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 play Original Sin - Early Access?
Yes, I am
Thinking about it
No. Only on release
Never. Early access sucks
Not now, not on release
What's Original Sin?
Forum WatchPricewatch! by txa1265
What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread by txa1265
Deus Ex Revision mod by JDR13
Risen 3 trailer by JDR13
Dragon Commander - Steam Sale
Divinity Dragon Commander is 66% off on Steam during the weekend. For this Larian's Forktong also tweeted this video on selecting your bride in Dragon Commander, which you might find funny (or not, depending on what you think is funny).
Information aboutDragon Commander
SP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #58
As could be expected the news of the beta is followed by a Kickstarter update.
First of all: as promised the beta is now Steam Early Access. Grab your keys from the Larian Vault, and go try it out. The game isn’t finished yet; we still have a lot of balancing, bugfixing and tweaking on our plate, but it’s a big step up from the alpha and there’s plenty of new stuff for you to discover.
As per usual, we’re eager to hear your feedback and our excel sheets are at the ready to tweak and balance the millions of stats that define your RPG experience behind the scenes.
If you’re curious what’s in the beta and don’t have the time to discover them all on your own, there are over 400 improvements and a host of new features:
- 28 exciting new talents, including fun things like the Lone Wolf perk, which gives an avatar super abilities, but makes it impossible for him or her to hire a companion(s)
- More than 60 new skills, allowing for a new brand of synergies, such as combining Invisibility with Pickpocketing
- A new Witchcraft skilltree that can be combined with other skills to deadly effect • New areas to explore, new foes to fight, new items to find & new secrets to discover
- A brand new character creation screen with new presets such as Shadowblade and Wayfarer, and an enormous amount of customisation options.
- More environmental interactions – you can smash or burn doors, pickpocket characters & use staffs to electrify pools of water. Or how about burning wooden chests to get the loot inside?
- Improved AI, user interface, graphics, loading times, performance and stability mean playing Divinity: Original Sin has never been this smooth
- A truckload of new sound effects & music tracks
If you want to see the full report, go and have a look at the changelist.
Swen also explains what they will be working on next in this video.
Original Sin - Goes Beta
The Early Access of Divinity Original Sin has turned from Alpha to Beta yesterday on Steam with a big list of changes accompanying it. I did notice that my beta key on the Larian Vault has not been enabled yet though.
Here is a list with only a part of the changes, as the list is too long:
- Added pickpocket mechanic
- Added more crafting mechanics
- Much more accurate picking
- Added "guard" feature. This will delay your turn until the end of the round
- Added a large amount of new statusses
- Added environment/weather system
- Added a lot of new AI routines to give more intelligence to NPCs and enemies
- You can hit surfaces with melee weapons now.
- A lot of enhancements to pathfinding
- Poison clouds will react to fire damage now
- NPCs can use cone based spells now
- Added new SSAO option
- Added Chat UI
- Added invulnerable status
- Added CanSee and CanShoot calls to AI
- Show game over screen when players are dead
- Sitting or sleeping now heals the character
- NPCs can open doors now
- Added correct descriptions to potions and consume results
- Added new shovel system
- Show overhead text on answers of other players in multiplayer
- Character can enter sneak now in combat
- Added touch skill animations
- Added file packing to further decrease load times
- Added continue button to main menu
- Completely revised character creation system
- Added first tutorial system
- Added system to better manage status visuals
- Added Ash and Ice death models
- Oil will slow players down
- You can start a single- or multiplayer game
- Added effect when hitting with elemental damage weapons
- Added camera interpolation system
- Added texture packer to decrease load times
- Added rain of arrows skill
- Added trap detection talent
- Physics for character will animate now
- Added weatherproof talent
- Added Vase container
- Added new cursors for ground attacks
- Added toggle armour to character creation screen
- Added 3D scene to main menu
- Added system to highlight all characters in you view
- The camera will focus better now on events happening during combat
- Added intro video
Update: Here is the accompanying video.
Original Sin - Twitch TV Session Summary
A brave Larian forum member has summarized the recent Twitch TV session for the beta version, just in case you missed the session.
Here is something on the starting classes that you can choose from:
Wizard – Focuses entirely on magic.
Battlemage – Crossbreed between a wizard and a warrior. Melee attacks and spell-weaving.
Cleric – Hard-hitting healer.
Enchanter – Control mage - Crowd control spells.
Fighter – Straight-up fighter.
Knight – A Fighter who can heal and inspire fellows. has the Courageous talent (Cannot be Feared).
Ranger – ranger, focuses on ranged weapons
Rogue – backstabber (starts with invisibility spell, lockpicking, sneaking)
Shadowblade – Rogue/assassin who knows magic.
Wayfarer – a ranger/mage hybrid
Witch – focuses on darker magic, curses, necromancy
The Wizard and Witch classes weren't explicitly mentioned, but the first is in, and the second probably is as well.
Original Sin - Twitch TV Session Today
Original Sin - Preview @ Pixel Perfect Gaming
Pixel Perfect Gaming has posted a preview/review of the Alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin,. The writer is pleased with game and even adds a score of 5/5.
Just remember the game is not released yet, and is entering Beta.
Divinity: Original Sin is an outstanding game that does the series justice. It maintains all the beauty of the previous releases without compromising their integrity, and it delivers the type of gameplay that strategy gamers crave.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #57
Larian Studios have just announced in a Kickstarter update that next week will be the week the beta of Divinity Original Sin will become available.
This year, April is bringing more than mere showers: The beta version of Divinity: Original Sin is nearly ready for launch and will hit Steam the week of April 1 (no jokes!).
Those of you who have been making careful rounds of the alpha world will be excited to find the following:
- New region unlocks
- Hugely expanded character creation options, including visuals and presets
- Tons of new talents
- A new cache of new skills and spells
- Better AI and new enemy tactics
- Hundreds of bugfixes
- New and upgraded visuals, special effects, and music
- Improved loading times and stability
- Improved cooperative dialog systems
To explain lots more about what's going on in the beta, Swen did a tour of the office and let the developers speak for themselves about what their departments have been up to:
If you watch the video, you'll find a nugget of wistfulness among the litany of good news:
Some bad news can be found in the message as well as they had to drop day/night cycles due to time and budget constraints. Swen talks more in his blog about the difficult decision this was.
My main regret for D:OS is that we didn’t manage to do the day/night cycles. Killing your darlings never is fun, but it is an inevitable part of production. I guess we always figured that, if anything, this would be the one we’d cut. Up until not-so-long ago however, I did have some hope that we were still going to be able to make it happen.
Some have always considered overestimation driven by a good dose of optimism to be Larian’s biggest “problem,” but to be quite honest, I’ve never agreed. Instead, I’ve always thought of it as one of our best qualities.
“Who dares, wins,” “Optimism is a moral duty,” “No sweat no glory” – these are all part of the ideas at the core of Larian’s credo. We tend to feel that something that looks almost impossible deserves its fair chance at being realized. As long as we can put an adverb like “almost” in front of the “impossible”.
The thing that forced our hand in the end is the size of our buglist. Despite having made quite a few RPGs already, I’m still impressed by what’s being reported.
It’s not the quantity that’s scary per se (we’re used to large numbers like this, and we are making an RPG, after all) – but the types of bugs we’re seeing are in a category of their own.
The freedom we give players, coupled with the fact that we are introducing a unique type of cooperative multiplayer, makes for a very complicated quality assurance experience. You just have to look at a few of the “Let’s Play” videos to see that the level of imagination of players apply to abusing our game is boundless.
If you’ve been following my blog a bit, you’ll know I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Being able to not only handle but encourage this abuse is what makes Divinity: Original Sin unique.
But sometimes, when I’m really tired, I silently wonder…
Maybe we should’ve gone for linear storytelling through fixed cut scenes with nice, easily manageable bottlenecks.
And oh yeah, maybe we shouldn’t have allowed the player to kill everybody.
Or steal quest items.
Or do everything in whatever sequence they want to…
Life would be so much easier.
But then I watch another one of those “Let’s Play” videos, and I know it’s worth every bit of effort. You may think I’m joking, but that’s really how it goes– I’m quite obsessed with this game but I constantly question what we’re doing so I often need to re-convince myself.
That’s why it took a lot for me to commit to dropping the day/night schedules and stick with the NPC routines we have now.
The money we received from Kickstarter and Steam Early Access has gone a very long way to improve the overall game experience and we could never have made a game with such a deep and involved RPG experience if it wouldn’t have been for our backers.
It makes it all the more difficult to disappoint those who were looking forward to NPC schedules reacting to day/night. But the realization that we need all of our energy to polish the game is strong.
We do not want to release a game that has as many bugs as Divinity II: Ego Draconis had upon release; that would lead to an even bigger disappointment. When people install the release version of Divinity: Original Sin, we want them to have fun right away and not have to worry about technical issues. Entertaining people is why we’re in this industry.
Original Sin - Going for the Kill
Although no reference to a game is given, this video shows an animation of what the author of the video (jesse Cox) did when he played Original Sin at Larian's. He went about and killed everyone and everything that could give him a quest.
Original Sin - Preview @ Red Bull
Red Bull has taken a closer look at Divinity Original Sin and liked what they saw. The article combines a preview and an interview with Larian Studios' Swen Vincke.
Which isn't to say that Original Sin has to be played with diplomacy foremost in mind. Even in its alpha stage of development, the all-important combat system ticks the two critical boxes for any modern top-down RPG: good looks and complexity. This being a game about magic and wizards, brawls between our heroes and the trolls, zombies and mean-spirited wizards they encounter are all fireballs zinging back and forth, things exploding with lightning and glowing buff spells that heal allies or put them out if they should catch fire (which, as protagonists in a fantasy game, they frequently will).
But the spells and their different elemental effects are there to do more than just look slick. In the gameplay demo we see, the two heroes are badly outnumbered (and outgunned) by a Fire Elemental and an undead horde of zombies and ambulatory skeletons. One player summons an Ice Elemental – a towering frozen bullet-sponge who does a good job distracting the enemies and soaking up all their arrows and destructive magic for all of one turn, before it explodes into shards under the punishment.
Original Sin - Video Preview @ Video Gamer
Video Gamer has a new video preview for Divinity: Original Sin that wonders if the game is the saviour of the Classic RPG. So whats your opinion on the topic everyone?
Divinity: Original Sin is Larian Studio's attempt to reinvent the old-school turn based RPG. This ambitious Kickstarter funded project has been available on Steam early-access since January, so Jim decided to see how it was coming along.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update # 56
Larian Studios has posted the next post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin. The update talks about the game delay. and a new Alpha update.
Spring is coming, but an alpha update is here.
In nature, the coming of spring is marked by longer days, warmer afternoons, and sightings of the first tender sprouts of nature's bounty.
At Larian Studios, the coming of spring is marked by impatient emails, a QA department inching rapidly toward the dark side of the Smeagol-Gollum continuum, and a wild Swen who's managed to replace most of his bodily fluids with caffeinated beverages.
Nevertheless, we're very happy to bring a new alpha/ Early Access update implementing lots of community feedback and revealing a variety of new features, improvements, and system enhancements.
Furthermore, we're excited to share two "spoiler" videos from the press discussing the game at length and showcasing several never-before-seen regions.
And stay tuned! This will be the last update before we make a new region of Cyseal, featuring new characters, combat, and (main) questing available for the alpha.
They also posted a new update video with some information on the the changes.
- Enemies now enjoy smarter target selection, meaning you'll no longer reap the benefits of what you thought was simple orcish idiocy.
- Combat now offers decreased experience points. You'll have to flex your muscles a bit more to get that next level-up! In addition, fewer ability points may mean an existential crisis (and a push to explore, fight, and quest even more) for the wizard who dreamed of being a charming, telekinetic, body-building powerhouse.
- You'll be able to plan fireball launches, winter blasts, and earthquakes with more precision now that skill previews have been implemented, meaning you'll see exactly how and where your spell will launch before you commit to it.
New (unfinished, but still very cool) music added
The hills are alive with the sound of Kirill! Our composer has leant some new music tracks for this update. Expect further improvements before launch, but these should add some new flavour to the areas you'll be exploring.
Statuses! Statuses everywhere!
Stoic heroes be damned! Now you can enjoy (or not) the thrill of being Chilled, Warm, Burning, Wet, Bleeding, Crippled, Blind, Cursed, Weak, Invisible, Slowed, Hasted, Raged, Lucky, Diseased, Infectious Disease, Fortified, Petrified, Blessed or Drunk.
Be careful! Each of these statuses will affect game play in some way. It may be fun stumbling around Cyseal as a drunken Source Hunter with increased luck, but be wary of your decreased initiative and intelligence. (Also, that buff to charm is only in your mind. Trust us on this one.)
Improvements to generic behaviours
Our in-house puppet masters have been hard at work regulating and improving the way NPCs react to you. Acts like theft, vandalism, murder, and breaking out of jail will now have more consistent consequences.
Larian Studios - Educating Players
Larian Studios Swen Vincke has posted a new update on his blog with his opinion on how to educate players of his game. I found it to be a good read once again.
Here is a part of the post so make sure to read the link for the rest it.
I’m doing the press tour thing again, spending some time in the US, France, Poland and Russia, demoing the game to several media outlets. You can watch some of the output here, here or here. There’s also a big interview with me here in case you want to know about what’s driving us, where we’re hoping to go and where I think RPGs went wrong. More is coming but it’s essentially the same presentation in various incarnations.
I need to admit that I did pretty much everything I could think of to avoid this particular tour. I really didn’t want to go because I was loath to leave my family behind. They already don’t see me much these days and I cherish every moment I have with them. But our young PR manager can be a tyrant and he put a lot of pressure on me to show up at these media outlets.
“Game Informer will never write about us” I told him and he replied “Yep, if the PR manager shows up, that’s for sure, but maybe if you show your face that may make a difference”
I have to commend him because it turns out he was right.
While I still don’t know if Game Informer will write about us in their magazine, I do know that if we hadn’t made the trip to bitter-cold Minneapolis, the reporters over there wouldn’t have paid a lot of attention to Divinity:Original Sin, if at all. Now at least they’ve been sufficiently tickled to give the game a shot and play it together in cooperative multiplayer.
It seems to be a repeating pattern.
Information aboutLarian Studios
Original Sin - Inteview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviews Swen Vincke to talk about the near-closure of his studio, Divinity:Original Sin's future, and gender parity.
RPS: Conventional wisdom used to say that no one wanted these sorts of games anymore. And you’ve gone from making Ego Draconis, which was much more an RPG fused with an action game to Original Sin. But this is like, by many standards, a niche within a niche. You’re making a very specific type of game. Are you at all worried about a worst case scenario? A small crowd buys it and loves it, and everyone else says, “eh, not my thing”?
Vincke: Yeah. But you know, they’ve always said that about every single game I’ve made. From Divinity 1 onward. They went on to sell really a lot of units. We’ve calculated Divinity II sales at, what, 1.3 million units? That’s not a small crowd anymore. Divinity 1 must be over a million units now if you take the entire life cycle into account. That’s a lot of people already. I refuse to believe that our players currently are the only ones who want to have an evolution of the RPG genre as it existed and that was cut off. It was cut off because it turned out that the action-RPGs sold easier and were easier to make.
I personally think that, in the early 2000s, RPGs were cut off, because there were a number of production values that went up, and it was impossible to… Well, it was possible, but it was decided not to do it by the powers that be. So the genre stopped evolving. This was the case for a lot of genres. Now we have the resurgence of the indies. We have Steam Early Access and Kickstarter. Suddenly we have games that nobody would have ever invested in. Like Wasteland 2, for instance. Do you really think a publisher would have put a dollar into that? No. Look at it, how it’s soaring up the charts. That’s conventional wisdom for you.
The guys that have the conventional wisdom, I’m sorry, but I never agreed with them back then and I still don’t agree with them nowadays. It’s easy to go along the beaten path, but then you’re not going to have any evolution in games. You’ll have rehashes of the same thing over and over. There’s a lot of gamers out there, more gamers than ever, and they’re looking for a little bit more intelligent content. That’s where we want to be with this one
Original Sin - Early Access Preview @ The Reticule
The Reticule is the next site that to preview the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin. I'll quote a small part of the preview below.
My experiences with the combat have been very mixed so far, the systems work well in the turn-based environment and I particularly like how elemental spells can have a knock-on effect, so sending a lighting bolt to an enemy standing in water will cause some serious damage. So far though I’ve come across a few too many battles where I am too heavily outnumbered against more powerful foes. Whether I’m missing something during my character creation, I don’t know, but that is my one sticking point so far.
Original Sin - Lets Play Video @ GameSpot
GameSpot is the next to post a video playing the Alpha with a few developers from Larian Studios. Here is the video and a brief description.
Kevin Van Ord is joined by the folks from Larian Studios to get a look at Divinity: Original Sin.
Original Sin - Lets Play Videos @ RPS
I corralled Larian in my very own (adoptive) hometown of San Francisco, and we played the opus-in-the-making’s latest build. I had to pre-record this one sans a camera, unfortunately, but Larian head Swen Vincke showed me nearly two hours of late-game (read: not in the alpha) gameplay and discussed how players can kill every NPC and still progress, non-violent approaches, how Larian *wants* us to break its systems, how it plans to avoid another disastrous Divinity II: Ego Draconis-style launch (despite some rather pressing bugs in the current version), comedy in a normally self-serious genre, talking to animals, and gobs more. This one is now near the top of my most-anticipated list.
Original Sin - Spring Is Coming
A new video has been made available for Divinity Original Sin showing what will be coming your way this spring. The video shows amongst others new landscapes and creatures.
Sneak preview of what's to come this Spring for Divinity: Original Sin. Now on Steam Early Access. The world is growing ever more vast and more interactive, and here you'll find a first look at some of Rivellon's previously unseen fairytale landscapes and creatures. If you pay close attention, you'll find that it's not only your elemental powers, but also tempestuous weather that can shift the winds in combat.
Does this mean the game will be available this spring or that the next update of the alpha/beta will have this?
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #55
Larian Studios has posted the next post-funding update for Divinity: Original Sin. The update talks about what changes have been made to the Alpha version.
What new features have been implemented?
Watch Swen showcase the following updates in the video below or read on for an overview of the things that kept us occupied these last weeks:
Affinity and Affection:
Scarlett and Roderick (or Jane and Joe; Joe and Joe; Lady Redgrables and Dame Rothschilders; or however else you'd like to name/ engender them after today's update) will now have opportunities to explore their like or dislike for one another via our brand new Affinity and Affection system. Certain in-game events (like levelling up, healing one another, and landing a killing blow in-battle) will occasionally trigger co-op dialogues in which your heroes can explore the trust, friendship, and affinity they, at your discretion, may share.
As the game progresses, the timbre of these dialogues will change depending on how your heroes respond to one another. They may become enemies, business associates, friends, or even lovers depending on how you develop them.
You are now free to customise the gender, hair colour, skin colour, and names of your starting heroes in our improved character creation system.
The options available in our current character creation system are limited, but many more features will be added soon. Before too long, you can expect to start your party with a fully-customisable pair of heroes.
Now, in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, you'll have a log automatically tracking which actions you've performed (finding items, casting spells, levelling up, etc.) as well as cataloguing any automatic dialogue you might have missed.
This history log will be very handy in understanding the rules systems that are at the game's heart. And of course, the better you understand the rules, the better you'll be able to exploit the game's systems to your advantage.
Changes to rules and systems:
Action Points: The Action Points available to you at the beginning of combat now depend on your Initiative (that is, Perception and Speed). The number of Action Points available to you in subsequent rounds depends on your Speed. You can still save Action Points and shift them to the next round, but the maximum amount of Action Points you can collect is determined by your Constitution.
Intelligence no longer lowers the Action Point cost of all skills - it only lowers the Action Point cost of elemental skills.
Warrior skills get Action Point bonuses from Strength, and Ranger skills get Action Point bonuses from Dexterity.
Abilities: The ability Reflexes has been removed. If you want to have a chance to evade attacks, you need to invest in Dexterity. Intelligence no longer gives extra Ability points. Perception now also determines you Critical Chance.
User Interface: Tabs will help you organise your inventory by item type.
In dialogue, your clickable options will disappear after you've selected them, making it easier for you to organise which dialogue options you've already seen and which you haven't.
Map Markers will help you navigate Cyseal, so no more barging into the Legion barracks expecting to question the Duke at the King Crab Inn.
Improved skills feedback will alert you with handy information, like where teleporting is impossible and where you might not be able to cast a certain spell, and improved tooltips will give you a better handle on your gear.
Certain missing equipment models have been added, so now your wizard can finally enjoy a real robe instead of trundling around in nothing but his/her underpants.
Original Sin - Larian Helps Fan Propose
Since its Valentines day here is news about Larian, and how they helped a fan propose to his girlfriend in the Divinity: Original Sin Alpha.
When Daniel learned that one of his girlfriend's favorite game developers produced a game in which you can create your own stories to play with friends, he hatched a brilliant plan to win her heart...
You can imagine that we never expected to become a wedding agency when we started developing Divinity: Original Sin, yet that's exactly what's happened.
As we've been developing Divinity:Original Sin we've already played host to several proposals via the game's cooperative dialog system and we have a backlog of prospective husbands and wives looking to surprise their future better halves with unforgettable in-game proposals.
Divinity:Original Sin will release with a game editor so we can't wait to see what creative custom campaigns hopeful lovers will make to impress their beloveds.
Thank you to Daniel and Dolores for allowing us to share this moment with you.
Original Sin - Release Date News @ Gamereactor
Gamereactor has news on the planned release date for Original Sin is April 25.
The German publisher of Divinity: Original Sin has confirmed to Gamereactor that they're planning a slightly later than expected release date for Larian Studios' crowdfunded isometric-RPG. The game, which is currently available in an unfinished state on PC via Steam Early Access (there's currently no Early Access version for Mac owning gamers), will get its official launch on April 25.
Sounds incorrect to me. What do you all think?
Icewind Dale 2 - Video Retrospective
Josh Sawyer has posted a video retrospective of Icewind Dale 2.
Answering this question: "Hi Josh, if don't mind, please answer my question! Icewind Dale 2 was released more than ten years ago, it was the last Infinity Engine game and the first game that you worked on as a lead designer (as far as I know). What do you think about it in retrospect? What things would you have done differently, if you had to work on it now?"
Information aboutIcewind Dale 2
SP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Alpha Preview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has another preview of the Alpha version of Divinity: Original Sin.
While it remains to be seen whether Original Sin manages to be the Ultima successor that both Larian and I want it to be, it's in with a fighting chance. Much rests on how it develops its elemental mechanics and main storyline, and if and how decisions you make come to influence what comes later. So far, it's the best attempt I've played in a long while, and one that offers plenty of hope that Larian can pull it off. Certainly, it's the first Divinity game that has hooked me in like I've wanted since the series began, to the point that I feel sad that - rough as it inevitably is - it's only a slice of the game. That's a great start for a RPG with big ambitions, and I eagerly look forward to continuing the quest in the spring.