I don't understand the people complaining about the length of specific questlines. Much of the pleasure in a good CRPG is how much time you can pour into it before seeing everything it has to offer. If your attention span is too short to enjoy a good old fashioned long questline, maybe you should stick to playing Call of Duty with its four hour (max) campaign.
The dwarf planet was the only one that got me since it was toward the end of the game, and it had the most FedEx-style running back and forth. I guess the special part in the Circle area added a lot of length but I was really surprised how little that annoyed me.
That's kind of the theme of this game for me. All of Bioware's annoyances, stupid holdovers from the Aurora engine, and none of it bugged me!
The thing that annoyed me about the dwarf section is there is A TON of exploring random tunnels without a clear quest for a while. Other sections have lots of things going on and quests, but there is a section in the middle of the dwarf section where you spend a long time just wandering. Of course the dwarf section makes up for it by having an amazing finish though.
While it's no LoTRO Moria (which is amazingly designed and an unfair comparison to any dungeon in any game) the Deep Roads are working for me. I'm not someone who's generally big on meandering dungeon crawls but it was nice to have at least one in Dragon Age for a change of pace.
Okay, I was having some serious trouble with the difficulty. I went to the Brazilian Forest ( I love calling it that) right after Lothering and was getting my ass handed to me regularly by Orange Elites and even packs of Yellows. We were all at lvl 7 and 8. The [SPOILER] Dragon fight in the Werewolf Temple wiped me probably 4 times before I used Force Field and blocked the doorway with Sten. [SPOILER]
I got to the very bottom of the dungeon before facing some Arcane Horror thing and went 'you know what, screw this' and went all the way back out.
Now I'm in the Mages Tower and just got Wynne and had my first I'M A BADASS moment. Two Nightmare things and a Minor Rage Demon came at me thru a door. Morrigan hits all of them with Cone of Cold; Sten does Mighty Blow, my Rogue main Stabby does Riposte, and Wynne does Stonefist. They all shatter and the fight ends. BADASS.
I'm glad I read up on the game a bit and learned the Brazilian Forest is harder than the Mages Tower, as suddenly I'm whipping ass with Wynne and loving it. I was thinking about restarting as a Mage but now I'm loving my party makeup and skill set, and am looking forward to some tough fights again. Nice!
My party is level 10-12, so take that for what it's worth.
Now, if I can figure out a way to handle those Revenants in the forest...
Forcefield is a great spell for boss + minions fights.
Hell, even if you pull the whole group, you'll only pull the melee guys, and you'll spoil whatever ranged/spell ambush the level designers had set up.
aoe cc. waking nightmare, blood wound (nice to see blood magic is as powerful as the legends), mass paralyze (although this is timed cast boo) and sleep are all crowd pleasers.
strong single target ranged cc like petrify and paralyze also VASTLY reduce the difficulty of nearly any fight too.
The Brassierian Forest has treated me pretty well so far but I'm stumped by a certain . . . SPOILERISH . . . "instant mob" encounter (SPOILER Revenant and his crew SPOILER). I've had one such encounter before in Lothering, but this is far more lethal in part because I don't have the luxury of arranging my guys (who are all 6-7) in advance.
Edit: On further reflection, especially after seeing what's coming up after this encounter at a nearby site, I think this may be a time to consider going somewhere else to level up a bit more.
Edit 2: I think the issue is, not having the luxury of arranging your guys and picking your own strategy ahead of time can make difficult encounters like this far more lethal at lower levels.
Last edited by barstein; 11-15-2009 at 03:46 PM.
The single spell that's saved my ass the most is Cone of Cold. Shattering Ogres and Golems off that makes for huge damage, and it's great for saving party members from getting surrounded when you're outnumbered. It also seems to be harder to resist than the basic one target cold spell, although that's got nice range and a quick recycle, which makes it great for stopping enemy mages.
Earthquake + Blizzard followed by focused archery is what I break out for big battles, although the AI is such a sucker for it I feel bad. Occasionally I'll pop off Sleep + Horror, or Waking Nightmare as well.
Now that my Rogue has leveled up into a Death Machine such tricks don't really matter anymore, and the rest of the party is largely there just to handle the occasional paralyzation, crushing field, or beast mauling.
One thing I don't like is that even with Indomitable, some beasts will still overwhelm you. Notably spiders and wolves from what I've seen. Which is fine, except that it works agains charging ogres, who should be much harder to hold up to.
You can shatter ogres and golems? I stopped trying for anything other than the white text grunts.
And the latest in my continuing series of bug reports.
A very hard fought battle against the Broodmother and her minions had me finally shifting the tide and ordering a charge from my defensive position (hiding behind Shale in his totem pole mode). We finally get her down to a sliver of health, I'm looking at it right now, and the game seizes. Frozen. I think it was going to transition into a cutscene maybe?
Just as suddenly, I'm back in my chucking my controller across the room mindset.
It just seems kind of like an exponential leap in difficulty (to the encounters I mentioned earlier) and I have to wonder if I missed some part of the quests I'm on in this area, somehow. Leaving the forest in order to level up some more for this is probably the first non-intuitive part of the game I have encountered.
It's funny how sometimes you overthink tactics. I was looking at a situation where I'm inside a building and I can see that there are two enemies in one direction and a whole bunch behind another door very close by. So I first went after the individual two, only to have the other crowd rush out. The two were mages, meaning that my melee fighters were getting frozen while my caster and archer were getting overwhelmed from behind. I tried it three times with the same result each time.
So I thought that maybe I'd go after the room with the most enemies first. Taking direct control of my PC (melee), I moved him to the door. Suddenly one of the mages came out of his room behind me and my other three characters reacted to him. I decided to leave my main at the door for what I expected would be the inevitable rush. It didn't happen, and my 3 AI companions quickly dispatched the two mages on their own. :-0
I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes you should just sit back and see what the AI does. :-)
Sure enough, just when I thought the game was pretty easy I came to this point...
What I eventually ended up doing was to retreat into the maze of alleys, far enough out of engagement range to heal up, then inch back into ambush position at an alley entrance, and draw them one or a handful at a time. That allowed me to win the battle on Normal.
Conveniently, I also got to loot a bunch of dead militia before the last zombies came back from the hilltop where they had presumably slaughtered the town's stalwart knights...
So after about 4 hours of play today, I've got my main Rogue to level 9 or 10 and wouldn't you know it, the game has gotten a lot less frustrating. I think the main problem with the difficulty is from levels 5-10ish, when you don't have many skills, spells, or abilities, but the enemies are numerous and still skilled. I've been whipping some ass lately, and even when I get owned, it only takes me another try or two to find the right combo of attacks to win a fight, where before it would take 5 or 6 tries.
The lower levels seem way more difficult. Which makes sense, but is also frustrating as hell.
But yeah, the first few levels when you're just learning the game can be really painful. I really like how the game changes as you add to your bag of tricks. Although, later on in my first game, I was playing so much in top down view to manage all my abilities that sometimes combat got impersonal and very mechanical. In beginning you get to focus so much on the cool melee interactions and stuff that I get to have fun watching characters pummel the enemy, knock them down, do cool animations. Later in the game I'm bouncing around so much between characters, I don't get to just appreciate the awesomeness of the combat and how it looks.
Last edited by Mordrak; 11-16-2009 at 01:47 AM.
I haven't played enough around with too many combinations to be certain yet, but from my experience so far, the spell lines of Winters Blast -> Cone of Cold and Psychic Blast -> Force Field are just immensely superior to any other combination of spells one can get with five skill picks, allowing as it does the effective neutralization of 3-5 opponents in every fight.
A favorite trick (assuming no enemy spellcasters - survival is good for detection of enemies) is to open the door on the enemy and making them go aggro. Then simply close the door. When the enemy rushes forward to open the door, they'll usually be in a nice clump perfectly suited for a cone of cold.
That the ends of those spell lines (Blizzard and Crushing Prison) are also immensely powerful spells just adds insult to injury. Crushing Prison is pretty much a guarantee that 1 enemy spellcaster in every fight never gets to cast a spell (just hit him with a few arrows to help the spell along). Blizzard not only deals area of effect damage; it also slows and freezes the enemy. I've had several battles where all I did was cast blizzard and worked on my aim with bows and magic staves.
The only weakness of cold spells is against undead, but even if CoC doesn't deal a lot of damage, it still freezes them up, which is the key to its effectiveness.
I've had increasing luck in shattering (formerly) tough foes as the game has progressed, and suspect it's tied to the increased frequency of melee criticals from a combination of higher attack, higher crit weapons and items, and especially faster attack speed -- Momentum + Haste really whups ass.
Might also be tied to increased spell power behind Cone of Cold and Earthfist, but that's pretty speculative.
Some spell branches are clearly much more effective. It's a new ruleset, so you expect that to some extent, but to be honest it's obvious which things are going to kick ass -- for some reason RPG designers always under estimate the power of Holding foes. And Hold plus an opportunity to Shatter? Yeah, that might be overpowered, even without considering the perma-hold potential of two mages working in unison.That the ends of those spell lines (Blizzard and Crushing Prison) are also immensely powerful spells just adds insult to injury. Crushing Prison is pretty much a guarantee that 1 enemy spellcaster in every fight never gets to cast a spell (just hit him with a few arrows to help the spell along). Blizzard not only deals area of effect damage; it also slows and freezes the enemy. I've had several battles where all I did was cast blizzard and worked on my aim with bows and magic staves.
Imagine how frustrating it'd be if the AI opened up with Cone of Cold or Earthquake + Blizzard combos... Fireball is tame in comparison.
Actually, you don't really have to imagine, just put Cone of Cold in one of Morrigan's tactical slots. ;-)
Anyway, just ignore the upper battle and go low with 3 chars right away and make sure Not-Morgana le Fey is one of them.
The guys up top can handle themselves, easily. The guys below need Not-Morgana's stuns to stay alive even for a little bit, though, and I can see how it's an un-winnable fight without them.
Cone of Cold and Force Field are both must have spells for me. One can't overstate the usefulness of good CC spells right out of the gate.
I went to the forest first with my mage and couldn't find a way to take down the revenant and friends there until I used Force Field.
The night fight in Redcliffe was actually pretty smooth for me. I would like to try it again to see if I can actually keep all the militiamen from dying during the fight. It seems like one or two are almost dead right off the bat before I even run down to the town hall.