Dragon Age 2

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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
harpyblues wrote:Why is everyone bitching about the price? I play the PS3 version and this is the same price virtually every new game gets anyway.

Because the PC version of games is usually cheaper than the console version, and EA, Ubisoft, and Activision have decided this doesn't need to be the case.

Except that people are still willing to pay $60 for a PC game, and it's barely an increase considering games have cost $50 for decades at this point while development costs have skyrocketed. (Granted, production costs have probably decreased over time since CDs and DVDs are cheaper than floppies, and digital distribution is cheaper still, but I highly doubt that makes up for development costs.) If anything, I have bigger problems with physical copies costing the same as digital copies.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby psion » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:54 pm UTC

I think back to the Origins stories. You start the game as a fairly regular person. Something devastating happens to you and your way of life, and instead of crumbling, you rise to the challenge of a new life as a Grey Warden. You're a little guy in a big war, and your role becomes ever more important as the game progresses. It's simple but it has some weight.

In Dragon Age 2, assuming that the demo is in anyway representative of the game (i.e. a demo), you'll start in a wasteland doing backflips and killing darkspawn and ogres left and right. Why do I want to see how Hawke becomes a champion? It looks to me that he already is one.

I guess you guys will have to tell me about the story when it's released.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:17 pm UTC

psion wrote:I think back to the Origins stories. You start the game as a fairly regular person. Something devastating happens to you and your way of life, and instead of crumbling, you rise to the challenge of a new life as a Grey Warden. You're a little guy in a big war, and your role becomes ever more important as the game progresses. It's simple but it has some weight.

In Dragon Age 2, assuming that the demo is in anyway representative of the game (i.e. a demo), you'll start in a wasteland doing backflips and killing darkspawn and ogres left and right. Why do I want to see how Hawke becomes a champion? It looks to me that he already is one.

I guess you guys will have to tell me about the story when it's released.


Its possible the game starts off the way the demo does, since its a story being told by that dwarf. I'd imagine there'd be SOME exposition (if not full on flashback type thing) that explains WHY you're martially adept and such. I mean it seems that Bethany is known to be an apostate (the dialog suggests they were hiding from templar) so I have to image there's SOMETHING in the backstory to explain it. I will agree if they just leave it like that it'll feel somewhat disjoined.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:48 pm UTC

psion wrote:In Dragon Age 2, assuming that the demo is in anyway representative of the game (i.e. a demo), you'll start in a wasteland doing backflips and killing darkspawn and ogres left and right. Why do I want to see how Hawke becomes a champion? It looks to me that he already is one.


One can apply an anthropic argument to this: You wouldn't survive hanging out in Ferelden in the midst of a blight for as long as Hawke appears to have done without being able to break open whole barrels full of industrial strength pain.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Except that people are still <stuff>.

I didn't say it was or wasn't justified. Just that that's why people are complaining about the price.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Dark567 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:06 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Except that people are still willing to pay $60 for a PC game, and it's barely an increase considering games have cost $50 for decades at this point while development costs have skyrocketed. (Granted, production costs have probably decreased over time since CDs and DVDs are cheaper than floppies, and digital distribution is cheaper still, but I highly doubt that makes up for development costs.) If anything, I have bigger problems with physical copies costing the same as digital copies.
I am not sure this is the case. There is a lot of infrastructure and a fair amount of development involved in digital distribution systems like Steam. CD's are really cheap, I suspect the physical shipping is the only thing that could put their costs above that of digital distribution.

Also it should be noted, that in the early 90's PC games often would cost $100, but once they became more popular the price went down because the higher sales started to diffuse development costs. I remember this specifically, because one of my favorite developers at the time, Origin, standard price was $100. My parents(I was young at the time) would balk at the price if I asked for one for my birthday or Christmas. I suspect a similar diffusion of price continued into the 2000's keeping the price at $50 even as development costs were rising. Now, its possible that the number of gamers isn't going up as fast, so now to make up the costs we are seeing price increases.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby EmptySet » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:06 am UTC

Chen wrote:
psion wrote:I think back to the Origins stories. You start the game as a fairly regular person. Something devastating happens to you and your way of life, and instead of crumbling, you rise to the challenge of a new life as a Grey Warden. You're a little guy in a big war, and your role becomes ever more important as the game progresses. It's simple but it has some weight.

In Dragon Age 2, assuming that the demo is in anyway representative of the game (i.e. a demo), you'll start in a wasteland doing backflips and killing darkspawn and ogres left and right. Why do I want to see how Hawke becomes a champion? It looks to me that he already is one.

I guess you guys will have to tell me about the story when it's released.


Its possible the game starts off the way the demo does, since its a story being told by that dwarf. I'd imagine there'd be SOME exposition (if not full on flashback type thing) that explains WHY you're martially adept and such. I mean it seems that Bethany is known to be an apostate (the dialog suggests they were hiding from templar) so I have to image there's SOMETHING in the backstory to explain it. I will agree if they just leave it like that it'll feel somewhat disjoined.


From previews I read, I was under the impression that the bit where you can kill everything effortlessly turns out to be a huge exaggeration, and then you have to play through the same scenario again with a much weaker Hawke relying on his allies to scrape through.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Orkimond » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:05 am UTC

The story in DA:O was similar in may respects to the story in ME2, which is that it contained fantastic writing with regards to characters and quest progression, however neither had any real plot or plot development.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby psion » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:15 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:From previews I read, I was under the impression that the bit where you can kill everything effortlessly turns out to be a huge exaggeration, and then you have to play through the same scenario again with a much weaker Hawke relying on his allies to scrape through.

The only real difference is that in the exaggerated version you regenerate about 20% of your health every second.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Xanthir » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:20 am UTC

And you have way more abilities, against foes that are too weak to face them properly.

(This is just so you can play around, like the old FF7 demo that had you attacking the mako reactor with Titan and Bahamut Zero summons. (Yes, that's the last real demo I played.))
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:47 pm UTC

EmptySet wrote:From previews I read, I was under the impression that the bit where you can kill everything effortlessly turns out to be a huge exaggeration, and then you have to play through the same scenario again with a much weaker Hawke relying on his allies to scrape through.


Even the much weaker Hawke and family clearly have SOME sort of combat training. I don't think its explained WHY in the demo but I'd imagine we'd figure it out later (at least I'd hope we would).
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
EmptySet wrote:From previews I read, I was under the impression that the bit where you can kill everything effortlessly turns out to be a huge exaggeration, and then you have to play through the same scenario again with a much weaker Hawke relying on his allies to scrape through.


Even the much weaker Hawke and family clearly have SOME sort of combat training. I don't think its explained WHY in the demo but I'd imagine we'd figure it out later (at least I'd hope we would).


As stated earlier, they obviously wouldn't have survived blightland for as long as they appear to have if they weren't capable of fending off substantial numbers of darkspawn.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Xeio » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

Orkimond wrote:The story in DA:O was similar in may respects to the story in ME2, which is that it contained fantastic writing with regards to characters and quest progression, however neither had any real plot or plot development.
Wait, what?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby psion » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
Chen wrote:Even the much weaker Hawke and family clearly have SOME sort of combat training. I don't think its explained WHY in the demo but I'd imagine we'd figure it out later (at least I'd hope we would).
As stated earlier, they obviously wouldn't have survived blightland for as long as they appear to have if they weren't capable of fending off substantial numbers of darkspawn.

If that's to be the explaination then you might as well have just said, "Because."
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:As stated earlier, they obviously wouldn't have survived blightland for as long as they appear to have if they weren't capable of fending off substantial numbers of darkspawn.


But its set when Lothering was just destroyed. That was maybe a week or two after the blight had started (maybe a month I don't recall the timeframe). Blight's only come about every couple hundred years or so. It doesn't seem terribly likely that you'd be preparing for something that most likely won't happen during your lifetime. I mean some minor training to deal with bandits or wolves or whatnot, but Bethany is a full on mage NOT associated with the Council or whatever its called. I have to assume there's SOMETHING going on with the family that explains their situation.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

My guess at Bethany's ability as a mage: someone ate the last crumpet and she is really, really pissed. Her rage manifests as pure willpower and hate, all because Hawke ate the last crumpet and blamed the darkspawn.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

Also, I thought it was stated in the demo that Hawke & his brother were in the army at Ostagar and managed to survive and get back to their family in Lothering.

At the very least I'm certain his brother was, but something someone said or something I read in the journal made me believe it was both of them that survived the attack at Ostagar.

edit: Yeah, according to the wiki Carver & Hawke were both at Ostagar (as well as Aveline).
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:Also, I thought it was stated in the demo that Hawke & his brother were in the army at Ostagar and managed to survive and get back to their family in Lothering.

At the very least I'm certain his brother was, but something someone said or something I read in the journal made me believe it was both of them that survived the attack at Ostagar.

edit: Yeah, according to the wiki Carver & Hawke were both at Ostagar (as well as Aveline).


Well that would explain it pretty well (aside the whole Bethany mage bit).
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

Papa Hawke was an apostate mage as well and trained Bethany.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby harpyblues » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:16 am UTC

A lot of this stuff (the story exaggeration of powers because of the framing device, how the characters got their training) has been known and said by Bioware almost since the game was first announced and most of it gets explained in the demo. This is nothing new.

On another note, I've gotten really, really addicted to Varric's theme song.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby thc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:37 am UTC

I am not excited at all about DA2. Regardless of whether DAO was a good game, it was NOT the revolution it was touted to be.

1) Bioware has proven that they either can't balance for crap or don't care to.
2) All their characters are fucking the same. Seriously, compare the characters in DAO to the characters in KOTOR. It is almost 1 to 1.
3) Nowhere near as graphically pretty as they tried to advertise. Too much god damn zoning, too many graphical glitches, too many game play bugs that went on for far too long.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby TheBanana » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

Soooo the game is out today. Anyone got a preliminary report on DA 2??
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

Not out in Moose land yet, so I wouldn't know. 22 loong hours to go.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Xeio » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

You might as well start downloading the high-res texture pack if you're on PC, it's another 1GB patch.

Game unlocked earlier today for me though. Now I just have to finish the first one... and Awakening... shiiiit....
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

This game is so small. It took like 20 minutes to preload. And the patch was another 5 minutes. Origins took almost two hours to download.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

TheBanana wrote:Soooo the game is out today. Anyone got a preliminary report on DA 2??

A guy on my Twitter feed seems unhappy with it because it seems rushed. He specifically complained about how it reused a cave map multiple times, but each time started in a different section with the others cut off by concrete walls, and it even uses the same map each time.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

They did that with in Origins as well. Like every random encounter and most side plots in Denerim were in the same identical alley.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby harpyblues » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:54 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:This game is so small. It took like 20 minutes to preload. And the patch was another 5 minutes. Origins took almost two hours to download.


I think it's because it's compressed better. Lot of people were talking about that on the bioware forums.

I'm not passed the Deep Roads bit yet, but yeah. Is anyone else finding the writing to be not as great as it was in Da:O? Aveline really gets on my nerves, since she didn't live up to how they described her pre-release.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby TheBanana » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
TheBanana wrote:Soooo the game is out today. Anyone got a preliminary report on DA 2??

A guy on my Twitter feed seems unhappy with it because it seems rushed. He specifically complained about how it reused a cave map multiple times, but each time started in a different section with the others cut off by concrete walls, and it even uses the same map each time.


I've read the ign.com and gamespot.com reviews and honestly I'm not that impressed. Combat is less technical, story-line is more linear, the world explored in the game is a relatively small area so no fun exploring (not that Origins had a lot anyway), and apparently the ending is... this isn't really a spoiler tag but i'll spoiler it anyway
Spoiler:
A cliffhanger
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby thecommabandit » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

TheBanana wrote:After all Bioware basically did the same thing when they made Mass Effect 2.

Admittedly they did, but they did get a hell of a lot of things right in ME2. Dumbing down is an oversimplification of the changes they made. They often referred to it as 'trimming the fat' but they threw out a bit of the meat along with the fat. The change was overall positive but a bit overzealous. I'm hoping they find a happy medium for ME3.

Reviews, even from reputable critics, are never really that great a measure. I've played games that I really disliked that got rave reviews by most big sites, and games that I thought were awesome but got obliterated by critics. The true test is playing it for yourself, but obviously the lack of free games makes that a little infeasible. But if a game interests you you shouldn't be put off by a few negative reviews. Or even a dozen.

That said I've not played it yet. My copy should get here on the EU release date in the afternoon, assuming my halls post sorting people don't dick it up and stick it in the wrong box.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vaniver » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:57 pm UTC

I'm about 10-12 hours in. My thoughts:

There are a couple of places where it's obvious they're reusing the same maps. Mildly bothersome, but not horrible.

Mages no longer seem obviously most powerful, primarily because their control doesn't seem as great. Cone of Cold is no longer an unblockable freeze, and is a close wide arc instead of a long thin arc, which so far I've found useful. Magic healing seems a lot worse- the cooldown on the basic heal is 30-40 seconds. It may just be the way I specced my mage, but in DA I remember having way more spells than I could cast with my mana pool, whereas now I have only 2-4 spells I'll actually use in each battle and plenty of mana (since I need to wait for the spells to refresh to cast more).

Inventory management is down to your gear + weapons and accessories for your companions. Doesn't make for much of a change but makes coming across armor a bit less exciting, since odds are it won't be usable by you and thus is vendor trash. You tend to be swimming in cash without much place to put it.

The game's pace reminds me a lot of Baldur's Gate II, so far. There's an initial linear action sequence, then a "ok, go collect 20,000 gold to rescue Imeon 50 gold to join an expedition", then a linear action sequence, then another side-quest heavy section.

I personally like that the game is mostly set in one city- it means the whole thing is fleshed out rather well, and there's quite a bit in each of the unique districts, whereas the towns in DA all seemed pretty small.


Overall- enjoyable so far, but I'd wait for it to get cheaper.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Wyvern » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

I've played the game a bit (on the PC) and I get a lot of the same feeling from it as I did from Mass Effect 2. It's very streamlined, gameplay is faster-paced, and easier so far, (I may turn the difficulty up soon) There is less area to explore, but a lot more in each area, so there's less wandering around looking for stuff and traveling to places. I am greatly enjoying Hawke having a voice as opposed to the silent protagonist that was The Warden, and they added in some icons that show which conversation options carry what tones, so you have better control of your responses and don't end up with the Mass Effect 2 Shepard's problem of being unpredictable.

I haven't gotten too far in the main story yet, so I can't give many thoughts on that, other than that there have been a few large developments in the beginning, but other than foreshadowing I can't see an end goal at all, and it feels a bit meandering. There was quite a bit of character development for your companions early on but it seems to have subsided quite a bit a few hours later (I get the feeling that it's trying to shoo me back into the main plotline, despite the ridiculously large amount of side quests there are.)

Technically, it's nice. The graphics are better, (I could crank origins but can only run this on medium) and it feels much more polished and optimized than the first. The framerate issues are gone, the menus are much faster, and I can tab in and out of the game incredibly quickly.


I am enjoying the game quite a bit. I'm not quite as addicted into it as I was the first, but am still enthralled quite a lot. I'm playing rogue for my first game, and it's pretty fun, I like all the new abilities.


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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Jessica » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:24 pm UTC

I'm enjoying it so far... in a similar way that I liked ME2. There are issues but whatever...
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

It feels oddly paced somehow. Like establishing scenes are missing or something. I just recruited Merril. And the quest left me feeling like... who is she, why is she following me, and why should I care what happens to her?

Jaheira's Aveline's guard quest felt equally jumpy.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby TheBanana » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:56 pm UTC

thecommabandit wrote:
TheBanana wrote:After all Bioware basically did the same thing when they made Mass Effect 2.

Admittedly they did, but they did get a hell of a lot of things right in ME2. Dumbing down is an oversimplification of the changes they made. They often referred to it as 'trimming the fat' but they threw out a bit of the meat along with the fat. The change was overall positive but a bit overzealous. I'm hoping they find a happy medium for ME3.


That's true, dumbed down is an oversimplification and I also loved ME2 but it was no where near as good of a game as ME1.
And I'm also sure DA 2 is a good game but just a different style of game then I was expecting/wanting. Hmmmm to get or not to get?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ryom » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:13 am UTC

Wait until all the DLC is bundled together.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:21 pm UTC

I just started on Act 2 so some thoughts:

I had thought the reduced inventory management was going to suck (like ME 2) but its not that bad. 12 accessory slots (3 per char), 4-8 weapon/shield slots and your 4 armor slots are a good amount of things to look out for. In addition you can still put runes in items and you can find/buy upgrades for your party members' armor. They do throw a LOT of armor at you which I think could have been easily fixed by only showing you armor your character can actually wear. I suppose it is possible to increase your rogue's Str/Con to wear plate (for example) which would be a bit of an issue, but who actually does that?

Combat is faster paced and some abilities just seem much more OP than others. The rogue's double attack thing that automatically does a double crit is pretty absurd. Most things just explode if I sent Isabella to Backstap-> Twin Fangs them. The fact you can get cooldown reducers for each of those abilities doesn't seem to help balance either. I haven't really used much of the whole cross-class combo system since my fighter is just a tank and my archer's abilities seem to just kill things rather than Disorient them. The fights are generally easy but the boss fight difficulty ramps up enormously in some places.

Spoiler:
The early fights in the Deep roads are pretty simple so I only noticed after backtracking to the giant spider that I had brought Isabella instead of Aveline to the deep roads. The Giant Spider, the Dragon and the Rock Wraith were ABSURDLY difficult with no tank (party was, Hawke as an archer, Varric, Isabella and Bethany). I had to actually lower the difficulty on the Rock wraith encounter though I imagine if I had tried it a couple of times I would have beaten it. On another note you can kite the Dragon around and kill it with a single archer, but its extremely time consuming :P


I'm still only have a vague inkling of an overall story and it seems the most prominent part of it got triggered off a Companion quest in Act 2 rather than the main quest, which is either a red herring or just counter-intuitive. I like the companions though I've really only been using Merill, Isabella and Aveline.

The dialog is actually much better than I had hoped. There are a lot of the canned "Good, neutral, Badass" responses but they never feel as jarring as ME. Choosing the "evil" response sometimes feels pretty appropriate and the reaction is not usually too over the top. There's also a fair bit of "unaligned" choices making it feel more like DA:O or Baldur's gate which is also nice. Voice acting is quite good and the banter between characters is fun too. Though it seems I've run out of banter in my current party which makes me feel like there's less than in DA:O. Its possible I just didn't know I was missing triggers in DA:O though since you kept going to new places. In DA2 you start to remember in Kirkwall where the triggers are so you realize they aren't bantering.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Eseell » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

I haven't really been playing long enough to have a solid impression, but the official Hi-Res texture pack is a huge visual improvement over the demo.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:05 pm UTC

Hm. Doesn't have screenshots of the differences. At least not anywhere I can find quickly.

I am disappoint.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby el_loco_avs » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Killing a fully grown dragon was actually hard on normal in part 1. I got one in the first try after just an hour or 3 of gameplay?

Jeez. I mean, they are simplifying and streamlining and making stuff easier, but making a dragon fight trivial kinda sucks :(


Love the rest so far though.
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