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October 18th, 2011, 18:04
The demo was *definitively* "hack & slash" for me.

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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October 18th, 2011, 18:06
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The demo was *definitively* "hack & slash" for me.
But… how?

I mean honestly, how in the heck can you say that? I do not understand at all.
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October 18th, 2011, 18:17
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Basically, there are two ways to increase the challenge of a game: One is to artificially bloat the HP of the game's enemies, making them "harder" to kill, and the other is to intelligently design combat scenarios that force the player to use the different tactics/abilities at their disposal in a cerebral way. DA2 on hard takes the former approach. The game is more challenging, but not in the "right" way. When all of the enemies' HP is increased, this does not magically change the mechanics of the game, it just forces combat into a "grinding" scenario. Yes, this does require micro-management of the party on a basic level, but not in what I would consider a satisfying way. The only tactic involved is to keep your party-members alive long enough to continuously hack away at the extended life-bar of opponents, leading to a dull and frustrating experience, not a truly tactical one where the right usage of abilities and intelligent strategy wins the day.
Thank you. Exactly my point. And for the record, since the normal version was so easy I did try it on hard, but when I realized the cheap mechanics of it, I didn't see the point and went back to normal. Just in the event that I missed some epic key battles that were well laid out in the hard mode later on in the game, I browsed a number of forum posts about it at the Bioware forums and elsewhere. The consensus from people who played through the entire game on hard was that yes, the hp being bumped up is the fundamental difference.

As for the back and forth with him. I'm done. He's on my ignore list and I can't even see what he says anymore. If you guys want to argue with him go ahead. Be warned, he's always 'right' and always has to have the last word no matter what.
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October 18th, 2011, 18:37
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I honestly question whether anyone who calls DA2 hack n' slash on any level has ever played the game, or has ever played a hack n' slash game. It's just pure insanity to compare DA2 to God of War.
And I can't see why someone would think the combat - with the exception of speed - is the "same thing" as Origins or equates to a fully tactical experience. Maybe you didn't play DA2 to think that! For me, the reason why I would call it a "hack n' slash with tactical elements" is the pacing of the combat (which definitely has a major effect on gameplay beyond just animation speed; denying this seems silly and is a pretty big reach), the mobs of parachuting cannon fodder that a player would be foolish to use anything other than auto-attack/hack n' slash on (and these mobs make up the majority of combat encounters), and the jumping around from enemy to enemy in extremely rapid succession, making party management clunky and difficult to control. And I wouldn't compare it to God of War, either; that's putting words in my mouth that I would never say. There are tactical elements in the game, I'm certainly not denying that, but it's "tactics light" in comparison to similar games, like DA:O; it's far more of an action game, where the best approach, due to the high speed of combat and clunky party control, is to use auto-tactics and let the tactics play out on their own, which isn't satisfying from a tactical viewpoint. I'm not against action combat, but only if the action is satisfying and has depth to it. DA2 felt like it didn't know what it wanted to be, and this made it feel like a combination of an unsatisfying, shallow action game mixed with a tactical system that was under-developed and under-utilized, especially when it comes to encounter design.

The only time the game felt truly tactical for me in a well-designed manner was:
Spoiler – minor spoiler
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October 18th, 2011, 21:37
I just finished chapter 2 and I agree that Arishok was nicely done and its pity there are not many fights like that. However I think the hate DA2 is getting is bit much! I am enjoying it even despite its shortcomings. I think its much better game than ME2 yet that was praised lot more than DA2…

DAO is better in many ways but compared to many other recent RPGs, DA2 isn't bad at all…
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October 18th, 2011, 22:15
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
I just finished chapter 2 and I agree that Arishok was nicely done and its pity there are not many fights like that. However I think the hate DA2 is getting is bit much! I am enjoying it even despite its shortcomings. I think its much better game than ME2 yet that was praised lot more than DA2

DAO is better in many ways but compared to many other recent RPGs, DA2 isn't bad at all
Even though DA2 was full of unappealing design and story choices for me, I probably would have liked the game more if it had been full of "Arishok" encounters. That wouldn't have absolved the game of its other severe shortcomings, but it would have gone a long way towards making it a more enjoyable experience. This encounter was a rare situation where the combat of DA2 actually worked in a somewhat satisfying manner, thanks to an enjoyable scenario where real player-involvement on the tactical side was absolutely required in a fair and challenging way (as in, this wasn't a difficult fight due to enemies having artificially increased hp, but through a diverse placement of unique enemy units that had different strengths and weaknesses that had to be accounted for).

Combat isn't the most important aspect of an RPG for me either, but when a game puts such a huge emphasis on combat over other elements throughout the course of the experience, any annoyances become much more egregious. I don't think DA2 is a terrible game, but, just in my opinion, it is only in the range of average to mediocre. A great story, strong atmosphere, and clever writing would have made up for most combat complaints (as it did for the otherwise mediocre Jade Empire), but for me, these elements weren't anything above average either. It just felt like an unambitious, uninspired, clumsy effort that falls in the 6-7 out of 10 area.
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October 19th, 2011, 06:27
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
The only time the game felt truly tactical for me in a well-designed manner was:
In all fairness, I thought the Rock Wraith was one of the better designed encounters. It was a nicely surprising difficulty spike compared to how everything else previous to that had felt and it had both a solid defined structure and approach. I think I had to reload more times with this fight than any other in the game, even the ending. (oh and I don't play MMOs either…)

Thanks for hijacking my argument too, by the way. j/k. You take a moderate, well reasoned position that makes sense to me.

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Last edited by Pessimeister; October 19th, 2011 at 10:34.
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October 19th, 2011, 07:25
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
In all fairness, I thought the Rock Wraith was one of the better designed encounters. It was a nicely surprising difficulty spike compared to how everything else previous to that had felt and it had both a solid defined structure and approach. I think I had to reload more times with this fight than any other in the game, even the ending.
I didn't really enjoy the rock wraith fight too much; if I remember correctly, it had - I'm not really sure what to call it, I guess a timed countdown? - before the rock wraith shot a "laser beam of destruction" that whittled down the health of everything in its path. The only way to counter this was to run behind some pillars at the right time, and this was a bit of a pain to manage. But you're right, there was a structure to this sequence, and a correct approach had to be followed to win this encounter. I prefer a more open approach where you can defeat an enemy with the most appropriate abilities/tactics at your disposal, but at least it was a change of pace from the mindless mobs.

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Thanks for hijacking my argument too, by the way.
Hey. a DA2 thread that isn't completely hostile and discusses the actual game instead of pro or anti-Bioware sentiments is too rare not to jump in!
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October 19th, 2011, 09:43
The rock wraith was a classic MMO fight. For MMO players, it's pretty straight forward.
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October 19th, 2011, 17:05
I don't even bother arguing with alrik anymore since half the games he argues against he hasn't even played.

Mass effect = just a shooter in his world.
Dragon age 2=hack and slash…isn't diablo a hack and slash game? they don't seem very similar.


I pretty much gave up hope on this forum for reading anything close to reality to when it comes to bioware or bethesda….

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October 19th, 2011, 18:06
Ah, thanks rune. Just when I mention how nice it is to have a thread that talks about the game itself instead of pro/anti-bioware nonsense you come in with your usual ignorant crusade tactics and put things back to normal.
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October 19th, 2011, 21:49
Perhaps this is more reflective of my own poor hand-eye coordination, but I found DA2 to be much more tactically challenging than DA:O.

I played both games on Nightmare mode and DA:O I was able to play part of the game without pausing. Even the most difficult combat encounters were relatively easy to beat after mid-game onward because at that point you can spam incredibly cheap healing potions.

As for DA2, I hated a few aspects of the game, such as the lack of impact from PC choices, retroactive fetch quests (where random Kirkwall resident suddenly gives you gold and you have no idea what it's for), the transformation of the majority of loot (including quest rewards and once-rare gemstones) into "junk," recycled maps, etc.

However, I found the combat much more challenging than DA:O, which is an improvement in my view. As much as I tried, I was not able to play the game for longer than a couple of seconds at most without pausing during combat, except for the Arishok duel, which was a sort of battle of attrition played entirely without pausing. I have watched youtube tutorials of various people playing DA2 without pausing and I have absolutely no idea how they are able to do this.

The most challenging encounters were not the boss fights IMO, but the large battles in Act 2 and Act 3 involving multiple enemy rogues.
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October 19th, 2011, 22:40
You make it sound as if not pausing is a goal in itself. I want to pause. I don't want to pause, however, just because the amphetamine-fueled animations are going too fast.

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October 19th, 2011, 22:54
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You make it sound as if not pausing is a goal in itself. I want to pause. I don't want to pause, however, just because the amphetamine-fueled animations are going too fast.
If I had the skill to be able to play the game without pausing, I'm not certain I would, as I also enjoy taking time to carefully plan each command.

The factors that seemed to make DA2 more challenging (at least what was more challenging for me, compared to DA:O) were primarily the enemy immunities, longer cooldown periods for healing potions/spells and the rogue stealth/backstab tactics.

In comparison, the A.I. and tactics used by many of the "lieutenant"-type NPCs/creatures seemed to be poorly executed, as they would wait at a distance and throw slow bombs or cast spells without presenting much of a challenge, almost as if they are waiting for you to finish off their subordinates.
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October 19th, 2011, 23:49
I think people are confusing pausing with tactics.. I paused a lot in both games to heal,cast a spell, just look at the situation, target a new enemy, etc. The fact that da2 is way faster requires you to pause more often. None of these things are really tactics imo. Also making things that used to happen passively now require a button press made me pause more but required no more tactics.

In da2 most battles start the same walk along, enemies see you and charge, kill most of them and more fall from the sky usually around your mage so stick close to her and kill them. (excluding boss fights).

One thing i've mentioned in the past and still don't understand why no one wants to discuss is the lack of stealth (hiding and scouting) in da2. Maybe if your a da2 fan you'd want to steer clear of this topic as it really hurts your argument about tactics idk.

Sneaking in and assessing the battlefield is huge. Position your thief behind their mage then have your mage attack any ranged troops while tanks storm in to mop up. Have your mage cast grease, then thief appears from the shadows with a bomb, monsters chase your thief leading them to the grease and your mage lights it on fire. There are many more examples.

You couldn't do this kind of this in da2. What kind of tactics did people use in da2. For me most battles dissolved in to a big scrum. With enemies dropping from the sky in waves positional tactics were next to impossible to use. (blocking doorways or having tanks stay in front of casters.
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October 20th, 2011, 05:15
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
One thing i've mentioned in the past and still don't understand why no one wants to discuss is the lack of stealth (hiding and scouting) in da2.
Apparently, they were saving that for a DLC that you have to pay extra for.

Although, from what I've read, you can't take Felicia Day out and into the main campaign anyway so I guess the criticism still stands.

FWIW, my main character was an elf rogue in Origins and I had him go stealth and go off by himself to scout out what was up ahead all the time.

Of course that wouldn't work for DA2 even if it existed because in that game it's-raining-men-hallelujah is how the enemies show up.
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October 20th, 2011, 11:34
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
The only time the game felt truly tactical for me in a well-designed manner was:
Spoiler – minor spoiler
… funny. I remember that fight REALLY WELL but for different reason. All I remember is kiting him and spam spells whenever possible (and drinking mana potion whenever possible).

Basically, my fight was sumarised by this little comic:

http://princesspurpleblob.deviantart…et=72#/d3ccml5

BG2 fan girl
BG2: Eowyn & Anomen
IWD: Orhlanna & Korin
ME: Shepard & Garrus
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