Skip to main content

Josh Sawyer video explains Pillars of Eternity 2's multi-class characters

The Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire crowdfunding campaign on Fig is cruising right along, and now sits at nearly $2.1 million dollars on a $1.1 million goal, with 21 days remaining. In the latest backer update video (which you can watch even if you're not a backer), game director Josh Sawyer went into detail about how Obsidian is handling multiclass characters: What the term means, how it will work, and what sort of advantages and disadvantages those multi-talented types will bring to the party. 

Each character in Pillars of Eternity 2 will have the option of choosing a primary class and a sub-class, and will be able to advance and alternate between them at will. You can mix and match classes as you like, but two will be the limit: Sawyer said that it starts to get "muddy" once you start dealing with three or more classes for a single character.   

With the help of a whiteboard, he also explained how Obsidian aims to avoid the pitfalls that sometimes plague multi-class characters. Pillars 2 will use a system of class-based "power levels" and "power points" to determine a character's advancement, with the goal of giving them a consistent "power efficacy range" of about 75-85 percent of a comparable single-class character. A seventh-level fighter/mage, for instance, will have a power level of three in its primary class, compared to a power level of four for a level seven single-class fighter or mage. 

"We hope overall that this system is giving you a lot of very cool class build options. If you just want to make a character that you think is a cool concept, you're not going to get hamstrung or wind up with a dead-end, non-viable build," Sawyer said in the video. "And if you're a min-maxer, and you're already looking at this math, you very certainly can min-max the heck out of this. So we're hoping that it appeals to people that are a little more on the less-hardcore side, but also the min-maxers as well." 

The Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Fig campaign runs until February 24. 

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.