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Author Topic: Dragon Age 2  (Read 9012 times)

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Offline Wolfy

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #100 on: March 29, 2011, 07:59:29 AM »
The video games I meant. lol! I haven't played the board games.

It doesn't matter now. You've angered the gaming gods. D: Flee!

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #101 on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:09 AM »
What the heck is a "Pure RPG"?

As with any genre term they're slightly vague but I generally use it to refer to the likes of Ultima, Wizardry, the Gold Box games, the Illusion Engine games, Fallout, Realms of Arkania etc. It doesn't necessarily mean games with an emphasis on either combat or dialogue/plot (Planescape and Fallout being games where the emphasis can be taken almost entirely away from combay, ToEE and Icewind Dale being games where the emphasis is almost entirely on combat). They're games which are unashamedly RPG as opposed to tying it with other genres... such as the third person/cover based shooter of Alpha Protocol/Mass Effect or the hack and slash brawler tendancy DA2 sometimes shows. Origins was a "pure RPG"... if not a great one... DA2 clearly isn't.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #102 on: March 29, 2011, 01:39:59 PM »
Pure RPG sounds like a really dodgy term. If Planescape and Fallout are "pure RPGs", and Dragon Age 2 is not, then why label Origins as pure? Granted, there's more emphasis on action in DA2, but you can play through Fallout virtually without killing anyone; the same is not true of Origins.

That is all.

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #103 on: March 29, 2011, 02:08:28 PM »
It's a vague term, but then all genre terms are. What makes something a cRPG in the first place? Vast numbers of games include things that were once seen as existing only in RPGs... improvable stats, talent trees, experience, party members with different talents etc etc without people labelling them RPGs. Taken at its most basic isn't pretty much every video game a cRPG... after all they nearly all involve you playing a role even if it is badass space marine number 7. Trying to put a precise definition on it is an exercise in futility but I believe there is a reason to use such terms. Perhaps "traditional" would be better to use... but that's a whole separate can of worms which could be just as problematic.

Origins was in every way an attempt to make a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate and other Illusion Engine games (even if it didn't really succeed) which in turn were spiritual successors to the likes of Realms of Arkania which in turn was a successor to some of the early God Box games. It was created as such, presented as such and advertised as such. DA2 can claim no such lineage... in fact the creators have expressly denied it's own connection to Origins in the face of criticism and if anything it owes more to the brand of 3rd person action rpgs such as Mass Effect then it does the likes of BG, Fallout, Planescape, RoA etc etc. If you play it expecting it to follow in their footsteps... or even particularly in the footsteps of Origins, you'll be disappointed.

On a side note you could actually complete Fallout without killing anyone (even indirectly IIRC)... and not just using the "sneak past everyone" approach.

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Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #104 on: March 29, 2011, 02:29:44 PM »
What the heck is a "Pure RPG"?
Trick question. There aren't any.

*Waits for the audible shock of outrage to die away*

Ready to listen? Good.

Let us look at the word. Role-playing game. Hence, any game where the player takes on the role of a character. That means most of them. Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Halo, Uncharted, Tomb Raider. These are all role-playing games.
This means that games like backgammon, checkers, maybe simulations like the Sims or flight sims, but that's sketchy.

But I can hear you saying: "But, Inkidu. RPG defines what one does in a game not what one controls!"
Lets look at Baulder's Gate or in fact Dungeons and Dragons.

These games' playing mechanics don't rely exclusively on the player character. You could call Baulder's Gate a tactical real-time strategy game (I've never actually played it because I've never been able to get into DnD) it relies on pause-and-play game play.

DnD on the other hand could be seen as a turned-based strategy. Players take turns moving and preforming actions. Both these example rely on what kind of character is created, but they're hardly purely based on role. There are a slew of other elements, but the mechanics are not purely determined by your character, your character is determined by mechanics.

Conversely, Legend of Zelda. You the player, step in to the one-size-fits-all Kokiri boots of Link (or what name you will). You are tasked with reuniting some crap somewhere and along the way killing lots of minions and a giant pig wizard. Now, link grows and develops as a character he gains items and hearts. He thus levels up in a way being able to take more damage and do more things with the items he's plucked from the cold, dead hands of his foes.

So while I'm happy to accept the moniker of RPG as a descriptor for a style of stat-based, grinding, loot-hoarding, genociding rampage across magic land. One must admit that every game has some kind of role-playing element, and that I'm not basing this on pure semantics.

It's like survival horror. The goal of most games is to survive, the horror aspect is just what the larger portion tries to do. 

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #105 on: March 29, 2011, 02:48:25 PM »
I feel like the only person on the net who hated DA:O. I mean, come on guys! How could anyone want the Knights of the old republic mixed with Warcraft style? It felt like a step backwards in the genre. At first I thought the idea of a sequel to that Two Worlds lever NS was gonna be a waste but taking some of the ideas from the Mass Effect games and adding in WAAY more character progression and emotional development for the main Protagonist made DA2 somewhat special in it own little way in my eye. But I can understand that some people just don't like RPGs that are different then the O'l DnD PC ones.  :P

I also very much agree with everything written in your post, Inkidu. Very good thing to think about. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:49:49 PM by Wyrd »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #106 on: March 29, 2011, 02:52:31 PM »
Dereailing attempt..

Anyone playing the Dragons Age Legends game in Facebook for more goodies? :D

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Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #107 on: March 29, 2011, 05:16:30 PM »
I feel like the only person on the net who hated DA:O. I mean, come on guys! How could anyone want the Knights of the old republic mixed with Warcraft style? It felt like a step backwards in the genre. At first I thought the idea of a sequel to that Two Worlds lever NS was gonna be a waste but taking some of the ideas from the Mass Effect games and adding in WAAY more character progression and emotional development for the main Protagonist made DA2 somewhat special in it own little way in my eye. But I can understand that some people just don't like RPGs that are different then the O'l DnD PC ones.  :P

I also very much agree with everything written in your post, Inkidu. Very good thing to think about.
Origins is not as great as people think it is, but I doubt you really hateit. Hate being a word that is entirely overused in the English language. It's flawed no doubt, but a lot of Bioware's first games are unpolished. This further supports my thesis that they should just make Bioware Game 2 and get on with it.

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #108 on: March 29, 2011, 05:20:10 PM »
It doesn't matter if you polish it or not, in the end we're still holding a piece of crap. :P And don't question what I hate and don't hate.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:21:37 PM by Wyrd »

Offline Wolfy

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #109 on: March 29, 2011, 07:18:31 PM »
Ahem.


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108826-Gay-Gamers-Want-Dragon-Age-2-Writer-Fired



.....Well, how about that?....Ya know, I'd love to get Sabby's opinion on such a matter...or another Gay E'er who played the game...

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #110 on: March 29, 2011, 07:26:23 PM »
Ahem.


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108826-Gay-Gamers-Want-Dragon-Age-2-Writer-Fired



.....Well, how about that?....Ya know, I'd love to get Sabby's opinion on such a matter...or another Gay E'er who played the game...

Of all the issues with the writing in DA2 they go after this?

My mind screams troll...

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #111 on: March 29, 2011, 07:34:43 PM »
Ahem.


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108826-Gay-Gamers-Want-Dragon-Age-2-Writer-Fired



.....Well, how about that?....Ya know, I'd love to get Sabby's opinion on such a matter...or another Gay E'er who played the game...

Really? Sure Anders was a bit flirty but he didn't bend over and beg for it. :/  I'm going to have to side with consortium for this. Troll. Not the writing part, though... I liked the writing...

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2011, 07:46:32 PM »
It's hard to discuss the writing without putting up spoilers for those who haven't played yet but suffice to say there's a massive plot hole/logical inconsistency that rears its head almost as soon as the game starts and only gets worse throughout. It's not as bad as say Fallout 3 and didn't pull me out of the game the same way but it's still a pretty big issue that should have been dealt with... especially as it's a problem Bioware have actually worked round before.

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #113 on: March 29, 2011, 07:56:30 PM »
I wanna say I know... But I have no clue. :/

Offline Hemingway

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #114 on: March 29, 2011, 08:03:47 PM »
If David Gaider should be fired, it's for being a writer of atrociously poor fiction. I mean, those novels ... *shudder.*

Fortunately, being a good writer isn't a requirement for making good games in the same way it is for writing good books.

As for spoilers. .. use spoiler tags! I'm curious, too!

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #115 on: March 29, 2011, 08:29:12 PM »
Ah... didn't realise we had the new spoiler tags.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
The central conflict of DA2 is Mages vs Templars with the Templars in a position of strength.

IIRC the very first guard you speak to when trying to gain entry to Kirkwall mentions that refugee mages coming into the city are automatically imprisoned in the Mage's Circle/Gallows Prison without exception. Yet you can happily use magic in the next fight scene (standing directly next to a guard) without an eyelid being batted despite the fact that even other NPC's mention it. At this stage you're also a penniless waif so you can't even hand wave and argue that you're too influential to be confronted.

The issue continues: throughout the game there are no penalties for using magic as an apostate despite Templar's being stood right next to you. As being able to use Blood Magic merely requires levelling up you can relatively quickly use Blood Magic (supposedly the worst of the worst) in sight of Templar's again without any of them commenting on it. You can side with the most fanatical Templar's while being an apostate Blood Mage and using it in their presence... which going by the plot and standard Dragon Age lore are pretty much the worst of the worst for the Templars. What makes it even more painful is having to listen to characters constantly warn that if you're a mage you will be discovered and found out... which is used as a tension to drive the plot on... despite the fact that gameplay completely ignores this.

It's no different playing as a non-mage. Your sister can happily use magic until the plot-induced time (if you leave her behind to go to the Deep Roads) when Templar's suddenly come to claim her. Why then and not when she started reigning fireballs down on the pack of thugs attacking a Templar who didn't even think to mention the point is left entirely vague and not even hinted at... it's simply that the meta-plot required her to disappear at that point.

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #116 on: March 29, 2011, 08:47:54 PM »
Oh, is that all. Okay, good point. I still can't say I personally dislike the game. (Still hate DA:O with passion) But I can see how this is a Mass Effect 2 sized plot hole. I always assumed their was some reason for not being anal fisted by Templars as soon as you used magic but I see thats not the cae

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #117 on: March 29, 2011, 09:02:08 PM »
Oh, I don't dislike DA2 (or Origins). I'm slightly disappointed but I went in with my eyes open to what the game was and have been relatively happy with it since despite the flaws.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
What makes that particular plot hole worse is that in Baldur's Gate 2 Bioware (although it seems basically just the Black Isle guys) actually already dealt with the idea of a central city where you spent large amounts of time and couldn't use magic. The fact that they didn't even tip their hat at a similar system is pretty disappointing and leaves a big hole.

Another criticism that I should have mentioned earlier is one of the bane's of my modern cRPG existence... levelling enemies and equipment. Equipment is most blatant here; within a couple of missions you'll suddenly find your named equipment (so the stuff that's meant to be pretty special) being comprehensively under powered compared to generic equipment... which also means that you get the strange logical position where the named weapon of awesome you picked off the corpse of an early boss character is superseded by a sword carried by a thug you encounter on a street corner later in the game...

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #118 on: March 29, 2011, 09:08:00 PM »
I never got that. :/ The best weapons I got were either in hidden creates in obscure places or at a vender.  But I went through the whole game dressed like Isaac Clark so I really didn't see to much an issue form my stand point.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2011, 09:18:08 PM »
Another criticism that I should have mentioned earlier is one of the bane's of my modern cRPG existence... levelling enemies and equipment.

I'm playing Baldur's Gate right now, and I couldn't disagree more. It doesn't always feel right, I'll grant you that, but ... better that, than walk into an area you're just not equipped for, wasting your time and forcing you to leave and level up before returning. I hate to think of what DA:O would've been like if, half-way through the Deep Roads, you couldn't progress any further because the enemies were too strong.

Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #120 on: March 29, 2011, 09:23:55 PM »
Please don't speak about the dreaded deep roads. The thought of such terrible gamplay combined with the horrid clunky deep roads give my flash backs almost as bad as that goddamn tower mages and GRIMDARK... The fade sucks. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #121 on: March 29, 2011, 09:33:24 PM »
I never got that. :/ The best weapons I got were either in hidden creates in obscure places or at a vender.  But I went through the whole game dressed like Isaac Clark so I really didn't see to much an issue form my stand point.

Put it this way... during one of the quests in Act 1 you get two named staves, one of which is a boss drop. Yet if you complete that quest early enough in the Act then by the time you're approaching the end the generic unnamed staves available either from vendors or from standard mob loot drops are significantly better.

I'm playing Baldur's Gate right now, and I couldn't disagree more. It doesn't always feel right, I'll grant you that, but ... better that, than walk into an area you're just not equipped for, wasting your time and forcing you to leave and level up before returning. I hate to think of what DA:O would've been like if, half-way through the Deep Roads, you couldn't progress any further because the enemies were too strong.

A well designed game generally avoids that. Taking the original Baldur's Gate as an example yes it can be dispiriting if you decided to immediately run to Baldur's Gate itself, surviving monsters that were far too powerful for your then party only to find that the gates are locked... but you're clearly warned of that almost from the start of the game. In contrast the plot directs you south towards the mines going through areas where your party is at an appropriate level (with opportunities for basically grinding if you want to power play) and only then brings you back toward BG itself when the monsters that once easily destroyed you are now beatable. I also find a certain sense of satisfaction of going to an area where I was getting completely dominated and finally beating it.

Put it this way... if you've gone through BG 2 and put the massive effort in to complete the Flail of Ages and Crom Faeyer... only to find that within an hour or two of playtime they were both basically redundant to weapons you picked up from a dead generic thug?

Or in Oblivion (a game I enjoyed despite myself) where because of the way the game levels it 1) makes it better power playing to never level up and 2) Named enemies that were sold as being a threat to the entire world itself are weaker both objectively and relatively to generic soldiers you encounter later on.

Offline Wolfy


Offline Wyrd

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2011, 09:48:30 PM »
I love that guy!

Offline consortium11

Re: Dragon Age 2
« Reply #124 on: March 30, 2011, 10:39:10 PM »
While I wouldn't agree with everything he says (I for one like that the main quest/plot isn't some over dramatic "save the world" type plot from the get go with a clear big bad who's virtually omnipresent) and wouldn't be quite as harsh he's also basically right.