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Dragon Age II and High-Rez Patch Released

Today is the North American release day for Dragon Age II, BioWare's role-playing sequel, which will be available in Europe on Friday. In addition to the retail edition, the game is also available online from the EA Store, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse, and Steam. Also, the BioWare Social Network offers a high-resolution texture pack for the game. Here's word on the 1.08 GB patch: "Using high-resolution textures requires a graphics card with at least 1024MB video memory. Most of the benefits from the Hi-resolution textures will only be seen if you are able to run the game in DirectX 11." For those interested in sampling the game, a playable demo was released last month.

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115. Re: Dragon Age II and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 15, 2011, 21:00 avianflu
 
I predict that 2 years from now and after all the revenue is generated from sales of DA2 -- Someone at BioWare will admit to the press that DA2 was an internal disappointment.  
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114. Re: Dragon Age II and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 13, 2011, 23:27 StingingVelvet
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 13, 2011, 14:14:
Then there's the idiotic stun-lock they've got going. If you've got 1+ guys hitting on you, it's entirely possible to sit there and be unable to move/cast spells/drink potions/etc, and effectively be locked in stun mode until you die. And there's nothing you can do about it.

That is annoying on hard mode, but the thing to do is rush in with another character's AoE stun or knockback ability.
 
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113. Re: Dragon Age II and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 13, 2011, 14:14 Bhruic
 
The combat in this game is absolutely horrible. 95% of the time, combat involves me selecting all of my guys, and running them far away from the combat to avoid the stupid "hey, we're going to spawn another 10 guys right on top of you" syndrome.

Then there's the idiotic stun-lock they've got going. If you've got 1+ guys hitting on you, it's entirely possible to sit there and be unable to move/cast spells/drink potions/etc, and effectively be locked in stun mode until you die. And there's nothing you can do about it.

And then there's the fact that controling your characters can enable you to completely avoid enemy attacks. And I mean completely avoid. I've already brought up how easy it was to run in circles around the ogre, but most other enemies can be dodged just as easily. You can watch an enemy set up to swing at you, take a step to the side, and they miss you. There was one fight with a dragon where my tank just side-stepped attacks, and made the fight a complete cakewalk. There was another boss fight where all the companions had gone down earlier, and it was just me left. I'd taken out the archers (they + spellcasters are the only counter to this "tactic"), and was able to run in circles vs the boss + 5 enemies. After running around and casting fireballs, I took out the normals, and proceeded to side-step attack the boss and killed him easily. He never touched me.

Or another example was fighting spiders. There were 6 of them. It was entirely possible to run right through the entire group of them and not get hit. That's not run around, that's run right through. They'd take ineffective bites at me after I'd already run past them. The enemy AI and the way they handle melee targeting in this game is just horrible.

And then there's the assassins. Already been touched on, I know, but enemies that can turn invisible, teleport, and do an uninterruptable critical hit on you? Someone really thought that'd be a good idea?

These issues plus the conversation wheel of mystery have really made me disappointed in DA2. I knew after playing the demo that it wasn't going to be as good as DA1, but I was hoping it'd end up being somewhat enjoyable. As it is now, combat is an exercise in either frustration or tedium, and role playing seems limited to whether you want to be nice, snarky, or mean. Not even close to the standards of the original.
 
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112. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 13, 2011, 04:07 StingingVelvet
 
ShakaUVM wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 19:53:
The graphics are beautiful, though I don't see much improvement from the extra gig in the texture pack.

You playing on DX11? There's a big difference if you are.
 
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111. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 12, 2011, 19:53 ShakaUVM
 
Verno wrote on Mar 10, 2011, 14:14:
Oh and seeing the same cave featured 10+ times is beyond hilarious. This is like some Mass Effect 1 level repetitive stuff here, totally indefensible.
That's honestly the only downside to the game, if you're playing on a PC. On an Xbox... I can't help you there.

Playing on a hard difficulty, with the ability to pause, it's still a tactical experience. I miss the floaty cam, and not being able to center an AOE on your friends is annoying, but combat is still very enjoyable. There's a lot of options now to slide monsters around the battlefield, and all classes can AOE now, not just mages (which were completely dominant in DAO).

I sit there chewing over where every skill point will go, which is a real mark of success for an RPG. I think most of the hate in this thread is completely misplaced. (Unless you're an idiot and bought it for the Xbox. You knew in advance you couldn't pause.)

The graphics are beautiful, though I don't see much improvement from the extra gig in the texture pack.
 
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110. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 10, 2011, 14:14 Verno
 
Oh and seeing the same cave featured 10+ times is beyond hilarious. This is like some Mass Effect 1 level repetitive stuff here, totally indefensible.  
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Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Infamous Second Son, Madden
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109. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 10, 2011, 10:00 Creston
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Mar 9, 2011, 23:54:
Yeah I'm 8 hours in and haven't had any good choices yet either... I hope that ramps up. The whole game seems to be slow to start for supposedly being so much shorter. After 8 hours and being level 8 I only have 4 companions and nothing has really happened... just doing random side missions for money. Maybe I am going through it a weird way.

I've seen several reviews mention that there really is no overarching storyline. There's no nemesis for you to defeat, nothing really bad going on. It's just a large collection of mostly unrelated small missions.

No idea whether that's true or not, but I've read it a few times.

It almost seems as if you become The Hero of Kirkwall when, in fact, Kirkwall didn't really need a hero to begin with?

I'm glad the combat is at least cool at higher diff levels. I'll still wait for the all-in-one pack next year.

Creston
 
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108. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 10, 2011, 08:39 Verno
 
Yeah I spent some more time with it at a friends place (360 version) and I can't see myself picking this up. I could overlook all of the minor stuff and even things like the tactical camera if they weren't so fucking lazy with encounter design. Spawning waves of enemies out of thin air, sometimes from 2 feet away is just absurd and lazy design. It really sucks the fun out of the combat, especially on the higher difficulties.

I think this will be the first Bioware game I haven't purchased. Oh well, back to a Fallout New Vegas modded playthrough.
 
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Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Infamous Second Son, Madden
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107. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 10, 2011, 05:24 peteham
 
My impressions thus far are rather meh.
So the game unlocked for me on steam at midnight, finally, and I'm about 4-5 hours in (not much sleep before work today ;P). Still doing quests in Kirkwall. and my impressions so far is also pretty meh..

- Dialogue wheel: Ugh. The description text is so heavily truncated you basically have no clue what you're going to say, forcing you to go by the icon alone. I'm exaggerating a bit for effect by saying this, but the way it's been thus far, it *almost* feels as if you could just as well have an alignment option at character creation time, giving you straight up conversation cutscenes with no input required for the rest of the game...
- Camera: You'd assume that when removing the overview camera, they would at least improve some of DAO's clipping issues. But no.. Combat in confined spaces can be INCREDIBLY annoying. You literally can't see shit when backed into a corner of GENERIC_BASEMENT_62. The camera will either end up trapped between a wall and your party, or *inside* the group you're fighting.
- AOE targetting: Aargh! Can someone tell me how to disable the damn snap-to effect? With tactics on, it's hard enough as it is to avoid blasting your own guys with fireballs.
- Combat: Hard/nightmare is certainly challenging, no doubts there, but the way the game challenges you is incredibly cheap at times. You NEVER know the numbers you'll be facing prior to a fight. New waves of enemies will magically fall from the sky at seemingly random locations, centered on your squishies, making it all but impossible to tactically orient your party. 99% of my loadscreens thus far have been from squishies getting raped before I even noticed the large group of archers that had magically appeared behind my frontline... Fun times.. Fighting somewhat stretched out battles in alleys and around corners is especially obnoxious.
- Level reuse: The fact that I'm already getting sick of some of the town locales after only 4-5 hours is fairly telling.
- Console interface: 'nuff said.
- Tactics: The built-in tactics are back and as useless as ever unless you're playing on normal. Turning tactics OFF is no longer an option, with the top down camera removed, unless you really love *fiddly bits*.

So there you have it, my grand list of negativity! It's not all bad of course, but I'm finding the game pretty disappointing so far. This far into DAO, I was already having a blast.
 
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106. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 10, 2011, 05:22 Jerykk
 
Okay, DA2's combat is starting to annoy me. Mainly because enemy assassins are so ridiculously overpowered. First, they cloak and you can't interrupt that. Second, when they uncloak, they automatically land an unblockable, unavoidable, uninterruptible backstab that often kills you (or your companions) in one hit. Thirdly, whenever he gets low on health, he drinks a health potion that restores a large portion of his health. Again, this is not interruptible and no, he never runs out of potions. If you only had to fight lone assassins, it wouldn't be so bad. Of course, this is never actually the case, as you end up getting swarmed by enemy fighters while dealing with quite possibly the cheapest enemy ever designed.

I don't know what they were thinking. He's probably a lot easier when you aren't playing on Nightmare difficulty but the fact remains that he's significantly harder than all the other enemies I've encountered thus far and he's not even a boss. It's ridiculous. I wonder if they even tested the game on Nightmare difficulty.
 
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105. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 23:54 StingingVelvet
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 9, 2011, 23:23:
My impressions thus far are rather meh. Kirkwall is pretty bland and doesn't really hold a candle to the areas in DAO. I really dislike the dialogue wheel, as it forces me to guess what I'm going to say and makes me feel detached from my character. Combat is enjoyably tactical on Nightmare difficulty and I haven't encountered any issues with arrows going through walls. The story hasn't really gripped me yet and I haven't faced any interesting choices yet. In DAO, the first moral choice you make as a city elf is whether to let some nobles rape your sister and spare your village or save your sister and sacrifice your village. That was an interesting choice.

Yeah I'm 8 hours in and haven't had any good choices yet either... I hope that ramps up. The whole game seems to be slow to start for supposedly being so much shorter. After 8 hours and being level 8 I only have 4 companions and nothing has really happened... just doing random side missions for money. Maybe I am going through it a weird way.

I like the visual design but I do agree Kirkwall is somewhat drab. Many parts of Origins were drab too though, so it's kinda 6 vs. a half-dozen. There hasn't been much to rival the towering Ostagar or awesome lake at Redcliffe though.

As for battles I played on hard for most of my 8 hours and had to use a lot of tactics and pausing to succeed. I hit a battle at the end of the mission to save the king-or-whatever's son though where I had a Qunari leader, a Qunari mage and like a dozen normal Qunari. I died 5 times in a row and eventually put it on normal.
 
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104. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 23:23 Jerykk
 
My impressions thus far are rather meh. Kirkwall is pretty bland and doesn't really hold a candle to the areas in DAO. I really dislike the dialogue wheel, as it forces me to guess what I'm going to say and makes me feel detached from my character. Combat is enjoyably tactical on Nightmare difficulty and I haven't encountered any issues with arrows going through walls. The story hasn't really gripped me yet and I haven't faced any interesting choices yet. In DAO, the first moral choice you make as a city elf is whether to let some nobles rape your sister and spare your village or save your sister and sacrifice your village. That was an interesting choice.  
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103. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 22:35 Zuckuss
 
I own it. The proper term is nerfed. They totally took the control away from the player. Not being able to trade armor between your NPC's is unforgivable. Undeniably pretty. But they removed some of the best elements of the original.  
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102. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 22:31 Dades
 
I bought the game last night. And guess what? I can't stop playing.

Apparently you can after all. Balloon
 
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101. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 21:14 Dirwulf
 
I had to come back to this thread. I haven't read a lot of the follow up. This is just a personal experience. I bought the game last night. And guess what? I can't stop playing. I think I'm even having more fun than I did on the first one. I think people are being WAY too picky and LOOKING for things to bitch about instead of enjoying the game. After all, isn't the point of playing a game to have fun?

I friend of mine started a thread on Facebook, simply stating "Leave me alone Dragon Age II <3" The thread has exploded with all our gamer friends talking about how much they love this game. I was quite surprised. It made me smile.

So while all the haters hate, I'm having a ton of fun and feel sorry for all the haters who are missing out. Nah...I don't really feel sorry for you :D.
 
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100. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 19:01 Paranoid Jack
 
I've seen a couple arrows and spells home in on the target but that's been in a lot of games lately. Even an added bonus to spells created in Two Worlds 2. It doesn't bother me. Though the hoops I had to jump through to get registered and get my extra items was a bit frustrating. Since then I've been totally immersed in the game. I like it much better than DA Origins. And I had almost seventy hours into that one though I never completed it. Always getting side tracked by new games coming out.

This game feels more like the old BG games to me though it may just be the new graphics and game world pulling me in. I like the crazy out of place stuff you find. The lore items your always coming across. And even the combat feels better to me. It's faster but still real-time with pause. So far it's been awesome...
 
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99. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 17:12 wrlwnd
 
joe2tiger wrote on Mar 8, 2011, 11:11:
wrlwnd wrote on Mar 8, 2011, 11:01:
Tying high-res textures to DirectX 11 is total fail.

WTF are these developers smoking?

I don't understand, how that is a total fail? Perhaps they are thinking if you have the hardware to run high res, you likely have the latest gen cards on the market.

Uh, yes, I have a good card, one with enough memory to run the high-res textures. But I'm running it on XP, which doesn't run DX-11. So to tie DX-11 to high-res textures as was stated in the release notes doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
 
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98. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 16:38 Creston
 
Oh, okay, that does sound different then. NONE of EA's game testers ever saw this problem, of course.

Oh wait, I forgot. EA doesn't have game testers.

Creston
 
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97. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 15:48 Verno
 
No, I think we're talking about two different things. Arrows might have clipped the corners of textures once in awhile and projectiles already in flight(like the fireball you mentioned) would hit you no matter what. I'm referring to something sitting on the other side of a wall due to bad AI and literally firing through it over and over. It's happened to me a few times with archers already. It's a bug, you can even see the lighting improperly coming through the walls sometimes, people on the social forums have posted a bunch of examples.  
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96. Re: Dragon Age 2 and High-Rez Patch Released Mar 9, 2011, 15:37 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Mar 9, 2011, 09:35:
- Combat is bizarre and unsatisfying. We tried Nightmare which would be fine if enemies didn't literally appear out of thin air and rape you. It removes any semblance of tactical combat. As someone else mentioned enemies don't have to respect line of sight which is a total WTF moment when you realize it.


To be fair, it's the same way in Origins. You can sneak attack a mage with a bow and run away while he's casting, and that fucking fireball will go THROUGH three walls to still explode in your face.

Creston
 
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