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 Dragon Age 2

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Dragon Age 2   Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:23 pm

I have very mixed feelings about Dragon Age 2. I'm concerned about all the hype, the absence of non human protagonists, the dialogue system... Basically breaking everything I liked in the first game.

Still, I wonder if I should get the signature edition or just pass. I have a discount but I'm not sure that it's worth it (I really don't like the idea of a medieval Mass Effect).

I have to decide before the 11th of January though. scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:55 pm

Good luck, Cara. Let us know what you do. I think I'll wait on this one. I pre-ordered the first one and although it was a good game I was disappointed. This one I definitely will wait on.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:23 pm

I could get it now or wait a year and pay the same price (more or less) so I'm not sure. I loved DAO but I'm really not sure about DA2 as there are too many things that I find irksome. I don't know. I'll decide tomorrow. The thing is that without the discount I wouldn't even hesitate or consider buying it now... I would certainly wait for reviews and buy the ultimate edition (or whatever it will be called) in a year or so (provided the game doesn't suck).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:25 am

I've watched a few videos and trailers and that game looks so corny that I won't get it -discount or no discount. I'll pass and wait for reviews.

I'm way more excited about The Witcher 2.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:45 am

Thank you, Cara. I hope more people wait maybe EA will get the hint and either improve the game or come out with something better.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:09 pm

I'm not happy with the way they handled patches for DAO and I'm not happy with DLCs either. The preorder thing is also rather bad... It forces players -I should say customers really- to buy a game without any review or demo for the only reason that if you don't preorder the game you will miss out on the good stuff.

That and treating players like beta testers is not a good idea. But I can't say that EA and Bioware are the only companies that release buggy games.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:22 pm

If that is EA's attitude then I would rather not buy the game unless at some future date I get a pre-owned copy. Customers should vote with their wallet but too many believe the hype.


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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:18 pm

The problem with preowned copies is that you forsake DLCs and content that would come with a new copy of the game. For instance buying a used copy of DAO you don't get the Stone Prisoner DLC which means that you have to spend more money to get it (in the case of DAO this is made even worse by the fact that the Stone Prisoner is the best DLC).

I hate day one DLCs... It's an excuse to prevent players from selling their games or buy used copies. It feels like being ripped off... They claim that day one DLCs are not part of the original game when it looks like content actually cut from the game (that can be said of the Stone Prisoner DLC for DAO).

Milking customers for cash is not fair and only "acceptable" when we don't feel tricked, i.e. when the stuff we buy is worth the money and not bug ridden.

It only gets worse when players have to rely on unofficial patches made by modders to play the game because the official support is almost non existent and official patches actually break the game (I'm not kidding it happened with DAO).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:34 pm

Everytime some new info comes out, I have more hope for the game. The changes made now make sense, and as Mike Lidlaw (lol I don't know how to spell his name :p) "The changes were needed so we could tell the story". Or something along those lines lol.

I just have to think about it as a franchise, that's what it is :-) So maybe DA3 could be something completley different Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:23 pm

one of the Vas i talk to on another site got to do some voice work for that game. i can say that because hes posted about it already so its safe. how exciting. the game looks good and i LOVED dragon age.. i just cant get the game. Boooo!
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:23 am

simfamSP wrote:
Everytime some new info comes out, I have more hope for the game. The changes made now make sense, and as Mike Lidlaw (lol I don't know how to spell his name :p) "The changes were needed so we could tell the story". Or something along those lines lol.

I just have to think about it as a franchise, that's what it is :-) So maybe DA3 could be something completley different Very Happy

We had a discussion about DA2 over at TEG, right?

I can't say I trust the devs with the choices they've made/advertized but hopefully the game will turn out better than what I've been lead to assume.

I wasn't impressed by what I saw so far but I haven't been paying so much attention lately.

Anyway, simfanSP I guess we will be expecting some kind of review from you when the game eventually gets out. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:11 am

I wonder what simfanSP thinks about the game now that it has been released. I've checked some walkthrough video on youtube to see how the DA2 intro looked like. I'm glad I didn't preorder the game. I've checked a dialogue video and it seems the game has very few dialogue options. Dialogue wasn't necessarily better in DAO (and I definitely remember how frustrating it could be at times) but I'm not convinced by the way this simplified system seems to work (only three possible choices will probably make the going back and forth around topics even more awkward).

Since I've only watched a few gameplay videos and I haven't played the game I can't really comment but with all the criticism (mainly that the game caters to action RPG fans and more casual gamers and is said to alienate DAO fans -it's also been said that the game is much easier than DAO which seems hardly believable since DAO was already very easy) and Bioware's shady tacks (reviews made by Bioware employees to praise the game, user being banned and forbidden from playing the game for calling EA the "devil" on the official forum) the whole thing seems rather dodgy.

I've also read it's much shorter than DAO and very limited in scope with a lot of area recycling (I hated that in DAO). Anyway with all the interesting games (Skyrim) that are to be released by the end of 2011 I probably won't have much gaming time anyway. Else I would probably wait for the ultimate edition of DA2 but I'll probably skip it (like NWN2). I'm really not convinced by what I saw so far (players have been praising the combat and although it looks more swift-paced it also looks more "gamey" and fake in the videos I've watched).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:39 am

EA/Bioware just don't have the player's interests at heart in my opinion. I know game develpment is a business and they want and need to make money but DAO's DLCs were not worth the price they charged. Despite its flaws I got my money worth from Oblivion and with the addition of a variety of mods I got more than my money's worth. Very Happy I didn't feel that way about DAO. I enjoyed the game but still felt ripped off.

I am not getting the DA2 game. Burned once their fault, burned twice my fault.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:37 pm

The whole thing gets even worse when you compare EA/Bioware with CD Projekt Red (the Polish company responsible for making The Witcher).

I think that even if the Witcher 2 is not perfect on release CD Red will try and fix it (that's what they did for the first Witcher). I can no longer say the same about Bioware with the current focus on day one DLCs being the last straw that breaks the camel's back... Cut content from the game to sell it as a first day DLC or make players preorder a special edition? No thank you.

Long gone are the days of Interplay (for a little while "by gamers for gamers" used to mean something).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:23 pm

What I don't understand is a game like Baldur;s Gate I & has a strong and loyal following ten years after the game was released but Publishers don't seem to care. Loyalty doesn't seem to count for anything with companies like EA. Tilted Mill has fallen to the money crowd. Bethesda does seem to pay more attention to the loyal fan. They found a good formula, stick with it and let users expand the game for them. Their DLCs were inexpensive in my opinion. Knights of the Nine didn't have much replayability for me but was still worth it. It seems to me that they are the one company that listens to players. Green pizza slices Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:58 pm

I think CD Red Projeckt is better than Bethesda. Bethesda is responsible for New Vegas being rushed and the Dead Money DLC exclusivity deal... That being said Bethesda is infinitely better than Bioware/EA.

What DA2 seems to prove is that they don't care about players or customers. Whether you liked it or not DAO was a successful game that answered the need to play a fantasy CRPG set in the tradition of the BG series. It may have been dumbed down, too easy and too corny at times but there is no doubt that it had something that made it part of this tradition.

The decision to steer the franchise towards action RPGs and Mass Effect doesn't make sense when it's so radical.

Here is a quote from GameInformer (score of 7.75/10).

Quote :
On all platforms, Dragon Age II caters to an audience that didn’t connect with Origins, while alienating those who did. This may result in a better console experience, but considering that Dragon Age: Origins was a love letter to old-school PC RPGs, BioWare’s neglect of the sequel’s PC release is tragic. I appreciate the technical refinements, but improving the polish doesn’t do much good when the basics still need work.

That may be a smart marketing ploy to get more customers but I doubt casual gamers who play through games once will stick to a title for years and create the sort of cult following the BG series still enjoys nowadays.

Old fans who got tricked into preodering a game that they thought would be a better version of DAO must be rather annoyed by all the changes.

Let's face it, if DA2 had been made by another company we wouldn't see so much criticism. The fact is that many fans feel cheated. I don't really care since the Witcher 2 will probably keep me busy until Skyrim gets here.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:13 pm

I can think of nothing that would persuade me to purchase DA 2 so I also could care less what or why I do anything. If I can play Witchers I will do so as I await Skyrim.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:26 pm

I've been playing some DAII, so I figured I'd share my thoughts. I don't think it's the disaster many are making it out to be.

My first impression was that it was taking a lot of inspiration from Baldur's Gate II. After the opening escape from Lothering, you are set loose in the city of Kirkwall and given the task of raising a large sum of money for an expedition into the deep roads. This opens up a slew of sidequests which you can undertake to raise that money, and many of them are associated with or lead to new companions. It seems obvious to me that this was inspired by Gorion's ward being tasked to raise money for the Shadowthieves in Athkatla in order to pursue Irenicus into the Underdark.

I was also very pleased with the fact that this game did not task me with saving the world. I'm sick to death of saving the world. I don't want to be the messiah! This is but one reason I won't be buying Skyrim. I want developers to actually have to think of new plots, rather than recycling the same cliched plot over and over again.

The problem with Dragon Age II, however, is that while it doesn't have a cliched plot, it's not clear that it has any other sort of plot either. In my game, I just got back from the deep roads expedition. So, the thing that was motivating me to do quests in the first act of the game is now completed, and I'm being presented with a bunch of new sidequests around Athkat... I mean, Kirkwall. But why should I do any more sidequests? What happened to the main quest? Does the game even have a main quest?

Bioware's games are often criticised for being overly linear and keeping the player focused too much on the main quest, but they seemed to go in the opposite direction with this one. It lacks a real central driving narrative thread. It is very unfocused. I suppose this is why many people are disappointed. Bioware games are known for having strong stories, and this game doesn't seem to have a story.

As for the combat... it is far more fast paced and in many respects quite cartoonish. While in DAO, a two-handed weapons warrior could swing a greatsword about once every two second. In DAII, he can swing a greatsword about three times a second. It could be annoying in DAO that enemies would often be killed before Sten or Ogren would even finish their first swing, but the weapons also did a lot more damage when they did connect. I preferred DAO's combat, but then I like slower-paced and more tactical battles. I am not a fan of action games, so in this regard, Dragon Age II is not really catering to me.

I will give you more thoughts when I have played more of the game. Currently, DAII is just a punctuation mark between my sessions playing Rift (which I guess tells you all you really need to know about how much the game is holding my attention).
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:38 pm

Interesting post Kana. Reading your post I'm under the impression that Bioware tried to change the formula but didn't really find a valid alternative. It may be trickier than it looks to make a more "realistic" take on quests compelling. In Pen and Paper games players are free to do what they want and the Game Master can adapt to their whishes, I can't see a computer doing the same thing hence the need for linearity and pre-established plotlines (whereas in pnp the GM can simply roll with it and use the setting and NPCs when they enter the picture).

"Cartoonish" is exactly the word I've been looking for. While watching videos of the game in action that's exactly the impression I got.

There is one thing that I find really compelling and that's the more "mundane" scale (i.e. not saving the world, not being the Chosen One) although I can't figure how the whole "champion of Kirkwall" thing fits in. Maybe you could shed some light on this (don't forget that there is a spoiler button under "Others" if you want to refer to the plot in more details).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:56 pm

I haven't got far enough yet to know what Hawke does to be named Champion of Kirkwall. So far, there have really only been hints. I believe it has something to do with
Spoiler:
 
There also seems to be a conflict brewing between the
Spoiler:
 

My guess is that Hawke will pick a side in one of these conflicts and end up resolving it one way or another, and this is how he will become "the Champion".
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:24 pm

Sounds likely given that the intro movie shows a Chantry member (Templar?) interrogating the Dwarf.

I'm curious to hear more about DA2 (even if I don't get it). Thedas may not be a very original setting but there are some things that I like about it (your second spoiler being one of these things).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:10 pm

I've just read about a player whose account has been permanently "terminated" because it seems that he had been too vocal on the Bioware forums.

EA/Bioware went into damage control mode and deleted the threads and topics so it's hard to find out what exactly prompted this new outburst. Getting banned from the forum is understandable (players are trolling/flaming like crazy there) but preventing a customer from playing the game he/she has bought is more questionable.

Players who post on that forum should be well advised to use an alias and not the screen name that they have used to register their games and purchase DLCs.

Forewarned is forearmed...

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:36 pm

Well, an update is in order, I guess, on my DAII playthrough.

My character got to the point of being named Champion of Kirkwall, which is not the end of the story, by the way.
Spoiler:
 

The blunt truth is that I'm having trouble finding the real-life motivation to start the game up and play it. I have never really been disappointed with a Bioware game before, so I have to admit that this is a first for me. And it's a bitter truth, because I think they had some good ideas in this game. They tried to break out of the "godlike Chosen One single handedly saves the world from a demonic horde" formula that so dominates the CRPG market. I am glad they tried, and I'm afraid that the criticism levied against this game will discourage them and other developers from trying new and unique plots in the future. Just because they missed the mark, that doesn't mean they weren't aiming in the right direction.

I'm afraid that if this game is seen as a failure, we're going to see a slew of derivative junk littering the CRPG market for years to come.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:46 pm

You make it sound interesting. One person recommended the game but to wait until the price came down. That is too bad. I have a feeling EA doesn't pay much attention to what players want. An intricate story is good but only if it is lofgical. Bethesda's formula works because it takes place in an open world. You can explore to your heart's content.

How is the combat and the dialogue? I heard both positive and negative reactions.

You like the same games I do so I am very interested in you opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:07 pm

Nakia the Rogue wrote:
You make it sound interesting. One person recommended the game but to wait until the price came down. That is too bad. I have a feeling EA doesn't pay much attention to what players want. An intricate story is good but only if it is lofgical. Bethesda's formula works because it takes place in an open world. You can explore to your heart's content.

How is the combat and the dialogue? I heard both positive and negative reactions.

You like the same games I do so I am very interested in you opinion.

I preferred the combat in first game. It is really quite over-the-top or, as I said earlier, cartoonish. It is considerably easier than the first game, and they seem to try to make up for this by often spamming you with one group of enemies after another. I wouldn't say the combat is bad, but I don't see it as an improvement.

The dialogue is pretty good. I don't think it quite lives up to the first in this department, either, but it's better than most games. There aren't as many memorable or quotable lines. I can't think of anything that stuck with me afterwards like, "Swooping is bad," or "The wagging of its moist little tongue is distracting."

In spite of having "joker" dialogue options for Hawke, DAII is actually quite a bit more serious than the first game. And it's dark. People will die. People will betray you. This is NOT a feel-good game by any stretch. Hawke's life is actually pretty miserable.
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