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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)

Vault

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,669
Combat is the reason to play Deadfire it's probably has the best RTWP system on the market.

It's the story that is a massive let down and all the companions are terrible.

The post New Vegas Writer exodus is very apparent here and in the Outer Worlds.

I hope they find some good new talent for their next project
 

Mentalist

Member
Mar 14, 2019
1,898
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.
Say what?
Clearly you didn't try taking on an over-levelled group of enemies in the Cad Nua dungeon, or you would not be saying that.

I was constantly switching positions, getting my tanks out of the way of AoE spells, setting up walls of fire to restrict enemy movement, flanking, and my main (a cypher) was always weaving in and out of combat.

I think it took me like 30 tries to kill the boss on the second-last level when he was like 5 levels above my party, because the margins for inflicting enough damage, posessing enemies and avoiding enemy AoE attacks were razor-thin. And oi wasn't even playing on a high difficulty!

RTwP is a great system for RPGs. We need more games to use it.
 

GreenMonkey

Member
Oct 28, 2017
727
Michigan
I Kickstartered Pillars because there was like zero BG-style RPGs at the time. One of the only 2-3 indiegogo/Kickstarters I've done.

Never got around to playing it though much past the first hour. I get through about one big non-multiplayer game a year and I got busy with Bloodborne and then Dark souls 3, I think.

I actually went back and finished BG2 year or two back when I was in the mood. I'd played like 80% of it probably 3-4 times over the years but never quite finished it.

This year it was Darkest Dungeon, and last year it was Dragon Quest 11.
 

Bricktop

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,433
I am not sure why It sold that poorly either. Imo pillars 2 was improvement over pillars 1 in every way other than main story and companions. I really hope ms gives them another chance to make a big budget game in the pillars universe. It has such a unique world and interesting lore. I always end up liking the dlc way better than the main game in both pillars 1 and 2.
You listed exactly why Pillars 2 sold poorly, the first game just wasn't that good. People noped out of the series after playing the first, so it didn't really matter how good 2 was, it wasn't going to sell as well.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,240
I did buy both games, so I didn't contribute to the lower sales. It's pretty damning that I'm not having any kind of emotional reaction to the thought of not getting a third game in the series, though. I had to push myself to finish both games, PoE a little bit and PoE2 a lot. The world is moderately interesting, and the main plot of 2 was actually kind of interesting by the end, but the game was so meandering.

I also don't feel like after playing through two 40+ hour RPGs I understand how the mechanics work particularly well.
 

Brakke

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,338
A lotta people bought PoE1 and then either didn’t ever get around to it or didn’t like it.

There was such a glut of isometric CRPGs around then.

(Tyranny rocks.)
 

Alandring

Member
Feb 2, 2018
1,531
Switzerland
I think you can't truly understand if you only look at Deadfire sales. Tyranny also bombed and the same is true for Torment: Tides of Numenera. I just think that people are less interested by 2D RPG now than in 2013-2015. It doesn't mean you can't sell a game like that (Divinity: Original Sin 2 proves it), but it's much harder now.
 

PrimeRib

Member
Nov 16, 2017
69
I wanted to love both Pillars games more than I did. For me, it was primarily the loot system I didn’t care for. I spent far too much time trying to determine what weapon/armor was an “up” that eventually I stopped caring and it really took the wind out of my sails to keep playing. At times the game presented options that became a paradox of choice, particularly with the amount of spells and general open-ness to exploring.
 

KorrZ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
659
Canada
Personally I just didn't enjoy the setting change at all.

The whole pirate / colonial theme was a huge turn off to me. I enjoyed the classic fantasy setting of the first game and wanted more of that.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,722
Personally I just don't enjoy RTWP very much. Seems like a great setting/game. Just can't really do it when there's a lot of Turn Based Tactical and Real Time RPG's available.
 
Nov 9, 2017
302
Réunion


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.
I'm one of those (even though I was a backer). POE was ok, but that's all it was. What I didn't like about it? Too much battles, not enough towns, companions without any charisma (Minsc is still used today and I can't remember even one companion in POE), all those NPC with nothing but just an "another life" story to read.
 
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KernelC

Member
Aug 28, 2019
901
A better CRPG franchise, especially Divinity: Original Sin 2, took up most of the limited space for interest in that style of game.
unfortunate and harsh. But entirely true. Divinity Original Sin 2 is simply too good and too accessible.
Besides, PoE2's initial reception wasn't very positive. I'm personally not a fan of the visual style AT ALL of the franchise but I don't think that equals low sales. If that truly mattered, PUBG wouldn't sell like pancakes.
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.
as someone who greatly enjoyed the first game's first half.. the second chapter was awful. The story comes to a screeching halt for some of the most boring dialogues and situations. I am not someone who needs action to happen all the time, but I had trouble staying awake while playing it. I don't blame people for not sticking with it, first chapter is good - second is dreadful. The art doesn't help that much imo.
 

Stabbie

Member
May 8, 2019
1,550
unfortunate and harsh. But entirely true. Divinity Original Sin 2 is simply too good and too accessible.
Besides, PoE2's initial reception wasn't very positive. I'm personally not a fan of the visual style AT ALL of the franchise but I don't think that equals low sales. If that truly mattered, PUBG wouldn't sell like pancakes.
its not that Sin 2 is too good, its that its not a direct sequel and they completely changed the tone of the game
 

Vault

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,669
Larian took what people loved about 1 the combat and made a new bigger RPG.

They had hype from the moment they announced the kickstarter.

POE2 being a continuation of the first game and being on fig had none of that
 
Feb 12, 2019
325
Pillars 2 is fantastic and a general improvement over the first game, so it's a damn shame it didn't sell well. Tyranny too, for that matter. It feels like that particular Infinity Engine style of CRPG isn't going to have many advocates outside of smaller indie games like Tower of Time (which is arguably doing its own thing.) Now that Obsidian is owned by Microsoft and Outer Worlds did well, I sincerely doubt they'll make an isometric-ass RPG any time soon.

That said, I do wonder if it was a saturation thing. I love CRPGs, but they are very long. I can't help but wonder if the success of Divinity Original Sin 2 sucked out some of the oxygen in the room for Pillars 2. Certainly, the lukewarm marketing didn't help (and neither did moving to Fig, I imagine) but I can't imagine having to follow up the single most critically acclaimed, commercially successful game of the CRPG renaissance helped either. Makes me wonder how well Pathfinder Kingmaker did by comparison.
 

Karonoth

Member
Nov 10, 2018
1,079
Yeah, I think the press had a lot to do with it. Pillars 2 Kickstarter was even more successful than the first, but there were barely any news about it. I think in general a lot of Kickstarters in the beginning were heavily featured on gaming sites but that stopped after a while.

It also didn't help that there seemed to be too many CRPGs at once during that time, for what it's still a niche genre.

I think a Pillars 3 released in a few years with a bit of marketing by Microsoft would do a lot better.
 

BrassDragon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,258
The Netherlands
In theory I should like this game because it ticks all the boxes of things I want in a cRPG but I bounced off it three times. I just didn't click with the world and the characters in it... nothing I did felt like it had stakes I was invested in. My character just didn't feel rooted in the world. I'm sure that comes if you persist with the game but maybe I'm just shallow and can only handle the crunch if I buy into the fluff right off the bat.

I need that strong narrative drive to get me over the hump of character stat spreadsheets, lore dumps and a complicated combat system. When every stat allocation, dialogue tree and encounter feels like chore, it's hard to build the momentum and rhythm to see it through to the 'good parts'.

I can see how a game like Pathfinder: Kingmaker is inferior design-wise compared to Deadfire yet I could barrel through that game no problem because the hook and character interactions are immediately engaging.
 

Chromie

Member
Dec 4, 2017
1,208
Pillars of Eternity 2 can be played with turn-based combat now.
Doesn't mean it plays well. The game was designed for RTwP, it feels like it and slapping turn based combat on still takes forever. Honestly, I played through the first one. I am not crazy about the world/writing. In the words of Ben Hansen, it's a fantasy game. I hate the combat. RTwP is just terrible. I was exhausted on the game by the time I reached the end of Pillars 1, so much so I didn't bother with DLC. I played my friends copy for almost 10 hours but Divinity and Original Sin 2 felt like a very good evolution. Pillars 2 felt more of the same to me.
 

Cecil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,393
I backed the first one, but didn't buy the second one.

The reason for that is mainly down to me having too many games to play, and have had it so since the release of PoE2, and forward.

But, if a game is interesting enough then I will bump it up on the priority list, make time for it. And the reason for me not doing so with PoE2 is probably more down to PoE1 then the second game itself. I thought PoE1 played it too safe with the setting, making it look and feel too generic. And I also never cared for the combat in it, where I just didn't enjoy the encounters.

I know that PoE2 has adressed these issues, but I still haven't felt enough enthusiasm for it to buy it, with me still having games like Tyranny and Shadowrun: Dragonfall in my backlog.

If other people hade discussed PoE2 as a must play title, then I probably still would have looked it, but I don't think that the community here and around the game have given that impression to me.
 

Jegriva

Member
Sep 23, 2019
1,188
Do you want my two cents? Of course, you do.

The first is that making it a direct sequel was a mistake. Deadfire was better than the first one is almost every way, but by making it a direct sequel you force people to believe they have to play, and more importantly finish the first one.

The second was Original Sin 2 once again proved that in comparison to turn-based RTwP is ass. People might have given RTwP a chance for the first game but ain't nothing going to make RTwP good and people weren't going to give it another chance.

Their we go, that is Almighty's summary of why a better game sold worse. If they ever make a third game, and they damn well better, they should make it not a direct sequel and not RTwP. The sales will be better trust me.
Yeh, RTwP hater here.

I can play KOTOR because you control mostly one character and you have just 3-4 attack to use. But Pillars is just way too needy of micromanaging.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,026
My reason is that I have yet to play my copy of PoE 1. Also don’t like the prospect of suffering through RTwP.
 

Jegriva

Member
Sep 23, 2019
1,188


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, too. They might have comfused people buying the game, people loving THE IDEA of the game, with people actualy enjoying it.
 

Rad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
873
I didn't realize it sold badly. That sucks, it was a really fun WRPG. I really liked the open world element that sailing brought.

That said, the writing was probably one of Obsidian's worst. I mean it wasn't bad but it was pretty average.
 

crazillo

Member
Apr 5, 2018
1,843
Stuttgart, Germany
We'll see if the console ports of PoE 2 can still do something to save this game or franchise, but I don't think it will. If people just didn't enjoy PoE enough, it might be time to move on.

I played and finished PoE 1 like two years ago and found it good but inferior to all its competitors. This includes Tyranny (much more interesting setting, being the hand of a evil god), Pathfinder Kingmaker (creating your own kingdom is a big incentive to sell a game) and Divinity: Original Sin 2 (for its overall quality, writing, humor, options, coop, battle system), Thronebreaker (for its connection to the much stronger Witcher franchise). PoE had deep lore but I never found it fascinating and Elder Scrolls-like. Lots of long names and complicated foreign-sounding concepts, races and what-not. I never liked the writing, this is one of the few RPGs where I skipped text constantly. The Outer Worlds is much better in this regard. The real-time battles in PoE were never that fun to play either. The best part about PoE probably was its expansion and the own fortress. I've forgotton most about its plot except for the basic ideas about reincarnation and reading of souls. Somehow this game doesn't stick with you, and I'm still puzzled why. The best answer I can come up with is that PoE didn't really excel in any area.

I'm not sure we'll see Obsidian keep doing CRPGs, but if they do, maybe it would be a good idea to try something new. I personally always favoured Tyranny to explore further as a concept but that game basically just released without any fanfare and hype. I didn't even know the game existed when it launched. Not sure if it was similair for PoE 2 with many players. Obsidian now is with Microsoft so I think any new game from them would definitely have a higher level of recognition though.
 

captainmal01

Member
Oct 28, 2017
395
The world and lore of PIllars 1 were dry and boring to me, with no characters or quests that grabbed me at the start. Dropped it when I got to the city.
Pillars 2 looks much better environmentally, but the direct continuation and sour taste of the first are off-putting.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,922
PoE 1 is among the greatest games i've ever played and even i couldn't be arsed with the sequel

i love the crpg renaissance but imo this speaks to why it was a relatively niche thing in the 90s/late 00s. unless you're super big on the genre you're probably only going a play a few every couple of years
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,965
On the surface PoE 2 has a very fresh setting that seems shackled to a plot from a previous game. That goes away after you start and the game tries to do a clean slate (with varying degrees of success since half of your companions still reference the first game), but you only find out if you have the game already.
I guess you do direct wrpg continuations at your own risk if you don't have the cinematic approach of Mass Effect.
 

Karonoth

Member
Nov 10, 2018
1,079
Even though I'm a fan of RTwP I agree that they should move to turn-based. I feel RTwP fans can enjoy a turn-based game more than a turn-based fan can enjoy a RTwP game. It would also make it more playable on Xbox.

And they should probably start from scratch with a new IP to avoid criticism.
 

Spacejaws

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,107
Scotland
Suprised at people pinning it solely on RTwP. People would say the same thing about turn based JRPG's but then Persona and it's ilk come along and people love it.

For me what I've noticed with people I've introduced it to is the endurance/health thing is a bit of a mindfuck and I kind feel they could have easily had normal health system and still incorporated an overall stamina level to require resting and such. Some people just really don't get it at first.

Me personally, my big gripe is 2 things. 1 the effects during battle. Once you start getting loads of buffs and effects and spells it can't be really challenging to see what the fuck is going on. Sometimes highlighting your character the feedback circle would be hidden behind effects and you couldn't tell where the fuck they were.

Second was the neee for the characters to interject constantly, at some points seeming like a relay race where all your party had to make a comment. These moments I typically thought weren't written quite as well as their personal dialogue and it kinda threw off the pace of some moments where they would blurt out some cheesy comedic line while you are talking to a god. In general the comedy itself fell flat for me I just didn't find it witty enough to bring a smirk compared to cheesy moments in Baldur's Gate and Fallout and such.
 

DPB

Member
Nov 1, 2017
638
Doesn't mean it plays well. The game was designed for RTwP, it feels like it and slapping turn based combat on still takes forever. Honestly, I played through the first one. I am not crazy about the world/writing. In the words of Ben Hansen, it's a fantasy game. I hate the combat. RTwP is just terrible. I was exhausted on the game by the time I reached the end of Pillars 1, so much so I didn't bother with DLC. I played my friends copy for almost 10 hours but Divinity and Original Sin 2 felt like a very good evolution. Pillars 2 felt more of the same to me.
Having played the through the entire game in turn-based mode, this isn't a good implementation, it feels like what it is - an afterthought. Many spells and abilities have not been balanced at all for turn-based and are rendered useless. The number of encounters or enemies hasn't been touched either, so the game takes several times as long to play through.

I'm not that keen on Obsidian's version of RTwP, but I'd still recommend playing it that way over the endless turn-based mode.
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
2,684
Because it was. Avellone fans will continue to hype Durance and Grieving Mother as the best thing since sliced bread, but I think the writing was very much improved in the second game.
Literally rage quit and uninstalled the game when I reached Durance. What an awfully written character. Worst thing about PoE1.
 

chipperrip

Member
Jan 29, 2019
134
I found PoE to prove that real-time-with-pause is just terrible. It was tolerable in the infinity engine games because "trash encounters" would be over very quickly and painlessly in mostly real time. Pillars of Eternity is overflowing with trash encounters that still require you to micro-manage and stop-start constantly.

I thought the writing was okay, but the gameplay was too much of a chore for me to force myself through it. It's a real shame, because I loved the character builds and classes.

Fewer, more challenging and meaningful encounters would have done it wonders.

Literally rage quit and uninstalled the game when I reached Durance. What an awfully written character. Worst thing about PoE1.
Durance was great! ...Grieving... Mother... on the other hand... was hard... to get... past... all the... ellipses...
 

SoftTaur

Member
Oct 25, 2017
420
At least for me:

1) Advertised as a direct sequel to the first game so I felt like I couldn't play it without finishing that first. Which I didn't because...
2) RTwP is awful and even though Deadfire got a turn based mode built in, I would still have to slog through the first game which doesn't have that option
 
Oct 27, 2017
770
Like many said here last year I think the setting definitely played a role in the dropoff; the Island setting seems to be like Kryptonite to a lot of RPG fans as the same thing happened to Risen. It is possible but difficult to sell a Fantasy RPG that isn't traditional Euro-centric.

I will say that like POE1, I'm" waiting on the console port so that'll be one additional sale at least.
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
6,883
UK
Personally I just didn't enjoy the setting change at all.

The whole pirate / colonial theme was a huge turn off to me. I enjoyed the classic fantasy setting of the first game and wanted more of that.
I'm of the opposite mind. I'm sick to death of classic pseudo-European high fantasy in CRPGs, it's why I bounced hard off D:OS and Pathfinder. Pillars 1 was fine but the change in scenery was the only way to keep it from being stale to me.
 

johancruijff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,325
Italy
played and finished it last year, i swear to god when the game starts in the afterlife/limbo and dumps you all that stuff i was



there's also the issue abouth Fig and Kickstarter, engagement from KS plegders != funding by investors
and let's not talk about the naval battles minigame
and for the love of god stop with the VA for every *fart*
 

Pedro

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,393
I didn't like Deadfire nearly as much as the first game, one of my favorites from its year. After the initial exposition I wanted nothing more than to follow the main plot and see how and why that happened, but Deadfire would stop me so many times asking me to do things for the factions living in the archipelago and get into their politics. I just wanted to do my thing and go back home, and as a foreigner I didn't think I should decide how the natives live.

There was a confusion between what the game said it would be in the first minutes ("go after X and do Y"), and what it ended up being ("spend all the time in the world before going after X").
Additionally, I wanted an outcome for the story but another was forced on me so I finished the game thinking I never had any voice in choosing how things would end by the time it began.
 

dabri

Member
Nov 2, 2017
904
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.
This is literally the first I’ve heard of it. I backed the original POE but have never played it. Still installed, just waiting to go.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,683
UK
I can't remember why I stopped playing but I remember nothing about what I played of PoE1. It's a shame because I've heard that Deadfire is a much better game. But also I still have Divinity Original Sin 1 sorta started but not really started.

Eventually I'll just skip the middleware and go straight to Divinity Original Sin 2.
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
2,684
I can't remember why I stopped playing but I remember nothing about what I played of PoE1. It's a shame because I've heard that Deadfire is a much better game. But also I still have Divinity Original Sin 1 sorta started but not really started.

Eventually I'll just skip the middleware and go straight to Divinity Original Sin 2.
The D:OS games take thousands of years apart so you can just play whatever one you want.

I was in the same boat with PoE as you. When I loaded up PoE2, I had no idea what I did in PoE, especially the intro exposition that forces you to put the story together. I ended up importing my PoE1 save game, without even knowing what that would change or affect, because I just wanted to skip that part.