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


#21

I’m enjoying the game, but I am wondering where the politics are going to land, especially given how Obsidian flubbed that backer controversy in the first game.

The sheer depth of customization on display here is dizzying. I’m wondering if anyone has found good builds for the companions that are fun to execute on and work well? I’d rather work with the story NPCs and get the extra plot, so I’m curious as to what people have found effective. Beyond making Eder a tanky tank of a fighter I’m a bit at a loss.


#22

Yeah the plot landing on the wrong side of its colonialism themes is the biggest concern for me. So far the biggest misstep has been a slave auction held by a black auctioneer which is like, maybe don’t do that? Maybe just don’t. Not far enough in the the main plot to know anything about what happens there though. And I will say it’s nice to see a game like this were almost every NPC is a POC (Which granted it’s a fantasy game so what that really means here is debatable I guess)

As for builds I am finding Aloth very good as a Battlemage. He’s super tanky and does a lot of damage especially if I use my Druid Rogue to buff him up first with a might spell. Havn’t dabbled with multiclasses on the others though.


#23

As someone who just got into the first PoE I’m super excited to bring my Orlan Cipher (who I might make part-rogue or druid-y in Deadfire) over into this new story. I’ve still got a ways to go in the first game, though; I just finished the first chapter of White March and most of my characters are at level 10.

It has plenty of issues but so far I’m having a lot of fun. Really interesting world they’ve built so far, and I especially like the way all of the factions in Defiance Bay seem to be a mixed bag of flaws and positive characteristics.

Can’t wait to come back after I start Deadfire and yell about pets with yous!


#24

Oof, I had no idea that slave auctions were coming. Yeah, that seems like a big red flag unless you’re super duper sure you know what you are doing and saying by having that in the game.

I’m not far into the game at all. I’m appreciating the sheer mountains of lore and ideas they’ve thrown into the mix, even as I’m wary about what they are trying to say with all of it. I also get nervous when creators go with an “all sides are a little wrong and a little right and by setting up a situation that way we have created NUANCE!” There’s a danger that this sort of faction construction just supports a toothless, centrist worldview, in which case barf. That’s as far from what we need to see in our media now.

Ambiguity is great - I love me some ambiguity - but reality is not a bunch of equally flawed factions / people having a disagreement. IMO, the ambiguity of reality isn’t in factions/individuals all being somewhat flawed, but in situations being complex and individual agents lacking the tools they need to properly address the crisis of the moment. Reality is a complicated and ambiguous situation where factions / people of varying degrees of flaws throw down.

I’m worried that Deadfire is too interested in being “fair and balanced” with all of its factions and not interested enough in deep diving into the systemic flaws of colonization itself. And there’s a fascinating version of this game (and maybe its this one and I’m just not far enough into it) which explores and condemns exploitation and colonization while still presenting an array of interesting, flawed people and factions.

At any rate, its an interesting game and I don’t regret the time I have put into it so far at all. And there’s just so many options for character customization that I can see it being a lovely system to explore and chew on slowly over many hours. Like others here, I’m more of a turn based person, but I can appreciate the wild array of systems they have at work here. The inner-crunch-nerd in me would have a field day looking under the hood and testing the meta out. The scrambling-to-get-by-adult who doesn’t have half the free time he wishes he had can only sigh in longing at that potential avenue of fun and hope that the game’s politics don’t veer into reprehensible.


#25

I multiclassed every companion. eder as a fighter/rogue allows him to get the escape ability which turns him into a super mobile tank that can absolutely drill the most threatening enemy as an opening salvo. I have Pallegina as a wing fighter/healer, isolating enemies that slip by while my pc and eder hold the front. Xoti is probably the coolest because giving her some movement focused monk abilities has her zooming across the field, and she is surprisingly deadly for a priest class, and her sickle can get dope enchantments. serafen and maia are solid gunners, i keep maia ranging at the periphery, usually in stealth so she can ruin a strong target’s day with a wounding shot, letting ishiza go to work, i have a lot of the ranger passives in this build, making ishiza a legit tank almost. serafin is crowd control, centering him at the middle of the formation and usually letting him do his thing, low micro management. Tekehu as a chanter/druid is pretty good, but the long cast times make him a bit touchy in combat, his water/frost spell perk has made him absolutely clutch in some spots. Aloth is the most anonymous, havent really figured out an angle on a good wizard/rogue build for his stats, making me think that i probably should hqve gone pure wizard with him. havent messed with the sidekicks. I will say that the difficulty is bumming me out so far. maybe i should’ve started on potd for deadfire but i distinctly remember poe1 being pretty difficult throughout on veteran, here that isn’t the case and im getting kind of bored now during combat. nothing is worse than just mindlessly clicking clicking attack on boring enemies, especially because of how interesting some of the fights have been.


#26

Just picked this up and I’m pretty into it. The game is beautiful, I’m into the setting generally, and I like the new one new party member I’m stumbled upon so far, but I do have some gripes. The second one contains spoilers, and for some reason spoiler tags aren’t working so I’m putting the warning here.

First off, I think it’s a pretty big misstep, making you choose whether you want to multiclass right off the bat. I would prefer a system that allows you to choose when you’d like to do that so I could tease out what the multiclass system really is through party members and such, but I get it, I get it. The game isn’t built that way.

Secondly, I have some problems with how this game seems to be forcing me into helping/being sympathetic for colonialists. I’m doing the sidequest with Rinco and Mokeha. Starts out pretty cliche: a racist colonizer (Rinco) gets beaten up in a bar by a member of a native tribe (Mokeha), he wants her dealt with. I go talk to Mokeha and turns out that Rinco lost all his money to her in cards, called her slurs, and she beat the shit out of him for it.

I tell her “okay, I’ll go talk to Rinco for you” because all the options with her result in me getting the money she won from this shithead and giving it back to him, and fuck that noise. In the conversation with Rinco the only options I have are to leave the dialogue, give him 200 bucks to cover his losses, or intimidate him into leaving Mokeha alone. I don’t want to do those last two things so I leave him alone to try and talk to Mokeha again, but none of those options changed. I go back to Rinco and I don’t have either option anymore. I’ve been closed off for… seemingly no reason? The only thing I have left to do is let this asshole win whatever bullshit he wants from the people who he and his superiors are exploiting.

The game is very clearly trying to make me sympathize with Rinco. He’s going to lose his house if he doesn’t get that money, but my dude you lost it all gambling, called someone slurs, and then to cover your racist ass you branded the person you lost to a thief. I don’t care if you got the shit kicked out of you. I don’t have any sympathy for that dude and the character I’m playing certainly doesn’t.

I reloaded my save and Intimidated him, but that whole sequence left a bad taste in my mouth for sure.


#27

That’s not how it went for me. i told mokeha she was in the right and told rinco to screw off. she kept the money. weird. I wouldn’t worry too much because the game will give you plenty of chances to really fuck up the mercantilists and the imperialists later.


#28

I’m less worried that it won’t give me plenty of opportunity to tell colonizer to fuck off and more worried the game will give me just as many chances to tell them they are right honestly


#29

Thats always the rub with CRPGs. They’re so devoted to the “play the character you want” that they’ll give you an option to be an asshole, but the best ones often make it very clear that you’re going to be super evil (or at least will be viewed as such) if you are. I dont inhenerently have a problem with the “evil” path.

This is very clearly trying to present both sides as being valid, and I dont think thats cool when it comes to colonization. The quest I mentioned in my first post is pretty emblematic of that. The characters in it are written as much for me, who will tell a colonizer to fuck off, as they are for the more moderate person who will sypathize with him for losing his own home through gambling. But it also paints the native woman who won that money as brash and quick to judge, which to me is reasonable. Her peoples land is being exploited. But it also appeals to a base that thinks any and all aggression is bad and arguably plays into steriotypes of the (pardon my language here) “savage native.”

I’m still really into this game, but that one quest just felt a little off, and having it so near the start of my adventure is really colouring how Im thinking about the game generally.


#30

They are definitely doing the new vegas faction thing. you can be as much of a pirate, capitalist, or imperialist as you want. so far ive been moving things in the wild card direction, im curious to see where it goes.


#31

The people who’s faction quests iv’e gotten the farthest with, the vailians, have more or less followed that formula. You can be all rah rah vailia but in the interactions with the natives and with the vailian high command, they put in enough literary devices to let you know that the vailians are up to no good, no matter how much they rationalize it. the quest at poko kahara is the prime example, with the native chief being completely desperate to get vailian aid, and then having it revealed that he knows that that route won’t lead anywhere good. reminds me of the caesar’s legion stuff.


#32

So I’m a little over 40 hours into the game and nearing what I think is the ending of the main story line (whether I’ll get there within the next 10 or even 20 hours or so remains to be seen, for I have a ton of side stuff left that I will be doing first). I have major reservations about a large part of the worldbuilding in this one and being able to sidle up to colonizers - I wish there were more ways to straight up tell them to fuck off that doesn’t brand me as “cruel”. I wish I could make decisions that don’t play into the hands of either the rivaling trading company of the one you’re trying to screw over, or ruthless pirates who don’t seem to give a shit about the native peoples either.

I love my ragtag band of disaster bisexuals, but I’m not entirely sure about their character development; for the most part they are well fleshed-out characters, but their personal progress doesn’t always shine through in their reactions to the decisions you make. For instance, Maia will disclose that she has her doubts about what her company is doing, but then if you decide to side with the Huana in the end she will just straight up leave you because the Royal Deadfire Company is still more important to her and she is still swallowing its militaristic rethoric. Her leaving was also extra painful because I’d instigated a relationship with her and her special dialogue made it even more poignant, so when she left I had to reload the game because ouch, my heart.

Deadfire does have many of the mechanics and elements that I liked about the first game, such as the interactions with the environment that require what basically is a dice roll, meaning you have to assign the task to a character with the highest stats to ensure a success. I also really like the companion interactions and the way they have bonds with each other. The fact that Maia and Xoti can end up in a relationship together if unromanced and you nudge them towards each other just warms my gay heart.

The boat stuff has been fun, and the fact that you can hoist different flags to avoid maritime confrontations with certain factions was a detail that stuck out to me. The water looks really pretty and the ship-to-ship combat was something that took some time getting used to but once you understand it it’s pretty fun, but I get that that is extremely personal, I can definitely see people hating the mechanics of the ship combat.

Conclusion? The game is pretty, I’ve been enjoying it but it has also made me cringe a bunch in places. I wonder where the last part of the game will lead me but I’ve read Some Things that make me a little wary, but we’ll see!


#33

Finished the game this weekend. It was an interesting conclusion to the Eothas arc, and could lead to big developments in the setting should they return to it. I’m a little deflated by how much of my first character seemed to miss out on the conclusion of subplots and relationship options due to some pretty janky pre-patch business. The game starts real strong but as you add more companions and quest outcomes, the odds of running into broken or incomplete quests and story moments increases. Its a shame, but not exactly a surprise given Obsidian’s previous games.

I started a new game last night, and it seems as if doing so after the latest patch has addressed some things I ran into with my first character?


#34

I ended up getting Deadfire, having not played the first PoE, almost entirely because I’m a sucker for unique character classes/subclasses. Self-expression through interesting character capabilities is huge for me, and this game lets me be a troubadour who talks real fast to summon a swarm of baby dragon things, so yeah.

My only problem with classes so far is that every time you get a new companion, you have to make a permanent decision about what class they’ll be right away without even being able to look at what they do. So I’m finding myself turning to outside resources more than I’d like to.

I do selfishly find myself wishing that Deadfire wasn’t a direct sequel to the first game, starring the main character of the first game. It does a pretty mediocre job of onboarding new players to the world. It has the cool system of highlighted text that pops up a little encyclopedia entry window about proper nouns, but doesn’t seem to do that for any of the characters that I’m supposed to know already.

And, so far, it feels like the story would have maybe made just as much sense with a new main character? I’d like to hear PoE 1 players’ opinions on this, but it doesn’t really seem essential to the plot for the main character to be The Watcher.

I’m not far in enough to have a good read on the colonialism bits (other than just having a general wariness whenever it comes up), but at least, like @thetribunal said above, I was given (and easily took) the option to tell Mokeha that Rinco deserved what he got and she should keep the money.

But, yeah, the game definitely put a little too much effort into trying to make that one of those patented Video Game Hard Decisions, which it super wasn’t. Hard to say if that was just out of the general genre fetish for making everything appear morally grey, or specifically related to the writers’ views on colonialism.


#35

Weird but cool!


#36

Huh. I remember Arcanum had the ability to switch between the two (real time was real bad and real broken in that one).


#37

Huh, this is incredibly interesting! This could swing me to buy the game actually. I kept restarting the first game hoping that I’d get a grasp on rtwp, but to no avail. When I eventually played the Divinity Original Sin games they clicked with me for this very reason.

It never made sense to me that many crpg’s so heavily influenced and adherent to D&D 3.5 had real time combat.


#38

Same - I tried PoE1 but bounced off the combat really quickly. This might swing me toward picking up PoE2 at some point, especially if it’s still headed to consoles


#39

Yeah it dosn’t really solve my issues with the game which were more political in nature (I never made it past what I talked about here for the record) but I am curious to see how it plays and if the AI stuff will still work with the turn based mode.

Also worth noting it goes into beta this month and the game is not fully designed around being turn based like this and that is unlikely to change so just keep expectation tempered until you hear more about it


#40

Game’s really good and it feels like it was overlooked by a lot of outlets. Real-Time with Pause has never been better. It’s not everyone’s wheelhouse but I enjoy that style of gameplay. Along with setting up the AI it allows you to engage with the combat as much as you want without it taking forever like turn-based can. But them adding turn-based combat is really neat for folks who really like that kind of gameplay.

I really liked the faction and character writing. Each faction was as terrible as you’d imagine with very few, if any, redeeming features while your companions were a group of fun, broken people who have their own opinions and worldviews that you couldn’t influence because of how deep-seated they were. You could only put little cracks in them, and only for a very few of them. Which was refreshing because companions in these games seem to be molded by the player character, who ends up being the most important person in their lives, past and future.

Been fairly busy with real life and other games, but since all the major DLC is release, I see another play-through on the horizon. Might try a Monk/Cipher for Soul Annihilation.