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Do you guys agree that Cyseal is the most fun chunk of the game? I felt that the zones afterwards were boring as hell honestly. Cyseal was amazing though.

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That's not really surprising considering how much time Backers spend alpha and beta testing and tuning and improving that one area (we only had access to Cyseal after all) and Larian only took public feedback for Cyseal.. which explains why the game gets substantially less polished by the end. (The end temple would probably be the first thing we'd have slammed very hard had we known about it during alpha/beta)

Cyseal is also a nice example of what happens when a feature gets canned mid-development (schedules and time of day) that big village with many rooms and nooks with so much detail was only made that way to accommodate schedules, and when schedules were canned very late in development that area was as large and detailed as it was...

The other areas likely were never made for schedules, and it shows in how relatively barren and empty the 2nd area is. Though at least the area was pretty to look at...

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Originally Posted by eRe4s3r
That's not really surprising considering how much time Backers spend alpha and beta testing and tuning and improving that one area (we only had access to Cyseal after all) and Larian only took public feedback for Cyseal.. which explains why the game gets substantially less polished by the end. (The end temple would probably be the first thing we'd have slammed very hard had we known about it during alpha/beta)

Cyseal is also a nice example of what happens when a feature gets canned mid-development (schedules and time of day) that big village with many rooms and nooks with so much detail was only made that way to accommodate schedules, and when schedules were canned very late in development that area was as large and detailed as it was...

The other areas likely were never made for schedules, and it shows in how relatively barren and empty the 2nd area is. Though at least the area was pretty to look at...


I wasn't a pre release tester..Anyway, do you think this game is overrated a bit? I mean sure, Cyseal was a solid 8.5/10, but the rest of the game was a 5/10 at best imo. That Source temple was sooo boring! I thought Divinity 2 suffered from the same problem; the first half of the game was great, but the second half really sucked. All in all, this game doesn't deserve the current 8.9 rating it has on metacritic. Any extrapolations on why this game is gettting universal acclaim despite a horrid second half?

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Probably because the game is actually still fairly solid outside of Cyseal, just not as polished.

Sure, the experience drops some after you're done with Cyseal, but it doesn't sink into oblivion, does it?


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I don't feel it is over-rated and depending on what you like will probably depend on if you like the beginning or the later parts better vs the other. There are plenty of people that didn't like the big slow paced city to start the game off on, then when they got past that is was more battle & buy/sell, which they did enjoy. So a common thread was "does it get better" and the response to them was "yes the game becomes faster paced once outside the city". Others like some here, like another big city to visit and learn about its goings on.

So where some like the one thing, there is a group that likes the other. In my case I'm slightly more battle orientated, so I didn't see the game slip terribly. I'm sure though it was rushed from words Larian have used, we do know Cyseal was all we had in EA, but we didn't change the whole scope of Cyseal, we reported quest bugs, balancing thoughts, UI improvements etc. It wasn't like we asked for and got the murder mystery in town, the story was all planned and not addressed by EA players.

I would love the day and I hope it is their next project, where Larian can take all the reasonable time they ever need to make a game without being rushed and get it all nailed from start to finish. My guess is they would agree. Perhaps they'll never have that luxury.

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Originally Posted by Horrorscope
I would love the day and I hope it is their next project, where Larian can take all the reasonable time they ever need to make a game without being rushed and get it all nailed from start to finish. My guess is they would agree. Perhaps they'll never have that luxury.


That's a luxury nobody in this world has. Keeping a team employed costs money and factors into budget.


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I often ask myself how a jewel and one time masterpiece like Master of Magic was ever made. Not to talk about its several hundred pages extensive documentation, which nowadays is shifted to the community guides.

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I agree that the best part was Cyseal and its surroundings. I also had this worry in the beta, since it was naturally the focus of testing.

But there were some good parts later too, like Hunter's Edge, and some other memorables set-piece fights, like the Elite Orcs, the Spiders (mainly due to the environmental effects), the Goblin Village, some of the fights outside the Source Temple, etc. Silverglenn was kind of disappointing as a whole, and I wish the whole immaculate thing had been more subtly played, but it had some nice moments too, like the story-telling hooker who tricks you (that was hilarious!).

Otherwise, the rest of the game had too much focus on combat, much of which was pretty easy and paint by the numbers, so it felt like filler - hopefully the new difficulty modes can improve that at least. If Hiberheim had a little dwelling to interact with, and Sacred Stone were more fleshed out, I think it would break that feeling and add much to the game. Though I haven't played with the new companions yet, and I heard they add an area to the game, and possibly some interaction with Sacred Stone, so maybe things have improved since release?

There also ought to be a way to temporarily shield the Homestead from the rain of fire thing and let you progress a little, as a one-off thing at least.

Last edited by Cattletech; 25/09/14 07:08 PM.
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Originally Posted by alestor91
I wasn't a pre release tester..Anyway, do you think this game is overrated a bit? I mean sure, Cyseal was a solid 8.5/10, but the rest of the game was a 5/10 at best imo. That Source temple was sooo boring! I thought Divinity 2 suffered from the same problem; the first half of the game was great, but the second half really sucked. All in all, this game doesn't deserve the current 8.9 rating it has on metacritic. Any extrapolations on why this game is gettting universal acclaim despite a horrid second half?

I wouldn't go quite so far as to demote it to 5/10, but in principle I agree. Cyseal seemed a vibrant place teeming with life and things to explore, whereas the other towns and villages did seem a little barren. Though I've done the same thing myself when creating mods, pouring enormous amounts of effort into one area and then using up all my creativity before moving on to the others!

I also felt the same way about Div 2, I absolutely adored the first half of the game but not so much the second, which left me wondering if I was kind of missing the point (and ignoring Sentinel Island since it made me feel so utterly miserable). But they really got it together again with FoV, which, though compact, was a wonderful and fun place to explore.


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IMO one of the weaknesses of current game design (and I don't at all mean specifically Larian) philosophy is the "start from the beginning" approach. You start from the beginning making things really interesting and then as production goes on, you have less time to work on specific areas, you have unexpected linearity because of not thinking ahead of how the nonlinearity of the beginning limits choices later on.

Game design really needs to at the very least outline the entire breadth of game duration simultaneously/holistically.

This really effects almost every game. Right now I can only think of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Awesome beginning.. slightly worse midgame, then deteriorates into mostly combat and SEWERS!!#Q$$$#!!!

Fake edit: Actually some other examples... All of the Gothic series (including Risen), Divine Divinity and Divinity 2 vanilla (I think Flames of Vengeance balanced it better). Hell, even Planescape:

My unorthodox idea is it may be better to work from the end to the beginning - a backwards approach. Then you definitely have set an entertaining end area with more non-combat and more NPC interaction (a la Cyseal), then move towards the beginning.

Though probably best would be to focus on both the beginning and the end, and let the middle fall into place. Mostly because you still do need a 'hook' in the beginning of the game, just like any good movie or novel.

But you cannot sacrifice the rest of the game by focusing too much on the hook.

Last edited by Mangoose; 25/09/14 09:16 PM.
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I've found the game completely miserable to play after Cyseal to be quite honest, even with the new DLC. If all of us backers had full access prior to the release, the entire game would have been so much better.

Last edited by LightningLockey; 25/09/14 09:45 PM.

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Exaggerating much? I get that some people might not like the game, but if you enjoyed the first part the second cannot become magically 奏errible?

I personally enjoyed Cyseal for the vibrating environment and creative quests, and the second part of the game for the out-of-this world battles, the puzzles, and the end of story.

This game remains one of the best cRPGs of the last decade. I wish they could have made the entire game as vibrant and creative as the first part heck, I wish they had made the world full of interesting cities and dungeons to explore, but realistically this was not possible, and with all its limitation, Divinity Original Sin in a hell of a ride.

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Originally Posted by Mangoose
This really effects almost every game. Right now I can only think of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Awesome beginning.. slightly worse midgame, then deteriorates into mostly combat and SEWERS!!#Q$$$#!!!

Oh God yeah. I think that was one of the most conspicuous examples that I've played: the first half was wonderful, but the final parts of the game just felt like a real slog. I remember eventually turning on god-mode just to power through its remainder, my reluctance to do so being worn down by the endless fights...


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Originally Posted by mbpopolano24
Exaggerating much? I get that some people might not like the game, but if you enjoyed the first part the second cannot become magically 奏errible?

I personally enjoyed Cyseal for the vibrating environment and creative quests, and the second part of the game for the out-of-this world battles, the puzzles, and the end of story.

This game remains one of the best cRPGs of the last decade. I wish they could have made the entire game as vibrant and creative as the first part heck, I wish they had made the world full of interesting cities and dungeons to explore, but realistically this was not possible, and with all its limitation, Divinity Original Sin in a hell of a ride.


Cyseal is the tutorial part of the game, the initial chapter of the game, the player's first exposure to the game & its systems, and as such Cyseal will certainly have a decidedly different character than other areas of the game...;) As well, what also makes Cyseal memorable is the fact everywhere else is *not* Cyseal...! It doesn't take much of an imagination to see how boring the game would have been had it begun, ended, and been confined to only Cyseal and surrounds--like, suppose the other towns had existed only on maps in the game...?...;) Ugh. Believe it or not, IIRC I once actually played a game years ago in which most of the towns were only listed on maps found in the game and you could *never get to them!*...;) Problem was--you were left to figure that part out on your own. I'm not surprised I can't recall the name of it--Grrrr-r-r-r-rrr...;)


I'm never wrong about anything, and so if you see an error in any of my posts you will know immediately that I did not write it...;)
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Originally Posted by alestor91
Originally Posted by eRe4s3r
That's not really surprising considering how much time Backers spend alpha and beta testing and tuning and improving that one area (we only had access to Cyseal after all) and Larian only took public feedback for Cyseal.. which explains why the game gets substantially less polished by the end. (The end temple would probably be the first thing we'd have slammed very hard had we known about it during alpha/beta)

Cyseal is also a nice example of what happens when a feature gets canned mid-development (schedules and time of day) that big village with many rooms and nooks with so much detail was only made that way to accommodate schedules, and when schedules were canned very late in development that area was as large and detailed as it was...

The other areas likely were never made for schedules, and it shows in how relatively barren and empty the 2nd area is. Though at least the area was pretty to look at...


I wasn't a pre release tester..Anyway, do you think this game is overrated a bit? I mean sure, Cyseal was a solid 8.5/10, but the rest of the game was a 5/10 at best imo. That Source temple was sooo boring! I thought Divinity 2 suffered from the same problem; the first half of the game was great, but the second half really sucked. All in all, this game doesn't deserve the current 8.9 rating it has on metacritic. Any extrapolations on why this game is gettting universal acclaim despite a horrid second half?


Different people different strokes I guess... to me it's a 7 out of 10 all things considered, and as Backer I really have no reason to overrate or underrate, I just rate what I backed and I am happy it even exists to begin with. But yeah, the polish really went haywire in the post Cysael areas, it's not just because that area has a huge amount of quests and a large assortment of very challenging fights but because the "golden steps" second area (ie, the snow-land) is 99% combat. And this is after all, what ye supposed to play after Cysael (I ignored it and just killed spiders and goblins to level up ,p) Now that I know what I know I would probably be able to end most engagements before triggering them too.. which is why I am really holding off my 2nd playthrough until Larian does something intelligent with the difficulty and crafting interface....

All fights after the giant cluster-hug... that was the hunter village end fight (which was amazingly fun, though nobody except 1 main dude that ended the quest survived it ,p) ended before the enemy had even 1 turn to move. Since spell range is larger than perception range of enemies. And if you know where enemies spawn, you can also very easily prepare the battlefield with barrels and area of effect stuff that leaves surfaces behind.

I also have a huge pet peeve with this game in that sneaking past engagements does not reward XP or is even a thing quests notice or check for. For someone like me who when games allow it will always go the "ghost" way this was a disappointment.... there is no non-lethal option either. You have to kill the void-dragon. Etc.. etc... too little choices and paths for my taste. Honestly after what the story told us, I was not really fighting for Cassandra anymore.... to me the void Dragon has a right to be pissed. Sadly killing her ends the game ;p

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Originally Posted by Vometia
Originally Posted by Mangoose
This really effects almost every game. Right now I can only think of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Awesome beginning.. slightly worse midgame, then deteriorates into mostly combat and SEWERS!!#Q$$$#!!!

Oh God yeah. I think that was one of the most conspicuous examples that I've played: the first half was wonderful, but the final parts of the game just felt like a real slog. I remember eventually turning on god-mode just to power through its remainder, my reluctance to do so being worn down by the endless fights...

Hahahaha I did the same thing. I also did that in Gothic 3. And as far as the other Gothics/Risens I just quit when the interesting city/faction interaction/etc. sections ended.

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I think many players felt first area too much like only a big town with some small surrounding.

I agree this area had benefit of Early Access feedback and certainly required quite more time and cost. The Luculla Forest is much more about exploration with just two small towns not really towns.

If there's a problem it comes from some design elements relative to exploration and not working well.

In exploration one big element is the "spot stuff" gameplay, it includes find something behind the corner, detect stuff midly hidden, quote a cisual hint the clue there's something to find. The problem is most of the "spot stuff" gaemplay is a failure, stuff too much hidden and unclear, items almost impossible to quote because of the amount of details and the iso view from afar, bad use of graphics shared between items to pick and items you can't pick, some more flaws.

The result is a lot of time spend in exploration design get lost and doesn't work. It's like if the designers believed the players would really play with close view and look behind any rock. The Sourcerer book hint about that bad design. It' s because it's not fun to do it. A great "spot stuff" gameplay is only based on vision and character location not on mouse cursor and checking any pixel.

So the result of this is to make look many part of Luculla Forest as more or less empty, because the initial exploration gameplay is here and fail to work. Also animals talk was a good trick but it's sometimes abused, ie it's used to help fill better the exploration but it doesn't fill fully that role, as would do a NPC with some real dialogs and interactions.

If the game was 4 cyseal like areas it would be very weird, with half of play inside towns.

And the 4th town has also a lot of stuff to dig, it's clearly not as big than Cyseal but it still has a lot of stuff and the mage house is a part of it as some underground.

Last edited by Fend; 27/09/14 12:15 PM.
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Originally Posted by Fend
If the game was 4 cyseal like areas it would be very weird, with half of play inside towns.


Right, and then the other group would show up talking about too much back and forth, yapping and not enough fighting/adventuring. So perhaps a perfect balance between it all wasn't hit, being heavy one way or the other will bring out critics.

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Actually any back and forth at all would have been welcome... once you leave, you have no reason to ever return to Cyseal. (The well quest excluded, but technically that is not IN Cyseal ;p) You can really tell how Cyseal was supposed to be the "Start Dungeon" equiv. that Baldurs Gate 2 had that you do once and then never return. Except not a dungeon and far more extensive.....

This is really why I always asked we get a start-location before Cyseal. Because starting close to there already blows 50% of the game potential right then and there. We should really have started a ways before Cyseal, with more quests moved into the wilderness.

Can't believe I am saying this, but Cyseal would have benefited from padding and some quests that span in other areas. Everything in D:OS feels so "clumped" either there are dozens of quests, or there are none and in some way the areas are also too large and there are too few of them.

But I guess this explains why other RPG's needed $20m+ to get their scale wink I am sure larian had ideas to make a truly large D:OS but had to cut many of them. And I think the game would have hugely benefited from a larger scale and less "clumping" (Cyseal is one giant clump) Heck BG2 broke Athkatla in what, 7 districts, with travel times between them etc. So as to make sure 1 area doesn't overload the player and unclump the experience. And many /big\ side quests lead you out of the city too. And the world in BG2 is also generally so hostile you really WANT to get back to city at some point wink I mean, Firkraag and that entire arc, is not something you come back from without the need for some major R&R.

As I said, to me D:OS is a 7/10. If Larian had gotten $40m we'd now have the best RPG ever made. But Larian had to do with a budget much lower.....


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