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Alright, so I backed Pillars on Kickstarter, watched in joy as it was developed and run, enjoyed the dev commentary, appreciated the race and class previews, and I thought it all looked great.

 

And I started playing and noticed few problems (aside from the bloody Kickstarter NPCs whom I ignored), but more and more built up as the game progressed. Finally, I came to a terrible conclusion as I attempted a second playthrough:


This writing is dreadful. Not the dialogue, no, that's fine. Purple sometimes, but generally pretty good. What sucks is the epilogue and the player 'choices' made in-game, as well as the marginalization of classes in gameplay/story integration.


For starters, I played a Monk. Yeah, I remembered Monks being lame in DnD, but I assumed that in Pillars, based on the previews, it'd be fun. And it was fun, until every encounter became slogging it out with broad-sword wielding thugs in plate or Elder High Mega Dragons, or Invisible Deathtouch Demons or what have you. Monks lack the durability, dodging power and damage to be fantastic PCs... but what annoyed me the most was the supposition that every class would have something interesting to contribute to the story.

 

For example, if I were say, a follower of Eothas, I could go to the temple or talk to Edir or do all sorts of things and get a little snippet in relation to the plot at large or just giving more insight into the characters and the world around them. Priests, Paladins, Cyphers, Wizards, all of them get little extra options and such they can choose.

 

Oh, except the Monk. The class that doesn't even get an NPC partymember. The only five Monks in the game outside of the waves of cannonfodder I carved through are one dying messenger who was mauled to death by a mountain lion, and his four brothers who waited patiently in a tavern while their companion was mauled to death by a mountain lion.

 

Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more.

 

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't talk to one ordinary looking man named "Frightened Man", the entire city of Gilded Vale is exterminated in the epilogue.

Whoopsy. The village I went on a long, epic quest to save, defeating an entire castle of badasses over is now dead. Oh well. Sometimes a random NPC just spontaneously returns to life and invalidates all your work. If they'd wanted to live they'd have given a messenger five gold to actually deliver the message instead of relying on gossip, right?

 

Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another. And then, then, after you bend over backwards and ensure that everything is perfect to make sure the Soul Arts get a fair trial?

 

DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors.

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

So you understand why I think the "Choice" system is overhyped and doesn't really matter. It's either "Do what the lead writer wants or 100% of the population dies" or it doesn't matter at all because Woedica Ninjas jump out of a closet and murder 100% of the population.

 

Why would I want to play in this setting? Hell, why would I want to save the Dyrwood? Apparently EVERYONE is evil and stupid!

 

So yeah. It's a game with POTENTIAL for a good series, but it has little to no replay value.

 

...Also I played it when it first came out so it was pretty dang buggy too, but honestly they weren't really that bad for me. If pressed for a rating I'd say Pillars was an above average game, but it could have been excellent with more writing and polish and... well, MORE in general.

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I'm at work so don't have time for a bigger response but this:

 

Oh, except the Monk. The class that doesn't even get an NPC partymember.

 

Zahua is your NPC monk, he is in White March.


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

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Some of it I agree with, some of it I find unfair.

 

 

Monks lack the durability, dodging power and damage to be fantastic PCs...

 

Put them in armor and they are fine. Monks are pretty fun, imo.

 

 

but what annoyed me the most was the supposition that every class would have something interesting to contribute to the story.

You have a point there. By now we know that Obsidian did not have the time on work on everything as much as they would have liked.

 

 

Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more.

 

Well, "no-handholding" is a good thing in my book. I missed that messenger on my 1st playthrough as well, but I don't mind. It was my punishment for not paying enough attention, so to speak. And it made my next playthrough all the sweeter. Anyway, I don't have a strong opinion on this specific messenger.

 

 

Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another.

 

I don't agree here. There are plenty of groups and folks that are OK. Yes, there are a lot of scumbags too, but why not? Isn't the real world like this in a way?

 

 

DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors.

 

Agreed. I didn't like the end of Act II either.

 

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

You already knew that this machine had been extensively studied with little success. What did you expect?

Anyway, I find this point unfair, because you HAVE the option to destroy it, you just didn't take it.

 

 

So you understand why I think the "Choice" system is overhyped and doesn't really matter. It's either "Do what the lead writer wants or 100% of the population dies" or it doesn't matter at all because Woedica Ninjas jump out of a closet and murder 100% of the population.

 

See above.

 

 

Hell, why would I want to save the Dyrwood?

 

You don't have to want to save the Dyrwood. It is an option but not a necessity. But as Eder comes to realize, sometimes you defend a place just for the few people that you actually like.

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Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more.

 

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't talk to one ordinary looking man named "Frightened Man", the entire city of Gilded Vale is exterminated in the epilogue.

 

Whoopsy. The village I went on a long, epic quest to save, defeating an entire castle of badasses over is now dead. Oh well. Sometimes a random NPC just spontaneously returns to life and invalidates all your work. If they'd wanted to live they'd have given a messenger five gold to actually deliver the message instead of relying on gossip, right?

I'd like to point out three things:

 

  1. I usually go to tavern just to look for architecture, npc, rest bonus and read dialogue.
  2. There is another quest there, At the mercy of tribes.
  3. Also the Raedric's one, could start in another way: there is chance that a dead Army attack your keep, then the Steward will inform you and start the Champion of Berath Quest.

Anyway, i agree on some other fair point you make.

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Sorry you don't like the game and the writing. But plenty of people do. It all comes down to personal taste and opinion. There is just no getting around that.

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Some of it I agree with, some of it I find unfair.

 

Monks lack the durability, dodging power and damage to be fantastic PCs...

 

Put them in armor and they are fine. Monks are pretty fun, imo.

 

I have a problem with this. I think that a lot of people like the paradigm of the unarmored or lightly armored monk, and find the idea of putting monks in serious armor repulsive and breaking of their immersion, etc.  I know that I feel this way.  I see monks as martial artists (i.e. those trained in some school of unarmed combat), and the idea that a martial artist would fight while wearing heavy armor doesn't pass my personal laugh test.    I know that some people can post pics of eastern monks wearing armor and using weapons.  I'm sorry, but I don't see those as monks in the fantasy paradigm.  Those are just Fighters, who are trained in a different style and with different weapons than are portrayed in PoE, but Fighters nonetheless.  To me, fantasy monks are strictly martial artists who wear little (i.e. light) or no armor.

 

Also, aside from all that, I think that monks aren't for everyone.  Some do find them fun.  Myself, not so much.  They're too micromanagement intensive.  To get the most out of them, you have to use a bunch of special abilities constantly, which I find a tad annoying.  I like my front liners to be low maintenance, low micro characters, which hardly describes a well handled monk.  But if one likes characters that needs constant micromanaging, constant spamming of special abilities, then maybe monks are their cup of tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another.

 

I don't agree here. There are plenty of groups and folks that are OK. Yes, there are a lot of scumbags too, but why not? Isn't the real world like this in a way?

 

 

 

Not sure why the OP would list the (Crucible) Knights as one of the "evil scumbag" groups. I don't see them that way.  To me, of the 3 factions, they're the good guys.  If there was one gripe I had with the end of Act 2, it was the way the Crucible Knights' rep at the hearing didn't support the PC and seemed entirely out of character for what I was expecting out of the Knights.  I expected the Knights' rep to be generally supportive of a "good" PC's investigation into the events being discussed, but she wasn't.  She was snarky and unsupportive.  Oh well.

 

 

 

 

DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors.

 

Agreed. I didn't like the end of Act II either.

 

Many don't, but it didn't bother me. The end of Act 2 is sort of like the end of The Empire Strikes Back. It's the middle of the story, not the end of the story.  And fairly often the bad guys will achieve some victory midway through a story, like in Empire Strikes Back, if only to confirm their evilness, or how dangerous they are, etc.  I think that this was the case here.

 

 

 

 

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

You already knew that this machine had been extensively studied with little success. What did you expect?

Anyway, I find this point unfair, because you HAVE the option to destroy it, you just didn't take it.

 

I fully agree with this point. The OP talks about choices and how they affect the story. This is a choice that can have a significant impact.  And, if he wanted his choice in this situation to have a good result for Defiance Bay, he should have chosen to destroy the machine.  Frankly, it seems to me that all the textual evidence in game indicated that if left undamaged, animancers or someone else would check out the machine yet again, and quite possibly turn it on yet again, with the same result.  The only good result for Defiance Bay comes from destroying the machine.

 

 

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Hello old chap.

Of course, if you didn't like the game, that's fair enough, its a matter of personal taste.

I do think a lot of your points are nit-picky / whiny though.

 

To sum it up:

a) You didn't like the class you played.

b) You missed a few things, didn't get a good ending, and you're miffed about that.

c) And you think Dyrwoodians are jerks.

 

To this I say:

a) Try rolling another class. Or look up some guides to improve your monk skills. 

There are loads of monks in WM2 BTW. Not that I think we specifically need to fill a quota for each class or anything.

b) This is tricky. Yeah, a few small choices shoot you in the foot later on. But let me tell you a hard truth of game-design: They only have so much budget, and can't afford to make content that people might not even choose. Thus, in most games, you're getting the illusion of choice, not choice itself. 

I recommend watching this video, it explains a lot:

c) I like a few evil cults in my Dyrwoodians. I think that's interesting. I think there are also lots of negative groups in real life. But then, I'm probably a pessimist. 

Edited by Heijoushin
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Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more.

 

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't talk to one ordinary looking man named "Frightened Man", the entire city of Gilded Vale is exterminated in the epilogue.

 

Whoopsy. The village I went on a long, epic quest to save, defeating an entire castle of badasses over is now dead. Oh well. Sometimes a random NPC just spontaneously returns to life and invalidates all your work. If they'd wanted to live they'd have given a messenger five gold to actually deliver the message instead of relying on gossip, right?

 

 

 

You're absolutely right, there's no plot reason to go into that tavern. For most people that would fall into a category of "side quests" or "exploration". And no, you don't actually have to talk into a random, frightened guy in there to find out Raedric decided to give death the finger. Caed Nua gets attacked by Raedric's forces if you don't talk to the messenger or confront the zombie lord. In fact, I didn't even notice the frightened guy until my third playthrough but that didn't prevent me from being alerted to something being horribly wrong around Gilded Vale.

 

Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another. And then, then, after you bend over backwards and ensure that everything is perfect to make sure the Soul Arts get a fair trial?

 

DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors.

 

 

 

The trial has a major impact on one of the ending slides. Which doesn't affect gameplay at all. So valid point, sort of.

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

 

This was fairly nonsensical yes. Why this particular machine turns living people into zombies instead of eating babies' souls like the rest was something that I either missed or that wasn't explained.

 

 

...Also I played it when it first came out so it was pretty dang buggy too, but honestly they weren't really that bad for me. If pressed for a rating I'd say Pillars was an above average game, but it could have been excellent with more writing and polish and... well, MORE in general.

 

While I don't agree with many of your points the lack of polish is far too apparent. The game had a good number of bugs at launch which I guess is to be expected, but it has been out for a year and gone through a two-part expansion without fixing some of them while introducing many more. Load times have been improved (largely thanks to my new SSD for all I know) but they're still bad to the degree I do everything in an order that minimizes the number of area transitions required. Performance isn't exactly great either, and while my rig might no longer be top of the line I'm not really convinced PoE is in a position to demand a newer one.

 

Writing, meaningless decisions or lack of immersion are the last thing that bother me about PoE. It's the little things that prevent me from giving it a 9/10 or 10/10.

 

That being said, even an 8/10 is a fairly good score. Especially considering I expected PoE to be a spiritual sequel to some of the greatest CRPGs ever made.

Edited by kvaak

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If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

You already knew that this machine had been extensively studied with little success. What did you expect?

Anyway, I find this point unfair, because you HAVE the option to destroy it, you just didn't take it.

 

Actually that surprised me too.

 

I have chosen the option to stop that machine, because:

- I was not sure what would happen if I would choose to destroy it. Maybe it would blow all the city up. Maybe just the party. Maybe it would fail somehow and would just halt in an even worse state. It felt like some extra research is required. Maybe even I would get some info from Thaos.

- Informing the guards/knights/assembly about the machine should be enough to prevent them from letting people to settle there, until our Watcher deals with Thaos, comes back and finds a safe way to destroy the machine (maybe with a preventive announcement, asking the populace to leave the city gates for a day)

Edited by MaxQuest
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Yeah, the repercussions for not destroying the machine felt very forced. You mean, they are just going to let the Leaden Key in again?

 

And why can't you break it after turning it off? This also feels kinda jarring, since it is not like adra and copper are indestructible, specially when wizards and druids summon giant stones and explosions out of thin air. Or, if magic is not the answer, just telling your hirelings from Caed Nua to sneak in and break it down.

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I enjoyed PoE quite a bit but agree with one point made by a couple of people in this thread.  It's fine, and even desirable, for your in-game choices to have consequences.  It's fine, and even desirable, for those choices to sometimes be made without being absolutely sure what effect your actions will have.  But it is very problematic for you to make choices in situations where the game doesn't even *attempt* to lay out what the consequences of those actions might be.  And it compounds the problem when, upon bringing this to people's attention, you're greeted with a shoulder shrug and an aside that you just don't like having to live with the consequences of your choices.

 

The Defiance Bay machine in Act 2 is a great example.  If anything, you're led to believe destroying the device would irresponsibly put the residents of Defiance Bay at risk.  Moreover, any reasonable protagonist would ensure his companions or his faction or someone else he trusts would constantly watch over the machine to make sure it would never be reactivated.  Yet you're inexplicably told at the end of the game that because you deactivated it, you implicitly chose to leave it unguarded and are then told that because you made this implicit choice, someone else was able to walk up and turn it back on. 

 

In general, I think PoE did a great job with choices and consequences, but there are a few instances where they fell short, that being one of them.

Edited by jsaving
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Guys, leaving the machine in working status is a risk. Some times risks pay off, sometimes they don't. In this case, it didn't. I don't find it surprising that some of you were surprised, but it does sound to me like you are in favor of holywood-type "everybody lived well thereafter" endings. But this is not that kind of game, it is more mature than that.

 

(IIRC, Icthala also warns you that you have to destroy the machine)

 

If you cooperate with Arnhelm, you get the option to draw power from the machine. Now that all data is at your disposal (after your 1st playthrough), you have got a choice to make. Either you draw power from the machine (and Heritage Hill goes to hell again) or you destroy the machine (but you miss the power you could draw). In my book, this is really good C&C (choice and consequence).

 

 

C&C is important in RPGs so that they can appeal to mature gentlemen like yourselves, and I am sure you are eventually going to appreciate it.

Edited by Trashos

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I'm at work so don't have time for a bigger response but this:

 

Oh, except the Monk. The class that doesn't even get an NPC partymember.

 

Zahua is your NPC monk, he is in White March.

Couldn't afford White March, I'm afraid. This is my review of the base game.

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SPOILER ALERT: If you don't talk to one ordinary looking man named "Frightened Man", the entire city of Gilded Vale is exterminated in the epilogue.

 

As kvaak mentioned, there are other ways to learn about this.

 

But even if there weren't, what's wrong, on principle, with a little "Butterfly effect" in a game?

 

I think you're looking at choice&consequence too much from a meta-gaming/4th-wall-breaking perspective if you're complaining that the dungeon master (here represented by the game engine) chooses different story paths based on seemingly unrelated player choices or even completely arbitrarily. Dungeon masters are allowed to do that, and as a player you're not supposed to even know what specific thing might have led to which alternative story path or ending being chosen.

 

The only thing that should matter, is that things are internally consistent within the story that was presented in a given playthrough.

 

Is it internally consistent with the game world and story that an undead Raedric might rise and destroy Gilded Vale while you're busy defeating Thaos and didn't have a chance to intervene?

Yes, yes it is.

 

The fact that in a different playthrough (a.k.a. a different story being told) the dungeon master might have notified you of it and given you the chance to stop it, doesn't invalidate that.

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

This was fairly nonsensical yes. Why this particular machine turns living people into zombies instead of eating babies' souls like the rest was something that I either missed or that wasn't explained.

 

It was explained that this machine was probably a prototype or failed experiments by the Engwithans - after all, they couldn't have always been masters of animancy, they would have had to have gotten their knowledge by trial and error.

 

Also, like above: Is it internally consistent that a machine which a team of animancers couldn't figure out after months of study, will also not be understood correctly by the new researchers who will study it after you leave, and that they will be stupid enough to turn it on by accident? Yes it is.

 

For starters, I played a Monk. Yeah, I remembered Monks being lame in DnD, but I assumed that in Pillars, based on the previews, it'd be fun. And it was fun, until every encounter became slogging it out with broad-sword wielding thugs in plate or Elder High Mega Dragons, or Invisible Deathtouch Demons or what have you.

 

I never tried a monk PC, but having a monk companion is pretty neat, at least at high levels.

 

During the earlier levels you'll have to put him into heavy armor and babysit him a little, I guess.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Some of it I agree with, some of it I find unfair.

 

 

Monks lack the durability, dodging power and damage to be fantastic PCs...

 

Put them in armor and they are fine. Monks are pretty fun, imo.

 

 

but what annoyed me the most was the supposition that every class would have something interesting to contribute to the story.

You have a point there. By now we know that Obsidian did not have the time on work on everything as much as they would have liked.

 

 

Speaking of that tavern, I have words for that as well. There's no real plot important reason to go into that place. You can just saunter past it accidentally, as I did three times. I did the Monk Scroll quest and then left, assuming nothing more.

 

Well, "no-handholding" is a good thing in my book. I missed that messenger on my 1st playthrough as well, but I don't mind. It was my punishment for not paying enough attention, so to speak. And it made my next playthrough all the sweeter. Anyway, I don't have a strong opinion on this specific messenger.

 

 

Well, then there's the other problem of the people of the Dyrwood. They're all horribly monstrous, evil scumbags barring maybe ten individuals and the Glanfathans. Cultists of Skaen, Cultists of Woedica, the Volunteer Anti-Cypher Nazis, the Knights, one cruel, decadent, evil group after another.

 

I don't agree here. There are plenty of groups and folks that are OK. Yes, there are a lot of scumbags too, but why not? Isn't the real world like this in a way?

 

 

DIDN'T MATTER! An evil reincarnating wizard jumps into the body of the defendant lightnings to death the entire city aristocracy, causing a mass riot to break out and destroy everything, including murdering all the Soul Doctors.

 

Agreed. I didn't like the end of Act II either.

 

 

If you switch off the evil machine in the Northwest of the city instead of blowing it up? OOPS! NO ONE STUDIED IT! SOMEONE SWITCHED IT ON AGAIN AND IT KILLED EVERYONE!

 

You already knew that this machine had been extensively studied with little success. What did you expect?

Anyway, I find this point unfair, because you HAVE the option to destroy it, you just didn't take it.

 

 

So you understand why I think the "Choice" system is overhyped and doesn't really matter. It's either "Do what the lead writer wants or 100% of the population dies" or it doesn't matter at all because Woedica Ninjas jump out of a closet and murder 100% of the population.

 

See above.

 

 

Hell, why would I want to save the Dyrwood?

 

You don't have to want to save the Dyrwood. It is an option but not a necessity. But as Eder comes to realize, sometimes you defend a place just for the few people that you actually like.

Also, the reason I didn't put monks in armor is because from reading the dev-posts, I thought that that would cut down on the amount of Wounds I got, and I realized from the encumbrance they'd slow down in their attacks. Your other points are pretty good though, and I agree with most of them.

 

...Except the Raedric thing. For whatever reason, an undead army never attacked my keep. I mean, undead attacked me ALL THE TIME, but not a SPECIAL undead army. Probably just a bug.

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Guys, leaving the machine in working status is a risk. Some times risks pay off, sometimes they don't. In this case, it didn't.

It was quite understandable that some agent could try to slip in and re-activate it. The perceived risk was that it could affect some unfortunate wanderer who was not informed by city guards, or looters who heard but ignored the warning. While the surprising part was that people will decide/be allowed to settle there again, before Watcher could come back and safely destroy the machine.

 

but it does sound to me like you are in favor of holywood-type "everybody lived well thereafter" endings. But this is not that kind of game, it is more mature than that.

Is that subtle obviosity or obvious subtlety? :) Anyway, you know what you did there, as we eventually did.
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While the surprising part was that people will decide/be allowed to settle there again, before Watcher could come back and safely destroy the machine.

 

It seems realistic to me.

 

People won't abandon perfectly good real estate in the (formerly) nicest part of town, just because of a one-time disaster. Especially since the disaster coincided with Waidwens Legacy, and that has ended, so people are hopeful and focus on rebuilding.

 

In the real world, people also always move back into towns that were destroyed by earthquakes or tsunamis or hurricanes - even though they're still on top of the same fault lines and in the same climate, and the risk of another disaster of the same kind is looming over them.

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Unarmoured monks can survive well into later game and thrive, and monks get more attention in White March. 

 

There's very little reactivity to your class/race and it was a time/resources cut.

 

You don't have to talk to the one dude in the inn to save the Vale.

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I agree with crucis for the most part, but want to stress his points about monks some more.

The way they envisioned monks in PoE compared to DnD was a very controversial change imho.

 

To me, they don't feel like the DnD version they are based off from a mechanical point of view and their lore alienates them even more. Imho, it would've been fitting to give monks the choice of different orders where the self mutilating is the theme of a single order, but using that as the basis for the whole class cuts off the traditional archetypes. I still don't get why the paladins got them instead - besides the lore aspects, paladin have more class talents than monks even without their order talents.

 

It's especially ironic because the original version of the monk could mitigate damage through using up wounds (which would have been cool), but the concept of wounds storing damage was silently removed before beta since it was deemed too confusing. Now a class about self mutilation can be best played by wearing armor to mitigate that same class defining damage...

 

And while its completely viable to give light armor to monks, that is true for every class and not one of their selling points. I tried to remedy that by using the cross class talent novice suffering to all other martial classes in my current run, but even now the talent is still bugged in some cases.

The case of implements for wizards and weapon specific talents for rangers especially show that boni tied to certain types of equipment are viable from the designers point of view, so having some benefit for lighter armor would have been possible.

 

I also feel the kensai could have been better represented within the monk class by having them choose a favoured weapon, where unarmed would have resulted in the trascendend suffering talent.

 

Anyway, while I doubt they will change the monk too much in the next game in the poe universe, i'll be interested in what they come up with.

 

 

 

Apart from that, the raedric quest is stupid insofar as the name of the villager messenger is deceiving. Not a single NPC with a generic name has anything meaningful to tell as you are taught throughout the whole game until this point, so the quest is too easy overlooked.

I remember seeing this NPC as well as his speech above his head during my first playthrough. Once I saw he had a generic name, I ignored him on purpose - I thought there won't be any dialogue anyway . That is objectively bad game design, because it goes against the implicit rules established throughout the game beforehand.

On a related note, I never got his army to attack caed nua and played through the game multiple times already.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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Well, look -- nearly every CRPG has situations where you have to choose between good and evil and then live with the consequences.  Many CRPGs have situations where you have to choose between the lesser of two evils and then live with the consequences.  Some even have situations where, if you choose not to do enough in-game investigation, you can mistakenly elevate a greater evil and must then live with the consequences.  All of those are fine, even if they sometimes evoke a negative reaction from certain players.  But they share something important in common -- players were able to get enough information that they could make an informed moral choice with which they then have to live.

 

It's a different category entirely to provide little to no information about a choice, like dealing with the Defiance Bay machine, and then pretend the player's decision is choices-and-consequences at its best.  Any reasonable protagonist would have ensured the machine would be well-guarded if it were deactivated rather than destroyed, yet the endgame slide assumes you left it unguarded and no one else in the city -- many of whom now knew about the machine's functionality -- picked up the slack.  Don't get me wrong here, it is perfectly fine to deliver a deliberate endgame sucker-punch to the player in the best tradition of Fallout 1, provided the devs carefully think through character motivations and are able to deliver a twist that makes sense.  But in this particular case, the twist comes about because PoE assumes away common sense on the part of the player and then blocks you from any dialogue options that would explicitly address the issue (for example convincing your faction to guard the tower) just so there can be an endgame slide saying you took no precautions and the machine was therefore restarted. 

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I agree with crucis for the most part, but want to stress his points about monks some more.

The way they envisioned monks in PoE compared to DnD was a very controversial change imho.

 

To me, they don't feel like the DnD version they are based off from a mechanical point of view and their lore alienates them even more. Imho, it would've been fitting to give monks the choice of different orders where the self mutilating is the theme of a single order, but using that as the basis for the whole class cuts off the traditional archetypes. I still don't get why the paladins got them instead - besides the lore aspects, paladin have more class talents than monks even without their order talents.

 

It's especially ironic because the original version of the monk could mitigate damage through using up wounds (which would have been cool), but the concept of wounds storing damage was silently removed before beta since it was deemed too confusing. Now a class about self mutilation can be best played by wearing armor to mitigate that same class defining damage...

 

And while its completely viable to give light armor to monks, that is true for every class and not one of their selling points. I tried to remedy that by using the cross class talent novice suffering to all other martial classes in my current run, but even now the talent is still bugged in some cases.

The case of implements for wizards and weapon specific talents for rangers especially show that boni tied to certain types of equipment are viable from the designers point of view, so having some benefit for lighter armor would have been possible.

 

I also feel the kensai could have been better represented within the monk class by having them choose a favoured weapon, where unarmed would have resulted in the trascendend suffering talent.

 

Anyway, while I doubt they will change the monk too much in the next game in the poe universe, i'll be interested in what they come up with.

 

 

Doppel, you make a number of very interesting points.

 

The way things are now with monks, armor is basically the player's means of managing how much damage is taken vs how many wounds the monk can build up.  It's not really the same as it is with all other classes.    A monk that over armors himself will find himself unable to get the wounds necessary to power his abilities.  OTOH, too little armor/DR and the monk can take more damage than he really wants to be taking and get knocked out before he can put all those wounds to good use.  It's a tricky balance.

 

Your point about having orders for monks is very interesting.  That said, I don't think that it'd really be possible to have different orders radically change the basic structure of the class.  Instead of having orders like those of paladins or priests, you could functionally end up with each monk order looking like an entirely different class with very different abilities.  One order might favor lightly/un-armored, unarmed martial artists, while another might favor more heavily armored, monks who fight with weapons.  Looking at these two extremes, they look more like entirely different classes, rather than sub-classes (i.e. orders) of the same basic class.

 

 

 

On a side note, I think that the idea of a Kensai like "monk" sounds interesting.  The character might select a single weapon type at creation (though I suppose one could respec out of it), and like with monk fists, perhaps the character gains additional accuracy and damage bonuses as he progresses up the levels, but at the cost of not being able to select any weapon focuses.  His "weapon focus" would be on that single weapon type.  I suppose that this could also be the basis for an entirely new class as well.  A class with significant commonalities with monks, but made into a new class so that it could have abilities and in-class talents that were more appropriate for a "kensei".  I don't know if it'd be a good idea to outright prevent a "kensei" from picking up a non-favored weapon.  But the kensei should only be able to get all his special bonuses while using his favored weapon, possibly even take significant accuracy and damage penalties for trying to wield a non-favored weapon as a strong incentive for not doing so.

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I'm not very sympathetic to monks breaking archetypes as a complaint for a couple reasons:

- Unless you're playing PotD lower armored monks work fine.  Put on an enchanted robe and put that **** through the white forge.  Grab duality of soul, and a few other powers.

- They get a huge unarmed bonus, to the point where on a first run monks will almost always have some of the best weapons in your party.

- Archetype changes over time.  The archetype of the unarmed / unarmored monk is not accurate for either Western or Eastern monks.  The fact that they're more accurate to a centuries old tradition than a forty year old one makes it better grounded.  Why would verisimilitude break immersion?

- I really like the mix of flagellate and kung-fu.  I think it makes a cool image.

- Why is the asian monk a more valid archetype than the European one in a highly European setting?

 

On the other hand:

- I wouldn't mind wounds as damage mitigation returned.

-  Another option would be adding a talent to benefit light armor wearing monks.  (Archetype restored with minimal effort)

- Talents adding whole new class mechanics is really stretching the point of talents by a lot (cross-class talents not withstanding), and it makes characters harder to build.

 

Other OP complaints:

- Raedric could do with a messenger, but what person doesn't visit the tavern in a new town?  Baldur's Gate practically relies on that ****.

- Monks could use more class dialogue, I believe you get some with Zahua.

- No one's terribly happy with the end of act II, including the lead writer.  They shouldn't write themselves into a non-reactive hole next time.

- The Knights and Dozens are very human groups.  They are both flawed with several positives as well as negatives.  Only the Doemenels are completely evil.

- The machine in the city gives you the option to overload.  Why wouldn't the Leaden key use it again?

- Pillars did need more content.  Act II is by far the worst offender.  I see the expansions with hope to how a sequel could look.  However, it's far improved from its original state, and I easily think it would garner a few more metacritic points now.

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The point I agree on is the messenger telling you about Raedric.  I think he should initiate a dialogue when you enter the tavern, or at least have an overhead text pop-up like "hey, over here!"

 

I never missed him myself because I talked to everyone the first time through, but I could see how it could happen.

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 The Knights and Dozens are very human groups.  They are both flawed with several positives as well as negatives.  Only the Doemenels are completely evil.

 

 

Good and bad things can be said for all factions. Father Doemenel will be a good leader if you give him a chance. I don't see the Doemenels as completely evil, they are very human too. Their goals are similar to the other factions (more power) and they know what's good for business.

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