Dragon Age? What the hell happened to you?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by cronicler, May 10, 2009.

  1. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    I've been hearing conflicting reports on the combat now. How different is DA's combat from Baldur's Gate?
  2. Verd1234

    Verd1234 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jan 16, 2009
    Well, the game isnt completely devoid of a moral system. Each of your party members will have a bar that shows how much like like or dislike you based on your actions. After moral choices are made, your reputation among the party will change. Yeah, I know it isnt really a moral system but I like it...Kinda like a more in-depth version of something KOTOR 2 tried to do...

    But you do have a point that they might have not included an allignment system because they didnt know how to implement a good one...ah well...
  3. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Haven't played KOTOR2, but it sounds like a nerfed affection system from Arcanum, applied to the party only as opposed to the whole world.

    BTW, while I'm still waiting for the game, may I make a few more inquiries?

    Do you create the whole party, or just one character, or none at all? Are you free to change members of the party? Will they leave you if "affection" is too low"?
  4. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    You can simply give gifts to your party members to raise their "friendship meter", so there's really no consequences to your good and evil actions, unless you choose to outright kill a potential party member or boot them from your group. I believe people will leave if their alignment reaches "0" but you can always bribe them with gifts so that never happens.

    You only create your main character, others are recruited as you progress in the game. As for swapping party members, you can do it pretty much any time you aren't in combat; but it looks like only your active party members get experience.

    Also, I can't stress how uneven the difficulties are. The leap from Easy to Normal is insane. Easy seems like it was made for preschoolers, while in normal it's quite a common occurrence to have members of your party instantly killed with absolutely nothing you can do about it besides go somewhere else and attempt to grind up random encounters.

    Take Revenants for example. They like to target your mages and cast a spell that pulls them into melee range, where they're promptly killed in 1-2 hits.

    Your party members are also very frustrating to control, since for the most part they're bent on either doing their own thing, or standing there and doing nothing. Pausing and giving them a single command every 2 seconds gets really old.
  5. lisac2k

    lisac2k Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 26, 2004
    Was the game that hard when they decided to do this in the latest 1.01 patch?
    Or is it the latest fashion of making the easy game even easier, just to make sure it'll sell good?

    A rhetorical question, I guess.
  6. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant

    Apr 24, 2005
    On computer, they say it is really hard on "normal"... but depends on what characters you take with you (healing magic yes or no), etc.

    On console the game is much easier on "normal", they say.
  7. agris

    agris Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 8, 2004
    Granted, none of you know me or care about my opinion, but I'm coming from an older "RPG" background (Fallout 1/2, Diablo 1/2, BG 1/2.. humm I'm noticing a trend). I really enjoy tactical aspects of games (Silent Storm 2, heavily modded [some would say munchkin'd up] BG2, Galactic Civilizations, Civ4 etc etc.)

    I thoroughly enjoy DA:O but I might have a lower bar than some of you. It seems some of the forum goers here have... a lot riding on this game and are examining it with a very fine eye for problems.

    Dragon age scratches my tactical itch, plain and simple. It runs well on my old system, the VO's aren't cheesy and when compared to some of the hackneyed, trite writing coming out of Bethesda, Paradox, and a host of other developers, it stands up. Really, its writing stands on its own.

    Regarding the dumb NPC party members: I'm not sure how you all are playing, but fights are about as interactive as I feel like. I'm playing on Hard and there definitely isn't a lot of micromanaging required. This is with a full party (4 people) all with level ~7ish abilities. Most of the 'trash' enemies don't need any skills used, or at most 3 - 4 every couple of mobs, if that. Bosses and sub-bosses require more interaction, but I would disagree across the board with how the combat has been characterized as micromanaging or annoying by others here. Except for the person who compared it to an MMORPG system: (disclaimer: played EQ1, DaoC and Shadowbane. haven't touched any MMOs in ~6 years) the methods and timing of how you use skills reminds me of playing a [midgard]warrior in DaoC, which isn't bad.

    I'm not fanboy, I just like certain types of games. I like Dragon age because it isn't holding my hand (Hard + no plot helpers == fun), it's tactics reminds me of BG II, and a lot of thought has gone into the interface (i.e. mousing over items shows you what you're currently wearing in that respective slot so you don't have to go back-and-forth, new 'information' [quest updates, codex, etc] is pushed to a fading, unobtrusive list on the left that you can click to pull up the respective journal / codex entry).

    If you have an axe to grind against the modern gaming industry, I'm sure you can make a scapegoat out of this but honestly if you focus less on that and just play the game, you might enjoy it more than you think. Don't get me wrong, I'm as tired of the run-of-the-mill slop that gets fed to gamers as everyone else, but really Dragon Age isn't bad.

    Actually, it's good.

    [Edit: playing a rogue on PC, v1.00. Risen's world looks much better than Dragon Age's.]
  8. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, I finally got my hands on the game, and went through the "Prologue", or whatever that may be. Playing a dwarven female warrior (although, tbh, disappointed that I couldn't quite make her look dwarven, especially with the absence of bead and mustache options for females).

    Well, it's a fun game allright. There's some minor bugs, but nothing criminal. The pathfinding is a bit wacky in some places. And where's my container bash?!

    The battles are OK. In no way are they tactical genius, nor do they remind me of BG. It's annoying how long it sometimes takes the character to draw the weapon, and the charas sometimes get "stuck" standing around doing nothing (both an annoyance and an exploit). There's also the thing where you tell the NPCs to do one thing, and they do the other. On the upside, playing a warrior is a lot less boring than in earlier games. The battle system smells and tastes like NWN, with a bit more party control. The "auto action" presets feel rather useless, although may prove more important in future battles. Overall, rather than annoying with RTwP, it feels a bit too bland and simple. The characters dancing around each other is still present, but at least isn't as obnoxious as before.

    The difficulty is just fine on Normal; I'd say it's even a little easy, given that the party auto-heals quickly. Not sure if this happens past the tutorial.

    The game's mostly long, linear dungeons. Could've been better thought out.

    The VA is pretty average. It's not as bad as FO3, but a lot of it feels uninspired. The dialogue is OK - there's a few silly lines here an there, but nothing atrocious. You get an option or two added to the tree in addition to the usual "saint-greedy neutral-baby eater" Bioware options.

    The development tree is a bit too simple. There's only 3 base classes, which can lead to elites. Overall reminds me of skill progression in an MMO more than an RPG. By no means do you feel the dice rolling.

    Overall, what can I say? It feels like they tried to get a little bit of the Witcher thing going here, but overall they just remade NWN again, solving a few flaws here and there but changing virtually nothing, if anything simplifying the formula even further. I'll be playing this for a lack of other things to play. It's a good game by today's standards, but it clearly shows the degradation of the gaming industry, and its need to make the games "accessible" to the console users. I wish Troika was still around ;((
  9. agris

    agris Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 8, 2004

    If you're having trouble with the NPCs not listening to you, you can disable the tactics (really just the AI button from BG). Enabling Hold is also good for when you don't want to completely turn off tactics but don't want your party members running through doors etc.

    It's interesting that you don't find combat similar to BG, it feels very similar to me. Maybe you should turn it up to hard? I have to routinely make use of choke points, pulling, scouting etc which was the bread and butter of battle field management in BG.

    What I'm curious about is how deep the magic system gets. I enjoyed the 'layers' involved in debuffing / countering magic users in the baldur's gate series (sword coast strategems ftw), I wonder if dragon age will capture something like it?
  10. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, I may do just that. My problem is not so much that they do what they're not asked, but get "stuck", and don't "unstuck" even if I tell them to, sometimes.

    Not sure what you mean by "choke points". I mean, I'm guessing what you mean by that, but I naver used it even in BG. Pulling and scouting, to me, isn't much of a strategy, at least not an enjoyable one. It's more like a routine inherited from h&s games. Also, the dungeons being linear and simple as they are thus far, there isn't really much point to "scouting". You just go out and clean everything that moves methodically.

    It's not to say that the game bears no resemblance to BG2, but it's a very distant one, and it feels a lot more like NWN.

    Yeah, magic was the height of BG2 strategy (although I tend to favour RTwP less than TB for tactics); I'm not playing a magic user atm, so I can't really make a reasonable prediction; if the magic system is anything like the "skill tree" (which is more like a bunch of linear cut-off "branches"), then it's highly unlikely that it'll get complex; my guess is that it'll be more like magic in WoW.
  11. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    Choke points meaning doorways.

    Move a warrior and mage in front of the door of any room filled with enemies, wait until they swarm the warrior, then have the mage cone of cold, shock, and fireball them. If they aren't dead (unlikely), hit them with another aoe.

    It's disappointing how poorly balanced the encounters are.[spoiler:8635a06cab]For example, the super "holy shit this guy is 20 feet tall boss) at the top of the mage tower is 1000% easier than everything you encountered up until then (especially the "mini-boss" that requires you to kill him 4-5 times in one sitting).[/spoiler:8635a06cab]
  12. agris

    agris Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 8, 2004
    Right, or any structure that keeps you from getting flanked / overwhelmed.

    This game is weird, I think I've wanted a modern BG2 for so long that I'm more excited about DA than I should be. A lot of these quests are pretty cliched, I feel sometimes like I'm playing a caricature of the fantasy RPG genre.
  13. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Oh, the story is a cheesy as it can get. Also, it's like Bioware tried to make Witcher, and STILL got NWN :lol:

    On the tower boss: he was annoying more than hard. I had to pause every 2 seconds to give the characters orders, so they actually do what they're supposed to. For some reason every so often my mage would like to get a "closer look" at the boss :roll: I had to have the poor guy running in circles so he doesn't get killed... It was EXTREMELY annoying also that if you give the command to attack, and the enemy moves only TWO FUCKING FEET, the command gets cancelled, and the charas just stand around. In short, the "tactics" will need some more tweaking on my part.

    Thus far, the thing possibly most annoying about the game is the utter lack of an Aggro button. This makes pretty much all non-monster NPCs unkillable, unless allowed by a quest. The side-issue is the lack of a Bash button (and the "open lock" system in general is designed very poorly...). I also have to agree on the lack of atmosphere - the places where you meet the darkspawn look happy and sunny, not corrupted by pestilence and desolation. The towns are pretty empty, and people sort of just stand around...

    Overall, it feels like playing an MMO... with a plot.
  14. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    Playing a male Dalish Elf warrior (sword and shield), got past the tutorial including that village Lothren or whatever it' called.

    I also finished 3 out of 5 origin stories (since mage's is the same for both races and haven't touched the dwarves yet), so I tried out diffrent character builds. Now I finally made a good character, which also gives me interesting feedback from other NPCs. I must say that I am quite satisfied with these stories, I had fun finishing all of them.

    Honestly people, if you can't handle this game, it means something is wrong on YOUR part. With some effort, I got past the ogre after the second time, it wasn't half as hard as people say it would (playing with the 1.01a patch on normal). If you're not careful, then yes, you can get killed by some random dudes, but hey - that's what life is, isn't it? Just because you're good it won't guarantee you success every time. Quit whining or perhaps don't play a rogue\mage if you aren't experienced with the game enough (as most people I've talked to who have problems with the game does).

    Dialogues are mostly very enjoyable, characters feel alive and are well-crafted. It ain't Planescape Torment, but at last Bioware realised that making 10 conversation options giving you 2 or 3 responses from the NPC isn't such a grand idea. Also, lots of people will respond to your race and origin and I mean lots. For example, when I hit the Dalish camp when the proper game starts, everyone recognized me as a part of their community and treated me accordingly.

    I'll post some more impression soon.
  15. Tycn

    Tycn Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 27, 2008
    I'm 25 hours in and 25% completed, playing as mage. Disappointing but still enjoyable.

    Some parts are actually stupid-hard. For example being surrounded by a dozen melee enemies, many of them with the 'overpower' skill (knocks you down and and causes massive damage, pretty much a death sentence). If it just so happens that two party members are overpowered at the same time, it's pretty much game over. Most of the encounters feel exploitative rather than truly 'tactical'. Spellcasters are also incredibly weak which often makes it necessary to give them the old runaround, which feels very cheesy.

    If anyone else plays the mage, take the cold line instead of fire. It's far superior from what I've gathered. There are plenty of useless talents, but the descriptions aren't detailed enough to tell until you've taken them.

    A good portion is still fake dialogue which results in the same response.

    The hugely hyped C&C is overall meh. On two or three occasions it really surprised me and was interesting and enjoyable at an almost Torment-like level, but a most of it is either bland and predictable or devoid of choices. The player character is also forced towards the paladin side despite the dark, gritty greyness - there are parts where I felt like I was bound to be offered a morally dubious option to further my own power, but it never came.

    Party banter is really, really bad. Seeing Zevran inquire about the boobies of an 80 year old is more painful than amusing. Although some people might like that kind of thing.

    Agreed. Most of the bosses are a cinch, the full-sized dragon that I fought gave me a lot less trouble than a baby dragon the size of a horse. Street thugs are much, much more powerful than darkspawn or elite guards. There is also plenty of combat triggered by dialogue, which stops you from using your traps and teleports your party to the hostiles. Not being able to attack non-hostile targets NPCs is annoying.
  16. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    No. The game is catered to as large a market as possible. If the game is then too difficult for a lot of people, then that is a problem with the game.

    Also, how can you judge the difficulty of the entire game if you've only played a small part of it?
  17. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    I refered to the part I've played and everyone seem to have incredible trouble with - the ogre, so to speak. Perhaps I should be more accurate in my respond.

    It suprises me though, that people complained about lack of challenge in modern games, like Fallout 3 or Bioshock for example (not exactly RPGs, but the example is still good), but when they get a challenging game, it's suddenly all bad. Yeah, if it ain't balanced it's frustrating, but I also seem to remember folks on this forum praising the old games for it (can't remember which thread though), that it was all the fun and how rewarding it was to complete such a game. Overall, this is just an observation, so I do not claim this to be true.

    To be honest, I got my ass kicked all the time with my first two characters, but instead of sticking to them, I made one that can actually survive in a fight. Took some effort, but it's doable and you don't need to get out of the tutorial to see if you made a good enough character. Again, this requires some effort on your part.

    Make no mistake, I can see that there are some parts about this game which are simply bad, no excuse (a part of dialogues and romances for example, Bioware still fails at it). I still need to play it more to make my final opinion about it, but it irritates me to see people complaining about the fact that they can get easily killed and it's not only on this forum.
  18. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    Wait... you've only done Ostagar, and you're telling those of us who have played through the entire game to "stop whining" because we "can't handle it"? You're really going to go there?

    Come back and tell me how easy it is once you've fought archer groups with scatter shot who are being supported by blood mages (Open field, no cover or bottlenecks). I'd love to see how "good" you are when facing revenants with 7 skeletons backing them up, or groups of templars using holy smite.

    Or shit, actually get somewhere in the damned game. Ostagar is the equivalent of upper city Taris in kotor. The majority of scripted battles start with you being completely surrounded and outnumbered, and give you no time to position your characters before you're spammed with stuns, knockdowns and freezes.

    Actually, it's still like that. I've reloaded many-a-save to redo conversations, and different dialog selections will almost always give you the same line, or one extra line of speech and then the same line afterwords. Hell, even a lot of the good and evil options get the exact same response.
  19. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    This is probably just a consequence of people complaining about what they don't like, but not praising what they do like.
    That is, the people who like a tough game only speak up when games are too easy, and people who don't mind an easy game only speak up when a game is too tough.

    This, however, is absolutely terrible. Offering seemingly equivalent choices and then punishing players for making a choice they have no way of knowing is 'wrong' is a terrible gameplay mechanic.
  20. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    Alright, alright, it seems I went ahead of myself. Next time I'll post after I played a good portion of the game.