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Author Topic: Hawke's Adventure (formerly know as Dragon Age II) - Impressions! Mods!  (Read 39135 times)
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CeeKay
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« Reply #1000 on: March 23, 2011, 01:30:08 AM »

Quote from: Travis on March 23, 2011, 01:07:40 AM

Quote from: naednek on March 22, 2011, 09:49:22 PM

I'm trying to decide if I should pull the trigger on this for $40.  Was trying to split it with my brother but he declined.  $20 no brainer, $40 not sure

I think it's worth $40.  There's a lot of gameplay and I think I am overly critical of the game due to my attachment to the first.

but it'd still be better at $20  icon_wink
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« Reply #1001 on: March 23, 2011, 02:49:25 PM »

If I were in the know on such things I'd guess there is a patch that is being tested on Thursday which might fix many, many, many things. I'd recommend not buying or playing until that hypothetical patch hits, hopefully next week.
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« Reply #1002 on: March 23, 2011, 03:26:14 PM »

slywink
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« Reply #1003 on: March 23, 2011, 03:48:44 PM »

Quote from: naednek on March 22, 2011, 09:49:22 PM

I'm trying to decide if I should pull the trigger on this for $40.  Was trying to split it with my brother but he declined.  $20 no brainer, $40 not sure

Another thread made the combat sound really tedious. Like assassians turning invisible and appearing behind a character to one shot kill them. A ton of micro management in battle. This was on hard. He said normal was pretty easy.
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« Reply #1004 on: March 23, 2011, 03:56:34 PM »

I play on Hard and for the most part, it's like a speedier DAO at that difficulty setting.  There's a few fights that are a bit insane, at least until I realized I don't have to go charging into a room full of enemies and a commander, and can instead pull them to me out in a hall.

The stealthed assassins can still be hit with AoE, and it's actually a nice mechanic that forces you to defend your spell casters a little more. Defending against it is as easy as using one of the many AoE abilities from mages, warriors, and rogues around your mages when you think an assassin is about.

The game can be tailored to how much micro management you want. On normal difficulty, most basic battles you can get through by just using your main character, every now and then switching to use a specific ability. On hard you have to at least do some basic setup on most fights, but still not a ton of micro.
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« Reply #1005 on: March 23, 2011, 05:05:13 PM »

Quote from: Greg Wak on March 23, 2011, 03:48:44 PM

A ton of micro management in battle.

It's all perspective. Personally I call this tactics. I think DA2 is a MUCH more tactical game than DA:O was.
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« Reply #1006 on: March 23, 2011, 05:15:54 PM »

I decided to wait for a better deal.  Carry on
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« Reply #1007 on: March 23, 2011, 05:25:04 PM »

Quote from: naednek on March 23, 2011, 05:15:54 PM

  Carry on

No!  You didn't get it so we're closing up shop. Everyone out, it's all over.
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« Reply #1008 on: March 23, 2011, 06:30:01 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on March 23, 2011, 05:05:13 PM

Quote from: Greg Wak on March 23, 2011, 03:48:44 PM

A ton of micro management in battle.

It's all perspective. Personally I call this tactics. I think DA2 is a MUCH more tactical game than DA:O was.

By the way, this was all just stuff I read in another thread. I don't have it myself. I just can no longer justify paying full price for games when the steam sales are out there. Because it takes me a long time to finish a game, I won't pay full unless I run out of stuff to play.
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« Reply #1009 on: March 23, 2011, 07:26:14 PM »

I've encountered those assassins . On normal I've never had them kill me. they barely scratch me. Even my mage comes away fine.
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« Reply #1010 on: March 23, 2011, 07:31:06 PM »

Quote from: Greg Wak on March 23, 2011, 03:48:44 PM

Like assassins turning invisible and appearing behind a character to one shot kill them.

FWIW, having finished the game on Hard, I don't think I ever had a character get one-shotted. That said, I certainly did have a couple of two-shot kills and a couple of one-shot-after-already-being-somewhat-wounded kills. Rogues' stealthed backstab abilities definitely do back an extreme wallop. That said, I would agree that this was tactical, not tedious, for a couple of reasons:

1) You can build for this. Put attribute points into CON and/or equip +health jewelry on your casters (i.e, increase their durability at the expense of some of their firepower) and being one-shotted will be a thing of the past. I know people aren't used to thinking about leveling CON for a mage but that doesn't change the fact that the game does give you tools to avoid this problem. If you don't take advantage of them, well, that's your choice.

2) When you see a Rogue vanish/Stealth, you have a range of skills you can use to counter the coming pain. You can use AOE abilities to interrupt the stealth (assuming you target the right area). You can use a +defense ability on your squishy character (Rock Armor/Forcefield/Barrier/etc.). You can use a Lifeward potion to keep a character from falling even if they take too much damage. You get the idea.

Honestly, I never found it necessary to do any of the above - like I said, I didn't have a particular problem with this issue - so maybe this isn't the best argument for "DA2 is a tactical game!" but there are certainly tactics available to you if you find yourself having a problem with this sort of thing.

- Ash
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« Reply #1011 on: March 23, 2011, 08:00:51 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on March 23, 2011, 02:49:25 PM

If I were in the know on such things I'd guess there is a patch that is being tested on Thursday which might fix many, many, many things. I'd recommend not buying or playing until that hypothetical patch hits, hopefully next week.
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« Reply #1012 on: March 23, 2011, 08:01:34 PM »

Hopefully said patch doesn't change so much saves are invalidated though.
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« Reply #1013 on: March 23, 2011, 08:43:47 PM »

I can't imagine a mage build without picking up mind blast with the stun upgrade, it's a lifesaver against rogues.  They may take half a mage's health on the first strike, but then they get stunned and knocked back, and then take your pick on either locking them down with petrify, crushing prison, or horror, or just killing them.  Stonefist also launches them across the screen to provide some breathing room.  Rogues are really no problem at all with...wait for it...the right tactics and abilities. icon_wink

Merrill setup as a full blood mage with high con can just laugh at backstabbing rogues, they barely put a dent in her health (with Rock Armor running, Blood of the First, and Arcane Shield).  In my mage playthrough I had Merrill actually draw baddies to her with Ensare, and then launch them back out again with Mind Blast.

My mage held up well against rogues too with just Rock Armor, Mind Blast and Stonefist for most of the game.  By the time my mage Hawke got his complete set of top tier armor, he had higher armor than Avalene.
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« Reply #1014 on: March 23, 2011, 09:30:51 PM »

Quote from: Roguetad on March 23, 2011, 08:43:47 PM

I can't imagine a mage build without picking up mind blast with the stun upgrade, it's a lifesaver against rogues.  They may take half a mage's health on the first strike, but then they get stunned and knocked back, and then take your pick on either locking them down with petrify, crushing prison, or horror, or just killing them.  Stonefist also launches them across the screen to provide some breathing room.  Rogues are really no problem at all with...wait for it...the right tactics and abilities. icon_wink

I found Mind Blast to be quite useless, actually. It takes a little while to charge, so more than half the times I tried to use it I ended up getting interrupted by enemy attacks. This was especially bad for those situations where the spell seems like a perfect fit, in other words when you're surrounded. Good luck casting any spell at all when you are though! I ended up just respeccing my mage to get rid of the spell and use the points on something more useful.

The safest way to handle the enemies that pop out and do massive damage (and any other melee enemy, actually) is just to make your character run a few meters away when the enemy starts to attack. Their animations are so slow that it's easy to get out of reach before they hit you. Not very realistic, but it works.
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« Reply #1015 on: March 23, 2011, 10:08:31 PM »

Okay, having spent a few days kicking around a document with my thoughts on Dragon Age 2, I think I'm finally ready to post it. Everything below should be reasonably spoiler-free, with the exception of things in spoiler tags (duh!).

My finishing thoughts on Dragon Age 2

I'll start with the conclusion since many people like to skip the foreplay and go straight to the climax. Naughty!

Dragon Age 2 is a game filled with lots of good intentions and very little understanding of the medium and the fans. This is very surprising, as we all know Bioware is a legend when it comes to RPGs. Mass Effect 2 last year was a masterpiece, and the first Dragon Age, while also with its fair share of flaws, was a fantastic experience and a love letter to those of us who miss the deeper RPGs of yore. The whole experience feels rushed, with a lack of polish and forethought that reminds me more of amateur developers than of Bioware.

On the whole, there were some great moments in the game, particularly at the end of each act where the Bioware magic was most apparent. It's what's between these moments that makes up the meat and bones of the game however, and this is where the flaws rear their ugly faces. The combat is different than Origins yet fun in its own way, but it grows repetitive and stale after the first half of the game.

I'm annoyed that I paid full price for this game, as it was definitely not worth it. It's worth playing, but only if you can find it cheap. To put it into perspective, I don't think Bioware has ever made a worse RPG than this (their release dates considered). Not that it's saying much considering their track record of excellency.

Now onto the details:


The Awesome:

- The story might vary a bit for each of us who plays through the game. This is a good thing and makes the events more personal in typical Bioware fashion.

- There was one section near the end that hit all the right notes and was very emotionally fulfilling. I don't think this is something that will happen in all playthroughs. Description of the event in the spoiler:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Anders used me to blow up the Chantry, killing everyone inside and escalating the templar/mage-conflict beyond repair. The whole sequence when his plan comes together was masterfully wrought, and despite not liking what the developers did to Anders' personality in this game, I was conflicted and sad when I decided that the only rational course of action was to personally execute him for what he had done. That my entire team was there to lend their opinion on the situation was great as well.


The Good:

- Being able to instantly change between night and day on the city map is a brilliant idea that I hope more games will use. It gets rid of the trite time-scaling that almost all games use where each day and night seems to last just a few minutes, and gives the player control over the passage of time so that they don't have to sit around waiting when all they have a quest that requires them to be present at a certain time of day.

- The combat is different than Dragon Age Origins, but fun in its own way (though there are some major caveats, see below). Setting up powerful attack combos is satisfying and demanding, and it rewards planning and tactical play, even if these tactics have little flexibility. I enjoyed it on Hard throughout the entire first act, at least.

- The more I think about it, the more I love the character of Bodahn and his relationship with his adoptive son, Sandal. I have no idea if it was accidental or not, but I've rarely seen a relationship between game characters that has felt so genuine and real. Bodahn's actor is also very good at what he does. I just hope Bioware don't think the charm of these two characters entirely consists of Sandal saying "enchantment!", because that would mean they've missed the point entirely.

- Tons of sidequests. You always feel like you've got plenty to do at all times. Some of the sidequests escalate into larger quests too, which is both cool and can have some nasty
consequences, such as missing out on companions because you didn't do the unimportant-looking sidequest that triggered their appearance.

- Repeat appearances by select companions from Dragon Age Origins and Awakening. Anders doesn't really work because they changed him too much, but the others that appeared in my game were a breath of fresh air and brought a smile to my face. I felt they have more charm than the ones in DA2, but I'm not complaining too much about that. The companions here are all interesting enough in their own way, even if they can't reach the level of greatness that was Morrigan, Leliana & co.


The Neutral:

- The race redesign is hit and miss. Mostly hit, admittedly. I really like the way they reimagined the Qunari, and for the most part the elves as well. Making them more fey-like is a good thing. The issue with the elves is their idiotic ears, obviously inspired by WoW. While traditional fantasy elf ears are merely a cosmetic change from regular humans to give them a bit of an exotic flair, the ones in this game would actually impair their hearing. It makes no sense.


The Bad:

- The story. To clarify, the basic elements of the story are good, but there are some serious problems in terms of pacing, hooks and foreshadowing that make the whole thing fall apart at the seams. To begin with, the story lacks a good hook to get you interested. It tries with its dwarf storyteller motif, but it doesn't put things into context and appears so rarely that you quickly forget about it and start wondering what exactly you're trying to accomplish. That gets even worse at the end of each act when it feels like you've already accomplished everything Hawke would want, which makes it hard to accept that he's still heading out adventuring and that his companions are still following him around. There is a lack of structure to the story, and while the groundwork for each act is laid down in advance and there are a few common threads, each act is still a completely separate story from the others.

- The action and style is way over the top. Sure, you can use the excuse that it's all because the dwarf is exaggerating, but that is beside the point when this is all we get to see as the player. People summersault through the air to land blows with swords that wouldn't look out of place in an Anime. Enemies explode into gory chunks when hit by arrows. It's all a bit much for a setting that started out as pretty low-fantasy except for the magic. I get the distinct impression that the developers are big fans of Anime in general and wanted to do something like that. That may work for some, but I'm not a fan of that at all. I expect a certain degree of believability in an RPG setting for me to get absorbed in it (which is why games like Zelda don't work for me, for example), but Dragon Age is heading in the opposite direction of that right now.

- Timed trap puzzles that are hopelessly bugged. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to when you actually take damage by running across these traps. Sometimes you can run across unharmed while the trap is active. Most of the time you'll take damage when running across it when it's inactive. I still haven't figured it out, but it seems very clear to me that the whole thing is totally bugged.

- Speaking of bugs, the game has a lot of them for a Bioware title, some of them game breaking or at least storyline-breaking. We've seen mention of the slowdown bug and the one that messes up Merill's story and quests (more on that in the spoiler below). There's also stuff like the game pausing for minutes at a time (when this happens in the middle of an important cutscene it can be infuriating), blank faces, quests that are outright broken (like one in act 2 that never disappears from your quest log or one in act 3 where the quest objective can't be found) and your dog becoming completely unresponsive until you reload a saved game. The Merill bug had hilarious consequences for me: (end-game spoiler)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Merill's quests and story got bugged for me, so certain parts never appeared while others appeared out of order, in the wrong act, or had no effect on the rest of the world. This culminated in me romancing both Merill and Isabella at once and having the game let me do this. During the final preparations for the end battle, when you get to talk to each of your companions, both Isabella and Merill proclaimed their unending love for me while standing next to each other, each giving me a passionate kiss while the other one watched with no comment. It was bizarre. When the game was over and Varric mentioned who stuck with who, the game seemed to ignore Merill's romance and said that the Champion stayed with Isabella.

- The combat, while interesting initially, turns out to have little depth beyond how you construct your party (and some basic, repeatable tactics). I was having fun with the combat until I got a little bit into Act 2 and realized I was doing the same (effective) things every battle, against the same limited set of enemies with the same repetitive sort of encounter design. I turned the difficulty down to Normal to make things pass by quicker. In Act 3 I turned it down to Casual so I could ignore the combat completely. There was way too much fighting and way too little effort at making each encounter interesting.

- Reinforcements. Yeah I know, we've been all over this already, but I'd like to point out what's wrong with the concept. If you look at any one particular battle in Dragon Age 2 in isolation, the reinforcements can look interesting, even fun. However, they are used in almost every battle no matter how unreasonable the setup. Why is this guy's personal guard (who count in the dozens) storming in from different city blocks? Aren't they suppsed to be close? And who warned them about the attack? Why are fully armed templars jumping out of windows in private residences? Why are Qunari reinformcents teleporting in from nowhere? Why are dragonlings suddenly digging out of the ground? Why are darkspawn appearing from a wall with no openings in it, the floor or the roof? Why are reinforcements storming in late when I'm being ambushed? I mean, weren't they lying around waiting for me? Were these people off urinating or something? Reinforcements can be fun when used in moderation and when it makes sense. Dragon Age 2 uses them all the fricking time merely as a way to extend play time and artificially increase the difficulty.

- The boss encounters are ridiculous. I can't imagine that more than a small subset of players would ever enjoy this kind of thing. Who wants to fight the same, singular enemy for more than a minute or two? There's nothing as frustrating as failing a boss encounter after 15 minutes of non-stop fighting only to have to do it all over again. Then there's the way these encounters encourage you to die several times while you learn the attack patterns. This is NOT FUN, no matter the genre. I routinely turned the boss encounters down to Casual difficulty just to get them over with, and even then they lasted way, way too long.

- The NPC selection is out of whack. There are only two warriors (the arguably most important class), one of whom is hidden inside an unassuming sidequest that is easily missed (I know I missed it), yet there are three rogues? It can be rough to play a mage when you've got only one available warrior to protect you, and what if you don't like that NPCs personality? What if the story makes that NPC leave you, temporarily or permanently?

- The recycling of maps is horrible. I know this has been discussed to death already, but I think it needs repeating. Each type of environment in the game has only one map, and that map is repeated every time you visit that kind of environment. In other words, if you visit a cave, it will be the same exact cave as the last time you did so. They don't even bother to add background objects for ambience. The only stuff that changes is what they use to block off passages. Most of the time that's just a grey concrete wall. To make matters worse, the game is split into three acts that have almost no new scenery from the previous ones. By the time you've finished Act 1, you've more or less seen every map the game has to offer. Roleplaying games like Dragon Age should have an element of exploration (the first one had plenty), but there is no such thing in DA2. It's a damn shame, and quite possibly the game's biggest weakness.

- Mouse targeting is bad. Really bad. Really, really bad! For one thing, it can be nearly impossible to target the enemy you wish to attack. Each character seems to block off anything behind it, so if your warhound is standing between you and your enemy, you probably won't be able to target him without fiddling with the (locked) camera for a while, and maybe not even then. This is even though your warhound doesn't block the enemy visually at all. Even if the enemy isn't blocked, you may still have issues. Try targeting a moving Shade, I dare you! Those are the worst of the bunch and can only be targeted by clicking a specific point of their tail, which is way outside their targeting circle. At one point I couldn't target an enemy without clicking a random point high in the air about 2 meters away from him. Took me a minute or so of fiddling to randomly figure that out. Then there's the issue of invisible walls. The game is crawling with them. Even a tiny fence is considered a solid wall by the game engine, so it won't accept you targeting anything through it even though it's clear as day. Sometimes you won't even know these walls are there and become frustrated that the game won't accept your orders. In the first game you could get around this problem by moving the camera closer to the enemy, but here the camera is locked to your character, often making it impossible to attack certain enemies without manually moving closer. It may sound like I'm exaggerating. I'm not.

- The passage of time is only paid lip service. NPCs don't even change their clothes during the 10 or so years the game lasts, and nobody ages visually. It was particularly jarring when a character from DA:O appeared near the end of the game:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Leliana was probably between 25 and 30 years old in DA:O, I'd guess. This means that she's between 35 and 40 when she appears in DA2, but she still looks 20.

- I find the graphics to be dull and dated. This seems to be a point of contention. Either people love the graphics or they hate them. In my opinion, the graphics here are comparable to Lord of the Rings Online in many ways, yet that is a MMORPG and was released 4 years ago! Most areas consist of large, empty spaces with little detail. The city is blocky and bland. The ceilings (remember these? The very same ones Bioware told us were one of the reasons they got rid of the overhead view?) are particularly bad, to the point that Something Awful wrote an article making fun of them. Some characters do look good, and facial animations are certainly more than passable, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Bioware seems to have confused "cartoony" with "dated".
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« Reply #1016 on: March 23, 2011, 10:28:13 PM »

Quote
- The NPC selection is out of whack. There are only two warriors (the arguably most important class), one of whom is hidden inside an unassuming sidequest that is easily missed (I know I missed it), yet there are three rogues? It can be rough to play a mage when you've got only one available warrior to protect you, and what if you don't like that NPCs personality? What if the story makes that NPC leave you, temporarily or permanently?

I guess that depends on what class you are playing, but in the base game there are only 2 rogues (not including the DLC NPC who people aren't guaranteed to have):

Spoiler for NPC class breakdown:
3 warriors: Carver, Fenric and Aveline
3 mages: Bethany, Anders and Merril
2 rogues: Varric and Isabella

then there's Sebastian the Rogue, but like I said not everyone may have him.

so technically you could have 3 warriors, 2 mages and 3 rogues, or 2 warriors, 3 mages and 3 rogues.
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« Reply #1017 on: March 23, 2011, 10:36:40 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 23, 2011, 10:28:13 PM

Quote
- The NPC selection is out of whack. There are only two warriors (the arguably most important class), one of whom is hidden inside an unassuming sidequest that is easily missed (I know I missed it), yet there are three rogues? It can be rough to play a mage when you've got only one available warrior to protect you, and what if you don't like that NPCs personality? What if the story makes that NPC leave you, temporarily or permanently?

I guess that depends on what class you are playing, but in the base game there are only 2 rogues (not including the DLC NPC who people aren't guaranteed to have):

Spoiler for NPC class breakdown:
3 warriors: Carver, Fenric and Aveline
3 mages: Bethany, Anders and Merril
2 rogues: Varric and Isabella

then there's Sebastian the Rogue, but like I said not everyone may have him.

so technically you could have 3 warriors, 2 mages and 3 rogues, or 2 warriors, 3 mages and 3 rogues.

No. What you're saying is technically correct if you count the number of NPCs included in the game, but that's not the same as what's available. Here's a corrected list:

Spoiler for NPC class breakdown:
2 warriors: Fenris and Aveline
2 mages: Anders and Merril
2 rogues: Varric and Isabella

You have access to one additional warrior (Carver) in act 1 if you're a mage, or one additional mage (Bethany) in the same act if you're not. After act 1, they are no longer available. Sebastian is also a rogue and should be counted as a third character there, particularly since he feels just as vital as Shale did in the first game.

Seems balanced, right? Wrong. One of the warriors hates mages, which can be a real issue when you play one (I don't know how rivalry factors into these things since I didn't go that route, but there are several situations in the game where it looks like certain NPCs may leave you for good).

It also doesn't help one bit that a large amount of quests in the game (all companion quests, for instance) require you to use a certain character or leaves some of them unavailable. This can hurt really bad when you depend upon them, such as during one quest where there were no warriors available to me whatsoever. I had to turn down the difficulty just to survive filler battles.
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« Reply #1018 on: March 24, 2011, 01:37:01 AM »

Almost no one will actually leave you unless you directly try to piss them off. Sure, you get rivalry points, but that's why they're called rivalry. They'll hate you, but work with you anyway.
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« Reply #1019 on: March 24, 2011, 07:50:13 PM »

a trailer for a live action fan film called Malevolence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=phwwuF5wanc
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« Reply #1020 on: March 25, 2011, 02:00:17 AM »

the inevitable nude mod is out.
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« Reply #1021 on: March 25, 2011, 03:12:19 PM »

LOL, some people are complaining that Bioware is neglecting the straight male.

I agree.  there should be  lesbian encounters between Bethany and Isabella, but could they put that in there?  noooooo.
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« Reply #1022 on: March 26, 2011, 12:50:30 AM »

I thought in Mass Effect 1 and 2 that if you couldn't open a locked container that whoever in your party that could would come up and do it for you. But in DA2 they just say they could do it and you have to take control of them and do it yourself. You'd think DA2 would be advanced but it seems a step back in some stuff.
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« Reply #1023 on: March 26, 2011, 12:51:37 AM »

BAM!  Savegame generator for DA:O so you don't have to replay to get all the variations.
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« Reply #1024 on: March 26, 2011, 12:57:52 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on March 26, 2011, 12:50:30 AM

I thought in Mass Effect 1 and 2 that if you couldn't open a locked container that whoever in your party that could would come up and do it for you. But in DA2 they just say they could do it and you have to take control of them and do it yourself. You'd think DA2 would be advanced but it seems a step back in some stuff.

Umm...well, in the Mass Effect games, locked containers are mini-games that you have to complete and have nothing to do with your companions. And in DA:O, all your companions would do was mock your failure to open the container, not give you the new context-appropriate reply as to whether or not they could open it themselves.

So DA2's system actually is an improvement over DA:O's, although I grant it's an incredibly minor improvement.

- Ash
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« Reply #1025 on: March 26, 2011, 02:13:57 AM »

Quote from: Asharak on March 26, 2011, 12:57:52 AM

Quote from: Daehawk on March 26, 2011, 12:50:30 AM

I thought in Mass Effect 1 and 2 that if you couldn't open a locked container that whoever in your party that could would come up and do it for you. But in DA2 they just say they could do it and you have to take control of them and do it yourself. You'd think DA2 would be advanced but it seems a step back in some stuff.

Umm...well, in the Mass Effect games, locked containers are mini-games that you have to complete and have nothing to do with your companions. And in DA:O, all your companions would do was mock your failure to open the container, not give you the new context-appropriate reply as to whether or not they could open it themselves.

So DA2's system actually is an improvement over DA:O's, although I grant it's an incredibly minor improvement.

- Ash

Yeah, I think it was NWN that had he companion do it for you automatically.  They exclaimed something in a semi-annoying voice if I recall correctly.
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« Reply #1026 on: March 26, 2011, 02:17:34 AM »

Didn't they change things so that in Awakenings, if you tried to pick a lock with a non-rogue character, the rogue in your party would move over and automatically try and pick it for you?
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« Reply #1027 on: March 26, 2011, 02:19:42 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 26, 2011, 02:17:34 AM

Didn't they change things so that in Awakenings, if you tried to pick a lock with a non-rogue character, the rogue in your party would move over and automatically try and pick it for you?

Hmm. I ran Awakenings without a lockpicking-capable Rogue (but damn, could Sigrun ever kill things!), so I would have missed that. If true, my apologies to Daehawk for incorrectly correcting him.

- Ash
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« Reply #1028 on: March 26, 2011, 03:58:01 AM »

A minor but annoying complaint: It's dumb that I have to resummon my mabari everytime I zone.  And when I do zone, I have to wait for the cooldown to summon him again.  I feel like I'm playing a mmorpg with zoning issues.  Also, the animation to "call" the mabari is silly, and looks like an abracadabra wavy hands magic spell rather than whistling for my dog.   
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« Reply #1029 on: March 26, 2011, 02:39:39 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 26, 2011, 02:17:34 AM

Didn't they change things so that in Awakenings, if you tried to pick a lock with a non-rogue character, the rogue in your party would move over and automatically try and pick it for you?

Not that I remember.  I also remember, though, that thee rogues would make comments in the first game as well when you tried to open a chest with your main and they didn't have skills.
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« Reply #1030 on: March 26, 2011, 03:24:30 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on March 26, 2011, 02:39:39 PM

Quote from: Turtle on March 26, 2011, 02:17:34 AM

Didn't they change things so that in Awakenings, if you tried to pick a lock with a non-rogue character, the rogue in your party would move over and automatically try and pick it for you?

Not that I remember.  I also remember, though, that thee rogues would make comments in the first game as well when you tried to open a chest with your main and they didn't have skills.

Yeah, they definitely did. I think Leliana's line was "I can do that for you".
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« Reply #1031 on: March 26, 2011, 04:45:19 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on March 26, 2011, 03:24:30 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 26, 2011, 02:39:39 PM

Quote from: Turtle on March 26, 2011, 02:17:34 AM

Didn't they change things so that in Awakenings, if you tried to pick a lock with a non-rogue character, the rogue in your party would move over and automatically try and pick it for you?

Not that I remember.  I also remember, though, that thee rogues would make comments in the first game as well when you tried to open a chest with your main and they didn't have skills.

Yeah, they definitely did. I think Leliana's line was "I can do that for you".

Exactly.  What they didn't do was go pick it for you.  You still had to select her and make her go pick the lock.
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« Reply #1032 on: March 26, 2011, 10:34:54 PM »

I just read the Dragon Age II - Final Thoughts at GameSpot, and it both frightens me and pisses me off. I can sum up the interview like this: "This is the right way for the Dragon Age franchise to go, and it only needs a little tweaking now to be perfect. Anyone who complaints about this game is either obsessed with Origins or doesn't know what he's talking about.", in a slightly more diplomatic tone. There's almost no signs of humility or admitting that certain design decisions were wrong. I also find it interesting that when asked about how they listen to fans, he only mentions two examples of feedback they look at: Players who disliked Origins and loved DA2, and players who disliked Origins and disliked DA2. It's like he doesn't care about the players who actually loved Origins in the first place.

Bioware truly have become blinded by their own success and are now growing arrogant. I hope it backfires, and judging by public opinion of DA2, that process might already have started.
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« Reply #1033 on: March 26, 2011, 11:10:57 PM »

I would take that interview with a grain of salt.  I have worked with a lot of PMs during a lot of bad releases of product and they are programmed not to admit fault and defeat inmediately to the press.  The product life cycle for the game is still in its start, so it would be bad business to trash a game you still want to sell.  In six months I would expect a more honest answer.
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« Reply #1034 on: March 26, 2011, 11:22:50 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 25, 2011, 02:00:17 AM

the inevitable nude mod is out.

probably the best part of the game!
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« Reply #1035 on: March 26, 2011, 11:25:10 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on March 26, 2011, 10:34:54 PM

I just read the Dragon Age II - Final Thoughts at GameSpot, and it both frightens me and pisses me off. I can sum up the interview like this: "This is the right way for the Dragon Age franchise to go, and it only needs a little tweaking now to be perfect. Anyone who complaints about this game is either obsessed with Origins or doesn't know what he's talking about.", in a slightly more diplomatic tone. There's almost no signs of humility or admitting that certain design decisions were wrong. I also find it interesting that when asked about how they listen to fans, he only mentions two examples of feedback they look at: Players who disliked Origins and loved DA2, and players who disliked Origins and disliked DA2. It's like he doesn't care about the players who actually loved Origins in the first place.

Bioware truly have become blinded by their own success and are now growing arrogant. I hope it backfires, and judging by public opinion of DA2, that process might already have started.


Well you must have read a different article than the one you posted because I got nothing near as arrogant out of it as you seemed to.  Then again I read the article instead of reading between the lines and adding my own personal perspective for flavor.  Your claim that he was saying  "Anyone who complaints about this game is either obsessed with Origins or doesn't know what he's talking about." is ridiculous.  He didnt even imply he felt that way.  What he did was answer some softball questions in an attempt to explain the direction DA2 took.    If you wanted him to discuss design flaws, maybe the interviewer should have asked him questions about those, because as lead designer,  that not something Im going to spout off about unless someone confronts me directly about them.  Do you seriously expect him to dis his own project when its still in its early sales stage?!  This was a puff piece with some easy questions that were answered in an easy fashion, nothing more. 
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« Reply #1036 on: March 27, 2011, 12:23:52 AM »

I just realized I haven't touched this game for most of the week.  looks like my last save was made around 2am on the 20th.  real gripping game Bioware.
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« Reply #1037 on: March 27, 2011, 01:14:07 AM »

Yeah, that's a pretty lame interview but the blame lies far more with the interviewer than with Laidlaw. It's a pretty typical example of the obsequious, oh-thank-you-for-talking-to-my-publication school of gaming "journalism" (of course, this is GameSpot we're talking about). There are no hard questions asked, no follow up questions for vague or evasive answers and no sense that the interviewer actually parsed Laidlaw's responses for newsworthiness versus just printing anything and everything that Laidlaw wanted to say. Sure, it'd be nice for readers if Laidlaw just gave away all the money quotes voluntarily but real journalists have understood for years that neither corporate self-interest nor human nature work that way. It's the journalist's job to dig past the PR and defensive bullshit and force an interview subject to give direct answers to difficult questions and, in this case, the interviewer didn't even try.

Moreover, other than Brad Wardell after the release of Elemental, I can't really think of a game developer who was willing to publicly eviscerate his own product in short order and DA2 is nowhere near an Elemental-level disaster. Even your own review, TiLT, acknowledges that the game does a variety of things right. It's not like Laidlaw had to invent positives out of whole cloth to give him something to talk about. And he did actually concede that they'll probably put the ability to equip your companions' armor back in at some point, which was nice to read.

If there's one thing that does piss me off about the interviews Laidlaw has given (not just this one), though, it's the number of times he's said things to the effect of "we knew this would be a risk", which is code for "we knew people wouldn't like it". As a gamer, I just want to reach through the screen and strangle him every time I hear that and scream "then why the fuck didn't you tell us before you took our money?". Again, I know the answer is that corporate marketing doctrine absolutely forbids acknowledging any kind of flaw for as long as possible and, again, I blame the even-more-obsequious pool of game preview "journalists" for not forcing EA/Bioware to talk about this stuff sooner. I still don't like it, though, because I just can't accept that I am the only one who would have been a lot happier going into the game with more realistic expectations and I think a little corporate humility would have gone a long way to creating them.

- Ash
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« Reply #1038 on: March 27, 2011, 01:20:02 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 27, 2011, 12:23:52 AM

I just realized I haven't touched this game for most of the week.  looks like my last save was made around 2am on the 20th.  real gripping game Bioware.

I took a break from Origins for like 5 months. Same with Baldur's Gate. Those are some of favorite RPGs of all time.
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« Reply #1039 on: March 27, 2011, 01:26:52 AM »

I finished the game, just to appease the person on the next page. So....spoiler for just about everything.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Having just finished this I think overall....I didn't like it. The bugginess got overly annoying. I think the main issue with this game is that there is no clearly defined enemy. That shroud everything in grey and it just doesn't feel complete. I didn't want to kill the arishok but I felt I had to because I somehow got involved with Isabela even though what she did was stupid? I didn't really want to side with either the mages or the templars, but I had to choose a side I guess.  Merrill was an idiot the entire time, Anders was whiny and annoying. The only people I kind of liked were the Dog and Varric. There was no sense of the epic story that Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Orgins pulled off so well.

Overall, I liked the combat, I don't know how I walked or sat down with the giant sword. Story kind of sucked, I didn't really like any of my companions. Bioware obviously was using the B-Team writers for this game with most likely everyone else on Mass Effect 3 and SWTOR.
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