Dragon Age 2 - Catch All

I've only played it once (and I've no immediate appetite to play it again soon), but I kind of agree with what LarryC said a while back - it needs multiple playthroughs to see all the angles. Don't try and force yourself to consume it all in one run through, as it will probably be a poorer experience for it.

There's good content, but I don't think Bioware present it well to the player. I think part of that is that they don't really prepare the player for how to approach this game, it's different from DA:O and it's different from a lot of story based singleplayer games, both in that multiple runs part, and that they probably overinflated the story a bit (I read DA2 started life as DLC).

I don't think some of the bosses are winnable with any old party on normal. You know the ones I mean. You can't beat some of the achievement-type ones without either Aveline or yourself tanking. On the other hand, no mage in the game can touch Hawke as a healer.

I also found every single character pretty interesting, and they all have nuances. Fenris and Isabella were perhaps the weak spots.

Thanks.

My brief searches on DLC indicate that nobody really cares about Sebastian and that both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin are late game. Doesn't sound like there's any concern about not starting with DLC.

ChrisGwinn wrote:

Thanks.

My brief searches on DLC indicate that nobody really cares about Sebastian and that both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin are late game. Doesn't sound like there's any concern about not starting with DLC.

You can play Legacy at any point in the game, actually, but there are more options/character depth moments if you play later in the game. I believe Mark is the same.

Tanglebones wrote:
ChrisGwinn wrote:

Thanks.

My brief searches on DLC indicate that nobody really cares about Sebastian and that both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin are late game. Doesn't sound like there's any concern about not starting with DLC.

You can play Legacy at any point in the game, actually, but there are more options/character depth moments if you play later in the game. I believe Mark is the same.

If you actually WANT the DLC items to matter in your game, then hit them both as early as you can.

ChrisGwinn wrote:

Thanks.

My brief searches on DLC indicate that nobody really cares about Sebastian and that both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin are late game. Doesn't sound like there's any concern about not starting with DLC.

The game is winnable on Insanity, in real time, without controlling anyone directly other than Hawke, with any class Hawke, running with most any party composition. No one class or character is absolutely necessary. You can run without Fighters on Hardcore, no prob. You'll need a better party build, and a deeper understanding of the powers, though.

A Mage/Rogue party preserves cross class combos and contains enough control and tanking to be easily doable. You'll need a tank; but this can be Aveline, Hawke (any class), Fenris, or Merrill (Primal build). You'll be a little squisher as party, but firepower will be greater.

So, after a long time of having issues with this game, I'm finally in a spot where I can talk about it a bit. I picked it up for eight dollars on sale recently even though I disliked the demo. Since I heard so many mixed opinions, I figured it was more than worth a shot at eight dollars.

Once you get into the game and turn on all of the stats and whatnot, the game really feels like a sequel to Dragon Age Origins. Things are different, but once you get used to everything, it starts to feel like Dragon Age, albeit, a very empty world. The cutscene shots look much better than in Dragon Age Origins which is nice. The graphics do end up looking a bit better once you get out of that ugly-ass prelude section. I installed the high res texture pack which I assume is helping. I have everything running at 60 fps with it all turned up, but I get some really glitchy sections every 15 to 30 minutes or so where the fps will slideshow, usually during a cutscene. I'm not sure what's causing that. Since it doesn't happen too often, I haven't bothered to fiddle with it.

The game is way easier (at least in the beginning) when you play as a rogue. I think I tried mage and warrior as well and had trouble on the hard difficulty. Playing as a rogue makes it a piece of cake and I haven't had to turn the difficulty down from hard yet (about ten hours in). Thanks to Jeff-66 for suggesting playing as a rogue. I assume I'll probably have to turn the difficulty on bosses eventually, but for now it's all been great on hard.

I'm glad I stuck with it and gave it a fair try. The story and gameplay are generally fun. I still don't like most of the changes they made from Origins, but it's not a game breaker. All in all: Hurray! More Dragon Age!

I had a very similar experience. I picked it up on sale a month or two ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite absolutely hating the demo. Very little of my original complaints really mattered in the end. I wish the demo did a better job getting the "it's still Dragon Age" vibe across.

gregrampage wrote:

I had a very similar experience. I picked it up on sale a month or two ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite absolutely hating the demo. Very little of my original complaints really mattered in the end. I wish the demo did a better job getting the "it's still Dragon Age" vibe across.

Yeah, that demo just didn't appeal to me. I'm not sure what they really could have done differently other than changing the setting to a more appealing area. That rocky, volcanic area is just damn ugly.

I started playing the Mark of the Assassin dlc last night. It seems okay, but for some odd reason knowing that Felecia Day did the voiceover really took away from the experience. She did a credible job, but I think not knowing would have been better. Shoot, they even made her LOOK like Felecia Day! Why not just call her Felecia Day and be done with it?

Still a reasonably well done dlc as far as I can tell so far.

So I finally started this game, and I put about 10 hours into it over the weekend.

Lara - you were right. This is one of the best RPGs I have played. I am loving it so far.

I also started playing recently, and just started the deep roads expedition. I'm liking it a lot, but I really wish there was a historical record of quests in the journal. I don't always remember what was going on from the title and the next thing to do.

I don't know what to say.

I can only guess that it's not Bioware proper doing this, but another studio that EA are putting the bioware name onto that's making this, and it's a sideline to the main games. It just doesn't make a lot of sense after not only DA2, but how Bioware Montreal said they were working on improving the downsides to DA2 that got so much heat, and they presented in the DLCs.

Scratched wrote:

I don't know what to say.

I can only guess that it's not Bioware proper doing this, but another studio that EA are putting the bioware name onto that's making this, and it's a sideline to the main games. It just doesn't make a lot of sense after not only DA2, but how Bioware Montreal said they were working on improving the downsides to DA2 that got so much heat, and they presented in the DLCs.

I would love for them to devote all resources to DA3 after seeing how completely sparse DA2 is. At the same time, I would love to see more games that use the Frostbyte 2 engine, even if they aren't that fun.

On a sidenote, I also find it interesting that the Frostbite2 engine is apparently too complex for modders, but this is the third EA studio to get their hands on it. It seems like the Renderware for this decade that EA have control over.

So my first reaction was entirely negative..but I think that's because part of me was still expecting something that Bioware just isn't going to deliver anymore. I think this might be the tipping point where I throw out all expectations and just hope that whatever they do make is still fun.

gregrampage wrote:

So my first reaction was entirely negative..but I think that's because part of me was still expecting something that Bioware just isn't going to deliver anymore. I think this might be the tipping point where I throw out all expectations and just hope that whatever they do make is still fun.

That's where I'm at, trying to broaden the stable of developers I look at to get the game experiences I want. Brands being worth more than any particular type of game was a bridge the industry crossed a long time ago.

I guess if there's one thing I'd wish for, it's for clear messaging from the developer/publisher. Right now you've got a load of people going "My RPG!! Noooo!!" with the leaked/rumoured details, but if EA just took the fact that their game is getting (possibly needlessly) bad reputation, clear up misinformation and put some facts out, make clear what it is and how it relates to the old game, then people should stop grousing.

The idea that details would stop grousing is adorable.

Well, reduce it. Maybe.

Dragon Age as it stands now uses Unreal Engine correct? I don't see why they'd have to change to Frostbite for multiplayer. That's the part of this rumor I expect to be wrong even though the Dragon Age art style in Frostbite 2 would be pretty easy on the eyes.

Speedhuntr wrote:

Dragon Age as it stands now uses Unreal Engine correct? I don't see why they'd have to change to Frostbite for multiplayer. That's the part of this rumor I expect to be wrong even though the Dragon Age art style in Frostbite 2 would be pretty easy on the eyes.

Yeah it only makes sense if they build an entirely new game from the ground up for this. It wouldn't be an added on feature to a single player game using a different engine. Unless DA3 is also changing engines.

Scratched wrote:
Speedhuntr wrote:

Dragon Age as it stands now uses Unreal Engine correct? I don't see why they'd have to change to Frostbite for multiplayer. That's the part of this rumor I expect to be wrong even though the Dragon Age art style in Frostbite 2 would be pretty easy on the eyes.

Nope, they made their own new engine for DA:O and improved it for DA2.

Oh ok. Is it just Mass Effect then? I always thought all recent Bioware games had the same Unreal base but were just heavily modified in different ways.

Speedhuntr wrote:

Dragon Age as it stands now uses Unreal Engine correct? I don't see why they'd have to change to Frostbite for multiplayer. That's the part of this rumor I expect to be wrong even though the Dragon Age art style in Frostbite 2 would be pretty easy on the eyes.

Nope, they made their own new engine for DA:O and improved it for DA2.

I imagine that "DA3" following the Hawke/Warden stories is going to continue with the same engine core as DA2, and this multiplayer game (assuming it's separate) is wildly different in gameplay, setting, how it's controlled, big battlefields, etc. It's probably wishing for too much, but it would be nice if they separate the "button - awesome" stuff into the real time multiplayer game, and "DA3" concentrates on what is core to that side of the franchise, strategic combat, loot, character/party building and character interaction.

Mass Effect is Unreal Engine.

Speedhuntr wrote:

Dragon Age as it stands now uses Unreal Engine correct?

I was given to believe that Mass Effect is Unreal, and Dragon Age has its own. But I'm no expert.

EDIT: And I'm slow, too.

Scratched wrote:

Well, reduce it. Maybe.

Precedent, like ME3, says otherwise. If anything, it'll just be an opportunity to seek validation for the grousing. Clearly, an even uglier side-effect of the prolonged preview cycle we get these days is we're getting an even more prolonged bitching cycle, which I find even more exhausting. We're quickly going to enter some bizarre quantum non-time, where a game has a fully organized backlash against it before it's even announced.

I agree about getting exhausted by it all. By the time the darn thing gets released (2013, 2014 with current development times?) I'll be lacking in enthusiasm to play it.

On leaks and other non-official information that marketing didn't sign off on, I think companies need to be adaptable, seeing as they've failed the first step of having sufficient security so they didn't leak in the first place. The last year saw two major leaks, Crysis2 and Deus Ex HR, I don't remember much on the C2 leak apart from the usual cold PR from EA/Crytek, but Eidos seemed more open about their leak allowing discussion on their own forum. Personally I'd say both of those leaks influenced my buying decisions positively, as it was good information I could use to make up my mind on the games. However they were late in development and mostly complete from a gameplay point of view. There's a hunger for information that needs to be fed.

Fenris is so Final Fantasy I wonder what he is doing in this game.

NathanialG wrote:

Fenris is so Final Fantasy I wonder what he is doing in this game.

I never really considered it, but he really is isn't he?

I mostly avoided using him, the combination of his voice actor and personality constantly made me want to punch him.

NathanialG wrote:

Fenris is so Final Fantasy I wonder what he is doing in this game.

His sword wasn't big enough.

I just can't wait to see how sexy it will look in Frostbite 2.

Also they better make the environment destructible by magic spells...how awesome would that be?

Also, I would LOVE me some Dragon Age 3 online coop.