Last updated on October 21st, 2018
Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition has finally arrived and with it will undoubtedly come a slew of new players who will all have the same difficulties the rest of us faced. In this Guide we’ll cover a few things that should make the transition from Greenhorn to Veteran just a little bit easier, and at the very least give you a good foundation to get started.
Beginners Guide for Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
The beginning portion of the game is widely considered the toughest part, as success in Divinity is somewhat gear dependent, and there is very little gear to be found unless you know where to look. In the next sections we’ll take a look at Character Creation and Armour and how they can make the difference between a resounding victory or swift defeat.
Many players will get hung up during Character Creation trying to make the best possible character they can. Race is not as important as you think when making a Build, but Elf and Human are generally considered the best in the game. If you’re not sure which to pick, then take one of those two, but don’t stress yourself out too much about this decision. You will be fine no matter which Race you select.
On the contrary, when choosing which type of character to make, selecting your Skills is important. You can have a great idea for a Build but have a tough time in beginning of the game if you choose the wrong Skills. Whether a ranger, melee or mage, you want to focus on selecting Skills that Crowd Control enemies and prevent you from taking damage, which brings us to the next section.
Armour and Crowd Control
Divinity Original Sin 2 features an Armour system where damage is split into two types: Physical and Magical. Physical Damage is prevented by Physical Armour and Earth, Poison, Fire, Water and Air Damage are prevented by Magic Armour. While a character maintains their Armour they cannot be affected by Status Effects, which is important because a number of these can prevent the character from taking its turn. Knowing this, you can keep enemies from attacking you by focusing down their Armour, and then using Skills that apply these effects. At the same time, you can protect yourself from these by keeping your Armour up.
Because Armour is so important you should prioritize equipment with higher Armour values rather than the bonuses they give (except for maybe Jewelry), and this goes for all of your party members. It’s a great idea to try to balance the amount of Physical and Magical Armour you have, with a slight emphasis on Physical Armour, because most of the early game enemies will deal this type of damage. Also, consider using a Shield on melee and mage characters earlier on in the game, where the damage difference between a One-Handed Weapon and a Two-Handed Weapon is not as great, and the extra Armour is extremely useful.
Maintaining your Armour and stripping your enemies’ are the two most important aspects of combat.
Skills and Archtypes
You can learn a number of Skills that provide you temporary Armour buffs in Fort Joy, as well as ones that Crowd Control enemies, and these should be acquired as soon as possible (if you didn’t take them during Character Creation). Below is a list of recommended Skills, with notes about each, that you can obtain in Fort Joy. Please keep in mind these are not mandatory, but if you find you are having a difficult time then try gaining and using these and you should be fine.
Battle Stomp – This Skill allows you to clear surfaces, but more importantly Crowd Control enemies once they have no Physical Armour. You can Knockdown many enemies at once, making this Skill one of the best throughout the entire game.
Battering Ram – This Skill is slightly less effective in general than Battle Stomp, but has the added benefit of mobility, which can get you into melee range. Be sure to use this only once you can get the Knockdown, and don’t lead with it in combat or you’ll waste the CC.
Tentacle Lash – This Skill hits exceptionally hard and sets Atrophy on the target if they have no Physical Armour, preventing it from attacking with Weapon-based Skills for the next turn. Ideally you would use this on warriors and rangers, and not mages, since they can still cast spells. Keep in mind this Skill scales with Strength only, so if you’re a Rogue or using a Spear this is not recommended for you.
Chloroform – This Skill destroys Magic Armour and puts an enemy to sleep, denying them their turn until they take damage. It also, does not break Stealth so you can use it while remaining invisible.
Chameleon Cloak – This Skill is a great way to end your turn to prevent yourself from being attacked. You can also use this to Stealth by enemies or dangerous places, which you will need to do from time to time.
First Aid – This Skill not only heals you or another party member, but removes many terrible Status Effects like Knocked Down. It also makes you Rested, which prevents you from being Knocked Down, even if you have no Physical Amour.
Tactical Retreat – This Skill allows you to teleport up high in order to gain a damage bonus from being elevated, and provides you a means to escape when things are getting dicey. Be sure to get this one as soon as you can.
Conjure Incarnate – The Incarnate is the best summons you can have, and the disparity between it and other summons will only grow larger throughout the course of the game. Once you get Summoning to rank 10 this Incarnate will grow huge and become much more powerful, so if you’re summoning then this should be your first priority. Note that summoning this Incarnate on different surfaces will change the damage type it does, and abilities it gains, allowing you some flexibility.
Power Infusion – This Skill will provide your Incarnate with increased damage and Physical Armour, which it will desperately need to stay alive. In addition, it will acquire the Skills: Whirlwind and Battering Ram, allowing it to attack many enemies at once or CC them. Note that the Incarnate will deal the damage type of the surface it was summoned in, even when using these Skills.
Blinding Radiance – This Skill deals Air Damage in an AoE around you and Blinds enemies who have no Magic Armour, making it harder for them to hit you or party members. Because enemies have very little Magic Armour near the beginning of the game, this Skill can come in extremely handy.
Shocking Touch – This Skill deals Air Damage but can also set Shocked and Stunned on enemies, either lowering their AP or preventing them from taking a turn all together. The range is quite short, but it’s a great way to prevent damage.
Electric Discharge – Slightly less damage than Shocking Touch, but has a much longer range and does effectively the same thing. Use this to Stun or Shock enemies, and prevent them from attacking you.
Teleportation – This Skill does very poor damage all through out the game, but has so many uses it’s considered one of the top 10 Skills. Use it to teleport party members to locations they cannot reach, teleport things to you, teleport enemies away from you or even enemies next to your melee units.
Dazing Bolt – This Skill allows you to Shock or Stun many enemies at once in an AoE. It has a hefty cost at 3 AP but is a staple of Aero Builds throughout much of the game. Just be sure not to Shock yourself or your party members with it.
Armour of Frost – This Skill gives you a temporary Magic Armour buff and removes some Status Effects, and it can be cast on party members as well. Because Hydrosophist doesn’t add a whole lot to the effectiveness of this Skill until much later in the game, consider just putting one point into it, unless you plan to use other Hydrosophist Skills.
Hail Strike – This Skill is useful in not only Chilling and Freezing enemies, preventing damage to your party, but also in creating icy surfaces that can make enemies (and your party) slip and fall. Use it as often as you can.
Rain – This Skill is a great way to make Chilled enemies Frozen, or to make enemies Wet, allowing for easier Freezing and increased Water Damage. If you take Elemental Affinity as a Talent, you’ll cast this first to reduce the cost of your other Hydrosophist Skills.
Winter Blast – This Skill works much like Dazing Bolt, but instead Chills and Freezes. Unlike Dazing Bolt, however, you don’t have to worry about it damaging your party members.
Ice Fan – This Skill allows you to shoot out 3 separate projectiles that can Chill and Freeze enemies, which is excellent for keeping enemies Crowd Controlled. You can potentially Freeze 3 different enemies at once.
Fortify – This Skill provides a temporary Physical Armour buff that scales with level and your Geomancer Ability. This is a great way to protect yourself, as well as remove some Status Effects, and it can be cast on any party member in range. Because Geomancer doesn’t add a whole lot to the effectiveness of this Skill until much later in the game, consider just putting one point in it unless you plan to use other Geomancer Skills.
Fossil Strike – This Skill is a great way to Slow enemies, which is applied Armour or no Armour. This makes melee units have a much harder time getting to your or party members, which can prevent damage.
Pyromancers have no Crowd Controlling Skills early on and is not recommended for new players, unless they take another school of magic as well, in order to pick up some of the Skills listed above.
Necromancers do not possess any Crowd Controlling Skills early on. However, because Necromancer Skills increase in damage not through the Necromancy Ability itself, but rather Warfare, Necromancers can help Crowd Control by using Skills like Battering Ram and Battle Stomp from Warfare Skills.
Trainers, Companions and Quests
The Skills above can be obtained by vendors that sell the Skill Books, and more Skill Books become available once you reach Level 4. This is an important thing to note because many of these vendors are related to other quests, and may die before you reach this Level. For this reason I have noted down the locations of all of these vendors, and you should pay particular attention when completing quests related to them, or you could find yourself missing out on Skill Books that you will likely need before reaching the next set vendors.
In addition, your Companions have their own quest lines, which without too many spoilers, have some overlap. This means you need to pay attention when doing these quests, because you can fowl up their quest lines if you don’t. Always save before you let a Companion speak to someone, and be sure to investigate things thoroughly or you may miss out.
Grab a Bedroll as quickly as you can. You can find them on board the ship at the very beginning or around Fort Joy. This will allow you to rest between fights, instantly replenishing all your Vitality for you and your party. If you’re Co Oping, make sure each player gets one so that they can heal as well.
Early on in the game, particularly on higher difficulties, it’s a good idea to avoid combat as long as possible. This means that you want to explore and do as many quests as you can until you reach about level 3, before attempting to take on some of the earlier fights or the Arena. Depending on how much you’ve explored you may have to fight at level 2, so if you do have to fight I recommend taking on the Turtles above the area where you find Fane.
Once you gain the Gloves of Teleportation a lot of gear becomes available to you. Be sure to scout around the area and find the locations where you can use it. Gear is hard to come by in the early going and you will want all you can get.
Don’t waste gold! Gold is very scarce in the early goings of the game, and if you accidentally sell something you shouldn’t a time or two you may find yourself broke in a hurry. Outfitting 4 characters isn’t cheap, so reload if you made a mistake, or better yet save before you decide to sell or buy anything in case you screw up.
You can steal from vendors if you are short on funds, but you will need at least one character with the Thievery Ability in order to do this. Thievery is also very good for opening locked doors and chests, and this will generally net you some decent gear as well, so be sure to have someone with a point or two in it.
This is one I really wish I would have known from the beginning, is that you can travel to any Waypoint from ANYWHERE on the map. You do not need to run to the nearest one to use it, you can simply click on the Waypoint button on the minimap (PC) or go to options and select Waypoints if you’re on console. This is particularly useful if you find yourself trapped somewhere and can’t get out.
Lastly, don’t remove your collar until you are ready to fight Magisters every time you see them. They will become hostile to you once this has been done, and if you aren’t prepared you will quickly find yourself in a spot of trouble. Wait until you have some decent gear and you know what you are getting into before doing so.