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Default Dragon Age 3 - More on Armour Customisation

April 14th, 2012, 03:38
David Gaider expands on the PAX panel about armour customisation in the next Dragon Age game. There are art examples and then David poses questions for people like me, who just don't get it:
I’m sure this all brings a few questions to mind:
What’s wrong with the inventory system used in Dragon Age: Origins? Why not just use that?
There’s nothing wrong with that system per se. It was, however, a lot of resources that led to end results which weren’t ideal… namely that we had less appearances overall in addition to very little visual identityfor the followers. Morrigan was the only character in Origins who had a unique appearance, and one which was immediately lost the moment you put different armor on her. Other followers had little visual identity at all outside of their faces, and ended up looking like every other character who wore that armor. Again, that’s not terrible in and of itself (characters are defined by more than just their appearance, after all)—but we’d like to do better.
More information.
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April 14th, 2012, 03:38
And here I am someone who is actually even annoyed when the same helmet for a Giant auto-shrinks so it fits a human.

The human should use the giant's helmet as cauldron (after plugging the visor ofcourse) and the giant should use the human's helmet as theecup (or even as thimble, depending on the giant's relative size to humans).
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April 14th, 2012, 03:54
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
And here I am someone who is actually even annoyed when the same helmet for a Giant auto-shrinks so it fits a human.

The human should use the giant's helmet as cauldron (after plugging the visor ofcourse) and the giant should use the human's helmet as theecup (or even as thimble, depending on the giant's relative size to humans).
I can't remember the name of it, but I remember playing one game where giant and troll character models wore a cobbled together armor that was made from various bits of human sized suits of armor strung together into crude armored belts and wraps. Not sure if it was the intent, but it seemed to justify why you would sometimes find useful hman-sized equipment when you looted them.
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April 14th, 2012, 09:09
Just glad bioware has their priorities correct, where matching armor is our number one concern.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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April 14th, 2012, 09:16
They probably do. Considering their fitness, this kind of delicacies is one of the few they are likely to deliver on.

They push forward what they can succeed in providing. Tell about their proficiency level.
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April 14th, 2012, 10:27
So…
now cosplayers are their main target audience?
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April 14th, 2012, 10:50
Judging by the amount of DA3 news lately the release date might be approaching. I seriously hope not, because the way I see it, DA3 is the last chance for Bioware to redeem its reputation among old customers so they better take their time creating a really solid game. If they care about their old-school fans at all of course.
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April 14th, 2012, 11:00
Lets face the facts Biowae game developments cycles are only 2-3 years. They only have 2 games since being bought by EA that have had a longer development time. TOR and the original DA.

One was from Bioware pre EA and the other is a MMO that took more time. DA 3 was already in the works since DA2 was finished. So yeah It probably will be out next march like all there previous release's have been.

Don't get your hopes up it wont be a miracle that will change the genre and the setting. Just the same crap with some changes and removal of stuff they cant fix. Typical Bioware.

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April 14th, 2012, 13:39
Originally Posted by DGaider
We did like the visual direction for follower appearances in Dragon Age 2—but resource limitations meant that we couldn’t do the number of variations on those appearances as we would have liked. So you couldn’t change their armor at all, and that had a negative impact on player agency… as in the agency one feels by having control over their gameplay.
One day I'd like to have a look at the Bioware buzzword dictionary.
Last edited by KapitanUnterhosen; April 14th, 2012 at 14:08.
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April 14th, 2012, 15:06
Originally Posted by Edgarstrong View Post
Judging by the amount of DA3 news lately the release date might be approaching. I seriously hope not, because the way I see it, DA3 is the last chance for Bioware to redeem its reputation among old customers so they better take their time creating a really solid game. If they care about their old-school fans at all of course.
I'm not sure they want their old customers. I doubt they've discredited whatever market intel it was that led them to the conclusion that they couldn't afford to make stuff like NWN3 and DA:O2, and needed to go full cod (or lamely attempt to with DA2).
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April 14th, 2012, 15:25
It's literally hilarious that with all the issues with recent Bioware games (especially DA2), they are spending so much time worrying about followers having distinct visual appearances…
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April 14th, 2012, 15:51
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Lets face the facts Biowae game developments cycles are only 2-3 years. They only have 2 games since being bought by EA that have had a longer development time. TOR and the original DA.

One was from Bioware pre EA and the other is a MMO that took more time. DA 3 was already in the works since DA2 was finished. So yeah It probably will be out next march like all there previous release's have been.
BioWare started working on SWTOR 2 years prior to being bought by EA…
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April 14th, 2012, 16:17
In DA3 we will have the ability to equip different kinds of armor on our companions, the colors will change, but the appearance will always be the same. Say, we have a leather armor, we equip it on K1 (an imaginary party member who is a knight) and he is now wearing a brown plate armor. We have a silver armor, we equip it on K1 and he is now wearing a silver plate armor. The model is exactly the same as before, only the texture has changed. If they claim this is their definition of character identity, then I think they are not being honest.

This decision has nothing to do with character identity. This is a cheap trick to hide the engine's inability to render several armor pieces on a character model on consoles. DA:O was a mess on consoles because of this limitation. In DA:O every companion had a body + several armor pieces, this was a lot of work for the engine on consoles. They had to reduce overall graphics quality to cope with it. DA:O was bashed for it's low quality graphics, and BioWare promised better graphics in DA2. But they had to pay the price.

In DA2 they introduced a new solution: every NPC/PC (except Hawke) had a single armor mesh which was easier to render than a naked character mesh plus all those armor meshes. This technical problem was the main reason behind not being able to equip armor for companions in DA2, it was also the main reason why enemy models were always exactly the same (unlike DA:O, which allowed many different body and and clothing combination, both for enemies and companions).

In DA3 they are trying to deceive the audience. They'll give us the ability to equip every piece of armor we want, but the appearance will always be the same.
Now, this looks like a flash-back to the days before Diablo and Ultima, when wearing different pieces of armor had no effect on character appearance.

And I personally think what Gaider says is not true:
What’s wrong with the inventory system used in Dragon Age: Origins? Why not just use that?
There’s nothing wrong with that system per se. It was, however, a lot of resources that led to end results which weren’t ideal… namely that we had less appearances overall in addition to very little visual identityfor the followers.
I think it would be more appropriate to be honest and open with the audience and people would certainly be more understanding. But now, things are getting complicated.
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April 14th, 2012, 17:58
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
Say, we have a leather armor, we equip it on K1 (an imaginary party member who is a knight) and he is now wearing a brown plate armor. We have a silver armor, we equip it on K1 and he is now wearing a silver plate armor. The model is exactly the same as before, only the texture has changed. If they claim this is their definition of character identity, then I think they are not being honest.
Which might not be too bad on a knight - as in your illustration and Gaider's - because in general he's always wearing something heavy. Worse when you have a mage who can be either in robes, or an arcane warrior (mage specialisation) in plate armor. Oh wait … they abolished arcane warrior in DA2…wonder why. Well then, a rogue that's either in clothes or armor.

I agree the technical expediency is key, but in the back of my mind I can't help wondering that maybe the official reason also plays some small part. They really want Scooby-Doo to be a dog, and if you can freely put glasses on him, he's less distinguishable from Daphne. And we all know how strict they are on their Artistic Integrity. And their intent to make things cartoonish…
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April 14th, 2012, 18:43
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Just glad bioware has their priorities correct, where matching armor is our number one concern.
Definitely. The appearance of armor is far more important to your average RPG player than little things like combat and exploration.
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April 14th, 2012, 20:10
Originally Posted by ishuman View Post
Definitely. The appearance of armor is far more important to your average RPG player than little things like combat and exploration.
Maybe it's just me… But I think it would be best to see BW for what they are, and that is console centric with a strong leaning towards mass market appeal. If certain CRPG mechanics/aspects have to be toned down/sacrificed because market research indicates doing so will attract a broader audience or due to inherent console limitations, so be it.

IMO the strength of a mass market approach(from a business or profitability perspective) is the ability to appeal to the least common denominator and succeed with relatively little effort… You find whatever qualities are shared across the greater gaming community, build up the fluff/shiny and cut corners on actual mechanics/gameplay. Which invariably translates to boobs, blood and/or writing reminiscent of fanfic garbage…

Thankfully, between the indie community and recent Kickstarter phenomena, devs like BW are increasingly irrelevant as their failure to deliver CRPGs for my enjoyment is moot… Now if they make a game that looks, feels and tastes like a CRPG - while receive accolades from the watch and other trusted rpg sites I'd gladly pick it up. I won't hold my breadth…
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April 14th, 2012, 20:44
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Thankfully, between the indie community and recent Kickstarter phenomena, devs like BW are increasingly irrelevant as their failure to deliver CRPGs for my enjoyment is moot… Now if they make a game that looks, feels and tastes like a CRPG - while receive accolades from the watch and other trusted rpg sites I'd gladly pick it up. I won't hold my breadth…
Yeah, it's funny but the three game's I'm most excited about (despite being a long way off) are Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2, and The Banner Saga; these are all relatively small studio projects funded by kickstarter. The faint possibility that Chris Avellone might use kickstarter to produce a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment (he stated his desire to do something along those lines in a recent discussion) is far more exciting to me than Dragon Age 3, Mass Effect 3 DLC, Command and Conquer: WTF, Really?, or any other current Bioware projects.
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April 14th, 2012, 21:33
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
BioWare started working on SWTOR 2 years prior to being bought by EA…
Didn't know that thanks. Then both games were developed pre EA then. That proves the 2 year cycle on all there new games then.

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April 15th, 2012, 04:07
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Yeah, it's funny but the three game's I'm most excited about (despite being a long way off) are Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2, and The Banner Saga; these are all relatively small studio projects funded by kickstarter.
Gotta agree with this at the moment, but I'd say a large part of the reason is that it seems there are very few big-name RPGs officially "in development" right now. Once Risen 2 and Diablo 3 are out within the next month, what else is coming up from the big developers that's been officially acknowledged or announced as of now? Just "South Park: The Game", and some vague worthless info about DA3? Obviously companies are working on things that we'll find out about eventually, but it seems like we're in an RPG lull period right now if you don't count indies.
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April 15th, 2012, 04:45
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Gotta agree with this at the moment, but I'd say a large part of the reason is that it seems there are very few big-name RPGs officially "in development" right now. Once Risen 2 and Diablo 3 are out within the next month, what else is coming up from the big developers that's been officially acknowledged or announced as of now? Just "South Park: The Game", and some vague worthless info about DA3? Obviously companies are working on things that we'll find out about eventually, but it seems like we're in an RPG lull period right now if you don't count indies.
Dragon's Dogma comes out for the Xbox 360/PS3 mid-May. The Last Story comes out for the Wii in June. After that, who knows.
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