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Have you considered that the original promo image for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire wasn't created just to look cool? The ship and her crew battling sea monsters. The maritime theme is strong with this one and now we know why. The new Fig update has announced that in Pillars II, players will be able to captain their own vessel and use it to freely explore the game's map. Watch the ship-related video on YouTube.
Here's a bit about the ships:
Yes, we can finally confirm what we've been keeping secret this whole time: a new and exciting feature that takes the Pillars of Eternity experience to a completely new stage, which adds open-world exploration and discovery to the gameplay on both land and at sea! As many of you guessed correctly, in Deadfire you can be the captain of your own ship. With ships, you have the power to play the game differently; now, you can freely explore the islands of the Deadfire using the new world map.
You want details about the ships? No problem. Your ship is a Dyrwoodan sloop called the Defiant, purchased for you by the Steward of Caed Nua, who has made the journey to help you (part of her, anyway) on your quest to hunt down Eothas, and is one of the first allies to join you on your adventure. The ship acts as your mobile base of operations, carrying you and your comrades wherever you command. Companions will stay on-board while not in your party, and you can even go below decks to your captain's quarters for rest and relaxation.
You can customize, upgrade, and add personal touches to the Defiant. This includes changing your sails, painting your hull, and flying flags to show your personal colors/faction allegiance. You can also improve the performance of your cannons, sails, and hull, beyond just their cosmetic appearance. For example, Dwarven cannons add extra firepower in naval battles, or while upgraded sails give you an extra bit of speed to outmaneuver your opponent. If we hit our $3.5 million stretch goal,we'll add even more new and amazing, unlockable upgrades for your ships. And if we hit our $4 million stretch goal, we will add other ships that you can find, purchase, or even steal during your adventure - to make them your own.
The World Map - Navigate the High Seas
As you probably saw in the video, above, the world map has gotten complete overhaul in terms of form and function. No longer do you have to travel from point to point in a locked fashion (though you can travel directly to locations you've already discovered, if you want). Instead, you can freely explore the map in any direction you want with your ship. You can even disembark and travel by foot on the larger islands. Our design inspiration here comes directly from classic RPGs like Fallout1 & 2; this new approach to the world map makes Pillars II feel bigger, freer, and lets you play how you want. You may discover islands and dungeons not on your map, adventure on your own path for extra treasure, or chart a course towards a distant island.
During your sea travels, you can access the ship at any time to talk to your companions or manage your ship. And through the world map UI, you can travel directly to previously discovered locations. We have a similar feature in the Neketaka City Map UI that allows you to go directly to major interior areas without having to the walk through the exterior district maps manually, which will save you a lot of time.
During your adventures around the islands of Deadfire, you may encounter things at sea. These special encounters will be presented as scripted interactions – not only will your ship play a role, but any ship upgrades will impact how these interactions play out, too. We will have both combat and non-combat encounters, many of which will play out in-game depending on the resolution you’ve chosen. For example, you may come upon a hostile pirate ship on the horizon. If you choose to engage, you can fire your cannons in attempt to destroy their ship, or you can try closing the distance to board and fight the crew directly. How effective a cannon shot is will depend on how improved your cannons are, and how likely you are to be able to escape, on your sails. Other examples include finding a derelict vessel, saving a group of stranded sailors on a wreck, meeting a traveling merchant, or fighting a monstrous sea creature. How you deal with these events is up to you.
On top of that, a number of new stretch goals has been unveiled. They go up to $5 million and mostly revolve around making ships more complex, while the ultimate, unlikely, goal will add a new companion into the mix:
$5 million - YDWIN BECOMES A COMPANION - You asked for this, now help us make it a reality! We will take Ydwin the Pale Elf from sidekick to full-on 8th companion for the game, adding a full vision quest, companion relationship, and story interactions to her (and, of course, if we hit this goal, we will add another sidekick to replace her so we still have four sidekicks, too!). Adding companions is a huge expense and design undertaking, but if we can get to $5 M, the team feels sure we can do it!
And because nothing is perfect, you now have the option to add a preorder for yet to be announced DLC to your pledge:
Since a lot of folks have been asking in various fora: we wanted to let people get an early bite at our DLC. We aren't exactly sure what the DLC will contain yet, as we're 100% focused on making the core game awesome right now, but we know we're going to want to expand Pillars II at some point post launch. And since some of you want to get in on that early, we're offering a very low price as a way to guarantee you'll be able to do just that. It's available now as a Fig add-on when you purchase any tier, or to be added to your purchase if you've already bought.