Jump to content

Josh Sawyer Pillars of Eternity 2 Tease Thread


Recommended Posts

^ higher-poly model, if my eyes don't deceive me

"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 | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but when the game is out and you don't like, you just leave it and play something that you do like. Leave the forums to those who actually care about, don't ruin it because of some stupid personal (and one-sided!) grudge. I click to see what's new in the thread and I see a text wall of rants and curses. Almost 3 years after the game is out! Move on. Please.

I agree, of course.

 

But what happened here was that Obsidian, or Josh Sawyer, basically, introduced the ruleset over the first year or so. Here, on the forum, and in the kickstarter updates (which was basically the same thing). People were excited about it, it drew people here, and a lot of discussion, for a small forum and a tiny title like this, turned up around the ruleset. That so many people were interested in the old isometric type rpg-games was great. And certain developers were talking about how nice it is to make an rpg without the d&d license. I was interested in seeing what Obsidian could make on their own. These update threads also had a lot of traffic externally, and people signed up to post one or two posts, then leave, waiting for the release of the game.

 

And the updates were interesting, for example the Accuracy vs. Defense as a mechanic, that you can still read about in Josh's updates.

 

So towards the public beta, Obsidian implements this system. And I get to play this little gem of a game, with a very intelligent and satisfying ruleset that.. essentially is the game-master's wet dream in terms of designing monster-encounters as well as duels with other adventuring parties.

 

I am thoroughly impressed, and I assure you that happens extremely rarely.

 

But a few people on the forum complained that the system is stupid. It doesn't act in the way they expect. A very limited number of posters spammed the forum with what could be mistaken for sad drunken rants about Josh Sawyer hating gamers. Two people wrote a 50 page dissertation on how to flip a coin, and why flipping a coin is the ultimate form of game balance. That they in the end were so proud of that they deleted it off the link they gave away so others could bask in their wisdom. Outstanding disagreements were decided on by the number of "likes" on the post that complained in the most appealing way. Boo and romance was mentioned a lot.

 

And Obsidian changed their ruleset because of that.

 

So just to explain why this pissed me off: I got to play a very good game with an absolutely brilliant system. It had some issues to sort out, but you could easily see that this was going to work. And no more than 10 people had Obsidian replace it over a 6 month period, a 6 month delay of the release, after the game essentially was done, because they complained on the forum in a particularly appealing way.

 

It was an incredibly bad decision. And frankly anyone who plays either Tyranny or PoE can see why, if they don't get bored and quit after the first hour or so. Because the game has been "balanced" against the active trigger-abilities and hit-point values, so that any strategy or thinking is not required, and in fact punished. If you think that you might find a strategy or a particular approach to defeat the boss or something like that - not going to happen. You simply need to grind until you level up. And once you do, the boss will die. That's how the game is balanced, and that's what the ruleset requires.

 

Which is what "everyone" wanted, allegedly. And anyone saying anything different were "crazy" and marginal people who don't buy games anyway. And besides, according to people, MOBA and Diablo 3 and simplistic trigger-ability systems is the way to go to appeal to the "masses". Paradox interactive may also have been involved, with their usual method of focusing on small fan-communities and youtube promotion from specific partnerships, however small. Which may possibly explain why one youtube channel and this forum with complainers somehow became so important in the "revision" stage.

 

But that's not what I helped kickstart. In fact, it wasn't what Obsidian worked on for the whole development process up to that point, what they presented to us, or what I got to play at the start of the public beta.

 

So that's the story about how no more than 10 internet people managed to make Obsidian take a solid game, that would have been something they would have been proud of later down the line, and turn it into a 2-minute Moba spinoff.

 

Somehow, these ten people weren't apologizing to Obsidian after release, when it turns out that sales-targets similar to World of Warcraft somehow fails to materialize, as was supposedly assured thanks to how amazing Obsidian was at "responding to the community's concerns".

 

And the same 10 people - check the names, these are the same members who spam around every launch - still stick around to talk up the next few releases, and how great it is that Obsidian revises stuff to conform with trends everyone else are following. They don't care about whether the solution is any good of course. Actually, I can't tell if any of them even play the games. But they are always supportive of bland and unintelligent solutions for the game, that underestimate the target audience to having somewhere in the range of a single digit IQ level.

 

Meanwhile, Obsidian is always happy to take on feedback and supposedly are always willing to try new things. As long as it's stupid and simplistic. And as long as the actually good systems are never actually tried in a full game.

 

Not a good approach. And it's a bit difficult to understand that - when Obsidian know they could pump out pretty cheap games on the engine they're using now - that they couldn't release just one of them with an experimental ruleset that "no one likes". If for no reason only for the sake of variety.

 

As opposed to the current approach that merely ensures that the ruleset and the system is identical every time, and that it bores everyone to tears as they play.

 

So they will stop playing the game, and indeed go and play something else. Before they return at the announcement of a sequel, quite surprised to see the lead design - again - pitching the original ruleset, in the identical fashion as before the first release. With the same grognards complaining - two years later - in the identical fashion as ahead of the first release.

 

I'll give you one piece of advice, that may sound ironic to you because you are here, and even counter-intuitive. But it is this: do not think that internet fora are representative of larger groups. You can have this demonstrated with the PoE kickstarter with numbers that are somewhat easy to grasp, since the actual fanbase for the game and around the kickstarter was so small. But out of that community, out of some 70-80k original backers, less than 50 ever had any opinion on the game before launch. Where most of these opinions were this: let's just wait and see at launch - I haven't played the full game and I don't have a bombastic opinion about the ruleset yet, because I'm not an internet crazy with an utterly polarized opinion set I have chosen by a coin-flip. That now colours all my impressions afterwards. And makes sure that my opinions are either rabidly in favor, or deadly set against whatever is suggested, regardless of facts or argument.

 

It's possible to use that sort of internet opinion to sell a game. Many large studios do this extremely successfully. But they usually have 1 million potential customers to pander for, rather than the 100k Obsidian has. So that when a fraction of this consumer base is wooed by the exclusive attention they feel they have, Obsidian is left with perhaps 1k copies sold, rather than the 100k copies of the larger production. Those 1k true believers then are not big enough as a group to ever manage to make the release "trend".

 

And follow this all the way through, and you simply end up with a game that is not just unpopular, but also sucks ass. In a vain attempt to appeal to the mass market, that anyone with a brain would see would never work. And you made it with my money, while lying to us about what you were making all the way through.

 

So go ahead and imagine that this will make you a huge amount of fans over time, Obsidian. But it's not the case. What you're doing is to tell your mainstay audience to go to hell, while placating a couple of your super-fans on the internet. Maybe they'll want to bear your kids or something - but that's the only thing you will ever get out of this.

 

edit: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article117250538.html

Edited by nipsen

The injustice must end! Sign the petition and Free the Krug!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And after that we'll just have to make sure no one on rpgcodex, Gaf or IGN ever hears about it. Or, even more difficult, find a dev that doesn't cave to the first and best internet complaint.

 

So that the game won't be patched apart after release, or simply delayed six months while the first iteration of the actually implemented and fully playable system is replaced, like was the case with PoE. And that would probably work out, yes.

 

Until then - enjoy your single-digit IQ adjusted games. I'm sure you will find lots and lots of them, that everyone here will love.

The injustice must end! Sign the petition and Free the Krug!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Until then - enjoy your single-digit IQ adjusted games. I'm sure you will find lots and lots of them, that everyone here will love.

Yes, you'll persuade a lot of people by essentially calling us idiots for liking a system you dislike. I'm sure there are games which'll cater to your genius somewhere, but perhaps you should consider joining a science institute or a research team at some university to challenge your astronomical intellect and fuel your ego instead of playing videogames designed for us, lowly rabble of humanity.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, this forum.

 

I'm not sure why it's so difficult to understand why I'm genuinely upset that a few internet complainers, on this forum, made sure PoE became an expensive disappointment. Or why I'm surprised Obsidian let this dominate not just this production, but their next ones as well. Or why I'm unhappy that the "focus group" determining whether or not Obsidian is on the right track is made up of people who have huge difficulties with following any other line of reasoning than: "I like this thing that other people also seem to like, whatever it was".

 

But I don't mind telling you why this annoys me, over and over again.

 

 

Until then - enjoy your single-digit IQ adjusted games. I'm sure you will find lots and lots of them, that everyone here will love.

Yes, you'll persuade a lot of people by essentially calling us idiots for liking a system you dislike. I'm sure there are games which'll cater to your genius somewhere, but perhaps you should consider joining a science institute or a research team at some university to challenge your astronomical intellect and fuel your ego instead of playing videogames designed for us, lowly rabble of humanity.

 

That's really dramatic and entertaining, and all that - but the game was just designed for people with normal, average functioning brains. The ruleset was much easier to grasp for new players than d&d standard, for example. A distinct advantage it had over D&D was that the main governing stats actually made narrative sense.

 

(Such as: "I'm mighty! That means I punch really hard! But can't necessarily hit everything I punch!". Makes sense, not extremely difficult, yes? And it's not difficult to see that a new player would find this easier to understand than "you are extremely dextrous and nimble, but until you become level 7, and also have 13 strength, and choose "finesse" as a tweak, you can't make your sword hit the ground you're standing on).

 

The disadvantage Josh's system had was that it was an unknown, and something different is scary and makes nerds nauseous.

 

The feedback in general also was extremely strange, in the sense that many of the complaints also would have applied to for example the ruleset in Baldur's Gate.

 

Obsidian then unfortunately took that feedback seriously, and tweaked the system to a target for severely impaired brains. And 10 people on the forum hailed it as the best decision since.. at least as far back as their short term memory would go. But what they ended up with literally is something that has the appearance of a d&d-type crpg, with stats that increment, and all the micromanaging, potion and rest-spam. But really is a game you play much in the same way as Diablo 3. All the way down to how you choose a new spell or an ability every other level upgrade, that you then spam for a few hours.

 

I'm just saying that marketing this as a "traditional isometric crpg" is a bit like selling frozen toast as "freshly baked home-made bread". Frozen bread might be what you want sometimes - but you are going to be unhappy if you pay a premium and expect freshly baked bread. And then get frozen toast.

 

And in this case, what I got was to pay a premium. Then I got to see and nibble the edge of the freshly baked bread. Before the store pulls it away, slices it apart, jams it in a bag, puts the bread in a freezer for 6 months, and then gives it back, saying: "here's your freshly baked bread!".

 

So this is not just obnoxious, and makes sure I'll never buy another Obsidian product again. It's also a very unwise way to target your sell. In that, like I also pointed out during the beta, that Obsidian can't sell the game as an isometric crpg in the tradition of Baldur's Gate - if they then change the product halfway to become a diablo 3 clone. Except it's diablo 3 with cumbersome and unintuitive controls, a bunch of clicking and pausing, and lots and lots of dialogue interrupting the fighting as well. If you do that, then you will obviously disappoint your target audience, and miss the ones who wanted a diablo 3 clone. In fact, you'll also disappoint the people who want diablo 3, because they want something less cumbersome. Making this just bad business overall.

 

But. And this is why it's so entertaining to come back here: you still have these 10 people on here who insist that since the game didn't sell negative amounts of copies, the decisions made were the best decisions ever! And if the game didn't sell enough or got cool reviews, for example from how haphazard and grindy the system was, how unrewarding the fights became, etc. Well then it's just because Obsidian sucks and Josh Sawyer is a bad designer, etc.

 

And if all else fails, you simply insist that anyone who won't listen to you are "crazy" or in "a bad place". Obviously, if you don't agree with the brilliance of the direction Obsidian took PoE in - the one production that was supposed to put them back on the map - then you are just psychologically unstable! It's so simple!

 

The best part is that I'm probably the one person here who takes this crap the least seriously. What I am doing, however, is to describe the context of Obsidian's decision-making process on PoE. And I'm doing that to explain to you what has to change if Josh is going to avoid the same problem with PoE 2.

 

Otherwise, we would be expecting two different things to happen, while using the same process twice. Which is something "most people" don't think is reasonable to expect.

Edited by nipsen

The injustice must end! Sign the petition and Free the Krug!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nipsen are you okay buddy? You sound like you're in a bad place. 

The draught and those chilly winds up in the ivory tower of ivory towers would drag anyone down, but we're dealing with extra-terrestrial intelligence here. Our minds dwindle in comparison. This is the anti-Davy Jones' locker, where the combination lock alone corresponds to Alan Turing's Enigma-decoder.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
  • Like 5

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@nipsen, noone cares about your arguments here 3 years after the kickstartter began. You don't like how the game came out, you blame some people, fine. Nothing will change it now. This is a forum for people who like the game and trying to give feedback and opinions about how it can become better in the future. Please go somewere and talk with like-mined ranters. It's a freaking game, man, not politics! It doesen't affect your life! Move on; stop making it hard for people who want to contribute to the thread (and the forums). You're doing noone any good. Not yourself, not the forum, not Obsidian, not the game, not even the genre. You're just making a duche out of yourself. Don't you see? If you have a real life problem, try to focus there and don't toss it in here in the form of rants. Come on!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@nipsen, noone cares about your arguments here 3 years after the kickstartter began. You don't like how the game came out, you blame some people, fine. Nothing will change it now. This is a forum for people who like the game and trying to give feedback and opinions about how it can become better in the future.

The self-insight on this forum is amazing, as always. Your reasoning as well - brilliant. So explain this to me again: why will taking practical advice from people who can't string one single sentence together without some sort of blatant contradiction in it, lead to Obsidian making better games?

 

Or, if that's not what this forum is about: why will making changes in a game based on feedback from people who literally can't remember what they said two posts ago, end up creating good and appealing advertisement?

 

Doing that makes very little sense, unless your idea is to make a game for 10 forumers. That when they get what they want, specifically, like with PoE - don't actually like anymore anyway.

 

I'm merely proposing that a project like that probably can't succeed.

 

Anyway. You probably also understand that when you resort to inventing things in the personal life of others - people you don't actually know in person - that this says very little about me, and a lot about you and your thoughts? That you just home in on personal issues and emotional problems is pretty hilarious. Although you really don't exist in the same league as the "you have aspergers!" guy. Who, as everyone could see, had no aspergers at all. And therefore should be assumed to be reasonable, no matter what he said. Unlike me, who could be dismissed because I was supposedly mentally ill.

 

You see, the only reason I sound serious when I type this stuff down, is that I can't bring myself to genuinely laugh about what some of you are doing here, because it's kind of serious.

 

Another thing is that even with all my long rants - and they are just rants, I come here to vent for entertainment - I don't actually spend a lot of time here compared to some of you. In relative terms, I visit here, and most of you live here. So even though you feel like whatever happens to come out of your mouths is justified and reasonable, literally no matter what you say - I would really encourage you to limit yourselves at least once in a while.

The injustice must end! Sign the petition and Free the Krug!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, this forum.

... is where I've seen far calmer and more rational discussions on Pillars of Eternity than in most other places on the internet. I've even talked pages upon pages with Sensuki who apparently also has a bit of a reputation for harping on the game, yet he was able to explain his points far more rationally and without all the emotional pathos.

 

What I am doing, however, is to describe the context of Obsidian's decision-making process on PoE. And I'm doing that to explain to you what has to change if Josh is going to avoid the same problem with PoE 2.

What will I do is precisely what I did with the original Pillars of Eternity: Wait for the finished product and judge it based on its own merits. Considering Pillars of Eternity quickly climbed up among my favorite RPG games of all time, I won't judge Obsidian's decision making process, into which even you yourself don't have full insight I might add.

 

I come here to vent for entertainment

In other words, you're trolling. Well that's nice. Your points truly deserve to be taken into consideration.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will not participate in this debate. If you really believe so, then more power to you. 

 

Yeah, that claim is just bizarre. It suggests he's either being dishonest, or his only experiences of Diablo games are screenshots. Other than both being isometric games with fantasy settings the two games share almost nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I won't go into a long winded argument here, but dude, you gotta be a bit nuts, if you think PoE plays more like Diablo than the IE games. That is absurd. 

Why is that? Other than the formation movement and pauses, what's the actual difference?

Gee I don't know.  The fact that you can't spam potions?  Your gear is not random and named retarded crap like "runic mercenary cleaver of the steadfast" or something similar?  Eternity can actually be hard sometimes?  You control more than one character?  Enemies are actually intelligent sometimes not just random mooks who run at you spamming everything they have?  None of the levels are ever "randomly generated"?  There is no Cow level?

 

I can literally do this all day.  Eternity has as much common with Diablo as Baldur's Gate does.  Not very much beside their view angle, RPG genre, and having a class system.

 

In all seriousness, take my advice.  If you hate the game as much as you claim, and are as upset as you suggest by the forums and the people on it.... do something for your own health and well being.  Never log into this forum again, and never play or read anything related to Eternity again.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We know Pillar of Eternity 2 is in development, but it hasn't been formally announced yet. That hasn't stopped Josh Sawyer from posting various images over the past few months, however.

 

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/734073381872504832

 

Ci_z14KVAAA-hk8.jpg

 

(older stuff here: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83320-project-louisiana-not-fallout-related/)

 

 

Josh Sawyer, playing Tolkien...

 

This is the very reason Pillars of Eternity (PoE) was such a disappointment. And here we go again. I was extremely disappointed with PoE solely due to this reason. Rather than an RPG, which was supposed to be a spiritual successor to IE games, we were given a semi-Welsh, semi-English history of lamelands to read. Everything including the combat, areas, NPC's (bar Durance, Mother and maybe Eder) was incredibly dull, comparing those lifeless cities to the cities in BG2 is just painful.

 

I was expecting Avellone to step in and clean up this mess, exactly like he did with Neverwinter Nights 2. Remember the kalach-cha, vanilla NWN2, that is Sawyer right there with Avellone saving the merchandise in MotB. Now that he left Obsidian, it seems like we are stuck with this.

 

Edit: The strike-through comment of mine stemmed from my certain assumptions, later shown to be wrong, I am leaving it there but crossing it.

 

I will not be so cruel, PoE was OK, but only that. Thousands of people did not donate money so that Josh Sawyer could play Tolkien. Instead of coming up with better story writing, fixing issues with the combat and talent system, and focusing on ambience, someone is working on his runes. Amazing!

 

I am not impressed. At least learn something from Tyranny! Tyranny felt quite experimental and incomplete, yet I would take it over PoE any day. 

Edited by guguma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unbelievable, I though we had seen the last of the Sensuki lites a long time ago. How many times must this be repeated, if you don't like Pillars or the direction it's going move along. I and many other people do like it. Pillars is not perfect, but no game is. In fact it's as good as it gets. The biggest problem people seem to have is with the setting. Sensuki was fine with gameplay, in fact he was enthusiastic by the release - he had done a substantial amount of video tutorials. A couple of hours after, he was horrified. It can only be the setting, which is what the problem is for others of his ilk as well.

 

It is a successor of the old ie games, and a darn good one, it's not a clone.

Frankly removing the rose tinted glasses and haze of nostalgia, the old ie games are not fun. They have dated badly, story and writing is simplistic and gameplay makes them almost unplayable. I am glad that Obs realized this and made changes, but still managed to deliver what they promised. An updated successor...

Edited by rheingold
  • Like 9

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...