Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire, let's talk about it?


#1

Pillars, are they eternal? Is this game any good? What type of character are you playing? Is the game less nightmarishly wordy than the last one? Is it a smart examination of colonialist trading and how it effects the sorts of cultures depicted in the game? Or a hot mess of a mostly white dev team trying to make a game where you can side with the colonizers to get more cash because it’s an RPG and they have to let you be evil and somehow this is supposed to be nuanced (Most likely it’s this one spoilers for human history)? Let’s find out together!

Also we already have a thread for for talking about the working conditions at Obsidian and while that’s a totally valid conversation to have in regards to this game let’s try to keep most conversations about that over here: I Hate it When Mom And Dad Fight - Chris Avellone v Obsidian


#2

Well I beat the game It’s a little weird that the entire thing is just one conversation where you say no I would rather just be dead instead thanks but I appreciate the artistic intent and am glad they were confident enough to charge full price for this. A lot of indies would have really low balled how much it was worth


#3

I’m tentative about the politics of the narrative bcuz Honest Hearts/PoE I, but mechanically I am very excited. They seem to have really expanded your options for roleplaying and fixed a lot of the issues I had with how they handled dialogue, especially wrt skill checks, in the first game. Setting seems less drab too. My latest and most favorite POE character is a monk from Ixamitl who’s a very “smack knowledge into their foreheads” type; fun thing about a setting where being more versed in a certain philosophy actually makes you stronger, literally just beating up other philosophers is in some way a valid form of argument.

My goal mechanically is to get her to feel like a DBZ character and I’m debating whether Monk/Wizard or Monk/Cipher is better for that. Both have beams, Wizard lets you teleport, Cipher gives you the thing where you point at somebody and they explode.

Unfortunately I won’t likely be able to play it for a long while, I’ve got no internet where I stay rn.

EDIT: Without spoiling much, is the main plot better than POEI? I feel like it’s a pretty low bar to pass so I’d hope so.


#4

No idea never got more than halfway through the first one. I’m not even sure what about the first one has you wary about the politics of this one to be honest though I know plenty about the issues with Honest Hearts


#5

First one framed the colonialism in the setting as being about a series of misunderstandings in a really icky way, though that’s mostly background to the main plot, in addition to a weird thing where the colonized people are Irish/Welsh/Manx, and not in a way that was drawn from histories of Anglo aggression and suppression there.

Main plot was just, weak. Did not do a great job of communicating why you cared, main villain was a bland non-entity for the most part, took the reigns from your hands at a few points and decided a group was villainous for you before you even meet them, in a way not consistent with the rest of the game.


#6

Oh the Rock Paper Shotgun review in progress touched on that a bit and it sounds like more of the same based on what you’ve said. He hasn’t finished the game though and honestly I didn’t read the whole thing as I tend to find John Walker a tad obnoxious even if I do tend to agree with him


#7

I haven’t read RPS in years and his writing is one of the reasons lol. Probably a stand up dude but I have never once agreed with that man on anything, we’re on different planets.

EDIT: I guess I agree with him POE’s plot.

“Over the past week, I’ve lost myself in the game, getting embroiled in countless factional squabbles, chatting up all sorts of colorful NPCs, and trying desperately to win the heart of a giant woman by feeding sharks to her bird.

10/10 GOTY forever.

From Nathan Grayson’s review, speaking of RPS (ha.)


#8

I’m really curious about your interpretation of the first game’s angle on colonialism, because, on my read of what your implying, I don’t think I got that at all from the setting.


#9

I’m in heaven


#10

I’ve played five hours according to Steam, all of it spent re-rolling characters and sussing out various builds. I still haven’t played beyond the first town.

Send help. :anguished:


#11

How many cats can I equip at once, this is important.


#12

1

which makes for a 1/10 game


#13

There’s a lot of little improvements to the PoE template that maybe feel stronger having played through the first one right before jumping into Deadfire, but I’ve really enjoyed it. There’s some weird bugs in questlines where (for instance) I picked a lock on a door and ended up screwing up the triggered order of events.

Aside from the ever-growing menagerie of stray animal friends I’ve acquired, my favorite thing has been the Reputation system and how it displays the reactions of companions to your choices and to one another. Its probably something that already existed under the hood going back as far as Baldur’s Gate, but having it surfaced feels cool. I also like the overly intricate and fiddly talent/powers trees, but that may just be me.


#14

I really like these style’s of game, so was thinking of picking it up, but then I noticed this upcoming free DLC.

I’m pretty uncomfortable with anything alcohol-related and so was wondering how much of a role drinking/drunkenness plays in Deadfire?

Is it something that’s completely avoidable or is it very present?


#15

It’s very much around and you end up in bars for quests a bunch but so far I have not been forced to get drunk. I have had to deal with people who are drunk though and it would be hard not to pick up some alcohol at some point even if you don’t drink it

I would say if it’s an issue for you I would pass on this one but it’s not something I personally pay a lot of attention to so someone else may have a different opinion on the matter


#16

Even just based on that it sounds like this is a hard pass for me.


#17

Yeah mechanically alcohol is often portrayed as the optimal “drink” resource for your crew, granting a morale bonus, on a character level it is seen as both a positive and negative stat boost. Your never forced to drink at the player level, though there are a few opportunities, but giving your ship crew just water will eventually lead them to mutiny.


#18

So like the first one, a big complaint I have is understanding the combat. RTWP just isn’t my thing. There’s enemy abilities where they disappear and reappear somewhere else after a few seconds. I just had a large enemy group suddenly appear behind my party in a dungeon, probably because of some other ability. The combat log scrolls by so fast with all sorts of information that I have no idea at all what’s happening sometimes.

… *sigh* this is why I prefer turn based stuff.


#19

you can filter the combat log to track what the enemy and each individual companions are doing. movement spells like Escape are typically relegated to rogue-type characters and yeah those can be annoying when they make a beeline towards a back line caster. All I can say is pause often, like often often, and continue to move slowly through fights methodically setting up your characters for success, that’s how i remember learning the mechanics of these games. Also, don’t know if you’ve looked at the the custom formations but those are super useful.


#20

I’m also a turn-based kinda gal, but pausing often, like thetribunal said, and slowing down time (there’s a little arrow underneath the fast forward/slow down buttons that allows you to adjust) helped me a lot.

Otherwise, the combat is okay, definitely not my favorite. After 70ish hours of PoE 1 and 15 hours of PoE 2, the health/endurance mechanic is still the most frustrating. I never really understood why my health would go down, even when I stayed on top of healing (I finally looked it up, health goes down when you take any amount of damage, period). Misclicking or rather, clicks not registering happens to me a lot, so I’ll command the wrong characters and shoot myself in the foot while doing it.

While I appreciate that they introduced a more robust AI system, it’s still not as satisfying to use as others like it. For instance, if I want my tank to target enemies that attack the healer, I don’t think there’s a way to automate that. I’m still wobbling between keeping it on and turning it off. Micromanaging my party became my default after PoE. I’ve yet to use the combat log either. It’s a little too small, so items whiz right by.

I’m kind of surprised how much I like this game though. I love the style of prose in this one and the last. Reading ALL THE THINGS is quickly turning me into the sort of fan that knows all the lore and that’s incredibly rare for me. Like, I love Dragon Age and I still don’t read squat. After playing Torment: Tides of Numenara (made with PoE’s engine) for a few hours during its free weekend and thinking on this particular point, I perhaps shouldn’t have been surprised to conclude that I ignore most in-game text because most of it just…isn’t pretty enough.