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Game News Pillars of Eternity II Backer Beta Update 3 Released, Q&A Stream #11

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Jan 28, 2011
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Aarik Dorobiala; Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    The Pillars of Eternity II beta finally received its third update this week, after almost two months of increasingly unnerving silence on that front. It's almost certainly the final update before release, and so it was crucial for many backers to see that it resolves their issues. And indeed it appears that the game is in much better shape now. Changes include the addition of many passive abilities to increase build flexibility, allowing single-classed characters to take two abilities at every power level to make them feel less inflexible compared to multi-classed characters, reduced spell cast durations, increased penetration values, and also much-improved performance. Furthermore, the attribute overhaul from the first beta update has been rolled back, replaced with a relatively minor additional benefit for the Resolve attribute - reduced duration of hostile effects.

    Yesterday we got to see some of those changes in action in a Q&A stream with Josh Sawyer. At this point in the game's development, I can't say that there was anything incredibly new in his responses, but the stream did give us our first actual look at non-beta content, including companions. It's set in the Old City, a dungeon located under the slums of Neketaka, and is pretty combat-heavy and spoiler-free.

    A transcript of the stream is available here courtesy of Fereed from Reddit. There will be another Q&A stream before release, and there's also a proper Fig update coming soon.
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  2. thesheeep Arcane

    Mar 16, 2007
    Tampere, Finland
    Well, it's all back to "Wanna do damage? Pump Might!".
    Only difference between PoE and DnD here is that this is a universal truth for every character.

    Fine with me, not caring too much about the base attributes. I'm more interested in the abilities and choices on level up.
    Though I do wonder if the game will be easy enough again to just waltz through the game with random stats :lol:

    And... the graphics really do look quite fine.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  3. Quantomas Learned

    Jun 9, 2017
    Doing major changes to skills and feats this close to release? That means they are still in the middle of balancing, and it will possibly continue for a year or two. For me this means no PoE2 before the expansions are out.

    I kind of begin to regret that I backed PoE2. Backing PoE was worth it for its Kickstarter updates, but this time around it feels too much like a marketing exercise.
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  4. Krzysiek Educated

    Jul 13, 2017
    Transcript of this Q&A stream by Fereed

    Show Spoiler

    Will the encyclopedia be overhauled to tell us more information on more topics?

    Josh Sawyer: Ye—well, there’s not really much that’s systemically changing about the cyclopedia. It was reorganized. We now have the ability for subcategories. Some of the categories in the cyclopedia became really, really big; meaning just there were so many entries within it, and it was very difficult to navigate because it was just this wall of entries.

    I've tried to do some groupings within the mechanical section. Megan Starks, one of our narrative designers, she has organized the lore entries. We have a lot more lore entries. We have, I would say, a comparable, maybe slightly more, mechanical entries. I did revise some of those for clarity. Some of the descriptions I wrote for the initial cyclopedia were not that helpful to a lot of people, so when people brought up, "Hey, I don', this isn't really clear", I went back and revised them.

    So, the cyclopedia's still there; it's a little more user friendly and we have made revisions to try to just make it easier to use overall.

    Changes you have made in the game due to the recent delay?

    JS: The delay was actually just mostly to fix bugs. I don't think we really added any new features, 'cause that's not really the point of this time. There were a few things, like the cyclopedia reorganization—that was a minor feature that we added.

    There were a couple of minor things that we did with ships. There was a piece of feedback that we got about the different cannon types, and I don't think this is in the current Backer Beta, but we do have the ability — each cannon now you can choose the shot type when you fire the cannon. It's not on a per cannon basis. It's basically like, if you want every cannon to fire Chainshot you can just set, hey, fire Chainshot for everything, or Cannonballs, or Grapeshot. That allows you to target different parts of the ship, 'cause one thing we found in feedback for the ship combat...we got a lot of great feedback, actually, so thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on the ship combat. One of the things we found is that people felt frustrated that they'd fire their cannons and would just kinda hit random stuff, and it didn't really feel like it was hitting the stuff that they wanted to. We did put that in; that was a pretty quick addition, and then we sort of retuned and rebalanced the cannons around that.

    Are there a finite amount of ships in the world to plunder?

    JS: There is a finite number of named ships with named captains. There a lot of them, though, it's over 30—somewhere between 30 and 40, I think. There are quite a lot. Some of them are, you know, pushovers, they're really simple, and then the ones that are really tough have — they're really high level, really good captains, they have really tough crews and the ships are outfitted with incredible cannons and they're super tough and all that stuff.

    And then there are...I still think it's a finite number, but there are a certain number of unnamed ships or generic ships. For example, Deadfire merchant ships. There are some slaver ships that patrol around. I still think there are a finite number of them, but they are more or less generic; you don't get a triumph when you defeat them, there are no bounties for them.

    But there are quite a few ships in the world. You can run out of them, I think, but it would take you quite awhile.

    Dual wield shields?

    JS: You will not be able to dual shield, I'm sorry. No dual shielding. If there is dual shielding in the game it's currently a bug. I think Infinitron or someone else had mentioned earlier wielding a ranged weapon with a shield? I believe that is possible; it's supposed to be possible. You can have a pistol with a shield or a wand with a shield. You can also have a melee weapon with a ranged weapon. You can also have one-handed guns with things like wands and stuff like that if you want.

    Will the cyclopedia have a timeline?

    JS: To the best of my knowledge, there's not currently a timeline. That's not a bad idea. It's probably not something we can add right now, but a cyclopedia entry with a timeline is probably something that we can add post-launch since that's mostly just text. That's a good idea, thank you.

    Are faction relations from Pillars 1 going to have an impact in any meaningful way in Deadfire?

    JS: Meaningful...? I mean, not dramatic. There's not going to be a dramatic impact from supporting those factions, but there will be reactivity to supporting those factions in the first game.

    Can you tell us a bit more about The White that Wends in general?

    JS: No. Sorry. Basically I have a policy, or I try to have a policy, that if something's not really expanded on in the game world, or in something that we officially publish, I try not to extemporaneously just...say shit about it. <laughs>It's unfair to other designers, because I'm kinda just making up stuff off the top of my head. So, no, sorry.

    Can godless priests exist within the lore?

    JS: That is theoretically possible. That's not something that we currently support in the game. But, yes, there's nothing in the lore that would say that that's — like, a person can believe in a god that basically has no real force behind it, but if they really believe in it, then theoretically they can do that. Or they can be like, what is it, Ur-priests or whatever in D&D. They have those sort of like either nihilistic priests or priests that kinda believe in nothing.

    Aarik Dorobiala: They believe in themselves and they get their powers.

    JS: Yeah. That is a theoretically possible thing.

    If there's no printing press why are there so many copies of the same book?

    JS: That's a good point. There really should not be that many books in the world. We put them in there just because we like having books all over the place. But you're right, it's not realistic; it would take a very long time to make all those books.

    Was there a narrative reason to exclude the printing press in this world?

    JS: Yes. Little bit of a spoiler here, but I think people may have known about, the Leaden Key is fairly prominent, obviously, in the first game. There's another organization that is not very prominent because they operate in an even more subdued way, which is the Hand Occult. The Hand Occult, they—and we do elaborate on this in a few minor sort of side areas—the Hand Occult, not only do they edit the historical records of Eora, they also actively work to sabotage the creation of movable type printing presses. There's nothing particularly fancy about a movable type printing press, but somehow every time someone gets close to making one they trip and fall into a fire.

    Even though they aren't in this game, will we be getting any indication about what our other companions have been up to in these few years we've been apart?

    JS: There are some companions that there is some follow-up reactivity on. I won't say what. But yes, there is some reactivity to that.

    Will we at least be learning about Godlikes in general and where they come from?

    JS: Yes.

    Where did Cosmo come from and how long do the space mini pigs usually live for if you care for them well?

    JS: That's still a mystery we're trying to figure out.

    Will there be a quest to turn the cutest cat into animancy cat, or will we just find her with the cone and the tube?

    JS: Cutest cat is now animancy cat. That is her state within Deadfire.

    What is the difference between kith and animal soul? The unsuccessful “Salvation” suggests that animal souls are incompatible with kith body, however Persoq and previous elder from Saganis village both get reborn as animals. Do souls change depending on what body they inhabit? Do animals receive only souls which were so fractured that they are not fit for more complex beings? Is it possible that my Watcher was a ferret in his previous incarnation?

    JS: These are all questions that, within the world of Pillars of Eternity, animancers are still actually trying to figure out. They aren't sure. There are a lot of theories about why that works.

    You might say, "Josh, do you even know?". Yes. I wrote it in a document. I'm not going to show it to you. It's for the writers on this project.

    Does the term “maeg” in maegfolc refer to the might of those people, or is it being used in the sense of “kinsman” or “kinswoman”, setting up a dichotomy between “kith” and “kin"? Also, to clarify, eoten and ogres are merely wilders and not maegfolc, right?

    JS: So, I do believe "maeg" means "might" in that word, maegfolc. The mighty people. I can't remember, actually, off the top of my head, if eoten and ogres are considered maegfolc. I can't remember. They are wilders, but I can't remember if — and a lot of these distinctions...I think something could be classified in our game terms as a "wilder", which is kind of a broad category(and it's also kind of an arbitrary category), and still be maegfolc. They could be wilder, but not maegfolc. They could be maegfol—I would say they're probably wilder. Any sort of mostly humanish/elfish critter, like a sort of bipedal creature, that's kinda smart but not part of the major civilizations of the world is kind of considered a wilder. So kith kind of say, "Oh, well, we're kith, but those dudes are wilder".

    When characters cast, they use the might of their soul, right? (JS: Not so fast.) Does casting consume it, making soul weaker? How does this work?

    JS: So, I think there are a few lore updates that we did for Pillars 1 where we kind of went over how and where people get power. Priests and Paladins is their own soul, and the power of their faith or their zeal that they draw power from. Wizards, they actually pull fragments, there's—there all these little bits — when people die <laughs>, or creatures die, things with memory die(usually those are people), little bits of their memory kind of fracture off and become this sort of soul energy plankton in the In-Between. Wizards and Chanters both kind of use that soul plankton: Wizards draw it into their grimoire and then they release it, Chanters are...the idea is that they are sort of using stories that are generations old, and that these little bits of memories all have some sort of vague recollection of these stories that are really intrinsic to all these cultures around the world, and that the souls kind of help the Chanter retell that story by making some aspect of it become real.

    There are lots of different metaphysical explanations for why all this stuff works, but there is also this idea that, even the people who use their own souls, their souls get replenished by that ambient sort of soul plankton that they kind of just draw in.

    I'm sure if you did some sort of energy input/output thing you'd find that this world should be frozen and dead by this point. But that's the lore. That's how that stuff works.

    Is or was Iselmyr Storm folk, and where did she and Rekke come from? Also, will we learn more about her past?

    JS: Iselmyr, if I recall correctly(Carrie might correct me on this), I believe was Aedyran. She was Aedyran, she speaks Hylspeak, which is something that some Dyrwoodans but more Aedyrans, like older elves, speak. She was not Storm folk. She was either a Wood elf or a Meadow folk human. Probably.

    Rekke is Storm folk. Rekke came from...somewhere. And you'll find out a little bit of that in the game.

    And I don't think there's a whole lot more about Islemyr's past in the game.

    Are there bikes in Eora?

    JS: Sadly, not yet.

    In Pillars 1 it was established only Pale elves could have beards. Why, then, in Pillars 2 beta, Wood elves can have beards?

    JS: Dimitri needs to be executed, that's why. Wood elves are not supposed to have beards, Pale elves are supposed to. So, that's probably just a bug.

    By the way, Dimitri — I can say one bit of content we were able to squeeze in was — because the Death godlike heads are so time consuming, Dimitri early on made a limited number of Death godlike heads. And we heard your cries: "Please, more godlike heads". Did I say Death godlike heads, or just godlike?

    AD: You said Death.

    JS: I mean all godlike heads are really time consuming. So Dimitri only made a few. So we said, okay dude, if you get more time towards the end of the project — because character art usually is not something that has a ton of bugs leading up to the end of a game, so now he's going through all the variants for the godlikes. He's finishing his last Death godlike head. Looks really great, FYI.

    If I chose to restore Edér's faith, is it possible to make him become a Priest?

    JS: No. The reason is less for roleplaying purposes and more for mechanical purposes. When I looked at how you come across companions in the game, there are a number of considerations, both narrative and mechanical, that go into what companions you get when, what classes are available to them, and I think it does totally make sense to possibly have Edér be a Priest, but mechanically it did not work well with other companions that are encountered at the same time as him. So that's why Edér is setup to either be a Fighter or Rogue, or a Swashbuckler, which is a Fighter/Rogue.

    Are there any planned changes to the Black Jacket subclass?

    JS: I wasn't planning on it, personally. I did talk a little bit about it with, I think,'s not to say that we can't change it. Their drawback is not super dramatic. I have played with a Black Jacket a little bit, although I will say that with a Black Jacket, I have focused more on being a psychotic gun-switcher, so I just get braces of pistols and arquebuses, and I just crank through them and just blow people away. So, I don't really miss the Constant Recovery, but I'm certainly open to tuning that. Whether it means, "Well, they get Constant Recovery, maybe their Constant Recovery is a little weaker", something like that. That's a possibility. That has not been a super high priority but we can certainly look at it.

    With changes to single class talents and ability points, multiclasses are now slightly behind in terms of talents and abilities. Will multiclasses get more points as well or is the belief that multiclass synergy is enough of a benefit to consider multi and single balanced?

    JS: Overall, I think the synergy benefits of multiclasses are pretty darn good. Obviously, some of this is going to be subjective. I mean, there can be some objective things where you can say, statistically this comes out this way, but overall I think they're in a fairly good place.

    I think it's less likely that multiclassing overall is going to be worse than single classing, or vice versa. I think what will happen is we will still see, even with the feedback we've gotten and the tuning we've done, we'll still see that there are certain multiclassing combinations that are insanely powerful and some that don't synergize particularly well. We can address some of that. Some of them we can only do so much, though. There's also all the subclass stuff to consider.

    I think that, overall, playing multiclass is in my opinion, which is just my opinion so certainly people can disagree with it, feels pretty good. I think that single class felt fairly far behind, even though they had higher Power levels and access to a higher level of abilities sooner, they still felt like they were losing out because they didn't have anywhere near the same number of abilities.

    So, overall, I feel they're probably in a decent place, but we can continue to tune some of that stuff as time goes on.

    If the penalty half of a subclass involves an affliction, is it possible to remove and/or become immune to that affliction?

    JS: I believe so. I believe that — so, there was some debate internally about whether the Berserker's malus should be Confused while Frenzied, or if it should be something that isn't Confusion, so it doesn't give you the INT penalty, but it does give you the Friend or Foe attack penalty, which would mean that it's less of a penalty but it also can't be removed by an INT Inspiration. It seemed like it felt better to be able to cleverly work around the limitation by putting an Inspiration on someone, so that is the way we went forward with it.

    I believe that is the way that it generally works. If something is actually called out as an Affliction, you should be to counter it with Resistance or an Inspiration.

    The latest beta patch was huge. Are there any major mechanics or systems that you feel aren't going to be finalized until sometime post-launch?

    JS: No. I think we're pretty good. And we had actually made a lot of those changes weeks or months ago, so that was one of the reasons I pushed really hard, "Hey, can we please get a new Backet Beta out", because people are, I think, justifiably nervous. Because they haven't really seen, directly with their own eyes, any of these changes. Like we changed Focus, we changed cast speeds, rebalanced all the weapons and Penetration, we did just tons of — I mean, you guys saw it all. So, no, I feel pretty good about it at this point.

    So, no major system — one thing that people brought up, you know, the ship system could always be better. Certainly. There are some things that we've designed that could be additions, such as the weather system and things like that. Way too much work to try to cram in now. Maybe later. It's all on paper, sounds greats. We'll see where we are in a few months, what we're looking at in terms of DLCs in future or even might be free patch content. That is not a promise.

    I'm glad you add more generic passives in beta Update 3, but what about the subclasses? Is there any more special passives for subclass?

    JS: No. Feel pretty decent about subclasses overall. I will say that there are still some subclasses that we look at where I'm kind of like,"I don't know, is that really working? Is that really a good advantage, or is that disadvantage actually practical?" I know the Nalpazca is still probably kind of crazy. Soul Blade is still a little wild. And like some people said, the Black Jacket maybe seems like it needs either a bigger benefit or a reduced penalty, for not being able to have Constant Recovery. So, there are little things like that.

    The magic system in BG2 was obviously unwieldy with so many spells and counterspells and contingencies and triggers that didn't always quite work unless the game was modded. I understand this messiness is probably something designers want to avoid in a new game of this kind. On the other hand, the complexity of all these immunities/counterspells, the use of Time Stop and Improved Alacrity, and the ability to store groups of spells in triggers and contingencies made gameplay incredibly fun and made wizard battles almost like mini puzzles in themselves. Would you consider adding future features to Pillars 2 like this?

    JS: One say I will say is that things like — so, our AI, in terms, like — a lot of sequencers were borne out of the AI not being super smart about chain casting things. Our AI is pretty good about that. The reason why we haven't dumped a bunch of that stuff into the game is there are a ton of abilities in Pillars 1; we had to remake all of them for Pillars 2 because we remade the effects system. For those of you who played through Pillars 1 and went through many patches you might remember that there were lots of status effect bugs, like lots and lots and lots. The programming team had to put this huge amount of work into completely, completely refactoring how gameplay effects worked in the game, and that necessitated that system design had to completely rebuild everything. Not only that, but we also moved over to a completely different method of storing game data, which is one reason you guys can now mod more easily. I won’t say it's easy, but it is easier than it was in Pillars 1.

    I think that that stuff can be cool. Things like Time Stop, though; I mean, going all the way back to the Infinity Engine games, I worked on the Icewind Dale games, and I remember seeing the codebase for BG2: references to Time Stop were all over that codebase, like, that was rough stuff. All the different ways that those spells could break were very scary.

    So, what I will say is that I think that that stuff can be cool. I have talked to Bob—Bobby loves D&D Wizards. I know a lot of you think I hate Wizards; I don't, but I also know the cost of implementing some of that stuff. So, I don't want to promise any really wild or crazy spells like that, or features like that, until I feel like we have enough time to implement them in a way that's not going to be a big mess. We make enough of our own messes.

    What were your intentions for changing the Damage vs DR system from Pillars 1 to the Penetration vs AR system of Pillars 2?

    JS: I've answered this a few times, so I'll just be brief about it: I got feedback from some players that the DT felt "mushy" and they weren't really sure when they were supposed to be using one Damage Type versus another, because it kind of required them to, a lot of math. And, so, my goal was really to try to make that distinction clear: like, this guy's Armor is really heavy against this Damage Type, you should not hit it with this Damage Type. Which is why in the first Backer Beta it was really severe. Because I wanted to start with it being really, really clear to the point of, "Oh, maybe it was too clear". Because it would drop by like 70%. Because the goal was to really communicate: hey, this is bad; you should get more PEN or switch your Damage Type or switch targets. Obviously we got feedback that it was way too punitive, so I rolled it back to those 25% chunks. Of course, you can still tune that if you want. Through mods. It's actually a fairly easy mod to do.

    I should say, because I keep referencing mods, we have plans to support modding more post-launch, in terms of making things a little easier, also probably having some brief tutorials just to help people get into modding. Because it’s, I mean — I will say that MaxQuest’s—his casting time mods that he made generated a lot of good feedback on the forums and people experimented with that a lot. That was really good for us and for the community to talk about that stuff. So, modding is very cool, we want to support more, but we have to get out first.

    Is it intended that a Druid's Wildstrike attacks don't have the relevant elemental keyword, and therefore don't benefit from the Penetration bonus from elemental talents?Same with Lash weapons: Firebrand, etc.

    JS: know what, I think you’re right. So, here’s the tricky thing: there are multiple components that go into an ability or an attack, and I think sometimes only some of those components get marked with a keyword but they actually all need to get marked with it. So, Firebrand, I’m pretty sure that the ability itself has Fire on it, but I don’t think the weapon has Fire on it. So, I think that’s just an oversight, but thank you for bringing it up. I’ll ask Nick about that.

    It's okay that there's lots of loot, but they need to balance the economy; things need to be expensive!

    JS: Don't worry. There's plenty to spend your money on. One of the things we found in Deadfire is that it's real easy to run out of money. There's always something to spend money on. If you use something like upgrade your ship, or buy a new ship, then take on a bigger crew, you will say goodbye to your money.

    Lots and lots of stuff to spend your money and buy. I would say the economy is much more well tuned in Deadfire than it was in Pillars 1. Which ain't hard <laughs>, because we didn't really put any effort into tuning Pillars 1.

    Will all the Pillars 1 voicesets be available in Pillars 2?

    JS: I can't remem—I think sooooo...? I'm sorry, I can't remember. I can't remember.

    Will Fire godlikes get updated or new portraits?

    JS: So, no, we're not going to have a bunch of new portraits. Two, I believe that a lot of those extra heads Dimitri is doing are specifically to make heads that can match the portraits better. So, that doesn't fully answer your question, or, it really doesn't fully solve the problem, but that is something that we're doing to ameliorate the problem.

    Are they planing to give us access to the abilities overview screen at all times?

    JS: I know that we planned that, and I believe we mocked that up. I need to talk to our UI artists. That may be something we’ll have to patch in. It might not sound like a new feature, but adding a new button to the UI and having that pop up anywhere, there might be problems with it. But I don’t think that would be hard to do. I know we talked about it recently. I myself was like, “I’m going to go look at all the abilities”, oh, I’m actually not going to go look at all the abilities. Or I’ll look forever because they’re not here. So, that is an important thing to address.

    Can we have a parrot as a pet?

    JS: I don’t know. There are a lot—how many pets are in this game?

    AD: Too many.

    JS: There are dozens and dozens of pets.

    AD: Maybe Adam will know. How many pets have you encountered so far? Adam says a ton.

    JS: Yeah, there are dozens. I don’t think there’s a parrot.

    AD: Well, there is the pre-order Beakhead if you pre-order Pillars of Eternity now, you will get a bird pet. It’s a white bird, and it’s name is Beakhead. I don’t know exactly what type of bird he is, but he’s beautiful.

    JS: There’s also Maia’s bird. Maia’s animal companion is a very pretty bird.

    It's clear you care about making Deadfire more accessible for modders and that has already borne fruit in the beta. One thing that is almost always one of the most difficult if not impossible things to change in game is the interface. How difficult or viable would you say it is to mod interface screens or the HUD in Deadfire?

    JS: Okay. So. You're right. It's hard! <laughs> So, we allow you to do some limited customization of your UI right now. You can, I think it's in the options, you can kind of like pick from a number of different layouts of your HUD.

    [they put interface layout options on screen]

    So, you do have these, you can like change into a bunch of goofy stuff in here. So, okay, I will say, we talked about interface customization early on and there were basically two approaches that we knew we could take. One, which took x amount of time was this, which gives you the ability to move a lot of the panels around. The other that takes like x times 5 amount of time is doing something where you have much more control over it and you can drag these things all over the place; you can do it sloppy, kinda quickly, it's a pretty sketchy way to do it.

    There are other ways for us to extend the modifcation capabilities of this, but they're more time consuming. Again, that's something that we can look at post-launch. Right now this is what we got. I know people would love much more than that, sorry we can't give you much more than that. For now.

    Will it be possible to mod and add custom sidekicks with banter?

    JS: With banter? Ooh, I don't know. So, all of our dialogues are stored in XML. I have seen people hack the XML —

    AD: I've seen the Kana Smash Mouth mod.

    JS: Yes.

    AD: Which is hilarious.

    JS: So, I know people have hacked stuff in there. I don't know if you could get a full voice set. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I can't definitively say anything about it. I have seen modders already do some neat things with goofing around with dialogues. But I don't know where their capabilities end. Not in terms of dedication but just in terms of like, real, like what can they actually, what is it possible for them to do.

    What can you tell us about the Pillars pen and paper?

    JS: I'm doing the starter guide for it which is currently at about 50 pages. I'll probably have to edit some of that down. It's got a lot of skills. It's uh, yeah, I mean, so really the vibe that I'm going with it is it's not really mechanically like Pillars of Eternity. If you really want to play something that's mechanically like Pillars of Eternity, but more suited to a tabletop game, check this out — there's a game called Dungeons & Dragons.

    AD: Boom.

    JS: <laughs> And with very slight modifications you can pretty much just play in the world of Eora there.

    So the starter guide is really — it has a mechanical focus. So, it's gonna be about you taking my garbage ideas and trying to play with them and saying "This is bad" and then I change them or I don't.

    At least three people have a desire for a big ol' player's handbook that's a big rich tapestry of rules and lore and all this other stuff to expand lore for people who want to do tabletop stuff, and then have a really robust rule system that goes beyond the sort of basics that I'm flushing out right now.

    So that's what I'm working on right now, the target will be to get — and these will be test rules, by the way. So, again, I try to get a tabletop thing going here, there were plenty of volunteers. None of us had any time. <laughs> So we're going to try to jump back into that post-launch. But there will be, hopefully, rules available at launch for you to just look at, criticize, try to play with, give me feedback on.

    AD: Oh, and Adam's using super slow combat mode.

    JS: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. So, for those of you who aren't in the latest beta, we do have — oh, and you're using crazy UI — so yeah, you do have a combat speed slider. By the way, there are a couple of notes on combat speed slider. We are looking at adding, again post-launch, maybe making that interface a little smoother to navigate on.

    AD: Now we're going crazy speeds.

    JS: And also adding hot keys. A few people have requested being able to have hotkeys to just speed up and slow down rather than always having to click on the HUD.

    I know we hadn't the goal for the sea monster, but come on, since I read the Deadfire book in Pillars 1, I want to see a sea monster. Are there maybe one or two in Deadfire?

    JS: Maybe. But there aren't — I will say, there's not like a bunch of sea monsters. 'Cause that was really the goal, the stretch goal was a bunch of sea monsters. And I'm kind of glad we didn't hit that goal <laughs>, because it would have been a huge amount of work.

    Will Pillars 2 have an expanded set achievements?

    JS: The — we have...I haven't looked at our achievements in awhile. One thing I can say is that the really super gnarly hardcore achievements, we are keeping out of the Steam achievements, because they drive some people crazy, like super duper completionists who have to "Plat" or equivalent on a Steam game, but we will be adding them later. Another reason why we're gonna add those—the really gnarly achievements—later is I'm sure there's all sorts of balance problems in this game. <laughs> Especially on the higher levels of difficulty. So, I wanna wait a little while before we put in those like crazy achievements, so that there's a better playing field for people to really feel the challenge. Otherwise, it might be super frustrating in a not fun way to try to hit some of those guys.

    Can I give you more info about Berath's Blessings?

    JS: I don't think I can give you meaningful information about Berath's Blessings. They are just neat little bonuses that you get for playing through the game, and then you can start a new game and then you can start with money or start with bonuses to stats and things like that. It's mostly just to make subsequent playthroughs a little different and fun.

    Can we expect any additions to the custom AI system before launch?

    JS: Unless there are bugs in the queue right now, we are more likely to fix bugs right now than try to add additional things. I know there are certain things that people are waiting on, I can't remember...there are a couple — like summoning, for example, I know that Ghost Hearts there's nothing to trigger summoning your pet, or rather that ability doesn't show up. There are a number of just like edge cases and loopholes, we might be able to fill in a couple of those if it feels like, "Oh, this really sucks", but we're not gonna add any major features to the AI system. The AI system I think is pretty robust for shipping. But, of course, we can always improve it in the future.

    Will we be able to respec allies?

    JS: Yes, and I believe, but I'm not absolutely positive, that that includes attributes? I think so.

    Does Deadfire have a spellcrafting system similar to Tyranny?

    JS: It does not. Tyranny is a game where basically everyone can be a spellcaster. And so it kind of is like, that makes sense to make this very robust customizable magic system. But here's another thing. Tyranny's magic system, none of that was dynamic, those were all like, hand created pieces of data, so that was a huge nightmare, also. <laughs>But, yes, our magic system is not about building and reshaping all those things in a million different ways.

    Computer specs.

    AD: The computer we're running right now runs a GTX 970, an i7 3.4 processor, and I believe this machine has 16 gigs of RAM. I don't know about the motherboard but I hope that helps.

    What's the poly count of your average character on middle tier machines?

    JS: That's a good question. Actually, I don't know. Probably too much. I'll say it's probably too much, because Dmitri usually —

    AD: Goes hard.

    JS: Goes hard. He puts too many polys in them. I'm sorry, I don't know.

    How avoidable is romance in Deadfire?

    JS: It's pretty easy to avoid.

    AD: It's pretty 100%.

    JS: If someone's like, <puckers lips>

    AD: Don't do it!

    JS: You're like, no. And then they're like, okay. <laughs>

    I've been keeping myself in the dark on purpose, but when do backers start to get to start playing the full game, and what have you done to make Rogues feel more effective and fleshed out in Pillars 2?

    JS: So backers will able to play the full game when everyone else plays the full game, on May 8th. Until then, it's just people who are in the Backer Beta can play the Backer Beta.

    AD: Which was just updated.

    JS: Which was just updated. Rogues, we continue to get feedback on and try to improve. Things that we've done lately in the last two backer beta updates, we have tried to put more mobility and invisibility oriented things in for Rogues. Also, we've moved some of their abilities that were higher level but didn't really feel like they needed to be higher level a little lower level. And another thing that we did is all of their attacks, I believe, all of their ability attacks now—not their passive attacks, but their actual active ability attacks—all Interrupt. Every single one of them Interrupts now. Which is very nice for them. It doesn't make them super crazy, but it is a cool little feature for them.

    Why doesn't Power level affect more abilities, including Sneak Attack, Carnage, Animal Companions?

    JS: Power level does affect those things, or at least it's supposed to. If it doesn't affect those things, that is a bug. Yeah, Power level is supposed to scale all that stuff.

    AD: And if it doesn't, report it on the forums, or let us know in our Discord server where we have a Backer Beta feedback section.

    Can you learn the Shark Shapeshift?

    JS: No, that is unique to Tekëhu. Sometimes it's a difficult balancing act, because we want people to get all the cool stuff but we also want our companions to feel like they have things that are unique to them. Whether that's an outfit or, in Tekëhu's case, being a shark.

    Is there more content that gets locked from being good or evil to increase replayability or is it mainly dialogue differences?

    JS: Being good or evil is not really a thing that we track in the game. Your Dispositions are tracked. Really, your faction alliance is the thing that is most likely to lock off content with you. But, we understand that people did not like how faction content was gated in Pillars 1. So, in Deadfire you can mess around with the different factions much more before you're sort of locked into working with a specific faction.
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  5. Krzysiek Educated

    Jul 13, 2017
    Second part of transcript
    Show Spoiler

    In a fresh run how easy and intuitive is it to find all the companions?

    JS: It's pretty easy.

    AD: Yeah, I think so.

    JS: I've not heard much feedback about — either you're directly pointed to them by quest, or they're directly in your path. Like, literally, physically, in your path. Yeah, there's one companion early on that theoretically you could miss, but it's pretty unlikely. And then everyone I can think of you're either you will literally come right across them on the crit path, or someone will send you to them as part of a quest.

    What is Eothas's shoe size?

    JS: Eothas's shoe size...that's a good question. We did figure out, I believe, that Eothas is about 689 feet tall, based on a variety of measurements that we took from the first game. And that makes him about, I think, mid-sized? If Eothas were standing in the city of Chicago, downtown Chicago, he'd about about in the middle of the horizon of the skyscrapers there. So that's how big he is.

    Is Carnage still centered around the target rather than the Barbarian?

    JS: It is. I know it's a little weird, but it's cool.

    If you import your characters, what will you be able to change?

    JS: You effectively, when you import your characters, you're basically just importing your choice — like the gameplay and story state choices that you made from Pillars 1. Your character creation is effectively the same whether you import a save or just start from scratch. So, if you want to continue playing your character exactly as the same race, gender, class, background, all that stuff, you can do that. But nothing prevents you if you just want to just, "I was a human Wizard from The White that Wends, for whatever reason, and now I'm a male orlan from Old Vailia and I'm a Barbarian," you could do that.

    Will there be more reactive roleplaying due to gender choices in Pillars 2? Talking to Durance as a female character was kind of jarring.

    JS: There are minor reactions but there aren't like big branches or anything like that.

    How easy it to mod the effect of the attributes, what file is that?

    JS: So, there are two things. One, it is easy now. It is now easy to modify the scale of impact of an attribute. So if you don't like that INT gives +6% AOE, you can go in and you can just change that number to whatever the heck you want. Unfortunately, we did not get in the ability to just assign like a status effect to that. They're too integrated into the core code loop. That would have been nice, I wish we could have. 'Cause I think it would be cool if you guys wanted to change attributes and you call 'em Strength, there's three of them, they all effect damage on different weapons, whatever, I don't care. Like that'd be fine to mod, and I had requested that, but it turned out it was just, it was very time consuming to try to do that.

    Can dwarven women grow beards yet?

    JS: Nope. That's not a thing in this world.

    Will you go back an update Pillars 1 with the new features from Pillars 2?

    JS: That's something we've talked about. I don't — we would essentially have to bring all the game data over into this engine, it would be like, when Beamdog did the Enhanced Editions, where they updated the engine and then moved everything over to the other engine. Which is not incredibly hard, but it is also absolutely not easy. <laughs> It's very time consuming. So I think that would be cool. I really would want to do that—I wouldn't want to do that, personally, without rerendering all the maps, so that all the new maps, the new models, materials, all that stuff, so that's, that's quite a bit of work. I think it would be cool. It's probably not a quick or easy thing to do, though.

    What are we showing off at PAX?

    AD: So this week we'll be at PAX East, and we'll be showing off more of Deadfire. I believe the Backer Beta that was recently updated. So, if you are in Boston and want to come down and try the Backer Beta, then you guys are more than welcome to.

    JS: Yes.

    Will we be able to keep the gifts? The Gift from the Machine?

    JS: Some of those things. Some of those talents come over. Not a lot of them, but a few of those talents do come over.

    JS: The person who thinks that Wizards are bad now, why did I do that? They're not, they're awesome. <laughs>They're not, yeah, they're not as awesome as a Wizard in Baldur's Gate 2 is, sorry, but they're still pretty good. More than pretty good, they're awesome. I basically regret, every time I play Pillars or Pillars 2, I regret if I don't have a Wizard in my party. Not a multiclass Wizard, just a Wizard, like a regular old pure Wizard. Your mileage may varied, but they're pretty freaking good, so. <laughs> Sorry you don't like it, but, yes.

    Can I respec the initial subclass of a companion to bring her on par with a custom merc?

    JS: No. In many cases the subclasses that we chose are chosen for a reason, roleplaying or otherwise. Yes. But that is one of the reason why we allow you — so this is a class based game, and the characters are more tightly aligned with classes than for example, something like Divinity, where it's more of a classless sort of game and that's the whole vibe of the game. But one of the reasons why we included the ability to make your own mercenaries is if you just don't like a character of a certain class, a companion of a certain class, you can just throw your own in there.
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  6. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Jan 28, 2011
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    This is kind of a silly sentiment IMO. With a game like this, there will always be people demanding "MAJOR" changes. The beta period is the time to make those changes. Should they ignore those demands, or delay the release and do only boring minor tweaks for a few months to make you feel better? FWIW, Josh said during the stream that many of these changes have actually been in Obsidian's internal build for months.
    • Agree x 3
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  7. Maculo Prophet

    Jul 30, 2013
    Partly, some of the feats are just the return of old PoE1 feats. For example, Priests received back weapon&shield and the fire/electricity damage feats again, and so those are nothing new. The new feats actually are a little interesting, such as 15% additional healing, 10% cast time reduction, or additional health per level for Priest.

    If there is a balance issue, it will be the recent changes to PotD. The recent changes to PotD greatly tuned up the Engwithan Titan, which originally was a push over mini-boss. The Engwithan Titan now has high damage, high defense, and summons 6-8 fire elemental at low health. I am not sure the new talents, imbalanced or not, are going to make a huge difference against that.
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  8. thekdawg21 Augur

    Mar 10, 2009
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Project: Eternity
    Sure looks frickin pretty. If combat is fun, I'll have fun with it. Don't expect it to be a good crpg, but it could be a fun dungeon crawler.
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  9. Quantomas Learned

    Jun 9, 2017
    Constantly doing changes makes sense for a game that lives for a long time, like Guild Wars or LoL, or has a content toolkit like NWN. But for something that is essentially a single player game not so much. Surely I played through BG and BG2 twice and through Deus Ex a number of times back in the days, but today's market is so crowded that you inevitably have to allocate your time wisely :cool: and skip a lot of titles that are not in your main focus.

    I don't mind Obsidian tuning their games over time, but considering that PoE became a considerably better game after two years of balancing, why not wait until it is properly done?

    That's at least good to know that Obsidian is upgrading their encounters. When I first watched the trailer featuring the Engwithan Titan, my first thought was, oh dear what a pathetic encounter design — in DOS2 there would be a chasm with a narrow ridge the titan was guarding, some big boulders for taking cover on each side of the chasm and a scaffolding on your side that you could climb; when the combat starts the titan would summon some golems and/or gargoyles plus some elementals on the other side that attack you from a distance.

    It seems PotD will be a more enjoyable experience. But the biggest issue PoE had was that their enemy AI was crap, so that you easily could exploit the environment to keep the opponents at bay, which belied the "finely tuned" combat mechanics.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  10. thekdawg21 Augur

    Mar 10, 2009
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Project: Eternity
    Isn't that the truth about the AI. In my PoE for import save I'm using the tank-in-a-doorway strategy to completely obliterate everything. As far as balancing player controlled units in PoE2, I could give a fuck what's powerful in relation to other player controlled units, so long as it's relatively balanced vs. the AI.
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  11. Maculo Prophet

    Jul 30, 2013
    My experience with the beta is that the AI is better, but not perfect. The more interesting fights I have had are from the Lagufaeth (fishmen), which bring a nice variety to the fights relative to PoE1. For example, on PotD, you have warrior, rogue, and mage variants. I have had the rogue variant range stun my casters (blow dart), which causes the casters to lose the cast charge. Multiple times where I tried to cast empower fireball, the AI would respond with a disorient and cancel the cast. The mage variants would hit my squishy melee with 80+ damage necrotic lances, and characters with 10 constitution have around 90 hp at level 6. If your frontline has a gap, I have had the Lagufaeth instantly run through the gap and eat my casters.

    There also are encounters that are difficult, but not due to the AI per se. I would almost define these encounters as traps. For example, there is a bridge where you see a lone skeletal mage, and the moment you engage combat you see skeletal warriors climb up from the depths and spawn all around you. I also would call the Engwithan Titan a trap on PotD. The Titan has higher defense and attack stats, and just when you think you have it down 8 fire elemental spawn and catch your party out of position.

    That tank-in-a-doorway strat works well in the base PoE content. In contrast, I would argue the White March encounters deprive you of that strat. Many of the encounters are outside, or you start out nearly surrounded such as the twin dragon fight or the hivemind spore.
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  12. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Monstroterratum Furiosum Patron

    Sep 10, 2010
    Forbidden Land
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Game is looking good, very good even, but based on JS's answers, it looks like there will be a lot of tweaking of mechanics and general patching after release. Despite my inner hype building up, I still intend to wait and buy the complete/finished version when it eventually appears.
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  13. agentorange Arcane Patron

    Aug 14, 2012
    Codex 2012
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  14. Nihiliste Arcane Patron

    Jan 16, 2014
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