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Default Dragon Age - Preview @ Games Radar

February 16th, 2007, 13:25
Games Radar has a preview of Dragon Age that treads familiar ground but still provides a reasonable introduction. Here's a bit on Origins:
Your hero will also be invested with an Origin Story. There'll be two to choose from for each race - the example they give is a dwarf noble or commoner - and this choice entirely dictates your first couple of hours in-game, giving some texture and logic to your involvement in the main quest. It will be a recurring theme later in the game, too: there'll be a nemesis specific to your Origin Story who'll be back to haunt you throughout your adventure and if you, as a dwarf, ever venture back to the dwarven lands you came from, your history as well as your choices can impact the plot.
More information.
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February 16th, 2007, 13:25
"BioWare's plan is nothing less than a reinvention of the genre, of the way we play."

Man, how many times are they gonna reinvent, redifine or re-whatever this genre? How about just producing some good games from the previous redefenition generation for a change?
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February 16th, 2007, 14:43
This seems like an incredibly ambitious game. I wish that it wasn't going to take so long to get here. The last game that came out like this was Baldurs Gate 2, and that was seven years ago!
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February 16th, 2007, 15:27
I think that what they are trying is interesting … I just hope they can pull it off …

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February 16th, 2007, 17:03
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Man, how many times are they gonna reinvent, redifine or re-whatever this genre?
Or better yet, when are companies going to stop lying about reinventing whatever it is when they're just recycling the same things? Just call these games for what they are, be honest.
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February 16th, 2007, 17:56
KotOR and NWN were both disappointments for me so I am not overly optimistic on how this will turn out, I'm thinking it will be another Fable (i.e. crap).

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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February 16th, 2007, 18:49
Leaving aside marketingspeak, which I love with all my heart, because it does help sell the game to people who do in fact believe that we've reinvented the entire concept of gaming every time we ship a product… I'm really looking forward to playing Dragon Age. It's been long enough since I've been on the project that almost everything storywise has changed (and for me, that's good, because knowing the story inside and out tends to rob it of its drama a bit).

I really like how the combat already looks, and the story they're writing is one gigantic love letter to people who want stuff dark, grim, and choice-based. Heaven only knows if that's the way it'll ship — stuff gets cut and changed for reasons that the designers don't always, or even often, get a say in — but if it ships as it's being written right now, I think that anyone who liked the breadth and depth of BG2 is gonna like it. I think that good trumps innovative, despite the fact that a lot of people use "innovative" to mean "good"… and I think that Dragon Age is gonna be very, very good.
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February 16th, 2007, 20:55
Personally I'll take good over innovative any day of the week.

Innovation is necessary to keep the flow going so the market doesn't stagnate (a lesson EA has utterly failed to understand) but that certainly doesn't mean that every title has to be innovative. Then again, I play for the thrill of experiencing everything for the first time and letting the story capture me and take me for a ride in the magical world of gaming …

erm, less acid trip, more coherency, okey dokey …

Anyway, I totally agree with Patrick, that it is a lot more important that a game is good than that it is innovative.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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February 16th, 2007, 21:00
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
Leaving aside marketingspeak, which I love with all my heart, because it does help sell the game to people who do in fact believe that we've reinvented the entire concept of gaming every time we ship a product…
So it helps sell a game by misleading people on what the game actually accomplishes.
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February 16th, 2007, 21:18
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
So it helps sell a game by misleading people on what the game actually accomplishes.
There is a nice Dilbert comic that shows how it used to be possible to make people swoon by using words like 'dang', but now you have to use combinations of expletives that make them self-combust to even get noticed. When every game out there is 'ground breaking' and 'earthshattering' and so on, you need to do something to compete for mind-space. That is the reality of the marketplace.

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February 16th, 2007, 21:27
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
So it helps sell a game by misleading people on what the game actually accomplishes.
Shall I explain how that Crest toothpaste commercial is actually just using marketing hyperbole when it says that it's going to change the way you brush forever, and how a new kind of toothpaste can't actually make a toothbrush fly through a waterfall in slow motion? I mean, you've apparently misled, and you're going to be disappointed when your toothbrush doesn't start flying.

Or should we perhaps just acknowledge that marketing-speak is part of our society and move on?
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February 16th, 2007, 21:34
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
a new kind of toothpaste can't actually make a toothbrush fly through a waterfall in slow motion?
Crap - I want my money back!

Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
Or should we perhaps just acknowledge that marketing-speak is part of our society and move on?
He's in the midst of a pissing contest in another thread, perhaps that has him feeling antagonistic …

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February 16th, 2007, 21:49
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Crap - I want my money back!
Dude, me too. I figured that it was the tartar control making the brush more aerodynamic or something.

I also don't want to entirely downplay the innovation Dragon Age has got going. Right now, you can change some pretty big chunks of the game with your personal choices. It's gutsy (and hellishly complex) to put long-term consequences on your actions in any kind of compelling way — it's easy to make the villager shout, "Hey, you killed the dragon!" if you killed the dragon, but if you can kill the dragon in three different ways, and each way makes you some allies and some enemies, and those allies or enemies are interacting with you 20 hours later, offering different ways to complete a new quest or blocking off the easy way because of what you did to them before…

I'm not explaining this well, because any attempt to explain it well gets into spoiler territory, but it's a lot more reactive and a lot more complex than just "Group A likes you, Group B hates you". Assuming that stuff makes it into the final game, that's going to add a lot of replay value in terms of people on the forums realizing how many different ways some major events could go down.
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February 16th, 2007, 22:47
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
Shall I explain how that Crest toothpaste commercial is actually just using marketing hyperbole when it says that it's going to change the way you brush forever, and how a new kind of toothpaste can't actually make a toothbrush fly through a waterfall in slow motion?
Your condescending manner is neither amusing nor particularly relevant since the issue is not about my inability to understand advertising (or rather, your intention of trying to pass me off as ignorant given your intention to somehow "explain it" to me) but about how you've just claimed to enjoy marketingspeak because it allows your company to sell products based on features they don't have by lying about them.

Also, your point is misleading. Does the commercial at any point claims that one of the toothpaste's featues is that it will make a toothbrush fly through a waterfall? No. It claims it will change the way we brush forever which is hyperbolic and devoid of any meaning to the end consumer because it's not being used as representative of the product's features.

Or should we perhaps just acknowledge that marketing-speak is part of our society and move on?
Should we exempt something ethically reprehensible from criticism because it's part of our society?
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February 16th, 2007, 22:52
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
He's in the midst of a pissing contest in another thread, perhaps that has him feeling antagonistic …
The other thread isn't so much a pissing contest, more like someone who enjoys chess and seems to think everything else pales in comparison. There are far more interesting things to be pissy about Besides, I don't let whatever happens on one thread to affect another. I don't blow off steam on people who have nothing to do with my problems. And that thread certainly isn't bothering me enough to do it elsewhere.

But… Antagonistic? What? All I did was ask Patrick a question. That's hardly antagonistic, which is more than I can say of his reply. Actually, that's about the second time he's had this attitude for no good reason even after all I did was respond in a friendly way.
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February 16th, 2007, 23:40
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
Your condescending manner is neither amusing nor particularly relevant…
I thought it was kind of amusing. It scored well with the "me" audience.

…since the issue is not about my inability to understand advertising (or rather, your intention of trying to pass me off as ignorant given your intention to somehow "explain it" to me) but about how you've just claimed to enjoy marketingspeak because it allows your company to sell products based on features they don't have by lying about them.
If you're reading my first line as sincere, it's actually about your inability to understand sarcasm.

Edit: For context, here's my line, clearly sincere in all aspects:

"Leaving aside marketingspeak, which I love with all my heart, because it does help sell the game to people who do in fact believe that we've reinvented the entire concept of gaming every time we ship a product…"

Really? No sarcasm at all? None? Okay. I'm sure it's just me.
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February 17th, 2007, 00:13
Okay Patrick, if you say so. Apparently I jumped the gun.
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February 17th, 2007, 01:38
Well, I certainly took it as sarcasm; it's the sort of thing I'd write, but then I enjoy sarcasm!! (perhaps too much )
I'm actually really looking forward to this game and hope I won't be disappointed. Sure, it won't live up to all the hype, it will have some features or aspects I don't like; no game is perfect, but Bioware have a good solid track record for producing quality games. Who else is there with a chance to make an RPG the vast majority of 'real' gamers will enjoy?

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 17th, 2007, 01:50
What about the fakes? They're people too, you know.

Dragon Age sound okayish at this point but I suspect disappointment is going to happen anyway. Some of the more tantalizing stuff has been done away with, like governing nations through necromancy. That sounded awesome, really.
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February 17th, 2007, 20:13
Another introduction hung-up on graphics and animation, as if lip-syncing and facial expressions are the be-all and end-all of immersion and tacit points.
BG2's characters managed to convey their thoughts and feelings on stuff without switching between talking heads, because it had competent VAs and writing. If the tones and inflections used in the spoken word are done properly, or the text reads as intended, I don't need to see an artificial head mugging at me to get the point (which, without meaning to sound churlish, is usually quite melodramatic, so difficult to not understand).
Then again, I guess you have to keep upping the ante in a 3D engine. I just tend to think it'd be better to work on the machinery and gameplay of games, then do the odd graphical flare here and there, if you absolutely must.

It's a bit sad that we have to wait 7-odd years only to have a game hoping to have the same level of depth and quality as the 7 year-older.

Still, DA has always sounded highly ambitious, which is admirable, and I'm certainly looking forward to it. Let's hope the cutlist doesn't grow too much on the run-up to release.
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