Critical Miss: Erin Hawke: Explorer

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You hit the nail on the head, but what REALLY bugs me in DA2 is that when they 'change areas' by blocking chunks of it off, they still keep the same damn map, which has led me plenty of times down roads which turned out to be blocked. unimpressed bioware, come on, you're better than this.

also, this girl you're are seeing, does she have baggage of the emotional kind?

Reminds me of Mass Effect 1 where 95% of the interior locations were the same 2-3 maps.

midnightalone:
Now is that a Rogue Mage, as in a person who has both the talents of a rouge& a mage. Or a rogue Mage as in a Mage who has gone awall?!

-M

AWOL. And it's funnier when you consider that the way mages work in the DA universe, they actually would fit the original definition, instead of the adapted one most people use.

Unless you were joking, in which case... Oops.

Since the game is a story told by Varric, could it be possible that HE'S just uncreative with dungeon designs?

Incidentally, using Varric to lie to NPCs is BEYOND a good idea, Varric is by far the single best improv bulshitter who ever lived.

as much as I enjoy the game, when I do a couple quests in a row that send me to identical caves/houses it does take me out of the experience a bit.

The comic was funny, but it revolves around something that is actually fine when seen from a rational prospective.

Daystar Clarion:
As much as I like DA2, it reeks of laziness. They didn't even try to make the maps look at least a little varied.

At least the dialogue is varied enough. It's like they spent all the dev time on the character scripts and about 10 minutes on the maps.

I actually don't see it as lazy; I see it as a look at realism.

Let's just say I make a game about the city I live in and a few of the surrounding areas. Now because I am only making a game about those places, I have a finite amount of space. Things will look similar if you live in the same place for awhile and have traveled the area in that time.

Lets change the cave from the comic into a house that is just outside my city. First when I came to my city, the house was owned by a person that was running a crack house, then a few months later after the guy and the people that stayed there are busted and go to jail, the place is taken over by a violent street gang, it is their base. Then, several months after the gang has been arrested or run off by the police, kids now explore the place on dares and hide there important stuff there.
The house may stay the same, but over time, different people use it.

Now, in Dragon Age 2, each chapter of the game is equal to one or more years in the game's time. If I were to actually spread out each of the first chapter's missions into amounts of time to add up to and equal that year or more for that chapter. Each one would have at least a few weeks. So, I go do a job in a cave, I take care of some raiders in it, then I trek back and get my reward and do other missions. Then later I get another mission to remove mages from the same cave. In the possible game time, a month or more has passed since I removed the raiders from the cave, so why can't mages have found the cave and started using it for themselves.

The place they selected for DA2 is a very small area. The land and places are finite. They do change with the people and items that are in them, but look wise, the only way they are going to change is if BioWare puts in that there was some great earthquake and the cave looks different because some parts have been caved in.

See, all better, a rational look shows that BioWare was actually thinking logically when making the game.

Now that people mention it I do remember when ME 1 came out and people accused it of the same problem and I defending it as being realistic or some such nonsense. I would like to apologise for my earlier position. It was bullshit then and it continues to be bullshit now.

Therumancer:

Maybe for your next strip you should do something with the monster spawn. Dock thugs jumping off roofs like ninjas, or walking into an area to find a spide the size of an elephant appearing out of nowhere to surprise you. :)

That is a fairly good example of a small thing that has huge, annoying consequences. It undermines the entire combat experience by making tactical positioning and choke points, which should be important absolutely worthless because your mage and archer/swarthy dwarf are going to get ganked by enemies that spawn behind them regardless. At least they hide the spawning with cool but also kind of amusing (Ninjas in plate armour, you're right) animations.

Sonic Doctor:
The comic was funny, but it revolves around something that is actually fine when seen from a rational prospective. Etc etc

No honestly it isn't. The areas you explore are not the same area repopulated, that would make sense, as you said. But these are different areas in different zones of the map. The abandoned mine on Sundermount, is the "Cave" in the wounded coast only with different wagons covering the doorways. Sometimes the maps are reversed too, which makes even less sense.

GrizzlerBorno:
On a side note, it'd be trippin awesome if you actually COULD have a pet hamster with you. I know you had the caged one in ME2, but I mean like a real little hamster riding your shoulders. Not attack or anything just scuttle about you.....

Well there's no Suchong but you could get an ARACHNOMABARI SPIDER DOG

On a side note, it'd be trippin awesome if you actually COULD have a pet hamster with you. I know you had the caged one in ME2, but I mean like a real little hamster riding your shoulders. Not attack or anything just scuttle about you.....

Eatbrainz:
Since the game is a story told by Varric, could it be possible that HE'S just uncreative with dungeon designs?

Incidentally, using Varric to lie to NPCs is BEYOND a good idea, Varric is by far the single best improv bulshitter who ever lived.

One of my favorite parts is at the chantry in part two when talking to the Lord Mother(or whatever she is called, can't remember) when Hawke tells Varric to stop narrating after he talks.

Varric, "Hawke says angrily to the dwarf."

I didn't get it... Sorry.

I would have had no problem with visiting the same cave over and over. The worst thing, though, was that half of the time I'd visit different caves that just had the exact same chambers in them... The writing is first class, Kirkwall itself is amazing, but these "random" environments... Ugh!

"She's got baggage and its of the emotional kind"
I love it when I get the small references at the bottom of the page like this one about the Offspring song.

Anyway, funny one. I haven't played DAII, but I have heard all the complaints about the same cookie cutter dungeons for everything.

Maybe if they make DA3 they will realize how lazy they were on the maps.

tbh Dragon Age Origins had the same problem (especially with the God-awful Witch hunt DLC) and that had a 10 year development cycle...

The thing that got me was the map display was the same with areas just physically blocked off, they could have removed pointless parts from the map display and disguised it more as a result...it was just so unashamed...

lol nice touch with the Mirror on the last pane XD

I haven't even seen a mirror cave yet. I've only been through the same cave every time.

Therumancer:
Sad, but true, I chuckled since I was commenting on this since almost day #1.

Maybe for your next strip you should do something with the monster spawn. Dock thugs jumping off roofs like ninjas, or walking into an area to find a spide the size of an elephant appearing out of nowhere to surprise you. :)

Admittedly though the monster spiders (the really big ones) do make me kind of miss the old D&D "Phase Spider". That wasn't intended here, but it was a cool monster. It would be interesting if they do a "Dragon Age 3" and decide to actually come up with a spider that moves in and out of the fade or something and actually uses that abillty while fighting. :)

Yeah ... not so bad if you're a druid and accidentally walk into a cluster of them though.

GM: " A creature seems to fade into existence, but all you see is two monstrous fangs glistening with a vile toxin as it's fangs sink into your bodies and you feel your hearts grow somewhat colder ... number... Everybody, make 2 DC 17 fort saves"

....

GM: "Except Paul who only takes 7 damage"

Me: "Yesssssssssss #.#"

Poison immunity, I love you #.#

Yeah, I seriously haven't seen this much recycling of locations in a game since Soul Calibur Legends. Though otherwise DA2 is infinitely better than that game.

This made me lol and reminded me of the one dismally awful thing about DA2. Yeah, cheers Critical Miss!

I chuckled at Erin's "oh wow" face in panel 1.

Is that Ser Isaac of Clarke's armor I see in the second panel?

So damn true. Feels like WoW all over again. Running into the same damn cave in a different place is a real buzz kill.

Depressingly true. It kind of wrecked the immersion for me.

That's the only real problem I had with the game. It's basically just a few caves and areas you explore over and over again.
They should've taken the whole second act outside of the town really. Expand on the Deep Roads expedition. Would've also been interesting to see how the characters changed and how your relationships developed when you're out on the road for a long time. How they react to different things and such. Also, would've taken away the stupid "3 years later" gaps or at least one of them.

I enjoyed the game, but there was a lot of wasted potential.

midnightalone:
Now is that a Rogue Mage, as in a person who has both the talents of a rouge& a mage. Or a rogue Mage as in a Mage who has gone awall?!

-M

AWOL*

Absent WithOut Leave

I APPRECIATE the comic's intent, but it didn't amuse me that much. It just made me nod, sympathetically.

It did get kind of boring but it kind of made sense really, I mean the landscape wouldn't change irl just becuase you were going there to do somthing different. Perhaps they could have made it more overgrown? That said they should have made the area bigger that 'Kirkwall and surrounds' anyway

jp201:
It's funny because its true.

True yes. Funny...well, I didn't laugh. I used to really like these comics e.e

Ciler:
Reminds me of Mass Effect 1 where 95% of the interior locations were the same 2-3 maps.

Everyone had the SAME EXACT research lab xD (except for Peak 15 but the interior designer was the same)

icyneesan:
Saw this one coming a mile away. Also I just noticed that Erin's name is dangerously close to a certain Nurse/Archer :P

Erin! Erin! Help me Erin!

Erin! Erin! Erin! Erin! Erin! Doo, doo, doo, doo-doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo...

Damn you. That's gonna be stuck in my head for weeks.

OT: Haha so true. Ah well, hopefully the fanbase's reaction to this can send Bioware a message, eh?

haha that is so true, and also for "Mines" "Mansions" and "warehouses"

Sad, but true. First they were lazy with weapon and armor models, now they have expanded to maps. Can't find any excuses for that.

Daystar Clarion:
As much as I like DA2, it reeks of laziness. They didn't even try to make the maps look at least a little varied.

At least the dialogue is varied enough. It's like they spent all the dev time on the character scripts and about 10 minutes on the maps.

I have to agree here. I loved the game, but seeing the same place over and over was annoying. At least with DA:O you had more new areas to explore.

Yeah... it's unfortunate the maps are recycled so much... is the rumour about EA being the cause by forcing Bioware to cut corners in the development period true?

Ciler:
Reminds me of Mass Effect 1 where 95% of the interior locations were the same 2-3 maps.

The exteriors are worse.
There's a planet with blue mountains and blue sky, a planet with green montains and blue sky, other with blue montains and green sky...

I love DA2, but this is my only real complaint. But hey, silver lining: making this strip must have been exceedingly easy, right? Now you know how the level designers felt when they didn't have to work overtime every night, leaving their families at home, wondering if they'll ever feel happiness again.

Selvec:
I know they said streamlined, but this was utterly ridiculous. It might make sense if after some years the places where re-occupied, but bloody hell, there was only 4 damned maps for interior encounters.

Which sounds about the same for Dragon Age: Origins, to be honest. It's not like that was a feast of variety, either.

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