Dragon Age 2 - Catch All

LobsterMobster wrote:

We don't technically know what Flemeth is. Are you so sure she's a witch who can turn into a dragon? What's to say she isn't a dragon who can turn into a witch? We do know that she can cast off her old body and inhabit a new one, which suggests that she isn't purely human. What if she never was? Is it possible for a non-human to know humanity so well as to precisely determine what makes one human more attractive than another?

Quick, which penguin is most attractive to other penguins?

IMAGE(http://mariasmovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/penguin.jpg)

See Lobster, you are right there with me. And clearly the penguin 2nd from the right is the most attractive.

The main problem I have with the camera is how it's glued to a character. With the old broken nasty archaic isometric camera, when you switched character the camera would mostly stay put, which I works better for a mouse input as the thing you're going to want to click on stays in the same place rather than shifting perspective and where they are on the screen. That means if some new threat appears on the screen and want a few characters to attack it I can just go F1 click F2 click F3 click, without needing to adjust the camera or reaim my mouse between each click and generally getting in the way of what I want to do.

I guess on the console version this is not an issue as you lock to targets.

Remember how everyone moans when a game with a third person camera or PC RTS game gets it wrong? This is like that, but they're throwing away something that works perfectly fine, including in the preceding game.

The second problem is how you see less, presumably so you can look at the pretty environments the artists have been toiling over for years. I hate to bring up the gameplay versus graphics debate, but this is where it matters, it's getting in the way of a good control scheme (note I said A control scheme, not the only control scheme) for the type of combat which DA is made from. The wish to show off their art is getting in the way of the gameplay.

People love to hold up Bioware as an example of a great PC studio, if anything DA2 is an great example of their current priorities and how poor their current designers are at reinventing the wheel. Hyperbolic? Perhaps.

nel e nel wrote:

IMAGE(http://mariasmovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/penguin.jpg)

See Lobster, you are right there with me. And clearly the penguin 2nd from the right is the most attractive.

Yeah. She's trying to play all coy, sticking to the back. But she wants it. Wants it bad.

Being clear about what stats are doing isn't dumbing down, it's eliminating obtuseness, which DA:O could certainly be.

Scratched wrote:

I always find it interesting when a demo version isn't representative of the full game, but I don't think they've made great efforts to clarify how they're different, even a little pop up to give a little more context to what you're playing.

After playing it again, I've mellowed on it. The fact that your sister's ludicrous oogaba is far less ridiculous in the real version of events alone warmed me to it quite a bit -- they're clearly going somewhere with that framing device. But I don't think there's any escaping the fact that it's a terrible demo. It's just a series of badly designed fights strung together by the barest of connective tissue.

The best fights in the first game placed everything on the table for you, and let you figure out how to deal with the situation. In the demo, fights that are just a bunch of enemies spawned in waves at you. If the full game doesn't behave like that, I can see myself enjoying the combat, even if the pace is higher than I'd like and I wind up cursing at the camera. If the demo *is* representative of the game however, the combat will end up being such a dreadful slog.

And it doesn't help that the majority of the demo is set in that dreadful blasted wasteland environment either.

And the amount of stuff they've locked out is just bizarre. Why no inventory? Why prevent players from switching weapons on the fly? They don't even give you the opportunity to select which abilities your higher level character gets in the second portion. For your sidekicks, you can select abilities all you want, but not for the player character. It makes absolutely no sense, unless they're afraid of scaring off the sub-literate drooling moron demographic.

MannishBoy wrote:
ranalin wrote:

Same but after about 30sec it stopped being an issue for me. I dont see this hindering my enjoyment of the game. Not yet at least.

I'm not saying I won't get used to the new setup, but I'll always miss it. Because I couldn't go full isometric control like before, I was constantly having to babysit camera angles with right click/drags.

I'll still play the game at some point, but I don't understand this particular design decision.

Yeah, I guess that right-click-drag camera management has become such a second nature thing to me after so much time playing WoW that it feels like the natural way to do things, and the iso view feels like more of a situational tool. Definitely not saying I don't wish it was still there (it was on my list of legitimate gripes, after all ) but from my brief time with the demo it does seem like they have made some tweaks to the way the locked camera behaves that make it much more functional than the DA:O locked camera, thereby removing some of the sting of losing the iso camera.

As for the reasoning behind the decision to remove it:

I could be wrong, but I believe I read somewhere that it was a matter of choosing how to spend design resources rather than a matter deciding that the feature wasn't of value. I guess when the camera goes out that far it switches to a different set of LOD textures and models, and that stuff takes time to build and make look good. As such, I think they came to a point where they had to decide if it was worth slowing down the process of building new content in order to make iso view versions of everything, and they chose to leave that as a "maybe if there is time at the end" sort of project rather than to devote resources to it the whole time.

It's sad, but if this was the case then personally I can't blame them for making the choice that they did.

EDIT: A better choice, of course, might have been to just compromise and let the existing camera come unlocked from characters.

Well, I liked it. I played DA:O on the PC, but I'm not all that concerned about the removal of the isometric view. As long as I can pause and give orders I'm fine. The combat is much faster, with much shorter cooldowns, but I'm also fine with that as there seem to still be plenty of tactical options.

The art certainly felt less generic than DA:O. I like what they did with Flemeth.

The breasts were ridiculous, though.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

IMAGE(http://mariasmovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/penguin.jpg)

See Lobster, you are right there with me. And clearly the penguin 2nd from the right is the most attractive.

Yeah. She's trying to play all coy, sticking to the back. But she wants it. Wants it bad.

Being clear about what stats are doing isn't dumbing down, it's eliminating obtuseness, which DA:O could certainly be.

Buncha goddamn perverts. It's clearly the one with the long, slender neck.

// I'll be in my bunk

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

*IMAGE*

See Lobster, you are right there with me. And clearly the penguin 2nd from the right is the most attractive.

Yeah. She's trying to play all coy, sticking to the back. But she wants it. Wants it bad.

Being clear about what stats are doing isn't dumbing down, it's eliminating obtuseness, which DA:O could certainly be.

Buncha goddamn perverts. It's clearly the one with the long, slender neck.

// I'll be in my bunk

CLEARLY it's the orange one being all coy in the background. The tease.

I'm not inspired by the demo but then I'm not really an action game fan and it does have that feel. It seems a miss step not to let you try out the harder difficulties. I might like the combat if it was a little more tactical.

I was able to complete the ogre fight by kiting him and his buddies around for five minutes while the mage, ignored by all concerned, plinked away with her one fire spell.

I like Flemeth. Great character design.

I was tired of "Another wave!" and "We've got company!" by the end of the demo.

There's only one feature dropped from Origins that I was disappointed is now missing and no one else seems to have mentioned it. Mage spell combos. These were never really a major feature in Origins, it wasn't exactly Magicka, but they were kind of cool. I tried casting a Glyph of Repulsion on a Glyph of Paralysis and nothing happened. There are cross-class combos now but they all appear to be of the form class 1 causes a status effect on an enemy and class 2 now deals more damage, no really interesting interactions.

Although on the topic of mage spells, I do think the new trees are a good redesign. There was a lot of chaff in the Origins spells and it was easy to screw up your mage for a while if you picked some bad spells. The trees in DA2 seem to only contain the best spells from Origins. Meanwhile warriors and rogues get a lot of new toys to level the playing field.

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a demo so focused on dissuading me from purchasing a game before. There isn't a redeeming feature: gameplay, story, technical execution, art direction, everything about the demo is shoddy. I'm less interesting in Dragon Age 2 than ever before.

It's an anti-demo.

Tannhauser wrote:

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a demo so focused on dissuading me from purchasing a game before. There isn't a redeeming feature: gameplay, story, technical execution, art direction, everything about the demo is shoddy. I'm less interesting in Dragon Age 2 than ever before.

It's an anti-demo.

Did you try Bulletstorm's? Had the same effect on me.

Tannhauser wrote:

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a demo so focused on dissuading me from purchasing a game before. There isn't a redeeming feature: gameplay, story, technical execution, art direction, everything about the demo is shoddy. I'm less interesting in Dragon Age 2 than ever before.

It's an anti-demo.

I feel the oppisite, I really like the demo, I think it's fanastic so far and it's excited me for the full game, I am also a really big fan of DA:O and I think this is just as good so far.

Scratched wrote:

People love to hold up Bioware as an example of a great PC studio, if anything DA2 is an great example of their current priorities and how poor their current designers are at reinventing the wheel. Hyperbolic? Perhaps.

I disagree, I think Bioware is a great PC studio and this game might not be what you wanted but it doesn't mean it won't be a great PC game when it's released.

to me bioware has released hit after hit and they have been just as good on PC as console.

I still think it looks like a great game, and probably preferable to play on PC for me. I'm just frustrated by a few of the choices they made.

The range of reactions here is fascinating.

BadKen wrote:

The range of reactions here is fascinating.

With the exception of a few outliers, I find it very predictable. The dudes that played on PC are most likely to be disappointed by the more console friendly nature of the game (that can be said in almost any multiplatform thread, honestly). The dudes that played on console see this as the natural evolution and improvement over a somewhat clunky experience in the last game (I do, anyway).

Question: on the PC version of the demo do you need to click to swing for each attack? I could imagine that getting very old.

No, it's auto-attack on PC.

Technical execution is a major problem. The DirectX 11 graphics path seems to be totally broken. After the first disastrous attempt to run the demo ended in a hard lock, I switched over to the DX 9 path. Things were much better.

Technically, DA:O looked like it was about 5 years behind contemporary standards. DA 2 looks like it's only a couple of years behind. And the interface is full of strange context bugs and laggy behavior.

Still, about 10 minutes into the second attempt at the demo, I started getting a feel for how the designers intended for the game to play. For the most part, I like what they've done with DA 2. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the full game.

Played through as a Female Warrior, Male Rogue and Female Mage. Definitely in the "I love console version" camp.

My condolences to the PC camp, though.

I own DA:O for both the PC and the 360. Will be interesting which I choose this for.

Nothing in the demo to disuade me from buying the game. Like other's I don't like the path they are heading down here, but I'm not ready to jump off the bandwagon yet.

I played the PC demo, and selected DX11, and it played fine and looked great. When the video cut from one schene to anther there was some definate chop, otherwise fine. Controls felt loose on the PC. Definately feels like it was optimized for a controller, and just ported to the PC as is.

I really didn't like the way that dwarf was looking at me....

Anyone else suffering technical glitches? I ran it fine on my work PC, but my home PC which is Nvidia GTX260+ runs fine, but then will hang for 2-3 seconds, then back to normal again. It seems to happen whenever a new wave or something happens. It's not all the time, but throughout a single demo playthrough last night it would have happened maybe 10 or so times.

Yeah I totally think Bioware is a sellout company and they've lost a lot of my respect over the years, but I'm still excited for DA2. I wish they'd do a proper PC game, but I know they've gone and ditched us PC types for a more lucrative, sexier console market. It might not have the depth of Baldur's Gate 2, it might not have the spiral-bound user manual or the 200 hours of gameplay or Minsc, but their games have still been pretty fun. And it's not like there's anything else on the market right now anyways.

At least Bioware still releases its games on PC while plenty of developers have totally jumped the boat. This is a classic example where the community screams for innovation but cry at the break from tradition over any little change. I'm amazed at the indignation that a sequel be a little different from its predecessor. I can see where a lot of the criticisms are coming from, but they're just getting loud and hyperbolic. After playing the demo I'm not convinced DA2 will be a great game, but it's by no means the abomination people are making it out to be. If you're very selective about the games you choose to play then I can see you looking elsewhere, but many of the people on this message board have Steam accounts a mile long and to think they'd scoff at what was presented is a little ridiculous to me.

Being a console gamer, I have none of the issues the PC crowd seems to be suffering.

My problems with the demo echo a few other comments posted earlier:

1) No appearance customization for some odd reason. Would this have really added significantly to the size of the demo? Seems a weird thing to omit.

2) Insanely fast combat. I kind of hated how quickly it went. Felt like some sort of God of War thing, yet each individual darkspawn still took about 20 hits to go down. Hammering the action button got a little old.

3) Storyline. I actually think the unreliable narrator thing is an interesting device, but the story in the demo felt really disjointed. I am hoping, as has been suggested, that there is MORE to the introduction that was shown here. DA:O's varied introductions weren't deep, but they were effective in drawing me in to the story.

On the other hand, I at least know that I enjoy the voice actress doing the Female Hawke. She's no Jennifer Hale, but she gets the job done.

While I wasn't impressed with the demo, I am still looking forward to DA2 and trust that BioWare is going to deliver an entertaining experience when all is said and done.

Latrine wrote:

At least Bioware still releases its games on PC while plenty of developers have totally jumped the boat. This is a classic example where the community screams for innovation but cry at the break from tradition over any little change. I'm amazed at the indignation that a sequel be a little different from its predecessor. I can see where a lot of the criticisms are coming from, but they're just getting loud and hyperbolic. After playing the demo I'm not convinced DA2 will be a great game, but it's by no means the abomination people are making it out to be. If you're very selective about the games you choose to play then I can see you looking elsewhere, but many of the people on this message board have Steam accounts a mile long and to think they'd scoff at what was presented is a little ridiculous to me.

I don't think it's fair to say that people who dislike the game scream for innovation but cry at a break for tradition. Frankly, I thought DAO's combat was an extremely innovative take on Baldur's Gate style isometric tactical combat. What the DA2 demo showed me wasn't innovative, it was regressive - there was absolutely nothing new of interest, and it seemed to remove a lot of what DAO great. I'm not crying at the break from tradition over "any little change", I'm sad at what I feel were design choices made to appeal to people who didn't like what I liked about the original. So maybe that's my fault for being an old PC gaming grognard, but I still maintain that there are plenty of good action RPGs, and the world doesn't need another one. Tactically-focused RPGs are far fewer, and ones with Bioware budgets and polish are basically non-existant.

I think its totally fair for people who were exited with the direction Bioware was going with DAO, which is to say, a different RPG style than Mass Effect that appealed to a different audience, to see it take a massive jump towards that action, over-the shoulder focused RPG. It's a letdown.

Dysplastic wrote:
Latrine wrote:

At least Bioware still releases its games on PC while plenty of developers have totally jumped the boat. This is a classic example where the community screams for innovation but cry at the break from tradition over any little change. I'm amazed at the indignation that a sequel be a little different from its predecessor. I can see where a lot of the criticisms are coming from, but they're just getting loud and hyperbolic. After playing the demo I'm not convinced DA2 will be a great game, but it's by no means the abomination people are making it out to be. If you're very selective about the games you choose to play then I can see you looking elsewhere, but many of the people on this message board have Steam accounts a mile long and to think they'd scoff at what was presented is a little ridiculous to me.

I don't think it's fair to say that people who dislike the game scream for innovation but cry at a break for tradition. Frankly, I thought DAO's combat was an extremely innovative take on Baldur's Gate style isometric tactical combat. What the DA2 demo showed me wasn't innovative, it was regressive - there was absolutely nothing new of interest, and it seemed to remove a lot of what DAO great. I'm not crying at the break from tradition over "any little change", I'm sad at what I feel were design choices made to appeal to people who didn't like what I liked about the original. So maybe that's my fault for being an old PC gaming grognard, but I still maintain that there are plenty of good action RPGs, and the world doesn't need another one. Tactically-focused RPGs are far fewer, and ones with Bioware budgets and polish are basically non-existant.

I think its totally fair for people who were exited with the direction Bioware was going with DAO, which is to say, a different RPG style than Mass Effect that appealed to a different audience, to see it take a massive jump towards that action, over-the shoulder focused RPG. It's a letdown.

Indeed, I like ME and ME2 (ME2 more for the better shooting mechanics and removal of the MAKO, curse the planet scanning though) for what they are which is shooter-RPG hybrids.

DA:O was a more thoughtful, tactical, team-based game which emphasized controlling space and positioning on harder difficulties and fights. DA2 has characters zipping into the line of fire right before a fireball lands because they have anime movement. It's disappointing to the people who liked that DA:O was the "spiritual successor" to the IE based games.

I get the feeling you guys are assuming too much about the combat lacking any tactical elements. We haven't seen three fourths or so of the abilities, and only two real fights (Ogre and the boss at the end of Isabela's thing). I'm not saying buy the game, I'm saying let someone else buy it and tell you it's dumbed down for we console plebes.

I have a complaint about something I'm actually sure about: how about the cooldown on the heal spell? Jesus Christ! It's like 20 seconds!

Well, I played the demo until I died twice and then got bored and quit. I enjoyed Dragon Age Origins on PC because it was basically Neverwinter Nights 3 to me. Maybe DA 2 will be fine, but it's definitely something I can wait on.

I remember reading somewhere (PC Gamer maybe?) where they said Dragon Age Origins looked like crap and Dragon Age 2 fixed all that. I definitely disagree. They look different, but Dragon Age 2 has awful textures in most places. It was easier to make Dragon Age Origins look fantastic by zooming out.

Definitely something I can wait on. If the people who loved the Neverwinter Nights style of DAO turn out to like it, I'll pick it up on the cheap.

Edit: Well, at least this whole thing should benefit The Witcher 2 sales.