Dragon Age: Origins

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Goldstein
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Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Goldstein » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:02 am UTC

Synopsis:
Spoiler:
The Steam page for Dragon Age: Origins wrote:From the maker of Mass Effect and Baldur’s Gate comes the dark fantasy epic Dragon Age: Origins.

You are a Grey Warden, one of the last of a legendary order of guardians. With the return of an ancient foe and the kingdom engulfed in civil war, you have been chosen by fate to unite the shattered lands and slay the archdemon once and for all.

A Stunning World to Explore
  • BioWare’s deepest universe to date with over 80 hours of gameplay and more than double the size and scope of Mass Effect
  • Travel throughout dozens of environments and fully immerse yourself in a shattered world that is on the brink of utter annihilation
  • An epic story that is completely shaped and reactive to your play style
Complex Moral Choices
  • There are no easy choices
  • Tailor your Dragon Age: Origins experience from the very beginning by choose from six different Origin Stories
  • Decide how to handle complex issues like murder, genocide, betrayal, and the possession/sacrificing of children without the security of a good/bad slider to tell you what to do
Full Character Customization
  • Sculpt your hero in your own image or fantasy
  • Elaborate character creator allows you to create your own hero unique from anyone else
  • Shape your character’s personality and morality based on the choices you make throughout the game
Engage in Bone-Crushing, Visceral Combat
  • Battle against massive and terrifying creatures
  • Unleash legendary powers and choose from over 100 different magical spells and skills
  • Experience the adrenaline rush of brutal combat, beheading your foes or casting spells that make enemies explode from within


I've been quietly curious about this game ever since I'd heard it touted as the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate. Likely another Diablo-esque Hack'n'Slash driven movie, I had a creeping suspicion I'd end up buying it anyway and regretting the purchase, so I decided to have a look at what was available; I haven't the energy to explore gaming sites and try to tease the facts from their previews, so I stuck with what was available via Steam.

Dragon Age: Origins will be available on Steam from the 6th of November for the relatively low price of £29.99, though the Deluxe Edition arrives just a day later for an additional £10, marking the moment BioWare doubles over on the bathroom floor and begins to spew forth an unrelenting stream of downloadable content. To further confuse the issue and suggest that you've already began purchasing this stuff, a pre-order placed on Steam promises that your version of the game will include some additional magic items, shamelessly detailed on the purchase page as though their attributes need be carefully weighed up in deciding your latest purchase. Personally, I find this approach as insulting as Ultima Online's long-past offer of a pre-built character to enter the world with, except now you'd be doing it just to play with yourself. If anything, I feel such a need to disassociate myself from essentially purchasing cheats that will help me avoid actually playing the game that I couldn't pre-order even if I did plan to buy the thing.

The Steam page offers an Official demo, which on download turns out to be just the Character Creator. A pity, as I'd hoped to get a feel for how the game actually plays instead of just looking at screenshots of Dragons - All I can really conclude from these screenshots is that, like most games of late, the publishers are wholly embarrassed by the user interface and have opted to avoid jeopardising their game by omitting them entirely. I can only assume the worst and, having played NeverWinter Nights 2, know exactly what that will be like. Of course the graphics are fantastic and every suggestion of magic or heroism, however slight, is accompanied by epilepsy-inducing sparks of light, but we're long past the age of worrying about graphics - these are a given for a game coming from such a reputable developer, and I wouldn't have expected anything else.

I fired up the Character Creator in the hope of getting a feel for the ruleset they're using here, and to learn more about this ability to Sculpt your hero in your own image or fantasy. The in-game interface did remind me an awful lot of NeverWinter Nights 2, but it's okay. It felt a lot smoother, the Windows 7 to NeverWinter Nights 2's Vista. I was treated to a fantastical intro movie in which I assume someone explained the situation to me, but I don't remember much besides dragons, marching armies, and some woman in her underwear - or, for those of us who've played fantasy RPGs before, 'light armour'.

Character creation begins, typically, with choosing sex, class and race. Choices are starkly lacking here, limiting the player to Human, Elf or Dwarf, and their class to Fighter, Rogue or Mage. I understand that the class system branches out later into the game, and I'm actually impressed with their decision to cut back on the choices here so that the game can, I assume, tailor a more unique experience and deliver quality rather than quantity. Next is the 'Origin Story' bit that they went on about in the synopsis, which basically consists of accepting that your Dwarf is either common or noble. To make this clearer, there are only six such choices and five are race dependant. The sixth is simply 'Mage', which is the only choice for Mages. I couldn't help but wonder if the Character Creator was unfinished, but six is the number we've been promised and it's what we've got. I chose a Human Mage, who reached this point in his life by being a Mage, and couldn't help but feel I'm being pigeonholed into a backstory that offered me less freedom in character design than my own imagination would have.

As for the mechanics, I don't know what they were going for. You pick scores using a point-buy system from the following attributes:

  • Strength
  • Constitution
  • Dexterity
  • Intelligence Magic
  • Wisdom Willpower
  • Charisma Cunning

I wasn't allowed to reduce any of my attributes below 10, and I was tempted by the option to dump everything into Magic, buying all points at a 1:1 cost. Having not played the game it isn't fair of me to comment but I got the impression from later pages that a relatively low-Magic Mage who relied on Willpower and Cunning wouldn't be viable. Somewhere in this process (presumably the beginning) I had the choice to design my character's face and portrait using sliders, but I don't care. The pages that followed essentially told me I'd be using Magic Missile every 5 seconds, realising my worst fears of some sort of recharge system and mana pool - It's a personal preference, but the fire-wielding maniac isn't the sort of mage I envision in my romantic fantasy, nor does it provide the sort of gameplay I'm after. Now all that's left to wonder is whether Dragon Age: Origins is the sort of game where I have to click every time I want to fire a Magic Missile, or whether I simply need to click the bad guy once. Riveting. It's conceivable that some people want to play exactly this sort of Mage when they pick Mage, but for all its promise of choice, the Character Creator didn't really sell the game to me. Maybe I'll have more options once the game actually begins, but then why offer me the Character Creator to pass judgement on in the first place? It's the same situation as we had with the screenshots and the user interface; these guys aren't releasing anything that they're not perfectly happy with, so no-one should assume that the parts they've omitted are any better than the parts they're holding up as examples of their work.

When Dragon Age: Origins sits in the bargain bin beside all the other games I've yet to play, I'll tell myself a lot of people have said a lot of good things about it and that I should really get it, but with the number of cheap games out there forever growing, where do I find the time to fit in those that I've already formed ill-conceived opinions of, and dismissed out of hand? It might be fantastic, and I'm sure it'll sit well amongst similar titles such as Mass Effect and NeverWinter Nights but, like those, I feel it'll forever sit in limbo as a game I just can't bring myself to care about.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Minchandre » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

I'll preface this post by saying that I'm a Bioware whore and will pretty much buy any game with their name on it. While this has burned me in the past (e.g. NWN2), I think it averages out in the positive (e.g. NWN2: MotB).

Everyone says this game will be like "Baldur's Gate, but without the licensed setting, and in 3D". If that does end up being the case, I'll buy this game, and gladly. Combat is completely unimportant in a game like this; honestly, to me it's just filler between riveting conversations and an immersive storyline. Also, while I'll agree that mondo character customization is important, I like that you're relatively railroaded at the beginning of the game - I mean, some people have an idea of the character they want immediately, but I like the fact that they're having you develop your character more through gameplay. The limited number of backgrounds will hopefully allow each one to have a deep characterization, and I frankly have to say that I find the female city elf's oddly compelling (the picture on their website, with a beautiful woman in a bride's dress, angrily brandishing a dagger is also a nice touch). While I also don't feel the urge to sculpt every inch of my character's face, this feature was apparently very well received in Mass Effect, so there you go.

I do have to agree with you about the DLC. Ever since it was invented, it seems like a way to charge you extra for things that should have been included in the game in the first place.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Axman » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's to keep people from trading games in, which cuts into the bottom line for copies sold. It doesn't cost PC gamers money for DLC--proof of the superiority--but publishers have to pay Microsoft and Sony to have them host content; if they gave it away they'd be paying to give it away. This is a problem rooted in the existence of physical media, which is plainly outdated.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby LTK » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

... for the relatively low price of £29.99...


Hah! Yeah, no such luck for me, I guess. €49.99 for the regular edition. It's Direct2Drive UK for me. That is, if I'm going to buy it. The thing is, I've been trying to figure out which distributor gives the good pre-order bonuses while still having a decent price tag. But EA's marketing of Dragon Age went so horrible that every distributor has got a different list of pre-order bonuses and extra content fo ther regular, Digital Deluxe and Collector's editions. It's impossible to see who has it right and who has it wrong, so there's a good chance that after you pre-order, you find out that the game you paid for comes with less content than you thought it had. This can be the DLC, the Stone Prisoner, the Blood Dragon Armor, and so on. I already canceled two pre-orders after finding out the extras I wanted weren't there, and I can't get a consistent answer out of Bioware or EA, and neither can others. I'm considering just leaving it be and get Borderlands instead.

Okay, /rant, but I was looking forward to this game, even though I don't often play RPGs. Baldur's Gate and Elder Scrolls I never played, yet this one looked very inviting. They dropped the D&D license for this one, which means absolutely nothing to me. The character creator they released a few days ago looks promising too, and I already made a guy.

I don't know why someone would say that they prefer the backstory they made up themselves for the character they created rather than the one professional game designers developed, because quite frankly, it doesn't matter what kind of person you envision your guy to be, the game itself couldn't care less. Now you have a choice between five backstories, and although limited, they do give you an elaborate connection to your game world with a lot of variety to the starting gameplay.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

LTK wrote:I don't know why someone would say that they prefer the backstory they made up themselves for the character they created rather than the one professional game designers developed,

Because maybe they can actually think up a more interesting (to them, at least) backstory than the game's designers. That said if they're trying to develop a branching story, letting you think up your own would make it pretty much impossible to encapsulate every way the story could go with that character.

I'm optimistic about this game.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Vaniver » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:12 pm UTC

I've pre-ordered it. I have high hopes, and am moderately disappointed that there are only 6 origin stories to pick from (from what I've read, at least), but to be honest I doubt I'll finish a second full playthrough- so it's probably not that much of a problem!

The whole "get a different pre-order reward from each retailer!" is really annoying, though. I can understand having lots of pre-order goodies you want to give away, but it's just aggravating.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Jessica » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

It'll all come out in DLC anyway.

I want to play DA:O, and I'll probably pick it up. Not sure if I'll preorder though. I'm... Mass Effect bored the piss out of me when I finally got to play it on the PC after a year and a half, and I got past the central hub, started searching planets and realized the game was... eh.

I hope it's good. I really do. I'll probably preorder it in a random preordering spree.

:\ we'll see.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby thecommabandit » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Jessica wrote: I'm... Mass Effect bored the piss out of me when I finally got to play it on the PC after a year and a half, and I got past the central hub, started searching planets and realized the game was... eh.

You... you did keep on playing, right? Because the uncharted planet sections are universally described as the worse part of the game. They pretty much suck, but the rest of it is pretty damn good.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Jessica » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

Nope, couldn't keep playing. Because I got bored, and then put the game away and didn't pull it back out.

It's generally what happens. If a game can't keep my interest throughout, I'll lose interest and stop playing. Funny that.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Axman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

Mass Effect's major shortcoming was that it continuously became easier. It just didn't scale with the player at all.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby thecommabandit » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:31 am UTC

Axman wrote:Mass Effect's major shortcoming was that it continuously became easier. It just didn't scale with the player at all.

Scaling is a delicate thing. If you have it too strong then the player gets no sense of progression because everything is always equal to him. If you have it too weak the player gets a lot stronger that everything else and never feels challenged. I agree it was patchy, but I don't think it got easier overall.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby LTK » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:21 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:It'll all come out in DLC anyway.


No, it won't. Only the Warden's Keep and Stone Prisoner can be bought afterwards. The pre-order bonuses like the Memory Band and all the other rings that the retailers give you, Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes, Bergen's Honour, Final Reason, soundtrack and wallpapers will not be available afterwards. I don't care about the in-game items though, because what's worse is that they dumbed down the UK Collector's Edition not to include a tin case, map, and Warden's Keep DLC (by far the most valuable extra) because they didn't want Europeans to buy them instead of the massively more expensive EU Collector's Edition. So I decided that if they consistently try to screw European customers, I'm not going to buy their game.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Axman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Having both played shooters competitively as well as performed all the God damn quests in Oblivion, and as the proud owner of every game with the word "tactics" in the title ever made, no, Mass Effect got easier as you got better. Aiming became less important, micromanaging became worthless, and powers became ridiculous. The fact that you don't even have to fight at the end to come out a winner, combined with a terrible Moon Patrol action game, means that they suffered brain damage after making Jade Empire and are OK with rushing half-baked, unbalanced content. This colors what I expect from Dragon Age, a game so nice they said fuck licensing, we don't need all that oversight from gamers.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby defaultusername » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:51 pm UTC

Wait, there is DLC before the game is even released?! Well fuck you Bioware, you're off my (rapidly diminishing) list if decent game developers. And I was looking forward to this game, too. Pooey.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Chen » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:37 pm UTC

defaultusername wrote:Wait, there is DLC before the game is even released?! Well fuck you Bioware, you're off my (rapidly diminishing) list if decent game developers. And I was looking forward to this game, too. Pooey.


But isn't the DLC stuff free with directdownload/bought versions of the game? Wasn't this one of those attempts at preventing piracy via positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement? I kinda liked that idea actually, though I suppose it does make it easier to force you to pay for stuff that "should" already be in the game. I'd need to reserve judgement though on if the game doesn't have enough stuff in it to be worth the initial cost though before I start feeling entitled to more for free.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Vaniver » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

Chen wrote:But isn't the DLC stuff free with directdownload/bought versions of the game? Wasn't this one of those attempts at preventing piracy via positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement? I kinda liked that idea actually, though I suppose it does make it easier to force you to pay for stuff that "should" already be in the game. I'd need to reserve judgement though on if the game doesn't have enough stuff in it to be worth the initial cost though before I start feeling entitled to more for free.
I have seen nothing to that effect, but I also haven't looked that hard.

In general, I don't have that much trouble with the idea of paying more for more game, but it is a little bothersome when collector's edition bonuses go from cool packaging and trinkets to an actually different gaming experience (it wouldn't surprise me if Shale is the best tank, and so you have to pay extra to play with better characters).
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby LTK » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
defaultusername wrote:Wait, there is DLC before the game is even released?! Well fuck you Bioware, you're off my (rapidly diminishing) list if decent game developers. And I was looking forward to this game, too. Pooey.


But isn't the DLC stuff free with directdownload/bought versions of the game? Wasn't this one of those attempts at preventing piracy via positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement? I kinda liked that idea actually, though I suppose it does make it easier to force you to pay for stuff that "should" already be in the game. I'd need to reserve judgement though on if the game doesn't have enough stuff in it to be worth the initial cost though before I start feeling entitled to more for free.


No. The regular, non-pre-ordered versions do not come with the DLC. Some pre-ordered regular editions do, but then again, some do not. EA's dreadful marketing among retailers is to blame for this horrible inconsistency. Here you can see that the Stone Prisoner will cost you $15 and Warden's Keep will cost you $7. It's been argued that the DLC is worth its value in gameplay time, but still: Buyable DLC before the game has even been launched. Positive reinforcement or creatively sucking extra money out of gamers? Fuck that.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Vaniver » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:17 pm UTC

LTK wrote:No. The regular, non-pre-ordered versions do not come with the DLC. Some pre-ordered regular editions do, but then again, some do not. EA's dreadful marketing among retailers is to blame for this horrible inconsistency. Here you can see that the Stone Prisoner will cost you $15 and Warden's Keep will cost you $7. It's been argued that the DLC is worth its value in gameplay time, but still: Buyable DLC before the game has even been launched. Positive reinforcement or creatively sucking extra money out of gamers? Fuck that.
Also, the Stone Prisoner is more expensive than upgrading to the Collector's Edition. Bwuh?

[edit]
Every new retail box of DA:O contains a promotional code on a promotional code card which when redeemed provides a free download of The Stone Prisoner. Digital purchases of DA:O will have the code emailed.
So, it looks like Shale is there to reward people who actually bought the game, and to get $15 out of people who didn't (or... who transfer computers? Hopefully DLC travels with you).

[edit2] Just got around to playing with the character generator. You have to listen to Suave. For some reason, hearing "Charmed, I'm sure" come out of the character's mouth cracks me up. It's a shame that the Elven voice that sounds the nicest is Violent; it seems like I'm going to have to pick between hearing mystical and/or wise things or a voice I like (or I could just go Human).
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby The Utilitarian » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:21 am UTC

Yea the voices seem really out of touch with their labels. I couldn't find a single Dwarf voice I was happy with. I suppose the other function of the DLC codes could be to deter Gamestop used resale of the game? Unless you're buying new you have to pay extra for the DLC, which will prolly negate any benefit to buying used.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:48 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:I suppose the other function of the DLC codes could be to deter Gamestop used resale of the game? Unless you're buying new you have to pay extra for the DLC, which will prolly negate any benefit to buying used.

That's probably the primary reason, as this wouldn't be the first time this has been done, see: Gears of War 2, probably other games.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Xeio » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:11 am UTC

LTK wrote:No. The regular, non-pre-ordered versions do not come with the DLC. Some pre-ordered regular editions do, but then again, some do not. EA's dreadful marketing among retailers is to blame for this horrible inconsistency. Here you can see that the Stone Prisoner will cost you $15 and Warden's Keep will cost you $7. It's been argued that the DLC is worth its value in gameplay time, but still: Buyable DLC before the game has even been launched. Positive reinforcement or creatively sucking extra money out of gamers? Fuck that.
The stone prisoner comes with all versions of DA:O. You can see the fine print "Every new retail box". So the only content you have to buy (if you want it) is the warden's keep DLC. Even the ring is free if you use the character creator or whatever.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby defaultusername » Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

Hmm. Well, that's better than worse, I suppose. While I can see why they would want something extra for the digital collector's edition, I do not understand why there has to be one in the first place. I mean, precisely how isn't digital collector's edition an oxymoron? It would make more sense to just knock a few bucks off the digital version and leave it at that. But then, that wouldn't be the EA thing to do, now would it?
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:00 pm UTC

Well installed this yesterday and played through the mage opening. The Baldur's gate feel is certainly there and it seems fairly polished. Enemies seemed to die really easy in the beginning, even on normal (much more easily than some enemies did in the initial BG2 dungeon) but that may just be them keeping difficulty down to let people get used to things.

I really like the fact the dialogue choices you make are NOT spoken out loud. I've been saying for a while now that having spoken dialogue for the PC is a major limiting factor in how many options you can be given (since they all need to be voice acted). By making your dialogue choices unspoken it allows a much larger variety of them. I also like the fact its not always painfully obvious which of the dialogue choices is the "good" one and the "evil" one.

Spoiler:
For example after the blood mage is revealed in the mage start area a templar starts yelling at a girl who was helping the blood mage (and in love with him). Your responses are something like: 1) You forced his hand, he had no choice in the matter (referring to the blood mage revealing himself and hurting people)
2) She didn't know he was a blood mage, he deceived her
3) She did it because she was in love with him!

I mean its not really clear which of those choices will drive what reaction. Now its possible its irrelevant and they all lead to the same thing (which will happen sometimes) but you can't really be sure of that. I find it makes for a much more interesting game instead of the just going "well I'm playing good so I need to answer dialogue option 1".

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

I don't know, most of the options I get are "good" "bad" and "wishy-washy" with an occasional "influence in your favor" option thrown in. I'm playing on the 360 and it's a lot of fun so far. I'm playing as a human rogue from nobility.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:I don't know, most of the options I get are "good" "bad" and "wishy-washy" with an occasional "influence in your favor" option thrown in. I'm playing on the 360 and it's a lot of fun so far. I'm playing as a human rogue from nobility.


Maybe its just that they change the order they're in so you have to pretty much read them all as opposed to the "top is good, bottom is bad" type like in Mass Effect. Im playing as a Human Mage and I just got a second mage in the party. Mage damage seems pretty ridiculous compared to melee damage though. Fireball is pretty ridiculously broken in terms of damage and knockdown too.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

I now have two warriors, two rogues, a mage, and my awesome war dog.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Phen » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:31 pm UTC

I very much appreciate comments from people who has bought the game, since I'm on the fence. I don't want another boring rpg...
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

defaultusername wrote:Wait, there is DLC before the game is even released?! Well fuck you Bioware, you're off my (rapidly diminishing) list if decent game developers. And I was looking forward to this game, too. Pooey.

And I'll add you to my (rapidly growing) list of people who don't know how the fuck game development works.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Xeio » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:32 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
defaultusername wrote:Wait, there is DLC before the game is even released?! Well fuck you Bioware, you're off my (rapidly diminishing) list if decent game developers. And I was looking forward to this game, too. Pooey.
And I'll add you to my (rapidly growing) list of people who don't know how the fuck game development works.
And I'll add you to my list of fucking awesome people with lists.

I'm thinking about getting this for the 360, but I haven't seen reviews comparing it to the PC version (I heard the PS3 controls slightly worse than PC, and I'd assume the 360 follows suit, but I'm curious). I haven't really been hyped up about it though, so I'm not really all that rushed.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby EmptySet » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:42 am UTC

I have read that PC > PS3 > 360, because the PC has a better interface, and the Xbox version is like the PS3 one, but with worse graphics. Also the difficulty in the console versions is apparently toned down considerably to compensate for the fact that you can't order your entire party around at once, which might make it seem a little shallow compared to the PC version.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby defaultusername » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:09 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:And I'll add you to my (rapidly growing) list of people who don't know how the fuck game development works.
Enlighten me. How is it difficult for Bioware to implement already finished content into a yet-to-be-released game? Just try telling me that they have managed to finish an entire DLC in the short time between release to manufacturers and shipping to distributors. Really, just try it.
Because phlogiston.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Axman » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:30 pm UTC

It's not. EA and Bioware do it on purpose.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Wyvern » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:38 pm UTC

(ignoring the squabble over the DLC) I am actually, really, really impressed with this game. While the combat is brutally difficult, (there are powerful enemies everywhere, expect to die a lot so save often) it is very dynamic, and depending on how you handle it, battles can go either very smoothly for catastrophically badly. For tough fights you're generally going to find yourself pausing combat to devise plans and issue individual orders to each of your party members very often.

You can also set up tactics slots for each of your characters, which are like commands that guide the AI while you're not controlling them directly. You have a bunch of these tactics slots, which basically will have the Character take a certain action once a specific condition is met. The actions available are essentially everything the character is capable of, and the conditions are nearly endless. They include things from How much health they have, if they have any status effect, if enemies are at close or long range, the number of enemies clustered around, the strength of the enemies, how much health they have left, if they're attacking a certain character (be it another character in the party or even just the one your controlling that moment) it just goes on, and on, it's nearly endless what you can program the AI to do.

And the story is, excellent. I absolutely adore how they didn't put in some stupid good/evil morality slider. You just make your own decisions and you have to deal with the consequences, whether you just went out of your way to save someone's life or if you just betrayed one of your party members. There are so many tough decisions you have to make, I often find myself at a loss of what I should do. I end up having to make up my mind and pick one, and then deal with the result. It's really enthralling.

(Also, I'm pretty sure that one of your party members is a lesbian. Which is awesome, especially since she's the most religious one there. And she's soooo adorable! d'awwwwwwwww.)

Yes, I haven't played though that much of it yet, but I am already hooked. And to think that there are 5 other scenarios for the start game, that is cool. (because obviously, A dwarven merchant is not going to have the same backstory as a human noble.)

And did I mention that the combat is brutally difficult? Yeah. Expect to die *very* often.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Xeio » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:45 pm UTC

defaultusername wrote:
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:And I'll add you to my (rapidly growing) list of people who don't know how the fuck game development works.
Enlighten me. How is it difficult for Bioware to implement already finished content into a yet-to-be-released game? Just try telling me that they have managed to finish an entire DLC in the short time between release to manufacturers and shipping to distributors. Really, just try it.
The "DLC" is included with the retail boxes. One is for the premium version (you can purchase seperately), the other comes with all versions (plus a few other ones, which are fairly irrelevant, like rings and stuff).

It's DLC by name only, most other places just call it 'premium bonus' for the one with the collectors edition. In fact, the only 'strange' thing is that they included DLC in every version, but this is very likely to combat the second-hand market (you can only redeem the download once), and has been done before by GoW2 (though, IIRC they didn't offer it for sale, so only new purchases could get it), which, grew little to no outrage.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Lamhslea » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

Wyvern wrote:(Also, I'm pretty sure that one of your party members is a lesbian. Which is awesome, especially since she's the most religious one there. And she's soooo adorable! d'awwwwwwwww.)

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure the elf is bi-sexual as he has been hitting on both my main character and Morrigan ever since I picked him up. Additionally, he has a French accent.

I would have liked to keep Alistair and the aforementioned girl in my party, but my character's been dabbling in Blood Magic, and I can't imagine either one would be pleased with that decision. On the upside, I switched Alistair out for Shale, who is ridiculously good. There have been a couple of times when the entire party has been wiped, except for him, and he manages to finish the fight on his own. Luckily, right about the time I needed to drop the girl the elf showed up, who seems to be the male, immoral version of her. I was kind of irked that he sold himself as a 'lockpick' (he's not).

By the way, does anyone know how to open the crafting window? Earlier in the game I had removed the Herbalism button from the quickbar and now I can't get it back. I've tried dragging the Herbalism skill from from the skill pane to the quickbar, but the cursor won't grab it.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby pseudoidiot » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:29 am UTC

Wyvern wrote:Combat AI
I'm not terribly far into the game, yet, but from what I've seen the tactics seem a lot like the gambits in FF12. Which is fine, because I really liked that system, too. Set commands everyone in the party follows, but also the ability to pause, switch characters, and issue specific orders. Right now, just letting everyone do their own thing is fine (just finished the joining ritual), but I can see where it'll become much more important to strategize as the game progresses.

On another note, this is one of the few games I can see the possibility that I might try playing through it more than once. I very rarely play a game more than once, but just within the first couple hours I can tell the experience would be quite a bit different if I'd made a different character.
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Wyvern » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:22 am UTC

Lamhslea wrote:By the way, does anyone know how to open the crafting window? Earlier in the game I had removed the Herbalism button from the quickbar and now I can't get it back. I've tried dragging the Herbalism skill from from the skill pane to the quickbar, but the cursor won't grab it.


I had that problem with poison making too. I eventually discovered that you can drag it from the skill window to the taskbar, just for some reason it only lets you do it if you drag from the box representing the most basic level of poison-making or herbalism. (The one all the way on the left.)

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:09 pm UTC

I hate game comparisions, but I'm having trouble of getting a grasp of what this game is. It looks a lot like Oblivion, with more plot depth and interaction. I've heard comparisons to BG2, which I was always on the fence about (not a big fan of D&D combat, but the game was a blast overall.) Is it like Mass Effect, which was more of an RPG lite with huge background?

I'm currently addicted to Borderlands, so it's gonna take a lot to get me to go out and try Dragon Age.

Can someone give me a brief synopsis on which "genre" of RPG this game tries to be?
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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:16 pm UTC

The console versions are played in an over the shoulder fashion with AI party members. It's almost like an MMO (in terms of gameplay) and nowhere near as RPG light as Mass Effect. It's NOT a huge open world like Oblivion. It's been a looooooooooong time since I played Baldur's Gate, so I can't really comment. I know the PC version lets you pull the camera out and control it not unlike BG, though.

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Re: Dragon Age: Origins

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:44 pm UTC

So I'm actually hearing something along the lines of FFXII with D&D fantasy elements, and typial micro-managed RPG "Bioware-ness".

FFXII coming from the action/strategy/gambits combat system, and over-the-shoulder perspective.
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