Dragon Age: Origins Catch-All

Game trailers review is up. It seemed surprisingly spoiler heavy. I stopped watching after a minute or two. They liked it but think the game is too long. What is the world coming to.

Staats wrote:
Two discs, both unreadable? Could you see scratches?

They both had visible defects. You know how on the back of the disc you can see the area where the data is burned? That area's a bit darker. Well, on the first disc there was a massive V shape that looked like nothing had been written to it and on the second disc the area that actually had something on it looked like an hourglass. Just to make sure I wasn't crazy I looked through my other 22 360 discs and they all looked fine and all of them worked fine on my console. I really do think that store just had a bad batch so I'm going to try to exchange it at a different location.

lethial wrote:
:( What kind of problem do you have with your PC anyway? Did you try the usual troubleshooting steps? (Reinstall your drivers, making sure that you used a cleaner program to clean any left overs of old driver first; check nothing in your system is overheating, etc.)

Yep. Tried all the standard tricks and also tried the unconvential stuff that was being listed in the help forums for Torchlight. What's bad is I'm sure it's probably something simple that someone with more know-how could easily fix. Shame I stopped building pc's back in the 486 days. These new fangled things just confuse me. I'm still going to keep tinkering with things trying to get these two games to run but I'm done with sitting here for hours on end trying to get it to work. As for the problem, if I can get the game to start you'll start seeing squares of black skitter across the screen and the occasional horizontal lines. Eventually the whole screen will go nuts so that you'll get an entire grid of tiny multi-color squares that cover the screen, everything's frozen, and then the system reboots itself to prevent damage. Games like FarCry2, every MMO, Sins, Demigod... all work perfectly fine. It's just DA:O and Torchlight.

Anyway, didn't mean to turn this into a tech forum post.

Coldstream wrote:
I had one fight where it was my party of four versus seven enemies, four of whom were attacking with bows. I immediately ordered my party to run across an open area to try to put a bit of architecture in-between them and the archers. This accomplished, it forced the enemy to come from a single direction with much less opportunity to engage from range. I arranged my three fighter types in a screen in front of my archer. As enemies moved to engage, my group keep a sort of flying T formation, always guarding the archer. Anyway, the upshot was that by using some tactics, and pausing each time an enemy fell to reassess the situation, I was able to win the battle with only one friendly KO. It's wasn't unusual to have 1-2 KOs in a battle (I'm playing on normal) but it's fine since they revive after the battle, and health auto-regens.

For you guys that have the 360 version, how difficult would the above kind of maneuvering be to pull off? It just seems like this is the kind of thing that screams mouse and keyboard.

Very very awesome. I've just finished the second "chapter"-ish segment, which ends with becoming a Grey Warden (I'm pretty sure that's not a spoiler!), and I'm pretty sure that at the end of the next one the gloves come off. This is going to be damned good.

On the subject of blood spatters: There's an option (under gameplay?) that you can toggle that makes blood spatters less persistent. The default behavior, I guess, is that they stick around until you change out a piece of armor. With the other choice, they go away whenever you exit combat. I'm somewhat undecided about how I feel about the whole gore thing, myself. On the one hand, it's nice to feel like the combat is messy. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I believe killing ten rats would leave you looking like you've spent ten minutes rolling around in their blood afterwards.

On the subject of how not to die: I got my ass whupped once during the "second" chapter, playing on normal. The mistake I made was charging in after an enemy spellcaster who was running away. The smart thing to do here is to think "Gosh, maybe I would be better off not charging into the middle of a bunch of enemies, including one who can nuke my entire group at once, and a bunch of archers who can plunk us full of arrows." The second time, I equipped the two decent archers in my group with bows and engaged at max range, falling back to keep the positional advantage and avoid allowing all of the enemy to attack at once. "The slow blade penetrates the shield."

The next major fight after that, I took the same approach and did well again.

You very very definitely want to treat this as a tactical game rather than a dive-in-and-slice-em-up action game. Yes, you only have four members in your party at any one time, but you're still going to do much much better if you do smart sneaky things instead of stupid heroic things. Charging uphill against a squad of archers? Yeah. That's not such a good choice.

I suspect that as the game progresses, it's going to be much more reasonable to just pile into swarms of "little guys". But there will undoubtedly be new big guys who are just as dangerous--and you'll want to apply tactics just as much against them (with the added pain of the little guys interfering with movement and providing flanking bonuses to the big guys, even if the little guys aren't super threatening on their own.)

Man. This sort of makes me want to go back and re-install Icewind Dale. I'd forgotten how nice it can be when tactical choices mean the difference between winning and losing.

Final note: Somebody asked about "can you have it pause every turn?" The answer is no: there are no turns here. However, you can get away without micro-managing quite that much. I have "auto-pause when entering combat" turned on, which is nice for "right, we're engaging the enemy". Other than that, I can usually make choices on the fly, and reserve pausing for when I need to think a moment about what to do next, or issue orders to several people at once to re-establish an ordered formation.

Ahh! Good stuff. Good good stuff.

Kehama wrote:

For you guys that have the 360 version, how difficult would the above kind of maneuvering be to pull off? It just seems like this is the kind of thing that screams mouse and keyboard.

I Am Not Playing On The 360, But: From all I've heard, it's definitely harder--which explains why spells don't have friendly fire on the 360 but do on the PC, for example. The main thing that's missing is the ability to zoom out and issue movement orders to all of your guys while paused. Movement on the 360 looks to be all direct control--so you're likely to have much rougher formations. I'd be inclined to bump the difficulty down one notch from where I want to play on PC because of that decreased amount of control, but I believe the same principles still apply and are workable. You just want a bit more slack because it's slightly harder to keep your crazed swordsman ally from running off and getting himself pincushioned.

Between last night and this morning, I've put about three hours into the 360 version. I have the PC version for my second playthrough, but decided I wanted the plug-and-play experience at the moment. The game looks decent. It's not Uncharted 2, but it's hardly making my eyes bleed. I haven't seen the difficulty that a lot of you guys were talking about. I started on Hard, and I've only died once so far. Granted, I've only played the origin story, so I might not be near the hard stuff yet.

I can't wait to dig into it a little more. Damn these shiny new games, and my ever growing pile...

@kehama: this is the catch all thread after all, so I don't think it is inappropriate to post your PC blight (pun intended ) here, esp. since it seems to be specific to DA (and torchlight).

Have you tried the other games that you mentioned lately? From the description that you gave, it sounded like something is overheating in your PC. So can you try couple of your other games to see if they are still fine right now? If I had to pick, I'd choose FC2, and WoW (I am assuming this is the MMO you are talking about?). Since the former is hard on the gfx card, and the latter is hard on the CPU.

What OS and gfx card do you have anyway? Did you make sure that when you installed the latest drivers, you ran a tool to clean the previous install? If you like, we can talk in detail about troubleshooting your PC in PMs.

Kehama wrote:
As for the problem, if I can get the game to start you'll start seeing squares of black skitter across the screen and the occasional horizontal lines. Eventually the whole screen will go nuts so that you'll get an entire grid of tiny multi-color squares that cover the screen, everything's frozen, and then the system reboots itself to prevent damage.

In my experience, this kind of thing usually means a hardware problem, particularly with the video card. Why it's only happening with your 2 newest games, I'm not sure, but horizontal lines and multi-color squares almost always mean a video card failure of some sort. Especially when it ends with a hard freeze and/or reboot.

What card do you have, and is there a way to monitor it's temperature? I know with my ATI 4870, it will heat up to 80C+ (even on idle) unless I go into the ATI control panel and unlock the fan and set it to at least 40%. I only have to do this once per driver install, and then it sticks. This drops my core temp 25C or more.

So, does anyone know how rogue stuff works, like finding and disarming traps? My rogue, who I'm trying to play like a thief (pick locks and disarm traps, pickpocket and stealth, etc), triggered a trap last night, which kinda sucked since that's what I wanted to play a rogue for. I don't see either a skill, a talent, or an ability on the hotbar related to finding or disarming. Anyone know?

Combat animations on the dual wielding blades was awesome, as was my dwarf warrior swinging a massive 2-H maul. They did a good job with the animations, from what I've seen so far. I also quite like the facial animations combined with the voice acting. Duncan in particular seems well done. He's got a cool middle-age Obi Wan vibe going for him.

For those of you that purchased from Impulse, but are having trouble getting DLC, check out the following forum thread:

http://forums.impulsedriven.com/3682...

To summarize:

One of the Impulse guys wrote the following:

Download this file to your dragon age\bin_ship folder:

http://stardock.cachefly.net/zoomba/...

Run it. This will attempt to install the updater service. Please let me know if it works.

I'm working on getting it into an impulse update, but this will get folks running in the meantime

This did not exactly work for me, but then I saw the following:

After performing Zoomba's fix, you may want to go into Services and start the DA Updater service manually.

Mine didn't seem to be starting properly when I started DA, so I started it manually before starting DA, and it's now downloading the DLC properly.

I have yet to restart DA, so I don't know if it will start properly the next time I play or not.

I do not know if it will work completely, but at least my DLC is attempting to download now. Ahhh.... PC gaming at its best!

So, for those of us who registered our keys on the site first, per Impulse's instructions, there still is no fix. Hopefully Stardock will just give me another key and I can register via the game. This appears to be what they were doing last night on IRC before they went home. I'll let you know. It's been like 14 hours and counting.

Kehama wrote:
As for the problem, if I can get the game to start you'll start seeing squares of black skitter across the screen and the occasional horizontal lines. Eventually the whole screen will go nuts so that you'll get an entire grid of tiny multi-color squares that cover the screen, everything's frozen, and then the system reboots itself to prevent damage

As others have noted above, this is almost certainly a graphics-card overheat. I had a similar problem with my system locking up with certain games, and the problem ended up being airflow, from what I can tell. It was frustrating, because I could run Crysis, but World in Conflict crashed my graphics card after about 15 minutes. Dropping anti-aliasing lowered the load on my card enough for me to finish WiC, but it was annoying. I'd suggest implementing the excellent fan-override suggestion above to see if that helps, and also evaluating the airflow around your box.

I love the game so far and I'm not particularly big on these kind of complex RPG's. I have been doing very well in combat up until the point when you first go in the forest and have to face a mage with archers and other melee guys. I cant fight my way out of that!

cube wrote:
I have a problem. It's 10:33 PM, I have work tomorrow, I didn't really get any sleep last night, and the download will be done in less than 20 minutes. Do I risk not sleeping for a second night?

I had a similar issue since STEAM preload BLOWS! and I had to redownload. Thus at 1045PM I started playing and discovered it was 1AM 5 minutes later. Worth every lost bit of sleep. Also, is there a way to open chest if you are not a Rogue. I liked my warrior but locked chests suck so I started a rogue. The game itself is all kinds of awesome and the blood effects while a little over the top are a neat addition. Also if you have the Digital Deluxe Preorder Steam version like I did - was anyone able to register the 3rd code - the first two registered fine, but the last one said piss off.

Of the 3 Steam codes 1 is the base game. I activated my 2 codes and got all my DLC.

Khoram wrote:
So, does anyone know how rogue stuff works, like finding and disarming traps? My rogue, who I'm trying to play like a thief (pick locks and disarm traps, pickpocket and stealth, etc), triggered a trap last night, which kinda sucked since that's what I wanted to play a rogue for. I don't see either a skill, a talent, or an ability on the hotbar related to finding or disarming. Anyone know?

I believe it's not a hot button at all. It’s not like Baldur’s Gate or NWN where you need to be in a special “detect traps” mode. If a rogue senses a trap, it will be noted on the screen, and merely right-clicking on the trap with the character will have them attempt to disarm it. I think it’s also one of the scripting options to tell them to automatically disarm traps they discover. Your rogue probably either failed the detection dice roll behind the scenes or the trap was above his/her level. One of the skill trees is called Deft Hands that improves your abilities in this region.

Combat animations on the dual wielding blades was awesome, as was my dwarf warrior swinging a massive 2-H maul. They did a good job with the animations, from what I've seen so far. I also quite like the facial animations combined with the voice acting.

When I saw that terrible mouth movement on your character during the creation process, I was worried, but in-game that talking animations look just fine.

Also, I like how the combat animations seem much more realistic as far as hit detection goes. Weapons clash against each other, and final blows seem to clearly hit. Sometimes even the character needs to physically pull the sword out of his victim’s chest. Obviously, it’s a minor and superficial thing, but usually in these types of games there is an disconnect with that type of thing.

Finally got to play. My WoW time is going to take a big hit.

Mine finished downloading overnight... I've held off on trying the DLC keys at the moment because of all of the issues. I'll wait until there's a definitive way to do it, then go for it.

I've been itching to play... And to top it all off, I've got a late meeting at work today, so I'm going to be home an hour later than normal. Their timing sucks.

Grenn wrote:
Finally got to play. My WoW time is going to take a big hit.

You say that like it's a bad thing

I have to additionally note that the Overpower animation for the giant spiders in the Dwarven tunnels is absolutely horrifying. I was actually squirming in my chair as my character was flat on her back trying to fight off this huge, writhing, snapping spider. It's like Bioware reached into my brain and pulled out my worst nightmare. I can't decide whether the animators for DA:O should be commended or slapped.

I was afraid it was a hardware problem but I really can't afford a hardware problem right now. btw, the card I've got is a GeForce 8800 GTX. I think I'll take lethial up on the PM offer for tinkering help so as not to derail the DA awesomeness further. Hopefully I'll be able to play this game soon. I still can't decide if I want to do my first run through as a human mage or dwarven rogue. Decisions, decisions.

I have to additionally note that the Overpower animation for the giant spiders in the Dwarven tunnels is absolutely horrifying. I was actually squirming in my chair as my character was flat on her back trying to fight off this huge, writhing, snapping spider.

LOL yeah that was hardcore nasty! And it went on, and on... brutal.

One thing that kind of pissed me off: I imported my character that I made with the creator 2 weeks ago, and so assumed it would have all the settings saved, so I quickly clicked through so I could play. Not until later did I notice that it did not keep the portrait settings, which were awesome. So now my main guy just has the generic, ambivilent, turn to the side/DMV pose for his portrait, which sucks. Anyone know if there's a way to change the portrait after the game has started?


On the other hand, I'm not sure that I believe killing ten rats would leave you looking like you've spent ten minutes rolling around in their blood afterwards.

Just a comment on this. I have a friend who is an historian and who participates frequently in re-enactments. During one in Canada, the military actually used high explosives to blow up a fence while an assault was underway. Of course this was in the middle of a simulated battle, so adrenaline was high.

As he reached the gap in the fence, he discovered his weapon was slippery with blood. As was his hand, his sleeve, his uniform jacket and most of one side of his pants. After a very fast, very worried check, he found that the source of all this was a 1/4" nick on his pinky, probably from the flint on his musket. He looked like, well, like he'd been lying in a puddle of the stuff, but the wound was so small he didn't even feel it.

FWIW.

Coldstream wrote:
I have to additionally note that the Overpower animation for the giant spiders in the Dwarven tunnels is absolutely horrifying. I was actually squirming in my chair as my character was flat on her back trying to fight off this huge, writhing, snapping spider. It's like Bioware reached into my brain and pulled out my worst nightmare. I can't decide whether the animators for DA:O should be commended or slapped. :D

OH HAI

I bet he got some cool pictures that day.

The blood is probably somewhat realistic, except it just splatters from the enemies and not yourself. I would love to see my character take off his gauntlet to let out the pool of blood in there.

One thing I'd like is a look at the math churning in the background calculating hits and general attacks during combat. Seeing that stuff helps me figure out how to tweak characters, chances to hit, etc.

Maybe I'm missing something, anyone know if this stuff is logged somewhere?

Kehama wrote:
For you guys that have the 360 version, how difficult would the above kind of maneuvering be to pull off? It just seems like this is the kind of thing that screams mouse and keyboard.

I've only just finished the origin story, but individual movement and positioning definitely seems trickier on the 360. The one nice thing is tapping both bumpers selects the entire party. So for the most part I've just been selecting everybody, pointing at the meatiest target and screaming "Dog Pile!". Seemed to work pretty well so far, but that's with fairly simple combats and four rough'n'tumble dwarves in the group. It probably won't work as well once the combat gets more difficult, or once I get some magic users in the group.

On another note, has anyone playing the 360 version found a hotkey for changing weapon sets? Or do you really have to go into inventory each time you want to swap from bow to melee?

Coldstream wrote:
I have to additionally note that the Overpower animation for the giant spiders in the Dwarven tunnels is absolutely horrifying. I was actually squirming in my chair as my character was flat on her back trying to fight off this huge, writhing, snapping spider. It's like Bioware reached into my brain and pulled out my worst nightmare. I can't decide whether the animators for DA:O should be commended or slapped. :D

I vote for commending them, then slapping them. Twice.

NSMike wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
I have to additionally note that the Overpower animation for the giant spiders in the Dwarven tunnels is absolutely horrifying. I was actually squirming in my chair as my character was flat on her back trying to fight off this huge, writhing, snapping spider. It's like Bioware reached into my brain and pulled out my worst nightmare. I can't decide whether the animators for DA:O should be commended or slapped. :D

OH HAI

Yeah...the odds of me clicking on that link are slim to none. If I want to die a little inside, I'll just head over to the Spider thread.

Certis wrote:
One thing I'd like is a look at the math churning in the background calculating hits and general attacks during combat. Seeing that stuff helps me figure out how to tweak characters, chances to hit, etc.

Maybe I'm missing something, anyone know if this stuff is logged somewhere?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have created a masterpiece. Years of painstaking work have yielded a Tolkien-esque world of deep history, inspired architecture, and intricate societal bonds. Now, more than ever, we are able to draw players into our world. Skilled voice actors and remarkable animation techniques breathe life into the complicated, subtle relationships of our world's denizens. It is our hope that those venturing into our fantasy will be drawn as deeply into it as they would be into a book by their favourite author. And we want them to have questions that we don't answer, being mindful of Tolkien's admonishment that "to go there is to destroy the magic." Let them ask about lost histories, fallen civilisations, and the mysteries of...

...what? Background math? Character tweaks?"

*gunshots*

[[Newsfeed: 04NOV2009 1830GMT Subj. BIZARRE BIOWARE MURDER/SUICIDE PACT. Distr: All Outlets]]

BEGIN

The mystery surrounding the Bioware team today deepens...

Yeah...the odds of me clicking on that link are slim to none. If I want to die a little inside, I'll just head over to the Spider thread.

That's where I stole it from, though Certis seems to have spared you. I did not post that as a link.

One thing that stood out to me during the early combat was how very, very happy I was that this game did away with a lot of old D&D conventions in favor of more pleasant gameplay experiences. Mana pools > Memorizing spells, and Regenerating Health > Resting. Gone are the days of memorizing 10 Cure Light Wounds, 6 Cure Medium Wounds, and 2 Cure Heavy wounds, casting them all, rest, repeat.
Gone are the days of having my mage hoard every single spell for tough encounters, barely contributing to normal fights with his sling +1. I couldn't be happier about that - the combat alone is making this game infinitely superior to NWN2.

Kehama wrote:
Staats wrote:
Two discs, both unreadable? Could you see scratches?

They both had visible defects. You know how on the back of the disc you can see the area where the data is burned? That area's a bit darker. Well, on the first disc there was a massive V shape that looked like nothing had been written to it and on the second disc the area that actually had something on it looked like an hourglass. Just to make sure I wasn't crazy I looked through my other 22 360 discs and they all looked fine and all of them worked fine on my console. I really do think that store just had a bad batch so I'm going to try to exchange it at a different location.

Good to know. If the problem persists, let me know please.

360 here. Not far in (just level two). Already invested in my character:>) Did have something strange happen the first time in. During my 'harrowing' I did allot of running away from a spirit to try and get distance to use magic.(I'm trying to do my 'Ingold Inglorion' routine to eventually specializing as a Arcane Warrior). Did this for a long while and I guess for one reason or another it never 'advanced' me to the next plot point. I continually would go to the spirit I had just dealt with (and gotten something), instead of allowing me to interact with the next plot point. I ranged over the second plot point trying to initiate it, but just wouldn't work. So kicked-out and went back in and it worked fine (without all my running around) on second attempt.

(Note: The graphics on the 360 aren't that great btw. Nothing like Mass Effect. I'm just curious if any PS 3 users have seen a comparison of the graphics on their console as compared to the 360's. Is it markedly better?)