Pillars of Eternity Catch-All

You certainly do not have to make a tank char your primary in this game. On any difficulty. I mean, you control all the characters, so there hardly is a main.

steinkrug wrote:

I did the same thing and made a tank-like character first and got bored quickly. Started over and made a rogue focused on using a bow and that has seemed to work nicely. One of the first couple party members you encounter makes for a good tank anyway.

Yeah, still regretting my paladin. Tried all kinds of things and I’m well into the final act. Might have to retool completely and do something more rogue-ish.

Shadout wrote:

You certainly do not have to make a tank char your primary in this game. On any difficulty. I mean, you control all the characters, so there hardly is a main.

I object--Kana is clearly the Most Important Bestest Character.

I dunno, I'm kind of a fan of that weird lady that hangs around. I think she does the laundry or something? Certainly nothing important.

I have no idea what you are talking about. Devil of Caroc is the most important heartless serial killer of PoE. Everyone else are just meat shields.

So I’m trying to decide between ranger and cipher. From what I’ve read ranger has been seriously buffed especially the pet. On the other hand, I also hear awesome things about the cipher.

I think ranger is still somewhat weak compared to others - though it depends a lot on the difficulty (since your power is essentially split into two weaker characters, potd can be brutal for the pet I think). Ranger can do a good amount of damage though, I believe the NPC ranger won "dmg meters" in one of my last games (edit; I checked, only somewhat true, slightly behind my paladin main tank (nerf paladins) , but also with less time in the party, so probably first if measures in dps).
However ranger also has a lot less stuff to do compared to something like cipher, which is probably one of the most active classes.

I'm about 8 hours in now and had the stupidly obvious thought sometime yesterday of "oh, I really like RPGs!"

I never played the old Infinity Engine games, but I have played and loved just about everything Bioware put out, and this serves as a striking reminder of what I loved about those games and why some more recent Bioware RPGs that I wanted to love weren't quite what I wanted to be (Dragon Age Inquisition, still probably my GOTY that year but felt it was not quite there, and Mass Effect Andromeda, which I enjoyed some of my 70 hours or so with but still found massively disappointing). Pillars is a stark contrast to the Open World-ification of other RPGs. In more and more open world RPGs these days, you might come into the first new town, find a handful of people with exclamation marks over their heads who fill in some markers on your map and ask you to do some kind of generic-ish activity that may or may not have a bit of interesting writing associated with it, plus a big Story Quest icon somewhere. It was refreshing, then, to come into the Gilded Vale and encounter 1)some big clues towards the overarching plot, 2)a main conflict specific to this town that is interesting and informs a lot of the little details of what are going on, but that I can probably also just ignore if I wish, and 3)a lot of smaller conflicts that I can dig into to help establish my character and how he relates to the world and pick up interesting little details that may or may not matter at all. I hadn't realized how much I liked this sort of world and how few games have really played with this toolbox lately. Fun!

I do wish the game gave more (or really, any?) tutorializing about combat. For all the tips that pop up in context, I'm still left puzzled about how some basic combat mechanics work. Most of all, I'm confused about endurance and health. My confusion isn't focused enough to ask many specific questions, I just have a hard time following how the two stats interact, and I've read the details about getting knocked out/maimed/killed several times and still don't really get it. My biggest question is, are there things I should be able to do to restore characters' health rather than camping/resting? I'd expect to have health potions and/or healing spells, but all the potions/recipes/spells I've encountered so far seem to be focused on restoring endurance, which (generally?) seems to be recovered between fights. I'm playing on Easy, so for the moment the fact that I'm sort of flailing about with these systems isn't causing me too much trouble, but it is a little frustrating.

I'd been debating picking up Monster Hunter this weekend (a game I suspect will be very much Not For Me but that I'm tempted to give a try based on the chatter I'm hearing), but I think the fun I've had with Pillars has convinced me that maybe this is what I'll be playing over at least the next few weeks.

Camping and Resting is basically (maybe entirely?) the only way to restore Health. The idea is that Endurance is the sort of "boy that was rough, I need to brush myself off and take a breather" measure of the damage your character can take, while health is closer to your actual vitality. You can magically, alchemically, etc push your characters' endurance so that they are actually reaching their limits in one or two battles rather than four or five, but once their health runs dry they have nothing left to give, and need real rest to replenish themselves.

One other question I remembered I have: how much does time matter? Does it matter at all? Does it only really matter over an extreme scale? The game keeps telling me how many hours travel or rest might take, and I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to be concerned.

For example, after completing a few quests on my way to Caed Nua, I was going to head back to the Gilded Vale to turn those quests in, but I saw that the travel back would take many hours, and so thought that perhaps I should wait until I've done all of the more distant tasks to be turned into the Vale first. If I wait too long to turn in those quests, will there be problems? Or if I spend too many hours going back and forth between towns, might that affect other events?

I don't think time affects anything except all the stuff at the stronghold -- people need to get paid, and it takes time to build stuff.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I don't think time affects anything except all the stuff at the stronghold -- people need to get paid, and it takes time to build stuff.

That’s been my experience too: time only matters for the stronghold.

Yeah, cant think of anything other than stronghold either.
Time matters quite a bit in strongholds though. It can be attacked, and if you are too far away, you might not get back to defend it in time (the loss is not huge however).

Thanks for the feedback, all. It's funny how much the interface talks of the stronghold before I have had any clue what it is, but I assume I will find out soon!

mrlogical wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, all. It's funny how much the interface talks of the stronghold before I have had any clue what it is, but I assume I will find out soon!

Yeah, it's a pretty major story section that you can get to rather quickly.

I have been playing through the White Marches expansion for the first time, and I have just started the White Marches 2. I feel like I am on the clock because I want to get it done before POE II releases.

This got me thinking...how much do you think the original Pillars of Eternity will endure once the second comes out? My sense is that it will feel a lot like the original Baldur's Gate. There is a lot there that was great, but I think the original will quickly feel dated. It looks like they are making some huge improvements to AI, interface, and visuals, which I think will make ever going back very difficult. Mostly I am just excited to get a second game, but I am also a little sad. Pillars of Eternity has been one of my favorite RPGs, and it feels like its time is coming to a close.

What do you all think?

Hard to say. I'm somewhat afraid they make a game that might be better on feature check list, but fails to feel as good.
Though, if they deliver, it would be nice if they went back and release a PoE:EE with all the updated engine stuff in.

Though, if they deliver, it would be nice if they went back and release a PoE:EE with all the updated engine stuff in.

I'd play that... assuming PoE 2 is as good as it looks like it is going to be.

Shadout wrote:

I'm somewhat afraid they make a game that might be better on feature check list, but fails to feel as good.

Yeah, I am cautiously optimistic. All of the updates have focused around the "feature check list," but what made POE so great was the depth of the lore and the quality of the story. I am REALLY hoping that gets translated into POE II, but I am guessing that will be a challenge since they don't have novelty as much on their side with regards to the world building.

Actually, the story may be more original. I’m replaying as a cipher and while I love the lore it does feel like a pretty standard west European fantasy world (didn’t do White March yet so maybe that mixes it up). Meanwhile, the sequel is doing sailing expeditions to unknown lands which is rather original for this type of game.

The setting in the first Pillars of Eternity is a mashup of the seemingly conventional fantasy land in Dyrwood (with glances at fantasy Siberia, etc.) with the deeply weird animancy stuff. I liked that part a lot.

Playing it felt a little like reading about the Dragon Break or the Glorantha Godtime. Only the Elder Scrolls games look like typical fantasy on the surface, and the deep weirdness in the lore doesn't surface as readily. (Unless you do the main quest, I guess.)