Obsidian has held off talking about one big new Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire feature until now - until right near the end of crowdfunding. Ships!
In Pillars 2, your ship is your mobile base of operations, where you and your crew will nest and freely sail the islands of Deadfire from - rather than be funnelled point to point on land (you can still explore on land, mind you). You even have a captain's quarters below deck!
There is naval combat albeit in scripted interactions and these can end with boarding battles. How well you fare often depends on the strength of your vessel as you can upgrade both for beauty and for function, changing canon, sail and hull. And naturally you can fly the flag of whichever faction you care to.
Currently, at the $3.5m crowdfunding marker, Pillars 2 offers one ship, the Dyrwoodan sloop Defiant. If the intake rises to $4m - there are only 34 hours to go, roughly - then other ships will be added.
Pillars of Eternity 2 romped to its $1.1m Fig crowdfunding goal in less than a day, and isn't far off matching the $3.99m Pillars of Eternity 1 pulled in on Kickstarter.
Stretch goals reached along the way include:
- Sidekicks at $3.25m.
- Companion relationships at $3m.
- An orchestra for recording, increased level cap and sub-classes at $2.8m.
- New Game+ at $2.6m.
- Double the amount of voice over at $2.4m.
- UI customisation, AI customisation, a seventh companion and more.
If all goes to plan, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire will be released for PC, Mac and Linux in 2018.
The first game, released March 2015, was a cracker - "the Baldur's Gate 3 we never got", wrote Rich Cobbett in his Pillars of Eternity review. There were two White March expansions released for the game but we didn't review them.
Obsidian recently jettisoned the tank MMO Armored Warfare it had been working on for a handful of years. Armored Warfare was the major project at the studio and it isn't clear yet what Obsidian plans to replace it with. Nevertheless, Pillars 2 is apparently safe and unaffected by the development.