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Thread: Dragon's Dogma

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Dragon's Dogma

    I decided to pick this up, and I have to say, if you've got a PS3 or 360 and like action RPGs, it is worth a look. I could say a lot about it, but for now I'll just say it's like Kingdoms of Amalur and Dark Souls had a baby that had more depth than the first and was less brutal than the second.

    Anyone have any thoughts on it? Does anyone know if Sorcerors can use staves, or would I have to buy an archistaff if I make the switch from Mage?

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    I'm a little low on cash but I'll be picking it up later, what do you think of the story? I've heard people say it doesn't really make sense and is somewhat bland.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravelle View Post
    I'm a little low on cash but I'll be picking it up later, what do you think of the story? I've heard people say it doesn't really make sense and is somewhat bland.
    So far I'd say it's less "bland" than "detached." Going back to the Dark Souls comparison, it's pretty similar: they tell you next to nothing about anything, and story bits are few and far between. I could definitely believe that it won't make sense in the end, but so far it's been holding my attention.

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    I bought it on a whim (had an amazon voucher left over from Christmas) and I have to admit I've been pleasantly surprised.

    The Good:
    -Combat is fun whilst remaining a challenge. Charging blindly in and sitting back casting firebolts will tend to get you killed, especially against the larger monsters (Ogres especially).
    -There is no level-scaling, in other words there are certain areas where if you go to early you will face incredibly difficult fights and are liable to end up dead. This is both a good - more challenge if you want and it gives me a little nostalgia for ye olden days RPGs before scaling everything to a players level became the norm - and bad - running into a Dragon was a good way to an abrupt death. But in all fairness your pawns (NPC party members) do tend to give verbal prompts when you're entering an area that's too dangerous for you.
    -Atmosphere is good, wandering around at night or in dark caves requires you use a lantern to light your way. And it only lights up a small amount outside. And in DD the night is dark and full of terrors!
    -It's a fairly large world to explore, with lots to do, even if sometimes the exploration can get you killed.
    -Pet peeve, the main city hub is one of the better examples of games making a city feel like an actual city and not a tiny town with delusions of grandeur. It's a step in the right direction that will hopefully have RPG cities the size and complexity of the Assassin's Creed ones as the norm. (I mostly like that because I feel that a correct sense of proportion and scale in a game can really help invest you in the world and thus what you're doing.)

    Bad:
    -Your Pawns offer advice. All the bloody time.
    -The story... is badly told. To the point where 15 or so hours in all I can really say is that it involves Dragons and me being some kind of Messiah to the braindead Pawn Legion. I'd tempted to say this is another example of Japanese story-telling techniques not meshing with the general Western aesthetic. But to be honest I think that's not the case. I suspect what happened is the DEV team built a wide open world for players to explore and have fun in and only tacked on the main quest after all that was done. Though the combat and exploration is fun enough that I don't really mind thus far.
    -Textures up close make me want to cry. This is more about me being chiefly a PC gamer though, and having been spoilt silly by the Witcher 2, Metro 2033 and BF3 recently.
    -The world is very large and there's no fast travel or means of speeding up transit between areas. Not an absolute necessity but it would have been nice to be able to hop on a cart or horse and gallop along the roads instead of having to schlep everywhere on foot.
    -It's made by Capcom which means DLC up the Whazoo.

    All in all I'm happy I bought it, and I hope it does well enough to get a sequel, and in the meantime I'll just enjoy turning wide areas into flaming cauldrons of death with meteor showers! =D

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    It's ugly by any gamers standards.

    That said its a fun game, although my pawns make me laugh/cry:

    A wolf!

    A wolf!

    What a big tree!

    What classes are you guys?

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    It's ugly by any gamers standards.

    That said its a fun game, although my pawns make me laugh/cry:

    A wolf!

    A wolf!

    What a big tree!

    What classes are you guys?
    Making up for the lack of real team mates I see. ;p
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    What classes are you guys?
    Sorcerer, having had to struggle through for a while being fairly squishy and prone to death the satisfaction of being able to call a meteor strike down is terrific. Though the long range nature of the Maelstrom spell is a little game-breaking, in the open at least, as I can cast it just outside of mobs sight range and then chuckle as they get sucked up into the tornado and tossed around.

    Then again it is really cool gathering up a group of fifteen goblins and then just watching them bounce around until a cascade of XP comes my way.

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    Network Hub Hanban's Avatar
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    I absolutely love it.

    I would agree it feels rather detached, but coming from Monster Hunter that's not a huge concern. The combat is where the game is the most enjoyable and after having slain countless cyclops I still enjoy it. Recently took down my first gryphon which was a hoot. There's something very pleasing about being stuck to it as it flies off, and then jumping off hoping that the fall distance won't see you turn into bloody pulp as you hit the ground.
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    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    Great game, around 55 hours in, maybe less than halfway through. Repeating enemy spawns start to suck a bit, but the timer is quite long, you can avoid many of them, and it's part of the journey. Traveling at night mixes things up quite a bit. The lighting is also very beautiful (low rez shadows aside). I like how minimal the story is, and how limited the cutscenes are. Text is a bit too small unfortunately. There are also no branching dialog trees, and you don't have to talk to every random NPC.

    Seems to be very well received, with so-so reviews and overrated difficulty from reviewers who had to blitz through the storyline. It would make for a good PC port, so I wonder if Capcom is considering it.

    I played a Fighter with Mage pawn to lv 31, then switched to Mystic Knight and Sorceror up to 40ish, maxing vocation ranks. Gryphon is next up in a mission (it got away in the first couple early encounters). The escort sidequests seem to expire or cycle based on the plot quests (if you meet the Duke, then Knights don't want to be escorted around anymore). I lost the early "Lost and Found" quest because I did the first story mission in Gran Soren.

    The loot variety is a bit much, but I discovered you can deposit an entire category at once into storage by pressing start. You can also load up a rented Pawn and then swap them at a rift stone, if you aren't somewhere with an inn for storage. I've used forgery for getting upgrade materials, and you can dupe some multi-purpose quest items too, though this can have consequences.

    There is some fast travel, but you can't set a new destination (port crystal) until the late game. I read that you can buy more of them in NG+, and they stay where you put them across NG+ cycles.
    Last edited by Bobtree; 30-05-2012 at 12:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    It's ugly by any gamers standards.

    That said its a fun game, although my pawns make me laugh/cry:

    A wolf!

    A wolf!

    What a big tree!

    What classes are you guys?

    I don't know that I'd consider it ugly. It would've been far better on PC, though, and I'd snap up a port in a heartbeat.

    Has anyone found anyplace where your character's physical build makes a difference? I found a hole that only a "small person" could fit inside when I tried to take a fort from some goblins, and realized that they had actually thought things through to that degree. Shocking, really.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    A lot of the reviews I read said it was all a bit laboured and broken and was basically a trawl through a million dull sidequests, but that it's nice and deep and open. Still debating a purchase, I might just wait for a price-drop or see how much of the game has been kept for DLC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    A lot of the reviews I read said it was all a bit laboured and broken and was basically a trawl through a million dull sidequests, but that it's nice and deep and open. Still debating a purchase, I might just wait for a price-drop or see how much of the game has been kept for DLC.
    I haven't seen a lot of what I'd call sidequests. Most of what the game offers as "sidequests" are randomly generated tasks that basically run in the background (kill X of Y, mostly) and which give you your XP and cash rewards when completed without having to talk to anyone.

    The more elaborate ones are pretty involved, and often send you out on terrifying trips into unexplored parts of the map, fighting horrible beasties and praying that you brought enough healing kits and lantern oil. I've turned back more than once.

    It reminds me of a less brutal Dark Souls, or a fantasy STALKER, crossed with a little MMO or something like that more than a traditional RPG.

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    It's a great game but it really starts to grate after awhile.

    No fast travel + playing as a character with heavy armor so you run slower + always having to deal with suicidal enemies = boredom.

    It wouldn't be so bad if the game didn't keep sending you across the map every five hours or so. It gets a bit better when you get a port crystal, but that jog from Gran Soren to the Witchwood is just grating on my nerves. Also, escort quests? No thank you.

    Your stamina drains pretty rapidly if you're a warrior or a heavy armor user, so forget sprinting for long distances; you're gonna casually jog to your destination. Slowest walking speed ever.

    The other problem I mentioned earlier is that when you hit about level 20 or 25 or so, and if you know what you're doing, the game becomes a cakewalk. So on your journey, you'll get hounded by goblins, wolves and harpies often. I usually just run by them at this point. Not sure what is left in the game but I've tackled Golems, Griffins, Chimeras, Ogres and Cyclops all without breaking a sweat. This is definitely no Demon / Dark Souls here, because those games constantly scale difficulty with you; it seems that after awhile, Dragon's Dogma just stops being difficult altogether. I'm using pawns that are lower than me (I'm level 36 with my main pawn, the two pawns I use are level 31) to try to increase the difficulty, but it's still far too easy.

    I love the game, but the amount of backtracking combined with no fast travel is just absurd; this is a 50 to 60 hour game only because 10 to 15 hours of that is just walking to and from your destination.

    I do love the story so far -- it presents it to you in bits and pieces from various sidequests plus the main plot line. There is a lot of stuff going on in the main plot and I'm interested to see how it all ties together.

    The quest with the duchess at night was just creepy.
    Last edited by Roufuss; 31-05-2012 at 12:11 AM.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    Dragon's Dogma is a proper epic. If you are interested enough to be "on the fence" then you will very probably get your money's worth and I'd recommend it without hesitation (unless you have very limited time to play). The DLC is completely unimportant as far as I can see. It's a huge game, very good and underrated, and unlikely to drop in price soon.

    When it gets too easy btw, you ought to change vocations, or tackle something tough (like the drake by Shadowfort). My first switch was to MK because I had collected some great gear for it, and that was very easy going. Changing again to Assassin has been very dicey so far. I'm looking forward to the post-game difficulty bump.

    Do try to get your carry weight down for long trips, so you can sprint very far and fast and skip unnecessary fights. Even if it means using some lesser gear to save time, and you have a tougher time as a result.

    Tom Chick's review is insightful: What if EA published Dragon's Dogma?

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    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    I tried the demo on the 360 and was not very enthused. I don't know how representative that was of the full game but the combat just felt very messy, it was hard to tell what was going on and there was little feedback to show how effective you were being aside from a health bar, but I had no idea whether it was me or my companions doing the damage. It all just seemed a bit off pace. For instance in the opening bit in the demo you enter this huge area where a Dragon is dramatically breathing fire down at where you enter, and yet your side kick just mildly carries on his conversation and casually walks through all the flames, only perking up when he sees some orcs or similar up ahead. The Dragon tries to say some no doubt important thing to you, but I couldn't properly hear it because either the side kick was talking over the top of it or some other sound effects were masking it. That's the feeling the demo left me of everything in the game, just messy and unpolished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
    I tried the demo on the 360 and was not very enthused. I don't know how representative that was of the full game but the combat just felt very messy, it was hard to tell what was going on and there was little feedback to show how effective you were being aside from a health bar, but I had no idea whether it was me or my companions doing the damage. It all just seemed a bit off pace. For instance in the opening bit in the demo you enter this huge area where a Dragon is dramatically breathing fire down at where you enter, and yet your side kick just mildly carries on his conversation and casually walks through all the flames, only perking up when he sees some orcs or similar up ahead. The Dragon tries to say some no doubt important thing to you, but I couldn't properly hear it because either the side kick was talking over the top of it or some other sound effects were masking it. That's the feeling the demo left me of everything in the game, just messy and unpolished.
    If you have the option, I'd rent the game and see. The opening of the game is a complete non-sequiter, but it gives a good taste of what's to come: a full party, giant monsters, dark dungeon, etc.

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    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    There was also a griffin fight thrown in with the demo too, but that just came across even worse, in a what the hell am I supposed to be doing kind of way.

    I guess that's the problem with these sorts of demo's though that throw a whole bunch of toys at you all at once to try out. You really need the pacing of the full game, where I expect you are fed these things one at a time for you to get to grips with.

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