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v1ld
Apr 16, 2012


I generally don't spoil myself in these games other than to sometimes check out after the fact if a quest ending is unsatisfactory, but I did on the Abbey because I really didn't want to kill all those monks, nor did I want to lie to them, and went looking after not being able to reconcile the two goals. That's pretty cool - that I cared enough to have those be my goals in that map. Good game vibes right there.

It's also cool that you're not the Tidebringer and that you're there for a specific goal, and not the center of that or any other universe except where a specific set of circumstances right at the beginning affected you (like the Courier).

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Ginette Reno
Nov 18, 2006



Fun Shoe

Don't you always have to kill that one group of monks right after opening the grate? I've been able to avoid all the other ones (other than the forced fight with Kaoto) but that one group of crazy monks near the grate in the basement always aggro after I open it. Maybe I missed something.

v1ld
Apr 16, 2012


They only aggro right as the gate opens, the final sound. So if you sneak off to the cave next door after using the gate lever they won't aggro you and will go back to their rooms.

There's a soul in that cave next door which is first-person from a monk's view who talks about the fear and anger caused by a strange and horrible sound and how that anger went away when the sound went away - a nice way of giving a hint.

v1ld fucked around with this message at 18:59 on Oct 19, 2020

v1ld
Apr 16, 2012


You can avoid the fight with Kaoto if you head straight to the Reliquary after getting the aspergillum, don't go back and talk to him. After events unfold, looks like you can walk out of there if you don't talk to him after - which is very much in line with your motivations for being there in the first place.

If you do go back and talk to him like I did, just to get his take, he has specific dialog about going to the Veil without him and starts a battle on that basis, not the reasons he gives at the Veil. Which also means no way to talk any of the monks over to your side there, you have no moral weight.

There're some other bits of reactivity which I only realized on reading the wiki in detail after the quest. Very well done, you won't even realize it's being reactive if you're just playing through normally.

Jay Rust
Sep 27, 2011



Iím also playing through White March for the first time, and agree that itís really, really good. Definitely a cut above many parts of the base game, which can sometimes be dry or restrictive.

In fact Iím not particularly looking forward to getting to Twin Elms, which will also be new to me, I just get the feeling itís going to be a step down

ilitarist
Apr 26, 2016

illiterate and militarist


It will be. I don't know what exactly is wrong with it but it left a very small imprint in my memory.

Eraflure
Oct 12, 2012




It's the part of the game where you're sick of the trash mobs and try to wrap things up asap.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


ilitarist posted:

It will be. I don't know what exactly is wrong with it but it left a very small imprint in my memory.
Really ? Huh. It was the opposite for me, I thought that Twin Elms was much more memorable than Defiance Bay, the tribes with specialized skills and ways of doing things imprinted themselves better on my memory... although I cannot claim to remember all six of their names.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

Twin Elms is a cool area, but you get to it at a point where the main quest has become more urgent so you might be impatient to get through it. Also there are several quests where the main way to complete them is "kill every single member of the tribe" which feels weird to do when they're a very insular community and don't trust you when you first arrive

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


v1ld posted:

Which shield is that?

Aila Braccia. It's arguably the best shield in the game because of this. If you build your tank right every single of her defenses will be in the 100-130's, that's before buffs, so this effect will activate left and right.

Mr. Fortitude
Jul 9, 2010


My main problem with Twin Elms is that it doesn't feel very... Penultimate climaxy? The end of the main quest chain there leads to a point of no return but if the game didn't explicitly tell you it was a point of no return, you'd never really have guessed.

It's also the point where The Watcher's connection to Thaos is revealed; and rather quickly too since it introduces important characters in the last real act of the game.

To be honest, I kinda blame Act 1 for that though. Most of Act 1 is just slow and plodding and doesn't even relate to the main story much that Acts 2 and 3 feel a little rushed to show the politics of the Dyrwood and what the main villains goals are. I bounced off PoE1 pretty hard multiple times until I finally finished Act 1.

I definitely agree that The White March is much better paced overall, with better dungeon and encounter designs, some of my favourite NPCs and an interesting mystery to follow. It feels more like the penultimate Act more than the actual Twin Elms Act does.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



By Twin Elms I was reaching the top of the PoE power curve, and my build was solidified. Iíd already taken one deep breath to plunge into a cityís worth of loose ends and sidequests, and I didnít have the stamina or patience for a second buffet, full of lucrative rewards and nothing to spend them on.

Node
May 20, 2001

KICKED IN THE COOTER


Taco Defender

You get to steal a baby in Twin Elms, and that justifies the existence of the entire city.

En Garde Motherfuckers
Apr 28, 2009

Hey. Is it just me, or do my balls itch?

I like the music in Twin Elms a bunch.

Starks
Sep 24, 2006



I liked the city of Twin Elms itself but northweald/elmshore/stormwall gorge were very dry imo. Although I liked the actual map for northweald a lot.

The council of stars quest is great.

ilitarist
Apr 26, 2016

illiterate and militarist


X_Toad posted:

Really ? Huh. It was the opposite for me, I thought that Twin Elms was much more memorable than Defiance Bay, the tribes with specialized skills and ways of doing things imprinted themselves better on my memory... although I cannot claim to remember all six of their names.

It's not that Defiance Bay was good either. Really apart from Gilded Vale, all the settlements were meh. And for Gilded Vale the tree and Eder did most of the heavy lifting. There was one with a big windmill and Skaven cult, that was OK I guess. But you go into Defiance Bay expecting it to be Athcatla or Baldur's Gate or Tarant or even Cyseal from Divinity Original Sin. And it's so generic and not memorable at all. I remember zombified district and flooded docks. By the time I went to Twin Elms I expected it to be a generic elven town with Native American gimmick but it wasn't even that. It had an ice fortress, I guess. And native council for Pallegina to talk to.

Playing PoE1 made me think that maybe I'm not in RPGs anymore, just dungeon crawlers, cause those towns are boring me and Obsidian can't write boring dialogues and lore, can't it? Then in PoE2 you get a more or less single culture and the towns are so unique and interesting without being gimmicky.

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011






Muldoon

I've always been baffled by the decision to set PoE1 in the Dyrwood. You've got this marvelous tapestry of regions that are deeply rooted in world history without the ubiquitous Tolkien tropes, and the very first foray into that setting is a slice of... fantasy colonial America, but the indigenous peoples are fantasy celts.

v1ld posted:

Had to cheat to get the tempered ending, I was at 5 of 6 condintions - felt those conditions were a bit too rigid.

Out of curiosity, why did you do that? It's been a while since I've played through the White March, but I've never understood why anyone would go for that outside of being a harder ending to reach.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Zulily Zoetrope posted:

I've always been baffled by the decision to set PoE1 in the Dyrwood. You've got this marvelous tapestry of regions that are deeply rooted in world history without the ubiquitous Tolkien tropes, and the very first foray into that setting is a slice of... fantasy colonial America, but the indigenous peoples are fantasy celts.

That was explicitly the point. They wanted to focus on a familiar region to introduce the setting. And judging by the negative response of a lot of people to the setting of the Deadfire, they sadly weren't wrong with their choice.

ilitarist
Apr 26, 2016

illiterate and militarist


Zulily Zoetrope posted:

I've always been baffled by the decision to set PoE1 in the Dyrwood. You've got this marvelous tapestry of regions that are deeply rooted in world history without the ubiquitous Tolkien tropes, and the very first foray into that setting is a slice of... fantasy colonial America, but the indigenous peoples are fantasy celts.

They had to sell the game to D&D nostalgia crowd. Probably the same reason there are elves and dwarves in the game and I can't remember any interesting about them. You already have Adra pillars and the whole weird soul business, they didn't want to overwhelm you.

And I have to say I like PoE1 intro very much. It's a very familiar setting, it does a good job of allowing you to form your character and then throws you into the wild. PoE2 is much better game overall but it starts too weird even if you've played PoE1.

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

Zulily Zoetrope posted:

I've always been baffled by the decision to set PoE1 in the Dyrwood. You've got this marvelous tapestry of regions that are deeply rooted in world history without the ubiquitous Tolkien tropes, and the very first foray into that setting is a slice of... fantasy colonial America, but the indigenous peoples are fantasy celts.


Out of curiosity, why did you do that? It's been a while since I've played through the White March, but I've never understood why anyone would go for that outside of being a harder ending to reach.

The way Ondra described it, it seemed like it was in some way better, since they claim the process "provides context" to Abydon or some poo poo, but then I went and reread about it and was like "wait, no, we're just kinda brainwashing the dude" and had to replay.

Deckit
Sep 1, 2012



I need to finish PoE 1. I ran into the problem of bouncing off the lingo / fantasy words because it had a large dump of it at the beginning of the game, then I struggled in that temple under the first town with 3 party members. I know now that, that is a higher level dungeon but between getting my rear end kicked, not following the new combat system and dropping the difficulty down to feel I could stand a chance, I put it down for a long time.

v1ld
Apr 16, 2012


Zulily Zoetrope posted:

Out of curiosity, why did you do that? It's been a while since I've played through the White March, but I've never understood why anyone would go for that outside of being a harder ending to reach.

Not a particularly good reason, but here you go.

A sequence of events that started with me not wanting to either lie to the monks nor slaughter them en masse, which made me google if a stealthy pacifist path exists, which is turn spoiled me on a bunch of stuff in that quest including a reference to the tempered ending, which I then wanted for no reason other than it had the best ending from my perspective for stalwart and surrounding regions.

Basically I played through the latter half of WM2 with full knowledge of what was coming. Also played through a couple of different routes through Kaoto and the Low Tide Monks because the wiki authors where I was spoiling myself didn't seem to have tried out a few options that seemed logical.

This is never how I usually play but having decided to look things up, I fully embraced it.

v1ld
Apr 16, 2012


There's a real weariness for me when it comes to large RPG quest hubs, especially when done in the Infinity Engine games tradition: enter large town, enter every door and talk to every named person to get every quest. It's ok if the number of quests is small and each is more involved and has some lore/setting/character development or depth (TW3 gets this very right), but bad if they're fetch quests with only a little sprinkling of content on top - PoE is generally good, but there's still Something Secret as an example of a fetch quest that feels like filler for the large urban area. E: The BG games had a lot of these and they were not fun there either. PoE 1 is just being faithful to its named influences here.

Just did Dyrford last night and it was fine: a small number of quests spread over a couple of areas. Each had a decent reward.


Two of my PoE 1 starts ran aground at Defiance Bay for just this reason: entering a large area with many doors and people to click on to look for quests. The second one I picked up again and am continuing now, but it's not coincidence that both were put aside at almost the same point.

E: It'd have been cool if all of the "Villager" and "Townsperson" character were non-interactable, but still had all their usual barks. Don't name them if they are not characters you need to interact with. The backers are a whole different problem, ugh, but I guess a necessary learning experience for Kickstarter games.

v1ld fucked around with this message at 14:26 on Oct 20, 2020

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

v1ld posted:

E: It'd have been cool if all of the "Villager" and "Townsperson" character were non-interactable, but still had all their usual barks. Don't name them if they are not characters you need to interact with. The backers are a whole different problem, ugh, but I guess a necessary learning experience for Kickstarter games.

This is more or less how Deadfire handles it, actually. Generic NPCs do not get nameplates. I agree, it was really annoying in the original to sift through a sea of generic NPC nameplates to find the important ones.

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Phetz
Nov 7, 2008

Daddy like...


Fun Shoe

I get that weariness as well, and it's getting triggered a ton as I go through PoE 2 for the first time since all the large settlements so far have a bunch of quests and tasks to pick up. I liked how The Witcher 3 handled it with Notice Boards sprinkled around the settlements--you grab all of the notices in a second, get a little inkling of what each quest could be about, and head directly to each quest giver when something interests you. No hunting to figure out who needs bear asses in every locale.

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