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3921  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 04:51:48 PM
If I were to venture a guess, I'd say the +x% physical damage effect is bugged. I don't think I've ever seen anything but +3% for that stat. Perhaps they were originally supposed to scale based on the level of the item, in which case the 3-star item is actually really supposed to have a higher bonus?
 
Edit: Of course, right after writing that I find a 3-star amulet with +4% physical damage. Go figure.
3922  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 04:06:34 PM
Does anyone know how the star ratings work for equipment? They seem almost totally random. Looking at my warrior for example, I've got one belt that gives +3% physical damage. It's rated at 3 stars. I've got another belt that also gives +3% physical damage. It's rated at... 0 stars?? They're exactly alike in every way imaginable, except for the star rating. Why?

Edit: Furthermore, I've got another belt that gives the same effect AND +3 fortitude. It's rated at 1 star.
3923  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 02:01:35 PM
I'm going to give the setup with two rogues a go and see how it works. If it doesn't, I'll just turn the difficulty down to Normal and curse Bioware's name while doing so.  Tongue
3924  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 12:34:55 PM
Eh, I'd rather not go with two mages if I can avoid it. It sounds more prudent to me to have a melee rogue who has high defenses and the ability to remove threat from himself instead. High HP is a poor estimate of survivability.
3925  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 12:08:11 PM
Man, this isn't exactly reassuring. Why oh why did Bioware include only two warriors in the game, one of which is easy to miss? I mean, this isn't exactly advanced game design!
3926  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 11:12:30 AM

Quote from: Razgon on March 14, 2011, 11:05:38 AM

Taunt works quite badly though, and besides that I have no idea why the monsters attack some over others. Or rather, taunt has an insane cooldown, compared to its usefullness.

I find Taunt works very well as long as you don't let your aggro management get completely out of control.
3927  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 14, 2011, 11:02:28 AM
So, what kind of party composition are people using? I was planning on playing through the entire game with two warriors (tanks), a ranged rogue and myself, a spirit healer/primal mage. Since the game fucked me over, I have to rethink that. I'm currently leaning towards a group consisting of one warrior tank, one ranged rogue, one melee rogue and my mage, but I haven't decided. I'm worried that it's going to be too much for that one tank to handle. At least I'm going to have to use the Black Emporium potions to respec her to be a more focused tank than she used to be.

No need to use NPC names in your answers, just the roles. smile
3928  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 10:54:51 PM

Quote from: Asharak on March 13, 2011, 10:38:49 PM

Well, now you're pushing it. Fenris is right-wing (assuming that means anything in the DA world), sure, but it's not like he won't work with you if you're a mage. If you want to run with an entire party of Friends, it may be an issue, but he's just as effective as a Rival. And even that potential conflict depends on your decisions in the game: if you roleplay a mage who believes the Chantry and Templars are right to keep your dangerous powers in check, I don't think Fenris will have much of a problem with you. If you hop into bed with Anders (ugh, why would anyone do that?), on the other hand...

Oops, I forget that rivalries are treated differently in DA2 and that they also have their advantages. Still, doesn't change much when I don't have access to him anyway.
3929  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 10:16:32 PM

Quote from: Asharak on March 13, 2011, 10:09:13 PM

Quote from: TiLT
I realize that I completely missed a companion (a warrior) available in Act 1. The quest gave no indication of being important in any way, and it went against my character's principle

Ouch. Yeah, as someone who did the quest, I really liked that something so mundane turned into a full NPC recruitment quest. But if they didn't work out some sort of backup for people that turn it down, that sucks.

What's worse is that even if I had recruited that character, I understand he's hostile against mages. Yeah, that's a great idea Bioware! Give us two possible warriors, the class that, you know, MAGES need most of all as their companions, then make one of them hostile towards mages. That's real great. This game just reeks of being a rush job.
3930  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Stacking, Double Fine's next game on: March 13, 2011, 09:50:59 PM
I played through this as well. It's a great game that had me chuckling a lot. The puzzles are mostly easy, but the challenge lies in finding every possible solution to each puzzle, which is considerably harder.
3931  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 09:23:41 PM
Oh, this is just absurd! I'm in Act 2, and now I realize that I completely missed a companion (a warrior) available in Act 1. The quest gave no indication of being important in any way, and it went against my character's principles. As a result, I'm stuck in Act 2 with (the rest of the sentence is slightly spoilerish)

Spoiler for Hiden:
only one available warrior when I really need two. Fuck!

There's too few companions, and those that are around are only halfway interesting. This is going to make the rest of the game considerably harder for me. And what the heck did they include 3 fricking rogues for? Couldn't they have done that with warriors instead, a class that is arguably much more useful in duplicate?

I keep getting surprised at Bioware's series of bad decisions with this game. You'd think I'd be getting used to it by now.
3932  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 08:35:29 PM

Quote from: Gratch on March 13, 2011, 08:25:27 PM

As for sites being "scared" to give DA2 a bad review... Roll Eyes

Don't be so dismissive of that. It depends on the site or the publication, but most seem reluctant to rate titles from the big studios low. It is well known that the publishers (may) punish what they consider unfairly bad reviews (what they consider unfair is obviously not what the public thinks) by limiting early access to review copies or not offering preview opportunities. They can even go to such extreme measures as to stop advertising with the publication in question.

The worst part? We, the public, rarely hear about it. It happens behind the scenes for the most part, and we don't really notice the ebb and flow of marketing money, nor who gets preview copies or not.

It's not a myth or a conspiracy theory. This happens, and there have been several cases of public outcry from journalists about it. Whether or not it applies to EA and Dragon Age remains to be seen, but Bioware has been honest enough about the polarized situation with DA2 so far.

3933  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 08:16:31 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 03:07:40 PM

ah, wait a bit - I'm pretty sure you will turn down the difficulty a notch when some of the boss'es starts to appear.

Ok, I guess you were right. I got to what I think is the end boss for chapter 1, took one look at the damage I was dealing compared to the damage I was receiving, and realized I rarely enjoy bosses where you have to memorize moves and keep fighting forever. I didn't even give it a shot on Hard and dialed it down to Casual to get it over with, then turned it back up once the fight was done. Dragon Age just doesn't work well with battles like this. Even getting my characters to move where I want them can be a challenge because the camera is locked and the mouse hit detection only works occasionally. I want battles where I have to use tactics, not rote memorization and patience. At least most other battles work fairly well as long as you ignore the annoying reinforcements.
3934  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 06:56:52 PM
Another complaint: Some of the tougher monsters have attacks that cause automatic knockdowns, even against characters with 100% knockdown resistance. Most of these monsters are able to repeat that attack indefinitely and so often that the character they're attacking has no chance to get up and do anything at all. When that happens to your main tank, wave him goodbye or hope for the AI to suddenly decide to stop its stun-lock routine. I've even tried transferring aggro with some of my most powerful aggro management abilities (100% reduction on the character being attacked, Taunt on the off-tank), but it has never worked so far. The monster just keeps attacking until it kills its target or randomly decides to stop.

This is so important that it should be in every game design handbook out there: Stun-locks are never fun for the player who becomes the victim of them. Design your game so that this problem can be avoided! At least make sure there's enough of a cooldown on such knockdown attacks that characters can stand up and get out of the way.
3935  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 04:36:26 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 04:13:58 PM

as a warrior, once I hit someone, appearently I decide I dont want to hit them anymore, and just stand there as well- I wonder if its because the game cant find the hitboxes?

No, that's unrelated. Mouse hit detection has no effect on stuff like that. You'll stop hitting whatever you were attacking if you move manually, so refresh your targets if you do that.

By the way, I just killed a dragon on Hard, so I'm feeling good about being able to continue that way. smile
3936  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 04:09:43 PM
I have to say, the hit detection in this game (as in the way the game detects that you've clicked something with the mouse) is bugged beyond all reason. In some cases I simply can't select enemies to attack them by clicking on them. The game just doesn't register that I'm pointing at them. It doesn't matter if I point my mouse at the model itself or the circle around its legs. Once it was so bad that I had to click a random spot in the air about 1-2 meters away from the enemy I was trying to target.
3937  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 03:19:15 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 03:07:40 PM

ah, wait a bit - I'm pretty sure you will turn down the difficulty a notch when some of the boss'es starts to appear.

That may be, though it doesn't change my argument at all.
3938  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 03:05:22 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 03:03:57 PM

Playing on Normal - honestly, I dislike the combat, and couldnt be arsed to hit the same target for 5 more minutes just for fun.

If you're playing on Normal I can easily understand how you don't like the combat. It's way more interesting than just hitting the same target five more minutes. It's about using your options. I still one-shot tough monsters by using combo attacks, and I have to be aware of every option at my disposal, as well as take care when positioning my characters.
3939  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 03:01:24 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 02:59:29 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 13, 2011, 02:57:38 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 02:52:24 PM

Well - that was it. 22 hours, and I've completed every quest there was. Kinda disappointing, lengthwise, but we knew that already.

Uhm... I've played for 19 hours now (according to Steam), and I still haven't started the Deep Roads expedition. Are you telling me the game ends not long after that? I don't even know what the story is about yet!


Well, I just double-checked - My final save game is 22 hours and 40 minutes. Perhaps I play faster? I don't know, but no- you are about...a bit over halfway I'd say, depending on order of quests you've taken.

What difficulty did you play on? I'm playing on Hard, which means I have to be careful and use pause all the time.
3940  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 02:57:38 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 02:52:24 PM

Well - that was it. 22 hours, and I've completed every quest there was. Kinda disappointing, lengthwise, but we knew that already.

Uhm... I've played for 19 hours now (according to Steam), and I still haven't started the Deep Roads expedition. Are you telling me the game ends not long after that? I don't even know what the story is about yet!
3941  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 12:50:27 PM

Quote from: Turtle on March 13, 2011, 11:20:03 AM

It's probably just an effect that's meant to let players know there are new enemies around.

No, it's not. If that was the case it would happen in all fights with reinforcements (oh sorry, that was superfluous. I meant "all fights."). It has only happened when reinforcements popped out of nothing.

Quote from: Razgon on March 13, 2011, 12:43:05 PM

One thing about inventory - I know its been done to death, but I really don't understand that its supposed to be streamlined. I have tons and tons and tons of junk, I seem to have even more to do with inventory than in the last game - the only thing they've done, is taken away the ability to give armor to my people, meaning half the loot is useless to.

Yeah, the inventory is anything but streamlined. I find myself having to mouse over every item just to see what it is. Would it have killed them to give items descriptive names? How am I supposed to deal with inventory in an efficient manner when every ring is called "Ring", every robe is called "Robe", and every amulet is called "Amulet" (to mention just a few examples)? The inventory is also confusing in that it will award stars for items certain characters can't equip, simply because they're the correct task. Varric can't use anything but his crossbow, for example. Even so, all rogue items are awarded stars when his inventory is active, which makes it harder to sort out the trash when selling stuff.
3942  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: My Great Steam Experiment! (now general Steam discussion) on: March 13, 2011, 10:13:49 AM

Quote from: Greggy_D on March 13, 2011, 04:35:40 AM

Quote from: faide on March 13, 2011, 01:44:33 AM

Maybe I should post over on QT3 see if that speeds it up smile

Thanks for sharing that, glad to hear that at least it got resolved, gives me hope.  Just frustrated because I was really looking forward to a lazy sunday playing Dragon Age 2  crybaby

Forgive me for asking....but does Valve have a 1-800 number for customer service?  If they do not, it is completely absurd that a company with hundreds of millions in revenue does not have a live support line.  That is completely unacceptable and beyond comprehension.

I can sort of understand why they don't. Only a portion of their customers are American, and having a customer from, say, Europe calling an American help line is unacceptable. It would be bad enough having a European calling a help line in a different European country. In other words, Valve would have to set up an extensive series of call centers across the world, which would be very expensive for them.

Not that it excuses their lack of phone support at all. This is an expense that customers expect them to take.
3943  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 10:08:35 AM

Quote from: Asharak on March 13, 2011, 02:50:49 AM

Quote from: Tilt
They'll even TELEPORT reinforcements in (with spell effects and all) despite no place in the DA lore mentioning teleportation

I hadn't noticed this but I'm going to watch for it now, because you're not missing something. In fact, one of the Codex entries that gives the basic mechanics of magic in this world specifically states that teleportation or fast travel is impossible. If they're really doing that (and it's not just de-stealthing or Shades, etc. popping in from the Fade), then it's really, really sloppy of them.

I noticed it in a fight against a group of Qunari. Reinforcements suddenly appeared, glowing, in the middle of the battlefield, and the ground glowed as well around them as they appeared. They absolutely did not jump in or crawl up from anywhere, as this was in the middle of an open, relatively flat area outside.
3944  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 12, 2011, 10:17:26 PM

Quote from: kratz on March 12, 2011, 10:03:24 PM

I started on Normal, but went to Hard a bit ago... and at first I was really enjoying the challenge, but now it's getting sort of annoying... it seems like whenever I enter an area, enemies will spawn, and my mage will get taken down in seconds, so I have to play without the mage, or reload... which is dumb.  The Haydar fight was the first (and only) time I've been party wiped so far, and I had to try it three times, and the mage is just a total magnet for damage, so I ended up running her around in circles... so I might drop it down again - also because I prefer the characters of the two rogues to either of the tanks, so it'd be more fun to play on the normal setting with those two in my party.

That's a bit strange. My mage (Hawke) doesn't really attract much enemy attention, and when he does I can usually just bounce them off me for a moment while the tanks grab aggro again. Worst case scenario sees me running back and forth until the enemy loses interest.
3945  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 12, 2011, 10:14:22 PM

Quote from: EddieA on March 12, 2011, 09:14:42 PM

One of Bioware's goals with the sequel was to make the three classes play as differently as possible, so they each get abilities that the other classes don't get, including dual-wielding.

Is anyone playing on Hard?  I've tried it, and it seems difficult almost to the point of being unplayable.  Even if I pause and micromanage everyone, the enemies simply do too much damage.  Bethany is surrounded and killed seconds after the battle begins, and stunning a few enemies for a few seconds doesn't do much good when you're getting attacked by ten at once.  I can't even imagine what Nightmare difficulty must be like.

I'm playing on Hard, and currently (at level 9) I haven't had any problems that have caused me more than one reload. I'm playing a mage with focus on spirit healing and primal damage (lightning and earth). It works really well. My two tanks keep most enemies occupied without taking too much damage themselves, while I handle low-HP enemies and fire off the occasional lightning attack when enemies cluster together. If things get hairy I go into spirit healing mode to keep everyone alive. I usually don't have to use potions to survive (hell, even the first ogre fight only required me to chug one potion).

I wouldn't recommend playing on anything below Hard. It's satisfying without being frustrating at this level. Anything easier would probably just become dull, though I imagine it's what you might want to do if you mostly want to focus on the story and dialogue.

As for the constant reinforcements, I HATE them! This is another place where Bioware fucked up completely. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of enemies reinforcing battles to keep you on your toes, and as long as you don't look at the big picture DA2 handles it well. The problem is that Bioware doesn't understand the concept of moderation. It's like Minions (1 HP henchmen monsters) in D&D. They add a lot to the game, but if you use them all the time nobody enjoys them. I think about 9 in 10 battles in Dragon Age 2 feature waves of reinforcements, even in situations where it makes no sense at all. I mean, what the fuck was this guy's personal guard doing two blocks away in separate directions? Why are stragglers catching up when MY party was ambushed? Weren't they just lying in wait? Why are hordes of enemies attacking from the direction I just cleared and came from? They'll even TELEPORT reinforcements in (with spell effects and all) despite no place in the DA lore mentioning teleportation (unless I'm missing something). Having reinforcements appear in significant battles and where it makes sense would have added a lot to the game. As it is, it's just an annoyance that reduces the value of tactical positioning (what's the point of moving your archer into a corner when you can expect something to teleport in there within seconds?) and adds randomness and luck to every single battle.
 
3946  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 12, 2011, 01:01:54 PM
Is she shaving her armpit in that picture?
3947  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 12, 2011, 12:39:54 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 12, 2011, 11:59:09 AM

Quote from: cheeba on March 12, 2011, 05:36:16 AM

Quote from: Gratch on March 12, 2011, 05:14:14 AM

Does the Warrior class really not have a dual-wield option?  Maybe I'm missing something, but the only skill trees I see are for sword/shield and two-handed weapons.

You're not missing anything. Only dual-wielders in the game are rogues.

that sucks.  I wanted a dual staff wielding mage.

You're not cool until you can dual-wield halberds.

On a more serious note, dual-wielding is one of my biggest RPG pet-peeves. Its popularity is way, way, WAY beyond the actual usability of the concept. Fighting efficiently with two weapons at once is incredibly hard and offers little reward, to the point where only a scant few cultures in real history even bothered. In that way I'm pleased that DA2 limits its use.
3948  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: My Great Steam Experiment! (now general Steam discussion) on: March 12, 2011, 11:10:55 AM

Quote from: Appollo on March 12, 2011, 10:20:47 AM

My credit card got hacked a while back luckily the bank chopped it the moment it showed a british person trying to make a transaction at 4am my time. If that happens and I have a transaction in progress I could lose the lot???

You don't lose anything, your account just gets locked until the dispute is solved. I understand this is so Valve can protect itself against fraud and so that they can stay on good terms with publishers. Imagine if they didn't react hard in such cases. People would abuse it to play games for free.

Not that this explains faide's problem right now.
3949  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 12, 2011, 08:20:31 AM
I also find it surprising how sluggish the new engine is. Both Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect 2 (and every other game I've run so far. There's a lot of them, suffice to say) run smoothly on my computer, even with every graphical option at max and during the busiest of scenes. Dragon Age 2? It stutters even in pretty empty scenes when panning the camera around on High detail (even without any antialiasing), and for what? Graphics that are worse than the ones in DA:O (which I felt looked hand drawn when fully zoomed out)?
3950  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 09:38:31 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 11, 2011, 09:37:37 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 11, 2011, 08:06:43 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 11, 2011, 08:00:55 PM

They could have done it that way with clicking on the merchant and going directly to the items with no conversation. I know when I found the bazaar in Lowtown I was wondering why the merchants wouldn't sell me anything, it was only by accident that I moved the cursor over the chest.  Heck, I still can't get anything from the weapons merchant there since nothing near him is showing up as clickable.

TAB is your friend.

Diet soda isn't good for you. slywink

Oh my, I should wash my mouth with soap after that... especially if I had actually been drinking Tab. Luckily, I care too much about my well-being to do that.
3951  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: My Great Steam Experiment! (now general Steam discussion) on: March 11, 2011, 09:37:23 PM

Quote from: Boudreaux on March 11, 2011, 08:07:04 PM

I started buying a lot of games through Steam, especially during the holiday sales, but lately I've become very wary of spending $50+ on new games that are either from Steam or required to be linked to Steam.  In the last year or so, I've bought Torchlight, Metro 2033, Mafia II, and Left 4 Dead 2, and all of them have severe problems with crashes to desktop.  Mafia II became so bad as to be unplayable, since I could barely make it from save point to save point without the game crashing. 

Whenever the crashes occur, I get no error messages other than "Program X has stopped working.  Windows is looking for a solution to the problem."  I've tried reinstalling the games, reinstalling Steam, reinstalling Windows, reinstalling and updating all drivers, and nothing has worked.  I've checked heat levels, I've checked RAM voltage levels, I've disabled anti-virus software, and still the games crash.  The thing that I find very odd is that the crashes only happen with games launched via Steam.  Games that are completely independent of Steam have no issues at all.  There are a few games within Steam that seem to have no problems, but probably 40-50% of my Steam library is at times unplayable due to this problem.  Incredibly frustrating, and tech support requests through both Steam and the individual game publishers have been useless. 

Sounds circumstantial to me. One way to test if your theory is correct is to run the fully working non-Steam games through Steam as well. If Steam is the problem, some of them should start showing the same symptoms. Otherwise the problem lies elsewhere.
3952  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 08:06:43 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 11, 2011, 08:00:55 PM

They could have done it that way with clicking on the merchant and going directly to the items with no conversation. I know when I found the bazaar in Lowtown I was wondering why the merchants wouldn't sell me anything, it was only by accident that I moved the cursor over the chest.  Heck, I still can't get anything from the weapons merchant there since nothing near him is showing up as clickable.

TAB is your friend.
3953  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: My Great Steam Experiment! (now general Steam discussion) on: March 11, 2011, 06:30:48 PM
That sucks. Sounds like you might have been hacked.

At least Valve announced a week ago that Steam Guard is now in beta. It's a system to help secure your Steam account from being hacked. With it enabled you have to authorize your account every time you attempt to use Steam on a computer where your account hasn't been logged in before.
3954  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 06:25:45 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 11, 2011, 05:25:19 PM

I didn't know that about you! What games have you worked on?

Nothing grandiose. I started a company with the intention of bringing popular, complex board games to the PC. We licensed Descent: Journeys in the Dark from Fantasy Flight Games and set to work, but we eventually ran out of money and went bankrupt when the financial crisis started. There's not much left to show today, except a couple of video clips I've kept around and which I show to potential employers.

Quote from: Asharak on March 11, 2011, 05:56:39 PM

It's in Anders' character-specific tree, meaning he's the only one who can do it (although I don't know what spells a caster Hawke has access to). I really don't like this. I'm guessing one of the first mods for the game will be a way to make the other mages fully capable healers.

Hawke can revive people from level 10 if he specializes in Spirit Healing.

I have to say, for all my complaints about the game, at least Bioware got spellcasters somewhat right this time. I hated their implementation in Dragon Age Origins (kill them immediately or you've got a TPK on your hands), but here they are much more interesting. They aren't any more powerful than other classes, they're just different and open a lot of interesting tactical possibilities. I find I have to use every option available to keep my party alive on Hard difficulty. I wouldn't play on any difficulty lower than that though. Hard feels like Normal did in DA:O, only a little less frustrating and slightly more fair.
3955  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Official Rock Band DLC News, Impressions, and Comments Thread on: March 11, 2011, 04:20:03 PM
I'm getting "Every Breath You Take". When I first saw that The Police was in Rock Band 3, that's the track I expected to be there, so I was disappointed it wasn't. Better late than never though. smile
3956  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 04:18:07 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 11, 2011, 04:10:21 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 11, 2011, 01:58:33 PM


"Arm-chair game developer"? "Crap"? That's very insulting considering I have three years experience as not only a game developer, but as a project lead and CEO for a game company, and worked side-by-side with the main graphics artist and animator. I can recognize bad art design when I see it, and Dragon Age 2 certainly qualifies. Here's a hint for you: The first reaction people on forums across the Internet had when seeing the first screenshots from DA2 was "That looks ugly" or "That's several steps down from Origins". If you don't believe me, look it up. That's a sign of bad art design. Just because you've gotten used to it (and getting used to bad art design is entirely possible, to the point where you start to feel it doesn't look that bad after all) doesn't change that fact.


That's funny, because I looked at the art style the first time and thought....wow, what an improvement over Origins.  I like this much better.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all of that.  So, it's your opinion and not fact.

Since my "fact" was about Internet reactions to the first screenshots and not my own opinion, let me back it up with an example: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/07/12/first-dragon-age-2-screenshots-sport-better-graphics-familiar-i/

I never read that comment thread before, and it was the first and only thread I looked up for this post. But hey, what's this? People are complaining that the graphics look like crap? Imagine that.
3957  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Pwn2Own: Which Browser Will Survive? on: March 11, 2011, 02:05:36 PM
I don't see any mention of Opera. While it's not anywhere near the biggest browser on the market, it's still considered a major one, particularly because of its widespread use on handheld devices.
3958  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Don't flame EA on forums..as you wont be able to play their games on: March 11, 2011, 02:03:20 PM
I don't know how it works in the US, but if this happened to a Norwegian EA customer, the state would actually sue EA very quickly. EA is going to have to rethink their approach to this problem.
3959  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 01:58:33 PM

Quote from: Glycerine on March 11, 2011, 01:32:04 PM

Not sure what your problem is, but the game looks gorgeous to me.  I think you may be in the minority here, but to each his own.  Do you have the hi-res texture pack, plus all the settings maxed out?

High-res texture pack is installed and set up correctly, and I'm running the game at High detail (with a few extra additions of my own). I've examined the details between High and Very High, and they don't really have much of an effect on the things I mentioned, with mostly a little extra flair in combat.

Quote
Every time I read posts like this it makes me want to laugh, and I also have to disagree with you completely on all points.   Honestly, that crap is the same arm-chair game developer nonsense I see all over the Internet.  Again, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.  I've spent many hours with the game now, and having always been a stickler for near perfect graphics, I'll still say it's gorgeous to look at.

"Arm-chair game developer"? "Crap"? That's very insulting considering I have three years experience as not only a game developer, but as a project lead and CEO for a game company, and worked side-by-side with the main graphics artist and animator. I can recognize bad art design when I see it, and Dragon Age 2 certainly qualifies. Here's a hint for you: The first reaction people on forums across the Internet had when seeing the first screenshots from DA2 was "That looks ugly" or "That's several steps down from Origins". If you don't believe me, look it up. That's a sign of bad art design. Just because you've gotten used to it (and getting used to bad art design is entirely possible, to the point where you start to feel it doesn't look that bad after all) doesn't change that fact.
3960  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 01:10:50 PM
I really, really don't understand how people can call this game gorgeous. It looks like it could have been made several years ago, and it falls in the MMORPG-trap of level design (wide open spaces everywhere) that makes it feel even more empty and unrealistic. The graphics fall apart both on a macro- and micro scale. Everything from the streets, to the towers, and even to the stairs all over the city (there are way too many small steps. It'd be really hard to walk fast, let alone run, up those stairs in real life. This is nitpicking, but it's also an example of the micro scale I mentioned above). Lighting is drab and flat despite the self-shadowing and otherwise fancy effects, and animations are stiff and lifeless.

It just feels like the technology is there, but the art design just doesn't live up to it. The only part of the graphics that impresses me so far is closeups of faces, and even then only if you ignore the hair.
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