known location.  Make the bounties require some investigation, like a quest, an investigation where the player has to actually find the bounty target for themselves rather than be given a location where all you have to do is walk on over to point A and they're just over there waiting for you.  It might even be nice if the bounties' NPC leader (the kith ones, in particular) talked to you before any fight started.  I could see some of them trying to bribe you, or intimidate you, or any other number of interesting things that could add some spice.  Heck, it might even be really interesting if one of the groups was a normal kith group that was hiding out in Defiance Bay and you couldn't find them, but they were aware that you are hunting for them.  And maybe they ambush you at some point, sort of like a between areas encounter like existed in BG2.  You might not know where or when this ambush would occur.  Right now, other than the actual battles themselves, bounties are sorta-kinda boring because they're so completely predictable and similar.   Bad guy group X is hanging out at location Y.  Go there, fight them, take their leader's head, and collect the bounty.  It'd be nice to throw a little spice and variety in this this mix.

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Yeah, purple prose is in essence bad writing. So, if you wanna excuse me, I don't think we two have much too discuss here.

 

I looked up the definition of "purple prose".  And upon reading it, I'd have to say that whether prose qualifies as "purple" or not is entirely a matter of opinion and taste.

 

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It's a little bit verbose and I Found myself just skipping it my first playthrough a year ago

 

But now when I play through and read everything aloud for someone else, I find that it's actually really descriptive and immersive. I went from thinking the setting was bland with too much 'tryhard' on setting up a new IP to really loving the setting

 

The only issue I really have is that too many names/locales sound made-up. I know that it's all made-up because it's fiction, but for some reason there's a distinct difference in the quality of names in tolkien/forgotton realms and this

 

Oh, and the pronunciations - good grief there are some goofy pronunciations and spellings in this game.

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Yeah, purple prose is in essence bad writing.

 

Yet the two terms aren't interchangeable.


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

 

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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.

A game is a composite medium, not purely a visual one. A game where you can´t see into a person´s face directly, an isometric one, needs to inform you about their mien from time to time when the nuance of their expression is required for you to get information about a divergence of statment of intent and actual intent for instance.

 

The reminiscence to actual table top games is deliberate and its own feature in these games, and contrary to your statement isometric games are very much "tell, don´t show" as you can not show very much unambiguous actions from that perspective, so a healthy dose of reading about expressions and  is not avoidable, and a complaint about something so essential to this kind of game begs the question if you simply don´t like them for what they are.

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"and a complaint about something so essential to this kind of game begs the question if you simply don´t like them for what they are"

 

No, these overdetailed facial descriptions are awkward because of the juxtaposition of the tiny puppet theatre in front of you. Some of these I wouldn't even want to read in a novel (because not good)

 

And no it doesn't beg the question, because i liked every other IE game just fine.

Edited by mc_kracken

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