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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Divinity Games » Divinity 2 » DKS - First Impressions

Default DKS - First Impressions

December 9th, 2010, 01:29
I held off purchasing Divinity 2: Ego Draconis (ED), despite immensely enjoying the 2-D Isometric Divine Divinity (DD) (my review here) released back in 2002 mainly because I wasn’t sold on the whole ‘turn into a dragon’ part of the game. I’ve rarely enjoyed games that alter their presentation during the normal course of the game and therein lies my prejudice concerning ED.

With the release of Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga (DKS) and the glowing reviews by the vast majority of the gaming press (both online and print), I decided I should give the game a chance, especially since I loved DD so much.

After a small mishap with GoGamer sending me Harry Potter instead of DKS, I purchased a digital copy of the game from GamersGate. I have about 5 hours into the game, all graphical setting are at max.

Note: I make some direct comparisons to Arcania: Gothic 4 not to bash that game but because I’m currently playing that game also.

The Good:

Graphics are very good. But I’m not hard to please in this department, and graphics are not high on my list relative to gameplay.

Frame rate is excellent considering I have all visual settings maxed out – very happy with the fluidity of the game. Even happier that my mouse pointer doesn’t get slow and sluggish when navigating menus – I have a big problem with this happening in Arcania.

Music so far is excellent.

Voice acting is very good compared to Arcania.

Interface – I love the interface, it is simple and elegant yet provides a vast amount of relevant information – one of the best interfaces in a RPG in a long time.

Feedback – the game’s feedback is excellent and provides the player with a lot of information without feeling like the game is holding your hand. Some examples: When you pick something up, the game displays text that tells you in full English sentences what you just picked up; Tooltip text is very thorough – hover over a sword and you get a lot of info about it, hover over a stat same thing, hover over a skill same thing; When you open a lock because you hold the correct key, the game displays text that tells you that you just used a key.

NPC Dialog – Unlike Arcania, I’m very interested in really taking my time and listening to the NPCs, not just because the voice acting is better, but simply because what they have to say is a lot more interesting.

Books – I like the idea of books in games like these. DKS does a great job of displaying the book itself as you read it, the graphical representation of the book is well done, and that you can flip pages with your mouse is cool – little touches like this make the game so much more appealing. Also, the stories in the books don’t get too long (at least so far).

Adventure & Fun Factor – The game is fun to explore, so far it seems on par with Gothic 2 in this regard. It is often worthwhile to poke around because you will find something otherwise hidden. I also enjoyed the catacombs beneath the chapel in the first town – desks and chairs strewn about, with letters on the floor, makes the environment feel lived in and not just another ‘monster closet’ like the many caves of Oblivion.

Ultima – The game tips its hat, here and there, to the Ultima series (and Ultima is a good thing) – Black Rock and bails of wheat that look like the modern graphical equivalent of Ultima 7 – are two things I’ve come across so far.

The Bad

I don’t like that you can’t drop things you’ve picked up back into the environment – or at least I haven’t figured out how to do that if it is in fact possible. I have a load of books that I’d like to place in one spot instead of carrying them around. Eventually I’ll have to make room in my inventory it will be a shame to Destroy them to make room.

No day/night Cycle – It’s really sad that this game didn’t include a day/night cycle since the world is otherwise fully fleshed out in most other meaningful ways. Not a huge deal, just wish they had included it.

The Ugly

NPCs Vanish – Occasionally, I’ve seen NPC’s simply vanish from where they are standing because, it seems, the game didn’t have them walk to where they were supposed to be based on changes the player causes while playing. For example, the two NPC’s that sit out in front of the tavern in the first town vanished after a few seconds when I came back outside from the tavern where I had just previously gotten rid of the unruly guys inside. I went back into the tavern, and there they were. Just a weird glitch I guess.

That’s about it for now. I am definitely hooked, this is a really good game.

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December 9th, 2010, 22:29
Did you install the patch before you started? There are som game breaking issues that it fixes:
http://www.larian.com/dragonknightsaga_support.php

The Dragon Knight Saga: Patch 1

The following features and fixes are included with this patch:

* Nightmare difficulty mode has been added
* The graphic options have been extended
* A number of balancing changes were included (overpowered enchantments, empty containers)
* The interact button now also takes all items in a container
* Compatibility fixes are present for various graphic cards (black screen problem)
* A system fix was introduced that solves issues like invisible npc's and overpowered enemies
* A number of minor fixes were done

To download the patch, click the correct link in the following table, depending on which version of Divinity II - The Dragon Knight Saga you have.

(*) Digital Versions: some digital distribution versions (such as Steam) have their own system for releasing patches. If you bought your game through one of these vendors, please visit their websites. If it's not available yet, it should become available soon.

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December 10th, 2010, 01:33
I never installed the patch - heh I just totally forgot to do that… thanks for the heads up.

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December 13th, 2010, 22:04
I agree with a lot of what you wrote.

I like that there's no night time. I guess for some it adds to realism, but I don't like adventuring at night, and if there's no sleep or wait function, you're stuck stumbling around in the dark.

And I have the exact opposite experience than you with the menus and the conversation scenes. The game runs very fluidly for me until I go to a menu or a conversation cut scene. Then my cursor slows waaay down. Very annoying, but I sort of got used to it.
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December 14th, 2010, 13:14
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I like that there's no night time. I guess for some it adds to realism, but I don't like adventuring at night, and if there's no sleep or wait function, you're stuck stumbling around in the dark.
I don't even remember any game where there is night so dark that you'd need torches … Oh, but maybe Arcanum ?

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December 15th, 2010, 10:20
Risen had a very dark night that some people complained about.

Still haven't installed DKS yet…
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December 17th, 2010, 06:37
I'm still really enjoying the game. Look forward to my play time whenever I get it.

Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I like that there's no night time. I guess for some it adds to realism, but I don't like adventuring at night, and if there's no sleep or wait function, you're stuck stumbling around in the dark.
I still would have preferred a day/night cycle because the world is otherwise fully-fleshed out and no day/night cycle in a game like this is really lacking imho.

Spoiler – Day/Night Cycle Minor Spoiler


Another odd thing about the game, similar to the Day/Night cycle situation is this…

Spoiler – Falling - Medium Spoiler


These two gripes are really minor, just felt like pointing them out though.

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December 18th, 2010, 03:49
Finally got this installed and started playing. So far loving it except I have one big question.

How do I take/set screenshots? the print screen key did nothing and I can't find anything on the forums.

EDIT: Hmm think I found an answer although it sounds like you can only take one at a time and put it in memory (using print screen) and then pasting into an image program. Can do that … but was hoping for a way to just take them as needed.

Anyhow that's a minor quibble. So back to the fun
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December 18th, 2010, 03:58
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Another odd thing about the game, similar to the Day/Night cycle situation is this…

Spoiler – Falling - Medium Spoiler
I thought that was weird as well.

The first time I accidentally fell off the dragon tower (the broken down one) I thought, "Oh shit, I'm going to die" After falling for 10 seconds or so my characters lands with no damage at all.

I chalk it up to my character being half dragon (maybe she could slow down the fall ), even before she was half-dragon. It's a stretch of the imagination, but it sorta makes some sense in a "now for something completely different" way

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December 18th, 2010, 20:50
I'm a bit envious seeing all you guys talking about how fun DKS is. I wish I could start it now, but I've got a few things I want to finish up first, including Divine Divinity.

I've got a mental hang-up about playing a sequel when I haven't finished the first game.
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December 19th, 2010, 01:31
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm a bit envious seeing all you guys talking about how fun DKS is. I wish I could start it now, but I've got a few things I want to finish up first, including Divine Divinity.

I've got a mental hang-up about playing a sequel when I haven't finished the first game.
I was always like that myself. I still would be but I can't find the time. I finally decided I would end up missing a lot of games due to time if I had to go back and play all the sequels. I still try sometimes … but sometimes have to just accept I won't have the time.

The bad side effect is I sometimes start playing in reverse - which often makes it rough as you know what is coming and sequels can sometimes be more refined (as I am finding in FO3 versus FNV).

For now just playing DKS and if it turns out super awesome I may go backwards … but I suspect I won't have time with so many new games on the horizon.
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December 19th, 2010, 01:46
Well I've wanted to play Divine Divinity for a long time now anyways. Everyone talks about how great it is, and it did seem really good from what I've played. I started it once before, but lost my saved game when my hard drive crashed.
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December 19th, 2010, 05:51
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well I've wanted to play Divine Divinity for a long time now anyways. Everyone talks about how great it is, and it did seem really good from what I've played. I started it once before, but lost my saved game when my hard drive crashed.
Divine Divinity is worth the playthrough. Take your time and enjoy it. I always say that, 'if you've never played it, then it's new to you.'

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December 19th, 2010, 08:29
theres something to be said for linearity but also sometimes it can be just as rewarding experience to play a game when it comes back and then revist its predecessors that make you apreciate that prior game and its characters in a whole different way. usually people are so opinionated about a game and its serious that they often don't enjoy a sequel, "true" or not as much as they could have had they not played the original. you can always have that "aha" moment when playing an original to see what inspired the sequel, and sometimes that is a better than the let downs we experience when playing a sequel. though sometimes the sequel is better and then for many people playing the later would actually be better.

as i've said before i played gothic first and therefore think gothic 2 (and notr) can't top that experience. i played system shock 2 (one of my favourite games) and the original later and like it far less, though it is a much different game than gothic is to gothic 2.

in this regar i would say that divinity 2 is closer to the system shock series in that it is quite a bit different in gameplay than the original and the back story/lore plays a small part in the gameplay experience. sometimes its better not to wait. if you play a game in its "heyday" than you will only suffer from a lack of the orginals story and not from a technological handicap of playing it too long after it was made.

but yes do play the original as well.
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December 20th, 2010, 22:07
So got about 8 hours in so far. Some notes:

PROS:
- great graphics and finding it really has the right feel for the game setting
- enjoying some of the choices in quests, already having trouble picking which way to do them and regretting some choices (a good thing - means I am not finding them to be no brainers but ones I think a little about)
- really like the flexibility to mix skill sets (although I suspect I may nerf myself). So many great choices I want to play with.
- Like the writing overall. At times corny but so far I enjoy the mix of humor and story.
- Less hand holding in the game, which I also like. Feeling more immersed and invested.
- You can jump and go through water (I like the illusion of freedom of movement)

CONS:
- Limited character creation. Not a killer but I do miss being able to really customize.
- Lack of proper screenshot ability
- Would like a little more camera control, although what they have is surprisingly effective all things considered.
- no companions (just me - I like companions)

NEUTRAL:
- Has a "diablo" feel at times with mobs of monsters and combat - plenty of clicking and fairly fast battles, at least there is a pause command. I don't mind it, just an observation.

My biggest issue now is choices - which is a bonus and not a complaint. I want to make a melee/rogue type but Rogue seems closer to Ranger in this game. So going to have to mix and match. I may totally gimp myself but hopefully on "casual" difficulty it will work.

- Dual weild (DK)
- Warrior Skills (like charge, whirlwind and fatality)
- Mind reading (DK)
- Hide in shadows (priest)
- Heal self (mage)

Debating lock picking … but already spread thin. Not sure on stats - thats a tough one as so many seem useful. Strength first, then vitality, with whatever I can afford in Int and Spirit.

Any thoughts from those who have played?
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December 21st, 2010, 01:24
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Debating lock picking … but already spread thin. Not sure on stats - thats a tough one as so many seem useful.
I maxed out lockpicking early on. For me, there's nothign worse than a chest I can't open. It drive's me insane.

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December 21st, 2010, 21:32
I suggest the priest Summon Ghost skill instead of the mage healing spell. It adds to the illusion of companions too!
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December 22nd, 2010, 00:38
I am trying to resist my "open every chest" impulse since it seldom seems worth it … but I also hate not getting into a chest or locked door.

As for the summons … I thought of that but most of the summons seem a bit on the creepy side to me, although the ghost is a good suggestion since it can heal.
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January 9th, 2011, 17:01
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
…With the release of Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga (DKS) and the glowing reviews

…I have about 5 hours into the game, all graphical setting are at max.
….
That’s about it for now. I am definitely hooked, this is a really good game.
What would be interesting would be a refresh of the review once you have played the whole game.
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January 10th, 2011, 06:52
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
What would be interesting would be a refresh of the review once you have played the whole game.
This is one of those few games that have me entertained enough to sit down and do a write up when I'm done. I'm in Keara's fortress at the moment. I'm Level 34 and I figure I must almost be done since most people finish the game at L34 or L35 (before FOV starts that is).

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