Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

I agree with you that I don’t think 2e D&D is “good”, and I don’t think anyone should use it anymore. I don’t know any other tabletop systems, but I assume that they’ve improved on the situations somewhat (we can dig up one of Armando’s panegyrics for details, I’m sure).

I think what I’d really prefer is for something “exciting”–be it a key ability in a level-up or a powerful weapon–to happen somewhat rarely for each character. And then since you have a party of a couple characters, you get “something exiting” happening at a steady drip, sometimes clustered, sometimes spaced out. And I think having a lot of little numbers that creep up really subtract from the “exciting-ness” of the system, even if it does mean that you never have an empty level-up. Like in my original example, I got a ring at the beginning of the game that’s +5 will (I think, could be wrong). This means finding another ring with +6 or +7 will is kinda boring, but +10 would be nice–so I’d prefer to just divide everything by 5, and go +1 to +2 and skip the intermediates. That said, I’ve barely found any special (magical, sharpened, whatever they call it) weapons yet, so that is promising.

(And to be clear, I’m really not judging PoE 2 yet, I have barely scratched the surface. I’m just rambling.)

I haven’t! I’ll admit I was bit put off by two things–so many folks said how great it was in coop (or was that the first of the series?), and so many folks also went on about the environmental effects in combat, which for some reason is a big turn off for me. But maybe I’ll have to try it out! I’m honestly not that excited about BG3 because of it, but honestly I don’t think I’ll be able to not get BG3…

I’ve played Pathfinder Kingmaker. They say it’s a very faithful adaptation of the tabletop game. Which itself is based on D&D 3. And I have to say it sucks immeasurably. It combines incomprehensibility with those number problems. There are tons of modifiers that don’t stack except when they do. Multiclassing allows for strong combinations and basically, any guide says that any class benefits from a couple of Monk and Rogue classes. Those discrete numbers mean that basically everything is built on hard counters.

As for items in PoE2 - I don’t think you will be disappointed. Those small number differences doesn’t mean that you’ll switch your +5 deflection ring for +6 deflection ring. There are incrementally improved items but there are just 5 tiers I think (so a rapier can be normal, fine, exceptional, masterwork, legendary) and rings or helmets aren’t like that - almost all of them are unique. As in one ring might be +10 to deflection and the other might have, say, +3 deflection aura for the whole party. Same for weapons, it’s likely that most of your equipment will be some sort of named special thing. You’ll probably see small number differences there and you’ll see why it’s there.

Co-op is nice as a novelty, because it’s an experience unlike any other. But it’s still a nice RPG. There’s a lot of environmental effects but it might be not what you think. It’s hard to explain so I recommend watch some videos. Like this (timestamp) is a typical example of environmental madness.

That is because there is an even better dungeon in one of the PoE II DLCs. (The one involving the Cthulhu eye ball god and the circle of mages)

Yeah, and it’s absolutely amazing. It’s super duper end game and that’s where it should be.

Hmm, ok, now I wish I would’ve done the DLC before beating the main game, but I got to level 20 pretty quickly and was not engrossed enough in the story like I was in the original. That would be another one of my complaints in that the experience rewards were far too generous in Deadfire whereas POE1 was more of a slow burn with better pacing IMHO. It’s good to hear they put in a proper dungeon in the DLC because the small “dungeons” in the main game were terrible.

The smaller-ish locations didn’t bother me. Deadfires biggest problem was the difficulty balance or lack there-of. And long ass load times. They added up-scaling but it was hit or miss. The Outer Worlds has the same difficulty problems. I hope this doesn’t become a trend.

One of the better locations and quest associated with it seems stupidly easy to miss though. (Quest giver outside the palace before the very end of the game and the island in the bottom far right of the map that doesn’t even have a visible port to dock at!)

They’ve fixed the game difficulty. It still starts very difficult on max difficulty before becoming easier and dev said it was partly to switch player focus from theorycrafting to creating characters that play well on early levels. Then they’ve added megabosses and god challenges allowing for some difficulty tweaking. And of course there are DLCs which are all end-game content with their own optional higher difficulty enemies.

In many ways this game allows you to skip most of it combat content if you just play the story. That late game quest you mentioned is one of those dungeons so optional most people miss them.

I have a confession to make: despite building innumerable characters, and playing this game for well over 200 hours, I never finished the last two DLCs. I’m burnt out on Kingmaker, so it might be time to revisit this game, dust off one of my builds who was in the middle of the main campaign.

I confess I prefer making munchkin builds and trying them out rather than actually finishing games like PoE2 or Kingmaker. I probably have 100 hours on the starter island.

And a video playthrough of the run in question should anyone wants to binge 80 episodes of something on a whim.

I suppose I’m in the minority here, but when I see videos like that I get excited about maybe playing PoE2 again… but then I remember how terrible the NPCs are. Well, some of them.

It’s really disappointing.

It’s there a mod that lets you murder Xoti right there on the street when you first meet her? Before a single word of her shitty southern drawl even comes out?

You can ignore her and hire silent obedient puppets if that’s your thing, I reckon.

I really like the party members, myself, I like them a lot more than the Pathfinder Kingmaker party members - who were by the numbers cookie cutter while also being (with just one or two exceptions) terribly constructed.

The WotR NPC’s are a lot better done, so hopefully Owlcat learned their lesson there.

But PoE2 has memorable party interactions backed in based on who is in the party, the campaign quest lines are neat, the voice work is top notch, and you have some fun latitude in how you develop them as well.

For the record, PoE2 was the first game in my 40 years of gaming I had to find ways to turn off not one, but TWO of the voices. They were so, so bad. Xoti and the Narrator. Incredibly grating.

Not a fan of Critical Role, I take it. :) (also, The Last of Us 2! :P)

Pretty sure the base game lets you do that. It’s just that odds are you’ll struggle to win that fight since I assume the rest of the town will do something about it.

I’m with @Scotch_Lufkin. I like the PoE2 NPCs.

Even more, I really like Xoti.

Character quest spoilers:

I got her dark ending which is actually cool. She gets eerie scary/insane in dialogue when you tell her to continue reaping souls to continue her apocalyptic nightmares/visions.

Now that I think about it I don’t like VA in general in that game. Some characters are fine but by and large it feels like many people had to go iut of their way to do several different characters. Eder and Aloth work surprisingly well, but others not so much. I like Castol and the queen and some of the gods.

I actually love the voice acting here, for the most part. Especially Maia; for some reason her slightly sardonic tone with a tinge of vocal fry really does it for me. I’m keeping her in the party for that alone. (I respec’d her to focus entirely on accuracy and critical damage and it… mostly works.)

Also, is there any reason to upgrade my ship? It’s really expensive, and whenever I have to fight someone at sea I just click the “board” button and beat them in melee.

Not these days - since instant boarding and going melee is a fine option now (it used to be risky, iirc, but they sort of made sea battles optional - I got into them the last time I played and had a good time with them though, they feel like what they were originally intending now I think) it’s more something you CAN get into if you wanted to. There is a gameplay reason to have an upgraded ship in the very end game, as it leads to one of the games several endgame paths to the credits, but it’s entirely optional and something you can just throw money at all at once in the end if you decide to look more into it when the time is right.