Ooh You Rascal! Divinity: Original Sin Adds AI Personalities

Yes, but how does this make you feel?

A nice bit of conflict always livens up a party–an argument here, a thrown punch there, an explosive cloud of poison out in the garden. As promised, Larian have added more AI personality profiles to Divinity: Original Sin so you can stoke friendships and flare-ups if you fancy. This was planned for launch but, er, they ran out of time while it was in Early Access. The first patch arrived yesterday, bringing AI personalities along with oodles of bug fixes and balance tweaks and other patchy stuff.

The personalities dictate how your non-active main character will respond to things. Before the options were basically limited to being Loyal, but now they can have the personality of Knight, Rascal, Maniac, Judge, Priest, Free, or Spirit. I assume those last two are meant to be one option, “free spirit,” and this is just a bug in the menus, but who can tell with fantasy RPGs? Perhaps those options mean Hippy and Ghost. “WooOoOOOOoooOooOo” your archer groans while her companion tries to fleece someone, “this may have graaaAAaaAave consequencesssSssSSs.”

Adam noted the absence of AI personalities in Wot He Thought, so he shall be pleased.

The patch is compatible with old saves. If you already started adventuring with those boring old AI presets, I understand–and cryptically hint–that you needn’t start over to use them as players get the opportunity to change them at a certain point. So I’m told. I haven’t reached that yet myself. Adam and I have vague intentions to co-op at some point, and I look forward to a big barney.

Do check the patch notes for the big long list of 150+ changes in this patch.

47 Comments

  1. RedViv says:

    Too many players seem to never really explore the big hideout and thus do not discover the Mirror of Cosmetic Surgery. That’s where you can switch the AI too.

    • Big Murray says:

      Instead of the Mirror of Cosmetic Surgery, it would’ve made a bit more sense to have it in the Menu of Gameplay Options.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        The Menu of Gameplay Options is overpowered as it is, it doesn’t need buffing like that.

      • Rizlar says:

        Nah.

      • noodlecake says:

        Changing appearance/AI doesn’t really break the game. It just makes it easier to fix mistakes in the character you’ve painstakingly constructed and forgotten to change the AI settings or picture for.

        • Chalky says:

          It’s extremely useful when, as I did, you pick up a companion who has almost the exact same portrait as one of your main characters.

          • Rizlar says:

            I kind of did that too, both my player characters looked sort of similar to the two companions you can pick up. Briefly thought about changing their appearances when I found the Mirror of Cosmetic Surgery, but was already too attached to them by that point.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Or the voice, I hope. I haven’t got to that point yet.

          I picked what I thought was the least annoying male voice for my ranger dude, but I didn’t realize how much he sounded like a 16-year old kid until I was hearing in-game dialog. Not that there’s anything wrong with 16 year olds, I was just aiming for an older character.

  2. damoqles says:

    “The first patch arrived yesterday”
    Yesterday’s patch was by no means the first one.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      She is correct.It was the first official patch since release. The others were updates.

    • RedViv says:

      Hotfixes and patches are different things. At least these days.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        There is a distinction between hotfixes and updates too. (sorry for being picky)

  3. Anthile says:

    Ah, nothing like getting a big patch for a game you played through a day ago. Oh well. At least I got to enjoy the greatness of pre-nerf Rage. I don’t think going through the end game is going to be much fun without that.

    • MisterFurious says:

      That’s why I never buy games on release anymore. I’m pretty stunned that there isn’t an uproar at the fact that people bought an unfinished game, but I’d be pretty pissed. Now, I wait years to get a game when I can not only get the game for a very cheap price, but I also get all the content included and most bugs are gone.

      • Reapy says:

        While not years, I am now firmly in this camp as well. I am going to play divinity, but wait a few months for bug fixes, additional content, mods, and possibly a sale. I have such a backlog of games to play at this point it makes no sense to jump on things that immediately are released unless it is a particularly meaningful game to me.

      • WrenBoy says:

        Ive nowhere near finished it but after several hours found it to be a polished and enjoyable experience. Just because the dev provides good support for the game doesnt mean what was released should have provoked outrage.

  4. frightlever says:

    I was just about to start playing this but now I’m going to wait to see what gets patched in next.

  5. Gothnak says:

    I got this at the weekend and to cut a long story short it is currently broken for a lot of people on 32 bit operating systems. What happens is that it runs out of memory and the game hangs when saving. So, bear that in mind if you are (like me) stuck in the past a bit…

    However, maybe this patch fixes it…

    Apart from that it is a great game…

    • Excelle says:

      I expect this is going to happen more and more as people shift to 64 bit OSs. According to the Steam Hardware Survey, over 75% of people surveyed are now running a 64 bit OS (and about time too!), so 32 bit OSs are a bit of a dying breed.

      But sucks for you guys of course :(

  6. aliksy says:

    I really wanted to like this game (I even backed it), but it has a few rpg tropes I’ve come to really dislike. I doubt they’ll be patched out. The big ones are that “levels are super important” and “very random loot.” Level is a very large multiplier on your effectiveness, it makes it difficult to kill things above your level, which is frustrating in a supposedly open game. And then if you manage to overlevel your foes, it becomes trivial and not fun.

    The other problem is that the loot is very random, and also very leveled. Part of why a group of things 5 levels above you is so difficult is that all your weapons are doing much less damage. Even though the stuff you’ll have in 5 levels is probably just store-bought, so there’s not really a compelling reason why this axe does so much more damage than the axe the shop had a few hours ago. Plus, since the loot is so random, it’s possible to go for hours without finding a high quality weapon of the class you use.

    Oh, and I almost forgot- There are a whole lot of “Save or be useless” effects, and I’m not really clear on how to predict when they’ll work. Things like charm, blind, stun and so on win fights, but sometimes they do nothing because that’s what the RNG says. I don’t really get how to predict what the odds are, and personally I don’t like much random in my games. It’s really frustrating when you spend 12 action points trying to stun a mook and fail when it has never failed before.

    • derbefrier says:

      Body building and will power seem to be the stats that affect whether you status affect spells work or not. I imagine the game follows the mages have high will saving throws but shitty body building saving throws etc.. Maybe this helps maybe not I have 30 hours in the game and haven’t made it that far yet as I have restarted a couple times trying out different classes but I like the randomness so far. Keeps things interesting.

      • BTAxis says:

        In case you’re interested, the exact mechanic is as follows: take the base chance for the status effect, then subtract 10% from it for every point of the relevant saving skill, and another 10% for each level the intended victim is higher than you. The resulting figure is used for the actual saving throw, which is always a number between 0 and 100.

        • derbefrier says:

          Ahh thanks that’s good info to have

        • Darloth says:

          The base chance is also usually increased by having more of the key attribute for the skill, so with a high int mage you get amusing stuff like “Has 115% chance to chill” that makes it more difficult to resist.

          • thebigJ_A says:

            I was so confused by this…

            Repeatedly having things with 100%+ chance to succeed fail was frustrating.

    • crizzyeyes says:

      I thought it was clear even before the game was released that this game would be a love letter to the likes of Baldur’s Gate, but I guess that is not obvious to all. These things (minus perhaps the random loot) are all “tropes” associated exclusively with D&D.

    • horsemedic says:

      “…it makes it difficult to kill things above your level, which is frustrating in a supposedly open game”

      If there’s an open world game where you’re able to easily kill any enemy you run into, regardless of whether you’re 30 minutes or 30 hours in, then I have no desire to play it. The whole point of open world is variety–not just variety of scenery, but variety of difficulty in different areas.

      I play on hard, with a far-from-ideal party setup, and it’s challenging but very possible to kill NPCs one or two levels above me. With a bit of min-maxing and creative uses of barrels and environments, I can hit even further above my weight class.

      And that’s exactly what I want from an open-world game: the ability to scout out a camp of overpowered brigands and decide whether to sneak around it, suicide into it or try to sabotage it with barrels of poison. Sure, I’ll never be able to beat a group 10 levels above me, but that’s video games: Late-game enemies are for late game.

      My gripe with the D:OS is that it becomes increasingly hard to find enemies that put up any sort of challenge, because I level more quickly than I reach more difficult areas of the map. And for every exciting fight against a group of enemies higher than my level, I later have to mop up a group below me, which is basically just button mashing.

      But that isn’t a problem with the leveling system so much as it’s a problem with its pace, which can be tweaked in a patch/mod.

      D:OS would benefit from something like the bonfire ascetics in Dark Souls 2, which allow you to make all enemies in the vicinity one level more difficult, so everyone can fine-tune the game to their preferred style of play.

      • aliksy says:

        I didn’t mean you should be able to easily kill any enemy. Consider Dark Souls, where you can kill most enemies from the start. D:OS is kind of the opposite of that, where you pretty much cannot win some fights until you’ve leveled up. The math is stacked against you. Some people like that, and that’s fine. It’s a very common rpg trope. Hell, some people can’t even imagine an rpg that doesn’t work like that! But me, I don’t like how, say, doing a bunch of talking in town turns a losing strategy for a fight into a winning one.

        You can create difficulty and variety without using levels like this, but I imagine it’s harder for the designers. Consider the difference in a fight against 3 mooks who don’t do much other than “hit the nearest enemy” and 3 mooks that use combo fields. There’s some of that in D:OS, but the level differences are an undeniable factor.

        • horsemedic says:

          > “Consider Dark Souls, where you can kill most enemies from the start…”

          But Dark Souls is an action game. You kill late game enemies at level one by having perfect twitch reflexes (and the patience to chip away at a boss for 30+ minutes with your chipped straight sword).

          I don’t see how that’s possible to translate to a game with turn-based combat, without rebalancing all the stats so that enemies are pushovers at anything close to level parity (moreso than they already are.)

          • aliksy says:

            Guild Wars 1 spent most of the time at the level cap. I imagine it would be like that, but turn based.

            If you want an easy fight, have the enemies use simpler skills that don’t go well together. If you want a harder fight, have the enemies use skills that combo together. D:OS already does some of that, like I said, but it also uses level differences in ways I don’t like. I don’t see why you’d expect enemies to be pushovers?

          • Slazer says:

            So you don’t like RPGs?

            Sorry, but from Ultima to Elder Scrolls to Gothic to WoW, every RPG relies on levels, and you won’t make a lot of friends trying to get them out of the system (see Mass Effect 3).

            Skyrim and Oblivion made some expirents with auto-scaling, but you are just not supposed to kill fire demons at lvl 3 with a wooden club. I loved how I took a wrong turn in the first Gothic game and got 1hitted by 9 feet orc. Because I was a greenhorn, and Orcs were supposed to smash me.

            RPGs are about gaining experience and seeing your character become more powerful. Most of the randomized loot looks fine to me, most armor and gear are divided into int, dex and str stuff, weapons you find are bows, staffs, 1hand or 2hand, and there is plenty of all of them as soon as you pass the first 4 or 5 levels.

            You only got a problem if you fight with a crossbow. Nobody fights with a crossbow. You will die if you fight with a crossbow, because there are about 3 crossbows in this entire bloody realm.

            Of course, I fight with a crossbow

  7. Tacroy says:

    The big problem I have with this system is that your dialog choices actually give substantial bonuses, particularly near the beginning of the game, but their resolutions also affect the plot in a lot of ways – and resolution is almost random in singleplayer, since you have to play that silly RPS game.

    If I had my way, I’d redesign it like this:

    1. When setting up your character, you can select a “Custom” AI option; this AI lets you pick which way the character will go whenever confronted with one of those dialog things.

    2. Whenever the controlled player encounters a dialog, the option that matches their AI traits will be marked out somehow.

    3. For both players, the option to concede the dialog will be available on the screen where you pick Intimidate, Charm, or Reason. This currently exists, but only for the controlled player, and always gives them the Obedient trait; instead, you should be able to choose for either character to concede, they’ll both get the traits they would have otherwise gotten, and the party will go with the other option.

    I normally wouldn’t care that much about this, but there’s at least one dialog that leads to a party wipe if it just happens to go the wrong way, so that stupid RPS game directly affects whether or not I have to reload; also, since almost all of the traits are beneficial, there’s literally no mechanical reason to ever not go full out on a trait, so I’d rather not leave the decision up to chance (like am I going to get Heartless for this option, or Materialistic? It’s hard to tell a lot of the time).

    • aliksy says:

      Oh, yeah, I forgot about that system. I didn’t like it. Some of the personality trait bonuses are useless for some characters. Others are really good. Like, +20% to hit on backstab is useless if you don’t backstab. Immunity to charm is amazing, and much better than the “+1 charisma” or whatever the alternative is.

      I found myself reloading a lot of dialog choices because it changed my stats in undesirable ways.

    • Reefpirate says:

      You don’t have to play RPS in single-player if you don’t want to… You can just make your characters agree. Otherwise, yea you have to deal with some randomness. Unless, of course, you take one of your characters and level up their social skills so that they’re more likely to win the arguments.

      I quite enjoyed the whole dialogue system even before the AI personalities. Certain character types get little bonuses if you game the dialogue right, and if you feel the decision is really important you can just make your characters agree to the ‘right’ decision. You can afford to go against your desired personality build if you have been building it up long enough (eg. if you have 6 points in ‘Selfish’ you can take 4 or 5 ‘Altruistic’ choices without losing your ‘Selfish’ bonus).

      • Tacroy says:

        But that’s the thing, I don’t want them to agree but I also want the game to go the way I want it to go. Since one character is probably going to be set up as the party face, that guy is likely to win disagreements.

    • Polifemo says:

      I have yet to play the game as Ive been waiting on patches like this one and been finishing other games.
      I was hoping Id be able to play singleplayer with the option of having an AI companion with a marked oposing personality. But the mention of traits and stats from dialouge makes my inner min/maxer nervious.
      I suppose one could just roleplay both personalities or have your main guy have more social traits so that he can win the argument and still have disagreements like Reefpirate said.
      Or you know, you can just take the useless traits. From what Ive read you dont have to min/max to win combat. But what do I know?

      • aliksy says:

        …and then your party combat machine gets charmed and murders the rest of the party because you didn’t get the Blunt personality trait…

  8. derbefrier says:

    Speaking of coop, its pretty fun and awesome. there is also a mod in the steam workshop that let’s you have up to 4 player coop. Haven’t tried it yet but I am happy its there as my buddies were a little peeved we would all get to play together

  9. jpm224 says:

    I’m torn between picking this game up now or waiting it out for Pillars of Eternity

    • Slazer says:

      Isn’t pillars moved to 2015?

      Not through this game yet, but it is great and I hope to have it finished at least once before Wasteland gets released. Looking at Divinity’s post-launch support, I could possibly give Wasteland 2 extra weeks for patches and content and go through Divinity twice.

      Pillars, Witcher 3 and Torment are far away

  10. drinniol says:

    You didn’t mention the most important addition – key bindings to scroll the action bars!