(Edit: Let me know about any problems with the links. I've had a fairly extended struggle with the boards just getting this up without seeing any major glitches in the first place and it's possible that not everything carried over as it should have due to technical or human errors in the process.)
Basically, I've been tossing around links for information long enough that I thought it might be a good idea to follow in Sedrefilos’ footsteps and put a lot of it together in one place.
This isn't everything by any stretch, and if others want to chip in, feel free.
I'll start with some primary sources of information about Deadfire before summarizing some things a bit later on:
Deadfire's release date has been announced for April 3rd, 2018.
Novem's Deadfire Beta Stream (Warning: 6 hours and 52 minutes long)
Fereed’s Transcripts of past Q&As:
Fareed is not planning to produce a transcript of Q&A 9 since it doesn't provide much new information
There is no transcript for Q&A 10 either, but you can watch it here
*Sawyer’s Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram pages also cover a lot of unrelated information/subjects. For a more consolidated and focused source of information from these pages, try the “From the Feed of the Director” Updates linked below. Keep in mind that not all game-pertinent information from Sawyer’s Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram pages make it into these updates, but the updates may also include information that is not present within these pages either.
Infinitron's Josh Sawyer Something Awful PoE2 Posts thread: Note that J.E. Sawyer's Something Awful account name is "Rope Kid".
As Enoch pointed out, J.E. Sawyer also posts on reddit from time to time.
At the end of the campaign, Obsidian hosted an AMA on reddit.
Attributes: Attributes will function the same way overall in Deadfire, though the mechanics for interruption and concentration are changing, as may the way in which Perception and Resolve influence them.
A marked exception to this exists in regards to Might and Resolve; Might will be replaced with Strength and apply only to weapon/attack damage and Fortitude, while Resolve will apply to healing, spell damage, Deflection, and Will. This decision may be subject to change later on and further information about the reasoning for the change as well as other possibilities being considered can be found here.
Character Appearance: Character models have been improved and there will be a few more heads/faces to choose from, but players will not be able to personally customize their character’s facial features.
Class Selection: All classes will have the same starting values for Accuracy, but other features, like Deflection and Endurance/Stamina, will still be influenced by your class choice.
The number of available class options is unchanged from Pillars of Eternity 1, but each class will also have three to five (for paladins, priests, and wizards) subclass options to choose from. These subclasses will have various advantages and disadvantages in relation to the base class, some of which will result in more dramatic changes to play-style than others. Base class options are intended to be attractive alternatives to subclasses rather than an afterthought. Some companions will have access to one or more unique classes.
Multiclassing is now an option for characters in Deadfire at character creation or when a companion joins the party for the first time, allowing the player to select two classes of their choice. The only restriction to player character multiclassing pertains to classes which have abilities that are tied to opposed dispositions: you cannot multiclass a character to be both a Bleak Walker (which has Cruelty and Aggression as its favored dispositions) and a Priest of Berath (which has Cruelty as one of its condemned dispositions), for example.
You can find far more information on subclass features, multiclassing, and general character progression within Update #40. Note that the video contained within this update also shows features for some of the subclasses that are shown within it that are not mentioned in the written update. MaxQuest has listed their information in this post.
Currently, companions are restricted in terms of their multiclassing options to one or two class different class combinations that the developers will set in advance. In addition, subclasses (if any) for companion's single/multiclass options will also be preassigned by the developers.
Quillon brought this Fextralife Deadfire Multiclassing video to my attention; it provides a good rundown of multiclassing and its mechanics.
Class Talents and Abilities: Talents and abilities are both selectable at each level up rather than being divided between odd and even levels.
Classes no longer have per-rest abilities; instead, their abilities are usable per-encounter or tied to the generation of class-based resources, such as Phrases or Focus.
The traditional spellcasting classes (wizards, priests, and druids) have a small number of per-encounter uses available for each spell level they are capable of casting, allowing them to cast up to a maximum of two spells from each spell level they have access to per encounter.
Barbarians, fighters, paladins, rangers, and rogues have resources tied to their Power Sources, and each ability that they use has a cost associated with the class’ common resource (e.g., a paladin who uses Flames of Devotion would reduce the amount of Zeal they have available for the remainder of the encounter).
As mentioned, chanters, ciphers, and monks still use their original method of resource generation, such as suffering damage to gain Wounds in a monk’s case, and expenditure. These classes may be tweaked somewhat overall, but are unlikely to be subject to any major or fundamental changes. One example given was that chanters will now start combat with a small number of Phrases, hastening the process of building up to their Invocations.
See J.E. Sawyer’s May 5th tumblr post for his explanation on how per encounter abilities work for the various classes.
Empowering Abilities: While class abilities are not subject to per-rest limitations as stated above, there is a per-rest resource that all classes have – the Empower mechanic. Empower is also subject to a usage limit of once per encounter and can be used to increase the effective power level of abilities/spells by +3 or to regain uses of a spell/ability.
Endurance/Health: Endurance will not be present in Deadfire; instead, characters will only have Health and will suffer injuries when they are knocked out or via scripted interactions. After sustaining enough injuries, a character will die instead of being knocked out at 0 Endurance. The video from update #41 provides further details on the injury system. Injuries vary based on the damage type that brought the character to 0 Endurance and subsequent injuries stack, though resting will remove them. The fourth injury sustained by a character is immediately fatal to them.
During the beta, each injury initially reduced a character's health by 25%; with the (at the date of this edit) upcoming beta update, this will be changing so that the majority of injuries will inflict penalties but not health reduction, though some injuries will reduce a character's health by 15% (and do nothing else)
Engagement: Engagement well be more dangerous/harmful for those affected by it, but it isn’t something that any character with a melee weapon can do by default in Deadfire. Instead, it’s something that particular classes may gain quicker access to and certain weapons grant bonus engagement slots (allowing characters who could not normally engage enemies to engage up to one at a time). Similarly, some enemies/monsters will automatically be able to engage your characters, but it’s not something that all of them can do.
Idle Animations: Players will be able to set idle animations for their characters based on personality characteristics (Sassy, for example, which was apparently so sassy that needed to rein it back in a bit). Sawyer has posted a video which shows the idle animations that will be available for the player to select.
Portraits: Deadfire will still allow the use of custom portraits, but corresponding watercolor portraits are also being introduced for player/companion portraits, as well as for quest-giving npcs. Custom watercolor portraits would need to be created for custom portraits if you wish to use them, but if no watercolor version is detected, the game will use a scaled-down version of the base portrait instead.
Power Level: All classes have an associated Power Source, such as Mortification for monks or Arcane for wizards. Related to this Power Source is the progression of Power Level, which determines how abilities scale in terms of damage, duration, and other associated variables. Single class characters advance in Power Level more quickly than multiclass characters, the latter of whom will not have access to the highest level abilities available for either of their classes.
Quest Talents: Some talents that the Watcher gained through quest outcomes in Pillars of Eternity 1 may make an appearance in Deadfire as well, though they may end up functioning differently and you will not start the game with access to them. There’s no guarantee that every quest-awarded talent from Pillars of Eternity 1 will make into Deadfire.
Races: In general, racial passive abilities have been revised for Deadfire. Specifically, Godlike now gain the equivalent of two racial passive abilities to compensate for their inability to use helmets.
Skills: The number of skills in Deadfire have increased from five to seventeen, with seven Active skills which can be used during gameplay/combat and ten Passive skills which are generally used only during dialogues/scripted interactions. These different skill types have separate skill point resources. See Q&A 2 for details.
A screenshot taken from Q&A 6 (courtesy of DexGames) reveals the complete list of Active and Passive Skills in the game, but as of not it is slightly outdated: Herbalism was removed/folded into Alchemy and the Explosives skill was added to determine the efficacy of bombs (the Alchemy skill's former job).
Spellcasting Time: Spells can vary in casting time, with certain more powerful spells having long casting times as a trade-off. For example, this may allow a per-encounter fireball to inflict a substantial amount of damage upon enemies, re-targeting them if necessary later on in the casting process, while putting its caster at greater risk of being interrupted before completing the spell.
Spells: Wizards, priests, and druids do not automatically gain spells by leveling up. Instead, they have to select them individually as they gain levels the same way that other classes have to select their abilities at level up.
Wizards cannot scribe spells in Deadfire as the grimoires themselves have static spell lists, but equipping different grimoires in the Trinkets slot (see the Equipment section for details) will provide access to the spells within them. Additionally, some grimoires will modify spells while they are equipped.
Starting Level: The Watcher and his/her companions will be level 1 at the start of Deadfire.
Deadfire will feature a combination of one-off and repeating encounters. In addition, the developers are trying to reduce the amount of “filler” combat in the game in comparison to Pillars of Eternity 1. Encounter design/enemy placement will also include patrolling groups, which can become involved in ongoing encounters.
Monsters: Deadfire will feature more variety in enemy attack types and enemies that were featured in Pillars of Eternity 1 will also be getting some adjustments so that fighting them will be somewhat different from encounters in the first game.
Ship Encounters: While sailing, encounters may occur as scripted interactions. The presence or absence of ship upgrades, as described above, will influence options and outcomes for these scripted interactions. Combat encounters involving your ship can involve in-game combat rather than scripted interactions.
Attribute Bonuses: Multiple bonuses to attributes from separate pieces of equipment won’t result in the suppression of the lower bonus in Deadfire, but the types of attribute bonuses are closely tied to specific types of equippable items now so that any items that provide attribute bonuses of the same type will always one of two slots (gloves and boots can both provide bonuses to Dexterity, for example, but helmets and belts never will).
Cloaks and Amulets: There will be both a cloak slot and a neck slot for characters, allowing you to equip both simultaneously.
Clothing Sets: Deadfire will feature much more variety in terms of the outfits that are present in the game.
Damage Resistance/Armor Penetration: Creatures and armors will have base and variant Armor Ratings (AR), which will be shown via tooltips while attacking enemies. Weapons will have Penetration values, which are pitted against enemies’ AR. If the Penetration value is lower than AR, the weapon only deals 30% damage. Penetration values that exceed a target’s AR inflict the normal amount of damage (100%) unless the Penetration value is at least twice as high the target’s AR, in which case the attack deal 130% damage.
Edit: Due to feedback from players during the beta, the specifics of interactions between Penetration and AR are set to change. The reduction in damage due to failing to overcome AR will be more gradual, starting at -25% with Penetration that is one point lower than AR, increasing to -50% if Penetration is two points lower, and reaching a maximum of -75% if Pentration is three or more points lower than the target's AR
Enchanting System: The focus in Deadfire is on providing more unique weapons and providing stronger incentives for players to exchange old weapons for new ones. Enchanting weapons will no longer provide access to a single list of generic options that can be applied to any weapon. Instead, enchantment will allow you to alter and improve preexisting characteristics of a given weapon: making a Flaming weapon into a Flaming Burst or Flaming Chain weapon for example. Such weapons will also have limitations in terms of how much you can improve their quality.
Food: Food consumption is now linked to rest rather than being usable from the inventory screen.
Loot: Deadfire will feature random loot, but more important equipment is more likely to be deliberately placed rather appearing randomly throughout the game. Tying the generation of certain types of common/trivial loot from enemies to chance is intended to lower the frequency of “trash drops”, such as Xaurip spears.
Unlike in Pillars of Eternity 1, more items will be stackable to reduce the amount of clutter in inventory. This screenshot that J.E. Sawyer posted confirms the implementation of infinite stacking for inventory.
Trinkets: Class-specific items are now tied to a trinket slot rather than competing for space with other items.
Weapons: The first Q&A reveals that unlike the first Pillars of Eternity, Deadfire will be using individual weapon proficiencies rather than group weapon proficiencies, meaning that you would use resources to become proficient with battle axes, for example, rather than choosing the Weapon Focus: Knight talent.
Also unlike the first Pillars of Eternity, weapon proficiencies will not provide accuracy bonuses for the weapons you select. Instead, they allow you to use modal abilities while you are wielding the associated weapon. These modal abilities provide both benefits and drawbacks.
Further weapon details (this references talents from Pillars of Eternity 1, see https://pillarsofete...f_Eternity_Wiki for details on them if necessary):
Weapon proficiency modals take the place of equivalent talents from Pillars Eternity 1 and are gained through weapon proficiency options at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19 rather than costing talent points*.
A fighter’s Weapon Specialization and Weapon Mastery apply to all weapons they’re proficient with.
Proficiency with hunting bows provides access to the Rapid Shot modal.
Proficiency with war bows provides access to the Power Shot modal.
Proficiency with rods provides access to Blast.
Proficiency with scepters provides access to the Dangerous Implement modal.
Proficiency with sabers allows you to use a Windmill Slash modal that increases penetration but also increases recovery time.
Here's a more extensive list of weapon proficiency modals in the game.
*Based on one of Sawyer's responses during Q&A 8 and a prior tweet in which he mentioned potentially moving certain talents (e.g., weapon styles like two weapon style and talents that raise defenses) into the proficiency system, the proficiency system itself may be undergoing a change into a more generalized talent system (while still using its own resources distinct from those tied to ability selection at level up).
Camping: Resting is no longer restricted by camping supplies. Instead, different food items are used during resting to gain bonuses and/or remove injuries.
Combat Log: J.E. Sawyer has provided a screenshot for Deadfire’s combat log, showing its capacity to filter information based on the player character or companion you select.
Difficulty Settings: As Enoch noted, there are plans to rename the Easy difficulty setting as well as the Normal and Hard settings. The new settings names are as follows: Relaxed (formerly Easy), Classic (formerly Normal), and Veteran (formerly Hard).
Importing Pillars 1 Saves: You can import end-game saves from Pillars 1 when starting Deadfire (see Past Decisions under the Storyline section for details). When you do so, you will be able to adjust your Watcher's sex, race, class, and other characteristics as though you were making a new character.
Inspirations and Afflictions: Beneficial effects/buffs in Deadfire are now classified as Inspirations and Harmful effects are classified as Afflictions. Inspirations cancel Afflictions and vice versa. Afflictions and Inspirations are both organized based on the tiers they occupy and the attributes they apply to. Higher tiers indicate more powerful Inspirations or Afflictions. MaxQuest has provided a full list of Inspirations and Afflictions, along with their effects.
Level Scaling: You will have the following options for level scaling – full level scaling, partial level scaling (critical path only), or no level scaling. The range for level scaling has upper and lower limits, so activating level scaling does not guarantee that enemies will always be exactly the same level as you. It will be possible to set scaling options so that enemies only ever scale up to your level, but not in the beta.
Modding: Deadfire will not come with any modding tools. Modding will be easier in Deadfire than it was for Pillars of Eternity 1, but modding the maximum party size would be difficult if not impossible.
New Game+/Berath’s Blessings: Berath’s Blessings is a new gameplay feature that was introduced as one of the stretch goals during Deadfire’s initial campaign. It’s basically a spin on the New Game+ feature (though using it doesn't require you to have completely finished the game first), providing you with a number of points based on in-game achievements that can be spent on blessings (e.g., more attribute points, higher starting copper, choosing a companion to start the game with, etc.) You can also use these points to make the game more difficult rather than making your character more powerful.
Party Size: The maximum party size in Deadfire will be five rather than six.
Scripted Interactions: The UI for scripted interactions is changing to allow players to more easily switch between party members for various tasks and checks within them. Party members who are too far away will not be able to participate in these scripted interactions.
In some cases, actions during scripted interactions are performed exclusively by particular party members, but in others, the entire party contributes bonuses to the character performing a skill-based action based on their ranks in the skill that’s being used. Skill-based bonuses/contributions from other party members will be possible most of the time, and these skill bonuses follow a weighted progression.
Sleight of Hand/Pickpocketing: Pickpocketing via Sleight of Hand is done by interacting with an NPC while you are in stealth mode. Rather than initiating dialogue under these circumstances, it produces a pop-up interface which shows the target’s items and indicates the feasibility of stealing them (i.e., items that can be taken without being detected, items that can be taken at the cost of being detected, and items that simply cannot be taken at all). Update #38's Exploring Neketaka video confirms that players can try to steal from shops while demonstrating a failed attempt to do so.
Stealth: The stealth system has been redesigned for Deadfire; creatures now have vision cones and hearing radii which you will need to avoid in order to prevent detection. Generally, a creature’s vision cone will extend out further than the hearing radius, which will be less critical to preserving stealth, but this may vary for different creatures (Skuldrs will have larger hearing radii due to their superior sense of hearing, for example).
VFX Opacity: Visual effects will have their opacity reduced when you pause the game during combat to help improve battlefield visibility. You will be able to adjust this to increase or further decrease effect opacity if you wish.
In Deadfire, the Watcher will have a ship rather than a stronghold, providing more freedom to explore the world. You start with a Dyrwoodan sloop, which you use to travel from Dyrwood to the Deadfire Archipelago. The video from Update #36 shows footage of ship travel over the map as well as a scripted interaction involving the ship and its crew.
Name: By default, the Watcher’s initial ship is called the Defiant, though you can rename it.
Crew: You can hire crew members to man your ship. Crew members can assist you during scripted interactions and ship battles, though conflicts between you and your crew are possible as well.
Remaining well stocked on food/water is necessary to keep your crew alive, though even if they all starve you'll still be able to progress through the game (albeit with the risk of dying during the first pirate encounter you face afterwards).
Upgrades: Cosmetically, you can customize your ship by changing the sails, painting the hull or adding flags. To improve the ship’s functionality, you can upgrade the ship’s cannon’s, hull, and/or hull.
Companions: There are seven companions, three of whom (Aloth, Eder, and Pallegina) are returning from Pillars of Eternity 1 unless they died in the first game. The new companions in Deadfire are a monk/priest of Gaun named Xoti, a https://www.twitch.t...082?t=01h04m49s, an orlan Cipher/Barbarian named Serafen, and a ranger named Maia Rua (the sister of Kana Rua from Pillars of Eternity 1). Characters with multiple possibilite starting classes, like Serafen and Xoti, are not multiclass by default; you can choose either of their listed classes for single class progression or have them multiclass instead.
The plans and system for companion likes/dislikes, reactivity, and relationships are discussed in update #13. Conflicts between companions can potentially escalate to the point that one of them will leave the party, but this will not happen without prior warnings.
Through your relationships with companions, you will be able to exert some influence over how your companions develop in terms of personality/perspective, but not to the point of radically changing their outlooks or who they fundamentally are as characters.
Dispositions: Aside from Deceptive, which has been replaced with Shady, the dispositions in Deadfire will remain the same as those in the first game. The Watcher’s dispositions may affect their relationship with companions to an extent, but with companion relationships, the focus tends to be on more specific types of behavior as opposed to the broader character traits that dispositions represent.
The developers are also planning to make improvements on disposition representation in terms of disposition scaling for dialogue checks and disposition recognition/lack thereof when it is appropriate.
DLCs: The developers haven’t shared any specific plans for Deadfire DLCs (that I know of), but pledge options during the campaign allowed the option to purchase a season pass for DLC and J.E. Sawyer likes the idea of a DLC set in the White that Wends or Naasitaq.
Update: The product page for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Obsidian Edition shows that at there are plans for least three DLC expansions.
Factions: There are four factions that you can join in Deadfire; the indigenous population (known as the Huana), a pirate group of refugees originally from Old Vailia known as the Príncipi sen Patrena, the Royal Deadfire Company from Rauatai, and the Vailian Trading Company. Details and these factions and their histories can found within Updates #28 (for the Principi and the Huana) and #29 (for the Royal Deadfire Company and the Vailian Trading Company).
Faction alliances will eventually become exclusive past a certain point (meaning that you can’t be an active member of multiple factions throughout the game), but this point of no return will be made clearer to the player than it was in Pillars of Eternity 1.
As a whole, the factions will be more relevant to the storyline throughout more of the game in Deadfire, but you can choose to operate without allying yourself with any of these factions.
In-Game Environments: Some environments in Deadfire will be stranger than those present in Pillars of Eternity 1, and there will be more of a focus on metaphysical areas/implications within the setting. For example, the E3 video from Update #35 features some footage of characters exploring the Beyond.
Main City: The main hub/”big city” of Deadfire is Nekataka, the largest of the Huana cities. Update #14 features a developer account of the reasoning for having only one big city in Deadfire along with a brief video which shows some gameplay footage within the city. Update #9 contains some information concerning Queen Onekaza II and Prince Aruihi, leaders of the indigenous Huana population, as well as details concerning the foreign nations’ interest in colonizing the area.
Update #38 features a more recent video showing gameplay within the city, including travel between its districts and scripted interactions.
Past Decisions: As the campaign launch trailer I provided at the top suggests, Deadfire is a direct sequel to Pillars of Eternity 1 and the main character will be the Watcher. You can import an end-game save from Pillars of Eternity 1, in which case the decisions you made as that character will carry over, or you can start an entirely new game and specify the Watcher’s decisions from the first game. If you played through them, some decisions from the White March expansions may carry over into Deadfire as well.
Sidekicks: Sidekicks are like companions in that you can use them to fill up your party and travel alongside you, but they will not be as closely integrated into the storyline and will not have as much reactivity as the companions will. An early list and description of sidekicks can be found within Update #14, but Radora and Bonteru didn’t make the cut. Pug Pug’s thread regarding companions/sidekicks provides information that is more up to date.
Tone: Deadfire will be fairly similar to Pillars of Eternity 1 in terms of how dark the story can get, but the game will feature more humor (though there are no plans to make it “wacky”) and one of the developers’ goals is to feature a broader emotional range for events within the game.
Edited by blotter, 25 January 2018 - 02:28 PM.