Preview: What's New in Dragon Age II

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Bioware right good cblockbsuter style main plots, they are negaging, anhd make sense, but are not brilliant works in their own right. They get abitover appocalytic, and betryal /twist happy. They are quite good at hiding their twists, its just a pity they come with such predictible reguality that you know ones coming, and therefore the signs that would be subtle become clear.

They do other charecters well, usually getting the amount of depth something requires for your level of involvement right. People actually behave like people, not actors. They do make you dig for info on them though, certainly your companions, if you dont dig you will find them shallow as hell.

Their worlds are more beleiviable than most, they've thought about them more early on.

Its almost as if they've got Tolkien to do the worlds and charecters, and then passed it onto dan brown to right the plot. (Note the worlds arent that good, but I was exagerting the point to make clear the difference) The charecters and worlds are deep, and well crafted, but the main stories of the recent games are sensationalist page turners, enjoyable but not close to the standard of the rest of the world.

In part this may be an effort to try and let you create your own stories in your head, a skill many lament as lost.

Fumbleumble:
snip

Yeah, everyone's right... you were kind of being a pompous ass for no reason with all that Inception shit...

And really, for someone who wants the thread to be on topic you're sure rambling about random off topic shit alot.

..and here's a shocker.. if the masses intelligence WERE actually as valid as powerful as a few who are at the top of the pile, and I'm not going to say who that few does actually includes..... then the world wouldn't be the pigshit mess that it is. The problems would have been spotted long ago, as certain people have done and have tried to make a difference, and people would have stood up to do something, fully secure in their understanding of the problems.

But they don't.. they bury their heads, claim not be be responsible and generally get on with their disconnected lives, hoping that someone else will take them by the hand and sort out their ever increasing mess for them..... Does that sound very intelligent to you?

Like seriously... WTF are you talking about?

...

90% of the crap you're talking about is subjective, the rest is nonsense.

EA seems to have been the death of Bioware. The old Bioware would never have released a sequel to a game on a console when the original couldn't be put on there.

Woodsey:

Well yeah, some areas are set for higher level characters so you have to go back to them later.

Did people not know that?

It indeed seems like some people thought they should've been able to kill the High Dragon at level 5..

Can't make your own character?

Not buying it.

USSR:

Woodsey:

Well yeah, some areas are set for higher level characters so you have to go back to them later.

Did people not know that?

It indeed seems like some people thought they should've been able to kill the High Dragon at level 5..

Yeah, this isn't Oblivion we're talking about.

I've always wondered why those Mercenaries outside of Orzammar where so fucking hard though...

cthulhumythos:

Cuy'vul Dar:
Sure is EA/Sony defence force in The Escapists staff. I know it's hard to try and swallow, but it's true, EA has been Sonys loyal little dog this last time. Who do you think it was that convinced Valve to release Portal 2 on PS3? EA. Who do you think it was that convinced DICE to develop Bad Company 2 with the PS3 as its main platform? EA. Who do you think it was that convinced Bioware to release Mass Effect 2 on the PS3? EA. The facts are obvious, yeah, I used "naughty words" to describe it, but it's true none the less.

you're... really making it sound worse than what you're saying. so EA is putting more games on ps3; whats the problem?

That they're neglecting all other systems, namely the 360 and the PC.

OhJohnNo:

And also, I didn't exactly mess up my quotes, I just was a bit silly and decided I'd pick the wrong post to quote. So yeah, I messed up my quotes, but not in the "press the wrong button" sense.

I've never said what you have quoted me as saying..... so yes you did fuck up, it wasn't a 'silly' mistake.. you have opened a quote for me and stuck in your own comment.. FFS at least accept that if you accept nothing else I say.

EDIT.. actually I'm just going to stop talking to you.

USSR:

Woodsey:

Well yeah, some areas are set for higher level characters so you have to go back to them later.

Did people not know that?

It indeed seems like some people thought they should've been able to kill the High Dragon at level 5..

I can see the issue where they lock you into an area and you simply aren't able to win on any difficulty (that nearly happened to me with the stone obelisk things at the end of the Dwarven city quest), but I haven't actually heard that happen very often to anyone.

There's a certain dragon that you may or may not face at some point in the game who's a total bitch to kill, so I went away and came back 5 level-ups later.

But anyway, I'm mildly cautious about the changes to DA2, but we'll see - although I hope I haven't seen the finalised version of the graphics, because they're hideous so far. All the original needed was a little less brown.

TomLikesGuitar:

Fumbleumble:
snip

Yeah, everyone's right... you were kind of being a pompous ass for no reason with all that Inception shit...

And really, for someone who wants the thread to be on topic you're sure rambling about random off topic shit alot.

..and here's a shocker.. if the masses intelligence WERE actually as valid as powerful as a few who are at the top of the pile, and I'm not going to say who that few does actually includes..... then the world wouldn't be the pigshit mess that it is. The problems would have been spotted long ago, as certain people have done and have tried to make a difference, and people would have stood up to do something, fully secure in their understanding of the problems.

But they don't.. they bury their heads, claim not be be responsible and generally get on with their disconnected lives, hoping that someone else will take them by the hand and sort out their ever increasing mess for them..... Does that sound very intelligent to you?

Like seriously... WTF are you talking about?

...

90% of the crap you're talking about is subjective, the rest is nonsense.

Ok. I'll accept what you say if you can form a cohesive arguement as to why I'm wrong.

As already stated, I don't mind being told I'm wrong.. as long as you can justify your own position.. don't just say "LIES!!" and leave it at that, it's lazy, supports my arguement that you are UNABLE to argue cohesively and it's not a position.

You may as well have just piped in and said "WAAA!!".. the result is the same.

EDIT.. PM it to me instead if you intend to bother. I don't think this thread could handle more of this. I'll even post that you made a better arguement.

Fumbleumble:

TomLikesGuitar:

Fumbleumble:
snip

Yeah, everyone's right... you were kind of being a pompous ass for no reason with all that Inception shit...

And really, for someone who wants the thread to be on topic you're sure rambling about random off topic shit alot.

..and here's a shocker.. if the masses intelligence WERE actually as valid as powerful as a few who are at the top of the pile, and I'm not going to say who that few does actually includes..... then the world wouldn't be the pigshit mess that it is. The problems would have been spotted long ago, as certain people have done and have tried to make a difference, and people would have stood up to do something, fully secure in their understanding of the problems.

But they don't.. they bury their heads, claim not be be responsible and generally get on with their disconnected lives, hoping that someone else will take them by the hand and sort out their ever increasing mess for them..... Does that sound very intelligent to you?

Like seriously... WTF are you talking about?

...

90% of the crap you're talking about is subjective, the rest is nonsense.

Ok. I'll accept what you say if you can form a cohesive arguement as to why I'm wrong.

As already stated, I don't mind being told I'm wrong.. as long as you can justify your own position.. don't just say "LIES!!" and leave it at that, it's lazy, supports my arguement that you are UNABLE to argue cohesively and it's not a position.

You may as well have just piped in and said "WAAA!!".. the result is the same.

EDIT.. PM it to me instead if you intend to bother. I don't think this thread could handle more of this. I'll even post that you made a better arguement.

What position?
You have no position
You just keep rambling on random topics that have nothing to do with whats being discussed here at all
Your posts are so incoherent and so full of that blinding self righteousness that you keep displaying over and over and over, its just kind of sickening to read

Heres a lesson you should really take the time to learn:
You are not the centre of the universe, you are not better than anyone else, your posts depict you as an unintelligent,rambling moron who somehow thinks he alone knows all the social woes of the world and he alone knows how to fix it, everyone else is either just to stupid or haven't received the benefits of the wisdom he can provide

Noone is a sheep for liking something different than you do, to think so is stupid and if anything in this discussion, you've clearly demonstrated your stupidity

Christ its amazing how offtopic you threw this entire discussion
You wrote so much and yet none of it meant anything at all, you might as well have said nothing

I'm officially excited for this game now. I'm glad to see they're shaking things up!

Woodsey:
When was the difficulty balance "way off"?

If you went straight to Orzammar out of Lothering, the mercenaries at the entrance were freaking nuts.

It forced me to do another area first, like Redcliffe or The Circle.

Onyx Oblivion:

Woodsey:
When was the difficulty balance "way off"?

If you went straight to Orzammar out of Lothering, the mercenaries at the entrance were freaking nuts.

It forced me to do another area first, like Redcliffe or The Circle.

That's because they're a much higher level than you - that's a design choice (and the point).

Woodsey:

Onyx Oblivion:

Woodsey:
When was the difficulty balance "way off"?

If you went straight to Orzammar out of Lothering, the mercenaries at the entrance were freaking nuts.

It forced me to do another area first, like Redcliffe or The Circle.

That's because they're a much higher level than you - that's a design choice (and the point).

But for most of the game, the enemies appear to be somewhat leveled to you, as when I chose to go to Redcliffe LAST, I still found a decent challenge.

Except as an Arcane Warrior. Fucking broken as all hell, that class is.

Sounds promising. The only thing I'm really worried about is that they "streamline" it like they streamlined ME and ME2. Those games work amazingly well as Action RPGs, but I want Dragon Age to stay a classic RPG, even if that means that not everyone can get into it.

Well, I was a bit skeptical when it started off talking about injecting things with adrenaline. That always get me thinking of Xtreme and hardcore and other annoying things I despise. Then it started talking about making the combat faster paced and I almost gave up in disgust because fuck fast paced, everything is fast paced, but the rest of the article was pure awesome so I'm glad I didn't give up. Overall I'm probably more hyped for this game than I was before I read the article. It really could have started better though.

Sounds like the story will be more linear this time, not sure yet if this is going to be good or bad. It might help with deconstructing the 'Bioware Formula' of:

Introduction - Betrayal - Gather Party - Go to 3/4 places - Another Place appears - Resolve outstanding problems - Kill ultimate enemy - Cake.

Used to effect in both ME1 and DA:O. It gives the impression of free choice to do as you wish but really its not. It shepherds you (or Shepherd) through Biowares levelling system. In DA:O

Level 1-3 Origin Story (Introduction)
Level 4-6 Ostagar and the aftermath (Betrayal)
Level 7-9 Redcliffe Level 10-12 Circle tower Level 13-15 Sacred Ashes Level 15-17 Orzammar(The bunch of places you have to go to set things right)
Level 18-19 Confront Loghain Level (Resolve problems)
Level 20-21 Battle Archdemon. (Kill ultimate enemy)
Level 22 Ending Celebration, evaluated on your performance (Cake)

This is the order I always find myself playing the game in and the levels I was at during them. It creates the false feeling of freedom to go where you want and play in the order you wish. However, it shuttles you into a linear path. If they made a more linear game I think I would prefer it.

What do you think? This is just my opinion so don't murder me.
Thanks.

This desciption sounds awesome, I want it XD

Pirate Kitty:
Can't make your own character?

Not buying it.

As far as I know, you can make your own character. There are 2 limitations though: It's human and with the surname Hawke.

OniaPL:

Pirate Kitty:
Can't make your own character?

Not buying it.

As far as I know, you can make your own character. There are 2 limitations though: It's human and with the surname Hawke.

I want to play my own character. Not theirs.

Dragon Age was a keen disappointment, or perhaps I just expected another game. The "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate it was *not*. Sounds more to me like they're making a fantasy version of Mass Effect now.

. . . and while I liked ME, I liked BG far, far better. Bioware's flagship fantasy offerings is a sad, stunted shadow of what I love in RPG's. So many design decisions that make DA a "play once and never again" game. Sigh.

JaceValm:
Introduction - Betrayal - Gather Party - Go to 3/4 places - Another Place appears - Resolve outstanding problems - Kill ultimate enemy - Cake.

Used to effect in both ME1 and DA:O. It gives the impression of free choice to do as you wish but really its not. It shepherds you (or Shepherd) through Biowares levelling system. In DA:O

Level 1-3 Origin Story (Introduction)
Level 4-6 Ostagar and the aftermath (Betrayal)
Level 7-9 Redcliffe Level 10-12 Circle tower Level 13-15 Sacred Ashes Level 15-17 Orzammar(The bunch of places you have to go to set things right)
Level 18-19 Confront Loghain Level (Resolve problems)
Level 20-21 Battle Archdemon. (Kill ultimate enemy)
Level 22 Ending Celebration, evaluated on your performance (Cake)

This is the order I always find myself playing the game in and the levels I was at during them. It creates the false feeling of freedom to go where you want and play in the order you wish. However, it shuttles you into a linear path. If they made a more linear game I think I would prefer it.

What do you think? This is just my opinion so don't murder me.
Thanks.

There's a wee bit of flexibility to main quest order. You definitely should do Orzammar and Sacred Ashes later, and probably shouldn't do the Brecillian Forest first. I did the Tower before Redcliffe on my second playthrough, although i) I made sure to finish as many sidequests from Lothering and Ostagar as possible to try and level up, and ii) I played a mage the second time, who really are the most powerful class.

They could make the quests in future games a bit more flexible if more of them allowed you to drop in and out at different points (Orzammar, Brecillian Forest) instead of stuck in the same area for a really long time with no escape (Redcliffe and that thrice-damned Circle Tower). Another option would be instead of the three or four mandatory main quests, have seven or eight shorter quests, but you only have to do four or five. How do you do this?

The cheaper option, in my opinion: Each of the main quests in DA:O seems to boil down to an either/or decision (Dalish or werewolves, templars or mages, Bhelen or Harrowmont, Kill Connor/Kill his mother/Go into the Fade, preserve ashes or desecrate them). Instead of letting the player wait to decide until the very end of the quest, make him choose his side early on and get a different quest line altogether (they might even use the same maps, if they're worried about going over budget). That should be good for at least two or three different playthroughs.

Otherwise, if they're really focused on the big, continuous narrative above all else, they should be linear as hell and make the story stronger, instead of making people walk their characters everywhere to give an illusion of freedom.

Fumbleumble:
Don't care..

Everyone trots out the same tired old BS about Bioware's 'excellent' writing....

Well I say you're all just sheep bleating away and that you wouldn't know HONESTLY good writing if it bit you on the arse.

Bioware's spewings are the same crap reguritated again and again, there isn't an 'original' story in the entire house.

GOOD writing is tight, cohesive and logical, with twists here and there.... Bioware has none of that any longer and haven't had since Jade Empire and that was truly the end of it and it's been sketchy at best since BGII.

Good ISN'T pages and pages of turgidly dry backstory that hopes to beat you down with the sheer amount of irrelevence, and Bioware is now all of that... DA is just the same story they've been telling since BG1... the stage is the same, they just messed around with some of the players backstory. Is no-one surprised they're not sick and tired trotting out the same old wretched fantasy offering, because I'm CERTAINLY sick of the same crap over and over again.. Big evil rears it's head, only one man can stop it and on the way he makes some friends.. Is Bioware really unable to think of another senario? REALLY?.. and DA2 looks more of the same, but this time you don't even get make your own character o.O.

And the less said about the mish mash of broken ends, contradictions and plot holes that CONTINUES to be ME, the better. The first sets a good stage, they fire the writer.. the second goes off at a tangent, taking your char down paths that weren't even cosistant with the char of the first and NOW for the third they can't even stick to the rules for the big bad that they set in the first, good grief it was only a few years agao.. didn't they READ what they were writing?... WAAAA FANBOY ALERT... don't say that, you suck.. lies, WAAAA. I DEFY any of you to find ANY part of their recent storylines that can actually be called original.. or at least not rehashed from the same old same old stories that are constantly and persistantly told again, and again, and again.

If ANY of you are actually interested in good writing and originality, go play Arcanum.. or better yet Planescape: Torment, Bioware couldn't hold a candle to those games in terms of writing, not even in their hayday.

Biowares constant repetition is almost as bad as your constant procamations of their 'leetness'... I suppose it just gives you someything to say, and makes you feel as if you're all a part of something.

And I haven't even started on the dumbass gameplay.....

Well, little overboard here but I generally agree with this. I love me some RPGs but after hearing all the gloating over Mass Effect I went and bought it on PC several months ago. It sucks. A lot. I also have Dragon Age on PS3 - didn't have my new PC at the time, otherwise maybe it would have been at least bearable - but that game also sucks. It sucks a bit less, but I found both games to be too easy/unrewarding, with boring stories I've either played or read about a hundred times (used to read a TON of fantasy). I don't really get all the BioWare love, although I do respect them as a developer for the sheer size and effort they put into their games. I just hope in the future they can release something actually appealing to me... who knows maybe DA:2 will be what I was hoping DA:O would be.

I will say one thing tho, the Origin stories in DA:O were actually pretty decent. It's just everything after that, and the gameplay especially (including a lot of the design like the most retarded upgrade system ever), that made me hate it.

The cheaper option, in my opinion: Each of the main quests in DA:O seems to boil down to an either/or decision (Dalish or werewolves, templars or mages, Bhelen or Harrowmont, Kill Connor/Kill his mother/Go into the Fade, preserve ashes or desecrate them). Instead of letting the player wait to decide until the very end of the quest, make him choose his side early on and get a different quest line altogether (they might even use the same maps, if they're worried about going over budget). That should be good for at least two or three different playthroughs.

Otherwise, if they're really focused on the big, continuous narrative above all else, they should be linear as hell and make the story stronger, instead of making people walk their characters everywhere to give an illusion of freedom.[/quote]

Good idea, each quest you play could have an impact on the overall main quest and gives the player the overarching sense that with the impending blight you can't sort out everyones problems. It would add replayability to at least 2 playthroughs.

To be honest I spent a lot of my time messing around in Denerim and doing all the job board quests. I never felt like there was a massive army hot on my heels and ready to destroy all in its path. So Lothering is destroyed? So what? I got Sten and Leliana from there, I got the magic items and did the quests. That region had expended its usefulness to me so I never went. What DA:O needed was some sort of central hub like the citadel where it was often good to return. Denerim didn't have this and seemed out of the way. Also, the best way to make a city feel small (take note Oblivion and Fable 3) is to divide it into segments and have next to nobody walking around it. A capital city and major port should have ships coming in and out of it (we should be able to see it) and be as busy as a chip shop thats giving its food away in an area with lots of tramps.

Sorry for that rant. *ahem* Games should never sit on the fence and comprimise when it comes to this sort of thing. Either give us a large array of quests but we cant do them all to make it replayable (such as ME2 but where you can't do everything) or have a linear story (maybe some downtime to explore around) that focuses on excellent gameplay and properly entertaining events (Arkham Asylum was linear but I keep playing it to see its set pieces again, AC2 does this too). Games that err on the side of caution will never be really great.

Thanks

Susan Arendt thinks Commander Shepard should have a cameo in Dragon Age II somehow

I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite Hawke on the Citadel.

I loved the story and characters of DA:O but... the combat... it nearly broke my brain I got so frustrated with it.

EDIT

Damn Ninjas...

Thanks for the great preview, Susan!

Too bad that this discussion is already filled with hate and trolling...

Thanks for your fair preview. If the reports from cons (on the BioWare boards, no less) have been any indication, even the hardcore who've had a chance to play the game expecting to be unimpressed come off with much the same opinion as you do which is a good sign. =)

OhJohnNo:
I'm going to say something that will probably offend Fumbleumble and several other people: If Mass Effect isn't a "true" RPG, I don't want to play a true RPG.

Then dont play RPGs it's that freaking simple. No that's not good enough for you, you have to ruin it for everyone else and demand that it caters to you the non RPG player.

PS Mass Effect's combat is just a very shallow clone of Gears of War, but without an AI that is worth a shit and a difficulty system that only increases the amount of armor and health an opponent has. Mass Effect was shit.

I was never gunna buy it anyway, not entirely due to Dragonage 2 PR crap like ''push a button and something awesome happens'' but the original was such a lie to what they said in the marketing, they claimed it was ''original dark, sexy, gritty and mature'' but it was nothing more than a immature, generic high fantasy with alot of filler combat. I honestly don't know how it legimately got such a highscore with the majority of reviewers. So overrated.

tehroc:

OhJohnNo:
I'm going to say something that will probably offend Fumbleumble and several other people: If Mass Effect isn't a "true" RPG, I don't want to play a true RPG.

Then dont play RPGs it's that freaking simple. No that's not good enough for you, you have to ruin it for everyone else and demand that it caters to you the non RPG player.

No one's demanding shit.

The basic RPG formula is boring and old, and an extremely talented studio tweaked it slightly. The game sold ridiculously and I'm willing to bet MORE people who actually played it liked it than didn't. If you can prove otherwise (without anecdotal evidence), I'll stand down.

Maybe you should stop playing RPG's rather than ruin it for everyone else and demand that they NEVER CHANGE A SINGLE MECHANIC.

(BTW- Mass Effect is an RPG by the definition of the term itself and by the definition of the game theory term of 'RPG'. If you don't know what I'm talking about take a few classes on game development and then come back and argue.)

EDIT: Also, to someone who actually played the game, this

PS Mass Effect's combat is just a very shallow clone of Gears of War, but without an AI that is worth a shit and a difficulty system that only increases the amount of armor and health an opponent has. Mass Effect was shit.

proves that you didn't give the game a fair chance, and you just want to complain about it because you hate the fact that other people like it. :D

Night Raven 107:
Thanks for the great preview, Susan!

Too bad that this discussion is already filled with hate and trolling...

Hey, It's the Escapist, filled with idiots and witty wannabes losers depression and pessimistic folks.

new in dragon age 2: suck, pandering to the masses and raping the corpse of the previous game.

Am I the only one who would enjoy the combat if it was more hack and slashy? I mean, you can say that you prefer the old-school combat but come on, be honest, wouldn't you enjoy it so much more if you could just swing a sword or fire an arrow, rather than tell your character to swing a sword or fire an arrow then watch?

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