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Default Pillars of Eternity II - Ship Combat & Customization

February 7th, 2018, 01:53
PCGamesN explored ship combat and customization in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Pillars of Eternity II's ship combat is a deep and satisfying game within a game

“Hi, I’m Ser Guybrush Threepwood, +6 mighty pirate!” is not quite the way your character introduces themselves in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, but if that was an option it would certainly be in character.

The sequel to Obsidian’s homage to Baldur’s Gate is leaping as far away from traditional fantasy as it can, washing players ashore in the colonial Deadfire Archipelago region. These volcanic islands are populated by diverse indigenous groups and invading corporations, while the seas are dominated by ruthless pirates and explorers. If you are to survive Deadfire, you will need to become the captain of your very own ship.

Ships and seafaring are, on both a mechanical and lore level, what sets Deadfire and the original Pillars of Eternity apart. The ocean and islands provide a true shift in atmosphere for the series, and provide a whole host of new problems to be solved. Problems like:
  • Customising your fully modular ship to ensure it is fit for combat.
  • Recruiting a crew that possess the right naval skills and personality traits.
  • Keeping the crew happy by resolving their arguments and preventing mutinies.
  • Avoiding or engaging the villains of the ocean, be that one of many unique enemy ships or deadly sea monsters.
  • Achieving victory in the new turn-based ship combat system.
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February 7th, 2018, 02:18
Mixed feelings on this. I like the ship customization and management system, but I think it's a pity that the ship combat is handled in the choose-your-own-adventure mode. A graphical implementation of the turn-based ship combat would be more appealing to me, and it wouldn't have to be anything too fancy.
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February 7th, 2018, 02:21
Ripper and Wisdom… agreeing on stuff.
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February 7th, 2018, 03:07
I agree Ripper.

I understand Obsidians decision given how much more budget they would have to allocate for a more visual component. Also the depth a pen and paper mechanic lends to this is considerable. Even considering this I feel that Obsidian are missing an opportunity for visual feedback to realize the fantasy of high seas combat.

Even FTL had some basic graphics going on to help realize the fantasy which unfortunately was missing in the text adventure parts and were the worst part of that game. Who doesn't want to see the cannons firing and the ship tacking in combat?
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February 7th, 2018, 04:26
The video doesn't do justice the playing the text based ship combat. There is a lot of sound FX happening based on your actions and you can actually board the other ship (which then turn into the normal isometric view with party control).

I personally found it immersive in the beta.
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February 7th, 2018, 07:59
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
The video doesn't do justice the playing the text based ship combat. There is a lot of sound FX happening based on your actions and you can actually board the other ship (which then turn into the normal isometric view with party control).

I personally found it immersive in the beta.
How's the ship travel looking? How about when you encounter an uncharted island? Cool stuff? That's what stuck out for me in the video.
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February 7th, 2018, 08:08
Eeeesh, am very disappointed with the menu based ship combat. Was expecting to see enemy ships sail up along yours and with grapple hooks tossed over to pull the ships closer, and actual ship-to-ship isometric combat! Maybe even being able to search the enemy ship either during combat or after, then cutting the ship away when finished.

I'll try it since already paid for, but not at all excited for it!
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February 7th, 2018, 09:18
This was a fun interview, thanks for posting.

I can't say that I'm overly fussed over the portrayal of ship combat - this isn't the heart of the game. In the absence of graphical representation, my imagination can easily fill in the gaps. I also like the old-school nature of something abstracted and textual in this case providing there is other stimulation and a range of tactical options to keep it interesting. I can understand if other players are wanting a bit more though.

I like the extra focus and reactivity given to companions; this was something I was quite critical of in my impressions thread from the first game. NPCs shouldn't be mere slaves to do the player's bidding, but rather have their own agendas and personalities to deepen game-play and the role-playing experience overall.

The ship exploration makes me think of the overland map exploration of Pool of Radiance, the gradual map revealing in Storm of Zehir and more recently, Lords of Xulima. Curious to know more on resource management and whether it affects ship travel. In any case, looking good so far.
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February 7th, 2018, 14:45
Originally Posted by mbuddha View Post
How's the ship travel looking? How about when you encounter an uncharted island? Cool stuff? That's what stuck out for me in the video.
I find ship travel fun (others might not though). It need a bit of balancing over resource usage though (food, water, etc, you can find those as loot or buy them). Also, encounters at sea aren't just enemy ships, I found a derelict ship that came with a text adventure which caused a bit of an argument with the crew as to what to do with it.

As for the islands, some are just decorative (i.e. you can't explore them), but others you can anchor at and explore on foot (same map as ship travel, but you move a party icon instead of the ship). Once on an island you can discover crafting resources and encounters (part text-based adventure and small isometric map with combat encounters…or maybe combat encounters, depending on your choices and skills). Quests usually lead to larger isomeric areas you can explore.
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February 7th, 2018, 15:54
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I find ship travel fun (others might not though). It need a bit of balancing over resource usage though (food, water, etc, you can find those as loot or buy them). Also, encounters at sea aren't just enemy ships, I found a derelict ship that came with a text adventure which caused a bit of an argument with the crew as to what to do with it.

As for the islands, some are just decorative (i.e. you can't explore them), but others you can anchor at and explore on foot (same map as ship travel, but you move a party icon instead of the ship). Once on an island you can discover crafting resources and encounters (part text-based adventure and small isometric map with combat encounters…or maybe combat encounters, depending on your choices and skills). Quests usually lead to larger isomeric areas you can explore.
Sounds really fun. Can you tell me more about the performance of the game?
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February 7th, 2018, 16:22
Pirates? What’s the point of this? I still haven’t continued the Risen series because pirate themes aren’t doing it for me really. Now PoE is headed this way?
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February 7th, 2018, 16:31
Originally Posted by borovnica View Post
Sounds really fun. Can you tell me more about the performance of the game?
It run smoothly on my PC, but they aren't done optimizing yet (the latest beta release loads way faster than the first two for example).
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February 7th, 2018, 16:56
To be honest this looks really good to me. Much better than Pillars 1. As for ship combat; if it does well perhaps there will be a pillars iii and then they will have the $$ to improve ship combat. Still kind of wish they would use turn base engine like D:OS.
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February 7th, 2018, 18:47
The ship customization and focus actually makes me nervous. I don't want them to put too much focus on the ship stuff, and its a bit worrying to me that they seemed to have done that. I'm much more interested in the traditional rpg stuff, not really into text adventure, choose your path stuff…that could be pretty distracting and take the player "out of the moment" too much in a traditional isometric rpg, I think.

Also, I agree with some other comments about the ship text style combat is looking pretty lame…I saw a comment recently in a different news thread saying what if we want to skip the ship to ship text combat, maybe we find it boring or tedious, and it sounds like there won't be an option for that. If they could just have a one click "Resolve ship to ship combat" button, that would be one type of solution.

Anyway, fingers crossed these concerns won't be as bad as I and others are imagining it might be. Still very much anticipating this game, but this wasn't my favorite recent news update/video about it, for sure.
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February 7th, 2018, 19:12
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Pirates? What’s the point of this? I still haven’t continued the Risen series because pirate themes aren’t doing it for me really. Now PoE is headed this way?
I'm not too interested in pirates, per se, but I do like the idea of a pacific islands setting during the colonial expansion. I'm a bit torn on whether a rudimentary system of ship to ship combat is going to be a good addition.
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February 7th, 2018, 19:16
Ship ownership and management takes me back to my early days of D&D PnP, so I'm hoping it'll be as fun. Having interactive text for ship-to-ship combat probably saves a bunch of game time, so maybe that approach won't be too bad. The world map looks much better now compared to the original vanilla presentation.
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February 7th, 2018, 21:16
It's always a little jarring and in my opinion, un-immersive (is that a word?) when a game has more than one mode or scale that you experience its world.

Zelda 2, one of the few Zelda games I never even came close to finishing, is a good example of what I'm talking about. You go from and over world view to a side scrolling view… ugh I really hated that.

Ultimas 1 through 5, while I loved them and finished them all, used different scales between the over world and towns and then went to wire frame "3D" for dungeons (I never liked those dungeons, preferred the over word style of dungeons beginning I think with U4).

It's not that that any of this is "bad," as I'm sure there are many players who don't give things like this a second thought. Who knows, tinkering with the ship in PoE2 might turn out to be a fun distraction. But initially, I'm skeptical.
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February 11th, 2018, 18:58
Had very little interest in Pillars II until seeing this. I actually find the text adventure ship-to-ship combat to be very intriguing and the use of a "programmable" AI system, ala Final Fantasy gambits, sounds excellent. And they have the sub-classes like BG2. So, color me interested…
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