Pillars of Eternity 2 video highlights improved gameplay in a new, nautical world

Obsidian Entertainment shared a first look at its upcoming fantasy RPG Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire gameplay with IGN earlier this week at E3, showing off the new open-world map, random encounters, improved graphics technology, and of course the combat. 

Game director Josh Sawyer said the new setting in Pillars of Eternity 2 is "a little less traditional" than most RPGs and will put a greater emphasis on exploration via the sailing ship that will serve as your home base. Three companions from the first game—Edér, Aloth, and Pallegina—will return for the new adventure, and there will be four new NPCs to recruit as well. 

"Because this is a sequel we're trying to up the ante and make things a little more grand in scale," Sawyer says in the video. As the same time, "It should feel very familiar. We don't really want to make a radical departure from the first game. We really are just trying to ... improve every aspect." 

One interesting change is the inclusion of a level-scaling option for the full game. Sawyer said that a lot of "traditional players" don't like level scaling, but others prefer games that automatically adjust to maintain a steady level of challenge. "You can opt into that if you want to, but otherwise you're going to encounter it as you find it," he explained. "If you really like that traditional experience, you can stumble across something that's very, very difficult, and just get your butt kicked, and then come back later and overpower it."

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire doesn't yet have a release date, but is currently targeted for sometime in the first half of 2018. We had a little chat of our own with Sawyer and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart about what the studio has planned for the game in March, which you can and probably should dive into here