Report: Dragon Age II On PC Loses Mod Tools, Strategy Camera

Dragon Age II on PC may be retaining its strategic combat mode, but there are other PC-specific features that won't be included in the game's sequel.

In an interview with French magazine Joystick, BioWare's Mike Laidlaw has revealed that the "Baldur's Gate" camera perspective available to PC owners in the first game won't be returning in the second game. According to a translation on the game's official forums, Laidlaw explains:

"For budgetary reasons, we focused our work on a 3rd person view, that asks for very detailed and nice textures so that the player can admire the game with a close-up view. With an aerial view [isometric]we should cover much more ground and so create other textures. Now, the game mainly sold on console, so we're going the way of the audience".

Also gone will be the modding toolkit included with the first game, though in this instance, no reason or explanation is given for its exclusion.

It's nice the sequel is coming out so soon after its predecessor, but these kind of exclusions won't go down well with the PC crowd very well at at all, particularly considering much of the love for Dragon Age on the platform was earned by including such PC-specific features as a "strategic" camera and toolset.

[BioWare]


Comments

    This is definitely annoying. The strategy camera angle was very useful in the first game.
    It's a shame to see a developer forced to pander to the console audience when they worked so hard to get the first one fully realised for PC.

    All bow to our EA overlords.

    Surely it wouldn't be so difficult to retain the camera at the very least?

    I thought they do have the mod tools but it wasn't as detailed as the usual kind.

    A friend linked me yesterday but I can't seem to find it.

    That strategy camera is one of the greatest UI features of that game. I don't quite know how people even played it on console without it.

      This is precisely the reason I bought Dragon Age on PC. I could perhaps understand if there wasn't enough room on the disc (highly unlikely), or just plain not enough time to code in the isometric view, but this just seems like a huge snub to those of us who did buy the PC version.

      I exclusively use the strategic camera for combat, it makes positioning (and target selection) far far easier.
      It also makes navigating small corridors/rooms much simpler (no camera swinging in too close to the character) than third person.
      I do switch to third person a lot when exploring though, if only for a sense of scale and the architecture.
      To me Dragon Age's combat will go from being appealing to frustrating if they make this change without changing combat. And if they change combat, I'll certainly miss it regardless of the direction they take.

      As for mods, since I'm still on my first playthrough, I've only got ones for Advanced Tactics (ended up not using tactics ever anyway, since I'm pausing every second) and a camp storage chest installed. But I'm all for allowing modding as it increasing the games longevity by ten fold (assuming an active mod community)

    Not really a surprise, a shame though.

    Not really true per se according to the Official forum

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4376174/37#4381246

    Sounds like work in progress to me

      Key parts of that article

      -The tools we're using to make Dragon Age 2 are very, very close to the tools you guys have used to make your mods for DA:O. They're not identical, as we've made a few in-house improvements, but they're almost identical. As such, there isn't a new toolset to release, per se.

      While we won't be releasing a toolset update in tandem with Dragon Age 2, we ARE investigating what it would take to update the community toolset to match ours, along with providing DA2 content in the future.

      -As to the subject of tactical view, I can confirm that we will not be doing a tactical view on [b]consoles[/b], though we are looking into some expanded party control that I think will make console players quite happy.

      On the PC, however, we are still working with the camera to keep the key elements of the tactical experience there. I was actually playtesting some new camera code when Victor found me, in fact, so I can give you the latest news on that front

      Looks like someone didn't do their research

        Or he was misquoted, or lost in translation. It's pre-release info from a FRENCH magazine after all...

          Yeah, don't trust the French video game journalists,they're the most incompetent bunch, seriously, when they don't plagiarize (copy babelfish and paste articles from kotaku for example) they're hopeless, so I'm not suprized if they got it wrong (which they have given the answers given in the Bioware forum). By the way, I know my topic, I'm French (at least for now, because I tend to call Australia my home, but that's another story)

    "For budgetary reasons, we focused our work on a 3rd person view, that asks for very detailed and nice textures so that the player can admire the game with a close-up view."

    Last time I checked a computer was better than a console and thus could still manage an environment filled with high-res textures even at a distance.

    I spent a large amount of time in the overhead view cuz I couldn't see what was going on in 3rd person. Not cool. I wonder how much of this had to do with the console version...yeh, it's a force of habit now blaming PC neglect on console versions.

    No isometric camera, no purchase, simple as that.
    The first game was great because we (the PC gamers) had our own characters and could be tactical about our fights.
    Now we can't make our own character as such (I get the impresion it will be more like Mass Effect... so not the end of the world), and we're loosing the other big thing that made the game great (on the PC at least)

    I read in the above link that they may still be a isometric camera for the PC, and I hope thats the case. Maybe Kotaku can harrass them into giving a definite yes/no for us PC gamers.

    I hope its still in. The watering down of PC games is getting worse every year. Forced 3rd person would annoy me, I need to see whats going on. Would not be surprised if DA 3 was just an action game with no RPG elements at all.

    Doesn't really bother me as I played the whole game in third person and never used any mods. I'll probably be getting this on console anyway just so I can have the game look nice because in DA:O I had to turn my graphics down to low just so the game wouldn't lag during combat despite the fact this computer played Crysis on medium with no problem. The fact that you can transfer your DA:O save to DA2 to affect the story mean I'll either end up getting DA2 on pc or I'll guy get DA:O on console.

    Though it looks like the article got it a little wrong, it's still a shame if this turns out to be true. Granted most of the time when moving around I'm close up behind my character in 3rd person mode but for those larger battles and for loot hunting strategic view was great.

    I played it on the 360 and didn't find it annoying at all, still got a baulder's gate feel. Quit your whining kiddos.

      Just PC gamers being, well, PC gamers!
      Let the console b!tching begin!

    Maybe if PC gamers actually bought the game instead of pirating it, they'd get better than second-class service.

      @Adam

      Odd I bought it for PC?
      First class service please

      Btw if anyone can say this isn't a loss regardless of whether the article is wrong or not, your just being plain stupid
      You obviously don't know just how useful that camera was in playing the game, in some cases vital in order to set up properly

    I had a horrible time with Dragon Age on console (kotaku published my reader review to that effect) but this was mainly due to a steep learning curve very poorly explained by the developers. Mass Effect had similar problems, but Mass Effect 2 smartly added some tutorial videos.

    After about 60 hours of play I managed to get the basics, and a further playthrough, the nuance. Which is: immobilize enemy mages, cone of cold, cone of cold, cone of cold. Having an overhead view becomes kind of superfluous at that point.

    I played Baldur's Gate, Fallout and all the isometric perspective games. Loved them.

    I played Dragon Age on the Xbox, and while I guess the isometric view would have been useful, I actually liked the chaotic feel that the third-person view gave some of the big battles. Even with pausing and jumping between characters it can still be hard to keep track of everything that's going on, just as it would in a real pitched battle.

    I know that that's not what everyone is looking for in a game, but it was something very original feeling that I enjoyed.

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