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Pillars of Eternity II Beast of Winter DLC revealed, releasing on August 2nd

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Pillars of Eternity II Beast of Winter DLC revealed, releasing on August 2nd

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 12 July 2018, 23:57:46

Tags: Aarik Dorobiala; Alec Frey; Alex Scokel; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Beast of Winter

In a Pillars of Eternity II developer stream broadcast today, Obsidian finally revealed the game's first expansion DLC, Beast of Winter. In this new adventure, the Watcher is invited to a remote wintry island inhabited by a cult of fanatical Rymrgand worshippers who have come to appreciate his capacity for destruction. There's a new sidekick, the high priest Vatnir, and apparently things get more than a little crazy from there. We got to see about 21 minutes of new content during the stream. I'll post that here along with the expansion's brief teaser trailer.

The guys at PCGamesN appear to have gotten an exclusive look at Beast of Winter, and their interview with writer Alex Scokel reveals some additional details about it. It may be an epic level DLC where you face off against the god of entropy, but it's suffused with a heavy dose of dark humor. I quote:

Beast of Winter begins with a letter. You are cordially invited to an island at the very bottom of the map made home by the worshippers of Rymrgand. Rymrgand, the beast of the DLC’s title, is the god of collapse: famine, plague, and disaster. The locals call you Duskspeaker - they’ve seen the way death follows in your wake, and they’re really into it.

“The people there throw a feast in your honour,” Scokel says. “Because they respect the way that you go about messing things up.”

When asked whether Beast of Winter’s story is commentary on the player as a destructive force in the Archipelago, Scokel phrases it another way.

“There’s certainly a recognition of the destructive nature of a protagonist in an RPG,” he says. “The world spins around the player, and these cultists have recognised that and placed you within the context of their own myths.”

The cult says you’re the harbinger of the end. Frankly, they can’t wait for the cataclysm. Whether or not that’s who you want to be is a question you’re encouraged to start pondering in this DLC.

[...] Throughout the quests and writing of Beast of Winter, dark humour has emerged as a consistent feature. It’s something of a surprise: while there are dashes of dry comedy in the Pillars of Eternity series, it rarely feels as if it could indulge in a Fable-style slapstick aside.

For the DLC, though - a story about the ways people fight back against the inevitability of death in a world with magic, gods, and immortals - comedy became necessary.

“We obviously don’t want to make an incredibly depressing piece of DLC,” Frey says. “It’s definitely an opportunity for us to show how people feel about this sort of thing, but also show the humour of it.”

“One of the reasons we wanted to be funny,” Scokel adds, “was to lighten what could otherwise be a really [miserable] experience.”

The world design of Pillars of Eternity began with Obsidian designer Josh Sawyer flipping over a map of the Forgotten Realms’ Dalelands. But over the course of two games, his team have fleshed out Eoras with unique lore - some of which we only ever read about in books or told by NPCs. Realistically, we’ll never see all of the places referenced in its stories.

“Scale-wise, Pillars is similar to the Infinity Engine games,” Scokel explains. “It’s not really a globetrotting game, it’s more a region-trotting game. And so we look for opportunities to bring in these other areas of the world.”

One example of this in Deadfire is the Valian Trading Company - a colonising influence in the area that allows you to see the culture and architecture of a people from faraway lands. Beast of Winter goes further, taking you to The Beyond, a strange dimension stuffed with devious challenges and shared by ancient souls. There will be some revelations there.

“We’re trying to find opportunities to take the player places that have been mentioned before in lore but haven’t been pulled into fruition,” executive producer Alec Frey says. “It digs into the history of Eora in some ways we haven’t done so far.”
The Beast of Winter DLC is coming out on August 2nd, missing its original July release window by a bit. The Steam and GOG store pages aren't up yet, but we already know it will cost $10. Additional details about the DLC and its accompanying patch are available here. I imagine we'll learn more in the next Fig update.

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