The dialogue wheel: Why I hate it with a passion

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#1 Posted by OkTank (46 posts) -

This is gonna be a rather long rant so bear with me. 
First off, let me say I really enjoyed dragon age 2. Despite several complaints ( one of which incentivised me to create this topic ) i found the game entertaining all the way through. The biggest complaint I have is the implementation of the Mass Effect dialogue system. One of the main reasons i loved Dragon Age origins was the intricate moments you would have while in dialogue with your party members. I was astounded by the sheer amount of choices in any given dialogue sequence i had with my companions and npc's.In Dragon Age Origins there were so many ways i could respond to something that i never felt that my character were shoehorned into any defined path of how  his personality ultimately was. 
In dragon age 2 the choices youre given in dialogues ultimately boil down to: Tell me more about something, understanding answer, HI-LA-RIOUS rogueish answer or agressive answer. Congratulations Bioware. You solved the problem with Mass effects dialogue system being binary by making it TERNARY. I dont want ternary. I want fucking octodecimal or something to the degree that dragon age origins had in its dialogue tree. Moreover, how the hell am i able to discern what my character is going to say when all im presented with are dialogue phrases that are so short they make tweets seem like wall of texts. I have NO idea how hawke is gonna word a response from these phrases. Countless times have i picked a choice because of how i thought Hawkes response was going to be from those 3 fucking words you have to go on, only to have Hawk say something completely different  
One example: Upon meeting Isabella and talking to her in the tavern she told me about her problems. Knowing i talked to a swashbuckling rogue i chose the 'Hi-LA-RIOUS' choice. The phrase linked to that was something like 'Need help?' which i thought was going to play out kinda flirty and smarmy *wink *wink and all that. Instead Hawke says "CANT ANYONE FIX THEIR LIVES AROUND HERE!?' in an annoyed tone........not what i wanted to say buddy, not at all......Theres countless examples of this thrughout the game. As far as having freedom to control how youre character acts i hate this system with a passion. All because of bloody Mass effect and how cinematic it is. BTW the word cinematic inherently means 'less immersive' to me. It means that dialogues are going to be really dynamic like in the mooooooovies. It's like youre watching a mooooovie. I dont wanna watch a movie, I don't wanna feel like im in a freakin movie. I wanna feel like im in a world where im writing the script and I'm defining my character. Not watching a movie where I'm the lead actor. As Brian Lehey of Weekend Confirmed once said. 'In Mass Effect youre commander shephard, in Dragon Age Origins the grey warden is YOU'. Very important distinction.
 
Though i really hated the fact that Bioware chose to cop out and appeal to the Mass Effect crowd, I still think they improved upon it from Mass Effect. At least here im not playing for morality points like ME. In Mass effect there are no real choices in any dialogue ever because you either play renegade or paragon and want to stick to that, since you get direct rewards from maxing out either. The whole morality system in ME directly counteract any roleplaying from the players side since youre rewarded by always choosing the dialogue choice corresponding to your side on the completely binary morality meter. Just keep holding up for paragon points or down for renegade then you'll succeed and be able to handle further problems better.Deep system, huh? When you hear people talk about how they played shepard it usually ends up with. 'Good' guy' or 'Scumbag'. In dragon age origins and to some extent dragon age 2 you are able to define your character to a much finer degree. In dragon age origins, I made a lot of hard decisions that ultimately ended up defining my character, and i was not punished by loosing arbitrary points on a morality meter. Sure, characters views and appreciation of me changed because of these choices but thats a good thing from a roleplaying standpoint. It just helps define your party members even more and applies consequences to your dialogue choices. 
  
Also to anyone who complained that youre character didnt have a voice in dragon age origins and sees that as a flaw in that type of dialogue system. Who gives a shit!? Really? You dont have the sliver of imagination it takes to picture how youre character might sound like? It's like complaining about books because they arent being read out aloud to you. Do you think "Hmm It's strange. In this book they keep talking but yet i can't hear anyone talking. Then you close the book and put your ear down to it real close. Still not a sound coming out of the book.What a crap book. Theyre all mutes! Now i dont even know how they sound like IRL!" I for one loved the fact that he didnt have a voice because that made him have the voice that i wanted him to have. Not some actor that might not sound anything like I pictured my character to sound.

Oh well. I guess being raised on classic western RPG's has made me a jaded old rager. GET OFF MAH LAWN DIALOGUE WHEEL!!!!

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#2 Posted by project343 (2897 posts) -

1. In my experience, Dragon Age: Origins was very similar. You just had to take 45 seconds to analyze the possible responses before making the decision. In Origins, there were typically three main responses: neutral, aggressive, and polite. Rather than having tonal icons, however, you had to assume that your understanding of a response took a particular tone. This ambiguity leads to the same problem that you mention Dragon Age II having--you have no idea how that phrase will technically come out.
2. Dragon Age: Origins lacked personality--and the lack of a defined character was a contributing factor to this. There is only so much contextual story that a writer can provide without a set character.
3. Video games are not books. Stop comparing them. Video games have reached the point where there is the production standard of full voice acting--anything less is lazy.

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#3 Posted by JJWeatherman (15101 posts) -

Also to anyone who complained that youre character didnt have a voice in dragon age origins and sees that as a flaw in that type of dialogue system. Who gives a shit!? Really? You dont have the sliver of imagination it takes to picture how youre character might sound like? It's like complaining about books because they arent being read out aloud to you. Do you think "Hmm It's strange. In this book they keep talking but yet i can't hear anyone talking. Then you close the book and put your ear down to it real close. Still not a sound coming out of the book.What a crap book. Theyre all mutes! Now i dont even know how they sound like IRL!" I for one loved the fact that he didnt have a voice because that made him have the voice that i wanted him to have. Not some actor that might not sound anything like I pictured my character to sound.    

Definitely agree with this. I have no problem with the main character not having a voice in Origins. 
 
Sucks to hear about the inaccurate tendencies of the dialog wheel. I assumed the icons would take care of that problem, but I guess they didn't do a great job making them accurate all of the time. 
 
As much as I read about all of this game's problems, I can't help but want to play it even more.  :P
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#4 Edited by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

When reading a book, I can't remember a situation when everyone was talking, except from the main character. Or when I only heard the narrator. So yes, this is quite an anal analogy - as in, completely out of your ass. In Mass Effect you are Commander Shepard - you are PLAYING A ROLE. In Dragon Age Origins, your character is a self-insertion. Giving at least a nudge of personality - like with a voice - to a protagonist in a cRPG makes sense. It doesn't bother me when there's no voice, however, it bothers me when my character doesn't have a voice, but half of the camera angles in a conversation consist of dramatic close-ups on my dude's mute face.

Also, the way your Hawke speaks - the tone of voice - depends on your previous choices, so the way he spoke might be your fault. Though it isn't perfect.


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#5 Posted by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -

I love how people act like changing the three predefined statements that move the conversation on from a list to a wheel is somehow important and ruined the game.  Do you know what the only difference is?  Now you know which ones move the conversation forward, and which ask for information and return you to the same branch in the tree.
 
You should actually pull up the Dragon Age wiki and see how each of your dialogue options actually worked.  Because it's exactly the same.

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#6 Posted by JJWeatherman (15101 posts) -
@project343 said:
"... Video games have reached the point where there is the production standard of full voice acting--anything less is lazy. "
I would say that this is not true in such broad terms. Obviously some games practically demand voice work. Like Uncharted for example. That game wouldn't work if Drake never spoke. A game like DAO, though, I think works perfectly without the protagonist speaking. Silence works best when you're building a custom character, and I think custom characters are still totally viable.
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#7 Edited by Rowr (5861 posts) -

One of the last great bioware rpg elements that seems to have been dropped (with just about every other great bioware rpg element) in this game. Mass effect can get away with it, but now that dragon age dropped it, you probably wont see it ever again, it doesnt help in this game that the writing and delivery seems godawful from what i have seen. Maybe you can replay kotor. 
 
I guess its ok to drop RPG elements when your not really making an RPG, i mean your not so much roleplaying the character as you are watching them be bland.

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#8 Posted by FreakAche (3087 posts) -

They took a list and made it into a wheel.

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#9 Edited by PhatSeeJay (3331 posts) -
@Ghostiet said:
"

When reading a book, I can't remember a situation when everyone was talking, except from the main character. Or when I only heard the narrator. So yes, this is quite an anal analogy - as in, completely out of your ass. In Mass Effect you are Commander Shepard - you are PLAYING A ROLE. In Dragon Age Origins, your character is a self-insertion. Giving at least a nudge of personality - like with a voice - to a protagonist in a cRPG makes sense. It doesn't bother me when there's no voice, however, it bothers me when my character doesn't have a voice, but half of the camera angles in a conversation consist of dramatic close-ups on my dude's mute face.

Also, the way your Hawke speaks - the tone of voice - depends on your previous choices, so the way he spoke might be your fault. Though it isn't perfect.


"
Couldn't agree more. Besides I think it would be a rather strange book where you read only the parts where the main character speaks while the rest of the book is read out for you with audio.
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#10 Edited by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -

I just want to make it clear that the only difference is that it's a wheel instead of a list.  People seem to have lost all their sense, it's borderline derangement.  Here's a conversation with Sten.
 

The Blight - How will you end it?

  1. We have to fight the archdemon. ( +2)
  2. I thought we'd just ask the darkspawn to please leave. ( -2)
  3. Why do you ask? ( -2)
    1. Wait, you doubt I'm really a Warden?
    2. What have you heard?
    3. What does this have to do with anything?
      1. I'm new to the Wardens. ( -1)
      2. What, you think you could do better? ( +2)
      3. I'm not here to impress you. ( +4)
   
To me, this resembles a three part conversation, with three dialogue choices each time, usually splitting between being friendly/helpful, joking/charming, and stern/direct.  Explain how this is somehow different from the options being on a wheel-shaped-menu instead of a list-shaped-menu.
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#11 Posted by Berserker976 (558 posts) -

I have to say that I've had the same problems with the dialogue wheel, often times I'll pick something and what Hawke says won't be what I was going for, and sometimes it runs completely opposed to even the little blurb 
 
Example:  (spoiler for final dlc prince quest)
 

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#12 Posted by Skald (4447 posts) -

If they made it so you could read what you would say ahead of time, perhaps by mousing over the option, I'd actually consider it to be a unilateral improvement over Origins. As it stands, it's both better and worse.

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#13 Posted by dragonzord (846 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
" I just want to make it clear that the only difference is that it's a wheel instead of a list.  People seem to have lost all their sense, it's borderline derangement.  Here's a conversation with Sten.
 

The Blight - How will you end it?

  1. We have to fight the archdemon. ( +2)
  2. I thought we'd just ask the darkspawn to please leave. ( -2)
  3. Why do you ask? ( -2)
    1. Wait, you doubt I'm really a Warden?
    2. What have you heard?
    3. What does this have to do with anything?
      1. I'm new to the Wardens. ( -1)
      2. What, you think you could do better? ( +2)
      3. I'm not here to impress you. ( +4)
    To me, this resembles a three part conversation, with three dialogue choices each time, usually splitting between being friendly/helpful, joking/charming, and stern/direct.  Explain how this is somehow different from the options being on a wheel-shaped-menu instead of a list-shaped-menu. "
But my character is actually saying those lines 
Unlike in DA2 where Hawke will pick 'What about the Chantry?' and say 'YOURE A FAT MORON I HATE YOU' in so many words. It also didn't spell it out for you, so you didn't know 'ok this is the good answer. this guy likes the Worf answer, this guy likes the Kirk answer, and this guy likes the Picard answer'.
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#14 Edited by Nottle (1933 posts) -

The dialgue wheel is misleading and transparent. Remember how Mass Effect had the Blue good text and red bad text if your paragon/renegade bars were high enough? Now in DA2 there is the star option, which lets you say something you know because of events you've done before.  If you had the option to say those choices why wouldn't you? Now when i see star or companion option I just choose those because I know they are unique and probably the most useful. I liked the thinking I had to do before. Now Hawke says whatever the fuck she wants. "Im here for you" Translates to "I love you" I guess. And "Kiss Him" means have sex.  
 

I feel like I'm not playing as Hawke.  I just puppet Hakwe around and choose what she says. I felt a lot more sympathetic for my dwarf that had to work his way out of dust town, choose the kind of life his sister would lead, and kill his best friend. I feel like the big things like  

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#15 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5777 posts) -
@FreakAche said:
" They took a list and made it into a wheel. "
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#16 Posted by melcene (3214 posts) -

I generally agree with the OP.  My biggest problem is that I can easily find myself falling into a trap of automatically choosing dialogue choices based on the icon or dialogue choice location rather than what the dialogue actually says.

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#17 Posted by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -
@m0rdr3d:  The 'rude' response was 'No' which is certainly a lot more considerate of someone's feelings than playing coy like they have a chance.  It's not like it even matters, you have to mash the heart option like four-five times before they really make a move on you.
 
Also, the girl in your party that you're trying to romance not talking to you had nothing to do with Anders and more to do with the game parsing out the romances across years rather than the Origins example of having Morrigan in the sack as soon as you leave Lothering.
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#18 Posted by Wrighteous86 (4020 posts) -
@Berserker976 said:
" I have to say that I've had the same problems with the dialogue wheel, often times I'll pick something and what Hawke says won't be what I was going for, and sometimes it runs completely opposed to even the little blurb 
 
Example:  (spoiler for final dlc prince quest)
 
"
I had this exact same thing happen to me.  I think it actually says "She's wrong!"  Like, she's wrong that you only want to be Prince for the power, or she's wrong that you're weak.  Sebastian will gain rivalry points with you if you pick that option too, obviously because you're telling him a lust for power is okay.  I don't think it's okay though, the game tricked me.  So that's bullshit. 
 
The wheel didn't really fix anything except for adding the tone to the text.  There's still a lot of problems with the wheel that need to be addressed; chief among them, in my mind, is the use of blue/red choices in Mass Effect, and Companion/Star choices in Dragon Age, because they're so rare they're obviously the most tempting choices and are glorified "win the discussion" buttons.  One of the nice things about the list was that you were reading every option, and none was given prominence over the others, so you could actually pick which choice makes the most sense for you.  You could pick what seemed most like what you would actually say.  I don't give a shit if it "slowed down the conversations".  I liked that Origins was more like a book and Mass Effect was more like a movie.  They were two great and distinct ways of telling a story and both had pros and cons that the other didn't.   
 
The one change they made to dialog that I liked (that some RPG purists might hate) is that they got rid of "persuade" and "intimidate" dialog options.  Now, in order to persuade someone, you have to pick the dialog option you think would be most persuasive to the person  you're talking to, rather than having a dedicated "This is the most persuasive choice" option if you have an arbitrary stat leveled high enough.
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#19 Edited by yinstarrunner (1314 posts) -

Never understood the people so vehemently for or against voiced protagonists in RPGs.  It really makes no difference to me.
However, if having a voiced protagonist leads to something like DA2's dialogue wheel, I have a problem.
There have been many times where Hawke has said something I didn't want her to say.  The paraphrasing is awful, and it's clear that in early stages of development Bioware realized this and put in the stupid icon system to try and alleviate the problem slightly.  They dressed it up as a solution to a problem that was practically non-existent in the first game.
Now I actually have to take pause at points in conversations.  I had to do that in DA:O, too, but not for the same reason.  In DA:O, it was because there was a hard decision laid out before me.  In DA2, it's because I don't even understand the choices they want me to choose between.
 
If not knowing what you were going to say was a problem in DA:O (it wasn't), then DAII only makes it worse.

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#20 Edited by Animasta (14948 posts) -
@yinstarrunner said:

" Never understood the people so vehemently for or against voiced protagonists in RPGs.  It really makes no difference to me. However, if having a voiced protagonist leads to something like DA2's dialogue wheel, I have a problem. There have been many times where Hawke has said something I didn't want her to say.  The paraphrasing is awful, and it's clear that in early stages of development Bioware realized this and put in the stupid icon system to try and alleviate the problem slightly.  They dressed it up as a solution to a problem that was practically non-existent in the first game.Now I actually have to take pause at points in conversations.  I had to do that in DA:O, too, but not for the same reason.  In DA:O, it was because there was a hard decision laid out before me.  In DA2, it's because I don't even understand the choices they want me to choose between.  If not knowing what you were going to say was a problem in DA:O (it wasn't), then DAII only makes it worse. "

See, this is my problem. In the Witcher, Geralt WAS voiced, and you were told exactly what he was saying (it was in a list format). Why can't we have that? I really don't understand what not showing you what you're going to say makes something better or cooler.
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#21 Edited by Wrighteous86 (4020 posts) -
@yinstarrunner: I felt that the most at the end of Anders' story arc.  Something huge happens and your choices are very general.  It's an incredibly complex situation and you have three responses: Friendly/Accepting, Angry/Dismissive, or Violent.  Thanks guys.  
 
@Laketown: I think the best of both worlds would be to bring back the list, have it fully voiced, and add the "tonal" pictures for each choice.  You'd know exactly what your guy was saying and how he was going to say it, and it would alleviate the problem where they use the wheel as a crutch to place certain options in certain spots.  The only problem would be people wouldn't want to hear an actor read what they just read, but at least the option would be there.
 
Also, it's a minor thing, but there are points in the game where you have no control over Hawke's characterization, even in terms of tone.  When you walk around his house, you can click on things to hear Hawke make a comment on them, and a number of times he said things that really made me dislike his character, and didn't flow with some of the decisions I made about him.  It caused a schism between who I wanted Hawke to be, and who the designers assumed he was. 
 
One or two of his comments around the house make him seem very "lordly" and dismissive of those lower than he is in social status, he comments positively or negatively on things that remind him of companions, no matter what your status with those companions may be (in one case he was disapproving of a character that I approved of), and the way he dresses in his house and treats Bodhain and Sandal at certain points where I had no control (and wasn't influenced by my "tone") really turned me off. You may say that a lot of these dialog options are representative of someone in that setting who comes from a noble family, but I didn't envision my Hawke that way, so it was irritating.
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#22 Posted by Nottle (1933 posts) -
@Wrighteous86: I totally agree. Hawke's comments in the mansion make him like he's Guybrush or something, just not particuarly funny. 
 
 With the wheel, I feel like I'm suggesting things for Hawke to say, but Hawke just decides "ok well this is what you meant right?" Hawke is always going to be Hawke, just with a different temper, and a different opinion on what to do with mages.
I never had a problem with tone in the first game, I always knew what was to be taken sarcastically and what wasn't. The list with tone is the best case scenario. Voice is alright too, but its not essential if I'm going to read all of the stuff anyways. And I always got a laugh at some of the choices I never picked in the first game. Now to see the funny stuff, I have to pick funny response.
The wheel seems so weird, a bit judgemental, and too general.  
One "joke" choices was a weird 4th wall breaking observation where Hawke was like "So you killed such and such... well come to think of it thats not that funny at all" or something along those lines. I feel like playing as Hawke as I was Nico Bellic, but I happened to like Nico, Hawke seems so odd to me.
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#23 Posted by Undeadpool (6996 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
" I love how people act like changing the three predefined statements that move the conversation on from a list to a wheel is somehow important and ruined the game.  Do you know what the only difference is?  Now you know which ones move the conversation forward, and which ask for information and return you to the same branch in the tree. You should actually pull up the Dragon Age wiki and see how each of your dialogue options actually worked.  Because it's exactly the same. "
Pre. Cise. Ly. I think a great example of this kind of thing was in Fallout: New Vegas when Obsidian kept the Karma system, but simply made it irrelevant. The fanboys didn't whine about the lack of Karma system because it was still in there, it just didn't matter. It's really sad how people will just lash out at anything different from one game iteration to the next without actually looking at whether or not it impacts anything (or whether or not the previous iteration's version impacted things as much as they like to pretend).
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#24 Posted by Hero_Swe (1342 posts) -



No Caption Provided
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#25 Edited by rjayb89 (7813 posts) -

I remember at one point in the game (a pretty late one at that actually) and was presented with the option of asking what I thought was going to be a straight-out question about some "victims" that instead scolded Anders for doing something wrong. Fortunately, things went smoothly afterward.

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#26 Posted by Nottle (1933 posts) -
@Undeadpool: I'm pretty sure there is a difference between a wheel and the list. You can pretend they are the same, but they aren't. The list never had choices that were that were the good choice, the bad choice, that was reletive to your own ethics. Though there was (persuade) there wasn't the star/ companion option which is what I go to every time. And if your hitting on people why try to apeal to there character when you can just pick flirt everytime?
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#27 Posted by Korolev (1800 posts) -

I didn't mind the voice acting, but I kinda wish they didn't have it. Voice work takes up a lot of space, and I don't think it's necessary for the main character. If they hadn't had voiced Hawk, that would have freed up a lot more space for different environments.  
 
I don't hate the Wheel - it's really functionally no different from the first Dragon Age dialogue system. It's just that instead of a list, you have a wheel. The only difference is that they telegraph the "nice/funny/aggressive" choices with little symbols, which is a bit unnecessary - I don't need a symbol to tell me if a line is nice sounding or arrogant sounding.  
 
In Dragon Age Origin, you had a set amount of options - usually three, maybe four different ways to respond. Those responses were set in stone and you had to pick one. They too, fell into the "nice, honourable, aggressive or humorous" categories. The only difference, the only real difference is that it's in a wheel format instead of a list format. 
 
But I will agree that it was superfluous and a bit unnecessary to put the wheel in. I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference in terms of actual functionality, but it did make people upset, so they might have wanted to avoid that. Wheel, list, who cares? Dialogue choices are still dialogue choices. You never really get to write the script - no game is completely open ended where YOU can write the lines. 

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#28 Posted by Mcfart (2064 posts) -

2 things:
1 - The wheel's icons are dumb and retarded, and what's the fucking difference between a happy mask and green clovers? This leads to no2.
2 - In Dragon Age 1, since the MC didn't talk, I understood what the responses meant because when I click "You're a dumbass Alistair", then he responds in kind. In Dragon Age 2 (and Mass Effect) I click a response (for ex, the asshole response), and the character says something indirect, or not a-kin to what I really meant. This pisses me off....why not just make the paraphrasing identical to what the character says? I can't feel like a supreame asshole when the response I click dosen't match up with what they say.

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#29 Edited by deactivated-5b43dadb9061b (1649 posts) -

I do agree that sometimes it's hard to gauge what your character will say. At one point I told my mother to 'shut up' and as bad as that was with her being sad over the death of Carver my character ended up being way more mean than just saying 'shut up'.

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#30 Edited by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -
@Wrighteous86:  I never got that.  I played Ladyhawke as a pretty nice person all around, and her comments in the mansion hinted more at her being a joker.  Her comments about the servants are that she wishes Bodahn would clean the fireplace once in a while (perfectly acceptable), that someone was swinging on the chandelier (Sandal or Merrill), an embarrassed and grossed out mention at her chamber pot that she'll let Sandal handle that, and that Orana is teaching Merrill how to play that fat lute (and Merrill is bad at it).  I never got the feeling she was some prickly lady of Orlais.  Maybe it has more to do with the male VO.
 
And personally, I loved Ladyhawke's house dress... she looked like she studies liberal arts at Princeton. 
 
But once again, why do you think it will be better as a list?  A wheel allows the dialogue to be larger, because it's a centered list with horizontal as well as vertical.  This makes it so it can take up less of the screen, and still have larger text.  It's more visually appealing than gold italicized print, and it's actually easier to manipulate with controllers and mice.
 

@Mcfart:

  The comedy mask assumes that you're taking the situation lightly, looking for humor more than being considerate of feelings.  The branch signifies that Hawke is going to be diplomatic, and not risk upsetting someone with a dumb joke in a serious situation.  I thought that much was clear.
 
But hey, maybe explain in more detail why the icons are both dumb and retarded.
 
 
And listen, I'll agree that the paraphrasing isn't always well done.  But that's due to the quality of Hawke's writing, not the wheel itself.  No one has ever ran into such a problem with Shepard, because Shepard is simply better written than Hawke or the Warden.  You're making a judgement on the application rather than the implementation.
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#31 Posted by SlashDance (1867 posts) -

The dialog wheel is not the problem in itself. It's what they do with it. 
If you chose to be good or evil, and stick with that decision, then there's never more than one or possibly two choices of response you can make. Origins wasn't like that, you often had a pretty large number of responses that weren't that black and white. 
But they could do the exact same thing with a wheel, they just didn't bother and went the Mass Effect route.

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#32 Posted by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -
@Hero_Swe said:
"


No Caption Provided
"
A funny, but kind of mismatched example, since every question in that moment of Planescape: Torment makes sense..
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#33 Posted by ryanwho (12011 posts) -

Its not about the protag having a voice. Its about how often I pick something that's verbalized in a completely different way than my intention. I'd be fine with a wheel if I actually felt like they were saying what I expected.

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#34 Posted by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -
@SlashDance: Maybe I don't understand what you're saying.  Dragon Age II does not force you to select the red option every time, you do.  Dragon Age Origins had the same spread of nice/joke/asshole, the exact same in some cases.  Giving 6 dialogue choices doesn't mean much when there are only 2-3 possible outcomes... and those situations are still in Dragon Age II. 
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#35 Posted by SlashDance (1867 posts) -
@Brodehouse: There was some cases when I chose the red option even though I play a good guy, mostly when dealing with slavers or with... Gamlen. :p 
My point is, there is only one "good guy" answer in almost every situation. There are some exceptions but for the most part, i'm always selecting the top answer. 
 
Origins was at least more subtle. I'd have to go back to it to give you some examples but I remember being able to play a witty, intelligent and thoughtful lady mage on my first playthrough, and a mindless brute on my second one, but remaining good in both cases. There was just more options to roleplay a bit.
 
There is only one good Hawke, and I think they could've done a little better even with the restrictions (the VO and the wheel).
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#36 Posted by Bane (913 posts) -

So DA:O had six dialog options to DA II's three. Those six were often an illusion of choice in my experience. There were several instances where I'd go through a conversation, reload and choose different options only to have the NPC say the same thing they did before. So they dispensed with the illusion for the sake of having a voiced character. That sounds like a perfectly fine trade to me.
 
I love the fact that our responses are paraphrased and not word for word. I don't want to know exactly what Hawke is going to say before he says it. Reading it on the screen first spoils it. It's the same reason I don't use subtitles: I end up reading them faster than the character speaks and spoiling the dialog for myself.
 
I like the wheel, too. It gives the conversation structure and you full control of the flow. You know choosing the left-hand options will draw out the conversation, the right-hand options move it forward. Eventually you could intuit the same control from the list in Origins, but now there's now mistaking what each option is going to do.

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#37 Edited by ryanwho (12011 posts) -
@Bane said:

" So DA:O had six dialog options to DA II's three. Those six were often an illusion of choice in my experience. There were several instances where I'd go through a conversation, reload and choose different options only to have the NPC say the same thing they did before. So they dispensed with the illusion for the sake of having a voiced character."

But they didn't. Cus DA2 also does this. Near the end of act 2, when you meet the lady in charge who wants to take down the Qunari, I reloaded and replayed that same fight about 3 times to see if I could tell her to fuck off, and I couldn't. Every choice led to the same outcome. And that's not uncommon.
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#38 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

I'm sort of torn between which one I prefer, since they both have their merits: The wheel is an overall much cleaner interface, and nicely stacks up all the ''question'' choices to one side, allowing you to know just what would move the conversation forward. On the other hand, the list still does severely limit your characters responses. Both Origins and DA2 do often give the illusion of choice amongst your decisions, and even when there were multiple dialogue options that still lead to the same outcome, the list prevails just for the sake of allowing you to better build your own character and roleplay. 
 
I think the list route would work well, if they could also incorporate all the icons next to each option to help distinguish your options, while still keeping the versatility.

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#39 Posted by SlashDance (1867 posts) -

It's not always about choices having consequences. Having multiple options simply allows for a more personal experience in my opinion. There's nothing wrong with giving you the illusion of choice. 
I'm not saying DA2's system is bad, I like having a more defined character, but there's no denying that Origins had more varied dialog options.

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#40 Posted by zidd (1940 posts) -
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#41 Posted by TheHBK (5672 posts) -

DAII didn't seem that different from DAO.  I mean, I see the wheel as just being an easier way to control the responses you give.  While Origins had more responses, they didn't exactly all do different things.  You had the learn more options and rogue answer and good answer.  It just felt dumb because a lot of times some responses would generate the same reaction from a character.  So why have em?  You didn't get to hear your character say it, so what was the point?  The wheel just makes it easier to select a choice fast, instead of going down the list and makes it easier to know what your answer is going to do.

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#42 Edited by Wrighteous86 (4020 posts) -
@Zidd: The good option is always on the top, just not the option the Qunari will respect most.  Right?  The options are in the same spots, the Qunari just respond better to directness.
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#43 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

Man it looks like a lot of people here haven't played much Mass Effect because it's really easy to infer the meaning of what they say after playing through two whole games like this. It's just a more efficient system, and it adds surprise, so I don't have to hear my guy say the exact sentence I just clicked. When you move to full voice acting, it's a better call. Also that silent protagonist stuff from DA1 was so bad, I felt like I was in a game from the 90s. No game should have a silent protagonist anymore.. the idea is to help you inject your own personality I guess, but how many people here are mutes? It just breaks any immersion I had. 

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#44 Edited by zidd (1940 posts) -
@Wrighteous86: Here be spoilers:
 
 
I did not play enough after that to see what the repercussions (if any) there was to choosing what my companions most respected.
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#45 Posted by Wrighteous86 (4020 posts) -
@Zidd: Oh yeah.  Forgot about that, that is odd.  Good to know.
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#46 Posted by melcene (3214 posts) -

Also, something for people to keep in mind that was brought up in another thread is that as you favor one type of dialogue choice over another throughout the game, the other choices will begin to reflect that.  For example, I am mostly good, but sometimes I take the sarcastic choice.  By now, my sarcastic choices are still good, with a hint of smartass. 
 
 
@Wrighteous86
 said: 

@Berserker976 said: 

" I have to say that I've had the same problems with the dialogue wheel, often times I'll pick something and what Hawke says won't be what I was going for, and sometimes it runs completely opposed to even the little blurb 
 
Example:  (spoiler for final dlc prince quest)
 
"
I had this exact same thing happen to me.  I think it actually says "She's wrong!"  Like, she's wrong that you only want to be Prince for the power, or she's wrong that you're weak.  Sebastian will gain rivalry points with you if you pick that option too, obviously because you're telling him a lust for power is okay.  I don't think it's okay though, the game tricked me.  So that's bullshit.  The wheel didn't really fix anything except for adding the tone to the text.  There's still a lot of problems with the wheel that need to be addressed; chief among them, in my mind, is the use of blue/red choices in Mass Effect, and Companion/Star choices in Dragon Age, because they're so rare they're obviously the most tempting choices and are glorified "win the discussion" buttons.  One of the nice things about the list was that you were reading every option, and none was given prominence over the others, so you could actually pick which choice makes the most sense for you.  You could pick what seemed most like what you would actually say.  I don't give a shit if it "slowed down the conversations".  I liked that Origins was more like a book and Mass Effect was more like a movie.  They were two great and distinct ways of telling a story and both had pros and cons that the other didn't.    The one change they made to dialog that I liked (that some RPG purists might hate) is that they got rid of "persuade" and "intimidate" dialog options.  Now, in order to persuade someone, you have to pick the dialog option you think would be most persuasive to the person  you're talking to, rather than having a dedicated "This is the most persuasive choice" option if you have an arbitrary stat leveled high enough. "
Sometimes you and I totally disagree on stuff, but I very much agree with all of this.  And I also chose the same dialogue choice during that same event and was also kinda ticked that it was NOT what I expected.    
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#47 Posted by Damian (1521 posts) -

DAII lets you define your character just as much as DA:O. Wherein DA:O I'd have 6 attitude options leading to 3 character outcomes regarding the game's definition of my character, in DAII I have 3 attitude options leading to a similar 3 character outcomes. The effect on the world and its gameplay are the same in variety and customizability. The rest is in one's imagination. And if that's your thing, cool. I feel it's pretty clear playing the game is more fun for making the real-time elements more tangible and cinematic, while keeping the game-world's interpretation of your choices (your character) and all the rest of the back-end just as deep as the first.
  
But, again, if applying imagination to the attitude of your character is what gets you off, cool. I'd personally just write my own story if I wanted to truly apply attitude imaginatively to characters I define. That said DAII still gives us every tool we had in DA:O to define our character, game-world and gameplay. 
To me the real sacrifice in transitioning to all voice is that we have can only be human. But I made my peace with that a while ago... regarding Dragon Age, anyway.

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#48 Posted by Turambar (8251 posts) -
@Wrighteous86 said:
" @Zidd: Oh yeah.  Forgot about that, that is odd.  Good to know. "
The example he mentioned has the multi-arrow symbol next to them, not the usual polite/funny/rude symbols next to them.  There are alot of situations where that happens.
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#49 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1213 posts) -
@JJWeatherman said:
" @project343 said:
"... Video games have reached the point where there is the production standard of full voice acting--anything less is lazy. "
I would say that this is not true in such broad terms. Obviously some games practically demand voice work. Like Uncharted for example. That game wouldn't work if Drake never spoke. A game like DAO, though, I think works perfectly without the protagonist speaking. Silence works best when you're building a custom character, and I think custom characters are still totally viable. "
Still laugh at the end of Saints Row when your custom guy doesn't say anything for the whole game than loses it in a rant at the end. Although still worked well in the second game where your guy had a voice. Depends not only on the game I think but if the company making it can implement it well and for a good reason. (or just sticks in random dialogue like "Dick-tits" alot)
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#50 Posted by Undeadpool (6996 posts) -
@Nottle said:
" @Undeadpool: I'm pretty sure there is a difference between a wheel and the list. You can pretend they are the same, but they aren't. The list never had choices that were that were the good choice, the bad choice, that was reletive to your own ethics. Though there was (persuade) there wasn't the star/ companion option which is what I go to every time. And if your hitting on people why try to apeal to there character when you can just pick flirt everytime? "
But it's still essentially the same. The choices in DA: O boiled down to: 
1) I'm a goodguy 
2) I'm not so sure about this 
3) I'm a jerk 
 
In almost all the interactions you had with people. It doesn't matter that they spelled out exactly what you were going to say, it was still the SAME options you've been given this time.

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