Being somewhat of a completionist can be a problem with certain games, with one of those games being the absolutely excellent Divinity: Original Sin 2. I’ll try to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible, but if you are hyper-sensitive to that kind of thing and haven’t played DOS2, maybe skip this post.
I’m now in the third major area/chapter of the game, and one pattern the first two areas have shown is that the game offers you multiple ways to solve problems. For example, one of the early problems is to get inside and then out of a castle/dungeon. To get in, you can try the front door and fight or talk your way in, you can intentionally get arrested and sent to prison and then break out, or you can sneak in via multiple back doors or tunnels. Lots of options, with many of those options requiring the completion of side quests or activities before they become available (a tunnel won’t open until you help the people who know its location, for example).
On one hand, a game offering you multiple ways to solve a problem is good compared to just having one linear path and no opportunity to do things differently. On the other hand, when someone like me plays and needs to ‘clear the quest log’ before moving on, having multiple solutions to a problem leads to some inconsistencies with the game, along with a general second guessing everything with a ‘was this the best way to do it’ attitude.
To return to the above example, once you figure out a way into the castle, you can still go back outside and do the other ‘get in’ options, with some of the characters still reacting like they have never been inside said castle. With a game as complex as DOS2, it’s understandable that not every combination of completing content has been considered, but some of the stuff is REALLY immersion breaking, like when a character you have already meet acts like they don’t know you because that’s how the start of a particular quest is designed. And again, if I wasn’t a completionist and just moved forward after getting past an objective, rather than going back to try to do all the other combos, that would be less of an issue.
Except sometimes DOS2 does reward you for doing more than just one solution, and I don’t mean just in terms of getting more XP and items. One early optional quest has you save someone, and that someone comes back around later in the game in another side quest that adds nice context to the story. But if you do another optional quest early on, you trigger another event that ALSO plays out later, and also adds more context to the story. Both are nice, and both add to the game, but you would only see and experience both if you go back after you have already ‘solved’ a problem originally. Knowing that things like this exist, it makes it doubly hard NOT to check every corner and try to complete every quest, even if the larger reward of a quest is something you already have.
Somewhat related to all of this is the fact that DOS2 right now has A LOT of broken quests. Not broken that they won’t progress, but broken in that in your quest log they will stay open, even though you have completed the final step. I don’t know how important this is to the overall ending, if at all, but it’s a bit annoying to leave an area and have your quest log update stating you never solved or helped so and so, when yea, you did, and there was nothing more you could do.
Patches have been coming out fixing some of this, and I’m sure over time more and more will be fixed. Plus I’m still playing the game and loving it, so it’s not like this is more than a minor annoyance, but an annoyance it is. Now excuse me, I need to complete the 7th quest to grant me something I already have 6 of, just in case…