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Interview Divinity: Original Sin 2 Combat Mechanics Interview at Gamasutra

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    Not in any way, unless you want to play on Tactician and not try to understand the system. And then you'll come here and complain with the genuises that there's armor bloat rather than admitting you suck.

    That is not to say the game is perfect though. The system is badly balanced, badly explained, and has trap options many fall into. But you can sidestep them by learning just a little.
     
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  2. V_K Arcane

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    What I don't understand (and I haven't played DOS2, mind you, so it's purely theoretical question) is how does it change your tactics in principle? You just have to survive these two rounds while you chip away at armor, and then it's back to CC galore, no?
     
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  3. DeepOcean Arcane

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    I can't say it is worse, DOS 1 is too frontloaded in terms of content, for all its evils, DOS 2 has alot more content, the major problem for me was how they chosen to solve the problems of the first game, sure the game is more challenging but they could have achieved the same result without the heavy handed and way too deterministic system they used, the system is too tilted towards raw damage and this makes the combat boring for me. Recommend you to use the HP debloat and armor rebalancing mod, they help alot.
     
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  4. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    You can't remove the armor/life of everyone at the same time to make them CC-able, but you can create a huge AoE that would CC everyone if they had no armor like in DOS1. So no, it's not the same at all. You can't disable everyone at once in DOS2, while you could in DOS1, even before they acted once. In DOS2 you have to choose which priority targets you want to CC, and then attack them to remove their defences to be able to disable them.
     
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  5. Ventidius Learned

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    Indeed, and I would argue that it significantly changes the pace of combat by putting a greater emphasis on mobility and positioning, which is further reinforced by the elevation mechanics. This game really encourages you to put to use the wide variety of locomotion skills and spells at your disposal. I build pretty much all my characters with at least two ways of teleporting, which sometimes entails pumping a couple of points in certain abilities like Scoundrel, but in most cases that isn't even necessary as a lot of ability lines have their own locomotive skills like Phoenix Dive for Warfare, Spread Your Wings for Polymorph, or Tactical Retreat for Huntsman, plus the teleport/swap spells proper.

    Overall, I found this game to encourage more flexibility in tactics and a more dynamic battleground than the previous, and battles can go through many 'phases' beyond the CC+cleanup cycle of old. As you said, target priority also plays a role, especially when you are taking down armors, and it is at that stage that the most mobility is required, especially due to the tricky way enemies are often positioned (they are rarely sitting ducks for AoEs), however by the time armors are down, and priority targets CC'd or taken out, I often found my front liners had attracted enough attention that clusters of enemies would often form around them which allowed me to employ the old CC and AoE mayhem(I used a mixed party in my first playthrough and it worked just fine). Overall, the game offers the same things as the old one, but manages at the same time to be more than a one trick pony. That said, the initiative system is downright borked, and while stacking initiative was a bit OP before, I think most of the other changes (not only the armor system, but the way positioning is implemented in the encounters) are more than enough to weed out the alpha strike syndrome that the previous game suffered from.
     
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  6. Serious_Business Best Poster on the Codex

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    DOS2 is good but when you play it 700h it gets a tad boring. This is just like when I try to fuck a corpse for that long, it don't stay fresh too long, but then you always have hopes that the sweet love might be coming back
     
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  7. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    That's a good point. It might be true that they overdid it by going for the initiative and the armor changes, which both serve to prevent all enemies being CCed before they can act. Maybe they didn't have time to test reverting to a familiar initiative system after settling into their armor system, since it might significantly change encounter design and they'd have to rebuild all encounters to take it into account.

    Also good point of pointing out elevation mechanics and positioning in DOS2, it has greatly improved the game.
     
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  8. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Arbiter

    Tuco Benedicto Pacifico
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    It's actually worse, despise what Ismaul may be trying to tell you, because once that armor is gone you are left with CC that literally work 100% of the times, with elemental resistances only acting on damage mitigation but not on chances to resist status effects.
    There's also no difference between cloth, light or heavy armor (not in the way they act. They just give you different amounts of pseudo-HPP) plus the already mentioned issue of literally making a mixed party a sub-optimal setup compared to just dealing physical damage with everyone.

    To be honest it's all around a garbage, convoluted system that isn't better either as a gameplay mechanic nor as a approximation of reality.

    P.S. Also, their solution to solve the "initiative is too stronk" issue was to make initiative a bogus stat that will never give you priority over some specific enemies no matter how high.
     
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  9. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    And how is that worse?

    In DOS2's case, you choose specific targets to attack to remove their armor to guarantee a CC (i.e. you know what you're working for and you can plan for it). Vs in DOS1's case either your CC is RNG based, and you can never plan ahead, or you're not dumb and you boosted your relevant Stat score which boosts skill effectiveness which boosts chance to inflict status effects which in turn negates enemy CC resistance and then you CC everything all the time anyways.
     
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  10. Ventidius Learned

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    It was the same in DOS if you properly optmized your party. For all that people have been going on about regarding randomness and determinism, you can stack the odds in your favor so much in most RPGs through character building that in most of them the random factor often ceases to have any substantial influence on the overall experience beyond forcing some reloads in early game, and when it comes to early game reloads, you'll have a hard time finding a game that beats DOS2 due to the jarring asymmetry in armor between enemies and the player at that stage.

    You are also ignoring that CC is no longer the only game in town, and battles now have a heavier emphasis on other tactical elements like positioning and target prioritization, as I mentioned above.

    It is true that DOS2 is less demanding in terms of character optimization, not only for this reason, but also due to the initiative changes. But that is a separate issue from the combat - which is, in fact, more challenging and varied - and let's be frank here, this series was never particularly remarkable for its character building. If the improvements in combat came at the cost of a simplification in character building, that is a fair trade-off as far as I am concerned.

    There are sub-optimal party comps, yes. How is this any different from any other RPG, like KOTC, where running two mages was OP? Mixed parties are definitely viable if not optimal, and there is plenty of variety of roles and builds for a party even if it specializes in one form of damage: summoners are very useful in physical damage parties, for example.

    The series was never a good simulation/approximation of reality. The system, and the encounters crafted from it, offer more challenge and more variety, if that isn't enough to make it better, what is?
     
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  11. lukaszek Arcane

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    regarding positioning i consider it broken due to common teleport skills and no movement penalties from armor.
    DOS1 didnt have elevation mechanics but at the same time positioning mattered more. You had cheap smokescreen and ground effects that had to be crossed. In DOS2 those deal minimal dmg and you can just teleport over.
    Even though they added more ground effects in the end everything is fire
     
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  12. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Arbiter

    Tuco Benedicto Pacifico
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    In every possible way.

    Thanks for asking.
     
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  13. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    So you have no argument to support your view?

    Thanks for "answering".
     
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  14. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Thing is, does it make it better than something like Wasteland 2 or, god forbid, Shadowrun (with proper AI turned on)?
    The way I see it, Larian's systems were always an ill-thought out convoluted mess. DOS1 had this elemental interaction gimmick that elevated its combat over the usual trite affair simply because of its novelty. It seems, from what you and Ismaul are saying, that in DOS2 this gimmick was nerfed to the ground. So the question is (and I'm not asking this rhethorically), was the resulting increase in challenge worth sacrificing the one element that made DOS combat stand out?
     
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  15. Ventidius Learned

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    Well, I personally found it more challenging than most modern RPGs with the exception of Underrail and AoD (and of course hardcore dungeon crawlers like Elminage Gothic, but that is another subgenre). Certainly beats DOS1, WL2, and of course, the Shadowrun games, which have non-existent challenge. They put more emphasis on encounter design this time around - making it harder and more varied - and less on the elemental gimmicks, and when it comes to this aspect it beats handily those three mentioned above (WL2, DOS1, SR).

    That said, the elemental interactions have not been "sacrificed", they are still part of the building blocks that make up the encounters, it is just that the encounters also allow for other elements to have more relevance, such as buffing and maneuver. The combat system is still very much distinctive and idiosyncratic, but much less gimmicky, more varied, and more challenging. Also, it is not like it has to set itself apart. How many turn-based, party-based games can you mention that have decently challenging combat? Apart from Jagged Alliance 2, KOTC, and the Gold Box games, there are not that many...
     
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  16. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Ventidius already said it, but no, it's not been nerfed to the ground. It's just that you no longer make the same CCing elemental combo all the time to win. A variety of moves are now viable. Elemental combos are also still relevant to deal damage and remove armor before CCing / applying status effects.
     
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  17. Achiman Arbiter Patron

    Achiman
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Playing it at the moment on normal difficulty (because I have other shit to play)

    * The armor mechanic is fine if tedious at least people can understand it I guess. Removing RNG for this is questionable as yeah as mentioned 100% success rate for spells if there is no physical or magical armor just seems dopey. Force fields is what they might as well have called the armor.
    * the computer just flat out cheats when deciding on how many ap they have "cast 3 spells in a row, run up to you and attack" sure... level 10 you say?
    * Items seem to be good for about 1 level and the game overall feels way too 'balanced'. If you are level 12, then you can beat level 12 fights. Anything that is 13 is going to be nigh impossible without dogging the game which leads to:
    * dogging the combat is piss easy - start a fight with 3 party members and have one out of combat somewhere else, kill a few guys even if your guys die you can use a waypoint and your party members corpses will be resurrect-able - go back and mop up the remainder. Also the AI can be fucking thick in remembering that you just murdered all their mates around them and they should aggro instead of 'you're not supposed to be here.., this is a warning etc"

    It is improved on the first one still imo, if only for the toning down of the 'comedy' that was pushed in the first game.
     
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  18. Crescent Hawk Savant

    Crescent Hawk
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    Loved both games, but I never liked the combat honestly, its so god damn busy with its elemental effects and magic, I really wish for a more melee weapon skills on weapons and armor combat.
     
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  19. Fenix Liturgist Vatnik

    Fenix
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    lol, just... lol

    PS First few pages in game's discussion thread or some news related to it - there were people like @Ismaui, who tried to clear and clarify things up, but later on they stop to write because I think they saw it's monkey work.
     
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