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Preview An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the RPG Codex to Larian Studios

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Divinity: Original Sin; Dragon Commander; Larian Studios

In the midst of the ongoing competition between the Codex and the Watch, Gragt has finally finished writing up an account of his visit to Larian Studios (on March 25th) where he got to play Divinity: Original Sin in co-op with Swen Vincke and Dragon Commander with Farhang Namdar (the game's lead designer). In this preview, he talks at length (I'm not kidding!) about his impressions of both of Larian's upcoming games.

Have a really really short snippet from the entire thing:

When I first met Swen Vincke in Larian's offices in Ghent, I felt intimidated. The reason was vain and instinctive - at 1.9m, I'm taller than most of my peers, but Swen is even taller than me. I also didn't know how he'd react to my presence. After all I was an "emissary of the RPG Codex", which is a fancy way to say that I am not a member of the Codex staff and was sent there because I live not far from Ghent (then again, nothing is far from anything in Belgium). I have no previous video game journalism experience, my words do not carry weight in the video game community, and this meeting was organised because another Codex member bitched on the forums about Larian running out of money, to which Swen had replied on his blog that he'd invite one of us to Larian's office to check on the progress of Divinity: Original Sin in order to dispel such rumours. "I didn't think they'd actually send someone!", I heard him say later that day. This was all good fun, but I knew that the folks at Larian had to be very busy, working on two games at the same time, and I was afraid they might not appreciate my intrusion.

All the tension melted away when Swen and I started talking. He's the kind of man with a calm and amiable attitude that makes you instantly feel comfortable, so much in fact that you just want to sit next to him to have a chat about various things. That's actually what we did for the next few hours - sit next to each other, chat and play Divinity: Original Sin in co-op.

[...] Before visiting Larian I had assumed that Dragon Commander was an RTS that allowed you to enter the battlefield in your dragon form and take a direct part in the action; I thought that would be the gimmick that would set it apart from the rest of real-time strategy games. Bear also in mind that I'm no great fan of the RTS genre although I do enjoy some of them occasionally. However, Dragon Commander turned out to be much, much more than what I had expected. In fact, it isn't even an RTS but rather a hybrid of different genres, something that has become very rare these days. In one package, you'll find social interactions and political decisions where your choices actually matter, turn-based strategy with a strong board game feel, and real-time strategy with an action twist.​

How does the dialogue between Original Sin's two protagonists play out? What are the stats and how do they come into play outside of combat? In what way is Original Sin's combat reminiscent of Temple of Elemental Evil-meets-Fallout? How is Larian's Dragon Commander similar to Origin's Wing Commander? To what extent is it a board game-turned-computer game? Why are gay marriage and choosing a proper bride important? And what does one sandwich matter? Read all about it in Gragt's article!

Read the full article: An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the RPG Codex to Larian Studios
 

Arkeus

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Very nice overview. I can feel the respect you obviously had for Larian there :bro:.
 

evdk

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Crooked Bee

Shouldn't it be emissary in stead of embassy? Or am I missing a stupid joke or something?
embassy (plural embassies)
1)The function or duty of an ambassador.

2)An organization or group of officials who permanently represent a sovereign state in a second sovereign state or with respect to an international organization such as the United Nations.
The American embassy to France is located in Paris.

3)A temporary mission representing a sovereign state.
The Japanese embassy to the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., where it was received by James Buchanan, before continuing on to New York and then returning to Japan, making several stops on the way.

4)The official residence of such a group, or of an ambassador.
 

Roguey

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Linking stats together like this could potentially mean that no matter how a character is built, there will be no obvious dump stat.
Constitution is always the obvious dump stat.

there should more variety in the final game than the army of skeletons that we fought,
...

2Y5pzNY.jpg


Again this is all a work-in-progress but it made for some challenging and brutal encounters, even more brutal because life and mana do not regenerate!
...
Don't think that this overload of magic will make the game trivially easy, however, for not only will enemies be able to play with the same magic forces as you do, but also, as I stated earlier, health and mana do not regenerate at all and potions can be scarce
Kickstarter update said:
Mana does not automatically regenerate and can only be regained by drinking potions, eating certain types of food, or resting.
You have those pyramid thingamabobs. Finish a battle, teleport to a resting spot, get your health/mana back, repeat. How degenerate.

There are plans to add features like shattering frozen enemies with melee hits, so those of you who enjoy swinging big weapons need not be afraid.
This was pretty damn op in DA:O, likely to be op here as well.

"Compare that to the heavy-handedness of Bioware games where pretty much everything is treated so seriously that it becomes pompous."

Bullshitz

What she says isn't too interesting, albeit it is humourous, but the trick is that, just like her real-life counterparts, she often makes a good point, either for the right or wrong reasons, but it is almost invariably diminished by her aggressive behaviour, lack of manners, and extremist tendencies.
...
you can encourage her to try the meat in which case she discovers that she likes it, but this in turn will anger the elves because you are somehow debasing her even as you turn her into a happier and funnier person.
:roll:

I'm pretty sure that he meant Beyond Divinity when he talked of the bad ones;
I'm pretty sure he meant all of them. :)

I even recall reading that it is a game he wishes he hadn't made. I strongly disagree with this. What hit me during my time in their office is how much Larian has grown over the years. I played Beyond Divinity a few years ago, didn't like it and had to force myself to finish it, yet I wouldn't call it a bad game, merely a mediocre one.
XTBJiIk.png




Great job being so in-depth, but too milquetoast.
 

mindx2

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THE NEW CODEX...
91.png

Just joking. That was one of the best and informative "previews" I've read in a loooooooooooooooooong time. This article actually helps me see what these games are about and what to expect from them without hyping or buzz-wording the word count. It so puts to shame the so called game journos of today when a fellow Codexer out-writes a so-called "professional".... kudos Gragt.... and kudos to our Prestigious Magazine!!!!! :obviously:


:bravo:
 

Zed

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This was pretty damn op in DA:O, likely to be op here as well.
freeze for x turns in a turn-based game is much different from perma-kite/freeze in RTwP.
 

Roguey

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freeze for x turns in a turn-based game is much different from perma-kite/freeze in RTwP.
Any ability that allows you to bypass HP entirely is going to be a go-to tactic for anything freezable no matter what.
 

Mangoose

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity
Except enemies can unfreeze each other.

Not to mention the "OP-ness" of freezing depends on the percentage chance it takes effect. If it's 1% to be frozen, it's not OP.
 

Tolknaz

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
This was easily the most informative preview of this game so far. Also, great job on Dragon Commander.
 

Surf Solar

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Great article and :salute: to Gragt ! The images in the article won't load for me, though. :(

(Chrome, using 1680x1050 resolution, if that helps)
 

Jestai

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Reading this preview made me very eager to play these video games. Which is a feeling I haven't had for a long, long, LONG time.
:bro:
 

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