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Default Dragon Age - Forum Tidbits

January 9th, 2008, 01:07
Sorcerer's Place kindly supplies us with Dragon Age forum highlights every few weeks but I noticed a couple of David Gaider posts that could be worth discussing. This first thread is about some perceived flaws in Obsidian's Influence system and how Dragon Age will handle it:
I think that the issue, for some, was not that the Influence system existed — more that the mechanics of it were exposed. You got points for this, lost points for that… once you introduce that into the dialogues, the dialogues become something that you can game. Indeed, I suspect a lot of folks would feel compelled to game the dialogue at that point even if the end result was that they would enjoy it less.

Because beyond that I'm not sure what the issue would be with the system itself. You say or do things that the party member approves of and they like you more — what's so hard to understand about that? The fact that some kind of point system is involved is a given. This being a computer game, everything has to be abstracted at some level. Having a measure of a party member's liking (or antipathy) towards you is at least several measures more advanced than, say, a pre-scripted chain of dialogues that come along no matter what else you do so long as you don't stop it short.
…and this second one is about the "spiritual" connection between DA and Baldur's Gate but after some twists and turns, ends up with the death system (or lack thereof):
Naturally how it will all end up is still left to question. Can I promise that the combat mechanism as it stands will be more challenging? Or that you, personally, will feel as threatened without the spectre of permanent death hanging over your heads? Of course not, and I'm not interested in opening up that discussion instead anyhow.

I will say that the threat offered by a permanent death mechanic is a bit overrated. Considering that it is always combined with an accessible resurrection mechanic, it's an illusion at best. It might be an illusion you prefer, but I think for most there are consequences that they are willing to endure and consequences that they are not — usually followed by a reload. The idea, for us, is to find a consequences that is endurable without being punishing. Should the combat prove challenging enough, such consequences will be severe enough that they require dealing with — the exact same type of dealing that one would have to do in a BG-type game where a party member dies.

Whether the combat is challenging enough, of course, will fall mostly to the likes of Georg and Yaron. Who I have confidence in, personally, as they tend to be pretty merciless. And anyone who's played my mods for ToB knows where my druthers lie.
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January 9th, 2008, 01:07
Having a measure of a party member's liking (or antipathy) towards you is at least several measures more advanced than, say, a pre-scripted chain of dialogues that come along no matter what else you do so long as you don't stop it short.

Cannot agree with that. I DO NOT WANT my pre-scripted chain of dialogue that gives some result break because I don't have enough influence. That's one of the things I hate the most in Obsidian games.
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January 9th, 2008, 12:04
Originally Posted by drum View Post
Cannot agree with that. I DO NOT WANT my pre-scripted chain of dialogue that gives some result break because I don't have enough influence. That's one of the things I hate the most in Obsidian games.
Presumably, you'd get a different pre-scripted chain based on your influence… though yes, it generally doesn't work out to be that way.
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