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Dragon Age II "Exalted March" Expansion Cancelled

BioWare's Mark Darrah tweets word that a Dragon Age II expansion called Exalted March was cancelled as part of the just announced transition the developers of the RPG sequel are making to the "next phase" of the series (thanks GameSpot). Word is:

We did have plans for an expansion pack to DA2 but, other DA opportunities came up. There were even shirts! It was called Exalted March.

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48. Re: Dragon Age II "Exalted March" Expansion Cancelled Mar 20, 2012, 14:54 Tumbler
 
I've heard Amazon is accepting returns on ME3. (opened) I'm going to see if that works for me. I'd rather not support Bioware anymore going forward and I'm really happy that Amazon is offering this option.

I was going to play the game a bit more, didn't do all the side missions, I was somewhat curious what the game would play like if I started fresh and did all Paragon but I think I'd rather just stop playing and get my money back.

FYI, if you purchased from amazon and you're unhappy they are apparently willing to accept returns.
 
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47. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:45 Yakubs
 
Beelzebud wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:15:
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:06:
Yakubs wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:44:
Acleacius wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:32:
Probably too much to hope for but let's hope this means they are pulling their head out of their nether region.

I doubt there's anyone left at BioWare with any talent. Talent is not compatible with a marketing- and focus-group- driven approach.

Much of the DA2 team is from the DA team, right down to the lead designer.

I'll never get the blame on marketing here. These companies don't have enough marketing intelligence and skill to make calls like this. It's the developers and designers that are making these choices.

You are vastly underestimating the focus that companies like EA put on marketing research. This is a company that spends more money on their marketing research than a lot of companies have to develop games.

Bioware's latest games all reek of "design by committee", where focus groups and marketing research play a huge role in shaping the way a game turns out. It's a large reason why you saw DA go from a cRPG style game, to an action-RPG. The marketing people thought they could squeeze a few more sales out of the DA2 approach.

Indeed. Market research is also another way to cover your ass. If the game fails the publisher can say "Well, the marketing research was very positive! The developer must have fucked something up!" If you greenlight a game with no market research and it bombs, guess who's head goes on the chopping block?

Just like in politics, people make decisions based on keeping their job (and maximizing their personal monetary gain).
 
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46. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:43 Prez
 
There were lots of problems with DA2, spawning waves of enemies like they did could easily have been overlooked if the rest of the game was up to snuff.

Yeah, I can agree with that. The "rabbits on speed"-paced combat, the removal of customization, the removal of the tactical view, the embarrassingly recycled environments, the canned main character... these are far worse offenses.
 
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45. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:32 descender
 
I never understood this... at least it added SOMETHING random and unknown to the combat, rather than "sigh, another 3 guys to kill... click click click moving on". Having to make and change plans in the middle of combat was more tactful in DA2 than in DA:O because it was WAY easier to control the fights in DA:O.

It was not "fail" unless after playing the game for 3 hours you STILL didn't start planning for the second or third wave of guys...

There were lots of problems with DA2, spawning waves of enemies like they did could easily have been overlooked if the rest of the game was up to snuff.
 
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44. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:28 briktal
 
wonkawonka wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:55:
Verno wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:41:
briktal wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:27:
A lot of the stuff you're talking about (the charges are the main exception) only LOOKS different in DA2 but is really just the same as something from DA:O.

Feel free to refresh my memory but I can only think of one ability Rogue ability in DA:O that instantly closes distance like half of the things in DA2 do. In fact you don't even need abilities necessarily, Hawke will flip and jump around just through auto-attacking often enough. It marginalizes how you use the field in combat and is likely due to the player being required to be in so many places at once due to spawning/waves. Also, heavy weapons like a 2H sword have no wind up time as they do in DA:O and are thrown around like nerf bats.

And what about the Nightcrawler ability? You know, the one where the rogue teleports everywhere in turn, hitting one enemy after another?

The real shame with that is the lack of cliffs to fall off when using the ability.
 
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43. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:27 descender
 
wonkawonka wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:31:
which action player will program 12 possibly branching filters for each henchman?

I did, the same way I did in DA:O and it worked fine...

There were lazy aspects of the game, but you not programming the AI tactics seems to be added to the list, not part of it.

ME2 was a joke, but everyone kept their bioware blinders on and refused to criticize it's ridiculously boring gameplay... then DA2 was terrible...

Now ME3 is not great and people are "surprised"...

Wake up people. Bioware is a bad joke, and has been for years.
 
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42. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:15 Cutter
 
Creston wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:55:
Veterator wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:58:
So is this in part because of the complaints of ME3 ending and what not?

It seems like awful weird timing otherwise.


Yep. It's a classic PR-misdirection. They don't want to deal with the ME3 issues, so hey guys, look, we're doing more Dragon Age stuff!

Creston

That and DA2 mostly sucked anyway.
 
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41. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:15 Beelzebud
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 14:06:
Yakubs wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:44:
Acleacius wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:32:
Probably too much to hope for but let's hope this means they are pulling their head out of their nether region.

I doubt there's anyone left at BioWare with any talent. Talent is not compatible with a marketing- and focus-group- driven approach.

Much of the DA2 team is from the DA team, right down to the lead designer.

I'll never get the blame on marketing here. These companies don't have enough marketing intelligence and skill to make calls like this. It's the developers and designers that are making these choices.

You are vastly underestimating the focus that companies like EA put on marketing research. This is a company that spends more money on their marketing research than a lot of companies have to develop games.

Bioware's latest games all reek of "design by committee", where focus groups and marketing research play a huge role in shaping the way a game turns out. It's a large reason why you saw DA go from a cRPG style game, to an action-RPG. The marketing people thought they could squeeze a few more sales out of the DA2 approach.
 
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40. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 14:06 Beamer
 
Yakubs wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:44:
Acleacius wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:32:
Probably too much to hope for but let's hope this means they are pulling their head out of their nether region.

I doubt there's anyone left at BioWare with any talent. Talent is not compatible with a marketing- and focus-group- driven approach.

Much of the DA2 team is from the DA team, right down to the lead designer.

I'll never get the blame on marketing here. These companies don't have enough marketing intelligence and skill to make calls like this. It's the developers and designers that are making these choices.
 
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39. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:55 Creston
 
Veterator wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:58:
So is this in part because of the complaints of ME3 ending and what not?

It seems like awful weird timing otherwise.


Yep. It's a classic PR-misdirection. They don't want to deal with the ME3 issues, so hey guys, look, we're doing more Dragon Age stuff!

Creston
 
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38. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:55 wonkawonka
 
Verno wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:41:
briktal wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:27:
A lot of the stuff you're talking about (the charges are the main exception) only LOOKS different in DA2 but is really just the same as something from DA:O.

Feel free to refresh my memory but I can only think of one ability Rogue ability in DA:O that instantly closes distance like half of the things in DA2 do. In fact you don't even need abilities necessarily, Hawke will flip and jump around just through auto-attacking often enough. It marginalizes how you use the field in combat and is likely due to the player being required to be in so many places at once due to spawning/waves. Also, heavy weapons like a 2H sword have no wind up time as they do in DA:O and are thrown around like nerf bats.

And what about the Nightcrawler ability? You know, the one where the rogue teleports everywhere in turn, hitting one enemy after another?
 
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37. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:41 Verno
 
briktal wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:27:
A lot of the stuff you're talking about (the charges are the main exception) only LOOKS different in DA2 but is really just the same as something from DA:O.

Feel free to refresh my memory but I can only think of one ability Rogue ability in DA:O that instantly closes distance like half of the things in DA2 do. In fact you don't even need abilities necessarily, Hawke will flip and jump around just through auto-attacking often enough. It marginalizes how you use the field in combat and is likely due to the player being required to be in so many places at once due to spawning/waves. Also, heavy weapons like a 2H sword have no wind up time as they do in DA:O and are thrown around like nerf bats.
 
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36. Re: Dragon Age II "Exalted March" Expansion Cancelled Mar 20, 2012, 13:37 Bhruic
 
That's a very oddly worded announcement. "Other DA opportunities came up"?? Some other company did a DA3, so you guys decided to jump on board?  
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35. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:31 wonkawonka
 
shinchan0s wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 12:54:
DA2 was a very lazily made game.

Pretty much. To sum up:
For pause/turn players, the waves alone killed it.
For action players, the PC attributes just aren't fit for it unless you thoroughly plan your character. Combine this with bad AI unless fully tweaked (which action player will program 12 possibly branching filters for each henchman?), sprinkle horrible leveling at higher difficulty, and you killed its action potential.

And that would have instantly be caught in testing. They just didn't care and didn't even bother thinking about these issues when they introduced "more action".
 
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34. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:27 briktal
 
Kastagir wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 13:09:
briktal wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 10:41:
Really, for all the "awesome button" talk, the combat system itself wasn't that different in DA2. However, having enemies spawn in multiple waves from various spots in the room you were fighting in screwed up a lot of positioning and crowd control and other tactical stuff.

What? I took one look at the demo and saw how Hawke was running warping around the battlefield from enemy to enemy, swinging his gigantic sword so fast that it must have been made from styrofoam. How is this better than the paced combat of DA:O unless you're using a console fighting game as a baseline?

A lot of the stuff you're talking about (the charges are the main exception) only LOOKS different in DA2 but is really just the same as something from DA:O.
 
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33. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:09 Kastagir
 
briktal wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 10:41:
Really, for all the "awesome button" talk, the combat system itself wasn't that different in DA2. However, having enemies spawn in multiple waves from various spots in the room you were fighting in screwed up a lot of positioning and crowd control and other tactical stuff.

What? I took one look at the demo and saw how Hawke was running warping around the battlefield from enemy to enemy, swinging his gigantic sword so fast that it must have been made from styrofoam. How is this better than the paced combat of DA:O unless you're using a console fighting game as a baseline?
 
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32. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:06 HorrorScope
 
wonkawonka wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 12:02:
DA2 is neither a tactical game nor an easily picked up action game. It can be made to be enjoyable, but only after tweaking the hell out of it, and that's why it tanked. In their quest to make DA2 accessible, BioWare failed miserably.

I made no tweaks to it (assuming mods) and if one found working with AI tactics hard or not part of the game, then I can see that. I found that part of the game interesting and something no other action RPG I've played has.
 
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31. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:04 Kastagir
 
Acleacius wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 11:32:
Probably too much to hope for but let's hope this means they are pulling their head out of their nether region.

Laidlaw is still the lead designer, so it's already been decided they won't do that. Sorry!
 
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30. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:04 The Phantom Chicken of CS_Italy
 
So.. uh, could I get one of these Exalted March shirts for free?  
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29. Re: Dragon Age II Mar 20, 2012, 13:03 HorrorScope
 
shinchan0s wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 12:54:
HorrorScope wrote on Mar 20, 2012, 12:26:
Right. And that is a big beef I have with pause. You can play it way too many ways and it's not very easy to balance when one guy plays full action and another plays pure pause. If you only have an action based game, you know what the players will be doing. If you only have a turn based game, you know what they players will be doing. Pause is like the grey world of gaming, imo.

I think wonkawonka's description just proves that DA2 was a very lazily made game. If Bioware was interested in making a good game that appealed to the console kiddies then they could have meaningfully tweaked the combat mechanics. Instead, they just introduced enemy waves and made the combat faster (too fast IMO).

DA2 was a very unfun game with lousy production values. A completely naked cashgrab.

That's fine but I don't relate action RPG to Consoles. I like Action RPG's and I only play on the PC.
 
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