Archive for September, 2010

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Has a striking resemblance with the bunny from Donnie Darko! Doesn’t he?

7.1 Complete (171 MB) / Changes

(+) denotes changes for Plus Edition players only.

  • +Added lower player sell values to all weapons which were missing it.
  • +Restored missing Bertram quest state and fixed broken Isaac update.
  • +Repaired Venture Tower bomb timer and added it to elevator trap too.
  • +Moved Pearl of Dubai to Regent and restored Isaac Fae Charm reward.
  • Added lights-through-walls fix to engine.dll, thanks SomeCommentDoe.
  • Improved breaking museum windows and fixed more minor level errors.
  • Removed new Mitnick quest and Chastity’s sword from the basic patch.
  • Fixed headrunner dropping through netcafe floor and a German popup.
  • Locked gallery front after crime and restored lockpick to warehouse.
  • Corrected wrong painting positions after slashing then re-entering.
  • Fixed mirrored beer labels and minor dialogue problems of some NPCs.
  • Restored Therese and Jeanette reconciling and cash to Kamikaze Zen.
  • Improved missing fists fix and made pool stripper appear later only.
  • Made SM laptop stay in old haven in case of random Skyeline issues.
  • Tweaked Cleopatra history to avoid making Obfuscate powerup useless.
  • Removed Fae Charm from Tseng to avoid bug on getting it from Isaac.
  • Fixed blood doll sound and line so it doesn’t refer to women as men.
  • Made Fu Syndicate doors move slower and added a lantern to warrens.
  • Disabled endless arrow spawning in the chests of first Temple level.

Wow, the DLC that will finally answer all questions (behind Morrigan’s disappearance) to these burning issues that Origins just mentioned with a few short lines of text during its epilogue. Or something like that seems to be implied, when reading “conclusion to DAO story […]”. Cool.

I imported a rogue character, who had 100% “approval” with Morrigan, if you know what I mean (apparently that’s what they call it these days). This character was skilled in dual weapon fighting, for some reason all weapons were erased from the inventory, except for one sword and the entire DLC had no dagger (the sole shop had no weapons at all), so I couldn’t use the majority of my feats. I guess I could have tried to put some weapons in the inventory before importing the save game, but I didn’t bother (overkill for 2.5 hours playtime).

The piece starts in the Korcari Wilds, right at Flemeth’ hut (apparently she is slated to return in DA2). The first to join up is the dog, but he has to be named again. Though it could be argued it is another dog (that conveniently shows up…), I’m not sure if this is true, because the dog runs excited towards Morrigan once he sees her and barks happily, while she smiles and pets him. If this isn’t a reunion, this whole scene makes no sense to me. Also, with the trick of using the dog, they saved an entire voice actor (I just ranted how this is a typical downside of DLCs). There are no further previously known characters.

After picking up a nice dalish elf (and a short trip to the mages tower – where all known folks are magically absent and the mage origin story places are revisited), the quest leads to no other dungeon, than the exact same from the dalish origin story. This DLC really rides on the hope, it seems, that enough people have played other areas and therefore think it’s something new.

Knowing this, a return journey to the Cadash Thaig from Shale’s DLC, as the next stop, is no huge letdown anymore. I only sighed at the fact, that chests in this previously completely looted dungeon, are filled up again. I guess those caverns do come with a janitor, whose job it is, to make it look like it’s all abandoned.

The following place is the sole location in this DLC, that is new (and it’s quite small). Update: Actually that’s wrong – even this part is only cloned from Awakening, I just forgot, because there were several months between my sessions in which I played this.

The boss fight isn’t very challenging (on normal), but it is a new creature and the fight differs a little from the majority of brawls. That’s very welcome.

This already leads to the last scene in Witch Hunt (a 2 minute encounter with the character…). To sell this with words like “conclusion” is misleading at best. No open questions are answered. Anyone who wanted to know, what Morrigan was up to and what one should think of the epilogue text (from Origins), and was therefore looking forward to this DLC, must be extremely disappointed by all this. At least I’ve been.
Morrigan is either going to show up in Dragon Age 2 for some solution, or we’ll never know what to think of this part of the plot. Whatever it’ll be: both cases mean, that this DLC added nothing and IMHO didn’t deliver what it promised. Concerning this, it was next to superfluous. The Leliana DLC added nothing new as well, but at least it didn’t come with that promise.
If anything, this add-on introduces new questions. It isn’t even self-contained. The dalish elf only joins up with the warden, because she wants to have a book returned, that Morrigan might have stolen (has she?). But when confronting “the witch”, the book (=the reason for Ariane’s journey) isn’t even a dialog option. She should really be pissed now, that the Warden didn’t even try to live up to his promise and find out what became of this priceless possession.

LotSB is def the best DLC für ME2 so far (will they even make more now, when Witch Hunt was the last for DA?). Overlord wasn’t really bad per se, but other than LotSB, it didn’t have that feel about it, that it mattered to the story of the game and maybe even to the Mass Effect universe as a whole. It was just another mission, that progressed neither story nor characters and didn’t give players the feeling that they would have missed something, if they hadn’t played it.
This one however, makes almost everything superb, even the graphics feel like they got an upgrade (I really don’t remember this grenade blinding effect at all, though people say it was already in the Kasumi DLC) and with this water sprinkling and smoke and fire it’s usually impressive (I haven’t even mentioned the magnificent storm yet). The fights are awesome and much more gripping than most in the main game. Really! They put even in a few new ideas, that weren’t a part of the main game. The car chase might only be following a pre-determined route (isn’t next to everything in a game?) but that doesn’t diminish the fun it brings in the least. Kudos to everyone who came up with that! Liara’s comments during the chase were quite amusing too (though one of the problems of DLC is, that they can never bring back all the voice actors, which is why other squad members are silent… – btw: as in ME2 itself, Liara doesn’t acknowledge Tali and Garrus at all, them being former squad mates etc., I never tire to bring them though, just in case).
The DLC starts rather slow, but then takes off and certainly doesn’t decline one bit until the strong finish. What completes this release, is that it doesn’t just stop with a final fight, it introduces some nice options that stick. A welcome change to the often pretty abrupt ending of other DLCs, that can make them seem forgettable.
There was little to annoy me, at the top of the list I would have to place the fact, that it’s really hard to overlook, that they never added mouse wheel support, which is simply embarrassing for a game of 2010. Again, 10 year old Deux Ex can do it… Why I’m bringing that up again? One of the funniest features of this DLC is a couple of dossiers (and I guess having players actually READ THEM is kinda the point), concerning several of the characters – with (for Mass Effect standards) quite a bit of text. I was constantly cursing, because I had to browse through all of it, by uncomfortably pulling the text around. Mass Effect 2 must be the sole game I’ve seen in the last 6 years which came without that “feature” (isn’t it taken for granted?). I know that BioWare is really not in the business of adding anything via patches after a game shipped, but… if there ever was a feature that deserved it, this is it and although there were only 2 patches, this change couldn’t have been this hard.
Anyways, the Shadow Broker base is in a system without a mass effect relay, which means simply dropping by for a short visit costs credits (=fuel) each time. That doesn’t exactly encourage infinite visits.
Some of the novelties of the base (or the “lair”) are of the nature, that only plays out “later” – here is one of the downsides again, because time in Mass Effect 2 only seems to progress after missions. But since there are no more missions for players who have finished the game and came only back for the sake of this DLC, those things are stuck. Like Conversations with Legion (who gets added as a squad member late in the game) don’t progress anymore and only give the “…haven’t reached consensus yet” even when there still would be material to show (and new codex entries about geth culture). I take it they designed it this way, so players couldn’t go to every character and just “finish” their whole story in one visit, but there should be an exception to this rule, when the game is “done” and no more missions and level progressions await. Otherwise it will never be possible to tie up all loose ends for sure.
The video console (that even gives the message “come back later for new ones”) DOES change with the next visit, so there are exceptions from the rule, that the player has to finish missions in the meantime, for new things to show up.
I guess I’ll still try to find out, if the “come back later” message on the investment opportunities (one of the consoles in the lair) is gonna change by flying around to a couple of other planets, so I’ll know what it does precisely.