Divinity: Original Sin 2 is already being hailed as the best CRPG ever, with it proving to be one of the year's most surprising launches so far, knocking PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds off the top of the Steam charts and pulling in over 75,000 concurrent players.
However, while it has proven to be very popular among PC gamers, it's a daunting game with plenty to learn for those first stepping foot in it, regardless of whether or not they played the first game. As such, we've compiled a rundown of 5 tips we wish we knew before starting the huge role-playing game. Read them below:
Divinity: Original Sin 2 tips: Custom character vs origin character
Though you can build your character from scratch, allowing you to name them and develop them from the ground up, for those who really want to sink their teeth into the meat of Divinity: Original Sin 2's story you're going to want to opt for an origin character.
Origin characters can still be customized to the same degree as a custom character, but by not picking them you'll miss out on getting to play out their own intricate stories, personal quests and choose their unique dialogue options, making them a much more appealing option for first-time players. The only real benefit to playing as a custom character is being able to change their name, which is a lot less interesting than some of the experiences you'll have as an origin character. While many of the origin characters can still join your party as you progress through the game, it's worth playing as one yourself during your first playthrough and experiencing the Divinity: Original Sin 2 story as Larian intended.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 tips: Protect the Fort Joy black cat
The black cat hanging around on the beach outside Fort Joy will follow you if you interact with it, and while it may seem like a neat little inclusion on behalf of Larian in order to make Divinity: Original Sin 2's world more immersive and interactive, the cat will actually join your party if you help it make its way out of the camp unscathed. However, the cat will be murdered by one of the archers loitering outside Fort Joy Prison to the east of the camp, so if you want it to join your party, you must ensure that it stays away from harm.
After leaving the camp with its life in tact, the cat will join your party as a pet, with you then able to switch places with it while fighting. As with all party members, the cat can also be killed while in battle, so be sure to keep it out of trouble if you want it to remain by your side for the long haul.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 tips: Quick save
Pressing F5 will allow you to quick save the game at any point, and this can prove to be vital if you mess up a particular quest and would like to do it over. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a huge game, and not being adequately prepared to face its later challenges can leave your party in a bind, so you'll want to be doing as much exploring as possible. With that being said, exploration can be perilous and often fatal, and if you venture into uncharted territory it's always worth quick saving before doing so.
Another tip: quick save before diving into a battle. Take note of an enemy's line of sight (the red marking on the ground) to know where to stand and, before you confront them, hit that F5 in order to be sure that if you fail spectacularly, you can revert to a previous save.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 tips: Hold Alt and click everything
Holding left Alt when you enter a room will cause the names of the items scattered around it to appear, meaning that you won't have to spend your time picking up random bits of tat in favor of only focusing upon what will aid you on your adventure. However, there are still plenty of items hidden in crates, cupboards and other such areas that won't show up when you hold Alt, so you should always be clicking on any curious objects during your journey. Being inquisitive will often lead to a new quest, while doing the same with NPCs can set you off on a new adventure, or lead you to a batch of useful items.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 tips: Take note of physical and magical armor
In the first Divinity: Original Sin, it was possible to tear through enemies with the same attacks. In Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian has made efforts to stop this from happening, with both you and your opponents now carrying physical or magical armor that will only stop attacks from their own respective class.
Scouting out enemies is hugely important in Divinity: Original Sin 2, largely because it will allow you to see their armor class ahead of time. When taking note of your enemies' armor class, you must then plan accordingly, with your team needing to break down physical armor using magic attacks and magical armor using physical attacks. Certain attacks can break through the armor of their respective class — for instance, a piercing attack can break through physical armor as it nullifies its effects — but in general it is best to fight physical with magic and vice versa.
Bonus Tip: Prepare to be overwhelmed
When playing in classic mode, Divinity: Original Sin 2 very quickly escalates to the point where it seems nigh-on impossible to defeat the enemies you face off against. Enemies have way higher health pools than you, they deal more damage and, crucially, their numbers will often overwhelm you.
With many RPGs, the predominant tactic is to keep hitting enemies with your strongest attacks, heal, then rinse and repeat. In Divinity: Original Sin 2 this is absolutely not the case, with the game forcing you to think more methodically, make better use of your environment and take note of all the various tools at your disposal. Are your enemies fighting while their feet are dipped in a pool of water? Send an electric attack their way to sizzle them. D'you have an ability that can create rain? Use it and then another ability that casts chill, freezing your enemies on the spot.
Most battles in Divinity: Original Sin 2 are best approached with caution, as the game will force you to be outnumbered many times and such scenarios leading to frustration if not handled adequately. Just remember: the game wants you to think you have no chance of succeeding, only to then give you a massive sense of accomplishment when you've overcome a particularly gruelling battle. If you figure this out sooner rather than later, you'll have a lot more fun.