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Project Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
73,986 backers pledged $3,986,929 to help bring this project to life.

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Update by Darren Monahan, Operations Guy and Rose Gomez, Associate Producer

Hi backers!

As you may have seen in our previous backer update, Update #88: Final Sprint and… Release Date!, we’ve announced our launch date. Spoiler Alert: It’s March 26th, 2015! Our physical goods have all now been finalized and produced, save the final discs themselves, so we’re getting ready to package everything up.

Physical Backer? Read me!

We believe the old school experience is to have all of your physical goods on or near the day a game is launched. You should be able to take out your Collector’s Edition Guidebook, unfold your cloth map, roll out your new mousepad, and enjoy it all at the same time you are playing the game.

We believe you feel the same way we do! In order for us to have the best chance possible of getting everything completed by manufacturing and shipped so you have your rewards by or near our launch date, we have to resolve a conflict that has arisen between our promise of a DRM free game, and the realities of how long manufacturing takes.

The realities of manufacturing require us to have a final game disc *now* in order to get it into the box with everything else. The game today isn’t the final game you’d play on March 26th. We’re continuing to fix bugs, make improvements, and polish the game.

“So… what are you trying to say here? Does this mean some kind of delay you’re prepping me for?”

Not at all. What we’re more concerned about is the non-final build being leaked before you, the backers, are able to play it. It’s an unfortunate part of our business; many games get leaked after they leave the developers hands.

If it’s leaked early, it hurts everyone, both in the short and long term. It hurts you, the backers, who have waited with immense patience for the game, and you should be the first folks to get to play it. It hurts those who play an incomplete version of the game; that hurts us as a developer, which in turn hurts us as a business, and what may become of future projects.

Normally for our other games, like South Park: The Stick of Truth, we package up a pre-load version that makes installation faster. Then, once it went live, any changes we made since that pre-load version and the final 1.0 version were patched onto your computer automatically. If we required every user of a physical disc version to use an auto-patch system, we feel we would fail on our promise of a true DRM free game.

So here is our conundrum. We have a real conflict between delivering a fully working DRM-free disc and meeting our manufacturing requirements to get you your physical rewards as near to March 26th as we can. This is a real concern, again, if a version of the game that really isn’t the final version is leaked onto the internet. The pledges backers like you put in to the game are not only at risk, it just plain sucks if lots of other people are playing the game you funded before you do. Obviously, we want the game to sell well enough so we can make more of them too, and an early leak of the disc concerns us enough that we’d like to share these concerns with you too and see what you think.

So, what can we do?

There are two things we feel we could do that would help mitigate these concerns:

  1. We ship everything out except the game disc, which we then ship to you after finalizing the 1.0 version. Wait a minute, Darren. That sounds crazy. You’re going to ship me a game with NO DISC inside at first?!

    Here’s why we think that’s good: Anyone who pledged to a physical reward tier will get a digital copy. You’ll be able to get a Steam or GOG.com key on our site and play the game at the same time as everyone else. You’d be able to take out your Collector’s Guidebook, your cloth map, your mousepad and enjoy all of it at the same you’re playing Pillars of Eternity.

  2. Alternatively, we delay shipping everything out to you once we have the final 1.0 version ready. For some parts of the world, this could mean a delay of some real significance. Not just a week or two, but multiple weeks after it’s released.

While it’s rather unorthodox, we really prefer option #1, even though it is going to cost us more in shipping costs. We just think it will be more fun for everyone to be able to enjoy all of the game and its add-ons at the same time. However, you’ve backed this game, so we want to hear what you think.

Please share your thoughts on our official poll thread here.

What about me, the digital backer?

For those of you who are digital backers, you would not be affected by this at all – you’ll still get the choice of a Steam or GOG.com key on March 26th.

For anyone planning to buy the physical retail version (not the physical backer version), that one uses Steam, so it would also be patched up after connecting to Steam.

We’ll announce the results in a backer update next week.

Fulfillment Items

We have started to get final versions of our backer rewards and we wanted to share some of our favorites with you.

Pillars of Eternity Collector's Book

As we've announced previously, we partnered with Dark Horse to bring you the Pillars of Eternity Collector's Book. Where the Prima Strategy Guide will be your go-to companion for all your walkthrough and strategy needs, the Collector's Book is there to satisfy the most hardcore lore enthusiasts. Whether your pledge included a physical copy or a digital copy, the Collector's Book is something we're sure you'll be happy with. We're very proud of it and we think Dark Horse did an amazing job bringing it to life. We'd like to share a sneak preview with you here.

The content of the book covers everything you would want to know about the world of Eora. Among the many informative chapters, you'll find detailed information on the people and gods, as well as the history of the Eastern Reach and recent events. There's even a detailed bestiary explaining the origins and habits of Eora's creatures.

Taken from the back of the book: "The Wheel of Berath spins endlessly, passing the souls of the vanquished through pillars of adra, the veins of the world, and giving them new life when they emerge again. With every journey's completion, another unfurls. With every danger averted, a new calamity looms. This is the world of Eora, where all life begins and ends at the Pillars of Eternity.

Pillars of Eternity Guidebook: Volume One paints in vivid detail the gods, monsters, cultures, factions, places, and histories of Pillars of Eternity - a definitive guide covering everything you need to know about this rich new setting, assembled by the acclaimed storytellers of Obsidian Entertainment."

Missed out on pledging for the Collector's Book? It's available for pre-order from a variety of online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Random House.

Almanac

Of the many digital-only backer rewards you'll be receiving, we'd like to present to you a few pages from the Almanac of the Eastern Reach, 2823 ai: For Colonists, Explorer, and Curiosity-Seekers. Inspired by classic games like Ultima V, we designed the Almanac as if it were written from within the game world. Our almanac happens to be penned by members of the Hand Occult.

Another lore heavy item, the Almanac contains a wealth of information. Folklore, major settlements and landmarks, local cultures, languages and expressions, a calendar of events, historical rainfall and planting dates and more can all be found within its pages.

Cloth Patches

One of our studio traditions is having cloth patches made for our games - largely perpetrated by Josh Sawyer himself. It seemed fitting to include patches as a reward for the Kickstarter.

Both the standard and elite patches are a very high quality. They're sew-on patches, and are extremely sturdy. They should stand up wonderfully to being sewn onto bags, jackets, and more. These are backer only items and come with tiers $140 and above.

PAX South

Last update we mentioned that we'd be showing off the game at PAX South. If you missed the live stream and want to check out the presentation, head on over to Twitch.tv and enjoy. (And you can see Adam sporting another one of our backer rewards - the Pillars of Eternity t-shirt by J!NX clothing!)

Backer Beta: Now on Linux!

As of our last Backer Beta update we have released the Linux build. If you are a Linux user and have access to the Backer Beta you should give it a shot. Make sure to report any Linux issues you find in our official Backer Beta forums.

Comments

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    1. Josef Ferguson on April 10, 2015

      No response to multiple emails. No response to direct messages. No response to comments on KS pages. Obsidian does not stand behind their BROKEN game! This is the last Obsidian product I'll buy.

    2. internisus on February 17, 2015

      I could only afford to pledge enough for the game and its expansion. The books look *beautiful*, so I'm very glad to see that I can get the Guidebook through retailers.

      Is there anything I can do to get the Almanac of the Eastern Reach as well?

    3. Missing avatar

      Quantomas on February 17, 2015

      Good to see that you can control the speed and time as you see fit. Looks like a versatile nice and shiny engine. This can be a valuable asset, all yours thanks to Kickstarter, in contrast to NWN2's engine which remained Bioware's, if I remember correctly.

      Could you add an option to set the default speed for combat and map exploration? It could also be added to the game setup, giving different people advice how to set it to reflect personal preferences and reminding them that they can change it anytime.

      The progess bars on top of the characters are still immersion breakers for me, can't help it. While they technically don't break the game, they affect the experience. Ask yourself, would you still have the same vivid memories of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, if there had been relatively large and abstract UI elements popping up in combat?

    4. Missing avatar

      Neil Chatterjee on February 16, 2015

      @HBB

      The logic that due to the delay of the physical goods, they should include the behind-the-scenes documentary is flawed. They'd have to restart the entire process and make up stuff for the portions they didn't record after making the decision to nix the documentary, and then spend additional time making sure everything is properly edited and then properly printed out onto DVDs.

      Your solution would force them to delay the stuff even more, and would just make things worse.

    5. Missing avatar

      Edward Dunn on February 15, 2015

      Linux version! Yay!

    6. Skyleaf on February 15, 2015

      just delay the game so everyone gets everything at the same time :-)

    7. Missing avatar

      Henrik Sperre Johansen on February 14, 2015

      If I were the judge, I'd pick option 3:
      - Ship a DVD-R with the game disk art printed.
      - Make the final game downloadable as an ISO image.

    8. Ms. Gwyn on February 14, 2015

      @Terry Carter

      Thank you for pointing that out to me, I missed it even before I posted I looked at the tiers....

      Still now sure if I want to spend the cash on it, but I'm old fashion and like paper and/or books in hand

    9. Galahard on February 13, 2015

      I take option 1, does that also mean that we get the documentary DVD now (which you tried to shortchange us for a pad, thank you), which you tried to pull with the excuse of it not being ready to be shipped with the game? Now you can send it in the second shipment, thanks.

    10. Tazar Yoot on February 13, 2015

      Option 1 seems pretty reasonable. I'll have all the goodies in hand around the same time as everyone else and I can download and play the game without any delays just like everyone else. As long as the physical discs come shortly after to have for future use, I can love with that.

    11. gandalf.nho
      Superbacker
      on February 13, 2015

      Hope the digital collector's book will be available to backers as an independent download and not vinculated to the Dark Horse store

    12. Ryan Gustafson on February 13, 2015

      I'm fine with option 1, I don't mind getting the disc at a later date.

    13. Yong on February 12, 2015

      ...Is that even a problem? Release a disc with resources files that takes most space and does not change fast, and leave the executable file and some patches on the internet, encrypted using game disc so only ppl who have the disc can decompress them and play later without the disc. Problem solved.

    14. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      Never understood that thought process personally Richard.
      To me, gamers are gamers are gamers.

      I'm just as much a fan of and consider the likes of Baldur's Gate, Placescape etc. as my all time favourites as I am to play the latest and newest FPS or in this case, GTAV.
      I too very much question the wisdom of the release date, but eh, I guess Obsidian know what they are doing..

      All I know is that my play time will certainly be divided as a result =(

    15. Richard Luijten on February 12, 2015

      Skyleaf... I don't think the public for GTA and this kind of game has a lot of overlap so I doubt there's anything to worry about in that department.

    16. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      Wow even more people responding now both here and on the poll forum itself who are in the same boat as me of not even caring about the disc at all.
      Hope my idea of Option 1 - but with the opportunity of forgoing the disc entirely in lieu of just the 2nd extra digital code is being considered. Win-win for both of us since it saves you guys the extra shipping/disc printing fees.

    17. Chet on February 12, 2015

      This sure seems like a made up problem to me.
      Does anyone else remember when you bought a game disc and checked back with the developers website to check for patches? I sure do. Even a built in url at the main menu "check for updates" would solve this so called problem.
      I smell something funny here and I've already checked the bottom of my shoes.

    18. Skyleaf on February 12, 2015

      I mean that in a good way even if people don't see it ^_^

    19. Skyleaf on February 12, 2015

      Hopefully this whole affair delays the release of the game to get it as far away from GTA V as possible ;p

    20. Richard Luijten on February 12, 2015

      As a physical tier backer I don't really care which solution you will pursue, as long as I get a fully functional game in that box that doesn't require an Internet connection. That is literally why I bought physical (plus all the goodies of course).
      If I want to play BG2, I just whip out my discs, install it and play, no need for Internet connections, activations or patches. I'd like that same experience with PoE.

    21. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      Thanks for the update; I'm looking forward to the GOG release

    22. Missing avatar

      Ryan on February 12, 2015

      I guess the real conundrum is do we want to look bad by having people playing a leak that is buggy which is already delayed or pissing people off because they won't get their physical disc on the release date... ... just kidding, that was an easy decision, we already made one for you and you will take it like it or not.
      The patcher = DRM doesn't really make sense to be honest. You could have patcher without DRM in it and I'm 100% sure the game will be patched to hell and back anyway so a patcher is necessary.
      So, after everything being said, it all boils down to the bad company's image when people discover how buggy the leaked game is and that'll affect sales, future sales for any new game and ultimately, the bottom line.

    23. Missing avatar

      Dean Love on February 12, 2015

      The update doesn't explain the issue here that well.

      The game isn't finished. It needs another six weeks or so of polish and bug fixes. They need to print the discs now to ship them out with the physical rewards. So the version on the disc will effectively be a beta. They could stop you from being able to play that version until you patch it on launch day, but that is, by definition, DRM.

      So the version on the disc has to work, but it won't be finished. This would be sort of fine (except, since you can't ensure that all the orders around the world arrive on the same day, physical backers will be getting a free beta a few weeks beforehand) but that's only if you assume total honesty. If someone, somewhere in the supply chain (either at pressing the discs, packing the discs, delivering the discs, or a backer that gets it a few weeks early) decides to rip it and torrent it...

      Then the pirates are playing a version of the game before digital backers, which sucks for us, and they're playing a crap version of the game and are going around internet forums calling it a typical buggy Obsidian mess, which sucks for Obsidian. The game gets a bad reputation out of the gate.

      There is a third option. There is a simple way around this. They delay the game another two months, put the finished version on the discs on March 26th, then send everything out. And sit on the digital version for two months, maybe go on holiday or something. And voila, digital and physical backers get the same version at around the same time.

      Note the same thing applies regardless of if the game was coming out in March, April, or last year like it was meant to. The only way to do it is to sit on the final code for months. If that would make anyone happy I'd be amazed.

    24. Missing avatar

      Hans Kristian S Gustavsen on February 12, 2015

      I don't care if the physical goods are late. Just don't dare walk the DRM path.

    25. Sir Chaox on February 12, 2015

      Sure ship the physical stuff whenever, fine.
      But can we get the digital stuff BEFORE the game is released? I was really hoping to peruse the almanac and such before the game came out. It would be great to have that head start and then dive into the game at release. :D It all looks awesome, thanks guys!

    26. Missing avatar

      Terry Carter - AoUA|SoA|BoSB on February 12, 2015

      @Gwyn or this one from a higher tier

      full color PROJECT ETERNITY *HARD COVER* COLLECTOR'S BOOK SIGNED by the development team.

      Sorry but they did make these books available during the Kickstarter.

    27. Missing avatar

      Terry Carter - AoUA|SoA|BoSB on February 12, 2015

      @Gwyn, From the $250 KS Reward list

      full color printed PROJECT ETERNITY COLLECTOR'S BOOK The book will be a full color book that includes concept art, player's handbook, monster manual, exclusive information about the campaign setting and characters, and a special behind the scenes look at making the game.

      Did you no know what that was?

    28. Ms. Gwyn on February 12, 2015

      In all honesty, I voted for option 1....no problem

      What I do have a problem with is where you announced/had as an add-on a hard cover edition of the collector ed. strategy guide nor a hard copy of the guidebook. Yes I will be getting digital versions, but at no point in time do I recall an offer of physical rewards.

      That is what I'm a bit upset up....I have gone on and ordered from Amazon these things, but I might cancel my order, because I'm just a tad bit bitter about the whole thing.

    29. Missing avatar

      michael mitchell on February 12, 2015

      I think option 1 is totally fine.

    30. Jonathan Bereza on February 12, 2015

      I have to agree you're making this unnecessarily complicated. So long as the current version is fully functional why not just put it on the disc and then have a day 1 patch on GOG/Steam/Whatever? I mean the game is going to get patches after release anyway so why go through all this? The disc version is never going to be feature complete even if you delayed the printing six months.

    31. Missing avatar

      Michael on February 12, 2015

      Go with option 1. It's still a pretty messed up situation. I'd prefer the autopatch.

      I don't understand people criticizing you though. The problem is clearly explained - they want you to get version 1.0, which will be available right before launch, but can't teleport disks from a factory into your home, and don't want to send version 0.9 out into the world. Either you wait for the disk, or you agree that your copy will get updated immediately upon installation. Pick one.

    32. Missing avatar

      HBB on February 12, 2015

      I'd like to critically analyze this update without being and asshole (unlike some other people). Problems with the presentation of this information are thus: Couching the delay on the production disc being caused by current DRM inclusive thinking, in language suggesting that the DRM Free aspect of production has anything to do with it. What I mean by this is that the possibility of the game being leaked when it goes to manufacturing has nothing to do with with the fact the game disc "really isn’t the final version." What does DRM Free have to do with the fact that the disc could be pressed without final updates? Nothing, and your inference that it does is purposeful misinformation (I'm assuming to take some of the heat off of you about it being behind). You are effectively creating the "problem" of the base game disc having DRM by insisting that "If we required every user of a physical disc version to use an auto-patch system, we feel we would fail on our promise of a true DRM free game." The answer is an obvious, "Then just don't use an auto-patch system." The fact that you are stuck on the idea of an auto-patch system, rather than downloadable .exe patches shows that you are too focused on the DRM model to see an obvious solution to a non-problem.

      That said, I wouldn't honestly mind having a game disc for once that didn't need for me to run ANY kind of updates or patches after installation. I can't honestly remember the last time a game did that. Even console games have to deal with this in every single game now. But I know that it won't be feasible to do this either. Inevitably, there will be future patches for this game no matter how long you run it through quality assurance. Which is the other part of what kinda defeats the purpose of what you are proposing here. If I'm gonna have to download patches anyway, what does it matter? In fact, if you don't take my suggestion of making the patches separate download and install files, then you have two options for updates. The auto-patch system, which you said was a no go, or not doing them. The implication is, that when the game is released you are not going to do any updates. I don't believe that so I'd like some clarification here.

      Lastly, I'd like to bring something up that you won't like. It seems no matter what, part of the game is gonna be delayed for physical backers. Remember how you said it wouldn't be feasible to send a physical copy of the documentary anymore since it wouldn't be done when the game was? Guess what hole in your logic I will now present? Yup, you can't fink out now, since people that were supposed to get the physical copy of the documentary are all getting physical copies of the game late as well. Suck it up a do it guys, you don't have any choice now , except to do the right thing or really screw people.

    33. Grinsevent Wheresluggage of Sin on February 12, 2015

      How, could we get the artbook hardcover (instead of the documentary) for backer over 140 usd ? Pretty please with sugar on it ?

    34. Missing avatar

      Jordan Bryant on February 12, 2015

      Evan Dawson sounds like the epitome of a privileged, spoiled, entitled brat. Anyone that has had to deal with customers in any way knows the exact type.

    35. Missing avatar

      Dean Love on February 12, 2015

      Evan - if you know how it's possible to get all copies of the physical game to everyone around the world to arrive on the same day then do let them know.

      Wondering if there's a chance we could get the digital guidebook/almanac a week or so before release for some nice mood-setting reading?

    36. Laurent Maire on February 12, 2015

      Whoooeee! Love me some beautiful art books. Love Dark Horse's output, love your decision working with them on this, love the in-world Almanac concept. Just all around awesome guys and gals, give yourselves a great big pat on the back! This is all incredibly exciting to see come together like this.

      Thanks for giving us a heads up on the distribution situation and for the transparency of your thought process. It's very much appreciated. Both options seem reasonable to me and backers are treated fairly either way, but I have made my opinion known in the indicated forum thread. Thanks again!

    37. Evan Dawson on February 12, 2015

      What I EXPECT is that you deliver the physical game and rewards on the day of release AS YOU PROMISED IN THE PITCH. Whether you’re too concerned about losing a tiny amount of sales to piracy (spitting in the face of DRM-free attitudes) or screwed up the development to the point where you can’t finish the game in time for the disc shipping, either way it’s is NOT our problem and it is completely ridiculous to expect us to not only accept a delay in getting our promised physical copies but vote on which method of delay we’d prefer.

      Part of the reason people threw money at this KS was to prove that your ill reputation as a deadline-ignoring inept developer wasn't deserved, that it was the fault of the industry machine around you. And yet what’s being proven here is, once again, that it is unreasonable to expect a 90s developer to properly release a game and fulfill basic campaign promises. Kickstarter has exposed you lot as a bunch of incompetent jackasses who can’t handle anything beyond base creativity and excuses, and it is truly unfortunate that crowdfunding and indie devs are the ones who are suffering as a result instead of problem devs like you with their armies of nostalgia-blinded lickspittles who’ll throw a month of their paychecks at anything you’ll do.

    38. Dean Browell
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      #1 for sure

    39. DiabolicallyRandom - Obsidian Order on February 12, 2015

      Definitely option 1. After the abysmal experience with inXile and wasteland 2 (still waiting on my collectors edition) I greatly.prefer for obsidian to do option 1

    40. Orchid12
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      I'm fine with Option #1.

    41. Tiago Morelli on February 12, 2015

      Can't you just send an email asking physical reward backers what option they want? Then people could have it either way.

    42. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on February 12, 2015

      I think it's great that you bring up the problem with reward fulfillment and discuss it tranparently. I have voted on the forums. Great kickstarter campaign and great update!

    43. Michaeljack on February 12, 2015

      Loving those books, i just cant wait to play this!

    44. Ben Steed on February 12, 2015

      Option #1 works.

    45. Dawn_
      Superbacker
      on February 12, 2015

      Like everyone else i am fine with option 1. I wasn't intending to use the disc anyway..(like i'd damage it) i just wanted the box and goodies so i can put it in my collection next to Baldur's gate (all), fallout 1&2 and planetscape torment and others ;).

    46. Bumvelcrow on February 12, 2015

      I'm quite happy with either option, but if forced to make a choice I'd go with option 1. No problems with patching the release version. Looking forward to my feelies!

    47. Andyt on February 12, 2015

      I'm physical backer and I have no problems with both options.

      I prefer a little bit more options two, because the phyiscal package is completed and if I untersand it correctly I'm able to use Steam/GOG version until package arrive.

    48. tarasis on February 12, 2015

      As a couple of others have mentioned, I'm curious about the wording about Volume 1 of the guidebook vs what the collectors book is.

      IF I had backed for a physical copy I'd go for option 1, but as I didn't I don't get a vote :)

    49. Missing avatar

      Jobbe Smit on February 12, 2015

      I vote for option #1. Best possible option given the problems. Congratulations with getting it this far.

    50. Missing avatar

      DViglino on February 12, 2015

      Just checking in to say it's nice to see a team, funded by kickstarter, that is really doing what it set out to do. Unfortunately that's somewhat rare when it comes to these types of projects now.