Dragon Age 2

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I'm surprised there's no thread. I'm pretty far into it and having great fun. I don't understand the hate.

Not much has changed aside from the playable races thing.
 
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How is the gameplay? The old point click and wait system really put me off. So did being forced to control my team, while having so complex a personality, are hardly smart enough to know when to heal. I understand things are faster this time, so i want to know how it compares with DA:O.

Lay of the spoilers please.

Edit: Your pic scares the living daylights out of me. And that coming from someone who laughs in the face of Scary games.
 
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I'd roll a mage, their basic attack is cool and the spells are nice... can't get into the lore, really.
 
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Just bought it, haven't installed it yet but will do when I get home :p
I tried the demo, and it was waaay better than DA:O! The game play was faster, more smooth, and you didn't have that feeling of waiting in line :)

Can't wait to play it ^^
 
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The gameplay is almost exactly the same as DAO, with some improvements to the tech tree and things like that. Combat is exactly the same. The story is great, the graphics are great, the characters are hilarious.
 
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Professional wet blanket coming in for a hard landing, gents.

I'll preface this post by saying the game isn't bad. That isn't the problem. The problem is that compared to its predecessor, it is clear that it is finished and doesn't even approach living up to its potential.
Let's break it down barney-style.

Combat. Spunky is out of his mind if he thinks combat is the same as DA:O. It isn't even close. It's a lot more action-oriented now. Definitely a lot faster, definitely a lot flashier and definitely a lot shallower than its predecessor. What was once a game of tactics has become "press a button until everything is dead." This is especially true on Nightmare, where the game suddenly becomes a grindfest without even a hint of higher thinking involved. Here's why.

First off, when you approach a mob, you're really not going to see them until its too late. You won't see them on your radar or anything until you're pretty much on top of them, or worse, until they appear out of goddamn nowhere. While in DA:O you fought an estabished mob/s, here you're fighting waves. You'll see 10 enemies, 95% of whom are just cannon fodder, and then you'll have the one officer-class enemy there who takes a few more hits to kill. Once they're dead, another wave teleports in and you do it again. There are times where this can go on for awhile. On nightmare, you're really not even thinking or having fun. The enemies don't get smarter, they don't use better tactics. Instead, they have a gajillion health and you have to weedle away at them until they're dead or you decide nightmare is ******* retarded now and switch to hard, which is essentially nightmare with less hp, or normal, at which point you're saying you're over combat and just want to see what happens next. The days of "holy ****, there are 15 dudes and they're strong as ****! What should I do? Hmm! There's a goddamn doorway! Let me bottleneck them Battle of the Hot Gates style!" are gone. And I miss it terribly.

None of that sounds too bad unless you've played DA:O and enjoyed having to think about how you're going to take out that next high level mob. There was a degree of planning involved. Its just not there anymore. It's a ****ty action game now.

Tech tree. I literally have only 3 actual moves for wielding greatsword. The rest are powerups to those moves. Things like 100% chance to stun and ****. That, and the fact that I can't dual wield unless I'm a rogue are my only real major complaints as far as the tech tree goes. Also, I liked how I had to earn my specializations in its predecessor. You had to poison andraste's ashes to become a reaver, you had to get trailed by dwarf to get berserk, and alistair could teach you how to be a templar. In DA2, you hit 7, pick a specialization, hit 14, pick another one. Its that small, attention to detail that made Origins enjoyable to me. It's also one of the things that makes this game feel unfinished.
Moving on.

Dialogue. Terrible. Just goddamn terrible. My favorite character in Awakening was Anders. He was sarcastic, funny and he had a cat. His banter with the other characters while you were roaming around was fantastic. While I'm on that topic, there's almost no banter whatsoever. I can probably count the number of times I've heard them converse amongst themselves on one hand, and I'm on chapter 3 now. As for the rest, it's either ridiculously cliched or just garbage dialogue. Every so often you'll catch a glimmer of what could have been in the form of an extremely clever one-liner, but it only makes you notice how terrible the rest of the dialogue is. Anyway, so I get Anders in DA2 and he will not stop ******* *****ing and crying. Always. About everything. Waaah. I'm possessed. Waah. The Templar hate mages. Waaah. Waaah. Waaah. Shut the **** up. Goddamnit. What happened to you? I could ramble about them destroying him forever, but I won't. I'm trying to get over it.

Companions. I have the ultimate bro team going on with my anime elf wielding a two-handed sword, anders (who is now an angsty ***** possessed by the spirit of Justice) and varric, who is the dwarf that tells your story. Out of the 3, I can't really say I like any of them. As unlikeable as my bro-force are, your other options are worse, unless you're really into walking cliches and anime. Whatever. Personal preference, I suppose. I ended up romancing the pirate chick from Origins, because your other options are a soulless ginger and a 12 year old elf. The rest are dudes. And this is where **** gets weird. I'm talking to Anders, trying to cheer him up because he's an unconsolable *****, and all of a sudden I find myself trying to get out of the "DO YOU WANT TO BANG ANDERS!?" trap Bioware layed for me. My choices were basically either to go down on him or punch him in the throat. I chose to get the hell out of the conversation without getting points towards rival or friend. Why can't I be nice to my friend without it turning overtly sexual? Just really weird.
Hmm. What else.

Story. If you played Origins, you started out as nothing, worked your way into the Wardens, killed everything, became a goddamn legend, earned your own town, fought dragons, saved the world and then got a cup of tea. It felt like the things you did mattered. Had I not been in this place, everything could have been different. Not so much in DA2. I kinda feel like if I had done nothing and chilled by a corner watching everyone, the game would have progressed in the same exact way, minus what happens at the very end of chapter 2. And really, if it weren't me, it would've been the 13 dudes who showed up 2 seconds after I did what I did. So even then, I wasn't really integral. The story feels sloppy and unfinished. I don't know how else to put it. The game really picks up at a certain point, but after that it mellows out a little. I'm pretty close to the end, but no final judgments on the story as of yet.

Maps. I'm sure everyone has already heard about this. There are like 6 maps in the game, and you will get to know all of them very, very well. I don't know what the deal with that is, but some people are trying to say its because everyone likes to occupy the same damn spaces in the city. Whatever. I think it's because they only had a year for this game.

Had the game had another year to tighten things up, I think it could've been pretty awesome. They needed to tie the story together better, make you feel like you actually matter, and not be so lazy with all of the systems. They're shells of their former selves. They took the Mass Effect 2 route which was okay in most aspects, but they didn't pull it off like ME2 was able to.

Also, the graphics aren't the great. I'm maxed out and using the high def textures, and it still doesn't look as good as it should. Although that may be because of the art direction, which I think is way too cartoony. But again, you like anime, probably not a big deal.
 
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I lament the loss of the tactical overhead camera, I lament more that I just don't need it.

I lament the loss of Anders and Justice for a pale fusion of both, quite literally. And wtf, he can't keep Ser Pounce-a-lot? My Warden Commander was such a douche.

I lament the loss of the second weapon quick swap.

I lament the loss of being able to dual weild as a warrior. Hell, I lament the loss of being able to bust out a bow and arrow and reprove why plate mail has no business existing after the appearnce of the Long Bow.

I lament the loss of original dungeons, you know, ones that don't copy off of the same game.

Tech tree is the same as the old tech tree, imo. You have three moves, every thing else is a buff or defense. Magic is lumped together differently but mostly unchanged, and truthfully this goes for techniques as well. We'll have six moves by the time we get to level 30 in the expansion.

I love the more active combat animations. Sure its now FF VII Age, but its more fun to watch the two handed swordsmen now. Sword and Shield style is also fun, I'm digging the powerslide sheild bash opening.

I love that we now have six, colored dungeons. Sepia was growing old.

I like the dialogue; IMO this is not ruined from the last game, it just isn't nearly as epic as Morrigan vs. Allistar.

I like the interactions between NPCs, who talk plenty enough for me. Like the first game, you need to walk past certain spots to get them to talk.

I like Hawke. Still not as cool as my Warden Commander.

I felt the graphics were stunning for the most part, DirectX 11 implementation seems sloppy though with lots of bugs.

Pacing is good if you do all the side quests, but they aren't always readily apparent.

Though some people had import problems, I didn't experience any yet. I'm enjoying references to old stuff sprinkled throughout.

I have yet to beat the game, but I'm aware of the ending. I will say this, my Warden and Hawke better get together to crush the looming threat/change the world, because I'm not to pleased that Revan and the General haven't gotten back together to fight the Sith. Dragon Age 3 demands epic of epic proportions, and Bioware had better deliver next time.

That said, I'm enjoying DA2, it's just not as awesome as DAO. I have a feeling the DLC for DA2 will make things somewhat better.
 
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I just got to the last part and
Anders has finished the transformation into a character I just don't give two ****s about. Goddamnit. Terrorist cell out of mother****ing nowhere.

Hopefully Dragon Age's A-team will be responsible for 3, though their lead whatever the hell from the first one quit because of what he felt the series was going to turn into as a result of string pulling.

As I said before, it isn't a bad game. At all. It's just that it had so much potential. It needed more time in the oven for a myriad of reasons. After I beat it, I'm going to load up my Origins character and finish off the DLC. Then roll a rogue in DA2, as I played the tut mission with a rogue and he was incredibly badass what with the flips and the ninja vanishing and the what seemed like teleportation kills. I felt like I was playing as nightcrawler.
 
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I just got to the last part and
Anders has finished the transformation into a character I just don't give two ****s about. Goddamnit. Terrorist cell out of mother****ing nowhere.

Hopefully Dragon Age's A-team will be responsible for 3, though their lead whatever the hell from the first one quit because of what he felt the series was going to turn into as a result of string pulling.

As I said before, it isn't a bad game. At all. It's just that it had so much potential. It needed more time in the oven for a myriad of reasons. After I beat it, I'm going to load up my Origins character and finish off the DLC. Then roll a rogue in DA2, as I played the tut mission with a rogue and he was incredibly badass what with the flips and the ninja vanishing and the what seemed like teleportation kills. I felt like I was playing as nightcrawler.
Yeah, the common theme seems to be (Ending and Twist spoiler)
Goddamnit Anders! I've always been a middle of the road kind of guy in DA, Mages need control because the world is literally dangerous for them and templars need not be Andraste's strap on with which to rape mages. The end proves that both sides can't be trusted with their authority or power, and they now need mediation from the tag team of Hawke and Warden Cousland.
.

I'm starting to see this game as the Matrix Reloaded of a trilogy. It's a 3 hour commercial for the third installment. I don't disagree with the lack of polish idea, this game could have used a spring release; this game is squndered potential. There are plenty of awesome moments in it though, and I like some of the disturbing foreshadow in the writing, particularly with
Flemeth and the Mystery Thaig. That Idol is freaky stuff, and it makes you wonder just what the hell lived a week's travel beneath the deep roads AND long before the Dwarves. Flemeth seems to have a very large agenda, especially when you tie her actions in this game to what Morrigan talks about in Witch Hunt.
 
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Yeah, the common theme seems to be (Ending and Twist spoiler)
Goddamnit Anders! I've always been a middle of the road kind of guy in DA, Mages need control because the world is literally dangerous for them and templars need not be Andraste's strap on with which to rape mages. The end proves that both sides can't be trusted with their authority or power, and they now need mediation from the tag team of Hawke and Warden Cousland.

I'm starting to see this game as the Matrix Reloaded of a trilogy. It's a 3 hour commercial for the third installment. I don't disagree with the lack of polish idea, this game could have used a spring release; this game is squndered potential. There are plenty of awesome moments in it though, and I like some of the disturbing foreshadow in the writing, particularly with
Flemeth and the Mystery Thaig. That Idol is freaky stuff, and it makes you wonder just what the hell lived a week's travel beneath the deep roads AND long before the Dwarves. Flemeth seems to have a very large agenda, especially when you tie her actions in this game to what Morrigan talks about in Witch Hunt.
I don't know if the logic for the twist changes based on your actions (which doesn't seem likely based on past experience) but, to me, (I don't know how much you know, so read at your own risk)
The mages really can't be blamed for what happened. Anders went out of his way to set the Chantry up the bomb. He didn't conspire with anyone, he didn't ask for approval or help. He just did it. The First Enchanter was completely disgusted by Anders's action, as were the rest of the mages who revered the chantry. And then the Templar decided an annulment was in order because, clearly, every mage in the city is responsible. So of course I sided against the Templar, since they were about to commit genocide. The real kind. As a side note, whats her face was at the chantry during one of my missions. The old one you found in the circle tower in Origins. Hopefully she got away, because she was what kept my alive on Nightmare.

All in all, my Warden feels like a complete and major badass. Hawke? Ehhh. Hawke is kind of just there. Yeah, he's the Champion and all that, but no one listened to me when it mattered most. Ever. So the sway I supposedly had didn't exist for me. I'm the guy you go to when you need a mob to die in one hit.
 
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I don't know if the logic for the twist changes based on your actions (which doesn't seem likely based on past experience) but, to me, (I don't know how much you know, so read at your own risk)
The mages really can't be blamed for what happened. Anders went out of his way to set the Chantry up the bomb. He didn't conspire with anyone, he didn't ask for approval or help. He just did it. The First Enchanter was completely disgusted by Anders's action, as were the rest of the mages who revered the chantry. And then the Templar decided an annulment was in order because, clearly, every mage in the city is responsible. So of course I sided against the Templar, since they were about to commit genocide. The real kind. As a side note, whats her face was at the chantry during one of my missions. The old one you found in the circle tower in Origins. Hopefully she got away, because she was what kept my alive on Nightmare.

All in all, my Warden feels like a complete and major badass. Hawke? Ehhh. Hawke is kind of just there. Yeah, he's the Champion and all that, but no one listened to me when it mattered most. Ever. So the sway I supposedly had didn't exist for me. I'm the guy you go to when you need a mob to die in one hit.
While I agree, it seems that nearly every Mage who escapes the Circle goes and proves the Chantry right and fires up forbidden blood magic to fight the Templars, even Kirkwalls First Enchanter falls to this, correct? Don't get me wrong, my first impressions of Kirkwall were "This will not end well." It was a powderkeg because of the Templars' abusive stance, but the mages seem utterly unable to control themselves even in countries where you aren't made tranquil for breaking wind in front of the Knight Commander.
They set out to set the world on fire upon their freedom, which is what the Chantry has been saying they'd do.

I remain of the opinion that both sides are wrong, there must be a better way. When free, mages create abominations and blights, when under the boots of the Templars, they are rightfully indignant.

I hope the next game goes to Tevinter, not Orlais.

I also demand a scene in the next one or a DLC where Hawke is being all badass and gets totally showed up by the Hero of Ferelden.
 
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While I agree, it seems that nearly every Mage who escapes the Circle goes and proves the Chantry right and fires up forbidden blood magic to fight the Templars, even Kirkwalls First Enchanter falls to this, correct? Don't get me wrong, my first impressions of Kirkwall were "This will not end well." It was a powderkeg because of the Templars' abusive stance, but the mages seem utterly unable to control themselves even in countries where you aren't made tranquil for breaking wind in front of the Knight Commander.
They set out to set the world on fire upon their freedom, which is what the Chantry has been saying they'd do.

I remain of the opinion that both sides are wrong, there must be a better way. When free, mages create abominations and blights, when under the boots of the Templars, they are rightfully indignant.

I hope the next game goes to Tevinter, not Orlais.

I also demand a scene in the next one or a DLC where Hawke is being all badass and gets totally showed up by the Hero of Ferelden.
What does every teenager do when the reins of tyranny are relaxed? Everything that they couldn't do before. When a mage escapes the Circle, they start to practice all kinds of magic. The problem is they don't have people with experience to teach them, and warn them of what can go wrong if they're not careful. They've effectively sacrificed instruction and schooling for a degree of freedom, and thus they are a danger to themselves and everyone else. On the other hand, take the elf chick you pick up. She was raised and trained by at least one skilled apostate. Sure, she ventured off into the kinds of magic she shouldn't have, but she had that foundation there to say, "Yeah, I might not want to go that far." It was the conditions created by the Templar that leads to apostates going down the dark path. Hell, when the mages were initially trying to rebel, the harder the Templar squeezed, the faster they turned to blood magic because they had no other recourse. Their backs were to a corner. Also, as was the case many a time, newly escaped apostates would gravitate to more experienced apostates. And unfortunately, the ones who survive the Templar longest have usually done so at a price (Take Morrigan, for example). No proper instruction on what not to do, and not enough freedom to feel safe enough to try to master their gifts in public led to a crisis that didn't need to exist. Ultimately, the Templar are afraid of the magic and that's a factor that won't change unless they're allowed to understand it.

That said, while certain apostates certainly took the darker route, it seems just a tad unfair to punish the majority for the actions of a few. This is a problem I think we can see in the world as it exists, today. I definitely tried to tell them they were both wrong, but Meredith decided if I didn't choose a side, or even if I did and that side wasn't her, she was going to kill me. Alright. Good to go. Looks like she's made my choice for me.

I don't know how they're planning to weave the two stories together, but I want the option to continue my hero from Origins in DA3. I don't even mind starting at level 1, with half my abilities. I just want my choices, and the idea that this is the character I've worked with for so long, to exist in the third game. Hawke can be some guy that shows up every so often for all I care.
 
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What does every teenager do when the reins of tyranny are relaxed? Everything that they couldn't do before. When a mage escapes the Circle, they start to practice all kinds of magic. The problem is they don't have people with experience to teach them, and warn them of what can go wrong if they're not careful. They've effectively sacrificed instruction and schooling for a degree of freedom, and thus they are a danger to themselves and everyone else. On the other hand, take the elf chick you pick up. She was raised and trained by at least one skilled apostate. Sure, she ventured off into the kinds of magic she shouldn't have, but she had that foundation there to say, "Yeah, I might not want to go that far." It was the conditions created by the Templar that leads to apostates going down the dark path. Hell, when the mages were initially trying to rebel, the harder the Templar squeezed, the faster they turned to blood magic because they had no other recourse. Their backs were to a corner. Also, as was the case many a time, newly escaped apostates would gravitate to more experienced apostates. And unfortunately, the ones who survive the Templar longest have usually done so at a price (Take Morrigan, for example). No proper instruction on what not to do, and not enough freedom to feel safe enough to try to master their gifts in public led to a crisis that didn't need to exist. Ultimately, the Templar are afraid of the magic and that's a factor that won't change unless they're allowed to understand it.

That said, while certain apostates certainly took the darker route, it seems just a tad unfair to punish the majority for the actions of a few. This is a problem I think we can see in the world as it exists, today. I definitely tried to tell them they were both wrong, but Meredith decided if I didn't choose a side, or even if I did and that side wasn't her, she was going to kill me. Alright. Good to go. Looks like she's made my choice for me.

I don't know how they're planning to weave the two stories together, but I want the option to continue my hero from Origins in DA3. I don't even mind starting at level 1, with half my abilities. I just want my choices, and the idea that this is the character I've worked with for so long, to exist in the third game. Hawke can be some guy that shows up every so often for all I care.
When the mages were left to their own devices, before Andraste was even born, let alone created the Chant of Light, before the first Divine of Orlais, Tevinter set a terrible example of mages left to their own devices. That said, I agree with you that the better path would be to allow the situation Merill was in. I suppose that's what I mean by looser control, having a master teach you the right way to do dangerous things is perferable to being ignorant of the danger and stumbling upon it with your eyes tightly shut. The Circle certainly doesn't deserve a boot on their throat. Still, I think we can both agree that the situation in Kirkwall, and how it was resolved,
Goddamnit Anders! Meredith!
was exceptionally sub optimal at the very best, but realistically the only way it could have gone down. I would never, and have never, supported the right of annulment on the Circle. Even the Ferelden Circle was saved despite their numbers being massively reduced by Blood Magic and Abominations. There is always another way, and if there isn't, I'm gonna be pissed. That said, I'm looking forwards to correcting the problem in Kirkwall with Qunari like certanty. I suspect that murder knifing Anders won't kill him, thanks to Justice.
 
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So I beat the game. I don't know what to say, really. You find out why Varric is being interrogated, and it kind of sets up the kind of world DA3 will take place in without really telling us what the goal of the game is going to be. Anything lesser than saving humanity seems a little too easy for my Warden, so I don't know. It was pretty anti-climactic, though I will say the last boss turns into a Sith Lord.
 
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So I beat the game. I don't know what to say, really. You find out why Varric is being interrogated, and it kind of sets up the kind of world DA3 will take place in without really telling us what the goal of the game is going to be. Anything lesser than saving humanity seems a little too easy for my Warden, so I don't know. It was pretty anti-climactic, though I will say the last boss turns into a Sith Lord.
I've seen the ending, and I like the implications of the cameo and the discussion Cassandra has with the cameo. This is why I say DA2 is like a commercial for DA3. Its also why I said both the Mages and Templars are off their rockers.
 
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I'm more horrified by that screenshot. Was it really compiled on VS 2003? That's abominable.
 
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I've seen much about the supposed two endings, one in which the Templars respect you, and one in which the Mages take you up as a cause. I actually got a third way option, I was wondering if anyone else got this:

I sided with the mages for most of the game, lets face it, the Templars were coming down way to hard. There were points where mage crazy could not be accepted, like the serial killer. Finding out Orisino helped him didn't help things. During every fight between Orisino and Meredith, I reminded both that they were asshats. Orisino for inciting open rebellion, and Meredith for being a paranoid megalomaniac. When the time came to support the Annulment or not, I initially chose something to the effect of "there has to be a better way than this". Meredith forced me to make a choice between being added to the to be anulled list or doing my duty as Champion of Kirkwall. I chose to support the right because blood mages in the streets killing civilians would be more damaging than Templars killing mages. During this, there was a choice to save a few mages who made it plainly obvious that they did not accept the blood mage way out, nor did they want to fight, they literally threw their lives in my hands. Meredith demanded their death, but I refused to allow it. Knight Captain Cullen ignored her orders and told the men to listen to me instead. Meredith gave me one hella stink eye. In the end dialogue it was stated that that the Templars had great respect for me, but that my actions with the Circle showed that the Templars could be defied. It was a much better ending, IMO, than the absolutist endings everyone seems to get. Anyone else get that mix?
 

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