Disclaimer

I want to preface this with saying I'm a fervent fan of the Divinity series, and this is why I'm playing the game to begin with, in addition to the aesthetic. Not because I want a DnD table-top port. These are my priorities and preferences, and I understand others may not share it.

Nevertheless, my experience and hype for this game has been immensely hampered by the Dice-A-rama that I feel combat has devolved to on top of the dialogue interactions. First on the combat, then I will proceed with interactions.

COMBAT

For background:

-Playing as Tiefling Warlock in multiplayer with my cousin who's a half elf warrior.

I want to explain why I feel the current dice based gameplay feels like it heavily restricts my build choices and degrades my immersion in the game, in addition to making combat tedious overall compared to Divinity.

1) Despite not being a rogue, I am virtually forced to micromanage 2-3 toons to essentially play like rogues and place a huge emphasis on sneaking or abuse invisibility potions to always place myself on a high ground so I don't miss over half my skills. Every encounter is 2-3 minutes of prior sneaking to position in the high ground.

a) As a caster, I have 2 spells I can cast for free each turn, only one at a time with no action surge option, and annoyingly enough if I want to do anything that isn't spam Eldritch Blast, I have to visit camp after every damn battle. This really stalls out exploration and the combat experience becomes stale for a mage character.

b) I will NEVER not rush Misty Boots compared to any other spell, because this minigame of getting high ground and behind an enemy to not miss half your skills, in the case of mages skills that are single use per camp rest to begin with, is so integral to actually be able to perform unless you abuse fire fields.

c) I will NEVER use a Quasit or any other familiar for that matter over the Imp because the Imp can fly behind enemies and easily gain high ground and flank positioning necessary to, again, not miss half the damn skills. Even with optimal flight positioning the familiars appear to suffer innate penalty to hit chance, as more often than not even behind a target you have a 70% hit chance.

2) The critical use of terrain to bypass the RNG fest overvalues shoving over the actual combat skills you gain leveling.

I want to bring up these youtube videos by Sin Tee soloing the Minotaur Duo and Spider Queen to highlight the amount of cheese currently encouraged over the use of far more unreliable combat skills:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dth-BWAKJz8

In this video, invisibility pots/stealth can be used to kill powerful enemies with just shoving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeEI04Ghm0s&t=6s

In the next, the Spider Queen is trivialized again by sneak play and shoving her off a cliff for guaranteed huge chunks of her health.

Again, the game devolves into basically a sneak minigame to gain far more reliable results than actively engaging enemies in combat.

You really are not given a choice in how you play or approach combat. You either play the sneak minigame, or you face battles magnitudes harder that are often starkly different in outcome based on luck-based dice streaks.

In the case of the warrior, much of the damage is coming from Riposte with high armor class stacking, instead of their active combat skills.

Moreover, as a warlock I can't say that I'm thrilled with level gains, because the caster combat system devolves into a single cantrip spam after exhausting your spell slots, and in either case you only get one cast per turn and have to do a long rest after every single battle if you used a short rest that won't restore with time, and don't want to only be restricted to a single cantrip.

Contrast this to caster gameplay in Divinity where much of the fun is setting elemental fields for subsequent combo offensive spells or priming enemies with debuffs before an offensive hit, and quite honestly I'm not thrilled to be a caster, because on top of one cast per turn, my spell use besides a single cantrip is limited in stock and on TOP of that more often than not will miss the target if I didn't start the battle with high ground or refused to pay a precious limited spell slot on Misty Boots.

There are a couple more concerns in balancing such as spells requiring concentration. I'm given a racial cantrip I'm glad to use in Phantom Hand, but Hex despawns and prevents its use, and its only use is physical interactions on top of having its own initiative check, so I can't cycle concentration requiring spells reliably. Hex being such a core tool to success as a caster and his party as well really limits the ability to use summons requiring concentration, despite the fact Hex actually feels good to use because you're not heavily limited in its use compared to the other spells requiring a spell slot.

Interactions

Everything is also filled with dice rolls instead of sole stat checks. This really encourages obnoxious save scumming, especially when getting the damn child not killed by some bitter woman's snake has you rolling multiple times reloading until you get the check. You could just go with the death if you don't want to save scum, but you bet your ass as a Tiefling main I'm heavily biased by the game to not let some bigoted jackass kill a child over an idol, and will feel compelled to save scum the child into safety.

I can already tell it's going to be pretty silly when desirable outcomes are locked behind 2-3 dice rolls at checks above 10. I don't think many players appreciate having their story be so utterly subject to chance compared to what they do in the game.

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IN CLOSING

These are just my thoughts. I know some people will chime in and say to go play DoS, but I already exhausted that game and there won't be a DoS3 anytime soon, so Baldur's Gate was my only chance at a fresh new CRPG by Larian. And I'm sad to say within a few days our drive to play the game greatly diminished as it became clear to us we would play like a party of rogues and casters were going to be using a single spell 95% of the time.

Last edited by Zenith; 15/10/20 07:23 PM.