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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age 2 » Dragon Age 2 Play thread

Default Dragon Age 2 Play thread

March 12th, 2011, 01:27
So….we have plenty of threads about Bioware/EA/reviews but no threads about actually playing the game.

So why not start one?

What skills work well together? I haven't got deep enough to see ones I really like, or how they work together, so anyone who has tips on this for people playing they might find it worthwhile.

I love the look of the city, and the different night and day options seem to work well so far. Not sure I'm too crazy about the wounds that you have to use a potion to remove, I noticed I sometimes get them even if I wasn't knocked out in combat…not sure if its a bug.

So anyone else with play impressions?

If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
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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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March 12th, 2011, 09:38
I'm about to finish chapter one after about 20 hours. I'm a dual-wield rogue which despite being beefed up is still probably the lamest class, but I like my slick female assassins, what can I say.

I really like the ability "rush," which has the rogue jump at a target and knock them and anyone near them back. It works really well when a group of enemies suddenly appears near you and you can knock them all out at once. In addition to that the rogue has an ability that makes every hit on a stunned enemy a critical hit, and then they also have a bomb that stuns a wide group of enemies… the combination there is murder.

I am mostly using Anders, Varric and Fenris at the moment. I might replace Varric with the DLC guy if I can ever get him to join the party. Anders is a straight-up healer to the point I worry he might be essential on every playthrough. Is he the only npc with a revive spell? It seems like he is. I spread out his non-healing stuff way too wide so I plan to respec him next time I play. Varric is all about hitting single targets for big damage from a distance, which is alright but not great in group situations. Fenris is all about big damage to large groups, which is awesome. I love charging in with Fenris' scythe ability, then doing his spin attack. It just slaughters people, though it uses much of his stamina.

Overall the game is good, though probably Bioware's worst game ever other than the Sonic one on the DS I never played. It's got a solid tactical base on hard mode and some good story and atmosphere, it just suffers from some bad decisions and being rushed.
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March 12th, 2011, 17:09
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
It's got a solid tactical base on hard mode
Yeah. Abilities are pretty varied, companions having their special skill tree is a nice touch (though itīs badly balanced since Avelineīs and Andersī are much, much more useful than othersī), cross class combos are interesting and some changes on nightmare are pretty cool (some others arenīt though, FF for melee attacks grossly limits party composition, enemy rogues bypassing armor when attacking from stealth is totally unfair since thereīs no detect invisible spell or such in the game, etc).

That said, as Iīve already mentioned few times, the overall speed, limited camera and horrendously unprecise targeting play very strongly against tactical approach.
On top of that, encounter design is repetitive ad absurdum and thereīs the constantly used waves thing (adding new enemies to an ongoing encounter can work well when used sparsely - it surprises player, messes up with his resource management and so on, but when used constantly thereīs no surprise, only tedium).
As a result, on higher difficulties the game becomes incredibly tedious fast and I canīt recommend playing the game that way, maybe just ramp it up to nightmare for boss fights which is what I ended up doing.

Personally, I think that many people stating they enjoy the combat just havenīt played much of the game yet, it really becomes more and more repetitive as time goes. And that goes for other aspects as well (running around boxy Kirkwall gets old, quests are formally almost always the same, etc).

I forced myself to finish the first act in dubious hope the game gets more interesting afterwards, but itīs still the same shit - heaps of uninspired side quests which play out in same old copy pasted areas, no unifying plot to speak of, the city barely changes after the 3 year jump and so on. Even the Fade section was a copy pasted area. I doubt Iīll ever finish this.

As for my "tactics", I played as a rogue and because I started on nightmare, dual wield was out of question, thus I played an archer.
Friendly fire for melee attacks wasnīt a good decision since it very strongly dictates party composition - playing with any combo other than 1 tank + 3 ranged is a pain.
Other problem on both higher difficulties are inflated enemy HP/resistances which, at least in the first third of the game, make encounters last unnecessarily long.
The wave mechanic makes average encounter time even longer and on top of that messes with threat management. As a result, fighting opponents in the same area theyīve "spawned" in is pretty much impossible rather often and the only viable "strategy" is to retreat in a different area and fight them there (new waves are set to spawn in the initial area, not in the proximity of player).
Early Iīve discovered that for some reason the offensive spells in the primal tree donīt cause friendly fire which makes them a must on nightmare.
But as I said, I highly donīt recommend playing the game on hard/nightmare other than maybe for boss fights, for the above mentioned reasons.

Few things Iīve found useful (mostly regardless of difficulty settings):

- primal spell tree
It has a defensive spell (rock armor), two area offensives and a paralyze spell (petrify) which works on almost everyone. On top of that, upgraded versions of 3 spells provide all 3 cross class combo states (brittle, disorient, stagger), so maxing this tree for whoever has access to it seems like a smart thing to do.
Upgraded petrify is a great time saver against those boss enemies who have shitload of HP and drink potions, especially if you have someone who can take an advantage of the brittle state - both Varric and my character have maxed archery trees and upgraded punishing lance can do exactly that, for example, and using both against a petrified miniboss usually killed him outright even on nightmare.

- Anders
Has access to primal tree and his personal tree contains the most useful healing spells in the game (panacea, regroup, aid allies). For more difficult scenarios heīs pretty much a must and Bioware obviously wanted everyone to play with him.

- Aveline
Easily the best tank in the game and Iīm quite sure even better than a pc character designed for the same role.
The reasons being her personal tree, more specifically immovable, indomitable and thick skin and her personal armor. At least on higher difficulties also a must and much better than Fenris (who looks ridiculous anyway) since sheīs a lot more durable.

- donīt ever invest in cunning for characters other than rogues
It may seem that investing into cunning for some non-rogue characters may be useful due to defense bonus but since defense scales with enemy rank, itīs always better to invest into constitution on which enemy rank has no bearing.
Speaking of which, investing some points into constitution for mage companions
is useful - unlike pc they canīt change armor and thus arenīt restricted by 2 attribute requirements. Skimping on points in magic isnīt viable because weapons have magic requirements and damage is important, but willpower isnīt that crucial.

- in general itīs better to specialize than to spread points across different trees, mainly because upgrades make abilities quite a bit more useful and are needed for cross class combos

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I'm about to finish chapter one after about 20 hours.
The end of chapter 1 was one of few highpoints of the game for me - the boss encounter there is rather arcade-y, but cool nevertheless and on hard provides quite a solid (and interesting) challenge.

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
though probably Bioware's worst game
Iīm quite sure it is, though I even wouldnīt say itīs a good game.
DA:O was such a promising start itīs a real pity the series were taken in different direction, but even when not taking this into account DA2 is a weak game on its own imo.
Last edited by DeepO; March 13th, 2011 at 04:51.
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March 12th, 2011, 17:32
Once more I quote a player abusing of a hypertrophied tank and complaining the fights are boring. It happened a lot with DAO and once more here. I don't use any tank in my current play and fights are fun.

And no Varric, Merrill and Fenris aren't weak. That said I agree the speed isn't a good thing and the lack of tactical view generate many target searching through the cursor, it's exactly like in Drakensang (not sure if it's been fixed in the River of Time). It's still playable and tactical but it's a clear nuisance.
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March 12th, 2011, 17:50
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
And no Varric, Merrill and Fenris aren't weak.
I havenīt said Varric or Merrill are weak, just that Aveline is better than Fenris as far as tanking goes.
And you do need a tank when playing on higher difficulties unless you want to engage in a lot of micromanaging.
Nothing wrong with micromanaging itself when the fights are varied, but in DA2 they most definitely are not. In my opinion playing on hard without a tank would become tiresome quite fast and, well, try to play with 2 rogues and 2 mages on nightmare and tell me how it went .

Btw, I also played DA:O without a tank on nightmare often. 3 rogues and a dog, for example .
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March 12th, 2011, 19:48
Yeah yeah DAO with 3 rogues at Nightmare, a guy played the whole DAO with only one mage totally nude so you don't impress me. To be more serious you really don't impress me, in one of my play I also used 3 rogues during a large part.

That was a DAO weakness Rogue and Fighters almost the same, Rogues could be top tanks, top dps, top anything related to sword fighting. Obviously it's totally fixed for DA2.

For DA2 played in Nightmare mode, do you want make me believe that you do so? With the ton of AOE effects it's currently impossible without a ton of micro management, even with a tank.

For the tank or not tank, gave up using Aveline if you find her so strong. Difficulty is a key to enjoy fights and you build a setup leading you to too easy play and stick to it even when fights get boring and too easy. Ton of setup could lead you to that problem with DAO even at Nightmare mode.

I fought the first adult dragon, I don't think it's yet the boss you mention, and I don't think any other character could stun it but Varric. But not by playing a classical fighter role.

All this argument about "boring" fights is quite known, I already read it about DAO and I provided the same answers and will add too that I'm surprised you find FNV fights more tactical or more subtle or more interesting. Including when compared to DA2 fights.
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March 12th, 2011, 20:41
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
All this argument about "boring" fights is quite known, I already read it about DAO and I provided the same answers and will add too that I'm surprised you find FNV fights more tactical or more subtle or more interesting. Including when compared to DA2 fights.
DA:O combat *was* boring though; you fought the same enemies for the entire game for the most part. The biggest variation came from how many got thrown at you at once. Combine this with a predictable and cliche` story and it's a wonder so many people complete it multiple times. I for one couldn't stomach a second run past Ostagar.

Different tastes, I guess.

Anyway, keep the mini-reviews coming, please leave the back and forth bickering in the other threads
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March 12th, 2011, 20:43
I've found the chance to play the full version of the game (PC version). And I must say I was wrong about my past judgements about the game based on the demo. I set the difficulty on nightmare and the game played pretty much tactical. Especially it took a lot of tactics to take down the ogre. After a while I got used to the camera and found that it was the right angle to play it because so much eye candy occurs in the screen and it would be hard to see things from a full top down perspective. I could also apply my favourite BG tactics on ogre: run with the character that attacked by ogre and hit with the others.

One thing bothers me though, first I set all my characters' tactics to default to control them fully, I don't want them to make even a slighest move without my command (like BG). But, when I give them the command to attack the enemy, they hit once and then they stop. So, I have to give them the attack order again. If I set the tactics to defender (or something like that) when I give the order they attack continuously until I give them another command. But, this time sometimes they can attack the enemy without my command. So this makes the retreating difficult. I couldn't find the perfect tactics setting for me.
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March 12th, 2011, 21:25
Completed it. Combat is still pretty tactical on higher difficulty levels, but the lack of tactical view and increased speed of combat makes Nightmare more frustrating than challenging.

Spoiler – Most difficult fight


Mages:
I generally like the frost spells a lot. They add a nice frozen effect that others can take advantage of. Beyond that, I actually found mages somewhat disappointing - single target crowd control is virtually useless now (too many enemies), as are single target debuffs. Only a few fights have boss monsters worth putting a lot of debuffs on (dragons etc). Mage area damage is still decent, but several of their talent trees have more debuff than damage spells.

Rogues:
Dual wield rogues have immense damage on single targets, but they tend to be hard to keep alive unless you protect them a lot. Ranged rogues work out just fine though, as they have similar damage, but can stay away from enemy cleave/area attacks.

Warriors:
Work out well whether they're tanks or damage. Probably the most consistent damage dealers, especially when facing waves of enemies (which you do most of the time). Not as good on big bosses though, as they tend to run out of stamina quickly when they're not constantly killing (they have a talent that restores stamina when dealing killing blows).

As for combos? Usually pointless, as you face waves that require more area damage than single target damage, but on bosses it's quite nice. It's really quite simple though: You have a few types of debuff (stagger etc) applied by different classes that the other classes can take advantage of. In most cases you don't even have to specifically cater to the debuffs as a lot of them are applied through rather basic attacks like shield bash and cone of cold.

Edit: By the way, we do have a Dragon Age 2 forum here on the Watch.
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March 12th, 2011, 21:37
Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
One thing bothers me though, first I set all my characters' tactics to default to control them fully, I don't want them to make even a slighest move without my command (like BG). But, when I give them the command to attack the enemy, they hit once and then they stop. So, I have to give them the attack order again. If I set the tactics to defender (or something like that) when I give the order they attack continuously until I give them another command. But, this time sometimes they can attack the enemy without my command. So this makes the retreating difficult. I couldn't find the perfect tactics setting for me.
I have them set on default with all tactics unchecked and while they do attack the highest level of threat enemy they do not do anything else. That's fine with me, I like to fully control my party but not to the point where they stand there if I haven't gotten to them yet… standard attacks are okay with me.

In DA:O my tactics window just had "attack nearest enemy" and then nothing else.
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March 12th, 2011, 23:38
Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
I've found the chance to play the full version of the game (PC version). And I must say I was wrong about my past judgements about the game based on the demo…
I'm happy not all people lost their mind to the current anti hype for DA2. I mean I don't care at all if Bioware is gone forever, they could stop make any game and I don't care, I'll regret a little bit not see a DA3 but that's all. Well ok I think that with all of this, we won't see any DA3 since a long time nor any party A WRPG until a long time if ever. Bioware could not agree but a compagny like EA will always prefer take no risk and will avoid the risk of making A RPG again and ME3 is a different type of game. More probably ME3 willbe released and Bioware will disband gradually, not the first dev team nor the last for which this happen.

I don't mean DA2 is a perfect game and everybody should agree with that, DAO wasn't perfect too, DA2 could be too different than DAO and series is a delicate matter, but it's totally obvious that DA2 is far to be a crap and even that it's a quite good game with some clear flaws and some points showing it's been done in hurry but not that the gameplay is bad because of it. Yes you could not like it but that's another problem.

Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
I set the difficulty on nightmare and the game played pretty much tactical.
I wouldn't guess that Nightmare is really playable, even many sword attack have AOE effects with friendly damages, manage this seems quite complicated. That said, for me Nightmare option will be for a replay I regret a lot that the friendly damages isn't a separated option.
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March 13th, 2011, 00:48
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I generally like the frost spells a lot. They add a nice frozen effect that others can take advantage of. Beyond that, I actually found mages somewhat disappointing - single target crowd control is virtually useless now (too many enemies), as are single target debuffs. Only a few fights have boss monsters worth putting a lot of debuffs on (dragons etc). Mage area damage is still decent, but several of their talent trees have more debuff than damage spells.
There's reason, in Bioware forums I saw many many complain that mages was a lot too powerful (hence the single mage making the whole DAO campaign totally nude). Myself I like them a lot in DA2 and if you want more enemy control options you have the Force Mage specialization. Also mages have more enemy control options than other classes, only the rogue isn't bad on that point but can't match on this point a mage putting forcus on this, well I haven't dig Rogues enough to be sure of that.

Also the point in the mana use balance is a lot changed and that makes playing mages much more cool. And they can multiply spells, so they get a global enemy control ability quite strong anyway by casting multiple control spells in a row.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
As for combos? Usually pointless, as you face waves that require more area damage than single target damage, but on bosses it's quite nice. It's really quite simple though: You have a few types of debuff (stagger etc) applied by different classes that the other classes can take advantage of. In most cases you don't even have to specifically cater to the debuffs as a lot of them are applied through rather basic attacks like shield bash and cone of cold…
Yes they seem different than the mage combo in DAO, that said some lines above you mentioned you like the frost which trigger a combo effect for some other classes. I feel it's a point that can be cool for hardcore players. But I admit I don't use this on purpose yet.

If there are often many enemies, there are also often key enemies that can be quite dangerous if not controlled and mages single enemy controls make marvel.

Myself I'm using two mages (my mage and Merrill! but don't control them constantly both, it's still very efficient. That's also a point I enjoy in DA3 and felt a little broken in DAO, it's the different balance about healing and damages and regeneration. In DAO it was very useful to have a mage almost dedicated to healing. In DA2 it's not a necessity anymore, only my mage is using sometimes the heal spell and that is working rather well. I only discovered Anders after 20 hours of play, in fact even more if I count some reload and replay of beginning, so I was sort of forced to this as I didn't want my mage becoming a healer.
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March 13th, 2011, 02:49
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Yeah yeah DAO with 3 rogues at Nightmare, a guy played the whole DAO with only one mage totally nude so you don't impress me. To be more serious you really don't impress me, in one of my play I also used 3 rogues during a large part.
Thatīs a pity, I really thought my 3 rogues + dog would impress everyone .
(btw, when I said "I also played DA:O without a tank on nightmare often" I meant that I was changing my party composition a lot throughout one playthrough, not that Iīve played majority of the game with 3 rogues + dog)

My point however was that nightmare in DA2 is lot more restrictive than nightmare in DA:O when it comes to party composition.
DA2īs nightmare is more difficult than DA:Oīs nightmare, but it achieves it in manners which make it also a lot less enjoyable.
Last edited by DeepO; March 13th, 2011 at 03:48.
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March 13th, 2011, 12:47
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
There's reason, in Bioware forums I saw many many complain that mages was a lot too powerful (hence the single mage making the whole DAO campaign totally nude)..
Really ? Because I had often quite some problems with them in Dragon Age 1 …

Maybe it's my fault that I'm not specializing haracters not enough ? I do this in *almost all* games I play, by the way. Eventually in almost every game I end up with the characters having to be jack-of-all-trades …

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March 13th, 2011, 12:53
To some extent I think mages are overpowered just because you can more easily play them. What I mean is it works very well in Origins and DA2 to set up some basic tactics for melee companions and then play the game as a mage standing in the back avoiding damage and supporting or attacking at range. It fits the playstyle Dragon Age is set up for, especially on console.
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March 13th, 2011, 13:21
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Thatīs a pity, I really thought my 3 rogues + dog would impress everyone .
(btw, when I said "I also played DA:O without a tank on nightmare often" I meant that I was changing my party composition a lot throughout one playthrough, not that Iīve played majority of the game with 3 rogues + dog)

My point however was that nightmare in DA2 is lot more restrictive than nightmare in DA:O when it comes to party composition.
DA2īs nightmare is more difficult than DA:Oīs nightmare, but it achieves it in manners which make it also a lot less enjoyable.
So you consider DAO Hard to be DA2 Hard? My feeling is more that DAO Nightmare is more DA2 Hard, and perhaps DA2 Hard is between Awakening Hard and Awakening Nightmare.

The DA2 Nightmare difficulty seems failed, some people complained about it too much based on higher life level and friendly fire, and that it didn't work. For me the friendly fire is for too many attacks and spells so I gave up trying the Nightmare mode. I could come back to it at a replay.

It's not yet a problem for me because the fights are still very fun in Hard difficulty. My characters just level 10 in first chapter and the fights are quite fun, and the class management is very fun too, there's so many talents and it's not anymore about just put every point in one attribute, well some people pretend it's just 2 attributes now and 3 for a rogue.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Really ? Because I had often quite some problems with them in Dragon Age 1 …

Maybe it's my fault that I'm not specializing haracters not enough ? I do this in *almost all* games I play, by the way. Eventually in almost every game I end up with the characters having to be jack-of-all-trades …
Well at least I remember a post about the whole DAO campaign made with a single made totally nude.

Bioware organized for each class a players feedback in their forums. I read them a little and I remember a significant number of complain about mages too powerful in comparison with other classes. But well that's just a feeling I got. The same go for the fights speed, also remember too many players complaining about them being too slow.

But ok that doesn't mean I agree. Players that optimize a lot their party vs those that make it more balanced and more general is a problem in general in party RPG. In DAO it wasn't only that but also many tricks making the mage overpowerful.

Also the multiple DLC items really broke a balance in DAO. In DA2 I took care to not use many of the DLC items (SE version) asap, I waited find myself some items at roughly equivalent power to start use them. They still gave me a significant plus but doing that tempered this plus. In my opinion it's a huge problem with all those optional items.
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March 13th, 2011, 13:41
I have the CE of Dragon ge 1 (given to me by an disappointed player), and in my case I just *couldn't* use the "DLC" items in it - because I was playing a Dalish one, and for exmple the armor had requirements he just couldn't reach within several levels …

And besides of that, I had to buy them from the camp merchant, and I needed the money for other things instead …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 13th, 2011, 13:48
Any party member who meets the requirements can use those items, not just the main character.
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March 13th, 2011, 14:00
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
So you consider DAO Hard to be DA2 Hard? My feeling is more that DAO Nightmare is more DA2 Hard, and perhaps DA2 Hard is between Awakening Hard and Awakening Nightmare.
DA2's hard mode is certainly harder than Origins. I got through Origins on hard without much trouble other than a couple fights. In DA2 hard mode kicks my ass repeatedly and I have put it down to normal (which sadly is too easy).

If you ask me they need to nerf hard mode a bit, since nightmare is still there for the extreme challenge and normal is so easy.
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