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Default Thoughts on DA2 after completing it

March 19th, 2011, 04:18
games time is absolutely added while paused, at least at the menu screen. save a game, go to the menu have a bite to eat come back save again and you'll see the time ticked on. normally inventory and skill stat management accounts for at least 10% if not well more in some cases of my total gaming time. some games like stalker, fallout etc that have weight limits push it up much higher as i am a loot horder.

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March 19th, 2011, 14:11
Though I will spend 60 hours or so on the game in the end I think it's really a 20-30 hour game you can pad out. If I ever replay it I will likely just do the main missions and companion missions, and maybe some random ones I remember liking. The content is just too repetitive to play over and over again in side quests.
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March 19th, 2011, 15:19
Originally Posted by curious View Post
games time is absolutely added while paused, at least at the menu screen. save a game, go to the menu have a bite to eat come back save again and you'll see the time ticked on. normally inventory and skill stat management accounts for at least 10% if not well more in some cases of my total gaming time. some games like stalker, fallout etc that have weight limits push it up much higher as i am a loot horder.
Pause the game and make the test. During fights it's pause that is standard to use not go in menu, and you quoted pauses for the fights as a reason to explain difference of play time, but that is a wrong example because pause isn't timed by the game.

But yes the time in shop and spend to optimize inventory isn't insignificant in general nor in DA2, and it's quite possible that I spend more time than many players in that sort of stuff.
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March 19th, 2011, 18:42
I just completed it and God damn is it a thrown-together mish-mash in so many ways. The longer I played it the more I grew to dislike it.

Took me 53 hours. Probably would have been 60+ but toward the end I really grew tired of the repeated content so I skipped a lot of Act 3 side-quests.
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March 19th, 2011, 22:53
hey Dasale im jealous you must have one of those special computers like the mirror the witch in sleeping beauty has that only tells them what they want to hear/believe. just checked again all manners of pausing and whether your're paused or unpaused while in combat or in the menu—time keeps on tickin' into the future…as well as in the total time played in the saved.

and besides game time played is completely non dependent on whatever the game saves time reports or in the case of steam of steam there log which is even less accurate as it logs time that the program is running. so even game launchers count towards that.

most software counters though are only a useful guide. take autocad for instance, i often am working on many different drawings at one time and thats only a fraction of the day anyhow when i'm not doing a myriad of other tasks the drawings usually stay open. in that case it would be nice if it logged time you were actually working in the drawings themselves which wouldn't seem very difficult to keep track of.

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March 19th, 2011, 23:20
Originally Posted by curious View Post
hey Dasale im jealous you must have one of those special computers like the mirror the witch in sleeping beauty has that only tells them what they want to hear/believe. just checked again all manners of pausing and whether your're paused or unpaused while in combat or in the menu—time keeps on tickin' into the future…as well as in the total time played in the saved…
Mmm strange but you can be jealous as its a Mac. The Mac version isn't supposed to behave differently but it seems it does. And yes it surprised me a lot, it's often that games record your play time but not that they don't count pause time.

That said such game need have their own internal counter, a typical example is to manage pauses, if they don't out of pause would be a garbage. So no it's pointless to compare with a stuff like autocad or something.

EDIT: Well I suppose someone put something in my glass of water when I checked the game timing during pause, but clearly today it works fine as PC version, cool it's not a bug in Mac version.
Last edited by Dasale; March 20th, 2011 at 00:17.
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March 22nd, 2011, 05:17
Just finished my 2nd playthrough (played mage again, romanced Anders again, but I forgot to import DAO game, doh!)

Seems like if you don't import game from Awakening/Witch Hunt etc, Nathaniel doesn't show up in game. Shame. This time I went for 100% rivarly with Merrill and was quite pleased with the result. Some sense have finally got through to her thick skull and she smashed Eluvian herself. She even aided me in final battle since I sided with mages. 100% friendship with Anders, Aveline and Varric. Almost max friendship with Fenris. Carver hates my guts but he still aided me. Only one I lost was Isabela. Thought I had enough friendship with her, but she didn't come back with relics. Bitch.

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March 22nd, 2011, 10:40
You should take care avoid too much spoil, but what to expect from someone enjoying torturing Merrill? Everything but reason.

About friendship level the new DA2 system is much better and avoid be too obsessed with that, I mean the system itself is better.

Firstly the bonus for each side liking/disliking is a very good point. Secondly there's only one bonus that you can get relatively easily and 100% beside the links with few quests and some possible romance, just bring a little gift from the companion. You can find it by checking your manor, it's not even a greedy item. I suppose 100% hate brings something similar.

If the negative bonus of Merrill is great her positive bonus isn't bad at all. Currently when she is in a blood mage state she have 7 mana equivalent spelling for one HP. And she has a bonus of 24 HP regeneration this means an equivalent of a bonus of 168 Mana regeneration!!! Not to mention a HP of 286, if I consider 150HP the base HP this let 136HP ie the equivalent of 952 Mana!!!

With the negative bonus of Merrill the whole could be even better globally but then make her using blood magic would be anti role playing. That's why the only role play choice to get a monster of power through Merrill is to enjoy her, understand her and be kind with her. My current hawke is in romance with her and appreciate how this little reserved women (but with a very strong character, clearly the stronger character of all companions) become a war machine during fights.
Last edited by Dasale; March 22nd, 2011 at 10:52.
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March 22nd, 2011, 10:56
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Only one I lost was Isabela. Thought I had enough friendship with her, but she didn't come back with relics. Bitch.
Hmm, did you go to the Arishok instead of helping her get the relic? I lost her when I did that.

Interesting to read various experiences people have had. It seems the overall consensus is "good, but not great".

I've completed it three times now (one for each class), which is more than enough. Overall, the class balance seems better than Origins, where mages were superior in practically every way. Despite that, I've found certain balancing issues in DA2 as well:

- Melee rogues are a bit too weak, especially since Defense seems less useful than it was in Origins.
- Ranged rogues are probably a bit too strong, especially with the Assassinate talent (top talent of the Assassin school). My biggest Assassinate was slightly above 20.000 damage in a single shot.
- Tanks seem to be doing too little damage; I'm fine with the fact that they're not dishing out immense amounts of damage, but they have serious problems holding aggro whenever there's a rogue present. This is actually the main problem for melee rogues - they're not supposed to tank, but they end up tanking most of the time due to their damage. At least ranged rogues can kite stuff around while still doing damage.
- Certain spells are still a bit too good, while others are a bit too weak. Haste, for example, is incredibly powerful.
- The autoattack damage of 2H warriors is a bit low.

Other than that, the balance seems pretty good.

By the way, the savegame import thing actually does have an impact. For example, Alistair can not only be met as King Alistair, he can also be met as a drunkard in the Hanged Man if you picked Loghain and let Alistair live.

I feel like the level of impact based on the savegame is fairly spot on. It would seem odd if everyone and their favourite cat showed up in Kirkwall all of a sudden - they're still busy in Ferelden.

Also, I've seen many reviews, interviews and so on that claim the feature is rubbish compared to the import feature of ME2. Excuse me? The import feature of ME2 was a disgrace - unlike Origins to DA2, the ME2 import was supposed to be something of a main feature and not just a "nice to have feature" like it was in DA2, yet it had zero impact on the game as a whole. Sure, there were a few extra NPCs here and there and people talked to Shepard in slightly different ways, but overall your actions in ME1 did nothing to change ME2.

If anything, the import feature has as much of an impact in DA2 as it does in ME2, despite the fact that DA2 is not a direct sequel in terms of story (which ME2 very much is).

Edit: And yes, I agree Dasale - Merrill can become quite the power house, especially with maxed out Spirit and Primal schools in addition to her blood magic. I found the nature line of her special tree rather rubbish though.
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March 22nd, 2011, 13:11
Merril is a great ranged fighter, magic or not. She blows away archers like Varric. I am playing the game a second time now (will not finish it again, just messing around) and I am finally using Merril, along with Isabela and Avelline and a healer Hawke. Isabela is freaking useless I must say… DW rogues can be awesome in this game, I played one in my first playthrough and she kicked ass, but you have to micromanage them. Isabela just dies constantly and doesn't use her powers well enough.

Thinking about trading Isabela in for Carver or Fenris, but then I would not be able to open chests.
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March 22nd, 2011, 13:27
I'd say Varric is almost always a better choice than Isabella, unless you want to bring her along because of her character (interesting banter etc). He does similar damage, but has a much easier time staying alive.

Just max out his personal tree as soon as possible followed by the Bianca tree (which is identical to Archery, but not named Archery because then he would've been able to replace Bianca with any bow in the game).
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March 22nd, 2011, 13:30
I'm avoiding him because I used him my entire first game.
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March 22nd, 2011, 14:34
And I assume you don't have Sebastian (the Exiled Prince)? If so, you're stuck with Isabella. I pulled her (literally dragging) through the game once myself due to her character, but it's not something I'm going to do often. I think she was injured more often than not due to constantly be unconscious.
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March 22nd, 2011, 14:36
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Hmm, did you go to the Arishok
Asterisk ?????

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March 22nd, 2011, 14:48
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Asterisk ?????
http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Arishok
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March 22nd, 2011, 15:14
Ah, thanks.

Some of their used names just sound too much like distorted other words to me … ("Brazilian Forest") …

(And yes, I've already read what's this name is about … )

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March 22nd, 2011, 15:37
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
And I assume you don't have Sebastian (the Exiled Prince)? If so, you're stuck with Isabella. I pulled her (literally dragging) through the game once myself due to her character, but it's not something I'm going to do often. I think she was injured more often than not due to constantly be unconscious.
I do have Sebastian, I used him a little in my first playthrough, but he seems to be just a less powerful Varric. Not really enthused about using him more, plus his pro-chantry and pro-templar attitude doesn't really mesh well with a mage (or any Hawke really, since Bioware pretty much force you to be pro-mage at the start).

Also he is not available until chapter two, which is super lame.
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March 22nd, 2011, 15:43
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I do have Sebastian, I used him a little in my first playthrough, but he seems to be just a less powerful Varric. Not really enthused about using him more, plus his pro-chantry and pro-templar attitude doesn't really mesh well with a mage (or any Hawke really, since Bioware pretty much force you to be pro-mage at the start).

Also he is not available until chapter two, which is super lame.
Completely agree. Varric has better talents, no doubt about it. Also, it's rather annoying that you can't get him until chapter 2 - I usually "set" my party long before that.
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March 22nd, 2011, 15:55
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Completely agree. Varric has better talents, no doubt about it. Also, it's rather annoying that you can't get him until chapter 2 - I usually "set" my party long before that.
Yeah, and there's really no reason for him not to be available in chapter one that I can see. I hope now that we are seeing mods someone makes a mod for him to be usable in chapter one.
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March 22nd, 2011, 16:51
Sebastien was a massive letdown after the golem from DAO. Him and Aveline are really dull characters.
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