New BGII?

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Aqua-chan
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Postby Aqua-chan » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:00 am

EvilEdwin wrote:Loving DA:O though. Hopefully when they do a sequel they'll do it in-house rather they give it to Obsidian. Both NWN2 and KotOR2 weren't very good in my opinion.


In truth, I think that the Dragon Age setting and the Mass Effect universe are going to become BioWare's primary development projects for years to come. Between the two franchises, BW and EA have enough material and fan interest to generate a lot of sales, and it leaves the development teams to work in areas they are familiar with -- namely, settings of their own creation. Easy to make a bad Batman game, but it's a bit harder to obliterate your own brainchild. ;)

It'll be interesting to see how subsequent games turn out when Old Republic is launched.


As to the original poster's question, my simplified viewpoint is, if you're looking for BG3, you're going to be disappointed. If you're looking for a game that is similar to BG2, like on Amazon where it says, "If you bought Product A, you might enjoy Product B", then there's a good chance you're going to be pleasantly surprised. It has its quirks, true, but Dragon Age has the potential for years of extended life, seeing as how the mod community is already at it. :cool:
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ushsta
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Postby ushsta » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:37 am

EvilEdwin wrote:
Loving DA:O though. Hopefully when they do a sequel they'll do it in-house rather they give it to Obsidian. Both NWN2 and KotOR2 weren't very good in my opinion.


Really? Obisdian, much like Black Isle, tended to put out initially technically flawed but spectacular games. KOTOR 2 was overly ambitious and had to be truncated in too many places but the story was more mature and grittier than the G rated stuff in the first game. NWN 2 still has somewhat awkward controls and horrendous party character pathing after all the patches but it's a better game than nwn 1 in eveyr way, from story (lazy, boring afterthought in nwn 1) to gameplay. And the Mask of the Betrayer's storyline is on par with BG1/2 in terms of quality and scope.

Maybe it really does help to not be acquainted with this game's predecessors. If Obsidian were to do a sequel I suspect it would be full of bugs and need 3 patches to be playable but once that happened would be better than this in every way. Those guys know how to spin a compelling yarn.

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EvilEdwin
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Postby EvilEdwin » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:50 am

It was the story in NWN2 that I didn't like. It just didn't grip me at all and I didn't buy the expansion packs because of that. The game system itself was excellent and built on NWN and it's add-ons brilliantly.

Again with KotOR2 it was a story issue. It's probably just me but I found it difficult to understand what was going on and felt a little confused at the end.

Obsidian also cut out whole areas to reach a deadline so there are bits that are left hanging and don't quite fit with the whole. Technically it's the same as the first, although I found the crafting and upgrading a little overpowered and needlessly complicated. I liked how upgrading worked in the first.

Anyway, that's a nice diversion :) Back on topic!
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fable
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Postby fable » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:40 am

EvilEdwin wrote:Obsidian also cut out whole areas to reach a deadline so there are bits that are left hanging and don't quite fit with the whole. Technically it's the same as the first, although I found the crafting and upgrading a little overpowered and needlessly complicated. I liked how upgrading worked in the first.

Anyway, that's a nice diversion :) Back on topic!


Just one further point: you may want to check our KotoR 2 forum. There are two player attempts being made to recover and finish all the removed material. One at least has gone a long way to accomplishing that.
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EvilEdwin
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Postby EvilEdwin » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:43 am

fable wrote:Just one further point: you may want to check our KotoR 2 forum. There are two player attempts being made to recover and finish all the removed material. One at least has gone a long way to accomplishing that.


I heard about that a while back. Sterling work it is too. I'd take a look if KotOR didn't hate Vista so much!
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Thrifalas
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Postby Thrifalas » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:31 pm

DA:O is in many ways a great game and has actually restored my faith in future cRPGs. It was tightly well-made in every aspect I can think of and I just loved the feeling and atmosphere it had. I easily got immersed in the game in a way I havn't been for literally years - last time before DA:O has to be when BG and Ps:T still could give me those feelings.

Still, in the end, this is not a game I will want to play again. Ever. What it lacks, and why it can never compare to BG2, is the freedom.

To begin with, the character selection is extremely constricting. You are forced to bring NPCs along all the time, which is fine and actually enjoyable... once. And when we're on characters, warriors, rogues and magicians? Three classes? No dual or multiclass?

Second, the world is too constricting as well. Where are the sidequests, the places, the world itself? There's nowhere to go or hang out or explore, like in the old BG days. Especially BG1, where you had the entire sword coast with monsters and madmans and treasures to explore without giving a **** about the main quest.

Third, the gameplay is ridiculously dull compared to BG2. There is no twice-level-inquisitor dispel, no ADHW-contingencies, no wicked sick defense combos involving invisibility to prevent dispelling spells to be able to target you, no -30 THAC0 with a kensai combo, no timestop+shapeshift to intelligence-drain your enemies to death, no imprisonments, no fancy cast-and-attack combos, no weapons with decapitation, no 100% magical resistance with UAI, and you get where I'm going with this.

Where DA:O and all the other one-times cRPGs (NWN series, etc) is merely an interactive story, BG2 was an entire world. And the fact that the beginning and interaction with many NPCs in DA:O changes due to your "origin" is not remotely enough to bring the same kind of versatility into the game when you in BG2 could play anything from a solo kensai/mage to a fullhouse paladins, to a versatile 4-powerhouse-group, to a RP-playthrough with in-game NPCs.

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Postby Xandax » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:09 am

Aqua-chan wrote:In truth, I think that the Dragon Age setting and the Mass Effect universe are going to become BioWare's primary development projects for years to come. Between the two franchises, BW and EA have enough material and fan interest to generate a lot of sales, and it leaves the development teams to work in areas they are familiar with -- namely, settings of their own creation. Easy to make a bad Batman game, but it's a bit harder to obliterate your own brainchild. ;)
<snip>


Well - depending on how well SW:TOR turns out, Bioware might have a cash-cow in that, leaving the other franchisees more up for experimentation.

I hope if they expand on the DA:O universe that they keep it as gritty as they've started and doesn't fluffy it up as some other game developers have done :D
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Postby Xandax » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:24 am

Thrifalas wrote:<snip>
Second, the world is too constricting as well. Where are the sidequests, the places, the world itself? There's nowhere to go or hang out or explore, like in the old BG days. Especially BG1, where you had the entire sword coast with monsters and madmans and treasures to explore without giving a **** about the main quest.
<snip>


I have to question remarks like this because it seems more like nostalgia then much else.
In BG1 you had areas to explore yes, and you could walk around somewhat "free roam" if you wanted, in those areas - but the path was very much laid out for you to follow.
"Hang out and explore" was also limited to those well defined and closed off areas, many of which were story related.
BG2 was much more confined then BG1 in that aspect - sure there were a lot of side quests, but there are a lot of side quests in DA:O as well.
In BG-series the game directs you very clearly along a path but fail to "impose" an urgency. And in that regards it is very similar to how DA:O is done. I mean in BG2... your childhood friend have just been snatched away and then you get to spend ages doing all sorts of random side quests which swamp you just as you walk down the street where people jump you with wanting to solve their problems.

Thrifalas wrote:<snip>
Third, the gameplay is ridiculously dull compared to BG2. There is no twice-level-inquisitor dispel, no ADHW-contingencies, no wicked sick defense combos involving invisibility to prevent dispelling spells to be able to target you, no -30 THAC0 with a kensai combo, no timestop+shapeshift to intelligence-drain your enemies to death, no imprisonments, no fancy cast-and-attack combos, no weapons with decapitation, no 100% magical resistance with UAI, and you get where I'm going with this.
<snip>

I know this is purely subjective, but I found most of those things in BG2 to be utterly stupid. Twice level Inquisitor dispell was overpowered and should never had been made that way in the game.
There might lack invisibility in DA:O to avoid spell casting, but then there are anti-magical spells such as shields and drains.
Timestop and imprisonment ... other overpowered abilities which they even had to make enemies immune against And so on....
Most of those overpowered things is what makes D&D good for roleplaying games with a human DM, but makes for poor and overpowered implementations in computer games.
If they hadn't made enemies immune to Imprisonments it would be an insta-win spell for example.
Especially Baldur's Gate 2 suffered from an inflation of powerlevel and in that regards I'm very happy with DA:O lack of inflation in items. You can get good spells, you can get good weapons, enchant said weapons - but there's not the "I-Win" button which BG2 had.

Now - I love BG2 and it is properly my most played cRPG of all time (although I do prefer BG1 more story/atmosphere wise, and especially because it does not have that inflation of power items).

But much of the reason BG2 is so good is also the nostalgia that is associated with it. BG2 did suffer its own flaws.
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Postby holeraw » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:50 am

Xandax wrote:In BG-series the game directs you very clearly along a path but fail to "impose" an urgency.

I'd just like to say that of all the RPGs I've played, I consider BG1 to have the best exposition of plot. There's no urgency because initially you don't set out to save the world but just you go to find out what's the deal with the mines (something that any adventurer could do - it doesn't require a 'chosen one') because you have nothing better to do.
As such I'd say that that it doesn't fail to impose an urgency but it succeeds at not imposing an urgency until the time is right. And I actually prefer that approach more than the one of Dragon Age - even though the urgency in DA is well delivered with the sidequests being either non intrusive or fitting in well with the plot.
(BG2 is quite problematic in that respect though)

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Xandax
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Postby Xandax » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:02 am

holeraw wrote:I'd just like to say that of all the RPGs I've played, I consider BG1 to have the best exposition of plot. There's no urgency because initially you don't set out to save the world but just you go to find out what's the deal with the mines (something that any adventurer could do - it doesn't require a 'chosen one') because you have nothing better to do.
As such I'd say that that it doesn't fail to impose an urgency but it succeeds at not imposing an urgency until the time is right. And I actually prefer that approach more than the one of Dragon Age - even though the urgency in DA is well delivered with the sidequests being either non intrusive or fitting in well with the plot.
(BG2 is quite problematic in that respect though)


I'd say it is "urgent" that some random stranger pops out of nowhere and kills your foster father and tries to kill you.
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holeraw
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Postby holeraw » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:50 am

Xandax wrote:I'd say it is "urgent" that some random stranger pops out of nowhere and kills your foster father and tries to kill you.

If you have any idea who he is or how to find him.
Otherwise urgent or not you have to search blindly - in which case wandering around doing random quests in hope that you'll stumble upon a clue doesn't seem too inappropriate.
So instead of going around asking "I'm looking for an armored figure, middle aged guy have you seen him?" I went to check out what was wrong in Nashkel, which seems as good a starting point as any.

And in any case knowing that someone is trying to kill me is less urgent compared to knowing that someone will kill me along with the rest of the world any day now and only I can save it!

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Postby fable » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:05 am

holeraw wrote:So instead of going around asking "I'm looking for an armored figure, middle aged guy have you seen him?" I went to check out what was wrong in Nashkel, which seems as good a starting point as any.


Actually, wouldn't you be asking, "I'm looking for a giant, hulking figure in spiked armor, middle-aged, who leads giants into battle, can withstand advanced magical attacks, and slay a powerful wizard easily?" ;) It makes even more sense, then--as you point out--to build up the cash to buy adequate arms, spells, and armor, while not coincidentally growing your own skills before taking on such a feat. Chances are, the man mountain in BG1 isn't going anywhere. It's one of the few RPGs where sidequests make a good deal of sense.
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Postby Xandax » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:23 am

holeraw wrote:<snip>
And in any case knowing that someone is trying to kill me is less urgent compared to knowing that someone will kill me along with the rest of the world any day now and only I can save it!


Well - to me it's pretty much the same. Both ends up with you dead "any day now" unless you do something about it :D
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Postby mr_sir » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:50 pm

DA:O does give a sense of urgency. Most of the side quests are linked to acquiring resources or building an army in order to save Fereldan from the Blight. Further, it is not until near the end that you learn why only a Grey Warden can end the Blight, so its feasible (as a new recruit who only recently met darkspawn for the first time) that the heo isn't quite so concerned as someone such as Duncan. For this reason, the hero may be sidetracked by aspects of his/her old life - such as stealing valuable items from nobles or helping the Chantry out of religious obligation.

The area in which I truly feel that DA:O is actually better than BG2 is opportunity to roleplay a character. You can decide on your character's personality and motivation right from the start and then stick to it - for example, my Dwarven Noble is spurned on by revenge and is a Grey Warden purely as she was left no choice in the matter. She is building an army more in the interest of getting back what she has lost than stopping the Blight - as such the main quests are a secondary concern. She is also military trained and is very much like Loghain in that regard - she does what is needed to be done, regardless of those she has to sacrifice to gain victory. My Dalish ranger on the other hand was more a neutral good kind of character and the game gives ample opportunity to go this direction. My mage is a selfish, power hungry malificar ... and once again the game allows me to play it this way. BG2 may have had more opportunity to create different classes and class combinations, but DA:O gives far more opportunities to roleplay your character exactly how you want them to be ... and after all this is an RPG so roleplaying is what is important in my view.