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4041  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.

4042  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.
4043  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.
4044  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
4045  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.
4046  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.
4047  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.
4048  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.
4049  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!
4050  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.
4051  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.
4052  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.
4053  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.
4054  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.
 
4055  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?
4056  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.
4057  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.
4058  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)?
4059  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.
4060  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.
4061  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.
4062  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.
4063  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.
4064  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
4065  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.
4066  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.
4067  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.
4068  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.
4069  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.
4070  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 11, 2011, 09:24:38 AM

Quote from: Ridah on March 11, 2011, 03:37:30 AM

How come I can't access The Hanged Pub or whatever it's called where I'm supposed to talk to the dwarf? The area is grayed out and won't let me go there via the fast travel map. Am I supposed to run there directly?

When you try to go there via the map, it actually tells you what you're doing wrong. You have to go there via another location, which it specifies. Once you've been there once, you can travel there directly from then on.
4071  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo's 3D House of DS on: March 10, 2011, 02:52:46 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 10, 2011, 02:26:12 PM

I don't get it.  How is it suddenly tiny if it is playing at the size of the old DS screen?  It's the same size...it just doesn't take up the entire new screens.  I'll play old games in that second mode and not worry about this at all.

Because higher resolution doesn't necessarily mean a larger screen size. If you display the games at their original resolution on the new screen, they'll actually be smaller than on the original DS, by a large margin as well. Judging by the resolution facts above, a DS game will be just a little wider than half the upper screen on the 3DS.
4072  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 09:52:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 09, 2011, 09:47:39 PM

Quote from: Jag on March 09, 2011, 08:37:20 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on March 09, 2011, 07:56:59 PM

Actually, the Witcher did a good job of this too. Feeling good, doing good, and I find out later that I just f***ed over half the town.   

Except in Witcher, you could actually f*** half the town as well.
Bonus!  icon_lol

And you got boobie cards! Gotta collect 'em all!
4073  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 09:16:14 PM
I like decisions with consequences. In an interview with Bioware they mentioned that feedback would come quickly from these things though, which isn't quite as cool as the way The Witcher did it (you could make decisions in the early game and have them come back to punish you with the consequences in the later parts. This made your decisions much harder because you knew you couldn't just reload and change your mind). Is this accurate, or do some decisions actually take their sweet time before rewarding or punishing you?
4074  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Best Novel(s) with a Tabletop RPG or Boardgame Setting on: March 09, 2011, 04:07:33 PM
Yeah, but all of those except D&D started as a novel. When a novel can inspire that kind of licensing, it's bound to be "best", which is unfair competition for stuff like Eisenhorn. slywink
4075  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 03:47:15 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 09, 2011, 03:38:51 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 09, 2011, 03:08:33 PM

Just wanted to go on record as another person who is glad they took away the tediousness of having to equip each and every party member.  I mean, we all know DEF of 5 is better than a DEF of 4, right?  I always just put the best armor on for each character.  Now I don't have to waste time trying to do the obvious.  Leaving just the jewelry is good because in DA, that is really where you can customize a character ( a little in armor, but mostly in jewelry).  To me, it just relieved me of a menial task and I thank them for it so I can get to the real meat, which is story, dialogue, and combat.

I didn't mind equipping the party members when I initially played Origins but when I came back to it last week after a long time off, I found I had zero desire to mess with outfitting any of my party members other than the lead character.  Not sure how I'll feel about the new system when I actually play DA2, but I don't have any objections in principle to what they are doing. 

I don't really object to it either. It worked well enough in Mass Effect 2, for example. The problem is that the system in Dragon Age wasn't designed for this. The armor you find is just like it was in Dragon Age Origins, with tempting stats that would increase the combat efficiency of your party members. The only change is that you are no longer allowed to make them wear it, for no good reason at all. They didn't streamline the process, they added an artificial limitation.
4076  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 02:58:55 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 09, 2011, 02:30:02 PM

TiLT, your assumption is that all "party based systems" means you control everyone at all times.

Party based system : play D&D (party based system) and tell the guy next to you what to wear.

What the heck are you talking about? In my weekly D&D-sessions, everybody controls one character each, and nobody tells the others what to wear. They also don't select each other's characters and command them around. You're continuing your faulty analogy. It would be a better one if this was Neverwinter Nights (the first one) where you actually only controlled one character and any others in your party were either henchmen or other players. But no, this is Dragon Age. The characters in your group are there because you told them to be in the group. They have a very rudimentary AI, but you can (and will) tell them what to do at any time. Hell, you even give them a script to follow when you're not paying attention. If I played D&D this way, I'd never be invited back to the next session.

This game is party based because you control the entire party. If a game's developers say it's party based, but you actually only control one character, they are lying. Show me an example of a game where this happened.
4077  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 01:11:51 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 09, 2011, 12:54:25 PM

Quote from: morlac on March 09, 2011, 12:22:22 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 08, 2011, 07:58:58 PM

Quote from: morlac on March 08, 2011, 05:02:59 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 08, 2011, 07:42:22 AM

Didn't see this anywhere, and thought it was nice to know - 10 things you should know about DA:2

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/03/04/10-things-you-should-know-about-dragon-age-ii.aspx?PageIndex=5

The first 5 are not doing a good job at making me want the game.

#3: [condensed] You don't get to dress up your party members, just your own character.

You like having to dress everyone up? I can understand why sometimes you'd like to (oo, I found item A for member X that would help out!) but if the game isn't designed to drop stuff not for you, then that shouldn't matter. I sometimes find getting everyone dressed is a tedious task.

I absolutely love it.  Finding new loot to put on your characters is one of the dangling carrots of RPG's.  Stripping that away and claiming it is improving the inventory system is nonsesne.  There is plenty of ways they could have Actually improved the inventory system without taking away dropped items.  That just makes zero sense to me.  It's kind of like saying we improved character classes by stripping away all the options to make them unique...

You and I and CeeKay are an adventuring party. CeeKay is the party leader (yes, we're going to die).

Does he dress you in the morning? Thing is, when it comes right down to it you can (and will) have strained relations with your party members in DA - personally I'd be leaving a party IMMEDIATELY if someone told me what to wear. This may not sit well with you, and I get that. To say it makes zero sense isn't accurate though (IMHO).

It would be nice to influence them, but I'm not interested in playing Dark Ages Dress-up. My 2c.

You don't "tell them what to wear" in the same way you don't tell them what to wield or what rings or belts to wear. It's a party-based RPG, which means you control the entire party. Your logic is faulty because it applies to something this game isn't.
4078  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 12:31:31 PM

Quote from: morlac on March 09, 2011, 12:22:22 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 08, 2011, 07:58:58 PM

Quote from: morlac on March 08, 2011, 05:02:59 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 08, 2011, 07:42:22 AM

Didn't see this anywhere, and thought it was nice to know - 10 things you should know about DA:2

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/03/04/10-things-you-should-know-about-dragon-age-ii.aspx?PageIndex=5

The first 5 are not doing a good job at making me want the game.

#3: [condensed] You don't get to dress up your party members, just your own character.

You like having to dress everyone up? I can understand why sometimes you'd like to (oo, I found item A for member X that would help out!) but if the game isn't designed to drop stuff not for you, then that shouldn't matter. I sometimes find getting everyone dressed is a tedious task.

I absolutely love it.  Finding new loot to put on your characters is one of the dangling carrots of RPG's.  Stripping that away and claiming it is improving the inventory system is nonsesne.  There is plenty of ways they could have Actually improved the inventory system without taking away dropped items.  That just makes zero sense to me.  It's kind of like saying we improved character classes by stripping away all the options to make them unique...

There's also a more subtle drawback to the DA2 way of handling this: Extra armor. If you play a mage, almost all armor you find is going to be absolutely useless now. The bonus armors I got from Bioware are just going to be sold because my character can't use them. Keeping two superb armor sets around is pointless since you'll only ever need one of them. It needlessly devalues a specific kind of loot and leaves me frustrated because while I do have the equipment needed to make my sidekicks more powerful, the game is arbitrarily limiting me from doing so.

This is another design decisions they stole from Mass Effect 2 without thinking it through. It works there because armor only has minor effects in that game and is more for looks than anything else. In Dragon Age on the other hand, armor is extremely important.

By the way, I watched the GameTrailers review this morning. They repeated what other reviewers have said: The environments are very cookie-cutter. You'll enter the same warehouses and dungeons so many times that you soon know exactly where to find the quest goals and where you'll encounter opposition.
4079  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Best Novel(s) with a Tabletop RPG or Boardgame Setting on: March 09, 2011, 06:20:51 AM
Is this a thread about novels based on RPGs/boardgames, or vice-versa? There's a huge difference between the two.

Anyway, if it's the former I give Eisenhorn a solid vote. It's the kind of novel that shows writing a book set in a licensed universe isn't necessarily a bad thing. On Amazon, 43 out of 54 customer reviews rate it 5 stars.
4080  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 08, 2011, 04:19:05 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on March 08, 2011, 03:59:14 PM

Everytime Bioware make a new RPG I can't help but think what they could do with a new over head view one like their old Baldur's gate. I mean I love these new ones. Own and played them all . KOTOR is probably my facorite. But with them and today's tech I think they could go back to their roots and make Baldur's Gate 4 and do it from over head view and blow people's minds.

Have you been sleeping in class? Dragon Age 1 was exactly that game.
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