We're still playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 (opens in new tab), and we're still loving it—it even featured prominently in our preliminary GOTY discussions (opens in new tab). One of the things we love about it is its 'brute force' style of RPG design: fill the world with items and spells and NPCs and quests and scripts and things that you can do that theoretically all work together, and then watch the virtual dungeon master try its best to keep up. For every time that approach breaks something, it builds a bizarre personal story that makes up for it and then some.
Below are a few of our favorite anecdotes from our playthroughs of Divinity: Original Sin 2—times when we tried something, and whether it worked or didn't, we wouldn't change a thing. Minor spoilers are ahead (though nothing about the main story).
If you had something great happen in Original Sin 2 as well—which if you've played enough is bound to be the case—feel free to share your best story in the comments. If we get enough, we'll compile them into a new article next week.
Richard Cobbett: Fun with Teleportation
Easily my favourite thing about Divinity’s combat is that it’s consistent. Sure, occasionally you find enemies with elemental resistances and clever tricks, but it’s brave enough to avoid just outright letting enemies no-sell your best attacks. Enter a certain troll. Trolls are a real pain because every turn they regenerate, and my team wasn’t able to hand out quite enough pain to beat this guy and access the important, plot-critical cave behind him. Ah, but what’s that over there? A small river of lava? Fun fact—lava is the BFG of elements. And so, instead of beating him down, I just had one of my guys teleport his ass into fiery oblivion. Easy.
These semi-cheats are all the better because the game doesn’t draw them to your attention. That telekinesis spell (or glove, from the first island) never stops being useful, and nor does its partner, good old Netherswap. You can break so much with it, and the game’s happy—sometimes even calling you out on it. Along with combat, there’s a bit where… let’s just say you’re in a race. I won’t spoil the context, but it’s important. I quickly realised that my main girl Lohse wasn’t going to win… but there was nothing stopping me rushing to a good vantage point, waiting for someone else to almost reach the end, and casually swap places.
Yeah, I may be a bad loser. But I’m a Lohse-y winner.
Tyler Wilde: Soul searching
I'm facing off against three undead cranks somewhere beneath the surface of Fort Joy, disappointed I couldn't talk my way out of the fight. But there's been a nagging feeling of déjà vu leading up to the encounter: hints about a cave I already visited. This is one of those great moments in Original Sin 2 where you know more than the NPCs think you know, where their player-guiding hints are actually revealing their naivety. You think I didn't click on everything, including a secret cave on the coast, days ago? You think I ran away from a fight I was underleveled for?
The grumpy skeletons, at least before the fight, were trying to lead me toward a weapon stash I already conquered. And in that dungeon's final room, I had found a bunch of soul jars—for those who haven't played D:OS2, jars which literally contain the trapped souls of the undead. After a little back-and-forth between my companions about whether or not I should smash the jars and release their souls, I decided to stuff them into my backpack. And then I forgot about them.
Back in the present fight, I go a few clueless rounds with the skeletons before realizing my luck. These are the same damn ghouls whose names are inscribed on the jars rattling around in my inventory. What I expected to be an unremarkable battle turned out to be one of the best ways I've ever won a fight in an RPG: by chucking my opponents' own souls at them. Each time I fished a jar out of my bottomless backpack and smashed it, they wailed word of thanks as their spirit ascended and their bones clattered. Not only was it an easy win, I was doing something nice—aw.
Wes Fenlon: That time I made a poor pig explode
I really didn't mean to, honest. Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a pretty strange world: there are alligators that teleport, ancient skeletons that walk around without souls, and pigs that are eternally on fire. The pigs, it turns out, were actually people at one point, but they were turned into pigs as a curse and then double-cursed by being set on never ending fire, just to rub it in. When I learned a powerful Source spell to bless things, I was excited to try it out on those twice-damned pigs, and sure enough, I was able to put their fires out. Believe it or not, this is actually the start of a quest chain in Original Sin 2.
As you can probably guess, I didn't exactly follow that quest all the way to the end. Things were looking pretty good at first, though. Fires: doused. Pigs: talked to, with the Red Prince, my regal companion who can talk to animals. One particular pig was eager to remove the curse and become human again, so I directed her to a shrine of the goddess Amadia, where a pool of water would surely cleanse her of the remaining curse. Except… well, I'd already kind of pissed off Amadia by telling her about the demon living inside me and confessing some of the terrible things I'd done. Instead of blessing the pool, Amadia decided to turn it into blood. Blood that didn't really cure my pig friend, so much as cause her to spontaneously combust.
I still feel guilty about it, but I love how willing Original Sin 2 is to let you mess up, and how many of its quests let you succeed or mess up in totally different ways.
Bonus: here's an even better story I told on the podcast, about a demon erupting from my cursed helmet in the middle of a fight and making things difficult.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 creates some ridiculous stories. Listen to @wesleyfenlon's bizarre boss encounter from this week's podcast. pic.twitter.com/tHDMKlTWHIOctober 6, 2017
Fraser Brown: Beating up buddies
We had only just arrived in the Fort Joy camp, the first act’s hub, when my co-op partner and I started having serious differences of opinion. Some goons were trying to exploit some of the prisoners, demanding money for their protection racket, and I assumed we’d teach them a lesson. But no, not on my buddy’s watch. Before I knew it, we were in a fight with the very prisoners I wanted to help.
But here’s the thing about Divinity: Original Sin 2’s co-op—it’s not all about playing nicely with friends. Indeed, you’re ultimately their competition. So if you don’t like the cut of their jib, or maybe you want to express your extreme disappointment at their life choices, you can let them know with violence.
So as my pal laid into this innocent Elf that we’d only just met, I set him on fire and hit him with my axe. I turned on his new friends, the aforementioned goons, too. By the end, I didn’t know who was trying to kill who. It was just a giant tangled mess of summoned beasties, burning bodies, and pools of blood. Unfortunately, the Elf died. It’s OK. I got my revenge when I dragged us into a battle with teleporting crocodiles. He didn’t like that one bit.