Update #70: New Year Project Update

Discussion in 'News Comments' started by Dark Elf, Jan 15, 2014.

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  1. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Update by Brandon Adler, Producer
     
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    Hello, everyone.  Like everyone here at Obsidian, I hope you had a great holiday season and were able to gorge on lots of treats and good food. This week I am going to go over a bit about the new Backer Portal (please log in if you haven't already), give a general update about where we are in our production, and show off some of the cool things that are happening in the game. In our next update we will be taking a more detailed look at some of the classes in Eternity.
     
    Backer Info
    Just a reminder to all of our backers, if you have not done so already, please head to the Backer Portaland complete your order. All backers need to go through the process so they can receive their rewards - even those that only have digital goods.
     
    To start the process, click on "Manage My Pledge Now" and click on the "Select Reward" button on the pledge management screen. From here, you may select the tier you backed (or upgrade to a new tier), select additional add-ons, fill out any shipping information, and file your surveys.
     
    Also, please make sure you fill out your surveys as soon as you can. If you have an NPC, item, inn, or portrait the sooner you get the information to us, the sooner we can make sure it gets into the game.
     
    If you are having any issues, e-mail us at support@obsidian.net and we'll help you out quickly.
     
    Areas
    As most of you know, we finished up Od Nua (our mega-dungeon) in our last milestone. I have to say, I think it looks pretty amazing. Currently, the area team is working on our second big city, Twin Elms, and it is looking just as good. Here, take a look for yourself.
     
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    Ancient Engwithan ruins near Twin Elms.

     
    Without getting into too much detail, the Area Designers are fleshing out the end of the game right now and everything is really coming together. The area in the screenshot above looks like the perfect place for a big fight, huh?
     
    Characters
    Our character team has been cranking out new creatures and equipment.
     
    We are almost completely through all of our A priority creatures. Soon we will be working on our B priority creatures and lots of equipment variations.
    One of the creatures that was just finished to Alpha quality is the Cean Gŵla. These banshee-like undead are the spirits of women who died under particularly tragic or traumatic circumstances.
     
    Take a look at the comparison images below.
     
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    In-engine and concept comparison of the Cean Gŵla.

     
    UI
    Most of our UI has either been implemented or mocked up to an Alpha level. The interface that we would like to show you today is the character sheet, which shows character and party information. You can find lots of useful info on the sheet including various party statistics, your reputations with Eternity factions, and character stats.
     
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    The character sheet has many useful player and party statistics.

     
    Features
    Features have been going into the game pretty regularly.
     
    We just recently moved to Unity 4.3 and, while this might not seem like a big deal, 4.3 has ushered in some long awaited features. Animation annotations, for example, were added to Unity. We can now call sound effects based on specific frames of animation. This makes things like footsteps possible.
     
    A majority of our spells and abilities are in-game and usable. Josh has started auditing them and requesting changes for gameplay balance purposes. Tim has been quite busy with all of the small edits.
     
    Strangely, one of our more minor features has gotten me the most excited. Just recently we have gotten the ability to set custom party formations and I am having a blast testing it out.
     
    Concepts
    Have you been wondering what some of the Pillars of Eternity gods look like? Wonder no more.
     
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    Representations of the gods Galawain and Woedica.

     
    Above you will see the representations of Galawain and Woedica, gods in the Eternity pantheon.
     
    Woedica is known by many names including "The Exiled Queen," "The Burned Queen," "Oathbinder," and "The Strangler." Her domains include law, justice, oaths and promises, (rightful) rulership, hierarchies, memory, and vengeance.
     
    Priestesses of the Exiled Queen serve as lawyers and judges in towns and urban centers, and the most prominent among them are advisers to kings and lords. They are of particular importance in the Empire of Aedyr, where by tradition, business contracts always require their endorsement. Her devotees are typically found in the upper classes, but any conservative person who longs for a vanished past will find a place in her faith. “When Woedica takes back her throne” is a common saying amongst her followers, signifying a utopian future when society will be properly ordered once again, and she will take her rightful place as ruler of the gods.
     
    Galawain is patron of the hunt in all its forms, and he is honored by those whose occupations are concerned with pursuit and discovery. His faithful include frontiersmen, constables, treasure-seekers, explorers, and even scholars, many of whom wear his carved symbol – a dog’s head – around their wrist or neck. He is also protector of wild places and untamed wilderness, where the hunt manifests in its purest form as a daily struggle for survival.
     
    That's it for this update. Make sure you head over to our forumsto let us know what you think of anything you see here.
     
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    This finally prompted me to fill in the backer survey; I'd been putting it off as I was unsure whether or not they'd want you to specify whether you wanted a mac or windows version - fortunately they didn't. The game looks really stunning now - in some ways the pretty and intricate looking UI has me more excited than the trailer did.

    I also like how the gods are broad-based in terms of worshipers, i.e. the god of the hunt encompasses metaphorical and physical hunting, so he can also be the patron for scholars and the like. Makes a nice change of pace to the Daedra in TES, who seem to have much smaller and more focussed spheres of influence.
     
  3. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    That environment looks fantastic. Hopefully every area looks as polished.
     
  4. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    The environments give me the same vibes ToEE did; for all its shortcomings I'll always remember the first few hours spent in Hommlet. Atmospheric as all hell.

    Moreover, I find the alignment system enticing. Nothing like the binary alignment meter in Arcanum or the often rather limiting alignment system of D&D. Reputations is where it's at.
     
  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Re:

    I've been thinking about this, and I think an RPG with a really solid reputation system and no alignment system will be great. I'm playing FO:NV currently and whilst the reputation system is great (which makes me think they'll make a good job of the PoE one too) the alignment system is pretty rubbish; for example I've stealthily killed around 100 NCR soldiers just so I can get their dog tags and curry favour with the Legion - which incurred no loss of alignment/karma - but if I'd actually stolen those dog tags instead I would lose alignment. I also dislike how people react to your alignment, as in real life if you met a charming killer you'd have no idea there was something inherently wrong with him.

    A system running purely on reputations seems like the perfect counter point, as it allows culturally specific ethics (as opposed to almost purely Christian values of right and wrong with conventional alignment) to play a a much bigger role. For example, maybe if one of the communities in PoE is tribal then they may not have a problem with you murdering someone in the street who has overtly wronged you as they think that's just - but in a civilised society you couldn't get away with that. I think not having an alignment system and being governed solely by how you felt your character would react to situations was a big plus of Skyrim, it's just a shame they didn't have a reputation system to back it up (letting you kill hoards of guards and then alleviating your criminality by paying a simple fine is a good example of something that should not be allowed to happen without any other consequences).
     
  6. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    I also wonder what the general reputations will bring. People will apparently expect you to be surly and zealous and whatever, no doubt dependent on how you conduct yourself in social situations. Might have an effect on what dialogue options are available to you. One thing I liked about VtMB was how having a low humanity made your dialogue options nastier.
     
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