New Dragon Age stuff, updated regularly!

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#51 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

Thank good that they changed the design for Elves back to what it was. The ones in 2 were terrible.

#52 Edited by FLStyle (4648 posts) -

I'd love to play as a Qunari but I'll definitely take Human, Elf and Dwarf. Many playthroughs ahead it seems, just like Origins.

I'm loving everything I'm hearing about DAI so far.

#53 Edited by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

I'm glad they brought races back, now I can continue to be the boring guy who always plays a human anyways. I don't want to be no filthy knife ear.

I'm curious to see whether or not this means there will also be origins. Initially I'd heard there would be no races or origins, so if that turned out to be false, then this brings a bit of hope that perhaps the origins will return as well. Call me crazy, but you would think if the mechanic was special enough to name the game after, maybe it would be wise to keep that mechanic in there. Language such as "The starting point will be a bit more unified" is not particularly promising though.

#54 Posted by Herk (188 posts) -
#55 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

I know better than to get excited for a BioWare game, however, this isn't looking terrible.

#56 Edited by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

Glad to see that they specifically called out encounter design as a big flaw in Dragon Age 2's combat, I'm also happy that they intend to keep DA2's responsiveness.

#57 Edited by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

Nice to see that elves no longer look like the cat people from Avatar.

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#58 Posted by TheHT (11090 posts) -

Even for pre-alpha, the player movement looks great. I loaded up DA2 a few months ago and running around looked kinda silly. Like you're sliding across the ground or something.

#59 Edited by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2013/08/19/building-a-dragon-age-rivalry-mages-versus-templars.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

A whole post about Mages and Templars. I guess I was wrong to hope that this conflict would play a smaller role in this games story. I think my biggest problem with the conflict is that it's nowhere near as gray as Bioware seems to think it is. Yes, Templars do have a point, but I don't know anyone whose played either of these games and ended up on their side. I think the world has much more interesting things going on, and I wish they would take the focus off of this one aspect. I've read X-men, I don't need this.

#60 Edited by Herk (188 posts) -

@hunter5024: I think they'll have my money no matter which story they choose to go with. Dragon Age and the Witcher are the only good cinematic, story-driven games in this medieval fantasy kinda setting that I know of so it's almost like they win by default.

Also, I've really enjoyed the franchise so far, I even bought one of the books a few weeks ago!

#61 Posted by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

@hunter5024: It provided some really nice color to the world in Origins, but I feel as if they wrung everything there is to be had out of that dynamic by the end of the Circle arc, then decided to make another whole game about it. Origins was cool because it was basically a survey of Thedas culture, which provided good variety while also masking the relative shallowness of each individual subplot.

Of course, it also accommodates the Bioware story structure of "go to quest hub, quid pro quo with locals, collect loyalty (or star map), repeat." I am personally wondering if "building up an Inquisition" will boil down to roughly this.

#62 Posted by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

@herk: I do as well, I just really want to see something new out of the story. I liked the Mages vs Templars thing quite a bit in DA:O, but as Encephalon said, they really wrung out pretty much everything they could from that story in the second.

@encephalon: That's partly why I think DA:O and the earlier Mass Effect's are better regarded. Those types of games work much better when you're being introduced to all of these new conflicts, characters, and locations. Once those aspects have played out, the magic kind of dies. Though I also think you could boil down any game to something formulaic if you think about it hard enough. Try to have a little optimism bud.

#63 Edited by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

@hunter5024: The problem is that Bioware has gone back to the same story structure well time and time again, not just for any particular franchise, but for a lot of their popular games. KOTOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon Age all fall into the same plot progression arc. Dragon Age II tried to break from that, but suffered from terrible pacing and a plot with twists so poorly thought out I wonder if they didn't just stick with the first draft they finished.

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#64 Edited by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

@hailinel: Actually, I would say Jade Empire does not fit their usual model at all. No modular storytelling, no quid pro quo, no collecting shit to beat the ancient evil. That didn't make Jade Empire good, of course, because in terms of plot it's still very boilerplate, but the progression of said plot is totally innocuous.

Edit: also ME1 gets a partial pass because while you were actually collecting the shit to get you to Ilos (Liara, cipher, Mu relay location, Saren's beacon), the goal wasn't presented at the very start of the game, so you didn't realize it while it was happening. Subterfuge, man.

#65 Edited by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

@hailinel: Actually, I would say Jade Empire does not fit their usual model at all. No modular storytelling, no quid pro quo, no collecting shit to beat the ancient evil. That didn't make Jade Empire good, of course, because in terms of plot it's still very boilerplate, but the progression of said plot is totally innocuous.

Fair point.

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#66 Edited by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

@hailinel: I've only played the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, so I can't really speak to how formulaic the story structures have been across their whole history (though I have seen the Bioware story checklist). I am of the opinion that generic/familiar stories can still be good stories though, as long as they're told well. Star Wars is a pretty good story right?

#67 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11587 posts) -

@hailinel: I've only played the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, so I can't really speak to how formulaic the story structures have been across their whole history (though I have seen the Bioware story checklist). I am of the opinion that generic/familiar stories can still be good stories though, as long as they're told well. Star Wars is a pretty good story right?

Anyone who goes after Bioware for their overarching stories is missing the point. Bioware excels at smaller, contained vignettes and their big stories are always the same "You are special, save the world from ancient evil" junk (Dragon Age II being the weird exception to this). Structurally speaking, the "Go to X different places and get X pieces of the ancient macguffin" structure really wasn't set in stone until Neverwinter Nights. Baldur's Gate lets you go pretty much wherever with a single main objective, and you can miss most of the areas in BG2 if you immediately rush your way through chapter 2. Also Jade Empire, but that's because the game is 15 hours long.

#68 Posted by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

@hailinel: I've only played the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, so I can't really speak to how formulaic the story structures have been across their whole history (though I have seen the Bioware story checklist). I am of the opinion that generic/familiar stories can still be good stories though, as long as they're told well. Star Wars is a pretty good story right?

Anyone who goes after Bioware for their overarching stories is missing the point. Bioware excels at smaller, contained vignettes and their big stories are always the same "You are special, save the world from ancient evil" junk (Dragon Age II being the weird exception to this). Structurally speaking, the "Go to X different places and get X pieces of the ancient macguffin" structure really wasn't set in stone until Neverwinter Nights. Baldur's Gate lets you go pretty much wherever with a single main objective, and you can miss most of the areas in BG2 if you immediately rush your way through chapter 2. Also Jade Empire, but that's because the game is 15 hours long.

That makes me wonder if maybe the structure was set in place because of the way their writing process works now. They like to assign one person to be in charge of each main quest line, so they have to find a way to break them up into neat little categories so no one interferes with anyone else. I agree that the overarching story hasn't been the appeal of any of their games that I've played so far, however I would count Dragon Age: Origins as an exception. I don't know if it's just me, but that game really made me care about my warden.

#69 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11587 posts) -

@hunter5024: I'm sure the writing process is a big part of why Bioware structures games the way they do. It's a lot easier writing a little contained area then it is writing something that directly intersects with the rest of the game, and I imagine companions are written in a similar manner. (Dragon Age II and Jade Empire once again being the weird exceptions to both rules).

#70 Posted by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

@hunter5024: I suspect its also because of the way they like to allow the main quest to be tackled in any order. When you're writing a story with the understanding that the major beats must be largely independent of one another, you naturally come to the structure we've all described.

That said, this is really just an explanation of why, not necessarily an effective rebuttal to someone who finds this structure increasingly staid and predictable.

#71 Posted by Dimi3je (308 posts) -

The problem with both DA games (more so with the second one) was the absence of a true antagonist. Sure, you had the archdemon in Origins, but it felt a bit empty, depersonalised. This was also a bit of a problem for me with ME 2 & 3.

#72 Posted by Herk (188 posts) -

This is not from the usual Gameinformer source, but they just showed a new trailer at Gamescom!

#73 Posted by Herk (188 posts) -

Another developer diary came out today and it's pretty much just them reiterating how they will add exploration as a new thing this time around, and explaining again that it's not a true open world game but more like Witcher 2 with large open areas walled off from each other.

#74 Posted by Roger778 (957 posts) -

I just checked out the game informer article on the link that was posted, and I have to say that I'm very happy that Varric and Cassandra are coming back for Dragon Age Inquisition. Varric was such a charming roguish character, and played well by a great voice actor. I also loved how Cassandra started off as a pissed off woman demanding to know what the hell happened in Kirkwall, and then she slowly starts to admire my Hawke character as Varric told the story to her. That was good character development, in my opinion.

So far, I'm loving the news reports that have come out for this game, and I'm looking forward for more updates.

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