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Divinity II: Ego Draconis is an epic RPG created by Larian Studios. It is the third installment of the Divinity series.

The game takes place in a magical world called Rivellon, populated by both intelligent races like humans and other less intelligent creatures such as goblins. The otherwise beautiful countryside bears witness to the ruins and pocketed landscapes of ancient wars and cataclysms. In Rivellon, the player, a Dragon Slayer, begins their quest to complete the initiation rituals to become a true member of the Dragon Slayers.

The defining feature of Divinity II is the ability to switch between aerial combat as a dragon and more traditional third-person action, role-playing gameplay as a human. It is the third game in the Divinity franchise and the first Divinity game to be released on consoles as well as for Windows.

The Story So Far[]

Divinity II - Ego Draconis brings you back to Rivellon, a timeless world of awe and magic, torn and scarred by successions of apocolyptic wars. What the peace-loving people of the land did to deserve such terrible calamity, not even the gods can tell. But as any of their warlords will snidely say, the time wonder and quickly vanished when the Lord of Chaos is slaughtering your kin, burning your cities and sowing the one-time fertile soil with salt. Twice this incarnation of evil burst forth from its hellish dimension to wade in valiant blood against the blackened sky, and twice Rivellon's defenders would not back down despite appalling losses. Still, Victory brought no relief: for they knew that some day the Demon would be back.

And back he'd be, sooner than anyone could have anticipated, because, as is so often the case, evil festered from within: humans, loyal to the Damned Hordes sought not only to ensure the return of their dark master, but to give his Demonic form human semblance - so that rather than destroy Rivellon, he would come to rule her. This group, known as the Black Ring, were close to achieving their goal and would doubtless have succeeded had it not been for the tireless vigilance of the famed wizard Zandalor and the startling fate of and unsung adventurer named, Lucian. This adventurer, guided as he was by the forces of good exposed the Black Ring's sinister scheme and, when the time came, willingly underwent a daring ritual that infused him with the powers of the gods. So the Divine was born.

Leaving but grim corpses in his wake, the avatar of light followed the enemy to its stronghold, nestled deep beneath the desert wastes of Yuthul Gor, where he stalked and killed every Black Ring elder until finally he and their diabolic leader, the Demon of Lies, stood snout to face. the fiend smiles and the Divine he was too late: the transfer was complete and the Lord of Chaos would walk again. Indeed, behind him, on a large altar, lay a newborn infant: a shell of innocence wrapped around a soul of utter corruption. The Divine's sword saw the Demon dead, but despite being able to put an end to the vast plague that had almost brought Rivellon the her know, he could not bring himself to kill the child.

He named him Damian and for years the Damned One, unaware of the terrible forces the brimmed beneath his boyish exterior, grew up under the Divine's tutelage. until he met Ygerna. Sent to seduce Damian by her father, the Black Ring necromancer Kalin, she befriended the young man, who was instantly infatuated with her. Not only did she return his affections, but also his long slumbering powers. They practiced innocent spells at first, but later on more sinister magic, rare incantations, and most dangerous of all, they unravelled forbidden knowledge. For some time, Damian's Divine foster-parent was blissfully oblivious of Ygerna's ominous influence on his son - until evidence connected her to Kalin, whom he recently executed. When questioned, she confessed that she supported his rotten stratagems - the most important of these being the renascence of Damian's dark, dormant powers.

After hearing such hideous testimony, Lucian had no choice but to execute Ygerna in turn: the Black Ring never enjoys clemency, whatever the circumstances. under the eyes of the wise but worry-plagued Zandalor the Divine's sword severed Ygerna's head from her body. yet at that prophetic moment, while Ygerna's blood was still claiming more territory on the floor, Damian entered and gave voice to a spell of Soul Forging. Before anyone could react, Damian turned back and seemingly disappears. The Divine know his son would from then on be his greatest foe and understood that Damian had already realised a great deal of his black potential: he who can Soul Forge is a stupendous adversary indeed. the Damned One walked again.

As Lucian and Damian gathered their armies, Zandalor contemplated the repercussions of Damian's acts. A Soul Forge is an exceptional enough event in its own right; a Soul Forge with a soul as it dwells amidst the few fragments of time between life and death was unprecedented. Uncertain of the consequences for either him or Damian, he entrusted Ygerna's body to the care of embalmers: forgoing the usual ritual burning of Black Ring corpses.

Within days, the Black Ring and Divine Paladins clashed. Damian, though, had eye for Lucian only: he would show him the same kindness he had shown Ygerna. What he did not know, was that the Divine was ready for him. He would lure his son to a Rift Temple and, if all went according to plan, banish him to another dimension. Blinded as he was by his all-consuming wrath, Damian did not realise he was being drawn into a trap and soon he was locked away in the shadow-haunted Nemesis. the Divine returned to Rivellon, glad that the threat his foster-son posed was eliminated, yet strangely mournful becaause he realised that despite the evil that had taken hold of him, Damian's spur-of-the-moment Soul Forge was essentially an act of love.

The Damned One, however, made the best of his situation in Nemesis. He bode his time, growing in stature and power, until he did what most thought could not be done: he broke free from his prison dimension and initially overran the surprised Rivellonian forces. His thoughts were still wholly focus on one thing: to destroy the Divine and so avenge Ygerna. The war change the face of Rivellon: for years it rages and one catastrophic event followed another. Where once there were mountains, there are now flat scorched plains. Picturesque farmlands have been pushed up and turned into jagged cliffs. Nevertheless, mankind faced its internal foes with remarkable courage and tenacity. A decisive reason for their stubborn optimism was the newly forged alliance between the Divine and the rare, but immensely powerful, Dragon Knights: the last and elusive proponents of Dragon magic in the Demon-swept realms.

Throughout the climatic battle, the scales of victory could have tipped either way. But then then unthinkable happened: one of the Dragon Knights betrayed and slew the unsuspecting Divine. During the confusion that ensued, the Paladins started to fight Dragon and Demon alike. Luckily, Zandalor was able to rally the troops and so narrowly avoid disaster. Damián, who had already lost much of his forces and had seen his revenge materialised, ordered his army to abandon the field. His dominion over Rivellon could wait. And besides, he other things on his mind.

After the bitter stalemate that resulted, both sides took the time to lick their wounds and mankind prepared for yet another war. When his war did not take place after a year and not even after a decade, the good people of Rivellon were convinced Damian no longer posed a significant threat. They started to relax and rebuild their lives. Now more than half a century has passed and though the Damned One still has a more-then-frightful reputation, his regarded as a distant threat at best. Whether his ataraxis is justified remains to be seen...[1]

Gameplay[]

The main focus of the game is on traditional action-role playing gameplay, which includes completing quests, exploring the game world, and interacting with a variety of non-player characters. Divinity II utilizes some elements of games like Diablo and World of Warcraft, such as a focus on upgrading equipment, randomized magical effects on equipment, unique item sets that offer greater benefits when used together, and some quest mechanics such as markers to show that an NPC will offer a quest to the player. However, it also uses elements from more traditional computer role playing games, such as branching conversation trees, choices which affect other events in the game, and non-combat segments, such as platforming or puzzle elements. When interacting with non-player characters, the player will often have the option to read their minds, which can provide information, extra choices in a quest, or equipment, at a certain cost to their experience points. The 'experience debt' then has to be repaid before they can gain experience again.

Players are given a choice of starting packages for their character during the tutorial, but progression is freeform, and the player is free to develop their character in a different direction if they want to. Skills are grouped into 'schools' which correspond to traditional roles, but all skills are available to all characters, allowing mixing between these roles. Multiple forms of crafting exist: alchemy, which allows the player to create potions; necromancy, which allows a player to customize a summonable undead pet; and enchanting, which upgrades the character's equipment.

After a certain point in the game, the character gains a base of operations known as the Battle Tower, as well as the ability to become a dragon in large spaces. Dragon combat works similarly to ground-based combat, but in three dimensions; as a dragon, the character still has a regular attack as well as skills they can use, and equipment to improve their abilities.

Plot[]

The game takes place in the world of Rivellon from Divine Divinity, although much time has passed since the end of Divine Divinity. The player character starts out as a Dragon Slayer at the end of their training, when they are given draconic powers as a way to help fight the last remaining dragons. These powers also erase their memories of their training, but they are reassured that their memories will return quickly. The regular proceedings are interrupted by news of a dragon sighted nearby, so before the initiation is finished, the player character is rushed off with them to where the dragon was last seen.

In the expansion, Flames of Vengeance, the Dragon Knight wakes in a crystal prison on the Plane of Hypnerotomachia , where Lucian the Divine , the adoptive father of Damian and messiah figure to Rivellon, is also imprisoned. A ghost called Behrlihn  comes and offers to free the Divine if the Dragon Knight will help to free him from his earthly prison.

Development[]

Development on Divinity II began around 2006, after Larian Studios had acquired enough money to begin development on a Divinity sequel in earnest. From the beginning, the game was planned with the feature of transforming into a dragon in mind, and even included a third form, halfway between the dragon and human forms, which would have served as a powerful form for fighting on the ground. However, it was not implemented in the final game, though the model was reused for enemies in the game. The original concepts included more areas, based on the original map of Rivellon in Divine Divinity, as well as features like multiplayer, co-op, and a greater importance given to the Battle Tower.

The game uses the Gamebryo engine, known for its use in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3.

Note that this means the game requires 4 Gigabytes of ram allocated to load area to area as compared to standard 2Gb allocation.

After the initial release of Ego Draconis, Larian was interested in releasing an updated version that would fix many of the bugs and issues with the first game and improve the performance of the engine. At the same time, they developed an expansion that would come after the end of the game, as many people had complained that the original ending of the game had been unsatisfying. The updates to the main game and the expansion were sold together as the Flames of Vengeance add-on, or bundled with the core game as The Dragon Knight SagaFlames of Vengeance and The Dragon Knight Sagaware released in Germany in August 2010, and in all other language versions in November 2010. There was no retail United States release of The Dragon Knight Saga until it was released on the Xbox 360 on April 12, 2011, along with a soundtrack CD and an art book.

For the tenth anniversary of the Divinity series and the release of the Divinity Anthology, Larian made another update to the game, calling the final version Divinity II: Developer's Cut, which included design documents, concept art, and the ability to access the developer's console in-game through a second executable file.

Legacy[]

Following the success of Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga, Larian expressed an interest in creating more Divinity games, while also developing the dragon gameplay that was featured in Divinity II. They have announced that one of their next planned games is going to be an action-real time strategy game, with the main character as a Dragon Knight at a time in Rivellon's history when there were many Dragon Knights. The game was released August 6, 2013, and is titled Divinity: Dragon Commander.

References[]

  1. Ego Draconis manual
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