Op Ed

Greywardens.com - Is Dragon Age II the End of BioWare as a Traditional RPG Creator?
Teasing me with something as open and infinitely superior in its complexity as was Dragon Age: Origins, only to follow up with something that is simply NOT in the same style or genre, is completely and utterly unfair. As a gamer and a fan, I care how much profit BioWare makes only insofar as it keeps them afloat to continue making more cool stuff that I like. Selfish, but true of most gamers. I don’t want to see things get blanded away from the features and elements that made BioWare my favourite game maker. While I understand their need to grow and expand, on an intellectual level, I am thoroughly disheartened at this turn of events.

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Re: Op Ed
Jul 12, 2010, 03:23
36.
Re: Op Ed Jul 12, 2010, 03:23
Jul 12, 2010, 03:23
 
I didn't feel that way at all. Everything in DA:O was super-genericized so that dialogue and everything would fit with every possible character, and the environments and NPCs were stale. There were a few lines of dialogue that were character-specific, but they were so few that I wouldn't mind losing them in exchange for a stronger primary character.

Can''t really agree with you there. I never really associated with my character in Mass Effect, due in part to the predefined characteristics and binary dialogue options. It often felt more like I was watching a movie than playing a game. Conversely, in Dragon age, the wide range of dialogue options let me craft a character to my liking. Often sarcastic and playful but willing to make unpopular decisions for the greater good. In Mass Effect, you don't have this kind of flexibility. You chose the Paragon response or the Renegade response and that was it.

The biggest downside to the paraphrased dialogue wheel system (aside from fewer potential dialogue options) is the inherent absurdity of not knowing exactly what you are going to say at any given moment. RPGs are all about role-playing. I should know my character because I AM that character. I should know exactly what I'm going to say and do because all of that is decided by me. Every action, every response... it's all my choice. In ME, that just wasn't the case. I'd pick the obvious Paragon option because I wanted Paragon points and then I'd watch my character go on a long-winded speech. This didn't create a more immersive experience. Instead, it only served to detach me from my character because she was saying stuff that I didn't actually choose to say.

And people keep bringing up PST as an example of a flexible dialogue system combined with a predefined protagonist. The thing is, The Nameless One wasn't really predefined. Your character's backstory was largely irrelevant because that's who you used to be, not who you were while playing. The current iteration of your character was a blank slate completely defined by you. Will the same apply to Hawke? Probably not. He/she is already proclaimed as "The Champion of Kirkwall" so that means you're already stuck in the hero archetype. With the removal of origin stories, race selection, the addition of full voice-overs, a predefined background and name and a dialogue wheel with fewer, paraphrased options, the freedom to truly define your character is reduced.

This comment was edited on Jul 12, 2010, 03:33.
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