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Dragon Age II Beta Patch

The BioWare Social Network now offers downloads of a PC-only beta version 1.01 patch for Dragon Age II, the just-released role-playing sequel. The patch fixes save game issues on single-core machines, the game asking for non-existent drives, release control issues where some players were unable to unlock correctly, and a Steam-specific issue related to VO not playing after switching languages. That last fix is a pretty odd one to include in this beta patch, since there's a footnote saying: "Steam does not support BETA patches. Steam users will have to wait for the final non-BETA patch before they can take advantage of these fixes. We're working on it but, unfortunately, this will not occur in time for the weekend." There is also a typical warning that users are applying a beta patch at their own risk. The patch is mirrored on Gamer's Hell and Strategy Informer.

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47. Re: Dragon Age II Beta Patch Mar 13, 2011, 20:48 Jerykk
 
To be fair, there are a number of things that have been genuinely dumbed down and cannot be blamed on the game's rushed production. The dialogue wheel with paraphrased dialogue choices + tone icons, for example, destroys any subtlety that conversations might have had. With a traditional dialogue tree, you have to read all the options and carefully consider each one's tone within the context of the conversation. In DA2, you don't even need to read the options. You can just look at the tone icon. I'm pretty sure that DA2 has fewer dialogue choices as well. 99% of the time, you are limited to nice, sarcastic and angry responses.

The companion influence system has also been dumbed down. Companions will never leave and/or try to kill you if you really piss them off. Instead, they just turn into "rivals" and still gain attribute bonuses, share their backstory and let you do their sidequests. Even if every choice you make directly conflicts with their principles and values, they'll stay loyal to you.

The new, limited tactical camera was taken straight from the console versions of DAO and is quite frankly terrible. It does not work well at all, especially in tight corridors and small rooms, where the camera is constantly blocked by the level's collision. The fact that your cursor automatically selects the nearest character is also extremely annoying when you're trying to squeeze as many enemies into an AoE while keeping your companions outside of it. This isn't really a big issue on the first four difficulty levels (since they don't have friendly-fire) but it just really sucks for those playing on Nightmare.

Finally, the overall difficulty curve of the game is dumbed down from DAO. In unpatched DAO PC, Normal difficulty was challenging. In unpatched DA2 PC, Normal difficulty is a complete joke. In DAO, friendly-fire was enabled in every mode except easy, I think. In DA2, it's only enabled on Nightmare difficulty. Coincidentally, friendly-fire was disabled by default in the console versions of DAO.

But interesting you mention an MMO. It almost felt like an extremely simple MMO actually. Something I would never thought I would feel in an BioWare game.

The side-quests in DAO often felt like MMO fare as well. Collect 10 of this, deliver that, kill this guy over here, etc. Just really half-assed and generic stuff with no interesting story or characters. I was hoping that the side-quests would be improved in DA2 but they've actually gotten worse. Now you just find random items in containers and deliver them to a random NPC, who gives you money. This is not a result of console-centric design, though. It's just a result of lazy design. Oblivion, FO3 and FO:NV all had interesting side-quests and all three games were designed for X360.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 2011, 20:55.
 
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  1. Mar 13, 16:13 Re: Dragon Age II Beta Patch Overon
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>> 47. Mar 13, 20:48          Re: Dragon Age II Beta Patch Jerykk
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  60. Mar 13, 21:46      Re: Dragon Age II Beta Patch Jerykk
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