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View Poll Results - DA2, as tactical and in the same vein as BG2?

DA2 is as tactical and in the same vein as BG2 3 9.68%
DA2 is as tactical but not in the same veing as BG2 5 16.13%
DA2 is not as tactical but is in the same vein as BG2 2 6.45%
DA2 is not as tactical nor is it in the same vein as BG2 21 67.74%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

Default DA2, as tactical and in the same vein as BG2?

October 18th, 2011, 17:17
Here is a conversation between DoctorNarrative and Pessimeister covering the issue, and tentatively getting the ball rolling for this discussion/poll…

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I love the speed [of DA2]. Take the tactics of games like BG2 and DA:O and make it fast and exciting? Yes please.
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
It had the tactics of BG2? Uhh, no, not for me sorry. Not even close. DA2 was an amphetamine fueled caffeine junkie's joy and for me, would often just play itself.

In contrast, try going through the motions against some of the mage fights in BG2 (or Kangaxx or even Demogorgon) and you'll end up dead. Even Icewind Dale had more tactical versatility, challenge and depth than DA2. These apologist attempts to prove otherwise are just doomed to fail.
Try blockading a doorway in DA2 (you'll fail) and then compare what happens if you did the same thing in BG2 to see just one simple, yet blatant contrast in tactical possibilities.
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Did you play DA2 on hard? Hard was specifically designed for tactical play while normal was designed for mindless button mashing.
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Anyway, no, I didn't play DA2 on hard. Shame on me eh? To be honest, I felt no reason to artificially inflate the difficulty of combat of a game that I already wasn't enjoying very much. Guess I'm one of these slow-pokes who prefers a more deliberate, reflective combat experience rather than the sommersaulting over the top, action obsessed nonsense. But to continue the argument at hand, off the top of my head:

Two more simple tactical differences from BG2 to DA2:

- BG2 has more characters possible for a party, therefore logically, more tactical possibilities open to the player in party make up and strategical vision. That's not hard to undestand and it's a fact, thus not subjective.
- There are far more spells in BG2. Fact. Not subjective.
Bringing down enemy mages often took a little bit of care, especially if they were well buffed with protections.

The two games originate from quite different branches of the same family tree, even if superficially they share similarities from their respective genre.
One is designed for quick consumption like junk food and to be played at a frantically forgettable pace, the other to be digested more slowly and with a greater degree of consideration. For me that meant the experience was not only more easy to enjoy and savor, but also the more memorable.
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
If you don't like the animation style and such then there's not much to say about that. I personally like it, it's fantasy and not a sim. In any case the game clearly tells you that if you want to play tactically and manage your party you should play on hard. Normal mode was made for just controlling Hawke.



Differences indeed, yes. Neither of them make the games not the same style of RPG though, which is what I said they were (in the other thread).



There's some truth to this, DA2's tactics are more about reacting to situations than pre-planning. I don't think the difference is anywhere near the level you and others ascribe to it however. I think most of those opinions are rooted in not liking the speed and animation style and playing the game on normal.
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October 18th, 2011, 17:30
I have no issue with the speed of DA2 combat, but the stupid design decision of having waves everywhere weakens the tactical aspect of combat badly.

And while the games are far from identical there is more kinship than the haters would like to admit, so I put the third option. "In the same vein" is pretty broad
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October 18th, 2011, 17:36
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I have no issue with the speed of DA2 combat, but the stupid design decision of having waves everywhere weakens the tactical aspect of combat badly.

And while the games are far from identical there is more kinship than the haters would like to admit, so I put the third option. "In the same vein" is pretty broad
Yeah, but the option field is character limited(at least it looked that way from the tiny boxes)… I sort of agree with you, it is in the same vein, but it has been streamlined/made accessible to the point that(for me) being "in the same vein" is no longer meaningful either - the game experience is hollow/shallow. I would imagine it feels a lot like sex with a hooker, and experiencing that in DA2 was as close as I want to get(no offense to resident hookers).

-EDIT-

So I guess I'm not voting yet… Probably should have included a "not sure" option at least with respect to "in the same vein". For me, it goes without saying that it is less tactical. Hard mode added more enemies, boosted their HP and resistances, but did nothing for tactics beyond that… The AI was the same and the enemies did not gain access to new spells or abilities. As pessimeister pointed out, combat was more a war of attrition than anything else.
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October 18th, 2011, 18:03
I seem to remember 90% of the battles in BG2 being mindless hack and slash fests where you just select your entire party and click on the enemies one at a time until they are all dead. It had a ton of boring filler combat, however the 10% of the combat that was interesting was pretty good. So in that regard it wasn't so different then DA2, which also had more boring fights then I'd like (certainly more then DAO) but also had some really good challenging fights that I had to try many different times with different strategies to beat (at least on hard).
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October 19th, 2011, 05:52
You can't compare the half-baked combat mechanics of DA (1 or 2) to that of the D&D ruleset. In this 'vein', high level spells in BG not only offer an awesome button but also strategy on the battlefield. And, likewise, they could be countered, and re-countered.
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October 19th, 2011, 06:18
da2 isn't even close to bg2. I already posted my reasoning in the above referenced thread. You can read it there if you care.
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October 19th, 2011, 14:09
DA2 is definitely tactical on the higher difficulty settings. I suspect people saying otherwise are playing on lower difficulty settings.

However, it doesn't come close to some of the fights in BG2, such as enemy parties (for example the one in the sewer and the one with Celestial Fury) or "boss" fights like Firkraag and Irenicus.
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October 19th, 2011, 14:15
I played both game exactly the same way, so I would say yes.
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October 19th, 2011, 16:20
Oh f&%& please, dont make me gag. DA2 isnt even as tactical as DA1 fer crissake.
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October 19th, 2011, 16:37
Vanilla BG2 isn't that tactical. Mages generally don't prebuff, so its quite easy to rush them with fighters and chop them to bits before you get into any epic duels involving meta magic etc. In addition BG2 enemy thieves don't normally hide-backstab…none of your enemies use High Level Abilities…Kangaxx the supposedly super duper demilich is a one-note idiot who just keeps firing Imprisonments at you…etc.

BG2 with Tactics, or even better Sword Coast Strategems? Now that is a different kettle of fish, but at that point you're comparing one game with mods with another without mods, which isn't really fair.
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October 20th, 2011, 10:48
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Vanilla BG2 isn't that tactical. Mages generally don't prebuff, so its quite easy to rush them with fighters and chop them to bits before you get into any epic duels involving meta magic etc. In addition BG2 enemy thieves don't normally hide-backstab…none of your enemies use High Level Abilities…Kangaxx the supposedly super duper demilich is a one-note idiot who just keeps firing Imprisonments at you…etc.
Not sure which BG2 you played, but enemy thieves backstabbed the shit out my party when I played. I also recall enemy mages usually being pretty quick to buff-up, but it depended on the encounter.
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October 20th, 2011, 10:59
It had the potential to be "as tactical" - but the wave-design and the speed of combat ruined that pretty severely.

It's as if they wanted to do two different things.

Because the character options and the ability to pause the game actually promised a rather rich combat system. But when you speed it up so much, and you ACTIVELY work against the concept of a sound strategy and tactical playstyle by magically spawning enemies from places you CAN'T predict - you're what I consider an idiot designer.

Which is unfortunate, because the system could very easily have been the best part of the game, and better than DA1 - which was ok.

BG1/BG2 were better, because they played fair - and I enjoyed using the scripts - so I wouldn't have to micromanage every fight. Much better than the overly-fiddly tactics of DA1/DA2.

Also, the selection of spells in D&D is vast - so through that alone, a lot of tactical decisions were available.

Beyond that, the flexibility of the D&D class system made the combat progression more interesting and certainly moreso than DA1 which had a crappy character system. DA2 was much better, but unfortunately - they had to go and ruin it with the awful combat pacing and waves.
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October 20th, 2011, 11:05
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Vanilla BG2 isn't that tactical. Mages generally don't prebuff, so its quite easy to rush them with fighters and chop them to bits before you get into any epic duels involving meta magic etc.
All high level mages either come pre-buffed or with an "on sight" spell trigger that instantly casts buffs, even before you put in extra mods.

The only way rushing works on such mages is to use an Inquisitor, for example Keldorn. Keldorn is extremely overpowered though, so I definitely consider that cheesy.

Low level mages can be rushed though, no doubt about that. As far as I know, the Underdark is generally where mages start to prebuff or use spell triggers.
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October 20th, 2011, 11:17
I found BG2 battle really interesting and I certainly don't remember any *filler* combats. I will say few major differences between combats in BG2 and DA2.

DA2 has wave combat system. BG2 doesn't.
DA2 has almost no tactical magics compared to BG2 (e.g. protection from petrification, greater malison, sequencer etc). That combined with auto hp/mana regen upon finishing battle (without having to rest) really removed combat difficulty.

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October 20th, 2011, 11:27
I'm really at a loss why anyone would say DA2 combat had a tactical angle. I've finished it playing on hard and I don't recall ever having to plan out an encounter as carefully as I had to in BG2.

@coaster:
What? Enemy mages pre-buff and thieves backstab you. You should really refresh your memory. Or play the game at all.
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October 20th, 2011, 13:52
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
I'm really at a loss why anyone would say DA2 combat had a tactical angle. I've finished it playing on hard and I don't recall ever having to plan out an encounter as carefully as I had to in BG2.
There's a difference between not having to plan as carefully as you did in BG2, and not requireing tactics at all. It's certainly not on par with BG2, but it does require tactic. If you just charge directly at everything, from the Rock Wraith to the High Dragon, you're bound to end up reloading from time to time.
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October 20th, 2011, 13:56
This is a troll thread right? Or else I can't imagine how someone can even raise this issue… The tactical combat in DA2 does not even exist while in BG2, some encounters were impossible to win without a good strategy.

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October 20th, 2011, 14:02
Hmm…I guess my recollection is faulty. I haven't played without SCS2 installed for years so I might be doing the vanilla AI an injustice.

Technically I'd make a distinction between pre-buffing (which is equivalent to casting a load of spells out of sight from the party) and contingencies/spell triggers (which are fired on sight/as soon as battle commences), but I suppose the net result is the same.
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October 20th, 2011, 14:16
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
There's a difference between not having to plan as carefully as you did in BG2, and not requireing tactics at all. It's certainly not on par with BG2, but it does require tactic. If you just charge directly at everything, from the Rock Wraith to the High Dragon, you're bound to end up reloading from time to time.
The Rock wraith & High dragon was not so much about tactics as combat awareness. When the enemy is about to do A, then do B. In reality these battles had more in common with action game boss battles than tactical games. Things like positioning, skill synergy and such was of a relatively small importance in DA2 (even though synergy between different characters was one of the (minor) selling points of the game).

Actually I just rushed most encounters in BG2 as well. There were a few that required a bit of thought, but for the most part it was just more efficient to rush in and focus fire on the mages/clerics first.
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October 20th, 2011, 17:11
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
There's a difference between not having to plan as carefully as you did in BG2, and not requireing tactics at all. It's certainly not on par with BG2, but it does require tactic. If you just charge directly at everything, from the Rock Wraith to the High Dragon, you're bound to end up reloading from time to time.
I think that depends on how you define tactics exactly. If it's being used in its broadest sense to basically mean giving some degree of thought to your moves instead of rushing in then almost any game utilizes 'tactics' or at least allows for it to be played that well. I mean hell, angry birds is 'tactical' if you are defining it that way because you have to look at the layouts and carefully plan your launch angles.

To me, tactical in an RPG or strategy game is more about the moves and less about the action. The way DA2 is presented from the rapid pace and animations, to the emphasis on more button pressing to the not seeing all your enemies from the start of the battle, I just feel like it's presented as more of an action game. People have labeled DA2 as an action game or action game hybrid. I don't think anyone could really ever make that claim about BG2.

I think it's clear that DA2 was geared at being accessible for 'the rest of us crowd' (ie action oriented console gamers) now whether they succeeded is another matter entirely, but they definitely want that market segment and that's no secret. I don't think that is the sort of crowd that is going to sit around and spend a lot of timing planning out all their moves for each battle.

What Bioware was falling back is the 'oh well it's tactical on hard' but they basically took the cheap way out and pumped up the hp and damage on the enemies. The average RPGer is probably not good enough at action games to run through those hard and nightmare modes without giving it some thought (thus they get their 'tactics') while seasoned console action gamers can still pile through those harder levels and there are youtube videos showing that they clearly do.
Last edited by Motoki; October 20th, 2011 at 17:32.
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