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Default Dragon Age - 20 Minute Look @ Giant Bomb

October 12th, 2009, 18:13
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
(Re ally death — that, IMO, is a red herring. Games have to handle death in some way; having ally perma-death with no possibility of raising them is just stupid, because all it means that you'll be re-re-re-reloading battles, which isn't challenge — it's lazy game design masquerading as challenge.
Damnit am I tired of that meme. The challenge is to make it through combat without anyone dying. Handling NPC death by having them —you know— die isn't some sort of lazy non-choice. IMO.

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October 12th, 2009, 19:51
I really think it's a good point debating for such a subject.It means other,more important elements , are in a good order!
As for the "death" matter i fully agree with Screegs comment.I play all battles trying noone to get killed.
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October 12th, 2009, 21:12
Betrayal at Krondor did it right. If someone went down in battle they were revived but at 1hp with a "near-death" condition that took a ton resources (time/money/potions) to recover from. It sounds like the DA is similar to that but the penalty doesn't sound quite as harsh.

You know, I'm disappointed in the graphics so far. Hopefully it's just from watching crappy compressed videos online but everything looks very low poly and in bad need of some AA. I thought Mass Effect (and many competitors) characters, models and especially textures, looked a lot better.

I was disappointed to see the characters just sitting there pounding on one another, trading blow for blow without moving or blocking. The ending fight highlighted this; it was like watching a WoW video. Compare that to something a lot more dynamic "looking" like The Witcher.

I hope there's a quick loot key, shift-click to auto loot everything or even a take all key just so I don't have to mouse over to select Take All every time.
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October 12th, 2009, 23:01
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post

I was disappointed to see the characters just sitting there pounding on one another, trading blow for blow without moving or blocking. The ending fight highlighted this; it was like watching a WoW video. Compare that to something a lot more dynamic "looking" like The Witcher.
Unfortunately that is not very practical for a party based game. You can directly control only one character at a time, and the others will use some stock fighting animation loop.

All this talk about the death system of DA. Remember that there is also a toolkit that will be released with DA, so when it comes out I am sure there will be mods that would let you make GOOD use of your save/load keys.

Honestly though, how FUN would the game be if you have to worry about the death of every party member? Better yet, just mod out spells that can resurrect dead party members completely.

I fear that if one decide to do that to DA, one will quickly start to complain about how DA is NOT a RPG because it is too combat focused, since 90% of one's time would be spent on pausing every single move of every party members of every fight…

So really, in the end, there will be no "death system" that will make everyone happy. At least DA will give us a way to mod the game the way we like it to be.

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October 12th, 2009, 23:32
The graphics and animation seem fine to me. The IE games weren't very strong in those departments either, but they all managed to be great games.

I'm more concerned about the artistic style and atmosphere, those are the areas where this game really needs to succeed to be a "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate imo. Of course it doesn't need to be said that storyline and gameplay are very important factors as well.
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October 13th, 2009, 00:32
I quite liked the old BG death system..when you died (due to your own incompetence or lack of preparedness - for shame!), you were dead. Just like desktop D&D. Pretty good incentive to make sure you planned properly. I went through several harsh battles, where 3 or even 4 out of the party ended up dead, but I scraped through and managed to get everyone raised (very time consuming - but that's life). The cost of raising party members was so prohibitive, that you *had* to give proper thought to your combat. Winning , against great odds, even with staggering losses, using careful planning and strategy left me a huge sense of achievement. But I understand that in this age of instant gratification the old modes of demanding strategic play are no longer popular and studios need to make a product that sells well. For what it's worth I liked the system in Drakensang - this sounds similar, although perhaps not as punishing when you're heavily wounded (?)
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October 13th, 2009, 00:45
I seem to be recalling that a developer at the DA: forum at the Bioware site once stated that there will be 'permanent deaths' in DA: Origins for stiry reasons. From the promotional piece at www.gamespot.com about DA: Origins, it seems to me that Bioware just might pull a Mass Effect style choice on us, when we get to decide who lives or who dies during the game.

Spoiler


NPCs with which you travel will leave you, permantly, if you do something they disprove of way too many times. And they will fight you sometimes, too - with weapons, I mean, not just by way of words.

As for the whole death systems debate being used in DA: Origins, I like it, personally. You get injuries, which are persistent and permanent, unless they are treated back at camp or by having some bandages wrapped around their injuries.
This is much better, imo, than the death system being used in the BG games in which you had to reload when you main character (the pc character) died, even in your other 5 characters were still alive. It was and is very annoying, this system, I find.

I'm perfectly OK with how the death system is being implemented in DA: Origins; if I were to change something, it would be that people dying should cost them a small amount of their total experience points, too. Maybe 2%-5% or some figures like that.

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October 13th, 2009, 02:06
The death system implemented in BG is okay with me. It was not unusual for me to reload particular combat session half dozen time or even more, due to whole party wipe out or some of my members died. It happened when dealing the black dragon (the one with long name), during end game or when adventuring in the Durlag tower.

What i see so far the implementation of death system in DA seems more forgiving, but i'm not particularly annoyed by that. Its purpose seems to minimize the long interruption of the gaming session as you have to looking for ways to revive your party members, such as trekking back from dungeon to town looking for help, etc before return to your original mission or whatever you're doing.
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October 13th, 2009, 05:45
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
I went through several harsh battles, where 3 or even 4 out of the party ended up dead, but I scraped through and managed to get everyone raised (very time consuming - but that's life). The cost of raising party members was so prohibitive, that you *had* to give proper thought to your combat.
For a small number of players, perhaps. For everyone else, they just instantly reloaded. No cost, not much incentive - just reload.

I believe a system like DA - if implemented well - can walk a line where most players are prepared to play on, rather than just reload. If that happens, there are more consequences than with the old system where most just reload.

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October 13th, 2009, 05:49
While true for normal difficulties, but on highest difficulties it forced you to think of major strategies and often you save those ones where you scrape through. Because it can get that hard to have all party members alive.
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October 13th, 2009, 07:15
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
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.
If you lose one party member at the start of the fight you have to reload, but if the mage your fighting gets off a lucky rotting flesh spell right before he dies when you are almost guaranteed to win the fight you don't have to reload just because one guy has died.

I am a fan of perma death with resurrection (or at least a system similar to second ed ad&d) though. In DA however that would mean a trip to the temple almost every battle on the top difficulty setting…

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October 13th, 2009, 09:41
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
If you lose one party member at the start of the fight you have to reload, but if the mage your fighting gets off a lucky rotting flesh spell right before he dies when you are almost guaranteed to win the fight you don't have to reload just because one guy has died.

I am a fan of perma death with resurrection (or at least a system similar to second ed ad&d) though. In DA however that would mean a trip to the temple almost every battle on the top difficulty setting…
Well, top difficulty is not what I'm imagining most will be playing on, and this is with "normal" in mind - because I generally go for what the developers want for most players. It's getting to be more of a gray area constantly, though, and it's as if some developers almost expect enthusiast players to figure out for themselves exactly what setting is the right one - even though only the developers know what the game holds in terms of encounters and all those things vital for balance. It's IMPOSSIBLE for the player to know what difficulty level is appropriate until it's almost too late in many cases.

I HATE that.
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October 13th, 2009, 10:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, top difficulty is not what I'm imagining most will be playing on, and this is with "normal" in mind - because I generally go for what the developers want for most players. It's getting to be more of a gray area constantly, though, and it's as if some developers almost expect enthusiast players to figure out for themselves exactly what setting is the right one - even though only the developers know what the game holds in terms of encounters and all those things vital for balance. It's IMPOSSIBLE for the player to know what difficulty level is appropriate until it's almost too late in many cases.

I HATE that.
Hopefully it will be possible to change difficulty level mid-game. I hate when games dont allow that.
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October 13th, 2009, 10:30
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
Hopefully it will be possible to change difficulty level mid-game. I hate when games dont allow that.
Yeah, but it's not just that.

I often find myself in doubt if a game is too easy, and so I switch to hard - or from hard to normal. The thing is, that some battles are MEANT to be a lot harder and you really don't know as a player when that's the case.

As a result, you might find yourself switching back and forth and you don't really get a sense of what's appropriate. You could call it a luxury issue, but I find that it takes me out of the experience and into the realm of meta-gaming which is terrible for immersion.

That's why I tend to support having no difficulty level at all, and as such simply accepting what the developers throw at me. At the very least, I'd like normal to be the appropriate setting, whether that's too easy or no. I'd rather have a "normal" level that's easy if I know that's what the developers intended for the game. So it's not just about the game being too easy, it's about the feeling of appropriate balance to the game.
Last edited by DArtagnan; October 13th, 2009 at 10:54.
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October 13th, 2009, 10:31
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
Hopefully it will be possible to change difficulty level mid-game. I hate when games dont allow that.
Yeah, it allows that.
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October 13th, 2009, 17:16
From what I've heard, hard seems to be the difficulty level most similar to core rules in the IE games, and like those, normal is one level below. Hard is intended for CRPG veterans, with no penalties or adjustments, normal for the average player, and casual for those who aren't interested in combat much. And there's nightmare too, but that isn't recommended for a first playthrough.
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November 6th, 2009, 18:58
My favorite part about the BG games didn't come until years after they were released — mods that really beefed up the AI and got rid of items that made the party too powerful. Coupled with a self-imposed rule to always accept any outcome without reloading, the game started to pack some excitement. Sure, every now and then one or two of the party died. And I never actually made it to the end. But I always went out in a blaze of glory, and the game challenged my creativity a hundred times more than if I had just reloaded all the time. And every run was just different enough to keep it interesting.

I haven't played Dragon Age yet, but I've been concerned about the AI being too weak, and the insta-revival system for bashed NPCs reducing the excitement and uncertainty and need for radically creative strategy. (In my experience, nothing has matched BG in this regard.) What do you think it would be like playing it on-sight, nightmare difficulty, no-reloads allowed? Would imposing a rule that injuries are permanent add interest, or would it just make the game impossible?
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November 19th, 2009, 00:59
I agree with DArtagnan.

The DA system of death annoys the hell out of me.
You don't always get just injured during battle.
You don't always get up after a fight.


in combat… people die. end of story.
BG did it right.
DA does it wrong.

Here's hoping bioware does another game on DnD rules.
cause to call this game a spiritual successor to baldur's gate, when something as simple as party members dying doesn't happen during battle, is an travesty.
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November 19th, 2009, 04:26
Originally Posted by PoopyStuff View Post
in combat… people die. end of story.
BG did it right.
DA does it wrong.
Not for most people, they don't. Most people just reload if a battle doesn't go their way. A significant number of people reload just because they used too many potions or "didn't do well enough".

That means: noone dies. Ever.

The DA system encourages people to accept the consequences and it's still bloody hard, which is better than just pressing "reload".

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November 19th, 2009, 07:27
I agree. Anything which cuts down on reloads has to be good for the majority of players. However, an option to disable that would appease those who dislike it. Perhaps someone will produce such a mod in the near future!!

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