The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 2: Pillars of Eternity (Over)

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For more information on the GWJ CRPG Club, go here.

Pillars of Eternity is the GWJ CRPG's Club's second winner! With a How Long to Beat time about 75% longer than Dragonfall, our first game, this game will challenge our RPG focus! Can we rise to the challenge?

We'll be playing this game until September 30, 2018. This thread is for friendly discussion as we play through the game. Share your reflections, successes, defeats, tactics, wishes, impressions, and whatever here! The more conversation the better, so post away.

For BIG spoilers, please use the spoiler tag. (No! I am your father!) Tactics, strategies, general story progression likely won't need them, but we're still working these things out. (Suggestions welcome!)

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate, and can start at any time, so join the fun! One quick favor: If you decide to play, make a post here along the lines of "I'm in!" to let us know. If you start and finish the game before the end, you'll level up your GWJ CRPG Membership.

If you are up for an even bigger challenge, White March I and White March II are the DLC options available. It's also worth noting that Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire releases on May 8, 2018 so this is a good opportunity to get ready for that by playing PoE I and the expansions.

Helpful Links
Steam ($29.99)
GOG ($29.99)
PSN USA ($49.99)
How Long to Beat (Main Story Avg: 36.5 hours)
Wikipedia Page
Official Wiki
Achievement Guide
Metacritic
Game Guide
Character Creation Guide (Quite Detailed)
Shadout's Obsidian's Character Creation Builds
New Player Guide for Indecisive Rerollers (thanks to welladjusted)
A Beginner's Guide to Combat
Ultimate Portrait Pack on Nexus

Members Playing
steinkrug (completed)
Sorbicol (completed)
pyxistyx (completed)
Clumber (completed)
Shadout (completed)
Redherring (completed)
Cronox (completed)
imbiginjapan (completed)
merphle (completed)
ubrakto (completed)
gewy (completed)
*Legion* (completed)
Godzilla Blitz (completed)
Toddland (completed)
jdzappa (completed)
Hardek (completed)
LastSurprise (completed)
MathGoddess (completed)
SillyRabbit (completed)

Skraut
JohnKillo
welladjusted
adsurddoctor
RnRClown
Bubblefuzz
tundra
SpaceDog
Sundown
tboon
JMNlTup
Aristophan
kergguz
benign1
Feegle
steinkrug
fuzzyslug
tundra
tboon
Running Man
Katy
Hassasain
RawkGWJ

I'm in, lets do this! I put about 15-20 hours into PoE before it became yet another RPG that fed into some personal struggles I was having at the time. I'm eager to face them head on and power through, and looking forward to seeing the rest of the game.

Last time I started out as a sword and board tank, I'll probably mix it up and go some sort of archer.

I’m in...technically I started yesterday so that I could push through the opening couple of hours that I’ve already played several times.

Will report back with a more detailed post when I’m home and not on my phone

Count me in. I’m away from the PC until Wensday.

I will have to beat Hongkong as well.

I'm in as well, and like pyxistyx, may have accidentally started and played for an hour and a half last night. This is my first time to try the game at all.

I'm excited about this one. Similar to Skraut, I'm trying to get better at finishing things in general, and haven't had the best success with RPGs yet. Dragonfall was a confidence builder for me, and PoE will now ask more. Challenge Accepted, and I'm hopeful I can reach the end of this one. I'm going to go with my previous plan of trying to play 30 to 90 minutes a day, so I get in the habit of playing.

I spent half of my play time last night exploring the character creation options, and will post more on that later today. I did find the Character Creation Tips (linked in the first post) helpful, almost to the point of being too helpful.

Yep, the character guide on steam is pretty good. Used it as inspiration for most of my playthroughs.

Now for the big decision. Path of the Damned for more fun combat, but limits to viable character builds, or Hard so I can try some more fun build options. Or go for insanity and try The Ultimate achievement. Not sure yet.

Shadout wrote:

Yep, the character guide on steam is pretty good. Used it for most of my playthroughs.

Now for the big decision. Path of the Damned for more fun combat, but limits to viable character builds, or Hard so I can try some more fun build options. Or go for insanity and try The Ultimate achievement. Not sure yet.

That's good to know about the guide. At one point I did wonder if it was accurate. After about 30 minutes of going back and forth with character creation, I started to feel like I was gaming the system a bit instead of creating a character, so I set the guide aside and just picked things. I did keep in mind a few things I learned from the guide as I created my character, but for the most part I decided to just play the game and learn as I go.

I'm looking forward to hearing how your game goes. This is your 6th time, right? As I was going through character creation, I felt like I wanted to play several games. There were so many options!

I did notice that that guide is for 2.0. I know the game is past 3.0. Probably doesn’t make too much a difference but FYI.

I’m in. I’m thinking about maybe playing on PS4. It’s only $15 bucks new at Gamestop right now.

I’ve played about 75% of the game on PC actually but I’m kind of bored by my main character, a bow based rogue.

BTW- if you’re playing for the first time, I think it’s worth using the prebuilt companions for their stories. If you like that kind of thing.

People get really into min/maxing their characters / party for this game but it’s not necessary if you’re playing on lower difficulties.

There are also good build guides on Obsidians forum. Just quite a bit harder to find them.

A few builds I have found at their forums previously. I think most of them are still reasonably updated for latest patch.

Support:
Priest: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/862...
Paladin (I like this one, used variations of it multiple times - this is 100% a support build, it does very little on its own, so might not be fun as your main character): http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/899...

DPS:
Cipher: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84...
Wizard: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/869...
Monk: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/878...

But as mentioned the steam guide is really good - the ones above are a bit more specialized I guess (unsurprisingly the official forum is full of really dedicated nerds...).
Also, a lot of the builds usefulness depends on the full 6 character setup you end up picking.
Like, having 4 close melee chars is probably going to be bad! Since they wont all be able to hit your target.
But then you could make some melees 2nd line attackers (such as some of the barbarian builds in the Steam guide).

The steam guide seems to be somewhere in between 2.0 and 3.0 - depending on each build. It makes some difference, but not that much unless you are really trying to min/max.

steinkrug wrote:

BTW- if you’re playing for the first time, I think it’s worth using the prebuilt companions for their stories. If you like that kind of thing.

Yep. Definitely this. For some stupid reason Obsidian wont let you respec the premade characters (without mods anyway), which is annoying for min-maxing, but you can do just fine on all difficulties with the story characters, and while the characters are relatively light on story, they still add flavor.

Shadout wrote:

The steam guide seems to be somewhere in between 2.0 and 3.0 - depending on each build. It makes some difference, but not that much unless you are really trying to min/max.

steinkrug wrote:

BTW- if you’re playing for the first time, I think it’s worth using the prebuilt companions for their stories. If you like that kind of thing.

Yep. Definitely this. For some stupid reason Obsidian wont let you respec the premade characters (without mods anyway), which is annoying for min-maxing, but you can do just fine on all difficulties with the story characters, and while the characters are relatively light on story, they still add flavor.

I was wondering about the prebuilt companions. Is this an option you select at the beginning of the game, or does it mean just choosing to pick characters as they come up in the game?

Shadout wrote:

There are also good build guides on Obsidians forum. Just quite a bit harder to find them...

Awesome! I've put a link to your post in the first post. Thanks for pointing that out.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I was wondering about the prebuild companions. Is this an option you select at the beginning of the game, or does it mean just choosing to pick characters as they come up in the game?

Just picking them up as you encounter them.
The alternative is to hire blank slate mercenaries at an Inn, which you can customize as you want. But not as fun as using the story characters imo. Would have liked if you could (at least on later playthroughs) completely customize the story characters.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

That's good to know about the guide. At one point I did wonder if it was accurate. After about 30 minutes of going back and forth with character creation, I started to feel like I was gaming the system a bit instead of creating a character, so I set the guide aside and just picked things. I did keep in mind a few things I learned from the guide as I created my character, but for the most part I decided to just play the game and learn as I go.

Certainly how I went on my first playthrough as well.
I love how crazy you can go with the min-maxing in this game - both with each build, and the synergy between the characters. But it is not needed at all outside of PotD difficulty.

Ok. No longer on a phone.

Here's my character...
IMAGE(https://smackfolio.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/20180323180713_1.jpg)

I have no idea if it's a particularly good build or not because (a) I never really pay much attention to that stuff anyway and (b) I generally find PoE's background rules fairly impenetrable anyway. Nothing feels particularly intuitive the way something like Divinity : OS. That worked out fine for the Infinity Engine games since I know 2nd Ed AD&D like the back of my hand, but here - with an unfamiliar rules set - it feels like a bit of an uphill struggle.

That said, I'm just going to blast through on Easy, at least until I get back up to the point where I abandoned the game first time around, so it probably wont matter too much if I'm accidentally nerfing myself.

Some other random notes from my first few hours of playing...

- I actually hit an early branching point that I didn't know existed in the opening dungeon which surprised me, given how many times I've played the opening dungeon...

Spoiler:

The Rogue fella got injured by the wild folk during the caravan encounter, which led to an argument between the lady mercenary and myself about whether to stop and rest or just push through. I decided to let the injured party member rest...which led to the woman leaving the party unannounced while we slept, stealing our water flask and then getting herself killed on the "temple of doom" rune-floor puzzle.

I'd never seen that before, since I always generally got the hostage away from the wild folk before he ends up injured, so that was a nice surprise.

- You'll notice I didn't include the name of either NPC in the above spoiler. This is because literally every character i've encountered so far, has been incredibly forgettable. I think one of the reasons getting through this game has been a bit of a chore for me is just because of how generically bland everything is. But...maybe it gets better the further in you get. I'm only really hanging on to the story NPC's so that I can work through their story stuff for extra XP, otherwise I'd probably have just rolled my own party.

- I made another decision I haven't made before, near the end of the opening parts of the story

Spoiler:

I sided with the Lord of Gilded Vale rather than the rebels. Probably a bad idea in the long run for the well being of Gilded Vale, (a greedy, amoral leader is probably still better than a bloodthirsty zealot who just murdered his own wife) but normally I just side with the rebels and I mostly just wanted to see what would happen. Got a nice reputation boost for the main city though.

Right now I'm at the point where I most often give up...

Spoiler:

Acquired the stronghold and I'm dabbling with the first couple of levels of the 'infinite dungeon'. Once I'm clear of those, I'll press on to the main city, ramp the difficulty back up to Normal and I'll be pretty much in undiscovered territory.

Whew. I think that's me up to date!

*Wait....one more thing...

Current vanity pet : Tiny White Wurm.

I'm in!

I actually picked up the definitive edition on Fanatical yesterday and spent half an hour or so looking into the character creation options. Unfortunately all this did was lead straight into a pretty severe case of analysis paralysis, so I figured I'd table that for the evening and come back to it once this thread was started and I had a chance to ask some questions.

So--given that I am in all likelihood only going to play through this game once, I'm looking to roll a main character with attributes and skills that allow me to get the most out of the game story-wise. Or put another way, I don't want to miss any particularly interesting/crucial dialog checks and whatnot because I'm playing a class that typically doesn't have points in the relevant attributes/skills.

This guide is a little dated, but it makes the case that the attributes INTelligence, RESisitance, and PERception are most useful from this perspective, along with the Lore, Survival, and Mechanics skills.
According to that guy classes that do well with those attributes are Paladins and Chanters, and given that it looks like Paladins get some additional benefits from being the main character (it looks like you get to choose a deity?) I'm thinking of rolling one of those.

That being said, if there's anyone with more experience here who can offer more input, I'm all ears

I've played for about an hour now, and spent equally that long exploring character creation. In the end I just reset everything, then picked something that sounded like fun. I ended up with Minnesota, a paranoid yet benevolent wood elf Druid, on his way to settle in a new land.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/vsmLN5t.jpg)

I have no clue what I'm doing with combat, magic, traps, potions, and skills, but so far we're killing things okay. I've played the game about an hour, past the opening scene and tasks. I'm really enjoying things, even with the fact that I'm asking myself "What does that mean?" and "How does that work?" every minute or so. I figure it'll all work out in the end, or I'll build some gimped party that gets hopelessly stuck. One of the two.

I’m in too, I just have a few other games I really need to polish off before I get started on this.

I also picked up the definitive edition. Not sure if I'll get started today or not, but, I'm in!

I'm in, despite still (at least theoretically) working on ShadowRun. I bounced off this once in the past for reasons that I don't remember.

I'm going to try not to read any character creation or walkthrough type guides at all. Doing so seems less required for modern RPG's in general, and I suspect takes away some potential for fun for me.

I'm in, but I am preparing to begin the final assaults on the Darkest Dungeon as we speak, so I won't be starting for a bit... even longer if my people meet with disaster (which seems likely).

So no controller support for the pc version still?

Welcome, everyone! I'm adding names to the list in the first post, please let me know if I miss yours.

I'll be traveling later this week for a little more than a week, so I'm hoping to get a few hours in before I go, then pick it up when I return.

I'm in!

I'm on PS4 with the Complete Edition. Still toying with character ideas in the creation screen. Hoping to make a start soon.

I'm in, will pick it up while it's in the PSN sale. With Dragonfall on the office Mac and this on the PS4 I'll be lvl 2 in no time... maybe

It'll save me paying full whack for Ni No Kuni 2 too. Save that for another day.

Looking forward to playing with a personal goal of being done by May 8 so I can hop into POE:2.

Forgot to grab some screen shots during character creation, so here's Velena
IMAGE(http://preview.ibb.co/dvLgkS/2018_03_25_14_39_04_Pillars_of_Eternity.png)
IMAGE(http://preview.ibb.co/eNkss7/2018_03_25_14_41_25_Pillars_of_Eternity.png)

Wood Elf Rogue archer. Ranger is the obvious class to do for an archer, so I avoided it. With 3 con and res, I'm sure she'll have troubles if the party gets jumped, but hoping to pair her with a good tank or two and see how much she can wreck things from afar.

Speaking of party, what are people planning on doing? It's tempting to build my own team for maximum efficiency and synergies, but as I play through this, I do want to experience the story of each of the side characters, which I would miss out on if I made my own party

In as well, not yet sure what I'm going to go with as a build yet though.

In!

I just got Strep Throat so I’ll be slow in restarting. Apparently 98 hours already but I want to start fresh.

I’ll post more when I fire it up in a day or two (fingers crossed)

Boom! And just like that, my character has reached Level 2.

I'm still loaded with questions about combat mechanics and character attributes, but it's all good stuff. I enjoy figuring out systems and stuff, so the complexity of the game is appealing now.

I also loaded the Ultimate Portrait Pack from Nexus, which seems to have worked without issues, except for some female portraits showing up in the male portrait selection. (Pretty sure I put things in the right folders, too.)

Spoiler:

So, I got butchered three times in a row by that bear in the cave in Valewood. Then I gave up. Was that supposed to be hard, or is my character already just kind of weak?

pyxistyx wrote:

- You'll notice I didn't include the name of either NPC in the above spoiler. This is because literally every character i've encountered so far, has been incredibly forgettable. I think one of the reasons getting through this game has been a bit of a chore for me is just because of how generically bland everything is. But...maybe it gets better the further in you get. I'm only really hanging on to the story NPC's so that I can work through their story stuff for extra XP, otherwise I'd probably have just rolled my own party.

It seems like the emphasis in this game, so far anyway, is on systems rather than story and character development. My initial impression is that it's a deep, rich game with regards to systems, and functional yet not remarkable with regards to story and characters. I'm fine with that, as the story and writing seem good enough to hold the system together and drive things along, and I like the game system so far.

WellAdjusted wrote:

This guide is a little dated, but it makes the case that the attributes INTelligence, RESisitance, and PERception are most useful from this perspective, along with the Lore, Survival, and Mechanics skills.
According to that guy classes that do well with those attributes are Paladins and Chanters, and given that it looks like Paladins get some additional benefits from being the main character (it looks like you get to choose a deity?) I'm thinking of rolling one of those.

That being said, if there's anyone with more experience here who can offer more input, I'm all ears :)

I almost picked a Pally, for what it's worth. I've posted a link to the guide in the first post, thanks!

Yeah the cave is (deliberately) a pretty challenging encounter when you first stumble across it afaik.

Oh, yeah that's the other thing I'm doing, which is playing through with the commentary track switched on. I love a good "directors commentary" on a thing.

IMAGE(http://www.shadout.dk/games/poe/PoE-2018-1.png)
Here we go. This is going to be painful - I hope. Monks literally feed on their own tears of pain.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
Spoiler:

So, I got butchered three times in a row by that bear in the cave in Valewood. Then I gave up. Was that supposed to be hard, or is my character already just kind of weak?

No. That is just a brutal fight that is worth saving for later.
Generally, the first 4-5 lvls are quite hard, then things starts to get easier (before they pick up again in the DLC and very late game).

Shadout wrote:

Here we go. This is going to be painful - I hope. Monks literally feed on their own tears of pain.

What level did you settle on?

I went with Normal for a first run.

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