Divinity: Original Sin 2’s Definitive encore happens this August

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition

If there’s one thing experience has taught me about prolific RPG powerhouse Larian Studios, it’s that they’re perfectionists. Early access really is just a foundational step, and even the ‘final’ retail release is just a dry run. As with their last several games, they’ve just announced that their RPG mega-hit Divinity: Original Sin 2 is getting a Definitive Edition re-release this August, presumably in an attempt to scoop up all the Best RPG Of 2018 awards on top of cleaning house last year.

The Definitive Edition is currently in testing over on consoles (with an Xbox public beta/demo opening up tomorrow, if you want to inform and/or convert your friends). To help gather feedback on an assortment of potential issues during porting, Larian have come up with an ingenious solution that bypasses the usual (and frequently skipped) pop-up boxes: Making the feedback system into a fully voiced in-game character. Meet Feedback Billy, plus a trailer for the Definitive Edition at the end of the video.

Undoubtedly Larian’s efforts to polish up the second game for a console release will bring some improvements to the gamepad UI. As nice as it is to hunch over a keyboard for tens of hours like some kind of gnarled (and kinda cool-looking) techno-wizard, there is something to be said for enjoying a game like this sprawled out on a sofa with a wireless controller. Especially if you’re playing local co-op. They just need to make the text chunky enough to read clearly from half a room away.

All the tweaks and improvements (including some promised new content) will be coming back to PC alongside the console launch of the game this August. While Larian are tight-lipped on exactly what the Definitive Edition upgrade will bring to desktop players, they have promised ‘thousands of changes’, and given how enormous even their regular patch-notes tend to be, I’m inclined to believe them. I’m still hoping against hope for an official 6-character party mode so I can just play with all the main characters at once, but that sadly seems unlikely. At least there’s mods to enable that, albeit in a slightly hacky way.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition will be coming as a free update to all existing owners of the game this August, presumably on the same day as its console launch.

48 Comments

  1. Antongranis says:

    This is a really, really damm good. IMO, quiet a bit better then Pillars of eternity I and II. Beats Tyranny too.

    • Minglefingler says:

      I have to disagree. For the record, I thought Pillars was let down by too much combat and whilst the writing was good it needed a touch more humour. I loved it to begin with, got annoyed by the excessive amount of combat but still finished the game. I loved Tyranny. Original Sin 2 is a better game than both. Pillars 2 is amazing however, the combat is more enjoyable, the companions are more fleshed out, there’s more humour and the game captures the feel of playing Baldur’s Gate 2 pre Imoen’s rescue. As in: interesting side quests everywhere. I think I prefer it to Original Sin 2 although in my opinion there’s little difference between the games in quality.
      I wouldn’t have bothered with such a long reply but I could count on one hand the rpgs that I’ve fallen in love with to the same extent I’ve fallen for Pillars 2 and yes, Original Sin 2 was one of them.

    • trashmyego says:

      At least both Pillars 1 & 2 had a story, world, and characters I was interested in. Though Divinity OS 1 & 2 are a blast to play, they lack a world that’s engaging to learn about and explore. Which is odd, because I enjoy exploring Rivellon but that enjoyment is derived from the superficial interactivity of the environment and not what they’re meant to represent on a whole. For all its detail, Rivellon feels like a themepark built the day before for you to play within and not a lived in world. The characters and stories improved drastically in the sequel, but it’s still pretty mediocre and predictable stuff overall. In both of the games, I always felt hampered and constrained by the plot’s framing of the PC character and initial acts and the choices given to define my roleplay. But I adore both of the games (the original far less than OS2) all the same, for being something new and old at the same time and for all the love and effort that went into them.

      Pillars 2 however is scratching every conceivable itch for me.

      • Sleepery says:

        Very much this – Larian can’t write engaging fantasy, and as good as the game worlds and mechanics are, I never seem to stick with their games for long.

        It’s like they can’t decide if they want to be Terry Pratchett or George RR Martin, and end up with an uncomfortable mix of both.

        • Hieronymusgoa says:

          I am very happy that someone feels the way I do regarding that :) Especially Divinity 2 is a game I like a lot because of all the effort I can clearly see which went into it and I should be all over it normally but I am more like “Eh, yeah, kinda fun.”

      • bacon seeker says:

        The tone/writing put me off DoS1 pretty quickly, but I thought 2 was a lot better due to the interesting (and frequently unethical) companions

      • JustOneWay says:

        Oh for a collaboration!
        Obsidian and Larian kissing in a tree with the outcome being Pillars of Eternity: Original Sin 3.

        Although what about the risk of an ugly baby with the story inherited from of OS and the mechanics from PoE.
        Just a dream then.

      • Jonfon says:

        I thought I was the only one. “Feels like a theme park” pretty much nails it for me. I enjoyed Divinity but I know I played (and replayed) Pillars more and enjoyed it more.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Hey, free update. I was afeared for a minute there that this would be a Scholar of the First Sin kind of deal.

  3. Hoot says:

    Larian are making themselves into an equal of Obsidian and CDPR in my eyes.

    Free, substantial, significant updates to support their products. Top banana, boys.

    If only Paradox could follow these examples.

    • reosarevok says:

      Paradox also supply free, substantial, significant updates for free though? I mean, Stellaris 2.0 was certainly significant, whether you liked it or not, and expansions generally launch alongside a big free patch too… Not saying it’s as good as all of it being free, but there are much worse examples.

      • Hoot says:

        Stellaris 2.0 broke the AI so badly that even on the highest setting it is a cakewalk. Each free patch for that game invariably breaks some fundamental element of the game. 1.6 made it so that the enemy AI could not actually declare war. The DLC hasn’t introduced any interesting new systems either, just vapid “content” that amounts to an extra building or an extra few lines of text, etc. No espionage, no trade, no civilian traffic, the list goes on.

        Stellaris is the worst example at Paradox for sure, CK2 and EU4 DLC can be hit or miss too but on balance they are far superior to Stellaris.

        Nevertheless, the practice of releasing “free” patches that basically introduce tweaks only or tweaks + hamstrung content that you can’t really utilise effectively unless you shell out for the accompanying paid contend has left a bad taste in the mouth of many people.

        When the company was small and taking risks before they knew how well grand strategy games would fly it was acceptable, and at the time if you wanted to keep up with the DLC cascade there were only 2 titles you had to worry about. As a company with now numerous franchises under their belt, releasing bare bones games and forcing a consumer to pay four times that amount over a 2 year period if they want to experience the game as it should be (and it probably will be still broken, as in the case with Stellaris 2 years after release) is pretty despicable.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          Fair enough on some of the free updates being buggy. True.

          The DLC hasn’t introduced any interesting new systems either, just vapid “content” that amounts to an extra building or an extra few lines of text, etc.

          U wot m8?

          The (paid) DLC introduced leviathans, which aren’t either of those, and provide longterm threats. The pirate/mongol sort of factions are part of DLC. Mechanical empires (and fallen empires) with different AI/techs/traits/cultures/governments, that was DLC. This also changed around the mechanical uprising mechanics. New ship classes are from DLC, including ships that cause galactic-scale repercussions. Megastructures are from DLC too, which are ‘buildings’ I guess, but rather different from what was there before.

          I get that you don’t like their DLC model, fine, but just lying outright to try to make your point isn’t the right way to go.

          • Hoot says:

            Maybe I didn’t explain myself very well.

            What I meant was that the DLCs so far have introduced content, but nothing that changes the basic way a game will play out. In the mid-game and late-game, no matter what race you play, all you will be doing is building up a navy and taking territory / waiting to defend against a crisis. The AI as it is makes war trivial and because the 3 victory conditions in the base game are basically the same it’s no matter whether you have new ship classes or you’ve encountered a Leviathan or you’re playing as the jumped up Toasters, what you’re actually doing is the same.

            If they revamped diplomacy, introduced trade and espionage and gave us more complex victory conditions it would make the game far more engaging.

            I hope this is a bit clearer.

      • bacon seeker says:

        “whether you liked it or not” is the key point here, I’d much prefer if they refrained from making major gameplay changes in patches, and leave that for mods, game settings options, or sequels. but the Paradox devs/hardcore fans obviously disagree

  4. kagechikara says:

    “official 6-character party mode” – LARIAN PLEASE.

    This is what’s held me back from playing the game, which sounds silly, but I will at most make it through the game once and I want to see as much content as possible. I want to see all the possible companion’s stories.

    I’ll probably mod it eventually, but I would be beyond thrilled if this were officially supported.

    • Antongranis says:

      Actually, the restrictions they did with the partymembers following act 1 was one of my favourite things about the game. I dont really want to go in to more detail, spoilers and the like.

  5. MiniMatt says:

    And we know their writing team has gone from strength to strength recently…

  6. KillahMate says:

    Well, if we’re going to provide feedback, Feedback Billy himself could stand to speak about 40% faster. We’re supposed to want to interact with him, and he really takes his sweet time too much for this to be the case.

  7. Nolenthar says:

    Hard to improve such a masterpiece, but I am hoping to see better crafting (though mods fixed that), and, most critically, a revamp of the item progression. There was nothing more boring, infuriating and time consuming than having to re-gear ALL your characters because you levelled up and suddenly all your gear is useless. It turned a great moment (level up) into a chore … This is unarguably the most broken thing in this game.

    • vikon82 says:

      Yes. Also, initiative. And armour system. And the fake dialogue checks. And the lack of reactivity.

      Somehow, Larian manage to ruin the best thing of the original, combat.

      But it’s an excellent product, very professionaly made, its presentation is top notch, so as far as it works for them financially, that’s good: We always need devs who can make RPGs, some of them might be good some not.

      • Nolenthar says:

        Armor system is decisive but it address a major issue of the first one, namely RNG on crowd control along the need for those two extra stats (willpower and bodybuilding). Armor address that by making crowd control reliable and “strategic”.
        Initiative, I’m not convinced it’s broken either. In tactician, it ensures ganking is not possible as 1 character from each team will be acting one after the other based on their initiative, which is what I suspect you consider “broken”.
        But yes, dialogue check (and in general social skills, which are given too moderately, leading to any character not madding his social skills to be unable to perform those tasks – if you don’t max thievery, you won’t be able to pick pocket, if you don’t max persuasion, you won’t be able to persuade…).

        I’m not sure what you mean by lack of reactivity.

    • Menthalion says:

      Why was gear useless after levelling ? Simply because on level gear was better ?

      • Nolenthar says:

        Yes, when epic/legendary/unique items are surpassed by white gear simply because you just levelled up, it makes any feeling of acquiring rare gear irrelevant and removes all the wow factor of getting shiny items. Not mentioning that if you overlevelled a quest and get the fancy reward, it’s totally useless before you even use it.
        It’s something that makes sense in a MMORPG but not in a solo game. In Baldur’s Gate, when I found a long sword +3, it wouldn’t suddenly become worst than a random long sword because I’m now level 11 and not level 10.
        DOS 1 was better with that, I recall keeping an unique for several levels as there was nothing better.

    • bacon seeker says:

      Agreed, the item progression was my least favorite part of this game (and of Witcher 3, actually), I didn’t like having to constantly swap items, or that legendary gear was inferior to generic gear a few levels higher. It’s easy to mod out though, which I may do whenever I get around to a second playthrough. I much prefer the way Pillars of Eternity handles it– items shouldn’t have “levels”, they either should be high quality/unique, or not, regardless of when you find them.

      • Mungrul says:

        I found a brilliant mod that fixes the gear progression in Witcher 3, levelling it with Geralt. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve played the game through 4 times now, and only recently found this. It completely negated this major problem I’ve had with the game:
        link to nexusmods.com

  8. Wormerine says:

    Yhh… i might have to give it another chance. I had a great time playing first D:OS in coop, a rather dull time playing it singleplayer. I sunk about 50hours into D:OS2 and i found it to be a slog – boring story, forgettable NPCs, quest so open you complete them without knowing or even putting any effort. While i enjoy individual mechanics a lot, i feel like it wasnt really designed – more like bunch of stuff just thrown into a box. With a friend or two it might be a nice sandbox to play in, but as a single player experience it was a chore.

    • Nolenthar says:

      While I couldn’t disagree more with you, it doesn’t feel like a definitive edition will change your feelings. You’re in the minority, far from the consensus, so it’s clear that the game is not for you. When most consider it the best RPG delivered since The Witcher 3 (and for some even since BG2), it’s hard to argue that if you don’t like it, your time is best used at playing games you enjoy. There is nothing wrong with thinking out of the box or disagreeing with a majority.

  9. Premium User Badge

    It's not me it's you says:

    D:OS2 was incredible – the missus and I played a big chunk of it together. She doesn’t even like RPGs and loved this.

    We never quite finished it (I think we were close to starting the last area of the game and got interrupted in the sweep-up-the-last-few-sidequests process by some real life stuff. Then didn’t get back to it yet) but it’s one of my favourite gaming experiences in recent years. It still comes up regularly as a thing we should really go back and finish so I wouldn’t put it past near future us to clock it after all.

    Also, unusually for a game like this, I kept noticing how damn gorgeous it is. I really enjoy the environmental art and the spell effects and even the gear had enough detail to make getting unique items feel nice and chunky.

    All that is to say I can’t wait for the Super Ultra Turbo Definitive Deluxe edition and I really hope they’ll do a proper expansion for it as well.

  10. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    I’ve still not started the first Original Sin, even though I’ve owned it on 3 different platforms for as many years, and played all the previous Divinity games. So many other shiny gamey things to distract me. Please kick me up the arse.

  11. shagen454 says:

    Playing Pillars II at the moment, only about 6 hours in – hasn’t really taken hold of me yet. Though, the beginning of Divinity II was pretty good it too didn’t grab me until a couple hours after getting out of the first main area. DOSII is really a gem.

    One aspect I really liked were the items. It really is a game that gives the player special weapons / spells etc that actually have importance & function. Every battle & area felt special & very polished. Some of the most fun I’ve had playing co-op since LAN parties with Diablo 2.

  12. Caiman says:

    My decision to not play this on release bears fruit! I suspected they’d be releasing a polished version like they did with the first. That was certainly worth the wait.

  13. Mungrul says:

    While I enjoyed DOS2, the systems behind it were utter tripe.
    It felt like someone wanting to reproduce a P&P system without actually ever having read a rule book.

    Initiative, armour, skill checks and gear were all utterly broken. That last one in particular made me incredibly angry. Because of the huge power differences between one gear level and the next, I swear I spent more time shopping than playing.

    They also somehow managed to make crafting worse than the first game and not worth bothering with at all. At least in the first game you could craft decent gear with appropriate stats for your level. Not so in the second game.

    I’m getting really fed up of half-arsed RPG systems, and DOS2 is one of the worst offenders.

    • Hoot says:

      Played the game through on Tactician difficulty, never had an issue with the items. Some I distinctly remember keeping for a long time, mainly because of their skill bonuses.

      Those systems you mention weren’t actually broken at all. I just think you failed to understand them.

      • Mungrul says:

        Nope, I completely understood them.

        Initiative half the time made no difference whatsoever, as in key fights, the enemy always got the first turn even if you had characters with higher initiative. At higher levels, this gave them the chance to get off multiple high damage abilities leaving you with little chance of retaliation.

        Armour made an irrelevance of the surface system and made magic mostly pointless.
        Armour is always best treated in RPGs as a way to reduce damage, not negate it completely.
        This allows for low powered attacks to be shrugged off by high armour, while high powered attacks can “spike” through the armour dealing reduced damage. That simply isn’t possible with DOS2’s utterly stupid all-or-nothing system.

        Skill checks were reliant on both a skill and a stat, where it should have been one or the other. And even then, a lot of the skill checks were rigged to fail. This could easily be tested by artificially boosting both to levels where the skill check should automatically pass, and yet it would still fail.

        And if you didn’t see the power differences in gear between levels, you’re either lying or you used mods to minimise or eliminate said power differences.

        • Nolenthar says:

          You are right about gear scaling which is ridiculous.
          Though I have to agree with the previous reply that it seems you haven’t grasped all the mechanics properly.
          The Armor system for instance is devisive, there is no arguing it, but what it does is to remove the abundance of RNG mechanics that usually plagues RPG. It doesn’t render surface useless (some effects bypass armour) because your armour is a finite resource that will get depleted.
          The armour system allowed for more powerful effects without the feeling of unfairness always attached to a RNG system. It prevents over reliance on crowd control effects and provides a tactical layer of target priorisation (magic is not useless like you claim, it just requires you to chip at magic defense first, just like physical effects require hurting physical armour first) and is better achieved via a mixed group (in general 2 characters able to deal physical damage along with 2 characters able to deal magical damage) though it can work with a highly specialised group (all magical or all physical) but you then lose the advantage of dealing with targets with low resistance of one type.
          Long story short ? It’s a deep system that attempts to remove RPG beloved RNG mechanics. I hates it at first, I love it now.

          When it comes to skill check, I suspect you mean persusion check which seem influenced by a statistic. Though you are wrong to assume the statistic influence the result. It will change the dialog (a wisdom perusasion check will mean toward wisdom, a strength perusasion check toward intimidation) and depending of the character you are trying to influence, may increase the result you need to succeed (or lead to an impossible success) but your overall statistic value doesn’t modify the result. I’ve succeeded agility (or whatever it’s called in the game) persuasion check even if this stat was reduced way below its minimum of 10 via items and quest malus.

          And when it comes to initiative, very few fights have an enemy who has its initiative hacked and when they do, you can easily see it in their tooltip (if you have a loremaster skill high enough). Whoever has the highest initiative always start first. Sometimes though you are right, enemy gets a +10000 initiative boost to ensure they start first :).

          Thanks for the Witcher 3 mods by the way, will come useful ;)

        • Hoot says:

          I used no mods. I finished the game on the hardest difficulty. I didn’t obsess over min-maxing my item stats. I just enjoyed the game.

          I balanced Physical/Magic damage as required and played fights out using tactics that were effective against whatever type was prevalent, first focusing on reducing armour, then applying surface effects. As for initiative, again, I had a Loremaster character in the party and the turn order followed the initiative values. I checked. There’s nothing broken about it.

          I didn’t do much in the way of persuasion or intimidation, and when I did I was either successful at it or I wasn’t, and I just continued the game. D:OS2 goes out of it’s way to avoid “fail states” so even if you fail a check, you can still complete the game.

          Just because you don’t like a system doesn’t mean it is broken. As I said, it sounds as though you just aren’t very good at the game or want the game to work the way you think it should in your head instead of learning the game as it actually exists.

          • Hoot says:

            Regarding initiative, there may have been some scripted combat sequences where the initial initiative rolls were enemy favoured but to be honest after a certain point, even on Tactician, combat could be steamrolled by exploiting the combination of certain abilties.

  14. Janichsan says:

    I hope this means they will finally get around to release the Mac and Linux versions of that game.

  15. UNCgolf says:

    Pillars of Eternity 2 is the best RPG I’ve played since Witcher 3 and nothing else is even close. If you ignore Witcher 3, it’s probably the best I’ve played since Dragon Age: Origins. It should absolutely win RPG of the Year.

    With that said — I haven’t played Original Sin 2 yet! I decided to wait for the console release (i.e. so I could rent it) because I didn’t think the first one was very good. I didn’t even finish it; I think I made it to Act 3? It’s VERY rare that I don’t finish a game I started (as in I finish probably 95% of them), which shows how little it grabbed me. But POE 2 is so good that there’s no way a definitive version of any previously released game should beat it out for RPG of the year.

    Pillars of Eternity was solid, but not incredible. POE 2 has been absolutely phenomenal so far and a significant upgrade.

    • Hoot says:

      See, I think the first PoE was by far the stronger game. Stronger plot. Stronger characters. Stronger setting.

      Maybe because I find the whole “Arggg, we be pirates, matey!” thing a bit trite. Largely because the romanticised view what most people have of pirates is so far from the truth it’s unreal.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really enjoying PoE 2 and it’s still a great game (and the combat is much improved), but in terms of plot and characters it is definitely not as good as PoE 1.

      • UNCgolf says:

        I agree that the plot of the first game was mostly excellent, but from what I’ve seen of the second (I think I’m only about halfway through) it’s quite good too. It has a really excellent take on colonization etc. although that’s almost entirely through side/faction quests.

        I really liked POE, but it was sometimes a slog to play. I typically like the western Europe fantasy setting, but I think POE 2’s setting is significantly better and also better realized. It just feels like a better game overall in most ways.

        I also don’t think I agree that the pirates in the game are romanticized. They’re pretty clearly awful people (I think I’m only about halfway through). I guess you could say the Age of Sail in general is being romanticized in the game, but even then you’re getting a pretty bleak (and accurate) view of what it did to native populations and how shady/underhanded the colonizing powers often were.

  16. Ham Solo says:

    Seeing how much of an improvement the first game’s remaster was I’m looking forward to this.

  17. Noodlemonk says:

    I was about to complain about the lack of any disclaimer saying, ‘Hey, a certain Mancunian we know now works on this game.” But watching the video, we can now conclude that Adam is officially dead to us. Blown to bits. It has been fettled then. Mint!

    ( <3 )

  18. Madcat6204 says:

    Any chance that the new version will be for sale on Amazon?

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