Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II Gameplay Footage

Yesterday, Pillars of Eternity game director J.E. Sawyer streamed roughly one hour of gameplay from The White March Part II, the second and last expansion for the Infinity Engine-inspired title. The recording of the livestream is available at this link and also embedded below.

During the livestream, Sawyer showed off the introductory sequence to the expansion and started a sidequest that took him through an optional mine dungeon in Stalwart (an area that saw a few changes since the events of The White March Part I). The dungeon strongly reminded me of the Nashkel mines in Baldur's Gate, not only because of the environmental similarities, but also because of the enemy types present in the dungeon.

Sawyer's party was underleveled, so it's difficult to get a good grasp of the expansion's difficulty curve and encounter design, but what little I could glimpse seemed promising. Encounter composition seemed to be more varied than the main game, and I spotted a couple of new enemy variants. The final encounter of the stream in particular seemed to make good use of the dungeon's environment to pin the party down and offer a good level of challenge, enough to force Sawyer to enable the new Story Time difficulty during the presentation.

Sawyer and a few Obsidian developers present in chat also replied to a number of questions from fans. Among other things, we learn that The White March Part II will roughly match Part I in terms of length, and will include a new Legendary enchantment type that surpasses Superb and a number of new Soulbound weapons, one of which was showed during the presentation and is leveled up by killing Backer NPCs (I think I heard a loud "hooray" in the distance). The developers are also planning to release a couple more patches after the release of patch v3.0 and possibly revise the optional level scaling for the final areas based on player's feedback.

For a future installment Sawyer would like to look again at how Skills work in the game's system and offer more options to define a character and affect quests, although he's mindful of the risks of offering skills that are mechanically too narrow or useless. Saywer yet again strongly hinted that Obsidian would really like to make a sequel and would like to explore a less traditional setting for it. It's not all good news, however, as in chat lead producer Brandon Adler claimed that, while the developers are investigating it, a bug with cross platform saves might not be fixed during the game's lifecycle.