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Dragon Age II (full version)


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#161 Mikoto

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:11 PM

The mistakes or 'bad choices' that you make in games like this is why I often make a 'test file' before one I actually want to use for the next game as is the case in DA and ME series.

In DAO I have...

Male human mage (test file though I didn't do this one first, I simply wanted to play as a male Warden and do the whole Morrigan thing). Which lead to a female Rogue Hawke. That's my DA:2 test file. I've made some pretty poor decisions on that one but that's what she's there for.

Female Cousland warrior, leading to male Hawke mage. Again because I wanted to experience the warrior role in DAO and the mage role in DA:2. The Cousland storyline was very compelling and I'm glad I played through it. Getting revenge was pretty sweet. And yes being an apostate in Kirkwall is extremely tough. Honestly I don't know why a mage Hawke would stick around in such a hostile place for a decade. As soon as I made some money and the Blight was over I'd have run off to a more mage-friendly place. I consider that a design flaw actually. As a mage Hawke you run around using magic in public, the Templars eventually learn you're there and you're not turned in, captured or executed? And of course I wanted to experience being a male Hawke as well as a female.

Final combo, and I consider this my 'perfect' file.

Female human Mage Wadren. Didn't romance anyone,
Spoiler
Did all the side quests I wanted and generally got things the way I wanted. I haven't quite finished Awakenings with her yet, nor Golems of Amgarrak or Witch Hunt but I hope to soon.

I'll use the file to create a similarly 'perfect' file in DA:2 with a female warrior Hawke.

As you can guess I haven't actually finished DA:2 yet. I'm just at the start of the third chapter. I like the game. It's familiar and comfortable because there are a lot of features from the Mass Effect series which I adored. I have to say thouth DA:2 isn't as good as DAO and it certainly was a bit rushed. But overall it's a good game. I've enjoyed it. I don't feel Hawke is as epic as my Warden but I'm really hoping she makes a return in DA:3.
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#162 EChatty

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:34 PM

Yes, I agree that DA2 isn't epic like DAO, and that's why I consider it another story set in the same world, different part. I also don't understand why Meredith doesn't haul the mage off to the Circle as they do Bethany if you choose warrior or rogue. I agree with Miko that it's either a design flaw or the Templars are scared sh!tless of you ;)

In any event, I'm gonna just enjoy being a free mage in a mage-unfriendly game.

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#163 Mikoto

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

Well the thing is, in DAO if you talk to the right people they speak of Templars hunting fearsome Abomination and losing a number of Templars in fighting it. On the other hand they were right cowards during the Broken Circle quest running away and sealing the doors then letting four people singlehandedly do their job for them.

And in pure game mechanics terms there are plenty Templars in Kirkwall to take you down if they really wanted to. On the other hand it seems every noble and his uncle are blood mages so...... maybe they're just lame Templars? ;)

Edited by Mikoto, 13 July 2011 - 06:40 PM.

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#164 EChatty

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:41 PM

You're right on all counts, so it looks like my second guess may be right :lol:

They only haul off wimpy mages like Bethany and leave the strong ones like you and Anders alone ;)

I mean,  look at it-you take out abomination after abomination, demon after demon and then some Templars think they're gonna haul you to the Circle? I don't think so ;)

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#165 Mikoto

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:48 PM

You know, I never thought of that actually. The Kirkwall Templars do only seem to imprison, abuse and pick on mages they can control without much effort. They do seem to leave the more powerful ones alone. Interesting.
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#166 EChatty

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:10 PM

Well, when an abomination can take out a whole squad of Templars, then you and three others (and a dog sometimes) go out and kill several of them (abominations) at one time, along with untold walking skeletons/corpses I doubt they'd want to mess with you much :lol:
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#167 EChatty

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 12:34 PM

O-kay...the final battle was.....interesting. I was glad to have Donnic, Cullen, Zevran, Bethany and my other companions in on it. She's one tough b!tch to beat. I'm fairly surprised I was able to do it in one go, even on casual.

Now to plod on with my mage and see how she does.

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#168 NeuralClone

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 10:18 AM

View PostMikoto, on 13 July 2011 - 06:48 PM, said:

You know, I never thought of that actually. The Kirkwall Templars do only seem to imprison, abuse and pick on mages they can control without much effort. They do seem to leave the more powerful ones alone. Interesting.
Which goes against everything established about the Templars and the Circle in Dragon Age: Origins. But then again, blood magic was actually difficult to learn in DA:O and required making a pact with a demon (among other things). Whereas in DA2 everyone can use it simply by stabbing themselves. So there's definitely a bit of a consistency problem there...
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#169 Mikoto

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:13 AM

Oh you aren't kidding. Just about everyone and his uncle in DA:2 is a mage that chooses to be a blood mage. *Snort.* If you choose to be a mage Hawke that doesn't choose blood mage as a specialization you're just about the only mage in Kirkwall that doesn't.

I wanted to get around that. I really did. I totally tried to find some justification for it, especially when Meredith finds out you're a mage and you blatantly use it in public but.... well let's just say I couldn't believe any rationalization or excuse I tried to find for the Templar behaviour. It's just not in their nature. Wealthy or Champion or not, they'd still imprison you.

That's one of the reasons despite the fact I love being a mage, I instead will choose to be a warrior for my 'perfect' file. I just can't get over the inconsistency.
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#170 NeuralClone

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:24 AM

View PostMikoto, on 15 July 2011 - 11:13 AM, said:

Oh you aren't kidding. Just about everyone and his uncle in DA:2 is a mage that chooses to be a blood mage. *Snort.* If you choose to be a mage Hawke that doesn't choose blood mage as a specialization you're just about the only mage in Kirkwall that doesn't.

I wanted to get around that. I really did. I totally tried to find some justification for it, especially when Meredith finds out you're a mage and you blatantly use it in public but.... well let's just say I couldn't believe any rationalization or excuse I tried to find for the Templar behaviour. It's just not in their nature. Wealthy or Champion or not, they'd still imprison you.

That's one of the reasons despite the fact I love being a mage, I instead will choose to be a warrior for my 'perfect' file. I just can't get over the inconsistency.
I have a long list of complaints and problems with DA2, but that one really irked me. A lot. It's one thing to have a few blood mages. But openly practicing blood magic in front of the Templars and simply cutting yourself being all that's necessary to know and use blood magic? I'm sorry but that's just too much. I liked how blood magic was considered a REALLY serious crime in DA:O. And the sacrifices you had to make to learn it made it seem that much more unique. In DA2, it's just another branch on the skill tree. Meh. :(

Edited by NeuralClone, 18 July 2011 - 11:34 AM.

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#171 Mikoto

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:39 PM

You and me both NC. You and me both.

What also irks me is the fact that blood mages were at least a little bit few and far between in DAO. In DA:2 it seems like just about every mage you meet is one. Why can't we have met some normal sane mages?
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#172 NeuralClone

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:32 PM

I'm not sure how it turned out in your game but in mine, even the grand master turned to blood magic when things didn't go his way. We were winning and all of a sudden he just decided that he was going to go down fighting...his own people. Um, what? But that wasn't the worst part of it. The grand master knows how to use blood magic! One of the biggest taboos in the Circle and one of the leaders knows how to use such magic? I suppose I might be able to buy that since he's the grand master he might have some knowledge of such dark magic. But turning to it and throwing away everything he believes in at the last minute just to create another boss fight? Um, ok...

Argh.
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#173 Mikoto

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:50 PM

I haven't actually finished the game yet. I kinda tapered off at the start of Act 3 and never finished it off. I'm working on it though with my seperate files.

But I've heard that Orsino turns to blood magic no matter what you do. It and a few other unalterable events like what Anders did have caused a lot of fans feeling powerless, that events were scripted and they were just an observer to the thing that changed the world, not the cause.
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#174 NeuralClone

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:09 PM

Oh geez. I'm sorry. I hope I didn't spoil anything for you. :(

As for Orsino turning to blood magic no matter what you do, that doesn't really surprise me. There are numerous times in the game where you're given the illusion of choice but things always turn out the same way. Pretty frustrating.
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#175 Mikoto

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:25 PM

No worries NC. I know more or less everything that happens. Downsides of buying a game guide and preparing by seeing what's ahead. ;)

DAO did a really great job of giving you choice, or appearing to give you choice. Every game is scripted to some degree, inevitably but DAO did a great job of making you feel powerful, influential and capable of making real choices. I don't get that feeling in DA:2.

Spoiler

In DAO you had the chance to control/influence the fate of every partymember with the possible exception of Morrigan. You chose who took the throne. What happened to Loghain. And Redcliffe, the Dalish Keeper, the King of Orzammar.

Yeah I don't get that feeling of power and influence in DA:2. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent game but not what I'd expect from DA.

Edited by Mikoto, 20 July 2011 - 06:27 PM.

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#176 EChatty

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:52 PM

I'm not going to complain about the game, I'm playing it and enjoying it and not worrying about the inconsistencies. If I worried about every little consistency problem I'd never play the game.

I'm now going through as a female mage and a male mage, though neither of them have the same spells since I wanted to try out some different things rather than giving them both the Elemental spells. The female mage has the Elemental tree almost maxed and I'll work on the Force Mage tree next (I think Fist of the Maker rocks and can't wait to try out some of the other spells on that tree.) As for the male, I'm working on the Spirit Healer tree and will likely move Anders from a supporting role to a more damaging role when I get some more spells on that tree. I have the Arcane tree pretty much maxed out, plus Chain Lightning from the Primal tree (which also rocks-I can hit one low-ranking enemy in the middle of a bunch of low-ranking enemies with that and kill them all ;) )

I beat the game as a female rogue and I really enjoyed that, not only for being able to open chests for myself but because I really like working the archery tree so I could use her as another ranged person when needed. She almost maxed out both Archery and Dual Weapon tree by the time I beat the game.

I'll tell you one thing, I think she did the most running when she fought the Arishok, he was one tough boss to defeat and the only way to avoid being knocked around by his ramming was to run from him while her attacks and potions recharged. The best thing I did was to bring along the dog to slow him down some more while I either stopped to grab a potion or put some distance between us while my attacks recharged.

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#177 Mikoto

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:36 AM

Oh agreed Chatty. Despite it's many flaws and inconsistencies DA:2 is a decent game that I'll probably beat four times to satisfy my need to play through multiple variations and outcomes. ;) It's just easier to ignore those storyline flaws if you're a warrior or a rogue.

And semi/slightly off topic... It seems that there is a DA:3 in the works and I was wondering if anyone else wanted to engage in a little bit of speculation.

Do you think we'll be playing again as Hawke or some entirely new character?

Or the Warden? Will we get a choice? Will the Warden make an appearance perhaps as a partymember or ally. I wonder about that actually. For the Warden to return it might be tricky. For one thing several different voice actors with different accents would be required to cover the different races that your Warden could have been. And in the case of nonhuman Wardens there is the matter of updating their appearance to the new race models used in DA:2.

Minor spoilers for DA:2.

Spoiler

Or better yet, has anyone heard anything concrete about DA:3?
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#178 EChatty

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:04 AM

Some things I encountered from DAO in DA2:

Spoiler

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#179 Mikoto

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:48 PM

So...... *finally* I beat the game as my test file.

Male human mage (who did all the Morrigan stuff) > Female Rogue Hawke.

It was a bit of a rush through since I wanted to get to the end and test how things go down myself but I got it done. I can add DA:2 to the many games I've beaten. Overall I have to admit the ending, even though I knew most of it through spoilers was a bit of a letdown and very anticlimatic. We don't even get to know what happened to Hawke or the Warden in the end so I gotta hope you play as Hawke again in DA:2 or DLC comes out to explain it.

Nothing about the companions either. Nothimg like the satisfying post-coronation scene at the end of DAO or the many slides saying what effects your actions had. Just a single slide, a few cryptic hints and that's that. What Orsino did made no sense whatsoever. I mean geez, if you have to go all blood-mage crazy on us please, direct your craziness at Meredith. Not your allies! *Facepalm.* (Edited to add: Mind you, even if I didn't know about it beforehand I did have some warning. There's subtle evidence that points at him being a possible accomplice or in the very least looking the other way when it regards the blood mage serial killer that murdered Leandra.)

Overall, a decent game and I am going to beat it on my mage and warrior files. A nice diversion with a few good nods to your Warden. Maybe even a fourth time so I can see as a male Hawke. But it's poorly written and very anticlimatic with plot holes the size of black holes.

Edited by Mikoto, 29 July 2011 - 02:53 PM.

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#180 Mikoto

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:20 PM

Actually EnTranced I'd forgotten about how detailed we'd discussed the ending in this thread. A lot of my grievances have alreayd been hashed out. But, with insight into ME3's ending...

Well as you can see, in the ending you don't get to make any real choices. You get a 'choice' on who to side with. The mages or the templars. But its not really a choice because regardless of who you side with the Circle's First Enchanter, Orsino, turns to blood magic and becomes an abomination. You still have to fight Meredith and Cullen still lets you off in the end no matter what you do. Instead of "red light, green light, blue light" you only have two choices and both have the same outcome in the end.

Like in the ME3 ending before the extended cut, you learn that Hawke's companions eventually drifted off and went their seperate ways except for the one who you romanced 'if any' but you don't get more information that. Where did they go? Why did they leave Hawke? What happened to them? Just like in ME3 Even with the EC you see them fly away in the Normandy but you don't learn what happened to them.

Hawke just 'disappears' and nobody can find her even though the Chantry (via Cassandra) is looking for her and the Warden in hopes of ending the mage-templar conflict. If you sided with the mages Cullen let you flee the city and you never hear from Hawke again. If you sided with the Templars they make you Viscount of Kirkwall but again after a year or two Hawke disappears without a trace.  That's it. No closure. No nothing. Again, what happened to Hawke? What happened to her sibling? Not to dissimilar from ME3 because okay Shepard died in synthesis and control but if you do well enough in Destroy you see her talk a half-breath and then nothing. Did she live? Or die a few minutes later? You're still left with the same questions.

And like the ME3 ending without the extended cut you get no idea what Hawke did that changed Thedas other than the Circles rebelled and a mage-templar war started between six months and three years later. If you sided with the mages Hawke's name became a rallying cry. If you sided with the Templars it becomes a symbol of Templar opression. In the end same result. No choice. No outcome.

That's why I say ME3's ending had its making here. BioWare seems fond of having you beat a game and never get any closure about your avatar, her companions, or even what effect you had on the world/galaxy. Just a big fat nothing. To add insult to injury they stack the deck so that your 'choices' produce pretty much the same ending with tiny variables that make no difference and likely have nothing to do with how you played Hawke/Shepard to that point.
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