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Spoilers for some plot in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

LISTEN. VERY. CAREFULLY.

In the mines, there is a big door. Things will happen. We talked on that.

Then there will be a series of mirrors and jumps you can take. There are three areas you MUST visit, and they can be missed. The crypt, the library, and the high priest’s office. ESPECIALLY THE HIGH PRIESTS OFFICE!!!!!!

This is important as you must visit EACH MIRROR to see all the options, and, potentially, backtrack.

And if you go to the surface the MINE COLLAPSES AND YOU CANNOT GET BACK AND WILL MISS A SHIT LOAD OF PLOT.

Seriously.

I don’t usually warn. But this needs a warning. Cuz you can miss a shitload of plot.

I just got a shit ton of plot.

Feminina:

Thanks for the warning! Crypt, library, high priest’s office. Noted. Are you sure that was all? You didn’t accidentally miss one yourself? Ha. Sorry.

We shall return to the mines! One day.

Last night we also got some plot. Some plot of the “oh hey, here’s a COMPLETELY NEW set of players showing up in this drama from a COMPLETELY NEW place!” variety.

This game is large. We’re still enjoying it!–but it’s large. It would be one of those massive, sprawling D&D campaigns that unfolds over the course of several years. We’re just lucky we don’t actually have to schedule five different people every time we play.

Butch:

Might want to go soon. There’s….well…let’s just say I’m gonna go back and have some words with the folks at the end of time. Stern, stern words.

Plot.

Are you serious? Like, NEW new? New PLACE?

I, too, am enjoying it. I started, for a minute, to get a “deep roads” slog feel in the mines (why is it always mines?), but a) that was sorta my fault cuz I just didn’t see the bridge I had to cross and ran around in circles being stupid and b) as soon as I started to feel it I got to where I had to get, so it was a very short lived feeling.

Considering this game is large, and we’ve been playing it a long time, the fact that I’ve felt very little slog (the sneaking past goblins got a little long, but only a little) is a testament to the game, it is.

Five? We always had more than five. And, when you play it as a video game, you don’t have to stop for half an hour while everyone ponders pizza.

Feminina:

Completely new. These people seem to be from another plane/world/whatever, and not an elemental/seasonal one.

Just in case we hadn’t picked up on the multiple-worlds thing yet, after Hiberheim and the muttering dude in the prison (we went back and tried to talk to him again after Boreas was dead, but nothing), one of them basically comes out and says “we’re from the plane of [name] and we’re looking for [noun].”

So…that’s an interesting twist that we’re not sure what to do with at the moment, but that I’m 99% sure will result in us having to make a wrenching moral choice at some point.

Dudes, we were just looking for a wizard! We just want to make a spell to kill some death knights so we can…oh, never mind. Tell me about your plane and why you’re looking for [noun].

Siiiigh. We have also, in the course of our recent wanderings, come across hints of Bairdotr’s and Wolgraff’s quests, as well as a mention of Madora that would probably mean something to us if we traveled with her. Of course, nothing as straightforward as “go over there to learn about that,” but hints.

Butch:

Whoa. Just…whoa. Do you GO there? Is there a whole other map?

I look forward to themeage. And a lot more of this game.

Hey, speaking of which….

You mentioned a LONG ways back that you did something that made you feel like horrible people, a BIG DECISION. I’ve been doing all sorts of shit, and haven’t gotten one of those in some time. Did I miss something? Or is this on your different line of…well…everything?

Isn’t that how it always is? Happens to me all the time. Dudes show up all “We’re from another plane” and I’m all “Dudes, I’m trying to fold the laundry here,” and then they look all mopey and I have to put off all my chores, and then it’s Monday and the floor isn’t mopped and I have to run around all day Tuesday and really fuck those planar asshats.

Oh right! That shit! I figure that I’m gonna take Madora when/if I get to Hunter’s Ridge, cuz she’s from there, right? Wolgraff, I have no idea about anything with Wolgraff. Bairdotr’s thing has been on my quest list since I found Bairdotr and nothing has changed. And I have Jahan! Who will have a thing, I’m sure.

Though I think that when I got back to have STERN WORDS on the Shelter Plane I’m gonna give Jahan a time out and pick Wolgraff back up (unless I’m close to Hunter’s Ridge…am I?). Jahan is a death magnet, and doesn’t have any skills (lockpicking) to make up for it. Nor is he charming.

Which raises something that I would think is metaphor except it’s innate to all role playing games going right back to D&D: Intelligence is the least important skill. It SHOULD be important, right? Intelligence! We LIKE intelligence! But in RPGs, so much matters so much more. Poor Jahan.

I think it’s because no matter how we strive for immersion, intelligence is not something you can take away from the player. A number doesn’t make us any smarter or dumber. We’re gonna solve the puzzles and plan the battles no matter what the INT score is on the characters we’re controlling. And yet games ALWAYS give you the “smart” character to run with in your party. And…well….no.

Feminina:

No, we didn’t go to this other plane. We just talked to these people who told us about it and why we were there and then the conversation petered out and we said “I’ll take my leave” and wandered away. They asked us if we knew where [nouns] were, but we didn’t, and otherwise they seemed uninterested in us. And they had no money and nothing to sell. BOR-ing. Except for the whole “we’re from the plane ruled by [ruler] and we need to [accomplish goal].”

I’m sure we’ll run into them again one of these days. Possibly in less cordial (or at least semi-cordial) circumstances.

So the thing that made me feel like a horrible person…hm. That’s…over down toward the lower right of the Luculla Forest map, if I recall correctly. (Which is only about half likely, if that, given my historically limited success rate with remembering where things are on maps.) Kind of around where the orcs and goblins are hanging out. There’s a deer there that can’t talk. Did you meet that deer? I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.

Internet, help me out here…OK, it’s “east of the Luculla Forest – Goblin Village portal.” So I was actually fairly right.

Hunter’s Edge…we’re actually right around Hunter’s Edge now, but it’s a fairly long way from the mines. You’ll probably have to work through quite a bit of stuff before you get to it. I wouldn’t worry about going to get Madora right away.

And it’s so true about Intelligence as a stat. Because you’re right, the game can give you awesome climbing skills and make you fantastic in combat and let you sneak like you’re invisible and generally make you an awesome badass in every way, but it can’t actually make you smarter. Whatever ‘smart’ you have in your actual head is pretty much what you’re stuck with. The most common way to make ‘intelligence’ matter is to make skills and/or magic dependent on it, and in this game, where anyone can cast spells off scrolls, even that doesn’t count for all that much. I have my intelligence way up because it affects my spell reset time and some magic items require high intelligence to use…and maybe it affects how many points I can put into skills? I don’t know. Anyway, it’s my primary thing, but it’s honestly not that exciting even to me.

I think actually in D&D, where you get more languages and more spells and more skills based on intelligence, it at least meant something you could ‘feel’ a bit more. It’s very abstract in this game. (Although to be honest, all of the attributes seem to be about very small percentages of improvement.)

It would be interesting to see a game that attempted to make intelligence mean something in actual gameplay terms, but how would it work? If your character has a high intelligence, you’re given puzzles that are really simple, but if you have a low intelligence they’re ridiculously difficult? Sometimes you see that presented as basically just a skill check: “your intelligence is not high enough for this” or whatever. But as you say, that doesn’t get at the sense of accomplishment the way it does if you add some strength and can now do 10 more points damage in combat, or add dexterity and can now throw grenades more accurately, or whatever. (I got Wolgraff the talent where he never misses with grenades. Worth it.)

Oh, and I wouldn’t really call the thing that made me feel like a horrible person a BIG DECISION in terms of affecting the course of the game or anything. It was actually a fairly small decision. Which is perhaps interesting thematically.

You’ll know what I mean when you get there.

Butch:

HA! “We are travelers from another place..a place of wonder beyond description where-“
“Yeah, nice, got any charming arrows?”
“Um…no.”
“Then take it easy, man. I’m out.”

Well, haven’t gotten to the goblin village. Kinda nervous about that. I can see the portal on my map, but can’t get to it yet. I think that’s up and around through what looks rather sandy on the map. It’s past sandy stuff, isn’t it?

Scrolls and skill books, and skill books seem to be related to levels of whatever you get from abilities. (I thought three got you MASTER but NOOOOO. I bought all these books for Bairdotr and can’t use any of them. I HATE that.)

The attributes are about small percentages EXCEPT when you get something awesome and you need strength 10 or dexterity 11 to use it. Then it sits there in your inventory taunting you.

It would be damn tricky. Probably past where games are now, at least in one this big.

Feminina:

Yeah, us being in the same place at the same time didn’t last long. Even being in the same place at different times is becoming doubtful.

But we’ll get to where we’re all going. We’ll sort it out. Almost certainly.

It’s gonna be great.

Speaking of charm arrows and Wolgraff’s grenade skills, I had him throwing “love bombs” last night. AWESOME. Hurl the grenade at three enemies, charm two of them, let them fight among themselves for a turn or so while we pick away at someone else. Charm is the best.

Charm and summoned things. I LOVE to summon things. “You! Undead soldier! Go distract that guy so he doesn’t shoot at me. Sorry you’re on fire now, but better you than me. Thanks!” And I can summon four different things now, so as soon as one is down, I can bring in another.

Basically I guess I love anything that makes other people or things do the fighting while I hang back. Which is appropriate considering my frail wizard body and the enchanted robe which is all that protects me.

Ooh–Wolgraff just got the ability to summon one of those little bomb skeletons. It worked great. “Run right up to that thing and then when it hits you–BOOM!”

Skill books are the best. Except when you buy them and then realize you can’t use them yet. I have a couple of those hanging around as well. I don’t want to sell them back because I’ll lose money on the deal, plus sooner or later I probably will be able to use it, but in the meantime it just hangs out in my inventory, taunting me.

Oh, speaking of inventory, did you figure out how to get rid of the empty slots? We talked once long ago about how you have this inventory screen with blank slots scattered throughout, and have both probably solved the problem since but forgot to mention it.

Oh, and speaking of things I forgot to mention (I’m getting way far afield here, but roll with it), you always notice sound: do you sometimes notice that the sound effects cut out during combat? So that instead of the fight sounds, you just have the background music, giving a rather eerie sense of distance from the battle on the screen? Or is that just us?

Butch:

We WILL both get there! Cuz we complete things! Usually.

Ooo! I just found a couple of those grenades! Can’t wait!

Dude, Scarlett has summon undead soldier, Nick, fire elementals and….as of last night…wait for it….”Undead armored decapitator.” Decapitator! Sorry, ARMORED decapitator! I maligned him. Roderick even has Ice Elemental so I just fill the damn battlefield with my dudes.

I got some good robes, though. Like armor 60 robes. You can do ok with robes.

That’s how I feel about skill books! These ones I got for Bairdotr sound magnificent, and they were expensive, so I’ll lose a TON on the deal. I just have to remember to use them.

I like to use the “sort” option (L3). You can pick “latest added,” which is SO helpful, and then you can ignore everything else. Or “Gold value” if you’re at a merchant. So nice.

I have noticed that! There’s a lot of little touches that add to the weirdness/insanity feel. Like the very quiet “vocal” part on the tavern song. You ever hear that? I only noticed it when I played with headphones…..

Feminina:

I use “sort/latest added” ALL THE TIME. Especially when I need to find the unidentified items we just picked up so I can identify them.

There’s also that option at the bottom to “remove empty” or whatever, which tidies everything up a bit.

Definitely get Wolgraff that bomb dude. We bought it in Silverglen, from…I think from that weird lady, Vomitia (ew) who sits in that side room off the tavern. Completely worth the money. And so true, the more of you that can summon things, the more things you can have filling the battlefield and wreaking havoc among the enemy!

Neither Bairdotr nor Delios has an actual summon skill, but they both get it off scrolls from time to time as needed. Scrolls good. Delios has picked up a few for that Undead Armored Decapitator. That’s when we need the good stuff.

OK, so further about the vanishing sound…do you notice that it seems to happen particularly in battles that involve the Immaculates and/or the Conduit in some way? The first time we noticed it was in that cave when we were pursuing the Conduit, the one where we found Jake and all that. Weird, silent battles. And then a couple of times since, I think in battles that were also about following the trail of the Conduit (fighting Immaculates here or there), we’ve seen it again. I’m not sure if I’m making that up that it’s associated with the Conduit, and it’s actually just random, or if it IS associated with her, and is meant to tell us…something.

Something like “your senses can deceive you” or “things you’ve come to expect about the way the world works no longer apply,” or…something. I don’t know. Could be something, though. Keep an ear out for if it happens in some random, non-Conduit battle, which would disprove my theory.

Butch:

Ah, see, I always identify when I’m picking stuff up. This led to a bit of humor yesterday, as Scarlett was deep, deep in the mines, behind the big door, and everyone else was dutifully, safely waiting way at the entrance. I hit “Identify” and it’s all “Object identified by Bairdotr.” Like….what? Well, ok. Hell of a magnifying glass.

And, since we’re all over the place today (I blame more yesterday’s random holiday), tip: Tried to use the teleporter pyramid in the mines and Bairdotr said rather matter of factly: “That won’t work here.” And it didn’t. Weird.

Which…well…I know a tad more about those things now….

Ooo! Is the decapitator awesome? Cuz I can do that every fight now! Whoo hoo!

Another reason to do the mines. That’s a nice treat at the end.

Feminina:

Interesting about the pyramids. I look forward to knowing more. And being able to summon an Undead Armored Decapitator (he’s pretty badass–basically just a tougher version of the Undead Warrior, but he has a ‘taunt’ ability that will make people attack him specifically, which is my kind of talent for other people to have). Eventually.

I haven’t noticed the tavern song. Probably because we don’t play with headphones. You know I don’t use headphones anyway, and with two of us playing that would just be a mess.

But I’ll try listening very closely next time we go and see if I can make out anything.

Butch:

Just turn it up kinda loud. It’s not words, per se, just one of those details where they take a trope and make it just weird enough to be creepy. And subtle.

Feminina:

Interesting! I shall listen. Eventually. Probably.

Whether this will be before or after we go back to the mines, I cannot say.

Butch:

Go to mines. Split up. Be sneaky. And don’t forget about that totem!

Cuz plot!

The song is not that important. It’s just a weird little detail. It creeps me out. Like a lot of this game.

Feminina:

The thing about that is, we probably won’t split up and have one of us go be sneaky, because that’s boring for the other one if it takes more than a couple of minutes (which it sounds as if this might).

It’s all very well to leave 75% of the party relaxing with a sandwich if you’re the one controlling the single person who’s doing something, but I don’t want to be the one who’s NOT doing something for 10 minutes (which in game time is an eternity). I hate having both my characters dead in a combat, and that usually only takes a few minutes to finish (by the time we’re both dead, anyway). This, along with scheduling, is kind of a downside of cooperative playing–you have to make sure you’re both keeping busy or…yawn.

I guess maybe if only one of us could play one night…but even then, no one wants to be left out and miss what happened. I mean, I don’t and I assume Mr. O’ also doesn’t.

So probably we’ll press on with our current project of trying to find the spell to defeat the death knights, and then go back once we have it and fight our way in all together. Because teamwork! But if that doesn’t work, I am reassured by the promise that sneaking is an option.

Butch:

I’m…not sure “getting the spell” is gonna work. I don’t think. Maybe it won’t. Cuz…well…stuff.

Once you know where to go in the mines it’s pretty quick. If you win your rock paper scissors. I took too long cuz I was stupid. If you’re not stupid it’s not that bad.

Feminina:

Interesting. Well, we’ll prepare ourselves for disappointment, then.

Oh–speaking of quests, you’ll enjoy this one: we’re currently looking for well water so we can make whiskey. Booze forever!

I shouldn’t be flippant, it’s actually not all that lighthearted a tale. But the fact remains that we must make whiskey. Which, like every other thing we have to do in this game, turns out to be extremely complicated.

Butch:

Hey! We’ve met wells! Nice wells! Who ask for a LOT of money!

Booze forever!

Oh and yeah, the mines are not something to do alone. Stuff. Happens.

Feminina:

Yeah, we’ll surely talk to one of those wells again sometime. Bound to happen.

We’re both pretty into it, so playing alone hasn’t really come up. I think we’re committed to it as a joint project at this point.

It’s very romantic.

Butch:

Awww….that’s the sappiest thing I’ve ever seen between you two. You should amp it up a little. Candles, wine, extra killin’.

Feminina:

We do get out the wine sometimes on the weekend! “Hey baby…how about we stay up late…get in an extra fight with those mechanical chickens?”

I’ve rarely heard anything so alluring.

Speaking of romance, nothing in the way of banter between our characters lately at all. I’m not sure if proximity is making the heart grow less fond, or if they’re gradually realizing they’re the same person, or what. Are yours still flirty? Ours haven’t even had one of those exclamation-point conversations in what seems like weeks.

Butch:

This is generally the point in our conversations where I find myself fervently hoping we’re still talking about the same thing.

Let’s just move on here.

I haven’t had an exclamation point one in a while. Not since Scarlett hit Roderick with a nail bomb (so romantic). BUT I did have a couple of in game banter ones that were almost as awkward as flirting over mechanical chickens. Roderick gave Scarlett something from his inventory and Scarlett said “Do you want me to reach in your pocket to get it?” (HELLO!) and when we were in the mines Scarlett said something and Roderick responded “Do you want to be my canary?” which is by far the worst pick up line ever.

“Baby, you’re so beautiful, and your voice so melodious, and it would mean the world to me if you died easily so I can get the fuck out of here.”

I mean, Roderick….dude. Scarlett’s trying here! The outfit! The pocket thing! (HELLO!) And you refuse to take off your helmet and come up with lines like “Do you want to be my canary.”

Dude.

Feminina:

Ouch. Roderick! Man. That’s not how it’s done. “Do you want to be my canary” indeed. Scarlett would be better off with Wolgraff. At least he always politely awaits your query every time you accidentally call to him when you meant to be opening a chest or talking to a merchant or something. No carefully handwritten notes about canaries need apply.

Perhaps just as well our characters seem to be ignoring each other.

Butch:

I know. I’m finally getting to romance myself and I’m screwing it all up.

T SHIRT!!!!!

He should just stick to the basics: “Hey baby…let’s open the wine…get into some extra fights with mechanical chickens.”

Feminina:

Yeah! Come on, Roderick, it’s not mechanical poultry science. Stick with the things ladies love.

Fiery combat and summoning undead.

Butch:

At least he hasn’t resorted to the smelly panties.

Soup! He can do a nice soup. Maybe Scarlett likes soup!

Did you find the recipe for pumpkin soup? “It’s so much more than throwing a pumpkin in a pot! Oh…wait…it isn’t. Just throw a pumpkin in a pot.”

Oh Divinity you so silly.

Feminina:

I didn’t find that! But silly. So silly. Along the lines of the recipe for tomato sauce being a tomato and a hammer.

Make us laugh! Then confuse us. Then creep us out. That’s Divinity.

Butch:

HA! Is it? That’s kinda awesome.

I haven’t used crafting except to put arrowheads on arrow shafts (which is very, very handy), but I did make a couple pots of soup. You never know what will win the heart of a flirty, possibly crazy hottie who things leather mesh is armor. How does she get into that, anyway?

You see the screenshots? Damn, girl.

Divinity : Original Sin Enhanced Edition_20180314165054

Feminina:

Both practical and comfortable. Exactly what I wear when I go wandering in the wilderness looking for things that want to kill me.

Butch:

And when you want to be fire resistant!

I’m trying to figure out if it would be more absurd if that was ice resistant.

Horizon was pretty silly baring Aloy’s midriff in the fire armor, but at least her snow armor looked warm.

Feminina:

Very, VERY fire resistant. One opposes fire in all its forms, with that outfit.

Butch:

(I’m doing this cuz we didn’t do nudity on Friday cuz we’re off lately. It’s all for the blog.)

The fact that they did bother to give the characters feet does make the whole “heels when naked” thing all the weirder.

All I can think of is that Scarlett does seem to have very tight ankles. Did you notice that even very sensible metal boots seem to have a bit of a heel when Scarlett or Bairdotr wears them? Maybe she’d be all up on tiptoe without the heels. Which would be very uncomfortable! It’s a practical thing. Have to feel comfy in romantic situations.

You know, I wonder what Bairdotr and Wolgraff have underneath it all. I bet Wolgraff is a yellow stars guy.

Better to Friday late than not to Friday at all.

T SHIRT!!!!

Or is this early Friday? I can’t tell.

 

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