Minor spoilers for Hiberheim area in Divinity: Original Sin
Well, played. Not much themeage, though.
See, turns out there’s this thing up in the North there, past the lava, with these big stairs and big door!
Found that, and there was much fighty fighty.
That immaculate fight reminded me about a painful fact of fights in turn based games that have lots and lots of enemies: They take FOREVER. That was like an old D&D fight where you took your turn, then could go out, get in the car, go get pizza for everyone, stop at 7-11 for a soda on the way, and when you got back it was still [name redacted but you know who I mean]’s turn. Walk in, ask “Am I dead? No? Cool.” and then eat the pizza before you had to do anything again.
It wasn’t hard. I knew I would win, and I did. But MAN that took forever.
Then got in, found Leandra, fought those dudes, as one does. Found the very helpfully titled “barrier removal spell” (wonder what that’s for? Removing a barrier, perchance?), tried to figure out what the damn forge was for, couldn’t, decided to save and ask you.
What’s the damn forge for?
Though one interesting thing that happened that brought something I’ve been thinking to the fore: Bairdotr asking if Leandra really DOES mean well and is trying to help.
So you know I’m getting more into my theory that Scarlett is nuts. I’ve been thinking for a while that Bairdotr is, too. That she’s also a patient/whatever, but her delusion fits into Scarlett’s more than the guy in the cell. But Bairdotr is a real person, here, too. She is, after all, the craziest one we’ve met. You yourself said that Bairdotr talking to animals “fits.”
So here: If you think of Bairdotr as a mental patient, asking a fellow patient, “Hey, maybe that doctor we’re wary of might be able to help us…” that, sorta, fits. Why else would Bairdotr start to feel sympathy for Leandra?
Cuz there was something else odd about that dialog: the exclamation point over Bairdotr was red. Usually, those are yellow. Hell, EVERY time they’re yellow. This was red. Different.
Cuz I think, eventually, Scarlett/Roderick will start being more isolated. I think. After all, I still think they’re “Eve.” I haven’t given up on that, either. They’re “sinners” who are “heroes” who are the only people who know the “truth.” But are they? Or are they nuts? Or both?
See? I ain’t got no themes today.
What’s the forge for?
Yeah, that is very true about the combat. Even fights that aren’t that hard can take forever to work though.
The forge is…basically, once you defeat Boreas (using that convenient Barrier Removal Spell you just happened to find!), you come back to the forge to free all the elementals that he so cruelly trapped in Hiberheim until they went mad and started fighting to the death. But you can’t do anything with it right now (we also tried), so don’t worry about it.
I’m impressed with your eye for details supporting your “PC is mad” theory. It’s certainly highly suggestive. I also kind of like the way that this theory about insanity and a complicated fantasy world requires looking at every event and situation for a clue that supports what in the end COULD be your own (insane?) interpretation of a perfectly ordinary world full of perfectly ordinary magical forces and murderous snowmen.
Are you a sinner who’s heroically uncovering the truth about this whole world, or are you completely mad?
If the theory is true, it requires you to in some sense BECOME the deluded person willfully ignoring the world in front of you (the colorful, detailed game world) in favor of the truth you know (that the real world exists outside and is less colorful and magical), which is a nifty reverse of what the character is doing (ignoring the real world in favor of the magical). That’s some nice meta-something.
Yeah. There really was never a question I was going to win that one. It just…wow.
But there is a cool wrinkle to all that: usually, by this point in a game, we’re pretty tricked out in terms of ammo and stuff. Aloy had enough ridge wood to build her own city. And even when we were low on blaze, we had the money to go binge on it. This game? Not so much. Sure, our bows and wands have unlimited ammo, but those cloud arrows and charm arrows and scrolls are limited, for sure. And I’m not rich enough to just go willy nilly buy a bazillion of everything, like Aloy did.
Which adds a nice dimension to fights like this. You can’t just go in and bring down holy poison cloud death on everyone. Well, you CAN, but you have to think “Well…wait. Do I want to blow all my stuff now? Cuz there’s probably something behind that door….” and that calculus takes some of the tricks out of your bag, and makes you think a little harder.
We come back to the forge once we…Ok, I love this game. I do. But times like this make me want to kick it.
I get that not all games have hexagons. I’m ok with that. But games also have a language they use to communicate with players, and part of that language is “If I, the game, am gonna show you this BIG FUCKING THING that you just did a HUGE FIGHT to get to, it matters NOW.” That just IS. Don’t put it there if you don’t want us to use it. That’s all I ask.
As for my theory: Now now….Yes, I could be wrong, but I’m also noticing weird inconsistencies in a world filled with magical forces and murderous snowmen. It’s NOT a perfectly ordinary game world. We play in those all the time. Sure, they’re full of Krogan and Nekkers and darkspawn, but they follow their own rules. Ok, Geralt could be nuts, I suppose, but there’s no reason to think that because the narrative world is consistent. “Perfectly ordinary” according to its own rules. This world is not. We have Japanese swords and guys who have cars and strange narrative shifts. There is NO REASON for Bairdotr to, all of sudden, be all “She has a point….”
This game isn’t taking its OWN world at face value, like game worlds do. Thus the theory.
It is nice meta-something. And it’s a cool twist on, well, Original Sin. That was knowledge, right? Eve learned the “truth.” Her main sin was not being willing (or able) to just be all “You know? Eden’s pretty great. Why rock the boat? I’ll just sit here chillin’, and not worry about that apple over there.” She didn’t take what was in front of her at face value, “good enough.”
You buying the theory? Or are you just trucking through, hoping to meet a brooding armored guy?
Siiiiiigh…where IS my brooding armored guy? Delios is OK, but he’s not very broody, and I don’t know anything about his tragic past (or mine). Wolgraff doesn’t wear enough armor, OR talk about his past (or anything else).
I’m teasing about the insanity of your theory–you’re quite right, there are a lot of weird inconsistencies in this game, so SOMETHING is clearly going on. The game world questions itself in a way that strongly invites us to question it too.
I totally buy the fairly obvious “multiple worlds one of which is ours” theory…I’m reserving judgment on your subtler “PC is insane in one world which is ours” theory. I like it, but metagaming, it still seems like a bit much for a game you’re going to make a sequel to.
But we shall see. Full props to you if it turns out to be true, that’s for sure.
And I do agree about the nice way that you have to balance resource use in combat (because we, too, are nowhere near that stage one eventually reaches in games where there’s way more money than there is anything you care to buy). “It sure would be good to have a super undead soldier here! But that’s a scroll, which we might need more later, so maybe I’ll just call a normal undead soldier instead.”
Also agree about the pacing seeming odd with the forge. Huge battle! Confrontation with major villain! Discovery of important plot device! Annnnnnnnnd, now go away and come back to the plot device later.
After Boreas when we found out we had to go back I thought “oh, so we were supposed to do Boreas first and then go to the forge–” except the forge is where we got the barrier removal spell, so we couldn’t have. (Unless we had cheated off the internet and made the teleportation pyramid trick work.) It was weird.
Enh, can’t expect perfection in a first game, I guess.
MAYBE Wolgraff is brooding! And he CAN wear armor! Work with him!
Right. Something weird is going on. And it doesn’t read like a slapdash D&D campaign. The inconsistencies are consistent, if that makes sense.
But yeah…that sequel is a toughie. We shall see.
But the simple “Multiple worlds” bit, which comes up in games all the time (including the Witcher), leaves out a) why some stuff seems to be zapping back and forth (the sword, the guy, etc.), and b) is the void destroying EVERY world? And, if not, why not?
Though it’s an odd balance with resource use: I haven’t bought a single bow, or sword, or piece of armor. That stuff seems to abound. But even when I sell all of that, I still don’t seem to have enough to charge forward with all the arrows and scrolls I want. I find one charm arrow and it’s valuable. Which is neat.
Very odd pacing here, though. And I haven’t found a waypoint around the forge, and that’s annoying. Is there one?
No waypoint! That’s the other thing we found! After Boreas, we realized we had to go back to the forge, and thought “we’ll just take a waypoint…oh, to barely any closer than we already are.”
Definitely something odd about that pacing. And it would really make sense if you WERE meant to defeat Boreas first, but that whole “the barrier removal spell is at the forge” thing really throws that off. Even if the pyramid trick works, they know not everyone will think of it, so they know a substantial portion of players are going to get to the forge first.
Enh. Not perfect. But we’re definitely into it. It’s a lot of fun. The sequel goes on our list as soon as it’s on console!
Oh shit. I found one out that way, but it, too, wasn’t THERE there. Most of the time, there’s one right by the important thing.
Ah, well. At least enemies don’t respawn.
That pyramid trick sounds like an exploit. I don’t have much against exploits, but that certainly sounds like something the devs didn’t intend.
Agreed about the sequel. It’s supposed to be even better than this one! Like, MUCH better! Lots of game sites even put it higher on their “best of the year” lists than Horizon. I’ll believe THAT when I see it, cuz that’s a mighty high bar, but even if it’s close it’s worth playing.
Yeah, thankfully the enemies don’t come back. We would have been seriously annoyed having to fight our way back there again instead of just walking.
Better than Horizon? That is a bold, bold claim. One I will happily investigate when the opportunity arises!
Don’t worry, internet: we’ll get to the bottom of this. It may involve playing excellent games for hundreds of hours, but we’re willing to make that sacrifice.
Someone must. And that someone is us.
I’m with you on both counts. Very, very bold claim. But I’ll be very happy if it’s true!
This is our moment to shine!
Or, rather, our 500 hours worth of moments. Because we’re going to do this thing right.
We’ll do this right! And the thing after that. And after that. Cuz let’s face it, it’s how we do.
Why do I worry about having nothing to play?
Force of habit. Also, that one time for about two days there was nothing to play, and the experience was so traumatic that you’re understandably scarred for life.
I’ve blocked that from my memory. Too traumatic.
So after some quick googling, it seems that Larian was waiting to see if the PC of 2 would be successful before considering consoles. It sold 500,000 copies in the first week, so…..
And it’s already six months old. We’ll be fine. I hope.
That sounds promising.
I hope. See, scarred for life!
But seriously, they’re going to want some of that sweet console market! They won’t ignore us. Console players are a big crowd. And we’re doing our part by having bought this one for console! They know we’re out here, playing it and just waiting impatiently to give them our money for 2!
There’s always Life is Strange, Detroit: Become Human (GOD that’s an awful title), the free Deus Ex game, Red Dead 2, and our whole backlog.
We’ll be fine.
Deep breaths. You’re right. We’ll get through somehow.
Oh no doubt. Especially as I have a feeling that there were a lot of console types like us who saw the reviews for 2 and went out and grabbed this one. Shit, my neighbor did that! So two of us on the same block. Mrs. McP said she grabbed, like, one of the last 10 copies Amazon had. You probably grabbed number 9.
I do want to play Life is Strange. Detroit? Promising, but I’ll wait on the reviews.
Cage’s last game was so polarizing. People either really loved it or really, really didn’t.
Art, I guess.
Plus everyone thinks Bethesda is gonna pull the thing they did with Fallout 4: Announce a game right around E3, then release it this year. And they’ve trademarked some name that sounds like a new IP in space.
We’ll be fine.
There’s also last month’s free games that I stored, which gives us Ratchet and Clank for the kids, and….Bloodborne. Which I feel I should want to play…but….
I mean, everyone universally says it’s amazingly awesome. Story, visuals, just plain amazing. But they also say (and this is where I get hung up) it’s hard. Like, hard hard. And I just don’t LIKE hard games.
So I dunno.
Agreed, Life is Strange 2 should be interesting. Other artsy things with terrible titles we can wait to make a call on.
And I’m with you…I mean, if I had all the time in the world, maybe I would feel challenged by and appreciate a hard game? But as it is, with limited time to play, I just really, definitely do not want to spend that precious time being frustrated by my inability to correctly handle buttons.
There are other good games to play. Games we will actually enjoy. Let us play those, instead.
Agreed. Though I put it in my library anyway. It IS free. And, as we took something out of our backlog, only right we put some more in. With interest. It’s how we do.
That is one terrible title. Cool previews, though.
It’s how we do. Because we love free stuff! And we’d hate to be without anything to play on that day when we’ve worked through our entire backlog and there’s absolutely nothing out and we think “if only we’d grabbed Bloodborne when it was free, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”
Better safe than sorry.
Besides, maybe everyone’s lying and it’s not really that hard. We’re gonna love it.
I think I’ll stick to Life is Strange.
Divinity. I think, so far, the challenge is good. Makes you think, but is doable. So far.
On difficulty, I noticed Leandra is level 20. As we will likely fight her, and she is likely not the last thing we will fight, that gives us some window into the length of this game. I’m still level 11. So there ya go.
Yeah, we’re…13, I think. We recently found a bridge to a place where we met some opponents that were 16, and took that as a signal to rapidly back up. “Nice to meet you, gotta run, see you in a few levels, all right?”
So definitely a lengthy game. We must be maybe halfway through? There’s a lot left to unfold.
Well, some of those hirelings in the hall of heroes were level 24 or so.
Halfway sounds right.
And we haven’t touched the companion quests.
Forty bucks well spent.
We HAVEN’T touched the companion quests! It’s weird, they haven’t even come up, really. When we got to Silverglen we heard somebody mention Attenborro or whatever, who Bairdotr mentioned as having something to do with the disappearance of her friend Jareth, so at some point that must be going to come up, but I have no idea where we go to pursue Wolgraff’s interests. As for Madora and that wizard in the library, we’ve yet to even go anywhere with either of them, so I don’t know what their quests even are.
Though I did hear mention of Madora from someone recently…so yeah, quests for them must be out there, but we’ve done nothing about them so far.
And, cuz I looked, there are trophies for Wolgraff, Bairdotr and Madora. So they’re there.
This game is large.
But not for that rude guy in the library? Well, they just sealed his fate. No one is EVER going to travel with him.
Well, maybe there was. I don’t even know his name.
There was not one for “Help asshole wizard.”
Though that would’ve been awesome.
Although you know what, assuming when you pick them up they level to match the PCs, it would be kind of awesome to have 12 levels of points to play with to make them perfectly complement us.
Unless they’ve been auto-leveling all this time, and are now 13th level badasses with their own skill choices that DON’T complement us. Hm.
And yes, that would be an AWESOME trophy. I would shamelessly trophy-hunt for that.