Your retrospective thoughts on Pillars of Eternity | State of Contemporary Gaming | What is good?

sky pies

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A bunch of months ago, I purchased for myself what I had loudly trumpeted to my friends would be "the last game I ever buy".

At this point in my life I haven't the time to warrant full-price cash investments in games, and I had found in recent years that games had ceased holding my attention for as long as they once did. I had been in the possession at long last of the kind of games that I would have killed for in my youth - The Witcher, The Witcher 2, Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Vesperia, Metal Gear Solid 1-4, Resonance of Fate, Arx Fatalis, Valkyria Chronicles - and I had not played more than a handful of hours of any of the titles (save perhaps MGS, which doesn't really apply here because I completed all of those games when they came out)

My attention was grabbed, however, by the looming break from games industry norm, the looming embrace of nostalgia and classic computer gaming that was promised by Pillars of Eternity [http://store.steampowered.com/app/291650/]. For those of you who don't know, PoE was a crowdfunded game, produced by the same kinda of people who brought us Baldur's Gate II and sundry ('infinity engine games: possibly, if not certainly, the greatest isometric RPGS of all), who had grown tired of the market hacks of contemporary gaming - and game publishing - and decided to get money from the fans, and turn that money into the definitive infinity engine-style gaming experience.

They made way more money than they expected, and produced a wonderful game.

What I'm wondering about now, however, is what everyone who looked forward to this game and played it and - I assume - completed it actually thought about it?

Did they do what they promised?

Were you satisfied?

Where does this game rank in your all-time lists? Does it rank at all?

------

I would like to go further if you will and ask you what you all think about the things that Pillars of Eternity took exception to, and the degree to which you also wish they weren't present in gaming.

In contemporary gaming we have streamlined, over-polished releases from massive publishing houses like EA, and the like, producing homogeneous - if well intentioned - game series. These releases are - this is fast becoming a go-to phrase of mine - cash pinatas, being delivered unfinished, packaged with micro-transactions and followed by steady streams of expansions and mods.

Pillars of Eternity, as well as the games on gog.com [http://www.gog.com/], which is related to the producers of The Witcher, strive to strike these features from the market. Look on Steam right now and the only DLC on the PoE page is for various editions of the game and the first expansion.

What do you think about this? Do you think DLC etc is a necessary part of gaming? Do you think the RPGs of today are more dynamic and well made than their predecessors? What would you choose - Pillars of Eternity or Mass Effect? Is there a better comparison?

Do you think the gaming industry is better off now, or are you ill at ease with the current state of affairs?
 

BloatedGuppy

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sky pies said:
Did they do what they promised?
I guess? They certainly leaned hard on nostalgia.

sky pies said:
Were you satisfied?
Yeah I was satisfied. The game cost me about $25 to kickstart, and ended up giving out about $25 worth of value.

sky pies said:
Where does this game rank in your all-time lists? Does it rank at all?
It doesn't. While I was pleased with some elements of the story and setting, for the most part it was a reasonably underwhelming experience. The tactical combat was so-so, but wildly eclipsed by Divinity. The engine was alright, and one of the better isometric nostalgia cash-ins, but was also outclassed by Divinity. The voice acting ranged from pedestrian to actively terrible. The storytelling was probably best-in-class amongst the NCIs, but didn't hold a candle to its inspirations (most notably Baldur's Gate 2 and Planescape Torment, the latter of which was openly name checked by Obsidian during development, which probably wasn't a very good idea from a "setting expectations" perspective). It didn't even hold up particularly well weighed against Obsidian's own Mask of the Betrayer. The ending was poor, the game had quite a lot of padding, and as has become par for the course with Obsidian was riddled with absolutely humiliating bugs and balance issues.

If anything it, along with the Shadowrun games and Wasteland 2, has been a cautionary example on just how little even an experienced developer can reasonably expect to accomplish on a kickstarter budget.

sky pies said:
In contemporary gaming we have streamlined, over-polished releases from massive publishing houses like EA, and the like, producing homogeneous - if well intentioned - game series.
We have a few sequel mills going at the moment but I always have to roll my eyes when modern games are compared unfavorably to those released five, or ten, or fifteen years ago. I started gaming back around the time text adventures were the hot new things, and I've found things to admire in every era of gaming. When Baldur's Gate was tearing up the charts an old and widely respected CRPG reviewer scoffed and said it "wasn't even a real RPG". Some people are always a bit ridiculous about letting go of the past and accepting the merits of the present.

sky pies said:
What do you think about this? Do you think DLC etc is a necessary part of gaming?
It's obviously not "necessary". It's just a different method of content delivery. There is nothing inherently wicked about DLC, it all comes down to your pricing schemes and whether or not you're delivering value.

sky pies said:
Do you think the RPGs of today are more dynamic and well made than their predecessors? What would you choose - Pillars of Eternity or Mass Effect? Is there a better comparison?
Honestly? Yes. Prior to recently the best CRPG I ever played would have been Planescape Torment, followed closely by Mass Effect 2. Now that honor goes to Witcher 3. My favorite CRPG series of all time is Ultima, but I see many of the same design paradigms that made it so special echoed in modern Elder Scrolls titles. Despite all its warts, New Vegas was probably the best Fallout title to date. And the original Mass Effect runs circles around the mediocre and...frankly...rather uninspired Pillars of Eternity. It gets a bye because they did a lot on very little budget, and it is a functional proof of concept that isometric games can still work. As an original game though? It's rubbish. Leans way too heavily on decade and change old design, often for no particular reason. Doesn't refine. Doesn't improve. Doesn't leverage modern tech. Presentation was shoddy. Storytelling was probably as bad as it gets for Obsidian. I could go on and on. If they do a sequel, I hope to god they get a proper budget and don't crowd source it. And this time try innovating instead of cashing in on nostalgia alone. Divinity justifies its existence by being a fine tactical game, so the fact its story is an embarrassment ceases to matter...it fills a niche. The only niche games like Shadowrun Returns or Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2 fill are the niche of gamers who never really got over 1999-2001.

sky pies said:
Do you think the gaming industry is better off now, or are you ill at ease with the current state of affairs?
It's in a fantastic state. In over 30 years of gaming I've never had such a wide variety of titles available to me at such low prices as a result of digital distribution. Storytelling is advancing by leaps and bounds, production values are high even in moderately budgeted titles. Really amazing time to be a gamer.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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BloatedGuppy said:
If anything it, along with the Shadowrun games and Wasteland 2, has been a cautionary example on just how little even an experienced developer can reasonably expect to accomplish on a kickstarter budget.
I am torn on whatever I agree with this statement or not, even if I agree with most of your preceding paragraphs. I'd say that all the games you've mentioned are examples of the fact that Kickstarter-size budgets can only deliver focused games and as a player you have to tailor your expectations to that. I've massively enjoyed all the Shadowrun games and Wasteland 2, but I also did not expect much more then what I got from them. The Shadowrun games are basically short tabletop campaigns converted into a cRPG and Wasteland 2 is basically a rather long squad based TBS. They are not Game of the Year material but they can satisfy those that have a particular craving for those kinds of games.

As for Pillars of Eternity, I remember thinking it was good when I played it but now I feel absolutely no compulsion to return to it. The combat was not deep enough to keep you really engaged but it wasn't simple enough to let you play it while focusing elsewhere and it was never particularly engaging. The story was passable and had some interesting motifs that were never explored enough to be truly satisfactory (though the initial plot hook of babies being born hollow resounded with me since my son was six months old at the time of playing). In the end I think it was a good game, but it wasn't good enough to merit a second playthrough and, in hindsight, it was completely and utterly eclipsed in all its' strong areas by the Witcher 3.

Also, the Stronghold was utterly pointless, wasn't it?
 

BloatedGuppy

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Gethsemani said:
I am torn on whatever I agree with this statement or not, even if I agree with most of your preceding paragraphs. I'd say that all the games you've mentioned are examples of the fact that Kickstarter-size budgets can only deliver focused games and as a player you have to tailor your expectations to that. I've massively enjoyed all the Shadowrun games and Wasteland 2, but I also did not expect much more then what I got from them. The Shadowrun games are basically short tabletop campaigns converted into a cRPG and Wasteland 2 is basically a rather long squad based TBS. They are not Game of the Year material but they can satisfy those that have a particular craving for those kinds of games.

As for Pillars of Eternity, I remember thinking it was good when I played it but now I feel absolutely no compulsion to return to it. The combat was not deep enough to keep you really engaged but it wasn't simple enough to let you play it while focusing elsewhere and it was never particularly engaging. The story was passable and had some interesting motifs that were never explored enough to be truly satisfactory (though the initial plot hook of babies being born hollow resounded with me since my son was six months old at the time of playing). In the end I think it was a good game, but it wasn't good enough to merit a second playthrough and, in hindsight, it was completely and utterly eclipsed in all its' strong areas by the Witcher 3.

Also, the Stronghold was utterly pointless, wasn't it?
I don't like giving games a pass on "diminished expectations", particularly when they set greedy price points. Shadowrun looks and plays like a <$10 game, retailed as a $30 one. Pillars of Eternity looks and plays like a game you'd buy off GOG for $5, retailed like a new AAA release. Wasteland 2 suffered the same sin, and while the Director's Cut has salvaged a terrible game into a passable one, it never should have shipped in the state it was in.

All of them (with the possible exception of Pillars) have shaky, poorly balanced or utterly disinteresting combat, which is the largest argument for the isometric perspective to begin with, and the one thing there's absolutely no excuse for screwing up even WITH a low budget. You can excuse lousy voice acting or shoddy graphics because of a cut rate engine as the inescapable realities of working on a shoestring budget, but why are the game systems so busted? Why did the OWNERS OF THE SHADOWRUN IP throw out a rich panoply of game rules refined over decades for a streamlined-to-death game that feels like it belongs on mobile devices? Why were Wasteland's stats and skills so horribly implemented, and their usage in game so binary and boring? You look at Divinity, which was also (partially) Kickstarted, and they have rich tactical combat that actually feels like an evolution of a genre worthy of a modern release.

I've also slammed all the WoW-alike MMOs for trying to cash in on decade old design paradigms...which is lazy as fuck...and then FAILING TO EVEN DUPLICATE THEM, let alone improve on them. The same is true for a lot of these games. If you come up looking lousy compared to games like Baldur's Gate or Fallout or Planescape...a lot of which were made on similarly small budgets...then how do you justify your product at all? Other than an elaborate proof of concept or demo? Which you're apparently selling for $60.

Anyway rant over.

And yeah I agree on the Stronghold. Frankly I found it equally pointless and doubly annoying in Inquisition. I hope Fallout 4's much ballyhooed housing was created with an eye on how those games slipped up.
 

Fappy

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I am currently playing Pillars for the first time myself (about to hit 9th level), and I am loving it so far. It's certainly not perfect, but it scratches that D&D itch really well. I'm hoping I don't feel the same way Guppy does once I am done, but we'll see.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are its environments. For the most part, I think they did a really good job designing dungeons and connecting the various environments together. Having a rogue in the party makes dungeon crawls way more interesting than it is in so many other RPGs I have played in recent years.

As for Divinity, I tried it but haven't been able to get into it. It's failed to hook me in with its lack of a story.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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BloatedGuppy said:
And yeah I agree on the Stronghold. Frankly I found it equally pointless and doubly annoying in Inquisition. I hope Fallout 4's much ballyhooed housing was created with an eye on how those games slipped up.
The irony, I suppose, is that I kind of like how Skyrim did housing, both vanilla and with the DLC. You got a house where you could store all that stuff you didn't want to carry around but wanted to keep for some odd reason. The customization was atrocious for both, but the game never made a fuzz about it, it just sort of handed you a house and expected you to do whatever you wanted with it. Both PoE and DA:I tried to up play the importance of their respective stronghold, which only made both seem like so much superfluous when you realized that at best you got some new, generic equipment or some random sidequests out of it.

I think that the Skyrim homes felt more like homes, a place you could come back to after adventuring to unload loot, do some alchemy/enchanting/smithing and decorate messily due to shoddy physics, whereas the strongholds just felt like decor and filler. They felt as if they were supposed to be more the a quest hub (DA:I) or "that place you never visited twice except to clear the big dungeon". In comparison I visited my Skyrim homes a lot and spent a lot of time trying to perfect the bling bling decorations of a vain adventurer (never pulled that off).
 

BloatedGuppy

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Gethsemani said:
The irony, I suppose, is that I kind of like how Skyrim did housing, both vanilla and with the DLC. You got a house where you could store all that stuff you didn't want to carry around but wanted to keep for some odd reason. The customization was atrocious for both, but the game never made a fuzz about it, it just sort of handed you a house and expected you to do whatever you wanted with it. Both PoE and DA:I tried to up play the importance of their respective stronghold, which only made both seem like so much superfluous when you realized that at best you got some new, generic equipment or some random sidequests out of it.

I think that the Skyrim homes felt more like homes, a place you could come back to after adventuring to unload loot, do some alchemy/enchanting/smithing and decorate messily due to shoddy physics, whereas the strongholds just felt like decor and filler. They felt as if they were supposed to be more the a quest hub (DA:I) or "that place you never visited twice except to clear the big dungeon". In comparison I visited my Skyrim homes a lot and spent a lot of time trying to perfect the bling bling decorations of a vain adventurer (never pulled that off).
Yeah, Bethesda seems to have a better natural understanding of how to integrate something like housing into a game. Not instancing it is pretty important, and something I hope they stay away from in Fallout 4. Instead of feeling excited about growing/decorating my stronghold in DA:I, I viewed it as a nigh bottomless chore, with long runs between companions and loading screens EVERYWHERE. It was absolutely crippling to the pacing of a game that already suffered from innumerable pacing issues. And as you point out, Pillars just had this pointless fortress sitting there like a turd on a log, doing absolutely nothing interesting or important. The nature of the game did not encourage a "home base" to poke around in, and the various fripperies you could buy and upgrade served no practical function. It was a useless waste of development resources. Looks good as a bullet point on marketing copy, but ultimately was a waste of time.

Fappy said:
I am currently playing Pillars for the first time myself (about to hit 9th level), and I am loving it so far. It's certainly not perfect, but it scratches that D&D itch really well. I'm hoping I don't feel the same way Guppy does once I am done, but we'll see.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are its environments. For the most part, I think they did a really good job designing dungeons and connecting the various environments together. Having a rogue in the party makes dungeon crawls way more interesting than it is in so many other RPGs I have played in recent years.

As for Divinity, I tried it but haven't been able to get into it. It's failed to hook me in with its lack of a story.
Did you change your goddam avatar again? Where's the cat? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RECOGNIZE YOU?

I didn't think much of the environments either, really. Static, visually bleh, the usual isometric rabbit holes peppering an otherwise uninteractive painted backdrop. Would've been exciting tech in 2000, feels like an archaic throwback in 2015.

Can you explain the excitement of having a Rogue? I mained a Rogue in Pillars and found absolutely nothing exceptional or unusual about the experience.
 

dyre

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sky pies said:
What I'm wondering about now, however, is what everyone who looked forward to this game and played it and - I assume - completed it actually thought about it?

Did they do what they promised?

Were you satisfied?

Where does this game rank in your all-time lists? Does it rank at all?
For the first 15 hours, I was utterly enchanted by it. I felt the way I did when I first played Planescape: Torment.

I loved the atmosphere, the setting, and the history. The way they hinted at past events (spoiler free) about a certain god, rebellion, and plague drew me in completely, and I loved how intimately they integrated the history with the present setting. I had a feeling that the things my characters were doing would eventually escalate into something truly important for the world.

But...the ending was a total letdown. Completely rushed and ham-handed as hell, and completely lacked the careful foreshadowing that permeated the rest of the game. It was like...being woken up from a wonderful dream, only to realize you're terminally ill and in hospice care. Well actually, the last act was pretty weak in general, but I think the charm of the previous act sustained me. But the ending was just too much. I think this is a bad habit that Obsidian sometimes falls into...beautiful set-up and terrible follow-through.

It doesn't rank on my all-time lists. But for much of the game, I thought it could have.

sky pies said:
What do you think about this? Do you think DLC etc is a necessary part of gaming? Do you think the RPGs of today are more dynamic and well made than their predecessors? What would you choose - Pillars of Eternity or Mass Effect? Is there a better comparison?

Do you think the gaming industry is better off now, or are you ill at ease with the current state of affairs?
I think DLC is a good way to part customers from their money. People who would otherwise balk at paying $90 for any game would feel perfectly content paying $60 for a game and $30 for a good DLC. This is, in some ways, a case of consumers having difficulty assessing how much they're actually willing to pay for a good product, and devs/publishers making it psychologically easier to accept it. Of course, the concept has been horrendously abused because on the other side of the coin, people are content paying $5 increments for utterly garbage content until they've way overpaid for the value of what they're getting.

As for the industry today, imo, there's no better time to be a gamer. In terms of quality RPGs, CDProjekt is a more than worthy successor to Bioware and Black Isle. And there are many other good studios on the scene as well. I recently played Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and it was excellent. Looking forward to Hong Kong. And before that, I played Divinity: Original Sin, which was even better. The Age of Decadence just came out and I'm looking forward to playing it. Wasteland 2 was...okay, but I'm willing to give InXile another chance with Tides of Numenera. Bethesda continues to produce quality games, and the modding scene is better than ever.

I'm also very happy about the return of space sims. Elite Dangerous was good, and Rebel Galaxy has been a blast. The revival of quality adventure games (Life is Strange, Telltale's many games, Daedalic's many games) has been great as well. And it's almost a regular occurrence nowadays that some random game comes from nowhere and turns out to be great (Alien: Isolation, Dying Light, Warhammer: Vermintide, Shadow of Mordor, etc.). And I'm not even going to get into the huge upsurge in indie development. There are so many great games out there that I don't even pay attention to what Bioware is doing anymore.

Oh, and I'd choose Mass Effect over POE any day. I'm a sucker for space operas, and Mass Effect was a magnificent space opera.
 

Fappy

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BloatedGuppy said:
Did you change your goddam avatar again? Where's the cat? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RECOGNIZE YOU?

I didn't think much of the environments either, really. Static, visually bleh, the usual isometric rabbit holes peppering an otherwise uninteractive painted backdrop. Would've been exciting tech in 2000, feels like an archaic throwback in 2015.

Can you explain the excitement of having a Rogue? I mained a Rogue in Pillars and found absolutely nothing exceptional or unusual about the experience.
I'm no longer PubClub and all of my old avatars look bad in 85x85 :(

I like 2D backgrounds like these. Not for every game obviously, but I think it fits PoE well.

As for the Rogue comment, I suppose it is doable with any class if you invest in Mechanics and Stealth but I am having a fun time playing all of the non-combat aspects of dungeons as a Rogue. Sneaking about, disarming traps and scouting enemy locations. Sometimes I try to pull one enemy in a pack with a sneak attack crossbow bolt and other times I pull the Rogue back so the casters can nuke the hell out of the room at the start of the pull. I dunno, I think it's fun :p
 

Pirate Of PC Master race

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Disclaimer: I just use this avatar for the same philosophy toward life I share with this guy. (except his "enthusiasm" for the whores).

Don't ask me about the balance, I played most Overpowered class in the game.

I do not know what they promised, It was CRPG and that is why I played it.

It was OK experience.

My all time experiences are reserved for the games that has... better story I guess.

As long as DLC provides different, and hopefully make most of original concept we have acquired I am fine with it - DLC should be improvement of gaming experience by using vanilla as a launchpad. (but then, I am horribly biased since my TOP 2 out of 5 games are DLC)
 

The Madman

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Pillars of Eternity did some things very well and other things merely alright, ultimately resulting in what to my mind was a slight above average but not exceptional experience.

Among the things that I loved were the engine and visuals. Goddamn does PoE look amazing in my mind. I love the isometric perspective and the artwork and backgrounds were stunning, as were some of the neat visual effects and lighting.

The world building and setting were also extremely well done. It was a believable and intriguing world that I sincerely wanted to learn more about. Similarly I liked a number of the companions you picked up as well as the way the main character was given a number of roleplaying options for, y'know, actually roleplaying a character as opposed to most rpg which tend to have a good/bad/sarcastic option or something along those lines. PoE was one of relatively few rpg where I felt like by the end of the game my character was unique and genuinely interesting as opposed to just being a proxy for the player ala Bethesda rpg or a pre-built character ala Mass Effect's Shepard.

The combat I also liked. I know a lot of people didn't, but I enjoyed the mechanics quite a bit, my main gripe with the combat however was the lack of diversity in the enemies you faced and the scenario you fought in. Similarly the balancing could have used some work. Otherwise the mechanics themselves, the way you could control your group and fight enemies, all felt quite good I thought.

Alas however, the story kinda petered out near the end and a lot of the rest of the content felt kinda tame. The stronghold for example I felt the game would have been better without. Go figure, maybe Kickstarter stretch goals aren't always a good thing! Meanwhile a lot of the other stuff just felt sorta forgettable. Crafting... existed. The loot was rarely if ever very exciting. The music was merely alright, nothing that stuck in my mind like the old BG series. And again the majority of fights though the core gameplay felt solid lacked any real memorable punch to them.

Still, even with all that said and with PoE ultimately being merely 'pretty good' in my books, I'm **super happy** it was made and succeeded the way it did because while it might not have been amazing, it does feel like it has the potential to be the stepping stone towards something special ala NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer. Engine is done, the world is established, the stage is set, now I'm just hoping and waiting to see what comes next.

Also the new Shadowrun games have been excellent. Dragonfall and Hong Kong standing out as two of my favourite recent rpg's and both those stemming from a similarly 'meh' first Kickstarter success in the form of the more mediocre Shadowrun: Returns. I want to see if Pillars of Eternity can accomplish the same thing and I'm cautiously optimistic they will.

As for DLC, as long as it's done respectfully with meaningful content that's actually priced accordingly, I don't mind it. I kinda like when it's done like little mini-expansion packs.
 

Amaror

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I liked the game. It's not some great messiah for RPGs but it was decent fun.
On the topic of dlc, i think the term may be tainted for many people, but it's overall a very good thing.
There are many developers that just quickly build short dlc and then throw them out for much more than their worth, but on the other hand they can be done really well.
Paradox interactive uses regular dlc's, which cost between 5 - 15, to continue developing their titles for years after release. But they release their games still in a complete and worthy state. But they listen to their fans after the release, which aspects of the games they would like to have improved or overhauled, and then they do it. Some of it they always release in free patches, so that dlc-users and non-dlc-users can play multiplayer together, and the rest of the features they sell as dlc. And so far they have been worth the money every time. In the end it just leads to a vastly better game than the one we had on release.
Developers like CA can f**k right of with their overprized sh***y dlc, though.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Amaror said:
I liked the game. It's not some great messiah for RPGs but it was decent fun.
On the topic of dlc, i think the term may be tainted for many people, but it's overall a very good thing.
There are many developers that just quickly build short dlc and then throw them out for much more than their worth, but on the other hand they can be done really well.
You don't even have to go to Paradox (who, honestly, oscillates between worthwhile DLC, like their "culture DLCs" for CK2, and cash grabs, like their "sprite packs") to find an example of DLC done right. Just look at Obsidian's own DLC, the four add-ons to Fallout: New Vegas. Priced at 15 USD at release, they all presented between 10 and 15 hours of gameplay, told their own self-contained stories while providing a larger story arc for those interested. They provided new areas, new equipment, new NPCs and new perks. Not only that but hints towards at least 3 of the DLCs were provided in the base game, showing that these were well-planned additions and not just an attempt to cash in on popularity.

DLC in itself is neutral to me. Some of it is good and worthwhile (New Vegas, Hearts of Stone for the Witcher 3), while some of it is junk (the million and one skin DLCs for Sleeping Dogs). It is all up to the developers and producers to actually create good DLC and not just use it as a nasty pre-order hook (Chaos Faction as DLC for Total Warhammer) or as cash grabs when a game gets popular.
 

Amaror

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Gethsemani said:
You don't even have to go to Paradox (who, honestly, oscillates between worthwhile DLC, like their "culture DLCs" for CK2, and cash grabs, like their "sprite packs") to find an example of DLC done right. Just look at Obsidian's own DLC, the four add-ons to Fallout: New Vegas. Priced at 15 USD at release, they all presented between 10 and 15 hours of gameplay, told their own self-contained stories while providing a larger story arc for those interested. They provided new areas, new equipment, new NPCs and new perks. Not only that but hints towards at least 3 of the DLCs were provided in the base game, showing that these were well-planned additions and not just an attempt to cash in on popularity.

DLC in itself is neutral to me. Some of it is good and worthwhile (New Vegas, Hearts of Stone for the Witcher 3), while some of it is junk (the million and one skin DLCs for Sleeping Dogs). It is all up to the developers and producers to actually create good DLC and not just use it as a nasty pre-order hook (Chaos Faction as DLC for Total Warhammer) or as cash grabs when a game gets popular.
Yeah the sprite packs are a bit expensive for their value, but if there's ever an dlc that's really optional it's cosmetic sprite packs. And in paradox games, you really have to pay attention to even notice that the models are different. Combined with the fact that the games allows extensive modding and the models can be changed through mods without breaking ironman mode, i see no reason to be against these modelpacks.
Replaying New Vegas currently i am not sure i agree 100% on your assesement. I have only played through the dead money dlc and am currently playing honest hearts, but i would not say that dead money is worth 15 dollars.
The dlc took me maybe 6 hours and the vast majourity of it was unenjoyable. The story of the dlc is pretty damn good and i really enjoyed the quests that were in the actual casino, since they were unique and full of story.
But the parts in the villa were just atrocious and a pure chore to play through. The environments look so samey, the quests were just escort quests, disabling radios and speakers was just annoying and the ghost people were the worst enemies to fight ever. They weren't hard, their attacks were incredibly easy to avoid, they were just annoying bullet-sponges with rediculous amounts of health. While i liked parts of it really much, overall this dlc was the worst dlc i have yet to play. I am not really angry about it since i got it with the complete edition, but originally this dlc would not even be close to being worth 15 dollars.
I agree on Heart of Stone, though. Damn, that dlc is good.
 

sky pies

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I have to say I'm a little bit bummed by the dearth of enthusiasm for the game. I think it's a really great experience to be savoured - I remember playing BG2 back in the day and, yeah it was pretty awesome, but I haven't felt all that different playing Pillars. Perhaps BG2 was a bit grander in scale and ambition, but there were levels there that I just wanted to hurry up and end - the Planar Sphere being an eternal ***** for me - I mean it wasn't some kind of ubergame.

My point here is not that BG was bad - I think it was just about the best thing I've ever played - my point is rather that PoE is good, very good... Many of the best parts of those original games mixed with a far more modern version of the gameplay and some gorgeous hand-painted graphics that you just don't come across these days.

Of course, I really want to play Divinity: Original Sin. And The Witcher 3. But I won't be able to play those games until I get a better computer, and even then I'll probably be too busy with real life to complete either of them. This is why I always said PoE would be "The last game I ever buy", and I'm happy to report that it is the last great game I ever bought, to boot.
 

Smooth Operator

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That it exists at all in this day and age is a small miracle.
And yes it does rate quite high up with the CRPG group, I would take it over Icewind Dale any day. But I have to admit I haven't finished it, got to a point where the story is starting to go thin and I'm not as inclined to go back at every opportunity.
There are also some mechanical things I take issue with, as the devs attempted to simplify the stat system of ye olde D&D they actually ended up with something even more expansive and odd, the double HP system also hasn't improved things, nor the "time saving" mechanic of blocking/purging all buffs outside combat as you actually end up doing even more buffing because of it.

Mechanically speaking Divinity: Original Sin did far better, but they didn't do so well on story. And Pillars did pretty damn good on both, I just wish they didn't go and recreate the defects of Infinity Engine games, it's not nearly as bad as Wasteland however.
 

The Madman

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sky pies said:
I have to say I'm a little bit bummed by the dearth of enthusiasm for the game. I think it's a really great experience to be savoured - I remember playing BG2 back in the day and, yeah it was pretty awesome, but I haven't felt all that different playing Pillars.
I like to think of Pillars of Eternity like I do Baldur's Gate 1. An intriguing and worthwhile gaming experience that hopefully will be the stepping stone towards a greater experience ala BG2, which was an improvement over BG1 in damn near every way possible. It's not that PoE is in any way bad, it just feels like it could have been a lot better and in a time where there are so many amazing classic style PC rpg being released that unfortunately means it's been overshadowed somewhat.

Just off the top of my head we've got Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Divinity: Original Sin, Witcher 3, Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Hong Kong, Age of Decadence, plus Dragonage: Inquisition for all its flaws. This is an amazing time to be a fan of PC rpg, little wonder Pillars, which any other time would have been an outstanding title, ended up getting overlooked somewhat.
 

veloper

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PoE is good for what it is: a RTWP RPG with acceptable gameplay and a passable story with some limited C&C. Let's give it a 7.5/10. What PoE and other top tier crowdfunding projects won't do, is change the AAA scene.

The best Kickstarters to me are even smaller game projects with modest 2D gfx, where every important position in the team is already filled by some ugly mug and enough work has already been done that the initial pitch already has much to show.

My favorite time waster atm is Darkest Dungeon and the game is still in beta and still improving.
I also dig stuff like Banner Saga, which also had a good pitch and did everything I look for in a crowdfunding campaign.

The bigger AA- projects haven't resulted in more entertaining games so far.

Kickstarter game projects are best suited for relatively simple ideas with modest presentation. Great for gamers who don't mind primitive gfx in their games and who can spare a little change to give some motivated uglies a chance to realize their cool, but modest plans.

Everybody else should probably just stay away, or more gamers will just become disappointed with the whole thing. I expect a lot of crowdfunding gamers are going to learn this the hard way however.
 

Synigma

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Dec 24, 2014
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Pillars is a weird one for me: I like it but I haven't even finished half of the game. I just can't bring myself to get into it and I think it's the system itself. It's just so... bland. The world and the story seem so vibrant but the classes and the combat feel so very stale. It felt like all the spells were watered down, and tanks didn't feel very tanky and the dps classes didn't feel like they did that much more dps. Despite all the flavour... it just felt TOO balanced.

And why all the hate on Dragonfall and Wasteland2? They were two of the best turn based games to come out in a long time... Good tactics games are few and far between.