Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Josh Sawyer's tweets and teasers


  • Please log in to reply
1529 replies to this topic

#1521
HooAmEye

HooAmEye

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 191 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Excessive lore dumps, lack of character motivation, weird pacing, player-character disconnect, and so on



#1522
algroth

algroth

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 777 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!


Excessive lore dumps, lack of character motivation, weird pacing, player-character disconnect, and so on

 

The only I can agree with from these in the first Pillars is the lore dumps, and that is mostly when the exposition was delivered in a manner that was too dry or obvious, sort of spelling the themes out instead of allowing the player to deduce what was being spoken of. But by and large I thought the writing was excellent, and in my own review of the game I in fact praised their approach to character motivation, structure and pacing.

 

 

 

I mentioned before that I feel Pillars of Eternity echoes Mask of the Betrayer over the actual Infinity Engine games, and to me the parallels start with the above: as we’re introduced to the world and our part in the story we’re about to play through, we first understand the conflict on a scale that is much more personal and involved with ourselves: whereas in Mask of the Betrayer we soon learn we’ve been possessed by a soul-eating affliction that obliges us to feed on others’ spirits lest we are consumed by that hunger ourselves, here we are awoken to memories of a past life and are thus forced to face the threat of insanity. These matters are directly pertinent to our characters and they define above all else why they, and by extension we, should care about the journey we are to face. In the meantime the conflict that affects the world on a grander scale first makes itself aware to us as part of the background or context our characters inhabit, and it is not until later in the story, when we slowly piece together more of these issues and contexts and how we come to play inside them, that we realize they are not just mere colour for the overall journey but in fact the hearts of the conflicts to each story: in Mask of the Betrayer we learn that our affliction is all that remains of the “Betrayer” Akachi and we are to take over his part in the Crusade to bring down the Wall of the Faithless, and likewise in Pillars of Eternity the reasons to the Hollowborn plague are intrinsically tied to the answers and the 'truth' that disturbed us from our awakened past. Whether a deliberate choice on behalf of the authors, a byproduct of their instinct for a satisfying narrative pace, or simply a similarity and observation that is only curious to me, this confluent narrative structure is something I find immediately satisfying: it is not uncommon in games of this genre and scope that the grander ambitions neglect the reason to why we on a personal level should care so much about resolving them; on the other hand, by framing them first as personal conflicts that then slowly tie into a grander, more impersonal arc, we have a much stronger reason to why our character should be involved in this overall arc beyond carrying or being the McGuffin. It also helps to ease the player into very lore-heavy conflicts, allowing one to absorb the information pertaining to the history driving to a certain issue at a gentler pace, and so that by the time one is forced to take action in it one is reasonably aware of how things came to be. We are thus spared of any immediate information dumps in the form of an overlong and cumbersome introductory narration, if some characters later in the game are nevertheless a tad too expositional. A common complaint I have heard across several reviews is that the story is 'weak'. I cannot agree with this remark myself but I can understand what may lead to such an impression, given that a structure like this can take its time to reveal the exact ultimate goal; it is not something I mind however, and I am willing to embrace the mystery and see where it leads me.

 

(Rest of the review here: http://bcb-board.co....133899#p3836416 )

 

The very last caveat sounds like it won't be much of an issue with this game, considering that the conflict in this new game is spelled right from the get-go by a soul-sucking 15-stories-high reincarnation of a seemingly vindictive dead god. Though yet again I suppose the actual meat of the conflict will involve the colonizing of the Deadfire and so on.


Edited by algroth, 20 January 2018 - 09:18 AM.

  • JerekKruger likes this

#1523
Boeroer

Boeroer

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7945 posts
  • Location:Bucharest, Romania
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Excessive lore dumps, lack of character motivation, weird pacing, player-character disconnect, and so on


Well, it's not like Marcel Proust is writing a novel there. It's a rpg that introduced a completely new setting and had a small budget compared to other rpgs out there. I think they did a pretty good job with the writing. The only thing I did not like were those texts you could read when clicking on the golden plated backer npcs. Not that all the individual stories were bad or so - it just felt completely out of place.
  • Mannock, draego, dukeisaac and 1 other like this

#1524
Blades of Vanatar

Blades of Vanatar

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 707 posts
  • Location:Khatovar

Excessive lore dumps, lack of character motivation, weird pacing, player-character disconnect, and so on

Well, it's not like Marcel Proust is writing a novel there. It's a rpg that introduced a completely new setting and had a small budget compared to other rpgs out there. I think they did a pretty good job with the writing. The only thing I did not like were those texts you could read when clicking on the golden plated backer npcs. Not that all the individual stories were bad or so - it just felt completely out of place.

I agree. But how often did you get a character in game? I was part of the Sorcerer’s Place group who got some stuff in game. Taluntain’s Staff.... quite nostalgic, at least it was for me. When people ask me about PoE, it’s the first thing I mention in conversation.
  • algroth likes this

#1525
algroth

algroth

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 777 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

 

 

Excessive lore dumps, lack of character motivation, weird pacing, player-character disconnect, and so on

Well, it's not like Marcel Proust is writing a novel there. It's a rpg that introduced a completely new setting and had a small budget compared to other rpgs out there. I think they did a pretty good job with the writing. The only thing I did not like were those texts you could read when clicking on the golden plated backer npcs. Not that all the individual stories were bad or so - it just felt completely out of place.

I agree. But how often did you get a character in game? I was part of the Sorcerer’s Place group who got some stuff in game. Taluntain’s Staff.... quite nostalgic, at least it was for me. When people ask me about PoE, it’s the first thing I mention in conversation.

 

 

Though I don't have any assurances about the content making it into the game, I know I for one am very excited to seeing my own personal contribution to the Black Isle Bastards making it into the game. It's a single line for some log/journal that most won't even read, but if it makes it in I'll be extremely pleased not least because I know I had a part in that. Generally speaking I have to agree that the backer characters were perhaps too intrusive an addition to the world, though - but I can imagine it must have been quite special for those who designed them.


Edited by algroth, 20 January 2018 - 06:01 PM.

  • dukeisaac likes this

#1526
Boeroer

Boeroer

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7945 posts
  • Location:Bucharest, Romania
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!
Sure, it's cool to make it into the game in one way or another. But the gold plated NPCs were all over the place and the stories they had felt totally decoupled from the rest of the game. The stories there didn't offer lore nor any info about the game, the main quest line or anything. And you couldn't do anything with the info you got. If they had any dialogue...

There's one npc called "the Vulture" with a very gruesome story. I would have liked to speak to him or just knock him right down to the floor after reading his soul - but this would just lead to the whole tavern aggroing me - unsatisfying. Once I understood that they are contributions of backers you could understand why they have no connection to the rest of the game, but it also completely removed any motivation to read their textual contributions. Because... way too many and too much text. As I said: not bad writing per se - it just felt out of place. That's not the fault of the backers.

On the other hand I really liked the backers' items. No spellbinding rogue is complete without Taluntain's Staff. :) Some of the nicest items come from backers.

Obsidian had not much experience with including backer recognition into a game. The tombstones (oh my) and golden plated NPCs were not my favorite at all, but the items and the Wailing Banshee for example were very nice. I also like backer portraits and such. That stuff blends in.

Or think about how ol' Gromnir made it into BG2. Very well done integration.

I know that the Black Isle Bastards will make a much better impression than "random" NPCs that are just standing at some spot for no obvious reason (some with very weird stories). They'll have a story that's embedded into the rest of the game, they'll have dialogue and thus a connection to the game. And this time OBS had much more freedom when it comes to "fleshing out" the BiBs. I think they will be great. Even the in-game recognition is done in a way that it doesn't break immersion (the ledger that lists the BiB's victims and loot).
  • Mannock, IndiraLightfoot, bonarbill and 5 others like this

#1527
IndiraLightfoot

IndiraLightfoot

    Apex of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 4526 posts
  • Location:Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I know that the Black Isle Bastards will make a much better impression than "random" NPCs that are just standing at some spot for no obvious reason (some with very weird stories). They'll have a story that's embedded into the rest of the game, they'll have dialogue and thus a connection to the game. And this time OBS had much more freedom when it comes to "fleshing out" the BiBs. I think they will be great. Even the in-game recognition is done in a way that it doesn't break immersion (the ledger that lists the BiB's victims and loot).

^This! I'm really looking forward to those cranky bastards and learning about their fates.


Edited by IndiraLightfoot, Yesterday, 01:49 AM.

  • Boeroer likes this

#1528
Blades of Vanatar

Blades of Vanatar

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 707 posts
  • Location:Khatovar
Is it just me or are you guys looking forward to meeting the ‘know it all mayor’ of a town named Gromnir who no matter what argument you state he has answer for it.....

Meant purely as a compliment btw.....

.... and of course they end every answer with’Great Fun!’

Edited by Blades of Vanatar, Yesterday, 01:21 PM.


#1529
Wormerine

Wormerine

    (7) Enchanter

  • Members
  • 935 posts
  • Location:Poznan
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

https://twitter.com/...141454728380416

 

 

Hoping for more songs like the one from tavern in Stalwart.


  • injurai, dukeisaac and algroth like this

#1530
anameforobsidian

anameforobsidian

    (8) Warlock

  • Members
  • 1092 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

In good CRPGs with plenty of companions, it usually works like this for me:

-The first playthrough is the atmospheric, magical one. I try to make a decent main character, but I take along companions, and try to see if I like them or not.

-The second is either another story-playthrough, but with new companions and a few of my favourites, or a first attempt at a power-gaming party (if I can roll all characters myself)

-The third or the fourth run may be for some crazy shenaningans, a solo run, for instance, or a lop-sided party with nothing but my favourite builds

-Heh, but if I'm crazy about a CRPG, like NWN2, which I have played through, MotB included, over 20 times, I end up doing absurd things. I have actually done an entire playthrough of NWN2 OC+MotB with a weird van Helsing crossbow-wielding arcane archer/ranger/wizard/rogue build, which was somewhat gimped, but it looked like classic van Helsing and was quite a challenge.

 

Mine was a bear mage in NWN2.  It was a horrifically gimped build, but it was also a bear that could cast fireballs.  Pillars captured a lot of that craziness, but not all.


  • IndiraLightfoot likes this




1 user(s) are reading this topic

1 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


    White Phoenix