Pillars of Eternity is now available to backers who pledged $110 or more way back when the RPG was still collecting crowdfunding.
Pillars of Eternity’s early access beta has kicked off, and is available through Steam on PC only; the final game will be available on Linux and Mac, and beta builds are expected in the next few weeks.
If you’re worried about spoiling the final game, don’t be; Obsidian deliberately ensured the beta wouldn’t contain any content connected to the main story of Pillars of Eternity, even crafting generic placeholder party members rather than the real characters you’ll eventually meet.
The beta build is that same one shown at gamescom last week, but will be added to over the course of the test. At present, it includes the village of Dyrford and surrounding wilderness and dungeons.
There are five difficulty settings and various options available, and players being by building a level one character, choosing from all the races, subraces, classes cultures and backgrounds available in the final game.
Players will begin with enough XP to advance to level five, and quests in the beta have inflated XP so they can move up to level eight.
The following activities are available:
- Crafting and Enchanting – Crafting allows you to make consumables (food, potions, and scrolls). Enchanting allows you to modify weapons, armor, and shields. Even unique items can have additional effects added.
- Hiring Adventurers – If you speak with Dengler at the Dracogen Inn, you can ask to hire adventurers, allowing you to make additional party members.
- Camping Supplies and Inns – Pillars of Eternity primarily uses a resource-based rest system. While “in the field”, you can rest using a limited number of Camping Supplies (the number in the corner of the campfire icon near the center/bottom of the main HUD). The number of supplies you can carry is limited by your level of difficulty. However, you may also choose to rest at the Dracogen Inn. Resting in the stables is cheap but provides no additional benefit. The more expensive rooms provide the party with long-term benefits in the form of buffs.
The beta does not contain any stronghold mechanics or content past level eight.
There’s a big list of known issues which you should peruse first, but Obsidian is relying on backers to provide feedback in order to help make the game as good as it can be.
The developer has politely requested “decorum” in delivering this feedback, acknowledging that “as backers who have elected to participate in the Backer Beta, you are almost assuredly among the most passionate and detail-oriented people who will eventually play Pillars of Eternity”, which is a very kind way of putting it.
For those wanting to chip in, Obsidian has provided a list of specific questions it wants answered; head on over to the Kickstarter page for more details.
If you don’t have access to the beta, no worries – there’s no NDA, so expect videos, images and criticism to filter out soon.