Summer has finally shown itself after a rather gloomy spring here in Los Angeles, and while I could be a normal person and go do normal people things like socializing at bars or whatever it is people do, instead, I slay trolls, zombies, and above all Sourcerers (don't look at me; that's how the game spells it). How did I get to this point in my life? Well, it all started with a Summer Steam sale and an impulse buy.
I really didn't know what to expect with Divinity: Original Sin but I figured it would be like most RPG games, one of those games I could mindlessly run through without much effort... I was delightfully wrong.
Turns out, Divinity is actually a very complex game with a bit of a learning curve if you just dive into it without any knowledge about its talent system and mechanics. It's an incredibly fun game and here are 5 things I learned pretty quick after my first dive through the first act of the game.
1. You have to be choosy about your abilities and not spread yourself too thin.
This might seem like a no-brainer but if you're like me, you like to pick a few random talents that don't necessarily go with your character but are more for utility or fun.
The nice thing about this game is not only do you get to customize two characters in the beginning of the game but you get two more party members of your choosing later and you can switch those other two extras out for others later if they don't work for your game play.
When I initially made my two main characters, I didn't know this and spent points on abilities that seemed useful but I didn't really need on those specific characters. For example, I made a two-handed knight but gave it pickpocketing instead of something more useful like blacksmithing because I like to go around stealing stuff. Seems silly, but at the time I didn't know I would be able to add a rogue to the party later so it seemed fun/useful. I know, I'm a noob. Luckily, there are plenty of awesome YouTube tutorials out there and I stumbled upon TrendKiLLv0's awesome tutorial about what NOT to do when making a character. His video saved my life when I restarted my game. Above is his amazing diagram to show how many points you get for any talents, abilities, and attributes.
2. Not only do you have to read what NPCs are saying but your answers can dictate your abilities.
Maybe it's because I don't usually play games where I have to read every single bit of dialogue *snooze* but usually in games like this, you can skip through most of it. Well, think again with Divinity! The nice thing is that the dialogue in this game isn't boring. All the NPCs have their own personalities, which is rather nice compared to other games, where every other NPC you run by shouts at you about being an adventurer, too, until they took an arrow to the knee.
Another cool feature is that, depending on your dialogue and social standing, you can gain and lose abilities based on your actions and answers. You've seen something close to this in games like Fable or Dragon Age, but Divinity take it to a new level. It's probably one of my favorite features so far as it can really help or hinder each character and their abilities.
And the best part about the dialogue? It's when your characters fight with each other because they have different opinions on certain situations. How do they resolve this? By playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Seriously. This is probably the most fun function when playing with a friend on multiplayer, but there are also AI personalities you can choose for characters you're not controlling at the moment when in single player mode.
3. Stealing is your best source of income.
Steal everything! No joke, it's the best way to make money and get those costly spells and items you covet. It's also a lot of fun because you never know what people are hiding in their chests! The best things to steal if you don't want to waste time is pictures and anything that's golden (goblets, plates, etc). Do this and you'll have the items you want in no time. Another awesome thing to remember is every NPC can trade so make sure to check out everyone's wares! You can do this by asking to see their wares, pressing the trade button on the side of their dialogue box, or pickpocketing them!
4. The quick save button is a life saver.
Once again, probably a no brainer, but you'll be surprised how many times you forget to save after finding an awesome piece of loot and then dying in a fight.
The thing is, the loot system in the game is completely random. So if you got a legendary item in a box, guess what? If you died and forgot to save, it's probably gone. Accidentally bought the wrong item and now have to sell it back for less than you bought it for? Put a point in the wrong ability? Got caught pickpocketing the Legion Commander and he one-shot you? Yes, I did all of these things and cursed at myself each time I had to go back to a point way earlier in the game because I forgot to save.
5. You're going to die...a lot.
Along with number 4, it goes without saying that you should carry resurrection scrolls. This game's fight mechanics are no joke. You make one mistake and it could mean death. The NPCs levels don't scale with your character so if you accidentally aggro one that is too high a level, if you can't flee, you're going to die and it's going to be gruesome.
Just like mentioned before, you're going to make a lot of mistakes. Whether it's from stealing and getting caught too much, digging up a level: ??? undead in the graveyard, or simply walking into the wrong zone at too low a level, you are going to die. It's frustratingly fun, though. Unlike most games you play, where you can literally run around everywhere and get away with almost anything, here you have to be a strategist and maneuver around many obstacles. There's no one right way to do anything but there are a lot of wrong ways to!
So now that I've made everyone painfully aware of my noob status, I challenge you all to get this game and see if you can do better. Or if you played before, I'd love to hear about your experiences and woes as well!