Players could exploit the crap out of Divinity: Original Sin, and that's why it rocked.
During a recent demonstration of Divinity: Original Sin 2, I asked Larian co-founder and creative director Swen Vincke about his favourite player stories from the original Original Sin, a fantasy RPG designed to let players get creative with a broad range of magic, AI, and physics systems.
Here is the tale he told me:
"I met a guy at [major European gaming convention] Gamescom who said, 'I one-shotted the dragon at the end of the game.'
"I immediately asked, 'What mod did you use?'
"He said, 'I didn't use a single mod.'
"I said, 'That's impossible.'"
However, the player had an ace up his sleeve: an extremely rare scroll called the Lava Core that cannot be crafted into a skill book (that is, something that can be learned permanently). He did what any sensible player of RPGs does with precious objects: he hoarded it until he was goddamn certain there'd never be a better time to use it.
Vincke said it couldn't be done, but the player was insistent. "The guy replied, 'That's not true. There was a crafting thing where one set of ingredients allowed you to make a Create Lava scroll. So I saved it until the end of the game, and I put it under the dragon. The game's rules state that lava kills everything, so there went the dragon.'"
There you go. If you think outside the box, it's possible to make a laughing stock of one of Original Sin's hardest bosses — and Original Sin is not an easy game. But if you can't give a dragon a lava bath that's too hot even for him, there's always the low-rent option: barrels.
"In Original Sin 1, something we didn't expect to be so popular was throwing barrels," Vincke said. "People would buff up their strength tremendously to carry all these barrels with one guy, and then they'd throw them at the boss monster and just explode them. It was a legit way of killing bosses."
We can only hope that Original Sin 2 will allow for such elaborate, um, tactics.