Divinity: Original Sin 2 established itself as one of the finest examples of CRPGs in recent years. Its amazing voice acting, fantastic gameplay, and engaging story really overjoyed the fans of the genre. It's also known as a quite difficult game to get into, considering its many moving parts and sometimes complex dynamics.
This is not really a guide on making bank in the game or about min-maxing everything. If you're a veteran player of the game, you'll probably know most of these bits of advice already. However, there are many aspects of the game that may be erroneously overlooked by newer players and this article is aimed to allow pretty much anyone to start their adventure in the best of ways.
Keep your friends close and your animal friends closerPet Pal was one of the fan-favorite talents in the original Divinity: Original Sin and it’s back in the sequel. Just like the first game, the talent will allow the character who has it to communicate with animals. While sometimes this will only give you access to some extra dialogue and fun comments (which would be worthwhile anyway), it will also allow your party to access extra intel on missions, loot locations, and also have access to otherwise unobtainable quests. It’s the only talent in the game that should be always picked. Give it to the character with the highest persuasion stat for the best result.
Mix your team combat skills with moderationOne of the biggest contradictions of Divinity: Original Sin is in its armor system. Enemies will have two bars above their health bar, one for magical protection and one for physical armor. You can’t damage their health until you deplete one of the bars with the relative kind of damage. They will also be protected from harmful status effects. You can’t knockdown an enemy which has physical armor left and you can’t poison an enemy with magic resistance. This means that the players will find themselves in an awkward spot where, on one hand, the game offers a lot of interesting interactions between different skills but, on the other hand, the optimal solution is to focus the party on being either mostly physical or magical. Don’t feel discouraged to try to experiment though. After all, that’s why there are free respecs from Act 2 onwards.
Location, location, locationMobility, planning, and positioning have a huge impact in all the combat encounters. Placing your huntsmen and wizards on elevated locations will give a big boost to their damage and the reach of their attacks. Likewise, you don’t want to find yourself being looked down. Many classes have handy skills to move around fast, like cloak and dagger, teleport, or spread the wings. You want all of your characters with at least one of those so they can place themselves where they can deal the most damage to the enemy. Be aware that enemies have access to these options too, so be prepared for any situation.
Make pickpockets countThe thief path is usually one of the most satisfying in RPGs and Divinity: Original Sin 2 is no different. The thievery civil ability allows you to pickpocket NPCs, but there are limitations to that. You can only pickpocket stuff from the poor devil’s pocket up to either the scoundrel’s weight or value cap. Both these caps depend on a number of points you invested in its thievery skill. This limitation becomes more important considering that you can only pickpocket a given NPC once. Sure, you can pickpocket him once with every character of the party but it’s unlikely that you want to invest the points to do so on the whole group, so make sure that when you decide to steal from someone it’s because he has something you really really want. Also, once the deed is done, leave the area quickly because they’re going to realize pretty quickly what just happened.
Bedrolls, shovels, and other useful stuffThere are some items in the game whose usefulness may be easily overlooked by the fact that they look like the usual trash you find in this kind of game. Some of these, however, are real lifesavers. Bedrolls are a big one. Using one out of combat will instantly refill the health of the entire party, which is great considering that health does not automatically regenerate, and gives the group a buff for three turns. They are not consumable so you only need to have on on you at any given time. Shovels are another big one. Just like bedrolls they have infinite uses and are the only way to dig up buried treasures. Be sure to always have one in the inventory unless you have a Lizard in the party. Lastly, if you find dismembered body parts around, don’t throw them away. Feed them to the elf in your party and they’ll be able to see some of the memories of the fallen. They will also, sometimes, gain new skills from their cannibalistic actions.
Pick a main character for your first runDivinity: Original Sin 2 gives the player a decent amount of customization options for its characters. It also provides a roster of 6 pre-made characters to choose from. While the instinct of any veteran of the genre is to create their own avatar, you may want to pick one of the main roster characters this time. These characters will have exclusive dialogues and interactions throughout the game and even a personal quest to complete. You’ll be slightly limited on some of the customization options for them (race and tags can’t be changed) but it’s worth the effort for the extra content they bring. I played with the Red Prince as the main character and honestly think that his personal quest is better than most of the main quest of the game.
Keep an eye out for interactionsCombo-ing your skill will get you far in Divinity: Original Sin 2. Most spell and environmental effects interact with each other in some way, and learning how to take advantage of these interactions will be pivotal to your party success. Something seemingly tame like a Rain spell can turn the odds in your favor if used efficiently. A wet enemy, for example, will be much more susceptible to electricity and cold, allowing you to freeze or stun them out of their turn. A fireball on an oil or poisoned area can turn the whole battlefield in an inferno of flames. Just be careful to not be caught in the mess.
Treat your merchants and they’ll treat you backYou can trade with every NPC you encounter in the game but, obviously, merchants will be the ones with the most stuff to sell. Their inventory will rotate hourly and also when your main character levels up, so you may want to check back with them often. If you find a merchant that sells stuff particularly useful, you may want to give them a few freebies. Giving free stuff to a merchant will raise the NPC’s attitude towards your character. This means that the next time its inventory rotates, it will give you a better price. So if you have extra items you don’t need, you may want to consider selling them at a loss or give them away. Just make sure that you do it with the character with the highest bartering skill.
You can cheese it a little bitDivinity: Original Sin 2 is a challenging game, there’s no doubt about that. Players have found numerous way to make it easier on themselves, some a bit devious.
One useful trick I quickly found out is that when an ally is stuck in a conversation with an NPC, the time for them is frozen. This means that whatever buff they have on will not expire as long as they remain in the conversation. What I like to do is, if I think a conversation is going to lead to combat, I buff the character who’s doing the talking with all the possible spells my other party can muster, so when the fight starts he’ll be fully buffed.
Another thing you can do to even the odds if the game is treating you unkindly is to make use of summoning spells. Having both a summoner and a necromancer in the party will create at least two more targets for the enemies, making the more difficult fights more manageable. Also, a bone widow can create quite a ruckus behind the enemy lines.
There are other little tricks that players have discovered but some of them cross the line to bug exploiting territory, so I’ll not mention them. For example, there’s a little exploit that I believe was patched recently that allowed players to double their money. It was once possible to put all your gold in a container and sell it for full value to a merchant and have your thief steal the container back. The container, in this scenario, would still count as 0 value when pickpocketed despite being full of coins, allowing even low-level thieves to steal it.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a game with a crazy amount of depth. While this guide is not comprehensive of the stuff you may need to succeed in the game, it should give you a pretty decent headstart into the adventure.
Did you find these tips useful? What advice you have for new players? Let us know in the comments.