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Dragon Age 2


JPR
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Loved DA to bits, but I hope to God it's not a direct continuation like Mass Effect 2 was.

As my character

died at the end of the first game, I'm basically buggered. I didn't want to play the expansion pack with a new character.

. I guess I could start it again but it's shame that I if can't have the ending I want.

You didn't have to.

While my character was still alive, the devs said that they just kind of airbrushed the death ending out justifying it by making it a non-canon branch of the storyline.

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This is a bit odd, wasn't DA:O a big old attempt at bringing back the classic WRPG? Turning it into more actiony fare seems admitting that those sorts of games can't make it in these days of multimillion dollar budgets.

:negativeman: The homogenre!

I take it this is so at least in part they can fully voice the main character this time around. Still, I shall miss the joys of being a Knife-Ear straight outta the Alienage, elf steel in the hour of chaos and all that. Fare thee well, City Elf - you shall be missed.

Did you see this link on RPS about the use of Voice in Mass Effect and Dragon Age? I thought it interesting. It all depends on what they want to do with it, but I didn't mind the way it was.

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This is a bit odd, wasn't DA:O a big old attempt at bringing back the classic WRPG? Turning it into more actiony fare seems admitting that those sorts of games can't make it in these days of multimillion dollar budgets.

:negativeman: The homogenre!

Let's be honest, while I like Dragon Age, it is nothing compared to Baldur's Gate. It is nowhere near the level of complexity for that. It was left straddling uncomfortably the gap between Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect and was therefore not too great.

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Let's be honest, while I like Dragon Age, it is nothing compared to Baldur's Gate. It is nowhere near the level of complexity for that. It was left straddling uncomfortably the gap between Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect and was therefore not too great.

I was about to say that I blame the people who say "It's not exactly like Baldurs Gate therefore it's shit :qq:"

Seriously, being a PC gamer must be the most self-loathing thing. Constantly pushing for better, more expensive tech and at the same time complaining that the games that now cost tens of millions of dollars because of said tech no longer cater to the impossibly small niche that gaming sold to twenty years ago.

I like Bioware, and I like Mass Effect, but I like that they have different franchises with different gameplay and different focuses (?). The thing about being a human and having a last name is exactly Mass Effect and I'd rather we didn't just have the same game flavoured between Scifi and fantasy. More details will tell I guess.

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I saw a quote from Bioware yesterday stating DA.O was the single biggest global release they'd had last November, I'm not sure if ME 2 topped it but DAO was a huge success for Bioware so I'm not sure if it's fair to say that type of game can't cut it any more. I was very surprised to see it had topped KOTOR especially, it outsold the original ME as well.

I've played all the way through BG and it's expansion and a few hours into BG2 and I personally think Dragon Age pisses from a great height on those games. The D&D engine is nothing but a pain in the arse a lot of the times, buffing etc are a real chore with it. Plus unless you are spell caster it's boring as fuck, the life of a warrior in BG is click to attack and not much else, perhaps if you are a D&D fan BG is pure heaven but nearly everyone else would take the system from Dragon Age I think.

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I like Bioware, and I like Mass Effect, but I like that they have different franchises with different gameplay and different focuses (?). The thing about being a human and having a last name is exactly Mass Effect and I'd rather we didn't just have the same game flavoured between Scifi and fantasy. More details will tell I guess.

This.

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I saw a quote from Bioware yesterday stating DA.O was the single biggest global release they'd had last November, I'm not sure if ME 2 topped it but DAO was a huge success for Bioware so I'm not sure if it's fair to say that type of game can't cut it any more. I was very surprised to see it had topped KOTOR especially, it outsold the original ME as well.

I've played all the way through BG and it's expansion and a few hours into BG2 and I personally think Dragon Age pisses from a great height on those games. The D&D engine is nothing but a pain in the arse a lot of the times, buffing etc are a real chore with it. Plus unless you are spell caster it's boring as fuck, the life of a warrior in BG is click to attack and not much else, perhaps if you are a D&D fan BG is pure heaven but nearly everyone else would take the system from Dragon Age I think.

Yeah, Baldurs Gate was what? D&D 2? 3.0? The mage being able to rain down hellfire and rip open the fabric of spacetime while the warrior can hit things and er..., trip people up was always a problem before the most current edition. Damn grognards claiming their broken old edition is the best.

DA:O still had some of the inherent "P&P in computer game format" weirdness of emulating a gameplay system designed for low paperwork and maths on a device which can do all of them endlessly without breaking a sweat. Stealth for example, makes sense as an opposed perception check when you're playing on a table with pen and paper and taking in other variables just slows the game down massively, but on a PC there's no reason not to take other aspects like lighting, noise, partial cover, camouflage, and so on into account, because the computer can do those in nanoseconds.

Oh god, I'm talking myself out of my own argument here because taken to its logical conclusion we just get an action game.

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Hawke is:

* Voiced

* Human

* A survivor of Lothering

* The 'Champion' of Kirkwall...but how and why is up to you

* The driving force of the story - it's not about the Darkspawn, Blights or ancient evils this time

http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/201...gon-age-ii.aspx

The lead writer has also gone on record as saying that companion dialogue is going to be handled more like as in Awakenings as opposed to Origins, ie. you can't have long, exhaustive conversations at camp anymore (boo, hiss!), you have to actively take characters with you on your travels and find reasons/events for them to open up to you.

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The lead writer has also gone on record as saying that companion dialogue is going to be handled more like as in Awakenings as opposed to Origins, ie. you can't have long, exhaustive conversations at camp anymore (boo, hiss!), you have to actively take characters with you on your travels and find reasons/events for them to open up to you.

WHAT? :(

That isn't a backwards step so much as a reverse somersault down a flight of stairs.

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Yeah, it's rather vexing alright. Here's a few snippets made on the Bioware boards about it:

The drawback might be viewed as you being unable to go around in camp and chat with every party member, regardless of whether you spend any time adventuring with them. I don't know that this is necessarily a drawback, however, as I think you *should* only be building friendships with the characters in your active party. That and I think a system that doesn't make the player feel like they have to keep "checking in" with a character regularly to see if they have anything new to say is more natural -- saving their interactions for those times when what they have to say is more significant.

There's going to be some people who are going to miss the "laundry list" of questions, because as far as they're concerned any conversation they can have with a character they like is gravy -- it is, let's face it, MOAR! -- but I've always felt that such dialogues are often exposition-filled by necessity, and personally I think a system where a player feels compelled to sit in camp and drain a character of all their dialogue options (in a lengthy process) just to have a "complete" picture of a character isn't ideal.

I will say that "I like the old conversation system, having long talks with the character let me get an insight into their personality and made me feel really close to them, etc etc." is very understandable. Who doesn't like having long talks with characters you like? It is, however, a lot of writing that is inefficient and, yes, expensive. No, you as fans don't have to worry about how expensive it is. I, however, do, and I do have to think about the sort of behavior a conversation system encourages in players -- even if some players (especially the really hardcore ones) enjoyed the end results despite its flaws (and every system has some).

The bolded part certainly sets the alarm bells ringing. "Too much money and effort, maaaaaaan" though I take the earlier point about unnatural feel of the 'laundry list' and feeling almost compelled to exhaust it.

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This sounds like a bafflingly bad decision. I agree with the idea of perhaps changing things to make it not seem that you're checking items off a list when talking to party members in camp (maybe have them walk around or engage in activities instead of all gormlessly standing around, or come up to you more often) but entirely removing it will take a lot from the game. After hours of killing darkspawn upon darkspawn, it was nice to have a chance to reflect on events with a party member. The way they modelled the light from the camp fire, along with the background music, made it all very atmospheric and a nice quiet contrast to the high-octane action you're engaged in everywhere else.

In the past I liked to rotate party members every now and then for certain quests and locations, under this system it sounds like I'm going to have to stick to the same group or run the risk of missing an opportunity for a key trigger for a conversation with someone.

Christ, if Mass Effect, the shooter/RPG hybrid, can have hub-based dialogue, why on earth can't something as traditionally modelled as Dragon Age?

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Aww shit, I hated the Awakenings dialogue system, the other changes so far I've grumbled over a little and accepted but the dialogue system in Awakenings is awful, not only do you have to take characters along to get their stories you have to keep tab pressed in case you miss that tree that looks just like all the others they want to talk about *sigh* Even the supposedly dumbed down ME2 lets you wander the ship talking to characters and getting their stories.

A lot of writing? as much dialogue as DA has I wonder how many pages each character has if you laid it all out in one go. Looks like the great white hope may be the Witcher 2 now. Da:O is one my all time favourite games and I would have been perfectly happy with bug fixes and new lands and stories for a sequel. Or maybe Gaider expects us to buy his novels to fill in gaps the games should explain? I've read numerous times that the plot to Awakenings means more if you've read the books

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I wish these games did away with voice acting altogether. Sure, you wouldn't be able to have some situations (as mentioned in that blog, Shephards speech to the crew), but the cost of it really does reduce the variety of options. Most RPGs only give you two, and I was impressed by the five or six you get in every conversation in Dragon Age until you realise that they all lead into the same string of dialogue, just in different places. Without voice acting you've no need to reduce the amount of dialogue options, or skim down on conversations to save money, you can give everyone unique dialogue for everything, and even for every flavour NPC in towns and cities, rather than the handful with exclamation points over their heads.

Voice acting and mocap and all that are great for games with like 3 characters, but not in games with hundreds like this. You only have to see how much MID moaned about Mass Effects 2's animations and "digital acting" despite it being the best out of any game with a similar cast of characters, it wasn't as good as a TPS with 3 characters, you see.

Would never happen though, we're chained to the big multimillion dollar budget and production value train, and we're being dragged with it into the homogenre. I wish there were people making accessible classic games with lower tech and budgets.

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Would never happen though, we're chained to the big multimillion dollar budget and production value train, and we're being dragged with it into the homogenre. I wish there were people making accessible classic games with lower tech and budgets.

While there could always be more of that, I don't think there is a shortage of it either. (though I guess it depends on the genre - Infinity Engine-esque RPG's seem to be disappearing) I mean, heck, that perfectly encapsulates many of Nintendo's games.

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I wish these games did away with voice acting altogether.

Whilst I wouldn't be so conclusive, it is a shame that it's getting harder and harder to get away with unvoiced dialogue these days. Plain text is accepted for handhelds and MMOs for the most part, but outside of those cases having mute characters is seen as lazy by reviewers, the audience or both.

Personally I rather like how Skies of Arcadia handled voice work. Not to say that the quality of the acting was great — it wasn't — but each character had a few different sound bites that let you know what their voice was like. Vyse, Aika and Fina might have had all of 10 lines of spoken dialogue each, but I read the entire game as if they said every line.

If you forgive me for getting all misty eyed for a moment, it reminds of when I used to flirt with RPG Maker. I never got very far with projects as I'd lose days tweaking everything in a scene, but I simply loved adding unexpected depth to everything. For instance one scene was a single screen of a corridor in an apartment block, and as I didn't want the player character to simply stop as they hit the invisible walls at either end I decided to make it so that a dialogue box would pop up where the main character gave a justification for going no further. I then added 19 more justifications and a counter to keep track of them, and once finished I'd accidentally given the apartments their own lore; there was a suspicious stain that was best to be avoided oozing from under the door to number 16, plus someone who may or may not have been a cannibal living at 23, et cetera. Sure it was inefficient and self-indulgent, but the great thing about the written word is that you can get away with both those things! At least I hope you can for the sake of this paragraph.

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I can feel an announcement that 'Dragon Age 2 will not ship with construction tools' coming up, what do others think? Giving how it's too expensive to have dialogue trees in camp I can't see them making a new construction set that's only useful to PC gamers :(

Will be a huge shame if it's the case as a lot of the time Bioware and Bethesda games basically have to be finished by the fans or at least have some stupid design decisions corrected.

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Yeah, it's rather vexing alright. Here's a few snippets made on the Bioware boards about it:

The bolded part certainly sets the alarm bells ringing. "Too much money and effort, maaaaaaan" though I take the earlier point about unnatural feel of the 'laundry list' and feeling almost compelled to exhaust it.

Something in the water of late causing stupidity. First Blizzard now Bioware?

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It will use the ME dialogue wheel as wheel as well

"Dragon Age II uses a conversation system similar to Mass Effect's,

where players select paraphrased versions of the dialogue from a wheel.

An icon in the middle of the wheel even illustrates the line's basic

intent (like aggressive or sarcastice), so you can focus more on the

interaction rather than reading and analyzing your dialogue choices."

quote from the GI issue

I adore ME2 but I don't want to DA 2 to be ME with swords and Dragons, unfortunately every piece of information we get suggests that's exactly what we are in for.

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I adore ME2 but I don't want to DA 2 to be ME with swords and Dragons, unfortunately every piece of information we get suggests that's exactly what we are in for.

Exactly! Why have two franchises that operate in the same way?

Also: why change the more successful one to match the less successful one?

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Pretty sure ME is the more successful one really.

Nope

BioWare’s Rob Bartel has told MCV Dragon Age has become the most successful series the studio has ever made.

Yes, more so than Mass Effect.

In fact, it has become more popular than Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate and Jade Empire.

“Dragon Age was an extremely successful title for us – last November it was the single most globally successful title we’ve put out to date,” Bartel said at EA’s European showcase back in May.

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I think the early DLC was also a massive success for them. It does seem strange the direction they appear to be going in if it does become Dragon Age ME2. This was meant to be the game they'd always wanted to make creating their own world and lore, so talk of things being too much money or effort seems strange, especially as it was a success. Don't want to be that person but I do wonder how much influence EA and consoles are having. No doubt I'll still get it and it will be a fantastic game, just not the fantastic game I really wanted.

Of course this could be jumping the gun. What we could get is a game that still has the zoomed out tactical approach of the PC version, but then you can zoom in and take more direct control and it plays out like ME2. Which actually would be amazing if you could get it to work with no compromises.

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It will use the ME dialogue wheel as wheel as well

"Dragon Age II uses a conversation system similar to Mass Effect's,

where players select paraphrased versions of the dialogue from a wheel.

An icon in the middle of the wheel even illustrates the line's basic

intent (like aggressive or sarcastic), so you can focus more on the

interaction rather than reading and analyzing your dialogue choices."

quote from the GI issue

I adore ME2 but I don't want to DA 2 to be ME with swords and Dragons, unfortunately every piece of information we get suggests that's exactly what we are in for.

Sounds similar to Alpha Protocol.

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It will use the ME dialogue wheel as wheel as well

"Dragon Age II uses a conversation system similar to Mass Effect's,

where players select paraphrased versions of the dialogue from a wheel.

An icon in the middle of the wheel even illustrates the line's basic

intent (like aggressive or sarcastice), so you can focus more on the

interaction rather than reading and analyzing your dialogue choices."

quote from the GI issue

I adore ME2 but I don't want to DA 2 to be ME with swords and Dragons, unfortunately every piece of information we get suggests that's exactly what we are in for.

Oh god, I'm too scared to check on the Something Awful thread now. The spergelords are going to go apeshit.

What I would really like Bioware to borrow/shamelessly rip-off would be the Alpha Protocol system, with it's timed response and less obviously black/white response selection. Not that I really had many complaints with how Dragon Age handled things, more like I really dug Mike Thorton's ways of responding to characters.

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I'm glad that other people had troubles with Dragon Age, as I found that I enjoyed the game, though it was enjoyment in despite of the combat system, party system and for me also some of the extremely heavy amounts of text.

I hoped that Dragon Age was more about the main character, with the ally party being more computer controlled, both in kitting themselves up and handling themselves during combat. I really didn't like the constant juggling that I needed to do in an effort to counter the scruffy AI decisions.

While I'm not sure about the decisions for this new conversation system and the drop of the camp, I do agree that games like this often fall foul of check list dynamics, where players feel more compelled to expell a conversation tree over actually taking in its content.

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According to someone else who's gotten a copy of the Game Informer article:

* We may still be able to import our DA:O games into DA2 (the consequences as opposed to the actual character)

* We will see Flemeth at some point.

* Pissing off party members won't always be a bad thing. "They won't necessarily leave. They may still join you, but they're going to try to show you up, and that may influence battle in a different way."

* The way the story unfolds will be very different compared to the past Bioware games. "Dragon Age II has a framed narrative structure, which means that the exploits of Hawke occured in the past, but are being retold in the present." "Narrators with unique insights into the events in question tell the tale of his past adventures."

* We may get to see some of the DA:O events at the start from a different perspective. "Dragon Age II begins as the events of Origins are still taking place, so you may see some familiar events from a different angle."

* Because of the game spanning a decade, we get to see the consequences of our actions sooner, rather than in a little text at the end of the game.

* The PC version's combat system remains mostly the same. "The PC version implements the same strategic approach afforded by a mouse-and-keyboard control scheme." "Rather than try to mimic the PC experience on consoles, Dragon Age II has a battle system more tailored to the strengths of the PS3 and 360."

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