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Just having gone through both games and their almost tremendous impressions on me inspire me to write a comparison between them. 1.The Story (and the entailed environment) That is the excuse for us to start a game. To say the truth, I am not surprised at all about the story of Divine Divinity. I dont complain the idea of a lone hero striding on the quest of saving the world, that is a sheer inflexible (and encourageable) formula (seem Beyond Divinity changes that). I do complain about the heavily-Tokiennian-influenced aspects of the story (and those of a heap of other games). In contrast, Lionheart offers an absolutely different approach (most original ever, as far as my knowledge is enlightened), that is Real history of Mankind distorted by the sudden appearance of Magic. Thus you will see how Real people, real events such as the Crusades, the Black Death, and even the coming of the Messenger Jeanne dArc (Jehanne in the game) are affected by Magic and Magic-wielders and the way they react to them (E.g. heresy-hunter like Tomas de Torquemada and the Immaculate Jeanne loathe Magic whereas some open-minded geniuses such as Leona da Vinci or Galileo adopt magic for the common good). Some of your newbies may be stunned, what? even I will meet da vinci?

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(be continued) Yeah, and not only him, you will meet with great pleasure a whole set of historical ones, from those aforementioned to Duke Medina Sidonia ( in 1588, the Great Year, the Spanish Armada is about to join force with the Duke of Parma, Alexander de Farnesse in the Netherlands to invade and chastise poor England and chaste Bessie for the insolent use of Magic!!!, he he hope you all know History), Shakespeare, Nostradamus (in queer shape), Guy Fawk (you must be very treacherous to be able to find this guy and the reward from his quest is handsome), Miguel de Cervantes (my hero). Well, except the case of Jeanne dArc (who is undead), in fact put Toquemada in the same age with Galileo is an anachronism, but sacre nom, this world is soaked with Magic for nearly 400 years, and Magic is synonymous to No surprise (look, where is the Real star of 1588? No more, Don Felipe II of Spain has been assassinated by a spy, and his name is Niccolo Machiavelli!). Thus is the world in 1588, full of evil yet also plenty of excitement, and the hero/heroine-Lionheart, descendent of the doughty and valorous culprit of the Disjunction (aka the appearence of Magic) Richard the Lion-hearted, will set forth to save the world as he/she does dutily in all other RPGs. This alternate history, I conclude, adds much flavour for Lionheart though I have to concede it is not the fault of DD not to imitate it. Any way, it only accounts for 15% of the success of the game.

Last edited by Knight_of_Calatrava; 02/08/04 10:58 PM.
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2.Character building Hm, there are huge differences in character building between that of DD and that of LH. In Divine Divinity, it seems to me that the choosing of character at the beginning is just a joke, affecting things only at one or two level (you starts as a dastardly survivoress and ends as a mighty paladina with shining armour, glittering sword and sparkling shield, pas de probleme). You may say that is of more liberty, but then I say it is useless to divide into three class, two sexes is enough, just to the eyes. On the utter contrary, the Attributes in Lionheart (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charming, Intelligence, Agility and Luck -> SPECIAL) will come with you to the end of the game with very little change (5 points more is maximum) while the little affecting Racial Traits and Regular Traits are unchangeable. In short, carefully choosing your Leonheart character at the beginning will decide 80% of how little painful time you will have to languish in front of the computer to finish the game. For example, In my first play of Lionheart, I was a fool to choose Antonio Gula, very Charming-> having large mana store, yet very weak= 3 in Strength, 4 in Endurance, and very slow=5 in Agility----> He is useless goof, worthless in melee fighting (even when I improve his one-handed melee skill to 150, he is still almost worthless) as well as in casting spell (One of a very significant difference between these two great games is Spell-casting speed, In Lionheart it depends mostly on the characters Agility whereas in Divine Divinity, it depends on your clicking skill).

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Thus, to be a good survivor in Lionheart, you must start building your character at the very beginning very carefully, using CUSTOM is the best and since your Character must be good in one non-magic fighting skill (in fact you have the possibility not have to kill many creature, it is just for safety) alternate well between Strength(melee) and Perception (Ranged), while Agility Must be Maximum. Well, you have to sacrifice other attributes, that is your Free Choice, though take care of Luck, which appears overshadowed but infact, will decide how Rich you will be, how good weapons you will get and Critical Hits (knockout). I really love this attribute, that really distinguishes LH with the rest of other games, including Divine Divinity. The conclusion of the 1st Paragraph of Character building part is that you can close your eyes when you start Divine Divinity while You must get a Headache at the beginning of Lionheart (but this only headache will save you a headexplosion later).

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So you say again, Divine Divinity gives you more freedom in building character, yeah too much freedom since you can choose 96 skill. 96 skill? Yes, but half of them are useless or to speak more fairly, unpractical while one of them, at a very very low level can make you become the Good God yourself. Whereas, all skills in Lionheart are utilitarian, that means the skill you invest can always actively aid you well IN COMBINATION WITH other skills (forget about getting through Lionheart with only One skill). The fact is simple, except non-magic skill (skill and subskill are the same, with the exception of Diplomacy, sorry for so many Exceptions, everything is relative), in a magic skill there are 4-5 sub-skills, some are useful, some are not, but when you invest in the main tree skill, all subskills improve. For example, in Tribal Protective skill, there are 5 Sub skill: a. Absorb spirit (get hitpoint from a corpse), b. Shroud of Darkness (Increase Sneaking ability), c. Armour of Bone (Physical Resistence), d. Animal Grace (increase Luck, Agility and Lockpick), e. Mana Shield (Use Mana as Hitpoint). I rarely use b,d,e but I still invest my skill points into Tribal Protective because a and c are extremely helpful...so and so

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Also in the Character building part, I must mention Diplomacy. In fact, most decent Roleplaying gamers are now very weary of Hack-and-Slash type and Both Lionheart and Divine Divinity try hard to make the world as ideal as it should be: War and Peace (intertwined). Yet while Divine Divinity let the hero choose his own foreign affairs, Lionheart has its own skill- Diplomacy, comprising Speech (convince) and Barter (bargain) and the hero must invest points in it to have more options in dialogues with others. We see the paradox here, the Liberalism of DD has its extreme, the implacable enemies must be dispatched whereas the Asceticism of Lionheart offers peace and mutual existence to the very end (that means in certain possibility=very high Speech skill, you dont have to kill any boss at all, and winning the game in the Nobless way: Persuasion). However, the liberalism (in the loosest sense of the word) of Divine Divinity may prove, in some certain cases, to be one of it strongest point and makes Freebooters really free to loot. If an area is difficult, try another. That is an simple yet excellent idea if compared with Lionheart. The most annoying thing in Lionheart is that it forces the hero to finish all main quests in Barcelona area (very big though) before going to Montaillou and its adjacent sites (all huge areas to explore). The curses of many gamers who are stuck in Barcelona to the game is unfair yet understandable.

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3.The End I have to say that the End of Divine Divinity is very disappointing. I have fought gallantly (without the aid of Scorpion) against numerous hordes of evil not to be only satisfied with the base thirst for Revenge. I am doubting whether that is the intention of the programmers to create a sequel for it. The end of Lionheart may offer you an equally disappointing end with the principal boss escaping after being beaten in the final battle and seems to return to lure mankind into its devil possession. Still, when all is lost, and every thing is swallowed by darkness, you have your last chance, a tiny, pitiably small chance yet enough to utterly, totally and eternally defeat the Arch devil, the Betrayer. That is through a most innocent tool - a tongue (You have to increase you Speech skill to the point of ...., and remember at about 130, you have to invest 4 points for 1 diplomacy skill point). As I said, The chance is tiny yet with it there is hope. (jk)

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4.The animation Well, in DD, both the landscape and the character are in 2D whereas in LH the landscape is in 2D while the character is in 3D. Therefore, nothing comes as a surprise when I say that action animation of Lionheart look much better. But bearing in mind that DD was release in 2002 while Lionheart in 2003 and the sequel of DD, Beyond Divinity (released in 2004) will enhance the character anime into 3D, I dont think it is fair to make a comparison here. 5.The music To me, music accounts for 50% of the enjoyment I have ever known in my life so I am quite fastidious in my remark here. I think the music in both Lionheart and Divine Divinity is mediocre at best. So far I have met few pieces of music in RPGs as inspiring as that of Seadog. 6.Finale As you see through my comparisons, it is clear that my better sympathy is with Lionheart, one of the most under-evaluated RPG, simply for the reason that it is too difficult and worse, players have no choice to choose different level (easy, medium or hard) at the beginning. It seems to me that the defects of Lionheart is the very good points of Divine Divinity and vice versa. I strongly believe that the combination of these two very slightly flawed games can yield one of the best Role play game ever. Thanks for your patience.

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It's an opinion one might share or not

But well formulated, argued, factual - my respects for that

(I'd be curious of what you think of Morrowind, given your preferences)


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I dont agree on one aspect and thats the music of DD,i think it sets the tone very well in fact.
The others are maybe a fair comment on the game depending on the view of the individual.

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I can't agree with you. I think that DD is a much better game than LH. I loved LH when I first came to Barcelona. The place seemed huge and filled with quests and choices to make. I didn't find it hard, it was challenging and exciting. (I played as a warrior-dyplomat).

But the level of my excitement soon grew down as I got to Montelou (less quests and space, but still well thought off and created with a heart). Then I set off to find the Lance,... and the game became all linear hack-and slash, which I hate! The last part of the game was very, very boring.

Well, you could say the same about the last chapter of DD. But there was one neat feature that made all the difference for me - that turn-into-ghost spell (sorry, forgot the name of it) and cat\frog\spider statuettes. So I had a good laugh hopping and flying through the enemy hordes without them taking any notice at me and killing only boss mages. It was close to most fun I ever had in a computer game! OK, I could take sneaking in LH, but then I would lose precious points I wanted to invest into one-handed sword and dyplomacy. Nothing in Barcelona hinted that I might want to use sneaking later on at all. Mind you, I wanted to skip fights because it was boring, not difficult.

Now to dyplomacy. Speechcraft is one of my favorite skills since Fallout. But all it did in LH was helping to avoid combat with several bosses. Poorly developed skill in comparison to Fallout. Still, I give LH full credit for it (it felt nice to bring peace to the world with my 180+ dyplomacy skill <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

So Larians, please, PLEASE make a speechcraft skill in DD2! Make it like in Fallout, so that different development of this skill could lead to different small events, not just major ones, to give the feeling of a real live world. Remember Fallout, where sometimes being dumb served you better than being clever? Cool.

LH was a huge disappointment for me, too, as I expected "Fallout in medeival setting", as they put it. That's the worst PR ever! Many gamers expected a miracle, and it didn't happen, much to our frustration. As for DD, I bought it just to play something while waiting for one of my favorite titles to come by. Guess what? It became one of my favorite titles!

I'm not saying LH is bad. Barcelona was near perfect for me, but the overall experience was ruined by the second part of the game. Still, I think with computer games it's more a choice of heart, and my heart is with DD.

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Thanks for your remark. About Morrowind, I have to say that I have not played it yet.

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I have to admit that the music piece around the Elven areas in the Dark Forest is very "inspirationally" poignant (In my first play, I find it extremely hard to leave my love Eleanessa because of this :D). But that is all.

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A part from being an "open" game, I wondered whether you liked Morrowind, as it has an "utilitarian" level build (you increase skills by actually using or training them) and Luck is a significant factor (that can be increased only by assigning valuable level points).

So you might have a look at it - I personnally think it's worth it in any case


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I can only say that I have played DD for a week (happy lvl 17 <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" />)and I have had more fun than I had playing LH for a couple of months (didn't like the linear story and the unpersonal, stiff conversation).

Ubereil

PS still think Arcanum is better than DD


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The point about the music was that it sets the tone well e.g

When you start off in aleroth you hear the flute music and this seems calm and as most of the inhabitants are healers it makes sense.
Also the music is kind of lazy and it would be an ideal place to go on a Sunday,just sit and do nothing because there is nothing to do.

Now Verdists has the violin music and when i think of that i think of opera and ulitmatily the posh and upper class people and as Verdists is a rich town with all the wealthy people there so again this sets the tone very well.

My personal favourite is the music outside aleroth.

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Quote
I can only say that I have played DD for a week (happy lvl 17 <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" />)and I have had more fun than I had playing LH for a couple of months (didn't like the linear story and the unpersonal, stiff conversation).

Ubereil

PS still think Arcanum is better than DD

It is true that we all have gone into the matter of taste. I myself as a historian amateur really like that alternate history. About conversation in LH, can you put an example to show their stiffness? I personally think that the voice-acting in LH is the best I know, I am still thrilled with the bigot-Castillian-accented voice of the old dude Tomas de Torquemada. I think the best voice-acting in DD may be that of Kroxy.
Glancealot, I am to play Beyond Divinity, so I have to put aside Morrowind. thanks for your suggestion anyway.

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I agree that Kroxy's voice-acting is possibly the best in the game. And I think that the player character's is possibly some of the worst :P Well, I'm playing a male survivor. Maybe female characters have better voice acting?

Anyway, I'm mostly replying to back up GlanceALot's suggestion for you to check Morrowind out. Persoanlly I never finished it but I don't spend very much time playing games so that's not rare for me. I have played it quite a lot though, and in some ways it's very impressive. There are some things about it that I find frustrating (mostly the NPCs), but overall it's pretty interesting.

The style of the landscape and architecture in Morrowind isn't really to my taste at all, but overlooking that, the size of the world is stunning. The soundtrack wasn't anything special in my opinion, but I've heard others give it a lot of praise. The voice-acting is generally good, but you hear the same lines being repeated over and over and over again by different NPCs. If you've met one female wood elf, you've met all the female wood elves in the game, basically.

The skill system is one of the things I liked about it. You level up skills by using them, and you get some stat points to distribute every time you level up a certain number of skills. You always get the same number of stat points to distribute, but various stats get a bonus multiplier depending on which skills you worked to get the stat points.

For example, if I raise mostly combat skills like Long Swords, then Strength will have a multiplier on it, so any points added to it are actually worth 3 points, etc. It works quite well.

Anyway, I've hardly heard of of Lionheart before, but I just checked out a couple of reviews. They're not saying it's anything spectacular, but I like the sound of it. The concept of magic being introduced to the real world sound like it could make for some very interesting scenarios. I might try and get hold of a copy at some point <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

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No comparison at all <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/div.gif" alt="" /> wins hands down! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/div.gif" alt="" /> all the way #1


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I finished both games, and while I think that Lionheart has by far the best system and back history, both games fall into the same trap. The end third is basically one long and incredibly boring fight.

I have played DD through completely four times, Lionheart only once. So I guess overall I prefer DD <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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