1. Combat Feels Like An Action/RPG
Battles in Dragon Age II feel like they evolved more from the console version of Origins than the PC. Instead of a deliberate and tactical approach, fights take place in third person and focus more on fast-paced action. This is true even if youíre playing on PC, so donít be surprised when you canít find your zoomed-out isometric view. Yes, this is a significant change from the last gameÖbut being different isnít necessarily bad.
Not bad in itself... just something new. Although it's not what I want in the game, I can't say it's a bad decision. The console gamers seem to love it... but I feel I will curse at the camera ever so more on my PC. RIP BG2.
2. Classes Are More Specialized
In Origins, warriors and rogues had different roles in combat but shared similar abilities. For instance, both classes could dual-wield and put points into archery-related talents. In Dragon Age II, the warrior loses these capabilities, focusing instead on tanking and dealing melee damage. Rogues are more about precision and support, though their position in relation to enemies is less important. Mages still nuke foes, but they arenít quite as helpless when faced with direct combat.
No problem as long as it balances out with any kind of group possible. Meaning, 4 warriors would be tough and hit hard, 4 rogues would control a lot and 4 mages would heal/nuke. That way you can play with the characters you like instead of keeping someone because they are of the right class.
3. Inventory Management Is Better
Your allies in Dragon Age II each have a set of armor that they wear all the time. This means that you canít equip them with the helmets, boots, and gauntlets that you find in your quest. This may sound disappointing at first, but it results in you spending much less time in the menus sizing up and optimizing equipment. If you pick up a new suit of armor that isnít an improvement for Hawke, you can just sell it; no need to look at all of your active and inactive party members to see if itís better for them. Plus, you can still outfit your companions with rings, amulets, and belts, so the customization isnít gone completely. Your inventory will be less cramped, especially since you get a storage chest early on and you arenít carrying around crafting reagents all the time.
Who the hell came up with this. Seriously, inventory management IS part of an RPG's fun. Now we know why it was disabled in the demo: Bioware were jerks enough to try and hide this
. Am I wrong to think this is some more console dumbing down? (a la dudebro)
4. Skills Are Gone
When you level up, you allocate ability points and talent points. You no longer get skill points, because skills as they existed in Origins are no longer present. Your character can still do many things that used to be skills, like crafting and lockpicking, but these have migrated to other parts of the game. For instance, the rogueís ability to pick locks automatically increases for every 10 points in their Cunning ability (simple locks at 10, standard locks at 20, etc.).
No problem. It wasn't implemented very well anyway.
5. Kirkwall Is The Main Setting
Donít expect to travel to the four corners of the Free Marches like you did in Ferelden. Dragon Age II tells the story of Hawkeís rise to power in Kirkwall, and as such, almost all of the action takes place within the city. Youíll take a few trips to surrounding locations, but donít be surprised when your adventures have you hopping between different parts of Kirkwall instead of different parts of the continent.
This sounds like cost cutting to me =/
6. Not The Usual BioWare Story
BioWareís plots generally follow a predictable arc. Players go through an introductory sequence, and then the world opens up to four larger areas with their own quests and storylines. When those areas are complete, the tale converges for the thrilling finale. I wonít spoil anything about specific events in Dragon Age II, but I will say that the narrative does not follow this structure at all.
So I'm guessing a very long corridor story.
7. Ally Relations Are Improved
If you did things your allies didnít approve of in Origins, they didnít like you. That wouldnít be a big deal, except that cool companion missions werenít available unless your approval was high with the appropriate character. In Dragon Age II, you can do these missions regardless of whether your ally loves or hates you. Instead of gating story content, the approval system now bestows passive bonuses. If a party member is your friend, youíll get one kind of bonus. If that same character is a rival, youíll get a different one. This way, you get reward whether youíre nice or mean, plus you still get to do all of the quests. Being neutral, however, still has no advantages.
This is stupid; a bonus because they hate you??? This is like a super dummy proof safety. Meaning whatever you choose to tell a companion, you'll get a bonus in the end.
8. Conversation Flows Better
The new dialogue system is very similar to the Mass Effect seriesí. This means that you donít spend your time reading through a list of responses before selecting one. Instead, you choose a brief response from a wheel that gives you the gist of what Hawke will say next. These responses are also accompanied by an icon that lets you know if youíre being flirty, aggressive, snarky, etc. One benefit to this approach is that conversations are not start-and-stop affairs; they flow naturally and Hawke emerges as a more defined character instead of a voiceless cipher.
9. Youíre A Long Way From Ferelden
The Free Marches are influenced by the events from the previous game, but donít expect every little choice you made in Origins to change the world. Youíll hear some references in dialogue, and even see a couple cameos, but Dragon Age isnít Mass Effect. You wonít be bombarded with reminders of your previous deeds. Hawkeís story stands apart from the Grey Wardenís, though it still clearly takes place in the same world. However, be aware that some minor story points in Origins and Awakening have been retconned, so even if you import your save, the events of the previous games arenít necessarily set in stone.
No problem. It was bound to happen.
10. Itís Shorter, But Not Short
I finished Dragon Age II, along with every sidequest, in approximately 40 hours. While that isnít the 70 hours it took me to play through Origins, itís still a large chunk of time, and I certainly didnít feel cheated by the amount of content.
No problem if it's 40 good/fun hours.Mass Dragon Effect Age 2...
I feel Bioware is catering to the modern gamer who only likes to drink rubbing alcohol cuz it gets them drunk quick instead of fine aged wine.