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Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire + DLC Thread - now with turn-based combat!

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
BruceVC , a piece of advice. This game's sound mixing is quite bad. The ambient sounds of game areas are controlled with the Effects slider in the audio options, which also includes the weapon and spell sounds. Normally the ambient sounds are way too quiet to make out. In my experience the best course of action is to set Master Volume and Effects Volume at 100%, Voice Volume to 33% and Music Volume to whatever you like. Then increase your speakers/headphones volume as much as needed. This way you get to hear the area's ambient audio with a proper loudness. Going to the "Spire of the Soul-Seers" is a different thing when you can actually hear the humming of the animancers' machinery, which I think is also described in text.
 

Desiderius

Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard
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Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Wrath
Sympathetic villain wasn't convincing enough so we'll make your allies complete unsympathetic cardboard cutout morons that you'll hate every step of the way.
Many such cases

No Lords no villains
 

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
I only now grasped the irony of the whole Engwithan Digsite area. I even wrote a question on Josh's tumblr to ask who came up with the idea.

The thousand years old arena, laying forgotten in the jungle. My party happening to be the first new gladiators to "perform" on it in so many centuries. Unwilling gladiators, surely, yet how many have ever been willing? How a place carries its history and compels those who occupy it to reenact this history. A space and the past having power over us, which we don't think of in our everyday activities.

The fact that I had never thought of that previously, and that my characters would likely be as oblivious to this symbolism brought me an old-forgotten feeling of identifying with my player characters.

And when you go deeper into the area, you find that this place where kith and beast souls would be daily released, was built with purpose on top of an adra pillar, and then the choice to design the area as an arena of all things, clicks into place once again. It's a cool concept, you have to admit.
 
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HumanMaleFighter

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Every RPG from now on will be a BG3 clone.

Wouldn't go that far. Making BG3 was difficult, technically complex, and consumed vast amounts of time and resources.

Yo, I hate to be "that guy," but the difficulty is going to diminish rapidly as LLMs grow more capable.

You wouldn't even need source code. You could train a model on a speech-to-text database of BG3's audio files. Then have the model discretize interactions, branching paths, other elements -- and force it to modulate them. Keep the form, the scope and the reactivity, but change all of the narrative details to suit your story, however you deem fit.

It a matter of time -- and not much time, at that -- before this "difficult, technically complex, time consuming" task is absolutely trivialized.
 

Lacrymas

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Pathfinder: Wrath
The thousand years old arena, laying forgotten in the jungle. My party happening to be the first new gladiators to "perform" on it in so many centuries. Unwilling gladiators, surely, yet how many have ever been willing? How a place carries its history and compels those who occupy it to reenact this history. A space and the past having power over us, which we don't think of in our everyday activities.
While I appreciate the analysis, gladiators don't just fight in a circle-shaped building, it's an institution that entertains. When there are no spectators and no systems feeding into it, it's hardly gladiatorial combat. You might as well say the same for Lara Croft in TR1 because she fights in an abandoned coliseum.
 

Desiderius

Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard
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Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Wrath
The thousand years old arena, laying forgotten in the jungle. My party happening to be the first new gladiators to "perform" on it in so many centuries. Unwilling gladiators, surely, yet how many have ever been willing? How a place carries its history and compels those who occupy it to reenact this history. A space and the past having power over us, which we don't think of in our everyday activities.
While I appreciate the analysis, gladiators don't just fight in a circle-shaped building, it's an institution that entertains. When there are no spectators and no systems feeding into it, it's hardly gladiatorial combat. You might as well say the same for Lara Croft in TR1 because she fights in an abandoned coliseum.
It's a single-player game, man. What do you care how I play?
 

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
The thousand years old arena, laying forgotten in the jungle. My party happening to be the first new gladiators to "perform" on it in so many centuries. Unwilling gladiators, surely, yet how many have ever been willing? How a place carries its history and compels those who occupy it to reenact this history. A space and the past having power over us, which we don't think of in our everyday activities.
While I appreciate the analysis, gladiators don't just fight in a circle-shaped building, it's an institution that entertains. When there are no spectators and no systems feeding into it, it's hardly gladiatorial combat. You might as well say the same for Lara Croft in TR1 because she fights in an abandoned coliseum.
Then you and the party are like living ghosts - which the PC is - you are performing for the amusement those forgotten people who used to occupy the ruined seats rows. I don't know how much they thought all of this over, but someone must have. I wondered why would they make the area an old areha of all things.
 
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Played this a little bit, and once again realized how far Obsidian has fallen.

For games in general, but especially narrative driven games and RPGs, it's very important, imo, to have a starting hook. Something to grab the player's attention and get them engaged in the game world, in the plot, and so on.

So if you think about good recent isometric RPGs, and think about their plots as a movie/series, it usually sounds enticing. Expeditions: Viking, for example, you are a young Earl in Scandinavia, your father has died and you need to prepare to raid Britain to accumulate resources to maintain and defend your lands. This is pretty much the plot of the TV show Vikings.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, another quality game, you play a merc who goes on a heist job, and everything goes sideways, and somebody gets murdered, and you try to figure it all out. Sounds like Heat or something.

I start playing Deadfire, and this is the fucking "hook": God of Light takes over a giant statue of Adra, and grabbing part of your soul in the process, and walks across the sea, and you follow him on a ship because some other God you barely know sent you to do it. Imagine this as a plot of a movie, how retarded this would sound. As a player, why do I give the slightest fuck about any of this?

Then throw in the shitty, cringy dialogue from the start, like talking to ghosts cause you are a "watcher", or the pirate captain that immediately attacks you and gives you the great moral choice of "surrender and die fast, or don't surrender and die slow". How was this the company at one point that made PST and Fallout 1? Or even New Vegas more recently or Mask of the Betrayer?

God, how do people force themselves to play these...
 

Agesilaus

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Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Played this a little bit, and once again realized how far Obsidian has fallen.

For games in general, but especially narrative driven games and RPGs, it's very important, imo, to have a starting hook. Something to grab the player's attention and get them engaged in the game world, in the plot, and so on.

So if you think about good recent isometric RPGs, and think about their plots as a movie/series, it usually sounds enticing. Expeditions: Viking, for example, you are a young Earl in Scandinavia, your father has died and you need to prepare to raid Britain to accumulate resources to maintain and defend your lands. This is pretty much the plot of the TV show Vikings.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, another quality game, you play a merc who goes on a heist job, and everything goes sideways, and somebody gets murdered, and you try to figure it all out. Sounds like Heat or something.

I start playing Deadfire, and this is the fucking "hook": God of Light takes over a giant statue of Adra, and grabbing part of your soul in the process, and walks across the sea, and you follow him on a ship because some other God you barely know sent you to do it. Imagine this as a plot of a movie, how retarded this would sound. As a player, why do I give the slightest fuck about any of this?

Then throw in the shitty, cringy dialogue from the start, like talking to ghosts cause you are a "watcher", or the pirate captain that immediately attacks you and gives you the great moral choice of "surrender and die fast, or don't surrender and die slow". How was this the company at one point that made PST and Fallout 1? Or even New Vegas more recently or Mask of the Betrayer?

God, how do people force themselves to play these...
Oh yeah PST, that game with the great opening hook: the PC wakes up and doesn't know his name. If he can't be arsed remembering it, why should I care? Combat was impressively awful, too. Torrent of shit.
 
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The opening sequence is not much more different than the average rpg made by Obsidian, you're probably too old now and games just don't scratch that itch.
Which is the same issue that a lot of people seem to have: games don't age, you do.

If anything, a ship to ship pirate fight, a god awakening and fucking you up, and then landing on a foreign land with lots of odd things is better than being attacked by some randoms in your camp, only to find out some dudes made some odd shit in the forest.
 

AshenNedra

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Played this a little bit, and once again realized how far Obsidian has fallen.

For games in general, but especially narrative driven games and RPGs, it's very important, imo, to have a starting hook. Something to grab the player's attention and get them engaged in the game world, in the plot, and so on.

So if you think about good recent isometric RPGs, and think about their plots as a movie/series, it usually sounds enticing. Expeditions: Viking, for example, you are a young Earl in Scandinavia, your father has died and you need to prepare to raid Britain to accumulate resources to maintain and defend your lands. This is pretty much the plot of the TV show Vikings.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, another quality game, you play a merc who goes on a heist job, and everything goes sideways, and somebody gets murdered, and you try to figure it all out. Sounds like Heat or something.

I start playing Deadfire, and this is the fucking "hook": God of Light takes over a giant statue of Adra, and grabbing part of your soul in the process, and walks across the sea, and you follow him on a ship because some other God you barely know sent you to do it. Imagine this as a plot of a movie, how retarded this would sound. As a player, why do I give the slightest fuck about any of this?

Then throw in the shitty, cringy dialogue from the start, like talking to ghosts cause you are a "watcher", or the pirate captain that immediately attacks you and gives you the great moral choice of "surrender and die fast, or don't surrender and die slow". How was this the company at one point that made PST and Fallout 1? Or even New Vegas more recently or Mask of the Betrayer?

God, how do people force themselves to play these...
Boredom at first, sunken-cost fallacies afterwards.
 

Haplo

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Guess the devs somewhat expected people played the first part before. And could care that that awakening statue crushed the castle you've rebuilt, expanded and quested from in part 1 in the process (the statue was located in the massive, deep dungeon below your castle, which you could explore - and witness parts of the statue troughout the 15 floors). A "smart" idea to connect it to places, characters and events from part 1.

It was a big mistake Obsidian decided not to go with new, blank state protagonist and party IMO.
Seasoned adventurers being demoted to level 1 rookies never felt right to me, in any game franchise.
 

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
Expeditions: Viking, for example, you are a young Earl in Scandinavia, your father has died and you need to prepare to raid Britain to accumulate resources to maintain and defend your lands. This is pretty much the plot of the TV show Vikings.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, another quality game, you play a merc who goes on a heist job, and everything goes sideways, and somebody gets murdered, and you try to figure it all out. Sounds like Heat or something.
"It's not about the ideas. It's about the execution. A billionaire dressed up as a bat chasing after a mobster dressed as a clown doesn't sound like a million dollar franchise at first glance. Depends how you pull it off" - Avellone in an old interview I can't be bothered to dig up.

And imo the execution has always been where Black Isle/Obsidian have fallen short. Other companies can take their concepts and settings, and make more fun games.
 

Lacrymas

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Pathfinder: Wrath
Obsidian were the ones who took other people's ideas and made something great out of them. Nu-Obs can't come up with a believable reason for the main conflict to happen.
 
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I give the slightest fuck about any of this?
It all depends on how willing you are to suspend your disbelief, just like you did with the other games you listed.

I think Deadfire's hooks are pretty interesting. Shadowrun's hook, on the other hand, is pretty bland/banal, or to put it bluntly, shitty. (I can't say much about the Viking expedition game though, since I don't play many non-RPG games.)

While I think some of the criticisms against Deadfire here are fair, what's funny to me is that when the speaker presents their idea of which game does X better than Deadfire, it almost always turns out to be a worse game.
 

Nikanuur

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Played this a little bit, and once again realized how far Obsidian has fallen.

For games in general, but especially narrative driven games and RPGs, it's very important, imo, to have a starting hook. Something to grab the player's attention and get them engaged in the game world, in the plot, and so on.

So if you think about good recent isometric RPGs, and think about their plots as a movie/series, it usually sounds enticing. Expeditions: Viking, for example, you are a young Earl in Scandinavia, your father has died and you need to prepare to raid Britain to accumulate resources to maintain and defend your lands. This is pretty much the plot of the TV show Vikings.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, another quality game, you play a merc who goes on a heist job, and everything goes sideways, and somebody gets murdered, and you try to figure it all out. Sounds like Heat or something.

I start playing Deadfire, and this is the fucking "hook": God of Light takes over a giant statue of Adra, and grabbing part of your soul in the process, and walks across the sea, and you follow him on a ship because some other God you barely know sent you to do it. Imagine this as a plot of a movie, how retarded this would sound. As a player, why do I give the slightest fuck about any of this?

Then throw in the shitty, cringy dialogue from the start, like talking to ghosts cause you are a "watcher", or the pirate captain that immediately attacks you and gives you the great moral choice of "surrender and die fast, or don't surrender and die slow". How was this the company at one point that made PST and Fallout 1? Or even New Vegas more recently or Mask of the Betrayer?

God, how do people force themselves to play these...
You don't have to like the game, but you should at least respect it for its grand scope.

I call you out.

a) I like Shadowruns too, but really? Giving 'everyone gets murdered and you try to figure it out is' as an example of a good premise as opposed to 'You are tasked to investigate the situation of a strangely resurrected god who used to stand with the good guys, has a mysterious agenda, is stealing the souls of people wherever he goes, and other not-exactly-benign gods who threaten to destroy the world 'as we know it' are agitated af?
b) You mixed two distinctive elements together, as is the poor stereotype amongst trash-talkers. PoE II may not have the greatest of premises in general, but it is original, and much of the writing has good telling.
Is your judgment a cheap, poor joke all the time or just this once, Porky?

PoE II may be stricken with some shortcomings, but it's also a grandiose adventure. Not as in genre, but as in having an adventure—seeing exotic places and cultures, playing a role in a well-written power struggle of the main factions, researching the lore yielding powerful items, investigating the many ruins of ancient civilizations, all kinds of weird, funny, evil, interesting, niché, or original characters, and much more.
 
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JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
The problem with Deadfire is that it starts with some grand god-shit you couldn't give a fuck about at this point, it's a massive dump of front-loaded exposition before anything happens that in any way relates to your character's regular world and life.

Imagine someone made a Joan of Arc RPG where you play as Joan trying to liberate France from England because God assigned her to do it.
A well-done approach would first show that the English are conquering France and there's a long war going on and Joan's village is feeling its effects.
Then God appears to tell her "yo, kick out the English".

A bad approach would start with a big exposition dump of God saying "HEY JOAN I WANT YOU TO KICK OUT THE ENGLISH" before the game shows you anything about your character or your world. Who are these English, what is France, and why am I supposed to kick them out? None of this means anything yet it's presented as this big important thing that god cares about for some reason.

It's dumping a high level conflict on you without making it clear what the personal stakes of anyone involved are.

Deadfire starts with this grand plot of some god walking across the earth for some reason (I don't even remember anything beyond that because I didn't care, I couldn't get past that boring exposition intro fast enough) but when you've just created your character, you don't give a shit about big level stuff like that.

BG1 starts with some dude killing your mentor. You barely manage to escape with your life. You wanna figure out why, and get revenge.
BG2 starts with some dude torturing you and your sister, then he ends up abducting her. You wanna get her back, and get revenge.
Arcanum starts with you in a zeppelin crash and a dying gnome asks you to deliver a ring to a boy as his dying wish.
Fallout starts with you being chosen by lot to find a water purification chip for your vault, because otherwise everyone you knew will die of dehydration.
Morrowind starts with you being released from prison under the condition that you work for the Empire, and the agent you work for first sends you out to do some simple jobs and familiarize yourself with the local culture before slowly introducing you to the Dagoth Ur plot.
New Vegas starts with you being shot in the head by some dude in a plaid suit because you carried a chip he wanted. You wanna figure out why and get revenge.
Gothic starts with you being tossed into a magically sealed prison colony and you have to survive and find your place among the different camps there.
PST starts with you waking up in a morgue without memories, and a floating skull is your only companion. Gotta figure out wtf is going on.

It's all very immediate, and very personal in scale. Something small and human-scaled happens to you or in your vicinity and you gotta figure out what it's about, slowly uncovering the bigger plot behind it.

The Pillars games just toss you into these big plots with gods and souls and the fate of reality or some shit.
And, more importantly, they start with huge exposition dumps before they get properly started. In all the above games, the intro is either super quick (Morrowind, Gothic, Fallout, NV) or an action-packed dungeon crawl (BG2) or a mystery to uncover on your own (PST).
In both Pillars game you get WALLS OF TEXT dumped on you that have absolutely NO personal resonance with your character at this point of the game.
Why should I give a fuck about god-level conflicts that don't relate to the world immediately around me right after creating a character? All I wanna do is go out and explore this world, not read walls of text about blah blah this is how souls work in this world blah blah.

Pillars 1 starts you off having dysentery or something in some expedition and it leads you to discover some magical place or something where you get a shitload of infodumps about magic and souls and shit, and afterwards you're going to a completely different area and none of the people you met during the intro will ever appear again.
Pillars 2 starts you off slowly walking towards some goddess in some dream dimension or something and she fills you in on what happened in the first game and asks you what major choices you made in the first game (good luck if you're playing Deadfire first lmao) and it's just a giant infodump on stuff you couldn't care less about straight after creating your character. I was promised a PIRATE SHIP and EXPLORING AN ARCHIPELAGO why does the game waste so much time infodumping me in the intro??

Whoever wrote the story in the Pillars games has no fucking clue about setting up a plot and pacing.
 

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