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To the Obsidian team: Congratulations on beginning your Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire campaign on Fig! I backed today along with (as of the moment) 4,500+ others, and wish it extraordinary success.

 

I'd like to start a discussion regarding the use of Fog of War in Pillars of Eternity and the future use of it in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

 

Fog of War is essential in the isometric cRPG genre as it:

  • Creates a sense of apprehension and caution from not knowing lies ahead
  • Motivates players to utilize the stealth gameplay mechanic; thereby also motivating players to create or use a stealth hero/companion
  • Provides a sense of adventure by giving players an unknown area to fully explore
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment once players have fully cleared the fog of war
  • Allows for strategic and tactical placement of enemy NPCs
  • Allows for higher framerate from occlusion culling (not sure if Obsidian and the Unity engine use this?)
  • Etc.

However, Fog of War does present a few detriments to the beauty and atmosphere of the game:

  • Unable to view certain flora and fauna unless it is within eye sight range
  • The color of the area is desaturated even after previous exploration
  • Towns and cities do not feel lifelike as you cannot see anyone working or moving unless very close to him or her
  • Lighting, falling leaves, and other unique effects are not viewable unless within very close proximity to the player
  • Etc.

 

I hope with this sequel to Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian developers reign in the use of Fog of War, particularly in cities or towns where direct combat is not necessarily expected. The beauty and activity of a sprawling town or dimly lit catacomb cannot be fully experienced when Fog of War obscures detail and saps color, lighting, and effects from the dynamic space. 

 

Pillars of Eternity provides many options with respect to game difficulty and gameplay, such as:

  • Maim companions before death
  • No knockout injuries
  • Area of Effect highlighting
  • Unrestricted Stash
  • Etc.

Please consider adding the option to fully eliminate Fog of War after discovering an area. A lot of arguments against this cite the fact that previously explored areas will still be used for ambush attacks or other unexpected enemy encounters. I think the benefit of such encounters should be weighed against the detriment such aggressive use of Fog of War has on the aesthetic of the various game environments. 

 

Is now a good time to create a system wherein perhaps only enemies are obscured by Fog of War? 

 

Hopefully we can find a happy medium between tactical gameplay and game aesthetic.

 

Please leave your two cents below, and let's keep it civil please.

 

Edit: Spelling.

Edited by hoohaamaster
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I think the sight and attack range distances are balanced very well.

 

The problem I have is how dark areas of the environment are outside the sight range after previously discovering them - especially in towns.

 

A good example of the kind of Fog of War option I'm hoping Obsidian may include is found in Divinity Original Sin and Divinity Original Sin 2.

 

Areas not yet explored are black and must be illuminated by discovering the area; however, once the area is illuminated, even if you wander off to another section of the map, the entire discovered area remains fully illuminated. 

 

Many of the environments in Pillars of Eternity are beautiful hand crafted works of art - it's just a shame they are constantly covered in Fog of War. 

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While there's no respawning you did have to go back to some areas several times and there would occasionally be new enemies and NPCs for quests or whatever else so I can see a reason to keep it dimmed out. 

 

My issue is just with the range

 

If it's the range i would like it so that it would be big enough. But then one can argue that it make scouting moot. 

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As I wrote in the other thread, I wouldn't change a single thing about how fog of war works in POE. As far as I'm concerned it should be carried over into Deadfire as is.

 

However, I wouldn't mind if there would be some kind of clairvoyance spell you could learn/scroll you could come by or buy from merchants that would either increase the range of sight or maybe even remove fog of war and reveal the current area completely.

Or a (craftable) potion/consumable that would have the same effect.

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I want realistic fog of war this time. Sorry but I don't think the old rts style of fog of war untilised by IE games is enough. Makes no sense. Like you have the party on an open ground and they can't see past 10 meters away? wtf? Check Wasteland 2 and Divinity Original Sin. Characters can see as far as the eye can, unless obstacles are in the way.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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As I wrote in the other thread, I wouldn't change a single thing about how fog of war works in POE. As far as I'm concerned it should be carried over into Deadfire as is.

 

However, I wouldn't mind if there would be some kind of clairvoyance spell you could learn/scroll you could come by or buy from merchants that would either increase the range of sight or maybe even remove fog of war and reveal the current area completely.

Or a (craftable) potion/consumable that would have the same effect.

 

I really like this idea. Perhaps some sort of Will-o'-the-Wisp type scroll or spell? Also, you could have a torch in the offhand illuminate a whole room - more than the ordinary sight range? Maybe certain rooms have lighting that can be activated to permanently reveal the entire area?

 

 

 

I want realistic fog of war this time. Sorry but I don't think the old rts style of fog of war untilised by IE games is enough. Makes no sense. Like you have the party on an open ground and they can't see past 10 meters away? wtf? Check Wasteland 2 and Divinity Original Sin. Characters can see as far as the eye can, unless obstacles are in the way.

 

I agree with this as well. In an outdoor space, during the day, it would be nice if the entire area was viewable. Certain NPCs could be dressed in camouflage-type armor if they wish to remain hidden and lie in ambush. Otherwise, again I think a simple system that hides enemy NPCs from view would maintain the Fog of War gameplay from Pillars of Eternity and The White March I & II.

 

I still think the optimal solution would be some sort of menu option under difficulty or gameplay that allows the player to switch Fog of War between Aggressive-> On -> Doesn't Linger -> Off.

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I'd agree with the OP that the desaturation really needs to go. It really detracts from the beauty of a lot of the locations. A soft glow at the edge of visual range or... nothing, would probably be fine.

 

System-wise, I think it's pretty well-done - I'd extend vision range (for PCs and NPCs) by about 15-30% myself, longer for very large or flying monsters, because walking into a well-lit area and not seeing so giant bastard until you're quite close feels pretty silly (especially when they're not hiding).

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Fog of War in PoE1 usually disappears after a few minutes to never come back again [until loading a save]. So if that bug carries over I'm sure you'll get what you want. Personally, I like having the FoW and when it bugs out, like clockwork in the first few minutes of every load, I have to save and reload the most recent file to get the FoW back. I'm weird though and play almost fully zoomed in too until there's a battle.

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