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Where to start with the series

Discussion in 'Larian Studios' started by v1rus, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. v1rus Arcane

    v1rus
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    Since DOSII is the main talking point these days, decided to give it a spin.

    Now, the question is, where to start with the series? DOSI is an obvious choice, but what about Divine Divinity and all that stuff?
     
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  2. YES! Hi, I'm Roqua Dumbfuck

    YES!
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    Divine Divinity is more of an arpg with crpg content.

    Beyond Divinity is 2 characters, one you generate, and is pretty good but half the game is this random dungeon zone bullshit filler content.

    Divinity 2 is an action game with heavy rpg elements and rpg content. It is pretty good until the dragon riding part and then either gets better or worse depending. I usually get bored around that part so have no opinion. It also has an expansion of new not related content. I usually don't finish games so don't take me not finishing as a bad or good sign. I've never finished a good chunk of my favorite games.

    I have played all 5 games and can honestly say I have no idea what the fuck is going on in any of them. BA Barakus seems to be the head bad guy in every game; I'm not sure if Face or any other members of the A Team are involved or not. I don't think knowing the lore is necessary. If you like good combat play DOS 1 with the epic encounters mod on tactician. DOS 2 also has good combat, but no mods yet to make chardev more compelling.

    Besides DOS 1 and 2 all the games are all pretty different. I think Beyond uses the same engine as one, but is more linear and with a two man party plays differently.

    This is a series that kind of has something for everyone. What kind of mood are you in? Pick the divinity game that corresponds to it.
     
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  3. AetherVagrant Learned Patron

    AetherVagrant
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    Divine Divinity is totally worth checking out : It looks like a generic Diablo clone, but after leaving the first city, the game opens up into an open-world-multi-solution-ultima7-simulation, that happens to use arpg combat mechanics. Lore and writing wise it is just okay, kinda like an isometric Gothic1. Every time I go back and play this game I see new things or find unexpected quests/solutions.

    Beyond Divinity is crap. It was okay when it came out, but it runs and controls like shit, they tried harder to give it a real plot but failed miserably. This game makes the cheesiness of all the latter games seem positively Oscar-caliber.

    Divinity 2/DKS : Amazing game to give to teens and plebs who like 3rd person action rpgs. Game takes a solid 20hours just to get all the mechanics and skills and out of the "prologue" zone, It plays simply at first but gathers complexity with more skills, the best stronghold in all modern gaming, build-your-own-zombie...it's truly a kitchen-sink game with elements ranging from excellent to atrocious and everything in between. Love seeing a brats face light up and and be like: "What the fuck, I never knew there were games that let you DO shit like this"

    and you should be plenty familiar with D:OS by this point, but the tone of the writing and dorky humor is easier to appreciate after playing their previous games and realizing two things -- as unbelievable as it seems, Larian *has* actually improved its writing over the years, and to a certain extent the hokiness seems to be a conscious stylistic choice that I found endearing in a classic B-movie fashion.
     
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  4. pippin Guest

    pippin
    divdiv is a diablo clone, but better than diablo.
    beyond divinity is a failed experiment, and actually, according to sven, a template for divos' coop, since you control two characters.
    div2 is worth playing just to see how larian fares with bethesda tech...
    dragon commander is a flawed gem imo, not a perfect game, but worth trying due to its unique personality. and by personality i mean the dwarven waifu's tits.
    divos 1 and 2 are the best rpgs made in recent years, on top of anything obsidian has ever done :smug:
     
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  5. v1rus Arcane

    v1rus
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    How many lore correlations/plot connections is there between the games? How much would references/kool stuff would I miss if i jumped into, say, D:OS, first?
     
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  6. ColonelTeacup Liturgist

    ColonelTeacup
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    Don't forget Divinity:Ego Draconis. Very fun play as a dragon game.
     
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  7. Lithium Flower Arcane

    Lithium Flower
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    Perspective from a Larian ex-fanboy, so information might be inaccurate or tinted by nostalgia:

    If you can handle diablo-style combat, DivDiv and Div2 (now Divinity: Dragon Knight Saga, or Divinity 2: Director's Cut, or somesuch?) are totally worth playing.

    The best things these games do is exploration. You've generally got large maps to explore, crammed with secrets and side-quests, some of which tie into the main plot. The world feels great to explore, and piecing together some sort of discovery in the story based on side plot threads feels awesome. Plus they've got amazing atmosphere, aided by late Kirill Pokrovsky's wonderful music. Sven said Ultima 7 is his biggest inspiration I believe, and it really shows.

    Setting/story wise, its kind of a macabre take on generic high-fantasy. There is this surface-level lightheartedness but all kinds of edgy shit like genocide lie beneath. The main quests for both games are full of betrayals and deaths of major characters (which the main character may spent time building rapport with) and villains that evade punishment. It can be quite a roller-coaster of emotions, with the main character and his friends going through falls and triumphs, and I personally found the plots to be very engaging. The games are also full of dark humor that reminds me of Fallout and there are some genuinely funny moments.

    The only read hurdle is the fact that DivDiv opens with a 5-level rapedungeon, possibly in order to trick you into thinking that its just a Diablo-clone (I would bet monies that it was some sort of requirement set by the publishers) but once you get passed that, you have access to 3 big maps to explore.

    Overall, I would say that DivDiv has better exploration while Div2 has a better story but both are very good games despite popamole combat and a fairly unbalanced character system (not unbalanced to the point of being a big problem unless you are a massive balancefag)

    I would caution against reading too much about the plot of DivDiv and especially Div2 as some crazy shit happens that loses its impact if spoiled.

    ---

    Now, Beyond Divinity is an infamously badly designed game. If you ever feel like self-harming, consider looking up the way it skill system works. Not worth playing IMO and it is quite insignificant in terms of story as Div2 covers it anyway.

    ---

    As for the Original Sins, I cannot speak for the second one, but the first game seemed to be the opposite of DivDiv/Div2. Great combat and that's about it. I dropped the game after getting to the dark forest (so having seen the majority of the game) simply because I was not invested enough to continue. The plot is some fairy tale bullshit, but that's not even the main issue - the main issue is that the plot focuses too much on past events rather than current ones. It is simply not engaging as most of the story feels irrelevant even if it is later revealed not to be so, and I frequently found myself asking "why the hell should I care?"

    The exploration is ok but since the main story is so uninteresting, its plot significance is quite dull. Since Kirill passed during the development of the game, much of the music is remixed tracks that have been put into random parts of the game and don't at all feel like they were written for the areas they are used in, so the atmosphere is significantly worse, which hurts exploration even more.

    TL;DR: If you are a combatfag, play D:OS. If you are a storyfag or like games in the vein of Ultima or Arcanum for their exploration or want to play an interesting ARPG, play DivDiv and Div2. If you are a systems/balancefag probably skip this series because none of the games have particularly good mechanics, although D:OS arguably comes the closest.

    D:OS takes place first chronologically (taking place thousands of years before DivDiv) so you can play it first without missing out on anything. The rest of the games are all within a hundred years or so from each so I would advise you to play them in the order of release to get the most out of them (DivDiv, optionally BeyondDiv, Div2). I think D:OS2 takes place between BeyondDivinity and Divinity 2 and references D:OS, but I would stick with order of release as the game seems to build on some of the ideas from Div2, at least from what little I've played of it.
     
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  8. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    They all have stupid stories and boring lore that tries to cross reference their gandalf clones. Doesnt matter, youll be forgetting all of it. If you like their humour then its in all the games, div2 is probably most ample in a campy way.
     
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  9. Sjukob Magister

    Sjukob
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    Considering my recent posting history this might come as a surprise , but I say forget about divinity series , it's not worth it .

    So original sin has attracted you , let's see:
    The only interesting thing that DOS1 and DOS2 have is combat system , everything else is garbage . It's much more obvious with the first one , where writing is so bad it's not even funny , trying to actually comprehend what's written on the screen might give you a headache . Due to this exploration took a big hit , additionaly thanks to retarded rng loot ( in a combat oriented game) it becomes completely uninteresting and "cool" scenery doesn't save it , since everything happening is retarded/absurd or plain generic . The further drop in quality after the first act makes 98% of players drop the game , there is a reason why we have "did you finish the game" topic , if I remember correctly according to steam statistics only 5% or less finished the game , both first and second Dos just keep getting worse the closer you are to the end . The combat - which is supposed to be the high point of the game is absolutely broken with certain abilities being completely op and others being trash , in other words it's unbalanced as fuck , very quickly you come to a point where you just repeat your actions every battle and novelty of the deep system wears off very fast , rng loot and power creep coming with each level only worsen the problem . DOS2 takes "let's make turd better , by adding more shit" approach . I think you can guess how it works out . Shitty writing is still there and there is more of it now , shitty rng loot is still there and there is even more item managment than in the first game , combat is still broken , just in another way and they even made it more simple by gutting stats/attributes . Exploration is a bit better , but still sucks balls .

    But what about previous games ? Yeah we have Divinity 2 , beyond divinity , divine divinity and dragon commander . I can't speak for all of them , but here's what I got .

    I wasn't able to finish divinity 2 , to me the game appeared very generic with only 1 cool feature - dragon powers , being able to save the game , but it didn't . After all the crap you went through to get your penthouse , casino , booze and bitches , the only thing they give you is tower shooting minigame . As soon as you are able to morph the world instantly goes to shit and you can't fly around without getting your ass sniped by dark forces , I don't think your power finds any use in society , that would've been too deep for larian , but people in the game hate dragons already , so yeah , you just live as an eremite in your tower with a bunch of fanatics , so what could have been a cool feature just turns into a boring gimmick . The combat is pretty boring with few interesting abilities , shitty fucking handling of already horrible gamebryo engine ,where game tricks you into believing that you can roll and jump around enemies to avoid attacks , but you really can't and they hit you anyway . Exploration is non-existent , it's even worse than in dos , oh and rng loot says hi once again . Writting is actually not retarded for once , but it's just very boring . In the end it's a generic game with a failed feature of being a dragon overlord . I haven't finished the game , dropped it shortly after becoming a dragon , I was bored out of my mind , from what I've heard the game just get's worse towards the end as it's unfinished , just like every other larian game .

    After that you might think that they succeeded with their idea in dragon commander ... Can't say , didn't play it , what I can point out though , that in the interview I had only read recently Swen said that they put a lot of their thoughts about current society in the game through dialogues , knowing larian , this is already off putting . And from what I understood the game consists purely of dialogues and rts , rts was universally hated wherever I looked . So I don't see a reason to touch that game , even if it might have some cool dragon part .

    I haven't played beyond divinity as well , but everyone keeps calling this game shit and looking at the screenshots , I choose to believe them .

    But Divine Divinity looks alright . Finaly a game where rng loot doesn't hurt and writing is acceptable . I played only for little , as I figured out that I wasn't really in the mood for a diablo game , but still my impressions were positive .

    In the end I don't see why would you want to play divinity series , but if I were you , I would've just played divine divinity and forgot about the rest . Perhaps you just bought for DOS2 hype , I can understand that , I was there myself . But I didn't come here to appear edgy , I wanted to warn you to not repeat my mistakes , I regret spending hours on DOS and DOS2 . But who can I blame , but myself ? Note this , even Swen admitted that DOS is horrible game and he has no idea why it was such a success .
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  10. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    I've played a bit of Dragon commander and it's ok if your interested in the lore of the series.
    It's mostly an empire management type of game with RTS.

    The management part is ok, you get to talk to the various race's representatives and get to make some decisions like marriage and how to tackle situations that come up; but there isn't much of actual "building buildings" if you like that stuff, the whole mangement thing is fairly abstracted. Dragon commander probably has the best writing in the series, but I guess that's a given considering it's half the game.

    The main reason I didn't finish the game is because of the RTS, it just made me wanna play an actual RTS really badly, but I can't say it's "bad", it didn't bug out and I can't think of a better way of doing it off the top of my head without padding it out.

    At any rate, Dragon commander is set even before DOS, so if you wanna keep up with the lore, play this one first.
    Also, I believe DOS2 is set after div2; DOS2 is the "latest" part of the story.
     
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  11. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Wow people calling Divine Divinity a Diablo clone.

    Divine Divinity is an RPG with an open world, item interaction inspired by Ultima VII, dialogue trees, mainquests and sidequests, etc.

    It just happens to have Diablo-style combat.

    That does not make it a Diablo clone. All the other features that aren't combat have nothing at all in common with Diablo, except for the loot system maybe.
     
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  12. Sjukob Magister

    Sjukob
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  13. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Randomized loot, too.
     
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  14. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    I wonder which game people consider to be the best one?
    I vote for divdiv.
     
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  15. Leitz Learned

    Leitz
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    YOu start with being series if you and your girlfriend dating for 2 months.
     
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  16. Harry Easter Savant

    Harry Easter
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    Take whichever game interests you the most, they're very good at standing on their own feet. If you want the most polished and best written game, just take D:OSII. If you're interested in the history of the series, start with Divine Divinity. If you love your games with some flavour of crazy, play Divinity 2. It's still fun.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  17. 555 Educated

    555
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    If you're interested in timeline, Dragon Commander is the first IIRC
     
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  18. Lithium Flower Arcane

    Lithium Flower
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    Right, I forgot to mention Dragon Commander. It takes place something like a thousand years before D:OS so its an even more distant past, although narratively speaking it mostly just touches on some things from Div2 so its not terribly crucial.

    The political/empire management part of the game is very fun and unique, although there is too little of it so those segments start to run a bit thin during the later parts of the game. I auto-resolved almost every fight on the account of being shit at RTS, so I can't really say how good that part of the game was. Still, its worth playing.
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I hated DC. Awful awful writing sort of like some d&d nerds voice acting their first machinima on youtube inspired by all the zany subversive satire they thought of after playing 3 stock faerun modules and nwn1 oc. The RTS itself is awful and you basically sit there spamming build and move on waves of indistinguishable zerglings. The selling point is a pretty decent base management aspect.

    Divdiv is a good game as the jarl says.
     
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  20. Iznaliu Arbiter

    Iznaliu
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    That isn't particularly unusual for a game as long as D:OS.
     
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  21. Sneaky Seal Aurum Dust Developer

    Sneaky Seal
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    I'd say you can start with D:OS 2 right away - it is an improved version of what was done in D:OS and story-wise they are not referncing the first part to an extend that you will miss out something imporant.

    Still, D:OS is a great game, so you can start there as well if you feel like and don't mind lagging behind the rest of us.
     
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  22. rado907 Learned

    rado907
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    Old DD = Diablo 2 meets Ultima VII; awesome game but IDK if it runs well on modern HD screens.
    BD = DD quasi-expo nobody liked. Had some nasty DRM back in the day that contributed to its failure.
    D2 = Divinity meets Gothic; I got through maybe 70% of the game and just lost interest. Had its moments but was not a great game.
    DC = don't know anything about that one.
    DOS1 = D&D meets Ultima VII; open-world exploration with turns-based combat awesomeness. Good game.
    DOS2 = more of the same with top-notch production values, GOTY 2017 for many people.
    ---
    Just tried DD on Steam and it runs. Was not centered properly on my screen but did support HD. So yeah looks like it's playable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  23. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    DivDiv is less a Diablo game and closer to something like Ultima 7. I found the story/plot utterly forgettable in both DivDiv and Div OS so start wherever you want. Even though the overall plot is meh, the attention to detail and micro-level world/quest building is great.
     
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  24. Raghar Arcane

    Raghar
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    You start with Divine divinity. And enjoy RPG elements. Combat either set to easy, or use scorpions. I heard they are nice, even when I didn't use them until end. Of course last third is HORRIBLE.

    Divinity II is nice when you don't expect too much and see it mainly as about combat. The first half ending was nice. The second half ending not so much.
    As for D OS, I liked unbalanced D OS more than balanced D OS EE.
     
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  25. T. Reich Arcane

    T. Reich
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    IMO, all the older Divinity games aged pretty well, but they're fairly different in terms of gameplay presentation.

    DivDiv is IMO the best of all the Divinity series.
    Ultima VII type of exploration and interaction with world objects, Diablo combat and loot systems, skill system is its own thing (mostly combat-focused), and an excellent quest and dialogue systems reminiscent of Fallout, with deep dialogue trees, multiple solutions to a lot of quests (including sequence-breaking due to smart usage of skills and/or world objects), multi-segmented quests with a lot of branching, and also plenty of interconnected quests.
    Questing and exploration is the most fun part, combat is a drag (too many trash mobs in the latter parts of the game), the last act of the game is super shit killfest and can be skipped completely.
    PROTIP: the very first dungeon is NOT mandatory, nothing stops you from just walking out of the village gates and venturing into the wild (and likely dying there, because enemies are not level-scaled. The exp scaling system ensures that you will rapidly gain exp from overleveled enemies, though).

    Beyond Divinity is a very action-oriented killfest, avoid. (Ironically, it was fairly successful financially and actually saved Larian from bankruptcy after DivDiv sold poorly).

    Div2 (get the Dragon Knight Saga/Director's Cut) is pretty fun. It traded the older games' isometric view for third person and added more manual control of the character. As a result, combat is more action-oriented, but it's still governed by the character stats (character progression is similar to what DivDiv had). The depth of the dialogue and quest systems of DivDiv is retained, though there are relatively fewer of those than in the first game. The last part of the game is similar to DivDiv in terms of that there are next to no quests/dialogues, and it's mostly boring combat vs tons and tons of enemies.

    Didn't play DC.

    D:OS is similar to D:OS 2.
     
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