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March 25th, 2011, 14:33
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I loved the Dwarf Noble and Human Noble Origins. Sure, there aren't many choices right at the start, but you will get options related to the Origins later on, and I find them quite satisfying.

PS. I dislike Behlen with a passion.
Yeah, one of the best aspects of origins is that they offer a different perspective on some events/characters.
Similarly as Bhelen, Howe is particularly despicable when playing a human noble, meeting Jowan feels a lot different when playing a mage, etc.
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March 25th, 2011, 20:00
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Yeah, one of the best aspects of origins is that they offer a different perspective on some events/characters.
Similarly as Bhelen, Howe is particularly despicable when playing a human noble, meeting Jowan feels a lot different when playing a mage, etc.
I wonder is for you DAO has a single flaw?
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March 25th, 2011, 21:51
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
I wonder is for you DAO has a single flaw?
Of course it has.
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March 25th, 2011, 23:41
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Of course it has.
Ha ok, I had started believe you was a sort of absolute fan of DAO.
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March 26th, 2011, 15:00
So I finally finished DA2, a bit more than 100 hours, for DAO it was a bit more than 116 hours, I certainly spend more time in pauses in DA2 but that mean something anyway.

Overall I'm a bit disoriented by DA2, overall the 3rd chapter destroyed quite a lot my general feeling about the game. For me this whole chapter 3 is one more point to add to the list of the rushed elements.

In front of a such uneven quality along the whole game it's very hard to get a figure of the game. For sure I had many fun with it but for sure I end with it not really satisfied and a bit disappointed, not even in comparison of DAO but in comparison of better points I found there and there in the game.

For me the fights and classes are the best point of the game despite there's a clear abuse of repetitive waves and more significant fights would have been better, but DAO was worse on that last point.

The companions, well half good but I haven't explore some of them much. If there's really as much companion material than DAO as I read in some posts, then the whole is less efficient than in DAO and I don't like at all the camp approach of DAO.

The story writing, there's few great parts and quests but overall it's very average and the third chapter is rather awful. You can't put so often the player in a situation of failure inside the story, that's very ridiculous. I don't know who wrote that but he's not a talented writer. Also from a game design point of view, the game make you feel you have to make choices and then put you in failure and contradiction with those choices, lol some people at Bioware got mad.

More than the fights, the better element is the whole combat system. If design of each fights isn't always at top, the combat system is improved a lot when compared to DAO and this includes the build choices for classes, the new balances, more distinct classes, and more. For sure the tactical view lost is a comfort nuisance but DAO tactical view with no fog of war management and many spell you could cast through walls was far to be a very good solution. For the speed I wish at least there's a an option to slow down it. For the Friendly Fire there's too much AOE effects and it's just a pointless element.

If it's about stupid rate on 20, I'd give roughly:
  • 13 to story and story writing, this includes the merging of story and gameplay.
  • 15 to overall structure, I appreciate the effort of originality even if it s only half successful.
  • 11 for exploration, DAO would get even less, and without the duplicate area it could have been better but hard to imagine what the result would be.
  • 13 to companions, would be more something like 16 for DAO
  • 15 for fights, would be more with a better chapter 3 and more overall diversity
  • 18 for the combat system and classes (yeah I don't care the lost of the poor DAO skills)
  • 16 for graphics, I get used to the style and overall consider it an improvement.
  • 18 for music, it's rare I appreciate how the music is used in a game, here one of the rare example I find quite good and closer to how well this can be used in movies. And also I found the music itself quite good.
  • Overall a 14 or 15 on 20 seems a fair rating. But I'd say it's really a special RPG to play that worth the curiosity. And if you enjoyed a lot DAO fights there's material in DA2 to get more fun even if probably this won't be for the whole game.
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May 25th, 2011, 02:52
I really enjoyed it, as a RPG I felt it was good, and I felt connected to the characters. It was very lazy and rushed though which is the only real critique I can apply to it, the one dungoen set redone with multiple entry points to fool players into thinking it was different was inexcusable. All in all though I still found it fun enough to reply with each class. Didnt care about combat or challenge, so I didnt care about tactical view, I played it purely for the story and characters. I thought the finishing moves were way over the top, like made for Mortal Kombat lovers. I like finishing moves but these were extremely juvenile in my opinion.

Mostly I think the nerd raging stems from fans that like the old school elements of the 1st and were just upset it was removed for the sequel instead of any real hate for the game itself. People DO fear change and get very pissed off over it, which is what I think happened with DA 2, thankfully despite the nerd raging the game still sold and Bioware is working on DA3 already.
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May 29th, 2011, 15:16
Seeing DA2 only DAO's lens only is reductive.

Claiming that people who value DA2 for its worth value it so because of fear of evolution is off target.
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May 30th, 2011, 06:36
Zloth grabs a machine gun and sprays bullets into the crowd - read as many as you wish
  • The story in chapter one was pretty good and chapter two's was excellent! Three's story started off OK but the next-to-last boss battle for me was REALLY dumb.
  • The game gives you warnings at the end of chapter two to let you know that the end is coming - finish off your other quests. Yet the end of the game doesn't! I had to use task manager to kill the game to try and stop the spoilers when I realized there wasn't going to be any going back. (I really get the feeling each chapter was written by a different team.)
  • Even with several years spent in City of Heroes, which re-uses graphics rather massively, I still wasn't ready for the re-use of maps. This simply isn't excusable in a full price game.
  • What was far worse, IMHO, was the city itself. With the exception of one statue, nothing ever changed in it. I was hoping we could see the city in winter and summer but they didn't even get close to that. Even when armies would raze the city, the city would be put back exactly as it was before. Every vendor was in exactly the same spot. Having almost the entire game in one city would have been really cool IF the city had changed over time. It didn't, so it wasn't.
  • The voice acting and dialog were excellent. Well, except when Varric's voice would sometimes change to a different actor's. I can't speak much to Isabella's - I barely knew her.
  • The characters were very good. Easily on par with DA:O's characters.
  • Humor was good at times but not nearly as fun as DA:O's references to so many other BioWare games.
  • I liked the combat set on hard. I never did use a mod to turn on friendly fire for hard mode. In DA:O it was easy to precisely mark exactly where a fireball would hit so you could hit your enemies and leave your melee fighters untouched. In DA2 people are moving around way too much for that. Still, I found the battles challenging and fun.
  • BioWare leaving out the tactical mode because they wanted to make pretty ceilings sounds downright bogus to me. The ceilings were not remarkable. Hell, they didn't even want to make additional maps, they sure weren't going to spend much time on ceilings! However, even though BioWare's reasoning seems bogus, the above mentioned ability to precisely place a fireball so accurately is bogus, too. I'm still undecided as to whether I want tactical mode back or not.
  • The waves of enemies were a bit annoying but not too terrible once I figured out they were ALWAYS going to happen. In every battle after that, my first action was to get everyone in a defensible position like a corner - preferably a corner in the previous room.
  • Walking Bomb rules! And in this game, it rules even more because you can combine it with knockback powers (particularly the Force Mage's) to get devastating effects.
  • I liked the skill trees, though there were some stinkers in there. (Bolster - return 5% of your stamina. Oh gee, thanks.)
  • The tactics were great stuff! I was hitting pause every second or two so I could micro-manage everyone so I turned most of the tactics off but I still used them to automatically take advantage of some situations. For instance, if an enemy got hit with the brittle status, my fighter would slam him with a power that took advantage of that status.
  • The high-rez pack is worthless. It broke a lot more than it helped for me playing with the 1.02 patch.
  • The music wasn't as good this time. The end credits in particular were just… wha?
  • I didn't see many bugs once I stopped using the high-rez pack. The worst bug showed up mostly in chapter one when my dog simply wouldn't follow me around the map.
  • Speaking of the dog - I think I'm now on PETA's most wanted list. While I was off in search of my defensible position, the dog would kamakazi right into the thick of it.
  • The gore was just stupid. I'm thinking particularly of an eary scene where one of the characters gets stabbed early on as part of a mercy killing. However, when stabbing somebody in the heart, it's a good idea to TAKE THEIR PLATE ARMOR OFF FIRST! Casually stabbing somebody through thick plate armor and having blood fly everywhere just looks dumb. There's a checkbox to turn gore off. I would suggest using it, even if you aren't at all squeemish.
  • Just pretend the achievements aren't there. Only a few of them are interesting and, as far as I know, nobody can see what you have and haven't gotten anyway.
Overall, the game is OK, IMHO. Not great but still worth playing.
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June 18th, 2011, 14:01
Just finished and figured I would post my review

Gameplay: I usually enjoy a action based gameplay take on RPGs but DA2 was wayy too much. It felt like a Dungeon Siege game.. and its so over the top, I feel like Hawke had killed at least a full thousand of people before the end of the game, like in an 80's film starring Chuck Norris. Its just not belivable…

The inventory system was very bad, I disliked the skill system too mostly because of the restrictions ("need at least x points on there"), the stats system was as it generally is in RPGs.

Environment/Locations: I enjoyed Kirkwall. It was very evocative of the middle eastern medieval, reminded me Jerusalem, Damascus or Aleppo minus the slave statues of course. Although Kirkwall is not enough to carry a game… and the repetitive locations was really a low blow. The deep roads were really poor compared to DA:O where it felt more like a gritty and remote location.

Plot: I found chapter 1 to be the most fun as I usually enjoy such open ended quests that leave to the player a choice of how and at what pace to advance, like in BG2 where you had to get gold to pay the Shadow Thieves.

I was disconnected from the whole mages vs templar problematic.. I think the whole conception of a world where mages are so susceptible to being possessed and where power is only a demon pact away kinda lame… The whole qunari act was not belivable as well though I enjoyed killed Arishok.

The good part was Knight Commander Meredith, enjoyed her character and sided with her all the way. I thought it was the most moral choice as well as mages were so ludicriously prone to become abominations if someone stole their candy. Yeah they say its Meredith whos driving them to the edge but we dont ever get to see it. Oh and killing that little fuker Anders was easily the best part of the game, I just wish that Hawke stomped his head after stabbing him instead of the melodramatic gaze… The final battle with her was therefore completely out of the blue for the options I selected..

The side quests were all about the not mage vs mage problem man I was so full of that way before chapter 3…

NPCs: Meredith was a great character and her looks, voice and lines were very good. I also enjoyed Varric as I found him to be different from the usual dwarfs and to a lesser extend Aveline and Bethany. Merril, the tinker bell blood mage, I wish I could have killed her for good when she turned on me in the Fade. Anders damn I killed him, that cry baby. Isabela I wish I could had killed her for being the bitch she is. I could had given her to the Arishok but I also wanted to kill that bully as well. Damn I wanted to kill so much people in this game thats how much it annoyed me.


In the end, the feeling I had its similiar to those flashy MMORPGs where the game starts with promise but as you play you figured you got fooled by its flash. I would score it 5.5/10
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June 25th, 2011, 01:35
What difficulty did you play on?
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June 25th, 2011, 10:35
I confess that I played it in normal. The demo left a somewhat bad impression so I thought about playing it just for the sake of the plot and forget about challange. Didnt want to read the skills or plan my character, I just picked whatever haha.
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June 25th, 2011, 10:51
Another beef I have is how dumb so many features and quests are. I mean how can someone walk at night in Kirkwall, theres always at least a gang of 30 bandits at the next corner. How can the city guards do patrols alone and expect to survive?

Reminds of those games where after killing piles and piles of enemies with guns, bazookas and atomic bombs the hero chooses to surrender to some lame 3 robbers ambush due to a plot choice of the game developers. Makes the whole world unbelivable and uncoherent. They should put some more thought on such things.
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June 28th, 2011, 15:24
A friend gave me a loan of Dragon Age II over the weekend just gone. With all of the discussion it generated on the 'Watch back in March-May, (which I followed with some amused curiousity) and also as someone who liked parts of the first game, I thought now that I had some time off, I'd get to playing it right after I beat Ruins of Myth Drannor. (which took me several months to finish!)

I'm not going to be as comprehensive or particularly systematic about my reflections as some of the posts here, but here are some random thoughts:

Overall, I found this game as an experience akin to living off nothing but junk food for a few days: It's sugary, makes you rush, is full of quick-fixes whilst being unwholesome and ultimately hollow. I played it on normal as I don't think the ridiculous speed and pace of combat justifies playing it on hard - I doubt I would have enjoyed it if I'd done that, as I do prefer the original game's combat by a long way.

However I must say that I had a hoot of a time with some portions of the game (chapter 2's unravelling especially) and could only laugh right along with it as the thin linear plot degenerated and became more histrionic into chapter 3.
It was just so entertainingly bad. There's no doubt that there's fun to be had here though and I'd never begrudge anyone for enjoying it. (regardless of its flaws).

I played a mage (primal tree maxed out) and mostly used Varric, Merril and Aveline. I tried to roleplay naturally without manipulating friendships - leaning slightly towards the angry bastard type and so didn't go for any romances. Interestingly, I didn't meet Isabella at all and she seemingly disappeared from the game when I went looking for her in chapter 2, as I remembered her from the demo. Don't think I missed much!

The most difficult battle I had was probably with the rock wraith in chapter 1 - and like others have reported, it was definitely a difficulty spike compared to the rest of the game up to that point. I had to reload at least three times to get that fight right.

A question: Are you able to avoid that fight by doing exactly what it says after you're locked in the Deep Roads? Or is combat with it inevitable?

Second toughest fight would probably be the Vatteral. The dragons again, were just pathetic and don't compare in terms of majesty, presence or tactical depth to the encounters with Firkraag and most of the dragons from BG2.

I found it thoroughly disappointing that even though I'd chosen to side with the mages, I still had to fight Orisino. Indeed, one of my main criticisms of the game is the lack of consequences for the choices you make and the overall "Mass Effect" effect of the streamlined game design. There's just not enough player reactivity and the horribly cobbled together ending was a testament to that.

What's with Meredith looking like Susannah York from Superman? Not to mention other faces often resembling super-models or celebrities? I'm sure other players can pick out others too. I'm sure I saw a moustachioed Will Ferrell in the Hanged Man for instance…and Varric reminds me of what would happen if you took Christian Slater and squished him into a dwarfly mould.

Whereas Origins took me 80 hours and at least two weeks to complete with some fond memories - its more diminutive speedily spun out sequel took just 25.
I can't see myself replaying it to be honest and I doubt the DLC will add enough to make it palatable for me. I'll still follow discussions on it with interest and hope Bioware listen to the feedback and improve DA3 should it be made.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Last edited by Pessimeister; June 29th, 2011 at 08:51. Reason: Double checked my Origins saves - it was 80 and not 60 hours!
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June 28th, 2011, 22:22
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Whereas Origins took me 60 hours and at least two weeks to complete with some fond memories - it's more diminutive speedily spun out sequel took just 25.
Still, you finished it over the weekend? So that means you played it for 8+ hours each day over the last 3 days. You're a glutton for punishment.
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June 29th, 2011, 08:49
Haha, yes indeed! Well, to be honest it was more like start late Saturday night, finish Tuesday night. I love school holidays!

I'll confess that I found the game immersively very easy and immediate to play.
It ran very smoothly and it seemed well optimised - I didn't encounter a single crash or bug. Unfortunately on the whole though, it's just not very good or memorable.
And all of the reports on the poorness of chapter 3 weren't exaggerations…

Diddledy high,
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Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
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June 29th, 2011, 14:07
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
A question: Are you able to avoid that fight by doing exactly what it says after you're locked in the Deep Roads? Or is combat with it inevitable?
It's inevitable.
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July 7th, 2011, 17:24
Looking back on it after finishing it a couple months ago, the word that jumps out at me to describe it is "competent."

It ran flawlessly on my meager machine and looked really good. Not a single crash or glitch. Hilariously, at the very bitter end, after playing through and marrying Merrill, having her at my house, using her in battle up through the end, etc., the Varric voice over at the end mentioned that Isabella was the one who stayed with me for the rest of my life… One noticeable mistake in the game, at the extreme end. I'll always remember that one.

Other than that, I loved it up until about the middle of chapter two. By chapter three I started to get bored and the recycled environments (as mentioned one billion time already) became laughable. The 2nd battle with the spider-monster thing in the elf cave was stupidly long, but I hate "epic" rpg battles in general.

I enjoyed my time with it, but by chapter three I pretty much decided I'd never play it again.

If they come out with a full expansion — not add-on DLC — I'll probably play it. But otherwise, in the end… it was competent.
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July 12th, 2011, 04:02
Still playing it, I'd say about 3/4 thru the game. It can be pretty difficult at times w/ the respawns and all..
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July 17th, 2011, 22:11
I finally got the full games a few days ago. I'm an hour or two into chapter two, and so far I think it is better than the reputation it got. The changes compared to DAO are a mixed bag.

Improvements:

- Character building is a good deal better than the (bad and ridiculously linear) system of DAO.
- A shorter game. DAO was a bit drawn out and could easily had been shortened by a third or so.
- Seemingly less filler combat (see a shorter game).

No changes:
- The writing and general quality of the characters are at the usual Bioware standard. Acceptable but not great.
- NPC AI in combat. I get the feeling Bioware havent fiddled much with the AI. Like in DAO the NPCs do have a tendency to run off when they shouldnt. It makes it hard to use bottlenecks for tactical solutions of tough battles. The wave mechanic makes the AI more problematic than in the previous title though. I'll see what I can do with scripting.
- AI scripting seems to have the same options in DAO (which had excellent scripting). This is a strong point in both games.
- Performance-wise both games have been very stable and fairly bug-free for me, but Bioware was always among the more reliable devs when it came to that.

Worse (I didnt expect those two points to bug me as much as they do)
- Combat speed has a bigger impact on combat tactics than I expected.
- Limited zooming out with the camera.

Technical idiocies that have been covered by almost everyone
- Map recycling is as bad as in the Mass Effect 1 sidequests (Bioware has often recycled maps, but DA2 and ME1 are really blatant examples). Extra points for the stupidity of showing sealed parts of the "bigger map" on the in-game map
- Waves of enemies. Breaks immersion and makes tactical positioning a joke. Messes up the AI. Absolutely retarded as a frequent game mechanic.

To sum it up:

The game is a rush job. The team has tried to implement some mechanisms from the Mass Effects (two games that I liked). Sadly the most notable imported feature is the map recycling a la ME1, which is really strange as Bioware learned the lesson and dropped that stupidity in ME2 I'd still give it 7-8/10 while the predessor might have gotten half a point more. Bioware is reliable but rarely brilliant.

And what's the deal with Merrill lacking healing spells? That makes her rather crap as the sole mage in a party
Last edited by Zaleukos; July 18th, 2011 at 19:11.
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July 18th, 2011, 17:40
Zaleukos:

You and I agree on this.

I want to second a great point you mentioned: DA2 is shorter, and this is very, very good in my opinion. In general, I think RPGs are waaay too long. Often they overstay their welcome in my opinion. I'd prefer short good games versus the tons of filler most RPGs are stuffed with. DA2 even had a bunch of filler… the various street gangs got old, for example.
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