Divinity: Original Sin 2
From Before I Play
- Save often, manually. The game is intended to be difficult, and certain things can instantly kill you and your entire party at once instantly. Do NOT rely on autosaves, as those are infrequent, usually happening either just before entering a point which will have a fight, or at the start of a fight.
- If you play both co-op and single-player, create different profiles from the main menu to keep them separate, as quicksaves and autosaves made in the same profile will will overwrite themselves regardless of whether you are playing single-player or co-op.
- Be sure to save before trying something you suspect might be dangerous.
- After finishing the first act, you unlock the abilty to respec your character and change their appearance infinite times for free at the mirror.
- After finishing the first act, you get an opportunity to change up your companions once, and if you don't like them, you can switch to hired mercenaries without stories, but they also don't have tags. There are also only a limited number of mercenaries, but you can resurrect them just like PC's.
- Combat is in a round-robin order, players and enemies go one after the other, so Initiative is of highly questionable use. It's only particularly useful to have one character with high initiative, and that's only so they get the first turn in combat. Initiative for other characters does not matter very much. This also makes the Wits attribute mostly only good for spotting things (but this can be boosted by the spell Peace of Mind, and for a slight increase to your Critical Chance, but this is generally of less use than investing into your damage-boosting attribute.
- If a conversation is going to result in combat, you can stall it indefinitely by not clicking on (end) and freely reposition your 3 characters not in the conversation to places of tactical advantage. This is kinda cheesy though.
- Status effects on characters in conversation are paused, so this can be used to pre-buff a character about to engage in conversation you know or suspect will end in combat, then you can buff someone else right before switching to the first to end the conversation.
- You should always engage enemies at your level or lower whenever possible. Enemies one level higher can be beaten, but are much more dangerous. Avoid fighting enemies two levels or more than you are.
- If you keep running into enemies too high a level for you, explore in a different direction until you find level-appropriate enemies.
- Keeping your gear up to date level to level makes a HUGE difference. You always want an up-to-date weapon.
- The only difference between Tactician and Honor difficulties is that Honor has permadeath and deletes your single save file. It also autosaves when someone in your party dies. It is not recommended to play Honor mode as your first (blind) playthrough, there are lots of ways to get screwed by things you might not have expected, and then there goes your entire playthrough. You have been warned.*
- You have the choice between creating an Origin character or a custom character. The Origin characters have their own history with their own personal Tag allowing for custom interactions between the Origin character an NPC's, and their own individual quest, and they have a fixed name and gender (and a partly customizable appearance), but they can otherwise be customized as you choose. Origin characters don't have a personal tag or an individual quest, but can have their appearance fully customized.
- Character Presets are only suggestions. You can change pretty much everything from a preset. The only thing fixed by a preset, in fact, are the starting weapons found in the "Confiscated Weapons" chest.
- Battlemage: One-Handed Axe + One-Handed Axe
- Cleric: Mace + Shield
- Conjurer: Wand + Shield
- Enchanter: Staff
- Fighter: Sword + Shield
- Inquisitor: Two-Handed Hammer
- Knight: Two-Handed Sword
- Metamorph: Two-Handed Spear
- Ranger: Bow
- Rogue: Dagger + Dagger
- Shadowblade: Dagger
- Wayfarer: Crossbow
- Witch: Dagger
- Wizard: Wand + Wand
- Certain quests are unable to be completed without the Scholar tag. That is the only tag which has such a restriction. Red Prince, Sebille, and Fane all start with the tag, and having at least one of them in your group will help.
- Do not split your attribute points between two different damage-boosting abilities (Strength, Intelligence, Finesse), you can only deal damage in one way at a time (either physical or magical), and it cuts your damage output making you less effective at both than a specialist.
- If you want to minmax, Warfare does more for physical damage than weapon skills. This also works for Necromancy as well.
- Healing from Necromancy's passive bonus and Mosquito Swarm is "neutral" and does not damage Undead or living under the Decaying Touch status effect. Bloodsucker DOES still cause damage like regular healing, though.
- You can talk to NPC's to distract them, or turn their view cone for thievery.
- Civil Abilities cap at 5 base points, but can be increased over the cap with bonuses from items. You only get a total of 6 Civil ability points throughout an average playthrough, so you can only max out one of them, and its advised to stick with a different one for each party member.
- If you plan on having your chosen main character talk to most of the people, it's advised that they take Persuasion as their chosen civil ability.
- With the Pet Pal Talent you can talk to animals, and sometimes they have persuasion checks, so Pet Pal is often suggested as a Talent for your Persuasion character, although perhaps not enough to make it mandatory.
- Lucky Charm (free items in containers), Bartering (4% decreased purchasing price and increased selling price per point), and Thievery (pickpocketing and lockpicking) are essentially three different ways to increase your wealth.
- Avoid taking Sneaking and Telekinesis as Civil Ability points. Sneaking is of no use in combat, and not that difficult outside of combat, anyone can sneak without it. Telekinesis is only useful to invest in for a very specific gimmick build based around using TK to throw containers packed with as many things as possible at enemies to deal massive damage. If that's not your thing, skip it.
Talents to Avoid
- All Skilled Up and Bigger and Better trade a Talent point you get once every 4 or so levels in exchange for - in the case of "All Skilled Up - an Combat Ability point you get once every level and a Civil Ability point you also get about once every four levels. In the case of Bigger and Better, it's trading a Talent point for one level's worth of Attribute points, which is a very poor trade. These are only much use in Act 1 before you can respec.
- Ambidextrous is not that great since the scrolls you'd be using most often cost 1 AP already, and grenades don't scale with the player so are not especially useful.
- Demon and Ice King effectively are their own counters - the resistance you get from one element is cancelled out by the other, so you're only really left with the +10% to Maximum resistance, which you will NEVER come close to hitting without a lot of luck with the randomly generated gear.
- Comeback Kid is a death resistance talent which heals you back up to 20% HP instead of dying. It doesn't trigger other "on death" Talents such as Morning Person or Unstable, and 20% health leaves you in range to be one-shot killed by most things anyway.
- Five Star Diner doubles the effects of food, but the effects of food are pretty low and are usually worse than using a potion.
- Glass Cannon is a dangerously attractive Talent, but it's more a liability than anything else. The AI knows you will have Glass Cannon, and it is very aggressive at targeting you with hard crowd-control (CC) skills which can render you unable to act.
- Guerrilla is aggressively bad. Sneaking inside combat costs a staggering 4 AP - one entire turn's worth, and a regular attack costs 2 AP, so you're paying a total of 6 AP to do the damage of less than 3 AP's worth of normal attacks. It only adds damage for one Huntsman skill (Assassinate) and one Scoundrel Skill (Mortal Blow), and otherwise is only useful for sneaking up from outside of combat and unleashing your first blow.
- Morning Person heals you to full when resurrected by a Rez scroll... but if you're playing well, you shouldn't be dying in the first place.
- Leech heals you a little when you walk over blood for much less use than spending that same amount of AP to use a potion.
- Slingshot extends the range of your grenade throws by 5 meters, but the range is pretty much fine as it is, and grenades aren't that useful anyway.
- Torturer only applies to damage-over-time status effects, nothing else. So only Bleeding, Poisoned, Burning, Necrofire, and possibly Ruptured Tendons. This is especially questionable since if you are able to get one of these to land, it's a sign that you can probably finish the enemy off before the extra turns come into play anyway. Torturer does combine well with Burning and the Spontaneous Combustion skill, but a Talent which only works with one or two skills is of poor utility.
- If an item, when right-clicked, does not have "Combine" as one of the options in the pop-up menu, it is not usable in crafting. Feel free to sell it.
- Empty Potion Bottle + Penny Bun Mushroom = Small Healing Potion
- Small Healing Potion + Small Healing Potion = Medium Healing Potion (Repeat for better versions. This also works for armor potions)
- Mortar & Pestle + Bone = Bone Dust
- Mortar & Pestle + Stardust Herb = Stardust
- Bonedust + Stardust = Pixie Dust
- Small Rune + Small Rune (same type) + Pixie Dust = Medium Rune (Same Type. Repeat for better versions. )
- Knife/Sword + Long Branch = Short Branch (multiple?)
- Knife/Sword + Short Branch = Arrow Shafts (8)
- Hammer + Nails = Lockpicks (4)
- Cooking Pot + Campfire = Cooking Station
- Elemental Skillbook (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) + Non-Elemental Skillbook (everything else) = Crafted skill  requiring one point in each skill school.
- If one or both of the skillbooks is a Source skillbook, it makes a more powerful Source version of the skill, requiring 2 Memory slots and 2 points in each skill school.
- If there's a vendor you plan to use a lot, it's worthwhile to boost their attitude towards you up to 100. You do this by giving them things without asking for anything. The amount you have to pay is not a lot, and it's fixed based on the vendor's level. It starts at about 100 gold for vendors in Fort Joy, and goes up to about 4750 gold at level 20, which is really cheap. The discount for maxed attitude is a substantial 20%.
- Vendors stock new skillbooks starting at Player Level 4, 9, and 16. It's not based on the vendor level.