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Joined: Oct 2016
Location: Germany
Kalrakh Offline OP
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So, I finally got my friend to start a real playthrough after our attempts to play as groups of three or even four failed.

We loved the first game and played through it, we even started to play the EE campaign on Tactician, but stopped halfway through it, because it got pretty boring. Playing the EA of DOS2 for several dozens ours kind of left us burned up and disappointed. For some people I'm probably pretty infamous, because I mentioned those facts quite often during the time. But how ever... I finally got him convinced to make a play through with me, in the end I supported this game with buying a four pack during the kickstarter campaign. Though I feel quite some buyers remorse, I want at list some return out of my investment and shared suffering makes it less painful or something like that.

I have no idea if someone will read this, but I will write down some of my experiences and findings doing our playthrough. Though I won't report every spelling error in the german translation, even though I met some, because I don't feel like doing this effort.

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So, I started with Fane as a rogue, because of the free lockpicking and the Timeloop and also because I'm kind of interested in his story. He started with a human hydro-enchantress, though he now thinks he probably should have taken Lohse, because he is interested in her story. He also has taken Sebille as archer and I have taken Ifan as warrior/tank because he looked like one of the 'better' guys and because I love wolves.

We now arrived at Driftwood and close to level 10.

Fane turned into a Jack of all trades, though he remained a dual-wield backstabber. His main purpose is going in, doing burst damage and to disappear. Later on he supports with additional physical CC.

The Enchantress plays with wand and shield, because the AI loves to beat her up. Main purpose healing and offering magical armor, occasionally dealing damage.

Ifan is a summoner-tank. Main purpose distracting enemies with pets and taunt, letting himself get beaten up, supporting with physical armor and hard CC as soon physical armors are down.

Sebille is pretty much pure archer and the heavy hitter in team. She shredds enemies with over 100 damage per shot currently.

Combat
We are playing on Tactician and so far there were only a few fights, that required more effort from us and forced us to reload (My friend does not like to waste resurrections scrolls, so we reload when more than one of us dies):
- Fighting turtles on the beach with only our main characters.
- Fighting frogs at level 2 with full team, the crocodiles afterwards hardly gave a challenge in comparison.
- Fighting those two kidnappers. We were only level 3 I think and still had pretty lacking equippment, so taking their armors down was hell a lot of work without getting steamrolled.
- Fighting Kniles. I think we were level 4 and Kniles pretty much was able to one shot a teammate if we did not CC him before he was able to act. Also the amount of silencing during that fight was pretty troublesome.
- The second set of skeletons with three mages in Withermoore's vault. Our stood no chance in a 1 vs 1 against the huge amount of damage and magic armor those mages had.
- Deepdweller ambush. Here we had to come back later, because his mobility and damage was so insane, he killed one of our guys in one turn. One level later this changed.


Some other fights gave us hard times, though mostly because those fights were tedious and not challenging. Also a reason why we don't like the armor system. It makes the start even harder, but does not really keep the challenge that much on after. Though many of those fights were much easier, because of how erratic/stupid the AI sometimes act. Like instead of delivering the killing blow, the AI changes target and attacks an other hero. Or one turn she attacks the Mage, next turn she run through the field to attack the rogue, wasting AP for movement and sometimes even receiving one or more opportunity attacks that way. The deepdweller really loved to change its target and jump all over the place for example.


Skill trees
- Offensive Skills are pretty much untouched except for Distance on our archer.
- Same goes for defensive skills, their usefullness is far to limited.
- For my Fane I currently are often unsure what to level next, so I tend to keep points unskilled until I really need them. There is anyway hardly any incentive to level beyond 5 in most skill trees.
- Skill improvement through level and weapons is so big, that you hardly bother about the little improvement through skill tree itself anyway. And for skills with CC, buffs or debuffs damage hardly matters anyway.
- We like that they changed is, that you can use social skills from your other characters for yourself, though this still does not work between players, which is annoying for playing coop.


Skills
- Teleport: Still the probably most usefull and strongest skill. Enemies has a strong buff aura? Just sent him for a walk.
- Battlestop: This is kind of a must have, though the targeting is often flawed when enemies are higher/lower than you. You often hit enemies which were not shown as hitable.
- Cripple: The AoE range got nerfed so hard, that it hardly ever works. Also why does it friendly fire while Whirlwind for example does not?
- Dome of Protection: Stronger than expected from race description.
- Elemental Totem: Felt pretty disappointing regarding cost and damage, I don't use them anymore.
- Ifans Wolf: Pretty cool, also now only summon with taunt?
- Rallying Cry: Nice heal skill, but that is only 'restores' magic armor is quite a drawback.
- Shield throw: Feels kind of to strong, regarding damage and cooldown. Though sometimes it does not jump even though you are sure it should.
- Chameleon Cloak: Very essential for rogue, though still disappointing, that scoundrel and air both lost their version of invis.
- Spread your wings: Flying is obviously cool, though it outclasses pretty much every other of those movement skills by far.

Just to mention a few I just had in mind.


Graphics
In general we enjoy the graphics and the details pretty much. My friend loved the frogs and loves the look of blessed fire, though there are still some odd design choices like Sebille showing more skin while getting better armor. And also Elves design in general or that clothing of female skeletons has specific shapes.

Also there are some hickups from time to time like Fane having an huge belly in this armor, but I guess that is hard to avoid.


Story
The main story is decent so far, but we really don't like that we are being forced to compete with each other by the story. That you can't share found clues is also undermining the coop-play-experience.

Interactions with your origin companion are quite fun on the other hand.

Though there are still some story holes:
- Amadia telling Fane, that she blessed the waters to help him, even though that blessed waters kills him as an undead.
- Dallis telling her minions to kill Maladie to prevent her chant, though she herself does nothing at all and therefore lets the escape happen.
- Excutioner sitting close to Meistr Siva and not caring at all about the huge talk, until Meistr Siva got freed and just walks off.

To mention the biggest I remember at the moment.


Oddities, Spelling & Translation
- Paladin Cork addresses Ifan as an Elf, after he got saved by us.
- At least once ice mages are spelled beginning with "Kyro" instead of "Kryo", at lest in the german version. (Withermoore)
- 'schaden' is missing for Firedamage translation
- The riddle from the Statue of Illusion those not really make sense after translation, at least the second part
- When you bless blinded Magister Loke he gets angry at you.
- If you befriended the source hounds, they still turn hostile after you escaped.
- There is a little girl with Kniles that asks you to help her escape, but you can't help her or at least tell her, that the way is clear?
- When you finally got the Bracchus set collected, the set is so outdate, that it is hardly of any use anyway. (Even more because it supports two-handed actively.)
- The weapon Ifan gets from Zaleskar it pretty much broken. Sadly the only unique weapon, that feels worthy enough to keep for the rest of the Act.
- Poison potions heal undead only for half of they value.

To be continued (probably).

Joined: Oct 2017
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Nice report.

BTW: At blind magister Loke fight, he is also affected by battle stomp, so you must be extra careful.

Last edited by eLPuSHeR; 15/02/18 07:07 AM.
Joined: Oct 2016
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Kalrakh Offline OP
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Thank you

Yeah, we realised that, but the fight still ended, after the last skeleton died luckily. But the Bless happened after the fight.


Crafting
We like the new crafting system with the recipes and how reading specific books automatically adds new recipes. Sadly most of the recipes are pretty pointless and sometimes craftings even defy logic. If I upgrade an Dinner into an elven or an dwarven meal, its effect does not get better but worse. (10% healing instead of 15%)


Collecting & Inventory
Inventory management sadly did not really improve. In the first game we made a spot, where we had all crafting materials and stations in reach and we were always able to return there for crafting. I kind of made it also any habit to always return to Cyseal and sort in all newly found books into the library, so all collections are seperated from each other. Now this is not that possible because of the hard cuts between acts. Now I have to cram everything into bags and carry the stuff most of the time with me, if I don't want to forget taken them with me. Bags inventory can't be enlarged, so if I don't want to scroll endlessly, I have to make dozens of bags. And now I have a dozen back for different collections, who all look the same and can't be renamed, so I am kind of forced to carry now barrels and boxes additionally to bags in my inventory, if I want to have some more distinct storages for important stuff. Also I still can't empty all items out of a bag into my inventory.


Armor system
As already mentioned, we don't really like the new armor system. In the first game physical and magical damage could be focused on the same target, sure one kind would be less effective because of the higher resistances, but you woul still hit the same bar. Now both have to grind don't a different kind of bar, so our mages is always kind of handicapped. Even with heavy focus on damage, she does not even come close to what our archer does with every basic attack from a high ground.

As a mage you have to check for resistance/immunities and for the fact, that every kind of CC needs to layers to activate. Also each school affects only their type of damage, so your damage increases are far more split anyway.

Also the armor system does not make perma-cc harder, it makes it more tedious but in the end easier. First armor down, welcome to the cc-party. As soon as an armor is down, enemies get put into the 'doom zone', all enemies in one row, so every turn we just need to Battlestomp or Battleram them once per turn. So every turn they will stand up and fall down again. If an enemy has only one kind of armor, that is even easier.

Also thanks to the armor system most elemental stuff like grenades and arrows are pretty pointless now, if your team is focused on physical. In the first game those things were neat, now they just get ignored with Knockdown arrow pretty much the only arrow regularly used. Same goes for surfaces, you hardly care now for them, because A insane amount of mobility skills and B as long I have enough magic armor left I just do not give a damn.

Finding a sword with fire damage was awesome in the first game, now it feels more like: Sad, such a waste. Same goes for most kinds of possible status effect, if those status effect check the other kind of armor, like a wand that can cause bleeding. The total randomness always was huge issue, with the possibility of having +1 for one-handed on a two-handed weapon, but the Armor system made it even worse.

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Pretty much the same thing on my side of the fence. I don't want and don't expect anything more in terms of presentation overall in any cRPG 10 years from now. Still, and I will always maintain this--tactical combat takes a step back. OS2 generally comes across as chorish in retrospection as you settle in a routine of repeating one and the same stuff over many different encounters. The indented simplicity of the combat system ends up shooting the game in the foot from my point of view.

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Kalrakh Offline OP
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This repeating of the same 'moves' in pretty much every fight is partly caused by the fact, that they fixed the amount of AP per turn. In the first game everything changed. Some things got cheaper and lower cooldown, while you yourself got increased maxed AP, increased starting AP or increased AP per turn, just depending on how you would skill your character. Now skilling your character has hardly any influence on your playstyle, at least regarding attribute. Most attribute are just about dealing more damage and because of that hardly interesting.



Experience
I have hard times understanding, how they reasoned the distribution of experience. Some fights are harder than others, but don't pay you as well in experience. The voidlings in act one give you so much experience with 1000, it pretty odd because they are so easy as opponents, with no kind of armor. While many magister or skeletons, give a much harder fight but less experience.

Also at the end of Act 1 the magisters in the last fight gave about 3k exp, now in Act 2 at the start everything already gives at least 5k, so nearly as much as the bosses gave at the end of Act 1. We just got level 9 and soon afterwards already hit level 10, it fellt kind of irritating.

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Two cents about the experience thingy.

I log in other people's games to give a hand and joke around, but I notice that people do the game in a sort of a linear fashion. They always seem to settle down in doing one and the same stuff and just want to crank numbers up to overcome the increasing values of armour. So, for instance, if you go to face the Lone Wolves leader at level 13, they go like, 'No, we need another level.' The thing about the two wolves having 100 magic armour each and being susceptible to charm goes ignored almost entirely across the board. I think the experience thingy is due to the exponential explosion of armour. Interestingly, thing are quite balanced until level 12.


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