Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire


Better than the first one, but still flawed.


It looks beautiful. For some reason it’s really taxing to my CPU though. Fans are going nuts. And I’m running a late generation i7, so I’m not understanding it. Is it poorly optimized? Anyone else having this experience?


I have an older i7 and while I would hear the graphics card fans kick in from time to time, generally no I didn’t have any issues in terms of performance or optimization. Nothing with my CPU, certainly.

I did have a strange but easy to fix bug where if I transitioned to the map, movement was a little hitchy. However, if I F5 (quick save) and F8 (quick load) everything was smooth and high FPS again. Since that entire process only took like 4-6 seconds, it was never a big deal, and it didn’t happen every time.


There is a combat memory leak that is fixed in the beta patches. Could this be the cause of the performance issues you may be seeing?

  • Fixed a combat related memory leak (should improve some FPS on long play sessions)


Don’t know. The CPU load looks like about 50% across 4 cores, GPU load at 100%. I never have more than about 5.5 GB or ram being used, out of 16 is available.


Finished the game, liked the story a lot more than the first, which was dry and historical at the best of times. I was mostly just confused through out the first, including the expansions. Deadfire in contrast was much less subtle and I think this was a very good thing.

The combat system, like the first, seems to really err on the side of balance, probably a little too much. It’s hard to judge because the level and difficulty balance needs a lot more work, which they know and are planning on fixing. I still had a lot of fun building everything out but after level 7 I didn’t have to pay much attention. Those first levels were a lot of fun having to use every single resource at my disposal.

Performance was good until I hit the later levels with multiple casters laying down screen wide special effects that had to layer on top of each other. It would hit single digits on a Skylake i7 and 970 GTX for short bursts.


I have only played this for a few days.
I started as a wizard, and I was frustrated that I mostly was wanding things to death. I had like 2 spells per combat, and eventually 3 spells per combat to cast. It didn’t seem in increase the number of casts I would get per spell level. For example, at level 1, I had 2 first levels spells per combat. At level 4, I still had 2 first level spells. One of which was a buff.

I started an arcane knight. He seems to be good at taking hits, but I am not sure how much damage he does. I spent a fair amount on stats and gear to get his accuracy up. However, like the wizard, he doesn’t have much to do other than use his basic attack because the spells that he favors are buffs. I have only one use of an offensive spell, burning hands, per combat.

I am not sure if I should restart again or not, mostly because I do not know what to play. Looking at the other character’s trees, nothing jumps out as “oh wow, that is cool”.

I do find it annoying to try and see who will be hit by an AoE or not. I am assuming this is a bug. For example, if I spin around with the burning hands spell and am clearly targeting my own party, only one of the characters becomes highlighted in green, while the others still look like enemies.

I am also trying to make everyone ranged except the main tank. I am doing this because my tank buffs up before combat, and then anyone else with a melee weapon charges in (xoti for example) who has crap defenses. Is there some way to delay another characters engagement until my tank buffs and then engages an enemy?


I don’t know if there’s an AI setting for this, but I do know you can use a custom formation to mitigate this. Also, if Xoti has a ranged weapon, she’ll use it at range.


Yes, that is what I have been doing. Ranged weapons for everyone. I was hoping for a work around for another character to be melee, but not to run in until the main tank has engaged. Assuming all skills work with ranged weapons, then I guess it doesn’t matter.


My Xoti script has her casting area buffs for her first 2 or 3 actions.

Seems to keep her out of trouble.


Bonus AOE from stats/gear (colored yellow) does no friendly fire. Also spell descriptions will say what does FF and what does not (i.e. “Foe”).

Also targeting gets finicky with height differences.


First patch is live.



I’m glad I got through spending so much time in Neketaka. I started having more fun when I started exploring down under The Gullet and then went to Hasongo to pursue the main quest. Cities just have too much walking from place to place talking, and it works so much better when it is broken up by combat and exploring locations.

I’m up to level 9 now. The combat is so much more enjoyable when there are fights of an appropriate difficulty. I don’t mind easy stuff sprinkled about, especially if it is relatively quick.

They did a nice job with the dialog and stories of the other party members too. I have Xoti, Eder, Aloth, and Tekehu in my party. I left Maia and Serefen on the bench. While the character / NPC dialog is well done, the narrative dialog can be a little too flowery as it was in PoE1 - but that isn’t too big a deal.


Have to say, Deadfire is going to end up being an awfully huge time sink (in a good way) if I keep going at this rate. After 22 hours, I’m still in the Neketaka under city areas (actually trying to find my way out; I cleared all the areas down here, but seem to be stuck) and haven’t even been back to sea since arriving. Always surprised that people can finish these games so quickly.

Anyone notice the odd behaviour of being kicked out of stealth if you are, for instance, sickened by a cloud of vapor? And then you can’t go back into stealth because the game thinks you are in combat because you are still sickened? I’m thinking it’s a glitch, but can’t be sure.


Yeah, that was a bit weird with the poison cloud. It sounds like you’ve taken the same route I did.


Indeed, at least I found my way back to Neketaka and moved on through the city.

There’s a bit of an obvious weirdness with the order of accomplishing tasks, though. All that stuff I did in the undercity is thought to be something of a mission I was sent on, but I really just stumbled into the whole lot. The difficulty of devs allowing players the freedom to roam means it’s hard to code outcomes for every permutation of hitting those goals along the way.


My new monitor’s OSD shows the current frame rate. Deadfire on a fresh load will hover in the 60s, but after a few zone loads it plummets to the low 20s. An F8 fixes it. So, yeah, definitely a performance issue they need to fix.


Yes, I know that. However, when moving the red area of an AOE around, with all the enemies and allys bunched up, it is very hard to tell who is in the red area and who is not.


I find myself using mostly “Enemy AOE” spells for just this reason. Spells that are simply AOE (like Chill Fog, fr’example) I tend to use on enemies that aren’t engaged at all (like ranged dudes).

By the way, if you want someone like Xoti to not run into the fray, I think you can pick “Defensive” for the attack status in the AI editor. Or maybe “Defend Yourself” (or whatever that setting is called). The dropdown is in the lower left of the editor.

I’ve set up custom priest behavior for her that does a few buffs and heals on people when they get low, and then I manually fire off a heal or two when people need it. Overall it seems to work pretty well.


If the selection circle becomes animated/bounces around, that figure is going to be hit. If the selection circle stays static, that unit will not be affected (unless they move of course, into the spell radius after it’s cast).