In the vast and enchanting world of Avowed, set in the Pillars of Eternity universe, there lies a slight disappointment for adventurers who yearn for character diversity. Unfortunately, the game restricts players to choose between humans and elves due to narrative constraints. You see, your character will serve as an envoy from the Aedyr Empire, a dominion largely populated by humans and elves. It's a bit of a bummer, especially when there are other fascinating options like Aumaua, Dwarves, and the adorable Orlan available in the game's rich lore.
But fear not, fellow adventurers, for there is a reason behind this limitation, and it involves the technical intricacies of the first-person perspective. Game director Carrie Patel shed some light on this matter in a recent interview with IGN.
"We want to make sure that whatever experience we're offering is smooth and natural... one of the things [that's] easier to account for in an isometric game is just the variation in sizes," explained Patel. While she acknowledges that Aumaua are "roughly on the same scale," dealing with Orlan and Dwarves in a first-person view presents a whole new set of challenges.
Patel elaborated, "For each of those, especially in first person, you're adjusting the height of the player character's capsule and sort of where their weapons are relative to enemies and how their hits land." While her point is valid, we've seen first-person RPGs with a significant variance in player size before. However, Avowed aims to deliver weighty, Vermintide-inspired combat with physics-based shenanigans. It's a different ballgame compared to the likes of The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, which had varying sizes based on race but lacked that satisfying sense of impact in combat.
Ultimately, the decision made by Patel and the team at Obsidian Entertainment comes down to resource allocation and priorities in development. "It's obviously not that any of these things are impossible to solve, but you're always making choices and choosing your priorities in development," Patel explained. And so, the adventure awaits, as Avowed is scheduled to release in the fall of 2024, promising a captivating journey through a world teeming with magic and mystery.
As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Avowed, let us celebrate the creative choices made by the developers. While we may not have the opportunity to embody an Aumaua or a Dwarf in this particular adventure, we can still immerse ourselves in the captivating world of the Aedyr Empire as a human or an elf. So, sharpen your blades, ready your spells, and prepare to embark on a grand quest that will leave its mark in the annals of gaming history.
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