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Beat Pillars of Eternity 2's new challenge and Obsidian will hang your name on its wall

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The one year anniversary of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire recently sailed past, and to mark the big birthday Obsidian released a big patch that takes the game to version 5.0. It includes a new, "more elegant" ship interface, fleshes out the story with additional voice acting, brings the turn-based combat mode out of beta, and makes the usual array of bug fixes and gameplay adjustments. 

But what's really interesting is The Ultimate, "the final God Challenge," that makes the game as difficult to play as possible. It turns on all other God Challenges, which make the game more difficult in various specific, sometimes weird ways—Magran's Challenge disables pausing or time dilation, for instance, while Hylea's Challenge requires that Vela follow the Watcher and be kept alive—and also forces Solo mode (no party members), Path of the Damned (the highest difficulty mode, cannot be switched off once selected), and Trial of Iron (only one savegame that's auto-deleted on death).

Basically, it's impossible and you're not going to finish it, which is why Obsidian is offering a couple of unique rewards for those who do. The first 50 players who can beat the mode will be mailed embroidered "I Beat the Ultimate" patches emblazoned with the smiling face of game director Josh Sawyer; the first 12 to do it will have their names, character names, class, and level engraved on a plaque that will hang in the Obsidian offices forever

Naturally, you'll have to provide proof of your accomplishment, including "full video evidence" and the save file with the challenge completed. Console commands that don't use the "iroll20s" command are allowed, but cheating, third-party tools, save-scumming, "and/or doing anything in a manner contrary to the spirit of the challenge," is most definitely not. You should also try not to be a jerk, because that'll take you out of the running too.

The 5.0 update will be the final patch for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, and it will also likely mark a new direction for Sawyer: He said in March that after nearly 20 years in the industry and six on the Pillars of Eternity games, he wants to take a break and "work on something else, not as a director," for awhile.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.