Finally beat it! Good times.
I took my sweet time because I wanted to get every detail, every quest, and every outcome that I wanted. I played in Tactician mode.
I could write a novel I think on areas for improvement, or changes, but I'll stick to some key points.
1. Fight Difficulty Became Very Easy
No fight was ever a challenge after leaving Fort Joy. I was never killed in a single fight ever, after fort joy.
The later the game progressed, the easier it became--I wasn't just winning fights, I trounced every single fight. Not to say some weren't challenging, and many were creative and fun--but none required preparation.
2. Crafting is broken and almost entirely useless
I loved crafting in DOS 1! In this game I collected countless items, organized it all, tested various things--and in the end, I couldn't make anything that wasn't junk--no weapons, no armor, no accessories. For the million things I collected meticulously--I never needed ANY of it. Literally, none--zero. I have a massive pile of supplies without function.
I had no need to craft because I was rich from stealing and just bought everything I needed from the stores. I could have ended the game with around 1 million gold, and that's after spending frivolously.
I really wish crafting was useful, I thought it was a brilliant aspect of DOS 1, and the thing I miss most about DOS2.
3. Level scaling is a little ridiculous.
Every level gave such a massive boost to damage and stats, I became way too powerful, way too quickly.
4. The Most Powerful Spell in the Game
Teleport. From up high, you can teleport someone 3-4 turns away from the combat, into an oil puddle. Just that spell alone made things way too easy. I only had 2 characters with teleport, if all of them were teleporting, it'd be super simple. The distance should be nerfed a bit.
5. The Summoner
This character is SO overpowered. Hah
My summoned monster was far more powerful than any of my characters, up until the end. Really, ridiculously powerful.
6. Stealing provides too much money.
I think the values should be halved.
7. The psychology of treasures and chests (reward systems) is not understood by Larian.
This has to do with the psychology of fun, a topic I know quite a bit about. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is released when there is an anticipation of an unknown reward. In the psychology of fun--a sure bet, 100% predictable result, becomes not fun. Likewise, impossible odds are not fun. In order for any in game mechanism to be fun, there has to be an element of a possible unknown reward-it's a lot like gambling. Intermittent reinforcement,(in psychology) is the fastest path to addiction.
My point is this--to make treasure chests fun, there needs to be an element of potential, non predictable gains. In this game, the looting system that does adhere to that, are unique equipment, but the rest does not. Any vendor, or area can contain unique equipment will cause a release of dopamine--but any vendor or treasure that has a predictable outcome, will not be fun.
In DOS2, almost all of the chests contain an item of 3-4 tiers, that will scale to your level. That's it, and it's entirely predictable. This makes it not very fun, by default. Chests, simply, other than for cash value, are of no significant value.
What they could do, very simply, to create addictive behavior, is introduce an equipment system that has loot that has similar reward system to gambling odds (and thus applies intermittent reward theory and causes a dopamine reaction)
It would look like this: 1 in every 10 chests has a super powered object--then 1 in every 100, then one in every 1000, 10,000, and even 1 in 1 million (or even higher). And those rewards would be epic, based upon their statistical improbability.
Implementing a reward system based off of modern psychology would greatly improve this, and all aspects of the game.
And thats it
Anyway! I'll stop there--I had a great time with the game and Larian did an outstanding job.