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playing as a highly sensitive player


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Hello! This is my first post and I did not yet buy the game, however I checked into whether I buy it more than once and always thought the same conflicting thoughts about it:

 

I am highly sensitive and thus I am very careful at what content and what visuals I expose myself to. So for example it does not work for me to see all that gore that is in many first person shooters and immediately stop watching a lets play or review if I see such. Even the gibs I saw in the trailers for PoE I´d say is a bit too much for me when exposed to it for a longer time – but then the trailers focus on displaying combat scenes. I found already in this forum I can disable flying gibs, yet this wouldn´t remove blood depictions completely. I would be interested to see how the game looks with flying gibs disabled, to see whether that would be acceptable to me. I think I´d need to see some fights to know for sure whether that can work for me.

 

I am playing games for recreational purpose, maybe one or two hours at a time and I am more into the story, than into anything related to combat, yet… yet I immerse fully into the game to the point where its difficult for me to tell game and reality apart at least for the time I am playing.

 

I found in Youtube videos that much of Pillars Of Eternity is exploring. On the other hand trailers paint a picture of mostly a dark story about doom and grief, maybe for advertisement purposes. So I wonder, is it possible to play PoE in a recreational way with a party that actually cares about not harming anyone unless there is really no other option? I wonder how many fights are unavoidable? And how good a character can still progress without fighting any wolf or lion or other beast out there? Is it possible to advance the characters by peaceful crafting? How much of the game can be light exploring and how much needs to be conflicting choices, combat and drama in order to fulfill the story line?

 

I am not interested in any spoilers here and in this forum they are forbidden anyway, so this may be difficult to answer, but maybe it is possible to give a more general answer that does not spoil on specifics of the story line. However, if its not possible to answer that question without some spoilers, I am okay with moving this question to one of the other boards.

 

I am also fine with an answer that this game may likely not be suitable for me. Currently for me PoE is more likely to be a good choice for me than most of the other games out there. Right now I found only three RPG games that work for me. One not so massive MMORPG rather good, as it does not show any blood at all and as my char does not have to fight at all in it (but could) (I think this is really rare with graphic RPG games), one old CRPG quite good as well, as blood can be disabled completely and one does not need to attack any living beings, and one old CRPG with limitations due to somewhat dark and conflict rich story and some short blood like effects during hits in combat, but still much of open world exploration. (Not posting names for now, as it may be a violation of forum guidelines.)

 

PS: Please just take this as my desires, preferences, maybe even needs for playing. No offense meant to anyone who has different preferences. Please just respect my preferences as my preferences instead of arguing against them. I am solely interested to get an initial idea about whether PoE can be an enjoyable game for me or not.

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It's rather a difficult thing to answer. Pillars is not particularly bloody game, but it is dark, really dark. The fact that it's an isometric game is definitely in your favour. If you zoom out you can end up being quite detached from just how grim and dark the story is. So not much blood but pretty dark. You can avoid killing if you are careful. Certainly you don't need to kill most of the wildlife, you just have to be careful n your scouting. So don't have an answer for you other than to try it.

I reckon though if you have problems with pillars then just about every other game is going to be to much for you.

"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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Within the first few quests, there's the mass deaths of innocents, murder in revenge, and the abuse of power to execute most of a town. 

There's also a conversation with someone who's no longer alive. And that's not the last time it happens. 

 

Obviously, context applies to most of this, but I'm treading lightly to avoid spoilers. 

You definitely don't have to initiate any of these events, but it's going on, and you'll probably need to react to them. 

Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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it is pretty dark and gorey in description. while the graphics itself can be zoomed out to see less detail, but some illustrations and text can be pretty explicit, some describe deaths in quite a gruesome way, and dark situation all around. some are optional, but there's one that stick out, mandatory and in the beginning of the game.

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I wonder how many fights are unavoidable?

 

 

That question at least can be answerd. If you want to strech the gameplay you can. And end with 7 entities dead at the end.

as far as the kill counter is concerned. So, after reading about the 12-kill run with a rogue elsewhere, I think that the real minimum would be 7.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85750-my-evil-pacifist-solo-cipher-has-just-finished-walking-the-path-of-the-damned

 

But many Quests will lead you directly to kill something. There should be enough Experience Points in the game to progress and develop the characters, even when droping such quests.

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There is a pacifist achievement for killing *only* 175 things during your run. :devil:

 

No offense but sounds like RPG's just aren't for you, fighting things is pretty much the point with these games. While you could technically avoid a lot (but not all) of the fighs in the game, at that point you are not really playing Pillars, and then you are just basically skipping content plus you would need to already be familiar with the game (by playing through it normally before) to pull it off.

Edited by falchen
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There is relatively little gore (the camera can be zoomed to quite far away, and the overworld characters aren't too detailed anyway), but the text descriptions of scenes can be quite graphic sometimes if you have an active imagination, and the story is very, as you describe it, "dark and conflict-rich". Benevolent/honest/diplomatic playstyles are supported (a Priest of Eothas or a Kind Wayfarer Paladin, for example) if not always rewarded, and there is an achievement for (relative) pacifism - but it is an achievement, meaning that it is considered a challenge to play that way. As with most RPG's, the primary way you interact with the world is at end of the sword.

 

If you're conflict-averse, even with fictional conflict, then it might be a struggle to find a story-rich RPG that you would enjoy. Conflict is the foundation of story, after all. Games do exist, like Divinity: Original Sin, that are not so strong on story but extremely fun RPG's nonetheless.

 

EDIT: I should also say that there is no XP for combat (there is some XP for filling out the Bestiary, however, which is done through combat). However, avoiding fights will likely limit the amount of exploration you will be able to do, which it sounds like for you is very important, so...

 

EDIT 2: As of the 3.0 patch, there is also a "Story Time" difficulty, which drastically reduces the difficulty of combat. I think the enemy composition is the same as in Normal mode, though, so if you're looking for the difficulty with the fewest enemies, "Easy" is probably best.

Edited by hamskii
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Divinity Original is  quite combat heavy too and blood spraying all over the place is even a part of the combo mechanics.

 

I can't think of any RPG's that don't have combat to be honest, though some gimicky indie RPG's like that probably do exist. If OP wants games with story but no combat though I'd suggest adventure games.

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Not really a game for you I'm afraid. Even if you managed to avoid killing anything (and you won't, even as a solo thief focused on stealth) the game still portrays some rather gruesome and/or disturbing scenes during your playtime. The first town welcomes you to a tree filled with hanged corpses and that's just a start.

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I would like to drop a game that I think u might enjoy playing and it's FONV simply because of the writing, story, AND can be completed without killing a single thing.

 

...Fallout New Vegas? The gameplay consists of shooting up raiders, slavers and mutated wildlife and watching it explode into gorey chunks. The story is great but really not for someone who is all "let's just craft and not hurt anyone", lol.

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Pillars is violent and there is no getting around it. You can always play an adventure game. There are great adventure games that are not bloody and have great worlds you can immerse yourself into. You can try any Deponia game, the new King's Quest games, the HD version of old classics such as the Monkey Islands and the Day of the Tentacle or the newly published Samorost 3. That is *if* you haven't played any of them yet.

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I would like to drop a game that I think u might enjoy playing and it's FONV simply because of the writing, story, AND can be completed without killing a single thing.

...Fallout New Vegas? The gameplay consists of shooting up raiders, slavers and mutated wildlife and watching it explode into gorey chunks. The story is great but really not for someone who is all "let's just craft and not hurt anyone", lol.

It's a game u can beat WITHOUT killing a single creature and still experience a good bit of the story. Max sneak and speech and barter and ur non lethal skills and u can bypass a lot of combat and settle a lot things without firing a single round.

It has a TRUE pacifist playthru, seriously look it up :)

Granted u won't be able to experience ALL the content but it'd be the same amount as pillars.

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Yea... just no. More like you won't be able to experience most of the contest, I'd say about 80% of quests have you kill something - the tutorial itself has you butcher geckos and the first quest is about killing a bunch of raiders or join them and butcher a peacefull town.

 

And that's not accounting for the random hostile raiders and wildlife you'll run into just exploring.

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'sides, you can only realistically do a pacifist run if you either know the game extremely well or read up on it before. There's no way you just boot up New Vegas for the first time, not knowing anything about the game and then do a run without killing anyone. While it's plausible under very specific set of circumstances, it's extremely unlikely to happen by chance.

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I think stuff like the crucifixions in New Vegas would be off-putting to a sensitive player even if you did avoid combat, let alone things like implied rape of that woman near a caravan early on. Plus you're likely to witness gory violence even if you don't take part in it in New Vegas (NCR vs Fiends, NCR vs Legion, the Kings vs random mugger scumbags - etc.).

 

For the same reasons (depiction of rape and public execution both lying smack bang on the critical path, some grisly text descriptions) I would say sensitive players should give Pillars a wide berth. Likely as not, pretty much all Obsidian future games are going to keep this adult tone (e.g. Tyranny, PoE 2 if made, a WoD game if made, etc.) or with games like Armored Warfare it seems like they're pretty much a shooter in the first place (though it might be more tank-on-tank action rather than blood and guts).

 

Off the top of my head games that can be done without killing anyone are games like Arcanum (I did a no kills playthrough a while back, with one instance where I had to get one guy to kill some guards to progress at the end of the game and I think I had to beat people unconscious a few times), but again it's tricky as just like Pillars they're designed for combat. JRPGs are also good, but I find many of the turn based ones very restrictive in the role-playing choices you get.

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Age of decadence can be completed with a non violent path. Not sure how many people you have to kill but if it's the pacifist route it's not many. Unfortunately the game itself is rubbish....

"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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Thank you a lot for all the replies you gave me, I was surprised to see this amount of resonance.

 

I let the GOG offer on the game slip away and will be taking more time to consider, yet at the moment I feel that PoE might not be satisfying for me. But there were some posts that hinted that I may find a way to play it in a way that works for me. I usually don´t care for how the game is meant to be played. I just care whether I can play it in a way that I enjoy.

 

Okay, to give you a clearer idea on what so far works for me is: PlaneShift, if you know it. My char only accidentally killed once or twice and there is no blood. Dead being just fall down. Progress can be a bit slower, if you don´t kill, but for many quests there is no requirement to kill. Then I enjoyed playing Final Fantasy 7 and 9 even with all the fights, although I didn´t seek them. And looked into Morrowind via OpenMW. It has some red flashing on hits, but otherwise also no blood. Its very open world and I didn´t even follow along much of the main questline in there yet.  It seems to me that many modern games – that said PlaneShift is still in development, but no intentions of developers to add gore in there – are more explicit. Whether due to better graphics capabilities or due to other reasons.

 

So while I think I can handle some conflict in story, I still want it to be somewhat light-hearted. I am not into playing into stories where doom and hopelessness overwhelms almost everything else, giving a kind of depressive atmosphere. And yes, I want to play chars that are almost angel like in game :).

 

I thank you again for your friendly and constructive answers. No one attacked me for my preferences and that also means a lot to me.

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Looks like it's kind of hard to pinpoint your actuall tastes, I wouldn't have suggested FF7 or Morrowind since it's all about the combat and the story is quite dark too. Since you did like it I'd suggest you look into more JRPG's then, though most have combat like FF7/9, it's usually very cartoony in it's presentation.

 

Also how do you feel about non lethal combat? There's a lot of stealth games where you do fight a lot of people but often have the option to just knock them out.

 

A lot of games nowadays can also be modded, there's a mod for Witcher 3 that replaces all combat with a card game for example, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a mod for Skyrim that just removes all enemies or something like that.

Edited by falchen
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I'm really thinking hard on games that are as you describe, but I really can't think of any....the only game that comes to mind is Star Control 2, but that's sci-fi rpg and far and away different from games like PoE, so you don't get that much choice in how the game ends or dialogue choices don't affect much, etc.....also it's old, so outdated graphics =P

 

Also, I hope this isn't considered a rude question, just ignore it if you don't wanna answer it, but I'm just purely curious:

 

Would you mind expanding on what you mean by sensitive? Is it like a 'safe space' type situation where you try to avoid this type of stuff in general, or a pure escapism situation for your games ala "I expose myself to this stuff enough in rl, I want my games to be devoid of negativity," or, like, a physical reaction type thing, like for example my sister gets really, really anxious and emotional when she sees or hears people talk about nail damage, torture scenes involving nails, etc., and when I see slices and blood I sorta get a physical reaction too, like I have sliced my thumb before to the point where I can see into it, and I just get an unbearable reaction to it, like I get this weird 'falling' feeling in my uh...lower regions, and I have to cringe and shake my hands to get over it (ugh, I know it sounds crazy in words, it's hard to describe). Again, I'm not trying to challenge you or anything, just curious.

 

Regardless, good luck finding what you're looking for!

Edited by ActionAlligator
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and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a mod for Skyrim that just removes all enemies or something like that.

There's probably a mod for everything when it comes to TES games, but Skyrim is a murderhobo adventure and if you removed enemies, you'd lock yourself out of 90% of quests and walk around a very empty world. That said, you can explore and have fun in a relatively peaceful way if you specialize in Sneak and Illusion. Just don't expect to finish any questlines. Edited by Rosveen
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