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

RnRClown wrote:

Yeah. So. I spent two hours on character creation. I was adding this, subtracting that, changing whatnot, and then went off to read or watch more on character creation. Ha! I somewhat regret the lost time that could've been spent actually playing. I also like digging into said intricacies, though, so it's not a total loss.

*still hasn't settled entirely on character creation*

:grin:

This is definitely a game that invites depth. The interplay between characters and combat is so well done, but it's a black hole for sure.

My intrepid duo has made it off Fort Joy Island and is traipsing around Driftwood. I think I can comfortably say that the bonuses from lone wolf make a two character party easier than a full party, at least in the early game.

Clumber wrote:

My intrepid duo has made it off Fort Joy Island and is traipsing around Driftwood. I think I can comfortably say that the bonuses from lone wolf make a two character party easier than a full party, at least in the early game.

Nice! I hit Level 5 and am about ready to head out of the fort myself. I'm looking forward to respeccing everyone. I've got some wasted points sitting around that could be used better.

I'm starting to feel like I'm thinking better in combat now, but gosh, my stuff is so bad that a couple of the characters are squishy. I've upgraded skills some now though, too, which should help.

Status - level 3. Got my collar off of my main character at least and currently infiltrating the Fort's prison via the secret entrance.

I’m out of the fort as well, level 6 and struggling to find gear that matches that level. I forgot how frustrating that can be. As I’m also playing tactician it makes some of the more set piece battles extremely difficult in these early stages. If you blunder into them - well, let’s just say it makes you more destined to fail than succeed.

Still we’ll keep progressing. I may have messed up one or two of my builds so I’m also looking forward to respecing the squad.

Finally finished my first Battletech run (such a good game) and have jumped into this. Like RnR, I lost about 2+ hours yesterday to character creation. I was leaning toward running with the Lohse origin, but ultimately settled on Seville's, which I'll build out into a Stormchaser type. Looks like insane fun, and I rather like the idea of having an angry, grudge-holding character that can walk into the middle of some fools an electrify the hell out of them. I'm sure that says something about me, but I'll just whistle past that particular graveyard for the moment.

Sounds like many of us are in roughly the same place. I left the fort last night and made it to the marsh. Fun area, with one really fun battle that I thought for sure we were going to lose but turned out to be pretty easy. I'm almost to level 6 now, and now that I've added a few skills to my party things are getting a bit more manageable.

I do want to spend some points on whatever trait raises initiative (wits?). I've been pumping points pretty much only into the dominant attribute so far (strength for fighters, etc.). When we get ambushed, though, which happens a lot, we rarely go first. So we're starting a lot of battles clustered together in a group of four, and giving one or two enemies a first turn. This is a recipe for disaster. We usually get hit with one or two aoe attacks, which subsequently means we spend a lot of our first turn trying to repair the damage. Going first was huge in the first game, and it certainly seems to be the case here as well.

I'm in. I briefly flirted with indulging my Dwarf fetish before landing on Sibelle. I only just reached Fort Joy.
I like the way the game gives you a default archetype for the party members, but you can switch them up to make sense in your party when you meet them. Clever idea.

I took advantage of the $20 PS4 sale. The load times are not actually that bad tbh, but the interface will take some getting used to. There's a lot of context-sensitive inputs and it's easy to hit the same button and get two different responses based on what your character is standing next to, so I need to be really careful about paying attention to what is highlighted.
It's an interesting choice to mask specific dialogue for the main character with statements of feeling and intent. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. While it helps flesh out that character's inner life a bit, I'm not sure it's helping me really inhabit the character. We shall see.

My wife, brother, and I boarded the boat to leave the island last night. This first act (first 3 chapters I think?) was much bigger than I expected. I joked at the cutscene ending the act "Well that was a fun game guys!". Even though it doesnt exactly wrap a story it did feel like a complete game's worth of content. Looking forward to more!

Still super impressed from a lot of angles.

Technically: They pulled off real coop in a CRPG, a genre we thought doomed to be single-player only, forever.
Tactically: I already enjoy tactical games. My wife doesn't, necessarily, and she still enjoys every bit of combat
Player-Friendliness: We can re-spec freely now that we're on the boat. Having maybe mis-spent some points earlier in the game we can correct for this without having to start over. We can also change everything else about our characters. My wife was able to fix a typo in her name. I can't think of another CRPG that's so friendly. Many are openly hostile to the player.
Quality: So I play pretty impulsively. I choose the conversation options that seem right for me at the time without agonizing over it. This lead to me accidentally killing a major character (before I was even aware of her. be cautious about smashing jars!), several other characters mention needing to talk to her for something. Though the game didnt have special conversation conditions prepared for this case, it also didn't break. I could still get the needed items through other methods and no quests broke.

polypusher wrote:

My wife, brother, and I boarded the boat to leave the island last night. This first act (first 3 chapters I think?) was much bigger than I expected. I joked at the cutscene ending the act "Well that was a fun game guys!". Even though it doesnt exactly wrap a story it did feel like a complete game's worth of content. Looking forward to more!

Yeah, I thought I'd be able to respec leaving the fort, but then I realized I'm still in the beginning area! There is a lot more to do, with more quests and whatnot. Fun!

polypusher wrote:

Quality: So I play pretty impulsively. I choose the conversation options that seem right for me at the time without agonizing over it. This lead to me accidentally killing a major character (before I was even aware of her. be cautious about smashing jars!), several other characters mention needing to talk to her for something. Though the game didnt have special conversation conditions prepared for this case, it also didn't break. I could still get the needed items through other methods and no quests broke.

This has been a key mind shift for me, to not worry about getting optimal outcomes and just have fun playing. From the sounds of it, the developers took great care to make the game unbreakable, so there really isn't a need to stress out over not finishing a particular side quest, or accidentally blowing up a character now and then. It'll all be okay.

imbiginjapan wrote:

I'm in. I briefly flirted with indulging my Dwarf fetish before landing on Sibelle. I only just reached Fort Joy.

Awesome, welcome! We are up to 17 now and growing. Now we just need another PC sale.

I tried out the opening area with a few classes so to get a feel for the theory craft I was ruminating on. I kind of want to do most everything, for versatility, but I also enjoy digging into class specifics. In theory I lean towards the Battle Mage, or the Inquisitor. In practice I quite like the Fighter, or the Knight. Then there is a subtle intrigue for the Cleric. Maybe even a Witch. I'm deep in this analysis paralysis.

I also tested out the origin class verses the custom class for flavour, voice work, dialogue choice. I think Beast is the only one I can work with from an immersion standpoint. If not he, I'll go with a custom. I like filling in my own backstory. I like projecting myself through protagonist avatars. Not always. Often, though. Bah!

Alright, I'm in. I was hesitating, as I am dabbling in like 5 or 6 other games already, though none have really sucked me in. Each of the last few nights I loaded up to DoS2 page on the Xbox store just looking at it, but then would think well maybe I should buy the disc, it's a little cheaper, or maybe I should get it on PC or what about Switch or really I should be playing something else already...and so, as I was making like my 5th trip through this cycle this afternoon I just said eff it, went over to my Xbox and clicked buy. Downloaded! I spent an hour looking at the character creator and considering builds and ultimately made no choices before my little kids woke from their nap. So, tonight!

I am leaning towards playing The Red Prince, but am intrigued by Fane too.

I have had this game for quite a while on Steam... i might give it a shot every now and then

mrlogical wrote:

Alright, I'm in. I was hesitating, as I am dabbling in like 5 or 6 other games already, though none have really sucked me in. Each of the last few nights I loaded up to DoS2 page on the Xbox store just looking at it, but then would think well maybe I should buy the disc, it's a little cheaper, or maybe I should get it on PC or what about Switch or really I should be playing something else already...and so, as I was making like my 5th trip through this cycle this afternoon I just said eff it, went over to my Xbox and clicked buy. Downloaded! I spent an hour looking at the character creator and considering builds and ultimately made no choices before my little kids woke from their nap. So, tonight!

I am leaning towards playing The Red Prince, but am intrigued by Fane too.

Woot! Welcome!

Fane seems to me to be a deep character, with apparently tons of references to the lore of the world. If I were to play again, I think I might try him as a main character. I kind of wish I stuck with him in my party instead of adding Lohse. Of all the set characters, I think I'm the least interested in her story. We'll see how things go though.

I've got the Red Prince in my party, he's pretty cool too.

Darkhaund wrote:

I have had this game for quite a while on Steam... i might give it a shot every now and then

Plenty of room on the party bus! Come along for the ride whenever you're ready.

Alright, I'm in. Picked it up on the Switch eShop while it's on sale and attempted to make a character while I was far too tired on Saturday night. Got a little paralyzed by choice on Sunday morning when I resumed but ended up picking Ifan as a Fighter and going with a necro/warfare build based on Fextralife's Death Knight. Now I'm wondering if I should've chosen Knight as the class?

I got a bit lost in all the options so I've since decided to just go with the flow and do what feels right in the moment and have fun actually playing rather than losing time in endless guides. Maybe when I've got the systems down and know what more of the abilities do I'll read about what I've done "wrong".

Got through the tutorial easy enough despite an ass-whooping by the bloke in the cage (can you even beat him?). Tried to steal a book after that and got another beating. Hopefully find time to settle in for a couple hours tonight after the kids are in bed (or before).

malking wrote:

Alright, I'm in. Picked it up on the Switch eShop while it's on sale and attempted to make a character while I was far too tired on Saturday night. Got a little paralyzed by choice on Sunday morning when I resumed but ended up picking Ifan as a Fighter and going with a necro/warfare build based on Fextralife's Death Knight. Now I'm wondering if I should've chosen Knight as the class?

I got a bit lost in all the options so I've since decided to just go with the flow and do what feels right in the moment and have fun actually playing rather than losing time in endless guides. Maybe when I've got the systems down and know what more of the abilities do I'll read about what I've done "wrong".

Got through the tutorial easy enough despite an ass-whooping by the bloke in the cage (can you even beat him?). Tried to steal a book after that and got another beating. Hopefully find time to settle in for a couple hours tonight after the kids are in bed (or before).

Welcome! In case it helps, knowing that I'll be able to respec freely once I get past Act 1 has made it easier to make choices for me. I can see a lot of places where I've wasted points and whatnot, but I figure I can sort most of it out when I respec, and I've learned a lot playing through the first area.

What bloke in the cage? I don't recall that part. Oh, in the hold of the ship? The very first part?

So I spent last night travelling back through fort Joy to pick up a few bits and pieces and complete a few things I hadn’t managed previously

Spoiler:

I went back into the fort proper and dealt with High Judge Orivander for example. Windego is also no more and I rescued Gareth via a slight unorthodox route. There is a fight with a Voidwoken on the usual route to him that is really quite difficult that I’m just gearing up to

One thing I have messed up - I made The Prince a Pyrokinetic based battlemage. I’ve really struggle to get my head around that and also realised that means using Loshe as a hydrophist summoner doesn’t complement at all - I should have made him a aerothuagh based battle mage. It occurred to me last night while rescuing Gareth that stunning people with electricity is probably considerably more useful than just setting fire to them. People on fire can still attack you. People stunned (or petrified) can’t.

I’ve done a whole lot more in fort Joy this play through than I did my first time, and there is a lot of explanation of what is going on too. I’m still struggling a little with my builds though, but that’s because I’m playing tactician.

So Sebille didn't quite get on with the Red Prince due to some differences of opinion. Too bad I set him up as my front line attacker and forgot to get the magic spear we found back. I set Beast as a Cleric, and he has to hold down the fort. Ibn is a Wayfarer, and Fane is an elemental Wizard. I really should've set Ibn as a front line attacker but missed my chance. It's not an awful party, but Beast really has to stand up and take punishment for everyone else, and it's hard to get him into position.

I could use a couple tips.
1. Can anyone comment on the use of Sneak? Sebille is supposed to be a stealthy assassin type but I can't figure out how to use Sneak to effectively get into position. How is one meant to employ stealth before combat? The situation seemingly changes too quickly for me to really engage with any stealth-based skills before I am spotted.

2. I am finding combat targeting to be really 'messy' in this game, even compared to the first D:OS. For instance every spell Fane has seems to set all my melee allies alight. Is there any way to set some sort of grid or hide terrain features like trees during combat so I can target more effectively? With any ranged spell I feel like I can't really tell what is and is not in line of sight or who might be hiding under some incidental decorative feature. I don't remember it being this hard to decipher in D:OS1.

Overall I think I'm ready to start fresh since I've figured out most of the interface oddities and challenges that caused me to make some errors both major and minor during combat and conversation. I had been making people angry by accidentally touching their stuff, consuming items with the wrong character selected, wasting attacks during combat and dying embarassingly due to misreading the environment and interface. The console implementation is decent but there is so much detail in the world it's still a challenge to read and react to the situation.

As a few others have done, I spent an unreasonable amount of time reading guides, pouring over what might be the perfect build, worrying over all the ways I might be doing it wrong...and finally just said ah, screw it, I'm just gonna make choices for my character that seem interesting and hope it works out. I'm playing on the difficulty one down from normal ("Explorer," I think?), so hopefully a suboptimal build won't be an issue.

I went with the Red Prince and made him a cleric. I took the pet talk ability because everyone says it's fun. And in the tiny amount of time I had to actually play the game, I finished scouring just the first level of the boat. I did win the one combat encounter I had down there, and I thought the whole bottom of the boat was a pretty neat little tutorialization of many elements of the game. Playing on Xbox, the controller interface is interesting... There are aspects of it that are clunky, and traditional PC features that seem to be missing that I hope I discovery a way into. But mostly, it seems smart and effective.

The Xbox version seems like it has some way of incorporating mods, although I don't entirely understand it. The menu refers to "gift bags", which seem to be Larian-selected mods brought into the game. I will have to do some googling to figure out what exactly these do and if there is a way to select stuff on my own (I assume not, but who knows).

mrlogical wrote:

The Xbox version seems like it has some way of incorporating mods, although I don't entirely understand it. The menu refers to "gift bags", which seem to be Larian-selected mods brought into the game. I will have to do some googling to figure out what exactly these do and if there is a way to select stuff on my own (I assume not, but who knows).

At least in the PS4 version you can activate the mods once you get into the game by pushing 'start' (or whatever the Xbox equivalent is) and selecting 'gift bags' in the menu. There's a whole list of stuff you can choose there that for the most part seem to make various aspects of the game easier but also disable achievements, if you care about that sort of thing. I ended up keeping things vanilla as most of the options didn't really appeal to me.

imbiginjapan wrote:

I could use a couple tips.
1. Can anyone comment on the use of Sneak? Sebille is supposed to be a stealthy assassin type but I can't figure out how to use Sneak to effectively get into position. How is one meant to employ stealth before combat? The situation seemingly changes too quickly for me to really engage with any stealth-based skills before I am spotted.

It sounds like you've explored skills, but I think that's still the key. Turning invisible, teleporting beside an enemy, backstabbing, then zipping away, etc. It might be something that's tricky until you build up the right set of skills? So early in the game is hard?

imbiginjapan wrote:

2. I am finding combat targeting to be really 'messy' in this game, even compared to the first D:OS. For instance every spell Fane has seems to set all my melee allies alight. Is there any way to set some sort of grid or hide terrain features like trees during combat so I can target more effectively? With any ranged spell I feel like I can't really tell what is and is not in line of sight or who might be hiding under some incidental decorative feature. I don't remember it being this hard to decipher in D:OS1.

Totally agree. It's gotten better as I've played more, but a big part of me making progress in the first area was just realizing that a lot of stuff happens that I can't control and I just have to get better at reacting to it.

There are also some spells I just don't like any more and want to get rid of. The "Ignition" spell, for example, usually just results in everyone on fire. The similar spell that spreads poison usually ends up in the same result, because poison is flammable and it just means that everyone is burning one turn later. Having rain as a hydrosophist has been really helpful because I can often clean up my messes quickly. Buffing magic armor has also helped, because it prevents the nastiness while there is still armor left.

For line of sight, I pay attention to the line that gets drawn for direct ranged attacks, but it seems like feedback is hit or miss as to whether LOS is blocked or not. Sometimes I get "line of sight is blocked" pop ups, but sometimes I don't. I just look at the line now. Also, sometimes I can't quite tell whether I've lined up a target or the ground beside the target. I've missed some ranged attacks because of that. I suspect I'll get better as I play more. There must be some visual cue I'm not picking up on.

The first area of the game, as well, seems particularly dense with vegetation. I suspect that combat will change as the environments change. The first area has a lot of stuff on the ground: water, oil, poison, etc. Sometimes it's under bushes, which makes it hard to tell what's there.

Finally started the game last night. Went with Fane as a conjuror because I remember I used a lot of summoning in the first game. Still on the ship since I’m obsessively scrutinizing every area and picking up ridiculous amounts of useless items like plates and water buckets.

I've been playing for a couple of days now. Had know idea this was the pick for April :). I started a couple years ago and never finished it. I am in love all over again. I've got my dwarf rogue, the red prince as my front line fighter/hydrosophist. Sebille is my hydrosophist mage, and Ifan is my archer. So far so good. I haven't left Fort Joy yet because I keep wanting to go back for one last spell book or item..

Sort of wish I'd went with Fane for my caster but by the time I thought about it I was already almost level 4 with everyone. Hope everyone is doing well today!

At the start the game it can be harder as you don’t have the skills available to make the most of your class. You don’t need to be In concealment in combat - in fact starting combat will, in most cases take you out of concealment! In order to backstab (and get the most out of your rogues) you just need to be stood behind the character you’re attacking. You’ll see the ‘backstab locator’ on the ground when you initiate an attack. Just be careful around characters with ‘opportunist’ because they get a free hit in if you move within their zone.

The ‘teleport’ skills - Phoenix dive for warriors, cloak and dagger for scoundrels, tactical retreat for huntsmen, er, teleport for mages - are all essential skills to be honest. Even if you need to put a point in a skill tree you don’t intend using long term to get one of the skills it can be more than worth it. Other options unlock as the game progresses but those skills are the ones most useful from the start of the game. It can just take a while to get them.

Conceal is about moving unseen out of combat - either to get into position, or steal something, or pick someone’s pocket. The amount you can steal depends on your thievery skill (for pickpocketing) - just make sure you can’t be seen while doing so.

imbiginjapan wrote:

So Sebille didn't quite get on with the Red Prince due to some differences of opinion. Too bad I set him up as my front line attacker and forgot to get the magic spear we found back.

I forget if it's ever explicitly stated somewhere, but spear damage scales with finesse, so unless it's way better than what you are using, probably isn't the best weapon choice for your frontline character.

As far as sneaking I found that it becomes the thing I use when I'm reloading & replanning a fight I've already lost. Initiate combat by moving one character (preferrably one of your higher initiative characters), unchained from the others into range. Once you get to your turn, you can freely do whatever you want with your other characters (including waiting out cooldowns and other immersion semi-breakey things). Go into sneak and attempt to maneuver into a better starting position, avoiding any red cones/areas that will break you out of sneak. Jump into combat starting off with some nice backstab damage.

In general, I've found that whenever you take the straightest line into a path, you are asking for a tactical disadvantage in the upcoming fight. If you come across a spot and one of your characters says "This looks like a good place for an ambush" that probably means you are about to get ambushed and will start the fight with poor terrain.

Alright, I've started.

I got to Level 6 last night with my party. I'm in the marshes outside of Fort Joy, and the quest lines are starting to come together. Did a really fun one last night that had some good battles and interesting story lines. I love how things are interconnected too. Doing the quest last night got me a thing I can use to solve another quest problem, which is where I'll head next.

I'm finding combat is starting to come together better now. Some fights are still hard, but with more armor, better skills, a better sense for what to do, and more points in initiative, I feel like on the whole I'm doing better now in combat.

Nadaklu wrote:

I've been playing for a couple of days now. Had know idea this was the pick for April :). I started a couple years ago and never finished it. I am in love all over again. I've got my dwarf rogue, the red prince as my front line fighter/hydrosophist. Sebille is my hydrosophist mage, and Ifan is my archer. So far so good. I haven't left Fort Joy yet because I keep wanting to go back for one last spell book or item..

Sort of wish I'd went with Fane for my caster but by the time I thought about it I was already almost level 4 with everyone. Hope everyone is doing well today!

Welcome, glad you can join in! If I were to play a second time, I'd probably go with Fane as my main character.

Sorbicol wrote:

The ‘teleport’ skills - Phoenix dive for warriors, cloak and dagger for scoundrels, tactical retreat for huntsmen, er, teleport for mages - are all essential skills to be honest. Even if you need to put a point in a skill tree you don’t intend using long term to get one of the skills it can be more than worth it. Other options unlock as the game progresses but those skills are the ones most useful from the start of the game. It can just take a while to get them.

I just have one pair of gloves that give teleporting as a skill, and it's amazing how useful it is. I like sending that person ahead for tough mobs, then have them teleport an enemy back to the rest of our party to chop up at will. It damages and knocks people down, and if you get creative where you dump enemies, you can often do lots of environment damage on top. Soooo much fun!

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Welcome, glad you can join in! If I were to play a second time, I'd probably go with Fane as my main character.

I say I'm going to do something different. Then I roll a dwarf. Every. Single. Time.

Nadaklu wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Welcome, glad you can join in! If I were to play a second time, I'd probably go with Fane as my main character.

I say I'm going to do something different. Then I roll a dwarf. Every. Single. Time. :)

Ha! Did you check out Beast? I wasn't that interested in him, but when I bumped into him at Fort Joy I realized his story was deeper than I originally thought.

Just about ready for the marshes after i finish killing all the guards in Fort Joy. I've cleared the interior of the fort, just need to mop up the stragglers outside.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I just have one pair of gloves that give teleporting as a skill, and it's amazing how useful it is. I like sending that person ahead for tough mobs, then have them teleport an enemy back to the rest of our party to chop up at will. It damages and knocks people down, and if you get creative where you dump enemies, you can often do lots of environment damage on top. Soooo much fun!

Super useful out of combat a well, since you can drop a team-mate into an otherwise inaccessible area, or teleport a chest to your position form elsewhere if you can't reach it normally