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When I first met her agent I thought I would do some secret missions for her and then, amidst a random mission, I would discover some leads to the misterious figure that is destroying the animancy populatiry, but, for my dissatisfaction, she was just a deus ex machina. Disappointed!

 

 

Agreed. I liked Lady Webb, and I liked the general thrust of the investigation, but I did not like how she was the one actively solving the Thaos mystery instead of the PC.

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My memory might be mistaken, but there was a trigger for getting to know Lady Webb, right? Maybe getting a high reputation with one of the factions. I agree she was a convenient NPC, but considering that she is the leader of the faction that surveils Defiance Bay, in a way, it is not unrealistic to consider that she would become aware of the Watcher's quest, or the Leaden Key's, and try to intervene.

 

She might have been convenient, but we earned her attention with our previous deeds in the city I guess.

 

Also, her dialogue might have been a little too lore-dumpy (although that's a problem with most of the NPC's in the game), but the writers managed to craft some cool poetic moments, like when she deliberately extracted information from Thaos in her last moments for the Watcher to see through his powers.

 

That's was kind of the pattern in PoE's narrative: uninspired lore-dumps with seldom good moments of elegant beauty.

 

I'm replaying the game, so we'll see how it goes. 

 

However, from what I remember, I didn't feel Lady Webb was artificial or forced into the story. Having someone who is an incredibly powerful and influential figure who achieves things independently of my character helped reinforce my suspension of disbelief. She had her own agenda and goals and didn't rely on the Watcher to achieve them. It made the characters feel more alive, as opposed to games like Skyrim and the like, where they are usually just waiting around for the protagonist to do everything and become everything. 

 

Not to mention, how competent would Thaos seem if a random nobody could unravel his millenia-old plot in a couple of weeks? How stupid would Dyrwoodans have to be?

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Lady Webb, Iovara and Thaos were the only characters holding the story together. They could've been written better (and Lady Webb desperately needed a portrait), but the game would've been much worse off without them.

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Lady Webb seemed too Deus Ex Machina/talking head for my liking, and Iovara seemed like she should've been around for much more of the game than she actually was, that she should've been following you since Cilant Lis and expanding on your journey. I really liked her, such a poor tragic character, but not enough of her by far.

 

I guess that I'm more the reverse.  I wasn't a great fan of Iovara, though perhaps part of that was because I wasn't really much of a fan of the entire "the gods aren't real" storyline/conflict between Thaos and Iovara.  Maybe this was just the producers/writers way of differentiating PoE from, say, the Forgotten Realms of D&D where there was an established set of deities that the people of the Realms take as a given.  But honestly, I kind of like that sort of thing in a fantasy setting.  And the "gods aren't real" story arc felt a smidge preachy for me.  Of course, it could hardly be any other way, given that the two main characters in this arc (Thaos and Iovara) were both preaching opposite sides of the "gods are or aren't real" philosophy/heresy.   And, of course, this was also the overriding story arc of the entire game, so without it, the game's entire story would have required another plot.

 

Lady Webb wasn't, I suppose, absolutely necessary to moving the story forward.  The PC could perhaps have pieced together enough of the mystery to keep advancing the story.  OTOH, Lady Webb was a convenient focus for getting you on the track of the main story line and keeping you there during the middle part of the game.  Could it have been been done differently?  I suppose.  But it might have take a lot longer for the PC to track down enough clues to find your first steps along the main story line's "path".  Overall though, I didn't mind Lady Webb.

 

Regardless, different strokes and all that...

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Lady Webb, Iovara and Thaos were the only characters holding the story together. They could've been written better (and Lady Webb desperately needed a portrait), but the game would've been much worse off without them.

 

This is SOOOOOOOOO true.  IMO, all major NPC's you encounter along your journey should have portraits.  And when you get right down to it, how many "major" NPCs are there really in PoE that would/should require a portrait?

 

It's been so long since I've played PoE that I don't remember the NPCs all that well.  But there's Lady Webb, Iovara, Thaos, the lord of that castle in the first act that you have to deal with.  The Master of the dungeon, I suppose, though he may actually be more of a minor NPC when all's said and done.  There might be a couple in WM1 and 2.  All in all, not that many that are truly significant enough to warrant a portrait.

 

On a lesser level, it might have been nice if there were a variety of small thumbnail portraits for various inn keepers and merchants, though that would be a luxury.

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Lady Webb, Iovara and Thaos were the only characters holding the story together. They could've been written better (and Lady Webb desperately needed a portrait), but the game would've been much worse off without them.

 

This is SOOOOOOOOO true.  IMO, all major NPC's you encounter along your journey should have portraits.  And when you get right down to it, how many "major" NPCs are there really in PoE that would/should require a portrait?

 

It's been so long since I've played PoE that I don't remember the NPCs all that well.  But there's Lady Webb, Iovara, Thaos, the lord of that castle in the first act that you have to deal with.  The Master of the dungeon, I suppose, though he may actually be more of a minor NPC when all's said and done.  There might be a couple in WM1 and 2.  All in all, not that many that are truly significant enough to warrant a portrait.

 

On a lesser level, it might have been nice if there were a variety of small thumbnail portraits for various inn keepers and merchants, though that would be a luxury.

 

 

Lady Webb, Duc Aevar, just to name a few...

 

My old thread about this: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85528-original-npc-portraits-by-obsidian/


It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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Lady Webb, Duc Aevar, just to name a few...

 

My old thread about this: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85528-original-npc-portraits-by-obsidian/

Anachronistic, but this painting always fit Lady Webb for me:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewess_with_Oranges

 

Given that the functionality is there, wouldn't it be possible to hack portraits into the game?


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Yeah, I thought they did a good job of making Iovara seem zealous to the point of insanity. She's a mirrored counterpart to Thaos. If she's a mouthpiece for the author, then that author needs to get some psychiatric help.

 

Only that unlike Thaos, her motivations are proven to be altruistic and her beliefs to be true. Likewise, she is always portrayed as some benevolent liberator whose beliefs also never drive her to committing atrocities of any sort the way Thaos did, that we learn of anyhow. Also to house2fly, to the best of my awareness I was never given an option to tell her I didn't think she was right, or to argue against her exposition. This is even more worrying when, at least during my first playthrough, my character literally asked out loud "could this be true, that the gods are a lie?" right after the interaction.

 

 

Read your full review. Very interesting and I agree with most of it. 

 

Perhaps If we had the chance to disagree with her point of view, we would eventually be able to side with Thaos and that would lead to different endgame gameplay experience? That's the kind of stuff I want to see in PoE2.

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My issue with the reveal was they did not really set up the Gods as having a big background creation myth that got shattered that I was aware of. They are only ever interacted with as beings who have power now over material things. And they do.

 

So the fact they are powerful immortal beings that have power over the things in their portfolio was not actually shaken by the realization they were made by the Engwithans. I mean they currently exist and Ondra really can mess with the seas so you probably should appease her before that voyage. I mean how is that different from the Olympian Gods? And with Eothas coming back it is pretty clear we have no idea how to get rid of them.

 

So how are they fake gods? What exactly is a god? Thaos asked this question.

 

And more than hand wringing over the technical definition of a god and whether or not these gods fit this technical definition I guess I am interested in the idea that does this mean that somebody might create more gods? That seems far more important than this weird semantic discussion. I mean who cares what you call the gods? They are immortal beings of immense super natural power whatever you want to call them.

 

I mean if, say, Concelhaut had known this his strategy for overcoming death would have been different. Is this knowledge still too dangerous to let everybody know about? Would it lead to some sort of race to learn this secret and make yourself a god? Iovara did not seem particularly concerned about that...or actually seem to even have occurred to her which is weird because she had plenty of time to think about it.

Edited by Valmy
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Lady Webb, Iovara and Thaos were the only characters holding the story together. They could've been written better (and Lady Webb desperately needed a portrait), but the game would've been much worse off without them.

 

I think these characters were all (mostly) fine, what was missing was more interaction with their *followers* and the downstream results of their *actions* so that the player could really grasp and understand their former self's *conflict* and inability to choose between Iovara and Thaos.  Former Me just felt wishy-washy and indecisive to me, because regardless of whether Thaos was actually correct about people NEEDING gods, his METHODS were so horrific that he couldn't be anything but a bad guy by anybody's lights.  But all of the events were so far in the past that there wasn't really an opportunity for you to see various aspects of their different creeds having effects on people in different ways.  The conflict between Iovara and Thaos specifically was far too abstract.  Heck, aside from talking to Durance you don't even really get to see that much of "What does it MEAN to worship a god in this world or, conversely, NOT worship one".  Religion per se was mostly a sideline for people and their concerns and conflicts were personal.

 

The question of whether the gods are "real" or not is actually a DISTRACTION--the ultimate theme of the game is about dealing with uncertainty and the terrible thing about Thaos was his utter certainty and total rejection of any uncertainty. The problem is that Iovara as written is ALSO certain, so, as others have mentioned, the PLAYER is not forced to either confront uncertainty (as the other characters are) or decide to submit to Thaos' version as a way to avoid that--the player is given two very certain versions to choose between at the last moment. Iovara may have said "I can't prove this to you", but your experiences with Caed Nua, Thaos, and the various Engwithan machines has already demonstrated that the Engwithans wwere certainly CAPABLE of soul manipulation on the scale necessary to create a "god".  So her version has a good amount of evidence FOR it and NO evidence AGAINST it--and then Thaos just comes right out and admits it at the end.  So instead of the finale being "choose benevolent uncertainty or horrible certainty", it was "choose the good certainty or the bad certainty".  So that didn't work out very well.

 

You did sort of have the option to defy whatever god you promised the souls to, but this felt more like a **** move than anything because, "real" or not, the gods certainly do have POWER and you'd be inflicting the wrath of the god YOU picked on a bunch of people who had no part in the decision and did nothing wrong.

 

I think what would have made this more interesting would have been if you did decide to defy the gods and just release the souls instead of submitting to ANY divine plan, you would have one last dream where the god informed you of how pissed off they were and you got to discuss the issue with them and try to convince them to change their mind.  That was one of the coolest parts of The White March, when you can talk to Ondra and even possibly convince her that it's better to allow Abydon to return.  Think about if you'd been *able* to talk to that god at the end and say, look, YOU need to confront this idea of uncertainty TOO and not just go around issuing demands and smashing everyone who disagrees with you just because you can, look at my companions, they managed to come to terms with it, and look at what Thaos almost did from his absolute refusal to allow any doubt to exist.  And then you get a kind of mixed-bag ending slide about "well, you succeeded in your goal but it didn't magically fix everything and there were still a lot of problems and people doing really dumb stuff and being really frustrated because the gods were silent and nobody knew what to do now".  The way the final choice was actually framed, it wasn't a matter of "you restore faith in the gods or people now live in uncertainty", it was "you restore faith in the gods OR the gods commit a lot of nasty jackassery, suck it".  By all means leave the "gods are jackasses" option in there if you don't convince them or if you're just nastily confrontational.  That's suitable.  But it would have been good to at least give you the opportunity to try so that the central theme of uncertainty wasn't replaced at the last moment by "are the gods real or not"?  Who cares if the gods are "real" or if they were "made" when THEY PLAINLY EXIST AND HAVE POWER AND DEFYING THEM IS GOING TO GET A BUNCH OF PEOPLE HURT.  But . . . if instead you can REASON with even the GODS . . . what does THAT mean?

 

That, potentially, would have been very powerful and would have wrapped the overall story really well and you'd still be left with the question of "did I make the right decision?" and have no choice but to live with the uncertainty . . . just like everyone else.

Edited by PsychoBlonde
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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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Agreed with Iovara, I thought she was the weakest element in the game personally. What I wrote about her in my review:

 

 

 

Our journey to 'Enlightenment' concludes with a revelation that shatters all previous conceptions of Eora’s natural order and great chain of being: from the mouth of Iovara we learn that the gods aren’t 'real', and that they were created by a now-defunct culture so as to fill the void they found when looking for them. Upon reaching this moment, I have to admit I was not all too convinced by it – in fact, in my first run through the game I felt the remainder entirely soured by it. In retrospect I’m still in two minds about it, but I feel I’ve grown to appreciate it more, and the reason is this: tying into the shift towards modernism and humanism that is at the heart of Pillars of Eternity’s themes, the acknowledgement that the gods were created by kith marks a rotund inversion in power, where Man is no longer made in the likeness of God but vice versa. With this, kith are truly independent to forge their own path and reach their own understanding of the world, no longer requiring 'permission' from the gods to do so. It’s a fitting conclusion to the central conceit, but I can’t help feel it goes about it in a manner that isn’t particularly elegant, nor does it leave much room for interpretation and differing points of view. For starters, Iovara is all too eager to serve these revelations to us in very expositional fashion, going to great detail about the way things happened and what led to the gods being created; we are also left with little choice but to accept this as is told, despite having interacted with the gods before and having empirical evidence in-game to their existence (if not their origin as such). To the best of my memory I also cannot recall any indication prior to our meeting her that what she speaks of might be thus. Her words are absolute, and backed by little more than a martyr's fallacy: her suffering in the face of an age-old Inquisition, her death in defense of her ideals, and the seeming selflessness of her actions all readily make her an authority of truth that I can’t help question in the same way I would the usual zealot. Likewise it threatens to simplify and reduce the more nuanced depiction of religion as seen above to an almost villainous ploy whose function is only to act as a deliberate mantle from a truth that is perceived to be dangerous; in turn I can’t help feel the theme outlined in the above paragraphs loses much of its strength, or is invalidated altogether.

 

This also comes in conflict with a theme that links all of our companions and their respective arcs, which is to do with the inaccessibility of the past, with its immutability, and having to face things that cannot be changed, or that cannot be known. Edér hopes to find a reason to his brother’s enlisting to Waidwen’s army, Kana hopes to find an ancient piece of scripture valuable to his culture, the Grieving Mother hopes to find peace in the denial of the past… Every character eventually faces a moment of impossibility in their quest, and they have to come to terms that things won't be as they want them to be. Whether Edér’s inability to know what his brother thought at the time, Kana’s discovery that the tablet he was after has been destroyed, the Grieving Mother’s request for her memory to be erased not changing the events that happened, these and more all mark a sensation of bittersweet dissatisfaction that links all of their stories, and they are much more interesting for it: with every uncertainty and impossibility, what matters is ultimately the approach each character takes and the way they deal with these instances. The conclusions that each character, and the protagonist, arrive to are worthier than the answers that would have otherwise been given, and it is what in the end makes each of these quests fulfilling, and enriching. Why, then, is it that when every character is denied of an answer and comes out all the wiser for it, we, the protagonist, get to find the answer we seek? How much more interesting would it have been for me if the answer had been implied instead: maybe Iovara, despite all her selflessness, could have resented in her dying hour and in the eternity spent in that adra prison the man that handed her over to her fate, and ended her quest to enlighten the world; if so, maybe she could have *denied* the answer from the protagonist, and left him to his suffering. Maybe we’d have to make do with what we could gather from the vision that followed Thaos’ demise, and seen at that moment the suggestion to the gods not being real. The question here is more important, the seed of doubt as powerful as the statement of the gods’ falsehood; the conclusions and questions we make to ourselves after the fact, likewise, more personal and lingering than the answers served to us.

 

(For context, my full review: https://glitchwave.com/game/pillars-of-eternity/review/algroth_89/89145720/ )

 

Definitely agree with Lady Webb too, though she came across as a more charismatic character all the same.

 

 

Surprisingly I overlooked this thread until now.  This is a great post, very insightful and eloquently put. 

 

Particularly this part:

 

"In retrospect I’m still in two minds about it, but I feel I’ve grown to appreciate it more, and the reason is this: tying into the shift towards modernism and humanism that is at the heart of Pillars of Eternity’s themes, the acknowledgement that the gods were created by kith marks a rotund inversion in power, where Man is no longer made in the likeness of God but vice versa. With this, kith are truly independent to forge their own path and reach their own understanding of the world, no longer requiring 'permission' from the gods to do so. It’s a fitting conclusion to the central conceit, but I can’t help feel it goes about it in a manner that isn’t particularly elegant, nor does it leave much room for interpretation and differing points of view."

 

For a game which has moments of subtle shades of grey, depth and allowing for interpretation, the immersion of another world is then broken with typical humanist elements that are subtly trying to push real world trending beliefs into the world of ancient fantasy.

I felt that the above was the equivalent of having insightful, respectful and stimulating debate and conversation with a group of people, going on a journey, and some pretentious know it all steps in and says 'it's all fake man, it just is, you are your own God you know.... it's just the truth and you need to eventually accept it and I'll show you how woke I am by putting it in here too.

 

As I've said previously, I like the potential of the unique approach they've taken, I'd also like it if they leave it open to possibilities.  I'd find it a bit bland, jaded or cynical if their 'answer' in the end is total relativism of, nothing is true, only what we personally believe and manifest.  

This may be a very interesting topic in the real world, but in settings full of magic, wonder, powers and gods, please allow the potential for more, instead of bleak deconstruction, based on personal biases in our real life outlooks and perspectives. 

 

Perhaps its not that blatant or extreme, but I'm emphasising to make the point.

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Wow, today I learned that many nations have proverbs explaining gaining something over nothing using birds for description!

In Russian it's "Better tomtit in hand than crane in the sky".

All these proverbs are highly doubtful though! :)

 

Webb and Iovara just add some flavour to the main plot, I don't understand why they are considered as poor choice by some.

The only reason I see is that they are pretty steampipe and unavoidable, but they are milestones, still you have option to know more or less about them.

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Done this with Moon Godlike Wizard

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My issue with the reveal was they did not really set up the Gods as having a big background creation myth that got shattered that I was aware of. They are only ever interacted with as beings who have power now over material things. And they do.

 

So the fact they are powerful immortal beings that have power over the things in their portfolio was not actually shaken by the realization they were made by the Engwithans. I mean they currently exist and Ondra really can mess with the seas so you probably should appease her before that voyage. I mean how is that different from the Olympian Gods? And with Eothas coming back it is pretty clear we have no idea how to get rid of them.

 

So how are they fake gods? What exactly is a god? Thaos asked this question.

They sat in Yama's chambers, having taken a light meal there. Yama leaned back in his chair, a glass of the Buddha's wine in his left hand, a half-filled decanter in his right.

"Then the one called Raltariki is really a demon?" asked Tak.

"Yes— and no," said Yama, "If by 'demon' you mean a malefic, supernatural creature, possessed of great powers, life span and the ability to temporarily assume virtually any shape— then the answer is no. This is the generally accepted definition, but it is untrue in one respect."

"Oh? And what may that be?"

"It is not a supernatural creature."

"But it is all those other things?"

"Yes."

"Then I fail to see what difference it makes whether it be supernatural or not— so long as it is malefic, possesses great powers and life span and has the ability to change its shape at will."

"Ah, but it makes a great deal of difference, you see. It is the difference between the unknown and the unknowable, between science and fantasy— it is a matter of essence. The four points of the compass be logic, knowledge, wisdom and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable. The man who bows in that final direction is either a saint or a fool. I have no use for either."

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Do we really know much about them though? I mean we know they were created by the Engwithans but not much more beyond that. What is the actual scope of their powers? How were they connected to the aspects of their portfolio? Can they be destroyed or are they left to rule over Eora forever and we just have to figure out how to live with them?

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It may even come down to semantics, but I believe a factor in how (or why) they're perceived in a certain way comes down to ultimate power.

If they were created, does that make the creators ie Engwithans, more powerful?  Then, do/did they have the potential to 'uncreate' them?  Why not appeal to them or seek them if they may still exist in some form?  The creator rather then the created?  

 

If they are made of pre-existing souls, who created or what was the original source for souls?  Is there a pantheon or God above these that is currently not known?

All speculation, and it very well remain that way, but interesting nevertheless.


"If you would, you could become all flame" - Abba Joseph of the Desert Fathers.

 

 

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My issue with the reveal was they did not really set up the Gods as having a big background creation myth that got shattered that I was aware of. They are only ever interacted with as beings who have power now over material things. And they do.

 

So the fact they are powerful immortal beings that have power over the things in their portfolio was not actually shaken by the realization they were made by the Engwithans. I mean they currently exist and Ondra really can mess with the seas so you probably should appease her before that voyage. I mean how is that different from the Olympian Gods? And with Eothas coming back it is pretty clear we have no idea how to get rid of them.

 

So how are they fake gods? What exactly is a god? Thaos asked this question.

 

I think the expaction is that you will view gods in PoE as D&D style, or Olympian style. Reveal at the end is less about what they are, or questioning their power, but asking: should they exist and should they have this power and do they deserve to have such profound influence over people. To me it was less about Gods, and more about humanity. Do people deserve to know there is no higher power? Is higher power really reliable if it was created by humans? I am still trying to figure out what my orlan merchant would think... hopefully deadfire will help in making my mind up. Edited by Wormerine
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I love the cosmology in Pillars. However, I think by their very nature, God exist in relation to creation myths. Gods hold the position in human understanding as a parental figure, someone to which deference and worship is owed. A god isn't just an immortal being who has magic powers. They are eternal beings with nearly limitless powers. They existed from the beginning of existence and will outlast the end of existence. Sure, there are exceptions to this, but in the human experience, this is generally how we see gods.

 

Iovara's revelation that the gods aren't primordial entities but rather giant animats who syphon off soul energy from people is a shock-- or should be. The only thing in the Pillars universe with that supernatural power of a god in this universe is a person and you've been using it the whole game, shaped in one way or another. Yes, the gods are strong, but they're only strong because those with real strength give away part of their souls through their beliefs. To understand them as a sort of massive parasite changes the whole relationship with the so-called divine; they are no longer a benevolent parent figure, they're an abusive figure who are using you, and all the kith, for their own selfish reasons.

 

I also love that Iovara's story changes so much based on what you tell the game it was. It's a really cool moment in the game, because it's one of the only narrative moments where you weren't being told what the story is, you are being asked what the story is. There is so much right in the fourth act. But I think Lady Webb has some problems. Not least of all that we can't kill her without a game over.

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I love the cosmology in Pillars. However, I think by their very nature, God exist in relation to creation myths. Gods hold the position in human understanding as a parental figure, someone to which deference and worship is owed. A god isn't just an immortal being who has magic powers. They are eternal beings with nearly limitless powers. They existed from the beginning of existence and will outlast the end of existence. Sure, there are exceptions to this, but in the human experience, this is generally how we see gods.

This is the exception in human history, not the rule. Only the modern versions of Abrahamic religions, some of the Dharmic religions, and the faiths they influenced work this way. Almost every known religion in antiquity had far weaker/more limited Gods.

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The Lady Webb info dump was a little convenient but i'm also not sure she was actually needed to move the plot along she just provides context to everything. All the leads you already had anyway and you can get the invitation to the hearing yourself it's only if u ally with nobody else that you get it through her. I like the character but I did have issues with this master spy just telling you everything she knows including private details of her own past. I would rather something like your investigations actually lead you to her ( rather than just being summoned) and she can be allied with or not. If she is allied with you get her info and help if not you have to manage without it. Webb doesn't have any reason to trust you, she just does because you are a Watcher who is somehow involved in Thaos's activity and she hopes you will lead her to more info on that, she is a spy though so she could easily have just kept an eye on your party. 

 

 

The issue with Iovara for me is more an issue with the entire ending sequence to the game, which I felt was rushed and lacking in many ways. "The gods aren't real" you are told you can't really argue with this and neither do any of your companions regardless of how those characters feel about those gods. There is also as many people have said a lack of context about what the gods actually mean to this world. Maybe the game would have benefited from more info on the gods and their history (as in the history the engwithans made up) and status. Maybe an opening sequence like the one Tyranny has for example which explains the set up of the world, it's major players and how things have gotten to this point. 

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Lady Webb's content is really more about humanizing Thaos than Lady Webb herself, I think.

 

Also I'm pretty sure I've had Hiravias outright argue with Iovara but that may depend on choices up to that point.

Edited by The Sharmat
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Lady Webb's content is really more about humanizing Thaos than Lady Webb herself, I think.

 

Also I'm pretty sure I've had Hiravias outright argue with Iovara but that may depend on choices up to that point.

That's what I thought about Lady Webb, too. That, along with Thaos' reaction to the Watcher in the Sanitarium, did make him appear more human and showed that sometimes even he can leave loose ends. 

 

Also, it's not just Hiravias, I definitely saw Kana argue with Iovara once as well.

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My issue with the reveal was they did not really set up the Gods as having a big background creation myth that got shattered that I was aware of. They are only ever interacted with as beings who have power now over material things. And they do.

 

So the fact they are powerful immortal beings that have power over the things in their portfolio was not actually shaken by the realization they were made by the Engwithans. I mean they currently exist and Ondra really can mess with the seas so you probably should appease her before that voyage. I mean how is that different from the Olympian Gods? And with Eothas coming back it is pretty clear we have no idea how to get rid of them.

 

So how are they fake gods? What exactly is a god? Thaos asked this question.

 

And more than hand wringing over the technical definition of a god and whether or not these gods fit this technical definition I guess I am interested in the idea that does this mean that somebody might create more gods? That seems far more important than this weird semantic discussion. I mean who cares what you call the gods? They are immortal beings of immense super natural power whatever you want to call them.

 

I mean if, say, Concelhaut had known this his strategy for overcoming death would have been different. Is this knowledge still too dangerous to let everybody know about? Would it lead to some sort of race to learn this secret and make yourself a god? Iovara did not seem particularly concerned about that...or actually seem to even have occurred to her which is weird because she had plenty of time to think about it.

The thing about the gods is that godhood implies a sort of social construct- the gods either created the world or perform some vital function in it, and as a result, they get power and authority over mortals. They get to define morality, because without them, there would be no morality. Thus, for example, while a follower of Eothas might see the actions of Skaenite cultists as evil, they are, ultimately, seen as legitimate because they are following the will of a god. Likewise, a god has very little obligations to their followers. Consider Galavain's trial for Hiravias, or the High Tide/Low Tide system Ondra has for her followers, condemning them to basically suffer from Alzheimer's before being drowned. What right do they have to treat mortals so? Certainly, they gave their consent, but they did so believing that what was being done to them is not wrong, because only the gods can define what is right and what is wrong.  But the gods, in fact, have neither created the world, nor are they adding anything of value to it (since the world functioned quite well on its own before they were created). In fact, they seem to be doing more harm than good, replacing religious wars over imaginary gods with religious wars over real beings, and causing untold atrocities to protect their secret (Ondra crashed a MOON into Eora. A MOON! And, in fact, it was her prerogative, because she is the final arbiter of which knowledge can remain, and which must be forgotten). 

 

So they have no moral authority to treat their followers as their playthings. You can't say that Ondra is wrong if Ondra decides what wrong is. But if Ondra is merely a vastly more powerful being, then you can, in fact, hold her responsible for her actions. Can you still follow her in exchange for her help and protection? Sure. But then the terms of the social contract have changed. She has responsibilities to her followers. The power is shared between the god and mortals. This is a HUGE change. 

 

I don't know if you're familiar with the Warhammer setting, but if you are, it can help illustrate the point. In that setting, no one who has knowledge of the Chaos gods disputes their existence. Their powers are real and observable. But does that mean that they are owed allegiance simply because they exist and are powerful? No, those who join them, do so in exchange for a boon of some sort. No one goes. "Well, Khorne is real, so I have to worship him." Likewise, many of the followers of Sigmar or the Emperor worship him BECAUSE he protects humanity from its enemies, and because  they think that if they don't, their souls are toast (of course, their souls are daemon toast anyway, they just don't know it yet). There is an actual benefit to being their follower. 

 

This is what Iovara meant when she said the gods aren't real. If the authority of the gods is fundamentally no different than the authority of any mortal ruler, then they can be treated like a mortal ruler. 

Edited by fgalkin
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I really enjoyed Lady Webb actually.  Her last scene + the riots was probably the most emotional part of the whole game for me.

Anyways, several people are saying she was a deus ex machina but If anyone is guilty of this it´s The Acolyte (who really should´ve been able to tell you were an impostor btw) regardless of your methods for getting that info. Webb´s plot dump concerns the Leaden Key and some info on Thaos but your character´s motives don´t even change explicitly at this point unless you roleplay them.

 

As far as Iovara goes... I really dislike her, apologies to whoever wrote her. I disliked the character itself but she´s also part of the only thing about Pillars that I absolutely  despise: Every element about your past life is terrible and it´s nothing more than a way for writers to FORCE a roleplayed character to have the past that´s convenient for THEM, not their actual character. Yes, yes, it´s a past life and you can make some choices but it´s a hackish way of introducing  mandatory personal "stakes" and relationships to a plot that really didn´t need it. It´s having your cake and eating it too.

 

If I come off as bitter or anything let me be clear: I absolutely love this game and most of the writing, just giving my two cents on some stuff that bothers me.

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Lady Webb's content is really more about humanizing Thaos than Lady Webb herself, I think.

 

Also I'm pretty sure I've had Hiravias outright argue with Iovara but that may depend on choices up to that point.

That's what I thought about Lady Webb, too. That, along with Thaos' reaction to the Watcher in the Sanitarium, did make him appear more human and showed that sometimes even he can leave loose ends. 

 

Also, it's not just Hiravias, I definitely saw Kana argue with Iovara once as well.

 

 

Tbf I don't think I have ever taken either of them to the end. I just felt for the most part it's a thing you get told and then you accept it and then that's it. Like I already suspected that anyway there are enough hints in the game but I felt the way it was done was not the greatest of story telling. 

 

 

 

As far as Iovara goes... I really dislike her, apologies to whoever wrote her. I disliked the character itself but she´s also part of the only thing about Pillars that I absolutely  despise: Every element about your past life is terrible and it´s nothing more than a way for writers to FORCE a roleplayed character to have the past that´s convenient for THEM, not their actual character. Yes, yes, it´s a past life and you can make some choices but it´s a hackish way of introducing  mandatory personal "stakes" and relationships to a plot that really didn´t need it. It´s having your cake and eating it too.

 

If I come off as bitter or anything let me be clear: I absolutely love this game and most of the writing, just giving my two cents on some stuff that bothers me.

 

I disagree, I like the way that was handled. It sounds like you object to the plot itself, to the entire reason for your character being a watcher and motivations for the main quest. Like it's certainly not perfect but it allowed for a lot of roleplaying and only forced you into choices that were needed for the plot. Even then it's a past life it doesn't determine who your character is or what kind of person they are it only causes their drive to want to know about their past life either because they want to know or because they want to save themselves from madness. It's a lot like the first Baldur's Gate actually, which I imagine was intentional. 

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Without Iovara the entire motive for chasing Thaos has to be rewritten. It's also one of the only instances where a chosen backstory leads to decent reactivity in the game, and sadly, in the genre in general.

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