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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Dragon Age as a Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate

Default Dragon Age as a Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate

November 4th, 2010, 19:19
I'm an explorer myself, I just love that, but I just wanted to say that you can explore within a lot of games. Even in Sacred 1, exploring was half of the fun to me !

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November 8th, 2010, 11:03
BG > DA:O

Then again, I'm a gameplay guy much more than a story guy. I won't deny that the story and presentation of Dragon Age was superb, if a bit cliché. Quite powerful considering it's a computer game.

I don't agree that not using a licensed PnP system means you can't compete, and in fact - quite the opposite.

What they SHOULD have done, would be to take what's great about D&D and implement it in their own system - free from the bonds of a PnP-system, that was never meant for computers.

Instead, they over-streamlined and over-simplified it, and character customization is what was hit the hardest. Something which happens to be one of my favorite aspects of RPG systems.

That said, it was probably easier to sell to the mainstream because of it.

What I find most surprising, replaying BG1 and BG2 - is that the updated scripts actually work better than anything in DA:O. I mean, with a relatively intricate and complex AI system - they STILL managed to make it less comfortable to control during combat - and with less characters to control.

With a properly configured party in BG1/BG2 - most combats are a breeze to control. I can't say the same for DA:O.

Bioware lost it in terms of creative power - and they're nothing but a shell of what they once were. They're creating games using established blueprints and they're chasing the gold before the design.

Sad, but I have no doubt of that.
Last edited by DArtagnan; November 8th, 2010 at 11:38.
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November 8th, 2010, 21:55
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
while Dragon Age was a good game, aside from graphics and other tech-centric stuff … everything Dragon Age does, Baldur's Gate 1&2 did better.
I agree.

But it did put Bioware back "on track" for me.

While I really enjoyed Hordes Of The Underdark, Shadows Of Unrentide was a bit mediocre and NWN's OC was just horrible. NWN2 was better, although not great and MoTB was excellent (thanks Obsidian!)

Knights Of The Old Republic was great for the first play through and especially for a Star Wars fan but it took so many steps back from BG2. And IMO, KOTOR II was superior (thanks again Obsidian!).

Jade Empire. Further away from hardcore RPG than I imagined Bioware would ever go. But they did.

Mass Effect: didn't like it at first but trying it again a 2nd time it was a bit overrated but still a good game. And I'm appreciating the actiony combat system more - not so much the vehicle levels. What an abomination!

So Dragon Age is the first Bioware game to me in a looong time that actually feels like Baldur's Gate. Not so much the fantasy setting though that does help, but more the epic feel of it, the extensive character customization available and the decent difficulty level.

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November 8th, 2010, 22:25
Originally Posted by Relayer View Post
While I really enjoyed Hordes Of The Underdark, Shadows Of Unrentide was a bit mediocre and NWN's OC was just horrible.
Do you need to have finished the OC to play HoTU or SoU? I've tried to slog through the OC a few times, but I just can't do it. I have the other two though (and am considering playing Darkness over Daggerford).

NWN2 was better, although not great and MoTB was excellent (thanks Obsidian!)
Did Bioware have anything to do with NWN2? I though they were not involved.

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November 8th, 2010, 22:45
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I won't deny that the story and presentation of Dragon Age was superb, if a bit cliché. Quite powerful considering it's a computer game.
Oh, wow. That… that means so much, coming from you! And it's already been established that I'm more a story guy than a gameplay guy.
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November 8th, 2010, 22:54
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Do you need to have finished the OC to play HoTU or SoU? I've tried to slog through the OC a few times, but I just can't do it. I have the other two though (and am considering playing Darkness over Daggerford).



Did Bioware have anything to do with NWN2? I though they were not involved.
You can start HoTU or SoU anytime. I'd recommend giving SoU a try to see how it improved upon the OC - I never finished it but it was more due to starting something else and forgetting about it at the time. Wasn't terrible. But HoTU was definitely much better than both the OC and SoU.

Bioware was not involved with NWN2 - just pointing out how it was also better than the NWN OC.

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November 9th, 2010, 06:19
NWN OC was the worst of every NWN official NWN story made really, including SoU, HotU, NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer.

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November 9th, 2010, 09:54
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Oh, wow. That… that means so much, coming from you! And it's already been established that I'm more a story guy than a gameplay guy.
Enjoy the last great Bioware game out there - as it was started a good while before they went golddigging.

It really is a terrific game all things considered, and especially if you're a story guy.
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November 9th, 2010, 09:57
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Do you need to have finished the OC to play HoTU or SoU? I've tried to slog through the OC a few times, but I just can't do it. I have the other two though (and am considering playing Darkness over Daggerford).
The OC is incredibly bland in terms of story, but it does let you develop your characters to a high level - and it's not so bad as to be unbearable (to me, anyway). So, if you care about character persistency - it's pretty good for that.

I don't recall whether HotU expected you to have played OC in terms of character level - but that would be a good incentive to experience the OC.
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November 9th, 2010, 13:56
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Enjoy the last great Bioware game out there - as it was started a good while before they went golddigging.

It really is a terrific game all things considered, and especially if you're a story guy.
Hmm, I don't know. I also find Mass Effect a great game, so who knows, although I do think Mass Effect 2 is a little disappointing. Maybe Mass Effect 3 will be killer again with a nice Citadel-like environment to explore. Side note: from what little I read about Dragon Age 2, they're gonna implement a Mass Effect-like dialogue wheel in that game!? WHAT!? Keep that stuff in Mass Effect, I liked it there!

As far as Dragon Age: Origins goes, I just did all the preparations in Redcliffe before that big battle kicked my ass. Really did feel like a little adventure game, talking to all the characters, going through the dialogue options and role-playing that. Just like the elves in the Bracilian forest, you get a nice little self-contained place with a distinct atmosphere that sticks with you. Very nicely done!
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November 9th, 2010, 14:05
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Hmm, I don't know. I also find Mass Effect a great game, so who knows, although I do think Mass Effect 2 is a little disappointing. Maybe Mass Effect 3 will be killer again with a nice Citadel-like environment to explore. Side note: from what little I read about Dragon Age 2, they're gonna implement a Mass Effect-like dialogue wheel in that game!? WHAT!? Keep that stuff in Mass Effect, I liked it there!
True, but Mass Effect came before Dragon Age!

But it clearly demonstrated a "wrong" direction, as far as I'm concerned.

ME2 was rather bland as a game, but a pretty good story on par with Hollywood sci-fi. So, again, if you're into stories or movie-games - I think Bioware will serve you well, even in the future.

As far as Dragon Age: Origins goes, I just did all the preparations in Redcliffe before that big battle kicked my ass. Really did feel like a little adventure game, talking to all the characters, going through the dialogue options and role-playing that. Just like the elves in the Bracilian forest, you get a nice little self-contained place with a distinct atmosphere that sticks with you. Very nicely done!
Agreed
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November 10th, 2010, 14:45
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But it clearly demonstrated a "wrong" direction, as far as I'm concerned.

ME2 was rather bland as a game
I actually agree. The first game was that rare game that made me excited and for which I dropped everything and stayed at home all night for after first starting it up. The second one… well, it's okay, but I've already stopped playing it. I'll finish it before Mass Effect 3 comes around, of course.

Last night I survived the Redcliffe battle, but I feel like I cheated. There was no chance that I could defeat *all* of the baddies head-on, so I did the old pull-retreat tactic, even pulling them through the fire at the top to burn them and have my allies there finish them off.

I was able to have scores of them killed this way, even while the rest of my crew was already dead and I was at 10% health and without health potions. That feels wrong.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:52
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I actually agree. The first game was that rare game that made me excited and for which I dropped everything and stayed at home all night for after first starting it up. The second one… well, it's okay, but I've already stopped playing it. I'll finish it before Mass Effect 3 comes around, of course.
Once I got past the over-simplified RPG mechanics and the dreadfully stale loot system, I actually really enjoyed Mass Effect. Funny thing: I actually think it worked much better in terms of sci-fi atmosphere than the sequel. Not sure why, but it felt more interesting in most ways.

Last night I survived the Redcliffe battle, but I feel like I cheated. There was no chance that I could defeat *all* of the baddies head-on, so I did the old pull-retreat tactic, even pulling them through the fire at the top to burn them and have my allies there finish them off.

I was able to have scores of them killed this way, even while the rest of my crew was already dead and I was at 10% health and without health potions. That feels wrong.
What difficulty are you playing at?

I was playing hard - and it felt just right for the most part. Don't recall any big trouble with that fight - except the obligatory "first attempt" as it was still early for me at that point, and I hadn't quite optimised my party.

But wait…..

Shouldn't you be busy playing Angry Birds or another of those miracle gadget-games?

DA:O seems way too meaty for a veggie like you
Last edited by DArtagnan; November 10th, 2010 at 15:11.
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November 10th, 2010, 15:11
Originally Posted by Relayer View Post
You can start HoTU or SoU anytime. I'd recommend giving SoU a try to see how it improved upon the OC - I never finished it but it was more due to starting something else and forgetting about it at the time. Wasn't terrible. But HoTU was definitely much better than both the OC and SoU.
Thanks. I have a ton of games to play and seemingly no time anymore, but one day maybe!


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Enjoy the last great Bioware game out there - as it was started a good while before they went golddigging.

It really is a terrific game all things considered, and especially if you're a story guy.
I REALLY need to play this game as I am definitely a story guy!

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November 10th, 2010, 19:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Funny thing: I actually think it worked much better in terms of sci-fi atmosphere than the sequel. Not sure why, but it felt more interesting in most ways.
Mass Effect The First had a lot more charm to it, in my opinion. The combat system was also a bit more enjoyable, more RPG-y. I'm usually not one to scream "DUMBED DOWN FOR XSHIT KIDDIES!!11!" when they downplay RPG systems, but I actually like the more stat-based approach to shooting. Half-way through ME2, I'm also missing that big Citadel building very much. I loved it when I landed there…

What difficulty are you playing at?
Normal, like I always do in games. Of course, I'm playing it on Xbox 360, because PC is much too hardc0re for a Sexbox kiddie like me. I'm sure they, uhm, "streamlined" the combat and difficulty level for people of my brain level.

It's also different than PC in that (as far as I can tell) you cannot pause, give orders to everyone in your party and unpause. In fact, mostly I play with just my character. I haven't even checked out the other characters much in terms of what skills they possess and such. I probably should, though, if not for my own enjoyment, then for more control and chance of success on the battlefield. I should also check out those tactics slots, but I rarely do program the AI in games that allow it. Too much thinking hurts my head!

If I had micromanaged my party a bit more, and prepared better (too few healing pots at the start of battle), no doubt it would've been easier to manage. One of my party members was down before I was aware of it, so that I could have administered some healing.

I guess I'm playing it more like an action game, but that's really not the only way to play it on Xbox 360. I'm probably too dumb to think tactically and have to resort to button mashing like the rest of the kids. On that note, I hope Morrigan shows some skin when I bag her!!

Shouldn't you be busy playing Angry Birds or another of those miracle gadget-games?

DA:O seems way too meaty for a veggie like you
I don't like Angry Birds, actually. I can play those casual games for a bit, but not for very long. I did buy a 16-bit SNES era inspired RPG called Ash yesterday that actually has decent dialogue in it! I'll probably play that for 20 minutes total on my iPad before I see something shiny in the corner of my eye.
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November 11th, 2010, 09:26
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Mass Effect The First had a lot more charm to it, in my opinion. The combat system was also a bit more enjoyable, more RPG-y. I'm usually not one to scream "DUMBED DOWN FOR XSHIT KIDDIES!!11!" when they downplay RPG systems, but I actually like the more stat-based approach to shooting. Half-way through ME2, I'm also missing that big Citadel building very much. I loved it when I landed there…
Yeah, I very much agree with you about this. I eventually tired of the Citadel - but I found the various planets quite fascinating and truly atmospheric. It also had much more mystery and I found the music MUCH superior. Even the little random bases on planets had some fantastically eerie music, that gave me a very strong feeling of being alone in strange places.

Normal, like I always do in games. Of course, I'm playing it on Xbox 360, because PC is much too hardc0re for a Sexbox kiddie like me. I'm sure they, uhm, "streamlined" the combat and difficulty level for people of my brain level.
I assume you're kidding, as I sure was

I'm just messing with you, because I sense you're not REALLY that much of a gadget-gamer - you just don't have time for anything else.

I don't like Angry Birds, actually. I can play those casual games for a bit, but not for very long. I did buy a 16-bit SNES era inspired RPG called Ash yesterday that actually has decent dialogue in it! I'll probably play that for 20 minutes total on my iPad before I see something shiny in the corner of my eye.
See, we're much alike here

I find it "cool" to play these games on my iPod - but when I have a modded Fallout 3 and Two Worlds 2 waiting on my PC, I just don't see the point ultimately.
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November 11th, 2010, 11:42
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I find it "cool" to play these games on my iPod - but when I have a modded Fallout 3 and Two Worlds 2 waiting on my PC, I just don't see the point ultimately.
My gaming on iPod Touch and iPad is dominated by games with some more 'meat'. from Puzzle Quest and Plants vs. Zombies through Command & Conquer and Tradewinds and Shining Force and Ash and so on. Return to Mysterious Island is there now. And so on.

I feel that while Angry Birds is very much on the 'high end' of games for $1, none of them are really for folks like us.

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November 11th, 2010, 11:53
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
My gaming on iPod Touch and iPad is dominated by games with some more 'meat'. from Puzzle Quest and Plants vs. Zombies through Command & Conquer and Tradewinds and Shining Force and Ash and so on. Return to Mysterious Island is there now. And so on.

I feel that while Angry Birds is very much on the 'high end' of games for $1, none of them are really for folks like us.
Yeah, I have several "meaty" games on my iPod as well. Like The Quest and Undercroft - both of which are excellent. But I still think of them as cute "blast from the past" games tickling my nostalgia, and they just can't provide what I thought they would. Gaming has evolved beyond them, and I doubt I'll actually get far unless I'm travelling or away from my PC.

Games like Space Miner and Galaxy on Fire 2 are also great throwbacks, and they use the platform in brilliant ways - but they don't constitute more than a mild distraction from what I consider "real" games.

I use my iPod for music, audiobooks, bed-browsing, and reading manuals - things like that. That's pretty much the only real use I think it has for someone like me.

But, to each his own.
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November 11th, 2010, 12:57
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Yeah, I very much agree with you about this. I eventually tired of the Citadel - but I found the various planets quite fascinating and truly atmospheric. It also had much more mystery and I found the music MUCH superior. Even the little random bases on planets had some fantastically eerie music, that gave me a very strong feeling of being alone in strange places.
This is creepy. I recognize all of that in ME (and not in ME2). Stop it, you're freaking me out. Next thing you know, I'll be talking doom about the increasing consumerism in the world and the downfall of the gaming industry.

I'm just messing with you, because I sense you're not REALLY that much of a gadget-gamer - you just don't have time for anything else.
Oh, I have time, but for some reason I'm never really interested in games (or much of anything, really) for long stretches of time. However, Dragon Age has been extremely fun every single time I've played it for the last couple of weeks (in play sessions of about 1-2 hours). I don't finish games all that much, but I feel that I could play Dragon Age a whole night through. There's just that sense of wonder and cosiness there. I wish I could have a party in some of those castle chambers…

However, I do have an irrational need to play every damn game out there, which results in huge stacks of unfinished games (Mass Effect 2, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy XIII, The Witcher, Tales of Monkey Island, Sam & Max Season 3, Alan Wake, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gothic 3, Risen, Magna Carta 2, Final Fantasy 8, Valkyrie Chronicles, Planescape: Torment, Alpha Protocol, Divinity II, The Pandora Directive (!) etc.—all of which I really want to continue at one point.)

I'm probably good for the next 1000 hours, or so. Oh, yeah. Need Fallout: New Vegas and Two Worlds II as well. Shit.

See, we're much alike here
I said stop it!!

I find it "cool" to play these games on my iPod - but when I have a modded Fallout 3 and Two Worlds 2 waiting on my PC, I just don't see the point ultimately.
Me neither, now that I'm playing Dragon Age again. However, doing some battles in Puzzle Quest in bed or in the john is still very entertaining. Nice little fact: I've played the most on my iPad. It's truly the best platform for this game and good example how a touch screen *can* add to the experience!
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November 11th, 2010, 13:11
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
This is creepy. I recognize all of that in ME (and not in ME2). Stop it, you're freaking me out. Next thing you know, I'll be talking doom about the increasing consumerism in the world and the downfall of the gaming industry.
Hehe, you're not quite there yet I think…

Besides, I USED to talk doom about the industry, but these days I'm actually prophesizing the rebirth of gameplay evolution a few years down the line.

So, it's not all doom and gloom

Oh, I have time, but for some reason I'm never really interested in games (or much of anything, really) for long stretches of time. However, Dragon Age has been extremely fun every single time I've played it for the last couple of weeks (in play sessions of about 1-2 hours). I don't finish games all that much, but I feel that I could play Dragon Age a whole night through. There's just that sense of wonder and cosiness there. I wish I could have a party in some of those castle chambers…

However, I do have an irrational need to play every damn game out there, which results in huge stacks of unfinished games (Mass Effect 2, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy XIII, The Witcher, Tales of Monkey Island, Sam & Max Season 3, Alan Wake, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gothic 3, Risen, Magna Carta 2, Final Fantasy 8, Valkyrie Chronicles, Planescape: Torment, Alpha Protocol, Divinity II, The Pandora Directive (!) etc.—all of which I really want to continue at one point.)
Hehe, I know what you mean. I do play more games for a long time than you, but I hardly ever finish them. I think it has to do with a feeling of some residual obligation from the past, when I used to religiously follow the gaming industry - where I'm somewhat more relaxed about it today. Yet, I still play all I can get my hands on - including cute gadget-games

I'm probably good for the next 1000 hours, or so. Oh, yeah. Need Fallout: New Vegas and Two Worlds II as well. Shit.
If only I had backlog-discipline. There are soooo many top games that I've yet to even begin, let alone finish.

I said stop it!!
Nevah! You're my clone!

Me neither, now that I'm playing Dragon Age again. However, doing some battles in Puzzle Quest in bed or in the john is still very entertaining. Nice little fact: I've played the most on my iPad. It's truly the best platform for this game and good example how a touch screen *can* add to the experience!
I won't deny that iPod/iPad/Whatever brought something to the table. Smartphones in general did - but as for gaming, I find it to be more about distractions than the kind of in-depth gaming that I was almost born with.

That said, I've started development of a Windows 7 phone game with my brother. Another project we'll never finish
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