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Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated]

The BioWare Social Network announces that BioWare is celebrating the success of Dragon Age II by offering owners of the RPG sequel a free copy of the Windows edition of Mass Effect 2 (even those who bought a console version of Dragon Age II). This Sequel Celebration FAQ has the details on how this works, saying the offer must be redeemed before May 1. They also note that: "The Cerberus Network is not included in this promotion, but is still available for purchase if you wish to access that content. For more information on the Cerberus Network, click here." Thanks winnetou. Update: The FAQ has been updated reflecting the inclusion of the Cerberus Network; here's what it says:

Cerberus Network is included and will be entitled to the account used to redeem your Dragon Age II Online Pass. This includes Zaeed - The Price of Revenge, Cerberus Weapon and Armor, Normandy Crash Site, Cerberus Arc Projector, and Firewalker Pack. Visit the offer page to download the necessary files.

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92. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 18:14 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Apr 7, 2011, 11:25:
Didn't ME2 outsell DA:O?

Creston

According to Bioware DA:O was their most successful title sales-wise.

edit: most sources seem to put ME2 at 2.3m and DA:O at 3.1m. I'm not sure how many copies the PS3 version has sold to date but I can't imagine its significant judging by its absence on most of the top seller lists.

Huh, I thought ME2 had sold far more than that. Must have been my old befuddled mind.

So yeah, it makes great sense to take your best-selling title and then just churning out a shitty sequel in a year for the sake of a cash-in. Smart Business Planning 101, by EA.

Creston
 
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91. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 11:25 Verno
 
Didn't ME2 outsell DA:O?

Creston

According to Bioware DA:O was their most successful title sales-wise.

edit: most sources seem to put ME2 at 2.3m and DA:O at 3.1m. I'm not sure how many copies the PS3 version has sold to date but I can't imagine its significant judging by its absence on most of the top seller lists.

This comment was edited on Apr 7, 2011, 12:08.
 
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90. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 11:08 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Apr 7, 2011, 09:52:
If someone makes up statistics he better be able to back them up if someone demands proof.

Except no one is talking about exact statistics. I don't think there is a reliable metric in this situation unfortunately, we've heard conflicting info from Bioware devs and EA. People are (correctly imho) inferring lagging sales based on the game dropping in sales lists which also makes sense in the context of this topic itself. Anyway time will tell, DA:O was Bioware's most successful title and I doubt this will repeat that performance. Will it sell well enough to do another mediocre one year dev'd title? That's an unfortunate possibility.

Didn't ME2 outsell DA:O?

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89. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 09:52 Verno
 
If someone makes up statistics he better be able to back them up if someone demands proof.

Except no one is talking about exact statistics. I don't think there is a reliable metric in this situation unfortunately, we've heard conflicting info from Bioware devs and EA. People are (correctly imho) inferring lagging sales based on the game dropping in sales lists which also makes sense in the context of this topic itself. Anyway time will tell, DA:O was Bioware's most successful title and I doubt this will repeat that performance. Will it sell well enough to do another mediocre one year dev'd title? That's an unfortunate possibility.

This comment was edited on Apr 7, 2011, 10:00.
 
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88. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 09:40 yuastnav
 
Verno wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 16:18:
[...]

You said people were pulling it out of their ass but didn't offer anything to disprove it. [...]

Sorry but Dirwulf is right on this one.

If someone makes up statistics he better be able to back them up if someone demands proof. If someone posts numbers and doesn't say where they're from my natural response to that would also be that he's pulling them out of his ass unless he can give a decent source.
Telling someone to prove that someone else is making up numbers is totally ridiculous; partly because it's self-evident as there is just an estimate without anything to back it up.
 
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87. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 09:31 Verno
 
I don't expect a 'zomg epic' story, but I expect something that could be written better than a grade 9 student.

I expect more from writers who seemingly put more time into forum posts than the actual game script. Seriously Gaider alone must have penned the equivalent of several novels just responding to the community about important issues like "why no incest romance options?". Being rushed is no excuse. Delay your product then if this is the kind of crap we're going to get. One year is clearly not an acceptable development time for a quality RPG experience.
 
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86. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 7, 2011, 00:44 Jerykk
 
Well of course you know, you're the player, you have the allmighty quicksave/load ability. I meant more that the character doesn't know, that his goals aren't aimed at saving the entire universe/country.

I guess that's one of the big issues I have with DA2. In an RPG, I believe the protagonist should simply be a representation of the player within the game. They should be a blank slate which I define through my choices and playstyle. It doesn't really matter what the protagonist knows at the start of the game because I know that I will inevitably become The Champion of Kirkwall.

Though, I can see how some people would view it differently. My coworker was saying the other day that he couldn't get into Fallout: New Vegas because he didn't feel any connection to his character. Conversely, he felt attached to his character in FO3 because of the whole tutorial segment where you see your character grow up. To me, that doesn't really make any sense. Seeing my character grow up didn't mean anything to me because I was only involved in a tiny portion of that process. 18 years compressed into 5 minutes, really. And was I supposed to care about my character's father? An NPC I knew for all of 5 minutes? DA2 suffered from the same issues. You start off with a family but you don't care about them because you, as a player, haven't known them as long as your character has.

As for choices, I can't honestly say it was any better or worse than past cRPGs; I adore previous BW games like BG2 and KotOR, and it felt pretty much the same (2-3 different endings and the result of sidequests being mostly esthetic or the difference between X money or Y XP).

Dragon Age Origins had far more compelling moral choices than DA2 and many of them had repercussions that actually affected gameplay. For example, your choices in Redcliffe vary greatly based on the choices you've made up until that point. Even Fallout 3 had better choice and consequence than DA2.

I really didn't mind repeat areas or enemies, and had no issues with Kirkwall itself, but am really not picky about grapics and the areas were cut off / reshaped enough that the gameplay in them felt different.

I'm not picky either but Kirkwall is just plain boring. There have been other RPGs that take place primarily in one city (PST and BG2 come to mind) but those cities were a lot bigger and more interesting than Kirkwall. And I'm not really sure how the gameplay felt different for you when going through the same areas over and over again. 95% of the quests in DA2 end up with you fighting hordes of enemies. DAO had a lot of combat too but I seem to recall there being a lot more quests that didn't have to end in combat.

This comment was edited on Apr 7, 2011, 00:53.
 
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85. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 23:19 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Bhruic wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 22:15:
Of course it's clear. It starts off with your attempt to establish yourself in the city. As part of that, you get exposed to the tension with the Qunari. That tension develops and culminates in the second act. And, while that's going on, the mage/templar conflict is constantly being shown in bits and pieces. And again, it comes to a head in the third act.
Well actually it's not. See the first act has no framing device to draw you in. Rather it sets a weak stage based upon the 'oh noes run' B rated flicks of yesteryear, where the protagonist ends up needing A in order to get X. Attached to characters who are weak plot objects which fail to draw you in, or create any meaningful bond. The entire 'story' for lack of a better word, fall into all of the first year 'shit you don't do' methods of writing.

I don't expect a 'zomg epic' story, but I expect something that could be written better than a grade 9 student.
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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84. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 22:37 Verno
 
Of course it's clear. It starts off with your attempt to establish yourself in the city.

That's the plot of the first act, he's referring to an overarching story which you seem to think is tension built from different conflicts. The mage/templar conflict lacks scope, particularly for people who played the first game and were already exposed to it. Not every plot needs to be LOTR style epic but it's difficult to get people invested in "well we need some monies to buy our house". Maybe people could more easily forgive the standalone feel of each act if it allowed the player to be a proper framing device for the story and influence the plot but that doesn't really happen. I can understand appreciating the plot for not being contemporary but it's still poorly structured and lacks punch. For example they could have really run with the idea of class conflict in the first act but instead it's handwaved away easily and any progress you make doesn't even feel like your own due to the jump between acts.

I know they were rushed but I don't work there so I don't care. Take more time then and make a less mediocre experience in the future. Five years for DA:O was surely too far but I think a year is pushing it to make a quality title.
 
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83. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 22:15 Bhruic
 
Of course it's clear. It starts off with your attempt to establish yourself in the city. As part of that, you get exposed to the tension with the Qunari. That tension develops and culminates in the second act. And, while that's going on, the mage/templar conflict is constantly being shown in bits and pieces. And again, it comes to a head in the third act.

It's not an "oh noes, the world is ending" plot, but those are often quite silly to begin with. For example, in DA:O, despite the horrors of the Darkspawn invasion, you can feel free to trapse around the country-side as long as you want, without the invasion progressing one iota. So as a plot device, the doomsday scenarios often fall flat in more open-world situations. I prefer the focus to be on the player, and their own struggles.
 
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82. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 21:38 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Bhruic wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 18:44:
That's an unfair characteristic. The main questline story is pretty clear, at least in each segment. It's a nice change of pace to have a developing storyline that isn't artificially pressured. Of the things I actually liked about DA2, the story was one of them.
I've seen clearer stories from 8yr old's caught with their hands in the cookie jar than I saw in DA2. The main questline isn't clear that's the problem. Rather it's 3 individual stories, which are shattered of themselves, giving no continuity in a world that doesn't evolve, giving no noticeable impact to major events that you're a part of.
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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81. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 18:44 Bhruic
 
In any case, the game doesn't really have much of a story. It's basically a collection of random sidequests.

That's an unfair characteristic. The main questline story is pretty clear, at least in each segment. It's a nice change of pace to have a developing storyline that isn't artificially pressured. Of the things I actually liked about DA2, the story was one of them.

The big time jumps are also a big failure.

They were quite disconcerting - and relatively needless at times. For example, the first "year" jump... Why not have us play out that year and allow it to determine what sort of character we're going to be, and how we react to the situation? It definitely could have been done better. But that's more a failure of the game design than the story.

Nothing you did really mattered and there weren't any interesting moral choices.

Not really true, in that it didn't matter in a majority of cases, but there were definitely times where it did. Sometimes to a major degree (losing Isabella as an example), sometimes to a minor degree (having your sibling join the Grey Wardens as another example). The main storyline didn't have a lot of variety, which was disappointing, but as they were rushed, I can understand why they didn't bother with multiple story arcs - they just wouldn't have had time.
 
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80. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 18:18 Creston
 
Prez wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 10:00:
Honestly, for those of us who love Bioware and remember their best games fondly, DA2 selling poorly is the best thing that can happen. If it will give them fuel to go to EA and say, "Look - people don't want cash-in, dumbed-down sequels with 1/5th the development time of the original. Now leave us alone and let us do our thing."

Who knows, maybe EA will even listen? STOP LAUGHING!

Oh, Prez. Your optimism is so cute and charming.

Creston
 
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79. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 18:12 Creston
 
Wow, that's a pretty damn impressive give-away. Although there's probably not too many people that got DA2 that don't have ME2 yet, but still.

I guess they're ramping up big time for ME3?

Creston
 
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78. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 16:52 Verno
 
I thought you didn't buy it? Anyway, the entry and exit points also moved around, as well as the actual encounters, of course. And yes, that's enough for me, I guess I just have low standards.

I haven't purchased it, I've played through quite a bit of it with a friend in real life. Anyway I guess we just differ here, the level repetition is so obnoxious it's an unforgivable flaw in the game. There are a ton of other design decisions I don't agree with or that feel rushed but that is the single most "we shat this out in a year" sign to me. The fact that they put out less than the original, charged more for it and didn't even have the decency to make the content unique is really insulting and says a lot about their opinion of their customers. It really ruins the value proposition of the game too, at least if the game had a lot of unique and interesting sidequests it could help soften the lackluster storyline and other problems.
 
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77. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 16:44 Rilcon
 
Verno wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 16:18:
and the areas were cut off / reshaped enough that the gameplay in them felt different

That doesn't make any sense to me. In many of the retreads the only differences are things like a stone door that is totally out of place in the environment itself anyway. There are something like 8 total quest environmental templates that are repeated ad nauseum. How does the gameplay feel different when you are still playing in the exact same area?

I thought you didn't buy it? Anyway, the entry and exit points also moved around, as well as the actual encounters, of course. And yes, that's enough for me, I guess I just have low standards.
 
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76. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 16:18 Verno
 
Figures for what? I didn't make any statements. I never said it was selling well.

You said people were pulling it out of their ass but didn't offer anything to disprove it. In terms of DA2's lifetime sales I don't think it looks terribly promising, the game dropped like a rock after the first week of release in the various top10 sales lists. Hence why EA is doing a promotion like this and people inferring things about its sales performance. Companies don't generally make promotions like this if the game is making its sales goals. As for what was actually sold or not I'll wait on some reliable metrics.

and the areas were cut off / reshaped enough that the gameplay in them felt different

That doesn't make any sense to me. In many of the retreads the only differences are things like a stone door that is totally out of place in the environment itself anyway. There are something like 8 total quest environmental templates that are repeated ad nauseum. How does the gameplay feel different when you are still playing in the exact same area?

This comment was edited on Apr 6, 2011, 16:24.
 
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75. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 16:15 Rilcon
 
Jerykk wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 15:22:

Eh? Doesn't Varric or that Chantry chick refer to you as "The Champion of Kirkwall" in the intro cinematic? That made it pretty obvious to me. In any case, the game doesn't really have much of a story. It's basically a collection of random sidequests. The big time jumps are also a big failure. In an RPG, you are supposed to identify with your character. He/she shouldn't know or do anything outside of your control. However, in the time jumps, this is exactly what happens. After each jump, your character suddenly knows characters and events that you don't. It completely detaches you from your character and the story. Then there was the total lack of choice and consequence. Nothing you did really mattered and there weren't any interesting moral choices. Everything was pretty clear-cut, especially with the Nice/Sarcastic/Angry dialogue system.

Well of course you know, you're the player, you have the allmighty quicksave/load ability. I meant more that the character doesn't know, that his goals aren't aimed at saving the entire universe/country. The jumping forward bothered me a bit, not because I wasn't playing through it but because it seems only a few things changed over the course of several years; saying "2 months pass" after every chapter would have felt a lot better. As for choices, I can't honestly say it was any better or worse than past cRPGs; I adore previous BW games like BG2 and KotOR, and it felt pretty much the same (2-3 different endings and the result of sidequests being mostly esthetic or the difference between X money or Y XP).

The presentation was solid, except for the fact that the game presents the same exact areas and enemies over and over and over again. You can only go into the same basement or cave so many times before it starts getting old. And Kirkwall is a pretty bland and boring place. Unfortunately, you spend about 90% of the game there. It's amazing that the DAO expansion pack had more variety than the full sequel.

I really didn't mind repeat areas or enemies, and had no issues with Kirkwall itself, but am really not picky about grapics and the areas were cut off / reshaped enough that the gameplay in them felt different.

Partially agreed there. While the core combat mechanics are enjoyable on Nightmare difficulty, the combat encounters themselves are just incredibly half-assed. Enemies just stand around in a big group until you trigger them, then after you kill most of them 10 more enemies spawn out of thin air right next to you. It's just incredibly lazy and makes combat feel like a grind because every fight is the same.

Yes. The people that set up the encounters did a pretty poor job and I can't understand why this area is such a step back from DA:O.

This comment was edited on Apr 6, 2011, 16:23.
 
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74. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 16:03 Dirwulf
 
Verno wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 15:53:
You haven't posted any figures either. EAs own claim of 1 million(shipped or sold they don't specify and that's a pretty important distinction) is still far below DA:O and the game continues to drop rapidly in all of the top10 lists. DA:O was incidentally Bioware's most successful title, even beating out ME2.

Figures for what? I didn't make any statements. I never said it was selling well. I just asked where the proof is that its selling poorly. And what is "poorly" anyway? Are people saying a million copies is shit because the first one sold more? That's just stupid. A million copies of anything is damn good.

Here: this article I just found says solds, not shipped. And that 1,000,000 is more than DA:O sold in its first two weeks. So time will be the judge of the final results.

http://tinyurl.com/3ds2umx

This comment was edited on Apr 6, 2011, 16:12.
 
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73. Re: Free Mass Effect 2 for Dragon Age II Owners [Updated] Apr 6, 2011, 15:53 Verno
 
You haven't posted any figures either. EAs own claim of 1 million(shipped or sold they don't specify and that's a pretty important distinction) is still far below DA:O and the game continues to drop rapidly in all of the top10 lists. DA:O was incidentally Bioware's most successful title, even beating out ME2.  
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