I've thought to myself there should be a thread like this where we gradually build up ideas that would be "cool" for the next Divinity game, if it's going to be a thing, and hopefully Larian actually pay attention to the thread.
There are a few things I wholeheartedly support:
1) More companions, with more unique traits. This is one of the things that have always let me down big time. Even in SWKOTOR where your party has only 3 members, you have a total of 8 companions to choose from. Now since in the Divinity games you can build characters in any direction, what differentiates one character from another will naturally have to be personality, unique traits and skillset, and personal story.
I think trying to tie companion stories too tightly to the main story or major events in the game puts a lot of restraints on this. It makes it hard to squeeze in more characters and more stories. At least this is what I think after playing DOS2. IMO, character stories can totally be their own thing, without anything to do with main story. As long as they are interesting, have decent length, and have significant impact on the personal development of the character, then that is fine. They don't all have to be squeezed into the starting area, either. Just another unnecessary restriction.
Think about it, wouldn't it be cool if companions develop or learn unique traits or skills as you progress through their personal quest? Traits and skills that are fun and useful in a general manner. I'd add "acquire unique items", but they would be outdated after two levels anyway.
2) Party banter. By party banter I mean companions talking between themselves from time to time, exchanges both general and event-specific. The old Baldur's Gate games did this just fine. The Dragon Age games did a really good job in this department. Even Dragon Age Inquisition does one thing right: party banter. Back when I was playing DAO, I would stay near a banter trigger point, swap party members, and walk up to the trigger point over and over just to listen to all the banters among party members.
In DOS2, even though each companion has their own identity and story, they are completely isolated from one another. There is nothing going on among party members whatsoever. They might as well exist in three different parallel universes. Your avatar can interact with any of them, but they CAN'T ever interact with one another. There is no personality conflict, love/hate relationship, insulting someone they hate, complimenting someone they admire, making fun of someone. All these nuances bring your party to life. I'd prefer the reason for my party selection be these nuances, rather than because this dude has Time Warp and that chick has Flesh Sacrifice.
If you have played BG2, you know that Minsc will ask Aerie to be his witch and will go berserk if she falls in combat. That is just totally amazing.
In fact, personally, I'd prefer that companions feel alive and "human". In DOS2, companions feel a bit too... I'm not sure how to put it, too "formulaic", perhaps? Or maybe too "rigid", or "forced".
3) A better developed crafting system, with more depth. Maybe the ability to "upgrade" items. Many of the craftable items feel more like fillers, being there just for the sake of being there, rather than actually having a clear purpose of being there.
4) Combat. Now there are numerous things we can discuss over as far as combat is concerned, and pretty much all of them have been brought up before. Defense system, skill system, stat scaling, which stat does what, combat stealth, etc etc. You probably need a separate thread for EACH of these factors. For now, I'm just going to say that, while I have never vocally complained about the whole "armor system" issue on the forums, personally I do prefer the old resistance-based system which naturally has more depth and nuances to it. It has been an interesting experience, but no I won't miss the armor system when it's gone.
5) Summoning. I really, really hope they come up with a more solid Summoning system. I want different monsters at various power levels, each monster is more powerful than the last. But each of them has their unique traits and abilities that make them always useful in certain situations. Otherwise once you can summon a new monster you can completely forget about the previous one. If you have played TES Oblivion, or Neverwinter Nights, you probably know how FUN and exciting Summoning can be. It's true that it's easy for Summoning to be too dominating, and you have to be careful about implementing it, but that doesn't mean you can't make it fun.
6) In my experience, there are numerous miscellaneous things that I think should be better defined and have better consistency. Interaction between skills and statuses, for example. What cancels out with what, what prevents what. How come Silence prevents monsters' natural abilities? All such things. Or the fact that Necromancy half of the time feels like some sort of blood magic, rather than actually involves the manipulation of life force.
7) Better focus on specific "builds". This should be done in a systematic manner. The question here is, "What kind of playstyles can a player possibly come up with?". A two-handed style juggernaut, a single-weapon duelist, a classic sword-and-board warrior, Gandalf-style with one-handed staff and one-handed straightsword, a grenadier, an elemental master, etc. With the Attributes and Abilities systems, we can arrive at a generic build. Then the Talents system is what gives these "generic builds" the flavor and the "cool factor". For example, you can make a generic sword-and-board fighter by leveling up STR, CON, One-Handed and/or Warfare. But HOW do you make this specific playstyle more interesting and appealing? By taking advantage of the Talents system: one or two Talents that grant bonuses to this specific build. There could also be rare modifiers on unique or high quality items that support the build that the items are meant for. For example, a rapier with a property that increases crit chance if your off-hand is free.
Or, we know for a fact that there is no reason whatsoever to go with a single-weapon style. It's simply inferior to any other style. The only reason here is that you like it. But even then, when your preferred style feels inferior to any other style, and you realize that, "There isn't such a thing as "single-weapon style" in this game", you just feel disappointed. Solution: one or two Talents that grant bonuses to this specific build, making it competitive against other builds.
What if you want to play as a grenade-slinger? As it is right now, grenades feel extremely underwhelming. In the majority of cases you use them for the status effects. It's a huge wasted potential. At least there ARE the Ambidexterity (even though "Ambidexterity" seems like it should give a different kind of benefit) and Slingshot Talents that support this grenade throwing style. But then again, grenades are too underwhelming in terms of damage. Maybe except when they are used by enemies on harder difficulties.
What if you are a mage specializing in elemental schools? I'm sure we could come up with a bunch of Talents that benefit a character when they specialize in at least two elemental schools at the same time. Something like a Talent that requires a certain number of points in several schools at the same time, but grants bonuses that involve those specific elements.
My point is, I feel that Larian could have taken much better advantage of their own systems, and also could have been a bit more... imaginative.
8) More enemy variety. Not required, but always good.
9) More epic boss fights. Bosses that will wipe out your entire party unless you have a *very* good idea what you're doing with your toons. Bosses that become signature enemies whenever the game is mentioned.
Last edited by Try2Handing; 16/09/18 10:54 AM.