Larianew Year Resolution: Divinity Polish And New RPGs

Wizards.

2015 is almost here and I’m sure you have a plan. You do have a plan, don’t you? You’re not planning leave the year to chance, skipping gaily across the pages of the calendar like a child through a meadow, are you? Because the meadow/calendar is filled with vipers. I’m… look, sorry, we’ve caught a case of the day-before-last-day-of-term sillies.

What I mean to say is that Divinity: Original Sin devs Larian have revealed their plans for 2015, 2016, and into the hazy future: keep polishing the RPG (which already won our Bestest Best Kickstarter award, doncha know?), and get stuck into another two RPGs on the same engine.

Over on his blog, studio founder Swen Vincke grumbled about bits of Original Sin that didn’t turn out super-great because they had a small team and didn’t have time:

“In one paragraph and unsurprisingly, my biggest issues with the game are the same things most people had issues with. I think the main story can be told a lot better and has more potential than is apparent, that combat falls a bit flat after act 1 and that crafting, inventory & trade UIs could use a bunch of improvements. Certain dialogs should be done better, there’s still a lot of feedback missing from tooltips & skills, and at higher levels character progression isn’t as cool as it should be. Our loot system doesn’t behave as hoped for, and the companions could use some work.”

So Larian will be fixing those up. Handily, lots of fixes and improvements to Original Sin will also carry over into other games on the engine. He says:

“It also means that we can spend most of our resources on developing new cool stuff without having to reinvent things that worked well already. And it immediately gives us a rationale for putting unreasonable amounts of effort in fixing the things we didn’t do that well in D:OS, meaning our existing players will continue to get improved gameplay for as long as we can maintain compatibility.”

As for what those two games are, well, the specifics are secret for now. He’s tossing the word “epic” about and talks of “dense, highly interactive worlds where the amount of possible interactions continuously increases and your freedom to do as you want approaches that of a pen & paper RPG.” Gosh-o! It’s big talk, but I’d certainly like to see them try to deliver on it.

29 Comments

  1. Pich says:

    Playable skeleton race pls.

    • gschmidl says:

      There’s a skeleton inside all of us waiting to get free.

    • eggy toast says:

      My #1 disappointment with the game was that picking the Demon or Zombie traits doesn’t actually change the character into a demon or a zombie, esp. given the presence of non-hostile NPC versions of each.

  2. Paul B says:

    It looks like leaving this to drop in price, or crop up in a sale, is the right option for the moment. From the sounds of it, the longer I leave off buying this, the better patched it will become. Still, as people are saying, it’s the rightful heir to Ultima VII, and I really want to get stuck into a meaty RPG, so that’s easier said than done.

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      I’m with Paul on this. Will be interesting to see when Larian are fully happy with it.

      All that said, the general trend seems to be for games to be patched rather furiously post-release. Given this, I’m all the more impressed with ones that haven’t / aren’t obviously needing post-release patches. DA:I comes to mind as the one I’m playing atm…

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        True that, but then the most good looking/powerful T3 armor i could craft for my mage has a broken floaty shoulderpad both in cutscenes and regular play that flyes around like there’s no tomorrow. Since it’s my 749th playthrough or something i guess i’ll just wait for a patch and clear the miles long backlog.

        Here it is :(((((

        • colossalstrikepackage says:

          Cool name btw. The armour looks ace, but I could see why it flying around the screen might be distracting …

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            It might even look good with the asymmetrical shoulderpad design if only it was placed better and it didn’t fly around, they totally should consider that option if they’ll ever fix it.

            Then again, meshes modification are about to come on the Nexus, community fixes and mods are slowly but surely creeping in, frostbyte or not! Yay!

      • skyturnedred says:

        This is why I play games a year or two after release. Often you can get all the DLC bundled in too, since so many games get GOTY/Enhanced/Legendary/Definitive versions these days.

        The lower price helps too.

    • Maruk says:

      It’s success being absolutely not due to any contribution from your behalf. If everyone thought like you, its current success would be absent and the amazing amount of patching would not exist.

      People mistake the patching for only fixing things that are broken. This is wrong. The patching in this case also introduces new features and expands upon the foundation.

      They could have left it well alone after the mandatory initial zero day patching, but instead they go the extra mile.

      I can only think of one other major studio that does this, and their most recent game just got delayed due to internal patching as well.

      • DarkFenix says:

        Indeed, my 130+ hours clocked thus far say the game is very much complete and excellent. More patching, tweaking and improvement will be the icing on the cake and probably get me comfortably above the 200 hour mark.

        PS. “Its”. The possessive has no apostrophe [/grammarnazi].

      • horsemedic says:

        “It’s success being absolutely not due to any contribution from your behalf. If everyone thought like you…”

        …we’d have some crazy economy where people decided whether to spend money on a product based on its quality at the time of purchase!

        As someone who bought D:OS on day one and regretted it, I think Paul is right to wait. The combat balance is absolutely broken after Act 1, making the game tediously easy to the point I had to stop playing. I respect the devs for working to fix this after release, but can’t recommend anyone buy it expecting a fun game until they do.

        If I wanted to fund the game’s development, as you obnoxiously chastise Paul for not doing, I would have paid into the Kickstarter.

        • lostone says:

          First, this game was VERY complete when it came out, much better than many AAA games I could name. Note that all things listed for new improvement are just that – improvements. There was nothing broken or unplayable with game at start.

          Second, I think you misunderstood critics to Paul. This is not about ‘funding game development’, this is about ‘game revenues after release’. If those revenues are not existing, producer would not bother with future improvements. In other words, if noone buy game at launch, game will not be better year later because it will be abandoned. Only case where Paul’s logic hold is for AAA games in known franchises from big studios , those that are guaranteed to have revenues and thus if many people decide to wait one year they can be reasonably sure game after on eyear will exist and be better. But Divinity was not such AAA game/franchise/studio, so if it failed to be success right after launch, I doubt anyone would be talking now about further improvements.

    • eggy toast says:

      Honestly, Larian’s track record is to keep fiddling with it and improving things for quite some time, but the game shipped in a very full, complete state. If you want to wait for the price or just aren’t in a rush (backlog??) then might as well wait, but the game is very much NOT broken or incomplete, at all.

    • Eggman says:

      Even without the patches, at launch, I still enjoyed it more than Wasteland 2, FWIW. YMMV. YNWA! YMCA?

    • wodin says:

      I’ve played about 7 hours or so and think it’s a roaring success so far. However I’ve stopped and am waiting for all the updates before playing again from the start.

      It’s well worth the money at the moment!

  3. jasta85 says:

    It’s an excellent game, although I have still not actually finished playing it. Put in roughly 15 hours then got distracted by wasteland 2, then got distracted by dungeon of the endless, clockwork empires early access, etc etc.

    At this rate I think i’ll hold off on finishing it until they come out with these fixes, hopefully it doesn’t break my save.

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      Ooh – how’s clockwork empires early access?

      • jasta85 says:

        still a work in progress but coming along nicely. they do regular update videos on it, you can check out their youtube channel

  4. DanMan says:

    I have it on official authority (Pussycat Dolls), that it’s spelled “Don’t Cha”. Hence I request, nay, demand immediate rectification. Or else!

  5. Gothnak says:

    I just bought a new PC, so i can finally play this as saving constantly crashed on (my admittedly a bit old) 32 bit PC.

  6. Rizlar says:

    Look forward to these changes when I finally get around to a co-op play through, hopefully in the new year.

    Much more excited about two (two!) potential new games. Tried replaying D:OS immediately after finishing it and again a while later but without the mystery and puzzlement of the first play through it’s just not the same.

  7. Wagrid says:

    I loved Original Sin, so more games on the same engine sounds great. I’m happy to see them still working on Original Sin – I’ve not finished it yet (36 hours in) but it’s definitely the kind of game I can see myself replaying pretty often.

  8. Lobotomist says:

    What Larian should improve is the: Game Editor

    There was an opportunity to make DO:S a new Neverwinter Nights – a tool for making adventures to be played with friends or by other players. Mostly everything needed was there and even in such quality that it would be a true 2014 succesor of NWN.

    Sadly this never happened because the editor is simply not user friendly.

    Editor is powerful enough, but you need to be experienced game developer in order to use it. Where in NWN anyone could use it in minutes. Mostly thanks to prefabs and helpful UI.

    If Larian would invest in this one thing – The game would not be “The Game of The Year” but the Giant NWN was that people still play for over 15 years , with thousands over thousands player made adventures.

    I am sure that even if Larian makes DO:S editor Kicstarter – it would be pledged in no time.

    So please Larian – Make this dream happen !

  9. knowitall011 says:

    when they patch 100% elemental defense out of the game, I lost all interest in playing the game. when I found out about it, I was like cool. this was a natural progression of the elements system they have going with fire/ice/air etc. then larian listened to stupid fan feedback(yes, stupid fan feedback exists) and patched it out. it was like the game lost something magical. if the npcs can heal from the same element, why can’t the players? gameplay over design is a bad idea. why did larian have to listen to whiny gamers :( why!!!

    I lost all interest and stopped playing. I do not want to play the game full of bugs just because I am force to play on an older version of the game just because I want to play with a feature I really like.

    • Rizlar says:

      Wait, what? Why would they patch out >100% elemental defense? I guess it makes certain fights hilariously easy when the enemy attacks all heal you, but y’know, if it’s that big an issue for someone they could just not do that.

      • knowitall011 says:

        because of the whining from certain players. they wanted to dictate how other players play the game in a SP game. larian actually listened to those messed up players. I was kinda shocked when I read the patch notes.

    • dwelfusius says:

      This is not exactly true.Perma 100% and + has been removed, but with potions or spells you can still pass 100 easily. We used it a lot!

  10. caff says:

    Loved this game, if they can make it more D&D that’s a good thing in my book.