Game's Length

#1 Posted by Ezakael (935 posts) -

Besides all the terrible decisions they made with Dragon Age 2. There's something else that also really pissed me off, and that's the games length. Dragon Age Origins lasted me 60 hours on one playthrough just going through the story and some side missions. Completing everything could take 100 hours plus. Dragon age 2 completing everything took me about 25-30 hours. Now that's not too bad, but when you consider the length of Origins it's a massive downgrade.

Who else was really disappointed in 2's length? and how long do you think they'll make 3?

Personally I'm almost thinking it'll either be even shorter or only slightly longer then DA2. This isn't the main deal breaker for me, but it's still a substantial one. This game will really have to make my Jaw drop for me to forgive them ruining one of my favourite series.

#2 Posted by laserbolts (5319 posts) -

I'm not sure I think it depends on when it's supposed to come out. If it's this year then I don't expect much from them at this point. I think if they made 2 as lengthy as the first one the reusing dungeons thing would have been even more apparent but people still noticed anyways. It all depends on development time because to say dragon age 2 was rushed is an understatement.

#3 Posted by Jimbo (9804 posts) -

If they're really 'learning from Skyrim' or whatever, then I guess they really mean 'It's gonna be (even more) like Final Fantasy 12 but with dragons n shit'. If that's the case, then I'd expect the open-world nature to pad things out quite a bit. It's a good way of squeezing more hours out of less content.

The length of DA2 didn't bother me at all - it felt padded even at 30 hours. That said, Origins also felt like it had a lot of unnecessary padding to me.

#4 Edited by LevelRouter (41 posts) -

Not necessarily that disappointed in DA2's length, when the end game I was maybe a little too thankful that the abuse was finally over.

In the future I would be satisfied even if the game was only 30-40h (hell, 25-30h wouldn't be that bad) as long as that time is filled with quality content. There is absolutely no point in prolonging a game if you're not ready to spend the necessary time or resources on it to keep up the quality standard.

#5 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

If the game was any good, I might feel gypped, but as others said, I was thankful the punishment was finally over.
 
If 3 doesn't have major improvements, I wont be buying it at all.

#6 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

I didn't mind the length so much in 2.

@LevelRouter said it best:

In the future I would be satisfied even if the game was only 30-40h (hell, 25-30h wouldn't be that bad) as long as that time is filled with quality content. There is absolutely no point in prolonging a game if you're not ready to spend the necessary time or resources on it to keep up the quality standard.

A lot of Origins length came from some serious padding that has prevented me from going back and playing it. Seriously, I get shivers when I think of Orzammar. Dragon Age 2 hit a pretty good length but it was stretched far too thin by reusing content and it seriously started to wear its welcome out by the end of it.

#7 Posted by Commisar123 (1791 posts) -

Length takes a back seat to quality in my book

#8 Posted by wjb (1657 posts) -

I'd rather have a great 20-hour game compared to a decent 40+ hour game with a lot of filler. With school and a full-time job, I don't have all the time in the world, so a game's length isn't a factor for me anymore.

#9 Posted by YoThatLimp (1901 posts) -

I struggled to finish DA2 at 25 hours, I would hate to think about playing it for 50 hours. It really depends on the quality of the content.

#10 Posted by Jost1 (2077 posts) -

Dragon Age 2 is way too long for what it is. (A piece of crap)

#11 Posted by AlexW00d (6239 posts) -

I have no idea I gave up after 25 hours.

#12 Posted by Narx (173 posts) -

Quantity is not a factor of quality.

#13 Edited by oatz (1103 posts) -

@Narx said:

Quantity is not a factor of quality.

Where was this ever even implied?

I didn't finish DA2 because it was shit, but Dragon Age Origins had a good length for me.

#14 Posted by phish09 (1109 posts) -

@Narx said:

Quantity is not a factor of quality.

True, but it is a factor of value. I think Limbo is one of the best games of 2010, but would I pay $60 for a 2 hour game? Probably not. Not because the quality of the product isn't high enough, but it just isn't a very sound value proposition. I'm not saying that 30-40 hours is a bad value proposition either, especially considering there is a lot of replayability in DA2 if you're into the game that much, but you can't act like the length of a game should not be considered when making a purchasing decision.

#15 Posted by EmuLeader (558 posts) -

@will_leisure said:

I'd rather have a great 20-hour game compared to a decent 40+ hour game with a lot of filler. With school and a full-time job, I don't have all the time in the world, so a game's length isn't a factor for me anymore.

I agree. As long as the content is great throughout, and its not just 10 hours (like a long FPS), length isn't really a worry. I do enjoy them being long, though. This is mainly due to the quality of the stories of BioWare games. They suck me into the universe and make me care about what happens. Longer games can mean getting to delve into the universe more, with more plot development opportunities. Again, as long as its great quality content throughout.

#16 Posted by thellama042 (109 posts) -

Given that they had to reuse dungeons all over the place to be able to add content, there was no excuse for the short length of the game.

I have to say that I enjoyed DA2 to a certain extent, but I almost immediately noticed the reused areas when I went from one cave to another and they used the exact same map, textures, designs, etc., but blocked off certain areas with impenetrable doors. That right there killed a big part of the experience for me.

"Haven't I been on this cliffside road before? Wasn't I going to a completely different area when I first found it? Hmmmm...."

I also liked DA:O's style better. The elves weren't as noticeably different, but at least they weren't malformed aliens. And the Darkspawn were actually disgusting, and even somewhat intimidating (seriously, they looked like someone with severe Jaundicing. Not scary, just sickly.). And the Kunari magically sprouted horns (seriously, WTF?).

Disappointment? 'Twas served on a silver platter with this game.

#17 Posted by Brodehouse (9884 posts) -

My DA2 save was 35 hours. My DA:O save was 46. Honestly, I'd rather 30 if it means no Orzammar/Deep Roads.

My ME1 was 24 hours, ME2 was 31 when I first finished it. And 45 after DLC.

Online
#18 Posted by Ezakael (935 posts) -

@benjaebe said:

I didn't mind the length so much in 2.

@LevelRouter said it best:

In the future I would be satisfied even if the game was only 30-40h (hell, 25-30h wouldn't be that bad) as long as that time is filled with quality content. There is absolutely no point in prolonging a game if you're not ready to spend the necessary time or resources on it to keep up the quality standard.

A lot of Origins length came from some serious padding that has prevented me from going back and playing it. Seriously, I get shivers when I think of Orzammar. Dragon Age 2 hit a pretty good length but it was stretched far too thin by reusing content and it seriously started to wear its welcome out by the end of it.

I....actually liked the Orzammar/Deep Roads part of Origins. Disliking it seems to be the norm for the most part and I can certainly see why, but for some reason I really didn't mind it. Now the Fade on the other hand...

#19 Posted by Narx (173 posts) -

@oatz said:

@Narx said:

Quantity is not a factor of quality.

Where was this ever even implied?

I didn't finish DA2 because it was shit, but Dragon Age Origins had a good length for me.

I just stated my opinion on the subject. I never said that this was implied. I just don't think that quantity is a factor. I payed 60$ for God of War 3 and finished it in under 10 hours and thought it was a blast and do not regret it one bit. Payed 60$ for Batman Arkham City and was done under 15 hours and i don't regret it. Would both theses games be better if the were twice as long? I don't believe necessarily so.

@phish09 said:

@Narx said:

Quantity is not a factor of quality.

True, but it is a factor of value. I think Limbo is one of the best games of 2010, but would I pay $60 for a 2 hour game? Probably not. Not because the quality of the product isn't high enough, but it just isn't a very sound value proposition. I'm not saying that 30-40 hours is a bad value proposition either, especially considering there is a lot of replayability in DA2 if you're into the game that much, but you can't act like the length of a game should not be considered when making a purchasing decision.

Of course that extreme is not a sound business call. We could possibly believe that there's a mental barrier somewhere which is set up differently for everyone. An 8-10 hours game for me for 60$ is worth it if I have fun all the way, others might not think so.@EmuLeader said:

@will_leisure said:

I'd rather have a great 20-hour game compared to a decent 40+ hour game with a lot of filler. With school and a full-time job, I don't have all the time in the world, so a game's length isn't a factor for me anymore.

I agree. As long as the content is great throughout, and its not just 10 hours (like a long FPS), length isn't really a worry. I do enjoy them being long, though. This is mainly due to the quality of the stories of BioWare games. They suck me into the universe and make me care about what happens. Longer games can mean getting to delve into the universe more, with more plot development opportunities. Again, as long as its great quality content throughout.

I think you hit the barrel there for me. I am a great fan of RPGs, I am in the middle of a playtrough of Persona 3 myself and quite glad that the game last this long because every time I play it I enjoy it, I don't want it to end. I for one did not enjoy the Deep Roads in Dragon age: Origins. Having to spend 2 hours less in them would be great and in my opinion might have made a more coherent experience.

In the end, I think what matters is fun per hour ratio. And that will differ for every single person for every single game.

#20 Edited by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

Yup, if there's one thing Japanese game design has taught us it's that length=better.

Also my post count is now my birth year. Awesome.

#21 Posted by Yummylee (21546 posts) -

@Ezakael said:

@benjaebe said:

I didn't mind the length so much in 2.

@LevelRouter said it best:

In the future I would be satisfied even if the game was only 30-40h (hell, 25-30h wouldn't be that bad) as long as that time is filled with quality content. There is absolutely no point in prolonging a game if you're not ready to spend the necessary time or resources on it to keep up the quality standard.

A lot of Origins length came from some serious padding that has prevented me from going back and playing it. Seriously, I get shivers when I think of Orzammar. Dragon Age 2 hit a pretty good length but it was stretched far too thin by reusing content and it seriously started to wear its welcome out by the end of it.

I....actually liked the Orzammar/Deep Roads part of Origins. Disliking it seems to be the norm for the most part and I can certainly see why, but for some reason I really didn't mind it. Now the Fade on the other hand...

I agree on both points. Loved all the Orzammar stuff (the Dwarven culture of Dragon Age is one of my favourite segments of the lore) but I fucking loathed the Fade.

Online
#22 Posted by Hailinel (24423 posts) -

@Abyssfull said:

@Ezakael said:

@benjaebe said:

I didn't mind the length so much in 2.

@LevelRouter said it best:

In the future I would be satisfied even if the game was only 30-40h (hell, 25-30h wouldn't be that bad) as long as that time is filled with quality content. There is absolutely no point in prolonging a game if you're not ready to spend the necessary time or resources on it to keep up the quality standard.

A lot of Origins length came from some serious padding that has prevented me from going back and playing it. Seriously, I get shivers when I think of Orzammar. Dragon Age 2 hit a pretty good length but it was stretched far too thin by reusing content and it seriously started to wear its welcome out by the end of it.

I....actually liked the Orzammar/Deep Roads part of Origins. Disliking it seems to be the norm for the most part and I can certainly see why, but for some reason I really didn't mind it. Now the Fade on the other hand...

I agree on both points. Loved all the Orzammar stuff (the Dwarven culture of Dragon Age is one of my favourite segments of the lore) but I fucking loathed the Fade.

The Fade is the one part of Origins that I dread when I go back to it. The Deep Roads were comparatively a pleasant walk in a park during the springtime.

#23 Posted by cbk486 (181 posts) -

@Hailinel: The mod on PC to skip the fade is a blessing from on high. That's the only way I was able to replay the game.

#24 Posted by Brodehouse (9884 posts) -
@Ezakael The Fade I can at least get because it's kind of a mini-Metroidvania in terms of progression and 'puzzle' mechanics. It's also really weird looking. Of course, the mechanics were awkward and half-broken, because Origins played like it was made by programmers and not designers. But from my point of view, the Deep Roads are a 6 hour dungeon crawl with no storyline hooks until the very end. And almost all of it is cave. I've had enough cave in my RPGs to last me the rest of my life. I'm looking at you, Bethesda.

I think they've learned how to pace better, because Kal'Shirok in Asakening was great, and the Primeval Thaig section in DA2 was alright.

Ironically, the shortest Dragon Age campaign (Awakening) is by far my favorite, with my favorite cast of characters, favorite setting and most rewarding combat.
Online
#25 Posted by babblinmule (1262 posts) -
@Hailinel: I liked the deep roads too, but did it reeeeeally need to be 2-3 hours long?
#26 Posted by AndrewB (7590 posts) -

I don't think Dragon Age 3 will have a problem with game length. There's a lot that's been ironed out with the release of two games, and I expect that arm of Bioware to take a little longer with this one. They also have a more epic, sweeping plot to cover. As big as they had with Origins, perhaps bigger.

I don't know if it was just because of how much I loathed most of the combat mechanics in the game, but I never felt like Dragon Age 2 was too short. Every moment felt like it was dragging on too long, if anything. Way too many random-but-meaningless enemy encounters to pad things out. But even if you felt it was too short, it's still the type of game you can play through many times and get to see how things play out with different choices.

#27 Posted by FLStyle (4667 posts) -

I didn't mind the length if only because I was wanting to go back to Dragon Age: Origins so much. Credit where it's due though, I replayed it twice more because of the characterisation and voice-acting of the party members (minus Anders, big fan of DA:O Awakening Anders).
 
In reflection, I probably should've just stuck with YouTube videos after the first playthrough.

#28 Posted by Vrikk (895 posts) -

DA2 was a major downgrade from everything that made DA:O so great. The length is just one of many things that contributed it to being one of the biggest fuck ups in gaming.

#29 Posted by believer258 (11808 posts) -

@Vrikk said:

DA2 was a major downgrade from everything that made DA:O so great. The length is just one of many things that contributed it to being one of the biggest fuck ups in gaming.

So you'd put Dragon Age 2 in league with Daikatana then? I've never played it beyond the demo so I don't have much of an opinion, but that does seem pretty harsh.

Anyway, someone 8 months ago, earlier in this thread, posted that a great 20 hour game is infinitely more enjoyable than a good 40 hour game. And I agree. I'm growing up, people, I'm almost my own man now, and that means I have far less time for RPG's. I liked DAO a whole lot but never finished it because it's so long. Hell, 20 hours is a lot of time for me to spend in one game. Honestly, do you really need an 80 hour RPG? No! Most of that is padding or overly long shit like The Fade. Skyrim is the exception to the rule because you can finish a few quests, put it down for three months, and then pick it right back up and if you've forgotten a detail, it's not a big deal.

I really, really hope that Dragon Age III is somewhere in the ballpark of 20-30 fantastic hours, not 60-100 mostly good ones. Or, at least, is finishable in 20-30 hours.

#30 Edited by familyphotoshoot (653 posts) -

I finished DA:O in about the same time as DA2 because I play with subtitles on and read much faster than I listen, so I ended up skipping through a lot of the dialogue.

I'm all for more quests, but I don't want to sit and listen to hours upon hours of dialogue. That's just me, though.

#31 Posted by casper_ (903 posts) -

as others have probably have said i'd rather have 30 hours of good, focused content than 60 hours of reused assets and combat becoming repetitive.

that said if its good 60 hours would be rad

#32 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Sunday is now the official day to bump old threads.

#33 Posted by Vrikk (895 posts) -

@believer258: I did not play Daikatana, so I can't really comment on its quality, but personally I feel like DA2 was a huge letdown in all aspects as I said. Therefore, yes - I imagine if Daikatana is as bad as everyone says it was then DA2 would rank up there for me. Nothing in it was better than the first one I feel.

#34 Posted by Hunter5024 (5635 posts) -

You can beat Dragon Age Origins in like 20 hours if you want to. I did it in 28 hours on one of my playthroughs and there was a ton of stuff I could have skipped. I think everyone can agree that they want a lot of value out of their games, but padding out your game to make it feel longer does not accomplish this.

#35 Posted by Irvandus (2877 posts) -

I would be okay with any length about 30 hours. I'd expect 3 to be longer than 2. Color me unjustifiably hopeful. Then again a really good 20 hours is worth more than an okay 80. Not the case with the Dragon Age games but I figured I'd throw that out there if anyone tries to use this post against me in the future.

#36 Posted by Hunkulese (2702 posts) -
@Vrikk

DA2 was a major downgrade from everything that made DA:O so great. The length is just one of many things that contributed it to being one of the biggest fuck ups in gaming.

Length is by far the stupidest way to judge te quality of a game.

Origins was a superior game because it was longer? The length was one of the worst parts of Origins because everything was padded to take longer to feel more epic. A lot of the areas had far to many enemies and each battle took to long. Once you figured out the best way to deal with the enemies you just repeated your strategy ad nauseum as the enemies slowly died.

Dragon Age 2 was about the length I'd want for this type of game if it wa for the fact that you were constantly revisiting the same areas.
#37 Posted by Vrikk (895 posts) -

@Hunkulese: I agree that length is the stupidest way to judge a game's quality, but if you look back at my whole post you will notice that I said it was one of the many aspects that were changed for the worst in my opinion that made DA2 inferior in all ways to DA:O.

Also, I think that the longer a game is the better as long as the "padding" as you put it is fun and worthwhile. There were only a small sliver of side quests I did in DA:O that I felt were crap, and on the otherhand I feel that DA2 could have had more side quests to do, and hopefully ones that weren't in the same 3 areas of the city that you have already visited.

#38 Edited by Brodehouse (9884 posts) -

@Vrikk: Dude, almost all of the side quests in DA:O are filler crap. I feel the exact same way about the side quests in DA2. The difference was the mandatory stuff was a lot better in Origins than DA2.

There's been one game BioWare has made in the last 6 years that's had good side missions and it was Mass Effect 2. All the ME1 side stuff was reused prefab bases and ME3's side stuff was just eavesdropping on conversations.

Online
#39 Posted by Vrikk (895 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Is "filler" really bad though if you enjoyed it ("you" being me in this case it seems)? They don't have to directly go towards the main story as long as they are enjoyable, and in most cases expand the world.

#40 Posted by Brodehouse (9884 posts) -

@Vrikk: Filler is the opposite of killer. I want all killer no filler.

Online
#41 Posted by Vrikk (895 posts) -

@Brodehouse: I'll agree with you on the ME series though - only ME2 had fun side quests.

#42 Posted by Giantstalker (1635 posts) -

DA2 was a monstrosity. Everything they can do to distance themselves from the choices made during that game's development would be positive to me.

A deliberately longer game, therefore, would be a step in the right direction. I don't mind if a game lasts a week or two longer because it's got extra content, and I too thought the "filler" was pretty good in DA:O.

But with modern Bioware, sans doctors, who knows what we'll get. I would only be half surprised if it's an FPS and just completely throws everything out the window. Hey, at least we know Frostbite can do those pretty well.

#43 Posted by Hunkulese (2702 posts) -

@Vrikk said:

@Hunkulese: I agree that length is the stupidest way to judge a game's quality, but if you look back at my whole post you will notice that I said it was one of the many aspects that were changed for the worst in my opinion that made DA2 inferior in all ways to DA:O.

Also, I think that the longer a game is the better as long as the "padding" as you put it is fun and worthwhile. There were only a small sliver of side quests I did in DA:O that I felt were crap, and on the otherhand I feel that DA2 could have had more side quests to do, and hopefully ones that weren't in the same 3 areas of the city that you have already visited.

It wasn't the sidequests. It was the main quests that had you in the same area for hours doing little more than fighting battle after battle against the exact same sets of enemies.

#44 Posted by MegaLombax (387 posts) -

Length is an issue only when the game doesn't offer the player a meaningful amount of content through out the playtime. I'd rather play a 10 hr game filled with interesting content that has me invested in the game, rather than a 40 hour game that forces me to work through repetitive and mundane things.

#45 Posted by YoThatLimp (1901 posts) -

It depends on the quality of the game. If i had to play anymore DA2 I would have put a fucking knife in my eye.

#46 Posted by Hailinel (24423 posts) -

I'd just like it if the sidequests in Dragon Age III were meaningful and substantial. It's silly, some of the tasks that DA2 considers sidequests. You found the remains of a Chantry sister? Take them back to a random guy at the Chantry, listen to him marvel at how he had lost them as though he had lost a pocket watch, and then get credit for completing a quest.

#47 Posted by Hunter5024 (5635 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

I'd just like it if the sidequests in Dragon Age III were meaningful and substantial. It's silly, some of the tasks that DA2 considers sidequests. You found the remains of a Chantry sister? Take them back to a random guy at the Chantry, listen to him marvel at how he had lost them as though he had lost a pocket watch, and then get credit for completing a quest.

At some point I felt like the designers were just checking to see if we were still paying attention.

#48 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

@Ezakael said:

Besides all the terrible decisions they made with Dragon Age 2. There's something else that also really pissed me off, and that's the games length. Dragon Age Origins lasted me 60 hours on one playthrough just going through the story and some side missions. Completing everything could take 100 hours plus. Dragon age 2 completing everything took me about 25-30 hours. Now that's not too bad, but when you consider the length of Origins it's a massive downgrade.

Who else was really disappointed in 2's length? and how long do you think they'll make 3?

Personally I'm almost thinking it'll either be even shorter or only slightly longer then DA2. This isn't the main deal breaker for me, but it's still a substantial one. This game will really have to make my Jaw drop for me to forgive them ruining one of my favourite series.

same here.

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