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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Dragon Age 2 - Mike Laidlaw comments on DA2 at Bioware DA2 forums

Default Dragon Age 2 - Mike Laidlaw comments on DA2 at Bioware DA2 forums

August 29th, 2011, 19:15
About a month ago, I discovered these comments from Mike Laidlaw, the Lead Designer for DA2, on the DA2 forums. Mike's comments in full:
. Area Re-use.
An obvious problem, and one we are keenly aware of. Not an intentional issue, and certainly not "by design" but something that happened and needs to be addressed. Players should not have to accept that Cave A is also Caves B through D. While -some- assets will be reused in the course of any game (and should be, otherwise games would simply be too expensive to create), they should be done so with considerably more discretion. In retrospect, I probably should have just cut content to reduce the re-use, but that's a tough call to make in the moment.
2. "Wave" combats
When everyone talks about how it's raining men in DAII, there's clearly something wrong. Simple problem: waves were introduced as a mechanic and overused without enough time to tune them. Fan reaction prompted us to start making adjustments to the system pretty much immediately, and Legacy demonstrates the start of the result. I am amused when people note that waves are "gone" from Legacy. They're actually there, just done much better. So, yes, the bad waves are gone. Still more work to do, but a good start.
3. Impact of choice
We knew we were taking a risk making a story about a major even in Thedas that was pretty much going to happen, and reaction has been very mixed. While some folks love the "sound of inevitability" that pervades DAII, there are a number of weak spots in the impact they feel they should have on the world. Fair point. If we're going to offer you a decision, it should matter. Easy fix would be to cut decisions, but that's not what DA is about, so we're going to have to get better about clear impact of those decisions within the same game you're currently playing. Addressable, but not within a DLC, as they are pretty self-contained items.
4. Follower customization
A mixed bag. Lots of folks liked unique looks for followers. Many more hated losing the ability to put new platemail on Aveline. Completely understandable, and likely aggrivated by finding platemail that your mage character would likely never be able to equip. Needs to change, but we'll cement how before talking in detail. Also not really addressable in a DLC, as there would be fundamental changes to the core game needed, which goes beyond the scope of what a DLC can deliver.
There's more issues out there, for sure, but those are some that I'm comfortable talking about at this point.
The release of the Legacy DLC certainly fixed some of the above things, it seems.
More information.
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August 29th, 2011, 19:15
They are just apologizing and apologizing about DA2.
I never seen game company so sorry about most of game-play of certain game.

But if you knew its so bad. Why did you release it ?
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August 29th, 2011, 19:20
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
But if you knew its so bad. Why did you release it ?
They knew most sites would give them a 85-95% score no matter how shitty the game would turn out? It would still sell tons? They do games to make lots of $$$$ and not out of good will? Why wouldn't they release it?
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August 29th, 2011, 19:22
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August 29th, 2011, 19:35
Ha… I know it's completely off-topic, but I started the whole DA2 "it's raining men" punchline many moons ago on the Bio forums. Cool to see it mentioned with macro level management.
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August 29th, 2011, 20:03
Dragon Age 2 …… What's it? An insult? An insult to crpgers? An insult to gamers? I was lucky enough to cancel my preorder on time….

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August 29th, 2011, 20:12
To add insult to injury, instead of fixing the problems that they admitted in the original DA2 game with a patch, they fixed them in a DLC so they can sell even more crap while the original game is still broken!! What kind of apology is this? This is an insult and in my book is equivalent to ".. show me the other cheek" in addition to the first slap. Just how dare they make such statements.
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August 29th, 2011, 20:43
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
When everyone talks about how it's raining men
lmao but it's true. bon mots, Chaos
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August 30th, 2011, 02:20
So we can expect the free enhanced edition soon? Oh im sorry their just giving lip service. They would never put thier money where their mouth is.
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August 30th, 2011, 02:37
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
So we can expect the free enhanced edition soon? Oh im sorry their just giving lip service. They would never put thier money where their mouth is.
Haha… yep. The gap between CD Projekt and Bioware widens with each passing quip from the docs or from Laidlaw. And I used to really, REALLY like Bioware's games. They lost their mojo a while ago (well, right around the time they were purchased by EA) and it just seems to get worse and worse. But no matter, I have Witcher 2, Witcher 2 Enhanced (with free patch), Deus Ex, and Skyrim to look forward to. I just don't need Bioware's games anymore and they—obviously—don't need me or my hard-earned $$, so bye-bye Bio-guys, was fun while it lasted.
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August 30th, 2011, 04:34
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
They are just apologizing and apologizing about DA2.
I never seen game company so sorry about most of game-play of certain game.

But if you knew its so bad. Why did you release it ?
They aren't really apologizing. They're justifying their design choices and hinting that they think they were good choices and will do the same with DA3. I've read quite a few posts on the subject from Laidlaw and other Bioware devs.

Laidlaw tried to do the same thing around the release of DA2 but quickly left the forums because there were still people upset with DA2 on there. He waited until 4-5 months after the release of the game to comment on it when only people who like the game would be left on the forums.

Here's a better link to that thread so you can read all the Bioware dev posts in a row without sifting through 60 pages.
http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/to…ndex/7992640=8
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August 30th, 2011, 05:46
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMcVZQI6ybw

It never gets old.


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August 30th, 2011, 05:53
Area Re-use.
An obvious problem, and one we are keenly aware of. Not an intentional issue, and certainly not "by design" but something that happened and needs to be addressed.
I remember reading that one for the first time, and laughing again about it now. A problem, one theyre keenly aware off, but not an intentional issue. Certainly not by design!
Well how the fuck did it get in your game then? Did you all come into work one morning and half the game was magically done, so you just went with it? That has to be by far, truly the most brainless comment by any game designer I've ever heard. Like the cleaning crew was messing w/ their game or something.

There's re-use of assets, and then there's just lazy slapdash work. NWNs reused all of the same assets over and over again, but they werent all assembled in the exact same scenes with alternate entry points for different areas. it needs to be addressed alright, and owned up to instead of blaming it on gremlins. It's the first step to recovery.
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August 30th, 2011, 06:43
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I remember reading that one for the first time, and laughing again about it now. A problem, one theyre keenly aware off, but not an intentional issue. Certainly not by design!
Well how the fuck did it get in your game then? Did you all come into work one morning and half the game was magically done, so you just went with it? That has to be by far, truly the most brainless comment by any game designer I've ever heard. Like the cleaning crew was messing w/ their game or something.

There's re-use of assets, and then there's just lazy slapdash work. NWNs reused all of the same assets over and over again, but they werent all assembled in the exact same scenes with alternate entry points for different areas. it needs to be addressed alright, and owned up to instead of blaming it on gremlins. It's the first step to recovery.
or they could have diligently tried their best to design unique dungeons and by sheer coincidence, each just turned out to look like the others!
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August 30th, 2011, 08:20
Apparently, a trailer for DA3 has already been leaked to the Web. It's amazing what they do with video-game cut scenes these days…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi2t58CRmbU
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August 30th, 2011, 09:50
The re-use of areas ? What exactly does it mean? For me, an area in DA2 will be say Sundermount or Dark Town or the Gallows or the Docks. Clearly, since the game takes place in one city, there will be re-use of areas for quests and such.

People probably mean 'the re-use of the same cave-module'(tm) or the same corridor-module(tm). And yes, after seeing the same cave module for the 10th time, I too grew a bit tired of seeing the same cave module again. However, having been to the same cave module over and over again helped me with positioning my team. I remember on the Wounded Coast there are to three caves that look completly alike. And quite frankly, how many ways can a coastal cave look? In the same region?

I also think that some of the people who bought this game might have been expecting an rpg game like Oblivion or Skyrim, not a game which has a story, e.g. a beginning, a middle or an ending. Like most (or all) Bioware games have.

As for Laidlaw's comments about them being 'keenly aware of it' - it happens. He had to make a call, probably in the midst of the heat, and made this call. Simply to get more content and quests etc. into the game. I'm sure if he hadn't made this call, people would yell at him and Bioware for making the game too short. The internetz are funny this way…

I'd rather have more content and quests than new modules. However, I do agree that Bioware needs time to cover the re-use of modules up a bit better than they did in DA2.
On a similar note, I've seen people on the Bioware forums complain about the colour of the beams, and possibly also something about the height of the statues? in the Gallows.
People notice the darnest things…

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August 30th, 2011, 11:43
Originally Posted by Grimlorn View Post
They aren't really apologizing. They're justifying their design choices and hinting that they think they were good choices and will do the same with DA3. I've read quite a few posts on the subject from Laidlaw and other Bioware devs.
Yes, they are always saying the same. "These were good choices", basically, "but we see that others didn't like them".

This is like stubborn men believing - or rather : stubbornly insisting that - they are still right, and not the rest of the world.

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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August 30th, 2011, 12:12
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I remember reading that one for the first time, and laughing again about it now. A problem, one theyre keenly aware off, but not an intentional issue. Certainly not by design!
Well how the fuck did it get in your game then? Did you all come into work one morning and half the game was magically done, so you just went with it? That has to be by far, truly the most brainless comment by any game designer I've ever heard. Like the cleaning crew was messing w/ their game or something.
Indeed. I cannot understand how they keep insisting that DA2 just magically happened to become something they didn't intend. Oh, please! Mike Laidlaw and crew, please own up to your mistakes or shut up already!

The best comment about DA2: "The only awesome button in dragon age 2 is the uninstall one."

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