Pillars of Eternity

Super excited for this. Not excited about looking at the backer portal though; they’ll probably find some way to take more of my money!

Seeing as how those games straddle BG on the talking/combat spectrum, and are otherwise very similar to BG, I’m really confused as to how this statement could be true. To each his own, I guess.

The tone, style, quality (and quantity!) of writing, choices, etc of PS:T is pretty different to BG1, I would say.

Inarguably, IWD (which he enjoyed) is more combat focused than BG, and it’s the combat he didn’t really click with.

Rock8man, I sort of recommend you give BG another try, actually. I didn’t like BG1 right away, despite being really excited for it, but it grew on me and then I loved BG2 and expansion. Years later (3 years ago) I played BG1 and 2 off GOG with some mods (wide screen, higher res support, and a mod that makes BG1 run in the vastly superior BG2 engine) and just had an absolute-freaking-blast for 100 hours going through all that content again. Man that was fun. I tried it again with the special enhanced edition but I don’t think enough time has passed.

Right, totally agree TurinTur and BleedTheFreak, what I meant was that you have PS:T on the one hand, with all the writing and dialogue and choices, and you have IWD on the other hand with all the combat (and little to none of the dialogue), and in my mind BG is in between. I just don’t understand how one could have a blast with PS:T and IWD, on either end of the spectrum, yet hate BG, in the middle. But maybe that’s just it.

He said it was the BG combat he didn’t like, not “IE combat” (he also used “in spite” when discussing Icewind Dale). The combat in BG and ID was not the same, though I believe part of the latter’s differences reflect other factors at work. Creating one’s own party (and having them there from the get go), encounter/map design (swaths of BG are just utter crap, especially given that they had to assume you’d only have a couple of companions for parts of it), various engine issues being smoothed out by the time Icewind Dale was released. There are quite a few people who preferred Icewind Dale to Baldur’s Gate (minority though they may be), and in my experience they often like the combat in the former more.

Yea, I was /not/ expecting the same font, I admit :)

Played for a few minutes at GenCon. It definitely has a “modernized Baldur’s Gate” feel that I really like. Hoping to put a little more time in tomorrow.

The others covered it a bit already, and I don’t think I need to go into why I loved PS:T. Icewind Dale also surprised me, given that I didn’t like the combat encounters at all in Baldur’s Gate. Baldur’s Gate was a game that I not-so-lovingly call the “saving and loading game”, because the core-gameplay for me in that game was staring at the floating hand that turns into dust, or the loading screen that soon follows when you load your last saved game. Combat was either really trivial for several encounters, in which case I forgot to keep saving, or it was brutally hard when you ran into something unexpectedly powerful (which happened a LOT). So what happened then? Well, since I’d forgotten to save for a while, I had to reload and play through that whole easy section yet again to get to that hard encounter. I hated most of the combat encounters out in the wilderness, and even sometimes on their quests, which also sprang those kinds of surprises.

Icewind Dale was different. First of all, I have already admitted that I was playing with two friends on a LAN. One apartment, 3 different rooms, with us shouting at each other to communicate.

“What now?”
“I’m going to fire the beam from my hands and target the frost giant in the back. That should catch the other enemies in the crossfire.”
“And us in the crossfire too. Fuck. OK, I’ll run south.”
“Then I guess I’ll run North. Fuck, I’m taking a speed potion just to be safe”.
“Don’t overuse the potions!”
“Oh shit, I drank all my potions”.
“You what?!?”
“Why aren’t you stopping? Don’t go into the next room!”
“I can’t stop, one of the potions made me berzerk. Don’t let me die!”
“Oh shit, OK, following you in”
“What happened in here?”
“Oh, those potions must have been badass, my character already killed all the Frost Giants in this room”
“Oh FUCK, now you’re coming after meeeeeeeeeeeee! Stooooooooooop!”
“I caaaaan’t, I’m berzerk!”

Hell yes. It was a fuck load of fun. And their encounter design was fantastic. Who doesn’t remember the one dungeon where you’re fighting these big turtle like creature that have a chance to make you go berzerk? The diversity of monsters, the different traps and circumstances that we had to carefully navigate? I don’t know, it was all just so much better in terms of a carefully crafted challenge every step of the way.

OK, that makes sense. Perhaps I’ll have to go back and give IWD a try–I think I only got most of the way through 1 and part way through 2. I missed having characters with personalities in the party, and the plot seemed more “serious” and “better” in BG (note the quotes). I don’t particularly remember the encounter design in IWD as being particularly superior to BG, but I do recognize the “saving and loading” game part of BG that you mention, though it didn’t bother me so much.

Beta out today…anyone played? I downloaded it but haven’t messed with it yet.

$110+ tier at this point.

I’m down at $25, so yea.

Barely got any play time in. I’m in a village helping the locals with various issues.

I love that this is a thing people who are incredibly passionate ($110!) have access to, I hope it provides more “pure” feedback from the die-hard fans, because I feel like such feedback really helped other RPG’s this year like Wasteland 2 and Original Sin, but I have no interest in playing the backer beta myself. I did watch a little footage on youtube, but the guy playing talked INCREDIBLY slowly so I ended up bailing, but what I did see showed me the promise of a game I may play for years to come, but it was very early and lots of things weren’t implemented (including an early UI, looked like) so I think it’s best to stay away unless you intend to provide said feedback and are honestly interested in being a part of that process.

I was only a $25 backer, myself. However when linking my Kickstarter to the PoE website, I noticed there’s an Early Access Beta Key add-on for only an additional $25 bucks. So it looks as if you can get into the Beta for a total outlay of $50 bucks, including the full game.

I’m personally gonna wait until the game is final to play, but I do believe you can access the Beta for less than the $110 tier…

That’s pretty cool - though I think my original point still stands, if you are willing to drop $25 just to play it early, you are probably a very passionate RPG-gamer that will likely have some good feedback for the beta, I’d imagine. And, this also expands the pool a bit, too, which is always good.

I’m actually going to try out the Backer Beta. The way they described it, as being a test of systems and not indicative of the critical path, main story, companions, etc, means that it’ll be mostly spoiler free and I’ll get a bit of a feel for the game development progress at this point (and provide some feedback) without feeling that I’m impacting my excitement over the game when it launches. It’s downloaded and ready to go when I have the chance.

I’ve been messing around with it - posted a bunch to twitter. Will make some comments here later

Looking like another 200+ hour experience for you?

There happend to be a blurb in PC Gamer this month that I suspect has a lot of truth to it: Pillars of Eternity looks like how we perceive Infinity Engine games in our memory of them. I’ve heard that sentiment before. We smooth over a lot of rough edges when we think about our old favorites.

I sure hope the engine and gameplay turn out to be what we wished the IE games would be, and not merely what they actually were. I was never all that wild about, for example, the combat in those games: the prospect of playing an exact clone of BG combat wouldn’t get my juices flowing. (Give me a Gold Box game for that any day!)

One thing about the release notes for the beta did make me smile:

Pathfinding - We are in the middle of revising the pathfinding system. In the Backer Beta at launch, you may see issues with characters jittering, getting stuck, getting “bottlenecked” between other characters, and overlapping their selection circles with other characters in combat.

I couldn’t help but think, “They nailed that part of IE games anyway …”