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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Played an hour or so - some questions / comments

Default Played an hour or so - some questions / comments

November 4th, 2009, 04:03
OK so I played for an hour. Interesting game but I'm pretty concerned about the volume of cutscenes and linearity of the story. Smells like the Witcher to me which I wasnt a fan of for that reason but its early on so I'll withhold judgment.

Questions / Comments:
1. Manual - seems to lack any real useful information on how to play the game. For example, basic attacking. If I issue an attack order there appears to be some proximity / visibility check because my folks do nothing in some circumstances forcing me to issue a move order first. Also my attack "stack" of pending orders seems flaky. If I issue 3 orders on 3 characters I've noticed one of the orders getting dropped. That might be part of the first issue.

2. Tactics. I've got it disabled because my folks are running all over the place switching attack targets based the preset rules and generally spending too much time running around instead of dealing damage. Anyone using it that likes the Tactics feature?

3. Death. Does it exist? Seems like the Drakensang system, as long as someone survives they all recover?

4. Camera. Not to bitch but does anyone like it? I want it modded to NWN1 immediately!

So interesting game so far, too linear (hope it opens up), high production values, interesting but somewhat generic backstory. Easy system requirements. Combat looks promising if I can get a grip on the order stack stuff and stop fighting the camera.

"For Innos!"
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November 4th, 2009, 05:16
1. The Manual is fairly worthless IMO.

As for issuing orders I haven't noticed what you're describing. I'm assuming you do mean issuing 1 order each for 3 different people though, since you can't stack/que more than 1 order per party member while paused. After you unpause they do that one order then revert to either the Tactics system or their basic auto attack.

2. Tactics system. Right now it's kind of pissing me off…I mean alot. For exactly the reason you described. Also, the tactics system should NOT have been skill/talent point based. Every slot should have been fully open/programmable from the beginning. But even then I'm not sure if I'd like it. Being able to que up more than one command while paused would have been far superior.

3. Death is is exactly like you said. If one person survives everybody revives pretty quickly after the combat. On the one hand, it's silly and "unrealistic" to see. But on the other hand all it does is take out some tedium of camping and resting. I don't think I care one way or the other about it honestly. Some of the fights (on normal difficulty) can still be challenging and require you to use your head (which for me has meant fighting the damned Tactics system somewhat so far).

4. I like the camera overall, but the transition between the somewhat zoomed in view and the pulled back tactical view feels weird. I'm tending to use the middle zoomed in view mostly even in combat which is surprising to me (I guess the witcher got me used to that kind of view).

From what I've read the world greatly opens up and becomes less linear at a certain point in the game. I'm guessing after the big events at Ostagar, but it might be a little later.

Until just this moment I was pretty frustrated about how stealth works. It seems like it's only used in combat. I like to play a rogue so I can sneak ahead and check things out, maybe lay some traps up ahead, backstab a caster and run back to the group. But every time I try to move ahead alone while stealthed the whole friggin group follows right along with me. But I think I'm an idiot…it just occurred to me that it's because I have the tactics system turned on. I'm hoping turning it off completely will get them to stay put. I guess I'm about to go find out if I'm right.
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November 4th, 2009, 05:28
To use stealth to scout ahead with one character.

There is a toggle button under the party portraits to "hold positions" or "freely move" The button is next to the select whole party button.

If you click it, the rest of the party stays in the same place.
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November 4th, 2009, 06:32
I quite like the camera now. It took me some time to get the hang of it, but now that I have, I like it.

One hour in, you're still on your origin. After the origin there is a linear section that I finished after about 7 hours total gameplay. Then the game opens up a lot. You will find at a set point your world map will appear, and there will be like 8 different places you could go to. I don't use tactics much. I always control my Mages, and I send the Warriors onto specific targets at the start of trash fights, then mostly leave them to their tactics, and blast the enemies down with the Mages. Boss fights I micro-manage everyone.

If someone goes down in combat, they will get up with a persistent injury. Check the character sheet. You use injury kits to remove them. It's a good comromise, I think.

The cut scenes will be fewer once you get past the linear beggining of the game. I think the idea is to start the narrative off strong, and then toss you into the world with a higher degree of freedom and handle the situation as you see fit. I think they've handled it quite well.
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November 4th, 2009, 06:57
I've created a Human Noble Warrior, and a City Elf Warrior so far, but I'm absolutely torn on who I want to continue with….
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November 4th, 2009, 07:45
Yeah, I'm feeling the pull of alt-itis, too. Don't get that much in single player games.
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November 4th, 2009, 13:24
I started with my standard elven elemental mage, need to do my standard paladin-like next … so far it is great.

And I personally love the camera.

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November 4th, 2009, 13:25
Good to hear on the linearity. My biggest beef right now is the ignore attack thing. For example - you get the "sword" cursor over an enemy and click him, but your character just stands there. Proximity? Not sure what is going on. I usually have to issue a move command first prior to attack to get him out of the funk.

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November 4th, 2009, 14:09
I just finished the "Origin" section for a City Elf Rogue, I'm going to start a new game now, and do the Origin for a Human Noble Warrior. After that I'll decide which one I want to complete the game with.

Some mixed feelings so far. I like the graphics, music, and overall presentation to this point, but the combat is just so-so. The AI controlled NPCs definitely don't react fast enough on their own. I find myself doing more micromanaging than I think I should have to.

Also, I really hate the way Elves are portrayed in this game. Very small and weak, almost like a cross between Elves and Halflings from D&D.
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November 4th, 2009, 16:05
I started a mage and human noble. Decided on mage for the lore, spells, and complications they have with Templars. It is linear at first but opens up. I am okay with camera now that I am use to it, although wish for more zoom control.

I have not had a big issue with combat or AI yet. I am on "normal" difficulty though so that may be making me less aware of issues than if I was on the harder settings. I do micro-manage but it isn't to bad.

The click and attack made me stumble a lot - but once I figured out how the things get queued - and that a left click doesn't mean run over and attack - it means cast the spell you have - and that right click means run over and attack - things got a lot better.

Taking some time to master but thats part of the fun
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November 4th, 2009, 19:57
Ive got all Ai "tactics" off, i prefer the puppetmaster approach at least at this point. I'm doing a Dalish (non-city) Elven rogue rebel type at this point a'la Witcher's "Squirrels", I even named her "Squirrel"

The control is taking some getting used to as can be expected, I'm kinda liking the wasd approach as I explore then going overhead for battles. I didnt play it for that long, but right off the bat i'm looking for more unit-switching keys and such. I'm going to have to fiddle w/ the settings tonight.

although i dont mind a little blood-dousing now and then, I'm starting not to like the persistent blood splatter effect left on characters after the battle. It should fade like after a minute or something, I dont want a cutscene ten minutes later going on w/ them still covered in blood. I have a feeling it's gonna turn out like the 'ol BG "show gore" option, so ridiculous and distracting after a while (enemies exploding into a dozen pieces from a sword hit) that I end up just turning it off for good.
Last edited by xSamhainx; November 4th, 2009 at 22:47.
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November 5th, 2009, 00:02
If you click on the OPTIONS button there is a checkbox for "Enable Persistent Gore". Uncheck that and your folks should take a lot more frequent showers
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November 5th, 2009, 02:54
Ok, I've finished the Origin chapters for both the City Elf, and the Human Noble Warrior now.

For the Human Warrior - Does anyone know if I'm going to be stuck with the Mabari Hound as a party member the entire game? I'm leaning towards that character to finish the game, but not if that dog is going to take up an NPC slot.
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November 5th, 2009, 03:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Ok, I've finished the Origin chapters for both the City Elf, and the Human Noble Warrior now.

For the Human Warrior - Does anyone know if I'm going to be stuck with the Mabari Hound as a party member the entire game? I'm leaning towards that character to finish the game, but not if that dog is going to take up an NPC slot.
You can leave him at camp if you really want to

I love Rabbit though (I named him Wolfgar after my GSD) and he makes a great tank and companion, if more quiet than the others. Here is my take on Dog, as I wrote on a discussion group I am on over in BSN.

Impressions on Dog:

Working my way through noble origins (I am pretty sure I will be mage but want to do both before I decide … probably wasn't a good idea though as I love both now) and Dog is awesome. I don't think he will be on the same level as the actual "humanoid" characters though, if that helps people make a choice.

For me, however, he has me won over. The belly rubs, the fierce protection he has towards me, the loyalty, all are incredible. He is a more silent companion but in a way thats nice as a Rogue/Ranger. He is always there yet not in an obtrusive way. Great companion for someone who doesn't always want to be distracted. He interacts … well like a very smart dog :-) So far he has matched me for damage and defense and that is with just his own "intelligence" not me telling him what to do.
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November 5th, 2009, 04:54
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
The click and attack made me stumble a lot - but once I figured out how the things get queued - and that a left click doesn't mean run over and attack - it means cast the spell you have - and that right click means run over and attack - things got a lot better.
So that was my problem then? I'll have to try it but I'm not a home right now

"For Innos!"
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November 5th, 2009, 18:24
I love the way this game handles death…..you will notice if the character dies more then once they pile up….and it can be very detremental to your character….

I have had to reload a couple fights due to gettin my butt handed to me.
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November 6th, 2009, 00:26
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I love the way this game handles death…..you will notice if the character dies more then once they pile up….and it can be very detremental to your character…..

I have mixed feelings about it, I think you should at least need to manually revive your characters.
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November 6th, 2009, 01:42
The command queues are only 1 deep? Those are hardly queues. How in the heck do you remove the tedium of long pre-battle buff sequences?
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November 6th, 2009, 03:05
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
The command queues are only 1 deep? Those are hardly queues. How in the heck do you remove the tedium of long pre-battle buff sequences?
Buffs are persistant - once activated, they stay activated, but the trade-off is that you have less mana available from your total until you deactivate them. So you don't need to cast them before every battle.
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November 6th, 2009, 03:19
Yeah, buffs are handled possibly the best way I have yet seen. They are quite costly to maintain, but also quite powerful. The Fatigue mechanic is a really good one, it's a great way to handle armor and buffs. Keeping buffs up or wearing heavy armor is a substantial trade-off, because you will be using far fewer activated abilities in combat, and thus do less direct damage.

So your tank will wear heavy armor, but DPS warriors should not. A mage has to choose carefully which buffs to maintain.

Battle prep is basically non-existent. You don't have to wait around to regen health and mana (well sometimes you have to wait maybe 5 - 10 seconds, but usually the time you spend getting to the next fight is long enough). There is some battle to battle resource managment, potions, injury kits, and resistence buff items are all consumable, and you will find yourself in situations where you're deep into a dungeon (and possibly unable to turn back) and you're running out of resources. Maybe you're out of mana pots. Maybe you're out of injury kits and the wounds are pilling up. Maybe you don't have a healer and are nearly out of health pots.

I think it's great. I mean, this is not an easy game by any stretch. You need to consider your tactics and often plan out a battle. The game doesn't throw you into a battle your character would have knwon was coming without giving you the chance to set up a plan of attack (unlike NWN2, which was terrible at that).
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