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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.
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    1. Mark L

      Perhaps Vailians are darker-skinned for the same reason that persons from the equatorial regions of Earth tend to be darker-skinned: because in areas with frequent harsh sunlight, having dark skin is a survival trait, whereas in areas that are mostly snowy and/or foggy it is not.

      Clothing, on the other hand, tends to have more to do with fashion and technology than with skin color. When the technology for fancy ruffles and fringes exists, but is expensive, people with above-average incomes want to wear it as a way of distinguishing themselves from the poorer people. When such technology does not exist, of course, they don't wear it. It is also why in some cultures upper-class people wear sequins, beads, jewelry, elaborate tattoos, etc. Whatever the current technology and culture allows, which sets a well-off person from a less-fortunate one, tends to be taken up by that class.

      I'm not clear on why some people are judging the clothing designs based on the cultures that happened to develop on Earth, since the game isn't on Earth, as far as I know. The clothing just needs to make practical sense for the region and culture and technology of the area, which seems to be the case with these designs, as far as I know from the details so far released.

      I agree with those that have said it is much too early to begin worrying about clothing or class designs, since we don't really have enough information yet to make and informed decision. Of course, that never stopped anybody from making a poorly-informed decision in the past... I guess I would just encourage a little more patience, until more of the 'big picture' is filled in.

    2. Missing avatar

      Kevin Duffy on

      Seems like the designers got their hands on World of Warcraft recently. Monk tanks in that game function almost identically to the description above, reducing incoming damage and receiving a removable DoT effect. All tanks in WoW also deal increasing damage as they receive more damage from incoming attacks.

      I suppose there are only so many variations on classic classes you can make before you've used them all. Wayne Reid below describes the Monk from the Diablo III perspective, (of course, these archetypes did not originate in the games I am discussing), an agile warrior who wins by never being touched.

      I am optimistic that a familiar class in a better game is still better. :)

      @Peter S: ■Turning Wheel - if the monk suffers from a DoT effect (including Wounds ticking down), he or she adds a proportional fire bonus to his or her melee damage. This is a passive ability which works automatically whenever the monk has any DoT effect.

    3. Shawn Fazzino on

      I love how versatile the monk sounds! can't wait to play one!

    4. Michael Curran on

      I use the term "draw aggro" in sense that in the IE games you have to carefully manage which of your characters the AI is targeting because late game enemies can easily one-shot squishy classes. The term has a more formal meaning the MMOs, but it's been a vital part of all party based tactical RPGs.

      I say fix, because the monk, as described, is a gimmick class, for better or worse, which means it has a future of constant tweaking and nerfing as equipping it with item A will make it horribly OP, then items B and C paired, etc.

    5. Wayne Reid on

      I like the concept, but I also like the idea of a monk who does not get hit. I always thought a monk went unarmored to increase his agility, not to expose himself to harm. Would this monk be better off standing still at t he start of a fight?

    6. Cassandra S on

      Re monks:
      1) Hmm. This is a step in the right direction, but I'd like to see even more flexibility, personally. It sounds like while monks are allowed to use heavy armor and weapons, and can be powerful while doing so (both good things), it still seems to me that the "best" monk is one that uses no weapons nor armor (a bad thing, as it reduces the number of viable monk builds).
      Ok, now that I think about it, an armored monk is still viable as a "super tank": Even after their armor takes damage for them, wounds (if managed properly) can reduce the damage they take even further.
      However, I'd like to see more options that work with weapon-bearing monks - maybe even ranged-weapon monks! Here's some ideas to that regard: Give monks some attacks that either consume multiple wounds, or become increasingly powerful, as the monk bears more and more wounds (eg, a passive that increases damage by a certain #, for every wound that the monk currently bears). In effect, as the monk takes more and more damage, their next attack will be that much more powerful - great for monks with slower and heavier weapons, and could make for an interesting "glass cannon monk" build.
      2) The wounds mechanic reminds me a lot of Sacriers from the MMO Wakfu, in particular Earth and Fire Sadidas:
      In short, Earth Sacriers gain "coagulation" when they attack, which absorbs some of the damage the Sacrier may take from enemies; Fire Sacriers harm themselves with their attacks, and get more powerful as they lose more and more health.

    7. Chris Shannon on

      I love the Vailian Republic, especially that the advanced looking civilisation is "African". But if we create a character from the Republic, supposing that is possible, will they have to be dark skinned? Or will humans have more freedom in that sort of thing? Not that it would be so bad to forced to be from the dominant culture of a region.

    8. Missing avatar

      Vitor Medina Cruz on

      Well, the concept is interesting, but that doesn't sound like a Monk at all... Barbarian or Berserker come to mind when I read the description, but not a Monk.

    9. Frank Manna on

      The basic concept of a Monk taking part of a damaging attack as a DoT that can be later cleared isn't exactly unexpected...since this is how Brewmaster Monks work in WoW.

      Then again, I love my Brewmaster, and I like the idea of turning the Wounds into damage. It was a bit jarring to hear this post say it's something I might not expect, though. I'm also pretty surprised no one else picked up on it.

    10. Missing avatar

      Cuddles on

      I like it. A different and interesting mechanic that still leaves the class looking reasonably familiar.

      Loving the hats for the Vailians as well. Please tell me they're going to be playable and not just NPCs.

    11. Missing avatar

      Lukas on

      Monk - good stuff, sounds like DOTA

    12. Nick J. on

      @Micheal Curran

      "Draw Aggro" assumes that PE is going to use an MMO style of combat or the way Dragon Age played. If I'm remembering the updates correctly, there won't be the ability to turn a character into a damage sink, but you will be able to block and create engagement conditions on enemies. Furthermore we don't yet know how the monk compares to other warrior type classes in terms of health and stamina and the roles that they are best at in combat.

      In short, without being able to look at the other classes and their abilities and knowing the mechanics of combat, how can you make any kind of comparative analysis of the monk as it relates to other classes? There's nothing to "fix" yet because nobody has actually seen the way elements in combat interplay.

    13. Daniel Sobral on

      Man, for the first time in a long, long while I want to play a monk!

    14. Michael Curran on

      I suppose that the problem is, as described, the monk is probably the most effective tank ever proposed in a single player game. Slap the heaviest armor you can on him, have him draw aggro and stand a healer nearby, assuming Infinity Engine level AI, instant win vs. melee opponents.

      Assuming there is some refinement and balancing, this should get fixed at some point, but that will probably mean nerfing the whole "can tank massive amounts of damage" angle, which is currently the only mechanics-related advantage the monk has over the rest of the melee classes.

    15. Romkaartemkin on

      The bottom left corner - not true! It's funny looks))) How will play in this game??? Each historical culture had their own clothes! Don't make a circus! It looks awful. Too tolerance? I'm not a racist. To be fair! Each thing must be in place. Sorry. Don't want to offend anyone.

    16. Jere Manninen

      Monk is one of my favorite classes, so Im really excited try out your version, which sounds really interesting. Just a thought, what if you make your monk so agile that he evades most of the attacks, what then? :)

    17. Silver on

      Lots of new info here, good to hear the progress is ongoing. :)

    18. Missing avatar

      Palle Elkrog on

      Dyrwood was it? The Culture Concept shows it as Dyrnv... Hmm. No idea what letter that is supposed to be, to be honest :-P

    19. Nick J. on


      The R/P/S balance of classes is most important in a multi-player game or an MMO. In any case we still don't know the full feature set for the monk class nor any of the other classes, so you might be getting ahead of yourself by worrying that the Monk class has a "win" button attached to it when compared to other character builds.

    20. Missing avatar

      Charles Boucher


      You sound pretty upset about the idea of people playing a class that doesn't appeal to you at first blush in a single player video game. You might want to wait until more information becomes available before you decry this as a travesty because, like you said, Obsidian knows a few things about making video games, and all we know right now is this post. Take a deep breath. It'll be okay. :)

    21. Grinsevent Wheresluggage of Sin on

      @Cutter I see one BIG drawback : He get's hit and don't seems to have the save as high as DD's monks ... So, he get's hit and don't wear an armour to protect him against fireballs ..... He won't make tons of damage, but his mechanisme make him last long, if you play him well...

      Just a great Idea, I think .

    22. Benjamin Swanekamp on

      The Dyrwood outfits work, and so do the Jxamitl to a certain extent (traditional Hungarian I guess?) but I do not care for the Aedyr or Vailian looks. Ancient Rome and renaissance France do not offer aesthetics that I would enjoy in a fantasy setting.

    23. Missing avatar

      Cutter on

      So what's the downside to playing a monk then? The class sounds like a 'I win' button. While warrior-monks - e.g. Shaolin - are certainly tough avoidance and redirection are their main defenses. This walking around taking beats like some tank and recycling it into damage is silly.You guys know better than anyone about the rock/paper/scissors balance when it comes to classes. While tank-mages may pander to insecure kids who want to be gods, the rest of us find it gets boring fast. The tightrope is the most exciting place to be.

    24. Missing avatar

      Toran on

      I absolutely love this concept for Monk. Monks are usually my favorite class when presented, and this really turns a few conventions on their head. I can't wait to find out more!

    25. Missing avatar

      Crosspel on

      So based on the clothes it looks like we will have ancient Nords, ancient Slavs, ancient Greeks and… 1600 France?

    26. Missing avatar

      Giovanni Manca on

      I appreciate a LOT that Obisidian is taking care of the lore in this way. I think it is fundamental for every great fantasy RPG, more than combat and bonuses.

      You would have the delusion to run the game and to enter in another, living world at the same time. Lore helps this.

    27. Nick J. on


      Yes, there will be primitive wheel lock guns in the game which are slow firing, slow re-loading weapons that are primarily used to pierce a mage's "barrier" spell. There's a ton more detail in the updates from the campaign.

    28. Paul Andersen on

      Great job on the monk design.

      Also digging the culture designs. They have that touch of the familiar with a hint that they definitely don't take place in our world.

    29. Missing avatar

      Jchasse on

      Speaking from decades of RPG experience...
      Coolest concept for a monk class EVAAA!

    30. SadOldMagician on

      I like the fact that these monks seem to draw from the idea of western monks. Penitence, sacrifice and, in extreme cases, self-flagellation? That could lead to some pretty rad story opportunities.

    31. Asmon Lacroix on

      Is someone holding a gun in the upper right hand side of the image? Will guns be included in the game?

    32. Missing avatar

      sth128 on

      LOL afro-monk...

    33. Willem on

      Tim and Josh do it again: I love the monk class design. I do not think that the design is more suitable for a barbarian to be honest. The justification for not wearing armour or using weapons is sound in the context of the design (i.e. it isn't some arbitrary rule-set that says you cannot wear armour, but rather it fits in with the world design itself and makes sense). The only thing here to quibble about is really a very subjective notion of what your interpretation of "to be a monk" is (the actually gameplay design is soundly justified as already mentioned): thus if you believe "being a monk" is about "avoiding pain via detachment or acts like dodging" then you might be less inclined to agree with the gameplay design decision, but if you believe that "being a monk" is about "sacrifice, taking on pain and then channelling the pain towards concentrated efforts", then the gameplay design makes perfect sense. I am very strongly of the latter perspective (this reflects my belief of being a monk in real life as well, but that is a long story not really so relevant here). Simply put, I fully endorse this decision and design philosophy of Josh and Tim; it still has a bit of third edition D&D flavour for the monk, but adds something unique to the mix so as to not just be a boring verbatim copy of the monk class from D&D. Well done guys.

      Also really liking the cultures concept art. Game seems to be going in the right direction Obsidian, keep it up and thank you.

    34. LordCrash on

      I like the concept of the monk. He has the discipline to transform pain into strength.

      And I like the suggestion with the tatoos. Would be a nice addition to the concept of the monk.

    35. Coyote Ghost on

      I love all those different cultures.

    36. Christian on

      @Jabberwok You meant to say 1790s pimp, right?

    37. twincast ~ Mangy WoOS-DOoD Mage

      I do have to agree that the Monk sounds great, but very Barbarian-ish. :-/

      @Adrian Ulvsgärd "I think you people missed the gist of Lukas' comment, or perhaps you are actively trying to put a racist spin on it. His criticism, if perhaps slightly awkwardly worded, was about colour coding and fashion design and all he did was make the (correct) statement that dark skin tones are better complimented by lighter hues than the black leather straps and copy-paste European designs of the lower left. The argument was thus that the concept artist should give more thought to how 'black renaissance italians' would design clothes rather than somewhat cheaply putting european renaissance clothes on black people. Just saying."
      Yep, I didn't think of it myself, but it's a totally valid point. I'm a proud liberal, but some people really need to stop reflexively reading an -ism into everything that touches a subject without actually reading it properly.

      @Adrian Ulvsgärd "Personally, being a stickler for these things, I have more of an isse with how the four lower-left concepts are taken from entirely different points in time. You have, left to right, 17th century, 16-th century, 18th century and...uh... the 1960's? They don't mesh at all, neither with each other or the other cultures. If you want renaissance, I'd advise you go with renaissance clothes."
      I'm no expert on the matter, but for what it's worth, my initial mental connections regarding each of them were Baroque, Renaissance, Golden Age of Sail and New Orleans (each of them covering a broader (and partly simultaneous) period of course, but I'm thinking of the archetypal/stereotypical styles here), so yeah, they are kind of all over the place and really do not jive well with their supposed neighbors' much simpler dresses.

      That said, what bothers me most is the right Aedyr man's nipple police undergarment, which just comically screams cross-dresser's bustier to me. And I could nitpick about the trousers all day, but hey, it's a Romanesque fantasy empire, not ancient Rome itself, so whatever.

    38. Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on

      Love the mash up of timelines in the culture/fashion pic. You have Anglo-Saxon/ early medieval, what look likes Ottoman Empire Greek fashion, Italian republics circa the Renaissance and is that Republican/Principate Rome stylings for the Aedyr Empire?

      Mash up indeed!

    39. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on

      I like the new mechanics for the monk because, as was mentioned, it recalls some real world examples of asceticism and the connection between pain and spirituality. Love the variety of different clothing styles, though that one Vailian outfit may say 1970s pimp a bit too loudly.

    40. Christian on

      Magic glowing red stones are all the rage with Aedyrian girls :)

    41. Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin on

      I think this is great. The monk is not just based on Shaolin monks (and similar institutions worldwide) but probably on some of those beliefs where suffering can lead to enlightenment or redemption. It's pretty neat.

      I'm looking forward to hearing about druids and shapeshifting next.

      I'm glad to see that this setting is as diverse with its depiction of culture and technology, similar to more recent settings like Eberron.

    42. Vigil on

      While this does seem very thought out and complex, I do share some of the concerns of the commenters on here about this. First of all a "monk" shouldn't really be about getting injured during combat. Shouldnt it be more about blocking and dodging? A barbarian-like class would make more sense with this system, I feel.
      It also does seem rather micro-intensive, but that might be a wrong impression.

    43. Missing avatar

      Baudolino05 on

      *the situation asks..

    44. Missing avatar

      Baudolino05 on

      Frankly, I can't understand why people complain about emphasis on unarmed combat in the monk class. What's the point of having 3 different melee specialists (4 counting the paladin) which are all equally effective with or without heavy armor, with or without two-handed weapons?
      In PE you're gonna have a limited number of optimal builds per class, and the chance to try something different when the situation (encounter design) ask for that.
      Sounds like a smart way to handle classes...

      Anyway, I share the concerns of many about the excessive amount of micro-management required by the wound system..

    45. Gabriel Divine on

      Well sounds nice... really. First I thought" Yeah, finally I can Play a Monk with light and/or no armor equipped with a sword"... fists against Dragons an demons are always a Little ridiculous (like smuggler with his barenaked fists against big-battle-droids in SWTOR)
      But then I read further and then it came--- U can equip a melee weapon but ist better to be without.... U can wear Plate but it is better beeing naked...
      Well that is not Play as u want--- it is more--> "that´s the way the Monk is meant to play--- if U want to Play it otherwise do it but U will be less powerful less efficient and U will die-- often--- have fun with your choice! Feel free to Play an often dying noob..."
      Actually this are neither bad News nor good... it´s just like every casual RPGame always was.
      I hoped U would set a new higher Benchmark.
      in that case I would prefer a Talent System which regulate and Balance decisions out. For example: putting skill points in sword mastery makes my attack as fast as fists and putting sill Points in fists increases damage like wielding a sword
      That means every playstyle of the Monk is the same mechanic and damage Output and so on... but I REALLY can CHOOSE how i want to equipp and Play my Monk....
      Just my 2 Cents...
      So long

    46. Missing avatar

      FrostPaw on

      I think the Monk sounds like a class that requires intensive micro to use properly. In a single class game that would be fantastic, in a party class game I worry I would spend too much time managing his wounds mechanic instead of managing all the classes in my party.

    47. Missing avatar

      hajtez on

      I am strongly afraid that monk will be overpowered like it was in Baldurs Gate II. Killing dragon with raw fists faster than the whole party full of mages with awsome spells and warriors with awsome skills and gear... Unless heavy armor (though skin) will receive almost none damage from raw fists :)

    48. Jean-Luc Picard on

      Love the monk mechanic but I was just about to say how it fits the "Torment setting" and then I remembered this is PE. :P Still cool though, it's basically pain suppression which fits the monk concept.

      Also don't mind people derping about clothes and cultures. If it's not about women and what they should be doing and why, it's about deep seated racism. Just ignore it.

    49. Michaeljack on

      Well crap...Monk sounds so awesome I'm not quite so sure I want to play a cipher now....