Backer Beta

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Main menu of the Deadfire: Backer Beta

Backer Betas are pre-release versions of the games, open to backers of the game funding campaigns.

Obsidian Entertainment and the games' community use the Betas to collect feedback, thoughts and input about the games' features (and bugs), that then could be implemented into the further development.

Pillars of Eternity: Backer Beta[edit | edit source]

The Pillars of Eternity: Backer Beta went live on August 18, 2014[1][2] – about seven months before the official game's release.[3]

Access was granted to backers from the $110 tier upwards or by upgrading their pledge with an additional $25 for the "Early Access Beta Key".[4] News, discussion and feedback were shared in an official forums' subsection, especially created for the Backer Beta (now archived).

Initially avaliable for Windows only,[5][6] the beta was extended to Mac on November 27, 2014,[7] and later to Linux on February 12, 2015.[8]

Several patches and versions followed, until "build 480" was released on March 12, 2015[9] – only two weeks before the game.

Accessing the beta[edit | edit source]

Beta builds are only available to backers, and were distributed as unique Steam keys that could be generated via the Obsidian Account profile page. Keys would grant the backer access to only the beta branch of the game, giving backers the option to later redeem their retail copy on either Steam or GOG.[5].

The last beta version (as well as other branches) can be accessed via the Betas tab of the properties window for the game within Steam, assuming a beta key has been activated.[10] Older beta versions can be downloaded via the Steam CLI, using the appropriate ids (see SteamDB).

Between 27 February 2015 and 3 March 2015, beta keys could be used to redeem a reviewer build of the game.[11][12]

In retail versions of the game, the backer beta can be enabled with the command line argument -bb. This can be set directly by running the game from the command line, by using a shortcut, or from within Steam with the "Set launch options..." button in the general tab of the properties window for the game. Creating a new game with the backer beta enabled will start the game within the beta setting (see below). Game content (items, quests, etc) will be exactly the same as in the full version of the game, unless an actual beta build is used.

Setting and gameplay[edit | edit source]


Beta content: The following content is from the game's Beta version and may appear not or different in the final release of the game.

The beta takes place in Dyrford Village and the surrounding wilderness. Created characters have access to all races, subraces, classes, cultures, and backgrounds, and start at level 1 with enough experience to advance to level 5. Not all talents and abilities are implemented. In addition to the created player character, the party includes four pre-made generic characters, a fighter, rogue, priest, and wizard. These premade characters all start at level 5, and wear an assortment of Fine quality gear relevant to their class.[13]

A number of side quests are available, many of which are carried over to the full version of the game. Quests give an artificially-inflated amount experience, ensuring that the party can advance from level 5 to 8. Other game systems are present, including general exploration, conversations, combat, looting, crafting, enchanting, hiring adventurers, camping, stores, inns, and resting. Caed Nua stronghold mechanics are not present. No part of the backer beta has a direct connection to the critical path/main story, and content above level 8 has been omiited (the amount of experience obtainable is capped to level 8).[13]

Pillars of Eternity II: Backer Beta[edit | edit source]

The Deadfire: Backer Beta was released on November 14, 2017 on Steam and GOG.[14][15] It is available to backers of the Fig game funding campaign at tiers of $99 and above or by pledging an extra $20 in the Backer Portal. Here's also where the installation instructions and key generator can be found.

News and feedback are shared – alongside platform specific forums – in the Obsidian forum community's Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Backer Beta) board. Each month's first Thursday new features are planned to get implemented through an update.

In the retail release of the game you can still access the Backer Beta using the console command BB before starting a new game. Note that using this command on a full release save file will bring with it all the same limitations, and may negatively affect your game. Re-entering the command while in the backer beta world will close the beta scene immediately.

Do NOT use the "Start & Skip Intro" option when creating a new game, as this will start a regular game instead.

Version history[edit | edit source]

  • The initial version from Nov 14, 2017 was v0.0.0.0004 Backer Beta Release 1.0820 BB.
  • The first update was released on Dec 21, 2018, v0.0.0.0021 Backer Beta Release 2.0886 BB. Alongside bugfixes, a new island, the complete AI system, walk toggle and Mac and Linux versions were introduced. Additionally many changes have been implemented, regarding Backers' feedback.[16]
  • On February 01, 2018 the Backer Beta Update 2 followed. Current version: ???. It focuses on the Defiant, enchanting and crafting, and adds features and bugfixes.[17]

Setting and gameplay[edit | edit source]


Beta content: The following content is from the game's Beta version and may appear not or different in the final release of the game.

The Backer Beta starts with a, compared to its predecessor, visually enhanced Character Creation. Several new features are included, e.g. the choice between "Single Class" or "Multiclass", followed by a possible Subclass. The related ability tree has a preview feature which shows possible abilities of all levels. Weapon Proficiencies have to be chosen, that grant access to additional weapon-dependent modal abilities. The color palettes for character customization have been expanded, as well as an idle "pose" feature being added.

After having created a first level Watcher, the game jumps to the piers of Tikawara, an island in the Deadfire Archipelago, inhabited by the Huana, who are cooperating with the Vailian Trading Company. The Watcher's party – four level 6 mercenaries in addition – just has come off their ship and may now level up to 9.

While the Watcher can leave Tikawara, the world map is limited to a small sub-section of the total world map as it is seen in the full game. A few other ships roam the seas in this area, Well-Weathered Cormio on his ship The Whirlwind, Faina Short Fur on The Red Arrow, and Veen on The Reckless. You can freely engage them in ship combat in your Dhow. Your ship is crewed by a number of crew members not unique to the beta, including Aledh, Beodul, Cathenna Stormheart, Daelan, Eadulf, Grim Kuldran, Irrena, Little Leuca, Shieldsister Daelia and Vanizzi. Beodul and Irrena make an appearance in-person during the Prologue to the full game, being part of the initial crew of The Defiant.

Locations[edit | edit source]

A number of locations are present in the beta for the Watcher to explore. These locations are for the most part the same as they appear in the full game.

Tehiwai Islands - Central island
  • Icon Cliffs Tropical.png
    Sunepū Beach: A large beach infested by lagufaeths. When you first come across it, it's completely unoccupied. You can use athletics to continue cautiously, perception and survival to investigate your surroundings, or cipher talents to scan for other minds. You will find a single, huge lagufaeth there, called Skulking-Terror.
  • Icon Cliffs.png
    Boa Hika Pass: An area where you can engage a particularly ornery group of lagufaeths, hunting boars, led by Chief Echoing-Strike.
  • Icon Forest Dark.png
    Toaku Biwha Trail: A scripted interaction where you can encounter delemgans and interact with them (or scare them off with 4 Intimidate).
Poko Kohara
  • Icon Poko Kohara Ruins.png
    Poko Kohara ruins: An old Engwithan ruin, and the central location on the island.
  • Icon Huana Shrine.png
    Kābara Reku Shrine: A small shrine dedicated to Rikuhu. You can identify its dedication with Religion and determine that the area is safe to rest with Survival (giving you a free rest). A Monk, Cipher, or Druid can ... . You can also rest, pray at the shrine and rest, or do the unspeakable and desecrate it.
Tangaloa Island
  • Icon Ruins Stairs.png
    Temple of Tangaloa ruins: A temple dedicated to a particularly fun cult that focused on mutilation, torture, and wholesale murder. Fun for the whole family.
  • Icon Old Battleground.png
    Amira's Whisper: A former battlefield at the gates to the Temple of Tangaloa. Without ... ability, or else having Xioti in your party, you will be forced to confront the darkness, which consists of Elewys and several spirits. You do get Elewys' Locket from it, though.

Other differences[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of differences between the Backer Beta and the full game.

  • The version number has "BB" appended to it.
  • The backer beta does not have a cinematic intro movie (as it starts immediately on Tikawara).
  • The level cap in the beta is level 9.
  • Character customization does not include Legacy Histories.
  • Colour selection in the character customization is limited.
  • The cyclopedia and tutorials buttons are not shown in the journal.
  • The "Credits" button is not present in the main menu, and the "Legacy Histories" button isn't present in the settings.
  • The Watcher starts on a Dhow (SHP_Dhow_BB), with base stats and no unique upgrades (other than the Watcher colours).
  • You cannot open the Ship Management interface at all during the beta.
  • Numerous changes to the layout of the map, as well as icons used (many camp icons are replaced with crates).
    • Kābara Reku Shrine uses a different icon.
    • Poko Kohara isn't covered in dust storms.
    • The bay on the northern side of Tikawara is called Ngati Tara Bay. In the full version this name is not present.
    • Similarly, Ofecchia Island is named in the backer beta, but doesn't have an equivalent in the full version, not even in the Ofecchia Channel.
    • Tangaloa Island, while in the full game is located south of Port Maje, here is is placed to the northeast of Tikawara, and to the east of Ofecchia Island.
    • The Kua o Rikuhu Islands are completely different in the beta, where they exist as a small cluster of islands south of Tikawara. In the full game the islands cover a large portion of the northeast corner of the map, and bare no resemblance.
    • The small chain of islands directly to the north of Tikawara are different in the full game. However, the full game still has the same shape and location of the island chain when viewed on the world map.
    • The small U-shaped island in the northeast corner is found in multiple places throughout the full game:
    • The minor island to the west of Ofecchia Island is present in a quite a number of locations in the full game:

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit source]