Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I Previews

A few previews for Pillars of Eternity's first expansion, The White March Part I, have been released today, courtesy of the behind close doors demos shown at this year's E3. We should expect more to come in the next few days, but in the meantime you'll want to read these two if you're interested in the game, given they describe many new additions we hadn't heard of before, like single-character stealth, and deeper scripted interactions.

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There's two new characters to play as: the Monk and Rogue. Each are new additions, and don't double up on character classes that already exist. The monk uses elemental powers, and the rogue is a devilish construct. There's an option to do individual stealth which is huge, as it allows the rogue character sneak around and do recon.

Another great addition, is that of party AI. Now, you no longer have to micromanage your other party members, as they can do actions on their own. Though, you can direct their actions to be more aggressive or supportive, this is done on a per class basis, and allows you to free up your mind for other tasks.


There are also loads of new monsters in the game, but along with them many of the classes have new higher level abilities to go with the higher level cap (raised by 2). Monks, for example get Dichotomous Soul which enables them to split their soul into a fire and ice embodiment as both go off to fight enemies with fists and feet of frost and flame. Loads of new talents, new spells, and more are all available with the expansion.

One of the other big features of the expansion are Soulbound Weapons. They're like artifacts you can find throughout the expansion content, which add huge bonuses to your character based on their class, and have some really gorgeous special effects as well. You'll unlock more powers on the weapons by completing specific achievements, sort of like leveling up the weapons as you play. You can take it all back into the main game, companions, weapons, skills, everything. It's not just limited to the new areas.


As Obsidian reps demonstrated the Durgan's Battery area, they had the opportunity to show off some of the improvements set to debut in The White March. First and foremost, those clamoring for more sophisticated AI scripts will get their wish. Companions can now be given specific AI scripts, including ones that will have them act aggressively, as support, and more. The expansion will also introduce the concept of individual stealth, which allows individual party members to practice stealth to either scout areas ahead or practice during combat to help get the drop on foes. These talents will come in handy with the expansion's two new companions: The Devil of Caroc and Zahua the Monk. The Devil of Caroc can use a shield to protect herself while using ranged attacks, while the drug-addled Zahua can summon spirit monks to fight at his side.