Obsidian Entertainment spilt the beans earlier when a leak hinted at a turn-based mode for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, but they have now officially confirmed its existence and stated it will come in a free update on 24 January 2019.
Firaxis have probably reintroduced a turn-based tactics craze in 2012 with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which was followed by successful titles such as Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel, Wasteland 2 and XCOM: Enemy Within. During Pillars of Eternity's Kickstarter campaign, there was an ongoing debate on whether the game should be turn-based or real-time with pause.
While the latter won initially, it seems like Obsidian now decided to introduce a turn-based mode as well, which is set to premiere on 24 January 2019. The mode was initially leaked in December 2018 when some players spotted it in their game, but it was still kept hush hush until recently when Josh Sawyer confirmed it would arrive with the upcoming update.
According to Sawyer, the turn-based mode will not only change the pacing, but also the approach and overall feeling of Deadfire's combat system. Each character will act independently, and their turn order will be dictated by Initiative, which is the standard in just about every turn-based game.
He added that the new mode that will be deployed in the 4.1 update is actually a beta version of it, as Obsidian are looking forward to feedback from the player base, in order to improve the mode or fix any issues players might run into. In case Sawyer's disclaimer wasn't clear enough, the turn-based mode will have a sticker with "beta" written on it after the initial release.
It will have five difficulties - Story, Relaxed, Classic, Veteran and Path of the Damned along with other modifiers for the playthrough.
One important thing to note is that once a player decides which mode they want, they will not be able to switch between real-time and turn-based modes on the fly. Sawyer stated that the reason for this restriction is that the game will be changed fundamentally, based on which mode it's played in.