The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 13: Tyranny (Ending Soon!)

Sundown wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

Also, the writing is weird.

I go in offering to talk, I depart each map over masses of dead bodies. To advance a quest objective I end up killing everyone. Which incurs huge wrath. I've got practically mass wrath with every faction because of this.

That's basically what happened to me. What route are you on? (although I think I can guess)

I'm going the solo route.

Yeah, build your deflection/dodge/parry. The best spell defensively is the illusion school and it's one of the earliest spells you can put together. It gets better as you find more sigils and is still useful now I'm in mid-game.

Going the solo route I think that kind of make sense. You basically told a load of factions to go pound sand. No wonder they hate you.

Well, I've made a start and built (I think) a fairly standard Soldier who uses a Javelin rather than the more typical sword and shield. The intent is to be "lawful Evil" I think - try to be fair(ish) where the law is applied, but God forbid anyone who violates that law. Post conquest decisions I think that means I've slightly more favoured the Disfavoured over the Scarlet Chorus, but time will tell I guess.

I had to leave it one I got past the Conquest section, we'll see how it goes once I've had more time tonight

I'm having a hard time with the dumb game. I'm in the Blade Grave area, and it keeps crashing on me in combat. Most recently, it happened midway through a massive fight with a huge opponent, so that was super, super frustrating.

It feels like something is wrong in the most recent NVidia drivers, and I don't want to fall back to old ones because this new version fixes some serious security bugs. Grrr.

I think I'm nearing the end of Act 1 (assaulting the Citadel) and my character is all over the place. In various situations I've sided with the rebels, the Chorus, and the Disfavored. The game is constantly fighting against my natural inclinations when making decisions, and it's creating quite the messy character situation. Am I going to screw myself if I have like +1 favor and +1 wrath with all factions?

Over the weekend, I made a bit more progress: I cleared out Echocall Crossing / Village, and the side quests that are available up to that point. Still in Act I, and about to

Spoiler:

meet with Graven Ashe and the Voices of Nerat to decide the next step in our attempt at taking the Spire.

Combat feels a bit different than in Pillars of Eternity. It took me a little while to put my finger on this, but it seems like many of the combat encounters so far rely on pitting the PC against a slightly larger group -- like my 4 on their 5-6. And, every enemy can take a few punches, as can my guys. I haven't seen encounters yet where I'm mobbed by a swarm of weaker enemies, which definitely happened in PoE. The absence of quick kills against trash mobs makes my characters feel a little less powerful, and individual battles feel longer, but I like the smaller maps and the focus on fewer, more consequential fights

I've discovered that I can only keep one spell buff up on my characters at once -- or, at least, that the Vigor buff and Spectral Blur overwrite each other. I've loved Spectral Blur, and have taught it to everyone. It definitely helps my units survive.

Need to do some shopping now that I've cleared some sidequests and have funds. I generally do not like inventory management in these Infinity Engine-style games, but when I went back to the Scarlet Chorus camp I discovered that there's set of Scarlet Chorus armor for sale that's superior to Verse's in every way. I'll bet 15 minutes on inventory will yield a huge payoff in combat.

Oh, and some of my choices:

Spoiler:

After Death Knell set me up, I was disappointed that I could not have her put to death. Less for the threat to my own safety, and more because making the Fatebinder waste a day on your prank sabotages the war effort. Given the myriad of options in other quest lines, this felt like a lost opportunity.

I tricked that one general (Pelox Tyrel?) into surrendering, falsely claiming a prisoner exchange for his brother. One more person to be interrogated by the Voices.

And, I seized Echocall, letting the townspeople go, killing the Vendrian Guard, and putting the town to the torch -- but not before finding the missing ore.

I'm up to 3/5 Spires, so not sure which Act that is.

I am not entirely sure how loot is programmed in this game, because, I've found much better stuff from time to time in some locations than subsequent locations I explore like 5 levels later.

The combat, at least on the difficulty setting just under POTD, gets a LOT easier. I haven't had a challenging fight in a long time, but perhaps that may change when I reach the end of an Act with the usual set-piece battle.

For now, I've noticed my party has been haphazardly increasing levels to the point everyone is practically a generalist. It's not well explained in the game, but I think it would assist in locking certain skills so that they don't level up unnecessarily.

I'm starting to worry that I'm missing something obvious. I'm a long way into the game but have only unlocked 2 spires. All the others are missing rubbings which keep eluding me.

I've made it to Lethian's Crossing and, along the way, had my first encounter with the Bronze Brotherhood. Their leader Raetommen wasn't happy about a choice I made in the conquest phase of the game, but the rest of the faction members I've met so far have been reasonable. Looking forward to exploring the town (which is generally my favorite part of most RPGs).

strangederby wrote:

I'm starting to worry that I'm missing something obvious. I'm a long way into the game but have only unlocked 2 spires. All the others are missing rubbings which keep eluding me.

There's probably some charcoal rubbings you've missed somewhere, but as I recall correctly, one of the things the Lethian's Crossing tells you is that the patterns are symmetrical, so you can usually piece it together with less than a full set.

Thanks. That helps.

Finished what seems like the second Act. Unlocked 4 spires and finished the Bastard's Wound area. I can see why the DLC has such negative reviews. It feels seriously half-baked in terms of content, though I did not experience the bugs that some complain of.

I don't know if I'm massively underprepared for a certain fight in Act III but

Spoiler:

I have zero chance to win the against Bleden Mark. He full-heals every time even get him below 50% and those shadow creatures of his do ABSURD damage to my party. We're (me = 1h parry spellsword, Barik, Verse, and Lantry) all level 11 or 12.

I eventually reloaded a save well before that point and am doing alternate stuff.

I managed to get past my crashing issues, although I'm not sure if it was because I left the Blade Grave or because I dropped back to an older video driver. Even the driver wasn't enough on its own; it kept crashing and eventually bluescreened the whole machine. But when I rebooted, everything was solid, and I haven't had one crash since. Now I'm thinking that it's a good idea to reboot after updating a video driver these days, even though, theoretically, you shouldn't need to. A logout/login might be enough, as that restarts the driver.

I have three spires, my characters are about level 15ish, and I just defended Lethian's Crossing from the Disfavored. I liked that level: it has multiple 'save the civilian or save the war asset' choices, although I gotta say, they felt awfully forced. Why on earth couldn't I use my mage to go frost-spell one fire while someone else threw a bucket of water on the other? And, fer chrissake, I've got two mages, doing two Rimespikes at once is something I do constantly. Grr.

Spoiler on Barik, at least in a non-Disfavored run:

Spoiler:

I got him to renounce his loyalty to Graven Ashe in favor of me, but it didn't fix his armor problem. Apparently Ashe has to know he quits, so that will have to happen later. I've got too much other stuff to do.

Right now I'm doing Verse's personal quest, I think the last step of it. I like how they've been improving her abilities as you complete stages in the quest. It's done very well, with an excellent explanation for why each power is getting stronger. I don't much care for her bloodthirst, but I gotta say, they wrote her with real skill.

I was kind of expecting Lantry to have a personal quest related to the Burning Library, but nothing so far. I don't remember his quest at all, so it'll probably be a surprise when it pops up.

Thinking about swapping out Verse for Eb; I've always known that a three-mage party would be stronger, and Verse as an archer is terrifically boring (only two powers that are of much interest.) She'd be more interesting to run as melee, but it's too easy to get creamed that way.

I agree with Bfgp that the combats are getting much easier. I'm also in the one-from-peak difficulty level, and fights have been not been challenging lately. I found an extremely powerful item in the Burning Library:

Spoiler:

It's an insignia that radiates a passive buff reducing all damage from all sources by 75%. That's right, 75% damage reduction in a radius.

Since finding that, fights are just not a problem anymore. I think I could probably take out Bleden Mark right now, although I'm not going to try for that yet.

I gotta say, that item is super OP. I'll take it! But it has totally changed the game balance, all by itself. I could probably run Verse melee with no problem using it, but I think I may still swap to Eb. Magic is also OP in this game.

Yesterday, I finished Act I. Although I was much closer to the Disfavored faction, I chose to grant the Scarlet Chorus the honor of assaulting the Spire, mostly because I was getting sick of Graven Ashe's pompousness. The Chorus did some good work in helping us prepare for the final assault, and I'd rather have told Ashe and Nerat to work together or die. But, neither would accept that option. So ...

Spoiler:

Though I was at around 4 favor with the Disfavored, imagine my surprise when Ashe flipped his lid, threatened my life, and sent Disfavored soldiers to assault my Chorus soldiers as we attempted to take the spire.

This seditious conspiracy will not stand.

I finished my first "solo" storyline playthrough. Diplomat beginning with no diplomacy. Oh well, time to try being a loyal soldier and seeing how that goes.

It was good, I enjoyed Tyranny. Not enough Overlord strategic stuff in the game though (cf Pathfinder where there's a wee bit too much). The game did not drag on. Besides that, critting everyone for 150+ damage was trivialising every combat encounter.

Re Barik,

Spoiler:

I did manage to get Barik out of his armor. In my playthrough it involved killing Graven Ashe and then taking blood from the first area in the game. Barik chose to stand with me at Loyalty 3.

But I think I screwed up some of the companion storylines because of having too much wrath with every faction. Thus, for example, I never discovered how to remove Siri's headgear; and I happened to kill Nerat before I finished Verse's companion quests.

I'm interested to replay now with different Conquest options and builds.

pyxistyx wrote:

Hrm...so far I feel like the two factions are attempts to break down and clarify what it means to be 'Chaotic Evil' vs 'Lawful Evil' at a point where most sensible ttrpgs have long since moved away from rigidly defined alignment systems (even 5e only really pays lip service to alignment these days, with most people i know at least sensibly ignoring it)

Could you elaborate on this? Do you mean the alignment system has effectively been scrapped? Or that it has been paired down to good, neutral, evil, forgoing the lawful and the chaotic branches, or vice versa?

I spent far too long digging into the variations between lawful good, and neutral good, and chaotic good, for example. It was interesting. It also seemed... unnecessary.

So after 25+ hours in the game I was beginning to wonder why I'd never found the "life" sigil. A quick google later and it turns out that it's available at the very beginning of the game in a dialogue option with

Spoiler:

Lantry.

Welp. I feel like a fool and now have healing on more than one character.

Otherwise, I've unlocked all the spires and am on my way to kill

Spoiler:

Graven Ashe. Still avoiding the Bleden Mark fight after the curbstomping he gave me last time.

RnRClown wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:

Hrm...so far I feel like the two factions are attempts to break down and clarify what it means to be 'Chaotic Evil' vs 'Lawful Evil' at a point where most sensible ttrpgs have long since moved away from rigidly defined alignment systems (even 5e only really pays lip service to alignment these days, with most people i know at least sensibly ignoring it)

Could you elaborate on this? Do you mean the alignment system has effectively been scrapped? Or that it has been paired down to good, neutral, evil, forgoing the lawful and the chaotic branches, or vice versa?

I spent far too long digging into the variations between lawful good, and neutral good, and chaotic good, for example. It was interesting. It also seemed... unnecessary.

Not pyxi, so I'm guessing, but I believe they meant to say that the Disfavored and the Chorus would be exemplars of that old AD&D 1E and 2E way of thinking about alignment. (good/evil/law/chaos). The Disfavored are kinda Lawful Evil by those old definitions, and the Chorus are definitely Chaotic Evil. Less obvious paths are siding with the rebels (the thing I'm trying now), and just going it alone, which would be more Chaotic Good, and however you decide to behave as your own boss.

Most game systems have moved on from those relatively cheap behavior guides, as the players have gotten older and more sophisticated about morality. But they were a nice easy set of guideposts when we were young and didn't really have any idea how to set up conflicts.

Two more modern behavior axes one could use might be authoritarian versus libertarian, and altruistic versus selfish. There's probably at least a couple more that would work, giving you a nice complex behavior space. (eg, perhaps narcissism versus empathy, although I'm not sure those are actually in opposition, as one can certainly believe that one is the best thing ever while still wanting to help people. They may be inferior, but they still have the right to be happy. Like that. Maybe sociopathy versus empathy might be better.)

Finished. Really enjoyed it. Felt like a good old RPG with consequences for actions and a propper branching narrative. Stuck with Verse, Barak, Lantry, throughout my play and mostly ignored the others. Favoured the Dishonored. Got

Spoiler:

Graven Ash

and

Spoiler:

Tunon

to bow the knee to me. Killed

Spoiler:

Nerat

. Up until the very end I was working for the overlord but when he

Spoiler:

sent an army against me despite my loyalty I issued an Edict of Malediction against him. Basically cursing the northern city to lots of very bad luck.

Also finished the game last night. Spoilers on the ending:

Spoiler:

I killed Ashe and Voices, argued Tunon into swearing fealty, and finally managed to kill Bleden Mark. I opted to announce my loyalty to Kyros rather than issue an edict against her army, and seem to have been made ruler of the Tiers as a reward.

I ended the game at level 14 with my companions (I used Barik, Verse, and Lantry exclusively) in the same range. Spoiler for charsheet pics:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/yJTHPKw.png)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/cV9bIQZ.png)

I couldn't help but feel like the game was a bit unfinished in places. The Bastard's Wound is an obvious example, but even some small worldbuilding things like the other Fatebinders who apparently have titles like "Fatebinder of War" and elaborate backstories that I only found out because I paused to chat with them between killing Mark and chatting with Tunon. Were these dudes going to be a bigger part of the story but got stuffed into the "missive" system instead?

Because of it's extreme reactivity to the player's choices, I also felt like I was missing a lot of content. For example I only unlocked 2 of 5 Edicts. That, of course, is where replayability comes in. I'm semi-tempted to try this "new game plus" mode and see some of the things I missed.

Unfortunately, my progress has dropped way off the last few weeks. Got a couple of hours in over the weekend, and I finally activated my second spire. Hoping for more steady progress from here. Not sure if I missed something in my decision making, but man, the stuff with the Bronze Brotherhood at Lethian's Crossing escalated quickly. lol

Congrats to the folks who've finished!

I just got the second Spire as well, and am next on my way to interview/interrogate the Voices of Nerat.

I'm pretty stuck in the Bastard's Wound. I think I might have run into a bug, because I can't figure out how to get into the final level, or how to get to the final mural.

I gotta say, that is a really lousy expansion, on the whole. It's just so deadly dull, running around and around and around and around looking for where your new torchkey works or what you missed on prior trips.

I've killed Graven Ashe:

Spoiler:

and gotten Barik out of his armor, and even cleaned up

That fight was not ideal for my party build, because it was built around burst damage... Barik, Lantry, Eb, and myself as a mage. They can absolutely annihilate anything except major bosses in one round of spells. But the setup on the Graven Ashe fight drags on awhile, so while I was never in any particular danger, I was doing a lot of waiting for cooldowns. He hit me with one spell that really hurt and made us regroup and heal a little, but other than that it was easy, just slow.

Bleden Mark didn't have a prayer. Someone upthread mentioned something about shadows, and I vaguely remember that from earlier plays, but he had no time for any summons. He teleported in, started poking at my mage, and we hit him with so much magical damage that he lasted maybe, I dunno, twenty seconds? My mage got slightly scratched (maybe 5%?) and nobody else even took damage. Being hit with four Chaotic Descent spells with the 2x-missiles adjustment, plus multiple Fulminations that make you susceptible to the lightning damage from the big storms overhead, is bad for your health.

I suspect that Nerat wouldn't be hard, but we haven't gone after him yet. I've been trying to finish the Bastard's Wound, and getting increasingly frustrated at the sh*t design.

Oh, btw, a tip on an overpowered healing spell for the lategame:

Spoiler:

The Wisps heal is incredibly strong once you find a "multiple bounce" glyph, particularly with three bounces. Having it hit everyone in the party for the central target amount, and then if everyone is close enough, hitting everyone with the AOE heal three more times, makes it an immensely powerful spell. It's 70%-100% party recovery, as long as everyone is alive and tightly packed. (and not even very tightly if you've got enough Lore to also increase the AOE size.)

I’ve started and abandoned several games in the last couple of weeks including this one. I’m in one of those moods it would appear.... I’ll swing back around to this soon I’m sure but right now whatever it is I want to play, it doesn’t appear to be this. Or anything else I’ve started for that matter!

So, I finished. I gave up on the Bastard's Wound, which as far as I can tell, got stuck in a configuration that can't be won properly. I could probably have forced it to a suboptimal finish, but I was so irked at the incredibly lousy design of the whole thing that I just left.

Went and wiped out Nerat, which really didn't take long. Ashe hurt us worse, and he wasn't that tough, either. (I was playing one step below max difficulty.) And that was even with me slightly gimped, taking Verse along for story reasons instead of Eb or Sirin.

This was the first time I really used Sirin, in my four-ish playthroughs. She's stronger than I realized. She's more of a hybrid than any other character, so she's kind of bad at everything early on, which is why I didn't use her. But I wanted her in the Bastard's Wound, so I picked her up at high level. Her skills were still low, so that was a bit of an issue, but she's kind of a mage, an offtank, a summoner, a buffer, and a debuffer, all at once. If I'd started running her early, she'd have been an absolute monster by endgame. She certainly made one big fight in the Bastard's Wound a lot easier.... her summon could keep bashing on the big bad, doing very substantial damage, while we mopped up trash.

endgame spoilers:

Spoiler:

So Tunon was unhappy for me for killing Bleden Mark. I don't know if you can get to Tunon without killing Mark, however. And that Hate level ended up cascading, as he kept confronting me on other stuff, and then deciding what I did was bad because he already didn't like me. (the other Fatebinders would chime in with accurate but unflattering assessments, because my Hate score was above a certain point.) So I ended up having to kill him, too. That was a little rough for three mages plus Barik, as he's very resistant to magic, but we were never really in jeopardy. It just took a long time.

End game state: Forgebound, Sages, and Unbroken on my side, all other Archons dead, Kyros apparently furious.

It's a shame we'll probably never get to see the rest of it, but I gotta say, they just were not up to the task of tracking a narrative with that many paths. It was too ambitious a design, in that sense. And the combat was kinda meh, on the whole, and the Oldwalls were pretty dull.

But, ye gods, the richness of the game world and the awesome voicing makes up for a lot. I think my favorite actor was Nerat's. His menace was so lighthearted, and yet so deadly serious. Verse was a little weak, but not as bad as I remembered, and everyone else in the game was quite good. Lantry was maybe the standout of the companions.

I would definitely not have been an early purchaser of Tyranny 2, but I think I might have tried it after a year or so. It will probably never be made, however, as I believe this game sold dismally. And for very good reasons... there's more wrong with the design than right, even ignoring all the bugs. Sifting through the crap to get to the great stuff is harder than it ought to be. And the Bastard's Wound is just a goddamn mess, top to bottom.

On a ten scale, I'd give this one about a six, probably.

I'm still making solid progress. Doing tasks for the Voices of Nerat in act 2, and wrapped up a bunch of stuff in Lethian's Crossing with the Bronze Brotherhood. Next up is to locate Graven Ashe's daughter. It also looks like I'm starting to get some companion quests, which has me excited.

Like Malor said, I'm really loving the world building. The voice acting, when it shows up, is generally stellar. I'm a little sad I waited so long on this.

I think I got my first DLC quest, via a missive from a mysterious Sage. I'm curious if you all think I should just skip that, or if it's worth checking out despite the complaints above.

beanman101283 wrote:

I think I got my first DLC quest, via a missive from a mysterious Sage. I'm curious if you all think I should just skip that, or if it's worth checking out despite the complaints above.

I did it on my fist playthrough, but if I was going to play again I'd skip it. It contributes almost nothing to the story, and the bits of worldbuilding lore never really pay off.

I'm in!

Math wrote:
beanman101283 wrote:

I think I got my first DLC quest, via a missive from a mysterious Sage. I'm curious if you all think I should just skip that, or if it's worth checking out despite the complaints above.

I did it on my fist playthrough, but if I was going to play again I'd skip it. It contributes almost nothing to the story, and the bits of worldbuilding lore never really pay off.

Yeah, the main stuff in Bastard's Wound is not great. The main thing it contributes is that Lantry and Kills-in-Shadow all have substantial quests/interactions there. (I'm pretty sure Verse and Barik's loyalty quests were added in the expansion as well, but those don't require you going to the wound.)