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After reading the best moments thread, I reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of the writing.  The characters were well written, and everyone seems to have a favorite (normally Eder, Aloth, or Durance).  The plot had several issues, but was equal to its average peers.  The skill check writing was normally good: clear choices, clear descriptions, clear responses.

 

The one area I think it really fell down was NPC writing.  In BGI&II it was very common to run into guys who would give a short blurb of text, or run into people who had a problem that needed fixing in the area you were already in.  Or they would at least give you a short blurb of text before attacking, sometimes a simple choice.  These are things like the archaeological dig in BGI, the druids in Cloakwood forest, the mother who wants you to rescue her child from wolves, the mages at the top of the magic store that will attack if you tell them about sociology, the Ogre at the entrance to an inn, etc.  In BGII you had various vampire / shadow thief fights.  PST had random pickpockets you could catch and learn from, and way more.  This writing is common, helps define the setting, and offers minor reactivity.

 

Where's this in Pillars?  I feel like you get some of it in Ondra's gift, and a half-hearted attempt in the market place, and then the random Leaden Key assassins.  In general, it feels like this is missing from the base game.  This can make parts of the cities feel a bit dead, and large sections of the wilderness feel featureless.  

 

I feel like several areas, particularly Esternwood and Stormwall gorge could have benefitted from this content.  Stormwall is a quiet place.  Maybe have a spore flower thrall say something before it attacks, and certainly give all the druids a reason for attacking you.  Esternwood is a missed opportunity; why are there no vignettes about wichts.  Maybe a parent attacked by the wicht they were trying to feed, etc.  It could also be helpful in the larger dungeons (cult of Skaen anyone?).  

 

However, I think this is one area that White March particularly improved in, so I have hope for PE2.  Stormwall has one pc to talk to.  Russetwood has 4 npcs, and several sidequests.  I'd like to see this content density in PE2. 

Edited by anameforobsidian
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