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Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase"

A BioWare Social Network post from BioWare's Mark Darrah where the Executive Producer on Dragon Age II explains the team is moving past DA2 and on to "the next phase of Dragon Age’s future" (thanks GameInformer). Here's word:

And finally, while we will still be keeping an eye out for any issues that might crop up in DAII and supporting the community should any emergencies should arise, we’re moving the entire team’s focus to the next phase of Dragon Age’s future.

You’ve most certainly heard the rumors floating around, and unfortunately I can’t really comment on them. However, what I can say is that we’ve been thinking a lot about Dragon Age – what it means, and where it could go. This past year, we’ve spent a lot of time both going back to the “BioWare vault” of games and re-examining them, and looking at some new possibilities that today’s industry allows.

With that, the next thing for the Dragon Age team members and I to do is hear from you, and not just on the forums, or Facebook, or Twitter. We’ll be attending a number of conventions and gatherings, including PAX East in April. The most valuable thing we can get out of those meetings is to hear from you on those same topics – what does Dragon Age mean to you, and where would you like to see it go? We’re excited to hear what you have to say!

On behalf of the entire team, we are incredibly eager to reach the moment when we can tell you more and show you where we are taking Dragon Age. But for now, thank you for your continued support, and we will be back here with more as soon as we can.

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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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61. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 21, 2012, 09:13 Verno
 
And here's some fun for the PC elitists around here who like to pat themselves on the back and claim they're more savvy and intelligent than console gamers.

DA2 outsold DA:O on PC in that same 10 week span, while the console players shot it down pretty quickly.

Others beat me to the punch here but that's a blog post sourced from a third party which also took its information from a dubious third party.

Consoles are all about a simple, guided experience, just by their nature the average PC audience will likely be more savvy as the PC platform requires more knowledge for use. As for intelligence that's a straw man and it's not a surprise because you seem fond of posting this sort of sentiment. People don't really care how smart anyone in particular is, they care about their market demographic being ignored in favor of another who likely aren't going to be buying the game in droves anyway.

People might get frustrated and blame the audience, I do that myself from time to time but it's just grousing that you see on both sides of the fence. As evidenced by this thread most people actually blame Bioware.
 
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60. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 21, 2012, 07:15 Dades
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 17:48:
And here's some fun for the PC elitists around here who like to pat themselves on the back and claim they're more savvy and intelligent than console gamers.

http://greywardens.com/2011/08/dragon-age-ii-how-badly-did-it-sell/

DA2 outsold DA:O on PC in that same 10 week span, while the console players shot it down pretty quickly.

Those PC numbers probably don't include digital distribution. They also include vgchartz which is a company known for "estimating" sales which is a nice way of saying making things up and not publishing their methodology. What point were they supposed to prove anyway? If console gamers recognized what a turd Dragon Age 2 was before PC gamers then so be it, everyone is in agreement. Let's get back to the real game then and Bioware can stop trying to make Dragon Age of Duty.

This comment was edited on Mar 21, 2012, 07:26.
 
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59. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 22:12 Teddy
 
Creston wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 17:55:
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:23:
Creston wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:17:
Which group should we listen to?

The group that's larger. Business 101.

In a business that's as loyalty driven as gaming, I'd say that's not always the smartest decision.

Creston

Loyalty driven? Are you kidding me?

Feel free to start up a company, ignore the majority of your customers in favor of a minority of 'loyal' customers and let me know how that goes.

If people were complaining that the 'story' in ME2 was too complicated, then that aside from the obvious that those people are idiots, it also states pretty clearly that THEY BOUGHT THE GAME TOO. So how does you giving a company money for a product make you more "loyal" than someone else who gave the same company the same money for the same product? I'll answer that for you, it doesn't. That's just you trying to justify the nonsense that your opinion somehow matters more (or should matter more) than any other customer.

That doesn't mean they made the right decisions, or changed the right things, but to suggest that companies should listen to you more because you declare yourself more loyal is sheer idiocy.
 
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58. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 19:12 Prez
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 17:48:

And here's some fun for the PC elitists around here who like to pat themselves on the back and claim they're more savvy and intelligent than console gamers.

http://greywardens.com/2011/08/dragon-age-ii-how-badly-did-it-sell/

DA2 outsold DA:O on PC in that same 10 week span, while the console players shot it down pretty quickly.

Not a PC elitist or the least bit interested in pointless PC vs. Console debates, but I think those numbers can be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that DA: Origins was vastly superior on the PC (imo an undeniable fact based on features and specs), making the sequel much more appealing in theory to PC gamers than console gamers. In practice, well, we all are aware of just how bad DA2 was by comparison. Lesson learned for many I'm sure.
 
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57. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 17:58 Creston
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 17:48:
Verno wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:29:
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:23:
The group that's larger. Business 101.

Judging by the DA:O and DA2 sales comparisons they're listening to the wrong group then.

And here's some fun for the PC elitists around here who like to pat themselves on the back and claim they're more savvy and intelligent than console gamers.

http://greywardens.com/2011/08/dragon-age-ii-how-badly-did-it-sell/

DA2 outsold DA:O on PC in that same 10 week span, while the console players shot it down pretty quickly.

So in their effort to make the game more attractive to the whiny console gamers who didn't like DA:O, they lost 2 million sales.

I'm sure that's business 101 too?

Creston
 
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56. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 17:55 Creston
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:23:
Creston wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:17:
Which group should we listen to?

The group that's larger. Business 101.

In a business that's as loyalty driven as gaming, I'd say that's not always the smartest decision.

Creston
 
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55. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 17:48 Teddy
 
Verno wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:29:
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:23:
The group that's larger. Business 101.

Judging by the DA:O and DA2 sales comparisons they're listening to the wrong group then.

And here's some fun for the PC elitists around here who like to pat themselves on the back and claim they're more savvy and intelligent than console gamers.

http://greywardens.com/2011/08/dragon-age-ii-how-badly-did-it-sell/

DA2 outsold DA:O on PC in that same 10 week span, while the console players shot it down pretty quickly.
 
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54. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 16:29 Verno
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 16:23:
The group that's larger. Business 101.

Judging by the DA:O and DA2 sales comparisons they're listening to the wrong group then.
 
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53. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 16:23 Teddy
 
Creston wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:17:
Which group should we listen to?

The group that's larger. Business 101.
 
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52. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 14:17 Creston
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 08:16:

It showed it's ugly head with the marketing of ME3 in regards to assuring the fanbase their choices matter, only for them to not matter one bit and Bioware devs themselves suggesting that their plot was "too complex" and people didn't "understand their vision" (Never mind the tons of plotholes and retcons)

Goddammit, that pisses me off. So we have a group of people who don't understand our plot and our vision, and we have a group of people who DO understand it. That group that DOES understand it is the group that hangs out on our forums, is made up of our oldest and longest fans, and is generally the group that will spread positive word of mouth about our games (see Dragon Age: Origins).

the other group is a bunch of console players that say shit like "fallout new vegas is boring, because you don't get to do much of what fallout is about: Shooting guys."

Which group should we listen to? I KNOW, LET'S LISTEN TO THE RITALIN POPPERS! After all, who cares about your most loyal customers, right?

Fucking Eaware.

Creston
 
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51. Re: Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase" Mar 20, 2012, 13:40 avianflu
 
combat-wise -- Much more real strategy in the Dragonsang games but the camera is a bit wiggy. You'll be pausing combat with the spacebar and then the camera issue doesnt matter so much. The developers want you to play the combat semi-turn-based but they never really tell you that outright. I think it is worth the 10 bucks but then again I like fiddly combat.  
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50. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 13:25 HorrorScope
 
What's everyone's take on the Drakensang SP RPG's? Aren't they similar to DA:O?  
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49. Re: Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase" Mar 20, 2012, 10:09 avianflu
 
I am enjoying watching this PR disaster more than any Bioware I've played lately.
 
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48. Re: Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase" Mar 20, 2012, 09:37 hello newman
 
I never liked Baldurs Gate.
Some scottish guy said below that Bioware was always just a mediocre studio. Ge-fucking-nau!

Take a look at the games coming out in 98' when Baldurs Gate was released :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_in_video_gaming

I never understood the hype with Bioware, they always seemed like a bunch of hacks to me...

 
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47. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 09:21 wtf_man
 
CythrawL wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 21:55:
Bullfrog..... Once great, bought by EA, turned to shit.. Now no more
Westwood Studios.... Once great, bought by EA, turned to shit.. Now no more..
Looking Glass Studios... Once great, bought by EA, turned to shit.. Now no more...
Origin Systems... Once great, bought by EA, turned to shit, now lives on as a hideous Storefront in name only..

Bioware is next on the Once great, turned to shit and now no more list..

Oh well.... When will these developers EVER learn... Oh right.. the promise of a shit-ton of money will make even the mighty fall...

EA had better keep their filthy shit covered mitts away from the likes of CD Projeckt Red etc...

Looking Glass was never bought up by EA. They only published their games.

Looking Glass went belly up after System Shock 2... due to lack of sales... and lack of promotion / care on EA's part. They split into 2 factions. Warren Spector's faction went to Ion Storm and made Deus Ex and Deus Ex 2... and is no more. Ken Levine's faction created Irrational Games and made Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich, SWAT 4, Bioshock, and Bioshock 2. They Are currently working on Bioshock Infinite.

Needless to say... with the exception of Deus Ex, none of these games have the chemistry that the whole Looking Glass team had, which is a pity.

It also goes to show that when personnel rotate in and out over time... how a studio like Bioware can lose it's chemistry. Regardless of the EA purchase (which is definitely a factor, as well), Bioware ain't the Bioware of the BG days.
 
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46. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 09:21 Slashman
 
everyone wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 09:06:
Not great, but promising. It showed that a more traditional style of RPG may still sell amongst all your CODs, GOWs, and WOWs. But rather than weed out the crap and expand on what it did well for the sequel, they stripped out all it did right, kept all it got wrong and added a lot more wrongness on top.

It's kinda like they cooked up a hearty suck-stew and the secret ingredient was crap-berries. mmmmMMMMM good!!!!
 
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45. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 09:20 Verno
 
everyone wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 09:06:
But rather than weed out the crap and expand on what it did well for the sequel, they stripped out all it did right, kept all it got wrong and added a lot more wrongness on top.

That's a big Bioware problem these days. They are on the EA timetable now, no more long dev cycles. 2 years is all they get and that's simply not enough time to make a proper RPG. Hell even JRPGs often take longer. So when something doesn't work they make no effort to find a middle ground with it, they just throw it away.

Consoles are the other problem. Their memory constraints are severely hamstringing some aspects of development. Remember when Bioware games had real honest to god maps? Now it's a set of bullet points. DA:O stretched consoles to the limit and there is no way they'll get the time to do that kind of optimization again.

Finally console players want dumbed down things they can understand. Dark Town, Low Town, small maps, enemies that explode in absurd giblets, awesome butan, etc. I'm not sure DA3 can ever be worthwhile with these things in mind.

I was reading that thread and they already confirmed it will be a voiced protagonist again which is really disappointing. It added nothing to DA2 so they are going to...do it again? I don't really see that as listening to fan feedback.
 
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44. Re: Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase" Mar 20, 2012, 09:06 everyone
 
This shit right here is exactly what I don't want. This game development by focus group shit is precisely what made DA2 suck as much nard as it did. I want devs to make games because they love doing so. That's the only way to make a truly good game. I get the feeling that everyone left at Bioware these days has either had all the passion sucked out of them long ago, or simply never had any to begin with. They just aren't capable of making good games anymore. They can fold for all I care. I'll be playing games from devs that still give a shit.
HorrorScope wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 22:42:
Was DA:O all that great? Seem pretty simplified model as a turned based game.
Not great, but promising. It showed that a more traditional style of RPG may still sell amongst all your CODs, GOWs, and WOWs. But rather than weed out the crap and expand on what it did well for the sequel, they stripped out all it did right, kept all it got wrong and added a lot more wrongness on top.
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 22:08:
In fact, that reuse of characters and plot structure from game to game has come to define everything Bioware has done post-BG2.
http://i36.tinypic.com/1zb9eg3.png
 
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43. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 08:49 briktal
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 22:08:
Paketep wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 21:14:
EA killed Bioware. They just don't know it yet.

Nah, Bioware was never very good to begin with, especially post Baldur's Gate 2.

Baldur's Gate 2 is easily their best game, and despite its weaknesses, I'd even go so far to call it a great game. But what made it great? It was the encounter, quest, and dungeon design. Baldur's Gate II was just filled with hours upon hours of really solid, consistent, B+ content, supported by great game mechanics. The actual story wasn't that great, and many of the characters were just obnoxious, but boy was Baldur's Gate II fun to play.

Fast forward to Neverwinter Nights, and what do you get? A narrative focused game, with terrible encounters, quests, and dungeons. "Let's stick the player in a cave with 20 goblins -- THAT will be fun!" seemed to be the operative content design principle. Meanwhile, the writing was still a mess and wasn't enough to carry the game.

KOTOR was an improvement over NWN in both narrative and actual content, but the simple reality was that the content was poorly designed and bereft of tactics, and the narrative and characters, aside from the shock of the BIG TWIST, were pretty lackluster. It didn't help that they borrowed the same narrative structure (find four macguffins to stop an ancient evil) and characters (Aribeth and Bastila are the same fucking character) from NWN. In fact, that reuse of characters and plot structure from game to game has come to define everything Bioware has done post-BG2.

If you continue the analysis whith each of Bioware's subsequent games you keep finding the same problems -- focus on a fanfiction quality narrative supported by lackluster content, reusing the same stock characters and plot devices from game to game. The only real innovation that Bioware has brought to their formula in the decade since NWN is gay romances. But if that's all you have to sell your game, titillating the lesbian fantasies of your virginal fanbase, that speaks volume of how little you know about actually designing a compelling game.

Now with DA2 and ME3, Bioware has finally gotten so self indulgent with their writing, and so lazy with their content design, that even their most dedicated fans are starting to wake up and see them for what they are: a pretty mediocre developer.

One big change from BG/KOTOR to DA/ME is that they started making up their own IP. With a D&D or Star Wars license, there's only so much of the galaxy they can blow up and a limit to how many magical space gods can show up at the last minute.
 
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42. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 20, 2012, 08:41 Verno
 
Julio wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 05:13:
I'm guessing "the next phase" is making DA3 for Facebook/iPads only. Its not like Bioware can still make good deep PC games anymore so why try?

Yeah that or it's going to be some silly piece of trash with multiplayer and awesome butan type crap. If they want to make a good game then they need to make a sequel worthy of DA:O. That shouldn't be hard to do, DA:O wasn't exactly the worlds best CRPG or something but they seem determined to chase the CoD funbux crowd who will never be into their games anyway.
 
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