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Caed Nua.

Beautiful, big and most of all, yours.

 

Who has never dreamed, even only for a few minutes, to walk around that quiet and beautiful castle ?

 

So, what i have always dreamed (but it will keep being only a dream) is exactly this : a more immersive experience.

 

Small examples :

 

1- A few more NPC with full dialogues and backstoryes. Like a blacksmith that tells you why he has come to live in Caed Nua, what are his dreams, small talks about life, family etc etc...

 

Nothing better that some well made NPC in order to make a place more alive and interesting.

 

 

2- Expanded places, new places. Examples could be :

 

A- the 2 towers of Caed Nua. You never have the chance to see what's inside.

 

B- A nice garden maybe ?

 

C- Where do the protagonist and his companions sleep, inside the Castle?

 

D- Bathrooms? Other rooms in general ?

 

E- The place around the castle could be expanded. If you go up in the courtyard you could go and see the half of the courtyard behind the Castle.

 

 

 

 

In short, it will always be my dream to be able to explore a complete Fortress

 

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If there ever was a place that could facilitate an end-game in PoE this would be it.  The stronghold would be the place to go for:  

 

  - new radiant quests, 

  - storage of the many things you have found,  

  - aggrandizing buildings:  add bathrooms, landscaping, trophy room, etc.,  

  - a zoo or wild reserve for strange beasts you have caught which would have to add a new ability to catch a beast instead of killing it,  

  - randomized dungeon that would regenerate after you finished the previous one,  

  - a bank for your coin and other financial possibilities, 

  - etc. etc. etc. you could go on forever with things to do here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to have been able to recruit various unique characters throughout the Endless Paths to work in the keep. Bring them up from the depths as allies who either add security or prestige, defend the keep during invasions, or offer services as either merchants or companions.

 

The "capture prisoner" system could have used some love, too, and along those lines above, it would have been cool to capture some unique side-quest NPCs and release them with an offer to work off their (very long) sentence in the keep. And perhaps an arena system where you could capture animals and creatures, and send prisoners to fight in battles for their freedom - or entertaining and profitable deaths.

 

So many possibilities for the stronghold... but the stronghold and Endless Paths were mostly stretch rewards and not enough money was raised to fully build out either the stronghold or the Endless Paths. I remember the 99-level "Ancient Cave" in Lufia II. That was amazing. I was somewhat disappointed the Endless Paths spanned only 15 levels, but at least the Endless Paths are more featureful with non-random levels and a bit of story.

Edited by fireundubh
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I think they did a pretty good job with the Stronghold in the end to be honest, I'm not looking to play Sims and I like the dwelling/base of a particular game to feel personal to that game. Part of why I found Fallout 4 so weak is because all your homes/bases, while they allowed for "customization', pretty much tend towards the same dull thing in terms of gameplay as there's only a few set ways to optimise them.

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I'm reading a GDC postmortem of Pillars of Eternity by Josh Sawyer. One of the slides says that the "stronghold had limited time for content" and another slide about game mechanics lessons for the future says "focus on stronghold content and integration." So, here's hoping they do that for Deadfire; after all, Deadfire starts out with Caed Nua obliterated.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be doing any big content updates for Pillars of Eternity since the majority of the team is on Deadfire - despite the post-launch support slide saying one of the goals is to "focus on restoring some of the lost ingredients," including "stronghold content." Maybe they already did and I'm late to the party?

Edited by fireundubh
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I'm reading a GDC postmortem of Pillars of Eternity by Josh Sawyer. One of the slides says that the "stronghold had limited time for content" and another slide about game mechanics lessons for the future says "focus on stronghold content and integration." So, here's hoping they do that for Deadfire; after all, Deadfire starts out with Caed Nua obliterated.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be doing any big content updates for Pillars of Eternity since the majority of the team is on Deadfire - despite the post-launch support slide saying one of the goals is to "focus on restoring some of the lost ingredients," including "stronghold content." Maybe they already did and I'm late to the party?

I think the Gathbin quest line was supposed to address most of that, yes. It's triggered after you first get to Defiance Bay and then travel back to Caed Nua. It starts with a task and then after you complete that you'll get a quest in a few days. For free content, it was pretty good - a mini-expansion almost.

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I'd like to have been able to recruit various unique characters throughout the Endless Paths to work in the keep. Bring them up from the depths as allies who either add security or prestige, defend the keep during invasions, or offer services as either merchants or companions.

 

The "capture prisoner" system could have used some love, too, and along those lines above, it would have been cool to capture some unique side-quest NPCs and release them with an offer to work off their (very long) sentence in the keep. And perhaps an arena system where you could capture animals and creatures, and send prisoners to fight in battles for their freedom - or entertaining and profitable deaths.

 

So many possibilities for the stronghold... but the stronghold and Endless Paths were mostly stretch rewards and not enough money was raised to fully build out either the stronghold or the Endless Paths. I remember the 99-level "Ancient Cave" in Lufia II. That was amazing. I was somewhat disappointed the Endless Paths spanned only 15 levels, but at least the Endless Paths are more featureful with non-random levels and a bit of story.

 

Love this idea.

 

I also remember epic post-game and endgame dungeons from games like Wizardry: Tales of the Forsaken Lands, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Star Ocean: Til The End of Time and Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Parasite Eve, and now Final Fantasy XV.

 

I too was a bit disappointed when the Endless Paths weren't nearly as endless as I had anticipated.

Edited by Mad_Myke

"The names that litter this world like debris are hard enough to wrap around the tongue, and what do they matter?"

 

- Durance, priest of the whore that is Magran

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Strongholds to me admittedly are like romances. Initially, both were introduced to individually games to add a few more depth to the experience. Ever since it seems they're features off a list to tick off, regardless of the overall vision / core of the game. Maybe me though. [Admittedly, I've never been all that hugely a fan of either, sometimes due to a matter of implementation. Romances in video games are oft pretty bland/bad in general -- when they basically boil down to unlocking the R-rated final encounter of the bed-side kind, I'd take Grim Fandango's style over boobies any day.]

That said, if there's a stronghold, it ideally is something deep and rewarding, and be something inherent to the core vision to the game, rather than a feature stretch goal afterthought. It may even push a bit of the envelope of what you have typically seen in your average RPG stronghold before. Personally I think the historical RPG Josh Sawyer is envisioning at some point could be tailor-made around the entire concept of running a stronghold, in particular in medieval times.

I didn't spend much time on the stronghold stuff in PoE at all (release version), and in Tyranny it didn't particularly engage me. I'm tempted to try it though if I get to replay before PoE 2 is due. To me this seems always running the risk of spreading development time / budget thin. Coincidentally I'm also playing NWN2 at the moment, where in the second chapter of the main campaign or getting a stronghold. But here too the general game / plot pushes into a completely different direction, and thus so far I hardly spend any time on it. Plus, NWN2 seems fairly content-heavy even without it too.

 

What would be great if there was a narrative and a mechanical reason to at all run a stronghold, rather than it just granting typical RPG bonus (special loot and items, gold, a place to rest for free of charge). Imagine The Army Of Bad Guys threatening to invade the lands unfortified and unprotected. Mostly you're running that stronghold when actually you're doing something else completely -- like taking the battle to the Bad Guys, rather than the other way round. BG2 as the origin of the stronghold feature* (same as romances) naturally stretches the reasoning right in its first appearance. Your half-sis is in danger, your main task is basically finding means to getting to her, and then Bioware offers you that optional distraction of cleaning and running your own house first. Thinking about it, it might have actually been a rather thinly veiled personality test from the Doctors. :) That's where the additional "immersion" may come from: Rather than adding another few layers on top of that same core -- rethinking that core until it becomes the bumbling, bouncing, pouding heart of the thing.

 

* wait, didn't you win your own Castle in Might And Magic 7 already?

Edited by Sven_
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I am playing PoE the 2nd time around, and I am really impressed by the changes they made to the Stronghold. It is much more immersive than the original rollout and it makes you feel like you want to fight for it and protect it at any cost possible. I think a trophy room and zoo would be a beautiful idea indeed!

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