The game once called Project Eternity isn't taking an eternity to make. This is good news, because—as a Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale fan—I'm practically salivating at the prospect of playing Obsidian's upcoming RPG. For those who backed Pillars of Eternity at the $110 level, or who purchased the relevant add-on package, that prospect is now a reality. Congratulations, those people, I am suitably jealous.
"The content of the Backer Beta encapsulates the village of Dyrford and surrounding wilderness and dungeon environments," writes Josh Sawyer in the latest Kickstarter post . "You will begin by choosing basic difficulty settings (Easy, Normal, Hard, or Path of the Damned), optional modes (Expert and Trial or Iron), and building your character. In the Backer Beta, you have access to all character races and subraces, all classes, and all starting cultures and backgrounds.
"You build a character at 1st level, but you will start the game with enough experience to advance to 5th. While we have very few Talents in the Backer Beta, you should be able to get a very good idea of the core functionality of all eleven classes. It is extremely important to us that the fundamentals of each class feel solid before we implement more Talents or move Abilities around."
Here's the important bit: the demo has been designed so that nothing has a connection to the game's critical path. It's a small and, in some cases, temporary slice of the game, designed to elicit feedback and constructive criticism.
If you're a backer, you'll be able to redeem the beta through Steam—although Obsidian assure that this won't tie your final copy of the game to that platform. If you're not a backer, then at least find comfort in the knowledge that we're one day closer to release. And maybe watch our chat with Josh Sawyer , which comes complete with footage of the game.