Pillars Of Eternity: The First Half Hour

I have spent most of the last week doing little else but play Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity [official site]. But I cannot yet tell you wot I think, as such brainthoughtss are under embargo. I can, however, stream or “let’s play” the first fifteen hours of the game. But I’m not going to do that, because it would be the most awful shame for you to have such things spoiled.

Instead I’ve videoed and chatted over the first half hour, from the character creator to the opening scenes, stopping right before the plot kicks in. Because you don’t want to know the story before you play an RPG, because you’re not a complete clot.

We’ll have a full review for you on Thursday, but in the meantime, why not enjoy my nattering over the opening few minutes. That’s a rhetorical question. Technically this video contains spoilers, in the sense that it’s the first 15 or so minutes of the game. But as I say, it’s the prelude to the main plot kicking in. You will, no doubt, be able to find videos showing you acres and acres of the game from today onward – I implore you, if you’re planning to play the game, not to watch them.

“But John!” you cry, “I want to watch them to get an idea of whether I want to buy the game!” Ah, well, like I said, I’m not able to tell you at this point if THE GAME IS REALLY GOOD or not. So you’ll just have to continue not knowing if IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH GETTING for a couple more days.

Pillars Of Eternity is out on Thursday evening, prices starting at around £35 on Steam and on the Paradox Store.


  1. almostDead says:

    I feel like something subtle just eluded me. WHAT could it be?

  2. Laurentius says:

    Ha, I’m getting this and for the first time I’m actually happy that GTAV slipped to April so I will have tima to play this.

  3. chr says:

    Love you, RPS.

  4. Dale Winton says:

    hmm looks heavy on the text , Wasteland 2 made that mistake

    • Fry says:

      Yep, sorry. You’re expected to read in this game.

      WL2 made mistakes. Lots of words was not one of them.

      • Dale Winton says:

        I don’t want to read a book when playing a game , I don’t mind some but in wasteland it was too much

        • Fry says:

          If it ain’t for you it ain’t for you. Check out a few streams. Maybe PoE will be more to your liking.

        • EhexT says:

          And I don’t want to watch a movie when I’m playing a game. Bioware is sadly still making games though, so let’s let Obsidian make their games too, shall we?

        • FFabian says:

          You never read a book eh?

          • Dale Winton says:

            Yes I read all the time , I don’t want to do it when playing a game though

          • pipman3000 says:

            you’ve only read genre fiction have you?

          • Thirith says:

            For all the “Go and play CoD, hurrdurr!” silliness in this thread, I think it’s worth saying that when it comes to writing, quantity most definitely isn’t quality. A lot of genre writing, especially in fantasy, and doubly so in RPGs, seems to be predicated on the venerated Wall of Text, and too many fans gobble this up uncritically. While that’s an issue with flavour text, it’s ten times worse when it comes to dialogue, because few people talk in 500-word paragraphs that are filled to the brim with exposition, jargon and overused tropes. I’m all for games that have lots of text if the writing is good, but as a tendency I’d say that most (especially fantasy) text-heavy RPGs would benefit from more and better editing.

            Can’t say yet which way Pillars of Eternity will go, as I’m avoiding previews such as this one. I want to go in fresh.

        • Rizlar says:

          I’m going to assume that my childhood hero isn’t just troll posting and make a genuine suggestion: roleplay an idiot. In most of these games you don’t really need to read stuff, sure you will miss a lot of important info by skipping all the text, but you can always just play your character as an illiterate, murderous arse with no patience for conversation.

          • Dale Winton says:

            I was doing that with Wasteland 2 ,eventually I got totally lost as I had no idea what I was meant to be doing. I did try , I really did try. Steam tells me I spent 24 hours of my life playing it ,can’t say I enjoyed it much.

            I’ll buy this game on release

          • Rizlar says:

            That’s annoying. Haven’t played Wasteland 2 but yeah, lots of games seem to throw vast amounts of uninspired, fairly meaningless text at the player with little respect for their level of interest, so I feel your pain.

            I’m also super excited about Pillars of Eternity. :D

        • Raiyne says:

          With all due respect, I believe you are missing the point. cRPGs thrive on narrative, world-building and (“tactical”) combat. The alternative to all that text is then much more work required to flesh out the game world, which obviously is not feasible for all but the most AAA of budgets. The combat in a cRPG is secondary to the overall narrative of the game. Cut out too much narrative and you’re just left with the format of an Action-RPG – party/turn-based Diablo.

        • Cinek says:

          That’s fine – you can just click [1], [1], [1] until dialog is over. You don’t really need to involve yourself much into dialogs if you don’t want to. Apparently someone finished the game doing exactly that in a speedrun attempt.

        • Dread Quixadhal says:

          For all the folks complaining about having to read… it’s a good thing you kids are young. Back in my day, we played games there were ENTIRELY text, and we LIKED them. :)

          If you’re curious, I’m referring to the venerable Infocom catalog, of which Enchanter was my favorite. I never did solve Suspended though… And, of course, the old multi-player text MUDs.

      • n0gan says:

        I disagree. Good narration is being able to say a lot with little words. There are plenty of ways to tell a story and words are just but one of them.

    • MOKKA says:

      Games like this need to be heavy on text.

    • Emeraude says:

      That’s not a mistake, that in fact a wanted feature for many of us.

      Now there may be poorly written text, or inefficiently used text in relation to game play. But there’s hardly too much of it.

    • SaintAn says:

      You’ll always have Call of Duty.

      • pipman3000 says:

        call of duty is cool and good but what does it have to do with his comment?

        • Riaktion says:

          I assume he is making the point that if this game is all text heavy and is one extreme, the CoD is the other extreme of this proposed spectrum… and therefore, perhaps Cod would be preferred.

          That’s my interpretation anyway :D

        • Distec says:

          Nothing. He’s just being a shit.

          I’ve generally been okay with text-heavy games, but Wasteland 2 really rubbed me the wrong way with all the incessant yapping. I contrast this with the early Fallout games or a nostalgic trip through Placescape where I had no problem reading everything. I don’t know what to pin it on; the gulf of time between the games, my investment in their respective worlds, or maybe just the plain ol’ quality of the writing (not that Wasteland was terrible). But I found myself silently praying that each click on the dialogue box would get the damn thing over with. People are spouting out small hills of words and I couldn’t care about any of it.

          Not saying full voice acting would solve it, but for some reason I think I’d find it more tolerable.

    • ffordesoon says:

      If you don’t want to read, maybe traditional cRPGs aren’t for you. Or perhaps they used to be for you, and now they aren’t. No shame in that.

      If that reads as snotty, I’m genuinely sorry. I’m being sincere. Games like this one have always been for the people who go “OOH! MORE TEXT!” rather than “Urgh. More text.” If you’re part of the latter group, there are plenty of other fantastic games out there for you, and I implore you to go play them with my blessing. For my part, all the pretty prose makes me squeal and clap my hands in a fashion most upsetting for those in my immediate vicinity. Isn’t it exciting that games for both of us exist now?

      • MisterFurious says:

        When I want to read, I get a book. When I want to watch non-interactive stories, I watch a movie. When I get a video game, it’s because I want to play a game. I don’t want to sit there and watch a ton of cinematics in a game and I don’t want to read ten novels worth of text. I want to be playing the game. And, no, an RPG doesn’t NEED to have that much text. I’ve played plenty that didn’t have that much text. There are ways to convey information to the players without forcing them to stop and read a novel every ten minutes.

        • anteater says:

          People have different tastes. Some people enjoy being introduced and subjected to the game-world with a word heavy approach. Be it spoken or written. As long as the dialogue or whatever is well written.

          Doesn’t make this less of a game though, just something you don’t enjoy.

    • Lucid says:

      You’re the reason we hardly ever get games like this anymore, please go back to playing Call of Duty or Battlefield and leave the adults to their business.

      • Dale Winton says:

        I don’t play Call of Duty or Battlefield , I am 38 and I read text all day on a screen at work. I don’t want to do it when I come home from work

      • pipman3000 says:

        if you think adults spend most of their time playing rpgs instead of doing literally anything else then you really need to stop spending so much time on game forums because its eroding your sense of reality.

        besides statistically speaking adults are far more likely to play call of duty or cities: skyline than any rpg that isn’t skyrim or dragon age

        • Lucid says:

          Taking something like what I said literally doesn’t become you.

      • honuk says:

        if you play video games loaded with novels worth of poor genre fiction, you are literally a better person than people who don’t. a well reasoned adult opinion.

      • MisterFurious says:

        “You’re the reason we hardly ever get games like this anymore, please go back to playing Call of Duty or Battlefield and leave the adults to their business.”

        Wow, what a pretentious douchebag.

    • hennedo says:

      wow, you got a lot of hate aimed at you there. don’t despair! i, too, feel your eye strain. and i’m also buying the game. to eye strain headaches!

    • Buuurr says:

      “Dale Winton says:

      hmm looks heavy on the text , Wasteland 2 made that mistake.”

      In your opinion. This is the successor to Planescape: Torment /w many of the same people involved in its development. It will be very, very story laden. If that isn’t for you oh well. I don’t like everything either. I will say that the original story choices and dialogues are still stuck in my head and do sometimes come out. I can’t wait to see if it is anything like the original.

      • Thurgret says:

        Surely you mean any Infinity Engine game but Planescape: Torment?

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        You’re thinking of Tides of Numenera or however it’s spelt, that’s the P:T one. This the Balder’s Gate-y one. You’re point is still valid, mind.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          *Your. Where’s that edit button gone!?

        • Cinek says:

          FYI: Pillars of Eternity is as much of a Planescape: Torment successor as T:ToN will be. If not more due to being focused on normal gameplay instead of crisis-based and real time with pause combat, just like in the original. And note that the crew that’s behind PoE also worked on a P:T.

          • Buuurr says:

            Yeah, I thought I had it right…

          • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

            Okay, yes, I shouldn’t have been so “You are wrong!”. I guess both have devs from both just about, but I always got the impression PoE was a BG spiritual successor while Torment:ToN was more of a P:T thing. Similar names confused me to start with, thought it was worth mentioning in case our friend Buuurrr was the same. Both games look great either way.

      • dungeoncrawl says:

        Wasteland 2 was pretty much perfect.

    • cw8 says:

      It’s a plus not a mistake. Backed the CE for WL2 and POE and I WANT heavy reading. Watered down text and heavy voiceovers would have turned off many backers. Planescape Torment has much more text and dialogue than most RPG games out there and it’s considered one of the best RPGs.

    • airknots says:

      Wasn’t this pitched as a throwback to older games like Torment and Baldur’s Gate? Those were text heavy. I understand that some people dislike too much text in games, but you might have misunderstood their kickstarter pitch.

      • Cinek says:

        I like a text-based game, but let me point out this: Back in P:T or BG days there weren’t any large RPGs with voiceover, so there simply was no choice what so ever. These days however it changed a lot and you can have RPGs like Dragon Age: Origin that are fully voiced over.

        • syllopsium says:

          Just because you can fully voice a game doesn’t mean you should. In my opinion the pivotal scene between the Nameless One and Ravel in Torment would not have been as effective fully voiced as it was with very sparse speech

        • anteater says:

          For me personally, voiceover doesn’t add much. I read faster anyway and only rarely do I feel the need to listen to the protagonists actually talking (maybe in very atmospheric moments I want to hear the tone of what is being said).

    • Mordaedil says:

      I don’t think it’s quite fair to say it’s a mistake, when it’s just not being developed to appeal to you. If book-like RPG’s do not appeal to you, there’s plenty of games that tell their story in other ways. Can I recommend Dark Souls for you?

      • Dale Winton says:

        I have 500 hours in dark souls and it’s my favorite game of all time. i will buy this game and try and play it. I loved bg2 back in the day so I am no stranger to these kind of games. Wish all the text was spoken though

  5. Gibs says:

    Bought! I hope the story is good though…

  6. Reapy says:

    45… hrm… that a bit steep for this or priced right? If feels a bit steep to me, but eh, niche product?

    I want to play this but will probably take a wait until a steam sale cuts it in half.

    Always good to let the longer RPG’s shake out with the release beta testers though :)

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      It’s £28 at Greenmangaming if you use their constant 20% discount. The code is on their main page.

      • Tutamun says:

        The code does not seem to work for me. I’ll wait for a steam sale. Also I’ve got more than enough games I still need to play…

        • Tutamun says:

          Okay, I found another site with a 20% discount and could not resist. Good that I have to wait the 26th to download and play… otherwise I know that I would stay up all night and come late to work tomorrow.

          • Tutamun says:

            @John Walker I’ll blame you for getting me excited with your video. (And the subliminal text or something.)

            I still remember the Kickstarter campaign that did not click with me… and they were doing pretty well without my contribution anyway. I rewatched the Kickstarter video today… and I still would not have backed it on basis of the video or the Kickstarter page. But seeing the game in action in your video that did click for me. Well done! Another game added to my endless list of Steam games. Although this one I will play once it is released.

          • Andrew says:

            @Tutamun More SUPER than subliminal, really.

    • Gibs says:

      that’s my philosophy too … but can you resist? eh? can you?!

    • Sakkura says:

      I got it for $20. Would feel pretty shitty if people could get it for the same price at launch.

      • Eglath says:

        In China we got a retailer selling keys for $20, but I guess those will be region-locked.

    • ffordesoon says:

      It’s always sad to read a post like this. I mean, I get it – capitalism gonna capitalism and all that. I catch myself doing the same thing!

      But it does ruffle my feathers when an everlasting gobstopper of a game like this one, crafted with love and overflowing with content, is considered less valuable than aggressively mediocre junk like Watch Dogs because it’s “niche.” How fucked up is it that we segregate games (and, really, art in general) based on production value and mainstream appeal?

      • Reapy says:

        Well, as a developer doing boring stuff in my day job, I completely understand how underrated the amount of work that goes into software is.

        That said, when you look at the game market as a consumer, well, if you look at the budget for this vs a AAA game it is easy to at least get my head around a 60 dollar price tag. Anyway 45 may be a good price, I don’t know why but I feel like 39.99 would have put me more at ease, but have to wait for more reviews and see how long the game is and how well the writing holds up.

        Truthfully I was going to back this but I completely forgot. I backed wasteland and planetscape, and have always loved the crap out of baldurs gate/iwd/torment.

        I’m ok with the increased price over the backers, just 45 on the price line sent me right away from the steam pre order page, just seemed too high, but it might be i’m not as invested in it. I got divinity for 40 and was pretty happy with that, so, why here, eh. Maybe as a flush of reviews pour in the web I’ll cave in hopefully hehe

    • skalpadda says:

      GOG.com has it for just under €36, which the internet tells me is about £26, if that helps. Doesn’t sound expensive at all for a big RPG.

      • Darkheart says:

        If you are not avert to use Hola you can get it for something like 20€ from Nuuvem atm. The key should be ROW (since it usually is stated on the game page if it isn’t). It will unlock the key when the game launches. If it’s not working with Hola set to Brazil, try Argentina.

  7. Paul says:

    This was a nice, pleasant post.

  8. WiggumEsquilax says:

    Happy Dance!

    (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ

    ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ)

    (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ

    Infinity Engine Happy Dance Just Keeps Going!
    Infinity Engine Forever!

    • Edgewise says:

      What comes next!?

      • wwwhhattt says:

        (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ

        ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ)

        (ノ゚▽゚)ノ ヘ(^_^ヘ) (ノ゚▽゚)ノ

        • Monggerel says:

          ____ , — – — -.
          ((( (( /// // ‘ \\-\ \ )) ))
          /// /// (( _ _ — \\– \\\ \)
          ((( == (( — (( )) )- ) __ )) )))
          (( (( -= (( — ( _ ) — )) ))
          (( __ (( ()((( \\ / /// )) __ )))
          \\_ (( __ | | __ ) _ ))
          ,| | |
          | |
          | ||
          | || |
          , _, | | |
          ( (( (((( /,| __| | )))) ))) ) ))
          (())) __/ ||( ,, ((//\ ) ))))
          —((( ///_.___ _/ ||,,_____,_,,, (|\ \___…..__.. ))–


          • Monggerel says:

            huh. Probably shoulda expected that ascii mushroom clouds don’t mix well here.

        • Craxel says:

          That’s the most hideous partial differential equation I’ve seen today.

  9. raiders5000 says:

    Look…if you’re not going to have voice acting, then you need to drop $20!

    • Zallgrin says:

      Pillars of Eternity has partial voice-acting (major quests and companions) and is therefore pretty much the same as Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland.

      I’m always surprised that all of those 3 games are priced the same, but people only seen to complain about the PoE price.

      • Voqar says:

        Actually I complain abut the price of all three. These are kickstarter games 100% funded by the community and the price of them is pretty silly when every box they sell is nothing but pure profit. I’m not sure why this isn’t more of a new item. Devs like this basically get their game paid for in advance and instead of thanking the community with a reasonable price (something more in line with the indie nature of it all) they charge as much as the market will bear, like a corporation/EA/Ubisoft.

        Anyways, game looks really, really good (of course that only applies if you like this sort of game, and for some of us this is exactly what we’ve been wanting for years).

        • Zallgrin says:

          Pure profit is only the case if the development company did not invest their own money as well, which they almost always do. Development of a game always stretches out longer than you think and overexerts money – this is the reason why so many projects get pushed out early out of the door.

          This is the reason why Kickstarter money is still not enough. Divinity Original Sin was already mostly funded when they started their Kickstarter campaign. Wasteland 2 was technically finished when they entered Early Access.

          Both games would have suffered a lot without Early Access. They needed every single cent to polish up the game and extend the development period. Kickstarter is enough for making a game, but to make a good game you need more money than that.

          You need to understand that 3-4 Millions is a quite small sum in game development. If you have a team of 100 people (such as Obsidian) and everyone is paid 3-4k per month, then it’s already 300k per month, not even counting the cost of offices, licences and contractors. That’s enough for about 2 years of development and after that, you have run dry.

          And what do you after the game is finished? Do you turn to Kickstarter project again? That is not a very good sign either for a company. In best case, the Kickstarter game should have provided you enough money for the sequel as well and for that you need to price accordingly.

          Second, they already thanked the community by providing reasonable prices during Kickstarter. If you buy the game just now, you are not “the community”, you are a regular customer. They don’t owe you anything, except for providing a great product for price that makes sense.

        • dungeoncrawl says:

          It’s not ‘100% pure profit’….but what’s wrong with that if it were. These companies are out to make money, like they should be. These kickstarters aren’t for .org’s or for companies to just break even. You’re usually kickstarting a capitalistic endeavor. Let them make all the money they can. If the price is too high, don’t buy it. The market will decide.

        • xyzlaguna says:

          they thanked backers by giving them a lower price and extra goodies, why should they owe anything to people who didn’t back them?

      • Lagran says:

        Maybe because of the three tier/pricing options? £35 for standard (‘hero’), £45 for deluxe (‘champion’), £68 for super deluxe (‘royal’). Divinity: Original Sin has standard (£30) and collector’s edition (£53). Wasteland 2 has standard (£30) and digital deluxe (£45).

        What do you get for those versions? Pillars of Eternity adds in the soundtrack, digital campaign, game map, documentary, wallpapers, ringtones, novella, collector’s book, concept art, strategy guide. (The last four being exclusive to the royal edition).

        Divinity: Original Sin adds in a second copy of the base game, two of Larian’s other Divinity games (Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity), and the DLC.

        Wasteland 2 adds in a copy of Wasteland 1, the soundtrack for Wasteland 2, and a digital concept art book.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Voice acting is just a waste of money and time 90% of the time anyway. You read the subtitles way faster and they aren’t going to ever be good enough that you want to listen to them go on and on.

      • klops says:

        Oh yes. The part at 8 minutes is a perfect example of that.

      • drewski says:

        *tick subtitles always on box*
        *press space to skip*
        *press space to skip*
        *press space to skip*
        *oooh, this dialogue is really important, better…press space to skip*

        Sure glad devs pay for voice acting!

        Seriously though, I’m sure there are plenty of people who like it but yeah, really glad whenever I don’t have to read it. I played through Baldur’s Gate not a month ago and it was always fun to hear the first three words of any important speech before I finished reading the text and clicked my response.

        “WHAT? You again? I-” *skip*
        “This will be the la-” *skip*

        • drewski says:

          Don’t have to listen to it, obvs.

          Man I suck I getting my comments right the first time.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          I don’t mind VA, and honestly if it’s there I’ll turn off subs and let the game go at its own pace. However, I certainly wouldn’t condemn a game for not having VA. That’s just ridiculous.

      • Cerzi says:

        Indeed, and it’s really no coincidence that the rise of voice acting in RPGs 10-15 years ago coincided with a fall in general storytelling quality.

      • klops says:

        By the way, are you fellow voice acting ignorers from countires that use more subtitles than dubbing in tv and in movies? I am and have sometimes been told that it affects.

      • Abndn says:

        The voice acting in the Baldur’s Gate series is a huge part of why they’re so memorable for me. I remember loads of lines to this day, from minor npcs to joinable companions. Voice acting can be extremely effective and important.

        • klops says:

          True dat. Lines in BG and especially Jagged Alliances were big part of the experience for me too. And when not done right they are a huge annoyance like in Silent Storm.

          Still, voice acted dialogues… Way too slow and usually not good enough. There’s a big difference between “Go for the eyes Boo!” and a wall of text you’re supposed to read.

    • pepperfez says:

      This is a complaint I have literally never before seen or even imagined.

    • ffordesoon says:

      …/sarcasm? Please?

    • Lucid says:

      Huh, must be spring break for the kids right now or something.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Personally, I’m more likely to drop an extra tenner on a game if they can guarantee they’ll drop more voice acting in favour of more game.

      Why does voice acting = £££?

  10. caff says:

    Nope. You can’t make me watch your video. I want to come to it FRESH. Like a prince of Bel Air.

  11. Moraven says:

    Surprised a Kickstarter project would be under such tight review embargo. Whats the point waiting until 1-2 days before release?

    If you believe in your product, built up hype a week or two before, like Nintendo does with early reviews.

    • lordfrikk says:

      I assume they don’t want the whole game being on the internet by Thursday which is definitely something that would happen.

      • Emeraude says:

        Case in point: what happened when Double Fine trusted their backers with Broken Age.

    • Fry says:

      You haven’t noticed all the Streamers showing the game? They are building up hype. Just avoiding full-on spoilers by restricting how much of the game can be shown between now and Thursday.

    • Wisq says:

      The later you push the review embargo (within reason), the less stress you put on the reviewer to rush through your game so they can get a review out first.

      Remember, embargoes aren’t about denying knowledge to the consumer (or they usually aren’t and shouldn’t be), they’re also for the benefit of the reviewer. They give the reviewers time to do their jobs properly.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Or more likely, everyone else does it so it must be a good idea, eh?

      • Monggerel says:

        Whoever throws a review out first gets an advantage. If everybody does at the same time, everybody will be fine and the internet will collapse into a review singularity and the pandemonium of flayed souls screeching eternal malediction will blot out the Sun

        See? I understand business too.

    • Cinek says:

      “Surprised a Kickstarter project would be under such tight review embargo” – why would you be? Being a kickstarter project doesn’t entitle devs to do anything beyond what was described in their initial pitch. Kickstarter is just a method of funding products, not some magical country inside of the country where magical things happen and whole community thrives for close relation with every developer, or whatever. It’s not an indie scene either. Obsidian might have gone for preorders or whatever else, but they picked kickstarter due to being a safer funding option. That does not mean they shouldn’t put review embargo. It’s still Obsidian game and they’re free to do whatever they want.

  12. Wulfram says:

    It seems a bit over keen on made up terms.

    Of course they’re inescapable in fantasy, and it’s partly down to not being totally standard Tolkien/DND stuff, but it’s still not what I’d consider a mark of good writing.

    • Zallgrin says:

      Josh Sawyer, the lead designer, has a major boner for made up languages and dialects. There are several in-game books that explain pronunciation, grammar and other things about most languages in game.

      Therefore I’m willing to forgive a lot of made up words, if it’s done consistently and with lots of thought. Although I will admit, the pronunciation will be always giving me trouble in PoE.

    • Sakkura says:

      Tolkien’s writings are packed full of made-up words, entire made-up languages in fact. I really don’t think it’s a bad thing, as long as it’s done well.

      • ikanreed says:

        Which is a hard balance to pull off. There’s a lot of pitfalls.

        You can kill immersion by having character’s explaining concepts to other characters that would be natively familiar with them. You can overuse the words and draw too much attention to their made-up-ness. You can also do that by making a big deal of your made up words in sentences, emphasizing them. You can leave the player/reader in the dark by not explaining what something is by the time people are throwing it around freely.

    • John Walker says:

      That particular character is especially bad with it. It calms down a lot – and indeed you start to speak the language.

  13. Emeraude says:

    I need this in my veins.

    I have kept a stash of my favorite coffee, and apart from voting duties on Sunday I expect to play non stop from the moment I get the game till I pass out from sheer exhaustion.

    • pepperfez says:

      You didn’t vote by mail? It’s like you don’t even care about this game!

      • Emeraude says:

        Not only that, to my shame I will be helping with running local election booth

  14. EhexT says:

    The difficulty complains seem really weird, since both the Backer Beta and all other review code videos show normal is actually quite a bit too easy if you’ve ever played a RtwP game and hard is what someone who’s beaten Baldurs Gate or Icewind Dale should play on.

  15. Kiya says:

    Three more days!

    Thanks for not being all spoilery and stuff. I’ve been waiting for this game since the Kickstarter. I love the look of the character creation and love that I won’t need to wait for someone to make a bag of holding mod to stash all of my loot. From what little you showed it looks like the game will meet all of my expectations.

    Argh.. Three more days!

  16. Neurotic says:

    Speaking as someone who’s been working on it over the last month or two, I can only say that I FULLY AGREE.

  17. amateurviking says:

    Honestly I know I was only one of thousands of people who backed this. But I have this weird sense of pride to go with the excitement. I can look at this and say: I helped get this made. It feels good.


    • amateurviking says:

      I have now watched John’s video. This is the first time I’ve seen the game moving (or indeed beyond the concept and WIP stuff from the backer update emails). It looks INCREDIBLE. Also I LOVE the little ink on parchment vignettes with the cool art. Immediately puts me in mind of Lone Wolf or Fighting Fantasy books. I AM SO EXCITED NOW.

      Thanks for the video John!

    • Emeraude says:

      Have you watched the Road to eternity videos yet (two parts posted for now, just look for them on Google if you haven’t) ?

      Looking at them, I was even more glad to have backed the game. I mean, in my mind, it’s a bout the craft first and foremost, I back things so that they may exist, that wouldn’t have otherwise. But seeing those videos, and realizing how much the outpour of money worked as an endorsement, as moral support to decent people that really were down…

      It’s nice to know that, in the meager amount I contributed, I was a part of giving love (on top and along with money) back to people that had contributed in making life just a little bit more worth it to me.

      I mean just look at the mix of pride, joy and hopeful apprehension in Adam Brennecke’s eyes in that second part. Really satisfying.

      • amateurviking says:

        Just did! I hadn’t realised about the console game cancellation. The clip of the livestream at the end of the kickstarter campaign was awesome. What a TRIUMPH.

        Is it Thursday yet?

        • Tacroy says:

          That part of the video made me really sad, especially since I used to walk by the Obsidian offices on my way to lunch every day; I probably ate lunch in the same places as a couple of those guys while this was going on.

      • ffordesoon says:

        I know, right? I was smiling all through that second clip. I know it was a few years ago now, but given all the shitty news coming down the pike in videogameland these days, watching the good guys win made me happy all over again.

  18. syllopsium says:

    Alternatively, buy it on GOG.com – same price, still DRM free.

    Tempted by this, but currently playing Legend of Grimrock, and I’ve still not finished Icewind Dale 2..

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Don’t forget the £4.40 credit you get as part of their regional pricing promise.

      A bit disappointed that RPS didn’t link to GOG especially as Obsidian had to include it as a stretch goal because backers complained about not having a DRM free version.

    • welverin says:

      Or, better yet, people could stop being ignorant and realize that just because a game is purchased on Steam doesn’t mean it uses DRM.

      It’s entirely possible to buy a game through Steam, download it with Steam. and then play it without ever us\inge Steam again.

      • Emeraude says:

        Let’s not spoil a relatively decent thread…

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Not that decent, a bit whiney tbh. Who is honestly using RPS for their digital purchase links? People who use GoG will see it on GoG, or you know..people who can use Google.

      • April March says:

        Yes, but if you don’t like DRM, why not support a store that enforces its lack rather than one that enforces its presence?

      • Cinek says:

        No, it’s not. Even if you downloaded the game from Steam – you are still forced to use that DRM machine to install the game. Sorry, but Steam is everything BUT DRM-free.

        • Mordaedil says:

          Just curious here, why do you need games to be DRM free?

          And what could Steam do to alleviate your fears?

          Do you believe all manner of DRM is inherently negative?

          Very curious.

          • wengart says:

            I can’t speak for him, but I do enjoy having some of my games DRM free. There are a coupledifferent reasons for it.

            Games that I want to be super portable are better DRM free. I have Jagged Alliance 2 with 1.13 installed. It lives on a flashdrive. Regardless of where I am at I can play it quickly and easily.

            Games that I would only ever play during a lan I like to own DRM free. A single copy can be passed around to everyone there and we can all be playing it within 30 minutes.

  19. FFabian says:

    Wait … what’s the talk about difficulty. Is it perceived as too easy or too hard? Is it the usual “Normal is the new easy” problem?

    • EhexT says:

      Walker thinks normal is too hard and easy is just right. Everybody else who’s playing it thinks normal is too easy.

    • ffordesoon says:

      John is heavily implying it’s too hard on Normal, which makes me happy, because if John finds it too hard, I tend to find it just right. Which is how a reviewer-consumer relationship is supposed to work, in spite of what the Angry Internet Men might tell you.

      • OmNomNom says:

        I will enjoy playing this on the hardest possible difficulty on the first playthrough and punishing myself harshly for every mistake I make…. even if it takes me 6 months to complete :)

    • skalpadda says:

      Seems like pretty much the same take John had on Dragon Age: Origins regarding the difficulty. Don’t know how indicative that is in reality as they’re different games, but perhaps it serves as a little bit of a hint if you’ve played that.

    • ansionnach says:

      Sounds good to me. Too many games are way too easy these days. If this one shares the lineage of Icewind Dale you should probably die a lot if you expect to cruise through the game while remaining wilfully ignorant of its systems. I like a good narrative but a game like this should offer a challenge as well and many reviews don’t even mention difficulty, making you suspect they knock it down to easy to clear the game as quickly as possible for the deadline. Resulting review is about as useful as a phone review that stubbornly refuses to test battery life.

  20. Morcane says:

    This and Bloodborne in the same week….urgh.

  21. Flea says:

    I want to play this now.

  22. Enkinan says:

    I’ve been trying so hard to not get super hyped and buy this but I just can’t do it anymore. I know I have a bunch of games to finish on top of a bunch of out of town trips, but fuck it, I’m purchasing right now. Bye weekend!

    Is it just me or doesn’t it seem strange to release on a Thursday and not Tuesday?

    • welverin says:

      Well, for out European friends, it’s weird that it’s coming out a day early.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      Thursday is the new Tuesday, much to the chagrin of Wednesday, who claims that it was next in the line of ascension. Meanwhile, Friday angrily denounced rumors that it had agreed to a swap with Monday, while Monday simply winked and refused to comment.

      Saturday and Sunday could not be reached, because they don’t work on the weekend.

    • LazyWizard says:

      Not releasing it on Tuesday was a huge missed opportunity. The hashtag Obsidian was spamming on social media up until a week ago would have worked far better as #YouMustGatherYourPartyBeforeMarch24.

  23. ffordesoon says:

    I confess to being a little apprehensive when I learned you were on the review for this, John. Not that I have any problem with you reviewing a game, but as someone who is heavily invested (literally and figuratively) in this game’s success, I found the idea of RPS’s resident terrible healer reviewing the game somewhat worrying. Irrational, I know – one unfavorable review rarely buries a game, especially these days. But I was worried nevertheless.

    That you’re apparently enjoying it a great deal is heartening in the extreme. I hope I enjoy it as much as you, if not more! Gosh, I’m excited!

  24. Josh W says:

    Well that looks reassuringly great. Looks like there’s a huge amount of D&D in there, but different editions of it, in quite a nice way: Cooldowns instead of speed factors or baldur’s gate style hidden action times, encounter based health to allow more flexible pacing, encounter based powers to encourage timing without encouraging too much hoarding. The gods look interesting, as does the depth with which it expects you to define your character’s background. Also the stash reminds me of my attempts to cheat the holding mechanism in baldurs gate by manipulating the dropped items menu because I wanted all those ankheg shells!

    • welverin says:

      I don’t feel BG had hidden action times, it used D&D rules that work on a turn based system. It just ran continuously, if you really wanted to know when a new spell/ability could be used, you could just set it to auto pause at the endstart of the round

      • InternetBatman says:

        BG absolutely had hidden action times, it just had standard recovery times to maintain the turn-based fiction. Inside each “turn” players could perform multiple attacks, movements, and a single spell with different casting times (that made no sense from the description).

  25. Farsearcher says:


    I backed this 2 years ago on Kickstarter. Hopefully my super duper special edition will arrive soon.

    I’m currently crouched in front of the letterbox ready to strike viper like as soon as it arrives. It shall not even touch the floor.

  26. teije says:

    I refuse to get excited. I will not gush. Will not. Will not. Must be strong and objective.

  27. Deano2099 says:

    Is it just me that feels (somewhat irrationally) narked that those of us who actually paid for the game to get made via Kickstarter, don’t get to play until after reviewers, who put nothing in? I realize it makes business sense, but from my perspective, were I running a Kickstarter, I’d at least see that as something of an issue/question, and likely go the other way.

    And normally with something like this that bothers me a tad it means that somewhere else hundreds of people are going crazy and shouting at developers and all that over the injustice…

    • Sakai says:

      Why on earth would you expect this? I don’t understand why some people think that because it was kickstarted then it should cost like 10$, or that you can play it even before journalists get it… Or something else. It doesn’t work like that, and frankly i don’t see why it should.

    • Emeraude says:

      You know, honestly, I have no issue with this. Same as I have no issue with the idea that people that did not back the Kickstarter got to play in the Beta version before me (even if they did pay, which in itself is a ridiculous idea to me, but oh, well…).
      I was promised a game, and a game I’m being given. People that are part of the delivery process, beta testers, people in the marketing side of things – which is what reviewers are – got to play it before me because, well, they *are* part of the delivery process. And they’re not even plying the final build, only the closest they could be given for testing purpose.

      I don’t see how/why anyone should feel vindicated in any way by that personally. To me it’s like feeling vindicated by the fact that people in QA played the game before you.

    • ffordesoon says:

      You are correct! There is a big ol’ thread on the Obsidian forums right now where the devs are being shouted at for this very reason!

      Me, I don’t mind. I mean, I’d obviously like to play the game now, but I want it to do well, and reviews that aren’t written by people who want to die because they’ve just marathonned (sp?) a game clearly meant to be savored over a month or two are a part of making sure it does well. Yes, in a better world, we’d get it as soon as the reviewers got it, but in this world, there are Very Good Reasons not to do that.

      P.S. I dropped a grand on this thing. I say this not to brag, but to make a point: if I can wait, you can wait. :)

      • Emeraude says:

        Made me check, Haven’t been following the forums since the Kickstarter ended because I tried to remain hands off with this project… but damn, this is kinda depressing, all the negativity there, at first glance. And I’m not just talking about that particular thread.

        • InternetBatman says:

          It’s a huge pile of negativity over there led by the supreme asshole of “it’s not exactly like the Infinity Engine,” sensuki. Everything from wizards not being all-powerful, to area looting, to little combat exp, to no prebuffs, to an engagement system is fodder for frequent and vitriolic bitching of the highest degree. Then when you ask people how they feel about the game, most say “pretty good.” I do wish they had eventually let all backers use the beta so that average fans could counter loud voices with deep pockets.

          The one thing that rankles is that they did give some of the worst commenters streamer codes.

          • ffordesoon says:

            To be fair, Sensuki’s done a lot for the game. He is definitely, ahem, of the Codex, but he has at least contributed a lot of good ideas and gotten the word out about the game.

          • Cinek says:

            “supreme asshole of “it’s not exactly like the Infinity Engine,” sensuki. ” – oh yea, that guy. The guy that kills every idea of improving game UI, combat or… well… doing anything with the game that doesn’t fit his “vision”. And he seems to spend entire days on a forum, always carefully patrolling every content that appears that. Seriously, that guy is some kind of flipping no-life troll. I don’t even bother posting on a forum seeing how some great suggestions people made were mindlessly bashed by Sensuki and his close followers. I’ll just wait till the game is released and play it on my own, away from that dickhead.

          • Okami says:

            Oh my god. That guy. I backed the game and didn’t really follow it’s development closely, but even so I did stumble upon his youtube channel. He’s got dozens of videos, each one 30 to 90 minutes long where he explains what’s wrong with the game.

            He reminded me of the time when I was still new in the games industry and actually read the forums of the games we were working on. Oh my god. Those people. RPG “fans” were the worst. They would dissect every piece of information they got, decry it as being “dumbing down for the mass market” (which, considering the games we are talking about, was just purely idiotic) and writing long and drawn out forum posts about what we needed to change.

            Apart from the fact that most of these ideas were absolutely impractical in a video game, not thought through very well or would just cost a fortune to implement with very little actual gain, very many of the pieces written by the most vocal fans also just dripped with arrogance. How could the developers be so stupid to do things the way they’re doing them? I theses people were feeling generous, they’d say that we probably had to do things these ways, because we were ordered to do so by the evil publishers and pr departments who wanted to dumb everything down for the mass market.

            We usually ignored these people and over the years I’ve learned to stay away from the forums of games I’m working on.

            (That’s not to say that I don’t value input from fans and players and I actually go out of my way to gather as much data and feedback on my current projects as I can get. I’ve just added the sensukis of this world to my internal block list)

        • ffordesoon says:

          An RPG forum without negativity would be like an RPG where player skill is more important than character skill: perfectly fine until people from the other RPG forums showed up to explain why it’s evil.

    • teije says:

      The way I look at it (having backed this) is the more good press the game gets upfront because of being released for review, the more sales it can get, and thus the more patches/expansions/DLCs/future RPGs we will see for Eternity. So this is all good. I’m not planning to play it for 3 months in any case, let the bugs shake out a bit.

  28. fdisk says:

    I have not been as happy about a game I backed as I am about this one right now. Thursday can’t get here soon enough. I wish I could have taken time off work for this one! :(

  29. MattMk1 says:

    Aw, really? Now it it actually turns out that the game is any GOOD, something which I have wondered about in light of the lack of any early reviews, I may have to reconsider my cordial dislike of John Walker. I’m so conflicted.

    • MattMk1 says:

      On the other hand, if I pre-load now, and it doesn’t meet my expectations, my hate will come burn with the heat of a thousand road-flares. So win-win, I guess?

  30. Monggerel says:

    I know basically nothing of the game but I sure like that title. Reminds me of Ozymandias a bit. Or any number of authors who think meaning is meaningful.

  31. Zenicetus says:

    This looks great, especially the way they’re handling the UI elements. But I do have one concern based on this video. I remember a big problem in one of the earlier top-down RPG’s — I think it was Neverwinter Nights 2? — was that ranged characters like archers were almost useless in a party, due to the very small fog of war and enemy discovery range.

    By the time you saw an enemy, you were right on top of them, so ranged characters other than wizards just weren’t tactically interesting. Wizards, of course, are always megadeath dealers by the time you level them up for AOE spells. But for an archer-type to be useful, they need range, and not just being dumped into combat at short range.

    The detection range on that first combat with the wolf just seems really close. Maybe it’s because it’s at night? Does it loosen up in the daylight? I’ll probably get this anyway, but it may shift my “normal” party a bit away from an archer in the party.

    • pepperfez says:

      Neverwinter Nights is a totally different beast from the Infinity Engine games PoE is modeled after. In those, archers were typically somewhere between “really good” and “game-breakingly dominant,” so history is on your side.

    • Sonntam says:

      Due to engagement mechanic (once characters are locked in melee combat with enemies, normally neither will move) rangers should be safe even at somewhat close range. Ranged weapons are pretty strong, so it’s actually even a good idea to equip for example a rogue with a ranged weapon and not let them run into the fray with daggers in each hand.

    • Zallgrin says:

      Re: detection range.

      There is an option in the menus to auto-pause as soon as you spot an enemy. It prevents running head-front into a pack of enemies and allows the archers to land the first hit.

      Anyway, as others have said, the Disengagement mechanic sorta locks enemies onto one target, therefore if your fighter quickly engages them, then the archer is safe from any attacks.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Thanks everyone, for allaying my fears about archery. For some reason I have an inordinate love of archers in games like this, even if I never play one as a main character. It just doesn’t feel right not to have one in the party, so it’s good to hear that they’re useful.

  32. Harlander says:

    I need to wait for the reviews on this, after basically dropping both Original Sin and Wasteland 2 because they just descended into what felt like grinding tedium.

    Though I guess a review won’t be able to say “Harlander, you don’t like this kind of game any more”

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m a little worried about this too, because I also bailed out of Divinity OS about halfway through. It was a combination of repetitive battles and non-inspired writing. I just couldn’t get invested in the story.

      Assuming the writing is good in this one, it will probably still require some effort to role-play the person I was when I first saw games like Baldur’s Gate years ago, and try to become that person again. The mechanics look smooth enough, and I think I remember most of the D&D basics. So it will all depend on the story being good and the characters interesting.

  33. kael13 says:

    John. Have you acquired a new voice recently? I like this one.

  34. cpt_freakout says:

    I have a weird question that needs urgent answering because I’m terribly, terribly hyped: is there friendly fire? Please tell me there is friendly fire and that I can burn my friends with conveniently placed fireballs.

    • Cinek says:

      Yes, you can. From what I recall not all of the abilities can be used to attack friendlies, but fireball can :)

  35. derbefrier says:

    Will be buying the GOG version on payday and will spend the whole weekend on it.

  36. Fnord73 says:

    It looks like goodness. Lets hope they keep the complexity in the plot and its not a railroad.

  37. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’m sold on the character creation screen alone, can’t tell if John likes it or not though.

  38. thomas96 says:

    Strange, I feel like there was some kind of hidden messaging, subtly written. Oh well guess I’m imagining things.

  39. Craxel says:

    This comment section is getting FAR too text-heavy in here. I want it fully voice-acted!

    To KickStarter(tm)!

  40. wodin says:

    Trying to remember the name of a RPG that was isometric but had some sort of unique sword\combat mechanic that was talked about a year or two ago…anyone help?