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stkaye

Dragon Age: Origins

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DA's combat was terrible. Between lame abilities, and fighting the same battles over and over again, DA's systems are something I don't want to see in any RPG.


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Games don't have to employ the same mechanisms of other media to tell a story. Fallout has plenty of story telling without forcing it on the player. It's better to have freedom, but it's harder to develop games with freedom. I don't mind as much that the PC has a set history, or even that you're playing one character, but while in the game there should be freedom, choice being taken away for the sake of story is bad game design, it's taking away one of games only attributes when it comes to story telling.

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By your logic, Icewind Dale is an Elder Scrolls-esque LARPing sandbox game because it doesn't railroad you into a set history of being a Bhaalspawn or Warden or something similar.

IWD games as well as TES don't offer much in terms of roleplay. Unless you like the kind of roleplay, where you could say and do all sorts of thing and none of it make any difference in the long run.

 

There is nothing wrong to be presented with a character that you should play and leaving it up to you how you play them. It is by no means feasible to adapt the story to each and every character the player can come up with and there is no DM to make stuff up on the go. The game is about the story and I am glad Onsidian doesn't make it another set of rails just to accommodate any imaginable character like they did in NWN.

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It seemed that you disliked it when game's imposed plot elements upon you and your character. I was merely saying that if you don't want any restrictions that a well told story would inherently have, you should play TES; where absolutely everything is an enormous bout of headcanon-ing. Only those games provide you with the "freedom" it seemed you were looking for. But if you do not have a problem with a game's story imposing certain elements to your character or the game world, and you simply disliked the fact that your character in DAO was a Warden for some unusual reason, then i misinterpreted your post.

 

Picking an origin also locks you into a specific scenario, but its my choice to lock myself into that background. I liked that. I wasn't crazy about being forced to be a Warden in DAO. I accepted it as part of the game, but it wasn't an element that I was crazy about because your character was railroaded into a choice by the game that forever altered them. (EDIT - I actually liked the Dalish Elf origin because at least then the choice being forced make sense as the alternative is death/transformation from the taint that is otherwise uncruable; compare that to say, the Human Noble origin with Duncan's "yeah I'll save you from being murdered...but only if you become a Warden, otherwise I'll let you all die" bit)

 

Alternatively, PST gives you a pre-made character that you can only define so far and I had no problem with it because that's how the game was set up.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate DAO because of the Warden aspect anymore than I hate KotOR because I have to become a Jedi. Its just that my preference would be for games not to force that kind of thing on me. A game like Arcanum, for example, puts you on a main quest because of an event that you can't avoid, but the event that you can't avoid doesn't radically alter your character.

 

But I'd rank this as a "preference" vs an "I hate this and never want to see it" kind of thing.

 

There is nothing wrong to be presented with a character that you should play and leaving it up to you how you play them.

 

Funnily enough, I never said there was something wrong with it.

Edited by Amentep

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Heresiarch[/url]' timestamp='1352387802' post='1272951']

There is nothing wrong to be presented with a character that you should play and leaving it up to you how you play them.

 

Funnily enough, I never said there was something wrong with it.

Sorry, I did a terrible job of wording it.

 

My point as that games, where you are locked into a specific backgrounds (Alpha Protocol, Planescape Torment, Dragon Age 2, Witcher, Mass Effect) actually have the most roleplay. You actually feel that what you do matters. Because devs can concentrate on the story and on player's experience instead of mashing in apparent variety like they did with countless classes and races in NWN2, something which was utterly pointless in single player.

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The origins were a gimick designed to disguise the loss of player control over the PC's background. A blank slate PC (like BioWare offered in NWN) offers far more roleplaying freedom than one with a pre-written background. So to avoid people complaining about the pre-written backgrounds in DAO, they gave us 6 different backgrounds from which to choose.

 

But they were still pre-written backgrounds, and they still restricted roleplaying freedom.

 

Only the blank slate offers true freedom.

 

Apparently BioWare did toy with the idea of a Mysterious Stranger origin to allow players who liked the blank slate to have one, but then they cut it.

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The origins were a gimick designed to disguise the loss of player control over the PC's background. A blank slate PC (like BioWare offered in NWN) offers far more roleplaying freedom than one with a pre-written background. So to avoid people complaining about the pre-written backgrounds in DAO, they gave us 6 different backgrounds from which to choose.

 

But they were still pre-written backgrounds, and they still restricted roleplaying freedom.

 

Only the blank slate offers true freedom.

 

Apparently BioWare did toy with the idea of a Mysterious Stranger origin to allow players who liked the blank slate to have one, but then they cut it.

 

"True Freedom" is a logical fallacy. There exists no such thing, especially in a CRPG where your every move is scripted and has to fall into certain parameters even in the best games and even in your Pen and Paper Games you are barred from certain actions by lore and ingame mechanics. Thats just the way it is.

 

 

I was fine with the prescripted backgrounds in DA:O. They made for interesting storytelling, which is one of the primary reasons I got into RPG's in the first place.

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The origins were a gimick designed to disguise the loss of player control over the PC's background. A blank slate PC (like BioWare offered in NWN) offers far more roleplaying freedom than one with a pre-written background. So to avoid people complaining about the pre-written backgrounds in DAO, they gave us 6 different backgrounds from which to choose.

 

But they were still pre-written backgrounds, and they still restricted roleplaying freedom.

 

Only the blank slate offers true freedom.

 

Apparently BioWare did toy with the idea of a Mysterious Stranger origin to allow players who liked the blank slate to have one, but then they cut it.

By "roleplaying freedom" do you actually mean the ability to pretend in your head all sorts of things about your character that never actually come up during the course of the game?

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Funnily enough, I never said there was something wrong with it.

Sorry, I did a terrible job of wording it.

 

My point as that games, where you are locked into a specific backgrounds (Alpha Protocol, Planescape Torment, Dragon Age 2, Witcher, Mass Effect) actually have the most roleplay. You actually feel that what you do matters. Because devs can concentrate on the story and on player's experience instead of mashing in apparent variety like they did with countless classes and races in NWN2, something which was utterly pointless in single player.

 

Actually I don't disagree with you that you can do more in-game with a character whose background is created by the game makers. You can be very specific with references and history and reactive to that.

 

Note, however, that DAO doesn't have you start out as a Warden, it forces you to become one through the course of the game (well the prologue), so I don't see it as exactly the same thing (your mileage may vary, of course).

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Funnily enough, I never said there was something wrong with it.

Sorry, I did a terrible job of wording it.

 

My point as that games, where you are locked into a specific backgrounds (Alpha Protocol, Planescape Torment, Dragon Age 2, Witcher, Mass Effect) actually have the most roleplay. You actually feel that what you do matters. Because devs can concentrate on the story and on player's experience instead of mashing in apparent variety like they did with countless classes and races in NWN2, something which was utterly pointless in single player.

 

Actually I don't disagree with you that you can do more in-game with a character whose background is created by the game makers. You can be very specific with references and history and reactive to that.

 

Note, however, that DAO doesn't have you start out as a Warden, it forces you to become one through the course of the game (well the prologue), so I don't see it as exactly the same thing (your mileage may vary, of course).

To be fair, at least the Dalish origin gave you a pretty legit reason for needing to become a Warden: you've been poisoned, and they have the only cure.


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By "roleplaying freedom" do you actually mean the ability to pretend in your head all sorts of things about your character that never actually come up during the course of the game?

That's all roleplaying ever is. Roleplaying happens entirely inside the player's head, as he imagines how his character feels about things and why he does the things he does. Roleplaying is in-character decision-making, and that's never referenced by the action in-game content.

 

Moreover, it does indirectly impact the game through your character's actions. When your character decides to do things, it is your roleplaying (which is inside your head) that determines what he does. When anything happens to your character, it is your roleplaying (which is in your head) that determines how he feels about that.

 

A blank slate PC gives the player tremendous leeway in establishing how his character makes decisions. A fixed background, however, limits the player to character designs that are compatible with that background. There are many different ways your character might be a pacifist, but many fewer that might explain how he's both a pacifist and a war hero.

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God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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A blank slate PC gives the player tremendous leeway in establishing how his character makes decisions. A fixed background, however, limits the player to character designs that are compatible with that background. There are many different ways your character might be a pacifist, but many fewer that might explain how he's both a pacifist and a war hero.

This is absolutely true.

 

It is also true that for characters with predetermined backgrounds, developers can reference character history in-game, which is something blank-slate characters can not have happen.

 

And some people prefer one of those and some people prefer the other and some people don't really care and all of us could go on for many, many paragraphs about it.


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By "roleplaying freedom" do you actually mean the ability to pretend in your head all sorts of things about your character that never actually come up during the course of the game?

That's all roleplaying ever is. Roleplaying happens entirely inside the player's head, as he imagines how his character feels about things and why he does the things he does. Roleplaying is in-character decision-making, and that's never referenced by the action in-game content.

 

Moreover, it does indirectly impact the game through your character's actions. When your character decides to do things, it is your roleplaying (which is inside your head) that determines what he does. When anything happens to your character, it is your roleplaying (which is in your head) that determines how he feels about that.

 

A blank slate PC gives the player tremendous leeway in establishing how his character makes decisions. A fixed background, however, limits the player to character designs that are compatible with that background. There are many different ways your character might be a pacifist, but many fewer that might explain how he's both a pacifist and a war hero.

 

Well, no.

 

If RP was only inside one's head, no one would ever buy PRGs or role play with other people. The only thing in your head is your character. The feedback, the way the world reacts to his actions, the challenges he is presented with all depend on the world around him. That world dictates what becomes of him more than any biography or what ever is in the player's head.

 

If there is no reactivity, it does not matter what you pretend your character to be. Neither you can make NPC react appropriately for infinite number of background variation, nor make an interesting story about a generic person with no predefined past or personality.

 

So if you want good story and no main character background, you're out of luck.

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If RP was only inside one's head, no one would ever buy PRGs or role play with other people. The only thing in your head is your character. The feedback, the way the world reacts to his actions, the challenges he is presented with all depend on the world around him. That world dictates what becomes of him more than any biography or what ever is in the player's head.

 

If there is no reactivity, it does not matter what you pretend your character to be. Neither you can make NPC react appropriately for infinite number of background variation, nor make an interesting story about a generic person with no predefined past or personality.

 

So if you want good story and no main character background, you're out of luck.

The story is created by the player through his roleplaying. It's an "emergent narrative".


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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Still there is a diferent with a P&P roleplay and Pc Roleplay.

 

In P&P the other player and the DM give you the a way to express your character. There your imagination is the limit.

 

In Pc games thats not the case and giving to much freedom, for me at leat, it turns a game into a something not engaging.

 

the 5 DA origins take the freadom to be any one you wanted, yes sure, dicated how you played the rest of the game, they didnt. And it was more engaing that a clean slate that didnt aport nothing to the story.

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DA's combat was terrible. Between lame abilities, and fighting the same battles over and over again, DA's systems are something I don't want to see in any RPG.

 

DA's combat system has many things I find disagreeable, but that sounds like a issue of encounter design. There were interesting encounters in DA, some even make good use of misdirection - but the game is still, as always, enlarged by filler combat.

 

As someone who could survive that filler combat (hardly out of line with some other really good games), I only truly dread DA2's encounter design.

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To be fair, at least the Dalish origin gave you a pretty legit reason for needing to become a Warden: you've been poisoned, and they have the only cure.

 

Yeah I mentioned that in the post prior to this one. The other origins though fall under less reasonable rationales, IMO. You're pretty much railroaded to being a Warden without any ability to pursue other options (particularly egregious IMO is the human noble origin where you don't have the option of walking through the secret exit that you're standing next to instead of being blackmailed by Duncan into being a Warden).

Edited by Amentep

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The story is created by the player through his roleplaying. It's an "emergent narrative".
No, the story is created by the writers, with any branching allowed done by the player selecting from options given by the writers. Most games only have the fake "I'll say nice things because I'm a nice guy" kind of "roleplaying" but you're still following the same story.

 

What you seem to want to do is write a book, not play a game.


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Dragon ages and of orcs and men combat system are decent. I personally like of orcs of men more because moving around in battle plays a role. Both of these games it gets annoying constantly queuing abilities for your characters to use.

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And here I was hoping to forget this thread existed.

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I can acknowledge some good craftsmanship on some level, but I don't like it or its characters in any way nor do I think they achieved anything special or fulfilled their goals. For years I waited for this game like many do now for Project Eternity, and it was utterly mediocre and underwhelming, and I don't understand why people can't stop talking about it.

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I think I gave Dragon Age Origins 7/10 as a campy, fun combat RPG.

 

At the time.

 

I stand by that, but the paucity of decent games made me too generous. I'd revise it to a 6/10. I liked the combat but the ren fayre vibe, fan-service NPCs and repetitive foes killed it for me. Having said that, as a H&S romp with a party made up of Dog, Golem and the grumpy dude with a greatsword it can be quite good fun.


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Well i had one major problem with the game and it was the boss fight. I'm not talking about stuff like the mini bosses with a big bar above their head no im talking about the bosses that you fought at the end of thouse strange "get this race to join you" quests for example for the elves was that mage ... i just bust a whole map of mobs/mini bosses/traps etc. got to the end and the last boss plows me like im some sort of lvl 1 character? and kills even mine tank with a flickering of his fingers? not to mention 4 summons that he thrown at you without anny bother. That was just unfair oh and lets not start on the "tactic" for him the "lest throw and just beat the crap out of him before he would do an all out ass one hit spell", what im trying to say that there was no reason for him to be this powerfull and the fight itself wasnt "fun" or "chalenging" it was just "plow him fast enough before everyone in you're part gets killed" type of fight.

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the fight itself wasnt "fun" or "chalenging" it was just "plow him fast enough before everyone in you're part gets killed" type of fight.

 

That is every single fight with a spell caster in BG2. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I didn't find the fight with Zathrien at all like how you've described it. But you hit the nail on the head for the vast majority of BG2 fights.

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