Divinity: Dragon Commander Previews

We have rounded up two new previews for Larian Studios' strategy/RPG Divinity: Dragon Commander, a prequel to all the other Divinity games that presents an interesting mix of elements.

GamingLives has a normal piece on it:
Every discussion with your advisors or neighbouring ambassadors involves selecting from a choice of responses and, as the conversation reaches a conclusion, you are awarded with a card which will affect your standing within the world. In the level we were shown, the player's character was married to the beautiful Elf princess Lohanna and so the relationship with the Elven regions was one with a positive influence. When visited by a Dwarven ambassador, however, demanding that you marry their princess in order to make for better relations, circumstances take a dramatic turn with the new race pledging a more solid allegiance with you while the Elves distance themselves from you after their princess was unceremoniously dumped for another woman. While it may improve trade and diplomatic relations with this new race, the impact of such actions need to be carefully considered beforehand as each individual race not only comes with its own benefits, but turning against them has consequences.

We asked whether these decisions are balanced, where the negative impact caused by making a specific choice would be directly proportionate to the positive reaction or whether there would be an element of penalty included, forcing a more tactical decision.

(It is balanced yes, but not always at the same level. They may demand non-rational things from you and if you comply to those, all the other races will take a very heavy hit in their attitude, but if you manage to complete those arcs you'll have huge benefits from them, plus each of them have a different angle the imps take a very weapon and technology based angle. They have three different types of things they can do, especially when they blow up the moon that gives you a very special type of weapon that you can mount on your battleships. The lizard is more politically-oriented and can affect neighbouring countries if you complete their arcs, so each of them has a heavy emphasis on a different type of playing style. I guess the vigilant player will try to complete the arcs one by one because you get a lot of friction and fluctuation concerning their attitudes, but you can also get an exact measure of this as you have advisors on board who can show you the graphs)

GamerCast follows the same route:
When you're ready to jump into a real time battle you can do so at your leisure from the tactical map ensuring to play any battle cards that you may deem useful, real time battles are your standard affair, we were not taken into length of the different types of buildings or defences, but to be honest the main focus of the real time battles was placed on the dragon that you can command like you're just out of Panzer Dragoon.

With control of the dragon you have full reign of the map to fly around, and the ability to shoot enemy units out of the sky, now of course your little dragon cannot simply gun down everything before him or we'd have no use for strategy, however it acts in a similar way to the use of Skye and her arsenal in the first person tower defense Sanctum. Suddenly that lone ship can be picked off without have to send your whole battalion of troops to its location, oh yeah and did I mention that the dragon wears a jetpack, so he can travel very very fast!

Whilst the dragons are a fantastic feature in the game, their use really came into its own with a multiplayer demonstration where sudden intense battles can rage between both players' dragons, there is however only one dragon available at a time, and with a hefty price tag and cooldown you'll quickly ensure not to take him into the thick of battle too often.

Finally, PC Gamer has a list of "five insane things":
It was prototyped with a board game.

.which Larian Studios Founder Swen Vincke hopes to release with the special edition and as a stand-alone product. OK, that's not conceptually insane, but it does tell us something about Larian's creative freedom and business sense. If they make something they think is fun, they want it out there.

The board game release isn't solidified quite yet Larian still has to decide who's going to produce it but Vincke has some options and sounded ecstatic about the idea.

Oh right, the non-board game: this is the tactical map, where troops can be shuttled around and RTS battles initiated. When you claim a new territory for your empire, you've got to keep it in check diplomatically, or by tossing a few occupiers in. These regions produce gold, and some contain factories which can be used to produce new units.