Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Celebrate Versus Evil's 5 Anniversary By Taking Advantage Of This Massive Steam Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/8uf33/celebrate-versus-evils-5-anniversary-by-taking-advantage-of-this-massive-steam-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/8uf33/celebrate-versus-evils-5-anniversary-by-taking-advantage-of-this-massive-steam-sale Tue, 25 Sep 2018 15:20:40 -0400 QuintLyn

Independent game publisher Versus Evil has turned five, and as is generally the custom in video-game related anniversaries, players are getting the presents in this celebration.

Today, the company announced a huge Steam sale that covers its entire catalog of games -- including gems like Antihero, Guild of Dungeoneering, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Let them Come, and The Banner Saga franchise.

The sale also includes DLC for both the company's buy-to-play and free-to-play offerings.

Depending on whether or not you already have some of Versus Evil's games in your library, you can take advantage of two options when making your purchases. The first is to snag the publisher's entire library for $89.60. This is a 65% discount and will save you $165.

However, if you already have some of Versus Evil's games -- or maybe you're only interested in certain ones -- you can pick them up individually, saving anywhere from 20% to 90%. 

No end date for the sale has been provided, but as with most Steam sales, you can count on this one not lasting very long -- perhaps through the weekend.

So, if you'd like to take advantage of it, you can find the Steam sale page here. Or, if you'd like the whole shebang, the bundle can be found here.

 

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Second Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire DLC Details Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/tmll2/second-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-dlc-details-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/tmll2/second-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-dlc-details-announced Thu, 06 Sep 2018 12:07:20 -0400 Zack Palm

Obsidian Entertainment, alongside publisher Versus Evil, released new details during their PAX West panel about the second DLC coming to Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, which is set to release September 25. The combat-focused DLC, named Seeker, Slayer, Survivor, introduces a new gladiatorial-like battle arena where players will pit their party against a variety of different challenges and unique foes. 

In the DLC, Deadfire players have three choices to make about what challenges their parties will have to face.

The Seeker route forces players to rely on their wits to take down foes, forcing them to discover the best tactic or learning about the combatant's weakness to seize victory.

With Slayer, Deadfire parties must push against a fearsome group of enemies, battling to the death to prove which is superior.

Lastly, the Survivor route will see the entire party facing numerous hordes of foes, attempting to survive until the bitter end and come out on top.

While the DLC remains heavily combat focused, the Obsidian team still wants to target the RPG aspects of their game. Brandon Adler, DLC Game Director for Obsidian, said:

Delving into a rich story, exploring fascinating new environments, and unearthing powerful items are still crucial, but players will experience combat trials like they have never seen before as combatants in the Crucible.

Alongside the DLC release, Obsidian plans to release a patch to take care of a handful of bugs in the base game, including some balancing issues. The price for Seeker, Slayer, Survivor has not been released, but it will likely cost the same as the previous DLC release, which was $9.99.

Stick around here at GameSkinny to hear more details as we learn them, and if you haven't already, check out review for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Related Content:
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Pillars Of Eternity II: Beast Of Winter Guide -- How To Start The DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/n8u31/pillars-of-eternity-ii-beast-of-winter-guide-how-to-start-the-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/n8u31/pillars-of-eternity-ii-beast-of-winter-guide-how-to-start-the-dlc Thu, 02 Aug 2018 17:07:00 -0400 Ty Arthur

After a series of free quality of life DLC updates, the first full, paid expansion for Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire has finally arrived! Following the same pattern as the last game, we get to travel to a deadly, snow-shrouded wonderland with Beast Of Winter.

As should be expected with any major game these days, plenty of players are having issues getting the DLC to launch properly. If you can't seem to get the new quest line to start, we've got you covered with a guide on exactly where to go.

Where Do I Go for the Beast Of Winter DLC?

First off, make sure the Beast Of Winter DLC box is checked in the Steam library page for Pillars 2. If it isn't, close the game and then restart Steam. The download should start automatically after buying the DLC.

After the install is complete, you need to load a save prior to the very end of the main campaign. The game autosaves a separate file before you land on the final island. Do not load a save past this point or you won't be able to get to the DLC area.

Load that final pre-end save and sail anywhere on the map for a while. After a few minutes, you should receive a missive asking you to travel to Harbinger's Watch.

If the missive never arrives or you get tired of waiting, you can bypass the letter portion altogether and just sail to the far southeast edge of the Archipelago, toward the "Unidentified Location" marker on the map. You know you've hit the right place when you see a snowy island.

Once you land, you can start the DLC quests normally, even without receiving the missive (although the text when you meet Vatnir will indicate you did in fact read the letter).

 Traveling to Harbinger's Watch
(thanks to Steam gamer Yuu for the screenshot)

Having any other issues getting the Beast of Winter DLC to work? Let us know and we'll find a solution for you!

Once you get the game up and running, be sure to check out our other Pillars Of Eternity 2 guides here covering everything from recruiting companions to finding every single pet in the game.

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Best Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Mods (So Far) https://www.gameskinny.com/haxx8/best-pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-mods-so-far https://www.gameskinny.com/haxx8/best-pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-mods-so-far Thu, 17 May 2018 12:11:49 -0400 Ty Arthur

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What did you think of our essential, must-download Pillars of Eternity 2 mods, and did we miss any that you've been trying out? Let us know your best picks in the comments!

\n

Whether you play modded or vanilla, check out our other Pillars of Eternity 2 guides below as you get started exploring the Deadfire Archipelago and chasing down your disembodied soul:

\n"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portraits-809f4.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portraits-809f4.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183814","description":"

500 Portraits Mod

\n\n

With Infinity Engine style cRPGs, there's always a desire for more character and NPC portraits to pick to distinguish your party from other playthroughs. As should be obvious from the name, this one gives you 500 extra images to use for the Watcher, the various companions, and even the animals found in the game.

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Make absolutely certain to back up the main portrait folder before installing, however, as this mod completely overwrites all existing portrait files! It's a good bet more mods of this nature will arrive in the near future, so if you see any awesome new ones, be sure to let us know.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/o/f/nofriendlyfire-b4d14.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/o/f/nofriendlyfire-b4d14.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183813","description":"

No Friendly Fire Mod

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When you leave the party AI turned on during combat, spellcasting characters seem to have an unhealthy obsession with lobbing fireballs or throwing out blasts of frost directly at your melee combatants on the front line.

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For those who don't pause every single round and issue commands singly to each and every character, a mod like this can really save your party from a ton of friendly fire damage.

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Feel free to have your wizard lob those delayed blast fireballs or cleric summon storms of holy fire anywhere you please!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20180516164258-d3b55.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20180516164258-d3b55.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183812","description":"

Classic Disposition Mod

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Much like with the Pet Unlocker, the Classic Disposition mod is something you probably want to install after your first full playthrough so you can experience the game as intended.

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That being said, sometimes even minor actions in this game can give you large boosts to any given disposition. If you want to slow down the rate at which dispositions and party reputations are gained, this mod lets you play basically however you want without suddenly having everyone hate you for your cruelty or love you for your benevolence.

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That can be particularly helpful for Paladin characters, who get bonuses with Deep Faith so long as they are playing according to their order's disposition preferences.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/t/pet-14da1.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/t/pet-14da1.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183811","description":"

Pet Unlocker Mod

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Exploration is a huge part of this game, and unlocking things early robs you of half the experience. Finding all the pets and deciding which one best complements your build is a major part of the fun, but on second or third playthroughs, you may just want all the pets available right from the beginning.

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As the name implies, this mod immediately summons all 66 possible pets into your party stash -- including crowdfunding backer and preorder-only pets! Your ship's menagerie will be filled to overflowing with all these options.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/closetoboard-3cf49.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/closetoboard-3cf49.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183809","description":"

Close to Board Deals No Damage Mod

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When dealing with larger, more heavily armed and armored ships, your best option is usually to close the distance and board for a direct confrontation with the enemy crew. It's better to risk a few wounds while using your party's combat abilities than to lose your ship altogether if you can't get the upper hand in ship-to-ship combat.

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The problem is that the Defiant (or whatever boat you bought after the beginning of the game) takes automatic heavy cannon damage while you board, and crew injuries are virtually guaranteed. That makes the close-to- board maneuver a gamble that is often expensive and will have your crew out of commission at low morale while they heal.

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If you really don't care for the ship-to-ship combat events at all, this mod negates all incoming damage during the close-to-board maneuver, so you can just jump straight into standard combat.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/w/e/tweaks-49583.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/w/e/tweaks-49583.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183810","description":"

Gameplay Tweaks Mod

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If you want completely unrestricted options and to bypass some of the odd combat design choices in the Pillars series, this is the definitive mod to download immediately.

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There are a ton of changes here, but most notably, you get to access 8th- and 9th-tier abilities for your multiclass characters when you reach higher levels (which is unbalancing, but very satisfying), all the Berath's Blessings abilities only cost 1 point, and -- best of all -- combat abilities and potions can now be used outside of combat.

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If there was one mechanic preventing Pillars of Eternity from fully evoking the feel of the classic Infinity Engine games, it was the inability to cast spells and ready yourself with potions before the fighting starts. That issue is entirely negated with this mod, which makes it a must-download. Now you can have your summoned creatures and Iron Skill spells already fired off so you are more prepared for any given battle.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/modscov-addce.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/modscov-addce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183807","description":"

The high seas adventure in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire may be a 10/10 experience, but that doesn't mean there can't be some modifications made to enhance your playthrough or tweak the gameplay to better suit your individual style.

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Based on Obsidian's other games, it seems very unlikely there will be any Pillars of Eternity 2 Steam Workshop support down the line. That means you've got to do things the old-fashioned way and download some some Pillars 2 Nexus mods instead.

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We've got you covered with all the best mods (currently available) to make your trek across the Deadfire Archipelago an even more fun ride, whether you choose to raid ships with the Principi pirates, pacify the locals with the Royal Deadfire Company, or just want to chase after the giant stone god and get your soul back.

"}]]]>
Pillars of Eternity 2: Best Multiclass Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/uy2w0/pillars-of-eternity-2-best-multiclass-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/uy2w0/pillars-of-eternity-2-best-multiclass-guide Tue, 15 May 2018 11:57:35 -0400 Ty Arthur

Further reinforcing the Baldur's Gate 2 nods, multiclassing has been thrown into the mix with Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity 2, which radically expands your potential class options.

Between pure classes, sub-classes, and now multiclassing, the number of combinations is astronomical, which probably has you asking -- what's the best Pillars Of Eternity 2 multiclass available?

Below we cover two of the most monstrous combos that can deal insane amounts of damage or withstand devastating punishment in any combat situation! These two builds can even potentially solo the game.

Monk/Ranger (Wanderer) With the Kitchen Stove

This is a very, very specific build revolving entirely around a single weapon that makes the Monk's Swift Flurry ability continuously activate.

To make this build work, you need to go one-handed with a single blunderbuss -- in this case, a specific enchantable blunderbuss called the Kitchen Stove.

The weapon is picked up from Dereo the Lean, who is located by exploring the Gullet Narrows and killing some guards. Trade some relic found in the under-city beneath the Gullet for the Kitchen Stove, which can be enchanted with Wild Barrage to bounce multiple shots between enemies.

What you want to do is have the Monk ability Swift Flurry increase your attack speed, and then launch extra free attacks each time you crit. Combined with the weapon's enchantment, you will get an absurd number of shots from one single attack. Groups of enemies will go down nearly instantly, and you don't even need party members to help in the fight.

When combined with the Ranger's Driving Flight ability, which causes each attack to hit other targets, the numbers get astounding. Any given attack will likely end up bouncing dozens of times, utterly annihilating all enemies in its path. Combining with any ability that reduces reload speed, like Gunner or the Frantic Reload enchantment, will just further increase the carnage.

This particular combo is so effective and bounces so often that if you come across an enemy resistant to the damage who doesn't quickly die, the bullet will keep going so long that it can actually crash the game! Keep a secondary weapon or ability in-hand for bosses that are immune to damage so you can keep playing.

Note that it is entirely possible this was an unintended usage of the Swift Flurry ability with this particular weapon, so try out the build now before it ends up getting patched out!

 The Kitchen Stove Blunderbuss (thanks to MONST3R for the screenshot)

Chanter/Melee Class (Herald or Howler)

Your Chanter side will take on the role of summoner, bringing out tons of allies to fight for you. Your secondary focus should be on anything that heals you while hampering the enemy to work well with the various abilities of either the Paladin or Barbarian.

Picking the Beckoner sub-class for Chanter gives you even more minions, although each will be more squishy. With how many you will have out, however, they don't need to last very long. If you want to focus on survival and using your Chanter abilities more often while wading into combat, go with Skald. Your summons cost more because they count as non-offensive chants, but that is offset because you get extra phrases to use when landing crits.

Either way, the automatic chants offered with the Chanter class is where things get overpowered. Pick anything that hurts the enemy, heals you, or gives you huge defensive bonuses and you won't need to worry about most combats.

For your secondary class, you want either Paladin to keep yourself alive, or Barbarian for the frenzies to increase your damage and shouts for crowd control.

On the Paladin side, picking an order that grants Lay On Hands immediately is an excellent idea, and Shieldbearer in particular can make you nearly invincible since your Lay On Hands will prevent you from dying for several seconds. Focus on upgrading your Lay On Hands and picking any auras that give you boosts to armor, regenerate health, or hinder enemies with blindness.

No matter what your starting skill, be sure to pick Deep Faith at second level. So long as you roleplay the character in accordance with the Paladin order's beliefs, you get absolutely massive defensive bonuses.

Whether you pick Barbarian or Paladin, be sure to load up your character's inventory with further creature summoning items, like the Laughing Imp Cameo or the Dragon Pendant. Between your army of monsters and your constant ability to heal damage while wading into melee combat, you will be an absolute powerhouse!

 Even from level 1, the Chanter can bring out a horde of skeleton allies

Have you found any other killer Pillars of Eternity 2 multiclass combos we should try out? Let us know your favorite class combination in the comments below!

Be sure to check out our other Pillars of Eternity 2 guides below as you get started exploring the Deadfire Archipelago:

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Pillars of Eternity 2 Console Commands Cheat Sheet https://www.gameskinny.com/65ha6/pillars-of-eternity-2-console-commands-cheat-sheet https://www.gameskinny.com/65ha6/pillars-of-eternity-2-console-commands-cheat-sheet Thu, 10 May 2018 14:49:16 -0400 Ty Arthur

If you recall the days of inputting endless console commands into the Baldur's Gate series to find every last weapon and item in the game, then prepare yourself for a major rush of nostalgia with the classic Infinity Engine style on display with Pillars of Eternity 2.

Besides the same iconic visual style and real-time-with-pause combat you've come to expect, this sequel to the Kickstarter smash hit also includes a host of console command cheats to lower the difficulty, acquire items without spending any coins, or increase your skills to pass dialogue checks.

Below we cover how to turn on the console command feature, along with all commands currently known.

IMPORTANT: Turning on the Pillars of Eternity 2 cheat engine will disable achievements for that playthrough! Even if you turn cheats off again, achievements will remain disabled for that save game. Sure, you will be able to cheese your way through all the combat scenarios, have infinite money, and craft any object without materials, but you won't actually unlock any Steam achievements along the way, so it's a major trade-off.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Console Commands Cheat Engine List

The console commands this time around are very similar in structure to both of Obsidian's previous RPGs -- Tyranny and the first Pillars of Eternity -- so you may recognize a lot of these commands if you've played the developer's other games.

To access the command console section to enter debug mode, hit the ~ key (the tilde key next to the 1 on U.S. keyboards) and then type iroll20s. Hit enter to start the Pillars 2 cheat engine.

From there, enter any of these commands below, and hit enter again to get the desired cheat:

  • UnlockAll: Unlocks all locked chests and doors in the area (note that it still counts as stealing to take from them, so go into stealth mode if you don't want to get attacked)
  • UnlockBestiary: Gives you all entries in your bestiary without having to fight the corresponding monsters
  • Cosmic Bird: places the secret Cosmic Bird pet into the player's inventory
  • Cosmic Cat: places the secret Cosmic Cat pet into the player's inventory
  • Cosmic Dog: places the secret Cosmic Dog pet into the player's inventory
  • CraftingDebug: Gives the player a large quantity of crafting material for making most recipes
  • Comapnion AddRelationship sourceGuid targetGuid axis strengthGuid onlyInParty: This long, complicated string changes the relationship status between two party members, but we're still working out the exact syntax on how it functions
  • FreeRecipesToggle: Allows you to craft any recipe without needing the ingredients
  • GiveItem (Item Name): Places the item specified directly in the player's inventory
  • GivePlayerMoney #: Gives you the specified amount of money
  • AddExperience #: Adds the amount of experience input to each party member
  • AddExperienceToLevel #: Raises each party member's level to the number input
  • AttributeScore (Player Name) (Attribute Name) #: Raises the attribute specified for the player specified by the number input
  • God: Turns invincible God mode on and off
  • HealParty: Heals the entire party and replenishes their stamina
  • Invisible: Makes the party invisible to enemies for ultimate stealth
  • NoFog: Removes the fog that obscures unexplored locations
  • Rest: Forces rest instantly in any area
  • Skill (Player Name) (Skill Name) #: Increases the specified skill for the specified player by the amount in the number slot
  • ToggleSpellLimit: Allows characters to cast spells without any limit

 
If you are going to face a giant god made out of living adra, you probably want a few cheats to help out first

It's possible there are other console commands that haven't been discovered by players yet to get more pets or access more cheats. Have you found any other Pillars 2 console commands that work? Let us know, and we'll get them added to the list!

Be sure to check out our other Pillars of Eternity 2 guides below as you get started exploring the Deadfire Archipelago with or without cheats:

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Pillars of Eternity 2 -- Finding All Companions and Ship Crew https://www.gameskinny.com/4phe3/pillars-of-eternity-2-finding-all-companions-and-ship-crew https://www.gameskinny.com/4phe3/pillars-of-eternity-2-finding-all-companions-and-ship-crew Tue, 08 May 2018 13:15:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

What's a classic cRPG without a party of interesting personalities to travel alongside the main character? Pillars of Eternity 2 doesn't skimp on those party options, including full companions with their own stories, recruitable sidekicks, and extra crew members to staff the Defiant.

Besides the obvious story line quests based around each character, picking companions based on the Watcher's class and skill set is a critical part of your combat strategy.

Read on for a full breakdown of where every companion can be found while exploring the Deadfire Archipelago.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Companions

Relationships play a huge role in the Pillars sequel, as companions react to each other and to the actions of the Watcher.

Each companion has specific ideas and character traits that they like and dislike, which will change their opinion of the Watcher when you choose dialogue and event choices based around those traits.

Every companion can also be customized when recruited by picking from three class options -- either pure classes or multi-classing for a broader range of abilities.

Edér

  • Location: Vilario's Rest
  • Class Option: Fighter, Rogue, or Swashbuckler
  • Likes: Anti-Leaden Key, animal kindness, pro-Eothasian, light hearted, traditional
  • Dislikes: Animal cruelty, pro-Leaden Key, anti-Eothasian

Eder automatically joins the party as your main frontline fighter as soon as the game starts with the shipwreck at Vilario's Rest.

If you decide to play through as antagonistic towards Eothas and the other gods or opposed to rigid adherence to tradition, then you may want to go with a melee-focused class for the Watcher, as Eder won't want to stick around.

Whether you go with fighter or rogue for his class, Eder is all about battlefield positioning and quickly dashing around to take on threats. Keep him mobile and in the thick of the action.

Xoti

  • Location: Port Maje
  • Class Option: Priest, Monk, or Contemplative
  • Likes: Pro-Eothas, lighthearted, impassioned, wordly 
  • Dislikes: Anti-religious, irresponsibility, skullduggery 

After leaving Vilario's Rest, you can find Xoti in the center of Port Maje with the Children of the Dawnstars gathered to follow after Eothas.

Xoti is the game's primary healer, so unless you focus on healing abilities from Tekehu or Pallegina, she's basically a requirement.

Sadly, she's not going to be happy if you play a rogue or go full throttle into evil pirate mode, and she doesn't appreciate anyone who is opposed to Eothas.

Serafen

  • Location: The Defiant
  • Class Option: Barbarian, Cipher, or Witch
  • Likes: Skullduggery, lighthearted, impassioned, worldly
  • Dislikes: Anti-Principi, racism

When you fix the Defiant and start sailing towards Neketaka, a Principi ship will approach you with information about the pirate who first attacked at the beginning of the game.

During this dialogue, you can choose to have the psychic pirate Serafen join your crew.

Serafen can take the role of frontline fighter if you go pure barbarian, but frankly, his cipher abilities are more useful since he can charm enemies to fight for you during battle.

Aloth

  • Location: Engwithan Digsite
  • Class Option: Wizard, Battlemage, or Spellmage
  • Likes: Autonomy, dutiful, stewardship
  • Dislikes: Irresponsibility, pride, traditional

If you open the doors at the bottom end of the Engwithan Digsite area before getting the Defiant fixed at Port Maje, Aloth is clearly visible among the people hiding from Eothas.

On his quest to follow the Leaden Key, he's been hiding his identity to fit in with the digging crew.

If you don't pick the wizard class for the Watcher, Aloth is your best bet for a pure damage spellcaster.

Maia Rua

  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Palace)
  • Class Option: Ranger, Scout, or Geomancer
  • Likes: Dutiful, lighthearted, provincial, resourcefulness, pro-Rautai
  • Dislikes: Animal cruelty, pro-Huana

After visiting the luminous adra pillar in Hosonga, you will be prompted to return to visit the queen in Neketaka.

During the dialogue segment with the queen, the two major trading companies in the area will try to send their spies onto your ship to watch the situation directly.

Maia is the Rautaian spy who works for the Royal Deadfire Company. Her long-range gun attacks and animal companion can be quite useful in combat, and she offers a romance option for the Watcher (if you can find some shark meat to feed her bird first).

Pallegina

  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Palace)
  • Class Option: Paladin, Crusader, or Herald
  • Likes: Anti-religious, pro-Animancy, dutiful, pro-Vailian Republic
  • Dislikes: Pro-godlike, piety, racism

During the same segment in which Maia is recruited, the Vailian Trading Company will try to send Pallegina as their spy onto your boat. 

You can choose to take one, either, or both of them. This second option results in some inter-party conflict if you have Pallegina and Maia in your group at the same time, as they are working at directly cross purposes. 

As an anti-religious paladin, Pallegina can lead to all sorts of interesting party combos if you picked the godlike race and choose to be opposed to the gods. Pallegina can pick up the frontline fighter or back healer positions as needed.

Tekēhu

  • Location: Neketaka (Periki's Overlook)
  • Class Option: Druid, Chanter, or Theurge
  • Likes: Progressive, pro-godlike, piety, pro-Huana, lighthearted, pride
  • Dislikes: Anti-Huana, pro-Rautai

This druid water godlike is found arguing with his mother in the watershaper's guild building found in Periki's Overlook.

Another romance option, Tekehu will be particularly interested in the Watcher if you picked the godlike race.

Tekehu can potentially take the role of frontline fighter when he switches to his shark form, but that's really best left to Eder or Pallegina. His crowd control druid abilities make him an excellent combatant who can pick up the slack if you don't have Aloth or cipher-focused Serafen in the party.

Vatnir

  • Location: Harbinger's Watch
  • Class Option: Option: Priest (Rymrgand), Zealot, or Celebrant
  • Likes: Will Update
  • Dislikes: Will Update

A new type of godlike dubbed the "endings godlike" because of his connection to the deity Rymrgrand, Vatnir works well as a combat support priest with his ability to summon allies and manifest dual frost battle axes.

If you've already got a couple of priests in the party, pick his Celebrant variant to add in Chanter abilities or Zealot to get some Rogue options. Obviously he's not keen on blasphemy towards his deity, so expect a lot of friction if your party isn't on board with the teachings of Rymrgrand.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Sidekicks

Besides the main companions, four sidekicks who don't have personal quests or inter-party dialogue are also available. These sidekicks round out the party with different class abilities if you don't like the storylines or personalities of the full companions who take up those class roles.

Ywdin
  • Location: Neketaka (The Sacred Stair)
  • Class Option: Mindstalker, Cipher, or Rogue

Sadly, Obsidian didn't make the stretch goal to turn Ydwin into a full companion during the game's crowdfunding campaign, which is a shame, as she's clearly supposed to be some sort of animancer vampire performing insane experiments! Ydwin is found by traveling to the top of the Spire Of The Soul-Seers in the Sacred Stair area of Neketaka.

Konstanten
  • Location: Neketaka (The Queen's Berth)
  • Class Option: Chanter, Barbarian, or Howler

This masseuse, who is tired of rubbing down every traveler in Neketaka, is found by going to the upper floor of the Wild Mare in the Queen's Berth area.

Fassina
  • Location: Neketaka (Perika's Outlook)
  • Class Option: Wizard, Loremaster, or Sorcerer

Fassina can be found in the Dark Cupboard shop in Perika's Outlook. If you don't bring Tekehu with you, taking the Sorcerer option gives you access to some druid abilities.

Rekke
  • Location: Flotsam Event
  • Class Option: Fighter, Brawler, or Brute

Rekke is found during an event while sailing over on the far east side of the Archipelago map.

Mirke
  • Location: Fort Deadlight
  • Class Option: Monk

Mirke is available in the Deadlight Court after completing the Blow the Man Down quest where you attack Fort Deadlight. If you talk to her during th quest, she can also help out in non-violent quest resolutions. 

Pillars of Eternity 2 Ship Crew Members

While you can pay to recruit replacement crew members at any of the various city dockyards, plenty of shipmates can be found just by exploring the world. 

Rum-Dumb Riggere
  • Location: Port Maje (Jail)
  • Role: Deckhand
  • Traits: Ocean folk, old Vailia, drunkard

You can pick up Rum-Dumb in the jail at Port Maje (after leaving the first area) by either paying his debt, picking the lock, or stealing the key. 

Oswald
  • Location: Oathbinder's Sanctum
  • Role: Navigator
  • Traits: Wood elf, Aedyr, chatty, drunkard, helmsman

Oswald is currently on trial for a centuries-old crime inside the Oathbinder's Sanctum (found on the island southwest of Neketaka). The Lost Dues in Good Faith quest given by Kahn in the Wild Mare takes you directly to Oswald. 

Giordu Red-Handed
  • Location: Temple Of Tangaloa Ruins (unnamed island south of Port Maje)
  • Role: Cook
  • Traits: Mountain dwarf, deckhand

Inside the temple filled with stranded sailors who turned to cannibalism, look for this dwarf tied to a bloody pillar on the west side of the largest chamber.

Handsome Eliam
  • Location: Crookspur
  • Role: Helmsman
  • Traits: Death godlike, Dyrwood, enigmatic, loyal, cook

When you reach the slaver city Crookspur, you can either buy Handsome Eliam for 1,200 coins, or offer him a place on your crew after you kill all the slavers.

Mother Sharp-Rock
  • Location: Caverns of Xaur Tuk-Tuk
  • Role: Deckhand
  • Traits: Xaurip, Deadfire Archipelago, religious, wilder, cook

Opening the cage at the northwest side of the Caverns of Xaur Tuk-Tuk provides the option to recruit this xaurip to your crew. The Caverns can be found by sailing northwest of Port Maje, and you have to explore this area during the Mapping The Achiepelago quest line granted by Sanza in the Queen's Berth.

Birta
  • Location: Neketaka (The Gullet)
  • Role: Helmsman
  • Traits: Ogre, Deadfire Archipelago, fearless, impulsive, wilder, cook

Head to the back room on the main floor of The Hole (the tavern at the east side of The Gullet in Neketaka), and talk to the ogre cook. For 400 coins she will join your crew. You can also pick up a pig pet in this same room.

Vektor
  • Location: Tikiwara
  • Role: Cook
  • Traits: Mountain dwarf, Vailian Republic, chatty, loyal

After exploring the ancient ruins and completing the Storms of Poko Kahara quest, return to Tikiwara and talk to Vektor again to recruit him to your crew.

Emeini
  • Location: Neketaka (The Brass Citadel)
  • Role: Cannoneer
  • Traits: Coastal amuana, impulsive, irreverent, helmsan, deckhand

After completing several quests, Emeini will eventually be found standing outside the Fleet Master's Office in The Brass Citadel. She's being punished after assaulting her captain, but if you have a reputation of 2 or higher with Neketaka, she will join your crew as a free expert cannoneer.

Worthless Idiot
  • Location: Neketaka (Periki's Overlook)
  • Role: Navigator
  • Traits: Imp, greedy, primordial

Yes, this imp's name is literally Worthless Idiot. His archmage master, Arkemyr, is kind of an ass, if you couldn't tell. Worthless Idiot is found just to the west of the watershaper's guild in Periki's Overlook.

If you recruit Worthless Idiot, random people in Neketaka will chide you for bringing a gross, smelly imp aboard your ship.

Have you found any other crew members we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Now that you've got all the companions and ship crew, be sure to check out our other Pillars of Eternity 2 guides below as you get started exploring the Deadfire Archipelago:

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Pillars of Eternity II Complete Skill Trainer Locations Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/vgh8z/pillars-of-eternity-ii-complete-skill-trainer-locations-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/vgh8z/pillars-of-eternity-ii-complete-skill-trainer-locations-guide Tue, 08 May 2018 13:15:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Whether exploring the endless tunnels beneath The Gullet or attempting to identify a forgotten shrine on some uncharted island, your Pillars of Eternity 2 character will need to have a solid skill loadout to survive.

If you've been busy sinking ships and looting their cargo like a proper pirate, the Watcher's skills can be increased significantly by spending money at hidden skill trainers.

Heading straight to all these skill trainer locations when you have extra cash on hand will give you an edge in scripted events and help round out the Watcher's abilities if you only focused on a small number of skills at character creation.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire Trainer Locations

Each trainer charges 3,000 coins to raise one active and one passive skill. Note that there are several other ways to boost your skills without spending money at the hidden trainers scattered across the game, which can be quite expensive if you visit all of them.

A party-wide bonus is applied to skill checks based on how many party members have points in that skill. By adding a few points in specific skills to all party members, you can effectively bump up the Watcher's skill sets in any given event or dialogue.

Most of the pets found across the Archipelago also provide some sort of skill or attribute bonus, so if you want to bump up a specific stat further without spending money at a trainer, check out our full guide on every single Pillars of Eternity 2 pet location here.

If you've got the coins to burn though, let's get started finding all the trainers found from Neketaka to Sayuka!

History/Arcana Trainer
  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Crown)

Geirvard Calder is found at the palace in Serpent's Crown. To reach him, go up to the roof (the stairs on the northwest side of the second floor), then take one of the two southern staircases labeled Serpent's Crown. While they seem like they are exits out of the palace, they actually both take you out onto the palace terrace to a small map with a pet and a trainer. 

 Serpent's Crown first  trainer location

Survival/Athletics Trainer
  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Crown)

The next trainer is also found in the palace in Serpent's Crown, so you can grab him right before or after talking to Geirvard. If you enter through the palace's lower floor doorway, you will find shieldbearer Granis Yirgar in the Hall Of Remembrance on the east side.

If you chose the Paladin of St. Elgca class option at the beginning of the game, he also has some extra surprise dialogue for you about his distinctive armor.

 Serpent's Crown second trainer location

Alchemy/Religion Trainer
  • Location: Neketaka (Sacred Stair)

The trainer named Mark van der Bij is found sitting on the stairs at the east side of Magran's Temple in the Sacred Stair area of Neketaka (near the cat pet). 

 Sacred Stair trainer location

Stealth/Metaphysics Trainer
  • Location: Dunnage

To find this trainer, sail to the far west side of the map to the free city of Dunnage. Kae Polzech is found on the northwest side of the Lifter's Refuge map area (the docks where you first land in Dunnage).

 First Dunnage trainer location

Sleight Of Hand/Diplomacy Trainer
  • Location: Dunnage

Carlo Fortuni is standing directly next to the previous trainer in the Lifter's Refuge section of the free city of Dunnage.

 Second Dunnage trainer location

Explosives/Mechanics Trainer
  • Location: Dunnage

Elias Zellen is found at the western side of The King's Coffin tavern in the free city of Dunnage.

 Third Dunnage trainer location

Bluff/Streetwise Trainer
  • Location: Dunnage

After finding the three previous trainers in Dunnage, head over to the Radiant Court map section. You will find Co'el Marcellus on the far east side, near the stairs.

 Fourth Dunnage trainer location

Insight/Intimidate Trainer
  • Location: Sayuka

To find this trainer, sail northwest of Neketaka to a small island with the port town of Sayuka. The old sea dog Morofeto Liano can be found on the docks at the southwest side.

Ironically, you can then use your increased Intimidate skill to force him to give you the magic amulet Claim And Refusal, which can either increase or decrease your damage dealt and received (depending on which half of the amulet's ability is active).

 Sayuka trainer location

The open world of the Deadfire Archipelago is absolutely huge, so there may be more trainers to be found in hidden locations. Check back soon as we update this list with other trainers, and be sure to leave a comment below if you found any Pillars 2 skill trainers that we missed!

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pet Locations and All Pet Bonuses https://www.gameskinny.com/of1r8/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-pet-locations-and-all-pet-bonuses https://www.gameskinny.com/of1r8/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-pet-locations-and-all-pet-bonuses Tue, 08 May 2018 13:15:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Plenty of wizard, rogue, and barbarian companions can be found throughout the classic Infinity Engine-style RPG Pillars of Eternity 2, but there's an extra type of furry friend to recruit for even more customization options.

Pillars of Eternity 2 pets help to define your character build by shoring up skills you lack in, reinforcing your best skills to higher levels, and offering bonuses to the whole party just for following you around.

Most of these pets are found by exploring side rooms and rooftops across the the main city of Neketaka, but a few are much more difficult to track down as you sail across the Deadfire Archipelago.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Pet Locations

Screeching birds of prey, feisty kitty cats, faithful hounds, and even baby dragons can be discovered and added to your collection if you know where to look.

While your inventory can be filled to the brim with pets, the bonuses listed below only apply when the pet is in the actual pet slot on the main character (located below the belt slot on the right side of the character rag doll). If you want a place to house your extra pets on board the Defiant, you can buy the Menagerie ship upgrade at the Neketaka shipyard shop.

Besides the specific pets found across the game world listed below, you can also buy pets directly by talking to Ereti in the west of Kahonga Palace in the Serpent's Crown area of Neketaka.

Comet
  • Player Effect: +1 Might
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus Deflection against attacks
  • Location: Console Command

Hit the ~ key and type cosmic dog and then tap Enter to put Comet in your inventory. Unlike the other Pillars 2 console cheats, the commands to create cosmic pets won't turn off achievements.

 Comet Pet Location

Luna
  • Player Effect: +1 Dexterity
  • Party Wide Effect: Enemy weapon attacks will Graze instead of Hit more often
  • Location: Console Command

Hit the ~ key and type cosmic cat and then tap Enter to put Luna in your inventory. Unlike the other Pillars 2 console cheats, the commands to create cosmic pets won't turn off achievements.

 Luna Pet Location

Orbit
  • Player Effect: +1 Perception
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members move faster during combat
  • Location: Console Command

Hit the ~ key and type cosmic bird and then tap Enter to put Orbit in your inventory. Unlike the other Pillars 2 console cheats, the commands to create cosmic pets won't turn off achievements.

 Orbit Pet Location

Gosha
  • Player Effect: +1 Perception
  • Party Wide Effect: Enemies less likely to land crits with weapon attacks
  • Location: Engwithan Digsite

Gosha is found in the Engiwthan Digsite east of Port Maje (before you get your ship fixed). The cat is located just to the east of the upper entrance to the ancient training hall in the area that looks like a stone a mphitheater filled with broken seating.

 Gosha Pet Location

Xopn'aua
  • Player Effect: +2 Insight, +1 Metaphysics
  • Party Wide Effect: Slight bonus to Will
  • Location: Neketaka (Queen's Berth)

To find this forsaken dog, you need to head to the unmarked, brownish-red home found between Robero's Fine Fashion and the Back Alley at the northern end of the Queen's Berth area.

 Xopn'aua Pet Location

Toby
  • Player Effect: +1 Perception
  • Party Wide Effect: Slight bonus to max Health
  • Location: Neketaka (Queen's Berth)

To find Toby, head inside the Vailian Trading Company Headquarters in the Queen's Berth Area, and take the exit to the rooftop terrace that looks out over the Berth. The lost dog is standing there near a barrel and a chair.

 Toby Pet Location

Mirri
  • Player Effect: +1 Intellect
  • Party Wide Effect: Enemy weapon attacks against the party score Criticals less frequently
  • Location: Tikiwara

You will travel to Tikiwara on the eastern side of the Archipelago during the Storms of Poko Kahara quest (or you can just sail there from the get-go if you want). When you reach Tikiwara, this abandoned kitty is found on the beach at the southwest side, by the rock arch.

 Mirri Pet Location

Desert Wurm Hatchling
  • Player Effect: +5 to all Defenses against ground-based attacks
  • Party Wide Effect: Some Misses with ranged weapons convert to Grazes
  • Location: Poko Kohara Ruins

When you travel east from Tikiwara to find the lost expedition, eventually you will explore the Poko Kohara Ruins.

Before fighting the titan and going inside the ruins themselves, check the southern area of this map near the oasis to fight some desert monsters. If you search the two white rocks south of the tree, you will find the desert wurm hatchling as an inventory item.

 Desert Wurm Hatchling Pet Location

Kaz
  • Player Effect: +1 Stealth, +1 Survival
  • Party Wide Effect: Some enemy Hits against the party are converted to Grazes
  • Location: Hasongo

You will travel to Hasongo during the Distant Light quest as you look for the luminous adra pillars visited by Eothas. While exploring this area filled with Naga, you have to move between sections of the map by swimming through flooded areas inside buildings.

When you get to the far left side of the map, head into the Fleet Master's Office to find Kaz whimpering in the corner.

 Kaz Pet Location

Corlagon
  • Player Effect: +5% damage to area effect attacks
  • Party Wide Effect: Healing potions and spells are slightly more effective
  • Location: Hasongo

After grabbing Kaz in the Fleet Master's Office, head inside the tower with the glowing green light at the far left side of the map. After dealing with the Naga, you can travel up to the top of the tower into a new map section to find this lonely cat.

 Corlagon Pet Location

Prissy
  • Player Effect: +15% effectiveness for healing potions and spells
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members regain a small amount of health when landing a killing blow
  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Crown)

Head inside the palace in the Serpent's Crown area, then travel through the stairs to the Kahanga Palace Rooftop map. From there, you can see an exit that leads out onto the terrace that looks over the Serpent's Crown area but is still technically part of the palace map. The stray cat is between the two doors by the History/Arcana trainer.

Prissy Pet Location

Eviee
  • Player Effect: +2 Resolve and resistance to Resolve afflictions
  • Party Wide Effect: Resolve afflictions on party members have reduced duration
  • Location: Neketaka (Serpent's Crown)

Eviee is found in the side room inside Muhai's Estate in the Serpent's Crown section of Neketaka.

 Eviee Pet Location

Frau Nils
  • Player Effect: +3 Accuracy with Melee attacks
  • Party Wide Effect: Small bonuses to all party member Health
  • Location: Neketaka (The Sacred Stair)

In the Sacred Stair area with all the temples, head to the southeast side and enter the flooded Temple of Gaun. This abandoned cat is standing between High Priestess Saewyn and the giant tree.

 Frau Nils Pet Location

Animancy Cat
  • Player Effect: +2 Metaphysics, +1 Arcana
  • Party Wide Effect: Summoned creatures gain bonus Might and Penetration
  • Location: Neketaka (The Sacred Stair)

Animancy Cat is available to buy for 8,500 coins from the merchant named Tiabo standing outside the animancy headquarters in The Sacred Stair.

Deus
  • Player Effect: +1 Constitution
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members regain some health when landing a killing blow
  • Location: Neketaka (The Gullet)

When you travel to the slum area of Neketaka called The Gullet, you can actually see Deus up on the broken-down terrace of the pirate bar called The Hole just by walking to the eastern side of the area.

To reach the dog, go inside The Hole, take the stairs up to the second floor with the locked rooms, and then go south through the door that reaches the terrace.

 Deus Pet Location

Onyx
  • Player Effect: +1 Perception
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members gain bonus defense against any attack that causes disease
  • Location: Neketaka (The Gullet)

After grabbing Deus on the terrace, go back down to the main floor of The Hole and head through the hallway behind the bartender. In the far back room, you can find this worried pig near Birta the cook.

 Onyx Pet Location

Ickis
  • Player Effect: +3 to defense against body and mind afflictions
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus defense against poison and disease attacks
  • Location: Neketaka (The Gullet)

This forsaken cat is found in front of Pitli's Sanctuary at the far southwest end of The Gullet.

 Ickis Pet Location

Algol
  • Player Effect: -20% Constitution affliction durations
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members regain health when landing a killing blow
  • Location: Neketaka (Delver's Row)

To reach Delver's Row, head through the Narrows exit at the west side of the Gullet. If you've already taken the lift in the Gullet down to the undercity dungeon area, instead travel west and then south to reach the map with the rogue watershapers and the docks on the river. At the far northwest edge of that map is another lift that goes up to Delver's Row. Algol is found in the tunnel at the west side on the way to the Spindle Man's chamber.

 Algol Pet Location

Jules
  • Player Effect: +1 Perception
  • Party Wide Effect: Healing spells and potions are more effective
  • Location: Neketaka (Periki's Overlook)

This stray cat can be found just outside the entrance to the Watershaper's Guild at the northern end of the the Periki's Overlook area.

 Jules Pet Location

Rasper
  • Player Effect: 5% of incoming Hits converted to Grazes
  • Party Wide Effect: Healing spells and potions slightly more effective
  • Location: Neketaka (Periki's Overlook)

If you enter from the eastern side, Rasper is found just to the side of the entrance to Iolfr's Raiments.

 Rasper Pet Location

Pozzi
  • Player Effect: +1 to all fire key word power levels
  • Party Wide Effect: Small bonus to Reflex defense
  • Location: Neketaka (Sacred Stair)

This forsaken cat is found at the east side of the Temple to Magran in the Sacred Stair area.

 Pozzi Pet Location

Peter
  • Player Effect: +15% damage to area effect attacks
  • Party Wide Effect: Area effect attacks of all party members are slightly increased in radius
  • Location: Oathbinder's Sanctum

You can find the Oathbinder's Sanctum island by heading north of Port Maje and northwest of the island with the Cavern of Xaur Tuk-Tuk. This area is typically found during the Lost Dues in Good Faith quest given by Kahn.

Peter is hiding in a hallway on the north end of the third floor of the Oathbinder's Sanctum. If you are all about fireballs and thrown stun grenades, this is the pet to get for his area effect increases. 

 Peter Pet Location

Abraham
  • Player Effect: Reduces the Recovery penalty for wearing armor
  • Party Wide Effect: Party members regain a small amount of health when landing a killing blow
  • Location: Neketaka (Queen's Berth)

In the Queen's Berth area, head inside the Luminous Adra Mill, then go through the Rooftop Balcony exit to find the area where Abraham is sitting like a good boy.

 Abraham Pet Location

Eliel
  • Player Effect: +1 Resolve
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus to weapon damage
  • Location: Hall of the Unseen (The Black Isles)

To reach this area, head south of Tikiwara until you come across the big black island with the lava at the center. Eliel is standing inside an inner hallway on the western side.

Eliel Pet Location

Chauncey
  • Player Effect: +1 Dexterity
  • Party Wide Effect: Enemy weapon attacks sometimes converted from Hits to Grazes
  • Location: Dunnage (Lifter's Refuge)

Dunnage is found on the far west side of the map, and this pig is located up the stairs in the Lifter's Refuge docks area you first sail into.

 Chauncey Pet Location

Hemp
  • Player Effect: +1 Constitution
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus to Fortitude defense
  • Location: Dunnage (Radiant Court)

Hemp is found at the far south end of the Radiant Court section of Dunnage, just below Ramaso's stalls.

 Hemp Pet Location

Bear Cub
  • Player Effect: +8 Fortitude
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus to melee damage
  • Location: Bentbranch Bog 

For melee-focused parties, this is a killer pet! You can find him hiding in Bentbranch Bog, north of the port city Sayuka.

 Bear Cub Pet

Twix
  • Player Effect: +15 max Health
  • Party Wide Effect: Recover some Health when landing a killing blow
  • Location: Bentbranch Bog 

This cat is also found in the same general location as the bear cub pet listed above.

 Twix Pet Location

Grog
  • Player Effect: +1 Resolve
  • Party Wide Effect: Party cannot engage and is immune to engagement, party members will also die automatically if knocked unconscious
  • Location: Ashen Maw

This tiny wild troll pet is found just north of the docks at Ashen Maw (the fiery location at the north end of the map  where you chase Eothas after facing him at the second luminous adra pillars).

 Grog Pet Location

Nalvi
  • Player Effect: +1 Resolve
  • Party Wide Effect: Reduced penalty to armor Recovery
  • Location: Junvik Village

Nalvi is on the east side of this village, which is found all the way in the upper-left corner of the Archipelago (to the northwest of Ori o Koiki).

 Nalvi Pet Location

Lil' Babs
  • Player Effect: +1 Dexterity
  • Party Wide Effect: Deflection bonus to enemy weapon attacks
  • Location: Motare o Kozi

Lil' Babs is found in the Motare o Kozi swamp on an island far north of Tikiwara and forth northwest of Neketaka. When you first arrive on this island, you will have to either fight the locals or talk your way past them to gain entrance to the swamp.

 Lil' Babs Pet Location

Concelhaut's Skull
  • Player Effect: Summon a ghostly visage of Concelhaut 1/rest
  • Party Wide Effect: Bonus to all Corrode damage dealt
  • Location: Bekarna's Observatory

Arkemyr will give you a quest to retrieve Bekarna's research at her observatory after you burgle his mansion. At the end of the quest, kill the lich Concelhaut and loot his body to take the still-living skull as a pet!

 Concelhaut's Skull Pet Location

Nemnok The Petite
  • Player Effect: +1 maximum Empower points
  • Party Wide Effect: +1 level spell cast for wizards, druids, and priests
  • Location: Drowned Barrows

If you've been paying attention to all the books about imp summoning throughout the game, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that new "god" Nemnok is just an imp run amok on magic energy. When you defeat Nemnok in the Drowned Barrows (north of Junvik village), select the option to recruit him as a companion. He's not stoked about going from god to pet, but he'll do it. Nemnok will also loudly berate the party when in the pet slot, so there's a trade off for his bonuses!

 Nemnok Pet Location

There are almost certainly more pets found across the Deadfire Archipelago, and we may have missed a few -- let us know if you've come across any other pets, and we'll get them added to the list! You can also check out the rest of our Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire guides here.

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Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire Review: Fight the Gods, Sail the Seas, Save Your Soul https://www.gameskinny.com/jo08d/pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-review-fight-the-gods-sail-the-seas-save-your-soul https://www.gameskinny.com/jo08d/pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-review-fight-the-gods-sail-the-seas-save-your-soul Tue, 08 May 2018 13:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Around the time that the Pentium II was the baddest microprocessor on the block, Baldur's Gate II showed up to blow the cRPG competition away by vastly expanding on everything that made the original game such a hallowed favorite.

Computers may be a whole lot faster nearly two decades later, but that classic brand of RPG nostalgia is still on full display for genre fans with Obsidian's own ambitious sequel, Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Much like Black Isle's earlier take on the D&D universe, Obsidian absolutely nailed this expansion of the Infinity Engine style, making all of the tweaks that players asked for following the first game. From full voice acting to new class options, fans of the first Pillars won't be disappointed with Obsidian's sequel.

Deadfire features a much-needed change of location and tone, to something that sets the Pillars of Eternity series apart. It's not just background colors and character options that change the experience for returning players, though. The Archipelago is absolutely alive with history and culture with Deadfire's new open world setting.

On top of that, there's been a big cultural shift away from all the Celtic connotations in the first game. This time around, the game has moved toward native Pacific Islanders and invading expansionist Europeans in a golden age of piracy. It's a shift that's not only palpable but also game-changing. 

RPG fans who love dialog-heavy games will be thrilled by NPC speech peppered with colorful colloquial terms that draw them into the setting. In short, this is a game with a lot of character

     Better get used to blood-soaked decks -- you'll be seeing a lot of them!

Massive trading companies, ousted nobles turned pirates, religious missionaries, and locals looking to make coin off the lot of 'em collide for an incredibly rich setting that is everything a gamer could want from a high-seas RPG.

While the story of Deadfire is serious and revolves around the fate of souls across the world, there's still plenty of comic relief to be found between tense combat and philosophical story lines. And that comedy aspect is handled exceedingly well, with killer timing.

New companion Serafen's particular world view is always amusing, and there's plenty of opportunity for the Watcher to get herself into trouble by saying the wrong thing

Updated Game Mechanics and Map Travel

Besides a shift in setting and language, the game itself has evolved in several notable ways. The first and largest change will have fans of the original Pillars heaving a major sigh of relief. Obsidian thankfully (and very, very wisely) ditched all the backer soul dialogue, which was a major low point of the first game given the massive amount of text present throughout the adventure.

The Watcher still talks to souls and sees into other realms, just with better writing that is actually tied into the story. Beyond that much-needed change, Deadfire includes majorly-updated game mechanics, with multi-classing, a totally new reputation system, and ship-to-ship combat.

Between the extra class powers, new environmental combat effects, and a host of other battle tweaks, combat feels more tactical this time around.The oddly low level cap of 12 of the first game has also been bumped to 20, offering many new class build possibilities for players to explore.

 Exploration is a huge part of the game, and you even
get to name your own uncharted islands

Shifting focus from typical RPG railroading, the Watcher and her crew get a ship early on, meaning they can start exploring the utterly massive Archipelago without having to wait for hours on end. Furthermore, you can pretty much ignore the main quest to go explore most of Deadfire right away if that suits your fancy.

And much like with Baldur's Gate II, there are now more options to be an evil, reaving, murderous pirate from the get-go. Of course, there are any number of other ways to play the Watcher, but at least you get access to most of them fairly early. 

Lastly, there's also noticeably less combat this time around, which was a consistent complaint from the fan base about the first game. 

 There's still more than enough Real-Time-With-Pause combat
and loads of screen-shaking spell effects

Faith in Eora

This section contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the ending of the previous game, so if you haven't finished the first Pillars of Eternity yet, you may want to skip on down to the next section.

As would be expected from the confrontational atheism versus religious faith ending of PoE, when you discovered Thaos' devastating secret, religion continues to play a huge role in Deadfire

Now that the Watcher knows the gods are a sham, options for reacting to religious characters have grown significantly, and whether you keep placing your faith in the false gods or turn your back on them has major impacts on your party interactions. 

The Watcher even gets to deal directly with those powerful ancient Engwithans in a variety of dreamlike settings, and there's a definite rush to staring the goddess of death in the face and telling her exactly where she can go shove it.

 Having a pow-wow with mewling. whiny deities
who expect humans to do everything for them

How religious characters and organizations interact with each other is central to the storytelling in the continuation of the Watcher's saga. Player choice is a major factor in every conversation, so if you want total control over your character's actions and motivations, this is the RPG for you.

The strength of the writing and nuance in the world's religious background really shine through companion interactions. New character Xoti is one of the highlights of Deadifre, coming off at first as an adorably unrefined, sassy southern lass (you will be forgiven if you too think of Cameron's sister Pameron from Modern Family).

Whether you want to kindly indulge her superstitions or mercilessly mock her backwards beliefs is up to you, and those interactions become a test of character for both of you as the game's story progresses.

 There's a lot more to this naive southern belle than first meets the eye

Party Relationships In Pillars Of Eternity II

As with the first game, there's constant inter-party dialog and interactions to be had in Deadfire, making it a pleasure to travel around from place to place and see how the members of the group talk to each other

Beyond the options of "good" and "evil", every character has a host of personality traits that impact not just how they view the main character, but how they interact with each other.  The sheer scope of the possible party interactions is breathtaking, and there's plenty of personality types to choose from. 

If you were worried there wouldn't be a foul-mouthed git who likes to toss around insults just because Durance is absent from this sequel, you needn't be. Serafen is everything you ever wanted from an evil little sea pirate mogwai companion who has an endlessly dirty mind. He's also psychic, so get ready for a fun time.

 The band is back together!

The Bottom Line

The characters are fabulous, the combat is refined, the exploration elements have greatly (greatly) expanded, and the backer soul dialog is blessedly gone.

Are there little issues that could be nit picked about the game's combat, UI, or load times? Sure, absolutely. Some of those will get patched out, and some will probably stay forever. But honestly, none of them have even remotely detracted from the game's enjoyment factor so far.

Pillars Of Eternity II combines the best bits of the strategy and humor from Divinity Original Sin with the style and imagery of classic Infinity Engine games, throws in open world RPG exploration, and blends it all together with Obsidian's trademark solid character building.

In short, this is going to be the RPG of the year.

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Ruffians, Secrets, and Mystics Await in Pillars of Eternity 2 Season Pass https://www.gameskinny.com/wm3sm/ruffians-secrets-and-mystics-await-in-pillars-of-eternity-2-season-pass https://www.gameskinny.com/wm3sm/ruffians-secrets-and-mystics-await-in-pillars-of-eternity-2-season-pass Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:35:55 -0400 Jonathan Moore

When it was announced, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire was already promised to be a massive game. And that was to be expected considering the breadth of its predecessor. However, Obsidian Entertainment announced today the Season Pass for Deadfire, meaning the adventure to save your imperiled soul just got much, much bigger. 

Sure to excite fans of the franchise and newcomers alike, Deadfire's season pass will include three DLC expansion packs: Beast of Winter; Seeker, Slayer, Survivor; and The Forgotten Sanctum. Each of these DLC expansion packs will include new quests, new characters, and new challenges to test the might and resolve of the Watcher of Caed Nua. 

Here's everything we know about each expansion so far. 

Beast of Winter

Set to release in July, the Beast of Winter DLC takes your party to a mysterious island occupied by a strange and mystic cult. Of course, as all cults must do, they hide an eldritch secret that holds the key to an important mystery. As players journey through this addition to Deadfire, they'll find themselves in "The Beyond," a realm outside our own -- and one filled with myriad dangers meant to waylay hapless travelers in its ancient hellscape. 

Seeker, Slayer, Survivor

Scheduled for a September release, Seeker, Slayer, Survivor revolves around all things combat. Finding yourself on a previously undiscovered island somewhere in Deadfire, this DLC tests players' resolve and party management prowess. There will be savage warriors. There will be primeval relics. There will be amazing discoveries. Players will want to fine-tune their tactics and hone their strategies before embarking on what promises to be a challenging voyage. 

The Forgotten Sanctum

November brings not only a winter chill (depending on where you live, of course) but also The Forgotten Sanctum DLC. Here, the fantastical wizards of the land require aid -- however, whether you help or hinder them is up to you. In an adventure that carries implications for all of Deadfire, the choices you make in this mystic journey are not choices to be taken lightly. How will the historians of Deadfire remember you: a morally just benefactor or a treacherous betrayer? 

What Will the Deadfire Season Pass Cost? 

If you choose to extend your adventure in Pillars of Eternity 2, the season pass will cost $24.99, which includes all three expansion packs. Each DLC pack will cost $9.99. 

If you backed Pillars 2 during its Kickstarter phase, and you chose to include the DLC in your pledge or support the Collector's Edition of the game, you'll receive the Season Pass for free. 

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire will release on May 8. You can pre-order the game on Steam. The Season Pass will be available to purchase when the game launches. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Obsidian's latest role-playing game that's sure to make it into almost every Top 10 RPG list later this year. 

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Pillars of Eternity 2 Ship Combat Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/taztp/pillars-of-eternity-2-ship-combat-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/taztp/pillars-of-eternity-2-ship-combat-guide Tue, 08 May 2018 13:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Shifting away from the forests of the Dyrwood to the island chain of the Deadfire Archipelago, Pillars Of Eternity 2 includes a mechanic entirely new to the series: ship-to-ship combat!

While there are tutorial screens for the major concepts, some of the finer points of the system are glossed over, and that's where we come in with this full guide to all things nautical in Pillars 2.

Maintaining the Ship and Crew Morale

To start your pirate adventures, open up the ship menu by clicking the boat icon at the bottom of the screen (this is available even while on land when you aren't on the open sea).

Keep an eye on the numbers at the top of the screen, and always maintain a full supply of repair tools, medical supplies, and cannon ammunition by stocking up at any port. These items are also frequently found by searching wrecks at sea or checking containers in land maps. Don't ever run low on these supplies, as frequent events on the water will result in injured crew and damaged hulls.

After any encounter where crew members are injured (marked by a red icon),  be sure to move the injured crew to the three reserve slots on the lower-right side of the ship menu. Leaving them at their posts while injured results in large morale losses every day.

While you can pay to recruit new crew at a port, always talk to any NPCs you come across. Many of the quest NPCs, like Oswald, Vektor, Mother-Sharp-Rock, and Birta the cook, can be recruited directly to your crew through dialog.

 Repositioning injured crew

Managing Food and Water

This isn't clear at first, but you have to move food and water out of the party stash to the appropriate slots in the boat management screen to keep your crew fed -- just having it in your inventory doesn't make it available to the crew.

Place the higher-morale food and drink options to the left, and the lower-morale options (like water and hardtack) to the right if you want to keep morale up.

Search every container you come across and make use of crafting regularly, and you won't often run out of the higher-morale food and drink. With higher morale comes bonus experience and no chance of mutiny.

 Moving food and drink from your inventory to the ship's stores

Ship Upgrades and Avoiding Damage

Although it's quite expensive for an early-game item at a cost of 5,000 coins, buying the spyglass at Sanza's Map Emporium in Neketaka will give you an edge in ship encounters. Many of the events on the sea have an option to scout first with the spyglass for bonuses or to avoid hazards altogether.

If the Defiant isn't big and bad enough for your crew, you can buy whole new ships at the Neketaka port, or pay for expensive upgrades to your existing hull and sails to get an edge in combat.

Don't drop too much money right at the start, however. A set of upgraded Valera Sails is available for free by completing a quest for Martino Valera in the Queen's Berth section of Neketaka.

Finally, while out at sea, avoid the large, grey storm clouds that randomly generate across the Archipelago. These clouds initiate a storm event that usually isn't worth the trouble. You can end up with some extra loot or interesting dialog, but they usually just cause expensive problems since you will take ship damage and get injured (or even killed) crew members during the event. If you want to level up your crew, however, they can be valuable sources of shipmate experience.

 Buying the spyglass

Winning Ship Battles

At the start of combat, your first decision is whether to ram the opposite ship and board them for a straight fight or to shift into the new ship combat screen. When dealing with a much stronger ship, boarding may be your best option.

While the Defiant is guaranteed to take damage and most likely suffer multiple crew injuries, boarding can be a better choice when you are outgunned and the enemy ship has a stronger hull and sails.

During ship combat, your goal is to get into optimal range for your cannons and to fire while staying out of your enemy's optimal range, repositioning away from enemy cannon fire by turning to starboard and port.

Performing Ship Manuevers

The big question mark for anyone not intimately familiar with nautical terms will be the "prepare to jibe" option. The jibe maneuver swings you around to the opposite position you are currently in. This is incredibly useful in combat to quickly fire off multiple volleys.

For instance, if you spent a few rounds turning to starboard or port repeatedly while your cannons are reloaded on one side, you can fire those cannons, then on the next turn, perform a jibe to get to the other side of the enemy ship instantly and fire off your secondary cannons on the next turn (rather than waiting a full three turns to repeatedly turn to starboard or port and get your other cannons in line for the shot).

By repeating this process, you will get more shots off more frequently while waiting for the cannons on the starboard and port sides to be reloaded. If you know the enemy cannons are going to fire this round, it can be better to perform the Brace For Impact action than to try to turn away or jibe, as you will get fewer crew injuries.

If your goal is to sink the ship, plunder its loot, and steal its flag, then aim for the hull. That's not the only possible outcome, however. Sails obviously have less health than the hull, so if you just want to escape the encounter, repeatedly fire on their sails from a distance, then turn away from the ship and sail at full speed to leave.

 Engaging in ship-to-ship combat

That's all you need to know to get started sailing the high seas and fighting pirate captains! Have any other Pillars 2 ship combat tips we should try out? Let us know in the comments section.

For help on finding pets, balancing party relationships, and completing quests, check out the rest of our Pillars of Eternity 2 guides here.

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Pillars of Eternity 2 PAX East 2018 Preview: A Deep Dive into the Treacherous Waters of the Deadfire Archipelago https://www.gameskinny.com/kxbm8/pillars-of-eternity-2-pax-east-2018-preview-a-deep-dive-into-the-treacherous-waters-of-the-deadfire-archipelago https://www.gameskinny.com/kxbm8/pillars-of-eternity-2-pax-east-2018-preview-a-deep-dive-into-the-treacherous-waters-of-the-deadfire-archipelago Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:27:35 -0400 Felicia Miranda

Inspired by the Infinity Engine games by Bioware and Black Isle Studios, Pillars of Eternity is a rich fantasy RPG largely crowdfunded by fans on Kickstarter. This year at PAX East 2018, we had an opportunity to check out the Backers Beta of the upcoming sequel, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, and speak with Josh Sawyer of Obsidian Entertainment about how they’ve taken what the fans loved about the first game and improved on it.

screen shot from Pillars of Eternity 2

We started with character creation, which has some new options added in. There are three additional races players can select that are not new to the series but are unique to the setting. These include the Aumaua, Orlan, and Godlike. Characters can now have multiple classes (and subclasses) and advance them together. With both multiclasses and subclasses combined, hundreds of combinations are possible, making character creation and development truly unique to each player.

The setting for Pillars of Eternity 2 takes place in the Deadfire Archipelago -- a series of small volcanic islands rich in resources, crawling with enemies and sea monsters. With the new addition of level scaling, players needn’t worry about running into enemies too advanced for them, though there is an option to turn this off and apply it to critical path quests only.

a top-down view of a ship at sea in PoE 2 Deadfire

As we dived into a small amount of gameplay, Sawyer made sure to emphasize that exploration is a bigger focus in Deadfire. Fairly early in the game, you and your party (which is now limited to five) will get a ship and have the ability to freely explore what is a pretty huge world map. We use the term "freely" loosely since the sea is crawling with enemy ships, and traveling does impact your resources and, in return, the status of your crew. An unhappy crew can result in mutiny if you aren’t too careful!

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is set to release on May 8 for PC, Mac, and Linux, and it will include a recap of the first game, a nice feature for anyone who hasn’t finished (or played) the first one. You can also sign up for the Backer Beta, which is currently ongoing, by adding the Beta to an existing pre-order on the Obsidian Backer Portal.

Be sure to stick with GameSkinny for more news, tips, and information on Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire as it becomes available.

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The 11 Most Anticipated RPGs in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/ce0bp/the-11-most-anticipated-rpgs-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/ce0bp/the-11-most-anticipated-rpgs-in-2018 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:47:06 -0500 Sergey_3847

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Dauntless

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Developer: Phoenix Labs
Platforms: PC
Release date: Q1/Q2 2018

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Dauntless is an action-RPG inspired by the Dark Souls series, Monster Hunter, and World of Warcraft, with classic Diablo-like gameplay in a fantasy setting.

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You will have the chance to take on the role of a hunter whose prey are none other than giant monsters that actually look very similar to dinosaurs. In Dauntless, you can go on an adventure alone, or assemble a group to hunt for monsters together.

\n

---

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That's it for the most anticipated RPGs of 2018. Hopefully you have found a project or two that have you interested. Stick with GameSkinny for more upcoming game news and information, including our take on the most anticipated MMOs of 2018.

\n

Which upcoming RPG do you want to play the most? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7de0c4b4798233681d7771894ae38f7c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7de0c4b4798233681d7771894ae38f7c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11682","description":"

GreedFall

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Developer: Spiders
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: TBA 2018

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If you like to explore remote, isolated islands populated by indigenous people and supernatural beings who fend off uninvited guests, then GreedFall is your type of game. Alongside other settlers, mercenaries, and treasure hunters, you will experience a living and ever-changing world.

\n

Your actions, from the simplest decisions to the global ones, will effect changes in the political situation of the island, which in turn will change the course of events and your relations with the various factions that coexist within the game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/26914b99cdbe2b5326e29ae416d29397.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/26914b99cdbe2b5326e29ae416d29397.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11681","description":"

Vampyr

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Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: Q1/Q2 2018

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Vampyr is an action-packed RPG with complex but very intuitive combat mechanics. You will be involved in an investigation during which you have to collect a lot of clues and interview a large number of NPCs on the streets of London.

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Using the vampire's skills along with improvised weapons, you will have to fight not only physical enemies but also your own fears. Anyone you meet in the game can be either a victim of the crime or the criminal. 

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Vampyr is a true gothic horror story about vampires in the real world, where death and crime on the streets reflect inevitable social and political changes after WWI.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3e52683b9e29b3f6f0685a5080a59916.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3e52683b9e29b3f6f0685a5080a59916.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11675","description":"

Shenmue III

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Developer: Neilo, Ys Net
Platforms: PC, PS4
Release date: Q3/Q4 2018

\n

During this year's Gamescom, fans of the Shenmue series were finally able to see the first teaser trailer for Shenmue 3. Originally, the project was set to premiere at E3 2017, but the event was canceled.

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Shenmue 3 will offer players a chance to experience several genres at once. It combines action-adventure and RPG elements with an open-world setting. Also at your service will be arcade machines, mini-games, and many interesting NPCs with their own personal stories for you to discover.

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For those of you who may have never heard of the Shenmue series, an interesting tidbit is that the first game from 2000 introduced QTE (Quick Time Events) mechanics, which are frequently used in many games up to this very day.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8262e273b23dff600eaf61c7696a69ac.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8262e273b23dff600eaf61c7696a69ac.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11674","description":"

Indivisible

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Developer: Lab Zero Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Release date: TBA 2018

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Lab Zero Games is an indie developer that became known for its work on 2D fighting game Skullgirls. Its latest project, Indivisible, is an action-RPG funded entirely with the help of IndieGoGo's crowdfunding campaign last year.

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The main character of the game is a girl named Ajna. She goes on a distant and very difficult journey to learn all about the mysterious powers she possesses. On her way, she will not only meet deadly foes but also loyal allies.

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The developers of Indivisible were mainly inspired by classic games such as Valkyrie Profile and Super Metroid. Also interesting to note is that the music for the game was written by the composer of Secret of Mana, Hiroki Kikuta.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e950107ad1e5050de1c18d951ed11201.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e950107ad1e5050de1c18d951ed11201.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11673","description":"

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

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Developer: Bandai Namco (Level-5)
Platforms: PC, PS4
Release date: January 19, 2018

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Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the the continuation of the much-loved Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch from 2013. In the sequel you will meet the main character of the game -- Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum -- as well as his friends and allies, who find themselves tasked with saving their kingdom from the dark forces.

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Just like the first game, Revenant Kingdom is set in an open-world environment full of lush and colorful locations. If you enjoyed playing the first game, you will definitely have a blast playing this one, too.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b798f2ffd1c4a24ba9d59a603063bdcd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b798f2ffd1c4a24ba9d59a603063bdcd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11672","description":"

Monster Hunter: World

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Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: January 26, 2018

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Unlike the previous games in this popular series,  Monster Hunter: World is set in an open-world environment.

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The game will support a cooperative mode with up to four players who can jointly overcome even the biggest and strongest enemies. It is already known that players from Japan and Western countries will be able to play freely with one other.

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The playable demo will be available on consoles in December 2017, so keep your eyes open for further announcements.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3e0ad97adeaf2ff639fe893d19e3c249.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3e0ad97adeaf2ff639fe893d19e3c249.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11680","description":"

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

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Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
Platforms: PC
Release date: TBA 2018

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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a medieval action-RPG developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment, which has been responsible for the Mount & Blade series from its very inception.

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The game takes place 200 years before Mount & Blade: Warband, during the period of the fall of the Empire and the formation of independent kingdoms.

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The armor, weapons and architecture in Bannerlord will correspond to the period between the seventh and thirteenth centuries.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/540edc2edb6c9785a3aba8dd748d26b6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/540edc2edb6c9785a3aba8dd748d26b6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11676","description":"

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platforms: PC
Release date: TBA 2018

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The narrative of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire will continue the plot of the original game, which was released in 2015. Players will be able to use the save files from the original game and continue the story where they last finished it. This means that the events of the first game will directly affect the course of Deadfire.

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The developers also promise the possibility to travel not only on land but also on the sea, where players will encounter new cultures and environments. Lastly, NPCs in Deadfire will behave in a more dynamic way, which will result in a series of much more interesting side quests.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5d2faf82656727c4065cc6a526ffa4e3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5d2faf82656727c4065cc6a526ffa4e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11669","description":"

Kingdom Hearts III

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Developer: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Release date: TBA 2018

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As usual, Team Disney and Team Final Fantasy, including new characters from Toy Story, comprise the theme of the 12th installment of this beloved RPG franchise that first emerged way back in 2002. There have been many ups and downs on the way for the Kingdom Hearts series, but after years of development complications, Kingdom Hearts III will finally come out in 2018.

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The game runs on Unreal Engine 4, allowing all the characters from Disney movies to look as cinematic as possible, which is also the main reason why the game was delayed for so long.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/37ea935658dfe162f06e68ed2ecb7556.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/37ea935658dfe162f06e68ed2ecb7556.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11670","description":"

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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Developer: Warhorse Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: February 13, 2018

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The development of one of the most anticipated non-fantasy RPGs of 2018 is an adventure of its own. It started back in 2012, after the former developers of the Mafia franchise licensed the CryEngine for their new unknown project.

\n

After two uncertain years, the Kickstarter campaign was able to help Warhorse Studios finance the rest of the development. In 2016, the Kingdom Come: Deliverance team showed the results of four years of development, which was an almost finished version of the game.

\n

Finally, in just a few months, you will get the chance to experience one of the most realistic single-player RPGs in history, complete with period-accurate armor, combat, and a 15th-century setting.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-c4fa2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-c4fa2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174760","description":"

2017 was a fantastic year for the RPG genre. Games like Divinity: Original Sin 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and many others show that the genre still stands firm in the face of many big-budget AAA titles that dominate the gaming market these days.

\n

2018 will also introduce a huge variety of sub-genres, settings, characters, and combat mechanics in a number of completely original RPG projects and sequels to long-running franchises.

\n

Many upcoming games still don't have exact release dates, but teaser trailers are already available, so you will have the chance to see what these most anticipated RPG games of 2018 have to offer.

"}]]]>
The Geekiest April Fools Pranks 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/ggdpk/the-geekiest-april-fools-pranks-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/ggdpk/the-geekiest-april-fools-pranks-2017 Sat, 01 Apr 2017 19:49:08 -0400 Ty Arthur

Remember last year's hilarious April Fools pranks, like Think Geek manufacturing the Plumbus, PornHub becoming CornHub (hot young corn gets plowed!), and Rocket League's auto-rage quit feature? Game developers and tech sites across the web didn't slow down for 2017, going full throttle with more ridiculous announcements that can only be expected to land one single day of the year.

When dealing with gaming, there's a line to straddle for April Fools gags. It's between something believable that might anger fans (because they actually want the joke game to be made) and something so outrageous no one will ever get fooled.

Sometimes that line gets obliterated, and there's a long history of April Fools gags becoming reality, like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon or phone companies going all in to give us things similar to the Google Cardboard VR system. Hopefully, a few of the 2017 gags get a similar treatment in the not too distant future! Below we've rounded up all the best jokes you may have missed this year.

CERN Goes Doom

After discovering the long-theorized Higgs Boson (popularized in the media as "the god particle"), CERN stopped colliding particles underground at insane speeds to take a look up in the sky at some celestial bodies... and discovered something that will require a Doom Marine to check out!

Very early this morning the European science organization released a series of cryptic photos that got the Illuminati/ancient aliens crowd all kinds of excited, culminating in a story about discovering an ancient particle accelerator on Mars.  

It was all in good fun and eventually CERN confirmed it was a gag... but if you value your sanity, don't go read the Facebook comments. They are filled to the brim with a tin-foil-hat-crowd convinced it wasn't fake -- and making this announcement on April 1st is all a big cover up.

Le Sigh.

 Looks like a hell portal to me. Get ready for glory kills galore!

Tactics Alexander

A joke that's bound to upset more than a few fans, Square Enix tugged on our sense of nostalgia by uploading a video indicating a new Final Fantasy Tactics style game was coming (with super retro '80s sound effects) based on the Alexander raid scenario from Final Fantasy XIV. Leave a comment if you'd totally buy this!

Google Maps Goes Pac Man

The ever-reliable Google decided to have a little fun with people needing directions this year by turning the Google Maps site into a playable Pac Man experience! Fun for the kids, but maybe not so helpful if you're trying to find the nearest arcade...

Fire Emblem: Battle Of Revolution

Nintendo decided to follow in the footsteps of Square Enix this year, poking fun at fans who long for old school gaming sensibilities. They did this by posting screenshots of an 8-bit style Fire Emblem game coming to the newly released Switch console. Call me crazy, but I think people would actually buy this, so why not just go ahead and do it already?

Netflix Has Will Arnet Narrate Nothing

Netflix has had some killer April Fools videos over the years. My personal favorite was probably the two hours of sizzling bacon, mocking those videos of crackling log fires.

This year the streaming giant had comedian Will Arnet sit in a chair and narrate everyday objects like copiers and microwaves in a segment brilliantly titled Netflix Live. Sadly, there will never be a season 2.

Bear Party DLC

From the original Infinity Engine games to classic reboot Pillars Of Eternity, there's been a long running gag in D&D games about having a group of druids wild-shape into animals and playing through with no human characters.

For this year's April Fools shenanigans, Obsidian decided to make the all-bear play through official with the Bear Party DLC for Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire! I particularly like how one is clearly supposed to be bear Edér, with a corn cob pipe in his mouth.

GeForce Does The Work For You

In a "joke" that feels like it will probably be a standard feature on PCs and consoles not too many years down the road, GeForce announced the GTX G-Assist, a nifty device that watches and learns how you play.

Anytime you need to get up to grab an energy drink or microwave a hot pocket, the GTX G-Assist keeps playing for you, so you don't have to pause or go AFK during a multiplayer match!

Overlord Announcer

Who needs an intelligible announcer for any given Starcraft II round? With this exciting new announcer pack, you can have a Zerg overlord tell you everything you need to know in a series of incomprehensible grunts and wheezes! Predictably, fans love it, and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a reality.

Amazon's Petlexa

Love your Echo but wish your adorable puppers could order his own kibble without your help? Today, Amazon announced the Petlexa update for the Echo, which counts your hamster's wheel rotations and learns how to speak doggie!

That's all the best gags we've seen so far this year -- what was your favorite April Fools 2017 joke? Sound off in the comments below. 

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Companions in Pillars of Eternity 2: What We Know & What We Want https://www.gameskinny.com/1xg8c/companions-in-pillars-of-eternity-2-what-we-know-what-we-want https://www.gameskinny.com/1xg8c/companions-in-pillars-of-eternity-2-what-we-know-what-we-want Sat, 25 Feb 2017 15:26:15 -0500 Ty Arthur

A crowdfunding success story that really kicked a recent wave of retro gaming into high gear, Pillars Of Eternity brought Obsidian from the brink of collapse (back) to the forefront of the RPG genre.

Because of its success, it was a foregone conclusion a sequel would arrive. And despite Obsidian's track record for primarily developing follow-ups to other franchise's games (KOTOR 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2), this is somehow the first time the developer has made a true, full sequel to one of its own titles.

Sadly, we've still got a bit of a wait ahead of us, with the planned release currently set for Q1 2018, and considering how often crowd funded games get delayed, it's likely we'll actually be waiting longer than that. Although to be fair, Obsidian totally delivered on the very quick turn around with the genre-bending Tyranny last year. So who knows ... 

Now officially titled Deadfire, this impending Pillars sequel has some big shoes to fill. There's no question there was a huge jump in content and quality from Baldur's Gate to Baldur's Gate 2, and since Pillars was specifically designed to be a spiritual successor to that style of game, fans are expecting something along the same lines as we return to Eora sometime next year.

Changes To The Pillars of Eternity Formula

It's not just new companions coming with Deadfire: there are major changes on the horizon that will affect how and where you interact with those companions. A veritable storm of new additions are coming to Pillars Of Eternity 2, from a shift in location and background environments to tweaks large and small in the rule set. 

It seems like a foregone conclusion that the atheism versus faith trope from the first game will continue here, but there are lots of exciting twists along the way to look forward to based on the scant info released alongside the Fig crowdfunding campaign.

While the previous game had a wide range of available classes, the class system in Deadfire is getting overhauled and significantly extended with multi-classing, by both mixing and matching classes like fighter and wizard and by taking specialty sub-classes.

As would be expected with any sequel in an RPG series, the developers are raising the level cap. Unlike with the aforementioned Baldur's Gate 2, however,  your party will be curiously starting back over at Level 1 this time around, which is a change that is apparently built into the story somehow.

Pivoting from solely overland travel, one major change in the formula will be the addition of ships, which your party will use and presumably, at some point, acquire for themselves.

Ready to hit the high seas?

The Dyrwood wasn't exactly known for its high number of naval vessels or waterways, which means we're moving to a completely different location this time, shifting focus to a chain of volcanic islands called the Deadfire Archipelago. If you didn't love the basic medieval European feel to the previous game, this island hopping will be a welcome change. 

One element is returning from the first PoE in an overhauled version: the controversial stronghold with its restricted and somewhat broken mechanics. Obsidian has promised a new take on strongholds this time around with a different focus to improve on complaints from the previous game.

Listening to fans and making changes based on feedback is always a welcome sight, and that also seems to be the case on another front as Obsidian is aware of complaints from gamers about the state of romances in modern RPGs.

This time around we're getting “relationships” rather than “romances,” and there's an important distinction there. The differences seem to mean we're getting something like the loyalty/fear system from Tyranny, but in greater detail and with less “do what I say or die” implied, along with more of a focus on platonic relationships over romantic ones.

What's more, relationships will develop based on doing things other characters like or dislike, with inter-party conflict developing as companion A might not like what you did to make companion B happy. Most intriguing is that these changes are supposed to simmer and grow over time, so you won't always know the immediate impact based on the first dialog option available.

As with any part-based RPG, what players most want to know about right now is what the companion spread will look like, and who will return from the previous game to continue their storyline in this new iteration of the series. 

Returning Pillars Companions

It's now been confirmed there will be a Mass Effect type situation where the game reads your original Pillars of Eternity save to determine what choices you made and where former companions are today. Those choices include characters like Edér being dead, which could lead to some major changes to the story, as it seems he's more of the main character this time around.

Edér

Considering how the game was originally teased with Edér's grain of straw and his voice clearly narrating the trailers, it's obvious he will be a companion -- and it appears the story is based on the resolution of what really happened to his seemingly dead god, Eothas.

That deity -- once thought destroyed after taking the human form of Saint Waidwen -- has now returned and destroyed that keep you spent so long restoring. We know Edér to be a kind hearted and gentle character who isn't fond of religious zealots, but there's a big question mark as to whether any of that will change after Eothas returns and is apparently quite upset with his faithful.

Hopefully, we'll finally get a resolution to Fragments Of A Shattered Faith questline, in which Edér was left in the dark about whether his brother remained loyal or was a traitor.

 Returning companion Edér

Aloth

Besides Durance and Grieving Mother, Aloth was one of the best characters from Pillars Of Eternity, having a split personality due to the presence of another soul in his body -- one that could cause serious problems.

Whether Aloth is friend or foe seems likely to change based on your choices in the past, with Aloth potentially destroying the nefarious group known as the Leaden Key or even taking control of it after the final battle with Thaos. Will he still be the leader of that group, or will the game assume you went the other route and Aloth is still on your side? Just as importantly, how has the situation with his twin souls progressed?

 Returning companion Aloth

Pallegina

This paladin of the avian godlike race was caught up in the struggle between duty and honor, and considering her interest in animancy and willingness to buck the status quo, it seems like she'll have a fairly big role in the story of Pillars 2. We'll also seemingly learn more about what happened to Eothas and what the Engwithans did with all those advanced soul machines in the far past.

Pallegina's order is also involved in colonizing parts of the Deadfire Archipelago, so how you ended her relationship quest will probably change how she is viewed by the locals in Pillars 2

Returning companion Pallegina

Those three are the only confirmed returning characters at this point, although others are expected to appear, of course, possibly as NPCs or even antagonists.

Kana would clearly have an interest in exploring the area's history and Durance will almost certainly want to either finish the job he started with the Godhammer Bomb, or possibly even try to undo his previous actions and work against the Watcher.

New Pillars of Eternity Companions

Aside from the three confirmed returning party members, three entirely new companions have been revealed at this early stage that all bring a unique flavor from the Deadfire Archipelago.

Maia

This bird-taming aumaua ranger is apparently related to Kana, further strengthening the notion that he will appear (or at least be referenced) at some point. Her bird animal companion, named Ishiza, will also reportedly play a big role in the game. And since we know part of Edér's relationship scheme will include preferring people who are nice to animals, it seems likely these two characters will interact in various ways.

New companion Maia

Xoti

This sickle-wielding priestess was added when the game hit a stretch goal in the Fig campaign and is likely to bring about big changes to the nature of the story if you keep Edér around. She fled the Dyrwood area during the war with Saint Waidwen and apparently worships Eothas in a very different manner than Edér did...

 New companion Xoti

Serafen

An orlan pirate, multi-classing in barbarian and cipher, Serafen will bring the swashbuckling high seas adventure aspect of Deadfire front and center. He kind of looks like a blue mogwai, or a Furby who got into a pirate's stash, but hopefully, he's not the comic relief.

 New companion Serafen

Companions We Want To See in Deadfire

It's a good bet there will be more companions than what's been announced at this point, especially as the crowdfunding campaign comes to an end and the original game had 8 companions rather than 6. Regardless of whether that's all we get or if more arrive, there are some specific personality types that would be welcome additions to the Pillars sequel.

Most notably, someone who lets you go down a dark road and prompts you to have more conflict with the rest of the party would be a great addition. Taking it even further, it wouldn't be unwelcome to bring back a sociopathic character who will happily gut you. I'm thinking of a fantasy version of HK-47, only with Pillars' new relationship system.

Durance and Grieving Mother served the roles of the most bizarre and intriguing characters in the previous game, strongly bringing to mind the oddball companions from Planescape: Torment. Obsidian would do well to include another character of that nature that no one will even expect or see coming.

Who are you most looking forward to returning with Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire, and what kind of new party members would you like to see when the game arrives in 2018?

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Are You There God? It's Me, Pillars: How PoE Tackled Atheism vs. Religion https://www.gameskinny.com/itiwu/are-you-there-god-its-me-pillars-how-poe-tackled-atheism-vs-religion https://www.gameskinny.com/itiwu/are-you-there-god-its-me-pillars-how-poe-tackled-atheism-vs-religion Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

The bellow quippy little exchange from the original PS1 version of Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night is a moment forever seared into my memory. It was the first time as a kid that I recognized games could actually be saying something about the world around us and not just telling stories in a fictional universe.

“You steal men's souls, and make them your slaves!” - Richter

“Perhaps the same could be said of all religions.” - Dracula

Suddenly I started seeing it all around. From the religious themes present in the later stages of Xenogears to the frank discussions of the origins of Christian iconography in Persona, it was becoming clear that games might actually be offering commentary on real life rather than just presenting a fun diversion.

That tradition has continued into the modern day in a variety of genres and covering a wide range of topics, from direct statements with games like Gone Home and That Dragon, Cancer, to attempts to bring about social change and more inclusion with the appearance of gay and transgender characters in series' like Dragon Age. The dimension-hopping, brain-exploding Bioshock Infinite even took time out from all that recursive storytelling to fire off a couple of pot shots at Tea Party ideology.

Fast forward to 2015 and Obsidian's ode to classic CRPGs Pillars Of Eternity brought us full circle back into direct religious commentary. (Note: there are major spoilers below, so if you haven't finished Pillars of Eternity yet, proceed at your own risk).

Opposing Views Collide

The Steam discussion pages and Obsidian forums lit up for awhile there with angry religious players who reached the tale's end and realized what the story had been building up to all along. Those who didn't finish the game or didn't take every conversation path available may now be scratching their heads asking: just what was the big deal with the story in Pillars?

Although presented in somewhat of an ambiguous way open to interpretation, its clear that the core theme throughout Pillars Of Eternity was atheism versus faith versus science. The final conversation segment with Thaos prior to the game's epic battle finale was essentially ripped directly from any debate ever between theists and atheists.

Primary antagonist Thaos insists that life would be hollow and pointless without a god to bestow purpose (and that people with no faith in a higher power would commit wanton atrocities), while the the main character takes the position that a comforting lie is still a lie, and evidence is more important than blind faith.

There's an important distinction to note about Pillars in this battle of belief: while the ending brought up the notion that there are no true gods, the game world still clearly isn't lacking in the supernatural. Magic powers are fairly well understood and undeniably exist there. Souls can not only be detected, but reliably manipulated to various ends through the science of animancy.

The presence of arcane magic and divine powers manifested by priests also didn't manage to prevent religious schisms. A main theme of the game was faith that the farmer Waidwen really was a physical incarnation of the god Eothas (with some certain that no god would behave in the manner that Waidewen behaved) – and furthermore faith that that deity either was or wasn't truly dead after the Godhammer bomb went off.

One of the high points of the game was the wide range of positions and opinions present that didn't leave either side of the religious/athiest divide completely out in the cold.

This inclusive but still risque approach occurs strongly in the companions available, from the simple and unassuming faith of Eder to the more active beliefs of Aloth to the ever-amusing Durance, who is somehow both an actual priest and simultaneously the most openly heretical of all your party members.

To God Or Not To God

The debate of gods or no-gods is built into the backstory and history of Pillars, with the advanced Engwithan civilization in the far past searching for and finding no evidence for any true creator being or beings. They had an issue on their hands though: the primitive and fractious humans were becoming a problem, so the Engwithans invented some gods to keep them in line.

There are clear real-world parallels here both in pre-history and in modern day, but with a key difference. Rather than the instigator of a new religion proclaiming “Hey everyone, turns out there's this all powerful deity up there and – wouldn't you know it – I just happen to speak for him!” instead they literally crafted gods through animancy to guide the human populace. The specific mechanism isn't made clear, but somehow they used soul machines to craft beings of immense power.

Here's where a real world debate has developed over an in-game story that's mimicking real world debates: if the gods were created, does that make them any less of gods, and does this really even qualify as atheism?

...if the gods were created, does that make them any less of gods, and does this really even qualify as atheism?

After all, if these "god" constructs made from souls are immensely powerful, have thoughts and feelings, can interact with humanity, and clearly have spheres of influence over specific segments of reality, then what's the difference?

In a quest near the end of the game, your party literally communes with one of these beings, completes a task to further that deity's goals, and then receives a tangible, real blessing in return. When viewed in that light, aren't they really still gods, even if they are “fake” gods?

The answer, for me, is simple: No.

The answers for others may not be so clear cut, and in fact that seems to be the point of the game's ending - letting the player decide whether this distinction even mattered and whether Thaos was correct in what he was doing throughout history.

A machine that makes gods would be nifty to have around...

Here's my take on the story: each of the god's existence was predicated on a lie, which would lead to religious upheaval if revealed (for some, but obviously not all – there would always be some fanatics who would cling to their faith anyway). Even if they can interact with the world and are immensely powerful, they still aren't gods in any sense of the word.

They aren't omnipotent or omniscient. They aren't eternal. They were created and they can die. Deities brought into life by man might be powerful, but they can be usurped, as we saw by Durance's Godhammer bomb that destroyed St. Waidwen.

More importantly, these false gods were created to govern over specific aspects of reality, and don't appear able to break out of those pattern originally bestowed to them with any sort of true free will.

Although engaging in a bit of double-think to do it, even Thaos seems to agree when he says "the gods are as real as we needed them to be."

Consider the scenario from a real world angle, and imagine if Pillars was set on a planet with computers and robotics like ours, rather than soul machines. In such a world, the "gods" created by the previous civilization would essentially be hyper advanced AI. Imagine, if tomorrow some sort of Johnny Depp / Transcendence style AI created by Microsoft were to build itself a powerful robotic form that could shoot fire from its eyes and rain down destruction on a large scale.

Even though it could think and interact with people, and even though it might be able to bring the whole world under its heel, it seems unlikely anyone in the modern day would accept such a construct as a true and actual God -- although our descendants hundreds or thousands of years down the line sure might if they didn't know its origins. That's exactly why Thaos didn't want this news about the gods being fake getting out.

 Madman or savior? You decide.

Moving the real world parallels of the story away from simply atheism versus faith to include a look at the potential pitfalls of certain avenues of scientific advancement, this whole debate highlights why animancy is so dangerous, and why Thaos opposed it so strongly.

Given a long enough time table, animancers might achieve what the religions of the Pillars world never could – the power of the Engwithans to create new gods or even end the whole god lie and bring about a new era without them.

Much like with scientists being accused of “playing god," animancy in the original Pillars of Eternity (particularly in the grisly asylum basement segment) represents science in its infancy, horribly experimenting in primitive and debased ways with lots of terrible failures along the way before reaching useful conclusions.

Answers To Come

What's interesting in all this debate is that Pillars (and perhaps by extension Obsidian) doesn't seem to forcing the players into one specific conclusion. Thaos has caused untold strife, but he might be correct. Animancy might be barbaric, but it could also lead to a golden age without suffering. In the middle is a secret truth that's open to interpretation and could be used for good or bad.

Other writers have covered aspects of the game they'd like to see changed in the upcoming Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire, but it seems like a good bet that the religious themes at the very least will continue in the sequel, which bears the tagline “hunt a god, redeem your soul.”

...it seems like a good bet that the religious themes at the very least will continue in the sequel, which bears the tagline “hunt a god, redeem your soul.”

 

A big part of the first game was the frustration of not knowing - when following Eder's companion quest for instance, he gets no real resolution and has to rely on faith and his own best guesses as to what occurred with his family and his god.

Eder has to choose between what is most likely to be true and what might make him feel better.

Likewise, there were a ton of different endings to discover based on what you did and what "god" you sided with near the game's conclusion, but what was missing was a legitimate option to bring about Thaos' worst nightmare. There wasn't much of a choice to spread your knowledge about what caused the Hollowborn problem and what was really going on with these beings people worshiped as deities.

In the impending sequel, it seems like the only way to go is to offer a more conclusive answer and have the narrative actually take a side. What did you think of the original Pillars ending - were the gods real or fake, and did it matter?

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Fig, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, What's The Difference? https://www.gameskinny.com/xwhaj/fig-kickstarter-indiegogo-whats-the-difference https://www.gameskinny.com/xwhaj/fig-kickstarter-indiegogo-whats-the-difference Wed, 08 Feb 2017 08:15:01 -0500 Rob Kershaw

"Hey, you know that game you loved as a kid? Why don't they remake it? Better yet, make a sequel! That would be awesome."

Until 2009, the decision to do just that was almost completely in the hands of publishers. Game studios, in thrall to the almighty dollar and making mere cents off their titles once fees, marketing and other costs were removed, had nowhere to turn. Outside of Steam, they were wholly reliant on the success of their previous game in order to make the next one -- or the generosity of whichever publisher decided to offer them a contract.

Kickstarter changed all that. The crowdfunding platform presented a way of bypassing the heavy restrictions and costs associated with typical game publishing. It also meant that developers had far more creative freedom; free from interference. It was an astounding success, and helped bring to life sequels to cult series and brand new IPs, including Wasteland 2, Shenmue 3, Broken Age, and Elite Dangerous.

Yet, while Kickstarter was the first platform to achieve major success funding games, Indiegogo had already been around for a year. The success of Kickstarter prompted the creation of further similar platforms, most notably -- for the gaming world -- Fig, which was launched in 2015.

But what separates these platforms? Why do game developers prefer to use one over another? Here's a brief rundown.

Indiegogo

It may have launched before Kickstarter, but Indiegogo is actually less focused on gaming than its competitors. The most notable campaigns to come from the platform were Skullgirls and Indivisible (by the same team). Otherwise, the offerings consist mainly of niche titles, and games like StarForge, which was widely ridiculed upon release despite hitting well over its target goal.

Like Kickstarter, Indiegogo casts its net over a wide range of campaigns, from medical and exercise machines to new tech and gizmos, as well as film and music. Studios may be reluctant to use it for a number of reasons, though -- in terms of web traffic, it simply doesn't match up to Kickstarter's global presence (at the time of writing, Alexa ranks it at 1486, compared to Kickstarter's 548). Indiegogo is also known for playing far looser with campaign rules -- when it was proven that a campaign on the site was fraudulent, Indiegogo notoriously removed its anti-fraud guarantee.

However, it also has advantages over Kickstarter and Fig. Most notable is the fact that you can opt to keep whatever money you make from your campaign, regardless of whether it is fully funded or not. You can also continue to raise money once the campaign is over. It certainly doesn't have the brand recognition of Kickstarter, nor Fig's advisory board which consists of veteran videogame executives. But its flexibility and global accessibility means it's an option for those ineligible to use the other platforms.

Kickstarter

By far the most successful of the main crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter has helped studios and gamers realize their dream of creating titles that would simply be unachievable through traditional publishing. The massive popularity of Torment, Pillars of Eternity and Yooka-Laylee have established it as the go-to site for getting your game funded.

Not every campaign has been a runaway success -- take the Ouya, for instance -- but it offers slightly more security for backers than the likes of Indiegogo. Of course, once a campaign is funded, there's still no guarantee that you're going to receive what was promised. The cautionary tale of Mighty No. 9 serves to remind us that -- three years on -- some backers still haven't received their rewards.

Kickstarter is also available in far fewer countries than Indiegogo. While Indiegogo is open to almost every country in the world -- including the potentially lucrative Asian market -- Kickstarter only recently allowed submissions from Singapore and Hong Kong. Asian developers outside of these countries will likely find Indiegogo to be their preferred platform.

That said, Kickstarter is still the go-to site for many developers looking for funding, and as it expands into ever more territories the competition is going to need to work hard to keep up.

Fig

Very much the new kid on the block, Fig was established in 2016 by three people, including Justin Bailey who was previously the COO of Double Fine Productions. The advisory board includes industry giants such as Brian Fargo (inXile), Feargus Urquhart (Obsidian) and Tim Schafer (Double Fine), who have decades of experience in the videogame industry between them.

Fig differs massively from the other platforms -- it is solely focused on videogames, and currently only allows a small number of campaigns per month to be launched. These are curated by the executive team to ensure that they are of a suitable quality, before being pitched to potential backers.

However, whilst the traditional crowdfunding model of rewards exists, Fig also opened its door to equity funding from investors. Initially, only accredited investors -- with assets of more than $1 million -- were eligible to fund campaigns. More recently though, the door has been opened to unaccredited investors with a minimum injection of $1,000 for any given project. The idea is simple: if a game is successful, the traditional backers will get the rewards promised in the usual manner, and the investors will receive a profit share based on how well the game performs.

It's an interesting hybrid of crowdfunding and P2P lending, which has the potential to shake up the hold that Kickstarter has on the industry. Rewards are great, but getting cash back from a successful game propels funding to a whole new level. The advisory board is certainly getting behind the platform -- all three companies have stated that future projects will all be funded through Fig, and given that Psychonauts 2, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and Wasteland 3 are all fully funded, it seems their faith is well placed.

****

It's safe to say that crowdfunding isn't going anywhere soon, and although Kickstarter fatigue may have helped the likes of Fig get a foothold in the industry, gamers are being catered for across all three platforms in one form or another. It's an industry space that is still looking to change how games are made and funded, and we'll be keeping a close eye on how Kickstarter and Indiegogo react to Fig's innovative investment model over the coming months.

Have you backed a game on any of these platforms? Do you think the other platforms can learn from Fig's model? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Mediocre Things in Pillars of Eternity That Must Be Fixed For Deadfire https://www.gameskinny.com/0c61u/5-mediocre-things-in-pillars-of-eternity-that-must-be-fixed-for-deadfire https://www.gameskinny.com/0c61u/5-mediocre-things-in-pillars-of-eternity-that-must-be-fixed-for-deadfire Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:00:02 -0500 Rob Kershaw

As anyone who played Baldur's Gate or other Infinity Engine games from the 90s knows, Pillars of Eternity was a wonderful nostalgia-fest. It hit all of the comfortable beats one would expect from an isometric RPG: pause-and-play combat, chatty companions with personal quests, and A Great Evil Overtaking The Land.

However, it could have been even better.

With the announcement that Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has blasted through its Fig target, the sequel is very much set for a return to Eora. As many backers, fans, and those who simply enjoyed the first game will know, there's no such thing as a perfect game. But there were certain niggles and a few gripes that we couldn't help noticing. They weren't enough to spoil the experience, but they detracted from an otherwise great game.

These are the main issues that we're hoping Deadfire will address. 

1. Lackluster Combat

I honestly lost track of the number of times I stumbled into yet another group of bandits or animals while trekking around Eora. If the combat had been thrilling, it wouldn't have been so bad. The opposite, unfortunately, was true.

Rather than offering exciting visual feedback in battle, players were treated to a succession of similar animations of arms being moved up and down. Simultaneously, masses of text filled the bottom right of the screen displaying deathly dull statistics about the number of seconds and fractions of seconds that particular ailments had been inflicted upon you or your enemy.

The spell effects were nice enough, but the weapons were so convoluted and bogged down in needlessly complicated statistics that it was near impossible to accurately compare and contrast which of your three oversized swords was the best to use. Tyranny used the same engine, changed very little, and had the exact same problem. Deadfire needs to strip back the unnecessary stats, clean up the interface, improve the visuals and make combat fun again.

2. Voice Acting Woes

For the most part, PoE's voice acting was fine. Some of it crept into the realm of caricature -- I'm looking at you, Durance -- but it was generally acceptable. The biggest bugbear was one that also appeared in Tyranny: the voiced text was sporadic.

Sometimes the characters would speak, sometimes not. You may get halfway through a conversation and find that the developers had decided not to bother recording the rest of the speech. The first time it happened, you probably had to check if there was an issue with the game. There wasn't -- it was just a whole heap of text that was unrecorded.

It made for a jarring experience and caused some people to simply ignore the voice acting entirely and rely on plain, old-fashioned reading, like humanity used to do before the advent of social media and an increase in ADHD. If Deadfire is going to be voiced, I really hope that it will all be voiced...as unlikely as that may be.

3. Interactive Watcher Stories

The snippets of people's history -- gleaned by talking to them and reaching out for their souls -- were great. Well-written, often disturbing and unusual, they offered something different to the usual bland NPC interactions you often end up having with locals, as you wander around town.

Sadly, snippets were all they turned out to be. There was no agency involved, just a story that you read and then moved on from. It seemed like a huge missed opportunity.

Given the Watcher is returning in Deadfire, there is a huge opportunity to make these stories more interactive. Whether it's by using the information in a snippet to help solve (or be given) a quest, determine the truth or lie spoken by a particular NPC, or even jump back in time into that NPC's past and possibly alter their future, there is massive scope for doing something with this mechanic. I love the idea; I just want to see it reach its full potential.

4. More Interesting Playable Characters

I may be in the minority, but I didn't find the cast of the original game particularly memorable. The ones I did find memorable were for the wrong reasons -- yes, Durance, again. I get it, you like fire. Let's move on, eh?

Everyone was so damned earnest. It felt at times that humor was something that ended up sidelined, and it was to the game's detriment. As Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment showed us, it is entirely possible to include a befuddled man with a pet giant miniature space hamster or a wise-cracking floating skull, and still have a story which holds up.

The characters don't need to be winking at the camera, but humor is part of humanity's package. Without it, it really doesn't matter how grandiose the task you complete is, or how brilliantly you saved the world. You're still going to be leading a miserable party.

And what of each character's backstory? It has been confirmed that Eder, Aloth, and Pallegina will all be returning, which is a little concerning as their companion quests in the first game were all fairly forgettable -- especially Pallegina's. I really hope that the new additions add a bit more spark to an otherwise mundane cast.

5. Do It Like A Boss

Where games like PoE struggle the most is almost always with the antagonist. For every Jon Irenicus, there's a Belhifet. Tyranny at least tried to do something interesting with the situation by creating an all-powerful overlord to a scale that hadn't really been seen before in a similar game -- but then refused to follow expectation at the end. In some ways, I respect that more than just finishing the game with a big dragon, or a bland, powerful mage.

Rather than just ending in yet another climactic battle where your party battles one transformed evildoer or another for twenty minutes before the credits roll, I'd love to see Deadfire do something different. Planescape: Torment showed that you didn't even need to fight in order to beat the game. Not every RPG needs to be like a season of Buffy with layers of Big Bads being peeled away over the course of the running time. Sure, throw in some tough fights at intervals -- but make them interesting.

Which elements of Pillars of Eternity are you hoping are most improved for Deadfire? Let us know in the comments! 

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