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[Spoilers] Questionable Quest Design: The Storms of Poko Kohara


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Hey everyone,

 

in here I'd like to discuss the quest design of the main quest of the backer beta.

 

There are some things that I find questionable in the quest "The Storms of Poko Kohara". Two things mainly come to my mind, both concerning Beza's Pages:

 

1.) To whom I can "show" Beza's Pages

2.) I cannot just "show" Beza's Pages, I can only hand them over

 

Let's assume I decide to destroy the adra pillar. First of all - How does the chieftain immediately know upon my return what I did to the adra pillar? Was that mentioned? Did I miss that? I haven't found any explanation for that in the game.

 

The chieftain is VERY upset with me if I have destroyed the adra pillar. So why can I not "show" him Beza's Pages as an explanation to why I think the Vailian Trading Company means ill to his people?

 

And here comes the thing, I can ONLY "show" him the pages when I did NOT destroy the adra pillar. Why? Why only then? Of course then I get to know that he doesn't understand the language of Beza's pages - but I should have at least had the opportunity to TRY to show/give him the pages when I destroyed the adra pillar. I cannot know at that point that it would be pointless.

 

This is a flaw in the quest design that I have witnessed in Pillars 1 several times. Sometimes that game simply does not offer some options in a dialogue because they would be fruitless (which you do NOT know at that point!). The thing is, you should let us try. And then fail. I would like to try and see that I fail. Please, do not just remove an option in a dialogue if it would at least make sense to try that option.

 

If I destroy the adra pillar I have no way of knowing in advance that it would be pointless to "show" Beza's pages to the chieftain because he wouldn't be able to understand the language anyway. He can only rely on his trust to me which is gone if I destroyed the adra pillar. So let me try to "show" the pages to him and then fail because he doesn't trust me anymore.

 

Another point. Why have I written "show" in quotation marks so far? Because it simply is NOT possible to just "show" the pages to someone! WHY NOT? That doesn't make sense to me in any way. Why can I only "show" the pages to someone by giving the pages away to them, by handing them over? What if my character would have liked to show the pages to several characters first and see their reactions and then decide what to do with the pages and to whom they should be given?

 

This reminds me very strongly of Pillars 1 when some obvious choices in dialogues were simply not there. Please, don't do this in Pillars 2.

 

If I destroy the adra pillar, then Beza's pages become all the more important, crucial even, to TRY to make the chieftain understand my motivations for doing so. And that is my big complaint. I cannot even TRY. I cannot know in advance that I would fail - so let me try and fail!

Edited by Fluffle
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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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First of all, this is a truncated questline, just to give us something to do/follow in this special beta slice. So, we don't know what the real quest will look like.

 

As for them knowing when the Adra pillar has been destroyed, I always envisioned it as something reverberating through all the Adra strands, so it was picked up by a few peeps in the know, almost Adra-seismographically. 

 

And yeah, those darn pages and "showing" them, that is a bit of a mess. It's not very logical and water-tight - far from it.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Btw, I think with (very) high diplomacy I should still be able to convince the chieftain that the Vailian Trading Company means bad business EVEN IF i have destroyed the adra pillar. He himself cannot understand the pages, but I would think that someone of his people should be able to understand them.

 

The chieftain should have the means to have someone translate the pages for him. (Especially since he is so eager to get into business with the Vailians! So it should make sense that some of his people were going to learn or have already learnt the Vailian language anyway.) And with a high diplomacy skill I should be able to convince him to make that effort.

 

If the questline is truncated and will be expanded upon in the full game then I did not know that. It's just that this reminded me of some flaws in the quest design of Pillars 1 which is why it has troubled me quite a lot.

Edited by Fluffle

"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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I haven't got the sources, but I'm pretty sure Josh has underlined a few times that this is a special little slice, just tied together for us beta backers, but with a few questlines more or less similar to the real deal. 

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I usually dislike if beside two potentially bad choices there is a third one which allows you have cake and eat it too, unless it is really hard to achieve, or requires a cleverness on players part (like solving a conflict in Rail Nomad Camp in Wasteland 2) but even then it limits replyability, because who would you ever go for potentially bad options?

 

That said, the quest in the demo doesn’t allow to attempt solving the problem, even though it gives you tools to do so. Hopefully it is still a rough version of the final quest.

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I usually dislike if beside two potentially bad choices there is a third one which allows you have cake and eat it too, unless it is really hard to achieve, or requires a cleverness on players part (like solving a conflict in Rail Nomad Camp in Wasteland 2) but even then it limits replyability, because who would you ever go for potentially bad options?

 

I actually agree with that.

 

So I prefer it this way: If there are only two potentially bad choices then the explanation as to why there cannot be a third, good choice should be 100% waterproof and not feel artificial.

 

And that is also part of my criticism of some quests in Pillars 1. In some quests, some obvious choices are simply left out to artificially create a moral dilemma.

 

To me, it is not clear at all why destroying the adra pillar would physically (or even mentally, lol) disable me to TRY to hand Beza's pages over to (or really just show them to) the chieftain and explain my reasons to him.

Edited by Fluffle
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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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