The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 10: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (In Progress)

imbiginjapan wrote:

I am only playing on normal but still find the fights to be frustrating at times. I typically exploit the turn based system by hasting a damaged character, running off into the woods until that one character leaves combat and using a bedroll to heal them fully, then jumping back in. I'm also unashamed to teleport enemies while another character is engaged in dialogue with them. I beat Aeterna that way, by letting Fane talk to her then teleporting her all the way across the room, thus separating her from her beasties. The game makes the cheap tactics necessary, which I have very mixed feelings about.

There are a couple of things in the game where it’s pretty clear that ‘engaging before combat’ Was something supposed to be baked into how to play the game. However, it’s not really followed through.

For example, there is a Archery skill called Assassinate. It’s a damage boost ability that adds 50% damage If you are ‘stealthed’ before you use it. The simplest and most effective way to do that is from concealment before the combat starts, especially if you’re a huntsman rather than a scoundrel. Your only option to stealth in combat is an invisibility potion, assuming you don’t want to waste attribute points and a skill slot on the polymorph ability (not scoundrel) chameleon cloak - the only other way is concealing in combat and that costs all your ability points.

The way I see that, it sort of means that skill was always intended to be used out of combat to get the first hit in. It’s a powerful ability that strips a lot of physical armour, but is really hard to use in combat without blowing additional APs drinking a potion or activating Chameleon cloak first.

Thing like teleporting Aetera have never struck me as ‘exploits’ as such - buffing the person in conversation is another useful trick as the buffs don’t expire. Load them up with fortify or armour of frost, then wait for the abilities cool down to expire - because the game allows it by design.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I've read similar things about on the Internets. I think the part that strikes me more in this version is that many fights seem to be: die once to figure out how to live the second time. I don't remember having to do that so often the first time. Having said that, at normal difficulty, I'm starting to see how the game is giving me hints at what's coming up by the nature of the terrain and some pop up thoughts as you approach a location. I think I need to pay more attention to that stuff. But yeah, if you're always going second and things hit super hard, I'd think a lot of the battles would just take a lot of time to get by. With so many fights, that'd likely get old after a bit. I got frustrated with that last night after an hour or so. If the whole game were like that, that'd be rough.

I am only playing on normal but still find the fights to be frustrating at times. I typically exploit the turn based system by hasting a damaged character, running off into the woods until that one character leaves combat and using a bedroll to heal them fully, then jumping back in. I'm also unashamed to teleport enemies while another character is engaged in dialogue with them. I beat Aeterna that way, by letting Fane talk to her then teleporting her all the way across the room, thus separating her from her beasties. The game makes the cheap tactics necessary, which I have very mixed feelings about.

I am such a newb. I'm going to immediately start doing these things. Thanks.

Having one character teleport from a high point to the other three characters can be used in multiple instance to turn group fights into series of group v1 fights. Or use a teleport chain to really separate a group - have character a teleport an enemy into range of character b who is in stealth mode and only breaks stealth to teleport the same enemy into the waiting embrace of your other two characters, who are very far away from the original starting point. Use Invisibility &/or movement skills to get the point man out of initial combat. Add in the pawn talent where you get extra movement for even greater separation from the group of baddies.

80 hours in.
Act 2 is done except for a couple of side quests, something about a dead stag and the “kill everyone in one shot” witch. Everyone is now level 16 and I’ve arrived at “the Nameless Isle”. Oooo spooky.

Nothing like finally persevering in a grueling battle against a bunch of spiders that explode into deathfog when they die, and can also spawn smaller spiders that also explode into deathfog when they die... Then to have Sir Loras run headfirst into said deathfog, forcing me to replay the entire battle all over again.

Even if Ser Loras dies, he still hangs around as a spirit.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

Even if Ser Loras dies, he still hangs around as a spirit.

Ohhh. Good tip.

Ok. NPC's are telling me I can't make room for any more source points but my party have spells that are tagged with "not enough source points". Any advice?

---EDIT---

Never mind. Worked out I had to drink from source fountain 3 times not 1.

strangederby wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:

Even if Ser Loras dies, he still hangs around as a spirit.

Ohhh. Good tip.

My Ser Lora disappeared hours ago. Just upright gone. No way to get him back. Not dead, else we'd see his little ghost, but just gone.

brokenclavicle wrote:

My Ser Lora disappeared hours ago. Just upright gone. No way to get him back. Not dead, else we'd see his little ghost, but just gone.

There are couple of places he can get stuck. However if you skip to the next act and he wasn’t with you he’ll turn up on The lady Vengeance.

Sorbicol wrote:
brokenclavicle wrote:

My Ser Lora disappeared hours ago. Just upright gone. No way to get him back. Not dead, else we'd see his little ghost, but just gone.

There are couple of places he can get stuck. However if you skip to the next act and he wasn’t with you he’ll turn up on The lady Vengeance.

That's good to know thanks!

I allowed Lohses demon to speak to

Spoiler:

The Eternal Aetera.

Interesting conversation.

Interesting fight that taught me a lot. In my first encounter with The Eternal Aerera she wiped out half my party with one spell right at the beginning. My heart fell as I considered loading an earlier save. (She was on a raised platform out of reach of melee and summoned minions around my party).

Then on my second try, I was able to distract her by summoning an incarnate right next to her. That gave me the time to use The Red Princes Phoenix Dive and Lohse's Cloak and dagger to reach her. All those melee attacks destroyed her physical armour so Lohse turned her into a chicken.

Sebille had source points so cast Planar Gateway creating a portal for her and Fane to escape the minions and join the chicken party. (You can stop playing dead now Fane).

Fane was now close enough to use Healing Ritual and Soothing Cold to restore health and armour to the party and cast Shackles of pain on the chicken.

Lohse finished the chicken off with Corrupted Blade then used Chloroform on the nearest minion to destroy it's magic armour. That allowed Sebille to cast Dominate Mind on it.

Fane chucking a love grenade into the mix certainly helped.

Taught me that what seems like an impossible fight can become trivial with a bit of thought.

^Thought.

I think that's my problem. My solution is generally: "I need a bigger sword."

I haven’t progressed much past - set everything on fire, then throw some stun/shock spells, then hit whatever’s left standing until it dies. Although Sebille is just getting brutal at the dual dagger backstabbing and doing more damage than my supposed “tank”

I seem to be in some sort of holding pattern. I feel like I am in some sort of very dark, circular room, centered on Driftwood, that I wander around feeling the walls and trying to find a door out. But everything that feels like it might be a door stabs me in the face when I try and walk through. At level 11; combat feels like either a not-too-hard encounter or a "holy smokes, I don't see how I can fight these guys". Bad tactics? Probably. Bad party make up? Probably some of that too. I am sure I am missing something obvious somewhere.

Well I'm very nearly done. I've completed all the personal quests of all my companions, I've reached level 20 and I just need to retool ready for the final fight. Should be done by the time the weekend is over. The games says I am at 105 hours.

I took a couple of days off to play other things, and today I came back to the game, finished everything I needed to finish in Driftwood, and boarded the Lady Vengeance to get to the Nameless Isle. Let's see how difficult things are here!

I've had some time away as well. I took to Streets of Rage 4, and Death Stranding. Both proved a great change. I believe I'm ready to dip back in. I left off on the Lady Vengeance, having just departed Fort Joy.

I'm probably way behind the group for progress now. Doh!

This game! I thought I'd pretty much finished Driftwood and was just mopping up a couple of small quests. Then I discovered a Paladin Fort!

---edit---

And a fighty scarecrow.

tboon wrote:

I seem to be in some sort of holding pattern. I feel like I am in some sort of very dark, circular room, centered on Driftwood, that I wander around feeling the walls and trying to find a door out. But everything that feels like it might be a door stabs me in the face when I try and walk through. At level 11; combat feels like either a not-too-hard encounter or a "holy smokes, I don't see how I can fight these guys". Bad tactics? Probably. Bad party make up? Probably some of that too. I am sure I am missing something obvious somewhere.

I had a similar experience around level 11. I eventually managed to find the right order of operations to get over the hump and find some smooth sailing... now I'm at level 14, still have to get a ton of XP before 15 and am struggling to find a fight that I can handle. It just seems there are plateaus where the going gets awfully tough, and I find myself struggling to stay driven to carry on in those situations.

Joy! I found someone to fix the lute that got smashed and even got to choose what kind of wood to use.

---edit---

Even better it can now be used in combat.

strangederby wrote:

Joy! I found someone to fix the lute that got smashed and even got to choose what kind of wood to use.

---edit---

Even better it can now be used in combat.

269 hours total now in this game and still I’m learning there are things in it I never even knew about

imbiginjapan wrote:
tboon wrote:

I seem to be in some sort of holding pattern. I feel like I am in some sort of very dark, circular room, centered on Driftwood, that I wander around feeling the walls and trying to find a door out. But everything that feels like it might be a door stabs me in the face when I try and walk through. At level 11; combat feels like either a not-too-hard encounter or a "holy smokes, I don't see how I can fight these guys". Bad tactics? Probably. Bad party make up? Probably some of that too. I am sure I am missing something obvious somewhere.

I had a similar experience around level 11. I eventually managed to find the right order of operations to get over the hump and find some smooth sailing... now I'm at level 14, still have to get a ton of XP before 15 and am struggling to find a fight that I can handle. It just seems there are plateaus where the going gets awfully tough, and I find myself struggling to stay driven to carry on in those situations.

I'm in the same place, Level 10. Willpower. Fading. Must. Keep. Going.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Bmq1QHO.gif)

The nameless isle is a nice change of pace, everything (so far) is the same level, and the main thing to do is fairly straightforward. I just need to decide which evil faction to support (or neither...?).

Alrighty. I'm so caffeinated that I think I can get through this roadblock this weekend. Level 12 or bust!

From memory the general place to be at level 10 was west of the town - then at level 11 head over to the cemetery. Don’t forget spirit vision. Somewhere around that point I completed the arena challenges as well. Buy better spells if you can afford them even if they seem expensive, there’s more money to be had later.

I forgot spirit vision as soon as I got to act 3.
Don’t forget spirit vision.

Redherring wrote:

Don’t forget spirit vision.

Words to live by.

I just spent about an hour running around the Nameless Isle. Fought some enemies, looted some corpses, enjoyed the beautiful lava, and wondered why one of my allies looks like the Ghost Rider with his head engulfed by flames. Do I need to do something to fix him?

Redherring wrote:

From memory the general place to be at level 10 was west of the town - then at level 11 head over to the cemetery. Don’t forget spirit vision. Somewhere around that point I completed the arena challenges as well. Buy better spells if you can afford them even if they seem expensive, there’s more money to be had later.

I forgot spirit vision as soon as I got to act 3.
Don’t forget spirit vision.

I think I was west of town, but I'll check, thanks!

And we are done.

End game state:

Spoiler:

I allied with Lucian and Dallis (after all, she was Fane's daughter) and gave up all the source to repair the veil and seal away the void and God King.

I would say that the final fight would have gone a lot easier if I'd properly min-maxed my builds, which is sort of what tactician demands to be honest.

I have - for the most part - thoroughly enjoyed playing this. It's long for sure, but the combat system is the most satisfying RPG system I've played (at least when it's not screwing you over by design) and, for Fort Joy and Reapers coast it's the most fun I've ever had in a computer RPG. The nameless isle is a much better experience in the definitive edition than it was in classic for sure, but it still lacks the sense of world building that you get in those first 2 acts.

As for Arx - it's not quite as bad as maybe i was making it sound last week but it's still just........ frustrating. I can see where they were going with it but in the end by having so many earth shaking events (all the major companion quests and the main quest etc) nothing feels as important as it should, and several of the fights involved in those quest endings are considerably more challenging than the final fight. It's ever so slightly a little anti-climatic just by virtue of having so many of them, coupled with the deliberately design fight scenarios where you are always starting on the back foot.

Time to take a break from RPGs now and try something a little more relaxing........