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Default Dragon Age 2 - David Gaider Reminiscences

April 19th, 2021, 15:15
Gameinformer reported on David Gaider's responses about what he liked and disliked about Dragon Age 2 when asked on Twitter.

What was the deal with Orsino?

One of the prevalent themes of the Dragon Age franchise is the conflict between Mages and Templars, with the former being held captive against their will due to their magical abilities. Orsino is the Elven First Enchanter in the Circle of Magic within Kirkwall. He is meant to be in a powerful position to protect the mages under his charge, but Meredith, the Knight Commander of the Templar Order, was convinced that all magic was dangerous, evil, and that mages needed to be kept under heel. Throughout the three chapters of Dragon Age 2, the escalation between the two groups could be felt and Orsino could see the fate of all mages in Kirkwall hanging in the balance. Following the events that Anders kickstarted following failed negotiations between Meredith and Orsino, he did the unthinkable: he turned to blood magic, something he swore he would never do. This turned him into a disgusting abomination that ends up being a boss fight for Hawke and the gang.

This instance could be argued for, absolutely, but it always felt a little rushed, a little off. Understandable, given that much of this game was rushed due to the publisher's timeline, but Gaider added a little more perspective as to what the surrounding conversation was like when looking at the bigger picture.

David Gaider:

DA2 is, however, also where the goal posts kept moving. Things kept getting cut, even while we worked. I had to write that dialogue where Orsinio turned even if you sided with him, because his boss battle had been cut and there was no time to fix the plot. A real WTF moment.

So I think it's safe to say DA2 is my favorite entry in the DA franchise and also the sort of thing I never want to live through ever again. Mixed feelings galore.

[…]
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April 19th, 2021, 15:19
To me DA2 was the worst of the three. The first one was really close to an isometric CRPG and I enjoyed the tactical combat and the story thoroughly. DA:I was more open world, epic kind of game, and although grindy at times, it had very great moments. Some of those dragon battles felt pretty amazing.

DA2 was somewhere in between but fell short on most aspects, I thought. One of the things that I disliked most was how they reused dungeon maps over and over, just cut at different sections for different quests. I also thought that quality of its writing was inferior compared to DA:O.
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April 19th, 2021, 17:06
I think most people will agree that it is the worse, for all the reasons you mention and for example the way enemies spawned was bad as well. I played the game well after release with next to no expectations, and actually enjoyed it. The end bothered me the most, so I would have been happier if it had been implemented the way Gaider initially wanted.
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April 19th, 2021, 17:19
When the premise went off the tracks and officially passed on for me. There's only one Dragon Age game, that being Origins. What an appalling lack of quality this game had, it still astounds me to this day. One of the biggest disappointments I've ever experienced in a video game, and sticks in my craw to this day. Franchise, series, no. There is only one.
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April 19th, 2021, 17:44
Like forgottenlor I played this far after release with low expectations and (maybe because of that) generally enjoyed it - but yes, it is the worst of the three. I enjoyed DA:I but Origins was, for me, by far the best of the 3 games. Still not certain why we couldn't have gotten a true successor to Origins in terms of gameplay mechanics.
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April 19th, 2021, 19:28
I had some tactical fun w/ this game, and I did play it to completion, but there was a lot of examples of the rushed nature of the game - all the direct copy/paste of environments was the most glaring example. Sometimes in the same zone, walk in one place and it's just a reverse copy of the last place you were in.

The parachuting enemies were another - every time I thought I was done w/ a fight, there was a pretty good chance that suddenly ten more will parachute in right behind a caster. Like, literally drop out of the sky

It made for some challenging battles, but lazy (and exhausting) design choice, for sure.
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April 19th, 2021, 19:41
"When you hit a button, something awesome happens!"

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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April 19th, 2021, 20:02
Played DA2 after completing Origins. While Origins was epic and ofcourse superior, DA2 was fresh and a more personal story and struggle. I enjoyed the story in DA2, characters and even combat. It is by no means a short rpg and there are plenty of C&C there.
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April 19th, 2021, 21:36
I actually understand where Gaider is coming from. It's certainly the most interesting of the three, and it has a lot of great concepts. From a writer's perspective, I have no doubt that it is the best one. The mages, the templar, the more personal story, the way things progress over time in the city, the companions and so on are all great.

Sadly, it's rushed to the point of being absurd. It was released a little over a year after DA: Origins, because EA wanted to capitalize on the success of Origins.

It's a real shame, because it has some very original ideas that I would have liked to see more of. Instead, we're left with a game that's mostly remembered for the re-use of areas and annoying enemy waves.
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April 19th, 2021, 22:24
Yes…Yes…it's all of the above but it was still an enjoyable game for me at least. I give them thanks for at least trying something different, but it was rushed to fast.

Basically it needed a better game engine and more development time.
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April 19th, 2021, 23:37
Speaking as a huge fan of all of Bioware's single-player games, I wonder how much of Bioware's downfall was due to the acquisition by EA and how often their games have been rushed. That being rushed was quite noticeable in DA2, Mass Effect 3, and Mass Effect Andromeda and while I enjoyed those games, being rushed and having to cut or adjust content is in my view a serious bane of good games.
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April 20th, 2021, 01:19
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Speaking as a huge fan of all of Bioware's single-player games, I wonder how much of Bioware's downfall was due to the acquisition by EA and how often their games have been rushed. That being rushed was quite noticeable in DA2, Mass Effect 3, and Mass Effect Andromeda and while I enjoyed those games, being rushed and having to cut or adjust content is in my view a serious bane of good games.
Well, for me at least, it's more about the direction they went as opposed to their games feeling rushed. While I'm sure EA hasn't been the best influence, Bioware was starting to go more mainstream long before the acquisition anyways. I could clearly see that in games like KotOR and Jade Empire.
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April 20th, 2021, 08:00
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well, for me at least, it's more about the direction they went as opposed to their games feeling rushed. While I'm sure EA hasn't been the best influence, Bioware was starting to go more mainstream long before the acquisition anyways. I could clearly see that in games like KotOR and Jade Empire.
Jade Empire was the opposite of the product of focus testing. A niche setting instead of fantasy, a short length, companions that offered nothing but fighting assistance, unfamilar names for a Western audience…nothing about that game said mainstream. And it sold like it. Jade Empire is among if not the actual least commerically successful of all of Bioware's games (including the much maligned Anthem)
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April 20th, 2021, 09:16
Never played Jade Empire. I just don't dig the setting, and at the time I had better things to do than to play that game. By the time I looked back it was dated. No regrets here.
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April 20th, 2021, 09:30
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
Jade Empire was the opposite of the product of focus testing. A niche setting instead of fantasy, a short length, companions that offered nothing but fighting assistance, unfamilar names for a Western audience‚€¶nothing about that game said mainstream. And it sold like it. Jade Empire is among if not the actual least commerically successful of all of Bioware's games (including the much maligned Anthem)
Most of those things have nothing to do with whether or not something could be considered mainstream. It was only their second RPG to be released on a console (after KotOR), and it was definitely a lot simpler compared to their earlier crpgs.

Perhaps "streamlined" would be a better word. Either way, anyone who played Bioware's earlier games and then played Jade Empire knows what I'm talking about.
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April 20th, 2021, 09:51
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Never played Jade Empire. I just don't dig the setting, and at the time I had better things to do than to play that game. By the time I looked back it was dated. No regrets here.
Au Contraire I loved Jade Empire on it's release and still replay it. It was a sleeper hit for BioWare before Mass Effect, and they even had a sequel planned at one time.

Link - https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2…in-concept-art
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April 20th, 2021, 17:23
I'd play Jade Empire again hands-down over any of the Bioware products released in the past decade. All in all, it was a lot of fun, yet I can see why it didn't exactly inspire a huge following.
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April 20th, 2021, 17:51
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
yet I can see why it didn't exactly inspire a huge following.
I can't.
My problem is not understanding what went wrong is I'm wuxia/xianxia #1 fan.
No, not the crouching tiger whatever dragon wire fu bullshit, I hated that one.
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I actually understand where Gaider is coming from.
I don't.
Who is he anyway? If he didn't work for Bioware at the time, noone would know he exists.
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April 20th, 2021, 18:30
Yeah, I don't think Jade Empire was "bad" or anything. It was just kind of simplistic compared to their previous stuff.

The combat played out like an action game, and you could only bring a single companion with you. Still, the setting was interesting if nothing else.
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April 20th, 2021, 19:50
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Perhaps "streamlined" would be a better word.
I agree with that. It was pretty simple mechanically, from what I remember.

I didn't like how short it was, or how limted the companion interaction was, but I enjoyed the setting and enjoyed the game overall. It's still rare to get RPGs that aren't either fantasy or post-apoc and it was a breath of fresh air in that regard. I wish we had gotten a sequel.
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