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

I've tried to rekindle the desire to play once, so far, to no avail. It's strange. I like the characters. I like the story. I can get along with the combat. Yet I cannot muster any momentum upon leaving Fort Joy and successfully navigating a follow-up encounter on The Lady Vengeance. *shrug*

When I think on possible causes I come to the dual armour system as an irritant to group cohesion, and the turn based combat taking a little too long to get anywhere. The classless nature also rankles even though I can limit or hybridize where I so choose. Also, too much fire, too much teleportation.

Other than the goofy slapstick voice work and the nonsense story beats I got on rather well with DOS1, so I did not foresee these different stumbling blocks for DOS2.

I've actually been playing at a good pace this week. Meet a certain special someone Ibn was hired to murk, then managed to do said murking, which led me to meet certain beings that gave me a clearer purpose.

Whereas most days prior to this I spent a long time navel gazing and trying to figure out how to get stronger, hitting level 5 has made it so that I now have a little more umph and some better spells and skills to deal with the frankly tough battles.

Some long overdue housekeeping is all tidied up...

A big Welcome to cerithe, KozmoOchez, who have gotten going with the game.

Congrats to strangederby, gewy, and Redherring for completing the game.

Redherring becomes our first Level 10 member. He's completed all 10 games! Wow!

Gewy hits Level 2 with this one, and strangederby gets his first level.

Nice work, everyone!

It's quite possible I may have missed someone in there. Not intentional if it happened, just let me know and I'll get the paperwork started.

I only did it to get ahead of *Legion*. Mission accomplished I think - unless there is a sudden flurry of activity in the Witcher 3 thread in the next few days...

I've been able to play for several hours over the past couple of days, and I've been "thoroughly" exploring Arx. Man, this game is long! Fun, but looooong. More on that when I finish it, hopefully this week...

Made some progress this morning! I am ready now to both walk The Path of Blood and visit the Doctor. The end is in sight!

Mario_Alba wrote:

Made some progress this morning! I am ready now to both walk The Path of Blood and visit the Doctor. The end is in sight!

Nice work, good luck in the push to the finish! I've really got to get myself past that stuck point. I think I'm going to take a day off work soon and should make this a priority then.

@Maria_Alba, that sounds like where I left off last night after taking care of a certain character in his secret vault.

Spoiler:

That fight with Kress(?), or whatever his name is, was pretty emblematic of what grates to me sometimes in a game I otherwise really like. He just shows up, does a whirlwind attack, and before I can do a thing, Arhu was dead. I mean the game continues, and I could've reloaded and hoped Kress made a different opening move, but come on. I lost Ser Loras the same way. Had him alive the entire game, but Isbeil dumps us in a poison chamber and he's basically insta-killed before I can try clearing the room. So it's a choice of either living with it or taking the time to reload because a character I don't have control over gets axed before I can even react. To me, when you see that kind of blink and you miss it death for character out of your control, that's flat out disrespect for the player's time. (Whine, whine whine, I know. lol)

Well, I seem to be moving rather quickly, now. Much like in the first game, once things click combat-wise and one unlocks enough skills that work well together, it becomes a smoother ride.

I have spoken to gods, and looking to become one, and am tearing stuff up along the Reaper Coast. I think I may be able to beat this one in July!

ubrakto wrote:

@Mario_Alba, that sounds like where I left off last night after taking care of a certain character in his secret vault.

Spoiler:

That fight with Kress(?), or whatever his name is, was pretty emblematic of what grates to me sometimes in a game I otherwise really like. He just shows up, does a whirlwind attack, and before I can do a thing, Arhu was dead. I mean the game continues, and I could've reloaded and hoped Kress made a different opening move, but come on. I lost Ser Loras the same way. Had him alive the entire game, but Isbeil dumps us in a poison chamber and he's basically insta-killed before I can try clearing the room. So it's a choice of either living with it or taking the time to reload because a character I don't have control over gets axed before I can even react to hope I can avoid the bad beat. To me, when you see that kind of blink and you miss it death for character out of your control, that's flat out disrespect for the player's time. (Whine, whine whine, I know. lol)

That's exactly where I left off yesterday as well. As for the guy and his vault...

Spoiler:

... the same happened to me. As soon as Kemm appeared (I had to look it up to remember his name!), I thought "Let's be careful not to kill Arhu accidentally," but with his first crazy attack, Kemm utterly destroyed him. That has also happened to me before, but I didn't bother to load the game again because, even though it sucks, I do like that the story continues, but in a different way. It is annoying, though, but not the thing that annoys me the most in this game, which overall I also like a lot, just like you.

Hopefully, I will have time to play some more later today, because I really want to finish the game. That said, even though I seem to only have those two missions left, I have a feeling they are going to take several hours, so we'll see.

Mario_Alba wrote:

Hopefully, I will have time to play some more later today, because I really want to finish the game. That said, even though I seem to only have those two missions left, I have a feeling they are going to take several hours, so we'll see.

I imagine the sequence to complete the Doctor storyline is going to have some layers.

Well, I just played some more, and I am happy to report the Doctor went down. It was more straightforward than I thought it was going to be, but to compensate, the Path of Blood and what comes after has indeed some layers. I had to stop because I was exhausted after a couple of notorious puzzles, even though I resorted to a guide when the fun started to turn into anger, so I will continue tomorrow. Hopefully, I can finish the game then.

I'll be curious to hear all about your progress, ubrakto!

Aaaaaand... I'm done! I can't believe it, but I finally finished the game! Go, me!

Overall, I really liked the game. I think the world is beautiful, and it is packed with intricate detail and a profusion of everything --objects, characters, buildings, gorgeous landscapes... I love the fact that, unless your party dies, you can keep playing and the quest won't be over just because you botched something --it simply adapts to the situation and you can go from there. The characters are interesting, and I really like their design and their voices --all production values are outstanding, really.

I had been interested in the game since it first came out, even though I have never played the first one. I was hesitant to get it because of the turn-based combat, a style of combat I thought I didn't like. However, after getting Battle Chasers and adoring it, I thought I would take my chances with D:OS2. Before I started the game, I thought I might not be too hot on the combat but the story would pull me in and make me want to finish the game despite the combat style. Shockingly, the opposite ended up happening: at some point I checked out of the story, but I was still enjoying the combat, and that is what made me stick with the game all the way to the end. Don't get me wrong, I liked the story, but there is so much, what with the main character's tale, your companions' subplots, and the dozens upon dozens of quests you come across. Yes, they are interesting, well written, and very well voice-acted and implemented, but there is just so much of everything that it ended up overwhelming me, especially because it was nearly impossible for me to stick to one quest until I finished it without running into and triggering at least three or four more, which made everything a little chaotic and hard to follow, and it made it hard to feel like I was making progress.

This "there is so much" phenomenon that overwhelmed me also applies to the detailed world I loved so much, because in any given location there was always so much stuff that I usually missed many items when I explored a room, a house or a cave, and then I had to resort to a guide to find out where the thing I needed to progress on my quest was located. Maybe I'm just dumb and not as detail-oriented as I like to think I am, but the plethora of objects, the overabundance of items, and the fact that you can only zoom in so much made it a bit frustrating to feel satisfied after rummaging through a room, because I had the nagging suspicion I had probably missed something important. The solution, of course, was to click R3 (I played on the PS4) to bring up the labels of everything in the environment, but since there is always so much everywhere, the screen became impossibly cluttered, sometimes making it even worse than before.

That is one of my two complaints about a game I otherwise really liked and thoroughly enjoyed. The second one is the way I felt the game wasted my time with menial tasks and inventory management. I could very well spend half an hour at a time just sorting through my inventory or trying to determine which weapon/helmet/gloves/boots/pants/armor/belt/amulet/ring 1/ring 2 was the best one to equip... times four! And then think about what I am selling and what I am keeping. And then, when it came time to buy something, I could spend an hour just looking at the different weapons/helmets/gloves/boots/pants/suits of armor/belts/amulets/rings, have their stats pop up, and then compare them to whatever weapon/armor/etc I had equipped... times four. I honestly ended up using the same equipment for relatively big stretches at a time so that I wouldn't have to waste my time doing that. I mean, if I only have an hour to play, I don't want to spend it that way --I'd rather fight and explore and make progress in the story.

The other aspect of what I'm calling "menial tasks" is the way you have to do many things in the game. For instance, let's say Lohse (my main character) comes across a Source Fountain, and her three source slots are empty. Why can't I press X and have all three slots fill up? Why do I need to press X, walk to the puddle that forms on the floor, absorb it, go back to the faucet, press X, walk back to the puddle, absorb it, go back to the faucet, press freaking X again, walk back to the puddle and absorb it for the third time while hoping I don't lose my mind? Or why do I need to actually open the skill book I just grabbed to actually get the skill, then go to skills and memorize it? I know, I know --because I might be buying a skill book for someone else, but why can't all that be streamlined? And there are a dozen other examples of this, but I don't want to belabor the point.

Despite most of what I just wrote, I really liked the game, but I know I would have enjoyed it a lot more had it been shorter and more streamlined. Except for the first one, I think every act in the game could be its own independent, stand-alone game, and each one would take hours upon hours to complete and would leave the player satisfied and thinking they definitely got their money's worth. I do like long games and complex stories that pull me in, but I guess 15 to 20 hours is long enough for me. More than that, and I get restless, which is ironic because I really want to get Persona 5 Royal. What am I thinking?

In any case, I am very glad I got this game and played it through. I had a great time, and would certainly recommend it to people, with the caveat that they are in for a long, long experience, made longer by the way certain systems work. But if you like RPGs, then you should definitely check it out, because it is a lot of fun.

Nice, and congrats! This gives me hope I'll be able to wrap up by the end of the upcoming weekend.

Thank you! I am confident you can finish it this week. Keep us updated!

Hoho! Nice work, Mario! And nice write-up. Congrats! You're my inspiration!

Thank you, Godzilla Blitz! I confess it was hard to go back to the game after my involuntary three-week break right when I "just" had Act IV left, but I'm glad I "forced" myself to find the motivation. I know you can do it too!

I've played 2 sessions for a total of 8hours 45min....really hard to play when your coop partner works 2pm-11pm at a job that's an hour away from his home. Try to play on his days off but I got wife and baby that need attention every once in a while :D. I'm considering playing while he's gone and having him pick up but...Corona screwed up our play session.

^I can't imagine how two people could sort their lives out to be able to play this together for 100 hours. That's like 25 4-hour sessions. Wow.

I don't mean to sound critical. I'm more in awe of how much coordination it would take.

Suuuuper late to the club... started today and will continue as we speak. apples and coffee ready"""

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

^I can't imagine how two people could sort their lives out to be able to play this together for 100 hours. That's like 25 4-hour sessions. Wow.

I don't mean to sound critical. I'm more in awe of how much coordination it would take.

Initially, my nephew was going to come stay with me for his summer break from college. He was gonna get some summer job that they toss at college students and we would play after work. So, I bought two copies of DOS2 during the holiday sales. Then along came Covid -19....

Still in Fort Joy... i still have no idea what I am doing. Everything seems new and odd. I dont quie get yet the combat, I have a party of 4 now... am I supposed to control MY characters or all of them? I got a little rude awakening that I you need to quicksave VERY often, else you loose whatever progress you made. This game looks daunting and punishing, but I wont let that scare me -for now- During this fight (That I was not looking for) 2 of my other characters died and I dont know what i pressed that I ended up on a different waypoint with my other character lol... I thought the fight was over. But once I walked back to the places where the corpses of my party members went and revived them, the fight began again and we were all killed.

Got a little frustrated but, it is most likely the learning curve. Still have that collar thing and very crappy weapons. My character is still dressed like Dobby the house elf. I am liking the lore and vast story telling and will give this game a good chance.

Aaaaand done.

Spoiler:

I spread source equally among the people of Rivellon, with, I suppose, unsurprising results. I was tempted by the idea of purging source from the world, but letting Lucian run around pretending to be Divine? f*ck that guy. I suppose I should've just claimed Divinity for myself, but as Sebille (as I played her), her entire journey was one pointed toward letting go of the need for control and vengeance. It was about release from the prisons of the mind. I can't imagine Divinity would've been something she wanted when she could run off with Lohse, rescuing demon-enslaved souls (a plot point that got entirely dropped once the game was over).

I swear this game is just barely short of brilliant. I figure of the 100 hours I surely put into this playthrough, there had to be 20 or more of them spent just managing inventory or reslotting skills on the skillbar. I wonder how much time I'd cut out just skipping collecting crafting materials entirely. Other than a love grenade here and there, I never used them. That remains my big disconnect with the game, not because it hurts the story, but because it's a constant interruption to actually playing and advancing the game. I have one rule: Don't waste my damn time! lol

The only other hiccup for me was that, even up to the end, I felt like it would constantly throw weighty decisions at me without adequately preparing me to make them. There is third choice at the end (see spoiler) that comes completely out of nowhere and doesn't really let you consider its implications among your party. But it's a relatively minor quibble. The character work for all the party members I got to experience (Sebille, Lohse, Fane, and Beast) was consistently fun and went in surprising directions. The implications of Lohse's journey, in particular . . . It certainly made wandering Arx toward the end an experience.

Earlier in the thread, I compared this to Ultima (in a good way), and I feel like that take holds. I adored the Ultima games. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say they IV-VII were foundational to me growing up. This wasn't that, exactly, but the way it attempts to form a functional world, the way it imbues its characters, etc. all appear to draw a lot of inspiration from Ultima VII, in particular. Its exploration of the nature of power and what people do with it is very well done. It's often clever and delivers story beats in unexpected ways that I absolutely appreciate. So I have to give it a hat tip for all that. And it does make me want to play it again. I want to explore the stories I missed (Red Prince and Iben, specifically), experience it more directly through Fane's eyes, or Lohse's, try some new character types. I just can't imagine plugging another 100+ hours into it to make that happen.

Maybe in a few years.

One note for anyone in the early to mid portions of the game. Seriously, consider dropping down the difficulty. I think the battles especially are rife with setups designed to make you sink hours into the void (so to speak). It's not worth it. I played on the second lowest, and while it made some battles stupid easy, they weren't all cakewalks. I got challenged enough that it wasn't completely mindless. The main thing it did for me was ensure I didn't have to spend even more time managing inventory to ensure everyone had distributed grenades, and adequate potions and scrolls, etc. I could just play characters and their skills without having to micromanage everything and without having to constantly reload the plethora of b.s. encounters to look for ways to cheese my way past them. It was well worth it!

I'm glad to see you're persevering, Darkhaund. It will all make sense eventually!

And ubrakto, congratulations on finishing the game! I didn't mention what ending I got when I posted about it, but I confess I was a bit of a cheat. Since I had checked out of the story by then, I saved right before the end and went through all the options available to me to see as many endings as possible, so I guess I didn't really get a "true ending," if that makes sense.

As for your comment about the difficulty level, I 100% agree. I always play my games on easy because I have no time for frustration and endless repetition, and when it came time to choose the difficulty level for DOS2, I had a hard time deciding between easiest and second easiest (the one you chose). Since I had heard the game was long and could be difficult, and I really had no experience managing parties on RPGs and/or dealing with turn-based combat (plus, I suck at strategy), I went with the easiest one ("I'm here for the fun and the fantasy!" is what I think the game described it as), and I did not regret it for a second. I was still challenged most of the time, I died in several battles throughout the game (not many, though), but it allowed me to focus on story, characters, and exploration, because I rarely come to games for the fighting or to find a challenge. Ironically, I ended up enjoying the combat quite a bit, but I know that wouldn't have been my reaction had I died constantly --I would have quit and never finished the game. Like you said, I spent enough hours with the game as it was for me to want to add many more to it just because I kept losing battles. Long live easy mode in games!

I WILL do that... and switch to Story mode...do I have to restart?

Nice work ubrakto, and excellent reflections as well. Glad to hear you enjoyed it on the whole. You guys have inspired me to dig back in. I really do want to finish this, and I think all I have to do is get past this stuck part and I'll be on a path to finishing.

And welcome, Darkhaund! I'll put your name on the board and good luck. It'll be a little quieter in here during the second three months, but I'm going to try to keep plugging away at it too, and I'm sure there are a others still moving along.

I will restart the game on story mode

I'll pop in to cheer for both of you, Darkhaund and Godzilla Blitz!

With this game, I've been managing three different saves/sessions. Two solo, and one with a dear friend. I have, however, prioritized one of the solo saves so as to actually make some progress. This game is pretty massive, even compared to the original.

brokenclavicle wrote:

With this game, I've been managing three different saves/sessions. Two solo, and one with a dear friend. I have, however, prioritized one of the solo saves so as to actually make some progress. This game is pretty massive, even compared to the original.

How can i HAVE MULTIPLE SAVES?