Home > Dragon Age 2, Preview > “We’ve Changed Everything…” or “…But Don’t Worry, It’s Still The Same Thing”

“We’ve Changed Everything…” or “…But Don’t Worry, It’s Still The Same Thing”

“Dragon Age 2 looks better, plays better, and has an entirely new story,” says lead designer Mike Laidlaw… And so just about everything has been changed in some way, whether it’s a minor tweak to smooth out some rough edges, or the total reworking of an idea that never quite came together the way it should. But don’t worry, says Laidlaw. It may not look quite the same, but at it’s heart, “It’s still Dragon Age.”

Susan Arendt, Preview: What’s New in Dragon Age II, WarCry

Gotta love the marketing lingo!

Some other points to take away from the preview, new information (at least for me) is marked in red:

  • Gone is the origins concept. You are new (a male or female version of) Hawke, Dragon Age’s answer to Commander Sheppard. Also, your character now talks.
  • The Blight is peripheral noise, compared to the clamor of Hawke’s rise to power, myth and legend.
  • Combat is getting a massive overhaul, particularly in terms of differentiating the classes and smoothing out the difficulty levels. It is also considerably more frantic, a departure from the long-windups of the original.
  • Crafting has been streamlines; you won’t have to hunt down ingredient-specific vendors; once you find the item in the world; all vendors will carry it. (Thank god!)
  • Skill Trees are now more circular in nature, as opposed to the horizontal and linear hierarchy, allowing multiple paths to get to that skill you’ve been craving.
  • The game has a lot more eye-candy than the three primary colors of the original: Brown, Grey and Blood-Spatter.
  • You will no longer be forced to “keep everyone happy” to keep them around; your party will get your back no matter what, but they will frequently disagree with you if you come from different standpoints
  • Junk loot is actually labeled “junk”, so you can sell it without a second thought.

Am I excited? You betcha. Dragon Age: Origins was a stellar game, its flaws notwithstanding. But I am going to wait on some reviews before buying this one.

Categories: Dragon Age 2, Preview
  1. December 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    i like that bullet on the crafting; and hope the skill trees will be more robust (more traditional d&d style); when i originally saw the DA:O skill tree i didn’t like it very much.. very simple

  2. December 22, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    It’s funny because his statement is crafted to make sure that everyone is happy about the changes. But if you look at it the other way, everyone who hated it can look at “It’s still Dragon Age” and stay away while everyone who loved it can at all the changes and wonder what happened to their game.

    Anyway, that is certainly an interesting set of changes. I just didn’t care enough about the first game to want to bother with this one. I’ll stick with my Mass Effect, thank you very much.

  3. Syl
    December 23, 2010 at 2:29 am

    That all sounds pretty awesome! =)
    I was totally blown away by the first game and am definitely looking forward to the sequel (didn’t bother with the smaller expansions so far out of fear they might let me down), these are such beautiful games and you gotta love the audio.

  4. December 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    @Jomu – The crafting thing is critical man. I recall I had to finally give in and install a third-party mod to give my main character infinite backpack space (despicable, I know). But I was spending so much time running back and forth I was just absolutely sick of it, and the game was no longer fun. This new system essentially implies that as long as you have the item discovered, you can walk into any town and just buy that ingredient to make what you need.

    @Anjin – Gotta love marketing lingo man! Dragon Age was a great game, but having completed it in 106+ hours, I will be the first person to admit that combat was shallow and excruciatingly repetitive. Once you figured out a spell that really did the trick (CoC + Shatter), and two mages (Wynn and Morrigan), I could blast through just about anything. of course the downside was that everything became so insanely repetitive, I finished the game for the sake of finishing it, not because I was still hooked.

    @Syl – The expansions were a bit of a letdown, but they had some significant plot elements. May I suggest you red up on the plot elements on the DAWiki site, so you are not broadsided by anything in the second game! 😛

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