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

Feedback on Quest Design


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1
Mygaffer

Mygaffer

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 146 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

I rolled up a melee wizard for a solo POTD run today and as I completed the Ferry Flotsam task for the hundredth time I was thinking about how binary the choice was. You can kill the looters or let them take the meager, ruined goods.

 

I know it was a small quest but I would have liked a third option. Neither of the presented options are a good expression of what my character's choice would have been. My character would have been happy to donate money to these poor looters trying to scrape by and still return Peregund's goods.

 

I love Pillars and a lot of quests give much more room for players to express their character's values in game. Since this task has always stuck in my craw a little bit, and especially thinking about how we treat the poor during Trump's presidency, I felt I'd make a small post about it.


  • Fluffle, PugPug and Celeras like this

#2
draego

draego

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 394 posts
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Ye on multiple playthroughs there are some quests that could have had more choices and hopefully POE2 there will be more even in small stuff like this. Gilded Vale had a few quest that could have done better. The Smith's Shipment comes to mind where you basically help the smith or dont (but the dont has no benefit it just skipping the quest). You cant steal the goods or give them to Curnd for reward (this one basically felt like they just didnt finish it). Also  A Mother's Plea, you can help (there were choices for ways of helping at least) or dont (again no benefit to not helping). What if you could steal the potion for yourself and gain an exclusive potion for the game. or maybe the choice is to help someone else or turn her in to the authorities for going to questionable source for help. same with Late for Dinner  you help or dont (and again no benefit to skipping). Maybe you could have stolen something for the bandits from the inn. Im not saying i want to be bad all the time but there were few options to hurt gilded vale with alot of these early side quest. Basically you help gilded vale or you skip the quest. Now the Lord of a Barren Land gave you some options but ye more options for different kinds of characters and they all dont have to be evil per se just different like Against the grain which had a few options both ways and neither was evil just different perspective.

 

I do find i role play more on multiple playthroughs though. So when i rolled a wizard - scientist looking for escape from death. with A Mother's Plea, I 'stole' the potion and didnt finish the quest because maybe it could be useful to discover what it did. For a berath priest build basically a judge dredd, in the quest Buried Secrets when found out the lord didnt want people digging in the temple i left  because of my since  of duty to the law (would be nice to turn him in before you go digging around). Stuff like that to make the role play more consistent. Had to squash my completionist feelings but made my choices more rewarding for playthrough.


Edited by draego, 23 September 2017 - 01:18 PM.


#3
Fluffle

Fluffle

    Fluffy Marshmallow of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 717 posts
  • Location:Deadfire Archipelago
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Watcher
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I think this is a very important topic. I recently replayed Pillars of Eternity and they were quite a few quests where I felt the most obvious and natural possible reactions of the player character were taken out, cut off, just to create a moral dilemma.

 

I do like moral dilemmas in quests. I do like that you cannot resolve just everything in a black-and-white approach.

There are shades of moral and different ways to approach a quest. That's all fine and good.

 

BUT! Not by artificially creating a false dilemma by taking out the most natural reactions.

 

The Ferry Flotsam task is THE example for this. I don't want to repeat everything what's been said on it. There is a thread about it here.

 

PEREGUND IS A MERCHANT FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!

A MERCHANT!!!

 

And I cannot even offer to buy off her lost goods. WTF??? WHY????

Likewise I cannot offer to help out the looters with money. WTF?! The option is simply not there. WHY???

 

And there are some other quests that do this in a similar way, but no quest was so outstanding on this matter than Ferry Flotsam.

 

Moral dilemmas should NOT - actually NEVER - be created just because the developers cut off logical, obvious, natural, probable reactions of the player character.

 

rant over, I hate ferry flotsam task so much... HATE IT!!!

 

now rant over xD


Edited by Fluffle, 25 September 2017 - 09:01 AM.

  • Messier-31, SkySlam, Wormerine and 1 other like this

#4
zealotstim

zealotstim

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
I would love more options to be a sort of badass good guy. Usually the good guy options are all about avoiding confrontation and giving second chances to people who do bad things. I like playing a character who is rough around the edges, but still on the good guy side. I'm thinking I would like a character I can use to rough up some npc who is being a jerk without going full evil. I want to use threats and intimidation on the bad guys more. Hopefully we see a bit more gray--not that there wasn't some in poe.
  • draego likes this

#5
Zidster

Zidster

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 33 posts

I've started I bad guy playtrough recently and so far I'm a bit worried, too. When killing the guy in the mill I thought it'd be cool to loot the place for corn and sell it for very high, unfair prices to the hungry people. When I freed the cook the guy was like "thanks for freeing me" - why do I have to let him go? I killed the bandits so his fate is in MY hands now. Shouldn't I be able to blackmail him into something? I don't know something like "Tell me where the savings of the Black Hound are hidden or you'll be joining them (bandits) sooner than you think." The mother quest will also have no evil option, as it seems. Only pressing out something more from the mother would be quite ok. After all my bad guy is a merc who just needs to make some money, so running erands is not OOC for him. But I don't know, maybe this one even works.

 

Ferry flotsam is really the worst quest in this game. I mean it even creates a moral dilemma for the bad guy. "Damn, if I kill them I will have helped a merchant but if I trick the merchant I will have helped those hungry people. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO! I JUST WANT TO BE EVIL!!!" Again I want to kill the looters and press every last dime out of the merchant or maybe even take the goods and sell them somewhere else for a higher price. 

 

Are there some quests where you can be really, really evil? The most evil thing I can remember would be telling the little boys father from Defiance Bay about his dagger demanding son. Even the sacrofize of the child in Twin Elms doesn't really feel bad, as it is wrapped into the culture of Glanfathians who seem to be ok with that kind of stuff, at least some of them. Can I sacrifize the baby to get stronger myself? 



#6
blotter

blotter

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 304 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

I've started I bad guy playtrough recently and so far I'm a bit worried, too. When killing the guy in the mill I thought it'd be cool to loot the place for corn and sell it for very high, unfair prices to the hungry people. When I freed the cook the guy was like "thanks for freeing me" - why do I have to let him go? 

 

It's been a while since I've played that part of the game, but unless he disappears, you don't have to let him go since you could kill him while he's walking away. I agree that extorting money or information from him after dealing with the bandits would have been a simple and appropriate option to include, however.

 

If you killed Calisca and the rest of the caravan at the start of the game, you can gloat to Aufra (Calisca's sister and the mother from the Mother's Plea quest) about having done so, at which point she and her cat turn hostile and have to be put down. However, unless the boost to your Watcher's Cruel disposition benefits them as a priest of Skaen or a Bleak Walker paladin, there's no particular reward for doing this beyond the satisfaction of murdering a terrified pregnant woman and her cat.

 

Ferry flotsam is really the worst quest in this game. I mean it even creates a moral dilemma for the bad guy. "Damn, if I kill them I will have helped a merchant but if I trick the merchant I will have helped those hungry people. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO! I JUST WANT TO BE EVIL!!!" Again I want to kill the looters and press every last dime out of the merchant or maybe even take the goods and sell them somewhere else for a higher price.

 

Ferry Flotsam doesn't pose a moral dilemma for evil characters unless they're driven by a pathological need to screw over absolutely everyone; not even then, actually, since you can still kill Peregund after she pays you.

 

A ruthless character who's driven by greed, such as the one you described, would have an easy choice to make: off the looters and get paid for it or help them out without much promise of payment. The former's obviously preferable from a profit-oriented perspective; who cares if the merchant's happy about it?

 

Sure, the character would probably like to get paid more, but being able to extort Peregund's life savings from her over the cargo is only viable if said cargo is more important to her than her life savings, which is far from guaranteed. Even if you threatened to kill her or something if she didn't pay you more, chances are she's not hauling anything close to her life savings around with her, so the discount is more likely to return superior long-term benefits.

 

As for selling the stuff yourself, that could potentially work, but it's worth keeping in mind that, aside from ostensibly being preoccupied with trying to prevent the memories of your past lives from driving you mad, you're a foreigner who has no real connections in the area and either no reputation or a rapidly worsening one at the rate you're going around carving up peasants and robbing merchants. In taking the cargo for yourself, you're basically gambling on your ability to locate the right buyer and on said buyer's willingness to purchase your goods at the price you're looking for, which is also not assured given the possibility of damage to the merchandise and the fact that you're either unknown or infamous.

 

That said, I don't really see the harm in making it an option to steal the cargo and try to sell it yourself but it shouldn't guarantee a greater reward by a long shot. If certain conditions are met, such as having the Merchant background and sufficient ranks in a skill related to the goods in question (Peregund sells traps in Defiance Bay, if memory serves, so maybe Mechanics), it should be possible to get more gold/rewards for the effort involved, but otherwise the option shouldn't automatically serve as a way to maximize your returns and could reasonably result in you actually earning less.

 

Are there some quests where you can be really, really evil? The most evil thing I can remember would be telling the little boys father from Defiance Bay about his dagger demanding son.

 

I'm not really sure why a heartless, greedy bastard would actually give the knife to Gordy since it's actually a pretty handy weapon. But whatever: here's a list. I'm assuming you don't mind spoilers here, but I've spoilered some of these anyway just in case.

  1. What you can do in Heritage Hill is eviler than shaking down a bandit's hostage or a merchant, at least.
  2. Spoiler
  3. Spoiler
  4. Spoiler
  5. Depending on how much they like birds, people might think Songs of the Wild features a rather evil option for its resolution. The dialogue options you get to urge Delem to follow through on his plan are pretty funny and I think one the options you have for getting one of the birds from Llensi, while far from the major leagues of evil, did effectively drive home what a bastard your Watcher is (if you think terrifying little old ladies with grievous bodily harm to their beloved pets is crossing a line, at least).
  6. Spoiler
  7. The peaceful option for dealing with the Master Below could be considered pretty heinous.
  8. If you have the White March, there's a quest that allows you to sell an escaped slave back into slavery.
  9. If you have a jail at your keep, you can sell prisoners into slavery, order the jailer to continuously torture them, or sell them to animancers to use as research subjects. The jailer once asked what to do with a prisoner who had tried to escape and I had to option to instruct him to hack off some of their fingers, but I'm not sure how often that comes up since it only happened to me in one playthrough.
  10. As the master of Caed Nua, you can execute a number of your visitors and string them up from your gates. You can also help a slave trader secure routes and contacts within the Dyrwood for a cut of the profits, and you can take advantage of a visiting noble's crisis to loot his coffers under the pretext of protecting him.
  11. Spoiler

There are also a few quests that have options which are more along the lines of generic assassinations, like Hard Feelings, His Old Self, and the Changing of the Guard. They're nothing to really write home about, but they're still options for establishing your character as someone who doesn't mind killing decent/honest people for a bit of coin. Unwanted is basically the same setup, but it's worth mentioning since the quest does more to emphasize Eorn's blamelessness and you also have the option to imprison him and thereby subject him to any of the fates I mentioned in #9 above.

 

Even the sacrofize sacrifice of the child in Twin Elms doesn't really feel bad, as it is wrapped into the culture of Glanfathians who seem to be ok with that kind of stuff, at least some of them. Can I sacrifize sacrifice the baby to get stronger myself?

 

If you also made the poison, you can give that to Simoc instead of the distilled essence potion. Then you can still convince him that it was what he asked for and thus gain the same reward (Thy Cleft) if your Resolve is high enough. That said, the distilled essence potion has no other use in Pillars 1 and I doubt they'll bother to check to see if you kept it for yourself in Pillars 2.

 

My Watcher only went to the trouble because he figured the essence potion would function similarly to a person's remains or possessions in terms of triggering visions, which he could use to better understand the rituals of the Ethik Nol and potentially utilize them himself. Unfortunately for him he was apparently wrong, but it's not like he lost anything by trying.


Edited by blotter, 12 October 2017 - 12:59 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users