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Returning player, Questions.


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Hello,

 

I played Pillars briefly around the time it launched and with the launch of Tyranny I thought it was time to finally getting around to Pillars. I have a few questions about it.

 

1. I was wondering, what kind of major changes can I expect since I played at launch? UI improvements? anything major I'd like to know :)

2. How would you best describe how to play Pillars? Do I try to follow characters & quests, can I just explore and find things that way? What are the strengths of Pillars.

3. Can I create my very own party from the start, and can I customize them? I would like to create my own order.

4. How is Joshua doing? I am his biggest fan :)

 

Thank you!

Edited by Drakortha
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1. I was wondering, what kind of major changes can I expect since I played at launch? UI improvements? anything major I'd like to know :)

Asides from loads of rebalances, bug fixes and such, I'd say these are the most important, and I'm talking changes since the release that I know of:

- Party no longer needs to enter stealth mode as a party - individual members can sneak individually.

- Companion AI has been introduced and can be customized to a very limited extent. More importantly, it's easy to turn off.

- Hard counters were introduced. Priest spells now grant complete immunity to status effects an instantly lift them when casted. Applies to scrolls as well, incidentally.

- Stronghold got a bunch of new story-related content.

- Skills of Athletics and Survival were changed rather significantly - Athletics now works as a per-encounter healing spell basically, while survival lets you choose resting bonuses every time you camp

- You can now respec your characters. It's fairly tucked away in the UI and entirely optional.

 

2. How would you best describe how to play Pillars? Do I try to follow characters & quests, can I just explore and find things that way? What are the strengths of Pillars.

Play however you want, it's an RPG ;-) But generally, I'd say play it as you'd play BG1 as area progression is quite similar to that.

 

3. Can I create my very own party from the start, and can I customize them? I would like to create my own order.

Not from the start, but from the first inn you discover. Money will then most likely become the limiting factor, but you don't really have to touch pre-defined companions, ever.
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1. I was wondering, what kind of major changes can I expect since I played at launch? UI improvements? anything major I'd like to know :)

 

If you played pre-patch 2.0 (the patch that accompanied the release of the White March part I) then there was a fairly major change to enemy AI which changes the tanking meta. Pre-2.0 it was very possible to get by with a single tank (probably a Fighter) specced as defensively as possible who would glue most the enemies in an encounter to himself with engagement, as the AI would basically never disengage.

 

Post 2.0 the AI will disengage, and has some sort of algorithm for deciding when to do so which judges how dangerous your party members are and how poor their defences are. Thus post 2.0 the AI will happily ignore a low damage, high defence tank, eating disengagement attacks, and go beat up your glass cannons.

 

As such, it's usually a good idea to bring two tanky characters, but also to make sure your tanks are providing more than simply high defences to the group. Fighters will want to spec for single target damage, Paladins for healing and party support, Chanters for... well chanting. Also it may be wise, particularly in the earlier game, not to completely neglect your non-tanking characters defences and DR.

 

Other than that there have been a lot of changes to class balance, as well as the changes described by Fenixp above.

 

As a side note: if you enjoy PoE I'd definitely recommend the White March (both parts). They add some really nice dungeons and quests, as well as a whole range of new items to collect which are generally a lot more interesting than those in vanilla PoE.

 

2. How would you best describe how to play Pillars? Do I try to follow characters & quests, can I just explore and find things that way? What are the strengths of Pillars.

 

 

I always do all the side content of each act before progressing to the next act, though this is far from necessary. The two bits of content that don't fit obviously into this in vanilla PoE are the Endless Paths of Od Nua (the game's super dungeon) and the Bounties. The former can be dipped into periodically as you choose, with a very rough guideline being floows 1-5 are act I, 6-10 are act II and 11-15 are act III; the latter should be left till at least act II unless you want to really challenge yourself, and some of them are amongst the hardest fights in the game (also bounties can be completely skipped if you choose).

 

If you have the expansions then you have the additional question of when to do them. I usually hit up the White March around level 6ish and complete it, then finish off Act II of vanilla before going to do part II.

 

3. Can I create my very own party from the start, and can I customize them? I would like to create my own order.

 

 

Not quite. You can hire generic companions of one level lower than your own, but this costs money, and it might be a while before you've got enough to hire a full group. If you're completionist about act I then you should have enough by the end of that to hire a full group I'd guess.

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