Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

You’re in luck, this isn’t published by Paradox so you can kvetch a different publisher left it a buggy mess.

Who’s the publisher (Microsoft?), I can’t figure it out using Google.

Though I’m not sure if that PC publisher is bringing it to consoles or not.

Flanking is usually not too hard, especially if Maia is in the party since she has a flying pet that can find its way behind enemies. Even when I can’t, it’s only a penalty to focus regen and my Watcher does okay damage with a pistol. Not being able to flank is not ideal, but it’s still workable.

I’ve been rotating my companions so far. That said, Aloth is getting to the point where he’s by far my least effective character since I multiclassed him. He gains new spells so slowly that most of them are underpowered by the time he unlocks them. Maia is probably the character that works best in my party, mostly for her pet.

Right now, my preferred party is Serafen (for tanking and melee damage), Pallegina (same, but also with some healing and buffs), Xoti (for healing), Maia (for her pet), and the Watcher (for crowd control and debuffs). The only problem is the relationship system the game uses. Pallegina and Xoti conflict a fair bit, so I need to keep an eye on their relationship score. Eder works well as a tank and Tekehu can sub in for Xoti to an extent, so it’s not too bad. I’ve read that if companions’ relationship score gets too low (-4 presumably) you have to choose between them with the other leaving your party permanently. So, I’d like to avoid that. I do like the companion relationship mechanic itself though. It adds another layer to party construction.

I just realized, I have all of the season pass DLC to play, so when I try turn based mode I will have a bunch of new content. Yea!

sigh. I was pretty deep in on turn-based and left it for --god knows what. Now I will return. Unlike many turn based addons or mods --this does seem to fit this game.

I’m not liking TB as much as I thought I would. Thinking of starting over in RTwP and building my party a little different.

I got to a point fairly quick with Pillars 2 with RTwp that the game was too easy… so I played with a new party with 3. And it was still easy. TB was sorta slower and … harder maybe in some ways but still ultimately easy… I hope that doesn’t sound like I am some kinda pro or arrogant … it is just simple mechanics …

My thinking is this: We (as in we who play these types of games) know how to min/max them and (even if we don’t try hard).

After 20 years of these games it just isn’t hard to make them easy in the end.

(Though honestly I can’t recall a moment when I thought Baldur’s Gate 2 was too easy…)

Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a bit harder…

It’s not about difficulty for me, but rather it feels like driving a sports car that is capped to 3000 rpm if you know what I mean. Committing to a movement for an entire duration of the round, drastic shift in stat and ability values and on top of everything it feels very slow too.

I’ll of course keep the save in case I save my mind but I’ll probably start over.

How viable is it to play without a priest btw? I find Xoti insufferable.

Well if you watch the video posted upthread about the development, they specifically pointed out that the game balance ended up being too easy. They got that feedback from the Beta, but just assumed that only hardcore fans / pros took part in betas and thus their “too easy” feedback wasn’t taken too seriously…

I’m a good way into the game and frequently I just let the battle play out with hardly any micromanagement, so yeah, I agree that its just a bit too easy.

I haven’t played TB yet but max difficulty was interesting while still allowing for some mistakes and experiments. Megabosses are the challenges that might require some thoughtful builds.

PFKM feels like a chore to me even on Normal difficulty cause you get dozens of trash fights per map by design - you’re supposed to clear out multi-level dungeons with just a couple of rests and most abilities are per-rest so it’s all about covering as much space as possible using precious few buffs. Probably on higher difficulty there’s some additional level of complexity but I doubt it.

Playing without priest is fine. My last max difficulty playthrough had me using Druid/Chanter and Paladin/Mage. Druid has active healing as well as constant regeniration through chants. Paladin provides quick emergency healing. Sometimes I had to use potions but that’s what potions are, aren’t they?

I haven’t felt this engaged in an RPG in several years. In fact, Pillars 2 is probably my favorite isometric RPG ever at this point. I thought some of the lore in Pillars 1 was cool (the souls, the wheel, the gods), but it did not grab me the way Pillars 2 has. I think it’s a combination of the characters being more compelling—even the returning ones—and the setting. Pillars 1 sort of wasted its more unique aspects (the soul/watcher stuff and being in a colonial land) on what was a generic fantasy setting. The archipelago is far more interesting, with its combination of Polynesia and the Colonial Caribbean. Plus, it’s nice to hear accents beyond generic English dialects (and Scottish for Dwarves) that are typical for a fantasy RPG.

Certainly, it has flaws, but I’m mostly loving it. I wish I could redo my starting attributes and companion class selections, but the game probably isn’t hard enough to justify worrying about that too much. To echo the sentiment above, that’s probably my major complaint: it’s easy. Adjusting the difficulty level seems to add more enemies and that’s not really what I’m looking for, so I’ll just take it as it is. Turn-based mode works well for the most part, but has some issues (characters pushing through others, some screwy pathfinding on maps with elevation changes). Also, you gain levels so quickly that I don’t often have much time to experiment with my abilities before I get a new slew of them. I play RPGs more for world immersion than the challenge, generally, so these aren’t huge issues for me.

Overall, I’m glad I finally started playing this.

Setting the difficulty level to a highest one rebalances encounters, replaces some enemies but most importantly adjusts stats in a sane way, not just double HP for everyone.

I’ll try that out then. The option screen made it sound like it mostly added extra enemies when what I’m really looking for more interesting combat rather than more drawn-out combat.

Yeah, the base game is pretty much a cakewalk. If you’re looking for combat challenges though, the DLC is more demanding. I did a replay recently, and the final fight in Forgotten Sanctum produced some pretty significant swears.

There’s some interesting story beats in there as well.

FYI for anyone interested at all … I am playing Pillars 2 on veteran level (turn based).

It is still a bit too easy … I say that with my opinion about objective easiness.

TB is slower on trash stuff. I recommend a good wizard. My tanks are NOT getting hit very hard. While I like turn based Pillars 2 I wonder if it ever got fully balanced.

I would love to hear from others that are /or have played TB.

I do encounter more trash mobs than I’d like in this game, but nowhere near as many as essentially every other RPG ever made. Turning up the difficulty as @alekseivolchok suggested does make combat against the mobs more engaging, though perhaps more than I’d like. I want to get through the trash mobs as quickly as possible and save the challenging encounters for the bosses and main story encounters. So, I’ve been moving the difficulty slider around a lot to achieve this. If you haven’t already, I recommend setting the story encounters to scale to your level as it’s very easy to out-level the content here.

After playing some Pathfinder Kingmaker I got crazy and replayed Chrono Trigger. After that I’ve tried some other RPGs and discovered that there is an eternal war between RPGs with and without trash fights. Chrono Trigger has almost no trash fights, Fallout 1 is a very different game but it has no trash fights too. Planescape Torment, Baldur’s Gate and Pathfinder Kingmaker are full of trash fights (and in case of PT the combat is not that bad, it’s just you get a lot of fighting against armies of clones), but similar games like Dragon Age Origins (and even 2) or Pillars of Eternity 2 had much more reasonable number of encounters. And Tyranny starts getting a lot of trash fights after Act 1 even though it’s very similar to PoE and you’d expect devs to understand the problem.

Anyway, PoE2 still has some relatively boring fights that you know you’ll win but you have to microcontrol your party, heal and so on. Still good, could have been better.

Aleks how was Chrono Trigger on the PC? Since you mention it. I am playing Pillars 2 turn based and yes, sometimes the trash fights are long and a bit arduous.

You ask about PC port specifically? It had a rough release but by the time I’ve played there only a couple of UI problems. I played with a gamepad and it felt more comfortable than original. It can be played with just a mouse but controls are from mobile version, I think, so you’d probably better use keyboard.

If you haven’t played the game itself - it is very much enjoyable. You may be bored a little in the beginning when the game is gentle with you and gives you a little too many fights (mostly in a first combat locations, mountains and castle forest) but even then it’s not much and you quickly get to locations where almost every fight has some sort of a quirk. The story is OK, modern translation makes it much better explained. It also has a bonus dungeon from Nintendo DS remaster but I didn’t bother with it. It’s tacked on as an additional challenge, I think.