Dragon Age II: Now Playing

I considered:

Dragon Age II: Electric Boogaloo
All This And Dragon Age II
Dragonage II: The Re-Dragonaging
Dragon Age II: Meet the Hawkers

But… I restrained myself. Now that the game is out, it’s time for a new thread.

First and foremost, I am disappointed that there will apparently be no pickpocketing. I also don’t see what the persuasion mechanic is going to be, since there’s no skill for it nor do any stats mention it. There are icons that tell you what each dialogue option amounts to, apparently to force me to keep the game manual on hand. So far, I’ve been caring with my family and sarcastic or charming with everyone else. Turns out that Flemeth is easily amused.

I like the gameplay, though I wouldn’t say I like it better than previously.

I’m not sure the writers are aware that sirrah is a title of approbation used only in reference to males.

Yep no persuasion skill. Not many skills at all, in fact the only one I’ve been able to see a reference to is lockpicking, but there’s no place that shows you your aptitude at it, you’re simply told, in the tooltip of your cunning ability score, that you gain a rank in it for each 10 points of cunning you posses.

I also hate not being able to equip my teammates with armor, and with some teammates I can’t even switch out their weapons!

I do like the writing and the voice acting so far (only a few hours in), and I do like the combat as it’s retained most of it’s tactical appeal (on the PC at least). I think the difficulty ratings are a bit wonky however. We need something between normal and hard, and we need a separate “Friendly fire” option that is not tied in to Nightmare.

Easy and normal are way too easy on the PC. They are meant for console gamers who only want to play the main character a la god of war. But hard is almost on par with nightmare on DA:O. While I’m happy with that level of difficulty, I think most other people would want something between normal and hard on the PC.

The perfect difficulty for me would be Hard + friendly fire on. Nightmare, at least in the beginning of the game where you are severely limited in terms of gear and abilities, is IMPOSSIBLE without falling back to exploiting the AI by doing stuff like kiting enemies around. This is coming from someone who beat DA:O and Awakening in Nightmare mode several times.

So the difficulty goes from “I just want to see the story” to “cakewalk” to “REALLY challenging” to “Lame-o”. We need more options!

The graphics are great. I’m playing at Very high, DX 11 all features enabled, 1080p 4x AA, 16x AF. It’s not crysis, but the improvements from DA:O are significant. Make sure that you download the high resolution texture pack from Bio. combined with the DX 10/Dx11 effects the environments look pretty impressive. Nuanced, detailed, there’s depth to them. Also you won’t have to suffer through pixelated low rez textures during cut scene close ups.

Another thing that totally changed in DA2 from any other bioware/D&D game for me is the overall class balance.

Quick, what’s the first thing you target in combat? If you didn’t answer “the enemy spell caster!” reflexively you aren’t going to be playing a game like Dragon Age quit being a poser! :wink:

Well, when was the last time you ever felt that way about the enemy rogue? You kill those guys last, right? Silly rogues and their silly arrows/daggers. Well, prepare to be surprised. Rogues are the masters of the battlefield. They are slippery suckers that can be anywhere any time - and that usually turns out to be right behind your caster.

This morning I got my behind handed to me by a rogue and his henchmen. Used my abilities well, I thought, managing the henchmen and taking them out, and I cornered the rogue only to have him throw a smoke bomb and disappear. Then, after the longest two seconds ever, re-appear behind my mage where he proceeds to ventilate her with his dagger. Dead mage. Not only that, but the bastard STEALS one of my health potions and gulps it down. Couple of more times of this and I’m dead.

Interesting. Also something that will be familiar to WoW players.

Unfortunately, I find myself making a bunch of choices at every level with no idea where best to put my points. Do I only need core stats for each class, or should I advance others? Which of these abilities will turn out to be useful or even fun to deploy? How big a deal are critical hits? How soon do I need to get my Cunning cranked up so I don’t miss any chests? Feh. When it was all AD&D 2nd Edition, I knew exactly what I needed. Kids today.

Hopefully the community cna come up with some decent guides soon.

You know, the metacritic user reviews are mostly 0’s and 1’s.

I get that people are pissed about the changes and streamlining. I agree that some changes were for the worst, simplification for simplification’s sake with no real improvement to the end user. I’m also starting to notice some of the interiors being repeated, something that many reviewers mentioned.

But this game does not in any way, shape or form deserves a 0. If there was no DA:O or if this game wasn’t from Bioware I think the solid 8-8.5 that most reviewers have given it (ignoring the stupid console magazines that won’t give out anything lower than 9 to a hyped up gamed) would not be controversial at all. That’s because that si what this game deserves. It’s looking like a really good game.

I guess people are just pissed because they know it could have been a great one.

If they would have IMPROVED instead of removed some of the features from the original and had more variety in the environments, as well as maybe added 10 more hours to the game play I think it would have been great.

I’m starting to see EA’s big fat thumb in this. Rushed maybe?

It did seem to be awfully soon. I was expecting more time to complete my ideal play-through of the original before I’d be dealing with a sequel. But so far, it’s beating the pants off of Knights of the Old Republic II.

I don’t know what the deal is with the graphics. I’m getting rock steady performance at High graphics with the super-fly textures pack. But when I tick it over to Very High suddenly I’m lucky to get ten frames per second. Is it suddenly tracking the positions of the nearby planets at that point?

4chan has decided to destroy the metacritic score of the game.

I’m still waiting for the UK release. I pre-ordered from Amazon but it hasn’t shipped yet so I’m guessing it will be at least Friday before I see it (release date is Thursday). I had started a playthrough of DA:O to get a perfect save to carry through but meh…I guess I’ll just use whatever ones I already have.

There’s a known issue with Nvidia cards. Make sure you are running the latest Nvidia BETA drivers. They fix some visual bugs and improve performance. Performance is still off but it’s playable at least. Both Bio and Nvidia are aware, so hopefully we’ll see a fix soon. ATI cards seem fine though.

Speaking of saves. They seem to be bugged. I imported my last full playthrough - Human Noble. 3 hours into the game I’
m reading a book saying I was an alienage elf and Arl Emon died! He did no such thing, and I was an f’ing noble, not some alianage rat!

Kate Mulgrew did the voice of Flemeth in the first Dragon Age. They also had Tim Curry and Claudia Black. I was always tickled by hearing them in game. “Janeway! How you doin?”

I don’t recognise any of the names listed in the IMDB entry for Dragon Age II. :frowning:

Well Kate Mulgrew reprises her role, but I think it’s a very short role.

Also, I just realized something might have weirded out on my game. Since the beginning of the game (the prologue in Lothering) I’ve had a summonable Mabari War Hound. I’m hearing from people, however, that the only way to get one is by visiting the Black Emporium. Weird. Anyone else started out with the dog?

I started out with the dog after I put in the code to get access to the Black Emporium. It seems that just adding the content gives you the dog. If you read the description, it says its the Hawk family warhound, so it would be a little weird for it to turn up at a shop for you to buy. Then again, I never did find out the significance of the sword that turns up in a shop in Icewind Dale II that seems to be named after your character.

Now that you mention it, I don’t recognize most of them either. Eve Myles I know from Torchwood. There used to be a handful of Limeys that would commonly do voicework for computer games, but I guess it’s a whole new generation out there now.

Dragon Age II: Dragon Harder

I’m really liking it so far. Apparently, I like streamlining. I find the UI to be much smoother, and the feel of the gameplay is really nice.

Not being able to equip armor on my companions is okay with me; one of the things that started to piss me off about DA:O was that it turned into DA:Inventory Management after a while. Yeah, I’m compulsive about picking up everything, but fiddling with who’s wearing what armor and equipping which weapons and so on just got tiresome.

Can you change out your weapon to more than the starting types? (big 1 and 2-handers for fighters, dual-knives/bow for rogue, staff for wizzies)

Nope. Rogues are only dual daggers or bow, fighters are only two-handers or board & sword, wizzies are only staffs.

The whole systems is like D&D 4th edition but in reverse… if that makes any sense.

It’s just too streamlined in places.

Again, it’s still fun though :slight_smile:

After the first year you spend, suddenly you’ve got upgraded gear and some crap in your inventory. Is that the stuff you had from the time before you skipped the year? If not, then does the looting you do between time skips count?

I don’t know if I want to be spoiled or find out the hilarious way what the deal is with the free stuff in that chest in the Black Emporium. The names didn’t seem to match the unlockables I unlocked.

I’m officially giving up on Nightmare mode for the time being. I’m done fighting the stupid camera.

There are two issues with it:

  1. It’s not detachable from the player when using AOE abilities and since there is no toggle to “snap to an enemy” it’s often times impossible to properly target them. This feature is available on the consoles, why not on PC?

  2. It auto tilts down for some stupid reason making issue 1 even worse. I’m in a hallway trying to aim Bethany’s fireball at the incoming hordes and my stupid camera is stuck looking at her stupid feet!

So, finally got to start playing this on this side of the pond …

I was afraid Hard would be stupidly hard, but having tried it out it doesn’t seem much worse than Normal in old DA:O to me at least now that I’ve gotten somewhat used to the new combat system. No friendly fire, while cheesy, helps.

Got two tanks right now since I don’t have any extra characters to choose from yet and made Hawke a sword and board warrior. Not sure if the added control compensates enough for the lost dps. The question was irrelevant while I played on Normal and haven’t fought that many battles on Hard yet. Hoping to find one more dps’er so I can boot the other tank off the party.

A few minor annoyances so far but mostly liking it, not to mention it looks very pretty.

Is it me, or are there entirely too much gibbing going on?

Is it me or did the Tavinter Emperium hire the exact same architect to design every house AND every cave.

Oh god. Laidlaw (producer) just said he wants to see Multi-player for DA3. Oh and he said that if they hadn’t copy pasted areas the game would have been 10 hours long instead of 40. But it’s ok because they did it “artistically” by, you know, adding a plant here and a barrel there.