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Default Pillars of Eternity - Joshua Sawyer Video

February 24th, 2014, 10:59
Joshua Sawyer answers a question from the Pillars of Eternity tumblr page.



Answering truewarriorpoet's question on tumblr: "What are some cliched rpg or d&d tropes you are personally tired of seeing, and how do you plan on creating your own vision in PoE so it introduces familiar but unique twists on them?"
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; February 24th, 2014 at 21:03.
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February 24th, 2014, 10:59
I liked his answer to this. Believability is so important to me in characters and world building which is why I'm so glad Eternity will have realistic looking characters (not cartoonish). Characters absolutely should be grounded in their culture, race and belief systems as opposed to race alone.

So many rpgs paint by numbers when it comes to writing npc's and reduce them to irrelevance.
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February 24th, 2014, 15:49
Why would a party full of paladins be "whacky"? Seems to me that'd be a pretty cool group— especially if they all served different Gods but focused on the same mission. Certainly not a very stealthy group, but…
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February 24th, 2014, 17:41
Nice video. So many people seemed to hate 3rd edition while I thought it was an improvement for the same reasons.
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February 24th, 2014, 17:41
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Why would a party full of paladins be "whacky"? Seems to me that'd be a pretty cool group— especially if they all served different Gods but focused on the same mission. Certainly not a very stealthy group, but…
Hah, whacky was probably just a poor choice of words on his part. I think he meant "unconventional"… In the sense that it would ostensibly lack the balance that a classic party of tank, thief, mage, healer would provide. In PnP and a lot of classic cRPGs having more than one thief is often redundant, as you only need one to handle all the traps, locks, etc. So supposedly Sawyer wants PoE characters to have enough flexibility to succeed with any combination of classes. Apparently anyone can learn any (non-combat) skill, but certain classes get a bonus. However, I'm still not sure how much flexibility there will be in regards to combat. In the "heavy hitters" KS update, it sounded like there was only one optimal way to build rangers (ranged) and rogues (melee), but I guess we'll see.
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February 24th, 2014, 19:50
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
However, I'm still not sure how much flexibility there will be in regards to combat. In the "heavy hitters" KS update, it sounded like there was only one optimal way to build rangers (ranged) and rogues (melee), but I guess we'll see.
Allowing players to go through the content with a single classes doesn't mean it's going to be an optimal setup. Developers do not design so everything is a speedrun.
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February 24th, 2014, 20:10
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Allowing players to go through the content with a single classes doesn't mean it's going to be an optimal setup. Developers do not design so everything is a speedrun.
That's true. To clarify, I mean that based on the combat skills they've revealed to us so far, it doesn't sound like a melee oriented ranger (or a ranged oriented) rogue will be a very viable option. Sure, you're free to do it, but since most of the ranger's skills apply to ranged combat, it would seem like you're not tapping the class' full potential.

But in regards to the single class party, will Sawyer's example of an all Paladin party even be possible in PoE? Since there's 10 playable classes and only about 8 confirmed companions, I'd think there's likely going to only be one companion of each class at most… Since AFAIK you cannot create your own companions in PoE (at least not without the inevitable mods), Obisidian doesn't really have to balance the game for such "wackiness" anyway.
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February 24th, 2014, 20:34
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
That's true. To clarify, I mean that based on the combat skills they've revealed to us so far, it doesn't sound like a melee oriented ranger (or a ranged oriented) rogue will be a very viable option. Sure, you're free to do it, but since most of the ranger's skills apply to ranged combat, it would seem like you're not tapping the class' full potential.
Of the known Ranger's talent, only three are ranged weapon only. The rest are not weapon specific or they are linked to the animal companion. There is also class neutral-talents. Talents are pretty much D&D 3d editions feats. You pick one every 3 levels and I doubt there will be enough levels in POE to get them all (edit: I just found at that level cap is 12).

While your melee ranger wouldn't be as powerful in term of DPS as a ranged one, it will still be able to do damage and his companion will probably be more powerful because of the talent choices. They are simply used differently in term of strategy.

Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
But in regards to the single class party, will Sawyer's example of an all Paladin party even be possible in PoE? Since there's 10 playable classes and only about 8 confirmed companions, I'd think there's likely going to only be one companion of each class at most…Since AFAIK you cannot create your own companions in PoE (at least not without the inevitable mods), Obisidian doesn't really have to balance the game for such "wackiness" anyway.
You can make your own "companions" in POE through the Adventurer's Hall.
Last edited by azarhal; February 24th, 2014 at 21:33.
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February 24th, 2014, 21:44
The lack of more companions is the only thing about PoE that make me a bit sad. I would have liked 20+ recruitable NPC's. But I understand that would take alot of work. To make your own in Adventurer's hall is a cool feature, but I probably won't use it since it's more fun with the extra content a companion NPC opens up (even if it's only unique barks, but I guess all the recruitable NPC's will have their own side quests etc. otherwise their would be more of them than the 8 we get.)
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February 24th, 2014, 22:48
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
The lack of more companions is the only thing about PoE that make me a bit sad. I would have liked 20+ recruitable NPC's….it's more fun with the extra content a companion NPC opens up
Is this the only reason you want companions? Because they create more quests? If that's the case, couldn't a game with self-made characters just have more quests in it and please you equally? Or, no matter how many quests a game had, would you, psychologically, still feel that having companions would equal more quests, therefore, no matter the number of quests, having fewer companions means less quests?

On topic:

I'm not entirely getting the one-size fits all approach to character creation. If you de-limit a race's class choices then isn't that just a step away from eliminating class choices all together?

I mean, if you play an Orc wizard who can also stealth and open locks while at the same time play a Barbarian Rogue who can cast level 9 spells with ease, doesn't the charm of variation actually become the hideous numbnity of no variation amongst a plethora of identical but generic 'skins'?

By having race and class free-for-all aren't you, essentially, just giving players only one option and simply extending their 'portrait' options?
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February 24th, 2014, 23:03
He never said there won't be race variations.
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February 24th, 2014, 23:17
Indeed, you have to impose some form of character limitations in order for there to be variety.

With variety, people will optimise parties based on the characters which best utilise their skills in unison to overcome individual game difficulties.

This isn't a failed cliche, it was an invention designed to stop everyone picking the exact same character at creation, ie: copying their mate cos they hadn't a clue what wos goin' on, guv.

If there is going to be race variation, then the races will still suit one class better than another and so make a non-ideal class a self-gimp choice rather than a 'real' choice. so… why bother? Why not just keep the separations obvious?
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February 24th, 2014, 23:51
I do like structure and restrictions to my classes but I suppose I can just implement them myself.

My main worry about this game is I haven't heard anything yet that has had me say wow that's awesome I can't wait to play this.

It's been more, well I don't know about that but we'll see how it turns out.

Usually with games the more info that gets released the more excited I get. With this game the more I here I just think, well ok.
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February 25th, 2014, 00:07
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
If there is going to be race variation, then the races will still suit one class better than another and so make a non-ideal class a self-gimp choice
That's true if the classes are designed such that each needs to emphasize a single stat (fighters put all your points in STR, wizards put it all in INT) but that kind of class design is kind of dumb anyway.

A flexibly designed class should be workable with a number of different stat setups. The class design in DA:Origins wasn't ideal, but their rogues are a good example of this - the class could make sense using the same core skill set but focusing on cunning, dexterity or strength.

If I'm remembering right, making all stats relevant to every class was one of PE's design goals, and it's one of the things that made the game interesting enough for me to back.
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February 25th, 2014, 00:34
Well… this whole topic is at the forefront of my mind because I spent quite a bit of time playing Path of Exile last year and that was also a game which prided itself on build variety without heavy class barriers (and, interestingly, has the same acronym).

But I also found this approach to be a major flaw. It was as if the game was half-minded as to whether it wanted to be class-strict or class-universal. You could be a Two-handed melee witch or a spell-casting ranged marauder, as the game made no rules to prevent this outright, but it put a huge amount of irritations in your way to deter you, such as attribute requirements which links to starting position and socket colour bias on equipment.

If the game wanted complete build freedom then it should just have one class with limitless 'path' choices.

If the game wanted defined classes then there should have been outright restrictions to the use of some equipment and skills for certain classes.

Having it half-assed with irritated but unspoken freedom just meant that a lot of players ended up making bad skill and passive choices, effectively gimping their character before they'd even got half-way into the first difficulty level - addicted to skills which required large amounts of non-class attributes and off-colour socketing.

Then they introduced a 7th class, the Scion (a standard hot babe) and made her a non-class-specific character. When I last looked at the forums the most active thread was one entitled "whatever your build, I bet I can improve it by starting as a Scion", to which, yes, the guy really could.

I'm not against such things as dwarven wizards and elven barbarians etc, just as long as they ensure that class distinction is either completely relevant or not at all - anything half-assed is just going to make people play something else.
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February 25th, 2014, 01:22
@MinorityReport

Pillars of Eternity classes all have different mechanics. A Warrior is not going to be able to cast spells.

Fighter: use stances (toggles) and passives
Paladins: a defensive buffing class with auras and commands
Wizard: cast spells from a grimoire (limited selection), needs to find spells.
Barbarian: fast movement, take less damage and get passive bonus after kills.
Cipher: cannot target themselves or the open ground (target needs to have a soul). Use a resource called Focus for their mental power that is replenished through melee combat.
Chanter: Sing spells using chants, phrases and incantations that form a song. Can only have one song active per combat (start with combat and end when combat ends).
Druids: Can shapeshift. Can cast any spells it knows, but the spell list is smaller than wizards.
Monk: Wound resource used for special attack. Unarmed and has damage reduction.
Ranger: Has a companion that share stamina and health. Best ranged single target dps class.
Rogue: Best melee single target dps class. Can sneak attacks and exploit conditions on enemies.
Priest: Close-range caster with AOE buff (the wizard has single target buff) and "healing" spells (edit I forgot, they can do combo attacks with other priests of the same religion).
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February 25th, 2014, 20:56
That's good to know

How will race effect class? What would the options to make an elven barbarian be like?
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February 25th, 2014, 21:28
Originally Posted by MinorityReport View Post
How will race effect class? What would the options to make an elven barbarian be like?
There is not much information about this.

From what I gathered, races get a passive "talent" and bonus to certain attributes. On top of that it is known that the Godlike cannot wear headgear. No idea if other races have a similar limitation. I haven't seen mention of bonus to skills. I've found no information on race attribute bonus beside Godlike (dexterity and resolve).
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