Beast of Winter is the first story-focused content pack released for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire by Obsidian Entertainment. The DLC introduces a number of enhancements to the overall game as well as brings in a new Godlike companion, large area to explore, secrets to unveil and enemies to fight. Check out our exclusive interview with the developers to learn more!
The events of the DLC start with the Watcher receiving a mysterious invitation to an island of frost and death in the far southern region of the Deadfire Archipelago. Once your crew arrives, you will see that it was not an exaggeration: the snowy plains and mountains of ice provide a cool change from the tropical locations you have visited so far. The rumors state that the ice continues to encroach further into the lands of the living, slowly but surely expanding the domain of Rymrgand and you, the Duskbringer, are the harbinger of the world’s inevitable end. The doomsday cult living in the Harbinger’s Watch only prays you manage to fulfill your destiny and bring the frozen conclusion to all life.
Beast of Winter sheds light on one of the more enigmatic gods of Eora: Ryrmgand, the god of entropy, winter and disaster. He has a complicated relationship with Berath, the god of death, on whose behalf you have started this journey. Up to this point, you could only have a couple of chance encounters with Rymrgand – first during the Council of Stars and Court of the Penitents main quests in PoE1 where he tasked you to disintegrate the souls of the Hollowborn, and a side-quest in Neketaka that throws your characters directly into his realm as a result of animancers’ miscalculations. Both left a chilly impression of an inevitable end. In Beast of Winter Rymrgand is present close and personal. Will your Watcher prevail against the cold, dark stillness of un-existence where life cannot dwell?
The DLC will also give you the first opportunity to see and recruit an Endings Godlike: Vatnir, the leader of the Harbingers, the Rymrgand’s cult. He is the one who sends you the invitation to kick off the expansion. As a teammate, he has the Condemnation domain and a focus in Famine, Entropy, and Winter. Additionally, any spells that depend upon a priest’s god and faith reflect Rymrgand’s portfolio.
Vatnir can summon aspects of Rymrgand through his Spiritual Weapon ability, which summons dual battle axes, or Incarnate, which summons a reflection of Rymrgand to fight at his side. If all else fails, he can cast the Call and the Symbol of Rymrgand to usher in the cold from Rymrgand’s realm to freeze his enemies. You can have him as pure Priest or multiclass as a Celebrant (Priest + Chanter), or a Zealot (Priest + Rogue). As a Godlike, he has interesting conversations with Pallegina and Tekehu, who are Godlike themselves, as well as with Xoti, a Priest of Guan, and Ydwin, the Pale Elf-animancer sidekick.
The cult of Harbingers consists of many Glamfallen, the Pale Elves, hailing from a huge southern expanse of polar ice known as The White that Wends. If you bring Ydwin along, her conversations with the cultists will reveal many details about the life in this inhospitable land.
The Beast of Winter adds depth to the world of Eora, sharing the views of characters the likes of which you had no chance to encounter until the DLC and leaving a lasting mark on your Watcher’s journey through the Deadfire Archipelago. You will face challenging puzzles, intense fights (pro-tip: turn off the scaling during some boss fights. Trust me), and many revelations as you face ancient souls in the White Void, Rymrgand’s portion of the Beyond. Additionally, Beast of Winter adds a new equipment type: the Trinkets. Trinkets are items that allows characters to cast powerful, once per rest abilities that can turn the tide of a battle.
If you have finished the game right after its release and have not returned yet, here is an overview of changes that have happened since the launch:
Obsidian Entertainment has released a number of free DLCs to the game up to this point:
- Critical Role Pack
- Rum Runner’s pack which adds a new sidekick and personality setting
- The Beard and Hair pack that speaks for itself
- Scalawags pack that adds three new crew members, five ship upgrades and a personality setting
- The Deck of Many Things pack adds a merchant ship sailing through Deadfire and selling magical items
The gameplay enhancements since the launch:
- The ability to skip the intro
- Character appearance improvements and the ability to change your character’s looks at any time
- Easy ship resupply – with just one button you can buy the maximum possible amount of medical supplies, water, etc. that your ship can carry
- Veteran & Path of the Damned balance improvements
- Added mod support to mod character backgrounds, voice sets and classes
- Stash search function was implemented
- Adjustments to the reputation screen to make it easier to navigate
- UI will now reflect suggested companions that would be relevant for a quest
- Various optimization and balance changes across the board
- Challenge modes: removing the pause function during combat and permanently killing any characters that have been knocked unconscious for longer than six seconds, Solo and Triple Crown challenges have returned as well
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire will receive two more story-focused DLCs in the months to come:
- Seeker, Slayer, Survivor will come out in September and will be a combat-focused expansion; Players will venture to the previously undiscovered island to rediscover ancient relics.
- The Forgotten Sanctum, will launch in November and will test your party’s allegiance and morality in a quest to help (or obstruct) the great wizards of Eora.