Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Why do some people/reviewers dislike the story of Pillars so much.

story plot deadfire pillarsofeternity

  • Please log in to reply
160 replies to this topic

#61
Mikeymoonshine

Mikeymoonshine

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

I know I am arguing with a lot of people here but I do really appreciate these responses and can understand many of them so don't get me wrong.



#62
Mikeymoonshine

Mikeymoonshine

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

Where as a relatively simplistic story like in the Divinity OS games does not seem to be getting this kind of response (and I am not bashing those games I loved those too). 

Are you sure? Oo Because if you look at steam revievs I think you'll find that every fifth or them or so says that Divinity OS plot is the worst part of the game :) Even the positive ones :) It has the same problems actually but just... on another level. Makes all POE story problems look small in comparison x)

 

Sure but lets take for example this video

 

 

Which argues that a sequal should not have been made because of the problems with the plot. I have not heard anyone say such a thing about Divinity OS and if they did they are an idiiot because divinity OS 2 is a brilliant game. So I kinda feel like people do in fact pick on the plot of this series more and maybe that's just my personal experience but I have read and watched a lot of discussion on both games and I rarely see the story of either divinity game recieving this kind of criticism.



#63
Mikeymoonshine

Mikeymoonshine

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

Eh, one other choice. I *really* hate all the descriptive "his eyes shift furtively" and "he wipes sweat from his brow" descriptive junk in the dialogue. The Infinity Engine games did not need it. Good dialogue in books doesn't need it. It's just baggage that slows everything down for no particular reason.

 

I like some of it but I do feel there is a bit much of it and it does make me more inclined to skip a lot of it on a second playthrough.


  • Sedrefilos likes this

#64
Tigranes

Tigranes

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 10478 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

I guess, as I said I am not saying their aren't issues with this story and I get having problems with the way it's presented too. I just find issues in so many games it sometimes seems like Pillars is singled out a little. Like the point about urgency (it makes no sense fot you to be doing side quests while *insert plot* is happening). That can be applied to so many rpgs I honestly roll my eyes when it comes up. I get that it's a problem but it exists in so many games as people expect side quests in rpgs and ,many rpgs have some level of urgency to their main quest so it can be all epic and save the worldy.

 

More to this point, I think if POE1 hadn't laid it on so thick, it would provoke a lot less negative reactions. Same goes for Torment: Tides of Numenera.

 

I liked POE1's dryness, its plot twist, many of the more polarising companions like Sagani, etc, and even then, I was speedreading half the time because everything is couched in unnecessary purple prose. The first couple hours of Deadfire, I feel the dialogues themselves are much better, but they still needed to delete all the descriptives - not because descriptives are bad per se, but because they are done so badly. *You see Tigranes furrow his brow, as if in deep thought. The shadows extend behind him, flickering in the semi-darkness cast by the Vailian lantern on the porch, which bears an ornate decoration and by the way was given by his grandmother who back in 1978...*

 

Anyone who's done any professional writing - scholarly, fiction,whatever - knows that the first thing most writers have to learn is how to cut. I suspect there is very little systematic oversight for most RPG writing, as you get some guidelines, go and write, then it's so chaotic trying to squeeze it into however the game/level design/quests/etc have changed.


  • Mikeymoonshine, misterjimmy and PantherX14 like this

#65
Mikeymoonshine

Mikeymoonshine

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

I guess, as I said I am not saying their aren't issues with this story and I get having problems with the way it's presented too. I just find issues in so many games it sometimes seems like Pillars is singled out a little. Like the point about urgency (it makes no sense fot you to be doing side quests while *insert plot* is happening). That can be applied to so many rpgs I honestly roll my eyes when it comes up. I get that it's a problem but it exists in so many games as people expect side quests in rpgs and ,many rpgs have some level of urgency to their main quest so it can be all epic and save the worldy.

 

More to this point, I think if POE1 hadn't laid it on so thick, it would provoke a lot less negative reactions. Same goes for Torment: Tides of Numenera.

 

I liked POE1's dryness, its plot twist, many of the more polarising companions like Sagani, etc, and even then, I was speedreading half the time because everything is couched in unnecessary purple prose. The first couple hours of Deadfire, I feel the dialogues themselves are much better, but they still needed to delete all the descriptives - not because descriptives are bad per se, but because they are done so badly. *You see Tigranes furrow his brow, as if in deep thought. The shadows extend behind him, flickering in the semi-darkness cast by the Vailian lantern on the porch, which bears an ornate decoration and by the way was given by his grandmother who back in 1978...*

 

Anyone who's done any professional writing - scholarly, fiction,whatever - knows that the first thing most writers have to learn is how to cut. I suspect there is very little systematic oversight for most RPG writing, as you get some guidelines, go and write, then it's so chaotic trying to squeeze it into however the game/level design/quests/etc have changed.

 

 

I don't disagree although interestingly I love pillars but never completed Torment (I may go back to it). I found the writing in Torment too much in a way I didn't for Pillars but it was really the combat that made me quit, it was just so boring to play. I will try it again though as there is a lot about that game I liked.



#66
Tigranes

Tigranes

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 10478 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

The real Torment (Planescape: Torment that is) & Mask of the Betrayer are, a lot of the time, good examples of how to have verbose and pseudo-philosophical writing without laying it on too thick and becoming indulgent.


Edited by Tigranes, 13 May 2018 - 11:17 AM.

  • Sedrefilos, Mikeymoonshine and misterjimmy like this

#67
Varana

Varana

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 480 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I have not heard anyone say such a thing about Divinity OS and if they did they are an idiiot because divinity OS 2 is a brilliant game.

Mostly because no one thought the story of D:OS was particularly interesting, or even good. ;) I can't remember a single serious D:OS review that praised its story (maybe some that came out right at the beginning and didn't actually play the whole thing). Particular quests or areas, sure, But the story as a whole was not received very well.
Which was absolutely not a problem because the focus of D:OS was so obviously completely elsewhere. The story was never a liability for a sequel because no one really cared about it.

#68
Sedrefilos

Sedrefilos

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2051 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Larian didn't promote the story in their games much. Well, maybe in DOS2 which had pretty good story imo. DOS games were all about freedom, systems and fun and they both deilvered 101%. Obsidian on the other hand talked a lot about story and writing and they always brough up how "they are known" for that so criticism will fall heavy on those.

That said I liked the story of Pillars at the end. Not the story of the Watcher necessarily but the revelations about the gods etc olus the choices you could make during the last parts of the game.


Edited by Sedrefilos, 13 May 2018 - 12:03 PM.

  • Mikeymoonshine likes this

#69
Aramintai

Aramintai

    (10) Necromancer

  • Members
  • 1424 posts
  • Location:Riga, Latvia
  • Steam:Aramintai
  • PSN Portable ID:Aramintai
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I don't know about reviews but I didn't particularly like POE2's main story because it was actually really short and because

Spoiler
So for an RPG to have only one rather disappointing ending, all the unimportant side fluff aside, is really shameful in nowadays high RPG standards.

Also, it didn't help that the ending was really confusing and basically retconed POE1 established lore without any coherent explanation. I made a post in spoilers section about it:

https://forums.obsid...ally-confusing/


  • misterjimmy likes this

#70
SonicMage117

SonicMage117

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2700 posts
  • Location:Texas, United States
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

First I'd like to mention, "dry" and "boring" don't make any story bad for everyone. Remember your books written by classics. Many of them are slow-paced, overly detailed, filled with unnesessary descriptions... but they are still considered great.

Games are not books, in no way do the two mediums operate the same, there is much more focus on a visual and gameplay controk aspect in a video game that is missing from books.

That said, I shouldn't EVER have to play a game for more than a few hours to discover if it's good or not. I should be able yo tell right off the bat, either by the main protagonists, the settings, the atmosphere, etc. The generic excuse of "you need to give the game more time to give it a fair chance" never really existed in reality.

The fact is that there are thousands of great rpg's, alot which are far better than IE rpgs in both mechanics and storytelling but excluding that fact, if people don't prefer Pillars over say Divinity or Moon Orient, doesn't mean they don't know as much as these older folks who cling to their BG for life, it also doesn't mean that they have bad tastes.



In regards to the OP's question, I suppose they just didn't like it. Pillars is a very niche product, if I hadn't grown up on IE games, I poabably would have no interest in it and more interest in Jrpg's. There's really no use in yourself or any other member trying to unlock the riddle of the possibilities to why, it's not going to happen.

People need to get over the fact that it's not the greatest franchise but it's also not the worst. This isn't even the best place to ask as it's an Obsidian forum ;)

#71
Mikeymoonshine

Mikeymoonshine

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

In regards to the OP's question, I suppose they just didn't like it. Pillars is a very niche product, if I hadn't grown up on IE games, I poabably would have no interest in it and more interest in Jrpg's. There's really no use in yourself or any other member trying to unlock the riddle of the possibilities to why, it's not going to happen.

People need to get over the fact that it's not the greatest franchise but it's also not the worst. This isn't even the best place to ask as it's an Obsidian forum ;)

 

 

As I have said several time already there is a specific dislike for the plot, the vast majority of comments even here echo that. I'm not trying to say people are wrong for disliking it or upset that they don't but despite the fact that I did have issues with the plot it didn't seem especially bad to me either. Some of the criticsm I have seen seems somewhat overblown to me. So I was interested to know what people here thought. It's really as simple as that.

 

As someone suggested above maybe it's just that this game is more plot focused than many others, or maybe it's because this is a spiritual successor to games that are known for their plots.



#72
LittleAmadillo0

LittleAmadillo0

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 69 posts

For me when I first started Pillars I hated it. I did not grow up with the crpg's the that inspired this game. The closest game I played that was similar was Dragon Age: Origins.

 

The beginning is very slow and the game kept dumping info at you all of which you had to pick up on. When I heard Odema talk, he may as well have been speaking a different language and he expected the player understand everything he said. Pillars was doing a lot more telling with their than showing.

 

To me, when I first saw dead people I felt like there was no real urgency. "Oh I can see dead people, that's nice." The character was apparently going insane but I felt no real urgency to go on. I remember at one point I was exploring Gilded Vale and I just thought to myself, "I should just settle down here instead of doing the main quest,". The sense of urgency didn't kick in until i met with Maerwald but even then the risk still felt distance. 

 

I stopped after I did several side quest in Defiance Bay. I felt no motivation to continue and it was always sneaking in the back of my head. In two years I would retry it. I got really invested when I was investigating the Leaden keys activity.

Spoiler

I wish that the beginning of the game had the same pull that act two presented.

I still think that Pillars of Eternity is a great game and it deserves the respect it has gotten but when I hear that somebody can't get into the game, I don't blame them.



#73
Teclis23

Teclis23

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 434 posts

I absolutely love the game engine, graphics, combat ect in Deadfire and completely hate the writing, story and narrative.

 

It is the excact opposite of a gripping immersive plot. When you play deadfire you want nothing to do with the plot you just want to enjoy the game engine, graphics and combat.

 

If they do a Pillars 3  they should use a different writing and narrative team.

 

Even better they should use there technology they have developed with the unity engine and do a crpg in a different world that has nothing to do with the stupid bickering about gods no one cars about. The game should be centered around a local issue and be all about building power and influencing the world around you.



#74
bringingyouthefuture

bringingyouthefuture

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 172 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
... I poabably would have no interest in it and more interest in Jrpg's. There's really no use in yourself or any other member trying to unlock the riddle of the possibilities to why, it's not going to happen.

 

 

Man this thread is old lol.  But that quote above is your answer to this whole entire thread.  The real question - why does a game like Dragon Quest 11 sell 3 million copies and it isn't even out in the US yet - DOS can't even boast of that???  Easy - it is accessible to all ages - Dragon Quest more than DOS, DOS more than POE, checkers more than chess.

 

Or even better why did RPGs stop having text based interactions with NPCs where you had to type in your questions rather than pick them from the menu (fyi - I was really upset when this happened lol)? - Easy answer, because it was difficult and not accessible for everyone (or you could blame RPGs like Dragon Quest again).  To go along with this why did RPGs start to abandon text heavy descriptions - again easy answer, better audio and visuals - why read a story when you can watch it, which made it more accessible.

 

For that matter why did Larian abandon the really hard puzzle quests in DOS1 when they created DOS2?  Same answer - people get frustrated and it wasn't accessible.

 

Why does a game like Pillars get criticized for being text heavy - because it is and not everyone likes it that way - its not as accessible as a story line with lighter writing and straightforward plots - it literally makes you read almost everything.

 

Why does Pillars seem boring?  Because RPGs have changed and are more adventure games these days and that's what people want!  I am really happy that a game like DOS2 is doing as well as it is since it means that many core elements of the classic RPGs, though changed and updated, will continue to exist.

 

Pillars structure in terms of story and pacing, open world and side quests is pretty good, definitely great for role playing. it's too much to get into the comparisons and details for me so I will leave that to everyone else.  I would argue that Pillars is much more like a "Malazan Book of the Fallen" novel and Divinty a lot closer to a "Stormlight Archive" novel.  I always thought that Pillars pulled a lot from the Erikson books, and I would be interested in creating a sapper like Fiddler to play in Deadfire!!!


Edited by aaronghowell, 26 August 2018 - 02:36 AM.

  • Tick and Mikeymoonshine like this

#75
Elizer

Elizer

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 91 posts

I agree, they shouldn't have made this game a continuation, it would have been nicer if the game was a fresh story. If you play it from a perspective where you haven't played part 1, you would be very confused with the storyline since you have no idea what happened in part one. Where most of this game makes A LOT of references to part 1 which is a big flaw.



#76
Sherab

Sherab

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 54 posts
  • Location:Komorowo, Poland.
  • Steam:sherab1986
Ok, I haven't read all posts in this thread.
I just want to give my opinion. And btw. it is hard to do here without spoilers, but I'll try. ;)
 
For me, when it comes PoE 1, the general idea was quite nice. I had, and I have only two problems with main story. First - how suddenly our hero and main "villains" of the game become enemies. After all, at the begining we are simply a lost guy/lass with is looking for answers, right? But at the same time, from the start, game's puts us in a role of hero with want to stop "bad guys". There was really lack of "transition" between "I want my answers" and "ok, we need to stop those bad guys". Yes, theorethicaly we can continue to pursue main antagonist just to solve personal issues. But still, we don't really have an option, to actally agree with what "bad guys are doing", so to speak. And that's fine, but our hero should propably have a good reason to make them (badgays) his/her enemy. And from my standpoint, there was a lack of such type of progression. There was that quick switch - "I wan't my answers", and then suddenly "I'm fighting the people I wanted to ask my questions".
 
And second thing, and this is quite common this days for many productions, how much main story "force" us to haste. Ok, this is not a bad thing by it's own. This feel of "oh, It is very bad with me, and I have to do something before it will be to late" - this is ok by it's own. But we have also broad world to explore, there's plenty of sidequests to do. Now, we are constantly loosing our sanity and we are of desperate need to find main antagonist. How in the world we have time to deal some errands, reopening some ancient fortress in the mountains, or whatever? Do you see my point? Situation of our hero is presented in main story in such a way, that this gives a feel of such an urgency, that doing something else than following main story line feels to be out of place. And I ususally want to roleplay my characters, hence this is a little bit a problem for me - how to justife, that my hero is involved in some completely different tasks, often in completely different part of the world (the White March, for example, however here is given some justiffication - "budgays" have their agenda there too), while I should search main antagonist?
 
But as I said, this is something I largely experience in most titles. And I guess, this is a problem with is hard to avoid, if the story is supposed to be interesting and catching, so to speak.
 
But there is somethin else, out of main story, that was bothering me a little bit. It was how the world - the Eora, and it's lore was presented to a player.
 
Someone in previous posts mentioned Bethesda and how bad they are with writing their games. And this is absolutely true. Skyrim is one the worst games I've played when it comes to actual role-playing. It is more like a FPS with some mechanical elements of RPG, than really a proper RPG. But! But the way Bethesda presents Tamriel to a player is really great! There is plenty of lore to discover. There is a lot history to read. In other words, there is plenty of ways to learn why the world look like it looks - learning of the Lore is often more interesting than actualy playing the game ;).
 
And this is something that was lacking in PoE 1 from my standpoint. And some other elements of the Lore were a little bit vauge to me too. To this day, I don't really know how to imagine Rautai, for example. Where to put it on map in relation to already known land masses, and known countries. I know only, that their main "force" is located in some gulf in the north. And it seems that "colonies" on some "shoreline" are relatively new (shorelines of what? Is this on the same continents that "the Gulf" is, or somewhere completely else?). This do not sattisfy me. :p I want to know more!
 
Especially, that I generaly like the setting - rennaissance inspired. Essence, or souls energy as a base of magic and myscticism. Reincarnation. Presence of gunpowder and firearms. I love it.
 
 
But I would like to have more ways to learn the lore, and to actually understood the world around me.
 
 
And most I've wrote about PoE 1 cab be transferred to PoE 2. So I won't repeat this. ;)
 
Best wishes! :)
 
Ps. Sorry for bad English.

  • Mikeymoonshine and LittleAmadillo0 like this

#77
1TTFFSSE

1TTFFSSE

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 527 posts

There are many excellent posts in this thread that break it down in more detail but the just of it is that both PoE1 and PoE2 are similar in that the actual "plot" in both games is pretty bare bone if you think about it. PoE1 felt more substantial actually than PoE2 because of the novelty factor of a new fantasy/world setting involved and we got to as players the effects and consequences of the main plot - the Hollowborn Crisis manifests itself more concretely than we see the destruction wrought by Eothas in PoE2. 

in simplest terms:

-There are no scenes/cutscenes where the main character witnesses first hand the "unfolding" of the main plot - we are always chasing Eothas and seeing things after the fact like the devastation in Hosango etc - so this whole Eothas marches across the Deadfire thing remains very abstract in our minds and we cannot really invest ourselves emotionally in what is going on. The plot is like that of a disaster movie where there is no budget to show the meteor/volcano/killer wave. 

-There are no direct consequences at stake for you - the main character - Barath is holding your hand throughout the whole game basically, you feel secure in the hands of a "parental" figure. Sure Eothos "hypothetically" stole something from you - but there is no concrete manifestation within you, the main character that presents a crisis for you personally. So this point pretty much exacerbates the above point

-so there is no concrete confrontation between your main protagonist and the main antagonist in deadfire, because no one is really sure there is an antagonist at all.  And even in terms of plotting 101, the writing team should have realized that making the real main antagonist the questgiver (Barath), rather than the chased target-Eothas, would have been in the end more structurally sound for an engaging "chase the bad guy" story - even if that is a cliche at this point. 


  • Mikeymoonshine, misterjimmy and handsomenat like this

#78
Androoh

Androoh

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 83 posts
  • Location:Leeds, UK

Ignore this post - I deleted it because I wasn't really saying anything new that adds to this discussion.


Edited by Androoh, 26 August 2018 - 05:40 AM.


#79
Karkarov

Karkarov

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3115 posts
  • Steam:Karkarov
  • PSN Portable ID:Karkarov
  • Xbox Gamertag:Karkarov
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Watcher
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Well this one got necro'd, but at least it was only three months or so old.

I just want to say the video linked above is complete trash.  I have plenty  of posts on this forum decrying why I think the story of deadfire was weak, and I think it was.  That said, when a guy has to go to a wikipedia page to get a summary of the games plot, talks about needing to read Cartesian philosophy to understand it (.... really?), and can't pronounce Dyrwood correctly.  Well I strongly suspect he never actually played it, or if he did, did not get very far into the game before quitting.


  • TheisEjsing, Mikeymoonshine and misterjimmy like this

#80
house2fly

house2fly

    (7) Enchanter

  • Members
  • 875 posts
"Lack of urgency" in the main quest is probably the single best thing Pillars did
  • Mikeymoonshine likes this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: story, plot, deadfire, pillarsofeternity

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users