Pillars of Eternity 2 PAX East 2018 Preview: A Deep Dive into the Treacherous Waters of the Deadfire Archipelago

Our preview of PoE 2 revealed enhanced character creation, sea-faring combat, and tons of opportunity for exploration. Read on for more details.

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.

Published Apr. 17th 2018

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