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Dragon Age 2

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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:26 am

Passionario wrote:The merits and flaws of actual game content are in the eyes of the beholder.

However, if SWTOR has the same level of technical support and bugfixing that DA:O, DA:A and DA2 had, I won't touch it with a 200-foot pole.

Last weeked, when EA had a problem with its DA:O authentication servers (causing all of my honestly-bought DLCs to be automatically flagged as "Unauthorized" and making existing savegames unable to be loaded without creating stability issues), I had to wait for four days and then do a full reinstall from scratch. And that's for a single-player game - I shudder at the thought of them handling the support of a full-fledged MMORPG.


they ALSO have different support departments!
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vanifae » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:32 am

People really don't understand how game development works.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Passionario » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:16 am

Thing is, brand recognition is a two-edged sword. People remember both the good things and the bad things associated with a company.

Sure, Bioware wants us to believe that SWTOR is a new link in the golden chain, the latest masterpiece from the great people who created our beloved classic RPGs and simultaneously is an entirely new isolated project that exists in a vacuum and has absolutely nothing to do with those not-so-great people who are responsible for all those screw-ups that seem to be plaguing BW's products lately.

And yet, I have doubts - what if it's the other way around?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:25 am

Passionario wrote:Thing is, brand recognition is a two-edged sword. People remember both the good things and the bad things associated with a company.

Sure, Bioware wants us to believe that SWTOR is a new link in the golden chain, the latest masterpiece from the great people who created our beloved classic RPGs and simultaneously is an entirely new isolated project that exists in a vacuum and has absolutely nothing to do with those not-so-great people who are responsible for all those screw-ups that seem to be plaguing BW's products lately.

And yet, I have doubts - what if it's the other way around?


I am pretty sure Bioware wants you to believe the former, whereas I am telling you the reality is closer to the latter. Bioware has a brand and they have no reason not to leverage it, even if some people now hate them for whatever reason.

Also it's not "in a vacuum", it's just not the exact same people. BioWare's been hiring like crazy for like a year for SWTOR.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vanifae » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:35 am

What screw ups? So some games have bugs, many computer games and console games release with bugs... the general quality of their products is still very damn good. I think some people are greatly exaggerating the scope of this issue.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Sabindeus wrote:Sooo more endings = more development?


I meant that in terms of "game development". What were the devs doing with their time and effort? If you're going to cut down the race/class options, and the origin story options, and the endings, and then recycle dungeons like they did... Where's the game? The story didn't have the "wow" factor, and your companions were pretty much just throwing themselves at you, so relationship development was meh, at best. So, where's the game?

So essentially your beef with the game is the lack of diversity in the plot outcomes based on player choice? Is that why other people disliked the game too? I'm still trying to figure out why the Internet at large had such a problem with it.


The entire game being based in one area, for one. The OBVIOUSLY recycled dungeons, for another. The lack of choices, the linear railroad ride, the lack of replay value, the lack of an overarching conflict, the way the endgame just slaps you in the face like "here I am, sorry I was late. 'Sup?" at the very end of the game, the lack of direction...
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vanifae » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:47 pm

I actually liked the more intimate focus on the city and the surrounding region... and the final conflict is abrupt but it makes sense given the evidence you beforehand.

One man's faults is another man's features.

Recycled dungeons were dumb, no way around that.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:59 pm

Kirkwall as the only location wouldn't have been a problem, except for the others. They really didn't give Hawke a reason to care about the mage/templar conflict.

S/he was all about taking care of family. Once that family was gone, there was no reason for act 3 at all - with mom dying in act 2, brother/sister either dying or leaving in act 1, what was left? The uncle that obviously hated you and sold your legacy off to slavers to pay gambling debts? Pfsh, I don't think so. Bastard's on his own. After act 1, I'd have gotten the hell out of Kirkwall and gone back to Lothering - they said it was rebuilt during the intermission between act 1 and 2. There was no reason to stay - you weren't noble, just rich. You weren't the Champion, just someone who got lucky with an expedition. If you stayed because your sister joined the circle/brother joined the templars, well, that's just stupid and no reason not to go back to Lothering.

There was nothing except [obvious Plot device] to make you do things. In act 2, why didn't Hawke just tell the Arishok to blow it out his vent hole and fix his own damn problems, or report it to the city leader and let him deal with it? Same with mages/templars in act 3 - where's the justification behind telling them both to blow it out their asses?

I mean, I liked the game for my first playthrough. I no-lifed the hell out of it for playthroughs one and two, but after that, there's no reason to ever play the game again. You've done everything there is to do. It was a pretty huge disappointment coming from Bioware.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby laterna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:05 pm

What I feel it boils down for me, is the "developement time". If I feel a game is cutting shortcuts, then its not worth it for me.

Doing the same dungeon 5 times in an RPG just shouts "we want your money". All they had to do, was show "time" changes. With each dungeon being used 1 per time-phase. Year 1, you visited the kirkwall dungeons. Next time-phase, you go back there, but there is algae grown on the walls, the huts are wrecked, dragons have taken the place, there's more creature corpses around etc. Its a very easy solution, without the whole hassle of building a whole map from scratch. It would also add to the continuity element.

If Bioware decided its OK to add dungeons that repeat over and over, on their single player RPG, I wonder how they'll handle their "flashpoints" in SWTOR. I hope that decision was an executive one, and that they'll take heart to what their community is saying. I wouldn't like playing SWTOR and running similar "lower level of a city instance" from lvl 10 to 85. Althought I have no idea who makes the call, I would think a decision so big wouldn't be let to lower level managers.

As you said, SW:TOR and DA:2 were in developement simultaneously. I just hope that they didn't follow the same system they did in DA:2. Maybe its even too late right now, a year from release?
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:09 pm

laterna wrote:What I feel it boils down for me, is the "developement time". If I feel a game is cutting shortcuts, then its not worth it for me.

Doing the same dungeon 5 times in an RPG just shouts "we want your money".


^ So much fucking this.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:35 pm

I agree with the reused dungeon maps thing. That was annoying, but the rest of the game was so much fun that while I was decidedly angry every time they reused a dungeon map, it didn't convert my enjoyment to disgust.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Chicken » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:36 pm

The game was rushed. Development time on DA2 wasn't even 18 months, it was only in the concept stages around the time of DA:O's release and that was in November 2009, while DA2 got released in March 2011. That's extremely short for a game of its length, and it shows in the area recycling they had to do, and the limited impact you could have on larger parts of the story.

The rushing is even more of a "Give us your money!" thing though, but it does explain some things.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Vanifae » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:59 pm

Dragon Age 2 had a decidedly shorter time of development, SWTOR does not it has been in some for of development for the last 3-4 years at least. The logistics of an MMO are totally different from the logistics of a single player game. I am not going to defend the recycled content, they knew it was recycled they are not stupid they probably had to make tough choices and that was one of them. Sadly Dragon Age is not the "top" tier title for Bioware, currently that is Mass Effect probably followed by The Old Republic. This again means that they probably had less resources but they still crafted a quality game.

As I have said in other forums, this is the kind of "rush" job that many companies would kill for because it still produced a quality game that has scored quite well critically.

With that said if you want to be scared because you think BioWare is going down the toilet no one will convince you otherwise, but BioWare is still producing quality content and trying things in the RPG space that really sets them apart.

Edit: The biggest issue is naming the game Dragon Age 2, they should have called it Dragon Age: Kirkwall Champion or simply Dragon Age: Champion. Naming it Dragon Age 2 brings too much baggage since players immediately think they will probably be continuing where they left off or doing something similar to the first game.
Last edited by Vanifae on Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:59 pm

Fivelives wrote:Kirkwall as the only location wouldn't have been a problem, except for the others. They really didn't give Hawke a reason to care about the mage/templar conflict.

S/he was all about taking care of family. Once that family was gone, there was no reason for act 3 at all - with mom dying in act 2, brother/sister either dying or leaving in act 1, what was left? The uncle that obviously hated you and sold your legacy off to slavers to pay gambling debts? Pfsh, I don't think so. Bastard's on his own. After act 1, I'd have gotten the hell out of Kirkwall and gone back to Lothering - they said it was rebuilt during the intermission between act 1 and 2. There was no reason to stay - you weren't noble, just rich. You weren't the Champion, just someone who got lucky with an expedition. If you stayed because your sister joined the circle/brother joined the templars, well, that's just stupid and no reason not to go back to Lothering.


Wow. "Just stupid", right? Choosing to live close to family, especially in a world where travel is slow, treacherous and not at all guaranteed is just stupid eh. Ok dude.

And of course you have every reason to go back to Lothering, your home town where everyone you ever knew is gone and so is pretty much everything that was once there except muddy farmland? Just give up living in an exciting city for the grand opportunity to take your riches and go be... a mud farmer? Sounds great. if ANYTHING you could argue that he could move to Denerim but seriously, why bother at that point? He already knows his way around Kirkwall and it feels like home to him. Not to mention the family estate he re-bought and made his home, AND all the friends he made while there. Varric is like my best bud at that point, I wouldn't move off to shitty old Ferelden and ditch him.

There was nothing except [obvious Plot device] to make you do things. In act 2, why didn't Hawke just tell the Arishok to blow it out his vent hole and fix his own damn problems, or report it to the city leader and let him deal with it? Same with mages/templars in act 3 - where's the justification behind telling them both to blow it out their asses?


Because he didn't feel like having his city, that he has invested time and money into, get torn apart by the qunari?

You didn't feel like you had any reason to care about what was going on, but I thought it was extremely compelling. also I'm always right, so there. :P

I mean, I liked the game for my first playthrough. I no-lifed the hell out of it for playthroughs one and two, but after that, there's no reason to ever play the game again. You've done everything there is to do. It was a pretty huge disappointment coming from Bioware.


So replayability is a big factor in BioWare games being worth it? It has to be playable with tons of different pathways and outcomes to be worth your money? I played it once and felt it was well worth it. I'm playing it through sorta again but not as religiously as I did the first time... I consider any subsequent playthroughs to just be gravy.
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Re: Dragon Age 2

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:01 pm

Sadly it WAS rushed because when DA:O was successful, it was a new IP, and they didn't really expect it to succeed the way it did. So when the sales became strong, they decided they needed a sequel as fast as possible simply to capitalize on the existing enthusiasm for the IP.
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