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The Definitive Edition for Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin II will be arriving in late August, and the latest Kickstarter update gives us a detailed breakdown of what to expect from the massive update. To try and keep things short, the Definitive Edition will revamp the game's story in its later parts, which is rather welcome, considering how underwhelming those parts were in the original release. On top of that, the game's tutorial will be expanded, and the overall storyline will be adjusted to give you a better understanding of what is going on.
Mechanically, numerous combat encounters will be changed, some new encounters added, and the game will receive a balance pass. It will also get a new effortless Story mode, new lines of voice-acted dialogue, new music, and some additional optimization. On top of that, it will also receive a bit of new content dealing with the quest of Sir Lora, the Squirrel Knight.
The Definitive Edition is set to launch on August 31, 2018 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but if you own the game on PC, you will receive the new edition for free. And finally, if you're interested in joining Larian's team, they're currently hiring for a couple of yet unannounced projects.
Here's Swen Vincke with the video part of the update:
And a few of its text bits:
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.
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!
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.)