Divinity: Dragon Commander
Dragon Commander Multiplayer Review
DArtagnan is our second reviewer for Dragon Commander and in his review he focused on the multiplayer part of the game.
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Divinity: Dragon Commander
Dragons with Jetpacks
Kalniel reviews Dragon Commander to find out how the different styles mix and blend while strapping on his dragon's jetpack.
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Recent info pages and articles
Poll WatchDo you Kickstart?
Yes, I've supported a bunch!
Yes, but only 1 or 2.
I'm waiting for the right project.
No! No finished product, no money!
No - but only because of my tight budget.
Deathfire - Post-Funding Update #26 by Couchpotato
Pillars of Eternity - Gameplay Teaser & Interviews by Couchpotato
Elder Scrolls Online - Release Date Announced by irongamer
Dragon Age - 75% Off On Steam by Thrasher
Forum WatchTotal conversion mod by JonNik
What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread by JDR13
why anyone wants an "assault rifle" by booboo
Gaming Windows Tablets by Sir Markus
Dragon Commander - Last Minute Changes and Media
Swen has created a new blog on enduring pain, Dragon Commander boxes, the changes they are still making to Dragon Commander and what a good moment in time is to send out review code.
All of the changes that we agreed on were implemented or being implemented, and a number of new crashes had been found and solved. If you’re wondering why we are still changing things, well, you needn’t look further than our forums, youtube, the steam community hub, facebook , twitter and what have you. There’s a continuous feedback loop going on there and we’re seeing some very well formed opinions appearing.
Our code of conduct is that whenever somebody posts a bright idea it gets on our list, and then put it in, as long as it remains feasible for us.
I can guarantee you that there’s a lot of people in the development trade (that actually includes guys in my office ) that will tell you that this is the way to ruin, but my experience has been such that you’re better of with a game that’s fun and maybe not polished than you are with a game that’s polished but not fun. Fixing the polish is an easy enough thing and almost always a matter of money. Fixing the fun otoh is still somewhat of an arcane art coveted by many but mastered by few and money will not necessarily make the difference. Because my interest and joy in making games comes from stumbling upon ways of making them fun, I tend to sin more than often against the rules of maintaining the outwards production values that are so important these days, preferring a message box if need be over not putting something in that clearly improves the game mechanics
I joke, but I really do believe that whenever you realize a certain change will make your game more fun, you should do it, no matter how late in the development process you are. You should actually count yourself lucky that you had the insight prior to release. The only reason I can see why you shouldn’t embark on making the change is when you can’t implement the change properly for whatever reason. But you shouldn’t let that be an excuse for not making the change.
Dragon Commander - Beta Update
The beta for Dragon Commander has been updated to version 184.108.40.20627 and brings you the following, both changed and new:
- UI tooltip crash fix
- Added filters to lobby
- A lot of stability fixes in the lobby
- Fixed problem where internet lobbies were visible in LAN tab
- Desync fix when loading a savegame
- Key hints are shown during loadingscreens
- Crash fix during shutdown of AI
- Removed unused levels from level list again
- Fix crash when AI is targetting units outside of AI grid
- Strategy AI more aggressive
- Added tutorial videos to main menu
- Priests heal ally units again
Dragon Commander - Preview @ PCGMedia
PCGMedia editor Michael Cromwell has posted the latest preview among hundreds this week titled, "Why Dragon Commander Isn’t All About Blobs – All the Units, Skills, and Abilities."
Yep. It’s another Dragon Commander article. Why? Well, we’re independent press, and they’re an independent developer. The fascinating thing about Dragon Commander is that it’s a game that would never in a thousand years be greenlit by a major publisher. Why is that fascinating? Because despite that, it’s looking to be a huge success, and, more importantly: it’s bloody good.
That’s really why we’re giving it so much coverage. We see it as something of a revolution. It’s privately funded by the money of the developer, and built from the imaginations of them. No creditors, no marketing meetings, and, probably, no suits. That’s cool, right.
This article contains most of the resources availiable to you in battle, explaining what they are, and their weaknesses and strengths. Take small tokes, friend, because you’re likely to whiteout.
Dragon Commander - Video Previews
A short video preview for Dragon Commander of less than 3 minutes, but still trying to cover the entire game is available on Game Trailers.
Total Biscuit takes more time and brings us 32 minutes of video covering both RPG and RTS elements.
Finally, not a real preview or a video, but WarCry aks the question if Dragon Commander is the best next thing in eSports.
MMORPGs can get rather samey. You've got your shooters, your lane-based MOBAs, and of course your fifty million fantasy RPGs with the gold old elf 'n' orc combo. What can be done to spice up online play a little? How about... I don't know... some gameplay that revolves around jetpack-wielding dragons breathing fire on everything? That's what Divinity: Dragon Commander is offering here, and I can definitely imagine this as an epic shake-up to the current roster of eSports games, if this multiplayer video is anything to go by.
Dragon Commander - New Video and Two Previews
Next we have two previews.
Destructoid - "A day in the life of a jetpack-wearing dragon monarch"
I'm not sure what anyone else expected from Dragon Commander. It's a spin-off being developed by a studio known for its RPGs, so I'm guessing not a lot. And yet it's shaping out to be really rather splendid. I still have questions, though. I've yet to really pay much mind to the multiplayer, what with the lack of other players -- my peers are apparently too busy writing words to get beat up by me in a dragon scrap.
There are also a few niggling issues. If I have to hear the units spew their annoying, extremely loud stock phrases one more time I will kill someone. And research is, to put it bluntly, a wee bit boring. But I'm eager for more. The gags elicit guffaws, the strategy is compelling, and dragons are awesome. I wait with baited breath to see if I continue to enjoy myself when it comes out next month.
Penny-Arcade - "I came for the jetpack dragons, but stayed for the political intrigue"
Dragon Commander is really three games sort of smashed together. One is a role-playing game where you are emperor of the realm with all of the responsibilities that entails. In this mode, you're aboard the airship with the ability to visit several different rooms, meets with your generals and diplomats, and make decisions that will affect the realm. The visuals, music, and voice-acting in this part of the game are beautiful. The environments are interesting, the characters are superbly well animated, and the voice actors are top-notch. It feels a bit like the moments of Mass Effect when you're just talking things out with your crew.
Dragon Commander - Preview @ Incgamers
Incgamers has the lastest preview for Dragon Commander. I'm sure by now we have read and saw every video, but it doeasn't hurt to have more.
The worry with titles like Dragon Commander that try to span multiple genres is that one or more of the segments will suffer from this division of focus. Larian are experienced RPG developers with a flair for the absurd, so all the character-led politicking and choice/consequence decisions feel rewarding. Your choices matter, and the way they impact and interweave with activities on the overall campaign map is rather satisfying.
But the RTS sections may need further tweaking. Though they’re entertaining and frantic (even on the optional slower speed,) there’s a possibility that the demands of having your attention pulled all over the battlefield every two seconds will eventually detract from what actually appears to be quite a tactical, micro-heavy system. There’s a pleasing tension between the need to concentrate on devious unit plotting and swashbuckling dragon attacks, but it risks overwhelming the elements which feel as if they require a slower pace.
Still, no-one could accuse Dragon Commander of being in any way halfhearted in its efforts. It’s enthusiastic, uninhibited and actually makes being trapped in airbourne command center with a racist lizardman somewhat appealing.
Dragon Commander - RPG Elements Preview Video
PCGMedia has the lastest video preview for Dragon Commander. This time it's not about politics, or combat. It's all about the RPG elements. Let me give fair warning that the video will spoil parts of the game.
Michael takes a look at the press beta for Larian's Divinity: Dragon Commander. Specifically, we're looking at the RPG elements, how they affect the world, your comrades, and battle.
Dragon Commander - Preview @ StrategyInformer
StrategyInformer has a small preview for Dragon Commander.
The campaign map itself is very simple – looking like a ye olde style hand drawn map, the land mass is divided into a number of territories. Each territory has a race (so who the local inhabitants are), and an economy and tech output. The more territories you conquer, the more gold you get per turn and the more research points you get per turn. Research points are used to either research new Dragon Abilities, or new units/unit abilities, presenting you a tactical choice between improving your army, and improving yourself.
Territories can be modified in a couple of different ways – you can play cards (Dragon Commander started off life as a table-top card strategy game thing), which you collect as spoils or through special buildings, or you can build buildings. There is only one building allowed per territory, and these can range from gold-enhancers, tech point enhancers, to factories that allow you build units in territories other than your home one.
Eventually, you’ll run into someone else who wants the same territory you want. Dragon Commander’s battles have the pacing of a pro Starcraft II match – you don’t have much time to take in your surroundings and start giving orders. On the campaign map, each territory is given its own map layout, and there’s several to choose from if you go online. Maps involve starting locations for everyone involved- up to four people, and then there is potentially neutral bases and territory to fight over. In the single-player, you can choose to auto-resolve the battle, either by letting the army fight out on its own, or by assigning a ‘general’ to improve the odds, although this costs gold.
Battles are a typical RTS experience in many ways – although the base building options are limited, you do build up a base, and any additional outposts you can capture, and then build units and send them out. Everything takes on a very ‘Supreme Commander’ mentality to mass produced units, although there’s none of the automation features. Typically, to win a match you have to destroy an opponent, either by grinding down his manpower reserves, or by overwhelming his defences and destroying all of his bases on the map.
Dragon Commander - Preview @ Rock Paper Shotgun
Rock Paper Shotgun have penned down their views of Dragon Commander from the hands-on session they had with the game.
The dragon’s the least of it, really. While it’s almost staggering under the weight of ‘wouldn’t it be great if?’ sub-games and features, at its heart Larian’s Divine Divinity fantasy battle spin-off plays like a love letter to the giants of real-time strategy. The campaign map of Total War, the battles of Total Annihilation, the air of silliness of Command & Conquer, the theme of Warcraft… It’s not that it’s shameless, really: it’s just picking and choosing what worked, what people loved, and putting it all together in a slightly strange, rather full-on but highly entertaining and tactical combination that winds up feeling like nothing else. The game seems to be having a whale of a time, and it’s infectious with it – while its humour might incline towards the ‘wacky’ end of the gag spectrum, it’s not grating as are the similarly fantasy-lampooning Majesty/Ardania games.
But while the broad political satire (e.g. elves are pro-medicinal drugs, but the Catholic-analogue undead consider it sinful – so will you legalise or outlaw it? One faction may withdraw their support based on your decision) of the between-battle state management is a bit of a giggle, what’s really standing out to me so far is the intensity of the battles. Sure, you can transform from floating camera into a bloody great dragon, but this is only ever an accompaniment to management of a wide variety of units across large maps with maxi-zoom, doing the rock, paper, scissors thing with a campaign-persistent expanding tech tree, fighting wars of attrition where each side has a sizeable finite number of reinforcements to call upon.
It’s proper strategy, like mama used to make – brutal push and pull, steadily advancing a front line amidst massed death and explosion. Commanding and conquering, yes, but the knowledge that, at some point, your reinforcements will run out, prevents cartoonish squandering. Build points are seized by proximity, even in the midst of pitched battle, so there’s a lot of suddenly dropping a turret or a war factory straight into the middle of things to sustain your push, or suddenly finding that the enemy’s managed to build a mortar right next to all your best stuff. Like Supreme Commander, there’s no sitting back and waiting for anything to happen here – it’s all go, all the time, and my jaw aches something rotten from pulling a Clint Eastwood expression all the while.
And if you want to get your hands on a beta key, there is still this contest going on to get one.
Dragon Commander - Pitfalls of Politics and Ethics in Videogames
In a lenghty post on his personal blog Larian's Swen Vincke explains the studio's approach to the political and ethical quandaries present in Divinity: Dragon Commander.
If there is one aspect of Dragon Commander that has generated frequent discussion among the team at Larian it is the topic of politics and more specifically: the political, moral and ethical choices you can make in the game. When you are aboard your command ship, the Raven, a broad spectrum of political and moral issues will be brought before you by a variety of characters and inevitably, these characters will vehemently disagree with one another at all but every junction.
Our inspiration for these political conundrums we derived from newspapers, news websites and news broadcasts the world over. We ended up with a host of current issues that – to use a whopper of a euphemism – create debate wherever they arise. It is these issues that we translated into a fantasy context, though they remain quite recognisable.
To do so we created a host of fantasy characters that represent people or philosophies of a certain political persuasion in an almost commedia dell’arte manner. They are stock characters in their way, with their own eccentricities and conflicting ideals, but their masks are those of lizards, imps, elves, dwarves and undead rather than the literally masked prototypes of the theatrical genre.
These characters speak plainly. They speak forcefully. They hammer home their viewpoint, often eschewing all nuance. In their own exaggerated manner they bring to bear their opinions, and even though it should go without saying, we’re saying this anyway: this doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with their opinions at all.
This is important to keep in mind, because by creating characters that often exceed individualism only to become certain ‘types’, we noticed that their opinion regarding various political statements were amplified to such an extent that they became quite frankly shocking.
Larian Studios - Crunch Time Thoughts
Swen has a new blog update with various thoughts on the last two months, and the future of his company. Just a warning it's a wall of text but worth the read.
One of my best friends told me that I really should update my blog. I explained to him that I’m literally working from six in the morning until midnight trying to get Dragon Commander out of the door and that the last thing I want to do in my current schedule is spend what little free or sleeping time I have left writing about work. He shrugged, repeated three times that I should update my blog, and then proceeded on another topic.
Net result: I’m updating my blog. He can be convincing.
So, we’re in crunch. Not because we’re in panic mode or because a publisher is threatening us with whatever legal nonsense, but because we still have a ton of small things we want to finish before the game goes live *and * because we selected a release date we swore we wouldn’t miss (August 6th 2013 for those interested)
The current situation is that there’s still some stuff on our task list and there’s a whole bunch of stuff on our bug/suggested features list, but most of it still all feels possible.
To put that last statement in perspective – of course, the lists are getting longer now that we launched the beta, and of course, we find ourselves forced to be selective, and of course we’d prefer to put everything in that still makes sense, and of course realization is dawning that we won’t manage to do it all. Still, morale remains high, because we think that what’ll be in will be sufficient to please a significiant large enough part of our audience and I hope wholeheartedly that that indeed becomes the case.
Thanks go to Drithius for finding the news.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #42, Pledge Management
Divinity: Original Sin has a new post-funding update that covers the pledge management system. It also introduces the "Imperial Edition" of Divinity: Dragon Commander, which includes a documentary, a digital soundtrack, a "Dragons on Earth" campaign map, a golden dragon skin and beta access.
The Larian Vault now allows all of you to manage your pledge. In case you are wondering, that also includes everybody who backed via Paypal.
So, how does it work?
- Log in with your existing Larian Vault account or create a new one
- Once logged in, click the Kickstarter logo in the menu
- Fill in the email address that you use to log in on Kickstarter OR that you use to log in on Paypal
- Click the "Look up and link" button
- Check your email and click the link
- That's it!
Should anything go wrong or if you have questions, send a mail to email@example.com. We're there to help you.
Free upgrade to the Dragon Commander Imperial Edition
Everybody who has Dragon Commander in their tier gets a free Imperial Edition upgrade. What's that you say ? An Imperial Edition ? Tell me more!
Immediate & free beta access
When you log in on the Larian Vault, you will find that there is a shiny Steam beta key waiting just for you. Use it, and you'll be able to practice your multiplayer skills in Dragon Commander before the game goes live. And help us make the game better in the process!
An Imperial Edition upgrade key
When the game goes live on August 6th 2013, you'll receive a key that will unlock all the bonus content that is included in the Imperial Edition. Just because you were so very cool to back us and believe in Dragon Commander!
Don't have Dragon Commander in your tier yet?
Well, if you pre-purchase the game on the Larian Vault now, you'll get the upgrade anyway, and you'll receive immediate beta access. Instant gratification guaranteed (at least in multiplayer)
Dragon Commander - Let's Play One Turn
A new video from Divinity: Dragon Commander offers an in-depth look at gameplay. The clip features Swen Vincke as he plays through one turn in the game's single-player campaign.
Swen takes us through one turn of Dragon Commander where he shows all aspects of the game.
Dragon Commander - Delayed, GOG Preorders Get Master of Magic for Free
Divinity Dragon Commander is being delayed to August. GOG is giving people who have pre-ordered the game a free copy of Master of Magic to apologize.
Divinity: Dragon Commander adds in gift for all who pre-order the game on GOG.com, delays release to 6 August 2013
DRM-FREE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR MAKES THE WAIT FOR DRAGON COMMANDER EASIER, ADDS THE TIMELESS CLASSIC MASTER OF MAGIC TO ALL PRE-ORDERS
(12 June 2013) -- Dragons with jetpacks are still coming to GOG.com, it's just that the jetpacks need a few more tweaks. Larian Studios, the developers of the highly-anticipated Divinity: Dragon Commander , currently available for pre-order on GOG.com, have moved their release date for the game to 6 August 2013. To make the wait easier, GOG.com will provide all the gamers who have already pre-ordered Dragon Commander--and everyone who preorders the game from here on out--with a fitting gift: a timeless classic, Master of Magic , added in for free! The similarity between these two titles may not seem all that apparent--especially since Master of Magic is nearly 20 years older than Divinity: Dragon Commander, but both games have an incredible blend of strategy, roleplaying, and tactical gameplay.
Originally released in 1994, Master of Magic has introduced many innovative elements to strategy and roleplay gaming, in fact, one can find traces of some of the creative genre mash-ups from Master of Magic in Dragon Commander itself. Additionally, for total customer satisfaction, each and every retail box of Divinity: Dragon Commander will come with a free digital backup on GOG.com.
By pre-ordering Dragon Commander on GOG.com not only can you take 5$ off of the retail price and get it for just 39.99$, you also receive the acclaimed Master of Magic for free!
Original Sin - Post-funding Update #41
Divinity: Original Sin has a new Post-funding Update. The update deals with paypal and a lost video.
Development is moving forward at Larian, and we're making steady progress on Divinity: Original Sin. As Dragon Commander is now almost finished, the team working on Original Sin is getting bigger and bigger and pretty soon almost all of Larian will be working on DOS exclusively. We'll reserve the big DOS content updates for later, but it sure is becoming an interesting RPG and thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, we're seeing a vast improvement in the quality of the world design. Thank you once again for making this possible!
Here are a few items that might be of interest to you:
Pledge management dated
We threatened him, we blackmailed him, we used every single trick in the great book of the Shrike, all to no avail. Then somebody had the bright idea of asking him in a polite manner, and lo and behold, he gave us a date.
We are talking of course about David and the pledge management system he's developing. Said pledge management system will allow you to indicate to us which add-ons you want, where you want your physical goods to be delivered, on what platform you want your digital rewards, what messages you want to put in the game etc... It's pretty much a must-have if ever we want to figure out who gets what and it is therefore with great joy (and some relief) that we bring to you today the news that the system will go online on monday June 24th 2013.
That's almost like tomorrow!
Role Playing Convention Award
Last week the Role Playing Convention took place in Cologne and there Divinity: Original Sin received the award for most promising game of 2013. We keep on being amazed at how people discover new ways of putting more pressure on our shoulders ;)
To mark the occasion, we made a little video, in which Jan & David have a small discussion on the statue we received.
We should've posted this one a month ago, but somehow it got list in the mix. PC Games Germany posted a highlights video of the live session we had with them with German subtitles. Sorry!
Larian Studios - To Listen or Not to Listen
Larian Studio's head honcho Swen Vincke has updated his blog discussing one of the big pros of being self-funding and self-publishing, which is the ability to make the choices they could not make before.
We received feedback today from a group of journalists about what they thought of a hands-on session with a beta-version of the game. Specifically, they were asked to name three things they liked and three things they disliked. From that list a few issues got flagged, and the question now is whether or not we’ll address those issues.
We are dangerously close to release, so anything we change now is bound to have a significant impact. But of course, not intervening means that for sure those issues will pop up in reviews, and if they’re bothering the journalists, they’ll probably also bother our players. Naturally, if we continue fixing things that pop up, we’ll never release because there’s no such thing as a perfect game. So, when is enough enough ? And should we listen to the feedback we received?
Had this been one of our previous games where we were paid via milestones, the decision would already have been taken, and no changes would be made, definitely not at this stage in development. But it’s not somebody else’s decision to make this time. It’s ours, and I am happy that we get to make this type of decision.
To make it concrete, the issue at hand has to do with the difficulty, pacing and tempo of the RTS part of Dragon Commander. Several journalists think it’s too fast and too hard. That would be a simple enough thing to solve if it weren’t for that other group who thinks it’s too easy. Go figure
Unfortunately it’s not something we can easily fix by introducing a gamespeed slider or balancing multiplier, so we’re either going have to make a real choice for who our primary audience is or introduce completely different sets of balancing data from which players can choose.
That obviously will impact development, because suddenly we’ll have doubled our balancing work, so it’s not a trivial thing because it means not only extra design work, but also a shitload of extra QA work.
For the purpose of my blog and my arguments pro self-publishing, whatever our choice in this is doesn’t really matter. The cool thing is that we actually can choose and that we know things like this prior to release, so we have a chance to do something about it. If we didn’t self-publish and wouldn’t have been that closely in touch with the journalists, we would never even have had this opportunity.
For the purpose of the success of my game, it of course matters a lot.
Dragon Commander - Development Update
There is a new video update for Dragon Commander.
Going into the final part of production, we wanted to give you an update on the status of the game. In this video, Swen goes around the office to ask the team what they are doing and how much work there really is.
Baldur's Gate 2 - Enhanced Edition Game Content and DLC
Shacknews has a small article about Baldur's Gate 2 - Enhanced Edition.
Things have been awfully quiet from Beamdog after the release of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition late last year. We know they are working on DLC for the game, and also a Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced, so we contacted the company to find out just what was going on in the land of Faerun.
"We're hard at work on BG2:EE and it is going well," Beamdog president Trent Oster told Shacknews. "Phil (our design lead) mentioned to me there is over 350,000 words of new content."
He said all those words were related to quests and story across Shadows of Amn and the expansion, Throne of Bhaal, and is part of the bundle for PC and Mac, and DLC for iPad and Android.
He wouldn't go into too much other detail other than to say they hope to start talking about the sequel soon. Oster told us before the first game (pictured above) was released that BG2:EE would take precedence over their DLC plans for the original, and he confirmed that hasn't changed.
"DLC-wise, we have plans, but nothing completed, yet."
Information aboutBaldur's Gate 2
SP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Update #40, Message from the Trenches
Larian posted a new update on their funded kickstarter Divinity: Original Sin.
We're late with this update. We know and apologise.
The reason really is quite simple: We are in the middle of preparing the release of Dragon Commander, performing all of the final tweaks, putting in some last minute features as well as a host of different languages and at the same time also pushing forward the expansion of Divinity:Original Sin's game world. Between those two things, well, there's really little time for even eating, so please bear with us. It will get better and the frequency of updates will increase again.
But, behold, we did manage to come up with not just one, but three movies, showing you a bit of what's going on behind the scenes!
Behind the scenes of the Dark Forest
From time to time we perform a magical ritual called a review meeting - if you ever wondered what those look like, then look no further than the following collection of moving pictures in which our designers discuss what quests are going to be in the Dark Forest a.k.a. as the Phantom Forest. Beware - there are some minor spoilers!
The Pledge Management System
We caught up with David and asked him if there was any progress with the pledge management system. Since this is the first time he actually more or less committed to a date, we wanted to share the moment with you :)
One of the stretch goals was Kirill, our brilliant house composer, getting a symphonic orchestra to fool around with. We asked him about how the preparations for the recordings are going and managed to trick him into promising something for the musicians among you...
Because of the imminent release (relatively speaking of course :) ) of Divinity: Dragon Commander, we're in a bit of a crunch period. We asked Thomas for a youtube link that relates to our being-in-crunch feeling, but forgot that he can't spell very well...