Obsidian’s new role-playing game Avowed is set in Eora, the world of Pillars of Eternity. We explain what we already know about the open world and the gameplay.
Obsidian’s new role-playing game Avowed, with its first-person view, is reminiscent of Skyrim at first glance, but has even more in common with another series: Pillars of Eternity. The oldschool RPGs are set in the same universe.
This is fantastic news, because Eora is not just a simple medieval fantasy world. Here you’ll encounter gods who stomp entire fortresses with one foot (thanks for nothing, Eothas!), out-of-control soul magic, fallen heroes, mad priests, pirate-infested waters, squabbling colonial powers and even pistols and rifles alongside the typical role-playing game arsenal.
A pretty exciting setting for Avowed. So let’s analyse what clues there already are to the game world, gameplay, story and more in the role-playing game. In doing so, we also refer to credible leaks about the game.
Watch out, spoilers!
We’re not revealing anything about the specific story of Pillars of Eternity here, though a few details about the background and world of role-playing games.
The game world: regions and landscape
Eora spans several continents and islands, of which Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 only cover two – the eastern section as a temperate region and the tropical Deathfire Volcanic Islands. However, the game world has much more to offer:
- The Living Lands: According to a recent leak, Avowed starts in this region. Similar to Skyrim, it is located in the far north and features a mountainous landscape and valleys that are difficult to reach. This has made it difficult to develop the area, which is why outlaws run rampant here and bizarre creatures find a home. In addition, many different peoples have settled here – especially dwarves who pursue their urge to explore. There is also talk of particularly harsh weather – how convenient that a supposedly very advanced weather system has also been leaked as a feature.
- More locations: It would also be possible to make detours to the savannahs of the Xamitl Plain, to the crumbling island states of Old Vailia, the trading centre in the Gulf of Rauatai, where many nations and relentless storms meet, or even to the frosty plains of the southern Arctic Circle. Even these are populated by elves and dwarves. So Eora goes far beyond the European Middle Ages. In terms of progress, Pillars of Eternity is oriented towards the 16th century and mixes medieval influences with the Renaissance and colonial era.
- Peoples: The different locations are also populated by other cultures. In addition to humans, you will encounter classic elves and dwarves, but also the tall Aumaua who live by the sea, the childlike Orlan with huge pointed ears in the steppe or the godlike. They were marked by the gods with exotic outgrowths on their bodies and can be found anywhere.
- Factions: In addition, there are factions like the religious paladin order of the Gloomy Striders, political intelligence services like the Dunry Road or organised peasant uprisings like the Dozens. They could also give us orders in Avowed or conspire against us.
The fact that the first trailer shows an inhospitable and war-torn mountain landscape fits well with the potential setting:
The story: what mythology and lore reveal
According to info that has surfaced online, Avowed will tell an independent story but respect and expand on Pillars of Eternity’s lore and world:
- Souls and Rebirth: Pillars of Eternity is driven by the concept that souls are constantly reborn. However, in Part 1, a disease is rampant that causes children to be born without souls. “Guardians” like our main character have the gift of reading the souls of other creatures. Exactly how Avowed addresses the issue is still unclear, but the cycle plays a crucial role in Eora.
- Gods: In the universe exists a world of gods comparable to the ancient deities. Behind it, however, are no supernatural beings, but ideals artificially created by the ancient civilisation of the Engwithans. Because they could not agree on a religion at the time, they simply invented their own. In Pillars of Eternity, the gods intervene directly in the action – Eothas destroys our fortress, for example – and communicate with our character. According to the leak, this will also be the case in the new role-playing game.
- An important resource: Adra crystals grow upwards as column-like rock formations. The material becomes valuable because souls can be captured, manipulated or even transferred with it – for example, from human to animal. The Engwithans used the Adra, among other things, to make the gods. The world and story of Pillars of Eternity are thus based on exciting philosophical questions and ideas about soul and spirit. What happens when they become a simple raw material and can be considered separate from the body?
Classes, weapons & magic: playful possibilities
- Classes: In Pillars of Eternity there are eleven playable classes, which will be expanded by subclasses in the sequel. These include hautrauf playstyles such as barbarian or fighter, mages such as sorcerer and medium, or supporters such as priest or singer. According to a leak, Avowed will offer an extensive character editor. However, this could also only refer to appearances.
- Weapons: When it comes to the variety of weapons, Pillars benefits from its exciting era. If Avowed is also set in this era, you will have swords, bows, axes or magic wands at your disposal, as well as more modern pistols or early guns such as blunderbusses and arquebuses. You can freely combine which weapons you use together. Dual Wielding should also be possible, similar to Skyrim.
- Magic: In Pillars, magic is mainly used for attacking or for buffs and debuffs, for healing you mostly use potions. In combat, magic is created in different ways: while wizards use books, druids use the power of nature, for example, and mediums tap into soul energy. According to the leak, powerful two-handed spells such as the fireball are included, but also magical status changes with which you poison or weaken opponents.
What insiders reveal about the gameplay
The website WindowsCentralhas published details about the gameplay of Avowed, allegedly from an insider source. However, since the source remains anonymous, it is impossible to verify whether all the information is actually true. But at least they sound in line with what we already know about the game.
Nevertheless, you should take the whole thing with a grain of salt! Avowed is currently said to be in an early, but already playable development version, in which important features are already integrated.
For example, enchanted weapons are supposed to play an important role, such as frost arrows and swords with magical damage. The comparison to Skyrim is obvious, but Avowed should offer you many more exciting manoeuvres. Warriors, for example, can deal kicks or strike with the shield, mages can adapt their spells to their preferences with special books.
And you will probably need such tricks urgently, because according to the alleged information you will have to deal with fearsome enemies. Some of them are already known from Pillars of Eternity, such as the lizard creatures Xaurip or giant wyverns and dragons.Pillars of Eternity - View Screenshots1 of 69
The Outer Worlds is said to have a great influence on Avowed. Which is obvious, of course, since both games come from developer Obsidian. According to WindowsCentral, Avowed should also be visually closer to the sci-fi game than to Elder Scrolls, especially thanks to richer colours.
It is still unclear whether Avowed will get a true open world or connected hub worlds like The Outer Worlds. According to job offers from Obsidian, there might be a real open game world this time, but WindowsCentral explicitly couldn’t verify that
But it will be a while before we know more about Avowed or even get to lay our hands on the role-playing game ourselves. The release is supposed to take place in 2022 or 2023.