Divinity: Original Sin - The Board Game Update #25

Ahead of its third playtest, the board game iteration of Divinity: Original Sin gets a new Kickstarter update that shows off a number of updated miniatures and goes into detail about the board game’s take on Original Sin’s status effects. Here’s the video part of the update:

And here are the text bits:

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Kickstarter Update Number 25!

With Playtest 3 coming up soon, we want to guarantee that every single strand of the game is examined and tested by our playtesters. In other words, we want Playtest 3 to be content complete, including the fully designed Rulebook, refined gameplay systems like Status Effects, the dread-inducing Nightmare Mode, the personal goals of the Origin Stories and as much artwork as we can deliver. Owing to this, we’ve widened the window of development between Playtest 2 and 3 to accommodate it all. Assuming all goes well, no big changes will be made for Playtest 4 which will then be the final testing stage before the game goes to print later this year.

Discussing Status effects, miniatures, and upcoming goodies we’re excited to unveil, here’s Kieron in the old ruins of a manor house[...]


As we get closer to production, we’ve been using the time we have to iterate further on the miniatures and we think you’ll agree while some of the changes are minor, the effects are huge! The initial molds were aesthetically very strong, but with these new changes, our sculptors have injected a sense of animation to the figures - making them feel even more threatening and giving them a greater sense of presence at the table.

All our models had an extra pass for detail and posing. We’ll be sure to showcase all of them when we get the new molds in from our manufacturer!

Status Effects

As any Divinity: Original Sin 1 / 2 player knows, elemental interactions are an integral part of the systems within our games and are a huge contributing reason to why combat is so fun and engaging. So a Divinity: Original Sin board game really needs to adopt a system that - while analog - still evokes the same feelings of interactivity and battlefield manipulation you had in the videogame.

As Playtest 2 wound to a close, we sent out a specific Status Effect survey to all testers, from Playtest 1 & 2. We also sat down at a virtual roundtable with some of our players. The aim was to decipher all the little intricate details of their experience with the boardgame. In particular, we were excited to dissect and investigate their feelings on Status Effects. Our playtest data affirms what we now believe - it's not actually overly complex to play with, assuming you know the rules and the various ways the elements interact. The challenge - which has been confirmed thanks to playtesting - is in how we educate and teach our players the system.

We walked away from that roundtable and those surveys with raw, honest (and sometimes hilariously, brilliantly blunt) takes that have been instrumental in polishing the system we’re implementing for Playtest 3.

For a time, we even considered simplifying the system considerably. Significantly changing the spectrum of interactions and creating something that was much simpler, but sacrificed a lot of the cool interactions and strategic decisions. But thanks to the feedback we received, we can safely say that the depth of the Status Effect system is a huge part of what the players we walked with loved about the game.

We still knew we needed to avoid spoiling the gameplay with unnecessary complexity, and so we made an effort to remove a few superfluous effects. As a result, statuses like Steam and Decay were either causing multiple layers of complexity on their own, or were used so infrequently that it was relatively simple for us to remove them and change the few situations where these effects were needed.

Now that we’re satisfied that the complexity level is correct, we're focusing all our energies to improving how Status Effects are taught in the rulebook. The Status Effects section of the Rulebook is going to be laid out with plenty of examples, and we’ll be including a separate comprehensible appendix for those who have specific questions on an element or need further examples.

In summary, those unnecessary statuses have been put aside in favor of a leaner, cleaner, and sharper combat system - without sacrificing tactical depth. We’re also immensely excited about how this will be formatted in the Rulebook. All of this should keep combat flowing, making the experiences of our players satisfying and intuitive.

Meanwhile, On The Horizon...

We’ve got so much to talk with you about over the coming months. Over the next few updates, we’re going to have a video chat with Dylan to discuss and dive into the origin stories. Exploring what we’ve been working on and how we plan to give you a sense of personal adventure and character growth during your campaign. We’ll also be unveiling the Dungeon very soon. The Dungeon is a supplemental experience in which you and your party engage in some good old fashioned room-exploration, loot-accumulation, monster-evisceration. It’s a great thing to play after you’ve finished with the campaign, or for those who can’t commit to a full adventure. Lastly, we’ll be showing you some of our format updates. We’ve been constantly iterating card design to make them as clear, pretty, and well-structured as possible.

That's not everything though, and we’ve at least a couple more surprises to show you before this campaign is complete. More on all of those very soon!

Stay safe everyone,

See you in February!