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Because what you were all thinking when you got up this morning was, I wonder what that User:WileyD guy thinks of Dragon Age 2...

Anyway, let me start with a couple of caveats. (1) I am not that far into the game - I have a 50+ hour/week job, a wife, and two kids under the age of 6. (2) I play on the PC, so this is not applicable to consoles. That being said, I have a couple of thoughts. First, the good:

The game looks great. There are times when I will pause and just look at the vistas and the detail. Amazing. I like the fact that Hawke is voiced. It gives the conversations more flavor. And I'm curious as to what will change on my second playthrough when I adopt a new personality. The new crafting system is better as is the quick heal, mana, and stamina system. So far, I have enjoyed the subtle little things that carried over from my DA:O save ** MINOR SPOILERS**(references to 'King Alistair' and how Bhelen eliminated pretty much all of House Harrowmont, etc.)

Now the bad:

I dislike not being able to mess change my companions armor. I find that the cooldown time between health potions is too long. And honestly, they should have built in a "if health, mana, stamina falls below 10% then use a potion" tactic into every companion. I agree with the criticism that there is too much similarity between some of the locations (caves, warehouses, etc.) And some of the little quests where you return an item to some unknown NPC seem a bit pointless and really not worth the trouble.

And finally, a rebuttal/response to some common criticism.

This game is not more "linear" than DA:O. To the contrary. In Origins, the only non-linear part of the game was the order in which you completed the five major quests (Redcliffe, Ashes, Circle Tower, Elves, Dwarves). On the other hand DA2 the quests unfold slowly, building on themselves. I have done a ton of quests, but have only completed two of the 'major' quests so far. I think this plays into the criticism that there is no sense of urgency or overall goal. It is the non-linear character of the game that makes it feel that way. To me, this is a feature not a bug. I enjoy the role-playing aspect of not really knowing what I am *supposed* to be doing. Instead, I'm immersing myself into the experience of being Hawke, dumped in Kirkwall, trying to make my way, support my family, and ** MINOR SPOILER ** get away from my layabout, dishonest uncle.
I am adjusting to the lack of a tactical camera. Although my instinct is still to pause and pull the camera back when combat starts, it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. On the other hand, I get annoyed at all the reinforcements that pop out of nowhere. Just when you think the battle is over, more enemies are coming at you. And some of the elite level opponents take too long to kill - they remind me of that battle against The Withered in Awakenings. You stand around with your whole party hacking away and it still takes two or three minutes to make the kill.
Finally, the characters are great. They have more depth and emotion than the DA:O characters. I think the frustration comes from two things: that Bioware did a good job with the DA:O characters and so we miss them and also that the new skill trees make it a little harder to know what the right build is. I will say, however, that I am frustrated that Aveline is the only sword & shield option. The NPCs are a little Rogue heavy (Isabela, Sebastian, and Varric) especially when you are playing as a Rogue.

On balance, I'm really enjoying it. It is on par with the original game - maybe slightly better in my opinion. WileyD (talk) 18:12, March 14, 2011 (UTC)Wiley D

I have read your opinion on the game and i agree with it completly, i also consider DAII slightly better than origins but i still cant comprehend why some people keep complaining about some minor things in the game. --Hakuteiken (talk) 18:25, March 14, 2011 (UTC)

Forgot to mention that I have not experienced the frustratingly long load times during area transitions that others have complained about. I have no idea why this is... WileyD (talk) 18:50, March 14, 2011 (UTC)WileyD

I like DA2,but i have to respectfully disagree about the characters, I do like them but I dont feel like they are not as in depth and well developed as the companion characters in DA:O, you only get to talk to them a handful of times through the game. Also i have a major problem with the romances in DA2, you flirt with a character a couple of times say some nice things and then they jump on you, you dont even have to figure out what they like, they game just tells you This is the romance option, choose it or don't. i think the big thing most of the people who have problems with the game don't like it because there aren't as many dialogue choices and not as much character development, at least that's what i felt. anyway, sorry for the long post but i have a lot of thoughts on this, mainly what im trying to say is it didn't feel as personal to me. --Raiuki (talk) 20:03, March 14, 2011 (UTC)

I haven't gotten far enough along to have started any romances yet. I've flirted with Merrill one time, but that's about it. So you could be right about the romances. But I do feel like the characters are multi-dimensional whereas the DA:O characters were pretty much just archetypes (with the exception of Sten who I'm not sure I've figured out after 5+ plays). But I will keep my mind open about the romances - which were a part of DA:O that I really enjoyed. WileyD (talk) 20:08, March 14, 2011 (UTC)WileyD

yea i hear that, i still dont get Sten, or most of the Qunari for that matter lol, the only thing ive learned about Sten in my playthroughs is he likes it if you stick up for yourself and ask him about his home and culture, but back on topic i could well be wrong about the relationships as well since i only did Isabella and shes a little easy lol. i agree the characters seem more human, they just weren't as interesting to me as say Leliana or Morrigan. although i love the new battle system. .

I like DAII better then DA:O maybe because... Of the combat? The combat is so fun, I could just sit here and fight for hours and hours just with my mage, lauching Tempests, Fire Balls, Cone of Cold etc, etc... Until Hawke would run out of potions and go down. It's funny because I'm still in my first playthrough, so normally I don't care for combats, more for story. I guess the demo made me concentrate on combat as well... Anyways! The above poster also said some interesting facts. It doesn't seem like the characters have that much depth and I can't say if I disagree or agree with the romance since, until now, I've only romanced Fenris, but gotta romance Anders in my next. However, Fenris didn't just jump on my Hawke after a few flirtatious options, it literally took YEARS to the actual romance to happen. At first, I actually though I was doing something wrong because I just couldn't get more flirt options! That's what bugged me too... You're not able to speak with your companions, about their lives, their opnions, their relationships any time during the game. You have to wait for them to call you or, literally, wait years to just advance in the next step of friendship/romance. I just can't believe that Hawke stayed for like 1 whole year without trying to understand Carver as to why he hates him/her so much, or in the three years to have a better understanding on other characters... Bah, I guess that would make things too easier... Still, not so realistic. What Hawke did in those 1/3 years? Drinking? At the Blooming Rose? I think there are things that should remain unknown... —Rocketai (Ho there! Chase my tail!) 20:21, March 14, 2011 (UTC)

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