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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » PoE, D:OS, and WL2: Comparison/Contrast

View Poll Results - Which of the three do you like best?

Divinity: Original Sin 13 41.94%
Wasteland 2 2 6.45%
Pillars of Eternity 16 51.61%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

Default PoE, D:OS, and WL2: Comparison/Contrast

April 12th, 2015, 19:53
So these are the three major old-school isometric RPG's to come out recently. I would imagine most of us that frequent RPGWatch are very keen on these games. I haven't seen a thread that specifically compares and contrasts the three mid-size developers' juggernauts, so I figured I would start a thread specific to what you liked most about what each game did, where each could be improved (perhaps by borrowing on concepts from one of the other titles), your impressions of each, which you liked most overall, etc.

Full disclosure here. I have liked what I have played of all of them but have not taken any of them past the finish line. I am playing Pillars of Eternity right now and am really digging it, but I will try not to let the "what have you done for me lately" bias slip in too much. According to Steam, I have logged 56 hours in D:OS, 51 hours in WL2, and 26 hours in PoE so far.

Divinity: Original Sin

I was pretty blown away by D:OS when I first started it. To me, it has the best combat system of the three. Very inventive and unique way to include the environment and elements to make things that much more interesting. I love that everything is so interactive and there are so many unique solutions to issues, it feels like the most flexible and realistic in how NPC's react to what I do. I think Larian also innovated more with D:OS than was done in the other titles, specifically with the "co-op" implementation and dialog system and, as mentioned, with the combat. The world did not seem that huge to me, but it is brimming with content, and according to howlongtobeat.com, it is the longest of the three games (main+ extra content lasting an average of 80.5 hours per user). I ended up getting stuck somewhere in the game and then eventually migrated over to WL2 when it came out, which is why I have not yet finished the game. Original Sin appears to be the best Larian product to date, with all due respect to Divine Divinity (which I loved, but felt sputtered near the end), and Divinity 2: DKS, which I also enjoyed but never completed. Also, I really enjoy the light-hearted humor and writing that is a staple of their products. However, one drawback I had comes with the story, where it seemed like it was losing steam or becoming convoluted near the mid-way point of the game. I'm not really sure what my purpose is in the game anymore and am just roaming around killing things and completing quests and am sort of stumbling to the end. As I mentioned, I felt like this happened to me in Divine Divinity as well. That they are refining the story for a later date reinforces this thought to me as well.

Wasteland 2

Fallout 1 and 2 are my favorite games of all-time, so to say I was excited for WL2 would be an under-statement. And you know what, it has not disappointed me. Despite the complaints of some of people here, I quite like the tactical combat. It is constantly challenging, although not as strong and/or innovative as D:OS was in that regard. Wasteland 2 also features very strong writing. One element I really like from the game is that it really feels like you are in control of your squad of individuals. Whereas PoE streamlines a lot of party control (your character best at lock-picking will automatically go to pick the lock), WL2 takes a traditional (some may say archaic) approach that I feel sort of makes you get to know your party more personally. A lot of people might see this as a negative, but it certainly feels like I am more attached to my party than I am in the other two titles. Tied to that is the freedom and ownership WL2 gives us when creating our party. I had more fun coming up with the back story of my characters here than in the other games and putting together their personalities and tying them together with applicable skills (which WL2 gives you a lot of options of). I don't believe I have put in enough into the game to fully experience the promised level of C&C so I will not yet comment on that aspect. The graphics in WL2 appear to be a little rougher than the other games, and coupled with some of its adherence to old-school mechanics makes it appear like the least-polished of the three. I think WL2 is probably the most polarizing title for these reasons, but considering my vast preference for post apocalyptic, sci-fi settings, and my love for C&C and reactivity, I could see this being the game that ends up being my favorite (and the one that I can see revisiting over and over again with my over-powered party after completing the game). According to howlongtobeat.com, main +extra takes an average of 65.5 hours, so it certainly is not lacking in content either. I'm currently waiting for the GOTY enhancements before jumping back in.

Pillars of Eternity

Ah, my most recent infatuation. PoE certainly feels like the most polished of the three products to me, and in some ways is a stark contrast to the feel of WL2. So far, I find that I am pretty obsessed with decking my party out with phat lewt. A lot of people have said that the stronghold does not feel fully fleshed out, but I am enjoying that aspect of the game. PoE also feels like the most sprawling and epic of the three games. I love the writing, even though I get impatient with reading every soul's back-story, I think it is all lovingly crafted and beautifully written. Out of the three games, each containing what I feel is very high-class writing, PoE strikes me as the best in that regard. I enjoy the combat, though I also find that I prefer the turn-based approach and that this is the weakest title in that regard. Some of that is made up by the splendid variety of spells and skills to choose from. Aesthetically speaking, I am not really sure which I prefer more between this and D:OS as both are very beautiful in vastly different ways. Oddly, while this feels like the biggest game and I feel that I have barely scratched the surface during my 26 hours, so far, the average playthrough is the shortest of the three on howlongtobeat.com, clocking in at an average of 62 hours per playthrough for main story +extra.

So there you have it, those are my thoughts on the three games. I won't be giving out any sort of ratings until I have finished them, but right now I think all three games are worthy of 9/10 on my rating scale. That will undoubtedly change later, but these are three great games so far for me. It definitely feels like that new golden age that people keep mentioning to me.
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April 12th, 2015, 20:02
Sorry I cant just pick just one game as I like all three of them.

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April 12th, 2015, 20:05
Pillars, hands down. Character building in D:OS doesn't come close - too many abilities are either useless or overpowered. Also, there's a world of difference concerning the writing in both games, and I don't just mean the much lower ratio of lame jokes in PoE.

Wasteland 2 could be a late bloomer come GOTY Edition, but I'm pretty sure it won't come close to PoE as far as reactivity and roleplaying is concerned. The turn based combat is certainly going to be stronger once the weapons are a bit more balanced though.

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April 12th, 2015, 20:32
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Wasteland 2 could be a late bloomer come GOTY Edition.
Has a GotY edition already been announced?
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April 12th, 2015, 20:33
Something I didn't include in my original post were professional reviews. I sort of did this on purpose, because I am more interested in hearing (reading) people's personal experiences and opinions of the three. Currently, PoE is the most well-received on the bunch with a 90/100 metacritic score, followed by D:OS with 87/100 and WL2 with 81/100. On the other hand, the average user seems to have been most partial to D:OS, which has the higher user score on metacritic and the highest "recommended" percentage on Steam. D:OS also has appeared to garner the most accolades — game of the year awards, etc. However, that is obviously an unfair comparison with PoE at the moment, since it just came out.

Personally, I think Wasteland 2 is being a little overshadowed in this regard, due to its "less polished" feel. Again, this is why I want to hear personal experiences, because I do feel like this darkhorse could end up being my favorite of the bunch in a couple years.
Last edited by rossrjensen; April 12th, 2015 at 20:47. Reason: typo
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April 12th, 2015, 20:36
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Has a GotY edition already been announced?
I believe it was grouped with the announcement that it would be coming to consoles. Essentially, we are coming out with a GoTY edition that will also be coming to Xbox, with the Unity graphics update and other refinements. From what I understood, these are improvements that all current owners will be receiving as well.
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April 12th, 2015, 20:37
PoE is easily my favorite of the 3. The story in DO starting losing my interest the longer I played, and WL 2 failed to take advantage of a turn based combat system imo. I don't regret backing any of them, and will happily back other projects any of the developers do, but I'm far more excited about where PoE will go.
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April 12th, 2015, 20:40
Hard call on D:Os VS POE for me, wasteland 2 I never played as that setting doesn't appeal to myself.

I think if POE had turn base combat it would be a no brainer for me, though I did find that D:OS had better interaction though out the complete game and solid content to the end. POE was way more gripping in the beginning, D:OS puzzles reminded me of days of playing Ultima games.

To conclude, they are both good to great games which I think the RPG world really needed. I think you can have hours of fun with both of them but just like some nights you feel like a nice Rib Eye steak and other nights Lobster I don't think you can go wrong with either of them.
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April 12th, 2015, 20:52
I really like PoE's story so far and its unique take on souls. Story-wise, at the moment I agree that it feels the strongest so far. Can anyone who has beat all three games comment on the strength of the games' endings?
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April 12th, 2015, 21:30
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Has a GotY edition already been announced?
Yes they answered that question on Twitter last month.
“I know there was confusion this week due to the order of announcements but Wasteland 2 will come out simultaneously on Xbox One and PS4.

And Wasteland 2 slated for late summer, so says @rangerkeenan.

Of course, the #Wasteland2 GOTY improvements will be coming to PC as well. Details to come later….”
Probably will be released as a patch or a completely new edition.

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April 12th, 2015, 22:04
Why not PC GOTY ? I wonder …

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April 12th, 2015, 22:06
D:OS - I already played it two times. After finishing PoE today I have no intentions to play it again.

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April 12th, 2015, 22:40
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
D:OS - I already played it two times. After finishing PoE today I have no intentions to play it again.
You are just pain biased

Haven't played poe yet. So far wl2 is my favorite because IMO it does everything at least okay ( the setting + gunplay is something different for me). dos has some very specific strengths but lacks eg in the story department. It indeed becomes muddy and unnecessary somewhere in the middle.
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April 12th, 2015, 23:48
Can't speak about Eternity yet, but even D:OS vs WL2 is a tough choice.
Was in fact, when I summed things up, D:OS was the winner in my case. Doesn't mean WL2 is a bad game, it's a great game, but I liked D:OS a bit more.

This poll is here too early. I can't vote. If I put D:OS only to discover in a few days that Eternity kicks even more arse, the vote would be a lie.

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April 13th, 2015, 00:30
I prefer Wasteland 2; I have to say that I haven't played the other two, but there are reasons for that:

Divinity:
I don't like the graphic style. I will buy it either if there is a lot of community content or if I get it cheap.

PoE:
Gamey Stats, no Combat XP, Sawyers Vision of Balance and my Vision of Fun are to different.
I will buy it if there is a Mod that introduces Old-School Rules or if I stumble upon it at the bargain bin.

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April 13th, 2015, 00:36
Probably D:OS by a hair over PoE with WL2 a distant third though all 3 games are good. Lords of X would slot between Pillars and Wasteland for me.

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April 13th, 2015, 01:19
For me, PoE, then WL Two, then Divinity. I really liked the mechanics/guts of PoE, I'm hoping they focus some of the expansion on those parts.
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April 13th, 2015, 01:25
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
D:OS - I already played it two times. After finishing PoE today I have no intentions to play it again.
On replay value D:OS by a land slide, on building a better game POE.

POE has the base to release something better right away. POE is a great game but almost like a finished Beta if that makes sense. I am not taking anything away from the effort, just like I have stated before there was to much put into the visions of souls that offered nothing more then stories. When these resources could have been used for offering more interaction.
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April 13th, 2015, 05:24
Originally Posted by rossrjensen View Post
I believe it was grouped with the announcement that it would be coming to consoles. Essentially, we are coming out with a GoTY edition that will also be coming to Xbox, with the Unity graphics update and other refinements. From what I understood, these are improvements that all current owners will be receiving as well.
Ah ok, I missed that. I see they're porting it to the Unity 5 engine and giving it a facelift plus other improvements.

I'm really glad I waited to play this and D:OS as well. I'll probably play them back to back along with PoE this summer.
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April 13th, 2015, 09:35
Though I haven't actually completed any of them, I feel confident to claim I like D:OS the most.

WL2, however, I'm not entirely certain about. It starts out well, but I found myself getting bored after around 15 hours or so. The character system is too simple - and I can't get past not having traits and perks. I really liked the combat system, which had a nice tactile feel but it's just not enough - and I wasn't too engaged by random loot and a middling story.

PoE is a fine and solid game, but it seems I've lost quite a bit of my initial enthusiasm. I get sidetracked a lot - as I have very little free time to dedicate exclusively to games. I could do it piecemeal, but I've never learned how to enjoy huge RPGs in that way.

Initially, I was ready go give PoE a good 8.5 or 8 at least. But, after around 35 hours - I'm finding it overly familiar and I've lost my fascination with the new system. I think it's OK, mechanically, but nothing more. So, it's sort of like replaying BG with a new setting and story. I'm sure most of the Watch would find that delightful - but I think it's kinda repetitive. Not bad at all, and it really is a good game in terms of writing and general execution. But it's not exciting to me. The Stronghold is more like a pointless Facebook game, with almost no tangible impact on my experience. The 8 levels of Endless Path dungeon I bothered to explore before going back to the main quest path were pretty uninspired and played like a mediocre community mod. Overall, probably a 7/10.

D:OS, I played for a good 40 hours or so - primarily in coop with my brother. That was a positively fantastic experience. Unfortunately, we chose to play other games - as we felt it would have taken months to complete it. We tend to play ~8-10 hours every other week - and that would have meant we couldn't play any other game for a very long time. So, we chose to mix it up a bit.

I absolutely loved the character progression in D:OS - and I got a kick out of experimenting with skills/powers. I'm a fan of TB combat - and it worked fanastically well, even in two-player coop - where my brother and I had builds that complemented each other well. It was really quite something. The story wasn't very interesting, and the humor was sort of hit and miss. But I'm familiar with Larian's style - and I've adjusted to it. I got lost in the exploration, combat and puzzle solving. I also have a strong fondness for environments that are highly interactive.

I'm planning to play it solo once I get the time.
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