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Eternity Avowed - Obsidian's first person action-RPG in the Pillars of Eternity setting - coming November 12th(?)

Dycedarg

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Oh, there was another PC Gamer article: https://www.pcgamer.com/avowed-open-world-skyrim-rpg-size/

Exclusive: Avowed started as Obsidian's Skyrim, but evolved to focus on depth over breadth, 'where Obsidian really shines'​

"We backed up and said again: What are we good at? What's our lane?"

When Avowed was first announced with a CGI trailer back in 2020, the headlines and discussions that it sparked all pointed to one specific game: Skyrim. Even though the teaser didn't give away much, the similarities were clear. First-person view; a sword in the right hand, a spell in the left. Surely this was Obsidian's take on an enormous Bethesda-style RPG?

And yes, it turns out that was the plan—at least at first. "Originally we were pitching, in essence, our Skyrim," confirms Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart in an exclusive interview with PC Gamer.

But that is not what Avowed, as it currently exists, is going to be. "I think over the course of time as we worked on it… Bethesda makes an awesome Skyrim. Mojang makes an awesome Minecraft, and Turn10 makes awesome racing games," says Urquhart, referencing a handful of Obsidian's sister studios at Microsoft. "What we do is we make our awesome RPGs, right?"

The feeling, then, was that Obsidian were better served not following Bethesda's example of a grand, open world, but instead staying true to what an Obsidian game should be. "That's when we backed up and said again: What are we good at? What's our lane?" That core, for Urquhart, is Obsidian's dedication to storytelling. "Outer Worlds is the greatest, latest example of that, and even Pillars. Pillars is less linear than Outer Worlds, but it's still a game that has you go through a story. And [Pillars of Eternity] 2 was even less linear, but still again you have this core story as you're going."

For Avowed, the focus is going to be specifically on your companions, and how their story relates to the driving narrative of the game. "We could go off and create an 8km x 8km open world and then deal with all the consequences of that—because that makes it a different style game. But we want to tell more confined stories that the player can experience with their companions, and then move from part of the world to part of the world. And, like I said, in the end, that's us."

"Every game development process for every title is this chain of ideation, iteration and polish," says Avowed director Carrie Patel, reflecting on how the scope of Avowed has changed over the years. "Sometimes you realize the way you're building, it is not quite living up to the experience you want to create. And so, in iteration and refinement, you say, 'Well, how do we create the experience that we want to deliver to players, and particularly as a studio? How do we deliver on what we're really good at specifically?'

"I think where Obsidian really shines as an RPG maker is with this really evocative nuanced world building, stories that are more focused on depth and breadth, and really thoughtful quest design that rewards experimentation and exploration from players—that gives them a sense of agency. And that gives them a meaningful set of options with how they interact with the world and characters."

The upshot, then, is that Avowed won't be as large, open and freeform as an Elder Scrolls game, but maybe that's for the best? Given the enduring popularity of the studio's RPGs over the years, staying true to that spirit feels like a sensible choice. "As we looked at the Avowed we're building, we wanted to make sure that we were really fulfilling those strengths and creating something that felt like a true Obsidian RPG," says Patel.
If they're trying to sell this game on it's writing and worldbuilding, this trailer did a really poor job. All you get are hints about your character being some kind of chosen one, which is pretty unremarkable even by current year gaming standards. The only good news is that the game won't try to be as massive as Elder Scrolls. That could turn Obsidian into the next Bioware right at the moment when they don't want it anymore.
 

ItsChon

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Agreed, but I'm wondering what all your reasons are? cRPG being about character based stats and not player skill?
This right here. Anyone that is actually decent at video games will have a hard time enjoying the combat in a first person cRPG, as most games in first person opt for the action based combat system, because if they wanted to have a turn based/RTwP system, an isometric view is the far superior medium for said style of combat. I'm not an FPS god but I did hit Immortal in Valorant and have some decent aim. Do you know how boring shit like Fallout: New Vegas and Cyberpunk are? If we want to talk about melee combat, look at a game like Chivalry as an example of a something with skill based melee combat., though I'm sure there are other, better examples that people can cite. I've already talked about what makes these kinds of combat good, so I can't be arsed to mention it again, but you get my point.
 

cvv

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The things that make a first person action combat system good are simply incompatible with a cRPG, and I don't know how much more evidence there needs to be so you mongoloids get it through your thick fucking skulls.
Agreed, but I'm wondering what all your reasons are? cRPG being about character based stats and not player skill? First Person action combat being fun because of a given set of abilities mixing melee/fists/shooting and magic and not about picking one?
Yes, any first-person melee combat is bad - or at least inferior to third-person - and the main reason is the technology. As long as we control and experience games through monitors, M&Ks or gamepads, first-person melee combat will always shit because on a monitor your peripheral vision is shit, you can't see your opponents properly and you can't see your own body.

All this will abruptly change once we have a full-blown VR, Matrix style. Then playing a game with action melee combat will be the ultimate visceral experience. Until then tho devs implementing first-person melee combat in their RPGs are fools, including the prestigious ones like Warhorse.
 

RatTower

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I saw the trailer and it really got me thinking about what it is, that seems so off about a lot of modern fantasy games.
At first, one might think that it is the designs, but those are actually pretty alright (shape-wise). What's so strange and incoherent to me is the extensive use of neon coloring.
Go through that trailer again and count every shot with neon coloring. It's almost every single one of them and I am really not sure whether that is deliberate or the result of some aesthetic trend.
Compare this to a classic game trailer like the one of Lands of Lore 2:
...
Agreed, the neon stuff is just awful. Sharply contrasts with and doesn't fit in the rest of the environment, and just makes it look like a student project with asset store plants. The foliage is just awful.

Edit: I had to do an edit to include these quotes from another forum:

it's like Godfall & Immortals of Aveum had an illegitimate child in terms of visual palette...Way too garish.

The mushroom garden posted in the OP is straight kitsch in a way that would fit an aesthetic modelled after 1950s sci fi but not a quasi-historical fantasy setting
I could also do with less shining eye-candy and more atmosphere-seeping and I am very grateful RatTower's way of doing things.
But are you sure it's that bad here, guys? After all, Awoved's going to be the first person. Every light effect is going to be "closer" and thus more emphasized.
For all I know, spell effects and magical sources (e.g., a shining, heart-centered magic-infused mass, etc.) have been shining like crazy in many high-fantasy games.

(The third example is EE, but I've just checked in the OG; spells were pretty neon-like as well.):

https://youtu.be/er6cLCU-wY4?t=39
https://youtu.be/mhOfNQM2kfw?t=216
https://youtu.be/xcVuQSZA4Pw?t=11127

It is definitely hard to put a finger on it. The first-person view probably has quite an effect on how obtrusive spell effects feel.
However, the neon colors are also present in the static environment. I have not finished PoE back in the day but I don't think the environment's colors were that strong. Or at least, strong colors were used more sparingly.
Either way, it begs the question of whether that should be taken over into first person.
 

Roguey

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Now I understand why Josh is so quick to let people know that he has nothing to do with this.

Now I am actually hyped for it with this news.

They should put it onto box: "Games isn't made by Josh Sawyer. Relax... FUN is inside."

There was a lack of Sawyer in the Outer Worlds and it resulted in much disappointment with regards to its character system. As much as you dislike him, Cain is worse. :P

Seems to be a weird Squeenix issue. You can buy it in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Japan https://steamdb.info/app/39160/
 

Delterius

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All you get are hints about your character being some kind of chosen one, which is pretty unremarkable even by current year gaming standards
no you see its genius. you're not just the chosen one, the guy remarks on 'the way you fight'. you're the first class-less person in this world! fighter skills on left hand and wizard skills on the right hand? you betcha. this is such an anomaly, one must cheer for the return of 'subversive obsidian'. except now they are subverting themselves. wowie!
 

whydoibother

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I mean, if Obsidian fuck it up despite unlimited budget and unlimited time to develop, its time we stop pretending the publisher was the big problem.
 

Cross

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Now I understand why Josh is so quick to let people know that he has nothing to do with this.
The setting is entirely Sawyer's brainchild. He autistically detailed every aspect of the world, down to such exciting aspects like the proper pronunciation of Pŵgra and the rich culture of kobolds xaurips.
So we can still blame him for Avowed. :balance:
The things that make a first person action combat system good are simply incompatible with a cRPG, and I don't know how much more evidence there needs to be so you mongoloids get it through your thick fucking skulls.
Agreed, but I'm wondering what all your reasons are? cRPG being about character based stats and not player skill? First Person action combat being fun because of a given set of abilities mixing melee/fists/shooting and magic and not about picking one?
Yes, any first-person melee combat is bad - or at least inferior to third-person - and the main reason is the technology. As long as we control and experience games through monitors, M&Ks or gamepads, first-person melee combat will always shit because on a monitor your peripheral vision is shit, you can't see your opponents properly and you can't see your own body.

All this will abruptly change once we have a full-blown VR, Matrix style. Then playing a game with action melee combat will be the ultimate visceral experience. Until then tho devs implementing first-person melee combat in their RPGs are fools, including the prestigious ones like Warhorse.
The main thing holding first-person melee back is lazy developers like Obsidian who just copy Skyrim. There are only a few games that put some effort into developing first-person melee (Condemned, Dark Messiah, Mount & Blade) and the results were pretty entertaining. You could see your body in all those games, by the way.

Besides melee, action-RPGs also have ranged combat, spellcasting and stealth and the first-person perspective is arguably superior for all those things. So there are plenty of possible advantages to making an action-RPG in first-person.
 

whydoibother

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There are only a few games that put some effort into developing first-person melee (Condemned, Dark Messiah, Mount & Blade) and the results were pretty entertaining.
There is NO REASON not to copy Mount&Blade's combat into your generic first person RPG. Its easy to implement, the directional striking/blocking is involved, weapon reach and type matters, works okay in 1vs2-3 situations, can be controlled with a gamepad, intuitive for people to learn, yet room for skill mastery to grow.
And even if you are bad at it, you can just play it like Serious Sam, backing away while chipping at the enemies chasing you, so its not even very hard on the difficulty.
 

Delterius

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Entre a serra e o mar.
There are only a few games that put some effort into developing first-person melee (Condemned, Dark Messiah, Mount & Blade) and the results were pretty entertaining.
There is NO REASON not to copy Mount&Blade's combat into your generic first person RPG. Its easy to implement, the directional striking/blocking is involved, weapon reach and type matters, works okay in 1vs2-3 situations, can be controlled with a gamepad, intuitive for people to learn, yet room for skill mastery to grow.
And even if you are bad at it, you can just play it like Serious Sam, backing away while chipping at the enemies chasing you, so its not even very hard on the difficulty.
they should have just bought the M&B tech and made Eora: Saint's War instead
 

HoboForEternity

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
aside fro
I saw the trailer and it really got me thinking about what it is, that seems so off about a lot of modern fantasy games.
At first, one might think that it is the designs, but those are actually pretty alright (shape-wise). What's so strange and incoherent to me is the extensive use of neon coloring.
Go through that trailer again and count every shot with neon coloring. It's almost every single one of them and I am really not sure whether that is deliberate or the result of some aesthetic trend.
Compare this to a classic game trailer like the one of Lands of Lore 2:
...
Agreed, the neon stuff is just awful. Sharply contrasts with and doesn't fit in the rest of the environment, and just makes it look like a student project with asset store plants. The foliage is just awful.

Edit: I had to do an edit to include these quotes from another forum:

it's like Godfall & Immortals of Aveum had an illegitimate child in terms of visual palette...Way too garish.

The mushroom garden posted in the OP is straight kitsch in a way that would fit an aesthetic modelled after 1950s sci fi but not a quasi-historical fantasy setting
I could also do with less shining eye-candy and more atmosphere-seeping and I am very grateful RatTower's way of doing things.
But are you sure it's that bad here, guys? After all, Awoved's going to be the first person. Every light effect is going to be "closer" and thus more emphasized.
For all I know, spell effects and magical sources (e.g., a shining, heart-centered magic-infused mass, etc.) have been shining like crazy in many high-fantasy games.

(The third example is EE, but I've just checked in the OG; spells were pretty neon-like as well.):

https://youtu.be/er6cLCU-wY4?t=39
https://youtu.be/mhOfNQM2kfw?t=216
https://youtu.be/xcVuQSZA4Pw?t=11127

It is definitely hard to put a finger on it. The first-person view probably has quite an effect on how obtrusive spell effects feel.
However, the neon colors are also present in the static environment. I have not finished PoE back in the day but I don't think the environment's colors were that strong. Or at least, strong colors were used more sparingly.
Either way, it begs the question of whether that should be taken over into

Poe was one of the best looking game ever and the color was very muted and grounded. Deadfire is a bit brighter but still fits the tropical island theme, not as bright as avowed, they went a bit too far i think and the trailer itself is not very telling on how the game will be like.

I like the aumaua model, that's it
 

Roguey

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I mean, if Obsidian fuck it up despite unlimited budget and unlimited time to develop, its time we stop pretending the publisher was the big problem.
Who's been pretending, Avellone made it clear in the 2018 May of Rage that the problem was always the owners. Avowed's development is consistent with this.
 

whydoibother

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Codex Year of the Donut
I mean, if Obsidian fuck it up despite unlimited budget and unlimited time to develop, its time we stop pretending the publisher was the big problem.
Who's been pretending, Avellone made it clear in the 2018 May of Rage that the problem was always the owners. Avowed's development is consistent with this.
Disgruntled employee saying stuff about former employers, wishful thinkers can brush it aside.
Getting Microsoft money, and years of devtime, and creative freedom, and fucking up regardless... that's running the experiment and reading the results.
 

TT1

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Krakow
Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. My team has the sexiest and deadliest waifus you can recruit.
I am trying to understand my emotions about Avowed, after the showcase... it's just... sad.

Usually we come here, we massacre the games, we say shit, we joke, but the games are not bad (PoE, PoE 2, TOW, Grounded and Pentiment). I played them, I had some fun, they are fine. Avowed is just... what the fuck happened on production? This is such a big let down... I feel truly betrayed this time.

I dont know who like this kind of art, maybe mobile players, but I am so disappointed... Cannot believe they actually make meetings to decide to go with this kind of thing. And somebody looked at it and said: "holy shit, this is great! People will love it! Lets go to production"


:despair:
 

Kem0sabe

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Azores Islands
People expect first party games to be AAA spectacles. Sony demands top presentation from all their titles, and 90 or above metacritic, sometimes they miss but more often than not their games are incredible commercial and critical successes.

MS on the other hand, seems to accept any shit their dev studios come up with. Games with such low production values as Avowed and the inxile bioshock rip off, should have never been greenlit if their studios didnt have the technical capacity to make them look like they actually cost money to make.
 

Lord_Potato

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People expect first party games to be AAA spectacles. Sony demands top presentation from all their titles, and 90 or above metacritic, sometimes they miss but more often than not their games are incredible commercial and critical successes.

MS on the other hand, seems to accept any shit their dev studios come up with. Games with such low production values as Avowed and the inxile bioshock rip off, should have never been greenlit if their studios didnt have the technical capacity to make them look like they actually cost money to make.
Now, let's not get into the graphic whoring territory...

Visuals of Clockwork revolution seem ok to me. Even Avowed can work with its cartoonish art style. I prefer actual rpgs even with inferior graphics to shallow action adventure games from Sony, with zero reactivety but smooth AAA visuals.

I'm more worried by the quality of animations during combat. They don't seem to give proper feedback to the player if the attack managed to hit and how much damage it caused.
 

Dycedarg

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Messages
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People expect first party games to be AAA spectacles. Sony demands top presentation from all their titles, and 90 or above metacritic, sometimes they miss but more often than not their games are incredible commercial and critical successes.

MS on the other hand, seems to accept any shit their dev studios come up with. Games with such low production values as Avowed and the inxile bioshock rip off, should have never been greenlit if their studios didnt have the technical capacity to make them look like they actually cost money to make.
Sony studios were heavily influenced by Naughty Dog and Uncharted. So if in one hand you get a bunch of critical darlings, on the other all you get are different flavors of movie games. Microsoft just bought a bunch of studios and has no idea what do with them. If I were a manager I would prefer Sony's model. But as a player I'd rather have what Microsoft are doing.
 

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