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What do you guys think? Are there lessons to be learnt from DA:O, or should Eternity pretend it never happened?

 

Like some people have already said, the origins were a great idea and well executed. I don't think that other than origins PE needs to take any ideas from DAO, mostly because PE will already have the best things about DAO(no morality bar, character skill determining success of combat, the PC will not say anything with out player consent, etc.).

 

They should learn not to....

  1. Constantly compare the game to classics. While I greatly enjoyed DAO(it is favorite BW game), it didn't play like BG(2) and should have been marketed more on it's own merits
  2. Not make a sequel that radically changes the mechanics. The combat system, dialogue system, and crafting systems were all changed quite a bit from DA, IMO for the worst. Please keep consistent mechanics throughout the series.
  3. Not put too much focus on romances. While romances can be a good role-playing opportunity, if overdone they end up as shameless fanservice, which is what they ended up being in DA2.
  4. Put cinematics ahead of gameplay content. I would rather play the game then watch it.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

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...

 

And there's some really deep and rewarding characterisation and NPC interaction in this game as well. I mean, I really think it set a standard for making a friend out of a videogame character. This is all stuff I'd love to see in Eternity.

 

Okay, WTF, did you not play Planescape: Torment? Standard my arse.... *cough* :getlost: What DA:O excelled in was the cinematic talking head full-VO department, which certainly gives the illusion of more "life" to the party NPC and is enough to trick most players--but it was very one-sided. How? Because you as the PC had fairly bland and superficial dialogues while the party NPC had personality and the "show." Seriously, DA:O had nothing on PS:T in this department, and it annoyed me so very much that DA:O marketing included some blurb claiming it had a higher word count (totally misleading because half of DA:O's textual content was stuck in the codex, not dialogic).

 

...

 

Edit: The world quest-related postscripts at the end of DA:O were nice (e.g. that Dwarf girl quest) and probably the only thing I really liked overall, but it ended up being so buggy for me that it didn't even matter. :( Also, about the origins themselves... they didn't affect middle play as much as I hoped, so really most of the "innovative" content in DA:O happened in the first half hour of the game and last ten minutes.

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I adore PS:T. But I really felt like Alistair in DA:O was a realistically goofy idiot who I actually would go to great lengths to befriend in the real world. That counts for something. And the first glimpse of the Qun philosophy via Sten was very rewarding, and I'd argue quite well-written too.

 

ANYWAY. Lots of comments. It seems to me that there's a list of things that were good about Dragon Age emerging, and another (rather longer) list of things that people are hoping PE won't touch with a barge pole. So here are some initial ideas -

  • A playable or choice-based PC origin at the start of the game would probably be a welcome addition to PE if done very well - especially if those origins tie into significant quests later on.
  • The end-game written epilogues in DA were very effective (when they weren't buggy), responsive to player choices through the game, and offered a sense of completeness. Should we hope for something similar in PE?

the end game part was also in new vegas so ithink its nothing new to ask

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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DA:O.... I loved the beginning of that game.

 

The 'Origin concept' was so damn great, and finding out the spell combinations was cool. Having a warrior and thief that actually had techniques to use was nice, too. Then there was a LOT of dialog with your companion, and their dialogs together when you walked around could be fun.

 

However, the more i played, the more readily apparent the flaws were:

*The Origin had no impact whatsoever in the plot

*Only the mage class was important- every other classes were window dressing in comparison, and useless as their skills and ability just weren't up to par

*The tactical side of the game was...not tactical. You just needed to know how the character worked, and you steam-rolled everything without any real need for tactic but 'buff and destroy'. On Nightmare.

*The companions became trites and boring after a while. Alistair, the mroe we knew him, the more stupid he was. Morrigan turned into the classic vapid ass-licker, and Leliana was so cliche it hurts. Sten and that alcoholic dwarves weren't any better.

*Very, very, very few quests had any kind of choices. There were some, sure, but it was usually false choices.

 

 

Anyway, i am one of those heretics that actually by far preferred DA2 than DA:O, as DA2 didn't hide that it was a action-rpg. The characters there were much, much better done, and *gasp* all three classes were useful. Main DA2 problem is the damn RUSHED third act, as well as the lack of big choices with consequences (there are some, just not enought).

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So are you arguing that PE would be better off without similar origin stories....or what is the point ?

To me it seems like you just want to argue whether DA was a good game or not, and that surely is not what this topic is about. I believe we were meant to discuss whether some aspects of the game were worthy to incorporate into PE, to which I'd say the origin stories should definitely be included, just make them a bit better.

 

The other poster made a claim about character creation and I posted a response disagreeing with them, which last I checked I'm allowed to do. I am not arguing whether DAO was a good game or not but disagreeing with a statement and it flowed naturally from the conversation, if that upsets you because we are not staying on topic then I'm sorry but you are not a moderator and so it is not your right to complain about what we wish to discuss. However, if you really 'must' have a reason then consider this: my argument is that the Origins failed in helping to create their character because they had very little impact on the rest of the story and they actually suffered as a result of the main plot, therefore if PE has them then it needs to incorporate them as they were marketed as, by having an actual impact on the whole game or not to bother at all with them. All or nothing.

 

Personally, I don't think Origin stories are a good idea, not only do they require an impact that may be difficult to do (though easier than in DAO since there's no voice acting) but they limit your character choices. Leaving it vague lets the player create the type of character he wishes, except for the background feats from Neverwinter Nights 2, as that let you define a response from those your character grew up with without limiting your options. Perhaps different starting points, but not full Origins that end just when they were getting good. I liked the Origin stories by the way, better than the main quest (which is why I hated Duncan so much, interfering in the fun), and had it been a collection of short campaigns revolving around these Origins instead (with you playing a different character in each) then I think it would have played better, and given a better chance at establishing the world by letting players see it from six different perspectives, but I guess this would probably be unpopular with most people.

"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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I agree with the OP that the combat tactical play was a significant step forward, and that the most significant step was in character positioning, as in the usage of backstabs and spells like Cone of Cold, as the OP mentioned. Bioware paid a fair amount of attention to encounter design in DA:O, and it showed. You really had to think about when and how to use abilities, or else wipe dismayingly fast, at least in the early-to-mid game, before the balancing problem turned the game into a walkover for your mages. It was also significant that Bioware was able to use both a mana/fatigue bar and a cooldown mechanic, and was able to make both matter at the same time, without one rendering the other trivial. That was an impressive feat, IMO.

 

Another significant step forward was in the spell combos, like in using grease + fireball. Or Cone of Cold plus the Two-Handed fighters' power attacks to shatter opponents. Those spell combos and cross-party combos were especially satisfying to pull off. And then the gambit-type mechanic, when you figured out how to set it up properly, really worked. Really, there were so many good ideas refined and meshed effectively that it mystified me why DA reportedly went off the rails so badly--I say reportedly because I never played it, the NeoGaf forum's OT thread having effectively (and thankfully) scared me off. Though even there, I understand, with all the ways DA2 failed, evidently they tightened up the cross-class combos even further, making them even more synergistic.

 

I think here is where Obsidian can benefit, by studying and refining even further the mechanics DA:O implemented in the combat system, specifically in how well they meshed the mana/fatigue and cooldown mechanics, as well as the cross-class party combat synergies. Bioware also made fighters interesting, in a way they hadn't been for a while. We know the Obsidian plot and character writing will be top-notch anyway, and the New Vegas crafting and loot systems were more intricate and better-balanced than anything Bethesda has ever put out, but they haven't designed a complex party combat system for a while (if you don't count DS3) and I think here they have a good opportunity to refine a lot of the mechanics DA:O introduced, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls--the late-game balancing problems, the full-strength heal after every fight, the cut-scenes undoing all your careful fight preparations, etc. It seemed Bioware was aware of the full-strength heal problem, but the mechanic they used to deal with it--the permanent injuries, which could only be removed with a healing kit--didn't quite cut it. We know cooldowns are in PE already, and I think a mana bar, combined with the tome system they are working on, has an opportunity to create something that incorporates all DA:O's strengths with none of the weaknesses.

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Ultimately, I think the only thing Obsidian should get from this thread and those related to Dragon Age dissatisfaction is that a not-insignificant number of players felt the DA franchise simply did not fill the void it promised to.

 

No pressure, Obsidian. ;)

Nah the real pressure is in the kickstarter model. If these companies fail to make good games then no one will want to kickstart games anymore and the power will be back in the hands of the publishers. Future devs won't be able to develop the games they want. However, if they succeed then there will be more kickstarters and devs will have the opportunity to free themselves from publishers and make them obsolete/put them out of business.

 

The future of the gaming industry and freeing developers from publishers is all on their shoulders. That's all.

Edited by Grimlorn
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I'm finally just going to jump in here and say that Dragon Age: Origins is in my top ten all time favorite video games. Number one on that list, though, is Wasteland. And Pools of Darkness (representative of all the Gold Box games) is above DA:O.

 

There are some things not so great about DA:O. And that statement applies to every game I've ever played.

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4) The encounter design was mostly lousy. There were a few fights where they clearly put in some effort, but a lot of it was just random garbage put in the player's way.

 

As much as I wanted to like the game, this is really what killed it for me in the end. It just became repetitive, and towards the end you just wanted it to be over. :(

 

DA was a nice attempt, but at the end of the day, it was still too watered down. It was only because the well had gone so dry for a quality cRPG that it felt half-way special.

Edited by Ignatius
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I can't see how DA:O is any different from PE except of course the story.

 

It has the similar setting and similar mechanics. We have to see if romances and sex-slaves are in or not. That is all.

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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134305934119-5dkqoh.jpg Edited by teknoman2

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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^I think he thinks you're trolling with the PE = DAO comment.

 

I think the origins were a neat idea, and I did enjoy them. I wasn't as crazy about the plot railroading, but that became obvious as their intent early on when it was stated that you *had* to become a Warden. So essentially the game became "clear out four zones to get to the baddy" with some dialogue changes based on which origin you picked.

 

I liked DAO and DA2 for what they were (rather than what I wanted them to be), but frankly I'm not sure there's anything game mechanics wise I'd want to see PE use.

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^I think he thinks you're trolling with the PE = DAO comment.

 

I think the origins were a neat idea, and I did enjoy them. I wasn't as crazy about the plot railroading, but that became obvious as their intent early on when it was stated that you *had* to become a Warden. So essentially the game became "clear out four zones to get to the baddy" with some dialogue changes based on which origin you picked.

 

I liked DAO and DA2 for what they were (rather than what I wanted them to be), but frankly I'm not sure there's anything game mechanics wise I'd want to see PE use.

 

Oh you mean stuff like rapid cooldowns? Or do you mean Spell spamming?

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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^I think he thinks you're trolling with the PE = DAO comment.

 

I think the origins were a neat idea, and I did enjoy them. I wasn't as crazy about the plot railroading, but that became obvious as their intent early on when it was stated that you *had* to become a Warden. So essentially the game became "clear out four zones to get to the baddy" with some dialogue changes based on which origin you picked.

 

I liked DAO and DA2 for what they were (rather than what I wanted them to be), but frankly I'm not sure there's anything game mechanics wise I'd want to see PE use.

 

Oh you mean stuff like rapid cooldowns? Or do you mean Spell spamming?

 

Well we've been told the cooldowns aren't like cooldowns we've seen so I personally am giving them the benefit of the doubt until I see more about how it works.

 

That doesn't mean I don't understand a lot of the dismay some of this has caused in terms of expectations from past implementations, though.

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^I think he thinks you're trolling with the PE = DAO comment.

 

I think the origins were a neat idea, and I did enjoy them. I wasn't as crazy about the plot railroading, but that became obvious as their intent early on when it was stated that you *had* to become a Warden. So essentially the game became "clear out four zones to get to the baddy" with some dialogue changes based on which origin you picked.

 

I liked DAO and DA2 for what they were (rather than what I wanted them to be), but frankly I'm not sure there's anything game mechanics wise I'd want to see PE use.

 

Oh you mean stuff like rapid cooldowns? Or do you mean Spell spamming?

 

Well we've been told the cooldowns aren't like cooldowns we've seen so I personally am giving them the benefit of the doubt until I see more about how it works.

 

That doesn't mean I don't understand a lot of the dismay some of this has caused in terms of expectations from past implementations, though.

Did they say something like "Yo Dawg I heard you like cooldowns..."?

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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And the moment Ostagar hits the Origins mean absolutely ****-all. They were entertaining and better than the main plotline, such a shame they had to end and the Warden crap had to barge in... Character creation, DAO has a very simple system, therefore the actual character creation and defining who your character was is very limited. Playing a human warrior? You get a choice of two-hander, dual wielding and shield skill trees and that's it...

Well, unless you were a dwarf Noble, then just about every single NPC in Orzammar, including the main plot givers, changed their dialogues to reflect the fact that this is a homecoming. Oh, and unless you were a Human Noble, in which case, the entire Storming of the Royal Palace changed to reflect the fact that you were getting revenge. Or unless you were a Circle mage, then all the dialogue with Irving, Uldred, Gregoir, Cullen, Wynne etc. drastically changed to refect that homecoming, as well.

 

Nope, you can't, in the spirit of honest debate, short-change this. DA:O has a billion flaws, but this isn't one of them.

I would also add that they gave you a good idea of what sort of role play options you could have available to you with the dialogue. They didn't always do a good job of it, but they did make an effort for most part...

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^I think he thinks you're trolling with the PE = DAO comment.

 

I think the origins were a neat idea, and I did enjoy them. I wasn't as crazy about the plot railroading, but that became obvious as their intent early on when it was stated that you *had* to become a Warden. So essentially the game became "clear out four zones to get to the baddy" with some dialogue changes based on which origin you picked.

 

I liked DAO and DA2 for what they were (rather than what I wanted them to be), but frankly I'm not sure there's anything game mechanics wise I'd want to see PE use.

 

Oh you mean stuff like rapid cooldowns? Or do you mean Spell spamming?

 

Well we've been told the cooldowns aren't like cooldowns we've seen so I personally am giving them the benefit of the doubt until I see more about how it works.

 

That doesn't mean I don't understand a lot of the dismay some of this has caused in terms of expectations from past implementations, though.

Did they say something like "Yo Dawg I heard you like cooldowns..."?

 

I do not believe that I have ever heard anyone actually say that. Or am I missing something...?

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DA:O had a lot of neat ideas that's certain. I would mention the magic system the most. Upkeep spells that take away a portion of mana in order to remain active indefinitely. Cone spells with a UI that clearly shows the area of affect. Combination type spells, such as using a fire spell to catch a grease spell on fire.

 

The only other particular thing I can think of is the way characters had reactions above and beyond what is normally expected. They reacted to your actions, sometimes in dramatic ways, and had their own views on things and how things should be done. Definitely a step up from some banter and comments.

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The six Origins of Dragon Age: Origins were very well done. The companions were interesting. The music was great. The twists on some tropes I found to be well handled. It played out in mostly the standard BioWare plot-line (pre-story, intro to what group you are now part of, hub, several places to explore in any order to gather stuff important to plot, hub, final location) but that's neither good nor bad IMO. For the most part the writing was spot on. And it felt like you had significant control over meaningful choices at key points in the story.

 

Character creation was a bit sparse for me, yet there were way too many abilities (especially for mages at higher levels) so the game mechanics around that desperately needed an overhaul. Far too many iron daggers and the like. The crafting system was mostly meh. Deep Roads was too long. Too much reliance on loot and potions overall, but that's a D&D problem for most cRPGs (and table top games if the DM isn't careful.)

 

I think DA:O was, on balance, a great game. And PE could do far worse than look at some of how stuff was done here.

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I would say "pretend it never happened", whatever the IE games (combined) achieved I feel was far greater then what was attempted at recreating with Dragon Age: Origins, but what did Bioware do after DA:O?? They do a 180 and &^*% it up completely, in many ways going backwards!

 

Everything OE need for a reference point they can take from the past, they don't need to adjust to what was on offer from DA:O imo.

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I don't really think there's much value in feedback from fans who will trash anything that isn't a clone of BG, which they clearly view through thick, rose colored glasses.

 

PE shouldn't be a slavish clone of BG, it should be a further improvement of the style of game.

 

There are several things that DAO did a lot better than the BG's did. DAO certainly stands as decent attempt to improve the format- and despite serious flaws, so do some parts of DA2 (such as the core combat system, which was an improvement in many ways, but was let down by very poor encounter and monster design).

 

Notably, DAO made an effort to put real positioning into realtime combat, while in the BGs it was nothing but a farce. It certainly wasn't perfect, for instance it needed a better defender mechanic than aggro+taunt, but it's clear progress was made.

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Anyone who thinks BG is a better game that DA doesn't know what a good game is or is trolling. The characters were litterally one note and basically did nothing, the overland maps werenothing but empty space with wussy monster to kill and maybe one bit of fluff dialogue with an npc. The combat options were really limited. The role-pklaying was basically non existence.

 

People who c ry about how you were 'forced' to be a Warden ignore the fact you were 'forced'; to be a Bhaalspawn. There is no real difference here. You couldn't convince anyone in Bg to do anything. At least you could avoid combat in DA.

 

BG is BIO's weakest RPG by far. It was their first and it shows. It was fun almost 15 years now. But, by golly, I completely overrated it.

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Anyone who thinks BG is a better game that DA doesn't know what a good game is or is trolling. The characters were litterally one note and basically did nothing, the overland maps werenothing but empty space with wussy monster to kill and maybe one bit of fluff dialogue with an npc. The combat options were really limited. The role-pklaying was basically non existence.

 

People who c ry about how you were 'forced' to be a Warden ignore the fact you were 'forced'; to be a Bhaalspawn. There is no real difference here. You couldn't convince anyone in Bg to do anything. At least you could avoid combat in DA.

 

BG is BIO's weakest RPG by far. It was their first and it shows. It was fun almost 15 years now. But, by golly, I completely overrated it.

r00fles!

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