Divinity: Original Sin II Update #33

Post-funding Kickstarter updates usually have a lot more to them than those that have to be quickly put together during a hectic campaign. This is exactly the case with the new Divinity: Original Sin 2 post-funding update.

The biggest takeaway from it is the new and updated game AI that is said to be more aware, tricky, and even devious. I, for one, welcome our new digital overlords:

AI 2.0 won’t just blow up barrels: it will manipulate existing surfaces to make combat much more challenging, it will use your statuses against you, it will use spells and abilities in ways that even we never imagined, and- frankly if we’re not careful, it may be well on its way to world domination..

The way this AI has been using our combat system has already caused us to take a step back and have another look at how some of the unintended uses our skills and spells can have. Because it considers every possible outcome, we’ve seen AI 2.0 take advantage of things that we thought were relatively insignificant and using them deviously to fit the situation they happened to be in at the time (such as healing people on full health because the want the “Well Rested” status that the First Aid skill gives you, or passing up the opportunity to do a small amount of damage in order to create an oil surface to slow you down and remove your “Haste” status.).

AI 2.0 has proven so devious that we’ll probably have to disable it in the easier game modes, but those of you that want to take it on will have to step it up a notch to survive. However, if you do learn how to defeat our new, ruthless AI then you'll be equipped with an impressive set of combat skills. And of course if the campaign isn’t providing enough of a challenge, then you can always step into the arena for a pure combat experience. And speaking of the arena...

Additionally, the new Early Access build features a good deal of tweaks and fixes. Over a 100, to be more precise, so it wouldn't be prudent to include all of them here, instead you can go through the full patch notes yourself. Here's the short of it:

It's not just our NPCs’ brains that have been revamped: we’ve given them a general tune-up and you now have three brand-new arenas to explore! With this patch you'll be able to enjoy (by which we mean 'murder your friends in') the Forbidden Valley, Enemy at the Gates, and Ravenshaw maps. These new levels are the perfect place to check out all of our combat improvements and tweaks, which include:
  • Better animations for combat and skills
  • New durability system
  • Tell your companions what class you want them to be
  • A new defensive ability called Perseverance
  • And much more
You didn't think that was it, did you? Of course not! Patch has over 100 additions, fixes, and tweaks.
  • We’ve improved our loot works (more gold, less gear).
  • We’ve added a system that lets you choose your companion’s starting class.
  • We’ve improved item textures and several other visual elements.
  • We’ve tweaked several skills/statuses including Invisibility, Fortified, Poisoned, Ground Smash, and Sneaking.
  • We’ve updated the journal so questing is clearer.
  • And we’ve quashed a small colony of bugs.

There's also a recap of Larian's experiences at PAX South, and a call for volunteers to help them organize the events at PAX East. On top of that, there's a preview of what the team will be working on in the coming months, and a couple of ongoing Kickstarter shout-outs. A roughly 15-minute video update by Swen Vincke, that you can watch on YouTube, accompanies it all.