so, now that it's been around a month since the game was released, i'm sure many people have made at least one complete run of the game. for those people, i imagine there's a sizable consensus that there's a notable drop in quality once the game hits act 3. arx is a buggy mess, the nameless isle has surprisingly little to do, the epilogue slides are generic and, overall, the whole portion of the game feels unpolished. if i had to compare the acts in terms of what feels finished and what doesn't, i'd say acts 1 and 2 are (by and large) both complete and mostly working as intended. a few bugs are normal and not worth complaining about in my opinion (they are worth pointing out however). by contrast, act 3 feels like it's still in beta, and is clearly the point at which the devs began rushing the game to completion. this is most prominent at the very end, with the meager, vacuous endings that all seem to bleed together with some minor differences, but can be easily seen as you traverse the nameless isle and arx

this has all been pointed out already and i only state it to set the groundwork for what this thread is about. because while the game at the end feels unfinished, unsatisfactory and overall just straight up worse than the first two acts, there are a few things that either make absolutely no sense as they relate to the story, or throw certain parts of the game's functionality into the air. these are things that i can only imagine occurred because of a lack of communication between writers

for example: in act 3, based on previous action in act 2, malady can die. it's not clear to me exactly what causes this, but if you make certain decisions in act 2, upon arriving to the outskirts of arx after the lady vengeance crashes, malady will say a few final words to you, then keel over and die

normally, this would be fine. i have no issue with previously made decisions holding consequences later in the act, especially if these decisions are clearly good or bad. however, this presents a number of problems to the game's progression from this point forward

for one thing, unless i'm missing something, all of the items you stored on the lady vengeance are now gone forever. you cannot access them, you can't teleport to them, and you cannot visit the hall of echoes because malady is dead and therefore could not have left the lady vengeance in the hall of echoes (at least, that's my explanation, because in every run i've seen in which malady dies, the hall of echoes cannot be accessed). there's no way this was intended, especially with no warning of this even being a possibility prior to it occurring

for another, lohse's story is basically over, unless you are an especially good player who can kill the doctor before he possesses her during your fight (or unless you kill him before he transforms, keep him permanently stunned until you kill him, or cheese him before the fight even starts), the doctor will simply possess lohse due to there being no way to weaken the demon. again, i can't imagine this was intended, although it is one of the less game-breaking consequences of malady's death

it gets worse, though: gareth, tarquin, han and almira can no longer be found anywhere. supposedly, they're in the hall of echoes, but because there shouldn't be any hall of echoes ship for them to inhabit, they seem to just vanish from existence. this is especially bad in tarquin's case, since it leaves his quest permanently incomplete and anathema cannot be acquired by any means. again, there's no way this, on top of everything else, was intended as a consequence for whatever comparatively insignificant decision you made in act 2 that led to malady's dead. it breaks too many things. i can only assume that people did not communicate enough on how different parts of the story interacted

there are probably other problems that present themselves during act 3, but i think that's all that needs to be said. however, it doesn't end there; at the end of the game after the final fight, regardless of the decision made, you end up back on the lady vengeance. how? well, the lady vengeance herself says that she was a "gift from malady"

but malady is dead! how did this happen? did it happen before she died while the ship was crashing? if it did, then why wasn't the hall of echoes accessible during the whole of act 3? did the writers seriously misstep this hard? i'm having a hard time understanding how this happened, and nothing in-game provides an explanation that differs at all from the one given if malady is alive

even more bizarrely, if you choose to give up your source, speaking to lohse will have her tell you something along the lines of "thank goodness for malady, otherwise we'd all be silent monks!". again, what? malady's dead. it really seems like the entire game just forgot about this happening and proceeded as if malady was still alive, even though you (and tarquin, AND gareth) literally watch her fall over and die as soon as you arrive in arx. you can even loot her body. she doesn't drop anything good

this game has its fair share of balance issues and bugs that need addressing, which this forum is good evidence of. this, however, is in my opinion the game's biggest problem. i can no longer even call act 3 "unpolished" - it's just straight up unfinished. it's un-revised. it's a first draft

i love this game, i really do, and no amount of bugs or balance issues will change that, but this is one of very few things about it that truly annoyed me. it's very, very bad that the story trips over itself this hard, not just from a lore perspective but from a gameplay/decision-making perspective too. the worst part is, i have no idea what kinds of steps would need to be taken in order for this mess to be cleaned up. it just looks like a gigantic "oops!" on the part of the writers. the ending of this game lends itself to an expansion or dlc of some point, and at first i was excited for this, but now i'm not so sure

let me know if, throughout the course of this post, i've missed anything crucial that renders some of the things i've brought up invalid. i'd really love for that to happen. i don't want this gigantic story blemish on the third act to be as bad as i think it is

apologies for how lengthy this is

Last edited by miaasma; 09/10/17 06:28 PM.