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-   -   Is Dragon Age really a BG successor? (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8133)

Dhruin September 18th, 2009 13:55

Is Dragon Age really a BG successor?
BioWare has positioned Dragon Age as a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate but it's been a long time since they've made that style of game. In the meantime, the game has gone from PC only to a simultaneous multiplatform release and we've seen a controversial marketing campaign featuring Marilyn Manson.

Obviously technology has changed and it isn't based on D&D but do you expect Dragon Age to live up to the claim?

Damian Mahadevan September 18th, 2009 14:06

I chose no. IMO NWN2 MotB is more of a spiritual successor to BG than Dragon Age.

JemyM September 18th, 2009 14:09

Not the same world. I agree with Damian, MotB is the spiritual successor to BG.

Prime Junta September 18th, 2009 14:10

Let me put it this way: I expect it to be more like Baldur's Gate 2 than Neverwinter Nights OC was like Baldur's Gate 2.

As in:
* Extensive character development options and mechanics
* RTwP tactical combat that's not significantly worse than BG2's and might even be better
* Plenty of intra-party shenanigans
* Broad, expansive, extensive, and partly open world (at least as open as BG2)
* Big, broad, and expansive campaign, with gobs of sidequests, sidetracks, and side-what-have yous
* Variety of teenage girlfriend options, equipped with a variety of neuroses (I'm pretty sure there'll be at least a codependent and a manipulative hot-n-cold option — Leliana and what's-her-face the sorceress, specifically)
* Gobs of "How nice to meet you, Mr. Hero. Now, let me tell you about my mother" style dialog

What I'm hoping for, and think it just might deliver:
* Significant numbers of mutually exclusive, interesting questlines tailored for specific character builds (à la the stronghold quests in BG2)
* Genuine variety of ways to resolve quests, beyond "stab them in the back/fireball them/charge them" — I would like to see at least some quests soluble (and properly rewarded) by subterfuge, diplomacy, or stealth rather than combat

What it probably won't have (because they're good for the HC crowd but off-putting to casuals, and they don't want to put off casuals):
* Insanely challenging bits on the main quest line (à la wandering into Baron Firkraag's quests fresh off the boat in BG2)
* Parts where you're basically spinning around and wondering WTF you should do next (à la the first half of BG2)

(Oh, and -- what BG didn't have either, and I don't think DA will improve on: well-written characters, snappy dialog, a stunningly original setting or storyline.)

If it gets most of the first group and some of the second, then yeah, I'll consider it a legitimate spiritual successor to BG2.

Damian Mahadevan September 18th, 2009 14:15

Gosh if you are comparing games, why compare it to the NWN2:OC rather than NWN2:MotB? It has most of what you wrote.

GothicGothicness September 18th, 2009 14:17

No, EA will make it too mainstream… that's what I think

Benedict September 18th, 2009 14:18

Yep, can't see what all the pessimism is about.

Mind you I only thought the BG games were solid, polished, high quality releases rather than anything legendary, original or inspirational like Torment. And at least this has a new setting & character system which looks quite a bit better than the D&D editions used for the BGs.

EvilManagedCare September 18th, 2009 14:18

I voted no, but then all this spiritual successor nonsense Bioware is spewing is little more than a marketing tool imo. I will be buying this game mainly because it's not an MMORPG and it shouldn't be an action RPG clickfest. I'm also interested in the setting. Hopefully it won't disappoint.

Zaleukos September 18th, 2009 14:28

I'm sorta with PJs list* and expectations, but I dont think they will give us as huge a world as BG2.

I even think they could pull off a better game. The reason is that BG2 in my opinion is the ultimate "the whole is greater than the parts" RPG. Pretty much every aspect has been done better in other games, but BG2 mixed them in a way that still managed to create a top 5 RPG. IF Bioware has drawn the "right" conclusions there are tonnes of areas where there is room for improvement. And together with Bethesda (who have drawn the wrong conclusions) they are the best at actually delivering their vision.

*Extensive character development options would be a detour from BG2 which is hampered by a shitty ruleset (pick class and weapon and that's about it, talking about "development" is nonsense IMHO) though:p It would take mental deficiency bordering retardation for BW to not improve on that.

wolfing September 18th, 2009 14:37

I think it'll be more similar to Drakensang (not a bad thing), but in a "dark", "gritty", "mature" and "epic" world.

Moriendor September 18th, 2009 14:45

Where is the "Hell, I hope not!" option? :)

I didn't like BG but I'm getting good vibes from DA so far (minus the retarded marketing but I have stopped paying attention for quite a while now, also to avoid spoilers).
I very much hope that this won't be a "genuine successor" but rather a true evolution where classic gameplay gets put into a modern framework, getting rid of the shackles and demons of the past.
So in a way I'm hoping that BioWare will achieve something similar to Drakensang which is IMHO a near perfect example of revitalizing classic gameplay.

I don't want no BG in there. I don't want to have to deal with an interface that takes up half the screen, I don't want to have to babysit my party being a mediator, a priest and a marriage counselor all at the same time, I don't want to have to deal with "you must gather your party before venturing forth", I don't want to pull my hair out because of retarded pathfinding, I don't want to find tons of crap loot and go through a nightmare managing the inventory of each character individually, I don't want dialogue that always just loops back on itself, I don't want anymore static and clichéd NPCs whose role/purpose you can guess at after reading the first line of what they have to say, I don't want a gameworld that is split up into tiny square maps, I don't want to look at a loading screen every time I enter any kind of structure and so on and so on and so on…

The only thing I would want them to do like BG is the atmosphere, the ambience… but for everything else I wish they'd just forget about BG and do their own thing. If they really need to look at past games then instead of BG take a close look at Drakensang (and The Witcher, Gothic etc.) and then they ought to remember that they got easily 10x the budget or more at BW and then make something really, really, really awesome based on that.

Anyway, based on what I have seen of DA so far I am quite hopeful that there won't be too much BG in there. That's why I have preordered the CE of DA, too.

Gragnak September 18th, 2009 14:58

I say "yes".
Well we ara talking no more of a D&D setting but………… I think this game will have "the magic" I haven't found in NWN.
It's only an impression for now.

JDR13 September 18th, 2009 15:35

I doubt it. Bioware has yet to replicate the same magical quality that BG 1&2 had imo.

Vistaer September 18th, 2009 15:39

Well, depends on how you want to define it as a spiritual successor….

1 - Main Story. Obviously Dragon Age is going for a more dark feel, with more political and social undertones than Baldur's gate had. In this way, I think the overall story is an evolution from Baldur's Gate, which while it did have basic political parts (Sarevok's plot to start a war with Amn) and sometimes mature themes, did seem to stick with the more classical fantasy feel you expect of D&D games. I can't really call it a successor in this department, but I can see it as something they have built upon and really learned from.

2 - Characters and Side-content. Can't say for sure, but this is where I expect a lot of spiritual succession. The D&D and BG feel of searching old crypts, castles, dungeons, etc. for nefarious people, lost treasure, and ancient lore. All while having a group of companions who either work together really well, or could be at each others throats. However, they had better get some great Party characters. If they can't top Minsc (and Boo!) or HK-47's quality of party characters, I'll be disappointed. On top of this, I thoroughly expect to see non-party characters you interact with be of far higher caliber than what we had in BG (Duncan vs. Gorion, Loghain vs. Sarevok, etc.) so in this way I think there will be a lot of spiritual succession along with a massive expansion of size and quality.

3 - Mechanics. Again, can't be very sure until I actually play the game, but from what I've seen it looks to be a serious spiritual successor in this department. It adds a better dialogue system and even manages to create a BG-style combat system, to it's own detriment perhaps. KotOR's pseudo-turn-based gameplay was a revolutionary means of bringing western-RPGs to the console, but after recent RPGs have been more and more integration action-style combat (Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Oblivion, Fable) I wonder if it's still possible for this style of combat to be accepted or effectively used on the consoles without a keyboard and mouse. However, on the PC, I expect it should work beautifully.

With the technology having changed so much over the years, it's surprising to see how much of BG's style is in Dragon Age vs. Fallout 3 compared to Wasteland or even Fallout 2. I vote as a yes that it will be a true spiritual successor, but it really has taken what they had, and, evolved and integrated a lot of what we come to expect from any modern RPG.

Prime Junta September 18th, 2009 16:23


Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan (Post 1060971341)
Gosh if you are comparing games, why compare it to the NWN2:OC rather than NWN2:MotB? It has most of what you wrote.

I meant NWN 1:OC, not NWN2: OC, because it's the last BG-style RPG BioWare made. I agree that MotB is a worthy spiritual successor to BG — but that doesn't mean there can't be another one.

Guhndahb September 18th, 2009 16:37

I voted "No, BioWare doesn't make them like that any more", but while I lament that a bit, I'm also plenty excited to see what DA brings us. I think I'm more likely to be disappointed if I think of this as a BG successor. Going down that path was bad, bad choice for me with Bioshock supposedly being a System Shock successor (i.e. I'd have liked it a lot better if I'd not been anticipating it to be what it was not).

I just hope it's a great RPG on its own footing. So far, I'm optimistic (despite their awful marketing trying to make me fret).

St.Penguin September 18th, 2009 16:53


Originally Posted by Benedict (Post 1060971343)
Yep, can't see what all the pessimism is about.

Mind you I only thought the BG games were solid, polished, high quality releases rather than anything legendary, original or inspirational like Torment. And at least this has a new setting & character system which looks quite a bit better than the D&D editions used for the BGs.

Agreed. BG series was great. That being said, they had their time and their place. Different world, different rules, different technology. I don't think DA will be much like BG2, but I don't think that that's something to fear.
And Torment, well….Torment is just in a league of its own.

JDR13 September 18th, 2009 17:26


Originally Posted by Prime Junta (Post 1060971370)
I meant NWN 1:OC, not NWN2: OC, because it's the last BG-style RPG BioWare made.

I didn't think NWN1 was very BG-style at all. It wasn't even party based.

skavenhorde September 18th, 2009 17:48

I vote yes.

Have you seen the combat videos? I've avoided the trailers that deal with the actual plot or cutscenes (except the Manson one. I had to see that). I'm giving them the benifit of the doubt where the story is concerned.

These videos were all I needed to see and I was sold that it was going to be good and it had the Baldur's Gate feel to it.

Melvil September 18th, 2009 18:31

I have the feeling it won't live up to a comparison like that, but we'll see I suppose.

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