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Divinity 2 Q&A with Swen Vincke

by Joost "Myrthos" Mans, 2008-08-29

At the Games Convention I had the opportunity to check out Divinity 2, which was presented to me by Larian Studio’s Swen “Lar” Vincke in a half hour session. In this two part article you can now read about the short Q&A i had with Swen.

RPGWatch: Is the skill tree similar to what we already know from Divine Divinity?

Swen Vincke: The original had paths and a linear skill tree. In Divinity 2 it is presented differently; there are different skills and they are not divided into warrior, wizard and survivor anymore. They are also grouped differently. At the moment we know all the skills there are going to be, but they have not been balanced yet and are not placed in the necessary trees yet.

RPGWatch: Is the ending the same, regardless of what you do in the game?

Swen Vincke: There are multiple ways to get to the ending but the actual ending is going to be the same. This is because we want to continue with the story and he is one of our important characters and to be able to continue we need to have a certain thing happening.

RPGWatch: Where in the timeline is it taking place?

Swen Vincke: It’s years after the events in Beyond Divinity. We don’t have an exact answer but it is between 50 and 100 years after the events in Beyond Divinity.

RPGWatch: Is it divided into acts, like Beyond Divinity?

Swen Vincke: No, it is a big world like Divinity 1 - you can roam the world anywhere you want.

RPGWatch: How many quests are there?

Swen Vincke: We haven’t counted them. It is a lot. The interesting part is the amount of solutions to a quest. There are quests with something like 30 solutions. Even though there are sometimes only small differences between the choices, in many cases the difference is quite big. If you count all of those it is a huge number.

RPGWatch: So you can’t do all quests in one play through?

Swen Vincke: No, it’s actually quite cool in that way. In Divine Divinity it took a long time before you see the results of your actions, but here it is very instant and you immediately see the effects in your quest chain.

RPGWatch: Can you go back on a choice?

Swen Vincke: No, you can’t. Choices are choices and all choices have a positive and negative side. You will not be prevented from finishing the game but you will have to live with the consequences.

RPGWatch: Is it still possible to avoid fights, like in Divine Divinity with the sneaking skill.

Swen Vincke: Yes, it is not possible to show it now as the effect is broken at the moment, but there is a skill that allows you to do that.

RPGWatch: What are the differences between the Xbox 360 and the PC versions?

Swen Vincke: The interface is very different. The balancing of gameplay is different because the controller and the mouse are both very different devices, like the speed at which you can use your skills. On the mouse it is higher than on the controller but sometimes it is faster on the controller again. On the controller for example you have only 4 keys that can be mapped to skills. For the rest the games are identical.

RPGWatch: What have you learned from Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity that you won’t do in Divinity 2?

Swen Vincke: The games are not comparable as far as development goes. There are 70 people working on this one. It is more beautiful and better than Divinity 1. We definitely have learned that you have to try take your time to do it and we did take our time now. We started in 2004 and it will be released in 2009. That is a long development time. We had to, as the step from Divinity and Beyond Divinity is very big and it has the idea of a bloody dragon in it which makes it even more complicated. Furthermore, it has to run from a DVD on the Xbox 360, which it can.

In Divinity we could throw stuff in because we could do it so easily. Here we had to think about it more, because it takes much more time to put something in. With Divinity we ended up with a feature list up into the sky. Divinity 2 still has a feature list up into to sky but we already knew upfront it was going to have that feature list. That makes it a different approach.

RPGWatch: Is the release date of Q2 2009 reachable and will it be released at the same time for the PC and the Xbox 360?

Swen Vincke: I can’t comment on the second question but as far as the first question goes, we are definitely doing everything we can to make that date. We still have to go through our QA phase and we want to take our time in QA, which we have as we are entering feature complete this year.

RPGWatch: How did you came up with the name Ego Draconis?

Swen Vincke: It was one of the names written on the board and it stuck and everybody liked it. I know there are some people who didn’t liked it. We know ‘Ego’ is correct Latin as we have somebody working on the dialogs who is a doctor in literature and we checked it through him. The Ego obviously is about you having a dragon within you,  which explains the title.

(Editors Note: Just before we published this interview the explanation was posted on the Larian boards:

People have wondered why it is exactly Divinity II goes by the name of Ego Draconis, so let me explain. "Ego" is Latin for "I" and "Draconis" is the genitive of "Draco" meaning "dragon". Why then, isn't the game simply called "Ego Draco"? Well actually, there is a very good reason, namely that "Ego Draconis" is a genitive of origin. This means that Divinity II isn't called "I, dragon", but "I of dragon", or more fluently translated, "I, descendant, scion, heir or successor of the dragon". Which of these possibilities comes closest to the meaning we want it to carry, or how it ties in with the story, is for you to find out when the game ships.)

RPGWatch: What are the main things you kept from Beyond Divinity or Divine Divinity?

Swen Vincke: Beyond Divinity was maybe a bad exercise. There were some good things in there but through the bad ones nobody saw the good things anymore. The major idea behind Divine Divinity is still present in Divinity 2, which is that you can just rush through that world and then you pick up on a detail and discover that detail and find there is another detail behind it. That is really something that happens to you and it is like this in Divinity 2 as well.

The classless system I always liked. It wasn’t very well balanced in Divinity 1 but we will make it balanced for Divinity 2.

The world that is very detailed and becoming very alive. We actually spent much more polygons on the environment than some of the other games do. They spent a lot of time just on the characters and we wanted them both to be detailed

RPGWatch: Is there going to be a multiplayer version?

Swen Vincke: We actually had a multiplayer version once, but we had to screw up the story so much that we killed it

RPGWatch: Will it be possible to make mods?

Swen Vincke: That is still a big discussion. Theoretically there is nothing preventing it. The only thing preventing it would be that we have to QA all the tools. We have an entire environment where you can make a really cool next-gen RPG. It would require spending development resources on it, so I doubt it would be released at the moment the game is finished. Afterwards maybe.

 

Box Art

Information about

Divinity II: Ego Draconis

Developer: Larian Studios

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
Germany, Austria & Switzerland
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2009-07-24
· Publisher: dtp

Germany, Austria & Switzerland
· Divinity 2 - Ego Draconis
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2009-10-02
· Publisher: dtp

Western Europe
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-11-06
· Publisher: dtp

UK
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-11-20
· Publisher: dtp

North America
· Divinity 2 - Ego Draconis
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2010-01-05
· Publisher: CDV

UK
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-11-20
· Publisher: dtp

Western Europe
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2009-11-06
· Publisher: dtp

North America
· Divinity 2 - Ego Draconis
· Homepage
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2010-01-05
· Publisher: dtp

More information


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