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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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Last edited by wolfgrimdark; March 19th, 2011 at 00:27.
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