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Default Pillars of Eternity II - Preview @ PC Gamer

January 9th, 2018, 21:49
PC Gamer checked out Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire:

Tackling an ancient curse and an angry titan in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Hands-on with Obsidian’s next fantasy epic.

Firebeard is a dwarven swashbuckler with a sideline in assassination and thievery. He’s charming, cunning, and streetwise, but intelligent and well-traveled too, with an intellect as sharp as his rapier. This is the character I’ve created for my first foray into Deadfire, the sequel to Pillars of Eternity. I take advantage of the new multiclass system and make my red-bearded hero a fighter/rogue, with a shadowy criminal past that gives him buffs to stealth and perception, as well as a knack for using pistols and swords in combat. An ideal character, I think, for a game that sees you captaining your own ship and sailing the high fantasy seas of the Deadfire Archipelago.

I arrive on the remote island of Tikawara, home to the Huana. They’ve lived here for thousands of years, but their way of life is being threatened by the arrival of seafaring explorers—including the Vailian Trading Company, who seek to make a profit in the region. Disembarking from my ship, I meet a concerned-looking man called Vektor on a wooden dock. Noticing that I’m a fellow mountain dwarf, he seems relieved. “How long I waited for a familiar face in this friendless hovel!” he exclaims, eager to share his predicament with me.
[…]
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January 9th, 2018, 21:49
I tried a few time to play POE just couldn’t get into it. The stats seemed overly complicated and the maps were pretty small. But mostly I was turned off by the stats… I just never became compelled to understand them.
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January 9th, 2018, 22:21
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I tried a few time to play POE just couldn’t get into it. The stats seemed overly complicated and the maps were pretty small. But mostly I was turned off by the stats… I just never became compelled to understand them.
From what I read, it seems the stats are changing some. What that means for gameplay, I have no idea.

Good game, but I agree, the stats were weird.
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January 9th, 2018, 22:22
The mechanics were, indeed, dull and the entire game smacked of flavorless overdesign.

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January 9th, 2018, 22:33
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I tried a few time to play POE just couldn’t get into it. The stats seemed overly complicated and the maps were pretty small. But mostly I was turned off by the stats… I just never became compelled to understand them.
When I first started playing it, I couldn't stop. Then I just … stopped. And could not get back into it again.

I thought it was a quality game but it just didn't sustain my interest.
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January 9th, 2018, 22:37
The review seems a bit spoilerrific. Ah well.

The stats aren't super complicated; just different from what people are used to with games like D&D or GURPS. But I don't think one needs to have a deep understanding of the stats to finish PoE. I just created characters I liked and played it to completion. Apparently though it is useful to have a better understanding of the gaming mechanics if you play on one of the harder, less forgiving difficulty modes.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing the new system with its multiclassing and a broader spectrum of skills. Supposedly magic damage has been shifted away from Might to Resolve, and Might has been renamed to Strength. Some people seem happy with that.
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January 9th, 2018, 23:20
The character and equipment system was rather bland because of the desire to balance everything as if it were an MMO…
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January 9th, 2018, 23:38
Is there a good dig into the character creation and changed systems anywhere? Something like that long video they did on Kingmaker, the other day.
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January 9th, 2018, 23:57
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Supposedly magic damage has been shifted away from Might to Resolve, and Might has been renamed to Strength. Some people seem happy with that.
I actually really like this change. It just didn't feel right to me that my mentally strong cipher was a physical monster too.
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January 10th, 2018, 02:52
I liked POE but the setting/atmosphere just didnt really hold my interest. Got bored about 20 hours into game. Tried multiple times to go back and always end up bored.
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January 10th, 2018, 06:36
I found the lore and setting quite interesting. What killed my interest the first time (shortly after release) were the mechanics, systems and chaotic combat.

Tried again two years later and the game had become much better combat-wise and was much funner to play. Still it was fundamentally flawed. Hope they do better in the next one. No day-one-purchase from me, though.
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January 10th, 2018, 08:01
I passed on the first one for a few reasons, several aspects (which some comments basically already said) and the game overall just didn't appeal to me.

That said, I'm all excited about this sequel. They have fixed some of their basic mistakes from the first game, and damn, I must say - the game is looking absolutely gorgeous! A recent live stream from twitch really showed the game off. And for an old-school rpg fan, some great news - walking is in! (one of my pet peeves is when walking isn't included in this type of game these days) Josh Sawyer actually has a pretty funny moment when he announces it in the video.

Check out the video here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/209325992
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January 10th, 2018, 08:01
I'm looking forward to PoE 2. I was a big hater of PoE's initial launch, but returning to it after a myriad of patches reignited my interest in the franchise. I can only hope they continue to improve the UI as that was my main gripe at the end of it all.
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January 10th, 2018, 09:53
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The review seems a bit spoilerrific. Ah well.

The stats aren't super complicated; just different from what people are used to with games like D&D or GURPS. But I don't think one needs to have a deep understanding of the stats to finish PoE. I just created characters I liked and played it to completion. Apparently though it is useful to have a better understanding of the gaming mechanics if you play on one of the harder, less forgiving difficulty modes.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing the new system with its multiclassing and a broader spectrum of skills. Supposedly magic damage has been shifted away from Might to Resolve, and Might has been renamed to Strength. Some people seem happy with that.
I didn't have much trouble understanding the mechanics, and I'm used to senseless design choices like "Might" affecting spell damage and what not.

I did have a hard time getting excited about progression, though - because my choices weren't really felt and seemed all but trivial - as nothing felt particularly smart or more appropriate for my character.

Now, I only played for ~60-80 hours combined - and it's possible I missed something. But I honestly never FELT that I had made a smart choice - and I never FELT that I really needed to.

Beyond that, I heavily dislike single-class systems that aren't flexible enough to incorporate meaningful support skills and ways to build entirely unique characters.

Their patched-on multiclass approach that came later was awful, frankly.

The beauty of D&D, beyond all the flavor, was always how significant every single level felt - and how you could almost build an entire game around nothing but gaining levels for that reason

I think the intentions for PoE were good - I just don't think the people responsible had the talent or design competence required to pull off a system as appealing as D&D.

Especially not as it seemed a lot of the fun of D&D was deliberately removed in the name of "balance" - which is all the more counterproductive seeing as how the game was singleplayer only. Stuff like how all weapon classes felt like variations on the exact same thing - and not a single weapon truly stood out in terms of doing something unique that was more appropriate for my build - really ruined all my sense of fun with the mechanics.

I won't even get into the atrociously bad combat mechanics and AI issues.

Now with that bit of bitching and whining done, I actually REALLY liked the old-school PnP feel of the rest of the game. The story was interesting enough - and the game was full of charming CRPG elements.

I even liked the magic loot system for the most part.

But combat and progression are just too important in these games, and the density of encounters made non-combat too rare to make up for these downsides.

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January 10th, 2018, 14:00
I still haven’t played PoE but bought it at launch. Sounds awful. I’ve got all my hopes on Pathfinder so hopefully it won’t matter.
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January 10th, 2018, 16:23
I'm glad they had the courage to not just break with so many pointless D&D traditions, but to completely make their own RPG system that could still carry the older engine feeling. It certainly had some flaws, and making their own system made for a lot of re-balancing. I know someone who started playing recently and they were very complimentary. I did tell them they were lucky to have skipped all the patches. Really looking forward to the next one, especially with the dual-classing.
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January 10th, 2018, 17:37
The Might thing didn't bother me. Mighty means powerful. Wizards become powerful, warriors become powerful. Just in different ways.

Resolve, on the other hand…
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January 10th, 2018, 17:39
I didn't hate the combat in POE, but it felt too confusing and random. Too many times I would have a hard fight and get slaughtered, and then replay it with the same tactics and it would be cakewalk, with no obvious reason for why. I think part of it was general randomness of the system, but I also think my characters were often hard to control and would act unpredictably despite my best efforts.

I didn't have a problem with the stat/character system. It wasn't amazing but it was fine, and I did feel like some of my choices made significant differences.

Overall I still enjoyed the game too though. There was just a lot of room for improvement. The new AI system for characters could be a big step in the right direction.
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January 10th, 2018, 17:40
Well maybe I'm one of the few here who really enjoyed it. Since there are so many here who didn't, I'll just add my contrary voice. The patches did improve the game and I'm looking forward to their new multiclass system. While I thought the old one was better than nothing, I'll agree with Dart that it leaves something to be desired.
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January 10th, 2018, 17:44
I backed the first game and followed the development up until release, and I got the distinct impression that the devs were itching to make their OWN fantasy world but were terrified of the Baldur's Gate 2 loyalists who kept criticising everything that wasn't 'Baldur's Gate enough'. The end result was an overthought, bland setting that just didn't hold my interest except for in a handful of moments (the asylum, grieving mother..). I'm hoping the devs will feel bolder this time and the more exotic location will liberate them, but even so…the combat still looks (albeit for a few tweaks) the same as it was in the first game. And it was awful. And there was a LOT of it.
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