Leaked: The Larian plans for 2015/2016 and beyond

No, I never I expected us to win PC Game of the Year on Gamespot. Not in a million dreams. But I’m damn proud we did. It’s the cherry on top of what has been a fantastic 2014 for Larian Studios and it’s incredibly motivating for all of us to see that all that effort gets rewarded at the end of the day. I was a walking corpse by the end of development but given the amount of support we received, I’d do it again in an instant.


We’re really proud of being able to make this type of banner. It’s incredibly motivating.

And even if we already said it a thousand times, I’ll say it again – we couldn’t have achieved this level of success without the help of all our Kickstarter backers, the people who made suggestions during Steam Early Access and forums like RpgCodexRpgWatch and of course our own Larian forum. It deserves to be said over and over and any dev not listening to the hivemind yet really should be paying attention.

Since I like contrast, today’s blog entry is going to be about everything that sucked about Divinity:Original Sin ;)

Or rather, it’s going to be about how we hope to do better in the coming years, and what steps we are taking to make it so. In other words, I’ll try to tell you without telling you exactly what our plans are for the next years.

Progress can only be made if you’re aware of your faults and intend to do something about it, so explaining our plans starts with explaining what I think sucked about D:OS and more importantly, why those sucky things made it to the final game.

In one paragraph and unsurprisingly, my biggest issues with the game are the same things most people had issues with. I think the main story can be told a lot better and has more potential than is apparent, that combat falls a bit flat after act 1 and that crafting,inventory & trade UIs could use a bunch of improvements. Certain dialogs should be done better, there’s still a lot of feedback missing from tooltips & skills, and at higher levels character progression isn’t as cool as it should be. Our loot system doesn’t behave as hoped for, and the companions could use some work.

Add  a few hundreds to that and you have my list but, and it’s an important but, despite all  this, I still think it’s a pretty good game. There’s plenty of good stuff  in there that compensates for the bad, even if there’s a lot that can be improved. And there’s another but too. Those criticisms are not aimed at anybody in our team. They are merely the result of the constraints we worked under when making the game.

Anyway, can you guess what is keeping us busy for the moment?

Yep, we’re fixing parts of the story, improving the UIs, revisiting the encounters, rebalancing the loot, rewriting certain dialogs, adding extra feedback, looking at what we can do to fix character progression, improving the companions etc…

Or what did you expect? ;)

But why were those issues there in the first place? In one phrase: We started from scratch(except for a few systems) when making D:OS  and we really had a very small team to do it with. So to avoid having to write another blog entry about what sucks after the release of our next game, we’re now putting a lot of effort and investment in addressing these two issues i.e. We’re increasing our development capacity and we’re ensuring hat we can construct on top of what we’ve already created.

Starting with the development capacity, in about 80% of the cases, bad things in D:OS are related to compromises made because of lack of time. To be honest, they frustrate the hell out of me because I can’t look at them without thinking of what it should’ve been. I hate development compromise but when you have a small team, and iteration is a big part of your development process, inevitably your run out of time and disasters happen when somebody falls sick or makes a mistake. Since you have to make mistakes if you want to be creative and you can’t help falling sick, there’s unfortunately only a few options: You can iterate less(bad idea), you can reduce scope significantly(bad idea for a RPG) or you can increase  team size, with a focus on increasing redundancy and removing bottlenecks from your development process.

Luckily we can now take that last option and so we’ve been increasing headcount. There were 42 of us when we finished D:OS, there’s 53 of us now and the number is set to increase throughout 2015.

One of the cool things we’re doing to boost our team size is setting up a new office in Quebec City. Our purpose  is straightforward: to get access to some of the experience and talent that’s running around there so that our combined craft gets better. I’ll have more to say about that in the near future but suffice it to say that for Larian, this is a very big step. (Should you be interested in working there, jobs@larian.com will be the place to apply and our job pages with open positions will be appearing soon.)


Our Quebec office – doesn’t look like much yet, but wait until we’re finished with it

It’s  a lot of growth for a small independent developer from Gent, Belgium and I’m quite apprehensive  of the dangers that brings. However, the commercial success of D:OS has given us an opportunity to make true some of our bigger RPG ambitions and I’ll be damned if we don’t seize that chance. Going all in paid off in the past so we might as well try again. After all, making big epic RPGs is what this company was made for even if the route there hasn’t always been that straight.

Fixing things is not all we’re doing however, far from it. We’re not hiring all those people just to transform D:OS in a better experience, no, obviously we’re also working on our new RPGs.

Notice the ‘s’. It’s intentional and while I’d love to tell you more about them, I need to refrain for fear of losing whatever press momentum we’ll be able to muster when we’ll announce them. But there’s one I thing I can already tell you, and it fits well with the second big thing we’re doing to improve the quality of our future offerings – both RPGs are being built on top of the D:OS engine.

It’s an important thing, because it means that whatever we fix in D:OS, will automatically be present in our new RPGs. It also means that we can spend most of our resources on developing  new cool stuff without having to reinvent things that worked well already. And it immediately gives us a rationale for putting unreasonable amounts of effort in fixing the things we didn’t do that well in D:OS, meaning our existing players will continue to get improved gameplay for as long as we can maintain compatibility. Furthermore, it also means that the toolset is going to be improved for a long time to come and so eventually we’ll get more and better mods. We’ll even have a Linux version ;)

We call it the secret Larian plan which now obviously isn’t that secret anymore, if ever it was. Our goal is to make new campaigns based on the same core single- and multi-player RPG engine which continuously gets improved, to perfect the rulesets driving it and to increase the amount of stuff you can do in our RPG worlds, all the while making the lore and universe(s) more solid.  That latter (s) btw is something that may or may not materialise, so don’t wonder about it too much right now ;)

There’s tons of stuff we can do in the type of gameworlds we pioneered with D:OS and we intend to show that it was a mistake to abandon this type of gameplay in the beginning of the century, taking full advantage of the effort we already poured into D:OS.

You’re not going to see huge animated movies with barely interactive worlds from us in which millions of dollars go to cutscenes. Instead, you’ll see dense, highly interactive worlds where the amount of possible interactions continuously increases and your freedom to do as you want approaches that of a pen & paper RPG. That too costs a lot, but it yields gameplay which is much more up my alley and thankfully, there are a lot of you who enjoy it. As long as that is the case, we’ll keep on making games like this.

Our ambitions are really very high and I can’t wait to play some of the new things we’ll be trying. Throughout its history, Larian has always tried to do new things in each game we released, and we won’t stop doing that. It goes without saying that we’ll fuck things up from time to time, it is our way, but luckily our players are there to tell us when we do, and we’ll keep on listening. I recently looked at the list of suggestions we received during development, and the amount of those suggestions we implemented. It’s a very impressive list but what’s even more impressive is the list of suggestions we didn’t implement, yet.

And that’s really the gist of it.

To ensure our next games will be better, we’re increasing our team size so we can avoid having to make certain development compromises, and we’re building on top of what we have already to prevent the pitfalls of having to start from scratch again.  Because we want the foundations to be rock solid, we’re spending a lot of effort on improving the first game in what hopefully becomes a series of games that will lead us to the RPG I’ve been dreaming of, you know, the very big RPG that will dwarf them all.

So unleash your furies about what you think we screwed up in D:OS. Tell us, here or on our forums. We’re listening, and we’re continously picking up and implementing your feedback. We’ve made it an integral part of our development process. But also tell us what you’d really like to see in RPGs like this. Don’t forget that we’re making these so you can play them with friends too. It’s part of the vision. Let us know how we can improve that part.

And happy holidays.

And thank you for everything. In case you didn’t see it yet, here’s a movie Thomas made to show just exactly how important player feedback was for the success of Divinity:Original Sin.

  • Mico Selva

    I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Larian has in store for us in the future. :)

  • http://raptr.com/Minttunator/about Minttunator

    Thank you guys for the best RPG of the last several years, congratulations on the well-deserved GameSpot PC GotY award and the best of luck in your future projects!

    You have a solid foundation in the D:OS engine, I think focusing on that is a great way forward – you can just keep improving it and spend more time on creating quality content. I hope D:OS 2 (or whatever your next game will be called) can be to D:OS what Baldur’s Gate 2 was to BG1. :)

    • orange_iguana

      That’s probably the best wish for a CRPG sequel :)

    • Fox

      An excellent analogy. BG2 is widely regarded as one of the, if not THE greatest RPGs of all time… but it was only able to do that because all the work on the engine and assets had already been done. From Freespace to Fallout, there’s a reason why sequels tend to be better than their immediate precursors. Game development is essentially a process of iteration… so the natural problem with developing a new game with a new engine is that there’s much less to iterate on.

      So, basically: as good as DOS was, the next game has everything going for it to be even better.

    • Hotticket

      The next BG2 from Larian… can’t wait! ;)

  • Kein Zantezuken

    I wonder if that man who was bug fixing from month is still.

  • Eser Güven

    Congratulations on GameSpot PC GoTY award, it was very well-deserved and I sincerely hope you’ll win even more Game of the Year and RPG of the Year awards :)

  • archaven

    Don’t lose the PC title in the next game ;) .. I mean dumbed down XD

  • Joe

    Can we have some news on the Linux version of D:OS, please?

  • Nick

    I’d love to see a robust GM client in a future Divinity game sort of like the old Never winter Nights from Bioware. Especially if the goal is to recreate or get closer to PnP experiences.

    Of course that means dedicated server support, persistence with database support, etc. Easier said than done I’m sure

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      That last KS update video should’ve been music in your ears then ;)

  • L0ngshot

    Alright guys. I bought D:OS a day after release and I pledge to do that again. My only request from you is, make games that are challenging as D:OS and not watered down games like many developers do. You are the last beacon for the cRPGs and I don’t want to lose that ever! I will support you guys till the end if you make games like D:OS!!

    • TheBigCity

      Balance could use some work, but love the general challenge level too

  • Windemere

    Congratulations on all the success and well deserved consideration for GOTY out there. It was a joy to be along for the Kickstarter ride and it’s exciting to hear of your plans.

    My one let down at the end of the process is the absence of (IMO) an earnest effort to cultivate a modding community. We got a few videos and documents and they were helpful, but if you really wanted that to translate into new adventures made by modders you needed to have developers engage them in the forums to answer specific issues and/or let us know what kind of improvements are coming. While many of us were fine with trying to figure things out that are already there, we have no insight on how much of the feedback you’re reading, what are bugs vs. our misunderstanding of the toolset, features yet to be added etc.

    Exciting news about the expansion into Quebec. Can you make a Kickstarter goal for visiting the studio when the time comes? :-)

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We know, but we’re going to get better at it, promised.

      • Windemere

        I trust Larian more than anyone out there, so thank you. Looking forward to it!

    • RPG Lady

      Would be fun to visit the Quebec office!

      • al-tru-ist

        I’d like to see it too!!!

  • Masterman

    Any chances of you guys coming up with a Dragon Commander 2? First game had tremendous potential and has formed the backbone of something really special.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We talk about it & it’s often on the back of my mind. Maybe.

      • Stabbey

        I’d love to see that as well. I think with a bit of bashing and tinkering, you could get that to fit in the story right after the ending of Dragon Knight Saga. Maybe. I mean, you’ve got the Dragon, you’ve got the charismatic Leader, even though they’re different people, and you’ve got a world half-conquered by the bad guy, apparently.

        The Black Ring was using some strange tech in Divinity 2, which seemed somewhat similar to the stuff in DC.

        I also liked the Dragon section at the end of DKS, where you had to use the Dragon to accomplish an objective that could not have been done on foot. I’d like to see more stuff like that.

  • orange_iguana

    I love you guys!! Not only one but more than one of new AWESOME CO-OP TURN BASED RPGS!!! YES!

  • LC

    First of all: congrats. I’m so glad to see that passion, skill, honesty and transparency still pays of. Nobody earnt the recognition and the critical and commercial success more than Swen and Larian. You can and should be proud of everything you’ve achieved with your team.

    I think you’ve already mentioned the core “flaws” of DOS in your blog yourself so there is little to add here for now. It’s instead good to see that you’ve clearly identified what should be improved while at the same time you stick to your well working formula. DOS was a niche game after all and that’s part of the reason why it was so great – for its core audience. If I had one free wish I would ask you to never sacrifice that core audience dedication for a bigger mass market appeal. We already have Bioware for that kind of RPGs. Stay like you are. Make the games you want to play yourselves. I think you’ve already proven that your taste fuc….. rocks and that you know exactly what people want and expect in this very niche of old-school RPGs. Please just don’t fall for the trap of instant rewards everywhere that plagues huge parts of modern gaming.

    My personal wish list for future RPGs of the kinds of DOS is pretty big, to be honest. I would for example like extended writing and more emotional and morally grey decisions with deep choice and consequence (without of course sacrificing the typcial Larian humour which would even work better as comedic relief). Macbeth is an awesome writer but he’s just one man. I would like Larian to employ three or more of his kind for future RPGs, significantly improving the writing and narrative design workforce without compromising quality. And more and even deeper companions would be cool. Despite all the critique the fleshed out companions are still one of Bioware’s RPGs’ biggest appeals for a reason. It’s something that is very unique to RPGs in that depth. And there is a lot of stories and characters to explore, not necessarily in the way Bioware does it with their latest strategy of total inclusiveness. More voice overs would be cool as well although that stays a bit in conflict with my with for extensive writing. I guess a good compromise has to be found here, maybe with a little bit more voice acting than present in DOS. Gameplay is imo rock solid although you already identified the weaknesses later in the character progression. I guess that’s one of the most difficult problems since it’s at least party based on the big amount of freedom you give to the players. It depends a lot how the game plays in later stages whether or not you uses all the tricks the game offers or not. It’s hard to improve that but I hope you find ways to do so.

    Oh and one last thing you should think about for future games of the kind of DIS. Don’t make the entry point too tedious. It’s the first one or two hours which decide whether a lot of players want to continue to play your game or not. I think you’ve lost a lot of potential fans – even people who never thought they would like a game like that – just because they didn’t get “into it” in the first one or two hours of playing. So please, give some special care and thought how you start your new games, both from a narrative and a gameplay perspective. I don’t think DOS was bad here but I think it could still be improved for future games. ;)

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone in the team and to the fans! :)

    Oh, and how’s Kirill doing? I hope he’d doing well and he will be able to contribute to future Larian games again.

    • Umair Khan

      Well said my friend Lord Crash. Cloud_imp.

    • Fox

      More people need to recognize and applaud Larian, and Swen in particular, for being so open about game development. The level of transparency he has championed is unparalleled in my experience. And I think DOS is a clear example of the fact that openly communicating with your customers while developing a product can be hugely beneficial.

      • RPG Lady

        My thoughts exactly!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We’re looking for extra writers and as I mentioned in the KS update, we’re fixing some of the faults we made due to a few iterations too little. However, a lot of methods in the storytelling arsenal aren’t available to us because of my insistence on doing it without in-game cutscenes, the latter being a consequence of my preference to focus on the systemics. We’ll be trying out a few things with the new games but it for sure makes storytelling a lot harder.

      • Tuco Benedicto

        For what is worth, I think your priorities here are absolutely in the right place.
        Organic systemic approaches that reward player agency are far more interesting that passive/cinematic presentation in games.

      • LC

        It’s great to hear that you look for extra writers. I hope you find some on the same skill level as Macbeth’s.

        I agree that storytelling in isometric games are kind of limited if you don’t want to use cutscenes. But it’s mostly limited only by means of presentation and not by means of depth or complexity imo. The Infinitiy engine games like BG2 and Planescape Torment for example offered some great storytelling in a specific, text-rich and novel-like way. The biggest difference to DOS is imo primarily not the quality of the writing but the depth and scope. You read at least two or three times as much in those old games compared to DOS and you had a lot more options to choose from in dialogues and I don’t mean the repetitive conversations with townfolk but specifically written dialogues with certain specific person, no matter if quest/plot related or not.

        I think it’s among the biggest points of critique coming from the “core audience” and the fans of old-school CRPGs, that the storytelling and writing is not deep and extensive enough. Gameplay is fine, overall game design is fine, freedom and interactivity are fine, systems and mechanics are fine. How improve and enhance the scope and vision for storytelling. You don’t have to make it as expansive as e.g. InXile plans to do for Torment ToN but I think you get the picture. If you look at mostly negative metacritic or Steam user reviews coming from the core audience who expected a hardcore old-school CRPG the storytelling or writing is in almost every case the driving force behind any disappoinment or disapproval. And you don’t need to implement expensive cutscenes to improve on that. You just need a bigger vision for it and more people involved in the writing and storytelling design process. So I very much like and applaud your decision to employ more people for that.

      • Fox

        If you’re not already, I’d suggest looking at Dark Souls for inspiration. That game does a lot of really cool things with environmental storytelling.

  • Cider Gnome

    I love you, Larian.

  • Radu

    Hey guys, two things I’m wondering about (that may actually be intertwined a bit):
    1. Will you try to implement more choice&consequence in dialogues/interaction with NPCs? I loved D:OS but I feel it was quite linear on the social part of “role-playing”.
    2. Related to the “social” part: will you ever develop an RPG where a non-lethal playthrough is a completely viable solution?
    Congrats on the awards and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      1. I actually think we have more choice than most RPGs – we just don’t present it in 3 dialog options but rather in the range of possible actions. But I know what you mean, and yes, we’ll try to put more of that in there.
      2. I hope so.

      • LC

        Well, Swen, the problem with 1) is that most people don’t compare DOS with Skyrim but with Baldurs Gate and similar old-school games… ;)

        • Fox

          I think it’s a little sad to see so many people comparing DOS to BG instead of Ultima VII. The latter really needs a modern remake of some kind: it’s a shame so influential a game effectively no longer exists in our collective memory.

          • LC

            Swen himself compared DOS to Ultima VII and I think it was indeed his intention to bring back some of its ideas like the high degree of interactivity.

            Anyway, I don’t think Ultima VII offered more depth and freedom in dialogue then let’s say Planescape Torment. ;)

          • WyredTail

            Uh. Yes it did. Planescape: Torment had walls of pseudointellectual wank which were generally written quite poorly. I think the fans of Avellone out there simply don’t read much outside of video games, and as such can’t appreciate the elegance of succinct speaking.

            Even comedy writers like Pratchett — on their worst day, with their worst works — put Avellone to shame. Honestly? The whole Avellone cult thing was quite embarrassing for everyone outside of it. It didn’t make us video game fans look smart by putting a sub par, flat, and unimaginative writer up on a pedestal because logorrhea was sorely mistaken for actual writing talent. All it told people about us was that we were (and most still are) illiterate.

            Ultima VII o the other hand had a real gift for comedy and writers talented enough to back it up without feeling the need to hump us with their insecurities by spewing books at us for every single piece of dialogue.

            Torment was an exercise in how you could repeat yourself over and over, in slightly different ways, and make yourself sound clever whilst doing so. What Avellone wrote could’ve fit inside of three lines of Ultima VII’s dialogue and been even cleverer.

            That’s why Ultima VII has so many memorable moments. Whereas Torment has none. And that’s a truth. If you were to stop someone and ask them what fond memories they had of Ultima VII, they’d have lots. The Kilwrathi crash site; The Unicorn encounter; Serpent’s Hold; The various easter eggs; The choice and consequence (such as the bloke cheating on his wife); And so on.

            But Torment? Torment didn’t really have any of that going for it. It’s just that it made people who played video games instead of reading books feel smart because Avellone tricked them.

            Avellone’s thankfully left Obsidian for now, and they’re all the better for it. New Vegas showed that the actual talent at Obsidian was essentially everyone else. Consider that the best characters in the game were written by Travis Stout, and the most one-dimensional stereotypes (Boone, Rose, and Ulysses) were penned clumsily by Avellone.

            So… no. Torment was a pile of pseudointellectual wank and its dialogue was as worthless as that of Fallout 3. I won’t lower myself to calling it anything other than it is. I’m not an Avellone cultie. I have a mind with which to think for myself, and to my own informed opinions.

            Ultima VII offered more depth and freedom in three lines of dialogue than Avellone could by throwing a book of insecurities at you.

  • Stink Bug

    Congrats on the PC GOTY, was definitely well deserved. For the Inventory and looting, I would invite you guys to look at Wasteland 2′s looting button. One of them allow the game to automatically send items to the characters with the relevant skills. A character with shotgun skills for instance would be automatically sent all the shells and shotguns, and spread between multiple characters if they both have the skill. This feature saved so much inventory time, it would be great if you guys would implement a similar one as well.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We’ve thought about it but thought it took away from the item fever. Maybe we should try it out and make it optional.

  • Umair Khan

    Great post dude. Divinity is a masterpiece and I’m looking forward to seeing your future work.

  • Fox

    There’s one thing I’m curious/concerned about, Swen. Since you’ve been so open (much moreso than ANY developer I’ve seen in nearly 15 years) about finances, I wonder whether or not you think there’s a “sweet spot” for an RPG budget? IE, do you think the “AA” tier of development that just sort of popped into existence a few years ago thanks to Kickstarters represents an optimal funding amount for these types of games, or do you simply think “the more money in the budget, the better?”

    I don’t know much about business, so I get concerned when I hear you use language like “all in.”

    Anyway, beyond that I’ve got my usual litany of disorganized comments in response to your post:


    1. I think the lack of quality/polish in later-game DOS was inevitable, because you’re going to get an overwhelming majority of beta-feedback on the early parts of the game, even all the content in the game is in the alpha or beta to begin with. It’s the nature of the beast. There are some ways to combat this, but I’m not sure how viable any of them would be. I imagine the whole process is very similar to revising text, albeit on a much grander scale: energy and focus can only ever decrease.

    2. The Divinity Engine: it’s very good to see you’ve got long-term plans for it. The engine is clearly very versatile and your team is evidently very skilled with it, particularly after DOS, so I fully anticipate being blown away by whatever you do next. I feel like the basic engine and core mechanics have a TON of potential just waiting to be realized.

    3. You mention that your immediate focus is to go back and improve the gameplay and narrative in the late-game of DOS… do you have any plans to do the same for Dragon Commander? I loved the hell out of that game, but the amount of RPG-ish content (IE dialog, lore, events, narrative, etc.) really just kind of disappeared in the last act. I, personally, would love to see DLC or an expansion or something to flesh things out more.

    4. So: you’re working on two new games. Does this mean no expansion for DOS? I think something like a standalone expansion ala Shadowrun Returns: Dragonall would be a great idea. You know: a smaller, more focused RPG maybe just the size of one area (like Cyseal) that could be developed in less time than a “whole” game, and could be sold at a lower price-point (which would make it more appealing to consumers who aren’t quite ready to take a big bite out of DOS for whatever reason).

    5. In terms of narrative delivery, I would strongly suggest you look at some of the things Obsidian has been doing with Pillars of Eternity. Specifically, the short “skits” that are basically illustrated interactive dialogs–they’re a very immersive, low-budget way to invest players more into the characters, story and world.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Imho there is a sweet spot but it does become more expensive each year as players expect more and more quality in their content.

      1. One big issue here is that when you start a review session on monday, only on the friday of the following week you finish your play through. That and the fact that the further you get, the bigger the difference between player characters is, makes it very hard to polish the last part of the game to the level of the first part. You can do it in chunks, but that doesn’t give you the full meta-view that you actually need to do it well.

      3. I know. Maybe.

      5. Yes, I liked those a lot.

      • Stabbey

        3. So there is still a faint hope? Well, that’s good-ish to hear.

  • dany

    I’ve read other and agree with them, but i want to write something about what i would love also in the game, if i repeat what i read i’m sorry. First of all i’m not done yet with divinity i’m playing with my friend like once a week because of his work and i don’t want to spoil myself by playing alone so i’m waithing for my friend to play.

    First of all i would love some better looking for character when you go closely it’s not ugly but still not beautiful enough i think, as well as character creation would need some more love. That would be my fist wish.

    I really enjoy the form of playing turn by turn and having action point, fight are awesome and really enjoyable. Maybe to push this to the limit (and it’s only a though) maybe player could give order to their like attack this guy or cast fireball right there (ground) then when everyone is done characters move all at the same time in slow motion and try to achieve their respective order, some order can be counter, like maybe a character charge another and push it to the ground while the other was trying to cast magic so he his counter. Turn can be 6 sec in slow motion, i’m taking it in the d&d games. It’s only an idea but i think there is plenty of possibility with it so you need to anticipate your foes etc. keep or not this idea is up to you but i like the idea.

    When we level up me and my friend we love to get stats to apply to character but sometime level up doesn’t do much and we look at exp needed for next level and okay so we play once a week so maybe we’ll level up next week okay. maybe each level should mean something to enhence. most of the time it does but it’s a small bonus then sometime we don’t really see it on the next fight.

    I really like the way we think about the spell or ability we should do next to win the fight, keep the good work.

    I like difficulty in a game and it appear more in the first part of the game that i played yet, maybe monster became too easy by the game going, now we start a fight and we don,t really need to talk about strategie we have our own strategie and keep with it most of the time.

    My friend don’t like to craft so each item he get stay on ground or are sold, and me i like to craft but it’s not really clear what to do, i try and got some item but since i didn’t do much of it i end up with item under my level so i finally stop crafting, right now i’m trying to forge my weapon to increase and it only upgrade once. I’ll see in the futur for that, if i love or not. Maybe each point in forge should give different bonus but should always give a certain bonus when you do it.

    I play my game in french (maybe you notice some bad writting) and when the game came out some character was still talking english while other was talking french, it’s not fun when that happen.

    As someone said maybe the first 2 hours of gameplay should have better scenario or become more attractive, i am a real rpg lover so i really loved to try to find the killer in town but my friend was more like do we go outside fight something, yes we can divide but you and me know it’s not possible to fight monster all by yourself. So maybe it could be fun to have some quest that can be done with 2 character while other are done for 2 player (4 character) each one would have fun, i could have done the quest in town and my friend goes doing his quest maybe in a cave or something.

    I don’t know if there is any yet but quest companion would be cool too, maybe if we go and help a companion to find the sword of his family or we go to find a legendary spell book that he is looking for, they will be better companion (maybe a bonus of frienship, giving bonus when fighting near character)

    I like the way element interract with each other, sometime we ended up laughing about what happen just because we didn’t see ice on the ground cause we casted a spell or smoke bloking vision (maybe sometime it block too much though, sometime we were like wtf it’s only a square smoke and he don,t see it, maybe some negative % accuracy could be enough)

    I am a donjon master in D&D with my friend and story was good but could have some better love, when we go at the end of time and see that little goblin and then we return to reality, we continue like nothing happened ^^
    I’m near Quebec and if ever you need someone for story telling maybe i could help, i always wished to work for game but unfortunately i didn’t learn how to do games. I tryed at home with divinity engine but it’s too complicated for me, i did a game with starcraft editor, but that’s all. I don’t expect anything, but you can contact me with my facebook for ideas or something like that, it would be a pleasure.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We’ll be calling out to Dungeon Masters soon enough so if you want to hook up with us in Quebec, keep on following my blog. I’ll make sure to put a note here.

  • ArtGlu

    What i’d love to see:
    - better controls – fixed enemy highlighting, fast camera dragging (i love the use of inertia in Civilization: BE)
    - party rest, hunger
    - unarmed skill
    - less corridorish outdoors
    - C&C that is not tied only to particular quest/chapter, also – ending alternation
    - improved multicore CPU performance, no spikes on single core

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Those are all on my list too except for party rest, hunger. I once put it on there but removed it again because I was afraid it’d be too tedious for players. Maybe it should make it back if we automate most of the process. To be tried at some point, for sure.

      • animlboogy

        I’d really like to see that in there, even if it’s only part of some kind of optional “hardcore” mode. I always enjoy survival elements in RPGs, as long as it isn’t simply layering tedium on an otherwise fun game. Moments where I end up considering eating a useful food buff item when I don’t need it yet because I need to satiate my hunger are interesting. All those little choices like that add up to a more immersive RPG experience.

        • Stabbey

          No, thanks. I find survival elements to be tedious and boring, and they add nothing to the game but busywork. NOTHING.

          At their mildest, it’s a distraction for a few seconds as you use an inventory item, and then forget about it.

          At their worst, its an annoyance dragging the gameplay down by forcing the players to be distracted or scavenge for stuff in cans instead of playing the actual game. A debuff for not eating falls squarely in the category of annoyance.

          • al-tru-ist

            Exactly!! If you add this stuff, only in a hardcore mode please!!

      • Callock

        Yeah can’t say I’d be a fan of more “realism”/boring stuff like rest/hunger. Just my opinion though.

  • Esteban Santi

    Ahhh!!! Im so glad for you guys, you deserve it! ;)

  • Dimitar Georgiev

    Awesome news from Larian and a very good read.Keep the good work guys and maybe surprise us with a continuation to Lucien the Divine’s story

  • Stabbey

    I’ve already got a 40-plus long list of feedback going on the Larian Forums, Swen, and I’m not even done the game yet either. It’s not all criticism.


    Here’s one I’ll elaborate on though. I’ve just reached the puzzle library which has the compass on the floor. I got frustrated and had to stop and ask for help there because I couldn’t figure out what to do. It turns out that I missed a book and a really tiny button hidden away. I think a better way to have implemented that would have been to keep the basic premise, but stick immovable books onto various shelves which started with all different letters. Once a player finds one, and they will, they’ll look for more, but they’re on the shelves instead of hidden in little corners. The player has to pull specific books in a certain order, given by the same book currently in the game.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I’m well aware of your list Stabbey ;) A lot of your suggestions made it to our to-do list.

      • Stabbey

        ;) Keep an eye on it, I just added another set, and the list is getting bigger by the day! (Thanks, Swen!)

  • Tuco Benedicto

    I can’t even overstate how much I liked Original Sin.
    That said, there were few issues that undermined its state from “timeless classic” to “barely pretty damn good”, in my opinion.

    My main gripe was the loot/itemization. I know there are different opinions on the topic but for me fixed, specifically designed items are far more interesting (and rewarding to get) than randomized loot. Not just because it’s easier to design unique items which can truly stand out, but also because it makes more manageable to balance them.
    I really think that randomized itemization fits terribly a game where encounters are fixed in their design and enemies don’t respawn (which is how I like RPGs., by the way). Baldur’s Gate 2 should be a better model to copy than Diablo.
    Then it comes overall balance. While I loved the combat system, the game was incline to become a bit too easy/exploitable in its second half (or at very least the last third).

    Now, few other points that aren’t exactly flaws but that just fit my personal taste more. What follows is just my opinion, so no offense if people at Larian don’t share my suggestions.
    First, I’m not too fond of monsters being tied to levels. Especially when enemies of the same type (i.e zombies) are avaible at different level ranges. I like the D&D phylosophy of monsters being defined mostly by their stats and being reliably constant across an entire game.

    Second, while there’s nothing particularly wrong with traditional exp, I love what Bloodlines did (and Pillars of Eternity is attempting) with goal-driven exp that reward the player just for accomplishing specific tasks, discouraging grinding or the kill of NPCs just for the sake of it.
    Third, while the art style in D:OS was charming, I’m not too much into “deformed” characters. I’d prefer anatomically correct ones with great, fluid animations, no matter how detailed or stylized (in fact, I think I never got over my love for Another World and its super-stylized characters).

    • Schepel

      I could not agree more, really.

      • Fox

        I could not disagree more on Obsidian’s take on Experience in Eternity. It’s so counter-intuitive.

        • LC

          I actually agree with him. Grinding is one part of CRPGs that should die out ASAP. In a story-driven CRPG you should always be motivated to do something because of narrative reasons. If that requires kiling enemies, so be it. If you can get along without, even better. Taking out experience and levels out of combat you achieve a lot more freedom for the narrative design and for better quest design and quest solutions. Killing enemies for the sake of killing enemies or even for the pure sake of gaining XP to level up is an antiquated design approach, not worthy of modern gaming. Still building on that approach is like denying that games can improve or that they have evolved in the past years, and not only in a bad way.

          In a story-driven CRPG you should indeed be “rewarded” for narrative progression. By getting XP only for fulfilling quests you give players the freedom and the motivation to explore different ways of solving them, without the need to kill everyone for XP maximization. Killing enemies should always be part of a narrative in such a game and not “just for fun” imo. That’s how you make combat and storytelling meaningful and immersive.

        • Tuco Benedicto

          I disagree, no matter how you look at it.
          First, because I don’t think it’s a counter-intuitive system at all.
          Second, because I don’t even think “intuitiveness” is something that comes into play; a good exp reward system is (and should be) mostly something that goes on in background, not something you actively monitor and exploit.
          Third, because a goal-driven system is *factually* more fair, objective and less exploitable, if the goals are granular enough.

          Traditional exp-for-kill-and-for quests leads to abominations like “Find the diplomatic solution to solve the quest, then kill anyone anyway for extra points” (the last Deus EX: Human REvolution was particularly infamous in ths sense, for instance) .

          A goal-driven system has a single reward for a certain accomplishment (i.e. reach and loot the final chest in a dungeon, get rid of a certain enemy somehow, gather a specific piece of intel, etc) and no matter how you reach your goal (stealth approach, diplomatic intercession, brute force) the reward is indicatively the same for everyone… Or eventually *reliably* not the same when it’s a deliberate choice to reward a specific solution as the best one.

          • Fox

            I’ll explain myself, then, because as *I* look at it, the argument is quite clear.

            First: we need to understand what experience systems in a game *are*. Like most systems, they’re abstractions of real-life concepts. Experience is an abstraction of *learning.* What you can “learn” in the confines of a gamespace is dependent on the systems in that game. In a CRPG, these are the various skills and attributes and basic play mechanics.

            Most CRPGs, Pillars of Eternity included, revolve around combat. The skills and attributes you learn are chiefly responsible for affecting combat systems in the game. What weapons you can equip, how well you can wield those weapons, what special skills you can perform with those weapons, etc., etc. Trying to remove or cut down on “grinding” is a laudable goal, but it requires some *thought*. You cannot simply build a combat-oriented CRPG and remove combat-based experience and call it a day. This is counter-intuitive because, as one particularly vocal user on the Eternity forum has stated over and over (and I’m paraphrasing here), it results in utterly illogical situations where you become a better swordsman by everything BUT using a sword; a better magician by everything BUT casting spells; a better thief by everything BUT picking locks or pockets.

            If you’ll forgive a rather simple analogy, if we were to transpose Eternity’s experience system into real-life, we’d have a world where students could ace a math test by studying history, and learn how to speak German by playing football.

            If we want to remove grinding, you have to actually build the game with that in mind, from the ground up. This can mean carefully crafting every combat encounter to be a unique, one-time only fight (which, as I’m sure *everyone* here recognizes, is exactly what Larian did with Original Sin), or you can build the various character systems around specialized action rewards that serve as abstractions of *different* kinds of learning. IE non-combat quests might reward “points” that can ONLY be used upgrading skills or abilities that would have been used in the completion of that quest, and so on and so forth.

            You’re thinking of experience as a reward system, but it’s *more* than that. First and foremost, as I’ve said, it’s an abstraction. And that abstraction *needs* to make a degree of sense, otherwise it’s just more gamey nonsense with no real in-universe justification.

            You’re looking at a problem and saying, “That’s a problem: therefore any solution is a valid solution.” But that’s not true at all. Grinding IS a problem, but Eternity’s take is NOT a solution.

          • Tuco Benedicto

            Well, to just put it shortly, I have two main issues with your argument.
            1) the “coherence” problem you are mentioning is nowhere near as bad as all the balance problems solved by a goal-driven reward system. And of course we are talking about abstractions, since that’s what games are about… But I don’t see how what you are advocating for would make any more sense to any degree, honestly.

            2) nothing of what you are describing as an issue is actually solved by traditional exp progression. It could be avoided with a “improve over use” system, but I’ve seen too many of them turning out as exploitable garbage (see: TES) and too few showing any resemblance of depth (Darklands).
            You are “exposing” a false issue and suggesting the status quo as a solution, when the status quo doesn’t address the problem at all.

            Beside that, you are still complaining about a combat-heavy game not having exp for combat but, as already pointed in another reply, that’s another false problem, since you can have a goal-driven system and *still* assign reward points for an encounter without any problem.

            And no, I don’t think “any solution is a valid solution”, I actually think goal-driven rewards are the *ideal* and proven solution after more than 30 years playing RPGs of any kind.

          • Fox

            You’re misunderstanding my point.

            The problem is the disconnect between what experience *represents*, and what experience *does*, and how experience is *earned*.

            This is an entirely different argument than experience as a reward system.

            And I never said traditional experience systems “solved” the problem (of grinding)–simply that the traditional model presents much *less* of a problem. You’ll also noticed I pointed out that there *are* potential solutions, pretending experience is only a reward system ain’t one.

            The primary goal of good game design is to minimize abstraction. The systems in a game need to make a degree of logical sense. This is a big problem for RPGs because RPGs tend to have a LOT of systems.

            Here’s the thing: in Baldur’s Gate, you can persuade a person to do something, and earn experience that can make you more persuasive (good!) …or better at bludgeoning kobolds with a mace (bad!); in Baldur’s Gate, you can kill a kobold with a mace and earn experience that can make you better and bludgeoning kobolds with a mace (good!)… or more persuasive (bad!). In Eternity, you can persuade a person to do something, and earn experience that can make you more more persuasive (good!) …or better at slicing up highwaymen (bad!); but if you slice up a highwayman you cannot become better at cutting things (bad!) nor can you become more persuasive (good!).

            Again, the problem I’m (trying to) discuss has nothing to do with reward systems. The problem is entirely about nonsensical abstraction and the fact that Pillars of Eternity’s take on experience does absolutely nothing to solve the inherent problems of CRPG experience abstraction. It’s like trying to put out a fire by baking a cake: the solution has no effect at the problem.

          • Tuco Benedicto

            No, I don’t think I’m misunderstanding anything.
            I’m pointing to you how you are claiming an “issue” with a mismatch in the abstraction between what experience represent and how it’s earned in a goal-driven system, conveniently ignoring that the very same issue presents itself unaltered with traditional exp.

            And I’m not even sure why you are insisting in pretending that all this would be entirely about solving “grinding”, when grinding is just one of the many points.

            Balance and fairness come in play far before grinding does.
            A goal-driven system sets generic goals and rewards/makes you progress for achieving them in a broad sense, which is very simple to tune, predict and balance regardless of how the player will act.
            A traditional exp gives you an arbitrary reward for each specific action, opening to a lot of exploits, as the already mentioned “solving everything peacefully and then killing everyone anyway” AND of course encouraging grinding on top of that too.

            Oh, and exp IS a reward (and progression) system, by the way.

          • Fox

            Quote: “conveniently ignoring that the very same issue presents itself unaltered with traditional exp.”

            And you’re conveniently ignoring the fact that I very explicitly said exactly that.

            Again: there is a problem with experience abstraction… and Eternity’s take on experience is NOT a solution.

            If you want to keep “discussing” this, then save it for the Eternity forum. This ain’t the place for such long-winded debates.

          • Tuco Benedicto

            “And you’re conveniently ignoring the fact that I very explicitly said exactly that.”
            Then you are probably failing to make clear what solution you are actually suggesting, since so far it sounded just like you were advocating for the status quo with conventional exp systems.

            For the record, my personal take on the “issue” is that the issue is essentially irrelevant and not something that I actually feel compelled to solve.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Your points are all valid issues & there’s work to be done there.

      The combat is a perfect example of what I meant with the impact of not having sufficient dev capacity. There just wasn’t any time to iterate over the later parts like we did over the earlier parts and that’s why for some players it became too easy (not all players though which is another problem).

      Same thing goes for the loot – we can do better with the randomised loot system than we did in the current version. I do think random loot can co-exist with predefined loot.

      As for XP, we introduced exploration XP which shows we’re thinking in similar directions, but I wouldn’t remove combat XP. One thing we wanted to add was encounter XP but again, we didn’t have the time anymore.

      • LC

        Well, I still think that you should at least balance XP during quests that you aren’t worse of by not killing everyone you see. For example, I remember the church in Cyseal which you could either enter by finding out the code word or by killing the four statues. The latter alternative gave you a lot more XP points which really disincentivized a non-leathal solution.

        I hope we’ll se more solutions and options to solve quests in future Larian RPGs and I hope that they are desinged in a way that not one solution is directly or indirectly favored or incentivized by design.

      • Baudolino05

        Frankly, the biggest problem I had with Original Sin itemization system is QUANTITY related, not quality related.

        In my book, SLIGHTLY randomized loot lists (something along the line of Icewind Dale) can work well in story-driven game such Original Sin. What definitely doesn’t work is the INSANE amount of loot you get even in the starting area. Halfway through the game you already have a shitoload of magical items that are both useless for you party and annoying to sell (they are more often than not too costly for vendors).

        This H&Sy philosophy of itemization hinders the game in two different way:

        a) It slows inventory management like hell.

        b) It discredits crafting as a serious alternative to field stripping (and it’s a shame, considering the effort you put in making crafting a fun and creative experience).

        Bottom line: Economy, Itemization and crafting should feel like complementary systems and in Original Sin they don’t.

        PS: as for the XPs, I totally agree with Tuco and LC. If your design goal is to legitimate every possible playstyle, you should reward players for the goals they achieve, not for a particular way to achieve these goals. I hope you’ll consider this approach in your next game.

        PPS: The character design in Orginal Sin serves well the overall art direction, so you can keep it :D

        • Baudolino05

          PPPS: don’t get me wrong, Sven. Despite my previous post, I still consider Original Sin the best cRPG I’ve played in YEARS.

      • Tuco Benedicto

        Thanks for taking your time answering me, Swen.
        Now, just a couple of points. Not to argue against you, but just to point my perspective, how I see it.

        1) yes, I do think randomized and predefined loot can co-exist and it’s surely something that can work better than having just the former (especially when the randomization doesn’t change at every single reload encouraging compulsive behavior… ahem).
        On the other hand, no matter how well thought and balanced, I don’t think randomized loot actually tops the experience of having good predetermined one in any scenario, except maybe if you leave the randomization for the so called “trash loot” (crafting materials, vendor trash, etc).
        It’s not even just a matter of having better, more unique items, but also a matter of pacing.
        I like finding special, useful items as a “defining moment” that happen at very specific circumstances. What I don’t like about randomized itemization is that you can get a significant upgrade at any given moment *and* yet you can not get one after a relevant accomplishment, which can lead to “meh” scenarios like looting very similar-yet-marginally different swords and comparing them constantly to decide which is better and to what degree.

        Frankly, I don’t think this is a system that will ever beat the pacing of a Baldur’s Gate 2 where you get your fairly plane +1 weapon, than at some point a +2, then the outstanding +3 with a special ability tied in that will come with you across the entire second half of the game, more or less.
        Of course, the “issue” with fixed itemization is that you can’t just let drop anything, you need to think how you want your player to dress the entire party in the end game (no matter what party formation comes) and eventually even offer alternate options aimed to different builds.

        2) about goal driven-exp, I think it should be important to stress that, how you are more or less implying yourself, “goal-driven” doesn’t necessarily mean “no exp reward for combat”. It just means that you have your exp reward for a combat when you account that combat as another mini-goal among many. It would just be tied to encounters rather than single kills.

        The difference is that in a goal-driven progression system you would get your reward out of the encounter or from avoiding it. In a traditional “exp-for-kills” system you would get the reward out of the diplomatic/stealth option and THEN you would be able to break/exploit the game logic fighting anyway to maximize the reward.
        It’s… not a big deal, far worse stuff happened in gaming for years… But it’s also a bit clumsy, archaic and unnecessary when a more slim and elegant solution existed for years.

        Oh, it should also be noted that the first game I mentioned as an example, Vampire Bloodlines, didn’t even bother giving actual “exp points”. It skipped that passage entirely, rewarding the player directly with “talent points” to spend in the character sheet (of course, it also had a progression system granular enough for this to make sense).

        Anyway, I can’t freaking wait to know more about your future projects.

    • Shally Nater

      I also couldn’t agree more about randomized loot having no place in an RPG, especially in a game with fixed design/non-respawning enemies like this (I also agree that that design in itself is a good thing). But it seems like a concept Swen/Larian is committed to, unfortunately.

  • Andrew

    2 rpgs!

    =>I want Day/Night cycles this time please with npc schedules.
    =>I want weather cycle so I can use the elements
    =>I want non-random loot with history of that item
    =>I want to know my companions better and for them to have consistent motivations
    =>An in-game card/board game type of thing

    • Katrien Cornelis

      sci-fi rpg alla space quest/star trek but RPG.. mmrrr.. larian humour + scifi

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I’m very hesitant on the schedules thing right now – I think there’s still a thousand other things we should improve first before we get into that development hellhole.

      • Tuco Benedicto

        I can see why it can be an intimidating proposition from a development standpoint, but thinking about games like Ultima VII or Gothic 1/2 I genuinely feel it could add a lot.
        That said, I guess it’s almost unnecessary to stress it to you but I’ll do it anyway: if you are considering it, better do it from the start-up, because adding something this complex and impactful mid development (with most of the world building, scheduling and quest design done) could only get worse.

      • Andrew

        Thanks for replying!

        If you add schedules you get +100 to your hit rolls. Its like a d20, you can’t lose! ;-)

        Seriously it would add amazing depth to the games you are planning to develop. I’ll cross my fingers but I’m sure games will be awesome anyways.

      • TheBigCity

        Would also like to see the schedules but completely agree there are probably more urgent issues right now

      • Simon

        D:OS is excellent but my single biggest gripe and the reason I passed over it originally (I recently forgot the reason and bought it :) ) is the lack of day/night, NPC schedules and the need for character rest/meals. Provide a rest free game option for those that want to skip the chrome, but by default those things NEED to be in an RPG to make the Grail Game, which you know you want to do :)

        I totally agree with the first 5 of Andrew’s points. Pleaseeeeeeee.

        Of course, it will be a nightmare. But…the Grail….

      • Donkeyfumbler

        I think adding NPC schedules would be a PITA – I like the fact that I don’t have to wait around for someone to wake up or a shop to open, or to have to try and work out where someone might be. I don’t think it would add much to the immersiveness and I agree with Sven that there are SO many other things that could be done first.

    • CountBuffon

      Day/Night could conceivably be added to D:OS as DLC. I personally didn’t care too much either way, but it would be a nice thing to do for Kickstarters who did care.

  • zodd

    Having different character model builds would be nice as well, didn’t like we were stuck with one body build.

    • Fox

      Definitely want this for the next game. I can understand why they did it, but I’ve never been a fan of the square-jaw, giant-shoulders male archetype.

      • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

        We won’t do it like that again, rest assured.

        • CountBuffon

          Not too late to include this in DLC, but this may or may not be worth the trouble. I also don’t know what technical hurdles you might have made for this, either.

    • RPG Lady


  • Wolf

    Please fix/rebalance the tenebrium skill/system ASAP. Having a skill that superceeds all of you normal weapon skills part way through the game is really frustrating.

    Really looking forward to your next games though. Would be great to see a fallout or even a sci-fi type game on this engine and with Larian’s level of detail and polish.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Yes, in hindsight that was counterproductive. It feeds into the discussion about the problems of character development at intermediate levels. We’re still trying to figure out what the best approach is there. Pretty much every system we’ve looked at has negatives and so we’ll most likely end up experimenting for quite some time on this.

  • Zloth

    I’m still looking for all that music I paid extra for in the kickstarter backing, actually. You said when you broke the news that the orchestration wasn’t going to work out that we would be getting bunches of extra music from past games. Yet the link on my vault page still isn’t activated 6 months later.
    Sorry to be a wet blanket – I enjoyed D:OS a lot – but a broken (forgotten??) promise leaves a really bad taste.

    • Fox

      Link in the vault page?

      My understanding was the Kyrill got sick, so instead of a lot of new music, they used a lot of old tracks to fill out the list. That stuff is all in the game proper… why would it be a separate link in the Vault? Or are you saying it was supposed to be an OST collection of mp3s or something?

      • Katrien Cornelis

        ost is in your steam folder no?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      Tbh, I’m not 100% sure what you’re talking about. AFAIK all music was released?

      • Zloth

        There’s a little bit of music (22 songs) in the Steam directory but we were told we would be getting a huge portion of Kirill’s songs. I asked Larian Support about it and, back on August 11th, you folks were still trying to assemble some of his early works. I’ll try responding to that email to see what the story is.

  • James

    After reading this, I decided to buy this game to support you guys. It’s downloading as I write this. From reading multiple reviews I expect a lot of flaws: the story will be uninspired, the writing verbose and immature, quest progression will become murky and frustrating at times, and the gameplay will get a bit less compelling in later stages (oh, and characters and voice acting will be underdeveloped). BUT… because you recognized all of this and want to do better, you can have my money.

    • Katrien Cornelis

      don’t forget, disgruntled people are always the loudest.I was on holiday when it came out so i had to wait 2 weeks, and while i agree with some of the story stuff its not nearly as incoherent/laclustre as some people would have you believe.Don’t worry, you will have fun.

      • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

        Thx Katrien & you’re right. We’re putting a lot of effort in understanding what the 93% people who liked the game want to see improved and not in what the 7% who didn’t would like to have. Most likely the latter want to play a different type of game anyway.

        • LC

          Hm, I’m not sure if I’m happy with that answer. Does that imply that you only listen to people who already like/love the game? You should at least include the whole “core audience” in your feedback/listening process. If parts of your core audience aren’t happy with what you do you should likely listen to them as well. Not everyone who disagrees with you or dislikes parts of your game are automatically people who want to play an entirely different game I’m afraid. That would be a quite bland assumption imo and it would also put you in a situation in which you constantly work and process with blinders on, only listening to those people who already agree with what you’ve done so far.

          I’m aware that it’s kind of pointless to listen to those people who are not part of the core audience and who likely want to play a different game altogether. Just don’t make the mistake to push everyone who criticises (parts of) your game into this corner. It’s often the most dedicated fans and the most niche (most core?) players who can be most disappointed because they often have high expectations. Just keep that in mind while listenig to feedback. ;)

          • Fox

            It means that the game is intended for a specific audience, so going forward they’re going to appeal to that audience instead of catering to a different demographic. Its impossible to please everyone or to cater to every demo, and trying to do so only produce bland and generic results.

          • LC

            I think you’ve misread my post. It’s not about people in a different demographic but indeed about people of the core demographic/audience. It’s just that not everyone of this core audience is completely happy with the game and it would be a big mistake to not listening to their feedback as well.

          • Fox

            You didn’t say “completely happy,” though: you implied that those who did not like the game were part of the core audience, and I would argue that those people–the 4%, as it is–simply do not represent the core demographic. Criticism from a fan of the game–just going by the numbers–is more likely to be valid and worth exploring than criticism from someone who disliked it.

            It makes more sense to pay attention to the 96% of consumers who enjoy the product versus the 4% who don’t, or to cater to the X% who never bought the product in the first place.

          • LC

            No, you make something up here, sorry. I explained in detail whom I’ve meant and I didn’t imply that everyone who dislikes the game is also part of the core democracy (that also wouldn’t make ANY sense at all). I just wanted to remind Swen that not everyone of the core demographic necessarily likes DOS (assuming the opposite would be pretty arrogant and ivory towery…). If you don’t believe me you can read the the various posts in threads about DOS on e.g. the RPGCodex. A lot of hardcore CRPG enthusiasts and fans of old isometric RPGs of the likes of Baldurs Gate for example like the gameplay but they are often far from satisfied with the storytelling. So Larian should just ignore them because they are not real fans or fully satisfied customers of the game already? That makes no sense at all, sorry.

            And no, criticism from a fan of the game is in no way more likely to be valid. There is no proof for that at all, it’s instead a bland generalization. You can notice serious criticism pretty soon if you actually read it, both negative and positive. It’s Larian’s job to seperate well meant criticism from people who care about the genre/niche and this type of games from criticism from people who basically want to play a completely different game. If you just listen to fans and people who like your product already you ignore a lot of potential and feedback that could give you new ideas for improvements.

            So the simple message here is: listen to the complete core democracy, no matter if they like DOS or not. As long as they are part of the core audience they probably have the potential for valuable feedback. ;)

      • James

        You’re right, it’s a great game. The early writing is quite good. What I really meant is that Swen’s humility and critical self-awareness in this blog post made me want to support Larian and see where they went. I may do up a list of helpful suggestions one day – seems like Larian actually listens ;)

  • Schepel

    Nice blog post. D:OS was a very nice experience and i am eagerly anticipating a second play through. However, for the love of whatever deity you care to name: fix the crafting and inventory systems. To say it drove me mad would be an understatement. One other thing: logic is important. Camp fires do not keep burning for eternity without anybody to tend them. Same goes for a lot of other things.

  • neptune432

    Everyone else has said what I wanted to say, so I will just say some genres that I would like to see with an RPG from you guys:



    Modern Fantasy (fantasy set in modern times of course)


    Alternate History


    Basically that. Not that fantasy RPGs aren’t preferred too. Just stating genres they haven’t made games for that I would enjoy seeing them make RPGs for.

    • Fox

      A while back (a year ago? two?) there were some rumors that Larian had gotten the license to an established steampunk or cyberpunk setting, and would be doing something with that after DOS. Of course, later I believe Swen commented something to the effect of their next (non-Divinity?) project being with a new, original IP instead of the licensed one.

      So: who knows. But it seems likely Larian will branch out sooner rather than later.

      Personally, I think the Divinity Engine would be very well-suited to an Arcanum, “magic & gunpowder” type setting.

      • neptune432

        Coincidentally, that Acronym setting might go with alt. history as well. Doesn’t matter, just saying.

        To be honest, I have no earthly idea of what they could be making. I will just hope that it’s good.

  • Moorkh

    Congratulations on the award, Larian, well deserved! And glad you are planning to continue improving D:OA.

    Now, does that mean you’ll consider adding in stuff you had to drop out of time/budget constraints? Such as NPC schedules? Because I’m still holding out on really playing the thing, hoping this would eventually be patched in…

    • Fox

      NPC schedules was a bit more than a time-constraint. It was more of a massive amount of work that wasn’t worth the amount of time and budget that would be needed to do it properly. I sincerely doubt they’ll do NPC schedules in a big game like DOS.

      They may do so in a smaller-scale expansion that only has a few areas. But DOS is just too big a game for that kind of thing.

  • Ehrlich Cole

    The only problem I had with the game is that as an RPG, I found myself often disconnected from the game world due to the sheer amount of silliness and childish humor. I think the humor in the game could have been more sophisticated. And maybe the Art style could have been slightly more mature. The Original Divinity’s art leaned itself more toward realism even though it was pixel art. This is just personal taste however.

    • Katrien Cornelis

      eeih.. hmm..that’s kind of larian’s style. in all their games.I personally love it, we snickered more than once behind the pc.but i can understand that some people don’t like it. i think there are plenty of subtle sarcastic/ironic/snarky/witty remarks

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We get this type of criticism a lot and are trying to walk on the right side of the very fine line that is humor in games. However, we won’t remove it as it’s something that the majority of our players actually like. People actually do like to have fun from time to time and there’s sufficient other RPGs out there that take themselves very seriously. That said, we know there’s a lot of room for improvement and it’s being worked on.

      • Ehrlich Cole

        Thank you for taking the time to read a fans feedback. It means a lot to me and others. And I understand your stance on the mood of the game.

  • Daniel

    Are you going to make a detailed tutorial for creating own content with the editor anytime soon? Many modders have refrained from using it and attempting to create their own content due to the complexity and sparse information about it.

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      The next patch *should* include the exporters so you can create your own content. We needed to negotiate something with the middleware vendors first, but that’s sorted out now.

  • Mikus

    Mikus from the Larian forums here. First, as the other posters here, I’m incredibly happy and proud of your achievement with D:OS, and excited to hear more about your plans for the future. Your entire team worked extremely hard to make D:OS a reality, and despite its “flaws,” it’s clear that Larian has finally assumed its well-deserved position at the front of RPG innovation going forward.

    But in the spirit of your post, I can’t let an opportunity go by without throwing in some constructive criticism! ;) The below “wishlist” focusing on UI improvements collected from the forums was already posted on both the D:OS alpha and beta Larian forums over the past year, but as you ended up implementing many of the original suggestions (awesome), the list here only includes those suggestions yet to be implemented/considered. Also note that I had emailed this list to Thomas on November 2 and was invited to the November 4 Twitch session to discuss, but I had to decline the offer as my work schedule tends to conflict with yours (I live in the US). Anyway, it’s still a pretty long list, but I’m gratified to hear you’re still working to improve the exact systems it focuses on (inventory, trade, crafting, etc.). Just one last request unrelated to UI issues I have for D:OS and/or your future RPGs that others have also asked for here and in the past: NO MORE RANDOM LOOT, PLEASE! ;) OK, that’s it for my little pep talk/intro – congrats again on your great success, and I look forward to more over the years to come!


    1) Left-clicking (rather than left-clicking-and-holding/dragging) on an item within the inventory menu should allow you to pick it up
    This would be a simple and major improvement – always needing to “drag” items around is extremely annoying!

    2) All items of an identical type (except equipment) should stack with each other in the inventory and trading menus
    (This may be fixed in the latest release version.) Items that should stack with each other, but don’t: all “junk” (i.e. (large) bottles, broken bottles, (flower) pots, globes, lab junk, plates, tubes, vials, vial racks), arrow shafts, arrows/arrowheads (identical types), books (including all identical recipe and blank skillbooks), bonedust, empty bottles, folded shirts, golden cups, golden spoons, nine inch nails, parchment, pillows, pixie dust, rope, soap, starfish, wooden figurines, apples/bottles of beer/cups of water/drudenae/hams/herrings/logs/minor healing potions/roasted pork dishes/skulls (only some items of these types currently stack with each other), “Cyseal Pie” and “Cyseal Fish Pie” (duplicates?), etc.

    3) An option to tag/mark items as “junk” for later quick/one-click sale should be added
    See the system used in the most recent Avernum games by Spiderweb Software for an idea of what I mean.

    4) A key ring (functioning as an “openable” container) to automatically store all acquired keys should be added

    5) An option to manually type the number of items to move/trade from within a stack should be added

    6) Each NPC’s Identify/Repair ability levels should be displayed in the NPC’s trading menu

    7) The effects of both the player’s Barter ability and the NPC’s attitude on price should be shown in each item’s trading tooltip

    8) The value of every stat/ability modified from its base value should be displayed in a different color in the inventory menu
    Stat/ability values still aren’t color-coded in blue/purple when altered from their base values by traits – e.g. Reputation by the Altruistic trait, Crafting by the Pragmatic trait, etc.

    9) Ability tooltips that still need to describe exact percentage/numerical effects
    Lucky Charm, Offense Rating (doesn’t include +3/level effect of Lucky Charm).

    10) After drinking from a container (bottle/cup/mug/flask/etc.), an empty container should generate in the player’s inventory


    1) Crafting overhaul
    (This may be largely fixed in the latest release version.) A new dedicated crafting window in which items can be combined should be added; recipe information for at least those recipes the player has successfully crafted should be explicitly listed in the format “A = B + C” in the journal (similar to the system used in Dragon Quest VIII); for sample mockups, see: http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=34882&Number=494715#Post494715

    2) Loremaster/Identify overhaul
    (The current click-intensive system is extremely tedious, and adds no challenge.) If a player has an identifying glass and sufficient Loremaster ability, all items (items that are picked up, as well as items displayed in all trading menus) should be identified automatically (except those beyond the player’s ability)

    3) Blacksmithing/Repair overhaul
    (The current click-intensive system is extremely tedious, and adds no challenge.) If a player has a repair hammer and sufficient Blacksmithing ability, a new “Repair All” icon/button usable only outside combat should repair all items equipped by the party with one click (except those too damaged for the player’s ability)


    1) The ability to attack enemies with “regular” (non-skill) attacks by clicking their icon at the top of the screen should be added
    I.e. similar to how attacking with skills works currently.

    2) A “facing” indicator should be added to the circle under each enemy’s feet to aid with backstab positioning


    1) The effects of a dialogue choice on a trait should be displayed next to the choice

    2) NPC dialogue options previously chosen by the player should be “dimmed”/”grayed”

    3) A more convenient method of ending an NPC dialogue at any time is needed
    E.g. by hitting “ESC” to exit the dialogue screen, and/or moving the “end dialogue” speech option to the top or side of the list from its current usual position at the bottom. In situations where dialogue can’t be skipped for quest reasons, the “end dialogue” option may then be disabled.

    4) The player should be able to attempt to pickpocket each NPC repeatedly
    But there should be a higher chance of discovery on subsequent attempts, due to the NPC being aware he/she lost something earlier.


    1) “ALT” should consistently highlight all items/containers within the player’s sight range
    (This may be largely fixed in the latest release version.) Currently, most items as well as chests (but no other containers, like barrels/baskets/crates/vases) are highlighted; however, some useful items are never highlighted (e.g. pillows, soap, whetstones), and neither are any “junk” items ((large) bottles, broken bottles, (flower) pots, globes, lab junk, plates, tubes, vials, vial racks, although the non-highlighting of junk may be intentional). Also, probably due to errors in calculating the player’s sight range, many items placed on certain wall shelving or bookshelves, tables, sloped ground, etc. aren’t highlighted (e.g. the fishing rod in the tutorial dungeon, items on the table in front of Esmerelda’s shop, items on shelving/bookshelves inside Esmerelda’s shop/Aureus’s office/the cook’s house/at the back of Bellegar’s cave, items around the forge/anvil area above Cyseal west gate, the plants in the End of Time living quarters garden, items on the sloped paths just outside the lighthouse/just west of the cultist church, etc.). Finally, although this should be an optional toggle in the main menu to satisfy both those who enjoy and those who hate pixel-hunting, there should be an option to make item/container highlighting always automatically active.

    2) The camera “zoom out” height/range should be increased

    3) A “pause” function should be added
    The game should have the option to auto-pause when a popup appears, or when the game menu is opened.

    4) All custom map markers should be fully editable
    (This may be largely fixed in the latest release version.) Currently, you can add a marker by left-clicking on the map, and can delete a marker by right-clicking it, but there should be an easy way to select and edit the description for each existing marker as well.

    5) Pathfinding enhancements
    (This may be largely fixed in the latest release version.) Party members should always automatically avoid damage floors/environments (not only traps); where a damage area can’t be avoided (e.g. a tight corridor), the player should be required to manually control any party member who must walk through the damage area; a new formation “Follow the exact steps of the controlled character” could also help.

    6) Hotbar/skill menu enhancements
    Add a tooltip to each skill stating the skill category to which it belongs (e.g. “Fire Magic”); add new assignable keyboard shortcuts to switch between hotbars and/or increase the size of the hotbar switching icons; add the ability to assign an entire skill category to one hotbar slot, such that right-clicking the “Fire Magic” slot (for example) would open the player’s Fire Magic skillbook menu; for sample mockup, see http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=34882&Number=494624#Post494624

    7) Character creation enhancements
    Add a true “classless” option (with no pre-assigned attributes/abilities/talents/skills, and with the option to name the class); allow editing of starting equipment.

    • Rahki Vu

      Yes Mikus, I like your list. I have other ideas, but I’m glad to know too the game will still be better! Congratulations Mr. Vincke and Larian!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We’ve picked up pretty much everything that’s in the Larian forums & it’s part of our UI improvement list. I can’t promise that everything will make it, but several things on this list will be done.

    • Xalcor

      Swen – good news! I also like some of the ideas here. You guys rock!

    • HHHellin

      Very much agree they should remove random loot (Original Sin is after all supposed to be closer to an “Ultima 7″ experience than another Diablo clone). Beyond being a lame mechanic IMO, I’d think it would also make game balancing easier. Level-scaling of shop loot also has no place in an RPG, to my mind – just another expression of the obsolete “the-world-revolves-around-the-player” game model. One other thing I strongly agree with you about is the repair mechanic… God is it tedious. In fact, I’ve never seen a game in which equipment degradation had a net effect of adding fun.
      Buuuuuut – like Swen says, they’re working on improving the game (whether or not they actually use all of these ideas), and these improvements will only make their future big bad RPG(s) even better. Can’t wait for more!

    • Callock

      That “inventory junk” idea would be really good – but yeah nice job Larian.

    • Zach Broom

      This game is great! But there are a few major problems I
      have with it.

      - Movement speed is wayyyyy too slow.

      - Combat animations take wayyyy too long.

      - Balance tweaks – Hunters being able to escape combat,
      makes for cheesing fights as you can just kill one mob, leave, heal up, go
      back, rinse-repeat.

      - Leech + Bloodletting is super over-powered. You should not
      able to cast blood letting on your allies in combat.

      I understand that some people enjoy this, but a combat speed
      and movement speed options slider would offer the best of both worlds to the
      players. Let us decide the speed we want to experience Divinity at.

    • Tobias Brennvik

      so… finished compiling the Linux version soon? would be nice to have a date :)

  • 4verse

    what about larian’s next kichstarter? ;-)

    • Katrien Cornelis

      we have earned the right to pledge :)

      • 4verse

        indeed :-)

  • Jonathan Öhberg

    The whole crafting system for me was a big bummer, entire storylines can be told within something as niche/small as crafting. Exclusive content to crafters or storylines that force you to be skilled enough to progress. Big stories with big rewards. Think about the stories that led to the creation of Hand of Ragnaros, Blessed blade of the Windseeker, Benediction/Anathema or Rokh/Lokh Delar in World of Warcraft, The optional but INCREDIBLE rewarding experience of going through the storyline of opening the gates of Ahn quiraj.

    These experiences remain to me, the strongest gaming experiences I’ve ever felt, both because I could share them with friends, but also because they felt special. They wre optional and hidden in there but told great stories and rewarded me with amazing boss fights and voice acting. That is what I love about RPGs.

  • Tim www.modelcastles.biz

    Swen, remember that Larian can save even more time when making the new DOS add-ons by scooping up certain entire areas from the 1st D:OS and placing them in the new add-ons. Of course, some of the bushes ans scenery nearby would be changed a little. But yes, I hope Larian doesn’t make the mistake so many prior companies made when the released a hit game, then it take them 2 or 3 years to come out with #2 or even an add-on. Larian could probably release a D:OS add-on every month, or perhaps every 2 months, by not only using the exact same game engine, but also by scooping up entire areas such as the lava area in the winter jail, with the four statue guards. Scoop up that entire area and place it in a new D:OS add-on outdoors in a forest, changing some of the oclors and bushes. That’s all. Use it in some new situation wirthin the add-on. Also keep the same NPCs but perhaps just change their names and armor color. That is perfectly fine to do, since gamers don’t care about little things like that. As long as they get a new storyline in each ad-on, that is where the real fun is. :) And of course it is mandatory that D:OS get a Castle home base. Skyrim came out with that add-on and it was good to do since every RPG gamer wants a castle. Charge $39.95 for the Divinity Home Base Castle which allows the user to furnish it, to hire people to tend it, and to construct additions onto the castle like in Skyrim. Also it is wise to intergrate morals into the game. Never let a character become evil or do harm to any innocent creature, or to a friendly NPC.

    Tim, Owner of Castle Works Co

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I’m afraid that’s not exactly the way we like doing things, but I understand your point about it taking too long for companies like us to release new content. I hope that once our expansion is finished and our dev process runs smoothly ( :) ), we’ll be able to release new content faster.

  • Windemere

    I forgot to mention day/night cycles in my first post. I completely understand why it was scratched from D:OS and I’m confident it was the right decision. Hopefully while designing your next adventure from the ground up you can design for it from the start and make it happen though, as I think it would be a great addition.

  • Stabbey

    I was also hoping that Dragon Commander would eventually see another patch, but I guess that’s not going to happen.

  • LC

    It would be great to have some Dragon Commander style TBS minigame in the next DOS style RPG. I mean you already have the systems and the technology, shouldn’t be that hard to implement. ;)

  • StrickNine

    I hope your two new games have co-op just like original sin. Me and my brother fucking loved playing that co-op!

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      I’m really happy to hear that. We made it for brothers/sisters, close friends and couples. A lot more is going to be coming in that department.

  • Raptor Jesus

    I’m confused, are you talking about a big patch to improve your original game? Or are you talking about how your future games will be better?

    • Raze


  • Mephistoau

    Am really looking forward to your next projects, absolutely loved D:OS. Even if it lost me at that damned poison mist log crap.

  • Washington Irving

    Looking forward to replaying D:OS coop on the big screen (hardcore mode of course :) ). I hope it’ll be possible to combine gamepad with mouse. These days with optical mice you can just roll them on your thigh so it’s pretty convenient. Well, at least when you’re wearing pants.

  • 4verse

    have you, swen, or has larian ever considered doing a kind of procedual generated sandbox crpg? kind of like terraria or minecraft but of course like D:OS regarding graphics, game mechanics/rules etc. so, everytime a new game is started, the world is generated freshly, some quests taken from a pool of quests are installed (or put together like modules) and so on and so forth? that might not sound as epic as D:OS was from a story telling point of view (maybe even that with good modules ;-) , but epic as every new game could be very different from every playthrough before. also, if a more personal story (regarding the character played) is told and not a world changing historical epos like D:OS, this issue could be circumvented.
    ALSO: ever considered telling an evil story of the a bad guy? like you play a young character on his way to lichdom, warlord-ship and so on and so forth. or at least the freedom to choose if the character becomes a hero at the end or the lich that haunts the lands :-)

    • Tuco Benedicto

      Sorry to not be very supportive of a fan suggestion, but to be honest I’m very, VERY opposite to this idea, because “procedurally generated” games almost inevitably translates to “poorly designed, bland and/or repetitive”.
      The general argument in their favor, like with random loot, tends to be “any game will feel different”, when what actually happens most of the times is a case of “every moment of it will feel the same”.

      The only context where I see procedural generation a good fit in game design is when it’s applied to systemic simulations (i.e. a game where you need to survive in a forest, hunting down animals for food and gathering materials of any kind to build a shelter).

      • 4verse

        @”systemic simulations” : add a little “Larian spice” to it and I could actually live very well with that in the Divinity universe. Put VERY simplified: a mix of Terraira/Minecraft and D:OS (as I have said previsously)

  • Baudolino05

    Again: D:OS is hands down the best party-based RPG I’ve played in years. I’m not criticizing it because I don’t like it. Quite the opposite…

    Having said that, and aside from the encounter design that got flat in the second half of the game, these are the main issues I had during my playthrough (hard mode):

    - Shield specialist is blatantly overpowered. A percent chance to block that is completely unrelated to enemy’s attack rating? Seriously, guys? 30% + shield bonus to negate ANY physical attack at level 6?

    Possible solution: I think you already know what to do. Shields and shield specialist should simply increase character’s defense by a certain amount.

    - Summons as meat shields. Considering that you can have up to 4 summoners in your party, you can also have up to 4 summons available at any given time. Even if they are no real threat for the enemy, they still are extremely useful (too useful) meat shields.

    Possible solution: If you’re not planning to equip every single mob of the hardcore mode with “destroy summon” , I suggest to make summons a bit stronger/lasting, while at the same time limiting their number on the battlefield to 1 (maybe 2, with a costly high level talent).

    - No brainer high-level AoE spells. Simply put: in Original Sin you wanna cast your high-level AoE spells (Meteor Shower, Earthquake etc…) as soon as possible. They are powerful and they have no downsides, and it basically sucks (not only in Original Sin but also in many other RPGs).

    Possible solution: I always loved the idea of requirements for casting high level spells, and when I say requirements I mean other (lesser) spells that you need to cast or conditions that you need to recreate on the battlefield, BEFORE you can unleash your true power.

    Side note: It’s not a real issue, but I think that all elemental weapons should have a short range attack (really short, something like the “touch” spells) that inflicts almost no damage but can interact with surfaces. This way melee characters would be more engaged into the elemental game. And yes, I know they can use their weapons directly on surfaces. But doing that means more often than not taking damage during the operation.

  • Washington Irving

    By the way, are you satisfied with the Rock Paper Scissors game as dialogue conflict resolution, or are you going to improve it?

    • http://www.lar.net/ Swen Vincke

      We want to improve it – it provides for fun moments but it has quite a few issues too.

      • Washington Irving

        Are we talking radical groundbreaking overhaul or just working out the kinks?

  • Joel

    I’d really just like to say: please don’t feel too rushed to get a game out. I know I really want to see what great thing comes out of your studio next, no matter how long it takes. If something happens and the game needs to be delayed in order to get us the best possible product, please delay it. I really loved D:OS, it changed the way I look at and feel about games in general; if I can have something of that quality again, I don’t mind waiting a few extra months!

  • 2d0x

    Поздравляю с успехом и желаю всего наилучшего вам в будущем! Вы молодцы!

  • Jon

    Great news on the new Quebec studio. This made the local industry wonder who is involved in recent days.

  • http://andrew.ducker.org.uk Andrew Ducker

    Not a complaint about D:OS – but a request for the next ones. Please keep making co-op games. I played through D:OS with my wife, and it was fantastic being able to play through the game together.

    If you keep maing co-op games then we’ll keep buying two copies and playing through them together!

  • kpi

    Things I didn’t like about D:OS:

    - Cartoony art style: It is just not as immersive as a realistic approach. I also think in RPGs, the modding community prefers realistic characters/environment art, but that’s just a guess (dos on nexus is abandoned). As for myself, I made some mods for skyrim, but I never really could get into making one for DOS, it just feels too “casual”.

    - Sneaking: Just feels silly and out of place, I would have preferred .. anything but this.

    - Henchmen: Turn them into real companions. They are treated like second class citizens by the NPC’s, doesn’t feel right. I personally don’t have a problem with them not having dialogue or story.

    - Less crates: So many crates and chests … with a single item in it, mostly nothing. I would have preferred less chests/crates but more loot in them. This way, it feels more like treasure.

    - Inventory, crafting: It is a painful to craft something and keep oversight. Once you find an item combination, a note should appear in your journal. From now on you could just click that note to reproduce it (If you have the right ingredients in your inventory).

    • Donkeyfumbler

      I agree with everything apart from the art style. I like it and think that the graphics generally are great and will stand the test of time really well.

  • melianos

    There is a thing I’d like to see implemented in future games.
    I saw it only in Diablo (the first one).
    Basically, with the CD you could choose between two installs, normal installation or “shared” install.
    The shared install allowed you to play without CD, providing you joined a game created by the person who had made the normal installation with the same CD.

    Was a pretty cool idea to lan, and have friends try the game.

  • concerned fan

    please give back the 100+% elemental resist = heals, please. pretty please with a giant cherry on top.

    • Katrien Cornelis

      just use spells and potions, it tops you easily over

  • Areku

    Very glad to hear about the continued success of the game and the company as a whole! One question/suggestion would be about additional character customization, especially additional races/character types. I know the work involved in doing so is quite large, especially if you want the world to react to all of the different choices that are possible. That being said, are additional customization options like playable races (especially something fun like the lizards in Dragon Commander) something that you all would like to do in future games/expansions?

  • Sslaxx

    Really not sorry about not buying this game. Do feel very sorry for the backers who expected Linux support out of you any time soon or in a professional manner. Sheesh.

  • Jacob Kenny

    I admire the fact that you are open-minded for criticism and would love to see the proof of it in the improvements of your next game. However, judging from the comment section of this site alone, it must be quite an exhausting task to read through all the comments to find valid critiques, not counting the fact that human beings can be quite conflicting with each other sometimes especially when it comes to opinions.

    Here quoting your exact statement :”Progress can only be made if you’re aware of your faults and intend to do something about it”, i think there is a better way to express critiques from the gamer side as well as listen to it from Larian side. My idea is, first, you still have to do research about your own drawbacks of a paricular endeavor of yours, and then, make a poll about aspects that should be improved upon in your forum people can vote which ones they want you to fix the most. Don’t forget to add more options to the poll if necessary based on rpg fans’s suggestion That way, you can have the majority’s constructive criticism without having to go through all the frustrating clashes between people’s ideas.

    Sorry about the crappy english, here is just my little suggestion, in the end i want to give my thank to the entire Larian studio for your great games with fresh ideas and wish you all nothing but luck for the forseeable future!

  • Donkeyfumbler

    Please – make sure you keep the turn based combat system mostly as it is and just add refinements (better use of height, obstacles and cover for example). Don’t go down the realtime with pause route (like DA:O) – leave that to other games.

  • Tye

    After spending 10 minutes playing solo when D: OS came out, I immediately stopped, called/emailed all my RPG buddies and told them to drop whatever game they’re playing and pick this up. Then I jumped on with my best friend and we played through the game…twice!

    I cannot express how excited I am about the new games you guys are working on that will remain using the same engine/style. The gaming world has long been bereft of really good single/co-op traditional turn-based RPG games. Just keep up the awesome work you guys are doing and know that I and all of my friends will be your biggest supporters.

  • Aekero

    I’m not even sure how many hours in I am, and I don’t think I care, all I know is it’s been a blast playing with my friend so far, definitely appreciate the multiplayer, please keep that! All my “issues” feel nitpicky, keep in mind my opinion of the game is overwhelmingly positive. In no particular order….
    Targeting for some reason is pretty finicky.
    I was bummed that mercenaries are treated pretty second rate, they don’t level with you, they can’t respec etc, either make them equal or just increase party size from character creation so all 4 characters feel important. (I know companions auto level with you, but it’s a pretty limited pool)
    The disparity early on between wizards and melee is ridiculous, I wish I could pull statistics on how often I miss with high % chance to hit, if/when we’d fight anything 1-2 levels higher, my physical damage characters were reduced to worthless, yet my mage had no problem dealing massive amounts of damage. intellect reducing all cooldowns for mages, yet melee have no easy way to reduce theirs, At lvl 14, mage has around 30 skills that are on 1-2 round cooldowns, warrior can cast spells that are all on 6-8 round cooldowns. I’m honestly seeing that gap narrow lately, but the extremely high cooldowns without investing into hybrid makes combat pretty boring for physical dps.
    I would remove the ability to respec and trade in talents for ability points etc It’s fun to have imperfect characters, but when given the option…It completely undermines things like the talents that give 1/2 ability points.
    I didn’t like that weapon skills are negated by the tenebrium skill.
    Nice to have:
    Other playable races
    Less dependency on “master” machine for multiplayer
    I don’t know what a good implementation of this would be, but maybe the ability to queue up actions during combat, combat can take so long sometimes, on pretty menial fights.

  • Erin

    In the past year I’ve been so disinterested in playing cRPGs that I never thought I’d play them again. New Skyrim and Dragon Age just made me shrug. I’d been following the Kickstarter from afar and I had to see what the fuss was about here, so I bought the game. At first I was frustrated that I was forcing myself to play something I didn’t really want to just to be on the bandwagon. Mere hours later, I was/am completely hooked. A new faithful Larian follower, I’m ecstatic to see there are new things planned. And yes, while I’m sure things could be improved, I’m just happy to be enjoying RPGs again. Amazing work!

  • Alex

    Hi guys!

    I told myself I’d wait for the Linux version (usually a good excuse to wait for balance/UI fixes as well) but I finally took the plunge during the Steam Christmas sale and fired up my Windows partition and am enjoying the game immensely. My only complaint so far (having just gotten to Silverglen) is that there seems to be a little too much content that’s balanced right around level 6 — the black cove, the hidden beach dungeon, the talking statues, and the fire field all run together a little bit, and the result (for me) was picking up way more mail armor with one or two magical properties than I really wanted to look at or sell, and the excellent difficulty curve that had been maintained from the start of the game up through Diederik (whom I fought before doing any of that, perhaps erroneously, but it was fun!) flattened out for a little while until I got to the church. It probably wouldn’t hurt to increase the level of one of those “dungeons” (which I assume increases the quality of the drops slightly as well) to reinforce the curve (you could even make the latter half of the Black Cove much higher level so that players would have to return later in the game to complete it); I don’t think it’d detract from the excellent difficulty spike in the church :)


    • Alex

      Oh, and I just want to tell you that both the overall tone (world design / writing) and the combat of this game are so far above most of the RPGs I’ve played in the last decade (not an exaggeration) that I have been constantly surprised and delighted while playing it. Really great work.

      PS: the rock paper scissors game is annoying

      PPS: please make crafting a little more accessible (I know there’s a worldbuilding argument against this, but I really wouldn’t mind being able to see a list of all my learned recipes with a more immediate UI), I’ve been having too much fun with the other parts of the game so I haven’t had the incentive to dig in

  • Gnostic

    Harebrain new Kickstarter Shadowrun: Hong Kong has been funded in 2 hours

    It employ its kickstarter like Divinity Original Sin, self funded for 12+ hours game play and ask fans funding to bring it to the next hours.

    This will be a nice case study if Larian want to crowd-fund again.

  • Kestrel

    Please next time show you have some guts and don’t get afraid of the femi-nazi, I’m female and I love being able to have a sexy female character if I want to. Choice is better than a group forcing their opinion on the players…Thanksfully, mods saved the day for D: OS.

  • CountBuffon

    (Some of this post is pretty subjective, and I don’t necessarily think most gamers would agree with it. I’m sort of lukewarm about crafting, as I can see the appeal, but personally find it not worth the trouble too often.)


    Have you considered a tighter campaign with more resource constraints? Maybe even a rogue-like mini-campaign?

    I found that midway through the game, anyone who hoards judiciously ends up accumulating what is effectively infinite gold for all intents and purposes. It would be great if this were reined in. Genuinely valuable loot drops should be rarer, and/or resale values should be lowered. Buying a really good spellbook or piece of gear should be a tough choice at any stage of the game.

    This is a pretty common problem with everything but rogue-likes. As soon as you make a big open world, the potential to farm the universe makes it hard to have control over the economy, usually because of snowballing.

    I’m not that big of a fan of +crafting on items. Swapping gear sets to get fake skill points is a bit of a distracting metagame that’s more of a chore than anything else. Actually spending skill points to be able to craft good gear should be rewarded, rather than simply putting in two points and then waiting for three +1 items for different slots. Sure, you *can* craft high-quality gear in the main campaign, but it’s roughly equal to loot that drops or comes from the store, and it can cost you combat power. I feel like a “world of scarcity” setting could make a huge difference here – the gold value of crafting would translate into actual power in a way that’s up to scale with points spent on combat skills.

    I’m having a lot of fun, but I regret stopping to bother with crafting. I made a couple of rabbit’s feet to improve my box-opening, and I’ve been set for gear and gold ever since.

  • http://www.ProtectionGroup.org Tim


    Poor Toby Turner accepted $642,779.00 in crowdfunding money to create an RPG game that was
    supposed to be released over a year ago. People are getting angry now, and Toby doesn’t know what to do. Apparently the game design company has been delaying and delaying, never completing the game for Toby. Can Larian Studios help save Toby Turner and his fans?


    Is it possible for Larian to use the programming already created by the old game company to finish
    the game? Toby has money to pay for this, but he may be too embarrassed to formally ask Larian for help. Can Larian contact Tony to help straighten out the mess Toby is in?

    Since Toby Turner’s videos have over 1 billion views, Larian might be able to work out a deal. In
    exchange for Larian gets the game running, Toby Turner gives all of Larian Studios games free advertising in the future (fixing the game will actually save Toby’s life).

    Here is Toby’s crowdfunding video of May 21, 2013



    Here are the stats for Toby Turner’s main Youtube channel called “Tobuscus”.


    Anything you can do would be a big help. Toby’s game is over a year late, and it may be that the game design company has been stringing Toby along. The game design company may have no real experience in creating RPG games that actually work, but instead has lied to Toby and has been accepting loads of money while doing little or no work at all.


    Model Castles at http://www.modelcastles.biz

  • Ethnok

    I liked Divinity Original Sin, and played it with my brother, but … it’s way too long !
    We didn’t have the occasion to finish it.
    I doubt we are the only ones in this situation.

    The problem is that you seem to plan do similar games in the short future. If other people haven’t finished Original Sin, why should they buy the next game ? It will remind them of their shame they didn’t finish Original Sin, and will rather spend more time trying to finish it rather than buying the new, looking similar, game.

    I’m saying that to prevent you from doing the mistake of releasing a similar game with few major changes. For example in Game Dev tycoon, releasing in short time two games on same topic with same engine, will result in a fail, even if you did it the best possible. It’s a bit similar to what could happen in reality I believe.

    Why not doing a new game in an entirely new universe to see how your current game mechanics can be fun in other universes, or try totally different gameplay ?

    Also please make it easier to finish the game faster.
    For example Portal 2 can be played in Coop (and is very fun in Coop), once Coop scenario is done, if you want more, you can try the bonus map. But the main scenario is just the right length.

    • Gnostic

      Surely thare are many people out there who like their games long, they will feel they get their money worth from it.

      If you paid $60 for a game that you can only enjoy for 1 hour versus $60 for a game you can enjoy for 100 or more hours, which games you will think worth your money, and how likely are you going to buy the subsequent game if it is not worth your money?

      For myself I play oblivion 4, but I am not able to finish it, but because I enjoy it so I bought oblivion 3 and oblivion 5 and never play them even now, but because I am convinced of my money worth with oblivion 4 I bought them anyway.

      I played the first king bounty the legend, but unable to finish it, but I bought all subsequent king bounty games, Armored Princess, crossworld, Warriors of the North, Dark Side even though I barely started in Armored Pricess.

      Here’s the kicker, Larian Games, I only tried Divine Divinity, and EVEN THOUGHT I OWN THE REST OF LARIAN GAMES I NEVER PLAYED THEM.

      Even though I own Beyond Divinity, Ego Draconis, Dragon Kinght Saga, Dragon Commander, Original Sin across GOG, Humble Bundle, Steam, and multiple copies of them too, GOG have my complete library of larian games so I must have 2 copies of each game.

      Yes I may be crazy, buying the rest of Larian games even when I had not even tried Divinity 2, and multiple copies of them too. Maybe I am not the only one, as Swen said here


      The reasoning there is quite simple – we noticed that good sales on The Dragon Knight Saga are correlated to good sales of the other Divinities, with people in general enjoying the games.

      Think is, if people feel that the game exceed their worth for money paid, they will buy more games from the developers, and what better way to measure its worth in length of enjoyment? Yes yes there are many factor that contributes to a game enjoyment, but you cannot put a measurement to it, but game length does.

      That reminds me I have to clear Divine Divinity from my backlog of shame……

  • Heron Dias

    Congrats on D:OS. Now making a Cyberpunk setting pleased would be awesome!

  • Cpt.Badger

    You don’t deserve Game Of The Year award. Not with the technical issues this game is having. A single threaded application launched in 2014 should never be considered a candidate for a Game Of The Year as it is insulting for gamers with modern high-end rigs.

    That being said, I will never ever back up another kickstarter project. I’m sick of the “constant work in progress mentality”. When I buy the game I expect to be able to play it WHEN I BUY IT. Not a YEAR after launch.

  • Maurice Adelmon

    Well I installed the game, was amazed at the quality, played 5 minutes, found out it was TURN BY TURN COMBAT and quit the game never to play it again. Disgusted.

    Seriously what moron goes for TbT instead of tactical pause ? Horrible…

    • Stabbey

      I dunno, what kind of moron buys a game of a type they hate without doing any research whatsoever – like say, watching a single youtube video – throws a temper tantrum, quits forever without even giving it a chance, and then whines about it.

  • Anton

    Please do not announce any new games!! I would recommend you disband Larian Studios and not write any more games!

    Only Kidding! Seriously, D:OS has been my first foray into isometric turn based RPGs since the Ultima series and I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I am having playing D:OS. So far i’ve put in over 40 hours and only just defeated Pontius Pirate in the Cove quest. There is so much depth to the game that it’s amazing. It makes you want to explore every nook and cranny. The humour is done so well, using the teleportation stone for the first time and ending up watching Cecilia take a bath was hilarious!

    The combat is wonderful. I love the randomness of the combat. It’s so cool getting slaughtered 2 or 3 times in a row in the same enemy encounter only to finally overcome the encounter with a slightly different strategy or a bit of luck and exact revenge. Pontius RIP.

    I cannot wait for your next games. I am glad to hear you will be basing the new games on the D:OS engine which means you won’t be deviating too much from the formula you have created with D:OS! I am very much looking forward to E3 to see what your next offerings are.

    My advice would be to concentrate on the UI a bit more. It can be tiresome constantly juggling around the loot between the party members, trying to optimize the inventory for each party member.

    Maybe some sort of auto intelligence could go a long way. A nice feature say in the inventory screen, would be to have a button which I could press and which would recommend armour/weapons/etc. that I may be interested in.
    The game would select based on the skills of that character. For example, if the character has the expert marksman skill, then the game could show me a screen with items an expert marksman may be interested in. I.e., bows, skill books, dexterity based armour, etc., where all the recommended items are pooled from all the members of my party, even items stashed away in the Homestead. This way I would not have to keep juggling around the items in the inventory. At the moment when I find a bow, I have to remember to move it to the character with the expert
    marksman skill. The recommendations system could for example recommend a ring that adds +1 dexterity to an expert marksman, etc. etc.

    Would also be nice to have a screen that could show me all items say that are degraded or require identification across all members of the party so that I can attempt to identify them one at a time or repair them just by
    clicking on the item and selecting repair, if one of the members has the blacksmithing skill. The the moment it’s a choir having to give the item to the character with the black smith skill, repair it and then move it back again. Sometimes it’s just easier paying an NPC to repair the items, to save me from the pain!

    Would be nice if I could pool unwanted items into a junk group, so that i can sell them to an NPC. Would be nice to know which books have been read as well so that it makes it easier to sell them.

    GTA has come out today, but I won’t be going anywhere near it until I have completed D:OS!!

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