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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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

 

pe-ce-01-580.jpg

 

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.

 

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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."

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

pe-almanac-02-580.jpg

 

 

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.

 

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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!)

 

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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.

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Both of those options are fine by me. I don't care about a delayed physical release or getting the disc late. Doesn't bother me. I will be downloading the digital copy to play with anyway.

The rewards look nice.

 

My main concern is patch delivery on GoG / physical patches. Often they are delivered a lot later than the Steam patches (that might be on GoG's end though).

Edited by Sensuki

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Deliver physical goods at a later date and have version 1.0 on the disc. I don't care if I get the physical stuff later or not. Knowing that they are being sent is good enough for me. I do admit that it would be cool to have the stuff on release date, but I still think you should go with the option of later physical delivery.

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I am with Sensuki both options are fine by me. I would say that I think that more mature version in physical disc is that more better it would be, which is why I wouldn't complain even if you would wait until expansion to be ready before manufacturing the discs  :devil:   

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What about delaying everything and giving all people who have bought the game their choice of digital key at release? Sounds good to me.

 

Also: Awesome book excerpts!

Edited by Rostere

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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You don't wanna pirate the unfinished version ^^

 

It's certainly better than it was before, but it's still got a ways to go polish-wise. Getting there though.

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The issue isn't really that people are going to pirate it. We know some people will. It is inevitable. Most of those people probably weren't going to buy the game anyways.

 

The real problem is two-fold:

  1. Pirates getting to play the game before our backers. Not only is it a bad thing for all of the people that backed us and waited patiently, but Obsidian would get hurt by a loss in early sales.
  2. People playing a game that isn't final and having that get spread around the internet.

We have been talking about this for a while with Paradox trying to come up with a good solution, but our DRM-free requirement ends up limiting what we can do. Hopefully, this will be a good compromise for the backers so that, if people want their cool physical rewards, they won't have to wait on those.

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People playing a game that isn't final and having that get spread around the internet.

 

Yeah that's what I mean. I'm glad you chose to delay printing the disks original.gif

Edited by Sensuki

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Deliver physical goods at a later date and have version 1.0 on the disc. I don't care if I get the physical stuff later or not. Knowing that they are being sent is good enough for me. I do admit that it would be cool to have the stuff on release date, but I still think you should go with the option of later physical delivery.

 

^This. I can wait on the physical goods if it means I get the latest build on the disc.

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Deliver physical goods at a later date and have version 1.0 on the disc. I don't care if I get the physical stuff later or not. Knowing that they are being sent is good enough for me. I do admit that it would be cool to have the stuff on release date, but I still think you should go with the option of later physical delivery.

 

^This. I can wait on the physical goods if it means I get the latest build on the disc.

 

Both options are going to give you the latest build on the disc. The difference between the options is whether you get the other physical goods at the same time as the disc or earlier.

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I prefer option number 1. I would rather have the physical stuff simultaneously with a digital game release. In fact, I might not even need a game disc at all, if I can just download it from Steam.

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The issue isn't really that people are going to pirate it. We know some people will. It is inevitable. Most of those people probably weren't going to buy the game anyways.

 

The real problem is two-fold:

  1. Pirates getting to play the game before our backers. Not only is it a bad thing for all of the people that backed us and waited patiently, but Obsidian would get hurt by a loss in early sales.
  2. People playing a game that isn't final and having that get spread around the internet.

We have been talking about this for a while with Paradox trying to come up with a good solution, but our DRM-free requirement ends up limiting what we can do. Hopefully, this will be a good compromise for the backers so that, if people want their cool physical rewards, they won't have to wait on those.

At first I wanted to have the physical item early but now, its not a big deal. Most serious backers would just kept the package in mint condition, unopened.  Since we already have a digital version, there really is no point to have the physical copy unless you have slow internet. But then again, people that want physical disc aren't going to get it early either way, besides even with slow connection, its ever likely to download the game before the disc arrives.

 

For collectors purpose, its better to have a FULL game on disc rather than a incomplete one.  I owned and played bg2 vanilla (without any patch) until many years later. It was stable and enough to enjoy the full experience.

Edited by ryukenden

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Quick question - Is there ever going to be a digital only version of the Collector's Book from Dark Horse? I normally would definitely buy the physical version, but living in Singapore both delivery and (more importantly) long term storage of books can be an issue (as my poor, barely avoiding mildew, Lewis and Short can attest).

 

I will probably go ahead get a physical copy if that is the only option.

 

EDIT - More specific, not talking about the "edition" but the super awesome Collector's Guide Book. 

Edited by DCParry

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Deliver physical goods at a later date and have version 1.0 on the disc. I don't care if I get the physical stuff later or not. Knowing that they are being sent is good enough for me. I do admit that it would be cool to have the stuff on release date, but I still think you should go with the option of later physical delivery.

 

^This. I can wait on the physical goods if it means I get the latest build on the disc.

 

Both options are going to give you the latest build on the disc. The difference between the options is whether you get the other physical goods at the same time as the disc or earlier.

 

 

I'd rather it all ship at once, in the box.

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I also would like to know if there will be an eBook version of the guidebook...I know many people prefer hardcopy but for some reason I like digital versions of books more.

 

Would be nice to have that as an option.

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that almanac is actually way cooler than I anticipated, and I'm glad I'm getting it. I love the idea of it being like a journal kinda thing. So, how is the strategy guide being handled, since it seems like changes are being made on a daily bases, when will the strategy guide folks get a copy of the real game to know what they're writing about? I would be fine if there's a delay with that. It's a pet peeve of mine when you get a guide book that's got inconsistencies and old data in it.

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The issue isn't really that people are going to pirate it. We know some people will. It is inevitable. Most of those people probably weren't going to buy the game anyways.

 

The real problem is two-fold:

  1. Pirates getting to play the game before our backers. Not only is it a bad thing for all of the people that backed us and waited patiently, but Obsidian would get hurt by a loss in early sales.
  2. People playing a game that isn't final and having that get spread around the internet.

We have been talking about this for a while with Paradox trying to come up with a good solution, but our DRM-free requirement ends up limiting what we can do. Hopefully, this will be a good compromise for the backers so that, if people want their cool physical rewards, they won't have to wait on those.

I forgot the name of the game that came out a few yrs ago, but it had a pink monster in the pirated version that the dev's put out and it had like a million HP and was way OP killing everyone. I think you should do something like that, so the folks who steal it get their bums handed to them. So maybe everything is ultra ironman mode or something.

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Thank you for the update!

 

Question: Is collector's book and guide book two separate things? I will receive collector's book with my pledge, but if it is not the same I need to pre-order that guide book :).

 

 

And I really do not care if I get my rewards month or two after the game. I waited patiently so long for this game as was the case with Wasteland 2. Will I get rewards one month or two after the game release is not important.

 

I think you should do all that is possible to secure that you get as much initial sales as possible and to communicate your decisions with backer community. I think everyone here wants that your game be a huge success both in terms of a greatness of the game and financial success. After all, we want more RPG games from you!!!!!!

 

Best,

Aa

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Is there any chance you guys can do a limited printed run of the Almanac? This would be very cool in a physical book form like the guide book. I'd happily pay extra for it.

 

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