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Thread: Dragon Age

  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    As I said DA:O was not roses and unicorns. But it was far Happier as pointed out above. Ending the blight, in itself, is itself proof of that.

    Also, I know a lot of the things above was "well known beforehand" (the story was not, btw). People pre-ordered anyway, because they loved DA:O and Bioware and trusted them to make a fun game. Also many people who really didn't like these design decisions choose NOT to buy the game, but that also means they criticized that particular design decision (whichever they had a problem with)
    Of course the story wasn't well known beforehand. What are they supposed to do, either set down in writing that they will tell guaranteed 95% the same story every single game and just file of the serial numbers? Or just leak the whole script?

    Buying things always has the risk that you won't get what you thought you were getting. Buying things sight unseen months before they come out increases that risk substantially. If you don't like not getting what you expected, wait those extra what, three days tops, read some reviews, and make an informed decision. When I preorder a game and it sucks, it's my fault for not holding off and making a decision based on actual evidence. Sure the company produced a sucky game, and that isn't good, but the only person responsible for it ending up on my hard drive is me.

    As for the argument that "People liked the voiced character / dialogue wheel in the ME series so there is nothing to complain about here"... It's just not a valid argument:

    1. They are two different franchises, with two different play styles (old school RPG vs TPS Action RPG (or at least the first DA game was old school)).

    2. Due to point 1, the fanbase is only overlapping to a certain degree. Many people who bought DA:O bought it because they wanted to go back to the roots of the genre, not because they liked ME. And even many of those who truly enjoy the ME games still wanted something completely different when they bought the DA games.
    So what? The fans don't make the games, Bioware does. If Bioware decides to do voiced protagonists because they think people like it better or they're tired of trying to generate tension in a scenes which always star a lump of wood that is entirely their call. If Bioware decides not to slavishly recreate the same damn game from fifteen years ago over and over again until they all die of boredom, also totally their call.

    If people don't like it, they don't have to buy it. If they don't like it, buy it anyways, and then whine endlessly about it, we're looking at another case of nerds raging over somebody having the gall to not pander to their every wish forever and ever until the end of time.

    I'm not saying anybody has to like Dragon Age II. As I said, I got about ten minutes in before deciding I had no desire to play it ever again. But dislike it for what it is, not because it isn't a different game it never set out to be. Saying you don't like the story? Totally reasonable. Disliking the combat? Hey, I couldn't stand it either. Disliking the combat because it isn't identical to the last game's combat? Not a compelling argument. Saying it's the worst thing ever because Bioware didn't make Baulder's Gate 23? It makes the Han Shot First people look slightly reasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Whereas in DA2 he is a giant idiot, and so is everyone else and Hawke's life, as well as the lives of everyone else in kirkwall, would be improved by him immediately murdering every party member upon joining so they couldn't do whatever enormously stupid thing they would do to generate drama for Hawke to solve. (which I actually did in one DA1 game).
    Now now, Aveline was quite sensible. And (much as I hate to say it) Fenris' only fault is that he's a murder-happy rage elf. Neither of them have anywhere near as much on their heads as, say, Anders and Isabela. Or Merril, but she doesn't really affect Kirkwall that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalmarvho View Post
    Now now, Aveline was quite sensible. And (much as I hate to say it) Fenris' only fault is that he's a murder-happy rage elf. Neither of them have anywhere near as much on their heads as, say, Anders and Isabela. Or Merril, but she doesn't really affect Kirkwall that much.

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    Aveline... basically has no purpose except to nag you into following the rails after the whole thing with her and Donnic gets resolved.

    Fenris... well, his anger is understandable, given his backstory. My bigger problem is the developers try way too hard to set him out as the woobie. If you're doing his romance sub-plot it's actually kindof adorable, but the problem is he acts like a clingy, vulnerable puppy toward you whether you're trying to get into his pants or not, and if you're not it just comes off as really, really creepy.

    Merrill... okay, the whole Illuvian thing was kinda dumb, but how could you possibly be angry at her when she talks to you with that sexy welsh accent? Besides, the reason it was dumb wasn't her motives, but because there was a demon inside of it trying to trick her and somehow she, as the party's blood magic and demonology expert, never noticed this or tried to counteract the possibility in the slightest. I might argue she was the first character the developers put into the DA series that tried to directly show that blood magic and messing with demons isn't necessarily evil, but it's ruined by the mixed messages.

    Isabella... she's a coward but that's not the same thing as being an idiot. The only thing she did you could argue was outright stupid was attempting to steal the Tome of Koslun in the first place, but we don't really know the context behind why the attempt was made or what the situation looked like from her point of view; All we have is the hindsight that she failed.

    Anders... Anders is just a villain in disguise as a party member. That doesn't stop him from being a complete douchebag and a moron, but DA2's villains in general are douchebags and morons. Really, if DA2 has an Idiot Ball problem, it's with the villains, not so much with the heroes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
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    Merrill... okay, the whole Illuvian thing was kinda dumb, but how could you possibly be angry at her when she talks to you with that sexy welsh accent? Besides, the reason it was dumb wasn't her motives, but because there was a demon inside of it trying to trick her and somehow she, as the party's blood magic and demonology expert, never noticed this or tried to counteract the possibility in the slightest. I might argue she was the first character the developers put into the DA series that tried to directly show that blood magic and messing with demons isn't necessarily evil, but it's ruined by the mixed messages.

    Isabella... she's a coward but that's not the same thing as being an idiot. The only thing she did you could argue was outright stupid was attempting to steal the Tome of Koslun in the first place, but we don't really know the context behind why the attempt was made or what the situation looked like from her point of view; All we have is the hindsight that she failed.

    Really, if DA2 has an Idiot Ball problem, it's with the villains, not so much with the heroes.
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    Just to adress these three points briefly.

    Merill isn't there to show us the necessity of demonic magic. That lesson we learned in DAO if we wished. Merill is there to point out just how difficult it is dealing with demons. It is to show just how manipulative and deceptive demons can be.
    The thing that people seem to be missing is that the demon isn't even hiding what it is or even what it does. It is blatantly obvious it wants into Merill's head, even Merill acknowledges it.
    The trick is, it is luring Merill into thinking she got everything under control. It is at every turn reinforcing her belief that it is failing to manipulate her. It is never explicitely saying so. Instead it relies on other people questioning her ability to do so, thus coming across as patronizing her. Thus it has her wrapped around her finger, because frighteningly... the only thing in the game that gives of an air of recognices Merrill's ability... is the pride demon manipulating her. And Merill wants recognition above anything else.

    It wasn't as well pulled off as it could have been, no. Especially the fade trip in Feynriel's quest jars a bit since it blatantly shows Merill that she couldn't resist a pride demon. But Merril stupid? I wouldn't go that far.
    If everyone told me, at every turn, that my abilities, skills and control is worth nothing... I'd either end up depressed on stop listening to people as well... and that's what people ingame do to Merrill all the time. Especially Marethari and rival Hawke.

    ---

    Isabela stole the tome because Castillion demanded it. She let his slaves go, and it was a lot of slaves, he found her and demanded she do that. Or he would kill her. Basically the same situation Han Solo is in ep 4 in Star Wars. Can't refuse or death.
    He wanted it because it was worth -a lot- of money to Tevinter, which is where he trades slaves.

    Castillion, being one of the leaders of the Felicima Armada, is pretty much king of the oceans and has massive ties to the Antivan Crows.

    Not a person you refuse in other words.

    ---

    As for Villains. I don't know... Meredith is the wrong person for her position and surrounded by definantely the wrong people. But she isn't really stupid as such. Tyrannical? Sure. Extremist? Certainly. But those aren't quite the same thing. Providing the protagonist with an obstacle isn't being stupid, no matter how annoying it can be. Labelling all mages as guilty in the end is perhaps the only thing that stands out. But that seemed to me be more of a case of the straw that broke the camel's back than stupidity...

    Orsino was used in a stupid fashion though. His villainy comes completely out of nowhere. I mean... at least they could have him been the shadow villain in the background... having a hand in everything... just playing a very dangerous game to be rid of Meredith, leaving hints everywhere of his involvement. But nope... completely out of the blue.

    The Arishok was awesome though. His actions make perfect sense for what basically is a fanatical warrior... which he is. No diplomats or priests to temper his actions present.

    Petrice, me thinks, is also a rather good villain. Representing the politician, rather than the fighter. This is someone that fights with her social assets and is good at it. Playing all the angles and as the viscount points out... easily replaced by her backers. Arrogant though, very arrogant (her xenophobia probably extends to Fereldans as well as Qunari, me thinks. Not to the same degree of course).

    Bartrand is just plain greedy and easily controlled by occult powers... not sure he counts.

    So I don't really see any blatant stupidity among the villains as such. Disagreeability. Yes. Unsympathetic means. Definantely. But no real stupidity. Doing things that makes things difficult for the protagonist is not stupidity. Doing things that put themselves, their friends and/or everyone around them is not necessarily stupidity either.
    I could discuss Anders' actions at length too... but I feel I have done so before and I don't really want to repeat myself or derail the topic more than I have already done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aux-Ash View Post
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    As for Villains. I don't know... Meredith is the wrong person for her position and surrounded by definantely the wrong people. But she isn't really stupid as such. Tyrannical? Sure. Extremist? Certainly. But those aren't quite the same thing. Providing the protagonist with an obstacle isn't being stupid, no matter how annoying it can be. Labelling all mages as guilty in the end is perhaps the only thing that stands out. But that seemed to me be more of a case of the straw that broke the camel's back than stupidity...
    Well, speaking of Meredith...

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    Something people tend to forget about her is that during her first appearance in the story, she's pretty reasonable. She's intolerant and suspicious, but hell, she's Knight-Commander of the Kirkwall Templars, she has to be.

    The thing that changes her - and turns Kirkwall into the mage-hell that it became - is Souledge the lyrium sword. The sword drives her mad like it did previously to Bartrand, when it was just a pretty statue. It makes her increasingly powerful - and increasingly paranoid, probably playing into the standard Templar lyrium addiction - and thus causes her to **** around with the mages. In the end, you're not really fighting Meredith, you're fighting Souledge the sword.

    Orsino, though, can go die in a ditch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aux-Ash View Post
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    The Arishok was awesome though. His actions make perfect sense for what basically is a fanatical warrior... which he is. No diplomats or priests to temper his actions present.
    See, I never saw the Arishok as a villain. An -antagonist- sure but a Villain? Not at all. His rage is understandable for the most part. He's stuck in a city that hates him and goes totally counter to his own culture. He's pressed and prodded at ever turn and he's tasked with getting a holy relic back just so he can leave a place he hates utterly. His reaction...not good. But what do you expect? Frankly, while I as a person don't like the idea of a Caste System at the best of times, see some merit to his words at least for Thedas.

    Petrice, me thinks, is also a rather good villain. Representing the politician, rather than the fighter. This is someone that fights with her social assets and is good at it. Playing all the angles and as the viscount points out... easily replaced by her backers. Arrogant though, very arrogant (her xenophobia probably extends to Fereldans as well as Qunari, me thinks. Not to the same degree of course).
    She alludes to as much in Sheparding Wolves. She points out the only reason she picked you in one dialogue option is because you're a Fereldan and thus not someone anyone would notice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight13 View Post
    I played both games on PC and found the controls and camera in 2 significantly superior.

    ...

    Funny how people like this in ME, but not in DA2. Especially since one of the major complaints about Origins was the silent protagonist and how the origins had no impact on the main story. Bioware only had two options with the origins. Either expand the concept to have an actual effect on the story or remove it entirely in favor of a single well-developed protagonist with an actual personality. I can't fault them for choosing the latter.

    ...

    1. Nope.

    3. The ogre's design is almost identical to Origins, merely lacking the elongated snout and having a different skin color. The demons have exactly the same designs as they did in Origins.

    4. So you're disappointed that Isabella actually has a unique character model instead of being Generic Female Rogue #7. I call that improvement.
    Regarding the controls: I assume you played DA:O on a console then? I REALLY missed the ability to zoom all the way out for a tactical overview. SO did tons of other people. Because that was possible in DA:O on the PC.

    As for ME vs DA2: Two different games. Two different FRANCHISES. As I have pointed out.

    And about the choice... I, like a lot of WRPG players, prefer the "blank slate with a lot of options". However you missed the part where I, personally, did not list this as one of MY problems with DA2.

    Armors: Heavy plate armors definitely looks much less realistic (yes, plate in DA:O is very unrealistic too, but at least seem to be grounded in reality). Also, I was playing it on PC with the HiRes DLC patch (official). Not only do the armors (especially leather and cloth) have an artificial shine to them, so does the faces. They all look like they dipped their faces in wax before talking to the camera.

    Ogre design almost identical? One looks like a raging terrifying beast, the other looks like a huge bad-tempered teddy bear, almost failing to convey aggression at all. But as I said the Darkspawn design is just awful in DA2 in general, removing any kind of uniqueness about them and just turning them into generic-looking undead and orcs.

    And finally yes, because I favor CONSISTENCY. The change in look for Isabella not only completely remakes the character (it's like Black Widow in Avengers 2 being played by say Halle Barry in a nightshirt (and nothing else) instead of Scarlett Johansson in her uniform, and nobody pointing the difference out. Just create a NEW character instead, will you?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    I think part of the problem is that in Awakening Anders wasn't a giant idiot like, well, every other mage ever. Cause I mean the whole thing with the mages is that they're trying to convince people that they can be trusted to live outside of a repressive cult structure and the way they intend to prove this is by turning into demons and eating people every single time.

    And in this context Anders' original personality, where his greatest desire in life was to be lying on a beach somewhere being given drinks out of coconut shells by women in skimpy robes would have actually been interesting and validated some of what the mages were saying and given Hawke a reason to take his side in the matter.

    Whereas in DA2 he is a giant idiot, and so is everyone else and Hawke's life, as well as the lives of everyone else in kirkwall, would be improved by him immediately murdering every party member upon joining so they couldn't do whatever enormously stupid thing they would do to generate drama for Hawke to solve. (which I actually did in one DA1 game).
    THANK YOU. This is EXACTLY my biggest problem with the mages in the game, the people you can pick up in the game, and Anders and Merril in particular. Bioware failed EPICALLY at all these points. In fact, I would say that except Aveline and my sister, I would never let any of them into my group at all, if I had a choice in the matter (which you don't). They really SHOULD be killed on sight since the just make the world a worse place by simply existing.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-11-17 at 04:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    Regarding the controls: I assume you played DA:O on a console then? I REALLY missed the ability to zoom all the way out for a tactical overview. SO did tons of other people. Because that was possible in DA:O on the PC.
    He distinctly stayed he played both on PC. As did I. Love DA2 controls. DA:O was abysmal.

    As for ME vs DA2: Two different games. Two different FRANCHISES. As I have pointed out.
    Not a valid counter argument. It doesn't matter. We can actually go and look at who bought both games. Criticizing one game for something you don't have a problem with in another isn't a very sound way to argue. Doesn't matter if they're different games. Doesn't matter if they're different franchises. People don't want a boring blank slate. Bioware game the people what they wanted and they got complained at. They could have kept it the same and got complained at by the people who said the Origins part of Origins wasn't all that deep for the story. I agree with that criticism, I find DA:O to be a far weaker game in Story through out in fact.

    And about the choice... I, like a lot of WRPG players, prefer the "blank slate with a lot of options". However you missed the part where I, personally, did not list this as one of MY problems with DA2.
    And a lot don't. Hence the change. Doesn't matter if you didn't list it as one of your problems, we're not just talking about you. We're talking about the criticisms lobbed at the game over all. If you don't want to have this as part of the discussion, don't keep responding to it or using it as a problem the game has.

    Armors: Heavy plate armors definitely looks much less realistic (yes, plate in DA:O is very unrealistic too, but at least seem to be grounded in reality). Also, I was playing it on PC with the HiRes DLC patch (official). Not only do the armors (especially leather and cloth) have an artificial shine to them, so does the faces. They all look like they dipped their faces in wax before talking to the camera.
    So what? You're not playing the game for realism. Armor is shiney, oh well.

    Ogre design almost identical? One looks like a raging terrifying beast, the other looks like a huge bad-tempered teddy bear, almost failing to convey aggression at all. But as I said the Darkspawn design is just awful in DA2 in general, removing any kind of uniqueness about them and just turning them into generic-looking undead and orcs.
    Well, the pictures from the game once again seem to contridict your over all impressions of the Graphics Change.

    Here's an Ogre. Bottom is where the pictures are. Look pretty much the same to me.

    Here's a Hurlok, the only Darkspawn you encounter other than Ogres and Emissaries (Who weren't in DA:O). Once again, they look rather similar really.

    And finally yes, because I favor CONSISTENCY. The change in look for Isabella not only completely remakes the character (it's like Black Widow in Avengers 2 being played by say Halle Barry in a nightshirt (and nothing else) instead of Scarlett Johansson in her uniform, and nobody pointing the difference out. Just create a NEW character instead, will you?
    Except it's not quite like that. It'd be like taking a side character played by a nameless actress or actor and then replacing them with a big named starlet or star. Maybe you're forgetting this but Isabella wasn't all that big a player in Dragon Age Origins. Heck, once you learned Duelist she didn't even talk to you any more. Oh, and the chance to sex her up a little of camera. So from day one she's a harlot. It's not like they changed her character. They expanded on it. And they changed her model because she went from Bit Player 1020305 to Important Plot Character from Game 1 to game 2. I really hate when they give characters more depth, shallow though it may be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aux-Ash View Post
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    The trick is, it is luring Merill into thinking she got everything under control. It is at every turn reinforcing her belief that it is failing to manipulate her. It is never explicitely saying so. Instead it relies on other people questioning her ability to do so, thus coming across as patronizing her. Thus it has her wrapped around her finger, because frighteningly... the only thing in the game that gives of an air of recognices Merrill's ability... is the pride demon manipulating her. And Merill wants recognition above anything else.
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    That's... actually, I never really thought of it that way. It's pretty clever... so clever, I strongly suspect that's not what the writers originally intended but eh, death of the author and all that.

    Still though, if lack of confidence were really Merrill's problem, you'd think that being Friendly!Hawke and supporting her whenever you possibly can would, you know, help with that? Instead it just seems to make her doubt herself even more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
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    That's... actually, I never really thought of it that way. It's pretty clever... so clever, I strongly suspect that's not what the writers originally intended but eh, death of the author and all that.

    Still though, if lack of confidence were really Merrill's problem, you'd think that being Friendly!Hawke and supporting her whenever you possibly can would, you know, help with that? Instead it just seems to make her doubt herself even more.
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    Yes. Rival Hawke has the same effect on her as Marethari. Just another person she feels she must prove herself before. She feels she must show these people that she can handle herself. She has a desire to be seen as very grown up, ready to take on the mantle and protect her people and friends.

    Friend Hawke, however, trusts her. Supports her. That brings us to another problem. Merril knows what she does is dangerous...but now she has someone who cares for her and believes in her. So she has someone she must show she can handle it before (Marethari) and someone that she risks hurting a lot if she fails (Hawke). At the same time she must show her friend he/she was right in trusting her.

    Where Rival Hawke motivates her... Friend Hawke makes her question if it is worth it. Ultimately... she must prove herself before "mom" (Marethari) and herself though.

    Merill's plot probably needs more nuance than the friend/rival system could simulate, and definantely needed to be more developed overall. But it's not a bad story in my meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    Well, the pictures from the game once again seem to contridict your over all impressions of the Graphics Change.

    Here's an Ogre. Bottom is where the pictures are. Look pretty much the same to me.

    Here's a Hurlok, the only Darkspawn you encounter other than Ogres and Emissaries (Who weren't in DA:O). Once again, they look rather similar really.
    Funny, the pictures shows exactly what I am talking about. Remember, before the game was released there were even people questioning if the demo actually had the finished graphics, because it was so much worse than Origins.
    Anyway, your link above (especially the Hurlock) shows EXACTLY what I am talking about. The original design was a monster with huge mouth and sharp teeth. The redesign looks like a generic undead from any video game ever made. Not only are they looking completely different (and generic, as I said), but they are also animated like monkeys. Basically they move like the Moria orcs from the LOTR movie, while the original Hurlocks were tall and proud.

    As for my invalid argument... Really? We can't prefer different things in different games?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    He distinctly stayed he played both on PC. As did I. Love DA2 controls. DA:O was abysmal.
    Well I stand corrected then. But I definitely disagree. The camera was definitely better (you could zoom out much further) and the controls... I loved them.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-11-17 at 07:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalmarvho View Post
    Well, speaking of Meredith...

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    Something people tend to forget about her is that during her first appearance in the story, she's pretty reasonable. She's intolerant and suspicious, but hell, she's Knight-Commander of the Kirkwall Templars, she has to be.

    The thing that changes her - and turns Kirkwall into the mage-hell that it became - is Souledge the lyrium sword. The sword drives her mad like it did previously to Bartrand, when it was just a pretty statue. It makes her increasingly powerful - and increasingly paranoid, probably playing into the standard Templar lyrium addiction - and thus causes her to **** around with the mages. In the end, you're not really fighting Meredith, you're fighting Souledge the sword.

    Orsino, though, can go die in a ditch.
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    The bolded part what I disliked about Meredith - the lyrium sword. It weakens her as an antagonist because not only does it push her own paranoia out of focus, but we have no reason to believe Gamlen couldn't pick up the sword and do the same crazy stuff she did in the final battle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    Funny, the pictures shows exactly what I am talking about. Remember, before the game was released there were even people questioning if the demo actually had the finished graphics, because it was so much worse than Origins.
    I don't. It's a valid question for the demo however.

    Anyway, your link above (especially the Hurlock) shows EXACTLY what I am talking about. The original design was a monster with huge mouth and sharp teeth. The redesign looks like a generic undead from any video game ever made. Not only are they looking completely different (and generic, as I said), but they are also animated like monkeys. Basically they move like the Moria orcs from the LOTR movie, while the original Hurlocks were tall and proud.
    The new hurlok looks less undead than the first one. They just made them less undeady. I agree with their movement changing but there's a reason for the change explained in game. The Archfiend is dead. It's control that bolstered the Dark Spawn and made them an actual threat instead of shambling frenzied beasts is gone. It's in the lore in several places.

    I know they move like that when it's technically still alive but do you want the Developers to make two models when it's cheaper and easier to animate one? Especially when we already know that an -actual- fault for the game was that it was rushed out.

    I'm not saying that they haven't changed but they've not changed much. Same with the Ogre. You brought up the demons and as I and others have pointed out those models haven't even changed. The Dark Spawn look a little less rotting. Oh. Well. They now look less like generic undead which they weren't even supposed to be and more like the corrupted species of what they were intended to be.

    As for my invalid argument... Really? We can't prefer different things in different games?
    Of course you can, you can have what ever preferences you like. No one is telling you you're preference is bad. We're saying that it's not an argument for the -game- being -bad- or inferior than a game that came before. There's a couple things here that make it an actual invalid argument, most of us have raised them but there's the big one.

    1. If someone said "I like the steak at Resturant X but not at Resturant Y even though their made the same way." isn't an argument for why Resturant Y is bad. It's just why you prefer one over the other. It comes down to preference, just like your complains about the story being sad or the graphics being worse.

    2. We knew Hawke, a voiced protagonist, was going to be the main character of Dragon Age 2 since before the last DLC for DA:O was out. If you bought the game anyway then you only have yourself to blame. If you don't like voiced protagonists with dialogue wheels and you then bought a game with a voiced protagonist with a dialogue wheel with full knowledge it was what you were getting then complaining it's a bad part of the game isn't valid. Don't buy a game you know you're not going to enjoy. Or if you do, don't blame the game makers for not catering to your tastes when you had full knowledge that they weren't in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    The bolded part what I disliked about Meredith - the lyrium sword. It weakens her as an antagonist because not only does it push her own paranoia out of focus, but we have no reason to believe Gamlen couldn't pick up the sword and do the same crazy stuff she did in the final battle.
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    The thing is, you can't say with absolute certainty that the lyrium idol drove Meredith crazy. It certainly drove Bartrand mad and had an effect on Varric, but perhaps it affects dwarves differently. You'll note that Meredith never starts forcing people to eat lyrium or hearing voices. She's very paranoid, but no more so than a lot of nutbar rulers in our own history. And she's paranoid for good reason; while the Circle wasn't as far gone as she believed, there WERE maleficarum operating within their ranks.

    In the end, the lyrium idol did elevate Meredith to final boss-material. But with the idol in hand, she's on par with the Archdemon in terms of power. Meredith without the idol = curiously hot older chick with a sword. Meredith with the idol = God of the New World.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candle Jack View Post
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    The thing is, you can't say with absolute certainty that the lyrium idol drove Meredith crazy. It certainly drove Bartrand mad and had an effect on Varric, but perhaps it affects dwarves differently. You'll note that Meredith never starts forcing people to eat lyrium or hearing voices. She's very paranoid, but no more so than a lot of nutbar rulers in our own history. And she's paranoid for good reason; while the Circle wasn't as far gone as she believed, there WERE maleficarum operating within their ranks.

    In the end, the lyrium idol did elevate Meredith to final boss-material. But with the idol in hand, she's on par with the Archdemon in terms of power. Meredith without the idol = curiously hot older chick with a sword. Meredith with the idol = God of the New World.
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    Varric says that "she's losing it just like Bartrand". Still, even if it didn't drive her crazy, it gave her powers, which I don't like either. It reeks of a contrived way of making her into a "cool" boss fight. Which, of course, wasn't cool but ridiculous. What was wrong with a veteran Templar with a powerful magic weapon and a cadre of Templars behind her? Mind you, I think that you shouldn't fight her if you side with the Templars, but that's another story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    Varric says that "she's losing it just like Bartrand". Still, even if it didn't drive her crazy, it gave her powers, which I don't like either. It reeks of a contrived way of making her into a "cool" boss fight. Which, of course, wasn't cool but ridiculous. What was wrong with a veteran Templar with a powerful magic weapon and a cadre of Templars behind her? Mind you, I think that you shouldn't fight her if you side with the Templars, but that's another story.
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    The power thing never really bothered me too much.

    When Hawke and crew go to Bartand's mansion again in Act 3, a piece of the idol tears open a tear to the Fade to defends itself. I always figured it did the same during the Merideth fight. It seems like the thing is focusing a tear into the Fade through her, letting her call up spirits to take over the statues and giving her DBZ powers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rake21 View Post
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    The power thing never really bothered me too much.

    When Hawke and crew go to Bartand's mansion again in Act 3, a piece of the idol tears open a tear to the Fade to defends itself. I always figured it did the same during the Merideth fight. It seems like the thing is focusing a tear into the Fade through her, letting her call up spirits to take over the statues and giving her DBZ powers.
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    That's my point, though. Even if we accept the incredible power of this red lyrium, we don't actually fight Meredith - we fight the lyrium sword. Like I said, it might as well have been Gamlen taking that sword and animating statues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    Not a valid counter argument. It doesn't matter. We can actually go and look at who bought both games. Criticizing one game for something you don't have a problem with in another isn't a very sound way to argue. Doesn't matter if they're different games. Doesn't matter if they're different franchises. People don't want a boring blank slate. Bioware game the people what they wanted and they got complained at. They could have kept it the same and got complained at by the people who said the Origins part of Origins wasn't all that deep for the story. I agree with that criticism, I find DA:O to be a far weaker game in Story through out in fact.
    It could be argued that DA:O and ME had different target audiences. The target audience that bought DA:O wanted a blank slate character. The target audience that bought ME didn't. DA2 was targeted more toward the audience that bought ME than the audience that bought DA:O. Not a fault of the game itself, but generally, sequels in a franchise have the same target audience as the original entry.

    As for a fully-voiced character, I wish Bioware had used a blend of the two dialog systems (for both games). Show the full lines of dialog, as in DA:O, but have the option selected by the player read aloud by a voice actor. They could even keep the icons to indicate tone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    Well, the pictures from the game once again seem to contridict your over all impressions of the Graphics Change.

    Here's an Ogre. Bottom is where the pictures are. Look pretty much the same to me.

    Here's a Hurlok, the only Darkspawn you encounter other than Ogres and Emissaries (Who weren't in DA:O). Once again, they look rather similar really.
    First off, those don't look anything alike to me. Second, there are lots of emissaries in DA:O. They aren't their own race; they're just the hurlocks and genlocks that can cast spells.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    Except it's not quite like that. It'd be like taking a side character played by a nameless actress or actor and then replacing them with a big named starlet or star. Maybe you're forgetting this but Isabella wasn't all that big a player in Dragon Age Origins. Heck, once you learned Duelist she didn't even talk to you any more. Oh, and the chance to sex her up a little of camera. So from day one she's a harlot. It's not like they changed her character. They expanded on it. And they changed her model because she went from Bit Player 1020305 to Important Plot Character from Game 1 to game 2. I really hate when they give characters more depth, shallow though it may be.
    This is a video game. There was no reason to change the character model - it's not like the actress refused the part or they wanted a bigger-name starlet. She's not even the same ethnicity between games - she's white in DA:O and looks like a Pacific Islander in DA2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    The new hurlok looks less undead than the first one. They just made them less undeady. I agree with their movement changing but there's a reason for the change explained in game. The Archfiend is dead. It's control that bolstered the Dark Spawn and made them an actual threat instead of shambling frenzied beasts is gone. It's in the lore in several places.
    I haven't played 2 (apart from the demo), so correct me if I'm wrong, but... Doesn't it start with Hawke fleeing Lothering? Because the archdemon was definitely still alive when Lothering got wiped off the map. Which means that it was still around and in control when Hawke encountered darkspawn on the road out of there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryffon View Post
    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

    Mango is a dastardly irate unhinged scientist, for realz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    It could be argued that DA:O and ME had different target audiences. The target audience that bought DA:O wanted a blank slate character. The target audience that bought ME didn't. DA2 was targeted more toward the audience that bought ME than the audience that bought DA:O. Not a fault of the game itself, but generally, sequels in a franchise have the same target audience as the original entry.
    Except thanks to Bioware's social network thing we can see who bought which or both and the demographics overlap. It wasn't so wrong of them to make a conclusion that people liked voiced protagonists when a major complaint was the character in DA:O wasn't very engaging.

    As for a fully-voiced character, I wish Bioware had used a blend of the two dialog systems (for both games). Show the full lines of dialog, as in DA:O, but have the option selected by the player read aloud by a voice actor. They could even keep the icons to indicate tone.
    They didn't though.

    First off, those don't look anything alike to me. Second, there are lots of emissaries in DA:O. They aren't their own race; they're just the hurlocks and genlocks that can cast spells.
    I meant seperate character models. And I suppose it's a matter of artistic taste, I don't really see much difference.

    This is a video game. There was no reason to change the character model - it's not like the actress refused the part or they wanted a bigger-name starlet. She's not even the same ethnicity between games - she's white in DA:O and looks like a Pacific Islander in DA2.
    She's got a generic character model in DA:O. Her character hasn't changed, they just made her fit her design and story more because she's not a third rung character. Isabella was there to give you a spec for your characters in DA:O. That's it. Her role expanded in DA:2. Is it so terribly wrong to make a character who is important -not- look generic?

    I haven't played 2 (apart from the demo), so correct me if I'm wrong, but... Doesn't it start with Hawke fleeing Lothering? Because the archdemon was definitely still alive when Lothering got wiped off the map. Which means that it was still around and in control when Hawke encountered darkspawn on the road out of there.
    Ya it is, but if you'd quoted the whole thing

    I know they move like that when it's technically still alive but do you want the Developers to make two models when it's cheaper and easier to animate one? Especially when we already know that an -actual- fault for the game was that it was rushed out.
    I do actually point that out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    That's my point, though. Even if we accept the incredible power of this red lyrium, we don't actually fight Meredith - we fight the lyrium sword. Like I said, it might as well have been Gamlen taking that sword and animating statues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    That's my point, though. Even if we accept the incredible power of this red lyrium, we don't actually fight Meredith - we fight the lyrium sword. Like I said, it might as well have been Gamlen taking that sword and animating statues.
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    I don't think he could. Meredith is a templar, and templars drink lyrium to gain their powers. She knows how to use lyrium as a weapon. In anyone else's hands, I don't think the sword would have been that effective.

    To your other point, I would note that I spent half the game chopping through highly-skilled templars and their squads. Very unimpressive as a final boss, especially given the line-up of giant monsters Hawke has already hacked to pieces.

    It's the same reason why Batman fights Clayface at the end of Arkham City and not the Joker. The former is a shapeshifting juggernaut that can produce smaller copies of himself, and the latter is a cancer patient with a personality disorder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by azulanaga View Post
    I haven't actually played any of the games in the series but they have been recommended to me. I have limited time and money so if I could only play one game in the series which one would that have to be? However if I did happen to buy the whole series in which order should they be played? (I own a PS3)
    For me, the negative aspects of Origins boil down to "Play a mage. Win. Make your mage an arcane warrior. Win harder.", and the negative aspects of DA2 boil down to "I got sick of tapping A after 3 hours."

    I played Origins vanilla with absolutely no DLC, so I have no idea if any of the DLC actually did something to make the game balanced and enjoyable, but for me, I tried all three classes, and I came away from the game with a very strong feeling that the only way to get anything done was to play a mage. The warrior and thief classes were junk by comparison.

    I'm not sure exactly what happened when I played DA2. I got to the city, and was inundated with all kinds of treasure and weapons that I couldn't actually use once I finally got to owning a house. Apparently it was carried over from my friend's previous play through? No idea, but it was pretty much the deathblow to what I felt was already a lackluster experience. "Oh look, what amounts to basically all the magic loot in the world. Nothing to do here."

    At the end of the day, I had fun with Origins, but I got tired of the repetitive nature of the enemies after about 36 hours of gameplay (grand total; my mage had about 24 hours in, my thief about 3 and my warrior about 9).
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKing View Post
    The warrior and thief classes were junk by comparison
    That's more a problem of the source material, really. Bioware didn't seem to bother balancing mages at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKing View Post
    For me, the negative aspects of Origins boil down to "Play a mage. Win. Make your mage an arcane warrior. Win harder.", and the negative aspects of DA2 boil down to "I got sick of tapping A after 3 hours."
    Oh god, I did a mage-arcane warrior to fight The Harvester on hard (basically had to solo tank him and all his minions, pew pewing him with staff attacks). When I took the same character into Witch Hunt literally nothing could hurt me.

    Such a broken class, especially with Awakening.

    But yeah, mages ruled all the things and were better at everything than anyone else, archers could be mega powerful as well, mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    She's got a generic character model in DA:O. Her character hasn't changed, they just made her fit her design and story more because she's not a third rung character. Isabella was there to give you a spec for your characters in DA:O. That's it. Her role expanded in DA:2. Is it so terribly wrong to make a character who is important -not- look generic?
    What exactly is "a generic character model" to you? She is no more generic than Wynne. Wynne uses the same female body model as everyone else, with an unique face. Just like Isabella. And just like all other characters in DA:O she is also using standard armor (leather in her case) just like Alistair, or Zevran, or Leliana. The only one with an unique armor model is Morrigan, and you can put a normal robe on her easily enough.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-11-20 at 02:22 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Oh god, I did a mage-arcane warrior to fight The Harvester on hard (basically had to solo tank him and all his minions, pew pewing him with staff attacks). When I took the same character into Witch Hunt literally nothing could hurt me.

    Such a broken class, especially with Awakening.

    But yeah, mages ruled all the things and were better at everything than anyone else, archers could be mega powerful as well, mind.
    In the experience I had, which sounds somewhat different from yours (sounds like DLCs), archers are not powerful because archers go squish. But then again, anything that isn't an arcane warrior goes squish in Origins.

    Not sure why you had to do it with a staff, though, since one of the AW's abilities was that you made weapon attacks using Magic instead of your Strength. My arcane warriors would drop a few area spells, then switch to sword and board to mop up, because mages dressed up in more armor than Templars are for winners. :3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    . Wynne uses the same female body model as everyone else, with an unique face. Just like Isabella.
    Actually, all the companions plus special npc (such as Flemeth and Loghain) uses custom faces. But Isabela uses a normal npc face created in the normal facial generator. It is entirely possible to look identical to Isabela, but rather difficult to approximate the companions.

    (I can't remember all the settings... but it did involve the second or third darkest complexion)

    I think that's what he meant with generic. Isabela's face is unique only by merit of noone else using the exact same facial code. Much like every other named npc in the game. But unlike the companions, it was not custom made by Bioware.

    You're correct regarding the bodies though. There's no custom bodies in DAO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tebryn View Post
    She's got a generic character model in DA:O. Her character hasn't changed, they just made her fit her design and story more because she's not a third rung character. Isabella was there to give you a spec for your characters in DA:O. That's it. Her role expanded in DA:2. Is it so terribly wrong to make a character who is important -not- look generic?
    If the point of DA2 is that it's a group of regular guys getting caught up in events, then it could be argued that the character models should be generic. Or, if they wanted her to look unique, they could have simply not used the character model they used for her for any other NPCs. Failing that, they could have at least left her skin, hair, and eyes the same color. Or just made up an entirely new NPC instead of reusing one that was already established in the setting.

    There were lots of better ways to handle the situation. It's frankly ridiculous that they chose the approach they did.
    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKing View Post
    In the experience I had, which sounds somewhat different from yours (sounds like DLCs), archers are not powerful because archers go squish. But then again, anything that isn't an arcane warrior goes squish in Origins.
    Archers got crazy powerful in Awakening. There were also mods on DA Nexus that rebalanced the classes (basically they buffed warriors and rogues so that mages weren't so ridiculously powerful by comparison).
    Last edited by mangosta71; 2012-11-20 at 12:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Mango:you sick, twisted bastard <3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryffon View Post
    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

    Mango is a dastardly irate unhinged scientist, for realz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    If the point of DA2 is that it's a group of regular guys getting caught up in events, then it could be argued that the character models should be generic. Or, if they wanted her to look unique, they could have simply not used the character model they used for her for any other NPCs. Failing that, they could have at least left her skin, hair, and eyes the same color. Or just made up an entirely new NPC instead of reusing one that was already established in the setting.

    There were lots of better ways to handle the situation. It's frankly ridiculous that they chose the approach they did.
    Well yes, they could have done a lot of things. But you're now criticizing a company for wanting to make the important characters more distinct then the rest of the cast across the board, something that's happened in RPG's since time bloody immemorial. It boils down to the fact you don't like how they changed Isabella, a minor character from the first game whose sole purpose was to dole out a class specialization and a threesome. Her character has stayed the same which I think is the most important part of bringing a totally optional encounter to a main role. She's always been "Queen of the Eastern Seas and the sharpest blade in Llomerryn". I don't know where this idea of a "pale" character comes from but all the pictures I can find have her skin fairly dark. Not as dark as it is now but hey, people tan when they're out on boats in the blistering sun. As for Biowares offical Answer to this.

    We considered keeping her looking as she did, but considering she was a pretty minor character in DAO it seems a bit self-limiting to keep her with the same look when we could do amazing things with a redesign. I think she looks great (and she was always Rivaini and dark-skinned, as I recall the lighting in the Pearl just made it difficult to tell).

    As for the voice, it's a different voice actress but she sounds much the same as she did.

    I guess the question would be: why not make it a whole new character, then? I suppose it's because we like Isabela, and we like the story that her being that Isabela brings into the mix. At any rate, Sheryl did a pretty awesome job on her.
    And a picture shows she does in fact have fairly dark skin.

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    How you think that's "pale" is beyond me.
    Last edited by Tebryn; 2012-11-20 at 12:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Candle Jack View Post
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    I don't think he could. Meredith is a templar, and templars drink lyrium to gain their powers. She knows how to use lyrium as a weapon. In anyone else's hands, I don't think the sword would have been that effective.

    To your other point, I would note that I spent half the game chopping through highly-skilled templars and their squads. Very unimpressive as a final boss, especially given the line-up of giant monsters Hawke has already hacked to pieces.

    It's the same reason why Batman fights Clayface at the end of Arkham City and not the Joker. The former is a shapeshifting juggernaut that can produce smaller copies of himself, and the latter is a cancer patient with a personality disorder.
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    Yes, well, this sort of touches my deeper concerns with DA2 model of combat, namely throwing waves of enemies at you and needlessly overblown "cool" boss fights. Not that DA2 is alone in this, mind you.
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