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Default Bioware's Stanley Woo on the rushed dev cycle

March 22nd, 2011, 21:20
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Now manipulation?
Nop - he just means that - as far as I've understood him - you seem to believe that EVERYONE SHOULD play on hard, or with more difficult modes.

Not about DA2 you can't comment the fights because you played it at too easy level.
Now, you won't comment on the game because you haven't played it on "easy" either ?

You both are most likely talking apart from one another, or … I don't know how to put it. We Germans say "aneinander vorbeireden", it's like two trains passing one another but each one facing an entirely opposite direction than the other train …

“ 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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March 22nd, 2011, 21:27
Woo I hate when it turns in circle like that, if it's not manipulation it's just perverse friendship mechanism.

On start txa highlighted you just need look the fights do automatically. Conclusion? OBVIOUSLY he played at a too easy difficulty level. I don't want force anybody but if you wrote that, then fights was clearly too easy for him. It's also totally obvious that fights difficulty is a major point of fight enjoyment. That's it that's all I don't want force anybody.

EDIT: I don't want mean I disagree with your post, I see we aren't debating with txa and I repeat multiple time we are talking about a different game, because fights played at a too easy difficulty level for you can't be evaluated well.

It's not a matter of having nightmare fights and ultra challenge, just that too easy involve many problems for fights enjoyment including be lazy and not dig tactical possibilities.
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March 22nd, 2011, 21:35
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Not about DA2 you can't comment the fights because you played it at too easy level.
I'm sorry, but my opinion is no less valid than your own.

Once again, while there is much we agree and disagree upon, many things that are being criticized are based on the contrast from the original Dragon Age: Origins, and also based on the extrapolation to Baldur's Gate since DA was supposedly the 'spiritual successor'. That context informs everything, and while change isn't inherently bad, change without a logical reason isn't necessarily good. So while again we must disagree, it isn't because one is right and the other wrong, nor because one opinion is more or less valid … we simply very fundamentally disagree.

And that's cool … it is just a game, after all.

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March 22nd, 2011, 21:49
Yeah yeah I'm fine to disagree with most people of this forum, and I'm fine we all agree on this disagreement. For sure the comparison with older games will be more complicated, the only one I recently played was BG1, and fights are great but they aren't exempt of weakness. But something I don't understand at all is the comparison between DA2 and DAO. For me DA2 cumulate ton of improvements over DAO for the fights point of view, from system design and balances to design of each fight. But yeah different point of view. But you should really try play DA2 at hard difficulty.
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March 22nd, 2011, 22:04
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
They must have insanely high standards then:

Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins Reaches Triple Platinum Sales

That seems pretty strong unless I am just really out of touch.
As far I remember DAO sells was 4.5M but for PC+PS3+360. Cross that with knowing PC sold less than consoles so less than 30% and probably less, it's bellow 1.5M, probably more 1M. Not that impressive. But for EA or even Bioware it's probably what justified the cut of specific PC developments like tactic view and tools (but they could come later, with luck).

But I could be wrong and 4.5M only for PC but I doubt a lot. And quote how far they have been from their target of half of Stracraft, in end it's probably not even 25%.

I don't want justify anything, just that I think players don't look well at the numbers, again if 4.5M isn't PC only.

Drakensang could have died from sells but seems like DA is going the same way through PC sales and what happened with DA2 and that a console shift will probably never work and in end better kill the series.
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March 22nd, 2011, 22:08
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
So DAO fights was better for you? There was ton more of fillers in DAO for me. And for enjoying DAO for its strategy level, ouch hard to read. Nope, none are strategy games. And for fight diversity I also wish better, including more diversity and less abuse of waves, but DAO is less good on that points too.

At least you recognize "game certainly does require tactics and can't be played as a pure button-masher". That hugely different than txa "console action-RPG game".
…[*]And very often there's waves but also two tough opponents to manage with caution, and in those case waves make it just more complicate to make you mix crowd control and manage special tough opponents.[/LIST]
I actually never mentioned DA:O or compared it with DA2 in my post . I always try my best to view each game as its own unique entity in order to remain objective; besides, I'm not opposed to new ideas, and I actually enjoy it when developers try new things. It's just that some of the "improvements" of DA2 feel more like downgrades - I'm almost never a fan of "streamlining" if it sacrifices depth in places that I personally feel are completely unnecessary.

Once I got used to the waves, I was able to use some cool tactics with the Force Mage specialization. This particular skill tree allowed me to control the waves quite efficiently and set up companion AOE abilities. Unfortunately, the fights became so predictable that I could almost perfectly predict when and where the next wave would pop up, which made the fights feel quite repetitive and stale once I reached the 30 hour mark.

The last point that I quoted is one that I half agree with. Whenever a wave would spawn certain enemy types (such as assassin's or Templar Hunters), they became immediate threats that demanded attention. This brought an interesting scenario: Do you target some of the trash mobs on the flanks, or do you make the dangerous enemy types a total priority? I enjoyed those fights. Unfortunately, once again these situations would become predictable; there would almost always be 2 Templar Hunters in a difficult Templar group, for example, so all I had to do was control the crowd and quickly eliminate the highest threat, rinse and repeat. Basically, I just found the game lacking in depth and the "right" type of mental challenge that I seek from party-based RPGs. To me, it was simply too much of a predictable grind and way too action-focused - again, it is far from a button-masher, but it's also far from a great tactical experience.

By the end, I just felt like the combat was an awkward mix of action and tactics that never clearly defined itself as to what it truly wanted to be. It's not deep from an action perspective, and it's also not extremely smooth from a tactical perspective. It was a design that ultimately tried to find a balance between action and tactics, and I don't think it really succeeded with this combination anywhere near as well as it could have, and for me it was an unsatisfying - though not terrible - experience.
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March 22nd, 2011, 23:53
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I'm sorry, but my opinion is no less valid than your own.

Once again, while there is much we agree and disagree upon, many things that are being criticized are based on the contrast from the original Dragon Age: Origins, and also based on the extrapolation to Baldur's Gate since DA was supposedly the 'spiritual successor'. That context informs everything, and while change isn't inherently bad, change without a logical reason isn't necessarily good. So while again we must disagree, it isn't because one is right and the other wrong, nor because one opinion is more or less valid … we simply very fundamentally disagree.

And that's cool … it is just a game, after all.
The game plays so much more tactically and strategically at hard and nightmare though that he has a point. If you ignore those modes and then say the combat is too simple you are kind of spouting an uneducated opinion.
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March 23rd, 2011, 03:40
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
The game plays so much more tactically and strategically at hard and nightmare though that he has a point. If you ignore those modes and then say the combat is too simple you are kind of spouting an uneducated opinion.
You guys make an assumption about what modes I have and have not played. My point is that the game is filled with 99% trash mob battles. My experiences at the full range of difficulties Normal and above are irrelevant.

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March 23rd, 2011, 03:55
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
You guys make an assumption about what modes I have and have not played. My point is that the game is filled with 99% trash mob battles. My experiences at the full range of difficulties Normal and above are irrelevant.
That's one of the points I was getting at in my previous points, and I would agree that the majority of the battles function this way. I also agree that changing the difficulty doesn't drastically change how the battles function; they just become more of a grind.
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March 23rd, 2011, 07:50
DA2 a downgrade from DAO for the fights, lol.

And for quoting only very rude fights of the past and then ignore how difficulty is important in fights, lol.

And rejecting waves as a whole with no analysis of waves contents and objective, so superficial, lol.

Yeah for sure I agree we disagree.
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March 23rd, 2011, 10:33
I prefer the combat in Origins to the combat of DA2, mainly because of how DA2 uses waves.

In short: I like chess more than poker.

I like knowing exactly what I'm up against when planning my strategy/tactics. In RPGs, it boils down to being able to use a stealthed rogue (or similar) to check out a location and then plan the battle accordingly.

To me, the wave mechanic should only be used in ambush situations, as it works out great in such scenarios. An ambush should surprise the player; it shouldn't be expected.
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March 23rd, 2011, 10:57
I don't mind the waves, I'd just prefer it to be an occasional thing that takes me by surprise rather than the default.
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March 23rd, 2011, 11:27
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Yeah yeah I'm fine to disagree with most people of this forum
Welcome to the Club.

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March 23rd, 2011, 13:33
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
You guys make an assumption about what modes I have and have not played. My point is that the game is filled with 99% trash mob battles. My experiences at the full range of difficulties Normal and above are irrelevant.
I'm not disagreeing on the spawning mobs, I dislike that as well. I am just saying on hard the game is quite a good tactical combat RPG if you give it a chance and plan for the spawning mobs with AoE attacks and control abilities like Rush, Glyph of Paralysis and Tempest.
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March 23rd, 2011, 16:50
SO far, the single simplest tactic to use in this game is to have the party hold by a door or other choke point, then have someone move forward, get the bad guys to appear or attack, then pull them back to where the party is.

I know this is a tactic you can use in many games, but DA2 seems to set up almost all its encounters ASSUMING that you will rush into a room and become surrounded. Once you figure out not to do that (and I'm sure 95% of the people on this board know this trick) the battle becomes easier, or even really easy. The spawning waves are built assuming you are in the room with most or all of your party, IMO.

There are times where it doesn't do that, and you get surrounded and surprised… a group of templars at the chantry near the beginning of the game comes to mind. It's a large space and you get attacked while you're already in the room, and it was very tough.
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March 23rd, 2011, 17:30
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
DA2 a downgrade from DAO for the fights, lol.

And for quoting only very rude fights of the past and then ignore how difficulty is important in fights, lol.

And rejecting waves as a whole with no analysis of waves contents and objective, so superficial, lol.

Yeah for sure I agree we disagree.
Look, I know that English isn't your primary language and that you generally struggle to put together an intelligible sentence, so I wanted to be very clear.

When you make statements such as above, with 'lol' at the end, it gives the appearance of being superior and derisive. I am sure that based on our discussions that is unintended, that you were merely stating areas where neither of us could agree, instead of appearing to laugh at me like an immature pissant from your lofty position of combat-knowledge superiority greatness.

So I just wanted to be clear on that.

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March 23rd, 2011, 17:57
(a reply to FF vs. camera&targeting comment from the other thread)

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I think it works just fine… the camera at its furthest back position is pretty wide, and targets highlight and show their names when you are placing an AoE.
- when targeting a farther area with cluster of enemies, it´s often hard to see whether a companion is among highlighted targets or not
- in close quarters camera is often nigh unusable, especially for the purpose of targeting
- it´s mostly impossible to place targeting circle in the exact spot you want it, it keeps on skipping and skipping
- also, you have no exact indicator of area affected by melee AoE abilities

Given that FF damage can easily wipe out a companion in one hit, precise placement is crucial but executing it is often impossible, which leads to spending unhealthy amount of time trying to place AoE´s properly and often being forced to compromise tactics altogether, especially in close quarters.
Also, the game´s action-y behavior in some aspects (fast speed and, more importantly, the way the game determines whether an ability/attack take effect or not) tends to limit your AoE options. Targeting more stationary enemies (like archers) is quite without issues in this regard, but in the case of the more mobile ones, it´s usually the most effective when they´re swarmed around a companion and this option is quite limited with FF on (there are some defensive talents which can to some degree counter FF though) - in the end you´re very likely to waste more AoE´s with FF on than without it.

So basically, playing with FF requires a lot of mostly bad kind of micromanaging.

My personal quasi-solution was extensive use of mages´ primal tree which contains offensive spells that for some reason don´t have FF - that partially defeated the purpose of playing with FF, but at least I could play with other nightmare changes I quite liked. Of course, eventually the horrendous encounter design wore me down and I decided spending much time in combat isn´t worth it anyway .

Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I know this is a tactic you can use in many games, but DA2 seems to set up almost all its encounters ASSUMING that you will rush into a room and become surrounded.
Yeah, that´s one of the reasons DA2´s encounter design sucks so hard.

What you think about most, is what you become.
Last edited by DeepO; March 23rd, 2011 at 18:37.
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March 23rd, 2011, 18:02
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Yeah, that´s one of the reasons DA2´s encounter design sucks so hard.
Haven't you learned yet - it isn't the game, it is YOU!

You are either:
(a) doing it wrong
(b) a mindless hater who hasn't actually played
(c) have played but not enough to be allowed to comment
(d) not on the 'correct' difficulty to see the absolute pinnacle of design on offer
(e) just not 1337 enuff to 'get it'
(f) inferior in all of the ways mentioned.


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March 23rd, 2011, 18:25
Fair enough, I guess .

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March 23rd, 2011, 18:34
There's things about every single game I've ever played that I didn't like. DA2 isn't perfect, but it is fun to play.

I'll probably get flamed for this, but to me it makes sense that there is more limit to the "tactical" bird's eye view. How would a mage be able to see and target precisely an area past a bunch of stuff that would be blocking her view in real life? Why should she be able to target something that is actually, really blocked by a bunch of stuff that is in the way, especially in the heat of battle while injured?

I guess I'm just not that centered on having the old-school isometric tactics of the game as very important. I kind of don't care and simply enjoy the game.
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