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November 18th, 2008, 18:40
Minotic writes that BioWare has kicked up an official FAQ for Dragon Age. A sample:
1.02: It has been mentioned that Dragon Age is set in a dark, heroic, fantasy world. What does that mean?
It means that Dragon Age: Origins is a very gritty, often bloody adventure with mature themes. It has elements of traditional fantasy like heroes, villains, and magic, but we’re not pulling any punches – you’re going to be immersed in a brutal, dangerous, and sometimes shocking world.
1.03: When will Dragon Age be released?
The PC version of Dragon Age will be available early in 2009. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions are scheduled for winter 2009.
More information.

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November 18th, 2008, 18:40
5.05: Can I solo the game, as in playing without followers? (Back to Top)

Well, you can try, but you’ll probably die.
That made me laugh.

5.06: Can party members die? (Back to Top)

Party members do not die in combat. If a party member’s health reaches zero while in combat, they are considered injured and cannot continue to aid you until combat is over. Once combat is over, they will remain injured with lower health, stamina, or mana until either they are rested or healed.

Not so sure about this though. That was one of my main complaints about NWN2. Why is pc combat death such a taboo these days?

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November 18th, 2008, 18:48
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Not so sure about this though. That was one of my main complaints about NWN2. Why is pc combat death such a taboo these days?
Because its not console friendly.
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November 18th, 2008, 19:44
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
Because its not console friendly.
Or moron friendly; they are trying to expand their play-base. I can't blame them for that effort, but I can still resent them.
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November 18th, 2008, 20:07
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Or moron friendly; they are trying to expand their play-base. I can't blame them for that effort, but I can still resent them.
I realize it would be at least a limited amount of more work, but why not have a default setting of no death, but allow players to change it to allow death?

The only reason I can really think of is that it's lazy game design. If you have an NPC that is integral to a story line and he/she gets killed off, it causes a break in that story line, so you either have to make that story line or come up with another way the PC can complete it.

Again, I realize it's more work, but given that Bioware has a reputation for very deep games, I would think it would be work they would gladly embrace.

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November 18th, 2008, 20:24
The whole removal-of-permanent-death thing is difficult and an encouragement to power gaming, but OTOH, in the olden days there was almost always a cheese way around it, too—like the resurrection spell, hauling the npc body around til you find a willing and affordable temple(fairly awkward and not too realistic) or just providing infinite replacement/recruitment ops. I don't know that the injury route is any kind of game breaker, though I'm always in favor of options for individuals to tweak the game framework to their own tastes. It will depend on the play how believable it is, I guess.

I kind of like this one:
4.03: What are spell combos?

Dragon Age: Origins will introduce the concept of “spell combos,” which is where you can chain together different spells to create a unique effect. For example, if you were to cast a Grease spell on a target to slow them down, followed by a Fireball, you could create a special burning effect with some devastating results.

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November 18th, 2008, 20:45
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Not so sure about this though. That was one of my main complaints about NWN2. Why is pc combat death such a taboo these days?
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
Because its not console friendly.
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Or moron friendly; they are trying to expand their play-base. I can't blame them for that effort, but I can still resent them.
And here I was thinking everyone thought PS:Torment was a shining example of RPGs, but now I see the deathless mechanic in it rules that out.
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November 18th, 2008, 20:50
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
The whole removal-of-permanent-death thing is difficult and an encouragement to power gaming, but OTOH, in the olden days there was almost always a cheese way around it, too—like the resurrection spell, hauling the npc body around til you find a willing and affordable temple(fairly awkward and not too realistic) or just providing infinite replacement/recruitment ops. I don't know that the injury route is any kind of game breaker, though I'm always in favor of options for individuals to tweak the game framework to their own tastes. It will depend on the play how believable it is, I guess.
I never felt that resurrection was cheesey, except the whole carrying around the body for 3 weeks, then doing it! I always thought it would be a cool thing to have a time constraint on how long you can resurrect someone.

The thing that I liked about death in games is that when you have even temporary death, when one of your npc's falls in combat, you have to make a decision: Can I go one with a dead npc (even if I can resurrect the pc later) or do I reload? With the 'knocked out' way that NWN2 did it, you really can just fight until the last man standing and so long as the main pc is still alive, everyone's back and you move on.

Going real old school, the first game I ever played that didn't have death in it was Loom. Some people consider that game an amazing classic. I hated it. I bought it, went home and finished it in one night, partly because there was no death. No reloading. No worrying that you might get offed. Thankfully, I was able to get a full refund on it!

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November 18th, 2008, 20:52
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
And here I was thinking everyone thought PS:Torment was a shining example of RPGs, but now I see the deathless mechanic in it rules that out.
If done right, I can see that it might be cool, but I haven't seen it yet (just got Ps:T actually and looking forward to playing it). I thought you could die in Ps:T? Is it just not permanent? Or like NWN2 where you wake up?

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November 18th, 2008, 21:11
I like how they describe the world, especially this part:

The game offers a unique new feature called Origin Stories that shapes the way the world sees you and the way you will see the world. Each origin determines the player’s motivations, shapes his or her experience, and renders a unique prelude, path, and ending to the game.
It's the right direction for this genre (and the kind of thing I've been talking about) but doesn't go far enough, IMO. Instead of packing a handful of alternatives like those into a single version of the game, it would be better to design the whole thing modularly and in a way where the game could update itself. So instead of just "shaping the way the world sees you and the way you will see the world," the game could react by making actual changes.

The difference is that you could take that idea much further (as far as you want, actually).

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November 18th, 2008, 21:17
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
If done right, I can see that it might be cool, but I haven't seen it yet (just got Ps:T actually and looking forward to playing it). I thought you could die in Ps:T? Is it just not permanent? Or like NWN2 where you wake up?
I won't spoil it for you - finding out is part of the game.
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November 18th, 2008, 21:21
"1.06: Why is the game called Dragon Age: Origins?
… We also chose “Origins” because it symbolizes BioWare’s return to its roots."

Well, I sure hope so… even if I did enjoy their every post-BG game so far. Even if the "return to the roots" is a very general statement that can mean a lot of things.

Hm, I'm kinda worried about how they seem to emphasize the "dark and gritty" thing. I mean, I believe BioWare can make a perfectly dark, gritty and/or mature game… but let's just hope that they won't try too hard

Early 2009, huh? Can't wait.
I mean, I can, actually, but… you know what I mean.
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November 18th, 2008, 22:26
I'm fine with no deaths in the Dragon Age: Origins. I'll always reloaded anyway - when either one of my characters died. You also avoid the really irritating thing that is 'hey, the player's avatar is dead. boom. the game ends.' Even when her companions are in top shape.

I much prefer the approach Bioware has taken combat in DA: Origins. If you die, you will wake up, after the combat, with yor stamina, mana or health and some part of your body (severely) injured.

And yes, the no death in PS: Torment people deserve to find out for themselves what it means - by playing the game…

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November 18th, 2008, 22:45
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Or moron friendly; they are trying to expand their play-base. I can't blame them for that effort, but I can still resent them.
I think party-member death is pointless because nearly everyone is going to reload - including me. Which, I assume, makes me a moron. Any time you want to step in and run RPG Watch because your superior hardcore-ness makes you oh-so-much-better than poor moronic me, drop me a line.

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November 18th, 2008, 23:03
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I think party-member death is pointless because nearly everyone is going to reload - including me. Which, I assume, makes me a moron. Any time you want to step in and run RPG Watch because your superior hardcore-ness makes you oh-so-much-better than poor moronic me, drop me a line.
Permanent death? Yeah, I generally reload (unless I'm purposely trying to kill of the character like I did with Khalid and Dynaheir in BG1 ), but if it's the kind you can resurrect out of, I think most people approach it like a strategic decision as I said above.

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November 18th, 2008, 23:09
Not so sure about this though. That was one of my main complaints about NWN2. Why is pc combat death such a taboo these days?
I think party-member death is pointless because nearly everyone is going to reload - including me.
I was going to say something similar. Would you want to play through an epic fantasy game, where there may very well be quests or areas related to an NPC (don't know nothing bout DA, but I do remember a game called BGII), knowing thatyou're just missing that content because you caught a bad break in one of your 1200 combats leading up to it? Maybe some would, but most people are just going to reload.

Now in a game like JA2 *super awesome*, with a nice big cast of characters to recruit, a death or two or three can be stomached. But in a small party game, where doubtlessly all this love and work is put into each grating and annoying character? Never!
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November 19th, 2008, 02:28
Whether or not you reload lack of a permanent death system takes away an element of realism and risk. If someone has to reload it causes them to have to backtrack and "cheat" to keep playing so from a pure gameplaying perspective its more "fun" because you are more inclined to prevent that from having.

Look at Obsidian and how they are doing away with that system. Bioware seems to too worried about upsetting the end user. Its the equivalent of a movie producer demanding a movie have a happy ending instead of the shock or tragedy that was originally written, like Brazil, Richard Gere dumping Julia Robertsm and Mama actually getting thrown from the train.

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November 19th, 2008, 02:55
I understand that point of view but I think it can be better achieved with an "unconscious" system (or similar) with more consequences…perhaps healing the char back up is costly or they are temporarily injured and suffer reduced abilities…it would need playtesting to find the right balance between players accepting the consequences and playing on or just reloading. So, the original NWN2 system isn't ideal to me but I still find it better than a straight traditional death system. In fact, I find it can be more challenging. Finishing a combat with only one member standing is more exciting than just hitting reload for a "do over" and then getting through unscathed because a few lucky criticals came my way.

Either way, preferring an "unconscious" system doesn't make people morons.

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November 19th, 2008, 03:08
One of the benefits of the unconscious system is that it balances out the usually terrible AI at work in party based games. In RT, even with pause, it's usually impossible to control everyone in the party so normally one NPC, at least, does something stupid with death being the result. I think NWN2 would have been impossible without this mechanism!!

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November 19th, 2008, 07:09
I know it definetly isn't something to do with consoles since most console games have death and some of the jrpgs can be pretty difficult for ressurection with having to go all the way back outside a dungeon and walking back to the nearest town to ressurect without reloading. Those games require much less intelligence to play.

With Dragon Age I will probably still reload after a character is knocked unconcious since that is how I play my games.
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