Transcript of the Dragon Age 2 live demo. I'm going to do a transcript here!

  • 1:24pm: Dragon Age 2 is gold for PC, XBox360 and PS3! Release dates is confirmed to be March 8th in US and March 11th in Europe
  • 1:25pm: EA is doing a live promotion if you're watching live chat! Origins is 60% off if you buy at Use the code DA2LIVECHAT. Due to legal reasons, it is only available in US and Europe
  • 1:27pm: Now you can have a huge posse and look awesome as you walk through town! Apparantly Lady Hawke can melt butter from across the room. Rawr. Bad news for butter though.
  • 1:28pm: Hawke is now walking through the merchant area and it is gorgeous and large. She is also amazingly hot. There's a rumor that Isabela is in town and she might have a task.
  • 1:29pm: BAR FIGHT CUTSCENE! Isabela vs 3 ruffians. Now it's just Isabela. Versus the Beer. Nice!
  • 1:30pm: Ooooh, female Hawke talks. Nice. There's a chat wheel and Mike just selected "sarcastic". Witttttty.
  • 1:31pm: Isabela has a quest. She has someone from a past who is trailing her. She doesn't trust him to play fair so she needs someone to help watch her back. "Why a duel?", Hawke asks. "I like duels. Plus if I win, he's dead. Problems solved"
  • 1:32pm: City map! Much like Dragon Age: Origins but there's an additional button that lets you flip time from day to night. The streets are much emptier. Much dimmer. And the streets are a quite a bit more dangerous. This quest needs to be done at night, so Mike flips the time to night and selects the location.
  • 1:33pm: Nothing is ever easy. Isabela is waiting at the meeting spot.. she feels uneasy and... AMBUSH! Varric just shot the crap out of 3 people. Niiiiice crossbow.
  • 1:35pm: One of the key role of the mage is buffs and party support. Lady Hawke Mage just casted Force Field, Elemental Weapons and Stone Armor. Spells glow fades down a little abit after casting so you don't look like a disco ball running around town. So long disco ball party!
  • 1:36pm: Inventory and loot management. There's a star (grade) system to let people know which items is better.
  • 1:36pm: Level up! What's this tree? A Force Mage. It is crowd control system that lets you move enemies around the battlefield. Knockback and knockdowns.
  • 1:40pm: So it turns out Isabela's lost her ship full of 'cargo'. Slaves that were worth 100 sovereigns a head. And that her contact unhappy.
  • 1:41pm: Tough fight! Lots of tactical pauses to manage Area of Effect attacks.
  • 1:45pm: Fight over! Isabela explains herself to Hawke. Her ship hit a storm and it ran aground.
  • 1:47pm: Ooooh Isabela just suggested that Hawke keep her company at her room at the Hanged Man, presumably an inn and not a mortuary.
  • 1:47pm: Conditional Tactics from Origins is still in game.
  • 1:48pm: Cross class combos! They are moving away from just spell combos and into multiple classes. One example is a spell that does 600% damage to a staggered target. And staggering targets is mostly in the warrior class.
  • 1:51pm: Question and Answer session!

Question: How long is a playthrough of Dragon Age going to take?
Answer: Longer than Mass Effect 2, shorter than Dragon Age: Origins. Roughly 50 hours but some players might take longer or shorter. There's lots of content to find and lots of hidden stuff in nooks and crannies

Question: What noticable improvements have been made to the classes?
Answer: A overhaul of the changes to the classes. They work better together. Plus each character have their own tree. Fenris as a warrior is different from Carver as a warrior who is different from Aveline as a warrior.

Question: Can mages wear armor?
Answer: Yes. They are based on Strength and Constitution. Which is not an ideal build for a mage.

Question: Does Dragon Age II have a wide variety of weapons?
Answer: Yes it does. Every class has their own sets. Lots of different visual models and they can be equipped on all followers and characters.

Question: Can you change your armor on your party member?
Answer: Party members have armor that are more fixed than in Origins. What they have is upgrades that you can find during quests or purchased in stores. Like enchanting and runes that upgrade armor. Over time (a decade long story), companions will change their outfits.

Question: Do enemies level scale in Dragon Age II like in Dragon Age: Origins?
Answer: Yes. Enemies do scale. Not every encounter is going to be super hard, but there will be tough ones.

Question: What difficulty were you playing on?
Answer: Normal. It is not super hard. It is designed to play one character optimally. Hard is for players who play their whole party. Who works to optimize all their gear and work on more cross class combos.

Question: Will archers be more satisfying?
Answer: Yes. They found that archers in Origins in Awakening were not a solid part of the party. Made archers part of the rogue tree, and gave them cross class attacks. Each attack does more force than a dual wielding rogue. If a mob (non boss) charges at you, it is possible to hit a mob so hard that it stops in it's track.

Question: Will saves from Dragon Age: Origins or Awakening have influence in Dragon Age II story?
Answer: They do. Imported decisions will affect the gameplay. Decisions that affect the world such as who is the king will reach all the way to Kirkwall. Cameos will also be different based on the different Origins choices

Question: Does fatigue work the same way in Origins?
Answer: To be honest, fatigue didn't work well in Origins. If you meet the requirements armor will not add additional fatigue. But stances and buffs does add to fatigue.

Question: How is the 10 years in the game managed?
Answer: They want to tell the story. So they want to focus on the most significant part of the story. Followers and relationships that change over time. They move forward through time, using narrative to work on the story.

Question: Are there new classes in Dragon Age II and are they better balanced?
Answer: All the three classes were overall. They didn't hit the mage with a nerf stick but gave warriors and rogue more mobility and a bit more flash. There's a few new specializations like Force Mage. They make the holy trinity of classes - mage, warrior, rogue and made it work better together in terms of cross class combos

Question: Are there optional bosses like in Dragon Age: Origins? Like Dragons?
Answer: There will be dragons in Dragon Age II. There will be other optional encounters. Similar to the High Dragon. There will be encounters tucked away with the corners. You will want to go in with your A game. Tactics and equipments ready to go.

Question: Who is your favorite character in Dragon Age II?
Answer: Tricky question. It is a close one but probably Isabela. She is a sassy pirate girl on the surface. But if you keep digging there is a lot of character. A lot of inner turmoil. Lots of rich story on each character and they sort of become an extended family and friends.

Question: Do companions interact with each other?
Answer: Yes they do. They have extensive banter with each other as you explore towns and going shopping. Other times, when you enter their home base such as Varric's room in the Hanged Man, you might see other followers there. That will give you a chance to see how they interfact with each other when you're not around

Question: Do we get any pets in the game?
Answer: New players that get the game new will have access to the Black Emporium. And that comes with your own personal family Black Mabari Warhound. This time around the Warhound is just a minor character, like a minor fifth character. It is not going to be unbalancing like in Dragon Age: Origins and not going to deal a huge amount of damage. But, he is going to be awfully cute.

Question: Are we going to see any of the old characters in Dragon Age II.
Answer: There is already a few like Isabela. But as far as companions, there might be a few. Like cameos.

Question: Are there more dynamic enemies in Dragon Age II. Like the Harvester that has different phases of attack.
Answer: Yes they do. Some of them are pretty spectacular. And they are telegraphing their changes better. And not just the enemies but also the environment - for example, falling rocks. Another example is enemies such as Assassins and Commanders. Assassins are going to try to keep stealthing and go after your mages so you will want to pin them down. Combat in general is going to be much more dynamic.

Question: Can you tell us about romances in Dragon Age II?
Answer: They are hot! They want to make sure that romances evolve over time. Whether you are dealing with them as a friend or a rival. Some are more inclined than others, like Carver is more likely to be a rival than Bethany. In romances is it possible to have a "I hate you but I love you" kind of scenes? Yes. And we're happy with the results.

Question: What is your favorite class to play?
Answer: Rogues. The sense of fighting smart. And archery is one of their favorites. Hanging back and seeing a tactical overview of the situation.

Question: What are the main differences between the console and the PC version of Dragon Age II?
Answer: The interface is going to be different. The content is all the same, but, the interface is different and tweaked to work better on consoles. As a general rule, if you played Dragon Age: Origins on console, it will play exactly like that. If you played on PC, it will work the same way as well. PC will have additional hardware that consoles don't have. DX11 works great and will show off in additional lighting and effects.

Question: Is there a crafting system like Alchemy or Poison or Runes?
Answer: Yes. Crafting will allow you to create your own Runes, Potions, Poisons and Bombs. You've no longer required to buy all these ingredients. Once you found the potions recipe and the ingredients you can keep making it. There are some exceptions.

Question: Will playing as a good or a bad character affect the outcome of the game?
Answer: They've tried to build a world that is hard to tell who the good or the bad guys are.

Question: Are there going to be caves or dungeons?
Answer: A lot of the place takes place in Kirkwall, but there will be the Deep Roads, dungeons, lost abandoned highways, craggy coast areas. A wide variety of places to go. But Kirkwall will be a hub location.

Question: Do we have more variety in our side quests?
Answer: There's going to be a lot of chances to get involved in politics, or economics. And each follower has a story arc you can follow as well.
Question: Will there be player housing and what's in the house?
Answer: Hawke will have a player location, similar to the camp. But there you will have an option to do crafting and store your equipment.

Question: Can you explain the rivalry or approval system?
Answer: Rivalry and approval are two sides of the spectrum. A character in the party will have an approval or rivalry with you. They are hot button issues with these companions which you can complete. You're not cutting out content by being a rival, but rather represents a different way of interacting with the quests and the companions. You can have friendships like in Origins, but rivalry will be more like "look we don't get along much, but I need your help, will you give it?" kind of feel.

Question: Are there any big decisions in Dragon Age II?
Answer: Yes. Some that will come up over the course of the game that will affect you later. Dragon Age II is about the one big question - "Why did the Champion of Kirkwall make the decisions he or she did?". When you answer that, you've had completed the game. There's no ancient evil to defeat, no huge monster to kill. You have to make a decision.