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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Player age and Dragon Age difficulty…

Default Player age and Dragon Age difficulty…

November 13th, 2009, 17:53
(Playing on Hard, FIRE/healing main, the dog, SHIELD/precision Alistair, rotation of HEALING/support Wynne and Traps/Bow Imoen)

I find the game to be perfectly difficult.

I die, I get wiped, I have to reload often on the big fights. I have to try new things… but with some clever thinking and thoughtful tactics, a way to win has always eventually presented itself.

There is a noticeable lack of treasure and wealth to be found. I have just enough money to keep upgrading skills and equipment, replenish supplies, and still have a little more left over every time. Never have I seen such a well-balanced sense of economy in a crpg.

I'm 40. I've been playing pc games since the day there was such a thing as a pc; and several years before that too. You name it (especially crpgs), I've played it.

I watched Ultima evolve from a rogue-like, to a living, breathing world. I learned tactics with the Wizardry(s)… the Gold Box(es). I was conditioned by the nuance of the Might and Magic(s).

War… War never changes. I sat spellbound for days after I first heard those words. It was the game of my dreams.

If not for the slightly clumsy attempt at AD&D combat in the Infinity Engine, I would think those games to be entirely perfect. Baldur's Gate I and II, the Icewind Dale saga, and of course Planescape… in so many ways they were the culmination of all I'd ever hoped for… way back when Zork was all I had.

But, they were all "difficult". In exactly the same way that Dragon's Age is.

I'm just wondering… for younger players, who have never had to deal with things like graph paper and 200-page manuals for the games they've grown up with, are you the ones that find it hard?

I'm not trying to pick a fight. You had what you had, and you know what you know. That's being young, nothing else.

I see Dragon Age as exactly what Bioware said it would be: the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate II. Which was the successor to Fallout. Which came after Ultima 7. Etc.

Are any older gamers finding it too difficult? Are any younger gamers finding it ridiculously easy?

Is there any correlation between age and difficulty to be found?
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November 13th, 2009, 18:13
I have about the same experience as you do and the difficulty is just perfect. Not so easy where I get bored with the game and not so difficult that it becomes next to impossible to beat the game(I'm looking at you Wizardry 4 ). There are ways of winning difficult situations, if you try out different tactics and the random encounters are pretty fun to boot too. I've only found a few random encounters that were just impossible to win, it adds an element of excitement whenever you see those crossed swords pop up on the map. It's not every time sometimes those encounters are cake walks and other times it seems like the devil himself came out of the ground to smite my little party.

So as far as I'm concerned they had better not touch the difficulty in the next patch. It's perfect!

One last thing, I don't think I would play this game on hardcore if it had that option. I don't think I would ever pass it

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November 13th, 2009, 19:01
Originally Posted by Dyspaire View Post
But, they were all "difficult". In exactly the same way that Dragon's Age is.

How were they difficult in "exactly" the same way? Most of those games didn't have level scaling, which is where the bulk of DA's difficulty comes from.

As far as it being *too* difficult, I'm not sure. I'm finding it to be a lot harder than the Infinity Engine games, but that might just be due to the fact that I'm still learning the nuances of the combat system.
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November 13th, 2009, 19:45
By 'exactly' the same way, I mean that all of the games mentioned include combat that gives the player no other option but to stop and think.

All the games I listed (including Dragon Age) include, at some point, combat that demands planning and strategy. You can't just hack-and-slash.

I think in regard to IE games; I remember my first playthrough of BG1, and how unprepared I was for the combat. Just getting annihilated by anything stronger than a Kobold. (and I knew my THACO.)

But I know the way the AD&D system was implemented in the Infinity Engine now, and those same battles are effortless now. (Heart of Fury mode excepted.)

I never thought of it before your post, but I would say I find my first 30 hours of Dragon Age, are precisely as difficult as my first 30 hours of Baldur's Gate.

And it's pretty great.
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November 13th, 2009, 21:58
Originally Posted by Dyspaire View Post
I never thought of it before your post, but I would say I find my first 30 hours of Dragon Age, are precisely as difficult as my first 30 hours of Baldur's Gate.

I'm finding many random battles to be much harder in DA. Boss battles seem to be on par imo.
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November 13th, 2009, 22:45
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm finding many random battles to be much harder in DA. Boss battles seem to be on par imo.
This is the only bit that frustrates me. I'm 41 and thoroughly enjoying it but I get a bit impatient when a random encounter wipes me over and over and I want to get on with the actual content.

Not a big deal, though, and otherwise the difficulty is one of the pluses.

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November 14th, 2009, 00:13
i am 38 and played few console games when i'm very young; don't remember what titles or what console i played on. Start playing PC games when i'm in college. My favorite role-playing games including BG series, Fallout 1 & 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, Diablo series, Gothic 1 & 2, The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Star Wars: KoToR, The Witcher, while less impressed or having mixed feeling on NWN 1, KotoR 2, Mass Effect, TES: Battlespire, TES: Oblivion, and Fallout 3.

Currently my character is at level 12, a Dwraf and as a rogue . See his stats and equipments here http://social.bioware.com/playerprof…game=dragonage

I'm playing on normal difficulty level and my party consisting of Morrigan, Alistair and Shale. So far as most forum posters here think that the DA's difficulty system is well implemented although some improvements still needed. During the adventures in Ostagar, Lothering, RedCliffe, Warden's Keep, Stone Prisoner, Dennerim (many random encounters when travelling to different sections of the city), as well as the Andraste quest in the Frostback Mountain, my party sometimes got wipe out, but overall they could handle most situations pretty well. At most i only need to restart 3-4 times before winning. It make combat more intense and keep the suspense during each sessions as you never know who will win, and resulting in more satisfying feeling and better sense of achievement afterward compared to many recent "mainstreamed" CRPGs.

Not every combats are difficult, here and there i found relatively easy random encounters. I also found in the quest of Andraste's Urn, enemies combat abilities scaled very well to the quest's progress. In early stage they're easier to beat, then further down into multiple sections and dungeons, the enemies became tougher. The need to analyse the combat settings such as room layout, preparation of your party members etc also becoming more apparent.
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November 14th, 2009, 00:54
I'm 39 and I've played plenty a game. The issue I have is that I cannot use experience to get ahead like in most games. Level scaling is crap. That being said I'm still playing and for the most part really enjoying the game. The combat system is great. I won't rate this above Drakensang however, purely due to the level scaling.

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November 14th, 2009, 02:41
Going away and getting yourself levelled up so you can turn a tricky fight into a walk in the park sounds more like crap to me. (What really drives me nuts are some of the JRPGs where they are starting to expect you to do that. FF12, I'm looking at you.)

I've been playing on normal difficulty and it's been just right for me. I get killed plenty but I generally do a lot better on the re-load. Sometimes it will take two or three reloads for the really hard stuff and for the stuff where I'm doing something stupid and need to get kicked around a little before I realize it. What I really like is the half way point between no friendly fire and full damage from friendly fire. That lets me fire off the cool stuff but not without paying some price. (Well, OK, so Sten has to pay most of the price…. )

Oh, and I'm age 43.
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November 14th, 2009, 02:42
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
That being said I'm still playing and for the most part really enjoying the game. The combat system is great. I won't rate this above Drakensang however, purely due to the level scaling.

I'm gonna have to give Drakensang another try. I think Dragon Age is an outstanding experience so far, but Baldur's Gate 1/2 still remain my favorite Bioware games.
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November 14th, 2009, 02:52
Funny not rating it above drakensang(liked the game myself) but by no means was it anywhere near dragon age, not even in its shadow.

I think level scaling in a sense is required in games…it got rid of a serious flaw you saw in alot of older games where you could walk through parts of the game if you just sat their leveling your party to ridiculus levels then attempting areas(this did not enhance games at all) In dragon age, they did selective level scaling…which works quite well. Not all creatures level scale to you…and you should notice this as you play.
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November 14th, 2009, 03:33
Level scaling is definitely not required in games. It might benefit *some* games, but it's certainly not a necessity, especially if the devs are just careful about planning the placement and levels of the enemies you're going to face.
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November 14th, 2009, 04:46
Level scaling can benefit an RPG but it needs to be deftly used. So far (dunno…halfway-ish?), I'd say the scaling has been OK - but could have been better.

I liked Drakensang but it isn't half as good as Dragon Age. I found the combat much more repetitive and, frankly, I didn't really care about anyone or anything in the story. It was a nice party-based fantasy romp and I liked getting away from D&D but the content just isn't as good.

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November 14th, 2009, 08:40
I thought Drakensang captured its setting quite well, and I enjoyed the different locales, but Dragon Age just shines on every level. I'm 46% done with the game, 100 hours played. The last game that took me anywhere that long, or I lost myself in anywhere as thoroughly, was Gothic 2 and maybe even BG2.
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November 14th, 2009, 12:32
I'm 34 and play on normal mode. Been playing for 33 hours atm. Can anyone tell me where i can see what % of the game i have done?

I played all Bioware games, except jade empire, which didn't appeal to me in any way. The best so far, BG2, NWN1, and DA.

A difference between bg2 and da is, iirc, that you gain much more levels in da, which makes scaling more important.
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November 14th, 2009, 16:39
Oh, level scaling isn't needed for all RPGs, but it's needed for this one. The game gives you a choice of which community to go to first, and even lets you switch between them. If they just set the level for mage, elf, dwarf, and human communities to the same thing then you'll have a hard time on whatever town you do first, a fairly easy time in the second, and a boring cakewalk in the third. They did that in Knights of the Old Republic and it was pretty horrible.

Or they could increase the level for some of the communities, but then your choice isn't really a choice at all.
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November 14th, 2009, 17:18
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Oh, level scaling isn't needed for all RPGs, but it's needed for this one. The game gives you a choice of which community to go to first, and even lets you switch between them. If they just set the level for mage, elf, dwarf, and human communities to the same thing then you'll have a hard time on whatever town you do first, a fairly easy time in the second, and a boring cakewalk in the third. They did that in Knights of the Old Republic and it was pretty horrible.

Or they could increase the level for some of the communities, but then your choice isn't really a choice at all.
Yes, you have a point.
BTW, does anyone else find that revenants are simply unbalanced bastards?

Anyway, something I would really like is formation behaviour. I want a setting where I can tell my mages and rangers to always hang back, and my melee guys to remain in front. I hate it when I move into enemy territory and my mages run out in front of my melee guys. I'm not talking about attack behaviour here, like passive and aggresive and cautious - I'm talking about the formation in which the party moves forward. It seems one is not able to "set" this.
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November 14th, 2009, 17:48
I tend to keep everyone in "stay" mode anyway. My only complaint about movement related to strategy is the goofy camera and the occasional "forced" dialog. If I know there is going to be a fight what is the point of giving away my strategy by walking into the middle of a hostile situation and blowing all tactics? Thats the sad situation at the end of the "derelict building" for example, which is a very difficult battle. Also, the game typically doesnt really let you attack first which is stupid. God I miss ToEE!

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November 14th, 2009, 18:05
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
BTW, does anyone else find that revenants are simply unbalanced bastards?
Definitely not me.

I´ve killed six of them so far, 5 of those were optional and I got help with the one that wasn´t.
Putting optional super difficult battles in a game is always a good idea imo.
So I´d say revenants are perfectly balanced for what they are meant to be - unbalanced bastards .

Battle with the one in the first Brecilian forest area was probably the toughest encounter I´ve had so far.

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November 14th, 2009, 20:40
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
Anyway, something I would really like is formation behaviour. I want a setting where I can tell my mages and rangers to always hang back, and my melee guys to remain in front. I hate it when I move into enemy territory and my mages run out in front of my melee guys. I'm not talking about attack behaviour here, like passive and aggresive and cautious - I'm talking about the formation in which the party moves forward. It seems one is not able to "set" this.

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any options for formations. This is another area where DA takes a step backwards compared to Baldur's Gate.
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