Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin Review
Corwin checked out Divinity: Original sin at his own pace and came back with a fine article about the game.
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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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Recent info pages and articles
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Icewind Dale - Retrospective @ PCGamesN
Jeremy Peel of PCGamesN posted a new retrospective for Icewind Dale.
Icewind Dale was Black Isle’s attempt to bash out a quick action RPG in Baldur's Gate's Infinity Engine. Because they were the studio who'd built Fallout, however, they failed miserably: accidentally making a coherent world of Faerun's northern wastes, and filling its dungeons with tangled networks of tactical battles. It’s still one of the best mistakes you can play on the PC today.
Icewind DaleSP/MP: Single + MP
Original Sin - Patch v126.96.36.199 Released
Larian Studios released the promised patch from the last update on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin that adds the new cloud save system, and fixes a a few more bugs.
It’s time for the first update of 2015!
In addition to a number of bug fixes (thank you for all your feedback!), we’ve gone through all of the encounters in the game and made a ton of balancing changes that we think will make combat even more fun. We’ve also activated the Steam Cloud saves, and we have good news! PC & Mac savegames are compatible. For the modders out there, we can finally release the exporters that will allow you to import your own models and animations into the game.
Here’s the list of the most important changes and a few important remarks about Cloud saving:
When you enable cloud for Divinity: Original Sin, you will see your cloud quota in the save/load screens. Only new savegames will be uploaded to the cloud as they have a new, compressed format. So if you need your latest saves on the cloud, you will have to load them and resave. You will then see a cloud icon next to them. Hover over the different statuses in the save/load screen to see what will be added and removed from the cloud. You can remove saves manually from the cloud by deleting them via the in-game menu. Furthermore, the game will remove older saves from the cloud automatically when you have run into the max amount of cloud save data. Keep in mind that if you use the Steam Cloud for Original Sin, you will be uploading data on a regular basis if you make a lot of saves. Upload speeds will depend on your Internet connection.
Original Sin - Best Indie Game @ RPG Site
RPG Site has awarded Divinity: Original Sin three awards. The first award is for Best Indie Game, the second for Best Big Screen, and the third was for Best Overall game.
The past couple of years have brought upon a bit of a renaissance when it came to the cRPG genre thanks in large part to the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter. The likes of Wasteland, Shadowrun, and Torment have all seen very successful campaigns thanks to help of a very hungry player base whose needs have not been met in the better part of a decade that coalesced around the timing of Black Isle Studios’ original closing.
What Divinity offers up more than many games of the genre in recent memory is player choice in the truest sense of the word, promoting the practice of role-playing especially during conversation. You can decide whether to work with your party or against your party while talking to NPCs, and their feelings towards you will change as a result and affect the rest of the game. The developers also seem to encourage bending the rules, whether that means attacking enemies before a proper encounter or wiping out entire towns to satiate your bloodlust.
The turn-based combat is incredible. There are so many ways to manipulate the environment to work against the enemy to create some fascinating combination attacks. There is also a fun dynamic where one can mix and match the different base elements to do things such as create traps in order to capitalize. It’s easily the best part of the experience and provided plenty of incredibly tense moments with a nice sense of accomplishment.
By pulling the best parts from the classic titles in its genre to build its own modern interpretation while also paving its own path sure to help the series grow into something fun and exciting that’s accessible to both veterans and newcomers, Divinity: Original Sin is an easy choice for our Overall Game of the Year award of 2014. Plus, there’s a full-scale editor (the same one the devs used) and the Steam Workshop waiting for you once the game is over.
Original Sin - Interview @ Venturebeat
In-case you missed out votes for GOTY Divinity: Original Sin was both our team members, any our sites pick for 2014. The reason why is Fan feedback helped shape the game.
Heather Newman of VentureBeat even has a new interview about ths topic.
Larian Studios developers didn’t start out expecting to use fan input for their fantasy role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin, which recently completed its journey from Kickstarter to retail.
After all, Divinity wasn’t designed as a massively multiplayer RPG, where developers could make lots of iterations down the road. They were making a traditional, write-once-and-release RPG.
But then the player suggestions poured in during the Kickstarter campaign, beta testing, early access, and digital release.
“We realized quickly that if we’d listen to these suggestions, we’d have a much better game, so the decision was easy to take,” Larian founder Swen Vincke said.
In the end, Larian incorporated more than 130 player suggestions Original Sin, contributing to its strong review scores and earning it a place on store shelves in December.
“Every day, we compiled all the feedback across communities and sat together deciding what we were going to do and what not,” Vincke said. The task list ended up holding 872 changes players wanted to see.
The result was a PC and Mac game that GamesBeat Managing Editor Jason Wilson called “the best role-playing experience of the year” for 2014.
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #66
The Kickstarter page for Divinity Original Sin has been updated with the news that they have won the Gamespot PC game of the year award, being named by RPS the Bestest Best Kickstarter of 2014 and winning the Best RPG in Spain. For this update they also made a 16 minute video:
This also contains info on using DOS with a controller, the hardcore mode, the economy of the game, redesigning how the main story is told and the stories of the companions, banter between the companions, the Linux version, tweaks to the engine to better utilize high power gaming rigs, perfermonce improvements which also could allow creation of persistent campaigns, positions for a job at Larian Studios and the new RPG(s) for which there is actually no news.
In addition there is also a 9 minute video in which they look back to what happened in 2014.
Larian Studios - Updating D:OS & New RPGs
According to a new blog post, Larian Studios has ambitious plans for 2015. While they are celebrating Divinity: Original Sin's critical and financial success, they are not resting on their laurels:
Progress can only be made if you’re aware of your faults and intend to do something about it, so explaining our plans starts with explaining what I think sucked about D:OS and more importantly, why those sucky things made it to the final game....
Anyway, can you guess what is keeping us busy for the moment?
Yep, we’re fixing parts of the story, improving the UIs, revisiting the encounters, rebalancing the loot, rewriting certain dialogs, adding extra feedback, looking at what we can do to fix character progression, improving the companions etc…
Of course, this is only the beginning, as Larian is expanding their team size and even starting a new office in Quebec City. Why all of this expansion?
Fixing things is not all we’re doing however, far from it. We’re not hiring all those people just to transform D:OS in a better experience, no, obviously we’re also working on our new RPGs.
Notice the ‘s’. It’s intentional and while I’d love to tell you more about them, I need to refrain for fear of losing whatever press momentum we’ll be able to muster when we’ll announce them. But there’s one I thing I can already tell you, and it fits well with the second big thing we’re doing to improve the quality of our future offerings – both RPGs are being built on top of the D:OS engine.
So new RPGs are incoming from Larian! Sadly, more information will have to wait.
Original Sin - Gamespot's PC Game of The Year
Gamespot has named Divinity: Original Sin their PC game of the year, and before I forget, thanks Joxer for bringing this to my attention earlier today. Here are the details.
If you haven't played Divinity: Original Sin but have only seen screenshots, it would be easy to dismiss its success as owing to its grab at PC-enthusiast nostalgia. That isometric perspective? A party of four? They recall the good-old days of Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate II. Could a game really be blamed for appealing to our fondness for the past?
In the case of Divinity, however, appearances are deceiving. What makes Divinity special isn't how closely it hews to an old recipe, but how far it deviates from it. This is a game in which the most innocuous of choices have consequences that you may not have foreseen, but which nonetheless make sense within this internally consistent and varied world. Making decisions in Divinity isn't a matter of following dialogue paths to predesignated story beats, but about deciding whether a conversation is even worth having in the first place. And should that conversation occur, it's up to your own personal gifts of persuasion--and a little bit of luck--to determine whether it will go your way. Violence is an option, but it's not the only one.
Violence is nevertheless an enjoyable option, however, thanks to Divinity's excellent turn-based combat, which harbors surprises of its own, most of them due to elemental reactions that could blow up your entire party if you aren't paying close attention to your surroundings. In Divinity: Original Sin, every encounter, every discussion, every step into the unknown is an event. And you know a game is special when you know that the simplest of choices might create lasting, heart-pounding, game-changing drama.
Original Sin - Retail Boxed Version Available
Larian Studios announces that you can now buy a boxed retail copy of Divinity: Original Sin at all major US retailers. Again here are the details from a press release.
Divinity: Original Sin Conquers America
The little RPG that could, Divinity: Original Sin, began as an idea funded by the
fans. From there it proceeded to a critically-acclaimed launch on Steam, and now it rolls into all major US retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target just in time for Christmas.
Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone (or for an excuse to ignore
your uncle's political opinions at dinner)? Divinity: Original Sin features a 50 hour campaign - and co-op, if you want to bring a friend! - and the retail version is patched and available at major retail stores near you when you need an excuse to get out of the house. It also comes with the Source Hunter DLC included, for even more relative-avoiding action, and all for just $39.99.
The end of this journey requires a small celebration and the Larian team put
together this video to commemorate their journey from Kickstarter to major
retailers and to show how the feedback from the fans helped to shape the game.
Divinity: Original Sin is also available in major digital outlets including Steam.
For more information on Divinity: Original Sin, visit:
Larian Studios - A Larian T-Shirt Campaign
Larian Studios are using RedditMade to run a campaign for selling Larian Studios T-Shirts. The cost of a shirt is $20, unless you are a very big boy or girl, in which case the extra fabric will cost you. Sales of the shirts isn't going fast at the moment apparently, still if you want a Larian shirt or support Larian in some way, this is your opportunity.
Original Sin - Mac Version Released
Larian Studios announced that you can now buy the Mac version of Divinity: Original Sin on the Mac App Store. Here is the information sent in a new press release.
Divinity: Original Sin hits the Mac App Store
Larian Studios announced today that the best-selling RPG Divinity: Original Sin is now available on the Mac App Store.
This edition of the game has been optimized for OS X Yosemite and Mac hardware, including desktops like the Mac Mini and iMac, as well as a special laptop-optimized mode for MacBook hardware that also supports gesture controls.
It features all the latest patches to ensure a smooth experience and sports a free content pack that includes The Bear and the Burglar DLC.
Check it out on the Mac App Store now:
For more information on Divinity: Original Sin, visit: http://www.divinityoriginalsin.com/
Original Sin - New Twitch Stream
Original Sin - New Patch, T-shirts & Boxes
Larian released a new update on the games kickstarter page with information about a new patch, and talk about physical boxes finally coming to US retailers.
A new patch
We just released a big update for Divinity:Original Sin that includes over a 150 fixes. The full changelist is too big to list here, but you can find all the details on our forums. This update should fix a lot of the smaller lingering bugs and also address a number of balancing issues.
Physical boxes coming to US retail!
That’s right! To the surprise of everybody at Larian we’ll actually have boxes of Divinity:Original Sin in stores in the US during the X-mas holidays.
It turns out that we misjudged the market and that there was quite some demand.
We’ll let you know the exact release details and which chains are participating once we received all the confirmations.
Development is continuing with things like the Linux version and the hardcore mode still on our lists, but as we want to do this thoroughly, it will still take some time before we’re ready.
The Linux version especially suffered an extra delay as a result of our porting team having to fix a number of compatibility issues that popped up with the release of Yosemite. Whereas we initially hoped to get the Linux version done this year, it looks like it’ll be the beginning of next year now.
We know that’ll disappoint a few among you but bear in mind that we’re doing a real port just like we did with the Mac version.
Larian Studios - New RPG Tease
Swen Vincke of Larian Studios posted a short message on Twitter about a new RPG.
So excited about what we just came up with - if we pull it off, our next RPG is going to be too cool. Can't wait to play!
So speculate away. WHAT do you think their next RPG will be?
Larian Studios - The Halo Effect
Larian Studios Swen Vincke has a post on his blog where he talks about the decline of kickstarter, and mentions he is open to the idea to doing crow-funding once again.
Not so long ago, in fact, just a few weeks ago when I posted my last blog entry, I said that Kickstarter might not be the right route for our future projects. I argued that it’s a limited pool and that it would be wrong for us to fish in it if our games are earning sufficient money for us to invest in our future projects.
I immediately received a few strong reactions, both publicly but also privately about how I got it all wrong, and that in fact I should steer Larian back to Kickstarter. The reasoning is that successful crowdfunding projects send more people to the crowdfunding scene and that benefits the smaller projects. This is referred to as the “halo effect” and one particular bright person compared it to “a restaurant sitting alone or on a block with many others. They all do better with more traffic”.
And he ends his post with the following quote.
Crowd funding is a wonderful invention and something that has changed the lives of many independent developers. It has rekindled innovation in an over-consolidated market where the traditional powers now have you pay extra to fight the coolest bosses. It should be cherished and protected at all costs and gamers would do well to prefer buying their games via crowd funding lest they find themselves playing games designed by whoever talks best at some marketing meeting.
So, if it indeed is the case that a return to crowd funding by past success stories helps boost the scene then I’m all pro. Only fools and dead men don’t change their minds.
I would very much appreciate hearing your thoughts about this, especially if you’re somebody who crowd funded before. Is it ok for a company who’s enjoyed a certain level of success thanks to a crowd funding to return to crowd funding? Is it something that should be encouraged so that more people discover crowd funding? Or is something that should be discouraged because the pool of crowd funding is limited?
Original Sin - Minor Update for 1.0.177
Larian Studios released a new hotfix patch on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin that fixes a few problems from the last patch. Anyway here are the small changes.
If you see any update flash by today, we fixed two missing dialogs for French, Russian and German. We also removed "zero width space" characters from all text in the game because our font does not support it and would show a square.
RPGWatch Feature - Divinity: Original Sin Review
With everything that has been said about Divinity: Original Sin in the reviews that have appeared over the last months, what is there left to say?
Not that much, so Corwin penned down a review focusing on some elements of the game, leaving the rest for yourself to discover.
Where would an rpg be without combat? Here there is plenty and fortunately, it's one of the outstanding strengths of the game. Everything is tactics, EVERYTHING. From your use of the terrain, the choice of weapons, spells, order, focus and various combinations of all of the above, you have to be continually aware of everything that is happening and plan ahead how you will deal with every eventuality. Let me offer a simple example. While a summoned water elemental will do good damage against a fire creature, it won't last long, but on the other hand, a summoned fire elemental won't do much damage in the same situation, but it will last a long time and perhaps prevent the fire creatures from attacking your main characters while they deal with someone (or something) else. Some enemies are healed by elemental attacks, while others are totally invulnerable to all attacks and must be avoided. The good news is that anything you can do to them, they can do to you and the AI is usually quite effective.
Divine Divinity - Inspired Marketing Edition
The Rampant Coyote's latest post gives his opinion on the unreleased Divinity: The Sword of Lies. It was the original name for Divine Divinity that was changed.
As I’ve become a little bit of a Larian fanboy, I found myself looking up more information on the Divinity series. It was years before I tried the original game. Try as I might, the name “Divine Divinity” sounded absolutely ridiculous, and in a totally lame display of judging a book by its cover, I assumed that the stupid title revealed a foreign company that had poor grasp of English, and a poor grasp of what would make a good game.
Now, I should know better. I’ve worked with publishers before. I’d heard how the publishers had dictated many elements of the gameplay to Larian. Going back recently and doing a tiny bit of research, I discovered this story, from Larian itself:
“Long story short – contract had Divinity: The Sword of Lies in it. Publisher revised it to Divinity: The Sword of Lies (working title). The day the contract was signed, we were informed the new name was going to be Divine Divinity, courtesy of the CEO who just made tons of cash with Sudden Strike and now figured that any new title needed to have an alliteration in it, or so we were told.
“We told them that was a stupid idea. They didn’t like us telling them it was a stupid idea and they were also the ones checking our milestones so eventually we had to shut up, especially when inevitably we were late with a particular milestone. End of story, the person who came up with it indeed had poor taste in names and I agree that it probably cost us a lot of sales – most people thought it was a porn game.”
Divinity: Sword of Lies would have been a pretty cool title. Maybe not one that attracted me to the game, but certainly not one that would make me dismiss it. I can’t say the title cost them a sale, but I can’t say it didn’t.
But now you know the secrets of 80% of the game marketing gurus out there. I’ve known a handful of pretty sharp ones, but at least in the 90s when I was more closely involved in that side of things, this was exactly how things ran. One more reason to be happy about the indie revolution. Sometimes its nice, in the midst of the crap we have to deal with now, to remember just how much crap we left behind.
So now, I’m sorry, Larian, for assuming you were responsible for the crappy title. I knew you had to make compromises based on publisher demands and budgetary constraints in other areas, so I should have given you the benefit of the doubt.
Divine DivinitySP/MP: Single-player
Divinity: Original Sin - Polish Now Available
Larian Studios released a short post on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin with information you can now play the game in Polish. Here is the short update.
For those of you that speak Polish: rejoice! You can now play Original Sin in Polish!
For those of you that do not speak Polish: you can also try to play it in Polish, but it's one tough language, let me tell you. In any way, we fixed a couple of small issues in English, French, German and Russian as well. (E.g. typos, magically generated items in English...)