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Mikeymoonshine

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

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Am I the only one who had translucide creepy stuff popping here and there while playing POE1? Or dialogue choices after talking to ghosts that went like "I think I'm going crazy"? I doubt it. The translucide creepy stuff and the talking to ghosts is was cause Watchers to become insane, but you, the player, decided how much your Watcher was mentally affected by what he/she was seeing in POE1, not the game.

Of course you weren't the only one to see it. But if you consider how its presented (especially the first time through) there isn't any reason to associate it with you.

 

You wake up after the device and randomly see torture porn. OK, people obviously do weird rituals here, maybe they tortured people here and you're seeing spirits of the dead. Then you find you can talk to spirits of the dead. So the reasonable conclusion is this machine has let you see spirits and it has nothing to do with you.

 

Maerwald is a feeble old man and trapped in some sort of weird loop where he's raping his mother to burn his village over and over again. (And lost any sense that its different people). While horrible, That is completely different from what you're presented by the game. Especially since it just seems like you're seeing more spirits (including the mother)

 

So Maerwald is established as an unreliable source with personalities that are actively, if randomly, hostile towards you. After this point, you rarely see random visions of torture porn, and interact repeatedly with spirits, and its an actively useful Special Power that allows you to accomplish things no one else can. That the game occasionally pops up to tell you it is somehow a bad thing is utterly laughable.

Edited by Voss

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I'll not play PoE2 for a few months, but I'm reading a few reviews.

 

The opinion on the story that got me most worried was Rock Paper Shotgun's on-going review. It said that the main story was too disconnect from every other quest (kinda similar to PoE1 actually). In PoE1 however, it was more forgivable because the main story was you seeking a way to get rid of your soul-awakening. It did not feel very imediate - which was a complaint from a lot of people - but at least it made sense when your character was dealing with a slow-progressing illness and chose to adventure here an there in sidequests.

 

Now, however, there's a giant god that took your soul stamping cities (apparently) and it just feels weird (according to the review) to be doing anything else besides following that god. This is a very poor story design decision and it god me less excited to play the game :(.

 

Can anyone who have played the beggining of the game give their thoughts about that?

 

I am a few hours into Deadfire and can confirm that, the pacing just feels wrong at the start. One day, you watch the gods discussing and get the feeling that this is an important matter. The next day (actually a week later, since you travel by ship) you start running errands in a really huge city. Eder even makes a comment about losing track.

 

Also you have a lot of stuff to micromanage, especially your ship, but also companions, factions and your personal fame. You have to make a lot of choices, like distributing skills on a borderline overwhelming skill tree, but can't really judge their outcome, since combat is very rare. And select a ship crew out of lots of NPCs, which all have different skills and character traits. And spend money you don't have on ship stuff you can't judge what it does. And hey, your cook broke her hand and morale goes down, since you don't have beer on board, manage that! Also there are several factions you can side with or not, but don't really get an idea how and why that matters and what consequences this will have in the future. There is one larger dungeon (a mansion of some kind), but the reason to enter it seems miniscule and also requires to take a side between two factions, where you can only talk to one of them. All other fights are simple brawls, a lot of buildings and persons have no meaning (yet).

 

I feel very lost and without a red thread. I know sooner or later everything will be pieced together, but the start is really rough. First you are drawn in, then you are let go. Everything you do feels pointless compared to your really important main quest.

 

It's still a good game, don't get me wrong :)

 

 

I may be an oddball here.  I know that some people wanted a more involved stronghold in/after PoE1.  I didn't.  I don't play this sort of game to play "Sim Stronghold".  I'm not interested in having to manage a castle, or a stronghold that's a ship.  I'm much more into the quests and the combat and the stories.  To me, managing a "stronghold" is an unnecessary distraction.

 

I do get that you need to get from place to play in the Deadfire and that requires a ship.  I'm just not sure why we should need to have to pay attention to the minutia of running said ship.

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I didn't mind the Caed Nua stronghold building. What sucked was having to constantly come back to fight off attacks. If you left it to auto-resolve, it seems like 33% of your buildings would get torched 100% of the time, even if you had way higher defense than prestige.

 

I would usually knock the difficulty down to Storytime for these just to get it over and done with so I could get back to what I really cared about.

Edited by Ontarah
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I didn't mind the Caed Nua stronghold building. What sucked was having to constantly come back to fight off attacks. If you left it to auto-resolve, it seems like 33% of your buildings would get torched 100% of the time, even if you had way higher defense than prestige.

 

I would usually knock the difficulty down to Storytime for these just to get it over and done with so I could get back to what I really cared about.

 

Hence why I never left it to auto-resolve.  Of course, I liked the combat so heading back home for some R&R and a little practice time with the local rowdies (aka the people who dared attack my castle)!  :biggrin:

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It is a problem. I'd rather just be an adventurer and fall into a natural story.

 

These 'Chosen One and Epic Plotz!!!!' stories are consistently terrible. Where these games are good at all, its in the exploration and side quests, and sometimes the party.

 

Baldurs Gate handles it probably the best of these games. The hook is the iron crisis, a regional problem that has discernable motives and moving pieces. Sadly its completely wrecked and abandoned to focus on the ridiculous Child of Bhaal thing.

 

Can't grasp why being a wizard, warrior, or whatever isn't considered enough of a power fantasy.

 

Its also weird since if they're putting so much effort into a world, why put so much into 'Epic Plotz!!!' that will destroy\reshape it?

 

I have no problem with Epic plots.  But I will say that letting you know right from the start that the story is epic seems unnecessary and arguably can cause the story to lose some of the epicness over time.  OTOH, if you start small with, say, the BG1 iron crisis, you have a small scale problem that you work to solve and you start picking up pieces to some larger plot that you are unaware of at the start of the story.  You have an increasingly larger mystery to solve, which can cause the epicness of the underlying main story to grow and grow as you uncover more and more.

 

I don't want to rip on the PoE2 story because I've only barely gotten started.  But it seems to me that POE1 and 2 bear a similarity with BG2, where in each 3 stories, you start with someone done you wrong in a very personal way.  OTOH, in IWD1 and 2, despite their arguable flaws for being very linear, you were just a relative nobody with a party of nobodies who ended up in the adventure.  And in BG1, you weren't a nobody, but you didn't necessarily realize that from the start.   Of course, I suppose in PoE1 and 2, it's hard for you to be a nobody given that you become a watcher at the start of PoE1, though that doesn't quite put you on the same level of importance as you are in BG2.  Watchers, while rare, are hardly gods and not entirely unheard of.

 

Perhaps the PoE1 storyline would have been a little better if there was no connection to Thaos at the very start.  You could still have been turned into a Watcher, but without any need to go chasing after this crazy guy (who turns out to be Thaos).  Obviously, a few tweaks here and there to the story would be needed to give you a reason to go to Caed Nua and the to Defiance Bay.  And then to go after Thaos.    Maybe someone hires you or otherwise inspires you to hunt for the assassin who killed the Duke and to stop what his dastardly plans were.  (Maybe Lady Webb wasn't killed and it was she who sends you after Thaos.) 

 

I don't think that the general PoE1 story line was irredeemable from the fault of seeming too epic from the start.  I think that it could have been tweaked in some minor ways to allow its epicness to be more of a growing mystery that you had to reveal like peeling an onion.

 

I have no idea how PoE2's story will play out.  I'll remain hopeful.

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POE1's story was bad because the writers did the impossible by having mountains of words without actually telling the story at all until the end. There wasn't anything there to keep you interested. "Find the bad wizard before you go crazy" is the only goal for 95% of the game, and you don't even know why during that time.

 

"He's old and he does things. What things? Things. With people."

 

It's all like that.

Edited by PugPug

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POE story is just like all the stupid marvel movies: there is a bad guy and you're the good guy. Except POE makes all these unnatural twists and turns for the sake of having twists/turns.

 

If there was an option I'd remove all these dumb dialogues I have to read related to the main story line and instead only read the separate quests. I am tired of seeing "Ethos" this Ethos that, or that I am the chosen one who is so special.

 

BG1 or BG2 stories were better at that time because we werent used to seeing stories. 20 years later, 10 more rpg games, and no story has changed. Just different names. No creativity put into the core of the story or to storytelling; all creativity was put into twists and turns which  only confuses and irritates me because I've no need to learn about another mythical tale of how a chosen one is so special that he defeats and challenges a god.  

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The prose in PoE1 is very purple. When creating a Deadfire save state, I realised I had to wiki almost every choice because I could not remember anything I did in the game and I have over 750 hours played in PoE1. Yeah...

Edited by Hayte

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The dialogue has to be witty in some way or it is not worth reading. The characters and voice acting make me cringe and directly interrupt my experience of the game. Maybe it's just me being an adult and I have a low tolerance for these things.

 

In Icewind Dale I created a party with 6 original custom portraits and my imagination did most of the work. Its enough to have good music, nice scenery, and swift pacing for an RPG like this. I think the greatest strength of the Infinity RPGs is CUSTOMIZATION. Just let me create the perfect character, the way I want to in my particular flavor of lore (very adult like, Witcher 3 style, no false heroism or epic cheese) and I can tolerate everything else about an RPG. 

No need for loads of text. Personally I don't like companions that talk to my character, even in BG1 I couldn't stand Imoen.

I feel more connected to my characters when they are original and they are mine like in IWD1. This allowed for a far more immersive experience. 

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The prose in PoE1 is very purple. When creating a Deadfire save state, I realised I had to wiki almost every choice because I could not remember anything I did in the game and I have over 750 hours played in PoE1. Yeah...

 

I hate to be that guy but if you have spent 750 hours playing PoE1 and can't remember most of these choices then either you haven't been paying attention at all or you have a really terrible memory.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.


Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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

of the impotency of player character to influence the ending. It felt like for whatever reason I was chosen to sit in the front row at a cinema and watch Eothas fulfill his plan without the ability to actually do something about it.

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.obsidian.net/topic/98322-ending-spoilers-the-ending-is-really-confusing/

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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 ;)


Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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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.

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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.

 

 

An organization that was meant to suppress the kith's understanding of the gods for the supposed betterment of all kith. Even if that mean leaving a city district to die, sabotaging work that could help people, or wiping out an entire generation. Then later finding out that the secret they wish to keep so badly is one that is something that is regarded as a universal truth among all civilizations.

 

 

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.

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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.

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... 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
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“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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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.

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