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Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
10-30-2006, 06:14 PM
Post: #1
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
In previous posts I described myself as a dedicated, devoted adventure gamer enamored of Myst-ian type puzzling with only a diversion into several of the Tomb Raider games that I found (surprisingly) very enjoyable.

Then I found Diablo in the discount bin at CompUSA! That was fun! My first toe in the water of RPGs was a huge success. I played it through in single player 4 or 5 times trying all the different characters. Not too fond of the ending, though...

Now I've found Divine Divinity at CompUSA for $9.99. Had to buy it since something I read about it compared it favorably to Diablo.

Has anybody played this game? Is it like Diablo? I'll probably know more soon because I'm going to install it as soon as I get chance.

Ed A
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10-30-2006, 06:54 PM
Post: #2
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote: My first toe in the water of RPGs was a huge success. I played it through in single player 4 or 5 times trying all the different characters.

Diablo isn't really a RPG.

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10-31-2006, 04:59 AM
Post: #3
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
I played the demo version of Divine Divinity, and found it similar to Diablo. I actually really enjoyed the demo (10%) and was disapointed when it ended. If you are into single player RPG's, it's probably a better choice for you than Diablo 1, but if I recall correctly the multiplayer capabilities of DD aren't too spectacular.

It did get a great review by PCGamer though, high 80's out of 100, and they don't give those out cheaply.


As for Diablo being an RPG, I consider it to be so, because although the storyline is incredibly linear on replays, the game does follow a path where your character is certainly in a role. While not as open ended as other modern day RPG's, it certainly introduced many elements into what we consider to be a modern computer game RPG.
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10-31-2006, 05:04 AM
Post: #4
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
I played DD quite a bit. I got it for 19.99 when it was new ~3-4 years ago. It was good fun, but too easy to "cheat" the computer (humanoids are VERY weak against poison, etc). Very few realistic differences between the character classes other than looks and starting skills. A mage, thief, or warrior could all interchange skills and weapons, with minor health\magic differences between the two. It was also buggy as all get out and you could really gimp yourself and get stuck easy if you chose the wrong (broken) skill path or if the quest chain you were working on one of the handful that required being done in the "right" order or it would be broken.

I had good fun for 3-4 months with it. Kind of a hog on the resources back then too ;-) Can't go wrong with it. The 2nd one on the other hand...
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10-31-2006, 05:15 AM
Post: #5
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
It's a great game. Download the patch before you play. There are a couple of skills that can make the game too easy, but in spite of that, it's a lot of fun. There is a nice forum at Larian

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10-31-2006, 10:34 AM
Post: #6
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:it certainly introduced many elements into what we consider to be a modern computer game RPG.

Three classes, with not a great deal of difference between them, and four stats to decide where to put your emphasis on is NOT many role-playing elements.

Diablo is primarily a Hack n Slash adventure game, with some limited elements of role-playing.

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10-31-2006, 04:38 PM
Post: #7
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Hi,

Quote:. . . the game does follow a path where your character is certainly in a role.
Then you have no clue as to what RPG means. It is not that your character plays a role. That would be true of all games where you have an avatar, be they first person shooters, real time strategy, adventure, or what have you. What makes a game a Role Playing Game is that the player (not the avatar) assumes a role. And there's precious little of that possible in either D1 or D2.

As to the 'innovations' in D1, there really weren't any. Everything in D1 was already incorporated in one game or another all the way back to Rogue and nethack. What Buzzard did was meld a lot of those features, add great (for the time) graphics, put in some music that did a good job of setting the mood, added some half-arsed networking code, and sorta balance it all in a very enjoyable game.

--Pete

PS 'Buzzard' is Blizzard North, originally 'Condor' before Blizzard bought them out


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10-31-2006, 04:53 PM
Post: #8
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Three classes, with not a great deal of difference between them, and four stats to decide where to put your emphasis on is NOT many role-playing elements.

Diablo is primarily a Hack n Slash adventure game, with some limited elements of role-playing.

Compared to a game where you have absolutely no direction of the progression of your character, Diablo is an RPG. Whether or not it measures up to what you consider a "pure RPG" is your call.

As for your comment, Pete, I'd like for you to name for me a computer game that does fit the standards of what you consider an RPG. I'm not even sure what you mean when you say that the "player, not the avatar" plays a role. Obviously the user is making decisions which affect his character. By your logic, until virtual reality is developed, there is no such thing as an RPG that can be played on a computer. Since I choose to not be incredibly specific to technicalities, I'll continue to term many games, including some inthe genres that you mentioned, RPG's.
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10-31-2006, 05:23 PM (This post was last modified: 10-31-2006 05:28 PM by LennyLen.)
Post: #9
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Compared to a game where you have absolutely no direction of the progression of your character, Diablo is an RPG.

So because it resembles an RPG more than a game that has no RPG elements, it IS an RPG?

That argument is rediculous. Following that line of reasoning, compared to Pong, Diablo could be considered a RTS (after all it requires strategy to play). Compared to Tetris, it's FPS game, since you can actually shoot things in Diablo, unlike in Tetris.

Using the same line of thinking, Raiden and other shoot-em-ups like that could be considered RPGs. After all you get to choose which powerups you use to boost your "character".

Edit:

Quote: Since I choose to not be incredibly specific to technicalities, I'll continue to term many games, including some inthe genres that you mentioned, RPG's.

Well, in the Real World, what genre a game is classified as is based on what the majority of the game elements are. Diablo has much more Hack n Slash elements, which is why it is considerd an Adventure game. Games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights are considerd RPG games, even though they're not compared to Pen 'n' Paper systems, because that is what the majority of the game elements are. Simple really, isn't it?

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10-31-2006, 06:33 PM
Post: #10
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Well, in the Real World, what genre a game is classified as is based on what the majority of the game elements are. Diablo has much more Hack n Slash elements, which is why it is considerd an Adventure game. Games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights are considerd RPG games, even though they're not compared to Pen 'n' Paper systems, because that is what the majority of the game elements are. Simple really, isn't it?

I was in general agreement with you until you brought up this distinction. I've played through BG II and ToB fully about 2 times in my experience, with a barrage of about 10 other types of characters that never made it to the end. I'm not by far an expert, but at the same time it's not my first time around the block.

Now with that said, I fail to see what differentiates BG II so greatly from Diablo I. In BG, I followed some quests, killed some things, leveled up. I thought about my spells, I restructured my equipment depending on the fight. I had some nice conversations with NPC's. But at no time did I feel my gameplay was different than Diablo I. For me it was two different takes on the same genre.

In fairness, I understand the history behind BG, and the idea of presenting a D&D based game on the computer, etc. And that Diablo shares none of the same history. But when looking at the game independent of history or intention, I'm having a hard time understanding what's so different? By your qualifications I'm seeing both Diablo and BG as adventure games. Mind clarifying a bit Lennylen?

Cheers,

Munk
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10-31-2006, 07:57 PM (This post was last modified: 10-31-2006 07:58 PM by LennyLen.)
Post: #11
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Mind clarifying a bit Lennylen?

Not at all.

I chose those games as examples of RPGs because those are the two games I've heard people mention most when they talk about the genre. Out of all the Black Isle games, I've only ever tried playing BG, and I didn't like it at all, and never even left the first map. I always assumed that the whole idea of the infinity engine was to allow greater freedom to change the way the game evolved (I say greater freedom because there's only so much variation that can be coded into a game) and thus be able to have multiple outcomes for the game.

But if, as you say, the gameplay is basically the same as Diablo's, and the outcome is the same no matter what you do, then I would call them Adventure games.

If I changed the paragraph you quoted to "Well, in the Real World, what genre a game is classified as is based on what the majority of the game elements are. Diablo has much more Hack n Slash elements, which is why it is considerd an Adventure game. Games where most of your choices effect the outcome of the game are considerd RPG games, even though they're not compared to Pen 'n' Paper systems, because that is what the majority of the game elements are. Simple really, isn't it?" would that sit with you better?

Perhaps the question that needs to be asked then, is what makes a game an RPG game. I've always been under the assumption that what made a game an RPG instead of just a fantasy/sfi-fi Adventure game was the ability to drastically effect the outcome of the game. In this regard, Diablo obviously isn't as there is only ever one ending to the game, no matter how you play it. Any other takes on what makes an RPG?

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10-31-2006, 09:33 PM
Post: #12
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Perhaps the question that needs to be asked then, is what makes a game an RPG game. I've always been under the assumption that what made a game an RPG instead of just a fantasy/sfi-fi Adventure game was the ability to drastically effect the outcome of the game. In this regard, Diablo obviously isn't as there is only ever one ending to the game, no matter how you play it. Any other takes on what makes an RPG?

Great distinction to make LennyLen. There certainly is an absence of control over your characters destiny in the Diablo series - you either kill Diablo or you die trying. Moreover, there is a set pathway in which you must attain this goal (skipping the Butcher harderly qualifies as an alternative). Baldurs Gate is one up on Diablo, but still not free. It has a main story plot which must be followed, despite the plethora of small side quests. The question then becomes is there really any RPG's for the computer?

Originally I was swayed by Almara's hyperbolic statement "until virtual reality is developed, there is no such thing as an RPG that can be played on a computer". But now I see this in a slightly different light. There are games developed now that do a great job of being rather open ended, while still providing enviroments similar to Diablo or Baldurs Gate. The best example I can come up? Morrowind (for that matter the Elder Scrolls series). I'll limit myself to Morrowind, for I have no experience outside of it. In a sense it still isn't entirely free - there is an end boss of sorts, and a main quest. But it is the absolute closest to freedom I've ever seen. You can feel acomplished with the game and put it down never having completed the final quest. You can become the head of the mages, the thieves, or the fighters, or all three (kind of). You can be evil and try to destroy all of the NPC's (though Lord Vivec will give you a run for your money). Even when completed the game itself isn't "completed".

By this contrast I certainly agree with your assesment LennyLen. Thanks for expanding on it,

Your Mileage May Vary, and certainly will. The only thing more subjective than subjectivity itself is genre defining;)

Cheers,

Munk
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10-31-2006, 09:53 PM
Post: #13
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:The best example I can come up? Morrowind (for that matter the Elder Scrolls series).

I was thinking of Mororwind as well, but again, I never actually played it long enough to get into it (due to constant crashes), so I didn't know how well Morrowind achieved "freedom."

What about The Sims games? I have no idea how they play at all.

Quote:The only thing more subjective than subjectivity itself is genre defining

Tell me about it! I was (not too long ago) involved in a very long discussion/debate about how to reclassify the Sci-Fi genre that encompassed many pages at the Spellforce forums.

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10-31-2006, 09:56 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2006 12:07 AM by Alamara.)
Post: #14
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:Originally I was swayed by Almara's hyperbolic statement "until virtual reality is developed, there is no such thing as an RPG that can be played on a computer". But now I see this in a slightly different light.

That was my take on what Pete had said, not what I actually believe. I'd still like for him to name an RPG that fits the criterion that he gave.


In the case of almost of the games mentioned by someone as being an RPG, very many of the elements are the same. Yes, in some you can decide what direction your character takes. Does this make GTA3 an RPG? That's about the most open-ended game I've ever seen, and yet I'd be willing to say that there are very few people who would be willing to call it an RPG.

As for the Morrowind series, I've heard Oblivion mentioned as the game that can be played in a huge number of different ways, with multiple outcomes. Honestly, though, the Starcraft campaign has missions where depending on what objectives you choose to complete, the storyline changes. Heroes of Might and Magic (II ?) had this too, and that was about as much as a TBS game as you can get.

I guess the distinction to me between an RPG and a non-RPG is that you take the role of a single character and follow that character's progression, whether it be through level ups, enhancements of skills, or simple storyline developments.

Because of this, I'll stand by calling Diablo an RPG, simply because if we are going to exclude things because they don't have this or that, we won't be left with anything that can be called an RPG at all.
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10-31-2006, 11:55 PM
Post: #15
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:In previous posts I described myself as a dedicated, devoted adventure gamer enamored of Myst-ian type puzzling with only a diversion into several of the Tomb Raider games that I found (surprisingly) very enjoyable.

Then I found Diablo in the discount bin at CompUSA! That was fun! My first toe in the water of RPGs was a huge success. I played it through in single player 4 or 5 times trying all the different characters. Not too fond of the ending, though...

Now I've found Divine Divinity at CompUSA for $9.99. Had to buy it since something I read about it compared it favorably to Diablo.

Has anybody played this game? Is it like Diablo? I'll probably know more soon because I'm going to install it as soon as I get chance.

Ed A
It has the same sort of camera angle as Diablo, and the combat is not terribly unlike Diablo. There are conseqences for different choices you make in certain quests, as well as for actions such as thievery. The world also is not as linear as Diablo and is open ended to a certain extent.
The skill point system is not as well done as Diablo.
The bottom line is that you are going to enjoy Divine Divinity.

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11-01-2006, 02:36 AM
Post: #16
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Hi,

Quote:That was my take on what Pete had said, not what I actually believe. I'd still like for him to name an RPG that fits the criterion that he gave.
First, it is pretty clear from what I said that role playing is more an attitude of the players than an intrinsic characteristic of a game. Even in a well designed PnP RPG with a good DM, a group of players can (and often do) ignore all the potential interactions and just explore, kill, loot, and level. So, it is easy to turn what was meant to be an RPG into a dungeon crawl. Going the other way is not as easy.

Now, the category RPG predates personal computers. FPS, RTS, etc., do not. So, for a computer game to be considered an RPG, it needs to meet the same criteria as non-computer games. Strictly speaking, I don't think any computer game is there yet, although some games can be used as DM kits on steroids.

But even if we don't look for strict compliance, we still have to evaluate just how much freedom the game allows the players. BG allows quite a bit within the overall arch of the story. D1 and D2 allows nearly none. It is mostly a question of what choices a player gets to make. In a few places in BG, one can choose to return the quest item to its owner or sell it for much more. There are other such choices. There is nothing comparable in D1 or D2.

In WoW, there is even more room to role play than even in BG. Partially that is because there is no 'final' objective. Partially that is because the world actually does have two factions that are in, if not conflict, at least tension,and players populate both factions (unlike in D1 and D2 where all the players are 'good' and all 'evil' is computer controlled).

But, in the final analysis, all this is meaningless. What it all boils down to is whether the player ever has to ask himself, "How would this character react in this situation?" and the game giving him the freedom to make a reasonable choice. Leveling, stat points, etc., etc., are just the insignificant trappings. If the player has to make decisions based on the avatar's character, then it is an RPG even with none of those trappings. And if such decisions are unnecessary (or, as is the case in D1 and D2, almost impossible), then no amount of the trappings makes it an RPG. And that is a fact, no matter what a bunch of non-gaming marketeers may think and claim.

--Pete


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11-01-2006, 04:47 PM
Post: #17
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
If the only thing you can consider to be an RPG is an emulation of D&D, then you leave hundreds of games either undefined or in the "Action/Adventure" genre. I'm sure there are hardcore fans of that genre that would be just as willing to say that Diablo is not even remotely an adventure game.

Terms evolve. Just because what is now considered a Role-Playing Game isn't what it was when you were 13 playing D&D with some friends doesn't make the usage wrong, it just makes it not suitable to you, which, quite frankly, is fine.
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11-01-2006, 05:00 PM
Post: #18
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:If the only thing you can consider to be an RPG is an emulation of D&D, then you leave hundreds of games either undefined or in the "Action/Adventure" genre.

It's a good thing that that's not what Pete said then isn't it. I refer you to paragraphs 3 and 4 of his post.

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11-01-2006, 05:18 PM
Post: #19
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Hi,

Quote:. . . {A bunch of alliterate nothing} . . .
I am left having to emulate Johnson, "Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding."

If you cannot or will not read and attempt to understand what I say, then I'm wasting my time saying it.

--Pete


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11-01-2006, 05:42 PM
Post: #20
Has anyone played Divine Divinity?
Quote:If the only thing you can consider to be an RPG is an emulation of D&D, then you leave hundreds of games either undefined or in the "Action/Adventure" genre. I'm sure there are hardcore fans of that genre that would be just as willing to say that Diablo is not even remotely an adventure game.

Terms evolve. Just because what is now considered a Role-Playing Game isn't what it was when you were 13 playing D&D with some friends doesn't make the usage wrong, it just makes it not suitable to you, which, quite frankly, is fine.

You failed your reading comprehension rollcheck.

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