Dragon's Age II

How we justify all that high-dollar hardware.

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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:08 am

Any suggestions for The Magistrate's Order quest?

SPOILER:
Vigilante execution feels right and it wins points with Merrill and Aveline while sparing the serial killer earns their distrust, but I'm afraid that pissing off the magistrate may eventually interfere with my goal of returning the Amell estate to its rightful heirs in the future.

Nevermind. I decided to please my companions instead of the magistrate. :evil:
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:04 am

I think I'm actually elligible for all of these except the Best Buy and Dead Space II ones, which is kind of cool (of course I pre-ordered the Signature Edition).

On another note, I'm really saddened that Steam isn't getting real love from EA here. I don't know why EA likes their own downloader thing, really.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:09 am

Anyone have any comments about the texture patch? I still haven't decided about getting this game yet. Might play through 1 and the expansions first. Giving this one time to come down in price a little.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:14 am

DancinJack wrote:Anyone have any comments about the texture patch? I still haven't decided about getting this game yet. Might play through 1 and the expansions first. Giving this one time to come down in price a little.


If you haven't played the first one, it's worth your time :). Maybe this one will come down in price while you're hacking your way through!
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:17 am

Airmantharp wrote:I think I'm actually elligible for all of these except the Best Buy and Dead Space II ones, which is kind of cool (of course I pre-ordered the Signature Edition).

On another note, I'm really saddened that Steam isn't getting real love from EA here. I don't know why EA likes their own downloader thing, really.


I doubt I can get the Razer add-on, as it looks like I'll have to purchase something directly from Razer, which I'm not interested in doing. I'm also missing the Signature Edition in-game items from my list, after entering the code that lists them from EAs email successfully. I'll have to see if they show up over time, or are included inside the 'Signature Edition Rewards' listing.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:57 am

I missed out on the signature stuff, Heck I didnt even know about it till I picked up my copy yesterday and of course my EB games didnt have any extra :( I did 'buy' the DLC to get the exiled prince story.

I am really enjoying the game. I was kind of upset that I couldnt carry over my toon from DA:O but I see the choices I made in DA:O do matter! Thats good. You should really finish Awakenings as it seems the choices made there really reflect in DA2

I am about 5 hours in and still havent left Kirkwall, there's so much to do. The new combat is interesting. At first I thought it was a click fest to keep attacking but its not. You click your target then use your hot keys for specials. It is more like WoW really. However, its a little to easy to find yourself surrounded, I dont know if I would call the AI smart or dumb in that aspect.

In all, I am really enjoying the game and I can see myself playing all classes and grabbing all the DLC much like DA:O. I cant stress enough how much I am loving Bioware's offering of Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Quality music, quality voice overs, and quality story lines!

I do have one complaint is that the sound in DA2 seems a little off when there are cut scenes and such. Voices range from Yelling to barely audible whispers at times. When you first got to Kirkwall all the voices had this echo effect, I guess reflecting that the whole city is stone, but it was a little annoying. Does anyone else have this issue? If so I may post about it on their forums.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:28 pm

I was a little behind the curve due to some issues, but now having played through most of the first zone's content, I've had a good opportunity to evaluate the game and its performance.

Having played the demo, I knew what to expect- and the game is very much worth waiting for. I'm also glad I pre-ordered it, though I wish Steam would have been in on the pre-order upgrade stuff- it annoys me to no end that EA is releasing things on Steam for pre-order after bonuses for ordering through them (and their 'partners') end.

I really like the combat system, and I don't find it hardly different than the original- but it's much, much more fun to watch, as a mage. As a melee class, all of the action talents are amazing! The story telling is good, the voices are great, and the animations are spot on.

But I did have some fun trying to get the most out of my system for this game.

First, I tried turning everything on- optimization by subtraction. Referencing the system in my signature, I have a 3.4GHz Core 2 Quad, 8GB of memory running at 1066MHz CAS 5, and an Evga GTX570 Superclocked. GPU-Z was up to monitor the graphics card, RamMap was refreshed regularly to see system memory usage, and FRAPS was used in game. VSync was left ON, I don't like tearing.

With everything up (DX11, Very High, High Resolution Textures installed, every box checked, 16x AF and no AA at 2560x1600), the game ran at about 6-10FPS. To combat this, I turned off every setting I could, one by one, until I was down to just Very High and upgraded textures- still a slideshow. I was monitoring GPU-Z for video memory usage, and wasn't breaking 950MB, and my system memory usage was below 6GB the entire time.

I disabled the upgraded textures, now down to nothing turned on under Very High, still a slide show. So, I dropped the resolution to 1920x1200, and low and behold, 60FPS! After that, I was able to turn on all other settings, except AA, which dropped it back to 30FPS, which is playable for me. Graphics memory usage is under 900MB here.

Going back up to 2560x1600, I dropped back to High, and was up in the high 50's. With all other settings on and maxed except for AA, I was back down to ~30FPS. Right now, this is where I'm playing the game.

In summary, I'm able to run the game without AA
-at 2560x1600 on High, all other settings on/maxed
-at 1920x1200 on Very High, all other settings on/maxed

I'm kind of disappointed that my card cannot handle 'Very High', regardless of other settings, at my displays native resolution. Lowering the resolution is just plain ugly, and whatever benefit there is from Very High is lost in the resizing, and it isn't something that some AA would make up for, so I'll be running the game at full resolution on High for now.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:56 pm

wow. Just finished this game, and WTF. this game sucked balls compared to the first one. Story was OK. but what was with the 20 screens being the entire game? You NEVER leave kirkwall, and why couldn't they do up more than 10 levels? seriously. this made me lose a ton of respect for bioware, and i used to love them!! (partially cause i used to walk by the edmonton head office). this game sucked. took me less than 20 hours, and I complete every quest but 3. man. i'm let down.

I lol'd at this: "having played through most of the first zone's content"

There is Only the first zone!! they got you to pay full price for 1/3 of the first game! wahoo! friggin EA. I've beaten every bioware game. If they don't fix this "dumbing down" then I'll be done with them.
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Stability Issues

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:57 pm

I'd also like to mention that I've been having some pretty disheartening stability problems with the game. It crashes to desktop regularly, and just now it froze completely. I'm able to recover each time and get back in, so I'm not sure what's going on here yet- I've never had this issue with the first one, or with say Bad Company 2, on the same system.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:58 pm

sweatshopking wrote:wow. Just finished this game, and WTF. this game sucked balls compared to the first one. Story was OK. but what was with the 20 screens being the entire game? You NEVER leave kirkwall, and why couldn't they do up more than 10 levels? seriously. this made me lose a ton of respect for bioware, and i used to love them!! (partially cause i used to walk by the edmonton head office). this game sucked. took me less than 20 hours, and I complete every quest but 3. man. i'm let down.

I lol'd at this: "having played through most of the first zone's content"

There is Only the first zone!! they got you to pay full price for 1/3 of the first game! wahoo! friggin EA. I've beaten every bioware game. If they don't fix this "dumbing down" then I'll be done with them.


Dear God I wish we could sensor your posts. You are very quickly making your way into my 'enemies' list.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:36 pm

sweatshopking wrote:wow. Just finished this game, and WTF. this game sucked balls compared to the first one. Story was OK. but what was with the 20 screens being the entire game?

So you say that the whole game is just a DLC platform?

P.S.: Either way, I hated the demo, I don't know why but it yells "made for consoles" all over the screen. If the game is so short I will just skip it.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:49 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
Dear God I wish we could sensor your posts. You are very quickly making your way into my 'enemies' list.



There is an ignore, and Foe setting. feel free to use it.

That being said, exactly what is wrong with my post. the ENTIRE game is a rerun of literally 20 screens. all they do is open/close doors to show the difference. THE MAPS ARE IDENTICAL. it's a joke, and gamers should be outraged at this. people whined about just cause 2 being "cut and paste", this takes it to a whole new level.

As for the Dumbing down, they did it with ME2, they've done it with this game. Why can't I change my allies armor? why have they removed so many of the more tactical abilities? where's my top down view? why did it take me 12 hours to beat this game, when the last one took me 25ish.

You can complain about my posts, but my points are all accurate.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:53 pm

Madman wrote:
sweatshopking wrote:wow. Just finished this game, and WTF. this game sucked balls compared to the first one. Story was OK. but what was with the 20 screens being the entire game?

So you say that the whole game is just a DLC platform?

P.S.: Either way, I hated the demo, I don't know why but it yells "made for consoles" all over the screen. If the game is so short I will just skip it.



Once you finish the game, which took me 12 hours, if you want to leave your house, to do ANYTHING, it says you need to purchase DLC to continue playing. IMO, the game was short, dumbed down, and TOTALLY made for consoles. I LOVE bioware games. I have literally beat every single one. But this game, and mass effect 2, have really let me down. ME2 was still playable, and had some redeeming points. this game IMO doesn't. It continues the bioware tradition of good story, and great voice acting. the graphics are good, as well. but the shortness, cut and paste environments, and removal of any tactical play were IMO game ruiner's. Bioware usually get's 90+ in reviews. according to gamerankings.com this game is an 80%. there's a reason for that.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:05 pm

I loved DA:O and was very pumped for DA2, but after playing the demo I was very disappointed.

SSK is voicing what I was afraid of, but I guess I'll wait for some more people to post their opinions on the game before I decide whether or not to get it. Heck, there's plenty enough good games coming out this year that I won't be too upset to skip anyway.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:27 pm

I'm really not sure what the fuss is about- I'm not far enough into the game to comment on it's total quality, I'm still in Kirkwall, but so far I really like what I see. The mechanics are there, and they're exactly what they should be. Just like in ME -> ME2, they stripped some of the tedium out of the first game to smooth out the experience and focus on it's core. Some people will complain (and some rightly so), but overall, I like how the experience focuses more on the game and the story, and less on the strategy behind picking the right upgrades and moving things along at the right place with experience points and so on.

In this, it's like ME2, where someone like me can make a horrible Adept and still do a Hardcore run successfully. It wasn't easy, I considered my Vanguard run on Insanity to be easier, but I did it. DA2 appears to have this philosophy, where as a single player game it can differentiate from the MMOs in that you don't have to follow a specific pre-determined path in order to do the top end stuff. You just play the game how you like, and deal with the consequences, which are never so bad it seems.

And I do like the new leveling system; not sure how to explain it properly, but it allows you to keep your characters where you want them. I like the dialog and I'm very happy that Bioware put in the system from Mass Effect with the wheel, and I'm glad that the choices are explained as to what kind of effect they may or may not have. It really prevents you from constantly saving, and having to go back because you made a bad choice, or worse, accidentally made the wrong choice. Best of all though, Hawke is voiced! Going from ME to DA:O and then to ME2, I found that I really missed that during DA:O.
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A note on Nvidia performance

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:33 pm

After dealing with performance issues as above, I decided to do some investigation into my drivers. The latest WHQL from Nvidia were installed, 266.XX, the day they came out (18JAN11). However, there is a Beta driver available released on 01MAR11, 276.XX, that specifically lists near the bottom that it 'Improves compatibility with Dragon Age II'.

I had some trouble installing the driver (a reboot was required before it would install), but afterwards I was able to bump up to Very High, nothing but AF enabled, and was smooth at 30FPS! For reference, I'm currently averaging around 15-20 FPS with all settings enabled at 2560x1600, except AA. That's DX11, high resolution textures, 16x AF, 0xAA, SSAO, depth of field, and high quality blur.

Now it's time to start saving up for that Sandy system so I can push two GTX570s.... :)
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:44 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I'm really not sure what the fuss is about- I'm not far enough into the game to comment on it's total quality, I'm still in Kirkwall, but so far I really like what I see. The mechanics are there, and they're exactly what they should be. Just like in ME -> ME2, they stripped some of the tedium out of the first game to smooth out the experience and focus on it's core. Some people will complain (and some rightly so), but overall, I like how the experience focuses more on the game and the story, and less on the strategy behind picking the right upgrades and moving things along at the right place with experience points and so on.

In this, it's like ME2, where someone like me can make a horrible Adept and still do a Hardcore run successfully. It wasn't easy, I considered my Vanguard run on Insanity to be easier, but I did it. DA2 appears to have this philosophy, where as a single player game it can differentiate from the MMOs in that you don't have to follow a specific pre-determined path in order to do the top end stuff. You just play the game how you like, and deal with the consequences, which are never so bad it seems.

And I do like the new leveling system; not sure how to explain it properly, but it allows you to keep your characters where you want them. I like the dialog and I'm very happy that Bioware put in the system from Mass Effect with the wheel, and I'm glad that the choices are explained as to what kind of effect they may or may not have. It really prevents you from constantly saving, and having to go back because you made a bad choice, or worse, accidentally made the wrong choice. Best of all though, Hawke is voiced! Going from ME to DA:O and then to ME2, I found that I really missed that during DA:O.



I agree on many points, but you're missing my big problems. you say "i'm still in kirkwall", but you miss my issue. THAT'S THE ENTIRE GAME. you go through the same 10 screens, for the COMPLETE game. there is NOTHING ELSE.

I also like some of the combat changes, as well as the dialogue. I just don't like the fact that the game is 1/2 the length, and 1/2 the depth.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:56 pm

I was planning on getting this, mostly because Bioware have always been good to me, but won't because EA have shown themselves, once again, to be a bunch of douchebags. Firstly, for lying about using SecurROM, and secondly for preventing a paying customer from playing the game.

I guess it was stupid to hope that EA would keep their grubby hands off of Bioware. A pity.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:06 pm

Well, I don't really care about the DRM stuff- the idea annoys me, but in practice, it's meaningless. And I believe I saw a headline stating that they re-enabled that guy's stuff.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:22 pm

Yeah, apparently it was an "error".

Banning someone for a mild forum post, preventing them from playing a game they paid for, telling them their ban is official and results intended by quoting the TOS and then changing your mind when all the negative publicity starts rolling in, that doesn't sound like an "error" to me.
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Re: Dragon's Age II (demo)

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:37 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:I named my guy Hudson. I didn't think of Mike, that's pretty amusing. I liked combat, though it's not at all (to me) like DA:O. It's more "Diablo with an AI team" which I rather dig. I didn't preorder, and I probably won't get it right at release, but I did dig the demo quite a bit.


Should have named him Moe. Or Tom O.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:15 am

I named my guy "Scrotumballlover". Stupid game just refers to him as "hawke" though. Ruined my fun.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:27 am

Man we gamers are such fickle people.

I dont mind staying Kirkwall, hell the city is larger than all the other cities combined in DA:O. Their reuse of some areas have me dragging but as a compeltionist at least I know where to look for chests and such. I am sure, just like DA:O, they will have an assortment of DLC to come along to further the story lines.

I am pretty happy about the game. /Shrug (well except for the sound issues)
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:12 am

Which sound issues?

I'm just tired of the thing crashing!
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:15 am

I'm not having any problems like those. I've even managed to switch back to 2X anti-aliasing on the laptop. I did find a dagger in the deep roads that is invisible, though.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:27 pm

I didn't have any issues at all. finished the entire game with not a single crash. that being said, I was running in dx10, as i have a 4890. IDK if dx11 is buggy.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:01 pm

I don't know if the issue is the game or my system, or some combination thereof; I know I've seen discussions surrounding the compatibility and stability of Nvidia based systems with DA2, including issues that are both caused by the developer and by the driver- and that Bioware and Nvidia are trying to work this out now. So, I'm expecting an official driver (or two) and one more patch.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:05 pm

Disappointed. After playing through such immersive and expansive games as the Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, NWN and KotOR series, this really does feel like regression in the areas that set Bioware apart from other developers. DAO wasn't bad in itself, but it still had nothing on the aforementioned, and as such was a bad omen of what's to come.

This game, so far (about 4 hours in), seems brain dead. So much of the thinking has been taken out of it in so many ways. Not least the tiny areas that harbour so few nooks and crannies, the quest system that seems to have very little by way of continuity between major plot events etcetera. Also the characters seem to have far less character than the previous game, I'm having trouble finding any of them interesting; again: so far.

Like DAO the game in itself is certainly not bad; it just feels like such a let down compared to other titles from what has until now been such a respected developer.

Oh and graphically this actually seems inferior in a number of ways to DAO inasmuch as the areas seem far less detailed. I’m only 4 hours in like I say, so I do hope for some improvement in that respect. It certainly doesn’t feel like a DX11 title though.

I hope things improve.
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:32 pm

Did you download the hi-resolution texture pack?
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Re: Dragon's Age II

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:34 pm

I'm starting to track with you Richie- I'm almost done, and while I'm not disappointed, I do think it's a step back.

KoTOR got me hooked on Bioware. I have NWN and all expansions installed and waiting, but it's really so old that I'm having trouble getting into it.

I feel like ME -> ME2 and DA:O -> DA2 was the same kind of process as Everquest -> WoW. You get something that is streamlined and more accessible, but in the process lose some of the useful complexity that added to the game. This was a good thing in Mass Effect, where few really missed what was taken out, and the improvements in gameplay and art were incredible. With DA2 though, I agree that the quality of the story and the characters isn't of the same caliber. After ME and ME2, I care about the people on my ship and what happens to them- in DA:O, I'd just be angry to lose someone due to their skills in combat; in DA2, they could die, and as long as I had a replacement, I could care less. Sounds kind of negative, and I don't mean to be negative about what really is a very good game, and there's still a lot of new things to like here.
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