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Divinity: Dragon Commander players are a morally questionable lot

Friday, 11th October 2013 00:53 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The best bit of Divinity: Dragon Commander is when you get to make a decision about something, and can upset the lizard advisor. Ha ha! Look at her grumpy lizard face. Best. Anyway, this trailer shows off how players have voted when presented with various moral quandaries, and accompanies a new patch and sale.

It turns out people tend to please the lizard advisor, which is very disappointing for me, and are almost perfectly evenly split on a lot of seemingly black and white issues like “should all children smoke” and “should we install torture dungeons”. Not so keen on experimenting on foetuses, though, are you?

Divinity: Dragon Commander has been patched, too; full patch notes are available, but in short, there are loads of bug fixes plus better stats at the end of a battle and the ability to gift units and resources in multiplayer.

The Larian Studios effort is 40% off on Steam and GOG right through Sunday. I didn’t get on with it but it’s a very interesting game and worth a look on the strength of its departures from the norm.

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2 Comments

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  1. TheWulf

    I’m in two minds about the diplomacy. A lot of that has to do with a problem that Larian has with almost every game they make.

    I love the concept of diplomacy in a fantastic world — it’s a fresh, new idea, and one which promises so much novelty and potential. It’s a shame then that the execution of it was so poor, and that’s one of the biggest weaknesses of Dragon Commander. There are so many eggs in one basket that it doesn’t actually flesh out anything it does.

    In fact, some parts feel like an afterthought.

    I’m in love with the concept, though. A proper diplomacy game (centred around that) set in a fantastic world with all sorts of issues and problems that we, in the real world, don’t have or couldn’t fix would be amazing. I suppose the important question though is what that would offer that Dragon Commander doesn’t?

    The problem with the execution in Dragon Commander is that it’s basically a choose-your-own-adventure book, it’s a series of yes/no choices with completely binary results. You choose A or B, you get result A or B. Yet with well over 70 per cent of the things they asked me, I didn’t think that a simple yes or no would suffice. I actually felt offended by some of them and I couldn’t express my feelings with a yes or a no.

    Having a proper diplomacy game where one could construct a nuanced response, and receive an equally nuanced consequence which would affect the ongoing story would be fabulous. Yet that’s not what Dragon Commander is, it’s what I wish it was.

    The ‘diplomacy’ in Dragon Commander is a distraction, a bit of a sideshow to draw you away from the Risk board game and the RTS. The problem is is that the Risk board game and the RTS are my least favourite parts. My most favourite parts are the diplomacy and playing the dragon. Yet both of those seem like an afterthought.

    Yeah, there’s a lot of voice acting, sure. But if you look at the mechanics, it’s all binary choices with binary results.

    I wonder how many people sat, staring at the screen like I did, wondering how you boil a really complex political issue down into a Y or N response. I can imagine that it was quite a few, and many of them just decided ‘screw it’ and picked one to get on with the game.

    So, yeah. I’d love to see a game eventually which realises this concept. Brilliant concept, bad execution. That should be Larian’s by-line.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Creepy

    “Will you restrict the freedom of the sensational press?”
    “Yes – 70% No – 30%”

    “Divinity: Dragon Commander players are a morally questionable lot”

    #2 6 months ago