Josh Sawyer was is one of the many behind Pillars of Eternity, and now he is here to talk about the future of the franchise with the upcoming sequel for the game. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire takes place about three to five years after the first game. Josh explained that any player can jump right into Pillars II, if you played the original you will get a lot of the references, however, the game stands on its own. You begin as a Lord or Lady of the holdings from the first game, however it is now time for consequences of the first game's actions. Josh mentioned that choice and consequence are really important at Obsidian when designing RPGs and Pillars II will be flooded with them.
The game kicks off with your castle at Caed Nua under attack vaulting you into a new adventure. This time around the team wanted to introduce new companions for players as well as bring back some of the older ones from before. However, several of the older characters may show up as NPCs along the way. It is a mix, but more choice was what the team decided on, so the new characters will be more prevalent.
One of the areas the team has been looking to improve based on player feedback is in Stronghold. Josh explained that people had a right to complain about the system and so they went back to the drawing board to make things better this time around. Feedback is something the team takes very seriously. He did not want to give too much away, but players will have a lot to look forward to in this aspect of the game. He did say that factions would have a much bigger focus in the sequel. Again, learning from the first game, they are looking at more options for the player’s story. Factions are a great mechanic to move the needle in terms of lore and ideas.
As one of the first successful Kickstarted RPGs, we asked how the team is approaching the campaign with Fig. Josh said that they take nothing for granted. No assumptions are made about how the campaign will perform. The team respects their very smart gamer audience so they want to do the best for them. It really is work to find that successful campaign a second time. He's hoping the first game made enough fans to help them make the sequel a reality without needing to go find a partner publisher.
In terms of gameplay, the team has made some simple tweaks which will be much more visually easier on the player. Spacing of characters is a little more spread out. They also have enhanced visual effects on attacks and spells to make them more obvious. Combat has been slowed down only slightly to make it easier to follow. They have also simplified the stacking rules so it is easier for players to know the best combinations.
Obsidian is excited for Pillars II, as are all the fans of the original. Much of the feedback from the first game has made its way into the new sequel and fans will be excited with the end results. More interaction, stronger scripts, and a bit more fun with the world map elements have really pushed the team on design. It opens the doors for more freedom to do a sequel and add in elements you have always wanted from a CRPG. As huge fans of the genre we are very excited with what is about to happen in the Pillars universe. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we reveal more information here at MMORPG.com. If you're keen on supporting Obsidian, head to FIG and do the whole backer thing.