Baldur’s Dash: Pillars Of Eternity Beta Begins Next Month

By Nathan Grayson on July 11th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

If I were to explain how I feel about my gaming diet right now using an extremely overwrought simile, I would say it’s akin to swimming in a giant pool of alphabet soup where the only letters are R, P, and G. 2014 has been extremely generous on that front, and while Divinity: Original Sin and Shadowrun: Dragonfall are splitting my time right now, I’ve got Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity on the horizon. The former has been in beta for quite some time, but the latter will finally be set out to cool on the windowsill next month. The only downside? It’s backer-only, for now.

Obsidian’s Brandon Adler announced the date in the most recent POE post:

“With production moving into the finalization phase for Eternity, the team and I are hunkering down to finish up the game over the next few months. Going forward, we will be spacing out our backer updates a bit more from now until the project ships. They’ll come a bit less predictably, but you can still expect updates as we have big announcements or special news for you. This will really help us focus as much of our efforts into putting out the best game we possibly can for everyone.”

“In our next big update, we will discuss the upcoming Backer Beta in more detail as well as what it will entail and how to redeem your copy. We will be releasing our Backer Beta on August 18th.”

That’s only a little more than a month out, which is pretty exciting news. As ever I’m wary of playing sprawling single-player epics like these before they’re fully complete, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist sticking my finger in the pie at least once.

I’ve mailed Obsidian to find out a little more – for instance how much of the game will be included in the beta, whether there will be a formal Steam Early Access release as well, etc. For now, though, you can read the rest of the update to find out about all the barfing, spider-faced monstrosities you’ll be facing off against in the game. Truly, is it even possible to conceive of a more pleasant way to pass the time?

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46 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    DarkLiberator says:

    First game I ever backed on kickstarter. Good to hear beta is soon.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      As a Backer of Wasteland2, and Divinity: OS, I’d recommend holding off till it’s complete. Beta’s all well and good, but the enjoyment of the final product (in RPG’s) can be diminished by over-exposure too early.

    • Sakkura says:

      Also my first Kickstarter investment. Once I heard Baldur’s Gate spiritual successor I was throwing money at my monitor.

      I paid for access to the backer beta, but I’m really divided on how much I’m going to play it. Part of me wants to play the game NOWNOWNOW and another part wants to wait for a more polished experience later on.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drayk says:

    I am not touching this until it’s done !

    • Taidan says:

      Right there with ya.

      Some games are inherently “beta-able”, (Um. Betable?) but with this sort of thing, I’d rather force patience and go in fresh when it’s done.

    • Keyrock says:

      Same here. I haven’t touched Wasteland 2 yet and I didn’t touch Divinity: Original Sin until it released. I refuse to play a story-driven game until it is finished. I’ll likely jump into PoE for a few minutes just to check out the character creator, like I did with Original Sin, but I won’t jump into the game proper. I will admit I will be quite tempted to, though.

    • Turkey says:

      Never touch your butt until you’re done wiping.

  3. skyturnedred says:

    Is the beta for all backers or just for those who spent a little extra money?

    • Scurra says:

      The backing levels suggest that you needed to put something like $150 in to get access to the Beta, but that still appears to be something like 7k people…

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s for those who spent extra money. However, Obsidian took an a la carte approach, so the cheapest you can get it is $25 on top of the $35 a current pledge costs. So, if you have money to burn you can burn a little less of it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I only clicked on this because of the amazing headline. I’ve not much interest in pillars of eternity unless it turns out to be awesome.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I’m in, and I’m going to beta the hell out of this and give detailed feedback to help it become the best game it can be.

    Areas are optional and from somewhere in the middle of the game, so you won’t have to play through the intro yet again when the full release comes. No plot spoilers of course, this will be early feedback on engine stability & performance, UI, and combat.

  6. Wizardry says:

    So many games, so little time.

    • InternetBatman says:

      First there was a long drought of RPGs and now there’s a flood. In the next year or so Wasteland 2, Underrail, Project Eternity, Dead State, Divinity: Original Sin, Blackguards 2, Lords of Xulima, and possibly Grimrock 2, Age of Decadence, and Serpent in the Staglands will come out or are already on early access and will near finished states.

      It’s good to see them coming back, but it’s hard to keep up now.

      • Wizardry says:

        Yeah, it’s crazy. But I guess that’ll be just enough games to last through another inevitable drought.

      • Myrdinn says:

        you forgot Dead Nation bro :(

      • teije says:

        You forgot Torment! – that’s the one I’m most hyped about. Sounds like it’s going to break new ground for a RPG. Even though I backed Eternity, I’ve gotten less excited about it – it just sounds a little too faithful to the BG mold. On the other hand, Divinity Original Sin is a blast – didn’t back it and have been thrilled with it so far.

  7. Kem0sabe says:

    While Bioware struggles to make anything meaningful with their Dragon Age series, Obsidian has managed to create a much more interesting concept with PoE. High production values and state of the art 3d engines with hug and elf sex support pale in comparison to a proper isometric “2d” crpg.

    • grimdanfango says:

      It always was Black Isle (aka Obsidian :-)) that made the best stuff using Bioware’s engine back in the day. Bioware have never been that much cop at making their own RPGs.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I loved Black Isle’s games, but I completely disagree.

        Planescape Torment beat the pants off of BGII (and anything else) in writing, but the combat and character creation are less than great. Icewind Dale is less than Baldur’s Gate, it’s Baldur’s Gate with the NPCs stripped out and replaced with monsters (now that I say that, I want to see a mod with that in it). They’re both great in their own way, but Baldur’s Gate II was almost flawlessly executed.

        • grimdanfango says:

          Hmm, fair play, after looking it up, I realise Black Isle didn’t develop quite as much as I credit them for.
          I was never entirely sure what their role on the Baldur’s Gate games was, but I see now that they were only acting as publisher.

          You’re right about Icewind Dale, never really saw the point myself.
          I do think that overall they (/Obsidian) had(/have) considerably better writers than Bioware do though. Bioware are usually thoroughly solid in that regard, but never what I’d call exceptional.

          • Damn Rookie says:

            Icewind Dale was a different, but still very enjoyable creation. (Disclaimer: I played Icewind Dale before either Baldur’s Gate). Being more combat focused, with the RPG elements stripped down a bit, it had a very different feel, naturally. But the chance to create and tailor an entire party of six (or less if you wanted more challenge) from the ground up, to my precise specifications, was wonderful. I had a lot of fun in both Dale games, although things did drag a little towards the end of both.

            Controlling my Bard led party of deathbringers, as they smashed their way through the game, trouncing any and all miscreants, is something I still remember fondly now, even after all these years.

            Again, very different from the Baldur’s Gate games, but as long as you don’t expect them to be the same, and embrace the differences, there’s still a lot of joy you can get from the Icewind Dales.

      • Bremze says:

        BG 1 and 2 were amazing games for their time and still hold up pretty well but they do so due to the massive scale(or sense of scale) instead of the writing, characters, setting or gameplay. I feel like modern Bioware games have lost that sense of scale without having improved in other areas.

        • JFS says:

          Come on! Tell Minsc the characters are weak. And while writing and setting may not have arthouse quality like Planescape, they are still more than solid, and very well-fleshed out.

          • Alfy says:

            Having played BGII for the first time only recently, I beg to disagree. The writing is stilted and weak, most quest are developed in barely 3 paragraphs, the characters are boringly archetypical, the world is not credible and at times downright silly… I can tell how this game was incredible when it came out, but nostalgia makes wonders in hiding a lot of BGII’s flaws. 20 years later, the game can still be a fun romp, but it is certainly not a masterpiece by modern standards.

  8. Noburu says:

    I hereby motion that we call this game PillOE instead of PoE. Path of Exile is and will always be the one true PoE.

    • damoqles says:

      PoEt?

    • PsychoWedge says:

      I like Pillow. Especially since I will rest my weary head on it for some soothing rpg-caresses after all these years of watered down make-rpgs-for-CoD-players-bullshit.

      EDIT:
      Well, did you edit your post or am I going mad and seeing pillows in places where only pills should be…

      • Noburu says:

        Yea i did right after I posted the first time, maybe it didnt take right away…

        • grimdanfango says:

          Heh, I was going to suggest that it should be PilloE, but you already changed it. I think this is a fine acronym. PoE sounds a tad depressing, but PilloE is light and fluffy!

    • Tayh says:

      Surely you must mean Point Of Existence(2006), the massively popular mod for Battlefield 2?

      Joking aside, I don’t see anything wrong with using ‘PoE’ for this game. It’s a different genre, afterall.

  9. derbefrier says:

    Nice, looking forward to this one. So many awesome rpgs comming out and not nearly enough time to play them all.

  10. Seafort says:

    I wonder if they’re going to stick it on steam for $110 or it’s equivalent because you know that’s what kickstarter backers had to pay for early beta access.

    I shall wait till I get to play it when released as it’s pointless spoiling this type of game with early beta access.

  11. Kentauroi says:

    With how long Wasteland 2 was/is in beta I’m wondering if PoE will actually be holding to it’s late 2014 release window. Obviously every game is different but Obsidian IS kind of infamous for really needing more QA support for their games, and I’d rather see this game launch without quite as many bugs as say New Vegas.

    • Artea says:

      Wasteland 2’s ‘beta’ wasn’t so much a beta as it was a vertical slice taken from halfway through development. This game on the other hand is already feature-complete, they’re mostly balancing numbers and fixing bugs at this point.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Martel says:

    I’m very excited for this. They do now have their work cut out for them with how great Divinity:Original Sin turned out to be. Playing through on coop right now and it’s a blast.

    • Tacroy says:

      Maybe it was just because I stopped playing D:OS early in the beta, but I did rather like the way they seemed to have rejiggered the opening area on release.

  13. Chuckleluck says:

    And I’m just sitting here waiting for The Elder Scrolls VI/Fallout 4.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Why would you want that dross over a decently written RPG?

      • altum videtur says:

        “Why would you want a fun and sprawling world with myriads of things to do and change with or without the inevitable infinite amount of mods and admittedly mediocre writing when you could have something you don’t know anything about except for the name of the developer?”

        And let’s be fair, New Vegas had some pretty damn good writing. Not everywhere, but many places.

        • Gamboni says:

          That would be because all of the writing in New Vegas was by Obsidian, i.e. the people who are now making Pillars of Eternity. There’s no indication that Obsidian will be making TES VI or Fallout 4.

    • Lemming says:

      If they bring in an entirely different team for character design and to direct the voice acting, I’m in.