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March 12th, 2011, 04:00
For the wound yes it seems that now a character can be wounded during fight without to fall and a character can fall and not be wounded.

I stopped quickly try Nightmare because it's too rude, I have the feeling that friendly fire is too difficult to manage, there's now ton or AOE attack and effects and it's difficult to master that. Perhaps for a replay when knowing very well and effects and range.

I haven't tried the famous party combo but even without this the point I quoted that many talents are much more compatible to other in other trees. There's even some links between some trees of talents. It's really a great improvement over DAO, and the companions special trees is a cool design.

Wounds potions didn't worry me too much but healing potions did because they seem quite rare. For wounds apart i you want try a sort of hard role play, you often have the opportunity to go back home to heal wounds and then save potions that heal wounds.

My characters are only level 7 so it's still discovery but a lot more interesting that during very first levels. I don't glue to tank strategy and in fact don't use it much because I don't use always Aveline and only her have this potential. The only two constant members in my party are my character (a mage), and Varric. On this base, Merrill and Fenris or Carver is working rather well, Merrill and Aveline too, but even Fenris and Carver worked well, or Aveline and Carver or Fenris. Lol ok almost all combination worked well.

I have now about 25 hours of play, took my time to play it and enjoy, and I'd say it's great. The two points highlighted as black from the demo, ie fights and dialogs are in fact working very well, the fights are quite fun and the dialog system is working fine.

I also enjoyed the non linear design, I haven't noticed any big main quests but there are multiple quest classified as main ie mandatory but it's your choice to chooe any.

There's some design that probably won't like many players, but that I feel quite interesting. It's the original way to manage resources for crafting, it transforms the collecting into a sort of vague questing, find the sources of resources. Also if you can't change 4 equipments of companions, you can find for each 4 armor bonus items to equip them, and find them is a sort of vague questing (you can find some or they are in misc section of some shops). In fact companions equipment still need attention because the 6 other slots aren't pointless. That companion equipment point is still a weird design, not enough to spoil the fun, but not cool.

Here some points I enjoy:
  • It's great how you can get a feedback from companion when you explore by talking to them. This seems to be always feedback about the place but it's a good point, and another way to know more about companions beside the more classical companions. And if you think use this feature this make them more living.
  • The big town design choice is quite interesting and night and day choice is working well. I know Venetica and an older game already did such approach with a big town and even day vs night, but it's rare anyway and interesting.
  • Another point very special is how the game succeed build a hero which isn't a super hero nor a super important man from the start. You feel well you are just a common guy, just a bit special because of some fighting talents. This second phase after a sort of very long introduction build very well this sort of anti hero feeling, often RPG tried but failed this point.
  • Also noteworthy is the various ways quests are given, sometimes it's rumor just giving a hint of a potential quest, sometime a book or document will start one, and there's items triggering some very simple quest, you just need find the person interested in the item. You also receive letters that offer other opportunities of quests, and there's the more classical way through dialogs and meeting someone. The quests themselves aren't noteworthy but how quests are spread and multiplied building a non linear gameplay, and how they are provided is quite interesting.
  • To conclude I'd says companions are less 'special' than in DAO but in a way less a caricature. But also they tend be more attaching, DAO had ton of weird companions and it was hard to get really attached to them, but perhaps few. I felt those of DA2 was quite more attaching:
    • For sure Varric seems the more polished and detailed. I's a cool character, writer, dwarf, rogue and archer, at least that's special and his humor is a lot more subtle than was the famous (and cool) Oghren.
    • Merrill is also attaching for me, somehow she make me think of Imoen in Baldur's Gate 1. And even if she is a bit more a cliché, for now I feel she is a more attaching.
    • The most surprising is certainly Aveline, after the demo I was sure to not enjoy her, and after more play, I discover one of the rare virtuous companion rather attaching and not irritating because of a very virtuous path.
    • Carver has the rude role, he is the young brother that doesn't live well to be in the shadow, still he is cool anyway.
    • For Fenris, he seems be a sort of echo of Zevran but much more mysterious, I haven't discover him much yet.
    • I keep Sebastian for a possible future replay and haven't met yet the other.
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