Can somebody please tell me how to enjoy this game?

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#1 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I just bought DA (yes I'm late to the party...) and I'm kind of struggling with it. I'm a huge Mass Effect fan, and I was kind of hoping that this would tide me over for a little while. But I'm just not "getting it," and I really want to. This happened with Bioshock until I began thinking about it more as an exploration of narrative, so I'm hoping that I can get into DA as well.
 
I will say that I love the actual dialogue (especially between Alistair and Morigan, even if Alistair seems inexplicably wussy) but decisions thus far haven't felt as interesting, since most of the options are things that intelligent people would never say. I'm also not impressed technically, as there are alot of things that just look dumb and/or wrong (especially the textures on character's clothing, which should be first priority). The achievements are bad in the same way that ME 1's achievements are bad, and the level up system has the same "dump all your early points into speech" problem that bugged me about ME1. Lastly, the actual gameplay thusfar has consisted of "press A to attack, press other buttons to use more powerful version of attack, drink potions when almost dead" which isn't compelling.
 
I could harp on about some other little issues involving things like the map and loot collection, but this isn't intended as an attack on DA. I'm just trying to learn how to like the game.

#2 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

Doesn't look like it's for you. Especially considering how dumbed down Mass Effect is...

#3 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@valrog:
No need to be condescending now...ME is certainly streamlined, but in the end you make more or less the same tactical decisions that you would in another RPG. I challenge you to play the game on insanity and call it dumbed down.
#4 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10385 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @valrog: No need to be condescending now...ME is certainly streamlined, but in the end you make more or less the same tactical decisions that you would in another RPG. I challenge you to play the game on insanity and call it dumbed down. "
You wanna see a dumbed down game, now take a look at Mass Effect 2... 
 
Just kidding. Yeah, while I love both Mass Effects (and would not say they're dumbed down, they're just more modern), I made sure to do some research into DA before buying it, and determined that it was too olde school for me. 
Online
#5 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

I'm actually playing this game now. I hope you know how to play it properly, it doesn't have guns. If you played the pc version, you can pause it and have alot of tactical decisions with the mouse.

#6 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47: I'm starting to really wish that I had gotten the PC version, as that top down camera angle looks more suitable as well...
 
I do understand the game doesn't have guns. I HAVE PLAYED FANTASY GAMES BEFORE. how does one "play it properly?"
#7 Posted by Zurv (439 posts) -

what system are you playing it on? it is a different experience betwen the console and the PC - alteast combat is.
#8 Posted by Skytylz (4025 posts) -

Sit it down, I played the pc version and playing it felt like work.

#9 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @valrog: No need to be condescending now...ME is certainly streamlined, but in the end you make more or less the same tactical decisions that you would in another RPG. I challenge you to play the game on insanity and call it dumbed down. "
There's more to being dumbed down than merely combat. Take a Wheel Dialog System for example. If you can honestly tell me that that thing was not made for imbeciles, I would call you either blind or in denial.
#10 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5797 posts) -

Dragon Age isn't anything like Mass Effect. 
 
So if you bought it to get a ME like experience, you won't find it in Dragon Age.

#11 Posted by endaround (2136 posts) -

You seem to be on the 360versions so yeah its going to look poor.  The hardware just can't handle the amount of data that would be needed to make it run right so the graphics have been toned down.  As to the game itself,  you aren't hand held as much as in ME2.  you need to talk to everyone to get the full feel of it.  The dialog choices get a lot better after you get out of Lothering

#12 Posted by JoeyRavn (4946 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
"Lastly, the actual gameplay thusfar has consisted of "press A to attack, press other buttons to use more powerful version of attack, drink potions when almost dead" which isn't compelling."
 
Oh. Console version. That explains why you find it so simplistic. The PC version has the far superior tactical top-down view à la Baldur's Gate. Pause, issue commands, wait a few turns (they are so fast they don't look like real turns, like in WoW). Playing in harder difficulties without having at least a bit of strategy is acutally quite brutal. Plus, user-created mods and fixes.  
 
But, well, it doesn't seem this game is for you. We can't tell you how to enjoy the game, as simple as that. I personally love the game. Keep playing and if you still find it dumb, then stop playing. 
 
PS: The Achievements are fine, IMO. They are similar to what you find in most games nowadays. "Kill X enemies with Y attack", "inflict X damage in one strike", "complete X mission", etc.
#13 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@FancySoapsMan: I'm getting that, but other people seem to think they are similar.
@valrog: Dude...Its faster. Its streamlined. It is a quicker way of selecting dialog. I have a feeling that I should stop listening to you now.
@Zurv:  360 version.
#14 Posted by Damodar (1287 posts) -

I finished Dragon Age and rather enjoyed it. As for combat, I was mostly specced for 2 sword combat, which I got really bored with, so I'd basically focus most of my time in battle on controlling Morrigan. Seems she could dish out damage way faster than anyone else for me and I enjoyed using her spells more.

#15 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

The 360 version is really bad compared to PC afaik. It's meant to be played on PC and it doesn't convert very well to 360.

#16 Posted by Unchained (1080 posts) -

Dragon Age: Origins is my favorite game. I've replayed it like 5 or 6 times already.  I own both the PC and 360 version, and the PC version is the superior of them. The presentation is better, the combat is more tactical and mods really give it an added bang in every aspect.  
 
That said, if you are not having fun with the game at all...I don't think there is anyway someone can teach you to have fun with it. If it isn't grabbing you, then it probably isn't for you. I'd suggest either setting it aside for a while or just trading it in. If you enjoy WRPGs though, maybe try out The Witcher. It is somewhat similar to Dragon Age in setting, but plays quite differently.  

#17 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@valrog said:
" @nintendoeats:  Streamlined = Made for idiots. "
WOW.
 
If I try and debate that statement, it will completely hijack the thread. And it shouldn't be necessary, because the people of GB are NOT idiots and should be able to see why that makes very little sense. So nuts to you.
 
And thusfar...nobody has actually answered my request. If I don't get it, please give it to me.
#18 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @valrog: No need to be condescending now...ME is certainly streamlined, but in the end you make more or less the same tactical decisions that you would in another RPG. I challenge you to play the game on insanity and call it dumbed down. "
Because giving bad AI a lot of HP and making them do more damage makes a game smarter huh.
#19 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Unchained: The setting is actually the reason that It took me so long to pick up DA, as I generally prefer Sci-fi and other craziness to standard fantasy. But thanks for the recommendation.
#20 Posted by Meltac (1999 posts) -

Yeah, I think your problem is that you're playing the 360 version. The PC version is definitely the superior of the two, both in terms of gameplay and graphics. 

#21 Posted by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -

Dragon Age is an old school fantasy RPG and completely different compared to Mass Effect. They both may share dialog trees but it really is a different game. Break down what you are saying... 
 
The game's biggest strength is the dialog. You spent a few hours but you have plenty to go. I enjoyed what I was confronted with and the choices I had to make. And you can't please everybody. There were times where I did something and "BAM," party member was upset at me and left. Things happen within the party so either they get along or they constantly hate on each other which are really good moments. Heck, because I listened to one character, I ended up killing another. Sometimes as you play, there isn't a clear "best" answer and you have to choose the lesser of the evil.  
 
Visuals are tough and sounds like you are playing the 360 version (You mention press A.) The game isn't the best looking because it is a game that kinda took forever to develop. That is why it looks a lot like old generation textures here and there. The game plays well on the 360 but on what many will agree is the intended platform, the PC, the visuals are great.  
 
As for leveling, it feels like an old school RPG. The skill system kinda sucks and I never really used it but kinda got screwed in the end because content ends up being blocked off. I initially rolled a noble warrior and ended up not ever being able to open a locked chest. WHERE IS MY BASH DOOR OPTION! I did end up leveling the Poison making skill and it actually helped using the various poisons on my weapon for crowd control and stuns. I never bothered with the others since Morrigan had the ability to make potions and the others didn't help. The skill system is helpful but you never really have to worry about it. 
 
Last combat... old school rpg again. Depending on your class, it can get boring. Like I said, I rolled a noble warrior which was going to play the roll of main tank. It works and as a warrior, yes, it did turn into you do different attacks that really just become deadlier version of previous ones so I set up the scripts needed so he could tank and spank and took control of Morrigan and enjoyed that more. The variety of spells to crowd control or just blow enemies up is very fun. Standing in one room and using Blizzard to take out the next room, mixing Sleep with Horror to cause Nightmare and killing people. The spells in the game are worth tinkering with. 
  
So yeah, enough before I get TL:DR but it is a different game that goes back to what Bioware used to do. If you don't change the difficulty, it turns into a challenging game but I found it rewarding and I look forward to Dragon Age II.

#22 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @nintendoeats said:
" @valrog: No need to be condescending now...ME is certainly streamlined, but in the end you make more or less the same tactical decisions that you would in another RPG. I challenge you to play the game on insanity and call it dumbed down. "
Because giving bad AI a lot of HP and making them do more damage makes a game smarter huh. "
The point is that there is depth to the tactics when you get to that difficulty level. I had some points which I was stuck on for ages because I hadn't found the right combination of powers to make everybody use, but when I finally figured out the best set of tactics it was a glorious fireworks display of ass-kickery.
#23 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -
@valrog said:
" @nintendoeats:  Streamlined = Made for idiots.  Maybe you should wait for Dragon Age II. It will posses a lot of dumbed down gameplay found in Mass Effect. "
Look fella, if you want to go play an RPG that makes you lie on a bed of nails to use dialog, that's fine by me. 
#24 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Fripplebubby said:
" @valrog said:
" @nintendoeats:  Streamlined = Made for idiots.  Maybe you should wait for Dragon Age II. It will posses a lot of dumbed down gameplay found in Mass Effect. "
Look fella, if you want to go play an RPG that makes you lie on a bed of nails to use dialog, that's fine by me.  "
Well if that was in the first game and he liked it, then that's be the sensible thing to include. Instead of turning Dragon Age into God of Mass Effect to make it more appealing to dumb people.
#25 Posted by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -

If they can make a streamlined version of the game for consoles, that is fine but leave my PC version alone! Glad to hear that the sequel will give our hero an actual voice. Probably the most disappointing thing about Dragon Age because you put time into creating your hero and tada.... he stands there and just makes faces.

#26 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Teaspoon83: THANKYOU! I like what you are saying about the dialog and story, and I figure that I will play some more to see where it all goes. But this gameplay was clearly not made for me, and I probably wont finish it.
 
But I will not accept the argument that I am an idiot for not being into it.
#27 Posted by gla55jAw (2685 posts) -

They are totally different experiences. The only thing they have in common, like said, is the dialog tree stuff. I played on 360 and I enjoyed it for the story. I played it very much like Final Fantasy XII. Controlled the main character, set up the rest of my party with AI tactics and played a warrior attacking and only used stopped time for healing and the occasional spells. If you don't like it for the story, characters, equipping different armor and weapons to make your characters look cool, you probably won't like it, especially since you already don't like the combat.

#28 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Teaspoon83: Yes, that's something else that bugs me. Having a voiced character felt awesome. Actually, most of the VO in ME was better handled. It was nice to hear Captain Janeway in DA though :)
#29 Posted by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -
@nintendoeats: Glad I could help you. Looking at your history, if you never played a Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Night, it is a difficult game to sell you. And to be honest with you, there was a point where I kinda got bored with the game. I stopped playing it. I guess it was the length that got to me because you are looking at a 50-75 hour experience. I did finish it and I'm glad I did.
#30 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Teaspoon83: I actually did own Neverwinter at one point, but the discs got lost in a move. I did enjoy it somewhat, but the amount of loot management and the saminess of the combat got to me. I was like 14 though, so my tastes have obviously changed.
#31 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

I played it while sitting on my thumb, it made playing the game a pleasurable experience. 

#32 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

You have significantly more moves at your disposal in DA than ME, yet you're bored with the sameness. You're really not creating enough consistency for people to help you. Apparently you only hate doing the same shit over and over when it doesn't involve shooting a gun and hiding behind boxes.

#33 Posted by colubroid (39 posts) -

Play as a Mage your first play through.  The Mage origin story isn't the best, but as Danodar pointed out you will spend most of your time in hard fights controlling the magic users.  If you are a Mage with some healing and some damage spells it frees up the rest of the party so you can just use the characters you like and dump any that annoy you.

#34 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @Teaspoon83: Yes, that's something else that bugs me. Having a voiced character felt awesome. Actually, most of the VO in ME was better handled. It was nice to hear Captain Janeway in DA though :) "
you get what you pay for. Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 had all the voiced dialog so it ended up having significantly less dialog and content than dragon age. Dragon age is long and there is more depth than Mass Effect in terms of character customization, party options, moral choice and lore.  Personally i played Dragon Age on the console and liked it alot. I would recommend playing as a healer or dps mage.  Pretend you are playing an mmo and leading the party.  Let your other party members do their thing (make sure to up their ai behavior slots) and do caster leader stuff like healing and crowd control.  On normal, fights will get really hard at points and you will have to pause and use just the right skills at the right time to be successful and that makes it pretty great.
#35 Edited by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -
@nintendoeats: You're definitely not an idiot for not being into it. Especially if you got it on the consoles. This is a PC game, to be honest. Plus, the people you've been chatting with (specifically, two of them) are dicks in general, so I wouldn't listen to them. 
#36 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@ryanwho: There is one very important difference between repetitive cover-based combat, and repetitive sword fighting. With shooting, you have to account for the environment and the locations of your enemies. With sword/bows, you pretty much have stuff that is close and stuff that is far away. This difference makes shooting much more exciting and varied.
#37 Edited by Zurv (439 posts) -

It is a game they really wants to you talk to everyone.. open every chest.. read every book. <tab> key is.. hrmm.. key on the PC version. :) it highlites things you can click on that you might miss. 
 
My suggestion is put the game down.. wait a month for the steam sales.. and pick it up for the PC for like $5. 
 
I too am not a fan of magic and elves etc.. but it really loved this game. Also, atleast on the pc where you have control over combat, stuff like aggro and tanks (etc..) matter. The game assumes you know about those mechanics.
#38 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Zurv: Alright, PC version it is. When its cheap.
 
Maybe I'll plug away at some of those dumb ME1 achievements instead....
#39 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@PrivateIronTFU said:
" @nintendoeats: Plus, the people you've been chatting with (specifically, two of them) are dicks in general, so I wouldn't listen to them.  "
Hmm, it does seem that way. People sure are defensive considering that I'm actively trying to like this game...
#40 Posted by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -
@nintendoeats: Oh trust me, like you said about using the right abilities to clean out a room in ME, same thing with Dragon Age. Set up a few traps, get your mage ready to fire a blizzard to cut off part of the mob, pull small crowds around corners. Lots of strategy to DA. Anything you can do to make it easier because even on normal, the game is HARD.
#41 Posted by Jayzz (591 posts) -

Maybe the game is just not for you?
 
For one I hated the third person... idk.. I felt like I was playing World of Warcraft, so i turned it off and played oblivion instead. oblivion is a GREAT game.

#42 Posted by Karkarov (2942 posts) -

Honestly this game is not all that, it isn't even that tactical.  I played on the highest setting and on PC, I did not find it hard and the patches they made after release actually made it easier.  It is nothing but a build game, your characters have the right builds and you do a little scripting work in their tactics you win... they don't and you don't bother... you lose.  Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planscape Torment, etc etc are all better games in every regard minus graphics and far more tactical rewarding actual management of individual party members.  Story wise yes it is there but it is not that great, very cliche and you are not going to be surprised at any point unless you have very little experience with fantasy RPG's.  Many people will tout the whole making decisions things but you won't really understand how shallow it is until you try making different ones.  The only difference between Bhelen becoming King over Harrowmount is the end game text pop up it doesn't even effect the expansion.  There are party member conflicts but they are obvious and easy to predict, I mean really you brought the former priestess chick with you and then decided to destroy a holy relic of her church and you didn't see her not liking that in advance?  
 
All that said I beat it two times and it is an okay game I would give it like a 3.5 out of 5 it is just very highly overrated.  If you aren't enjoying it my advice is walk away because it does not get better further in it mostly stays about the same. 

#43 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @Zurv: Alright, PC version it is. When its cheap. Maybe I'll plug away at some of those dumb ME1 achievements instead.... "
man, people should not be telling you to get the pc version. There is nothing wrong with the console version unless the main thing a person cares about is graphics. People just get all pc elitist for any game they possibly can.  The 360 game is completely playable and enjoyable and if you can't like it, then you WON'T like the pc version.  Play the console version. Do the mage origin story and see how you feel about the game after completing that origin. If you aren't interested at that point then you dont like dragon age, period.  All of this "go buy the pc version" talk is just gonna make you waste time and money.
#44 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -
@Supermarius:  That applies to most games, but PC version actually has GAMEPLAY changes. That being said, OP still won't like it.
#45 Posted by Zurv (439 posts) -
@Supermarius said:
" @nintendoeats said:
" @Zurv: Alright, PC version it is. When its cheap. Maybe I'll plug away at some of those dumb ME1 achievements instead.... "
man, people should not be telling you to get the pc version. There is nothing wrong with the console version unless the main thing a person cares about is graphics. People just get all pc elitist for any game they possibly can.  The 360 game is completely playable and enjoyable and if you can't like it, then you WON'T like the pc version.  Play the console version. Do the mage origin story and see how you feel about the game after completing that origin. If you aren't interested at that point then you dont like dragon age, period.  All of this "go buy the pc version" talk is just gonna make you waste time and money. "

this game plays VERY differently on the PC... we all already know about the eye cancer that is the grafix on console games... there was no need to bring it up.
#46 Edited by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -
@Supermarius: It was suggested he wait for the Steam Holiday sale where hopefully they drop the price to something ridiculous. There are benefits to getting the PC version on top of visual graphics. The added camera view, command input, yadda yadda. And, since it is a PC, there is a pretty good "Mod development Community" that have crafted additional content, fixed problems in the game and more. Hell, even a nude patch. XD
#47 Edited by Undeadpool (4903 posts) -
@nintendoeats: Don't let these elitist haters bring you down. As someone who loves both games, I can tell you they're just radically different. ME brings a more overall tactical feel while DA:O is more moment-to-moment tactically. Don't be afraid to pause and queue up commands and special and ALWAYS have at least one spellcaster for crowd-control and/or healing. Come from the perspective that it's almost more a turn-based game, because it practically is. It was designed to feel like a throwback to early RPGs. Hope this helps you enjoy this amazing game. Oh and the plot doesn't really rev up until later in the game. It's a slow burn, but very worth it.
#48 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Undeadpool: Is there a way to pause the game and issue commands in the console game then? If there is, the game doesn't advertise it.
#49 Posted by Teaspoon83 (622 posts) -
@Undeadpool: Agreed, slow burn that ramps up.
#50 Posted by Supermarius (1196 posts) -
@nintendoeats said:
" @Undeadpool: Is there a way to pause the game and issue commands in the console game then? If there is, the game doesn't advertise it. "
yes, its either right or left trigger or button. i forget which. You can cycle through your characters while the game is paused and give commands to all of them.

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