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Dragon Age II Released

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the time-to-upgrade-that-video-card dept.

Role Playing (Games) 168

Today marks the US launch of Dragon Age II, the sequel to BioWare's popular 2009 RPG Dragon Age: Origins. Like its predecessor and other BioWare RPGs, Dragon Age II is non-linear and has extensive dialog, though this time the story focuses on a particular character, Hawke, whose race and identity you can't change. A demo of the game is available, and early opinions noted both the impressive art direction and less punishing difficulty settings. BioWare has also released an optional ~1GB texture pack for the PC version that bumps up the level of detail for owners of high end computers. They explained some of the technological changes they made in a couple of blog posts. It's available for Windows, OS X, the PS3, and the Xbox 360.

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168 comments

Dragon Age is great game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421096)

I personally liked the first game because of the way the story

Re:Dragon Age is great game (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421434)

  • cut off?
  • didn't end?
  • go to page 47

Re:Dragon Age is great game (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421520)

Oh yeah, I liked the way the story too!

Re:Dragon Age is great game (1, Funny)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422414)

This isn't the Sopranos. You might want to finish your post and not just cut off mid sen

Re:Dragon Age is great game (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422608)

This isn't the Sopranos. You might want to finish your post and not just cut off mid sen

Whoooo

Uh-oh. (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421124)

Another nose-dive for productivity in the developed world!

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421204)

Not until they lower the price from $60 for the PC version it's not.

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421352)

Not until they lower the price from $60 for the PC version it's not.

Seriously? Steam has it for £30, which is a bit steep but $60 would be closer to £40. I can't imagine anyone paying that for a computer game. I wouldn't even pay that for Portal 2 - £30 maybe.

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421448)

Amazon had it for $40 USD yesterday as part of their deal of the day. It's $60 USD on Steam where I prefer to purchase it from.

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421940)

The console versions outsell the PC version...

Re:Uh-oh. (1)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421216)

I think I can afford to miss a few linear algebra assignments in the next couple weeks....

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421874)

I think I can afford to miss a few linear algebra assignments in the next couple weeks....

Of course you do, that's how I got through college too.

Oh wait...

Re:Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422182)

Are you possibly attending UW? LOL

Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421228)

You can pause the game during combat. You can quick save at any time. You can set the tactics for the AI. Potions are incredibly easy to craft, or simply buy with the copious amounts of gold available.

Players these days...I've beat the game twice on the hardest difficulty setting. Yes, it's difficult. But it's supposed to be. Getting a little tired of games catering to the lowest common denominator.

Oh, I'm sorry, it makes you feel bad because you had to set the game at casual difficulty? Well then try harder. But don't ruin it for everyone else.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421388)

You can't save during combat at all in DAO.

Other than that I'd agree that combat in DAO was pretty easy, even on the hardest difficulty. That was mainly due to mages being massively overpowered. As long as you did the mage tower first to get Wynne the rest of the game was plain sailing, especially with a mage PC.

Apparently in DA2 they've replaced spell combos with cross class combos to make the other classes more relevant. Even in other RPG systems (i.e. D&D, although in D&D they're a lot weaker to start with) mages have always been massively overpowered engines of destruction, so I guess it makes sense to just acknowledge that the power to control elements & stuff means massive combat potential and just let the other classes support them.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421556)

Other than that I'd agree that combat in DAO was pretty easy, even on the hardest difficulty.

I can't agree with this. The game was fucking hard even on normal, primarily because mages were overpowered (including enemy mages). You could only survive against a mage by stunlocking them. God forbid there were two or three, because you were fucked when that happened.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (2)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421714)

Nope. Mana Clash killed 95%+ of enemy mages in the game in one shot, every time. As a non-friendly-fire AoO.

Basically if their name wasn't in red, they were going to die from it.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

Chaotic222 (1114981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421822)

I played through the whole game on hard and didn't have to use potions except for the odd boss fight, or of wynn's AI decided to have her walk into a group of enemies when I wasn't paying attention. Seriously, I wouldn't say it was easy, but I can't imagine anyone thinking the game was hard.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421768)

Wow everyone must have played it different. I found mages useless and utterly destroyed them easily with the rogues. Wynne was strongest of all the mages in the game but even she dies too easy in combat Morrigan does better when you equip her in lots of armor, mages robes = I'm dead in the game.. I preferred the meat grinder with high level runes on killer weapons. I had the one dwarf set up with a warhammer that would kill most with a single hit. Darkspawn were nothing more than goodie bags to trade for gold.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422212)

Solution to that was pretty simple: carry multiple mages in your party. I played a mage PC, and carried Morrigan throughout the whole game. Once both had crushing prison controlling 2 mages was cake. If there was a third you basically just blasted the heck out of them and kept them moving as much as possible (cast Horror and such). They went down quickly.

As a matter of fact the only encounter I really had trouble with was Ser Cauthrien right after rescuing Anora. Just too many guys to try to get under control with Cauthrien mowing through my party. I think I replayed that encounter at least 2 dozen times before completing it. Most everything else though was pretty straightforward.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422710)

The Ser Cauthrien encounter took me two tries to get (mage PC, normal difficulty). Storm of the Century pretty much sweeps the room clear of archers in a flash. A fight you're clearly meant to lose just shouldn't be that easy.

There's really not any conclusion I can draw but that some of the spells / spell combinations weren't really tested out very well, or that they wanted the game to be dramatically easier if you were a mage who picked the right spells. I just can't believe that it's intentional, for example, that Mana Clash drains all the mana from most enemy mages and does enough damage to kill them three times over.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421718)

I agree. Mass Effect I was a LOT BETTER and delivered far more wide range of modifications and weapons... MEII came out and dumbed it down drastically. The worlds were far more limited, interaction is more limited... it's more of a "go here do this good boy!" I am afraid they ruined Dragon Age with numbing down of the whole system like they did for Mass Effect.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421890)

No offense but Mass Effect 1's copy-and-paste worlds were one of the worst parts of the game, along with the Mako APC.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422474)

No offense but Mass Effect 1's copy-and-paste worlds were one of the worst parts of the game, along with the Mako APC.

Yeah, that was the point where I finally gave up and uninstalled it. Bad driving physics on cookie-cutter worlds wihle randomly being killed by worms jumping out of the ground is really not my idea of a fun time.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (3, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421902)

Well my GF is a avid RPG player, and enjoys cRPG's on the side. She got home oh an hour or two ago. Installed, starting playing 30ish mins in she was raging and screaming going where are my choices and what's up with this shitty dialog. I want a RPG, not a action-adventure game. Which promptly 5mins later resulted in her storming out of the house, and driving off game in hand. I think she's out for a refund, and woe to the person who tries to refuse it.

I know people will go bahwhaha GF what? Yeah some of us managed to hook one anyway.

I didn't even have a chance to play, but I'm hearing a lot of people use the phrase "Dragon the Mass Age Effect". Which doesn't bode well, and I get the feeling EA has given Bioware the touch of death.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422166)

Yeah, but it is one that goes of on Friday nights for hours on end, and the one time you followed her and found her at some dude's house with 5 other guys, she told you she was "playing D&D". Yeah, that's why she was in a leather bikini and the guys were all standing around in loin cloths.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422252)

It's not the fact that you claim you have a girlfriend that makes me think that your post is fake, but that you claim she stomped off "game in hand" for a refund. Having heard enough stories in my time to tell when creativity starts to take the place of reality, I detect some falsehood there - a bit of embellishment at a minimum.

Re:Oh please, DAO 1 too difficult? (1)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422830)

When I played the demo, it did seem like button-mashing hack-n-slash. But I'm going to reserve further judgment until I get a few hours in. For now, it's sitting on my doorstep waiting for me to get home from work.

I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421244)

I played the demo - gameplay graphics still suck and it's still insanely hard.

Do yourself a favor and buy something else that came out today - the DLC for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

Re:I call BS (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422256)

I played the demo - gameplay graphics still suck and it's still insanely hard.

What, do you completely suck? I played through the demo three times to mess with the various classes. I think one of my siblings died in a battle, once. After the battle ended they jumped up again, and off we went. Not even the ogre was able to do a whole lot of damage before dying.

Re:I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422838)

while(battle != complete)
{
      target = ChooseTarget();
      while(target != dead)
      {
              PauseBattle();
              for(x = 0; x numCharacters; x++)
              {
                        SwitchCharacter();
                        IssueCommand();
              }
              Sleep(500);
      }
}

Yay, I'm having fun beating DA.

Re:I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422352)

You must be awful at video games for Dragon Age to have kicked your ass.

Bioware (1)

Kylock (608369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421294)

I have been a huge fan of Bioware games since Baldur's Gate and they continue to churn out awesomely produced games in spite of the current gaming economy.

Re:Bioware (1)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421502)

These days the only Bioware games that haven't been shit are the ones that weren't massively hyped. Mass Effect and SW:KOTOR were great. ME2 and DA:O are terrible and I regret purchasing them.

Re:Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422032)

ME2 really isn't that bad as long as you had forged your own limited path, which usually meant going female renegade. Wouldn't play it twice however.

Re:Bioware (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422284)

ME2 and DA:O are terrible and I regret purchasing them.

From this statement we can also garner that you don't like Firefly, ice cream, or a baby's laughter. It's okay to have your opinions.

Re:Bioware (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422408)

I really liked Jade Empire and it's mesh of styles. And at only $5 or $10 on steam these days, it gives you some time for the new releases to calm down in their initial pricing (or package up with the DLC).

Re:Bioware (3, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422514)

I refuse to buy it because of EA though. The last Dragon Age I had to sign into their servers to use the equipment that was supposed to come with the game. (Collector's Edition "perks".)

If/When Bioware splits ties with EA, then I will resume purchasing Bioware games.

Re:Bioware (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422580)

How can you even mention Baldur's Gate in the context of Dragon Age...the quality difference between the two games is simply astounding.

Re:Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422632)

I hope you mean that statement in favor of Baldur's Gate (well BG2/ToB at least). Dragon Age Origins was great for the first half, but I lost steam towards the end.

Translation for Baldur's Gate fans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421308)

"Impressive art direction" means "we've turned it all to shit with an anime theme in an effort to appeal to the console players."

Re:Translation for Baldur's Gate fans (1)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421468)

Totally. I loved the BG and IWD series games so much (still play them occasionally) that when I heard that DA:O was a spiritual successor to them I picked it up for $50 without even trying it first, something I usually never do. I have to say that is one of the very few game purchases I regret. For $50 I got an incomplete game with crappy visuals, a thin plot, and NPCs asking for my credit card left and right. "Help! Help, my castle is on fire! Help me please!" "Ok, I'd be happy to help. Where is it?" "Oh thank you thank you! Now I just need you to give me 1200 Bioware Points and then we can be on our way :)" I mean come on... Worse yet, turns out that all those DLC quests and such you're bugged about throughout the game are actually already on the XBOX 360 game disk. When you purchase them it just downloads a tiny activation file to allow you access to content that was created and mastered along with the base game...

Re:Translation for Baldur's Gate fans (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421656)

No, the DLC quests are not just a tiny activation file—unless 700 MB is suddenly "tiny".

Re:Translation for Baldur's Gate fans (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422300)

and NPCs asking for my credit card left and right.

ONCE in the entire game is "left and right"?????

An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421326)

I love the idea of interactive storytelling but I've been greatly disappointed by most of the rpg's I've played. Usually they have terribly dull and uninteresting storylines you couldn't be bothered to give a goddamn about. There's no real storyline propelling the game, just random side-quests along the "collecting goblin noses" standard.

There's plenty of potential for the genre but all of the games feel alike and remain dull. Oblivion remains an unbelievably gorgeous game, jaw-dropping and absolutely amazing. But the counter-intuitive leveling system took immersion and broke it on the wheel. The trite and boring storyline snuffed out any sense of weight and meaning in the gameplay.

And I'd like to second whoever said the original Dragon Age had hideous graphics. Ugly beyond all belief. I don't know how they were able to release it in this day and age. Naff.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421402)

Give me storyline and a powerful score and I don't care about graphics.

To me the problem with RPG;s these days is that the graphical elements and putting battles in the immersive environment (rather than cutting to battles like old-school RPGs) actually damages the immersion. That and Nobuo Uematsu doesn't work for computer RPGs :P

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421432)

Meh. I haven't been too impressed with any RPGs for about 10 years now.

I kind-of-sort-of liked Bioware's Mass Effect series, but mainly only because of Jennifer Hale [youtube.com] . Good voice acting in RPGs redefines the whole experience.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421578)

Good voice acting in RPGs redefines the whole experience.

Voice acting in RPGs makes me want to yell 'shut up and let me get on with actually playing the game'. There's usually way too much dialog that's repetitve or dull, and I can read subtites twice as fast as they speak so I just keep pressing the 'get on with it' button... if there is one, isn't Mass Effect's dialog mostly unskippable?

I've basically given up on modern 'RPGs' because most of them seem to expect me to spend most of the 'game' watchng tedious cut-scenes that are like something out of a Sci-Fi channel movie without Bruce Campbell.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421684)

No, all of Mass Effect's dialogue is skippable. On 360, it's X; on PC, I think it's spacebar or escape by default.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421750)

I think the cutscenes were unskippable, but I modded ME1 and ME2 so I could skip them on subsequent playthroughs.

I never did finish the later playthroughs, so I guess that shows how much I liked the two games. The dialog and voice acting was the mainly enjoyable part. Which isn't a minor thing, because it alone was better than Oblivion was in its full-game RPG entirety.

Sometimes I wish DA had no voice acting at all because awful voiceovers just ruin it. DA2 is only worse from the previews I've seen.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421646)

There was very little point to ever levelling up in Oblivion, everything scaled along with you. Things are pretty F'd up when you're suddenly a band of random highwaymen waylay you wearing magic weapons and armour, honestly thats when for me the game simply jumped the shark. They really should have made the environment challenging depending on your location, not have the environment react to how powerful you are. Oblivion had a world large enough to accomodate this style of play. I've always enjoyed building my character up in order to tackle the advanced area's or opponents. Especially that deep challenge of testing the waters in a new area when you're at the bottom of the power curve, requires a lot more skill to suceed. Dragon Age felt far more like a game on rails to me, with a few decisions here and there that had little bearing on the overall story outcome.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421816)

Yea Oblivion wasn't very good in vanilla but with the right mods it became of the best games, in my opinion. Don't remember which mod it was. Well, actually it was a popular composite mod ... something with several Os ... O-somethings Oblivion Overhaul or other. Anyway, that and a few tweaks to make archery more viable and graphical upgrades made Oblivion awesome. The only thing I didn't like was the main story and its "demons from some stereotypical lava-plain of existency" malarky.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (2)

discord5 (798235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422070)

Usually they have terribly dull and uninteresting storylines you couldn't be bothered to give a goddamn about.

Yes, well not all RPGs can have you be the son/daughter of the dead lord of Murder on a quest to discover your heritage and powers. That would get old real soon.

Oblivion remains an unbelievably gorgeous game, jaw-dropping and absolutely amazing. But the counter-intuitive leveling system took immersion and broke it on the wheel. The trite and boring storyline snuffed out any sense of weight and meaning in the gameplay.

The expansion made it even prettier, although I forgot the name already. Oblivion had a lot of issues, and the most annoying one was having only 4 voice actors for the entire game (not counting Patrick Stewart). If you're complaining about the leveling system I'm guessing that you never played Morrowind, which used the same leveling system for characters (although with slightly different skills). What was really broken was enchanting if you'd keep the soulstone that one of the deities would give you. I'm talking "murdering the entire world in under two hours"-kind of broken with corpses flying left and right.

On top of that was another annoying issue: scaled level encounters. While it served to keep the game interesting, the effect was quite the opposite. The encounters didn't really become any harder, just longer and more tedious. In the end it became so over the top that simple bushrobbers had the best gear. To top it off, the nearly psychic guards who could detect you murdering people and stealing stuff even if you were inside a building. The guards of course had one a single line for catching your doing evil: "Stop right there criminal scum!", after which the player would invariably choose "Resist" at which point all the guards in town would start attacking you all saying the following four sentences "HRWAH!" "You should've paid the fine!" "HRAAAGH!" and "Help! Murder! Someone's been murdered!". To this day, those guards still haunt me.

Storywise Oblivion was kind of okay, except it was much too short. The main storyline would take only two evenings to complete, and with the guild storylines combined you'd have about a week of evenings before you'd finished the game. The dungeons that were spread across the lands were pretty much copy pasted. If you'd done a dungeon or 5 you'd recognize most parts after that. Same for the ruins, same for the areas in oblivion. There was very little unique loot in Oblivion. In an RPG I'd expect to find a bit more variation than "Randomly Generated Enchantment Stats Sword #29485". You'd expect that in diablo, but not in a more traditional RPG.

But ... If you think that's bad for a modern RPG, I suggest you avoid the genre entirely. A prime candidate of everything wrong combined would be Two Worlds, and to a lesser extent Two Worlds 2. Those are just HORRIBLE in every department. A surprisingly decent game was The Witcher. It's no Baldurs Gate or Planescape : Torment storywise, but it does decent enough, has a neat skill and alchemy system. Don't expect to go looting "Vorpal Sword +5" or something like that, since it doesn't accomodate that, but it's fun.

And I'd like to second whoever said the original Dragon Age had hideous graphics. Ugly beyond all belief. I don't know how they were able to release it in this day and age.

Meh, graphics... Give me decent gameplay or a damn good storyline and I'd play it if it was still sprite based. I personally care less to see each blade of grass moving in the wind, than I care about a story that keeps me entertained enough to want to know how it ends. Fallout 3 looked really terrible in my opinion, but the story was more than involving enough for me to see it through 'till the end.

And finally, it's always the little things that do it for me in an RPG. Sometimes it's finding a rare weapon in a chest, or finding a small side-quest that is actually involving, or finding an obscure reference to an older game in the series or something incredibly geeky. You know, that little bit extra that gives the game that personal touch that shows the devs cared about their work, instead of "Yeah, we built this so you'd buy DLCs. CONSUME!"

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422626)

Meh, graphics... Give me decent gameplay or a damn good storyline and I'd play it if it was still sprite based. I personally care less to see each blade of grass moving in the wind, than I care about a story that keeps me entertained enough to want to know how it ends.

I think the problem with DA was that it was a great game in every way except the graphics. It still won awards even with its 2002 graphics. It seemed odd that a game released in 2010 was only around Everquest graphics quality, and even that level of graphics could bring a medium graphics card to a slideshow.

Re:An rpg for people who don't like rpg's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422956)

The way I remember DAO it's like this:

Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding

AWESOME DUNGEON HACK

Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding

Listen to woman wail about her son being about to die for 20 minutes
Kill son
Apparently he can be resurrected? Some writer somewhere needs to be slightly stabbed.

Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding
AWESOME DUNGEON HACK
Quest-grinding
Quest-grinding

Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like all (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421476)

else before it :

back 10-20 years ago, computer tech was limited. you couldnt stray too far off from a format. you had to end the game in the same format you started it. in the same genre. because platforms didnt have the resources to expand to many different formats and their technical demands in regard to hard disk, processing power, and memory.

but there were hybrid games even then - like pirates and so on. they allowed you to expand and expand and your GAMEPLAY changed with passing time. not just your attributed strengths and stats, and a storyline.

today, despite the gaming platforms has phenomenal power compared to platforms of old, still the SAME stuff is being done - pigeonhole the player into whatever format you started with, optionally sprinkled with only traces of styles/formats from other genres ... like mini puzzles, or small trading etc.

but it could be much bigger. you could have numerous game areas, and when you are really bored from one, you could move to another area.

this would actually be more realistic in every way ; in almost all games you develop to a point you are totally a factor that would affect any world, if you developed something to that point (stats etc), but nothing changes - noone comes and asks you to be their general or king, and actual strategy happens. someone who became as strong as the characters in rpgs (da, mass effect included) would actually have SO much clout in the world they were living in that, a lot of things would be effected and revolving around them. but, because innovation and experiments are prohibited in mass manufacturing gaming, escapism is used - 'oh, our character is humble, and he does this/that. or, our character marries with the queen and happy ever after'

that is totally in contrast to what happens in the most important core material that almost all fantasy and rpg gaming had been initially based and devloped on ; lord of the rings :

remember lotr timeline ; the adventurers start as a small band of brave adventurers, during their journeys, they come up against many things, and become stronger. after a certain point, however, they get involved in politics (when gandalf returns, trying to influence the major players of the world to joining combat, like edoras, or fangorn), after a point, they get involved in tactics and strategy (helm's deep) in battle-scale, and after a certain point, they are strategists, conducting a campaign, (after helm's deep, advancing on to sauron as army of the 'captains of the west'), and after a certain point, they are the shapers of the world they live in. (when the war ends, aragorn is king, and everyone returns to building the world again).

but see, ALL of the games up till now, always pigeonholes the player into what it was at the start, EVEN if they are directly based on lotr. (no, the map-trigger 'adventure' gimmicks of various rts maps do not count).

but, just take a moment now, and imagine how it could be, if gaming companies innovated as such into hybridizing their games instead of increasing the polygon count and number of dungeons in their games. just think for a moment.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (2)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421700)

That's a lot of words to say you don't like the genre.

I don't like things, too. Mostly I just don't buy them.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421820)

It would suck.

If I'm playing an RPG I want to play an RPG that gets the RPG things right, if I want to play an RTS I'll play an RTS not some shitty hybrid RPG/RTS/FPS/Puzzle/Adventure/Collectible Card/Fighter/Flight Simulator game that does nothing well.

Sure if they want to tell an epic story have an RPG tell the first part and Civilization tell the last part, but don't make it all one game.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422242)

then you dont know shit about gaming. best of the best in the golden age of gaming, were hybrid games. pirates, defender of crown, star control 2 and similar.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422324)

Wow. Those go way back. I'd forgotten Defender of the Crown. It's true -- I often wonder why RTS games don't also have quests to improve your heroes, etc.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422550)

leave aside that, the hybridness of defender of the crown, actually made the world you lived in real - there were things happening, as they would happen depending on context - you go to a castle raiding - you are just another strong man with a sword. you go to tournament - regardless of whether youre king or holy roman emperor, you are now just a man on a horse with a stick in his hand. this was as such in reality, not to mention that, doing some of these were the obligations of the nobles by then.

now take dragon age - dungeon after dungeon after dungeon after dungeon after dungeon ..... not because there would be THAT many dungeons even in a fantasy world - but because it is much more coding-efficient in order to just make new dungeons once you have set the format and have the necessary in-house utility-mapmaker etc.

games are not being built around immersive realism from the eyes of the first person like they were being made in the early days of gaming - the industrialization of the sector turned gaming into manufacturing - efficiency of production and interchangeable parts.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422674)

they do. King Arthur (http://store.steampowered.com/app/24400/) for example.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422842)

nope not even close.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422648)

Oh noes my taste is different than yours, it's the end of the world. And yes I played all those games, and yes they were good at the time. They are however crap now (well ok Defender of the Crown was crap then too).

And I still would prefer separate games. If I want to watch a romantic comedy I'd prefer it not also be a thriller.

ooooook then (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422854)

why watch a romantic comedy, instead of a romance movie or a comedy then.

you are contradicting your own argument.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422748)

If those counts as hybrids then so do DA:O and any party RPG, which inevitably interrupts the usual game to handle battles.

In fact DA:O has three different games:
1. Interactive full-motion video. This is the only place you can change the outcome of quests, or really anything in the game
2. A game where you move around non-consequentially on a map (the so-called RPG part)
3. A tactical combat game.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422836)

You forget Elite! One of the first and most successful hybrids of its time... Oh sweet frontier..

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

santiago (42242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422954)

If I'm playing an RPG I want to play an RPG that gets the RPG things right, if I want to play an RTS I'll play an RTS not some shitty hybrid RPG/RTS/FPS/Puzzle/Adventure/Collectible Card/Fighter/Flight Simulator game that does nothing well.

I know, we could call it Spore!

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421914)

Having played all PC versions of Pirates and a few others, the gameplay didn't really change a whole lot as you progressed. It's a fairly varied game overall, though, with elements of story, exploration, trading, fighting, strategy, character development, etc. All of them fairly light fare, though. And I don't really feel like playing an RPG which evolves into a RTS as you describe: I like the tactical combat sometimes seen in good RPGs, but I don't like RTS as a general rule.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422254)

it didnt change MUCH, because as said, there were technical limitations in the original version back in c64 age. they didnt twist the concept, they just built it in better form in latest pc versions.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (2)

Saerko (1174897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422116)

back 10-20 years ago, computer tech was limited. you couldnt stray too far off from a format. you had to end the game in the same format you started it. in the same genre. because platforms didnt have the resources to expand to many different formats and their technical demands in regard to hard disk, processing power, and memory.

If only system hardware were the only limitation...oh wait, it's not. Have you ever played FF7? There were mini-games all over the place, including one which was essentially a really shitty RTS. Or how about Halo, where you can go solo or command a small squad, even jumping into vehicles? Hell, Halo: Reach even included space combat.

The problem isn't that games don't cross genres, its that companies that are good at RPGs don't necessarily have the time, budget, or expertise to make a multi-genre game. A good way to think about it is how many shitty "Me too!" games there are out there for every blockbuster that comes out. Even if you're just developing a single-genre game, most companies have a hard time meeting the player's expectations.

You don't have to pick on videogames either--you can look at the traditional market too. The only system I know that combined RPG, Strategic, Tactical (both Naval AND Land), and Diplomatic elements in full was the Birthright setting in 2nd Ed D&D, and even it was crippled by its simplistic and boring tactical component. I'm a miniature wargamer right now playing Warmachine/Hordes, and even though its parent company Privateer Press is making moves to get back into the RPG market, I'm not sure if they'll really be able to pull off a scale-resilient setting and compatible RPG system.

tl;dr: Shit's hard man. Try it sometime.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422156)

this would actually be more realistic in every way ; in almost all games you develop to a point you are totally a factor that would affect any world, if you developed something to that point (stats etc), but nothing changes - noone comes and asks you to be their general or king, and actual strategy happens. someone who became as strong as the characters in rpgs (da, mass effect included) would actually have SO much clout in the world they were living in that, a lot of things would be effected and revolving around them. but, because innovation and experiments are prohibited in mass manufacturing gaming, escapism is used - 'oh, our character is humble, and he does this/that. or, our character marries with the queen and happy ever after'

No, that sounds good but it would suck. Here's why: it's hard enough to make a game in a single genre that's any good. You start trying to go cross-genre, you're now greatly increasing the chance something's going to suck.

Something like GTAIII to IV is pretty unusual in that it's a hybrid of a first-person shooter and a vehicle sim. Even at that the vehicle controls are a bit spongy and make precision maneuvers difficult. Not so bad on normal missions but ruinous in the races.

There were already enough complaints with the way GTA IV handled all the mini-games. People were saying "I'm three hours into the game and still getting tutorials! This sucks!" And most of the mini-games were pretty forgettable. Darts, pool, the dating stuff. It sounds nice on paper but a lot of people found them completely distracting. Fortunately, you could skip most of that stuff or just do autoplay.

But what you're proposing would have the potential of introducing a brand new play mechanic really late in the game with the potential of ruining the feel of it. While it remains theoretically possible to do something like this right, in practice it would remain exceedingly difficult.

No it isnt. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422318)

Here's why: it's hard enough to make a game in a single genre that's any good.

the above 'is not'.

its not hard enough to make a game in single genre that's any good. with the amount of resources that are being poured into obfuscating aspects of modern games (graphics, resolution, textures, polygons), much more could be made. in some respects, graphics concept already passed the point where human eye can comfortably keep up anyway.

moreover, straying off to multiple genres could make a lot of things much more easier - because you can switch to formats that are strong when a certain stage of the story/game arrives, and hence cut your effort needed in that stage, and switch back to others when they are strong or more efficient to use in that stage in the game.

furthermore, its about immersion. its much more important than trying to make gaudy graphics appear in less-interactive cutscene formats for immersing the player in the game environment.

things need to actually happen in the game world, for immersion.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422486)

Spore is very much like you describe. the game changes based on your level.

Re:Apart from being dumbfoundingly mundane like al (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422860)

i have spore. unfortunately its way too simplistic, and immersion is much limited.

EA Destroyed Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421514)

Bioware used to be great. I loved their games. Spent more time than I want to admit playing and creating worlds in Neverwinter Nights. But, the docs sold out to EA. EA axed multiplayer in Dragon Age therefore I never bought it, and I surely won't be buying DA2 for the same reason.

Dragon Age I's Choices (1)

nitroscen (811508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421618)

Does anyone know if your choices from the original Dragon Age carry over? I heard somewhere they were going to carry over the decisions your character made and incorporate it into the sequel - much like Mass Effect.

Re:Dragon Age I's Choices (3, Informative)

space_jake (687452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421734)

You can carry over a save from Origins or Awakening but I haven't seen where it comes into play yet.

Re:Dragon Age I's Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422180)

I haven't seen any full list about this yet, and it will probably be a while before one is compiled, but one place I've heard mentioned is interactions with Isabella (who appears in the demo). I would guess it would also affect the possible appearance or non-appearance of other characters from Origins depending on whether or not they survived, such as Sten and Loghain, and possibly the results of romantic encounters - like maybe Leliana showing up with an infant or something.

    Personally I'm hoping for an appearance by Shale.

Re:Dragon Age I's Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422476)

I think it only effects the history of the world. Not the new character.

Re:Dragon Age I's Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421788)

You can. Apparently there's a fairly annoying bug with this right now though. They're saying on the Bioware forums that once your decisions are imported the import flags get corrupted as the game progresses.

OS agnostic (1)

cafn8ed (264155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421620)

It's available for Windows, OS X, the PS3, and the Xbox 360.

This alone is one of the more impressive elements of the release.

Re:OS agnostic (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421846)

This alone is one of the more impressive elements of the release.

Though for some reason the only demo I appear to be able to download is the .exe. Nowhere on the demo page does it talk about what specs or platform are necessary to actually play the demo.

Re:OS agnostic (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421916)

This alone is one of the more impressive elements of the release.

OK - after digging around a bit more, not only is there no OS X demo available but the game itself is apparently a Cider port and not an actual cross platform game. For $60. Sorry, not happening.

Wake me up when the ultimate edition shows up (3, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421672)

So I was one of the suckers who bought DA 1 on release day. Didn't buy any DLC, because Bioware DLC is always overpriced.

Eventually they come out with the 'ultimate edition', which is the game, expansion, and all DLC for the same price I paid originally. That part is normal, and alright.

Where it gets ridiculous is that for me to add the DLC to the game I already bought on the same day this new verison came out would have cost MORE then just buying the game again and getting everything thrown in.

The pricing model is sufficiently out to lunch that I'll wait this time.

Re:Wake me up when the ultimate edition shows up (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422210)

My apologies, I waited until the "Ultimate Edition" was not only released, but also going for a substantial discount on Steam.

I have 30 games that I've bought and still haven't played; that's one of them. Combined expenditure on them is about the same as buying 3-4 'new' games. It just doesn't make sense.

Last game I paid full price for is the reason I don't have time for those others - FM2011. What can I see, it's been decades and the Collyer brothers _still_ make addictive games..

Dragon Age Signature Edition? (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421730)

Anyone get this version yet for the 360? Ordered mine through Amazon but their release day shipping failed, kind of want to just pick it up locally. Is the regular edition the same minus the pre-order email activation code?

Oh Yippee!! (1)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35421840)

I guess this means I'd better try to catch up and maybe play the first Dragon Age? I didn't even know there was one - is it any good?

Buggy Releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421956)

I like these games but first releases are typically so buggy that I usually wait at least six months before even considering a purchase.

And unless they lower the price, I'll wait until it hits the discount cycle.

The Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421976)

Terrible they are...

Game is linear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35421980)

Just fyi... Much more linear than expected.
Check the ign review :P

Re:Game is linear (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422808)

You mean like DA:O? For a game that called itself non-linear, it was surprisingly linear.

I am not sure what to make of RPGs anymore. I guess, they can all go to hell, and maybe the sandbox games will move in from a different direction and finally make a classic non-linear computer RPG again.

Re:Game is linear (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422930)

You can do the quests in the game in pretty much any order you want.

The start is linear, the end is linear. What's in between is, mostly, up to you.

I'm not sure what more you can really ask of a computer RPG -- you can only be so sandboxy without ending up with a shitty story.

The Graphics (1)

TheEnigmaticToad (2011680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422092)

Terrible they are...

Re:The Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422130)

Terrible they are...

Agreed. I missed Dragon Age when it first came out, didn't hear anything about it, it went on sale on Live for half price or something, so with all the good feedback and ratings I got it. I'm a big RPG fan, but I just can't get over how terrible the graphics are, if feels like a PS2 port at best. Looking at screens for the new one, it doesn't look much better.

Re:The Graphics (1)

TheEnigmaticToad (2011680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422208)

The graphics in DA:O were much better than DAII. I'm basing this off the demo. Check this out: Bioware already released a High Texture pack for DAII http://social.bioware.com/page/da2-patches [bioware.com] Size: 1.08G

Not Frontpage News (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422332)

This story just isn't front page news, nor is any video game unless it made ungodly amounts of money on release day, or has been delayed for over a decade.

Re:Not Frontpage News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422544)

Baldur's Gate carries as much weight as Firefly around here, so I'd say it is worthy. DA:O was one of the only games in the last 8 years which many /.'ers had a significant interest in (even if they ultimately didn't like it). DA:O was the single-player nerd equivalent of World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Galaxies, and EVE.

I think the lack of comments this time around are a sign of how many didn't like DA:O.

oh that sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422380)

looks like it sucks.

oh boy, more DLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35422732)

Yes, I hear it good and I liked the first one, so I'll pick it up as soon as I can get the entire game with one ~$50 purchase. EA/DLC can suck it.

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