Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Sarah_Larian

Delrith and Angerbeard previewed Game Master Mode and went on an adventure led by Larian Dev turned GM Eduoard. You can watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlfUrUOYgYk

Game Master Mode will be available on release September 14th. Read more about it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1880437
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Sarah_Larian
In case you missed the announcement, Divinity: Original Sin 2 arrives September 14th! More information is available on our Kickstarter page.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Sarah_Larian
Come ask Swen and Edouard all of your burning questions about Game Master Mode for Divinity: Original Sin 2! twitch.tv/larianstudios
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Larian_Octaaf
We noticed a couple things that slipped through the net when releasing our latest patch. Since they were easy to fix and won’t affect your savegames, we didn’t want to delay these fixes until the next patch. So behold, a hotfix!
  • Fixed Tutorial Treasure
  • Fixed outlines of characters after they were transformed to any other state
  • Fixed equipment being invisible for characters that were out of sight
  • Fixed armor potions and statuses like Fortified and Magic Shell giving less armor than they should
  • Fixed several issues in new character creation screen:
    • Fixed tags not showing up for the first custom character
    • Fixed issue with talents resetting when changing a civil ability
    • Fixed issue with portrait renderer not removing the helmets
    • Fixed issue with talent requirements appearing in red even though the character had the ability
    • Fixed issue with stats not properly resetting when reconnecting to character creation
    • Fixed a possible crash in character creation when going back to main menu
Savegames are compatible with v3.0.76.796.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

As Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] charges screaming through early access, developers Larian have announced a release date for the full version: September 14th. For early access roleplayers, though, Larian have released a hefty update including the tutorial with a fight against a kraken, the new home base on a captured warship, new areas, improved AI, and plenty more. You can see some of all this in a new dev diary if you aren’t distracted by how swish their offices are: … [visit site to read more]

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Larian Studios puts out Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter backer updates on a very regular basis, which is great for anyone following along. But update number 37, released today, is more important than most, because buried within it is a link to a video, and in that video is the announcement of a release date: September 14, 2017. 

Naturally, because this is a Larian joint, it's filled with studio boss Swen Vincke talking excitedly about what's happened since the last update, including details about the Early Access release, stretch goal status, and the player's home base, which has changed quite a bit from what was originally planned. The initial idea was to use the Hall of Echoes as the base, but instead players will set up shop in The Lady Vengeance, a large, apparently magical, sailing ship.  

"All the home base functionality that was planned for the halls is there but more importantly, the Lady Vengeance requires no level switching which means you can split the party between home base and another piece of the map. That's much more convenient than having to gather your party and loading a new level. It's also a much better setting for some of the relationship building that we added to the game," the studio explained in the update. "The Hall of Echos is still part of the game—you actually visit it in Act 1 already—we just moved the home base functionality away from it." 

Finally, at the end of a chase through the Larian's own home base, Vincke revealed and discussed the release date. "This is the biggest RPG we've ever made. There's so much stuff in there, I hope you're going to have a tremendous amount of fun. And I hope that we're going to make that date, because we're starting to get tired and we want to get it into your hands," he said. He added that there will be at least one more big patch to the Early Access version prior to the full launch, and said that the studio still has a few more announcements to make too, "at the appropriate time." 

Speaking of Swen, he stopped by PCG HQ a couple of weeks ago to show off Divinity: Original Sin 2's new "Game Master mode," which sounds incredibly promising. Watch it here

Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Larian_Octaaf
Behold one of our most exciting updates so far!

First and foremost: We have a release date! September 14th 2017 is the date on which all the content and features of Divinity: Original Sin 2 will be unleashed upon the world.

We’re hard at work finishing the game, so our patch release rate may become slower. But rest assured, it’s because we’re putting all of our resources in making Divinity: Original Sin 2 as awesome as we can. We know you’ve all been eager to progress your adventure, and with this patch we’ve added… A LOT.

Two new areas will provide a huge narrative bang. You’ll help our heroes crash land in Fort Joy and explore the next stage in their journey after they escape. Players with a profound fear of giant aquatic monstrosities, be warned!

We’ve also added relationship dialogues with companions, meaning you’ll be able to poke around in Red Prince, Sebille, Lohse, and Ifan’s heads like never before. But beware: You may not always like what you find.

Character Creation and crafting have also undergone a serious transformation. Together with the fact that you can now manage the formation of your party in a brand new interface, you’ll have plenty to try out.

You may have heard rumours of our mysterious fifth origin story - a sea-faring dwarf known only as ‘Beast’. With this update, you’ll get to meet (but not recruit) him for the first time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of stuff you’ll get to explore in this patch, so keep reading for the full scoop. (Hint: Unique origin skills!) We can’t wait to hear your feedback on these new additions, so please keep posting and pressing the send feedback button!

Savegame compatibility

This new version is 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
  • ea_version_2 for savegames made in version 3.0.5.530
  • ea_version_3 for savegames made in version 3.0.15.252
  • ea_version_4 for savegames made in version 3.0.33.118
  • ea_version_5 for savegames made in version 3.0.52.425
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
Additions
  • Added the game’s starting level
  • Added new Character Creation screen
  • Added relationships between origin characters
  • Added new region and story progression at the end of Fort Joy
  • Added origin skills to origin characters and Timewarp skill to custom characters
  • Added ability to manage party formations via in-game menu
  • Added new loading screen
Improvements
  • Updated crafting: complete overhaul. Added new crafting combinations, and fixed old entries.
  • Added completely new recipe books that unlock recipes in your crafting interface: discover new ways of crafting potions, arrows, grenades, scrolls, and gear!
  • Improved AI
    • Added better fallback behavior for when AI cannot find an ideal move
    • Improved positioning before casting skills
    • AI will now destroy items that are blocking its path
    • AI can handle sneaking characters better
  • Companions have relationship dialogs now in which you can discuss the current state of affairs. Furthermore, Red Prince has been rewritten to fit with his updated quest design.
  • Updated all player race animations
  • Updated VFX on several Early Access skills
  • Updated surface VFX
  • Updated sound for several skills
  • Updated several custom animations
  • Updated several quest related VFX
  • Improved interface behavior when dragging and dropping skills
  • Improved visibility of coordinates on minimap
  • Improved pathfinding
  • Improved player feedback when trying to equip items
  • Added indication of number of projectiles for several skills
Balancing and design changes
  • Weapon skills should not reset cooldown when switching weapons
  • Slightly increased surface damage
  • Cursed water and blood now apply Decaying Touch instead of Diseased
  • Heavy armour now provides small amount of Magic Armour
  • Mage armour now provides small amount of Physical Armour
  • Added some magic armour to Braccus armour set
  • Lightning bolt no longer forks once
  • Increase cooldown of Ground Smash
  • You can now use Source Vampirism from wands on corpses to recharge Source Points
  • Chilled status combined with burning should now correctly set Warm status
  • Enabled pickpocket during combat
  • Added separate status for healing by eating a bodypart
  • Increased Comeback Kid heal to 20% Vitality
  • All combinations of fire and poison now create explosions
  • Lifesteal is now based on effective damage instead of initial damage
  • Cone skills should not be blocked by movable items
  • Applied statuses like burning or poisoned no longer trigger reflection damage or necromantic lifesteal
  • Cone skills should no longer be blocked by movable items
  • Lightning bolt can now target items
  • Sucker punch no longer takes the range of the equipped weapon
  • Blinding Radiance now sets Blind directly and only on targets facing the caster
  • Increased damage to compensate
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed looping animations on certain skill effects
  • Fixed several quest updates and journal updates related to PVP quest migration
  • Fixed character outlines flickering sometimes
  • Fixed several cases of being unable to reach items
  • Fixed issue that would make Leya only remove 1 Source Collar instead of the entire party's collars
  • Fixed several dialog issues with Exter and Gareth
  • Fixed several alignment issues with NPC's
  • Fixed all items in the Seeker shelter still being tagged as their property even when they are all leaving the island
  • Fixed highlighting for Blinding Radiance skill
  • Fixed possible missing talents after loading a savegame
  • Fixed issue where joining player would be blocked if he joined while the host was loading
  • Fixed being able to see enemy invisible rogues in Arena if they have blessed status
  • Fixed charges on items not depleting correctly under certain conditions
  • Fixed a multiplayer desync issue related to dialogs
  • Fixed issue with reassigning player characters that were controlling an incarnate
  • Fixed issue with skills not triggering correctly
  • Fixed chatlog scrolling issues
  • Fixed items being usable by different characters at the same time
  • Fixed several issues with combat turn order not showing up in certain conditions in Multiplayer
  • Fixed not being able to select AI as a player when arriving back into lobby after playing a match
  • Fixed issues with crimes continuously being investigated under certain conditions
  • Fixed skills not going on cooldown in certain cases
  • Fixed Camera reset after exiting a dialog
  • Fixed issues with multiple crime interrogations at the same time
  • Fixed visual issues with Slane the Dragon
  • Fixed being able to trade with Radeka right before combat
  • Fixed several outdated crafting recipes
  • Fixed issue with Voidwoken not appearing if you kill Alexandar outside of combat
  • Fixed being able to talk to polymorphed companions
  • Fixed issue that could cause you to get stuck underneath the level when using flight skill
  • Fixed crash when picking up loot containers
  • Fixed arrow and grenade interactions with items (like bonfires, torches...)
  • Fixed weapon skills leaving empty spaces in the Skillbar
  • Fixed Smelly status getting stuck even though it had worn off
Divinity: Original Sin 2

The final stretch goal Divinity: Original Sin 2 offered during its very successful Kickstarter campaign last year was a Game Master mode. The pitch was ambitious: it would let people run pen-and-paper style Dungeons & Dragons campaigns within Divinity's engine. Wes and I got our hands on Game Master mode last week to play a campaign with developer Larian Studios, and we immediately made out with a dwarf, blew up a wolf, and turned a party member into a chicken. So, you know, regular D&D stuff. While it isn't a perfect marriage of the two game systems, it opens the door to a very cool new way to play D&D.

I also got a chance to sit down with Larian CEO Swen Vincke as he tried to recreate the opening of the studio's very first game, Divine Divinity, as a campaign in Divinity: Original Sin 2. You can watch the full video above as he walks through each feature step by step, and read on to hear my thoughts on the mode.

One way it absolutely succeeds is in giving the game master enough control to be spontaneous and responsive. Improvisation and unexpected scenarios are some of the best parts of playing D&D, and although Divinity 2's Game Master mode lets you extensively prepare campaigns in advance—even building full 3D environments with an included level editor—it also has the freedom for DMs (or, I suppose, GMs) to adapt on the fly and circumvent the game's programmed rules.

 

For example, at one point during our game, Wes decided to use a polymorph spell to turn one of our party members into a chicken, then hurl that chicken over a wall and behind some goblins for a sneak attack. This didn't technically work. The spell failed thanks to our party member's magic armor, and there's no action in Divinity 2 for throwing another character. But our GM was able to take control, overriding the polymorph outcome and then having Wes roll a digital D20 to test his throwing ability: he rolled a 19, and our GM magically moved the now-chicken ally to his new location. 

This was probably the highlight of our brief campaign, but it was also a reminder that weren't actually playing Divinity; we were playing D&D and using Divinity as a visual tool to keep track of everything. At another point I blew up an oil barrel (a common Divinity occurrence), but our GM decided that blast had actually knocked those nearest to it far across the map, which was something that couldn't happen in the base game. In the middle of paused combat that distinction is less important, but wandering around and talking to other NPCs exposes how the cogs of these two game systems don't exactly line up. 

You can't pre-write dialogue or script movement patterns for the NPC characters you place in the world, though the GM can take direct control of them, apply statuses like sleep (or chicken), and place items in their inventory. This greatly limits the freedom of how you interact with the world in a way that feels jarring if you approach it like a videogame RPG. Again, this is D&D grafted onto Divinity's combat system, not a tool for making complete standalone videogame campaigns.

You'll always need your GM's attention to have a conversation or interact with an NPC, because that conversation will come from the mouth and mind of your GM. There's also something called the Vignette System that allows them to pre-write slides with text, an image, and possibly a multiple choice question for your party to vote on—all of which can be edited on the fly. A GM can use vignettes to pause the game and have the entire party make a decision or talk to an NPC together, but it's not the same as being able to talk to each NPC model in real time.

This made the world we played through feel small and lifeless compared to Divinity's campaign. That reliance on the GM is how D&D works, but when you can wander around the game world while waiting for a GM to tell you what's happening, story and player control don't quite align. Divinity 2 is a game designed to allow multi-tasking, while D&D is the polar opposite. That tension isn't insurmountable with an organized party, but it's definitely there. On the bright side, vignettes do give a nice visual representation to major story beats and party decisions that you wouldn't get in a typical pen-and-paper campaign.

From what we've played, Divinity 2's combat system is still great: a refined version of the free-form, tactically dense combat in the first game. And the tools available on the backend of the Game Master mode are robust. I can't wait to see the custom campaigns and maps that start popping up in the Steam Workshop. Game Master mode is expected to arrive when Divinity: Original Sin 2 leaves Early Access later this year.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Larian_Octaaf
New features, while exciting, sometimes come with adorable little bugs in tow. In the event that a few slip through our virtual net, we try to squash them as quickly as possible. This hotfix fixes the following problems:
  • Corpses standing up after playing for over one hour
  • Doors being open visually, while they were actually closed
  • Being able to share skills via character portrait
  • Corrupt textures on certain characters in the character creation screen
Savegames are compatible with v3.0.50.423.

Thank you for the quick feedback on our most recent patch. Please keep posting any issues you have!
Divinity: Original Sin 2

During Larian Studios' hugely successful Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign, backers were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite skill schools that'd be introduced as Stretch Goals at a later date. To this end, as part of the project's 35th Update, the early accessible role-player has now added Summoning and Polymorphing to its sorcery-endowed bounds. 

To mark the occasion Larian has also launched two separate trailers, both of which explore the new abilities from distinctly different angles. The first is a shorter, more generic cinematic which skims the specifics inside two and a quarter minutes:

The second, which is far more interesting, sees Larian's Swen Vincke explaining the new schools by way of plates, stuffed alpaca toys, condiments, feather dusters, and rubber kitchen gloves—before diving into the game itself and then offering a more thorough look at both Summoning and Polymorphing in practice.

As detailed via the game's Kickstarter campaign page, the Summoning school lets players conjure personal elementals which match the ground surface they're summoned onto. For example, fire elementals launch fire attacks at foes, while water elementals provide players with healing buffs. The full list of Summoning powers can be found over here. 

According to Larian the Polymorph school, on the other hand, was "by far the most popular" skill school in the Kickstarter vote and sees "the best and worst aspects of other creatures" taken to the battlefield. In practice, this has players transforming into specific animals while harnessing specific traits. 

There's seven in total en route to Early Access, including:

  • Bull Horns—Magnificent horns sprout from your forehead. You can rush at your enemies and gore them.
  • Tentacle Lash—With tentacular (it’s a word, look it up) limbs, lash out at the enemy and Disarm them.
  • Chicken Claw—Turn the target character into a chicken. Squawk!
  • Heart of Steel—Your skin turns to steel, increasing Physical Armour and regenerating a portion of it every turn.
  • Chameleon Cloak—Become one with the shadows so that you're invisible to your opponents.
  • Spread Your Wings—Grow wings that unlock Flight skill. You ignore ground surfaces as long as you keep moving.
  • Skin Graft—Reset all cooldowns, yet also strip off all Physical Armour and Magic Armour. Removes Burning, Poisoned, Bleeding.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is out now on Steam Early Access priced £29.99/$44.99. Full details of both the game's Summoning and Polymorph skill schools can be found here.  

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