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Default Dragon Age 2 - The decline of the Classic RPG at Hooked Gamers

March 6th, 2011, 14:24
Ibortolis from the Bioware forums made this thread about a 3 page editorial at Hooked Gamers entitled The decline of the Classic RPG. Here are some highlights in the editorial:
Being more sensible than to simply outright dismiss Dragon Age 2 all together, we waited until we actually had a chance to play it for ourselves before making any rash decisions. That time has now come with the release of the playable demo. But were our instincts correct? Unfortunately, the majority of our team say yes, Dragon Age 2 is too clear a departure from the formula we have been in love with since playing Baldur’s Gate back in 1998.
Another highlight:
When you get into the game you will notice that player conversations have become much less significant as well. As far as the dialogue scenes are concerned, this is not role playing; this is interactive playing. The dialogue is so simple that it could be replaced by a choice that you make at the beginning of the game: "Do you want to be a compassionate, humorous, or obnoxious character?" After that choice, you would only have to watch the dialogue scenes play through with no player-input at all.
And yet another one:
What we see in Dragon Age 2 is a distinct loss of the necessity to plan attacks, you really can play it as an action-RPG. The demo made this immediately evident when we tried to adopt the pause-play style – it was just not practical. The reason for this is because combat is paced much faster and the only really viable way to play the game is to button mash.
And the final point:
More and more we see games being transformed to cater for only one type of player and quite frankly, many of them are starting to become unidentifiable from each other. Publishers want you to play the game as quickly as possible so you can move on and buy their next title. Ultimately though, this way of doing business will hurt the industry as a whole. A storm is brewing and it’s one that publishers are calling on themselves.
Do you agree with this?
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March 6th, 2011, 14:24
we'll see how biowear does after DA:2, though personally, its water off a ducks back because a large portion of biowear fans just want dating sims with combat and so long as david gaider continues to write X-treme, they will buy..and buy..

so said aluando the wise.

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March 6th, 2011, 14:52
It's sad he even needed to write that article. Did we not have our own eyes? Did we all buy into the less=more, change=always good, marketing?

It's a frog in slowly boling water. No DA2 is not yet a Diablo clone yet, but DA3 will be so far away from Origins (don't even get me started with Baldur's Gate) as to not even be comparable without choking on your own laughter. It will probably have mana clips or something. In a few years time we'll all be playing duck, stab, shoot, CINEMATIC, duck, stab shoot CINEMATIC.

The interesting part for me about that was to see the reaction on the BioForums: "writer said there is no tactical cam, but there is a zoom out for AOE spells, therefore whole article is flawed". "Go back to playing ZORK" etc. The first thread somebody tried to make on exactly the same article was locked down in about one hour, after too many posters on that thread voiced support for the author… And to think that before DA2 was announced, it was full of lively, articulate and respectful debate. well, not counting Tali threads
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March 6th, 2011, 14:52
If Dragon age 2 sells better than DAO we wont see anything that even remotely resembles a hardcore RPG from Bioware or from any AAA developer for that matter. Maybe they go casual for DA2 , there next product will maybe cater to the hardcore fans. Some of the stuff on the Bio forums was scary, it was all about which character they wanted to do next , clearly it was kids going through puberty which confirms who Bioware is NOW marketing to.
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March 6th, 2011, 15:12
I like all the comments on the Bioware boards about how you shouldn't judge the game by the demo. Do they not understand that is the entire point of releasing a demo, to give an audience something to judge the end product by?

Kids these days, I tell ya.

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March 6th, 2011, 15:27
Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
I like all the comments on the Bioware boards about how you shouldn't judge the game by the demo. Do they not understand that is the entire point of releasing a demo, to give an audience something to judge the end product by?

Kids these days, I tell ya.
While you are right by defining demo as showing of a part of the game, I personally don't trust demos. I've had games were I thought the demo was awesome and the game turned out to be bad and the other way round. A demo is a good indication of the quality of the game but by no means represents the overall product.
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March 6th, 2011, 15:33
The demo would have been much better if it had been written as an actual prologue to the story, instead of skipping around through time so much, but I can understand where Bioware would want you to play around with leveling up and the various powers and whatnot in combat. That being said, those powers would have been figured out eventually, particularly because they're not that difficult to figure out. If the demo had been written as an actual demo, ie: This Crap Happens Before The Main Game, I think it would have given Bioware a better chance to showcase the strongest part of the game, namely the story. Especially when you consider that this story is supposed to unfold in a very un-Bioware way.
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March 6th, 2011, 15:35
I actually found the tactics (scrollable) camera in DA: Origins to be rather catastrophic; it didn't live up to its intended hype. And was way too complicated to use for its own good. I've played the demo, and was very satisfied with the camera. Most people seem to forget that you need you to tilt your mouse forward or backwards as this will give make the camera bob up and down.

And yes, sometimes less is more - the UI for DA2 has been streamlined with this less is more approach. And I like it

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March 6th, 2011, 15:48
Maybe I'm weird, but I didn't hate the camera, either. It promoted kind of a "head on a swivel" philosophy when I was in combat. I always kept the camera moving so that I could see if enemies were coming from different directions, attacking my mages, etc. and it was okay. I've been in combat, and I know how confusing and chaotic it is. Very easy to get tunnel vision.

My only beef with the combat (and this may be unfounded, because I've only played the demo) and UI is that tactics seems to have been misinterpreted as timing. Everything moves so fast that, instead of using the right weapons, abilities, and spells to overcome an enemy's weaknesses, you have to break out your speed vs distance vs time calculations. Just seems like cheating the difficulty up, rather than actually making fights difficult.
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March 6th, 2011, 16:03
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I actually found the tactics (scrollable) camera in DA: Origins to be rather catastrophic; it didn't live up to its intended hype. And was way too complicated to use for its own good.
Off topic - but how exactly was it 'complicated'? It probably had some quirks which BioWare should have patched out / ironed out in DA2. But even if you found it beyond redemption, then why not give people the freedom to choose if they want to use it, or prefer the 'up close and personal' approach of DA2. First reason from Laidlaw - iso view was impossible because Kirkwall had high buildings (debunked by other devs, Laidlaw retracts and gives another 'story' reason).

On topic - did you broadly agree with the article apart from the cam issue?
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March 6th, 2011, 16:13
Originally Posted by Roi Danton View Post
While you are right by defining demo as showing of a part of the game, I personally don't trust demos. I've had games were I thought the demo was awesome and the game turned out to be bad and the other way round. A demo is a good indication of the quality of the game but by no means represents the overall product.
A demo should be the highest form of marketing. If they cannot put the effort into making a demo the epitomy of the best elements the game has on offer, then their efforts in the rest of the game have to be called into question.

Gaming "journalists" are a waste of time, no point even discussing that. DA2 is according to PC Gamer "the Best RPG of the Decade" (no, honestly), and Origins, which 13 months ago got similar praise, is now old, frumpy, clunky and full of "shuffle" (the EA marketing buzzword univerasally adopted to discredit the legendary predecessor).

If we leave aside the demo, we are left with the old circular logic. In order to truly be able to decide if I should buy a game, I have to first buy it and play it to test it. After that, I gain the statutory right to form an opinion. I think the industry do a good job spreading that message on all the forums.
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March 6th, 2011, 16:20
The deeper Bioware and their industry compatriots dig this hole (with fans of BG style games I mean), the bigger the niche for indie games to step into. No, they won't be AAA for the most part, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest.

With indie developers you have the possibility not only for old fashioned gameplay, an isometric camera, and all those other outdated, obsolete, unprofitable features… you also have the possibility of whole new settings, blended genres, originality. And anyone paying attention to the IGF knows that digital distribution means these small-team games can make money, in a few cases really an ungodly amount of money. An RPG renaissance could be just around the corner.

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March 6th, 2011, 16:50
Originally Posted by rich ruffo View Post
If Dragon age 2 sells better than DAO we wont see anything that even remotely resembles a hardcore RPG from Bioware or from any AAA developer for that matter. Maybe they go casual for DA2 , there next product will maybe cater to the hardcore fans. Some of the stuff on the Bio forums was scary, it was all about which character they wanted to do next , clearly it was kids going through puberty which confirms who Bioware is NOW marketing to.

DA:O sold better than any other Bioware game before. (It even outselled the catastrophe called ME2) And it sold even more on PC than it did on consoles.

Yet they decided to butcher it and form it into console dumbed down something.

And…

Yes. Something nobody is mentioning.

They did a game in under 2 years.
This is crazy pace for game production. Its a quickly slapped sequel

Just like that company known for sequel exploitation…what is the name…
EA!



Bioware is no more. And with DA2 they even lost their loyal following. Maybe they even did it on purpose. Hardcore rpg players will only complain and drag EA name trough dirt.

They dont need that. They have new followers.
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March 6th, 2011, 16:57
One of the major incitement for mankind was to gain knowledge and understand more complex systems. Be it organic life, the world as is or anorganic technology.

Now we have a focus on the most common denominator, less complex but not easier to access systems respective designs.

A friend of mine always claims, that he doesn't want to think even a tiny bit while playing the most easiest games. Comes down to repetitive button smashing.

Least I certainly like to get into a game, gain a understanding of how it works and gain more insight while playing. Giving less of a challenge bores me.

Heck, why even try to teach children anymore about more complex stuff like physics? The easier the more will understand and that is ALL that counts. Aint it?

From a pure business point of view it makes perfect sense to aim for the biggest market share. Other than that, this approach beats me. You know… I like to use my brain sometimes.

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March 6th, 2011, 16:57
"the only really viable way to play the game is to button mash."

This is the only issue I am concerned with. I doubt it to be true but if it is then it would be an important issue. I'll find out once I get the game.
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March 6th, 2011, 17:19
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
"the only really viable way to play the game is to button mash."

This is the only issue I am concerned with. I doubt it to be true but if it is then it would be an important issue. I'll find out once I get the game.
But that's the only issue the guy raises. The whole damn game just doesn't go well with a brain. It's been moved to a different target demographic. ie this one:

Chet: "Duuude, have you checked out the DA2 demo, brah?"
JR: "Weaksauce man, goblins and dwarves and stuff are for nerds."
Chet: "No way, brosinski, you gotta check this out - you swing a ****in' sword as long as your body and skeletors blow up in clouds of blood!! Plus, the chicks have HUGE knockers man, like double Fs! "
JR: "Awesome! I love big-ass swords and big-ass boobies!"
Chet: "You know it, bro."
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March 6th, 2011, 17:21
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
"the only really viable way to play the game is to button mash."

This is the only issue I am concerned with. I doubt it to be true but if it is then it would be an important issue. I'll find out once I get the game.
If you played the PC demo you know thats not true. These guys went into this with an agenda, and came out with what they wanted. The first qouted paragraph tells us this. Like I keep saying, I will play it myself and judge it, not a big fan of jumping to huge conclusions.

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March 6th, 2011, 17:34
Good ! You can play it first and tell us how much fun you had pressing the green button, and how wrong it was to come to huge conclusions.
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March 6th, 2011, 17:42
I didn't mind the direction they took with ME2, and I'll very likely play ME3 as well. It wasn't a "true" CRPG anymore, but somehow I think it fitted the game OK.

On the other hand there is DA2. I was worried about applying the same kind of changes to this title, and after having played the demo it sadly seems my worries were justified. Personally I had hoped they could do one branch of CRPGs like DA:O and then another, more action-rpg, like ME.

Oh well.. fortunately I have Drakensang:TRoT lying right next to me, waiting to be played….
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March 6th, 2011, 17:49
Originally Posted by rich ruffo View Post
Good ! You can play it first and tell us how much fun you had pressing the green button, and how wrong it was to come to huge conclusions.
If you played the game then you know there is no green button(at least on the pc version), but continue to misinform, it's hilarious.

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