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Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #71: The Heavy Hitters: Rogues and Rangers

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Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #71: The Heavy Hitters: Rogues and Rangers

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 29 January 2014, 00:02:34

Tags: J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

That's right, two big Kickstarter updates on the same day. Today's Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update, written by Josh Sawyer himself, contains a small progress report on the state of the game, along with a screenshot seemingly aimed at annoying certain RPG Codex posters. Behold the power of adra:

[​IMG]
Engwithan ruins sitting atop some cliffs.

Things are going well at Obsidian on the Pillars of Eternity team. The artists are putting the finishing touches on the second of our two big cities, Twin Elms, and the environments look fantastic. Our designers are busy implementing narrative and quest content, in some cases returning to earlier areas to fill in cracks and flesh elements out more. The character artists are almost done taking all of our highest-priority creatures to alpha level and are starting to look at the second string of creatures and variants. Animation is right behind them, creating rigs and alpha animations as new creatures come online, and we're finally returning to our main character animations for a second pass. Programming continues to chug away at user interfaces, AI, and zany spells and many other items on our long list of features. In short, we're well past "the hump" and the game is looking and feeling better every day.
The real meat of the update, however, is Josh's introduction to two of Eternity's "heavy hitter" classes - the Rogue and the Ranger.

In most RPG parties, there's a character type that focuses on dealing death to VIPs in the enemy roster. They are the heavy hitters, the characters who cut enemies down one-by-one with precise, overpowering attacks. We've previously talked about one of our heavy hitters, the cipher. Ciphers alternate between powerful mental attacks and the physical strikes used to power them. They are the only "caster" class that focuses heavily on individual enemies, in large part because their abilities all require an external concentration of soul energy to serve as a power source.

In contrast to the cipher, the rogue and the ranger are more traditional, but just as deadly. Rogues rely on the vulnerability of their enemies to inflict devastating attacks in close quarters. Rangers coordinate their strikes with the help of animal companions, creatures with whom rangers form lifelong bonds. Outside of direct combat, rogues and rangers share a skill emphasis in Stealth and are commonly the sneakiest party members. But while rogues also have a specialization in Mechanics (most often to lay traps and deal with ones placed by their enemies), rangers focus on Survival, which improves the duration of many consumable items. Though the three "heavy hitter" classes have different styles of play with different strengths, they all excel at taking enemies down in the shortest amount of time possible.

In Pillars of Eternity, the designation of a character as a "rogue" signifies their vicious, brutal style of fighting, not a propensity for theft or deception. More than any other class, rogues exemplify the adage that the best defense is a good offense. If fighters are the disciplined, reliable, well-trained units that hold the line, rogues are the shock troops that attempt to break through that line to take out vulnerable units before they can effectively retaliate. When pinned down, rogues can suffer from their weak defenses, but ideally they carry their momentum from one target to the next in short order.

All rogues start with three abilities that allow them to immediately dive into heavy-hitting: Finishing Blow, Reckless Assault, and Dirty Fighting. As rogues advance, they gain access to abilities that allow them to maximize the damage and afflictions they can dish out to their targets. They can also learn a variety of tricks to help them get out of trouble when the going gets tough.

[...] Rangers are expert sharpshooters with any ranged weapon. Though they traditionally rely on bows and crossbows, some use firearms or even magical implements. Regardless of their choice of armament, even novice rangers can strike swiftly and leave severe wounds that quickly wear down an enemy's stamina and movement. They are assisted in their efforts by their animal companions, incredibly tough and loyal creatures who share their lives (literally) with their masters. At higher levels, rangers gain abilities that increase the effectiveness of their attacks and the coordinated use of their companions. By tactically applying the synergistic benefits of the ranger and his or her companion, players can lock down and quickly overwhelm powerful enemies.

[...] In addition to the abilities listed here, ciphers, rogues, and rangers can gain access to additional class-specific abilities as well as Talents. Some Talents can be taken by any character, but many are class-oriented and can be used to distinguish or emphasize one character from another. One cipher's Talents may emphasize his or her physical attacks while another's makes his or her Focus use more efficient. One rogue may maximize his or her advantage against a specific type of affliction; another may improve the frequency with which his or her offensive abilities can be used. And while rangers can always benefit from improving their marksmanship and special attacks, investing in the durability and abilities of their animal companions can safeguard the ranger against disaster.​

Obsidian plan to continue showcasing the game's classes in pairs like this, and what pair will be shown next is to be decided by vote. So, if you have any preferences, go ahead and do that.

There are 284 comments on Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #71: The Heavy Hitters: Rogues and Rangers

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