Dragon Age 2 Lead Designer Talks About Game's Reception

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#1 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

Gamespot interviewed the lead designer, check it out here
 
 I agree with what the guy says about the combat, just crank the difficulty up and the experience should be pretty close to Origins except that it's faster. He goes into talking more about the creative process of putting the story together which I think is DA 2's weakest point. I still have yet to finish the game but I still don't find myself being compelled at all to the events that are happening around Hawke and Kirkwall, I find the whole thing to be kinda disjointed with the time gaps in the story. They didn't do a great job of making it feel like any time has passed.

#2 Posted by sixghost (1679 posts) -

He then proceeded to give the game a 10/10.

#3 Posted by Yummylee (21546 posts) -

Reading that earlier did help give a better perspective on your party members keeping to their own armour, but what they really should of done is allowed them to equip armour, and just give the option to ''hide'' their equipped armour similar to the hide helmet option, letting them keep their default attire.

#4 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

He fed a lot of lines there. I got a kick of his explanation behind not being able to equip armor on companions. So not being able to change the armor gives the characters personality? The personality of someone who never does laundry? Didn't you just finish explaining the subtleties of the characters, and yet if they're out of uniform we won't recognize they have a personality? Oh guy. This is damage control. Honest post-mortems come when you're working for a different company, or they never come.

#5 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

I played on Nightmare my first playthrough, wasn't terribly difficult but i did pause alot and had to think bout what i wanted to do.  Games nowadays it seems like hard is the new normal difficulty.

#6 Posted by Vaile (355 posts) -

If you're playing on a console, there's no way to make the combat similar to Origins. 
 
Since, ya know, they completely neglected to implement the auto-attack that they promised. 
 
/bitter

#7 Posted by StarvingGamer (8156 posts) -

Man any thread about DA2 becomes instant troll bait. 
 
That being said, it was an interesting read that pretty much lined up with my opinions about the game. I can't wait to get my hands on some DLC.

#8 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets. 

#9 Posted by Yummylee (21546 posts) -
@Akrid said:
" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "
I know, right? People just need to move on with party customisation! What deranged, old nostalgia struck bastard would ever want to be able to tweak their party members to their own liking??? Might as well let them stay stuck to their own weapons while they're at it. Pesky stat tracking via items and such is so last gen.
#10 Edited by Marz (5648 posts) -
@Akrid said:

" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "

That would be fine if the game didn't drop loot, but it does and there's lots of it that your character can't wear because of the way that class stats are configured.  Better to just give the loot you can't wear to your party members like the first game, there was nothing wrong with that.
#11 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -
@Akrid said:
" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "
I agree. That's one thing I really didn't miss from Mass Effect 1 or Dragon Age: Origins, since I would spend a lot of time equipping and unequipping party members for the best armor and sometimes good armor would just be ugly as sin. Rune slots and upgrades are fine for me, though I appreciated the way your party members armor changed if you romanced them (or completed their companion quests? I don't know which it is, it seems like whether or not that triggers is kind of glitchy. I've had Anders change his outfit in one playthrough but had him not in the next even though I did the same things.)
#12 Edited by Jimbo (9804 posts) -
#13 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -
@Abyssfull: I personally enjoyed having my companions and myself looking different than all the other characters in the game. And it's not really beneficial to a game to be conforming their characters to one-size-fits-all clothing. The companions are instantly recognizable and their equipment is much more detailed and personal instead of fairly generic robes and armor.
 
Pretty well all the other facets of party customization are in there, you just don't have to do one of those things nine times. If that's your cup of tea, well, I guess I see how you could be upset.
 
@Marz: True, very true.
#14 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4720 posts) -
@Abyssfull said:
" @Akrid said:
" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "
I know, right? People just need to move on with party customisation! What deranged, old nostalgia struck bastard would ever want to be able to tweak their party members to their own liking??? Might as well let them stay stuck to their own weapons while they're at it. Pesky stat tracking via items and such is so last gen. "
Don't be an ass. The point he's making is that the iconic look of a party member is more interesting than the generic fantasy plate armour you wound up sticking on every warrior in Origins. Hell, if you played on PC like I did, for the first month or so you just stuck everyone in Juggernaut armour for the stat bonuses, fiction be damned. I mean, it was so interesting to see Leliana raining arrows while all shiny and silver, while shiny silver Sten was cutting enemies down with sunder arms. Oh, and let's not forget that shiny silver Morrigan would use Storm of the Century for clean up. And, yeah, shiny silver Warden was just kind of "there".  
 
There's nothing wrong with crafting a specific look for a character. It helps them stand out in a crowd and they don't feel interchangeable or bolted on to your character's story because they were given enough attention to even have a look in the first place. I'd say maybe three out of your nine possible companions had a distinguished look, and one of them was the fucking dog.
#15 Posted by animathias (1185 posts) -

That was an interesting read, thank you.

#16 Edited by Yummylee (21546 posts) -
@KingWilly said:

" @Abyssfull said:

" @Akrid said:
" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "
I know, right? People just need to move on with party customisation! What deranged, old nostalgia struck bastard would ever want to be able to tweak their party members to their own liking??? Might as well let them stay stuck to their own weapons while they're at it. Pesky stat tracking via items and such is so last gen. "
Don't be an ass. The point he's making is that the iconic look of a party member is more interesting than the generic fantasy plate armour you wound up sticking on every warrior in Origins. Hell, if you played on PC like I did, for the first month or so you just stuck everyone in Juggernaut armour for the stat bonuses, fiction be damned. I mean, it was so interesting to see Leliana raining arrows while all shiny and silver, while shiny silver Sten was cutting enemies down with sunder arms. Oh, and let's not forget that shiny silver Morrigan would use Storm of the Century for clean up. And, yeah, shiny silver Warden was just kind of "there".   There's nothing wrong with crafting a specific look for a character. It helps them stand out in a crowd and they don't feel interchangeable or bolted on to your character's story because they were given enough attention to even have a look in the first place. I'd say maybe three out of your nine possible companions had a distinguished look, and one of them was the fucking dog. "
How the hell did you have everyone wearing Juggernaut armour?? That's your own bone idle decision, completely cutting across the games limitations with mods or whatever! Morrigan would never of been able to equip any warrior armour.. 
 
And again, this is a party based RPG, that's meant to allow full customisation over you party and the ability to tweak them to your own liking through armour, trinkets and their weapons to some extent. You weren't able to increase a characters fire resistance as high as it could be because you couldn't equip them with that armour that they should be able to use. Just like I said in my original post, as well. It all could of been nicely integrated together if they allowed you to equip all that fucking armour, and just allowed their  default ''appearance'' to stay put through an option in the menu.  
#17 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@KingWilly said:

" @Abyssfull said:

" @Akrid said:

" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "

I know, right? People just need to move on with party customisation! What deranged, old nostalgia struck bastard would ever want to be able to tweak their party members to their own liking??? Might as well let them stay stuck to their own weapons while they're at it. Pesky stat tracking via items and such is so last gen. "
Don't be an ass. The point he's making is that the iconic look of a party member is more interesting than the generic fantasy plate armour you wound up sticking on every warrior in Origins. Hell, if you played on PC like I did, for the first month or so you just stuck everyone in Juggernaut armour for the stat bonuses, fiction be damned. I mean, it was so interesting to see Leliana raining arrows while all shiny and silver, while shiny silver Sten was cutting enemies down with sunder arms. Oh, and let's not forget that shiny silver Morrigan would use Storm of the Century for clean up. And, yeah, shiny silver Warden was just kind of "there".   There's nothing wrong with crafting a specific look for a character. It helps them stand out in a crowd and they don't feel interchangeable or bolted on to your character's story because they were given enough attention to even have a look in the first place. I'd say maybe three out of your nine possible companions had a distinguished look, and one of them was the fucking dog. "
If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. Or Isabella, in DA2's case. Make sure Varric's armor set always shows them manly chesthairs, Sebastian keeps his armor snug and shiny, Fenris's tattoos burn into whatever he puts on, Anders fits his armor in a way that he'll never be mistaken for a circle mage, etc etc. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work.
#18 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Oh dear. They're really freaking out about DA2's reception, aren't they?

#19 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4720 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @KingWilly said:

" @Abyssfull said:

" @Akrid said:

" People really need to learn to let go of dressing your whole party up in games like these. Having 30 sets of armor that all the characters in the entire game wear is worse than having 20 for your personal character and everyone else having more specific sets.  "
I know, right? People just need to move on with party customisation! What deranged, old nostalgia struck bastard would ever want to be able to tweak their party members to their own liking??? Might as well let them stay stuck to their own weapons while they're at it. Pesky stat tracking via items and such is so last gen. "
Don't be an ass. The point he's making is that the iconic look of a party member is more interesting than the generic fantasy plate armour you wound up sticking on every warrior in Origins. Hell, if you played on PC like I did, for the first month or so you just stuck everyone in Juggernaut armour for the stat bonuses, fiction be damned. I mean, it was so interesting to see Leliana raining arrows while all shiny and silver, while shiny silver Sten was cutting enemies down with sunder arms. Oh, and let's not forget that shiny silver Morrigan would use Storm of the Century for clean up. And, yeah, shiny silver Warden was just kind of "there".   There's nothing wrong with crafting a specific look for a character. It helps them stand out in a crowd and they don't feel interchangeable or bolted on to your character's story because they were given enough attention to even have a look in the first place. I'd say maybe three out of your nine possible companions had a distinguished look, and one of them was the fucking dog. "
If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work. "
The problem with what you mentioned is that it takes resources away from other, critical aspects. I think we both agree that the re-use of the same 4 dungeon layouts with different areas blocked off was a crime against video games. 
 
Also, the redesigned armour is a big improvement in DA2. The Champion armour in particular is visually striking and has great stats. Much of the armour (aside from robes, anyhow) received a massive overhaul, and it's appreciated. Now I can have my own distinguished look, as do my fellow companions. I fail to see the downside of this arrangement.
#20 Edited by StarvingGamer (8156 posts) -
@Jimbo: Out of curiosity, did you play a mage in Origins? I did and I got a great sense of tension between the Templar and the Order, like one misstep could lead to the whole place blowing up. In fact a revolt occurs during the course of Origin's story involving lots of dead mages and Templar. News of Kirkwall would be more than enough to push many of the moderates onto the side of the malcontents. 
  
@Cornman89 said:
" Oh dear. They're really freaking out about DA2's reception, aren't they? "
So GameSpot capitalizing on DA2 frenzy and asking Bioware for an interview = DA producers freaking out?
#21 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -
@StarvingGamer: That's not what this is, though. This is damage control. So is the post-mortem on 1up.
#22 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@StarvingGamer: Um. You can decline interviews and DA2's team don't seem to be doing that. So one can read into the fact that a larger number of interviews than usual have come out in the wake of this game. Much like you're playing damage control at this little forum here,  devs and publishers are concerned with bad perceptions so they address them. Its not a big deal. 
#23 Posted by StarvingGamer (8156 posts) -
@Cornman89: Based on what? The fact that they were asked a bunch of question by GameStop and answered them? Dragon Age 2 could have received rave reviews from fans and critics alike and the same interview could easily have been conducted with minor adjustments to the wording of the questions and answers.
#24 Posted by warxsnake (2650 posts) -

I dont understand why you couldnt equip armor on your NPC buddies and instead of a visual update, its just a stat change, so Isabela keeps her giant cleavage but progresses throughout the story. 
 
ITS NOT THAT HARD, DEVS....

#25 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -
@ryanwho said: 
" If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work. "
I'm not saying I wouldn't dig custom armor, but do you understand how much added work that is? That time would be much better spent on just about every other avenue.
 
 Is it cutting corners? I suppose so. But nobody has done something like that, and until someone does and raises the bar for everyone once again such trivialities are simply not worth the time.
 
And Bioware armor design is absolutely stellar, but it doesn't matter. It becomes instantly generic when you see more than one character wearing it, even worse two right beside each other as you often get. Of course, generic armor is suitable for, say, the city guard, but your companions are supposed to be unique and beautiful snowflakes.
#26 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Akrid said:

" @ryanwho said: 

" If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work. "

I'm not saying I wouldn't dig custom armor, but do you understand how much added work that is? That time would be much better spent on just about every other avenue.
 
 Is it cutting corners? I suppose so. But nobody has done something like that, and until someone does and raises the bar for everyone once again such trivialities are simply not worth the time. And Bioware armor design is absolutely stellar, but it doesn't matter. It becomes instantly generic when you see more than one character wearing it, even worse two right beside each other as you often get. Of course, generic armor is suitable for, say, the city guard, but your companions are supposed to be unique and beautiful snowflakes. "
I work in 3d and you could create the appearance of a refit armor just by adjusting how the UV contours to the geography of the character model. It wouldn't require 10 new textures per armor or anything crazy like that. Additionally, various NPCs could also take advantage of these new layouts, so it wouldn't be wasted. It would create a consistent look for your character and create more diversity with the NPC models. What Im talking about right now, creating unique texture layouts and UVs using pre-existing assets, its basically the most common kind of mod. So you can't really pretend its super difficult. It is, however, time consuming. But again. Good games take work. And I kind of don't know how "but that would be hard" factors into how I feel about a game. I payed 60 for it. I payed more than I did for Starcraft 2, which took much longer to make and had more work put into it. Who deserves my money more? The person who made the better game, which is 9/10 times the person who put more work into it. Occam's razor. Work harder/smarter, better product.
#27 Posted by StarvingGamer (8156 posts) -
@ryanwho: It all depends on attitude and perspective. A higher quantity of interviews granted could simply be a result of a higher quantity of interviews sought. Putting Dragon Age 2 in the title of anything online practically guarantees you a ton of clicks and a 10-page argument. People either love DA2 or love to hate DA2 which means any publication run by number crunchers is going to have people in power pushing for more DA2 coverage. Maybe it's my own fault for hearing a negative connotation in the term "damage control" but you seem determined to interpret any interview given after a negative reception as "damage control" regardless of the actual contents. Why can't an interview just be an interview?
#28 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -
@ryanwho said:

" @Akrid said:

" @ryanwho said: 

" If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work. "

I'm not saying I wouldn't dig custom armor, but do you understand how much added work that is? That time would be much better spent on just about every other avenue.
 
 Is it cutting corners? I suppose so. But nobody has done something like that, and until someone does and raises the bar for everyone once again such trivialities are simply not worth the time. And Bioware armor design is absolutely stellar, but it doesn't matter. It becomes instantly generic when you see more than one character wearing it, even worse two right beside each other as you often get. Of course, generic armor is suitable for, say, the city guard, but your companions are supposed to be unique and beautiful snowflakes. "
I work in 3d and you could create the appearance of a refit armor just by adjusting how the UV contours to the geography of the character model. It wouldn't require 10 new textures per armor or anything crazy like that. Additionally, various NPCs could also take advantage of these new layouts, so it wouldn't be wasted. It would create a consistent look for your character and create more diversity with the NPC models. What Im talking about right now, creating unique texture layouts and UVs using pre-existing assets, its basically the most common kind of mod. So you can't really pretend its super difficult. It is, however, time consuming. But again. Good games take work. And I kind of don't know how "but that would be hard" factors into how I feel about a game. I payed 60 for it. I payed more than I did for Starcraft 2, which took much longer to make and had more work put into it. Who deserves my money more? The person who made the better game, which is 9/10 times the person who put more work into it. Occam's razor. Work harder/smarter, better product. "
I also work in 3d, and I'm fully aware that it's relatively easy compared to creating it from scratch. However, until someone actually does do this there is no precedent for expecting such a thing. And yes, I understand that harder work results in a better product, I'm certainly not arguing what you suggest wouldn't make the game better, but I'm really surprised to hear such accusations from someone who fully understands the implications of executing such a small detail.
 
It also completely goes against the original point of this conversation to say that the NPCs could use the new version. And therein lies the vicious cycle of logic that the developers themselves are in with this issue.
#29 Posted by Hailinel (24421 posts) -

I love how people in this thread want to cut Bioware slack for cutting corners over things like armor when there are only like three interior designs shared among every dungeon and building in the game.  Or is the excuse that all of the dungeons around Kirkwall were designed using a tract housing approach?
 
My feeling on this is that Bioware wanted Dragon Age II to be for the original game what Mass Effect 2 was for the original Mass Effect.  Ultra slimmed down and streamlined to appeal to a larger audience.  The problem being that while the original Mass Effect had some significant flaws (Mako, cookie-cutter planets, etc.), making the changes more welcome, a lot of people dug Dragon Age: Origins for what it is; a sort of throwback to the Baldur's Gate days with all of the extra trappings that made the game what it is.  I'm willing to bet that the dev team thought that Dragon Age II would be celebrated as Mass Effect II was.  They didn't count on a very vocal fanbase that felt betrayed by the changes, and now they're trying to convince everyone that no, it wasn't a huge mistake to rip the origins, party customization, diverse dungeon layouts and everything else for the sake of thinking they could pull ME2 gold out of the DAO fanbase's collective ass.

#30 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -
@Hailinel: The thing that I don't get though, is that DA: O sold quite well for them. I don't see why they thought it would great to "streamline" a lot of stuff for the sake of mass appeal. The one thing that they did well is the combat, I like the faster style. It's just that mostly everything else has a lack of polish feel to it such as the environments, party customization, and story structure. Hey, 3 years has passed......the people and areas still look the fucking same. 
#31 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -
@Afroman269 said:
" @Hailinel: The thing that I don't get though, is that DA: O sold quite well for them. I don't see why they thought it would great to "streamline" a lot of stuff for the sake of mass appeal. The one thing that they did well is the combat, I like the faster style. It's just that mostly everything else has a lack of polish feel to it such as the environments, party customization, and story structure. Hey, 3 years has passed......the people and areas still look the fucking same.  "
They started working and planning on DA2 before Origins was released, and they didn't expect it to be any kind of success, let alone as popular as it was.  They started designing Dragon Age II with no idea what the response to any aspects of Origins would be.  Basically, they predicted what people would like about the game incorrectly.
#32 Posted by Enigma777 (6071 posts) -

Good interview. He made some good points and some... not-so-good points.

#33 Posted by Ichorid4 (90 posts) -
@Wrighteous86 said: 
They started working and planning on DA2 before Origins was released, and they didn't expect it to be any kind of success, let alone as popular as it was.  They started designing Dragon Age II with no idea what the response to any aspects of Origins would be.  Basically, they predicted what people would like about the game incorrectly. "  
Why would they bet against what they had just made though? 
 
It's like saying we just made Dragon Age: Origins, we know it isn't that great, so we'll be sure to change as much as we can in the sequel just to be safe.
#34 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -
@Ichorid4 said:
" @Wrighteous86 said: 
They started working and planning on DA2 before Origins was released, and they didn't expect it to be any kind of success, let alone as popular as it was.  They started designing Dragon Age II with no idea what the response to any aspects of Origins would be.  Basically, they predicted what people would like about the game incorrectly. "  
Why would they bet against what they had just made though?  It's like saying we just made Dragon Age: Origins, we know it isn't that great, so we'll be sure to change as much as we can in the sequel just to be safe. "
Origins was in development for 5 years.  Near the end, I'm sure they had invested so much in it that they just wanted to release it.  PC/console gaming had changed a lot in those 5 years.  They thought the market had changed too much in 5 years to properly appreciate Origins.  They were wrong. 
#35 Edited by Junkerman (259 posts) -
@ryanwho said:

" He fed a lot of lines there. I got a kick of his explanation behind not being able to equip armor on companions. So not being able to change the armor gives the characters personality? The personality of someone who never does laundry? Didn't you just finish explaining the subtleties of the characters, and yet if they're out of uniform we won't recognize they have a personality? Oh guy. This is damage control. Honest post-mortems come when you're working for a different company, or they never come. "

 I disagree, one of my biggest annoyances with DA:O was how, after a certain point, all of my characters looked identical.  Granted this could have been remedied by giving more then 1 pathetic model per armor class, but still, having one unique look for an individual character adds to the uniqueness of that character.  I cant imagine equipping Isabella or Varric in your standard armor that could be bought from a vendor.  Same with the original mass effect, it got to the point where I would have to equip lesser quality armor just so we all weren't wearing skin tight pink and yellow jump suits.
 
Something they could have done, which would have improved immersion immensely, would have been to include alternative outfits (not re-skins) that the player can select; or even give the characters new outfits after each act/time-jump.
 
Edit:  Replace "...could have done..."  with "...should have done..."
#36 Posted by Ichorid4 (90 posts) -
@Wrighteous86 said: 
Origins was in development for 5 years.  Near the end, I'm sure they had invested so much in it that they just wanted to release it.  PC/console gaming had changed a lot in those 5 years.  They thought the market had changed too much in 5 years to properly appreciate Origins.  They were wrong.  "
 
Fair call. I suppose the reception to Dragon Age II just goes to show that Bioware / EA should have let the dust settle before deciding on a direction for the sequel.
#37 Posted by Erebus (52 posts) -

I'm not a fan of the Runes being locked in and unable to be removed on items. I found this out the hard way. Lucky its only early in the game, and runes appear to be cheap I guess.

#38 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Erebus said:
" I'm not a fan of the Runes being locked in and unable to be removed on items. I found this out the hard way. Lucky its only early in the game, and runes appear to be cheap I guess. "
I actually stupidly thought that ingredients for runes were finite for most of the game. As in, you make one, you spend the ingredients. By the time my dumb ass realized you could make as many defense runes as you like, most everyone in my party had at least 2 rune slots available and the game suddenly got easy(er).Considering how easily runes could be exploited in Awakenings, I guess this was a decent lateral move. 
#39 Posted by Hailinel (24421 posts) -
@Wrighteous86 said:
" @Afroman269 said:
" @Hailinel: The thing that I don't get though, is that DA: O sold quite well for them. I don't see why they thought it would great to "streamline" a lot of stuff for the sake of mass appeal. The one thing that they did well is the combat, I like the faster style. It's just that mostly everything else has a lack of polish feel to it such as the environments, party customization, and story structure. Hey, 3 years has passed......the people and areas still look the fucking same.  "
They started working and planning on DA2 before Origins was released, and they didn't expect it to be any kind of success, let alone as popular as it was.  They started designing Dragon Age II with no idea what the response to any aspects of Origins would be.  Basically, they predicted what people would like about the game incorrectly. "
That doesn't really justify the genuine problems with the game, however.  And aside from the basic design aspects of dungeoneering by generic templates, there's the fact that for a game that's supposed to take place over the course of a decade, no one physically ages and the city of Kirkwall looks the same in year one as it does in year ten.
 
 
One of the main narrative aspects is completely glossed over in that regard.  It doesn't help when you're trying to depict the passage of time and the only evident change to a character model is when Bethany's breasts shrink when the narrator is told to cut that shit out.  And Kirkwall would have to be the dullest place in the world if it can go ten years without so much as a vendor repainting his sign a different color or something.
#40 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -
@Hailinel: I don't know if you're arguing with me, but I agree with everything you said.  I'm not a DA2 apologist, and I had the same problems you did. 
 
I was just pointing out why the sequel is designed so differently; they didn't expect Origins to be successful when they began designing it.
#41 Posted by Hailinel (24421 posts) -
@Wrighteous86:  I wasn't trying to argue, just making a point.
#42 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -

What I read of the interview was really boring, and I'm kind of tired of hearing Mike Laidlaw talk about this game. 

#43 Edited by Hourai (2795 posts) -
 
 It's one that's more sustainable because we brought the world to a place that's inherently more interesting than "Yay, we beat the Blight. Good for us!"    
I laughed pretty hard at that. 
 
Dragon Age 2 is dull as fuck. 
#44 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -
@EvilTwin said:
" What I read of the interview was really boring, and I'm kind of tired of hearing Mike Laidlaw talk about this game.  "
Especially when he's constantly deriding the game's predecessor, which most people liked more.
#45 Edited by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Laidlaw seems like a nice guy, but I just don't see what there is to discuss about DA2's reception. It seems very clear to me. According to Steam, DA2's metascore is nine points lower than Origins, which is the only number EA's going to be looking at, for better or worse. I can't imagine word of mouth is what they want it to be, either. Frankly, Bioware's failed to control the message since the beginning. The conversation has always been "look they changed everything RPGs are dead," and they weren't able to quell that voice even up to the game's release. We'll see when sales numbers come out, I guess. Bioware will probably still come out ahead, especially considering DA2's truncated dev cycle, but I wonder about the health of the Dragon Age brand going forward.
 
In the meantime, since DA2 has been given the dubious honor of scoring generally lower than its predecessor, I think we should start guessing what design changes Bioware will backpedal on for DA3.

#46 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1602 posts) -
@Hailinel: Agreed ... my biggest gripe with the game are the areas you fight in. I loved DA:O to death, finished it several time,  the only complaint I had about it were those long corridor areas. And not only did they not fix that in DA2, they made it even worth with all the areas looking the same. 
 
If I had to sum up my experience with DA2 I would point to once quest were you had to hunt a mage that supposedly hides in the Kirkwall sewers. When I got that I thought: "Nice, finally a new area, they can't possibly reuse any of the old areas since thats supposed to be a sewer".  
 
Imagine my suprise when I entered the "sewer" and it was the same generic warehouse they used for countless quests already.  
 
At least the narrow corridors in DA:O looked different. 
 
It all comes down to time. DA2 could have been awesome given at least 6 months more development time. Turns out its "just" good.
#47 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -
@Cornman89: Considering they started planning DA3 before 2 was released, and they'll probably have a similarly truncated dev-cyle, I'm guessing next to no changes from DA2, unless they push the game back.
#48 Posted by Undeadpool (4924 posts) -
@sixghost said:
" He then proceeded to give the game a 10/10. "
And a bunch of trolls gave the game 1/10 without having played it. Somehow, they felt morally superior.
#49 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Akrid said:
" @ryanwho said: 
" If the problem is the "generic fantasy plate armor", maybe the solution is to design more interesting armor instead of removing features and acting like its an improvement. Also, there's the argument to be made that it could custom fit PCs in unique ways. So, if you're like the lead designer here and think Morrigan showing her tits off is integral to the "character", design the various armors to fit her in a way that she continues showing her tits off. There are solutions to this problem, but they don't gel with a dev committed to cutting corners. Cus you know. Good games take work. "
I'm not saying I wouldn't dig custom armor, but do you understand how much added work that is? That time would be much better spent on just about every other avenue.
 
 Is it cutting corners? I suppose so. But nobody has done something like that, and until someone does and raises the bar for everyone once again such trivialities are simply not worth the time. And Bioware armor design is absolutely stellar, but it doesn't matter. It becomes instantly generic when you see more than one character wearing it, even worse two right beside each other as you often get. Of course, generic armor is suitable for, say, the city guard, but your companions are supposed to be unique and beautiful snowflakes. "
What do you mean nobody has done something like that?  Have you not played Oblivion or Dragon Age : Origins or any number of MMOs which use the exact same technique?  I certianly have. Bioware's armour design isn't stellar in Dragon Age 2.  The Helm of the Champion is a damn hood.  That must've been EXTREMELY TIME CONSUMING AND DIFFICULT TO MAKE.   You say you work in 3D?  I don't think Minecraft counts.
#50 Posted by floatsmcboats (3 posts) -

Hullabaloo

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