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    Dragon Age II

    Game » consists of 16 releases. Released Mar 08, 2011

    This sequel to Dragon Age: Origins features faster combat, a new art style, and a brand new, fully voiced main character named Hawke.

    So I Just Completed the Prologue on Nightmare

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    Seppli

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    #1  Edited By Seppli

    Anybody who says...

     
    ...that Dragon Age 2 has been dumbed down, suffers of a severe case of unfounded bias. The prologue's final fight against the Ogre - it took me like 5 attempts to finally understand how much more micromanagment I had to do, in comparison to DA:O. At first the fight seemed borderline impossible with the very limited skills and consumables I've got at my command. It took some banging my head against the wall, until I got it down.
     
    Movement is much more important now. Thankfully it's a lot snappier too. Like moving Avaline out of harms way everytime the Ogre gives away his next big attack with an animation. Grabbing aggro with Hawke (going 2-handed warrior with him) from as many adds as possible. Having Bethany throw in an AoE Firebal into the fray and while having Hawke back away quickly. Kiting when no healing spells or healpot cooldowns are available, when in a pinch.
     
    Healing is a lot more tactical now, since both healpots and Bethany's heal (she's only got access to one heal spell) are on a lenghty cooldown timer. It comes down to a mix and match of grabbing aggro, kiting, evading the Ogre's attacks such as Hurl and Charge and Stomp (or so I dub them), as well as setting up my own AoE attacks without causing harm to my group.
     
    Can't wait to have access to more skills and especially starting to synergize with skill combos for maximum dps. Probably going for a group set-up with an offensive Tank (Hawke), a Rogue (prolly Melee for casterprotection) and  2 Mages going for Support/Heal/Crowd Control first. Should give me enough wiggle room to deal with the harsh difficulty and challenge of Insanity.
     
    Combat is definitely more challenging with an increased emphasis on smart and reactive movement, rather than being a tank and spank system like DA:O, which mostly relied on decent preparation (potting on cooldown, while every pot-tye was on a own CD and a short one at that, made the game quite easy). Classes and specializations also feel a lot more distinct. With two-handed Warriors dealing AoE damage with every strike and sword and board Tanks really being mitigation tanks.
     
    Seriously - get over yourself. I got a great first impression. All I needed to do is bang my head against the 'Insanity Wall', until I saw what it was about. It's great and a lot more involved than DA:O's mechanics are.
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    ryanwho

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    #2  Edited By ryanwho

    Man plays 10 minutes, is expert.

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    Simplexity

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    #3  Edited By Simplexity

    You are probably right, but that is only on the hardest difficulty, DA:O it seemed atleast to me that even the lower difficulties you had to employ some sort of strategy, and I played it on normal (yes I know I am terrible). And all I did was just nuke everything down, no micromanaging no nothing without much trouble excluding the odd bossfights that reminded me alot of World of Warcraft raid bosses which I am not sure is a good thing.

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    N7

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    #4  Edited By N7

    I think once more people start to realize that it's more of an action RPG, they may start to have fun with it. You can actually dodge in this game. How crazy is that? No more "Well, I initiated the attack, so no matter where he goes, it'll still hit!" It was pretty awesome running away from a boss and him not able to hit me, despite the fact he was trying. Such a small thing adds in so much depth to the gameplay. It's also pretty hard to get used to. I normally just stand there and get my face beat in, not even realizing that I can just run away and avoid being hit.
     
    I'm having a pretty tough time with the game on Normal, so I'm never going to even think about touching Nightmare, unless there is a trophy involved.

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    Seppli

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    #5  Edited By Seppli
    @ryanwho said:

    " Man plays 10 minutes, is expert. "

    It took me 10 minutes to see past the 'DA2 is dumbed down' complaints. Its core gameplay, as in combat, is definitely NOT dumbed down. Alone the change Bioware made to consumable cooldowns does prevent lots of lameplay as seen in DA:O, such as potting every 2 seconds.
     
    DA2 kinda has a form of  'active evading', which wasn't the case in DA:O. Action gameplay in a tactical environment - and thanks to the pause function, it works too.
     
    If I have a complaint this early on, I feel like skills are generally on too long cooldown timers. At least this early on, most of the time everthing I've got is on cooldown and there's nothing to do, other than minding my position and movement. For example - I believe a straightforward heal spell shouldn't have a lenghty cooldown. If needed, I should be able to dump all my mana into heals quickly. The lenghty manapot cooldown timer prevents exploitative lameplay à la DA:O anyways - so whats the deal with a heal on a 20sec or so cooldown? How else can a healer mitigate damage spikes? Got to get my hands on a Spirit Healer to see how it all comes together though. Bethany denfinitely doesn't cut it as a Healer.
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    blueduck

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    #6  Edited By blueduck

    So what you're saying is that this game becomes more like the better game on the hardest difficulty? Also it could be that you're just bad.

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    ryanwho

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    #7  Edited By ryanwho

    The combat actually is fine, but you haven't really even played through the game yet. So no, you don't know more than people who played 20 hours. You don't know enough to even have the discussion. You played as little of the game as possible with the intent, it seems, of disproving "haters", then jumped back onto the internet. If the game is so fun, why did you take a break to write an essay? Why does it matter how other people think? Do you have more fun talking about the game than playing it? Go play the game, come back in 10 hours and talk.

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    InKtOiD

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    #8  Edited By InKtOiD
    @Seppli: 
     You do realize that the people who have the complaints are generally the ones who have already seen the game to its climax right? If you want to get technical, after only playing the prologue your response is more one based in bias. Seems as if you may just be sucking the teet of Bioware just a little too much my friend.
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    Seppli

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    #9  Edited By Seppli
    @ryanwho: 
     
    Not saying that. Just giving my contrarian first impression to all the 'combat is dumbed down' hogwash I come across.
     

    @blueduck:


     I'm no slouch at RPGs. I know RPG mechanics in and out. I very well know the difference between broken and hard. At least the prologue was hard but fair and more involved than anything DA:O expected the players to do in order to succeed.
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    Seppli

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    #10  Edited By Seppli
    @InKtOiD said:
    " @Seppli:   You do realize that the people who have the complaints are generally the ones who have already seen the game to its climax right? If you want to get technical, after only playing the prologue your response is more one based in bias. Seems as if you may just be sucking the teet of Bioware just a little too much my friend. "
    Since when is giving a first impression something to be frowned upon?
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    deactivated-5a1a3d3c6820c

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    @Seppli said:
    " lameplay "
    Please never say this word again.
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    Seppli

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    #12  Edited By Seppli
    @Khann said:
    " @Seppli said:
    " lameplay "
    Please never say this word again. "
    The word is lame, because it expresses exactly what it has to. The word is so good at its job, that you hate it as much as I hate the act it stands for.
     
    It's a winner! Always winning.
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    owl_of_minerva

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    #13  Edited By owl_of_minerva

    Difficulty does not equal complexity, so the argument's invalid. An action game which involves walking in a straight line punching might be extremely difficult, but that doesn't make it deep or rewarding.
     
    Dragon Age: Origins has more going on in terms of character builds and combat tactics. It was deeply flawed because the game is easily broken, and it was simplified in crucial respects, which is intensified with DA2. It's cool you like it, but arguing against diehard RPG players is a lost cause, they view the game with contempt and nothing you say will change that. I can enjoy it for what it is, but it's still not a style of RPG design I find valid or praiseworthy.

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    Mooqi

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    #14  Edited By Mooqi

    Especially the prologue shows how dumbed down the combat is. If you call running in circles with all your party members (because that is what you have to do) to avoid getting hit "expert micromanagement" then I cannot help you. The fact that most of your party will only have 2-3 skills at that point doesn't benefit tactical gameplay as well.
     
    You should not call people biased after having played about 2 % of the game...

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    InKtOiD

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    #15  Edited By InKtOiD
    @Seppli: 
    Nothing to be frowned upon we all view the game differently. I enjoyed the game quite a bit actually but when it came time to review it I took a critical eye to the game. Can not pass over something that is possibly hindering the game just because I love the company who made it. For the most part Dragon Age 2 feels like an arcade game. For a while there I swear to god I was seeing more blood and chunked bodies than the remake to SplatterHouse.
     
    Unless you are playing on Nightmare the game isn't anything more than a hack and slash fest mostly. I played a majority of the game on just hard, decided to keep my Nightmare Play-through for second, and I found a majority of this game to be a Backstab Spamming walk in the park. No real need for all those tactics you are working so hard to perfect. This was a disappointment to me because I remember parts of DA: O that were extremely difficult on hard and nightmare mode alike, but this one doesn't seem to have the same difficulty working against you.
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    deactivated-5a1a3d3c6820c

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    @Seppli said:
    " @Khann said:
    " @Seppli said:
    " lameplay "
    Please never say this word again. "
    The word is lame, because it expresses exactly what it has to. The word is so good at its job, that you hate it as much as I hate the act it stands for.  It's a winner! Always winning. "
    You seem like a really fun person.
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    ChaosDent

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    #17  Edited By ChaosDent
    @Seppli:  I'm assuming you are playing on PC? I tried to start in Nightmare on the PS3 and I couldn't make it past the first combat encounter. I'm playing on hard and only a little further into the game. I'm still fighting the camera, and pressing X repeatedly isn't helping me pay attention to the battlefield at all. My biggest problem is when the next wave of trash mobs swarm my ranged characters from behind while I'm off furiously marking time with basic attacks.
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    Seppli

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    #18  Edited By Seppli
    @Mooqi said:

    " Especially the prologue shows how dumbed down the combat is. If you call running in circles with all your party members (because that is what you have to do) to avoid getting hit "expert micromanagement" then I cannot help you. The fact that most of your party will only have 2-3 skills at that point doesn't benefit tactical gameplay as well.  You should not call people biased after having played about 2 % of the game... "

    Actually, you just need to pull Aveline out of the AoE and be mindful of a Hurl or Charge, which might follow. You have to kite, if you want Bethany to get off some fireballs. But that's just a split-second thing. I had to kite with Aveline for about 10 seconds, because I haven't had any CDs ready to heal her back up. Completed the fight out of stamina, out of pots and with about 30% health on each character left. Juggling CDs and pulling the group out of AoE or using a pommel strike or shield bash to interrupt the Ogre. Had to move Bethany once or twice, becaue the Ogre tried to hurl a rock at her.
     
    Don't insinuate mindless kiting would be beneficial to succeed in this encounter. Definitely not, because I certainly tried that too. It's about maintaining control. Mitigating what can be mitigated and evading what has to be evaded. Early on, the tools to build a 'winner team' with 'overpowered tactics' aren't at my disposal - I haven't even begun to try and break the game. It's the prefect place to see and learn the combat basics, because they're the only tool at my disposal.
     
    You should definitely try and play at least the prologue on Insanity difficulty and come back to report once you've beaten the final encounter.
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    Seppli

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    #19  Edited By Seppli
    @InKtOiD said:
    " @Seppli: Nothing to be frowned upon we all view the game differently. I enjoyed the game quite a bit actually but when it came time to review it I took a critical eye to the game. Can not pass over something that is possibly hindering the game just because I love the company who made it. For the most part Dragon Age 2 feels like an arcade game. For a while there I swear to god I was seeing more blood and chunked bodies than the remake to SplatterHouse.  Unless you are playing on Nightmare the game isn't anything more than a hack and slash fest mostly. I played a majority of the game on just hard, decided to keep my Nightmare Play-through for second, and I found a majority of this game to be a Backstab Spamming walk in the park. No real need for all those tactics you are working so hard to perfect. This was a disappointment to me because I remember parts of DA: O that were extremely difficult on hard and nightmare mode alike, but this one doesn't seem to have the same difficulty working against you. "
    Sounds like we share similar sensibilities when it comes to RPG combat. I think you'll be in for a treat. From my very limited experience, Insanity shapes up to be a delightfully challenging, yet remarkably fair difficulty setting - requiring full mastery of all mechanics at my disposal.
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    Mooqi

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    #20  Edited By Mooqi
    @Seppli:  I actually did that. I spent my first two hours with the game on nightmare difficulty (because of my experience with DA:O) with about a dozen restarts in the prologue to check out what can be done and how the new combat system works out. Tried out all classes and every possible skill combination (there are not that many if you take a close look). I don't mind you liking the new system, but I felt calling people who feel like it is dumbed down "biased" to be wrong.
     
    Eventually, you might feel the same way that I do. When I first started, I had hopes that the combat would become less tedious with the progression of the game, but actually it gets worse. To be honest, I was biased back then, because I thought, it is a game from the people who made ME2 and DA:O, it must be good.
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    Seppli

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    #21  Edited By Seppli
    @Mooqi said:

    " @Seppli:  I actually did that. I spent my first two hours with the game on insane difficulty (because of my experience with DA:O) with about a dozen restarts in the prologue to check out what can be done and how the new combat system works out. Tried out all classes and every possible skill combination (there are not that many if you take a close look). I don't mind you liking the new system, but I felt calling people who feel like it is dumbed down "biased" to be wrong.  Eventually, you might feel the same way that I do. When I first started, I had hopes that the combat would become less tedious with the progression of the game, but actually it gets worse. To be honest, I was biased back then, because I thought, it is a game from the people who made ME2 and DA:O, it must be good. "

    Here's me hoping Insanity doesn't turn out to be the 'broken' kind of difficult. My faith in Bioware is still intact and I hope you're wrong about it or have other sensibilities than me.
     
    If Insanity turns out to be a stinker, I'll just turn difficulty all the way down to normal or even casual and enjoy fast paced 'hitting dudes into pieces of fleshy bloody gobs of goo and guts and inners'.
     
    Should be fun enough.
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    Seppli

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    #22  Edited By Seppli
    @chaosdent said:
    " @Seppli:  I'm assuming you are playing on PC? I tried to start in Nightmare on the PS3 and I couldn't make it past the first combat encounter. I'm playing on hard and only a little further into the game. I'm still fighting the camera, and pressing X repeatedly isn't helping me pay attention to the battlefield at all. My biggest problem is when the next wave of trash mobs swarm my ranged characters from behind while I'm off furiously marking time with basic attacks. "
    Jup. PC. Feelin' your pain with buttonmashin'. Definitely not suited for Insanity.
     
    Just hope Bioware delivers on their promise of patching in auto-attack swiftly.
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    Mooqi

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    #23  Edited By Mooqi
    @Seppli: 
    Dude, thats exactly the way I did it. After being fed up with "quasi tactical" play, I tuned it down to button mash, visual style arcade mode and the combat did no longer keep me from enjoying the game.
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    Seppli

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    #24  Edited By Seppli
    @Mooqi said:

    " @Seppli:  Dude, thats exactly the way I did it. After being fed up with "quasi tactical" play, I tuned it down to button mash, visual style arcade mode and the combat did no longer keep me from enjoying the game. "

    I'm quite far into chapter 1 now, did the questchain for Merril and some sidequests. While I had a lot of 'by the flesh of my teeth' encounters, I'm still thoroughly enjoying combat on Insane difficulty. It's really all about smart movement and positioning. I had a little trouble at first keeping my 2handed warrior in check, since I always kinda killed my group with the constant AoE he's dealing.
     
    I usually open with a tactical retreat now. Pulling back the whole group a couple of feet -  which is piling up the foes in a neat cluster. Then I have my warrior 'Scyte' into the fray, following up with all kinds of hurt - just imagine how awesome this opening will be with the 100% crits Whirlwind skills cutting them to shreds. All the while I'm focusing firing away with the rest of the group. Pretty much kills all the fodder in one go. When there ain't enough space for much movement, I'm spacing out the ranged at the edges of the arena, while I'm zig-zaggin' all over the place with the warrior.
     
    It really helps a lot to set the AI tactics to be extremely passive. Just let the warrior do his thing and grab aggro, focusing single targets with auto attacks and keep the real hurt up my sleeve for when I'm controlling the flow of the battle, or to nuke reinforcement quickly as it appears, to create space for movement or positioning. Many fights are really won after having expended every ressource at my disposal - usually first try, which is a bloody awesome feeling. It's gotten easier now with more skills and stuff like the blood armor and it will continue to become more managable as I go.
     
    Once you get past the hump, it's very enjoyable and definitely far from dumbed down - even when played as a pure tactics game, it's a lot more involved thanks to snappy movement and target aquisition. Zig-zaggin' all around the Battlefield with melee is so sweet. Dealing damage, evading lots of damage and constantly interrupting foes, as well as grabbing aggro. SAAAAWEEET!
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    Seppli

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    #25  Edited By Seppli

    Thinking about it though. A skill & movement queue function would be a great addition for Insanity (since KotoR had skill queues, it's kind of an omission). Just imagine having 3 melees in your group and queing up 10 autoattacks on the 10 different foes. Just dudes zig-zaggin' all around the field in blade-frenzied blur.
     
    Sexiness!

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    Demyx

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    #26  Edited By Demyx

    From what I played of the demo and what I saw from the quick look. DA2 still seems fun. I can't wait to get it.

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    Vrikk

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    #27  Edited By Vrikk

    No, the game has been simplified. Combat is now easy. I had to increase my difficulty about Normal to even get enjoyment out of the fights when in DA:O every fight in Normal was rewarding and challenging. Also the MMO-style hot bar is stupid.

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    Cataphract1014

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    #28  Edited By Cataphract1014
    @Vrikk said:
    " No, the game has been simplified. Combat is now easy. I had to increase my difficulty about Normal to even get enjoyment out of the fights when in DA:O every fight in Normal was rewarding and challenging. Also the MMO-style hot bar is stupid. "
    What?  DA:O had the hot bar, and are you saying the game was too easy on easy?
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    Thrawn1

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    #29  Edited By Thrawn1

    that first fight against the ogre can be one with as little as 2 characters assuming at least one of them is ranged, same for one of the dragon bosses too. just kite and shoot with the player the boss is attacking.

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    SlashDance

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    #30  Edited By SlashDance
    @Prodstep said:
    " You are probably right, but that is only on the hardest difficulty, DA:O it seemed atleast to me that even the lower difficulties you had to employ some sort of strategy "
    On hard maybe (haven't tried it) but normal mode in DAO was a cakewalk once you realized how overpowered the mages were. I played though the entire base game and Awakening never having to even bother managing my team mates (except for healing and such). The cooldowns were fast as hell making it easy to just spam the same 5 or 6 spells over and over again.
     
    I'm not finding DA2 to be a harder game to be honest, and I wouldn't say the combat requires a lot of heavy strategy (again, I'm playing on normal), but I'm definitely jumping around my team mates a lot more and taking advantage of their abilities. Not only because the cooldowns are longer but also because all classes have very usefull skills now. Not to mention the cross class combos, which are a lot of fun to pull off. Also now, when you make a mistake, having to deal with that 30 seconds cooldown for healing potions can be pretty tense. You don't become invincible just by having 35 potions in you inventory, like in Origins.
     
    I guess not everyone had the same experience with DAO, but for me the combat was pretty boring to be honest. I'm having way more fun with DA2 so far.
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    azrailx

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    #31  Edited By azrailx

    games only hard because enemies just keep constantly spawning, fuckin dumb

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    shirogane

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    #32  Edited By shirogane
    @SlashDance said:
    " @Prodstep said:
    " You are probably right, but that is only on the hardest difficulty, DA:O it seemed atleast to me that even the lower difficulties you had to employ some sort of strategy "
    On hard maybe (haven't tried it) but normal mode in DAO was a cakewalk once you realized how overpowered the mages were. I played though the entire base game and Awakening never having to even bother managing my team mates (except for healing and such). The cooldowns were fast as hell making it easy to just spam the same 5 or 6 spells over and over again. I'm not finding DA2 to be a harder game to be honest, and I wouldn't say the combat requires a lot of heavy strategy (again, I'm playing on normal), but I'm definitely jumping around my team mates a lot more and taking advantage of their abilities. Not only because the cooldowns are longer but also because all classes have very usefull skills now. Not to mention the cross class combos, which are a lot of fun to pull off. Also now, when you make a mistake, having to deal with that 30 seconds cooldown for healing potions can be pretty tense. You don't become invincible just by having 35 potions in you inventory, like in Origins. I guess not everyone had the same experience with DAO, but for me the combat was pretty boring to be honest. I'm having way more fun with DA2 so far. "

    DA:O was a cakewalk if you had Wynne in your party at all times. 
    And even then, unless you screwed up real bad, all you'd have to do is kite the boss around with your final character and a ranged weapon for 10 mins until it died. Which is exactly what happens in DA2 as well. Cept your healer this time isn't as good, and is a total asshole who deserves to die. He also tries to flirth with you constantly if you're male, which is awkward. 
    I found combat in DA:O to be pretty tedious and boring too, DA2 at least makes it less slow.
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    CaptainCody

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    #33  Edited By CaptainCody
    @ryanwho said:
    "Man plays 10 minutes, is expert. "

    Oh dear god this, it took him more time to write his OP than to make what little progress he had.
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    Mooqi

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    #34  Edited By Mooqi
    @Seppli: 
    So you came to another conclusion. That's fine with me.
     
    I went for a second playthrough yesterday and uninstalled the game after the prologue. It do not regret playing it once, but the combat system is no fun for me.
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    deactivated-5f9398c1300c7

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    I am playing the game on Hard and it's pretty fucking difficult. That's actually because of the cheap enemy infantry spawns and large number of enemies. It's not because your tactics are bad.

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    ventilaator

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    #36  Edited By ventilaator

    Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?
     
    Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen.

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    #37  Edited By Seppli
    @Vrikk said:
    " No, the game has been simplified. Combat is now easy. I had to increase my difficulty about Normal to even get enjoyment out of the fights when in DA:O every fight in Normal was rewarding and challenging. Also the MMO-style hot bar is stupid. "
    Dude - normal didn't even have FF on consoels and only 50% on PC, if at all. Can't remember. Friendly fire in general was 'dumbed down' in DA:O, because melee AoE didn't cause any FF damage. Now it does.
     
    It's common courtesy to increase difficulty, if you don't enjoy it because its too easy? What kind of a void argument are you trying to make? Please don't be for real!
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    #38  Edited By Seppli
    @azrailx said:

    " games only hard because enemies just keep constantly spawning, fuckin dumb "

    @Tru3_Blu3 said:

    " I am playing the game on Hard and it's pretty fucking difficult. That's actually because of the cheap enemy infantry spawns and large number of enemies. It's not because your tactics are bad. "

    I thought the same thing for a brief moment. Was fucking aggrivated about losing a fight because of god-damn mid-combat respawn. Then I though about what I could do better. Aswer. Keep group closer together and move as a group. Micromanage movement in a small space. All it takes are small movements to evade AoE. Like switching a target. Thanks to zippy animations, your melees will be out of an AoEs wake. Have squishy ranged criss cross though the battle and have tanks zig-zag attack their pursuers, as they pass. Pull back melees a couple of feet (most reliable when taking over direct movement control) as your Ranged throw in AoE simulatniously. General kill order for me is ---> Ranged (bow and crossbow) ---> Cannonfodder (low constitution enemies) ---> Casters (which I attack as soon as my various crowd control wears off, at the very least it's gonna be my tank to nab aggro).
     
    Sometimes, you'll have to go for a tactical retreat. Break line of sight with their ranged. Kill melee. Have ranged catch up. Guess what's happening to them, when they're coming around the corner? Also - skillful well-executed kiting (as not kiting for ever, but in small steps of a couple of feet, all the while throwing in various AoE attacks and combos) is the most cinematic combat will ever get. So effin cool.
     

    @Ventilaator

    said:

    " Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?  Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen. "

    Seems to be news to the faction claiming DA2 combat was 'dumbed down'.
     

    @CaptainCody

    said:

    " @ryanwho said:

    "Man plays 10 minutes, is expert. "

    Oh dear god this, it took him more time to write his OP than to make what little progress he had. "
    It's not like I've played it since... oh wait - sure I have!
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    #39  Edited By Nomin

    Just wait until you encounter one of those cheating assassins...the way they instagib you on every backstab they attempt, and boy do they unleash it with impunity, you will literally tear yout hair out to the last three. They obviously failed to test the game for balance on higher difficulties, and I am sure there will be balancing patches out very soon. 
    The combat is simplified to the point of how every encounter follows a similar course of a fodder mob with stronger version of those sprinkled in, followed by spawning enemies out of thin air, rinse, clean, repeat. No matter where you move your characters, twitching to and fro to find any last remaining piece of legitimate tactical leverage, it'd be all for naught for most cases. 

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    #40  Edited By ventilaator
    @Seppli said:

    "
     

    @Ventilaator

    said:

    " Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?  Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen. "

     "
    Just because the hardest mode is hard doesn't mean that the game isn't dumbed down.
     
    Heck, you can pick any game ever and play them on their hardest setting and find it difficult (With a few exceptions of course)
     
    The fact that you need to go up to the most nightmarish mode of inevitable doom to get the same kind of strategic depth out of the game you got on Normal with Dragon Age: Origins is proof enough that the game was dumbed down.
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    #41  Edited By Mooqi
    @Tru3_Blu3: That's exactly how i felt. It felt like the game was cheating. An important aspect of a tactical approach is to know what you will encounter. If you plan to beat those 10 guys and at certain points there are another 10 and another 10 "warped in", you can hit the reload button and plan again, now with the knowledge that there will be respawns. And this concept is not pleasing me at all. It hurts the coherent logic of the game atmosphere and is a "lame" method to prolong the fights.
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    TaliciaDragonsong

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    @ryanwho said:
    " Man plays 10 minutes, is expert. "
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    #43  Edited By Seppli
    @Nomin said:

    " Just wait until you encounter one of those cheating assassins...the way they instagib you on every backstab they attempt, and boy do they unleash it with impunity, you will literally tear yout hair out to the last three. They obviously failed to test the game for balance on higher difficulties, and I am sure there will be balancing patches out very soon. The combat is simplified to the point of how every encounter follows a similar course of a fodder mob with stronger version of those sprinkled in, followed by spawning enemies out of thin air, rinse, clean, repeat. No matter where you move your characters, twitching to and fro to find any last remaining piece of legitimate tactical leverage, it'd be all for naught for most cases.  "

    Encountered plenty of those. Sometimes they instagib'd a squishy. Lost a couple of battles to their cunning too.
     
    Mostly, being on my toes and keeping my group together, as well as handing out at least 1 constitution each levelup for every character, counteracts their insta-gib'ness quite relieably. Stuns or just regular melee damage will interrupt their stabby business too. Throw in a barrier on the dude taking the shiv in his ribcage. Keeping your group in close vercinity helps dealing with such unpleasantness swiftly. Broad strokes of group movement while the assassin is stealthed helps too.
     
    Playing on Insanity - I do not expect to win every encounter first try. I do expect to learn from failure. Many fights, I survive with the flesh of my teeth - often having taken a loss or two. That's what I want it to be. Tough as nails. An experience demanding self-improvement, not just character level-ups. Up to now (balls deep in side-quests in chapter 1), it's completely fair with valid and fun counters to anything the game throws at me. DA:O had its share of insta-gib-like attacks from Ogres (squeezing ribcage) and Genlocks (Crushing Prison) and Marbaris and Drakes and such (Pinning down while eating off face) - all of them had counters, if they weren't on cooldown. Same deal here.
     
    DA2 works more with raw numbers, instead of few enemies with powerful attacks.
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    #44  Edited By Seppli
    @Ventilaator said:

    " @Seppli said:

    "
     

    @Ventilaator

    said:

    " Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?  Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen. "

     "
    Just because the hardest mode is hard doesn't mean that the game isn't dumbed down.
     
    Heck, you can pick any game ever and play them on their hardest setting and find it difficult (With a few exceptions of course)  The fact that you need to go up to the most nightmarish mode of inevitable doom to get the same kind of strategic depth out of the game you got on Normal with Dragon Age: Origins is proof enough that the game was dumbed down. "
    Dude - it's all about Friendly Fire.
     
    DA:O only was at its full depth on hard or higher difficulty due to enabling 100% FF. While only Insanity has friendly fire in DA2 now, its friendly fire does include melee AoE, which DA:Os didn't. That's a step up in difficulty and gameplay relevant complexity - the opposite of dumbing down. Ain't an easy task to keep your own two-handed warrior from slicing and dicing his own crew and still remain effective.
     
    The only proof you're giving me is testament to your own stubborness to adapt and learn - since obviously you want a deeper more complex and demanding combat experience. It's there and it's called NIghtmare. Nobody but you is stopping your from having what you want. Of course I agree that enabling friendly fire for any difficulty setting seperatly in two steps, 50% FF and 100% FF, would be the awesome way to handle things.
     
    Nightmare definitely ain't for the faint of heart. It didn't step over the line thus far, but I'd probably have just as good a time on hard setting with FF on.
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    #45  Edited By ventilaator
    @Seppli said:
    " @Ventilaator said:

    " @Seppli said:

    "
     

    @Ventilaator

    said:

    " Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?  Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen. "

     "
    Just because the hardest mode is hard doesn't mean that the game isn't dumbed down.
     
    Heck, you can pick any game ever and play them on their hardest setting and find it difficult (With a few exceptions of course)  The fact that you need to go up to the most nightmarish mode of inevitable doom to get the same kind of strategic depth out of the game you got on Normal with Dragon Age: Origins is proof enough that the game was dumbed down. "
    Dude - it's all about Friendly Fire.  DA:O only was at its full depth on hard or higher difficulty due to enabling 100% FF. While only Insanity has friendly fire in DA2 now, its friendly fire does include melee AoE, which DA:Os didn't. That's a step up in difficulty and gameplay relevant complexity - the opposite of dumbing down. Ain't an easy task to keep your own two-handed warrior from slicing and dicing his own crew and still remain effective. The only proof you're giving me is testament to your own stubborness to adapt and learn - since obviously you want a deeper more complex and demanding combat experience. It's there and it's called NIghtmare. Nobody but you is stopping your from having what you want. Of course I agree that enabling friendly fire for any difficulty setting seperatly in two steps, 50% FF and 100% FF, would be the awesome way to handle things.  Nightmare definitely ain't for the faint of heart. It didn't step over the line thus far, but I'd probably have just as good a time on hard setting with FF on. "
    The only way for me to get through Dragon Age Origins WITHOUT pausing a lot at every fight was to play on easy.
    The only way for me to get through Dragon Age 2 and have the need to pause at all would be on the hardest difficulty.
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    #46  Edited By McGhee
    @Ventilaator said:
    " @Seppli said:
    " @Ventilaator said:

    " @Seppli said:

    "
     

    @Ventilaator

    said:

    " Holy shit, you played it on the hardest setting and it was hard?  Stop the goddamn presses gentlemen. "

     "
    Just because the hardest mode is hard doesn't mean that the game isn't dumbed down.
     
    Heck, you can pick any game ever and play them on their hardest setting and find it difficult (With a few exceptions of course)  The fact that you need to go up to the most nightmarish mode of inevitable doom to get the same kind of strategic depth out of the game you got on Normal with Dragon Age: Origins is proof enough that the game was dumbed down. "
    Dude - it's all about Friendly Fire.  DA:O only was at its full depth on hard or higher difficulty due to enabling 100% FF. While only Insanity has friendly fire in DA2 now, its friendly fire does include melee AoE, which DA:Os didn't. That's a step up in difficulty and gameplay relevant complexity - the opposite of dumbing down. Ain't an easy task to keep your own two-handed warrior from slicing and dicing his own crew and still remain effective. The only proof you're giving me is testament to your own stubborness to adapt and learn - since obviously you want a deeper more complex and demanding combat experience. It's there and it's called NIghtmare. Nobody but you is stopping your from having what you want. Of course I agree that enabling friendly fire for any difficulty setting seperatly in two steps, 50% FF and 100% FF, would be the awesome way to handle things.  Nightmare definitely ain't for the faint of heart. It didn't step over the line thus far, but I'd probably have just as good a time on hard setting with FF on. "
    The only way for me to get through Dragon Age Origins WITHOUT pausing a lot at every fight was to play on easy. The only way for me to get through Dragon Age 2 and have the need to pause at all would be on the hardest difficulty. "
    Oh please. The only thing that made DAO difficult was how goddamn stupid your teammates were, running into their own spells or mages running off for no reason into a hoard of enemies. Your A.I. teammates actually act the way they should on their own a lot better in DA2. That's why you don't actually have to pause as much on normal. And you definitely have to pause and plan shit out more often than not on hard difficulty. Everything the OP is saying about the strategy needed for insanity difficulty is about as strategic as you can get, too much for me. Hard is perfect for the amount I want to get involved. Bioware seems to have covered a wide range of play styles, casual to hard core in DA2.
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    #47  Edited By SlashDance
    @Mooqi said:

    " @Tru3_Blu3: That's exactly how i felt. It felt like the game was cheating. An important aspect of a tactical approach is to know what you will encounter. "

    Well, since it happens in almost every fight, you kinda do know what you will encounter every time. I don't mind the spawning at all, actualy I think it's a good idea to keep you on your toes.

    And I still don't get how you guys played Origins to find it so in depth on normal mode. That game had serious balance issues, and most of the skills were useless in that difficulty. After 10 levels I was picking them at random, knowing that I would not need them. You could just use the same few ones over and over again, and still breeze through it. How's that a good system ? 
    They did dumb down the complexity of the combat system, and made the whole thing more focused. In a perfect world I would've loved to see them fix what was wrong with Origins instead of stripping it down. 
    The end result feels very different from the first game and could not be further from its Baldur's Gate roots, but it's fun and rewarding nonetheless, and isn't as flawed.
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    #48  Edited By Mooqi
    @McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

    " Oh please. The only thing that made DAO difficult was how goddamn stupid your teammates were, running into their own spells or mages running off for no reason into a hoard of enemies. Your A.I. teammates actually act the way they should on their own a lot better in DA2. "

    In fact that still happens. The reason is the same as it was in DA:O. If you create a tactic like "If you are being attacked by an enemy, use [insert spell here] on them". Now the enemy hordes spawn and lock on to their targets and immediately afterwards, your teammate runs off to fullfill his duty. The problem is, your teammates know if they are targeted by an archer or mage far away before you do. Because you rely on a visual indication while your AI buddies "know" they are being attacked from the core code.
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    #49  Edited By McGhee
    @Mooqi said:
    " @McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

    " Oh please. The only thing that made DAO difficult was how goddamn stupid your teammates were, running into their own spells or mages running off for no reason into a hoard of enemies. Your A.I. teammates actually act the way they should on their own a lot better in DA2. "

    In fact that still happens. The reason is the same as it was in DA:O. If you create a tactic like "If you are being attacked by an enemy, use [insert spell here] on them". Now the enemy hordes spawn and lock on to their targets and immediately afterwards, your teammate runs off to fullfill his duty. The problem is, your teammates know if they are targeted by an archer or mage far away before you do. Because you rely on a visual indication while your AI buddies "know" they are being attacked from the core code. "
    Yeah, but it's not nearly as bad as it was in the first game. It seemed to be a constant battle just keeping what were supposedly ranged fighters from running right into the middle of the fight. They seem to do a whole lot better job now of hanging way back and doing what they're suppose to.
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    #50  Edited By amir90

    It is fun and sort of challenging on hard, but I think they use to many cheap tricks to make it challenging.
    Assassin bosses that almost immediately stealth, and can almost one hit my rouge and mage.
    So beware of assassins and mages, empathize on the latter, some of their small aoe spells is really powerful.
     
    Also, not sure I like how effective kiting is.. :P
     
    With all this, it is kinda fun, but you need throw out most of your DA:O mentality on how you play it, because it will probably not help you.
     
    I wish they implemented respec potion :/

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