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Default RPGWatch Feature - Divinity: Original Sin II Review

October 4th, 2017, 05:30
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Thanks for clarifying and I don't think any harm will come to Larian one way or the other because of this review.

I admit to still being a bit confused. So are you saying that when someone writes a review they should adjust that review if the score doesn't fit into the average and is an outlier? That reviewers should change their scores so they meet some external idea of fair?
No. I did not say or mean that.

As a matter of being objective, it is normal to check one's work with other objective criteria. None of us are perfect. It's easy to err and/or not be objective.

Many ways to try and evaluate objectivity. Colleague review or other peer review in some instances. That btw is the standard for scientific and other publications. It's not some big knock to submit one's own work to a peer review evaluation. It can help improve the work and help identify hard to spot errors.

In some cases there are other standards that can be looked at as a spot check against one's own work. The 43 reviews at Metacritic are one such collection of data. The CCU data is another set of such data, If objectivity of one's work is important, one looks at and compares with available data collections, preferably as many as are available.

What if there is a significant deviation between one's work and the data of other sources? One could ignore the discrepancy. One could mindlessly change their work to fit the data of others. I think most would agree that neither of these are the correct approach.

Alternatively, one might take a significant discrepancy as a warning that something could be amiss. One might ask whether the size of any such discrepancy makes sense. One should IMO reevaluate their work and try and take a fresh look. If one's initial conclusions are found lacking in view of significant discrepancies, one shouldn't hesitate to honestly revise one's initial work.

At the end of the day, if everyone else is wrong and one's own work is the only correct result, so be it. But that generally isn't the case.

I do believe the reviewer should feel a duty to their own honesty and integrity, but that should be balanced with the appropriate care for the artists, developers, and perhaps others who invested years to create a game.

Regards.

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October 4th, 2017, 05:31
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
I admit to still being a bit confused. So are you saying that when someone writes a review they should adjust that review if the score doesn't fit into the average and is an outlier? That reviewers should change their scores so they meet some external idea of fair?
The notion wouldn't be that a person should adjust the review to fit the scores of others, but rather that a person should set personal biases aside and review a game on its own merits. That almost certainly isn't what has happened here - otherwise, as one example, the chances would be infinitesimal that these two games would tie with the same score from the same person:

- D:OS2, a game that is tied at 95 (with BG2) for best-reviewed PC RPG in history on Metacritic, with only 2 reviewers out of 45 giving it below an 88
- ME:A, a game that scored a mediocre 72 on Metacritic with only 2 reviewers out of 37 even giving it above an 85

On the other hand, as I mentioned in my previous post, it's also possible that the RPGWatch star rating system isn't granular enough to even show the difference. (Are half-stars allowed? I forget)
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October 4th, 2017, 05:31
The score is quite subjective matter, as long as the review texts have good amount of information and supports the reviewer score, there really shouldn't be so much… arguement over it. It's how the reviewer thought of the game after all, will not necessarily match your perceived score.

Either way, thanks for the Review, Maylander! It sounds like D:OS2 is a bit more in depth than D:OS1 in terms of character development. I personally didn't enjoy D:OS1 much other than combat, and since you mentioned D:OS2 still has its share of bugs, I might wait for the sale
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October 4th, 2017, 06:14
Now your rpg credentials will be revoked if you don't give Divinity Original Sin 2 a perfect score, and proclaim it as one of the best rpgs in history!

Seriously at this point, if I was Maylander, I would be sorely tempted to drop the score further to a 3 out of 5, just on account of all the bellyachin'.

And then watch the reaction…
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October 4th, 2017, 06:16
No major problems with the review here. Personally, I'd give it 4.5/5. Since that's not possible, I'd give it 5/5. It's a modern classic, if you ask me.
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October 4th, 2017, 08:03
I am really enjoying this one so far. Personally, so far I believe D:OS2 appears much more polished than the original - which had a very confusing story in the vanilla version. I do sort of miss the back-and-forth between your two characters, as that was an interesting mechanic. Despite that (or perhaps somewhat due to those mechanics) this one seems much more fleshed out and focused to me, despite the grander scope.
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October 4th, 2017, 10:24
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
So there is one part of the review which is an error, or at least I'm pretty sure it is. When the reviewer talks about one of your party members killing an NPC and making another party member's quest line impossible, I don't think that's true. Having had important NPCs for a party member's quest chain die, I've found that I can always pick the relevant quest chain up again later on. I can't say for sure that there aren't cases where this isn't true, but so far the game seems to be designed to allow for things like this to happen without screwing you (or your companions) over in the long run.
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
I killed a character with party that I needed for a companions quest but the companion wasnt with me at the time. Not sure if it was intended or bug but quest never completed or progressed after that. Kept telling me to find/talk to NPC. Maybe it was bug, maybe that's what he is referring to?
That's exactly what I'm talking about. There are several cases I know of where you can end up killing person X before a companion in the party needs that individual, which completely breaks their quest. It can happen either because the companions aren't there at the time, or because they haven't progressed enough through their personal quest.

Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
On the other hand, as I mentioned in my previous post, it's also possible that the RPGWatch star rating system isn't granular enough to even show the difference. (Are half-stars allowed? I forget)
Nope. In this case, it's likely to be one of these two:
5 – An outstanding game that will be remembered as a classic. A score of 5 indicates a game that is equal to the best gameplay available in the genre at the time of writing. It is, however, important to understand this does not represent an absolutely flawless game.

4 – An excellent game with some minor issues or weaknesses but still very highly recommended.
And I do feel it has minor issues. Only a handful of games throughout RPG history would get a full score from me, though the Enhanced Edition (if they make one) would likely get one.

It'll be interesting to see what the reception of the EE is, given that so many seem to think there's no room for improvement. I'm fairly certain there is room, and that Larian will nail it.
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October 4th, 2017, 10:45
Great written review! The score is off though. The sum of it's pros far outweigh the few minor issues it has. It's like saying the sun has a few dark spots and that makes it a so/so sun. DOS2 issues are so minor that they shouldn't detract from the score in my opinion.
Also, saying that scores shouldn't be compared to other games' review scores is strange. Games aren't reviewed and scored in a vacuum.
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October 4th, 2017, 10:46
@Maylander Swen said in a French interview a few days ago that there won't be an Enhanced Edition of D:OS2, as he doesn't see a need for it. Granted, I'm just going off Google Translate, if someone here knows French maybe they can give us better insight.
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October 4th, 2017, 11:11
The rating is not a 4 out of 5 numerically and doesn't translate to an 8. It is four stars out of 5 stars, which is just a category. In this case the category of 4 stars. The description in how we review, also indicates that it is not a numerical score.

Translating it in a linear fashion to an 8, by multiplying it with 2, is just as pointless as using whatever other formula you can think off. I'm sure someone can think up a formula where 4 stars become a 9 or more. You can use that one instead if it makes you happy. It changes nothing to the game being placed in the category of 4 stars. A category is not comparable to other scores of the game.

Having the review without the stars and just the text belonging to the classification of 4 stars, changes nothing to the review itself and would have probably created no commotion.
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October 4th, 2017, 11:16
Yeah, focusing on the number of stars is silly - that's why in my post, I instead focused on the comparison between two games that got the exact same number of stars - ME:A and D:OS2, games which were pretty much unanimously reviewed by dozens of the "professional" and other big-name reviewers as mediocre, and an alltime classic, respectively. Here, they got the same number of stars which means that probably either the reviewer brought in a lot of personal bias/taste (which is fine - I don't think RPGWatch reviews are meant to be "objective"), or the scoring system isn't granular enough to represent the difference. From what I can tell in this thread, it's probably some of both.
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October 4th, 2017, 11:24
Another excellent review Maylander, well done! I also think that with the issues mentioned 4 out of 5 stars is the correct rating.
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October 4th, 2017, 11:33
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
@Maylander Swen said in a French interview a few days ago that there won't be an Enhanced Edition of D:OS2, as he doesn't see a need for it. Granted, I'm just going off Google Translate, if someone here knows French maybe they can give us better insight.
Really? That would be a real shame!

Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Yeah, focusing on the number of stars is silly - that's why in my post, I instead focused on the comparison between two games that got the exact same number of stars - ME:A and D:OS2, games which were pretty much unanimously reviewed by dozens of the "professional" and other big-name reviewers as mediocre, and an alltime classic, respectively. Here, they got the same number of stars which means that probably either the reviewer brought in a lot of personal bias/taste (which is fine - I don't think RPGWatch reviews are meant to be "objective"), or the scoring system isn't granular enough to represent the difference. From what I can tell in this thread, it's probably some of both.
According to those "professional" reviewers, DA2 is better than MEA (nonsense), ME2 is as good as DOS2 (more nonsense) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is tied as the best game ever along with a few other titles.

The scores are useless without context, and the only way to get any sort of real information is to read the actual reviews and see whether or not this game is for you. Are you the target audience? Does it have the features you want? Then, and only then, should you care one whiff about the score or overall verdict. In the case of DOS2, I didn't really mention the audience, because I believe it's an all-rounder fit for most RPG gamers, but in both MEA and FO4 I mentioned the target audience specifically, and for those audiences the games genuinely are very good.

Anyone going by rating alone should be playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and are not my concern.
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October 4th, 2017, 13:33
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
@Maylander Swen said in a French interview a few days ago that there won't be an Enhanced Edition of D:OS2, as he doesn't see a need for it. Granted, I'm just going off Google Translate, if someone here knows French maybe they can give us better insight.
I have read that interview and yes, Larian doesn't consider releasing an Emhanced Edition, as they don't see what that could add that shouldn't be brought up via patches. They don't discard additional content, though, but that wouldn't be paid content. If they release DLC, it will be free.
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October 4th, 2017, 14:03
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
I have read that interview and yes, Larian doesn't consider releasing an Emhanced Edition, as they don't see what that could add that shouldn't be brought up via patches. They don't discard additional content, though, but that wouldn't be paid content. If they release DLC, it will be free.
Aah, right, that's true in a sense: They added things like voice overs etc to the original in the EE, and that's all present here. Given Larian's track record, I'd actually be disappointed if they just popped out two patches and left it at that though. I know that shouldn't be the case, as that's what pretty much everyone else does, but I simply expect more from them than from most developers.
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October 4th, 2017, 14:32
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Aah, right, that's true in a sense: They added things like voice overs etc to the original in the EE, and that's all present here. Given Larian's track record, I'd actually be disappointed if they just popped out two patches and left it at that though. I know that shouldn't be the case, as that's what pretty much everyone else does, but I simply expect more from them than from most developers.
But what would you like to see added to Original Sin 2? I was on the fence, waiting for the Enhanced Edition, but this interview has pretty much blown my bubble.

Great review, by the way!
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October 4th, 2017, 14:53
EDIT: Too off topic

tl;dr - I think things can be over-analyzed to death and simply put I think this was a pretty balanced and good review. 'Nuff said.
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Last edited by wolfgrimdark; October 4th, 2017 at 15:35.
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October 4th, 2017, 15:01
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
But what would you like to see added to Original Sin 2? I was on the fence, waiting for the Enhanced Edition, but this interview has pretty much blown my bubble.

Great review, by the way!
Most issues can be fixed via patches, but I would have liked to see some bigger changes in the final third or so of the game.

Spoiler – Specific changes
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October 4th, 2017, 15:40
Curious, I went to steam because of all the hullabaloo, and guess what, if you search reviews by the "negative" category, there are numerous reviews saying that the game has too many bugs, and many of the negative reviews are complaining about bugs that are game breaking. So, there is some context that matches up to a degree with Maylander's review, where bugs are mentioned as one reason for the one point detracted from the overall score, but it appears even more serious of an issue going by the steam reviews that give the game a thumbs down.

Some of these reviews are saying the same things like, "yea, its an awesome game and I love it, but this game breaking bug made me lose hours of progress". I just added this to show these are not malicious reviews, but seem to be saying the game is great and just needs to be patched up.
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October 4th, 2017, 15:58
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
I don't think RPGWatch reviews are meant to be "objective"), or the scoring system isn't granular enough to represent the difference. From what I can tell in this thread, it's probably some of both.
So you think reviews at other sites are meant to be objective? That's a good one.
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