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March 13th, 2011, 14:10
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
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.

That sort of thing is a pet peeve of mine. I see it quite a bit, especially in RTS games, where I can never seem to find a difficulty level that feels right to me.

Did you play Starcraft 2 by any chance? Normal was pathetically easy, but hard was too big of a jump in the later levels, at least for me. I ended up being hugely disappointed because I couldn't find the challenge level I was looking for. Warcraft III was the exact same way for me.
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March 13th, 2011, 16:09
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Any party member who meets the requirements can use those items, not just the main character.
Companions can't use all equipments, they can't for shoes, armor, gloves and helm. They have their own armor set for that.

The only thing you can do about the companions armor set is to add to it 4 bonus items. You need find them for each companion as they seem each done only for one companion. But companions can use the equipment items that are 2 weapons, shield, belt, 2 rings and necklace.

I don't know why this design choice, they probably did the error to compare to other modern RPG that all use a single character so can't compare in equipment possibilities to DA2 allowing 28 equipment slots. But well it's been an error to compare to other RPG, for sure any player will compare to DAO or party RPG from the past.

The result of this is that many DLC items related to the armor set are difficult to use until a long time. For example the blood armor set when you play a mage isn't an option until late and if you choose mage a special mage build.

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
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.
About the difficulty, I also lost combats multiple time but a lot less than during DAO first half. The difference is DA2 system is close enough to DAO that I take profit of DAO experience when playing the fights in DA2, even if in fact many things changed. But when I lost a fight I force think and try find some tactics before to think lowdown the difficulty from Hard. I gave up only once for the mage against the ogre at the beginning, perhaps with the rogue too I don't remember. But I'm pausing the game right now because I lost a fight and woo I wonder is this one I'll be able beat it at Hard, it's the camp in hightown at night linked to a mini quest, still in first chapter.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That sort of thing is a pet peeve of mine. I see it quite a bit, especially in RTS games, where I can never seem to find a difficulty level that feels right to me.

Did you play Starcraft 2 by any chance? Normal was pathetically easy, but hard was too big of a jump in the later levels, at least for me. I ended up being hugely disappointed because I couldn't find the challenge level I was looking for. Warcraft III was the exact same way for me.
I don't play RTS since a long time and in fact never played much any.

I do agree that more than once I wish some games had more difficulty setup. But I understand design team are very hesitant to confront players with the choice among 10 difficulty levels. In case of DA2, the friendly fire option would have been a very good point to offer as a separate option. This would generate a sort of 4*2 ie 8 difficulty levels, too bad they linked it to Nightmare.

In case of party RPG it's complicated because of the party, this can involve so many different setup and it's impossible to provide them all the same difficulty level. It's also a problem when a very difficult fight force you optimize better the party, for example through an equipment improvement of the whole party, and after that you could end in too easy fights. That happened to me in DAO.
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March 14th, 2011, 10:14
Can't one disable tactics with a single button anymore like you did in DA:O? I want to have them on for some battles, but with the harder battles I'd like to control the followers myself. Using the "hand" doesn't seem to help, one of my followers explicitly disobeyed an order I gave him with the little hand set "on".

In the tactics section I can't seem to find a disable button. Please don't tell me one has to clear the tactics slots one by one to be able to play with tactics disabled?
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March 14th, 2011, 11:02
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
Can't one disable tactics with a single button anymore like you did in DA:O? I want to have them on for some battles, but with the harder battles I'd like to control the followers myself. Using the "hand" doesn't seem to help, one of my followers explicitly disobeyed an order I gave him with the little hand set "on".

In the tactics section I can't seem to find a disable button. Please don't tell me one has to clear the tactics slots one by one to be able to play with tactics disabled?
The hand tells them to stay put but if their tactics tell them to use a skill that requires they move then that takes precedence. As for turning off tactics no, I do not believe there is a one press way to do it. You can however make the custom tactics all off, then quickly switch to a pre-made tactics setup with one click.
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March 14th, 2011, 11:35
Thanks for the elucidation!
Bah, so just one more feature that DA:O had, that DA2 doesn't have - a "disable tactics button". I don't really see the use of the "stay put" hand if they don't stay put, but nevermind.

I'm really finding the inventory system and restricted armor frustrating too, btw. I'm one of the DA:O lovers, so I guess my list of DA2 shortcomings can become quite long…
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March 14th, 2011, 12:42
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
The hand tells them to stay put but if their tactics tell them to use a skill that requires they move then that takes precedence. As for turning off tactics no, I do not believe there is a one press way to do it. You can however make the custom tactics all off, then quickly switch to a pre-made tactics setup with one click.
Yes it's weird they omit the option. Another way for people using the single (there was three in DAO) custom tactic, is to use a slot to set Character:Anything => All Tactics disabled. And switch it from last slot to first slot. It's much slower but allows use the custom tactic and it's still faster than uncheck all.

For the "hand" command it's more complicated than just a tactic that "requires they move" I noticed very often they don't move at all. So my bet is it happens when an enemy is in range of an attack and the attack itself includes some moving.
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March 14th, 2011, 13:02
Things I like:
  • Mages can get killed off very quickly if you don't keep an eye on them. Rogues similarly to a lesser extent
  • Upgrades to existing talents turns out quite fun, I really agonise over every point I spend
  • some of the inventory streamlining I like
  • the alchemy / rune streamlining is good
  • classes seem a bit more distinct and a bit better balanced

Things I don't like:
  • I'd like to give my companions armor. As it is 2/3 of the armour you find is completely useless in any game
  • Fights do get a bit samey, as others have commented they overuse the emergence of additional enemies from nowhere
  • the starting companions are ridiculously dull. Aveline & Bethany are extremely tedious. I would have liked them to do more with the one that got killed in the intro, I'd rather have had aveline refuse to kill him and then him come back as a darkspawn general or something
  • I don't like the fact that normal difficulties ignore friendly fire from spells, I liked that about DAO. Having to go up to nightmare to put it back is just not an option
  • not sure that the flanking works as well and don't like the lack of rogue talents to improve flanking

Overall not enjoying it as much as DAO but then had high expectations, don't think that it has been dumbed down as much as many people believe but I do agree that they've changed some things that didn't need changing.
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March 14th, 2011, 13:15
I must say this, the more I'm playing it, the more fun I got. Somehow questing for money in the first part was boring, but now after I got through that part, the game seems more tasty.
And one more thing, although I knew Flemmeth will appear again with some twisted logic excuse, I was pleasantly surprised with her new looks and the same good old Voyager Katherine Janeway voice.
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March 14th, 2011, 14:21
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Things I like:

Things I don't like:

Overall…
Woo I'm close to be agree with all except few details or nuances, for the conclusion I feel I'll disagree but I can't say until I finish it at least once.

But there's one point I'd like comment:
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Fights do get a bit samey, as others have commented they overuse the emergence of additional enemies from nowhere.
For sure almost all fights use the trick and that's a weird design choice. But I don't feel all fights are the same, not at all. It's not because there's a very general structure shared that it plays the same.

This structure allows a ton of variation, for example a next wave could be time scheduled forcing you hurry before next. Some are thrown in your back to avoid retreat and hide tactic is too easy. Some are linked to a death or number of death building more an endurance challenge than a speed challenge. Some waves are just cumulation for the speed challenge. Some waves are increasingly strong rising up the tension a lot if you notice it. And the type of enemy used and combined make a ton of differences between each fight. Moreover the position of some key enemy can also make a huge difference. A good example is a cavern reused three times in first chapter, each time the same place is used for the final combat, and each three final fight is very different to the two other.

In my current feeling the fights are much more structured and designed than those of DAO this making a significant difference. Many balances have been improved a lot, potions no more abuse, mana and endurance use much better tuned and balanced, differences between classes and their overall (rough) balance is quite better.

Where the fights fails a bit, once more, is that there's still a bit too many fillers. There's a ton less fillers fights than in DAO but still less would be better. I would disagree not have any filler/relatively easy fights, but less would be cool.
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March 14th, 2011, 14:48
Hard mode is a lot easier in act two, unless I am imagining it. I was dying constantly in act one on hard but now I breeze through most fights.

Also in act two the repeating dungeon maps are getting more obvious. It's really lame and a big mark against the game if you ask me.
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March 14th, 2011, 22:43
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Hard mode is a lot easier in act two, unless I am imagining it. I was dying constantly in act one on hard but now I breeze through most fights.

Also in act two the repeating dungeon maps are getting more obvious. It's really lame and a big mark against the game if you ask me.
Even in chapter 1 it's quite lame. But in chapter 1 I just finished, it's been quite ok for me anyway, and the game still a great fun despite that awful points like this one, this one is the biggest point.

I felt the end of chapter 1 and beginning of chapter 2 like a game ending, a sort of intermediate game ending, with a lot of nostalgia. That's quite special, I like when games do original choices like that.
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March 14th, 2011, 22:58
I don't like companions running off into a fight. Get to a room, there's 3 traps on the floor and enemies behind. I want to lure the enemies into the first room to avoid the traps, but NO, my companions race into the room, set off the traps and get injured!! DUMB.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 15th, 2011, 06:34
That's been a problem since Neverwinter Nights.

To avoid it, I use three different things: Auto pause on combat. This way I can give everybody his orders. Selecting of all characters with ctrl+a or ctrl+click on the character images. That way I can get them out of the way easily. And to avoid them running back to the enemy as soon as they reach that point: Hold. Problem there is, that I had characters standing 3 feet away from the enemy without attacking because I didn't tell them.
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March 15th, 2011, 07:51
I always start a battle with everyone on hold, until I figure out my basic strategy.
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March 15th, 2011, 09:06
DAO was more bad about that. It seems they tried improved it a bit in DA2. First there's no delay into trap detection and the trap checking view seems linked to the character you control even if the rogue is another character. I also noticed few times multiple traps detected at start of a fight and still here at end, character avoiding them better than in DAO.

But yeah I also start many fights with pause, well at least if I lost them once already. In DAO the fights wasn't well setup against that and this had the tendency to create too easy fights. In DA2 they obviously care much of this and took care provide you more trouble and challenge if you do it, even if at end it's always a good way to control better the fight and finally make it easier anyway.
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March 15th, 2011, 09:15
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
I havenīt said Varric or Merrill are weak, just that Aveline is better than Fenris as far as tanking goes.
Not really related but sort of. I realized Merrill had becoming a sort of power monster by focusing her on her blood mage path. There's ton of items to improve blood path and even if I didn't make her equip all possible, it's still now like she is constantly casting using no blood no mana, and with quite a damage power. Rather impressive how she wipe out my 3 characters team in few seconds during the fade.
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March 15th, 2011, 09:59
Holy crap they made the Qunari communists.
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March 15th, 2011, 11:11
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
For sure almost all fights use the trick and that's a weird design choice. But I don't feel all fights are the same, not at all. It's not because there's a very general structure shared that it plays the same.
Oh, I agree they're not all completely the same, it's just disappointing that there's (so far) less balance between fights where the challenge is multiple enemies and fights where the challenge is a single major foe that you have to weaken to take down.

I feel I'm using less tactics and cross class stuff because most of the opponents just die so quickly that I never get time to really line stuff up.
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March 15th, 2011, 11:29
Normal mode is so easy no tactics are required. Hard and nightmare are there for people who want to play that way.

If you think everything is dying too fast to use tactics on in nightmare… well… that would be amazing.
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March 15th, 2011, 14:01
Originally Posted by Siran View Post
To avoid it, I use three different things: Auto pause on combat…
I also enabled it, without it it's too much frustrating when you see the trap but AI doesn't.

Anyway, I finished the second part yesterday. I must say I'm pleasantly surprised by the fact that your party members are actually somehow involved in the main story. Dunno about the DLC NPC, didn't want to pick that one.
Found two bugs:
1. You give the book to Isabella to use it any way she wants to, but in the finale you may say as a general talk instead as a lie that you wanted not to give it to Tevinter mages.
2. Sketchy quest although solved still displays the arrow on the map over Sketchy.

Nothing really important, honestly, I just like nitpicking.
One quest remained unsolved - the one with evil books. I took one, then saw at home a note that I'm supposed to destroy them, so I destroyed this one in inventory (by pulling it aside) and took "destroy" choice for other books, but the quest was left unfinished. I googled for locations on books because I thought I missed one, but no, found them all, but didn't pick the same choice in all cases. Maybe I'll replay the game for it, but can't make a promise.

In any case I play RPGs for the story not for the easy/normal/hard combat. Improving NPCs armor is probably a must and for all of you who are just starting the second part of the game, I strongly suggest to check all stores before you start questing. Maybe it's not needed on easy (casual) setting but dunno.
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