Obsidian developer Josh Sawyer is getting ready to release his debut single, “I Will Always Love You”, to a Pillars of Eternity 2 player after enough people were able to surmount a seemingly impossible challenge. In 2019, Obsidian threw down the gauntlet and posed The Ultimate challenge to players. The task, aptly named for its requirements, puts the game on maximum difficulty, turns on all God Challenges, makes you play solo, and provides you with a single save slot that deletes your game if you die.
The Ultimate may sound ridiculous, because it is, but it was by no means impossible. Bit by bit, players began to submit proof of their challenge completions and Obsidian immortalized them by engraving their names onto a plaque that hangs in the developer’s office. With 11 of the 12 spots claimed, design director Josh Sawyer made things a little more interesting by committing to sing a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” in praise of the next challenge winner, but with one major catch: the Priest of Skaen and Blood Mage subclasses were off limits.
The reasoning behind this restriction is simple, as Sawyer explained in a tweet that “Priests can cast Withdraw on Vela, the child you have to protect. Priests of Skaen have an invisibility power. Blood Mages can regenerate their casting resources.” With such specific restrictions, Sawyer probably thought he would be safe from having to sing, but he was wrong.
A mere month after throwing down his revamped challenge, Riccardo Novello submitted his completed run using a Psion-Troubadour. After taking a good look at the submission to ensure everything was up to snuff, Sawyer proudly announced that the challenge was indeed over, and twelve names had been added to the plaque.
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For anyone still interested in the challenge, there is still reason to give it a shot. Spots 1-12 may have been claimed on that plaque hanging at Obsidian’s office, but there is still a great prize up for grabs up for anyone who now claims spots 13-50. Anyone who completes the challenge, even in its original form, will receive a letter and woven patch.
Does this sound like an impossible task? Honestly, it is not for the faint of heart, but there are a ton of great resources to help get you on your way. Check out the video below by Neketaka, who utilizes a Wizard build to stealthily sneak past most danger. There is a good amount of nuance here, as Neketaka shows off how you need to move along some precise routes to avoid entering the sightline of an enemy.
Best of luck to everyone who tackles this great challenge, and we cannot wait to hear Sawyer when he finally releases his hit song!
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The Fantastic, Science-Fiction, and Horror are Patricio’s go-to genres for literature, film, and gaming. Dead by Daylight is his daily bread and butter as he writes for TheGamer. He teaches Spanish at McGill by day and writes next to his Staffy x Boxer rescue from the SPCA by night.
Patricio graduated from the University of Alberta in 2006, 2012, and will have one more degree in hand by 2020. Innovation in game development, the economics of making games profitable, and the downward, decadent spiral of former great gaming companies fuels his soul to write daily. Will Blizzard Entertainment do something controversial often enough to keep this reference relevant? Patrick certainly believes they will.
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