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March 9th, 2014, 22:30
I find it funny that people call the design "generic" like it was a bad thing. The franchise inspiration was medieval Europe, being generic is the goal here, not some error in design.
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March 10th, 2014, 09:19
I find it funny that some people think intentionally generic is somehow better than generic.
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March 10th, 2014, 11:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I find it funny that some people think intentionally generic is somehow better than generic.
It’s even funnier when you consider that it’s no longer intentional. Way back in 2004 ‘Dragon Age’ seems to have been envisaged as being somewhat less generic. It wasn’t going to have Elves and Dwarves, although it would have analogues (perhaps a bit like the old Summoner RPG’s, where Elves and Dwarves had very loose parallels in the form of the Munari and Khosani races). Art seemed to suggest more of a heroic fantasy (Conanesque) look than a pseudo-medieval one.
The proto-Qunari seem to have started out as horned lizardmen of some kind (yeah, Dragonlance probably would have liked a talk with Bioware if it had come to that). Some recent suggestions of a ‘draconic’ origin of the Qunari may be a remnant of that.

The push towards something more deeply inside generic pseudo-medieval fantasy space was pretty clear from screenshots from 2006. Not sure how that exactly happened, but this was the heyday of LotR’s popularity and the ASoIaF books had become a big thing. Maybe this pushed the overall look and feel in a pseudo-medieval direction; certainly LotR's visual influence is clearly present in DA:O

Matt Goldman, the DA2 art director, later claimed that the artists had been instructed to make it ‘look generic’, but it’s not exactly clear when and how that came about. The same Matt Goldman made a big thing about the fact that they would leave behind the generic look in DA2, since Bio had begun to perceive it as a problem, making Dragon Age indistinguishable visually from other games in the same generic mould. Well, that didn’t turn out so well in DA2, though the idea was probably sound.

I do get the impression that Bio would still like to escape the ‘generic branding’, hence the choice for various direct and indirect copyings of 16th to 19th century stuff for Orlais. However, that runs the risk of DA starting to look like an ungainly mishmash of various styles, rather than a somewhat cohesive fantasy universe. A bit like many JRPG’s, in fact.
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March 10th, 2014, 12:49
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I find it funny that some people think intentionally generic is somehow better than generic.
There is nothing wrong with generic, not everything has to be super fantastical and magical and special.
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March 10th, 2014, 12:51
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
There is nothing wrong with generic, not everything has to be super fantastical and magical and special.
Are you saying that your opinion is somehow valid as an objective statement? Because I don't think so.

Now, I'm not saying there's anything "wrong" with it - it's just generic.

It's dull, dreary, common - not making much of an impression.

That's just my opinion. If you like that sort of thing, great.

It's all good.
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March 10th, 2014, 13:47
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Do you think that KC has generic design?
It's more generic than DAI to me. I personally do not hate generic, like some people seems to do here, and do not care one bit about it.

Although, we might not have the same definition of "generic design" either.
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March 10th, 2014, 13:58
I don't hate generic, I just find it generic.
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March 10th, 2014, 16:33
That's, more or less, what Mike Laidlaw have said. No idea about the blandness (or lack of it) though
http://www.vg247.com/2013/09/11/drag…-says-bioware/
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March 10th, 2014, 16:38
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Im more worried about gameplay style and quality of quests than graphics or artistic style of DAI. Its clear that Bioware try to emulate Skyrim to some degree, make some hybrid of DA (preferably DA2) + Skyrim.
Do you think that DAI will be completely open world game? I have impression that it will have some big sandbox locations and main quest locations. Sandbox maps will be probably more or less bland and based on "emergent gameplay". And aside these sandbox-like maps there will be main quest locations - more linear, more scripted, used for main quest.
Your guess is as good as mine. I don't think they said anything about smaller, more linear locations but it's quite likely they exist. DA:I might be like some MMO's, with non-contiguous zones like Everquest or Age of Conan, with self-contained large dungeons / questing areas but Bio hasn't given any clear indications that this is the case.

Personally I think that quite likely; the last video showed a section of the Fade (which looked surprisingly…physical) and I can well imagine that this area will be relatively small and linear. Same with 'indoor' zones like dungeons, castles, other buildings. We haven't seen any cities yet, which is also rather interesting as these are a very specific Bio weakness (and harder to do than wilderness areas in general).

The 'Skyrim' imitation, I think, is part marketing ('look at our world, as magnificent as Skyrim but with better graphics, all hail Frostbite II') and part imitating the design of Skyrim when it comes to 'scenic' areas and the placement of 'points of interest'. In Skyrim (as in MMO's) it was sometimes ridiculous, with 'secret' shrines of Talos and necromancers performing their nefarious rituals just off the main path between Helgen and Riverwood. I do hope Bio doesn't 'imitate' Skyrim in that way.
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March 12th, 2014, 10:15
You must be nostalgic or something. The Witcher 2 has impressive graphics, but certainly not on par with the best we've seen from DA: I. It's using the Frostbite 3 engine, which is probably the most impressive engine available right now. It's certainly head and shoulders ahead of REDengine 2, which was used for The Witcher 2.

Physics, lighting, effects and so on should all be spectacular right out of the box. The rest is down to the artists and the priorities of BioWare (it's obviously not going to look as good as Battlefield 4, as a lot more effort is put into the graphics of FPS games).
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March 12th, 2014, 10:22
I'm sorry to state the obvious - but our response to visual aesthetics and our perception of graphics quality is a subjective thing.
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March 12th, 2014, 10:30
Whether or not you like it is certainly down to preference, but the actual quality can be measured by the level of detail on any given item.

You don't have to like Pavarotti to realize his voice is more impressive than Ozzy Osbourne. I can't stand opera, I think it sounds terrible, yet even I see no point in trying to debate who has the superior voice.
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March 12th, 2014, 10:34
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Whether or not you like it is certainly down to preference, but the actual quality can be measured by the level of detail on any given item.

You don't have to like Pavarotti to realize his voice is more impressive than Ozzy Osbourne. I can't stand opera, I think it sounds terrible, yet even I see no point in trying to debate who has the superior voice.
I'm afraid I don't agree at all - and Pavarotti having a better voice is something I would never try to argue. If you like his voice, it's better to you - if you don't, it's not.

If "better quality" actually existed, it would be meaningless if people liked "worse quality" more than "better quality".

There's no such thing as objectively better quality when it comes to visuals.

Level of detail - as in texture resolution or amount of polygons does NOT translate into "better quality" at all.

There are people out there who think that WoW looks better than, say, Age of Conan - despite Age of Conan having vastly superior texture resolution and technical detail. That's because they prefer the art direction or the animations - who knows.

The thing to take away from this is that there's no way to establish objective quality when it comes to visuals - or pretty much anything, really.
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March 12th, 2014, 10:46
Right. And for that reason it doesn't make sense to wonder why people like DA:I's presumable visuals.
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March 12th, 2014, 10:48
I don't wonder about it
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March 12th, 2014, 10:51
I didn't say you do.
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March 12th, 2014, 11:04
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm afraid I don't agree at all - and Pavarotti having a better voice is something I would never try to argue. If you like his voice, it's better to you - if you don't, it's not.

If "better quality" actually existed, it would be meaningless if people liked "worse quality" more than "better quality".

There's no such thing as objectively better quality when it comes to visuals.

Level of detail - as in texture resolution or amount of polygons does NOT translate into "better quality" at all.

There are people out there who think that WoW looks better than, say, Age of Conan - despite Age of Conan having vastly superior texture resolution and technical detail. That's because they prefer the art direction or the animations - who knows.

The thing to take away from this is that there's no way to establish objective quality when it comes to visuals - or pretty much anything, really.
What? Is this some kind of philosophical crap? There is no way to establish quality? Of course there is. Practically everything can be broken down into smaller components and then analyzed.

Of course, you can always build a car of wood and claim the quality is superior to that of a carbon fiber car because it will naturally rot and thus not pollute the environment, but that would just make you look like a hippie.

Quality, like terminology, is generally defined by the leading experts in any given field. It can be measured and quanitified so it be discussed without every discussion turning into a debate about definitions.

An example: I like fast food. That does not mean fast food has high quality. It doesn't. It provides next to no nurishment, generally has way too much salt in it, and is overall unhealthy. Thus the quality is low, yet I still like it. Liking something has nothing to do with the quality of the product. It's just a way to define a product, so when I say "high quality food" everyone knows that I'm not referring to my local kebab shop, despite the fact that I really like those kebabs.

The same thing obviously goes for graphics - don't even try to tell me that the average gamer does not know what "high quality graphics" refer to. Sadly, it doesn't include Might & Magic 6-8 no matter how much I love those games. I can't stand Battlefield 4, yet I have no problems admitting the graphics are of higher quality than any game I actually do like, even Skyrim and so on.
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March 12th, 2014, 11:13
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
What? Is this some kind of philosophical crap? There is no way to establish quality? Of course there is. Practically everything can be broken down into smaller components and then analyzed.
Crap? Let's not go there, please.

You can analyse everything, true, but that doesn't mean that you can establish objective quality.

Of course, you can always build a car of wood and claim the quality is superior to that of a carbon fiber car because it will naturally rot and thus not pollute the environment, but that would just make you look like a hippie.
Yes, as hard as it might hurt your sense of order in the universe, there are probably a few people on Earth who would consider such a car superior.

Quality, like terminology, is generally defined by the leading experts in any given field. It can be measured and quanitified so it be discussed without every discussion turning into a debate about definitions.
Ehm, no, quality is not determined by experts. Quality is subjective - and experts don't have the power to decide what quality means. They have an opinion based on their own subjective experiences.

Are you sure you understand what objectively better means? It doesn't mean that whatever an expert claims is true - and experts rarely agree anyway.

I can't tell someone who's enjoying Minesweeper that it's a pathetically simplistic and boring game and be right, because the person might think otherwise.

I can't say to a young and inexperienced gamer that Dishonored looks like shit - because I don't have that authority, and some people actually prefer cartoon style art directions.

I probably have more experience with gaming and the industry than most experts do with their fields - because I've been abnormally obsessive about my passion, but that doesn't make me an authority at all.

An example: I like fast food. That does not mean fast food has high quality. It doesn't. It provides next to no nurishment, generally has way too much salt in it, and is overall unhealthy. Thus the quality is low, yet I still like it. Liking something has nothing to do with the quality of the product. It's just a way to define a product, so when I say "high quality food" everyone knows that I'm not referring to my local kebab shop, despite the fact that I really like those kebabs.
Quality can be many things beyond what we perceive to be healthy or nourishing. It can be an emotional response to the taste of fat and salt, which can be highly enjoyable. It can be how full you feel after eating - and it can be satisfying a particular craving that vegetables just can't provide.

You may believe you can decide for other people that what they enjoy isn't actually quality - but that doesn't mean you're right about it.

There is no law or higher authority out there who can claim that what we currently believe to be physically healthy is "better" than other kinds of food.

You can't say that because steel is stronger than wood, it's the superior material. Because there are other factors at work - and it depends on what you're going to do with it.

Some people care more about design than practical function, for instance, and in that case - everything a pragmatic expert would claim to be true might not be true at all for those people.

It's not as simple as we might want it to be.

The same thing obviously goes for graphics - don't even try to tell me that the average gamer does not know what "high quality graphics" refer to. Sadly, it doesn't include Might & Magic 6-8 no matter how much I love those games. I can't stand Battlefield 4, yet I have no problems admitting the graphics are of higher quality than any game I actually do like, even Skyrim and so on.
I'm not trying to "tell" you anything. I'm simply explaining why I think you're wrong - and doing my best to provide you with rational arguments.

If you want to believe there is such a thing as objectively better graphics - then that's fine by me.

I simply don't agree - and I find your arguments weak and unconvincing.

But that's not exactly a big deal
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March 12th, 2014, 11:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not trying to "tell" you anything. I'm simply explaining why I think you're wrong - and doing my best to provide you with rational arguments.

If you want to believe there is such a thing as objectively better graphics - then that's fine by me.

I simply don't agree - and I find your arguments weak and unconvincing.

But that's not exactly a big deal
But you're not being rational. You're being the exact opposite. What you're saying here is: "This is my opinion, and it's better because it's my opinion and I don't care what the rest of the world thinks."

The world works in the way I've already explained. Terms and definitions are what they are so people across the world can discuss topics without ending up discussing philosophy or definitions all day. Agreeing or disagreeing is not a requirement - this is simply how most fields of expertise works.

It would be impossible to perform any kind of research or science without such definitions, as everything would be down to the individual researcher/scientist.

For example, I'm currently working as a programmer in medical science. One of the biggest issues in medical science is the lack of definitions. For some reason they're far behind other fields such as physics, computers or chemistry in this regard. Only parts of medical science has been thoroughly defined, but they are moving in the right direction. Among the worst offenders are x-ray scans, where a big tumor popping up is simply a "fairly big tumor" based on the doctor's point of view. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to get anywhere in terms of science. That sort of observation is useless. A cure will never be found unless the data can be compared. If we are to see patterns, where millions of results are involved, we need strict definitions in terms of quality, quantity and terminology. Luckily, things are improving, thanks to the experts I mentioned.

This whole debate is simply proving my point: Look at the past page or so. Useless. Imagine if every discussion in any field of expertise were to start out like this by trying to define what's what. Complete waste of time.

Everyone is well aware of what "high quality graphics" refer to. Argue that all you want - it's not going to change the fact that we all know what it means.

Edit: It doesn't mean it's better though. Again, that is personal preference. It simply refers to one of the attributes, quality. Quality is not the same as artistic style and what not.
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March 12th, 2014, 11:44
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
But you're not being rational. You're being the exact opposite. What you're saying here is: "This is my opinion, and it's better because it's my opinion and I don't care what the rest of the world thinks."
No, I don't think my opinion is better. I do care what other people think, but I don't agree with you. I don't know why you would interpret that as you do, but I doubt it's my responsibility.

The world works in the way I've already explained. Terms and definitions are what they are so people across the world can discuss topics without ending up discussing philosophy or definitions all day. Agreeing or disagreeing is not a requirement - this is simply how most fields of expertise works.
I'm really sorry, but your perception of how the world works doesn't equate to the truth for me. You have to provide rational arguments.

You can't say "experts determine quality" without explaining in which way and why they have such a strong hold on the objective truth.

That said, I know there are many people in the world who think along similar lines. They tend to believe that truth exists and that we can establish it - and that experts have some kind of authority. As if a piece of paper documenting a supposed level of education meant that an opinion held is infallible or an actual authority. I find such a position amusing.

That you hold with such a view is fine and understandable, but I find it to be excessively naive and shortsighted.

It would be impossible to perform any kind of research or science without such definitions, as everything would be down to the individual researcher/scientist.
You can make many things possible by telling yourself you've come up with a useful definition. But that doesn't mean it's quite as useful as you think it is.

For example, I'm currently working as a programmer in medical science. One of the biggest issues in medical science is the lack of definitions. Only parts of medical science has been thoroughly defined, but they are moving in the right direction. Among the worst offenders are x-ray scans, where a big tumor popping up is simply a "fairly big tumor" based on the doctor's point of view. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to get anywhere in terms of science. That sort of observation is useless. A cure will never be found unless the data can be compared. If we are to see patterns, where millions of results are involved, we need strict definitions in terms of quality, quantity and terminology. Luckily, things are improving, thanks to the experts I mentioned.
I don't know if you think you and people like you are somehow alone in the world - and that I'm living in some other place where I don't think about these things.

If it makes it easier for you to dismiss my opinions by thinking I don't have any foundation for them, that's ok. I get that, and it's fine.

Unfortunately, working in your field has no bearing whatsoever on the nature of truth and the nature of objective quality.

This whole debate is simply proving my point: Look at the past page or so. Useless. Everyone is well aware of what "high quality graphics" refer to. Argue that all you want - it's not going to change the fact that we all know what it means.
No, I don't agree at all.

We simply assume that we all have the same idea about "high quality graphics" - because as long as it's not challenged, our own perception is what we think of when that term is applied.

However, if we were to go into a detailed debate about which modern game is the prettiest, you'd soon find out that we don't have the same concept of "high quality" at all.

It's just a very rough term that's convenient for communication - because precision and detail is not practical in a debate between so many strangers.

You're honestly trying to tell a person that his perception of Witcher 2 visuals is wrong - because you think DA:I is prettier, based on screenshots and videos.

You have zero authority and if you want to claim expertise - I'd challenge your insight any day.

You're being quite arrogant, believing yourself capable of telling other people what constitutes better graphics. To suggest you have that kind of authority is something I find nauseatingly conceited.
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