Hope Springs: Pillars Of Eternity Expansion Out This Month

A few months ago, Obsidian Entertainment teased out a total non-release date for its first expansion to the RPG Pillars of Eternity [official site]. With only a “Coming Soon” label tagged on to the end of its announcement trailer in June, things have been fairly quiet in the time since. Until now, anyhow. The White March – Part I will be coming out on August 25th, the team announced at Gamescom this week. As we mentioned before, it’s bringing with it a level cap increase, new companions and abilities, new areas to explore, and a new storyline.

You can watch those bullet points in CGI trailer form below. The base game is apparently quite good, says RPS’ Premier Jaded Northerner Adam Smith. He describes Pillars as an “open-character” rather than open-world RPG, which sounds fascinating. Here’s what he says about it:

“Pillars of Eternity is a free-form game. It’s heavily scripted of course, as much about story as RPG systems (and story IS, perhaps, the ultimate RPG system), but it offers a model of “open” gaming that runs against the trend of open world adventuring. There’s plenty to do in Obsidian’s latest and you’re likely to end up with a sizable log of ongoing quests, but the emphasis is always on your approach to those tasks and side stories rather than the sheer quantity of them.

“It’s an open character game rather than an open world game, and where the structure of many modern RPGs might ask ‘Which of the 5,000 available quests do you want to tackle next?’, Pillars is usually asking a more ambitious follow-up question: ‘How do you want to tackle it?'”

22 Comments

  1. Zallgrin says:

    With Shadowrun: Hong Kong and Pillars of Eternity coming out almost at the same time, I foresee a very enjoyable and busy end of August. Fun fun fun!

    • Lars Westergren says:

      AND the director’s cut (or whatever they are calling them) versions of Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin. Plus Age of Decadence, 11 years in the making and something I think will be fantastic for the fans of the classic Fallouts, or choice & consequence in general.

  2. geisler says:

    Their partnership with Paradox Interactive sure is a thing of beauty. Can’t wait for the DLC after this; Nostalgia Riding Sheep Herders Chapter 3 Part 1 Act 1. I’ve pre ordered it already.

  3. nofare says:

    Looking forward to it.

    So the raised level cap thingy suggests we can use our old characters, if you’ve kept the save files?

    • Zallgrin says:

      The expansion takes basically in the middle of the game and therefore yes, one can use the old save files.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I have a save file right before the jump into the final “no return from here” part of the game.

        But how is that going to work with this DLC, if it’s aimed at character levels in the middle of the game? Won’t the party be way overpowered for the content? Or is it auto-scaling?

        • Sonntam says:

          You can turn on auto-scaling for the expansion, so don’t worry about it.

  4. Arehandoro says:

    I thought was going to be out in October for some reason. Cool!

  5. anHorse says:

    Might try and drag myself to finish it.

    Totally lost interest when the patches began wholesale nerfing my characters IN A SINGLE PLAYER GAME, I ended up being massively punished for simply being effective with my class and level up choices

    • Cinek says:

      I’m laughing hard every time someone says or implies that single player games don’t need balancing or nerfing to the overpowered items/weapons/classes.

      • anHorse says:

        You can balance a game fine with patches but applying balance changes to existing saves is silly

        There’s a reason almost all multiplayer games let you respec once big balance changes have been made

        • Vayra says:

          Oh come on, every player was exploiting the ridiculously powerful Cypher as the protagonist, let’s just be honest to one another.

          It was detrimental to the game, even when it is just a single player experience. It is NOT a bonus that you have one class that is incredibly effective and makes all other classes pale in comparison. It destroys the idea of choice and freedom in character development unless you like your games unnecessarily hard.

          Balance is important, always. Get over it.

  6. spacedyemeerkat says:

    I suddenly lost interest in the game when I reached the first big town, possibly because I found the preceding fight so outrageously tough, even when I dropped the difficulty down to the lowest level. It wasn’t even as if I’d rushed to that point: I’d literally done every available quest to that point.

    Perhaps it’s time I went back (not least because I feel I owe it to myself as a backer).

    • TuckingFypo says:

      Dont be disheartened! Some fights (like the bears and wolves at the start) are almost impossible, you can just return later once you have a couple of companions from the first village. There are a few occassions when you will stumble into a fight you cant win, just come back later.

      • spacedyemeerkat says:

        I was okay with the wolves and went back to kill the bear later. The fight I personally had real issues with (with a full party, no less) was Raedric, although I’ve just read it was an optional quest.

        • Skull says:

          Raedric is a hard side quest at the start. I ended up facing him with 4 party members and would just get swarmed by his guards every single time. I came back to it last night with a full party at level 5 and it wasn’t really a problem at all. In fact, I have a feeling a full party makes most of the game rather easy to get through. Can’t wait for the expansion!

          • spacedyemeerkat says:

            Ah, that’s interesting. Just checked what level my characters are – they’re all level 4 so it’s possible some would have been level 3 when confronting Raedric.

          • Vayra says:

            Haha, yeah until you run a full low-level party into the famous Lighthouse and get utterly raped.

            Pillars of Eternity demands you tip-toe carefully around tough encounters unless you are very certain you can win.

        • Zenicetus says:

          The Raedric fight is one of the few bad quest designs in PoE, because you can hit it way too early. There is no level-gating, and you’ll waste some time getting to the point where you find out that you’re not ready for it. It’s also one of those “gotcha” battles that forces you into a terrible tactical position after a dialogue cutscene.

          For anyone still having trouble with it, just load a prior save and come back when you have more party members. Or do what I did — avoid the cutscene (which does block one of the quest results), and cheese the flight with kiting and door-blocking, just outside the throne room.

          • Henas says:

            The Temple of Woedica has another one of those ‘gotcha’ type battles at the end (might have been avoidable perhaps).

            Took me a number of tries to get passed it.

            Unfortunately I haven’t played much after patch altered some game balance (needed but I would need to respec my character) and couldn’t be bothered replaying the preceding hours again.

  7. csbear says:

    Same here.. about level 5 with a full party and it actually was pretty easy. It was very difficult before that point as I recall. I find that pausing combat frequently and quickly while casting spells in rapid succession really gets me through most fights without issue. So far, I am now finding most fights to be easy to moderate difficulty, so I may raise the difficulty level. And honestly, I plain suck at combat of any form in video games ;)

    I am really enjoying the game and understand that some feel that PoE is not as “indie” as it should be, but the art work and immersion has grasped me. Now maybe one day they will make an HD Planescape Torment with PoE graphics…

  8. silentdan says:

    I played through PoE three times. I absolutely adore that game. I’ll be picking up the expansion on launch day. Yes, the Ciphers are OP, but that’s pretty easy for me to forgive.