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The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II #629044
10/10/17 01:24 AM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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After a great deal of hours put into Divinity: Original Sin II and extensive observation of its underlying mechanics and design elements, I've decided to create a comprehensive codex of grievances that I've collected over the course of my playtime.

I've tried codifying my issues with the game in the past in a variety of formats while throwing my two cents in on the forums here and there, but after several iterations I felt that simply recognizing and sharing my observations would be the best starting point for both promoting discussion and solidifying my own criticisms.

You can find the entire document HERE(wordpress) or HERE(gdoc).


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629069
10/10/17 03:40 AM
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A very thorough post. I generally agree with a lot of what you wrote, but I disagree on a few points.

Quote:
13. Risk Management is gone, RNG remains.
Accuracy, Ability Success, and Saving Throws are either gone or redundant now. Despite this, RNG elements still plague the game with Critical Hits, randomly generated gear and loot, and various random % effects on generated equipment, amongst other examples. There is no element of chance one can strategize around, but plenty of dice rolled.


I partly agree about the RNG loot, but I disagree about critical hits. I don't actually pay attention to random % effects on items, those are unreliable, so my eyes don't register that information as important.



Quote:
22. Cooldowns are prohibitive.
Ways to reduce your cooldowns are nearly as scarce as AP manipulation, despite this being a mechanic in the previous game. Many abilities still seem to be balanced around this (or just straight ported from D:OS1) or the EA’s spell cooldown reduction.


I mostly disagree with this point. Cooldown reduction in D:OS 1 contributed to wild imbalances in the game, especially when it came to mages, who could stack points into INT and vastly outclass physical characters spamming a ton of varied attacks. I celebrated the removal of cooldown reduction, which merely made it more difficult to properly balance the game.

I'm quite sure that D:OS 2's EA did not have cooldown reduction as a mechanic.

That said, cooldown reduction under specific circumstances might be interesting. I even suggested a Talent which reduces cooldowns by 1 turn to a minumum of 0 if Warm, Burning, or Necrofire at the start of the turn, and increases cooldowns by 1 turn if Chilled or Frozen at the start of the turn.

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629160
10/10/17 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted By: GreatGuardsman
After a great deal of hours put into Divinity: Original Sin II and extensive observation of its underlying mechanics and design elements, I've decided to create a comprehensive codex of grievances that I've collected over the course of my playtime.

I've tried codifying my issues with the game in the past in a variety of formats while throwing my two cents in on the forums here and there, but after several iterations I felt that simply recognizing and sharing my observations would be the best starting point for both promoting discussion and solidifying my own criticisms.

You can find the entire document HERE(wordpress) or HERE(gdoc).


I have not seen such a coherent and well thought-out criticism for ANY game before.

I read it all, and I must say that I agree 100% on every single word of what you have written (apart from some stuff in lesser flaws section not worth mentioning). Most importantly

"Larian Studios has not opened a dialogue about or openly respected feedback and criticism.
Larian Studios came forth last year on their forums stating that they would be reading and taking into consideration all criticism and feedback, and would be incorporating it. Come release, and not only were massive complaints of the community, long-standing bugs, and other issues left unaddressed but major, sweeping changes were dropped in the release version with no public testing—People who were so excited about this game they literally paid to help test it were not consulted on out-of-the-blue gut punches like Initiative being effectively removed.
"

I played DoS:EE just a couple years back, and I really liked it. It was not a Baldur's Gate 2, but it had its own style, and a very interesting and fun combat system, also hybrid characters did not fail, where they most often do in many RPG's, unless you go on a solo powerplay.

I made a One-Hander Tank, Rogue, 2 Casters party for DoS:II and I kind of regret it.

- The armor system's 100% block or 100% let through thing is absolutely ridiculous, MAJOR flaw like you said. There are times I just skip the turns of my mages, because whether I cast something or not will not make any difference in the next 4 turns of the combat. I skip turns waiting for their incredibly long support skill cooldowns end.

- Terrain effects means absolutely nothing, they are way too volatile to plan and utilize, nor do I feel like leaving hazardous terrain since using that AP to break someone else's armor is much more valuable.

- Attributes promote dump statting. Attributes do nothing, you need main skill attribute and memory, and nothing else, the rest are simply dump stats. Attributes should also modify saving throw points, effect chances, AP regens, Cooldowns etc. just like you said, just like in DoS:EE.

- Tanking is also non-existent, taunt is a joke, every "class" has some sort of teleport option that you are not able to tank anyone. Well, time to respec my one hander to a 2 hander.

Anyway I could go on, but I will be pointing to exact same issues you have pointed out, and do a worse job explaning them so I will stop here.

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Meldar] #629197
10/10/17 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted By: Meldar
[quote=GreatGuardsman]- Tanking is also non-existent, taunt is a joke, every "class" has some sort of teleport option that you are not able to tank anyone. Well, time to respec my one hander to a 2 hander.


The only tanking in DOS2 is mage face-tanking with bone cage which gives absurd amount of pdef, combining this with natural high mdef for mage and AI's logic "I SEE MAGE I ATTACK MAGE" you get a perfect tank right there.

Taunt is a joke. Even more useless than in DOS1, thats funny.

Last edited by SchrödingersCat; 10/10/17 09:54 AM.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Stabbey] #629247
10/10/17 12:31 PM
10/10/17 12:31 PM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Stabbey
A very thorough post. I generally agree with a lot of what you wrote, but I disagree on a few points.

-

I partly agree about the RNG loot, but I disagree about critical hits. I don't actually pay attention to random % effects on items, those are unreliable, so my eyes don't register that information as important.

-

I mostly disagree with this point. Cooldown reduction in D:OS 1 contributed to wild imbalances in the game, especially when it came to mages, who could stack points into INT and vastly outclass physical characters spamming a ton of varied attacks. I celebrated the removal of cooldown reduction, which merely made it more difficult to properly balance the game.

I'm quite sure that D:OS 2's EA did not have cooldown reduction as a mechanic.

That said, cooldown reduction under specific circumstances might be interesting. I even suggested a Talent which reduces cooldowns by 1 turn to a minumum of 0 if Warm, Burning, or Necrofire at the start of the turn, and increases cooldowns by 1 turn if Chilled or Frozen at the start of the turn.


My gripe with Critical Hits under the RNG point is less about critical hits themselves, but more how out-of-place they are after they've gone through so much effort to remove RNG and savescum elements. I only mention it because exactly that happened to me in a co-op game (the host ate a crit that he would have otherwise survived in the Houndmaster fight, if I remember correctly.)

I'm also not solely reminiscing about D:OS1's cooldown system, simply observing that there was no real attempt to replace it, alter it to better fit these new systems, or otherwise account for it's removal. Spellcasters in D:OS1 could become ridiculous spell-slinging archmages with a few pieces of INT gear and as much fun as that was, it didn't need to reoccur; but I still would have liked something to fill that void.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629308
10/10/17 03:02 PM
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Great Guardsman, if I can make a suggestion: Make the titles much less aggressive. Avoid overly-negative language in the titles like "broken", "pointless", "a joke", "terrible", "boring". That's the first thing people see, and that's more likely to make the developers less likely to even want to read the paragraphs below, even though thous paragraphs don't contain the negative language.

Just a little suggestion for improving your messaging.

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Stabbey] #629323
10/10/17 03:23 PM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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I had intended this less as a tirade for the reflection of the devs and more as a community-oriented piece, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give it a once-over with a bit more professionalism since the devs may see it after all.

Thank you for the input.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629346
10/10/17 03:56 PM
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At OP. Most of your grievances come from the fact that you consider D:OS 2 a single player game. D:OS 2 can be played single player but it is mainly a multiplayer game where you can screw over your friend's quests and AP is the way it is because you are expected to fight your friends over various stuff like who gets to kill Roost first to progress their quest (Sebile and Ifan rivalry).

I partialy agree that gear with +initiative is a big joke,but to me that is nothing compared to the fact that we still have resistances in this game. I would rather they scrap out resistances and give us back the bonuses to armor from str and int investments as well as the +dodge from finesse.Monsters should either be imune (can't take damage from certain elements) or empowered (they restore health when damaged by a specific element).

Also I would rather RNG a long side green and blue items be removed from the game and that instead we could get more combat and civil points.

Last edited by Draco359; 10/10/17 03:57 PM.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Draco359] #629362
10/10/17 04:17 PM
10/10/17 04:17 PM
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vometia Offline

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Originally Posted By: Draco359
D:OS 2 can be played single player but it is mainly a multiplayer game

It is? I'd always assumed it was aimed at both equally. I think a lot of people's issues with it come from the assumption that it's primarily one or the other, or that it's primarily something else that it isn't necessarily.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629386
10/10/17 05:14 PM
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I agree with a number of points, but a huge chunk of points don't have any elucidation and are just statements of opinions with no evidence. Eg.

You: "Surfaces are rubbish and do no damage"
Me: nah, it seems fine


gambling on some rng cc affect is not a deep strategic decision. It's just a sign of gambling addiction.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Igniz13] #629391
10/10/17 05:20 PM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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Could you inform me of which points or individual examples/explanations seem underdeveloped? (A PM or post is fine.)

I tried to remain as brief as possible with each separate issue, but if that's getting in the way of understanding them then perhaps some alterations can be made to better illustrate them.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629409
10/10/17 06:21 PM
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I agree with pretty much all of what you wrote. That is a very well done set of critics for sure.

Considering that, even though I do disagree with some very specific things, Larian should most certainly take a look at this.

I do have one major question though, what exactly do you mean with this?

"Risk Management is gone, RNG remains.
Accuracy, Ability Success, and Saving Throws are either gone or redundant now. Despite this, RNG elements still plague the game with Critical Hits, randomly generated gear and loot, and various random % effects on generated equipment, amongst other examples. There is no element of chance one can strategize around, but plenty of dice rolled."


This whole paragraph is very confusing and isn't quite clear, for a few reasons.

1 - Yes, risk management is gone, but less RNG has nothing to do with that, if anything no RNG means less risk to manage because there are less variables.

2 - RNG on combat and outside of combat are 2 completely different issues, split those up, maybe.

3 - At the same time you state RNG still "plague"s the game, there is a complaint that there is "no element of chance one can strategize around". While I agree that there is little to no element of strategy on the game's current combat, I strongly disagree that it is in any way related to the level of RNG (X-COM has several degrees more of RNG than Divinity does and saying the former has less elements to strategize around is laughable).


So in conclusion, do you mean that you want more RNG elements and the return of accuracy and saving throws (I doubt Larian would ever do this considering the direction the game was taken on), or do you mean that you want the ones that are currently there to be removed?

Personally I think that this is mainly a complaint about a collateral effect, and not a problem in itself. If the low ammount of RNG that is in the game right now was removed the game would be even more of a cakewalk, that is just not the problem. The real problem, is that there is nothing to strategize around, there is always a very clear best strategy without any real risk to it.


As for the loot, I don't think anyone really disagrees that it is currently one of the weakest parts of the game.

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: NeoAnubis] #629486
10/10/17 10:47 PM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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The general idea behind that statement was, as I alluded to in another reply, was that they went through extensive effort to remove chance-based and savescum mechanics and systems from the game or to isolate and nullify their impact in anything but fringe cases-- Yet there still remained a lot of systems, some of them poorly implemented or unchanged, that still fell under that scope.

You had it right on the head with that last paragraph, the RNG aspects of the game have been wholly seperated from any sort of strategist or risk; the central gameplay elements are deterministic but are still flanked by random chance at every turn.

I may split that point into two seperate ones, or re-write it completely.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629493
10/10/17 10:59 PM
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It may be confusing, since it can lead to the false impression that RNG is to blame for a lack of strategical options, which doesn't make too much sense (If anything there are more games proving the oposite, but both ways can work). Splitting/rewritting might be the way to go, focusing on that part about a lack of strategic options.

Now I just hope this ends up being read by Larian at some point in the future laugh

Great job mate.

Last edited by NeoAnubis; 10/10/17 11:00 PM.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629513
11/10/17 12:09 AM
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Hey, GreatGuardsman!

This is gold for me, thank you for sharing your thoughts!
I'll bookmark this for my project and try to tackle some of the issues, at least that I agree with, fits my campaign overhaul/expansion's theme and is doable by a modder.

For the rest, hopefully Larian addresses some of the points in future patches!

Cheers!

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629535
11/10/17 01:03 AM
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GreatGuardsman Offline OP
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I've made the following changes to the document:

  • Reworded the Risk Management Major Issue and split it into two parts.
  • Adjusted some of the harsher language ('a joke', 'absolutely terrible', etc) according to community feedback.
  • Minor spelling/format/grammar fixes


I'm glad to hear so many people are finding my observations interesting or are taking these points and running with them!
I look forward to the community's future efforts and how D:OS2 will continue to grow after its launch; knowing that I might've helped spur the right changes onwards has made this whole idea worthwhile.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: NeoAnubis] #629588
11/10/17 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: NeoAnubis
It may be confusing, since it can lead to the false impression that RNG is to blame for a lack of strategical options, which doesn't make too much sense (If anything there are more games proving the oposite, but both ways can work). Splitting/rewritting might be the way to go, focusing on that part about a lack of strategic options.

Now I just hope this ends up being read by Larian at some point in the future laugh

Great job mate.


There are some stats which make green and blue items no better than white items such as +x intiative, +x crit chance rate (x is always smaller than 5), +random number hp +x% dodging (if Finesse would still give a bonus to dodging then maybe this would not be so bad) +z movement speed (where z is smaller than 1 i.e 0.75) and my personal favorites +x to random civil ability I don't need (seriously I hate this last one,can't we get more civil points instead,please Larian)

If these stats were removed from the RNG machine then maybe things could get better.

Originally Posted By: vometia
Originally Posted By: Draco359
D:OS 2 can be played single player but it is mainly a multiplayer game

It is? I'd always assumed it was aimed at both equally. I think a lot of people's issues with it come from the assumption that it's primarily one or the other, or that it's primarily something else that it isn't necessarily.


This game is a multiplayer one because you can play it with friends,Larian's goal in the kickstarter was to make a game which can be played with friends, competitive questing is an experimental thing meant to make the game more fun by having friends compete for quest completion.That is my understanding of what D:OS2 is at least.

While I can respect the efforts of the op to provide this insight,I believe as a community we should keep in mind that this game was desinged to be a social activity shared with friends,not another single player where you can play a power fantasy. Larian would most likely ignore us if we keep treating the game like a single player experience so things like the limited AP is not a problem,it's a feature that isn't going anywhere.

Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629606
11/10/17 05:20 AM
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Nice reading. I agree with most of your points. Specially:

Quote:
Terrain setups, beneficial terrain, etc are all thrown out the window with Cursed spreading wildly and turning the entire map into a hazard.

I spent many time trying to prepare the terrain for one battle. It was a waste of time & effort. I almost cry when the enemy casted cursed terrain and destroyed all my surfaces so easily.

Quote:
AI know what their LoS will be with any movement, allowing them to pull off frustratingly insane shots; whereas a player trying to line up the perfect shot over cover/height cannot.

This is even more infuriating. Ranged enemies are able of doing "imposible" shoots. Sometimes it seems like their arrows can even go through the floor and other solid objects.

Quote:
There is no way to convert the large breadth of items into a sensible amount of more universal crafting materials like many other systems.

Useful ingredients are expensive and/or difficult to find. Even trying to find A SIMPLE EMPTY BOTTLE requires A LOT of time exploring the map. It's really frustrating to see you have spent a lot of hours in the game, you have tons of 'crafting' materials cluttering your inventory, but still you are not capable of crafting 2 or 3 relevant items.

Quote:
Food is pointless.
The percentile healing is laughably small, but the temporary effects of food last for such little time that they can be half over by the time you start talking to someone.

To me, there is little to none sense of reward from cooking. The benefits from eating dishes are too small, considering the difficulty involved in obtaining those ingredients.

Sorry for my english.


Last edited by vometia; 11/10/17 07:36 AM. Reason: formatting
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: Draco359] #629633
11/10/17 07:41 AM
11/10/17 07:41 AM
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vometia Offline

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Originally Posted By: Draco359
This game is a multiplayer one because you can play it with friends,Larian's goal in the kickstarter was to make a game which can be played with friends, competitive questing is an experimental thing meant to make the game more fun by having friends compete for quest completion.That is my understanding of what D:OS2 is at least.

While I can respect the efforts of the op to provide this insight,I believe as a community we should keep in mind that this game was desinged to be a social activity shared with friends,not another single player where you can play a power fantasy. Larian would most likely ignore us if we keep treating the game like a single player experience so things like the limited AP is not a problem,it's a feature that isn't going anywhere.

As discussed elsewhere, their intent was to make a game that can be played with friends, but it doesn't follow that was its main intent. The game is clearly targeted at both single- and multi-player campaigns equally, and though I can't speak for anyone else, I wouldn't have backed it if it was designed and sold as being multiplayer with a kinda sorta single-player option tacked on. Though I suspect nor would a great many other people who now enjoy playing it SP.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II [Re: GreatGuardsman] #629642
11/10/17 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: GreatGuardsman
Could you inform me of which points or individual examples/explanations seem underdeveloped? (A PM or post is fine.)

I tried to remain as brief as possible with each separate issue, but if that's getting in the way of understanding them then perhaps some alterations can be made to better illustrate them.


Being brief is the issue, lot of them are just headlines and one paragraph. I'd have to write an essay on everything wrong with it, before I could even begin to discuss what was being agreed on.

The first one boils down to "the system isn't the old one" there's no indication of what you want or why it'd be better.

It sounds like you want the opportunity to have more rounds than others, which sounds really bad and dumb.


gambling on some rng cc affect is not a deep strategic decision. It's just a sign of gambling addiction.
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