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Default Dragon Age - 20 Minute Look @ Giant Bomb

October 11th, 2009, 20:23
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post

In any case, this sounds quite good and I don't think I will have a problem with revival afterall - even if I think it's kinda non-immersive to have your characters just stand up after death. But maybe that's just me.
Well they're not dead. They're just really beaten up, uncoscious, temporarily unable to fight etc. Enemies see them go down and change target to someone who can actually damage them. If the whole party goes down, then the enemy will proceed with coup de grâce.
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October 11th, 2009, 20:58
Oh come on, the amount one would die in BG2 you would not have any party members past middle stages on that huge game.The injury system in DA sounds much better than reloading all the time.
Last edited by Ashbery76; October 11th, 2009 at 21:14.
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October 11th, 2009, 21:06
Originally Posted by lumiapina View Post
Well they're not dead. They're just really beaten up, uncoscious, temporarily unable to fight etc. Enemies see them go down and change target to someone who can actually damage them. If the whole party goes down, then the enemy will proceed with coup de grâce.
That's your interpretation made necessary because you have the same problem as I do

Of course you can argue your case, and since they DO get up it's obviously true. But if you notice the UI - you'll see skeleton faces when your players go down, and it's a stretch to claim that no single "death stroke" should ever kill a player entirely. In that case, the party must have really lucky faces.

Even so, if your party - all except you - are all incapacitated or unconscious, it STILL hurts immersion to have them magically stand up once the enemies go down.

Is it a big deal though? Nah, and one gets used to these things.

But it's not entirely irrelevant to me, because I think this game is specifically going for emotional investment on the part of the player. It would add something if you knew there were genuine risks and that you could actually lose a party member to death if you should so choose. It would add some weight to the whole thing, and the way they instantly stand up kinda gets in the way of the "dark fantasy" tone that's supposed to be there.

Again, that's just what I'm getting from previews and videos. I've yet to experience the actual game, and I'd like to reserve final judgement until I've played it for myself.

Bioware has been using this system since KotOR - and though I've never really liked it, it hasn't hurt any of their games to the extent that I found it truly distracting. I'm guessing it'll take me all of 5 minutes to get used to it in DA:O and think no more of it.

It's more the general principle of the thing that gets to me. I remember thinking it was awful in Neverwinter Nights 2, because it totally removed the whole cleric with raise death aspects. Naturally, the AI in that game was abysmal - so it worked out alright all the same.
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October 11th, 2009, 21:33
Something else that I just found in my search of info related to increasing Dragon Age difficulty.
Don't shoot me for this one please, I am just a messenger.

For those of us who think that armor for female characters in games are nothing but, gamesradar presents fighting naked!

But if you really want a challenge, you should see how far you can get without wearing any chest armor. This will help you fully appreciate how bloody Dragon Age: Origins’ battles really are. Or, you can just look at some of these silly screenshots below.
Seriously though, I hope we get to make "beserker" type characters. And I think a mod that would let blood stain persist on a character would be very nice.

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October 11th, 2009, 21:55
Originally Posted by leth View Post
For those of us who think that armor for female characters in games are nothing but, gamesradar presents fighting naked!
That wonderfully presents Bioware's version of 'naked' too. Yes, Morrigan puts ON clothes to have sex
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October 11th, 2009, 22:15
I guess fighting naked should give serious penalties to your defence. A single blade scratch could made a huge laceration, punture or whatever.
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October 11th, 2009, 22:26
All you need is all wizards, and ONE TNO:

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October 12th, 2009, 00:03
Jade Empire? That game was so horrendously mediocre, so grotesquely average that it sucked quality from everything around it. After playing it, Knights of the Old Republic was permanently tarnished. Yes, somehow Jade Empire went back in time and rewrote my opinion of KotOR.
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October 12th, 2009, 01:13
I think i would put one of my party members naked and see how NPCs reacted or how the DA game world's reacted to the present our group of naked hero and heroine saving them from doomsday
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October 12th, 2009, 06:14
As soon as you are past the intro part of DA losing a party member is pretty much a death sentence in many battles if your playing at a decent difficulty level unless it is close to the end of the battle. Given the load times in DA I think I prefer this system.

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October 12th, 2009, 06:19
No perma death? Is there atleast penalties for dyng like that aka drakensang??
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October 12th, 2009, 09:38
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
As soon as you are past the intro part of DA losing a party member is pretty much a death sentence in many battles if your playing at a decent difficulty level unless it is close to the end of the battle. Given the load times in DA I think I prefer this system.
This hardly makes sense, does it?

If losing a party member means a death sentence for the party, then you'll reload anyway?

If not, please explain the logic behind this.
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October 12th, 2009, 10:30
Originally Posted by themadhatter View Post
Seriously? I thought. These daemonic-creatures slashed your men with their non-Nerf swords, filled them with arrows and ultimately bashed 'em to the ground, yet all it took for a revival was for the monsters to fall over…ingenious! What a world!
That kind of illogicality frustrates me. When a character in a game is cut down, they ought to stay down. Revive them with a necromancy or resurrection spell, go JRPG on me and use a phoenix down, whatever, just don't tell me that in the midst of all this bloodshed, they "fainted."
With mechanics such as that, your characters are effectively immortal.
That's what bothers you? Not that characters survive dozens of sword and axe blows, performing flawlessly to the end but suddenly dropping stone dead?

Really, I can't see how the "just getting back up" is even slightly more immersion-breaking than the whole didn't-go-down-with-the-first-axe-cut-and-bleed-out.

To me, it makes just as much sense that characters might be incapacitated (injured and unable to continue / unconcious) than 1 hit point, everything functions -> 0 hit point, drop dead.

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October 12th, 2009, 12:05
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
That's what bothers you? Not that characters survive dozens of sword and axe blows, performing flawlessly to the end but suddenly dropping stone dead?

Really, I can't see how the "just getting back up" is even slightly more immersion-breaking than the whole didn't-go-down-with-the-first-axe-cut-and-bleed-out.

To me, it makes just as much sense that characters might be incapacitated (injured and unable to continue / unconcious) than 1 hit point, everything functions -> 0 hit point, drop dead.
I see what you're saying.

Could you enlighten us as to where you'd draw the line? Is there some kind of death penalty or lack thereof where you'd say it's not immersive enough? Would you mind being immortal, because that's basically what it is - so why even have players drop down? Just let them stand there not doing anything because they're in shock or something.

I'd be curious to know where this line of thought ends with you, and if there's anything you would consider TOO "unrealistic."
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October 12th, 2009, 12:39
You're always immortal. 99% of players (a scientifically tested result, I promise) reload as soon as a party member dies. I'm sure some people reload just because they didn't get an optimal result - maybe they lost too many hitpoints or used a potion or two more than they would prefer. If you aren't immortal, shouldn't dying be the end of the game? Start over?

I think Dragon Age strikes a good balance (as best I can tell without having played it). If my party is knocked down, they carry injuries as a consequence, which affects their performance and acts as an incentive to improve next time. With a traditional system, there are no real consequences - most people just reload.

Going back to your point - your sarcasm aside - standing there is clearly not what happens when someone is seriously injured in a battle. From a gameplay perspective, it also adds nothing. As I said, though, I don't see why an instant-death system is any more immersive than the dozens of other rather obvious breaks from reality.

Speaking of immersion, doesn't it make sense that some participants would be seriously injured and unable to continue fighting, rather than just plain dead? In that sense, everyone-is-always-injured is no better or worse than everyone-is-always-dead.

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October 12th, 2009, 13:02
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You're always immortal. 99% of players (a scientifically tested result, I promise) reload as soon as a party member dies. I'm sure some people reload just because they didn't get an optimal result - maybe they lost too many hitpoints or used a potion or two more than they would prefer. If you aren't immortal, shouldn't dying be the end of the game? Start over?
Yeah, that's true. But that's my point - and why I asked if there's some kind of line you wouldn't want to cross?

I mean, personally I think it's vital to have that illusion of death being a threat - and my own tastes lean towards some kind of middle-ground where it's something you really want to avoid, but not so devastating that you lose all your progress.

Reloading might be the first option for the majority, but consider the reason. They know that if they don't they'll have to deal with player death. The reason that's not so bad, is that it actually provokes most players (or so is the theory) into playing smart, because reloading IS NOT desirable. It's a hassle to start over and reload, and players will automatically care less if they know they can win a fight without having to mess around with player death. Is that convenient? Yeah. But is it desirable from a gameplay standpoint? I honestly couldn't say, but I know that I personally enjoy a challenge and I enjoy playing smart and being rewarded.

Doesn't it seem wrong that you lose interest in whether or not your characters die? Because that's basically what happens - or at least that's what happened many times to me in games like NWN2. Is that really what we want in our roleplaying games?

I distinctly remember really not giving a shit in games like Mass Effect and KotOR - because the AI control is generally not good enough to make you feel you're fully in control. So you end up simply focusing on your own character, and you know they're gonna die half the time, so you don't really want to invest in their deaths. I can't say how many times I was the only one standing and not really caring because of this system. Of course, the AI is a big issue here - and it needs to be smart for you to want to care and setup the actions of your party members.

About perma-death, I think the "hardcore ironman" option is a very interesting one, and I'd support it in almost any game as a possibility if you're into that sort of thing.

I think Dragon Age strikes a good balance (as best I can tell without having played it). If my party is knocked down, they carry injuries as a consequence, which affects their performance and acts as an incentive to improve next time. With a traditional system, there are no real consequences - most people just reload.
I agree, it sounds like a decent balance - though I would prefer "dead" characters needing to be resurrected.

The reason being that I personally don't just reload if the battle was a tough one, and I spent a lot of time winning it without dying entirely. In such an instance, I'd rather just spend some resources or some time gettting my party member(s) back to life. I don't enjoy repeating a long tough battle, if I can at all avoid it. Also, it adds to the immersion that I have to actually work at getting my comrade(s) back in fighting shape as long as they don't overdo the hassle.

Again, if you remove the penalty of death, you start caring less - and then it will partially remove the motivation to build powerful characters and take tactical decisions seriously. I'm sure many players find that great, but I think it's kinda sad when so much work has obviously been put into the tactical aspect of Dragon Age.

Going back to your point - your sarcasm aside - standing there is clearly not what happens when someone is seriously injured in a battle. From a gameplay perspective, it also adds nothing. As I said, though, I don't see why an instant-death system is any more immersive than the dozens of other rather obvious breaks from reality.
But how would you measure the extent of immersion breaking? If something has become tradition - much like we all are ok with characters not going to the bathroom, then it'd truly be a questionable feature to have. But instant revival is relatively new, and for many of us represent a break of immersion that we're simply not conditioned to.

Does that mean we SHOULD condition ourselves to it, and that anything that can be argued to be "logical" in terms of gameplay should be auto accepted? No, I don't think so. That leads to games that play themselves ala Dungeon Siege where this kind of thing became too much.

Speaking of immersion, doesn't it make sense that some participants would be seriously injured and unable to continue fighting, rather than just plain dead? In that sense, everyone-is-always-injured is no better or worse than everyone-is-always-dead.
Certainly, and if they could implement a realistic and plausible system like that without messing around with balance - then I'd support it all the way. I think the problem is how difficult it is to implement a reasonable "injury system" where players gradually perform worse as their injuries increase - and the same would be true for the enemies. I mean, that's a bit too much to expect from developers, because it's a hard challenge. But I agree it's immersion breaking, and I welcome any alternative like the ones seen in Fallout and others.

Not having instant-revival - though - seems to me much less of a challenge, and whether it breaks immersion on the same scale as something else that's not realistic is simply not a logical reason for it to be left as is.

There are other reasons, though, like the modern audience not wanting actual death and breaks of that nature in gameplay, and those I can understand. I don't like them, but I can understand and accept them.
Last edited by DArtagnan; October 12th, 2009 at 13:36.
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October 12th, 2009, 13:33
Have to agree with Dhruin here. There are many things that should break immersion long before the "get up after being knocked down" part. In various D&D games, I've seen characters literaly tank Dragons. That's about as likely as tanking a truck or a train.

If you can do that, having enough magical protection to constantly get knocked down instead of dying from a blow that would kill a normal man shouldn't be too hard.

Personally I like the whole knock down thing. If I lose a character I just reload anyway, so games with perma-death must be balanced around it (easier to protect people from dying/getting knocked down). In most games that have the knock-down feature, getting knocked down happens all over the place, and having every one of those cases turned into a reload would be extremely frustrating.

What I don't like is the whole "resurrection" spell. That's redicilous. Why would any hero ever die or fear death, if resurrection was available? The Drizzt series wouldn't make much sense if Salvatore took the D&D spell Resurrection into consideration. Luckily he has simply ignored it.

Certain people coming back after being dead, in specific situations - sure. A simple spell that will resurrect the target? No.
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October 12th, 2009, 13:53
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Have to agree with Dhruin here. There are many things that should break immersion long before the "get up after being knocked down" part. In various D&D games, I've seen characters literaly tank Dragons. That's about as likely as tanking a truck or a train.
Ehm, the Dragon thing is part of the fantasy environment isn't it? I mean, typically it's an end-game encounter where only the most powerful players can defeat them. If we start mirror-comparing with the real world - then any argument loses its meaning entirely.

We might as well just dispense completely with the notion of hitpoints and weapons, and just have anything be auto-success and a storyboard slideshow.

If you can do that, having enough magical protection to constantly get knocked down instead of dying from a blow that would kill a normal man shouldn't be too hard.
If there's some kind of explanation for this, then sure. If they can implement it in the story as some kind of anti-death magic - then it'd be much better.

Personally I like the whole knock down thing. If I lose a character I just reload anyway, so games with perma-death must be balanced around it (easier to protect people from dying/getting knocked down). In most games that have the knock-down feature, getting knocked down happens all over the place, and having every one of those cases turned into a reload would be extremely frustrating.
Can you not imagine one of the long hard battles that always exist in games, where you might lose one of your characters, but you really don't want to do it all over again. In such a case, it'd make sense to have resurrection as a limited resource because, without insta-revival, it would discourage careless playing and would retain the immersion and illusion of death being a problem.

What I don't like is the whole "resurrection" spell. That's redicilous. Why would any hero ever die or fear death, if resurrection was available? The Drizzt series wouldn't make much sense if Salvatore took the D&D spell Resurrection into consideration. Luckily he has simply ignored it.
The hero might not fear anything, but the player would take care to protect the healer and it would be a tactical dimension which is present in many, many CRPGs where the healer is an essential character precisely because of this ability.

If the healer should die, then the player faces the journey back and the expensive service of getting his character(s) resurrected - which is precisely why he'd want to avoid death - and especially the death of the healer.
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October 12th, 2009, 15:16
The way I see it, 'combat time' is different (slower) than 'out of combat' time. Once you're out of combat, basically, all enemies dead and nothing threatening you, unconscious characters getting up is not really instantaneous but just a compression of time in which the surviving members brought them back from unconsciousness.
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October 12th, 2009, 16:02
What I'd personally like to see, is gratitude from NPC's whenever they are healed. It can just be a little one liner type thing, but at least acknowledge that you've been healed by someone. You could even write it in where a person who starts out disliking the party healer, would gain admiration for them after a resurrection or curing. General awareness of what took place on the battlefield would be great too. I'd love to see the mage thank the warrior for saving him from the unwashed barbarian, and the knight to praise the mage for the web spell that ensnared the troll mob bearing down on the party. AI should be getting powerful enough for these types of things to start happening.

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