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Default Thoughts on DA2 after completing it

March 18th, 2011, 20:43
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
On Hard difficulty, there are a few fights that I've come across so far that completely kicked my ass, and I had to re try and even lower the difficulty once.
So just frantic mouse clicking wasn't enough?
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March 18th, 2011, 20:45
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
So just frantic mouse clicking wasn't enough?
Woo that's nasty, I appreciate.
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March 18th, 2011, 20:56
No offense intended. Just want to know if it can be played as a pure action RPG without tactics and pausing on hard difficulty…
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March 18th, 2011, 22:48
On Hard difficulty, there are fights that I've encountered that are really tough. Not all, but some… especially it seems the main quest fights. Also, you have a cooldown (not sure how long) on potions, so you can't just slam them down over and over. That makes it tactical in and of itself.

Also, after playing a while I am completely used to the higher speed combat and it's not an issue anymore. You learn how to pause. Like any damn new game on the planet, you have to adjust to it a little. Again, people are bitching about this game in a way and magnitude that I find puzzling and amusing.
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March 18th, 2011, 22:53
Diablo II had some of similar cool-down constraints, yet could be won on Hell difficulty with lots of frantic clicking without pausing. And it did require tactics for some battles. But it all revolved around fast mouse clicking and key pressing.
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March 18th, 2011, 22:54
well i'm a completionist and just started, what i assume is, the final chapter and have put in at least 70 hours. that's including probably about 4 hours which is due to redo areas that were to difficult on hard that i had to come back later or try 2 to 3 times to be victorious. i'm enjoying the game and it has much greater value than the $40 awakenings which was ~25 hours worth of gameplay. when i finish hopefully this weekend so i can start shogun 2 i'll post more thoughts.

for the record i've kept it on hard the entire time which is quite painful at times but a nice challenge. 2 areas in particular caused me to redo the end of the prior chapter before the point of no return as the completionist in me really wanted to do them. one was the "gauntlet" and subsequent tome quest (the easy part) near sundermount and the other was the peak area of sundermount which had no quest but i had to be thougrough and as i thought there was a resource there i would have missed. some of the undead/horror/shade/demon battles can be quite insane though i've found a good strategy to outplay the waves is that they seem to be trigged by enemies killed not elites/bosses so taking out the bosses first and avoiding too many aoe spells/feats seems to work well.

some charcters definately have more utility at higher levels of which i'm at 20 now than do others.

also on a side note impulse dicked me around with the signature edition so i didn't actually get it until around 40-50 hours in which was in the lengthly prior chapter so i might have missed one of sebastian's quests who is one the characters i'm not all that fond of. the only charcters that i really enjoy in the game are anders, varric, aveline, fenris. every other one i find a bit too stereotypical and grating and thankfully inferior in battle for the most part anyhow.

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March 18th, 2011, 22:58
Sebastian's chapter one quest was lame, so no big loss for you there. His chapter two quest was pretty good though, and used one of the dungeons they only used 3 or 4 times, so it feels unique!
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March 18th, 2011, 23:01
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Diablo II had some of similar cool-down constraints, yet could be won on Hell difficulty with lots of frantic clicking without pausing. And it did require tactics for some battles. But it all revolved around fast mouse clicking and key pressing.
Well, I suppose you could play Baldur's Gate that way too, you know.

I don't understand. It's a video game. If you don't like it, fine. But why the crazy amount of scorn, hand-wringing and bile spewing all over the internet about it?
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March 18th, 2011, 23:03
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
No offense intended. Just want to know if it can be played as a pure action RPG without tactics and pausing on hard difficulty…
After about 12-15 hours on hard, I can say that there is frequent pausing, but it's mostly assessing the battlefield and re-aquiring aggro on the warriors. The tactics feature of DA2 allows you to be as uninvolved as you like, as far as what uncontrolled characters do after combat begins, but it's very rare that you'll be able to breeze through most fights without pausing to see what's changed, especially when the 2nd and 3rd waves of enemies teleport onto the scene in a circle surrounding the mage.

And Ovenall, you should check out what people are actually saying about the game in the last few days. There hasn't been all the negativity that you're claiming. Several threads are from people who are actively playing, and enjoying, the game, and the criticism that they have isn't "laughable bitching." The game wasn't made by Jesus - it's got flaws. Several. Annoying ones. Do they break the game entirely? Yeah, some do: Apparently, if you become superfriends with Isabela and Sebastian, switching them in and out of your party results in your attack speed and damage resistances getting progressively worse, due to a math error that subtracts their bonuses from your base values instead of the ones that are tacked on when they're in your party. Kinda tough to beat the game when Hawke has 3 second attack animations and a -18% damage resistance. Or, how about the fact that 90% of the loot in the game is useless trash, and the stuff that you can actually use is only good for Hawke, and that's if he's playing the correct class for the loot? If all the loot is trash, why give it to me? Why not streamline the process of me going to a vendor to sell all my hoarded bits of string? Just convert that crap to a couple of coppers, and let me get back to killing trash mobs. Yeah, those trash mobs that come in waves, magically appearing all throughout the battlefield, rendering such tactics as, "attack enemies there, where it creates a bottleneck, significantly hampering them, " or, "hey mage, why don't you stand here, where it's harder for the guys with swords to hit you," completely useless. It's awesome knowing that in every single boss fight, I'm going to lose a mage, and will be reduced to running around the map, waiting for potion and ability timers to cool down.

You might be able to see that if you took off your Bioware tinted glasses, which, if memory serves me correctly, is one of the 14,788 unlockable items you get for "liking" the dump that Mike Laidlaw took last week.
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March 18th, 2011, 23:51
LOL.

Bioware tinted glasses? I like the game. I never said it was perfect, or even great. I just like to play it so far. As I even said up thread, I haven't played more than maybe eight hours (on this play through… I started another character earlier and ditched her after four hours or so), so I can't fully judge it, and more importantly — I won't until I play more.

I'm sure there's bugs. I'd be enormously surprised if there weren't any. All big games have some bugs, and whatever you're referring to will likely get patched. I'm playing on an older machine at medium quality graphics and haven't had a single crash or major graphical or audio glitch so far and haven't seen any bugs.

I agree with you about the bad loot in general. I don't like the "belt +5% damage" etc. World of Warcraft kind of junk. I'd prefer less of that. The junk items are a little silly, but I don't mind them for the most part. I really dislike that the icons for inventory items are all generic.

It's far from perfect, but it's a damn fun game. I don't think I've ever played a "perfect" game and I doubt I ever will. I didn't really like the actual play-mechanics of DA1, and in some ways I prefer this one.
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March 18th, 2011, 23:51
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
On Hard difficulty, there are fights that I've encountered that are really tough. Not all, but some… especially it seems the main quest fights. Also, you have a cooldown (not sure how long) on potions, so you can't just slam them down over and over. That makes it tactical in and of itself.

Also, after playing a while I am completely used to the higher speed combat and it's not an issue anymore. You learn how to pause. Like any damn new game on the planet, you have to adjust to it a little. Again, people are bitching about this game in a way and magnitude that I find puzzling and amusing.
At hard I perhaps get slaughtered too much, and still now in chapter 2. I probably didn't optimized enough the characters I am using, and probably not using any true tank makes it more difficult. I stick on Hard anyway because I know that when fights won't be a problem they'll start get less fun. But there's a negative effect, it breaks too often the adventure and story or stories and overall game progression. The point is after to have one more fight slaughtering me, after few other that required one or more replay to beat them, I need a pause to charge the power and refill my determination.

Myself I'm not fully used to the quite increased speed but it's right that overall it doesn't feel that much different than in DAO, and also overall, the fights are a lot better than in DAO. For me there's no match. Also I replayed BG1 up to end few year ago and for fights, for me it's quite clear that DA2 is quite better for the fights. I haven't played BG2 since a too long time to risk a real comparison but from what I roughly remember of SoA, the fights wasn't as good. And from what I remember of ToB, the fights was probably somehow better.

I would like anyway an option for slower speed but I doubt this would work very well for most players including perhaps me, because a significantly slower speed would make many fights very long.

There's one clear reason to play DA2 it's for fan of fights of DAO, the overall feeling won't be that much different in DA2 but a lot better overall and with much more character building possibilities from the fights point of view.
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March 19th, 2011, 00:13
Nice Review. I am on my second play through. It seems like a common theme, among the people who visit here, that the main interest is in hard combat. I tend to play most games on casual, with some exceptions for boss fights.

I think this really impacts the time spent playing the game. The game itself tells you how long you played - it was 34 hrs 5 mins for me (see shot - I whited out one game as the title was a major spoiler). I don't know how literal that is - I did a few reloads and paused the game a lot as well.

Yet I did everything I could possibly find with 4 exceptions. One quest, to rescue some nobles daughter, was bugged. I had it but I could not interact with the bandit leader. Another was a "secret evil" quest you get for finding certain scrolls. I found 2 (of 3) but I admit I was at the final trigger for the end game and just did not have the energy to search all the maps one last time to find it - especially since I had exhaustively explored all areas each act and return visit … but the scroll was small and easy enough to overlook. I felt good I found so many evil tombs and Quanari swords. I read/watched all dialogue, movies, cinematics and spent a lot of time debating decisions.

Lastly I had two quests I purposely skipped as they went very much against the role I was playing for my Mage. I only found out after I finished the game that one of them lead to Fenris … I was wondering why I never ran into him. So possibly doing that quests, and then any quests that you get from Fenris, could have added another 2-5 hours??

Of course I could have missed some although I have been doing some research on Wiki and the Forums and so far I have found none that I missed (at least on accident versus on purpose) so far.

The only main difference I could see between me and some of the others in this thread was combat difficulty. I played the entire first time through on casual. I always do that as I prefer my first game to be all about exploration, lore, companions, quests, interaction, and soaking up the atmosphere. I get little enjoyment about spending 30 minutes on every trash fight that comes my way. Nor do I want to spend an hour on a boss fight only to reload later. I have been playing games for 20 years (I am 46) and always play on easy settings the first time through. I got no ego when it comes to bragging about time length or difficulty.

I could see playing on nightmare really ramping up the length of time to finish. So putting people down or questioning their honesty, when they say they did listen to dialogue and fully explored and didn't rush through, because the finished the game in less than 60 hours, is in rather poor taste IMO. I didn't rush anything - I tend to savor games - unless you consider playing on casual "rushing" and not much I can say to that. I just don't get a lot of fun out of painfully drawn out combat. I enjoy combat but it isn't my main focus.

Another reason is I don't want to get into min/max powergaming aspects with either my character or my companions. I like letting them do their own thing - it makes them more "real" versus just pack mules and damage sponges. So I focus on my own character. I won't use certain spells no matter how "awesome" if they don't fit the role I have for him. I don't use armor that I feel doesn't look like or fit him. In some ways playing on Nightmare means giving up some RP aspects if yuo hope to survive.

Not that I don't understand why people play that way - they love the challenge and for many the combat is the number one focus. My only peeve is when people lump everyone into the same boat and assume people who play casual or didn't take 100 hours are "just rushing through" and obviously didn't do everything possible in the game.

DAO, on the other hand, took me just over 90 hours to complete.

Purpleblob listed some cameos but missed one - either because they missed the quest or forgot or didn't care I don't know - but you can meet up with Zevran in the game as well.

I give the final game a score of 7.5. I rate story and companions very high while I rated content (the reusing aspect) and some of the GUI changes very low.
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March 19th, 2011, 00:43
theres way more than 3 of those scrolls if you are talking about the ones that you can read destroy or use. 6 i belive plus the final one…

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March 19th, 2011, 00:46
The game time is recorded during pauses? I believed not, in fact I'm sure it isn't. I just checked it so I can be fully sure, but I had already noticed it.

The lower difficulty can certainly help but my point is more the number of things out of the main paths that I quoted, that includes dialogs and quests. Just one example of a rather long dialog not linked to any quest pointer, through a spoiler:
Spoiler – SPOILER


Another example about finding quests, often I quoted there's a quest trigger that spawn in a place where there was nothing before. A spoiler comment about that:
Spoiler – SPOILER


I don't think everything is recorded in the diary, well I'm sure of it in fact. I think it's to avoid have the various sections of the diary too much overload with stuff not really interesting or useful to check later. But it's still a good point to check how deep to dig the game.
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March 19th, 2011, 00:55
sebastians dungeon quest was fine but between the accent and another character with those neon blue eyes on top of him being a rogue but besides him using a bow he really had no persona of a rogue, but i guess that's why technically he's not in the main game. i guess a prince doesn't really need a profession so he had to get put somewhere. beside's carver he's the only character i have/had a rivarly with and i've almost maxed that out.

some quest are triggered by certain companions going into certain areas and others so i see it as quite possible how many people who don't check every area of all the maps can miss out while at the same time not be rushing through the game. too me though it fills the exploration tab which is already usually a meager meal in bioware games.

i will say this though bioware pushes the "f'uped family" theme way too much after playing most of this and also mass effect 2 where the amount of dysfunctions and tragedy is less believable than the dark fantasy and sci-worlds they exist in.

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March 19th, 2011, 01:09
Originally Posted by curious View Post

some quest are triggered by certain companions going into certain areas and others so i see it as quite possible how many people who don't check every area of all the maps can miss out while at the same time not be rushing through the game…
Well I almost used only the same characters in my party at exception of Carver that I used sometimes during chapter 1, plus made the companion quests of Chapter 1 and few require a companion in the party, I remember only the mage from Awekening but could be wrong. There's Merrill too but she is a permanent member of my current party. And now Carter isn't available anymore at all.

So I almost used only three characters and it's perhaps the cause, but I don't remember once a quest triggered by the presence of a companion in the party. Well anyway despite I'm digging a lot I'm sure there's stuff I haven't got, like have disposed a quest provider rather soon, or a place where there was a magical barrier and didn't found how get through and it wasn't here anymore during chapter 2. I also skip Sebastian quests but that's on purpose, I keep it for replay.

I haven't build it fully yet and need finish at least once, but for me DA2 is a lot more hardcore than DAO.
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March 19th, 2011, 01:15
Originally Posted by curious View Post
theres way more than 3 of those scrolls if you are talking about the ones that you can read destroy or use. 6 i belive plus the final one…
Ha crap I have found only one yet, ha well perhaps this chapter 2 will be more long that I guessed. For sure in a replay I'll take care to make a different choice for that quest, I didn't reload to check the various choices because I bet the answer is only much later but for sure the various choices make you very curious.
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March 19th, 2011, 02:26
Originally Posted by curious View Post
theres way more than 3 of those scrolls if you are talking about the ones that you can read destroy or use. 6 i belive plus the final one…
Not that I know of, this is a special quest that adds a map location to uncover some secret evil. It does not go in the quest area but the codex keeps track of it and each scroll I got updated it. But I wanted to get into the ending and it was just this and last main plot quest to choose from.

I looked it up in Wiki to conform (while I totally avoid spoilers on my virgin play through I never do after that - as then I am trying to cover everything I might have missed or taking alternative paths). It is 3 scrolls and related lairs. Won't spoil it beyond that.

The game time is recorded during pauses? I believed not, in fact I'm sure it isn't. I just checked it so I can be fully sure, but I had already noticed it.
I wasn't sure myself. If it didn't then you could add A TON of game time to my stuff as I spent a lot of time debating stats, skills/spells, and making choices - which was often while the game was paused.

Way to many quests to quote nor do I wish to spoil. I had the Quanri quests you mentioned. I am sure I could have missed some - either because of companions or just because I was tired or overlooked something. But it wouldn't be because I was rushing. I would constantly sweep areas - revisiting later on - often before an act changed. I have no qualms about using the TAB key to highlight things either.

I really enjoy exploring and finding things. I also really like my character and doing things with my companions. While I am not big on nightmare combat I do enjoy feeling powerful (like a Hero) and hence I do find combat rather fun on casual. I let my companions fight on their own and that way I was able to focus solely on my own character which I liked. I would only interfere with the companions on boss fights and sometimes direct their level ups in certain ways.

Strangely this is a change in my game play. In past games, like BG and IWD, I liked having complete control over everyone in my party. I guess I just like the company better these days :-) Well that and maybe the tactics and AI is better.
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March 19th, 2011, 03:16
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Well, I suppose you could play Baldur's Gate that way too, you know
And you would lose against enemies that required carefully timed and placed party members and spells.
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March 19th, 2011, 03:21
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
After about 12-15 hours on hard, I can say that there is frequent pausing, but it's mostly assessing the battlefield and re-aquiring aggro on the warriors. The tactics feature of DA2 allows you to be as uninvolved as you like, as far as what uncontrolled characters do after combat begins, but it's very rare that you'll be able to breeze through most fights without pausing to see what's changed, especially when the 2nd and 3rd waves of enemies teleport onto the scene in a circle surrounding the mage.
Thanks for the answer. I'm glad someone playing this game isn't constantly in defense mode, and actually provides useful information.
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