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DANGERMAN

Pillars of Eternity

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I'm not very far in, I just thought there should be a thread for it. It's a Crpg, not sure what that stands for, but it's the kind of rpg where the game pauses when combat starts so you can select who to attack and what with, or just let it play out in real time. A bit like Dragon Age, only more fun

As a pc game, unless I'm missing something, it seems to be missing a few things. There's no graphics options that I can tell, and I have an issue with the mouse cursor not moving the screen around when I go towards my 2nd screen, but you can use the cursor keys for that

seems alright, recent events suggest that potential party members don't have a long lifespan around me, not my fault. On that note, there's text options in the game, choices and the like, one very early on got someone killed, I think it was unavoidable that someone was going to die, but on well

The plan id to play the vast majority of Easter, should be fun

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As a pc game, unless I'm missing something, it seems to be missing a few things. There's no graphics options that I can tell, and I have an issue with the mouse cursor not moving the screen around when I go towards my 2nd screen, but you can use the cursor keys for that

Admittedly it's not a lot, but they're there:

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I'm about 12 hours in and I'm enjoying it a lot. I've got a full party of 6 right now, and a couple of hired adventurers (basically you can create your own party members using this option) waiting in reserve in my stronghold*. I've got half a dozen sidequests and tasks in my journal that are all layering quite nicely with the main storyline. So I'll go off to my next location for the main quest and find myself progressing parts of the sidequests as I get there.

*Yep, I've got a castle I can repair/uprgrade that gives me access to traders, a place to rest etc, and has a dungeon underneath that I'm only strong enough to go a couple of floors down right now.

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This does seem like a cool game, a colleague has it and is raving about it. My only problem is that I played Baldurs Gate when that came out, some 15 odd years ago, and this seems like exactly the same game, with a few extra trappings. I know that shouldnt mean this isnt a good game, or is any less valid, but I just cant get over that this is basically just a 15 year old game, and for some reason I expect more.

Having said all this, Ive watched a good few hours of this in twitch streams and have enjoyed all of it.

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What's the performance like on this? Would you need a modern PC? Is it comparable to Wasteland 2 and Divinity? My laptop can barely run those.

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You should be ok, there's literally no graphics options (just drop the resolution down)

And yeah, from what I played of both, it's pretty similar

Actually, if you're struggling to run them then maybe you'll struggle with this

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Bought it on CDKeys the other day, have yet to download and play it yet though.

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What's the performance like on this? Would you need a modern PC? Is it comparable to Wasteland 2 and Divinity? My laptop can barely run those.

System requirements from Steam:

Minimum:

OS: Windows Vista 64-bit or newer

Processor: Intel Core i3-2100T @ 2.50 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B73

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850 or NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT

Hard Drive: 14 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended:

OS: Windows Vista 64-bit or newer

Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.10 GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1100T

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: Radeon HD 7700 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570

Hard Drive: 14 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

It runs fine on my PC with a 5 year old motherboard and processor (and fairly decent GPU).

Graphically, it's 3D models on a pre rendered 2D background, with a bunch of lighting effects in battle, so shouldn't be too demanding. I don't know how Divinity and Wasteland handle their world, but the maps in Eternity never get very large, so I don't think they'd cause issues with performance.

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I'm about 30 hours in, act 1 is complete and I'm ploughing through main storyline, sidequests and bounties. I've always got a choice of 3 or 4 things to do at any time.

I'm enjoying the storyline and the background to the world (there's a lot of stuff to read if you want to).

I'm now only strong enough to go 5 floors into the dungeon below my stronghold.

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Started playing this a couple of days ago, I'm about 3 hours, 30 minutes in.

Think the only thing I've ever played similar to this is Diablo 3, but obviously that's quite a bit different with all the multiplayer stuff, emphasis on looting etc. I enjoyed what I played of that but (got to Act 3 I think, never finished it) haven't really played anything like it since.

I used to watch people playing games like Balder's Gate, Planescape Torment and the like on the old GameNetwork Channel on Sky back in the Nineties (god that makes me feel old) and remember thinking to myself how cool it would be if I had a PC that could play them, but never owned a proper gaming PC until 2004 and I don't think they were ever released for consoles so this is probably only my second foray (if you include Diablo 3 into the equation) into a classic CRPG like this, I've bought Divinity as well in the Steam Winter Sale last year, but Pillars is the first of the bunch I've been compelled to play thanks to the great feedback and reviews.

Really impressed by it I have to say, I had my reservations about whether I'd like it or not, but my fears appear to have been unfounded thus far, I really enjoyed the opening, the events afterwards

where all your party members, which I assumed would be with me for the duration suddenly die within 1 hour 30 minutes of starting shocked me and really made me sit up and take notice, I thought to myself "these guys are trying something new, and I like that"really set the game up so nicely and made me reset my expectations of the game and the game's story in particular, have absolutely no idea what's going to happen down the line.

it's a great first 1 hour 30 minutes and sets up the game SO nicely.

I just felt the world sucking me in, which is what a good RPG should do, everything's so mysterious at the moment, I want to learn all about the lore of the world, there's so much mystery and intrigue so many individual stories to be told it's just a fantastic world to exist in so far, I love the dialogue options, the book illustration-style interactive cutscenes and the decision/reputation system not being Black or White but grey, I like that a lot, it makes it feel more like a real world and my character and her effect on that world more real.

The exploration is amazing as well, as expected really, there seems to be plenty of loot available to plunder and you seemingly have an endless loot-chest to dump it all in, so happy days, found quite a few quests and picked up my first party member today, can't wait to play some more tomorrow.

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Played another 2 hours today, spent the entirety of my time trying to do one side-quest in Guilded Vale, made pretty good progress, defeated quite a few enemies and found a pretty decent amount of loot. Managed to solve a puzzle to make my way down to the basement floor, but after a while down there the enemies started to kick my arse repeatedly, so I had to pull out of there and get on with a main-story quest, finished that and found another party member.

This game sucks you into the world so nicely though, those two hours today I didn't even realise had gone by, definitely the sign of a great RPG in my opinion, still early days though, all 3 of my characters are just Level 3 and 5 hours 30 minutes played in total, this is going to be one ridiculously big game I just know it.

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I finished it on Sunday night with about 64 hours played. I really enjoyed my time with it. Although I don't think there were any particularly stand out characters, the standard of writing was good, and I enjoyed the story of gods, souls and reincarnation.

There is a point of no return in the run up to the endgame that isn't really signalled to you -

when you go down the hole on the Burial Isle in Twin Elms.

Also, the game ends when you finish the storyline: no going back afterwards to clean up sidequests. The game does create a savepoint just before the point of no return so you can load from that point if theres stuff you want to do.

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Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Craymen.

I'm 10 hours in now, still feels like I'm barely out of the Prologue really :lol:

Upto 4 party members now, all Level 4, you seem to Level up very slowly in this compared to other RPGs....maybe that's just me though. Got my Stronghold as well and upgraded that a bit to enable me to move on with the main quest-line and new locales, adventured down in the Stronghold dungeons also to see if there was any side-quests or things I could do, but only managed to get to the 2nd floor I think.

I'm still enjoying it a lot, the story has intruiged me quite a bit and I've loved a lot of the side-quests I've done thus far, a lot of them have morally grey decisions to be made, and I love that kind of stuff in an RPG, it has definitely sucked me in and I want to see it through to its conclusion now, just hope I manage to get it finished before Project Cars and Witcher 3 next month.

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I need to get back to this. Pretty pleased to read it's not some 100+ hour epic. It seems the perfect type of game to lose an entire day to, so hopefully this weekend

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Another quick update.

19 hours in now, Level 6, finally got a full party of 6 now as well.

Got to the first city in the game a while ago and spent 6 hours just pottering about there, doing side-quests and exploring every nook and cranny the city has to offer for the last couple of days.

Just such a great game to spend time in, there's so much to do there as well, ridiculous amount of districts, tons of loot, lots of stories to be told and tons of side-quests to be done, the main quest-line brought me to this city, but I haven't bothered doing anything for it since I've been here, going to leave that part of the game until I've done all the side-quests and explored as much as I can of the city itself.

The tombstones are a really cool idea as well, they aren't just located in the city, I've found quite a few in all sorts of places including my stronghold and some of the crypts/dungeons I've found in various places, really cool and gives you a great connection to the outside world, I know some would consider these messages to be 4th wall breaking, but for some reason for me they just enhance my love for the game and the world Obsidian have created, even found the ex-Bioware founder, Dr. Ray Muzyka's, message in the game, pretty damn cool indeed.

Was getting a bit fed up after getting my arse-handed to me in a fight in the city so decided to try to find another couple of party members as I figured I should be at the full-party size by now surely, sure enough I looked up a character guide on Steam and found I'd missed a couple. Made my way to their respective areas and I've now got a full party :D which should see me in good stead for my adventures ahead, the combat is very good, I don't know how, but it manages to keep you engaged throughout, you're always thinking, always strategising and always planning ahead, constantly pausing and plotting your next move, it's almost the polar opposite of a game like Dragon Age 3 where the combat was the part of the game that put me off the most (as well as the excessive AC-level item collecting), but it just grips you in this, far more than I thought it would and far more than a 3D 'next-gen' RPG in Dragon Age 3 ever could.

Haven't even discovered 2 parts of the city, so going to do lots more pottering about, lots more side-quests tomorrow and eventually move forward with the main quest-line in the city after that, excited to play more, its definitely got its hooks into me now.

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I went back to do the dungeon underneath the stronghold. I got to the bottom level, but I'm finding the boss really tough. It keeps wiping my party out really quickly.

Through the conversation system I have got an option to resolve it without fighting by doing a quest for the boss, so I might look into that.

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When I was exploring down there, I fell down some pit and came up against some massive Dragon, was ridiculously underpowered and got wiped out in a matter of seconds :lol: don't think I'll bother going down there until I'm MUCH more powerful later on in the game, my party is still only Level 6 at the moment.

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Another update.

34 hours in now, mid-way through Act 2 in the story, all my party members upto Level 8.

Managed to leave the City behind after doing everything I possibly could there, including nudge the main quest-line on. Did an awful lot of side-quests and tasks, must've done almost all of them here about from a couple that were a bit difficult or required certain Might/Perception ratings or a shit-ton of cash, so I left them and moved on to other locales out East, discovered a load more side-quests out here and put the main quest-line on the backburner once again.

Tried to do do a couple of them in some new areas to the South of the City, but they were too difficult (assume all these ones that are all too difficult are meant for me to do at a higher level than I am now) so did different side-quests in and around a new town I've discovered and a few of the new areas too, lots of dungeons today which I liked a lot, really cool, really mysterious and with a shit-ton of loot. Then decided to progress the main quest-line once more, which meant another dungeon which I didn't mind at all, finished this and I think I'm quite near the end of Act 2 now but I may be wrong, my next destination (eventually) is another City now I think.

I know I've said it previously in this thread, but the side-quests really are excellent, seen none of the standard "collect x number of x" fetch quests like in Dragon Age 3 et al, and hardly any of them work out the way you think they are going to, the writing is excellent. Quite a lot of morally grey choices to be made which is always good, the main-story is a little confusing at the moment but filled with morally grey choices and a few twists and turns as well which is good, entertaining so far but a little confusing.

Also, almost fully upgraded my stronghold, its at its max now for security, now just need to upgrade a few bits and pieces to get my prestige to the max and it'll be fully up and running, it's really cool going back and seeing it look all shiny and new compared to the ruined state you discover it in.

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Another update in my tales from Eora.

Now 44 hours in, Level 9, mid way through Act 3.

Since my last update I've completed all the upgrades to my Stronghold, and gradually made my way to the second city in the game, doing plenty of side-quests and exploring all the various nooks and crannies along the way.

I eventually made it to the 2nd city and have been methodically exploring every inch of each of the districts, talking to everyone I can, finding every bit of Loot I can collect (without getting caught for stealing) and completing all the side-quests I can, some really cool quests here once again, so many different factions, clans, tribes etc. it's difficult to keep up with who's got beef with who, but I think I've eventually got my head around it, a few of the side-quests I didn't really know why I was killing a certain bunch of people exactly, but I did it anyway and had great fun doing so, didn't lose any reputation (gained a lot with 2 of the Clans) so happy days I guess.

Also carried on the main quest-line slightly here, just naturally did one quest just through exploring the 2nd city, don't think I've got long to go now with the main story actually, a few more Quests in Act 3 and that'll be it I think, definitely feels like we're getting towards the end-game phase of the game, feels slightly rushed but its still pretty good. Going to mop up all the side-quests I can do before then though, still got a couple to do North of the 2nd city (where I am at the moment) and a few more ones back near the 1st city that were too difficult for me first time around.

Don't think the 2nd city is anywhere near as well designed as the first, the first was such a hubbub of information, quests, activities and opportunities and the 2nd city feels a bit devoid of that living-breathing-city feeling as the first one, but it's still interesting and a great place to explore all the same.

Will play some more tomorrow.

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Finished it today, here's my review:


Isometrically Correct


For a very long time, I'd heard about the CRPG glory days of the late 90s/early 00s where games like Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate were keeping PC gamers in raptures around the world, I used to watch the old Game Network channel on Sky and see them playing through all these games, always in awe of how amazing they all looked and how incredible it would be to delve into these vast, dense worlds of beauty and danger.


Unfortunately, however, I never owned a gaming PC until 2004, so I missed out on a lot of these experiences growing up, sure, I was happy with my consoles at the time but I always felt that the world of the CRPG, and the world of PC gaming was shrouded in mystery, an exclusive club for those that didn't want to bend to the will of the console manufacturers and preferred the openness and highly customisable nature of the PC universe, these games were incredibly intriguing to me, and there was nothing like them on the consoles of the age.


The beauty of Pillars of Eternity is that it allows a now fully-grown 25 year-old to experience an old-school isometric CRPG fresh for the first time, all the classic-CRPG tropes are in there for the most part, but Obsidian have tweaked the formula, modernised it and made the experience more pallet-able, more relate-able for the average 2010s gamer. An example of this is the rest system, in the old CRPGs you used to be able to abuse the rest mechanic, killing one tough enemy in a dungeon, resting, then killing another and repeating the formula until you cleared an area of enemies or successfully concluded your mission, with Pillars, Obsidian have made it so you can only do this 4-6 times (dependent on difficulty) when you're out exploring, by having you use 'camping supplies' every-time you want to rest, there are a finite amount of these and once you're out, you're out, so there's no abusing the system.


I always feel that RPGs live or die by their ability to pull you into the world. A good RPG should make it believable and make you feel like this is a living-breathing world filled with individual personalities and different factions with their own warring agendas, and this is where Pillars succeeds the most.


The first 1 hour 30 minutes of the game pull you into the world so forcefully its almost impossible to escape its hooks, it is possibly the most impressive opening 2 hours to an RPG that I've ever seen and if you're not hooked and wanting to play more by the end of it then I'd be incredibly surprised, it does such a nice job of introducing the world, the mechanics of the game, the controls of the game etc. in an incredibly fluid, non-intrusive manor, there's twists and turns and when you come out of the other end you're left reeling and trying to suss out the mystery that the game has presented you. It is an incredibly beguiling, mysterious world that you are left to explore after the opening, and makes you want to wander out and see every part of it you can.


Eora (Pillars' fantasy world) is an incredibly interesting place to inhabit, and just exist, you get lost in the world, and want to explore all the various nooks and crannies you can, this is helped by the varied nature of Eora's different environments scattered throughout the landscape and the loot. The loot in Pillars is endless, you can never fill you inventory, you just have one endless chest that gets magically filled with all the loot you can find, it is fantastic, and means you never have to worry about sorting out your inventory, or being over-encumbered at any point during the game, the only time you'll need to delve into it is to find out information about a new weapon/armour piece you just got or to sort out a few items that you wish to sell at a merchant, all the rest of the time you can just let it fill up to your hearts content and the game will not serve any penalties upon you.


The make-up of Eora, is essentially, two main city's (Twin Elms and Defiance Bay) with a few towns (Gilded Vale, Dyrford Village), Villages, Wooded areas and Ruins with a sprinkling of Dungeons, Caves, Enemy dwellings etc. that are just ripe for exploration and adventure. Easily the most impressive place in Eora is Defiance Bay, it's a sprawling city with 5 distinct districts that all feel different to one another, it feels like an incredibly busy, believable city with a hubbub of people milling about, tons of quests to do, a lot of mysteries to solve and various factions vying with each other for power and influence, it feels like a living-breathing city and I loved every second I was here. The areas in-between the city's aren't as impressive but they're still all unique in their own ways, and interesting in their own different ways.


Early on in your adventures in Eora you discover the old ruin of Caed Nua, this becomes your Stronghold in the game. You are free to upgrade your Stronghold as you see fit, increasing the Prestige and Security of it, hire adventurers, manage your party-members, send party members off on missions and explore the depths of the Ruin known as the 'Endless Paths', which are 15 levels of increasingly-difficult enemies with an incredibly difficult boss at the end of it. You will get notifications throughout your adventures keeping you updated of the progress of certain builds to your Stronghold, what missions are available and what mercenaries you can hire, these notifications are also used to keep you abreast of any bad situations that happen as well, letting you know if a Bandit party or a few Ogres are on the way to your Stronghold to try to batter down the walls, a few cohorts also come and go that will increase or decrease the prestige and/or security rating of the Hold, which you can either escort out, wait or pay off if you so choose.


Like many other RPGs, you meet various NPCs along the way that you can recruit into your party (your party can hold a maximum of 6), all these characters have all their individual personalities, motivations and reasons for banding together with you on your journey, like the rest of the game they're all incredible well-written and in Bioware style you get specific side-quests that deal with their own journey's in Eora that you can deal with if you so choose. You pick these party members up on your travels, but you can recruit more and keep them at your keep to send off on side-quests if you choose.


The story itself starts off very strong with the incredible opening mentioned above, keeps things interesting until the last 1/3 and then goes a little flat and the ending feels incredibly rushed. I won't say too much about the story, but it can be a bit confusing at times, and I definitely feel it could've been balanced slightly better but it is still mysterious, intruiging and beguiling in equal measure and you'll want to know how things conclude by the end of your time with the game. I usually enjoy side-quests more than the main-questline in RPGs and its no different here, the story is good enough and serves its purpose of getting you hooked into the world, but the true star of Pillars is the incredible side-quests and the quality of the writing.


The quality of writing throughout Pillars is absolutely astounding, almost every side-quest feels meaningful, characters are each given their own distinct personalities and the various factions and tribes you rub shoulders with throughout are all unique and interesting in their own different ways. Obsidian also throw a lot of moral dilemma's in there, not good v evil kind of choices, but choices that are morally grey, these are incredibly clever and keep every side-quest feeling unique. Unlike other recent games such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, absolutely none of the side-quests feel throw-away, there's no collecting shards or anything like that from RPGs, every side-quest feels unique, and most importantly, interesting.


Now, I must confess to a few problems I had with the game. The first is the rushed third act, it feels very abrupt and doesn't really wrap up in a nice crescendo like other RPGs do, it does a decent enough job of wrapping up but you just don't get that satisfaction of finishing this 48 adventure you've just been on like you should do, it just kind of ends and you see the credits roll, it feels a bit abrupt and a bit rushed. The second city of Twin Elms feels a bit underdeveloped as well, this could be from the strains of the Kickstarter campaign and the way in which the game was funded, I'm not sure, but it definitely feels a bit sparse and doesn't have the living-breathing city vibe that the First city, Defiance Bay has, it has nowhere near as many side-quests or nooks and crannies to explore either. The next issue I had was the party-AI, sometimes they would get stuck on scenery, other times they couldn't attack an enemy as they'd get stuck in between an Ally, little things like this, not major problems by any means, but small issues nevertheless.


I had a few bugs during my playthrough as well, one was a Signposting bug, where I defeated a certain enemy, talked to an NPC who I was meant to turn the quest into but it hadn't recognised I had defeated this particular enemy so I had to go back, reload my last save and defeat him again, not too difficult fortunately, but frustrating nevertheless. The second bug I had was significantly more serious in its nature unfortunately. The entire last 2 hours of the game enemy's would not attack me at all, obviously this was beneficial to me as I could just breeze through the numerous high-level enemies towards the end of the game, but it was disappointing because the Combat became a bit of a chore due to this, and I felt myself just wanting the game to end, rather than enjoying the turn-pause-based combat that I had previously.


So, in conclusion, Pillars of Eternity is a fantastic, expansive RPG than will conjure up memories of the CRPG glory days of the late 90s/early 00s, it offers something different to the scores of 3D RPGs out there today and succeeds in giving an incredible amount of depth to every conversation, interaction and the world of Eora itself thanks to its fantastic writing.


It is my Game of the Year of 2015 so far, and it is a game you simply must play and experience for yourself.


9/10

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