webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:25PgS_O4z48J:www.polygon.com/2017/1/26/14389930/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-announcement-crowdfunding-figObsidian announces Pillars of Eternity 2
The sequel will be crowdfunded, and offer equity in the game
Concept art for Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire. Obsidian Entertainment
The team at Obsidian Entertainment is going back to the well, announcing Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire as a high-profile, equity crowdfunding effort through Fig. The campaign goes live today, and is seeking at least $1.1 million, with $2.25 million open for equity.
The original Pillars of Eternity began as a Kickstarter campaign called Project Eternity, which raised nearly $4 million in October of 2012. The isometric role-playing game promised to be the spiritual successor of classic games like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. The final product was well received by fans and critics alike, and featured a pausable, real-time combat system and multiple branching story paths with over 80 hours of gameplay, not including downloadable content.
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire promises to pick up where that game left off. A direct sequal, it promises to take the statue of Caed Nua, previously conceived as an elaborate sidequest funded in large part by Kickstarter backers, and turn it into the centerpiece of the entire game.
Early in-game art from Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.
“Eothas ... the god of light and rebirth was thought dead, but he now inhabits the stone titan that sat buried under your keep, Caed Nua, for millennia,” reads a press release. “Ripping his way out of the ground, he destroys your stronghold and leaves you at the brink of death. To save your soul, you must track down the wayward god and demand answers — answers which could throw mortals and the gods themselves into chaos.”
The campaign promises players the ability to travel by both land and sea, where they’ll encounter new cultures and environments. Non-player characters will keep their own schedule, which will lead to dynamic quests. Some old party members will even return.
Concept art for Pallegina, Edér and Aloth, several potential party members in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.
Obsidian even alludes to the fact that players may be able to carry over their save files from the original game to “continue the story you began as the Watcher of Caed Nua ... and see how your decisions and actions in the Dyrwood persist in Deadfire.”
The Fig campaign will feature traditional, rewards-based crowdfunding as well as equity investment for non-accredited, non-high-net-worth individuals. The terms of the investment opportunity will be available on the campaign page when it goes live.
pcgamesn.com/pillars-of-eternity-2/pillars-of-eternity-2-release-date-story-setting[h=1]Pillars of Eternity 2: story, setting, companions and more - everything we know[/h]
A few years ago, Obsidian designer Josh Sawyer flipped a map of the Forgotten Realms’ Dalelands, stuck some different labels on it and named it the Dyrwood. One record-smashing Kickstarter later, he and his team had revived the spirit of the Baldur’s Gate games, with the wilderness exploration and spacebar-thwacking tactical combat intact.
Fresh from another isometric RPG, Obsidian now intend to fold some of Tyranny’s reactivity and unfamiliarity into Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - a sequel as ambitious as Baldur’s Gate II was.
[h=2]When is the Pillars of Eternity 2 release date?[/h] That's the multi-million crowdfunded dollar question.
“Most of the people who worked on [Pillars expansion] The White March have rolled over,” says Sawyer of the Pillars 2 dev team.
The White March Part II shipped in March 2016 - from which we can extrapolate that the sequel team have been at full strength a little under a year.
From Kickstarter to release, Pillars 1 was turned around in two and a half years - though it's worth noting that Obsidian have already built the tech to power this isometric follow-up, so Pillars 2 may well be with us faster.
[h=2]What’s the story in Pillars of Eternity 2?[/h] We’re going god-hunting. Eothas, the Eoran deity of light and rebirth, has inhabited the stone titan buried beneath the player stronghold Caed Nua for millennia. But now he’s awoken, tearing up through the earth, destroying the keep and half-killing you in the process.
The story of Deadfire, then, is a personal quest: to chase down Eothas, save your soul and find answers - answers which could “throw mortals and the gods themselves into chaos,” according to Obsidian.
[h=2]Where is Pillars of Eternity 2's setting?[/h] “If you’ve gotten tired of seeing temperate forests and meadows for 80 hours,” Josh Sawyer tells us, “Let’s take a look at something else.”
Pillars II takes place in the Deadfire Archipelago - a smattering of small volcanic islands far to the south of the Dyrwood. Where Pillars 1 had a Middle Ages European vibe, the Deadfire more closely resembles the southern Pacific island chains of Asia.
“It has more of a Polynesian flavour, overall,” confirms Sawyer. “The climate is much different, the foliage you see is much different.”
The archipelago is in the process of being colonised, however, so you will see familiar faces and races - the humans and dwarves of Old Vailia, plus the Aumaua of Rauatai. Here be monsters, too: out on the ocean to the east, terrible sea creatures cut short any explorative excursions. Not that players are likely to want for space to wander.
“It's a big archipelago,” notes Sawyer. “It’s full of sea monsters, pirates and volcanoes, all sorts of crazy, crazy stuff.”
[h=2]What factions are in Pillars of Eternity 2?[/h] Naasitaq, made up mostly of Boreal Dwarves and Aumaua, is the largest and most stable nation in the Deadfire islands. But a number of empires are at loggerheads over the archipelago, presenting Obsidian with plenty of opportunities to ask the player to take sides.
As for what form those faction decisions will take, the dev team are looking toward the example set by last year’s Tyranny.
“In Pillars 1, we dropped the factions at the end of Act 2, and so [players] didn't really feel like their choices were super significant,” admits Sawyer. “Something that I think Tyranny did much better, and something that we want to do for Pillars II, is really establish the factions much more clearly - give the player clearer choices, and let them know when they’re approaching consequences for the choices they made.”
[h=2]Who are the Pillars of Eternity 2 companions?[/h] There will be companions, that much we know - although players have the ability to forego scripted chums and build out their own party from scratch should they desire. This time around, Obsidian are cognisant of the need to allow companions time to develop - giving them a longer stretch of the game to mature in their characters and relationships.
Not every companion from Pillars of Eternity will return - “We didn’t want to go really overboard” - but there are a few original cast members on the archipelago. The first confirmed is statuesque former farmer Edér.
“A lot of people have speculated that if Edér came back, how would he fit into the story? It works very well. The story makes sense for him to be there,” says Sawyer.
It’s very possible he’s not going to be there in your playthrough, however. Should you import a save in which Edér was killed, that consequence will remain in Pillars II. By the same token, all returning companions will have different starting states depending on how you treated them in the original game.
As Sawyer puts it: “If you made certain choices with them that took them in a bad direction, when they come back, they’re kind of screwed up.”
On the mechanical front, Pillars II won’t make use of the party combos that featured so heavily in Tyranny combat. There’s a reason for that: while Tyranny introduced a small number of companions who interlocked in very specific ways, Pillars will instead encourage players to experiment with its 11-class spread of abilities.
[h=2]Pillars of Eternity 2 gameplay[/h] Remember the promises of Oblivion’s Radiant AI? We’re getting flashbacks. Obsidian say the people of Deadfire will have their own lives to live, jobs to carry out and appointments to keep - whether you’re there to precipitate events or not. Most intriguingly, they suggest that some quests will play out differently, depending on when and where their principal characters are approached.
Combat-wise, Pillars II is set to offer a little more tactical challenge than its predecessor - which was, frankly, more than tough enough for anyone without a solid grounding in the Infinity Engine games of old. Newcomers need not fear, though, since Obsidian plan to do a better job of communicating and tutorialising combat mechanics.
“With tabletop-style rule systems like this, there are so many layers of mechanics going on that are not visible by looking at the screen,” Sawyer explains. “It can be very hard for players to understand what is going on.
“We're trying to make it easier to understand: clearer, better language. We're just focusing on making sure that if you're not familiar with this type of game, we'll introduce concepts that are easy to absorb.”
In fact, those who really can’t stomach the battles can always retreat to the gentler Story Time mode, which makes a return for the sequel. That said, the team have no intention of reducing the statistical complexity that experienced Icewind Dale tacticians so love to sink their teeth into.
One shift that will be immediately noticeable to everyone is the pace of combat. Pillars 1 included an option to slow down time to fight through some of the more intricate scenarios - and Obsidian have now made that the default speed, deeming it “more natural”. Players will, however, be able to toggle faster speeds for any battles they deem to be foregone conclusions.
[h=2]Pillars of Eternity 2 stronghold[/h] A stretch goal for the Project Eternity Kickstarter promised a stronghold that players could take control of as a part-time baron. And while that did appear in Pillars, the team felt frustrated they didn’t have more resources to dedicate to that corner of the game.
Obsidian have chosen to blow up that stronghold in the prelude to Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and come up with a mysterious new equivalent instead.
“We do have something to replace the Stronghold that I think people are going to enjoy,” says Sawyer. “It has a lot more customisation and it’s very fitting for the setting of the game. It’s going to be really nice.”
Although the details remain secret, the studio say we’ll travel around the islands “by land and sea”. Could we be getting our very own pirate ship?
[h=2]Pillars of Eternity graphics[/h] Pillars of Eternity found the Black Isle veterans at Obsidian relearning the art of 2D backgrounds - much like Disney, digging out the mothballed tools of traditional animation for The Princess and the Frog. Now, though, they’ve hit their stride.
“There’s so much stuff we're pushing in terms of new 3D stuff within that 2D space,” Sawyer expands. “It’s crazy sometimes now to go back and look at the stuff in Pillars 1, which I still think looks nice, but looking at Pillars II and the technological jumps that we’ve done is pretty incredible. We’re just doing stuff that no one else is doing.”
volsung;n7589140 said:Edit: I see, Fig is headed by inXile-Obsidian-Double Fine. Excellent! Well I just got the Premium Digital tier with a $5 discount. I should probably finish The White March sometime soon.
JimmyQ;n7589600 said:The discount seems to be an option under the "Select Extras" portion of the "Pick Your Reward Bundle" page, after picking your desired package in the main page. It's reflected in the final pledge amount at the bottom.
pcgamesn.com/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire/pillars-of-eternity-2-josh-sawyer-interview[h=1]Pillars of Eternity II's Josh Sawyer on leaving high fantasy woods for something weirder and more challenging[/h]
When Obsidian made the world of Pillars of Eternity, they flipped over a map of the Forgotten Realms and stuck a bunch of different labels on it.
That might sound glib, but it’s true - designer Josh Sawyer took a map of the Dalelands, the temperate woodland that birthed meddling wizard Elminster, turned it upside down and called it the Dyrwood. If you squint a bit, you can still see the resemblance in the finished game - the same squiggly coastline, huge central forest and Tolkienesque mountain ranges bordering an inverted peninsula.
Project Eternity, as it was known then, was a conscious act of nostalgia - a way of getting back to the place that birthed Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, even if the names were different. And it worked - the game was Kickstarted and released to wide acclaim. But can it work again?
“Will people be mad at anyone who comes back for a second try on Kickstarter?,” asks Sawyer. “Will they be mad at us for coming back? There’s a lot of stuff to question, especially I would say having been so fortunate to have such a successful Kickstarter project to begin with.”
Make no mistake: despite their doubts, Obsidian have jumped feet first into this sequel. Most of those who worked on the White March expansions have moved straight over to the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire dev team - a rolling katamari that’s picked up animators and writers from last year’s Tyranny along the way.
In Deadfire, you’ll pick up the story of the Watcher of Caed Nua just as that title becomes redundant. Caed Nua itself - your stronghold in the first game - is smashed to pieces by a returning god of light and rebirth. On the brink of death and with your soul under threat, you’ll follow that god to a Pacific-style set of islands far to the south of the Dyrwood: the Deadfire Archipelago.
Obsidian promise pirates, volcanoes and conflict between colonists. Having grounded players in the largely vanilla fantasy world of Eora two years ago, they’ve freed themselves up to go a bit weirder.
“Just in the same way that Baldur's Gate II is not Baldur’s Gate, being able to take that step away allows us to do some neat things,” Sawyer explains. “I think it’s fresh for the audience. If you’ve gotten tired of seeing temperate forests and meadows for 80 hours, well OK: let’s take a look at something else.”
Of course, weird is a relative term in Pillars. Don’t expect Planescape.
“I've worked on shipped games that were really incredibly bizarre, and that can be very off-putting to a lot of people, so I am trying to be cognisant of people’s comfort zones,” says Sawyer. “Especially with the audience that came to this expecting a very traditional D&D-style RPG.”
In that sense Sawyer and his team are still beholden to the commitment they made way back in the Project Eternity Kickstarter: to build a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.
“I will say that Forgotten Realms high fantasy is not my first choice for my style of setting,” Sawyer admits. “But I grew up playing in Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and even Dragonlance. When I first got started in the industry, I was making games in the Forgotten Realms. It’s a setting that I had a lot of fun in, and also we know that our fans have a ton of fun in.
“I think we’ve tried to grow it a little bit, but fundamentally, it’s your traditional high fantasy. There are restrictions on that, but they're restrictions we knew going in.”
If that limitation is one Sawyer and his team are at peace with, there’s another they’ve still to navigate. The Pillars community hardcore is made up of players reared on a whole series of games that exploited the same combat engine. By the time they’d finished two Baldur’s Gates, two Icewind Dales and a Planescape, their tactical nous was already honed to the point of mastery.
It’s Obsidian’s unenviable job to cater to the challenge level demanded by those players, providing deliciously intricate encounters that necessitate plenty of pausing, while keeping Pillars II playable for newcomers.
“Overall, we do want to actually step the challenge level up,” says Sawyer. “It’s making sure we’re not doing that at the cost of people who aren’t necessarily as good. Ideally, there are going to be a bunch of people playing this who never played Pillars, who went, ‘Oh, I heard that was such a cool game, let me jump right in.’ If it just kicks them in the teeth repeatedly, that’s not a good intro.”
While Pillars was created specifically to fill a void left gaping since the ‘90s, that doesn’t mean Obsidian have bowed unquestioningly to the demands of genre veterans. For instance: those who, the first time around, didn’t like pistols and blunderbusses intruding on their vision of high fantasy.
“There were people that were really mad about it,” Sawyer recalls. “We did it anyway because we knew it wasn't that big of a deal, and it fit the vibe we were going for, which was more late Middle Ages, early Renaissance - to show a world that was a little more technologically advanced than what you typically see in a fantasy setting.”
Funnily enough, there were firearms in the Forgotten Realms. That’s something else the team have had to contend with on Pillars - the fuzzy memories that influence player expectations. Particularly those altered by the hyper-responsive storylines of latter day Obsidian games like Tyranny and Alpha Protocol.
“There’s not a lot of reactivity in either of the Icewind Dale or the Baldur’s Gate games,” points out Sawyer. “There’s a little bit more in Baldur’s Gate II, there is some reactivity with the classes in Icewind Dale II, but it's not a branching storyline. So people expect a game the size of Baldur's Gate II, which is over 200 hours, but with all the reactivity that RPGs have developed over the past 15 years. That's one of the most difficult things to deal with, actually, in terms of the spiritual successor legacy.”
Just as Eora started off as a rough photocopy as the Realms, players have mapped out their own slightly smudged versions of the classic RPGs in their minds. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, however - since it spurs Obsidian on to match that rather unrealistic picture of what an isometric role-playing game can be.
“With the isometric viewpoint, you can make really big worlds that look very pretty, so you can have a huge round of exploration,” says Sawyer. “[And] because the camera is not right up in someone's face, we're not really spending a ton of resources on trying to bridge the uncanny valley. We're focusing on good dialogue and cool prose, and having a bunch of dense reactive content.
“It’s crazy sometimes now to go back and look at the [backgrounds] in Pillars 1, which I still think looks nice, but looking at Pillars II is pretty incredible - the technological jumps that we've done within the space. We’re just doing stuff that no one else is doing.”
fig.co/campaigns/deadfire?update=241#updatesUpdate #1 [h=3]We're Funded![/h] We. Are. Funded! Thanks to the support of all of our backers, investors, and our wonderful community, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has achieved and then exceeded its funding goal in less than 24 hours, exceeding all of our expectations. Our fans are the best in the world, and it's thanks to you that we're able to make games we love. Thank you so much, sincerely. In this update, we're going to answer some of your most asked questions, give you some key details about the game, and share our progress so far.
First, here's a personal video message from Pillars II Design Director Josh Sawyer, thanking you on behalf of all of us here:
But we're not done yet! Since we funded so quickly, there's still a long way to go,and we've got some awesome stretch goals available to help make Pillars II even better. First among these is sub-classes, which we'll reach at $1.4 M in funding.
We asked Josh to give us some more details on the upcoming subclass stretch goal (and some other exciting stuff):
Hail and well met, elves. It's your buddy, Josh, with some info on subclasses and importing your character from PoE1.
Subclasses are similar to kits in 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Edition AD&D (featured in Baldur's Gate 2). Our focus has been to give a different flavor to a class through specialization. We want each subclass to do something cool and distinctive that also has a built-in trade-off compared to the base class and other subclasses. For example, if you remember Zahua from The White March, you may recall that he was a drug-addled/enlightened monk of the Nalpazca. If subclasses are funded,you may select the Nalpazca as one of two Philosophies (monk subclasses). The Nalpazca gain greater benefits from using drugs, but their Wound threshold is increased while under the influence.
One of the most popular ranger subclasses on the team is the Ghost Heart Lodge. All Ghost Hearts travel the wilds of Eora alone, their animal companions having died at some time in the past. However, the bond between the ranger and their companion is so strong that the soul of the animal remains tethered to the ranger through the Between. While a Ghost Heart does not have their companion available at all times, they may be summoned as a ghostly Spirit during combat for a short duration. This companion is not considered a Beast, so spells like a druid's Charm Beasts and Hold Beasts will have no effect on it, but a paladin's Abjuration can badly damage or even banish it immediately.
Now, on to importing your PoE1 character! At the start of Deadfire, you will have the option to import a special end of game save from Pillars of Eternity. This will import your Watcher and the choices that you made in the Dyrwood, including quest states, conversation choices, and how you personally dealt with your companions, friends, foes, and orlan babies. The save game is cross platform compatible, so you will be able to import from Mac to Linux, Gog to Steam, etc. This is the first time that the Obsidian team has the freedom to explore this type of cross game reactivity and progression, and we are very excited to add long term choice and consequence to Deadfire.
To address three common questions:
What if my dear friend Aloth "fell" into a Skaenite blood pool?
If you directly or indirectly got a companion killed or never recruited them in your save game, they will not be present in the Deadfire. However...
What if I never played Pillars of Eternity or I want to start a new game with different story states?
During the introduction to the Deadfire, you will be able to establish choices from Pillars of Eternity as though you had played through the game. Importing the save directly is not a requirement for establishing story states.
Am I still 11[SUP]th[/SUP]/14[SUP]th[/SUP]/16[SUP]th[/SUP] level?
As you saw in our intro video, Eothas is very hungry and your soul is delicious. Your Watcher begins again as a level 1character.
Now, sub-classes aren't the only thing we've got coming. More gameplay depth, world-building detail, and customization for players all over the world lies ahead in Pillars II'sstretch goals, waiting to be revealed...
Of course, for those who've been unable to keep up with the press flurry (and who can blame you?) the campaign been featured in a whole bunch of publications:
And now, some FAQ's. You've had some questions for us, we want to provide you with answers. We’ve collected the most common questions from our forums, Fig's comments, and other communities, and summarized some answers for you here.
Q: When we will have access to PayPal?
A: We are currently looking into how we can offer PayPal to our Backers and will have more information on that at a later time.
Q: Any chance we can get the first Pillars of Eternity Collector’s Edition through this campaign?
A: Unfortunately, no. However, you can purchase the entire Pillars of Eternity collection for $79, which gives you a digital copy of Pillars I, both White March DLCs, and a digital copy of Pillars II.
Q: Will there be multiplayer?
A: At this time, we have no plans for multiplayer.
Q: Will the Guidebook Volume II go up as an add-on or on Amazon like the first one?
A: We are currently looking into how best to service fan demand for the Guidebook Volume II. We know you want it, so we're going to find a way to give it to you.
Q: I want the boxed edition, but have no intention of touching the disc inside it (nor do I own a device that can read a disc of any type). How can I play the game if I purchase the physical box?
A: Purchasers of the box copy will receive their digital code both in the box and via email on release day (same code, you won't get two different codes). You will not have to open the box at all, if you don't want to.