Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity: Original Sin II Review
Maylander played through Divinity: Original Sin 2 twice, before penning down his findings
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Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity: Original Sin II Preview
Finally at Gamescom we were shown the Undead.
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I don't care, I like them all
I don't like combat
Baldur's Gate 3 - News Roundup
Wccftech reports that Baldur's Gate 3 will feature large staging areas.
Last month Larian Studios finally pulled the curtain back on Baldur’s Gate 3, revealing over an hour of detailed gameplay footage. Of course, Dungeons & Dragons fans are a pretty serious bunch, and so a lot of questions remain. Thankfully, Larian head honcho Swen Vincke, producer David Walgrave, BG3 lead writer Adam Smith, and more took to Reddit to participate in an AMA. They covered a wide range of topics, some of which will only be of interest to hardcore D&D nerds, but I collected up some of the more interesting revelations, below.
First up, Walgrave spoke briefly about the size and scope of the Baldur’s Gate 3 world, implying it won’t quite be an open world, but a series of large staging areas…
Venture Beat reports that Goblins can be friends not fodder in an interview with Adam Smith.
GamesBeat: It’s funny you’re talking about that, because you look at the goblins, and they’re full-fledged characters. They’re not just little monsters shouting “Bree-yark!” you have to deal with.
Smith: And some people will never realize that. You can meet the goblins and become immediately hostile and kill them all. And you think — the goblins are really close to my heart. I really like them. I’m genuinely fond of the goblins, and I get laughed at a lot for it. But we did so much research on goblin culture. The latest Volo’s Guide actually is great on goblins. It gives you a story, and it’s a story of people who are very close to the bottom of the food chain, who are bullied and enslaved. We take them and we say, what is it like to be a goblin? When we’re writing a goblin, a gnoll, any character, I think of them all as characters. We say, what fundamentally can we find in here that makes them individuals? You’ll meet goblins who are very aggressive and they’re bullies, but we want to know why.
PCInvasion has a bit to say about the villains shown so far.
What’s with the brain-worm?
Illithids are hermaphroditic and reproduce through a horrific process called ceremorphosis. Each mind flayer spawns some larvae and leaves them to marinate in elder brain juice for a decade. Surviving larvae are then implanted in a host of roughly human size and shape. The larva then grows and consumes the host’s brain and gradually transforms the host body into an adult illithid. Put two and two together, and it’s likely that the announcement trailer depicts the fate that awaits our hero from the opening cinematic.
Swen Vincke showed us some Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay at PAX East, and it looks like the larva inside our player character’s brain will be a big factor in the story. Obviously, a major plot point is to try and have it removed. But there will be gameplay effects too. The larva can grant special powers and acts as a mental influence on our hero. The protagonist can choose to embrace these powers and urges or resist them. Veteran players will recognize this as similar to the influence of the taint of Bhaal in the previous games. But you won’t be the only one carrying this burden. And one of the other characters in the opening cinematic also carries very interesting story implications.
Screenrant embraces turn-based for Baldur's Gate 3.
Baldur's Gate 3's Combat Embraces D&D
Past the control that a turn-based system gives players, it also appeals to the spirit of D&D even more. Looking at it as simply as possible, D&Ds turns and phases directly translate to the gameplay of a turn-based RPG. However, players also gain total control over their party, meaning they can direct party members however they want. A big part of D&D is meticulously building your character and the options they have. There's an anticipation to each encounter in a game of D&D as you wait for dice-rolls to see how things play out.
Baldur's Gate 3 can capture that same sense of tension by being turn-based. Things don't play out immediately, and that makes battles tense affairs. While Baldur's Gate 3 is turn-based, the nature of it being a video game allows combat encounters to flow much faster and easier than they do in D&D. Larian also feels like a turn-based system simply fits with current D&D better, seeing as how the franchise and ruleset have changed since Baldur's Gate 2. In Screen Rant's interview with Combat Designer Matt Holland he stated,
"A lot has changed in the 20 years since Baldur's Gate II, just in terms of tech and the advancements of gaming, but also inside of the D&D ruleset itself. The original games ran on the Advanced D&D ruleset, and now we're all the way up to the fifth edition. We want to work with the fifth edition ruleset, so going turn-based made more sense on that front. And our last two games used turn-based combat as well, so it made sense for us to bring that into Baldur's Gate."
Baldur's Gate 3 - Continues the Story from Baldur's Gate
Rock Paper Shotgun reports that Baldur's Gate 3 will build up on earlier titles of the series:
Yes, Baldur's Gate 3 will build on the series' existing story, say Larian
Baldur’s Gate 3 is well out of the bag now and despite the lengthy gameplay reveal that Larian hosted at PAX East last month I have oh so many questions. So do you lot, it seems. Larian hosted an AMA yesterday to answer them all and though there were a few things they declined to answer, we’ve mostly rolled well on our Persuasion checks and come out with new details. Most importantly, yes, Baldur’s Gate 3 will continue the story from Baldur’s Gate and its sequel. It isn’t a direct sequel, but Larian say “we wouldn’t call it Baldur’s Gate 3 if there wouldn’t be a link.”
That’s been a big question from the start. A lot of time has passed since the original Baldur’s Gate games developed by BioWare and plenty of time has passed in the Forgotten Realms as well. Larian have hinted previously that we may spot familiar characters but the ways that Baldur’s Gate 3’s actual plot ties back to the earlier games isn’t yet being shared. That hasn’t changed much with this new Q&A, but Larian CEO Swen Vincke did at least assure players that they are connected.
“Let me just say that we touch upon the story of BG 1 & 2 in meaningful ways,” Vincke says. “There are returning characters and what happened in BG 1/2/[Throne of Bhaal] leads to what happens in BG3. You won’t necessarily see that at the start of the adventure, but you will quickly understand once you get further into the game.”
Baldur's Gate 3 - Mind Flayer Space Ships
Episode 142 - In this video we talk about the Spelljammer Campaign Setting! Baldur's Gate 3's opening cinematic features a Nautiloid which is a Mind Flayer Spelljamming ship! We discuss the world of Spelljammer, Mind Flayers, Phlogiston and more! #BaldursGate3
Baldur's Gate 3 - Interview @Wccftech
Wccftech recently interviewed Matt Holland, Combat Designer, and Adam Smith, Senior Writer for Baldur's Gate 3.
I'm just going to come right out swinging. As you guys probably already know, while most folks have enjoyed the reveal [of Baldur's Gate 3], there's been a rather vocal portion of Baldur's Gate fans who didn't feel like this looked like a true sequel. What can you say to assuage their fears that this is actually a Divinity: Original Sin game in disguise?
Matt Holland: Well, there's a few things to that. At Larian, for a very long time, we've been trying to emulate a pen and paper experience and bring it to video games. I think it's just that. If people think it looks like Divinity, it's because we're trying to make that tabletop experience that D&D, well, is.
Adam Smith: It's a continuation of what we have been doing which is to move toward a tabletop experience in a cRPG. For the people who think that it doesn't quite look like they wanted it to look or doesn't quite feel like they hoped it would, then honestly, I would just say to see more of it. I think they'll be convinced pretty quickly. The deeper we go into it, the more and more they'll feel the D&D [influence] and how it's truly the heart of it. The more they see the systems and rule set, they'll start to see we are really using that ruleset. Some of the stuff that they recognize stayed in there because it makes sense in the world. The surfaces and the environmental interactions, we've built on them but it didn't make sense to drop them just because [Baldur's Gate 3] looked like Divinity because Divinity is really good as well. It's a continuation of that but it's D&D to its core lore wise and systems wise.
During the original Divinity: Original Sin crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, the very last stretch goal mentioned a day and night cycle, NPC schedules and weather systems. All of these could have impacted NPCs, monsters and magic. Do you still discuss the possibility of making a truly simulated game world at some point in the future?
Adam: I do in my own head constantly. I think it's a very different game. One of my favorite games of all time is Ultima Seven and it was the first game that I played that had proper NPC behaviors. You could wait for someone to go to the pub and then you could rob their shop. I love stuff like that, but a game that's built like that does very different things. We are very, very story focused as well and there's things that you lose. Also: multiplayer. We're a multiplayer game and day-night cycles in multiplayer becomes incredibly complicated. We're doing so many really complex things already that we know are going to be really good that, on top of that, it wouldn't fit this game.
I love simulated worlds and we have a lot of that stuff in there. We don't do the day-night cycle but we do the things where things in the world happen because you caused them to happen and they can happen off-screen. So, there are things happening off-screen. The world isn't just what you see on your screen. There are events that happen and things that will, because of the choices you've made, things will happen elsewhere. Those are real, those are systemic. Our systems are running in the background the whole time. There are incredibly deep systems. Some of them don't make sense for this game, but yeah, we think about it and we've talked about it.
Baldur's Gate 3 - Interview With David Walgrave
Eurogamer has talked with Baldur's Gate 3 Executive Producer David Walgrave about the gameplay presentation of last week, the relation with Stadia, the Telltale people, some of the choices made during game design and other stuff.
How'd you feel the gameplay presentation went? Happy? There was a lot of chaotic energy...
David Walgrave: Yes! When we do these presentations, we have the script in mind so that we cover everything that we want to cover. Because it doesn't look like it, but we do have a plan with it. And then you enter the chaos factor Swen Vinke, and as a developer your heart stops every time he does something. He goes like, "Oh but I could also try this" and you're going "No! You can't!" [laughs].
So it's always a bit of an adventure but I think - what we are trying to show - is that there are so many options and choices and ways that things can go. And we have actually implemented all of them. What we don't always know is whether they work or not, at this point. But I'm very confident of the systems. So for instance, dialogue choices and scripting, that's something that can break because QA is still going through the game. But systemics is a thing that we've been building up for the last decade or so, and systemics we can trust.
But I do think - or I hope - that from the presentation, you see what we're trying to do with Baldur's Gate.
Baldur's Gate 3 - Will be in Early Access
BellofLostSouls reports that Baldur's Gate 3 will be available in Early Access. This was discovered during a Hasbro held investor event at the New York Toy Fair where Wizard's of the Coast unveiled their digital plans for D&D for the next five years.
Specifically there are 7 games in development: Baldur’s Gate 3 and Dark Alliance are the two that have already been announced, but according to Hasbro, we should be seeing at least one new D&D video game every year from now until 2025. And while there was no mention of the newly opened Archetype Entertainment, the WotC owned game studio working on its own sci-fi project, it was revealed that Baldur’s Gate 3 is scheduled for Early Access later this year, so players will be stepping into the world of mind flayers and Minsc a lot sooner than you might have thought.
Baldur's Gate 3 - Live Stream at Pax East
Larian Studios' Swen Vincke will together with jesse Cox, play Baldurs Gate 3, which for the first time will provide us with some actual gameplay.
We are excited to announce the eagerly anticipated gameplay reveal of Baldur's Gate 3. Our Creative Director Swen Vincke will be playing live on stage with Jesse Cox, revealing more about the story, mechanics, and the answers to much asked questions. With seating for 1000 people, don't worry if you can't make it to the live show, it'll also be streamed on YouTube. For those at PAX, there will also be a short, live Q&A where your questions can be asked and answered.
We will also be present in the expo hall of PAX East, with an all-new booth dedicated to Baldur's Gate 3. At the booth, our team will be serving up live gameplay presentations for the entire weekend, starting after the live show concludes.
Baldur's Gate 3 was announced back at E3 last year, and since then we've have been continuing to grow to 350 people (including outsourcers), and working on new technology and pipelines that allow the team to create a truly next-generation RPG, spanning 100+ hours of content, with all the depth you'd expect, and many surprises along the way that even fans of critically acclaimed Divinity Original Sin 2 won't expect.
Also the board game will be shown at Pax East.
In addition to attending PAX East with our brand spanking new Baldur's Gate 3 booth, we will also be showcasing Divinity: Original Sin - the Board Game with our friends and collaborators from Lynnvander.
Divinity: Original Sin - the Board Game was launched on Kickstarter in November 2019 and hit its funding goal in less than five hours. With the help of 10,565 wonderful backers we raised more than 10 times the original funding goal over the course of the campaign. The game is reaching the final stages of development and we're working closely with Lynnvander to make it the best it can possibly be. Come by the dedicated booth for the board game at booth 20002 and try it for yourself! We'll be running demonstrations all weekend, and the scenario we're showing will not be part of the main game so you won't be spoiling the story for yourself.
If you missed out on the board game Kickstarter we now have late pledging available through our pledge manager CrowdOx here.
Larian Studios - Swen Vincke to receive first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award
Swen Vincke to receive first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award
Even though there’s still over a month to go before the Belgian Game Awards 2020 take place as part of 1UP 2020, we’re already happy to announce that Swen Vincke will receive the very first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony. The award is a celebration of the career and achievements of a game developer who has made an everlasting impact on the #BelgianGamesIndustry, and this man fits the bill perfectly.
As the only soul crazy enough to start a game studio in Belgium during the mid nineties, the sole founder of Larian Studios is effectively the founding father of the #BelgianGamesIndustry. And while he currently runs an internationally renowned studio with 200 employees spread out over three continents, and is creating the sequel to one of the most treasured RPG franchises ever, his road to fame and fortune wasn’t without hardships.
Inspired by the freedom of Richard Garriott’s Ultima series, Larian Studios was founded to create world class role-playing games, yet no publisher believed this new kid on the block would be able to pull that off. While this contributed to the demise of their first RPG project LMK, they struck back with the action RPG’s Divine Divinity (2002) and Beyond Divinity (2004).
Unfortunately, publisher trouble would become a constant in Larian’s history. Divinity II, which had great design ideas like mind reading and the ability to roam the world as a dragon, was pushed out of the door massively undercooked, and got a very poor reception, almost driving the studio out of business. It wasn’t until Vincke unshackled himself from publisher control and turned to crowdfunding, self-publishing, and the community that Larian’s wildest design ideas could blossom into world class RPG’s.
He also pushed his company to the brink of extinction in the process. Going all-in on the development of Divinity: Original Sin was a risky move, but one that ultimately set up the studio for international success and expansion. Upon release, follow-up Divinity: Original Sin 2 was named one of the best RPG’s of all time, an accolade that surely helped Vincke in his quest to obtain the keys to the legendary city of Baldur’s Gate.
Larian Studios - Swen Vincke Interview
An interview with Swen Vincke from November talks about the Malaysian studio and Baldur's Gate 3.
Larian Games, the studio behind RPG classic Baldur's Gate, is opening their doors to Malaysia! We had the chance to speak to CEO Swen Vincke about starting a studio here, working on Baldur's Gate III, and his experience from over 20 years in the gaming industry.
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Original Sin - The Board Game funded!
Divinity Original Sin the Board Game has been funded on Kickstarter:
That was quite a rush!loading...
It took over a year to develop the first prototype and make it to this point, and thanks to you, only four hours to reach our funding goal. But this is just the beginning… well… the middle.
We can’t thank you enough for the adrenaline you’ve thrown our way today, and we’ve spent the day trying to keep up with the velocity of the campaign and what comes next. We have 29 days to cover, and we hear you loud and clear: you’re into it!
So are we. And so with that said, we’ve cooked up a few stretch goals. To tide us all over.
Beast and Lohse, two of Divinity: Original SIn 2’s characters make their way to the game, joining Ifan, Vali, Farzanah, and the infamous Red Prince. Along with these friends comes upgrades for the Summoners of you, featuring two high quality minis, the Incarnate and the Bone Widow.
The good thing about these Stretch goals is that if we reach them, everyone will benefit from them because all stretch goal content is automatically added to your boxes.
Original SinSP/MP: Single + MP
Larian Studios - New Malaysian Studio & BG3 Complexity
IGN interviewed Larian Studios about its new Malaysian Studio and asked about Baldur's Gate 3.
Have you asked the previous developers BioWare and Interplay about making Baldur's Gate 3?
Swen: Well, the team who made previous Baldur's Gate games have spread around but we talked to a whole lot of them. We chatted with them about how to do it. We also talked to the people of Wizards of the Coast obviously since they're the owner of Dungeons & Dragons. So we came up with something that I think it's good. We'll see.
I'm fascinated by how you're able to translate tabletop gameplay to video games. Tabletop games are quite complex already. Will Baldur's Gate 3 has the gameplay mechanics similar to Divinity: Original Sin?
Swen: No, it's not the same as Divinity: Original Sin. It's very different at its core. For me, the biggest difference is probably the class-based gameplay. The similarity, however, is that both Divinity: Original Sin and Baldur's Gate 3 will try to give you a lot of player agency. You decide to do something. The Dungeon Master thinks and says, "Sure, roll D20". They just check and we'll see if it goes or not. That's the fun of it.
We're trying to do the same but in a video game, the game itself becomes the Dungeon Master. So we have to figure out upfront on what you're going to be doing, for example, in terms of stupidity and have the game world reacts to you. That's what we want to try. I think we have cool stuff in there.
Larian Studios - Swen Vincke Talks The Long Road Of Larian Studios
GameInformer interviewed Swen Vincke about the long road of Larian Studios.
How were you even surviving at this point?
Work-for-hire allowed us to survive to the point to look for a publishing deal, but we hated it. We really didn’t like it because we were making really stupid things. Such as these things go, it’s a vicious spiral. We started doing work-for-hire again, and we were lucky. We convinced a major broadcaster in Belgium to give us a lot of money for what the broadcaster thought was going to be a website, but was actually going to be an online game for kids. It had a unique format, sort of like an American Idol for kids. Kids could make movies, animations, cartoons, and dances in the 3D world, send it to the broadcaster, and then the broadcaster showed it on TV. It was innovative back in the day, and we won awards for it, sold it to the BBC, and sold it to several other broadcasters.
We said, “Why don’t we do a big RPG, but this time we fund it ourselves or as much as we can so that we retain control of the IP?” We didn’t have enough money to do all of it. We needed a publisher. We entered into what is known as a cool publishing deal, except I was still naïve back then. We tried to make a game about a dragon that could fly anywhere and land anywhere. We struggled through that and we found another publisher to help us publish this game. We signed it in 2007. It was supposed to come out in 2008. And then the [financial] crisis hits. This publisher suddenly found itself in incredible financial stress, because they had to make all of their money with games like My Little Pony. All that stuff didn’t sell so they were taking tremendous financial hits. They did what a publisher does in those circumstances; they release a game too early. When [Divinity II: Ego Draconis] came to market it wasn’t ready. It got s--- reviews. Almost killed us. Really dark period for the studio.
Baldur's Gate 3 - New Image
IGN reports on a new publicity image for Baldur's Gate 3 which shows an Illithid in a Nautiloid ship.
Larian Studios, the developer behind the recently announced Baldur’s Gate 3, has revealed a new slice of fresh hell from the forthcoming roleplaying game, depicting one of the tentacle-faced, brain-eating psionicists from the race of interplanar slavers called Ilithids — more commonly known as mind flayers.
Though scant on details, the image below reveals an illithid psionically floating through the darkened hallway of a nautiloid ship.