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Neverwinter Nights 2 or Dragon Age?


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#41
Magnum Opus

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The plot, characters, and settings were all Bio's work. Black Isle did stuff like voice talent and whatnot.


Thanks for clearing that up. Was one of those things that I'd read had been cleared up, but never actually saw what was done by whom. Even read that Feargus commented on the issue, but, typically, never saw that post, either. :) That's what I get for being an only occasional board monkey, I guess.

Regardless, their shift away from that sort of world exploration is what's making me most leery of Dragon Age right now. Loved BG1 for that "complete" feeling, liked what there was of it in BG2, found it lacking in ToB, and was downright disappointed with it in NWN, so much so that it really affected my enjoyment of the game as a whole. Even so, though, I could still fill in the numerous blanks from what I knew of the Forgotten Realms from other sources. A brand new world with brand new creatures that I'm not allowed to explore aside from a few set paths or closed off areas is something that's likely to irritate me more than anything else. It just doesn't appeal to me. Could still be fun to play, but it's certainly not my first choice of game.

I'm hoping they'll move back to a more BG1-ish world-design philosophy, since I've heard that they're still sticking with areas and loading screens, but I'd be surprised if it happened as well. That's not saying that I don't think a game can't overcome that with enough depth in other areas, but just that it's what I'm hoping for.

Volourn: Can't recall where I've ever said that Bioware's only contribution to the BG series was the engine, or that they didn't deserve the lion's share of the credit for it, but I suppose it's not outside the realm of possibility that others have. You're certainly free to lump me in with those nameless entities, I guess, even if it's wildly inaccurate to do so. All I really know (well, knew, now) was that there are two logos in the intros to the games, and that Bio did the vast majority of the work. Precisely what the breakdown was between the two companies... just wasn't sure.

#42
AlanC9

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Loved BG1 for that "complete" feeling, liked what there was of it in BG2, found it lacking in ToB, and was downright disappointed with it in NWN, so much so that it really affected my enjoyment of the game as a whole.


How'd you feel about KotOR?

#43
Magnum Opus

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No opinion whatsoever. :) Haven't played it, no real intention of playing it. Star Wars irritates me to no end, for some completely irrational and largely uknown reason.

#44
Orik

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Regardless, their shift away from that sort of world exploration is what's making me most leery of Dragon Age right now.  Loved BG1 for that "complete" feeling, liked what there was of it in BG2, found it lacking in ToB, and was downright disappointed with it in NWN, so much so that it really affected my enjoyment of the game as a whole. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


FYI, Here's what Darcy Pajak had to say over on the Bio boards with regards to the objective for DA:

Our objectives is to make a great computer role playing game with a epic story, and great graphics.
The age range will be the ESRB rating of either Teen, (13+) or Mature. But that really needs to be worked out between us and the publisher. But we would like to have few limitations on what we use to convay the mood and tone of the game.
The length should be somewhere between 40~50 hours.
The campaign will be similer to BG2, where there is a known overall goal, but the player is free to explore the country.



#45
Orik

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"mana based magic system"

*PUKE* Absolutely disgusting.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



So I presume you hate Bloodlines' magic (discipline) system then? It, too, is a mana type system (mana = blood, certain numbers of blood points are required to cast your "spells").

#46
Volourn

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"So I presume you hate Bloodlines' magic (discipline) system then? It, too, is a mana type system (mana = blood, certain numbers of blood points are required to cast your "spells"). "

Not my fave way of doing these however, BL's 'mana system' is livable for certain reasons:

A. It doesn't automatically regenerate.

B. You can only "cast' it several times before running out.


In reverse, KOTOR's force powers mana system is pretty silly because you are almost guarnateed to NEVER run out of force pwoer inbetween battle. this is true for 99.9% of mana magic type systems.

I know many dislike it; but I so much prefer D&D wizardy/scholary system for magic.

Mana systems only work under extremely tight circumstances and even then like in BL; I tolerate them. Definitely not my first choice.

#47
Orik

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I actually mostly agree with you then Volourn - I vastly prefer mana systems where your mana doesn't automatically regenerate... so I like Bloodlines' method and D&D's sorcerer class.

After that I prefer a wizard-style memorisation system over a system with fast regeneration like KotoR. But then KotoR is a more "actiony" RPG... with any luck Bioware can be persuaded that a system like that would not be good for DA. All we know so far is that it's a mana system - that still leaves a lot of unknowns.

#48
Magnum Opus

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FYI, Here's what Darcy Pajak had to say over on the Bio boards with regards to the objective for DA:

"The campaign will be similer to BG2, where there is a known overall goal, but the player is free to explore the country.


That's the sort of thing I like to hear :geek:. Free to explore the country... *nods* Step in the right direction.

"Our objectives is to make a great computer role playing game with a epic story..."

This is the part that's still got me wondering though. "Epic story" usually implies high level stuff, rapid advancement, and a fairly tight plotline (to spread out those 15 - 20 levels you'll be getting over as long a time as you can), and unless you've got really extraordinary events happening, you're usually not going to get an established world with a high concentration of epic-level characters and creatures in a small geographical area -- assuming that the area where DA takes place has well-established societies that have been quietly minding their own business for decades beyond count, that is....

Now, knowing nothing about what the history of the DA world has been, and nothing about how the current events in the DA world might be unfolding, I suppose it's certainly possible that they could have a whole mess of high level stuff mixed in with low-level stuff in some bizarre fashion (I'm assuming characters in DA will start at a suitably n00bish level), all within a geographical area the size of what was presented of the Realm's in BG1, but the BG2 method of dropping me down from the world map into a relatively concentrated area of conflict/purpose does seem more likely.

After BG1, I was vaguely disappointed with the way that was handled in BG2 -- I would have preferred it if, for example, the Windspear hills area was a set of four or five contiguous areas instead of just one floating off in the middle of nowhere, that involved a little bit of searching and exploration for the dungeon entrance. It would have lessened my feeling that I was spending too much time on the overhead world map, when I should have been in the areas with my character, doing things -- but all in all, BG2 turned out to be one of my all-time favourites, with the depth of the character development and the increased combat options making up for the reduced exploration. Maybe this one will offer a similar experience. Can't say I'd find it unwelcome if it did, but the game's still too far away to say anything with certainty.

I'll just have to remain cautiously optimistic until the game gets closer. :)


Thanks for the quote, too. I've been following (loosely) DA's development, so that was prety much the impression I had of their goals for it.

#49
Orik

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The term "Epic Story" usually refers to an epic scope rather than epic levels... i.e. a "save the world from super evil DOOM" story.

#50
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I don't quite get the hostility over mana based magic systems, if it regenerates too quickly simply make it regenerate outside of combat or only during rest. I've always disliked the DnD system since it felt so restricting in terms of spell choice. I want to be able to choose any of my learned spells without needing to go through the tedious moments of the memorization that DnD uses.

What is important when using a Mana based is making sure that you balance it properly. Start spamming fireballs left and right and you should be punished for it by not being able to regenarate your mana in combat, the point is still to make you choose smart. Mana recharging items such as mana potions should be severly restricted so you won't be able to make the magic system into a chug'aton that Diablo 2 is. Keep mana potions priceless items that you only want to use in the most dire of circumstances because of their limited availability or extravagant price.

Just my own thoughts on how the mana system could be kept from Diablo 2 territory.

#51
Llyranor

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I could care less which one turns out to be better, since I'll be getting both (unless one happens to delete your OS - but what do I know, I bought POR2).

What DOES matter, though, is which one I'll be picking to make my mod, which I'm preplanning for now.

In terms of toolset, it seems like DA will be more powerful, whereas NWN2 will be more accessible. It all amounts to how this balances out - how more powerful will NWN2 be than NWN, or harder (or even, easier, if Obs managed to pull it off) will it be to use? How easy will DA's terrain system be to use to render NWN2's tilesets obsolete? How much better will NWN2's tilesets be compared to NWN? Now, mind you, I'm not programmer, but I did manage to be able to use NWN's toolset for basic tasks (well, basic enough to make use of the more important aspects for me - dialogue and story). I didn't use mindblowing or overly complex scripts or anything. All in all, it'll depend on how the power and accessibility will balance out between the two toolsets.

Also, it'll also depend on how good the henchman system for NWN2 will work. Personally, I'd prefer party control, but on the other hand, having henchmen would mean that you would only directly control YOUR character (so that everything that happens in the game happens in YOUR character's viewpoint - so party members can't be used to initiate convos with randoms). Also, henchies would be a good excuse to implement more convos in battle. Give order, write up lots of possible responses for the individual NPC in a particular situation, and make it original. I'd probably be writing more in-combat dialogue whenever something storywise affects the battle if I had henchmen rather than controllable party members. I know you can give dialogue to your party members, but it feels kind of awkward when you give an order to yourself and respond to yourself.

In terms of MP gaming, NWN2 will probably win by default, as I suspect the DM client will be most powerful. DA says it'll include something similar, but it remains to be seen how much it will actually offer.

In any case, I'll have to play through both and assess, and try both their toolsets.

DA's system seems intriguing, though we don't know enough about it. I love BG2's battles. On the other hand, 3.5e is also pretty cool.

Either way, I would have preferred a toolset/DM-based TB online game. That would have made for very cool MP sessions.

TB :(

#52
Magnum Opus

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The term "Epic Story" usually refers to an epic scope rather than epic levels... i.e. a "save the world from super evil DOOM" story.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

*nods* But to do that, in the combat-oriented games that Bioware's put out, that Super Evil Doom is a high level beastie (or group of beasties) that needs to be killed. Occasionally, you might be given another way of getting around the problem (I've heard that HotU's boss was possible to defeat without actually fighting him), but most of the time, winning involves killing, and the things to be killed are always high level baddies, suitable for doing those epically bad things that our hero's Epic Story is countering.

Couple that with Bioware's "one Ding per hour of gameplay" design philosophy (or whatever the exact ratio turns out to be), Epic Story pretty much necessarily entails epic levels. Not necessarily "3rd edition DnD Epic Levels" mind you, but just getting into the upper echelons of the power structure for the system. Even vanilla BG2 let you get up close to level 20, and that was in the days of relatively slow level advancement.

I'm just afraid that when we're talking about Bioware, anyway, "epic story" really does equate with "epic levels" these days, that's all. :(

Incidentally, this is also something I hope that they can go back to with DA: slower level advancement. I like that occasional "Ding", certainly, but I also like getting to know just what my character is capable of, at any given level, before that next Ding changes his/her powers too much. There's a lot to be said for finding creative ways to use the character that you've got to defeat an enemy that you thought was probably beyond your power. BG1 was good for that.

#53
Llyranor

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Halo, Halo 2, and other great games like that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

ROFFLES

#54
Mendoza

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I'd agree that mana based sucks if it regenerates even if, as in KotOR, it only regenerates outside combat. It just doesn't work well outside of Diablo-type games.

I'd like a system like Bloodlines though, as long as any mana potions are expensive enough that you've have to consider whether to buy them or not. Bloodlines was good in this respect, as disciplines were cheap enough that you could use them if you needed to, but expensive enough that you couldn't spam them. And there wasn't a vast amount of cash in game, so buying bloodpacks meant you couldn't buy something else.

#55
Althernai

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There was a great Bioware post about support for PWs and what it means. For example, they don't care if something they implement in a patch breaks a PW or not. They don't care if it makes PWs less stable. They won't go out of their way to fix PWs and they don't QA the game with any PWs in mind. Based on it, I think NWN2 will not support PWs -- just like NWN does not support PWs. If you can buiild it, good for you. If not, tough luck -- Bioware will not help you and I strongly suspect Obsidian will not either (though they may try to make life better for PWs in general). It is way too early to say if PWs can be made with DA.

Mana based system means nothing in and of itself. There are good mana based systems and bad mana based systems. D&D had (IMO, of course) one of the worst magic systems I can think of (I mean BG2 Mages and NWN Wizards); if it wasn't for Sorcerers I would have stopped playing arcane casters in both NWN and BG2 a long time ago. Again, wait and see what Bioware does with DA.

NWN2... I don't know. It somehow doesn't sound appealing to me. If I heard correctly, it does the exact opposite of what BG2 did for BG1 level-wise; correct me if I am wrong, but IIRC NWN2 will bring the level cap back down to 20. BG2 expanded on BG1; you got to use new combat abilities and fight different monsters. Sure, NWN2 will have a slightly different ruleset, but with the original being based on D&D 3.0 and the sequel on D&D 3.5, how different can they be?

To be honest, what really annoys me is the fact that in all likelyhood (if the game does well), they will make an expansion that raises the level cap again. I am willing to buy sequels and expansions to sequels, but not sequels that do not include considerably more content than the original.

BTW, I don't think DA and NWN2 will be competing with each other. DA will most likely be released quite a while after NWN2 -- but that is just my guess based on currently available data.

EDIT: Magic, not mana for D&D system.

#56
EnderAndrew

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My problem with a mana system in a vamp game is that it disregards White Wolf's rules. Why must D&D games strictly adhere to D&D rules, but when people take something like the Vamp or Shadowrun license, they throw the rules out the window?

I'll never understand.

I'm not crazy about D&D, but I'm putting stock in NWN:2 because I think Obsidian has better developers.

#57
Diamond

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Mana based system means nothing in and of itself. There are good mana based systems and bad mana based systems. D&D had (IMO, of course) one of the worst mana systems I can think of (I mean BG2 Mages and NWN Wizards); if it wasn't for Sorcerers I would have stopped playing arcane casters in both NWN and BG2 a long time ago. Again, wait and see what Bioware does with DA.


I think you have confused 2 systems. DnD had (and still has) slot-based system, not mana-based :)



And, on topic, I don't really see why everyone hates mana-based systems so much. If it is used it doesn't make game worse or better, but just *different*. Mana-based systems are just for fast-paced kind of games, like Diablo 1, 2 (if it used slot-based system, I'd shoot myself in the head).
Why *PUKES* and *2X PUKES*?
It's just different.

#58
ShadowPaladin V1.0

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I'd agree that mana based sucks if it regenerates even if, as in KotOR, it only regenerates outside combat. It just doesn't work well outside of Diablo-type games.

I'd like a system like Bloodlines though, as long as any mana potions are expensive enough that you've have to consider whether to buy them or not. Bloodlines was good in this respect, as disciplines were cheap enough that you could use them if you needed to, but expensive enough that you couldn't spam them. And there wasn't a vast amount of cash in game, so buying bloodpacks meant you couldn't buy something else.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


In KOTOR it works, Jedi are not supposed to run out of force powers routinely. Actually my Guardian would run out if he went overboard. But while he was a very talented smuggler he wasnt really suited to be a Jedi anyway.

There is nothing flawed about the mana system, which is the case with slots in a CRPG. Which makes it a good choice. It's only whether or not Bioware can apply it properly that is the issue.

#59
Phosphor

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Thread pruned. Please stop with bickering over post counts and games utterly unrelated to this thread.

#60
Volourn

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"Couple that with Bioware's "one Ding per hour of gameplay" design philosophy"

I've never played a BIO game where it was a ding per hour. Maybe 1 per 1 1/2 hours at worse. And, I've yet to see another developer really do much better. Certainly not Obsidian/BIS; that's for sure.


"I'm just afraid that when we're talking about Bioware, anyway, "epic story" "

If you hate epic stories that much; perhaps you shouldn't play BIo games. Afetrall, BIO isn't going to stop making them. That's their preferred type of story and they ain't about to change it for you.


"There are good mana based systems and bad mana based systems. D&D had (IMO, of course) one of the worst mana systems"

I hope so so D&d and hence BG series is not mana based. The soceror is the closest it has to mana magic.


"Why *PUKES* and *2X PUKES*?
It's just different."

PUKE X3. Mana systems at best are toelrable (see BL); at worse they are outright terrible (see Diablo). KOTOR's 'mana system' is at the lower end of the scale.




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