Even Obsidian is surprised at how the base game will change.
The idea of a proper game expansion is something of a lost art, what with forgettable, shoddily produced DLC regularly being slapped with the title of 'Expansion.' Of course, isometric RPGs were also considered a lost art not all that long ago. That was before the Kickstarter-rattling 'Pillars of Eternity' hit the market. (Review here.)
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the first expansion for 'Pillars' is most definitely ambitious in aspect and scope. It's even more ambitious than the name, 'Pillars of Eternity: The White March: Part I' suggests. It's pretty clear that with Obsidian and Paradox Entertainment actively developing for 'Pillars' (as opposed to say, ditching it and moving on to a new project), the idea of expanding the game is being fully explored. (...)
The expansion will introduce soulbound weapons whose characteristics will change depending on the class of the party member to whom the weapon is bound. These weapons will get stronger over time, so that choice is even more important.
While these are nice, juicy expansion-esque features, there are others of a greater significance. With the expansion, Obisidian is going to introduce several fan-requested changes that will fundamentally alter how the game is experienced. For example, cross-class (aka multi-class) talents will allow players to really get creative with their party members' skills. Case in point, the rogue who can frenzy like a barbarian, or summon skeletons. These talents won't be exactly like if they were primary class talents, but still, the options will be many.
Class importance and distinction is like to increase, however, what with the soulbound weapons, and the new Party AI scripting system. With class-specific party behavior options, players will gain a greater default way to control their party members, and this deeper set of orders can be toggled on or off with click of the UI or hotkey.
Even still, the way that stealth is handled is changing. In 'Pillars,' the party's stealth status was all or nothing, and at first detection, all party members and most AI enemies were drawn into battle. With the expansion, stealth will be handled on a per party member basis, and that means that players can exercise a much larger degree of tactical ability prior to combat, positioning their party members in a way to exploit detection. This may sound too powerful, especially for those players willing to infiltrate and backstab enemy positions, but there is a catch. Enemies will also behave in manner more attune to individual stealth settings.
These changes are being worked back into the main game, and as it turns out, many enemies have grown a bit wiser and a bit tougher as a result. For veteran 'Pillars' players, these features are bound to touch a nerve, but hopefully in a good way. (Party A.I. changes, Individual Stealth, and Spell Range Indicators, and Accuracy Indicators will be updates for all owners of 'Pillars of Eternity,' and not just expansion buyers.) (...)