Some Parts Of Dragon Age II "Must Be Improved" In Dragon Age III

Dragon Age II was, for many, a bit of a disappointment. Too many recycled environments, too many cheap waves of bad guys to chop through. It was, you could argue, a bit of a rush job.

If it makes you feel any better, developers BioWare have heard your complaints. On the company's forums, writer Mike Laidlaw directly addresses these in a lengthy post, of which the highlight is:

Following the launch of DA II, I did some interviews and some of you interpreted my statements to mean I was blind to the concerns that have been voiced repeatedly on these forums. That was never my intent, nor the message I wanted to convey.

I am absolutely aware of the concerns voiced here. Issues like level re-use, the implementation of wave combat, concerns about the narrative and significance of choice and so on have all been not only noted, but examined, inspected and even aided me (and many, many others on the team) in formulating future plans. Further, I'm not only aware of the concerns, but I agree that there are aspects of DA II that not only can but must be improved in future installments. And that is precisely our intent.

He later adds that, in terms of "crafting" the game's slightly different take on the world and story, BioWare learned some stuff. "Some from what worked, but even more from what didn't."

So, for those despairing at the future of the franchise, maybe that's something to hold onto!

Thank you! [BioWare, via Beefjack]


Comments

    I'd say it's a lot more than "some" parts that need to be fixed up. If they could bring back the complexity of the first game with the faster paced action of the second then I think they would find a nice balance.

    Eh meaningless words.

    They knew the shit wasn't going to fly before they released. They done it anyway. And the thing that annoys me most, is that they didn't need to rush the launch, they could have waited until xmas and done it properly.

      I have to agree. DA2 absolutely destroyed my opinion of the modern Bioware, because it felt so incredibly lazy.
      Combat was far too easy, and there was too much of it. You couldn't go five minutes without being attacked by some generic mob of annoying bandits, and cleaning them up was a chore.
      The story was interesting, but disjointed, the three chapters feeling more like individual short stories than part of an overarching story. Nothing was built up to, it was just Hawke walking around doing the more interesting parts of his day job. (S)he wasn't working towards anything at all, and thus the game had no overall goal.

      Like Rufio said below, The Witcher 2 absolutely outclasses DA2 (and recent Bioware titles in general), and shows exactly how a sequel should be done. Not to mention it was worked on by a comparatively tiny team with bugger-all budget.

    I really didn't mind it, still one of the best games this year.

    I know quite a lot of people didn't like the narrative in DAII and I even understand why they didn't, but I find it completely and utterly engaging and just generally enjoyable. I love the characters and the way relationships develop therewith, I love not having my hand held and told who the "bad guys" are, and I love the way that the narrative unfolds over time rather than telling you exactly where you're going from the outset.

    But level re-use and excessive wave combat? Sure. That sucked. Hopefully whoever made the decision to not delay DAII for a few months to iron out the bugs and corner-cutting - EA, BioWare, whoever - will know better next time and give the franchise the extra time and resources it deserves. In the meantime, bring on DAII DLC (or a proper expansion please?)

    Thank God. Now, if we can get a level of improvement on par with that of The Witcher -> The Witcher 2...

    On another note, Origins is still my favourite game of all time.

    After playing Dragon Age II and then Witcher II, the difference is like night and day. Bioware, with their massive budgets should be ashamed of what CD Projekt has managed to do on a budget of 10 million.

    I like how it makes it sound like these weren't blindingly obvious problems from the outset. Don't they playtest these things? Don't playtesters get to make comments?

    I'd like to be able to use the armor I pick up on my party members in 3... seriously were they so strapped for time that they had to cut out extra item models for party characters? DA2 is such a miserable effort compared to their previous work.

    the problems are, no follow up. wheres the dlc?!?!?!?!

    Meh, I thought the world was infinitely more detailed and the characters far deeper than it's predecessor. Dragon Age 1 was made up nearly entirely of stereotypes. They weren't bad, just a bit cartoony. The pacing was better in 2, despite the scope being smaller. I really enjoyed the confined story that was more about politics than vanquishing a formidable (and entirely obvious) evil.

    Dragon Age 2 was an improvement. Geeks may be pissed that their combat and customisation was streamlined for (admittedly) no apparent reason since it didn't really change much, they just removed things which I think ended up making it MORE confusing to players. But overall, the game was a better experience for those who enjoy detail and complexity in their story instead of cheap showyness. (of nature)

      Actually, whilst I had my problems with the combat, as a geek, I thought the real failing was the narrative. In fact, I don't think there was one. The characters were great, but they didn't behave in a way that was consistent with their personality at all. Particularly Anders who was a healer and a medic for god sake.

      Also, the fact that decisions in the game made absolutely no difference. It was a massive step backwards from biowares prior work.

      I agree with you. I found the politics and the moral quandary of being forced to choose a side at the end, when its clear that neither are entirely in the right, made for... perhaps not a stronger narrative than origins, but a more interesting one.

      In fact, despite the frustrating part of what a certain mage did near the end, I found that Bioware setting us up to take a third option and settle the conflict and then abruptly removing it to force a decision was very effective. In a realistic world, there isn't always a third option, and you have to make hard decisions.

      I'm very interested in how they're going to tie together the Warden and the Champion's stories, cos its clear they're setting them up for it. Also, how they're going to mix the completely voiced Hawke and silent Warden without it being jarring...

    So Glad I didn't pre-purchase this and will continue to wait till it is it's correct price of something less then $20 for it and it's DLC.

    Actually feel proud of myself :D

    Yep, I love how in DA2 they moved the narrative away from an overly generic DnD fantasy to something more unique.

    I enjoyed some parts of DA2, but a lot of areas do need work. It was still an enjoyable game, but probably not on the level of its predecessor.

    Here's hoping they can fix things up for DA3.

    Love how everyone here is an expert on what Bioware did/didn't do.

    Perhaps the testing procedure didn't outline issues like these? Maybe the publisher pushed them to get it out? Who knows?

    We certainly don't.

    Deal with it.

      We are dealing with it, by being experts and complaining!

    The first is better in so many ways that it would be idiotic to play DAII

    I preferred DA2 to DAO. DAO bored me to tears. I forced myself to play to the end. Just to get it over and done with.

    How to do DA3:

    Take graphics, character interaction and control interface from DA2. Ditch the rest.

    Take character development, monster-art, storyline-design, level-design, equipment-design and quest-setting from DA:O

    Mesh together, write a new storyline, and present to the adoring public who will bow down and worship Bioware's return to power as the king of RPG writers

    As with EA tradition, anything they touch become crap for no apparent reason

    I.e. Maxis, Origins, Westwood Studio

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