Speak Up: BioWare Now Taking Dragon Age 3 Suggestions

By Nathan Grayson on May 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Either a screenshot from Dragon Age II or Bloodgame IV: Bloodletting Bloodstravangza Starring Badd Bluud - I'm not sure which.

Somehow, I doubt Dragon Age 3 is going to reuse levels at every all-too-familiar turn. And while BioWare still isn’t mentioning the next swords ‘n’ sorcery sequel by name because ours is a silly, silly industry, it’s now launching an official monthly “series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age” with the goal of getting a feel for what fans want. Do not, however, expect your fanfic simply titled “Anders: Lion Rider” to ride a red carpet right into series canon. “We’re not making promises,” emphasizes BioWare. “We’re talking about ideas.”

BioWare’s Jessica Merizan outlined the month-by-month plan on BioWare’s official blog:

“Beginning today, we’ll do a series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age. Consider this a conversation between fans, the community team, and the developers. Everyone at BioWare is incredibly excited about the future of the franchise but we’re interested in what you have to say. Every month, we will discuss a topic or question about Dragon Age and game development. You will have one week to post your thoughts, desires, and hopes before we close the thread for review. Moderators and developers will pop into the thread to chat every now and again, so keep an eye out.”

“However, it’s worth reminding that we’re not making promises, we’re talking about ideas. We won’t guarantee that things we discuss will materialize and we’re not showing anything until we’re ready. And as a last bit of housekeeping, the purpose of these exercises isn’t crowd sourcing or soliciting your game dev concepts (keep those close in case you want to make a game someday!). This should remain a discussion between BioWare and fans about what you loved about Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2—what this franchise means to you.”

This month’s question is “What kinds of things would you like to discover and learn about the Dragon Age world?” You can flex your brain’s lore cortex (henceforth known as a loretex) in this forum thread. Obviously, it’d be more productive to voice your thoughts into the wall BioWare has its ear pressed against, but RPS never stops listening. Even when you don’t want us to.

For whatever it’s worth, I actually liked some aspects of Dragon Age II. While the execution was extremely sloppy and rushed, the idea of focusing on a single location over the course of many years is something few games do. Party members had their own lives, jobs, and responsibilities. They weren’t just lackeys that barked, bit, and fetched Hawke’s newspaper at his merest whim. Dragon Age II also managed to be thematically daring within its own incredibly confining limits, exploring topics like religion, sexuality, and terrorism.

Yes, its character progression paled in comparison to Origins’ branching, masterfully interweaving skill trees, and caves now make me legitimately afraid of being bored to death – as opposed to bear-ed to death, like they’re supposed to. DAII was undeniably flawed, but here’s hoping all that rough doesn’t completely obscure a few very bright diamonds during these discussions.

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227 Comments »

  1. markcocjin says:

    Suggestion #1:

    Be on Steam with full features. Get money like Skyrim.

    • Orija says:

      Suggestion #2: Stop making games.

    • sneetch says:

      Suggestion #3: disable the awesome button (or “buhhon”).

    • mouton says:

      Being on Steam didn’t help DA2 in terms of quality. So get your Steam zealotry somewhere else.

      • Timthos says:

        My life for Gaben!

      • Kaltano says:

        Asking that the game be convenient to purchase and play by not excluding your preferred digital distribution service is zealotry now?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Read the forum thread. They’re not interested in our opinions on this. They’re only asking what to flesh out more in terms of the lore.

      • Phantoon says:

        I’ve had a think on the intro of Dragon Age 2, and there is only one possible concept that could make it make any sense.

        Hawke is completely insane. Bear with me on this one, we’re going to take a trip through some tunnels and come out the other side.

        So, from the beginning of Dragon Age 2, and from past knowledge of Dragon Age 1, we can conclude that Hawke and family were probably woke up by the fighting, and had to jump out of bed, put on whatever they could find, and run (there is no explanation for them being able to take on so many Darkspawn, but whatever). Coupled with the fact that probably all of Hawke’s friends from the village are dead, and the part where one of your siblings is mortally wounded (for dramatic effect, but because you never met them, no one cared about this part), Hawke’s fragile mind could’ve snapped right there. So when the dragon witch shows up, Hawke’s mind resembles a Keno ball machine more than a brain, and “I’D LIKE A SANDWICH AND TO BE A DRAGON TOO!” can come out as readily as “SAVE MY SIBLING FROM THIS TERRIBLE PLAGUE!”

        This of course only explains part of the incredibly terrible writing in that waifu simulator (I wonder how many Bioware fans pooh-poohed Katawa Shoujo when it was the same damn thing?) but I think it makes up for some of it (but not the zombie mom. Seriously, I laughed so hard at how dumb that was).

        Clearly, Bioware should hire me as their chief apologist.

    • Roshin says:

      “Being on Steam didn’t help DA2 in terms of quality. So get your Steam zealotry somewhere else.”

      You could come up with something yourself, instead of just attacking someone else.

      But yes, Steam, or I’m unlikely to even consider it.

      Also, I was there on the old Bio forums when they ditched the D&D license and started working on their own fantasy world and franchise, which later became Dragon Age. I felt that the first game was a strong and serious attempt to create something worthwhile. Not completely different from other fantasy worlds, but different enough to be interesting.

      Then came the second game and fuck knows what happened there. It was a big disappointment and I wasn’t sure they could come back from it. They will have to pull a big fat rabbit out of their hat to get DA back on track again. I would like to see them treat the third game with the respect and skill that they gave the first one. There is potential there.

      • Phantoon says:

        See, I’m absolutely enthralled by your logic here.

        Did you not see their reaction to the ME3 ending reaction? I believe the term they bandied about was “entitled”.

      • Werthead says:

        “and fuck knows what happened there”

        I think we do know what happened there. It involved the words and phrases: ‘Electronic Arts’, ‘ludicrous deadline’, ‘no time for PC-specific controls’ and ‘lead designer of original game quitting in disgust’.

        • Phantoon says:

          Or the follow up to that act, which had such quotes from EA as “let’s hire an team made entirely out of fresh-out-of-college kids with no real management!” or “it’s doing fine, here’s a free weekend so everyone can see how many people play!” or “David Gaider’s wig does not look like a skinned badger, please stop writing these letters.”

          Weirdly enough, people didn’t stay for the opening act.

  2. KikiJiki says:

    Ah, the Dragon Age version of the Shaman class thread.

    Don’t really see how any good will come of this for Bioware, the community is either going to hate them for implementing ideas badly, or hate them for not implementing ideas at all.

  3. f1x says:

    With this they are going in a no-win direction
    Because they are suposedly creating a game made of fan feedback, instead of just making a high-quality game like it should be.
    When you make a top-notch game you CREATE fans

    • Toberoth says:

      Very well put.

    • DogKiller says:

      I don’t think Bioware really have a clue anymore. Somewhere along the line things seem to have gone very wrong for them. Of course, if the game turns out crap, they can always blame it on giving fans what they asked for. You’ve got problems if you have to promote your product at conventions with ‘features’ such as not reusing levels again and again.

    • Big Murray says:

      They kinda dug themselves this hole with their own games … you base a series of games around providing loads of choice to the player, and players become spoilt and think they deserve choice in everything.

      • Toberoth says:

        It’s an interesting suggestion that player choice in games leads to player entitlement IRL, but I don’t know if it’s a legitimate one. I think this is more the case of an attempt at demagoguery backfiring on them. Keeping schtum about games that you may or may not be working on, or what features may or may not be included, seems to work better: look at Valve for instance. They don’t seem to let player feedback concern them anywhere near the amount that Bioware (supposedly) do, but they keep putting out masterpieces. Inviting suggestions from the community, as other commenters have stated, opens a Pandora’s box that basically guarantees dissatisfaction with the final product.

        • f1x says:

          Pretty much this,
          Once you bend to what the “community” wants you enter a road of no-return, a road of unsatisfied expectations and the more you give for to community to choose they more they will want, and they surely dont know what they actually want, as the “community” is an abstract mass

          Of course its good to listen to community feedback, but it cannot replace good game design basics and confidence on your quality as game studio,
          I mean you don’t really need to ask the community to know that shipping a game with a shitload of reused assets (like DA2) its gonna create an outrage,
          seriously, its also giving an impression of insecurity, like, we are Bioware and we are not sure if we can make a good game anymore so we will ask fans to see what they want

          Another bad example of this is: SWTOR, again, from Bioware
          When they said “we are listening to player feedback so we will give you: Guild banks! with the next patch”… yeah, really? I mean so you didnt know that guild banks is nowadays actually a core feature for any MMOs?
          The overall impression is that they are totally clueless

          • Blaaaaaaag says:

            Well, they’ve had some confidence-shattering blows lately over their recent apparent incompetence. I’m not personally judging the quality of their work here, as I’ve played none of it, but I can understand their hesitation. It’s a bit sad, really. They’re sort of the frightened and abused spouse of EA now.

          • Phantoon says:

            The head of Bioware has said multiple times that his company and EA are one in the same. I’m sure he believes it- but does John Ricottapepperoni believe it?

      • Bremze says:

        More like offer players false choice that falls apart the instant you replay the dialog trees while your competitors release games with far better stories, characters and actual, meaningful choices and the players become “spoiled” and demand more.

        • greenbananas says:

          Exactly. It’s pointless to harp on when all the evidence points to people not liking you because of shitty game no. 1 (Mass Effect 2), shitty game no.2 (DA2), shitty game no. 3 (TOR) and that they’re part of EA.

          Make games that are good and fans will respond. It’s simple, really, however detached from the big gaming corp reality of not giving a toss about the creative process of the game and putting all the dosh into marketing, which gets us PR manoeuvers like this crap. No one gives a shit, Bioware.

          • JarinArenos says:

            What in Cthulhu’s name gave you the impression that any notable number of fans hated ME2? Pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen express an opinion on the subject loved the series up until the starchild asspull.

            Sure, ME2 wasn’t perfect, but it was still a good game.

          • NathanH says:

            Yeah, basically every living breathing meatbag I’ve talked to thought that Mass Effect was good, Mass Effect 2 was better, and Mass Effect 3 was the best until the last five minutes which were utter shit. Indeed it is almost odd that these opinions are basically universal among my friends.

          • Phantoon says:

            Mass Effect 2 was a cover shooter done wrong.

            Deus Ex was a cover shooter done right- in that it was entirely pointless, and you should just be doing stealth takedowns all the time, but when you needed to, it worked, and worked well.

            I thought Mass Effect 1 was the best. I wasn’t foolish enough to play Mass Effect 3 after Dragon Age 2. That’s just asking for it.

          • greenbananas says:

            “What in Cthulhu’s name gave you the impression that any notable number of fans hated ME2?”
            Fans of RPG-lite and decent writing didn’t like it. New-found fans of third person shooters and Twilight fanfics did.

            “Sure, ME2 wasn’t perfect, but it was still a good game.”
            However good you or the majority think it is doesn’t really matter. It’s a game that “fixed” things, most of them relating to the “RPG” portion of the game, by way of outright removal; a game that with it’s swiss cheese of a plot put Bioware’s reputation as good story-tellers at risk (and turns out that wasn’t a one-time mistake); a game that ushered in a huge amount of new fans thanks to its focus on uncomplicated action bits and overwrought dramatic set pieces. Believe it or not, it estranged a number of fans of the first.

            “Yeah, basically every living breathing meatbag I’ve talked to thought that Mass Effect was good, Mass Effect 2 was better (…)”
            Precisely. The average “living meatbag” is more likely a fan of CoDs and soppy romance novels than it is of RPGs and Sci-fi. And it was that newfound fanbase that helped echo the DA2 debacle and all the others since, imho, that is.

          • Grygus says:

            You’re right, and everyone else is wrong; also, they are stupid and average at best. That’s compelling logic. You have won me over, because I want to be smarter and better like you, rather than thinking that merely being very fun makes a game good.

          • greenbananas says:

            @Grygus

            Sorry, but you can’t. Ignoring the point to discuss a rather trivial opinion is one thing; being offended by said trivial opinion that you can’t help but misinterpret the text to suit your own need to reply in utter ironic indignancy, is, unfortunately, very “typical internet”: stupid and average… at best.

            Listen, I don’t give a fuck what you like. Seriously. Stop pretending that it matters to you that I do.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t think that listening to feedback to get the general tone of fan complaints is a bad idea. Communication makes a better product if someone can separate criticism from trolling and praise from fanboy(or girl)ism.

      Think about all the problems with Dragon Age 2 that the community was easily able to point out before the game or even the demo was released.

      • Grygus says:

        Problem I have with this is that encyclopedias worth of fan opinions are at their fingertips, assuming they are actually interested and have an Internet connection.

        • Phantoon says:

          What about their playtesters? You know, the ones that actually knew what they were doing, so they’d see what would break what, and did write ups on it, then got accused of “hacking” by Bioware after Bioware brought in lawyers to the call?

          What about them?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I rather suspect this is a marketing move, and they have no real interest in what anybody says.

      • JarinArenos says:

        That’s the feel I’m getting here. Bioware is really starting to sound like Volition did about Saints Row 3. Then they went on to demonstrate some of the worst(/nonexistent) communication in the industry.

    • Roshin says:

      Bio have always been close to the community. On the old forums, devs would actually talk about ideas and design with the fans. All that changed when EA gulped them down and the new “fans” swarmed all over the place.

  4. Velvetmeds says:

    protip: never listen to the community.

    This is going to be a mess.

    • genosse says:

      It seems to work for some smaller games, though. See Endless Space: http://www.amplitude-studios.com/About-us2/G2G

    • Fincher says:

      Listening to the community’s early misgivings about DA2 might have saved them a lot of trouble down the line. Utter PR disaster.

    • Aemony says:

      They don’t. The alpha and beta testers of DA2, SWTOR and ME3 all complained about some of the design choices and lackluster elements of the games which BioWare ignored. Come release date and those problems was at the core of the negative responses about the games.

    • akeso says:

      If Bioware had actually listed to the community they wouldn’t have had the DA2, ME3, or OR disasters the company has had in the last few years.

      In each of those instances there were SERIOUS concerns put forward during beta or during prelease which exactly mirrored the fiascoes that Bioware later faced and still has never lived down.

      The trouble isn’t that they are taking community feedback, it is that they do this EVERY time and never listen out of pure hubris. Then comes release they are shocked the fans were right.

      Honestly though, based on the Bioware comments in that very thread, this culture of “we are right and everyone else is wrong” is just as prevalent as ever before and therefore it isn’t going to make any difference.

      • katinkabot says:

        Agreed. I don’t really care that they are doing this. Crowd-sourcing for what? Crap? What I gleaned from the last time they did this most of the community focused on issues that were not even game breaking. This is how it will go down: People respond with random requests. Then BioWare responds with passive/agressive comments that would make the bitchiest 17 year old girl wither. People get mad. Nothng frutful is accomplished, everyone goes home, and the world continues to spin. They’ll probably take the most inoccuous thing and say – “WE HEARD YOU FANS! SER-POUNCE-ALOT RETURNS! THIS TIME CUDDLIER THAN EVER” and say they’ve succeeded. All the while the main game is complete garbage becasue of xyz mysterious design reasons.

        DA1 seemed to be a happy accident because there wasn’t a ton of fanfare leading up to it. It took forever in development and seemed to be more of pet project than an actual business decision. At this point, since they are so far up their own arses, I don’t think they’ll ever be able to re-produce the love that people have for DA1.

        • malkav11 says:

          Restoring Ser Pounce-a-Lot would be rather nice, actually.

      • Phantoon says:

        They’re not shocked the fans were right, because that would imply they understand they did something wrong.

        They’re shocked people don’t understand their “artistic vision”, whatever the hell that means.

        • akeso says:

          It means that they believe that the fans just don’t get them.

          It is actually VERY indicative of the culture at Bioware. Most of the programmers here in Austin I know who either work there or work with them describe the leads as believing they are no longer programmers or writers; instead they see themselves at artists and I have heard stories of leads referring to themselves as comparable to some of the great masters of other arts.

          The sad thing is that this mentality is highly encouraged from what I hear. I have seen a few great programmers and designers go into Bioware Austin as wonderful people who listed to others and shared in the creative process. Now however, post Bioware, most of them are just total jerks.

          • Phantoon says:

            Yes. And the ones that didn’t find a way to bend so they could have their head up their ass 24/7 left to go make fun video games.

  5. Toberoth says:

    I’d be happy with a better version of Origins rather than a worse one. If they cut out all that consoletastic action RPG crap and get back to a more cerebral Baldur’s Gate feel I’ll be pleased as punch.

    • rapier17 says:

      Very much how I feel, although if they did go back to more like Origins, I would prefer more fluid combat. Not to the ridiculous levels of DA2, but somewhere in the middle.

      • Phantoon says:

        What, like Kingdoms of Amalur?

        Because that game was what Dragon Age 2 wanted to be. Shame that no one really wanted that, though.

        • The Innocent says:

          Um, the combat in Kingdoms of Amalur was not in between DA:O and DA2. Different genre.

        • ffordesoon says:

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          No.

        • Toberoth says:

          No, that game didn’t really appeal – I tried the demo and it felt pretty crappy, so I never bothered with the full game.

    • bill says:

      Baldur’s Gate was cerebral? I think i’m missing that part as i play it right now…

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        It’s a relative thing. Compared to DA2 it is Finnegans Wake.

        • Brun says:

          This. Baldur’s Gate (and BG2) are like Ulysses compared to Dragon Age 2′s Twilight.

  6. gunny1993 says:

    Remember origins? do that

    • Themadcow says:

      Indeed. DA2 only sold the comparitively small amount of units it did, because of DA:O fans wanting more. Once word got around that DA2 wasn’t more of DA:O, and seemed to be a shoddy ARPG hybrid the sales fell off a cliff. The only thing Bioware should be saying is that DA2 was a mistake and they’re making a genuine sequel to DA:O. I’d forgive them DA2 if they just help up their hands to it being a bad move.

      • Zancrowe says:

        the thing is bioware seems incapable of admitting when they screw up.

        best example is the objectively utterly horrible me3-ending,and i do not mean just the last 10 minutes no no all the earth-missions are pretty much the worst missions of the me-series, fighting waves of reapers over and over in gray boring streets, and what do they do?

        well they hide behind crap like “artistic vision/integrity”. every storyteller who ever lived should rise from his/her grave and slap the person/s responsible for that dreadful ending.

        • Phantoon says:

          George Lucas did the exact same thing about the prequels, mind.

          I’m sure there are fans of that, too. But they’re wrong.

  7. Gassalasca says:

    Make a sequel to DA, not to DA2.

    • Vorphalack says:

      No Origin.

      No day one DLC.

      No DLC price gouging.

      Oh wait, owned by EA. Forget I spoke.

  8. Oryon says:

    You know what, i am aware this is a shitty opinion to have as community interaction isn’t a bad thing, but Bioware has me so jaded i don’t even care anymore. All the vibes i’m getting from this are “Think up cool shit for us, we can’t be bothered. Then we’ll sell it back to you.”

    • Toberoth says:

      I kinda got that feeling from it too… It whiffs of desperation.

    • jezcentral says:

      Oryon, I bet that sounded cool when you thought it, but it didn’t translate very well into typing.

      • Oryon says:

        Eh. Something like that.

        My brain also does weird things with mental images, however. Like right now i’m getting this picture of Bioware as a street hooker, holding up a sign saying “Will do anything you want for 50 bucks.”

        Someone above me already said by making good games you create fans, not by asking fans what kind of game you should create. That way you just come across as desperate or completely clueless.

        • jezcentral says:

          Hmm, enough with the hooker imagery. The good doctors are swimming in a money pool right next to Gabe’s. (And, anyway, the sign would say $860 meeeelion dollars).

          But yes, devs shouldn’t listen too closely to fans, I agree. I think this is more a public relations thing, to reassure those of us that found much to like in DA2, that they know they made mistakes and will try to avoid them next time. It’s more of a goodwill thing because, let’s face it, there doesn’t seem too much out there for them at the moment. (Which for me is a shame, though others will no doubt differ).

          • Phantoon says:

            Actually, just $860 for the DLC.

            You know, for the fully upgraded Spectre Assault Rifle?

            Am I the only one that remembers this?

          • Grygus says:

            I hope so, because what you’re remembering was a lie.

  9. Big Murray says:

    I do like that they have to specifically say “We’re not making promises” because last time round with Mass Effect 3 fans just took any random half-comment from anybody and said “SEE, THEY PROMISED US THIS AND IT WASN’T IN THE GAME!” post-release.

    I sometimes wonder if those fan’s head would explode if they became fans of Peter Molyneux.

    • malkav11 says:

      You mean the stuff the lead designer said would be in the game that wasn’t? If he can’t promise stuff, then who can?

  10. mentor07825 says:

    “I’d like to see a more open ended world much like the Elder Scrolls series.”

    Got that from their forum. This is going to be hilarious.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      They already said they were chasing Skyrim’s audience (in the same way they were chasing CoD’s audience). Frankly it’s completely counter-productive, when their RPG-style (linear detail with dialog choices) is almost completely the opposite mentality.

      I’d say The Witcher (2) does what Bioware should be trying to do given their strengths.

      • mentor07825 says:

        Hopefully they’ll dig themselves out of this mentality.

        • Drake Sigar says:

          Bioware’s problem is they want ALL THE FANS IN THE WHOLE WORLD. CoD fans, Skyrim Fans, maybe even Mary Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall fans.

          • mentor07825 says:

            Why would they want this beyond a higher profitable margin? Didn’t Dragon Age: Origins bring them a lot of money? It shows that we gamers are interested in other things besides Skyrim. I thought our “voting with our wallet” showed that?

            Only time will tell, I guess.

          • Drake Sigar says:

            Yep. And Skyrim brought in enough cash to buy several small countries, but Bethesda are still going for an MMO. People often overreach. Can you believe just over a year ago Bioware were one of the most respected developers in the business? Now look at them – constantly ridiculed for their baffling design choices and marketing buzzwords, held up as an example of everything that is wrong with the game’s industry. Are players overreacting? Definitely. But in order for Bioware to generate this much hatred, they had to be loved first.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            Well, given its recent success… they’ll definitely want Diablo 3′s fans.

          • Salix says:

            Just taking this on a little tangent, but isn’t it Zenimax that are going for the mmo and Bethesda is only there for the lore? At least, that’s what I’ve understood so far.

          • Bremze says:

            Zenimax owns Bethesda, so TES Online will probably be published by Bethesda and there probably will be at least some inter-studio development going on.

      • Malk_Content says:

        I think the problem is that Open World games are in general just more appealing to your average gamer. Most know that to do such a thing you’ll end up sacrificing the quality of a more tightly crafted experience. The problem is when you fail to create a quality crafted experience (DA2) the mass mind falls back on what else they know and ask for it.

    • f1x says:

      From that very forum thread:

      User X asks:
      “Hi Chris

      First off, did you say future Dragon Age gameS? Did I get that right?”

      Bioware answer:

      “Yep. If you read the blog we refer to potential computer games, P&P games, Facebook games, etc. Lots of possibilities for the future all still to be explored.”

      That basically sums Bioware’s concern at the moment, they could just you know, focus on redirecting the franchise with a solid well developed sequel to regain respect, instead they will spread all around and keep on doing half-hearted crap stuff in every platform avaliable

      • mouton says:

        They will not spread around, I suppose – they will probably just subcontract trash facebook titles.

  11. Dana says:

    Forget the second game ever existed.

  12. jezcentral says:

    Mod support, please.

    • Alceste007 says:

      I really enjoyed creating my own mods as well. So for me, Mod support is pretty important for DA3.

  13. Bremze says:

    Outsource it to Obsidian.

    • somini says:

      Bsically this. Witht their own engine, or in the DA:O engine. One can dream…

    • InternetBatman says:

      Pretty much this. Give it to Obsidian for a year and a half, maybe two, then take it back and bugfix for six months. Bioware could use its own New Vegas.

      • Bremze says:

        Psst… most of the issues with QQ in Obsidian games have been the publishers fault. Dungeon Siege 3 was rock solid and that was their in-house engine.

        • pipman3000 says:

          dungeon siege 3 was also the most boring game ever made and wasn’t even that well written compared to new vegas

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Isn’t Obsidian made up of some people who actually gave Bioware their early reputation as a good RPG maker?

    • djim says:

      They outsourced KOTOR2 and NWN2 to Obsidian. Based on the result i’d rather not.

      • J_C says:

        Seeing that Obsidian improved both their games, I’d rather they outsource it.

    • kud13 says:

      Better yet, the CDPRed’s engine.

  14. Furius says:

    I think one (of many) of “new” Bioware’s problems is that they listen too closely to what their fans want. Or rather they listen too closely to the ones who make a lot of noise (on the officialy forums etc). It’s great that they have such a strong community, but when you start letting them dictate the design/writing decisions you’re asking for trouble. Especially when their ideas are ignored and you end up with another “retake” campaign.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I’m sorry but this just isn’t true. They listen to fans on minor issues, but on core design features they make up their mind and ignore any dissent from the fan base. Just look at the run up to DA2 – no one was happy with how the game was being presented, but Bioware adopted an attitude of ‘We know what’s best, you’ll like it when you play it’ and guess what? Very few people did.

      As for the retake campaign, if you look past that, you’ll see that ME3 was a stellar game even if it did have a whoopsy at the end. I’m not sure it’s strong evidence that Bioware has a problem.

  15. oceanclub says:

    Less DA2, more DA1 please.

    (Loved the latter, couldn’t believe how horrendous the demo of the former was.)

    P.

  16. woodsey says:

    ‘Dragon Age II also managed to be thematically daring within its own incredibly confining limits, exploring topics like religion, sexuality, and terrorism.’

    I dunno, I thought Origins did all that and more, and better. Most of the game revolved around distrust of the Mages (which was handled about as subtly as a brick to the face) and covered no new ground over what we’d learnt and thought about in Origins.

    Likewise, staging something so large to get fan feedback just seems like they have no idea what they’re doing. Origins had a great reception and DA2 had a crap one – surely that’s enough?

    I’m buying the game because it’s their ideas I want to see.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely this. The plot was just so hamfisted and you could see rails wherever you went. It explored religion with the subtlety of a high school atheist. Terrorism was given a cursory notice, but the game offered too much and then too little control, which negated all meaning.

      • Apples says:

        Don’t forget that it attempted to seriously invoke holocaust/Nazism parallels at the same time as its terrorist subplot – again with all the subtlety and panache of a 14-year-old thinking they’re ~sooo deep and edgy~. It’s the only game I’ve ever played that Godwin’d itself. To me that’s far more offensive than any of the poor gameplay decisions or asset reuse, and it speaks volumes about the type of people they employ that they were comfortable writing that in and releasing it in that state.

        edit: also most of the game revolving around distrust of mages was a stunningly bad choice right from the start considering that the player could literally be one, and they apparently never even considered that, as there was no dialogue to account for it. What were they thinking!?

        • NathanH says:

          I think they were thinking “omg if we make it about mages then we can make every single mage a blood mage and have lots of demons and bloody explosions all the time and it’ll be totally awesome and nobody will realize that it’s incredibly incredibly silly”.

    • Grygus says:

      Even worse, DA 2 actually undid some of the exploration that DA:O did! By the end of DA2, you had learned that Mages invariably revert to Blood Magic at the mildest of provocations, even the most powerful and wisest were not immune to this. You learned that the single most destructive act in the entire series to date was done by a Mage. All of the nuance was lost, and all the doubters were confirmed to be essentially in the right. Never mind that, besides destroying any real debate, none of this behavior was in any way consistent with the first game’s established world.

      The writing wasn’t just inferior, it was destructive.

  17. Jimbo says:

    The universe (as portrayed in Origins, not the version in DA2 where Ferelden turned into Mars for some reason) is pretty good. Use that universe to make self-contained games which each have a start, middle and end. It’s the only way to turn this around after hemorrhaging so many customers with DA2. It will also allow for more meaningful choice and consequence within each game, because everybody won’t need to end up at the same place. The Mass Effect ‘carry over’ was a neat experiment and I’m glad they did it, but not every game needs to work like that.

    I do quite like the gambit / group-combo style of combat in DA, but you need far more flexibility in how you set up your party, and the enemy encounters need to be far more varied in order to keep things fresh and dynamic. It would help if the environment and positioning played a greater role in combat too.

  18. Makoma says:

    This is such an awful idea! This isn’t Kickstarter and we are not (I assume) game devs. Want a suggestion? Suck less and sack up.

    The only thing I can say is take your time and do it right, don’t kick it out for a buck like DA2.

  19. Eich says:

    The dude on You Tube said they are going french. So I’m pretty sure it will be “Dragon Age 3: Orlais: Baguettes and Cheese: and Wine” or something along that line!

  20. Gira says:

    Crazy idea, BioWare: make an RPG. You haven’t done that for around a decade now. And while you’re at it, ditch the RTwP crap and just make it turn-based. We can handle it.

    • malkav11 says:

      There are certainly plenty of people who’d like to play a turn-based RPG. Some of them massively overfunded Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun Returns. I’m not so sure they have a heavy overlap with people who buy Bioware games, especially since Bioware has NEVER made a turn-based game and in fact was the company that introduced pausable-real-time to the genre.

      • Trixie says:

        Bioware wasn’t the company to introduce RTWP to the genre at all. Darklands (1992) has RTWP combat, and I don’t even think it’s the first. In any case, Bioware hadn’t made a shooter before Mass Effect either. It’s not like they are a small company with little access to resources.

        That being said, I don’t expect any turn-based game to come out of Bioware at any point in the future. It just seems very unlikely since it will likely alienate a large portion of their current audience.

  21. Hoaxfish says:

    They want CoD’s audience, they want Skyrim’s audience, they want to know what audience their audience wants them to want… I can only imagine they have completely lost any ability to think for themselves creatively (as if their recent games don’t already suggest that).

  22. Didero says:

    This should remain a discussion between BioWare and fans about what you loved about Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2—what this franchise means to you.

    This seems like the wrong way to go about it. Considering the fact that a lot of people seemed to hate DA2, you might want to ask them what exactly they disliked, instead of just focusing on the positive.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I agree. Bioware have an annoying habit of associating negative criticism with ‘non-constructive’ criticism and ignoring it.

  23. NathanH says:

    The main thing they need to improve from DA2 is the coherence of the system. They need to work out what they want and then construct the system to do exactly that. So for instance, if you want an aggro-based combat system don’t fling random enemies in from random directions, don’t have the tank’s crowd control abilities on long cooldowns, and don’t have the tank’s stamina regeneration mechanic be essentially nonexistent. If you want a system based on cross-class combos, make sure it is comfortable for the player to control at least three characters in battle. If you want to make it necessary to delegate most of your party control for the AI, don’t have abilities with long cooldowns because the only way to stop the AI using them at inappropriate moments is to never let the AI use them.

    Most of the DA2 mechanics were not individually bad, but they did not go well together, and made an incoherent impression.

  24. StingingVelvet says:

    Honestly they should split the series. Go total Mass Effect with swords and spells for a multplatform release and then also make a tactical RPG set in the same world for PC and iOS on a smaller budget.

    I can’t be the only person that likes both styles of game. Then both camps can have their Dragon Age, both would probably be totally profitable and actually catered to their audiences rather than this mixture shit they keep trying. Also they could share a marketing budget.

    • Meat Circus says:

      With judicious use of an enhanced tactics system and RTwP and different camera angles, I absolutely think it would be possible to design a game that could be played either way.

      It would require a commitment to the design process that modern-era Bioware seem to lack, however.

  25. Morlock says:

    I don’t get it. Fans have been providing feedback since the very first days after launch. Bioware already explicitly asked fans for further feedback at least once. They still don’t know what they want to do? It feels as if my girlfriend told me to wash my feet and I kept asking “no seriously, what do you REALLY want?” Clean your dirty feet, Bioware.

    Disclaimer: My feet are alright.

  26. Turkey says:

    Umm.. maybe give that “spiritual successor to baldur’s gate” thing a shot again? Wasn’t that the point of creating this whole franchise?

  27. UnravThreads says:

    As someone who put 150+hrs into DA:O and 30+ into DA2…

    I want more DA2. Sorry, but I do. If they corrected the flaws with it (over-use of certain areas, for example), then it could be one of the best RPGs we’ve had in the past few years.

    • Grygus says:

      You want more of the game that held your attention one-fifth as long. Play it a second time; how about that?

  28. Arona Daal says:

    More diverse Enemies than DA 1 ,More unique locations, Control Zones for Front Line Fighters.

    Learn from the spiritual Daddy :

    Baldurs Gate 2 :
    Enemies : Mindblasting illithids,Myconoids,Dopplegangers,Ifrits,Liches,Mimics,crazy Dudes inside Machines,Driders and and and

    Locations ranging from Underwater Cities to Extraplanar Prisons.

    DA 1 :
    Melee attacker ; Ranged attacker ; Magic Ranged attacker ;hardly special Attacks or Abilities

    Locations :one boring Realm + some Tunnels under it ,ah yes, and the Veil or whatever it was called

  29. MrDreadlock says:

    Make it first person shooter!
    No, really. Why struggle with a genre that they are completely unfamiliar with.

    • Morlock says:

      This. As much as I enjoy their games (Dragon Age 2 being the exception), the classic mechanics that just should be *nailed* in a good RPG were handled in a very lazy way most of the time. What was the last Bioware game with decent inventory management and interesting loot?

    • Bremze says:

      CoD with banging alien chicks would probably sell really and wouldn’t be that far off from what they’re already doing.

  30. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Is it too soon to revive it as a first person shooter?

  31. Serious Philip K. Rick says:

    “(keep those close in case you want to make a game someday!)”

    Bit of snark? I like how they seem to treat their community as stupid fawning (oocasionally frustrated) puppies.

    • caddyB says:

      Isn’t that what most of the fanboys are? It’s not like they are going to listen to reasonable people with interest in turn based rpg games. They are aiming for the false rpg enthusiasts.

      • Grygus says:

        I think it’s wonderful how BioWare makes deeply flawed games and people manage to somehow blame the fans. That’s ridiculous. They’re not “aiming” for anything; NOBODY liked the end of Mass Effect 3, except the writer and his mom. NOBODY was really pleased with DA 2 except people who only played it for an hour. There is no demographic for bad game design.

  32. DizzyrupTor says:

    I would rather they concentrate all their efforts on fixing ToR before it sinks completely :(

    THEN they can have a stab at making a decent DA3 all they like.

    • Grygus says:

      I already quit TOR with no real interest in returning, but my impression is that they are updating that game at a feverish pace; is this not the case?

      If by “save it” you mean to get it back to where it was right after launch with so many people loving it, I think it’s far too late for that. That clock ran out in February.

  33. RakeShark says:

    I really only have one suggestion for Bioware.

    It’s obvious that either they and/or EA want BioWare to make some kind of FPS. Make that first, get it out of your goddamned system. Keep it its own thing, as opposed to trying to shoehorn it into something else. Watch it succeed, or fail, whichever.

    Then make DA3.

  34. InternetBatman says:

    I would change a couple things. Take away enemy scaling because it means that leveling leads to problems, and you can’t level your way through an area.

    More spells, especially more than DA2, where the spell system was just terrible.

    More exotic enemies. I’m so freaking tired of Darkspawn and the same demons. Mix it up.

    Less visible rails. A Baldur’s Gate or even NWN 2 system of world exploration would make the game better. Dragon Age never really provided that sense of exploration, and I think the game suffered as a result.

    Shorter, harder combat. Combat in DA2 didn’t have a quarter of the intelligence that combat in DA did. One of the reasons was the huge, grindy health bars. Didn’t Bioware advertise the original game with a slogan like “Bioware doesn’t think you’re stupid?”

    Have combat abilities interface with non-combat situations. Allow mages to melt locked chests, but lower the loot quality of the result. Allow fighters to kick in doors, but have it attract a lot of people. Allow thieves to stab people in conversation. Sometimes it hardly feels like the two are related; there’s a visual novel and an arpg in the same box, and rarely do they meet.

    Return the tactical camera. Who cares if players don’t want to look at the artwork and just enjoy the combat? Isn’t that better than forcing them into a system they don’t like?

    • desolateshroud says:

      Bioware hire this man.

      Regarding the variety of enemies, I know it is fantasy but what is wrong with a game where your enemy is exclusively your fellow-man/elf/dwarf not some recently arrived evil?

      The most enthralling part of Origins was trying to get revenge on Teyrn Loghain – one of the best characters anyone has come up with in quite some time.

      • Grygus says:

        Indeed! Almost everything I did in that game was just a step closer to killing that guy. I actually laughed out loud when they gave me the option to not kill him. It was cute, how they thought my vengeance-fueled locomotive could be derailed by a penny of justification lying on the rails.

  35. AMonkey says:

    Huh. They seem to be trying hard to show goodwill. But its a bit late for me, considering how petty Gaider and others acted on the forum, in regards to criticism of Dragon Age 2. Not to mention DA2 being a flat out mediocre game.

  36. GaryMFOak says:

    Yeah, no thanks. They would have to make the game a masterpiece just to compensate for the money I wasted pre-ordering DA2. And after their latest three consecutive steaming heaps I really, really doubt they have it in them.

  37. someone else says:

    Origins had “branching, masterfully interweaving skill trees”? News to me. I thought the talent system was a definite improvement over the first, especially all the additional abilities for warriors and rogues. It was just missing noncombat skills, and those were cut for lack of time. They also need to rethink how attributes work, but that was a problem with the first as well.

  38. noodlecake says:

    I think they should just tell the fans to fuck off and keep trying new ideas regardless of whether people want to be stuck in 1995 forever. This sort of move shows they have no artistic integrity. They should know that heavy internet users are an especially awkward and fickle bunch and just cater to everyone else.

  39. rocketman71 says:

    Ok, Bioware, here you have one: if DA3 is going to be like DA2 or if it’s going to end like ME3

    DON’T FUCKING BOTHER

    I’d say the same regarding Origin, but that’s a lost cause.

  40. Nameless1 says:

    To be honest after that piece of junk that was the second “game” this IP isn’t worth mentioning on this site anymore.

  41. TariqOne says:

    DA2 did a lot of things right. It was nice to see BioWare get beyond the SAVE THE WORLD, O SINGULAR HERO, and explore a more realistic, intimate, small scale story. ‘Twas a good yarn. Until the end.

    Yes, the caves. And the warehouses. But am I the only one here who played ME1? The same goddamned mine on every planet? What are the chances?

    I guess I just don’t get some of the venom. BioWare’s made a lot of mistakes over the years, but they’ve entertained me pretty reliably with every release. I know it’s awesome to play indie games and pretend that The Witcher 2 is an RPG any more than Arkham City is (and a groundbreaking one at that!). I do all that too. But I can also have fun with a nice, cheesey BioWare romp now and then.

    I wish I had principles. But then I guess principles make people uptight.

    • Nameless1 says:

      The problem here is that you have no clues on what the did wrong. And you probably have no clues on what good games are like.

      • TariqOne says:

        It’s cute you can so venomous about trivial shit like this. We’re talking about games. Nice to meet you, anyway.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Not to agree with the guy above me, but the identikit buildings in ME1 were also heavily criticised, even though they made more sense there (colonies and mines having a stock construction layout seems fairly plausible to me). That’s why in ME2 they fixed it and made side missions environmentally unique. And then in DA2 they forget this and make all the side mission environments the same again. It’s pretty frustrating that they can’t remember a design lesson for more than a couple of years.

      • malkav11 says:

        Not really. ME2′s “side missions” (aka the core missions in a game that had very little main plot to speak of) had environments that were distinct and in some cases reached the quality of ME1′s main plot planets. ME2′s -actual- side missions (i.e., the stuff out on the galaxy map, just like ME1) were still pretty identikit and boring.

    • Jimbo says:

      The Witcher 2 is an RPG. Nice try though.

      • TariqOne says:

        Would that I had a Wand of Summoning Wizardry. But to borrow from him: it’s a roleplaying game about roleplaying Geralt of Rivia. Like Half-Life is a roleplaying game about roleplaying Gordon Freeman.

        Decent game, but yeah, a step back in the cRPG genre.

        • Trixie says:

          Wizardry is a fanatical zealot who believes that a true RPG must have turn-based combat. Or would you like me to say that The Witcher 2 is only a RPG in the sense that you have to roll a lot during combat?

          In either case, it’s a better game than Dragon Age 2 and that’s more important than whether or not you would call it a RPG.

          • TariqOne says:

            It may or may not be better, that’s a subjective matter. I’d say most of humanity agrees with you.

            The limiting factor of that game is that you have to like/want to inhabit the skin of Geralt, and you more or less have to play his class (potion-swilling, sign-casting swordsman). That pretty much guts a core part of the RPG experience — character design, and a degree of ownership over the character — out of the game. This is not an insurmountable flaw (see Planescape: Torment, although The Nameless One can be statted and classed up in a variety of ways), but it’s suboptimal, IMO. Now remove parties and add action-game (and wonderfully visceral) combat.

            So yes, IMO it’s closer to Arkham City than say Baldur’s Gate, or even the first Dragon Age. Or DA2.

            Back on topic, Dragon Age 2 had a lot of flaws. They have been amply discussed here and elsewhere to the point that a significant if not majority portion of RPS readers are rooting for BioWare to go out of business. To the point where saying BioWare has done some things right gets you pushed back on your heels, just like saying The Witcher 2 wasn’t the cRPG Jesus. But so it goes.

    • Nick says:

      “It was nice to see BioWare get beyond the SAVE THE WORLD, O SINGULAR HERO”

      Was nice in BG 1 and 2 when it was also accompanied by writing that didn’t make me want to vomit blood.

      • TariqOne says:

        Huh. I sorta thought in those games the PC was the child of a god? Could be misremembering them. Great games, anyway.

        Vomit blood? Really? You must keep several buckets by the old gaming rig, because virtually all gaming writing is fucking execrable by human standards.

        • Toberoth says:

          The PC was indeed the child of a god, but the excellent thing was that there were lots of OTHER children of Bhaal (Baal?) out there in the world, all competing to become the biggest badass. And some of them were legitimately tougher than the PC. You became awesomely powerful by the end of the game essentially by clawing yourself to the top of a pile of dead siblings, and saving the world was practically an aside. The writing was brilliant.

          • TariqOne says:

            It was. Played them and loved them to death. Pretty much anything Black Isle touched there in the late 90s was wonderful stuff IMO.

  42. V. Profane says:

    I want something awesome to happen every time I press X!

    What?

    • jaheira says:

      What’s wrong with awesome? I thought we liked awesome. I’m pretty sure it’s better than not awesome, holding other factors equal.

  43. bill says:

    i always thought the IDEA of DA2 sounded great… at least it made a change from the usual played out rpg settings.

    Sounds like the implementation was terrible, and it looked HORRIBLY rushed… probably due to the Old Republic situation at the time.

  44. Xardas Kane says:

    Honestly, I was expecting more from the RPS community. They make ONE rushed game (with some great ideas, I absolutely agree with the article) and then follow it up with a truly amazing game with somewhat of a downer ending and all of a sudden everyone and their mother hates them. Fans bitch about how BioWare didn’t listen to the community when making DA2 (which they really didn’t). Now the give us the opportunity to speak up our minds and you whine about that too. No matter what BioWare do you just won’t be happy, there is literally no way to please you, no matter what. I think that the fact that they are obviously taking their time with the third one is a subtle hint that they want to make good on DA2, a message obviously lost on you people. It’s just embarrassing to read some of your comments.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      It’s just the ‘You’re only as good as your last game’ effect kicking in. If DA3 comes in and knocks everyone’s socks off, then Bioware will be liked again, but their recent form has lost them a lot of goodwill in the community.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I know, right? I am absolutely certain that will happen! Have gamers really become THIS short-sighted? Do they hate studios just because they are big, no other reason?

        In any case, my biggest BioWare disappointment still is Neverwinter Nights with its action heavy, band and forgettable campaign and limited party control, all saved only by the pretty graphics and the modkit. Did that make me hate them and lose all my faith in them? No. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes for crying out loud.

        • Malk_Content says:

          On a counter point, why should we judge them on anything but their latest endeavours? We do it with everything else. I don’t say Games Workshop are brilliant because, hey, although lately their games have become overly simplified dice shaped turds and there are still ingrained mechanical imbalances, the stuff they did over a decade ago was damn awesome. No instead I gave their latest products a fair go, decided I didn’t like it and moved to a different company for my table top needs. Hell I’ll read reviews and even watch some games of their next product but I won’t buy it on faith any more. Videogame creators should be approached with a similar amount of consumer sense, but instead we give them massive leeway out of bizzare loyalty and nostalgia.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Maybe because they (the real BioWare up in Canada, I haven’t played TOR so can’t speak about it) delivered 2 stellar games in the last 2 years and one disappointing one? Nostalgia, o rly? And even DA2 was surprisingly good for a game made in 18 months. Most studios fuck things up way worse even when they have double that time at their disposal.

          • Toberoth says:

            Yes. It was still bad though. Saying “it was good for a game only made in 18 months” is pretty fucking faint praise.

      • djim says:

        If we go by that, Mass Effect 3 is a great game. The ending is a bit disappointing i agree but the journey is great and overall a great game. Even Star Wars for all the hate is a great game. So, no, i think people are just getting on the hate bandwagon because it is “cool”.

        About their saying they want a more expansive game like elder scrolls it was pretty obvious they meant more options on what to do next, more areas to visit etc. People did not read it in context and assumed wrong.

        • Alceste007 says:

          Mass Effect 3 is a great game with a poorly done wtf ending. I am still playing multi-player on ME3. This is something that I never expected to like.

    • malkav11 says:

      One of the key problems with Dragon Age 2 was that they tried to make it using techniques they’d employed in the Mass Effect series. But Dragon Age shouldn’t be Mass Effect. It’s a different universe and, at least in the first game, a different gameplay model. A successful Dragon Age franchise should have built on the lessons learned from the first game, not a different franchise entirely. So yes, Mass Effect 3 was, mostly, pretty great, and a strong comeback from Mass Effect 2, which was in some ways rather disappointing (I know I’m practically alone in this opinion, but still). That doesn’t mean they understand what they’d need to do to make a similar comeback with Dragon Age 3.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        And it also doesn’t mean they don’t. Moreover, they are asking you to tell them and for some reason everyone thinks that’s bad. I’m still at a a loss here.

        • malkav11 says:

          True enough. Which is why I will wait and see, instead of preordering like I did with ME2 and DA2. And I don’t think getting community feedback is necessarily a bad thing, but they need to ask the right questions and actually listen, which is the part I’m not confident about. We’ll see what happens.

    • bill says:

      It is rather amazing how bioware have gone from the darlings of the online gaming community to being some kind of hate figure… in the space of a few few years.

      Gamers, or at least the angry ones who post on blogs, are incredibly unforgiving, and also seem to like jumping on whatever the latest cool thing to bash is.

      We had years of everyone bashing all the elder scrolls games for being not enough like bioware games, and now suddenly we seem to have the opposite.
      (and that’s without even going into the weird way that people bash elder scrolls games – Bash daggerfall for being too big and generic. Bash morrowind for not being daggerfall. Bash oblivion for not being morrowind. Suddenly we all like Skyrim though. But I’d imagine in 3 years everyone will be bashing it… )

      • Strangerator says:

        Skyrim should have been more like Arena.

      • Brun says:

        Skyrim was a step up from Oblivion, I don’t think anyone has argued against that. Although there was still some grumbling because it didn’t reach the lofty heights of Morrowind, people liked it because it was an improvement over the previous entry in the series. That is the most basic expectation of ANY customer when they play a sequel to a great game – they expect it to improve on the shortcomings of its predecessors while maintaining all the things that made them great. And it’s that particular expectation that BioWare has really failed to meet on multiple occasions – mostly because they’ve been too busy trying to steal fanbases from other games to bother maintaining the things that got them the fans they had already.

    • Bremze says:

      You’re kind of missing the whole point. Bioware isn’t only getting bashed because DA 2 was abysmal. Bioware is getting bashed because from all the media and dev interviews/blog posts most people saw all the issues and provided tons of feedback, all of which was ignored. And all the preorder DLC crap and things like the PCgamer review just added insult to injury.

      Funniest thing is that all in all DA 2 isn’t that different from all the other Bioware games. It’s just that the lack of effort makes all the usual shortcomings all the more glaring.

    • V. Profane says:

      Mass Effect 2 was a step in the wrong direction, too.

    • Dariune says:

      Im not sure why you think the RPS community has got anything wrong. Bioware used to be fairly niche and the games they made were quality games with a lot of content and genuine passion. There was no marketing bullshit and if you liked those kinds of games, you could be fairly certain that you were in for a good experience.

      Then they started making more action orientated games which actually werent all that bad (NWN, Jade Empire etc)

      Then they the marketing started. They said they were building a spiritual succesor to Baldurs Gate, a game much praised. Then DA:O came out. While not a bad game it clearly was nothing like the game they had marketed. There was far too little content, a mundane (Relatively speaking) story line and the levelling up and combat was worse and less complex than a game which came out years ago.

      ME was fairly well recieved. They delivered what they said they would. Then everything went wrong. ME2 was a step in the wrong sirection for many (Including me) DA2 was a disaster. ME3 we all know about. TOR looks to be less than it should have been.

      For some, Bioware went downhill after BG2, for others after NWN, for others still after DA:O.

      Its actually irrelevant when Bioware got too mainsream for the majority. The point is their name is mud and for good reason.

      They CANNOT make quality games, their marketing department is a joke, their customer facing people are rude and they, at least as far as i am concerned, represent a lot of what is wrong with the gaming industry.

      Will that do?

      • malkav11 says:

        ….I think my brain broke around the point where you claimed that Dragon Age, a game which took me well over 100 hours to complete without even touching the DLC or expansion, had too little content.

        I mean, was it as gloriously packed with gaming as Baldur’s Gate 2 was? No. But Baldur’s Gate 2 didn’t have to voice act every single line of dialogue, for starters, and is so ridiculously enormous that it’s not really a fair bar to set for the entire genre.

  45. Shooop says:

    Let CD Projekt make it instead.

  46. My Opinion says:

    You know what I want, a move away from the Warrior, Mage and Rogue setup and give us specialized classes from the get go. I’m so bored of this current trend of streamlining classes into the three classic classes, it restricts options and reduces replayability. Looking back to the days when D&D had more of a presence in gaming you used to be able to pick loads of unique classes nowadays we just have 3, how is that progress?

    • Dariune says:

      This! A thousand times this.

      Give us more classes and variants than can be used in a party. Allow us to play without all of the skills available to us in one play through and for gods sake give us choice and plenty of it!

      Ahem.

      Sorry about that.

  47. pilouuuu says:

    Make it more like Baldur’s Gate 2 and/or Dragon’s Age Origins. Make it a bit more like Skyrim in the sense that you can move freely around the world with no loading screens, but more directed and less boring than Skyrim.

    Also focus on creating amazing characters. Shale, Minsc, Mordin, HK-47 are examples of the great characters Bioware can create.

    Make proper enemies with personality. Fighting the darkspawn was like fighting animals or zombies.

  48. Apples says:

    Fire all fanfiction writers and readers in the company. Only give certain employees (with good PR skills) the go-ahead to post publically on forums etc under their real name. Advise dev team members not to spend much time involved in their game ‘fandoms’. Stop trying to emulate other games or gain their audiences; you have your own. Never, under any circumstance, allow one person to write any part of the game on their own without quality checks from the rest of the team.

    I think that would solve quite a few problems with little effort!

    edit: also just let the guy(s) who wrote Mordin and Garrus write all the dialogue, and for the love of god don’t put auto-dialogue mode in anything ever again you god damn idiots

  49. Thoric says:

    Give it to Obsidian.

  50. Jackablade says:

    I think I’ve got a minority opinion here, but this is something that I’ve found a little curious about this whole rather silly affair with DA2. The things that irritated me about that game were the same things that irritated me about the first game – that writing style that seems to be going for a Joss Whedon-esque smart-arseyness but not quite pulling it off and merely coming off as kind of annoying.

    Now trying to do a different take on the moribund swords and sorcery setting is something I’ll happily get behind, and a humourous take if done well could be amazing, but for my money a lot of the writing in BOTH the Dragon Age games is rather grating.