Obsidian Entertainment design director Josh Sawyer recently expressed his enthusiasm for creating a new Pillars of Eternity RPG, given the budget on par with that of Baldur’s Gate 3. In an interview with TouchArcade, Sawyer discussed the potential for building upon Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire’s combat system and implementing a “scripted 3D camera.” While Sawyer acknowledges his satisfaction with the recently released monkish murder mystery game Pentiment, he admits that he would be interested in exploring Pillars of Eternity further with a larger budget.
Sawyer’s vision for Pillars of Eternity 3 involves creating a high production value party-based fantasy RPG. He expresses happiness with the previous installments but mentions the possibility of exploring turn-based combat if the game were not crowdfunded. He praises the turn-based combat system in Deadfire, stating that it allows for more tactical and intricate combats. Sawyer believes that turn-based combat makes it easier to design complex systems and helps players understand certain mechanics more clearly.
One of the key aspects Sawyer emphasizes is the importance of designing for clarity within the game’s interface. While he appreciates the camera perspective employed in Baldur’s Gate 3 and Divinity Original Sin 2, Sawyer prefers a scripted 3D camera that provides a specific perspective. He feels that a fully manual camera creates unnecessary headaches for players and would opt for a simpler approach to interaction. Sawyer seeks to keep the interface as intuitive as possible, particularly when dealing with the complexity that Pillars of Eternity games offer.
Sawyer believes that turn-based combat enhances the overall gameplay experience in complex RPGs. By breaking the action into turns, gamers can more easily comprehend intricate combat scenarios. For example, he mentions the affliction and inspiration system in Deadfire, which players found clearer and more understandable when playing in turn-based mode. Sawyer also highlights the advantage of turn-based combat in conveying systems like penetration more effectively. While he acknowledges that these systems may not be perfect, turn-based combat provides a better platform for showcasing their intricacy.
As Obsidian Entertainment moves forward with their current projects, including the highly anticipated Avowed, fans of the Pillars of Eternity series can only speculate on what the future holds. Josh Sawyer’s enthusiasm for creating a new Pillars of Eternity RPG is evident. With the potential for a larger budget and innovative design choices, such as turn-based combat and a scripted 3D camera, the next installment in the series could raise the bar for party-based fantasy RPGs.
Josh Sawyer’s vision for the future of Pillars of Eternity is both exciting and promising. With the possibility of a new RPG on the horizon, fans can look forward to experiencing a high production value game with improved combat mechanics and a streamlined interface. While the future of the series remains uncertain, one thing is clear: Obsidian Entertainment continues to innovate and captivate the gaming community with their immersive and imaginative RPG experiences.