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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 is not a complete pacifist route through the game. We do try to have lots of options for either talking your way through or sneaking your way through. But it's not like Fallout. Tactical combat is a core part of the game, like we said from the beginning. Making it so there's a big emphasis on not fighting seemed contrary to the roots we're trying to emulate.

It can be a great reward for the type of character you're trying to build though, so we do try to have some of that. And a pretty large amount of it, actually.

On enchanting

JS: We can enchant any piece of armor. You can enchant unique items you find. You can enchant regular clothing. A lot of people want to be able to continue upgrading their items throughout the game, so our enchantment system actually allows you to keep going.

You can add attribute bonuses, proofing (which is a defense against a certain type of damage). All of this is designed so unique items stay unique, but if you want to just extend their basic power, they can keep up. If you find your favorite sword, or "This armor has such a cool history and appearance but it's terrible now," you can use the crafting system to keep upgrading it.

Each mod has a certain cost to it and you can only have so many on any piece.

On difficulty

JS: Different difficulty levels, what we do is actually change the composition of fights. Instead of just scaling stats, which is kind of boring, we say "Now when you come in here the creatures are moved around and there are different creatures present." That's true of the whole game.

On adventuring

JS: This is another scripted interaction where you can take grappling hooks and ropes and a lot of other traditional adventuring items...

[Ten foot pole?]

JS: Everyone keeps asking! Early on there was a ten-foot pole. After a while we were like "Hey designers, where are you using all the adventuring items?" And we went through it and we were like "Nobody's using the ten-foot pole."

[Because nobody ever uses the ten-foot pole! That's the whole joke!]

JS: So we cut the ten-foot pole. Because it wasn't being used.

[Can players mod back in the ten-foot pole?]

JS: I'm sure they will.

On mods

JS: We don't have a lot of [mod] tools. We've tried to be very open with how our files are structured and how our file formats work. People have already been making mods in our backer forums and stuff like that, especially UI mods because holy ^$&^&#% everyone has a different opinion on how the UI should look. So people have done a lot of really cool mod work already. As much as we can support mods, we want to, but it is Unity so some aspects of it are black-boxed.


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