If you’re like me you have a stack of games that you’ve purchased and have yet to play, both tabletop and on your PC. Time, family, and a debilitating drug habit always seem to get in the way. Poor me! One of these Isle of Misfit Toys wannabes is Pillars of Eternity from Obsidian. Released back in 2015, I purchased it on day one and it has sat in my GoG library ever since with the knowledge that, when I have time and/or quit heroin, I have a really great RPG waiting for me.
This week Obsidian kind of kicked me in the ribs and told me to hurry up because Pillars of Eternity 2 is on the way.
Pillars of Eternity was billed as a spiritual successor to the old Infinity Engine games like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Like those older titles, the game is isometric and you control a single character, but eventually building a party out of helpful, if not always cooperative, NPCs. Combat is real time, but can be paused to stop the action and issue commands. Also, like those older titles, the game is huge. Average play time is over 60 hours but can stretch to over 100 if you search out every secret and quest.
Sounds awesome, right? So why haven’t I started it up (other than my mythical drug habit)? The Infinity Engine games were all created using the rules from Dungeons & Dragons. I knew those going in, so the learning curve was more of a learning bump. Pillars of Eternity uses their own RPG rules and classes and, as such, takes a bit to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s not a knock on the game. In fact, a new system with new and creative things to discover is a huge plus. It also means more time needed to get up and running and there’s Darkest Dungeon and Civ 6 to play, dammit.
My struggles aside, this article was originally supposed to be about the just announced sequel, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. The game is being crowdfunded on Fig, which I have never heard of. I might be the only one because it met its goal of $1,100,000 in one day. Pillars 2 will feature all the same stuff that made the first game such a hit with the addition of more to explore. The Deadfire islands are now a thing, as is dynamic weather and lighting effects and more. There’s a lot to see, so check out the Fig campaign to see everything that Pillars 2 is bringing to the table.
Pillars 1 was for PC/Mac and never made it to tablets. I’m guessing there’s a bit too much under the hood to make it work smoothly with an iPad’s limited RAM. Pillars 2 is also coming to PC/Mac and I wouldn’t expect it to show up on a small screen any time soon.
If you’re thinking that the campaign is already funded so I don’t need to check it out, don’t forget stretch goals. They’ve already announced that if it hits $1.4M they will be adding new sub-classes to the game. I’m sure there’s more down the road as well, so if you want to see what else is possible check out the crowdfunding campaign. Expected delivery of the game is Q1 of 2018, but the campaign itself runs out of steam in about a month, on February 24.