I met Swen Vincke at PAX West over the weekend. What a swell guy. Gracious, polite, and really very (understandably) buzzed about his company and the game’s console launch.
He seems like good people for sure. I’m really excited for what their next project might be.
That’s awesome. He comes across as such a likable guy in his videos.
I started over the weekend and pretty much this. In the first game you win or lose a fight in the first round, it’s all about who gets off their stuns and DoTs first. This game emphasizes positioning much more, and you can’t completely lock down the enemies with chain freezes and stuns with Jahan like I did in DoS1.
CC may have been too strong in the first game, but I feel armor makes CC too weak. In particular the surfaces which were a defining aspect of the first game are practically negated by magic armor.
The armor system could work somewhat better if hitpoints were distributed similarly to: 50% Health + 40% major armor type + 10% minor armor type. That would provide incentive to have a mixed damage-type team and target the weaker type in order to CC an enemy. Some enemies are in fact designed this way, but often the distribution is more like 40-35-25. In that case, an all-physical or all-magical team generally works better. CC is also less useful since finishing off an enemy after stripping their armor is typically more effective.
That said, I’m replaying the game on Tactical difficulty with a mixed damage-type team and it is tough but very doable. Pre-encounter party positioning is the biggest difference between success and a wipe.
Teleport is the MVP skill this game. It’s saved my ass so many times, either getting a problem enemy into a better location or moving a PC to high ground or out of a swarm of bad guys.
I ended up getting teleport for all my party, because prior to that I’d TP an enemy to me, and on their turn they’d immediately TP away, so I had to chase them. When everyone had it, I’d TP them right back, saying “oh no you don’t”,
Odd, I played through the campaign for the first one twice and didn’t have this as a problem.
Yeah, I never had that experience either. On the other hand, in 30 hours of DOS2, I think I’ve successfully stunned an enemy perhaps twice? And it wore off after a turn, of course. Generally, all the elemental effects seem to have been nerfed to the point of irrelevance, if I do play again I think the “just go all physical damage” route probably is the best for the new mechanics, but it’s awfully dull.
I spent most of the second half of the game charming and electrifying enemies, so seemed fine to me. Not to be “that guy” but maybe the difficulty level is relevant? On the harder setting, enemies generally just had too much HP and damage to not CC them as much as possible. There are also some effects that ignore armor, like slow and (after patches) taunt. If an enemy actually has to walk ice fields will make them slip, too, although even among the enemies it seems like everybody starts with a teleport.
I was skeptical of the armor system going in but it worked fine most of the time in my experience. But I didn’t abuse Lone Wolf like so many people that complain about physical damage either ;)
Stun/disable effects are tricky to balance in RPGs. Anything that makes you miss your turn is inherently not fun. They’ve been a major problem in every edition of D&D I’ve played, except maybe 5e when they nerfed them severely.
DOS2 has taken the same approach it seems. Granted I’m only on the Fort Joy island still, but so far any kind of CC ability requires you to DPS down their armor first, and then it only makes them miss 1 turn.
Fights for me are, so far, sneaking my archer to high ground, teleporting an enemy to my fighter with my rogue, then trying to basically keep the enemies from killing my archer by exploiting LOS, stuns, teleports and making oil/ice while he murders them all from a high platform. Seriously archery does so much damage in this game, nothing else compares. (So far)
Here’s a plea for help.
I’m a decent way into the mainland. My most recent victory is defeating Mordus, and honestly that fight was like a brick wall of difficulty. I had to cheese it to get past it, basically teleporting Mordus away from his buddies and smacking him down in 2 rounds. Even that took lucky crits from my characters to finish him off.
I’m at a point in the game where my party is level 11 and everything I fight is level 13 or higher. My party is Lohse (main), Ifan, Sebille, and Red Prince. Lohse and Ifan die if they get hit, full stop. They just get one shotted. Sebille is my main DPS but she can’t do it alone. Red Prince is specced for Sword/Shield so he survives but is immobile and can’t do damage.
What do I do? I have no money for gear, and a lot of my slots still have gear from Fort Joy. I have no resurrection scrolls left. Every fight results in 1 or 2 deaths and any cash I earn from loot pays to rez my party. Should I start over? How can I have done better? I feel like there’s a key aspect of this game I’m missing, because every fight feels like a boss fight and I’m not even on tactician, I’m playing on Classic.
I am playing this game as well and just got passed that section of the game. Being one or two levels behind was the norm for me at this point. There are a number of quests in this area that don’t require combat (ie Ferno the chicken, the talking cows). Have you done these yet to get more xp?
I am not great at these kinds of games and I found Classic difficulty kind of rough at this stage of the game,
I ran into exactly the same problem and ended up rage quitting at that point and haven’t returned. So I’m equally interested in any advice :)
So I ran into those same exact issues on my first play through when the game released. I made it a little further into Act 2 before I lost steam and put it on the shelf. I started a new game when the Definitive Edition came out and it has gone much better. I’d say the biggest difference has been in how I build my characters. I looked up a few build guides and followed ones that seemed interesting to me. I will also say that this games economy almost forces you to use Thievery to pickpocket. I would go back to your ship and respec at least one (or two) characters with a thievery level of at least 3 and a point or two in Sneak as well. There are a ton of great gear and spellbooks you can steal off of vendors and even just random NPCs all over Act 2. Whenever I initiate conversation I will always disengage my thief from the party and then pickpocket from the NPC while they are locked into the conversation mechanic. Then I just run my thief far away, finish the conversation and then when the NPC realizes they’ve been stolen from I’ll let them search my clean character and then they just leave you alone. Stealing is a must in this game to keep yourself geared and skilled. Also what was said below there are actually quite a few quests in the beginning of Act 2 that don’t rely on combat, make sure you’re completing these for XP. Also at level 11 there are also a few more places you can go for level appropriate combat I think before you hit level 13 enemies. Maybe look up the area level guide online that shows you what level you should be to go to each place on the map.
The first thing to remember is that Mordus is a bugger of a battle for any level. He is a pain in the ass.
The second thing to remember is that there is a difficulty spike at this point in the game that they have not smoothed out.
I am at the same exact point right now in the game on my current play-through but I am not running into a difficulty wall. I decided to follow some build guides and this seems to make the game much easier. For instance, the Tidalist does a great job of keeping my other characters alive (https://fextralife.com/divinity-original-sin-2-builds-tidalist) and the Eternal Warrior is amazing as long as he is not crowd controlled (https://fextralife.com/divinity-original-sin-2-builds-eternal-warrior-death-knight-perfected/). If you decide to restart then these builds may provide a great boost.
Another really useful guide (and accompanying video) is the party combination guide. https://fextralife.com/divinity-original-sin-2-party-combinations-guide-magic-physical-and-mixed/
If I were in your shoes I would find a cheat to get about 20,000 gold and use it to respec my characters by buying them the skills they need to survive. I would use the remainder to get a couple of pieces of on-level gear. Call it a gift from Tir-Cendelius. Finally I would scour every single place for quests like doing the chicken quest and so forth. If you go all the way through the graveyard the quest to save the Mom is about level 10. Many of the quests in the graveyard are around 11-12. This should give you the boost to get through this part of the game.
Also, if you need about 40k of experience for each character you can cheese the Alice Alisceon fight. She is the scarecrow on fire on the far western part of the map near Jahan. She can, and will, one shot your entire party at level 12. But you can cheese that fight to get some quick experience. Set a mage with teleport at the edge of cliff close to the fire. Position an archer on the porch of Jahan’s house. Teleport her down to the beach (this takes a bit of practice). She will run back up but if you teleport her as far as you can towards Jahan’s house she will pause because of the turn right there. Shoot her with the archer on the porch. Jahan will get involved in the fight and kill her in a turn or two. There is 40k exp and some good loot right there.
Remember that DoS is all about cheesing fights. Want to kill the troll on the bridge? Nearby there is a plant that spews poison. Teleport it on to the bridge close the the troll. Stand back and fire missiles into the poison cloud. The troll repeatedly gets hurt. Repeat until it is dead. There is another 10k experience for no risk.
In general if enemies are more than one level above you then you shouldn’t be there. It should be possible to find something at your level throughout the act.
Also, don’t forget to abuse the hell out of consumables. The crafting system is overcomplicated and a lot of the equipment you can make is worthless, but consumables are not. You can easily use the honey in various spots in the area to make charm arrows and grenades which basically mean you just need to get the magic armor off enemies and then they’re on your team until you’re ready to kill them. Except for Source Orbs nothing in the game is too rare to use at the first good opportunity.
Great advice everyone, thanks.
I looked at the build guides and my character specs are honestly already pretty close. Ifan is Ranged/Summons, Lohse is Hydro/Aero with a splash of Pyro, Red Prince is Warfare/Geo/Single handed, and Sebille is Scoundrel/Polymorph. I don’t think my build for her is a common one but I invested a lot in those skill books, and honestly Polymorph is fun and effective.
I’m playing on Xbox so I can’t cheat myself some gold. I’ll consider thievery. Every time I pick pocket as soon as I unstealth the guy confronts me and demands a search and I fail persuasion, which leads to the whole town aggroing and a reload. In DOS1 I stole paintings early on to gear out my party and that got me over the difficulty spike. Paintings in this game are kinda worthless.
I’ve cleared out the graveyard except for Ryker, he’s too hard and he gave me a quest I want to finish first. I’ve encountered Alice Aliceseon and she did indeed 1 shot me, I have no idea how that fight is supposed to go except pass persuasion I guess? The trolls are level 18, I tried fighting each of them too, with elemental effects, but I can’t DPS them down fast enough and they 1 shot everyone except Red Prince, who takes 2 shots. There’s Bloodmoon isle, which I haven’t explored yet.
I wondered into what looks like a slave camp full of level 13 magisters. I helped them kill some voidwoken, then saw them about to execute some villagers. I picked a fight with them and got half of them down before all my CC was on cooldown and they managed to kill Lohse and Ifan in the same round. Then I went to bed and questioned my approach to this game.
Haven’t played DE yet though, dunno if any rebalances of fights have changed things (I played original on tactician)
Ha, persuasion does nothing there other than flavor text (always ends up a fight). You win that fairly by good pre-positioning followed by nukes (you need to be able to burst her armor in one turn) and then perma-CC.
IIRC there was a persuade that worked there? Don’t recall. Also you usually end up killing the lot of them anyway by the end of that area, which you need to do for main quest anyway.
There’s probably more town/exploration stuff you can do for EXP as well. IIRC there’s nothing fighty in the north area except the sawmill so that can cover some stuff (there’s also a elemental puzzle with a hard fight that you can ignore).
Also, more cheese to consider is prebuffing when in conversation.
You may be doing this already but for stealing:
- Disengage your thief from the main party
- Initiate conversation with any non-thief character
- Select your thief character while still engaged in conversation (this will let you control your thief while the NPC is engaged with your party in conversation)
- Get behind NPC (while they are still engaged in conversation) and cloak and begin pickpocketing
- Once you’ve stolen everything you can get your grubby mitts on, run your thief to another area of the map, doesn’t have to be very far but maybe a screen or two away
- Switch back to your party in conversation and finish up the dialogue
- Within a few seconds of finishing the conversation the NPC will want to search whoever is closest for their stolen stuff, since you’ve moved your thief away they will grab the closest thing which is the party member they were just talking to
- Since that party member is clean the search will prove fruitless and they will give up and never ask again
- Bring your thief back and distribute your well-earned loot!