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 Dragon Age 2

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:12 pm

I never liked Diablo 2 that much but I have very fond memories of playing the first one back in the days. Besides Blizzard doesn't treat customers like beta testers (at least in my experience).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:35 pm

I read that Bioware scrapped all production on DA 2 (there was an expansion in the making). They will focus all their energy on DA3. And they are taking all the fans suggestion for the game. In theory, that could be a good thing. But I do think it's rather crass of them to completely stop everything on DA 2. What if they are still bugs and need fixing? Too bad, buy DA 3. EA will probably end up doing the same thing they did to Bioware for DA 2, i.e. forcing them to release the game a year earlier than planned (partly explains the same maps over and over and lack of choice).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:49 pm

It was the same with DAO, we were promised DLCs spanning over two years and we never got the bugs fixed either.

It seems to me that they'd rather capitalize on the hype and all the day one DLC / special edition preorder bull instead of polishing their titles. Preorder sales may be great for business but they can only encourage companies to release sequels every year so they can cash in regularly instead of spending years on a project.

Heck without the mods and unofficial patches to support DAO the game would be almost unplayable...

I won't get DA3 unless the reviews and the demo make it clear that it is a true sequel to DAO and not another medieval ME posing as a CRPG. That being said DAO was an oddity and we can't really expect another game like it.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:16 pm

If they are indeed listening to the fans, I will be delighted.

Off topic yet again, it seems they are listening to their fans this time. New ending DLC has just been promised for Mass Effect 3, apparently to offer some 'closure'.

If it's free, Bioware rules. If you have to pay, I'm done.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:43 pm

I hate to be a pessimist (okay, not really), but I suspect DA3 will combine all the worst ideas from DA:O with all the worst ideas from DAII. It will have mind-numbing button-mashing combat with over-the-top animations, and a cliched story about saving the world from a planet-gobbling monster.

I would be very, very surprised if DA3 wasn't a total disaster.

That said, I generally tend to be more pleased with a game when my expectations are low, and I don't think I've ever had lower expectations for anything than I do right now for the Dragon Age franchise.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:00 am

Free DLCs? I don't know why but I don't see that happening.

Having very low expectations (or even better no expectations at all) is a sure way not to be disappointed.

On a positive note if they keep releasing new sequels every other year there has to be a mathematical certainty that they'll end up getting one right... It may take a while though...

A bit like chimps and typewriters.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:39 am

I also agree that free DLCs will never see the light of day. No way EA/Bioware will do something for free. They will probably soon be charging for patches... Mad

I was playing a bit more DA 2 last night, and two more bad points :
1. As Kana (I think) pointed out, the immediate respawn waves are idiotic. Okay, once in a while in the game, it could happen. But systematically in every battle (and sometimes up to three respawn waves?? c'mon...). It's hard to plan things, especially with mages (when to cast your spells. I sometimes hang on to my spells in case of another wave, but I end up not using them at all in a battle, so it becomes that much harder). And of course, they rarely come up in front of you. They appear out of the blue all around you! How the hell can you strategize if you always have to scrap your positioning. Which leads to :

2. You realize that wave after wave after wave of enemies are definitely man handling you. So you decide "Hey, I'll do the good ol' divide and conquer, BG style". So you keep your party in a room while you send one of your characters forth to grab the attention of a few enemies who will follow you to your prepared party. Then, I notice the party is still following me because there's not a "stop companions" button. Why?? How can you manage your party when you can direct them properly? I had to manually keep moving around all of my party members to keep them busy while the enemies were running towards the room we were in (because of course, if I let them be, my companions rush the incoming enemies...)

And is there a "select all party members" button? There might be a keyboard shortcut, but I didn't see any button in the interface like in DAO. It's a pain to select them all with the mouse.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:13 pm

DAO was incredibly bad when it came to setting a plan to attack enemies. You could position your party perfectly and then as soon as you got in range the cutscene would start and your entire party would be taken right next to the bad guy who would gloat and then start the fight...

That was so stupid at times and it made some strategies entirely useless. It also meant that some enemies who should have been pushovers for a sneaky Rogue ended up being quite a challenge (no assassination attempt despite the character being uber sneaky).

Talk about maintaining disbelief...

It actually gets better when you start making fun of it and stop planning your fights because the game keeps messing with you.

It's clear that the devs favour an action movie atmosphere to a more serious gameplay but the instant respawn with waves of random foes that you describe sounds pretty bad... Just like the expected twist at the end of a random American action movie when everyone thinks the villain is dead but he comes back one last time so the good guy can shoot him/stab him/whatever all over again.

Arguing "realism" is pointless but there is something that is more important and that's simply to maintain the ability to suspend disbelief. Something that these games make it very hard to do at time. You can play by the logic of the game and accept the rules but if the game forces too many wtf moments then you start to question the game itself and it often means that you're not having so much fun anymore.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:23 pm

For the ending DLC thing, I'm not sure. I'm sure Bioware realizes that that'd just piss fans off EVEN more.

As for DA:O, you do certainly have a point there, Cara.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Cara, granted, the system wasn't perfect in DAO, but you could at least have a rudimentary strategic position. I used to do it often when I encountered a too vast number of enemies. But in DA 2, they just remove the option and you have even less strategy planning. It's not like it was something they had to think how to implement, it was already there in DAO! I guess, as you say, it enters in the more "action" oriented game aspect. Like dancing-while-power-bolt-throwing-mages...

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:52 pm

DA:O was rather strategic, even in the early levels. Even in the Kokari Wilds I was already positioning my party members to the perfect places and such.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:42 pm

That's part of the fun and something players who are familiar with BG and IWD are well aware of.

The bias towards nonsensical action is probably the reason why we end up with games that are more about style than substance, more about button smashing than careful planning.

Anyone can smash buttons but it takes a little thinking to come up with a valid strategy so that your party can adapt to the threat ahead and be victorious.

This brings to mind another flaw in the game, i.e. the impossibility to create a challenge when the characters get to a certain level. You can have foes with an incredible amount of HP and play on Nightmare with mods the game stops being challenging once your character gets the good abilities.

The most blatant example is the Golems of Amgarrak DLC for DAO in which the boss fight is a simple matter of hacking away and gulping down healing poultices and that my friends is simply boring.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:48 am

Remember my "stop companions" rant and the strategy debate that ensued? Well... ah... *cough cough* never mind. I was playing last night and I... ah... *ahem* found the hold function. It wasn't intentional either. I was playing and my hand slipped to accidentally press a keyboard key and it was the hold button. Although, in retrospect, the "H" key for hold makes a lot of sense... Razz

And last night, I also thought of a positive point for DA 2, but with the sleeping last night and all, I forgot it. It will probably come back to me. But funny nonetheless, with all the bitching on DA2, that I forgot the rare positive thing to say about the game.. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:34 pm

It's natural to focus on things that annoy us and take good things for granted. It's a matter of perspective and it may hold some truth in real life.

I'm interested by the story in DA2 but I'm not sure I would enjoy the gameplay. I gave the demo a try and I didn't like this aspect (it may be a personal bias as I'm not too keen on the ME series either).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:28 am

Ok, so I got to the boss of the first act... Seriously? It's a looooong and haaaaaard battle. I have reloaded like five time and my party is utterly destroyed and the boss isn't half way done yet. I started reading tips on the internet (it was hard to find because there's about 350 "wtf!!! need help with the act 1 boss" threads). Me, I don't like fights. That's not why I play games. I like the stories and the characters. I like fights that are somewhat challenging. But more than that, I really lose interest. Especially when it's a long, micromanage, potion gulping fight. I just don't have the patience for that... scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 am

Remind me, what was the first boss? It's been a while since I've played the game. I remember enjoying the bosses for the most part... it was all the trash mobs leading up to the bosses that drove me up the wall.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:38 am

Okay, so five seconds after posting this message, I went back to the game and tried it on the casual difficulty level (I usually play on normal because, as I said, fights isn't my main attraction so I don't want the game to be too hard). I didn't even break a sweat beating the boss. How is it that one difficulty level lower goes from almost impossible to too easy? Shocked

Edit : Just saw your post, Kana. It was the ancient rock Wraith. With his awesomely strong melee attacks, his powerful lightning ranged attacks, his healing powers and his minion callings.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:58 am

So I just finished DA 2. The game was a looooot shorter than Origins. I was kinda surprised : "Wah? That's it?". Just the Orzammar part in Origins is probably as long as this game... Laughing Anyways, a couple things annoyed me in the course of the game I didn't get off my chest in my last posts here. I know a few people said the maps were re-used. I thought that meant the maps kinda resembled each other. No, that actually meant they were the same maps. Seriously, it's continuously the same maps over and over again. It's cute at the start, but gets boring after a while. Even Kirkwall, you basically revisit the same town for the whole game. It's like if Origins was set in Denerim and your character hardly went out at all.

Another thing is the companions A.I. in battles. My God... I miss the good ol' days of Baldur's Gate when they would actually do WHAT YOU ASK THEM TO DO! If I had a nickel for every time I ordered my companion to attack an enemy, the companion takes a swing, then bolts for another enemy, I would be rich. The point of ordering your companions is to strategically battle your opponents (i.e. The mages are to be taken down first at all costs. I don't care about critters. We'll deal with them later). And yes, I disabled the free will a couple of times. It didn't really improve because they don't really use their abilities. (and the "wait" button doesn't really work either. A lot of times, I let me companions wait in another room while I fetched the baddies, but I turn around and bam, all my companions followed me... Rolling Eyes

And what's the purpose of the "junk". You pick up a lot stuff that is called junk, that has no purpose other than being sold, only it's worth nothing (I saw something worth 20 coppers... COPPERS!). And money is kinda useless, as the items you pick up are always the best you'll see. And why are the generic weapons and armours ALWAYS a lot better than unique items? I don't get it. Even the big armour set, the Champion of Kirkwall armour. I picked up a "Mage robe" and "Superior Boots" that were almost double armour... Question

I still sort of liked the story. One thing I like (and that appeals to me in the Mass Effect games) is that all your choices, big or small, seem to matter. It really seems like the story is the culmination of all my choices. The only thing, is closer to the end, I felt the story was forced. Kind of like they forced the characters into a story direction, instead of the story directing the characters (the best example I can give, is the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. I've read the comics, and I thought getting rid of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern corps was interesting, but it was forced. The Hal Jordan goes crazy arc didn't fit with the character at all.). In DA2, in the end, the mission
Spoiler:
 

Anyways, I will stop complaining. Overall, I give DA 2 between 5.5 and 6/10. I give Origins 7 or 7.5/10.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:31 pm

Nice review-ish thing. Points out a lot of the problems I have with DA2. Overall, I'd give DA:O bout a 8.5-9/10, and DA2 a 6.5-7.5/10.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:57 pm

Oh, another thing : I thought the difficulty has very badly evened out. I didn't break a sweat with the bosses (even the end boss), with the exception of the rock wraith, which was ridiculous to me. When the first game boss is a lot harder and more challenging than the end boss, it begs the question : was this game tested? I also got my ass handed to me by random encounters, like a arcane horror in the evil scrolls quest. It literally killed my party in three seconds because of the death cloud spell. And I couldn't do a single thing about it (well, besides taking the difficulty down a level and thus making the game ridiculously easy, which I did 5 times in DA 2, against a big 0 in DAO). Oh, and I did get the death cloud spell, thinking "wow, compared to what it did to my party, with this spell I will kick ass now"... well, it does not. Hardly puts a dent in the enemy's health...

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:52 pm

I've picked up DA2 since it's being sold for a few euros. Considering that there will never be an ultimate or complete edition it's as good a time as any. The crazy thing is that there is no sale for the DLC and each DLC pack costs more than the base game does with the current discount (the same thing is true of Mass Effect 2 by the way).

Anyway, I've started a Mage named Ebon Hawke (Razz) and after playing the prologue I can say that the framing device is a nice touch but I'm not a fan of combat in this game. I guess coming to the game with pretty low expectations hopefully I will be able to find some things that will make it worth my time.

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Last edited by Carabas on Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:38 pm

Carabas wrote:
Anyway, I've started a Mage named Ebon Hawke

Hahahaha, nice one!

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:46 pm

I knew you'd like that. Wink

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