Kickstarter Update 47 - Let's talk Definitive Edition!
Welcome to Kickstarter Update #47!
When we decided to bring Divinity: Original Sin 2 to console, we knew we didn't want to just repackage the same game and put it on a store shelf. We wanted to take the opportunity to improve it and craft an even better experience than what we delivered in 2017. Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition, available in August will come with 1000s of changes that take into account all the feedback we've received. Check out our latest Kickstarter update to see Swen quiz the team about what some of these changes are:
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition will be completely free to everyone who owns Original Sin 2! Without the support of everyone who bought the game already, and without all the feedback we’ve received from you, we couldn’t have made this new and improved edition of Divinity: Original Sin 2. As a little "thank you" to you all, we’re ensuring you'll get to enjoy all of the improvements without spending a cent more! Because we know some of our will want to still play the original version, both versions will remain available on PC and you'll be able to select which one you want to play.
We don't have the space (and you don't have the time) to go into detail about each of the changes coming to the Definitive Edition, but here are some of the broad strokes you can look forward to:
We received some criticism on the last part of the game and so we took that to heart. We had a long look at how we could improve it and came up with quite a list.
Almost 150k words of text have been changed and we've recorded over 130k new words, fixing some voices and text that weren't quite perfect in the original game. We've created new situations and dialogues to give you a greater sense of reactivity across the world, and have bumped up our use of the tag system across most conversations. Finally, we’ve worked on the personal journeys of the origin characters, polishing their quests and situations to better communicate how your decisions impact their story.
Our adventures at PAX showed us that we were giving our players a lot to learn in a very short space of time. To address this, we’ve added a brand new deck at the beginning of the game with its own characters and gameplay and we've worked on the tutorial messaging.
Combat is an integral part of your adventure in Divinity: Original Sin 2, so we’ve worked on rebalancing some of the fights in the game to make the challenge curve flow better and avoid harsher spikes of difficulty. The overall experience will now be smoother and make you feel like your experience in earlier fights has prepared you for what comes later, while still offering you new challenges. We’ve also added some brand new fights (be careful of Edouard's surprise in Kemm's garden) as well as reworking the Kraken in the Harbour scene. Because we all want to see a showdown with that big, tentacled bully!
If combat is not so much your thing, you can try Story mode. This is a new mode designed for players who want to focus on the dialogue, reactivity and atmosphere in Original Sin 2. It's a more casual difficulty mode that's easier than the existing Explorer mode. You'll be able to switch between Story, Explorer or Classic modes throughout the game, so you can adjust it as you go if you feel a specific battle is too difficult or too easy.
Here are some specific balance changes you can expect to see in the Definitive Edition:
- Economy changes - We’ve updated the prices of many items in the game. Unique items were usually too valuable, while armor prices now better reflect their utility in combat and the cost won’t vary so heavily.
- We slightly reduced the damage on some of the three Source point skills. (Skills like Arrow Storm and Meteor Shower will still be super cool, but not an 'I win' button.)
- Totems will now gain intelligence as they grow in levels. This will help their damage output scale better towards the end game.
- Lone Wolf abilities and attributes will now be capped at the normal cap levels. Currently, Lone Wolves can increase their abilities and attributes past the soft caps of 40 and 10 respectively. In Definitive Edition, this will no longer be possible - you will only be able to double your points to the cap and not beyond.
- The Torturer talent will allow you to apply status effects through magic or physical armor.
- The difficulty of persuasion encounters across Arx have changed. Most of these encounters were unproportionally hard compared to the result.
- We buffed some underused skills. Petrifying Touch, Sucker Punch, and Infect are getting increased damage. Mosquito Swarm will have a shorter cooldown and and Door to Eternity will last longer.
- AI will be more likely to attack players with Damage Reduction abilities. These abilities usually resulted in the AI avoiding you rather than ever doing damage to the AI.
- High quality wands will create surfaces.
Working on a console version of Original Sin 2 has allowed the team to strengthen the Divinity engine and improve performance for the Definitive Edition.
We’ve changed our physics engine and new tools have been developed to help test the optimisation of the game. This includes a tool that uses a character model to go through the world of Original Sin 2 line by line, checking for memory usage and fps issues. Since Fane is the character model used by the tool, our Technical Director has started to call him the “Safekeeper of Performance”! (A title Fane doesn't understand, but wholeheartedly accepts.)
Not to be outdone, Bobby and the team have been hard at work on changes for the Definitive Edition too. Origin theme music will play in new parts of the game, so if you’re the Red Prince (for example), you will hear your personal musical theme while on the Lady Vengeance and that theme will develop as you progress through the game! Bobby's team also made plenty of improvements and changes to complement the new writing and rework of Arx too. Don’t forget that the Soundtrack is available in a limited run on 180 gram Vinyl! You can pick up a copy at Black Screen Records here: http://blackscreenrecords.limitedrun.com/products/614915-borislav-slavov-divinity-original-sin-2-original-soundtrack
Sir Lora, the Squirrel Knight
Of course, not everything in the Definitive Edition is an improvement. There are rumours that an apocalyptic cult of squirrels, the Knights of Drey, are trying to bring about the end of the world by summoning the Great Acorn, which will be the doom of all tall peoples! (Yes, even dwarves.) At least, that's what we've been told by Sir Lora, the Squirrel Knight. The coming of the Acorn was foreshadowed in the original version of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and now it appears to be imminent. Sir Lora arrives with his own small story arc, and will be a mini companion you can recruit in your game. He's there as a pre-order bonus for Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition, but if you own Original Sin 2 on PC before the launch of the Definitive Edition, then you will receive Sir Lora for free as soon as the Definitive Edition goes live!
And much more!
In addition to all the smaller changes not listed here, we have done some significant work on the UI and Journal for the Definitive Edition. The Journal in particular has been no small task, as we’ve completely overhauled the system and re-written huge parts of it to help guide players.
We didn't make any significant graphical, UI, gameplay or story changes for the PS4 or Xbox One but the one thing we didn't manage to port to console is the Game Master mode. This will come as a disappointment to some of you but will probably be no surprise to those who've played with it. The number of menus present in Game Master mode and the speed with which a GM needs to be react to the antics of a party made it impossible to make a port that would be fun to play with. All other online modes are available however and playing in split-screen with two controllers is a blast! We've also included a new hot-seat arena mode which is loads of fun!
We're not just improving D:OS 2, we're also working on very cool new things and for this we need new talent! As you may know, we have four studios around the world (Gent, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; St Petersburg, Russia; and Quebec, Canada). All four of these teams are currently hiring for our future (super secret, super cool!) projects. We embrace people who see things differently, who can teach us something new, and who are ready to break the rules (in a healthy and productive manner). So if you think you have what it takes to join our team then pop over to http://larian.com/jobs/ and apply!
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition will be coming in August of this year, so we’ll see you again closer to the release. Until then, we just want to say thank you again for all the support you’ve given us over these last few years. Thanks to you, we've had the freedom to create RPGs we are truly proud of and we will continue to do so.