Community Announcements - DeathKnight
Hello everyone,

We're taking early access as an opportunity to try out new things, but at the same time we obviously don't want to frustrate our community when it comes to general balancing, which is why we are releasing this hotfix. We want to fix the most pressing issues - specifically the economy, the longevity of certain surfaces and the removal of some control spells from the early enemies.

Don't worry, your savegames are totally compatible!

Balancing and design changes
  • Prices for items have been lowered
  • Some early-level containers now have a higher chance to contain armor
  • Electrified surfaces and ice surfaces disappear after 3 turns
  • Enemies now have a small chance of dropping a gem or other precious item
  • AI does not use Sucker Punch at the early levels of the game anymore
  • Some traders in Fort Joy will now offer more cloth armor

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue with general story progression
  • Fixed a crash introduced in patch 3.0.31.292. Was caught by players using feedback tool. Related to committing a crime.

Enjoy the hotfix. If you thought nothing was wrong anyway, you're probably going to enjoy Tactician mode in the full game :)

Cheers,

David
- Larian Studios
Community Announcements - DeathKnight
Hello everyone!

Today we unleash AI 2.0 to the world and you had better be prepared because it's been kicking our behinds ever since we've been testing it out.

So welcome to a brave new world. If you find you are also getting your hiney kicked, don't panic. We think that's perfectly normal. But if you think this is a walk in the park, we simply have to talk to you and we'd like to know how you are still beating our system!

Seriously though: we are aware this will feel more like our hard core Tactician mode. And we need all of your feedback to be able to tweak the numbers correctly. What are you experiencing that makes it too hard? Monsters ganging up on you? Monsters controlling your party? Reactivity? Movement? Unfair advantages? Monsters have too many skills? You're not wearing any armour?

Let us know. Of course, there's more than just Super AI. Here's a (huge) changelist after a message from our savegame and Kickstarter partners ːroarː

Savegame compatibility

Again, these changes are so huge, this new version is unfortunately not compatible with old savegames. However, if would like to continue your old savegames, we have made the old builds available on different Steam branches: ea_version_1 for savegames made in version 2.0.165.341 and ea_version_2 for savegames made in version 3.0.5.530 and ea_version_3 for version 3.0.15.252.

To switch to a previous build, follow these simple steps:

1. In your Steam library, right click the game Divinity: Original Sin 2 and select Properties
2. In the Properties screen, click on the tab BETAS
3. In BETAS, click the arrow to open the dropdown
4. From the dropdown, select an old "ea_version_" branch and then click Close

More Larian!

You can read more about this update on Kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1776988

You can watch our Kickstarter update video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htMbzflLD5Y

Improvements
  • AI 2.0. Integrated new AI system for all enemies
  • AI has received a big overhaul. In general it should be a lot smarter and have more awareness of its surroundings. This means that the AI might have gotten a bit more difficult to deal with, so don't underestimate your enemies and especially watch your positioning! Your enemies will make better use of barrels, surfaces, and combat control skills, and they’ll have better knowledge of the consequences of casting particular skills. Planning ahead is now more important than ever.
  • Loot system overhaul
  • Find less gear in random loot, but more gold and valuables. The idea is to get economy going and make trade more important. Uniquely hand-placed items and boss loot should feel more rewarding and rare. You HAVE to go shopping!
  • Added three new arenas
  • Forbidden Valley
  • Enemy at the Gates
  • Ravenshaw Mansion
  • Added AI 2.0 to arenas
  • You can now choose which starting class recruited companions should be, making it easier to compose the best-balanced party
  • Removed durability from armor
  • Weapon durability now only decreases when attacking objects
  • Reduced AoE radius of most area spells to promote tactical gameplay
  • Improved talk animation for female humans
  • New melee attack animations for all races
  • Improved female lizard skill animations
  • Improved several item textures throughout the level
  • Improved animations for several skills
  • Improved list of usable items that should automatically get added to the bottom bar
  • Improved Soul Jars: they now check if the player still has their Source collar before letting them absorb the soul in the jars
  • Improved Burn My Eyes tooltip to include that it removes Terrified, Sleeping, Enraged
  • Improved fog effects
  • Updated several UI sound effects
Balancing and design changes
  • Invisibility is now removed by Frozen, Petrified, Stunned, Knocked Down, Taunted, Sleeping, Wet
  • Invisibility is no longer removed by all surfaces, except if they damage you
  • Fortified status should now remove burning
  • Poison damage no longer automatically contaminates puddles
  • Wielding single wand now applies bonus from single handed ability
  • Players receive their second Civil Point at level two. After that, they receive a point every four levels
  • Weapon skills now show ‘chance to hit’ when hovering over a target
  • All chests can now be moved and picked up, except special arena chests
  • All containers that should be pick-up-able, now are (improved weight stats)
  • Ground Smash now uses damage of equipped weapon
  • Increased duration of Burning, Poisoned and Bleeding for most skills because these statuses no longer deal one tick of damage when applied for the first time
  • Description of ‘Rested’ status now mentions that it protects from certain harmful statuses
  • Added a new defensive ability, Perseverance, that allows characters to regain part of their armor after being controlled by a status
  • Surfaces and clouds no longer disappear automatically. Exceptions: fire (2 turns), smoke (1 turn)
  • You can no longer spot characters in sneak mode while preparing a skill
  • Sneaking cones now show on all characters that can spot you, rather than just the ones that see you
  • Incapacitated NPCs can no longer spot the player while the player is in sneak mode. Similarly, incapacitated players can no longer spot sneaking enemies.
  • Damage statuses no longer tick damage on applying
  • Set equip cost for all slots to 1 AP
  • Trompdoy is now immune to poison and bleeding
  • Purging Wands and Braccus Helm now give Source Disruption skill
Additions
  • Added and updated visual effects:
  • Elemental weapon impacts
  • Several grenades and arrows
  • Several skills throughout campaign and in Arena Mode
  • Added and improved several sounds for skills and usable items
  • Added weapon swoosh effects that scale with the level of your weapon abilities (Example: Single-handed weapons will have a bigger swoosh at single-handed level five)
  • Added map marker from Delorus, after you choose to heal him
  • Added new effect for Party Reflection Dialogs and stopped these dialogs from appearing during combat
  • Added new type of pitchfork to weapon treasure
  • Added new simple tools weapon types to weapon treasure (mallet, pickaxe, scythe, pitchfork)
  • Added several journal updates for quests in Fort Joy area
  • Added new necklace types to treasure generation
  • Added being able to sell junk in the trade window

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed random seed not being reset when loading a savegame. Happy save scumming!
  • Fixed several signs that were no longer legible
  • Fixed errors in status animations for male humans
  • Fixed Bahara position at seeker camp. Some players were getting "can't reach" message when trying to interact with her
  • Fixed incorrect reflection boost getting added to equipment
  • Fixed issue with XP reward in multiplayer for "The Imprisoned Elf" quest
  • Fixed blind status causing player to miss even after the status wore off
  • Fixed non-weapon items not showing critical hit chance
  • Fixed possible crash when unloading a level
  • Fixed crash when a client player would press highlight characters button without having assigned characters
  • Fixed issue with initial dialogs of Gawin and Leste
  • Fixed the equipment of one of Trompdoy's illusions
  • Fixed dialogs for certain characters after they had already met (example: Red Prince and Stingtail dialog)
  • Fixed Gawin dying prematurely during one of his teleports
  • Fixed Amyro becoming hostile if he is teleported out of his cell
  • Fixed issue with resurrected characters causing arena match to end prematurely
  • Fixed issue with Void Worm not spawning in the final fight of Fort Joy
  • Fixed crash when player was committing a crime and then loading a savegame right after
  • Fixed Gratiana's dialog if Gareth is already dead when the Seekers gather before the final fight
  • Fixed hotbar positions of the button hints after reassigning keyboard shortcuts
  • Fixed Gratiana's dialog if you had the Wand and had delivered the Soul Jar to her already
  • Fixed issue with Gareth's dialog before the final fight. In some cases, he would not leave behind companions for the player to help during the battle
  • Fixed a crash when destroying specific chests containing cloth loot
  • Fixed Historian joining combat involuntarily in Fort Joy Swamps area
  • Fixed the boat to escape Fort Joy still being visually present for other players after one player had already used it
  • Fixed items disappearing when you left them in certain containers and tried to recover them after leaving the area
  • Fixed several items not having an icon
  • Fixed items getting removed from hotbar when switching from dual wield to two-handed
  • Fixed Comeback Kid talent so it correctly saves the player character with 1 hp left
  • Fixed Telekinesis beam effect not disappearing
  • Fixed burning pigs not reacting correctly when receiving Blessed status
  • Fixed multiplayer issues with Saheila quest
  • Fixed being able to talk to Zaleskar's mirror after killing him
  • Fixed Charmed status description
  • Fixed possible infinite fire surface
  • Fixed Tarlene's dialogue after you save Gareth
  • Fixed issue that Source collars would not show up after getting resurrected in Arena
  • Fixed necromancers not attacking after you destroy Necromancer Rask's Soul Jar
  • Fixed projectiles sometimes colliding with roofs
  • Fixed several incorrect imprisonment scenarios
  • Fixed several issues with necromancer maze
  • Fixed issue with curse status getting stuck on character after receiving it via items like Braccus' ring
  • Fixed issue with starting skills not updating in character creation screen
  • Fixed being able to pickpocket all loot by pressing space bar when ‘take all’ button is disabled
  • Fixed smoke clouds not blocking vision anymore after loading
  • Fixed gold in containers not being included in trade window, while the containers are in the player's inventory
  • Fixed being able to get a Talent without meeting its requirements in the character creation screen
  • Fixed Attribute bonuses from equipment so they correctly count towards requirements for equipping items
  • Fixed Leadership not working on allies in multiplayer
  • Fixed surface damage reflect. This should not happen anymore.
  • Fixed several issues with Buddy the dog
  • Fixed several minor dialogue inconsistencies in and around Fort Joy
  • Fixed Voidwoken Drillworm spawning in incorrect locations

Enjoy! :)

David
- Larian Studios
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

I forget which game it was, exactly. If I had to pick one, I’d say probably the text adventure Humbug. It doesn’t really matter, as it’s not really the game’s fault, but I still remember the sadness of being told to go into the inventory and realising that while I was thinking of a big room full of bubbling liquids in interesting flasks and other cool science stuff, the game was actually> saying ‘look in your pockets’. Especially as if it was> Humbug, it’s a game about wandering around and exploring your crazy inventor grandfather’s house. I must have searched for whole minutes, back in 1990.

There’s never been a game that really harnessed that desire, but still, it explains a lot about one of my favourite things in RPGs – particularly those of the early 90s – that the inventory often was> a place to experiment rather than simply pluck the correct item at the correct time. Even if then, as now, it’s often been more accident than design.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

As Old Father Time grabs his sickle and prepares to take ailing 2016 around the back of the barn for a big sleep, we’re looking to the future. The mewling pup that goes by the name 2017 will come into the world soon and we must prepare ourselves for its arrival. Here at RPS, our preparations come in the form of this enormous preview feature, which contains details on more than a hundred of the exciting games that are coming our way over the next twelve months. 2016 was a good one – in the world of games at least – but, ever the optimists, we’re hoping next year will be even better.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - DeathKnight
Hi everybody!

Here's another update with lots of new stuff, improvements and fixes.

Based on feedback, we have been busy getting a new RPG system going. This is its first release into the wild and we'd like to read your thoughts on it. It should improve what you thought was not working very well, and your choices are now more impactful. Every point matters!

For a detailed list on what changed, feel free to peruse the list at the bottom of this message.

As always, this update is also featured in a more multimedia, less texty, Kickstarter update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdQsm0Sh2Zg

These changes are so huge, this new version is unfortunately not compatible with old savegames. However, if would like to continue your old savegames, we have made the old builds available on different Steam branches: ea_version_1 for savegames made in version 2.0.165.341 and ea_version_2 for savegames made in version 3.0.5.530.

To switch to a previous build, follow these simple steps:

1. In your Steam library, right click the game Divinity: Original Sin 2 and select Properties
2. In the Properties screen, click on the tab BETAS
3. In BETAS, click the arrow to open the dropdown
4. From the dropdown, select the branch "ea_version_1" or "ea_version_2" and then click Close

Enjoy and don't be a stranger now, ya hear :)

David

And now, for the changelist!

Improvements
  • Improved player feedback when switching to inactive characters during combat
  • Improved player feedback it's not possible to perform certain actions
  • Improved UI sound events
  • Physical armor and Magic armor now have hit effects
  • Improved path visualizations in combat
  • Improved clickable area of listed savegames
  • Improved and redesigned the bottom bar interface.
  • Added option to switch between hotbars (up to five)
  • Chat toggle is now on the bottom bar
  • Improved lighting and visuals in Blood Rose cave
  • Improved visualisation of move preview
  • Improved following behavior when leader of party is in combat
  • Improved targetting preview when casting teleport skills (out of sight is now properly greyed out)
  • Tweaked and added several effects
  • Updated several animations that were not finished yet
Additions
  • Added new tornado effect and fixed tornado atmosphere settings
  • Added preview for attacks with multiple projectiles
  • Added blinking and progress bar in windows (when game is minimized)
  • Players now get directly assigned a free slot in the arena lobby upon joining
  • Teams are automatically assigned for AI's in the arena lobby
  • Added combat log entries for source vampirism
  • Added more logging stats for balancing reasons
  • Ifan's recruitment dialog now recognizes and allows Drudanae
Balancing and design changes
    Primary Attributes overhaul
    • Strength now provides 5% damage bonus and 2% Physical Armour bonus per point-
    • Finesse now provides 5% damage bonus and 1% Dodging per point
    • Intelligence now provides 5% damage bonus and 2% Magic Armour bonus per point
    • Characters now have a base amount of vitality that grows with levels.
    • Constitution now provides 7% vitality bonus.
    • Characters now start with 3 Memory Slots and receive 1 free Memory Slot every 2 levels.
    • Memory attribute now provides 1 Memory Slot per point
    • Wits now provides 1% Critical Chance and 1 Initiative per point.
    • Vitality, armour and damage numbers start from lower values, but grow faster each level.
    Changes to combat abilities
    • Combat abilities now give larger bonuses per point and are capped at 10 points.
    • Previous Defence abilities were removed.
    • New Defence ability: Pain Reflection. Allows you to reflect 10% of incoming damage back onto attackers per point
    • Leadership is now a combat ability in Defence category. Allies in 5m range receive 5% Dodging and 5% All Res per point
    Changes to talents
    • Re-enabled Elemental Affinity talent (Reduces AP cost of skills when standing in surface of corresponding element. Does not apply to skills with AP cost smaller or equal to 1)
    • Added new memory talent: Mnemonic. (adds 3 Memory)
    • Changed human talent to give bartering instead of leadership
    Changes to weapons
    • Earth wands were replaced with Poison wands that receive bonus damage from Geomancer ability.
    • Buffed armor on shields
    • Gave shields a free skill that recovers their armor
    • Gave two-handed melee weapons a free skill that unlocks a heavy attack that costs 3AP
    • Receive a free skill when dual-wielding melee weapons that unlocks a heavy attack that costs 3AP
    • Free skill for fighting with single melee weapon and empty offhand: 1AP attack that Knocks Down
    • Attacking with single-handed weapon now costs 2AP (with or without shield)
    • When dual-wielding, damage of the offhand weapon is halved.
    • Added free movement if you move less than one meter before attacking
    • Weapon attacks receive swoosh effects depending on main combat ability
    • Inquisitor preset now wields a staff and starts with melee skills. (N.B. using Crippling Blow while wielding a staff will use the base elemental damage of the staff and receive bonus from INT since staff is and INT weapon).
    • Witch and Wizard start with wands
    • Replaced Sawtooth Knife with Vault in the list of starting Scoundrel skills to increase early game mobility.
    • Ranger now has Haste instead of Piercing Shot as starting skill
    Misc
    • Increased difficulty for fights level 4 and above. Humanoid enemies now have new skills and engage in combat more aggressively.
    • Fixed several issues with AI of ranged enemies.
    • Targetted source skills can never miss. (E.g. Mortal Blow)
    • Enemy Rage now lasts two turns
    • Griff now sells weapons
    • Petrified characters are now immune to Burning
    • Reduced AP penalty from Slow.
    • You no longer lose invisibility due to blessed smoke
    • Rogues should now be able to pickpocket in arena
    • Increased levels NPCs that help you in the last fight
    • Cursed oil now has a chance of setting Necrofire instead of Burning
    • Crocodiles now have magic armor and a stronger bite
    • Buffed Radeka the blood witch and her minions
    • Increased damage from Viscous Voidling death explosions
    • Buffed purged dragon stats and gave him Hail Attack
    • Tweaked loot drops so that you cannot get two weapons or shields from the same source
    • Manually placed several weapons throughout the start of Fort Joy
    • Burning and Regenerate statuses now replace eachother
    • Petrified status now gives immunity to necrofire and holy fire
    • Improved closest possible position when using Multistrike skills
    • Hail strike skillbook now can be found from level one and healing ritual from level 4
    • You can now knockdown turtles
    • Improved enemy NPC treasure table drop chance from 1 in 5 to 1 in 3
    • Haste now costs 0 AP and removes slowed and crippled status
    • Clear-minded provides more Wits (gives Critical chance and Initiative)
    • Fixed items being in stuck state when frozen or petrified
    • Fixed "Walk it off" talent
    • Assigned colors to unique weapons and NPC weapons
    • Fixed incorrect pricing for certain weapons
    • Blinding radiance does not affects neutral NPC's anymore
    • Characters with zombie talent do not get damaged anymore when using a bed
    • Ending combat now correctly heals NPC's with Decaying Touch status
    • Fixed being allowed to learn skills from a skillbook when skill is already known from wearing an item
    • Fixed enemy NPC's from regaining AP incorrectly after setting a status on them
    • Hasted and slowed now also modify starting AP, so you will start combat with one more AP if you are hasted
    • Set correct loot for barrels
    • Enemy immunity skills should now make them immune to both damage and statuses
    Bug Fixes
    • Fixed several crashes
    • Fixed hiding helmet causing bald characters
    • Fixed charm skill fumbling too much
    • Fixed client player being stuck in options menu when server reloads
    • Fixed client player(s) issues if host loads single player savegame
    • Fixed not being able to select eighth profile
    • Fixed "Your Turn" staying on screen after combat
    • Fixed NPC alignment issues
    • Fixed controls settings being applied to different profiles on the same machine
    • Fixed arena npc's having low stats after first starting a campaign in explorer mode
    • Fixed being able to talk to characters behind closed doors
    • Fixed being able to learn skills by getting 1 point in them from items. You now need at least one base point of a skill school to be able to learn spells
    • Fixed corpse explosion on using source vampirism
    • Fixed armor values displayed incorrectly after loading in combat
    • Fixed surface tooltips for certain surface combinations
    • Fixed momentarily seeing an empty level when accepting invitation from arena lobby
    • Fixed characters receiving fire damage after blessing a fire surface
    • Fixed invisible rogues being followed by the camera, indicating their position
    • Fixed being able to target enemies in sneaking (arena)
    • Fixed overlapping tooltips (range indication and surface information)
    • Fixed incorrect message when savethrowing out of a status
    • Fixed issue with base vitality being calculated incorrectly on enemies
    • Fixed Map not updating upon selection of a lobby in the lobby browser
    • Fixed not getting error message when not connected to Community/Platform server
    • Fixed spamming immune text when forcing application of a status
    • Fixed Surrender button being available in campaign mode / not being available in arena mode in certain cases
    • Fixed crash when putting something inside the Unusually Large Orange
    • Fixed crash related to creation of surfaces
    • Fixed issue being unable to unlearn skill from memorized skills
    • Fixed HP amounts for items with very low HP
    • Fixed Funny Meat not dropping
    • Fixed physics for orange container
    • Fixed Staff of Magus being present in skill list when selecting inquisitor class
    • Fixed skills getting added to the skillbar twice
    • Fixed infinite combat loop when several combats are joined together
    • Fixed getting stuck when picking up an item while sneaking
    • Fixed issue with guard button being enabled correctly
    • Fixed "can't reach" issue when trying to talk to someone that is not visually blocked
    • Fixed being able to start the game without selecting any skills
    • Fixed crash related to dashing through a campfire
    • Fixed characters not being able to perform attack of opportunity during first turn of combat
    • Fixed Multistrike skills landing on characters outside of weapon range
    • Fixed setting warm on items when dousing them to avoid spamming of statuses
    • Fixed Human female portrait aligmnent going wrong sometimes
    • Fixed Attack of Opportunity triggering on multistrike and rush skills
    • Fixed Players being able to start an arena match when host is spectator
    • Fixed crash when client leaves arena lobby while game is starting
    • Fixed starting dialog for illusion dungeon statue
    • Fixed Accuracy boost from gear not being applied correctly
    • Fixed vitality tooltip when your CON is below 10
    • Fixed Battering ram skillbook being unsellable
    • Fixed being able to target self with Source Vampirism
    • Fixed Attack of Opportunity not triggering for NPC's that are running away from characters
    • Fixed tooltips for skills that restore hp and armor (they now take into account bonuses from abilities)
    • Fixed inconsistent tooltip size formatting
    • Stop party from doing formation when sneaking or going invisible
    • Fixed issue that having more than one partymember could cause getting double or triple XP reward for party
    • Fixed black or grey loading screen when switching party member right before loading a savegame
    • Fixed duplicate recipes in crafting interface
    • Fixed "can't see" message when targetting yourself
    • Fixed pickpocketted items going missing sometimes
    • Fixed being able to wear a bucket on your head for all races
    • Fixed Exter's dialog after Gareth dies to Magisters
    • Fixed blocked dialog after winning arena under fort joy but dying right after
    Community Announcements - DeathKnight
    Hello everyone!

    Thank you for sending us so much feedback! We're happy to release our first major update with plenty of new features and fixes.

    This new version is not compatible with old savegames. However, if you want to continue playing with your old savegames, we have made the old build available on a different Steam branch: ea_version_1.

    To switch to this old build, simply follow these steps:

    1. In your Steam library, right click the game Divinity: Original Sin 2 and select Properties
    2. In the Properties screen, click on the tab BETAS
    3. In BETAS, click the arrow to open the dropdown
    4. From the dropdown, select branch "ea_version_1 - For saves with version 2.0.165.341" and then click Close

    If you're interested in more behind the scenes footage, check out our Kickstarter update:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1712732

    And here's the list of all changes. It's a whopper!

    Gameplay

    - Repair hammer and identifying glasses are now consumed when used.
    - Made switching to inactive characters in combat possible (not for combat action but for inspecting/inventory/...).
    - AI can now find cover if it finds itself teleported to a place where it can’t escape
    - Fixed wizard AI scripts where they would run towards the enemy but not attack.
    - "Stolen" item tag gets removed when you put in the 'Your offer' tab while trading.
    - "Stolen" item tag gets removed when their original owner dies.
    - Tutorial tweaks.
    - No longer showing invisible enemies when player clicks on their icon with a character-backstabber.
    - Tactical Retreat no longer allows jumping outside the skill range.
    - Party members are now blue, default circles for Arena, turn/status console use relationship based colors.
    - When you have the Zombie talent, necromancer lifesteal no longer damages you.
    - Added special warning when your movement speed is 0 from a status.
    - Character will no longer start dialog unless close enough.
    - Weapon-based skills now use elemental bonuses on the weapon.
    - Hail Strike now creates 3 projectiles (down from 4), costs 2 AP (up from 1AP).
    - Rage now lasts 1 turn (down from 2), reduces resistances by -100% (down from -25%).
    - Levitate is now a Stealth skill (doesn't break sneaking or invisibility).
    - Shields now provide Magic Armour in addition to Physical Armour.
    - Statuses Bless and Curse no longer bless\curse surfaces that the affected character walks into. (Skills Bless and Curse will still affect surface once.)
    - Wet, Chilled and Frozen now remove Holy Fire.
    - Fixed irst Aid not healing character when it removes negative status.
    - Decreased damage of Crippling Blow.
    - Decaying Touch damage slightly buffed.
    - New item combinations for empty flasks and mushrooms
    - Assigned new 3D objects and icons to potions.
    - Added a lot of new item names to item generation.
    - Fixed flags and properties of a lot of roots (e.g. you can now interact with desks and books).
    - Made some roots stackable.
    - Updated/fixed descriptions for some roots.
    - Created some new descriptions for roots.
    - Removed abundance of items in an area (e.g. axes or hammers all over the place in one small area, etc).
    - Removed some placed armour pieces because they didn't belong there.
    - Reassigned treasure tables on items and characters.
    - Reassigned levels on corpses, items and characters.
    - Placed items now have a unique name and description.
    - Created unique knife for Griff.
    - Fixed value of valuable items (e.g. pearls).
    - Increased level of Ancient Sword because by the time you reach it, you are not level 3 anymore.
    - Treasure table updates:
    - more containers now use the same distribution (refer to GenericContainer) which makes balancing easier;
    - generic container was dropping junk too often;
    - generic container was not dropping enough gold;
    - fixed: generic enemy was not dropping armor;
    - junk will be dropping a BIT more gold ;
    - junk was referring to the TOOL category twice;
    - stacks and sacks should not always contain something;
    - redistributed RewardTiny table;
    - junk should drop less cloth armor;
    - FTJ specific reward could select gold twice.

    Usability and polish

    - Added lifetime and damage to Surface tooltips.
    - Fixed toggling contextmenu in the world.
    - Various climbing and teleporting fixes.
    - Disabled tooltips when dragging character in character creation.
    - Combat messages will no longer show on the screen of far away characters (also in multiplayer)
    - Allow people to reconnect to a lobby.
    - Now no longer hiding lobbies that are in progress.
    - Prevent tutorial boxes on endturn of enemies.
    - Arena mode: added tooltips to skills in Hero Select screen
    - Difficulty bonuses are now described in tooltips.
    - Added dynamically animated paintings to the main menu.
    - The application's icon will now blink and show progress bar in the Windows taskbar.
    - Added party tab to local chat.
    - Made chat messages persistent between different UIs.
    - Chat improvements in serverlist panel.
    - Added Surface sound events.
    - Fixed paperdoll frame to fit Female Lizards.
    - Game camera now keeps Items in dialog/combat into account.
    - Active characters in combat have a different combat icon in player portraits now.
    - Show connectivity window in Arena Lobby UI on small diamond click.
    - When in combat and the active entity is unassigned, hide the turn notice.
    - Improved lighting on paperdoll.
    - Reskin and implementation of the new skill selection in character creation.

    Art

    - Updated textures on chainmail armour (all races).
    - Updated textures on leather armour (dwarves and humans).
    - Updated textures on plate armour (elves).
    - Replaced Braccus statue.
    - Added building signs.
    - Menuscreen improvements.

    Animation

    - Dwarves have improved talk animations.
    - Lizards, dwarves and elves have improved sit and lying animations.
    - Lizards, humans and elves have improved skill animations.
    - Various monsters received an additional polish pass on their animations.

    Effects

    - Grenade effects received a visual upgrade.
    - Player skill effects received various improvements.

    Sound

    - Sounds for main menu screen.
    - Sounds for UIs.

    Crash fixes

    - Fixed a crash that could happen when requesting a character icon in a dialog.
    - Fix crash when the status Fear was set on an item.
    - Fixed a crash that happened when changing certain graphical settings while the paperdoll was showing (e.g. toggle between shadow rendering).
    - Fixed crash for items in source surfaces.

    Bug fixes

    - Fixed multiplayer character creation exploit making it possible to start with higher stats.
    - Character creation now resets class skills when resetting ability points.
    - Fixed permanent potions getting reapplied on reload.
    - Fixed damage from Decaying Touch being applied twice.
    - Fixed Dodging not receiving bonuses from armor.
    - Fixed UI showing wrong range for arrow based weapons.
    - Fix for invalid "Target is out of sight" notification when targeting big characters.
    - Fix for valid characters not highlighting for some skills.
    - Fixed character playing fast animations after using the skill Battering Ram.
    - Fixed Rush skills finishing their rotation before executing the action.
    - When another player's inventory is locked, you can no longer take items from them by swapping.
    - Fixed map markers sometimes disappearing when playing a 4 player multiplayer game.
    - Fixed item actions through context menu sometimes not working.
    - Fixed stuck turn order and combat animation after fleeing.
    - Fixed Take All shortcut (space).
    - Fixed bottombar activating skills while typing numbers in chat.
    - Fixed clicking through the bottombar.
    - Fixed Voidwoken turtle overlays not showing from certain angles.
    - Fixed issue with visuals resetting when going back from third step to second step in character creation.
    - Fixed destroyed objects getting targeted in cone skills.
    - Fixed not returning to lobby after Arena match.
    - Fixed showing cooldown warning twice.
    - Fixed issues with electrified cursed surfaces.
    - Fixed uniques having a chance of dropping more than once.
    - Fixed issues with source skills from equipped items.
    - Fixed missing textkeys on player attack animations.
    - Fixed looping Rhalic dialog.
    - Fixed paperdoll skewed camera (causing broken shadows).
    - Fixed paperdoll not resizing when resizing the window.
    - Fixed turn notification animation playing between characters.
    - Fix for corpses becoming unlootable when switching characters.
    - Fix for items ticking in realtime in arena.

    Engine

    - Fixed rotation scale check in transforming objects.
    - Fixed character rotation speed not resetting correctly in character creation.
    - Split up sight and shroud PP shader to fix rendering order with outlines.
    - Improved Outline rendering:
    - Don't use depth testing: fixes the outline being split into a lot of small pieces when behind foliage + allows to see occluded jects better.
    - Added fill color to occluded parts of outline objects.
    - Animation editor can now select sound resource for sound textkey.
    - Added fading overlay to FxOverlayMaterial.
    - Added overlay priority support.
    - Made effects fade when they are attached to a fading object.
    - Increased colour list capacity from 7 to 127.
    - Fixed AI Bound code issues.
    - Fixed exporting lightprobe into level or importing lightprobe from level template.
    - Datahash fix for savegames.
    Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

    I had all the characteristics of a blogger frayed jeans, opinions, laptop, tea but my depersonalisation was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to compile charts had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating top ten articles, a rough resemblance of a best-sellers list, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.

    And yet. … [visit site to read more]

    PC Gamer

    Something always goes wrong when you launch a game, says Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke. You wouldn t know it by looking at Divinity: Original Sin 2 s Steam page a week after it launched in Early Access, where it s sitting at 96 percent positive reviews. But something did go wrong when Larian released Original Sin 2 on September 15: they all forgot to press the launch button.

    For some reason we forgot to push the button, literally, Vincke said, laughing over Skype. That s no joke. In the past you had to ask Steam to release it and they d release it for you at the appointed time. Now they have a system where you put in the date and time, and so we thought it would just release automatically. But apparently you have to still type in that you want to release. So we were waiting there, together with everybody, waiting for it to release, and nothing was happening. We felt really stupid. [laughs] Goes to show, you should always read the fucking manual!

    Still, things were looking good after that minor setback better than expected, according to Vincke, with hundreds of positive reviews coming in alongside lots of player feedback. From the point of view of a game developer you can t wish for better, actually, when going to Early Access, he said.

    Larian is no stranger to Early Access. A lengthy beta period was crucial to the first Divinity: Original Sin s success, even though working on the game for so long nearly led Larian to bankruptcy. But the gamble paid off big, and Vincke attributes much of that success to the feedback they got from Original Sin s Early Access players. Now that Larian is starting that process all over again, I wanted to know how the players would help them shape Original Sin 2.

    Below we talk about balance changes, VO plans, the most surprising feedback, and more.

    How Larian collects feedback

    PC Gamer: Let s start with things that you already had in mind that might need to change, and the feedback that s influencing you in one direction or another.

    Swen Vincke: There s two parts to the question: What feedback are we looking at, and what do we do with it?

    We obviously have the channels like forums and Twitter that we re reading. Everybody s reading a lot of it. We re filtering things that we think are useful out of that. On one side that s bug reports. Things are going wrong, there s so much you can do in the game. On the other side there s opinions and suggestions. Lots of good suggestions. Those go in a database and we go through it and say, that makes sense, that s actually better than we were planning.

    At the same time we re also doing qualitative analysis. We have a little tool that s shipping with the game, so people that want to can send data back to us. The data contains, Where did you go in the game, what skills did you pick, what tags did you select, which dialogue options did you do? So it gives us more analytical data about what people are doing in the game away from the subjectivity of an opinion. That is dominantly being used for balancing, so we can see that if nobody s managing a certain fight, then we probably overdid it on that fight. But also, if nobody is using a certain skill, it means we probably should do something about that skill.

    Tweaking game balance

    Are there any specific changes to the combat system that you already have in mind to balance from the data you ve collected so far?

    Vincke: I m actually waiting for the full [qualitative analysis] report, so I m very curious. From what I ve seen in the customer reviews, I think it s already pretty on point. We get a lot of people complaining that it s too hard, so that s a good thing. [Laughs] Some fights are too hard, I know. The thing that s still going to evolve tremendously over the next couple of months is the AI. We have a lot of plans for improving the AI, so that ll be interesting to see, how that s going to affect what people think of combat, if it s too hard or too easy.

    We want to make it challenging, so we changed systems so that it would stay challenging throughout the entire game, something we didn t really succeed with [in Divinity: Original Sin]. This is actually one of our big ambitions. So that once you think you ve mastered it, something new kicks in and you think, Shit, now what am I going to do? So if you have that sentiment continuously, you ll have that sense of character growth going on continuously, so that s really a big ambition of Original Sin 2. We re going to be experimenting with tweaks and doing things, but overall, from what I m seeing so far, it looks like it s being picked up and enjoyable for players. But I haven t seen the data, so everyone could be rage quitting after two hours, you never know.

    This is the hard part with analyzing Early Access data. A lot of people are forcing themselves to quit after two hours because they don t to spoil themselves for the full game. But I think we have sufficient people finishing it to at least be able to draw our first conclusions.

    Vincke expected the new magic and physical armor system to be unanimously popular, but a few players have complained.

    Choosing who to listen to

    How do you balance the minority voice against the majority of responses?

    Vincke: It s not a democracy. There s still direction going on. In this particular case, I m the director of the game. I will do as I feel makes the most sense. Obviously I ll let my choices be influenced by seeing people having fun, which is a thing that interests me. Even if I may agree with a one percent opinion, I m not necessarily going to change it if I think it will change other things or be wrong for the production. You can t ever have everything perfect in one game, so you ll just take something to the next game.

    Sometimes you do read posts of people that are going against the majority, but are actually right, and if you did it the game would be better, but you just can t do it anymore. You know as a game developer that if you do that, even if 98 percent say no, it s a bad idea, once they see it they would say oh my god, this is a really good idea. That s how innovation happens.

    Another rule you have when dealing with feedback from players: if they re making a lot of noise about a certain thing, they re not necessarily going to offer you the right solution to it. It might be a symptom of something else that is wrong, potentially in a completely other system, and they don t see what the connection is. If you start trying to test every single idea against what the audience is thinking, you re not going to make anything anymore. That s why choice has to be made.

    Changes throughout Early Access

    Are you going to be adding whole acts eventually over time until you hit the final game, or is Divinity: Original Sin 2 in Early Access a testbed, and you ll drop the full game when it s done?

    Vincke: We re going to be adding in features for sure. Extra skill trees are going to be added in. The super-secret Game Master mode is going to hit in Early Access also. That s a very new thing, so we need to do a lot of testing with it. We re really trying things there. But content-wise, we re going to keep it on act one. I m pretty sure we ll add some things on top of act one. There s this tutorial opening section that s missing right now, just before you arrive on the island. We don t want to spoil it too much for people that are participating in Early Access, so we want to give them sufficient content the large majority of content, actually on release.

    Sometimes you read posts that are going against the majority, but are actually right, and if you did it the game would be better, but you just can t do it anymore.

    Swen Vincke

    We have people that are going to be participating in closed betas also for the latter parts, so what you re going to be seeing is Game Master mode, new skill trees, lots of extra permutations on systems, probably some surprises that I don t even know myself yet. New things that we re trying in the arena mode also, because that seems to be picking up quite well. We ll see what we do with that. That will probably take us close to release.

    What you re going to be seeing in the foreseeable future is permutations on the character system we have. We re not afraid we did that in Original Sin 1 also, by putting system A in one week and system B in the next week, and see what works best for players that s how we ll try to converge to a better system than what we ve concocted while we were working in isolation. This is the cool part about Early Access, you can do these kinds of things. It takes some effort, but it s rewarding for the players that are not participating in Early Access, or just try it out a little bit and will be playing it later, they ll get a lot of benefit from this phase of experimentation.

    A/B testing systems

    You mentioned putting in one version of a system, see how it works, then swap it out for something else. Can you talk more about that?

    Vincke: There are a couple stats and abilities we re experimenting with. Memory is a very big experiment. We re getting lots of opinions on Memory, so you ll probably see Memory in different forms inside the game, to see what works better. The same with how skill abilities affect the skills, there s going to be things we change there. When we did the original game, if we didn t change it 20 times, I don t know. We changed it a lot as we were experimenting.

    But it s good, because there s players out there that play so many games, and the feedback you get from them is sometimes really good ideas. We gave them a couple new mechanics, so they re fooling around with that now, they re starting to learn them, form their opinion of them, so based on that feedback we ll see what happens when we put it in there.

    The goal is to create more fun. It can be something as stupid as increasing the drop rate of treasure by 1 percent or decreasing it, even.

    There s no objective quantitative measure of fun, but when you do this job for quite some time you can see if players are having more fun or less fun. The goal essentially is to create more fun. It can be something as stupid as increasing the drop rate of treasure by 1 percent or decreasing it, even, that can create more fun. How do you balance loot? It s essentially a bunch of numbers in an Excel file. You see people complaining they re not finding enough, then you give them more and people say the loot is so boring. You just iterate.

    There s a fine balance to be found. Even the version that s out there right now, there s two tests going on. One is at the very opening you almost get nothing, so you have to scavenge, and then afterwards you get quite a lot, so we ll see what it does to players.

    One real good measure, and this one we can measure objectively, is: do people put points in their stats? The moment that they stop putting points in them, it means they don t need them anymore. That means we have to change something. The moment I stop caring about putting a point in an ability, something s wrong with the balance. I should always be looking forward, I need that point, I need that. The moment people stop bartering, something s wrong, we re giving too much. That we are measuring.

    The third-person dialogue is a departure from Original Sin.

    The most surprising feedback

    What s surprised you, so far? Anything specific you can call to?

    Vincke: There were some people that didn t like the physical and magic armor, and that surprised me. I thought it was a major improvement to the game. But they had a particular tactic that they had in the previous game they can t anymore, now. What also surprised me, I thought what we did with the skill abilities made a lot of sense, and that the previous system was very confusing, but a lot of people apparently were very attached to the previous system. I thought that was going to be universally liked, but apparently it s not the case. Goes to show.

    There s a lot of VO work being evaluated right now. The success in Early Access, together with the almost universal demand for VO, is definitely making us look at VO in a more extensive way than we originally planned. We always planned to have some of it, but I guess we spoiled them with Enhanced Edition, and didn t realize that spoiling them with Enhanced, now we re bound to do the same stunt with Original Sin 2. We re looking at it. We didn t plan on it, but it s a complicated option.

    Here s another bit of surprising feedback, by the way. The third-person [view] that we re using in the dialogues, it fits well with roleplaying and the origin system we re doing. We re getting resistance to that from certain corners. I m interested to see if that is universal resistance or just a couple people who don t like it. When we were running tests and playing it, some people thought it was strange but after five minutes decided they liked it more because there s more expressivity, more stuff you can do in the dialogues. Now when you start talking about voiceovers, life gets really interesting with a system like that. So we ll have to see.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

    Cossacks 3

    I’m trying to think who it could be. I don’t really have enemies any more, or not knowingly so. Some forgotten bully from school who never left our hometown and is still obsessed with tormenting me? A fellow journalist whose article I might have drunkenly tweeted something rude about in 2009? Someone I unfollowed or unfriended because they were tiresome or awful? You Know, Those Guys? Or: all of them, working together. Pooling their life savings to buy as many copies of a certain game as they can. Make no mistake: someone’s out to get me. It’s the only possible explanation.

    … [visit site to read more]

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

    This is some kind of sick joke, isn’t it?

    … [visit site to read more]

    ...

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