Pillars of Eternity

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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:29 am

I guess for me it's more like the difference between a David Lynch and a Steven Spielberg movie. Both can be works of genius, but each set out to and succeeded at doing very different things.

As I see it, these old-school RPGs have different building blocks, and they each focus on some of them. Morrowind does storytelling, worldbuilding and exploration right, but I think it's a little bit lacking in the character and gameplay departments. Torment has a focus on story and characters, but the world, gameplay and exploration took a backseat. BG1 succeeds at storytelling, gameplay and exploration, and BG2 has great characters and gameplay, but they may be a little bit lacking in the other aspects I've mentioned.

I haven't played enough of PoE to judge it on all of its merits and shortcomings, but so far it feels like it's focusing on worldbuilding, characters, and gameplay. I don't know yet how well it succeeds at carrying these out throughout the game, but so far it looks to be doing very well.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Dlichnum » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:28 am

I've heard on various other forums that POE had problems with ultimately being too easy and generic, as well as the fiasco with a patch being released to censor an "offensive" poem.

Did you find anything like that in your game time? The easy and generic part, I mean.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 am

Haven't heard about the patch fiasco as I haven't kept up with PoE news at all outside of playing the game itself.

For the game being too easy, well, it's hard to tell yet. There have been some battles, especially early on, that were just amazingly difficult for me. However, I haven't come across those in a while. I think I might be too high level for where I am, as I tend to seek out as many side-quests as I can. Honestly, I hardly use any of my characters' abilities anymore and tend to just auto-attack everything with my party, using the abilities is just needless hassle. To be fair, I've had the same thing happen to me even in the BG games, although to a lesser extent.

As for the generic part, yes, unfortunately I tend to agree. PoE suffers from some of the same diseases that are common in today's RPGs, most prominently: the balancing plague. It feels like the developers went to great lengths to make sure all spells, abilities and classes are on the same power level, and as a result, everything feels kind of samey. I'm generally of the opinion that unbalanced gameplay is fun gameplay. Like in Baldur's Gate, where your 1st level wizard is just a useless waste of a character slot, until you get some levels under your belt, learn Fireball, and become the fickle god of the battlefield who dishes out death and destruction unsparingly, sometimes even among your own team. See, that's super fun! Sadly, today gameplay that fun would never get past the QA phase, as testers would identify Fireball being too powerful and wizards generally being underpowered as problems. In PoE, Fireball deals so little damage that casting it makes hardly any difference, and that's not an exaggeration.

The same thing applies to enemies, by the way. In the Infinity Engine games, I feared seeing enemies like ghasts, basilisks, and liches pop up, as they had overpowered abilities that could destroy my party in seconds. And once again, that's fun! I play games to feel emotions and overcome great challenges, not to play boring numbers games where two groups slowly chip away at each others' resources until one comes out slightly above the other. In PoE, all enemies seem to be "balanced", meaning they're just another generic mob to fall under my barrage of auto-attacks.

Yes, I think both easy and generic are valid criticisms, and the game seems to be failing at making combat fun. However, some of my favorite games also had less-than-stellar gameplay (Morrowind and Planescape: Torment come to mind), so I think I can deal with that as long as there are other things to latch on to. The characters, world, and exploration in Pillars of Eternity are still very much fun. Also, the quests are great. I don't remember coming across even a single quest that didn't have multiple solutions or outcomes depending on your decisions, and I absolutely love that.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Dlichnum » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:08 am

Nice, thanks! I was put off on all the bad reviews POE was getting, but if the storyline is good, I definitely don't mind overlooking gameplay flaws. :) Let us know about the storyline when you get a bit farther in.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:34 am

Sure thing. Sometimes "fans" cannot be trusted when it comes to new entries into their favorite genres. Metacritic lists Pillars of Eternity at a 90 out of 100, which ranks it as the second highest scoring current game, outscored only by GTA V. At 62 hours in, and I'm guessing at about half way through, so far I think PoE absolutely deserves that spot.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Jac » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:10 pm

I was gifted this recently, so hopefully it'll be good. Now to get the thing downloaded... :watchout:
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:54 pm

Glad to hear that, Jac. Be sure to warm up your reading muscles, as you'll definitely need those. :biggrin:
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Mon May 04, 2015 9:47 am

Here's Angry Joe's review:



He offers an outsider's perspective, and makes many good points. He mentions combat being overly reliant on micromanagement, which I personally would be fine with, if said micromanagement felt like it offered me anything over auto-attacking. Which it mostly doesn't. He also mentioned Divinity: Original Sin as a better modern example of good tactical RPG combat, which I agree with completely.

And speaking of Divinity: Original Sin, I must say, my faith in the modern RPG is now fully restored, primarily thanks to crowdfunded games like Pillars, Divinity, and Wasteland 2. These are great RPGs the likes of which have not been seen in over a decade. I'm ecstatic to be able to play these sorts of games again without going back to start my 186th playthrough of BG1. (Which I will do regardless. :biggrin:)

And we have Torment: Tides of Numenera to look forward to, which too will hopefully join the above list when it's released.
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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Adul » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:48 am

Did anyone say "expansion pack"?

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Re: Pillars of Eternity

Postby Jac » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:51 pm

I really need to get this installed, but I'm having too much fun playing as Geralt.
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