Dragon Age anyone?

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by Kittenly, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    Not reinventing the wheel in Frostbite for the fourth time might help a lot when it comes to crunch, hopefully. Because they've basically started from ground zero three times, so if they've figured out a way to use Anthem's code base to not do that, that's gives me some hope that they've stopped believing in the Bioware magic that just Makes Crunch Work.
     
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  2. Kittenly

    Kittenly Just Squish That Cat!

    Like y’all said: it’s too early to tell really. I hope they’ve learned. But I wouldn’t count on a PR scandal from a while ago having any real impact. If PR scandals had impact in the gaming industry maybe Ubisoft wouldn’t still be covering and promoting abusive executives.

    As far as I can tell, the only PR scandals that have any impact are ones like Star Wars battlefront 2, where It threatened the franchise reputation and it’s ability to make money.

    Sorry. I don’t mean to be a huge downer. The trend of BW games concerns me, with moving into more open world stuff. Dao and the me trilogy were extremely linear in level design, and for ones like dao and me1/2 where you get to chose the order you do missions in, the narrative seems well designed to allow that. Me3 is almost entirely linear, which was the absolute right choice because it gave them the best control over pacing and escalation. But they moved away from that with dai, and I think the game got flabby and slow in points. I think they openness could have worked if they’d cut down the number of areas and had them all have a central narrative line like Crestwood. Andromeda compounded that problem. Where andromeda took you to a real, linear level, it was at its best. The open world went from DAI’s flabby to downright tedious. Anthem took away the old linear bits of andromeda and you were just left with the tedium. Which is a shame, I like the world design for anthem. I like the idea of having a smaller map with a huge amount of verticality. But it doesn’t matter if there’s nothing of interest to do. I hope I hope they course correct, but combined with current industry trends Im just. Anxious.
     
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  3. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    I straight up disagree with you on ME:A and DA:I not having strong level narratives for huge swathes of the game tbh. Dragon Age: Inquisition's way of leading players to sidequests without being overbearing about it or cutting you off from disregarding those and exploring on your own terms is honestly one of the most masterfully done examples of it I've seen in big RPGs in ages. And I don't mean crestwood, personally the three levels in the dales spring to mind more than anything else. The Western Approach too, if you go there independant of the warden contact shit, frankly I feel the story actually throws a wrench into the more natural way quests lead you around the place. Like, think about how there's always one quest that gently encourages you to go on a tour around the place! The pilgrim's path and the draconology side quests in the approach. The free man of the dales shit in the graves. Civil war in the plains. the dwarven puzzles in the wastes. the miniature siege/pushing frontlines in emprise du lion. hessarian's blades at the storm coast. the stupid temple shenanigans in the oasis. The fallow mire rescue quest couple with lighting the safe path through it. Yeah not all of them have a super strong narrative through line but every level has a quest encouraging exploration, all regions have their own identities and mini narratives going on and pretty much every place but the hinterlands and val royeaux have some sort of miniature three act structure to themselves?
    I have not finished ME:A bc im a bit late to the mass effect train, but i feel like the fact that i've 100% viability on every planet i've gotten to so far purely out of genuine delight with exploring the places, often wanting to explore MORE and getting frustrated with environmental hazards keeping me away from content i am blatantly underlevelled for speaks for itself.
    I'd also disagree with the statement that DA:O is linear? bc it really isn't. No bioware game i've played except ME3 i'd describe as having linear design bc they all allow you to just pick and choose what you do and when you do it and most have open world-y designs. Not seamless open worlds bc we're not in goddamn... breath of the wild or whatever but the fact that even DA2 which has p strict progression point of no return lets you do basically anything in any order you want with few directly linked exceptions that I can count maybe not on one hand but probably on two doesn't really strike me as linear quest design.
    I think we might be not quite... using the same definition of 'linear'
     
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  4. hyrax

    hyrax we'll ride 'till the planets collide

    my hot take is that the Dragon Age franchise should just be Telltale-style narrative games. i'm here for the story! the combat part is fine and all but it's not what really makes me care about Thedas. (my friends and i have a running joke about the DA series being great dating sims with a mediocre combat minigame.)
     
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  5. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    offended noises in trying to make archery work in DA:O
    I'm joking tbh, I agree actually in large parts but I quite enjoy the combat when it works. God do i enjoy it. Some of the most fun I've had with viddy games is dragon fights in DA:I and architect fights in ME:A
     
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  6. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I keep meaning to actually reply/finish DA:O, and even play the later games, but my word, I do not want to deal with any degree of game difficulty, because then I'll feel like I actually need to think about resource management and choosing which items to hoard and how best to enchant my gear, and yeah, I just wanna story

    maybe I'll go reread some epic length novelization instead
     
  7. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    DA:O is an enormous pain in the ass on that front -- even the casual mode is fussy and difficult and I highly recommend modding the shit out of it if you're playing on a computer. DA2 is better on that front, and DA:I is considerably better; casual mode is pretty breezy, although dragons can still eat your face if you take them on too early.

    On another note, my excitement over DA4 is low for a lot of reasons, but I have to admit a pretty big reason is that I'm not looking forward to (probably) having to leave my previous game's character by the wayside yet again. They ended DA:I in a way that implied it was still the (ex-)Inquisitor's story (especially depending on romance), but chances are we're never going to hear from them again because Reasons. I'm tired of how that emotionally distances the new protagonists from the old narrative despite being a part of this big overarching one, and more personally, I'm not looking forward to the smug 'well we couldn't possibly have a disabled protagonist' discourse yet a-fucking-gain.

    otoh low expectations mean there's lots of room for pleasant surprises, so there's that.
     
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  8. Toaster

    Toaster Active Member

    I replayed it recently and from the beginning just used the console command that kills all enemies around you for almost every single fight (there's like two it doesn't work on, alas). It's a clunky solution and it really highlights how many encounters there seem to be just for the sake of providing a fight (as opposed to story), but it's one way to get through without having to fuss about equipment and stats.
     
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  9. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    i think my biggest problem with DA:O is how goddamn opaque and at times actively bullshit it is? Like. Archery is my main example (bc my last warden i need to finish with is an Archery Warrior maining reaver (i know it makes no sense, bear with me) and i realized archery does like. barely anything early on. and it's-- basically archery is not balanced. At all. To the point where pretty much every skill is by far worse than simply auto attacking with a high crit chance and a rapid fire bow.
    personally i find it intensely satisfying to dig into it and figure out how to properly be effective but it's frankly not a well made fighting system given the insane distance between your best possible damage output as an archer and like. the insane kind of damage output an even sloppily skilled arcane warrior can put out
    I think that's one thing I'd love to see bioware really get better at. Properly balancing all classes and skill trees against eachother to be at least equivalently useful. Though i say this while all the while personally also still very much enjoying bullshit like 'i made vivienne a solo dragon killing machine and jesus christ look at her go'
     
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  10. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    my main mo in dao is shove a mage full of aoe spells and go to town with friendly fire off. my Surana is a sword and shield arcane warrior on paper only.
     
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  11. Kittenly

    Kittenly Just Squish That Cat!

    I think I played most of awakening with three mages and one rogue. I got pretty into the arcane warrior spec for my Amell, though nothing beats the good old cone of cold->virulent walking bomb->stone fist combo in my book. I miss all those fun spell combos from that game.
     
  12. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    ah i broke this game to death with my first surana who did a whole lot of mass paralysis -> death cloud -> transform to wasp swarm -> yeet to clear entire rooms before the rest of the party even realized what was happening.
    eta: which is to say wow haha mages sure do end up often in the top spots of lists for nuts damage numbers huh
     
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  13. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    magic tends to be the easy mode for most fantasy games, yeah. i think it's pretty fun stuff, and in DAO there are sooo many fun combos to try.

    eta: that's the extent of my skill-build abilities, tho.
     
  14. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    i think theoretically both reavers and certain kinds of rogues were more directly overpowered but DA:I is built to be a massive powerfantasy trip imo there's few truly underwhelming skilltrees (spirit mage, necro spec, reaver if you don't know what you're doing, assassin and stealth trees for companions you're not actively controlling) but there the opacity and enamoredness with making you micromanage even in a game that's stopped being a tactical/classic-computer-rpg type situation again.
    Personally I was fine with the casual mode of Dragon Age Origins but i can see why i have some level of hmm unexamined previous knowledge assumptions going on since I've been casually-to-heavily invested in various rpgs of various sub genres since I was five and got my first pokemon game. A lot of stuff in DA:O is not tutorialized well if you're not decently familiar with the kind of base assumptions a studio that started out making DnD module pc game adaptations will be making. Like yknow. actually explaining what the fuck the attributes do.
    mind you i'm very >=/ that da:i just doesn't let you properly do attributes without jumping through hoops but i understand that if you're gonna make a blockbuster sexy action rpg with a big open world in an industry that has decided that classic real time tactics rpgs are no longer The Done Thing i guess it makes sense they went the less numbers-and-maths route to make things easier to understand for people who're new. And ngl I like that opening shit up isn't locked by stupid point hurdles and instead it's available if you have the right people around except for like a handful of things needing one perk you can get p much immediately
     
  15. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    now the one actual pissyness i have with DA:I is that some.... i was gonna say 'ults' then I was gonna say 'supers' i don't actually remember what the big overpowered move for the spec skill trees in DA:I is called? anyways I'm big mad about the ones of those so clearly made to fit the companion who shares that spec rather than fitting with the specialization's lore. why the *fuck* would a necromancer who ISN'T dorian have haste as their big move? it makes no sense! chronomancy is a very specific thing that is half of dorian's deal, and you don't even get taught by him, you get taught by a random mortalitasi! Why is the artificer big move something locking you into archery it is literally just bc that was Varric's thing in DA2 and instead of coming up with a way to give companions unique moves they just copied his skills to be the artificer tree and it drives me insane! Especially since the rest of the artificer tree is weapons agnostic or ACTUALLY SYNERGIZES WITH DAGGER USAGE MUCH BETTER THAN ARCHERY!
     
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  16. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    the skill trees are SO badly designed on inquisition!!! i still don't get why sera's focus ability is about fucking DAGGERS.
     
    • Agree x 5
  17. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    i really hope that system gets reworked to be more modular and less weird tbh. I rly enjoy how andromeda did skills so here's to hoping!!
     
  18. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    Considering what I've read about how horribly DA:I's production went, it seems like something of a miracle it's so cohesive. I wouldn't be surprised if the janky skill trees and weird shit like arcane warrior not... really being arcane warrior are a product of the troubled development.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  19. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    Definitely possible, though i mean DA2 was cobbled together in like 18 months as a fill gap and that has more cohesive skill trees. Admittedly those skill trees are in large parts directly ported over from DA:O but yknow, still.
     
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  20. Kittenly

    Kittenly Just Squish That Cat!

    Looks like both Mark Darrah and Casey Hudson (creative leads on DA and ME respectively) both left BioWare this past week. That’s extremely concerning, and I really hope they got to leave on their own terms. Also hoping that maybe they’ll go hang with Mike Laidlaw or David Gaider at their new studios? Either way, it def feels like BioWare is running out it’s clock. I just want the me trilogy to be pretty and playable, and some closer with da4. But I’d be surprised if the studio bounce back from this :(

    Also in related news, Greg Ellis, va for Cullen and awakening anders had a fucking twitter meltdown at Darrah and had basically assured BioWare will never hire him again and quite possibly wrecked his career. Then he put up a 40 minute video rant about it that I think was partially IC as Cullen?? I didn’t watch it because it made my second hand embarrassment threaten to kill me on the spot, but it was apparently a bunch of transphobic and anti-feminist bullshit that he’s been gaining a reputation for.

    So yeah been an eventful few days 0.o
     
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