When the first major DLC for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire launches on August 2nd, things in the game will get downright chilly. Called Beast of Winter, the DLC sends players on a frosty adventure complete with "new areas and dungeons to explore, dozens of new items & creatures and fun & engaging quests". We talked with Game Director Brandon Adler to learn more.
MMORPG: What is the story in Beast of Winter about?
Brandon Adler: The high-level, mostly spoiler-free version is the player is contacted by a Rymrgand-worshipping doomsday cult stationed on a quickly growing iceberg in the southern Deadfire. Quickly growing is underselling it a bit as the iceberg has started to expand rapidly recently and is threatening to swallow the world in frost in short (relatively speaking) order.
The cult is convinced that the player is the Duskspeaker, a herald of the end times, and has invited them to Harbingers' Watch to celebrate the end of the world. The player will learn about the cult, their leader Vatnir, why the iceberg is spreading, and how to deal with the problem. Dealing with the iceberg sends the party into Rymrgand’s realm in the Beyond, where players will see some fantastic areas and learn about the inner workings of The Beyond and the White Void.
MMORPG: Where in the timeline of the overarching story does Beast of Winter fit?
Brandon Adler: The story that takes place in the Beast of Winter spans hundreds of years, but the player starts concurrent with the story in Deadfire.
MMORPG: What kind of content can players expect (i.e. how many new quests)? Will there be any new followers and / or crew to find?
Brandon Adler: Beast of Winter adds all of the things you would expect from an Obsidian game – new areas and dungeons to explore, dozens of new items and creatures, and fun, engaging quests. We have also added Vatnir, an Endings godlike the player can convince to follow them into the depths of the White Void.
Due to the nature of the DLC, some of the game’s previous companions will also have quite a bit to say. For example, Ydwin, as a pale elf animancer, has a lot to talk about as it relates to the people of the cult, Rymrgand, and the nature of souls.
MMORPG: Are there any completely new features being added in this DLC or in the other two coming later this year?
Brandon Adler: There is a new item type being added to Beast of Winter – the Trinket. Trinkets are items that allows characters to cast powerful, once per rest abilities that can turn the tide of a battle.
We also have many other new features planned for future DLCs and patches, but we will talk about those later.
MMORPG: What if a player has “finished” the game prior to the DLC? How do they access it?
Brandon Adler: The DLC is accessed by heading directly to the iceberg in the southern portion of the Deadfire. While players can access the DLC content at any time after they have their ship, it is specially crafted for parties of levels 14 – 15. For players not in that level range, level scaling will work with the DLC content.
If a player has finished the story from the base game, they can access the “point of no return” save and start their Beast of Winter adventure.
MMORPG: Do the events in the DLC have any impact on the end of the game?
Brandon Adler: The adventure for Beast of Winter is a mostly self-contained experience that is resolved separately from the main story in Deadfire. That said, there is some reactivity in Deadfire based on things that happen in the DLC, and the game boasts additional end slides for the Beast of Winter content.
MMORPG: Once the final DLC launches, is PoE 2 considered “finished”? Perhaps PoE 3?
Brandon Adler: Obsidian is committed to supporting Deadfire with patches, updates, and DLC for the foreseeable future. This isn’t just Deadfire, but all the Pillars of Eternity products. It’s our feeling that our games should be evolving with player feedback and, as with PoE 1, we won’t stop until we have the best experience possible for our fans.
As for Pillars of Eternity 3, we always have things in the works and lots of ideas for things we could do with a Pillars 3.