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Divinity: Original Sin II

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I'm surprised nobody has posted about this yet. Divinity: Original Sin II is out of Early Access.

 

I waited for the full release to get it, and man - it's awesome. Literally every part of this game is notably better than D:OS1 (and I already really liked that game). The tone is way less "comedy comedy comedy" while still having some humor. The character creation is much better with the pre-made character's backstories really adding to the game. The combat builds on the strengths of the original (even more of a tactical emphasis), and there are some really fun spells & abilities, such as minions getting unique skills based on the element  (wood/fire/ice/blood/etc) you summon them on. 

 

The co-op experience is also greatly improved. The UI is much more suited to playing with a controller on a TV, and the fact that each player really is independent & autonomous makes you feel less like you’re watching the “party leader” play the game, and more like you’re both exploring a single world together. Also, it supports 4 player co-op across 2 PCs, Pretty cool!

 

I honestly just can’t say enough good things based on the first hour or two I’ve played. Really, really impressive sequel.

Is anyone else playing?

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I liked my time with the original game quite a bit, but never finished it. With reviews suggesting 100+ hour play times I doubt that I will never finish this one either, but I'm still interested to try it out, when I have spare time from other games I'm more interested in (which at this rate, may be never).

 

It sounds like the battles are quite difficult again. Is the progression system similar to the first game, i.e. enemies do not respawn and there is no way to grind for xp?

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I tried a bit of a friend's copy and just found it a bit overwhelming. I had this problem with the first game too; since it's so open and gives so little direction and literally every NPC has dialogue and a trade inventory, I just end up feeling tired by it all. Also, as Nappi said, just how long the game is also contributes to the sense of "there's just too much here and I can't tell what is the stuff I'll enjoy". This is all exacerbated by the writing style which, while entertaining, is outrageously effusive. Characters often speak in paragraphs, and the line reads tend to be a bit slow and exaggerated as well. Original Sin was the first voice acted game in years that I'd repeatedly skipped through dialogue in.

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I would love to be playing this one, but there are too many interesting games and too little time. I still haven't finished Pillars of Eternity and haven't even started on the original Original Sin. Of course it would help if I didn't have 300 hours in Crusader Kings 2 and EU IV. But with those games I can return to them after a month, and kind of know what I'm doing, where as with RPGs one tends to forget too much after a break.

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I'm really loving this game so far. The combat's basically got the same weird, exploit-encouraged style to it (which I enjoy, even though I'm not very good at it.) More importantly, they've really tightened up all the areas I had problems with in the first game. The story has more steady pacing, the characters are more fleshed out and enjoyable, and the voice acting is good across the board. That last one's impressive since there's so much of this gameI'm 60something hours in and I don't think I'll be done for at least another 10, based on how stuff seems to be going. A few of the quests have had really obtuse solutions, but there's usually a workaround to those that involves the game's many other mechanics. 

 

I've especially enjoyed how often some weird little detail from earlier in the game shows up later on. Some of those are just characters who know each other, but there's also stuff like taming a bird in one act giving you a new option with a ghost bird in another act entirely. It's good.

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I have not played the first one, but have always wanted too. I am moving from PS4 back to PC gaming (won't be finished with my build until Christmas). Until then I am making do with my 27" iMac 2012. I was looking at the first game but it is currently $40, just wondering if it ever goes below that in any bundles or sales? if so i might wait for the sale, if not I might go ahead and get it. 

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It does go below that.

 

I only ever completed the first Act of the first game, because I played Early Access and that's ll there was then the saves didn't work with the full release and I really didn't feel like replaying that much of the game. So I waited until the final release for this one to avoid that problem. I've played about 7 hours and I'm really enjoying it, it's more of the same but a bit better. Combat is more interesting and a bit less clunky but often still devolves in chaotic explosions. The variety of ways to get things done is still great, I escaped the camp just by exploring and stumbling ass backwards into the perfect way out after a few fights with some low level magisters... which I didn't take because I wanted to do some more exploring and then I found another way out. I love that aspect.

 

Haven't had a lot of glitches so far, there was one fight where the CPU took about a minute to take their first turn. Had one bad issue where I could see the GUI but the game world vanished and I couldn't move, my last save was about 20 minutes ago(I'm saving often but the time passes fast!) which made me just leave the game alone for a while, I'll jump back in this evening.

 

Also playing over Steam Link with an XBOX controller and it's a perfect couch game, controls very well and the GUI is easy to navigate and make sense of.

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I ended up not being able to hold out as I really wanted something to play and nothing on the current sales was calling to me. So, I bought it at full price planning to complete at least one playthrough over the next few months. I'm a few hours in but not far enough past the handholding sections to really get a grasp of how much I like it, but early indications are good.

 

I think I am going to restart after I get another couple of hours in as I feel I may be shooting myself in the foot early on not speccing the characters right or using scrolls too early that I may need later.

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4 hours ago, xchen said:

I ended up not being able to hold out as I really wanted something to play and nothing on the current sales was calling to me. So, I bought it at full price planning to complete at least one playthrough over the next few months. I'm a few hours in but not far enough past the handholding sections to really get a grasp of how much I like it, but early indications are good.

 

I think I am going to restart after I get another couple of hours in as I feel I may be shooting myself in the foot early on not speccing the characters right or using scrolls too early that I may need later.

 

I have lots more to say about this game (still loving it), but as I'm short for time right now I'll just address your point about restarting. Very, very minor spoiler (nothing story related) below that is likely to influence your choice. 

You get a chance to respec for free at the end of the first act.

 

That said, the branching choices and multiple ways to solve the first act are actually really cool so you may still wish to restart just to mess around with that. I did so, as I didn't want to wait for the above & wanted to explore some of the alternate story paths in act 1 anyway. I'm just now closing out the first act (1 fight left, I think). 

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I have a story to share about how cool the branching choice and narrative is in this game. There are some spoilers about one of the (many) possible ways to get out of the first act below, but they are related to how I totally fucked up & invalidated a story path (so I don't spoil how that all plays out in the end - I have no idea!).

 

 

You play as a source-user ("Sourcerer"), in a time where fear of source magic has led to Sourcerers being hunted down and packed into concentration camps, where some pretty horrible stuff is done to them. The game opens with you arriving at one of these camps, and attempting to escape.

 

One of the paths I discovered to escape was by helping one of the guards who was being accused of being a Sourcerer sympathizer, and helping people escape the camp. I helped him escape the other guards who were torturing him, and in exchange he told me about a kind of "underground railroad" that him and a few other guards were using to smuggle Sourcerers to safety. He didn't believe in the way people were being mistreated, and wanted to help. 

Well, after another few hours of exploring the island and finding multiple other possible paths out I wasn't really thinking about this guy any longer. I stumbled into a new area within the guard's fort and saw a few enemies loitering near some chests and crates. Since you're encouraged to "strike first" in combat (all your abilities cast before combat are "free" and don't cost AP) I did just that - I zapped the nearest guy and started the fight. A few minutes later all the guards are dead & I'm happily looting their corpses... when I find an item that reminds me about the guy I rescued earlier...

I realize I've accidentally stumbled across the sympathizer's friends, and since I'd shot first I never had a chance to talk to them & figure out who they were. Effectively, instead of helping the sympathetic guards trying their best to save people from inhumane experiments and torture... I murdered all of them in cold blood, putting an end to their good deeds forever.

 

 

In short, the story has some interesting (and surprisingly serious) overtones that lead to lots of unique ways to solve the first act. I managed to completely fuck up one of those paths so badly that it was closed forever, and the way I did it made me feel like a horrible, horrible person. 

 

I really like this game. 

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I never even picked up on that plotline, which is itself kind of amazing considering how long I spent wandering around in Fort Joy.

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Ditto. I stumbled ass backwards into some underground fort with a few easy to take care of enemies that led me to a quick way off the island. I kept playing and discovered about 4 more ways off the island, it's incredible.

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I love how creative you can be with fight and puzzle solutions in this game. Some minor spoilers below about how I got to some (comparatively) high level loot in the Hollow Marshes by cheesing teleport and line-of-sight. 
 

 

I found the harbor protected by Shriekers, near the abandoned camp waypoint. I was level 4 at the time; the area seemed a bit high level for me (last fight before getting there was against level 6 mobs), but I wanted to see if I could explore a bit anyway.  

Of course, the Shriekers one-shot me so I couldn't just run through and take a look. Instead, I found an overlook where teleport could juuuust barely reach a spot deep in the harbor where the Shriekers wouldn't agro. I then teleported 2 guys down there with Ifan, then ran him as close to them as possible so I could send them the teleportation gloves.

Those 2 guys then proceeded to leapfrog eachother through the harbor, swapping the teleport gloves back-and-forth and occasionally just sprinting through agro to a line-of-sight break to stop the Shrieker shot. Eventually I got to a chest near a large statue on the far side of the harbor. The chest dropped several level 8 items for my level 4 group, and I was able to basically retrace my steps (complete with swapping teleport gloves etc) to extricate the 2 guys I'd sent into the base.

 

 

I really love how the game not only allows, but encourages you to solve problems in really creative ways by combining the various systems you can control in interesting (and at times almost game-breaking) ways. Really makes me feel like anything is possible, if you have the right skills and enough time to poke at the problem for a while to see what works. 

 

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So we tried the 4 player co-op in game and man, it makes for a hectic time. I think we need to agree to have everyone go places as a group as we kept running into people going off and getting into fights solo and dying hah. Hopefully we can get all 4 of us online this weekend at some point and put a little more time into it. 

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Huh, haven't seen a non-Loss CAD in the wild in some time. He really hasn't improved, has he.

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It feels even more alien that it's not outlined in the format of that one hospital strip.

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