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The latest Kickstarter update for the official Divinity: Original Sin board game shows off a bunch of updated art, goes over some recent skill-related changes aimed at improving the game’s build variety, and briefly talks about the pledge manager. So, here’s the video part of the update:
And here are the text bits:
Over the past few months we’ve been showing samples of some of the new art that's been rolling in. You’ve mostly seen a great deal of the new location art, as well as some of the new enemy cards. At any given week, we’re reviewing upwards of 100 cards in various stages of development by our wonderful team of artists. These fantastic images include environments, enemies, items, bosses and even new keyart for all the origin stories! We’re delighted that our goal of improving the art to the next level is really taking shape.
Later this month, it’ll be our one year anniversary since we launched the Kickstarter back in 2019. To show you just how far we’ve come, here’s the old Magister Guard and Ranger cards we were using during the demo for the Kickstarter campaign. We’ve put them next to their most recent iterations so you can really see the difference.
As the months roll by toward the boardgame’s release, we’ll continue to keep you posted on the art’s progress, but for the moment, feast your eyes on the art’s evolution below!
Skill School Changes
As we mentioned in the last update, we noticed that some of our initial design choices had inadvertently restricted player options, rather than increased them. This was by far the most important issue that we wanted to address between Playtest 1 and 2. So we thought this update would be a great opportunity to examine them in more detail and explain our thought process behind them. Let’s dive in now:
Perhaps the biggest change to how we handle our Skills is the way that levelling up works. Previously, you could increase one ability (e.g. Geomancy) and then had to pick a skill from that ability’s skill school (e.g. Fortify, a Geomancy skill). This usually resulted in players avoiding any diversification in their skill choice, because they prioritised strengthening their ability power over gaining a more broad spectrum of skills.
Now, you can increase an ability and choose a skill from any school you wish. These choices are no longer linked (e.g. increase the ability Geomancy and, instead of taking Fortify, you opt to choose another Spell from any other school, like Hail Strike from Hydrophist). This huge change means that players are no longer overly incentivised to focus on one or two skill schools. Now they can freely branch out, opting for a blend of skills if they so wish. This should ensure that player builds and team compositions become much more dynamic and situationally adaptive, and most importantly, each player should feel an additional sense of freedom in the variety of options available when levelling up.
We mentioned in the last update that we’ve also added twelve new skills to the game. These twelve new skills hold a place at the summit of each skill school where only the most powerful Sourcerors may claim them for their arsenal.
Skills like Thick of the Fight, Skin Graft and Living Wall will give you a lot of new and extra options as you level up your character. These skills will also provide a much greater level of utility options to choose from. Skin Graft for instance, is the newest Polymorph skill, and currently it’s the only way in the game to pre-emptively take the skills from your cooldown track back into your hand. Thick of the Fight is for those who want the combative equivalent of ‘put me where the action is.’ When you have that skill going, you gain an additional hit during attack rolls for every unit in your area. So it’s a perfect skill for those brand newly equipped tanks to use while in the midst of battle.
The skill school Warfare has also gone through heavy iteration. From our playtest data, we learned very quickly that players who chose this skill school primarily desired to be the tank of the party. The skill Defensive Stance was actually one of the most picked skills in the whole playtest. But while that data may suggest the card was popular, we learned that in fact the opposite was true. While a lot players took Defensive Stance, very few leveled up the Warfare skill school, or even took extra Warfare abilities. After delving deeper into the data and discussing this particular school with our playtesters we learned that the initial expectations of our players did not match with what the school was doing.
We’ve now made some significant changes to the individual Warfare skills, but also some tweaks to the game's rules with how enemy initiative works. Now, choosing skills from Warfare will enable a player’s desire to fulfil the tank role within their team.
Rulebook, Recorded Playthroughs & The Pledge Manager
Over the past few months there have been plenty of questions related to the Rulebook, the Pledge Manager and if we are going to record a new playthrough of the game showing all the changes.
All of these will be addressed next year as the game nears completion and before the game goes into manufacturing. For the Pledge Manager, we’ll be giving you about four weeks notice as we approach our final manufacturing date. Somewhere near that time, we’ll also release the rulebook along with the brand new recorded playthrough so you can see how the game has progressed since the Kickstarter campaign last year.
Thank you and see you in December!