Pillars of Eternity Interview

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Paradox Interactive
Developer:Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date:2015-03-26
Genre:
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay

It's been nearly 14 months since Project Eternity was successfully funded through Kickstarter and nearly 15 since we kicked off our Immortalization campaign, and today officially marks the largest unveiling of the game since then. Not only has Obsidian Entertainment announced the game's title as Pillars of Eternity and kicked off a new backer portal, but they've also treated us to some exclusive screenshots and provided us with a generous helping of information about the RPG through the interview you're about to read.

And so we charge into the five-page Q&A, with project director and creative lead Josh Sawyer handling all of the answers:


Buck: Reading through the nearly 70 updates you've posted to date, one thing is abundantly clear: there is a lot of excitement at Obsidian Entertainment when developing this game. How liberating is it to be able to give 110% to this game, to have a legion of fans supporting it, and to know that many of the roadblocks involved with publisher-backed development are non-existent this time around?

Josh: It's been great so far. We've focused a lot of our effort on capturing the feeling of the old games -- in responsiveness, GUIs, the style of characters and equipment, the look of environments, how we structure dialogues, etc. It's nice to have two sources of discussion, internal (devs) and external (fans), without a third party complicating matters. We don't feel like we're making Eternity for a mythic, nebulous audience defined on a spreadsheet.


Buck: What are the “Pillars of Eternity” and for what reason will we be seeking them out? Do you care to elaborate on the significance of the “No Sleep For The Watch/er” phrase at the video’s conclusion?

Josh: It is a mystery.


Buck: So far, you've announced the Barbarian, Chanter, Cipher, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard. Do you have any other surprises in store for us yet, or is this the full list of professions planned for day one?

Josh: I'm sure we'll have more surprises, but we're not adding any more classes! Eleven is more than enough to make from scratch. Tim Cain has done a great job implementing and iterating on the classes and their mechanics. We've still got a lot of work to do, but I'm confident that players will enjoy playing their favorite classes as well as the new ones we've thrown into the mix.


Buck: What should we expect from character attributes and their implications in the game? What role will they play throughout the game outside of derived bonuses?

Josh: Attributes all determine a variety of bonuses for characters and they are now the main component of a character's defenses, so they are extremely important in that regard. We've put a lot of thought into defining the attributes to ensure that every character class can gain something from a particular build. We're not trying to make everything perfectly balanced, but we do want players to feel like there are viable concepts for every attribute/class combination.

Outside of their derived benefits, attributes are the most commonly-checked character elements in dialogue and scripted interactions. We check things like skills, races, and classes as well, but attributes are the stats we check most often. Even the physical attributes will open up possibilities for player to take actions in the context of a conversation. The options that open up are not always beneficial in a conversation, but they do give you a wider range of expression based on your character's build.