It just created confusion instead of satisfying questions and mysteries. The connection felt very flimsy towards the end. So the gods we worship are magical creations in the game. Like, why are there souls that reincarnate? Where does magic come from? Who made the wheel? Uh no one, just was always there. What purpose does reincarnation serve? Like a poorly conceived idea that was thrust upon the players.
Welcome to the world, friend. Pillars is just reflecting that. If you want a fantasy world where the gods created the world, there are plenty of intellectual properties for you. In Pillars, the universe and everything in it came to be through natural processes. I would have loved for Pillars to actually be a natural world where everything is created through natural processes. The game makes a very concerned effort to portray souls and reincarnation as natural parts of the world, through the emphasis on animancy.
If animancy as a scientific discipline can study and manipulate souls, then souls cannot be supernatural, because they are part of the natural world. Very nice article and interesting comments. And I have to agree with most of what has been written here, by everybody.
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I remember reading about this on the PoE wiki. Ironically, while I appreciate their storylines and world-building, I never managed to finish the first two Witcher games — I was too bored by the gameplay and the quests. While PoE has a lot of bad stuff going on with the combat, it was engaging enough for me to be able to finish. I also absolutely loved the books of Morrowind, they were one of the high points of the game for me, they helped a lot with world-building and immersion, even when they were just fiction books.
I am also unimpressed by the writing in Dragon Age of which only the first one I managed to finish, and that only once. So my point is: Definitely, from a technical point of view, this was the most well written, deep, intelligent and, well, role-playing-ish? CRPG I have ever played. I even prefer it over Planescape: Torment due to, uhmm, personal compatibility.
It did lack some much needed soul — heh, ironical in a game about souls…. The bit at the end of the game just felt so forced.
I played as a Priest of Eothas, and a character very dedicated to her her dead? A reason to want to take him out? You get hardly any of that though. I want to know! Even if the Engwithans created the gods, the gods still in every respect act like gods. Most seem to like them quite a bit. Knowing that the gods are artificial raises a number questions. First, are they worthy of being worshiped? Second, are they even necessary? Third, if they were made, can they be unmade?
If so, should they be? As an atheist, I found these questions very hard to answer. I fully understood Thaos and Lovaras motivation: This Revelation would really shake up Eoria. We never get to know Lovaras proof, but we have a Reason for Thaos latest plan. There was nothing to think about at all in those other games. You just killed the bad guy and that was it. I mean they were fun, but there was nothing that allowed for further reflection. You completely summarized my every issue with the story of this game.
Like to an eerie level: But since their gods are man-made, this is not the case — they cannot give purpose to the people, because it was the people that gave them purpose in the first place. And if you inspect their actions closely, their hollowness as deities is shown — while their power is fitting for a god, their behaviour in its core is mortal-like. And there follows the next question: The story of the game was merely a framework on top of which this idea and a few others were developed, in other words, a representation of the idea that the journey is more important than the destination.
I think part of the reason you and the like-minded players disliked the story was a fact that you yourself stated — that you hold personal stories with definite conclusions as more interesting and engaging than ones of global significance. In conclusion, I think you skipped reading between the lines while playing and this affected the final experience. One thing I agree on though — for a game named after them, PoE gives us way too little about the significance of the adra formations on the planet, apart from some hints dressed with uncertainty.
Thanks for writing such a well worded rebuttal, instead of just calling me an ass like most people who disagree with me. What were the global repercussions for that? If I overly humanized Thaos then I got to blame the writers for that, since I believe there was a lot of characterization for him through his flashback scenes and his love affair with the spymaster. I do enjoy debating about stories though, and opposing viewpoints are important, so I hope you keep reading the blog and challenge me on other items you disagree with.
Thanks again for writing! The question is not wether gods are real or not, in the game they clearly are real. The question is wether they are superior beings that created humanity, or the other way round. In my understanding, Engwithans created gods to influence other civilizations or their own? Also, Engwithans harvested a lot of souls to create these gods they built machines everywhere to trap and move souls for a mysterious purpose, which is revealed in the ending as tools for building gods.
How would you feel knowing that the gods you worshiped were made out of your stolen ancestor souls, and the heretics that suffered so much from inquisition were actually telling the truth? I just spent a couple replaying all the way through Pillars of Eternity to refresh in my mind what the heck this game was about before I try Pillars of Eternity II. This was my third playthrough and it definitely makes a lot more sense now than it did the first time I played.
We have priests that perform miracles in the name of their gods, the gods often intercede on behalf of humans, they occasionally make appearances through avatars on the planet, and they literally communicate directly with the character. All of these moral quandaries were ripe for the picking, but throughout the game one thing that is made absolutely perfectly clear is that the gods exist. That was never an open question that the character, or basically anyone else in the game other than Iovara and her weird followers, ever considered.
That weakens the story though. Knowing that religion is invented is somehow going to kill religion… When it already existed before? Iovara is tortured horribly over this? Oh and one more thing! If Thaos is really going to fight so hard to keep the gods around, you would think that the gods would be showing some results. If the gods were created to prevent craziness surely that would be somewhere on one of the gods agendas? I also wanted to give a shout-out to Grieving Mother.
I thought her story was incredibly touching. Thanks for your thoughts, I felt exactly the same way about the story. As you said, the Grieving Mother had an amazing story that emotionally resonated with the audience. I hope that PoE: Just like the last floor of the Endless Paths. Is the Master Below going to be Od Nua himself? It will scratch whatever religion-based-storyline rpg itch you might still have after this game. I agree with you and several of the other commenters: I think that could have still arisen conflict enough that Thaos would have wanted to hide the reveal.
The moment I felt incredibly ejected from the story was when you ask Iovara for her evidence and she literally tells you that she overheard some things behind a closed door.
Especially considering your character was pretty involved in the gods by that time. I did think that the final question was going to be something else, such as why I awakened, why he did all this, what his connection to Woedica was.. Guess I should have ruminated on the ending a bit more before writing. Long story short, I appreciated this post and the comments thereafter. I would have been amazing, had companion quests been richer. All that time and effort that had been put in writing pointless vignettes of soul readings of completely irrelevant NPCs would have been better spent on the creation of content that actually mattered.
It would have been something that Gwaine my Watcher would have done gladly. In that vein, I find it quite odd that Aloth would seek the help of an animancer for his condition instead of simply turning to the Watcher for aid. He ended up looking to him for answers during the examination anyway, and could have spared himself the copper attachments that only scared living lights out of him.
In those moments, I feel very involved in the story. We are only told that those do exist too, but the in-game evidence only shows botched experiments which bring about much suffering to the poor test subjects and to random bystanders as well. Personally, I find it great that this is a sequel with the same protagonist.
The protagonist had unique interesting powers and POE1 story felt like was only the beginning of a great journey. It feels like continuing to play BG series. Also, though it won't be required I highly recommend playing through POE1 to see what the story was about and get a feel of the lore, world and companions. If you absolutely can't do that then at least read the wiki or something. Also, you'll be able to choose all important decisions from scratch during character creation instead of importing a POE1 save if you don't have it. Start a New Discussion. Discussions Rules and Guidelines.
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Picked the wrong god. That's what it comes down to. Used to be a lot of Eothas worshipers in Gilded Vale. First conversation with Aloth. Tell me about yourself. I'm a wizard by training and an adventurer by necessity. I was born in the Cythwood, part of the mainland of the Aedyr Empire. Both of my parents served the nobility, which afforded me an education for which I'm grateful. First conversation with Durance.
Pillars of Eternity Plot Overview - The Story So Far
I swear before the whore that is Magran no harm will come to you in her shadow, if that's enough of a promise for you. Fire, flame, the searing heat of Magran's fury. All these await the unfaithful, the weak, those that help not themselves. First conversation with Sagani. What exactly are you talking about? I'm from an island to the far south called Naasitaq. I came her looking for a village elder, a man we know as Persoq.
I'm a hunter back home, so tracking someone wouldn't normally be a problem. First conversation with Grieving Mother. I am seen, but the eyes of others do not remember. You are the first to see me as I am, the caul stripped aside. Your reputation precedes you". Retrieved April 14, Conversation with Pallegina after completion of the side quest At All Costs. Defiance Bay, Ondra's Gift.
Whether you intended to or not, you've done the Vailian Republics a service today, ridding us of him. I work closely with the embassy to protect our interests, but lately I think our gaze has been too narrow. Kana Rua's character screen. First conversation with Kana Rua. What do you want from Maerwald? Or, to be less clever about it, a certain text. I've come in search of a great treasure, you see. Not gold or silver, but the Tanvii ora Toha. You might call it the 'Book of Virtues'. It's a sacred text of Rauatai — but we possess only a small fragment of it.
A Watcher sees, though. Knows what to look for. And sometimes they know a person just by looking at them. Knows where they've been in ages past when their bodies were other bodies. See memories even their owner can't recall. The Hollowborn have been a scourge upon the Dyrwood for almost fifteen years now. Children born without souls. Pitiful, dumb things that breathe — barely — but do not truly live. What I was taught was that the gods whose faith we had been spreading were not gods at all, but something else entirely.
Something created by people. Who created these gods? They were conceived by Engwith, a society of high minds and broad concerns.
All That Matters is the Ending: Pillars of Eternity – The Writer's Block
Why has Thaos done all this? He cares only for the secret he keeps locked away. He destroys anyone who might discover it, no matter their chances. Final conversation with Thaos.