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Post by bepatient @ 10:59am 09/03/11 | 96 Comments
Hot new goodness for PC gamers:
Dragon Age 2 is officially launched in North America today and BioWare has decided to celebrate its arrival with a little treat for PC gamers. Folks playing the sequel on a well-specced machine can download a high-resolution texture patch that adds an option to enable higher detail replacements for most textures in the game.
To take advantage of the 1.1GB update you'll need a video card with at least 1024MB of memory. BioWare also noted that most of the benefits gained from the high-res textures will only be seen when running the game in DirectX 11, which essentially limits the update to gamers with an AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 400/500 series graphics card
I read a few people were unhappy with the low(ish) res textures in the PC demo, at least we know for sure this won't be the case anymore.

AusGamers has the texture patch online: download the texture patch here. promoted/edited forum item



dragon age 2
Buy now from Green Man Gaming Only GBP£14.99!
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Latest Comments
Enska
Posted 10:59am 09/3/11
Ausgamers has the pack hosted too.
trog
Posted 02:20pm 09/3/11
promoted + achievemented!
bepatient
Posted 02:21pm 09/3/11
Hey thanks! Achievemented woo hoo!
Enska
Posted 02:31pm 09/3/11
Been readin up and it seems DAII is playing hell with nvidia drivers. There's a beta driver out that is supposed to help but obviously I haven't been able to test it yet.
Having said that, the demo played like a gem so I'm hoping the issue is a bit hit & miss.

Anyways, for those people with a nvidia card maybe hold off on the texture pack until you know the games running smooth without it, as from what the interwebs are saying the issue has to do with DX10/11
Lynx
Posted 02:44pm 09/3/11
DLC graphics now?
deadlyf
Posted 02:45pm 09/3/11
Steam doesn't include the texture pack by default either so you need to install it separately. It looks pretty great and is running smooth on my 5850 at 19200x1200 for an indication of performance.

I've only played about an hour but would have to say my first annoyance is that you don't get to the character creator until after the intro so if you make a character that looks cool in the character creator interface but looks like a freak in the actual game world it's a pain in the ass to fix it up. Other than that having your character voice acted is a huge improvement and the combat is a lot more fun than the first one which were my primary concerns.
Mordecai
Posted 03:01pm 09/3/11
deadlyf: You should have access to the Black Emporium with your online pass.

Come one, come all to the Black Emporium! There, nestled deep under Kirkwall, you'll find a curious collection of items-some for sale, some for free, and ranging from the mundane to the mysterious! One artifact can even transform your very body, face, hair, eyes-all new! Act now to receive your very own mabari war hound that you can call to your side with a whistle-a boon in battle and a beloved pet at home.


Of course what I am likely to do is wait a little bit and see some other peoples creations before making mine. Plus I have to wait anyway, my copy is coming from the UK.
ravn0s
Posted 03:09pm 09/3/11
deadlyf how are you already playing? it isnt activated until midnight tonight for us aussies. did you vpn trick it?


downloaded the texture pack yesterday. hopefully it will run awesomely with me 2 hd6870's
deadlyf
Posted 03:29pm 09/3/11
It was activated for me at 7pm last night, just checked now and it's back to f*****g preload. Might see if I can still get it to work.

Edit: No go, directly clicking on the .exe pops up a preload steam box.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 03:45pm 09/3/11
It unlocks in the morning for Aussies I believe, unless you have a VPN of course :)
Hogfather
Posted 03:47pm 09/3/11
It unlocks in the morning for Aussies I believe, unless you have a VPN of course :)

I thought you were dead.

We've been actually winning in your absence btw! :P
deadlyf
Posted 03:49pm 09/3/11
Oh sweet, VPN works, maybe I had the VPN running last night.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 03:51pm 09/3/11
I thought you were dead.


I'm not dead, but the internet in my new house is. STILL don't have a f*****g phone line connected, getting really over it. Long story.

We've been actually winning in your absence btw! :P


You're only winning because you're probably in bronze without me ;)
pixem
Posted 05:22pm 09/3/11
just got to say game is awesome, loving the story and the way its told, this is on the ps3 too. pc has to be even better.
Hogfather
Posted 06:20pm 09/3/11
You're only winning because you're probably in bronze without me ;)

Kind of funny you mention that ... one of our 3s teams finally got promoted to silver ffs, something stupid like 28 wins to 6 losses ><
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 10:21pm 09/3/11
I need some Starcraft lovin'!
Scooter
Posted 10:58pm 09/3/11
Having problems with ATI Radeon 5800 and the 8.782-100930m-106921C-ATI driver while trying to play in Hi-Res.

Game runs perfectly, smooth as and looking awesome. Just after 20-30min of play it locks up (randomly) and not only in intense scenes, but even when there is only the 4 characters on screen. Running it on max settings, with Hi-res Disabled, I was playing for hours and didn't have any problems...

I was going to try update the ATI drivers... but it's pot luck with ATI and the moment I tried I know it would f*** something else up >.> It still looks great without the Hi-res textures anyway, which will probably do for me.
Shroud
Posted 11:24pm 09/3/11
Using nvidia drivers, game unlocked early for me courtesy of VPN.

Game runs fine except that occasionally it slows down massively during some scenes and in combat once last night it froze for a full 40 seconds.

Other then that, awesome game. Hadnt even run the high res textures or anything.

I'm only running a GTX 275 though.
Crakaveli
Posted 11:53pm 09/3/11
Scooter that's a known issue with 5000 series ati cards. Should get some drivers soon.

Anyway, game looks and plays nicely for me at max settings dx11 with the texture pack. Games not bad but could have been so much better ;).
Lynx
Posted 12:07am 10/3/11
Running full gfx with high-res tex on a Q6600, 4GB ram and a 4870 1gb.
30-40 fps
deadlyf
Posted 12:24am 10/3/11
I've had one crash and one slow down for a few seconds in 8 hours of play with latest drivers and a 5850. Pretty big improvement on the first DA which I remember had numerous crashes and increasing load times during play.
DM
Posted 02:35am 10/3/11
Few of my thoughts after playing awhile.

- Graphics are nice, but get used to seeing the same dozen areas over, and over, and over, and over. They really dropped the ball on this. You go into the same sewers, same tunnels and same cave systems multiple times for different quests. Cmon guys you really couldn't of made a special area for each quest that requires you to go into a cave, or a tunnel?

- Combat is f*****g awesome. Massive improvement over DA1. Remember the combat walking stance in there? Looked like you were carrying 2 sheep under your arms and the women looked like polio victims. None of that here. The fast paced nature of combat this game around makes it really feel hectic even though you can pause whenever you want

- Characters are great, with lots of varied personalities. I can guarantee the first time you see Isabelle you will think "phowar, i gotta get into her" which is what I did. Also the romance system is improved. You can romance anyone in your group regardless of gender. Want some hot man of dwarf man action? it's all here for you.

- Different classes really feel awesome. Mages have some kick to them and can attack with their staves in this awesome fashion which will have you hording different elements if your main is a mage. Rogue has a ton of agro reducing skills like evade which makes you do a backward leap and shed most of your agro, or stealth in the middle of combat with a smoke bomb. Good s***.

EDIT - Some bad points I don't like about it

- You don't control your companion's armor. That changes it's look automaticly as you play through the game. Most you can do is manage their weapons and rings/amulets and such.

- They seem a tad... Dumb. I dunno maybe it's just me but I feel they are more stupid than what they were in DA:O

- Since you can't upgrade your companions armor, you are CONSTANTLY getting armor and weapons that is restricted to the main character and yet you can't use any of it. I dunno but I like keeping my group up to date with stuff. This is the same issue I had with ME2 really. 1 of the best parts of an RPG is outfitting your group and yourself with s*** you find. Here that's taken away from you mostly.

I dunno. I love the combat and skill trees to death in DA2 but just wish they could of put that into the 1st game since it had much more depth and s*** to do. This seems sort of like a console first attempt to me, which is a damn shame. Still can't get over that bioware of all people took such a cheap way of making a game, by copying and pasting so many areas, and sticking you in 1 town for most of the game. This game sure is getting a lot of heat. Oh and also apparantly they "forgot" (their words" to put auto attack in for the console gamers so I guess your stuck mashing the crap out of the A button then.

last edited by DM at 02:35:16 10/Mar/11
Tollaz0r!
Posted 07:47am 10/3/11
DA:2 is not an RPG, at best it is an adventure game with RPG elements.

Restricting armour for your companions is lame. Dumbed down combat is fun, but dumbed down. The conversation system is limited, basically your character is nice, comic relief or a bastard. You could almost choose that at the start of the game and have no conversation wheel.

The stats of characters seem limited, pretty much as a mage you pump magic and will for example.

If you expect to play this game as an RPG it is fail.

If you just want to play an adventure game then it is pretty good.
Hogfather
Posted 10:09am 10/3/11
Hmm, that's a fair bit of WTF. The entire point of these f*****g games is to find / buy / steal s*** and stick it onto your character & party equipment slots to look and be badarse. Talk about losing the plot...

Kind of glad I didn't pre-order now, might pick it up at the sales at Christmas or something.
Nerfington
Posted 10:40am 10/3/11
Yeah I get the impression they missed the point for me too, am going to hold off until cheap, and all the bloody DLC's are included in the one product...
DM
Posted 12:19pm 10/3/11
Thats another thing that really rustles my jimmies. Wtf is with having day 1 DLC? It f*****g pisses me off that they could of included it in the game but somewhere in video game land it was decided that if you don't have some shonky DLC that should of been part of the retail game to begin with, you've got a bad game on your hands. How about ship the full f*****g product before worrying about extra s***.
Khel
Posted 12:36pm 10/3/11
Yeah, its free though if you bought the game. Its part of EA's incentive to make buying the game new more attractive than buying the game second hand. Pretty much all EA games these days come with something similar, like Dead Space 2 for example comes with a code you need to enter to get your "Multiplayer pass" and be able to play online. Its free if you buy the game new, but if you picked it up second hand and the code had already been used, you have to pay $5 or $10 or something to buy a new code so you can play online.
bepatient
Posted 02:35pm 10/3/11
Its free if you buy the game new, but if you picked it up second hand and the code had already been used, you have to pay $5 or $10 or something to buy a new code so you can play online.


Woah! What a load of s***. If i bought i second hand and couldn't play I would've gone apes*** at whoever sold it to me.
Enska
Posted 03:32pm 10/3/11
There was day one DLC with DA:O too
It's EA. surprise surprise.
Mordecai
Posted 03:37pm 10/3/11
Enska: Look up Project $10. Its the way EA is going to keep going. Its to encourage people to buy games new rather then second hand. Especially games with multiplayer so EA isn't providing servers for people who gave them no money.
Enska
Posted 03:44pm 10/3/11
Yeah, I read Khel's post.
I don't really care, I'm just pointing out to those who are all wtf maen that it's already been happening for a while
Scooter
Posted 03:47pm 10/3/11
And if they provided dedicated server software they wouldn't need to provide expensive servers! Which they discontinue actually providing after a short time anyway...
pixem
Posted 03:48pm 10/3/11
I personally like the changes they made, I find later on in the game the combat gets good. It definately starts out action adventure because you dont need to be tactical, you just hack em and run around in real time. But later on most battles require a lot of pausing.

Party armour issues: yes I used to like to outfit as well but I actually think this works. A main problem of outfiting was you wasted time shuffling armour. You decide to take other person who you used ages ago, sure his stats are up to same level but all his kit is old and you didnt really keep much good stuff for him. This way you know his armour is at the right level for his character, the key bits are weapon and buff's like amulets / rings.

I'm getting into the combo's now and really like it, its great to make an enemy stagger and get the mage to hit it. Or my main char (rogue) to shatter someone who is brittle etc. I think the specializations work well.

I think the restrictions in these areas make the game flow a lot better and help you focus on other aspect.Sure a lot of choices are fairly black and white, but they actually affect the outcome of the story (or so it seems, not played through it second time)

I'm a fair bit along and ive not met Isabelle, must have missed her :( I keep getting options for Gay love choices. Not the good kind of gay love either.
DM
Posted 04:25pm 10/3/11
You can't leave on your expedition without meeting her I think. Could be wrong. Just keep going to the hanged man every couple of quests you do. She'll show up.

Anyway I started a brand new game this time with a rogue archer. I must say that despite all my issues with the game it is rather fun but I noticed something a bit... odd. The game heavyly favors archers. Sure as a warrior you can go in and whirlwind but after that, your stuck doing rather crappy hits. I'm only using a bow I got at Lv 6 or 7 doing a quest in the bone pit and i'm hitting people anywhere from 80 up to 350 damage. If people don't fall over or flinch from my hits, they just explode into blood and guts. I'm going to turn it up a notch on the difficulty to try and make things not seem so easy. Oh and the explosive arrow upgrade you can get which makes your team in the radius become harder to hit is brilliant. I had a mage on 10% hp tank a dragon for 10 seconds because of it.
Hogfather
Posted 04:42pm 10/3/11
A main problem of outfiting was you wasted time shuffling armour

A problem for some a feature for others. When I played through DA:O I used an inventory mod and threw nothing decent away :P
pixem
Posted 05:18pm 10/3/11
fair enough.

I managed to move on without meeting her, shame, might go back and see.

I'm using a rogue archer, it definately seems to be fun (my only annoyance is i see no way to easily switch between bow and dual daggers, be nice for a hot key), at least range is an easy option. My whole tactics consist of my fighter / tank using immovable and some extra buffs like barrier to sit there take all the hits and have the other 3 either mages or rogues just hammer them. Obviously with things like shadow specialization you can do it with little harm or evade when you get swarmed(upgraded to stun) so nice to evade them and kill.
deadlyf
Posted 05:22pm 10/3/11
Hmm, that's a fair bit of WTF. The entire point of these f*****g games is to find / buy / steal s*** and stick it onto your character & party equipment slots to look and be badarse. Talk about losing the plot...
Why don't you just go out and buy yourself a barbie doll? Although I was a bit miffed with all the good armour I was vendoring you get over it pretty quickly as you realise the ability to play dress up isn't a big factor in a story/character driven game like DA.

I am starting to find the one dimensional karma system that Bioware likes to employ a bit annoying. Take the moody elf for example, my character gets on well with him in most situations and gains friendship points but because I'm playing a mage every time something magey happens he emos out and I pick up rival points keeping our relationship neutral. Which would be fine if you didn't get rewarded for being one extreme or the other.
Khel
Posted 06:03pm 10/3/11
I haven't been able to get it to run for more than 5 - 10 minutes at a time without it locking up my entire PC :(

Can't even get through the intro bit that was in the demo.
reload!
Posted 06:25pm 10/3/11
Loving it.

I'm a complete loot whore but the system in this doesn't bother me whatsoever. Having to pick gloves boots armour and helm for every party member is a pain in the ring. I'm happy to kit out my char and just give weapons and jewellery to party members.

Combat is all sorts of awesome, quests are fairly varied and the story is on par with DA:O.

Definitely have to agree on the lame repetitive use of dungeons. Would have much preferred randomly generated areas to having already been in the same couple so many times already at level 7.

All in all though I'm having an absolute ball tearing mobs apart with my stabby rogue.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 07:49pm 10/3/11
Got updated drivers Khel, there has been issues with Dx11.
ravn0s
Posted 08:38pm 10/3/11
how the hell do you import the origins save game?

edit: bah guess i lost it when i upgraded. stupid thing should save into steam folder not c drive.

last edited by ravn0s at 20:38:33 10/Mar/11
Bah
Posted 08:39pm 10/3/11
It found it automatically during character creation for me.
Game seems ok so far, combat not so sure on though, the third person consolized viewpoint only seems to take away from the game, it doesn't add anything, and i keep finding my squad getting arseraped simply because i dont notice a squad spawning in behind me, fairly annoying.

The inventory, i guess it seems a bit lame, but on the other hand the previous dragon age it felt like i spent as much time f*****g about with crap in the inventory as i did playing, so itll probably be for the best.
DM
Posted 08:59pm 10/3/11
So far my team consists of me as a rogue archer, Aveline as a tank, Fenris as a 2H weapon maniac and Merril as my mage/love interest. Came back from the expedition and things are starting to pick up. Combat is getting harder which is good and i'm not so OP anymore. Can't 1 shot people.
rrrocket
Posted 09:17pm 10/3/11
so is it like a modern hero's quest?
DM
Posted 09:21pm 10/3/11
Just 2 random screenshots i've taken.

Fist of Stone packs a whallop.


Archer's Lance is so OP if you aim it right. This was at level 7 I think.
Nerfington
Posted 09:43pm 10/3/11
so is it like a modern hero's quest?

I don't think that would be a direct comparison, since Hero's Quest was more about the comedy / mythologies, plus tended to go more with the solo hero who could die in the desert random combat thing. F*** I loved hero's quest / quest for glory.
Enska
Posted 01:39am 11/3/11
Haha, holy s*** its 1:30 am, maybe I should go to bed.
I love how my toons personality seems to evolve based on the moral choices you make. My guy has now turned into a complete smart ass,even when I choose the "good" options.
The story seems to branch off a bit too much, but it's told well and is getting better as I go.
Crakaveli
Posted 01:45am 11/3/11
Sigh what happened to deathblows :(
Enska
Posted 01:48am 11/3/11
^^ yeah f***** oath, I've killed 3 ogres, a few dragons and the only deathblow I've seen is one on that rock wraith in the deep roads. Fail.
ravn0s
Posted 09:13am 11/3/11
game runs smooth as with the high res textures. looks so pretty.

played about 2.5hrs and really enjoying it. kinda pissed that i lost my origins save game though.
Scooter
Posted 09:45am 11/3/11
Yeah I lost my Origins game saves because my old computer died between then and now. I'm left wondering how exactally it would affect the game, save a few references to the Feralden thrown.

By the time I'm ready for a second play through there will probably be a myriad of different saves with different choices that you can grab from around the place.

Really enjoying it at the moment. Picked a Warrior to start, 2H and Set him up as a DD but moving him more towards a DD / Tank role. Have the Dwarf Rogue using Ranged (mixing in a bit of support) and 2 Mages, Sister and the Dalish Elf Chick, DD / Heal and DD / Support.

As for death blows, doesn't the very, very first Ogre you kill... right at the start, give you a death blow too... or was that whole fight cinematic?
ravn0s
Posted 09:59am 11/3/11
yer i thought that was a deathblow at first but i think it was just a cinematic.
Enska
Posted 09:59am 11/3/11
^^ I dunno, My main guy died and I spent 5 minutes kiting the ogre around with Bethany for that fight, haha
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:20am 11/3/11
Aye, I've resorted to kiting a few times, I'm playing on hard (asif play any easier). Such a non-epic way to win though.

I've found during the beginning phase at least, that using my tank to get the attention of the tougher foes while my 2 mages and archer collectively one shot all the trash mobs one at a time (with a bit of AOE for good measure) works pretty well.

I get totally annoyed every time I go to inventory to equip people and see all my boots, helm and so forth, 'restricted to Hawke' ffs why remove that???

I hope a good mod comes out that sorts that issue out.
Khel
Posted 10:38am 11/3/11
Not that I've had a chance to experience it myself yet, but I like the sounds of the changes they've made for the inventory. I never enjoyed the fiddly micro-management of having to shuffle equipment between all my guys, especially once you had a rather large party. And then in that last mission where they all show up at once, and the guys I haven't been using have absolutely s*** gear and are almost unuseable, just wasn't much fun.

Got updated drivers Khel, there has been issues with Dx11.


Yeah, I'm waiting for new Catalysts to come out, last release was mid february so theres some due.
DM
Posted 12:25pm 11/3/11
I love how in this game, every character has a specialization that helps you somewhere later so it becomes a choice of utility over looks. Varrick not only is a huge smart ass but he can bluff and talk his way out of many tough fights. Merrill can tell if a person is possessed by demons and can give you tips about demons you find along the way. It's stuff like that, that make the game really awesome and have so much replayability. I'm really tempted to make yet another character but this time for for a support warrior and make him an angry mage hater.
Mordecai
Posted 04:06pm 11/3/11
Not that I've had a chance to experience it myself yet, but I like the sounds of the changes they've made for the inventory. I never enjoyed the fiddly micro-management of having to shuffle equipment between all my guys, especially once you had a rather large party. And then in that last mission where they all show up at once, and the guys I haven't been using have absolutely s*** gear and are almost unuseable, just wasn't much fun.



Yeah, I'm waiting for new Catalysts to come out, last release was mid february so theres some due.

According tot he Devs both ATI and nVidia were meant to release new drivers early this week to make DA2 performance better. They also guaranteed consoles had the option of auto attack then admitted they forgot to implement it...
konstie
Posted 04:22pm 11/3/11
where the hell do we turn on subtitles when walking through the city, etc?
Tollaz0r!
Posted 05:17pm 11/3/11
It is a Sad Moment in time when you realize that Bioware is no longer what it used to be.

Dragon Age 2 is a rushed product stinking of EA. Such repetitive use of maps and in such an amateurish way, same rooms different doors blocking it off. Even the mini-map has the areas 'available' when they just aren't.

This game could have been so, so much better with more time to develop. So long Bioware, you were once great.
Bah
Posted 10:14pm 11/3/11
Only a few hours in, but the encounters are starting to bug me already, you see about 10 guys in the distance, fair enough, fight and kill them, then the second wave just spawns on top of you, pretty annoying.
At least in the first one the guys spawning out of thin air were rogues or whatever.

Its also like the first one where your entire team decides to attack random targets and spread out as soon as an encounter starts, but it seems harder to micromanage now. (yes you can f*** around with the tactics i guess, but i cbf)
Crakaveli
Posted 10:25pm 11/3/11
Yep and the encounters never change, it's exactly the same. Seriously, this game is copy/paste all the way through. I'm so f***en disappointed.

Also, Ctrl + 1 will select all party members and make them attack what you're attacking.
Bah
Posted 10:40pm 11/3/11
Yeah i know you can select your entire team, but they still spread out at the drop of a hat (or corpse), dao annoyed me in the same way though.
Shroud
Posted 11:10pm 11/3/11
DA2 is pretty average compared to original.. it just feels rushed. Only your main char has armor, not the additionals.

All the shops are now chests with an owner standing outside, all the quests are copy & paste "run to this room, kill a few guys" run back, collect reward.

I'm enjoying the game, but it has less then the first game had.

IE in the first one I would use a rogue character & have a bow, then at close range, use a hotkey to switch to melee weapons.. you cant even hotkey between different gear setups or weapons now.

Had about 9 hours playtime so far, doing lots of quests - havent paid the 50g for the expedition yet.
DM
Posted 12:07am 12/3/11
When it comes to gearing your character, you pretty much need a rogue of some sort in your group. There are so many locked chests which give you awesome loot that if you skip it, your character will seem really weak. What I did on my rogue was to pump Cunning up to 20 asap which was around Lv 4 I think, then get dex up to 24 for weapons, then Cunning up to 30 and so on. This isn't so much a real RPG as it is a dungeon crawler rpg instead. Which is a good way to describe this one... dungeon crawler.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 08:53am 12/3/11
This game in Dungeon Siege with a conversation wheel...
Resonate
Posted 09:14am 12/3/11
Haven't played the first but this one is pretty average so far.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 09:27am 12/3/11
Well I've played about 3 hours and I'm enjoying it.

The combat seems much more fluid now and actually interesting to watch - so that's a welcome change.

The story for me is just beginning, and considering this is supposed to be a 40 - 50 hour game I wouldn't expect it to pick up properly until I'm about to leave hte first town.

I like the minimalist UI.
Graphically the game is considerably better than DA:O
The dialogue so far hasn't impressed me.

If the story picks up then I'll find myself enjoying the game quite a lot.
Khel
Posted 12:40pm 12/3/11
until I'm about to leave hte first town.


Theres only one town, the entire game takes place in Kirkwald
deadlyf
Posted 01:17pm 12/3/11
I actually think they have improved the map design over the first DA:O considerably so not sure why it's such a complaint for people. That said Labrynthy, repetitive map design is Biowares standard, it'd be great if they adopted a more open design but it just isn't their style.

I also think that although the conversations are much more limited, the conversation wheel works well for me. I remember in DA:O I resorted to saving before every conversation because of the amount of times I'd hit a response that was nothing like what I had expected it to be and took an unintended action was beyond annoying.

I've been enjoying the game. It certainly feels less epic than DA:O and judging by what I've seen of the story it is going to feel like bit of a let down at the end as I can already tell that this whole game is more of a prequel to the real story.

But the game play and having a voice acted lead is such a massive improvement that I don't care at this stage. I could never make it through a second play of DA:O because of how tedious it was to actually play despite loving the story and characters but I can see myself going through this a couple of times like I did with ME2 and if I'm right about this being the beginning to a true continuative story line then I think in the end it will actually be a pretty good franchise. The problem being that we won't see more of the story for a couple of years.

Still, there are a lot of areas that could be improved, but I'm very impressed with it compared to the first one in terms of playability.
ravn0s
Posted 04:24pm 12/3/11
just got a deathblow. was fighting some little dragons and my mage got the death blow. she jumped over to the dragon and stabbed it with her staff.
Hogfather
Posted 04:39pm 12/3/11
just got a deathblow. was fighting some little dragons and my mage got the death blow. she jumped over to the dragon and stabbed it with her staff.

ahahaha
Not that I've had a chance to experience it myself yet, but I like the sounds of the changes they've made for the inventory. I never enjoyed the fiddly micro-management of having to shuffle equipment between all my guys, especially once you had a rather large party. And then in that last mission where they all show up at once, and the guys I haven't been using have absolutely s*** gear and are almost unuseable, just wasn't much fun.

Yeh but they could have streamlined it without (apparently, not played it yet) obliterating all control over inventory. Could plonk an iLevel on gear for classes and allowed you to auto-equip, then tune as needed.
ravn0s
Posted 04:53pm 12/3/11
ahahaha


i lolled too until i realised there's a massive blade on the end of the staff.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 05:00pm 12/3/11
I've picked up heaps of boots, helmets, gloves, armour AND I CANT USE ANY OF IT even though some of it would be great for the other party members. Stupid game.
Nerfington
Posted 08:45pm 12/3/11
heh
Crakaveli
Posted 08:46pm 12/3/11



This pretty much sums it up. I just finished the game before and im very disappointed.
Mordecai
Posted 09:03pm 12/3/11
LOl @ that pic Crak.

How many hours did you put in to the game?
Crakaveli
Posted 09:22pm 12/3/11
35 hours i think. Did every possible quest i could find playing on normal difficulty.

May replay it on hard with a rogue or something.. see what happens.
pixem
Posted 09:43am 14/3/11
interesting responses. I really like the story far more than DA:O, I got bored with DA:O about half way, it just felt like this massive grind, go to the dwarf people, go to the elf people, go to someone else.. blah. Each one took so long it was like, oh man now I got to grind through getting these other dudes onside.

Thus far I find the story has a few good twists and turns. Some side quests are a little fluff but thats been going on for years, and yeah repetitive dungeons is a little annoying, also a bit less magic play from the other side(regretting dispel magic atm). But the thing I miss the most is a bit of item lore. Like to know a swords history etc. Hardly a ruiner in my opinion.

Otherwise its good fun. I guess I really like the 10 year arc, adds depth and feels better to know your hero doesnt go from zero to king in a couple months.
Scooter
Posted 12:04pm 14/3/11
Your choices have little to no affect on the outcomes. Which is balls.
Cant say much without massive spoilers, but choising one faction is correct and just... then the story forces you to kill them anyway. Balls. Twice. Balls.

I don't mind the inventorry thing, too much... You can still find/buy some equip to enhance their Auto-Level up Body piece etc. I do prefer doing it myself though...

The game seems to have a semi-decent (not great) core story, which very little of the game time is spent on. The vast majority of the time is spent on simple fetch quests, or easy kill+fetch quests.

Every single warehouse is exactally the same. I dont mean similar, I mean exactly the same. Although some of them have doors, perfectly good doors mind you, that simply cant be opened. Fair enough you're too lazy to make 50 different warehouses for the 50 warehouse fetch quests... but you could have at least done something better with the doors. Magical barriers, fallen beam or something. Some cave entrances were blocked off by carts etc, which was better... but still anoying.
It was the same for Tunnel/Cave/Sewer/Dock Area/Thag. I understand reusing elements, but to just copy+paste an entire dungoen many, many times seemed cheap, boring and lazy.

A.I. / Battle is stupid;
Mage: Oh look I'm perfectly safe standing where you told me where to stand. Oh look, an enemy is using an AoE on the tank. I'LL JUST F*****G RUN NEXT TO THE TANK GET SWAMPED AND DIE.
Or: Ok I'm safe off in the corner. Oh s*** 3 guys popped, thats ok I can run over there tank can taunt and I can run to a safer spot. Oh s*** another 5 guys popped just where I ran too. Tanks Taunt is down, that's ok, he can use an AoE to get hate. Now i'll run over to that quiet corner where there isn't anyone. F*** 10 MORE GUYS!? COME ON! And now i'm swarmed and die in 2 seconds.

Warrior: Oh look, there is a guy, way over the other side of the battle, I'll run over to attack him. Instead of this guy standing next to me.

Everyone: Oh S*** battle started, better spread out as far as we can into a retarded location. Then I better run further just incase someone wanted to be close to me to help me, I dont need no stinking help.

Other then that, game's fine...
Still, even with all my gripes... I am having fun playing it. Which is all that counts, right?
ravn0s
Posted 12:27pm 14/3/11
cant really say ive had any problems with battles and teammate ai. have you got your tactics set up properly?

im loving the game. im a bit disappointed with the copy+paste of dungeons etc, but the gameplay/story more than makes up for it.

sadly, theyre probably going the same route with me3 since its being done in 18 months or so as well. :(

last edited by ravn0s at 12:27:17 14/Mar/11
Hogfather
Posted 12:28pm 14/3/11
battles and teammate ai. have you got your tactics set up properly?

Shouldn't the default tactics do things appropriate for the class, with use of tactics reserved for cool s*** like combos rather than telling the mage not to tank?
DM
Posted 12:48pm 14/3/11
Know what I find funny? over at Metacritic if you look at the scores,

Critic reviews - 15 good, 1 mixed
User Reviews - 146 good, 41 mixed, 410 bad.

I call bulls*** on that. No major gaming rag has given this bad marks? The horrific copy+paste job alone is worth bad marks. Yeah I know only 16 people have review it according to metacritic but cmon, they are all giving it glowing reviews and saying it has "minor flaws", "more soul" or "an amazing game". No. It's a half finished game they rushed out.

last edited by DM at 12:48:30 14/Mar/11
Nerfington
Posted 12:46pm 14/3/11
I also simultaneously doubt it deserves that low though (coming from somebody who has put off buying it because it look s***)
Scooter
Posted 12:55pm 14/3/11
Tactic was Default for the mages, I set one to 'Ranged' but it didn't seem to make much/any difference in the running around like a chook with it's head cut off tactic they all seem to be set on.

Gameplay seems ok, good even. I am still dissapointed that the story is <10% of the actual game though.... or at least it seems to be.
deadlyf
Posted 01:28pm 14/3/11
I wouldn't take the reviews from Metacritic as any indication of a true value at this early stage. You can tell that many of them are just nerding out over day one DLC and cut down RPG elements. Once people who have actually played the game start posting reviews those scores will change. In my opinion this is a massive improvement over the first just like ME2 was a massive improvement over ME1. Then again I'm not into D&D games so the cut down RPG elements suit me fine. Of course there is still room for improvement, like every battle having guys spawn from the sides every time, the combat AI is fairly terrible and there are no real getting-to-know-you banter based conversations that you can have with the characters as they only talk to you when they have something to say.

The best conversation I've had so far was with Aveline when she was trying to get the attention of one of her fellow guards. Would have been fairly straight forward except for the fact I have Isabella in the group at the time and she was giving her constant s*** for it. It's gems like that that make games like this great, having the right character in the group for the right moment can produce gold.

I'm disappointed with the lack of speciality options for mages. I have a speciality point that I haven't spent because after force mage the only options are Blood magic/Spirit healer so you are pretty much expected to make a pact with a spirit or a demon which to me seems weak. Was hoping there would be something similar to the arcane warrior talents of DA:O that you have to find but seems like what's there is all that's available.
Bah
Posted 03:06pm 14/3/11
. In my opinion this is a massive improvement over the first just like ME2 was a massive improvement over ME1
They have done pretty much the same thing here, i.e. they simplified and removed a lot of s***, but the difference is in ME2 the things they added changed made up for the changes in the most part, whereas in DA2 it feels like they did not add anything, only took away. (Although ME2 being a corridoor shooter and having no open landscapes like in 1 was a definite minus imo)
But, as for the metacritic thing, DA2 is not a bad game, it's just not an improvement on the original, hence all the nerdrage, and yes the copy/paste is extremely lame, there was a mission where i went to some chicks "safehouse" and i couldnt help but notice it was exactly the same as my house, right down to the book on a desk where i read my letters.

The stupid ai combat is pretty much the same as dao as well, i find myself pausing every 2 seconds just like the original, if i dont everyone just splits up and takes a different target, obviously on default without setting up tactics.
reload!
Posted 11:26pm 14/3/11
Hrmmmm.

Just finished then, bit over 28 hours on normal and did every single quest.

Definitely a hell of a lot smaller in every way to DA:O.

If only we could get a game with the same combat as DA2 but the size and scope of the first.
Crakaveli
Posted 02:41am 15/3/11
That's pretty much what i was hoping for.. it just never happened :( oh well.

Tim Tibbetts
Posted 09:07am 15/3/11
They needed another year with the game in order to create some compelling content. I'm happy with the gameplay changes etc, but they need a more exciting storyline and less menial quests...
Scooter
Posted 09:14am 15/3/11
The same amount of menial quests spread accross a 50+ hour story arc. Not a 10 hour story arc, with 15-20 hours of menial quests.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 11:15am 15/3/11
Agreed. I haven't finished the game (about 6 hours in) so I don't want to fully pay it out yet, but it feels as dull as questing in WOW does.

Just no point really. Where's the epic 'save the world' feel or something from DA:O? Where's the interesting characters?
glynd
Posted 03:51pm 15/3/11
it's good fun but pretty disappointing game so far. 13 hours in so far and still haven't really left the main city ... so much more detail was put into DA:O. doesn't really have the "epic" feel to it either. seems like they spent more time on the attacking animations than they did on the world.
Khel
Posted 05:45pm 15/3/11
still haven't really left the main city


You never will, its all set in/around kirkwall :(

Which is probably the thing that bums me out the most, one of the things that stayed with me after the original DA:O was how awesome the world they have created is, and how huge it is, and how much I want to see more of it. I'm really disappointed the sequel shows off such a tiny part of this huge awesome world they've built.
Crakaveli
Posted 05:33pm 15/3/11
Eagerly awaiting Ausgamers 9/10 award.
ravn0s
Posted 05:51pm 15/3/11
i predict a 6 or 7/10 from ausgamers.
deadlyf
Posted 05:57pm 15/3/11
After finishing the game I have mixed feelings about it. The game play is vastly improved but still far from perfect, the fights were rarely unique and when they were the micro-management of your team because their AI acted like a bunch of retards took away from enjoying any real tactics for the fight. It's hard to complain about the maps and terrain, not because they weren't bad but because they are simply something I've come to put up with when it comes to Bioware games. Same thing goes with the city, it felt lifeless and boring similar to Mass Effect hubs as there are simply a few NPC's sitting around in corners making occasional comments. Again something that's pretty standard to Bioware at this stage but after playing many a sandbox game I would prefer a more dynamic and bustling crowd like in Assassins Creed or GTA to give life to the city. If they had actually created a more sandboxy world the limitation in setting would have been far more reasonable, as it was it actually felt kind of cramped as if you were well aware of a larger world but unable to experience any of it.

I didn't mind the shorter story simply because it makes for possible re-playability similar to ME2 which I was able to finish 2 and a half times before getting bored. That said I wouldn't say the story was particularly good, something at the end particularly had me thinking, "wtf, that's just stupid" in regards to what the mage guy did. I did enjoy some of the characters, particularly Varick, Isabella and Merrill but the story felt uninspired for the most part. The story that results from the end of the game seems more interesting than anything that you get to partake in during the game.

Still despite my complaints, I enjoyed the game enough to finish it and consider trying a different play style run through which is something I can't say about many games I've played.
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