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#650109 01/10/18 06:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Linio Offline OP
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I know D:OS 2 calls for a non linear adventure, but honestly, I'm puzzled by the whole Arx act. I've been running through the game no problem, but Arx has a lot of quest that seem to be able to end up abruptly, and definitely not giving the same amount of XP depending on what you choose. I get that, but the gaps are horrific. (The doctor : ~1 million XP if you do it all, in my case apparently around 30K and no possibility to enter the house anymore).

A lot of quest go this way. I think there are ways to amount the XP needed until Arx where I assume the point is to arrive pretty much at 20. The quests are intertwined with each other, not very clear, and to be fair I ended up going in circles a lot, wondering what I should do next.

Worse part is that I read that you could enter the doctor's house for example but that you need an item from Act 2. Always a good design pattern to lock a good chunk of the game behind possible missing things...

In short, Arx could still use some redesign it seems (oh yeah, I know it's too late... Still...)

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I think a big chunk of XP from the entire Doctor encounter is supposed to be cut off from you if you're not traveling with Lohse. It's probably possible to force a fight and get most if not all of the XP, but I mean it's only natural that you miss this chunk. Haven't done a playthrough without Lohse so I'm not sure though.

I got to Arx when I just barely hit level 18. The early encounters outside the city are level 18, so it hasn't been a big deal. Now I'm trying to scrounge up another 100k XP for free somehow just so I hit 19 and can go ahead and do the big fight in the sewers. I'm definitely underleveled - I skipped a few big fights on Nameless Isle - but could also be that it was intended that you need to explore for a good while for free XP before doing much combat.

I don't mind being cut off from one or two big chunks of XP, as long as I'm not punished too heavily for that. Especially if it's easy to miss said chunks. That's just how it is when you have a lot of options to resolve things.

Last edited by Try2Handing; 01/10/18 08:33 PM.

"We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
Joined: Feb 2015
Linio Offline OP
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Still the whole area of Arx is like that. Running around to scrap XP. I haven't had this feeling before this part.
And it is very annoying, because honestly, I had to reload a save just to induce a fight with the doctor (basically, not talk to him, but just straight shoot at him) to be level 20.
I have now no more quest except the final boss, and I don't feel like I rushed things, I went to every detour to do all the quest (did all of the nameless isle), still I barely made it to the end. Missing a chunk is ok, but again the chunk we're talking about is hundreds of thousands of XP... I don't see how you can do without...
So yeah, Arx was not a fun moment for me.

Joined: May 2010
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I haven't played Arx since the original release, but I'm guessing it hasn't changed much. It did feel like the worst part of the game (I mean except the final fight, which was very tedious) and is pretty messed up: it seems like they really ran out of ideas and/or time. It's a shame, it has some potential to be really interesting, and while I'm not sure that an isometric game can capture the claustrophobic but kind of awe-inspiring feeling of Divinity 2's Aleroth with its narrow winding streets and tall buildings, it could've come close.

But it didn't. It felt empty, barren and dead. There was little to do, little to see and what was there seemed awkward, disjointed, incomplete (I mean there were so many instances of "placeholder" in the description of things) and perhaps for me the worst thing is that it seems to tear up a lot of established lore and reinvent it. I'm not sure for what end, or whether it was perhaps a new writing team and the pressure also affected how well-acquainted they were. Although it's not as bad, it's caused me to have a bit of a Mass Effect 3 moment and I guess I'm happy with OS2 until about the end of Act II. After that... well, I'm not sure how they can reconcile e.g. Divinity 2 in particular with OS2 and unless they can come up with some sort of Grand Unified Theory of Divinity one is doing to have to be classed as non-canon. And for me, it's OS2 that's the odd one out.

Perhaps the worst thing for me is something that's been a bit of an increasing problem all the way through OS2 which is that the Larian "vibe" seems to be quite diluted, but nowhere more so than Arx. The Divinity games have always had an interwoven thing where absurd humour and poignancy are delivered in equal measures, and while they were present in OS2 I think they were toned down too much, to the point where even simple little things like the handstand after climbing a ladder were deleted because people were saying it wasn't serious enough. But the games were never about taking themselves too seriously and if they do I think they run the risk of just being like any other game. If anything, I felt that Inquisition had more humour in it than OS2 and to some extent the Dragon Age franchise can be a little po-faced in comparison.

Although I've meandered about a bit, I guess my initial experience of Arx is that I have little desire to replay it unless I hear that it's changed significantly. And I'm not hearing it.


J'aime le fromage.

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