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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Comments from Desslock

Default Comments from Desslock

October 8th, 2009, 13:22
Thought I'd post some comments from Desslock at Qt3, who has apparently played >120 hours for his 8-page PC Gamer review.

From this thread:

http://www.quartertothree.com/game-t…73#post1916973

Hey, as I mentioned in my review, BioWare games usually have 3 choices - good/bad/petulant teenager-nobody-ever-chooses-option.

While I definitely think that's a legitimate criticism (which I share) of past games, it's not true of Dragon Age generally, which does a better job of providing choices that seem varied and reasonably viable than almost any RPG. Dragon Age is a significant improvement in that respect. To be honest, it's the first BioWare game that (at least) matched the style of Troika/Obsidian, old Black Isle games in that respect - BioWare games have always had good stories and generally solid dialogue, but their method of storytelling has been simpler. There's an amazing amount of choice in Dragon Age.

Sure there are some quest instances where you have to elect to help, or not, but even when there's only two end results in those circumstances, there's different ways to arrive at those endings - the bottom line is, the choices just feel more "natural", less like you're gaming, and are more ambiguous and intriguing, so you're more likely to choose a personalized path based upon the character you're roleplaying instead of just "gaming" the result you think you want to have.
My bolding.

I think you'll also like the way magic is handled in Dragon Age, then. Mages are fucking dangerous and treated as such. They're lobotomized, hunted down, forced into training, or executed.

People aren't using light spells to walk their dogs - the clergy have no magic (and are opposed to it, for possibly legitimate reasons) it's a relatively low magic setting. It's a testament to the quality of the writing that reactions seem alternately sensible and atrocious, but always plausible.

It's the way stuff like that is handled that makes Dragon Age the "mature" RPG that I really enjoy - not the animated puppet sex.
You can tell what each companion thinks of you at at any time - i.e. there is a visible "meter", but it's personal to each NPC.

NPC influence is a timesink (and it's possible to "game" it through giving gifts) but a pretty rewarding one — companions have a ton of dialogue, so you'll miss a lot unless you buddy up to them (and miss the romances, of course), but even then there's a lot of context specific dialogue, so you'll never hear it if they aren't in your party during the event — or if another companion that they riff off of isn't also in the party at the time. They also have some decent personal quests, and the conversations that companions hold with each other while you're walking around are also substantive and relevant, far beyond the amusing little barks they'd have in BG, for instance.

But playing with different mixes of companions will be one of the biggest sources of replayability - they're all pretty interesting and different.
I can't even imagine how difficult this game was to QA, given all the choices and variations, etc. — crashed zero times in 121 hours, no bugs, one incorrect journal entry (which had no affect on gameplay). It's actually amazing that there weren't evident scripting errors. Actually maybe one incident I can think of where characters acted like you had knowledge of something that I hadn't actually scene. but very clean technically.

Only technical issue is that system requirements are pretty high, especially given the nature of the graphics. Unfortunately, given the protection labyrinth I had to go through to get a build, I was only able to install the game on one of my systems, so I only saw its performance on a high end machine (video card seems to be key). I previously played it on a mid-range card at BioWare for a preview and it was fine - it was a slideshow on a low-end card, however.
Mid-range anything that was a good video card over the past 3 years (i.e. geforce 8800 GTS+). Anything more recent is certainly fine. I wouldn't recommend it on the official min-spec of an ATI x800-gen card or geforce equivalent.

I played it at 2560x1600 with AA maxed though on a high end current card and it was completely smooth, as you'd expect.
There are definitely some goofy things in Dragon Age that the ad campaign foreshadowed — the game is almost fetishistic with its use of blood splashing all over melee fighters (although it worked for John Boorman in Excalibur), and the animated puppet sex is among the silliest content I've seen in a RPG…the European developers do sex in RPGs better, not surprisingly - or at least they have more fun with it.
Game has a timestamp on the saved games.

Played all the Origins, a couple of which with differerent friends, and about 12 hours with alts (primarily one in which I let my wife make all the decisions, but I controlled for the combat, etc.) - the rest was with my main character. I definitely have an OCD style, and can never not complete any quests (although there was one in the Mage tower that I couldn't figure out so I moved on) — you could do it faster if you skipped through dialogue quickly, or spent no time currying favor, or played the combat on easy, but it's a big game.
Just to be clear for the Desslock haters, these are all in response to specific questions, so there is a context.

Sounds pretty fantastic, on the whole!

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October 8th, 2009, 13:34
Holy crap … I'm going to slide from Risen right into this … can't wait, but also don't want Risen to be over yet …

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October 8th, 2009, 15:53
Damn, when did my video card become the bottom of 'usable'? My Geforce 8800GTS still acts like a champ at everything I throw at it, or maybe I'm not an FPS slave (I can play at 25FPS just fine while other people say anything less than 35 is "unplayable")
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October 8th, 2009, 16:09
This is going to be the best Christmas in a very long time I never really doubted the game at all, but the marketing had even me a little worried. I'm glad that all that marketing BS was just BS and had no bearing on the game itself. You still gotta love that Manson video. 100's of years from now people will still be saying "This is the new shit" but they'll have no idea where that folksy ol' saying came from

On a personal note, I just got the book and have read two chapters. I gotta say it's not half bad. I was expecting something horrible from what PJ had to say about it, but other than the rather descriptive killing of one bad guy I don't really see what was so bad about it.

Even that killing wasn't overboard, just really detailed. I could of done with less gore and meaty brain smells, but his descriptions of the world really makes you feel like your there. I'm liking this book a lot.

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October 8th, 2009, 18:40
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
This is going to be the best Christmas in a very long time
Glad my little rat will have a nice happy Christmas. <pats rat's head> And that BIG BAD marketing hasn't scared him away.
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October 8th, 2009, 19:12
Yeah, Desslock's comments on the game was about the only thing that I cared about. I just mentally filter out all the trailers, since they are obviously targetted at different audiences.

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October 9th, 2009, 01:37
latest post from Desslock:

Good magic items (or even ones you're interested in) are pretty rare in DA - it's not a monty-haul game. Worthwhile armor upgrades are particularly rare.
Also some informative comments from Derek French:

No, Dragon Age is not a GFW title. We are delivering it through our own downloader. I don't know if we have announced the purchase process yet.

Correct. Nothing has been removed from the game to be sold as DLC. We have a dedicated team working on DLC content. None of the content is on the disk because some of it isn't finished yet, but it will be on launch day.

That is not quite true. We needed more time on the PC version. It was going to be delayed. At that point, why not delay it to the same date as the console releases so that we sim-ship and can pool our marketing resources.

No meter or any indicator of any kind of what your choices could lead to. If NPCs react to you, it will be based on your deeds that they know and care about.
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October 9th, 2009, 02:40
Originally Posted by Tan View Post
Glad my little rat will have a nice happy Christmas. <pats rat's head> And that BIG BAD marketing hasn't scared him away.
What??? Where is the witty shot at Gaidar? Where is the "THERE ARE TOO MANY Rs IN THE GAME"??? Where is the "but Desslock is wrong" comment?

Is it possible that 'Tan' the self imposed sheriff of mistruth against Dragon Age finally thinks that this might be a fun game?

After reading what Desslock had to say even you should be a little excited over this game…..that is if you actually enjoy party based rpgs

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October 9th, 2009, 12:14
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
What??? Where is the witty shot at Gaidar? Where is the "THERE ARE TOO MANY Rs IN THE GAME"??? Where is the "but Desslock is wrong" comment?

Is it possible that 'Tan' the self imposed sheriff of mistruth against Dragon Age finally thinks that this might be a fun game?

After reading what Desslock had to say even you should be a little excited over this game…..that is if you actually enjoy party based rpgs

I don't care what some guy on the internetz named "Desslock" says about DA. Especially since he got a fancy packed early special copy of DA with love from biowhore. That said, you can resume jumping joyfully all over the room.
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October 9th, 2009, 13:14
I am starting to wonder If I should put this thing back on my radar…

Nah, will probably wait from comments from the Watch first, but I've been hearing
a lot of encouraging things these last few weeks…
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October 9th, 2009, 13:24
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I am starting to wonder If I should put this thing back on my radar…

Nah, will probably wait from comments from the Watch first, but I've been hearing
a lot of encouraging things these last few weeks…
My assumption is that the forum will be flooded the first week of November with comments so you will see plenty of reaction and can decide from there.

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October 9th, 2009, 17:10
I never trusted Desslock and I will not. He liked Fallout 3 which alone is enough reason to not believe him
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October 10th, 2009, 04:37
*shrug* I'm not suggesting you should trust him - what, am I asking him to hold on to your wallet or something? It's a collection of comments that help add more context - that's it.

The guy who founded RPGDot in the beginning - Rendelius - absolutely loved Morrowind, while I did not. That didn't make him untrustworthy and it didn't make his comments on RPGs worthless; it just meant our tastes weren't always the same.

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October 10th, 2009, 13:36
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
That didn't make him untrustworthy and it didn't make his comments on RPGs worthless; it just meant our tastes weren't always the same.
Aye. I could go on about why Dreamfall is the best game ever made on various levels, but know that there are others who don't agree and find issues in certain game mechanics.

This is where subjectivity plays a larger role than usual I imagine. I'm not that compatible with Desslock's tastes myself either, but I do see his ramblings as genuine and unadulterated expressions of his love for the genre. Rendelius' raving Morrowind review back at the Dot was the same. The game really grabbed him, didn't it?

As for me, I often tend to something like Reverse Hype Refusal. If too many people including the marketing machine praise something too much, I become wary and my interest level drops dramatically. Most likely I'll stay wary in regard to Dragon Age until the noise around it has quieted down a bit. Or if it got good reviews here but bad reviews on mainstream sites, that would be the day. But given all the hype it's receiving, I don't think that will happen.

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September 1st, 2010, 16:55
To say Dragon was close to what Obsidian and Black Isle did is so ridiculous as to be hardly worth a response!

Why did no reviewer ever mention in the review that this was the first Bioware 'RPG', or for that matter, the first PC RPG, that did not have a sandbox world to explore? What it had was enforced travel between the 8-9 gameworld locations with a random chance of a battle somewhere along the map, signified by crossed swords, where you then had a fight, in a small open area and then travelled a short distance to be teleported to the location you were aiming for! One at that location, be it the forest or the dwarf tunnels, it was fairly linear, which rockfalls or barricaded streets to make sure you could only go to certain locations!

All of Dragon Age's competitor RPG's got it more right than DA. Titles like the Witcher, or Risen, and I am sure Witcher 2 and Two Worlds II and Gothic 4 will all be closer to the early Bioware RPG's than Dragon Age 2 will be! The fact is, ever since Bioware went 'multiformat' we have seen nothing like a true cRPG from them, and I doubt we ever will, because console gamers don't like cRPG's like the Witcher or Gothic because they are too confusing and too hard! They want top be led by the nose and have quest locations laid out for them with big arrows, etc!

I only hope we can still get great PC cRPG's from Europe, like The Witcher, Drakensang. Romance of the Three Kingdom XI, Space Ranger's and the Sacred, Gothic, Spellforce, Divinity and Silverfall series - because that's were true cRPG's are being made nowadays, not at Bioware or Bethesda or Obsidian!
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September 1st, 2010, 22:43
Originally Posted by UK_John View Post
Why did no reviewer ever mention in the review that this was the first Bioware 'RPG', or for that matter, the first PC RPG, that did not have a sandbox world to explore? !

Um….. what ?
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September 1st, 2010, 23:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Um….. what ?
Well, think of the Gold Box RPG's from the 80's,
think of the Elder Scrolls RPG's from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Ultima series from the 80's and 90's,
think of the Wizardry series from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Might and Magic series from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Fallout series from the 90's and the 00's,
think of the Gothic series from the 00's,
yes, and think of the Baldur's Gate series
and the Neverwinter Nights series
and the Icewind Dale series.

Think of all the classic cRPG's of the last 30 years and you'll find non linear exploration, that got you the side quests, that got you the loot, that got you the better armour. that helped you level up. that progressed you in the story!

So yes, the first so-called cRPG for PC that did not have non linear exploration.

…. Oh, and by the way, I still own and play most of these games, so it's not guess work!
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September 2nd, 2010, 00:26
Sure…. whatever you say.
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September 2nd, 2010, 00:53
The Fallouts where no more sandbox than Dragon Age.
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September 2nd, 2010, 01:03
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
The Fallouts where no more sandbox than Dragon Age.
Yes they were. As you were going across the map you had battles sure, but you also found towns and vaults you didn't know were there. Fallout 3, being 3D, was even more sandbox!

In Dragon Age you were TOLD about the location and that's how it appeared on your map and then you fast travelled to it. You never 'found it' like you found those towns and fallout shelters, etc in the Fallout games!
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