Pillars of Eternity update 3.0 brings with it story mode, stronghold updates, balance changes and more

Its been a good couple of years for us old school RPG lovers with both indie and large companies all of a sudden realizing there is actually a market for these sort of games.

Pillars of Eternity is perhaps the best and most polished one out of the whole lot and with the upcoming update 3.0 its set to become even better. Here's the developer video announcing the update and my short overview of the changes:


First on the list, your stronghold. Adventures will now offer much more compelling stories and most importantly rewards! Visitors that arrive to your stronghold will have interesting dilemmas that you'll need to deal with and there is even a brand new quest that will have you fight over your claim on the stronghold.

While on the topic of stories the long awaited Story Mode will be arriving with patch 3.0. The focus of Story Mode is to essentially make combat trivial with the odds heavily in the player's favor. What this means in gameplay terms is that you can travel around with whatever companions you wish and just focus on experiencing the story at your own pace. Its not a mode that I'm particularly interested in but I'm glad its there regardless.

If you want to challenge yourself however there is an optional setting that allows you to enable knockout injuries. In other words if your characters get downed in combat they will suffer a penalty until the next time they rest. Losing a bit of Reflex on one character might not sound like much but if you keep going down in fights things are going to become quite messy for you.

The athletics and survival skill trees are being updated given that many players found them useless and simply avoided them. Athletics will now provide a powerful personal heal in combat while survival will grant you specific buffs when resting outdoors (such as extra healing, damage reduction, etc.).

Pillars of Eternity White March Part 2 dragon bones in snow screenshot

Screenshot from the upcoming White March: Part 2

The Bestiary which could get pretty long by the end game will now be much more organized and set to include all of the sub-races as well. While not a massive change it'll go a long way towards helping you understand the weaknesses of each enemy as well as grant you a bit of bonus lore.

The Action Bar has been cleaned up so you can now more easily differentiate between per-encounter, per-day and per-rest abilities. Once again its not a massive change but its something new players will definitely appreciate if all of the confused forum threads I've seen are any evidence.

Finally the late game difficulty is being adjusted. Many players complained that Act 3 was simply filled with too many easy "trash" mobs and offered almost no challenge to a skilled party. Update 3.0 will be reducing the enemy density while upping the difficulty which should result in much more interesting and meaningful battles.

And there you have it, that's all of the major features coming in update 3.0 but If you would like to read the full patch notes head over here. You can expect the update and the conclusion of the White March story line to arrive this February 16th.