Dragon Age 2 : Post-play comments

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and all addons.
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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:38 am

I've been caught with my pants down..

Electronic Arts has landed itself in hot water with PC gamers after failing to disclose the digital rights management snuck onto Dragon Age II. The disc-based version of the game contains notorious SecuROM DRM -- a controversial bit of software that invites itself onto your PC and is regarded by gamers as glorified malware.

The worst part is that Electronic Arts does not inform gamers about the DRM anywhere -- there's no warning on the game's packaging or website, and it's suspiciously absent from the EULA. Consumer rights advocate "Reclaim Your Game" has been emailing subscribers to warn them of EA's shenanigans, which violates a court order demanding it disclose all instances of SecuROM in its games.


And Dragon - i'm happy that you enjoy DA2.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn-9/guide-to-tactical-mods-spoilers-116063.html#post1068546"]BG2 tactical mods guide[/url]
What? You're still here? Go write a review![url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/rpg-user-reviews-118/"]Here[/url]
Insane Ironman BG2 let's play! [url="http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=81201.msg2140894#msg2140894"]Here[/url]

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Curry
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Postby Curry » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:42 am

Dragon Age 2 is quite frankly the worst CRPG I've played in years. :mad:
The problem is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the people who are most certain of them.

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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:45 am

Curry wrote:Dragon Age 2 is quite frankly the worst CRPG I've played in years. :mad:


Remember to get rid of securom, i just found out myself.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn-9/guide-to-tactical-mods-spoilers-116063.html#post1068546"]BG2 tactical mods guide[/url]
What? You're still here? Go write a review![url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/rpg-user-reviews-118/"]Here[/url]
Insane Ironman BG2 let's play! [url="http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=81201.msg2140894#msg2140894"]Here[/url]

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Rad
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Postby Rad » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:46 am

Stworca wrote:Remember to get rid of securom, i just found out myself.


And I become more and more pleased every day that I didn't buy it.

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Scottg
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Postby Scottg » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:55 pm

I'm wondering how Xandax is feeling about "supporting the developers right out of the box" with the pre-order purchase?

http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/dragon-age-series-70/dao-ii-118455-p2.html

(..curious, seems a moderator wiped a fair number of posts right after Xandax's comments, including mine - the "gist" of which is that with Awakenings the developers lost any support I might desire to give with a pre-order.)



Sadly, it seems that my decision to NOT pre-order was ..um - wise. ;)

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GuillermsII
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Postby GuillermsII » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:42 pm

Liking it so far

Ive been playing the game for the last ten hours and I am loving it. I was skeptical as anyone else here and after playing the demo I had low hopes. Now I am genuinely enjoying the combat (on hard), its pretty challenging and I still find my self pausing and strategically moving my team around. If playing tactical is for you I recommend going rogue as fighters are pretty boring. With the rogue you jump all over the place stunning and dealing damage, its heaps of fun. I enjoyed playing rogues in DAO but this is something else all together. Its definitely more actioney, but playing on hard you really have to watch out, I died a lot today. Also watch out for the insane number of enemies you'll be fighting, they throw you waves and waves.

Concerning rpg elements, I seems as tough there is a wider variety of possible builds for the fighter & rogue classes now. Mages are the more or less the same with a few less spells. I find that I rely a lot less on my mages than I did on DAO. They really have amped up everyone else to meet their standards. Inventory management is essentially the same except that you cannot change your companions armours, you can upgrade them and change everything else mind you. THis will no doubt bother many, but I always complained that my companions look really boring in DAO so I am happy to have them with well designed armour and clothes.

As for the story, character and all, I am pleased so far, the voice acting is much better than what the demo led me to believe and the I find that the mass effect wheel just works, I was skeptical but the pacing is a lot better and the whole flow seems much more natural. Im also enjoying playing a cocky female that doesnt take things too seriously, she has a personality the way my DAO characters didnt. The story also seems far more original than the one in DAO so far. The whole family thing is a nice touch and seems to be working really well so far.

Side quests have been massively improved, there is nothing like chantry boards any more (that I have seen) and side quests that I have played involve talking and choices.

Graphics have improved a lot, not so much from a tech aspect but from a design aspect, wilderness areas actually look good now and not horrible like they idd in DAO. THe game is a lot more detailed than DAO, both in scenery and npcs. As for Kirkwall, it looks great, they really have nailed the style for the city, its a lot better than Denerim and there is a lot more to see. Its no Athkalla but its closer to it than anything Bioware have done since. It also helps that the first chapter is reminiscent of the beginning of BG2, you are told to gather money for a purpose and let free to do lots of side quests.

All in all I am very impressed. The game feels very coherent and quite polished and while I had qualms with the combat I do enjoy it now. I would have preferred something more realistic but it is a lot of fun while remaining tactical. So far the story seems very good, totally down my street. I tire of epic fantasy stories and its nice to see something less clichéd. The demo made me doubt, but after playing for a good 10 hours I have to say that releasing the demo was a mistake, it made the game look worse than it really is.

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GoldDragon
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Postby GoldDragon » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:12 am

There's a Chantry Board. In Hightown. You only get one (DLC-based) Quest, tho. It's a fairly good quest, and gives a companion.

As for me, I had a tiny um... problem.

I tried doing Ander's Quest. I suceeded, but....

The problem: Anders fell. Both my rogues fell (Giving names would be a spoiler, btw, but one is seen in the demo). I only have 4 spells: Group heal, Revival (both used recently, so unavailable), Mind Blast, and Glyph of Paralysis. All but one of the Spirit Healer's passive abilities are achieved (the one that doesn't let a party member drop needs about 1 or two more levels to get), so I had some rather stupendous healing ability. And 10-ish Templars wanting to put it to the ultimate test. So I did what any self-respecting mage would do: I Ran.:laugh: Dropping Glyphs whenever the spell became available. When Revival finally became available, I had managed to shake all but one Templar Archer, and he had so few HP that it was pathetic. When he went down, the Combat stopped, my companions were revived automatically, and warped to my location.

As we went back, we encountered all the Templars in small groups, and they were eradicated. For "some reason" (that I won't spoil here, btw).... the whole thing actually frightened Anders considerably. He fled.

And to think that I had set it on "easy" mode.:laugh:
-- GD

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Postby Monks » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:00 pm

Stworca wrote:Ah, also

- Do not expect to have to reload the game even once. Are you a first time DA player? No problem. Is this your first real-time game? No problem. Have you never before used a computer? No problem.

I've had a tougher time with "Let's name the animals with Barney"




might need to ask what difficulty you played on? started out on "hard" no major problems so far. unless things goes "wrong" some fights depends alot on your setup i guess :P (running tank mage mage archer combo :P )

although about the game, id say its all in all "decent" compared to DA:O roleplay "feeling" and the entire story, its very disapointing. but the combat is better. atleast its 5 times harder than DA:O :P witch again was patheticly easy.

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Postby Dummy » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:02 pm

Okay I finished the game now, and my post-play comment kind of lines up what my first impression was,

i like the game, the one thing i am really missing are some rpg elements, i would like to have more interactiv banter with my teammates, that after all was the thing i adored so much in the Baldurs Gate Series.

Btt: The game has a good storyline, it slowly spirals out of control, i really loved that time passes and you get feedback from you previous quests, it really impacts the story, the 2 Key endfights were a bit bizarr but i think people kind of need an "endboss".

GuillermsII wrote:Side quests have been massively improved, there is nothing like chantry boards any more (that I have seen) and side quests that I have played involve talking and choices.


Yes the Side Quest are ALOT better, this is maybe the biggest improvment

I think this game has a great replay value since your choice really have an impact on the game, but i would have hoped for bigger changes depending what you did in Dragon Age: Origins/Awakening, but thats understandable.

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Viperswhip
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Postby Viperswhip » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:22 pm

Bioware, for me at least, has been a gaming company that I strongly favoured. Although I loved that there are mods for the games they put out, the games were good even before the mods made them better.

With Oblivion, I was well aware that mods would be necessary to make the game better, but with the tool set available I was fine with that. Fallout 3 is also, way better with mods, I bought it and put it away until more mods came out. I even tried to mod a couple things myself (I know those are by Bethesda).

Many of the deficiencies, at least graphically and difficulty wise, in Dragon Age 2 could be handled with mods, but we don't get a tool set.

If we did not have a toolset in DAO there would be hundreds of bugs that were NEVER fixed by Bioware but were by modders.

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GuillermsII
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Postby GuillermsII » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:41 pm

For those of you skeptical about the tactical combat, play the game on nightmare and you will see. Just tried and its insanely hard, no button mashing not even action rpg. You've got to micromanage your team to hell. I'm going to go back to playing on hard because its too brutal for me right now. It will be good for a second palythrough.

Further thoughts:

So far Im a little let down by the lack of chat between me and my companions. They talk all the time between them )more than in DAO it seems) but I've not been able to talk to them much. It was very well handled when I did though. Problem is you dont seem to be able to casually ask questions like you did in DAO. There is also a general lack of npcs that are there just to be talked to, there is still plenty of talking but most of it involves quests. On the flip side there are plenty of quests, I keep doing them and more come up.

I really don't understand the 5-6 reviews out there. So far I would give the game no less than an 8. I keep reading about how its bland and has cardboard cut-out characters. Its a lot less bland than DAO and the dialogue, albeit curtailed, is great. It almost seems as though they have been playing a different game. I really do think there is some bioware backlash going on, if obsidian released the same game under a different title I think we would hear a different song.

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Postby galraen » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:20 pm

GuillermsII wrote:if obsidian released the same game under a different title I think we would hear a different song.


From me it would be the same but more so, if I had to chose between buying a game from EA or buying one from Obsidian, I'd buy one from EA every time. I have no time for EA, but I despise Obsidian more than any other software company out there, yes even Micro****!
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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vio
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Postby vio » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:03 am

there's no denying that DA2 has it's flaws (what game doesn't?) and some of them are especially disappointing, but overall I find it to be a very enjoyable and interesting game which seems to offer a lot of replayability
it's a shame that nobody seems to be making old school RPGs any more but that doesn't mean the modern style RPGs are bad, they're just different. (personally I think RPG has always been a misleading label anyway as most games require you to play a role, same with the adventure game genre, most games are about adventures. however that doesn't mean they are RPGs or adventure games) ideally it'd be great to have games of both RPG styles being released, but developers and/or publishers seem convinced there's not a strong enough market for old school RPGs. perhaps they're right, it's hard to say, but there's no denying that there are some disappointed fans

that aside, I do enjoy the faster paced combat in DA2, but apart from a few boss fights most of the combat consists of fighting lots of weak mobs who attack in waves rather than smaller groups of tougher mobs. a mix of the two in different situations would've been preferable, but maybe that's just me

the ending I didn't find to be quite the "hey where's the rest of my game you damned thieves?" cliffhanger some do. the main story (Hawke's rise to power) was finished and then we get a sequel hook for the next instalment. DA2 wasn't about the Chantry Seekers trying to end the Mage War, it was about how things got to that point and what Hawkes role in them was, and I was never given the impression otherwise so I didn't find the ending at all disappointing. Leliana showing up was also a great surprise (I'd given up on my favourite Origins character showing up by that point) and her comments implying a connection between Hawke and the Warden really make me wonder if the speculation about both being party members in a sequel are quite as insane as I'd originally thought

among my minor complaints, I'd list the Avatar-ish appearance of the Elves (Merrill looks great though but being a major character they obviously spent more time and effort on her), the different voice actors for Sandall and Anders, the occasional hidden But Thou Must (refusing a quest still results in it appearing in quest log and having to complete it, sometimes without even a dialogue explanation of why Hawke has to change her/his mind), not being able to spec Merrill as a healer (especially after Bethany's captured by the Templars, next time I'll take her to the damned Deep Roads (I had planned to but since it forced Varic in my party and I needed a tank and wanted to keep Merrill as I was romancing her...) and see if she sticks around then) and the summoned Mabari keeping turning itself off all the time... but none of those complaints are major enough to turn me against the game

the inability to change companion armour didn't annoy me nearly as much as I expected it to. their outfits suited them pretty well and did change over time, plus I have to admit in Origins Morrigan did look pretty odd in most of the other mage robes

my biggest complaints I'll only mention in passing as I went into more detail in another thread
I hated that many quests had spoilerific titles. a quest chain named Tranquility that involves trying to rescue a mage from the Templars? well damn, I really didn't see it coming that he would have been made tranquil... oh wait, I bloody did
also the timeskips skipped too much. some of the bits that were glossed over (such as the merc/smuggler work for a year) it would have been fun to play at least some of, but instead we just fast forward. I don't expect to play the entire ten year(ish) span of the game but getting more detail on some of those events would have given a lot more immersion and depth

ultimately DA2 is a great game. flawed certainly, but the good by far outweighs the bad. but if it's to stand the test of time as well as Origins has and still is, then it's going to need a toolset so that we can have mods to keep new content coming (DLCs alone won't do it) otherwise it's going to end up being repetitive on later playthroughs. for example I know I replayed Origins a hell of a lot more often than the almost mod-less Awakening
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Pulverizer
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Postby Pulverizer » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:39 pm

I agree with a lot of what GuillermsII and vio have said above.

vio wrote:...(especially after Bethany's captured by the Templars, next time I'll take her to the damned Deep Roads (I had planned to but since it forced Varic in my party and I needed a tank and wanted to keep Merrill as I was romancing her...) and see if she sticks around then)...

Don't do that, or at least make a save before trying it :) One thing I'd like to add is that a lot of the decisions seem have a big impact during the game, much more so than DAO.

Also, I find combat on Nightmare to be quite tactical. At that difficulty level, frequently you have to take advantage of the cross-class combos to deal massive damage -- which necessitates pause-and-play tactical thinking for switching among companions (or a fairly extensive companion tactics setup).

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vio
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Postby vio » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:27 pm

Pulverizer wrote:
Don't do that, or at least make a save before trying it :) One thing I'd like to add is that a lot of the decisions seem have a big impact during the game, much more so than DAO.


I tried it, luckily had Anders in the party so it worked out ok-ish. I've also decided to stick with any decisions I make and not reload, just to try differently on future playthroughs. so if i make a bad call I'm stuck with it :P
as for decisions, you're not kidding. and some of them take their time to crop up
loved the fact that Aveline chewed me out for having sold Wesley's shield, very unexpected level of detail there. my current playthrough is more evil and I decided to help the Sloth demon in the Fade... just starting to see some oh-crap side effects of that now :P
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GoldDragon
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Postby GoldDragon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:31 pm

RE: In-Party Banter/Conversations. Maria Hawke has gotten involved an a few of those.

Comp 1 says something, Comp2 replies, comp 1 asks what Hawke thinks, Hawke replies (it's generic, but this sort of thing NEVER happened in Origins. The closest there was when Alistair butted in during a PC-Lelianna Dialogue of "Girl Talk".)
-- GD

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vio
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Postby vio » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:24 am

Hawke's responses to banter aren't completely generic, they'll vary depending on what kind of replies you favour in conversations. on more than one occasional Aveline called my sarcastic Hawke an ass for inappropriate jokes when I didn't even have a choice on whether to be kind, funny or angry, and on my other Hawkes the automatic replies are different

incidentally I think being related to a BioWare hero is a bad career choice. going to play a mage next and see what happens to Carver, I'll probably return from the Deep Roads to find him in prison for public urination or something silly like that

I also enabled the Exiled Prince DLC on my other playthroughs (I always do first go without DLC or mods) and was pleased to meet Leliana, but odd that Isabella didn't recognise her, though I can't remember if those two actually 'spent some quality time together' with the Warden on the imported save I used. bloody annoying that the Mabari has to be resummoned every time you enter a new area though and I keep forgetting
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Postby Gartar » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:37 am

I liked the game, it was a good game without a doubt, not a really great one, but a good one. It took me about 47hours to complete it, and I even missed some stuff(like a hidden fight that is apparently the hardest fight in the game, which I'm pretty pissed about missing;q), I liked combat more than in Origins, it is basically the same combat with improvements and made smoother, difficulty seems allot harder than in Origins which is a good thing imo.

I liked the story well enough and thought it was quite good, it had some awesome moments, but it also had some pretty meh moments, it seems to me like the story was made to continue in to Dragon Age 3 more so than anything else, but I'm really looking forward to the next dragon age from the end events of DA2 atleast. I still hate the set character though, don't really think it added anything to the game that you played as Hawk, could have been just as great if I was Garthor the former Dwarf Noble that was exiled to the surface for whatever reason, I liked how the choices earlier in the game effect the end. I liked some of the characters more than Origins characters, and some I hated allot more than Origins once, Varric was a cool character, and Anders is probably my favorite DA2 character, love the way he has evolved from Awakening.

The reusing of environments annoyed me allot, if the environments had changed some over the years it wouldn't be that big of a problem, but they don't change at all, atleast not from what I saw.

*Also sorry for my bad English, it tends to get pretty bad if I write more than 3 sentances:/*
"I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.''-Johannes Kepler.

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vio
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Postby vio » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:01 pm

having completed the game a few times now though I have a new big complaint. replayability
don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things you can do differently on different playthroughs, but most of them are only minor things and have little or no actual effect on the rest of the game. Origins had three different main endings and hundreds of variables that would effect the epilogue, plus several parts of the game played out somewhat differently depending on your origin and/or earlier decisions. DA2 seems to be sadly lacking this and I worry this will badly hurt its appeal as time goes on. I know some people are happy to buy a game, play it once and proclaim it the greatest game ever but never play it again, or happily play the same game twice in the exact same way, but personally I love a game I can play again and again and have it be different each time. it's one of the main reasons Blade Runner, Morrowind and of course DA Origins are among my favourite games
it also doesn't help that we still don't have a toolkit. mods played a large part in keeping Origins alive with new content, and much like the Awakening expansion (which sadly never got a toolset update either) DA2 will badly need new content to keep it fresh, and having to pay for DLC is far from a perfect solution
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Postby a00krido » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:07 pm

vio wrote:having completed the game a few times now though I have a new big complaint. replayability


I agree completely. That's why I think the combat is so important. Lets face it, you usually spend more than 50% of your time doing combat in RPGs. If combat doesn't offer a wide and different array of tactics, replaying it won't be much fun.

This of course goes for both dialog, actions and combat. Funny you should mention Blade Runner. I don't think I've replayed any adventure game as many times as I have replayed that. Great game.

I just love games that offers such replayabilty that I feel I want to start over and choose a different "path" even though I'm not even halfway through.

Modern games, like DA2, that are streamlined for the console often offers "faked" replayabilty values. They are trying to give you the illusion of choice when in reality all "choices" lead to the same effect. If you can't see through it the first time you will surely see through it when you replay the game.