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Divinity: Original Sin Minimal and No Reload Thread (spoilers)

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
Ever since IGN had declared in 2014 DOS felt like a modern BG, this series (now including 2 games, and 1 in development) has been mentioned as good tactical RPGs. So why not have a thread about playing these games with minimal or no reloads on our forum?

I'll try to open it with a story about 2 Source Hunters arriving to the city of Cyseal to investigate the murder of a local councillor: Lucius and Anni.

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BelgarathMTH
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Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    Lucius is a knight who also has witchcraft skills and the Leech talent, allowing him to cure from blood. The Pet Pal talent (allowing him to speak to animals) seemed fitting.
    Anni is a wayfarer who specializes in missile weapons and geomancy, which allows her to summon a spider. She has high Perception, the Light Stepper talent (improving her Perception to find secrets and traps), and Lucky Charm.

    The game also gives characters personal traits depending on their choices in dialogues and set events. This is how it works:
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    The first fight. My knight used a fire grenade to ignite 3 skeletons and then healed Anni when she had low health.
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    Speaking to animals is very fun and it's also a source of quests and otherwise unlearnable details about events happening in the world.
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    There can be different ways of handling enemies in this game. Anni used sneaking to get to a group of mummies and to burn them by putting a candle onto the oil surface the mummies stood upon.
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    Lucky Charm improves chances of finding extra items when looting, which - in my personal opinion - adds greatly to the gameplay, and reminds me of the Diablo system of Magic Find.
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    The game has a very deep system of crafting. The simplest craft involves creating a magical arrow:
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    Surfaces such as water can be very important in battles. When you add electricity there, both your characters and enemies can be stunned, so it should be done very carefully.
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    And humor. This game is full of joking.
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    So my 2 Source Hunters completed a tutorial dungeon, got their first personality traits, and learned that somebody took a magical stone (which seems to be important) from an old tomb.

    BelgarathMTHGusinda
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , I think it's really cool you're doing this. I've always wanted to get into Divinity:OS, and for some reason, I've never been able to. I've started a couple of times, and usually don't get very far before I start wanting to play something else.

    I'll be really interested to see how it does for you, and to read about your impressions. You might be able to get me interested in trying it again. :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    Thanks! I'm glad this thread is interesting for the folks here. I'll keep updating it then. And of course, I'd appreciate if other players join. :)

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    edited April 19
    Well, okay, I just tried playing this today. I made myself a paladin type, and my companion "Imoen" a ranged utility (bows, perception and locks, bartering) type.

    I played through the tutorial dungeon, and it was reasonably fun. Then, I got to Cyseal, put out the fire on the ship, met some npc's, roleplayed dialogues, so far, so good.

    Then, I met a man trying to steal a fish. I told him not to do it. Imoen disagreed. The game made us play "rock, paper, scissors." Imoen won, and told the man to steal the fish against my wishes. Then, the guard showed up and asked me if I'd seen the man steal the fish. Being a paladin, I couldn't lie and say I didn't witness the crime, so I told the truth. Then, Imoen said the man stole the fish, too. Then, the poor hungry man said, "Why would you encourage me to steal a fish and then turn me into the guard for punishment? You're horrible!" His wife also thought we were horrible. I don't know what Imoen was supposed to be thinking.

    No, thank you. The way this game attempts to create roleplaying by having your companion disagree with you, and then making the outcome of the disagreement random, and then the rest of the dialogues don't make good sense, well, just no. Absolutely not.

    This has reminded me why I've never played D:OS for very long. That encounter left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I don't think I'll be playing any more. Sorry. Grrr. That whole scenario also left me feeling angry at the game writers and devs.

  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,147
    @BelgarathMTH Unless I am mistaken you choose for both characters your response to the fish thief. So you probably picked with character A to chastice the thief while choosing with character B to support the thieving. At least, that is what I have noticed in my last couple of plays.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 19
    @BelgarathMTH No! You can leave that option on - and while you don't agree with it, I personally find it nice - simply because I believe party members can have their opinions. But! You can turn that option off.

    If you dislike the disagreements between your characters, you can do one of three things:

    1) don't assign them an AI personality during character creation

    or

    2) if you've already created characters and are in-game, then turn off the Dual Dialogues option in the Game Settings.

    or

    3) if you assign both characters the same AI personality, and keep Dual Dialogues on, then you just have to have the characters go along with one another in their conversations. This is what @Doubledimas suggested.

    You can change the AI personality to Loyal to always agree, or leave it unset to choose both yourself. That can be done once you've found the third star / blood stone, and opened the portal in the homestead after the Hall of Heroes.


    I'd be very sad if players are turned away from this game due to an option which can be turned off. Also, there's no such mechanic even as an option in the second game.

    Gusinda
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    See, for example, - my characters don't have AI, so I pick answers for them, and both of them can agree not to help this thief.

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    This way you won't have any problems with the law.

    However, I RP having 2 different characters in this regard: while Lucius likes the order, Anni (being a "half-thief", as I imagine it) supported the theft.

    Then they have to decide. Lucius has more in Charisma, being a party leader, so generally he will win. And the longer I play, the bigger this difference will be - more points per each roll.

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    In the end, everyone are happy: me as a player who prefers to act kindly, me as a player who likes to have 2 characters in the party with different mindsets, my characters getting different personal traits giving them extra powers.

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    If you find it hard to RP 2 different characters, just change the AI personality of the second char to always agree.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    Imoen didn't just disagree with me by expressing a contrary opinion. Her AI completely overruled my decision about how to roleplay the encounter, and the world responded according to what she chose, not what I chose. I won't play like that. In a proper rpg, I would have immediately booted her from my party for what she did. Not an option here.

    I might try turning the companion disagreement feature off as suggested and give it another chance at a later date, but not this weekend, as I just decided to buy Pathfinder:Kingmaker and give that a try.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 19
    If she didn't have AI, or had AI set to Loyal, you wouldn't have that issue at all.

    Another thing I like about this game is that items can provide your character with a skill - just like BG. So you don't always buy items for their +1 to this or that stat, but for the skill they provide. I was lucky, I guess, to buy this ring when I first talked to Archu:

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    I also like how brutal battles can be (I play on Tactician). If my main couldn't cure from standing on the blood surface, we'd have problems. And unlike PoE, here everything depends on the player's actions. If I wouldn't have used a special arrow to knockdown a melee fighter, I would have problems. If I wouldn't be cautious when the enemy used the swap-teleport and boom the oil, I would have problems.
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    On a side note, playing no-reload, I can't replay those arguments and have to go with the result I get. I know I can switch off dual dialogues, but I actually like this element of randomness, which will be decreasing with the increase of Charisma of the main character. In this case, Love, or Romantic line, won the argument over the fate of the soldier loving the orc. And this is also cool because I didn't see where this would lead to when I first played the game.
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    BelgarathMTHGusinda
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 23
    So I spent about 10 hours completing quests in Cyseal not involving major fights. These hours are among most interesting hours for me in RPGs. The amount of content, riddles, and approaches you can take towards solving this or that issue is very rich.

    First of all, traps. They can be as lethal as in BG, and one incautious step, and it'll be a gameover.
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    Investigating the councillor's death, the party ended up in a very strange place. This is probably the biggest switch from one world to another since getting into the Fade in DAO.
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    The investigation itself is a very long and interesting process involving gravedigging, talking to animals, and suspecting many characters.

    Where the game really shines is the quest with a Talking Head. Here I had to play on the scene, learn the lines (which reminded me of BG2 bard stronghold), and sneak away this talking head. It turned out now I need to find a body.
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    The contrast between normal quests and locations and that strange place you get access to is striking.
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    The first battle I got outside the town could go both ways. Normal undead, poisonous zombies, and 2 electric zombies which entered the fight after it had started looked dangerous: every time my character approached these electric zombies in melee he became stunned.
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    My party now includes a mute backstabbing thief and a mage specializing in Hydrosophist and Aerotheurge.

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    Current lvl: 4
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 0
    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (1), Witchcraft (1), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (1), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (2), Hydrosophist (2), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (2), Pyrokinetic (1), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTHGusinda
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 24
    I have to say: the best word to describe my feelings towards DOS is "rewarding". I find absolutely everything in this game rewarding, and it's actually very important.

    In PoE, when you got a new level, it was - "oh, cool, now my char got a new level, he now can use new spells... yeah, but the fights can still be won by good ol' paralyse from the 2nd lvl". In this game, every new spell you buy and learn, it makes a great difference. Every new item with just +1 to DEX/INT, makes a great difference because it improves the chances your spell will work.

    And the fact fights are turn-based is also rewarding. If you do something, it gets an impact. If you see a big danger, you can react. And if you won't - you will fail. But if you do - you will win, and that will feel very rewarding.

    The fight against the first real boss, the Ghoul that Guards the Lighthouse, is a good example. You come to the fight, and see for the first time a creature that seems immune to everything:
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    Once you start observing the battlefield, you'll see that far away from you a certain sphere is located giving that immunity to the boss. You have to defeat all the minions while surviving all the attacks and then somehow reach the sphere and destroy it.

    You come to the fight, and see for the first time a creature raising each turn wolves you have just killed.
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    When I defeated those wolves, the ghoul attacked Lucius, and boy it hit hard.
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    And here is when I could react, when I could do something, not just accept my fate and reload because I approached the fight wrongly.

    I used (by Anni) recently learned Fortify spell (which decreases the damage an enemy inflicts) on Lucius and potions of healing (by Lucius himself). I slowed the ghoul - a rare spell that could work against it.

    I also teleported Wolgraff behind the enemy archer so that he could distract the archer. And then that archer switched weapons to melee and started to really threat Wolgraff. Then I moved Jahan forward a bit and used a scroll of Regeneration (because of his spell Regeneration still didn't come back from a cooldown period) on Wolgraff. I also used a (rare) knockout arrow by Anni on that archer to save Wolgraff one turn. And - again rewarding - a talent I picked for Anni worked - she managed to recover the precious arrow.
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    This all helped to keep Lucius alive while meleeing the ghoul, and Wolgraff reached the sphere. 2 turns later, it was destroyed, and the boss stopped being immune to my spells. Jahan froze him, and that was it.
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    How rewarding it felt! It felt as if exactly my choices, me keeping to buy protective spells and learning it (Fortify) helped a lot.

    And the game actually rewarded again: after the fight, you get your first unique melee weapon, which - again, unlike in PoE were items feel general and mundane, - reminded the feeling when you loot your unique items in BG or M&M.
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    These enemies are no pushovers and in one of the previous encounters Wolgraff was killed, which also contributed to me being protective.
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    So, in a way, I as a player could use my experience from a lesser fight in a boss fight, and could react to the events of this fight not needing to reload.

    Current lvl: 5
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 1 (Wolgraff, undead archer)
    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (1), Witchcraft (2), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (2), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (2), Hydrosophist (2), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (2), Pyrokinetic (1), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , How does unconsciousness/death work in D:OS? I'm continuing to follow this thread with interest. I'm glad you're having such a fun, rewarding time.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 25
    The game ends if all the characters are dead.

    Edit: actually, I've googled, and the game will end if both Source Hunters are dead. So it can be 1 Source Hunter + 2 other characters (not to lose). The main thing is not to lose both Source Hunters. Which is, speaking frankly, quite a task, and reminds BG - no main character, no continuation.

    Once a character is dead, whether in the battle or not, you have to use a scroll of resurrection to resurrect them. A dead ally will be up to 20% of its health at a location you choose within 10 meters from the character using the scroll. If the revived character has the Morning Person Talent, they will be resurrected at full health. Resurrecting (using the scroll) in battle takes your action points, of course.

    Dying in D:OS is VERY easy. Especially if you're not careful with traps, or if the enemy uses several elemental attacks in the form of grenades and arrows. It's especially dangerous if the battle ends, and your characters are under effects of burning/poison. You have to act quickly and in the same cautiously, using your regeneration/healing spells ASAP.
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    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 25
    So, I've been having a blast. Satisfying is the word I would describe D:OS as today.

    I can't stop admiring how the game doesn't throw bosses out of nowhere on you, how it gives at least one minor encounter before a difficult fight so that you could prepare and evaluate if you can do it. I tried to explore the orc beach a bit, and stumbled across a group of orcs having lvl 6, higher than my group. And lvl 6 is actually a breakthrough - you start being able to use Adept spells and skills in addition to Novice ones.

    This group was ok to my party. I tried a new skill, Winged Feet, on Wolgraff - it lets the character travel through all sorts of surfaces without any repercussions.
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    After that, I saw a bigger group of orcs with a huge leader, who was lvl 7. I definitely had to step away and go elsewhere to at least get to lvl 6 granting new skills.
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    I explored a small forest next to the town, fought in a few minor encounters, and was able to reach the lvl 6, and buy new spellbooks. First of all, I took 2 skills which blind enemies (for Jahan and Wolgraff). I also took Charm for Lucius.

    Immediately I put Blindness to use against the big boss. It's a rolling stone of blindness. I could cure Blindness on Anni by another Pyrokinetic spell from Wolgraff.
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    The main thing was that the boss became inactive for 2 turns. While we slowly made our way into the fight, huge attacks by enemy archers killed Lucius. He first was poisoned, then knocked out, then burned and in the end - dead. At this moment of time, with blindness on the boss no longer working, I was scared.
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    And the game made me able to react. A Steam Cloud arrow made the enemy mage blind, and also provided a nice AoE to disable enemy shooting. An Explosive arrow inflicted AoE damage. Wolgraff finally killed one ogre that came close to us.
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    Because the boss carried a missile weapon, he too had to spend action points to find a place where the Steam Cloud didn't block his way (in the meantime, Jahan used a few scrolls to distract enemies - he used our only scroll of summoning a spider). It saved us time and let Jahan finally succeed at stunning the boss.
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    Smokescreen from Wolgraff again helped - it worked against one of the 2 archers.
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    Anni used that one precious arrow of knockout we saved during fighting the Ghoul against another orc who came close.
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    Jahan used his fresh Headvice spell on the giant orc, blinding and severely damaging him.
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    But enemy archers were still a threat, and Wolgraff turned into a pin cushion.
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    Finally our spider finished the big boss. Grulbarg the Fearsome fell.
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    Ending the fight wasn't difficult.
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    Just as in BG, dead companions don't get XP, so there're big downsides to losing them during battles. But this one was so difficult that we simply didn't have time to use resurrection scrolls. The battle offered a nice reward - a very expensive skillbook for Anni which would increase the chances of getting extra loot.
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    Current lvl: 6
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 4 (Wolgraff, 3: undead archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger; Lucius, 1: Grulbarg the Fearsome)
    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (2), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (2), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (3), Hydrosophist (2), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (2), Pyrokinetic (2), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    The game is getting brutal with each fight, and no fight is unlike the other. What I mean here is that you get interesting surprises during the battles - the game makes you think really careful in these situations.

    I proceeded into the cave, and saw how orcs fought skeletons. Here were my immediate thoughts: let's join the fight and get XP as enemies are killing each other. It was working well at first:
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    But then a surprise happened. My group was surrounded by enemies: 2 mages and 2 melee fighters. They went out of the small room to the left. Of course, this made everything difficult. Anni had to stun everyone around her (and herself) just to prevent enemy turns. Still, Jahan soon fell, and Anni followed.
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    So, I got an awkward situation: Lucius and Wolgraff left against 5 enemies. A frost grenade helped! It created a huge surface of ice which enemies had to avoid (thus spending turns). Then Lucius used Charm on an enemy archer. This archer attacked one of the mages, which helped greatly.
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    One of the best aspects of the game is crafting. I'd call it a game inside the game, as I don't google recipes and try to find the needed combinations myself. Thanks to crafting the boots on my characters let them step on ice without suffering the risk of knockdowns. The battle was won.
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    The next enemy was also an interesting fight. Not only my party members (at the start of the fight) were close to dangerous totems ticking explosions every 30 seconds of real time (not dependent on battle turns), this creature had tremendous initiative, so he killed Anni by his insane opening attack.
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    The creature looked like as if it couldn't be stunned/frozen (and I lost Anni who can examine enemies), so I had to rely on Knockdown attacks. It worked. The creature had so many HPs that I was not sure I'd hold it. I resurrected Anni during the battle to add to overall damage.
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    But the cave was not only about fights. I spent about 1 hour carefully taking care of all the traps on my way. The reward was so sweet! I managed to find Headless Nick, and now I have a skill to summon Nick during fights!
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    Apparently, my next enemy is Pontius Pirate, a very powerful Sourcerer.

    Current lvl: 6
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 7 (Wolgraff, 3: undead archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger; Lucius, 1: Grulbarg the Fearsome; Jahan, 1: Pirate Bowman, Anni, 2: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination).
    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (2), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (2), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (3), Hydrosophist (2), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (2), Pyrokinetic (2), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTH
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 1,981
    Great stuff Julius! Wait you have the chance to play DoS2. It's twice as good in almost any aspect than DoS.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 29
    I guess, at this point, it's clear that deaths just happen, and it's common to use resurrection. I'd concentrate on not getting both source hunters (or the whole group) wiped, as it seems hard to keep all the characters alive in battles, considering how smart the AI chooses targets for its attacks.

    The next fight in the cave instantly reminded about the Mimic chest from BG2.
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    A Lesser Source Abomination and hard-shelled crabs turned to be dangerous opponents.
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    Special arrows helped again.
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    When I mention traps in this game can be very dangerous, I mean this:
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    That said, the party found Pontius Pirate. Listening to the advice Nick had provided, I tried to sneak past Pontius with Wolgraff. I managed to nearly reach the ship with the weapon we could use to our advantage.
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    While I couldn't use the weapon fully, this decision (to separate Wolgraff from the rest of the party) was useful, as 1) he wasn't harmed by mass damage other party members suffered; 2) enemies were distracted and spent precious charm on Wolgraff while he was away.

    Nick soaked up damage (it was so massive that he didn't last more than one round). We found ourselves in poison, and used antidotes. It didn't stop Anni from bringing Steam Clouds and then Static Clouds to the battlefield (thanks to her arrows).

    As for the boss himself, Pontius was first blinded by Jahan and then frozen by a grenade from Lucius (it took him actually 2 grenades to succeed).
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    I couldn't CC enemy archers and mages forever, so one of them ignited poison around us. It wasn't that bad, though. I tried all my sources to keep Pontius out of the battle.
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    It was very rewarding to end the battle without any losses.
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    What I learned from this fight is that it's always a good choice to use your summons ASAP so that they could soak up enemy attacks. I used this experience in the next battle, against a giant Source Nightmare spider. Summoning my own spider and Nick was what I've done with Anni and Lucius during the first turn.
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    Anni used the new skill - Magical Poison Dart - on the Nightmare. It was fun to be able to poison enemies for a change (undead can't be poisoned, it actually cures them). While Nick kept the Nightmare busy, we dealt with all the spiderlings, and were able to CC the Nightmare.
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    Another interesting aspect of this game is that you can affect merchants' disposition towards you and thus their prices. This is the fish merchant I've helped at the start, with 100 (max) disposition towards Lucius: as you can see, she stopped being a fish merchant long ago, and I use her to sell what I don't need, so that I could spend money she's giving me to purchase items from other merchants.
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    Current lvl: 7
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 9 (Wolgraff, 4: undead archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 1: Pirate Bowman, Anni, 2: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (2), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (3), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (3), Hydrosophist (3), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (3), Pyrokinetic (2), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , Wow, congratulations on getting this far with no reloads. The combats look really hard on the difficulty setting you're using.

    That spider looks really scary. :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited April 30
    My first really close call. It happened during the boss fight against the Baron of Bones and Lady Annah. At first, it started fine. We blinded Annah (a rogue) and charmed a cryomancer (I also found out that when you charm an enemy summoner, their summoned creature becomes charmed as well - very handy, considering this mage summoned an ice elemental, something that can be done by a lvl 9 mage).
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    The Baron had a skill to destroy summoned creatures. Also, enemies were many, and CCing all of them ate our spells.
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    There was a "court minstrel" among enemies. This creature kept removing my CC spells on other enemies. I had to knock it down, but enemy archers became active.
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    During one turn it looked ok, and during the next turn, both Anni and Lucius became nearly dead.
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    Understanding I can't save both of them, I decided to concentrate on Lucius in terms of healing spells and items, while Anni kept firing her special arrows.
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    The Baron finished Anni off, but Lucius was saved.
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    Not long after that, the battle was won.
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    What lesson have I learned from this fight? There cannot be enough hit points, so I'll try to increase Consitution, at least on Lucius.

    Current lvl: 7
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 10 (Wolgraff, 4: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 1: Pirate Bowman; Anni, 3: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (2), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (2), Geomancer (3), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (3), Hydrosophist (3), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (3), Pyrokinetic (2), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTHBubb
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , What an exciting combat report! Congratulations on winning that without a reload. :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited May 1
    Before going to the fire region I finished easier tasks, and while the fights weren't difficult, due to quest XP my party reached the 9th level. Also, no story spoilers. :)

    I explored the fire region VERY carefully. The thing here (except for obvious fire around) is that enemies can summon Arcane Vortex, which has an ability to teleport your heroes... including teleporting them to the lava surface, which is an instant death. So the chance to lose here is very high. One mistake, and it's all over. This is why I preferred to use summons. And speaking of that, the game gives you an excellent opportunity if you use crafting.

    The main aspect here is you can't buy high-level spellbooks in the starting town. But you can craft them! If you find spell scrolls or buy them, and buy blank spellbooks. It will cost you, but it will allow you to have amazing spells once you reach lvl 9. Here, look at my army of summons (now all 4 heroes can summon):
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    The next boss, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined, looked very scary. Once I looked his stats thanks to Loremaster on Anni, I cleared all the fire by Rain from Jahan, and chose the best position to attack.
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    Here even my Fire Elemental by Wolgraff could help - while attacking enemies wouldn't do anything, it still could take their damage, instead of other creatures and heroes.
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    Lucius charmed one of the lesser enemies, so the Twins-By-Fire-Joined potentially now had to fight 5 enemies, and this is without my characters!
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    Wolgraff and Lucius joined the fight, and finished the boss. But when it died, an explosion happened, which killed Wolgraff. The interesting fact here is he still got the XP of the kill, as he was alive at the moment it was granted.
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    Winning the fight after the main danger was eliminated wasn't difficult.
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    Again, no story spoilers here. Up to the old church. Battling cultists here granted us the 10th level. This allowed Anni to get a new summon (geomancy) - a wolf! It's nice how geomancy helps an archer. Making her a ranger type, summoning animals.
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    Now, the old evil awaited. The character which the game scared you about since the first minutes. This will be a reality check for this no-reload run.
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    Current lvl: 10
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 11 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 1: Pirate Bowman; Anni, 3: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (3), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (3), Geomancer (4), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (4), Hydrosophist (4), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (3), Pyrokinetic (4), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTH
  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,147
    Good luck Julius with that last one! It was the point where my playthrough hit a brick wall due to a botched character guide I followed. Up to that I did everything apart from winning from Frederick/Annah.

    I am reluctant to start the progress once more from Scratch.

    Great game nonetheless.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited May 1
    @Doubledimas I didn't even know there are character guides. :) I guess, I've just got used to playing everything myself and getting my own mistakes/success. What do you think of those skill mixes I use on my characters?

    Anyway, the main question. And oh boy, what a fun battle that is. Probably one of the most interesting battles I've seen in RPGs in a while. Unlike the Adra Dragon from PoE, Braccus Rex can be beaten fairly, and the player has all the ways to react.

    But it starts insanely: Braccus Rex summons all the previous bosses, Ascension-style: the Ghoul that Guards the Lighthouse, Diederek Baron of Bones, and the Twins-By-Fire-Joined.

    Braccus himself is invulnerable to your damage and debuffs (till you destroy protective spheres).

    But most importantly. He casts something similar to a Meteor Storm. Anni was immediately dead. Wolgraff barely survived. Lucius survived just fine, thanks to me putting points into Constitution for him. Jahan wasn't harmed.
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    Of course, I reacted. I summoned an Air Elemental which then teleported Lucius to a safe place. I summoned a Fire Elemental to distract the Twins-By-Fire-Joined and Braccus. Also, this Elemental ignited poison next to the Ghoul that Guards the Lighthouse, which nearly did him. And I summoned a lesser undead to distract the Ghoul.
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    While our summons held the line, Lucius, Anni and Wolgraff all were healed.
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    I had to summon an Ice Elemental after enemies killed the Air one, and also summoned a Spider. My undead warrior nearly finished the Ghoul, while Baron's and Twins' progress was slow due to Janan's and Elemental's magic.
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    I sent the spider to kill the Ghoul (because the spider was immune to poison), and Anni shot the Twins down with her icy and water arrows.
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    Finally, we healed more. We kept disabling the Baron - by freezing him. The spider turned the Ghoul into dust.
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    It was time to send Wolgraff for that distant sphere (Jahan teleported him, then Wolgraff used his own teleport, and basically reached the sphere in 1 turn), and oppose Braccus in melee (for that, I buffed Lucius with everything I had). Anni summoned a Wolf.
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    Once Braccus became vulnerable, Lucius decreased his Willpower, which let us freeze and blind the Sourcerer King.
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    This was his end.
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    What a joy was to discover all the shiny loot on the battlefield. Boots which provide +1 to Speed (which means +1 Action Points during each turn). A wand with a 25% chance to blind targets. A one-handed sword with big damage, comparable with a fully upgraded (though crafting) unique club.
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    Braccus Rex, the famous and dangerous Sourcerer King, lays fully defeated.

    Current lvl: 10
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 12 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 1: Pirate Bowman; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (2), Witchcraft (3), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Anni: Marksman (3), Geomancer (4), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    Jahan: Aerotheurge (4), Hydrosophist (4), Blacksmithing (1)
    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (3), Pyrokinetic (4), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , So, does that mean the game is over, and you can declare your no-reload a success? Congratulations on your big win!

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    Oh, no, that is (as I understand) only 1/3 of the game. ;) Or a bit more, hard to tell. I have a skillbook requiring the 15th level. While Braccus Rex is defeated, and the puzzles of Cyseal are solved, the main storyline continues. Now I have to find "a White Witch" to help stop the Void from taking all the world. I will travel to another town.

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    Every time I get to the End of Time, it's a chance to think about existence and the universe. Because scenes like this can definitely make you wonder about existential questions. I like these breaks from Rivellon.

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    The game is far from over. For example, in the Ancient Tomb of Braccus we found our first chest sealed with a magical lock. To unlock it, I need a special spell. I have only 1 scroll of that spell, and don't want to waste it yet.
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    Before I could travel to the next region, I had to face a guard. Surprises never end. We started the fight as usual.
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    But then the enemy summoned 4 fire fragments. They acted as kamikaze fireballs. Jahan didn't survive.
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    Defeating the enemy wasn't difficult. After those fire fragments I remembered the Twins-By-Fire-Joined, which exploded at death. And voila - Incandescent Wanderer exploded at death as well, dealing more than 10k damage to everything nearby.
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    It was fun to talk Trollish. Thanks to a book you find, you can actually understand this dialogue.

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    The next area looks (from the map) huge, probably it's of the same size as the first area.
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    I've checked - GOG Galaxy shows only 19-20% of players killed Braccus Rex. So as I understand the following parts of the game are not known to the majority of players.

    Current lvl: 10
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 13 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 2: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex).

    BelgarathMTH
  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,147
    @JuliusBorisov Can't say much about your skill choices as I am far from an expert myself. Only thing I noticed is that I put skills like black smithing, crafting, lockpicking and such on the two characters I do not take along (bairdotr and wolgraff). You only need that usually when you're in a town anyway so the main four can get the useful combat skills.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited May 3
    I see. My approach towards that - I'd find it a bit unfair to use 2 characters I don't include into my main party as people responsible for crafting, blacksmithing, picking locks, thieving, and identifying items. While that would potentially improve my party (because skill points could be put into attacking/defending skills instead), I just find it unnatural.

    BTW, you can respec your characters in the End of Time, so you don't need to worry about "good" or "bad" skill choices.

    Anyway, not a big report today, because I spent a lot of time exploring the new town, Silverglen, checking out its merchants, deciding on skill books I want to buy, looting containers, etc. All this is very exciting in D:OS. One quest I did was to help a blacksmith, his wife, and their animal to reach Silverglen safely. As a reward, this blacksmith has now a 100% disposition towards Lucius, which gives me the best prices when I want to sell items. He's a merchant from whom legendary items can be bought. I was so lucky to find a bow which grants +1 Speed. This is very rare for items to grant attribute points, and each attribute point in D:OS is a very big improvement. I could compare it to going from STR 18 to STR 19 each time. Now when Anni had a legendary weapon, I started tinkering with crafting, and what a joy that is.
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    Each time I try crafting (without looking in the net), it's a good exercise for the brain: what can be merged together, and what cannot. In this case, I've been wondering for a while how else I can use essences of fire/water/air/earth in addition to just merging them with sheets of paper. Reason: these essences are very rare and expensive, but merging them with sheets of paper creates only blank scrolls of the appropriate element, which are cheap. And I managed to find out the essences can be added to weapons! So my legendary bow could now have additional water damage, for example. I also have been wondering about strange "unique" items without any direct use, for example, a buffalo amulet, or a scope. I haven't found any use for the amulet, but the scope description made me try merging it with the bow... And it granted +1 Perception (another attribute) to it.

    I also found a book explaining you could add "tormented souls to weapons". I tried it some time ago, and it adds +1 to DEX and +1 to STR, which is massive.

    All this process takes time, and while for an outsider it might not be interesting, it's actually very interesting in the game. First, finding an item. Then trying to improve it. And finding an item can be random: you either check merchants from time to time, or wait for a lucky drop from an enemy/a container. The mix of pre-defined drops and random loot is a very strong combination.

    The way to help the blacksmith's animal was also somewhat rewarding. It involved something which I had for a while and couldn't find any use for. It's usual for this game: in Cyseal, for example, you first learned about a grave which is still being cared of, but couldn't understand who and why should care about that grave. Later in the story, you learn about it, and it gives a touching moment (at least it gave it to me).

    My party got a new level after a fight with drunk (!) goblins. :) Again, a lot of time spent on deciding what talent to pick and what skill to improve.
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    I also tried a new spell, Tornado: it removes surfaces from the battlefield, which is a very useful trick.
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    Current lvl: 11
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 13 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 2: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (3), Witchcraft (4), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Strength 12, Dexterity 6, Intelligence 8, Constitution 10, Speed 7, Perception 5

    Anni: Marksman (3), Geomancer (4), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 11 INT 9 CON 5 SP 9 PER 12

    Jahan: Aerotheurge (4), Hydrosophist (4), Blacksmithing (1)
    STR 5 DEX 5 INT 14 CON 7 SP 6 PER 8

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (4), Pyrokinetic (4), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 12 INT 9 CON 7 SP 8 PER 8

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    edited May 6
    During the weekend I read about @BelgarathMTH 's disappointment in P:KM, and can clearly state that D:OS is THE game for me in terms of finding "that" new game to succeed BG. I have no doubts not everyone will like the game, a lot of people will find something "off" in D:OS, whether that's humour, or TB combat, or something else. But for me personally, it's ticking all the boxes. I don't want to compare the game to BG only, I try to evaluate it on its own. And it's a great game. I think Dragon Age games offer better and deeper personalities, but from the tactical standpoint, and from the overall impression standpoint, I'd put D:OS just as high, as BG. Let's hope D:OS II can offer deeper companions personalities, and then it can very much become a game which is probably the best from the last 10 years. Again, for me. I feel ashamed that I didn't believe IGN's claims from 2014. Even on this forum, I wrote at that time smth along the lines of "Really? I think PoE is modern BG". But BG, or not BG, D:OS is the game for me which has impressed me a lot.

    I had a short session. Talked to mushrooms and solved their puzzles.
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    Found the first item to upgrade unique source hunter weapons.
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    Talked to a puddle.
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    Fought enemies who slaughtered animals for fun.
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    Learned something about the source hunters' souls.
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    Chose a new room for the End of Time, went with an ice room because I consider Hydrosophist to have the biggest influence in battles.
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    The merchant there also sold Marksman skill books, and I found out the Magical Unlock spell cannot be memorized. This made me try crafting again, and I found a recipe to create such spell scrolls. This let me open 2 locks I've long been wanting to unlock.
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    Defeated a semi-boss. Well, enemies defeated themselves, shooting frost grenades onto the battlefield (thanks to my summons being the targets), and thus freezing everything.
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    I made it to the entrance leading to the next area, but I'll try finishing all the quests in the Luculla Forest and Silverglen first.
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    Current lvl: 11
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 13 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 2: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab; Jahan, 2: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex).

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,088
    @JuliusBorisov , I'm glad you're having so much fun. I'll have to give D:OS another chance some time. :)

    JuliusBorisov
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