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Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337277
22/07/06 07:54 AM
22/07/06 07:54 AM
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msz Offline OP
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hi,

i know this game is very old by now, but nevertheless i just spent around 40 hours with it (and if i was a programmer, feedback would always be welcome).

-performance-
the game ran very smoothly on my geforce4ti though even with the latest patch there was random crashing to desktop (around 20 times, which costed my more than 3 hours redoing things). often occured when i was changing rings.
multitasking wasnt possible either...

-graphics-
done well, though i disliked the fact that most armor/weapons didnt change the look of the character at all. combining this stuff should result in an individual look (see diablo2)...
custom character icons are so easy to do - this would have been a nice little touch.

-sound-
easily the best part of the game, best track is played when you enter the farmer community.

-story-
i did like the external story & manual very much, there flew a lot of effort into it. but what happened ingame was rather dull and very predictable. i was extremly disappointed of how things were going after you arranged the meeting of the 7. the whole resurrection, desert and exact-diablo-cloning (very boring final map) without any real npc interaction/story seemed like a rushed afterthought to lengthen the game.
there were no likeable characters in it. the only good/fun moment i had was when a dwarf told me he couldnt tell the sex of humans because of their habit to shave...

-combat-
the combat in the game is not strong enough to stand on its own (thats one of the reasons why the end of the game imo... sucked). i created a meleewarrior, what resulted in extremly dull gameplay. due to a bug i couldnt bind weapons to quickkeys (just spells&potions), so my planned bow-melee-combo wasnt possible. there is not much you can do with the warriorskill tree except improving weapon damage and avoiding a bunch of really useless skills like "play dead". i did use some skills of the other 2 trees (like lockpick&pickpocket which you HAVE to get in order to join the thieves gild - bad idea), but most of them werent very interesting either. maybe playing a mage would have been more fun, but i doubt it would have been more effective. this brings me to the point that the game is heavily unbalanced on "normal" settings. the first 10 hours you have to run in fear as soon as you see a heavy orc and die a LOT while exploring the map and encountering without any warning strong monsters which are hiding behind bunches of very weak ones, but in the 2nd half you become almost immortal. during the final 20 hours i died just one time -by stepping into the toxic swamp.
the subbosses at the end were annoying because of their blinding-spells. i dont know if investing into "true sight" would have fixed that, but up until this point of the game i saw no need for it since i never had any trouble with invisible enemies.
the loot/gear was also extremly(!) disappointing. besides hunting bows und axes there was almost nothing of interest. i finished the game (with ease) by using some onehanded exceptional [nocando] sword of stunning (50-95, Stun4) which i bought halfway through in rivertown market! whole final maps gave me just 2 deathblades which were both worse.

-quests-
i couldnt solve some of the quests and after reading a FAQ after finishing the game i do know that a part of my failures was due to bugs. besides this and some feedex-quests it was ok but nothing special or very motivating.
what i hated was the fact that certain things werent triggered as long as you didnt fullfill certain demands. e.g. i found 3 of the 4 treasure maps (in the FAQ was stated that the 4th one was labled manuscript instead of treasure map, so no wonder i oversaw it!) and the hidden cave only to wonder where the balls and the bowl were. the whole easteregg thing (2002 gold coins) seems to be impossible to solve without external knowledge, which is always frustrating.
the fact that the 3rd elven item was an non-id-ed staff was plain mean. at this point of the game i wasnt collecting any staffs anymore since i was swimming in gold, so i searched my [nocando] off elsewhere.
the 3 holy items quest was also very frustating since i found them all but not the "hidden church" which wasnt a church after all but some (triggered? i didnt saw it when exploring the area the first time...) hidden hole NEAR a non-hidden church. rechecking my old savegame after reading the FAQ resulted in a sword which was WAY inferior to the one i described above, so it wouldnt have done me any good.
another point was that i was desperate for the "sword in the stone" since it seems to be the best weapon of the game(?) and tried for 30 mins to stuff another blade into the stone. why not just name it "forsaken sword" so that you know that there is NO way of ever using it AND solving the demon quest/not getting every character of the dark forest map killed?

-conclusion-
i give this one a "D" which means "enough to do the job, but lacking some things". i think by rebalancing the combat and doing further questfixing it could have gotten a "C" within 1-2 good patches.


thank you for reading...




Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337278
22/07/06 10:23 PM
22/07/06 10:23 PM
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-performance-

A couple people have had problems with rings. I didn't run into any problems switching in and out of the game, but some people had sound or performance issues if they tried.


-graphics-

Each item in an equipment class looked the same on the character because the graphics are 2D. There is a set of drawings for each type of animation and various angles, which take time to create and consume a lot of disk space. Beyond Divinity dropped to 2 CDs largely due to having 3D characters, which also allowed more and a greater variety of equipment types (though some people still prefer the handed-drawn look of 2D).


-sound-

I burnt most of the DD soundtrack and some of the composer's other work to a couple audio CDs.
Divine Divinity music


the whole resurrection, desert and exact-diablo-cloning (very boring final map) without any real npc interaction/story seemed like a rushed afterthought to lengthen the game.

The publisher rushed the release of the game, so the wastelands were cut back from what was planned. In Beyond Divinity, Larian did the end of the game first, so that could not happen again.
Exploring everywhere and doing all the side quests will take up to 100 hours, so there was no need to artificially lengthen the game.


the combat in the game is not strong enough to stand on its own

I agree. Of course, I generally find games where combat stands on its own to be boring.


like lockpick&pickpocket which you HAVE to get in order to join the thieves gild - bad idea

I can see where you could criticize having a couple quests only solvable by joining the thieves' guild, but it doesn't make sense allowing people in the guild without basic thief skills. You can find or buy equipment with a Pickpocket bonus (don't know about Lockpick), though it might take awhile.

The game does start to get too easy towards the end, but you can simply choose a handicap to keep things challenging. I started saving up charms until I had good equipment to put them in, but then decided not to use any more (I used one earlier).


the fact that the 3rd elven item was an non-id-ed staff was plain mean.

I think Larian expected people either to have invested in the Identify skill or to search the room thoroughly.


another point was that i was desperate for the "sword in the stone" since it seems to be the best weapon of the game(?) and tried for 30 mins to stuff another blade into the stone.

Stats are random with this sword (and the holy item), so it could be very good, or not. If you want to keep the sword, you can use the duplication trick to copy it (see here), or just wait until you have completed all the quests in the Dark Forest before removing it.


Welcome to the forum.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337279
18/08/06 02:26 PM
18/08/06 02:26 PM
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tragic Offline
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Hmm I think the fact that you like things in a sort of order would mean you maybe have preferred diablo 2 then .

Some things are uneven as you mention the heavy orc could be seen as a too strong a challange early on but for me not knowing what is around the corner is a good thing.

If you are looking for a hack/slash then yes Diablo is probably the game you should play.

If like me you like a interactive world then wins easily.

I think becuase its such a large game with many characters voice acting would be too difficult althougth having the npc tell his story when you trade with them may add some sort of personalisation.

In addition to trade/identiy icon you can have say a story icon where the character will narrate his/her life story.



Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337280
20/08/06 11:27 AM
20/08/06 11:27 AM
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If you can get it, Nox is also an imho not bad hack / slay game. Plus, it has some sort of interactivity (but limited, compared to ). To me, it stands somewhat between and Blizzards D2, although Nox looks slightly different (I mean in-game).



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Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337281
19/09/06 08:07 PM
19/09/06 08:07 PM
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Quote:



You can find or buy equipment with a Pickpocket bonus (don't know about Lockpick), though it might take awhile.






i saw a couple of rings and necklaces with lockpicking bonuses along the course of the game.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337282
24/10/06 09:52 PM
24/10/06 09:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 6,899
Somewhere between Here, ..and ...
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yes helmuts too... I have one right now


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Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337283
26/02/08 10:53 PM
26/02/08 10:53 PM
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red_green Offline
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Quote:


-conclusion-
i give this one a "D" which means "enough to do the job, but lacking some things". i think by rebalancing the combat and doing further questfixing it could have gotten a "C" within 1-2 good patches.


thank you for reading...







I think D is a bit harsh. I just picked this game up a week ago. Now I realize its been patched since you rated it. As the game is now I think its quite good. As my charactor is only lev 21 I am too early along to rate it, but If the rest is onlf half as good as so far, it would still be a great game.

Its difficult comparing games out of box to games like Diablo that have been patched 9 times. All game have some glitches out of box.

As far as game balance. A player can control that themselves to some degree. Like if the Orcs are too difficult early on you can search out some of the thugs wich are much easier to a low level charactor and will level you so your stronger before taking on the orcs. I was level 18 when I cleared the orcs. Also there is no harm even for a melee peep to use metorstike or freeze until they get there armor and stats higher.

If the later quests are too easy, do them when your a lower charactor next time. Or don't max out the best skills.

I like this type of game and based on what I have seen so far would rate DD an A-

The issues I have with it are minor. Like am forever accidentally clicking on a guard in town which activates the same dialog. Would also like to know how to get friendly with the cats again. Maybe if I morph into a cat when I am in town.

I think the combat could stand alone. Try a diiferent build. Necros are fun. If its too easy late, try playing with no resistances.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337284
28/02/08 08:04 PM
28/02/08 08:04 PM
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You can switch combat mode off when wandering around town (hotkey 'c'). If you are just accidentally talking to guards when you are trying to move around, it should help to click and hold the mouse button down to direct your character, rather than repeatedly clicking on the ground.

Unfortunately, once cats or dogs turn hostile towards you, there is no way to get them friendly again (Arhu and the cat in Aleroth will not turn hostile, though). I never found a use for the cat statuette.
In Beyond Divinity, in the first act there is a confirmation dialog if you attack a friendly creature, allowing you to cancel or attack and turn that creature type hostile (for the rest of the act).

The game does get easier as it progresses, and the wastelands are mostly hack and slash, so I can see the original posters point about combat. However, you can handicap yourself, or increase the game difficulty setting, and much of the combat in the wastelands can be skipped simply by heading directly to your goals.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337285
29/02/08 03:40 AM
29/02/08 03:40 AM
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Thanks for the tip on just moving the cursor around instead of clicking. Eliminates the unwanted gaurd conversations. I think I got hostile to the cats by mistake when I was in a garden in Vertitis that was full of mosquitoes and bees. As I was killing them I think I hit a cat by mistake.

I restarted the game because I missed a few quests by killing off areas before getting the quest. So I'll just have to be careful around the cats.

It could very well be the the end game is a dissapointment but I already got my moneys worth out of the game playing only to level 28.

Restarting a new charactor and the game is playing out differently. The 1st time most of my drops sucked and I was struggling for gold just to buy mana. The 2nd time I have gotten good drops early and am not strapped for gold. Luckily the Dragon rider killed in the early animation scene dropped a gold charm for posion resist.

I'd be interested in knowing what quest give skills and which skills do they give. I'd hate to find out that I get a quest that gives a skill that I already have maxed.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337286
29/02/08 05:15 AM
29/02/08 05:15 AM
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If you hold the Ctrl key down it will target the enemy nearest the mouse cursor. This helps prevent accidentally attacking a friendly creature, and reduces the amount you have to move the mouse around.

Playing a warrior there was more than enough crappy or broken stuff around to loot to trade for health potions. All the expensive axes, etc in the Aleroth catacombs I could stash in a chest and repair and sell / trade them once I found better merchants.
Once you get up a few levels, restoration potions are more effective than individual health or mana potions.

In my first game the dragon rider dropped a gold strength charm, but most of the time he doesn't drop a charm.

Free skills, and spell books you can buy

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337287
29/02/08 07:43 AM
29/02/08 07:43 AM
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You guys must have the luck of the devil! That dragon rider has never dropped a thing when I'm around!


I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337288
29/02/08 02:30 PM
29/02/08 02:30 PM
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One time I got a decent Mithril Armor on one of my Mage characters off John the Dragon Rider. Quite fun to have a high quality piece of armor with low strength requirement and weight that early (No magical enhancements, but still...).

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337289
01/03/08 03:50 AM
01/03/08 03:50 AM
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Every point in the game, up until the Wastelands, i thought was amazing.
I had little problems with my first game, amazing drops, ended the game with almost 900k gold, i had very good weapons and armour, with amazing charms... i couldn't have been happier.
But honestly, the ending of the game, was terrible... i don't know how you can make a story so amazing... and end it like that... major disappointment

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337290
01/03/08 09:11 AM
01/03/08 09:11 AM
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i don't know how you can make a story so amazing... and end it like that...

It is easy; just have the publisher set the release date way in advance of your projected date of completion. Whatever plans you had get replaced by just getting the essential parts finished.

Larian did the final act for Beyond Divinity first, so the ending would not be effected if they ran short of time.

Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337291
03/03/08 12:54 PM
03/03/08 12:54 PM
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In Antwort auf:

One time I got a decent Mithril Armor




Comparing this formulatiuon to the rarity of *real* Mithril in LOTR ...

I rather liked Milrith from the Simon The Sorcerer game ...




When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
--Dilbert cartoon

"Interplayďż˝.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
Re: Just finished it - my afterthoughts #337292
03/03/08 03:13 PM
03/03/08 03:13 PM
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Quote:




-combat-
the combat in the game is not strong enough to stand on its own (thats one of the reasons why the end of the game imo... sucked). i created a meleewarrior, what resulted in extremly dull gameplay. due to a bug i couldnt bind weapons to quickkeys (just spells&potions), so my planned bow-melee-combo wasnt possible. there is not much you can do with the warriorskill tree except improving weapon damage and avoiding a bunch of really useless skills like "play dead". i did use some skills of the other 2 trees (like lockpick&pickpocket which you HAVE to get in order to join the thieves gild - bad idea), but most of them werent very interesting either. maybe playing a mage would have been more fun, but i doubt it would have been more effective.






OK I know the original post is older. I rather like the combat in this game. In my opinion a strictly melee charactor is the most dull in any combat game. Simply because the attack is always the same. This game really rewards the player by allowing all 3 charactor types to have access to all spell trees. I have a level 24 warrior that is specializing in sword. Just maxed augment damage, has as many points in augment defense, and posion that level allows. Then he has one point in freeze, curse, leech and elemental hail. Also has a point or 2 in skeletal wall, demonic aid, the spell that commands a summoned creature and resurrect.

This charactor can fight melee style or be a summoner. Needs more points in summoning skills yet but will eventually have enough to max out the key ones.

The original poster also pointed out that the combat was to easy. I found that you can creat your own custom battles by using resurrect and then command summoned creature. Once you can command 5 summoned creatures, you can bring them along to a specific area.

In my case I am stocking the lower level of the cursed abby with elite orcs, lizards, beatles from the dark forest and the tougher zombies. What you do is bring 5 at a time there. Then you cast your skeletal wall and place all 5 skeletons under your command. You have to do this to release the 5 monsters you brought along so they will stay there. Once you leave the area the monsters will revert back to hostile. You can repeat this to bring in as many monsters as your charactor can handle. You could make the battle near impossible this way. There is a bit of a trick when you bring a 2nd batch of monsters to join the 1st group. The 1st group will be hostile but he 2nd group you bring will be under your command and you can't allow the monsters under your command to be killed as then they can no longer be resurected. Thats why the cursed abbey is a good location. The 1st group can go in the room where the engineer was. YOu can leave the 2nd group outside that room so they wont see each other. then leave ans when you return they are all hostile. To get them all in the engineer room, run past the the group outside the room and draw them in and take both groups out there. I also like the music played here so its a good setting.

Each time you kill off this group, you ressurect them afterwards and you can keep doing it and added more monsters to increase difficulty. Plus giant elite orcs can drop gold charms from time to time.

My point is that there is room for creativity in this game. In games that have separate spell trees for each charactor, I find they all get boring because they are repetitive. This game allows the same charactor to use 2 or 3 different strategies.

It was mention that the weapons could not be hot keyed to f1 thru f12. Weapons can be switched at the bottom of the screen, adjacent to where the current spell is displayed. Plus one could pause, then switch to say a bow then resume.

My favorite combat is the orcs at night. I also like the dark forest. I like having to roam around to find a battle. So many games have monsters stacked wall to wall. Having more open spaces helps make things more interesting. Sometimes its fun to just walk around and enjoy the scenery.




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