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July 31st, 2021, 17:03
Chris Davies reviewed Pillars of Eternity in his series "A History of Isometric CRPGs":

Pillars of Eternity Retrospective | A History of Isometric CRPGs (Episode 13)

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Pillars of Eternity is the first true successor the classic Infinity Engine games of old. It does some things better and some things worse. Let's take a closer look.
Thanks Redglyph!

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July 31st, 2021, 17:05
PS: Chris Davies is using the term CRPG for classic roleplaying games.
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July 31st, 2021, 18:55
For me it's a classic. BG2 benefits from a big nostalgia factor, but beyond that, with the White Marches expansion, PoE is just as good… in different ways. It would be even better with PoE2's character build system.
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July 31st, 2021, 22:59
As the game started I immediately fell in love. That was THE game I was waiting for since end of Throne of Bhaal.

To finish it, it took several attempts and last third of game I was bored to death. I literally forced myself to finish it.

That is beginning and end of my story with PoE. Yes, its subjective. And its not classic for me.
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July 31st, 2021, 23:06
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
As the game started I immediately fell in love. That was THE game I was waiting for since end of Throne of Bhaal.

To finish it, it took several attempts and last third of game I was bored to death. I literally forced myself to finish it.

That is beginning and end of my story with PoE. Yes, its subjective. And its not classic for me.
What was it that turned you off as the game progressed? I get feeling less engaged as a game goes on. That happens to me in plenty of games as the systems become repetitive and the newness of the setting and characters wears off. But I don't remember feeling like there was any particular drop off in quality in PoE.
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July 31st, 2021, 23:37
Man, I wanted to love this game. I backed it, I played at release and was shocked at out buggy and rough around the edges it was. I decided to wait until it was content complete before I gave it another try, and while I did finish the game and all the DLC, I honestly found it a pretty mediocre experience.

PoE2, which had its own problems, was much more enjoyable to me, especially once they introduced turn-based combat, half-baked that it was.

In either case, I can say that I loved the art, the environments, and the lore. It was mostly the story and combat that left me underwhelmed.

Kingmaker is the game that has finally torn me away from my yearly or so urge to run through the BG saga one more time, although I'm sure that'll happen again someday too
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July 31st, 2021, 23:41
I never understood why, but at some point it became cool to bash PoE. The edge-lords of the net like to pretend it was a massive disappointment.
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July 31st, 2021, 23:49
I initially didn't like POE 1 and shelved it … came back to it and then replayed it 5 times I liked it so much, even if the story was more unusual then the standard fantasy fare you get with AD&D like games. POE 2 I also really enjoyed but my OCD wants me to only play POE2 with a proper import. So when POE2 was announced I played POE1 a 5th time to have a proper import. I have since started a new POE1 so I can play POE2 again
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July 31st, 2021, 23:50
PoE was neither a masterpiece nor a bad game - just a mediocre/good RPG. (With way too much "character class balancing")

They were marketing the game as a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate - maybe not the best move.
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August 1st, 2021, 03:09
I liked PoE the first, yet fell in love with PoE 2. Everything just seemed elevated with the second game, and while I like them both, I definitely have a favorite.
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August 1st, 2021, 03:56
I liked PoE 1 quite a lot, and wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, esp. given that I'm not as big on games like BG as much as a lot of other people are.
PoE 2 is still waiting to be played, but I'll def get onto it one day.
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August 1st, 2021, 09:32
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
PoE was neither a masterpiece nor a bad game - just a mediocre/good RPG. (With way too much "character class balancing")
Yep, that's it for me. The overall game was ok. But the ruleset was a total turn off. I played both games am quite enjoyed them but never got into the numbers.
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August 1st, 2021, 09:39
I've changed my mind about it over the years. At first I found it an inferior nostalgia cash-grab - but I've come to appreciate not only the mechanics (though I still prefer 3.5 D&D by far) - but, in particular, the story and lore.

Reason? PoE2 - which I consider the very best of this particular subgenre - and I just had to know more about the world after that one.

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August 1st, 2021, 10:09
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
What was it that turned you off as the game progressed? I get feeling less engaged as a game goes on. That happens to me in plenty of games as the systems become repetitive and the newness of the setting and characters wears off. But I don't remember feeling like there was any particular drop off in quality in PoE.
I think that some aspects of the game I found disappointing, were there all the time, but they grew on me as game progressed. That was the RPG system behind, which I found lacking, especially later in game. Most of the time, the game did not challenge me, with exception of very beginning and one particolar fight. Some wtf moments in story development I was not able to just step over and forget about. With exception of main progress route, the world and characters felt very empty to me, very static. I think one of main reasons I was able to finish it was DLC, which raised the bar on severeal levels and increased my involvment with game. I dont think That was usual long-game-fatigue, happens to me often as well, so I think this was different. Anyway, its long time since, otherwise I would proabably come with more specific examples.

But perhaps its worth mentioning PoE2 improved on several fronts in my eyes and especially TB mode redeemed RPG and combat system for me and I played it for many hours. Still didnt finish it though. Paradoxically, as I find it being much better game then first one. Again the game is quite easy and main story is not really engaging, but world is much more living, not feeling as empty and static. ยจ

Nevertheless, in meantime I had no problem to finish Kingmaker after several hundred hours playthrough and go through another BG1+2 playthrough. So again, doesnt seem to be just simple fatigue problem.
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August 1st, 2021, 11:20
I quite like Chris Davies, he doesn't always have the most jovial tone when he's speaking, but overall he has a good balance of time spent on the different aspects of a game. Well done.

I played the first PoE briefly, ran out of spare time to play, and years later I directly played the 2nd then ran out of motivation, other occupations were more appealing to me. I've recently restarted playing it.

I feel many of the reviewer's comments apply to the PoE 2 too. Too much lore and vocabulary is thrown at the player by each NPC, the ruleset is convoluted and hard to get into, the areas are beautifully handcrafted but the loading screens way too numerous and very slow (even on high-end systems with NVMe), the quests and story are very good. The one difference is the "seriousness" he mentions, that I don't feel in the 2nd game, or at least it's not oppressing. Companions and other significant NPCs feel real and are interesting as far as I saw.

It's easy to like this game despite its problems.

What he says about the cut scenes replaced by sketches / dialogue-like pages made me think of the problem with Solasta. They should really have taken this approach, it's not distracting from the tabletop feeling, it offers more branches with less work, and the presentation would have been much better. They used that in Pathfinder games too, and it works very well.

The "named NPC" issue is a comment I'd just made about Monomyth, I'm not surprised it turned out badly. They haven't made the same mistakes in PoE 2 AFAIK.
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August 1st, 2021, 20:48
I didn't find the ruleset harder to get into than any other ruleset I wasn't familiar with. I still remember how confusing Baldur's Gate seemed to me at first because I had never played PnP 2nd Edition rules. PoE isn't any more complex than D&D, TDE, etc.

Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
The "named NPC" issue is a comment I'd just made about Monomyth, I'm not surprised it turned out badly. They haven't made the same mistakes in PoE 2 AFAIK.
Are you talking about backers getting to name NPCs if they pledge enough? I wasn't aware the Monomyth dev was doing that. That's disappointing…
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August 1st, 2021, 20:57
After the White March DLC patches, I greatly enjoyed POE 1. It was a nightmarish mess of nerfs, tweaks, and game-breaking bugs before then though. PoE 2, however, remains incomplete in my backlog. That was a hellaciously boring series of copy/pasted islands & ship combat I ran out of excuses to trudge through.

Reminds me though: I need to replay Pathfinder: Kingmaker before the sequel gets released next month - because I enjoyed it far more than either of Obsidian's titles.
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August 1st, 2021, 21:05
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I didn't find the ruleset harder to get into than any other ruleset I wasn't familiar with. I still remember how confusing Baldur's Gate seemed to me at first because I had never played PnP 2nd Edition rules. PoE isn't any more complex than D&D, TDE, etc.
Somehow it seems less intuitive to me, but that's probably mainly because I've known other rulesets for years. Still, this one has been made for computers, with floating-point values, calculations we're not really supposed to do ourselves. It leaves me with a fuzzier impression.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Are you talking about backers getting to name NPCs if they pledge enough? I wasn't aware the Monomyth dev was doing that. That's disappointing…
Yes, you can even create one. Hopefully they'll reserve the right to veto the names if they're bad or incompatible with the setting.
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August 1st, 2021, 21:38
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I didn't find the ruleset harder to get into than any other ruleset I wasn't familiar with. I still remember how confusing Baldur's Gate seemed to me at first because I had never played PnP 2nd Edition rules. PoE isn't any more complex than D&D, TDE, etc.
For me it wasn't that it was too complex. It felt just too arbitray. Best example is the Might attribute which was the important attribute for a typical fighter and a glass canon mage. That may make sense from the ruleset but I couldn't undertand what that would actual mean for the character in non-combat. Is he physically strong or not? Also the spells and talents didn't feel like they made an impact. It felt like it didn't matter what I chose. In DnD and Pathfinder getting a certain spell or feat can totally change the way the encounters are going from there on. That's what I like, when a level up is actually meaningful.
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August 1st, 2021, 22:45
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I didn't find the ruleset harder to get into than any other ruleset I wasn't familiar with. I still remember how confusing Baldur's Gate seemed to me at first because I had never played PnP 2nd Edition rules. PoE isn't any more complex than D&D, TDE, etc.
Agree 100%. For myself, I always enjoy learning new systems and I thought PoE 1&2's was very interesting, and superior in some ways to D&D.
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