/Making a Boss Fight: Behind the Scenes of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition

Making a Boss Fight: Behind the Scenes of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition


  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition is available now on Xbox One
  • The award-winning RPG from the masters at Obsidian Entertainment finally arrives on Xbox One, featuring all major updates and expansions.
  • The god Eothas awakens from his slumber and it’s up to you and your companions to use magic, gunpowder, and steel to uncover the rogue god’s machinations as he tramples across the Deadfire Archipelago.

Hello! It’s great talking to all of you. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire was a fun game to work on and now with it coming to Xbox One I wanted to give you a look into a bit of the process and work that goes into making just one boss fight for this game.

An encounter that I’m quite proud of is the Memory Hoarder
fight in The Forgotten Sanctum DLC. As a producer I get a lot of
joy out of seeing all the departments come together to build something and this
fight is a great example of that.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition

John Cotto is the area designer who built the Collections
wing of The Forgotten Sanctum. John had this idea of an area of the
dungeon where the god Wael housed all their worldly collections. You would
later come to find out most of those collections were living beings. In a
brainstorming session Dylan Hairston (who did most of the audio design for The
Forgotten Sanctum
) and John thought of the idea of a giant abomination that
was created to pacify everyone who was kept in the Collections. To keep them
pacified this creature would scream into a complex system of tubes running
through the Collections. Thus, The Memory Hoarder was born.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition

The design and art teams quickly decided that a creature whose
primary function was to scream intelligent beings into a daze would need to possess
countless mouths and faces. This creature, being a creation of the God of
Dreams, Illusion, and Secrets quickly became a thing of nightmares. Meanwhile,
environment art and audio were adding evidence of the tubes running through the
dungeon and faint screams coming from them as you traversed it. This created
some awesome foreshadowing as everything within the dungeon reminded you that
there was something lurking at the bottom.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition

The best fights in Deadfire are the ones that require
you to both manage the abilities that you’re using and the positioning of your party.
Systems and QA continued to iterate on the fights in The Forgotten Sanctum
every day. All of them would gather in a room and play the fights with
different companions, talents, and equipment. There were a few choices that the
team landed on that really made the fight interesting. They placed pacified
cultists around the room that The Memory Hoarder could awaken to join the fight.
This got the boss to walk around the room and bring waves of adds (more groups
of enemies) into the encounter. This not only motivates you to reposition, but
also different enemy types cause you to use different abilities to deal with
them. The boss would also call down damaging area of effect attacks in the
room. The unsafe areas on the ground, combined with slog zones pushes you to
really think about where to move your party members next.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition

With all these abilities how could you have any chance
against a boss like this? Let’s talk strategy! It’s always fun when we’re
building a fight to try to find the ways that we think you will handle the
encounter. Usually for every strategy we find, there are three more that all of
you come up with. With the Memory Hoarder ranged attacks are your best friend.
The Memory Hoarder has strong melee attacks but can’t do much at a range as
long as you stay out of the big damage areas that show up on the ground. This
can be difficult due to most of the floor being a slog zone. In addition to a
lack of range the boss is very slow. This is where Island Aumaua shine with
their ability to run through the slog zone with ease. Maia is great here with
her flying animal companion and her ability to move at a range and attack with
ease. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen players just barely complete
this encounter with Maia as the last combatant standing. Thanks a ton for
taking the time to check out Deadfire and I’m really excited for it to
come to Xbox One!