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Default RPGWatch Feature - Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review

July 29th, 2018, 08:39
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Nope, PoE1 physical copies (Kickstarter ones at least) shipped before the game was even released and some people actually received theirs before it unlocked on Steam.
Ah thanks I'm probably thinking of Wasteland 2 or another game I backed in the past.
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July 29th, 2018, 08:46
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Ah thanks I'm probably thinking of Wasteland 2 or another game I backed in the past.
Yep you're right, Wasteland 2 took forever. Although not as long as PoE2 will take now.

And don't forget Jagged Alliance: Flashback, where they never sent out the physical rewards period (or not to North America anyway…)
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July 31st, 2018, 00:33
I never played PoE I was wonder if it was as good as BG and BG2
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July 31st, 2018, 00:44
My ranking

PoE2 > PoE1 with expansion > Baldurs Gate > Baldurs Gate II
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July 31st, 2018, 00:50
Mine is the exact opposite of Silver Coin.

BG2 > BG1 > PoE

Haven't played PoE2 yet since I found PoE mediocre and bland.
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July 31st, 2018, 00:59
I have to clarify PoE1 with the expansion, because White March is amazing. Great story, great characters, great sidequests, great dungeons, great bosses, beautiful artwork and soundtrack. Without it, I'd say BG1 > PoE.

I think BG2 is overrated, but I tend to keep that opinion to myself.
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July 31st, 2018, 01:02
You are doing great job of keeping that opinion to yourself
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July 31st, 2018, 01:06
You're right, but I've learned in the past that any criticism of BG2 is considered heresy.
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August 1st, 2018, 01:57
I'll have to ask my friends about this game. The friends staying at the Friendly Arm Inn………………
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August 3rd, 2018, 10:28
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Mine is the exact opposite of Silver Coin.

BG2 > BG1 > PoE
Yeah that would be my order as well, with or without the White Matches. I quite enjoyed PoE but I wasn't blown away by it and I don't think I'd replay it. I thought Tyranny was better to be honest, I'd put that ahead of PoE in a list.

PoE2 does sound great though - thanks for the review, Maylander! It sounds like a big improvement over the first one and I'm looking forward to spending a serious chunk of time with it when all the DLC is released.
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August 5th, 2018, 06:14
Thanks for the great review, Maylander!!
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August 7th, 2018, 18:16
Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy. Anyway, thank you for the responses, folks. Always nice to hear.

Also interesting to see some specific opinions that differed from mine. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree Pessimeister, but I can certainly explain my point of view.

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
- The combat. This represents a big proportion of the game. Despite the polish and refinements, it is arguably weaker, less dynamic (only 5 party members!) less challenging and completely without attrition. I think the inconsequential wounds system needs to be mentioned, as there is no price at all for resting. You can count on the party always being at its most powerful for every fight. For me, this took away from the experience of adventuring in the classic AD&D tradition and any sense of menace that encounters may have had was significantly lessened.

Indeed, there simply weren't any battles that could adequately compare to the Adra Dragon nor even Llengrath or the Siege of Cragholdt at all for me. No doubt there is plenty of time for this to be improved. One final reflection on an encounter:
Spoiler
I enjoyed the combat of PoE2 much, much more than that of PoE1. I like abilities that pack a punch, and I like being able to create characters that range from wet noodles to powerhouses. PotD in PoE1, for me, was never about any of those things. It was all about:
1) Buff my tank to the point where he or she could no longer take damage
2) Debuff the enemy to either crowd control them or lower their stats so they couldn't hit anything

In most cases only one of them was needed, but on harder fights I had to use both. I found that rather boring, and I especially disliked the Adra Dragon fight (at level 12, not after the level cap increased in the expansions), where it was either control or die. Well, certain people used glitches to beat it, but I don't take that into consideration.

As for the resting mechanic: I loved the fact that it's gone. To me, it was never a limiting factor; simply one that lead to me go back to town a lot more often than I'd like. You have no idea how many runs back to the top of the keep I had while exploring the dungeon under it.

It's actually the same with inventory space: I hate it when they're too limited, like in the Diablo games. It just means I go back to town every 5 minutes instead of once per hour or some such thing. I don't get any more or less selective in terms of using abilities or looting due to such mechanics.

It was exactly the same in Baldur's Gate 2, except for the final boss, where a Wish spell is needed to restore spells between phases. Beyond that, I could always find a place to rest if I needed more Horrid Wilting for some fight.

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
- The companions. I didn't particularly enjoy the new companions in this game to be honest. Their dialogue, the way they were written. There was something generic and oddly unengaging about them. Admittedly I still have to take Pallegina and Maia for a longer run, but unfortunately none that I did take really had a sense of mystery or compellingly charismatic aura (save maybe Ydwin though she's a sidekick) that made one want to speak to or use them. Aloth's Leaden Key quest was over far too quickly;

I thought that would build much more upon the first game. Overall, the relationship system wasn't quite what I was hoping for (more Bioware lite than anything) but this could also change in forthcoming patches.
I agree that the reputation system with the companions felt lacking. It didn't really add anything for me.

However, I still preferred the companions to those in PoE1, mainly due the fact that I didn't have to do "meta gaming" to see their quests and so on. PoE1 suffered from the same problem KotOR2 and NWN2 did, which is the fact that you need to bring companions along either for X amount of time or certain events to make progress. It sort of works that way in PoE2 as well, but it's much easier to "cap out" all companions, so I could just settle for a party without having to worry about bringing someone I didn't like (like Grieving Mother, who has spent way too much time in my PoE1 parties).

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Despite the open world, the dungeons in the game simply weren't big enough or memorable for me. Many even felt derivative and resembled previous places from Heart of Winter and Icewind Dale (Drowned Barrows made me think of Burial Isle and the Hanging Sepulchers made me think of the Tiers of the Dead¬…)
True, but this was also the case in PoE1 for the most part, except for the massive one under the keep. I'm not much of a dungeon crawler though. In fact, I consider Durlag's Tower the weakest, most boring part of Baldur's Gate 1, which I assume is not the case for most people around here.

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I also think the overland exploration in general reminded me more of Storm of Zehir than Arcanum, though I can see the influence of both games.
I see where you're coming from, and I originally wrote SoZ. I changed it, however, because I felt it could lead to people expecting the map to have an actual function or gameplay, which it did in SoZ (trade routes, minerals, etc).

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
The shortness of the main quest should be mentioned as well. I couldn't believe how quickly that was over. I did it at level 19 but could easily have done it four-five levels earlier. Bizarrely, the famypr quest was more challenging than anything in these final sections.

Also, the plausibility and "impending doom" from the narrative hook of what to do while a gigantic god posessed statue is running amok is arguably diminished when the player is simply allowed to explore an open world at their leisure. There was also something lacking in the player agency in the ending, but that is naturally subjective to everyone's experience. For me, the player felt too much like a passenger and it didn't quite work¬…
I intended to point out that the main quest mainly served as a reason to explore the world, but I left it out because it's pretty much par for the course now in any game with exploration.

I guess The Witcher 3 sort of managed to work around it, but that's pretty much the only example I can think of. Baldur's Gate 2 and its "get 15.000 gold" thing also worked until you actually get 15.000, which will be long before you finish all the content available in Act 2.

I found the worst offender to be Oblivion, in which demon portals spawned everywhere, yet the hero could still spend time looting absurd amounts of cutlery.

Anyway, it is certainly a weakness, but one I've come to accept at this point, so it's something I consider a "pro" if fixed, but not a "con" if not.
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August 7th, 2018, 18:23
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy.
You suck!

On a serious note, you're finishing Yakuza 0 review at friday or saturday?
Can't wait! What do you mean you're not… OMG
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August 7th, 2018, 23:12
I've never even heard of it!

I think the next, new RPG I'll play is Kingmaker, but I assume purpleblob is keen on doing the review of it, given how interested she seems in it, so I guess it might actually be a while until I review anything again.

Maybe I should review my own renovations or something, but I'm not sure I'd like to see my own "pros" and "cons" list, or the overall rating.
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August 8th, 2018, 00:04
Purpleblob can't review Kingmaker, she's too biased already.

I would love to see her review of PoE2 though, since I believe she found the first one severely lacking compared to her beloved (rightfully so in my opinion) Baldurs Gate 1&2.

Im actually looking forward to playing through PoE2 even more than I am Kingmaker, but I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy them both immensely.
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August 8th, 2018, 13:29
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I think the next, new RPG I'll play is Kingmaker, but I assume purpleblob is keen on doing the review of it, given how interested she seems in it, so I guess it might actually be a while until I review anything again.
I'm definitely going to do a review on Kingmaker, but it shouldn't stop you doing one too - I'm sure people wants to hear different opinions.

Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
Purpleblob can't review Kingmaker, she's too biased already.

I would love to see her review of PoE2 though, since I believe she found the first one severely lacking compared to her beloved (rightfully so in my opinion) Baldurs Gate 1&2.

Im actually looking forward to playing through PoE2 even more than I am Kingmaker, but I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy them both immensely.
I liked what I've seen so far, but who knows how my opinion will change when I play the whole game

I am thinking of doing PoE2 review at some point but it won't be any time soon since I will be playing it once all DLCs are out and its sale
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August 8th, 2018, 15:14
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
It was all about:
1) Buff my tank to the point where he or she could no longer take damage
2) Debuff the enemy to either crowd control them or lower their stats so they couldn't hit anything
To be perfectly honest, if you got bored playing in this particular conservative way then perhaps you've really only got yourself to blame? I say this with all earnest respect. The game's much better than that; you can be creative with party structure and tactics. I played the first game's PotD with two priests, two rogues a monk and a wizard (interspersed with Hiravias and Maneha for some encounters) and it was great fun and rewarding. Thus, plenty of party make-ups are viable and it's not really about playing one particular way.

addendum:
Just to clarify; I'm not meaning to offend or accuse anyone of playing in a "right or wrong way"; here, on the contrary, I'm merely making the suggestion that it is sometimes easy for players to get stuck in a rut playing in one particular way and that games (specifiically here PoE) can reward thinking or playing outside of regular approaches. Hopefully that clears up Dart's response below.

Unfortunately, Poe2 on Veteran didn't meet the level of enjoyment of the first game for me. I'm not a big power-gamer but If I'm able to select all, merely left click on monsters, click a few ability buttons here and there and just watch them die, it's just not satisfying enough. This happened for the most part of the second half of the game. There were simply more memorable and challenging fights in the first game at this point in development; but that's certainly subject to change with the DLCs coming. With some well designed high level encounters and the right amount of tweaking, improvements can be made to get the second game to a much more respectable level.

I liked the Adra Dragon fight a lot incidentally; that was a tremendous feeling when it went down in PotD! I guess we simply enjoy different aspects of these games.
I don't back away from challenges and welcome these fights. Concelhaut and Llengrath were also excellent. Durlag's Tower is also a big favourite, haha so we'll definitely have to agree to disagree on these points.

Another aspect I felt was much better in the first game that I didn't mention in my first reply was the soundtrack. Justin Bell unfortunately leaned far too heavily on his melodic work for the first game and for me didn't produce as many memorable new themes. In fact the tavern music in poe2 was quite awful and felt entirely inappropriate. Some of the battle themes were also quite weak and timid and no where near as memorable as the classic BG2 scores or even songs from the first game. The sea shanties were fun though! The White March soudntrack is also very good in my opinion.

I intended to point out that the main quest mainly served as a reason to explore the world, but I left it out because it's pretty much par for the course now in any game with exploration.
Well - this was a departure for Obsidian and the bizarre shortness of the main quest for me was very noticeable. I do think it is impportant to emphasize this and not let the reader merely assume based upon genre expectation. That said, I think they did a better job of balancing experience compared to the front end loaded; over leveled by Twin Elms issue from the first game.

Anyway, thanks for responding to my points Maylander. I'm sure the game will be better once all the DLC are out and maybe i'll enjoy it more.
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Last edited by Pessimeister; August 8th, 2018 at 16:21. Reason: Clarification of point on play style
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August 8th, 2018, 15:17
Oh, I guess being bored by PoE and loving PoE 2 means I also only have myself to blame?

Cool!
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August 8th, 2018, 15:24
Um. No? I'm not talking to you Dart, so why you'd infer any generalised meaning in that quote being directed to yourself is beyond me.
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August 8th, 2018, 15:27
As I said, I disliked the combat for much the same reasons as Maylander.

In fact, I tend to agree with him about combat systems and mechanics more often than not.

So, I don't think my "guess" was that far fetched.

No, it's just that I find the whole "you're not playing it right or you'd be enjoying it" highly amusing.

Obviously, he's not "playing it right" because he's different from you.

In that same way, I could explain why you're not "playing PoE2 right" - because you don't enjoy the same things for the same reasons.

What you describe as "click a few buttons" is obviously subject to your perception - and just as obvious not the perception of people who enjoy that kind of approach.

It would seem Obsidian themselves consider it a better game design, but that's besides the point.

But, of course, if you insist that there's a right way to enjoy games - and that way is yours - that's cool.

Personally, I think we all enjoy different things for different reasons - and trying to talk about "blame" within that context is just silly.
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