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German website HardBloxx managed to track down Obsidian Entertainment's Josh Sawyer for a quick Q&A about the success of Pillars of Eternity, some of the design decisions that he and the team made during its creation, what we should expect from the upcoming and as-of-yet untitled expansion pack, and more. A sampling:
Thomas: I really must praise your work on the new companions. Do you think, that characters like EdÃ©r, Aloth, Kana or Durance have a chance to become iconic characters like Minsc (and Boo), the Nameless One or Xan in the future? In this respect, what happened to Cadegund, Forton, etc.?
Josh: We certainly hope some of these characters are popular enough to endure the test of time (and make appearances in future games). A fantasy setting is about its characters as much as it's about the history and lore. Even if we move to new locations, recurring characters can give players a sense of continuity to the world and their story in it.
The initial lineup of companions was something that I put together early on during the Kickstarter process. Once we got into development, the writers wanted to prioritize different characters, so Cadegund and Forton were dropped. None of the characters were well-defined that early in development, so it's not like a bunch of material had already been created for them. It's possible they could appear in the future.
Thomas: Could you spare a few details about the expansion to our readers? Will the expansion be integrated into the game like (Durlag's Tower( during the original (Baldur's Gate)? Will players visit new, maybe exotic, locations? Are we going to see Fleetbreaker Castle? How far is the development of the expansion?
Josh: You'll certainly be visiting new locations. Part of the appeal in an expansion like this is to travel somewhere outside of the base game. We'll also be raising the level cap and adding new items, abilities, and talents. The development is going well. The environments, in particular, are really beautiful.