Dragon Age 2

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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:25 pm UTC

AngrySquirrel wrote:Does anyone know if chosing the blood mage specialization has any effect on the dialogue or reactions through the rest of the game?


Nothing I noticed, unlike DA1.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby ShortChelsea » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

Does anyone know how to beat the column puzzle in the legacy DLC? :oops:
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Jared the Great » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:31 am UTC

Yeah.
Spoiler:
Turn the pillars so that the both "lasers" hit each other. Then, if you want the helm of Weisshaupt or whatever, align the 3 higher lasers 1 by 1.
Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium
Spoiler:
Batman!
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby ShortChelsea » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

I feel really dumb now. :oops:
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

Last edited by You, sir, name? on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:01 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:00 pm UTC

Minor spoilers related to things in the game and the video above:
Spoiler:
I'm hoping there's an upcoming explanation for the Qanari mage guy not being all chained up and masked and such. That was kind of an important thing in the game.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vaniver » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:46 pm UTC

Er, was that the same squirting blood animation for each of the three exposition slides? *rewatches* ...yes.

Spoiler:
pseudo: I imagine the Saarebas in question does not accept the Qun.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

That's kind of what I'm thinking. It was just really jarring considering it's the first episode. And I think it's only running for 6 or 8?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:59 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
AngrySquirrel wrote:Does anyone know if chosing the blood mage specialization has any effect on the dialogue or reactions through the rest of the game?


Nothing I noticed, unlike DA1.


Blood mage specialty changed anything in DA1? Not that I noticed.

To import from the other bioware thread...

Ghostbear wrote:(and the ending was just done terribly, at least if you sided with the mages)


How do you figure? I really quite enjoyed the last act.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:53 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:(and the ending was just done terribly, at least if you sided with the mages)

How do you figure? I really quite enjoyed the last act.

I felt that the ending just destroyed all of the illusion of choice. The whole game, there's a lead up to a templar v. mage conflict in the city, and you're shown the good and bad of free mages and chantry overseen mages. Especially if you take in the knowledge you could get from the first game, you had a fairly decent idea of how well the system worked or didn't work, and how much of the flaws with Kirkwall's mage tower were tied to the specifics of Kirkwall and not mages or mage towers in general. Perhaps with the basis of your choice being if you think it is fair or just to lock up one group for the safety of a larger group.

Then, if at the very end of the game, you decide that you like those mages, and that while some of them are trouble, you don't really think putting them under control over the chantry is just, or you don't think it's effective, or for some other reason decide to side with them (maybe your Hawke was a mage too, or maybe you roleplayed a Hawke that thought those things), the game just flat out tells you you're wrong. Practically every mage you encounter from that point forward becomes an abomination, the mages still get slaughtered, and still get blamed for everything, and Orsino even still goes crazy and becomes a harvestor (as an aside, I still don't know how that was supposed to make sense?). Essentially, the templars still win, and your choice was meaningless. Maybe if you picked the templars to side with the ending would have made more sense, but to me the ending when siding as the mages just felt like the writers thought I was stupid for siding with them, and decided to "fix" my choice as a result.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:16 am UTC

Except that the entire point that they were trying to ram home throughout the whole game was that the templar/mage relationship was progressively creating monsters on both sides. Some mages fuck up, the templars crack down. The mages feel oppressed, and they reach out to questionable sources to get enough power to resist, because they want to be free. The Templars see this, and feel that all their suspicions are confirmed (never considering that they were self-fulfilling) and go to even greater extremes to contain the Mage Menace. In the process, they make it worse. They grip tighter. More mages feel that they have no choice but to slip through. It goes around and around until Anders forces it to a head and by then it's ugly.

They went to the trouble to show you resolutely good people on both sides, and good people driven to or tempted by bad things, and people who were just assholes. If you were paying attention, you saw Orsino getting more bitter and Meredith getting more paranoid. And when everyone went batshit, the moment you picked a side, you had to know that you were going to have to clean up a good amount of crazy on "your" side. Because it wasn't the first game. You weren't the shining forces of good fighting the mindless hordes of evil. You were at the head of an army of one of two desperate, crazy groups of people who have been pressed in with their "enemies" for years and have just now seen the tension they've been living under break and boil over.

If you were my Hawke, you led the mages because in your perfect world mages would be free, not because you thought this group of mages were actually particularly good people. They'd lived dirty and scared for too long to be anything but a really, really mixed bag. Just like the other side.

It performed...exactly as advertised.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:47 am UTC

Belial wrote:And when everyone went batshit, the moment you picked a side, you had to know that you were going to have to clean up a good amount of crazy on "your" side.

This is where I take issue with the way DA2 treated the ending. What you said there is very much true, but what you got wasn't a "good amount" of crazy, it was only crazy. The problem was that no matter which side you picked, you had no practical change on the outcome, and the basic outcome was very pro-templar. You had already been shown plenty of examples of that crazy within the mage's side, but the way it was handled at the end made it seem like there wasn't a single sane mage left. Hell, Orsino went made on me after I had just effortlessly fended off several waves of templar attacks from a well fortified position without any casualties or even serious injuries. The only mages that died there died because of him. My influence on the outcome of events was so little that nothing changed. I saw that as a rather huge problem.

If a game gives you a choice, especially at an the defining event of the story, then that choice should feel like it mattered. They could still have made it clear that both sides were a bit crazy in this case, while still letting a mage aligned Hawke have some effect on the outcome. Instead you got the same boss battles, the same abominations, the same ending. What if Orsino and Meredeith still went crazy in both endings, but in the templar one, while you took down Orsino, some of the saner templars took out Meredeith, and vice versa for the mage ending? That wouldn't even be the best way to handle it, it's just an example of how they could have done something to let you retain some agency in the ending without ruining that relationship. The tone and idea of everyone losing it would not have been lost, but the player would not be forced to feel like their opinion was meaningless. If a game gives me a choice, I expect it to matter, and not to get a pat on the head and told "that's nice, but we really think you meant to pick option A".
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:01 am UTC

I didn't see the ending as pro-templar at all. I saw it as pretty much neutral. Of course the mages came off crazier. The oppressed will always seem crazy when they finally snap, and the oppressors have the option of appearing to remain composed. That doesn't make them good people, or right. Likewise, there were plenty of mages running around who weren't turning into abominations or going all blood mage on everything. They're just a little bit less noticeable because you obviously weren't fighting them.

And the game ends with the Templar leader going mad with power, selling her soul, and getting put down hard. I don't terribly feel like that was the game patting you on the head and telling you you were wrong to pick the mages. If anything, fighting Meredith last seems like confirmation by the game that the templars were the real evil: the final boss is the Knight Commander. Nevermind the fact that every time you fought a blood mage or an abomination, you could basically blame the Templars for it. So no, no templar-slant from what I saw. Just a bit of nuance.

That said, what they didn't do was let you change the character of either group: the Templars are cruel, and the mages are mad. Choosing to champion one or the other didn't change it, and I think that's a good thing. I look forward to seeing how that conflict shakes out in DA3
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:22 am UTC

Orsino going crazy was a major disappointment. If you had, say, shown up to help save the mages and Orsino had already gone insane, that would be one thing, but successfully defending them against templars with no losses and then getting Orsino going crazy because of the losses really broke my suspension of disbelief.

I would be fine with the "both sides are terrible, it ends with everybody dead" story if I expected my choices to not be meaningful. But the problem is that in DA1, they sold your choices as changing history (though they had minor gameplay impact), and DA2 felt similar- they presented you with many choices along the way. But once you push a little and find out the choices are fake, then things start feeling hollow.

For example, consider
Spoiler:
how Ander's last quest tied in with the detonation of the Chantry. I didn't do it, saw that cutscene, and said "hm. Maybe I should have gotten rid of Justice." I go on the wiki, and find out that if you do his last quest, what you're actually getting is the explosives for the bomb he'll use to destroy the Chantry. Way to give me a choice that isn't a choice.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:27 am UTC

Belial wrote:That said, what they didn't do was let you change the character of either group: the Templars are cruel, and the mages are mad.

I think you're interpreting my argument wrong, here. I don't want that to be changed, but for the illusion of choice to actually be convincing. Your choice at the end of the game had practically zero impact. I considered it to be pro-templar because the end result is something that would be easier to justify as proof of their stance than not- practically every mage you encountered went mad and became an abomination, their leader ended up being a blood mage with some spell of "transform into dwarven flesh golem" that he used against his own wards.

Perhaps Vaniver's post better articulates what I'm trying to say than I am- I basically agree with everything that was written there, about how the choices and results were presented poorly. They could still have shown the mages going mad with Hawke siding with them, but the way the ending flowed made it as if Hawke's impact on the side they chose was non-existent.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:51 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Orsino going crazy was a major disappointment. If you had, say, shown up to help save the mages and Orsino had already gone insane, that would be one thing, but successfully defending them against templars with no losses and then getting Orsino going crazy because of the losses really broke my suspension of disbelief.


I understood that as turning himself into a monster to fight the templars, and damn the collateral. I just had to be a goody two shoes and fuck it up for him.

I would be fine with the "both sides are terrible, it ends with everybody dead" story if I expected my choices to not be meaningful. But the problem is that in DA1, they sold your choices as changing history (though they had minor gameplay impact), and DA2 felt similar- they presented you with many choices along the way. But once you push a little and find out the choices are fake, then things start feeling hollow.


They affect the context under which the last two fights happen, and then events afterward and at game's end . Moreover, when it comes to the question of "who do you stand with, and you can't pick 'neither'", even if the answer changes nothing, it defines your character.

Vaniver wrote:For example, consider
Spoiler:
how Ander's last quest tied in with the detonation of the Chantry. I didn't do it, saw that cutscene, and said "hm. Maybe I should have gotten rid of Justice." I go on the wiki, and find out that if you do his last quest, what you're actually getting is the explosives for the bomb he'll use to destroy the Chantry. Way to give me a choice that isn't a choice.


Adding a dimension of deception and betrayal to your relationship with him doesn't count as a change?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby omgryebread » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:14 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:This is where I take issue with the way DA2 treated the ending. What you said there is very much true, but what you got wasn't a "good amount" of crazy, it was only crazy. The problem was that no matter which side you picked, you had no practical change on the outcome, and the basic outcome was very pro-templar. You had already been shown plenty of examples of that crazy within the mage's side, but the way it was handled at the end made it seem like there wasn't a single sane mage left. Hell, Orsino went made on me after I had just effortlessly fended off several waves of templar attacks from a well fortified position without any casualties or even serious injuries. The only mages that died there died because of him. My influence on the outcome of events was so little that nothing changed. I saw that as a rather huge problem.

If a game gives you a choice, especially at an the defining event of the story, then that choice should feel like it mattered. They could still have made it clear that both sides were a bit crazy in this case, while still letting a mage aligned Hawke have some effect on the outcome. Instead you got the same boss battles, the same abominations, the same ending. What if Orsino and Meredeith still went crazy in both endings, but in the templar one, while you took down Orsino, some of the saner templars took out Meredeith, and vice versa for the mage ending? That wouldn't even be the best way to handle it, it's just an example of how they could have done something to let you retain some agency in the ending without ruining that relationship. The tone and idea of everyone losing it would not have been lost, but the player would not be forced to feel like their opinion was meaningless. If a game gives me a choice, I expect it to matter, and not to get a pat on the head and told "that's nice, but we really think you meant to pick option A".
Weird, I felt like DA2 was telling me I chose wrong for choosing Templars. Meredith's totally insane, and Cullen is still unreasonable. I kinda felt like the Templars were largely responsible for the mess to begin with. I sided with them because I felt (or at least my Hawke did) that it was the best way out of a bad situation, but I still ended up feeling like I was propping up the greater of two evils.

I was fine with that choice though. Choosing the Templars felt pragmatic, siding with the bad guys for the sake of peace. It was an interesting choice.

I also felt that DA2 does a much better job than pretty much any game of actually providing choices with outcomes. You didn't feel the effects of DA1's decisions since you were so far away, but you got the impression that "holy shit the warden shook some things up." You also have some really dramatic effects within DA2, in your interactions with your party and especially with the potential outcomes for Carver and Bethany.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:28 am UTC

The main beef about DA2's ending, I think, is that nothing you do really changes much. The same thing happens in the end, leading to the same finishing dialogue between the Seeker and Varric (and the Seeker and her lieutenant-or-whoever-she-is).

And really, it has to happen that way if you're BioWare. It would suck to try to account for two radically different beginnings in DA3.

And that's probably the entire deal with DA2: it's a prequel to DA3. The prequelness hangs heavy over the whole game. I enjoyed the hell out of DA2, maybe playing through it half a dozen times. I did have issues with it, though, like with all of ... face it, with all of every game I've ever played with the possible exception of Minesweeper (and even then: forcing the player to a 50/50 guess on the last two squares? Raaaage...).

/I was about to say "with every BioWare game back to Icewind Dale" but, y'know. 3D0, Microsoft, Blizzard... all their stuff has complaint-points. I still play 'em.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:50 am UTC

Belial wrote:I understood that as turning himself into a monster to fight the templars, and damn the collateral. I just had to be a goody two shoes and fuck it up for him.

This misses the problem with what happened though; it's not that he turned himself into a monster. It's the timing and justification around which. You had just fought off all the templars, quite possibly with zero mage casualties, and he decides to turn himself into a monster to avenge those casualties and fight of those templars.. but instead fights his most powerful ally, just as if nothing you did had actually happened.

poxic wrote:/I was about to say "with every BioWare game back to Icewind Dale" but, y'know. 3D0, Microsoft, Blizzard... all their stuff has complaint-points. I still play 'em.

Icewind Dale was Black Isle :P

I actually did like DA2 for the most part up to the final chapter, there were some big issues (reused art assets!), but it had a lot of neat ideas. I liked the way the companions were treated more as actual people with their own lives instead of practically being the player character's slaves. Some of the combat improvements were nice too, though the waves thing had some poor execution that marred the tactical options of combat.

My big beef wasn't even that the final ending stayed the same (beginning of a chantry civil war), but that the way and presentation of that ending was unchanged. Most of my final game enemies were mages despite the fact I had sided with them. Like with Vaniver's suggestion, it all comes down to how the events were presented, not really how they occurred. Orsino still could have gone mad even if you were someone that sided with the mages, but it would have made sense if he did so before Hawke showed up, instead of immediately after Hawke successfully helped him win a battle. The overall idea would have been the same (Orsino was a bit crazy and driven to desperate measures by the situation), but the optics of it would no longer make it seem like the game didn't care what you had chosen.

omgryebread wrote:Weird, I felt like DA2 was telling me I chose wrong for choosing Templars. Meredith's totally insane, and Cullen is still unreasonable. I kinda felt like the Templars were largely responsible for the mess to begin with. I sided with them because I felt (or at least my Hawke did) that it was the best way out of a bad situation, but I still ended up feeling like I was propping up the greater of two evils.

To me that feels like the problem goes for both sides then (I never played the templar ending myself). Which is even worse, I think; it'd mean both endings feel like your decisions didn't matter.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:15 am UTC

Belial wrote:I understood that as turning himself into a monster to fight the templars, and damn the collateral.
cutscene wrote:Orsino: Look at it all. Why don't they just drown us as infants? Why wait? Why give us the illusion of hope? I refuse to keep running. I won't wait for her to kill me.
Hawke: This is not helping, First Enchanter.
Orsino: I am tired of helping, as well. Quentin's research was too evil, too dangerous, so I put it aside. But I see now there was no other way.
[More templars arrive.]
Orsino: Meredith expects blood magic? Then I will give it to her! Maker help us all.
Maybe? I mean, it seems to me like he's making this decision in a moment of despair, a "I'll go down fighting!" which is odd when Hawke is winning. Can't you just have Varric apply a sap to the back of Orsino's skull, and let him nap while you take down Meredith, and then things will be okay?

Belial wrote:Adding a dimension of deception and betrayal to your relationship with him doesn't count as a change?
Is that "change" supposed to be "choice"?

omgryebread wrote:I also felt that DA2 does a much better job than pretty much any game of actually providing choices with outcomes.
DA2 did a fantastic job of having you develop relationships over time, both with members of your party and other NPCs. I really enjoyed that the three acts were each separated by a few years of downtime, so that things could change and it wasn't another "start off level 1, save the world in a week."

But there was almost no choice for the main plot elements.

poxic wrote:the Seeker and her lieutenant-or-whoever-she-is
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:29 am UTC

I didn't play DA1 until after DA2, so no, I didn't. :oops:
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chen » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

Orsino's choice at the end was really jarring for me. I figured there'd at least be two separate end bosses pre-Merideth. But no, Templar or Mage you fight the exact same fights even though as a mage it makes very little sense. Its like that stupid fight in KOTOR2 where you're fighting Darth Sion and not matter what you do, at 50% health Visas says something like "He's too strong, I will help you" and tries to bind his power. Nevermind that it was my first flurry of blows that dropped him to 50% and that I probably could have finished the fight without a lightsaber and still won. These pre-scripted things just remove a lot of immersion from the game. You can feel the railroading. I understand you generally need some of that in a computer game, but at least try to avoid making it so obvious. I mean they could have just put another big monster at the end for the mage line instead of having Orsino change into one. Hell have the monster eat Orsino or something. But making him change in both situations is just bad storytelling.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:03 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Maybe? I mean, it seems to me like he's making this decision in a moment of despair, a "I'll go down fighting!" which is odd when Hawke is winning. Can't you just have Varric apply a sap to the back of Orsino's skull, and let him nap while you take down Meredith, and then things will be okay?


I figured he quite reasonably assumed that that was only the first wave, and one person couldn't just keep pushing them back forever. It's sortof a failure of gaming systems that you can keep fighting like you do until the end of time as long as you don't get overly injured, and I'm not super displeased when the other characters don't assume that's true just because the flawed game mechanics say so. So I don't have a hard time believing that he thinks you've only granted him a temporary reprieve in a losing war.

While I agree that they probably could've found a better way for Orsino to fall (and as I understand it, they added his fall in hastily at the last minute, which explains a lot) I'm also not terribly troubled by the way he fell or the fact that it happened.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I figured he quite reasonably assumed that that was only the first wave, and one person couldn't just keep pushing them back forever.
You're not one person, though, you're a crack team of killers who (probably) took down the Arishok and Qunari who had been menacing the city for years, and then you go on to kill Meredith and company. It may have been reasonable for Orsino to expect that, even if Meredith is killed, that'll just lead to an Exalted March against Kirkwall, but that's when you pick up sticks and move to Tevinter.

Belial wrote:I'm also not terribly troubled by the way he fell or the fact that it happened.
Ok. I can understand why it happened, but the shoehorning to make it happen did trouble me, and many others.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Lucrece » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:31 pm UTC

"Enchantment!" better make a comeback in DA3. Most badass DA character besides revamped Flemeth.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby poxic » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:19 am UTC

Enchantment Boy has a weird ass-skill at popping up inside trouble zones with stuff for sale. Not a bad talent.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:49 am UTC

They talked about taking him to Orlais at the end of DA2, so a lot of people were suspecting that DA3 will take place there.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:45 am UTC

It's been stated that DA3 will take place basically everywhere. Including Orlais and Tevinter.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby poxic » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:51 am UTC

AWESOME.

Or possibly ASS, depending on how they manage it.

:|
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The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.
- Aleksandr Pushkin, poet, novelist, and playwright (1799-1837)
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby veronicaZora » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:41 am UTC

The solitary worst type of gaming experience of my life. I am incredibly disappointed in this game. For every single character other than your main character you can only modify their weapon, rings, and amulet and belt. I was actually getting bored and having to try and struggle through.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Obby » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:55 pm UTC

veronicaZora wrote:The solitary worst type of gaming experience of my life. I am incredibly disappointed in this game. For every single character other than your main character you can only modify their weapon, rings, and amulet and belt. I was actually getting bored and having to try and struggle through.


I dunno, I can think of a few games that are much worse than DA2. At least the story of DA2 is more original than "Movie Tie-in Game #46123" (Eragon lol).
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
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