Pillars of Eternity II began its crowdfunding on Fig last week, and is already tearing through its stretch goals after securing enough initial funding to complete the game. We caught up with Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer to talk about the game’s import save system, and its returning companions. Read on for some insight into the story and mechanics of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
MMORPG: The big question on everyone's mind, those of us who played Pillars 1 anyway, is ... how does the import save system work? Especially with so many endings?
Not every choice you made in Pillars of Eternity will be reflected in the sequel. We select from choices we believe are either particularly important or sensible to reflect in the Deadfire. Also, not all choices need to have dramatically large-scale impacts in the sequel.
MMORPG: What about players who chose to die, like I did, at the end? Rez me?
If you chose to die, you will not be able to import that save. That was your choice and this is the consequence of that choice. The same applies to companions who died -- accidentally or otherwise -- in the first game. However, you will still be able to start a new game with the story settings you like.
MMORPG: The battle map intro to the events of Tyranny worked as a great way to set the story up, but also could be used to let players without a PoE1 save file set up the events to their liking for Pillars II. Have you thought about using something like that here?
Yes. There will be a cool mechanism for players to select story states in new games. Importing a Pillars of Eternity endgame save is only necessary if you really want to see the full consequences of your last playthrough.
MMORPG: What companions will see a return in this game? I imagine we're far away from the events of the first game, no?
Edér, Aloth, and Pallegina are returning. An ally of the Watcher invites Edér to accompany you. Aloth and Pallegina both have their own reasons to be in the area, but their ending states in Pillars of Eternity may change their starting states in Deadfire. Of course, if they're dead, they're still dead.
Other Pillars of Eternity companions may appear in cameo roles depending on how they ended things in the first game, but all other Deadfire companions are new for this story.
MMORPG: Are there any new skills and abilities, or team up skills for the returning folks?
The returning companions will have a few abilities and pieces of equipment that vary based on their end states in Pillars of Eternity. Of course, if you aren't importing a Pillars of Eternity save game, you will be able to set those states during character creation. As an example, one of the returning companions is Aloth.
Aloth's gear changes based on whether or not he decided to become the new Grandmaster of the Leaden Key or decided to hunt down and destroy the Leaden Key. If Aloth became the Grandmaster, he retains some of Thaos' vestments from Pillars of Eternity. If Aloth decided to hunt down the Leaden Key, he starts with a unique scepter, Keybreaker, that has a few interesting properties.
Similarly, if you convinced Aloth to sublimate his Awakened personality, Iselmyr, he gains a Talent called Self-Determination that grants bonuses against a subset of mental Afflictions. If Aloth did not sublimate Iselmyr, she still acts as his guardian via the Iselmyr's Watch Talent, granting different bonuses (and changing many lines in his combat voice set!) when he starts taking heavy damage.