Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Sign in to follow this  
stkaye

Dragon Age: Origins

Recommended Posts

One thing that is valid to remember is that DA:O makes use of level scalling (blergh) and Zathrian's number of adds vary a lot.

 

I don't really remember Zathrian being particularly lethal, my biggest issue was his Blizzard spell, which would kill my mobility enabling the add's true lethality. That fight was more about keeping him from casting that and Cone of Cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hated the way items scaled too. You see a level 10 piece of armour then you come back and it's level 20.


sonsofgygax.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the goods? The positive?

 

Recalling what I felt at release/first time playing:

* Nerdgasm

* Captivating Story

* Great Origin's Concept

* Deep Roads

* Quests

* Controls

* Banters at Camp as well as mid-game (out on the field)

* Circle of Magi

* Tactical controls

* Character creation

 

Now I did it the other way around, I played Dragon Age: Origins before I played Baldur's Gate. This being said..

 

What I do not like, looking back today after playing Baldur's Gate and several other factors (Dragon Age 2 included, although I did enjoy it as far as I played. I only finished Act 1, I've heard that all hell breaks loose after that). As well as influence from friends, forums, reviews etc. etc. the power of hindsight:

* Flashy magic

* Taken into consideration, it was a bit chunky

* Few enemies (only one set)

* Smaller world and shorter story than I expected

* Restricted and limited

* Hack n' Slash

* Lord of the Dragon Age?

* I can buy my companions with gift?

* Like we say in League of Legends: "Easy.."

 

I have to ask, but which BG game were you playing? It sounds to me like you're describing the console games which are entirely different games in everything but the setting and background lore to the games that Obsidian are drawing their inspiration from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Are your character's motives not part of the narrative? Do the reasons he does things not matter?

 

Your character can say nice things because he's a nice guy, but he can also say nice things because he's insecure and he wants people to like him, or because he's deceitful and seeking favour, or for any reason you can imagine. He can choose to help a merchant because he wants the promised discount, or because he thinks the merchant is a nice guy who deserves help, or because he believes that society benefits from a strong defense of property rights.

 

And every one of these decisions you make for your character - decisions that are largely unrestricted or unacknowledged by the "story" as you've defined it - do have an impact on that story by informing that character's future choices. Does the Exile fear Kreia, or pity her? Does The Nameless One believe a single word Morte says? Does the Bhaalspawn think Gorion's instruction to go to the Friendly Arm Inn was good advice, or folly? No matter where he goes, does he follow the road believing them to be safer (or shorter, or easier to navigate), or does he stay off the road to avoid detection?

 

This is all part of the narrative. Or do we need to discuss the definition of the word "narrative"?

  • Like 1

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Camera in DA:O wasn't perfect, but it was definitely better than in NWN2.

Hmm, some people always seem to hate NWN2 camera vehemently. I don't really get that. Sure it wasn't great and I had to initially adjust the values on ini file because they didn't go low enough in-game settings, but after that it was not especially bad unless you insisted on using the mostly worthless character mode.


SODOFF Steam group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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".

How exactly does this happen in video games? Or is it something exclusively in player's head, which the game never acknowledges?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How exactly does this happen in video games? Or is it something exclusively in player's head, which the game never acknowledges?
It's only in the player's head, which is exactly why it's pointless.

 

Creating a blank slate for you to project your own motivations onto isn't storytelling, it's deciding not to tell a story.


Curious about the subraces in Pillars of Eternity? Check out 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with all things, it's all in the balance. Blank slate can be good for many things, but ultimately the player resents the parts of the game (mainly NPC reaction) that do not live up to that openness. On the other hand, a character with a partially fixed background allow developers to make a more responsive world, one in which NPC reaction tends to follow the characters actions more closely.

 

As far as CRPGs in general are concerned, I think there's space for both types and one isn't inherently superior to the other. As far as Project Eternity is concerned, I personally hope they implement variable backgrounds and the option for a blank slate too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Dragon Age: Origins a lot, in fact it was one of the best games I've ever played I'd say. Also it's the best RPG in a long, long time. Of course it had a lot of faults, a lot of incredibly cliché stuff. But what set DA:O apart from other games were things like deciding who should be the King of the dwarven city or the quest for the Holy Ashes. They gave me a sense of adventure that no other game could give me. Skyrim and Oblivion just felt bland and empty and TOO sandboxy. So sandboxy, that it really felt like being dropped in a world with no meaning. The same problem I have with minecraft, by the way.


Elan_song.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

How exactly does this happen in video games? Or is it something exclusively in player's head, which the game never acknowledges?

It's a combination of what happens in the game and what happens in the player's head. Only by combining the two do you see the whole story.

 

Without the player's contribution the protagonist is a flat character, and without the game's contribution the entire thing is just fan-fiction.

 

And the game acknowledges the player's contribution indirectly by responding to the PC's actions, which are themselves informed by the part of the narrative that occurs in the player's mind.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How exactly does this happen in video games? Or is it something exclusively in player's head, which the game never acknowledges?
It's only in the player's head, which is exactly why it's pointless.

 

Creating a blank slate for you to project your own motivations onto isn't storytelling, it's deciding not to tell a story.

We're not here for storytelling. We're here for roleplaying.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

How exactly does this happen in video games? Or is it something exclusively in player's head, which the game never acknowledges?

It's a combination of what happens in the game and what happens in the player's head. Only by combining the two do you see the whole story.

 

Without the player's contribution the protagonist is a flat character, and without the game's contribution the entire thing is just fan-fiction.

 

And the game acknowledges the player's contribution indirectly by responding to the PC's actions, which are themselves informed by the part of the narrative that occurs in the player's mind.

 

I wonder if you do a lot of roleplaying outside of video games, because there is usually a solid rule, "if it isn't in your bio, it never happened". Same goes for video games, if it isn't on screen (in graphics, text or whatever form), it isn't there at all. Role playing is getting into the head of a character and governing his actions. Playing pretend that your character is someone else entirely and does a whole bunch of stuff off-screen doesn't enhance the experience in any way.

 

Nor would I ever want a game that assumes that I do a lot of role play solely in my head, because when I do so, I don't play games. I write stories. Which typically involve a lot of power-hungry mages, incestuous fae courts, half-crazed murderous anti-heroes and other awesome fantasy goodness. But that's my own stuff and I don't project any of it onto my video game characters. Because RP video games ultimately are someone else's story, in which you can play a part. If you still need a chunk of your own generated story to make it look good, it only means that the story is bad to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked DA:O. Like you've said it certainly had its highs and it's lows.

 

However I personally felt that combat was one of those lows. The threat system wasn't really clear enough and I often felt that even as a straight up tanking character keeping the attention of the majority of a mob was a pain in the ass. I found that as a result of adapting the tank, healer, dps roles from MMOs you were a bit too restricted in terms of your party selection. Maybe with a larger 6 person party this wouldn't have had more wiggle room but as it stood I always felt forced into taking characters I didn't really want to and it annoyed me.

 

I am a big fan of cooldown based combat however. So I was glad to see that make an appearance in DA:O.

 

Now combat aside DA:O did have a great way of ending the game. Out of all the RPGs I've played throughout the years I really felt that the epilogue sequence in DA:O provided some of the best 'feedback' to your gameplay choices. Of course in game many of your choices effected the landsmeet and the like but I loved that what choices you made in regards to the fate of the kingdom or Andraste's sacred ashes or even the elder dragon up in those mountains were mentioned in the epilogue. I liked that you got to talk to your companions post mission and see what they're plans were now that the fight was over. In my mind if anything should be taken from DA:O it should be this sort of feedback to player choices at the end of the game.

 

Also I think that biowares choice to let games pull references out of previous games saves is great. It make mes feel more invested in a franchise when I can see my actions from previous games play out or at least be mentioned in later games. I would like to see this copied by just about any single player RPG.


K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're not here for storytelling. We're here for roleplaying.
There's a reason Diablo isn't considered a proper RPG: it gives you no opportunity to roleplay in the game. According to your definition, where the writers not giving you any acknowledgement of your choices is in fact the whole point of roleplaying, Diablo should be an adored RPG with roleplaying potential surpassed only by Doom.

Curious about the subraces in Pillars of Eternity? Check out 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The developer should always try to implement as many possible paths for a player to take when completing a quest, but the why should always be left up to the player. The world responds to what you do, but not necessarily why you do it.

 

Diablo is a roguelike, and has no choices or consequences beyond combat.

 

Take Fallout 1/2/NV as examples of an . There is minimal history of the protagonist, but a huge range of choices and consequences to what a player can do. The personality and motivations of the protagonists are always left to the player's imagination. Sure, they all have 2 overarching goals for each, but why the player completes them is left ambiguous.

 

DA:O was better than DA 2 mainly because there was more player agency in what the motivations of the protagonist. The problem with rigid character history for the protagonist is that it limits what the player can realisticly do without breaking sotry consistency.


Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tactics system. Really well thought out system for priorities and ability queue for combat, based on enemy type, range or who they were attacking. Flexible and configured in relatively plain english, as far as menus went in the game it was also easy to use and not hideous. Like most pc/console games, it had uninspired menu and inventory systems. The Tactics part was really brilliant. The fact there were actual abilities melee classes could plug into those tactics slots was just icing on the cake. The fact the tactics system became useless when mages could combo ice and lightning aoes at the licky bits of visual range and kill everything is more a comment on overall balance, than the smart thinking behind the Tactics system.

 

Not really 'gameplay & mechanics' oriented, but I also liked the not Scottish dwarves. Sometimes it's the little things. Looking at the concept art for Sagani, it'd be really interesting to see dwarves more as Inuit type people or near 60 aboriginal group, like the Han in the Yukon or Yupiks in Russia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DA:O was good because it was different. Had it own place, different from AD&D. But then DA2 happened and turned promising game into arcade linear jRPG slasher with primitive dialogues, animu emo characters and useless stats. The success of DA:O was ruined.

  • Like 1

MzpydUh.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DA:O was good because it was different. Had it own place, different from AD&D. But then DA2 happened and turned promising game into arcade linear jRPG slasher with primitive dialogues, animu emo characters and useless stats. The success of DA:O was ruined.

 

But... DA:O wasn't different at all.

 

-Heavily WOW/EQ inspired, from the combat to the currency and aesthetic.

-Ancient evil has awakened

-Rogue, Mage, Warrior (that's it)

 

I can't even say it took much from BG/BG2, which would have been the "good derivativeness".

 

Also, Diablo is not a rogue-like, though it has rogue-like elements (randomization and dungeon crawling). That doesn't mean it isn't a roleplaying game - it's just very light on the roleplaying. Diablo-inspired titles, like Titan Quest or PoE, have bigger roleplaying elements, such as faction-interaction. The genre is worth examining I think. There are some neat elements that would work well with an IE-inspired RPG (in terms of itemization, randomization, and replayability).

Edited by anubite

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest I actually gave up playing DA:O before final battle by that time I had lost interest in finishing story and no amount of blood splatters and fatalities could prevent me from it. What annoyed me most (aside incredibly annoying first two followers, who just gave me bad first impresssion sadly, it can't be helped Ali and Morri was for me just a pain) was construction of story pieces, like you must visit three different racial places solve their damn problems and cotinue on (the elven/werewolf might have been interesting story-wise but the way it was built bored me to no end sadly). When I arrived in dwarven kingdom and after all that obvious hinting, when speaking with first major NPC I was like ,,Wait, wait, wait, don't say it and let me guess, you need me to solve your business, riiight? What does it remind me oh wait I was just through the same bloody thing mission earlier, thank you so much so just show me direction and lets get this over with." And following mission ? Again solve someones issues so they help solve yours.

Edited by Ywerion

"Have you ever spoken with the dead? Called to them from this side? Called them from their silent rest? Do you know what it is that they feel?

Pain. Pain, when torn into this wakefulness, this reminder of the chaos from which they had escaped. Pain of having to live! There will be no more pain. There will be... no more chaos."

 

 

Kerghan the Terrible,

first of the Necromancers,

voyager in the Lands of the Dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...