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Pillars of Eternity: Josh Sawyer talks mods, PC-first focus, Big Head mode, and more

Hayden Dingman | Feb. 23, 2015
Pillars of Eternity is about a month away from release, so with the game mostly finished I got the chance to sit down for one last, lengthy chat with Obsidian's Josh Sawyer to talk expansion plans, sequel rumors, why PCs are amazing, fast/slow mode, Big Head Mode, Gothic castles, and why Might affects the damage inflicted by a pistol.

There's nothing I would say "Don't play this if you're a beginner" because when you start out you're only managing your own, single character. I think we progress in a way where it's pretty easy to manage. But I will say that rogues and monks tend to be, of the melee classes, much more active. And especially rogues are much more fragile, and can get screwed up very fast.

On stats

JS: We really put a lot of effort into our stat spread. We've tweaked and tweaked and retweaked this over time. For instance, the Might score increases damage and healing for everything. You might say, "Dude, why should Might affect the damage of my pistol?" and I say, "Shut the $#&^#& up." The point is that it's good for any class that wants to focus on that.

Intellect increases the area of effect and duration of any ability you use. You don't need to be a wizard or anything like that.

It's not a perfect 1-to-1 where you can build whatever you want and there's no trade-off, but if you want to build an idiot muscle-wizard, which is very important to me, you can. If you want to build a brilliant fighter, that's also a very viable character. If you have an idea for a cool character we don't want to say "No, that's unrealistic." We want to say "What's a way we can support that and make it fun?"

We only have five non-combat skills in the game. We did that because we wanted to make sure each skill got a lot of use, regardless of who had the skill. Aloth is very focused in Lore. Lore is great in conversations for your main character but it's also what's used for reading scrolls. Yes, you can make a fighter that just reads scrolls all day long. It's not a restricted skill. Nothing is a restricted skill. You do not need to have a rogue if you want to disarm traps or be stealthy. They're better at it! But it's not a requirement.

Let's say you wind up with six characters that have the Mechanics skill jacked up. Because you're &%^#%ing crazy. You jack them all up. Every character can plant one trap at a time, and the Mechanics skill will increase the accuracy and the power of that trap. So if you want to make the trap-laying party? You can jack everyone's Mechanics and go out and place all that.

If you jack everyone's Lore skill, they can all use scrolls. If you jack everyone's Survival skills, all potions will last longer and all food items will last longer. We tried to make sure every skill has some usefulness if you have some overlap or redundancy. It's frustrating to build a character and then someone joins the party that has the same skillset and you're like "Well, thanks dude. That's useless."

 

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