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Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Fair Bear Maiden posted:

I just don't see this huge downgrade in quality people seem to notice in Pillars II compared to previous projects.

Because for whatever reasons the sales don't seem to be as good as the first one, so people retroactively look for reasons and come with the stupidest armchair game designer/write theories trying to prove they're smart. PoE2 is a step up from PoE1 in pretty much every single regard. I personally don't like the move from AR to PEN but I realize this is just a matter of opinion.

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Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


No one thinks that Avellone is Faulkner (props for not citing one of the three well-known Russian literature figures that are used interchangeably in these debates, by the way), but he's written some excellent material for the sort of pulpy material his videogames tend to be and is held in high regard for good reason.

He's an extremely creative and prolific writer who was in large part responsible for a landmark moment in videogame writing, so the love for him is totally understandable. The hero worship is a bit much though, yeah, but I don't think you'll see that in this thread.

frajaq
Jan 30, 2009

#acolyte GM of 2014




MMF Freeway posted:

Just lol if you don't think the writing in deadfire is a step up from poe1

It isn't, sorry to break it up to you buddy

isk
Oct 3, 2007

You don't want me owing you

I quite like the writing in Deadfire, and I'm basically allergic to Whedonesque gigglesquee bullshit by this point. Frequently funny, often somber, and the gods are weird. The dialects work for me since I'm a bit of a linguistics nerd.

MMF Freeway
Sep 15, 2010

Later!


frajaq posted:

It isn't, sorry to break it up to you buddy

Just lol

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Furism posted:

Because for whatever reasons the sales don't seem to be as good as the first one, so people retroactively look for reasons and come with the stupidest armchair game designer/write theories trying to prove they're smart. PoE2 is a step up from PoE1 in pretty much every single regard. I personally don't like the move from AR to PEN but I realize this is just a matter of opinion.
my armchair theory is that fig was not as effective a marketing platform as kickstarter.

Ginette Reno
Nov 18, 2006

Hey Sid Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?

Fun Shoe

isk posted:

I quite like the writing in Deadfire, and I'm basically allergic to Whedonesque gigglesquee bullshit by this point. Frequently funny, often somber, and the gods are weird. The dialects work for me since I'm a bit of a linguistics nerd.

Deadfire does strike a weird tone in that the plot is pretty grim dark but many of the characters aren't. Xoti and Tekehu are cheerful to a fault.

I don't mind it, but I can see how someone would look at that and feel it's too Bioware and less Motb.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

my armchair theory is that fig was not as effective a marketing platform as kickstarter.

It's fine to think that - apparently the game objectively did make less money. I'm simply annoyed at people who, like I said, retrospectively find reasons in the game design to explain/writing the lack of sales.

Jimbot
Jul 22, 2008



The writing in Pillars 2 is better. It's more even and the companions are better and more rounded. The main storyline is also paced a heck of a lot better and the faction writing was more interesting and integrated into the world better. The only thing it fails at is where the Deadfire is in relation to the Eastern Reach. You kind of just wake up in a boat and are already there. I had no sense of where I was in the world.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

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

Eric Fenstermaker was great on New Vegas and Pillars 1, and I hope to see more from him in future. The guy who's lead on the DLCs (Alex Scokel I think?) is pretty good. There's not really a lot going on thematically but there's some entertaining and funny dialogue, and of course the Bridge Ablaze

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Furism posted:

It's fine to think that - apparently the game objectively did make less money. I'm simply annoyed at people who, like I said, retrospectively find reasons in the game design to explain/writing the lack of sales.

yeah that poo poo all happens after people have already bought the game

I also think the weird internet RPGcodex campaign about how the game was "buggy" at launch was kinda bullshit because plenty of other RPGs have been way worse at release (kingdom come deliverance etc).

Wizard Styles
Aug 6, 2014

level 15 disillusionist


I think the writing in Deadfire is worse overall because it lacks depth and the main quest is dog poo poo. I don't really think that affected sales, though, since both of these things only started bothering me halfway through the game. Deadfire is easier to get into than PoE1 and its far more succinct writing contributes to that.

Nasgate
Jun 7, 2011


I'm still just blown away by everyone acting like rtwp is worse than turn-based. Like have any of you actually played D:OS 2, or Banner Saga? Because the combat is the worst thing about the latter, and is only beaten by the formers quest writing. Admittedly an Obsidian Turn based game might be better since they understand their mechanics enough to get an AI that is effective at posing some challenge. But Jesus Christ there's already a lot of reading, please don't make the combat also last a million years.

Ginette Reno
Nov 18, 2006

Hey Sid Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?

Fun Shoe

Wizard Styles posted:

I think the writing in Deadfire is worse overall because it lacks depth and the main quest is dog poo poo. I don't really think that affected sales, though, since both of these things only started bothering me halfway through the game. Deadfire is easier to get into than PoE1 and its far more succinct writing contributes to that.

I don't mind the general idea of the main plot but my main problems are:

1) Lacking agency. It literally doesn't matter that the Watcher is following Eothas. Our input on his actions is tiny and doesn't affect his overall goals at all.

2) It's confusing. We aren't given enough of an explanation of how the Wheel works and why Eothas doing what he does is going to break things.

MMF Freeway
Sep 15, 2010

Later!


Banner saga is cheating because yeah its turn based but its just a bad system in general. DOS2 has good combat so idk what you mean

Llamadeus
Dec 20, 2005


My hot take is there are good games that are real time as well as good games that are turn based

frajaq
Jan 30, 2009

#acolyte GM of 2014




Nasgate posted:

I'm still just blown away by everyone acting like rtwp is worse than turn-based. Like have any of you actually played D:OS 2, or Banner Saga?

Yeah and the turn-based combat of D:OS 2 was leagues ahead of PoE 2.

Cant say anything about Banner Saga though, since that game looked like absolute dogshit.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



I own the first two Banner Sagas and technically can own the third for free but even going so far as to download it is too much effort because yeah, it sucks to play.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Ginette Reno posted:

I don't mind the general idea of the main plot but my main problems are:
2) It's confusing. We aren't given enough of an explanation of how the Wheel works and why Eothas doing what he does is going to break things.

The kicker is we were going to have this explained but it got “accidentally” cut.

Nasgate
Jun 7, 2011


MMF Freeway posted:

Banner saga is cheating because yeah its turn based but its just a bad system in general. DOS2 has good combat so idk what you mean

I mean if you think "waiting ages for an enemy to do a bunch of negligible poo poo, then one-shotting one, maybe two enemies, repeat ad infinium" is good combat

Jimbot
Jul 22, 2008



Ginette Reno posted:

I don't mind the general idea of the main plot but my main problems are:

1) Lacking agency. It literally doesn't matter that the Watcher is following Eothas. Our input on his actions is tiny and doesn't affect his overall goals at all.

2) It's confusing. We aren't given enough of an explanation of how the Wheel works and why Eothas doing what he does is going to break things.

I thought the first point was pretty good. You have agency in shaping the world with the factions but against a literal walking giant god? Not so much. You're the protagonist but the world still goes on and has a power structure. It's why if you mouth off to the gods they can outright destroy you or take things from you.

Eothas was pretty clear on his motivations. The effects of his actions aren't quite as clear insomuch if they're positive of negative, but he outright states why he's doing what he's going.

Nephthys
Mar 27, 2010


Llamadeus posted:

My hot take is there are good games that are real time as well as good games that are turn based

Don't be absurd. No-one can like two things at once! You can only like one style of gameplay and nothing else, ever.


Also while I like Deadfire, the companions of PoE1 were way better in terms of characterization and I also just liked them more frankly. Tekehu is the only one up to par in that regard imo. Serafon and Xoti were just ok and I don't like Birdgirl at all. The rest are return companions who tbh don't even really contribute much to the game to justify their presence (Eder is cool to stay tho, because I love him).

Wizard Styles posted:

I think the writing in Deadfire is worse overall because it lacks depth and the main quest is dog poo poo.

How is that different than PoE's 'Thaos is doing something, I guess' plot? The main quest in both are abysmally unengaging. At least Deadfire had the rad as hell Godsmoot sequences.

Nephthys fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Nov 8, 2018

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

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

They do have an explanation in there for the Wheel, it helps filter souls into the afterlife to both feed the gods and be reincarnated, and if you break the wheel the souls will just mill around and the afterlife will empty out within a couple of generations. I think Berath uses the metaphor of a reservoir with no water coming in. Anyway what really isn't clear enough is that Eothas is specifically doing it because it'll take gods and mortals working together to fix it

E: Thaos's plan is great, "stealing souls to feed them to his goddess" would be pretty cool on its own but the additional detail that he thinks he's saving the world from despair by doing it it bellissimmo

2house2fly fucked around with this message at 16:39 on Nov 8, 2018

Xerophyte
Mar 17, 2008

This space intentionally left blank


I want an RPG that does combat mission-style simultaneous turns one of these days. On one hand it might be crossing the grognard streams, on the other hand it worked great in Grandia...

Re: sales, my personal shot in the dark I know gently caress-all about this best guess is it's a combination of retro RPG fatigue, the original game getting kinda mediocre reviews, word of mouth & completion in general, and deadfire being very dense and daunting if you don't know the setting.

Ginette Reno
Nov 18, 2006

Hey Sid Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?

Fun Shoe

Jimbot posted:

I thought the first point was pretty good. You have agency in shaping the world with the factions but against a literal walking giant god? Not so much. You're the protagonist but the world still goes on and has a power structure. It's why if you mouth off to the gods they can outright destroy you or take things from you.

Eothas was pretty clear on his motivations. The effects of his actions aren't quite as clear insomuch if they're positive of negative, but he outright states why he's doing what he's going.

It's logical that you can't change Eothas' mind, but it's not satisfying.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Xerophyte posted:

Re: sales, my personal shot in the dark I know gently caress-all about this best guess is it's a combination of retro RPG fatigue, the original game getting kinda mediocre reviews, word of mouth & completion in general, and deadfire being very dense and daunting if you don't know the setting.

The original game has an 89 on Metacritic. Deadfire has an 88 (unfortunate number, tbh). These games did not get a poor critical reception.

Eraflure
Oct 12, 2012




So has anyone found a way to make priests fun to play in Deadfire? PoE1 priests were at least fun if you enjoy overpowered stuff, but I'm really not feeling the whole "cast buffs for 30 seconds -> do whatever if your team somehow hasn't won the fight by now" routine now that mages can do that way faster and better.

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


I would say that the original Pillars review numbers were higher than the game merited, but it's true that it's the highest-rated (on Metacritic) Obsidian game. The user reviews on MC aren't far behind. It was for that reason that much of my focus on Deadfire was on refining (or so I thought) things that were heavily criticized on the original game. The press reviews of Deadfire generally said that the sequel was an improvement on the original in most, if not every, way -- which isn't reflected in the final review scores, but that's a common problem that was exacerbated by the original Pillars reviewing a bit higher than it should have. The user scores are lower, but we've worked hard to try to address recurring / common complaints as quickly as possible.

I understand that these types of games aren't for everyone, but I still believe that the core gameplay is essentially the same in Deadfire and that we did improve on the original. Is the story worse than in the first one? I can understand the criticisms of it, but by whatever margin Deadfire's story or storytelling may be worse than Pillars, I don't think that margin is so great to explain a large difference in sales.

Wizard Styles
Aug 6, 2014

level 15 disillusionist


Nephthys posted:

How is that different than PoE's 'Thaos is doing something, I guess' plot? The main quest in both are abysmally unengaging. At least Deadfire had the rad as hell Godsmoot sequences.
Like Ginette Reno said, there is no reason for the player character to be present for the epic story of Eothas smashing a thing.

Also, while PoE1 was a very slow burn at times you could actually figure out a big part of what was happening throughout Act 2 on your own by reading things and talking to the right NPCs. In Deadfire it's "Go to a place, get text sequence telling you what is happening and where to go next, repeat." all the way to the end.

chaosapiant
Oct 10, 2012

White Line Fever



Llamadeus posted:

My hot take is there are good games that are real time as well as good games that are turn based

Pretty much this. I love me some turn based strategy like Civ, or Fire Emblem, or X-COM. But also became a man with the Baldur's Gate games and adore RTwP as well. Depends on the game and the implementation. One system is not inherently better than another. That's just preference. But some games just suck at implementing a system.

Nasgate
Jun 7, 2011


Eraflure posted:

So has anyone found a way to make priests fun to play in Deadfire? PoE1 priests were at least fun if you enjoy overpowered stuff, but I'm really not feeling the whole "cast buffs for 30 seconds -> do whatever if your team somehow hasn't won the fight by now" routine now that mages can do that way faster and better.

Pick your favorite weapon type(s) that a chosen god gives. Multiclass into a martial class if you like. Regardless, lay the smackdown and let your enemies know the wrath of the divines.

Ginette Reno
Nov 18, 2006

Hey Sid Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?

Fun Shoe

Eraflure posted:

So has anyone found a way to make priests fun to play in Deadfire? PoE1 priests were at least fun if you enjoy overpowered stuff, but I'm really not feeling the whole "cast buffs for 30 seconds -> do whatever if your team somehow hasn't won the fight by now" routine now that mages can do that way faster and better.

Their offensive spells aren't bad. Pillar of Faith, Divine Mark, Pillar of Holy Fire, Cleansing Flame and Storm of Holy Fire all solid options for nuking. Also Magran's Might. And their weapon summons are good like Nasgate mentioned.

Eraflure
Oct 12, 2012




Yeah but summoning weapons and buffing up is so sloooooooooooow why can't priests get .5 self buffs too

Nasgate
Jun 7, 2011


Eraflure posted:

Yeah but summoning weapons and buffing up is so sloooooooooooow why can't priests get .5 self buffs too

Because buffs are not directly channeling the might of your god into murdering heathens.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

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

rope kid posted:


I understand that these types of games aren't for everyone, but I still believe that the core gameplay is essentially the same in Deadfire and that we did improve on the original. Is the story worse than in the first one? I can understand the criticisms of it, but by whatever margin Deadfire's story or storytelling may be worse than Pillars, I don't think that margin is so great to explain a large difference in sales.

Plus the quality of the story couldn't affect the buying decisions of people who haven't played the game and seen the story. It's like Furism said, people will see a fact and reteofit their pet reasons onto it. Divinity sells well because it's turn based! *sound of a million turn-based games crashing and burning in the background*

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Ginette Reno posted:

I don't mind the general idea of the main plot but my main problems are:

1) Lacking agency. It literally doesn't matter that the Watcher is following Eothas. Our input on his actions is tiny and doesn't affect his overall goals at all.

2) It's confusing. We aren't given enough of an explanation of how the Wheel works and why Eothas doing what he does is going to break things.

I personally like that our character is powerless to stop a God. It's a nice change of "your character basically becomes a god and can one-shoot Dragons" stuff we always see. I guess I'm just not very susceptible to power trips?

I think they don't explain in all details how the Wheel works on purpose. It's good to keep some mysteries. Not everything has to be explained.

TEENAGE WITCH
Jul 20, 2008

NAH LAD


SunAndSpring posted:

It's an overall step-up, in the sense that the factions aren't anemic like in 1, the plot kind of has a pace, and so on. But I dunno, every companion feels like Joss Whedon wrote them with only Eder breaking out of that mold since, hey, he was written by Eric Fenstermaker (who was pretty good on Fallout New Vegas but left the company like all the other good writers), and the plot is in the end, "You go around trying to find this dumbass god statue and then you watch him do something you can't stop, but you can give him one piece of advice, and then whoever shepherded you to the island the god landed on becomes the new ruler of Deadfire."

Also, good that there's more women, but none of them (and none of the new men for that matter) are very great at writing.

good writing doesn't sell games: aestehtics, graphics and large 🌎 marketing budgets do

the last few months of ddeadfire marketing broke down, YouTube videos became less & big announcements like Critical Role v/o was a twitter messgae. Devs were just too busy finishing the game and Obs marketing & Vs Evil were too small or didn't have a large budget to cut through the noise

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang



I apologize in advance for being pedantic but - much like it's Cipher not Cypher - it's XCOM, or X-Com (the original game) but not X-COM.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Furism posted:

I think they don't explain in all details how the Wheel works on purpose. It's good to keep some mysteries. Not everything has to be explained.

Josh himself confirmed that as being unintentional: https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/174058952291/so-is-the-idea-that-before-the-wheel

Wouldn't be surprised if they manage to slip it in during the archmage dlc somewhere.

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2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

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

Furism posted:

I personally like that our character is powerless to stop a God. It's a nice change of "your character basically becomes a god and can one-shoot Dragons" stuff we always see. I guess I'm just not very susceptible to power trips?

I think they don't explain in all details how the Wheel works on purpose. It's good to keep some mysteries. Not everything has to be explained.

Being powerless to stop him is cool, but I think they ought to play it up as a point more. There's a metaphor in there about power relationships, and how the only hope for the oppressed is one of the oppressors deciding to voluntarily destroy the basis of their power, which is a pessimistic statement but not one I disagree with. Anyway really I think I just want to talk to Eothas more, the man is a bro. Pillars DLC team, have a mind-link conversation with Eothas in the DLC pls

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