Dragon Age: The Possible Ensequelling

By Alec Meer on August 20th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Dragon Age 71r?

↑ that logo is a fake, sorry.

With Mass Effect now concluded, at least until the inevitable announcement of a new trilogy, a first-person shooter and a free-to-play god-knows-what, and SWTOR currently being fitted into its microtransacted iron lung, all eyes turn to the core Bioware team’s next roleplaying move. The smart money is surely on a new Dragon Age game, and tiny wee scraps of hint have seemed to support this. Today we got significantly more than tiny wee scraps, as an alleged survey allegedly leaked by alleged specially-selected community members offers all manner of alleged potential details on a third Dragon Age game.

Survey details come via – where else? – NeoGAF, and suggest that the French-ish continent of Orlais is likely setting for DA3. If the plot description is to be believed, Orlais will be divided by civil war, with even the land’s leading church The Chantry at loggerheads with itself. In the midst of all this, demons invade, as demons are so prone to doing. The player, meanwhile, is claimed to be a member of the Inquisition and, rather promisingly, would have a range of different ways to approach the game: “Choose the direct method and gather your armies, send spies into the shadows or engage in a political war, make friends and use your connections indirectly: it is up to you how you lead the inquisition.”

It’s Game of Thrones, then. Smart decision, say I. Unless… unless that means a grindy meta-game that involves Facebook and an iOS spin-off and that sort of time-wasting. I’d just like to play the game, please.

But remember, none of this is proven, and even if this is real it may not come to pass as is, as the survey appears to be gauging interest in this setup rather than definitely promising it. There’s also this list of possible/alleged/etc Dragon Age III subtitles:

Inquisitor; The Breach; Exarch; Apocrypha; Inquisition.

My vote is ‘Dragon Age 3.’ Bloody subtitles, who needs ‘em?

Also rumoured/alleged/etc is the above logo [EDIT - the logo at least is a fan-made fake] and assorted potential companion art, as seen here.

I am well aware I might be posting total bullshit, but I’m doing it anyway because this does sound like it could get Dragon Age back on track. I’d really, really like that.

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133 Comments »

  1. Lazaruso says:

    No Awesome button, no sale.

  2. Didden says:

    For me at least, Bioware have a lot to do to show they are the studio they once were. Here’s hoping DA3 is a return to form.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      After my disapointment with DA2, and the ending of ME3 Bioware have slipped off my pre-order lists of developers.

      • targaryen26 says:

        what are people complaining about the ending of mass effect 3 i have no idea. yeah it was shite but seriously the ending of the second game was infinitely fucking worse. you spend the entire game recruiting those characters in that stupid theme park structure (hub, go on ride, back to hub, go on ride) and then at the very end you have to send the characters you spent the whole game recruiting on missions you can’t control and watch them die in fucking cutscenes. fuck, if you were a fool like i was and did not fully upgrade the ship you watch characters die in cutscenes BEFORE THE MISSION EVEN BEGINS!!!! why would you upgrade the ship, it makes no sense, you never fly the motherfucker and there never was any need to upgrade it before, not to mention they say in the game its a new ship so much better than the old ship (which went through an entire fucking assault on the citadel in the first game). after rage quitting a couple of times i was sitting there like an idiot using this fucking thing http://media1.gameinformer.com/images/features/flowcharts/206-flowchart-poster-low.jpg to try to figure out some way to survive through the damn game after recruiting every character and doing every single loyalty mission. compared to that rage inducing scenario the end of mass effect 3 was only mildy confusing cause you’re not sure what’s going on. the rest of the game did not have any rage inducing moments so i let that one slip.

    • belgand says:

      They actually did that to me pre-release for Dragon Age: Origins. At first it was going to be a PC exclusive return to form and the days when they made Baldur’s Gate and other classic RPGs. Then it was going to have a console version released some time later, but the PC version was the focus. Then it moved to a day-and-date release and it wasn’t long until it was seen as a primarily console-oriented game.

      Deep PC gaming isn’t their focus these days. “Streamlining” and moving into a more action, shooter-oriented style with slight RPG elements is. It’s a shame to see the mighty brought so low.

  3. razgon says:

    “you will also in a never before seen freedom in a game, be able to hire mercenaries, spies, saboteurs and agents via your facebook network to work against evil itself. – your friends will be delighted to be part of the storytelling experience Bioware is so well known for creating.”

    • Zerbin says:

      Don’t give them ideas, man/lady. They would totally do this.

      • FCA says:

        It is telling that at first I thought it wasn’t a joke, and looked for the context of the quote….

        • Miltrivd says:

          Count me as well (and who knows how many more). I’m actually sad that my reaction wasn’t a huge surprise but a mild “really?”

    • belgand says:

      The worst part of all of this is the assumption that I have or would want a Facebook/Twitter account. You shouldn’t be making your game rely heavily on the user being involved in a third-party product for functionality.

      Sure, I may come off as a cranky old man (hey, I only turned 31 today!) for it and yes, lots of people do have accounts with them, but it’s still a bad design.

  4. Shantara says:

    Age: The Dragoning

  5. postwar says:

    Playing Dragon Age 2 for the second time right now. Looking forward to this one.

  6. Nameless1 says:

    After what they shamefully did with DA2 they can go f* themselves.

    • lordcooper says:

      I still haven’t actually played DA2. What exactly did they do to inspire such fervent internet hate?

      • Matt-R says:

        Make a fun but by Bioware standards fairly mediocre game.

      • Nameless1 says:

        Short answer: develop a *really* joke of a game with the pretty obvious reason to spend very little money (and little development time) and earn a lot on the wave of its (good) predecessor.
        Long answer: search on the internet, there’s really plenty of material on that

        • aliksy says:

          Oh boy another DA2 argument!

          DA2 had some nice things- melee combat was improved by having combatants leap/roll/charge into position so you don’t have that whole “shuffling around, slowly jogging after each other” bullshit from most games. Attacks had kinetic force too, which was nice.

          But it had some annoying things like enemies spawning in waves (solution: retreat a bit, ruin the stupid “set piece”), hp bloat (this mook has a 4x bigger health bar than that mook), and a mostly on-rails story that was also a tragedy.

          People don’t seem to care much about stories being predetermined so much as it’s also a power fantasy. As soon as it’s “shit, i can’t change the world all on my own?” people throw a fit.

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            It certainly wasn’t a tragedy. I can see what they attempted to do, but they certainly need more skilled writers to pull that off. The only tragedy was the lack of attention paid to the story.

            More importantly, saying that players threw a fit because it wasn’t a power fantasy is as smug and disingenuous as saying that ME3 players wanted rainbows and sunshine.

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a game where the player is not the chosen one to save the world. But you shouldn’t claim to do that and then make the player the bloody Champion of Kirkfall and have everything hinge on Hawk. That’s silly at best and moronic at worst.

            Add to that that making a story about how terrible the knight dudes persecute the mages in Kirkfall while at the same time having Hawk/party members strut around with a staff all day long performing unsanctioned magic is not… clever.

            The problem with DA2 is not the lack of power fantasy. The problem is bad and incoherent writing.

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            Makariel says:

            “Oh boy another DA2 argument!”

            It will never end… NEVER!

        • Snidesworth says:

          DA2 had some good ideas, but it was that lack of time and money that really killed it. Blatantly recycled areas, vast differences in quality for in game assets, sub par music (the composer himself said he was rushed), unpolished mechanics, etc. It was very obvious that it was rushed out the door and that generated a lot of ill will.

          The gameplay changes didn’t help either. I won’t say that they were inherently bad, but they were a far cry from what DA:O was. Enemies were mostly fodder meant to be slaughtered at breakneck speeds, spawning in waves and from all angles. Characters were superhuman in their abilities, able to flash-dash through hordes of enemies and gib them where in the previous game their abilities had been more restrained. I myself don’t mind them trying to give the combat a bit more oomph but there was nothing left of the considered and often difficult gameplay from DA:O (assuming you weren’t breaking the game with mages anyway). Ostagar Tower gave me a fair bit of difficulty when I first played, with the darkspawn luring you into traps, flanking you party and with no single enemy being a total pushover.

          tl;dr – It was a half-baked game that deviated from what the original game was in an attempt to be more “awesome.” It cocked up.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        They made a game that was like a mishmash of Neverwinter Nights and Mass Effect.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Combat is dull, enemies have huge health bars, and it plays like a beat-em-up with little to no strategy. Enemies come in level appropriate waves and you kill them. This from a company that said something like “Bioware doesn’t think players are stupid,” to advertise the first one. The main character is terribly boring. They brought the dialog wheel (which is just a bad device) to the game. There is no narrative reactivity, outside of romances. They use the same identi-kit dungeons for the entire game, which means there’s nothing close to exploration. Also there are few if any new enemies, so it feels like you’re grinding through the same monsters that got boring in the first Dragon Age.

        It’s like watching a bad movie that grudgingly accepts your input at certain times.

        • aliksy says:

          Oh yeah, they re-used the same 5 or so maps over and over and over and over. That was bad.

          • rapier17 says:

            Towards the end of the game I found an NPC’s body I hadn’t looted from the ‘first act’ or whichever it was, early in the game. That really rammed home how ridiculous the recycling was.

            The biggest problem for DA2 was that The Witcher 2 came out a bit later and basically said “Well, this is more how you make a fantasy world.” If you go back to DA2 and look at Kirkwall, or whatever it was called, and look at this ‘busy’ city ‘crammed’ with refugee’s, you do wonder where the population is. In the ‘busy’ market square there were four NPCs selling things, your character + party and some sprites at the edge of the area. Then you look at Flotsam in The Witcher 2 and the difference is incredible. People line up at stalls during the day to buy things, the stalls actually close at night, the little hamlet next door has everyone crowd round a communal fire to tell stories as dusk falls, children chase after Geraldine calling out to him, people piss in the streets, drunks and thugs rule the night, etc, etc. It felt like an inhabited area, not just filled with static NPCs and large, empty areas. That, I think, was one of the biggest issues DA2 had – it didn’t feel like a city, just a collection of areas cobbled hastily together. And the wave thing (which I heard was to help consoles out) was silly – enemies dropping from thin air – as though the entire population lived on the rooftops waiting to ambush players.

          • aliksy says:

            I played AssCreed2 after Dragon Age 2, and I remember thinking the cities there were so much more lively than DA2′s kirkwall. There were people milling about, they’d react to you, different types of people could have different behaviors. It’s a shame DA2 had none of that, since I think they were aiming for something along those lines.

        • briktal says:

          Combat wasn’t really all that different in DA2 though, it just looked more…over the top actiony?

          Also apparently now everyone is a blood mage.

          • tetracycloide says:

            There was a pretty big shift away from positioning and sustainability to ‘awesome’ buttons in the combat mechanics. Mages were kind of always that way but for the other classes it’s pretty pronounced IMO.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Combat was fairly similar except most of the enemies had huge honkin health bars, when a relative few did in Dragon Age, and the change in view and surprise spawns meant a harder time fighting strategically.

            Also mages got far fewer spells which meant a much less interesting class to play, especially if you invested in healing.

          • Juan Carlo says:

            The bare combat mechanics were improved (it’s the same as DA:O, only faster paced, more responsive, less floaty, and attacks feel like they have impact).

            However, battle design (which is a different thing than mechanics) was terrible so it’s hard to notice. Enemies are thrown at you in waves with no regard to placement or strategy and battles are insanely repetitive. So it’s hard to notice how much the actual combat engine was improved (and it was greatly improved) just because they put it too such terrible use in the game. It’s like they took a combat engine designed for a strategy RPG and used it to make a mindless beat em up.

      • DiamondDog says:

        “What exactly did they do to inspire such fervent internet hate?”

        They released a computer game.

        • Yammo says:

          Imagine “beer” being sold as “Milk II”. (Perhaps a silly example, but…) imagine the outcry and litigations that would ensue… or imagine a reskinned Battle-Chess game with Quake4 graphics being sold as “Quake 5″? It is obvious that the publishers knew they were tricking their customers by giving an action oriented hack-and-slash the name of a strategic-RPG. They knew that they were pulling a fast one to earn a short-term buck…

          Some care and try to voice their frustration on forums… but they always get shot down by conformists as being whiners.

      • paddymaxson says:

        The core issues to me are the below:

        They were lazy, asset reuse in this game is ludicrous (every single side quest, and multiple main quests takes place in the same 10 or so caves, if they’re not in the “same” cave, it’s the same area map with some doors blocked off and others opened). There are roughly 7 enemy types in he game: Hurlocks, Ogres, Humanoids, Skeletons, Spiders, Demons and Dragons (DLCs added a few more). Most of these creatures use the same model over and over again.
        Named creatures are at times just upscaled versions of other boring ones. In the case of Named Humanoids, they MIGHT have a different suit of armour on.

        Oversimplification of RPG elements (combat specifically):
        Rogues can’t dual wield anything other than daggers, Warriors can’t use bows, there’s no arcane warrior mage, mages are basically just staff users.

        Outisde of these issues it’s actually a pretty great game, the story is great, it’s at least graphically better than the first game (there aren’t constant clipping issues with shoulder plates like the first game, and that weird blotchy skin toning is gone). But those issues are quie big issues for a sequel to a spiritual successor. It was obviously rushed out the door.

      • mire says:

        The thing that killed it for me was the encounter design. Every fight involved 20+ mobs, half of which would spawn in plain sight in the middle of the fight. No variety, no strategy, just zerg them one after another. Boring as crap. I found the story uninteresting too.

      • U-99 says:

        Well, the battles in DAII were much harder, because healing was heavy limited, and waves of enemies rushed out of nowhere. I liked the battles, frankly. Almost every of them required concentration, you could not just click-click-click and win. It wasn’t also as simple as tank-healer-2xdamage-dealers. Even some random assault could lead to the “game over”. It was necessary to plan cross-class combos, etc. I also liked the idea of creating a game, that expanded not in territory, but in time, I think, it was quite fresh, for RPG at least. But, it became quite repetitive. Still better than ME3, though, which story was a total dissapointment.

      • Flavioli says:

        It’s different for everyone… some people think the combat was perfect but didn’t like the story or the reuse of environments… others thought the strategic combat from DA:O was replaced with a bullshit “mash the awesome button until you win!!!11!!” mechanic. And then some people actually liked the game (I can’t figure this one out).

        For me, it was mostly the fact that DA:O’s massive success brought hope of a revival of the Baldur’s Gate style cRPG, and DA2 took that hope, strapped it with C4, and detonated it to microscopic, unsalvageable pieces. As a game, it was utterly mediocre compared to even the most generic RPGs; as a game made by Bioware (at least in the company’s more reputable days), it was utterly terrible. It was to Bioware what Cars 2 was to Pixar.

      • Azradun says:

        DA2 was at best a mediocre game, with worst world map and locations I’ve seen in years. Literally the worst – just a city and a few points of interest nearby, and I kid you not, all caves and open spaces were recycled. All of them. Such laziness is inexcusable.

        Also, the plot was quite weak. There were a few gimmicks which I think tried their best to wrestle any sense of involvement from the player. Supposed to be innovative, I thought it was a cheap gimmick that didn’t execute well enough.

        Battles were more dynamic, but felt extremely artificial at the same time (enemies “paratrooping” into combat in waves). Lazy, lazy, lazy.

        And what killed it all for me – no racial choice, no different backgrounds, no connection to DA:O or DA:A, and very limited gear for companions – you literally can’t give your warrior friend that armor you just found. Because the devs decided it was wrong (again, I kid you not – read it in an actual interview).

        All in all, it wasn’t good as a standalone game, and as a sequel for DA:O it was simply pathetic and laughable.

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      TheApologist says:

      Well, I didn’t like DA2 because of the waves of enemies appearing from nowhere, and the limitations on character creation that playing as Hawke imposed.

      But these are fixable things! And if they’re fixed, why wouldn’t I play DA3?

      • Azradun says:

        To be fixable they must want to fix them.

        Bad design choices are sometimes worse than crippling bugs.

      • Squirly says:

        Not to mention that those screw-ups are the developers trying to “fix” what they felt was wrong with DA:O.

  7. Milky1985 says:

    “Choose the direct method and gather your armies, send spies into the shadows or engage in a political war, make friends and use your connections indirectly: it is up to you how you lead the inquisition.”

    So be friendly , be a warmonger or be sneaky.

    I hope these options are colour coded or we might not know which of the three to do!

  8. GLSteve says:

    *Crosses fingers*

    Please don’t mess this up. Please don’t mess this up. Please….

  9. aliksy says:

    I liked dragon age 1 and 2, but I’m kind of sick of Bioware rpgs. There’s too much “split into light side/dark side choices, and disjunction between plot and gameplay. “Blood magic is evil! … here’s the blood magic skill tree. Have fun! Use it in town! But don’t expect to use the mind control stuff to affect the plot, or even anyone to comment on it in a meaningful way”

    • Matt-R says:

      Well they have talked about wanting to make it so that blood magic in particular does have impact on the world, but its all that sort of well we want to do it but no promises guys talk.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Standard hype. If the ”game influencing choices and decisions” are anything more than a conversation pick between Indifferent / Sarcastic / Jackass, i’ll eat my hat. Times may change but the dialogue wheel wont fucking die.

    • Squirly says:

      It’s the same problem they have in the Star Wars game where you can choose to be light or dark side. NOBODY comments on the PC suddenly force-lightninging an entire group of enemies, force-choking the remainder and then dropping them off a cliff.

      Too much effort to actually pull off the good-bad dichotomy but they don’t want to restrict the player either, so they just give you the option and hope you don’t mind/notice.

      • aliksy says:

        I think Alpha Protocol was one of the few games where people would comment on things like “killed everybody” and “wearing full combat armor on talky missions”. Deus Ex is in the same ballpark, too.

        I doubt Bioware’s going to do anything outside their comfort zone, though.

  10. Patches the Hyena says:

    Will it be like Mass Effect 3? Brings back some of the complexity lost in the sequel, refines the combat and conversations. However in this case I would be totally happy with more of the same of Origins.

  11. Belsameth says:

    I bet this’ll be their most awesome RPG since BG1/2 and then they’ll just launch it on Origin just to spite everybody.

    • Lazaruso says:

      Time to Origin-bashing from original post: thirteen minutes. A new record?

      • tetracycloide says:

        If you redefine ‘origin bashing’ to mean ‘mocking knee jerk reactions to origin’ then yeah, sure, it’s a record.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        What exactly is wrong with “Origin-bashing?”

        I personally hate the thing.

  12. Jason Moyer says:

    I wish Bioware would just go back to farming out all their sequels to Obsidian.

  13. Lord Byte says:

    Am I the only one who thought Dragon Age was unimaginative schlock?
    Not an original scene, conversation or character in the entire game.

    • Lazaruso says:

      Wow, I’ve never heard someone say this before.
      (And it’s still BS)

    • tetracycloide says:

      The irony is thick with this one.

    • Terragot says:

      I liked the dirty yellow teeth of the characters.

    • FCA says:

      I have a conflicted opinion on the first Dragon Age. While playing it, I couldn’t stop, but even then, I was annoyed by a lot of small things, and the overall “genericness” of many things: darkspawn as Orcs, bland colours, combat consisting of watching countdowns and tanking/kiting. On the other hand, some subplots/quests were superbly put together. The origin of Shale, the betrayal of Loghain (though sadly not worked out well enough), the healing of Arl Eamon, and some others were very nicely done, but padded together with lots of filler combat, which really grated.

      There were a lot fun little elements, woven together in a generic package. The DLC was a total letdown however. The expansion was a bit of a let-down: some great ideas, but badly worked out, and some bad ideas altogether.
      After playing the demo of Dragon Age 2 I decided I couldn’t stand it, so I don’t know how the story is there. I’m taking a wait and see attitude towards Dragon Age 3, but I fear Bioware doesn’t have the will or talent to make interesting combat encounters/systems anymore.

      • Jeremy says:

        I was really happy with DA:O, and enjoyed it all the way through, but the quest for healing the Arl ultimately made me realize I was still playing a BioWare game. I was so disappointed to find out I could pull off a “perfect” solution to the quest. I was initially horrified, but also kinda impressed, that I was going to have to choose between the kid or his mother.

        • FCA says:

          I played it without spoilers, so for me, at the time, I was also really impressed, moved even. The scenario was really good, I could see the point of view of all options, and none of the solutions made me happy, but it was a situation which needed to be solved, that much was clear. I pondered the question for many minutes, and made a decision, heart-wrenched.

          Only later found out that there was a “perfect” solution, which indeed cheapened it for me.

        • Snidesworth says:

          I went for that perfect solution too, presuming you mean the stage before the actual healing, fully expecting doing something that would take at least several days to backfire on me but refusing to take the alternatives. When I returned I found that nothing had changed since I’d left and I could fix the problem without issue. After being promised a dark fantasy with tough choices I was a bit disappointed.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      You’re not alone. While I quite enjoyed parts of the game it certainly wasn’t very creative.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      It was certainly cliched in places, but I felt it had its moments of originality (or at least, er, unusuality) too.

      Didn’t stop it being great fun – especially DA:O’s combat.

    • Anders Wrist says:

      No, you’re not alone.

    • Jenks says:

      The world that Dragon Age takes place in is definitely my least favorite part of the series. I don’t mind unimaginative as much as I mind boring. Confining you to a single city in the sequel made it that much worse.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I’m with you in that opinion. Dragon Age was the most boringly derivative fantasy RPG I’ve ever played. Not only was the setting complete shit, the gameplay was a by-the-numbers slog to boot. I’ll never understand why it gets so much praise.

    • E_FD says:

      No, you’re not. The plot really felt like an exercise in hitting as many D&D tropes as possible.

  14. tybality says:

    Dragon Age 3 : The End

  15. xenphilos says:

    The pictures that say “Indicate how appealing you think each character design is” and “Read the words then highlight the text you like or find appealing” leave a bad taste in my mouth.

  16. ALJA says:

    The PAX East Dragon Age ideas video shows that Dragon Age 3 will be better than 2, because they managed to understand in general what was wrong with 2.

    link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZhTbhUpixY&feature=plcp

    Also interestingly the warden and seeker concept art is also showcased here. So could well be proper characters in DA3

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      And Dragon Age 2 should have been better than the first as it was built on on top of an already successful game?…

      I wouldn’t make distinctions this far in advance, I just hope it’s an improvement over the second as that was an outright dire game.

  17. Bobka says:

    I’m kind of ambiguous about Bioware doing market research for their game. On the one hand, it’s a(n expensive) business, and they want to maximize their returns, I get that. But on the other hand, I get the feeling something tailored to mass-market appeal will be less likely to have its own “soul.”

    It’s just a shame such games are so expensive to make. Hopefully that will change one day.

    • Apples says:

      Especially since their previous attempts to ‘engage’ with their target market have included two anime statues of boob-enlarged female ME characters, a My Little Pony/Mass Effect drawing, and developers using words like “glomp”, “squee” and “nom” on their forums. Despite that audience interaction garnering vocal negative responses every time they do it. So whatever sort of market research they appear to be doing, it is targeted towards the real ‘mass’ gaming market, young men who are into whatever the latest supposedly cool internet thing is, not towards anyone worth considering in anything but a monetary sense.

  18. InternetBatman says:

    I’m kinda done with them. I’ll probably get it for cheap, but I’m not even excited by a new Bioware release, which is strange.

  19. razorblade79 says:

    Dragon Age 3: Contains coal and oil use

  20. Nabobalis says:

    Please let me continue or at least hear about what happened to the character I made in the first one.

  21. Demiath says:

    I rather liked Dragon Age 2 and with more development time and better overall execution the specific DA2 formula could really flourish, so there wouldn’t be a need to get “back on track” in that very specific regard. This rumored Orlais approach sounds somewhat promising, though, as long as they don’t lose sight of what DA2 did right in terms of humanizing the conflicts and focusing on characters and relationships instead of hilariously self-important text boxes and vaguely human-shaped exposition automatons.

  22. Cinnamon says:

    Will this game have torture QTEs? Press x to pull fingernails out with pliers and that sort of thing.

    Wouldn’t be surprised after E3 this year.

  23. Njam says:

    For a second there I thought “rumoured/alleged/etc” was a folder path. I need to get out more.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    …Dragface? Am I doing this right?

  25. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    “Choose the direct method and gather your armies, send spies into the shadows or engage in a political war”

    That sounds great, but a lot of the decisions in DA2 sounded great on paper too (urban environment, world changing over time, going away from the tired ‘you are chosen one saving universe’ RPG template) and that in my opinion turned out to be a an awful, awful game. Great ideas are nothing without good execution.

    I’m not inclined to give Bioware benefit of any doubts anymore. We’ll see how the marketing for it will be when we arrive. If it yet again will feature crappy metal, a focus on tits and blood, and market droids going “Visceral, cinematic, action, cinematic , visceral, cinematic, awesome” I think I’ll pass. It will probably not be a title developed with my demographic in mind.

    (The romance plots I don’t mind at all, though these seem to something lots of people rage against. But in DA2 I thought they became too dominant as InternetBatman mentioned above, it would be nice to have another way of interacting/influencing party members. Memories of Dak’kon and Kreia…..*sigh*)

    • FCA says:

      Both Dak’kon and Kreia weren’t in Bioware games, but in games which many people think are Bioware games. Bioware gets a lot of credit for creating strong characters, when in fact they didn’t make most of these games. Obsidian/Black Isle is the creator of strong characters.

      Baldurs gate (and BG2) had some good characters, but not because they had deep emotional impact. Minsc was funny, Irenicus was a well-written villain, but for example Jaheira, Aerie and Anomen were fanfic level love interests. Neverwinter Nights had no memorable characters at all (maybe fanservice Aribeth, but her plot-twist was a bit obvious), and the while main character of Knights of the Old Republic was indeed interesting, the rest was not so much.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lars Westergren says:

        > Obsidian/Black Isle is the creator of strong characters.

        I know, I’m one of the biggest Obs fanboys on these forums. ;)

      • InternetBatman says:

        I thought Deekin was pretty cool.

        • FCA says:

          Good catch! But maybe a non-example as well…
          Deekin first appeared in the expansion, Shadows of Undrentide, codeveloped by Floodgate Entertainment and Bioware. I’m wondering who was responsible for him.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I would bet that he’s a Bioware character. He’s written fairly similarly to Cespanar, the demon butler in ToB.

      • Premium User Badge

        AmateurScience says:

        All I know is that Tommy Undergallows can go to hell. To hell I say!

      • NathanH says:

        Actually Anomen had his moments, particularly if you have Keldorn around. Perhaps no surprise, since Keldorn is probably the best paladin ever.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Keldorn also had the advantage of being part of a rare, extremely badass subclass. The 80 million dispels (plus the freaking Caromyser) he got made combat much, much easier.

          For my part, I liked the hassle of keeping Keldorn and Viconia in the same party.

          • Premium User Badge

            jaheira says:

            I remember putting Keldorn and Viconia in the same party and they got into a fight with each other (Keldorn won in about 3 picoseconds obviously)

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          My “best Paladin” award goes to Paksenarrion. Never had a party with Keldorn, maybe I should try when BG2 remake is released.

          And as evidence that not all Obsidian characters are gold – what was the name of the paladin in NWN2 original campaign? You know, the tedious emo guy with the expensive haircut?
          :-)

          • xsikal says:

            Casavir, I think. And yeah, he sucked, although my wife liked him.

      • E_FD says:

        “and the while main character of Knights of the Old Republic was indeed interesting, the rest was not so much”

        As painfully overused as the character and thinly-disguised versions of the character have been ever since, I thought HK-47 was hilarious when KOTOR first came out.

  26. Jim9137 says:

    Breach 3 will sue.

  27. Unaco says:

    I see that they are… Dragon this franchise on and on.

  28. jackflash says:

    CD Projekt is the new Bioware as far as I’m concerned. Finally got around to playing the Witcher 2 this summer after picking it up in the Steam sale, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in an RPG since the good old Black Isle days.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Personally, CD Projekt are more along the lines of Black Isle, in that they’ve taken engines from Bioware (remember The Wticher was based on NWN’s) and then made a better game.

      The Witcher 2 just builds their independance, with a tighter story, much like Planescape was much tighter than BG2.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      I kind of agree. I would say CDPR is more like Black Isle, or Obsidian. They put a much greater importance on the quality of their writing and stories, along with consequences.

      Bioware has always been the Child version for RPGs, Things are basically always black and white, their archetypes are driven into the ground, and they throw every cliche they can in their games.

      Bioware has always been the most popular, but never the best.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Deekin was a neat character, and there are several memorable characters in DA1 and Mass Effect series, so I wouldn’t say that they are BAD at it, they are better than most. But even their best characters are more twodimensional than Obsidian’s characters. IMHO.

    Edit: Reply fail, was supposed to be for FCA and InternetBatman above.

  30. Zepp says:

    I hope the game will put more emphasis on strong sexual content, more graphicly developed and more variety in “options” than predecessor/s. Sex was always a strong point of Dragon Age franchise and Devs shouldn’t marginalize fans who like to fap while playing computer games.

    Cheers!

    • Lazaruso says:

      And they’d better let me sleep with my sister this time!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      They are true geniuses, realising that you can’t spell “wooden” without “wood”.

    • arccos says:

      “Surprise me” indeed!

    • aliksy says:

      On a related point, still think it was sadly funny when you sleep with Morrigan, and her “naked” appearance is less revealing than her armored appearance.

  31. andromedius says:

    ‘Dragon Age 3 : Ashes to Ashes’

  32. Hug_dealer says:

    Doesnt matter how good DA3 is. After the horrible DA2, and then the horrible ME3. I wont touch another Bioware game til its proven they are making good games again.

  33. Voronwer says:

    I would actually be annoyed if they completely dropped the Hawke storyline. Yes, DA2 had many, many flaws, but the characters and story were solid. They ended with a cliffhanger, leaving me wonder what will happen next. So don’t tell me I finished the same dungeon over and over again, killed wave after wave of enemies over and over, just so they can toss that effort aside.

  34. Cooper says:

    Dragon Ag3

    No?

    Also, for the sake of posting this again:
    http://i54.tinypic.com/14vpe06.jpg

  35. Dariune says:

    I think its very unlikely I will be interested in this.

    Bioware, for a longtime, have released games that I not only dont enjoy, but feel are just cash cows.

    I enjoyed DA:O a little bit but could also feel the lack of creativity or effort that went into the game.
    I thought ME1 was a nice concept with medeocre gameplay.
    Jade Empire was mildly entertaining with below average gameplay.

    IMO everything else they have released (since JE) has been utter shite. (I havent played ME3 or finished DA2)

    Infact, I get turned off from a game if its made by Bioware these days.

  36. Jimbo says:

    The Dragon Age guy… whose name I forget… already basically said “Lemme give you guys a clue: Dragon Age 3 is gonna be set in Orlais”. It wasn’t exactly subtle.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Dave Gaider. “A bit more French” was the phrase I believe. So yeah, Orlais.

      The easy way to map Ferelden=England, Orlais=France, Darkspawn=orcs and so on was actually one of the weak points of DA1, a game I generally like. They talked so much about how it would be a wildly original world before release.

  37. gritz says:

    A fantasy nation divided by civil war which is suddenly invaded by an army of monsters? Good to see Bioware is still taking bold steps.

  38. targaryen26 says:

    dragon age origins is one of my favourite games of all time. i have only played a bit of dragon age 2 but even from the little that i played it seems to me it’s suffering from mass effect syndrome. i don’t mean that in the sense that it’s been dumbed down to be an action game but in the sense that the mass effect series did not know what made it great. the first game got a lot of things right and in the second they eliminated a lot of those things and introduced other stuff. again they did the same thing in the third game. overall each game gets some things right and just as many horribly wrong.

    the developers seem to be incompetent at analyzing the game and determining what works and what doesn’t. why are there no origin stories in dragon age 2, why can’t i play as my character from the first game, why can’t i make a dwarf of elf character, why was the quonari race completely changed, why is it restricted to just the one city (which looks like shit i might add), why did the art style change from a realistic one (not very well executed so i see why they wanted to make changes) into a kiddie style with women endowed with the most giant tits of all time? all these things make no sense and take away from all the things that made dragon age origins great. every bit of information that trickles down to us about dragon age 3 seems they are doing the same shit again.

    now i understand that a big company like ea would want to do focus groups and take surveys to get a sense of where potential customers’ tastes are, however, i am too much of a pessimist given the recent changes in bioware’s games, that those surveys are all this is for. the idea that a parent company would pressure a studio to change the look of characters and even the title of a game based on the opinions of some fucked up teenagers taking a survey is very disturbing. if you do not have the faith in your studio that they will make the right decisions why are you even funding them. the reality is the doctors at bioware have sold out, gotten themselves rich and couldn’t care less about the games anymore.

    there was a time in the mid/late 90s to early 00s when games were beginning to break out of the stupidity of earlier years. games like baldur’s gate, planerscape torment, arcanum, deus ex, system shock, thief, half life, age of empires (anyone remember all the historical info the devs puts into that game to try to educate people about history?). gamers growing up in that time were looking into the future wondering how great things will be today. not much of what we were dreaming of then has come to fruition. in fact in many ways things are going backwards with games becoming ever more stupid.