Dragon Age 2 - Catch All

EvilDead wrote:

I don't know what version of DA:O all you played where the terrain gave you huge tactical advantages. I played on the PC and the only thing that ever stopped projectiles consistently were doorways and my teammates. There were many barriers and blockades in the game that prevented movement but allowed projectiles to pass through them.

To add to that, this is just a demo meant to sell the game to a wider audience. I'm sure they cherry picked very action oriented parts of the game (Monster Waves ect.). Its not like Bioware didn't misrepresent DA:O prior to its launch.

Good points. I do think it's very hard to give a 30 minute demo to a huge RPG. It's going to have to cut a bunch of stuff and give you highlights, and in the end that may make it feel very different from the experience you'll get over hours and hours of playing.

I think my only significant complaint is the camera, and I'm sure I'll adjust. The AoE change bothers me, but I'm not sure how much until I see how it plays overall.

Didnt DA:O just have the character creator as its demo?

Just curious if the response would've been similar back then as what we're seeing now if they released a gameplay demo back then.

After having any expectations I might have had knocked away by impressions in this thread, I decided to go ahead and give the demo a shot on PC.

The combat was ridiculously easy. I never once felt the need to issue a comand. The heal spell I got for the mage was never used once. I never used a potion, and also never figured out where the potion "buttons" were. AI seemed very mediocre (they always zerged the character I was controlling at the start of the fight). At times, it felt like the game was playing itself more than I was playing the game. Then entire city section was my 2hand Hawke solo fighting adds/archers while the other 3 wiped the floor with everything else. I hope this isn't indicative of the rest of the game and am keeping my mind open due to the fact that this was just a demo, which is to show the basic in nature.

The dialogue and voice options felt very "meh". I'd like some more options than optimistic/consoling, Allistair, or hard ass. Also, the lack of any persuasion or intimidation choices were disappointing. I didn't see if there were any "skill" options for things like crafting, pickpocket, persuasion, et. al. in the interface either.

The isometric view had the effect that I completely expected: less open spaces, more linear environments, and the impact of ambushes being reduced to "another wave of gnats incase you were too busy looking at boobs".

And finally, boobs. I guess the D in DA stands for more than Dragon. We get that your marketing is going for a specific age group. It would have been nice if it were a little less blatant in the game itself. With the cleavage dialed up this high on every female character, it actually broke me out of the game. I'd like to hear what Lara thinks about this.

PS - has anyone else noticed that people's eye-brows seem to function like they have a mind of their own? It's like a Silent Hill monster with independent emotions that seem to mix oddly with the dialogue. My ladyhawke would be cautious of someone and the eyebrows would give them a look of absolute deathrage after the dialogue ended.

MannishBoy wrote:

I think my only significant complaint is the camera, and I'm sure I'll adjust. The AoE change bothers me, but I'm not sure how much until I see how it plays overall.

I think that's a perfectly valid one. The isometric view is highly unlikely at this point however It would be cool if they gave us the ability to unlock the camera from the character (as a bunch of you pointed out earlier in this thread).

Alien Love Gardener wrote:
Vector wrote:
Spoiler:

Really hoping the introduction with Isabella and the fact that your brother is in it was a lazy oversight.

What do you mean? This is the tiniest of spoilers, but better safe than sorry:

Spoiler:

Whether your brother or your sister survives depends on which class you choose. Mage means he survives, warrior or rogue means she survives.

I don't think it's an oversight.

Spoiler:

I was a rogue and he died but there he was in the next cut scene. Like I said, hoping it's just a lazy oversight in the demo and not indicitive of the genericness of the other cut scenes.

Vector wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:
Vector wrote:
Spoiler:

Really hoping the introduction with Isabella and the fact that your brother is in it was a lazy oversight.

What do you mean? This is the tiniest of spoilers, but better safe than sorry:

Spoiler:

Whether your brother or your sister survives depends on which class you choose. Mage means he survives, warrior or rogue means she survives.

I don't think it's an oversight.

Spoiler:

I was a rogue and he died but there he was in the next cut scene. Like I said, hoping it's just a lazy oversight in the demo and not indicitive of the genericness of the other cut scenes.

Ah, right. I know which one you mean now. That's very likely chopped together from various scenes in the game to get you from point A to B in the demo, and they just didn't want to add another hundred mega in order to have four versions of that movie instead of two.

EvilDead wrote:

To add to that, this is just a demo meant to sell the game to a wider audience. I'm sure they cherry picked very action oriented parts of the game (Monster Waves ect.). Its not like Bioware didn't misrepresent DA:O prior to its launch.

this is what they settled on to represent their biggest IP? Really? What does that say about what they think we really want?

Jow wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

To add to that, this is just a demo meant to sell the game to a wider audience. I'm sure they cherry picked very action oriented parts of the game (Monster Waves ect.). Its not like Bioware didn't misrepresent DA:O prior to its launch.

this is what they settled on to represent their biggest IP? Really? What does that say about what they think we really want?

That's why the phrase "wider audience" was used. They're not trying to show off what "we" want, they're trying to appeal to people who have never played DA:O or Baldur's Gate.

The demo is another form of advertisement, it's not necessarily an actual demonstration of the way the entire game will play.

Jow wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

To add to that, this is just a demo meant to sell the game to a wider audience. I'm sure they cherry picked very action oriented parts of the game (Monster Waves ect.). Its not like Bioware didn't misrepresent DA:O prior to its launch.

this is what they settled on to represent their biggest IP? Really? What does that say about what they think we really want?

That's the point, they aren't marketing at you or us. Do you not recall the Dragon Age: Origins trailers?

Also I'm pretty sure this isn't their biggest IP which is why they would want the demo to appeal to new audiences even more. I believe Mass Effect has sold better and The Old Republic (not based on their IP) is coming out soon.

Edited

Looks like the demo is now on Steam.

gregrampage wrote:

The demo is another form of advertisement, it's not necessarily an actual demonstration of the way the entire game will play.

That's something that bugs me about a lot of modern game publicity. When they put out some demo, or video, or get someone to write a preview, and it's different to the finished product, and then wonder in disbelief when the gamer communities they're trying to court don't trust them. Is it wrong to ask that a demo represents what it's trying to sell?

They're at 810k downloads, so the million downloads they were looking for should be pretty easy, probably within the next couple days.

Higgledy wrote:

*Considers cutting a Bosstones track into the Dead Island trailer.*

I'd like it on youtube. Might I recommend "Where Did You Go?"

Scratched wrote:

Is it wrong to ask that a demo represents what it's trying to sell?

How do you do such a thing for a game that (if DA:O is our guide) runs between 30-75 hours?

To take an example from DA:O, I'd say that the tower of ostagar would be a good example of it's gameplay, but not too much of a giveaway of the story, and can be approached by someone without any story primer.

If anything the DA2 demo seemed to be mostly showing cutscenes than the gameplay, but then that shouldn't be surprising seeing as how there's 103 minutes of not playing cutscenes in the game.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Scratched wrote:

Is it wrong to ask that a demo represents what it's trying to sell?

How do you do such a thing for a game that (if DA:O is our guide) runs between 30-75 hours?

I think the demo did a good job of giving a ball-park estimate of what it's going to be like. It's a "simplified" version of DA:O with more of a focus on style, cinematic clips, and character story. How good - or bloated - those elements are will only be noticeable over the play through. As others have said, it seems like DA:O -> DA2 is going to be very much like ME1 -> ME2. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I'll either be waiting to pick up the game on sale packaged with DLC or getting it sooner after hearing some opinions about the story/characters.

I don't think the Tower was a good example of the DA:O experience. There was no party haggling, and no dialogue events or whatever you want to call them, which were things I spent most of my time doing in DA:O. I'm not convinced it's possible to give a demo that "represents the game as a whole" when the game is a massive and varied RPG, I'm damn sure one can't be done that matches the standards you've built in your head, Scratched.

OK, since there's some confusion, my problem with the way they're displaying stats is that it makes it look like that stat does only that. Yes, some stats have always been more important to specific classes. Now it looks like if you don't care about critical hits, there are two stats you can entirely ignore.

I got the impression in DA:O that each stat did a couple things. You might focus on one and dump the occasional point into a few others but you were raising your constitution. You were not raising your hitpoints because if you were, they should have just called it "hitpoints."

This reminds me of the argument over Mass Effect 2's storyline, where some people were very upset that things could happen in the end of that game, terrible things, and they would not immediately know precisely what had gone wrong and what they could have done to stop it. I really liked that (with the disclosure that after I beat ME2 once I did go back to make a "perfect save" for ME3). That sort of thing, that uncertainty and that request that the player go with their gut and watch what happens, that's what makes an RPG to me. When you pick up a weapon in real life, you don't get a DPS read-out. When you practice with it, you don't know when you've gained a point in that skill. When you exercise and become stronger, that has a LOT of applications. In real life, sometimes sh*t happens.

Dragon Age: Origins was vague at times, yes. A lot of things did go very wrong in my game. That's a huge part of what made it one of the best RPGs I've ever played.

So with full respect to those who are happy with the changes to stats, and I understand where you're coming from, I see where you're right and I respect your right to feel that way, I do think that DA2 is oversimplifying the stat system. Sometimes there are benefits to oversimplification but that doesn't mean it's "streamlining" just because we don't like the alternative name for it.

LobsterMobster wrote:

This reminds me of the argument over Mass Effect 2's storyline, where some people were very upset that things could happen in the end of that game, terrible things, and they would not immediately know precisely what had gone wrong and what they could have done to stop it.

The question to be asked in this case is "Why did my plan go badly?" It's a much different question than "Why isn't this character I made working?"

I now feel that this demo fails terribly by NOT letting me shout a dragon in the face with magic.

cheeba wrote:

They're at 810k downloads, so the million downloads they were looking for should be pretty easy, probably within the next couple days.

Not that they'd ever turn around and go: "Nope, sorry - not enough people downloaded the demo. Guess your all out of luck". I'm sure they picked a figure they were pretty confident would be an easy reach, and if they weren't clearly going to hit the million I'm sure they'd either fudge it so they did or just unlock it anyway.

Just played on the PS3 and I don't see many benefits if you have a decent PC. The PC version will look a lot better, and not just slightly better, with a decent PC. It looks like the jump from Xbox to Xbox 360 honestly (although I'm sure my memory isn't so great). All of the terrain on the PS3 is flat as are the character models. On my PC, there is much more going on. The controls on the PS3 also got really tedious. The combat is really fast which means I'm basically hitting the attack button as fast as I can constantly, then throwing in a special attack. While there are problems with the PC controls, the auto attack makes it feel like I get to focus on what I want to do rather than just mashing a button.

The only drawback I can see is that weird dialog choppiness which may have been because of that DX11 nonsense people were talking about.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I'm not convinced it's possible to give a demo that "represents the game as a whole" when the game is a massive and varied RPG, I'm damn sure one can't be done that matches the standards you've built in your head, Scratched.

Regardless, isn't there an important difference between attempting to provide that complete representation and intentionally providing an incomplete one? The real question is whether a demo is meant to provide honest insight into what a game is, or whether it's meant to be equivalent to film trailers where you cut it multiple ways to deceive your various target demographics.

Lobster: I think you got the wrong impression from stats in DA:O, they work mostly the same in DA2 but it wasn't as clear. If you were totally min/maxing in DA:O then you'd dump most of your stat points into your class's primary stat (Str/Dex or Cunning/Mag), maybe a few points into Willpower for some extra energy/mana, and a few points into Constitution if you're tanking. There were some fringe benefits from taking an off-class stat but generally it wasn't noticeable and detrimental to your character. In fact it was really weird that Sword and Shield warriors had to take Dexterity for a lot of their abilities when they needed to put so much in Strength to wear the best armor. Sure Dex gave some minor defense bonuses but not nearly as much as wearing the better armor.

http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Attr...

And if you're concerned about alt-specs well I think it might be easier to do them now since the side effects are clearer. You can conceivably build a tanky rogue or a high crit warrior if you want. There are even some abilities in the skill trees you can cherry pick to support those roles. I don't know if it's going to be in DA2 but Awakenings had a rogue specialization that specifically made them more beefy.

It won't be easier to do because the game insists that all rogues use two weapons, period. Sure I can make a meatier one, but I can't make a rogue that uses a greatsword for instance.

Even if you're right about the attributes, I liked that I didn't know that (so thanks, Latrine, you big... ruiner ).

Latrine wrote:

Lobster: I think you got the wrong impression from stats in DA:O, they work mostly the same in DA2 but it wasn't as clear. If you were totally min/maxing in DA:O then you'd dump most of your stat points into your class's primary stat (Str/Dex or Cunning/Mag), maybe a few points into Willpower for some extra energy/mana, and a few points into Constitution if you're tanking. There were some fringe benefits from taking an off-class stat but generally it wasn't noticeable and detrimental to your character.

That's not entirely true. Blood Mages generally needed a lot of constitution, and a melee focused Arcane Warrior needed dexterity to help their attacks hit, willpower to keep all their toggles running, and magic to beef up their spells and give them access to better armor. Different Rogue talents and specializations dictated whether you'd focus more on strength or cunning.
The game definitely rewarded min/maxing, but it wasn't simplified to the point that Class A only ever needs stats X and Y.

Blood Mages and Arcane Warriors are kind of niche specializations. Other mages don't need anything other than Magic and Willpower. Rogues were weird because their damage boost from Dexterity was broken at launch. A strength rogue is a valid build, access to heavy armor and weapons, but I think it's more natural to boost cunning and dex to get the rogue talents that require those two attributes. I think the mage specs will still be in DA2 and may require some of the same considerations. I don't know how viable tanky/bulky rogues will be but I imagine that now it's a choice between dex and cunning since cunning now gives a defense boost if I remember correctly.

Finished the demo. It's not great. Especially the second half. I'll probably end up getting the game. I do have a problem with the menus. They suck and are not optimized for the PC in the least bit. Seemed like a shoddy port in the way.

Edit: Looked up a couple of things. So you get a Mabari War Dog, a mirror that lets you change your appearance at any time, and some sort of magical item shop. It's possible to buy Sebastien the Archer separately. If his DLC is anything like the Stone Prisoner (Shale) then it'll be worth the 7$.

That's 2 character you can get separately that aren't included in the game. That Sebastien one kind of annoys me.

Vector wrote:

That's 2 character you can get separately that aren't included in the game. That Sebastien one kind of annoys me.

The dog is less a character than a time-limited summon. He doesn't take up a party slot like in Origins.

Also the dog is like Shale and as long as you buy the game new you're guaranteed to get it.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Vector wrote:

That's 2 character you can get separately that aren't included in the game. That Sebastien one kind of annoys me.

The dog is less a character than a time-limited summon. He doesn't take up a party slot like in Origins.

This I was not aware of. Not sure if I'm disappointed or happy. The dog was kind of uninteresting in Origins.

Latrine wrote:

Also the dog is like Shale and as long as you buy the game new you're guaranteed to get it.

This I was aware of. It's the reason Sebastien bugs me and this doesn't.

Hmm....DA2's out-of-place music of choice appears to be a remixed (pre-existing) track by whiny-voiced pixie, Florence and the Machine.

A step up from 30 seconds to mars i guess, but still....