2017 has come and gone and Divinity: Original Sin 2 from Larian Studios has taken our Game of the Year award by a landslide. Players around the internet agree, that it is hands down one of the best RPGs they have ever played, as it took the gaming world by storm and for many players this was their first taste of Divinity. In this article we want to take a look ways Larian could improve Divinity: Original Sin 2, or perhaps its sequel, should there be one. It’s hard to find a lot wrong here, but we’ll try our best!
10 Changes We Want
Below is a list of things we’d like to see changed or modified because we believe it would enhance the gameplay in some way or make for better longevity or overall experience. These are in no way must haves, but I think they are things most people who have played the game as much as we have can agree on with. Let’s jump into them and see what’s on the list!
10. More Elemental Damage Buffs
The first thing on our list we’d like to see changed is the addition of elemental damage buffs (Fire, Water, Poison, Earth, Air) that either add MUCH MORE elemental damage to your weapon attacks OR convert them to that damage type completely.
Because of the way that Physical and Magic Armour currently works with regard to crowd controlling effects, dealing a LOT of damage to one type is better than damage to both Armours (generally). If you could change your damage type to let’s say Water, albeit with some investment into Hydrosophist, it would open the door for much more play styles and Builds. Presently there are some Skills that go completely unused because of this.
9. Elemental Damage Weapons
Piggybacking off the above idea, wouldn’t it be great if some melee weapons and bows had 100% elemental damage or at the very least a very high percentage?!? This would allow for more Build diversity as you could be Ranger that uses a fire crossbow and who puts points into Huntsmans and Pyrokinetic. This would be an easy change to make, and of course Larian could always make them unique items or craftable to make things a bit more interesting and to prevent the loot pools from being further randomized.
8. Give Constitution Another Use
In the first Divinity: Original Sin, Constitution played a bigger role by adding maximum AP you could acquire, and characters took damage quite regularly. In Divinity: Original Sin 2 if you’re taking damage to your Vitality then you are doing something wrong and you’ll have a tough time winning that encounter because of crowd control.
Because of the way the Armour system works in this game the objective is to not take any Vitality damage at all, so this Stat becomes nearly useless. Adding something like 1% Resistance to elemental damage per point would make this more useful, at least to tank builds. Another idea would be to add 1% Magic Armour or Physical Armour (or both) per point invested.
7. Staves and Wands Need Improvement
Anyone who has played a proper caster in D:OS II will tell you that they almost never use their wand or Staff for anything, except maybe Act 1 of the game. Once you gain a wider assortment of spells, these weapons become almost useless. Unless you are playing a very specific Build like the Elemental Champion or some sort of Pyro/Warrior Build, you simply use whatever has the best bonuses. It would be great if there was a Wand or Staff category in Abilities that increased your elemental damage while wielding one, or something of this nature. Or, perhaps even adding some Talents that make using them more intriguing.
6. Necromancy Needs an Overhaul
While Necromancer is probably one of the most popular Skill lines out there, and for good reason (it’s just awesome and flexible), there are many Skills in the line that are useless or nearly so. I’m looking at you: Blood Sucker, Raining Blood, Infect, Living on the Edge, Death Wish, Last Rites, Silencing Stare and Black Shroud.
At first glance some of these Skills seem really good, and indeed my first Build guide for the Death Knight remains my most popular one, however, most of these Skills are based on the premise of missing Health, which is very bad in Divinity: Original Sin 2. Necromancer’s biggest strength, besides being a Physical Damage option for a caster, is that it gives you Health back when you attack (passively). But again, you shouldn’t be losing any to begin with, and for those Skills I listed that aren’t based on Health, I literally can’t think of a Build that uses them…
5. Healing Undead Needs to Scale Off of Warfare
This one is oddly specific I think. If you didn’t know, healing Undead deals Physical Damage to them, and can even Critically Strike. The only ways currently to increase this damage is by increasing your Critical Multiplier/Chance and to pump points into Hyrosophist. Warfare has no impact, even though the damage is Physical. The reason this is an issue, is because you cannot increasing healing with Intelligence, so you will under perform (in terms of damage) if you use this Build, which is a shame. If Warfare did affect damage to Undead, this would be a seriously viable, albeit niche, Build!
4. Remove Source Points and Balance Source Skills
One of the biggest issues with the game is that once you can use Source Points, and gain access to Source Skills, not only does it get tedious to keep having to refill Source Points between encounters, but the game gets seriously easy. Blood Storm anyone?
Not only should Source Points be removed, but these Skills nerfed into something that isn’t game breaking. Maybe even make it so you can only slot one or two as well, much like the first game did. I’m sure many players will disagree with this one, however, Source Points can be used for nearly every fight in the game by resupplying between encounters, so why bother? I’d much rather see a system where we have powerful Skills that we can use once per encounter that doesn’t require the need to teleport and click a bunch of times between fights.
3. We Need More Variety of Runes
I absolutely love the addition of the Rune system in Divinity: Original Sin 2, but it hasn’t exactly been done in the greatest of methods. For example, the best Rune you can put into your necklace currently is the Fire Rune of Power, but it adds Intelligence. There is no variation for Critical Chance with Strength or Finesse, which is kind of silly. The best Rune you can add to a Physical Damage Weapon is currently the Masterwork Rune of Power, but it adds Strength. There is no Finesse variation, which is also kind of silly. If it were up to me, I’d minimally add two Runes that did just that, but I would like to see even more Runes that add even more types of bonuses (perhaps ones that affect Skills).
2. Fix Grenades!
Grenades in Divinity: Original Sin were always useful and precious to me, and they made attacks viable for characters that sometimes had no other options. However, in D:OS II they have become so ineffective that I don’t think I used one my entire playthrough, after testing a couple of course. It’s really a shame because there are some intriguing Talents that allow for a Grenadier sort of Build, but even taking all of them and trying to optimize damage with Grenades you literally can’t make it work, even on easier difficulties. I would love to see the damage of these buffed so that you can make elemental or physical “Grenadier” Builds that focus on a one or two types of Grenades for best results.
1. Lone Wolf Needs Rebalancing
Anyone who has spent any amount of time as a Lone Wolf character in Divinity: Original Sin 2 will tell you that the game just becomes way too easy. My understanding of Lone Wolf is that it has always served two functions, or is supposed to anyway. One, is to allow players to play alone or with one companion (or friend) instead of a full party, which is a personal preference for some. Two, is to increase the difficulty of the game because you have less characters and so have less Skill variety for the situation you are facing. Now I could be completely wrong about number two, but, then playing Lone Wolf shouldn’t make the game easier either. I hope this will be addressed at some point down the road, because I love playing Lone Wolf…I just don’t want to win every fight without taking any damage ALL the time…
Looking over the above list, which I must admit I started some time ago but just never got around to finishing until recently, it really feels like Larian tried to simplify Divinity’s mechanics by reducing the number of AP players and AI have, but in doing so created other issues that were not caught. Sneaking, Grenades, Lone Wolf and Source Points are all issues that stem from the same basic issue:
The Action Point Pool is too small, preventing balancing from occurring of things that would fall below 1 AP or above 4 AP.
If this pool was simply larger, you would have a wider variety of damage and effectiveness of Skills because you’d have some that were 2 or 5 or 7 etc. Meaning that you’d have more options and more flexibility and better balancing. Perhaps we’ll see a return to the larger AP Pool that we saw in the first game, should a sequel be made. We’ll just have to wait and see.
All in all, Divinity: Original Sin 2 was my favorite of 2017 of all the games I played. I made Build after Build Guide because I was infatuated with the masterpiece that Larian had created. I expected great things after the first installment, a game that I sunk nearly 200 hours into and probably would have played more should time have presented itself, and I was not disappointed. There are very good reasons that Divinity: Original Sin 2 took home our Game of the Year award, but I wanted to explore some of the things I think would have made the game even better. I hope you don’t judge me too harshly for it…
Thoughts on the list? What do you think could be improved? What would you like to see done differently? Post your thoughts in the comments below!