The RPG Scrollbars: Oktoberquest

This month, it seems like just about every major RPG out there is getting a major update. Divinity: Original Sin. Wasteland 2. Guild Wars 2. Even Deus Ex! All we need is for someone to announce that they’ve secretly been upgrading Darklands on the sly and we’ll have the whole set. Here’s a quick look at what’s taking a level up on a PC near you.

Guild Wars 2: Heart Of Thorns

Goodness, this took longer than I was expecting. Heart of Thorns is getting ready to offer many Guild Wars 2 players their greatest challenge – getting their ****ing password out of ArenaNet’s ghastly ‘forgot your password’ system that seems to have confused stopping chancers getting into your MMO account with protecting the nuclear launch codes. But, following up its jump to the world of F2P, it’s bringing a lot of cool stuff to gently encourage folks to pay. In particular, there’s a new profession, the Revenant, which channels heroes from the past to beat stuff up in the present, and Elite specialisations for each of the classes – Elementalists for instance becoming Tempests, and Thieves becoming Daredevil, hopefully without fighting too much about which version of the costume is best. There’s also a new jungle region designed around verticality, the Heart of Maguuma, with a personal storyline that Trahearne won’t be allowed to stomp all over, and a ton of single-player quests and adventures along with dungeons and guild focused quests for more social flowers.

Link: Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

Deus Ex: Revision

Deus Ex. One of the greatest games of all time, but not one that’s exactly aged like fine wine. Deus Ex: Revision is the long delayed complete overhaul, ripping out the levels and remaking them to better use modern technology to show off the post-modern kind. It’s shinier. Higher resolution. The world more built out and complex instead of looking like an epic war for control of endless grey shoeboxes. And thankfully the team has been working with Squeenix, so there’ll be no rush to snag it before a bunch of pretentious old men running the world pull it from the internet. No word on whether swimming is any more use. The whole thing is due out on the 13th, touch wood.

Link: DX-Revision

Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition

This one is set to land on the 27th, and it’s one hell of an upgrade. Many of its features are geared around its jump to traitorboxes, but that’s okay, because they’re all very welcome PC upgrades too – local co-op, gamepad support (I’ve tried it in Divinity: Original Sin 2, and it seems pretty effective, though definitely give me mouse and keyboard instead) and split-screen.

Most interestingly though, Larian has rewritten much of the story to be clearer about what you’re actually supposed to be doing and why, hopefully sparing new players from annoyances like not realising they have to get into the witch’s cottage on the second map instead of following the instructions to go to town, and recorded voices for all the characters. There’s also a whole new ending which I secretly hope involves a small child emerging and claiming to be the mastermind of the entire Divinity series, only for our heroes to beat it down into a small puddle of jelly. That plus a lot of smaller updates and new visuals should make for a pretty cool upgrade. Returning players can also try their luck at Tactician Mode, which is basically the designers watching a million streams and YouTube videos of players beating encounters and going “Haha, no.”

Lots to look forward to while waiting for the sequel, then.

Link: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut

Come the 13th, the Wasteland will be a more interesting place too. It’s a less exciting upgrade than Divinity’s, but a worthy one – starting out with a graphical upgrade to Unity 5 complete with new art and character models and another 8,000 or so lines of spoken dialogue. The other big additions are there to bolster the RPG side, which was a touch shallow at release, with the addition of Perks (bonuses) and Quirks (personality traits with both negative and positive efects), as well as an upgrade to the combat system to finally allow targeted shots. It’s just not a Fallout style game if you can’t pop an enemy right in the balls. Now, it can be. As well as a Wasteland one, obviously.

Link: Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut

The Old Republic: Knights Of The Fallen Empire

Honestly, I’ve not paid much attention to The Old Republic since launch, after being disappointed at how much the ‘It’s KOTOR 3, 4, 5, etc’ pitch undersold the amount of ‘It’s also a very boring MMO’ you had to do to see that. Pity. I was fond of my Imperial Agent and my Sith Inquisitor. Come October 27th though, Bioware is putting the focus back on the storytelling stuff with the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion – free to subscribers. You play as “The Outlander”, a Level 60 veteran of the Great Galactic War, with eight class stories promised to be ‘a deeper, more accessible experience purely focused on immersing you in a personal Star Wars story.’

I’ll be honest, these are words I like the sound of. The expansion contains the first nine chapters of the story, with more coming down the line. It’s also still possible to take advantage of a 12x Story XP Boost offer that means you can skip all the tedious shared filler and just play your own class stories – aka, ‘the good bits’. Bioware is also reshuffling the entire game to make it faster to get through it, flagging key missions and story arcs and reducing the number that you need to get through in order to progress. I kinda wish this had been done a couple of years ago, because I’ve spent the last few months thinking “Yeah, I really should go and try that again” without ever actually getting round to it. But hey. Maybe when the expansion hits.

Link: Star Wars: The Old Republic

The Witcher 3: Hearts Of Stone

On the 13th, it’s time for the first of two expansions for one of my favourite games of the year that isn’t Undertale, and unlike everything else on the list, I can tell you that it’s awesome and totally worth checking out. Read my Wot I Think about it for full details, and a reason to look forward to next year’s Blood And Wine as well. It’s also been joined by a Witcher 3 mega-patch, which mostly goes to town on bugs, but also adds a couple of bits of content like new romance dialogue with Triss and Yen.

Link: The Witcher 3

I think that’s all of the big updates coming this month – if I’ve missed any good ones, post ’em below – but goodness, what a busy month, and a testament to just how well the genre is doing right now. You just can’t keep a good RPG down these days. Or even Champions Online. Let’s hope the next wave is just as blessed when it lands.

24 Comments

  1. Philopoemen says:

    SWTOR has turned into an okay single player game (with 8 different full voiced storylines), but still trapped in a MMO body. That said, the devs have been very vocal about Fallen Empire, and the whole its-a-reboot-but-not-really thing is going well for them thus far.

    The previous expansions have left people wanting, but through updates they actually ended up being pretty decent. The episodic bent of Fallen Empire will actually benefit Bioware in this regard, because people won;t complain about lack of content when they know more is on the way.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Provided they don’t pull a Guild Wars.
      9 months the game has gone without any content additions.
      8 of them no-one knew when the promised expansion was even supposed to arrive.

    • Luminolza says:

      I drop in to swtor every few months, and there’s usually enough content to keep me satisfied playing mostly solo.

      There also seems enough changes each time I drop by to seem like they’re getting closer and closer to what people actually wanted in the first place. Hopefully they get there, as there’s a good game in there someplace.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Really looking forward to a first full play-through of Divinity, and maybe a second of Wasteland.

    Age of Decadence releases this Wednesday, after a decade in development, something for the old-schoolers. Keep an eye out if you are into difficult combat, choice&consequences and an original non-trad-fantasy setting.

    On Kickstarter, we have Pixel Noir (Earthbound meets hard-boiled noir detectives), Aurion (the African action RPG from a studio in Cameroon), and rougelike For The King.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Damn it. I actually typed rouge.

    • raiders says:

      I’m looking forward to my 1st playthrus of both Divinty & Wasteland. I’ve had’em for a long time but have been waiting for these updates to come out before playing them.

      But I really would like to play that Age of Decadence. The demo was pretty decent but annoying. I didn’t know it was coming out THIS week. Thanks for the post!

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Thanks for the heads-up on Age of Decadence – been waiting for that one for a long time now!

  3. PoulWrist says:

    Looking very much forward to playing Wasteland 2 all the way through this time. Maybe pick a different path at the start, going with the dam over the farm. I dunno, though, I tend to get locked in to paths in RPGs and even when doing a rare replay, I tend to go for something like I had before…

    Divinity: Original Sin I haven’t bought yet, but it’s somewhere on the list. Probably not going to get it till I’m done with the other bunch of RPGs on that list… like Wasteland 2 and Legend of Grimrock 2.

    The Witcher 3… I still haven’t installed it. All the patches have made me keep waiting, and then an expansion for the mid-game… I want to wait more now, to get the next one. There’s probably going to be patches for the expansion too! Mainly I also want a new GPU so I can enjoy the game at 1440p + ultra… and I should probably pick up my TW2 save and get around to actually finishing that… which I admit is kind of shameful that I haven’t.

    Good times for RPGs :)

    I might even take a look at that Deus Ex thing too, although it was not that long ago I played through Deus Ex using the other high res mods. But that was the original experience, after all. This looks like a different game altogether.

  4. Laurentius says:

    A bit of worry for me for this D:OS update. No hand-holding was the best thing in this game, it was so refreshing to go and try to deal with things without directions, quest markers, exlamations marks etc.

  5. majkmord says:

    The Age of Decadence will finaly get proper release in few days. It would deserve few lines of text.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Really? I bought it back before it was on Steam and died a lot. I bought it on Steam, because it was easier to keep updated. I also died a lot. Then I decided to wait until it was done.

      Looking forward to seeing how much I die now its finished.

  6. HuvaaKoodia says:

    Deus Ex: Revision is finally coming out? Very good! I’ve been keeping an eye on it for quite a while.

    It has some living up to do. Worst case I get to replay DX with fancier graphics.

  7. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I just spent my last 40 or so gaming hours on my 4th replay of DX. Now you’re telling me I have to start over?

    …sure!

  8. Philopoemen says:

    I’m also looking forward to WL2 – I stopped my last playthrough when I heard about the Director’s Cut, so waiting to start all over again with the new systems, and see what difference they make.

  9. Erithtotl says:

    WL2 update may not have the most content, but I’m hopeful it will make the biggest difference. The mechanics were so dreadful dull in the original release I lost interest pretty quickly.

    Even though I own Divinity: OS, I’m contemplating getting it on the console for the co-op play.

    • Disgruntled Goat says:

      Yeah, Wasteland 2 was dreadfully dull. None of the characters were interesting and the combat was a slog. And the skill system was terrible, most of the skills were variations on “use this skill to open a thing”.

      I realize that it’s not Fallout and it’s not supposed to be, but I missed the supermutants and deathclaws.

  10. Geebs says:

    I know Deus Ex is a very dark game, and it seems that their before/after screenshot system is broken, but I honestly couldn’t see what Revision is supposed to have done. Is it some sort of practical joke?

  11. anHorse says:

    I can finally play Wasteland 2!

    Announcing a load of improvements just after I got it on sale really put me off playing it until now

  12. Ejia says:

    Actually*, both Nox and Anachronox are getting updated rereleases with accompanying expansions.

    *note: not actually.

  13. Enkinan says:

    Too many things….

  14. Assirra says:

    Curious why there is no mention of the first tales game to ever come to PC.

  15. Tuco says:

    I would probably kill for an updated Darklands.