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Given both Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin used Steam as a delivery method for their alpha and beta builds, you'd be forgiven for assuming Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity would do so too, but as it turns out, that's not the case and the backer beta will use a separate SKU:
You will not be locked into Steam because of the Backer Beta. We're using a separate SKU/product for the Backer Beta for a number of reasons.
Project lead J.E. Sawyer later elaborated on this decision:
The two most salient are 1) separating the BB from the actual product means it's easier to separate the product platforms when the full game is released 2) the BB is a beta, so it will be full of bugs, possibly crashy, and generally not fully polished. It may also have wild balance issues, exploits, and GUI issues that will (one hopes) not be present in the final game. However, anecdotal data strongly suggests that people playing betas do not evaluate them as betas, but as final products. Accordingly, they trash the product's ratings and give scathing reviews. If the beta product is later "upgraded" to the final product, all of the hooting and hollering done about the beta remains part of the final game. So separating the beta product from the final product appropriately segregates comments and ratings for each one.
Given I had some time, I've also decided to round up an assortment of interesting recent forum info. This is by no means a full social media round-up, but some of this stuff was interesting enough to deserve some space alongside what Sawyer said about the beta.
On racial bonuses:
Attributes in PoE are not quite so class-linked as ability scores in most editions of A/D&D. These aren't final lists (in fact, I haven't looked at them in a while and they will probably be adjusted soon), but these are the current attribute modifiers for the different base races:
* Aumaua: +2 Might
* Humans: +1 Might, +1 Resolve
* Elves: +1 Dexterity, +1 Perception
* Dwarves: +2 Might, +1 Constitution, -1 Dexterity
* Godlike: +1 Dexterity, +1 Intellect
* Orlans: +2 Perception, +1 Resolve, -1 Might
Races and sub-races also all have a special bonus. Fighting Spirit was previously listed for humans. Coastal Aumaua have Towering Physique, which grants them defensive bonuses whenever Prone or Stun afflictions are used against them. Boreal Dwarves gain Hunter's Instincts, granting additional Accuracy against creatures of the Wilder and Beast types. Wild Orlans have Defiant Resolve, giving them a bonus to all defenses whenever their Will is targeted by an attack.
Out of combat, all checks are threshold/flat, i.e. they are not random checks at all. In combat, all rolls are randomized. A creature's AI instruction set remains the same between reloads, but their selection of an individual instruction is still randomized within that list (and the list contains weights, making it more likely for them to perform certain actions at any given time that they are available).
The likelihood is very small for the initial release, but we did do work on it and it could be supported in an expansion.
We do have movement speed-enhancing boots in the game. They don't affect attack speed and they just increase, rather than double, your movement rate.