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Bioware, a return to former glory ?


BruceVC

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Many of us had our introduction to fantasy RPG through the early games of Bioware. My greatest RPG of all time was BG2, Throne of Bhaal

 

Over the last few years there have been mixed support for Bioware with many people believing that Bioware had betrayed the principles and glory of previous RPG that they had created and the company had declined in its ability to deliver quality and engaging games . DA2 was arguably the pinnacle of this failure ( I enjoyed DA2 but I understand the criticism )

 

And now we have DA:I , I have always maintained that this was there last realistic chance to deliver a quality RPG to fans. The feedback seems mostly positive. So what do you guys think this means for Bioware?

 

Has your faith been restored? Do you support Bioware again and look forward to future games? Lets hear your overall constructive feedback both positive and negative :)

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Game is good, but PC port is far from to be what one could call decent. So game didn't restore my faith that Bioware would make games which are targeted to audience which I belong. I haven't never doubted their ability to produce games that offer enjoyable experiences, but with audiences that they currently focus on I don't see them to produce in near future games that get to my favorite game list or list of great games that I have played. This probably don't mean that I will not play their future games, but they have lost their special place in my heart.  

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you're asking the wrong question, "what do you guys think this means for Bioware"? who cares? what it means for us, players - that's the question you should be pondering.

 

means nothing, really. Bioware will keep making these games, I will keep ignoring them. I don't think there's any chance of Bioware going back to its roots

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Former glory? Clinging to old ideals and bygone times can and will negatively effect the fun you can have with new stuff, at least it totally does in my case, so I see DA:I as its own thing and I don't associate it with any of their former games. And its one damn good game, with flaws that stick out like a sore thumb though.

 

And yes, the PC controls are annoying, but since I've gotten myself an Xbox controller my list of complaints got much shorter.

 

Faith restored? What faith? A developers reputation has no impact on my purchase behavior, I judge each game individually and decide to buy it or not after watching several reviews and reactions in forums.

Edited by Woldan
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I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 
 

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Game is good, but PC port is far from to be what one could call decent. So game didn't restore my faith that Bioware would make games which are targeted to audience which I belong. I haven't never doubted their ability to produce games that offer enjoyable experiences, but with audiences that they currently focus on I don't see them to produce in near future games that get to my favorite game list or list of great games that I have played. This probably don't mean that I will not play their future games, but they have lost their special place in my heart.  

 

Yeah I can understand your point that Bioware hasn't captured that special place in your heart, for me I am just looking for immersive and entertaining games. So I guess I'm not expecting more than that so I am very satisfied with the feedback from DA:I 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Former glory? Clinging to old ideals and bygone times can and will negatively effect the fun you can have with new stuff, at least it totally does in my case, so I see DA:I as its own thing and I don't associate it with any of their former games. And its one damn good game, with flaws that stick out like a sore thumb though.

 

And yes, the PC controls are annoying, but since I've gotten myself an Xbox controller my list of complaints got much shorter.

 

I was going to ask about that, whats better to play the PC version....Xbox Controller or M\KB. I have both 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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you're asking the wrong question, "what do you guys think this means for Bioware"? who cares? what it means for us, players - that's the question you should be pondering.

 

means nothing, really. Bioware will keep making these games, I will keep ignoring them. I don't think there's any chance of Bioware going back to its roots

 

I probably didn't explain properly, I don't expect Bioware to start making isometric, 3D RPG again

 

But can they get back to the respect and admiration they use to have. So compare your view of them now compared  to your view of them after DA2 ?

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Definitely Xbox controller, and that comes from someone who didn't use a controller in 13 years, until now with DA:I. Took me a day to get used to that controller and get KB+M out of my mind, now it works like a charm.

Also the ability to walk, which is missing with KB+M controls, is -for me- absolutely invaluable. I need to walk to see and fully appreciate the beautiful environments.

Edited by Woldan
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I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 
 

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Definitely Xbox controller, and that comes from someone who didn't use a controller in 13 years, until now with DA:I. Took me a day to get used to that controller and get KB+M out of my mind, now it works like a charm.

 

Thats interesting, I'll  keep that in mind :)

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Seriously though, I was never really caught up with Bioware as a company to begin with. Knights of the Old Republic was a damn good game, i guess. The rest that i've played after that are either forgetable or plainly bad.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
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"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
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There is no period of "former glory" unless you count singular products as being an era. Bioware made a mix of good, bad, and average games then, and they're doing that now. BG2 was a relatively early Bioware product, and was a very good one - but it was a one-off. There's a tendency to think of all Bioware games of that period as being good due to the aura of BG2 rubbing off on them, but doing so is erroneous.

 

It's really just a subset of the tendency that's showing in that other thread about RPGs in general, we identify a few 90s RPGs as having exceptional writing, then somehow extend the praise those games deserve to all RPGs of that time, generalising that good writing was a hallmark of that era. A generalisation which is, in the vast majority of cases, incorrect and the praise wholly undeserved.

Edited by Humanoid
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There is no period of "former glory" unless you count singular products as being an era. Bioware made a mix of good, bad, and average games then, and they're doing that now. BG2 was a relatively early Bioware product, and was a very good one - but it was a one-off. There's a tendency to think of all Bioware games of that period as being good due to the aura of BG2 rubbing off on them, but doing so is erroneous.

 

It's really just a subset of the tendency that's showing in that other thread about RPGs in general, we identify a few 90s RPGs as having exceptional writing, then somehow extend the praise those games deserve to all RPGs of that time, generalising that good writing was a hallmark of that era. A generalisation which is, in the vast majority of cases, incorrect and the praise wholly undeserved.

 

Interesting so you feel our positive nostalgic memories about Bioware are possibly biased because of BG2 , you may be right. But I have generally enjoyed all the early  Bioware games I have played. So my view is based on a more holistic perspective than just BG2  

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Well, Bioware is one of my favourite game devs, no doubt, since I have so much fun with several of their games. BG+BG2 is on my top three CRPG list , but still the one game they've made that had the biggest impact on me, and which in turn, turned me into an Obsidian fan, as it were, is the Neverwinter Nights series. Although none of them was very fantastic as far as SP games go - they came with an absolutely adorable toolset, and they allowed for persistent worlds to be made and visited on servers - and my many roleplaying experiences there have been unforgettable - perhaps that's the pinnacle of my computer gaming so far.

 

DA:O also came with a toolset, but I was disappointed with it (I preferred Obsidian's NWN2 toolkit), and I didn't love that game, through and through - but it was very good, and then came DA2. *Sigh!*

I've never played Mass Effect, so it has been a long wait until this DA:I happened to drop on us recently, and as many of you already know. I love it! :)

It's definitely a top 10 candidate for all-time best CRPG.

 

As for PC controls, I can't see the complaints - it is no console port - it's definitely made specifically for PC (and I have seen the graphics on PS4 - not very nice).

Just get a gaming mouse, folks, and then practice using it in key-input-heavy games like COH2, then get back to DA:I and you'll find that DA:I is easier to play, with camera and all than NWN2. (Seriously, yes, the controls are a bit wonky, but think about how many games over the decades that have had worse, just saying.)

 

It took me 70+ hours just to get to my first specialization on Nightmare, and 85 h in, and I haven't unlocked more than 40% of all areas, and those areas are at best half-uncovered. This game is absolutely vast, and where else do you get Pictish barbarian chieftains that throw living goats on your castle wall?

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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At least my playthrough has been nicely stingy in the magical weapon department as well. Tens of hours and like one or two blue upgrades for at least three of my four party members. My purple weapons all seem to be two-handed, as if they game knows I'm not using them. I do craft quite a bit, so that's where all of my weapons and armours come from, really. And I really mean it, when I say I like this. In Skyrim (which I still like a lot) and more proper CRPGs, there are always a steady flow of magic items, but in DA:I they seem to be very rare.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I haven't come close to finishing Dragon Age Inquisition but I'm not impressed at *all* with what I've seen. The claims of being influenced by TES don't really hold much water I think, instead I think it feels much closer to the Assassin's Creed style of open-world. 

A million meaningless fetch-quest, collectibles and other useless crap. What depth may be found in the story-path feels buried under a mountain of "mini-objectives" and collectathons.

The combat is *atrocious*. Only thing that made it worse in DA2 was the wave encounters, but in Inquisition you have extremely silly respawns instead. I defeated an encounter, went ahead very slightly in the area then changed my mind and headed back. Yep, sure enough the mobs had respawned. I wonder if I had actually seen them spawn in if I had had the camera pointed backwards.

 

I had pretty high hopes for this game (really enjoyed Origins, though didn't like DA2) but I'm severely disappointed so far (yes, I've played past the Hinterlands). Not at all what I was hoping for.

 

I'm not one who's eager to jump on the Bioware hate train, but this game has just cemented their "decline" in my eyes. A big game does not make a good game (especially when there's so much junk content shoved in).

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And now we have DA:I , I have always maintained that this was there last realistic chance to deliver a quality RPG to fans. The feedback seems mostly positive.

 

mostlypositive.jpg

 

You are going by the literal, 50%+1 definition of "mostly", right?

 

I haven't played DAI, but from what I've read, it doesn't really deliver on promises made, it's buggy as hell (a hallmark of Bioware products) and the PC controls aren't very good. This doesn't necessarily make it a bad game, but nothing that "restores faith", whatever that means.

 

I'll get around to playing it if I see a good bargain or in a few years, and I'll probably like it enough to finish it, much like every other Bio game, except JE. However, I reserve my worship and faith for stuff that is actually important in my life, such as peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.

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I have always maintained that this was there last realistic chance to deliver a quality RPG to fans.

Which kind from great variety of their fans do you mean? :)

 

Actually I dunno... I've never been much about this "love or hate" matter. Games they make I can like or dislike, but I see no need to mix feelings toward game and toward its author. According to my personal tastes, they didn't produce anything worth playing since Jade Empire, and that one only because of setting (I just like Chinese culture), but that doesn't mean they won't in the future.

 

Also, "mostly positive feedback on DA:I"? Seriously? Where?

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Definitely Xbox controller, and that comes from someone who didn't use a controller in 13 years, until now with DA:I. Took me a day to get used to that controller and get KB+M out of my mind, now it works like a charm.

 

Thats interesting, I'll  keep that in mind :)

 

 

You said you were waiting for a patch didn't you? There have been a couple already and it seems reasonably stable now, there are a couple of things like a few collectables not showing up or conversations very occasionally not working properly without revisiting an  area but for the most part the game is ready to be played.

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There is no period of "former glory" unless you count singular products as being an era. Bioware made a mix of good, bad, and average games then, and they're doing that now. BG2 was a relatively early Bioware product, and was a very good one - but it was a one-off. There's a tendency to think of all Bioware games of that period as being good due to the aura of BG2 rubbing off on them, but doing so is erroneous.

 

It's really just a subset of the tendency that's showing in that other thread about RPGs in general, we identify a few 90s RPGs as having exceptional writing, then somehow extend the praise those games deserve to all RPGs of that time, generalising that good writing was a hallmark of that era. A generalisation which is, in the vast majority of cases, incorrect and the praise wholly undeserved.

 

In my opinion Bioware was good from BG until DA:O, which is a pretty long time. BG, BG2, NWN, KOTOR, ME1 and DA:O were all quality games. The games prroduced after the EA merger were poor quality: ME2, DA2 and ME3. Inquisition is a good game, although heavily flawed and I got a lot of game time out of it, but it's basically Dragon Effect: Inquisition and doesn't have the magic of the golden age of Bioware from 1998-2009.

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Definitely Xbox controller, and that comes from someone who didn't use a controller in 13 years, until now with DA:I. Took me a day to get used to that controller and get KB+M out of my mind, now it works like a charm.

 

Thats interesting, I'll  keep that in mind :)

 

 

You said you were waiting for a patch didn't you? There have been a couple already and it seems reasonably stable now, there are a couple of things like a few collectables not showing up or conversations very occasionally not working properly without revisiting an  area but for the most part the game is ready to be played.

 

 

Yes I was waiting for the first "official " patch, so its good to know the game is relatively stable 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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StarWars: I certainly agree that the respawning is over the top in many areas, especially the Hinterlands (and try touching the water in the Mire when in combat and watch a monster bonanza unfold! :w00t: ). In order to remedy that I try to travel a lot via the camps, and luckily I have a Rogue as my main, and almost in constant stealth, so now I just run passed everything I don't feel like taking on. In short, if you have a rogue in your party, move around with it in stealth - it will improve stuff a lot.

 

hollowcrown: I reckon the comparisons to Ass Creed open world + Skyrim and streamlined D3-like ARPG elements are all fair comparisons to what DA:I is system-wise. However, the story and some of the quests are pretty atmospheric, not to mention the fantastic music - and if you, like me, read everything, it's even more lore-meaty than BG1 vanilla, at least. I reckon there is some CRPG magic happening.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Pro-tip: There are a few unfortunate cases, where objects are supposed to be pick-upable or readable, and the UI icon for it is showing, but whne you click on it, nothing happens.

I have solved all such cases I've come across (I'm on PC), by using the key F instead of a mouse click. And in a certain villa, there's a book that refuses to be read (it even have a double set of UI click icon near it - I managed to read that one too, by jumping up higher next to it, and then press "F" instead of a mouse click.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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There's also people like me that don't bother wasting time on Biogames anymore. There's only so many times you see terribly choreographed sex scenes, simplified combat, and so on before it's not worth your money or your attention.

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