|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Dragon Age - Forum Highlights @ Sorcerer's Place

Default Dragon Age - Forum Highlights @ Sorcerer's Place

July 2nd, 2007, 23:05
After a lengthy hiatus, Sorcerer's Place let us know they've started compiling highlights from the Dragon Age forums once again. Here's a sample, featuring David Gaider:
I agree with Mary mostly (big shock, I know), and I think the main difference between these kinds of games is how you determine the player's personal story.

In a more linear game, what the player experiences is largely controlled at any given time. And this has some advantages, primarily the fact that you can have a coherent narrative. You can pace that experience and deliver a better experience.

Personally I think the big caveat in that case is that the illusion of freedom needs to be maintained. The illusion being, perhaps, that the player is simply stumbling onto the story and that he could if he chose go off elsewhere even if it isn't true. There is a certain amount of buy-in from the player required, and I find when I know I am being railroaded my first instinct is to be contrary and push in the other direction. Depending on how fragile the buy-in is, that may suddenly reveal the tracks for what they are. And I don't think I actually require all that much convincing to ignore those tracks… but I do require some, and I suspect the average player out there isn't all that different.

Does this mean you couldn't have a story in a more sandbox-like game? No, not really. But that story is going to have to be about what the player themselves do— they have to drive it forward personally at all levels, whether or not that's realistic. And any narrative that exists is going to have to exist in isolation to the sandbox, if at all.

Fallout is a good example of that. You have a really simply set-up relying completely on what the player does. with the "story" being the voyage itself. As enjoyable as that can be, however, I think you can even look at that and see that there was very little in the way of narrative or larger events going on. Not that that hurt it in any way, but I think there's room for both. You're just not going to find a magic spot on the linearity/non-linearity scale where all stories will work. It won't happen.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

July 2nd, 2007, 23:05
The more time passes, the more DA starts looking like a NWN2 clone, which itself is a NWN clone.
It seems to me when it was first announced, the developers raved about how different it would be from D&D. Now they're saying "Hey, D&D is the standard, so no one should have a problem with how we set up the classes and custom classes."
Real-time-with-pause combat, natch.
And my personal fave: they're going the "Party NPC's can never die, because they're too important to our plot!" route.
Why didn't they just write their entirely original world in a NWN2 mod? Think of the money to be saved using Bioware's engine!
screeg is offline

screeg

screeg's Avatar
floating head

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 907

Default 

July 2nd, 2007, 23:31
I thought this was a great discussion and a good one to highlight. The points of view were carefully considered and interesting, and they were expressed well.

It didn't consider much new, though. What I'd really like from a future RPG is something along the lines of choice and consequence but with more subtlety, depth and mystery. The player's actions should affect or even drive the plot, but with every decision he makes throughout the game, not just the ones he makes when he's given a clear set of choices.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Squeek is offline

Squeek

Squeek's Avatar
connoisseur of tidbits

#3

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,807

Default 

July 3rd, 2007, 04:59
This game has been in production for a very long time now, isn't it about time we start getting some new, solid information instead of just various discussions and a three year old wallpaper? The first previews of Dragon Age were written after E3 2004, where Dragon Age was shown, so it must be getting close to completion unless something has gone wrong.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,677
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

July 5th, 2007, 16:16
I agree, Maylander. I haven't seen any newsbits or pr anywhere for quite awhile, and this is just a forum discussion. On one hand, I'm kind of grateful to be spared the endless hype and overuse of current buzzwords, but on the other, I wonder why there is so little "developer diary" type of material, interviews, new screenshots, etc.

There may be something more on the actual Bioware site, but I stopped going there years ago as it is one of the most irritating visual hodge-podges around and slower than a one-armed paper-hanger.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929

Default 

July 5th, 2007, 17:14
Look how long NWN took, though. Five years, wasn't it? Midway through that development process they essentially started over, so who knows what they're doing with Dragon Age.
Of course, if a Dragon Age development meeting or discussion on progress is anywhere near as lengthy as Gaider's commentary, they may just sit around all day listening to him talk and not actually get any work done

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
Gallifrey is offline

Gallifrey

Gallifrey's Avatar
Keeper Of Traken

#6

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 658

Default 

July 5th, 2007, 18:22
eh ? what ? huh?

Dragon Age looks like it is going to be quite a different game from D&D. First off, there is no magic at all in Dragon Age! and the little magic there is is very low magic.
I happen to like realtime with pause in combat. There will be deaths to story vital NPCs as well as to party members NPCs! There will be no resurrection spells at all!
Healing will be done in quite a different way than D&D does it. You will need to heal your comrades and yourself after battle, and maybe even drag your and your party all the way back to base camp to get healed or get patched up.

Since this initial comment on DA from David Gaider —- there has been another comment on the rpgcodex board —- basically saying 'look, we do what we want to do, and if you don't like it, there's the door. Goodbye'. This may sound harsh, but there you have it…

There will also be no healer class in this game as you basically starts out either as figther, a mage or a rogue. If start the game as dwarf noble, this will make the game stort for you in the Dwarf town or city in the game. You will have a backstory to your character that eventually will catch up with you - after you've been forced the twon, city or village. I think you can play as an elf, human or barbarian.

As you grow in experience, you get to unlock skills etc. and the experience you get will be skill-based (somewhat similar to te TES-series, I guess?), not XP-based as it is in D&D. One of these skills may or may not be the ability to heal someone i.e. do doctoral work on them. It might also be that you will rely in your companions to do this. IN NWN1, NWN2, you only had henchmen, but in DA you will (again) have companions as you did in Baldur's Gate…

The game can take its time, though, since iirc, DA hasn't found a publisher yet.
Bioware announced the game in 2004 at the very beginning of the developing cycle, maybe even before pre-production really got started. They did this to quell the rumors that Bioware didn't intend to develop PC games anymore. Therefore,
DA was announced as a PC only game…

However, 3-4 years is a very long time. And I don't think that BIoware would want to compete with Bethesda's Fallout 3 in Fall 2008, so it is possible that this game, DA, will be released sometime in 2009. It takes about 4½to5½ years to make a good (pc) rpg game. And will rather see Bioware taken its time to get DA just right instead of rushing it out the door.

My guess is that as soon as Mass Effect is released sometine this year? we will se much more DA coverage just as we have seen much more ME coverage in the last
6-12 months related to Mass Effect.

David Gaider is the Lead Writer on DA. This means he just writes the story, is responsible for the plot etc. where some other people (the lead producer?) is responisble for the design docs etc. And basically, the OK need (still) to be given
by the good doctors of Bioware, I think…

The Lead Writer, in this case David Gaider, then assigns quest & storylines to the writers working on DA. And then he puts it all together and sends it up higher for approval, I think. At least that's the impression I have gotten from reading David Gaider's posts on the Codex and Patrick Weekes's posts here on this forum.
aries100 is offline

aries100

SasqWatch
RPGWatch Team RPGWatch Donor

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 2,089

Default 

July 5th, 2007, 23:01
I don't think any solid RPG ever took 5 years to make unless they almost restarted (as they did with NWN). 2-4 years is common. I know World of Warcraft took 5 years to complete, but developing an MMO as big as WoW takes quite a bit longer than single player games.

I get a weird Duke Nukem Forever feeling from all of this, hehe.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,677
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

July 6th, 2007, 01:13
Aries, I'm confused by your post. First you say there is NO magic, then you say there is only LOW magic, and finally you say one of the classes you can play is a MAGE!! Doesn't that seem silly to play a Mage if there's NO magic??!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is online now

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#9

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,677
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 09:09
Dragon Age has been in development for awhile, yes, but it's a game on a brand-new engine. The last time BioWare did that was with Neverwinter and the Aurora engine, from which NWN, KotOR, and Jade Empire all sprang, so it's natural for the game to be in development for awhile.

(Mass Effect uses a third-party engine, which makes it difficult to compare (easier in some areas, likely harder in others, and I'm not a programmer, so I'm certainly not the one to ask). I do know that being the first BioWare game to use the Unreal Engine is kind of an uphill fight in the snow, and Mass Effect programmers are doing a lot of work so that future projects have an easier time and a tighter schedule.)

As for what Dragon Age will be as a game, I can't say. I mean, I could, but then I'd be looking in the want ads. David Gaider is the guy to listen to in that regard. I do know that there is magic, but it's not dime-store magic. Magic in Dragon Age is dangerous and scary, and if you run into someone who's using magic casually, you know that it's someone you really want to take seriously. Rather than misspeak, I'll just keep pointing at Dave.

And as for the lack of publicity, that's purely because of Mass Effect. Dragon Age has a big team doing a ton of work. Their plan is to run quietly until Mass Effect is out the door, and then blow the doors off the public with what they've got ready to show. They haven't canceled the project. It's not going to be a NWN2 mod. It's quiet now because now is the time to talk about geth and krogan and turians. The time for unicorns will come soon.
PatrickWeekes is offline

PatrickWeekes

Sentinel

#10

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 261

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 10:51
There are already a lot of design-decisions for Dragon Age, that I don't like:
- Only a Party of four
- NWN2 Death-System (maybe with a little penalty)
- Only 3 Races and 3 Base-Classes (but with a special twist…)
The more I read about it, the more I fear it turns into a medival KOTOR. Well, I suppose it could be worse…

The Germans are a cruel race. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for "fluffy".

Captain Blackadder
Fenris is offline

Fenris

Fenris's Avatar
Proto-Nerd

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Franconia
Posts: 446

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 11:08
Thanks for the comments Patrick. Could you perhaps ask Dave G to drop by here occasionally and give US a few insights!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is online now

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#12

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,677
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 11:31
Indeed, that was very helpful, I was beginning to get worried. The basic idea of the game is top notch, so I'm looking forward to see if they can pull it off (multiple starts, dynamic story etc).
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,677
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 14:36
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Aries, I'm confused by your post. First you say there is NO magic, then you say there is only LOW magic, and finally you say one of the classes you can play is a MAGE!! Doesn't that seem silly to play a Mage if there's NO magic??!!
I can understand why you are confused. We all were like over at the DA forums when David Gaider told us that there will be no magic in DA, at least not the magic in the D&D sense or the TES sense where every tom, dick and harry seem to be able to throw fireball at goblins. And, there won't be any goblins in DA as well. There might be some other sort of species doing what goblins do in D&D.
The things is that we are all very steeped in pre-formed notions of an RPG being like a D&D, so we expect to see goblins and that everyone (sort of) can use magic.

That's what I meant by there's no magic in Dragon Age. DA isn't TES or D&D.
I think of it as some sort of European medieval society in which there are powerfull wizards, but they live far off the normal lands, and far away, on high mountains, or in deep caves, where normal people seldomly ever comes.
Magic in Dragon Age will be low magic meaning that you won't have access to any spells or the like, but you will (maybe?) be able to create and then cast a spell using the lifeforce within you, or by drawing the lifeforce from the 'ether' in the air. Thus magic suddenly becomes very dangerous and scary as you will NEED to know what you're doing.

I always somehow think of Gandalf using his innate (wizard) powers to manipulate and reshape the environment. Let me also point you to the magic seen in Angel, the magic the witch Tara? uses is not to be taken lightly, whether by friend nor foe, as Tara's use of magic also uses up her lifeforce (or hp in an rpg, if you want). Maybe this sort of dangerous and scary form of magic also makes it into Dragon Age….

As for there being mages in DA, I am just retelling what I've read over at the DA forums on Bioware's website. And David G. did say that there will be three (main)classes, a fighter, a rogue and a mage. If you choose to be a mage, you will start out in some sort of town, village or citadel where the mages live. And you will probably at level 1 only be able to transform pigs or something similar to that.

Magic in DA is supposed to be scary and dangerous, not something to be taken lightly…

(PS: patrick, how's the wife and newborn kid?)
aries100 is offline

aries100

SasqWatch
RPGWatch Team RPGWatch Donor

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 2,089

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 15:40
I happen to like realtime with pause in combat.
Not that you have much of a choice, nowadays … games are either rea-rtime or, real-time-with-pause, but no more turn-based.

All (A)D&D games I know of have real-time-with-pause fights, as far as I can remember. Maybe except Pools of Radiance 2.
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#15

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 16,061

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 17:10
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Not that you have much of a choice, nowadays … games are either rea-rtime or, real-time-with-pause, but no more turn-based.

All (A)D&D games I know of have real-time-with-pause fights, as far as I can remember. Maybe except Pools of Radiance 2.
Yes, and POR2: Ruins of Myth Drannor was (and is) a terrible game. And the turnbased combat in that game was - well, lets just say- not that great…
aries100 is offline

aries100

SasqWatch
RPGWatch Team RPGWatch Donor

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 2,089

Default 

July 8th, 2007, 20:02
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
All (A)D&D games I know of have real-time-with-pause fights, as far as I can remember. Maybe except Pools of Radiance 2.
Errr the only ones with RT-with pause are the infinity and aurora engine ones. The majority are turn based (dark-sun + TOEE + POR2 + gold box) or something completely different like eye of the beholder or arcade hack and slash like Al-qadim.

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.
bjon045 is offline

bjon045

bjon045's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#17

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sigil
Posts: 981

Default 

July 9th, 2007, 02:23
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
The majority are turn based (dark-sun + TOEE + POR2 + gold box) or something completely different like eye of the beholder or arcade hack and slash like Al-qadim.
You suggest that I have played them, and thus know it.

I haven't. I was very, VERY lucky to finally find the Eye of the Beholder Trilogy on CD-ROM on a flea market in this area here ! I have never seen the "Gold Box Games", and Dark Sun is also quite difficult to track down.
I know a big second-hand shop with very old games in Cologne, near where I live, that's where i might try finding them, but the last time I saw it, the whole building was severely overhauled.
My last resort would ebay, then, or amazon, but prices of older games usually get quite high, because some sellers know very well that there are some collectors (like me) out there …

The best findings can be made on flea markets where the sellers don't know what they are actually selling.

This way I recently found a CD-ROM Multimedia version of the second Laura Bow adventure … the people did know that these old adventures are worth a thing, but I chattet with them, and told them that there are two kinds of buyers, imho: The collectors, willing to pay rather high prices, and those who don't (the "non-collectors", as I call them right now), and maybe a third group that overlaps partly with both: Those who still want to actually play these games … That's where I am.
I both collect some older games (not all of course, because I have only limited room , but I also want to play them.
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#18

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 16,061

Default 

July 9th, 2007, 04:18
Another future buyer for Grimoire!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is online now

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#19

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,677
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 9th, 2007, 16:45
intresting talk about magic. The way I magine (from the small info we know) the magic in dragon age is something similar to Lord of the rings where only few very powefull persons could handle magic. And the magic was very subtle but yet very powerfull. Or maybe something similar to old medevil tales about wizzards like Merlin, who were mostly feared by the people..etc
Dez is offline

Dez

Dez's Avatar
Watcher of The Keep

#20

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,211
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Dragon Age - Forum Highlights @ Sorcerer's Place
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:49.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch