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As the year draws toward its final frosty furlong, I’m slightly surprised that one of the games I’m most looking forward to playing is also one of my favourite games from 2014. It’s Divinity: Original Sin, a game that I adored when I played it last year and that I expect to lose myself in again when the Enhanced Edition comes out next week. It’s not the only RPG that I’ll have revisited this year – both Pillars of Eternity and The Witcher 3 sucked me in at release and then lost me for a while when I realised they were going to require weeks of attention, but I used their expansions as an excuse to pick up where I’d left off. Here are five reasons to love digital expansions.
Divinity: Original Sin no colon Enhanced Edition is now out on Mac, Linux, and that newfangled SteamOS, meaning you can play it on that fancy Steam Box your mum's getting you for Christmas. I wasn't supposed to tell you that. Oops. Here, let me distract you with the news that Larian have updated the PC game so it's "in synch with the Mac & Linux version", oh and they've also "fixed a number of stability issues reported by players". That certainly sounds like a sensible thing to be doing.
I'm getting Divinity for Christmas, and I'm quite excited after hearing people banging on about it for months and months. The game made it onto our Best RPGs of All-Time list, so I'm blaming PC Gamer if I think it's rubbish.
As the dragons finally return to their nests to hibernate and the ghosts don their chains to help remind misers of the meaning of the season, we approach the end of another year. As is tradition, that is time for we at the guild-house to award both quests and questers the ceremonial Scrolls of Honour . (Chorus of affordable angels)>
Scribed upon only the finest vellum in ink taken from a particularly recalcitrant octopus from the Abyssal Depths, they are a testament to skill and imagination and occasional disappointments that mean exactly nothing whatsoever except that I have a column and so I can hand out whatever made-up crap takes my fancy. Lo! We begin!
One day I’ll write a Desert Island Discs about the games I’d keep with me until the end of days, given a choice of ten. It’ll no doubt be a Desert Island Digital Downloads given the absence of physical media in my life. I live with the ghosts of entertainment.
Rather than compiling the list of games I’d take to the Vault with me though, today I’m aiming to put together a collection, one from each genre, that I’d use to introduce those genres to a PC gaming newcomer, or a lapsed gamer. A friend inspired this particular bundle of joy, someone who grew up with an Amiga but developed other interests and hasn’t touched a game for more than a few minutes at a time, either console or PC, for over fifteen years. A recent illness has left him unable to engage in his usual outdoor hobbies and games have filled the gap.>
Every videogame has an EULA—End User License Agreement—and nobody reads them. And before you leap into the comments to expound on the unflinching attention you pay to the fine print, yes, I know that some people do give them the once-over before clicking the button that allows the action to proceed. But it's a tiny portion of the gamer population who bothers with them. I certainly don't. And because of that, I, along with just about everyone else, missed out on a little something being cooked up by Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios.
Larian revealed today that it performed "a little experiment" with the Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition EULA, just to see if anyone read it. "Our EULA on Steam included the following phrase: '16. Special Consideration. A special consideration in material or immaterial form may be awarded to the first 100 authorized licensees to actually read this section of the EULA and contact LARIAN STUDIOS at firstname.lastname@example.org. This offer can be withdrawn by LARIAN STUDIOS at any time.'," it wrote on Facebook.
"We're telling you now because the results are in and it turns out that you in fact do read these things. Our lawyer feels good about this," it continued. Unfortunately, there's no indication what the "special consideration" offered to those who were paying attention might be, or if it even exists at all: It may well be one of those amusing ideas that doesn't quite get the full follow-through it deserves.
Either way, it has since been withdrawn, and section 16 of the EULA now reads, "Miscellaneous. Nothing herein shall be deemed to supersede or derogate from LARIAN STUDIOS's remedies at law," yadda yadda booboo—the sort of mind-numbing lawyerspeak that keeps people from reading EULAs in the first place, in other words.
It's not the first time that someone has decided to have some fun with a license agreement—remember when Gamestation collected 7500 immortal souls from its customers?—but more often than not, that fine print is more likely to to bite you in the ass than to tickle your funny-bone.
We got a look at the major changes being made in Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition last week by way of a handy overview video that touched on the important points. But for those of you who prefer to get down and dirty in the details, Larian Studios has now posted a far more detailed breakdown of what's been done to the game. It is "the Enhanced Changelist," as the studio described it, and it is ridiculously long.
It's so long, in fact—10,000 words, spread across nearly 1300 lines—that I'm not even thinking about including the whole thing here. Yet while it's comprehensive, it's not complete. "We don't even think this list says it all, because sometimes one little change took weeks to get just right, and other changes were deemed too small to make it to this list," the studio wrote. "We even didn't list bug fixes in here."
A lot of it is relatively minor stuff, like new animations for using a wand, but there are some significant changes, beyond what's already been revealed, as well. There's a new cut scene that plays after freeing Icara, to select one such change at random, and there are now "DIY" weapons that can be upgraded with special items that are hidden throughout the game world. A large number of changes are reserved for the new Tactician Mode, and they provide some insight into how it will make combat tougher: Enemies will be more numerous and have access to more skills and abilities, and perhaps most worrisome of all, "The drunk goblins of Luculla are not drunk." That can't be good news.
If you want to dig into the meat of the Enhanced Editon changes, you may do so at the Larian forums. Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is out today, and is free for all owners of the original.
We knew that Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition [official site] was coming today, so its arrival is no surprise. We knew what to expect too: split-screen co-op; improved graphics; more voice-over; controller support; a reworked story; revamped loot and economy systems; an overhauled skill system; and so on. I’m still impressed looking at the changelist detailing almost 1,300 changes that are now here for Larian’s fantasy RPG – and that’s excluding bug fixes and things too minor to mention.
You go on ahead and download the Enhanced Edition now – it’s a separate download, but free to all Original Sin owners – and I’ll pick over the changelog.
In a typically laid back yet pleasantly upbeat and enthusiastic dev video, Larian Studios have detailed all that is new and fresh and shiny in their Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition [official site] ahead of its release next week.
Adam was impressed by what he played of the Enhanced Edition at Gamescom earlier this year, and now you can see many of its improvements side-by-side with the original in this here video below: