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Dragon Age III: Inquisition


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Still trying to figure out what was so different about DA2 that made people hate it so much when compared to DA:O. :giveup:

 

In fairness, Dragon Age II did feel like a radical departure from Origins. That being said, I personally found that Origins' visual style felt too reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, or generic fantasy, while Dragon Age II felt much more like its own thing. In addition, Dragon Age II's story seemed to revolve more around people than fighting ancient evil.

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I'm going to take all this neutrally for now. I really enjoyed Origins, and was slightly disappointed with II, but I don't hate it. Once more information is revealed, I'll take a stance. There are, however, rumors that they'll be implementing mulitplayer into it. I won't care so long as they don't make it affect the outcome of the story, or say that it won't but actually lie about it.

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My personal beefs with Dragon Age II:

 

1) Reusing the same environments over and over for supposedly-different quests. For example, there is a series of several taking place in caves, but no matter what your objective in those caves may be, it's the SAME. EXACT. CAVE. I kid you not...

 

2) The dialogue wheel for Hawke. Dragon Age: Origins had more thoughtful options.

 

3) The fact that you couldn't play a Dwarf or Elf in Dragon Age II. That was one of the most attractive features of the game for me.

 

4) Customization. Why couldn't you customize Hawke's weight or height, for example?

 

5) Lack of meaningful outcome options for most of the quests, even the main ones.

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You should prepare for a good portion of your beefs to remain for DA3.

 

  1. They have mentioned a number of times they are addressing the recycling, so you should be ok with this one.
  2. The dialogue wheel and ME style vague summaries is remaining (along with voiced protagonist).
  3. Almost certainly you will be human only again. Primarily because of the cost of recording extra protagonist dialogue, but they'll likely sprout some line about other races not fitting their "artistic vision".
  4. This was not in DA1 either, so it's probably an unfair gripe to level against DA2. It seems highly unlikely to be included in DA3, especially for height, due to potential alignment issues with cutscenes. Can't have anything that might adversely affect their cinematic artistry.
  5. Again, this is something not restricted to DA2. Bioware is the king of illusion of choice. It's the price you pay for their style of narrative. Despite their claims to the contrary before the release of ME3, it's their story and you are just watching a movie of it, occasionally pressing some buttons. Across their back catalogue the only real choices that result in noticeably different outcomes are usually right at the end of the game: godhood or mortality in BG2 TOB, lightside or darkside in KOTOR, open palm or closed fist in Jade Empire. In both DA2 and ME3 the choices offered at the end were much more of the illusion of choice variety, and I wouldn't be surprised if DA3 is of this latter variety.

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Personally I liked Ðragon Age II well enough. It was different from Origins, but still fun. Some of it was worse than the predecessor, other things were better.

 

1) Reusing the same environments over and over for supposedly-different quests. For example, there is a series of several taking place in caves, but no matter what your objective in those caves may be, it's the SAME. EXACT. CAVE. I kid you not...

 

While most games do this to some extent, in Ðragon Age II it done so overtly it was glaring. A better mix of new and recycled, and more effort taken to conceal reuse of areas, would indeed be nice. :)

 

2) The dialogue wheel for Hawke. Dragon Age: Origins had more thoughtful options.

 

I'm a bit mixed on this. The ability for your character to build a distinct personality, which was then reflected in dialogs, cutscenes and even ambient oneliners, was a very nice touch (joker-Hawke is still my favorite). Having spoken lines for the protagonist, instead of just a nodding mute, was also a large improvement. Though the dialog wheel did suffer from some of the same vagueness as it does in the Mass Effect games. It's not always obvious what your character will say or do when a particular option is picked. This could've been solved as easily as displaying what will be said in a popup tooltip if you hover the mouse over a response option.

 

3) The fact that you couldn't play a Dwarf or Elf in Dragon Age II. That was one of the most attractive features of the game for me.

 

Given the plot of Ðragon Age II it is understandable why they did it. It's hard to tell a character-centric story if the protagonist could come from vastly different cultures and backgrounds. So while it does annoy me slightly (like the fixed nature of the Nameless One i PS:Torment did), I understood why they did it, and it was not enough to ruin the game for me. :)

 

4) Customization. Why couldn't you customize Hawke's weight or height, for example?

 

Variable character size makes for a major headache when doing animations that's supposed to interact with another character or object. In Skyrim they solved it by resizing characters to the default size whenever they interacted with something, but that ended up looking silly too when an Altmer suddenly shrunk as soon as they sat down on a chair or leaned against a wall :)

 

I suppose the only real options here with the current technology is to either use the same character size for everyone (ÐA2), resize on the fly (Skyrim) or not use character animations that interact with other characters or game world objects (Guild Wars 2), or make a number of fixed body sizes and then make animation combos for all the different body sizes interacting with each other and game objects, which would increase the amount of animation required exponentially, which isn't really worth the time and effort.

 

5) Lack of meaningful outcome options for most of the quests, even the main ones.

 

It's a Bioware game, most of their games have a strictly linear main plot, and while you may be able to say different things, and in some cases choose between quests, you always end up in the same place. :)

 

Makes for good storytelling, though at the cost of player participation.

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  • 1 month later...

And it seems DA3 will continue the "human only" trend:

http://www.gametrailers.com/side-mission/34927/dragon-age-3-producer-cameron-lee-answers-a-few-questions-on-twitter

 

Personally, I'm extremely disappointed with this, but then again my expectations in regards to Bioware games are at an all time low. Looking at the concept art above, while I do like the second and third piece, the first one indicates that they are keeping the art style of DA2 in its entirety, which is just another letdown for me (I've never expected them to change it completely, but tweaking it and restoring some elements of the Origins art style would have been nice, especially in the race design department).

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It's the corollary to having a voiced pc... The stronger the personality of the main protagonist is, the less choice you have. It worked well for the Witcher (story built around a specific personage) but not so well for DA2 (limited choice to deal with voice over).

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While I agree about the Witcher games pulling it off extremely well, I don't think a voiced player character makes fixed race a necessity. It does, as you said, make some personality specifics a necessity, but even with the Witcher example there were more than enough choices in how Grealt could act in a given situation. If they wanted to, Bioware could easily restore race selection and still have a voiced PC (same male voice, same female voice, regardless of race) with enough variety for each race and without rewriting entire dialogues to account for each race.

 

The problem is, I think, that Bioware's design team is so stuck in that cinematic trend that they have completely forgotten there are other ways to add variety to different races, like introducing racial traits, bonuses or weaknesses and/or special abilities available to each class, depending on the chosen race. Think something along the lines of VTM: Bloodlines and the various abilities each clan had - like the Toreadors having a seduction bonus, the Ventrue having that Mind Control dialogue option and in general Mind Control combat abilities, the Nosferatu being great hackers and lockpicks, but forced to use the sewers to move about and the Malkavians being completely insane. I'm sure something similar could be added to Dragon Age, only perhaps less drastic than the above examples. Combine that with some minor dialogue variety, a la DA: Origins, and the result would be pretty neat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

LIKE DA:O didnt really like part 2 being trapped in that city the whole game really. I like to venture into the world not streamlined running around town:¬:.

 

That being said hope the heard all the gripes and are prepared to make a better game im looking forward to DA:3

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  • 11 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
In that case you'll probably like the second game much more. I'd recommend it, DA2 feels nothing like its derpy, cliché-replete predecessor.

 

Is it fair to say that Dragon Age II looks more original, while Dragon Age Origins looks like a Lord of the Rings knockoff?

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