the problem with deadfire was that it was an inferior product pure and simple. PoE 1's main shortcoming was that it was boring and the sequel did nothing to fix it and loaded it up with more Sawyer retardation. They made spell slots "per encounter" rather than "per rest" in an attempt to reduce tedium but somehow missed the point that the real tedious part of the game was the world, characters and writing. If I were to put my finger on what was THE fatal mistake they made aside from Sawyer having too much influence, it's that they made a sequel to PoE 1, and not only that, that they followed the same characters too.
They really needed to just flat out try again because they had written themselves into a boring mess of a hole, and they might've been able to accomplish that if they moved away from the retarded watcher storyline to something else, or if they just abandoned PoE entirely and wrote a different world (although judging by how bad Tranny was they'd probably fuck that up too).