The main reason I stopped playing Pillars of Eternity is because I’d need a month-long holiday to make meaningful progress through it, but though I liked it, a host of minor annoyances played their part too. Retro-for-retro’s sake UI, a conscious aversion to brevity which I felt sometimes undermined rather than supported its world-building, overly micro-managey combat, and most of all, janky stealth. I always play a rogue if I can, mostly because I’m a kleptomaniac in RPGs, but in Pillars stealthing one person involved stealthing the whole party, whether or not they were any good at stealth. It looked silly, it got fiddly, it wasn’t very effective in combat and it felt wrong.
Fortunately, stealth is one of several areas of Obsidian’s RPG which is due for an overhaul in the upcoming 2.0 patch, which adds some of the White March expansion pack‘s features to the core game.
Also being rethunk is tweakable party AI behaviour, with the aim of reducing micro-management (without actually taking away the option for micro-management for those who want it), ranged attack display and X-COM-style accuracy readouts. Stealth, meanwhile, now entails selecting which party members go all hidey, rather than everyone dropping into a crouch at once, and everyone getting pulled out of stealth if one member is spotted. As well as making robbery easier, this should also make mid-combat invisi-backstabs and whatnot a whole lot more plausible.
Take a look:
You get this new stuff whether or not you buy The White March, just to be clear.