Divinity: Original Sin 2: earn this

Armor is the tax that must be paid -- by you and whomever you're fighting -- before things get interesting.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2018/09/05/divinity-original-sin-2-earn-this/

Oh, snap! Tom likes the armor system!

Reminds me a bit of Mass Effect 2 (and to a lesser extent 3)'s armor system, which I roundly hated, in that you couldn’t really use any of the cool mass effect field powers on anyone until they were down to bare HP, at which point they were no longer really meaningful because the enemy was already on the verge of death. Except that Original Sin 2’s system seems much less frontloaded on armor, you are at least still doing damage with your powers, and it’s a tactics game.

Just wait until you learn the “turn the enemy into a chicken” spell!

It’s funny, because it’s the armor system, and the fact that it utterly neuters all the fun elemental interactions and effects, that put me off the game. I miss the combat from 1, where these things mattered. Here it seems like it would be (and by some reports is) better to just go all physical all the time.

I’m having exactly the same problem. I ran the original game as dual lone-wolf mages but that configuration feels really weak in this second game. Chipping away at armor is kind of boring and/or frustrating. Disappointing so far…

Oh, man, people don’t like the armor system? I guess that make sense, but it never occurred to me that would be a point of contention. Maybe I’m just not far enough into the game for it to bother me, but I’m loving the way it forces me to set up my attacks for longer term payoff. And also the way it gives me a buffer to deal with special abilities.

I mean, really, I approve of anything that keeps a character from just being a bag of hit points. If I want to punch bags of hit points, there’s always some mindless action RPG I can go play.


Try dual lone wolf characters that do physical damage. You will feel like a living god. Get your necromancy to 10, then heal off all the damage you do.

It sounds like they did some tweaking of how armor works in the definitive edition - fewer creatures with roughly equal pools of physical and magic, some ability to set statuses through armor, etc.

Don’t worry they get super spongey later in the game, unless you went all one type of damage then it’s only medium spongey.

I love these kinds of write-ups drilling down into specific qualities of a game. Looking forward to more! I haven’t played a D:OS yet so this should be interesting. The inventory management always looked a bit concerning…

This armour system reminds me of Guns of Icarus Online’s where you had to destroy armour before you could damage the hull, at which point the damage was permanent (affectionately known as ‘permahull’). Different damage types worked for different things; ‘shatter’ broke turrets and engines, ‘explosive’ damaged the permahull, ‘piercing’ chipped away at armour, ‘fire’ did low but stackable damage over time, ‘flechette’ tore through the balloon. You had to get your crew, guns, reloads, ammo types, firing and turning arcs, and targeting all in sync to maximise damage output. It was tremendous.

Most enemies in my experience are heavier in physical or magic. Heavy armored foes with 70 physical and 10 magic armor are fun for mages to play with, while you let the heavy weapons guy in your party phoenix dive into a group of spell casters with almost no physical armor and knock them all down. This system is way better than the first game.

If I go back to DOS2 this is probably what I’ll do, but I kind of resent feeling like I have to. There’s all this great elemental magic and no reason to use any of it, and all these great elemental effects that don’t do anything meaningful because by the time they can affect an enemy that enemy is already basically dead. Such a waste.

I’d be very interested to find out more about this. In its original implementation it’s just a massive grind, and outright discourages diversity in character builds and creativity in magic/environment usage. I’m not going to say the idea can’t be implemented well, I just know that in practice it sucked all the joy out of combat for my co-op partner and I.

The enemies have always had a pretty even distribution between physical and magical armour. You obviously target the ones with high physical armour with magical/elemental damage and vice versa. Normally once you deplete one of these you can start stunlocking enemies using various different skills, items and spells.

Have to admit, the way Tom wrote that piece and described the armour system is the first time I was actually excited to play D:OS2. It’s been on my wishlist since before release, waiting for a big sale while I whittle away at my backlog but the main thread on the game has so much weird negativity I wondered why the game was so critically acclaimed. Now, I’m far more interested in trying out that combat system than I’ve been for most other RPGs I’ve played recently.

It’s an amazing game, don’t listen to all those jerks ;)

This is exactly what I hated in ME2. (And again, 3 to a lesser extent.) Except of course, sub “biotics” for “elemental magic”.

Yeah, that bugged me too.