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Mikeymoonshine

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

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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.

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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. 

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

Edited by Androoh

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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.

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Pillars has a story?

 

Nah joke. But i fast forwarded most of the dlc story, because i don't care about it, i just like the gameplay and the challenges.

 

And for real: My memory is so bad, in a couple of months i don't know the story anymore, even if i listened to it.

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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.

I agree. Videos like that kick so much ass because whoever makes them tries to pin down one posit the secret key to unlock some eldritch knowledge relies on one entire philosophical framework and not a multitude. I mean Descartes? Really? He's most known for **** memes these days.

 

But in all seriousness philosophy IS a major component to some games but most people really don't take time discuss or really give much thought to them. How many people do you all think played something like say, Bioshock and gave much thought to Objectivism? Or how about it's sequel with Collectivism/Utilitarianism? Not many I would wager. A good story to me is something that keeps me engaged for the entirety of whatever media/book/whatever is being presented. If it presents challenges that's great too.

 

I am so very tired of modern Youtube analysis that presents subjective material as objective and treating it as if they and only they have the key to unlock this mighty puzzle box where some hidden final meaning lies.

 

"LmAo tHiS nArRaTiVe SuCkS! How Pillars of Eternity can only be understood by this **** Philosophy Dude" really isn't a good way to convince me as to your sincerity. By all means roast the narrative but at least be open minded about it. If you paid attention to the narrative the game VERY much has a payoff.

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Yes! We have no bananas.

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PoE1 is fairly dry, and lacks the bombast that people have come to expect in RPGs from Bioware RPGs. It has a **** load of text, in no small part due to Avellone's characters being brick walls of absurdly dense prose (that is not a compliment). It's not hard to see why people would be put off, even as a fan.

I miss those dense characters, compared to the faction reps we got in PoE2.

 

As for the OP, I've heard people complain about the story in Divinity Original Sin, too. On my first playthrough of PoE1, I found the story a bit dry and just serviceable. I appreciated it more when I delved a little deeper. Probably most critics don't invest the time.

Edited by Celan
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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!!!

 

 

This is an interesting argument but I am not sure I agree, sure the "dated" aspects of POE and POE2 turn a lot of people off. Like for example a lot of people don't like the rtwp aspects of the game or all the reading they have to do. These games were made for a crowd that are looking for those things though and it's mostly the opinions of those people I am referring to. I'm also relatively new to these kinds of games as most of them were kinda before my time. I first played the baldur's gate series only a few years ago and i would say you could make the same kind of "dry/ boring/ sparse main story" complaints about BG1 but I wouldn't say you could for BG2, well u could but I would disagree. POE is boring to some people because it is an older and no longer popular or accessable style of video game but that's not why fans of those kinds of games are criticising the plot.

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Original Pillars story and writing holds up imo pretty well to multiple playthroughs. The world building, indulgent descriptions, and lots of detail worked really well. I think the largest problem with the original story is that it relied too heavily on merely withholding information from the player. There are twists in the plot of the original game, but they all rely on keeping information from the player.

 

There's no twists where the antagonist decided to change his plans because of what you did, for example. And the game relies on an enormous exposition dump that radically alters things once you learn who Iovara is. This is why a lot of players feel the story was "told" to them rather than "shown" or experienced. For most of the game, the key moving pieces of the narrative are outside of even the player's knowledge, much less ability to interact with. If you forgive this glaring flaw though, I think it's a story that holds up quite well, and does a lot of work with the possible choices you can make.

 

As for Deadfire, I can't speak with utmost authority not seeing the end yet, but it definitely starts a little deep in the rabbit hole, in that it's probably difficult to grok for someone who hasn't played the original. It also relies strongly on withholding information, but much less than its predecessor.

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"Lack of urgency" in the main quest is probably the single best thing Pillars did

 
Wow!
 
 
It seems this highly depends of personal taste, I guess. Ok, I haven't felt so much of "urgency" in main questline of PoE 1, neither in the PoE 2, as in some other productions. But still, this was troubling for me to justify doing sidequests, while I have so important things to do due to main story.
 
 
I wrote before, that Bethesda generaly write their games badly. But I have to admitt, that I really like  what they did with main storyline of the Morrowind. There was the point, near the begining, where our hero was told that he/she should first gain some more experience, do some jobs for other factions, or as a freelancer, and then to get back. By this single thing, whole island was opened to our exploration. There was no that feel of urgency. Only when you were getting deeper and deeper into the main story, it was starting to get a pace. And I think this was good! :D
 
 
In PoE 1 main story "feels" relatively slow paced more less until the meating with Maerwald. From this point onward, our hero is in of desperate chace for it's sanity.
 
 
In PoE 2, well... there should be no spoilers here, but I would agree, that the pace is slower, and some events evem made my character to consider intentional delaying of finding Eothas. But still, again we fight for our life and our soul, and we are being blackmailed by the gods.
 
 
But I think,  that PoE 2 main plot is indeed less "urgent" ;) And I like it. From other hand, it felt a little bit short, compared to PoE 1.
 
 
 
But aside of this, and some other concerns I mentioned earlier, I realy love both stories. :)

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@Mikeymoonshine fair enough point and I definitely can't argue with that, the evidence is literally right here.

 

But to your comment, I really didn't have an issue with the way the story unfolds, the writing, the characters, etc because it unfolds pretty similar to text heavy CRPG games that I started playing - and this is basically that there is no story, only the one you seek out and find (mysterious music cue here) - of course, other than that time-tested general idea that the world, or you is going to end soon if you don't click the map and move your character to whatever the game designer puts in front of you first.  I actually find the way Pillars started genius for the niche genre.  My point was only that many games abandoned this and started to merge the traditional Adventure game with the RPG because most people want something more engaging as it makes the game more accessible, and turned out to be a selling idea - now you just don't have to like to explore and discover, fight and steal magic items - it gives you other ways to play the game and get something out of it. 

 

Perfect example:  people mention the lore of Pillars - I never had an issue with it, but I also read everything, even the books, journals, mosaics.  I actually am digging uncovering the mysteries.  But I do read the comments and think all these points are valid and good feedback, the only thing I don't dig is trashing the game writers since I am sure the put a lot into it (even if these were mistakes people hate), I think they did a pretty bang-up job (don't hate me for being a cheerleader).

 

Truth, I have complaints too for sure, but ***** where is that spoiler tag!!!!  Is there an html coding section I am missing!!!!

 

Now what is really on my mind, why do people hate RTWP so much - jk??? :cat:

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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It depends. Bioware revealed that companion questions and romances cost way, way more than most people anticipated (Millions) and certainly far more than Obsidian had in terms of budget. Part of the reason single player games without micro-transactions are rarer nowadays is that it costs a lot of money to make a game. As much as I detest the process I understand why they do it. As much as I loathe to admit it the process does work and it offsets the production costs.

 

Smaller studios have smaller budgets and people need to take that into account. Not every studio has Rockstar money. They cannot afford several hundred million dollar budgets and a year long delay. In another example one immediately notices that special effects in smaller budget films tend to look worse than whatever Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm shoot out because they don't have the money. People need to understand that it's just not possible to have everything gold plated.

 

It's not that Obsidian doesn't want to it's that it's not possible to do so.

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Yes! We have no bananas.

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The approval system and romances were so offputting that I only used the sidekicks after my first playthrough and left the companions to rot on my ship. Ydwin missing out on companion status was a blessing in disguise.

 

As for the story, I felt like writing an essay on Deadfire and Tyranny's writing but there's really no point. You can tell that that the good writers have left and the ones remaining either a) don't care, b) are pretentious af but without the writing ability to back it up, or c) would rather write fanfiction romances than an interesting story.

 

I even defended PoE1's story, but the main plot in Deadfire is hands down the worst I've seen in a video game. Just terrible.

Edited by Selky

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I even defended PoE1's story, but the main plot in Deadfire is hands down the worst I've seen in a video game. Just terrible.

 

I ask this with sincerity but do you play many video games? You cannot possibly think this when there's copious amounts of other games out there with far, far worse plots. I like hyperbole as much as the next guy but worst story ever? When nonsensical shooters and silly art games exist?

 

I mean I didn't like the Pillars 2 story as much as the first one either but not in my wildest dreams would I call it bad or even remotely the worst I've ever seen/experienced. What do you consider a GOOD story? And no cheating by saying something like Planscape Torment!

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Yes! We have no bananas.

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As for the OP, I've heard people complain about the story in Divinity Original Sin, too. On my first playthrough of PoE1, I found the story a bit dry and just serviceable. I appreciated it more when I delved a little deeper. Probably most critics don't invest the time.

Yeah, it rewards a little thought and attention. I don't mind a story that makes you engage with it to get the most out of it

 

There's no twists where the antagonist decided to change his plans because of what you did, for example.

Yes there is. Thaos's plan was to convince people Waidwen's Legacy was the fault of animancy and get it banned in the Dyrwood. Once the Watcher exposed the Leaden Key's conspiracy, Thaos instead murdered the duc and framed an animancer
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I mean I didn't like the Pillars 2 story as much as the first one either but not in my wildest dreams would I call it bad or even remotely the worst I've ever seen/experienced. What do you consider a GOOD story? And no cheating by saying something like Planscape Torment!

You know Ben for legit fans of the real Planescape setting Torment had a lot of problems. 

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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.

 

 

Sound like they are write a novel not script.

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Bio/Obs style companions have always been very costly to make, sucking up a lot of resources. Some people say "but you're just writing a bunch of dialogues and stuff", but by that token, anything from movie scripts to UN reports should be cheap. Character design, portraits, scripts, banter, reactivity with every possible other companion and quest and situation, editing, voice acting if you have it, it all takes time and money and affects your pipelines.

 

My view is that we would be better off if a hypothetical POE3 drastically dialed down the companions, and we just had a bunch of lightly written, low-drama folks that adventure with you, closer to BG1. Obsidian can't seem to write top-notch companions like they used to, and they're not worth the expense. But that takes us back to a dilemma BIoware have had ever since BG2; companions and romances became so wildly popular with a sizable chunk of the target audience. You can't afford to do them or not do them, it seems.

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Lol, whats the criteria for SA forums to override your chosen avatar and force the Trump avatar on you?

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image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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They don't, Trump is the default avatar. It costs $10 to have any other avatar (or no avatar) so a lot of people don't bother

Edited by house2fly
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Obsidian can't seem to write top-notch companions like they used to, and they're not worth the expense.

 

Neither can Bioware, or anyone else currently in the business.

 

I think, to an extent, it's simply a case of the well having run dry. All the stock fantasy characters that people know and love have been done. In trying to do characters that are "different" we are getting characters who are unlikable and/or dull.

 

I also think there is too much emphasis on "romance", a lot of it as a consequence of lobbying on message boards. Just for once I would like some heroes who kept their minds on saving the world rather than getting their legs over each other! If people want Mills and Boon, make it a separate genre.

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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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They don't, Trump is the default avatar. It costs $10 to have any other avatar (or no avatar) so a lot of people don't bother

They know how to motivate people to pay. ;)

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Bio/Obs style companions have always been very costly to make, sucking up a lot of resources. Some people say "but you're just writing a bunch of dialogues and stuff", but by that token, anything from movie scripts to UN reports should be cheap.

 

Writing with quality takes a lot more time than people think. I had to do it in a previous job and I had to re-read several times, once looking for mistakes, other to check the ideas, another to see if I could improve it... And after you do it a few times, you no longer see it in the same way. I'd show my texts to other people and they would often find mistakes that were obvious and I hadn't noticed. :facepalm:

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