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!!!!
This is gonna be a rather long rant so bear with me.