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Dungeon Siege 3 - Community Interview

by Dhruin, 2011-08-26 01:14:19

The Obsidian blog has the first of a series of community interviews with their developers -the first features Nathaniel Chapman answering questions on Dungeon Siege 3. There are some meaty answers such as this partial snip of a long response to WorstUsernameEver's question on why they didn't continue the series' party-based mechanic:

Personally, I’d argue that the KotOR and Dragon Age games are not successful directly as a result of their party mechanics or their combat mechanics generally. Instead, I believe they are successful because they have great production values and present high-quality settings, stories, and characters that players find engaging. This is backed up by what you see reviewers highlighting as positives in their reviews for the games.

Having played a lot of more complex party-based combat games (like Icewind Dale or the BG games, or Final Fantasy Tactics) I’ve noticed that there’s actually a substantial difference between “Party Based Combat Games with Story” (like IWD or BG2) and “Story Games with Party Based Combat” (like KotOR and DA). It sounds like semantics, but the difference is that in Dragon Age or KotOR, combat is the stuff you do in between the meat of the game, which is dialogue, exploration, and character interaction. Compare that with IWD, where clearly the combat gameplay is the primary focus and the dialogue, exploration and character interaction is supplemental to that focus.

So, because of that difference, I’d argue Dragon Age and KotOR are successful because of reasons other than their party-based gameplay. And, our ability to succeed at the elements KotOR and DA succeed at – that is, crafting an engaging story, setting and characters – is partly independent of our particular combat mechanics. So when I look at the success of games like Dragon Age and KotOR, the message I take away is not “party based games are successful.” Instead, it is “story-driven games with engaging characters and high production values are successful.”

And, due to the nature of the series, we knew were going to rely more on combat vs. storytelling to get you through the game. So, those things added up in my mind such that I didn’t feel the success of other party based games was a strong reason to pursue party-based gameplay in DS3.

Information about

Dungeon Siege 3

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: Released