Obsidian Entertainment released Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire back in May 2018 to a great critical reception. The commercial reception, however, was reportedly poorer. There are many factors that could explain this, and maybe one of them is what drove the developers to work on a turn-based mode. It was accidentally leaked last December, as per PC Gamer. Now we have received confirmation that the turn-based combat mode is releasing on January 24, along with a new patch.
It's actually quite unprecedented for a pausable real-time RPG to add a turn-based mode post-launch. There are a few cases of games with both modes, such as Troika Games' flawed gem Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and the often overlooked Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, but there are probably no cases of turn-based RPGs adding a real-time mode. That goes with the challenges of making these systems work seamlessly. There's so much that can go wrong, particularly in a big and complex RPG inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder such as Pillars of Eternity.
It's early to tell what will be the impact of this mode on the game and its playerbase, but it seems to be part of the new territory that Obsidian will explore now that it has been acquired by Microsoft. If there is a Pillars of Eternity III, it will likely ship with both modes available, allowing a much broader appeal to players from the outset. And just as Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire refined the combat from the original game, I'd expect a thoroughly polished implementation of both modes.
Either way, I had the chance to get a hands-on preview with the new turn-based mode, which you can read here.
What do you think about the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Turn-Based Mode? Do you have a hard preference for either real-time or turn-based? Let us know in the comments below.