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Dragon Age II News


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#1 Archmage Silver

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 05:18 AM

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The Dragon Age II News Thread

So, we've known about Dragon Age II being in development for quite some time now, but BioWare has now announced it officially, so I think a news thread is in order to keep track of the development, interviews, previews etc. Undoubtedly the biggest change is that we'll be restricted to play a human character called Hawke, although the player can still select to play as either male or female, and be able to customize Hawke's appearance, as well as select from the base classes (mage, rogue, warrior). It also appears that BioWare has decided to use Roman numerals for Dragon Age II in its official spelling. The DA II debut trailer is scheduled for August 17th this year.

Official BioWare DA II Site
Official BioWare DA II Forums

Official EA DA II Press Release & Features

Dragon Age II Hub @ Game Informer
Dragon Age II Exclusive @ Game Informer
Dragon Age II: Introducing Medieval Shepard @ 1UP's RPG Blog
DA II - One Race, Long Thread About It @ BioWare Social Forums

Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Key Features:

  • Players take upon the role of the human Hawke (male or female), as per the Mass Effect series style of protagonist (VA) [Editor's Note: This particular feature isn't on the official site's bullet-point list]
  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.

While there are multiple races in the game, like elves, dwarves, etc, in Dragon Age 2 you play a human character.

While I do enjoy having fun with our fans, I am not joking about this. The player character is a human (either male or female) with the last name of Hawke. Dragon Age 2 is the story of Hawke.

DA:O is far from pointless, as you'll learn when you play DA2.

I've talked with Design quite a bit about Hawke, the DA2 lead character. There were a lot of directions that they could have gone, but ultimately, I think they made the right choice to tell the best story in this installment. Between now and launch, you'll learn more about Hawke and the story, which will shed a little more light on why Hawke was the hero that the world (i.e. this story) needed.



#2 Yovaneth

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 06:42 AM

But the pre-order button currently goes nowhere!! :wall:

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#3 Archmage Silver

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:12 AM

But the pre-order button currently goes nowhere!! :wall:

-Y-

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#4 Archmage Silver

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:00 PM

News:
Five Facts About Hawke @ Game Informer

This indeed confirms the fact that Hawke will be a fully-voiced PC, similar to Shepard in the Mass Effect series. I haven't found anything regarding Hawke's male and female VAs yet, but I don't think it's going to be Mark Meer & Jennifer Hale this time.

Now we've also got confirmation on players being able to choose Hawke's class (mage, rogue, warrior) and gender, and customize Hawke's physical appearance.

This bit is quite interesting, I like how ties into Origins:

3. Hawke didn't just survive the blight...he escaped it.
As the Grey Warden from Dragon Age: Origins was fighting darkspawn, Hawke was living in Lothering. Fans will remember that the small village was raided and destroyed (an event that occurred off-screen in Origins), and Hawke was one of the survivors. However, rather than stay and fight the darkspawn menace, Hawke flees Ferelden and heads north.

I guess this is sort of interesting, but Kirkwall keeps reminding me of Star Trek. I guess the the local smith will be called Samuel Heinrich Atner. You know, S.H. Atner.

4. Hawke is the Champion of Kirkwall.
Kirkwall is a major population center in the Free Marches, a collection of city-states north of Ferelden. This means that at least some of the action in Dragon Age II will be set in Kirkwall itself, though Hawke will also spend time in other areas of the Free Marches. What exactly Hawke does to earn the honorary title of Champion, however, is up to you.

They got me at the relationships and regrets part... although I'm not sold on their decision to change the series' direction to drastically.

5. Hawke drives the story.
Dragon Age II is not about killing an ancient evil or about quelling another blight; Hawke is the driving force behind the narrative. Over the course of the game's 10-year timeline, players' actions and choices will determine Hawke's history, relationships, and regrets...all in service to answering the larger question: Who is the Champion of Kirkwall?



#5 Philiposophy

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:04 PM

However, rather than stay and fight the darkspawn menace, Hawke flees Ferelden and heads north.

Wonderful. Our protagonist is a dirty coward.

#6 Archmage Silver

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:06 PM

However, rather than stay and fight the darkspawn menace, Hawke flees Ferelden and heads north.

Wonderful. Our protagonist is a dirty coward.

Yeah, and Kirkwall has really low standards if that's true! :lol:

4. Hawke is the Champion of Kirkwall.



#7 Cal Jones

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:35 PM

Perhaps he redeems himself, somehow. But then if you can determine how he becomes champion I'd guess that would be equivalent to your origin, or such.
It does seem like a very different game, but we'll see.

#8 Choo Choo

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:38 PM

Hawke is a stupid name, though. *pout*

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#9 Archmage Silver

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 06:42 AM

In the same vein, I really recommend reading chilyn's article "Is Dragon Age 2 the End of BioWare as a Traditional RPG Creator?" at Grey Wardens.

#10 vilkacis

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 06:52 AM

Some new info here:

Spoiler


Edited by vilkacis, 10 July 2010 - 06:53 AM.
goddamn 8) emoticons


#11 Archmage Silver

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:00 AM

That's some interesting info right there. Maybe we'll be able to see our Origins character running through Lothering when DA II begins, provided that we import our DA save games. I also like how the new choices & consequences implementation sounds, although I guess we'll have to wait and see how that really turns out.

What with all the Mass Effect copy & pasted solutions for DA II, I guess the new running joke will be that Dragon Age II is ME2 with darkspawn. I hope it won't go as far as the Oblivion/Fallout 3 joke though, which ended up being true (FO3 is Oblivion with guns).

Edited by Archmage Silver, 10 July 2010 - 10:03 AM.


#12 Archmage Silver

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:42 AM

The first DA II screenshots are now available! [Source]

Grey Wardens have also launched their Dragon Age II Facts section.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by Archmage Silver, 13 July 2010 - 06:55 AM.


#13 Solar's Harper

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:36 AM

Hm, despite what popular reaction might be, I can't say I'm all too impressed with the whole transferable save probability thing. If it works out anything like ME2 did, it'd essentially mean people who had DA:O will be rewarded, and those suckers who don't or are just too lazy/stingy will be gimped - again.

Oh and nevermind the potential 4th wall breakage tutorial that we *have* to sit through regardless. Wonder why that became such a big turn on for the gaming world.

Unlike Dragon Age: Origins, the player?s character in Dragon Age II will be fully voiced. This opens the door for a more cinematic approach to dialogue and creates an identity for the character outside of the text you see on-screen. It also eliminates those awkward scenarios where you feel like your character should be reacting, but instead just stares blankly without so much as a grunt.

Yeeeees, because ME's full voicing so did a better job at not making everyone appear like zombies in their emotions and thus alleviating any qualms about murdering each and every single one of them - including my own character if I could, just for kicks.

What, I'm alone in that? :lol:

Either way I just can't see anything good from these facts, not at all heartbroken - don't seem to have one from all this criticism. :P Even if they did, by speculation, alternate between perspectives - still won't change the Golden Path. And for the last bleakin' time, a game will *never* be as life-like as reality or even a movie if you want to strech the boundaries of realism. Let's stop with the pretending, shall we EA, I mean... Bioware?

What with all the Mass Effect copy & pasted solutions for DA II, I guess the new running joke will be that Dragon Age II is ME2 with darkspawn. I hope it won't go as far as the Oblivion/Fallout 3 joke though, which ended up being true (FO3 is Oblivion with guns).

I do believe we're already past the point of return with that one. ;)

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#14 Kaeloree

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:10 PM

Yeah, sorry BioWare. Not this time. I really think we need some time apart. I know I said that I loved you; I did. Really. I meant it. But... we've just been growing distant. Call me when ME3 comes out, maybe we can talk. But until then... let's just keep our distance, okay?

#15 Choo Choo

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:12 PM

Solar: Don't tell me you only played as a male Shepard. Jennifer Hale's voicing of fem!Shep is gold.

I'm happy that you can import saves and that your decisions in the first game have an impact on the second one. Even if it's only minor changes, it's nice to see that you actually DO change the world/galaxy/whatever you're playing in.

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#16 Solar's Harper

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:19 PM

Wouldn't be doing my self-imposed task of pulling things apart if I didn't go both ways. ;)

But as you no doubt already know, said scripts are overall fairly minor changes - possibly even capable of being changed in-game anyway. Very few, if any have any true impact - beyond the standard things, like say "we dismissed that claim!" thing. Or maybe Wrex living in life, rather than living in death.

Can't say the same about DA2 though, not much to be said about our so-called decisions and consequences. The end result was pretty much always the same in DA:O. Anything else wasn't really worth bothering with, even if it did make you feel like a puppy with its chew toy. Reminds me of the TOB ending in a way...

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#17 Choo Choo

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:21 PM

But even the small impacts are nice, even if it's just an email saying "OHAI YOU SAVED ME" or "OHAI YOU LITTLE BITCH". I don't know, maybe it's just me. ^_^

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#18 Archmage Silver

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:53 PM

Well, I know for sure I'll buy DA II, as it's still probably going to be better than most RPGs coming out next year barring any major surprises, but the direction BioWare has taken with it does pose us with some serious questions.

Assuming BioWare's new style is just what we're seeing in the ME series and DA II, will their future games even try to capture the magic of Baldur's Gate et al? They still haven't even managed to come up with a villain as "good" (excuse the pun) as Irenicus. The future of BioWare games looks bleak if they've truly abandoned their roots, and ARPGs are indeed the "new shit".

Well, do we have other capable developers left to deliver us quality RPGs (I'm not counting indies)? Bethesda... oh wait, they don't develop RPGs, only ARPGs... and yeah, forget the quality too. Obsidian? Maybe, if they don't delve into the ARPG market as well, as they did with Alpha Protocol recently.

I have to say though, there aren't that many good RPG developers around anymore. I guess that explains in part why we're all still replaying the Infinity Engine games, and other oldies. I guess I should say something to conclude this post... well, I think DA II will be an Action RPG. Yeah, that's it.

#19 Archmage Silver

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:34 AM

Welcome to today's Dragon Age II news. Here are some of our topics today: Morality meter NOT in, and friendships & companions. You can also find the official DA twitter here, although there's really not that much there, and it has all been covered here already. Grey Wardens have a three-page article titled "An Optimist?s View on Dragon Age 2 and RPGs in General".

Morality meter or equivalent isn't in. [Source]

We have not implemented a morality meter, no. Making morally complex decisions and dealing with the consequences of those decisions on those around you are pretty central to what we feel Dragon Age is all about.

Friendships with companions are confirmed. [Source]

There might just be something planned for more friendship-type stuff in DA2. Also, we love banter, it's our favorite part of the game to write.

Mary likes to tease.

Of course we'll have friendships. Followers are our favorite part of the game.

Cameos... [Source]

I think you might recognize a few people, yes.



#20 VonLund

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:03 PM

A focus on banter would be grand news indeed. :)

Edited by VonLund, 11 July 2010 - 12:04 PM.




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