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

2

Comments

  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,266
    edited May 2019
    @JuliusBorisov DoS2 does indeed offer deeper companions personalities and much more mature setting in general (the goofiness of DoS was the thing that I disliked the most). I find DoS2 the best crpg experience since Dragon Age Origins (didn't play PoE2 and Pathfinder Kingmaker yet, though).

    Post edited by Cahir on
    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    There is always talk about whether the game makes the player know that the area they're about to enter is designed for characters of the higher level. D:OS does that in an excellent way.

    Back in Cyseal, the town had 6 doors (ways) out of it, and legionnaires next to each of the door commented about your level and abilities when you approached the door. Each way had its own "difficulty" level, and the player could understand better which way to take and when.

    Turns out, the second area is created in the same way. I infiltrated the sect in the town, and the first task was to "take a western road". When I travelled there, I found a group of characters who clearly told me I had to get a few levels before venturing forth. This is really cool. The game also lets you see every creature's level, and you can compare it with your character's level. These folks were of the 13th level, while my party stood at the 11th, and the 12th level is massive in this game, as it provides access to the first Master spells.

    In a way, an ability to judge whether you should approach the enemy or not because you can see its level and stats is similar to Might & Magic games.
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    When I reached the 12th level, I approached the same group, and they still advised to go find more XP.

    So I took another route. And let me tell you, Master spells are huge. Basically, Deadly Spores which attack multiple times with Poison (works especially well if the surface/enemies are burning at the time) and Chain Lightning, only 2 spells, can kill an enemy group of lvl 12 creatures in 1 round.
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    These mass spells worked in the next fight as well.
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    I also dig my thief's Daggers Drawn - if you position the character correctly, you inflict instant massive 4 backstabs.
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    As for the RPing, Silverglen offered nice quests as well. I had 3 surprises doing quests there, which nearly involved trollops and plugtails.

    Current lvl: 12
    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 (4), Witchcraft (4), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2)
    Strength 12, Dexterity 6, Intelligence 10, Constitution 10, Speed 7, Perception 5

    Anni: Marksman (4), Geomancer (4), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 11 INT 10 CON 5 SP 9 PER 12

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

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (4), Pyrokinetic (4), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 13 INT 9 CON 7 SP 9 PER 8

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    I had the second close call. What saved me was the right positioning of Anni (not in the heat of the battle), and Lucius having Leech talent (when he stands on the blood surface he's restoring HPs).

    The problem happened in a tight room with lvl 13 enemies and a big troll (called the Reanimated Troll). Little to no space to manoeuvre, the party had a bad time.

    Lucius was hit by Death Punch for 325 damage - later I found the spell book in one of the shops - it is a lvl 15 (the strongest) Witchcraft spell. However, high CON on Lucius, and his Fear ability (which makes enemies around flee in terror for 2 rounds) saved us.

    The battle was difficult also because the Reanimated Troll used Teleport on Jahan. For the first time in the entire game Jahan used Invisibility spell (which I, preferring to choose buffing and defending spells, had for a long time).
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    This fight made me think I need to improve my equipment. The higher the level of equipment is, the better enchantment it can have, so it's not only +1 to armour, or anything like that. Especially seeing lvl 15 creatures in the same dungeon, with the Invulnerable status and the following description.
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    Btw, @BelgarathMTH if you're wondering how much choices in dialogues can influence your traits, I have an answer: the game provides many options. Just look: Lucius has 5 Bold traits, and 4 Cautious traits, so the game till this time offered 9 choices to reply either boldly or cautiously. Since I can't reload, my replies are somehow in balance. Another note: I RP Anni as being romantic and brave, so she had 8 Bold traits, and only 1 Cautious.
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    We reached the 13th level, and this was an ideal time to go shopping. Now Lucius has the first armour granting 100 armour rating. This is also the first armour requiring 1 point in Armour specialist, and not only high STR. I had to swap my lvl 10 armour I bought before facing the Twins-By-Fire-Joined (which gave immunity to Burning) for a better armour providing immunity to Knockdowns. I am scared to think what would have happened if Lucius had been knockdown in that battle.

    Lucius now has more than 1000 HPs (Anni has only 539 HPs in comparison).
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    Current lvl: 13
    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 (4), Witchcraft (4), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2), Armour Specialist (1)
    Strength 13, Dexterity 6, Intelligence 10, Constitution 10, Speed 7, Perception 5

    Anni: Marksman (4), Geomancer (5), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 11 INT 10 CON 5 SP 10 PER 12

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

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (4), Pyrokinetic (5), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 13 INT 9 CON 8 SP 9 PER 8

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    I don't know what I will find if I continue to explore that dungeon with lvl 15 Invulnerable demons. I thought that maybe infiltrating the Immaculate cult will provide an option to talk to those demons, considering they were created by the "goddess" of the cult. So I approached the group of Immaculates which previously had told me I was too low level to proceed. Now they said I stood a fair chance against the trials ahead.
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    And boy, these trials didn't disappoint. First of all, we met a goblin merchant with a cute animal. Without the Pet Pal I wouldn't have known the animal is actually suffering from this goblin. So I agreed to help it and attacked the goblin...

    It turned out to be a lvl 15 archer with magic, and 100% immunity to all elements! Considering the 15th level opens access to the most dangerous spells, I tried to be extremely cautious in this fight, spending my precious knockdown arrows. I also used the trick to make the goblin "Warm", which decreases Protection against Fire to 90%, and lets you actually damage the creature with fire. Lucius used Lower Resistance and Decrease Willpower to make the goblin at least partially vulnerable to our magic. I also summoned an Air Elemental because it can Stun (if lucky), and when it's destroyed, it creates a small stunning cloud. It worked!
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    The animal thanked us for freeing it and shared a secret about how to approach the goblin camp ahead.

    However, we encountered another difficulty. Instead of nice Luculla Forest, we found ourselves in a desert, with a constant Slow debuff. There we had to fight a spider ambush (spiders, of course, didn't have any Slow debuff). It was a difficult fight, but Fire spells from Wolgraff helped. Lucius again survived thanks to his high CON and the Leech talent.
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    Then we found a trial dungeon for Immaculates. Without spoilers, let me just tell you this place was full of excellent puzzles. One of them was not dying from Rot - a bad effect constantly decreasing characters' HPs.
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    The dungeon gave a rare feeling of urgency, anxiety, and interest in the form of solving puzzles.

    And D:OS wouldn't have been itself if the dungeon didn't end with a solid fight. During this fight I saw for the first time enemies using Resurrection.
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    Completing the trial opened a new room in the End of Time, and gave another clue about the events which have been happening in the world. Considering I've just found a high-level scroll of Air which let me create a lvl 15 spell book of Aerotheurge, I chose to open the Fire room this time. Now I have access to all the spell books of Pyrokinetic and Man-at-Arms.
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    Now I plan to explore the secret Immaculate hideout the key to which I found on one of the bodies after that dungeon fight. Maybe this will prepare me for those demons, I don't know. It's a cool feeling to explore everything blindly and move cautiously wherever I go.

    Current lvl: 13
    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
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    I'm still really enjoying reading about this, and your screen shots look beautiful. I'm starting to think this game will be a little too intense for me to enjoy it myself. Things like that rot curse in a game stress me out. I like to relax and enjoy the story, music, and art in a cRPG, rather than constant adrenaline, fear, and danger. I understand why a lot of people like it, though. Many gamers play to get a rush, but I'm way more about roleplay and story.

    It also looks like you need things like that absorbing hit points from spilled blood to succeed. That strikes me as a very evil, vampire-like thing to be doing, so the roleplayer in me wouldn't let me do that. But it looks like the game will punish any sub-optimal choices for character building. Again, that's not my cup of tea. It's one of the main reasons I stopped liking Pathfinder: Kingmaker - the pressure to optimize builds. I'm thinking of trying P:Km again soon with the difficulty slider turned down to easy to see if I get a more pleasant experience that way. I wonder if the intensity of your D:OS game has to do with your Tactician difficulty setting, and whether I might get a more laid back experience playing it on the "Classical" setting, or even "Easy". My reluctance to turn the difficulty slider down may be stopping me from enjoying some games that I might get a lot of pleasure from if I'd just turn down the slider.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    I don't know which choices for building characters are optimal, and which are not, as I don't consult with online guides ;) I've had the previous experience of playing about 30 hours of D:OS before starting this run.

    The game offers a way to respec characters. Leech talent is one of the many talents you can pick. Maybe I could take something to make my character better defended against incoming damage rather than giving him this passive healing. Or just add a point or 2 in Hydrosophist to enable actual healing spells for him.

    Yes, I'm playing on Tactician, so maybe this is why it looks intense.

    The dungeon with Rot was an exclusion, all the previous areas hadn't had a similar mechanic. Also, it didn't stop me from using mass heal unlimitedly, the rate at which health decreased was very slow. Remember the feeling of urgency you got when you touched the gong in M&M VI? ;)

    That said, I'm not pushing you to try it, I'm just honestly saying that I'm very impressed by this game, probably the most (in my gaming) since DA:O.

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    Well, I have to admit: while the start of the game was intriguing, the stage I'm now at is even more interesting. What is happening in the world is far from goofy, from the quests I definitely see there are big dangers for the whole world of Rivellon.

    Also, now every battle involves all your abilities and enemies have a lot of tricks. I didn't know I would say this, but the higher levels are even more interesting than the very start.

    Also, I was positively surprised that I actually was correct in my assumption I had to explore the world more, and that I need something more to be able to handle those demons in the mines.

    What I did was I followed the portal I got the key to. It led me to a secret Immaculate village, with higher-level enemies. I talked to them, though, as before I managed to become a part of Immaculates myself (due to those trials). And these dialogues, along with comments I got from animals, definitely showed me I needed something to be able to handle the mines. In the same time, I couldn't start fighting with the village due to its inhabitants being of the higher level.

    I found Tenebrium ore, and also managed to find out one person in the Silverglen village can teach working with Tenebrium (otherwise it causes Rot). So I returned to the Silverglen village, talked to that person, and learned the Tenebrium skill. Now I could freely use Tenebrium weapons.

    Questions, questions. I went and bought a Tenebrium bow in the secret Immaculate village. After than Anni, alone, approached a demon in the mine to see if this Tenebrium damages them. Just as I expected, it still didn't. Time for a reload, considering the enemy was totally immune to everything? Nope! The game lets you flee from the fight, which can be done if you are quite distant from the enemy. This is just excellent!

    I figured I had to go elsewhere. I completed another puzzle dungeon, which was even more interesting than the Rot dungeon in terms of puzzles.

    Then I travelled to a new location and got a message The End of Time was being under attack by demons. To stop that attack I need to destroy a Blood stone protected by demons, and for that I need Tenebrium weapons.

    I started to wonder that buying such a weapon is not the only way to get it, considering the bow I bought cost more than 3k of gold. Of course there is! I had to put more points into Blacksmithing and upgrade my Tenebrium skill on Wolgraff to be able to enchant my own weapons with Tenebrium damage. It's very high damage, with most enemies not being immune to it.

    Then I started to explore that new location. Enemies had lvl 16 - even higher than in the mines and in the secret Immaculate village. So I figured I had to go elsewhere. I have 3 choices: the new ice region (which I decided not to enter before), or 2 desert parts (where I fought spiders). So this is similar to having 5 different areas on a world map in BG, or PoE, - but the player here can see enemies from a distance, and decide for themselves.

    The first fight in the desert was a hard one, a good one, but I was prepared for it.

    Btw, only 13% of players got the achievement of working with Tenebrium. It's a shame that 87% of them didn't go further!

    Screenshots:
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    I also can highlight a quest where you could support a woman who lost her husband because of Rot against the mines' owner: you could support her not to take money from this owner, let her speak to other villages against the crimes of this owner, but then you could stop all the villagers to prevent unneeded violence towards this owner.
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    Current lvl: 14
    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 (4), Witchcraft (5), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2), Armour Specialist (1)

    Anni: Marksman (4), Geomancer (5), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)

    Jahan: Aerotheurge (5), Hydrosophist (5), Blacksmithing (2)

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (4), Pyrokinetic (5), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1), Tenebrium (3)

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    @JuliusBorisov , I really need to give this game another shot, although I'm sure I'll need to play on a lower difficulty setting, and those puzzles sound like they're going to send me out to the internet looking up walkthroughs.

    You make it sound a little like Might and Magic 6-8, where you can also fight enemies in turn-based mode, run from combat if you're outmatched, and you have to solve "interesting" puzzle dungeons. (Castle Darkmore, Castle Alamos, and Tomb of Varn, I'm looking at you.)

    JuliusBorisov
  • TorgrimmerTorgrimmer Member Posts: 329
    @JuliusBorisov So this is where you been hiding out buddy :wink:

    JuliusBorisov
  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,221
    @JuliusBorisov , I really need to give this game another shot, although I'm sure I'll need to play on a lower difficulty setting, and those puzzles sound like they're going to send me out to the internet looking up walkthroughs.

    You make it sound a little like Might and Magic 6-8, where you can also fight enemies in turn-based mode, run from combat if you're outmatched, and you have to solve "interesting" puzzle dungeons. (Castle Darkmore, Castle Alamos, and Tomb of Varn, I'm looking at you.)
    I have been playing the game on the regular difficulty (Classic)

    Just to give an overview:
    Explorer Mode

    The player gets +80% HP & +30% boost to Chances to Hit.
    NPCs get -50% HP & -25% penalty to Chances to Hit.
    Regular creatures don't have any crowd control spells (Charm, Mute, Freeze, Petrify etc.): only bosses have them.
    Can switch up to Classic Mode
    Classic Mode
    The player gets +15% HP.
    Creatures have all of their regular spells.
    Can switch down to Explorer Mode.
    Tactician Mode
    NPCs get +20% HP.
    Most creatures in the game have additional or enhanced skills & abilities, including bosses.
    Tactician Mode can not be changed once selected.
    Honor Mode
    NPCs get +20% HP.
    Most creatures in the game have additional or enhanced skills & abilities, including bosses.
    Honor Mode can not be changed once selected.
    The user has only 1 save slot, so every time they save / quicksave / autosave, the savegame is overwritten. If a character dies (PC, companion, henchman) the game autosaves.
    If the whole party dies, the game cannot be recovered
    PS4 cloud saves can be re-downloaded to circumvent this.
    Supposedly drops better loot

    So Julius is playing in a mode that is quite different compared to the regular experience. For example the only reason I couldn't really progress my game last time was because of botched character developments. I have been running a subsequent playthrough which is progressing a lot better this time due to picking more logical character skills.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    @BelgarathMTH Never look up walkthroughs if you decide to give this game a go. I've been having fun figuring out all the spells, craft recipes, and the order of quests.

    That said, I've just completed a part of Luculla region which reminded me of the Chaos Sanctuary from Diablo 2. Deadly lava everywhere, demons wandering around, very scary. And invulnerable as well!
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    I had to find a way around these demons: I could choose one of the three roads: left (to fight with Immaculates), central (with demons), and right (covered by lava).

    I chose the left road, to get XP from fighting Immaculates. I actually could pass through them peacefully, but failed my charming attempt (lost in Rock–paper–scissors).

    The Tornado spell can clear out lava from the surface. I tried it by casting Tornado and then summoning skeletons on lava (immediate death) and on the cleared surface (no damage).

    The fight itself was interesting, but now when my party (lvl 14) and enemies (lvl 15) are close, I feel confident. Even while enemies have those additional or enhanced skills & abilities from the Tactician difficulty, the key to winning is disabling them with Stun, Freeze, Knockdown, Charm, Blindness, Fear, or distracting with summons. If you're careful and don't rush your characters (eg. not place them next to an enemy Vortex who can teleport them to lava, which would mean an immediate death), you'll be fine.
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    The next group of Immaculates had two of them sitting peacefully next to a fireplace. Well, Anni casted Deadly Spores at them. The fire from the fireplace exploded, and these 2 were dead in one second. Then Anni used her Static Cloud Arrow on a surface to create a Static Cloud and a Smoke Cloud. Tornado also reveals invisible creatures.
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    The way to the Blood Stone which I had to destroy (to stop demons' attack on the End of Time) was blocked by an Immaculate "Shepherd" and invulnerable Void Rams. I figured I had to kill the shepherd so that the rams could become unhostile. It indeed turned out that way. The problem here was to disable the shepherd and kill him quickly before the rams destroyed my characters. The Loremaster skill on Anni let her see this enemy had the lowest resistance against Water. I used freezing spells and arrows.
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    We destroyed the Blood stone, got a new achievement (only 12% of players unlocked it), and found those scary demons were now dead.
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    I'm getting closer to reaching the 15th level, which will open the strongest spells for my characters, including Meteor Shower. ;)

    Current lvl: 14
    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 (4), Witchcraft (5), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2), Armour Specialist (1)
    STR 14 DEX 6 INT 10 CON 10 SP 7 PER 5

    Anni: Marksman (4), Geomancer (5), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1)
    STR 6 DEX 13 INT 11 CON 5 SP 10 PER 12

    Jahan: Aerotheurge (5), Hydrosophist (5), Blacksmithing (2)
    STR 5 DEX 5 INT 18 CON 7 SP 8 PER 7

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (4), Pyrokinetic (5), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1), Tenebrium (3)
    STR 6 DEX 13 INT 10 CON 7 SP 9 PER 8

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    I'm starting to feel sadness as I feel there is not much of the game left. It's been a very cool adventure, and I'm sad to part ways with it. You might know the feeling - I've always felt the same when I reach Suldanessellar in BG2. I'd also compare it to the feeling I get at the end of a long and happy vacation.

    The group reached the 15th level, and got access to the most dangerous spells in the game. I knew I would love Meteor Shower, and I'm loving it! Here's an enemy with nearly full health before I cast it, and then there's this same enemy with nearly no life left after Meteor Shower.
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    The achievement for getting lvl 15 spells was unlocked only by ... 6% of players, so I must be getting into the final stages. Maybe I should visit the icy region which I first skipped as I get a feeling that region was supposed to be for lower level characters.

    That said, here're a few screenshots showing how to control the battlefield.
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    Current lvl: 15
    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 (5), Witchcraft (5), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2), Armour Specialist (1), Bodybuilding 1

    Anni: Marksman (5), Geomancer (5), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1), Bodybuilding 1

    Jahan: Aerotheurge (5), Hydrosophist (5), Blacksmithing (2) - thinking on taking a new magic school for him, to compensate on the spells I've missed on other characters, eg. Geomancy or Witchcraft

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (5), Pyrokinetic (5), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1), Tenebrium (3)

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    The game has reminded me how hard it can be. How easy things can go bad. Actually, this third close call looked like I would lose. And this is after (relatively) steamrolling through numerous battles and bosses.

    A few screenshots of nice battles, before getting to that point. You can also see Jahan getting killed by friendly fire (Meteors):
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    I needed to temporary swap Wolgraff for Bairdotr (an archer companion from Cyseal) to finish her quest. Maybe this is one of the reasons I nearly lost everything - one of 4 characters didn't have nice items and spells. Maybe I was just unprepared to lose my Scoundrel and Pyrokinetic abilities.

    So, the fight I had to do was against a bloody necromancer. It started normally: Jahan frozen 4 beasts, Anni used her "rain of arrows" for massive damage. But then this necromancer took his turn, and Decease + Poison did their nasty effect. I lost Jahan, then Bairdotr, then Lucius... It was time for Anni to use an invisibility potion I have been saving in her inventory for the last ~10 levels, or so (yes, I have rare invisibility potions on both main characters). So she managed to retreat from the battle at this stage:
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    Then she came back to the cave, and from a distance managed to resurrect other companions, one by one. We fully healed, and then entered the battle again.

    At this time, we knew exactly how dangerous these undead animals and the necromancer are, where they would appear, so the battle was won, and Bairdotr even got the last shot.
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    Current lvl: 15
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 17 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 3: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab, Jared of Homeforest; Jahan, 4: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment, Wolgraff's friendly fire (Meteors), Jared of Homeforest; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex; Bairdotr, 1: Jared of Homeforest).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    @JuliusBorisov , congratulations on surviving your close call. I'll be really sad for you if you lose your no-reload status this close to the end. I think you have quite an accomplishment going here, even if you ultimately need to finish it as a minimal reload. Judging from the Steam statistics you've quoted, few players have gotten this far into D:OS without giving up, even with reloads.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    Not a big update today. I've played the game more, and it turned out my blind initial guess to skip the Death Knights (since they're invulnerable) had been correct. After BG, DA, and PoE I've got used to the fact choosing the next quest/the next area is not difficult, - you just go somewhere, and complete everything there. Maybe you have to visit another region, but that's it. In D:OS, however, the whole game is a puzzle. When I was in Cyseal, the order of the quests and how to do them was a puzzle which was fun to solve. When I moved to Silverglen, it offered me even a bigger puzzle.

    Understanding I couldn't defeat the Death Knights and seeing their connection to the Immaculate cult, I decided to pursue the quest "Infiltrating Immaculates" till the end. At first, it led me to a new area of the Luculla Forest where one of the animals (a deer) mentioned he saw how the head of the cult could go unharmed next to the knights. It strengthened my belief I was on a correct path. The way led me to the Immaculate Cathedral, and after solving another dungeon puzzle I finally reached the secret chamber where I found a few books and artefacts explaining what the head of the cult planned. It finally started to become clear. And yes, indeed, I need certain items to be able to face the knights. After I got those story clues, my friend Imp from the End of Time explained what I have to do next in more details: I need to rescue the White Witch because she can help, I need to go to the Hunters Edge, and only then I can proceed to the Phantom Forest.

    I had to keep searching for the right way for many playing hours. I had concerns. If I can compare it, imagine going to Orzammar in DAO and seeing 3 ways out of it. 2 of those ways are blocked by something you need to solve in Denerim and Brecilian Forest first (both of them are long quests). And when you go to Denerim and then to Brecilian Forest you find yourself in even bigger quests.

    But thanks to talking to animals, reading in-game books, notes, and hearing a few dialogues I managed to actually find the way. It's such a rewarding experience.
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    Current lvl: 16
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 17 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 3: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab, Jared of Homeforest; Jahan, 4: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment, Wolgraff's friendly fire (Meteors), Jared of Homeforest; Anni, 4: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex; Bairdotr, 1: Jared of Homeforest).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    Lucius: Man-at-Arms (5), Witchcraft (5), Charisma (2), Leadership (1), Crafting (2), Armour Specialist (1), Body Building (1), Willpower (1), Shield Specialist (1)
    STR 15 DEX 7 INT 11 CON 10 SP 7 PER 5

    Anni: Marksman (5), Geomancer (5), Lucky Charm (2), Loremaster (1), Lockpicking (1), Body Building (1), Willpower (1), Bow (1)
    STR 5 DEX 15 INT 11 CON 5 SP 9 PER 14

    Jahan: Aerotheurge (5), Hydrosophist (5), Blacksmithing (2), Geomancer (3)
    STR 5 DEX 5 INT 18 CON 7 SP 10 PER 7

    Wolgraff: Scoundrel (5), Pyrokinetic (5), Pickpocketing (1), Sneaking (1), Tenebrium (3), Dual Wielding (2)
    STR 5 DEX 14 INT 10 CON 5 SP 10 PER 9

    BelgarathMTH
  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,221
    Julius, I would recommend getting the speed level of Jahan and Wolgraff to uneven levels (11 in both cases) as the game favours an uneven number with speed (you get an extra AP on every uneven number). Keep their perception at uneven levels as well as the uneven levels of PER will also give you 1 start AP.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    Thanks! To get to the next uneven level, I have to go through an even level, I guess. ;) Also, stats are being constantly modified as I find/buy new more powerful items with better enchantments.

    Exploring Hiberheim took a few truly interesting hours: due to my characters' higher level, the fights weren't difficult at all, but all the puzzles WERE difficult. This game doesn't stop surprising me. Hiberheim was the place where I learned I can, and should, use invisible characters to pass through watching sentinels, and then use teleportation pyramids to bring all other party members together. The more I used this tactic in Hiberheim, the more I thought - maybe THIS is how I should be able to sneak past those Death Knights.

    And after completing everything in Hiberheim, talking to the White Witch, the Mines became indeed my next target. It all finally came together: what should I do, why should I do, and how should I do that. Kudos to those who wrote these quests.

    One of the quests in Hiberheim involved a moral dilemma: should the player help a criminal who was guilty of killing at least 2 officers, or help officers who supported a tyrant? So the game obviously provides opportunities to RP. Rock–paper–scissors games can sometimes go not as you want, but it never led to anything I was very opposed to. Usually, though, higher Charisma means I have better chances to win the game than the opponent.

    One dungeon had phantom traps on the ground and invisible real traps. I lost Anni twice there. Traps are lethal in the game.

    A few screenshots.
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    Current lvl: 17
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: 19 (Wolgraff, 5: Undead Archer, Mysterious Opponent, Young Orc Ranger, Hard-shelled Crab, the Twins-By-Fire-Joined; Lucius, 3: Grulbarg the Fearsome, Hard-shelled Crab, Jared of Homeforest; Jahan, 4: Pirate Bowman, Fire Fragment, Wolgraff's friendly fire (Meteors), Jared of Homeforest; Anni, 6: Pirate Bowman, Source Abomination, Diederek Baron of Bones, Braccus Rex, Traps in Hiberheim; Bairdotr, 1: Jared of Homeforest).

    Difficulty: Tactician

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    Yes, yes, yes! I was right! Using invisibility and going silently through the Death Knights helped Wolgraff reach the inner door. He even had to fight (alone) a group of Immaculates, but what can 5 enemies do against Meteor Shower. ;)
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    I met the villain in the inner chamber, and she summoned 3 Death Knights. But the path was clear: I saw a teleport nearby, and main characters spoke about reaching it sooner than the Death Knights. So we distracted the knights with summons, and reached the teleport. A little bit of exploration, and we finally made our way out of the mines, creating a spell book to disable the Death Knights' invulnerability.
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    So, about 50 hours later than discovering the Mines for the first time, the location is completed!

    Current lvl: 17
    Reloads: 0

    BelgarathMTHDrHappyAngry
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited May 2019
    I didn't expect that, frankly. I thought I was supposed to finish the game, or something. But! I found myself in another town (Hunter's Edge), and have been spending hours investigating what is happening there. Imagine that after Athkatla you arrive to Ust Natha, and then to Suldenesselar, but the elven city is not destroyed - on the opposite, you have to solve mysteries there, talk to its inhabitants, decide what to do. It's really interesting here, because there are both orcs and immaculate soldiers in the town, and they're ready to fight against each other. I only need a way to find out how one group committed a treachery against another.

    I managed to pick an item with which I could combine the demon's heart I had bought in the starting town. I managed to create a 30-year old whiskey (that was very fun). I managed to learn a story of the undead merchant I had met outside the first town.

    This is just ... I didn't expect the game could still surprise me.

    Current lvl: 17
    Reloads: 0

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    Grond0BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    I'm still there, in the Hunter's Edge, but I've managed to solve nearly all the quests there. Now this playthrough and my thoughts suddenly have another consequence (in the wake of the III news). While from another thread it's quite clear users from this forum who liked DOS are in minority, I'm on the opposite side. I'm closing to 200 hours in DOS, and have experience of playing the chapter 1of DOS 2, and these games look like a revelation to me. The complexness of quests even so late in the game impresses me a lot: the party's power probably is enough to end all the resistance they can get in terms of other humans, but the quests are made so that the player spends hours trying to solve the riddle.

    I've just finished the quest "The Hunt in Hunter's Edge", and turned out there have been 2 completely different ways - not to the end result of the quest - but to the actual process of going through this quest, and one of them could be solved by other 2 options. Questions from "how can I access this area", "how to get inside", to "what's the connection between the "rat king" and the wizard's house" have been plaguing me for days. And the biggest praise I can give is that I managed to solve it all without looking for a walkthrough.

    But looking at other people's thoughts, I'm getting sad. I don't have to, but I'm still sad this beauty of a game can stay locked and cold to so many players, be it because of TB combat, not enough dialogue choices, or whatever.

    Current lvl: 18
    Reloads: 0

    BelgarathMTHDrHappyAngry
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    @JuliusBorisov , I'm sorry everybody's making you sad, Julius. I know you love this game now, and you naturally want to champion it and get other people to share your joy and excitement with it.

    I actually enjoy turn-based combat in games, so I don't have a dog in that race. I'm also surprised at how passionate a lot of the posters are in their dislike of turn-based combat. I think RtwP is pretty much the same, just greatly sped up. I always read my entire BG combat transcripts with the dice rolls turned on after every fight, so I know what went on with the dice and the turns. I get the impression that maybe most players don't pay any attention to the combat transcript in BG. It's true that BG gives the illusion of real time combat, but if you read the transcript, it becomes apparent that it's just that, an illusion.

    I really wish I could like D:OS, and I'll probably give it another chance some day. For me, the problems are in the pacing, the way dialogue works, and the way character creation and skills work. Also, I really don't like puzzles in games. I usually just want to mindlessly escape from real life tedium when I play a game, and D:OS just doesn't do it for me at the current time. I could be in a totally different frame of mind next year or the next, though.

    I'm still enjoying following your thread, and I'm watching for you to reach the end and give your final, final thoughts.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,424
    I just don't get the hatred for turn based, either. I generally prefer RTWP for RPGs, but I'm willing to play good turn based games, as well. Although, I admittedly rage quit the first D:OS, I did like the second one a lot and finished it a few times. Maybe I'll give the first one another shot since there's an enhanced edition, plus after finishing the second one I'm more familiar with the mechanics. I'm certainly glad I gave the second one a shot, after not liking the first so much.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    I got a chance to resume the play and finished the Hunter's Edge.

    Had to deal with 4 ancient titans dealing 2k damage with each turn - they weren't immune to freezing/stunning/blinding, though.
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    Then I nearly lost due to traps, or, rather, a trapped surface - only due to high Perception Anni saw those signs on the floor - stepping anywhere else meant death.
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    We supported the Immaculate soldiers in the village against orcs.
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    I learned the last part of the Tapestry of Time, so I finally know about the events that happened in the game's world. It's been actually quite a rewarding story. Thanks to it I know that the source, which is highly feared in Rivellon, was corrupted, but initially, it had been pure. So the philosophy of "See a sourcerer - kill a sourcerer" is a bad choice. Reminded about human history.

    As I understand, I have 1, maximum 2, areas before the end of the game.

    Again, it was not only brutal fighting and dungeon crawling. "The Watch is Coming" was a quest with a moral dilemma: a few imps I found in my Homestead before turned out to be criminals running from justice. The player's choice is to either tell the watchers about the imps or lie to them. Telling truth seemed a right but hard choice.

    Current lvl: 18
    Reloads: 0

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    My party reached a maximum level - 20. I entered the Phantom Forest, resolved Jahan's quest, and on my way to resolve Wolgraff's one. The epic area is full of demons, death knights, and similar enemies, but my party is doing fine. With all elemental magic flying around, fights look remarkable. There're lots of deadly traps in this area, so one misstep and a party member dies.
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    Now Wolgraff can cast Resurrection - not from a scroll but actually as a spell.
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    I have another choice to make: I can decide the fate of Arhu, a human-cat who has been helping my party during the whole game. His story is not what you can imagine.

    There's also an invulnerable lich, and I have to find a way to make her beatable - for that I need to enter the temple of the dead, and only dead characters can enter that area, so there's another solution I have to find first.
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    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    Fun fact - Did you know Arhu has kind of been the mascot of the Divine Divinity series ever since the first action game was released in August 2002?

    He appears in the opening cutscene of the game, waking up your passed-out character by nuzzling his hand, and he goes on to make many appearances throughout the games.

    Arhu appears at 1:20

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited July 2019
    I completed the Temple of the Dead, it was full of traps. At one moment, when an old tomb was opened, the area became filled with Poison. Jahan used Tornado to clear poison around our characters, and then Wolgraff casted Meteor Shower (fire is especially effective when it's combined with poison).
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    We returned Wolgraff his voice and even made him a knight!
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    Now when Wolgraff could talk (before he had had to write notes to explain his thoughts), banters between him and Jahan became even more hilarious:

    W: DROMEDARY! Ha! Don't know why I said that, but I sure liked saying it! Dromedary...
    J: Would you hush, you fool? Or do you want to attract every foe in a mile by blurting out random examples of fauna?


    W: La la la la la la la laaaaaaaa! Buggering blood puddings, I could have been an opera singer!
    J: Perhaps you're aware that characters in operas often die tragic deaths. I'd be happy to act out such a scene with you!

    We killed (previously immortal) Cassandra the Lich and now Arhu is permanently a cat, just as he wanted!
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    Current lvl: 20
    Reloads: 0

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    DrHappyAngryBelgarathMTH
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,424
    Did they ever deal with the weapon skills being useless past a certain point in the game? I didn't play much of the EE, but in the original release, a lot of people said not put any skill points into the weapon styles and wait until Tenebrium opened up.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    Did they ever deal with the weapon skills being useless past a certain point in the game? I didn't play much of the EE, but in the original release, a lot of people said not put any skill points into the weapon styles and wait until Tenebrium opened up.

    Tenebrium ability is a requirement (to use Tenebrium weapons), but you get the damage boost from your weapon ability (eg., a crossbow on Anni).

    DrHappyAngry
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,507
    edited July 2019
    I've done it! I've finished the game. What a journey it has been!
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    I will probably post more screenshots illustrating the final events in the game later. I had to reload in the final battle (to better protect non-controlled characters I had to save), so it's not a no-reload run, but I'm still glad how it all ended. For example, I managed not to get a game over even once while exploring dungeons - something I thought would be impossible at the start of the run. My scouts died a lot, though.

    Before starting DOS1 I had about 50 hours in DOS2, where I got acquainted with this type of games, and which hooked me from the first seconds. I was very sceptical about DOS2 when it launched, but I liked the trailer and decided to try. The TB combat had been something that I had been afraid of, but since I tried DOS2, I never looked back.

    @BelgarathMTH asked about a review after I finish the game, so I'll try to summarize my feelings.

    First, the things which could be better:
    1) end-game items - after lvls 16/17, it stopped being important which new items I can find/buy - as due to crafting and constantly searching for good equipment I already had all 4 party members equipped with what I would call ideal items in terms of enchantment
    2) companions' stories - while I liked the overall stories of Jahan and Wolgraff, and of 2 other characters, they still weren't as deep as the stories in DA:O; I still enjoyed banters between Jahan and Wolgraff, but I wish there could be more dialogues with your companions
    3) personality traits choices - sometimes it was really difficult to understand what trait exactly will this or that choice affect (in the end, I had very close trait scores in Bold/Cautious, for example).
    4) "rock, paper, scissors" games - I see how players could be upset by getting their luck screwed. I took all the variants I got as they came, but I wish I could replay a few outcomes (usually when they ended with me not being able to persuade someone not to fight). I'd prefer a more traditional way of getting guaranteed results if you improve your Charisma
    5) since the chances of getting enemies stunned/frozen/knocked down/blinded/petrified/charmed etc depend on your ability scores, after mid-game I could safely crowd-control the majority of enemies. I know the developer addressed this in DOS 2 by introducing armors, which you should go through first before being able to apply a status effect.
    6) dungeon puzzles - I enjoyed them a lot in this game. They reminded me of Might & Magic games where I had to search for a button on a big wall, but I would decrease the amount of puzzles in the final part of the game. When I entered the Source Temple after completing an interesting puzzle I expected fighting, not another set of puzzles.
    7) lucky charm - I wish it worked more like Magic Find in Diablo 2. The more you improve the skill, the better items you get, and more of them. In DOS1, though, all the additional items you could loot were more of ingredients/arrows/money - that type of thing. I know it's improved in DOS2.

    But all that is not harsh criticism. These are more things I would personally approach differently.

    Now, the things I liked:
    1) TB combat - sorry, but it's like love from the first sight. I couldn't imagine I would become such a fan when I thought about trying DOS2 for the first time. The TB combat allowed me to fully control everything happening in the game, with all the consequences being real consequences of my good and bad actions.
    2) an ability to retreat from the battle - after PoE it was such a revelation how rewarding it can feel when you can approach the same fight differently if you see that you're going to have a bad time, without reloading. Especially playing blindly.
    3) voice-over work - I know there're people who don't like full VO. But this game is voiced by amazing actors. Sometimes I just enjoyed listening to the voices of Icara or Anni, without even reading.
    4) combat design - there was no fight like another in this game. The TB combat is slower than RtwP, and designers had to do a lot not to include similar fights. Of course, when I got close to the end of the game, I saw everything already, but then I enjoyed my high-level spells. Even the final battle in the game introduced something that wasn't used before.
    5) progression - it was unbelievable how it felt when each new item and skill I acquired, the party became more and more powerful.
    6) quests - I liked the quests in this game! They were not ordinary, involved some detective work, always a mystery, and the game actually didn't forget to provide an answer to any question I had. I liked how the very first task of investigating the murder actually resulted in the major events in this game, how important that murder was. A new player, or even those who spend 20 hours in the game, won't see it.
    7) environment combat - this was a true revolution for me. I first saw it in DOS 2 and was stunned that there can be something invented in these isometric games after dozens of years.
    8) music - I bought the soundtrack and this is one of the rare cases when I actually listen to it outside of the game. Music is so good here.
    9) crafting - I usually struggle to use all those potions in BG, or use alchemy in Skyrim. In this game, it was so fun. I didn't spoil myself and found all the recipes by trial and error. Crafting and blacksmithing helped a lot to make my party better.
    10) humor - yeah! I liked fun moments when they came. Probably because I think that when you can smile among all the darkness it makes the whole experience more touching. I didn't like the PoE's always serious, always dark tone. It can become dull if it's all grey and bad everywhere.

    Overall, I don't think I had as much fun as I did in DOS1 since DA:O. Of course, I came to the game from DOS2 (but not from the end or even middle of the game, just from the start), so I already knew what to expect, more or less. I'd give this game 9/10.

    DrHappyAngryBelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    Thank you for the very thoughtful review. It sounds like I might have a better chance to get into D:OS some day if I start with D:OS 2 first. I bought it recently, just in case I might ever want to try it, while it was on a brief 45% off sale.

    I still think the weakest part of the first game might be that it has a really slow start. It makes it hard to get hooked into it for certain players, including me. Also, that business of not being able to control the outcome of dialogues because of your partner has to go. Didn't you say there was a setting for that? I think it was "set your partner to loyal"?

    Maybe based on your passion for it, I can give it another chance some day and just force myself to get through Cyseal and the surrounding areas hoping it gets better after that.

    Also, I *really* don't like too many puzzles in a game, so that may also be a deal-breaker for me. The "puzzles" in Might and Magic were either fairly easy to solve (the only hard ones I remember were in MM6 in Gharik's Forge, Castle Alamar and Castle Darkmoor - bridges and levers, portals suspended from the ceiling and some really hard to find buttons, finding all the trees and piecing together the "JBARD" password), or were just a matter of pixel-hunting in a room until you saw the button.

    The Tomb of Varn wasn't really a hard "puzzle", as long as you could keep beating and clearing all the immensely strong enemies to the point you could explore freely. Although, much as I love MM6, I got really tired of looking for jumps into holes into unexplored corridors beneath I hadn't found yet. The minimaps were useless for that, since it was one of the first 3D games ever.

    I guess I did get really frustrated in the memory cube dungeons and the Tomb of Varn the first couple of years I played, but MM6 and BG1 were the "only games in town", so to speak, for fun D&D crpg games for the first couple of years. This shows my age - I remember going to the *bookstore* and buying this cool *paperback* gaming guide with all the secrets and maps to MM6 that I could follow. I couldn't complete the game without it. (I wish I still had that paperback guide - I lost it in a move years ago.)

    Nowadays, we have so many competing options for our crpg leisure time, I really don't know if I'd have the patience to do a modern day MM6 again.

    JuliusBorisov
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