Divinity Divine

I haven’t seen much on this board about this, but I gave this game a whirl after hearing mixed reviews. I think Divine Divinity is incredible. It mixes Diablo’s action and weapon/armor variation with old-school CRPG questing and atmosphere. It’s like Diablo 2 with a story – maybe it’s better compared to Ultima VII.

It has a few drawbacks and bugs, like any game – but I’m having more fun with this RPG than I’ve had in a long time. I don’t see many people going nuts over this game, however. Am I revealing my age by enjoying a slower-paced fantast RPG like this? What’s the general opinion of DD here?

BTW, orginally someone talked me into buying The Thing rather than DD. After a few hours of play, I decided The Thing is little more than a gimicky steaming pile of console-type goo. It bored me to death.

I’m with you on The Thing, Jack. I don’t get why that one went over so well. Trust? Fear? Bleh. Scripted character interaction, superficial combat, survival horror. If you gave up after a few hours, you came out ahead, because it just got worse with crap about evil scientists, boss battles, and government troops.

Oh, uh, spoiler and /spoiler, I guess…

 -Tom

The Thing has screwed me the same way I got sucked in by the hype of B&W. Will I ever learn? Ugh.

Probably not. You’re a demographic, remember? :D :D :D

DD is fun. Better than Diablo 2? I dunno if a higher quotient of cheesy fantasy writing (misspellings and all) makes it better - so far, Diablo 2 seems a lot more polished, with more interesting skills and enemies. DD’s dungeon designs tromp all over those in D2, though, simply because they aren’t random and have plenty of cool little puzzles.

there was a thread about it before

http://www.quartertothree.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=839

our own mtkafka picked it as his game of the year

Diablo 2 is a great romp if I want to collect rare and set items; I’ve played that game to death simply for the sake of finding stuff – but what else does D2 offer? The skill system is cool, but I like DD’s better; it’s more diverse (I haven’t tried them all) and a player isn’t locked into a particular RPG archtype, like in D2.

Yeah, there are grammar mistakes and misspellings in DD, but no more than in the Fallout games. DD’s a European release, so I cut it some slack. And the story is a bit cliched, but that doesn’t make it less fun (ack, The Word!). I can forgive the cliched elements in the way I can forgive D2 for having the old “demons taking over the world” plot.

Derek, are you implying I’m a drone – a hopeless slave to advertising’s subliminal puppetry? :lol: Jeez, no wonder I’m still not as cool as those dudes on the Mountain Dew commercials. They lied to me!

More diverse? Sorry, no. Diablo 2 has 7 classes, with 3 major trees apiece. DD lets you pick from any of it’s 3 groupings of 4 at random, but a good 70% of them have direct analogues to those in D2, such as the weaopn masteries, the fire trail, and the summonings. D2’s skills are more combat-focused all around, since there isn’t any real NPC interaction component, and I don’t find DD’s skill system to be all that novel. I’ve never really liked classless RPG systems all that much, though, since I invariably wind up mix-maxing and/or making a cleric (I can’t pass up convenient healing). More class-centric systems force me to work with the tools I have instead of picking all the best.

Hoewever, DD’s Ultima 7-esque features, such as the complicated dungeon puzzles, as well as a linked RPG overworld with NPCs makes up for it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking DD’s overall experience (it’s definitely more of a strict old-school RPG than D2 could ever hope to be); I’m simply stating that for pure hack-and-slash, it pales next to the game it so shamelessly emulates.

I know what you’re saying about it not being hack-and-slash, like D2 and I agree. But I don’t know whether I’d come down on DD for taking elements of D2 into its own design. I enjoy the blending of old-school RPG with D2’s style. I’ve read reviews that criticize DD for emulating D2, but what’s wrong with emulating a design that works?

Isn’t the chicken/egg argument a common one on this board? I remember enjoying Duke Nukem 3D much more than Doom 2 – even though the former copied many design aspects of the latter. Similar design doesn’t automatically invalidate a later game.

I enjoy “classless” RPG design, but I certainly respect your problem with them. I had to force myself out of that habit of playing the same character over and over, too. :D

Oh, I think that the sum of DD extends well beyond its Diablo-esque elements - I’m just saying that the Diablo bits simply aren’t up to Diablo 2’s level of depth. In a very practical sense, I actually quite appreciate that they ripped Diablo off - it’s a great mechanic, and it complements the overall RPG experience very well.

I’m arguing in a vacuum - that DD’s Diablo-styled components (if considered unto themselves) aren’t up to D2 standards in terms of depth and features. Obviously, DD does the core mechanics spot on - the control, the random drops, the simple-but-complex stat system are all top notch. Hell, they even ripped off the color-coded item windows (which is also fine by me; I’d love to see more devs take what really, truly works and run with it). I just wish that there were as many interesting and esoteric skills as D2 has, and that everything was a little more class driven.

From my Gamespot review:

In theory, this fear/trust/infection system sounds like a great way to capture the film’s atmosphere of unremitting paranoia. In practice, however, it has little impact on the game. The actions that earn your teammates’ trust and lower their fear are all things you’d be doing anyway

From your review on Gamespy:

In theory, this is a great idea. In theory. In practice…this feels like a gimmick… As long as you arm them and don’t shoot them in the head during combat, your squadmates will follow you and fight with you.

Jesus, Tom, I can almost understand why that French kid or that other sad, crazy guy did it, but not you, Tom. Oh, Tom. Et tu, brute, Tom? That means “you too <something> Tom?” in Roman. And don’t think you’re going to get off like when that black kid got Sean Connery to come to his school to clear his name at the end of Finding Forrester, because in this case you’d have to produce me, and I’m right here already and it’s not helping, Tom. If nothing else, I hope I spoiled the crap out of Finding Forrester for you.

In theory, the use of the ‘in theory/in practice’ language is a unique example of Erik’s writing style. In practice, there’s no way to prove that Tom is doing anything other than using it as a standard grammatical construct to illustrate the difference between what was advertised and what was implemented.

Actually, I was kinda of wondering if Searching for Bobby Fischer would end with Finding Forester. Talk about not living up to expectations… :P

Oh, and back on topic, I think Divine Divinity is a bit overrated. I mean, it’s fun and all, but really it’s just a Diablo clone with an RPG wrapper. :roll:

  • Alan

Wrapper? To me it feels like an old-school RPG with a Diablo style combat and collecting conventions.

Just to muddle the waters of plagiaristic intent even further, I had copied Erik’s Gamespot review into Babel Fish, run it through Italian, then German, then French, then translated it back into English before submitting it to Gamespy. The resulting passage, as submitted by me, went a little something like this:

In theory, this is a great idea. In practice, because the game is so combat- and puzzle-oriented with only canned personal interaction at certain moments, this feels like a gimmick no more complicated than the key hunts you’ll have to perform. As long as you arm them and don’t shoot them in the head during combat, your squadmates will follow you and fight with you.

The Gamespy editors then highlighted how I’d borrowed Erik’s theory/practice idiom by changing it to this:

In theory, this is a great idea. In theory. In practice…this feels like a gimmick… As long as you arm them and don’t shoot them in the head during combat, your squadmates will follow you and fight with you.

I think they were on to me all along. I’d like to close with a saying I coined myself, only to have it stolen by Finding Forrester: “You the dog, man.”

 -Tom Ambrose

You’re The Man Now, Dog.

Oops. At least I was close. But that explains why all those kids were laughing at me when I was telling them they “were the dog”.

 -Tom

Obey your thirst. Or something.

I’d like to close with a saying I coined myself, only to have it stolen by Finding Forrester: “You the dog, man.”

Now this is absolutely priceless. :)

And I’d just like to say: No, Tom…You’re the dog.