THE KEEPER IS A GIFT OR A CURSE? PILLARS OF ETERNITY OVERVIEW

Today, the reincarnation of the classics has become in vogue, and not without reason, because a considerable part of genres have lost their charm over time to please a new trend, this also affected the RPG genre itself. Where publishers boldly call their project RPG, only if there is pumping in it. Therefore, today CRPGs are finding a second life, because many gamers are already forgetting what this genre was famous for. One of the genre’s reanimators was the Obsidian company, which developed its own RPG, following the patterns of the good old CRPGs. And yes, Pillar of Eternity is the same reincarnation of the classics in the spirit of the Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale series, with a similar combat system, without trying to transplant the project on new rails, but simply remind the players why players love the classics so much.

(Beware of spoilers)

Role system

The developers of Рillars of Eternity decided not to take the role-playing system of the D&D model as a basis, but decided to create their own, and make it in some sense universal, and the developers succeeded. What is the versatility? If you remember that when leveling a class in an RPG based on D&D, the leveling was based on binding to one of the attributes in the characteristic. As an example: when creating a magician, intelligence is a priority, and a tank needs strength and physique. In Pillars of Eternity, this is different, and now, even for a tightly repulsed barbarian, it will not be superfluous to throw a couple of points into the intellect for the most successful outcome in using abilities, because what could be so paradoxical than a clever barbarian? This naturally lends itself to logic from the mechanical side. Let’s start with the fact that there are 4 types of defense in the game:

 

Deflection is protection from all physical, some magical attacks and abilities. (Depends on Vos and Resh)

Fortitude is protection from certain magical attacks and abilities. (Depends on Strength and Bodies).

 

Reaction – protection against certain magical attacks and abilities. (Depends on Lov and Vos)

 

Will is protection from psionic and other magical attacks. (Depends on Int and Res)

 

When pumping a character with a reduced level of intelligence, expect that in the heat of battle the character will be temporarily taken under control, and in the opposite case, the chance of the enemy’s spell resistance will increase. Also, do not pay attention to only one skill, because otherwise you will be swept by your vulnerabilities provoked by the lack of points invested in a certain attribute. When creating a character and the entire team as a whole, you should pay attention to each aspect, take into account the recommendations, and read the descriptions of each item of the characteristics that can be changed only at the stage of character creation. When creating the game, the developers wanted each attribute of the characteristic to affect the character’s stats, and oddly enough they succeeded, the role-playing system turned out to be large, if not cumbersome, with a considerable variation in the combination of classes, of which there are 11 pieces in the game. Starting from a wooden tank, and ending with a stung monk.

 

When creating a character, there will also be where to roam, whether it is creating the character’s path (race, gender, biography, class), or choosing a voice with customization of appearance, which of course does not shine with variety, but at least gives a choice.

 

As you level up, you also have to take care of which skills are worth investing in points. There are only 5 skills in the game: Mechanics, Athletics, Survival, Stealth and Knowledge. Abstracting from the needs of your class, invest points in a certain skill, if you are a fighter, then survival is for you, and if a magician or a singer, then in this case we choose knowledge, etc. In addition, skills are often used in dialogues, and at a certain level of the trained skill, you will be able to perform certain actions, or switch to compromises through conversation.

 

In any case, when selecting a team, you will be able to contact the nearest innkeeper to hire a mercenary, from whom you blind anyone, it all depends on the size of the wallet and so on and on.

Combat Basics

As mentioned, Pillars of Eternity took as a basis the mechanics of Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, taking over from there, if not all, then a lot, including the Real Time combat system with an active pause. Overall, Obsidian’s combat system is a success, and is quite capable of captivating the player. And you will have to fight a lot, VERY MUCH, and there will be a lot of profit, because all experience is given either for quests, or for research with joint filling of the bestiary, which is also present in the game. The only thing you can get from this is money and loot, which you can either sell or put into the craft, where you will have the opportunity to whip up a few magic scrolls and cook a couple of bottles of potions.

 

At first, I myself did not understand how the damage goes, and how some numbers determine whether I hit or missed. To begin with, the player will have to take into account the fact that opponents have resistances to a certain type of damage of which there are only 8 types in the game, having familiarized yourself with the enemy, you will have the opportunity to look into the bestiary, which is automatically filled upon contact with the enemy himself.

It is necessary to take into account what kind of damage deduction the enemy has, for monsters and animals this can be said to be natural, but for representatives of the human race this usually determines the armor they wear, which affects both the deduction of damage and the recharge of the attack.

Oh, yes, the character naturally has a health scale, but in battle we have a stamina scale, which is the amount of health per battle, the endurance scale is usually 4 times less than the health scale, and when in the heat of battle, your character’s scale goes down to zero, then the character falls unconscious, and gets up only when the battle is over. But to score on health itself will not be the best idea, because if the scale drops below zero, the character dies permanently. You can regain strength if you take a break, relax in a cozy tavern, or sleep off in your own fortress, which we will talk about later.

 

And now, when we took into account the nuances, prepared for the battle like the last time, then during the battle the damage inflicted is determined by the formula, which follows from many parameters.

The initial accuracy is determined by the class, and with each new level + 3 is added to accuracy and to all types of protection, as well as certain skills that you choose during pumping your character can contribute to this.

The type of protection is already formed from the attack inflicted on your character, if it is physical damage, then your stamina is substituted, if this spell subordinates your character to the enemy, will is substituted, etc. You will also have to observe what is happening, and depending on the situation, control it in the battle window in the lower right corner. In addition to direct attacks, an important role in the game is played by the abilities that the character opens as he levels up, which are divided into levels with which they open.

When using any ability within the radius of action, be careful, because the damage is quite capable of passing through your party members, and even yourself, the radius, which shows the possibility of causing damage to allies, is highlighted in red, but the area that does damage to enemies, and you no, highlighted in yellow.

Fireball radius

Of the minuses, I can only single out the excessive complexity of the bosses, which, even at the normal level of difficulty, are still the same problem, which is only Hadron Dragon, from which I am still in some kind of resonance.

Mother Feudal

As already mentioned, in abundance for everything, we are provided with our own castle, it seems like it sounds cool and with a swing, how many possible implementations, making it more than an ordinary hub, but the reality is that the fortress is only trying to be something more than just a hub location, but unfortunately all attempts to implement this leave much to be desired.

The castle itself is a plot of a once abandoned and cursed fortress, behind which lies a whole story, a bloody story. And in memory of everything that once happened there, only skeletons remained, and the manager, whose soul was imprisoned in the throne, and the player, as the lucky one who decided to take the fortress for himself, will have to restore it, and along the way explore the secrets that the fortress is fraught with.

For me, the element of my own fortress, became stifled in only one thing, this is a waste, as you might guess, in order to restore it, you will have to fork out for a few bags of pandas – the local currency, and for me it was happiness, because often in games in which there is an economy, beyond the middle of the game a mountain of gold accumulates, on which Smaug is slowly snoring, and the question of where to put it (gold, Smaug stays in place) raises a pillar, because when, in addition to consumables and armor, there is an opportunity to transform your own fortress, which, in addition to visual transformation, gives some buns.

 

In addition, it is worth praising the efforts of the developers to “simulate” the fact that this is a fortress, a monastery, on which a couple of robbers of average lousy attempted. And in which sometimes the inhabitants of Dyrwood stay for advice or help, be it the know or the villagers, which creates a kind of dilemma where you make decisions within the framework of the dialog box. And all this affects the end result, which is reported in the event point of the fortress.

 

And so, you have already built up, taking the local government into a fist, equipping and fencing the fortress. Where, on your own return after an exhausting and exhausting hike, it will provide an opportunity to relax in separate objects that you have rebuilt, where rest in one of them gives its pleasant bonuses.

 

Weekdays of the Guardian

You, a foreigner, who wishes to find a new home in lands unknown to you, called Deerwood. But, on the way, a completely expected outcome occurs, the caravan was attacked, which was later accompanied by a sudden storm. Taking refuge in a cave, you become a witness of a strange ritual, at the end of which everyone with whom you traveled perish, and you lose consciousness. When you regain consciousness, you understand something is wrong.

After which you will find out that you have awakened, you are a Guardian, a kind of mediator capable of seeing souls and communicating with them, which becomes for the character not to say that a gift, because many who owned this gift, as a result, went crazy. And the ritual is what you should figure out, along the way unraveling the tangle that the scriptwriters have prepared for you.

 

The backbone of the scriptwriting team was made up of real masters of the gaming industry, mostly from Black Isle Studios with Josh Sawyer himself who directed the project, Adam Brennecke, Tim Kane and Chris Avellon, who also participated in writing the script. Therefore, the audience prematurely guessed that the plot would be branched and correctly written in terms of role-playing games, where you would have to play a certain role in the plot.

 

Additional quests are also made in the spirit of good old RPGs, where the player has the opportunity to complete the quest with several, even not obvious, completion methods. Where the player will often have to face difficult moral choices that may well be reflected in the ending of the game, despite the obviousness of its completion.

But you also cannot do without criticism, which is only the quest line for one of the factions presented in the game, which have a background, but the number of quests performed leaves much to be desired, already after 2 quests, the player becomes his own on the board, only not enough at the end become the leader of one of the presented factions, according to the precepts of one game …

And also the writing of the text, yes, it is written skillfully and multifaceted, to some extent, but the text contains a sea of ​​water and references that they are trying to immerse you in the lore of the world, but as a result it confuses the player with each line of dialogue more and more … This is why some players criticize the game for being sad, and in a sense, this criticism is understandable. But the game coped with the main task, playing the role.

 

 The question of aesthetics

Regarding the atmosphere, this aspect is performed on a level that is accompanied by the tone of the location and its mood. Just one location design, which is sometimes breathtaking, the artists knew their business, and coped with it completely.

And of course music, for many gamers, the sound design element is a key factor in creating the atmosphere, thus setting the right tone for the project. And the music was a success, not to say that it was outstanding, but it copes with its task in full.

 

The White March Part

The game also comes with 2 parts of one expansion, and let’s start with the bad one. What a devil one DLC was cut into two parts, I understand that the DLC is really big and will take at least 15 hours to complete. But why, then, Blood and Wine for The Witcher 3, which is clearly no less in scale, is sold as a whole, and in the case of Pillars of Eternity, these are 2 parts of one adventure.

But if we move away from this thought, then we have a really great addition, with a heap of interestingly written side quests, and an equally exciting storyline, which, in my opinion, worked out even better than the original story. The plot is as follows: A letter comes to your fortress from a settlement called Stalwart, a long-forgotten fishing village, whose elder asks you for help, the purpose of which is to free the local forge to restore the metal and blacksmith’s trade, but where this idea will lead, and lies main question.

The add-on can really be called global, because it adds not a small map with an abundant number of locations, which are generously seasoned with all sorts of activities. Along the way, the player will also meet new interesting characters with their own background, and some will even be able to invite a team. The supplement will have something to surprise and delay for 15-25 hours.

Therefore, I advise you to join those who liked the original game, because the add-on will make you stay in Iora for a few more hours of an exciting journey, I think it’s worth it.

 

The White March Part

The game also comes with 2 parts of one expansion, and let’s start with the bad one. What a devil one DLC was cut into two parts, I understand that the DLC is really big and will take at least 15 hours to complete. But why, then, Blood and Wine for The Witcher 3, which is clearly no less in scale, is sold as a whole, and in the case of Pillars of Eternity, these are 2 parts of one adventure.

But if we move away from this thought, then we have a really great addition, with a heap of interestingly written side quests, and an equally exciting storyline, which, in my opinion, worked out even better than the original story. The plot is as follows: A letter comes to your fortress from a settlement called Stalwart, a long-forgotten fishing village, whose elder asks you for help, the purpose of which is to free the local forge to restore the metal and blacksmith’s trade, but where this idea will lead, and lies main question.

The add-on can really be called global, because it adds not a small map with an abundant number of locations, which are generously seasoned with all sorts of activities. Along the way, the player will also meet new interesting characters with their own background, and some will even be able to invite a team. The supplement will have something to surprise and delay for 15-25 hours.

 

Therefore, I advise you to join those who liked the original game, because the add-on will make you stay in Iora for a few more hours of an exciting journey, I think it’s worth it.

Obsidian could not otherwise, having rolled out the most powerful weapon on the field, this is talent. The developers managed to recreate the old classic so that it feels fresh today. I would definitely recommend Pillars of Eternity even to those who are not familiar with the genre, but are ready to join it.

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