Stabilise your life with an alpha update; Watch Jesse Cox deal with crabs; and Mac users, rejoice!
Happy Friday, friends!
First things first: We'd like to congratulate Tim Schafer and the team at Double Fine for the release of their very exciting-looking adventure game, Broken Age. Their success on Kickstarter in 2012 paved the way for Larian and other studios to give crowd funding a shot and the rest, as you know, is history.
In other news, we're pleased to offer a new update on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin. Assuming you enjoy improved stability; massively improved rule systems for classes, spells, stats, and items; fixed bugs and new features (including one that could help your weary and deserving heroes take the occasional break from hunting Source and making pizza), this update will certainly please you.
In the following video, Swen discusses the update, explains how your contributions on the forum have helped us, and offers some encouraging news for Mac users eager to get their hands dirty hunting Source in Rivellon.
Also, did someone say something about the release date?
Some details about the update and more:
What new features have been implemented?
We've improved character presets and included three new classes:
Rogue: a thief-like mischief-maker equipped with a dagger and bow, specialised in keeping a low profile both in town and in combat.
Cleric: a cross between a warrior and a wizard, with enough strength to carry a mace and armour, but enough wisdom to support and heal your party in combat.
Knight: a two-handed sword wielding brute so invested in strength, (s)he'll need good support and armour to stay energised while hacking a path through the orcish hoards.
The game is, as ever, classless in that you can customise your heroes' abilities however you like; these presets merely provide your starting point.
Each character preset comes with its own unique skills from the start. In this update, you'll get to add a few new ones to your arsenal. Enjoy finding new ways to torment your enemies with Deadly Spores, Infectious Flames, Chain Lightning, Dust Devil, and Battering Ram.
We've revised the effects, chances, and damages of most existing skills. David, D:OS' producer and resident skills wizard, recommends checking out Earth Shield. Why he is tenting his fingers and chuckling maniacally is for you to find out.
Don't forget to keep your skills up to par with your character, and visit the skillbook vendors in Cyseal! Maybe they have an improved version of your Regenerate spell if you feel yours has lost its muster.
Sitting and Lying Down:
As you may have noticed, characters are now capable of sitting and lying down on benches, chairs, and beds. This seemingly minor feature causes more computational chaos than a Source-addled technomancer, so we hope this little bit of realism adds some spice to your experience. And if you get bored, you can always use telekinesis to pull a chair out from under Mayor Cecil. He's probably too senile to realise who did it, anyway.
Keep in mind this is a brand new feature - as such, we hope you'll be forgiving (and let us know on the forums!) when you find bugs and glitches.
Camera close-ups during conversation:
As you'll probably notice very quickly, the camera now zooms in on the speaker of a dialogue. This should help you keep track of the conversations and maintain a better idea of who's speaking and when.
In addition, the user interface has been improved to make your options easier to navigate.
You can find the full change list here but if you want to see the highlights for yourself, watch the following video in which Swen showcases the new features available:
Which rule systems have changed?
Magical skillbooks now require you to have invested a certain number of points in magic abilities. So if you want to learn the improved Winterbreath (aptly named Winterblast), make sure your Water Specialist ability is up to speed.
Items now have a requirement on a primary stat and are no longer level-locked. So if you want to create a glass cannon just so you can wield that impressive two-handed axe you just found, go ahead. But before you do, check out your alternatives, because every weapon, stat, and type of armour has its pros and cons.
The Way of the Warrior ability and the Way of the Ranger ability have completely changed. For every point you put in them, you receive a unique advantage. Check out their tooltips in game for more details!
One important change to the primary stats is that Intelligence now also boosts the damage you do with your elemental magic. Over time, it will also decrease the number of Action Points your magic costs. The more powerful the spells become in the game, the more Action Points they will require, and you will need Intelligence in order to cast them at all! This is also an interesting stat if you want to hang on to your "low level" spells longer: their damage output will shift, and they will cost less AP. The same goes for your elemental specialisations: boost them, and you'll boost elemental damage.
These are only some of the enhancements we've made to the in-game systems - there are plenty more ways to strategise with this update!
What about balancing?
Enjoy a world of better-balanced weapons, armour ratings, damage, resistances, saving throws, statuses, gold, and treasure distribution and generation.
Balancing is, of course, an ongoing process and while this update offers much improvement, you'll find that we've still got our share of tweaking to do.
How has stability been improved?
Causes for certain frequent crashes have been identified and fixed, and performance has been improved and stabilised for Windows 32 machines. Also, co-op campaigners can breathe easy: Multiplayer has been secured, and strangers will no longer be able to pop into your game at random.
Check out the complete change log for more thorough information about updated game elements.
Do you actually pay attention to feedback from the forums?
Absolutely! Many of the bugs and areas for improvement we focus on come directly from the Larian forums. Any likes, dislikes, frustrations, bugs, or suggestions Early Access players provide filter directly to the programmers and designers currently working on the game world. Your feedback is absolutely crucial to this process, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who contributes.
Is this update compatible with my Kickstarter alpha key?
Yes. The update is available through your Steam account. Note, though, that when the full version of the game is released, you'll receive a NEW key to unlock your copy of the game through either Steam or GOG. Your old alpha key will then be nullified.
What about my backer tier rewards ("Design a Henchman," "Name a Pet," etc.)
Head over to the Larian Vault, log in, and fill in any available fields related to your Kickstarter rewards. If a field for a tier you paid for is not available, have no fear! We'll soon begin contacting backers individually to collect information to complete their rewards.
What should I do if I want to play Divinity: Original Sin, but I missed the Kickstarter campaign?
The game is available for Early Access on Steam! Grab two copies if you'd like to experience cooperative gameplay and dialogue with a friend. You'll get the first region of the game now (roughly 10-15 hours of gameplay) and the full version upon release.
In the News:
Jesse Cox and Crendor take to Rivellon in a hilarious (and occasionally painful) two-part playthrough of part of the alpha world of Divinity: Original Sin.
And Divinity: Original Sin proves capable of binding nations across time and history as an Englishman and an Irishman from PCGMedia band together to outsmart the Larian developers during their playthrough of D:OS.
That's it for today, but rest assured that more updates are going to follow in the coming weeks. There are quite a few things in the works that didn't make it to this update but which we are eager to show you.
Stay tuned & have a great weekend!