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Hey you bunch of clubbable gamers,


 


I received some feedback in my inbox from an anonymous source and I figured we could all benefit from the wonders of discussing it.


 


"To write this, I have replayed through PoE1 and expansions, as well of course several times through the PoE2 beta: My thoughts are offered regarding the franchise as a whole."


 


- A wonderfully verbose fan of Eora 


 


Character Creation:


I remain bemused that elves are still described as intelligent but intellect is not one of their bonus statistics; intellect is not in the descriptor for “godlike”, yet for them it is a bonus statistic. Perhaps swap the two?


Having the extra effects (and penalties) when multiclassing that reflect the combination of 2 classes: I thought that this a lovely feature that for me added depth, versatility, and scope for a greater variety of individual playstyle preferences.


However given the nautical nature of the storyline, I was surprised that the deity Ondra is unavailable to priests.


Moreover during character creation, to me it felt unintuitive that I could not move between different stages by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen (only on the “Next” button). Perhaps, partly this was because the mass of information accompanying the icons, and the white-on-dark colour scheme therof compared to the khaki on brown of the “Next”, drew my eyes to the wrong place on the screen.


It is great to have the tips about particular attributes being recommended for the chosen class.


I wonder whether it would be more logical to have character background right after character race, rather than following character class?


 


Storytelling, cinematography, and music:


Two things which grabbed me from the start in the Baldur’s Gate series, were the quote from Nietzsche (which introduced to me his work), and the use of dream sequences to introduce each chapter. This functioned rather like the introductory paragraph of an essay, establishing clearly the philosophical framework and theme for the story the player was about to experience. Consequently the whole story-arc just felt like it hung together better.


 


The use of motifs from Maori or other Pacific Island native art to inform the user interface is a lovely touch and really adds to the game atmosphere!


I absolutely adore the Art Nouveau-esque style used for Sun-In-Shadow (PoE1), the Engwithan Waystation (particularly the mosaics, PoE2), and elsewhere. I wish I could fill my real-world home with it! It reminded me of some of the elven art assets used in Shadows of Amn.


I really like the art for the background to the main menu: Vertiginous mountainslopes clad in buildings right down to the water’s edge, a ship serenely sailing from port across a harbour tranquil as glass, and everywhere the lush verdure of tropical plantlife.


It put me in mind of the phrase from Rime of the Ancient Mariner “upon a painted ocean”.


In PoE1, the loading screen art was framed at the borders by 2 mighty trees, and below by broken stone ruins; to me this bespoke the forests and Engwithan ruins of the Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath in which the tale was set.


 


Character development and voice-acting:


I will always remember the amazing work done by the narrator in Baldur’s Gate, and the incredible David Warner as Jon Irenicus: For me, he made Irenicus a sympathetic, almost tragic villain. As that series did in so many other ways, this set the standard of what I hope to find in an RPG.


I applaud the casting of the PoE narrator: For me, his accent is sufficiently understated for it to work well! For me, games in which there is a preponderance of strongly (southern?) American-accented voice-acting invariably break immersion and lead to me turning off the sound of voices.


As the PoE team has indeed done, partly this may be surmounted by having a variety of real-world accented voice actors.


I believe that crafting the script of dialogue and narration is an artform, and so is the correct interpretation of these by voice actors. When everything works, the effect should be that of listening to the musical dialogues implicit in a Beethoven symphony or Bach fugue.


 


NPC’s whom I thought particularly well both acted and written in PoE1 and WM included Iovara, Thaos, Kana, Eder, Aloth, Llengarth,


Sometimes it was a matter of interpretation with which I disagreed: For example, to me Lady Webb sounded like a sweet grandmother, which I felt did a disservice to her Machiavellian capabilities and gimlet intellect. It was the difference between a Marple-type character played by Geraldine McEwan or Anna Massey, versus one played by Julia McKenzie. Likewise the “snarkiness” of the Devil of Caroc I felt incongruent with both her backstory and the conclusion to her story. Mind you, I was surprised that having achieved her vengeance she was not becalmed by emptiness and loss of life life-purpose.


 


I remain extremely annoyed and frustrated by the reduced party size: A huge variety of party member responses to the environment and plot is one of my chief delights, closely followed by a large number of diverse interactions between party members. In both the BG and NWN series I modded my game to enable the maximum number of NPC’s, and enjoyed imagining scenarios by which (for example) the noble paladin and “evil” drow might surmount their differences and find common cause to assist the player character.


Regarding party member interactions: In real life I am unable to have any romantic attachment due to severe health problems. It would just be irresponsible of me. This is a source of permanent deep sorrow. When there is a tastefully implemented, deep romance option in an RPG, it helps me feel a little of that companionship. I don’t mean sex scenes, which I think have been justifiably ridiculed in many instances.


 


Music and cinematographic pacing:


Possibly my ears tricked me, but it gladdened my heart to hear themes from shadows of Amn echoed in the PoE1 soundtrack: Thankyou!


I thought that the music for Sun-In-Shadow was also some of the most evocative and apt in the game.


Overall, the composition does a brilliant job of having unique themes (leit motifs) for each character, game area, and story theme, then weaving them together in counterpoint. My only challenge for the composer is to say: Please, more contrapunctus!


 


The cinematic direction for both the final confrontation with Thaos, and the final confrontation with the Eyeless (WM2) I thought very well directed. Your team managed to incorporate lots of lore/ flashbacks which kept upping the tension and atmosphere, without sacrificing any gameplay or responsiveness. I’ve seen this (sacrifice of dramatic pacing in order to include dramatic content) happen in other games where I really care about the characters involved, and it always breaks my heart. So well done for managing to achieve this without dropping the pace!


However, I do wonder if the leadup to a final confrontation could have been better served by a different musical score than the slow, wonderfully atmospheric (“lost grandeur”) “Sun-In-Shadow” theme. Maybe something more in the style of Solusek Ro’s Tower raid (Rob King, Everquest 1), or Apollo’s Palace (Marios Aristopoulos, Apotheon). I am no musician, but broadly these are characterised by a sense of progressively increasing tempo (even using auditory illusion?), the constant repetition of short phrases with variations, and soaring over that a sweeping elegiac theme that provides a sense of destiny impelling the listener forwards.


I also thought it a pity that we saw all the dead people but did not understand the meaning until after Thaos was defeated: During that final approach, maybe we could have seen disjoint flashbacks of them being sacrificed? Without the context we learn after defeating Thaos, this could have added to the mystery and the accelerating sense of peril. I am very tolerant of lore and can’t ever get enough. But perhaps this would have been too much lore for some players, or slowed the pace. I don’t know.


 


World Building:


For me, the use of phrases in other languages such as “per complancanet” really helps to add a feeling of diverse ethnic groups within the world. Having definitions popup over them during conversation is great, because it maximises the ethnic effect while reducing the concomitant occlusion of meaning (!).


 


The ocean seems very desolate and empty, as do the land masses. There could be MANY more islands, and far more content on each eg Ursula LeGuin’s “Earthsea” Archipelago. Maybe procedural generation could be used to better convey a sense of being surrounded by steaming, claustrophobic jungle?


 


Deadfire being set in the tropics, I do wonder at the apparent absence of coral reefs and atolls. Some truly spectacular real-world places involve underwater caves filled with multicoloured tropical marine life glowing like jewels, or swimming underwater through cave systems (cenote’s).


I also wonder at the apparent absence of volcanic island chains, which are such a feature of the Pacific Ocean in our own world. Does Eora possess plate tectonics? Having a magnetic field (hence a convective geodynamo) I would have thought tectonic plates likely. In brief and very simply (I am not a geologist!): (1) Where plates converge, there are likely to be mountain chains (eg Andes) with volcanic island chains in the subduction zone, (2) where plates diverge there are trenches with volcanic activity, and (3) where plates shear, earthquakes occur along faultlines.


 


In the beta, I noted that the arrangement of mountains, plains and forest seemed a little arbitrary. Again, very simply and briefly (I am not a climatologist!): Forests grow in regions of high rainfall, so on the side of mountain ranges that faces the prevailing winds/ weather systems. The mountains block the rain, so on the other side is drier, hence plains. Which begs the question: What are the prevailing weather systems in the Deadfire Archipelago?


 


Although I could be wrong, I suspect that any level design topology could map to one that accounts for (i) prevailing winds and (ii) plate tectonics. It is going in the other direction that might not work.


 


Eoran Theogony:


I preface these remarks by quoting from William Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell” lines 96-101 (http://www.bartleby.com/235/253.html), as to me it seems to summarise what we learnt about the gods of Eora in PoE1, thus serving as point from which to continue.


“The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged and numerous senses could perceive.


And particularly they studied the Genius of each city and country, placing it under its Mental Deity;


  Till a System was formed, which some took advantage of, and enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realise or abstract the Mental Deities from their objects—thus began Priesthood;


  Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.


  And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things.


  Thus men forgot that All Deities reside in the Human breast.”


While I applaud the *contemporary realism* and intellectual depth of the PoE divine pantheon, I do feel nostalgic for simple “good guy” dynamics such as for example that Sir Keldorn had for Torm (Shadows of Amn), or Cadderly had with Deneir (RA Salvatore’s Cleric Quintet). Having the “good” god Eothas behave in a manner which seemed out of character to some of his adherents (including myself), raised the whole issue of deity: worshipper relationships (Steven Erikson addresses this well in his Malazan Chronicles). How much of the power of a deity stems from their adherents, so to what extent are they “slaves” to their worshippers? What happens when a deity refuses to behave according to the expectations of their followers? As quoted by Stephen Donaldson, SP Somtow said something like “Fantasy is the only legitimate means for religious inquiry”. All of which I found very thought-provoking.


Personally I find more aesthetically pleasing the ideas set forth by Macros (RE Feist’s “Rage of a Demon King”), whereby humans unknowingly created deities by worship (or “paying attention to”) Platonic Ideals. According to this system some of the power of some deities (but not all) is a direct reflection of how many worshippers they have. As Nakor subsequently expounded in the same book, while the manifestation of an Ideal as a deity may be local to a particular world, the Ideal itself of course may be universal.


Within the portfolio of each Eoran deity they are comprehensive and self-consistent, but I have some concerns regarding the constructed pantheon as a whole. The Engwithans may have been “high minded”, but from my perspective I think their choice of Ideals upon which to confer divinity rather arbitrary, with lots of overlaps and gaps between divine portfolios. I suggest a system structurally similar to Aristotelian elements or (for example) MBTI or Enneagram psychological types, might have better “covered all bases”. (I have the same issues with the structure of Tides in Torment: Numenera)


 


In the real world, extreme proponents of both religious and humanist persuasions incline to ranting. I think it crucial that as your team explores ideas, it is important for the story and characters to avoid both bias and polemics- unless to illustrate the problems associated with such. Specifically, I feel that in PoE1 there were occasions when Aloth and Durance each crossed the line into bigotry and bad taste.


 


In real life, *for me* (as a scientist), one point of worshipping a divinity is that they stand outside reality as humans are capable of comprehending or experiencing it. Hence there is never any possible way that we (or the Engwithans) could determine whether god(s) exist. Moreover, if a divinity exists as the animus of a Platonic Ideal, then in their natural state they would be largely incomprehensibly alien to human thought. If humans “create” a god by worshipping such an animus, then any anthropomorphic character of that deity could arise as a result of that relationship.


What if some Eoran “gods” such as I have described actually exist in Eora but the Engwithans could not detect them? What if there is some overlap in portfolio between the Engwithan gods and these Animate Ideals? Maybe some blending or merger might occur?


 


Cosmetic things:


Personally I emphatically dislike the “smoking pipe” animated icon for something as personal as the “loadscreen waiting”: With apologies to JRRT, Elminster and many others, I find it difficult to dissociate smoking from the (for me) highly emotive topic of cancer. NPC’s smoking is fine; it is just the entirely individual question of where the line gets drawn.


Personally I’d prefer an icon suggestive of the seafaring nature of the game- perhaps a sailing ship rocking on rolling waves?


 


World Interaction:


Combining the effects of statistics of a player with those of other party members in order to pass statistic checks is a fantastic idea. At this early stage I am not sure if it has been done, but some other ideas include (i) using the maximum value of a statistic across the entire party plus a factor contributed by other party members, and (ii) seeing if any other party members meet a particular attribute trait (eg White that Wends) rather than just the player. These 2 stratagems would further increase the diversity of checks which a player could pass, thus making feel more immersed in the world. It also reduces the need for multiple playthroughs, for which I lack both time and strength.


It would be nice if we had an option/ opportunity to negotiate peacefully for the spore-coated grimoire when talking to the Delemgan at Toaku Biwha Trail north of Tikawara.


Sometimes when mousing over an item that is compared to something already equipped, the 2 information panels overlap resulting in being unable to read either one.


 


Game dynamics:


When sneaking, the red visual indicator of NPC alertness/ detection area is a great addition!


 


In the Task “Plucked Fruit”, I thought it might have been nice if we could convince the tribe of the merits of harvesting seeds from the dried fruit, to ensure there were future harvests.


In a similar vein, I was very happy that there was an opportunity to send the lagufaeth hatchlings back home without alienating the villagers!


 


I have never liked the inclusion of firearms or gunpowder in ostensibly fantasy games, and tend to avoid playing those that contain it. In my view it is (historically and technologically) a very short step from including guns to having a completely real-world contemporary technological level. I just have a passionate aversion to realworld firearms, and this spills over into games.


There is also the aspect of all the problems that can arise from the exercise of “unearned power”.


Torment:ToN dealt with this in what I thought was an effective manner by having weapons similar to firearms be “magical” relics from an advanced civilisation (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C Clarke)


 


Hitting the <tab> key does not highlight some lootable corpses eg sand grubs, which is annoying.


 


The changes in game mechanics and interface from PoE1 to the PoE2 beta have really confused, frustrated and alienated me. For example, the tiny icons of the inventory view with its small icons and boxes makes it difficult to see things. Having the stash always show open on the same screen contributes to the display being very crowded and making it difficult to find what I am looking for. Not showing the inventories of all party members at a glance (which PoE1 did), makes it hard to see what different companions have on hand. Likewise, I find it very frustrating to have equipped weapons hiding elsewhere on the screen and not in the same area as the armour equipped.


A difference from PoE I: I feel very confused that my wizard’s grimoire has spells in it which I have yet to learn, and very frustrated that I cannot learn new spells from the grimoire of the NPC wizard in my party.


I also find it really confusing the change from crushing/ piercing/ slashing etc weapon types and damage resistances in PoE 1: They made combat a lot more realistic and thought-provoking.


One positive thing that has been introduced is the ability to “copy” a currently wielded weapon or shield from one slot to another: Thankyou!


In summary: I STRONGLY prefer the PoE1 design! If it is not broken, please don’t try to fix it: Energy could have been better spent on things which would benefit more.


 


Further suggestions:


One of the most fun aspects of Shadows of Amn for me was the sophisticated mage vs mage combat spells: Although PoE does have some scope for this, the number of protective spells and counterspells remains relatively small. It would be great fun if this were expanded, and spells overall more systematically organised.


An aspect of magecraft included in some other games which is good fun is things such as casting grease, then setting it on fire, alternating ice/ flame to shatter stone, ice followed by flame to create steam, which lightning can then electrify, and so on.


Another aspect of Shadows of Amn I recall with nostalgia is the ability to set multiple traps prior to triggering (for example) a Demi-liche spawn."


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2 direct references to Baldur's Gate. 5 to its sequel. 

 

Bad news guys; you aren't allowed to make your own game, in your own universe, with its own mechanics. So sorry. Please make sure your next IP is a direct rip off of Mass Effect so that we can bag on your 3rd person shooter skills too.

Edited by Achilles

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I remain bemused that elves are still described as intelligent but intellect is not one of their bonus statistics; intellect is not in the descriptor for “godlike”, yet for them it is a bonus statistic. Perhaps swap the two?

That should be cleared up int the description for Elfs.

However given the nautical nature of the storyline, I was surprised that the deity Ondra is unavailable to priests.

I don't think Priests need another subclass, as is most bases are covered by the various faiths and Ondra seems to overlap somewhat with Wael.

Moreover during character creation, to me it felt unintuitive that I could not move between different stages by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen (only on the “Next” button).

I agree with this, iirc in PoE you could move between them and it was nice.

I wonder whether it would be more logical to have character background right after character race, rather than following character class?

I'd prefer that myself, but I understand why it was implemented that way due to the bonus attribute that comes from background.

For me, games in which there is a preponderance of strongly (southern?) American-accented voice-acting invariably break immersion and lead to me turning off the sound of voices.

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Gonna have some problems there bucko.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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What if some Eoran “gods” such as I have described actually exist in Eora but the Engwithans could not detect them? What if there is some overlap in portfolio between the Engwithan gods and these Animate Ideals? Maybe some blending or merger might occur?

I'm still wondering why the idea of “Eoran gods are man-made, but maybe there *are* real (for some values of real) gods too” is so popular. Especially since nothing really foreshadows that and it wouldn't really add anything to the story. More like it will replace the uncertainty and questions it brings with a divine mandate, which feels like is a loss to me story-wise.

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Pillars of Bugothas

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If this was posted in order to compare the feedback with the views of other forum members, then here we go:

I remain bemused that elves are still described as intelligent but intellect is not one of their bonus statistics; intellect is not in the descriptor for “godlike”, yet for them it is a bonus statistic. Perhaps swap the two?

Neutral on this.

 

From description point of view it makes sense to swap them.

From power-building point of view, I would 'more often' max INT on godlike (think of moon-godlike paladin/chanter/priest), or PER on elf (usually cc-specialist).

Thus... staying neutral.

 

Moreover during character creation, to me it felt unintuitive that I could not move between different stages by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen (only on the “Next” button). Perhaps, partly this was because the mass of information accompanying the icons, and the white-on-dark colour scheme therof compared to the khaki on brown of the “Next”, drew my eyes to the wrong place on the screen.

Absolutely agreed.

 

From the moment you have navigated to a CC screen, it's related shield icon could become click'able, for faster navigation back-and-forth.

 

Character Creation in general requires extra polishing, since it's the place where we will spend quite a lot of time, multiplied by the number of party members.

 

Personally I would combine sex with race selection screens. (Maybe) would combine class and subclass selection as well.

Hairstyle selection slider would welcome onmouserotation interaction. And Backspace could be set as shortcut for Back button.

It's minor stuff, but it adds up for a more pleasant navigation.

 

I wonder whether it would be more logical to have character background right after character race, rather than following character class?

It's ok to leave it after attributes screen, since character's origin adds an extra attribute point.

Btw, fix the Deadfire origin please) (it's bonus point is missing)

 

I applaud the casting of the PoE narrator: For me, his accent is sufficiently understated for it to work well! For me, games in which there is a preponderance of strongly (southern?) American-accented voice-acting invariably break immersion and lead to me turning off the sound of voices.[...]

NPC’s whom I thought particularly well both acted and written in PoE1 and WM included Iovara, Thaos, Kana, Eder, Aloth, Llengarth

As a non-native English speaker, am ok with american accent.

And regarding voices, I liked the voices/tembres of: Eder, Aloth, Llengrath, Sagani, Calisca and DoC. Neutral towards the others.

 

I remain extremely annoyed and frustrated by the reduced party size: A huge variety of party member responses to the environment and plot is one of my chief delights, closely followed by a large number of diverse interactions between party members.

Am actually ok... with current party size itself; but do agree with second sentence.

More members -> more banter and interactions, also it indirecly stimulates a finner specialization. In current beta I'm feeling pushed to build 4 out 5 characters in the same way.

You could just make 4 devout-hellwalkers in beta1; 3-4 wayfarer-berserkers in beta2; or 3-4 paladin-stalkers in beta3 and be golden. I want more optimal variants and these variants to be somewhat equal in terms of power and impact.

 

Personally I emphatically dislike the “smoking pipe” animated icon for something as personal as the “loadscreen waiting”

As a non-smoker, pipe doesn't bring negative associations to me. Sometimes am remembering Eder waiting near the tree in Gilded Vale...

I don't like that it's animation is stuttering though...

 

I think it would be a nice touch if "loadscreen waiting" animation would be rotating between different elements: pipe, wave, ship's wheel. But that's minor.

 

I have never liked the inclusion of firearms or gunpowder in ostensibly fantasy games, and tend to avoid playing those that contain it. In my view it is (historically and technologically) a very short step from including guns to having a completely real-world contemporary technological level.

Personally I usually don't like firearms in fantasy RPGs. Reason being that one would expect them to completely trump other ranged weapons, or bring questions like: "why can't I snipe that mage from 200m, while he doesn't see me".

But am actually fine with them in PoE.

 

Hitting the <tab> key does not highlight some lootable corpses eg sand grubs, which is annoying.

Agreed. Tab hotkey should highlight such stuff.

And Ctrl-A could work for selecting all party members, out of the box.

 

One positive thing that has been introduced is the ability to “copy” a currently wielded weapon or shield from one slot to another: Thankyou!

That's a fantastic and must have feature.

One thing through: switching from fists to x, should be probably faster than switching from dual-pistols to x.

 

An aspect of magecraft included in some other games which is good fun is things such as casting grease, then setting it on fire, alternating ice/ flame to shatter stone, ice followed by flame to create steam, which lightning can then electrify, and so on.

That would be a nice touch. But probably not top priority if it's long to implement an intuitive set of such interactions.

But definitely a decent feature for the first expansion.

Edited by MaxQuest
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Possibly my ears tricked me, but it gladdened my heart to hear themes from shadows of Amn echoed in the PoE1 soundtrack: Thankyou!'

 

This bothers me when I hear it actually, I get what they were trying to do but it just feels like a rip off. As it's a rip off of that piece of music.

nowt

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Possibly my ears tricked me, but it gladdened my heart to hear themes from shadows of Amn echoed in the PoE1 soundtrack: Thankyou!'

 

This bothers me when I hear it actually, I get what they were trying to do but it just feels like a rip off. As it's a rip off of that piece of music.

“A good composer does not imitate; he steals”

Igor Stravinsky*

 

*While often credited to Stravinsky, like it is the case in many popular quotes, there is no found evidence to actually support the claim that it was ever said by Stravinsky.

Edited by Wormerine
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Character Creation:

I remain bemused that elves are still described as intelligent but intellect is not one of their bonus statistics; intellect is not in the descriptor for “godlike”, yet for them it is a bonus statistic. Perhaps swap the two?

 

I have no strong feelings about this, but the suggestion makes sense, so if other people do feel strongly about it, I'm all for them getting their way.

 

 

 

Moreover during character creation, to me it felt unintuitive that I could not move between different stages by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen (only on the “Next” button).

 

 

I agree with this.

 

 

I wonder whether it would be more logical to have character background right after character race, rather than following character class?

 

 

 

I sort of share this intuition that background fits with sex and race as, well, background biographical information before you get to the sharp end of character creation, but because background choice does give an attribute bonus, I think it helps to know what those attributes are and what they do first. So I'm fine with the current arrangement.

 

I remain extremely annoyed and frustrated by the reduced party size: A huge variety of party member responses to the environment and plot is one of my chief delights, closely followed by a large number of diverse interactions between party members.

 

 

I may be singing a different tune when I have to choose between companions (and have even less room for adventurers), but five party members feels good to me right now. Party composition still feels interesting. Combat is a little cleaner. And while I take the author's point about party interactions, I tend to think that's just life in RPGs with appealing companions--I'll always want more of them in my party at once. Choosing four out of seven companions (I forget how many Deadfire has, excluding those half-companions) is sufficiently similar to the percentages in POE1 that I don't feel like I'm missing out on more this time around.

 

World Building:

For me, the use of phrases in other languages such as “per complancanet” really helps to add a feeling of diverse ethnic groups within the world. Having definitions popup over them during conversation is great, because it maximises the ethnic effect while reducing the concomitant occlusion of meaning (!).

 

 

I think I'm in the minority on this one, but I continue to find the hypertext distracting and believe that the sharper scenes don't require hypertext because the foreign terms are (or should be) either clear from context or merit a dialogue prompt to ask what the word means. If the meaning of the term is unclear but there's no dialogue option, hypertext may help the player, but it doesn't explain how the Watcher would understand what's going on (barring an applicable background--which the game usually handles by a special dialogue option).

 

The changes in game mechanics and interface from PoE1 to the PoE2 beta have really confused, frustrated and alienated me. For example, the tiny icons of the inventory view with its small icons and boxes makes it difficult to see things. Having the stash always show open on the same screen contributes to the display being very crowded and making it difficult to find what I am looking for. Not showing the inventories of all party members at a glance (which PoE1 did), makes it hard to see what different companions have on hand. Likewise, I find it very frustrating to have equipped weapons hiding elsewhere on the screen and not in the same area as the armour equipped.

 

 

 

I could go either way on this. I see the reason for the change: players spend way more time fishing things out of the stash than moving them between companions. But it's true that it was nice being able to see all the party members' bags on one screen.

 

A difference from PoE I: I feel very confused that my wizard’s grimoire has spells in it which I have yet to learn, and very frustrated that I cannot learn new spells from the grimoire of the NPC wizard in my party.

 

 

I am currently feeling down on the grimoire system. The idea sounded reasonable enough: instead of adding all the spells in the world to your grimoire and then selecting the active ones, you'd have some permanent spells plus a bunch of different fixed grimoires you could swap in and out. Grimoires become a more interesting thing to find in the world. Cool. The thing is, swapping grimoires isn't fun. I don't know. It just seems like more of a hassle for a class that is feeling pretty dull at the moment.

Edited by anfoglia
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I remain bemused that elves are still described as intelligent but intellect is not one of their bonus statistics; intellect is not in the descriptor for “godlike”, yet for them it is a bonus statistic. Perhaps swap the two?

I'm actually surprised that the flavour text says that. I seem to remember none of the species was inherently more intelligent than any other (which was the logic for the godlike getting the Int bonus). If that's changed, I guess elves should get the +Int, but also, why haven't they taken over everything?

 

Moreover during character creation, to me it felt unintuitive that I could not move between different stages by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen (only on the “Next” button).

Agreed.

 

I wonder whether it would be more logical to have character background right after character race, rather than following character class?

This has been argued on and off since the PoE1 beta. I agree it should go first, after all, your race also gives you bonuses to stats that you don't know what they do yet. Besides there are tooltips.

 

I remain extremely annoyed and frustrated by the reduced party size: A huge variety of party member responses to the environment and plot is one of my chief delights, closely followed by a large number of diverse interactions between party members. In both the BG and NWN series I modded my game to enable the maximum number of NPC’s, and enjoyed imagining scenarios by which (for example) the noble paladin and “evil” drow might surmount their differences and find common cause to assist the player character.

I'm with everyone who's saying that 5 feels pretty good.

 

For me, the use of phrases in other languages such as “per complancanet” really helps to add a feeling of diverse ethnic groups within the world. Having definitions popup over them during conversation is great, because it maximises the ethnic effect while reducing the concomitant occlusion of meaning (!).

Agreed.

 

Personally I emphatically dislike the “smoking pipe” animated icon for something as personal as the “loadscreen waiting”: With apologies to JRRT, Elminster and many others, I find it difficult to dissociate smoking from the (for me) highly emotive topic of cancer. NPC’s smoking is fine; it is just the entirely individual question of where the line gets drawn.

Personally I’d prefer an icon suggestive of the seafaring nature of the game- perhaps a sailing ship rocking on rolling waves?

Eder's pipe is great. I refuse to hear a word against it.

 

Combining the effects of statistics of a player with those of other party members in order to pass statistic checks is a fantastic idea. At this early stage I am not sure if it has been done, but some other ideas include (i) using the maximum value of a statistic across the entire party plus a factor contributed by other party members, and (ii) seeing if any other party members meet a particular attribute trait (eg White that Wends) rather than just the player. These 2 stratagems would further increase the diversity of checks which a player could pass, thus making feel more immersed in the world. It also reduces the need for multiple playthroughs, for which I lack both time and strength.

It feels right as is. After all, it is the main character talking, not the party members.

 

Hitting the <tab> key does not highlight some lootable corpses eg sand grubs, which is annoying.

Agreed.

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Personally I emphatically dislike the “smoking pipe” animated icon for something as personal as the “loadscreen waiting”: With apologies to JRRT, Elminster and many others, I find it difficult to dissociate smoking from the (for me) highly emotive topic of cancer. NPC’s smoking is fine; it is just the entirely individual question of where the line gets drawn.

I know it's a minor thing and I will probably be called out as a snowflake but I actually thought about this too when I saw the loading screen. I'm also fine with smoking in the game but in the loading screen it felt off or odd. But I've lost two relatives to lung cancer caused by smoking, so maybe that's what ticked me off.

I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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I have to wholeheartedly agree on mechanic changes from PoE.  DR was much better than the current penetration system, and the overall feel and speed of combat was perfect, though fast weapons could have been buffed a bit.  Now spellcasting speed is terrible and patch reactions seem to be to make everything else just as slow.  

 

PoE didn't really get great until maybe version 3.0.  If you'd stuck with the lessons you learned, PoE 2 1.0 might have been pretty balanced and fun, but right now I'm feeling like I'll have to wait for version 3.0 for the best experience again.  

 

Well, here's hoping I'm wrong.  

Edited by Climhazzard
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I have to wholeheartedly agree on mechanic changes from PoE.  DR was much better than the current penetration system, and the overall feel and speed of combat was perfect, though fast weapons could have been buffed a bit.  Now spellcasting speed is terrible and patch reactions seem to be to make everything else just as slow.  

 

PoE didn't really get great until maybe version 3.0.  If you'd stuck with the lessons you learned, PoE 2 1.0 might have been pretty balanced and fun, but right now I'm feeling like I'll have to wait for version 3.0 for the best experience again.  

 

Well, here's hoping I'm wrong.  

 

That's my current expectation too, to be honest. I'm still wondering why so many changes from the first game were necessary. Was Pillars 1 really THAT bad? THAT flawed?

 

For a such a SEEMINGLY bad and flawed game that SEEMINGLY was in DIRE need of so many overhauls of many of its core mechanics  I was able to enjoy the heck out of it.

 

Let's face it, 2 months will never be enough to refine all the new changes. It will take a long, looooooooooong time before all these new changes will finally arrive at a level of quality/fun that PoE version 3.0+ was.

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"Loyal Servant of His Most Fluffyness, Lord Kerfluffleupogus, Devourer of the Faithful!"

 

ringoffireresistance.gif *wearing the Ring of Fire Resistance* (gift from JFSOCC)

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For a such a SEEMINGLY bad and flawed game that SEEMINGLY was in DIRE need of so many overhauls of many of its core mechanics I was able to enjoy the heck out of it.

 

It’s more of a case that some aspects could have used an improvement. However, once they changed those, new problems appeared which needed to be solved. Solving those created next ones.

 

I am personally a fan of Sid Meier’s 33 rule - keep 33% that’s working, improve another 33%, replace remaining 33% with new stuff. I never figure out what’s happening to leftover 1%...

 

If I want to replay PoE I replay PoE. It will be nice for Deadfire have it’s own quirks.

Edited by Wormerine
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I have to wholeheartedly agree on mechanic changes from PoE.  DR was much better than the current penetration system, and the overall feel and speed of combat was perfect, though fast weapons could have been buffed a bit.  Now spellcasting speed is terrible and patch reactions seem to be to make everything else just as slow.  

 

PoE didn't really get great until maybe version 3.0.  If you'd stuck with the lessons you learned, PoE 2 1.0 might have been pretty balanced and fun, but right now I'm feeling like I'll have to wait for version 3.0 for the best experience again.  

 

Well, here's hoping I'm wrong.

 

 

That's my current expectation too, to be honest. I'm still wondering why so many changes from the first game were necessary. Was Pillars 1 really THAT bad? THAT flawed?

 

For a such a SEEMINGLY bad and flawed game that SEEMINGLY was in DIRE need of so many overhauls of many of its core mechanics  I was able to enjoy the heck out of it.

 

Let's face it, 2 months will never be enough to refine all the new changes. It will take a long, looooooooooong time before all these new changes will finally arrive at a level of quality/fun that PoE version 3.0+ was.

Let's be honest, PoE at 1.whatever wasn't near as fun as 3.0+. I hate the new casting times but stuff like the Armor/Penetration system could be good with a lot of tweaking.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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I admit I only read about 1/5 of all of that, and skimmed another 1/5, but generally I'm either in agreement, or at worst neutral on the anonymous person's feedback.

 

Certainly agree with these bits:

 

 

I applaud the casting of the PoE narrator:

 

I remain extremely annoyed and frustrated by the reduced party size:

 

Combining the effects of statistics of a player with those of other party members in order to pass statistic checks is a fantastic idea.

 

When sneaking, the red visual indicator of NPC alertness/ detection area is a great addition!

 

I have never liked the inclusion of firearms or gunpowder in ostensibly fantasy games,

 

 

A difference from PoE I: I feel very confused that my wizard’s grimoire has spells in it which I have yet to learn, and very frustrated that I cannot learn new spells from the grimoire of the NPC wizard in my party.

 

+1 to all the above.  The narrator guy in POE1 was awesome.  His voice was perfect for that roll, evoking a complex fantasy setting, and it made an excellent, polished first impression of the game.  I don't like 6->5 - at all (I hope that gets revisited for POE3).  Combining interaction stats is a great idea.  Sneak areas display is a nice improvement.  I don't like firearms in fantasy games (but not because of any r/l objection: they just don't fit the mold very well in my eyes).  I can live with it though: I just ignore them as far as possible, so I won't object too strongly.  And yeah, I'm not happy with the Vancianish class changes either.  Caster classes are most of why I enjoy the combat in this kind of game, and as much as anything the changes in this area have made it harder for me to get enthused about DF.

 

I'd also add: I feel the loss of a long term health pool is a big step backwards from POE.

 

Either he didn't mention it, or he did and I skipped that part, but DF's worldbuilding appears (from what little I've seen) to be even richer and more immersive than PoE's was.

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