The Kickstarter for Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin 2 is live. As of this writing, it's nearly to the funding goal, once again proving that fans will reward studios who deliver on their Kickstarter promises. While Larian previously said that Divinity: Original Sin 2 would build on what they already delivered with Original Sin and the upcoming Enhanced Edition, the funding drive provides all-new information on the direction of the sequel.
Right off the bat, Larian wants to make your origin story a strong part of the Original Sin 2. You'll pick your race (from dwarves, humans, lizards and wood elves), stats, and origin story in the beginning of the game, and you have the ability to recruit up to three companion characters, each with their own origin story. This is important because Larian is playing up the idea of competitive questing for Original Sin 2.
Competitive questing means your party of four will sometimes split up to complete their own objectives. Everyone has different personal motivations, from the heir to a family fortune, a crass smuggler, to an erudite sorceror. Whether you choose to fulfill these quests is up to you, but if you decide not to, the other players (or potentially the AI-driven companion) may bid you adieu. In essence, Original Sin 2 is trying to bring that real D&D campaign feeling back to PC games.
In order to make these quests are as deep as a DM-driven pen-and-paper campaign, Larian has gone back and enhanced some of its other systems. The new dialog system has far more options, with dialog changing depending on who's talking to who. Stealing has been expanded, allowing you to drop stolen items in other character's inventories. NPC AI is improved, meaning guards have more states than just "calm" and "wants you dead." There's new elemental interactions in the game, building on some of the great combos you could use in Original Sin, and the new Skill Crafting mechanic lets you combine skills and spells to create new ones.
"With skill crafting, you can mix a "silence" spell with a "summon spider" spell to make a "summon stealth spider" spell," the Kickstarter page explains. "A "rain" spell combined with a "grease" spell yields a "grease rain" spell. (By the way, wet grease explodes if it comes in contact with fire. Just another elemental bang to ruin your enemy's day.) And you can mix bleeding spells like "lacerate" with a "rain" spell to summon a tempest of blood."
Yeah, that sounds pretty awesome.
According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, combat has been switched up a bit. Combat is still turn-based, but now characters have fewer action points each turn. Character speed also determines your movement range per action point. With fewer points, each action is more important, moving Original Sin towards more tactical combat. Original Sin 2 adds more push/pull mechanics and a brand-new cover system for ranged and magic-using characters. There are also new Source Skills, which use limited Source Points to pull off powerful abilities.
Original Sin 2 is bigger and better. This is the Baldur's Gate 2 or Fallout: New Vegas for the series. This is Larian going back to the foundation it laid with the first Original Sin, filling it out with bigger, more extravagant rooms. Even better, Larian is looking to see where it can add depth to the entire game. Original Sin was one of the best RPG experiences of 2014 and the sequel looks like it'll continue the tradition.