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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Pillars of Eternity II - It's Pretty Alright

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. nobre Learned

    nobre
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    At least the magic/special items are a big improvement compared to the first game. Unique items now feel like actual artefacts, with their own exclusive properties, some of which can be very interesting or powerful, or upgraded even further for additional functionalities. Unfortunately, they lost a lot of their relative “oomph” and uniqueness when the autist-in-chief struck and decided to nerf everything across the board in the first major Deadfire patch. This encompassed cutting most item abilities by half (including both the chance to trigger and the power of effects), some of them even more, no matter whether they were garbage things that nobody would ever use, gear that companions start with (!!!) or stuff you get from tough endgame boss fights.

    Holy shit MMO-style nerfs in a single-player game :lol::lol::lol:. Glad I never even considered spending money on this piece of garbage.

    Thanks Darth Roxor for this informative review.
     
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  2. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

    Rivmusique
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    One of the best games I've ever played and the DLC so far makes it even better. Great to see so much enthusiasm here, too.
     
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  3. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    Word of warning, stay away from PotD.

    I made the mistake of going for a "completionist" (sort of) playthrough on PotD. Early game is good and hard, midgame is about the same as on Hard depending on the order in which you do shit and it does maintain the challenge a bit longer, but the late game optional content is fucking awful now. Everything has a million hitpoints so every trash fight is a slow, grinding attrition thing where you chip away at the mooks one by one while countering whatever they throw at you. I'm on level 20 and am thinking of just fucking dropping it, it's so bad.

    I honestly thought Sawyer knew better than this -- to make a game harder, make the enemies hit harder, you don't have to turn them into giant damage sponges.

    -- about the revioo --

    One thing Roxor barely discusses at all is the setting. In my view it is one of the outstanding things about the game. Soul-, god-, and adra-related derp aside, Deadfire feels like a lived-in, believable place. This isn't at all obvious, especially in a politically fraught colonial setting like this -- it would have been oh so easy to fall into another Pandora thing, with saintly unspoiled natives being ruthlessly colonised by rapacious imperialists. This is much more nuanced than that, and there's a ton of stuff references real history. This is the best fantasy worldbuilding I've seen in ages -- head and shoulders above, say, Dragon Age which has gotten a lot of (IMO undeserved) praise for it. IMO the exploration only works because of this worldbuilding -- you're not just stumbling on random shit, you're finding stuff that's there for a reason, even if the reason isn't usually spelled out for you in giant stick letters.
     
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  4. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Are you using empowered abilities?
     
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  5. Safav Hamon Learned The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    Only spongy enemies I encountered late game were in the Beast of Winter DLC, and I never touched the empower button. Perhaps your penetration is too low?
     
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  6. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    I've tried. There's honestly no point. Empowering doesn't boost damage nearly enough to take out those sponges. They're much more useful when used as defensively or as debuffs, but I don't need them for that purpose, as regular non-empowered abilities get that job done just fine.

    There's a certain soulbound weapon there that needs to have you kill 10 enemies with Empowered attacks. To do this in combat you need to hit them when they're already near death, before something else gets them. (Which is why I sorted that part out by hitting barrels with empowered attacks, those do go down in one shot.)

    Penetration is fine, I'm not getting those "no pen" messages and am doing normal damage. It's not even that the fights are that hard, they're just slow.

    -- The enemies in Drowned Barrows and Splintered Reef are extremely spongy. (BoW is in a class of its own ofc.)
     
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  7. Safav Hamon Learned The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    If it's just trash mobs you're fighting then you can fast forward in combat. It's my favorite QoL feature added to the game.
     
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  8. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    Ooo fuck,he is back.
    :negative:
     
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  9. Big Wrangle Scholar

    Big Wrangle
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    Who cares?
     
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  10. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    If you're level 20 your DPS should 2-shot mooks in melee and mages 2-shot things with final level spells. Otherwise you should re-think your party.

    The HP/armor sponge is reality, I am not denying that, or that it is a bad design, but level 20ies can kill even bosses in literally half a minute provided characters are created with the purpose of beating PoTD. Rogues, Monks, Barbs, Rangers - probably, hybrids, Evokers, are all potent enough to do that.

    What you say is a lot more true to gameplay before level 12. There it is indeed swarming 1 enemy with all your capable dudes while something holds rest of enemies at bay, before proceeding to next enemy.
     
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  11. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    Why? His favourite D&D system is 4E, so these problems, along with others mentioned in Roxor's review, should be expected.
     
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  12. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    Dunno, maybe I'm playing this wrong. In any case this isn't fun. It's not particularly hard, it's just tedious, rote, and grindy.
     
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  13. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    Can't you just change the difficulty in the option menu,or is potd locked?
     
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  14. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    There are many issues with POE2 combat, but POTD featuring massive HP sponges is not one of them. I honestly don't know where that's coming from. Maybe if you're always grazing people and underpenetrating?
     
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  15. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Well in BoW increased hp for more difficulty compared to vanilla is a reality.
     
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  16. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    I already said my penetration is fine and I'm landing solid hits. Legendary weapons all around, and they're pointless: hits are worth few tens of HP when even mooks have hundreds.

    Special attacks do do a lot of damage (the monk's Inner Death will hit for about 400 for example, the cipher's Thousand Cuts is about as good when it hits, and so on) but regular weapon attacks are pointless -- they do maybe 50 points on a hit, and even mooks have hundreds of HP. So I'm cycling through the same couple of abilities over and over again, or just select-all and auto-attack, using heals to keep the party up. Either way this is really fucking dull.

    (Yes I'm in BoW now. It's true that compared to this, Drowned Barrows was positively squishy.)
     
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  17. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    Prime Junta ,i was not talking about you oh glorious butthurt commi. I was depressed because that retard Safav is still posting here.
     
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  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    That's why I don't get it. I've run several different parties/solos on POTD and HP sponges where you have to fight for a hundred years killing by a thousand cuts is not a problem. Combat is usually over quite quickly, except for cases like when you're trying to kill Concelhaut at lower levels.

    What is a problem is the ability design. By losing Vancian, and emphasising active abilities for every class, you are basically cycling through all your useful per-enc stuff every single fight. Not as bad as Tyranny's cooldowns but still bad. That is dull, but HP isn't the key problem here, since you get plenty of tools to blow through enemy HP quickly.
     
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  19. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Perhaps that adds to the feeling or translates to feeling of "hp sponge". To burn through enemy hp you generally have to go through same micromanagement routine every combat which adds to the overall feeling of a chore.
     
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  20. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I mean, I agree. It was just a minor point that the issue is not with HP numbers.

    As much as I enjoyed Deadfire, I consider its biggest failure the complete removal of attrition gameplay. Everyone regenerates and you can rest anytime you want and sailing resources are practically infinite and with empower, you might be clicking the knockdown or wounding arrow button like 15 times in a fight for a high level character. It's decline. And whereas the mediocre writing isn't a huge deal in a SoZ-like game, the removal of resource management really hurts Deadfire's core strengths - the explore-fight-loot cycle.
     
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  21. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    They should just cut empower. I liked the Endurance/Health divide and the camping supplies. I value attrition gameplay very highly as I see it as a better way to balance spellcasters than just nerfing their repertoire vis more mundane classes. But in a game where mages seem balanced by their casting times more than anything, the empower mechanic is just decline.
     
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  22. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    You all say you want strategic gameplay yet you all agree that Deadfire is more fun to play than PoE. :M

    I have my own biased experience with this to declare that attrition is dead.
     
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  23. Safav Hamon Learned The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    The issues with resource management can be fixed with the god challenges they are adding to the game. They're already adding item degradation with the Abydon challenge, which is a huge incline.

    One thing I would like to see returned from Tyranny is the endurance/wound system. If your endurance falls too low, then you get a wound. Currently it's way too easy to heal repeatedly in combat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  24. Ulfhednar Learned

    Ulfhednar
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    I'm sure the additions of multiclassing, better itemization, open world exploration, an Athkatla-like city, FO:NV-like factions and questlines, the less grimdark tone, and the fact that many here only played PoE 1.0 and never touched it again don't have something to do with that...

    My own biased experience says the combat in Deadfire is rote and repetitive relative to PoE, even if the encounter design is better.
     
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  25. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    It would be even better with strategic gameplay.

    Here's the thing: I'm not acutely missing it every moment I'm playing the game. But when I think of how it could be if it was there, I feel old and sad.
     
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