Dragon Age II Achievement Guide (PC)
By Matthew Hibben
Dragon Age II (DA2), like many games, gives players additional content via the achievement system. This week's Game Tech article will examine the achievements within DA2, and explore how these can be completed.
Achievements in DA2 are in a sense more a test of thoroughness than skill. The first piece of advice and the biggest is to save often. Achievements such as "Supplier" and to a lesser extent "Great Minds Think Alike" require thoroughness during the play through, and saving often will help avoid having to start the campaign over.
Multiple Play Throughs
Due to the nature of select achievements the minimum amount of play throughs the game will require to complete all of the DA2 achievements is two. That being said, the best way to approach the minimum two unique games is, in one case, always side with the templars (Mage Hunter achievement), and in the other, always side with mages (Arcane Defender achievement). What is meant by siding with either is that within the campaign the player is given multiple options to voice favor towards one faction or the other, to help one cause or the other.
I found that maintaining friendships was easiest in the "Mage Friendly" play through and used that as my primary achievement game, while the "Templar Friendly " was rushed through without any regard for completionist elements other then siding with the templars.
Friendships and Rivalry based achievements in DA2 are broken down into three criteria. The three criteria within DA2 to complete all of the "reputation" based achievements are have one rival, have 4 friendships or rivalries, and complete a romance. Simply put, if you can complete all three of these conditions during a single play through you will unlock all of these achievements.
- Great Minds Think Alike
The primary way reputation with your party members is changed, is with quest interactions. Often when quests are both acquired and completed certain party members will react to how you handled text interactions. This is where save/load comes into play, as testing chat interaction combinations will net very different results in friendship or rivalry points.
In addition to gaining reputation when activating or completing quests, the party members will also periodically initiate dialog with the player, through "visit me" style quests. In addition to giving the player additional ways to boost or reduce reputation with them, this is the way romances are started. Romances in DA2 are started once reputation hits a certain percent and the player has used the "heart" option with the selected party member through text interactions.
Once a character is romanced they will also receive armor upgrades which can influence the achievement "I Got Your Back".
The best strategy for friendship and rivalries in DA2 is to max them out as early as possible. I found that with careful quest interactions I was able to get close to or maxed out on the progress bar with all party members within Act 1. The main reason why earlier is better than later has to do with "Supplier" achievement. Having the right amount of friendship or rivalry points is the only way this achievement can be completed.
Dungeon crawling, for the purposes of DA2, refers to exploring and re-exploring each map. The reason dungeon crawling is so important in DA2 from an achievement standpoint is that often the player is only given one shot to acquire resources or codex that can be found on certain maps. The big tip here is explore every map, every act, and under every condition. For city crawling, explore each section on both day and night settings, as the different versions often have different resources and codex to loot.
Supplier achievement deserves special note primarily because it is very easy to not complete. The wording for starters is misleading, "Found every variety of crafting resources" should read "find every crafting resource". That is it in a nut shell, find every crafting resource.
Thorough dungeon crawling will take care of most of the resources but there are a few that will require character subplot quests. Fenris has easily missed subplot quests in Act 2; this starts via having Fenris in your party while exploring the outskirts of Kirkwall. The other pertains to Isabela and requires having high friendship with her in Act 2 (I had max friendship with her and for the sake of simplicity would recommend that) so that she returns to the party for the final battle in Act 2, with follow up quests she gives in Act 3 having some of the last resources you will need.
Concerning Special and Hidden Bosses
DA2 has many special or hidden bosses located in each of the chapters. Most of these need to be discovered or activated via pick up items, which thorough dungeon crawling will ensure, while some will need to be engaged via dialog. It is possible to complete these all within the same play through, being very straightforward encounters. Again, saving often as well as proper crawling of each zone will ensure that all of these bosses can be encountered. Boss style achievements are listed below.
- Stone Cold
- King of the Hill
- That Thing Has Legs
- Dragon Slayer
- Demon Slayer
The value of achievements like those in DA2 is the added challenge and play time. DA2 achievements give great additional content to explore, and it is my hope they continue to add more as DLC (Downloadable Content) and patches become available. For more illustrated examples of DA2 and DA2 achievements please visit our Technomicon Media Channel on Youtube, or view the embedded video below.