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November 11th, 2019, 21:03
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
My general point is that after all these years of it's release I still don't ever really hear anyone make reference to the game in the context of the games it was supposed to emulate. It's all very well talking about it as its own game, in exclusion from it's supposed heritage but, particularly in a thread discussing it's failures, that's kinda missing the whole point of the enterprise.

If it's to be treated as just some disconnected random RPG that I'm not sure about then I'll veer on the side of caution and wait for a deep sale before trying the first one. Which is biazzre, because I was one of those guys who insta-bought Serpents in the Staglands full price, because isometric party-based RtWP is, or at least was, my auto-buy bag, and that was a technically bad game in a lot of regards, but it completely nailed the whole IE concept. But with Pillars I'm holding back.

And I do this because no-one seems able to relate anything in the game to the IE heritage. By only making reference to other IE games, which parts of the game can be easily communicated as being 'similar to that IE game'?

The story structure? Linear and ever deeper like IWD or open world hubs like BG or open world mostly single city like PST? Is it mercenary like IWD or chosen one like BG or introspective and personal like PST? Etc.

The party make-up? All self-created like IWD, meeting huge numbers of randoms as you travel and then storing them all at the pub like BG or small list of very defined characters you gradually meet here and there while exploring like PST?

The mechanics of play? Is the spellcasting Vancian, is it round-based, do you learn spells and unlock chests, do you disarm red traps, are criticals automatic hits and do they double the hit, is it dice based in that you're rolling for everything, how does it do saving throws, etc etc etc. Is any of this kind of stuff even remotely the same?

The loot? Do people generally drop what they're wearing or at least adhere to a rational loot table, is there plenty of unique items that always appear in the same place, do the unique items seem interesting and unique, how are things like armour class and + weapons comparable via interesting loot. Will you ever be lugging around dead cats because it's there to be lugged around, etc, etc.

Levelling? Which game does it feel most like in this regard, what kind of things happen at level-up, is it more AD&D or more 3rd Ed in feeling, does everyone level up at different speeds, does everyone do completely different things at level up, etc.

Character variety? One of the most intimidating things for new players to the IE games is the sheer variety of character builds, so does it give that same sense of depth in this regard to, for example, the difference between an evil Dwarven Defender and a good Halfling Bard and all in between. Or is it more like PST and it's not really about character variety at all?

And on and on the list would go.

And I wouldn't expect you or anyone to answer these questions, especially not in one post, but what I'm saying is that, for me, after five years of this game being around, I still have virtually zero idea of what to expect from the game and I've read countless threads and reviews and seen all kinds of debates. But no-one ever draws reference to the IE games, except in the negative.

Like you said earlier, you found a comparison to make with Dragon Age. The comparison that comes to my mind is NWN2 when I hear about it, especially as it's the same company making it. I didn't really enjoy NWN2, hence the added trepidation. What I need to hear about is comparisons to the IE games, which I did enjoy a lot more.

And if someone says some one-liner like "Oh right, the story is like BG's and the combat is like IWD", then that's pretty meaningless without lots of paragraphs of reasoning and elaboration, as I'd have no idea whether that person is the kind of person who thinks Diablo is a bit like Disco Elysium because they're both isometric RPGs.

You know what I mean? Does it actually feel like/play like an IE game in any real sense?
If you truly want to find out what the game is like then maybe watch a let's play video?

To me the game mechanics are very similar to the BG games, with some tedium removed. Some things are not at all intuitive coming from DnD, but after a while it becomes alright.

The story is sort of similar in that you are a chosen with an immensely powerful enemy with godlike ancestry/powers/knowledge. The story is, in my opinion not as good in PoE as in BG and also less personal. I think it tries a bit too hard to be thought provoking. But it is quite good.

It is also a drab, depressing world in the first PoE, while the second one is more colorful and vibrant both visually and thematically. The lore is pretty good once I started getting an overview of it. At first it was overwhelming, but after two games I would actually really like to see where it goes and discover more of the world and the cultures

I enjoyed both PoE games, but not as much as BG. The second one was better. The sound design and voice cast was really something I enjoyed in that one.
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November 11th, 2019, 21:06
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
After Obsidian bugging out my level 18 character with one of their numerous patches, I stopped playing PoE 2 and have absolutely no desire to return. Despite its more streamlined combat (compared to the original), the game is chock full of forgettable encounters and clunky, tacked-on ship combat.

And that's AFTER they originally soured my taste for the franchise altogether by outright ruining my characters during the original game's launch with immensely bugged reflex/wisdom/con saves.

So, lesson to learn, don't be incompetent and plan out your QA better, as was done with Outer Worlds.
Yeah. I almost never play games early due to this. Game of the year versions are usually a lot better than the release version.
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November 11th, 2019, 21:08
Originally Posted by BriefDArt View Post
That's a good point. I actually didn't know they were backer stories at first.



Not that I ever felt obligated to read them. That's the kind of thing I skip almost immediately, unless I'm particularly engaged by the setting or narrative.
Yeah I also didn't know at first. After I read a few and understood they were unnecessary I skipped them, but I did feel like I wasted time on fan fiction…
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November 11th, 2019, 21:09
What I wanted to say about PoE1, Andrew23 already described better than I could. In terms of which game feel closest to IE, Kingmaker hands down. PoE1 got me excited initially but it turned out only its visuals that really resembled IE games.
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November 11th, 2019, 21:25
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
Yeah. I almost never play games early due to this. Game of the year versions are usually a lot better than the release version.
In regard to PoE II, it was like a year after launch. Obsidian couldn't leave well enough alone and kept introducing new bugs with each patch's new 'features'. Sign of a terrible project lead.
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November 11th, 2019, 21:41
I still can't believe how much venom was raised over the use of Might as a strength mechanic in magic use. Many role-play gamers seemed to be locked into archaic D&D stereotypes. I did enjoy POE1 quite a bit, especially with the expansions. POE2; not so much.
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November 11th, 2019, 22:03
I don't know how much venom was really raised?

It was just a little amusing that a system that was supposed to correct the quirky nature of D&D made similarly weird concessions for stupid reasons.

That said, D&D is hardly archaic - as it's still being developed and renewed.

Also, D&D/Pathfinder is around ten times more fun than the original PoE system.

But I did really enjoy the active abilities of PoE 2. It's just unfortunate that combat balance was such a mess.

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November 11th, 2019, 22:25
Originally Posted by BriefDArt View Post
I don't know how much venom was really raised?
Quite a bit on some forums. It was such a minor thing to raise such a stink over. Ah well.
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November 11th, 2019, 22:30
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Quite a bit on some forums. It was such a minor thing to raise such a stink over. Ah well.
Oh, ok. It was indeed a minor detail. I personally think the percentage increases felt a little bland, compared to modern D&D, where each stat can make all the difference from point to point, because of feat requirements and bonus spells.

Then again, I love the strategy of figuring out optimal and weird class combinations.

PoE didnít even have multiclassing, which WAS a huge deal, imo.

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November 11th, 2019, 23:19
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Quite a bit on some forums. It was such a minor thing to raise such a stink over. Ah well.
I have no idea what this mechanic is nor why it was used, but when you say "minor thing", do you mean in regards to a random RPG that does it's own thing or do you mean in regards to a historical legacy of a certain playstyle that carries established expectations?

Isn't fundamentally altering the nature of arcane spellcasting quite a major thing for the latter? Or am I misunderstanding you and the might thing, whatever it does, doesn't alter the way arcane spellcasters function in comparison to the IE games?

What would you consider a non-minor issue if fundamental mechanics are not something you consider to be things to field negativity about? Can you elaborate on why you liked the mechanic or felt it an improvement or are you making an example of this issue as some kind of evidence that the game received undue negativity because by isolating this complaint it… proves what exactly?
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November 11th, 2019, 23:31
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
If you truly want to find out what the game is like then maybe watch a let's play video?
I don't watch let's plays of games I think I might play at some point, so I've watched several let's plays of Bloodborne, for example, but nothing for PoE yet. Hence just sticking to the written word and video reviews. Your post here added another small piece to the puzzle, but was, as per usual, mostly unelaborated one-line statements that don't mean much, to which, as is per usual, the post quickly starts losing it's interest in comparisons and wanders off into other directions veer an "it's sort of semi-like BG" interlude.

I'm not criticising your view here, I think you made a great post, but it's noticeable for me how difficult it is for people to discuss the game in context of the IE games without veering into negativity or just changing the subject.

Hence I'm more inclined to believe someone like Purpleblob, probably the site's biggest BG fan, even more so than JDR13, though I'd not like argue with either about BG (lol), and blob is quite happy to just state quite blankly that it was pretty much nothing like the IE games. I have no idea why some are determined to argue against this but then constantly and without fail falter at the explanation.
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November 12th, 2019, 00:03
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
PoE story completely lost me when I realized the main antagonist is more or less omnipotent, but he really intervenes only for the sake of story plot twisting or adjusting.

After that I almost stopped to play for good.
But that is a general issue of most stories which are about gods and other abstract stuff. As the player is completely detached from what is possible and what is not, the story can just make things up on the fly.
And if the story makes no sense to you due to logical errors like "the god should have acted here", a storyteller could just make up arguments on the fly like "no, because it was raining and the god hates water" or random stuff like that.

That's why, at least for me, I completely dislike story about gods or even more abstract things. Divinity OS1 was equally if not more stupid with it's battle against the "nothingness".
Surprisingly Divinity OS2 managed to go another route but unfortunately I cannot go deeper into that without spoiling.
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November 12th, 2019, 07:15
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I don't watch let's plays of games I think I might play at some point, so I've watched several let's plays of Bloodborne, for example, but nothing for PoE yet. Hence just sticking to the written word and video reviews. Your post here added another small piece to the puzzle, but was, as per usual, mostly unelaborated one-line statements that don't mean much, to which, as is per usual, the post quickly starts losing it's interest in comparisons and wanders off into other directions veer an "it's sort of semi-like BG" interlude.



I'm not criticising your view here, I think you made a great post, but it's noticeable for me how difficult it is for people to discuss the game in context of the IE games without veering into negativity or just changing the subject.



Hence I'm more inclined to believe someone like Purpleblob, probably the site's biggest BG fan, even more so than JDR13, though I'd not like argue with either about BG (lol), and blob is quite happy to just state quite blankly that it was pretty much nothing like the IE games. I have no idea why some are determined to argue against this but then constantly and without fail falter at the explanation.
I guess the detail you want, won't be found in forum posts. Maybe you can find the manual to read? Or blog posts from the development going into specifics?
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November 12th, 2019, 08:18
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
But that is a general issue of most stories which are about gods and other abstract stuff. As the player is completely detached from what is possible and what is not, the story can just make things up on the fly.
And if the story makes no sense to you due to logical errors like "the god should have acted here", a storyteller could just make up arguments on the fly like "no, because it was raining and the god hates water" or random stuff like that.

That's why, at least for me, I completely dislike story about gods or even more abstract things. Divinity OS1 was equally if not more stupid with it's battle against the "nothingness".
Surprisingly Divinity OS2 managed to go another route but unfortunately I cannot go deeper into that without spoiling.
Yes, many computer games stories are not thought through and/or are rather trivial. Im kind of storyfag. I like stories in my games, even if trivial. Better then none. But at least there should be some basic consistency which holds it together. And if there are inconsistencies, at least they should not be splatted over your face.

I do remember overall story plot of PoE, I started the game at least 3-4 times before I managed to finish it after all. But I really do not recall many details of it.

Spoiler
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November 12th, 2019, 09:46
I had a bit of a problem following POE's story at the start. Yes by the end they made it mostly clear but by then it is a bit late. What i mean is that the story never really engaged myself which made the rest of the game a bit of a slough. I haven't finished kingmaker but the first 2 acts (which is where i've paused my play for a bit) really do a good job of bringing you into the story. We can comment on the gameplay (mostly combat) and there is some truth that POE character build was confusing and combat was messy but beyond that i'm not sure it was really fun - i never felt like my characters were progressing either in the story or in their build. I haven't played poe2 yet so no comments there - with kingmaker i find the rules a bit confusing since i don't really know pathfinder rule set but it is mostly obvious in what stats and spells do (what is lacking is the magnitude). What i don't like about kingmaker is some of the hidden timers - you have to do x by y without knowiing about y till the quest fails - i paused my play when i took too long to advance val's quest line because i got side tracked while moving towards the town.
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November 12th, 2019, 10:39
Originally Posted by you View Post
I had a bit of a problem following POE's story at the start. Yes by the end they made it mostly clear but by then it is a bit late. What i mean is that the story never really engaged myself which made the rest of the game a bit of a slough. I haven't finished kingmaker but the first 2 acts (which is where i've paused my play for a bit) really do a good job of bringing you into the story. We can comment on the gameplay (mostly combat) and there is some truth that POE character build was confusing and combat was messy but beyond that i'm not sure it was really fun - i never felt like my characters were progressing either in the story or in their build. I haven't played poe2 yet so no comments there - with kingmaker i find the rules a bit confusing since i don't really know pathfinder rule set but it is mostly obvious in what stats and spells do (what is lacking is the magnitude). What i don't like about kingmaker is some of the hidden timers - you have to do x by y without knowiing about y till the quest fails - i paused my play when i took too long to advance val's quest line because i got side tracked while moving towards the town.
I had to force my mind into accepting unexpected outcomes to start really enjoying Kingmaker. It took some time and 1-2 new starts, but after that I enjoyed it immensely, really. Youre a king after all, you cant have every small detail under direct control, right? :-)
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November 12th, 2019, 13:01
Loved the first Pillars, could not get into the setting of the second. Unfortunately not even the turn based mode helped. It was all so boring to me. All felt like a drag.
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November 12th, 2019, 20:14
Originally Posted by BriefDArt View Post
Oh, ok. It was indeed a minor detail. I personally think the percentage increases felt a little bland, compared to modern D&D, where each stat can make all the difference from point to point, because of feat requirements and bonus spells.
A +1 bonus is a 5% increase in the chance to hit. It's not that different. If you look at it from the D&D Str to-hit bonus, it becomes +2.5% per Str point.

I think it's a perception problem, with +1 looking more impressive than +5%.
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November 12th, 2019, 20:25
There was more to a Str stat than just to-hit though. It also increased damage and increased carry weight. And carry weight effected what you could wear, in other words, effected you armour class. A mage usually doesn't care about all those other factors and their to-hit was based on chance of spell failure and opposing saving throws. If you make mages need a Str stat then doesn't that greatly effect build variety, in that everyone needs to have a good Str score?
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November 12th, 2019, 20:56
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
A +1 bonus is a 5% increase in the chance to hit. It's not that different. If you look at it from the D&D Str to-hit bonus, it becomes +2.5% per Str point.

I think it's a perception problem, with +1 looking more impressive than +5%.
Did you miss what I said about feat planning and bonus spells?

In D&D there are certain ability requirements for specific feats, and you need to think very carefully about how you distribute points, beyond merely added damage or to hit.

Most of the desirable feats require a minimum score in the related ability, and they have been quite cleverly planned to enforce hard choices, especially when multiclassing.

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