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  1. Greetings, all! As a fan of the Infinity Engine games, I generally prefer to play with one character (plus summons) instead of six. It's easier to manage and I get more EXP for my main character, who is usually my favorite in terms of mechanics. In Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition (IDEE), I've soloed a lot of the main game (pre-Heart of Winter) expansion starting from level 1 on Heart of Fury mode, where things' HP is 80 + twice that of normal, and foes deal double damage. When I can reliably do about 10 damage per shot of my bow, that takes a long time to kill even one enemy, though having crowd control abilities and minions helps tremendously, even making the game possible. I'm curious how readily Pillars of Eternity can be soloed, and what sort of character would be best at it. Again, I ask for minimal spoilers for why such a character would be great. System-level stuff, like knowing when to pause; being smart about the auto-save functionality; kiting; buffing; and using summons are pretty typical tactics for soloing games meant to be played as a party.
  2. I'm a fairly lowish level, but I don't see how this could possibly matter for a mechanic like this. Anyway, when selecting "manual defend", the party is thrown up to a fight against two Treants (or however they're named here) and four Shades (which all summon shadows). This party is way too low level to possibly stand a chance, straight up characters getting OHKO'ed. The fight's difficulty is cursory, however. Because when you select "manual defend" you are instantly transported to the battle, AND THE GAME AUTOSAVES. So, unless you have a closer manual save, you're stuck in this fight. Please please please get rid of autosaving right before manual defending, or atleast before you're put into the actual battle.
  3. Hey y'all! My podcast, BrownCoats,BlackMagic is dedicated, this week, to Pillars of Eternity. Both your hosts are backers and long time, hardcore role-playing game geeks. (We're talking SSI Gold Box level, here! ) We review PoE in depth, and give our impressions in comparison to Baldur's Gate and other classic Infinity Engine games. Tolkien, The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy XIII, and PlaneScape Torment are all namechecked. We basically gush about the game, but do voice our gripes with the lore execution and character development/interaction. Check it out on iTunes! on Soundcloud and Stitcher! Also, our other episodes cover Pop Culture and Geeky Stuff like other Video Games, Books, Films and TV shows. If you dig it, disagree or have questions we'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/browncoatsblackmagic and on Twitter @bcbmshow. Thanks you guys!
  4. Given that the PoE ExPack is most likely at least in pre-prod for the expansion, when does everyone bet we would see a highly probably Pillars of Eternity II? E3 is June 16-18. It would be ridiculous not to at least announce the expansion then. I'm going to place it at a December release, January 2016 at latest. Given that PoE 2 would take a lot more work than an ExPack, but minus time for the lore, story, and engine already existing, I feel confident in hypothetically staking a claim in the April 2017 - July 2017 timeframe. Let the great guessing game begin!
  5. Public Service Announcement by Darren Monahan, web guy Before we get started on this week’s update, we wanted to make all of you aware of a very serious website vulnerability called “Heartbleed” that was discovered since our last update. This bug affected a huge number of sites and services across the internet, potentially exposing passwords and other sensitive information to hackers that understood how to exploit it. Unfortunately, the Eternity website was running an affected version of this software, and as soon as we became aware of it, we took the appropriate steps to close the vulnerability. While we have no evidence or other reasons to believe any passwords or personal information was stolen, we do recommend you change your password if you have an account, especially if you reuse this same password on other sites. To change your password, visit your Account Profile, click on the E-mail & Password tab, enter your current password, and your new password twice and click Save Changes. Please leave the e-mail address boxes empty. Learn more about Heartbleed. xkcd comic: How the Heartbleed bug works. Update by Justin Bell, Audio Director Hello awesome backers. My name is Justin Bell and I’m the Audio Director at Obsidian, and the Audio Lead/Composer for Pillars of Eternity. I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently to hear some news about the game’s music. Thanks for waiting, I’m happy to say this update will focus entirely on music! In it we’ll cover the high level creative guidelines we’re using to write the score. I’ll also provide you with an in depth look into my music writing process. For those of you who are chomping at the bit for more info about the sound design for PoE, don’t worry... We’re going to do another update in the future that focuses on that as well. But for now, let’s talk about music! Our next update will be a look at the most recent art our talented team has put together for the game. Justin's every day workspace. Style Making Pillars of Eternity feel like a modern day Infinity Engine game is important to us, and music plays a big role in achieving that goal. But what does that actually mean in practice? Well if you were to loosely analyze the music from Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 and Icewind Dale 1 & 2 for example, you would find a number of stylistic similarities between them. Without getting too technical, their music combines tropes found in European folk and pre-Renaissance modal music, and mashes that together with modern day orchestration techniques and film music aesthetics. You’re probably thinking... “Where’s the human side of all this? Where’s the emotion? The music for the IE games is so much more than simply a mash-up of musical elements!” Putting it in such cold and analytical terms doesn’t really give those soundtracks the justice they deserve, does it? Still it’s important for me as the composer to understand things in that way, and here’s why. An incredible teacher of mine used to say, “When in doubt, use a model”. Another incredible teacher would likewise say, “Never proceed without a plan”. What they were both saying is that if you’re going to take a journey, you need to understand the path and know your destination to the best of your ability. Even if the plan needs to change at some point down the path, always think it through first. Luckily for me both are pretty clear. In that sense the soundtracks for the IE games are both my model and my plan, at least to a point. I’ve made a couple minor structural modifications to the formula, which I’ll describe in greater depth further on. But first I’d like to give you an inside peek into the creative process I use to write music. The Commute Here’s some news that’ll undoubtedly shock each and every one of you... I commute to work. Every. Day. Exciting right?! Right... Don’t let the mundaneness of that description fool you, as this is actually one of the most important parts of my day. It’s one of the few times that I get to listen to music without interruption, and I use this time to get inspired to write. Things I’ve been putting on lately are the soundtracks for The Elder Scrolls (III, IV, and V), The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, anything by Basil Poledouris, and of course the IE soundtracks, just to name a few. As I’m driving and listening I stay on the lookout for small moments that inspire me in some way. When I come across something that attracts my attention, like an interesting harmony or nice orchestral combination, I document the track number, time range, and any observations I have using a little handheld recorder. By the time I get to work I usually have roughly 10 small voice memos recorded for myself. When I get in front of my computer at work I pull the tracks I noticed into my audio program, edit out the sections in question, and categorize them with my notes for future use. It’s a way of systematizing inspiration, which I’ll admit may sound counter intuitive to some. When working on a project with deadlines while simultaneously trying to keep things the creative juices flowing, being organized is critical to successfully balancing those two often competing requirements. The audio booth with noise making props. Daily Bach After I’m through categorizing the nuggets of inspiration, I sit in front of my keyboard and sight read a single chorale from J.S. Bach’s beautiful collection of 371 four part chorales. Each day I read a new one in sequence, and I do this for a couple reasons. I’m a musician, sight reading is fun, and this is an excuse to keep my chops up. But more importantly, I do it to get motivated by the master of modern tonal harmony himself. When I’m actually writing music and get stuck at a tricky voice leading spot, the fact that I have Bach in my ear and at my fingertips is often a lifesaver. Sketches I like to keep the actual writing process as simple as possible. To do that, I open up my writing program (Nuendo 6 + NEK for those who are interested) and compose with one piano patch and one full string patch only. This is pretty standard practice for some, and I do it too. It allows me to focus on just the melody, rhythm, and harmony alone (i.e. the Music, with a capital “M”) without concerning myself too much with instrumentation or the mix. Both of those things aren’t important now and I know I’ll get to them later. For now it’s all about the music. By keeping the writing process simple, I free up my ability to stay creative. Here I’ll write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it’s entire pieces of music, other times it’s a small fragment. I don’t really try to do anything specific or limit myself in any way; I just let the ideas flow as freely as possible. The idea here is to write as much music as possible without concern for the end result. Again, it’s important to keep things loose. At the end of each day I may write up to an hour of sketches, about 90% of which will never see the light of day. It’s the remaining 10% that I’m really after. I liken this process to panning for gold. The way I look at it is that in order to succeed, you need to know how to fail. It doesn’t matter to me if I’ve deliberately crafted a piece of music through the sheer force of my will and divine creativity or whatever. Happy accidents can and do often yield the best creative results, and allowing them to happen is essential to remaining creative while working under tight deadlines. Now you may be wondering, “Where’s the artistry in that?!? Anyone can do that!” The artistry lies in the ability to recognize a great idea when it comes to you, regardless of where it comes from or how deliberate the process to create it was. Simple as that! Process of Elimination and Categorization Once I’ve run out of time sketching things out, it’s time to start identifying the material that actually has potential to be made into a larger piece of music. I do this by color coding each region (i.e. sketch) based on how good I think it is. By default all of my regions are blue because it’s soothing for me to look at. All segments that are halfway decent get turned purple, which means I may or may not have a use for it. Everything that sounds amazing and I’m confident in gets coded red. Once that’s done, I version off my session and delete all the remaining blue regions for them to go to unwanted sketch heaven. In Eternity we break music into four basic “types”: town, dungeon, wilderness, and combat. Each major area of the game will have its own unique set of these. The next step for me is to assign each sketch to one of those categories. A sketch in progress. Musical Quilt So I have all these little segments of music and cool little snippets, but I don’t exactly have what you’d consider to be a piece of music. Time to change that! The next step involves stitching all of those little fragments, expanding them where necessary, into a full-fledged piece of music. A lot of mixing and matching goes into this and the process takes me about a half day per 3-5 minute piece of music. I focus a lot on form, pacing, and musical trajectory. Once the form has taken a shape I’m happy with, I separate each voice out into individual track lanes so I can begin the process of digital orchestration. A Word About Templates Prior to working on Eternity I spent a couple of weeks creating what’s known in the digital composing world as template. A template is essentially a collection of sample based instruments that are preloaded into a massive audio project. In my template I have all of the most common instruments found in the orchestra (i.e. winds, brass, percussion, and strings), as well as some less common ones, all set up and mixed in advance. This is done to help minimize the steps I have to take between the spark of inspiration and manifesting that inspiration into music. All in all I have about 150 unique tracks for all the instruments and articulations that I’ll need to write the music for Eternity, though I’ll rarely use all 150 at one time. There are a couple of reasons why using a template is important and they all have to do with speed and convenience. When writing, the last thing you want is to get bogged down with technical issues. Doing so will often destroy the spark of inspiration, which can be a fickle thing. By creating a template in advance you separate the technical from the creative which allows you to focus purely on writing the music. Templates are also critical because modern day multi sample libraries eat up a lot of RAM and take a long time to load. Your average sampled instrument can require anywhere from a couple hundred to a few gigs of memory. (Fun fact: My computer at Obsidian has 32 gigs or RAM installed, and my template uses every last gig!) Needless to say, loading all those samples takes up precious time, and it’s a waste to have to do that over and over. Using all the RAM. Orchestral Colors Back to the music writing... Right now the form of the music has been fleshed out, but it’s still just using piano or string orchestra. This is where orchestration comes in. We often refer to the different ranges and combinations of instruments as having a certain “color”, which is really just a fancy way of saying sonic timbre. You can think of orchestration as being similar to taking a pencil sketch and filling it in with color. The way I like describe this stage of the writing process is that here I have the “bones” of the music all assembled like an archeologist assembles dinosaur bones; it just needs to be “skinned”. At this point I already have a good idea for what the general moment to moment feeling of the music will be, and ideas for orchestration are already beginning to take shape. This is where those references I mentioned earlier on come in handy. What I do is comb through my reference library looking for snippets that will inspire and inform me on how to approach the instrumentation. When I find something suitable I line appropriate reference(s) up against the sketch. A piece in the middle of development. Even though the actual harmonic and rhythmic content of music that I’ve written is quite different than the references I have, I can still use them to extract the orchestral colors the original composer used and apply them to what I’m doing. This helps me to produce the most realistic result possible (remember I’m using samples most of the time) and allows me to get through the orchestration process in the fastest way without spending too much time on R&D. At this stage in the project it’s less important for me to spend a bunch of time trying to come up with the most unique orchestration known to man, than it is for me to get 70% of the way there using a combination that I know will work. I don’t always need to do this for each musical phrase, but it sure comes in handy when I’m stuck. Once the references are all lined up, I start assigning the different layers of music to the instruments that are loaded in my template. Polish In its current state, the music sounds really static and pretty bad. Not ready for prime time. Even though I just assigned the music to different instruments, it’s not quite done yet. For example, phrases lack shape, the mix between instruments is unbalanced, and articulations are all wrong. To fix that, I hand sculpt each individual note and phrase to make it sound more convincing, trying my best to make it sound as if a real live musician were performing the piece (which is actually impossible to do, but that’s the subject for another conversation). This, my friends, is where the music really comes to life. It’s a painstakingly slow and highly detailed process but by the end of it, we’re left with something that actually sounds pretty good! Now I bet you’re wondering how that sounds? Well wonder no more because I’m about to show you! Drum Roll Please... The first region I focused on was Dyrford, and I’d like to share the music that I wrote for the town of Dyrford with you. I hope you enjoy it! Dyrford Village ambient music. Modifications to the Formula While we are following in the footsteps of the Infinity Engine soundtracks in terms of style and implementation, we have decided to tweak that formula a bit. Most of the in-game tracks for the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale games are between 1-2 minutes in length, and in some cases those tracks loop immediately. There are some inherent risks and benefits to looping a short piece of music immediately. One of the risks is that the music could eventually become annoying to the player if heard too many times in a row. We call this “listener fatigue”, and from a usability perspective, it can negatively affect the way a gamer will feel about a game. It’s a psychological effect; the fact that the music is short and repetitious can make long playthroughs tedious. On the flip side, a benefit to having short loops is that we can write more unique pieces of music, which will by nature increase variety throughout the game. Approaching it this way would allow us to make specific areas feel “special” because they will have unique music. We’re going to balance those two considerations for Pillars of Eternity. Music will always loop, but it will be longer in areas where the player spends a lot of time (like quest hubs) and shorter in areas where the player doesn’t (like some dungeons).
  6. Ok, I have a few questions, but I want to say a few things about how I feel about the Soundtrack and my 2 cents all around. I have been letting the desire to post about the soundtrack simmer partly because I was hoping someone else would come out and do it (I am lazy), and also because wanted to really give it a listen prior to posting. I think if Pillars of Eternity had a single thing that I could say was 100% home run territory it is the Soundtrack. Kudos to Justin. So, first off... Big shoes to fill. I know a lot of people here, myself included, really love the music of the IE games. Everyone has their preferences, but I think many people here can agree these games had top notch soundtracks. From booming tracks like Baldur's Gate's main theme, to the melancholy tracks from IWD (Skeleton of a Town comes to mind), to the ambient music of PST. I feel Justin swings through all 3 of these territories while making it his own. Paying homage without pure emulation. The combat tracks are very Baldur's Gate (particularly a, b, and c), and have big drums, big horns, and frantic strings. Something that gives great tension. Combat d... my god. Combat d is easily my favorite. I almost picked up a sledge hammer and went bear hunting, chanting Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr all the while, the first time I heard it. It really is epic. It pulled me from the game in a good way. I just left the game paused for a minute or 2 and enjoyed. Every time that track comes on I feel like that is the most epic battle I have ever encountered in the game. That section at the 41 second mark... gets the blood going. The area tracks for the towns, cities, and wilderness are very much like PST's soundtrack while sometimes like IWDs. Some are very much ambiance only. They set mood, and I love it. Honestly, most tracks set mood, but the ones I am referring to are very minimalist. The tracks for Temple of Skaen, Woedica, and Heritage Hill are what I am referring to. They give the sense of dread, and some sorrow. The Temple of Woedica theme particularly reminds me of Baldur's Gate again. Just to clarify: when I say I am reminded of PST... obviously that isn't the music itself, but the purpose of the music. PST is mostly ambiance, and themes for characters, areas, etc that are there to draw a certain mood or feeling. Highlights for me are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuwXHOiSow4 Honorable mentions are Defiance Bay, Elmshore, and Ondra's Gift. Questions for Justin, if he reads this... I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack). Why was this? Will new music be made for the Expansion? Please? I am sure more will be done for a sequel... if that occurs. I am betting it will. Other than the IE games, what other things were you listening to? Anyway, I hope this wins some awards. You earned it. You nailed the IE sound, while not sounding like you were trying to rehash it, and you made it your own. That is a tall order, and especially to get general positive responses from us curmudgeon of the RPG community. You also seemed to take a little from each BG, IWD, and PST. At least that is what I am hearing. Also, and this is a compliment... I don't know why, but Defiance Bay made me listen to The Orgy from the Conan The Barbarian Soundtrack. I can't put my finger on it. Hopefully others will sound off on their favorite tracks, and what they think in retrospect to the IE games. Kudos again.
  7. The story suggests us several ideas about the soul : if it cannot leave the cycle it returns to a new body on birth or to a weak body controlled by a weak mind the soul itself is a mixture of many souls the soul itself continues over many centuries of cycles and has the feeling of a new life only because it lost all the memories of its past lifes THE AWAKENING The explosion, biawac, machine and Thaos seem to have awoken a long forgotten memory that was inside your soul. As death seems to take you, you find life rekindled inside of you - life that has a different purpose and demands answers to a long forgotten question. It is at this point that you have the same vision that you will see at the end of the game - it suggests us that you were murdered after confronting Thaos that day; leaving you restless with no closure. ALOTH The same analogy seems to be true for Aloth himself - in his story we find out that he was beaten to darkness by his father only to be saved by either a memory within his soul or another smaller soul that took over to save him. His awakening was traumatic as well, and as we find out his life changed dramatically - the major difference between your 2 awakenings is that yours demands closure to a rekindled memory, while his simply embodies fire of a certain kind - willpower and decision making. Yours also enables you to become a Watcher - suggesting that indeed you roamed around a long time ago, and many cycles so far - you recognize other souls and their patterns and the more you come to understand the way they work the more this power grows - essentially, this memory becomes a completely new identity - contrary to what others make you believe - that you are here on a limited time, as a memory eventually ends its story. THE ENDLESS PATH OF BUILDERS We learn from the endless path that the Builders, the greatest civilization to walk amongst the other races, were highly advanced and developed. Other, lesser races, thought of them as gods and the term Builders tells us that they were Creators of many things. As chaotic events of life would have it, the King's son dies. We learn that there was conflict between them - the son was not intelligent, clever or strong enough to become the future King - a struggle for the father. Their conflict eventually made the son run away and die in doing so. The King then uses all available geniuses and technologies of his people to find the source of life and return his son. He tells us that it doesn't matter if he wasn't able to impress him, all that he wishes is to see him live. A noble quest began - the search for life itself; the quest of souls. Alas, time became their biggest enemy; something that the King promised they would be victorious against if their mission were to succeed. As their research grew and people joined up, time would grow its seeds as well. Conspiracies, conflicts, whispers. The closer they were the more mad the situation became. It would be at the very end that his people would betray him - knowledge of the soul was gained, but the end was not be achieved at this place anymore. An enemy arose in the last layer beneath them and the King would not recognize the trouble. His people split, taking the knowledge while abandoning him. He was no longer King, no longer a guidance, no longer a beacon of their people. They realized that the knowledge they found was gained through his will; by his power; by his guidance. But, how can a mortal preserve these characteristics? When does the mind begin to decline? When does the flesh become a rotten burden? Surely, they could come up with a better solution, now that they knew how to control souls. THE TRUE GODS They spent years coming up with systems and projects that would ensure this guidance. Their people were slowly becoming history themselves. The race became not important anymore, the knew they conquered that quest - it was winning the cycle and life itself that seemed to be the only true purpose. The other races were growing stronger - not so much in knowledge, but in numbers and dedication through their false gods, created by imagination and will of the few. They would not be able to survive this onslaught, but perhaps they would be able to guide them, give them sense and meaning and thus continue their own research and work through them? They finally agreed upon merging their souls into one entity that was able to leave the cycle, the shroud, yet remain above it in seemingly control over it. These entities would become their true gods. They would become gods themselves. Each body represented certain values and philosophies of life and seemed limited in its way and purpose. The pantheon would work in collaboration ensuring guidance and a sensible path for the races. However, one part of the Builders recognized that this division would not lead anywhere - it was a King, one person, that enabled them to grow. One purpose, One will. This division could only cause chaos, the very thing they wanted to evade. Thus, Woudica was born - however, she left behind a prophet whose mission was to collect souls for her to grow; to grow to such a degree where she would be able to control all other entities and thus make sure that the people of the world had proper guidance with one true purpose and will. A King that would never die or go mad. THAOS THE MESSENGER OF THE ONE TRUE GOD The prophet Thaos had to make sure that these souls were pure in their will - in terms of giving themselves for this purpose. A religion had to be created, an organized faith to delude people and to make them abandon life willingly so that the soul could be easier harvested in its purest form. Another source of such easily harvested and pure souls were newborn cycles - souls that were caught while trying to inhabit newborn babies. The prophet also had to make sure that the now developing races were never to achieve this same level of understanding of the soul or technology - for the path of the Builders required many thousands of years to accomplish their understanding of life. Many sacrifices... the death of a whole people. He knew that even though their actions looked ambitious, it would take them thousands of years to get to the level he was - something that could backfire and ruin everything he stood for. On the other hand, it could threaten the mission of his own people - a never ending research of life itself from a position of godlike entities who had a ever-lasting memory. A scientists dream. Essentially, you end this mission and purpose of the Builders, depending on your choices at the very end. However, the god entities still exist - but it would seem that they themselves will lack guidance and thus the Builders are dead; leaving behind them a set of gods, each operating within their own field and limits. And perhaps that is better so, one wonders? Perhaps the Builders are just one of many layers of god entities which are meant to ultimately guide a certain generation of people unto the real path. But, life seems to play strange games as we see that even these god entities created certain alliances - perhaps, one day, they would find real purpose behind their knowledge - something what Thaos and his goddess wanted to ensure. HE DIDN'T LIE! Thaos said - he never lied - the gods existed! And he told the truth. You never asked him who or what created the gods, even though he hints to you that the gods were required to exist in order to have order. STORY REFERENCES The references we see in Pillars of Eternity can actually be found in real life and probably exist as such in a certain way - certain degree - or perhaps are the absolute truth : Daoism - The endless path. Od Nua, The Builders - Anu, god of Annunaki; Bloodline masons are often refered to as the builders - perhaps prophets of such old knowledge themselves The Cube - Kabba Pantheon - Paganism Order out of Chaos, Adra, Soul and its harvesting - Transhumanism, Illumination, Archons Thaos - Theos in greek for God
  8. I believe we don't have any details about it, but let's speculate a bit. I think this time they will try SciFi or Space Opera setting, I also believe that they will use the Pillars engine, as it will reduce time and money needed for the project. Do you think it is possible for them to license some property or they will try once again to create their own?
  9. Sorry but it's really really really terrible! You have to rest everytime you have been in combat just to regenerate your spells. So basically, you need to run around with 8000 campfire kits in your stash? You even run out of spells DURING combat!!! What kind of amateur wizard has to take a nap after casting 4 spells? Wtf, man? Why couldn't you just make the spell system work like Neverwinter Nights or something like that? What's the point of this? I did one hour of playing wizard and got so annoyed and tired of it that I rage-quit the game. Lame, lame, lame.
  10. Hey all, I've been trying for the better part of two days to get this game to work. Full reinstall, check, check driver integrity? Check. I was originally faced with a "missing .exe" problem, now the game eternally updates and never starts? I just wants to playyyyyyy
  11. Paradox has always been a quality publisher, pumping out quality titles like Magicka, Cities: Skylines, and now Pillars of Eternitude. Found a neat lil' article about their exponential growth this early in the year alone. I really hope Paradox continues to grow, as PoE shows they have the clout to advance to the next level.
  12. I got the game yesterday, and am extraordinarily exciting to jump into this fantastic world, but I do not know very much about the lore, which can be an issue in character creation, so without further ado, what is your suggested names that best fit each culture and race?
  13. Interested in the game? Want to find out more come check it out with me, live on twitch Tuesday at 10am PST till 4pm PST and again at 7pm PST till 2am PST. Want to play the game but dont want to buy it? Don't worry I got you covered, I will be giving away 2 copies of the game live on stream. Come join me and find out how you can win this awesome game for yourself. www.twitch.tv/Sengira_nanaki www.sengirananaki.com Hope to see you during the show
  14. Option 1: Shiloh (Fighter) Apocalypse Bunny (Fighter) - 19 M & 19 C Startyr Kelly (Defensive Wizard) Offensive Wizard Priest Ranged Chanter - 19 INT Ranged Rogue Option 2: Shiloh (Fighter) Apocalypse Bunny (Fighter) - 19 M & 19 C Startyr Kelly (Defensive Wizard) Aloth/Comparable PC (Offensive Wizard) Durance/Comparable PC (Priest) Kana Rua/Comparable PC (Chanter) Ranged Rogue Option 3: Shiloh (Fighter) Apocalypse Bunny (Fighter) - 19 M & 19 C Startyr Kelly (Wizard) Barbarian Durance/Comparable PC (Priest) Kana Rua/Comparable PC (Chanter) Ranged Rogue
  15. Before the survey can help new players, it needs responses from players with some experience. Here it is: http://www.cleversurveys.com/survey/train/5641332169113600_5741031244955648/pillars-of-eternity-class-and-race-prediction-and-companions If you know anyone who got a pre-release copy, was in the beta, or just stayed up all night playing these last two days, let them know so we can get this survey making predictions faster. I'm curious to see what it thinks my class and race should be.
  16. www.twitch.tv/aspie_lad Just now setting up for a stream of my fifth run. Will be spoilers. Let's try to do this whole thing. Audio is a bit wonky at this point. Working out some kinks.
  17. An era has ended. And by that, I mean, "the Kickstarter project that I spent so much money on is finally complete and I'll never spend that much again holy ****". That era. Kroze the Crowmaster now roams Eora somewhere. It is now up to me to find him, although my friends are already teasing me that they have. Backer NPCs are numerous and they share the herd mechanics of zombies in The Walking Dead, only exemplifying to the player what a weird, odd fantasy world this is. At every corner, you have creatures walking around town like it ain't no thing. I've attempted three runs so far, from Shortstack the Orlan Chanter onward. Always trying to find the perfect Main to RP. I finally settled on my Main as a stereotypical fighter since I couldn't make a War Vet background work with my Chanter. I also decided to model my Main after my friends LARP character, a post-apocalyptic soldier named Shiloh. I needed to sacrifice some points into INT for RP, but whatever. For this, I would need to possibly... go human. Shudder. On we go... Conversation Which brings me to my first real main criticism of the game: how conversational stat options are handled. For a game that lets you individually control each party member, and even lets you initiate conversation "as" that party member, this is rather sloppy. We're allowed to see what stats we need to hit in order to get certain dialogue options, and yet, only our Main is allowed to talk. If Obsidian wants to go the route of perma-locking dialogue options, at the very least flag the options so that they never, ever show up. Bringing me to Criticism #2. Backer NPCs are handled very interestingly. I'm not sure I 100% agree with Backer NPCs being little more than window dressing when Obsidian had the opportunity to very easily integrate Backer NPCs into the game at large (as the Backer Inns were), but using them as gameplay/narrative devices to allow you to play around with your newfound "Soul Powers" is extremely inventive as well as a non-invasive tutorial. Combat Since the backer beta, combat has improved immensely. It could be that enemy mobs have been scaled back due to the kinks being worked out, but the Beastiary EXP system works great as well. Now, you get EXP from defeating foes, but only to a knowledge cap of their data. This system also acts as an incentive for combat. Don't worry, you won't be hitting the cap anytime soon. Progress is slow and particular. It still gets a little messy when you have seven party members beating up one dude, the micromanagement of abilities gets tricky, but enemies are friggin' tough. They are hard. If you are lax, you will find your guys going down more often than not. Aloth taught me that I need to make a custom Wizard with a bit more padding in the defense department. I also fear down the line for the EXP:Leveling ratio, but then again, I'm not even to the Stronghold yet. I was also pleasently surprised by the variety of enemies. Builds/Party I rather like the idea of "no bad builds". It was one of my main complaints about Icewind Dale, where a bad combo could stop you in the tracks faster than if you made the Pillars OT on NeoGAF and made the mistake of not mentioning the site's owner spent $3k getting their own portrait. While the attributes at first may seem confusing (for instance, Might isn't called Strength because it is not the only stat that links to damage), the screen is full of percentages and descriptions that make every happy. It takes a while to make a "It's Saturday Night and we in the club, don't believe me just watch" build, but with the proper time, you'll be going GRRRRRRRRR to enemies who will be really scared. The party members themselves... well, the good news is that you can store them at local Inns and your Stronghold so that you can both build your own party as well as get all the nice gooey story bits with the pre-mades. Because, let's face it, the pre-made party members are all over the place stat-wise instead of specialized. As well, some classes are not even featured. For instance, this is my main tank, a Death Godlike the size of a Dwarf: The Art I could go on for ages about the visual design of this game. It's just the right blend of Infinity Engine and modern touches. The Interstitchal scenes are all expertly drawn, given the same love and care as the rest of the game (there are also a LOT more than I expected with a LOT more reactivity than I expected). Party stats DO matter at these. The rest of the landscape is a brilliant mix of static painting and moving pieces. In Conclusion.... Obsidian, even more so than Larian or InExile (even though Divinity and Wasteland 2 both made Eternity possible), has brought back the CRPG hard. There have been Great Kickstarter Games before (most notably The Banner Saga), but Pillars of Eternity, no bull****, is the friggin' return of an endangered artform on the verge of extinction. I don't mean that in some hippy, warm-and-cuddly "old school gamer" way. I mean that in a very real and tangible way, with a form for the future of a medium that is in its last years of college and struggling to prepare for the real world.
  18. Update by Darren Monahan, Operations Guy and Rose Gomez, Associate Producer Hi backers! As you may have seen in our previous backer update, Update #88: Final Sprint and… Release Date!, we’ve announced our launch date. Spoiler Alert: It’s March 26th, 2015! Our physical goods have all now been finalized and produced, save the final discs themselves, so we’re getting ready to package everything up. Physical Backer? Read me! We believe the old school experience is to have all of your physical goods on or near the day a game is launched. You should be able to take out your Collector’s Edition Guidebook, unfold your cloth map, roll out your new mousepad, and enjoy it all at the same time you are playing the game. We believe you feel the same way we do! In order for us to have the best chance possible of getting everything completed by manufacturing and shipped so you have your rewards by or near our launch date, we have to resolve a conflict that has arisen between our promise of a DRM free game, and the realities of how long manufacturing takes. The realities of manufacturing require us to have a final game disc *now* in order to get it into the box with everything else. The game today isn’t the final game you’d play on March 26th. We’re continuing to fix bugs, make improvements, and polish the game. “So… what are you trying to say here? Does this mean some kind of delay you’re prepping me for?” Not at all. What we’re more concerned about is the non-final build being leaked before you, the backers, are able to play it. It’s an unfortunate part of our business; many games get leaked after they leave the developers hands. If it’s leaked early, it hurts everyone, both in the short and long term. It hurts you, the backers, who have waited with immense patience for the game, and you should be the first folks to get to play it. It hurts those who play an incomplete version of the game; that hurts us as a developer, which in turn hurts us as a business, and what may become of future projects. Normally for our other games, like South Park: The Stick of Truth, we package up a pre-load version that makes installation faster. Then, once it went live, any changes we made since that pre-load version and the final 1.0 version were patched onto your computer automatically. If we required every user of a physical disc version to use an auto-patch system, we feel we would fail on our promise of a true DRM free game. So here is our conundrum. We have a real conflict between delivering a fully working DRM-free disc and meeting our manufacturing requirements to get you your physical rewards as near to March 26th as we can. This is a real concern, again, if a version of the game that really isn’t the final version is leaked onto the internet. The pledges backers like you put in to the game are not only at risk, it just plain sucks if lots of other people are playing the game you funded before you do. Obviously, we want the game to sell well enough so we can make more of them too, and an early leak of the disc concerns us enough that we’d like to share these concerns with you too and see what you think. So, what can we do? There are two things we feel we could do that would help mitigate these concerns: We ship everything out except the game disc, which we then ship to you after finalizing the 1.0 version. Wait a minute, Darren. That sounds crazy. You’re going to ship me a game with NO DISC inside at first?! Here’s why we think that’s good: Anyone who pledged to a physical reward tier will get a digital copy. You’ll be able to get a Steam or GOG.com key on our site and play the game at the same time as everyone else. You’d be able to take out your Collector’s Guidebook, your cloth map, your mousepad and enjoy all of it at the same you’re playing Pillars of Eternity. Alternatively, we delay shipping everything out to you once we have the final 1.0 version ready. For some parts of the world, this could mean a delay of some real significance. Not just a week or two, but multiple weeks after it’s released. While it’s rather unorthodox, we really prefer option #1, even though it is going to cost us more in shipping costs. We just think it will be more fun for everyone to be able to enjoy all of the game and its add-ons at the same time. However, you’ve backed this game, so we want to hear what you think. Please share your thoughts on our official poll thread here. What about me, the digital backer? For those of you who are digital backers, you would not be affected by this at all – you’ll still get the choice of a Steam or GOG.com key on March 26th. For anyone planning to buy the physical retail version (not the physical backer version), that one uses Steam, so it would also be patched up after connecting to Steam. We’ll announce the results in a backer update next week. Fulfillment Items We have started to get final versions of our backer rewards and we wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Pillars of Eternity Collector's Book As we've announced previously, we partnered with Dark Horse to bring you the Pillars of Eternity Collector's Book. Where the Prima Strategy Guide will be your go-to companion for all your walkthrough and strategy needs, the Collector's Book is there to satisfy the most hardcore lore enthusiasts. Whether your pledge included a physical copy or a digital copy, the Collector's Book is something we're sure you'll be happy with. We're very proud of it and we think Dark Horse did an amazing job bringing it to life. We'd like to share a sneak preview with you here. The content of the book covers everything you would want to know about the world of Eora. Among the many informative chapters, you'll find detailed information on the people and gods, as well as the history of the Eastern Reach and recent events. There's even a detailed bestiary explaining the origins and habits of Eora's creatures. Taken from the back of the book: "The Wheel of Berath spins endlessly, passing the souls of the vanquished through pillars of adra, the veins of the world, and giving them new life when they emerge again. With every journey's completion, another unfurls. With every danger averted, a new calamity looms. This is the world of Eora, where all life begins and ends at the Pillars of Eternity. Pillars of Eternity Guidebook: Volume One paints in vivid detail the gods, monsters, cultures, factions, places, and histories of Pillars of Eternity - a definitive guide covering everything you need to know about this rich new setting, assembled by the acclaimed storytellers of Obsidian Entertainment." Missed out on pledging for the Collector's Book? It's available for pre-order from a variety of online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Random House. Almanac Of the many digital-only backer rewards you'll be receiving, we'd like to present to you a few pages from the Almanac of the Eastern Reach, 2823 ai: For Colonists, Explorer, and Curiosity-Seekers. Inspired by classic games like Ultima V, we designed the Almanac as if it were written from within the game world. Our almanac happens to be penned by members of the Hand Occult. Another lore heavy item, the Almanac contains a wealth of information. Folklore, major settlements and landmarks, local cultures, languages and expressions, a calendar of events, historical rainfall and planting dates and more can all be found within its pages. Cloth Patches One of our studio traditions is having cloth patches made for our games - largely perpetrated by Josh Sawyer himself. It seemed fitting to include patches as a reward for the Kickstarter. Both the standard and elite patches are a very high quality. They're sew-on patches, and are extremely sturdy. They should stand up wonderfully to being sewn onto bags, jackets, and more. These are backer only items and come with tiers $140 and above. PAX South Last update we mentioned that we'd be showing off the game at PAX South. If you missed the live stream and want to check out the presentation, head on over to Twitch.tv and enjoy. (And you can see Adam sporting another one of our backer rewards - the Pillars of Eternity t-shirt by J!NX clothing!) Backer Beta: Now on Linux! As of our last Backer Beta update we have released the Linux build. If you are a Linux user and have access to the Backer Beta you should give it a shot. Make sure to report any Linux issues you find in our official Backer Beta forums.
  19. Just a quick question to everybody, including someone from Obsidian. I like to keep my music collection a tidy place and the lack of MP3 tags in the OST for Pillars of Eternity wounds my heart. Can someone show me a way to a tracklist for the OST? The level eight divination spell called "Googling" did not helped even a bit.
  20. Today's batch of screenshots is going to let you take a look at the various dragonkind in Pillars of Eternity. Wurms: Young dragons begin as wurms, though most never develop beyond that stage. Wurms are clever and sly, if not actually intelligent. To develop into a drake (and, eventually, a dragon), a wurm must have ample space and ample resources (food). They will not develop if they live near drakes and dragons - they must seek out a habitat that has not already been claimed by a larger counterpart. Since the chances of further development are low, most wurms will band together in covens for survival. They are bold and highly aggressive - both competition for food among other coven members and claiming territory for further development demand this. Drakes: Drakes are the intermediary form between wurms and adult dragons. While wurms have the intelligence of a cat (i.e., mostly basic instincts) and dragons are often much more intelligent than humans, drakes are in-between, possessing cunning rivaling primates. They are clearly not dumb beasts and their eyes/faces should reflect their higher intelligence. In contrast to wurms, drakes have longer torsos with a broader chest. Their most prominent fangs are longer, as are the claws on their forelegs. Their other features tend to vary by subtype. During this period of a drake's life, they are starting the first stages of becoming "real" dragons. This means their colors start shifting, both overall and more strongly in patches. Some drakes have solid coats of scales, but others have multi-toned or even mottled coats. Because they are relatively young, their scales grow and heal fast, so they don't show much wear and tear (unlike dragons). The variation in their heads, mouths, spines, bumps, wings, all reflect the drake's home climate. A drake from the swamp may be shades of green, brown, and black with yellow eyes, nictitating membranes, and a long, flat snout featuring raised nostrils. A drake that spends most of its time in the sky may be blue and white with scales that seem feather-like, a slender body, and wings that assist with sustained gliding. A drake who lives underground may have earth-tone scales, wide eyes, a compact body, small wings, and powerful forelegs with oversized claws. While all drakes can breathe fire, many also have developed limited alternative breath attacks - lightning, acid, steam, etc. This can also be reflected somewhere on their bodies. Drakes have developed from wurms but have not reached (and may never reach) the dragon stage. They aggressively defend their territory and, when needed, seek out more. Their coloration reflects the territory they have claimed, and they are most hostile with other drakes, their territorial rivals. Dragons: Dragons have reached the mature stage of their lifecycle. Like drakes, they have adapted to fit in their environment, but even more extensively. Their coloration, ornamentation, and (to a limited degree) body structure will reflect their chosen territory, as will some of their attacks and defenses. Because they have already claimed territory and rarely face a threat from other dragons or drakes, they are more conservative in nature and will not seek unnecessary conflict. Only dragons can mate. This is generally the only occasion that will cause a dragon to leave its lands or seek out others of its kind. Upon reaching the dragon stage, these creatures will assume a sex. However, if surrounding populations are too heavily skewed one way or the other, individual dragons can change their sex. As creatures that reach this stage are so rare, this ability is critical to the survival of the species. They are more intelligent than most other sentient beings, but their solitary nature prevents them from meaningfully interacting with others. That's it for the screens for now. 21 days away from launch!
  21. Let's make a comprehensive list of everything in the game so far that has been Backer Made. Obviously, this will be filled in over time, but for now, I think we can get started with a few of the Backer Portraits and the Celestial Sapling. The rules are simple. We post images and/or name of people, places, and things such as: LARS WESTERGREN UNKNOWN CELESTIAL SAPLING ---- UNKNOWN UNKNOWN And then we fill it in as needed.
  22. So, I won't be playing the game for at least a few more hours. Got a job interview with Lego soon. Anyone want to recommend builds for this party set-up?: Chanter Fighter Rogue Eothas Priest Bleak Walker Paladin Wizard 2nd Fighter/Barbarian
  23. Hey all! Today we have a little something different for you. Not only do we have some new screenshots for you, we have also taken some of your more fun questions from our questions thread last month and have some answers for you! First up, the Q&A! Question: Are there otters in the game? Brandon Adler: No, but we are thinking about adding wereotters as a druid form in the expansion. Question: What is Tim Cain's best recipe? Tim Cain: I'm going to go with the Darkest Rauatai Cookies. Those puppies are so dark and so rich. I defy you to eat more than three at one sitting. And if you sing the song "The Final Countdown" while replacing the lyrics with "The Darkest Cookie", it might be the best culinary experience that you ever have. Question: How long exactly is a dragon's flight from Lac Dinneshere? Eric Fenstermaker: Way longer than it should be since they eliminated all the direct flights to cut costs and now you have to do a 5-hour layover in Cormyr. Question: How many pennies has Adam Brennecke surrendered to Josh Sawyer over the course of the project? Adam Brennecke: I have not surrendered a single penny of broken promises from my pocket to Josh over the course of this project. Over the years working with Josh, I've learned my lesson the hard way not to guarantee anything when it comes to discussing things with him. He will make me pay for it, one penny at a time. Question: How many active cats are in the game? Josh Sawyer: If you don't include stelgaer and druids in spirtshift form, there are four pet cats you can get. However, for me there is only one choice: The Cutest Cat. (Image attached). That's it for the Q&A, but wait, we promised screenshots and we have screenshots for you! Behold, the glory that is. The glory that was. And the glory that always will be: Big Head Mode!
  24. Ever since the stream, I've been thinking about custom party members. This is going to assume you can only have a party of seven. I've been thinking up names, races, classes, and what stat specialization they would be. What would your hypothetical party hypothetically look like? At the current moment, here are my ideas for my custom adventurer's party: Main (Wizard): Shiloh Death Godlike, Female, Old Valia, Mercenary Int/Might/Con Bruiser (Fighter): Tank Boreal Dwarf, Male, The Living Lands, Hunter Might (20)/Con Buffer (Chanter): Shortstack Human, Female, Aedyr, Aristocrat Resolve/Con/Int Archer (Ranger): Oz Wood Elf, Female, The White That Wends, Hunter Might/Dex/Per (Resolve WAY DOWN) Crowd Control (Eothas Priest): Taylor Death Godlike (Head 2), Male, Old Valia, Artist Int/Might/Dex Defensive Support (Rogue): Calvin Human, Male, Rautai, Laborer Might/Int/Perception/Dex Offensive Support (Druid): Hobbes Human, Male, Rautai, Scholar Might/Int/Resolve Calvin and Hobbes are twins, by the way. They will have the same avatar.
  25. Today we have some information and screen shots on Raedric's Hold for you all! The Raedric line has held dominion over the lands surrounding Gilded Vale for generations, and its formidable keep stands as a bulwark against the dangers of the Dyrwood. Despite their lofty position as Aedyran nobility, the Raedrics joined in the fighting for independence from the Empire during the War of Defiance. In the wake of the Dyrwood's victory, they retained both their stronghold and their stature. Raedric VII now carries the title of Thayn, pledged to Gilded Vale's defense against all threats - both physical and spiritual in nature. Raedric's iron-fisted rule has seen his people through many hardships, but in the aftermath of the Saint's War, new threats have arisen - threats Raedric has sworn to scour from his lands and reclaim some of Gilded Vale's past glory. At his invitation, new settlers have braved long distances to settle within Gilded Vale, tempted by the offer of land and opportunity. Full resolution links to the pics below: http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/screenshots/20150227/poe-raedrics-dungeon.png http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/screenshots/20150227/poe-raedrics-hold.png http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/screenshots/20150227/poe-raedrics-throne.png
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