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Codex Review RPG Codex Retrospective Review: Pillars of Eternity Revisited

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    Let's disregard for a second the fact that these assumptions about looting and resting have been with us since before PoE was even on beta. How many testers and LPers are in that database? Narrow that number down to a third to the people who act in this bizarre fashion. Narrow it down further to reach the number of people dense enough to feel that this level of pedantry is warranted.

    Yeah. This is just Sawyer avoiding stepping on eggs. Scratch that. This is Sawyer desperately trying not to hit the one imaginary egg in the middle of the golf course.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    "My fun is the TRUE FUN because I'm a basement-dwelling nerdy good ol' boy unlike your newfangled FAKE FUN" is not the kind of argument that's going to win over many converts
     
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  3. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    All of Sawyers core philosphies are trash, they were proven incorrect beyond any reasonable doubt.

    This means we have to reevaluate over 20 years of what has been said of those elements that were present in AD&D, because as counterintuitive as some of them were, it still made for an extremely enjoyable experience. We cant really explain, even today, how all the moving parts work to make it fun, but at the end of the day you cant deny that they do.

    But by all means, keep pushing your bullshit and lies.
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I find your principles to be obsolete and juvenile.

    I played Baldur's Gate for the first time when I was in high school. It may have taken me a while, but I eventually stopped going "OMG, Fighters get special Strength scores and other classes don't? SO UNIQUE". I see beyond that dross now. It just doesn't do anything for me. Right now, what I value is elegance, and Josh Sawyer aims to provide me with that.
     
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  5. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    But what IS elegance?
     
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  6. TheSentinel Arcane

    TheSentinel
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    Mind expanding a bit on the meaning of "elegance"?
    I assume of course you aren't referring to his physical form.
     
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  7. Tao Learned

    Tao
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    You got a typo infi my man, dont worry i FTFY
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Let me try to explain.

    I believe that for the majority of CRPG players, certainly experienced ones, the "feel" of a game's ruleset is something that quickly recedes into the background and becomes a kind of second nature. It does not factor heavily into their sense of fun in the long term. In the end, whether it's D&D or PoE, what they're doing is fighting monsters, engaging in dialogue, solving quests. You know my mantra - content is king.

    As such, any attempt to convey some sort of appealing idiosyncrasy via a game's ruleset is a wasted effort that will only appeal to a few. The role of the ruleset should thefore be to provide a sensible platform for CRPG content creation, first and foremost.

    I think that we can divide PoE's critics into two groups - the "ruleset is the problem" group and the "content is the problem" group (they're not exclusive, of course) and that the latter greatly outnumber the former. People who genuinely despise PoE on account of Josh Sawyer's failure to evoke the spirit of 1970s Lake Geneva, Wisconsin are a minority within a minority.

    Funnily, against all odds they were actually given a game not long ago that would appeal to them, but they refused to buy it because it had a tranny in it (lol). You didn't though, so good on you.
     
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  9. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    After having played this game for 2 days, I have learned some things:

    a) trash mob combat in TB rpgs is tolerable (i.e. Wizardry)
    b) trash mob combat in RTWP rpgs is annoying, but at least you are gaining some marginal xp (i.e. BG 1/2, Arcanum)
    c) trash mob combat in RTWP without combat xp (i.e. Pillars) is intolerable

    I ended up restarting Pillars on PotD with a solo rogue main. Cleared Temple of Eothas, Raedric's Hold and Cae Nua. Its actually very enjoyable, plays just like Legend of Zelda except with a mouse. Once Pillars is ported over to xbox and supports console controllers it will be an excellent spiritual successor to Zelda and Gauntlet.

    Those of you saying that Pillars isn't fun just aren't playing it the right way.

    Watch the 1 hour Pillars speedrun. If you are pausing in combat, you're playing it wrong.

    I hope the xbox version will also support multiplayer.

    But damn those loading screens...
     
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  10. boot Savant

    boot
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  11. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    I actually thought the character system in PoE was very well done: full party creation with decent character generation, plenty of class and build diversity, and continuous character development opportunities with each level up. I can certainly relate to what Grunker said about how in IE games you were often faced with a level up screen where you basically had no chardev choices on leveling up but clicking "OK". The only aspects of PoE that I considered inferior to BG/IWD were the bland level design, boring encounter design and the lack of challenge which made me feel that the character system's breadth was for naught. Then again, I only played it on Normal and without the WM expansion. I already have WM installed though, and plan to do a PotD run in the future*. That said, I wonder how good is the balance even if the current PotD experience is as Grunker describes it (quality encounter design, meaningful tactical variety that puts the character system to good use). I don't mean balance as in:balance:(e.g. even people who don't understand the system can make viable builds), but rather balance in the sense that the game can keep the encounters consistently challenging even if you metagame or overlevel. I mean, even BG2 had issues on this front, as there were many overpowered items, spells , and ways to metagame(some easily accessible from early on) that stripped the game of much of its tactical depth. I would like to hear what those who have played PoE at its finest have to say about that.

    Other than that, I also think that the stamina and limited camping supplies system was a reasonable solution to the rest-spam problem and actually made the structure of the resource management and attritional elements more rational and engaging. On the other hand, the comparative lack of spells, pre-buffing and general fun of PoE's magic system is a pretty glaring flaw compared to the IE games.

    I think considering how bad the story was, this game would have been far better off if it had simply been a dungeon crawler a la Icewind Dale. Maybe then it would have been able to fix one of its shortcomings (poor level design) while simultaneously setting up the engine and perfecting the combat and character customization elements, maybe they could have even introduced dual-classing. As it stands, resources that could have gone in fine-tuning the actual meat of the game went on something that turned out to be a source of negative utility and time-wasting for the player. As I said, I haven't tried PotD+WM, so as it stands BG2 and IWD still rank above it in terms of encounter design (which I have always thought was the biggest strength of these games), but Grunker's analysis does make me quite eager to give PoE another shot.

    *probably after my 600 hours with Grimwah :troll:
     
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  12. Harg Harfardarssen Cipher Patron

    Harg Harfardarssen
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    There should be a passive aggressive button.

    I think this kind of experience is pretty common for AD&D generally, not just in Baldur's Gate. It's probably by the far the most common system that PnP players learn on and therefore it is hard for people to separate the feeling of having your mind blown by the concept of PnP generally and the merits of the system itself, simply because when you encounter it you have never seen anything to compare it to. This coupled with the quality and diversity of its settings and other materials mean that even for people, like myself, who recognize that the system is kludge on top of kludge, have extremely fond memories of it. I still get a flash of really intense nostalgic affection when I see art from those books.

    For that reason, it's not shocking that vociferous advocates of AD&D uber alles would disagree strongly with Grunker, the Resident GUPRS Ambassador on basically everything. I think it would be interesting to see the reaction if he hadn't criticized AD&D and had just focused on comparing PoE to BG as a cRPG rather than an implementation of AD&D. I'm guessing that a nontrivial amount of vitriol in this thread regarding his take on PoE is fueled by this defensiveness regarding AD&D, but is bleeding over into PoE specific arguments.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    For a certain definition of non-trivial, perhaps.

    I think the tabletop-computer distinction is important here. These are CRPGs. You're not the one rolling the dice. You're not the one doing the math. Your interactions with the ruleset are fleeting and momentary, and your gameplay experience is basically this - click on an enemy, see your character swing his weapon and a number pop up. How much could the idiosyncratic "feel" of the ruleset possibly matter here? I just don't see how my experience of playing the IE games would have been significantly different if they had PoE's attribute system running in the background, for instance. Or any other number of its systems.

    (Systems that have no clear analogue in AD&D are a different matter of course, and the question of whether PoE's AD&D-nostalgic critics would have been any happier with a D&D 3E game will remain open until Pathfinder: Kingmaker arrives)
     
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  14. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    You are giving Sawyer way too much credit. We are talking about a guy that not only was known for disking the game he was plagiarizing emulating, but also mutilated some of its core design principles due to modern sensibilities and openly admitted making shit up as the Kickstarter process unveiled. There is nothing academic about the game. The character building screams “I hate class based systems. I would rather be using Fallout’s special instead”. What is worse is that every single innovation, from the no weight loot, to the pseudo-stealh, the moronic gamey stats ("with might you can make a muscle wizard!”) and the idiotic Glanfathan language are terrible. All they had to do was an IE clone BG2 clone. They had one job and they blew it! Now, a few people who can’t accept the reality are trying to rewrite recent memory with a few updates and an expansion an IWD clone. Unbelievable.
     
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  15. Harg Harfardarssen Cipher Patron

    Harg Harfardarssen
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    I agree. My point was not so much that AD&D has some particular effect on gameplay. More that AD&D is such an emotionally evocative subject that Grunker's criticism of AD&D led people to associate BG with AD&D and feel compelled to attack PoE out of a misplaced sense of defensiveness regarding PnP AD&D. I think a similar emotional dynamic was at play in the initial reactions to sawyer's statements regarding developing systems to harness the computer's particular strengths, which was read as an attack on AD&D.
     
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  16. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

    Rivmusique
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Should put that in the review. Humans don't do that.
     
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  17. Quillon Cipher

    Quillon
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    /thread
     
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  18. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    And i find your lack of knowledge disconcerting. You spend so much time in a forum about a genre you literally know nothing about, nor care to find out, more interested instead in shit like the developers lives or the companies woes.
    Every time i see a reply from you that isnt about a developers personal life or how a company is doing at the moment, i tend to roll my eyes or slap my face by the sheer amount of stupidity that is left in evidence.

    This is so far removed from the conversation i simply cant believe you are a living, breathing human being. You are, with all certainty, some encarta bot gone horribly wrong.

    No, you do not, you condescending twat.

    The principle of elegance is to put it simply, presentation, nothing more, its cosmetic, it literally adds nothing and it prides on taking away stuff. It exists for its own sake and its a vapid goal to have.

    Him and every other retard under the sun. These "Elegant" designs have been cropping up in every shitty mmo for the better part of a decade, they are boring and sanitized and go against the very reason we make these shitty systems in the first place.
     
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  19. Ulfhednar Learned

    Ulfhednar
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    It's really not that hard to explain. It's called nostalgia-goggles.
     
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  20. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    Yeah, get on with the times grandpa.
     
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  21. Turok Erudite

    Turok
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    The problem with most people is that time change everything, is not the same play this game if you already have 80 years old and have play more than 200 RPG or this is your first or second RPG you ever play. Grandpa googles and the nostalgia always affect the percepción.

    Grandpa gamers will never understand virgin gamers.
     
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  22. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    Because AD&D officially introduced alternative ways to roll up your character. Once they dropped OD&D's roll-once-and-deal-with-it principle, the attribute system became pointless. And with the BGs that allow unlimited rerolls /and/ point redistribution, it became worse than pointless.

    Once more: OD&D was a great but tightly scoped game. AD&D turned it into a train wreck. The only thing AD&D has going for it -- and it is a HUGE thing -- is the sheer mass of stuff that's been made for it, but if you want to play that as an interesting /game/ you're better off converting to some other system.

    Show Spoiler

    The devolution of the *D&D ability system --

    * OD&D: Roll 3d6 for STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA each without reassigning, pick the best class suited for the stat distribution you got. Getting a 15 in any stat was a big deal!
    * AD&D: Listed six(!) different methods to roll up stats, subject to negotiation with DM. One of them was almost as munchkiny as the IE games' unlimited rerolls... almost:
    * D&D3 and up: Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die, then assign each roll to the stat of your choice; if you rolled "really low" then roll again. (This was one of the most lenient methods introduced in AD&D.)


    Edit with CW, oldfag reminscing: When we played OD&D, we had a house rule. We rolled the characters according to the rules, filled in the numbers in the character sheet, and put the sheets in the middle of the table. Then everybody rolled a d20 (with tie breaks if necessary until everyone had a different number). Then everybody chose a sheet from the pile, in order of highest to lowest d20 roll. Sometimes we rolled a couple of "extra" sheets, representing adventurers left crying into their mugs at the inn as the rest of us went adventurin'. It was fun and, I still think, in tune with the spirit of the rules -- and it gave at least some of us a little control of the kind of character we /wanted/ to play.
     
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  23. Chaotic_Heretic Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Chaotic_Heretic
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    :salute: to Azarkon for his concise and informative posts countering the Grunkering and Shilling so prevalent here.

    Perhaps this is what Stockholm Syndrome looks like. They have been voluntarily tortured for so long; they cannot admit that P:E is not worthwhile at all. Of course the shekels from Obsidian helps too.
     
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  24. ZagorTeNej Arcane

    ZagorTeNej
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    Nostalgia is one of the most overused arguments in existence. By itself, it doesn't explain anything, it just paints every game (or another entertainment product) that stood the test of time with a wide brush.

    There's a reason for the term "more than the sum of its parts", it's not always easy to pinpoint why exactly certain elements (that may not sound great in theory) come together to make one game an enjoyable experience and have lasting power, especially in a superficial analysis (that is mostly used to arrive at previously established conclusions). It's why the full extent of PST greatness for example is still lost on its detractors even after all these years ("It only has great writing, go read a book instead").

    To even his most stalwart defenders it should be obvious that Sawyer's design sensibilities will not appeal to everyone (well except when we're talking about hipster base central like SA), nostalgia or no nostalgia.
     
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  25. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Jasede
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    His design 'sensibilities' appeal to joyless robots with no idea what made D&D fun. Why people still talk about this hack fraud is beyond me.
     
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