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Let's Play: Pillars of Eternity

Discussion in 'cRPG Features' started by Soniex, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Soniex

    Soniex New Member
    NGS Designer

    Feb 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Character Summary
    Name: Soniex (M)
    Class: Cipher
    Race: Death Godlike
    Background: Rauatai - Merchant
    Attributes: Mig 15, Con 12, Dex 13, Per 15, Int 15, Res 10

    Current Game Progress
    Level: 2
    Location: Gilded Vale
    Companions: Aloth

    Table of Contents
    (links to following posts)

    Hey Nectarines!

    This is Anthony one of the game designers on Project Resurgence. This will probably come to be a surprise to some of you, but I have never played Pillars of Eternity! Since Pillars is certainly a big inspiration for Project Resurgence (having successfully innovated on Infinity Engine-style gameplay) , Rob and I decided to do a little side project for all of you. I’m going to play through Pillars for fun, while also taking a deeper look at it from a design perspective and bring all of my thoughts and observations to you here in the forums! I’m super excited to be doing this too because Pillars has been on my list of games to play for a long time, and I think discussing it here will spark some interesting conversations. So without further adieu here’s some of my thoughts on the first time I sat down and started Pillars of Eternity.

    So right from the very beginning intro to the game the main thing I pick up on is that this is not going to be a very happy game. The music does a great job of setting the tone and the raspy voice of the narrator only compliments the dark and dreary vibe set by the music. When I get to the character creation screen I notice something that’s pretty unique, the Godlike. The other races seem pretty standard, only some of them have names that are a little different. Things like that are great to see as they can breathe new life into something that’s already been done before. I choose to play as a Death Godlike, and after reading their bio they seem like a very interesting race. Next I move on to the classes and I like that there’s a wide variety to choose from, and most seem to be pretty standard for a fantasy RPG. The one that jumped out to me the most is the Cipher so that’s the one I went with. I’ve always been a fan of battle-mage style of characters and Cipher seems to fit that bill pretty well, but most of their abilities are focused around the mind which I think is a pretty cool twist to the archetype. The last part of character creation that I found interesting were the different Cultures and Backgrounds that were available to choose from. These aren’t new features to RPGs or anything but I like that they are becoming more and more common. It’s a great way give flavorful history to your character allowing him/her to become more rooted in the game world.

    During this first play I didn’t play for very long, as it was mostly about me getting a feel for the game world and some of the basic mechanics. One of the first things I noticed is that the conversations have super in-depth descriptions. I’d heard that Pillars has a very rich game world, but I was a bit surprised by this level of depth. Definitely a pleasant surprise though! It’s also immediately apparent that the game world has a lot of history that ties into the story. I did start to feel a little overwhelmed by all of the character names being thrown out at me, but I soon discovered the Cyclopedia has pretty much everything I would ever want to know about the lore. So far I just got to Gilded Vale shortly after escaping the cave, and I discover this town might not be all it’s cracked up to be. In the dialogue with Aloth and the townspeople outside of the inn, it was the first time where I felt my choices in the dialogue really mattered. It was fairly clear there were at least two possible outcomes to the situation and I was able to get Aloth to join me, at the unfortunate cost of a few townspeople’s lives.

    Here’s a quick summary of some other thoughts I have stewing:

    I love:
    • The narrative of the game is so rich in detail I feel like I’m actively taking part in a well written book. A good story is one of my favorite parts about most of the games that I play. Being able to get away from the real world for a few hours and dive into something completely magical is really what’s at the heart of games for me; escapism at it’s finest.
    I’m not crazy about:
    • So far I’m not sold on the PoE UI. Having character actions all the way on the left side of the screen really makes it feel awkward and a lot less fluid than it should in my opinion. However, the look and style of the UI is fantastic! It really helps contribute to the feel of the game.
    I’m curious about (need more time with):
    • I haven’t gotten too in depth with the combat yet to form a good opinion of it. It’s something I’m certainly going to be keeping an eye on moving forward as I know it will be a large part of the experience of the game.

    Overall, my venture into Pillars of Eternity was a great one and I can’t wait to start it up again! I think this is going to be a very interesting experiment and I hope to make it entertaining for all of you as well. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below and I will respond to as much as I can, but I do ask for you to refrain from spoilers. See you next time!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2016
    Pieszka, Z0ner, Kaeam and 1 other person like this.
  2. Kaeam

    Kaeam Charming Baric who Posts Replies
    NGS Ambassador

    Jan 14, 2016
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    It is always interesting to hear about people's experiences with RPGs (both computer and tabletop), especially if they are going in blind.
    I like how different aspects of your character (race, class, culture, background, reputation) sometimes open up new dialogue options and alternate ways to finish quests.

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