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April 21st, 2017, 06:22
I just knocked off my first Tyranny play-through in 36 hours. It wasn't bad!

This is much more accessible than Pillars of Eternity; simpler fights with a much more grandiosely woven story. If i had to describe it in a nutshell, I'd probably just say it was a confluence of Pillars (engine, attribute system, general combat feel) Dragon Age: Origins (only four characters maximum in a party; can have some conversations with consequences ) and Game of Thrones inspired military conquest or "power-fantasy" themes with a slightly more cartoon-ish aspect. The skill system was an unusual combination of "improve by use" and essentially class-less talent trees.

The "evil has won" hype tag was definitely overdone as expected, as there are ways to subvert the establishment in the game if that is your choice. I would also hasten to mention thematic connections to the Avadon series which also more than adequately gave the player the ability to role-play a diligent "lackey" for an over-arching sometimes questionable superpower (the Pact) in a similar and sometimes more nuanced way than Tyranny does.

Unfortunately the game does come somewhat crashing to a sudden end. I couldn't believe how short Act 3 was; quite farcical really how it was all hastily cobbled together in the end after the lengthy Act 2. That was probably one of the big disappointments in what was otherwise a fairly decent game full of an interesting array of choices.

Other reviewers have celebrated the spell system for its rewarding experimentation, but I never really got too heavily into that side of things in my first play-through. Curiously, my character didn't trust Eb or Kills-In-Shadow ('offed 'em both!) nor had Sirrin for any time. Thus, there's a good deal to look into for a replay.
I think I'll try taking out all of the Archons next time in a Path of the Damned run.

Final party: (sided with Disfavored)
Main PC used the defender talent-tree and focused upon melee/shield.
Verse (Kind of like a less insane, practical evolution of Shar Teel; became my duel wielding rogue/archer)
Barik (Walking Tank of Lummox+10)
Lantry (I liked this witty mysterious fellow! Focused him on preservation/healing mostly)

Pros:
- Reasonably compelling story - I often wanted to keep playing at night, to make another important choice (Hello 4 am!)
- Interesting factional interplay (balancing/gauging alliances etc.) and well layered world lore. (I liked being able to quickly read on the background of concepts/key groups)
- Invites replays to investigate more role-playing perspectives from second major side.
- The companion Wrath and Loyalty system often made me question my choices - would I have enough allies to survive? Good depth to companion conversations (largely player initiated)
- Artefacts are interesting and useful (reminiscent of soul-bound weapons from PoE) as were party combo's unlocked from party interactions.

Cons:
- Probably the worst combat path-finding I've encountered in an isometric cRPG (which is ironic given there's only 4 party members)
- Too few party members to choose from; simply not enough party variety for my desired depth.
- Weakly ushered in and overly short Act III
- Spire upgrade system lacked vigorous impact (I played on hard) I had over 25-30 iron rings unspent with nothing really left to buy or upgrade…Didn't need the forge due to item saturation in the game world from exploration.
- Over the top voice acting at times gave the game a slightly silly tone (Voices of Nerat was just plain ridiculous, reminding me at times of the Dark Knight from Beyond Divinity)

Feel free to comment and add your own reflections! I'd definitely be interested in hearing what type of character Watcher's here built the first time around.
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Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Last edited by Pessimeister; April 21st, 2017 at 10:52. Reason: spelling
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April 21st, 2017, 07:16
Wow, short game. How thoroughly did you explore? Would you say you completed most of the optional content?
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April 21st, 2017, 09:28
36 hours is not short compared to initial reviews that suggested it's one afternoon game.
But it ain't epic either.
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April 21st, 2017, 10:51
I'm not a completionist by any means so I'll generally play as naturally as I can role-playing wise. Whilst there's a fairly linear progression to the game, I am heartened by the fact that I'm only at 40 % achievements, hinting perhaps that there's much more yet to do.
I certainly didn't discover all of the artefacts possible for instance. I suspect Path of the Damned mode is where this game will sink the hours.

I should also mention that the introductory conquest section at the beginning of the game is one of the highlights; as it shapes many of the events and the way various characters react to you.
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Diddledy high,
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Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
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April 21st, 2017, 12:48
Are they still patching this thing? Kind of went silent after release.
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April 21st, 2017, 12:48
It's a fairly short game, but it's not something you really notice until the abrupt ending. Also, has a high replay value. It's a good game in my opinion, better than PoE in many ways.
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April 21st, 2017, 16:14
Great review … I think you have convinced me to give it a try!
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April 21st, 2017, 20:29
There's 4 paths and some significant variations from some strategic prelude choices. It means it's rather unique ability of at least 3 very different replays as you never seen before. The only one not too far that I played is Gothic 2 gold, but even for G2 it's far to involve as many variations from a play to another.

OP played only once the game and doesn't realize it's like he didn't played it fully. He couldn't guess, it's just unique. Yeah I played it 4 times, in a row, I don't think it never happen for any RPG of all time. Gothic 2 Gold 3 times but not 4.

The magic system is definitely great, it's one of the most fun I ever played, very smart spell crafting approach. OP didn't realized because he didn't tried dig it.

Combats AI is almost fully broken by ability of each character to cast a few spells. It's not pathfinding problems it's that you can't play and use AI. But at reverse the game is more playable than PoE with auto pause at skill finished and no AI but eventually for simple attacks, probably party of 4 helps make the system more playable. Combats are solid, and avoid some problems of those of PoE like the repetition boredom to position at door entrance or start combat with team long range attacks. Alas there's definitely a lack of enemy diversity, in fact most are humans and have different skills/defenses/resistances/spells/weapons, but at end the game still should have more diversity of enemy, moreover humans enemies looking too similar iess fun that enemies that look totally different.

I agree the crafting system is very cool, at least a fun one that doesn't look like cold math.

The castle system is quite well done, there's been better in past, but at least it's not the fake pointless ego thing like in PoE.

For me it's a great very unique CRPG, the easy RPG goty of 2016, and it's not some flaws that change anything. Still for me, many don't match including PoE or MEA. :-)
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April 21st, 2017, 23:37
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
OP played only once the game and doesn't realize it's like he didn't played it fully. He couldn't guess, it's just unique.
This is a personal impressions thread. It's not about how many times I've played it. It's about that very first experience with the game. I'm sure my perspective will inevitably widen upon subsequently playing through it again. No guessing required about its "uniqueness."
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Combats AI is almost fully broken by ability of each character to cast a few spells. It's not pathfinding problems it's that you can't play and use AI.
I don't think that's true. I don't use any of the party AI. I micro-manage and do everything myself as I have always done with the infinity engine games. Whenever there is an issue with characters running around each other, bumping and moving in the opposite direction or simply stopping and doing nothing - it's usually a path finding issue. I had more problems with this type of behaviour than in any other cRPG before, which I felt was odd. Also, I tried to build traditional classes and avoided any "spells for each character" kind of power gaming approach.
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
But at reverse the game is more playable than PoE with auto pause at skill finished and no AI but eventually for simple attacks, probably party of 4 helps make the system more playable.
Yes, like I said above - it is simpler and easier to play than Pillars of Eternity. I don't think that in itself makes it more playable though. I suspect the tighter focus of the game's punchier narrative may have something to do with that as well. It's more "immediate" in some ways.
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Combats are solid, and avoid some problems of those of PoE like the repetition boredom to position at door entrance or start combat with team long range attacks. Alas there's definitely a lack of enemy diversity,
This was an issue for some on our forums in various news bits, but it was a complete non-issue for me as I felt it made sense and tied very well with the game's setting and the type of factional human struggle on display.
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
For me it's a great very unique CRPG, the easy RPG goty of 2016, and it's not some flaws that change anything. Still for me, many don't match including PoE or MEA. :-)
For me, it's a solid game with some interesting role-playing choices for the player.
Act III's weaknesses prevent it from achieving excellence, but I have enjoyed my time with it nonetheless despite the flaws.
--
Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Last edited by Pessimeister; April 22nd, 2017 at 04:26.
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April 22nd, 2017, 13:18
I only play games once, I don't care how many paths there are… too many games in my list.
I played Tyranny too and liked it a lot, specifically I liked the feeling of being a walking judge. I think it took me some 42 hours to finish but that's probably cause I restarted after 3-4 hours when I decided to change my origin story.
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April 22nd, 2017, 13:43
What type of character did you build Wolfing; which faction did you side with etc?
I like hearing about other players experiences too.

I can certainly understand the "only play games once" sentiment. There's games I feel the same way about. However, I do think though that RPGs with choices and consequences reward replays better than most and make it well worth the effort.
--
Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Last edited by Pessimeister; April 23rd, 2017 at 02:06.
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April 23rd, 2017, 01:24
First impressions and character. Took me a couple times through conquest - not because I was trying to see everything but because I wanted to get a better feel for what type of "people" the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus (SC) were like. I am playing Wolf, a hunter raised by one of the Beast Tribes (this is stuff from when you make your character before the game even starts so not spoiler stuff) whose primary skill is bow and secondary is dual wield. He is a Scout and good at subterfuge and ranger style combat.



Hunter lore: http://tyranny.wiki.fextralife.com/Backgrounds

Based on the opening text on the game and such it feels like the SC would be the closest to his background. Wildman from the beast tribes, chaotic, independent, deals in secrets, spying, and subterfuge. Yet the SC also seems exceptionally blood-thirsty and violent … and yet it isn't that clear cut based on the Conquest stuff I choose at the beginning so having a hard time figuring them out.

Disfavored seems like standard military - disciplined, order focused, full of honor and loyalty in battle albeit not big on mercy and a bit snobbish and arrogant. Not really the type for a rogue to mix with but a Scout could work with them.

Even though I like to think of myself as more independent I find myself sliding a lot more towards Disfavored - based off the initial stuff so leaning towards them.

My role-playing plan for Wolf, which I have no clue how much I can do with it, is based on the initial back-story for the hunter BG in the game when you make the character. Basically you were found, by the Viper Beast Tribe, the lone survivor of a village destroyed by the Overlord's army (no idea which faction which will be part of my role playing). The Vipers raised you until the Disfavored found the tribe and killed everyone but you.

Wolf wants revenge on the Disfavored for killing the tribe. Since I am not big on the SC my plan is that Wolf will try to get revenge by working with-in the group. Perhaps over time he will learn things are not that simple or black and white. Perhaps the SC were responsible for killing those in his village … something else he hopes to discover.

Well my RP stuff aside the game is fun so far although I am only in the first area and camped right before I set off to find the Archon of War and the Archon of Secrets.

Can see myself enjoying the game. Playing on normal while I get a feel for combat. I am tempted to play a mage after hearing comments here on them and seeing the cool spell crafting in the game … but went with a Ranger type for now. I may also start a second game and play the first hour or two with a mage as I was doing some more reading on spell making and very curious now. Then decide what I want to be.
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Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last edited by wolfgrimdark; April 23rd, 2017 at 01:37.
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April 23rd, 2017, 08:33
Excellent post Wolf, thanks for sharing! I liked reading your perceptions of the two major factions as they appear to your character and indeed the role-playing choices you're envisaging. Curiously, I also chose the same portrait for my character.

Without spoiling too much, I do recall a few options in dialogue to achieve precisely what you're after, so hopefully the game remains interesting for you throughout as you're getting a feel for the combat. Keep us informed!

I might jump back in for the second play-through once I'm finished being summarily distracted by Might & Magic X. Although, with work starting again tomorrow and my holidays now all but over, this might take awhile.
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Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
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April 23rd, 2017, 18:51
Thanks for the write-up - I have a play through going as well but got sidetracked for a couple of other things. Planned to re-join my adventure again today!
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April 24th, 2017, 19:07
After trying a mage for an hour and a two handed fighter I stuck with my original Hunter/Thief creation. The Bow as primary was a waste though - and I didn't know you could pick the same option twice (i.e. I could have picked dual wielding as primary and secondary for extra points) so if I play again I plan on being a mage and guild adept. But sometimes good to live with mistakes plus I like his background even if his background screams to be in the Scarlet Chorus. But while they are funny dialogue wise I don't like them as a group at all - mainly a bunch of psychopaths following the strongest survive path. Guess I like order and discipline too much

Also will be odd with Kill-froms-shadows companion as one would think being raised by a beast tribe I would be into her as a companion but she sounds too blood thirsty for me (haven't met her yet just remember her bio they posted). Plus would always be watching my back as she is only loyal as long as she doesn't smell weakness (again from her bio). I could see coming down with a cold and being her next victim.

Anyhow my RP is a bit warped since its clear I should be with the SC and yet I am earning favor quickly with the Disfavored. I think I would like the SC more if they weren't so violent and didn't force new recruits to kill their own families. Plus my plan is to take down the Disfavored from within although I may find myself liking them instead

Putting that aside game is a lot of fun. The timer does stress me out though. Every time another day goes by I keep wondering if I should stop doing all side quests and just focus on the main one. One reason I hate timers of any sort in a game. I know why they did it - it is a core part of the story - but still don't like it. I feel rushed. I find I am not exploring fully and I am not trying to read all dialogue as I feel like I am wasting time … time that is ticking away.

Difficulty wise I am getting creamed and that is on normal. I suspect my main character is somewhat gimped. Also bugs me half the enemies he fights are immune to slashing damage so his sword and dagger are useless with dual wield - need to get maces and never liked them. But that is a personal dislike and not an issue with the game - for a game its a plus to have a variety of damages. I admit, however, to getting annoyed anyhow. So keeping it on normal for now but since I am not a min/max person I find the combat more difficult.

Otherwise lots of fun and like all the many options and all the ways to earn plus/minor faction points with factions and companions.
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April 24th, 2017, 20:25
The bow as primary is not a waste.
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April 24th, 2017, 20:59
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Difficulty wise I am getting creamed and that is on normal. I suspect my main character is somewhat gimped. Also bugs me half the enemies he fights are immune to slashing damage so his sword and dagger are useless with dual wield - need to get maces and never liked them.
Man stop with subconscous persuading me into buying it!
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April 24th, 2017, 21:26
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
The bow as primary is not a waste.
It is if you decided later on that you didn't like using them

I.e. I meant it was a waste for me (not that the mechanic/feature is a waste) choosing it because I thought I might like it but later on didn't. Too much of a pain switching between melee/range attacks. I like bows in some games but can be picky about them. Just happens in this game I don't care for them. Hence it was a waste to go with them.
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April 25th, 2017, 02:12
As far as relative strengths of bow based talents go, I found that Burning Iron/Elemental Flame upgrade was very useful for Verse all throughout the game. This is found in the skirmisher talent tree. Whether interrupting a mage before they cast, to stack damage on a single unit, I often used this ability often to scout ahead and initiate or pull single enemies.

I couldn't say overall though how effective bow as primary method is, but there are certainly some nice bows you can get later in the game. (The Gravebow artefact for one)
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Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
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April 25th, 2017, 04:15
I back tracked I just wasn't "feeling" this character at all. Think the bow thing really put me off, along with some issues I had with his concept.

Deleted the game (I wasn't far - only made it as far as the SC camp which is very early on) and started over.

Went with Hunter still but picked unarmed combat for primary AND secondary. Also nice as then only have two main attributes to focus on versus 3-4. During conquest I was then able to get "Burning Palm" a great fire attack that is also a short DOT. By picking UC for primary and secondary I also got a killing palm (or some such name) which silences casters and pushes target back.

In the power tree I saw blitz attack which lowers recovery time and unarmed is quick. Combat was a bit dull with some of the delays and finding UC very fast and rewarding … and fun. Also ways to get armor penetration and different damage types (spent some time looking at the talent trees).

Very pleased. Also I have a better feel for Disfavored/SC and this time my responses were much closer to the character RP I built since I am making choices based on what Fenrir (my character) would pick. He is a rough and tough fighter with the beastmans idea that the strong survive yet has also learned the importance of honor and loyalty. Also earned title of Peacekeeper and made more "good" choices during conquest. I had been too focused before on trying to get Disfavored faction up which was preventing me from going more naturally.

Anyhow all meaningless rambling.

But have to admit the unarmed is ton of fun and also kicking some butt. Plus having the high athletic and subterfuge is very useful in both dialogue and exploring.

Stayed up way too late playing tonight. 4 hours as I wanted to make it to the SC camp which I did - so pretty much where I was before. The rest will be new.
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