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Author Topic: Hawke's Adventure (formerly know as Dragon Age II) - Impressions! Mods!  (Read 43065 times)
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CeeKay
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« Reply #1040 on: March 27, 2011, 01:32:47 AM »

care to elaborate what you're spoiling so people know if it's safe to click on it or not?  icon_wink
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« Reply #1041 on: March 27, 2011, 04:30:53 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.

So you stayed up until 2AM playing it, but it isn't gripping?  Besides, we're talking about you, the guy who makes posts every day about yet another game you have decided to start playing.  I'm surprised you even finish anything!  icon_lol

As for the Gamespot piece, there was a minor mea culpa there about the not equipping your companions decision.  So Laidlaw is throwing some bone.  But in general he is coming across as being annoying confident in his own vision for the series.  Though not mentioned in this rather vanilla questioning, he admitted earlier that they basically rethought the combat even before DAO was released, which means they had come to conclusions about what they wanted without even listening to any feedback.  And if the former lead guy's blog comments are true, that decision was made further up the chain of command.  Meaning EA, in all likliehood.  As such, it's Laidlaw's job to do what his bosses want.



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« Reply #1042 on: March 27, 2011, 04:37:23 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on March 27, 2011, 04:30:53 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.

So you stayed up until 2AM playing it, but it isn't gripping? 

2AM is an early night for me, I'm usually up until 6-7am  Tongue
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« Reply #1043 on: March 27, 2011, 11:18:09 AM »

Actually, this is the guy who also designed DAO. So his job is to design games. How many games have you designed lately?

And frankly, I wasn't a fan of DAO's combat.

But, even I have issues with DA2, but I also had issues with DAO that were mostly fixed in DA2.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 11:27:04 AM by Turtle » Logged
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« Reply #1044 on: March 27, 2011, 01:46:33 PM »

I never can remember - Do you work for Bioware Turtle?
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« Reply #1045 on: March 27, 2011, 03:04:07 PM »

Nope, I take crappy contract jobs in the industry that are currently drying up in my sector. Haven't had work with Bioware, or any RPG making company.

A lot of people are attributing the changes to DA2 as some evil corporate scheme, or some deliberate attempt to piss off old timers, or some personal vendetta from the designer. The truth is DAO had issues and DA2 attempted to fix them. While not all of DA2's changes great, they still did fix issues with DAO and try something new. I think it's indicative that most people still bought and played through the whole game.
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« Reply #1046 on: March 27, 2011, 05:27:54 PM »

Part of me thinks it's laziness. Or something, the combat in of itself was fun, having to fight the same encounter 400 times wasn't. Reusing the same 3 or 4 maps was inexusable to me. Where it basically boiled down to "We need a smaller map", "Hurrrrr, let's take the big map and make it so they can't open up the doors or anything to the other areas of it, and then let's make sure the minimap shows the whole big ass map". Really? They couldn't make a different smaller cavern?
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« Reply #1047 on: March 27, 2011, 07:35:53 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 27, 2011, 03:04:07 PM

A lot of people are attributing the changes to DA2 as some evil corporate scheme, or some deliberate attempt to piss off old timers, or some personal vendetta from the designer. The truth is DAO had issues and DA2 attempted to fix them. While not all of DA2's changes great, they still did fix issues with DAO and try something new. I think it's indicative that most people still bought and played through the whole game.

It's important to note that while Mike Laidlaw was officially one of the designers of the game, he actually did not take over that role until late in development.  The original lead left years ago and Brent Knowles lead development for much of the time until he transitioned out of that job and eventually out of Bioware altogether (his blog posts about why he left Bioware indicate he didn't like the direction the company was heading and didn't think they were going to continue to do the type of RPGs he liked).   So Laidlaw's impact on DAO was probably a lot less then his impact on DA2.  

As for most people buying and playing through the game, I'm not sure that's clear at all.  I've seen ZERO indication that the sales on DA2 are where they hoped they would be.  If for no other reason then that we haven't seen the usual PR announcements about large numbers shipped or sold.  The longer they are quiet about it, the more I think the game is going to be seen as a business misstep.  And while hard figures are difficult to find, a poll over on QT3 indicates that something lilke 20% of potential buyers skipped buying DA2 at launch because they didn't like the demo.  If that's even somewhat true, then the changes cost them sales.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 08:03:37 PM by Sarkus » Logged

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« Reply #1048 on: March 28, 2011, 03:20:31 PM »

I tried to finish this weekend and after 20 mins I gave up.  I hit my wall in Chapter 3 and I have no desire to finish.  Sad really as I put well over 200+ hours in DAO over several characters...
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« Reply #1049 on: March 29, 2011, 01:34:37 AM »

So I finished my 2nd playthrough as a female rogue jerk character to see how it played out and gather the remaining achievements last night.  I have to admit, I skipped through the dialog to get through the game quicker which didn't really allow me to see the differences in the dialog/game choices.  Although I liked the game, that behavior is indicative of the problem.  With DA:O I played it again because I didn't want it to end.  This one I treated like any other good game.  It just doesn't have the same magic the first had.
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« Reply #1050 on: March 29, 2011, 01:44:41 AM »

Found the High Dragon yesterday.  Holy shit.  I'll have to come back to that one a little later...
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« Reply #1051 on: March 29, 2011, 07:44:19 AM »

What's up with the difficulty ramping up as soon as I began act 2? I'm in the ancient crypts and on normal almost every other encounter kicks my ass unless I kite the toughest enemy with my tank the whole time while the rest slowly pick away at him. I just got to a boss that seems impossible to beat with my current party. In addition, the party AI is retarded... Unless I need to edit their tactics or something? When I'm fighting a boss and weaker help spawns, my party continues to attack the boss much of the time. I constantly have to pause and micro-manage the party.

I don't mind a challenge, but this isn't that. It doesn't feel like FF13 where you need to discover the boss's weaknesses and the correct strategy.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 07:46:07 AM by Ridah » Logged

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« Reply #1052 on: March 29, 2011, 12:58:12 PM »

If you're having difficulty on normal then yeah you need to make some adjustments. It's easy and very effective to change group member tactics. If you haven't set up any cross-class combos, work on those. Set Merrill and/or Anders to use chain lightning if enemy status is staggered (and only then, I save my cross-class combos only for those times when enemy status calls for it). Set Varric to archer's lance/bursting shot when enemy is brittle. Set Fenris to mighty blow when enemy is brittle. Set Merrill and/or Anders to stonefist if enemy is disoriented. Set Isabela to explosive strike when enemy is staggered.

When playing through as a rogue on hard I beat the living crap out of everything by upgrading my lacerate to do extra damage to staggered enemies and having Fenris stagger whole groups of enemies at a time. I would set the mages to not use their cold spells and only use them when I wanted them to, that way I could set up an assassinate when the enemy was brittle. With over 275% crit damage, my rogue's assassinate would nearly 1-shot some bosses when brittle. The hard part is getting them brittle, heh.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 01:00:04 PM by cheeba » Logged
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« Reply #1053 on: March 29, 2011, 01:14:51 PM »

Don't be afraid to buy a bunch of respec potions from the Black Emporium to try different skill sets too. Each of your characters may be very effective on his or her own, but that is far less important than having them be effective together.
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« Reply #1054 on: March 29, 2011, 01:25:32 PM »

Hrmm, well imo...

This game doesn't have shit on Dragon age origins.   It is just "ok".     

I thought the first dragon age was a master piece.  I played it all the way through 2x...   and a third time I made it almost to the end.

This one? I am not even sure I will finish it.   In fact, I am still on act 1...  And it has been out awhile. 

Combat is fun, but the story and the NPC, even the setting is feeling "generic", or something.     

The game just is not getting hooks into me.

Anyhow, thats my opinion on this one.  Maybe it will pick up in the later acts.

(Fantasy based RPG are my favorite genre btw.) 

Anyhow, I am just hoping the game gods don't fook up the witcher 2...         
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« Reply #1055 on: March 29, 2011, 01:35:35 PM »

Quote from: kathode on March 29, 2011, 01:44:41 AM

Found the High Dragon yesterday.  Holy shit.  I'll have to come back to that one a little later...

I respeced my rogue to ranged for that. Keeping 1 tank specced for defense at melee range and the rest ranged helps alot.
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« Reply #1056 on: March 29, 2011, 06:41:07 PM »

Quote from: Jag on March 29, 2011, 01:35:35 PM

Quote from: kathode on March 29, 2011, 01:44:41 AM

Found the High Dragon yesterday.  Holy shit.  I'll have to come back to that one a little later...

I respeced my rogue to ranged for that. Keeping 1 tank specced for defense at melee range and the rest ranged helps alot.
I did sort of the same thing.  I brought 3 ranged characters plus Avalene to tank.  I specc'd full into spirit healer for just that fight, plus upgraded barrier and heal.  Worked well enough to outlast the big bad lizard. 
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« Reply #1057 on: March 29, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »

I managed it without a respec but with a ridiculous number of healing potions - 29 in total, I think, and I had all of 30 with me at the time.

- Ash
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« Reply #1058 on: March 29, 2011, 08:12:55 PM »

Quote from: Asharak on March 29, 2011, 06:51:56 PM

I managed it without a respec but with a ridiculous number of healing potions - 29 in total, I think, and I had all of 30 with me at the time.

- Ash

After the battle at the end of Act II I was pretty much set against wasting anymore time with boss battles in the game.  I just immediately turned it down to easy and womped it up.  The battle in Act II just ruined any faith I had in Bioware and boss battles for that game.
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« Reply #1059 on: March 29, 2011, 10:44:05 PM »

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 08:12:55 PM

After the battle at the end of Act II I was pretty much set against wasting anymore time with boss battles in the game.  I just immediately turned it down to easy and womped it up.  The battle in Act II just ruined any faith I had in Bioware and boss battles for that game.

Actually, I thought the end of Act II battle was the best in the game. That said, there are a couple different versions of it and I understand the one I didn't get (the one-on-one version) is much more annoying than the one I did. The big free-for-all was actually a lot of fun. Hard, but fun. It was a straight up fight, with no reinforcement waves. It was far easier (at least, measured by healing potions consumed) than the High Dragon.

- Ash
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« Reply #1060 on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:17 PM »

Quote from: Asharak on March 29, 2011, 10:44:05 PM

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 08:12:55 PM

After the battle at the end of Act II I was pretty much set against wasting anymore time with boss battles in the game.  I just immediately turned it down to easy and womped it up.  The battle in Act II just ruined any faith I had in Bioware and boss battles for that game.

Actually, I thought the end of Act II battle was the best in the game. That said, there are a couple different versions of it and I understand the one I didn't get (the one-on-one version) is much more annoying than the one I did. The big free-for-all was actually a lot of fun. Hard, but fun. It was a straight up fight, with no reinforcement waves. It was far easier (at least, measured by healing potions consumed) than the High Dragon.

- Ash

Spoiler for Hiden:
Was this the one where you get some companions taken away from you?  I got one shotted a couple of times, but the third time I tried I adjusted things and finished it no problem.
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« Reply #1061 on: March 29, 2011, 11:50:37 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on March 29, 2011, 11:31:17 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:
Was this the one where you get some companions taken away from you?  I got one shotted a couple of times, but the third time I tried I adjusted things and finished it no problem.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was speaking of the one on one against the arishock.  I have no idea how you don't get that battle.  I played through twice and it was always me and him...attacking, running, healing...repeat....I thought it was so tedious and lame I finally set the difficulty to easy just to get past it.
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« Reply #1062 on: March 29, 2011, 11:59:48 PM »

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 11:50:37 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 29, 2011, 11:31:17 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:
Was this the one where you get some companions taken away from you?  I got one shotted a couple of times, but the third time I tried I adjusted things and finished it no problem.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was speaking of the one on one against the arishock.  I have no idea how you don't get that battle.  I played through twice and it was always me and him...attacking, running, healing...repeat....I thought it was so tedious and lame I finally set the difficulty to easy just to get past it.

Spoiler for Hiden:
My 2nd time through I just gave him Isabela and he left smile
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« Reply #1063 on: March 30, 2011, 12:00:07 AM »

that kinda reminds me of the fight in the Bone Pit.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I cheesed it when I only had two members left.  the dragon would focus on one guy, who I'd take control of and run around while the other plinked away at it.  when the dragon changed targets I took over that guy and repeated until it went down.
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« Reply #1064 on: March 30, 2011, 12:21:59 AM »

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 11:50:37 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 29, 2011, 11:31:17 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:
Was this the one where you get some companions taken away from you?  I got one shotted a couple of times, but the third time I tried I adjusted things and finished it no problem.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was speaking of the one on one against the arishock.  I have no idea how you don't get that battle.  I played through twice and it was always me and him...attacking, running, healing...repeat....I thought it was so tedious and lame I finally set the difficulty to easy just to get past it.
Spoiler for Hiden:
The one on one arishok fight is stupid.  That's the nicest thing I can say about it.  It's incredibly demoralizing to kite him around for 5 minutes, chipping away at his massive health bar (in between his super attacks), only to watch him pop a health potion and return back to near full health.  I think he has 2 or 3 potions.  It's also cinematically stupid seeing the future champion of kirkwall running around pillars for 10-20 minutes hiding from the arishok during an honor duel waiting for ability and potion cooldowns to pop.  Thankfully, that's the dumbest fight in the game, so you can continue knowing you won't run into something that stupid the rest of the game.  The fight alone should lower the review score 5-10 points.
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« Reply #1065 on: March 30, 2011, 01:04:30 AM »

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 11:50:37 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was speaking of the one on one against the arishock.  I have no idea how you don't get that battle.  I played through twice and it was always me and him...attacking, running, healing...repeat....I thought it was so tedious and lame I finally set the difficulty to easy just to get past it.

@ Travis:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Having only played it once, I can't tell you what causes the different versions, but the options are apparently to duel him solo or fight every Qunari in the throne room, Arishock included, with your party of four. I presume the latter - which is what I got - happens if he doesn't respect you enough, or something similar. Given how long-term the game does it's planning, it's possible that which occurs is determined before you even get there; i.e., your previous conversations with the Arishock may have an impact, which would make just reloading the final confrontation scene insufficient to change the outcome. I didn't know about the possibility Daehawk mentioned in his spoiler.

I presume the Arishock is a weaker version of himself in the fight-everyone scenario, although I don't know that for certain.

- Ash
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« Reply #1066 on: March 30, 2011, 02:25:40 AM »

Spoiler for Hiden:
I know depending on my choices there I could do either one on one or group battle. I lost the one on one horribly my first try so I changed my dialogue choice (basically turning his challenge down) and then managed a group beatdown on the Qunari

Quote from: Asharak on March 30, 2011, 01:04:30 AM

Quote from: Travis on March 29, 2011, 11:50:37 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was speaking of the one on one against the arishock.  I have no idea how you don't get that battle.  I played through twice and it was always me and him...attacking, running, healing...repeat....I thought it was so tedious and lame I finally set the difficulty to easy just to get past it.

@ Travis:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Having only played it once, I can't tell you what causes the different versions, but the options are apparently to duel him solo or fight every Qunari in the throne room, Arishock included, with your party of four. I presume the latter - which is what I got - happens if he doesn't respect you enough, or something similar. Given how long-term the game does it's planning, it's possible that which occurs is determined before you even get there; i.e., your previous conversations with the Arishock may have an impact, which would make just reloading the final confrontation scene insufficient to change the outcome. I didn't know about the possibility Daehawk mentioned in his spoiler.

I presume the Arishock is a weaker version of himself in the fight-everyone scenario, although I don't know that for certain.

- Ash
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« Reply #1067 on: March 30, 2011, 02:54:21 AM »

Agree with everything said about that battle. It is the single worst encounter Bioware has ever made. I did finally beat it on hard with a dual wielding rogue, but you have to basically know what's coming beforehand so you can prep specifically for that fight to do it.
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« Reply #1068 on: March 30, 2011, 03:09:22 AM »

Finished my 2nd play through....this time as evil.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I really felt bad playing an ass in this game. the worst was killing Anders. I felt awful! I also guessed the ending pretty well too. That also sucked. Be a dick the whole game then get dicked yourself. One thing I dont understand is the 2nd time through I understood Orsinio changing into the blood demon and attacking. But my first play through I was on his side and he still did it and made me fight him. it was dumb. At least let him be on my side. Sigh. Anyways..evil is sad.
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« Reply #1069 on: March 30, 2011, 03:12:02 AM »

boom de ah dah! DA2 retextured!
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« Reply #1070 on: March 30, 2011, 03:27:44 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on March 30, 2011, 02:54:21 AM

Agree with everything said about that battle. It is the single worst encounter Bioware has ever made. I did finally beat it on hard with a dual wielding rogue, but you have to basically know what's coming beforehand so you can prep specifically for that fight to do it.
It was a wasted opportunity for one of the only really memorable characters from the story.  It seems like they just ran out of time and didn't interject any creativity or thought into that encounter.  They did a great job reimagining the Qunari, only to botch the pivotal Qunari-Hawke finale.   
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« Reply #1071 on: March 30, 2011, 05:16:46 PM »

Zero Punctuation's review  Nails it
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« Reply #1072 on: March 30, 2011, 05:31:06 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 30, 2011, 05:16:46 PM


LOL! Perfect!  icon_smile
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« Reply #1073 on: March 30, 2011, 05:52:34 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on March 30, 2011, 05:31:06 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 30, 2011, 05:16:46 PM


LOL! Perfect!  icon_smile

Dragon Age: Gobbing Off!  icon_lol
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« Reply #1074 on: March 30, 2011, 06:31:27 PM »

Quote from: Jag on March 30, 2011, 05:52:34 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 30, 2011, 05:31:06 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 30, 2011, 05:16:46 PM


LOL! Perfect!  icon_smile

Dragon Age: Gobbing Off!  icon_lol
He nailed that one...or should I say, he nailed Anders (or vice versa).
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« Reply #1075 on: March 30, 2011, 06:41:53 PM »

heh - that was really funny! thanks for linking it. Sadly, he got it all right, though.
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« Reply #1076 on: March 30, 2011, 08:53:05 PM »

New nVidia beta drivers were released today.  Among the release notes:

Quote from: nVidia.com

GeForce GTX 580:

        Up to 516% in Dragon Age 2 (SLI 2560x1600 8xAA/16xAF Very High, SSAO on)
        Up to 326% in Dragon Age 2 (1920x1200 8xAA/16xAF Very High, SSAO on)

GeForce GTX 560 Ti:

        Up to 461% in Dragon Age 2 (SLI 1920x1200 8xAA/16xAF, Very High)
        Up to 241% in Dragon Age 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF, Very High)


-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1077 on: March 30, 2011, 11:06:26 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on March 30, 2011, 08:53:05 PM

New nVidia beta drivers were released today.  Among the release notes:

Quote from: nVidia.com

GeForce GTX 580:

        Up to 516% in Dragon Age 2 (SLI 2560x1600 8xAA/16xAF Very High, SSAO on)
        Up to 326% in Dragon Age 2 (1920x1200 8xAA/16xAF Very High, SSAO on)

GeForce GTX 560 Ti:

        Up to 461% in Dragon Age 2 (SLI 1920x1200 8xAA/16xAF, Very High)
        Up to 241% in Dragon Age 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF, Very High)


-Autistic Angel

LOL....that's pretty fucked up if you think about it.

Actually DA2's performance made me ditch my GTX460 and pick up a 6950 (modded to a 6970).  The ATI card blew away my 6 month old 460.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 11:08:16 PM by Greggy_D » Logged
Turtle
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« Reply #1078 on: March 31, 2011, 01:37:08 AM »

I was wondering why the 460m in my laptop was under performing so much.
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« Reply #1079 on: March 31, 2011, 01:52:27 AM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 30, 2011, 05:16:46 PM


With that understanding that ZP is always aiming more for humour  than accuracy (and thus does tend to skew a little bit to the negative), yep, that pretty much nailed it. The best line, about having to actually set up a custom command to get your companions to heal themselves (and equally applicable to DA:O, as well): "potions are like After Eight mints and everyone is too polite to take one". So friggin' true. Seriously, BioWare, how hard would it have been to make every one of your pre-built tactics setups include a "Drink Potion" line?

- Ash
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