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Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Combat Guide

12 September 2017, Tuesday, 3:19:23


Introduction to Combat

Combats in DOS2 are turn-based. Each character plays according to the timeline at the top of the screen with the character with the highest initiative going first.


During each turn characters can perform a variety of actions costing Action Points (AP). Those actions are mainly: attacks, skills, movements and the use of items. You can do actions in any order as long as you have enough AP to act. Your turn ends whenever you are out of AP or when you press End Turn. By default every character gets 4 AP at the start of each turn. It is possible to keep some AP for your next turn to do more actions then for a maximum of 6 AP (this limit can go higher with special actions such as the skill Adrenaline or Flesh Sacrifice).


In most cases you win a battle simply by defeating all your opponents but sometimes some specific events may end the battle (for example if you used force to calm down a possessed character after a dialog).



Health and Armors

DOS2 battle system is pretty unique and features a very interesting interaction between Health, Armors and Crowd Control effects. The idea is that every character has a Vitality score which translates to a number of Health Points and whenever they reach 0 the character dies. But on top of that Vitality Armors are protecting your character. There is two type of Armors: Physical Armor and Magical Armor. Both work as a barrier to sponge damage before reaching your Health Points. If you recieved Physical damage your Physical Armor will have to go down before it reaches your Health Points (same for the Magical Armor). Typically every character tends to have one type of Armor much higher than the other or an average mix of the two. Obviously you want to take advantage of the weakness of each enemy and destroy the weakest of their two Armors to kill them as fast as possible.


This is even more interesting because of how Crowd Control (CC) work. CC are effects that will affect your targets negatively whether by slowing them down, knocking them down or applying very unique effects. The catch is that CC work against saving throws. The idea is that each type of CC is connected to one type of Armor or the other and as long as that armor is intact the CC won’t take effect. For example the skill Hail Strike chill any target hit by it if their Magical Armor is down. This means that not only your target will start taking damage when you get rid of at least one of their Armors but it will also becomes sensitive to all associated CC, those effects can potentially make a target completely harmless!


Many strategies can work but I would suggest when you start the game to have 1 party member focused on physical damage (targeting low physical armor enemies), 1 party member focused on magical damage (targeting low magical armor enemies), 1 supportive party member that will make sure to help allies whether at getting rid of enemies or protecting them (giving them more armor, healing etc.) and 1 last party member that will cover his allies to avoid them being CCed.


Be careful as enemies will most of the time used your weaknesses against you and any target with a dangerously low Armor will become an easy target and very likely become disabled soon enough.
Make sure to also balance your skills that are mostly meant to do heavy damage and skills that have particularly strong CC effects. For example a Rogue with Scoundrel and Polymorph will first use Throwing Knives to get rid of his target’s armor (as it is a high damage skill with no CC associated to it) and then use Chicken Claw on his target only when his Physical Armor is down as this skill does no damage but turns the target intot a chicken for 1 turn as long as it doesn’t have Physical Armor.


Note that the CC applies after the damage are dealt which means that if you deal 10 damage and the target has 5 Armor the CC effect will work so you can use Skills with CC effect on low Armor targets if you can destroy it at the same time (Tentacle Lash from the Polymorph is a good example of a decent mix of damage and good CC effect).



Master the Elements, Master the Fields

I don’t want to go too much into details with the elemental fields as they are actually pretty intuitive but they still are extremly important and can turn the tides radically whether for good or for worse. The elements can effect not only the characters but also the environment.


A harmless pool of water can quickly turn into a deadly area if you cast an electric spell in it. Elemental fields can be there because of the environment or created by characters in combat (works outside of combat too and has impacts in many puzzles). In DOS2 as you can expect if you read the previous section elemental fields work in relation with Armors. Most elemental fields are connected to the Magical Armor (not every though, Ice is Physical for instance) and moving in a harmful field will both deal Magical Damage and eventually CC you depending on the field.


Bless and Curse are effects that will transform a field entirely to modify its effects. If you bless a field of fire it will turn into a blue Holy Fire that will not only remove all burning effects but also heals characters in it. Overall Bless will turn any field into a positive effect and Curse will create very destructive and impairing fields. Fire for example will turn into Necrofire which can’t be extinguished by normal means and requires to wait its natural end or to use Bless on it to counter the effects.


Those two effects start to be available towards the end of the first Act and can change drastically your strategies. They can be used both on a single target (which will then transform the fields it walks inside) or on a specific field to affect this one only. Be very careful with those effects as both affect enemies and allies alike!


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