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Dragon Age 2: More Thoughts

April 10, 2011 16:27:55.658

The Hawke Files

Now that I'm well into my second playthrough of Dragon Age 2 on both on both my Mac and the XBox, I have a few more thoughts on the game

First, I should address some of the complaints about the game I heard on The Dragon Age Podcast. I had a long talk with my daughter about the podcast while we listened to it (she's a big fan of the game as well) - I should have recorded the conversation :) Basically, I have to say this: the guy who complained so much about the combat wasn't paying attention. Why do I say that? Well, his primary complaint seemed to be that lots of the battles involve endless waves of lower level foes. That's only true if you don't find the boss and kill him. Each of the big battles has a boss; the waves of reinforcements keep coming until you deal with that boss. How have I been dealing with that boss?

  • Keep two tanks in the party, one mage with healing, and one rogue
  • Focus the tanks on the boss, peeling one off if the mage gets attacked directly
  • Have the mage heal - especially with "Aid Allies" - often
  • Buy lots of elfroot potions to fill in the cooldown gaps with healing
  • Keep hammering the boss until he or she dies

There's exactly one battle in the game where I had to kite (on normal difficulty) - the duel against the Arashok at the end of act 2. I was playing a mage in that battle, so kiting would be expected. Heck though, you can avoid that dual and just fight the room (and that ends up being easier, as you have your whole party).

Ultimately, it sounds like the host wanted to play a rogue like he was able to play one in DAO. In DAO, you could level a rogue's dexterity up high enough to make them effectively unhittable, and basically play the rogue as a tank. You can't do that in DA2 - you have to run your battles more tactically, and make use of one or two warriors. By the same token, I found warriors to be really hard to play in DAO (underpowered compared to rogues and mages), while in DA2, they are on an equal footing. Yes, the map reuse is annoying. But if you hate the combats, I strongly suspect that you're doing it wrong.

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