Exploring the Possibilities of a New Pillars of Eternity RPG

Obsidian Entertainment’s design director, Josh Sawyer, recently discussed his enthusiasm for creating a new Pillars of Eternity RPG, provided he receives a budget equivalent to that of Baldur’s Gate 3. In an interview with TouchArcade, Sawyer expressed his desire to build upon the combat system of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and implement a “scripted 3D camera” that simplifies the process of exploring the world and navigating the game’s interface.

Pillars of Eternity III: High Production Value and Turn-Based Combat

Josh Sawyer shared his excitement for the idea of developing a high production value party-based fantasy RPG like Pillars of Eternity III, given the appropriate resources. While he acknowledged his satisfaction with the previous installments, he suggested that a non-crowdfunded Pillars of Eternity III would likely be turn-based. Sawyer praised the turn-based combat system in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, acknowledging the work of Nick Carver and Brian MacIntosh. He expressed the potential for a more tactical and strategic combat experience with turn-based mechanics, allowing for fewer and smaller encounters, while maintaining stunning cinematics and high production value.

Sawyer elaborated on his preference for turn-based combat, particularly in complex RPGs. He argued that turn-based systems allow for the design of intricate combat encounters, which cater to players who enjoy statistical depth. He highlighted the feedback received from players of Deadfire, stating that they gained a clearer understanding of certain game mechanics, such as the affliction and inspiration systems, when playing in turn-based mode. Sawyer also noted that systems like penetration became more comprehensible in the turn-based format. He ultimately concluded that turn-based combat enhances clarity and facilitates the implementation of complex systems in a RPG.

Discussing camera design, Sawyer expressed his reservations about a fully manual camera like that found in Baldur’s Gate 3. Instead, he proposed a scripted 3D camera that would provide a specific perspective for the player. This approach would allow for a more controlled and deliberate experience while navigating the game world. Sawyer mentioned that he encountered difficulties with the interface and camera management in Baldur’s Gate 3, which influenced his preference for a scripted camera in Pillars of Eternity III. He emphasized the importance of designing a simple and intuitive interface, particularly in a game with high complexity. Sawyer highlighted their success with the interface in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, where they strived to streamline the player’s interactions, allowing the focus to remain on the mental challenges presented by the game rather than getting bogged down by the physical aspects of the interface.

Future Prospects for Pillars of Eternity

While Josh Sawyer’s enthusiasm for a new Pillars of Eternity RPG is evident, Obsidian Entertainment’s current projects include the highly anticipated Avowed, a single-player RPG that began as a co-op experience. This Skyrim-esque game promises to deliver an immersive and engaging roleplaying adventure within a captivating world. As of now, the future of Pillars of Eternity III remains uncertain, but fans of the series can hope that with the necessary resources and an opportunity to explore turn-based combat and a scripted 3D camera, a new installment may grace their screens in the future.

The prospect of a new Pillars of Eternity RPG with a budget comparable to Baldur’s Gate 3 has ignited Josh Sawyer’s creativity and ambition. His vision for Pillars of Eternity III includes a high production value, turn-based combat system, and a scripted 3D camera to enhance the player’s experience. While the future of the series remains uncertain, fans can anticipate the release of Avowed, Obsidian Entertainment’s current RPG project that promises to captivate players with its immersive world and compelling gameplay.

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