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 Divinity: Original Sin

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Kana
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PostSubject: Divinity: Original Sin   Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:16 am

Has anyone played this game?  I picked it up during Steam's summer sale, and I have been really enjoying it.  It's really an old-school game, with some interesting new ideas.

You can play either two-person co-op, or single player.  In the single-player game, you create two characters to start your party.  Your two characters can have disagree on certain things, allowing you to give them differing personalities.  You can also pick up two additional party members in the game world.

Although you chose a class at character creation, the game is actually classless, and you can build your character however you please.  Character progression is fairly detailed.  First, you have the standard attributes like strength and intelligence.

Then, you have Skills.  You get one skill point each level.  These govern things such as the number of spells you are allowed to learn in a particular school, or the efficiency of actions like identifying magic items or repairing gear.  There are also crafting skills, but I haven't quite figured out the crafting system, yet.

Then, there are Talents.  These are similar to Fallout's perks.  You get one every three or four levels, and many of them offer both beneficial and negative effects.  For instance, there's one called "Politician" which gives you 2 bonus points to charisma, but -1 to intelligence.  LOL.

Finally, there are Traits.  These are determined dynamically by your choices as you play, primarily through dialogue, it seems.  For instance, making "bold" choices gives you a bonus to Initiative, which grants you attacks of opportunity when an adjacent enemy tries to move.  This is good for melee characters.

The combat is reminiscent of Fallout, although not quite as strict.  For instance, it doesn't cost any AP to access the inventory.  And you can also control your whole party, so no getting shot in the back by trigger-happy followers.

Your characters are "Source Hunters", which are essentially hunters of rogue mages.  I haven't got to far into the story yet, but I'll say it starts out with a murder mystery.  The opening are is very large with a lot of exploration.  It is basically an open-world game.

I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who liked old-school turn-based RPGs.

Here are a few screen caps.

Spoiler:
 
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Sue77
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:47 am

I love Larian Studio's games. This one is on my wishlist.  cat 
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:29 am

It's also available on Gog. Wink

I haven't played as much as I wanted to. I was pretty excited at first and then I started restarting the game because I wasn't satisfied with my party and now I've played through the beginning at least four times before wiping off all my saves.

The game is absolutely gorgeous (Kana lovely screenshots by the way) and I really like the fact that you have no class restriction whatsoever. I also enjoy the many ways to interact with the environment and to move things around.

There is no hand holding and that's quite refreshing after playing so many games in which my brains just plug off because they are not used at all.

Now what I don't like is the amount of hype surrounding this game because as good as it can be there are some major issues.

That may be subjective but the music is ghastly... If it sounds like something I could come up with on my old keyboard then I know it's pretty bad. Take the music from the Banner Saga for instance, that is some pretty amazing score. D:OS is one of the few games in which I had to turn off the music after only a few hours.

The humour can be a deal breaker at times and that includes the very nonsensical disguises when sneaking and nobody can say with a straight face that implementing sneaking in such a zany way was a "good" idea (it completely ruins what little immersion the game may have created in the process of telling a story based on an awful pun so unless you're prepared to play a character that is as serious as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates movies steer clear of sneaking).

This game has some things that remind us of Fallout but it also has some humour that is almost as bad as the humour in Fallout 2. I could stomach Fallout 2 because I'm a huge Monty Python's fan but I really don't care for Terry Pratchett's humour and that's what D:OS is going for... It's obvious with the rather trite sorcery/sourcery pun.

Jack Vance is the only author I know who managed to make fantasy (and science fiction) funny without turning it into some sort of spoof. I'm mentioning Vance here because he was a major influence on the original D&D (and I'm pretty sure some of the good folks at Larian must be familiar with his work) whereas Pratchett was actually influenced by D&D and that's a major difference.

That brings me to the writing which from what I have seen so far is anything but stellar. I hope it improves but I honestly doubt it. I may be harsh but when I see the cool party mechanics that they've come up with to get party members to argue I can only be dissatisfied with such uneven writing.

The fonts are still on the small side which is pretty stupid but not limited to this game. Divinity 2 was already bad with its tiny fonts and I've played (or at least tried playing) other games with minuscule fonts and that's simply annoying. The fact that they can't come up with a decent solution to avoid players straining their eyes is annoying (I may be wearing glasses but I can see pretty well so I can't imagine how bad it can be for players with really bad eyesight).

Last but not least the real problem is the incredibly sluggish party movement... What were they thinking? I know it's a single player game but I can't see the point in the party taking forever to get from one point to another especially considering that they will stop running because you've unfortunately clicked somewhere. I don't know if they wanted to make the game feel bigger or make it last longer but that was a major turn off for me until I googled a mod to make my characters move at a decent pace.

The game has great things going for it but it also has some issues which so far have prevented me from enjoying it as much as I thought I would.



This video details some of the good things that haven't been mentioned yet. I may sound a bit negative but it's more because I'm disappointed. It's a good game but I think that despite coming up with some innovative and creative gameplay mechanics they've made some really unfortunate design decisions. I can play without the music and I can try and ignore the feeble attempts at humour, I can even play closer to my screen so I don't strain my eyes but I really need this mod to work to make my party move at a decent speed.

One question for you Kana, do you feel that investing in social skills is worth it? I've tried putting points in charisma (actually gimping one of my guys in the process so I had to start over) and I couldn't see any return on that investment...

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Kana
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:31 pm

I didn't really pay much attention to the hype, so I guess I benefit from having no real expectations. I haven't been particularly bothered by the music, either. As to the walking pace, I have wished I could use CTRL-J a few times.

The humor is a bit too much. I don't mind humor in games so much, but pop culture or real-world references really take me out of the game, and I've seen a few of those. I just fought a pirate named Pontius Pirate. Okay, it' a joke... not exactly the laugh out loud kind, though, and it doesn't really add anything to the game.

I've been able to overlook these things because I've been enjoying the gameplay so much, but I suspect this is the kind of thing that would bother me more and more with subsequent playthroughs.

As for charisma, it seems to only help make it easier to win arguments. You get more points for each win in the the rock-paper-scissors game they use to resolve disagreements. So far, I haven't seen it really used much in quests. It seems like it would be more useful in a co-op game in which you might have to resolve conflicts with your teammate.

I wouldn't recommend spending more than one point on it, if even that. You can craft items that boost charisma, and even get one for free as a part of the murder investigation (although it's stupid). I chose the aforementioned Politician talent for my leader, since he doesn't use magic. With one point in charisma, that gives me 3 charisma. That's enough to resolve disagreements with two wins of the RPS game.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:09 am

Thanks for taking the time to answer. I've seen the politician trait and the trade off between intelligence and charisma seems like a good one for a character who won't dabble in magic but I can see now that many skills are not worth putting points into.

Regarding humour it's a pity they went that way... I never completed Divinity 2 because I lost the drive to finish it but I had some good time playing it before it became too grindy (I may go back to it some day though) and I think it had a more balanced approach with some zany stuff acting as comic relief. The problem with taking it too far is that the game becomes a spoof and that's definitely not an immersive experience.

I'll give it another shot once I'm done with the Game of Thrones RPG. Now that my expectations aren't so high I may be able to overlook some of those things.

By the way what do you think of character models in this game? Women are fine but why do guys look like bodybuilders? That's silly. I'd like to make a scrawny archer type and I'm stuck with a Conan lookalike.

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:12 pm

Trying to get back into Divinity Original Sin I can't help feeling a bit disappointed by the number of terribly awful puns...

In many ways this game is as bad as Borderlands 2 with its wacky frat boy humour except at times D:OS feels more like middle school.

There is a huge difference between playing a shooter and thinking "this is a silly joke" and playing a CRPG and thinking "this is a silly joke" after all Borderlands is pretty much like an FPS version of Diablo and the story doesn't matter that much but D:OS is supposed to be a CRPG so I can expect to relate to the characters I'm playing.

Unfortunately it feels like playing a spoof instead of an actual game.

And don't get me started on Rogues... I love playing Rogues but I can stand sneaking in this game. It's just too zany.

All I can say is that this game truly stresses my ability to suspend disbelief. I can't possibly understand how so many people can rave about this game being GOTY and incredible and basically the best thing since sliced bread. It has some good combat mechanics but unfortunately that's pretty much it.

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:49 am

Your comments are very interesting. The video makes it look like a fantastic game. It tempts me to get it dispute the fact that there is a lot of reading.

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:44 am

It's actually both good and bad. If you can live with the jokes then it's better.

A warning though, the fonts are a bit on the smaller side. Since there is a lot of reading that may be a problem especially at higher resolutions.

What is the native screen resolution on your PC? It would be a good idea to look for a screenshot at the same resolution to find out if it wouldn't be too hard to read.

I will check out the native resolution and if I can read it I think what I may do is put it on my wish list for when the price drops significantly. Should I live so long. Right now I have my two games in development to fool around with and there is a possibility that PoE will be out by April if they can ever get the bugs fixed and the combat resolved.

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Sue77
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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:52 am

Larian Studios have produced some fantastic games, but I have to admit I've held back from purchasing both Commander and Original Sin as I don't feel they've quite hit the mark with either. Humour is present in each of their games but my favourite is Divine Divinity 2 where I feel they get the mix right.

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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:33 am

I have only played Divinity 2 and this one and all I can say is that Divinity 2 was incredibly better as far as humour is concerned. Original Sin is just silly at times.

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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:51 am

Kana wrote:
I don't mind humor in games so much, but pop culture or real-world references really take me out of the game, and I've seen a few of those.

Exactly. It's the references to the real world that I find particularly jarring.

At the very beginning there is a direct reference to the novel Moby Dick that sounds utterly asinine because it is uttered by a giant shellfish...

I have no idea who thought that the "call me Ishmashell" line was funny in any way because frankly it's not and it sets the tone of the game.

In all honesty BG had some silly real world references but they were Easter eggs and you had to look for them (like Bub Snikt a direct reference to Wolverine) or they were subtle enough as to not break immersion (just like many of the quotes uttered by companions like Xzar's line "I am become Death destroyer of worlds" or Shar Teel's "if it bleeds, I can kill it" which you could still take in context) with Divinity Original Sin that stuff is in your face right from the start.

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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:42 pm

The enhanced version of the game is going to be released in October:


I like the changes, playing with a gamepad is not something that I was looking forward but it looks like it can be really nice.

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PostSubject: Re: Divinity: Original Sin   Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:24 pm

Finished this game a while ago, I must say it has one of the best elemental magic system I've ever encountered in games.

I've played a lot of games back in the day, and I can say that I've seen it all. Quite frankly I am tired of dialogues. This is where DOS humour came in, it was refreshing and funny. Because finally a game managed to surprize me with dialogues and events.

I modded it a bit though in order to make blacksmith and crafting useful, so I could create powerful weapons myself with a proper skill level.

The final boss was a disappointement. I onehit KOed him with LavaCore Spell.

My playstyle was double Lone Wolf, with increased difficulty mod, so it was really hellish at some points throughout the game. I also chose Zombie talent because it was fun to be able to heal with poison potions. Too bad the variety of Posion Potions is not as diverse as with Healing Potions, so I had to mod them in.
One of my chars was a 2H warrior with medium powered Fire magic spells and a mage that was proficient in all elements.

I've never played any game of this series.
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