Critical Miss: Dragon Age 2

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Alar:

The Gentleman:
...And this is why PC gaming is dying: because you don't have to deal with this shit with the consoles.

-cough- STEAM. -cough cough-

steam is a DRM
you still have to put up with more bullshit from them then you do with consoles

Kilgengoor:

Oh, and about the Metacritic reviews? Those guys were morons to use a username with such evident ties to their real identities. I don't think anyone should deal with their idiocy other than themselves.

That's what makes it really funny IMO, he didn't use a blatant user name. Some guy on Reddit went on a crusade wondering why such a glowing review came from a guy with only one post on Metacritic ever. He googled the name used, which led to a Linkedin acct, which led to Hoban's account on Plurk.

What makes the whole ordeal even funnier is his job title is so vague we have NO IDEA what he actually does, as it's just 'Applications Manager.' For all we know, he could be an IT guy. But, no, we aren't done yet! He didn't even WORK ON DA2 according to the games closing credits. So, basically we have a guy that works at Bioware, but seemingly had no hand in DA2, but gave a glowing review of it. The haters only latch onto the first part, as in their eyes nobody should enjoy the game because they didn't for whatever assinine reason. And will happily ignore everything I just said, like how complicated it was to find this out, or that fact Hoban didn't work on the game. No, he works for Bioware so he is clearly biased and should be burned at the stake!

I love the logic of crazy fanatics. It always brings a smile to my face.

Arizona Kyle:

Ajna:

this isnt my name:
I get tired of the Welsh jokes, atleast have somthing to back up the things, like Americas obesity problem.

It's funny, because I have this crazy feeling you haven't even been to America, so you only have news outlets to rely on for the "obesity problem".

The definition for obesity used in the US is based entirely on weight-height ratio. Not body fat percentage, or anything reasonable. Most bodybuilders are considered "obese" under the US definition. Even though people like to talk about how "One fourth of Americans are obese", I'm sitting in a room of 40 people, and not a one of them looks in the least bit fat.

I'm about to start raging here, so I'll cut this off.

Watch the documentary "Fat Head". It explains the whole "obesity epidemic" far better than I ever could.

yes thank you for saying that, good lord i hate it when people say that most of america is fat

Because most of America IS obese. Anja, sorry, but that's a load of bullshit about bodybuilders and you know it. It's not like there is some random census that just asks your height and weight and decides it. It's phsyicians that do. And no physician has ever claimed a bodybuilder is overweight. I'm an American citizen, and I know full well how bad the problem is. I wonder if either of you two have even traveled the country, let alone left your home towns. I've been all over the US, and I'v been out of the country numerous times. Visiting Germany and England in particular is what really gave me a stark view of how bad it really is in the US. You can close your eyes and plug your ears, but that doesn't change facts.

Gildan Bladeborn:
Hmm. I'll admit, the PR fiascos that I've witnessed so far have been wryly amusing to me, but in terms of negative impact to the actual product? Origins had some massive bugs right out of the gate, including a fairly substantial memory leak that eventually extended load times between zones so much that you could brew and drink an entire pot of coffee before the zone would finish loading, plus the usual slew of random crashes to desktop. Dragon Age 2 on the other hand has crashed all of 3 times in the I've lost track of just how many hours I've been playing that damn game but it's a lot that I've been playing it, and I'm not entirely sure that one of those instances was the fault of the program and not my computer itself. Apart from that, the only in-game glitches that I've encountered were:

    1. A couple of times[1] the first line that an NPC delivers in a conversation didn't "trigger" somehow, and it jumped right to Hawke's response options.

    2. One sidequest apparently completed but didn't leave my active quest list (the one with Fetch).

    3. I think one conversation with Merrill in her home triggered too early, but I might be misinterpreting it.

From a coding standpoint I would definitely contend that Dragon Age II is a more solid initial product than Origins, that had all sorts of bugs, including real whoopers that rendered entirely playstyles ineffective. Still, the PR miss-steps are pretty darn hilarious.

It's a lot easier to ship a game without bugs when, comparative to the previous iteration of the franchise, it has half the content. And before anyone jumps on me for that statement, no, I've not directly compared hours total played on both games, but DA2 uses the same six or so "dungeon" levels throughout the entire game, at least a third of the companion content has been eliminated(no doubt due to the extra time and cost of voicing Hawke), there's a serious lack of loot thanks to the "companion armour" system(translation: rushed schedule meant they couldn't afford to design armours that would fit anything other than human-standard character models), and perhaps the most heinous omission of all - Arcane Warrior was cut(:P).

And yet still, while playing DA2, I've had four broken quests, two corrupted saves, and a minor conflict with my phenom 2 cpu that caused the game to chug like a steam train whenever I entered the Wounded Coast area.

As far as why Bioware have burned so much credibility with this, it's not hard to see why really. Anyone who was born before the mid 90's and played games growing up will likely have played Bioware's games, and most loved them. Bioware are one of the few cases when you can go back and play those games today and still enjoy them without relying on nostalgia. So people have high expectations of them.

Mass Effect 2 was their "gimmie" - sure, it streamlined out a lot of the RPG features, but it was excusable because the game was still awesome, and because the franchise was always intended to be about telling the story of Commander Shepard, not the player. But Dragon Age was supposed to be a game for the fans of their oldschool work, a proper CRPG with customisation and stat calculation, a chance to create a character and play them the way you chose to over the course of an epic story. And it was pretty much spot on. Issues? Of course, but it was a great game.

Dragon Age 2 doesn't elicit the same response as Mass Effect 2 did. This time, they're not just streamlining small parts of what was already a pretty mild RPG system, they've changed the entire tone of the game. When you also consider that Bioware were pretty much the last old developer that hadn't yet drunk the console kool-aid, and now they've evidently been on an EA-sponsored IV drip of the stuff for the entire DA2 development cycle, it's a bit depressing for fans of CRPGs.

[1] And by that I mean literally twice, once in a conversation with Bethany and once with Fenris. In both cases reloading from an earlier save (the last autosave for me) convinced it to play that missing first bit of the conversation.

Jennacide:

Kilgengoor:

Oh, and about the Metacritic reviews? Those guys were morons to use a username with such evident ties to their real identities. I don't think anyone should deal with their idiocy other than themselves.

That's what makes it really funny IMO, he didn't use a blatant user name. Some guy on Reddit went on a crusade wondering why such a glowing review came from a guy with only one post on Metacritic ever. He googled the name used, which led to a Linkedin acct, which led to Hoban's account on Plurk.

What makes the whole ordeal even funnier is his job title is so vague we have NO IDEA what he actually does, as it's just 'Applications Manager.' For all we know, he could be an IT guy. But, no, we aren't done yet! He didn't even WORK ON DA2 according to the games closing credits. So, basically we have a guy that works at Bioware, but seemingly had no hand in DA2, but gave a glowing review of it. The haters only latch onto the first part, as in their eyes nobody should enjoy the game because they didn't for whatever assinine reason. And will happily ignore everything I just said, like how complicated it was to find this out, or that fact Hoban didn't work on the game. No, he works for Bioware so he is clearly biased and should be burned at the stake!

I love the logic of crazy fanatics. It always brings a smile to my face.

Arizona Kyle:

Ajna:

It's funny, because I have this crazy feeling you haven't even been to America, so you only have news outlets to rely on for the "obesity problem".

The definition for obesity used in the US is based entirely on weight-height ratio. Not body fat percentage, or anything reasonable. Most bodybuilders are considered "obese" under the US definition. Even though people like to talk about how "One fourth of Americans are obese", I'm sitting in a room of 40 people, and not a one of them looks in the least bit fat.

I'm about to start raging here, so I'll cut this off.

Watch the documentary "Fat Head". It explains the whole "obesity epidemic" far better than I ever could.

yes thank you for saying that, good lord i hate it when people say that most of america is fat

Because most of America IS obese. Anja, sorry, but that's a load of bullshit about bodybuilders and you know it. It's not like there is some random census that just asks your height and weight and decides it. It's phsyicians that do. And no physician has ever claimed a bodybuilder is overweight. I'm an American citizen, and I know full well how bad the problem is. I wonder if either of you two have even traveled the country, let alone left your home towns. I've been all over the US, and I'v been out of the country numerous times. Visiting Germany and England in particular is what really gave me a stark view of how bad it really is in the US. You can close your eyes and plug your ears, but that doesn't change facts.

Calculating BMI is one of the best methods for population assessment of overweight and obesity. Because calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians and for the general public. The use of BMI allows people to compare their own weight status to that of the general population.

And yes when people talk about how fat america is this is solely what they are using... Its called bias and its very easy to sway the numbers in your ways... Yes i have been around the country and out of the country i travel quite often its not as bad as you think, also everyones view of obesity differs. In the south of the country it is much lower of a weight then it is in the northern part of the country... Also when most studies are taken they are taken more from the northern part of the country and also during the colder times of the month.

The Gentleman:
...And this is why PC gaming is dying: because you don't have to deal with this shit with the consoles.

It must be nice to be able to blame others for your own problems. So I guess we can blame all PC gamers for pirating.

direkiller:

Alar:

The Gentleman:
...And this is why PC gaming is dying: because you don't have to deal with this shit with the consoles.

-cough- STEAM. -cough cough-

steam is a DRM
you still have to put up with more bullshit from them then you do with consoles

And yet the amazing deals, great support, chat system, and ability to gift games to friends makes up for it! Hooray!

This is, of course, my opinion and that of many others (but who cares about them).

Geeh why was I a console gamer again?

Really again with the Securom? Do they ever learn? Or more important do they ever get punished hard enough to learn?

I mean this is a good game but ..no! That is why some people on consoles. And damn isn't that a nice sheep...oh well :) Nobody gets between en elf and his sheep right?

Really on a very few games I left PC gaming because of copy protection crap. Of driver problems.. yes it can look better then on consoles. IF it runs that is.. I just want to play a game. Disc in and run! And you PS3.. forced installations? That take 20 minutes? really!

The Gentleman:
...And this is why PC gaming is dying: because you don't have to deal with this shit with the consoles.

Don't you still need to sign up with Bioware/EA to play newer Bioware titles?

Sure, SecureROM isn't a problem, but that banning could be and review scandals totally are.

Alar:

And yet the amazing deals, great support, chat system, and ability to gift games to friends makes up for it! Hooray!

Yes, and operating under a single umbrella that can take your content away at a whim. Hooray!

Monopolistic behaviour designed to squash competition Woohoo! This can clearly only mean good things, unlike all those other times.

MatsVS:

Grey Carter:
Or there could be, you know, people who dislike the game because of it's rather large flaws.
I quite like the game, but accusing people who don't of being "intellectually dishonest" and arrogant isn't an argument. It's simple name calling.

You misunderstand.

Clearly, disliking the game for legitimate reasons is fine and presenting said reasons as a well-conceived argument is even better. Obviously. That's helpful. It's also not been the case.

Going into the game with a preconceived notion of how the game ought to be and then complaining when the game falls short of said expectations most certainly is not. Well, it would be if they did not proceed to point to their own personal disappointment as solid proof of the game's lack of objective quality. You judge a game on its own merits, its own premises, and as a blank slate. Anything less is intellectually dishonest.

See I'm going to have to disagree with both you and Cory here. Reviews, at least reviews worth reading, are rarely objective and always, always highly personal. Reviews are not, and will never be, a measure of objective quality. There's simply too many variables floating around for that to work.
What game reviews have always been is a simple recommendation. Should you, or should you not, buy this game. Games are, unless you're a particular type of gamer, an opportunity cost and thus should always be compared to their peers and competitors.
When a developer takes a game title and sticks a number on the end they're courting fan expectations. They're taking on those expectations in exchange for guaranteed sales. It's not unreasonable to expect a game's sequel to provide a similar experience to the first game. Avoiding stagnation is one thing and I'm all for cutting out fluff (ME2 is far better than ME) but I personally think some of the changes in DA2 were perhaps too sweeping and I can see why people looking for an RPG as opposed to an action RPG have got their knickers in a twist.

Zachary Amaranth:

Alar:

And yet the amazing deals, great support, chat system, and ability to gift games to friends makes up for it! Hooray!

Yes, and operating under a single umbrella that can take your content away at a whim. Hooray!

Monopolistic behaviour designed to squash competition Woohoo! This can clearly only mean good things, unlike all those other times.

I think if anything, Valve and Steam prove the importance of good PR. At least with the admittedly small sect of hardcore gamers who recognize how terrifyingly gargantuan Steam is. Hell. It extends to just about every business practice. What's the difference between Bullshit Nickle-And-Dime HorsePack DLC and Hats? Gabe Newell telling a joke.

Nidokoenig:

this isnt my name:

Nocta-Aeterna:
Is there an elf, flirting with a sheep in the background?

*sigh* The dalish in this Game were Welsh, Irish and Scottish, its a Welsh joke. (I get tired of the Welsh jokes, atleast have somthing to back up the things, like Americas obesity problem. The Ssheep joke shouldnt even exist.)

Jokes about more rural people getting off with livestock are common the world over. It's just city folk being mad jelly that Wales hasn't been completely covered in concrete.

Too right! These "Emerald Isles" are so out of fashion. Grey is the new green. Forget universities and the health service, pump all money into concrete to coat the Welsh in the modern!

mireko:
[quote="dmcc85" post="6.271209.10451802"]and i 'd rather play risen and risen2.

Funny, I'd rather get shot in the foot than play Risen again.[quote="Jerusalem" post="6.271209.10451588"]

i havent played risen yet.
but there already is a sequel in the making.

dmcc85:

mireko:
[quote="dmcc85" post="6.271209.10451802"]and i 'd rather play risen and risen2.

Funny, I'd rather get shot in the foot than play Risen again.[quote="Jerusalem" post="6.271209.10451588"]

i havent played risen yet.
but there already is a sequel in the making.

I got through the first act, cleaning the map and getting half the skeleton lord rings or whatever, but the progression in the game was too odd for me. The gameplay had me hooked for a while but in the end I just couldn't bring myself to finish it... and I won't be going back.

What the fuck? Everyone's bloody talking about Dragon Age 2, and Bioware, and how they suck, or they don't suck....

Dude, there's a fucking Fireman Sam reference in there! That is so cool. Many would call me a geek for notcing this sort of thing, but not in this case, because this is fireman sam we're talking about here.


Well played, chaps.

Grey Carter:

I think if anything, Valve and Steam prove the importance of good PR. At least with the admittedly small sect of hardcore gamers who recognize how terrifyingly gargantuan Steam is. Hell. It extends to just about every business practice. What's the difference between Bullshit Nickle-And-Dime HorsePack DLC and Hats? Gabe Newell telling a joke.

Horse Armor has an in game effect?

Honestly, I never saw the appeal of Hats myself. I only ever bought one, and that was to support the community map makers.

Nocta-Aeterna:
Is there an elf, flirting with a sheep in the background?

Welsh joke.

Worr Monger:

Celtic_Kerr:

JeanLuc761:

As someone who loves DA:O and DA2, I can confidently say you don't need to feel sorry for me ;)

Seconded! I love this game! it's fantastic!

Thirded. Haters gonna hate.

Indeed the Haters are hatin.

image

And Carver tell it like it is.

Meh, I want Skyrim,. Holy sh** what is this? Forged in god very flame...

...No, don't start singing it anymore!

Zachary Amaranth:

Alar:

And yet the amazing deals, great support, chat system, and ability to gift games to friends makes up for it! Hooray!

Yes, and operating under a single umbrella that can take your content away at a whim. Hooray!

Monopolistic behaviour designed to squash competition Woohoo! This can clearly only mean good things, unlike all those other times.

Is it a monopoly? Maybe. But its given me great service, excellent deals, and very nice games to play. I haven't run into any of the problems you've spoken of yet, and if they do take away your content, perhaps keeping a record of your purchases would help convince them to give it back?

Unless, of course, you're talking about them removing a game from their archive and you needing to re-install it somewhere else?

oh well BioWare at least you got Mass Effect right so far

no it's not perfect but it's still great (as opposed to me saying "it's not perfect but it's still 'GOOD'")

mireko:

Jerusalem:
So I bought DA2. It's still in her shiny wrappers, since I decided to play the pirate version instead. And my life is better because of that. QED for the problems facing AAA industry, I guess. Sure doesn't make me feel like buying many games with what limited budget I have to use for entertainment. But I guess natural selection will eventually work these problems out.

What?

You bought DA2, but played a pirated version because you don't have enough money?

Wait, no, those are obviously unconnected.. but that makes less sense. How did it improve your life?

Actually, this is pretty ingenious.
Step 1) Buy game.
Step 2) Download a copy, play a few hours in, test it out on your comp, generally get a feel for the game.
Step 3)Decide whether you want to keep playing it.
Step 3a) Didn't like it? Return your wrapped copy and delete the downloaded copy.
Step 3b) Liked it? Well then bust that packing and get to enjoying your game in a big-business approved manner, surely as God intended games to be played.

Is the elf-sheep action on the background a reference on their Welsh-accent?

this isnt my name:
*sigh* The dalish in this Game were Welsh, Irish and Scottish, its a Welsh joke. (I get tired of the Welsh jokes, atleast have somthing to back up the things, like Americas obesity problem. The Ssheep joke shouldnt even exist.)

However I found this amusing all of BWs recent PR fails in one image.

Well, the thing with the sheep joke is that racists are uncreative and like to get cheap laughs at the expense of others.
That's how it started, anyway... and now people keep doing these jokes about "stereotypes" and it's called humour.

sosolidshoe:

at least a third of the companion content has been eliminated(no doubt due to the extra time and cost of voicing Hawke)

That pissed me off, too. Not having conversation trees to explore is... odd in a BioWare game.

there's a serious lack of loot thanks to the "companion armour" system(translation: rushed schedule meant they couldn't afford to design armours that would fit anything other than human-standard character models)

Actually, that's more than defensible from a design standpoint because it really breaks flow to have to take every bit of gear and compare it against everyone's equipment. I thought it was a nice compromise to have Hawke loot his/her gear, but have companions level up their own.

I think the elf in the background is supposed to Zevran who flirts with everything that isn't nailed down or on fire.

el_kabong:

Nidokoenig:

this isnt my name:

*sigh* The dalish in this Game were Welsh, Irish and Scottish, its a Welsh joke. (I get tired of the Welsh jokes, atleast have somthing to back up the things, like Americas obesity problem. The Ssheep joke shouldnt even exist.)

Jokes about more rural people getting off with livestock are common the world over. It's just city folk being mad jelly that Wales hasn't been completely covered in concrete.

It's pretty common. In the US, the butt of livestock jokes are directed at states like Montana (probably my own, as well, but I've never heard about it). I think in Canada they use Newfoundland as a punching bag (real Canadians feel free to correct me).

Well, no real correction there. But there are loads of regional specific jokes here in Canada, not just the east coast ones. Although everyone hates Ontario. Everyone. And it's not even because of Toronto! Well not all of it anyways :P

But what gets me is where did all the "Morrigan Dissaproves!" people get to? I mean, they were thick as flies after Origins released, but now they've gone to ground and Origins is supposedly the best thing Bioware could have blessed us with. Go figure :)

Why would developers put SecuROM in their game, anyways? What does it DO for them? They know they won't stop pirates. Or at least they SHOULD know.

therandombear:
The drama mask in the speech wheel should be a troll face... :3

I think that's what they might have been going for lol. Or maybe I am just seeing things.

AWDMANOUT:

therandombear:
The drama mask in the speech wheel should be a troll face... :3

I think that's what they might have been going for lol. Or maybe I am just seeing things.

Maybe, but it doesn't "look" like trollface to me, oh yes it's smugface, but I don't really see a trollface in it xD

Can I just say that it's really nice to have a contributor that participates in the forum discussion on a regular basis?

Anyways, I liked the comic, it summed up EA'S/Bioware's missteps nicely. I'm kind of surprised though that you didn't mention all the bugs that seriously interrupted game flow sometimes... My favorite: Merrill spoiling the end of her companion quest because her dialog got switched around.

Still, I couldn't put DA2 down until I finished it, Bioware knows how to write an engaging story. The connections to Origins were really disappointing though...

Nocta-Aeterna:
Is there an elf, flirting with a sheep in the background?

Actually, I thought it was just Zevran, the super-horny elf from Origins.

Goldeneye103X2:
What the fuck? Everyone's bloody talking about Dragon Age 2, and Bioware, and how they suck, or they don't suck....

Dude, there's a fucking Fireman Sam reference in there! That is so cool. Many would call me a geek for notcing this sort of thing, but not in this case, because this is fireman sam we're talking about here.


Well played, chaps.

Oh thank whatever divine entity exists out there! I was worried that I was the only one who actually knew what this was referencing.

What's wrong with the community if it doesn't notice the lyrics to Fireman Sam, this is a condition that must be rectified.

Power to you, Good Sir!

I should note to people that there was NEVER SecureRom on the game. Ever. No versions had it. None. Nada. Ziltch.

It was just a registry key. That's it. No software, no executables.

Sheesh people.

It's not a bad game. I honestly am enjoying it far more than DA:O (I never even finished that game... just lost interest after Lothering). I like that the main character has a set personality depending on what dialogue choices you choose the most; like the troll mask responses makes Hawke more snarky/sarcastic, the peaceful responses make Hawke sound more wizened, the first makes him more aggressive sounding. I like the companions more in this game too, their motivations seem less nonsensical/vague. I like that whenever the party members have something new to say it shows up on my quest log. The combat is faster, especially for mages and you can still pause. People also griping about not having a strategic over the battle view are crazy. Just use the mousewheel and scroll all the way back and turn the camera to face down towards the floor. Also people tend to complain that you are always in the same town. That's how the story goes, broski. It's not a globe/continent spanning game. It's more like Arkham Asylum.

The game is a bit buggy, but all Bioware games are buggy on release. The ending is terribad and smells of EA trying to milk the franchise. It just stops! Other than that I don't have many complaints.

I say if you seem interested in the game, wait until the inevitable Ultimate edition that will come out a year from now with all the DLC and items and stuff. They caught me with DA:O, bloody game cost me an arm and a leg.

OT/: I like the elf flirting with the sheep. Also agreed that this has been a PR disaster, but no worse than what Ubisoft or Activision have done in the recent past. I think they'll survive this.

Zeetchmen:
Feel sorry for all the people that ended up buying the "RPG of the decade" ^o^

I am assuming you are judging something you never touched.

Ajna:

this isnt my name:
I get tired of the Welsh jokes, atleast have somthing to back up the things, like Americas obesity problem.

It's funny, because I have this crazy feeling you haven't even been to America, so you only have news outlets to rely on for the "obesity problem".

The definition for obesity used in the US is based entirely on weight-height ratio. Not body fat percentage, or anything reasonable. Most bodybuilders are considered "obese" under the US definition. Even though people like to talk about how "One fourth of Americans are obese", I'm sitting in a room of 40 people, and not a one of them looks in the least bit fat.

I'm about to start raging here, so I'll cut this off.

Watch the documentary "Fat Head". It explains the whole "obesity epidemic" far better than I ever could.

ew. i couldn't watch half of that crappy documentary. sure, it may have some facts, but when the humor is sarcastic dry and it looks so damn cheap... it just puts me off. then again, i was being cheap myself by streaming on the ps from netflix...

OT:

DAMN. these bioware dudes better get some PR outsider to help 'em out. cuz if they keep shitting themselves in front of the public, SWTOR might not sell as much.

it's still a day one purchase for me but... jeez, they really should tone down on the assholery.

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