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Josh Sawyer on the Possibility of a Pillars of Eternity 3 After the Low Sales of Deadfire (Compared to the Original PoE)

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,323
I think the marketing may have had something to do with it. I recall a lot of people not even knowing that Pillars 2 had been announced let alone released. Which is a shame because Pillars 2 is probably their second-best game after New Vegas. It’s a huge improvement over the first game.

I would love for a third game or at least another Obsidian CRPG.
MotB is their best game. I want the PoE version of that.

A tightly wound thematic experience that goes crazy places with a small group of high quality companions.
 
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clusterdreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,191
Atlanta, GA
RTwP is a dead sure thing for a game to bomb. It's so fucking archaic, I fucking hate it with a passion, and I'm a hardcore cRPG fan.
Haven't played the update that enables turn-based, but they absolutely need to embrace that going forward. Look how well Original Sin does it.

There is not a single advantage over turn based. None.
The RTwP worked pretty well in Deadfire since it’s has a system akin to FFXII’s gambit system. I didn’t find the combat to be a problem at all.
 

Giever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,201
Pillars of Eternity had a lot going for it marketing-wise. That Kickstarter push, the 'return' of a classic infinity engine type game. So it obviously had an advantage there. Plus, I think a lot of people got it and weren't hot on it. You know what that means for a sequel.
 

NippleViking

Member
May 2, 2018
1,376
I imagine most of the Pillars fandom want an isometric sequel, but MS should really consider capitalising on the groundwork, world and lore that has already been established, and build a 1st/3rd person RPG in this universe. Would be such a waste of a well realised setting. Unfortunately I imagine the market for classic top-down RPGs is shrinking, and consequently becoming increasingly competitive.
 

Forsaken82

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,377


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.

Also having so much of the marketing around 2 being focused on "It's a direct sequel to 1, it takes place hours later! You can import your character and all your decisions carry over!" when 13% of people who played the first finished it was probably a really god damned stupid idea.
This happens with A LOT of games. Grim Dawn for example only 43% Defeated warden krieg which is the final Act 1 quest. In Witcher 3 45% completed the Family Counselor achievement which is part of the family Matters main quest line which is EARLY in Act 1. One of the highest success rates I saw for an Act 1 completion in a big RPG was Divinity: Original Sin 2 with 60% fleeing fort joy. I just don't think this is a good metric to gauge success
 

Zukuu

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,984
The RTwP worked pretty well in Deadfire since it’s has a system akin to FFXII’s gambit system. I didn’t find the combat to be a problem at all.
It makes you auto-play, which is exactly the issue here. You just let everything happen. Maybe cast something at the start of the battle. But there is no incentive to position yourself or use spells mid-battle much. It's way too hectic for that and doesn't really flow. It's horrendous. That goes for any RTwP game, not just this.
 

CHC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,128
I played about half of Pillars of Eternity 1 but frankly, it just didn't hook me enough to want to revisit that world. I appreciated how it breathed some new life into the genre, but by the time I got to the main city I felt simultaneously kind of bored and kind of overwhelmed at the same time.
 

Almighty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,577
I imagine most of the Pillars fandom want an isometric sequel, but MS should really consider capitalising on the groundwork, world and lore that has already been established, and build a 1st/3rd person RPG in this universe.
A big-budget Obsidian "Greedfall" is not something I would say no to. Then again I mostly play isometric games because I must if I want good RPGs. My most beloved RPGs are not isometric.
 

sueil

Member
Dec 5, 2017
227
Poe1 was terribly and PoE 2 was one of the best in the genre. Poe1 being so bad probably had a lot to do with it.
 

Enduin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,704
New York
It makes you auto-play, which is exactly the issue here. You just let everything happen. Maybe cast something at the start of the battle. But there is no incentive to position yourself or use spells mid-battle much. It's way too hectic for that and doesn't really flow. It's horrendous.
This is not remotely true. Not in my experience at all. Positioning has always been important, same with spell use. Battles are only hectic if you allow them to be. I don't play with AI beyond auto attack, and even that I disable quite a lot, and control every step of the battle with how my party uses abilities and spells.

RTwP lets me dictate the speed of battle which is paramount. Having everyone acting in unison is central to the experience and critical to the feel of combat. When I make a speedy character that shit really matters in RTwP. Abilities, potions and equipment have serious tangible effects on their action speed and it makes combat extremely satisfying. Specing my party around each other strengths and using their various abilities in tandem to disable, weaken and take down enemies is beyond satisfying and not something a turn based game like DOS2 can ever provide. It has its own strength for sure, but it will never be an acceptable replacement.
 

clusterdreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,191
Atlanta, GA
A big-budget Obsidian "Greedfall" is not something I would say no to. Then again I mostly play isometric games because I must if I want good RPGs. My most beloved RPGs are not isometric.
Id actually be interested in something like that. A new Pillars game doesn’t necessarily need to be iso since we already have two of them. I am really hankering first a good RPG of that ilk, and Greedfall unfortunately didn’t fulfill it. As much as I wanted it to.


It makes you auto-play, which is exactly the issue here. You just let everything happen. Maybe cast something at the start of the battle. But there is no incentive to position yourself or use spells mid-battle much. It's way too hectic for that and doesn't really flow. It's horrendous. That goes for any RTwP game, not just this.
I just don’t agree with this. I had to be cognizant of my position in many of the game’s battles. The benefit of being able to let my AI do what I basically programmed them to do was super satisfying and I could always interject if I needed to with pause. I felt I had more control over what happened in combat with Pillars 2 than I did in DOS2. Some of the encounters in DOS2 took entirely too long because you can’t even control the speed of turn progression.
 
Oct 28, 2017
548


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.

Also having so much of the marketing around 2 being focused on "It's a direct sequel to 1, it takes place hours later! You can import your character and all your decisions carry over!" when 13% of people who played the first finished it was probably a really god damned stupid idea.
This; I was a Kickstarter backer for the first Pillars, but it was such a bore to me I never managed to get very far. Not surprised by these low percentages nor that the sequel did worse.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,918
Achievement stats are useless for these sorts of games. If you look at Divinity Original Sin games they are around the same in numbers, even lower for the first game. Heck I think you'd struggle to find any of these massive CRPGs with a completion rate on steam achievements over 20 percent.

This is doubly true once discounts and even bundles get figured in and diluting the stats.
 
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GUSH

Member
Nov 17, 2017
910
It makes you auto-play, which is exactly the issue here. You just let everything happen. Maybe cast something at the start of the battle. But there is no incentive to position yourself or use spells mid-battle much. It's way too hectic for that and doesn't really flow. It's horrendous. That goes for any RTwP game, not just this.
I loved playing on Path of the Damned in PoE1&2 specifically because it made you use all your abilities, reposition yourself frequently and make constant decisions. I can understand not wanting the game to play itself for you, but there are ways to completely avoid that and a lot of really memorable and challenging scenarios, especially in White March.

Pillars having so many abilities per character really lends itself to that stuff as well compared to the infinity engine RTWP games, because no matter what no class is going to be sitting idle while you shoot off a few spells every so often if you play on higher difficulties and are forced to take enemies seriously and engage manually with the combat system.

I completely understand not liking RTWP cos generally I'm not a big fan either, but the PoE games have the best execution of it to date imo.
 

Miletius

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,029
Berkeley, CA
Deadfire was amazing, but I think the market for a RtWP CRPG is super niche. Just the way it goes, and I think people were like "okay, I'm good" after the first.

I guarantee you though ten years from now people are going to be writing articles about hidden RPG gems from the KS age and PoE:2 and Tyranny are both going to make those lists.
 

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,323
Tyranny was really hurt by being a clear side project and the combat being so poor. That is the kind of inventive setting I want my wrpgs in though.
 

Stabbie

Member
May 8, 2019
1,550
RTwP is a dead sure thing for a game to bomb. It's so fucking archaic, I fucking hate it with a passion, and I'm a hardcore cRPG fan.
Haven't played the update that enables turn-based, but they absolutely need to embrace that going forward. Look how well Original Sin does it.

There is not a single advantage over turn based. None.
I largely prefer RTwP because its much faster in every single conceivable way
 

Almighty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,577
But Tyranny and Deadfire were so much better than PoE or Outer Worlds :(
Tyranny doing so bad still hurts. I loved the concept/setting for that game and I loved the idea of making a smaller but more reactive RPG. I like Pillars 1, but it was trying to go for that Infinity Engine rose-colored nostalgia that I don't have. Pillars 2 was better in that regard. The Outer Worlds felt like a good idea constrained by its budget, but I really like that game and was happy with what I got.
 

Shake Appeal

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,903
Pillars 1 was good, Pillars 2 was great. Both games had their flaws, but Deadfire has the pinnacle of RTwP combat. It's astonishingly good, and I'm someone who prefers turn-based games in general. Josh Sawyer's world was wonderful, and I'll miss it if it truly is gone.

The games didn't fail, for me; gamers failed them.
 

Massicot

RPG Site
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
1,665
United States
I wonder how much the nautical/islander aesthetic hurt the second game. That's what I thought going into the thread, but to learn the pre-launch sales were actually higher might suggest otherwise.

Maybe it really does just boil down to a more saturated market for a limited audience for isometric CRPGs.
 

Stabbie

Member
May 8, 2019
1,550
Tyranny doing so bad still hurts. I loved the concept/setting for that game and I loved the idea of making a smaller but more reactive RPG. I like Pillars 1, but it was trying to go for that Infinity Engine rose-colored nostalgia that I don't have. Pillars 2 was better in that regard. The Outer Worlds felt like a good idea constrained by its budget, but I really like that game and was happy with what I got.
Tyranny has very jaring design flaws and cut corners. PoE 1 had that monster of the 3.0 patch going for it and white march (which turned the game great), but Tyranny doesn't. On top of that it doesn't have a very good combat since its based on cooldowns and stuff. I think the fact that you gotta replay it at least 3 times didn't help, on top of having the "you're the bad guy" angle

Like it genuinely feels like a good tabletop rpg, in which consequences are amazing to witness
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,915
God if I had more alcohol in me I could deliver the screed to end all screeds on this game
 

Anoregon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,964
I wish there was a baldurs gate trilogy style mod that ported PoE1 into the PoE2 engine and let you play it all as one game. That shit would rule my life for a while. I love both games and would love to see the setting continue.
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,915
i haven't played or bought pillars 2 but josh sawyer should be allowed to make whatever he wants because he genuinely seems like a great dude
Yeah, he is, but he won't be allowed to make whatever he wants because people didn't play or buy Pillars 2.
Josh Sawyer should be allowed to make whatever he wants because Deadfire has literally the best class system in any game ever, and by extension probably the best RTwP combat in any game ever.

The 'probably' qualifier is only there for people who didn't mod the difficulty up and have yet to see the light.
 

Vault

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,669
They got people excited for a Baldurs Gate successor and delivered a game nothing like that in terms of tone and setting.

The first act is also boring as fuck and 80% of players dropped the game before Defience bay.

White March sold like shit and POE2 had less than half the backers of 1 the writing was on the wall for the series.

They then inexplicably decided to spend all their money on full voice acting which most RPG players don't give a shit about

Pathmaker:Kingmaker actually delivered what the people wanted and that's why even when it was buggy as fuck at launch it outsold Deadfire.
 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
11,931
Not America
Feels like TB combat system may stay on for PoE 3 for good. Furthermore, PoE 2 is unequivocally one most beautiful isometric games & perhaps the best looking isometric CRPG to date. It would be a shame to if there was no sequel.

I am still hoping for Deadfire to grace consoles first though.
 

decoyplatypus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,411
Brooklyn


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.
I think this is the simplest explanation. Sales for POE1 exceeded final consumer enthusiasm. Obsidian then designed POE2 around the assumption that POE1 was popular but just needed a few additions and refinements. And I have no perspective on the marketing, but it didn't seem to have penetrated even this enthusiast message board.

It's a bummer. POE1 was good -- especially after the expansions. And Deadfire is one of the best RPGs of the last decade, busted main story and all. I hope more RPG fans find it down the road. I would have gladly bought an Icewind Dale-like spinoff for Deadfire's combat. I still hope we get some kind of POE3 -- maybe turn-based, if that's what will convince MS to put up the money.

They then inexplicably decided to spend all their money on full voice acting which most RPG players don't give a shit about
That was Feargus's decision. And while it was not (imo) worth the compromises it required, it was definitely not inexplicable. Players complained about inconsistent amounts of VA in POE1. Divinity: Original Sin 2 went full VA, and many other high-profile RPGs had long since gone that direction. And if you spent five minutes in the FIG backer thread, you would see random users wandering in and insisting that RPGs needed full VA in this day and age. Pretty sure Sawyer has even said that, setting aside the problems it caused for Deadfire, audiences have signaled they expect lots of VA, so any project director will have to take that into account at the beginning of development.
 
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JohnnyEnglish

Member
Apr 15, 2018
70
honestly, I doubt PoE3 it's going to be isometric. I'm betting they're going elder scrolls style for the next games.
 

DanteMenethil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,601
Imo a big part of it is that Pillars 2 is another huge 50 hours + RPG that is a direct sequel of the first. Pillar 1 is a huge rpg in it's own right with very few people who reached the finish line and I imagine most people want to finish Pillar 1 before going to 2 since it's a direct sequel. Divinity original sin 2 had the better idea of not being a direct sequel to 1 so it was much more approachable for a broader amount of people.
 
Oct 30, 2017
153
My assumption was that POE1-hype reached people who wouldn't really play isometric games. Once they played the game, they knew it wasn't for them and moved on to not buying the next game.
 

The_R3medy

Member
Jan 22, 2018
823
Would not shock me if POE got a third or first person RPG treatment for Xbox Scarlett. Let Obsidian go wild with a great world and build their own Dragon Age-size game in that style rather than as a CRPG.

Either way, Obisidian has so much good going for them right now. The CRPG's they've released have been great, Outer Worlds was wonderful, and even their work on South Park way back when was great. Microsoft will surely want to continue to have them do this great work going forward. Things are looking up overall 😊
 

Burt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,915
If it's between that or nothing I'll take that easily
All they gotta do is draw the wool over Microsoft's eyes one time to complete the trilogy

Plus, with Microsoft's backing - both financially and as a door into the Xbox market -- and the lessons learned from Deadfire I do have total confidence that they have everything they need to make a game at least as successful as the first Pillars, if not Original Sin 2. And regardless, it'd still probably be the best RTWP rpg of all time.

Just gotta sell the suits once
 

Mentalist

Member
Mar 14, 2019
1,898


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.

Also having so much of the marketing around 2 being focused on "It's a direct sequel to 1, it takes place hours later! You can import your character and all your decisions carry over!" when 13% of people who played the first finished it was probably a really god damned stupid idea.
100% this. I played PoE, I enjoyed it (I was also a backer), but I never found the time to replay it again once White March was out.

When Deadfire came out, it just wasn't a priority, because I knew that if I were to buy it to play right away, I'd first have to replay the original- which was an enjoyable, but looooong game.

So naturally, I waited for a sale, and now it's sitting in my GOG library, waiting its turn.
 

Miletius

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,029
Berkeley, CA
They do need to conclude the story somehow. The game was designed with a 3rd one in mind. Hell, I'd take a limited expansion pack at this point.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,603
All they gotta do is draw the wool over Microsoft's eyes one time to complete the trilogy

Plus, with Microsoft's backing - both financially and as a door into the Xbox market -- and the lessons learned from Deadfire I do have total confidence that they have everything they need to make a game at least as successful as the first Pillars, if not Original Sin 2. And regardless, it'd still probably be the best RTWP rpg of all time.

Just gotta sell the suits once
The focus tests for PoE3 came back. Players were confused by the number of dialog and character choices, it should be streamlined. Players felt intimidated by the number of characters to control, better if they only directly control the hero. Players were not immersed by the isometric perspective, so it should be over-the-shoulder. Additionally, players complained that the combat system didn't feel responsive--recommend a more action-oriented, direct-response combat system. Also, in accordance with a new company wide policy, the loot will need to be overhauled so that we can bundle premium loot boxes with the collector's edition. Lastly, players continually did not know which was the right choice when completing quests--the setting needs clear 'good' and 'evil' factions for the player to root for/against.


Give up all hope now. Y'all know it's coming.
 
Jul 24, 2018
2,299
I hope Josh gets to make another CRPG and isn’t forced to make one that has to appeal to consoles, pretty sure he wanted New Vegas to play like the old Fallouts originally. That was the intention for the cancelled Fallout 3 anyway.
Pillars 2 was pretty great.