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Review RPG Codex Review: Divinity: Original Sin 2

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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    Then your party was very similar to mine. Lohse ranger, Fane assassin, Red Prince sword and board, Beast aero/hydro caster.

    Origin characters are one of the few things that I comment upon positively.

    I don't see how high ground, teleporting, backstabbing and summoning are something separate from standard fighting in DOS2.

    Also, summoning is wonky as hell, especially for initiative and turret AI. My first character was a summoner but then I rerolled to ranger because I couldn't even with all the instances of turrets nuking my ass more than the enemies with their dumb targeting.

    This is already important in Fort Joy. And, like I noted, given how inconsequential/unrewarding it is to mix skillsets (or respec on the fly), this is hardly anything in the game's favour.

    Now this just takes the cake.

    I wish I hadn't skipped talking about spirit vision in the revio, because it's one of the dumbest things in the game. It's inconvenient as hell because you have to keep recasting it (why won't it just stay on forever ffs), in my experience the VAST majority of its uses is dull flavour dialogue with spirits that go "blablabla" at you and nothing else, and its only practical application is revealing superobvious puzzle hints that might as well be straight up solutions (like the elemental tiles under Driftwood).

    Spirit vision is basically a much worse pet pal.

    Now if only sauce points weren't so easy (and inconvenient) to refresh.
     
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  2. Jaedar Arcane Patron

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    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    You'd best explain yourself Mr "I'd have preferred to publish a more positive review". Would it have been the best thing the codex has done if it was more positive?

    If a developer has the choice of making his game more popular or better, he'll almost always choose the former. A codexer (and I would argue most "true fans" even though that term is a bit disgusting) wants him to choose the latter.
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    If "more positive" means a Tigranes review rather than an RPGWatch review, then possibly.

    It's always a tradeoff. Maybe the devs wouldn't take the review as seriously without Roxor's hard edge - or maybe Roxor's hard edge means they'll dismiss us as unpleasable spergs who can be safely ignored. The ideal of course is to do both types of reviews - neutral-positive with lots of criticism and tough love, and outright negative.
     
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  4. Alpan Novice Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I was glad to play and finish DOS 2 and it was probably one of the highlights of last year for me, but that was despite the terrible itemization curve and half-baked implementations like the initiative system. I actually didn't mind the armor system as a system but DR's criticisms don't actually mention how the game doesn't do anything interesting with it, which is the game's true failing. It's really Pillars' release problem of having no hard counters all over again. Because the game keeps allowing the player to chunk everyone in sight with overpowered physical attacks in nearly every single combat, the strength of the system as a whole is reduced. It should feel more imperative, more critical than how it actually is in the game.

    The overall picture of having enjoyed a game can often prevent useful criticism from emerging, which is DR's review is so useful, other reviews have been comparatively lackluster, and Swen Vincke's "proud of DOS 2 so disagreed with most of it" doesn't help at all. Having sold a million copies or having pride in one's team are no reasons to not engage with a well-articulated review.
     
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  5. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Again - if I had time to write a review, it would indeed have been more positive in tone, but it would have shared almost every single point of criticism with roxor's. The difference lies in how we judge the whole product as it comes together. I personally believe roxor is too harsh, but that's a reviewer's prerogative, and everything he pointed out as a problem, e.g. armour and initiative, are indeed significant problems.

    Re. HiddenX "Standard fighting with element-casting and normal weapons alone does not work well on later bosses, you have to use more and more tricks like polymorph skills, teleporting, backstabbing, summoning and the advantage to use ranged attacks from higher grounds [...] Using source points in combat becomes more and more important in the last part of the game. It adds a strategic level."​

    As someone who played through DOS2 twice with different parties, this is the exact opposite of how the game is designed. This isn't about Codex v Watch (I've never been to the Watch, so why do I care), and this isn't even about roxor's review, this is about a clear-eyed and accurate description of the game.

    You see, everything you mention - higher ground (which roxor specifically praises), polymorph skills (which roxor also mentions positively), are available from the early game. This is not a description of how the combat patterns change after midgame; it's a description of how you personally played the game for whatever reason.

    One of the major design features of DOS2 system is that almost all the important tools are available to the player very quickly. You can polymorph, teleport, summon, etc, etc, the entire way from early to late game. Soon after finishing the first big map, the only new things you pick up are Source abilities and a few higher level spells - some of which are quite cool - but the basic set of tactical routines that you are going to use throughout the entire game are pretty set at that point.

    It is categorically wrong to claim that early game tactics no longer work on later bosses; that would only be true if you declined to use many of the tools already available to you at early game.
     
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  6. vivec Self-Ejected

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    Sheesh. What is this about "positive" and "negative" reviews???!! WTF. The literal state of the codex. A review is a review is a review. It's not positive or negative. It's *Right*. The echo chamber is for RPGwatch.
     
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  7. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Tigranes - not all advanced polymorph, teleport, summon skills are available on the first map - you are just wrong.

    The fact that you, Roxor and I used different tactics and skill-sets to beat the game just proves my point:
    The game offers interesting and varied ways to win fights.
    Even my not so optimal party with no close combat fighter could survive with the skills and abilities I could learn.
    I cannot ask for much more in roleplaying game.
     
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  8. Black Arcane

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    If only.
     
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  9. Jaedar Arcane Patron

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    If you truly can't, it shows just how incredibly limited your imagination and/or taste is.
     
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  10. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    You are missing the point. Teleportation, for example, is a tactical tool available for 90% of the game, and then you gain additional ways to teleport friends and enemies later on. I happen to think this is a good design decision for a game like DOS1/2, giving players a whole bunch of things to play with from the start.

    Nobody is arguing about this. The point was that you claimed that combat tactics change significantly over the mid/late game, and I argued that this is not true, because you get almost all tactical tools very early, and the same tactical routines you use in hour 5, remains viable and efficient in hour 55. Do you understand?

    It is a strong aspect of DOS2 that you can do cool shit from the start. It is a tradeoff that players' and enemies' tactical tools do not really change after the first half of the game. As someone who likes the game, it is so strange to see you insist that the tradeoff is the great part about the game.
     
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  11. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    I understand your words, but with my party and in my playthrough I had to use more varied advanced techniques in the second half of the game than in the first half simply to survive. How can you say this is not true? Maybe you played a different character/skillset combination.
     
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  12. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I know. I told you exactly that in my earlier post. The point has nothing to do with whether your personal experience was right or wrong. The point is that DOS2 offers you most of its toolbox early on, which is a relatively clear and objective fact. These tools are not particularly hidden, either. Now, I generally think it is a flaw if the game is too easy that players can trample their way through without using most of the tactical tools - but in the case of DOS2, I don't think this is a big issue, because it does such a good job of advertising the many cool tricks and enticing players to use them.

    In an extreme case, if player A does not use ranged weapons for half the game for whatever reason, and then, picking up a new weapon or new ability, decides to use ranged, and finds it is very useful and changes his tactics, is this really a meaningful assessment of the game's systems design? Could this be used as evidence that the game throws new tactical curveballs in the mid-late game? No, of course not.

    (It really comes down to this:
    • Does DOS2 give you most of its key tactical options, e.g. the ability to teleport, early game? Yes, undoubtedly.
    • What about the skills and abilities you get access to in mid-late game? They often expand and derive upon those core tactical options. Some of them are quite cool, and I generally like their design, but they do not present new tactical curveballs.
    • What about the enemies? Do they sport new resistances, abilities, etc. that force you to update your tactics? No, not hugely - although the linear, quantitative increase in armour, HP and damage may necessitate some players to revisit the tools they were given and come up with new tactics.
    Thus, in conclusion, we can say that whetehr you love or hate DOS2, you should be judging its decisions to open its toolbox early, rather than the claim that it throws tactical curveballs later on. Notice that this judgment does not hinge on the idiosyncracies of my own personal experience, e.g. that I found the game too easy in general.)
     
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  13. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    I agree that you can do many things early on. If you like that or not is a matter of taste. Swen likes it for sure.

    But IMHO the toolbox gets better and greater and at least with some builds you have to use these new skills and spells for boss fights.
    You can't learn everything at the highest level, so you have to build your characters carefully. (Complete rerolling is not an option for real roleplayers).
    With my (not optimal) party the difficulty was just right (I played on normal). I think with a close combat fighter at hand I had to use the tactical difficulty level for a challenge.

    The leveling of items can be critisized, the difficulty curve and skill/spell availability was okay for me.
    I could not buy every spell once I saw it, because buying new items is a huge money sink in the game.
     
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  14. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Meaningful C&C lacking most of the game, happens during endgame and some quests actually locked behind real skill checks happen after midgame. Companion quests resolve themselves endgame. Things you find during game (like dwarf politiks) also resolve (with C&C) during last chapter (Arx). Things during endgame become especially complicated if you're playing and undead hero. The story is more or less about him.

    Also, since you hit (sorta) level cap, enemies hit level cap and items too, endgame combat becomes better. The best fight in the game is probably an endgame Embassy illusions fight.

    The review is correct though, it's an autopilot game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  15. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

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    The camera should never have become unfixed.

    Based on a 200+ hours playthrough (not mine, I dropped the game shortly after elaving Fort Joy) which ended at the XP cap, I can tell you that tactics required from you and used by enemies do not change. Neither do they stop the annoying practice of appearing out of nowhere in the beginning of the fight.
     
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  16. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Oh it definitely changes due to the fact that, after end of 2d chapter, all tools for your toolbox you get are 9th level cheating spells that wipe whole screens worth of life. Then you suck the source of bodies and repeat.

    Some exceptions exist (and are mostly weak, like thiaf bomb I think or whole load of strange vacuum/skinchange spells) but endgame skills are mostly like that. Supah fire rain. Supah summoner rain. Rain of arrowz.
     
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  17. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

    AwesomeButton
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    Yes, abilities scale ever upwards, but the tactics?
     
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  18. Brancaleone Learned

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    It's just that fewer and fewer people are able to provide any kind of meaningful criticism (on anything). We live in an era where the emphasis is on doing things randomly creativity and on putting any outcome on the same level as any other - no wonder the ability to analyze atrophies very early.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  19. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Cursed shit becomes increasingly more prevalent so that counts for something maybe.
     
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  20. Suicidal Arcane

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    Nibba please.

    I liked DOS2 and all but but combat difficulty is not its strong suit, just like the 1st game, and it doesn't really force you to do things differently to win, even on tactician.

    You win early game DOS2 battles by quickly stripping the enemies of their armor and then crowd controlling them to death.
    You win mid game DOS2 battles by quickly stripping the enemies of their armor and then crowd controlling them to death.
    You win late game DOS2 battles by quickly stripping the enemies of their armor and then crowd controlling them to death.

    Sure you get different tools as you go along, but the essence of every battle remains the same - strip enemy of their armor and crowd control them to death. Almost every single battle I fought involved chaining knockdown, battle ram and other AOE crowd control until all the enemies died. It wasn't even hard to get everyone in position because the AOE sizes were very generous. I remember there were a few enemies like the trolls that were immune to knockdowns but then I'd just use different CCs like charm or fear. It's literally a "one tactic wins all" game and the tactic is CC spam.
     
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  21. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    So you found yet another tactic that worked for your party - I didn't use chained knockdown and battle ram at all.

    It just proves again that D:OS 2 can be played in varied ways.
     
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  22. RK47 will not happy agian Patron

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    If I don't agree with you it means you're wrong.
     
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  23. Trashos Magister

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    I just took a look into the Watch's reviews of ME Andromeda and FO4. I think it is clear that their attitude towards RPGs (and "RPGs") is very different to the Codex's, and let's just say there is a reason why I am here and not there.

    I don't see what the Watch's reviews offer that professional sites don't (from my limited experience with it, tbf). I have no idea why anyone would expect a similar approach here.
     
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  24. Ellef Deplorable

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    Watchfags are mentally damaged.
     
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  25. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    So you didn't use two of the crowd control options out of all the cc options.
    Much variety, such tactics, wow
     
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