Spoilers for plot points early in Divinity: Original Sin
OK, today we’ll dish, cuz I did go to the graveyard, and found the mute, and if you can talk to animals we’ll have a lot to dish about.
So you got Wolgraff! Wolgraff is a walking death magnet, but handy to have around, with the lock-picking and noticing things. I can’t talk to animals! I need to pick up that skill.
Shit, he is? Damn. I sent Madora back to the bar, not so much as a tactical decision but because I knew where’d she be if I wanted her back. Nothing worse than an NPC saying “Ok, come by if you need me” and not being able to find them again. As I have no idea where Bairdotr will go, and no idea where even the fuck I was when I found Wolgraff, out she went. And she’s a tank! She saved our bacon in that fight before Wolgraff! Though, fun fact, that whirlwind attack thingy is not the best idea against those scorchers.
YOU NEED THAT SKILL! DUDE! In the grave yard? Where the dog is trying to tell you something? He has stuff to tell, man! STUFF! I’m not entirely sure how you are continuing on the murder mystery quest without talking to the dog. But I haven’t talked to Esmerelda yet.
So get the skill.
Though now….there was a part where I walked into a kitchen and a chicken was all “bok bok bok” and I helped the chef kill the chicken. This was before I had the skill. Now, I have this sinking feeling that a) that skill would have changed my decision and b) that skill would have made me not want to eat the chicken……
Dude, I KNEW that dog had something to say! He had a name, and was making meaningful motions at the grave, and I was like, “that dog wants to talk”. But then he got killed by a zombie, and I couldn’t make a very detailed case for why we needed to resurrect a strange dog we couldn’t actually communicate with, so he’s still there, dead in the graveyard (appropriately enough, I suppose).
We dug up the grave anyway, because hey, we respect no rules regarding proper treatment of the dead. The universe is at stake or something! Then we talked to…people. And found out a little bit about…the thing. With the body.
We’re pursuing it, is the point. Slowly. Did the dog tell you about the thing with the body? Like, who was responsible for the thing with the body? Because that’s what we’re on at the moment.
No spoilers in case we decide to resurrect the dog!
Man, this is interesting, we’re doing things differently. Did one of your characters just start with the Pet Pal skill, or did you have to pick it intentionally? (‘Pet pal’…the cutesy names are a little much sometimes. Speaking of which, you liked ‘Call me Ismaeshell,’ but you HATED ‘call me Imshael’ in DAI. It’s the exact same joke! Why did you hate it there but like it here? Discuss!)
Don’t worry about Wolgraff, he’s going to do great. Having been warned by my terrible example, you’ll just be way more careful with him, and not walk him into flaming poisonous corpses all the time, and I’m sure he’ll be fine. You’re gonna love it.
He got killed? Really? I haven’t seen any actual monsters in the city itself yet. Only outside, and then down the hole there. Maybe I should cover up that hole…..hmmm…..
I take it your body was still the missing sheep, right? That’s pretty much where I am. I talked to Bretia, told her the sheep was dead, and now I have a point of “Well, who stole the sheep?” which I imagine is linked, you know, who used said sheep to cover a murder.
I don’t know enough to spoil, as the dog hasn’t told me who did what, but he did offer his…special services regarding a dog’s sense of smell to the cause. So more of an investigatory avenue than actual information.
No, I picked the skill. As soon as I found the dog, I said “Shit…wanna talk to the dog….” and so, after the fight down the hole there, I leveled up and poof! Roderick suddenly learned how to talk to animals. Metagaming, me.
Ok, first, here the nautical theme fits. Second, Imashell… “I’m a shell?” that’s clever! It’s a literary pun!
And really the best jokes were really the lament of a shell. The snot nosed brats holding it to their ears, etc. We can relate.
I’ve been doing ok with the poisonous corpse thing. I was a tad surprised when that skeleton blew up (cost me a resurrection scroll, that), and I learned to stand farther back when tossing a box on a mine, but mostly my problems seem to be walking through markets. Four or five merchants selling stew? I’m gonna walk through all their stoves. Every. Time.
Yeah, the dog is dead. I…uh…dug up a random other grave (because you never know, maybe Jake’s body was accidentally in another grave instead…also maybe there’s loot!), and some irritable skeletons emerged. I dug up pretty much everything in that graveyard, and it turns out the sheep was about the only thing resting peacefully. And now I know. One can’t be too careful.
All right, I’m getting Pet Pal next level up. It’s too late for the discussion with the dog, but perhaps other information will be revealed.
Well, a rat in a well asked me if I liked wells, and it told me it loved wells.
Yeah, this game certainly has a lot of “Yeah…you know how in some games it makes no sense that you can do, like, everything without any consequences? We fixed that.” It’s only a matter of time before I die cuz I stole a plate instead of talking to someone.
I’ve been really careful.
It’s why I have regrets about the chicken. I have very, very serious regrets about the chicken.
What happened to that poor, mourning woman when you let loose the zombies? I still couldn’t tell if she did anything except tell a sad story.
But you know, it’s pretty amazing that a game will close off a HUGE line of gameplay (like, my WHOLE QUEST right now is getting stuff for this dog, or at least the avenue open to me) if you do one random thing. Usually, a game won’t let that happen. The dog will strangely live or something.
It is. Makes you wonder at the variety of branching paths there may be here. Hopefully it doesn’t get TOO clever, like our complaint with FONV that there were entire companions and companion quests you only found if you happened to be wearing the right trousers on the 5th day of the month or whatever. But certainly one respects the level of attention that goes into crafting stories that will make sense from several different angles.
I think what bugged us about that in FONV was that we knew that these companions HAD quests, and they were just so damn opaque about giving them. This game, so far, has been pretty clear about pointing you in the general direction of what’s interesting to the NPCs. Bairdotr told you about Jareth or whoever in your first chat. Madora mentioned where she was stationed over and over and over and I’m just gonna guess that when I, inevitably, go there I should take her cuz quest. Wolfgraff hasn’t done that yet, but I’m guessing he will. I’ve been with him two minutes.
So I think it’ll be clear. It’ll just be up to us to remember to take Madora to wherever when we inevitably go there. Which we may well forget to do, but that’s on us, not the game. FONV was on the game, cuz there was just no way you could know “I have to stand next to this picture with Veronica” (which was one) without the internet.
What I think is interesting about the dog potentially dying is that you could miss/not get quests/companions, but it shows that there’s so much differentiation WITHIN the same quest. Usually, once you get a quest, there’s one real way to do it. Sure, there might be little paths that are marked as “optional,” but the path from “quest started” to “quest completed” is a pretty straight shot. Shit, we’ve done “solve the murder” quests in any number of games, and they’re usually “talk to this dude, who will tell you to go there, where you will find that thing, follow those tracks to that other thing” until you get to the truth. It’s almost never that you see a “solve the murder” quest that can be solved by things so different as spending god knows how long finding things for the dog to smell OR KILLING the damn dog and doing….whatever the fuck it is you’re doing. It isn’t that I got the “solve the murder” quest and you didn’t, it’s that we’re doing the same quest, getting to what I must believe is the same outcome, but doing it in completely different ways. Completely. That’s very unusual, and very cool.
Maybe we should do things differently more often. Good bloggage when we do.
Oh, who are we kidding?
True. Missing things we had no way of knowing were there is different from missing things because “oops, the dog is dead” or whatever. At least it’s pretty obvious that the dog is dead. It’s a lot harder to notice that “oops, here’s a random picture and Veronica’s not here.”
Ah, FONV. Some good times. Some weird choices. Some stories we will never know.
Except I don’t think you ARE missing anything. You’re going to solve the murder. We HAVE to solve the murder. It’s a main quest. Your murderer will almost certainly be the same murderer as my murderer. Ok, you missed some amusing dog dialog (he was amusing. You would have liked him. You killed him. You monster), but storywise, we’re still in sync, I think. We must be. Cuz this isn’t some random missable side quest. It’s the main damn quest.
I didn’t kill him! The skeletons killed him! I just…dug up the skeletons, for unrelated reasons. It’s not my fault he tried to attack them.
And yeah, I didn’t mean I expect to miss something major, like “we will never know who the murderer was,” I just meant miss certain pieces of dialogue or whatever. We will never know the part of the story that the dog would have told us!
Which is obviously just a form of the usual things you miss when you choose one conversation option over another or whatever. You never know EVERYTHING that could possibly have happened, without playing multiple times, which we don’t have time for.
He referred to everything as “awesome” and “not awesome.”
Jake was awesome. He played ball which was awesome. His wife? Smelled so not awesome, all like soap, but Jake was awesome.
Which was kinda awesome.
You totally killed him.
He tried to attack them? Good dog! Crazy dog, but good dog!
I know, when I first saw the dog and thought he was acting all significant, I totally thought it would be an option to recruit him to the party. Especially when he prepared to fight with us!
But then he instantly died, so I gave up that hope.
You couldn’t add him to the party, though? Hell with him, then.
Just…maybe be careful about digging up any more graves, at least until you’ve found out everything you want to know from the dog.
I don’t think you could. I asked him if he could come with me, and he said that there were too many awesome smells and he’d get distracted.
Which was kinda awesome.
He even talked in this fast, distracted, doglike way. Well done.
And yeah, see, I figured out early that this wasn’t maybe the game to always be lootin’. This game penalizes you for wandering too close to the campfires!
Imagine that in Horizon.
Player: I’ll just save and HOLY CRAP I’M DEAD!
Merchant: ***nods sagely*** And that’s why we never light them.
Ha! Yes. It’s true, I’ve never actually burned myself on them, but wandering by those fires the characters are always commenting “wow, I’m toasty all right!” or whatever. And the ‘warmed’ condition, just so you know they’re warm. (There’s also a ‘wet’ condition, for when it’s raining. Obviously.)
Yes, “warm.” I like that. And I like it’s easier to set warm people on fire. A nice perk of a cold day like today: harder to ignite me.
I also love the rather direct D&D rules way that spells will say things like “Rain. Geomancy. Will set targets to the wet condition.”
“I didn’t spray water everywhere, dad, I just set the kitchen to the wet condition.”
“It’ll be way harder to set on fire now! You should be pleased!”
I have this spell that makes things oily, which makes them much easier to set on fire. It’s pretty great. Unfortunately, I don’t have a spell that actually sets them on fire, which is disappointing. I need to work on that.
We’re also still working on targeting…the targeting is really finicky sometimes. It will be really hard to get the red crosshairs on someone, or with an area effect it will end up KIND OF in the area I meant it to be, but not exactly.
Especially area effects, actually. Be very wary of grenades and such. We find they often reach farther than the little outline suggests they will. I’ve set party members on fire even though it looked as if they should have been clear.
“Sorry guys! Still finding my range on this! Uh…here, have a water balloon to put that out.” I love that you can find water balloons to put out fires. I like to imagine us just lugging them around in our backpacks with all our other junk, magically not breaking until called for.
I don’t have an actual wizard yet, so I’m lacking on the spells. My cleric is pretty sweet with the heals, but right now I’m scrolls or nothing. Maybe arrows? Can you light things on fire with fire arrows? That would be good.
Oh, dude, for enemies, just use R1/L1. Scrolls through the enemies. No need to use the cursor. Just puts the red crosshairs right on the dude you want to thwack.
Area effect…yeah. You just have to make sure the baddie you want to nuke is highlighted.
Yup. Did that with grenades. It’s hard, because there’s this instinct to charge, get everyone in close to thwack, then AFTER that you’re all “Oh, wait…poison grenade….well, that would’ve been smart two turns ago…”
HA! I was thinking that about balloons, too! Must be hard to fit them in there next to the daggers and arrows and lockpicks. Still, they are quite useful. And it’s a great image, tossing around water balloons in the middle of a fight.
On water, I tried to find a way to use a bucket to carry water to put out of a fire. Didn’t work. I put it in my skill bar, and was trying stuff….anyway, was playing a little a while ago and Junior was all “Why does Roderick have a bucket on his head?” Turns out you can equip buckets as helmets. Who knew?
Poor guy. Talking to cats with buckets on his head.
You HAVE to get the Pet Pal thing.
Ooh, scrolling through the portraits? OK, noted.
I have an attractive hood, but I’m thinking of putting a bucket on Wolgraff. Dude needs any kind of armor badly. Mr. O’ was looking at it for his character, but turned out to have a helmet that had a better stat for something or other.
You can light things on fire with fire arrows! It is awesome! Do it now!
Oh, it is ON!
No no, when it’s all “Scarlett’s turn!” just hit R1 or L1 and it will highlight a bad guy. Then just keep on tapping until the bad guy you want is targeted. Done.
Haven’t fought with Wolgraff yet, but I did use him to pickpocket the Duke of Farol, which was pretty satisfying. Stealth! I always forget about stealth! Stealth is so key.
I haven’t pickpocketed (picked-pocket?), but I did steal a lot of food and dishes from the inn! It was great. Stealth rocks.
Somewhat literally, since when you’re successfully en-stealthed, it looks like there’s a big rock on top of you. I swear I wasn’t thinking about that terrible pun when I started. I just wound up here. I’m an innocent party in all this.
I’m not sure how it works in combat, though–when I tried having him sneak, with an eye towards a later backstab, it said successful, but then on the beginning of his next turn he was visible again and ‘stealth failed!’ when I tried to re-hide. Maybe it’s an opposed hide/spot check every turn.
When I tried it outside the inn, I was near a bush, and it looked like he was carrying a bush with his feet moving and all, like in a cartoon. How he got away with the bush trick inside is beyond me.
Ha!–I’ve only ever seen him look like a big rock, including indoors. As you say, how he gets away with it in a busy inn is unclear, but I guess that’s why he’s the rogue.
I love when I try to stealth and everyone makes it except Roderick.
Scarlett: “I am a rock!”
Bairdotr: “I am a tree!”
Wolgraf: “I am a bush!”
Roderick: “I am a-“
Bad guy: “I totally see you!”
Roderick: “Oh come on!”
Bad guy: “You’re right there! By the rock, tree and bush!”
You’d think the bucket would help with that. Throwing people off the scent and all.
I guess “I’m a bucket” is a tough sell.
Wolgraff could pull it off. But that’s why he’s the rogue.