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Greetings. 

 

I've been planning to familiarize myself with Pillars of Eternity for a longer while - but there always being too many backlog games to play and way too little time, I was also in no particular rush to get down to it. A few months ago the time finally felt right, so I grabbed the game along with its expansions, and then proceeded to do my usual research before starting my session for real. Which in turn led me to these forums, containing an impressive wealth of knowledge.

Long story short, I quickly learned about the ugly sides of patch 3.02 with its infamous stacking bug, heard about patch 3.03 being on the horizon, and eventually decided to wait. I kept checking here on a regular basis throughout May and June, but the update first took its time to materialize into beta, only to then take its time when it came to actual release (since I usually end up buying my games from GoG or other places rather than the omnipotent Steam, the beta was out of reach anyway). In the end I managed to forget about PoE for 1,5 months as life picked up in its intensity again - that is, until several days ago. I discovered that 3.03 was out for almost a month (in not-as-ideal state as one might've wished, alas), and also that nobody can tell for sure whether another (final?) patch will ever materialize, let alone when. All in all, there seems to be no good reason for me to postpone my Pillars adventure any further. 

 

 

After brushing up on quite a few aspects of the game and actually playing it for a couple of hours in order to get a feel for all the various mechanics (it's certainly made it much easier to understand many forum topics), I believe I am ready to start a proper playthrough. With that also comes my main dilemma. Before I delve deeper into it, it'd probably be useful if I took a moment to provide a quick background check, which might help better explain why it's actually a dilemma for me in the first place. 

I'm intimately familiar with every Infinity Engine cRPG of the past, and most of the spiritual followers that came afterwards (Neverwinter Nights or Dragon Ages, although somehow I have yet to try Beamdog's Enhanced Editions of the classics). Always picking the highest difficulty by default, using good mods (or modules in case of NWN) where applicable, and being extremely dilligent at that (one could say very slow and suffering from an obsessive-compulsive completionist streak to boot). If an average player gets through their cRPG in 60 hours by skipping some things, then I'm pretty sure I tend to clock in at 200h instead. I also tend to spend a good deal of time researching/discussing/learning about any game in question in order to have a more complete picture, as I feel that adds to the overall experience. 

Given the above, I don't replay games a whole lot. Maybe a second run months or a year later, possibly a third or fourth several years down the line once it's not as fresh in my mind (it definitely used to be easier when one didn't have to bother with such mundane obligations as work...). And as much as I can appreciate challenging combat, I appreciate quality writing even more so. To the point that I've developed a habit of extensively saving/reloading in order to explore various dialogue options (before going with the one that best fits my current character for roleplaying consistency), juggle companions as needed, or learn of different ways to resolve quests. It's obviously not feasible to ever be able to experience everything during a single playthrough, but one can usually see the vast majority of it this way (*shakes fist at Witcher 2*). 

 

 

So... after these rather lengthy introductions and digressions, my issue at hand is as follows: I see no way to create a main character in PoE that would allow me to have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. At least not without having to constantly jump through several hoops while trying to respect the limitations set by Obsidian, and even then have to miss out on some early game exploration possibilities. It just doesn't seem possible to pilot a protagonist with good attribute scores for more cerebral conversation checks (i.e.15 in INT, PER, RES; let alone slightly more), while not giving up decent numbers for more physical options - which incidentally also happen to be useful to have at above average values for Path of the Damned combat. If I wanted to make my PC a tank (luckily I don't), I would be screwed even more as far as conversation trade-offs are concerned, because nobody loves poor CON. 

I'm aware that later in the game it's possible to somewhat game the dialogue system through a combination of rest/food/item bonuses to temporarily improve attribute points, but: a) there are some limitations to it still, b) it might eventually become a huge pain in the ass c) it takes a while to get there. 

 

 

I like a lot of what Obsidian has done with PoE (making INT desirable in combat not only for spellcasters is brilliant, for example), but it also makes me even more disappointed that they opted for a character creation/development system that doesn't fully allow for a well-rounded protagonist and is sort of at odds with the dialogue/combat mechanics. Especially as this could've been so, so easily improved by not treating Player Character as any other. It really wouldn't hurt to have these 2-4 extra attribute points to spend on initially, just as it would feel good to be able to earn 1 attribute point every 3-4 levels, and/or as a rare reward for some major quests (at least old D&D games got that part down right). It's entirely possible that it bothers me more than most due to the way I like to play. 

 

I expect that someone might suggest picking a certain class/race/playstyle combination that is best suited to maximizing as many opportunities as possible (be it conversations or various checks), but this is also not a compromise I'm interested in for the sake of pure enjoyment. I'll probably end up as a dual-wielding Rogue (although Melee Cipher or Monk seem fairly acceptable as well), since it's my go to type in this setting. 

At the end of the day, it looks like my only alternative to play PoE in the way I'd like (in order to get the most out of it within one playthrough, that is), is having to use Console command for these few extra starting attribute points on my PC. Which is somewhat unfortunate, as it always feels a little dirty; but mainly because I doubt there is a corresponding way to tell the game to "improve enemy stats by X accordingly" or something along these lines. Having a protagonist that is too strong can be just as bad as having one that is too weak, if for different reasons. 

I don't imagine there are any other potential solutions to find, so I'll wrap this up by asking this: is using the Console the only way to alter attribute stats, or would there be a way to edit an appropriate game file to allow 2-4 more points to be spent during the character creation process? 

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Honestly - you're thinking too much and playing too little. What good for is a perfect playthrough anyway? :)

 

A few attribute points really don't matter that much. It can be fun tp llay around with attribute points an to maximize certain aspects of a character, but it's not that importatnt for your game experience. If you like to have a lot of dialogue option then go for that. The power of the character will not suffer a lot. Level ups will give you way more power than a few attribute points will give you.

 

It's the starting values (deflection, endurance, health and accuracy) of the classes which seperate them at the early game. You can feel those differences really well in the beginning, but the gap closes quickly while you're leveling.

Even on PoTD the game is only "really" difficult in the early game. Later on it's way more easy. That counts for all builds and all classes, but certain classes have an easier time early on (e.g. monks, fighters) because they have the highest starting values which have a huge impact in the early game, but noch so much later on. Others classes can struggle more in the early game but make up for this with a lot more power later on (wizards & priest for example).

 

So if you ask me: just roll your preferred rp-char and play. You will have fun. You can always retrain, so you won't get stuck with a misskilled char.
And what's the alternative? Not playing at all because you fear the playthrough might not be optimal or so? What will you get out of that (besides more spare time)?

A lot of people who prepare too much for playing a game end up with having no fun playing it or even not plaing it at all. I never understood that approach.

"Having fun and learning by doing" is a much more satisfying way than "Learning by reading tons of stuff and then doing nothing at all" - at least when it comes to games and personal entertainment... ;)

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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You can dump Con because it barely features in conversation. You can get Caed Nua pretty early (level 3 is what I normally beat it at on solo) and you can get enough money to easily build 2 or 3 of the important rest bonus buildings, just fast travel around until they're made.

 

In terms of items, Fulvano's Gloves in Act I give +2 Dex and the Hermit's hat for +2 Int, these could be paired early Act II with Lilith's Shawl for +3 Per and you can grab a custom armor enchant for +2 Res. You can also alternate your gloves to Bracers of All-Consuming Rage for +2 Mig (again early Act II), and you can swap Lillith's Shawl for Finreah's Grace (+3 Dex, again early Act II) when you need a Mig/Dex combo. Throw in food or drugs on top of the rest bonuses, as well as prostitute bonuses, and I shouldn't think it would be too hard to maintain 20s in each stat most of the time. Obviously as the game progresses, better stat boosters become available in terms of equipment, but what I've listed here is a decent starting point. You can probably progress from Act I to II in about an hour and a half, pick up most of these items then return to the Act I quests.

 

Honestly though, it does detract a little from roleplaying to have all dialogue options available all the time - missing out on some dialogue lines is part of the game, and reinforces who your character is and what they're capable of achieving in terms of social interaction. Each to their own, I guess.

Edited by Jojobobo
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I like a lot of what Obsidian has done with PoE (making INT desirable in combat not only for spellcasters is brilliant, for example), but it also makes me even more disappointed that they opted for a character creation/development system that doesn't fully allow for a well-rounded protagonist and is sort of at odds with the dialogue/combat mechanics. Especially as this could've been so, so easily improved by not treating Player Character as any other. It really wouldn't hurt to have these 2-4 extra attribute points to spend on initially, just as it would feel good to be able to earn 1 attribute point every 3-4 levels, and/or as a rare reward for some major quests (at least old D&D games got that part down right). It's entirely possible that it bothers me more than most due to the way I like to play. 

 

I'm not sure what you're basing this on, to be honest. How does the system not allow for a well-rounded protagonist? Like Boeroer said, a couple of attribute points more or less generally isn't going to make that much of a difference; you don't need to min-max everything to have a viable character. Put 13 in everything, and you're still fine. Unless by 'well-rounded' you mean "able to unlock every dialogue option / good at every aspect of combat" of course. But that would be easily fixed by getting a correct definition of 'well-rounded'. 

 

Anyway, in the 'Difficulty' menu you can turn on the option to show the prerequisites of locked dialogue options, so for the most part it is easy to see what stats you need to boost for a given conversation. Mostly they're not *that* high, up to 16 for a stat or a couple of points in a specific skill (though there are definitely exceptions that require more), which should be accesible by putting a point or 4 in every skill and bumping stats with food/drugs/items as needed. I'd say that's hardly more of a pain in the ass than repeatedly running through conversations to see all the dialogue options in the first place, really. Dialogue options based on race/background/culture/class/dispositions are of course a different matter, you can't unlock those (except dispositions, but that requires the Console). 

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I think i somehow understand your dilemma, although, it's probably nothing rational. I'm halfway through the game and i already spent 200H on my playthrough :D. I tended to reload for the exact same reasons, too, and have the same kind of problems picking attributes in Pillars. I bet you were, too, the kind of guy to roll dozens of times in Baldur's Gate in order to have the kind of attribute distribution you talk about. In BG, you had a spark of divinity, so it could make sense to have a character with 90+ attribute points. In some regards the fact that your character in Pillars, and all NPCs seem to have the exact same number of attribute points tend to show that nobody is "special", not even your MC.

 

I think there is a Eternity trainer to edit savegames. I'm not sure how it works, or if it works with 3.03. Never tried it. If you're into roleplay, maybe you can try something like a female character, orlan, or elf. This would be a good excuse to drop a bit Might and con, and to raise int, per, or dex. This is the kind of things i do, at least, playing in hard. The only other workaround i can think of is, indeed, using the console. Though, i would probably warn against a first playthrough in PotD. Unless you use the console and want to ''punish'' you for doing so :p (because, even with 4 more attribute points, the difference in your MC's power won't be this impressive). I guess PotD is probably for peple who are used to the game by now.

 

Anyway, i don"t think there is a ideal workaround. Good luck :)

Edited by Abel
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Okay, seriously, stop listening to the whiners who want you to believe a game is broken because it has like 3 bugged talents.  Screw the forums, turn them off, go play the game.  Find the munchkin metagamer in your brain and tell him to shut up.

Or you can keep listening to those two voices and never play the game, because the game is never going to be "perfect bug free" and it was always striving for balance not broken ass MC dominates everything.

Edited by Karkarov
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Okay, seriously, stop listening to the whiners who want you to believe a game is broken because it has like 3 bugged talents. Screw the forums, turn them off, go play the game. Find the munchkin metagamer in your brain and tell him to shut up.

 

Or you can keep listening to those two voices and never play the game, because the game is never going to be "perfect bug free" and it was always striving for balance not broken ass MC dominates everything.

Neither does it make sense for your MC to be exceptionally powerful. I was thinking earlier about the stat stacking in NWN and etc and the question "is that character supposed to do that(fire Fireballs like in Diablo)" came up. I figured that it did seeing how your MC there travelled throgh time and fought gods. The same could really apply to BG and Planescape.

 

But in Pillars? You really aren't that special. Just a guy with an unusual ability. Certainly not as powerful as you were in those games. At best, you're around Geralt's power level(but I kinda doubt the Pillars MC is even there). How can that compare to being a child of a god lol?

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​I'm somewhat like the thread OP in always seeming to spend more hours completing a game than most folks do.  I usually run about double, maybe in part because instead of rushing through, I read all the dialog, listen to the voice acting, and generally stop and smell the virtual roses.  That aside, IMHO there is a lot to be said for the school of thought espoused by Karkarov:

​​

Okay, seriously, stop listening to the whiners who want you to believe a game is broken because it has like 3 bugged talents.

 

Indeed.  ​In any sufficiently complex game system built by human beings and sold for a few dozens of $USD, someone will always find something wrong.  If you wait for zero defects, you will never play a computer game again, and certainly not a highly complex RPG with a myriad of interacting rules, wide diversity of items, vast numbers of character builds, dialog options, quest orders, and quest completion choices.  I think PoE is actually quite solid, even relative to some far simpler games.  I'm on my 3rd play with 0 crashes, 0 corrupted savegames, and maybe one medium-severity bug I easily worked around by reloading.  Did some item or class skill not quite act like it should've?  Oh, probably.  Sure.  Let's go with "yes".

 

​There are games so buggy you can't reasonably play them, but PoE is not such a game.  It's a seriously good time and shows a lot of love for a genre that recently was all but extinct.  It's gotten more post-release updates than most games do.  There's been a great 2-part expansion, they're making a sequel, and another independent game done in similar style.  Things are good :).  Since you like the Infinity Engine games, I predict you'll love PoE too.  Never mind the folks complaining that because the Sword of Causing Nearsightedness in Marsupials is only +3 instead of +4, The Game Is Totally Broken Unplayable Garbage.

​Have fun.  It's a blast. :biggrin:

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is using the Console the only way to alter attribute stats, or would there be a way to edit an appropriate game file to allow 2-4 more points to be spent during the character creation process? 

 

There's no mod that I know of that increases the amount of attribute points you spend at character creation. You can, however, use console commands or a character editor like Eternity Keeper

 

In truth though, it's really unnecessary. Even if your min-maxing, your still going to have quite a few conversation options available. Plus, you get a bonus to your attributes through equipment, consumables, and resting bonuses- which doesn't just effect combat, as you can always use them if you want to get certain dialogue options.

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A few attribute points really don't matter that much. It can be fun tp llay around with attribute points an to maximize certain aspects of a character, but it's not that importatnt for your game experience. If you like to have a lot of dialogue option then go for that. The power of the character will not suffer a lot. Level ups will give you way more power than a few attribute points will give you.

 

It's the starting values (deflection, endurance, health and accuracy) of the classes which seperate them at the early game. You can feel those differences really well in the beginning, but the gap closes quickly while you're leveling.

If the relative importance of attribute points is indeed not as crucial for combat, then that's definitely a huge plus in my book. It's just not necessarily the impression one gets at a first (or second) glance, I suppose, especially when keeping some of PoE's predecessors in mind.

I have no need for a truly powerful character, but at the same time also no desire to find him too much of a weak link, due to heavily compromising for the sake of being able to appreciate the conversation/event system in its fullest. I'll take some comfort in knowing that might not be the case, even if I'm not likely to be able to entirely get rid off this feeling that the devs were way too skimpy with the number of points alloted to the main character.

 

Even on PoTD the game is only "really" difficult in the early game. Later on it's way more easy. That counts for all builds and all classes, but certain classes have an easier time early on (e.g. monks, fighters) because they have the highest starting values which have a huge impact in the early game, but noch so much later on. Others classes can struggle more in the early game but make up for this with a lot more power later on (wizards & priest for example).

That curve seems rather typical for the genre (at least whenever experienced players apply their knowledge towards min/max-ing), so I'm not surprised to hear PoTD is not an exception. It's pleasing to grow in power as time goes by, just tricky to strike a good balance for the more demanding crowd. I can't think of many titles (without mods) where the combat would remain sufficiently challenging throughout.

But as far as beginnings are concerned, I'm rather fond of having it rough and there being things capable of kicking my ass.

 

And what's the alternative? Not playing at all because you fear the playthrough might not be optimal or so? What will you get out of that (besides more spare time)?

A lot of people who prepare too much for playing a game end up with having no fun playing it or even not plaing it at all. I never understood that approach.

"Having fun and learning by doing" is a much more satisfying way than "Learning by reading tons of stuff and then doing nothing at all" - at least when it comes to games and personal entertainment... ;)

Oh, it's not about reaching some arbitrary perfection or finding an objectively optimal approach. It merely needs to be just satisfying enough for whatever a person sets out to do.

 

I have no doubt there are people suffering from overdoing what you mention, but I also know the types who jump in blindly (which is fine per se), only to become more and more disillusioned as time goes by and they realize they might've messed up (according to their own standards). Be it by picking a race/class that didn't work out to their liking, by missing out on way more quest/conversation content that they find acceptable, or by feeling they should've done things differently. Not everyone is going to restart/replay a game to find a better experience for themselves, and many simply abandon their playthroughs mid-way once they feel they've been soured to the point of no return.

 

So while I don't disagree with the general sentiment of your message, it's worth noting there is balance to be found between either of these extremes. ;) As long as a person knows themselves well enough.

 

You can dump Con because it barely features in conversation. You can get Caed Nua pretty early (level 3 is what I normally beat it at on solo) and you can get enough money to easily build 2 or 3 of the important rest bonus buildings, just fast travel around until they're made.

Thank you for that brief list of potential attribute buffs to look out for initially; it should come in handy.

 

Poor Constiution, why can there be no love for thou. I'm aware it features as a chief attribute to dump when looking for these extra points to boost one's conversation capabilities. I may have to get over myself if I decide to go down that route - never been a fan of terribly lowering the likes of INT/WIS in the olden days, even when they didn't influence much. Seeing negative values might be a pet peeve of sorts.

On a somewhat related note: can you really get away with CON being noticeably weakened even if you wanted to roll with a front-line combatant supposed to withstand a good beating?

 

Honestly though, it does detract a little from roleplaying to have all dialogue options available all the time - missing out on some dialogue lines is part of the game, and reinforces who your character is and what they're capable of achieving in terms of social interaction. Each to their own, I guess.

 

You see, one does not necessarily have to get in the way of the other. Just because I prefer to have as many options as possible at my disposal, it doesn't mean it has to cheapen my roleplaying experience. In other words, In Character and Out Of Character approach coexisting such as:

 

a) IC, stick to whatever personality you choose, which means narrowing down dialogue options to the ones most fitting; regardless of whether they are the most effective or rewarding to your circumstances. I generally leave these to explore as the last, since they signify the choices that "stick" with my character throughout a playthrough.

b) OOC, just use your freedom at will. Responses that I would've never chosen for my character otherwise (be they too evil/kind/naive/lofty, etc.), but am nonetheless extremely interested in following and learning where they might lead. That's where the bulk of my saving/reloading comes in.

 

This might not be something everyone cares about, obviously, but it just happens to matter to me. It provides great insight. It's often an opportunity to see more of impressive writing, learn of resolutions I would've been normally unaware of otherwise. It only makes my appreciation for a good game grow further as I'm able to experience its richness in terms of various layers.

Yes, it can be time consuming, but multiple playthroughs are even more so due to inherently repetitive combat alone. And it's certainly easier to quickly reload in order to see what that MIG 15 or DEX 16 option could do, or what going down this or that route might achieve, than start a new run focused on doing things differently just for the sake of it. While at the same time remembering about all possible different outcomes you had wanted to explore previously, but for some reason couldn't.

 

I'm not sure what you're basing this on, to be honest. How does the system not allow for a well-rounded protagonist? Like Boeroer said, a couple of attribute points more or less generally isn't going to make that much of a difference; you don't need to min-max everything to have a viable character. Put 13 in everything, and you're still fine. Unless by 'well-rounded' you mean "able to unlock every dialogue option / good at every aspect of combat" of course. But that would be easily fixed by getting a correct definition of 'well-rounded'.

I don't know about your personal definition of 'well-rounded', but the commonly accepted ones tend to run along the lines of "being comprehensively developed in a variety of aspects". As such, putting 13 in everything wouldn't exactly cut it (and noticeably lowering any stats would put us in the opposition to that by default), since it provides you with very little in terms of potential gains. This number seems to be the bare minimum for most anything (are there even checks going below 13?), thus often unlocking only the least interesting options, if any at all. 14-15 looks to be much more common as a requirement, and more of an initial standard.

Mind that my main criticism is directed at how Obsidian chose to handle the distribution of attribute stats during character creation and later during its development, while at the same time designing a dialogue/scripted event system that heavily ties into some of these scores (making it one of the pillars, nomen omen, of the entire game). Whereas your defense has to do with the progression system as a whole (especially as it ties into combat efficiency); I have no problems believing it might look much better on the skills/abilities/talents level.

 

Pillars isn't the first title to allow you only a pitiful amount of raw attribute points to play around with, but it might very well be the first where they cannot be permanently increased further over the course of the game(any buffs or item enhancements are by definition temporary or conditional). It's also probably the first where these scores carry such a large significance for the variety of its conversation aspects.

Our perspectives may differ, but are you honestly going to tell me that you believe Obsidian not to have been way too skimpy in this aspect? Why is the number we are given the best or the most balanced number possible, and why having at least these 4-6 points more at your disposal wouldn't be strictly better while still keeping many of the current limitations in their place? It sure as hell would noticeably lower the amount of "how can I have good attribute scores for dialogues while not making my character too weak" inquiries that rank among some of the most common around the web with regards to PoE. Clearly it doesn't make people feel too comfortable.

 

Anyway, in the 'Difficulty' menu you can turn on the option to show the prerequisites of locked dialogue options, so for the most part it is easy to see what stats you need to boost for a given conversation. Mostly they're not *that* high, up to 16 for a stat or a couple of points in a specific skill (though there are definitely exceptions that require more), which should be accesible by putting a point or 4 in every skill and bumping stats with food/drugs/items as needed. I'd say that's hardly more of a pain in the ass than repeatedly running through conversations to see all the dialogue options in the first place, really. Dialogue options based on race/background/culture/class/dispositions are of course a different matter, you can't unlock those (except dispositions, but that requires the Console).

 

Pain-in-the-ass-wise, I'd argue back that quicky reloading and picking a different dialogue option already available to you is miles more convenient than going out of your way to temporarily boost a score (and then another, and perhaps another); more so if it involves a longer trip, such as when it finds you mid-way through a dungeon.

Of course you can never realistically see everything, I said as much. Take any obsessive "must catch them all" with a grain of salt. What you listed obviously doesn't bother me, for it only adds a deeper layer to the game (while being relatively minor in scope). Dispositions seem to be PoE's way of having your attitude and choices matter; it's always great for cRPGs when your character's behavior carries on to enable lasting effects (trying to touch those through a console would invariably mess up too much). It's pretty much impossible (or requires tons of effort) to witness all companion interactions within a single playthrough, too.

 

Really, my focus has only ever been on what is more or less readily available. Which is to say I'm not silly enough (if for whatever reason it wasn't apparent from my initial post) to reload a save from 20 hours ago in order to see whether a different reply made back then would affect the variability of this or that NPC's responses a lot later down the line.

It's even okay to miss up to 10%-15% of attribute or skill related options, too, since I can accept the limitations which come with a low-ish MIG or CON (physical or intimidating responses tend to be the most predictable and the least varied, at that) - albeit with a sigh. I just don't find it acceptable to miss out on 20-25% of additional options (or upwards of that threshold), without it souring my experience. Hence the issue in the first place.  

 

 

I think i somehow understand your dilemma, although, it's probably nothing rational. I'm halfway through the game and i already spent 200H on my playthrough :D. I tended to reload for the exact same reasons, too, and have the same kind of problems picking attributes in Pillars. I bet you were, too, the kind of guy to roll dozens of times in Baldur's Gate in order to have the kind of attribute distribution you talk about. In BG, you had a spark of divinity, so it could make sense to have a character with 90+ attribute points. In some regards the fact that your character in Pillars, and all NPCs seem to have the exact same number of attribute points tend to show that nobody is "special", not even your MC.

I figured you might, having read some of your posts on these forums. Even though I am nowhere near as capable of immersing myself deeply enough to begin writing a proper journal. ;) But I don't know that I would deem the reasons I elaborate on above as "irrational" per se.

Naaah, I would never roll the die hundreds of times in BG in order to get that mythical 18/00 in STR. *coughs* Ironically, lower attribute scores were much easier to accept in many of the older (A)D&D games, because it didn't impact your dialogue options on the scale that it does in PoE, if at all.

 

I believe it's always a wrong choice for the developers to treat Player Character as "one of the bunch", and pretend they should be just like everyone else. You absolutely can do that in terms of the story you set out to tell; after all, it can be refreshing not to be fated/destined to save the entire world while becoming all-powerful in the process (hence my undying love for the likes of Planescape or The Witcher). But don't go too far in setting various limitations on the protagonist and insisting that their character development be just like everybody else to a tee. Most players will always view their beloved PC as "special", no matter what you do. How could they not? And by that extension they are not going to be terribly thrilled if there are too many heavy compromises to be made.

If Obsidian really wanted to get away with this approach, they could have adapted the solutions from Icewind Dale. But it's like they tried to get a little bit of that while still relying on one default main character for the handling of dialogue checks. Which in turn brings us back to the point of them becoming "special" in this regard alone (mind you, I definitely prefer to have one important protagonist to control rather than multiple ones). And back to my point that they kind of screwed up the attribute selection/development process in this fashion - maybe not hugely, but still.

 

If you're into roleplay, maybe you can try something like a female character, orlan, or elf. This would be a good excuse to drop a bit Might and con, and to raise int, per, or dex.

I don't know whether I could ever feel entirely comfortable in custom female character's shoes. Due to natural limitations, it's harder for myself to immerse into on a roleplaying level. From a metagaming/general curiosity perspective, there is always this temptation to find out how things might look from "the other side". I just rarely get to find the extra time necessary for that, alas. I keep telling myself that someday I should try to follow in the footsteps of female Commander Shepard and the likes, but I'm not sure whether that day will ever materialize (in this particular scenario, I haven't even been capable of motivating myself to start a different male playthrough ever since the end of ME3).

Already pre-formed female protagonists are a different matter (long live Cate Archers and Kate Walkers of the world!). But they are also an incredibly rare sight in cRPGs. Perhaps someday we are going to see a female oriented Torment or The Witcher...

 

Though, i would probably warn against a first playthrough in PotD. Unless you use the console and want to ''punish'' you for doing so :p (because, even with 4 more attribute points, the difference in your MC's power won't be this impressive). I guess PotD is probably for peple who are used to the game by now.

I've never considered anything besides PotD (I'm probably going to find it relatively easy later on, as Boeroer says), irregardless of it being my first playthrough. Having an innate game knowledge makes one's life more comfortable, no doubt, but that's precisely why the highest difficulty is the most appealing to begin with. You'll never face a bigger challenge than during the time when you are still largely uninitiated, making mistakes and not knowing optimal approaches. Once you have sufficiently figured things out (plus familiarized yourself with various encounters), it's never again on the same level of difficulty.

Aside from this, your general experiences also play a part. There are obvious similarities between various types of cRPGs, so if you have "hardened" yourself enough by playing on the most demanding level possible (let alone enhanced it beyond what the developers allowed, through various mods or file edits), it sort of stays with you. Which is why I expect to feel right at home on PotD.

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I don't know about your personal definition of 'well-rounded', but the commonly accepted ones tend to run along the lines of "being comprehensively developed in a variety of aspects". As such, putting 13 in everything wouldn't exactly cut it (and noticeably lowering any stats would put us in the opposition to that by default), since it provides you with very little in terms of potential gains. This number seems to be the bare minimum for most anything (are there even checks going below 13?), thus often unlocking only the least interesting options, if any at all. 14-15 looks to be much more common as a requirement, and more of an initial standard.

Mind that my main criticism is directed at how Obsidian chose to handle the distribution of attribute stats during character creation and later during its development, while at the same time designing a dialogue/scripted event system that heavily ties into some of these scores (making it one of the pillars, nomen omen, of the entire game). Whereas your defense has to do with the progression system as a whole (especially as it ties into combat efficiency); I have no problems believing it might look much better on the skills/abilities/talents level.

 

Pillars isn't the first title to allow you only a pitiful amount of raw attribute points to play around with, but it might very well be the first where they cannot be permanently increased further over the course of the game(any buffs or item enhancements are by definition temporary or conditional). It's also probably the first where these scores carry such a large significance for the variety of its conversation aspects.

Our perspectives may differ, but are you honestly going to tell me that you believe Obsidian not to have been way too skimpy in this aspect? Why is the number we are given the best or the most balanced number possible, and why having at least these 4-6 points more at your disposal wouldn't be strictly better while still keeping many of the current limitations in their place? It sure as hell would noticeably lower the amount of "how can I have good attribute scores for dialogues while not making my character too weak" inquiries that rank among some of the most common around the web with regards to PoE. Clearly it doesn't make people feel too comfortable.

 

Pain-in-the-ass-wise, I'd argue back that quicky reloading and picking a different dialogue option already available to you is miles more convenient than going out of your way to temporarily boost a score (and then another, and perhaps another); more so if it involves a longer trip, such as when it finds you mid-way through a dungeon.

Of course you can never realistically see everything, I said as much. Take any obsessive "must catch them all" with a grain of salt. What you listed obviously doesn't bother me, for it only adds a deeper layer to the game (while being relatively minor in scope). Dispositions seem to be PoE's way of having your attitude and choices matter; it's always great for cRPGs when your character's behavior carries on to enable lasting effects (trying to touch those through a console would invariably mess up too much). It's pretty much impossible (or requires tons of effort) to witness all companion interactions within a single playthrough, too.

 

Really, my focus has only ever been on what is more or less readily available. Which is to say I'm not silly enough (if for whatever reason it wasn't apparent from my initial post) to reload a save from 20 hours ago in order to see whether a different reply made back then would affect the variability of this or that NPC's responses a lot later down the line.

It's even okay to miss up to 10%-15% of attribute or skill related options, too, since I can accept the limitations which come with a low-ish MIG or CON (physical or intimidating responses tend to be the most predictable and the least varied, at that) - albeit with a sigh. I just don't find it acceptable to miss out on 20-25% of additional options (or upwards of that threshold), without it souring my experience. Hence the issue in the first place.  

 

Variety of aspects, fine. But you seem to be wanting a character that is well-developed in all aspects, which is an entirely different matter. I generally wouldn't put 13 in every stat, but rather emphasize whatever stats are most relevant for the kind of character I'm going for. But either approach can yield a perfectly viable build with a number of strengths both in combat and outside it; the number of points you have to distribute is hardly an obstacle to building a well-rounded character in this sense. And if you want a character that excels at everything the answer is simple as well: cheat. That's what the console is for (well, sort of), it's a single player game so there's no inherent reason not to.

 

I'd say the distribution of attribute and skill points is quite well-done and balanced in PoE. Sure, not every character is going to be able to access every option, but that's precisely the point. They're not supposed to, it is a further way of making different kinds of characters feel more different. And yeah, they could have given you an extra five or ten or twenty stat points to distribute, it wouldn't have mattered much. They would have had to rebalance the rest of the game around that anyway, and almost certainly would just have upped the conversation stat check values to go along with it. So no, I don't think they've been too skimpy; and it is a balanced number simply because this is the number they used when balancing the game. Which is also why giving you 4-6 more points to play around with would be detrimental: that's not the number the game is balanced around. For one thing, it would more easily allow you to much more easily access all conversation options, which I don't believe is the developer's intention (it certainly wouldn't be mine, in their place). 

 

And by the way, PoE is hardly the first game not to have permanent stat bonuses. BG2, the big daddy of the genre, didn't either; nor did IWD1, as I recall. BG1 did a bit with the tomes, but that was just a single point per stat (except Wisdom I think; one of them had two tomes). 

 

How is temporarily boosting scores such a pain in the ass? Some of them are going to be boosted a bit already anyway by items you're using. With some food you can quickly punch that up by two more points ("open inventory, select character, eat food"; yeah, real hassle), and with a fairly even stat spread to begin with that is easily enough to pass most conversation attribute checks. 

Edited by Loren Tyr
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OT:

 

​​​​

Okay, seriously, stop listening to the whiners who want you to believe a game is broken because it has like 3 bugged talents.

 

Indeed.  ​In any sufficiently complex game system built by human beings and sold for a few dozens of $USD, someone will always find something wrong.  If you wait for zero defects, you will never play a computer game again, and certainly not a highly complex RPG with a myriad of interacting rules, wide diversity of items, vast numbers of character builds, dialog options, quest orders, and quest completion choices.  I think PoE is actually quite solid, even relative to some far simpler games.  I'm on my 3rd play with 0 crashes, 0 corrupted savegames, and maybe one medium-severity bug I easily worked around by reloading.  Did some item or class skill not quite act like it should've?  Oh, probably.  Sure.  Let's go with "yes".

 

​There are games so buggy you can't reasonably play them, but PoE is not such a game.  It's a seriously good time and shows a lot of love for a genre that recently was all but extinct.  It's gotten more post-release updates than most games do.  There's been a great 2-part expansion, they're making a sequel, and another independent game done in similar style.  Things are good :).  Since you like the Infinity Engine games, I predict you'll love PoE too.  Never mind the folks complaining that because the Sword of Causing Nearsightedness in Marsupials is only +3 instead of +4, The Game Is Totally Broken Unplayable Garbage.

 

 

Guys. It’s great that you haven’t been hit by more or less game-breaking bugs. But other people have. Please stop insulting them. You are not helping.

 

Here’s just one example from yesterday: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/88776-cannot-change-party-logs-attached/

 

The “infamous” stacking bug (apparently fixed) would be another one.

 

Just because you haven’t encountered these bugs doesn’t mean that they don’t exist (or didn’t exist).

 

It has to be possible to report (or to mention) such issues without getting jumped on.

Edited by Sir Ray of Light
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Okay, seriously, stop listening to the whiners who want you to believe a game is broken because it has like 3 bugged talents.  Screw the forums, turn them off, go play the game.  Find the munchkin metagamer in your brain and tell him to shut up.

 

Or you can keep listening to those two voices and never play the game, because the game is never going to be "perfect bug free" and it was always striving for balance not broken ass MC dominates everything.

 

Since Sir Ray of Light brought it up, and at the risk of drawing on a larger digression (I wouldn't want a heated discussion from elsewhere to spill over to this topic):

 

If you are referring to threads and posts such as these: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/88119-whats-the-point-in-beta-patches-if-you-dont-fix-the-reported-bugs/, then I must report that I find myself firmly on the side of such "whiners" (seeing as that description doesn't exactly fit them). Especially when they make compelling, comprehensive, and reasonable arguments to back their "whining" up. They might sometimes get carried away in their zeal, but it's not exactly harmful or unfair if not done in a hateful or offensive manner. Fair criticism is fair. 

I didn't ultimately decide not to get into PoE during the patch 3.02 because this or that person screamed the loudest. I learned about the issue(-s), figured it's not something I really wish to bother with, and postponed my plans. Good on Obsidian for eventually dealing with that (mostly?). 

 

I can even largely agree with this sentiment of yours as eloquently presented by demeisen above, and yet still fully understand anyone who gets triggered by stupid pertaining bugs that had been caught, known and reported, but ultimately not dealt with. I know I would have. Admitting that Obsidian screwed up in their handling of this or that aspect doesn't in any way equal belittling them or their game. It doesn't mean that the work done so far has gone on unappreciated. But just because you got 95% of the things right, it doesn't earn you a complete pass for 5% of the things you might've messed up on. It can still get you a good amount of goodwill, which is precious. 

 

And let's face it, many companies (gaming or otherwise) still have so, so much to learn when it comes to simple active communication with the users of their products (especially if they wish to rely on crowd-funding going forward). Obsidian could still improve in this aspect, as well. People are far, far more forgiving if you actually take the time to explain to them what might've gone wrong, why this bug even exists, why that bug couldn't have been properly fixed, and whether anything can be done about whatever issue is out there. Yet too often prolonged silence tends to be the go-to-mode when dealing with these things. 

I get that after some time developers may want nothing more than to be done with a certain title and ideally be able to move on, yet squashing bugs (however tiny) shouldn't be seen as such an unnecessary burden for creators and a luxury for gamers. It's only "acceptable" as long as people largely disregard it (or improve things themselves), but perhaps that's not always going to be the case. That person who got their playthrough(-s) ruined by a given problem is usually going to remember and remain bitter about it, even if it's hardly a common happenstance. 

 

 

Just use the console. It's no different than editing a file or using a trainer.

 

There are some technical differences, insofar that console alterations can be temporary or at the very least limited (to a given saved game or otherwise). But that's alright, as long as it doesn't have any unintended lasting effects down the line (games can be somewhat picky in this regard). 

 

After looking around briefly, I learned what kind of hoops people who wish to alter companion attributes have to jump through (https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/490vwk/good_news_everyone_theres_a_way_to_permanently/). Glad that isn't my concern. 

 

There's no mod that I know of that increases the amount of attribute points you spend at character creation. You can, however, use console commands or a character editor like Eternity Keeper

 

In truth though, it's really unnecessary. Even if your min-maxing, your still going to have quite a few conversation options available. Plus, you get a bonus to your attributes through equipment, consumables, and resting bonuses- which doesn't just effect combat, as you can always use them if you want to get certain dialogue options.

 

Is Eternity Keeper even up to date? It was my impression that it wasn't, plus I recall stumbling upon some reports which claimed that saved games nearly doubled in size after tinkering with it. Which is weird, to say the least. 

 

I think the necessity of such alterations ultimately boils down to how many conversation options you are comfortable missing out on. While not getting overly frustrated with the perceived limitations and flaws of the system. 

 

Wow - long. But I liked it. :)

I may suffer from an occasional affinity for a good ol' wall-o-text, so it's always some relief when it doesn't put off everyone. ;)

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Is Eternity Keeper even up to date? It was my impression that it wasn't, plus I recall stumbling upon some reports which claimed that saved games nearly doubled in size after tinkering with it. Which is weird, to say the least. 

 

It works with the current version of Pillars, if that's what you mean. Save games do seem to bloat. I'm assuming its the editor pulling raw data that otherwise wasn't being used. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

With regards to the whining issue, looks like a certain amount of whining from me and others seems to have dramatically improved how Obsidian is dealing with the next patch and they also seem to be having a much better back and forth with the community in general.

 

I guess if a small amount of whining leads to a better, more polished game that the developers are taking more care over, I'm perfectly happy to be a so-called whiner ;)

Edited by Jojobobo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh please, the "whiners" are the true heroes of the gaming community :) (okay not all-but several; where would be without them? Still soloing on Rouge, hating Paladins and bashing Rangers ;) ).

 

Now, the stats actually aren't that important for roleplay. I mean, obviously it comes into play at many points, but for example at a point in the story you can make an in it's nature similar argument with an high int stat or an high rational-reputation. At an other point (in WM) you can either be an complete badass with high con or be able to cast a certain helpful wizard spell to successfully complete a text-event. People also react on most of the cases to your reputation, race or background. And even for the stats, every stat has it's moments... Even the all-time-dumper con can come into play. But trust me... I know your issue. I've restarted this game so many times because I was unpleased about how my character developed ;) . Early example: I had a monk who was a smuggler in a port somewhere in the watery world, and I came pretty far (almost at act 3), but at some point I learned a lot about the monks, and I found my character (Whitty pale elf smuggler criminal) so unfitting I restarted (though that was probably rushed... Could have spun a story around it).

 

P.S.: if you want a spellcaster with good mental stats, I'd like to recommend a dedicated CC wizard with something like a 6-6-14-16-18-18 (maybe doesn't exactly work out, sry if that is the case) stat spread. You'll get pretty fast, extremely accurate, very long lasting Effects and a lot of dialog options (except for body focused mig and con checks obviously). Won't do a lot of damage, but CC is the strong side of poe's wizard (in my opinion).

 

Other than that have fun with this awesome game :)

 

Edit: Well a bit late... Sry about that

Edited by Ben No.3
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Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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