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Preview PCGamesN explain how Josh Sawyer sold them on Pillars of Eternity's combat

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. 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
    Tags: J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

    Accounts of Josh Sawyer's recent European Pillars of Eternity publicity tour are continuing to be posted across the Web. If the previous one was mainly about story, then this new article at PCGamesN is all about the combat. The author was somewhat apprehensive of the game's combat before, which is why he named the article "How Josh Sawyer sold me on Pillars of Eternity's combat". Much of the information in it will be familiar to dedicated Pillars-watchers, but this part near the beginning has some interesting details about a couple of the game's areas. I quote:

    To start off the combat demo, the party actually avoids conflict. Sneaking through a gothic fortress lousy with priests and paladins, they come across a stash of robes. All dressed up in burlap, they’re able to get further into the complex without putting swords through anyone. Finding a disguise doesn’t guarantee success, though. The party is questioned by a priest, but manages to keep up the pretense thanks to their skills, which translate into conversation skills as well as combat ones.

    Eventually, the good luck ends, and the party is spotted by a guard who doesn’t fall for their disguise. A brawl ensues. This is probably the fourth time in two days that the chap driving the demo has been in this fight, but it’s still clearly a tough one. It’s a maze of corridors and rooms with a veritable army of holy warriors, and the party’s stamina is whittled away. The situation could have been avoided, though.

    “You can actually bluff your way through the whole level,” says Sawyer. “You don’t have to fight anyone.” But that requires characters with skills that can overcome an interrogation from several different guards, all who will ask different questions with different skill requirements.

    The party is whisked away from the fortress to a gargantuan, cavernous dungeon, Endless Paths of Od Nua. “During the Kickstarter phase, we had this challenge,” says Sawyer. “‘Hey everybody, how big can we make this big, crazy mega-dungeon?’ That was kind of a mistake, because the answer was 15 levels.”

    Endless Paths’ levels vary in size and the type of monsters found in them, but they are all big, and spreading throughout them are the limbs of a massive statue. As well as being an increasingly tough combat challenge, it’s all wrapped up in this story of the dungeon’s history.

    “So as you go through the dungeon you’ll see different parts of him [the statue],” explains Sawyer. “You’ll see his hands, his head, his feet and everything, and learning the story of how that statue came to exist there and what it’s doing in there is a big part of unlocking the mystery of Endless Paths.”

    As soon as the party starts its journey through level eight of Endless Paths, they almost step right on a trap. In Pillars of Eternity, stealth mode doubles as a searching for traps mode, and when they are disabled, they can also be recovered and then used against the buggers that put them there in the first place.

    Even with spells going off in all directions - many of which should be familiar to D&D or Baldur’s Gate players - Pillars of Eternity’s combat isn’t much fun to watch. It’s all a bit messy and chaotic if you don’t know what’s going on, if you’re not there, giving the orders to the party yourself. But once you understand the rules and character’s abilities, things start to become a lot easier to read.

    Knowing that all types of plate armour are weak against electricity, for example, makes it easy to understand why your knight is having so much trouble now that a mage has bathed the battlefield in a spiderweb of electricity. ​

    Pacifist runs, nice. Though I must say, it's an unusual choice to begin an article about how you were sold on a game's combat by describing how you avoided it.
     
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  2. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Do you ever get tired of having to come up with tiny remarks to append to the end of every press release?
     
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  3. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
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    Are you offering to help? A team of tiny remarkers will be able to spread the load. Maybe he can outsource the tiny remarks facility to give him time for more commenting?
     
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  4. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Cool. The description of various skills progressiveky making the disguise run harder could apply to AoD, though given the type of game it is the checks likely won't be as varied/hardcore. But some fun things could be done with the text adventures interspersed.

    I wonder if the grazing mechanic actually contributes to the initial 'whoa clusterfuck' feel when you first try POE combat. It's a good idea in theory, but in IE games you got into a rhythm where you could easily keep up with how much damage each of your guy was doing to whom. You knew that if Korgan landed a solid hit on an unarmed guy then it was 20, 25 damage, and so on. And if he missed, he missed.

    Of course, a lot of it is that D&D for many, if not then, then now, is a pretty familiar system, and so is IE, but POE isn't. I remember I played BG2 knowing nothing about D&D back at release, and it was a clusterfuck that took a while to work out (though starting in the dungeon is also a factor).
     
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  5. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    There was not much in this interview about combat, just about UI options and conversation stuff that has all been mentioned before.
     
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  6. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    Or you could put a few more points into your Big Fat Axe skill and simply cleave their heads open.

    Never understood why the dialogue option had to require a billion different skills and navigating a maze of possible skill checks some of which may never be asked or checked (and which you won't know about until you get there)... Even then only to fail a roll and removing the peaceful dialogue option completely.

    Meanwhile, I've never met anything immune to Sharp Pointy Stick +1. And if you fail once, well you just hit them again and hope not to fail that time.
     
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  7. Ellef Deplorable

    Ellef
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    I think they are wisely talking about combat in only the most general terms, and focusing on the ways to avoid it.
     
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  8. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
  9. Athelas Arcane

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    The conclusion you can draw from this is a rather obvious one. :M

    There are no dialogue skills in the game - anything that has combat efficacy also doubles as a dialogue skill.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
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  10. Bleed the Man Arcane Patron

    Bleed the Man
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yes, that the writer of the article loves some :popamole:

    "we both confessed that we were a bit rusty when it came to Infinity Engine-style combat. It’s tricky, because it’s real-time and surprisingly fast-paced, but you need to approach it like turn-based tactical game, pausing it constantly. "


     
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  11. Curious_Tongue Larpfest Patron

    Curious_Tongue
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Serpent in the Staglands Codex USB, 2014
    Woof.
     
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  12. ZagorTeNej Arcane

    ZagorTeNej
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    The measure of great combat is in how many ways you can avoid it, makes sense.
     
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  13. l3loodAngel Proud INTJ Patron Edgy

    l3loodAngel
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    That's the only thing I usually read as most of news posts are pure garbage.
     
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  14. nihil Augur

    nihil
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    Project: Eternity
    Yum!
     
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  15. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    If violence fails, it's because you're not using it enough.
     
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  16. Achiman Arbiter Patron

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    Awww man, now I'm going to be counting off the levels of the "mega dungeon" as I do them.
    Kinda hate knowing how big a dungeon is before you start doing it, normally when I look up how big something is in a game it's because I've got the shits with it.

    On the whole "avoiding combat" most of the time I don't think it's been put in a worthwhile way in many games in the past.
    Geting xp AND loot from killing your way through the game, whereas the alternative is some shitty brownie points in alignment or similar and some xp; that you always suspect is less than what you would have got for chopping the obstacle up.

    Plus you know, being a badass gang smashing your way through the game is kinda fun too.
     
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  17. mbpopolano24 Arbiter

    mbpopolano24
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    Wonderful, the only way to enjoy combat in this game is to avoid it.... Well, I got W2 and D:OS right, 2 out of 3, I consider myself lucky.
     
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  18. 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
    I'll bet you're glad you didn't get that refund now. :hero:
     
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  19. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    Combat? Don't make me laugh, I think it is obvious from the beginning that we were all in it only for the point&click adventuring in beautiful isometric vistas with the occasional good quest/character/writing.

    Now, if the game can be hacked with the aid of the eventual mod tools to be made TB, then maybe combat will be fun too.
     
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  20. Black_Willow Arcane

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    It will only be fun if we can mod it into blobber.
     
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