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> Pillars Of Eternity
SubRosa
post Mar 26 2015, 07:05 PM
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It is out today. Has anyone bought it and given it a try yet? It is on my To Do list of games. But I was hoping to hear a bit more about it. The Reviews are solid. It sounds like a modern successor to the classic Baldur's Gate-style rpg games, with a new fantasy setting, an isometric view, party of characters, lot of races and classes to choose from.


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ArtemisNoir2
post Mar 26 2015, 08:00 PM
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Somebody I know on a small, private forum (so I won't repost wink.gif ) has just written up his impressions after about an hour or so of play, and he's extremely impressed. This is a guy who really loved BG2 and PS:T yet also enjoys more modern games. So.. bodes very well indeed. I'm seriously considering picking this up for my new machine, though I also want to grab Dragon Age: Inquisition.. and Witcher: The Wild Hunt when it comes out.... and I need to buy clothing (badly).. As the Brits would say... Bugger! biggrin.gif

It's so nice to see that isometric games have made such a comeback recently! Hell.. I still sometimes fire up the BG series, PS:T and even the IWD games.

This post has been edited by ArtemisNoir2: Mar 26 2015, 08:02 PM
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SubRosa
post Mar 26 2015, 09:57 PM
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One thing I am really interested in hearing is how the new stats work. For example, I read that there is now a Might stat. But it is not simply how physically strong a character is. Instead it is the base for how much damage they do. Any kind of damage, be it with weapons, spells, etc... Likewise Intellect is supposed to govern how large area of effects are. So a mighty wizard and an intellectual barbarian can both be good build options.


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Acadian
post Mar 26 2015, 10:06 PM
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You can really see the BG influence in the shots and bit of footage. I wonder if normal mages will have to memorize spells the night before - I always found that a very clunky part of D&D.


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mirocu
post Mar 26 2015, 10:11 PM
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But Im not done with Oblivion and Fallout 3 yet..! tongue.gif tongue.gif


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stargelman
post Apr 16 2015, 05:28 PM
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Don't have time to post, really. As one of 77000 backers, it's my solemn duty to enjoy this game rrrrrright now!


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SubRosa
post Aug 28 2015, 12:37 AM
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Since it is on sale at Gog, I decided to finally buy Pillars of Eternity. I installed it and started it up to make sure it works, and created Persephone as a God-Like (it is an actual race!). It looks really good, and what little I have done so far plays just like the good old RPGs of yore: Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, etc...

The Nexus has some mods, and I downloaded a bunch of portrait packs. Naturally I also created a custom portrait for Persephone, using a screenshot from Skyrim (I have one I use for all the other games she appears in). It was really easy to make. They have to be in the .png format. There are two pictures you have to make, a small and a large one. The small one needs its name to end with _sm, and the large with _lg. The small one has to be 76x96, and the large 210x330. Finally, the go in your Pillars of Eternity/PillarsOfEternity_Data/data/art/gui/portraits/player/female or player/male folders. Like the BG games, you can change both your portrait and voice any time during the game just by clicking on your portrait.

Speaking of voices, there are about 7 or 8 to choose from per gender. You can also select no voice. They are not as cringe-worthy as in the old NWN games. But I still only found two that I really liked, the Smooth and Stoic ones. I see a Morrigan voice mod on the Nexus, so the voices are definitely moddable.

There are a lot of options in character creation. Besides sex, race and class, you can pick where you came from, which seems to determine your starting equipment. You also pick a background, which gives some extra bonuses. I also found an item list on the Nexus, which should make it easy to use the console to add things. I will probably try giving Persephone a greatsword to start with.

Okay, I just tried that. You open the console the regular way, with the ~ key. But then you have to press the Enter key before you can type things in. You have to go to Cheat Mode first by typing in iroll20s. Then you can use the Additem code to add your item. Then you disable Cheat Mode by typing iroll20s again. Apparently so long as you are Cheat Mode, your achievements are disabled. Like I could give a crap about that. But apparently some people do. I have no idea what the other cheats are. The add item one is probably the only one I will ever use.

So far it looks really nice. But I think I am going to hold off on actually playing it for a while. I still want to play Persephone in FONV, and have that Mad Scientist/Lich idea for FO3 as well.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 28 2015, 12:38 AM


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SubRosa
post Aug 28 2015, 11:18 PM
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I also forgot to add that it starts out exactly the same way as Baldur's Gate, with a narrator giving you a brief introduction with a backdrop of a still picture. I am positive it is even the same man doing the narration that did it in BG1.

Speaking of which, the very first NPC you talk to is played by the same voice actor that did General Vargas in Wasteland 2. I also recognize the voice the second NPC as well, a female fighter who teams up with you. I am not sure where I remember her from, but I have definitely heard her before. Ok, I looked her up. She is played by Cindy Robinson, who did Astrid in Skyrim.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Sep 2 2015, 04:46 PM


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Acadian
post Aug 28 2015, 11:45 PM
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Thanks for sharing your impressions, SubRosa. I know we have a common frame of reference (BG/NWN) and that makes it easy to follow your thoughts. Let me know when you learn if it uses the D&D spell mechanics of having to memorize spells the night before. smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 29 2015, 03:40 AM
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Okay, since you forced me, I spent the evening rolling several different toons to experiment at pwning the game with.

The first I tried was an Elf Wizard. Wizards can only cast the spells that are in the grimoire they have active. I am not sure how many spells you can put in a single grimoire, but I know you can have more than one of them. You can cast any spell you want from the active grimoire however, up to a certain number per rest period (read per day in the old D&D days). Once you reach your limit, your master of arcane magic spends the rest of the time bashing things with a club or hurling pointy sticks, as befits one of great mystical power. My Wizard had 2 spells per rest period, which meant she spent most of the time not casting spells.

So it is basically just like the old days of D&D. Well almost. Every class receives a special ability that they can perform once or twice per combat. This refreshes between fights, so you can use it over and over again without resting. The Wizard gets one called Arcane Assault, which is a basic magic damage ranged attack. So you will always have that to do twice every time you fight, even when you are out of spells.



Magic works a lot better than I initially realized. I believe all Wizards start with an implement (a wand, rod, or scepter). These are not melee weapons as I had initially thought, but ranged weapons. They are like the staffs in Oblivion or Skyrim. A Wizard's spell casting is still limited by per rest, but they can use their implement indefinitely for a ranged magical attack. The damage is comparable to the starting one-handed swords, daggers, axes, etc...

If you take the Blast Talent (which I believe you should), attacks with your implement get turned into a small area-effect blast with a 5 point DR bypass (armor-piercing). Add the Penetrating Blast Talent, and that turns into a 10 point DR bypass. So you have a continual source of magical attacks with your implement that are nothing to sneeze at.

Finally, IE Mod allows you to change how many spells you can cast per level, how many your grimoire can hold per level, and whether your spells are castable per rest or per encounter (also selectable by level). I highly recommend IE Mod, not just for spellcasting.


Concerning resting, you can only do it in an inn, or if you are in the wilds if you have camping supplies. So far I have not come across either one, so I have not been able to try resting out.

I also tried a Druid. Their special ability is to Shapeshift once per combat. You can choose from half a dozen different animals, each with its own special buff. The bear has a lot of extra endurance and a frightening howl. The wolf can knock enemies down, and so on. The Druid also gets spells, but unlike the Wizard you don't have to fool around with any of that grimoire business. You have access to all the spells of your class, without having to memorize them. But there is still a limit to how many times you can cast them per rest period. For my starting Druid it was twice. She spent most of the time shapeshifting into a bear and beating on things, which I admit I found very satisfying. Outside of that she had a couple of times she could strategically use a spell.

Finally I tried out a Paladin. The Paladin gets to pick one out of two possible special abilities. Either a Lay on Hands that heals people, or a Flaming Weapon that gives you extra damage for one attack. I went with the latter. Otherwise the Paladin played like a Fighter. I think they have some passive abilities that improve their defenses.

The first NPC that joins you is a Fighter, so you get to play her as well. Fighters get a Knockdown special ability that they can use twice per combat. It is nice, as putting someone on their back means they cannot attack you until they get back up. It is handy for crowd control, because you can knock one baddie down, then run to the annoying archer shooting you from a distance and clobber him before the first one gets back up.

Here are some observations on the nuts and bolts of how things work:

Might is how much damage you do. It is sort of like Strength, but is all damage, melee weapons, ranged, or magic. So Might is good.

Dexterity improves your Action Speed, which I think means how quickly you can attack. Your armor seems to also slow down your attack speed, based on how heavy it is. So a low Dex, heavy armor character does not get a lot of chances to do anything.

Perception is your chance to hit (not Dexterity!), and to Interrupt your target's actions (see below).

Constitution does exactly what you think.

Intellect affects area of effect and durations. Not just for spells, but special abilities as well. I am not sure how many non-spellcaster abilities there are with aoe or durations though. I didn't notice any to start with.

Resolve seems to be a lot like the traditional charisma stat, in that it is used for threatening or persuading people. But it also adds to your Deflection some, and a lot to your Concentration. If you are hit while performing an action, be it casting a spell or swinging a sword, you can be interrupted. Concentration is your defense against that.

PoE is a little weird in that you have two health stats. One is Endurance, which completely refreshes between every combat. If your Endurance goes down to zero you get knocked out, but not killed. After the fight is over you get back up and get all your Endurance back. Health is the other stat, which only recovers from resting. You have a lot more Health than Endurance. One of my characters had like 55 Endurance and 170 Health.

Attacks damage both Endurance and Health. So you are going to get knocked out before you get killed. Unless you have been fighting a lot without resting, and your Health has slowly eroded. I saw my characters taking Endurance damage a lot more than health. But of course it completely refreshes after every fight.

So stats to pay attention to are Might for damage, Perception to hit, and of course Constitution to stay alive. Armor slows down your attacks, so tanking up on the heaviest armor is not necessarily the best idea.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Mar 26 2017, 09:26 PM


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Acadian
post Aug 29 2015, 03:55 AM
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Wow, thanks for such wonderfully detailed observations. Sort of too bad about the wizards - they were always a pain to play or fight against in BG II.


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SubRosa
post Aug 29 2015, 04:16 AM
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Forgot to include A pic from my Druid's game. It will look familiar to anyone who has played the BG or NWN games.

The biggest difference in the UI is that the character portraits for your party are the bottom left. When you click on a character's picture, it automatically brings up a line with their abilities, spells, and weapon sets above. That makes it easy for spellcasting and using special abilities. Like the older games, you can have several weapon sets, starting with two. That makes it easy to switch from something like a sword to a bow on the fly.

By default the game automatically pauses at the start of every combat, and you can pause at any time to issue orders to your individual party members. So just like with the older games. There is also a slow time option, that lets you keep the action going without pausing, just slower. But I think I prefer the old way of pausing best.

There are basic AI routines you can assign to your party members for them to do automatically, like attack everything, attack only those attacking you, etc... Just like in the old games.

The races are interesting. Besides the standard Human, Elf Dwarf, they have an aquatic race called Aumaua. They kind of are the orcs of the world, in that they are bigger and stronger than others. But not green or tusky. The Orlan are smaller, so might be similar to Hobbits or Gnomes. But they seem half-animal, with horns, fur and so on. I made my test Druid an Orlan. The Godlike are the most interesting new race. They seem to members of the normal races that have gained Divine mojo, which has altered them physically. They come in different flavors, like Nature Godlike, Death Godlike, Fire Godlike, and Moon Godlike. Each has their own special abilities.

Besides picking a race, when you create a character you also pick the Culture (not race) they came from. Basically it is the area they grew up in. Each confers a +1 bonus to a different Attribute, and determines what equipment you start with.

Then you pick a Background. Basically what you did. This gives you a bonus to one or two skills. Not all backgrounds are available in all Cultures.

You can change your character picture and voice at any time during the game. You can even use the voices of the opposite gender if you want. You can also change the primary and secondary colors of your character's gear at any time during the game.

The PoE Wiki is a handy place for all sorts of info on the game.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 29 2015, 04:07 PM


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Acadian
post Aug 29 2015, 02:21 PM
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The screenie looks great. As you say, quite familiar looking. But better, sharper and crisper - very nice. In fact everything you describe sounds like minor tweaks to BG - which is a good thing. I liked the pause stop and start during combat since I'm not the best at quick clicking combat. Neat! smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 29 2015, 05:45 PM
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I did some digging, and found a list of helpful console commands.

I experimented, and the Rest command does force a rest, even if you do not have camping supplies. Like the old games it takes you to a short vid of a campfire while you rest. Then you pop back to the game with full health and spells. So this is one way you can make a mage viable, so long as you do this between every battle. Though that would probably get tedious.

As with the Additem command I used before you first have to open the console, and type in IRoll20s to enter cheat mode first, and then do the same after to disable cheat mode.

I was thinking if you simply modded the spells to be per combat rather than per rest, that would eliminate the craptacularness to playing a mage. But modding Pillars does not look as easy as Bethesda games.

I found some mods that alter gameplay, and tried reverse-engineering to see what the modders did. But so far no luck. Obsidian has not released a game editor like the creation kit. I think people are just using hex editors to open game files. Though I could be wrong. I used Notepadd++, and while I saw a lot of stuff, I was not sure what I was really looking for.

Pillars is using the Unity Engine, so I think I will try looking for ways to edit that in general as a starting point. This thread from last year talks about a Unity Editor which might be just the thing, but it seems to need some custom extensions to handle Pillars of Eternity.



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SubRosa
post Aug 29 2015, 10:10 PM
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Ok, here are some basic console commands that work. Remember, start by entering iroll20s into the console to enable cheats:

AttributeScore Player {attribute} {Final Value} = This changes the player's noted attribute to the value you put in. It is always Player for the PC, no matter what name you gave yourself. With Companions it is the Companion name. But it is not the name you see in the game, but the game's internal name for them. They start with Companion_***. It looks like they each have a file in the Pillars of Eternity\PillarsOfEternityData\Assetbundles\Prefabs\ObjectBundle folder. So Aloth is probably companion_aloth, Grieving Mother is companion_gm, etc... You could also use the FindCharacter code (see below) to get the name as well.

AddAbility Player {Ability Name} = Again, get the ability names from the same ObjectBundle folder above.

AddTalent {Talent Name} = same as before, except it seems to automatically work on the player without having to specify a character.

Skill Player {Skill Name} {Value} = Gives you the given skill at the value you enter.

Additem {item name} {amount of items} = Uses internal item names, automatically gives them to the PC. Again get the internal names from the ObjectBundle folder above. Most are simple: Great_Sword, Great_Sword_Fine, Sword, Sword_Fine, etc...

SetZoomRange {minimum zoom} {maximum zoom} = I find SetZoomRange 0.2 1.2 works good.

ManageParty = opens the party management screen

GivePlayerMoney {Amount} = does what it says

AddExperience {Amount} = again, does what it says

AddExperienceToLevel {Level} = Gives the entire party enough xp to reach the Level specified. If a character already has more than that, they are unaffected. This is good for bringing hired Adventurers up to the same level as the PC.

Rest = Forces a rest period, even if you do not have camping supplies.

HealParty = Automatically heals all party members.

UnlockAll = Unlocks all the containers on the map.

FindCharacter {Name} = Displays all the internal names matching the name you give. This is handy with other commands like AttributeScore.

Kill {Internal Character Name} = Kills the character you list, get the internal name from the command above.

AdvanceTimeByHours {hours} = Moves the clock up by the number of hours you specify.



There are some new commands only available in the latest version of IE Mod:

Ctrl + Y = Inflict 50 000 damage to whoever is under the cursor (Party included, be careful with that one)

Ctrl + S = Restore Spells and ability uses

UnlockSoulBond = Fully binds all equipped soul items for the selected character.


ChangeClass {name} {Class} = Respecs the named character to level 0 in the class given.

Warning: do not attempt to transition/quit/save game while your character is level 0. You need to level him up first. Do not attempt to open your grimoire, etc. Just immediately proceed to leveling up.

If you're respeccing into a Paladin or a Cleric, you'll need to manually assign yourself a Paladin Order or a Deity. Use the following console commands:

AssignClericalGod {simple name} {god}
Charname should be that actually displayed in the game, and not the internal name used in other commands. Possible values for godame: None, Berath Eothas, Magran, Skaen, Wael.

AssignPaladinOrder {simple name} {order name}
Possible values for order name: None, BleakWalkers, DarcozziPaladini, GoldpactKnights, KindWayfarers, ShieldbearersOfStElcga, FrermasMesCancSuolias.


This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 4 2017, 11:19 PM


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Acadian
post Aug 29 2015, 10:26 PM
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I can see that if I ever pick up PoE, I'll be coming back to this thread, your notes and that link you provided. smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 30 2015, 02:00 AM
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If you ever pick it up? Does that mean you are actually considering it?

I rolled a new toon tonight. Oya is a human barbarian ocean-folk. I am trying out something I noticed in last nights tests. I invested most of her attribute points in Dexterity for the higher attack speed, and Perception for the hit bonus. Then in Constitution to stay alive. Then I went dual-wield with her, using with weapons that have a Fast attack speed.

Weapon speed is either Fast, Average, or Slow. The slower ones obviously take more time between your strikes.

I also noticed that weapon damage is the same for all weapons of the same speed. So daggers do the same as rapiers, clubs, flails, hatchets, and stilettos. I think the real difference between them is that there are also three different types of damage. Piercing, Crushing, Slashing. Some critters have better defenses against one type, but are weaker against another.

Each weapon also has a bonus. Oya's hatchet gives her a +5 Deflection bonus. Stilletos bypass 3 points of Damage Reduction (armor).

So anyway, my thought with Oya was instead of concentrating on a high Might attribute for damage, to try going for a very fast, flurry of attacks style. So far it is working really well. I cannot believe how much faster she is attacking than my previous characters. She is taking down bad guys a lot faster too. So less damage per hit, but more hits in less time, is really working.

My only concern here is that Damage Reduction reduces your damage per hit. So far Oya has only been going against baddies with a moderate DR. When she runs into tougher creatures with a high DR, it might be that not much of her damage gets through. I could perhaps invest in a couple of stilletos for those occasion, for the armor piercing effect they have.

She is also my first time trying a Barbarian in this game. Like other games the Barbarian has a Frenzy ability that makes them tougher in combat. It gives a bonus to Might, Constitution, and attack speed, but reduces their Deflection. It is usable once every combat, so is a real workhorse. Unlike other games, there is no penalty to her stats after it wears off. So it is pretty awesome.

As a Barbarian she also gets an ability called Carnage, that gives her automatic attacks with lower damage against every baddie around her. So very handy when being mobbed. And lets face it, in these games you are always being mobbed by three or four times your own number.

Oh, and something I have been forgetting to mention. If you press the Tab key, it highlights all the objects on the screen that you can interact with. Just like in the old games (notice how often I am saying that?).

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 30 2015, 03:11 AM


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SubRosa
post Aug 30 2015, 09:29 PM
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I bring glad tidings from the world of Pillars. I played some more with Persephone today, and leveled up twice. So now I can share some things about leveling.

I have already mentioned Abilities and Talents. Every time you level up you get to pick one. On odd numbered levels you get an Ability, so level 1 (when you start the game), level 3, 5, 7, etc... They appear to all be class-specific, and there are not that many to choose from. It looks like you get two or three new ones added to the available list every time you hit an odd level.

On even numbered levels (2, 4, 6, 8, etc...) you pick a Talent instead. There are a lot of Talents. A handful appear to be class specific. But the vast majority are ones that anyone can take.

So these are like the Perks of D&D 3.0 and other games since. There are lot more of them than you can ever take, so here is where you really customize your character.

So far I have not had the chance to increase any Attributes. So it looks like in D&D 2.0, where you were stuck with whatever you started with for the entire game. But I am only 3rd level, so I could be wrong.

Today Persephone also came across a dog that she was able to adopt. It was just added to her inventory like any ordinary item. To make it appear in the game she had to equip it (there is a specific equip slot for pets). So now she has a Black Hound following her. From what I read there are other pets you can get, and they do not fight, or get attacked. They are just there for looking at.

I have also discovered what appears to be a bug with the latest game version (2.00-something). There is a little 0 on my character's portrait in the hud. It doesn't seem to do anything, or signify anything. It shows up on every character I create from the very first moment of the game. It does not appear on any of the NPCs in my party. I asked around the official forums, and it looks like at least one other person has it too. Apparently it is a bug. Though granted, not a serious one. It is just strange.


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 30 2015, 11:52 PM
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Thanks to your reviews, I downloaded Pillars for the Mac (on sale in the Mac App Store, too, for 33% off). So I haven't yet fired it up, since I'm deep in Skyrim with my newest toon. But someday . . .


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SubRosa
post Aug 31 2015, 12:49 AM
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Yay, another forumite has been Pillared! laugh.gif Since everyone had it on sale with the same amount off I am guessing it was Obsidian that decided to put it on sale, and not any one individual store.

I discovered something new today. Traps are detected and disarmed solely using the Mechanics skill. So it is a good idea to have at least one character invest heavily in that.

Some other thoughts on skills are:

Everyone should have 3 points in Athletics. Apparently combat adds fatigue to your characters. Atheletics at this level reduces that fatigue by 90%. So this way your party won't need to rest as often (at least because they are tired)

Survival increases the amount of time that potion and food buffs last.

Lore is needed to use scrolls. I just tested it, and anyone with a high enough Lore can use scrolls, not just magicians. Lore also unlocks more info on the monsters you fight. It also adds extra dialogue options in some cases.

Stealth is what you think it is.

With this in mind I am going back and using those cheat codes to redistribute my party's skills...

Oh, and Pillars is very Alt+Tab friendly. I just Alt+Tabbed from it to go back to my Desktop right now and post this.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 31 2015, 12:56 AM


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