Adam In Greaves – Divinity: Original Sin Gets Release Date

By Nathan Grayson on April 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Pretty sure there's a Led Zeppelin song about this

Divinity: Original Sin may not have the big name backing of, say, Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2, but the gorgeous-looking chip off Ultima VII’s block has impressed us time and time again. Rare is the role-player that offers this degree of choice and reactivity, not to mention a world of spontaneous, non-scripted orc wars and clairvoyant cattle. Larian’s spent years (and nearly $1 million in Kickstarter money) putting all the pieces in place, and now it wants you to knock them all down like a particularly careless Godzilla. Divinity will be out in June, but you can try the Early Access version – which just received a lumbering ogre spider of an update – right now.

Divinity: Original Sin will be out on June 20th. So close, yet so far away, especially with the Early Access version’s luring us over to its truckload of spoilers with new additions like:

  • Complete overhaul of loot generation matrix. Expect much cooler treasure.
  • Added 135 music tracks, including some all-time favourites from previous Divinity games
  • Added a new “Way of the Rogue” ability and a variety of new Rogue skills
  • Full overhaul of your Homestead at the End of Time
  • You can create different user profiles, so your little brother or sister can play, too.
  • Difficulty settings have been added, so players can pick which sort of experience they prefer.
  • Added formations, both in turn-based combat and in real-time, for optimal tactical positioning
  • All players playing Divinity: Original Sin can now chat with each other, making it easier to form multiplayer groups within the community.
  • Added an “Illusionist Mirror” through which you can change your player’s looks in-game
  • Replaced “repair” with “blacksmithing” and charm/intimidate/reason abilities by “charisma”
  • Amended stats of “Way of the Ranger” skill
  • Skill stats now level up with the characters, e.g. a level 1 flare is still useful at level 15.
  • Added plenty of new skill visual effects
  • Skills now have certain requirements. You can still learn a skill by boosting the relevant ability artificially, but once you lose the boost, you won’t be able to use the skill anymore.
  • Full overhaul of all lighting, shading, and zoom. Get up close and personal!
  • You can now give commands to each party member independently. Commands will be executed even if you’re focused on another party member.
  • Party members avoid traps. Traps can be disarmed with disarm trap kits (an alternative solution to blowing up the trap, which may destroy neighboring objects).
  • Journal now tracks the recipes you’ve learned.
  • You can switch between party members while trading.
  • There is now an interface to assign companions to other players in multiplayer.
  • Several stability and performance fixes were made, in addition to loads of bug fixes. Most of the remaining networking issues should be solved now, too.

Personally, I plan to hold out just a little longer. I’ve played a few hours of the Early Access version and witnessed some especially impressive late-game shenanigans with studio head Swen Vincke piloting, but that is where I (very arbitrarily) draw the line.

I think. Probably. Unless I give into temptation sometime between now and June and commit a not particularly original sin. Oh, now there’s a sexy, sexy loot generation matrix. Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? Yikes, I’m even grossing myself out. Flee while you still can! I’ll tie myself to this chair so you can escape – and not at all because the loot generation matrix is totally into that.

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33 Comments »

  1. Darth Gangrel says:

    That’s great! I’ve been waiting for it to come out of Early Access, since I don’t want to play a game that is unfinished. With my backlog I can also take the time to wait until it’s on sale, so the reduced price that some games have while in Early Access is no incentive to buy for me.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Indeed, Playing Wasteland 2 for 28 hours left me feeling frustrated with the state of the game. I feel that story driven games are ill suited to Early Access.

      Oh well, back to Kerbal Space Program

      • MiniMatt says:

        Glad you mention Kerbal. I tend to twinge a little when hearing universal dismissal of early access. Whilst it may not suit – as you note – story driven games, other game types, like KSP, are done no harm by early access & arguably enhance the player’s overall experience.

        I have a worrying feeling that had I put as many hours into studying astrophysics as I have KSP I’d be sipping cocktails at CERN with Brian Cox by now.

  2. Shiri says:

    Are they still going to delete the saves if I get it on early access now, or am I safe to start to try it out?

    • Koshinator says:

      The early access/beta version on steam right now isn’t the complete game anyway.. it’s just the first area (they want to avoid spoiling the entire game for people). The save games will probably not work after final release in this case, but I don’t know for sure.

    • LordCrash says:

      Save games won’t be save until the final release, I’m sorry. By not transferring saves to the next major build Larian wants to make sure that no old bugs hidden in savegames can make it into new versions. And bug-fixing and balancing is the reason why it’s still in beta. ;)

  3. Infinitron says:

    Divinity: Original Sin is the European branch of the RPG revolution.

    It’s actually a much more ambitious game than Wasteland 2, Eternity, Torment, et al, though, with a much higher budget (most of it not from Kickstarter). They’re even using a proprietary engine rather than Unity, a rarity nowadays.

  4. Martel says:

    I’ve been barely able to ignore this game in my list, for pretty much the same reasons. I backed all the aforementioned RPGs and I think this is the one I’m excited about the most. And that’s pretty much based on the fact that I can play the entire thing coop with my buddy. Reminds me of the old BG days where we would fire up a custom made 6-man party and coop it over LAN.

  5. Niko says:

    I haven’t played anything from this particular game series. Can somebody elaborate what are its major distinctive features, if it’s not too much trouble?

    • epmode says:

      Well, almost all of the Divinity games are very different from one another.

      Divine Divinity was the first and it combines clunky Diablo-style combat with first rate quests, world building and reactivity. Great game.

      Beyond Divinity is similar, except super-rushed and terrible.

      Divinity 2 is a janky third person action RPG that was almost ruined by the console port and publisher bullshit. That it still manages to be a good game on PC is a miracle.

      Divinity: Dragon Commander is a Risk-style board game combined with an RTS combined with third person action combined with Bioware-style dialog/morality. It’s insane. Worth playing just to marvel at the fact that it actually works.

      Divinity: Original Sin is a spiritual successor to Ultima 7 except with a massively improved interface and turn-based combat. The draw here is the intertwining gameplay systems and RPG mechanics. It reminds me of Deus Ex and other immersive sims in that Larian built the world, gave the players the tools to manipulate it and turned them loose.

      The Divnity games are also interesting in how they don’t take themselves very seriously. They can get pretty silly.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        The sillyness is one of the reasons I like Divine Divinity. I remember one cut-scene where you see two skeletons having an existential discussion. The first one says “How can we stand up and move, we don’t have any tendons or muscles” and the other one goes “And how can we talk, we don’t have any vocal chords either”. After they’ve said that, they both stop talking and fall to pieces.

      • gritz says:

        In what ways is it a “spiritual successor to Ultima 7″? The emphasis on character builds and tactical combat seems like the polar opposite of that.

        I would think that a game aspiring to succeed Ultima 7 would highlight the interactivity of the world, but there’s nothing in the videos or previews that really shows that off.

        Plus: grid based inventories? What is this, Ultima 6?

        • XhomeB says:

          It’s a “spiritual successor to Ultima 7″ because of – you said it – the interactivity of the world and the feeling of exploring a living, breathing universe. It’s really impressive, the only feature they had to cut (hopefully, only temporarily or mods will fix that) is the day&night cycle and NPC schedules related with it.

          Ultima 7′s combat system SUCKED, so I’m glad they’ve decided to improve that aspect.

          • gritz says:

            Wait – no day and night cycles or NPC schedules? That’s one of the core features of Ultima 7!

            How interactive is the world? On a scale of bread baking to, say, Skyrim?

            Yeah, Ultima 7′s combat sucked, because that wasn’t the point. Making a game all about the combat is the opposite of making a spiritual successor to Ultima 7.

          • epmode says:

            I’m not sure why you’re so determined to explain why a self-professed spiritual sequel to Ultima 7 isn’t a spiritual sequel to Ultima 7. I’ve played both. It feels very similar. And yes, you can bake bread in Original Sin.

            BTW, day and night cycles + NPC schedules were actually the last stretch goal of their Kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a far bigger job than expected. Larian’s CEO wrote about it here: http://www.lar.net/2014/03/28/here-we-go/#more-945

            So NPC routines are still in but the day/night thing isn’t. I haven’t played enough of the beta to determine what that means in practice.

          • gritz says:

            Maybe because calling yourself something doesn’t mean you are that thing? Very little about this game looks like Ultima 7.

      • strangeloup says:

        Divinity 2 got pretty good once they finished rereleasing it. There were what, about 5 versions?

        I also have surprisingly rose-tinted memories of Beyond Divinity, despite the fact that I got it back in the day of having dial-up internets, and the game being so broken at launch that they released a new patch every day for about a week, which was a nightmare to download on 56k.

  6. derbefrier says:

    sweet another RPG to look forward to after I conquer Dark Souls 2.

  7. sabrage says:

    Please don’t put the release date after the jump when that’s really all the story is.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      But that’s surely the point of the jump – that’s where the body of the story is

      • mechabuddha says:

        Good clickbait practices: Interesting headline with little information in intro. Put real information after the jump.
        Good journalism practices: Interesting and informative headline, with a summary in the intro. Put details after the jump.

  8. ncnavguy says:

    I bought this on EA way back, and played the beginning level when it still was the sandy beach in the video and was so impressed that I put it down and havn’t played it since. The quality and playability was so good even at that early point I knew I wanted to experience it fully and now I get the full version when it comes out without having to spend anymore $ on it. Alot of the EA games have turned out to be good deals as they are usually discounted and
    Ones like mercenary kings and Grim Dawn have been fantastic to play as they’ve come along.

  9. aliksy says:

    I tried to play this with early access, but repeatedly ran into a game breaking bug in the first area. No one on the forum was able to help, so I’m left with a rather sour experience.

    • Auldman says:

      I’ve put some hours into it Aliksy but am by no means an expert however I’ve made it as far as solving the murder so maybe I can help? What was the bug?

      • aliksy says:

        I still have the sinking suspicion I am doing something dumb, but it was this: In that first tutorial dungeon where there’s the electric water traps, it says to throw something onto them to disable them. That doesn’t work, so I can’t get past the traps. Here’s the thread on it: http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=488803&

        Maybe that dungeon is optional and I could just go elsewhere? It was discouraging enough that I just quit after getting stuck there.

        • Auldman says:

          Ah ok well I haven’t encountered a problem in that spot but later just after it there is a second electricity trap even when I throw a crate on it I still experience some electricity and at least one party member gets stunned before I can pass through. But I’ve had no problems in the spot you posted an image of in that thread.

          Honestly if you’ve gotten that far there is only one more thing to handle after those traps and that’s some source evil-doers ahead where you learn sneak (crtl key). So at that point I’d opt out of doing the rest and just go on with the game. The tutorial is optional and all you’ll miss is some loot but there is plenty later. My advice is to try the new patch that came out Friday and see if that helps. If it hasn’t then avoid the tutorial and proceed straight through the arch the bad guys ran through right before the tutorial cave. The game is still buggy but It really is amazing and I will be spending loads of hours in it when the full game is released.

  10. DrManhatten says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this one turns actually out better than both Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity. At least it is much closer to the original promised release date than both of them.

    • teije says:

      Torment is the one I’m waiting for the most. If they pull it off, it will be the (warning: incoming hyperbole) best damn RPG ever. Eternity I was very excited about at the start, but my interest was been waning somewhat, doesn’t seem as groundbreaking to me.

      This one looks good too, have to try it out on release.

    • ZoddGuts says:

      Better than Wasteland 2 is a given, not sure about Pillar since we haven’t really seen much of it gameplay wise.

  11. mvar says:

    I wish they had gone for less WoWish graphics..

    • ZoddGuts says:

      The graphics look great with this look though and will hold out longer because of their choice of the look of the game. Same with TF2 still looks great after all these years because the look it went for rather than the original more serious gritty look that they had intended. Also there was a jump in graphics quality in D:OS when it from Alpha to Beta, looks really pretty now.

  12. caff says:

    Very interested in this, having read the previews here. Hope RPS will deliver a thorough and honest WIT on the finished thing.

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