The gameplay of Divinity: Original Sin II mainly focuses on three main actions: exploration, conducting dialogues, and combat. The chapter below contains useful tips and hints for each mainstay of the gameplay. For greater clarity, the individual sections have been discussed separately.
You can traverse large swaths of land in search of treasure, neutral characters, or enemies, individually or as a team. During every exploration phase, a map of the area is constantly at your disposal, making sure that everything goes smoothly, and you can comb the area piece by piece. The developers prepared few solutions that facilitate the said process.
Once you interact with the second shrine, you can teleport between them. In some cases, a simple interaction will do, while sometimes we have to choose a predetermined dialogue option. Finally, a list of unlocked shortcuts will appear that are named in a characteristic way. Once you choose a location, the whole party will be teleported. Such points are marked on the map with a characteristic icon, and when we approach them, we'll see an inscription above our hero, which will inform us that we are near one of such spots.
The game is seen from an isometric perspective, sometimes forcing us to rotate the camera to a different perspective so there are no tidbits that have escaped our attention. During the exploration, you should often press left "ALT", which will facilitate finding any equipment elements lying on the ground. We may have a huge convenience in this matter, but we won't find a button that helps us discover chests, the location of buried treasure, or hidden passageways.
As I mentioned, you should rotate the camera often, as it is the only way to discover everything. Additionally, watch the other party members, who sometimes can inform you about a treasure, or a secret passage nearby. Most objects will be visible only after pointing to them with a cursor, so don't forget to investigate your surroundings in such a way, especially nearby walls and rocks. As it often happens, the secret passages are only visible when a neutral character marks them on our map. You should always carry a shovel, which will allow you to move a heap of earth that hides a chest or other treasure.
You'll often come across a situation where a dangerous situation is created by natural elements. These occurrences are divided into two categories: ones that you can use, and ones that can only be a nuisance. Using the elemental powers can have special results during combat - this subject is described in detail in the section on combat.
In case of obstacles, the situation is somewhat different. Using the information from the character statistics, we can learn that the game has five elements: water, air, earth, fire, and poison. All dangers connected to them (aside from combat) are seen as blocked passages. You have to know that in order to get rid of a hazard, you need to use the power of its opposing element. The walls of fire can be doused by water tanks that are often found in the game, while the poisoned areas have to be burned.
If a found object doesn't include any other restrictions (e.g. an ordinary barrel), you only have to perform a simple interaction on it, in form of pressing LMB.
If once you marked an item or an object, a padlock appears, you have to make an interaction using the contextual menu. Depending on the object type, you may need a key, a simple picklock will do, or you can use strength. Each object has its own durability, and if you cannot open it, you can just destroy it. This process is a bit time-consuming, but it shouldn't pose any problems. The most comfortable solution is choosing a character with the highest strength attribute, pressing the right "ALT" button, and choosing the interaction area using LMB. It is worth mentioning that such action highly affects the durability of the currently equipped weapon, so you should choose an item that isn't very valuable for you.
The objects in the game are marked in two different ways. If the cursor (hand, arrow, or chest) is golden, the item is neutral. If we take it to our inventory, other people will act indifferent. It should be mentioned that the chests and bodies that are yet uninvestigated change the mouse cursor into a golden chest. Once you investigate and loot the chest, the cursor changes its shape again, but this time the chest is silver.
If the cursor becomes red, it means that our interaction may have some consequences. Stealing a low-value item or a singular case of theft can lower the relations between the owner and the culprit. If you will steal items regularly, you'll very quickly have to face either the owner, or the guards.
Most of the time, you'll learn about the plot from the dialogues. Having this in mind, you should compose the biggest and highly diversified team as you can, as every party member can conduct dialogues on his own. Aside from that, when choosing our interlocutor, you should bear in mind what is the chosen character's race, as certain races react differently to their interlocutors. It is not uncommon for a situation where a human attempting to begin a dialogue will be shot down, while the reptile from your team will easily be able to get some information.
Even if you led the conversation in a way which doesn't bores any fruit, you can always switch to a different character and attempt to try once again. If you suspect that for some reason you've played the conversation in a wrong way, and you've used all your party members, try to load a previously saved game and attempt to get a different result than the last time.
Below you can find some useful info about few matters important for the conversations.
While investigating different dialogue options, you can easily notice that the inconspicuous characters, which seemed to only be a part of the background, can give very useful information, and how much you can feel them out depends on you. You should always test every party member, and it may happen that choosing a different hero and dialogue option can lead the conversation to a completely different course, resulting in, e.g. a gift from the interlocutor.
Some tasks require influencing our interlocutor. Remember to always check which of the party members has the biggest chance for a successful outcome, and use all dialogue options with him. Keep in mind to avoid stealing from your interlocutor, or don't act in such a way that results in a negative attitude towards you, as this may completely put an end to your chances of a positive outcome.
Each person with determined tags can make use of a much greater number of dialogue options. These options are much emphasized, so you won't miss them. Before you use one of the dialogue options that are marked with a tag, you should get some inkling about who is your interlocutor, and whether using a tag will result in anything. This can be deducted by his clothes, character name, and his relation towards you. If tags don't foreshadow a positive outcome, you should use one of the default options.
You'll have the opportunity to discuss the previous events as a party more than once. It can be a part of the controversial situations that the party was a witness of, or during the moment a decision has to be made.
In the first case, the dialogues are noncommittal, which mean that they don't influence the plot, but can influence the relations inside the party. When there are exclamation marks above our party members, it means that there was a situation that needs to be discussed. You can always just ignore this mechanics, but you should investigate what kinds of reactions are coming from the individual party members. You should especially watch out for every statement that may have a negative undertone when it comes to the interlocutor's race.
Aside from that, sometimes there are scripted events consisting of conversations between party members. These take place mostly regarding the story quests, when we have to decide about someone's fate or make a united stand in some situations. If all party members all on board, everything goes smoothly. The problems begin when some party members have a different say in the matter. This is one of the biggest challenges of a multiplayer playthrough.
Take a good look on the screenshot above. If you see the icon marked on the screenshot once you begin the conversation, this means you can trade with this person. Each merchant has a large number of items available, but prices for the same items can differ significantly, so you should always visit few different merchants before you decide to spend some money or equipment items on something.
It should be mentioned that each successful transaction has a positive influence on overall relations with the merchant, and if you decide to stick to one vendor, with each next transaction he will offer you a better deal. Additionally, the chosen merchants allow you to repair your equipment, which is very useful if during the course of the game you didn't find the repair tools that allow for independent repairs.
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