Bioware’s Dragon Age III Plans Collated

By Jim Rossignol on August 30th, 2011 at 4:45 pm.


Yes, obviously there’s going to be a third game. It’s a long way off, still. But what are they going to do with it? Match-3 puzzler? We should be so lucky. Instead it’s going to feature an art style similar to DA2, and you’ll be able to full tinker with the loadouts of your party members. Fighting will also be encounter-based, rather than surviving waves of enemies. Hooray!

You see, using my sneaky internet-enabled “eyes” to read this comprehensive thread on NeoGaf, I am able reveal that the game is about “Saving the world from… itself” (you have to include a little pause there when speaking aloud, with dramatic turn to camera) and that whether you play as a set character as in Dragon Age II, or as a player-created character, has yet to be decided and will based on player feedback. Hmm, I think I’ll use my magical ear-trumpet to collect that feedback for you from the howling winds of the internet, Bioware: player-created character. Lots more detail in the thread. There might even be co-op! Maybe. A yes please there, too.

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160 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    “sneaky internet-enabled “eyes””

    Your vision is augmented?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, I can see the internet with them! As far as I know, I am the only one.

    • CMaster says:

      What colour is this “internet” you claim to be able to see?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      My guess is greenish-purple.

    • Valvarexart says:

      I believe you, doctor.

    • The Colonel says:

      Apparently it’s beige

    • CMaster says:

      I’m reminded of the proverb “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. Whenever I hear it, I always think “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is locked up in a mental instituion, or seen as a Uri Gellar-style crank”

    • Premium User Badge Klydefrog says:

      You’re all wrong, my eyes are internet-enabled too and it’s just various shades of grey

    • RuySan says:

      It’s true that Bioware doesn’t make a really good game since BG2, but that doesn’t mean that Dragon Age : Origin isn’t an enjoyable game. Except for Deep Roads of course. That part was terrible.

      EDIT: Oops, wrong place to reply

    • yurusei says:

      While we’re still on the topic of augmentation, augmented Hawke would be pretty awesome.

  2. nimzy says:

    The article image is adorable.

    • Premium User Badge WombatDeath says:

      Yes, I think it’s excellent. It evokes a much more vibrant and jaunty tone than the rather gritty visual style of the first two games. I think that this bodes very well for the third in the series.

    • Renfield says:

      Obvious dumbing down of visuals, plus use of encouraging language, to attract the console/children demographic. Real adult PC game logos are astonishingly complex, and constantly punish you while you look at them.

    • looper says:

      Totally missed a trick there.
      Should’ve been Dragon Ag3.

  3. Wizardry says:

    I think BioWare are just incapable of making decent games. AD&D made them with the Baldur’s Gate series and they’ve been unable to come up with anything even half decent since. Unless they look back at what made the Baldur’s Gate games great, Dragon Age III will end up being just as bad as the first two.

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      100% agreed.

    • Unaco says:

      Although, personally, I’m not a huge fan of it… to say that Dragon Age Origins isn’t a decent game isn’t right. Critical reception of the game was Universally positive, as was the community reception. Commercially, I believe the phrase is “it sold shit-loads”. It was one of the best games of 2010, cemented a new Fantasy IP for Bioware, and was a success across multiple platforms.

      It had faults, certainly… and flaws. And the marketing possibly wasn’t the best. And it was a very different beast than what we were expecting from the “Spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate”. But it was a damn good game nevertheless, many people thoroughly enjoyed it, it reviewed and sold well, and, although it isn’t going to go down as being the greatest (PC) Game Ever like the Baldur’s Gate series, it is certainly going to be remembered fondly, and may even become something of a ‘classic’.

    • Wizardry says:

      Why? I’ve played nearly 200 PC RPGs in my time and the Dragon Age series is one of the worst. It’s effectively a multi-character World of Warcraft but with a very linear world. Combat sucks. Dialogue sucks. World is linear. Character creation sucks. Story is bland. What’s to like?

    • Flint says:

      What’s to like?

      The world, the story, the character creation, the dialogue. Even the combat had its merit of being one of the few good real-time-with-pause implementations.

      Great game.

    • westyfield says:

      “Game X is not a good RPG” is not the same as “Game X is not a good game”.

      I suggest you rethink your position, or you might have to explain to the many, many Neverwinter, KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans why the games they enjoy are in fact bad.

    • Unaco says:

      “What’s to like?”

      Plenty. I’ve played nearly 250 PC RPGs in my time and the Dragon Age series is reasonably good. It’s not very similar to World of Warcraft at all, and the world is reasonably non-linear. Combat was quite good, even if it was on the ‘action’ side at times. Dialogue was hit & miss, some was great, some was quite poor. World is non-linear. Character creation was quite interesting, if a little restrictive, but the Origins system was quite intriguing, and certainly helped with putting across your characters motivations. Story is pretty good. There was plenty to like in it.

    • Wizardry says:

      @westyfield: They aren’t just bad RPGs, they are bad games. What do the games do well as games? I can’t think of anything at all.

    • Nalano says:

      /checks off “Wizardry hates on BioWare” square in RPS Bingo

    • vecordae says:

      Bioware’s made plenty of decent games since Baldur’s Gate. They just weren’t Baldur’s Gate, so they didn’t meet your hopes and expectations. They disappointed you, I can relate to that.

      I think the likelihood of seeing the next “Baldur’s Gate” realized by a AAA studio in glorious 3D is pretty low at this point. It’s not because Baldur’s Gate wasn’t great or that people couldn’t be bothered to play a long, sprawling, 100-hour epic. The primary problem is that the complex the game world becomes, both visually and mechanically, the more time and money is required to create it. Baldur’s Gate could be gigantic because it was 2D. The game could have a huge cast of characters because most of them weren’t voiced.

      And there’s a huge, final consideration to take into account that I think gets ignored. The average age of the PC gamer is going up, not down and the amount of time an adult spends working is also increasing. If a game can’t be played in short chunks, without also providing the player a sense that they have progressed the story in some meaningful way, then many folks simply won’t have time for it and all those extra YEARS of coding and world-building that went into making that game would have been wasted. Why spend 30 extra million to make a super-huge game, when only a small percentage of the player base will even have the time to see it before they get bored?

    • Unaco says:

      “They aren’t just bad RPGs, they are bad games. What do the games do well as games? I can’t think of anything at all.”

      I’m going to say that the problem is with YOU Wizardry, and not with the games.

    • Wizardry says:

      It’s not very similar to World of Warcraft at all

      So how many of those 250 RPGs that you’ve played have a combat system that is based around using abilities with cooldowns? Probably less than 10 at a stretch.

      and the world is reasonably non-linear.

      Why do parts of the capital city only open up near the end of the game? Why is the forest a series of corridors?

      Character creation was quite interesting, if a little restrictive

      What’s interesting about selecting a gender and an origin? How does this compare to the character creation in something like Darklands?

      but the Origins system was quite intriguing, and certainly helped with putting across your characters motivations.

      Your character’s motivations should be whatever you want them to be. The game shouldn’t impose motivations on your character.

      There was plenty to like in it.

      Clearly not.

    • Flint says:

      Having cooldowns making a game identical to WoW is a whole new level of silly even from you.

    • Unaco says:

      “So how many of those 250 RPGs that you’ve played have a combat system that is based around using abilities with cooldowns? Probably less than 10 at a stretch.”

      Combat with Cooldowns DOES NOT make a game equivalent to World of Warcraft.

      “Why do parts of the capital city only open up after near the end of the game? Why is the forest a series of corridors?”

      Some linearity is required in video games. Why did Baldur’s Gate 2 not let you go straight from Athkatla to Suldenesar? Because it needed to have some linearity in the narrative. Some linearity, combined with non-linearity, does not make the game linear.

      “What’s interesting about selecting a gender and an origin? How does this compare to the character creation in something like Darklands?”
      “Your character’s motivations should be whatever you want them to be. The game shouldn’t impose motivations on your character.”

      Darklands may have done it better, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to like in DAO’s. Having an explicit origin and motivations is different to many RPG’s, where there is no explicit backstory, and the player can create it themselves… but being different doesn’t make it bad, just makes it a different type of RPG. It may not be to your liking Wizardy, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing for others to like.

    • vecordae says:

      Fact: Barbarian with a Miniature Space Hamster = Literary Genius.
      Fact: Angry Golem that used to be a Lady Dwarf = Ridiculous, childish, pedantic, and just plain bad.

      Fact: System that abstracts cool-downs by making a game turn-based/use-per-day = Brilliant.
      Fact: System that uses actual real-time = Stupid garbage.

      Fact: Forgotten Realms = most believable fantasy world EVER.
      Fact: Not Forgotten Realms = They Are Bad at World-Building.

      Is that right? I could go on.

    • MOKKA says:

      I know it seems a little bit unsual for people around here to agree with Wizardry but I do it anyway. The first Dragon Age was indeed similiar to WoW (or should I say MMORPGs in general) because the skills indicated some kind of Tank/Healer/DPS Model for your group. Though I have to add that I played this game on its lowest difficulty because I couldn’t stand the fights and wanted them to be over as quickly as possible, so I have no Idea how much of this Model really applied to the game in total.

    • Wizardry says:

      @vecordae: No, because Minsc and all the other Baldur’s Gate characters suck. That’s why the game should be played with a custom party of six in multiplayer mode. Also, the Forgotten Realms sucks. It’s probably the worst D&D setting. So what exactly is your point?

      @Unaco: Because the Baldur’s Gate games suffer from a lot of the same problems that the Dragon Age games do. Being locked out of the city of Baldur’s Gate with absolutely no way of entering is really poor game design. The Baldur’s Gate games are highly flawed, but they are a hell of a lot better than anything BioWare have created since due to the AD&D rules being superior to any of their own systems.

    • vecordae says:

      @wizardry:

      So, if the characters (which drive a good portion of the plot) suck, and the setting sucks, what part of the game do you actually like? The tactical experience? The party-based nature of combat? The opportunity to feel like your party is part of some greater destiny?

      What I’m getting at is that you haven’t actually bothered to describe what it is you want. You just kind of rail on everything for not being good enough. What is it that defines a good RPG for you, then? Things like “party members that don’t suck” doesn’t help because it’s entirely subjective. Things like “party members who can do X, Y, and Z” aren’t, so that would probably be helpful.

    • Sharkticon says:

      *********I suggest you rethink your position, or you might have to explain to the many, many Neverwinter, KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans why the games they enjoy are in fact bad.*********

      Waaaa fanbois can’t handle their beloved games being shit waaaaa. I enjoy lots of games that even I consider ‘objectively’ crap, but I enjoy them nonetheless. Bioware really haven’t done anything decent since BG2. Vanilla NWN was dull, KOTOR 2 is better than KOTOR 1, Jade Empire was interesting but not exceptional, the Mass Effect games are not RPGs and therefore disqualified from this discussion, both Dragon Age games are awful.

      On the user side of things, combat is exactly WoW combat. Select target, press number keys, wait for cooldowns, repeat. It’s also dull, fighting the same handful of enemy types throughout the game.

      Graphically, none of Bioware’s recent games come close to being as good looking as the Infinity Engine games. DAO and DA2 are bad looking games.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      How are the Mass Effect games not RPG’s?

      You do missions and kill stuff, you get xp, improve your character, and get different weapons to use.

      You can roleplay as a good or bad Shepard through a free form story meeting characters who you can choose to build friendships with, or not.

      Your Shepard has several different classes to choose from to augment your playing style.

      You explore your way through various environments at your own pace.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Wizardry is so cute! Set him up and off he goes. It’s great, every time.

    • Sharkticon says:

      *****How are the Mass Effect games not RPG’s?*****

      Third person cover shooters with RPG elements.

      NFS Shift had XP. You do races and win stuff, improve your car and get different cars to use.

      You can roleplay a ‘good’ or ‘evil’ driver (precision/clean driving vs. aggressive driving).

      Your driver has several different cars and upgrades to choose from to augment your playing style.

      You drive your way through various challenges and events at your own pace.

      OMG NFS Shift is an RPG!!!

    • Wizardry says:

      @vecordae: What I want and what I accept are quite far apart. What I want is a game that is inspired by all the good parts of existing games instead of all the bad parts. What I can accept and enjoy are games that do some things exceptionally well. Some of my favourite games are ones that have a huge number of flaws.

      @PatrickSwayze: Why isn’t Mass Effect a cover shooter?

    • qwiggalo says:

      I agree, Bioware is the most overrated developer this century.

      Dull combat and horrendously boring mini-games are my biggest issue with them.

    • Zelius says:

      Why are people arguing with Wizardry again? You know you’re not gonna change his mind, right?

    • wintermute says:

      Having played over 9000 rpgs myself, I have to say Sims 3 is still the best.

      I mean you can go into any house from the start and take a piss in their loo.

      Take THAT linearity.

    • Azradesh says:

      One of the things that made the Baldur’s Gate games so great was the AD&D rule set. Everyone, NPC or player, followed the some rules. You didn’t get some uber, 10000000 hit point human because they were just human. Dragons on the other hand were ever hard to kill.

      In Dragon Age normal humans are FAR to hard to kill, he just got hit in the face by a massive axe! Why is he still moving?! He didn’t dodge it, or block it, or evade it. He took it to the face! This pisses me off. Have the creatures dodge, block, parry or evade please and if I hit them with a massive axe in the face have them die! Have glancing blows. Stop with the hit point stacking.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Azradesh: Yes. That’s something the D&D games did right. Enemies have largely the same set of statistics as your own characters. Enemies are treated as your equals. Even the final bosses have a similar number of hit points to your characters. Enemies also wear equipment too. An enemy using fire arrows will shoot fire arrows at you. An enemy with a potion in his inventory may use it when his health is low. An enemy wearing full plate mail has the appropriate armour class and is thus hard to damage. The games are fair as they consistently apply the rules to both your characters and computer controlled characters (friend or foe). Okay, stuff like cheat contingencies in Baldur’s Gate II broke some of that, but it’s still miles ahead of games like Dragon Age.

    • vecordae says:

      @wizardry

      Yeah, I understand that. That sort of player/monster equity isn’t as important to me, but I do enjoy it when I find it. Alright, I apologize for being a smug prick earlier, then. I still maintain that what constitutes a good RPG is entirely subjective, but I was wrong for being an internet dick about it.

    • Jumwa says:

      This just seems like trolling.

      Is it just me?

      Comparing DA:O to WoW? I mean… c’mon. I didn’t even like DA:O and am no fan of WoW’s gameplay, but I can say that’s blatantly absurd.

    • Azradesh says:

      I think he means that it uses many MMO style systems like the holy trinity of class types and concepts like threat generation. I don’t think he’s saying it looks like WoW. I know I felt like I was playing the whole party in a dungeon run when I played Dragon Age.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Azradesh: Don’t forget the hotkey/cooldown combat.

      vecordae: Even the genre that is RPG is impossible to define. For some people it’s just creating a character and playing a role. For others it needs to have turn-based combat or else it’s a popamole game. Others might just want C&C and don’t care about anything else. Personally, I think System Shock 2 is the greatest RPG ever made, but for someone else it’s just an FPS with RPG elements.

      But I mostly have to agree with Wizardry.

    • JackShandy says:

      Jim: He reminds me of the boulder from rock of ages.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      But the rock is so happy!

    • Bloodloss says:

      Please try to explain to me why the Baldur’s Gate games, which are glorified dungeon crawlers, are better than the well-designed Dragon Age Origins; a proper RPG with a bunch of different ways to handle quests, choices and consequences (of which there were none in Baldur’s Gate), and so on.

      I agree with you about DA2 and most things in general (I don’t consider Mass Effect 2 an RPG for example), but I suspect you are hating DA:O for no good reason, as it was a good RPG.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Gah, didn’t mean to reply.

    • Azradesh says:

      @Bloodloss

      Did you even play Baldur’s Gate?! Sounds like you’re suffering from……bloodloss (I’m so sorry).

      There’s plenty of choice consequences and often more then Bioware’s now good, bad and dick choice system. Just read through the quest section of this http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/258273-baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn/faqs/62509 and see for yourself.

      Baldur’s Gate 2 is by far Bioware’s best game to date on every scale bar graphics.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Bloodloss: Choices and consequences in terms of changing the story by making decisions is not what is key to a good RPG. What is key to a good RPG is having multiple options available to you at any given time that lets you use your character in a way that suits their statistics. An example of a good RPG quest:

      You have to steal a painting from a nobleman’s home. You can:
      a) Stealth in at night and take the painting (for characters with high stealth related abilities).
      b) Buy the painting off him (for rich characters with money making skills such as gambling and bartering).
      c) Murder the nobleman silently (for stealthy characters with high combat skills).
      d) Murder the nobleman and kill his guards (for combat focused characters).
      e) Persuade him to give up the painting (high dialogue related skills such as persuasion).
      f) Intimidate him into giving you the painting (for physically imposing characters).
      g) Trap the nobleman in his cellar and take the painting (for characters with high trap skills).
      h) Hire the local thief guild to steal the painting for you (for diplomatic characters with good guild relations).

      An example of a bad RPG quest:

      You have to steal a painting from a nobleman’s home. You can:
      a) Steal the painting from the nobleman’s home.
      b) Refuse to steal the painting from the nobleman’s home.
      c) Tell the nobleman that you were tasked with stealing his painting.

      Why? Because the bottom quest doesn’t reward you for the character you’ve made. You know that at that point in the game you can make any of those three decisions without any influence from your previous actions. You know that you can complete the quest in multiple ways regardless of whether your character is good at particular tasks or not. Therefore the statistics of your character plays no part in the choices you make. A gulf forms between your character and the way you are playing the game. There is no union between the two unless you are prodded towards making choices based on your character’s statistics.

      Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. “But Baldur’s Gate II doesn’t have those kind of options”. That’s a reasonable line of thought, but the thing is that Baldur’s Gate II is an AD&D game and therefore the character’s statistics are 99% geared towards combat related ability. In an RPG based entirely around combat ability, the quest options become how you go about killing your opponents. A mage casts spells, a thief back stabs, a bard sings songs, a fighter swings swords etc. Dragon Age: Origins does this too, of course. However, the big difference here is that Dragon Age: Origins has really, really awful combat. Really awful. Terrible in fact. Worse than terrible. Abysmal. World of Warcraft like.

    • Keeper_Deven says:

      I’m alternating between Baldur’s Gate 2 and Dragon Age: Origins right now, and except for the WoW thing (I haven’t played it, so I don’t know), I have to agree with everything Wizardry has said. And yes, that includes Minsc.

      For me, what makes BG2 the only truly great game BioWare has ever made is the ideal story-to-gameplay ratio. The combat is challenging enough that you are actually motivated to gain more abilities and make the best use of them, and buy equipment so you can make it through the next big fight. I remember spending the better part of an afternoon trying to find various ways to not be killed by just two higher-level mages. I tried to get them to waste their spells on summoned creatures–death by their summoned creatures. I tried overwhelming them with melee types–death by horrid wilting. Using the ranger to backstab them–confusion, then death by my ranger. Stinking cloud + summoned skeletons–slightly delayed death.

      But I had more fun during that one encounter than any in DA:O, where every fight is indistinguishable from the next. I played BG2 for the first time after DA:O, and I couldn’t believe that this was the same company that gave us the Deep Roads.

      Then three romances were foisted on me, and I had no trouble believing it was the same company.

    • Xerian says:

      Wizardry, just stop already. I know, from watching your rant on an immense amount of RPG-articles, that you’re in the small niche that likes nothing but old-school CRPG’s, and nothing more. Just stop already, you wont ever be pleased with the way the industry has moved, so just… Stop ranting, it’s getting quite old.

    • mejoff says:

      “What is key to a good RPG is having multiple options available to you at any given time that lets you use your character in a way that suits their statistics.”

      Aaaaand here it is.

      That’s not roleplay, that’s a spreadsheet.

      What’s key to an RPG is that it lets you act according to the character you are playing, I find Bioware games let me make the choices the person I have chosen to play would make. Yes my character choice is informed by the setting, and yes, my stat choices are informed by my character choice, but to boil roleplaying down to numbers is to miss the point, which is why you always do.

    • Wizardry says:

      @mejoff: RPGs are RPGs. Role-playing isn’t a game.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      If people Still Don’t Get It after that last example, they’re either not reading or they’re incredibly dense. *shrug*

      Either way, arguing does seem pointless.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I can only dream of the day when someone will produce the ultimate character driven RPG about a party of scientific calculators who can choose whether to combat equations or avoid them through persuasion and sneakery until they gain the predetermined amount of experience points to level up in which they can choose which of their 5 arbitrary stats (of which 3 should be useless) to increase by +1 before spending 2 hours walking in a straight line back to town to sell random useless loot for the sole purpose of being a time sink. I don’t think there’s enough numbers in there to be considered an RPG though, if RPGs were meant to be games in which you play roles they would call them GPRs. Microsoft Excel is the only true CRPG around and all of you are ignorant and/or jealous haters. And I can’t believe they ruined the Mario franchise, there hasn’t been a good excessive psychedelic mushroom use simulation RPG in years.

  4. Njordsk says:

    plan for DA3 :

    erase DA 2
    take DAO
    improve

    Tadammm, there is your great game.

    • Nameless1 says:

      What is going to happen:

      - Take DA2
      - Worsen it a little more to continue the trend
      - Sell to those crazy enough to still buy it
      - Profit

    • Schelome says:

      Well, we would normally express the second to last point as ???
      but yours is fine too.

    • Gunstar Zero says:

      all they need to do is take DA:O and add more story.

      maybe tweak the graphics engine here and there.

    • Robin says:

      We all know 99,9% it won’t happen.

      I think they stated clearly what player base they are aiming for. Consequences of this choice will inevitably show in their work.

    • Aemony says:

      What will actually happen:

      - Take DA2
      - Learn from the feedback of players
      - Release DLC which alleviates the idiotic design choices that DA2 comprises of
      - Hype DA3 to oblivion by marketing it as a lot of player-oriented by the use of constant FB polls to allow uneducated players to vote on design choices they do not fully understand nor care about
      - Disregard the majority of that PR
      - Continue on the path of “RPGs most evolve!!!” and make DA3 more accessible than ever
      - Continue to hype DA3 even beyond oblivion, focusing on the now alleviated design choices “learned” from DA2, without actually letting anything about the game slip out to the market
      - “Hire” a reviewer at a highly respected magazine to make a pre-release review of the game, hyping it even further
      - Sell to those crazy enough to still buy it
      - Profit
      - Disregard the player complaints by blaming the community’s involvement in the design development while chanting the “RPGs must EVOLVE, BE MORE ACCESSIBLE!!!” mantra, utilizing a retarded list of excusing away the reaction amongst previous fans, banning fans from their games when they complain on the forums (blaming it on trolling), coercing another retarded engineer to write a highly subjective review of the game on all platforms on Metacritic where he calls into question the validity of other users complain

      Also, blame 4chan.

    • Nick says:

      I’d say.. “pretend to learn from the feedback of players” personally.

    • Gunstar Zero says:

      DA2 was just so dissapointing after the original had so much depth and attention to detail.

      With every iteration of bioware stuff they seem to think “if we make this simpler we will sell more!” – that just means you make generic average unremarkable bland disappointing non-entities. I hate that personally but now they’re owned by EA I suppose they have to make the $$$

  5. Tei says:

    I am waiting for Dragon Age 2 to cost less than 20€ to buy it.

  6. LazerBeast says:

    It’s going to be a FPS.

    • Schelome says:

      No, thats mass effect.
      Dragon Age is becoming a hack and slash, it appears that as far as Bioware are concerned its all about RPGs are for pansies.
      :/

    • briktal says:

      From TW2 they learned hardcore rpg gamers don’t want slow, turn-based-ish combat and 1-x dialogue boxes, they want action combat and dialogue wheels.

  7. Premium User Badge Anthile says:

    I still don’t get why it’s called Dragon Age. It’s not that dragons have ever been of any importance in the two games. Sure, you can see and fight them but they could exchange them for cows and it would do nothing. I guess the marketing department made sure that there is at least one meaningless fantasy buzzword in the title so people don’t accidentally think it’s a pinball game. There, that’s all I have to say about Dragon Age right now. Considering that both games had more than enough issues, I don’t have very high hopes for a sequel. They might as well bury the franchise and do something interesting instead.

    • Ian says:

      I don’t really get why DA2 was a full sequel in a series called Dragon Age given the dragons were irrelevent, but they were fairly important in the first game and in the history of the world in general.

      That said, I want “Cow Age” to be made.

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, well, Cow Age could be misconstrued as Cowage which is a tropical vine. I shudder to think of the implications!

    • Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

      I guess “Confllict between crazy mages, military religious powers, dirty foriegners and pure evil baddies Age” wasn’t a marketable title!

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Well, if you want a slightly banal answer, it’s called Dragon Age because they are literally living in the “Dragon Age’ at the time the games take place. It’s the name of the current historical era of that world.

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      I guess “Not quite Neverwinter Nights” Age wasn’t marketable either.

    • Nova says:

      It’s not like the archdemon appeared as a dragon, eh?

    • Premium User Badge Durkonkell says:

      Every ‘Age’ is named after a significant event or prophecy by… some seers somewhere, I can’t remember. Anyway, at the beginning of the current age (which I seem to remember is 100 years) dragons were sighted for the first time in many ages, and so they called this the Dragon Age.

      Also, it is an Age of Dragons – i.e. a fantasy world.

      I kinda liked the D&Dalike RPG system in DA:O, and while it seems like a lot of people are hypercritical of the entire series, I tend to agree with John about both the original and the sequel. In short: Player created character, please. I also liked the origin stories. I’m normally a big fan of co-op, but I can take or leave it in this case.

  8. Ian says:

    DEAR BIOWARE PLAYER-CREATED CHARACTER PLEASE K THX.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      +1

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      A scripted character done properly works just fine – take JC Denton, Geralt, etc.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      Sure, it really can. And Bioware made probably my personal favourite in Shep. But DA:O gave me quite a bit of choice through the origins and I really missed not having that. I’d rather this franchise went further in that direction.

    • Ian says:

      @ 1R0N_W00K13: You are absolutely right. But Hawke was a bit rubbish and I loved the Origins.

  9. BatmanBaggins says:

    Hire writers with some actual talent for DA3, please.

    The lore behind the DA world is actually pretty vast and at times even slightly interesting, but they waste all of its potential on tripe like the plot of DA2.

    • terry says:

      “I like big boats, I cannot lie”

    • Wizardry says:

      Hire some game designers. Perhaps pen and paper RPG ones.

    • Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

      If nothing else the Dragon Age 2 writing did give us a hilarious list of “sailing is a lot like sex . . .” analogies.

      They should hire whichever RPS commenter made the funniest one and put them in charge of innuendo for the third game, then it will be even more awesome.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      I particularly liked it when that guy turned himself into a monster for no reason other than so we could BOSS FIGHT

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      That was what bugged me the most with the ending fight. I mean, we were WINNING, the Templars never managed more than two steps before I boiled them. Then when they are RETREATING (at least, that’s what it looked like) that guy, can’t remember the name, says something to the effect of “we’re losing, I have no choice” and *poof*, boss fight. For no reason other than that bioware couldn’t come up with something better
      Bioware, next time put some thought into the boss fights, k? And if you can’t think of an interesting boss at certain places, just don’t place a boss there at all. You could have just put some more “semi-bosses” in the Templar forces, like assassins and such if you wanted to make the fight more challenging.

    • JackShandy says:

      Look, if I had my way every character would turn into a giant monster for a bossfight.

      “I’m behind on my taxes… I have no choice but to activate my FINAL FOOOOOOORM”

  10. kuran says:

    I really, really wish Demon’s Souls was a PC game.

  11. d32 says:

    Will they manage to make it even better?

  12. Stupoider says:

    Button = EVEN MORE AWESOME

    End of line.

  13. Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

    @Anthile. Well, the Big Bad of the first game was a dragon. I don’t see how you could make them any more important, without making them the player character.

    Anyway, I loved both games. Both had flaws, sure, but I found them inconsequential to what Bioware got right. They are listening to what the fans are telling them they got wrong, (the Legacy DLC showed that), so I’m really looking forward to the next instalment.

    • Stupoider says:

      “Legacy DLC showed that”

      There’s some kind of irony to it?

    • Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

      Sorry, I must be the stupoid one (do you see what I did there? :) ). I don’t understand what you mean by including that link. Is there irony?

      The Legacy DLC gave us different environments, non-wave combat, a twist on the final boss combat (rather than just making him/her/it a hitpoint-sink). The only thing I think they missed was a lack of a Big Choice That Has Big Consequences, and that was never going to happen in DLC.

    • Stupoider says:

      It’s just releasing DLC to fix some of the issues doesn’t solve the problem of all the DLC advertised as preorder bonuses and actual DLC before release.

  14. povu says:

    Bioware doing co-op possibly? Baldur’s Gate 3, plz.

  15. Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

    Dragon Age 2 had the better concept but for the most part the execution of Dragon Age was far better (the not most part being the Deep Roads!). Will they sort it out and make a great game? Probably not. Will they make a reasonably enjoyable game that’s worth picking up for cheap? Quite possibly.

    • almostDead says:

      The ‘fade’ nonsense was way worse than the deep roads.

  16. Premium User Badge shoptroll says:

    Long way off? More like holiday 2012. No way EA’s letting this slide to 2013. It sounds like they are a ways into hashing out the mechanics if they’re talking like this.

  17. Jimbo says:

    “You can fully equip your followers again, but it doesn’t change their appearance.”

    Think this needed a little pause and a dramatic turn to the camera.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      …the hell?

      So why exactly are we going BACKWARDS now? The “equipment doesn’t physically show up in-game” flaw was an issue with limited hardware. In 1990s. Even JRPGs, the world’s most stagnant video game genre, is starting to show physical equipment in-game.

      Stop being such lazyasses, BioWare. It’s really not funny.

    • Erd says:

      That’s got to be up there with rehashing the same cave as far as time savers go.

      Dragon age 3: Nov ’11

  18. Lipwig says:

    What makes you think it will take more than one year? DA2 was obviously rushed out the door and contained numerous copy+paste areas and enemies. It worked, !!!. Why not give it another shot? There’s still some gameplay left !!!, might as well push it to the limit. Yearly Dragon Age Action Sequences? Why not ???

  19. atticus says:

    As always, agree with all mentioned criticism against DA2 and all that. What I really want left out in DA3 is the animated sex. That shit really creeps me out, because it looks horrible in both games. Hands totally out of proportions, tighs and heads clipping into each other… It has only comical value.

    So, more enviroments, less enemies spawning from thin air etc., and NO ANIMATED SEX!

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      They’ll never take that stuff out.

      Have you BEEN to the official Bioware forums?

      Many of their most devoted fans seem to play their games solely to acquire virtual girl/boyfriends.

      And as we all know, there’s no point in girlfriend or boyfriend, virtual or otherwise, if you can’t sex them

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I’d be all for sex if it was actual sex.

      The safe for “ABC Family” TV-PG style cuddling whilst wearing underwear sex that was in Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 is just silly.

      They either need to just show us straight up R-rated tits, ass, and hairy-man-man ass humping, or they just need to do what they did with “Jade Empire” and “fade out” while the characters are kissing and cut to the next day.

      The awkward in between thing they are doing is just stupid. Watching elves romp about in speedos is just unintentionally hilarious.

    • Erd says:

      Looks like that shit is being modded in on the nexus. Even if you took it out someone would mod it in, and it would be a hugely popular mod that made you cringe when you read the top 50 lists.

      Also, the worst part was the cheesy fantasy love scene music.

  20. Premium User Badge daphne says:

    I wonder if I’ll live to see a Bioware game that doesn’t involve saving the world. Good thing I’m still in my twenties, but still… maybe that should make me worry.

  21. sakmidrai says:

    STOP MAKING ME SAVE THE WORLD BIOWARE.
    Please start having plot in your games… please…

    • Nalano says:

      “The hordes are descending on the city! Don’t you want to take a stand?”

      “NO! I want to start up a tiki bar and serve colorful mimosas to sailors.”

      “But they’ll burn everything down! We need you!”

      “TIKI BAR.”

      “But you’re our only ho–”

      TIKI BAR!

    • Turkey says:

      Yeah please focus more on telling more personal stories with your terrible cast of Whedon inspired characters, Bioware.

    • Erd says:

      I’ve never watched Buffy. Is there a reason Joss Whedon-esque-ness seems to be so coveted?

  22. Nimic says:

    People are being far too harsh on Dragon Age. I thought Origins was a very, very good game. I’d have to, considering how much time I’ve spent on it. Dragon Age 2.. it was decent entertainment, but obviously it was a large step in the wrong direction, and the entire plot was pretty bad (not to mention the last part of it, which was pure garbage).

    Seems like they realized they didn’t go the right way with DA2.

    Then again, I thought Crysis was one of the best shooters I’ve played, and have completed it at least three times. Maybe I’m just easy to please.

  23. DrGonzo says:

    I actually prefer playing as a pre designed character when playing through a story. Dragon Age 2s character was boring not because they created it, just because it was boring.

    It’s only in games without a story like Oblivion and Skyrim I want to create my own character (they have no story to me at least, they are the worst parts of the elder scrolls games).

  24. Jimbo says:

    Did they ever explain why Ferelden turned into Mars between the first and second game?

  25. TsunamiWombat says:

    So I guess i’m the only person on gods green earth that actually liked DA2 then?

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      I loved it. They nailed combat, unlike a certain Witcher 2 I could mention. If DA3 was like DA2 without repeating environments it’s be the coolness. Co-op is a dreadful ide for a heavily story based game, however. Less of that please.

    • Jimbo says:

      I actually played through DA2 twice, though more out of curiosity than any great love of the game. I thought the combat system itself was pretty good, and I liked Act 2 a lot (the Qunari one). Act 3 is lol terrible though.

      Origins was probably better overall (mostly because it wasn’t so obviously rushed), but I wasn’t crazy about Origins either tbh. Not enough variety in the encounters (just like DA2) and overall I thought the story was pretty dull too.

    • Azradesh says:

      I liked the idea of Dragon Age 2′s story tell, it wasn’t another “save the world” bullocks. But it was very rushed and poorly handled. I also HATED the combat waves. Playing on nightmare and perfectly using and moving each party member and then POOF! elite assassins spawn and one shot your mages after you kill the first lot.

  26. BatmanBaggins says:

    I feel they should continue along course with their BUTTON = AWESOME design philosophy

    • Stick says:

      Yeah, an actually responsive interface with clear visual feedback and eye-candy is definitely the way to go.

      Oh, I’m sorry, were you just spouting memes without regard to the original context? Carry on then.

  27. Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

    I really, really liked DA:O. In fact I spent longer with it than any other game ever. I basically played it for a year.

    I played the demo of DA2 and decided that I didn’t want to spend my money on it. The waves of combat were ruinous for me, as was Hawke and his family. The reviews seemed to confirm those problems last throughout the game.

    • Arglebargle says:

      After playing the demo, and doing a lot of reading of reviews and game experiance, I did not pick up the game. Actually, it pretty much convinced me that the game’s not worth playing even if it were free.

      I couldn’t get the time back, you know.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I played the demo and thought it was terrible. I picked the game up anyway because I like all of Bioware’s RPG’s and it sat on the shelf untouched for months. Last week I finally got around to it, and honestly…I didn’t think it was that bad. If Origins was an homage to Baldur’s Gate, then DA2 was basically Neverwinter Nights- a lame campaign where you collect things while being stuck in some stupid city, and the combat worked best if you manually set up tactics for your companions and controlled only Hawke (NWN-style). Still, the game was worth playing if only for the Merrill subplots and Varric’s hilarious exaggerations and subsequent retelling of parts of the story. It’s probably Bioware’s second weakest RPG (after the original NWN campaign) but it’s still good enough to play through one time whenever it’s cheap, imho.

  28. Haasth says:

    I have seen quite a few photoshops in my time, and I think this is one. Hard to tell though, but I am quite the expert.

  29. Nick says:

    I want everything to explode when I push a button, then all the NPCs to sex me at once.

  30. Azriel says:

    What they should do is pretend DA2 never existed and just continue with DAO. However, since its the same guy who screwed up DA2 (WHO STILL DEFENDS THAT TURD OF A GAME!!!) is in charge of making DA3, I am sure that all this talk of combining the best of DAO and DA2(there was something good in DA2?!?!) is 100% PR BS. They will just make another DA2 with less repeating areas and have a few token choices that might actually matter, besides that, it will be another turd, just less smelly.

    People just need to realize that bioware as an RPG maker is DEAD thanks to EA. Now, all they care about is making cinematic action games where you can sleep with everyone. Yea, that pretty much sums them up.

  31. Mad Hamish says:

    bugger, mis-post

  32. lowprices says:

    I must be in the minority of people who actually enjoyed DA2 more than DA:O.

    My two hopes: Make it gayer, if possible. Like, Torchwood gay.

    Also, hire another level designer. Hell, go crazy, hire two.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I agree, here’s to hoping bioware will release the biggest, gayest, most action packed game of all time! One thing I thought was missing from the first 2 games is after you sex up a companion there’s no action button to make them explode into a fountain of blood, this needs to be added in if I am to enjoy the this sequel.

  33. taldira says:

    Dragon Age tries so hard to be Song of Ice an Fire, but fails on so many levels. For that you’ll have to actually have some writing talent on your team, and not “mages and templars herp derp, see i can do a DARK AND MATURE STORY TOO!”. Add to that some really awful art style that isn’t even consistent from one game to another, bland graphics in both games, uninspired gameplay that makes you yawn, iillusion of choice that they don’t even try to hide, and well… Dragon Age is going down harder then a sack full of bricks.

  34. Azradesh says:

    Nonononononono! No co-op!

  35. db1331 says:

    What are the odds of it being titled: “DRAGON AG3″ with the “3″ made out of a blood smear/spatter?

  36. myaltisa says:

    I hope the devs had a good look at the competition, coz it’s getting better than they are at their niche.

    I liked Dragon Age Origin’s, stopped playing Dragon Age 2 because Bioware forgot to hire their usual writers on that one (or had them all too busy on their pet MMO), then played The Witcher 2 (yes I missed the original).

    Nuff said…

  37. 0mer says:

    Bioware needs to move their current setup of “Here are 4 major quests, complete them, then the final area will be unlocked for you.” DA:O/DA:A (ugh what a waste of money btw), ME1/ME2 all follow this same exact formula.

    Contrast this style with The Witcher & The Witcher 2. These two games are so much more dynamic because the plot unfolds as you progress through the game. Quests follow you through chapters and areas, they unfold dynamically and effortlessly (eg it doesn’t feel forced 90% of the time) and allow for enough non-linearity that you aren’t bored to tears the second time you play through the game. Chapter 2 of TW2 is easily one of the best chapters in RPG history, not only because it offers two completely different stories, but because the story unfolds organically. You have to dispel a curse, find conspirators, investigate mysterious places and none of it feels forced. Compare this to DA:O where you have the mage tower quest, the deep roads quest, the castle quest, and the forest quest, each one isolated from the rest of the world in it’s own neat little bubble. There’s very little synthesis between the different areas and no mention of consequences until the very end of the game.

  38. elnalter says:

    i didnt buy da2, and i wont buy da3 either

  39. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Oh joy something new for me to grit my teeth over.

    And I even enjoyed DA2 despite its monumental amount of faults.

  40. Britney.S says:

    BIOWARE ARE CUNTS AND THERE GAMES ARE SHIT

  41. kyrieee says:

    I’ll tell you what my plans for DA3 are:
    To not buy it

  42. matrices says:

    Don’t worry about it, guys:

    ….

    ….

    The Witcher 3 will be better.

  43. Juan Carlo says:

    Dragon Age Origins is an awesome game–provided you haven’t played many RPGs before.

    In my experience, it’s a great “introduction to RPG gaming” type game. All the people I know who love it tend to be more casual RPG gamers who haven’t played many RPGs before. But the diehard RPG fans tend to hate it.

    Personally, though, I don’t think it’s an awful game. It has its flaws (some of which are pretty big), but it held my interest for one 80 hour or so play through.

    • mejoff says:

      Uhm, no?

      I’ve played plenty of RPGs, both on and off my computer, in fact I consider myself to be a pretty hard core roleplayer, and I loved Origins, I’m quite enjoying 2 as well.

  44. Buttless Boy says:

    If there was a game about game development, and certain dialog decisions made your game project either Good or Bad, Bioware would be in that awkward point where the dialog always reads like Bioware’s Good, but Bioware’s team is always complaining because the project is so Bad, and for some reason Bioware gets the ending where they sleep with the sound designer who they barely talked to.

  45. DarkFenix says:

    I sincerely hope DA3 flops dramatically. After all, the only thing that sold DA2 was the goodwill DA:O generated. With the bitter taste DA2 has left in the mouths of a great many Bioware fans there will be no such benefit for DA3.

    I personally no longer trust Bioware to make a decent game. DA2 was awful, ME2 was something of a letdown, ME3 looks awful, TOR looks worse than awful. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  46. Kaldor says:

    The changes from DA1 to DA2 were largely cosmetic in nature. The combat rolled out a little bit differently, but you didn’t have to take different actions: take position, click on all you abilities, adjust. I found DA1 underwhelming largely because of its awkward Young Age writing style (or as another way to describe it: web comics, fan fiction etc.) and because it was neither a great classical nor a great modern/non-linear classical RPG. It was just a mediocre, big, wordy RPG with a lot of good vibes and undeniable charm (well, it IS popular, and so it is obviously “nice”). The freedom was mostly for show. DA3 is going to be good, it is probably going to be improved to the predecessors, it will have more things happening, some good variety and a lot of polish. But in essence it will still be a naive DA game. And that means that there will be a lot of fights over it, because it is such a strange mixture of epic, historical storytelling with light, self-conscious soap opera, and there simply is no way not to have those elements in an eternal turmoil. The gameplay is just an extension of this (and Bioware is too far gone to suddenly burst out with an all-classical system). Look at The Witcher on the other hand. Yes, there are criticisms and different opinions. But mostly people can agree on what it is and know what they get.

  47. Janus says:

    Quite how BioWare manages to court this level of fanfare is beyond me, considering they’ve only ever made one passable game, of which I strongly doubt the vast majority of Dragon Effect 2′s player-base has even heard.

  48. Dariune says:

    I had a dream. Bioware had stopped making games. T’was a good dream.

    Unencumbered by the oppression of Biowares marketing department the smaller devs came out from hiding and started maing RPG’s with a quality not seen in this age.

    People from all walks of life flocked together to play these RPG’s, wars ceased and there was harmony through out the world.

    Then i woke to the grim, harsh reality of Bioware being not only well, but making a third “RPG” in the DA series.

    I wept. T’was a good dream.

    Dariune

  49. Nethlem says:

    I wish they would stop producing soooo much medicore stuff and instead just focus on a few great titles.
    DA2 done, ME3 still in the works, TOR still in the works, now they announced Wrath of Heroes and now this DA3 announcement.

    Seriously… stop making so much crap at once and rather focus on 1-2 quality titles. I also hate how every game they make moves away more from what “RPG” used to mean. Instead they turn the games into something where looks go over substance….

    What they like to call an “RPG” often comes down to very linear, guided experiences that rather tries to tell a story the developers thought up instead of giving the player the tools to experience his own story.

  50. Dys Does Dakka says:

    I’m long since past the point of even raising an eyebrow at anything Bioware or EA does -it’s certainly their prerogative to make products I don’t give a shit about-, and am well aware this is buried long past where any sane person would care to look, but I just get this feeling of something great having been terribly wasted, and had to comment, even if noone’s there to hear my particular tree fall.

    Dragon Age bears the distinct scars of a game being a long time in development with a distinct vision of what it should be, then suddenly forced to shift towards something more action-gamey near the end of that dev time.
    The jarring and puerile “This is the new shit” marketing campaign leading up to its release was just the beginning. The half-arsed, simplistic and formulaic DA 2 is the logical end product of that shift, considering EA’s history of turning everything into a formula so a new robot-assembled iteration can be released every year.

    That’s not to say I consider Bioware innocent victims of Evil Arts’ manipulations; they seem all too happy being EA’s zombie studio de l’année.