The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 122: Game Mechanics Update 2: Enemies and Dungeons

Game Mechanics Update 2: Enemies and Dungeons

Drox and Jolly_McJollyson, the title comes from the publishers. The developers actually had a different title in mind.

As you've probably gathered from Lanilor suggesting we explore Aleroth's catacombs, we're coming up on a dungeon pretty soon. So I thought I'd clarify this before we get to it.

I know from being a reader that combat in an LP can get really repetitive. So for the most part, I'll generally ignore or gloss over the fighting, unless it's a mini-boss fight and/or I have some more-interesting-then-usual visual aids. I'll still show fighting and such of course, I just will usually avoid getting into a level of detail like: "The skeleton swung his club./ I barely got my shield up in time, the blow took me to my knees..."

Of course, level grinding will be done completely off-screen (although this game doesn't have mandatory grinding).

Game Mechanics Update 2: Enemies and Dungeons

If I forget to mention anything obvious, I'll edit it back into this section.

Divine Divinity is a game that makes a bit of an effort towards realism when it comes to monsters and dungeons. Not a lot, mind you. There are magical healing potions galore, it's just you're not going to find a Wasp dropping a quarterstaff.

Nothing in Divine Divinity respawns* (except MAYBE some of the guards, and I'm not even sure about that). This includes enemies, so there is theoretically a limit to how much experience you can get the game.

When it comes to item drops, there are different categories of enemies, humanoid and animals. One nod to realism is that animals never drop items other then some who drop raw meat (which can be eaten for health a couple of times before you're full for a while).

Humanoids drop a wide variety of items (based on their level). In case you were wondering spell books never drop from enemies. Boss and mini-boss monsters (signified by excessively large HP) always drop a magical item. Humanoid enemies can drop more then one thing.

Despite my namedropping of Diablo in the OP, don't be misled: there are actually very, very, few official dungeons in the game, and pretty much all of them tend to serve an understandable purpose. There are no random enemies, the same types of enemies are always found in the same place, and they're generally always appropriate to the location they're found in. For example, you might find undead near graveyards and cursed places, but not anywhere else.

Most of the dungeon-crawling is taken up by enemies on the surface. If you walk into the woods, you're likely to find all kinds of unfriendly things, wolves, snakes, trolls, bandits... that's basically just for XP grinding and I'm going to do all of that off-screen. If I discover later that I'll need screenshots, I can always load an older save and get them.

During the game, I plan to go through about 6 dungeons of any real length. Most of those are for the main quest. The Aleroth catacombs are the deepest and the most interesting dungeon, it's got more character then you'd expect from a Diablo clone. Most of the rest can be cut down a lot without missing anything much.

Still, it was not easy to write the dungeon chapters, they're definitely the weakest part of the game. If the game was just mostly combat like Diablo, I wouldn't have done a narrative at all.

* The exception to the "no respawning" rule is an exploit using the mage skill "Resurrect", which revives enemies with reduced stats to fight for you. However, if you leave the area and go back, they'll revert to being hostile, and you can farm them for experience. I'm most likely not going to do this, it sounds like a very tedious way to waste several hours.

Basically, how it would work is that I might write down how much XP I have, resurrect and then kill everyone, write down how much I got, see that. I would calculate that it would take some absurd number of repetitions of that killing spree to level up, then say "forget it."