How Divine! Divinity: Original Sin Gets New Companions

Divinity: Original Sin is at the very top of my “ooo, RPGs” teetering stack, making it actually significantly more difficult to reach than if it were in the middle somewhere. It’s nice, then, that while waiting for me personally to get around to it, Larian Studios keep updating their Kickstarter-funded hit. The latest update comes along with some free DLC that adds two new companions. They are Bairdotr (pronounced “Bear Daughter,” awesomely), a ranger who is seeking the druid that raised her, and Wolgraff, a mute rogue who’s been stealing from a wishing well. Also updated are the systems for listening to the conversations being had by your co-op partner and a number of minor fixes, which are listed over on Steam. Update video below.

To get the DLC you’ll need to update your game via GOG or make sure you’re fully patched on Steam.

Also released recently was a lengthy post-mortem blog post where studio head Swen Vincke goes over how Divinity: Original Sin is doing and what’s coming next. Their next major update will be for skills, mostly improving the less interesting ones, and more difficulty levels for dedicated players. They’ve also begun work on their next game, but are keeping understandably quiet about it in the early world-building stage. Swen goes into detail about what he learned over the course of development and the reality of independent funding and crunch, well worth a read if you’ve got time spare.

Intrigued, but unsold? Here’s wot Adam thought. Divinity is available through GOG or Steam.

54 Comments

  1. Dominic White says:

    In that big dev-diary video, they also mention that the Companions update adds some new areas (presumably for the companions personal quest arcs), but they’re also working on some new dungeons for future releases.

    Given that most people seem to reckon the game is 70-ish hours long at bare minimum, that’s rather impressive dedication from Larian.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Steam says it took me 88 hours (I’m a completionist), and none of it felt grindy at all, so yeah – *more* content on top of that is impressive.

  2. yabonn says:

    Arfmgnmblsnort.

    Mmhmgrmlinux? When?

    Mmgrgmblgrm.

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      Velorien says:

      Ah, another acolyte of the dark gods of coffee.

      The DLC is already out.

      • Saarlaender39 says:

        English is not my first language, so it might be possible, that I missed something important in the interaction between your and yabonn’s post…if so – please excuse my interference.

        But I do think, that you might have missed the Linux-part in yabonn’s “MmhmgrmLINUX? When?” – Question.

        • yabonn says:

          Yes, the (ahrm) “question” was about the Linux version.

          Spot on about the coffee deprivation, though.

  3. mbpopolano24 says:

    Larian Studios is the living example of how an independent studio should run. Not only I love the game (I love many games from many ‘questionable’ developers/publishers), but they are also planning the right move. Free DLC, continuous support of a game most others would have already labeled as “done and moved on”, clear and direct communication with the community. You might or not might like the game, but there is no question on how dedicated they are.

  4. st33dd says:

    This has to be the most disappointing purchase I’ve made this year.

    The game was great apart from one reoccurring thing: Rock, Paper, Scissors.

    I never won a single round of Roshambo, regardless of what tactics I tried or what order. I always lost. Always. The result was that every now and then my “other-half” would pick a fight and fail a quest – over and over again. It got so that I was so low level from being denied XP that I couldn’t progress anymore.

    It’s like being in a shit relationship. Every time you go to do something they decide that things are a bit boring so they start having a fucking drama. I already went through this last year IRL, why the fuck do I have to have it in an RPG that I’d been looking forward to.

    It completely fucked the game. It makes me furious, because apart from this one shitty mini-game, the game was lovely. But no – everything has to revolve around this shit mini-game, and most of the quests are cock-blocked by it as well.

    Waste of money.

    • Detocroix says:

      Press space to auto-resolve (affected by skills). No more rock paper scissors and instead solved like just about every rpg ever.

      Personally I did RPS always, it was boring but kinda cool as a concept.

      Also disable the crappy auto-persona of the other main character. Either you role-play the other main character OR you play online with buddies.

      • Rizlar says:

        Errr yeah. On my second playthrough (using charisma more heavily) I just auto-resolved every conversation. It works in exactly the same way as doing the minigame but in a tiny fraction of the time.

        If you meant you were annoyed at the AI character disagreeing with you, there is an option on character creation to just set them to always agree.

        If it was another person playing the second character then I am afraid you will have to work out those issues between yourselves…

        • KingFunk says:

          Maybe the OP actually has a disassociative identity disorder…

          EDIT fixed for Velorien

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            Velorien says:

            Pet peeve: schizophrenia =/= disassociative identity disorder. Schizophrenia is “a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and inactivity.” (Wikipedia)

            It’s a common confusion, but it does make life more difficult for mentally ill people.

        • welverin says:

          You can also change it with the editor item in the Shelter Plane once it opens up.

          Winning RPS is a lot easier with a high Charisma, I’ve got a six and it only takes a couple right choices to win the game.

    • iucounu says:

      Just quicksave. You can quicksave at any time, even mid-conversation. And you seem to be able to outthink the AI a bit – if you won a round with Rock, it seems likely the AI will chase you by playing Paper next.

      To be honest I think I only won just over half the time, but it didn’t seem to matter much.

    • derbefrier says:

      You know losing at RPS doesn’t lose the game you can keep playing…… Of course winning makes some things easier but that’s what quicksave and quickload are for. And you never won even one? That’s just bad.

    • Quiffle says:

      10 bucks says that you were that one kid at school who *always* chose rock, because nothing beats rock.

      • hypocritelecteur says:

        Rock always wins, because rock is also a fist.
        Rock beats scissors, rock ties rock, rock punches paper.

    • zentropy says:

      What the… I don’t even…. What? :/

    • nitehawk says:

      You are just sore that they do not have shotgun as an option.

    • Foosnark says:

      Set your companion AI to always agree. You’ve just cut the number of times the rock-paper-shotgunscissors thing comes up.

      I won about 3/4 of RPS games myself. Spacebar tends to lose a lot more frequently.

  5. Chris England says:

    I really enjoyed Divinity. I had to break out a few online guides when I simply couldn’t be bothered to play “find the switch” puzzles any more, but overall the game is put together very well and is the sort of large-scale RPG I hope we see a lot more of.

    I’m glad to see that they’ve sold so many units because a lot of time and effort obviously went into making the game, and there was a lot of pressure on them after a big Kickstarter.

    • Reapy says:

      haha yes I went to the webs for that one as well.

      Game has been really fun, I’ve been playing it verrrry slowly with a friend online once a week we are really enjoying it. The combat engine is honestly my favorite part with the way everything works and is put together. Honestly I think the way they measure out distances should be copied by games trying to replicate miniature systems (cough warmachine tactics cough).

      But yeah by far the worst feature was the co op dialog. You can at least read back in the chat log what was happening, but when you were prompted for a response, it drops the log away, really the only time you need the log, and it would disappear on you.

      It was so bad that who ever is running the dialog has to type it out in the chat window so we could respond appropriately. Glad to see that this is getting fixed!

      Anyway, great game, great combat system and engine.

  6. Zallgrin says:

    Listening in to coop-conversations? Hell fucking yes, this was the thing that bothered me the most! Now I gotta check it out and see how it works out. The way it used to work before was really broken and annoying.

  7. amateurviking says:

    I loooove this game. And being able to roleplay both characters adds so much to the experience. Lovely!

  8. Rizlar says:

    Well now I have to start another new game to play with these companions. Which is really no hardship.

  9. derbefrier says:

    Nice I put a lot of hours into it. Nice to know there’s some new content waiting on me when I pick it up again.

  10. Philopoemen says:

    Arghh, my missus is a hardcore Diablo 3 player and has resisted my attempts to drag her into the turn-based world thus far. This update might just tip the scales lol

  11. JFS says:

    To me, this game is also a disappointment. Everyone was raving how it’s like Baldur’s Gate. It isn’t. It’s more like a turnbased ARPG. Plus, it’s super buggy. I seldomly buy on release or close to it, but this time I did. I won’t again. Last time I played, they had just totally fucked up the difficulty. Has that even been fixed?

    And don’t get me started on the inventory. I don’t even want to know about the state the game must’ve been in right on July 1st.

    This game has a lot of great ideas, but the execution is swimming belly up in a sea full of fail. Sorry for that strange metaphor.

    • Gilead says:

      I think calling it a failure is a bit harsh. I’m sure it succeeds at being the kind of RPG they were aiming for. It’s just that the comparisons to Baldur’s Gate people keep making don’t apply at all, as far as I can tell. It’s a different style of combat, it’s an entirely different atmosphere and tone, and the writing is significantly worse (in my opinion, obviously, I realise it’s subjective). Presumably game journalists keep comparing it to Baldur’s Gate because they don’t think people will have heard of Ultima.

      • JFS says:

        Ultima is a far more accurate expression. Oh, and by “failure” I meant the technical execution, the software side, not the idea or the game itself. It looks good, that’s true, but the workings under the hood don’t really work, at least not for me. Like, sound effects, or the inventory, or crashes to desktop. I guess I didn’t make that clear.

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          Thirith says:

          It’s like Ultima in some ways, but what disappointed me about the game is that it isn’t like Ultima in the ways that I most care about. The world building and characters IMO are pretty weak; this never feels like a real world with characters that have lives of their own. In this respect it’s much closer to Baldur’s Gate, although the writing is less consistent and generally quite a bit weaker (definitely weaker than BG2).

          I still enjoy the game well enough, but it took me quite a while to adjust my expectations accordingly. My hope is that the editor will be used to create something that’s closer to what I look for in an Ultima-like game. Something like U5: Lazarus or the U6 remake in that engine? Yum.

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          gritz says:

          It’s easily more Baldur’s Gate (BG2, really) than Ultima.

          Sure, you can move things around in the environment like an Ultima game, but the emphasis on tactical combat and character builds is something that never really appeared anywhere in the Ultima series. BG/BG2/IWD on the other hand was all about complex character builds and solving tough encounters.

          Plus, D:OS doesn’t have a big sandboxy contiguous world like most Ultima games were- it’s divided into maps and hubs like an Infinity Engine game.

          • Gilead says:

            It’s weird, because BG2 is still my favourite PC game ever, and Original Sin is so far away from it in my mind. If it’s taken things from Baldur’s Gate 2, it’s taken the things that weren’t important to me rather than the bits I enjoyed.

          • Premium User Badge

            gritz says:

            Fair enough, Ultima 7 is mine, so we’re probably seeing all the ways it’s unlike our favorite games, just on the other side.

      • Fathom says:

        The writing is awful, the gameworld and lore is so painfully generic that I stopped playing after maybe 5 hours due to boredom. It’s very pretty and I’m sure the gameplay is fantastic, but if I don’t care about the characters or the story I have no motivation to keep going.

        • iucounu says:

          I dunno: I thought it was pleasantly quirky. Read like King’s Bounty, really – colourful, light-hearted stuff that often wanders into zaniness. Sometimes it’s naff, it rarely gelled, but I liked it much more as a fiction than the impossibly po-faced Dragon Age. And yes, we had orcs and goblins and elementals and trolls, but at least we didn’t have any fucking elves or dwarves, and just the one dragon. The original companions are a sort of stern Moorish mage bloke and a Paladin modelled on Calamity Jane, which was entertaining and not exactly generic – I’m looking forward to seeing what the new ones are like.

          What I hated was when you would do a long stretch of inventory-optimising in town, and have to sit and listen to the market vendors recycling the same three bits of naff dialogue on an endless loop. Judicious use of the volume control on my speakers…

    • iucounu says:

      I didn’t pick this up immediately – probably a month ago? – but I don’t think I encountered a single bug. Perhaps one with a broken crafting recipe, but all it meant was that there was one thing I couldn’t craft. They seem to have done a lot of fixing.

      The inventory is time-consuming and annoying, but I did work out some ways to make it easier to manage, and there was a weird spreadsheet-tidying pleasure in sitting around shuttling things between backpacks. Admin as downtime. And I think they’re working on it.

      The difficulty: I played on normal, and it’s challenging to begin with. The beginning of the game is probably the toughest bit; but I like the curve.

      It’s possible it needed to be in beta a bit longer, but now it’s really good. Give it another go, if you’re inclined.

  12. ElDopa says:

    It’s nice to see them still working on the game, but it’s interesting to see that the Linux port is apperently not a priority, despite being promised in the Kickstarter.

  13. Gog Magog says:

    As someone who almost always plays female characters given the option I really really hated the way they were designed in this game for the simple reasons that
    1. Far shorter than the male character, indicating that they should be the medic wizard etc
    2. HIGH HEELS?! Er… why. To add insult to insult, they don’t look particularly good either (what, I like nice shoes).
    3. Dime-a-dozen fantasy female armor but to be fair rather few games avert this.
    4. The weapons look like utter garbage.
    5. It’s nice that you can recolor your armor but every available color is worse than every other available color.
    (the last two of these things is not like the others. d’oh!)

    I did enjoy about 20-odd hours of the game. It’s good it just doesn’t let me customize.

    Oh yeah and the combat balance is occasionally completely bust and the inventory is an atrocity and I don’t like the art style very much and the writing is mediocre but in a cringy way because it tries to be funny and only occasionally succeeds.
    10/10 would slice my wrists again

    • Juke says:

      Haha, sounds like your agony was mitigated a bit by your ecstasy. I’ve enjoyed the game despite some of it’s odd quirks, as well. I did want to point out, potentially for players still considering D:OS, that while the female PC/NPC design may be par for the course visually, Larian has done perfectly well making them customizable and viable for all classes.

      What I’m saying is, yes, while a female PC, statistically speaking, will likely me shorter than a male PC, and Larian went with that without making it adjustable, everything else about the female PC(s) can be modified. She can be given as much (or more) physical attributes points as the male PC, and can function in warrior classes. You can even opt out of having one male/one female PC team, and opt to have 2 male or 2 female PCs.

      This is not even to mention that one of the 2 primary companions (prior to this update adding more, very interesting ones, yay!) is a female warrior fond of 2-handed weapons and primarily a tanking class in her base skill set. So to imply that Larian were regressive with respect to options for female characters is really selling them short on the final product.

      • Gog Magog says:

        A FEMALE PC, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, WILL BE SHORTER THAN A MALE PC

      • Foosnark says:

        There wasn’t a lot of customization no matter what.

        But one might point out that Source Hunters who are actually the reincarnations of immortal guardians — or indeed, anyone who explores dungeons and fights monsters for a living — is probably not going to live up to statistical norms for physical features.

        Notice that the male character is a giant musclebound man-mountain, not exactly the statistical average for hut-dwelling semi-malnourished peasants. So the “women are shorter than men on average” thing also doesn’t fly.

  14. Hunchback says:

    Finally, the co-op dialogues fix. Been waiting since release for this, so that we can play it together with the wife… Hooray!

  15. Asokn says:

    As much as I enjoy this game I cannot comprehend why they decided to have entirely separate inventories for each character so that if your main character didn’t have the quest item in his inventory no dialogue relating to that quest would trigger. Having to juggle the inventory around is just needless busywork.

    As an aside, does anyone have any cool tips for combat? I tend to just constantly make puddles of water and then electrify them to stub enemies, it would be interesting to hear about other approaches.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I know what you mean but I… I kinda like it. It makes it feel like each character is really a separate person. However, it’s not clear the the player necessarily when one of their party members can progress the quest. It does work a lot better in co-op though.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      Yeah the inventory really becomes a chore. It should have at the very least, defaulted to “last item picked up” when you open every time, but for some reason we have to use the sub menu to pick EVERY TIME.

    • iucounu says:

      I like the separate inventories, but not for quest items. Keys I can just about get behind as there are bits where you need to send a character off solo to open things.

      Combat is all about the elemental/terrain/status effects, I think. Towards the end fights are all about stunning people, knocking them down or freezing them, because enemies hit hard and there are often quite a few of them to keep busy. My late-game fights were huge messes of clouds, flames, ooze, lightning and things. I also picked up some points in Witchcraft, which offers a lot of buffs and debuffs, and I think next time I play through I’ll explore that a bit more.

  16. Lobotomist says:

    What they should do is work on the editor.

    There was a great expectation for this game to fill the void of NWN (Neverwinter Nights) as ultimate adventure mods tool for the masses. All the elements were there – including awesome (closer to PnP) turn based combat.
    The potential for great user made content was enormous.

    But than the game came out, and mods just didnt happen.
    Turns out that the editor is so complicated and buggy that even modders that come from professional programming background wonder how the hell Larian managed to make any content with such editor. There are no prefabs, everything single thing must be done by code. And to make it even more absurd there is absolutely no documentation for the whole thing.

    So what we have is similar situation to games like Skyrim, where to make a story mod you need a team of dedicated semi professional people putting in ridiculous hours.

    Instead of NWN situation where you could make mod with no prior experience in 15 minutes. And you had 200 hours epic quests made by community in first few months of launch.

    So its all in hands of Larian.
    They would need to invest in editor. Instead of working on expansion,DLC – they should work on making streamlined editor with prefabs, sane UI and in editor help documentation (tooltips…etc)

    Its possible to bring D:OS to status of new NWN , its all up to them.

    And if they want to open new kickstarter or charge for this editor. I for one am up for it.

    • Juke says:

      Considering they have stated more than once that the Larian Engine toolset is the same editor they designed the game with, and prepared it for shipment with the initial release of the game, which across the industry is still pretty rare, I don’t know what they’re supposed to provide if they’ve given you everything they have.

      The latest Kickstarter update does mention that the team is continuing to improve the core engine, as they intend to use it for future projects, so at least that has the potential to surface within the editing tools eventually. Whether it would remain compatible for D:OS, or only for the next game, remains to be seen.

  17. Dominic White says:

    Just a reminder that this is only the vanguard of what can only be described as Classic RPG Week.

    On the 18th/19th, we’ve got Wasteland 2, Elminage Classic (Dungeon crawler by one of the Japanese Wizardry studios) and Dragonfall: Director’s Cut all releasing within 24 hours of each other.

    That’s kinda nuts.

  18. bleeters says:

    So what you’re telling me is I can finally get rid of Jahan.

    Yesssssss.