Pillars of Eternity 2's overhauled weather system will affect player status and NPC routines

Pillars of Eternity 2's runaway Fig campaign currently stands at over $3 million—well over two and half times its original $1.1 million ask. As such, it's roaring past its predetermined stretch goals at pace and hopes to hit its next target, sidekicks, before its funding period wraps up in four days time.

In any event, Pillars of Eternity 2 will definitely feature Companion Relationships, whereby characters react in certain ways to their allies' behaviours and traits; sprawling cities, such as lone metropolis Neketaka; and a sophisticated weather system that can dictate player status and activity. 

Speaking first to the latter, the game's lead programmer Adam Brennecke says the weather system has been designed from the ground up this time round. In conversation with MMORPG.com, he says: "In Pillars 1, we had a few areas with rain, but that was fairly limited to only a few outdoor areas because it was scripted. Our goal for the sequel is to make the world grounded and a real place by adding moving and dynamic elements with wind, rain, clouds, and storms that can change at any time. 

"When you first get to an area, it might start out as a sunny day, but as time progresses clouds will form, the sky will become overcast, and rain will start to fall. Wind will pick up—weather vanes, capes, torches, trees will move and react to the wind condition and direction. When it rains harder, townspeople can react. They may comment that it's raining, cover their head, and go indoors."

Brennecke continues: "Right now we have the ability to add status effects to characters during different weather conditions, and we've been experimenting with what we want to do with it. It will allow the system designers to vary up combat encounters with an additional challenge or twist. NPCs can change their daily behaviors during different weather conditions. 

"For example, if it starts to pour, a farmer might consider going to the bar for an early drink instead of getting wet in the rain. It's not a long term impact on the NPCs—meaning that if it doesn't rain for days, the farmers are not going to change their harvest schedule or anything like that."

In the form of backer updates, Obsidian recently teased Pillars of Eternity 2's Neketaka city, some lovely hand-drawn maps, and its Companion Relationships mechanic—the latter of which sees the developer's Josh Sawyer settling down with roses and a romantic picnic. Seriously. 

First, here's a glimpse at Neketaka: 

And now that seductive picnic: 

Pillars of Eternity 2 is without a concrete launch day although its Fig campaign estimates the first half of next year. While you wait, you may like to check out Steven's in-depth overview of what it's all about.