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BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future

IndustryGamers recently spoke with BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka about Dragon Age II, and the discontent of some fans at the changes in the RPG sequel compared with Dragon Age: Origins. Dr. Ray points out that these changes helped introduce a wider audience to the series, but also talks about making changes based on user feedback in upcoming Dragon Age II DLC, and presumably Dragon Age III. Here's an excerpt:

"We’re working on future projects in the Dragon Age franchise," he acknowledged. "We have some more DLC plans, that actually address some of the feedback from some of our core fans. I think that’s going to be really satisfying to fans who liked DAO and DA2. We haven’t announced Dragon Age III formally at all, but we can say we’re definitely thinking about future products. There’s some cool stuff in the works there."

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39 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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39. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 17:51 Beelzebud
 
Over the past week I've been playing Baldur's Gate II. I started a replay just to see if it was nostalgia, or if there truly was something great about the game, that Bioware has abandoned.

Well after playing nothing but Baldur's Gate II for a week, I can safely say that Bioware is a shadow of its former self. BG2 is the pinnacle of RPG design, and it's a damned shame that games like that are not made anymore. When you play that game, and then see what Bioware does these days, it's pretty damned sad.
 
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38. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 17:43 Asmo
 
Verno wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 10:25:
It's a strange form of public posturing, as if admitting weakness will harm the IP or something. I don't really understand the mentality either, gamers eat up humility in developers and publishers when they bother to show it. I'd love a job where I didn't have to take any responsibility for my mistakes and my bosses would tell customers that they simply didn't get it.

I'd be far more willing to buy Dragon Age 3 if they had admitted they misunderstood what people liked about the original and simply released the game too early. Instead we get a bunch of half hearted apologies that are equal parts audience blame.

Just like politicians... If a plan (game) doesn't work out as planned, start finding people to pass the buck to.

And you're 100% right, a healthy bit of post-fuck up introspection and the honesty to say "Yup, we fucked up, we thought we knew what you wanted but we were wrong. We'll try better in the future" goes a long way in my eyes to providing hope for the next attempt.

I do not expect every game to be perfect and I do applaud trying to do new things (god knows we're sick of the same pedestrian pap sequel after sequel), but I do expect that blatant information should be acted upon, not ignored.
 
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37. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 15:26 Creston
 
wonkawonka wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 06:10:

To respond to @Dirwulf,


Don't bother. He's a fucking troll. No matter how much sense your arguments make, if they don't line up with HIS arguments, then you are automatically wrong. You know, the thing he's so pathetically trying to accuse others of.

In fact, with a proper strategy, the fights play themselves. You just need to constantly bash the "target nearest" key, and every once in a while press 1-2-3-4 to do the über combo you set up.

Ah, but you forget the most important thing! When you do that, FOUR AWESOME THINGS HAPPEN(TM)!!!

Creston

This comment was edited on Aug 10, 2011, 15:31.
 
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36. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 15:21 Creston
 
that actually address some of the feedback from some of our core fans.

"You know, like how the last DLC just featured more respawning waves of insta-teleporting enemies. Exactly like you all love so much!"

Although my favorite quote is that selling HALF of the original's numbers has helped "introduce a wider audience to the series."

I guess the 2 million customers you lost aren't important, right, Myzuka? God, this guy is getting more retarded by the minute.

Creston
 
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35. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 11:13 wonkawonka
 
One positive thing (we do have to dig deep to find anything positive...) is that the latest DLC for DA2 improves on some of the problems: new and better locations, somewhat reduces the random spawns, and introduces a small amount of tactical positioning in battles.

However, the story is meh and the final battle sucks beyond belief. So overall, once again it's a weak offering by Bioware. Luckily I was given DA2 by an EA employee, who presciently predicted that I wouldn't like it. So the EA guys knew they'd alienate the DA:O fans, but were hoping to acquire a new, larger fan base.
 
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34. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:59 Cutter
 
Well, obviously it's everyone elses fault if they don't get the genius of Bioware/EA, right?! So who were the fans that found DA2 really satisfying, Ray? I'd like to meet both of them.

The only interesting thing about DA2 was the expounding on the Qunari and their philosophy. Now seeing more of them, or even a game about them would be interesting.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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33. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:51 Belly Flop
 
Well, I view each new release as a totally new game. Like with technology I recommend not to be an early adopter.

If company A drops the ball, I will probably not support them again unless I really hear good things of them after. There are many upstarts that are just waiting to push a better product than the big developer. And sometimes the big developer needs to be kicked where it hurts them most, in the wallet.

I've completed ME1 and ME2 and loved DA:O, but did not buy DAO 2, thanks to the ratings. Am I hating Bioware? No. They are just constantly evolving, seeing what they can get away with to maximise profit and minimize effort. We'll lead them onto the right path. Just don't be th fool and his money. Loveya, BF

 
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32. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:42 Yakubs
 
To me, it's pretty clear that this Ray Muzyka guy isn't lying in this interview. He actually believes this nonsense. Think about it -- he's probably worth 8 figures at this point and his ego has probably grown alongside his bank account.

If you need any more proof the guy is a puffed-up clown, need I point out that he calls himself Dr. Ray Muzyka even though his title has less than zero relevance to the field he's in and impresses no one?
 
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31. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:38 Fion
 
For the record I forced myself through the entire game (as short as it was compared to the Original) as I heard the second half of the game was a lot better and it was an improvement, but it was still shit compared to DA1.

I can understand how some folks disliked the original. The combat was relatively slow for a 'modern rpg', the combat was also quite difficult in certain spots and casual players probably had a hard time with it, even on low settings and really it played more like a 90's RPG than one today and if you didn't really 'grow into' RPG's in that period you probably wouldn't 'get' it I suppose.

To me, DA:O was a masterpiece, despite it's relatively few flaws, it had such depth, such a detailed world as was unseen even in previous Bioware games. They spent five years crafting Dragon Age: Origins and it showed by it's shear depth and the amount of love the developers put into the game. It was about far more than just the game you see on the surface. And that love was returned, as the fans made it Biowares best selling game of all time, selling a million copies more than their next best seller (ME2). I beat DA:O three times (I still have a game or two I haven't finished on it, which I will return to at some point), twice even with the same class and it played 'very' differently based on decisions I made in the game.

By comparison DA2 was 'press a button, something awesome happens' with 'very' little depth, constant repeating content (areas, mobs, content, quests, you name it). It was just a shell of the original, an action game with the DA label slapped on it. But then again what do you expect? When EA bought Bioware they clearly saw how well it sold and told Bioware' you've got 18 months to make a sequel!

I have on Steam 302 hours played in DA2, thats four games, two completed, one I did 'everything' in the game. In DA2 I have 36... If that doesn't show which to me was better, nothing could.

This comment was edited on Aug 10, 2011, 10:47.
 
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30. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:25 Verno
 
Asmo wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 09:45:
The fucking game devs are starting to sound like politicians...

Fion - How exactly did DA2 introduce a wider audience to the series when it sold half as many copies? DA1 sold a million more copies than Mass Effect 2 for crying out loud, DA2 didn't even come close. So how exactly is that 'a wider audience'?

They realize they fucked up bigtime, they just don't want to admit it out loud.`

It's a strange form of public posturing, as if admitting weakness will harm the IP or something. I don't really understand the mentality either, gamers eat up humility in developers and publishers when they bother to show it. I'd love a job where I didn't have to take any responsibility for my mistakes and my bosses would tell customers that they simply didn't get it.

I'd be far more willing to buy Dragon Age 3 if they had admitted they misunderstood what people liked about the original and simply released the game too early. Instead we get a bunch of half hearted apologies that are equal parts audience blame.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: Pioneer, Predestination, Homeland
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29. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:25 Fion
 
How exactly did DA2 introduce a wider audience to the series when it sold half as many copies? DA1 sold a million more copies than Mass Effect 2 for crying out loud, DA2 didn't even come close. So how exactly is that 'a wider audience'?

They realize they fucked up bigtime, they just don't want to admit it out loud.`
 
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28. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 10:08 dheer
 
Dirwulf wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 01:18:
I am willing to bet that 99% of the people on Blues never even played the game, much less played through it, they just like to spew hate and vitriol.
Whatever helps you sleep at night.

I played through the whole game and it was mediocre, at best. It's certainly the worst Bioware game I've ever played. Many of the things I enjoyed about the first game weren't improved, they were either ripped out completely or replaced with something that didn't work as well.

Legacy was not nearly as bad as the release version of DA2, but with the scope of a dlc, it can't really fix any of the glaring flaws of the base game.
 
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I wonder if he reads them, or if it's just for show.
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27. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 09:48 ZeroCougar
 
I've written off DA2 as a loss. I enjoyed Origins, and the exp pack there-of, however. I too worry about ME3. Just don't murder it so badly BioWare, please for the love of gaming don't ruin the climatic sequel I need to finish off the series.  
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- That's a very nice everything you have there... ssssssssSSSSSSSSSSS -
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26. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 09:45 Asmo
 
The fucking game devs are starting to sound like politicians...

1) We don't listen to polls (sales figures) unless they are positive.
2) We "believe" we did/are doing/will do the right thing even if people don't agree with us. That belief supercedes everything including cold hard fact.
3) As soon as we secure your vote (money) we stop caring.
4) We couldn't give a shit about rusted on voters (fanbois) because they'll always love us no matter how badly we abuse them...

Never back down, never admit a mistake, always try to talk up the positive...
 
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25. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 09:25 nin
 
Dades wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 07:27:
Dirwulf wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 01:18:
I am not embarrassed to admit it. I LOVED DAII, I played through it twice and I will play it at least one more time as a mage, for that story line.

I liked it better than DAO, as a matter of fact.

I am willing to bet that 99% of the people on Blues never even played the game, much less played through it, they just like to spew hate and vitriol.

"I spent 30 minutes with teh game and it SUZKZORS. Listen to me roar!! You are an idiot if you liked this game. My opinion is the only one that matters." - welcome to Blues News.

Do you not see the irony in what you just posted? It's pretty sad that the only way you can feel secure about your opinion is to attempt to discredit everyone else.


He's a bioware shill. Ignore him.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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24. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 09:03 Verno
 
I think DA2 sold pretty well.

It sold alright but its numbers literally fell off a cliff after the first week preorders and impulse buyers got through it. DA:O put up much stronger numbers and actually managed to pick up steam as it aged, someone posted the trending figures in a previous thread. DA:O had good word of mouth after release which lead to its sales spiking several times whereas DA2 consistently trended downward after release.

I've done several paragraph long teardowns of the plot and gameplay mechanics so I'm not going to repeat myself here Dirwulf, you know full well many of us played it.

DA:O was Biowares most successful game to date, I don't know how you follow that up with such a lesser effort on so many design fronts and continually try to pass it off as though nothing is wrong and that people are being unreasonable.

This comment was edited on Aug 10, 2011, 09:18.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: Pioneer, Predestination, Homeland
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23. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 09:00 Bhruic
 
Really, Ray? Innovation? You're going to stick with that? It was about as "innovative" as the 2 weapon limit in DNF.  
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22. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 08:57 necrosis
 
Dirwulf wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 01:18:
I am willing to bet that 99% of the people on Blues never even played the game, much less played through it, they just like to spew hate and vitriol.
I am not about to spend $60 for a game I can not return. You are completely delusional if you expect people to do this with how PC gaming is now a days. The demo gave me enough feel for what it had become and that this title was a no buy. Hell, the first trailers and released information on this game made me shudder.

How Bioware can stick to their guns over DA2 is beyond me. I really doubt the sales were even remotely close to DA:O (which IIRC broke records for the company). That alone should kick them in the crotch and realize they did something seriously wrong.

I really do put the blame squarely on EA. I knew things were going downhill when EA bought Bioware and demanded a version of DA:O for consoles and delayed the PC version 6 months when it was DONE.
 
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21. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 08:34 briktal
 
Julio wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 07:59:
Here's why I didn't purchase DA2 and will not likely be buying DA3 or any Bioware products in the future.

Bioware no longer makes games that are what I want. I'm hoping that someone else will.

Here's why DA2 went from a 'must buy on day one' to 'never buying it':

1) Loss of overhead camera (made me wait for a demo/reviews)
2) Gameplay changes such as 'waves of mobs'
3) The demo sucked (and likely the full game did too)
4) Bioware employee(s) posted their own reviews (without revealing their conflict of interest). To me that's pretty fradulent.
5) Metacritic user reviews clearly showed the game sucked
6) PC Gamer gave it a score in the high 90s.
7) Development time/effort was too short, clearly shown in the repeating of map areas. Maybe DA3 will take place in only one room with different colors each time.
8) Bioware is doing lots of damage control BS. Basically the game sucked, but Bioware is right, and made the right decisions. So DA3 will be worse.

Overall, I suspect EA isn't happy with the lower amount of sales DA2 did than DA1. Or maybe DA2 sold well and they fooled lots of gamers into paying for it. But I doubt DA2 sales > DA1 sales, and I'll predict DA3 sales will be worse.

I think DA2 sold pretty well. Keep in mind, there are a lot of people who see a 2 and think "whoa they made another one!" and buy it. That's the entire point of a cash in sequel. Now, DA3 sales might be another issue.

I wouldn't say that DA2 was really all that dumbed down. The problem is, it was bad. You still had some of the combat depth in there, but you couldn't use it due to the waves.
 
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20. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age Changes, Past and Future Aug 10, 2011, 07:59 Julio
 
Here's why I didn't purchase DA2 and will not likely be buying DA3 or any Bioware products in the future.

Bioware no longer makes games that are what I want. I'm hoping that someone else will.

Here's why DA2 went from a 'must buy on day one' to 'never buying it':

1) Loss of overhead camera (made me wait for a demo/reviews)
2) Gameplay changes such as 'waves of mobs'
3) The demo sucked (and likely the full game did too)
4) Bioware employee(s) posted their own reviews (without revealing their conflict of interest). To me that's pretty fradulent.
5) Metacritic user reviews clearly showed the game sucked
6) PC Gamer gave it a score in the high 90s.
7) Development time/effort was too short, clearly shown in the repeating of map areas. Maybe DA3 will take place in only one room with different colors each time.
8) Bioware is doing lots of damage control BS. Basically the game sucked, but Bioware is right, and made the right decisions. So DA3 will be worse.

Overall, I suspect EA isn't happy with the lower amount of sales DA2 did than DA1. Or maybe DA2 sold well and they fooled lots of gamers into paying for it. But I doubt DA2 sales > DA1 sales, and I'll predict DA3 sales will be worse.
 
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