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Development Info Josh Sawyer's Pillars of Eternity II Postmortem at Digital Dragons 2019

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. vortex Fabulous Optimist

    vortex
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    >Congratulations Codex, you've beaten him!

    Saywer,
    beaten by Codex.


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
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    Except for what turned out to be a really good game with a really solid rpg ruleset behind it, and one of the best infinity-engine-like games to come out in a very long time? That is far from nothing.

    Josh Sawyer is being very self-critical here. But the truth is that at the current state of the game (so not the release state), with all of the 3 dlcs, Deadfire is a really good game.
     
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  3. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    I trust you'd have more success debating quantum entanglement of helical phase structures than proving it's a good ruleset.

    Yeah. He is so self-critical that he's only blaming things he didn't have control over (like RTwP or ship combat), and none of the things he had direct control over (systemic symmetry and ruinous pro-accessibility approach). He is an amazingly self-critical person.
     
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  4. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    "Really good" is a stretch. It's an okay entry-level RPG but honestly, if you're a genre veteran, you could probably skip the whole Pillars franchise without missing much, if anything at all.
     
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  5. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
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    I disagree
    If you play deadfire you discover that the game isn't perfectly balanced at all, and that you can make some extremely powerful builds and find some extremely powerful gear (and conversely, you can make some extremely poor builds and use some extremely crappy unique quality gear). People are really hung up on Sawyer being "balanced" but the only thing he really did, was to remove the ability for extremely obvious min-maxing and extremely obvious overpowered builds. If every build was perfectly symmetrical and every item was just as good as the other, I would agree the balance and symmetry would ruin the game, but that is not the case in practice.
     
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  6. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
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    The proper bar to set is BG2, and I would argue that in many important aspects deadfire lives up to that legacy. One of my best memories from BG2 was exploring the city of athkatla and the sense of wonder as you discovere more layers beneath it. Deadfire replicated this sense of wonder in me with Nekataka in its own original way. I thought exploring the ruins under nekataka leading to the pirate smuggling cove was fantastic. Also the bits about Ukaizo which popped up everywhere, on walls off the beaten path, in the main quests, in many, many side quests, and even in areas where you would never find but through explanation, instilled in me a sense of wonder and excitement about the prospects of me maybe finding it.
    Show Spoiler
    And though ending up there was inevitable, and even though ultimately seeing it was something of a disappointment,
    I really appreciate the buildup, and I can think of very few games that have done that quite as well as deadfire.

    Also, one of the reasons Deadfire is really good in its current state, is that beast of winter is an absolute gem of dlc content, which expands fantastically on many very important key lore events in both PoE 1 and PoE 2. Perhaps some of the best expansion content to be released to an RPG. It isn't quite up there with mask of the betrayer, but it comes surprisingly close.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  7. Rev Arcane

    Rev
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    Well, to be honest he did say that he's fully responsible for the narrative being disappointing, for the fact the game was way too easy at release and other stuff as well.

    Anyway, it was an interesting video, it's always nice to see a dev go in such depth about a game he made, its goals and ambitions, the parts that worked, the parts that didn't, etc.
    I remember when it was announced that PoE2 would have full VO I was sure that it was an owner's decision (most likely Feargus) and apparently I was right about it. It's sad that the reaction to it was very positive because I actually prefers the BG, P:T, IWD, PoE1 and others games style of having just a few voiced lines, a full VO actually gets in the way when I'm reading dialogue texts (especially if part of said text is descriptive) from a top down (or isometric) perspective all the while the characters are just static. It's good to have it in more cinematic experiences like Mass Effect or The Witcher, where it adds something to the scene but in games like PoE2 or DOS2 it feels wrong to me. Sadly, as Sawyer said they kind of set a new standard about it.

    On a different note, since he doesn't want to work on another PoE (or fantasy RTwP RPG for that matter) for some time and considering how he and the rest of Obsidian now knows that most people seems to prefer turn-based systems to RTwP ones today I wonder if he will finally get the greenlight for his historical turn-based rpg project in the near future.
     
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  8. molotov. Novice

    molotov.
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    The best thing in Pillars of Eternity 1 was the dlc, albeit the terrible placement, the story, pace and ambience was so much better than the main game... and iirc Sawyer had nothing to do with the dlc right?It's rather ironic that the best thing is Pillars 1 had nothing to do with Sawyer... I like the guy but hell... PoE's story was so weak, which is passable for a modern open world rpg where people will just ignore the main quest line, but for a crpg? Definetely no.
     
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  9. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    No, Sawyer was the director of the White March DLC. The PoE2 DLCs were the ones where he took a back seat.

    The White March had the same lead writers as the base game too. It's not always about the people. Different design goals, different outcomes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  10. molotov. Novice

    molotov.
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    Oh... that gives me even more despair... if they could do something as good as the White March they could have done a better job with the game aswell.
     
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  11. vortex Fabulous Optimist

    vortex
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    The main reason Deadfire didn't sell well among mainstream gamers are pacing, overly written dialoge and exposition, screen pops with stat recognition.

    They're there to enhance roleplaying but in the end they're blocking walls to having fun in adventure.
     
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  12. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
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    No? An infinity-engire-like game is never going to sell like call of duty or like gears of war.
     
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  13. hpstg Savant

    hpstg
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    Even these, sell on the premise of the multiplayer.
     
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  14. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    You are incredibly dumb. To gauge its pacing, dialogue or whatever, first you need to *buy* the game. The main reason Deadfire didn't sell well is because people didn't like the original, very simple.
     
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  15. hpstg Savant

    hpstg
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    The problem with the original was that it created no strong feeling, one way or the other.

    'meh', was the most common reaction to it.

    I don't think that most people who got it developed any feeling toward it, good or bad, except eventual fatigue.
     
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  16. Glop_dweller Cipher

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    This is not as simple as one might assume. They would have needed to create a full set encounters for each combat mode; possibly with different stats for the NPCs.

    Arcanum had Turn Based and RTwP combat , and it was badly balanced.

    Imagine a fight from Fallout 2, with four or five armored Enclave soldiers in close range—in FO3. It means they would all shoot the PC point blank at the same time; and even with the VATS cheat (for so it was), the PC would not have enough AP to eliminate most of them before they all shoot point blank again.

    With the flip side being that just two Enclave using turn based mechanics would not put up enough of a fight.

    These two methods of game mechanics are not interchangeable, and do not seek to afford the same kind of thrill; they are very different.
     
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  17. Sergiu64 Arcane

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    Kinda shows the silliness of that battle from Fallout 2 imo.

    Also I'm not so sure it'd be that difficult to balance... Pathfinder: Kingmaker works very similarly between the normal RTwP and the behavior we see with the Time Based Mod for example. Though that game's balance is all over the place to start with.
     
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  18. Glop_dweller Cipher

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    Not in mine.

    One of the core differences between real time combat and turn based combat is that the turn based player is given full access to the situation and allowed to reflect upon it. They see what the PC would see, and they can pick from among the PC's options, then indicate (ideally the best) course of action for the PC(s) to attempt. And then the PC will execute the action to the best of their own personal ability. This allows for characters who are far greater [or lesser!] skilled than the player is, at performing the tasks at hand.

    This prevents an expert marksman character from being handicapped by a player who can't aim under pressure—or at all. This prevents nonsense like Geralt in Witcher 2 getting beat up by villagers when he's an experienced warrior accustomed to fighting trolls and mobs of lesser enemies; Geralt would know how to handle himself in a fight.... puppet Geralt swings his sword at trees and barrels until the player improves a bit—but even then they might never play with the skill that Geralt is assumed to have.

    In turn based game like Fallout, it is the PC aiming the shot with the PC's own competence determining the outcome. In FO3, it player dictates the outcome for the PC; be they expert, or totally inept. :(

    *Note that this is a core difference, but there are realtime games that afford PC skill... Like Witcher 1, and even Baldur's Gate, but the point of the differing encounter design is that the player will —never— be as informed, nor behave as comfortably as the PC. Turn based combat allows for scenes like this:


    *They also tend to prevent a player pulling that off with an unskilled PC; which of course they shouldn't be able to do in RPG.
     
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  19. ga♥ Liturgist

    ga♥
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    Turn based games are popular now...? Since when exactly? Just because D:OS 2?
     
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  20. TheSentinel Arcane

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    Did you somehow miss how incredibly popular XCOM is?
     
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  21. Sergiu64 Arcane

    Sergiu64
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    I agree with your essay on the merits of turn based, but the battle you brought up in an earlier post - the one I was talking about in my post - was with bunch of Enclave soldiers being right in front of you. In my opinion - you should go down in that fight: no matter if you're playing Turn Based or Real Time or how high level your character is in either system. So I don't see why they need to balance something between the two systems in that fight.

    By the way - in theory with RTwP you should be able to pause at will and have the same amount of reflection and analysis. Of course in practice people tend to get too impatient for that - leading to a less tactical experience.
     
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  22. Theldaran Liturgist

    Theldaran
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    Were POE1's design goals to be stupidly pompous and lazy? Surely the whole plot can fit in a single sheet of paper. WOW! The gods aren't gods! You've shaken my mind!

    The game is OK and now it's finally playable, but it isn't particularly good.
     
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  23. Glop_dweller Cipher

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    I think it should matter the character in play—not every character should lose that fight. But the main issue is that TB is an abstraction that lays out the event moment by moment —necessarily linear— such that it's not strictly concurrent events... even though that's what it represents. In practice it is consecutive events... and you'll see things like the PC running away before the opponents can fire a shot. This wouldn't happen in a realtime or RTwP system; the encounters need to be different. In Fallout (for instance), the player can use explosive to drop (or knock down) several enemies at once... These enemies might never have been close enough together to target all of them at once, save for them winding up in proximity due to ending their turns. (This is Fallout specific... There are TB games where out of turn actions occur; these are often (but not always) automatic, and can effectively offer two turns for the opponent, due to the targeted character's actions)... In Druidstone for instance, the combatants usually get attacks of opportunity when their opponents step past them instead of engaging them. The point is that the encounters are not necessarily of comparable threat—depending on which mechanics are used.

    One of the differences is that in a turn based game, the player has full knowledge of the actions that precede their action before making their choice. RTwP games don't especially adhere to this. Characters in the Infinity games do have internalized combat rounds—so it's technically them acting out when their turn comes, but the player has no idea when (or in what order) their actions will occur. RTwP only works to speed up the frequency of issuing orders. In a turn based game, the player can see the results of their actions before the next combatant acts; and has seen all actions up to the point when they decide on their own.

    In Fallout, the player can decide to forgo an attack in favor of healing their character; they can even choose lesser attacks that will allow them to heal (or commit some other action). The RTwP games that I have played do not support these trade-offs. In BG, you can choose to drink a potion, and that is your character's action—whenever the next time they are able to act comes around... and you don't know when that is, until it happens.

    The turn based mechanics allow for calculated estimates of what will likely happen next (even several turns in advance), while the RTwP mechanics are more akin to watching popcorn fry, and being able to pause any time you like.
     
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  24. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    I dont see how that fight with Enclave soldiers in Fallout2 (im guessing its the encounter in New Reno through one of the families) is fundamentally different in TB or RT, despite time linearity being split into individual personal sequences in TB. After all, you still have one turn and each of the soldiers have their own turns - which in the end comes up the same. You shoot one time, or make one move and get shot five times from close range. Pretty much the same as happens in RT.
    If you survive or not depends more on equipment, defense and maybe a lucky roll or two then just the difference between RT or TB.

    Naturally that TB system is a bit old now (and wasnt perfect even back then) and can always be improved so you cant just run away without any cost, for example, to increase the distance or find cover during your turn.
    Although even that doesnt need to be unfair advantage if the enemy Ai is good enough to simply run after you.

    On the whole TB system enhance the importance of character stats and so strengthen the fundamental defining feature of RPGs, while RT decrees the importance of character skills and enhances the importance of player skills.
     
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