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Default Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup

February 23rd, 2011, 22:06
Here are three new articles on Dungeon Siege 3, from the recent press event.
A sample from Joystiq:
I was told that the current build of the game didn't let you respec characters at all, because Obsidian wants to make sure you really identify with the character you choose. The game's story plays a part in that as well. "The game sort of reacts to who you are in specific strategic locations," says creative lead George Ziets. "Lucas is descended from the old Legion, son of the old Grand Master. Arjalis is an Arkon, like Dungeon Siege's version of an angel, and she has this mysterious backstory. So at certain points in the game, that becomes an issue based on who you run into. Someone knows Lucas' family, so they'll respond differently to him than they would to someone else." While there's not a full morality system in the game, there are a few choices to make, and a few consequences to deal with as well, though Ziets declined to say more for now.

Taylor says that old-school PC players will appreciate that Obsidian hasn't dumbed-down the interface completely on that platform. "That's something we're starting to tackle right now," he says, "in terms of the control inputs and things like that. I think people will find that it plays very much like a PC game when we're done with the pass."
Previewers like Shacknews are still praising the visuals:
The game looks very good in action, and each area that I saw - from outdoor town and forest areas, to caves and dungeons - utilized a rich color palette and light sources to great effect. The hand-painted fire effects and crackling embers I saw when making my way through a burning estate looked great, and the same sort of care extended to the effects for spells and abilities. Though I only fought a handful of enemy types in the game's opening areas, it didn't feel as though more variety was needed.
AtomicGamer on general gameplay:
That being said, the gamepad scheme made Dungeon Siege 3 feel a hell of a lot like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, which for those of us fond of that game’s light-hearted action, is easily a close second to a mouse-based scheme. But no matter what controls you use, it’s important to point out that this is not a brainless action game containing only a smidge of RPG sprinkled in; there are a ton of loot choices to make, and your character will be juggling which proficiencies to drop points into every level - and when you do, it comes at the cost of choosing other ones. Then there are quite a few talents for each character, which you’ll also get to drop a point in each time you level up, and these bestow passive bonuses on your character. Toss in the ability to have one of these four characters as a permanent companion on your single player campaign - and the ability to fully control their equipment, proficiencies, and talents as well - and we’ve got a pretty deep game for what, on the surface, might look like just another Diablo clone.
More information.
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February 23rd, 2011, 22:06
I dropped out of this series after playing about 1/3 of the original. It seemed at the time that I was not playing a game, so much as click-click-clicking to make things move along. I remember thinking there was no significant choice in terms of path, missions, or character development… maybe the timing of using healing potions, or some such, could be characterized as 'choice' or 'strategy'.

Regarding DS III, therefore, the big question for me would be whether there are any choices to be made — or to put it another way, whether it is a game or just another fantasy-themed Powerpoint presentation, with me controlling the timing of the slides. (The snippet above about not allowing character re-spec is not promising, however.) But I seem to recall someone on here saying that Dungeon Siege II was actually good, or at least passable… am I correct, and if so, could someone who played that game elaborate? If at least a couple people recall it being OK, I will add it to the pile of older games to check out when I'm bored.
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February 24th, 2011, 00:08
I'm right there with you on the original. Made it about 1/3rd way through, not once, but TWICE. Tried again a couple years later, and got just as bored as I basically watched the game play itself.

I only played DS2 last year when my wife picked it up at a thrift store for 2 bucks. I played it all the way through, even coming back to it after a 2-week vacation out of town, and enjoyed every minute of it.

No longer are you moving down a linear path from point A to B to C to Z. There are actually towns that act as hubs, with multiple paths leading out from different directions, and you will be sent down one path with multiple side quests along the way, before you find what you need and head back to town to get sent down some other path (again, with multiple side quests to occupy you on the way).

The party control is VERY well done. I would go so far as to say that it's an ideal way to control 4-6 characters in a real-time action environment. This is actually my biggest concern about DS3, because I'm worried that the console controls will be a step back from the full control you had over each party member's spells and powers.

Bottom line: it's absolutely worth picking up from a bargain bin if you can find it…
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February 24th, 2011, 05:22
After many years I replayed DS 1 in January of this year and by the time I was 2/3 of the way through I was looking forward to finally ending the game. I liked the innovation of the mule, the graphics were still suprisingly decent, and I found that there was more of a challenge in 1 than in 2 on keeping party members alive.

Nevertheless, I concur with Fantasm that DS2 is a superior product. There were quite a few side quests and what gave many of them depth was the fact that some were spread out over the three main chapters and they just weren't the generic mail delivery types that seem to plague RPGs.. One could move back and forth between chapters once they were "unlocked."

It is still basically H&S but even they magic system is improved. Alas, no mules though…

* As a side note I just built my brother-in-law a high end gaming rig with 7 64-bit OS and DS2 played beautifully on it. He loved the game.
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March 1st, 2011, 06:27
A bit late for a reply, but thanks for the input, both of you. I will add DSII to my list of games to grab if the price is right.
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March 1st, 2011, 07:01
I add support for DS2. It was for me in every aspect much closer to the kind of RPG's I tend to enjoy than DS1. Actual quests, companions, a fleshed out world to explore and a real story filled up the void that was DS1.

It was a shame that it didn't sell well, probably because those who enjoy the kind of game DS2 is was turned off by DS1, and those who enjoyed DS1 was turned off by DS2. In my book, DS1 was a mistake.

Unfortunately, the DS2 expansion failed.

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March 1st, 2011, 13:36
DS1 held my interest somehow. I couldn't get past the first 45 minutes of DS2. I tried 3 or 4 times. I'll give DS3 a shot though.

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March 1st, 2011, 13:48
But no matter what controls you use, it’s important to point out that this is not a brainless action game containing only a smidge of RPG sprinkled in;

there are a ton of loot choices to make, and your character will be juggling which proficiencies to drop points into every level - and when you do, it comes at the cost of choosing other ones.

and we’ve got a pretty deep game for what, on the surface, might look like just another Diablo clone
First phrase sounded interesting but then I think I lost it.

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March 1st, 2011, 14:45
"On the surface it might just look like another … clone" and "it's important to point out that this is not a brainless action game containing only a smidge of RPG sprinkled in".

This sounds rather contradictory to me … Like some kind of try to keep the "old school players" in the boat meanwhile adressing the game towards the already established fan-base.

Needless to say that I regard action-RPGs nowadays exactly like "brainless action games".

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March 2nd, 2011, 00:31
Seems to me you are a big fan of other games that do exactly the same thing: Divinity and Divinity II. Are they a contradiction, or are they really brainless action games? You really can't have it both ways without accepting that Obsidian might be able to find a similar balance.

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March 2nd, 2011, 17:52
Okay, you are right, I must admit. I liked Divinity 1 very much.

In my case, it's rather a kind of development. It's round … uh, 10 years ? or so since I played Divinity 1 for the last time. Then, much later, Beyond Divinity.

I've changed. I'm not the same person anymore who liked Divinity 1's combat that much. (Did you know you could throw boulders at enemies, too ?)

It's difficult for me to explain, it's just that with becoming older some things just changed - at least in my case. I don't know whether this applies to others, too.

I played Dungeon Siege 1 through - and I was glad when it ended. It was just … too boring.

And … probably that was the reason why I have never touched any action-RPg since then. The fear that it might be as dreadful to me as DS1.

And that might be the reason why I missed DS2. I played the demo, yes, and it made quite a good impression to me. But it was still hack & slash. And I had already grown prejudices against this sub-genre.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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